Sunday, July 29, 2018

The Switch by Sandra Brown

Title: The Switch
Author: Sandra Brown
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Release Date: August 27, 2013 

It isn't the first time that identical twins Gillian and Melina Lloyd have switched identities. Yet it's the first time as adults that they've even considered the childhood prank. Melina, the more impetuous twin, proposes that her circumspect sister take her place as a media escort to NASA astronaut and national hero Colonel Christopher "Chief" Hart.

Although it's an enticing offer, Gillian declines for a very personal reason --- she's preoccupied with whether or not the artificial insemination she underwent that day will be successful. Besides, she warns Melina, such a switch could have unexpected consequences.

Media-savvy Chief turns out to be an easy assignment for Melina --- in fact the evening with him is as much pleasure as business. But the following morning police arrive at Melina's door with the worst possible news: her beloved twin has been brutally murdered in her own bed. And on the walls, scrawled in blood, are obscenities directed at Gillian, along with insults toward Native Americans that indisputably link Chief to the crime.

Dissatisfied with the official police investigation, Chief and Melina form a grudging alliance, strike out on their own ... and find themselves uncovering more questions than answers. Mistrusting even the authorities claiming to protect them, on the run with their lives in danger, the two are soon following a crooked and bloody trail that inexplicably leads to Gillian's attempt to conceive a child ... and to the threshold of an inner sanctum, where a megalomaniac hatches horrific schemes and lies in wait for Gillian's replacement, her identical twin --- Melina.

I'm never disappointed when I read a Sandra Brown's book. She has become synonymous with a one-click for me. 

The Switch was an addictive story with enough suspense and romance to make me want to stop doing anything else but read, 

The Setting:

A pair of twins, Melina and Gillian Lloyd are having lunch together. During it, Gillian informs Melina that she has gone through an artificial insemination that morning. Melina is happy for her sister and she knows Gillian's current boyfriend is fine with it too. 

Melina advises she should do something to distract herself. She proposes switching places just like they used to do when they were little. The twins are so identical that no one can tell them apart. Gillian declines. She's not about to behave like a kid again and she heads home instead.

As a media escort, Melina's night assignment is to take Colonel Christopher "Chief" Hart to a gala. Chief is a well-known NASA astronaut whom everyone loves. Melina and "Chief" hit it off from the get-go. They are attracted to each other and by the end of the night, moving to his suite to end the night together sounded like the perfect plan. 

The next morning, Melina's nightmare begins. Her twin sister is found stabbed to death. The writing on the wall implies that someone had seen Melina and Chief together and they had assumed it was Gillian. 

The twin is devastated by her loss and she wants answers. Chief is stricken too. Together they will look for the truth behind the murder. What they discover is something dark and twisted.

My thoughts:

I hated to see one of the twins go. Together they were fun and so very close to each other. But, I guess it was necessary in order for the remaining twin and Chief to go looking for the killer. 

I liked Chief. He was there for her to the end. Chief had his own turmoils in regards to his race and what to do with his future after NASA. He was slow to admit his true feelings but I understood his conflicting emotions.

The big baddie was truly an ugly human if you can call him that. Talk about Narcissistic personality. He checked all the boxes with his grandiose ideas. Sadly, I'm sure there's a crazy guy out there just like him. 

The Switch had two good twists or maybe just one. I guess I can say, I saw it coming but I still enjoyed the reactions it provoked. 

As a side note, I thought The Switch's audio was well done.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Monday, July 23, 2018

Girls' Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Title: Girls' Night Out 
Author: Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: July 24, 2018 

For estranged friends Ashley, Natalie, and Lauren, it’s time to heal the old wounds between them. Where better to repair those severed ties than on a girls’ getaway to the beautiful paradise of Tulum, Mexico? But even after they’re reunited, no one is being completely honest about the past or the secrets they’re hiding. When Ashley disappears on their girls’ night out, Natalie and Lauren have to try to piece together their hazy memories to figure out what could have happened to her, while also reconciling their feelings of guilt over their last moments together.

