Revenge is a dish best served with blood… In Revenge is Sweet, the sequel to The Friday Edition, Samantha Church is back and the stakes are higher than ever. In a sinister quest to settle the score, the drug dealers she thwarted are no longer motivated by money or politics, they want one thing and one thing only: Revenge… Snow swirls on a cold February night when reporter Samantha Church and her publisher Wilson Cole Jr. are kidnapped. Days following the kidnapping, Sam wakes up in a hospital bed, dazed, bruised and confused. Why did they let her go? It makes no sense. It is only when the kidnappers make their next move does she realize why they let her go. The kidnappers want to hurt Sam by harming those she loves most, her best friend and coworker, Wilson Cole Jr., and worse, her daughter, April. They taunt Sam, wanting to break her down mentally, physically and emotionally—pretty little April, watch her bleed, pretty little April, now we’ll have some fun. Say bye-bye, pretty little April will die before your eyes. Revenge doesn’t come any sweeter. Or does it? Is all hope seemingly lost? Or is revenge a two-way street? Does Sam have a plan of her own for the kidnappers—one that will finally settle the score?
I have been an award-winning journalist since 1989, having worked at newspapers and magazines in Denver, Seattle and Albuquerque, New Mexico. I am the author of the award-winning and Amazon best-selling Samantha Church Mystery Series, featuring The Friday Edition (named one of the best books of 2013 by Kirkus and a Readers' Favorite gold medal winner), Revenge is Sweet, Dead Wrong, Cold Case No. 99-5219 (a Readers' Favorite gold medal winner), On the Border, and The Long Way Home. I have also written two award-winning books in contemporary fiction: An Invincible Summer and Last Things. Be sure to follow her on BookBub for the latest on sales: https://bit.ly/3JztNtx
I received a copy of "Revenge is Sweet", (A Samantha Church Mystery), the sequel to "The Friday Edition", by Betta Ferrendelli, in exchange for an honest review. While I feel that this mystery suspense thriller novel can be read as a standalone, the reader would have a better understanding of the protagonist, Samantha Church, and the struggles she endures by reading these novels in sequence.
In "The Friday Edition", Robin, Sam's sister, a Assistant DA, had been working to expose a drug smuggling operation, and had died during the process, and Sam, a reporter for Grandview Perspective, in Denver, Colorado, had finished the business her sister started. She had ruined the drug smuggling operation...and for that she would pay!
The drug dealers want only one thing...REVENGE, and on a cold February night Sam and her publisher, Wilson Cole Jr. are kidnapped, as they left work. In the parking lot, Sam had sensed that someone was watching them. They were brought to an undisclosed location, but after a few days Sam was released. But Why just her?
The kidnappers want to destroy Sam, by harming everything that she loved; her daughter, April, her best friend, Wilson Cole Jr., who was her best friend, that had always been there for her, with her struggle with alcohol abuse.
This was a fast-paced mystery, with believable characters, that had me totally gripped to the ending. Another super novel and well worth reading.
Stone Cold – A review of the novel ‘Revenge is Sweet’
“Revenge proves its own executioner” - John Ford
As much as everyone would like to distance themselves from this apparent ‘primitive’ notion, everyone enjoys a good revenge tale. Something about it is hard wired into our brains, a psychological impulse that says tit for tat is just and necessary under the right circumstances.
Author Betta Ferrendelli returns with the second book in the Samantha Church Mystery series, titled ‘Revenge is Sweet’. Starting off from where the last book ended, the characters of Samantha Church, her daughter April and her friend and co worker Wilson Cole Jr have to reap the consequences of her actions in the previous outing. After Sam successfully unearths a massive illegal drug operation and helps put the people behind it in bars in Friday Edition, this time around she has to deal with some sinister people who are out for revenge and indulge in kidnapping and torture to make their point. This thriller isn’t just about solving the mystery behind the kidnappings but also showing how the main protagonist deals with her inner demons through this extremely difficult and trying period.
In a space dominated by crime fighting solitary male wolves, Samantha Church is a welcome change and a refreshing distraction. After a slow start that sets up the scenario of the grave situation to the readers, the novel then goes into overdrive and you will find yourself turning the pages anxiously trying to find out what is going to happen to Sam and her daughter April. The pacing has always been one of the biggest strengths of this series and it continues in this book as well. Betta takes care to describe even snowflakes and the wattage of power bulbs as she does with the complex emotions of her characters and yet the pages fly by quickly.
