Thursday, July 16, 2020

Peace Talks by Jim Butcher

Title: Peace Talks
Series: The Dresden Files, #16
Author: Jim Butcher
Publisher: Ace
Release Date: July 14, 2020

Harry Dresden is back and ready for action, in the new entry in the #1 New York Times bestselling Dresden Files series. When the Supernatural nations of the world meet up to negotiate an end to ongoing hostilities, Harry Dresden, Chicago's only professional wizard, joins the White Council's security team to make sure the talks stay civil. But can he succeed, when dark political manipulations threaten the very existence of Chicago--and all he holds dear?


Six years I waited for Harry to come back. SIX YEARS!!!!

Was it worth the wait? For me? ABSOLUTELY. I loved every second of it. There's intrigue galore, amazing characterization. Awesome dialogue.

Peace Talks made me happy in all kinds of ways. I got my fix of some Thomas, Molly, Michael, Mouse, Lara Raith, Marcone, Waldo, Mab, Justine, you name it, it was there. Best, I was listening to James Marsters for almost all of the book. He is just superb as Harry and the other forty or so characters he renders his voice for this series. 

In addition, if you had read the short stories, you'll be happily surprised to reacquaint yourself with so many other characters from those.

As always, Harry is having all kinds of trouble. He's tired, running on little sleep and food and trying to save the world. Or this case Chicago and some very important people to him. Yet, Harry is becoming smarter and trying to do things logically, without burning down the building which shows some major growth on his part. 

For people who like Karin and Dresden together, they are going to be happy. Me being a #MollyTeam or even a #LaraTeam, it didn't make me happy but it didn't make me mad either. I guess I still hold a grudge for Karrin shooting Harry so many moons ago but if Harry is happy with her so be it.

After finishing Peace Talks, I started thinking of so many things that could go wrong since this book doesn't have all the answers. Luckily, I don't have to wait long for Battle Ground. 

I believe if you are a reader who's saying there was not enough action in this book, the next one is going to have too much. The question is who are we going to lose. It terrifies me. I don't want it to be any of my favorites (which is like 20!)

On a side note, I'm super concerned about Ramirez. I don't trust him anymore. Be careful, Molly.

Peace Talks sets such a masterful way for Battle Ground. Frenemies must come together to protect it all or die trying and Harry Dresden is going to be in the middle of it all with the baddies from all sides gunning for him. Watch out!

Cliffhanger: YES! A big one!

5/5 Fangs

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

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Silent Wife by Karin Slaughter

Title: The Silent Wife
Series: Will Trent
Author: Karin Slaughter
Publisher: August 4, 2020
Release Date: William Morrow

Atlanta, Georgia. Present day. A young woman is brutally attacked and left for dead. The police investigate but the trail goes cold. Until a chance assignment takes GBI investigator Will Trent to the state penitentiary, and to a prisoner who says he recognizes the MO. The attack looks identical to the one he was accused of eight years earlier. The prisoner’s always insisted that he was innocent, and now he’s sure he has proof. The killer is still out there.

As Will digs into both crimes it becomes clear that he must solve the original case in order to reach the truth. Yet nearly a decade has passed—time for memories to fade, witnesses to vanish, evidence to disappear. And now he needs medical examiner Sara Linton to help him hunt down a ruthless murderer. But whenthe past and present collide, everything Will values is at stake…

Oh my Gosh!! A new Will Trent novel <3. 

Will is one of my favorite male characters. He is so broken and so smart at the same time. 

Surprisingly, I adored Sara Linton too. In general, we tend to be harder on the female characters. Thinking things like "she is making the wrong choice", "she is putting herself in danger unnecessarily", "she is acting mean for no reason" or maybe it's just me that expects to read more about smarter, interesting and powerful women characters. Luckily, I never have to complain about Sara. She is perfect for Will. She makes him more confident and even though it takes him a while to open up, she gets him to do it. Also, her own traumas and the way she has handled herself through all of it, makes me respect her. Or maybe because she is a doc is why I like her so much. Who knows, it may be all of it.

