Sunday, December 1, 2019

In the Dark by Loreth Anne White

Title: In the Dark
Author: Loreth Anne White
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Release Date: December 1, 2019

A secluded mountain lodge. The perfect getaway. So remote no one will ever find you.

The promise of a luxury vacation at a secluded wilderness spa has brought together eight lucky guests. But nothing is what they were led to believe. As a fierce storm barrels down and all contact with the outside is cut off, the guests fear that it’s not a getaway. It’s a trap.

Each one has a secret. Each one has something to hide. And now, as darkness closes in, they all have something to fear—including one another.

Alerted to the vanished party of strangers, homicide cop Mason Deniaud and search and rescue expert Callie Sutton must brave the brutal elements of the mountains to find them. But even Mason and Callie have no idea how precious time is. Because the clock is ticking, and one by one, the guests of Forest Shadow Lodge are being hunted. For them, surviving becomes part of a diabolical game.

Loreth Anne White is a one-click author for me. I love all of her books and to be honest I didn't even read the blurb before requesting this book. Her name alone is a guarantee that I will enjoy the story.

In the Dark is an enigmatic, fast-paced, suspense thriller that left me with a satisfied smile. 

The story is told from different POV's. It's a story of revenge and death. One, I couldn't stop reading. I was interested in learning about SAR (search and rescue) operations and I was hooked on the mystery, trying to figure out who the killer was.

In the Dark starts with eight individuals granted an invitation of a lifetime. They have been selected to spend a week of vacation at a remote spa location. But for them, the problems begin when they arrived by plane to the location. Nothing looks like the internet pictures. There's nothing glamorous about the lodge. It's an eerie setting. Then the questions begin, do they know each other? Have they kept a secret? Are they being punished for it? Are they going to survive? Is there only going to be one left alive?

These are all fair questions. Questions that a week later, RCMP Sgt. Mason Deniaud and SAR leader Callie Sutton want the answers to when they find the plane stranded with a dead pilot in it.

I love how Loreth Anne White pays homage to Agatha Christie's And Then There Were None. I read it a long time ago and I remember its premise. I enjoyed figuring out who was the one trying to off the others. I also love Mason and Callie. Their situations are strange. Both have family issues and I'm not sure if they can become more. For now, a friendship is all they can afford. I do hope this is not the end for them. 

Cliffhanger: No

5/5 Fangs

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

The Dead Girls Club by Damien Angelica Walters

Title: The Dead Girls Clu
Author: Damien Angelica Walters
Publisher: Crooked Lane Books
Release Date: December 10th 2019

A supernatural thriller in the vein of A Head Full of Ghosts about two young girls, a scary story that becomes far too real, and the tragic--and terrifying--consequences that follow one of them into adulthood.

Red Lady, Red Lady, show us your face...

In 1991, Heather Cole and her friends were members of the Dead Girls Club. Obsessed with the macabre, the girls exchanged stories about serial killers and imaginary monsters, like the Red Lady, the spirit of a vengeful witch killed centuries before. Heather knew the stories were just that, until her best friend Becca began insisting the Red Lady was real--and she could prove it.

That belief got Becca killed.

It's been nearly thirty years, but Heather has never told anyone what really happened that night--that Becca was right and the Red Lady was real. She's done her best to put that fateful summer, Becca, and the Red Lady, behind her. Until a familiar necklace arrives in the mail, a necklace Heather hasn't seen since the night Becca died.

The night Heather killed her.

Now, someone else knows what she did...and they're determined to make Heather pay.

1991 and Baby, Baby is playing on the radio when the life of two best friends start to change.

Heather and Becca are best friends forever. They even buy the half-necklaces to prove it. 
Heather is loved and cared for by her family while Becca is having trouble at home. Her mother is drinking and becoming violent. 

Heather and Becca have two other friends, Gia and Rachel. The four of them form the Dead Girls Club. They have a love for the macabre. Reading about serial killers is something engrossing for them. Then, Becca begins telling the story of the Red Lady. A witch wrongly accused and murdered. When the girls perform a ritual to bring the Red Lady into their lives, death follows. 

Fast forward three decades, and now Heather is a child psychologist. She's married and happy with her life. Then, she receives a package with Becca's necklace. Heather knows someone is behind this but could it be that the Red Lady is involved?