There are a lot of key points that are worth mentioning here. The bad guys she has created for example, Betta’s Juan, the twins and Fuzz face are a bunch of nicely written villainous characters, the evilness especially of Juan is menacing and dark and the accompanying violence is necessary to mark them out as the bad people and make you further empathize with the characters of Sam, Wilson and April. The chemistry between David and Howard provides some airy refreshment when compared to the dark mood in the background, the way they come to Sam’s and Wilson’s rescue at the end is a nicely written pulse raising fight scene. Sam’s letter to April deserves a couple of rereads for its lyrical prose and heart tugging raw emotions portrayed in it.
Revenge is Sweet is a more emotional and intimate story when compared to the previous book. The story is easy to follow, well written, true to life, and spell binding. Even though the characters have many twists and turns in their emotional baggage, they are all well developed. One of the book's main strengths is that even the secondary characters are fully etched out, they are some interesting characters and you become deeply involved with what is happening to them as well. Also praiseworthy is the way she gets inside the head of each of her characters and creates a unique and distinct voice for them.
Next book in the series is Dead Wrong and if Betta Ferrendelli’s previous works are any indication then you can be dead sure that it too will be a winner!
Sam with Wilson giving her a ride home, now that her car is unrepairable. He was always there for her , his kindness, even being alive, having a job. She mention that someone is watching them, then a car comes, Kidnapping them. Awakening he spots Sam, wrists so tightly bound the rope cutting into her, trying to get her awake.Sam now waking up, in the hospital Howard and her grandmother were there.Police found her slumped in Wilson car, but he is still missing. Why were they keeping him, she wrote the stories, she was the one they wanted to kidnap. Revenge, inflicting pain on those she loved, was their motive. Broken, bruised,,life changes for these that she loves. Powerful story of finishing what Robin had uncovered. And others pained the price dearly.
I suggest you read book one (The Friday Edition) before you read Revenge is Sweet.
This book had me on edge several time and had me holding my breath. The characters and story come to life in Ms Ferrendelli's wonderful writing. Her writing gives you a good feeling of the characters and what they are like.
I loved book one with all the surprising turns and twists. Book two was more gut wrenching moments that made it very hard to put down. (who needs sleep)
I had won this autographed book. I must say, I didn't want to put it down. I enjoyed the way the story was told and the thrilling turn of events. I was so interested in what was going to happen next, that I stayed up late to finish it. I thoroughly enjoyed this book, and I am going to get The Friday Edition by Betta Ferrendelli too!
Good book. Picks up exactly where The Friday Edition ended and continues following Samantha on her adventure with the drug dealers. I enjoyed the book, but I liked the first one more. Definitely need to pick this one up if you read the first one.
Book 2 Revenge is Sweet by Betta Ferrendelli, picks up where Book 1 ended. You need to read book 1 NOW. Sam published the story revealing the corrupt police department and the drug gang active in their local area. But….as we know, her daughter is the most important thing to her and she is now living with her deceased husband’s mother in Seattle. The story opens with Sam and her boss, getting kidnapped from the parking lot of the newspaper he owns. The drug dealer is making a point that he took care of her sister and she’s next. As it unfolds, Sam is released but told to not tell the police or anyone. Sam is also an alcoholic who has quit drinking but continues to have cravings for the drink. She is a mess but someone relatable.
Her boss is held and threatened. Sam desperately needs to see her daughter so she flies to Seattle for a long weekend. Obviously, she doesn’t think anyone is watching her. She is wrong. It is an intense story and you can’t count on happy endings although no one dies. I am starting Book 3.
The story of Samantha Church had me completely engrossed! I couldn't wait to see how the story would turn out, so I ended up reading all night so I could reach the end. The plot was excellent, the characters believable, and the suspense was intense. I liked how the main character, Sam, wasn't perfect. She struggled to overcome her addiction to alcohol, low self esteem, and a cruel mother in law who constantly criticized and berated her. I hope to be able to read more of this author's books.
I have a policy of sticking with a book until the end and getting it finished. This book tried hard for me to break that policy. I haven’t read the first book but I certainly won’t be. The storyline made little sense and was juvenile. Characters were believable but made stupid and just unbelievable decisions one after the other.
Full of mystery, suspense, evil head games and loving tenderness. Wilson, Sam and Anna become much closer when all three are stressed out by a psychopathic drug dealer Sam and Robin put out of business.
Maybe my view is tainted because I read book 2 before book 1 and missed prior activities. I felt it began slow (probably because she was giving background information). It wasn't until April was kidnapped that things began to pick up and the story got interesting.
This author kept me on the edge of my seat and holding my breath. I felt that the intimacy regarding alcoholism was true and right. It added much humanity to the story. Looking forward to the next in series.
