Saturday, April 22, 2017

Stacking the Shelves #66

I am really excited to participate in Stacking the Shelves, a weekly meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews

Nothing too excited happened in my world this week.  On Sunday, I celebrated Easter with a nice dinner along with my husband, two daughters, and mother.  We had a meeting at my daughter's school one evening but other than that we just had quiet nights at home. 

Digital Books

Lord of Lies by Amy Sandas (NetGalley)
Angels Flight by Michael Connelly (Kindle Purchase)
Ruined by Amy Tintera (Kindle Purchase)
Unsub by Meg Gardiner (First to Read)
The Marsh King's Daughter by Karen Dionne (First to Read)
The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green (First to Read)
Eleanor Oliphant is Completely Fine by Gail Honeyman (First to Read)

I was totally drawn to the cover of Lord of Lies and hope that the story inside lives up to the cover.  I enjoy Michael Connelly and am slowly picking up his books as they go on sale.  I have seen a lot of great reviews for Ruined so I snatched that book as soon as I saw that it was on sale.  I am having a hard time resisting all of the awesome books on offer from First to Read lately.  I hope the four I added this week are as good as they sound.

Print Books
Hunger by Eve Langlais, Kate Douglas, and A.C. Arthur (St. Martin's Press)

This showed up at my house as a complete surprise.  I wouldn't have picked this book out for myself but I may at least give it a try. 

What books do you add to your shelves this week? 
Let me know in the comments and be sure to leave a link to your own STS post!

Friday, April 21, 2017

Review - About a Dog by Jenn McKinlay @JennMcKinlay @BerkleyRomance @FirstToRead

About a Dog by Jenn McKinlay
Series: A Bluff Point Romance #1
Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group
Publication Date: May 30, 2017
Date Read: April 7, 2017
Source: First to Read

Fall in love with a little help from man’s best friend in New York Times bestselling author Jenn McKinlay’s contemporary romance debut.

Mackenzie “Mac” Harris fled her hometown of Bluff Point, Maine, after being left at the altar—and seeking solace in the arms of her best friend’s off-limits brother. Now, seven years later, she’s back to attend her best friend’s wedding—safe, or so she thinks, from the mistakes of her youth.

But Gavin Tolliver has never forgotten the woman who has always held his heart. And when Mac rescues a stray puppy named Tulip, only Gavin, the town’s veterinarian, can help. With a little assistance from Tulip, Gavin vows to make Mac realize that their feelings are more than just puppy love…
My Review

I just loved this book!  It wasn't overly complicated but it was just a lot of fun to read.  Once I started reading this book, I was almost instantly hooked.  I couldn't get it out of my head and wanted to do nothing but sit down and read.  I decided to read this book really just because of the title and description.  It was really a pretty impulsive decision but one that worked out extremely well for me.

Mac is going back to her hometown in Maine for the first time in seven years.  She moved away after being left at the alter and hasn't been back.  She is back so that she can be the maid of honor at her best friend's wedding.  There are two weeks of wedding activities planned and Mac is determined to do anything that is needed including being paired with with the bride's little brother, Gavin.

Mac and Gavin have a past that nobody is aware of.  Gavin is Mac's best friend's little brother and is supposed to be off limits.  Gavin has grown up a lot in the seven years since Mac left town.  He is a veterinarian and stays really busy.  The chemistry between Mac and Gavin was intense from the very first time they were on the page together.  I just loved every interaction between this pair.

I loved the characters.  Mac and Gavin were just wonderful together.  Mac has tried to live a very safe life in terms of relationships since being left at the alter.  Gavin has never been able to get Mac out of his head and was really such a nice guy.  A lot of secondary characters also play a large role in this story as well including other members of the wedding party and Mac's aunts who are busy reinventing themselves.

I am a huge dog lover so the fact that this book features a dog was a huge draw for me.  As the book started, I did wonder when we would meet the dog and it does take a while but Tulip ended up being worth the wait.  I love that Tulip is such an important part of the story.  I also think that both Mac and Gavin's interactions with Tulip really helped show how caring they really are.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  This book was both funny and romantic as well as incredibly entertaining.  This is the first book that I have read by Jenn McKinlay but I am really looking forward to the next book in this wonderful series.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via First to Read.
About the Author

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Jenn McKinlay is the author of About a Dog, the Library Lover’s mysteries, the Cupcake Bakery mysteries, and the Hat Shop mysteries.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review - Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen
Berkley Publishing Group
Publication Date: April 18, 2017
Date Read: April 8, 2017
Source: NetGalley

A jaw-dropping novel of psychological suspense that asks, "If the love of your life disappeared without a trace, how far would you go to find out why? " Hannah Monroe's boyfriend, Matt, is gone. His belongings have disappeared from their house. Every call she ever made to him, every text she ever sent, every photo of him and any sign of him on social media have vanished. It's as though their last four years together never happened.

