Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review | Say You’re Sorry by Melinda Leigh

say you're sorryTitle: Say You’re Sorry
Author: Melinda Leigh
Series: Morgan Dane, book 1
Publishing: 2017 by Montlake Romance
Genre: Mystery; Thriller; Romantic Suspense; Fiction
Length: 336 pages
Format: Kindle ebook
Source: Kindle Unlimited
Synopsis: After the devastating loss of her husband in Iraq, Morgan Dane returns to Scarlet Falls, seeking the comfort of her hometown. Now, surrounded by family, she’s finally found peace and a promising career opportunity—until her babysitter is killed and her neighbor asks her to defend his son, Nick, who stands accused of the murder.

Tessa was the ultimate girl next door, and the community is outraged by her death. But Morgan has known Nick for years and can’t believe he’s guilty, despite the damning evidence stacked against him. She asks her friend Lance Kruger, an ex-cop turned private eye, for help. Taking on the town, the police, and a zealous DA, Morgan and Lance plunge into the investigation, determined to find the real killer. But as they uncover secrets that rock the community, they become targets for the madman hiding in plain sight.

My Rating:
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Book Review:

In this book we follow Morgan Dane, who is a widow about to go back to work as a prosecutor when her babysitter is found murdered and her neighbour is charged with the crime. Morgan knows Nick, and is determined that he could not have been the one to kill Tessa even though the evidence is shocking, it had to be a set-up.
Morgan decides that she is going to defend Nick, much to the shock of the town and her new boss, the district attorney, needless to say she is out of a job before she even begins.

What follows is Morgan, along with ex-cop-come-private-investigator Lance, investigate the murder of Tessa to try and prove Nick’s innocence. The investigation turns terrifying as a number of suspects are uncovered and someone is out to kill Nick and Morgan in order to hide a truth.

Say You’re Sorry had me from the first chapter. I was invested and needed to know what happened to Tessa, and who was the killer.
Character-wise, I adored Morgan Dane. She was a widow who had lost her husband to the war in Iraq and was trying to bring up her three young daughters with the help of her Grandfather and a woman she had kind of adopted and was living with them. She was determined that Nick was innocent, and she was going to find out who the real killer was, even if it put the town against her, and her life in danger. Lance was such a swoon. I loved him so much and I loved Morgan and him together – if only they would get to it! There was enough to keep my inner romantic happy, but not enough to take away from the crime-solving that the book revolved around.

I loved Leigh’s writing style and she kept me guessing as to who the killer was right up until the last couple of chapters. It was not who I thought it was going to be that was for sure! I like how she tied up all the loose ends of the case so that there were no questions, but ended the personal lives of the characters in a way that can be carried on in the next book in the series. 

As soon as I finished Say You’re Sorry, I instantly went and downloaded the second book in the series, Her Last Goodbye and I am looking forward to getting into it and seeing how Morgan and Lance’s story continues. 

About the Author:

Wall Street Journal bestselling author Melinda Leigh is a fully recovered banker. A life-long lover of books, she started writing as a way to preserve her sanity while raising her kids. Over the next few years, she learned a few things about writing a book. The process was much more fun than analyzing financial statements, and she decided to turn her hobby into a career. Melinda’s debut novel, SHE CAN RUN, was nominated for Best First Novel by the International Thriller Writers. She is a RITA® Award Finalist and has earned three Daphne du Maurier Award nominations, two Silver Falchion Awards, and a Golden Leaf.

Melinda holds a 2nd degree belt in Kenpo Karate. She’s dabbled in Arnis stick fighting, studied Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu, and taught women’s self-defense. She lives in a messy house in the suburbs with her husband, two kids, a couple of shelter dogs and two rescue cats who clearly run the show. With such a pleasant life, she has no explanation for the sometimes dark and disturbing nature of her imagination (Goodreads)

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Thank you for stopping by to read my review of Say You’re Sorry by Melinda Leigh. I hoped you enjoyed it! 

Until next time, happy reading!

