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review 2018-03-14 11:58
Blood Red by Wendy Corsi Staub
Blood Red Mundy's Landing Book One - Wendy Corsi Staub

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

This book was very well done. I have had a review copy of this book for a very long time and really regretting the fact that I didn't read this one a long time ago. I love a good mystery thriller and this book pulled me in right from the start. I had such a good time trying to figure out how everything would come together and who the killer would be in the end. I glad I finally decided to give this book a try.

I have to admit that some of my favorite parts of the book were the parts that let us in the killer's head. I liked the fact that we get to meet the killer from the very beginning of the book and even learn his name very early. His identity and everything about him was still a complete mystery to me. The book isn't overly bloody but getting to really see the thought process of this killer really took the story to a new level.

Rowan is a teacher and mother of three in the town of Mundy's Landing. She leads a happy life now despite a mistake that she made and put behind her in the past. When a simple package shows up that could threaten everything, she tries to figure out what is going on. Mick, Rowan's teenage son, leads the busy life of a high school boy. He plays a sport at the school and works a part-time job where he is trying his best to be noticed by the pretty teen girl. Rowan and Mick tell the majority of the story along with the killer but we do also get to hear from a couple of police detectives and Rowan's sister, Noreen.

There were times in the book that I did wonder where things were leading. Honestly, I couldn't understand why Rowan was making such a big deal about things. I kind of wanted to tell her to just move on but I had a feeling that there would be more to the story and there was. It was really the killer's point of view that helped keep the story moving forward. By the end of the book, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough because I had to know what would happen next.

I would recommend this book to others. I liked how all of the pieces of this book came together to tell a very exciting story. This book is the start of a trilogy but I really felt like the story in this book is complete. I am not sure if I will be reading the other installments in this series but I do hope to read more from Wendy Corsi Staub in the future.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from HarperCollins - William Morrow via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
This was very well done. There were a whole lot of things going on in this book and part of the mystery was trying to figure out how everything would come together. Three were a lot of POVs that were used to tell the story and I liked that we got to see things from the killer's point of view even though I had no clue regarding his identity or motivation. 

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review 2018-03-07 13:27
The Rest Falls Away by Colleen Gleason
The Rest Falls Away (The Gardella Vampire Hunters: Victoria Book 1) - Colleen Gleason

This review can also be found at Carole's Random Life in Books.

I liked this book quite a bit. I am so glad that I finally was able to get around to reading this book. I am kind of ashamed that I have had a review copy of this book for so long and neglected to read it until now. I really had a good time getting to know Victoria as she worked to find a husband at the same time she was becoming a vampire hunter. This book was a whole lot of fun from beginning to end.

I have read a lot of paranormal romances since it is one of my favorite genres. I haven't read too many that had a historical setting though and I really liked that aspect of this book. I think it would be hard enough to learn to kill vampires without worrying about being a proper lady or finding a husband at the same time. I really liked this aspect of the story and found it to be very well done.

I love a good vampire story so I do have to admit that I liked the parts of the book where Victoria was battling vampires the most in the book. Victoria really has some pretty amazing vampire hunting skills and it was just a lot of fun to watch. When she fought alongside Max, it was even more exciting because the stakes were usually just a bit higher. 

I liked the characters in this book. Victoria was tough and not afraid to try to get what she wants in a period of time where that was pretty unusual for a woman. Max was a bit of a mystery but he seemed to always watch out for Victoria. I have a feeling that there is a lot more to learn about it and I am looking forward to that in future installments. Sebastian was a character that I was never fully trusted. It seemed like he was Victoria's ally at times but I was never completely sure. There were other characters that added to the story and were very well done.

I do recommend this book to others. It was just a whole lot of fun to read and I had a great time with it. I am a little mad that I waited so long to start reading this series and can't wait to read more very soon!

I received a review copy of this book from Avid Press via Edelweiss.

Initial Thoughts
This was fun! Victoria is trying to find a good husband while she is taking on the role of vampire hunter. It was entertaining watching her trying to balance both sides of her life. Of course, I found the vampire parts to be the most interesting but I liked the idea of her living a double life.

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review 2018-03-06 06:01
Elizabeth's Rival by Nicola Tallis