As Hannah struggles to get through the next few days, with humiliation and recriminations whirring through her head, she knows that she'll do whatever it takes to find him again and get answers. But as soon as her search starts, she realizes she is being led into a maze of madness and obsession. Step by suspenseful step, Hannah discovers her only way out is to come face to face with the shocking truth...
My Review

This book and me did not get along.  I was so excited to read this novel because the story sounded exactly like the kind of book that I enjoy.  I thought it started out okay but then I found myself wanting to put it down.  I would set this book aside and read another book and go back to it and quickly find that I was bored again.  I actually ended up reading a couple of other books in the middle of this one which is something that I rarely do.  I considered not finishing this book but I pushed myself to finish it instead.  After finishing the book, I do wish that I had just stopped as soon as I realized that it wasn't working for me.

Hannah comes home from work to find her boyfriend, Matt, gone from their home.  Matt has taken absolutely everything that he had in their home.  It is like Matt never lived there.  Photos are gone.  He even erased all of the phone records, texts, and emails.  Hannah is stunned and has no idea where Matt has gone or why he left.  She can't get his loss out of her mind and starts working to figure out where he has gone.

After the initial shock of Matt's leaving, there didn't seem to be a whole lot going on in this book.  Hannah does not deal with his leaving well at all and her spiral downward is detailed in the story but it seemed to me that the story needed something to keep things moving forward.  I found that I spent most of the book rather bored.

The story does have a big twist and the last quarter of the book does pick up the pace.  I would imagine that most people will really appreciate this giant twist but by the time it was revealed, I had really lost any investment in the story that I had ever had.  I did find that the last section of the book did seem to move faster and was more entertaining.

I think that this is a book that some readers will love but it will not work well for others.  Unfortunately, I was in the later group.  I wouldn't discourage anyone from reading it that really thinks that they would enjoy it based on the description but I won't be encouraging readers to pick it up either.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from Berkley Publishing Group via NetGalley.
About the Author

Mary Torjussen has an MA in Creative Writing from Liverpool John Moores University. She worked for several years as a teacher.

Author Links: Facebook | Twitter

Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Waiting on Wednesday - Lost and Found Sisters

 Waiting On Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

My Waiting on Wednesday pick is:

Lost and Found Sisters by Jill Shalvis
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: June 20, 2017
From New York Times bestselling author Jill Shalvis comes her first women's fiction novel—an unforgettable story of friendship, love, family, and sisterhood—perfect for fans of Colleen Hoover, Susan Mallery, and Kristan Higgins.

They say life can change in an instant…

After losing her sister in a devastating car accident, chef Quinn Weller is finally getting her life back on track. She appears to have it all: a loving family, a dream job in one of L.A.'s hottest eateries, and a gorgeous boyfriend dying to slip an engagement ring on her finger. So why does she feel so empty, like she's looking for a missing piece she can't find?

The answer comes when a lawyer tracks down Quinn and reveals a bombshell secret and a mysterious inheritance that only she can claim. This shocking revelation washes over Quinn like a tidal wave. Her whole life has been a lie.

On impulse, Quinn gives up her job, home, and boyfriend. She heads up the coast to the small hometown of Wildstone, California, which is just a few hours north, but feels worlds apart from Los Angeles. Though she doesn't quite fit in right away, she can't help but be drawn to the town’s simple pleasures…and the handsome, dark-haired stranger who offers friendship with no questions asked.

As Quinn settles into Wildstone, she discovers there's another surprise in store for her. The inheritance isn't a house or money, but rather something earthshattering, something that will make her question everything she thought she knew about herself, about her family. Now with a world of possibilities opening up to Quinn, she must decide if this new life is the one she was always meant to have—and the one that could finally give her the fulfillment she's searched so long for.

Pre-Order:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM!

