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review 2018-03-01 17:01
The Girlfriend: A Novel - Sarah Naughton

Trigger Warning:  Child Abuse and Rape


Mags enjoys the life she has in Las Vegas.  She's a bull-dog defense attorney and firmly plays by her rules.  But when she gets the news her brother, Abe has been seriously injured in a fall, she leaves for England to be by his side.  When Mags arrive at the hospital, she meets Abe's girlfriend, Jody who seems to be the only one who witnesses Abe's accident.  


Jody's account of the accident doesn't set well with Mags.  There's something that Jody isn't telling and Mags conducts her own investigation since she's not getting much help from the police.


This book started off very slow for me.  My rule for reading a slow book is if the first fifty pages of a book doesn't grab and hold my attention, I will not complete it.  I have so many other books I need read.  However, I thought I would give it another chance, set it aside and read something light and cheerful to cleanse my reading palette.  The story did pick up its pace a little after the first fifty pages, but not by much.


I had a difficult time connecting with the characters.  I didn't find Mags likable throughout most of the book, but she slowly redeems herself on the last twenty-five pages of the story.  The plot is good with gripping situations, however I felt some areas in the book needed more buildup.


If you like a dark, psychological thriller, Sarah Naughton's The Girlfriend may be the book for you.


Thank you Netgalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.



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review 2018-02-24 22:56
Forbidden Song (Hearts of Metal Book 5) by Brooklyn Ann
Forbidden Song (Hearts of Metal Book 5) - Brooklyn Museum

This is the fifth book in the Hearts of Metal series but I promise it can definitely be read as a standalone. I know this because I’ve only read the previous book yet I never felt lost. 
I love how the author was able to weave so many characters into one book without making it feel convoluted. All of them felt true to their nature, including “slutty” Cliff, who can still be a jerk at times but now that we start seeing things from his POV it’s impossible not to have feelings for the guy. Christine’s independent spirit causes more trouble than not but even so she was a lovable character because it was not mischief what drove her but an honest will to live her own life. 

I felt this book centered more around the dynamics of the band’s members and their personal struggles, but even so it did not lack in the romance department. Christine and Cliff’s relationship may take a backseat at times but it’s always present throughout the book. Their emotions are all palpable and when they were together it was all but fire on the pages! The mix of drama and funny, laugh-out-loud moments made this book pretty enjoyable. And the fact that we get to visit with all of the other bands, including Rage of Angels (from the Bride of Prophecies series) makes it a memorable one as well. In short, I think this story is the perfect tease because if anyone picks this one up before the previous books in the series will want to get them all and start reading them asap. 

***I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2018-01-27 01:49
He's always watching
The Goldfish Boy - Lisa Thompson

If you read The Trouble with Goats and Sheep (or at the very least my review of it) then you won't be surprised to learn that I thoroughly enjoyed The Goldfish Boy by Colleen Oakley. The bare bones of this book is remarkably similar in that it's centered on a cul-de-sac in England where there are secrets behind every door and there's a mystery involving the disappearance of a small child. Yes, they're remarkably similar except...the main character is a young boy named Matthew who suffers from a debilitating case of Obsessive Compulsive Disorder or OCD which has resulted in him being unable/unwilling to leave his house. He is hyper-observant of everyone's movements and takes detailed notes which is how we get to know all of his neighbors. The majority of the novel takes place in his bedroom where the reader is trapped right along with him. Besides the discussion of OCD, Oakley tackles the internalized shame and fear of living with a mental illness. This is written in the style of Rear Window where the reader is seeing through the eyes of someone who is on the outside but also very much on the inside. (I'm deliberately being vague because to be anything else would give away the mystery.) This book made me wonder how common OCD might be in children and how this could be misdiagnosed as agoraphobia or vice versa. (Wait til you see how Matthew's parents view his behavior.) I felt that the author was extremely sensitive in her handling of this debilitating illness and wrote about it with just enough detail for us to feel as if we were getting a glimpse inside of Matthew without beating us over the head with it. Of note: I didn't much care for any of the adults in this book. Far and away, they were all pretty much useless cretins. The book though was riveting and I immediately passed it on to my co-worker who then passed it on to her teenage daughter. That marks it a winner in my books. 10/10


What's Up Next: Close Enough to Touch by Colleen Oakley


What I'm Currently Reading: The Portable Nineteenth-Century African American Women Writers and Quackery

Source: readingfortheheckofit.blogspot.com
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review 2017-12-09 13:00
Pretty Girl-13 by Liz Coley
Pretty Girl-13 - Liz Coley

Trigger Warnings: Some are spoilers, so click if you want to know before reading the book.