Getting back to The Silent Wife, Karin Slaughter wields her magic wand and we get to be back in Grant County, with a younger Sara and Grant County's Chief officer, Jeffrey Tolliver. 

How you might ask? simple a serial killer. 

At the beginning of the book, a prison riot brings the GBI to investigate. While gathering information, an inmate, Daryl Nesbit, wants to talk to Will and Faith. He says he is innocent of a crime and he has the proof. Women have gone missing after he was put in prison and he blames Jeffrey and Lena Adams for letting the serial killer run free. 

By several POV's and by intercalating past and present chapters, we get a bigger picture of what truly happened. The identity of the serial killer was shocking but maybe not too much. It all made sense.

Karin's writing is always raw and gritty. True evil is out there in the world and she knows how to bring it into her fictional world in a masterful way. 

In regards to the characters, I already drooled over Will and Sara at the beginning of my review, so I will say that Faith is another strong female character. Being in her head is always entertaining and I do love her relationship with Will as a partner and as his friend. Amanda as their boss is the cherry on top. She seems to be one step ahead of everyone every single time. I know the majority of readers love Jeffrey. I'm in the minority. I was never a Jeffrey fan. I thought Sara deserved better. However, he annoyed me very little in this one. 

One thing I want to make clear in case I haven't done it in my prior reviews is that I HATE Lena. I hope she gets what she deserves. She is a horrible person and doesn't learn from her mistakes. Really sad for her husband. 

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Saturday, July 4, 2020

Always the Last to Know by Kristan Higgins

Title: Always the Last to Know
Author: Kristan Higgins
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: June 9, 2020

Sometimes you have to break a family to fix it.

From New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins, a new novel examining a family at the breaking point in all its messy, difficult, wonderful complexity.

The Frosts are a typical American family. Barb and John, married almost fifty years, are testy and bored with each other...who could blame them after all this time? At least they have their daughters-- Barb's favorite, the perfect, brilliant Juliet; and John's darling, the free-spirited Sadie. The girls themselves couldn't be more different, but at least they got along, more or less. It was fine. It was enough.

Until the day John had a stroke, and their house of cards came tumbling down.

Now Sadie has to put her career as a teacher and struggling artist in New York on hold to come back and care for her beloved dad--and face the love of her life, whose heart she broke, and who broke hers. Now Juliet has to wonder if people will notice that despite her perfect career as a successful architect, her perfect marriage to a charming Brit, and her two perfect daughters, she's spending an increasing amount of time in the closet having panic attacks.

And now Barb and John will finally have to face what's been going on in their marriage all along.

From the author of Good Luck with That and Life and Other Inconveniences comes a new novel of heartbreaking truths and hilarious honesty about what family really means.

Wow, another Women’s Fiction winner for Kristan Higgins!

I wait every year for Kristan Higgins's new book. I even delay reading them because I want to savor the moment and that way, it is less time for me to wait for her next release.

It’s always a real pleasure immersing in her stories. There is always something that clicks with me.

Always the Last to Know, wasn't an exception. It made me laugh and it made me cry. 

Once I read the first few pages,  I knew the next few hours would be centered around one family: The Frost Family.

There is John, the patriarch who has been a good provider but not a very good father to his first child or a good husband to Barb, his wife.  The day he has a massive brain bleed, Barbara finds out something he has been hiding from her.

Barbara, the wife and mother, who has never been truly happy in her marriage despite trying to do things she assumed were expected of her as a "wife". She has a great relationship with her daughter Juliet but the same couldn't be said about her youngest daughter, Sadie. Sadie has always been John's favorite.

Juliet is a successful architect but lately, she has noticed she has competition at work from someone she brought in and tried to mentor. She also worries about her own marriage and her two girls especially the one who's becoming a typical teenager. 

