Sunday, September 25, 2016

The Forgotten Girls by Sara Blaedel

TitleThe Forgotten Girls
SeriesLouise Rick #7
AuthorSara Blaedel 
PublisherGrand Central Publishing
Release Date October 6, 2015 

Sara Blaedel--Denmark's "Queen of Crime"--brings her #1 bestseller THE FORGOTTEN GIRLS to North America.

Four days later, Louise Rick still had no answers. The body of an unidentified woman was discovered in a local forest. A large, unique scar on one side of her face should have made the identification easy, but nobody has reported her missing. As the new commander of the Missing Persons Department, Louise risks involving the media by releasing a photo of the victim, hoping to find someone who knew her.Louise's gamble pays off: an older woman phones to say that she recognizes the woman as Lisemette, a child she once cared for in the state mental institution many years ago. Lisemette, like the other children in the institution, was abandoned by her family and branded a "forgotten girl." But Louise soon discovers something more disturbing: Lisemette had a twin, and both girls were issued death certificates more than thirty years ago. Aided by her friend journalist Camilla Lind, Louise finds that the investigation takes a surprising and unsettling turn when it brings her closer to her childhood home. And as she uncovers more crimes that were committed--and hidden--in the forest, she is forced to confront a terrible link to her own past that has been carefully concealed. 

 "there was a crime behind one out of five of the unsolved missing person reports."

The Forgotten Girls was my first book by Sara Blaedel. I knew it was a good one since one of my friends recommended it. (Thanks, Melissa!). 

The novel starts with the discovery of a woman's body. The woman was found in the woods and she seemed to have fallen and died. It's up to detective Louise Rick to figure out her identity. This is not an easy task. At the beginning, no one comes forward but later on after a photo is released someone calls saying they recognized the woman. Years ago, she was a disabled girl left in an institution. The trouble with this information is that she had a twin and there is a death certificate for both of them. 

During the investigation, another woman is found dead and raped in the same woods, and then a female runner goes missing too. Soon they are in the hunt for the man who is raping and killing women. The more they investigate, the more they uncover more female disappearances through the years. Time is running out before someone else is taken or killed. 

I loved how flawed the main characters were. 

First, we have Louise. She's dealing with past demons. Her boyfriend Klaus committed suicide over twenty years ago and she still hasn't recovered from it. Sometimes she deals with her stress by leaving her job and calling in sick. The author doesn't make her Wonder Woman and for that I'm thankful. 

Then, we have her new partner Eik Nordstrøm. The first time we meet him, Louise picks him up from a bar and he's clearly hungover. He smokes too much. The upside to this, he's really good at his job which was shocking after his introduction. 

One thing they both have in common is that neither wants to open up about their past and they're still very much damaged from it. 

I liked the flow of the novel. I was taken through the motions in a perfect sequence. We get enough information in regards to Louise's past and also her friend Camilla. We're provided with bits and pieces of knowledge in regards to a gang of teenagers (now adults) Klaus used to hang out with. I do believe they are going to be relevant in the next book.

One of the scenes at the end caused me so much rage. I won't spoil it but I can say the author made me feel so powerless.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

The Fault in Our Stars by John Green

TitleThe Fault in Our Stars
AuthorJohn Green
PublisherDutton Books
Release DateJanuary 10, 2012

"I fell in love the way you fall asleep: slowly, then all at once."

Despite the tumor-shrinking medical miracle that has bought her a few years, Hazel has never been anything but terminal, her final chapter inscribed upon diagnosis. But when a gorgeous plot twist named Augustus Waters suddenly appears at Cancer Kid Support Group, Hazel's story is about to be completely rewritten.

Insightful, bold, irreverent, and raw, The Fault in Our Stars is award-winning author John Green's most ambitious and heartbreaking work yet, brilliantly exploring the funny, thrilling, and tragic business of being alive and in love.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | iTunes

“My thoughts are stars I cannot fathom into constellations.” 

It has taken me years to decide to read this novel. Why? because so many people told me how good it was but how much I was going to cry. 