Rape, Molestation, Abuse, Incest.

(spoiler show)



There are a couple things I would change, but overall, this was a good, fast paced read.



Pretty Girl-13 was fascinating on a morbid level. Dark. Emotional. Gut-wrenching.


The segments with 2nd POV threw me for a loop as I did not understand them at first. They seemed weird and out of place. They also made me think there was something supernatural going on. I had no idea who or what was narrating those parts. Once I figured it out, it was an “ah-ha” moment and I enjoyed them. It gave the book a creepier vibe. Unimaginable some of the stuff those scenes showed us.


Sadly, I guessed almost all the twists. I was hoping so much that what I guessed was wrong, because it was not fun to know everything, ruining the mystery.


You should go into books like this blindly. I’m glad I did. I had no idea what to expect going in, only going by the vague synopsis. Once you know the gist of the plot, it wouldn’t be as engaging. Even knowing the twists, I still enjoyed reading them.


We learn about halfway through that something dark happened in Angie’s childhood, unrelated to the main plot, but explaining why Angie is the way she is. I did not like how this was resolved. Another thing that I did not like was how some of her former friends treated her. It is just not decent human behavior. It seemed highly unnecessary and I feel like if the characters were going to be like that, they shouldn’t be needed. I do get it, though. It was an excuse for Angie to take control and be strong, but I still could have done without it.


Angie’s friendship with Kate was a healthy one. A good one. I really liked it. There needs to be more girl love in books and not girls hating on girls. I also loved Angie’s relationship with Dr. Grant. Grant cared about Angie on more than a professional level.


Another person I liked was Detective Brogan, especially at the end, as they wrap up the case.


So much happened to Angie, it was almost too much. The girl never seemed to get a break, even the ending was bitter sweet. On one hand, I get why Angie did what she did, but on the other hand, I do not know if I could do it.


I think the ending will be one I’m never sure if I liked it or not.


There are also questions left unanswered, that only one person has the answer to and he can’t answer them now.

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review 2017-12-09 05:26
Review: The Bad Girl and the Baby (Cutting Loose #3) by Nina Croft
The Bad Girl and the Baby (Cutting Loose) - Nina Croft

Darcy has a painful past. She thinks she failed her sister and now she’s trying to make it up by making sure her sister’s daughter, Lulu is living a happy and safe life. The only problem is that Lulu’s guardian, uptight, ultra-organized, ex-SAS, Capt. Matt Peterson won’t allow her to even visit her. Now Darcy needs to find a way to convince him that being a tattooed ex-con is not as bad as it seems. 

I loved Darcy’s kick-a$$ character! I think the author did an excellent job of portraying the true nature of her character. She was tough and protective yet showed glimpses of vulnerability at exactly the right moments. Even when she was unsure or feeling susceptible, she still went ahead and made the tough decisions. 
Matt on the other hand cracked me up half of the time. He was supposed to be this stiff, uptight, almost super-soldier but when it came to Lulu and Darcy… well, let’s just say he became someone else entirely different but not in a bad way. He and Darcy formed some kind of bond, that as much as they tried to deny it existed, or not give it a name, worked excellent for me because it was that openness and honest attitude from both of them that made their nameless relationship work; as long as their meddlesome friends were not trying to dictate their lives. 
Argh! That really annoyed me, though! Darcy and Matt’s friends were always telling them how bad they were for each other and how much damage each would cause to the other. I mean, seriously, consenting adults? At least in the end, friends served their purpose and proved that without them life would not only be boring but also so much harder and lonely. 

It’s not very often I connect this well with characters but this book was something else. Even Lulu was a delight to read. Those that have dealt with little kids will immediately understand and chuckle at what the characters had to go through with little Lulu. 
It’s not very often I give 5 stars to books either but I think this one warrants it. There simply was nothing I didn’t like; if anything I could re-read this book just for the sheer pleasure of reading it again. 

** I received this book at no cost to me and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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