Was Ashley with the man she’d met only days before? Did she pack up and leave? Was she kidnapped? Or worse—could Natalie or Lauren have snapped under the weight of her own lies?

As the clock ticks, hour by hour, Natalie and Lauren’s search rushes headlong into growing suspicion and dread. Maybe their secrets run deeper and more dangerous than one of them is willing—or too afraid—to admit.

I couldn't say no to the Girls' Night Out by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke since I enjoyed so very much the Year We Turned Forty. Sadly, I can't say the same thing about this novel. 

Where to begin? 

Well, I couldn't sympathize with any of the three women. The reason why their friendship was so dysfunctional was that they truly weren't real friends to each other. As women in their forties, their behavior was selfish, petty and childish. Talk about a letdown! 

What's the story about?

Three women who have been friends since college go on a vacation to Tulum, Mexico in order to reconnect. Ashley is the one who invites both. A year ago, Ashley and Lauren had a falling out and Ashley thinks this vacation can repair their friendship. 

Looking from the outside, Ashley's life is perfect. She lives in a huge home, has a great husband and two beautiful daughters. Her company is a success and recently Revlon has offered to buy it from her. She's a go-getter. People gravitate towards her. It has always been this way and the other two women resent her for it. Yet, Ashley is keeping secrets from her two best friends.

Lauren has had a tough year. After her fight with Ashley, her life has been full of dark times. There are several things she won't admit about herself. When she's invited to Mexico, she's ambivalent about her decision to go. She wants to forgive and forget what tore their friendship apart but she also wants to punish Ashley at the same time.

Natalie is Ashley's business partner. She came up with the idea of the BlowBrush. Yet, it was Ashley who did all the marketing. Ashley was the one who made their company BloMe a success. Natalie holds a grudge about it even though her family has benefitted from all of their success. Natalie wants to sell the company to Revlon. She won't confide in Ashley why she wants to sell it but she accepts the invitation in hopes to convince Ashley to sell.

Why didn't this book work for me?

I was disappointed with the main reason Lauren was mad at Ashley. It made no sense to me. If anything, she should've been grateful. She needed to put the blame on the right person, not project it.

Natalie was anything but sweet. She has resented Ashley for all these years. She was always fighting for Ashley's attention and didn't want Lauren to have it.

Ashley was supposed to be the worst of the three but if anything she has been there for both of them when they needed it, although she could be very manipulative, self-centered and narcissistic. 

The ending was a fiasco. After all the mystery surrounding the disappearance of Ashley, it felt like a copout.

Girls' Night Out is told from three points of view and with scenes from a few days before and after Ashley's disappearance.

I didn't enjoy it but it doesn't mean you won't. Take this review as my opinion. Believe this, no one is more upset this didn't work for me than this reader.

Thank you Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley for my early copy of the Girls' Night Out in exchange for an honest review.

Cliffhanger: No

2/5 Fangs

Good Little Girls by Rita Herron

Title: Good Little Girls 
Series: The Keepers #2
Author: Rita Herron
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: July 24, 2018

Fear becomes a woman’s greatest weapon in a heart-pounding novel of suspense from the USA Today bestselling author of Pretty Little Killers.
Tinsley Jensen survived the torturous clutches of an elusive masked killer dubbed the Skull, only to be held hostage by her nightmares. She’s terrified of leaving her cottage on Seahawk Island, knowing that the madman is still out there. FBI special agent Wyatt Camden knows it too. He may have rescued Tinsley, but her captor got away. Now he’s driven by guilt, the need for vengeance, and the desire to protect—at any cost—the woman he’s come to love.
Too paranoid to deal with the police, the media, and her sister, Tinsley finds solace in an online support group. She’s too broken to let even Wyatt into her life. But when the threats against Tinsley escalate and her friend disappears, Tinsley is forced out of her self-imposed seclusion to finally face her fears. Wyatt is the only man she can trust to help her, and to save a killer’s latest catch. Now, Wyatt just wants to finish the job he started.
But that’s all the Skull wants too.

" It changes us, steals our love of life, our trust and hope, our future."

This is the second novel in The Keepers series. I didn't read the first one but I was intrigued by the synopsis and the cover.

The novel begins with Tinsley Jensen, a woman with panic attacks and agoraphobia. She is also the survivor of The Skull Killer.

The Skull abducted and tortured her for weeks until she was rescued. Since then, she’s not able to go out of her house. It has been almost a year since he took her and as the anniversary of her abduction is looming over, her anxiety is increasing. The Skull is still out there and she believes he’s coming for her.

Special Agent Wyatt Camden believes Tinsley's life is in danger. He knows the Skull is not going to give up and he already has the scars to prove it. But this time, he won't let him hurt her. He will do anything to keep her alive. He's not sure how it happened but he has developed feelings for Tinsley.

Besides the cops, FBI and Tinsley, there is a group called The Keepers, who are vigilantes who take care of evil people. The Skull is already on their radar. I was very interested in learning more about the Keepers and what made them tick.

One of my pet peeves in books is a heroine who throws herself at danger. Tinsley had a TSTL moment that made me want to shake her. Thankfully, it didn't last.

Good Little Girls had a good pace with plenty of action and suspense. The Skull was a truly ugly soul. I do believe I would have enjoyed it more if I had read the first book in the series.

Cliffhanger: No

3.5/5 fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Montlake Romance via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, July 22, 2018

The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand

Title: The Identicals 
Author: Elin Hilderbrand 
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company

From New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand, a summertime story about identical twins who couldn't be any less alike.

Nantucket is only two and a half hours away from Martha's Vineyard by ferry. But the two islands might as well be worlds apart for a set of identical twin sisters who have been at odds for years. When a family crisis forces them to band together — or at least appear to — the twins slowly come to realize that the special bond that they share is more important than the sibling rivalry that's driven them apart for the better part of their lives. A touching depiction of all the pleasures and annoyances of the sibling relationship, Elin Hilderbrand's next New York Times bestseller, THE IDENTICALS proves once and for all that just because twins look exactly the same doesn't mean they're anything alike.

“I want you to do what siblings are supposed to do—hate your parents but love each other!” 

Fourteen years have gone by before identical twins Harper and Tabitha Frost face each other again. Instead of the twins being close, they have been estranged and had barely any contact. When their father passes away, Tabitha and their mom will travel to Nantucket for the wake.

As teenagers when their parents' divorced, a game of rock, paper, and scissors will be the deciding factor in their separation. The winner will go to live in Nantucket with their easy-going father. The loser will stay in Martha's Vineyard with her mother and her clothesline store. The end result is Tabitha stays with her mother and Harper goes with their father.

As forty-year-old women, their lives have not been what they wanted it to be.

Tabitha is a single mother to Ainsley. She's too uptight and resentful. A loss in her life marked her and she has never been the same. She broke up with her longtime boyfriend when he asked for more. She's a poor parent figure to Aisnley.

Harper's life is in turmoil. She has taken care of her ailing father for the last year. She has seen him lose the battle and die. Her personal life is a mess. She's having an affair with her dad's married physician and she recently started dating a younger cop whom she's not in love with. Her reputation in Nantucket is all unfavorable.

Ainsley is popular, conceited and a brat. She has no respect for Tabitha whom she calls by her first name. She's also drinking, partying too much and is surrounded by friends just like her. The exception is her boyfriend, who's nice until he breaks up with her and decides to date someone else.

A new situation will make the twins switch islands and this is when the story is unputtable-down.

Talk about drama! The Identicals is a synonym for family dysfunction. Between the sibling rivalry, the secrets from the past, the many mistakes each woman have committed and a poor relationship between mother and daughters, this is an exceptional drama magnet. One I enjoyed it tremendously. I love how the author was able to make all the women in this novel mature emotionally in a natural way making it believable.

So why not a five fang?

I didn't like that the men in The Identicals had so little determination to fight for the women they have fallen for. They took too long.

The best part was Fish's epilogue. I love, love, love that Elin Hilderbrand used him to provide it. It gave me a huge smile.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Stray Magic by Kelly Meding

Title: Stray Magic 
Series: Strays #1
Author: Kelly Meding 
Publisher: Harper Voyager

Shiloh Harrison was hoping for a few days off to recover from a particularly nasty assignment, preferably with the help of the talented hands (and, well, the rest of his body too) of her sexy boyfriend, Vincent. But when a group of vampires takes an entire trailer park hostage, there’s nothing to do but make her apologies and get to the scene.

Such is the life of a Federal Marshal in the Paranormal Investigators Unit.

Yet this isn’t like her typical track-and-nab case: something is going on that has vampires scared, and it takes all her strength not to imagine what could frighten such powerful creatures. Unfortunately, she doesn’t have that option. Her boss is MIA, someone is snatching vampires, and there’s a ticking clock that can only end one way: a bloodbath.

Unless she can stop it.

As the second in command of the Paranormal Investigators Unit, Shiloh Harrison follows orders. She's good at her job and has a good relationship with her team. Her team includes a human boss (Julius Almeida), an incubus (Novak), a skinwalker (Jaxon) and a dhampir (Kathleen). Shiloh herself is a half djinn. She can grant three wishes. She also has to deal with her Quarrel, an ability to affect the combative nature of humans. If she doesn't exert control, she can be responsible for unleashing a fight where none should be.

She just finished a case and is about to spend some time with her current lover Vincent Ortiz, when she's called back to work. A trailer park has been taken hostage by a group of vampires. Her team needs to show up as soon as possible before things get out of hand. Her boss is nowhere to be found, making Shiloh the lead US Marshall. 

At the scene, Shiloh meets Woodrow Tennyson, a master vampire who has moved all his line into the trailer park. Tennyson is worried. Some of his vampires have disappeared and before any more are taken he needs the team's help to discover who's behind it and why.

Shiloh knows this mission is important when Tennyson admits he's not the only master vampire or werewolf pack who has members gone missing. Forty-six vampires and twenty-eight werewolves have disappeared.

This will take the team into a never-before-seen danger where black magic is at the center of it all. Shiloh won't know who's an ally and who's a foe. 


I love Urban Fantasy novels. I was excited about starting a new series. I was hoping to find a new favorite. I can't say that I did. However, I was entertained by the characters and the action. 

I couldn't connect with Shiloh at the beginning but I liked her by the end. She made some rushed decisions. They felt too impulsive. She also has some issues with her relationships. She was with Vincent but was thinking about her ex-lover and then she throws Tennyson in the mix. She's supposed to hate vampires but she could barely keep two feet away from Tennyson. 

There was a good twist at the end and a few unanswered questions. I'm hoping we get some answers in the next installment. 

Stray Magic delivers a good plot and interesting characters. I'm looking forward to reading the second book in this series.

Thank you HarperCollins Publishers for providing me with a complimentary copy of Stray Magic in exchange for an honest review.

Cliffhanger: Not really

3/5 Fangs

The Camel Club by David Baldacci

Title: The Camel Club 
Series: Camel Club #1
Author: David Baldacci 

Existing at the fringes of Washington D.C., the Club consists of four eccentric members. Led by a mysterious man know as "Oliver Stone," they study conspiracy theories, current events, and the machinations of government to discover the "truth" behind the country's actions. Their efforts bear little fruit --- until the group witnesses a shocking murder ... and become embroiled in an astounding, far reaching conspiracy. Now the Club must join forces with a Secret Service agent to confront one of the most chilling spectacles ever to take place on American soil --- an event that may trigger the ultimate war between two different worlds. And all that stands in the way of this apocalypse is five unexpected heroes.

“Why can’t people just sit and read books and be nice to each other?”