Samantha church is a recovering alcoholic, and a mother who has lost custody of her nine-year-old daughter to her husband's mother, a woman who is frankly not very nice! she is a reporter who lost her job on the Denver Post due to her alcoholism. Her sister was murdered by a drug dealer as revenge for story she started and Samantha finished. Samantha and her publisher become victims of this drug dealer.I won't reveal how and I won't reveal what happens because that would be a spoiler. However if you love a good mystery this is one to read. There are still a few typos even though she has edited it well, but they are not so annoying as to make the book difficult to read.
Samantha Church is trying to settle into her new normal, following the harrowing ordeal of The Friday Edition (which will not be detailed here, because nobody likes spoilers, even of books you should have already read), but not everyone is ready to leave the past behind. I'll give you a hint: It has something to do with revenge.
Once again, Betta Ferrendelli gives of a flawed, human protagonist with the best of intentions. In the inaugural novel, Sam Church needed those closest to her to shine a light on her sister's death, and now those who remain are going to pay for those sins. Ferrendelli is still best when the momentum reaches it's peak, giving a climax that is both thrilling and touching, but this book delves even deeper into Sam's shortfalls.
And really, that's the heart of the book. Forget the revenge plot for a little while. Forget the action and the intrigue. The real gem of this book is Sam's I'll-fated attempts to reach out to her daughter and be the mother she always should have been. In large part, those efforts take the form of letters, long letters in which Sam tries to explain why she is the person she became and how they all got to that point. The only problem is that Sam gets a little too detailed, a little too explicit for a 9-year-old girl. But what else can we expect from Sam? She's been too drunk for too long to have been any real mother yet. She's new to all this. She's making mistakes. You can really feel the desperation and understand why it makes things worse.
Revenge Is Sweet is a worthy second novel in the Sam Church series. The stakes are higher, the situation more dire, the action more engrossing. And one more thing I love, Ferrendelli isn't quite as brutal with her characters as a certain Mr. Martin, (let's face it, if this was a Game of Thrones novel, Sam would have died in the first book, and the rest of her family would be dead halfway into the second) but she's not afraid to make her characters, even those you love, suffer permanent consequences. I find novels so disingenuous where everyone lives happily ever after as if nothing ever happened. Ferrendelli (minor spoiler) does like to end on a hopeful note, but there's no question her characters are forever changed for the experience.
But possibly the best part of the novel, at least in the e-book format, is the sample chapter of book three in the series. It gave me chills. Yes, keep reading after the credits, or you'll miss out. I just finished reading this novel, and I'm already jumpy for the next.
I would like to thank the author and publisher for this book that I won in the Goodreads First Reads Contest. It was a wonderful read. The authors prose was easy and comprehensive. It became a real page turner in the end. I did not read the first book in the Samantha Church series, but I definitely will do that. I enjoyed all the characters, especially Howard. The characters struggled with realities of their lives and were the better for it, not that it was easy nor did they not have to fight against their demons each and every day. They were everyday kind of people that given the chance to meet them, you would become friends. This book would be a wonderful beach read, but get all the books because you will want to know about these characters and what happens to them. This was a 4.5 star book for me. I highly recommend this book and the series. This is definitely a good read.
I was a First Read Winner of this book, and I really wanted to like it more than I did. The premise of the book sounded very interesting and I couldn't wait to get started, but I found the book to drag a little bit. It had plenty of action but in between those were long periods where the main character was feeling sorry for herself, remembering past incidents or writing a letter to her daughter, and it took on a very depressing tone for me. I am not sure if I would have liked the book any better if I had read the first book in the series first, Revenge is Sweet, can stand on its own, and I caught on to what happened in the previous book pretty much. It is a well written book, but reading it felt more like a chore to me and that is never a good sign.
Book One had you finding out the good guys were all bad guys. The good girls were trying to catch the bad bad guys. And the drug lords were trying to kill everyone to messed with them. Book two the bad guys have killed every one but the ones who got them in the most trouble. Samantha and Wilson are kidnapped and taught a lesson. Only when the drug ring kidnaps Sams daughter and her family gets involved does the game start to warm up. It will keep you on you toes with anticipation. We are still left wondering if Sam will ever sober up enough to get custody of April, or if she has to live with the evil grandmother in Seattle. Ready for the next book....
A recovering alcoholic is kidnapped, then released by a drug dealer, who keeps her boss and later kidnaps her daughter. She's got to find the kidnappers before it's too late.
The motives of the drug dealer didn't really make sense, to me, nor did the action of the heroine. She spent the whole book not wanting to call the police, but really, shouldn't a former high echelon reporter know that the FBI is in charge of abductions?
On the whole, there were some good sequences, but the book didn't really quite come together.