Sunday, February 17, 2019

Two Can Keep a Secret by Karen M. McManus

Title: Two Can Keep a Secret 
Author: Karen M. McManus 
Publisher: Delacorte Press
Release date: January 8th 2019

Echo Ridge is small-town America. Ellery's never been there, but she's heard all about it. Her aunt went missing there at age seventeen. And only five years ago, a homecoming queen put the town on the map when she was killed. Now Ellery has to move there to live with a grandmother she barely knows.

The town is picture-perfect, but it's hiding secrets. And before school even begins for Ellery, someone's declared open season on homecoming, promising to make it as dangerous as it was five years ago. Then, almost as if to prove it, another girl goes missing.

Ellery knows all about secrets. Her mother has them; her grandmother does too. And the longer she's in Echo Ridge, the clearer it becomes that everyone there is hiding something. The thing is, secrets are dangerous--and most people aren't good at keeping them. Which is why in Echo Ridge, it's safest to keep your secrets to yourself. 

One of Us is Lying was one of my favorite books from 2017. It was a no-brainer to buy Two Can Keep a Secret as soon as I got the chance. 

I've been in a huge reading slump and Two Can Keep a Secret was able to pull me out of it for which I'm very grateful for.

Echo Ridge is a town full of secrets and known for the disappearance of two beautiful teenagers. Let me give you a little background on the main characters.

After their mother, Sadie, is sent to rehab for crashing her car into a tree, the twins, Ellery and   Ezra will have to leave California and move in with their grandmother who lives in Echo Ridge. Ellery has always been drawn to true crime stories after Sadie's twin sister, Sarah disappeared as a teenager and was never found. Ellery believes the person who took Sarah might still be out there. 

Next, five years earlier, the prom queen, Lacey Kilduff, was found murdered. Her boyfriend Declan was a person of interest and because of the way the town treated him, his father walked out on his family and Declan moved to another town nearby. This left Malcolm (Declan's younger sibling) and his mother by themselves until Peter, a successful attorney married his mother. Now Malcolm is living with Peter and his daughter, Katrin, who's Malcolm classmate. They are civil to each other but they don't like each other.

When the life of another teenager is on the line, Malcolm, Ellery, Ezra, and Mia will join forces to keep the people they care about safe.

Two Can Keep a Secret had a good narrative. I was interested in the characters and their fate. I was sure the mystery surrounding the disappearance of the two young women was related yet I can honestly say that I didn't guess who the culprit was until the very end. 

The last line of the book is also a winner. What a great way to close the story!

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

T.A. by Jamie Begley

Title: T.A.
Series: Biker Bitches #6
Author: Jamie Begley 
Release date: December 1, 2018

Cuffing season was supposed to be about finding a hook-up to keep her warm during the cold Kentucky winter nights. T.A. wasn’t looking for Mr. Right; she just wanted Mr. Available. 

That was before she met Dalton Andrews. The widower was nursing a broken heart, and the only thing he wanted was a woman to take his grown kids’ minds off worrying about him. 

It was supposed to be a trade-off—he would keep her warm and toasty during the nights, and she would put up a smokescreen in front of his kids during the days. It was a win-win situation.

That was until the famous actor decided he wanted out of the deal and Mr. Available was a no-show during the biggest snowstorm of the year.

Poor schmuck didn’t realize that all the drama he had experienced in Tinseltown was nothing compared to dealing with this bitch.

I'm sad this one didn't work for me. I didn't feel like there was a big conflict that needed a big resolution. 

I'm not sure why I'm not connecting with this author's writing anymore. I missed her earlier work terribly. My favorite parts are always when the old characters appear as cameos. 

I had a hard time relating to the main couple. I didn't feel the love between T.A. and Dalton. Most of the book passes with T.A. following Dalton. Throwing herself at him. While T.A. is all over him, Dalton spends his time mourning the loss of his wife. Even though she died a few years ago, he misses "his soulmate", which he's not afraid to tell T.A. Just exactly what a woman wants to hear. T.A. deserved so much better than a guy still in love with his dead wife. Don't get me wrong, I liked Dalton, I just don't think it was the one for her. I felt that she settled for Dalton instead of having a man who was head over heels in love with her.