♥ k i m @ b o o k s a r e l o v e ♥

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Posted in Book Reviews

Audiobook Review | Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer

The Book:

Letters to the LostTitle: Letters to the Lost
Author: Brigid Kemmerer
Published: 2017 by Bloomsbury
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Length: 10 hours, 16 minutes
Narrators: Brittany Pressley & Kirby Heybourne
Genre: YA; Contemporary; Romance
Synopsis: Juliet Young has always written letters to her mother, a world-traveling photojournalist. Even after her mother’s death, she leaves letters at her grave. It’s the only way Juliet can cope.

Declan Murphy isn’t the sort of guy you want to cross. In the midst of his court-ordered community service at the local cemetery, he’s trying to escape the demons of his past.

When Declan reads a haunting letter left beside a grave, he can’t resist writing back. Soon, he’s opening up to a perfect stranger, and their connection is immediate. But neither of them knows that they’re not actually strangers. When real life at school interferes with their secret life of letters, Juliet and Declan discover truths that might tear them apart. This emotional, compulsively-readable romance will sweep everyone off their feet

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
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The Author:

BRIGID KEMMERER is author of Letters to the Lost (Bloomsbury; April 4, 2017), a dark, contemporary Young Adult romance; Thicker Than Water (Kensington, December 29, 2015), a New Adult paranormal mystery with elements of romance; and the YALSA-nominated Elemental series of five Young Adult novels and three e-novellas which Kirkus Reviews calls “refreshingly human paranormal romance” and School Library Journal describes as “a new take on the supernatural genre.” She lives in the Baltimore area with her husband and four sons. (Goodreads)

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The Review:

I have just finished listening to Letters to the Lost by Brigid Kemmerer, and I am filled with so many feelings. 
I could have continued to listen to these narrators talk about Juliet and Declan forever.

It didn’t take me long to get hooked into this book and they story. Listening to the words of Declan and Juliet, two teens who are over-run with grief, I fell and I fell hard. I listened to this book every chance I got, I just needed to know how their story went.

Juliet and Declan were writing letters to one another regularly, first angry letters, then a sort of friendship developed which flourished into something else. The only issue was, they didn’t know who the other was. 
In real life Juliet wasn’t the biggest fan of Declan, he scared her a little and made her angry. But the more she got to know him, the more she came to like him. 

Watching these two characters write letters back and forth, and knowing myself who each of them was, I was getting so frustrated that they hadn’t figured it out. Once Declan did figure it out, I yelled at him inside my head regularly to just tell her, it was getting so frustrated!
These two characters seemed to be on completely different paths, and they just couldn’t find their way to each other, there was one piece of information that could have ruined any chance they had of getting past this friendship, and I was terrified. 

The way Kemmerer brought this book to a close, was just perfect. There was no stone unturned and everything ended just how it should have. There were some painful twist and turns along the way that shocked me, but it made the story that more life-like. It made the point that life is not a fairytale, people do things that shock you and hurt you, but you need to get through it, you need to make your own path.

I absolutely adored this book. The narrators were perfect, and they got the emotion and the message across perfectly. I felt so many different emotions throughout listening to this audiobook, and by the end, I felt as though I had known Juliet and Declan forever, I was so connected to them.

Thank you so much to Brigid Kemmerer for writing this amazing book. I will definitely be getting my hands on more of your novels!

Thank you for stopping by to read my review of Letters to the Lost, and I would love to know what you thought of the book if you have read it yourself!

Until next time, happy reading!

♥ k i m @ b o o k s a r e l o v e ♥

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review | If I Fall by Ella Harper

if i fallTitle: If I Fall
Author: Ella Harper
Publishing: 2018 by Canelo
Genre: Romance; Women’s Fiction; Chick Lit
Format: Kindle ebook
Source: Netgalley for Review
Length: 237 pages
Synopsis: Four friends forever… But who will be there to catch them?

They were best friends at uni. But life was simpler then.
Fifteen years later Connie, a former journalist, now struggles to maintain the veneer of a perfect family life. Jonas, her lawyer husband, is feeling the pressure at work. Personal trainer JJ appears to have it all, but his past is catching up with him. Their other friend, Layla, is a psychotherapist, but her career is unravelling thanks to a difficult and ailing mother.
As the pressure builds, each in their own way must confront their demons. Sometimes things get too much. Sometimes we stumble and fall – and pray someone is there to catch us.

A truly powerful and unforgettable story of love, friendship, and real life, If I Fall is perfect for readers of Alice Peterson, Amanda Prowse and Lianne Moriarty

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥
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Book Review:

I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not influence my opinion in any way.

It did not take me long to get into this book, I was invested in the characters pretty early on.

If I Fall follows four people who have been friends since university. There is Layla, the therapist who is dealing with a mother who has dementia; JJ, who is a ladies man, and hasn’t settled down, but is hiding a secret about his past that slowly eats away at him; Jonas, who is a lawyer who is stressed out from work and becoming a worse person by the day; and Connie, who is married to Jonas and slowly falling apart at the seams. 

If I Fall Photo

I realise that I just made this book sound like the most depressing story in the world. Though it is rather depressing, it is also hopeful and uplifting. I was most invested in Connie and JJ who were together in University, but had split, causing Connie to end up with Jonas. I wanted them back together, I could see that they still had feelings for one another but they just weren’t doing anything about it. Jonas was an awful person and I didn’t like him at all. He was just terrible. I understand why he was, it was needed in the story, but I dreaded his chapters as I read through. Layla seemed to be a lovely person, but I did find her a little whingy and whiney at times, although I can’t imagine being in her shoes, I would probably be the exact same. 

I did like that each chapter bounced from character to character, and within each chapter I got a glimpse into the mind of that particular person (even if they annoyed me).  I liked the fact that the whole story was edging towards a certain point, and that point happened right at the very end, keeping me invested the whole way through. I also am thankful that the story ended how I hoped that it would, it gave me a sense of closure, that even though a person’s life can be full of horrible things, everything does work itself out eventually. 

I would like to say thank you to Netgalley and the publisher of this book, Canelo, for sending me a copy of this book to review. I really did enjoy it.

Author Information:

Ella Harper learned foreign languages, and imagined she might eventually get a glamorous job speaking French. After climbing her way up the banking ladder, Ella started idly mapping out the beginnings of a novel on an old laptop.

When she realised her characters were more real to her than dividends and corporate actions ever could be, she left her job to become a writer. (Goodreads)

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Thank you for stopping by to read my review of If I Fall by Ella Harper. I hope you enjoyed it and it made you want to add it to your TBR. If you have read this book already, what did you think?

Until next time, happy reading!

♥ k i m @ b o o k s a r e l o v e ♥

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Book Review | Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult

leaving timeTitle: Leaving Time
Author: Jodi Picoult
Genre: Fiction; Contemporary; Mystery
Publishing: 2014 by Allen & Unwin
Format: Paperback
Pages: 400
Synopsis: Alice Metcalf was a devoted mother, loving wife and accomplished scientist who studied grief among elephants. Yet it’s been a decade since she disappeared under mysterious circumstances, leaving behind her small daughter, husband, and the animals to which she devoted her life. All signs point to abandonment – or worse.

Still Jenna – now thirteen years old and truly orphaned by a father maddened by grief – steadfastly refuses to believe in her mother’s desertion. So she decides to approach the two people who might still be able to help her find Alice: a disgraced psychic named Serenity Jones, and Virgil Stanhope, the cynical detective who first investigated her mother’s disappearance and the strange, possibly linked death of one of her mother’s coworkers.

Together these three lonely souls will discover truths destined to forever change their lives. Deeply moving and suspenseful, Jodi Picoult’s 21st novel is a radiant exploration of the enduring love between mothers and daughters

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
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My Review:

Jodi Picoult has done it again.

I have always loved Picoult’s books, but this one takes the cake so far.

I read this one for the “Beat the Backlist” reading challenge, as I have owned this book for longer than a year. Now that I have read it, I wish that it didn’t take me this long to get to it. 

Leaving Time photo

In Leaving Time we follow four characters – Jenna, Serenity, Virgil and Jenna’s mum Alice who goes missing after an accident at the Elephant Sanctuary she and her husband run. Jenna is determined to find out what happened to her because she doesn’t believe that she would have left her voluntarily. She asks Serenity – a disgraced psychic – and Virgil – the original detective on her mother’s case – for help. The search takes them all over, and slowly they figure out the truth about what happened to Alice.

The chapters in this book go between Alice in the past, telling us what happened back at the sanctuary in small bits and pieces, and Jenna, Virgil and Serenity, all in the present time in the search for answers.
I enjoy reading books that are set out and written in this way because I get to put the pieces together myself as I read along with the different characters. I got to know all four characters, and came up with my own theories of what happened to Alice all those years ago.

The characters themselves were multi-dimentional and always changing and growing. I connected with them all in a different way and had empathy for what they were all going through in their present moments. 

What I loved the most about Leaving Time, however, was that ending. WOW is the only word I can come up with. I won’t spoil it for those who haven’t had the honour of reading this book, but all I will say that it was the biggest twist I have experienced at the end of a book in the longest time, so much so that I heard myself gasp audibly when I figured it out. Picoult’s writing is so clever that while I was reading the book I didn’t put the pieces together, but once I knew the truth, and it was all being explained, thinking back to certain points, it all seemed so obvious, I wonder how I didn’t see it coming. 

 

Leaving Time OpenI absolutely loved this book, and if I could give more than a five out of five I definitely would. Next time someone asks me why Jodi Picoult is my all time favourite author, I will point them towards this book.

For those who haven’t read this one, stop what you are doing right now. Go to your local bookshop or library or wherever and get yourself a copy of this and read it right this second, I promise that you won’t regret it!

Thank you for stopping by and reading my review of Leaving Time by Jodi Picoult. until next time, happy reading!

♥ b o o k s a r e l o v e ♥

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Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review | Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

girl on the trainTitle: The Girl on the Train
Author: Paula Hawkins
Genre: Crime Thriller; Mystery; Suspense
Publishing: 2016 by Black Swan
Format: Paperback
Source: Owned
Pages: 409
Synopsis: Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens. She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses. ‘Jess and Jason’, she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.
And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.
Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see; she’s much more than just the girl on the train…

My Rating ♥♥♥
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Book Review:

I read this book as part of the Beat the Backlist reading challenge – it was a book that I have owned for more than one year, and I thought that it was time I gave in to see what all the hype was about.
I am going to say that I was slightly disappointed..don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad read, it just wasn’t as good as I was hoping or expecting. 

IMG_1540 I found that the more I read, the more frustrated I was getting with the main character, Rachel. She was desperate and a little pathetic. I did, however like that she knew what happened all along she just couldn’t seem to remember the details – because she was drunk at the time – which was a regular occurrence.

I will say that the writing style in the sense that it went back and forward between Rachel, Meagan and eventually Anna, it helped me to fill in the gaps in the story and slowly piece together what had happened. The fact that the characters of Rachel and at some points, Anna, were annoying me, I still needed to know what happened and I was able to set aside my issues to get to the bottom of it.

Paula Hawkins managed to keep me guessing to the very end when she made it clear who the killer was, and I will say it was not who I had suspected.

IMG_1541

The writing was medium paced, not too slow that I got bored, but not too fast that things were missed or skipped. I did enjoy the story, just not all the characters. 

I hoped that even though this book was really hyped up, I would still love it. I just think I went into it with really high expectations, and they weren’t met completely.

I would love to hear from anyone else who has read this one, and what you thought of it! Did you have the same thoughts as me, or did you love it completely?

Thanks for checking in, and reading my review of The Girl on the Train. To check out Paula Hawkins, you can find her through her Website, Twitter or Goodreads!
Until next time, happy reading!

b o o k s a r e l o v e 

Book Challenges For This Read:

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Posted in Book Reviews

ARC Book Review | Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan

vanishing girlsTitle:Vanishing Girls
Author: Lisa Regan
Series: Detective Josie Quinn, book 1
Genre: Crime Thriller; Mystery; Suspense
Format: Kindle ebook
Source: Netgalley
Synopsis: She was close enough to see that the girl had written a word on the wall in bright, warm red blood. Not a word, actually. A name…

Everyone in the small American town of Denton is searching for Isabelle Coleman, a missing seventeen-year-old girl. All they’ve found so far is her phone and another girl they didn’t even know was missing.

Mute and completely unresponsive to the world around her, it’s clear this mysterious girl has been damaged beyond repair. All Detective Josie Quinn can get from her is a name: Ramona.

Currently suspended from the force for misconduct, Josie takes matters into her own hands as the name leads her to evidence linking the two girls. She knows the race is on to find Isabelle alive, and she fears there may be others…

The trail leads Josie to another victim, a girl who escaped but whose case was labelled a hoax by authorities. To catch this monster, Josie must confront her own nightmares and follow her instinct to the darkest of places. But can she make it out alive?

My Rating ♥♥♥♥♥
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Book Review:

I received this book through Netgalley in exchange for a honest review. This does not influence my rating or review in any way.

Detective Josie Quinn has been suspended from the police force. This does not stop her though. Girls are going missing in her town and she is determined to get to the bottom of it, even if it gets her killed. 
As the story unfolds it is obvious that there is more going on than Josie or the reader could have even imagined, it is one of those books that you want to know what happens, but you can’t bear to watch. 

I was hooked from the very beginning, there were twists and turns that shocked me, people involved in crimes that I didn’t expect. Vanishing Girls was a page-turner from the beginning and I cannot wait to get my hands on the next book in this series!

From a writing point of view, we mainly follow Josie Quinn and the book is written in first person. However, some of the chapters you are reading from the point of view of a girl who is being held captive, which threw me around a bit, but as I got towards the end, it clicked into place and gave the story just even more depth.
I enjoyed the writing style of this book, I did have times that Josie was a little on my nerves, but once I got more into solving the mystery I was on her side, and wanted her to succeed in finding out the truth. 

I loved this book, and will definitely be getting my hands on the next one in the Detective Josie Quinn series.

Thank you for stopping by to read my review of Vanishing Girls by Lisa Regan. To check out this author you can find her on her Website, Twitter and Goodreads

Until next time, happy reading!

b o o k s a r e l o v e 

Reading Challenges For This Read:

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Posted in Book Challenges, Book Reviews

Audiobook Review | Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson

About The Book:

since you'veTitle: Since You’ve Been Gone
Author: Morgan Matson
Genre: Contemporary; YA; Romance
Format: Audiobook
Source: Audible
Narrator: Suzy Jackson
Length: 12 hours & 49 minutes
Synopsis: It was Sloane who yanked Emily out of her shell and made life 100% interesting. But right before what should have been the most epic summer, Sloane just…disappears. All she leaves behind is a to-do list.
On it, thirteen Sloane-inspired tasks that Emily would normally never try. But what if they could bring her best friend back?
Apple picking at night? Okay, easy enough.
Dance until dawn? Sure. Why not?
Kiss a stranger? Um…

Emily now has this unexpected summer, and the help of Frank Porter (totally unexpected), to check things off Sloane’s list. Who knows what she’ll find?

Go skinny-dipping? Wait…what?

My Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥
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My Review:

This book I had in my Audible library, it had been sitting there for quite some time and I thought that it was about time I listened to it.
It didn’t take long for me to get hooked into the story, and from then I listened to it daily just to find out what was going to happen.
I have only read one book from Morgan Matson previously and I really enjoyed it so I was looking forward getting into it.
Emily goes to her best friend’s house at the beginning of the summer holidays to find that she was gone without a trace, with no explanation. All Emily had was a to-do list of things that seemed impossible and a whole summer without her friend.
Slowly, Emily made new friends as she tried to make her way through the list.

I couldn’t get enough of the plot. The relationships that evolved in that summer between Emily, Frank, Collins and Dawn was something that I had always wanted as a teenager, a small really tight group of people who loved spending time with each other.

I really liked the idea of the list. Having Emily go through and do a whole number of things that she wouldn’t normally do, it made her a stronger person and helped her reach out to new people and form new friendships.

I really connected with Emily, I felt her sadness when her friend left, and her determination to finish the list. I felt proud of her when she conquered fears and heartbroken when she did.
The ending of the book was so perfect. It closed everything up in a nice little bundle, however, I would love to know what happens in Emily and Frank’s future..I am just going to imagine that they get their happily ever after 🙂

If you enjoy contemporary romance books, I highly recommend that you pick this one up, I am sure that you are going to love it as much as I did!

Reading Challenges for this Book:

 

Thank you for stopping by to read my review of Since You’ve Been Gone by Morgan Matson. I hope you enjoyed it, and it got you wanting to read it for yourself if you haven’t already!
Until next time, happy reading!

Kim x

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