Lastly, we meet Sadie. A New Yorker by heart. Someone who didn’t want to stay and live in a small town. Her dream was to be discovered as an artist and become a famous painter. In the present, she's almost engaged to Alexander Mitchum, who’s a yacht salesman but her main love has been always been Jon snow, I mean scratch that,  Noah Pelletier. Noah had a different dream than hers. He wanted to stay in town, marry Saddie and form a family together. 

The trials and tribulations of these characters were perfectly described by Kristan Higgins. She humanized them and gave them meaning. I ended up liking all three women in a very different way. Of course, I love Noah and Sadie together and I laughed every single time Mickey spoked. She had me in stitches. Barbara and Caro's friendship was a refreshing change. I also love how awesome Juliet's husband, Oliver really was. 

I'm sad to say goodbye to this family but I'm sure next year, I'll meet some awesome new ones. 

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

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

28 Summers by Elin Hilderbrand

Title: 28 Summers
Author: Elin Hilderbrand 
Publisher:  Little, Brown and Company
Release Date:  June 16, 2020

By the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Summer of '69: Their secret love affair has lasted for decades -- but this could be the summer that changes everything.

When Mallory Blessing's son, Link, receives deathbed instructions from his mother to call a number on a slip of paper in her desk drawer, he's not sure what to expect. But he certainly does not expect Jake McCloud to answer. It's the late spring of 2020 and Jake's wife, Ursula DeGournsey, is the frontrunner in the upcoming Presidential election.
There must be a mistake, Link thinks. How do Mallory and Jake know each other?

Flash back to the sweet summer of 1993: Mallory has just inherited a beachfront cottage on Nantucket from her aunt, and she agrees to host her brother's bachelor party. Cooper's friend from college, Jake McCloud, attends, and Jake and Mallory form a bond that will persevere -- through marriage, children, and Ursula's stratospheric political rise -- until Mallory learns she's dying.

Based on the classic film Same Time Next Year (which Mallory and Jake watch every summer), 28 Summers explores the agony and romance of a one-weekend-per-year affair and the dramatic ways this relationship complicates and enriches their lives, and the lives of the people they love.

Summer is here when Elin Hilderbrand has a new book out!

28 Summers is a different story and not my favorite one of hers. 

Unpopular opinion here-->



I've some very mixed feelings about Jake McCloud. I got mad at him a lot of times. Why did he marry Ursula DeGournsey? More than half the time they had nothing in common. To me, he married a memory of a girl that at some point was nice. 

Jake didn't respect his marriage or Ursula enough to tell her the truth and leave her or divorce her. I hated how glorified cheating was portrayed in this book. Jake cheats, Mallory cheats, Ursula cheats, Bear cheats.

How would you feel if you realized your partner has cheated every year since you have been together with someone else? Ursula didn't care except for Jake's actions affecting her career and the possibility of her becoming the next President of the USA. 

It nagged me that Jake and Mallory never felt guilty of what they were doing. They just waited to see each other "Same Time Next Year" and family be damned. Their affair goes on so perfectly that Jake's daughter never learns her father is a cheater. 

In addition, Jake and Mallory have a pact. A phone call telling the other one that a wedding or a child was coming. But, Mallory had to find out about Jake's wedding and child, not by Jake calling her or did I miss it?

I hated that Mallory was portrayed as flaky, commitment-phobic and insecure. Although, as a teacher she was great. I can see how the kids would love her. I liked that she loved her Nantucket home. She was happy with what she had. Me, not her, wanted more for her. She deserved so much more. 

Now, why did I say I had mixed feelings about Jake at the beginning of my review? Because I really liked him during those first phone calls with Mallory. I like his fight for his sister's disease. I like that he came to see Mallory in the end (although, he waited one day instead of flying right that second).

I do love Elin's writing. I get to experience Nantucket through her eyes and summer through her words. 

I hope her next book is a winner for me. 

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs