I really enjoyed this one. I seem to always be on the hunt for something original and differentThis review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.
I really enjoyed this one. I seem to always be on the hunt for something original and different when it comes to my reading and this one really hit the mark. I love a dark story and this one did not disappoint. Not only was the story dark, it really dealt with a lot of different things in an impressive manner. I thought that the writing was beautiful and really added to the tale.
The book is mostly set in the summer of 1984 in the little town of Breathed, Ohio. There are a few flashes into Fielding's future where we learn how deeply the events of that summer impacted his life. At the start of the book, Fielding meets a little black boy wearing a dirty pair of overalls. This boy says that he is the devil and came due to the invitation set forth by Fielding's father but asked to be called Sal. Sal quickly becomes another member of the eclectic Bliss family.
The town of Breathed isn't nearly as welcoming to Sal. Since he is the devil, he is blamed for lots of things that go wrong. Despite the feelings against Sal, he seems to be one of the most level headed characters in the story. The advice he shares with Fielding and the rest of his new family shows a wisdom that is truly remarkable. Sal, Fielding, and the rest of the Bliss family were really colorful and interesting characters that all added a lot to the story.
The writing was spectacular. Seriously. I am amazed that this was the author's debut novel. The way this story was put together really shows remarkable skill. The words flowed in such a way that it was really a treat to read this book. I almost felt like I was there with the Bliss family since the descriptions in the book were so vivid. I thought the pacing was very well done with a lot of difficult topics being covered.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone looking for something dark and different. The writing and the story are equally strong in this wonderful little story. I rarely accept review requests from authors but I am so glad that I decided to take a chance on this book. I will definitely be reading more from this author in the future and can't wait to see what else Tiffany McDaniel will come up with next.
I received a copy of this book from Tiffany McDaniel and St. Martin's Press via NetGalley for the purpose of providing an honest review.
Initial Thoughts This was good. Completely different than what I usually pick up...in a good way....more
This was such a delightful romance! There was just so much that this book did right. The charactThis review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.
This was such a delightful romance! There was just so much that this book did right. The characters were great, including a wonderful cast of secondary characters. The chemistry between the couple was so intense that I just couldn't enough. I loved the little pieces of humor that worked its way into the story. The story was great and felt real to me. I am so glad that I picked this one up.
The characters in this story were simply amazing. I was sucked into the story right away just by Pru's character. Oh yeah, Pru's dog, Thor, may have had a small part in grabbing me right away as well. I just loved Thor. It took me a little bit longer to really get a feel for Finn but once I did, I may have swooned a bit. He was such a great match for Pru. Finn's group of friends, who quickly became Pru's group of friends only added to the appeal.
I have read a lot of romances so there isn't too many plot ideas that I haven't come across during my years of reading. The "big secret that could tear the couple apart" theme is generally not one of my favorites. But you know what, it worked for me in this story. I was actually a bit nervous about how things would work out since it is a romance novel and the odds are really good that the couple would get their happily ever after in the end. It really speaks to the quality of the story that I was so invested in this fictional pair's happiness.
There was a wonderful playfulness to the story. I found many sections of the book to be quite funny. The humor in the story really fit in very nicely and didn't feel forced in any way. This was just such a fun group of people that laughs would naturally occur anytime they are together. The humor was nicely balanced with tenderness between Finn and Pru. My heart melted just a bit when he worked to take care of her. Everything about this story just felt so incredibly real.
The chemistry between Finn and Pru was off the charts. Personality wise they fit together perfectly but the physical heat that they shared was breathtaking. The sexy times in this book were intense but they had chemistry during every scene that they were together in the book. I even felt the heat of Finn's stare when they first shared a page.
I would highly recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance. Jill Shalvis is quickly becoming a go to author for me anytime that I am in the mood for a romance. I have only read a few of her books so far but I will be working on her backlist soon. I can't wait to see the next book in the Heartbreaker Bay series because I can't wait to spend more time with this group of characters.
I received an advance reader edition of this book from Avon Books via Edelweiss for the purpose of providing an honest review.
Initial Thoughts Loved this one! Jill Shalvis is quickly becoming one of my go to authors for fun contemporary romances. I like the characters in this one quite a bit....more
I absolutely loved this book. The narration really was phenomenal in this audiobook. I am prettyThis review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.
I absolutely loved this book. The narration really was phenomenal in this audiobook. I am pretty much convinced that I would have liked this book if I had picked up a print copy to read but the narration made me fall in love with the story. I didn't want to stop listening and I really didn't stop very often. I am so glad that I picked this one up.
I really liked the characters in this story. Characters are always important but with a romance novel they are really vital to the story. This book was just filled with great characters. Valentina is a gallery owner who has been through some things in her past. She is worried about her missing employee who is more like a little sister to her than anything else. Detective Hennessy is the man who helped her when she was victimized before. She goes to him for help in finding her employee but when he can't offer a lot of help she starts looking on her own. Rix is the local gang leader who may be able to help her find her friend.
Kind of sounds a bit like a love triangle doesn't it? It really was a love triangle at the start of the book and I can't believe it but I loved that about the story. I had no idea who Valentina would end up with and I really liked them both. They were both strong characters that were a completely alpha males. I thought it was interesting how the two men were alike in so many ways but very different in others with one being a detective while the other one is running the local gang. I couldn't step away from this book because I had to know who Valentina would end up with.