Elizabeth I was the glittering jewel in her court, and she was unwilling to share any of the limelight with anyone. As her reign progressed, she made her feelings on marriage well known, and many in her court were afraid to ask her permission to get married. Some married in secret, and for those unfortunate souls, the effects were long reaching and dire.
Robert Dudley was the favorite of the queen. They doted on each other, and there was fear among the queens Councillors that he would persuade her to marry him. After the death of his first wife, his name was tarnished enough that she could never give him much credence in his suit, but he continued to pursue her for years. Finally realizing that his dreams would never be realized, he set about to find a wife that could provide him with heirs for his landed estates and title.
Lettice Knolly’s was a close relation of the queen, whether it was remarked on or not, and her role in the court was tenuous. Given her mothers relationship with the queen, she was given a court position, but marriage and motherhood kept her from the court much of the time. Upon the death of her husband, and the massive debts that he had incurred, she began to make plans for her future. Whether she and Dudley had been more than friends for many years is a point of conjecture that we will never fully have an answer to, but she waited the required amount of time for mourning before considering marriage again. Her marriage would be the cause of contention for decades to come. Lettice might be well loved by the queen, but she threw it all away for the love of one man – and the one man that no one else in the kingdom had dared to make any designs on. He was the queens favorite, her darling, her right hand. That Lettice and Robert dared marry in secret, and then continue to hide it from the queen make it all the worse for the pair when it was finally outed to the monarch.
Dudley was forgiven, but Lettice was never again fully welcomed at court. She was banished from the sight of the queen, but the long drawn out spite was not to be forgotten. There could be only one and the queen was not about to share with anyone. But which one will outlast the other….

Lettice is quite a enigmatic figure. That more has not been written about her prior to this is a shame. She was a woman to be reckoned with, and one that did not back down no matter who was on the other side. While her family would find their tempers caused them lucrative positions at court, they always managed to come back up around. Fortunes wheel doth turn and turn. This is one book that I would read again – as there is so much information presented, that it is hard to take it all in at once, but it would be a good one.

Rating: 5/5 stars

Release Date: 6 March 2018


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review 2018-03-03 23:48
Virgin Territory - Lia Riley

This is book #3, in the Hellions Angels series.  This book can be read as a standalone novel.  To avoid spoilers, and understand the series, I recommend reading this great series in order.


Patrick AKA "Patch" is an amazing hockey player.  He also has a temper.  This time it may cost him all he holds dear, unless he is willing to meet a certain sexy female in the middle.


Margot is more than willing to help Patch learn the yoga secrets that can help him stay calm.  What she doesn't know is in around her he is anything but calm.  If she can reach him on another level, she can save his whole career.


This book was amazing!  The emotions felt so real.  I loved their banter.  The pace of the book was nice and steady.  The heat and sexy times felt like the author just turned up the thermostat - cause it was HOT!  I give this story a 5/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This book was given in exchange for an honest review only by its publisher and Edelweiss.

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review 2018-02-24 19:00
They Both Die At The End
They Both Die at the End - Adam Silvera

[I received a copy of this book through Edelweiss.]

An alternate-world story where a company named Death-Cast informs people of their impending death, and in which a lot of aspects of society are built around this: ‘Deckers’ (those people who got eh alert that they have less than 24 hours left to live) get meals , night club entrance, etc. free; a lot of blogs get devoted to chronicling their last hours, as they go about trying to make the most of what they have left; and an app, Last Friend, allows people to connect so that they’ll be able to spend that time with someone. (It is to be noted that because D-C only announces the day one is meant to die, and not the causes, a lot of Deckers try not to stay with close friends and relatives, in case their death will be due to a terrorist attack, car crash, or any other type of circumstances that could wound those other people.)

The novel follows two teenagers, Rufus and Mateo, as they meet through Last App and get to live their last day together, making memories, becoming friends, realising what they missed on, but also becoming the people they would’ve liked to be—in a somewhat paradoxical twist, in that perhaps they would never have done that, and perhaps never even known who they wanted to be, had they had their whole lives still ahead. I found this story dealt with its themes in a touching but never depressing manner. I would’ve been very miffed indeed if it had been about moping and lamenting; obviously the two boys aren’t happy about it, but they go around trying to make the most of it, trying things they may not have done on their own, and so on.

Of course, as the title explicitly says, the reader knows from the start that they both die at the end, and part of my interest in this was also to find out how they’d die, if it would leave them enough time to grow into that friendship I was promised, and whether events unfolding around them would indeed be the ones leading to their demise, or not.

I enjoyed the characters in general. Mateo’s way of gingerly opening up to braver actions was adorkable. Rufus had the making of a ‘bad boy’ but also revealed he definitely had a heart of gold. How they go about their last day was empowering. And I also liked the minor characters whose point of view I got to see as well. They were diverse (in many ways, including background, ethnicity and sexual preferences—by default I tend to consider every character as bi unless proven otherwise, cheers for Rufus here), and they allowed me to get a glimpse into the other side, what the living had to go through when confronted with the knowledge that their best friend had received the alert, and what D-C employees and related people also get to feel. (I don’t think spending your career as a customer service rep announcing people they’re going to die before tomorrow is very healthy in the long run.)

For some reason, though, I wasn’t a hundred percent invested in the book. To be fair, I suspect that’s partly because I was invested in interesting non-fiction books at the same time, and those demand more focus and attention from me. But I think that was perhaps also because of the theme: very interesting, yet necessarily leading to ‘live your life to the fullest because you’re not immortal’. Which is true, and expected, and because of this, it makes it hard to deal with it in a way that hasn’t been done already. Another thing I wasn’t sold on was the more romantic involvements; I think full-on friendship would’ve worked better for me.

Conclusion: Perhaps not a definite favourite for me, but I'll happily pick another story by this author in the future.

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