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review 2018-05-16 22:43
Review: One Little Lie by Sam Carrington
One Little Lie - Sam Carrington

Published by: Avon (23rd July 2018)

 

ISBN: 978-0008300814

 

Source: Netgalley

 

Rating: 5*

 

Synopsis:

Deborah’s son was killed four years ago. Alice’s son is in prison for committing that crime.

Deborah would give anything to have her boy back, and Alice would do anything to right her son’s wrongs.

 

Driven by guilt and the need for redemption, Alice has started a support group for parents with troubled children. But as the network begins to grow, she soon finds out just how easy it is for one little lie to spiral out of control…

 

They call it mother’s intuition, but can you ever really know your own child?

 

Review:

Wow, this is such a masterfully plotted novel. Everything is planned out, down to the last intricate detail. It was a real pleasure to read and almost impossible to put down! There is plenty to keep you guessing, hold your interest and keep you up reading all night! Sam Carrington is one of those writers that has the knack of weaving all the threads of her story together so subtly so that you've not realised until the last moment. What a talent!

 

One Little Lie contains some of the characters from Sam Carrington's last book, Bad Sister, in therapist Connie and police officers Lindsay and Mack. I wasn't expecting this, but it was a really nice surprise as I thought the characters had worked well in the previous book. This is a stand alone novel, so it's not necessary to read Bad Sister first, although there is a bit of reference to the previous case. 

 

Chapters are alternated from the points of view of Deborah and Alice, with Connie interspersed too, as she is caught up in the case too, as are Lindsay and Mack. I can't really say much more about it without giving any of the plot away, but there is an awful lot going on in this book, so you need to keep your wits about you! It's a very tangled web and utterly gripping. There are some truly shocking parts, emotional scenes too, but there are also some very touching parts, to bring in more light to all the darkness. It was great to get to know Connie a little better, and to see the interaction with her, Lindsay and Mack. I hope they will be all returning in another of Sam's books!

 

I received an advanced reader's copy from the publisher, via Netgalley; this is my honest review.

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review 2018-02-14 15:44
Thoughts: That's Amore!
That's Amore!: Meet the ParentsI Do, Don't I?There Goes the Groom - Tori Carrington,Janelle Denison,Leslie Kelly

That's Amore! -- anthology
Authors include: Janelle Denison, Tori Carrington, and Leslie Kelly
Book 2 of Santori Stories

Average Rating:  3.1 Stars
(Includes personal rating:  3.0 Stars)

 

 

It's way too late to elope....

Meet the Parents by Janelle Denison

Like all dutiful Hawaiian daughters, Leila Malekala is expected to marry a Hawaiian groom handpicked by her parents.  But guess what, Mom and Dad?  Leila has wedding plans of her own.  The groom is California bad boy Jason Crofton... and the bride is pregnant.

I Do, Don't I? by Tori Carrington

Efi Panayotopoulou is about to marry her childhood sweetheart Nick Constantino.  Everything should be perfect.  But their families seem hell-bent on turning the wedding into a farce-or Greek tragedy.  And Efi is about a baklava flake away from running off... without her groom.

There Goes the Groom by Leslie Kelly

Luke Santori is engaged to "a nice Italian girl" from his Chicago neighborhood.  But wedding plans get tossed-like unbaked dough at his family's pizzeria-when Luke falls for blond-haired, blue-eyed Rachel Grant... the dressmaker designing his fiancee's bridal gown.



I'm really not a fan of the romantic Valentine's holiday, but I'm also a hopeless romantic and love to love some sweet, fluffy contemporary romances.  What better way to celebrate the holiday than an anthology of contemporary romances called That's Amore! that is based around three wedding novellas.  One of which was written by an author I like!


Meet the Parents by Janelle Denison
Rating:  3.5 Stars

This novella was cute, and I found a lot of the Hawaiian traditions quite interesting as well.  I liked that there wasn't a whole lot of angst in this sweet love story, even if there was a bit of a conflict involving the groom-to-be and his in-laws.  I wish I could say that I found Leila's parents a bit frustrating in their disapproval of her chosen husband... but the truth is, it doesn't surprise me, because I've seen more than my fair share of the same behavior among my own Asian relatives.

It's tiring, and yes, also frustrating.  But something that happens.  But we get a Happily Ever After in this novella, which is what counts.  That's probably more than I can say for other stories I've seen with the same, stubborn types of parental units who are more concerned with tradition than seeing how happy their children are.

A nice little read.  And while I'm a little reluctant to say that it was also a little boring... well, it kind of was.


I Do, Don't I? by Tori Carrington
Rating:  2.5 Stars

This novella was really full of crazy.  And while I loved seeing all the Greek wedding traditions, and reading about the loud, raucous actions of all of Efi's and Nick's relatives, and just overall witnessing a week full of partying and celebration... I couldn't help but feel extremely frustrated with both sides of the family.  This is why a lot of couples end up eloping...

And then maybe I was a bit frustrated with Nick as well.  It probably didn't help that we mostly followed Efi's point of view up until one small scene at the end of the novella.  I honestly would have liked to have seen more of the entire affair from Nick's point of view.  Because without his side of things, the story just felt like Efi was bearing all the stress of the wedding planning and the family crazy... while Nick just skated by and waited to get married.

Nonetheless, this story was a fun one, even if a little over-laden with angst, conflict, and made-for-television antics.

I would have liked to have seen a show down between Efi and Aphrodite, though I suppose it wouldn't really have been in good humor.  I would have liked to see more mature understanding from Nick--the fact that he seemed to be oblivious to everything, including cousin Aphrodite's attempts to seduce him made me cringe a little bit.  The fact that Nick had even entertained thoughts of doing anything with Aphrodite at all made me a little wary of how this marriage will be going forward; especially when Efi's confrontation didn't even seem to get through to his thick, ignorant head.

The fact that Nick has no idea that Efi had dreams of her own that shouldn't have been impeded by wedding vows felt a little immature.  In fact, neither of the two seemed to know what the other wanted, or had been expecting out of this marriage at all.  It got to a point where I was wondering if they were just getting married because it was expected for the two high school sweethearts--that they were in love with the idea of being in love and getting married, more than they were in love with each other.

Anyway... fun as fun was, this story turned out more like a family affair of crazy rather than a sweet romance.  It certainly DOES bring a realistic tone to all the crazy events that usually lead up to a wedding day.  Especially when family and relatives tend to get a little too involved.


There Goes the Groom by Leslie Kelly
Rating:  3.5 Stars

The premise of this novella could have gone in all sorts of bad directions--with an engaged man and his fiancee's dressmaker falling for one another, this could have been a disaster.  Fortunately, our lovely author managed to handle the events quite well, and we simply end up with a case of two people marrying for the wrong reasons.  Our hero sort of works through his own issues with the help of the heroine, as well as his brothers.

Simply put, this novella was a sweet one.

One of the things I DID NOT appreciate were the little comments here and there from our heroine that came off a little judgmental about random people in the story.  Some of those comments, honestly, I felt were uncalled for.

Meanwhile, this story also made me want a pizza...

 

 

Source: anicheungbookabyss.blogspot.com/2018/02/thoughts-thats-amore.html
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text 2018-01-02 18:01
My top reads of 2017 - the top 3!
Bad Sister - Sam Carrington
I Am Watching You - Teresa O'Driscoll
Tastes Like Fear: DI Marnie Rome 3 - Headline Digital,Sarah Hilary,Imogen Church
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text 2018-01-02 17:57
My top reads of 2017 - the runners up!
Last Breath: A gripping serial killer thriller that will have you hooked (Detective Erika Foster Book 4) - Robert Bryndza
A Stranger's House - Clare Chase
The Liar - Jennifer Wells
The Cold Hard Truth - Amanda Leigh Cowley
The Cows: The Hottest New Release for 2017 - Dawn O'Porter
The Lost Children - Helen Phifer
Andorra Pett and the Oort Cloud Café - Richard Dee
Murder Game: A gripping serial killer thriller you won't be able to put down (Detective Ruby Preston Crime Thriller Series Book 3) - Caroline Mitchell
Saving Sophie: A gripping psychological thriller with a brilliant twist - Sam Carrington
The Monk of Lantau - Mann Matharu
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review 2017-12-12 01:03
Review: Bad Sister by Sam Carrington
Bad Sister - Sam Carrington

Published by: Avon (5th October 2017)

 

ISBN: 978-0008200213

 

Source: NetGalley

 

Rating: 5*

 

Synopsis:
Then
When flames rip through their family home, only teenager Stephanie and her younger brother escape unhurt. Brett always liked to play with fire, but now their dad is dead and someone has to pay the price.

Now
Psychologist Connie Summers wants to help Stephanie rebuild her life. She has a new name, a young son and everything to live for. But when Stephanie receives a letter from someone she’d hoped would never find her, Connie is forced to question what really happened that night.
But some truths are better left alone . . .

 

Review:
I absolutely LOVED Sam's debut, Saving Sophie, so I'd been really looking forward to reading this, as soon as I'd finished reading that brilliant first book! I was really hoping Sam had lots more crackers up her sleeve and wouldn't suffer 'second album syndrome' (music is my first love!) You know, when a band has a phenomenal first album and then their second is sadly lacking that certain something that made you sit up and take notice? Anyway...I digress...and a cracker this certainly is! It's on fire!

Bad Sister is full of rich, interesting characters that leap to life off the page. Connie is fascinating and I want to go to the pub with her! Lindsay Wade is another great character, and I adore the way her and Connie interact. I hope they appear again in future books by this author as I'd love to see their relationship develop further.

The case itself is complex and disturbing and there are more than a few shocks, twists and turns, including one right at the end, which made me gasp out loud! There is plenty to get your teeth into, with flashbacks told via 'then', and present day events via various viewpoints. There is a lot going on here, but with the author's skilful writing, there's no chance to get confused; you're led exactly where you're meant to be.

Had me on the edge of my seat, got my pulse racing, and kept me guessing...ticked every box!
I received an egalley of this book from the publisher via NetGalley. Thanks to Avon and Sam Carrington.

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