The other thing that bothers me about T.A.'s book is the lack of resolution about Grace and Ice's issues. I loved them as a couple and knowing they were having issues which were not explained well didn't make sense.

There is a good spoiler that made me excited about the next Last Rider's book. I do hope this one takes me back to loving this world again.

Will I read the next book? Absolutely, I just can't let this series go.

Cliffhanger: No

2/5 Fangs

My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren

Title: My Favorite Half-Night Stand  
Author: Christina Lauren 
Publisher: Gallery
Release date: December 4, 2018

Millie Morris has always been one of the guys. A UC Santa Barbara professor, she’s a female-serial-killer expert who’s quick with a deflection joke and terrible at getting personal. And she, just like her four best guy friends and fellow professors, is perma-single.

So when a routine university function turns into a black tie gala, Mille and her circle make a pact that they’ll join an online dating service to find plus-ones for the event. There’s only one hitch: after making the pact, Millie and one of the guys, Reid Campbell, secretly spend the sexiest half-night of their lives together but mutually decide the friendship would be better off strictly platonic.

But online dating isn’t for the faint of heart. While the guys are inundated with quality matches and potential dates, Millie’s first profile attempt garners nothing but dick pics and creepers. Enter “Catherine”—Millie’s fictional profile persona, in whose make-believe shoes she can be more vulnerable than she’s ever been in person. Soon “Catherine” and Reid strike up a digital pen-pal-ship...but Millie can’t resist temptation in real life, either. Soon, Millie will have to face her worst fear—intimacy—or risk losing her best friend, forever.

My favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren was just what I needed. A funny, rom-com with interesting characters and an ending that left me smiling at my Kindle.

Meet the main characters:

Millie Morris is a woman with a cool job. Millie has loved learning about female serial killers from a young age and now in the present, she's a professor in criminology at UC.  In regards to her personal life, she's "one of the guys". Her friends are all men, and just like her, they're also professors. The five of them get along so well. They go out together everywhere but she seems to get along better with Reid. Then, one night after some drinks, she sleeps with him and everything gets so much more complicated between them.

Millie has trouble opening up. She has trouble communicating personal events or family matters with her friends. She's all about deflecting and changing the subject. Yet, she's funny, loyal and she cares about her friends. She just doesn't want to show them any of her weaknesses. It all began when her mom passed away from cancer and her dad thought it was better to stop discussing the event altogether. Millie had to grow up and take care of her younger sibling.

Reid Campbell is known as a workaholic. He's a good friend and he's not scared of sharing his feelings. He loves Millie's friendship and after sleeping together, he knows he doesn't want to lose her. There's also the problem of needing a plus one for the event of the year, a gala none of them want to miss. Their solution, joining an online dating site and finding a date for the party.

Plenty of things can go wrong and they sure do with this couple when Millie assumes a new persona as her online profile, Catherine and she ends up matching with Reid. This will lead to many misunderstandings and lies that will threaten their friendship and their relationship.

I had so much fun reading this book. I love the avatars the authors picked for the characters and their friends. I like Millie and Reid. They were cute together. I loved Chris, Alex, and Stephen and I would love to see them in future books. 

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Thank you Gallery Books and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review. 

Monday, February 4, 2019

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating
by Christina Lauren

Hazel Camille Bradford knows she’s a lot to take—and frankly, most men aren’t up to the challenge. If her army of pets and thrill for the absurd don’t send them running, her lack of filter means she’ll say exactly the wrong thing in a delicate moment. Their loss. She’s a good soul in search of honest fun.

Josh Im has known Hazel since college, where her zany playfulness proved completely incompatible with his mellow restraint. From the first night they met—when she gracelessly threw up on his shoes—to when she sent him an unintelligible email while in a post-surgical haze, Josh has always thought of Hazel more as a spectacle than a peer. But now, ten years later, after a cheating girlfriend has turned his life upside down, going out with Hazel is a breath of fresh air.

Not that Josh and Hazel date. At least, not each other. Because setting each other up on progressively terrible double blind dates means there’s nothing between them...right?