The Camel Club started very slow for me. I had issues keeping all the characters straight. There were so many! I did enjoy the last half of the book once I was clear on who was who. By the end, I was reaching out for the second book.

The Camel Club begins with the apparent suicide of a government agent but this is far from the truth. Four men are witness to this "suicide". The four men are conspiracy theorists who seek the truth behind the conspiracies. They called themselves the Camel Club.

Oliver Stone, Milton Farb, Caleb Shaw, and Reuben Rhodes have been meeting in secrecy for many years. Unluckily, their last meeting place makes them a witness to this crime. Their lives will be in grave danger and if found, they might not live the week and perish at the hands of some very powerful people.

As the story progresses, we get to discover who Oliver Stone is and his past ties to the USA government. We also meet Agent Alex Ford who's a secret service agent who has had a good honest career. When Alex starts digging into the murder, he's demoted to White House protection detail. Unbeknownst to Alex, the stability of the USA is about to be challenged. Alex and the Camel Club are the only hope to prevent war. 

The last part of the book is action-packed. The pages flew fast in a race to know the outcome. I couldn't wait for all the pieces to fall together.

My favorite character was Oliver Stone. A close second was Alex Ford. I was left wanting to learn more about the other three remaining Camel Club members. They all seem to have a very interesting past. 

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs

Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Real Deal by Lauren Blakely

337 pages
Published July 10th 2018

Get ready for your next favorite romantic comedy, THE REAL DEAL!

April Hamilton wants you to know she hasn’t been on GigsforHire since that time she sold her futon after college. She doesn’t even spend that much time online. And even if she did, she would not be looking up personal ads. But going home alone for her family's summer reunion is an invitation for every single relative to butt into her personal life. She simply can’t handle another blind date with the butcher, the baker or the candlestick maker from her hometown. So when she finds the GigsforHire ad for a boyfriend-for-hire, she’s ready to pay to play.

Heading Home and Need a Buffer? I’m the REAL DEAL. 

Theo Banks has been running from the past for years. He’s thisclose to finally settling all his debts, and one more job as a boyfriend-for-hire will do the trick. He’s no gigolo. Please. He’s something of an actor, and he knows how to slip into any role, including pretending to be April’s new beau -- the bad boy with the heart of gold.

Even if it means sleeping in close quarters in that tiny little bed in her parents’ inn. Even if it means spinning tales of a romance that starts to feel all too true. What neither one of them counts on is that amid the egg toss, the arm wrestling, and a fierce game of Lawn Twister that has them tangled up together, they might be feeling the real deal.

She only wanted to show her family once and for all that she had no need to settle down.

He didn’t expect to have the time of his life at her parent’s home.

They didn’t plan on loving every single second of the game.

But can a masterful game of pretend result in true love?

The Real Deal was a charming, flirty, and fun novel to read on a summer day! 

One thing I liked about this book was all of the characters! The author created a wide cast of characters that were all lovable in their own ways. I was glad that side characters had important roles in this story and weren't just thrown to the side once the romance was introduced.

Speaking of the romance, the relationship between April and Theo made me SWOOOOON. At first, I thought their romance as going to be a cheese fest, but it ended up being a a cute and sweet romance! Their romance had a lot of flirty banter and plenty of playful moments. Their romance was one that made my heart feel like it was full of rainbows! Watching them build their emotional relationship by slowly opening up to each other and showing their true selves was a heart warming experience. That on top of their sexual tension made for an extremely enjoyable romance!

Even though the romance was the main focus of the story, there were a lot of side plots that kept the book interesting and entertaining. There was a great balance of drama, swoons, and angst that made for a fun story!

Overall, this was the perfect feel good type of romance novel that will put on a smile on your face! I recommend picking this up if you are looking for a sweet love story!

3.5 / 5 Fangs

*This ebook was given to me in exchange for an honest review. * 

All Your Perfects by Colleen Hoover

All Your Perfects
by Colleen Hoover
Atria Books | ISBN: 9781501193323| 320pp | Paperback | Publication Date: July 17, 2018

The #1 New York Times bestselling author of It Ends with Us—whose writing is “emotionally wrenching and utterly original” (Sara Shepard, New York Times bestselling author of the Pretty Little Liars series)—delivers a tour de force novel about a troubled marriage and the one old forgotten promise that might be able to save it.

Quinn and Graham have a perfect love story, but their unique connection is threatened by their imperfect marriage. The memories, mistakes, and secrets that they have built up over the years are now tearing them apart, day by heartbreaking day. The one thing that could save them might also be the very thing that pushes their marriage beyond the point of repair. So do they risk it? Is their history worth saving?

All Your Perfects is a profound novel about a damaged couple struggling with a relatable issue – infertility – whose potential future hinges on promises made in the past. In Colleen Hoover’s inimitable style and brilliant narrative voice, this heartbreaking page-turner asks: Can a resounding love with a fairytale beginning survive a lifetime between two imperfect people?

What did I miss while you were sleeping?

Colleen Hoover is a must-read for me. She has such great stories to tell!

I was going to try to write my review without spoilers but it's really hard to keep them all to myself. So if you think this is a problem for you, please stop reading now.

In All Your Perfects, Colleen Hoover deals with the topic of infertility, a medical problem rarely touched in romance novels. 

Our couple has been trying to get pregnant just short of a year after they get married. Their story is told in past and present scenes. 

Beginning with the way they meet, the story captures the audience and it doesn't let you go until the last page is done. 

Most of us (romance readers) love the idea of an HEA. We love the idea that true love can conquer all. In All Your Perfects, we learned that love alone sometimes is not enough. 

Quinn and Graham deal with a problem that neither can fix. After meeting on the worst day of their lives, a few months later they meet again under different circumstances. This time, they won't let the other one go without a fight. Fast and furious, their love for each commences. During their courtship and their first year of marriage, everything is perfect. It's when they try for a pregnancy that their perfect life starts falling apart. After Graham is tested and told that his sperm is perfect, the pressure falls on Quinn's shoulders. As a couple, they try numerous ways for a baby. Every single one fails, leaving their bank account completely drained. It also takes Quinn on a road to depression without a way back. She's unable to express her feelings of devastation and loneliness. They stopped communicating and you start wishing for a miracle to save their marriage. But maybe love is not enough.

No matter how much you love someone-the capacity of that love is meaningless if it outweighs your capacity to forgive.

All Your Perfects is an emotional rollercoaster with plenty of guilt, depression, love, loneliness and hope to go around.

With CoHo's writing, I was able to feel what Quinn was experiencing. Her marriage and love for her husband and for herself had changed over the years. She felt she was not enough because she couldn't procreate. Unfortunately, we live in a society where procreation is a must. I can't begin to tell you how many times I've been asked how many kids I have and how come I don't have any. Not only do I think the question is rude when you don't know someone well but I think that we shouldn't see women as a uterus alone. We're more than that. We are professionals. We can choose not to have kids. We can choose to have ten. We can choose to marry or stay single. We can choose to love our jobs or travel instead.  It's up to us. It is time we tell society to mind their own business.

Now, why didn't I give it five stars? Well, I had problems with two scenes were Graham came out as a douche. It was hard for me to forgive and forget.

Many thanks to Atria for providing me with an early copy of All Your Perfects in exchange for an honest review.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

COLLEEN HOOVER is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Slammed, Point of Retreat, This Girl, Hopeless, Losing Hope, Finding Cinderella, Maybe Someday, Maybe Not, Ugly Love, Confess, November 9, It Ends with Us, and Without Merit. Colleen has won the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance three times—for Confess in 2015, It Ends with Us in 2016, andWithout Merit in 2017. Confess was adapted into a seven-episode online series. In 2015, Colleen and her family founded The Bookworm Box, a bookstore and monthly subscription service offering signed novels donated by authors. All profits are given to various charities each month to help those in need. Colleen lives in Texas with her husband and their three boys. Visit


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