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review 2017-04-12 04:04
NetGalley Review: Shallow End
Shallow End: A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery - Brenda Chapman

I received this book via NetGalley to give an honest review.

So I read the blurb and was like you know this book sounds right up my alley of reading, I need to give it a try. When I went onto Goodreads I noticed in the title it said book four and that concerned me as would I be missing out on things that I need to know? Well I can say the book can be read as a stand alone though it seems that some issues that some characters have going on, are in the previous books. With that said overall it was a good book.

Jane Thompson had been accused of being a child molester. Her whole life has gone down hill she has been in prison, her husband has divorced her and won't let her see her kids, and she no longer can be a teacher. Though the book doesn't say she had to register as an offender which I thought was weird, especially since she has kids. She really wants to just be with her kids and her husband isn't making it easy. He seems a bit of a controlling person and I felt we see why she ended up with him because of up bringing. I think it is really good for an author to write a bit of why a character acts or does something a certain way because of their past when it is needed.
When the kid she has been accused of molesting ends up dead the spotlight is back on her and the parents of the boy will stop at nothing to make sure she is behind bars again. Though it will be up to the detectives to solve the case while dealing with their own things going on in their personal lives. What they will uncover had me going oh wow this was a bit more deeper psychological than I thought it was going to be. I really liked the way the detectives just didn't go straight to blaming Jane Stonechild could really tell that something was up when she was interviewing witnesses. To me that is what makes a great detective.

There are things I didn't see coming when we got towards the end and I was very surprised with it all. Just by reading this it seems the author has an amazing way with pulling you in and having you guess why someone would kill another person.
If you enjoy cop thrillers and murders give this book a try.

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review 2017-04-01 18:32
These Shallow Graves - Jennifer Donnelly

♪♫My Pick For Book Theme Song♫♪

Just A Girl by No Doubt mixed with Firework by Katy Perry  --Inspired by real life reporter Nellie Bly, Jo Montfort is just a girl trying to shine her brightest in a male dominated world of reporting.

You just gotta ignite the light

And let it shine

Just own the night

Like the Fourth of July

 

 

 

Book Title:  These Shallow Graves

Author:  Jennifer Donnelly

Narration:  Kim Bubbs

Series:  Stand-Alone

Genre:  Mystery, Historical, YA

Source:  Audiobook (Library)

 

Add to Goodreads

 

Overall Rating:  4/5 Stars

(Grade=B)

My Thoughts

 

The Luxe Series meets Nancy Drew…well sort of anyway.  The time period is very similar to the Luxe Series, but with less talk of fashion and high society manners.  Although, it does drone on at times about the latter.  It could have done without some of that and maybe been a little less lengthy.  Overall, a engaging murder/mystery, despite my being correct all along about whodunit. I suggest Audio format, it really makes the slow parts easier to get through.

 

 

Ratings Breakdown

 

Plot:  4.2/5

Characters:  3.8/5

The Feels:  3.8/5

Addictiveness:  3.8/5

Theme:  4/5

Flow:  4.2/5

Backdrop (World Building):  4.5/5

Originality:  4/5

Book Cover:  4.5/5

Narration: 4.5/5

Ending:  4.5/5 Cliffhanger:  Nope, not at all

 

Will I read more from this Author? I would.

 

 

 

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review 2017-03-14 14:33
Shallow End
Shallow End: A Stonechild and Rouleau Mystery - Brenda Chapman

This novel was a huge disappointment for me. Perhaps it was because it was the fourth book in the series and I hadn’t read any of the previous novels leading up to this one so I wasn’t up-to-date with all the characters and their relationships but this novel was boring for me until the very end. With no clues to help the team after the initial case, they had nothing to focus on which lead them to reexam the same individuals over and over again, hoping that it would lead to something. I was introduced to members of the police department and the ghosts that lived there so I was finally getting to know the stories behind the individuals who were assigned to the case. Then, they finally got a break. Just what everyone including me had been waiting for on this case and things began moving rapidly on this case. It’s a crazy, twisted story in the end, one that had been well planned out.

 

My feelings on this novel is that there was nothing to entertain me with in the beginning besides the initial case. The ending was where everything occurred and in the middle, I was just waiting for something, anything to happen. I would like to start this series from the beginning in the future as I enjoyed the author’s writing but this novel by itself, I give it a 3.

I received a copy of this novel from NetGalley and Dundurn in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-03-09 06:04
Ten years later and neither one of them grew up? Boo.
The Education of Caroline - Jane Harvey-Berrick

I'm happy for the reunion. And happy ending.

But...Caro and Sebastian both acted childish.

Ten years apart didn't help them grow.

Carolina is the same insecure person (jealous and mean spirited considering any woman interested in Sebastian as a bitch, or wants to smack them, etc)

Sebastian is demanding, possessive, jealous and sometimes OTT. He acted like the same jealous 17 year old when other men deemed to look at Carolina.

And they acted like teenagers when together.

And yet I couldn't stop reading.

Even after rolling my eyes.

I even read the 2 extra epilogues.

The writing isn't world moving but I guess a good thing I'd say is that both main characters were consistent in characterization.

Carolina was a doormat when step away from the romantic haze. She gave in, rolled over for anything Sebastian came up with.

Still.

Sebastian loved her. Carolina loves him. Never doubted it but the time apart didn't seem to help them grow...much.

3.5 stars

(I'll most likely cave and read the companion piece too.)

Despite my gripes.

I can't seem to be able to let this couple go.

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review 2017-03-06 06:31
Stereotypes in insta-love. Ho hum.
Permanent Ink - Jaime Samms
A Hearts On Fire Review

TWO HEARTS--The re-release of Permanent Ink by Jaime Samms is a short story that features a very quick pairing between white college basketball player Eric and black tatted/pierced ex-con Dwayne. Eric's best friend is Dwayne's cousin, Angel, meaning they knew of each other but never formally hung out. Eric judges Dwayne based on his outward appearance, assuming the worst. Though Dwayne doesn't help Eric's preconception in the beginning of the short when he brags about his ass pain from a hookup the night before. The two start on the wrong foot and it quickly turns around into a HEA.

Race is an important factor in this short. And unfortunately, so are a few stereotypes.

This is a re-release, I haven't read the original version but I'm going to take a stab that not much changed. Though the time period could be implied as modern day, it read more like any reference to the time period was vaguely mentioned. An example, Dwayne is supposed to look like a "thug" with cornrows and beads because he came from the hood and had to wear the "thug" exterior to protect himself on the "inside".

*sigh*

I just can't buy the characterization as justification for writing Dwayne this way. I'm unsure if the story is supposed to be based in the UK or America, so it could help me reference the characters. Maybe that's how the "thugs" dress and act in a different part of the world? *shrug*

I think I see what the author was going for, opposites attract insta-love romance but the beginning was rough. I didn't like Eric. He was privileged and didn't really come away as a better person in the end. Dwayne read more like 2-D character who had past rape added to his life to give depth?

Past rape was given as the reason for the "armor" of tattoos and 'tough persona....why have him brag about sleeping around if he has a sexual hang up (about bottoming). There were contradicting factors - hooking up with random men to never having sex since jail.

Didn't make the impact it tried to go for.

My second biggest gripe (after poor characterization) is if this was reedited, why not make it read more current? Angel tried to give something about race relations when he tried to give a teaching moment with Eric. But it kinda fell off to the wayside. Story is too short to try and encompass crime, rape PTSD. Not a fan of the way it was written or presented.

The one sex scene was a bust because the main characters read awkward and acted awkward to me. Example, it'd be a kiss then stall then kiss then pause...not smooth writing. Along with the vagueness in the writing.

I've read this author in the past. Samms's books have a tendency to be full of angst. I don't think the topics added to make the story...interesting (for lack of a better word) was needed.

How could the story have been better? More length, show how the two connected rather than insta-love over time. There were very tiny bits of that that just didn't go anywhere.

Didn't like Eric by the end - he still read like a privileged rich kid. I doubt he grew or will grow from his relationship with Dwayne. Dwayne could do so much better.

Not recommended.
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