I decided to listen to the audio while driving. Of course, I cried like a baby and other drivers probably thought I was crazy (at least is better than when I'm reading something similar on a plane. So yay for me!) 

What can I add about this book that has not been said before? Please, this book has over 2 million reviews. Totally insane! So I'm not going to try to dissect the story. I'm sure at least there is 1000 reviews doing it already. What I can say is that I liked the book. I like the characters. As someone who has had cancer affecting so many family members, the message resonates with me. Cancer does make patients feel like "Other" when in reality they are exactly the same as the person next door: Human. So they need to be treated the same way. 

Did my heart break while reading it? Absolutely. How can't it not? Every time he would say "Hazel Grace", I would sigh. Such an awesome cool kid. 

My one pet peeve with the novel. Unless these kids were in their 40 to 50's and were a scientists/ph.D. professors, there is no way they could exhibit the vocabulary these two teenagers had. You have no idea how many times I just rolled my eyes with their syntax.

“I believe the universe wants to be noticed. I think the universe is inprobably biased toward the consciousness, that it rewards intelligence in part because the universe enjoys its elegance being observed. And who am I, living in the middle of history, to tell the universe that it-or my observation of it-is temporary?”

And just to channel my own Hazel.....So what happened to Hazel? Did she survive? Did she find love? Did she graduate from school? What did her parents do?....I'm sure this is something John Green doesn't want to think about.

The good news is that now I can watch the movie.

4/5 Fangs

Friday, September 23, 2016

Visibly Broken by Chelsea Camaron & MJ Fields

Title: Visibly Broken
Authors: Chelsea Camaron & MJ Fields
Genre: Sports Romance
Release Date: September 20, 2016 
Publisher: Loveswept

In a powerful, smoldering novel from the bestselling authors of the Caldwell Brothers series (“Bad boy heroes to die for!”—Tracy Wolff), two tortured souls team up to overcome the past, finding the courage to heal . . . and to love.

Jason “Cobra” Stanley was born to fight. With a father like his, he had to toughen up just to survive. Now Cobra tries to take out all of his frustration, all of his anger, and all of his pain in the MMA cage. But after he receives one too many hits to the head during a match with Jagger Caldwell, the cycle of violence comes to a screeching halt. Cobra wakes up in the hospital, under the care of a nurse whose blond hair shines like a halo—and whose pure heart touches him on the deepest level.
Lorraine Bosch is a fighter too. Having escaped from her own controlling father, she prides herself on remaining professional, despite the chaos of the ER. But Cobra is the ultimate distraction. Lorraine knows she should run away screaming from his rippling muscles and shattered psyche. And yet how can she deny this broken man a second chance—especially since she knows exactly what he’s been through? Lorraine’s used to playing guardian angel. Now it’s her turn to find heaven in Cobra’s arms.

Praise for Visibly Broken:
“When I go into a book hating the hero, and then by the end of the book love him, I know I have found an exceptional read. Visibly Broken is that read.”—Ryan Michele, author of the Ravage MC & Vipers Creed MC Series 
“Can you be the light to someone’s dark? Can a new start help kill the demons of the past? Chelsea Camaron and M.J. Fields deliver a TKO with this book. Cobra takes my breath away.” —S.M. Donaldson, author of the Marco’s MMA Boys Series

USA Today bestselling author Chelsea Camaron is a small town Carolina girl with a big imagination. She’s a wife and mom, chasing her dreams. She writes contemporary romance, erotic suspense, and psychological thrillers. She loves to write about blue-collar men who have real problems with a fictional twist. From mechanics to bikers to oil riggers to smokejumpers, bar owners, and beyond she loves a strong hero who works hard and plays harder.

USA Today bestselling author M.J. Field's love of writing was in full swing by age eight. Together with her cousins, she wrote a newsletter and sold it for ten cents to family members. 
Her writing has changed a bit. Instead of updating the 'Fields' family, she writes highly emotional and ... steamy romance novels. Her stories are full of authentic, raw, and gritty alpha male characters and the women they fall for. There always seems to be humor and a strong focus on family intertwined. 
She self-published her first contemporary romance in January 2013. Today she has completed eight self-published series, The Love Series, The Wrapped Series, The Burning Souls Series, The Men of Steel Series, Ties of Steel Series, The Norfolk series and The Rockers of Steel series. 
MJ is a hybrid author who publishes an Indie book almost every month, and is signed with a traditional publisher, Loveswept, Penguin Random House, for her co-written series The Caldwell Brothers. Hendrix and, Morrison, and Jagger are available.
MJ lives in central New York, surrounded by family and friends. Her house is full of pets, friends, and noise ninety percent of the time, and she would have it no other way.


Somewhere to Begin by Mika Jolie

Can two souls with fractured parts be the best cure for each other’s wounds? Find out the first book in Mika Jolie’s latest #contemporaryromance series, Poison and Wine, with SOMEWHERE TO BEGIN.

There are wounds that never show on the body.
For twenty-nine years, Colbie Bennington does as expected with an eternal smile stained on her lips. The biggest chances she’s ever taken can be counted on one hand, three fingers to be exact—her battered red chucks, painting her toenails a vibrant blue, and her wedding dress. Always the dutiful daughter and a Stepford fiancée, she has never acted on impulse, never been in love.
She’s never lived.
On her wedding day, Colbie ends a toxic relationship, drops the fake smile, and says, “I can’t do this anymore.”
Navy SEAL Zander Serrano returns home broken and burdened with a volcano of remorse. Too trapped in a mental war to be at peace and too damaged to be at war, he shuts the world out. The last thing he expects is to feel, especially for a runaway bride with her own baggage.
Two empty hearts marred in different spots find themselves drawn to one another. Each with their own scars.  Some, the world can see. Others, unseen to the naked eye.
They say two broken people should not be together. But for Colbie and Zander, their attraction is undeniable, unexpected.
Can two souls with fractured parts be the best cure for each other’s wounds?
Starting over is never easy, but sometimes in life, everyone needs somewhere to begin.

Guilt was the first thing that came to Zander. Had he not blacked out, she would have never skidded off the road to avoid a rear-end collision with his truck. But remorse only played a small role in his daily visits. Something about her made him feel as if he were looking at his soul, cracked and damaged, holding on by the last frayed thread.
He continued to assess her. Hair,the color of piano keys, tumbled like beached kelp after a storm, ruffled but certainly not in a way usually shown on the cover of a magazine. He could tell she’d been through hell—the ugly bruises on her arms marred the pink softness of her delicate skin, the wedding dress, the lack of visitors—but that only gave her beauty an edge. It felt immoral to look upon her, and yet he found it equally unrighteous to look away.
She wore pain like it was the grandest of diamonds around her neck.
Colbie Bennington was a wounded bird, and if there was one thing Zander couldn’t  resist, it was being the hero.  He’d always been a magnet for trouble but not troubled women. Playing the White Knight or falling for helpless women had never been his thing either.
       Common sense told him each day not to return to the hospital. For two days, he’d been the only one here. He knew. He checked each time. He had a sister and there was Paige Harris—the woman he considered as much a sibling as Lily. Between those three women, he’d developed some deep intuitive understanding of the female gender, when something was wrong. Colbie was running from something.
And maybe because pain recognized pain, he saw she was broken. For the first time since returning home, Zander felt emotion, hot and all-consuming.  His need-to-protect radar was going off full tilt. A pointless task, he tried to tell himself, but his subconscious remained stubborn. He couldn’t help it; he was conditioned.
 “I want to make sure you’re safe,” he said, and for a moment, he actually felt as if he’d discovered his destiny.

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Mika Jolie is the bestselling author of the Martha’s Way series. She lives in New Jersey with her Happy Chaos—her husband and their energizer bunnies. A sports fanatic and a wine aficionado, she’s determined to balance it all and still write about life experiences and matters of the heart. Let’s face it, people are complicated and love can be messy. When she’s not weaving life and romance into evocative tales, you can find her on a hiking adventure, apple picking, or whatever her three men can conjure up.

She loves to hear from readers.