The Dead Girls Club failed to entertain me. I don't know if it was because I couldn't believe the choices the main character was taking. She went off the rails in 2.3 seconds and did a very poor job as a psychologist too. I just couldn't like her or believe her motives. 

The ending wasn't rewarding either. It was just not for me.

Cliffhanger: No

2/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Crooked Lane Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

All I Want for Christmas Is You by Miranda Liasson

Title: All I Want for Christmas Is You
Series: Angel Falls #3
Author: Miranda Liasson
Publisher: Forever
Release Date: October 29, 2019

The award-winning author who writes with "humor and heart" (Jill Shalvis, New York Times bestselling author) invites you to visit the charming small town of Angel Falls.

Being naughty was nice, but now these friends-turned-lovers are in for an unforgettable Christmas...

Just when Kaitlyn Barnes vows to get over her longtime crush on Rafe Langdon, they share a sizzling evening that delivers an epic holiday surprise: Kaitlyn is pregnant. And if that weren't life-changing enough, everyone assumes they're engaged -- a charade they must keep alive through the holiday season. But Kaitlyn knows Rafe better than anyone, and Rafe settling down is about as likely as Santa skipping Angel Falls this year...

Rafe would rather Kaitlyn believe a lie -- that their night together was a fling -- than face his own dangerous truth: he's falling for her, hard. After a devastating loss, Rafe swore he'd never risk his heart again. Yet the longer they pretend to be engaged the more Rafe starts to want the real thing. But now he has to convince Kaitlyn he wants to be by her side -- and their baby's -- for all the Christmases to come.

The perfect addition to the Angel Falls series!

I was in the mood for a Christmas romance and All I Want for Christmas had the perfect ingredients.

Kaitlyn Barnes has had a thing for Rafe Langdon for a while. Her friendship with him grew into love. Just one problem.... Rafe doesn't want to settle down. He's not ready to open up his heart again. But when a night together has a permanent outcome, Kaitlyn and Rafe will have to decide what's best for them. 

I was intrigued by Kaitlyn and Rafe. They had great chemistry and their story began in a prior book. I knew this was coming and I was super excited to read their book. 

Kaitlyn was independent and smart. She knew she might not be able to count on Rafe and she was prepared to do what was right for her. She also started helping her niece, who by all means needed her help. It was nice to see how they were able to develop a much better relationship. 

Rafe had to learn loss at a younger age. I couldn't blame him for not wanting to experience this type of pain again. It was funny to me to see how he was already too late. He loved Kaitlyn way before they shared that night together.

Miranda Liasson did a great job. The characters were likable and lovable. I love how Nonna sped up a situation, I love that we get a puppy added to the equation and having the rest of the Langdon family around only made this book more memorable. 

The Angel Falls series is becoming one of my favorite small-town romances. I hope this is not the last one.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

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

Gavin's Song by Jamie Begley

Title: Gavin's Song 
Series: Road to Salvation: A Last Rider's Trilogy #1
Author: Jamie Begley 

Have you ever wondered what happens to two souls destined for each other before they even meet?
Well, this is it…

Gavin had believed himself untouchable. There wasn’t an inch of his body that hadn’t been taught to eliminate any threat, both to himself and others, as a Navy SEAL. Not only had he been trained to be a warrior, but a strategist who could accomplish any mission that he was given…
Until the day he was blindsided by a brother with his own agenda and was forced to accept that everything he had believed in had been an illusion.
An illusion that he was capable of love.
An illusion of the woman who had kept him sane during his darkest days.
An illusion that The Last Riders would always have his back.

Now he was being forced to accept the man they had created. A man who didn’t care about anything or anyone, living a life without reason, joy, or peace. A soul so broken that it couldn’t be fixed, searching for the one reason to keep himself breathing.
How was he supposed to know it was a song?

Gavin's Song is the perfect introduction to the trilogy! 

We have seen Ginny appear in a few books and of course, we knew about Gavin too. 
Here we get to learn more about Evangeline who now goes by the name of Ginny. We learned so many things like how she ended up knowing Hammer and ending up as a Coleman for a while and then ending up as a foster child for the Wests'. We see how her friendship with Willa developed and later on her friendship with Penni too. Then, how she ended up singing for Kaden and Mouth2mouth. We also learned a little bit about her stalker (or stalkers).