Eventually Valentina's choice became obvious but I found there was still so many other things that I had to know. I loved the chemistry between the characters and the sexy scenes were very well done. There was actually a lot of excitement in the story as things moved towards the end. I was really rooting for the couple to get their happily ever after despite all of the obstacles.
Andi Arndt and Sebastian York really brought this story to life. The bulk of the narration was done my Ms. Arndt but Sebastian York's parts came in at just the right time to really add to the story. Their voices were both perfect for this story. Andi Arndt did a wonderful job with the parts of the book from Valentina's point of view. She displayed a wide range of emotions and did a great job with all of the dialog in the story. Sebastian York narrated the sections of the book from Detective Hennessy and Rix's points of view. He really did a fantastic job with both of the these characters and his narration really helped me imagine these two alpha men. I love both of these narrators and think that their narration styles really compliment each other. I will definitely look for both Andi Arndt and Sebastian York again soon.
I would recommend this book to fans of contemporary romance with a bit of an edge. If you have the chance to listen to the audiobook, that is the best way to experience the story in my opinion. This is the listed as the fifth book in the series but it works well as a stand alone. This is the second book by Meghan March that I have had a chance to read and I hope to look for other works soon.
I received a review copy of this audiobook from Blackstone Audio via Audiobook Jukebox for the purpose of providing an honest review.
Initial Thoughts Loved this one! The characters were great, the narration was perfect, and the story kept me interested. And there were the sexy times... ...more
The best part of this book was finishing it. Seriously, I was absolutely thrilled to finally beThis review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.
The best part of this book was finishing it. Seriously, I was absolutely thrilled to finally be done with this one so that I could move on to something else. I actually almost stopped listening pretty early on in the book because it just wasn't working for me but I made myself continue because I didn't feel like I had given it a chance. The last part of the book was a bit better for me but only a bit.
I was ready for an exciting mystery and hoped that it would be creepy and a bit gruesome. Just look at the title - I expected a equally amazing story. This book did start strong and I really enjoyed the opening scene. I wanted to know what happened to those girls. Unfortunately, the book went back to a time before the crimes and was really more of a character study than anything else. I couldn't believe how many characters were brought in the spotlight. We would learn one community members backstory and then move on to the next person's story. It was too many character to keep up with for me.
Once the girls had disappeared and the mystery moved into the spotlight, I did enjoy the story a bit more. I think one of my main issues was that all of the characters bored me in this book. I didn't feel anything for any of them - not even the girls. Even when the plot sped up, I didn't really have anything invested in the story. I actually think that this book could easily be made much shorter and the result would be a much more enjoyable story.
I didn't realize that I had read anything by Stephen Dobyns before I started this book. I guess I really haven't but I did read about a quarter of Is Fat Bob Dead Yet? before I gave up on it. I think that I had many of the same issues with that book in that I had a really hard time connecting with any of the characters. I did learn that this book was actually first published in the 1990's even though the audiobook was just released.
I did enjoy George Newbern's narration. This is the first time that I have listened to this narrator and I was really impressed. He had a very pleasant voice and was able to handle a very large cast of characters quite well. I thought that he did a nice job with both the male and female voices and enjoyed the overall flow of his narration. I will definitely look for this narrator in the future.
I wouldn't recommend this book. I was disappointed on so many levels with this story and really regret not following my initial instinct of putting this one on the dnf pile early on.
I received a review copy of this audiobook from Dreamscape Media, LLC via Audiobook Jukebox for the purpose of providing an honest review.
Initial Thoughts I am so glad to be finished with this book. I can actually move on to a book that I will like now that I am finally done. I literally had to force myself to listen to this one and if I didn't have a review copy, I would have just quit early in the story. ...more
I love a nicely told dark story and that is exactly what I got with this book. I really liked thThis review can also be found at Carole's Random Life.
I love a nicely told dark story and that is exactly what I got with this book. I really liked that the story is told from a very unique voice although I would imagine that not all readers will enjoy Elka's rough speech as I did. I thought that the world that this book was set in felt very vivid and realistic. This is a brutal story but also one of hope. Elka meets some wonderful people on her journey and works to improve her own future. I think that this story is one that will stay with me for a while.
The story is set after the apocalypse. The world that Elka knows is rather brutal and the living conditions can be harsh. In many ways, her life was very reminiscent of the pioneer days. The book really had an Old West feel for me. When Elka is separated from her grandmother, she stumbles on to Trapper's cabin and he takes her in. She learns the skills to survive in this harsh land from Trapper, who she thinks of as a father. Her world is turned upside down when she learns that he is actually a serial killer.
Elka begins her journey to find her parents as soon as she learns the truth about the man she has grown to think of as her daddy. Along the way she finds herself in a lot of tough situations. She even gains a friend or two during her travels in addition to a wolf. Her path is anything but boring with one problem popping up right after the another. The excitement of the story never really slowed down for me.
This story is told completely from Elka's point of view. One thing to note is that the story is told as if Elka were speaking. She has a very distinctive dialect which may not work for all readers. I actually liked Elka's speech and thought that it made the story feel even more genuine.
I would highly recommend this book to others. It is a story that was often violent and gory but could also be thoughtful at times. I am amazed that this is the author's debut novel and I look forward to reading more of Beth Lewis's writing in the future.
I received a copy of this book from Wunderkind PR, Crown Publishing, and First to Read for the purpose of providing an honest review.
Initial Thoughts I am so happy to have been able to finish this book. Thank you to the ladies at Wunderkind PR for getting this book in my hands as quickly as you did.
I liked this one. Elka was pretty easy for me to like and watching her navigate the world was rather exciting. ...more