Why Am I Waiting?
I just love Jill Shalvis so I am really eager to get my hands on her upcoming book.  I love the cover.  I really want to sit on that beach with one of those hats on my head and spend some time petting that adorable dog!  Plus, I really want to know what this earthshattering inheritance is all about.

What are you waiting for this week? 

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

New Releases - April 18, 2017 #newreleases #newbooks

It's Tuesday!  That means it is time to make a little bit of room on the bookshelves, load up your ereader, or make your way to your local library.  In other words - It is time to get your hands on a new book!

Here are just a few books that have just been released that you may want to grab soon:

Bang by Barry Lyga

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
A heartbreaking novel about living with your worst mistake, from New York Times bestselling author Barry Lyga.

A chunk of old memory, adrift in a pool of blood.

Sebastian Cody did something horrible, something no one--not even Sebastian himself--can forgive. At the age of four, he accidentally shot and killed his infant sister with his father's gun.

Now, ten years later, Sebastian has lived with the guilt and horror for his entire life. With his best friend away for the summer, Sebastian has only a new friend--Aneesa--to distract him from his darkest thoughts. But even this relationship cannot blunt the pain of his past. Because Sebastian knows exactly how to rectify his childhood crime and sanctify his past. It took a gun to get him into this.

Now he needs a gun to get out.

Unflinching and honest, Bang is as true and as relevant as tomorrow's headlines, the story of one boy and one moment in time that cannot be reclaimed.

Walk of Shame by Lauren Layne

Find it at:
Sparks fly between a misunderstood New York socialite and a cynical divorce lawyer in this lively standalone rom-com from the USA Today bestselling author of Blurred Lines and Love Story.

Pampered heiress Georgianna Watkins has a party-girl image to maintain, but all the shopping and clubbing is starting to feel a little bit hollow—and a whole lot lonely. Though Georgie would never admit it, the highlights of her week are the mornings when she comes home at the same time as her uptight, workaholic neighbor is leaving to hit the gym and put in a long day at the office. Teasing him is the most fun Georgie’s had in years—and the fuel for all her naughtiest daydreams.

Celebrity divorce attorney Andrew Mulroney doesn’t have much time for women, especially spoiled tabloid princesses who spend more time on Page Six than at an actual job. Although Georgie’s drop-dead gorgeous, she’s also everything Andrew resents: the type of girl who inherited her penthouse instead of earning it. But after Andrew caps one of their predawn sparring sessions with a surprise kiss—a kiss that’s caught on camera—all of Manhattan is gossiping about whether they’re a real couple. And nobody’s more surprised than Andrew to find that the answer just might be yes.

Gone Without a Trace by Mary Torjussen

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
A jaw-dropping novel of psychological suspense that asks, "If the love of your life disappeared without a trace, how far would you go to find out why? "

Hannah Monroe's boyfriend, Matt, is gone. His belongings have disappeared from their house. Every call she ever made to him, every text she ever sent, every photo of him and any sign of him on social media have vanished. It's as though their last four years together never happened.

As Hannah struggles to get through the next few days, with humiliation and recriminations whirring through her head, she knows that she'll do whatever it takes to find him again and get answers. But as soon as her search starts, she realizes she is being led into a maze of madness and obsession. Step by suspenseful step, Hannah discovers her only way out is to come face to face with the shocking truth...

The Thing About Love by Julie James

Find it at:
Goodreads | Booklikes | LibraryThing
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | BAM!
Two undercover FBI agents can hide who they are from everyone but each other in the latest novel from the New York Times bestselling author of Suddenly One Summer.

FBI agents Jessica Harlow and John Shepherd have a past. The former lawyer and cocky Army ranger clashed during their training at Quantico, gladly going their separate ways after graduating from the Academy. Six years later, the last thing either of them expects is to run into each other again–assigned to work as partners in a high-profile undercover sting.

For both of them, being paired with a former rival couldn’t come at a worse time. Recently divorced from a Hollywood producer and looking for a fresh start, Jessica is eager to prove herself at her new field office. And John is just one case away from his dream assignment to the FBI’s elite Hostage Rescue Team. In order to nail a corrupt Florida politician, they’ll have to find a way to work as a team–a task that becomes even trickier when they’re forced to hole up at a romantic, beachfront resort as part of the investigation. Suddenly, the heat behind their nonstop sparring threatens to make the job a whole lot more complicated. . .
More Great Books Being Released Today
(Covers link to Goodreads)

What new releases are you excited about this week?