Gavin is a different story. We learned about his immaturity. His fights with Viper. His love for Taylor and how excited he was for their wedding and the start of a new factory for the brothers. Then, he gets kidnapped and tortured for TEN years. His abuse is the hardest part to read about this book. My heart was breaking for him. He became an addict by force. He lost faith in himself and in his club. His healing road is a long one and I'm excited to see how Ginny plays a part in it.

With Gavin's Song, Jamie Begley has given us their timelines in a precise way. We know everything about each of the characters before they formally meet and I love the way she finishes Gavin’s Song. It was the perfect entrance.

I can’t wait for the next two books.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Friday, November 29, 2019

Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren

Title: Twice in a Blue Moon
Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Release Date: October 22, 2019

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners and the “delectable, moving” (Entertainment Weekly) My Favorite Half-Night Stand comes a modern love story about what happens when your first love reenters your life when you least expect it…

While on vacation in London with her grandmother, eighteen-year-old, Tate Jones falls in love with Sam Brandis. She also learns a few days later what heartbreak really is.

Tate meets Sam and his grandfather, Luther soon after arriving in London. Luther, Sam's grandfather and Tate's grandmother strike a conversation and at the beginning, Tate's grandmother is not very friendly. She's tired and upset that her room doesn't have a view. In a selfless act, the men decide to give their room to the ladies to accommodate them.

During the next two weeks, Tate and Sam will spend most days together (and most nights), learning about each other, their fears, their dreams. Tate confides in Sam, she tells him her deepest secret. When her trust is broken, Tate's life spirals into a nightmare.

Fast forward fourteen years, Tate is now an acclaimed actress who's going on location. Her latest movie will be filmed on a farm. Her father is playing her dad in the movie. Tate feels pressure to be at her best. She doesn't want to let her father down. The last thing on her mind was to come face to face with Sam. 

I liked Twice in a Blue Moon. I can see it becoming a movie and having a great ending as the book does. I like both characters, I just didn't love them. I wish the second part of the book had more in-depth interaction between Tate and Sam. It was hard to believe they were still so in love with each other after more than a decade. I needed more dialogue. I also missed having the fun banter I have come to expect from these writers since it's one of the things I adore about their books. 

Cliffhanger: No

3.5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Gallery Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Sunday, November 24, 2019

Problem Child by Victoria Helen Stone

Title: Problem Child
Series: Jane Doe
Author: Victoria Helen Stone
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: March 24, 2020

She’s cold, calculating, and can deceive with a smile. Jane Doe is back in the Amazon Charts bestselling series—and this time she’s met her match.

After a brutal childhood, Jane Doe has been permanently wired to look after herself and only herself. Now, looking next to normal, Jane has a lover and a job. But she hasn’t lost her edge. It sharpens when she hears from her estranged family.

Jane’s deeply troubled sixteen-year-old niece, Kayla, has vanished, and no one seems to care. Neither does Jane. Until she sees a picture of Kayla and recognizes herself in the young girl’s eyes. It’s the empty stare of a sociopath.

Jane knows what vengeful and desperate things Kayla is capable of. Only Jane can help her—by being drawn into Kayla’s dark world. And no one’s more aware than Jane just how dangerous that can be.

Jane Doe was such an amazing thriller! I loved reading about Jane's journey and I was so happy it had a sequel in Problem Child.

Jane is working in the city. She has her loving cat and she's still in a relationship with Luke (who's oblivious). At work, she's planning to punish another lawyer who has been using her work without giving her the proper accolades. Then, she gets a phone call. Her niece is missing. At first, Jane couldn't care less. She doesn't want anything to do with her family. None of them are good for anything. This is until she is sent a picture of her teenage niece and she realizes she has that empty stare Jane has herself.

Jane decides she needs to know for sure. Is her niece Kayla the same as she is or is the picture just a picture. With this in mind, Jane goes back home. She meets with her brother, who's in jail and her parents who are living still in the same place. Her mother has no lost love for Jane but Jane couldn't care less, she just wants to find her niece. During her investigation, she realizes that Kayla has gotten involved with the wrong kind of people. People who are powerful and who would not bat an eye about killing a young woman.

