November Book Reviews

Gosh November just flew by, I read lots – did lots and finished ahead of schedule my online class. So now I’m ready to get back into blogging. In November I read quite a few books and here is a recap of them.

Unexpected Love by Kristy Kryszczak

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Unexpected Love was a short fast book to read. It was sweet and predictable and a bit unrealistic but sometimes that isn’t a bad thing. I enjoyed this book and how the story unfolded. I’m happy with the ending even if it was a stretch. The characters were well developed and while a certain one I couldn’t stand I liked most and wish I knew Parkson family (well minus the one son Jason). Jimmy was the best and my favorite character, he reminded me of a friend I had in high school. He was  a sweet guy with a heart of gold. Inez was a good character but not a strong girl. Sometimes I just wish she would have been a stronger lead. She was a bit wishy-washy but OK. Overall I would totally recommend this book to anyone looking for some light reading over a vacation or holiday.

summary: As a young woman living in the wondrous city of New York, Inez Champlain has always aspired to be like Carrie from Sex and the City, sans the tulle skirts and poor financial decisions, of course. Inez has it all: great friends, her dream job as a notable beauty writer, a studio loft on the Upper East Side, and no messy romantic drama to get in the way. But life takes a surprising turn when Inez catches the eye of the charming and handsome Jason Parkson, who fearlessly introduces himself the moment he sees her. Romance is the last thing on Inez’s mind, but there is something about Jason she can’t resist, and before long she’s hooked—that is, until she’s introduced to his brother, Jimmy…

Hindsight by Mindy Tarquini

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I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about reincarnation, or if I did the title is escaping me and I don’t remember. Hindsight  is an interesting book and I enjoyed it. This book had lots of humor mixed in with thought-provoking conversation starting ideas. While I’m not a real believer in reincarnation who am I to say it doesn’t happen. That didn’t make the book a miss for me. I enjoyed the writing style, connected with the characters and really enjoyed this book. I would recommend or loan this one to my friends and hope that they liked it as much as I did.

summary: Eugenia  Panisporchi lives with her Mother – Teaches Chaucer, and remembers all her past lives. She is desperate to change her future… 

 

 

Found by Emily Brett

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Found was a good book just not a favorite from my November reads. While I liked the characters OK the writing style just didn’t click with me.  I liked the idea of Found  but felt it could have had a bit more suspense. I really thought it would be very suspenseful based on the cover. One “accident” OK, two and I’m like well that’s weird but more than that I’m and like come on seriously. How did she have no clue that something wasn’t right? Would I recommend this one? Maybe I think it really depends on the reader on whether or not its a hit or miss. I’m glad I had the chance to read it and would try another book by the author if she writes more.

summary: Twenty-seven-year-old ICU nurse Natalie Ulster has a desire to see the world, in case she dies young like her mother, and a need to heal, which is compensation for her own damaged heart. Armed with an independence and self-reliance that stems from her father’s emotional abandonment—and wanting to separate herself from a deranged nurse whose husband just died under suspicious circumstances on Natalie’s watch…

In the Heart of Texas by Ginger McKnight – Chavers

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In the Heart of Texas was hands down my absolute favorite from November book stack. This book was so good and I’ve already loaned it out so I could share this little gem with friends and family. In the Heart of Texas was pure chick lit enjoyment and entertainment and I was sad to see the end. I will read more by this debut author and hope she continues to write more great stories that really capture the reader. The writing was very easy to read and flowed well. The characters were fully developed and I liked them a lot. The family and situations that she got herself into were the best and I loved her crazy family. This is perfect for some light hearted fun holiday and vacation reading. Grab a copy of this one and sit back and enjoy…

summary: Pitched as a poor man s Halle Berry, forty-one-year-old soap star Jo Randolph, has successfully avoided waiting tables since she left Midland, Texas at eighteen. But then, in the span of twenty-four hours, Jo manages to lose her job, burn her bridges in Hollywood, and accidentally burn down her lover/director s beach house after which she is shipped home to Texas by her agent to stay out of sight while she sorts out her situation. The more Jo reluctantly reconnects with her Texas roots and the family and friends she left behind, the more she regains touch with herself as an artist and with what is meaningful in life beyond the limelight…

Size Matters by Cathy Novak

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Size Matters is a small little book and very quick book to read. It felt like it was more of a novella than a novel and I think that might have hurt it a bit. I just felt that it was wrapping up just as it was beginning so I never really had a chance to connect with the characters. I really think and wish this had been a bit longer and more in-depth. The chapters jumped from one to another character wise and that isn’t always my favorite type of reading since it can get confusing at times. Overall this was a no for me and while I might recommend it I just not sure who to.

summary: John Frederick is a man of considerable substance, in every sense of the word. Rich, intelligent, reclusive, and very large, John Frederick lives to eat. His everyday needs are tended to by Mrs. Floyd, his house manager, and by a never-ending parade of personal chefs. Enter Lexie Alexander, the latest applicant for that once-again vacant position. A young woman of magical sensibilities, fresh out of culinary school and still recovering from a recent personal tragedy…

So overall it was a hit and miss month but still a good reading month. Here’s to hoping December is all  hits!

Thank you BookSpark Fall Reading Challenge for allowing me to read and review: In the Heart of Texas, Unexpected Love, Hindsight, Found and Size Matters. All thoughts and opinions were my own and not influenced by the free books.

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The Witch House of Persimmon Point

by Suzanne Palmieri

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When Byrd Whalen returns to her family’s ancestral home to uncover secrets threatening to destroy a legacy she holds dear, the dark haunted histories of the Amore women reveal themselves, leading Byrd to question everything she’s ever believed about herself in Palmieri’s fourth novel.

 

First Thoughts:

I have never read a book by Suzanne Palmieri. So I went into this with no back history or sure if it was related to any of the other Witch books she has written. I picked this one up first from my BookSpark Fall Reading Challenge box because I thought: Witches and Mystery a perfect spooktober read.

Characters:

The characters were very well developed and you get a whole history lesson on all the important back characters. This really helped me as a first time reader and I enjoyed getting to know the history of the Amore Women. They are a strong group of women and I really feel in love with their characters.  I will be checking out more of her books to see if I can read more about the fabulous Byrd Whalen.

Plot and Writing:

The author did a fabulous job and not making me feel lost and like I should stop reading. The writing flowed well and made reading though this book a breeze. The plot was a big heavy one with a lot of back story and family history. She did great at weaving that in throughout  the book.  There was so much going on but you can tell she knows and loves her characters.

Final Thoughts:

Well this wasn’t a spooktober book to read for the mystery and witches that I was think it would be about. However I got a sweet family story with so many new characters that I want to read more about. I will be checking out the rest of her books. Overall I really enjoyed this one and so happy I was introduced to a new to me author.

Thank you St Martins Press, BookSpark Fall Reading Challenge and Suzanne Palmieri for allowing me to read The Witch House of Persimmon Point. All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.

Just not my cup of tea…

These 2 just were not hits with me. Sorry I just didn’t like them and I didn’t even finish one of them. While I really thought I’d like the WWII book since I usually do. I loved The Book Thief, Sarah’s Key, The Nightingale and so many more. So I really thought An Address In Amsterdam would be hands down favorite. It wasn’t for me it was just difficult and odd to read. Not because of the subject matter just the writing was just not something that I enjoyed. The Next was similar it just didn’t sit well with me. I mean hey you can’t LOVE all books right?  I donated these books and I hope other’s like them.

An Address in Amsterdam by Mary Fillmore

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Rachel Klein hopes she can ignore the Nazis when they roll into Amsterdam in May 1940. After working secretly for the Underground, she too is forced into hiding where she meets a man. An Address in Amsterdam shows that, even in the most hopeless situation, an ordinary young woman can make the choice to act with courage―and even love.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Next by Stephanie Gangi

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Is there a right way to die? If so, Joanna DeAngelis has it all wrong. As she travels beyond memory, beyond desire, she is transformed into a fierce female force of life, determined to know how to die, happily ever after.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Thank you BookSpark Fall Reading Challenge for allowing me to read these books. All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.

We Are Unprepared

by Meg Little Reilly

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Ash and Pia move from hipster Brooklyn to rustic Vermont in search of a more authentic life. But just months after settling in, the forecast of a superstorm disrupts their dream. Fear of an impending disaster splits their tight-knit community and exposes the cracks in their marriage. Where Isole was once a place of old farm families, rednecks and transplants, it now divides into paranoid preppers, religious fanatics and government tools, each at odds about what course to take.

WE ARE UNPREPARED is an emotional journey, a terrifying glimpse into the human costs of our changing earth and, ultimately, a cautionary tale of survival and the human spirit.

First Thoughts:

I was excited to read a book where the thrill in the thriller was environmental. I haven’t read a book where the main issue at hand is about the environment and what is happening to it.

Characters:

Ash and Pia are the main character that you are introduced to right of the bat. There are other characters that I feel are strong supporting characters. For me the book seemed more about Ash and his point of view. At times oh my stars did I not like him. He was an arrogant, unfeeling guy but he comes around and that is all thanks to the sweetest character of them all August.

Plot and Writing:

The plot of We Are Unprepared was an interesting one and while I did like the idea and the writing was good it just took to long and at a slower pace than I liked. You have to read more than 60% of the book before the massive beyond super storm hits. For me it was just a bit to long. I really wanted to give it up at times.

Final Thoughts:

I think if the book would have moved at a faster pace than I would have liked it more than I did. Overall it was well written and not a bad read. I just wanted it move faster and have the storm unfold sooner rather than later.

thank you BookSpark Fall Reading Challenge, Meg Little Reilly and Mira  for allowing me to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book. 

 

Everything We Keep

by Kerry Lonsdale

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Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancé, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.

As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free…or shatter her forever.

Not a full review of this one. Sorry it just wasn’t a favorite of mine from the box. I tried so many times to like it. I did finish it but read another book while reading this one. Over all I found a lot of it to be unrealistic, just can’t imagine that to happen or how she would react to finding out things. On one hand you could say Aimee was in a state of shock and reacted that way because of that. On the other hand you could say come on Aimee the evidence was starting you right in the face.  I went into this book really expecting to love it it has a mix bag of stars on GoodReads so I think this is one of those books that is very extreme one way or another. The final thing that threw me on the not to much of a fan was the incest topic.

thank you BookSpark Fall Reading Challenge, Kerry Londale and Lake Union Publsihing for allowing me to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book. 

Behind Closed Doors

by B.A. Paris

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Everyone knows a couple like Jack and Grace. He has looks and wealth; she has charm and elegance. He’s a dedicated attorney who has never lost a case; she is a flawless homemaker, a masterful gardener and cook, and dotes on her disabled younger sister. Though they are still newlyweds, they seem to have it all. You might not want to like them, but you do. You’re hopelessly charmed by the ease and comfort of their home, by the graciousness of the dinner parties they throw. You’d like to get to know Grace better.

But it’s difficult, because you realize Jack and Grace are inseparable.

Some might call this true love. Others might wonder why Grace never answers the phone. Or why she can never meet for coffee, even though she doesn’t work. How she can cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim. Or why she never seems to take anything with her when she leaves the house, not even a pen. Or why there are such high-security metal shutters on all the downstairs windows.

Some might wonder what’s really going on once the dinner party is over, and the front door has closed.

 

First Thoughts:

My first initial thoughts were this is really good I’m going to like this psychological thriller. Than I got further into the book and decided Yikes, this book is disturbing on so many levels. What is even more disturbing is that there are people this twisted and sick out there.

Characters:

Jack and Grace are the envy couple of their friends. Jack is a high-powered attorney working to save women from their abusive husbands and boyfriends. Grace is the timid wife that is the perfect hostess and very loving sister. Millie is Grace’s sister who is sweet and very intuitive to what people are really like.  Esther is the meddling new friend that Grace really needs since she also things something is not right. There are more characters but these are the ones that really stuck out for me.

Plot and Writing:

The plot to Behind Closed Doors was good don’t get me wrong it was just so dark and twisted that it really got to me through out reading this. I had to read 2 books at the same time. Since at times I really just wanted to read something happy-go-lucky. B.A. Paris is a good writer and definitely writes one dark twisted thriller. I will read another book by B.A. Paris.  Her next one The Breakdown comes out June 20, 2017. While I can say Behind Closed Doors might not be a favorite since it made me uncomfortable reading it. I did  finish it and she does such big plot twist and reveals. It was great to read how the story unfolds and I loved seeing everything from Grace’s eyes.

Final Thoughts:

My final thoughts on Behind Closed Doors is that it’s not for every reader. It will crawl under your skin and get to you at times. It is crazy to think there are people out there this mean, crazy, and twisted but there are. I can say while at times Grace really made me mad for staying I still liked her, Millie and Esther the best. If you read this you might want to have a happy book to grab at times. Overall I could see this being made into a movie.

thank you BookSpark Fall Reading Challenge, B.A. Paris and St Martins Press for allowing me to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book. 

 

The Kept Woman

I’m going to try a new way to review my books so I hope you like the format.  I found this format on a booktuber’s youtube channel that I watch and thought it was a good way to review.

By Karin Slaughter

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The author of Pretty Girls returns with an electrifying, emotionally complex thriller that plunges its fascinating protagonist into the darkest depths of a mystery that just might destroy him.

 

 

 

 

First thoughts:

I thought it was good and read like so many of the crime drama’s I love watching on tv. The book was fast paced, non stop and a fast read that kept me second guessing my thoughts and predictions. I will be checking out more of the Will Trent series.

Characters:

There are many characters in The Kept Woman and probably in the rest of the books also. Each character is well developed and has their own back story that comes into play at times during The Kept Woman. I liked that the girls were strong kick butt and didn’t back down to the men. Will Trent the main character is likable and probably one of my favorites. and really I liked most of the characters.

Plot and Writing:

Karin Slaughters writing is very smooth and easy to read. I can’t believe this is the first book I’ve read by her. Her books are my type of books and I will have to check out the rest. The plot of The Kept Woman was a tough one to tackle you got assault, runaway teens, drugs, shady dealings  and so much more that police and FBI see on a day to day basis. For this book you have the local police working the GBI on a murder investigation that involves a few retired cops and some very shady dealings. Yes I learned some major bombshells about characters I just meet. So in that way the series is a bit spoiled for me. However that won’t stop me from reading the series.

Final Thoughts:

My final thoughts are I liked this book and became a fan of Karin Slaughter. While The Kept Woman is not a stand alone and should be read in order I don’t feel cheated for skipping ahead and reading this one first. I would recommend this book to any reader who enjoys crime/FBI drama. Overall I would give this book a solid 3.75 stars. Yes I know you can only give 3.5. I gave this book a bit more because while I was new to the series the author did a great job and not making me feel totally lost and confused.

thank you BookSpark Fall Reading Challenge, Karin Slaughter and William Morrow for allowing me to read this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.