When have I not loved a Christine Lauren book, NEVER that's when! This duo's writing is so versatile, that you're bound to find something you'll love, but honestly romantic comedies are some of my favorites! 

Now let me start off by saying I've been in a horrible reading slump. A reading slump of epic proportions! Pretty much all of 2018 had been a slump nightmare, but I think it's safe to say bye bye to the slump. Two books have helped me on the road to recovery, Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating being one of them. 

First off, Josh is Korean! For those of you who know me well know that I have a Korean obsession! Secondly his Korean name is Jimin! Jimin! One of my favorite names ever! I know that may sound weird but if you love the band BTS you'll understand me (where my fangirls at?). Lastly this book was highly recommended so that's all I needed to dive right in.

There is so much hilarity throughout this book that it'll have you laughing right out of your seat! Hazel has absolutely no filter whatsoever and has that foot-in-mouth syndrome that makes her absolutely one-of-a-kind! Josh is super low-key and relaxed. I love how Josh embraces her awkwardness with open arms, and they somehow even each other out. I just honestly loved every moment of this story. The way Josh and Hazel try to find someone special while all the while slowly falling for each other was just stellar in all the best ways. You will not be disappointed picking up this book! 

4/5 Fangs


Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages. 
You can find them online at or at @seeCwrite (Christina), @LolaShoes (Lauren), or @ChristinaLauren on Twitter.

Tuesday, January 29, 2019

The Way You Love Me by Miranda Liasson

Title: The Way You Love Me 
Series: Angel Falls #2
Author: Miranda Liasson
Publisher: Forever
Release date: January 29, 2019

A heartwarming story about love, family, and taking risks that matter 

Gabby Langdon has always tried to make people happy. She even went to law school to please her father, and now she's a highly successful-albeit bored-attorney. But Gabby secretly dreams of being a writer, so for once she does something for herself-she signs up for a writing class taught by best-selling novelist Caden Marshall. There's only one problem: her brooding, sexy professor is a distraction she can't afford if she's finally going to get the life she truly wants. 

Recently divorced and suffering from the world's worst case of writer's block, Caden is in Angel Falls to get his life back on track. He's focused on teaching and providing a stable and loving home for his young daughter, Ava. The last thing he needs is to jeopardize his new job, which means keeping plenty of distance between himself and his talented new student-no matter how tempted he is by Gabby's beauty, kind heart, or the sparks that fly whenever they're together. 

I've been waiting to read The Way You Love Me by Miranda Liasson. I loved her first book in the Angel Falls series where Gabby was introduced and I wanted Gabby to find her soulmate too.

Gaby Langdon just recently made partner at her law firm. She works hard and long hours. Before deciding to be a lawyer, she took many classes to see what inspired her. In the end, she decided to go for a job that she knew would pay the bills and her father would approve. Yet, she has always had the desire to write. When she finds her mother's manuscript she decides to join a creative writing class to feel a connection to her deceased mother. What she wasn't expecting was to fall for her teacher.

Cade Marshall is a famous writer. A one-hit-wonder after his ex-wife proclaimed she gave him all his ideas for his book. After this awful occurrence, Cade developed a huge writer's block. He's not sure he can write another book. Cade moves back to Angel Falls after accepting a job as a professor in a creative writer's class. Cade just wants a stable job to help sustain his three-year-old daughter. Having the hots for his student was not part of his low-profile plan.

I liked both Gaby and Cade. Gaby was always supportive, a good sister and super nice to Cade's daughter. Cade was good at his job and as soon as he realized he was in trouble for falling for Gaby, he tried to keep his distance. 

The Way You Love Me was a super cute small town romance. A fast read full of engaging characters.

At the end of The Way You Love Me, we get a glimpse into the next couple. Rafe (Gaby's brother) and Katilyn's story is next.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

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

Sunday, January 13, 2019

Thunderhead by Neal Shusterman

Title: Scythe
Series: Arc of a Scythe #1
Author: Neal Shusterman 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Rowan has gone rogue, and has taken it upon himself to put the Scythedom through a trial by fire. Literally. In the year since Winter Conclave, he has gone off-grid, and has been striking out against corrupt scythes—not only in MidMerica, but across the entire continent. He is a dark folk hero now—“Scythe Lucifer”—a vigilante taking down corrupt scythes in flames.

Citra, now a junior scythe under Scythe Curie, sees the corruption and wants to help change it from the inside out, but is thwarted at every turn, and threatened by the “new order” scythes. Realizing she cannot do this alone—or even with the help of Scythe Curie and Faraday, she does the unthinkable, and risks being “deadish” so she can communicate with the Thunderhead—the only being on earth wise enough to solve the dire problems of a perfect world. But will it help solve those problems, or simply watch as perfection goes into decline? 

"The Thunderhead did not speak to unsavories."
What a huge cliffhanger!! 

I usually hate cliffhangers but I think Thunderhead ends in a great one.

So what happens in this installment?

Rowan is now Scythe Lucifer. He's targeting Scythes who have forgotten their way. The Scythes who enjoyed the killing are all in his naughty list. 

Citra as junior Scythe Anastasia is trying to change the Scythom from within with the support of Scythe Curie and the help of Scythe Faraday. This puts her in grave danger. Not everyone agrees with her way of thinking.

There's a fight for power between the old order and the new one. All thanks to Scythe Goddard and his followers. 

Shusteman introduces an important character, Greyson Tolliver who will play a huge part in the Thunderhead

My favorite part was learning more about the Thunderhead. Instead of the Scythes journals, we get so much more input about It, what he's thinking and who he wants to help.
“Death must exist for life to have meaning.” 

I love the world building and the insight we get from the main characters. 

I'm not sure how much the Tonists will play a part in the next one but I think it's going to be a major one.

I wonder how much time passes between the end of the Thunderhead and The Toll. I hope we don't have to wait too long for it. I'm dying for answers.

Cliffhanger: YEP!!

4/5 Fangs

Scythe by Neal Shusterman

Title: Scythe
Series: Arc of a Scythe #1
Author: Neal Shusterman 
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Two teens are forced to murder—maybe each other—in the first in a chilling new series from Neal Shusterman, author of the New York Times bestselling Unwind dystology.

In a world where disease has been eliminated, the only way to die is to be randomly killed (“gleaned”) by professional reapers (“scythes”). Citra and Rowan are teenagers who have been selected to be scythe’s apprentices, and—despite wanting nothing to do with the vocation—they must learn the art of killing and come to understand the necessity of what they do.

Only one of them will be chosen as a scythe’s apprentice. And when it becomes clear that the winning apprentice’s first task will be to glean the loser, Citra and Rowan are pitted against one another in a fight for their lives.

“My greatest wish for humanity is not for peace or comfort or joy. It is that we all still die a little inside every time we witness the death of another. For only the pain of empathy will keep us human. There’s no version of God that can help us if we ever lose that.”

The Scythe came highly recommended to me. My husband read it and loved it. He told me "This one is right up your alley." I can't disagree. It had all the right components to become a favorite fantasy.

In this new world, many years away from us, people don't die. There is no sickness and the Cloud has become an entity that manages the world without taking absolute control. It's called the Thunderhead. Since people don't die, many try to do it just for fun. Deadish is the new extreme sport. If you don't like the aging process, you can reverse time and "turn a corner" and become a younger self. 

Permanent death is only achieved by being "gleaned". The person performing a gleaning is specially chosen and trained. He or she becomes a Scythe. Scythes are feared and revered. The only ones who don't like them are the Tonist.  The Tonists live in monasteries and the Thunderhead leaves them alone although cameras are still everywhere.

The main characters are Rowan Damisch and Citra Terranova. Both teenagers, who after having an interaction with Scythe Faraday they are offered to become apprentices into the Scythom. Neither wants to do it but their families are all for it in order to receive immunity for one year. 

The world of the Scythom is full of intrigue, politics, and danger. We meet many important characters like Scythe Curie (the Grand Dame of Death), Scythe Goddard, Scythe Xenocrates and many more. 

The Scythe is an amazing fantasy. It has an impressive world-building with very interesting characters and compelling dialogue. There was a couple of great twists (one, I saw coming, one, I had not thought about) and a fantastic ending.

“Death makes the world kin.” 

Cliffhanger: Yes

4/5 Fangs