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.