For the most part, Problem Child gave me all the right emotions. I love being in Jane's head and I love how deceiving she can be. She's a strong female character (which I adore) and just like Dexter, she can feel something for someone. I felt the storyline dragging in the middle of the book and I was losing interest in the search for Kayla. That brings me to my last point, I didn't like Kayla. I hope if there is a next book, Mrs. Stone changes my mind.

I wasn't shocked by the ending but it leaves the door wide open for a third installment.

Cliffhanger: No

3.5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Lake Union Publishing via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, September 27, 2019

Don't You Forget About Me by Mhairi McFarlane

Title: Don't You Forget About Me
Author: Mhairi McFarlane
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Release Date: September 10, 2019

Internationally bestselling author Mhairi McFarlane delivers a funny, romantic, heartfelt novel perfect for fans of Josie Silver or Sally Thorne, and anyone who loves Bridget Jones!

You always remember your first love... don’t you?

If there’s anything worse than being fired from the lousiest restaurant in town, it’s coming home early to find your boyfriend in bed with someone else. Reeling from the humiliation of a double dumping in one day, Georgina takes the next job that comes her way—bartender in a newly opened pub. There’s only one problem: it’s run by the guy she fell in love with years ago. And—make that two problems—he doesn’t remember her. At all. But she has fabulous friends and her signature hot pink fur coat... what more could a girl really need?

Lucas McCarthy has not only grown into a broodingly handsome man, but he’s also turned into an actual grown-up, with a thriving business and a dog along the way. Crossing paths with him again throws Georgina’s rocky present into sharp relief—and brings a secret from her past bubbling to the surface. Only she knows what happened twelve years ago, and why she’s allowed the memories to chase her ever since. But maybe it’s not too late for the truth... or a second chance with the one that got away?

Georgina is having the second worse night of her life when the story begins. 

First, her boss fires her without a real reason. Then, when she goes to see her boyfriend, she discovers him with another woman. He doesn't feel guilty because he tells her, he thought they were seeing other people. He never thought they were exclusive despite being together for six months. 

Without a job, Georgina takes a job as a bartender at a new pub. Everything is going well until she realizes, that the co-owner of the pub is none other than Lucas McCarthy, the boy she fell in love in high school. At first, she has no idea how to behave around him but soon she discovers, he has no idea she was the girl from school.

Georgina doesn't have a great relationship with her mother and an even worse one with her stepfather. Same goes with her sister but she does get along with her brother in law. There are some secrets she's keeping from them and they feel like Georgina had ruined her potential after dropping out of college. Luckily, Georgina has a set of amazing, supportive friends.

I liked Don't You Forget Me. It was more a story of self-discovery than a romance. I love Georgina's friends and how they had her back. The book made me laugh and teared up at times too. Lucas made me mad for the longest time but the end had me forgiving him and I might have swooned a little bit too.

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by William Morrow Paperbacks via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

A Stranger on the Beach by Michele Campbell

Title: A Stranger on the Beach
Author: Michele Campbell
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release Date: July 23, 2019

There is a stranger outside Caroline's house.

Her spectacular new beach house, built for hosting expensive parties and vacationing with the family she thought she'd have. But her husband is lying to her and everything in her life is upside down, so when the stranger, Aiden, shows up as a bartender at the same party where Caroline and her husband have a very public fight, it doesn't seem like anything out of the ordinary.

As her marriage collapses around her and the lavish lifestyle she's built for herself starts to crumble, Caroline turns to Aiden for comfort...and revenge. After a brief and desperate fling that means nothing to Caroline and everything to him, Aiden's obsession with Caroline, her family, and her house grows more and more disturbing. And when Caroline's husband goes missing, her life descends into a nightmare that leaves her accused of her own husband's murder.

A Stranger on the Beach was a fast-paced, easy-read and suspenseful thriller that had me entertained from page one.

Caroline Stark is a forty-two-year-old woman who takes care of herself. She's a beautiful woman loves her husband and her daughter too. She thinks her life is doing great until she starts noticing that her husband has been acting distant for a few months and when she has planned an amazing party at their new beach house, he tells her, he might not be able to make it. However, he shows up but not alone, a woman has followed him in. When Caroline confronts him, he leaves her to go after the other woman leaving Caroline behind devastated.