Monday, April 17, 2017

Review - One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline @LisaScottoline @StMartinsPress

One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline
Publisher:  St. Martin's Press
Publication Date: April 11, 2017
Date Read: April 16, 2017
Source: NetGalley

On paper, Chris Brennan looks perfect. He's applying for a job as a high school government teacher, he's ready to step in as an assistant baseball coach, and his references are impeccable.

But everything about Chris Brennan is a lie.

Susan Sematov is proud of her son Raz, a high school pitcher so athletically talented that he's being recruited for a full-ride scholarship to a Division I college, with a future in major-league baseball. But Raz’s father died only a few months ago, leaving her son in a vulnerable place where any new father figure might influence him for good, or evil.

Heather Larkin is a struggling single mother who lives for her son Justin's baseball games. But Justin is shy, and Heather fears he is being lured down a dark path by one of his teammates, a young man from an affluent family whose fun-loving manner might possibly conceal his violent plans.

Mindy Kostis succumbs to the pressure of being a surgeon's wife by filling her days with social events and too many gin and tonics. But she doesn’t know that her husband and her son, Evan, are keeping secrets from her – secrets that might destroy all of them.

At the center of all of them is Chris Brennan. Why is he there? What does he want? And what is he willing to do to get it?

Enthralling and suspenseful, One Perfect Lie is an emotional thriller and a suburban crime story that will have readers riveted up to the shocking end, with killer twists and characters you won’t soon forget.
My Review

I really enjoyed reading this book.  I have to say that there were a few surprises along the way in this story and I really like surprises.  Especially in books.  I started reading this book thinking that things were going in a certain direction until everything changed and I had no idea where this book would end up.  That is exactly the kind of reading experience that I like to have.  This was one of those books that kept me guessing.

Chris Brennan is seemingly perfect.  But everything about him is a lie.  He is hired to teach at the local high school and he is also going to be the assistant baseball coach.  He has his story worked out and everyone seems to love him right from the start.  Now he just needs to figure out which kid is going to be the best choice to fit into his plan.

The characters in this book grew on me.  I had a hard time connecting with anyone at the beginning of the book but by the time I had reached the end of the story I thought they were great.  Most of the characters are just really good people although imperfect.  They all have things going on in their lives that impact their behaviors but they seemed to be doing the best that they could under the circumstances.

I loved the writing.  There was a lot of action in this book that really kept the pace moving.   There were a lot more twists and turns than I was expecting which really kept the story interesting.  This story felt very real.  While it is a fictional story, everything that happened in this story felt like something that could really happen which was actually quite scary.  This was a big story and the fact that it felt authentic was a big plus.

I would highly recommend this book to others.  It was a very fast paced story that could be hard to put down at times.   I have been a fan of Lisa Scottoline for a number of years and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next.

I received an advance reader edition of this book from St. Martin's Press via NetGalley.

About the Author
© April Narby
LISA SCOTTOLINE is a New York Times bestselling and Edgar Award-winning author of twenty-three novels. She has served as the president of Mystery Writers of America. She has 30 million copies of her books in print in the U.S., and she has been published in thirty-five countries. She writes a column with her daughter, Francesca Serritella, for The Philadelphia Inquirer, and those stories have been adapted into a series of memoirs. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets.

Author Links: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

Lisa Scottoline - One Perfect Lie Tour

I had the opportunity to go see Lisa Scottoline and get a few of my books signed this past Friday night and I had a fabulous time.  If you ever have the chance to see Lisa Scottoline speak, you really should try to work it in your schedule.  She is a wonderful speaker and she is incredibly funny.  

I brought my mother along with me to this event.  She says that she has never been to anything like this so I thought it was about time.  She recently read Lisa's book of essays, Why My Third Husband Will Be a Dog, and enjoyed it so she was looking forward to the event as much as I was.

Lisa really took the time to talk to her fans at this event.  There was a reception before the event started and she stayed busy the entire time.  She spoke for about an hour and I am pretty sure that everyone in the room was laughing at her stories.  We had to wait about another hour to actually get our books signed but we were having a nice time chatting so it went by quickly.  

We got to spend a few moments just chatting with Lisa once it was our turn at the front of the line.  She seemed very appreciative of all of her readers. 
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