Sunday, February 24, 2019

For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt

Title: For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt
Author: For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt
Publisher: MIRA
Release date: December 11, 2018

On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they’ll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.

Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He’s just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat’s always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage? 

For Better and Worse had a great premise but not such a good execution. I'm not saying I didn't like it. I just thought the author had great material to make it much better. 

Natalie Clarke is a defense lawyer. She's married and she has an eleven-year-old son. She loves her son but her relationship with her husband is estranged. She even believes he could be having an affair. 

Will Clarke is a lawyer too. He's keeping a secret from his wife. One that could break their routine if Natalie learns about it. 

Then Natalie learns that her son has been hurt in the worst possible way. Hurt by someone they knew and thought of as a friend. The hate she feels makes her decide to take justice in her own hands. At first, she wants Will to help since she remembers a conversation they had when they were dating but Will wants nothing to do with it until he's forced to help.

Like I said earlier, For Better and Worse could have been so much better. I thought Natalie and Will, both committed so many rookie mistakes. For people who are supposed to be so bright and especially Natalie who as a criminal lawyer knew all about alibis, circumstantial evidence, and police procedure, I was expecting to be shocked. 

I had a hard time liking the main characters. Although, I like Natalie more than Will for sure. Anyway, I did like the way Margot Hunt ended the book. 

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs

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

Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser

Title: Forget You Know Me
Author: Jessica Strawser
Publisher: St. Martin's Press
Release date: February 5, 2019 

The next “masterful” (Publishers Weekly) novel from "the gifted Jessica Strawser" (Adriana Trigiani), hailed as “immensely satisfying” (Kathleen Barber) and “that book you can’t put down” (Sally Hepworth). A video call between friends captures a shocking incident no one was supposed to see.
The secrets it exposes threaten to change their lives forever.
Molly and Liza have always been enviably close. Even after Molly married Daniel, the couple considered Liza an honorary family member. But after Liza moved away, things grew more strained than anyone wanted to admit—in the friendship and the marriage.
When Daniel goes away on business, Molly and Liza plan to reconnect with a nice long video chat after the kids are in bed. But then Molly leaves the room to check on a crying child.
What Liza sees next will change everything.
Only one thing is certain: Molly needs her. Liza drives all night to be at Molly’s side—but when she arrives, the reception is icy, leaving Liza baffled and hurt. She knows there’s no denying what she saw.
Or is there?
In disbelief that their friendship could really be over, Liza is unaware she’s about to have a near miss of her own.
And Molly, refusing to deal with what’s happened, won’t turn to Daniel, either.
But none of them can go on pretending. Not after this.
Forget You Know Me is a “twisty, emotionally complex, powder keg of a tale” (bestselling author Emily Carpenter) about the wounds of people who’ve grown apart. Best friends, separated by miles. Spouses, hardened by neglect. A mother, isolated by pain.
One moment will change things for them all.

Forget You Know Me is the tale of two longtime friends, what drove them apart and what brings them together.

Molly is a mother and a wife. She's also someone who has been dealing with chronic pain for a long time. This has affected her relationship with her husband and her son. She's a good friend to her neighbor and his child but has grown apart from her husband. She can't remember when was the last time they enjoyed a nice day together. She has also has grown apart from her best friend Liza. 

Liza used to live in Cincinnati and be there for Molly but when she moved to Chicago, everything changed. Liza found a new best friend but she doesn't want to end her friendship with Molly, so she plans a Skype call with her, their version of a virtual lady's night. When Molly is called by her son and leaves the room, Liza is a witness to a nightmare. A masked man is in the house with Molly and her son. Liza calls the police, tries to contact Molly but when her answer is a simple text, she can't sleep and decides to drive back to Cincinnati to find out if Molly is ok. The reception she receives when she arrives at Molly's house is not what she was expecting. 

Due to unexpected events, Liza finds herself leaving Chicago and moves in with her brother and his wife. They are dealing with their own problems and Liza wants to help them any way she can. She starts a new job in Cincinnati where she meets Henry, a pilot whom she starts a relationship with. Lastly, now that she is back in the city, she can patch her friendship with Molly if it is still salvageable. 

Forget You Know Me is a woman's fiction novel. It deals with friendship, the relationship between mother and child, chronic pain and marriage. I enjoyed it but I didn't love it as much as I have her other two novels. I liked both female characters. Herny was lovable but Daniel was tougher to like.

3.5/5 Fangs

Thank you St. Martin's Press and NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary copy in exchange for an honest review.

Wild Country by Anne Bishop

Title: Wild Country 
Series: The World of the Others #2
Author: Anne Bishop
Publisher: Ace  
Release date: March 5, 2019 

In this powerful and exciting fantasy set in the world of the New York Times bestselling Others series, humans and the shape-shifting Others will see whether they can live side by side...without destroying one another.

There are ghost towns in the world—places where the humans were annihilated in retaliation for the slaughter of the shape-shifting Others.

One of those places is Bennett, a town at the northern end of the Elder Hills—a town surrounded by the wild country. Now efforts are being made to resettle Bennett as a community where humans and Others live and work together. A young female police officer has been hired as the deputy to a Wolfgard sheriff. A deadly type of Other wants to run a human-style saloon. And a couple with four foster children—one of whom is a blood prophet—hope to find acceptance.

But as they reopen the stores and the professional offices and start to make lives for themselves, the town of Bennett attracts the attention of other humans looking for profit. And the arrival of the Blackstone Clan, outlaws and gamblers all, will uncover secrets…or bury them.

Now we are talking!

Wild Country was A.M.A.Z.I.N.G!! It was as good as reading a Meg and Simon's book! It had all the right elements to hook me from the very first chapter.

The timeline of Wild Country is around the time Crispin's brother shows up to the Lakeside Courtyard on Etched in Bone. We get to meet new characters and get to know more of the old ones too. 

Jessie and Tobias Walker (mother and son) are Intuits. Jessie gets a "feel" for people while Tobias gets a "feel" for animals. They are both from Prairie Gold but are helping Tolya Sanguinatti, the Vampire who's in charge of Bennett. All humans from Bennett were killed by the Elders after the Human First and Last Movement attacked the Others and Tolya is in charge of repopulating it with the right kind of humans.

Jana Paniccia is hired to work with Bennett's sheriff, Virgil Wolfgard. Virgil has all the right reasons to hate the humans but he understands why they might need Jana. His idea of dealing with women is to put them in jail under a "me time" space.

Barb Debeny is in charge of the pets and the relocation of them to new homes. She has a happy personality and is very friendly, traits which can be confusing to the terra indigene especially to Virgil.

Wild Country was fabulous! I couldn't be happier that we are able to learn more about these characters. I love to read what was going through Tolya's head. Virgil and Jana's interaction with the puppy had me laughing at loud. I like the idea of Jana and Tobias together too. Jessi had so many important interactions, one I didn't see it coming. I wonder what will happen next with this mixed community of terra indigene and humans and who else shows up.

Wild Country was engaging, fast-paced, funny and sad at times. Definitely a winner!!

5/5 Fangs

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

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.