When Caroline stops at a bar, she sees Aidan Callahan again. The first time she noticed him, he was looking at her beach house. The second time, he was working at the party she had thrown and now the third time, he's her bartender. Caroline can't avoid noticing how attractive Aidan is and after a night of passion, she believes it to be just a one night stand. What she wasn't expecting was for Aidan to become obsessed with her. Or was he?

This is where the story becomes engrossing. Two different POVs are told to the readers. One by Caroline and one by Aidan. One of them is lying. Which one is it? More importantly, why? and is the Truth going to come out in time?

I couldn't put down A Stranger on the Beach. It was well-written with good character development and so deliciously devious that made this love of thrillers quite happy. I'm not going to lie, I saw what the end game was from way too early but it didn't dimer my pleasure in the least.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Shattered Bonds by Faith Hunter

Title: Shattered Bonds
Series: Jane Yellowrock #13 
Author: Faith Hunter 
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: October 29, 2019

Jane Yellowrock must dig deep and find strength within herself if she is to survive in the latest novel in this New York Times bestselling series.

Jane Yellowrock is a shapeshifting skinwalker, and vampire killer-for-hire, but her last battle with an ancient arcane enemy has brought her low. She seeks retreat in the Appalachian Mountains to grieve the loss of her friends, and to heal--or to die--from the disease brought on by her magic.

But malevolent elements in the paranormal community still seek to destroy Jane, and the younger Son of Darkness stalks her, even into the safety of the hills. With nowhere to run and her body failing, the rogue-vampire hunter and her inner Beast must discover a way to defeat this new threat, and find a form that gives her a chance to fight another day.

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

The Son of Darkness is coming for Jane. He wants something she has and he won't stop at anything until he gets it. 


Not so much. This is the younger Son of Darkness. There were always two. Yet, he seems to be even more powerful the other SOD. 

Usually, this is when Jane gets herself ready to go into battle and helps prepare everyone for it. This time, she's the one that needs help. Jane is dying from magical cancer. A tumor is growing inside of her and nothing seems to be stopping it. She has moved away from the city of NOLA and into the mountains. Her brothers, Alex and Eli as well as Bruiser, her lover are with her and of course, Beast is never too far.

When Jane discovers that people she cared about are being taken, that a circle of witches might be being used for nefarious purposes and that her good friend and primo, Edmund is being tortured, she knows she can continue to hide any longer.  She needs to assume her power as the Dark Queen for better or worse. 

"The Dark Queen has been silent."

Of course, she will need all the help she can get from her new in-between shape, a new Elder of The People named Savannah Walkingstick of Long Hair Clan, her estranged brother (Ayatas), Soul, Lincoln Shaddock (the MOC of Asheville), the Everhart-Truebloods family, Eli, Alex, Bruiser and of course Beast.

I love Shattered Bonds. Jane and Beast were fantastic in this one. A true item. They have both accepted each other completely.

After the great ending Faith Hunter delivers, this series has so much new potential. I can't wait to see where this author decides to take the Yellowrock Clan next.

Cliffhanger: No

5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Ace Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone

Title:Jane Doe
Series: Jane Doe #1
Author: Victoria Helen Stone 
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: August 1, 2018

A double life with a single purpose: revenge.

Jane’s days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She’s just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes—meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.

But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven’s bringing out the worst in her.

Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven’s bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It’s time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.

Just as he did to her.

Jane Doe was a pleasure to read. A female psychopath with the desire for revenge. Just wonderful.

From the first page, I was enthralled by Victoria Helen Stone's writing. I was obsessed with Jane and her callously and unapologetic way of using her mind and her body to gain the trust of Steven, her target. The man who was able to take away from Jane the only thing she valued.

Jane knew from a very young age that she was different. She has always been in control. Once, after taking a psychology class she realized what she really was. She does have some issues with impulse control. What Jane wants, Jane gets. In this case, Jane wants Steven to pay and if this means Steven family has to pay, more the merrier.

I love being in Jane's head. She manipulated Steven so well and he deserved whatever was coming for him. Her dark humor and her interaction with her cat had me either laughing or smiling most of the time. The addition of a certain ex-boyfriend to the mix made it all even more interesting for me.

"A cat. Another little sociopath to curl up beside me at night and keep me warm.”

Jane Doe is refreshing, twisted and dark but without the gory. The ending was perfection!

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs