Sunday, December 31, 2017

Paint It All Red

Book: Paint It All Red
Series: Mindf*ck #5
Author: TS Abby

Hush, little baby, don't say a word...

Will Logan choose them? Or will we watch them burn together?

It's time to fuck with their minds.
It's time to finish it all.
It's time to paint it all red...

Monsters don't usually wish for happily-ever-afters.-Goodreads

Review: Okay readers, Logan knows who Lana is now, how will it all turn out?!  Will he turn her in? Will she have time to exact her revenge? 

While I enjoyed this , I felt this was the weakest of the series. It really jumped the shark in terms of being believable on any level. The sheriff has a lot of control over the town, which makes sense as to the townsfolk behavior but hello, this is set in present time. People leave for college, hard to believe no one would talk about what went on there. And everything going on in the town...there is internet and people have cell phones. Lana and her friend running around town painting buildings. The crazy epilogue? Totally ridiculous on every level but I still really enjoyed this series! 

Grade: 3/5

All the Lies

Book: All the Lies
Series: Mindf*ck #4
Author: TS Abby

To understand the monsters in the world, you have to get inside their heads. It's a dangerous place to be, especially when you start to empathize and lose your own sense of morality.

But that's never happened to me...

I've never felt conflicted on any case. Right is right and wrong is wrong. It's simple. Black and white. There's no such thing as a gray area.

But fuck this case. I don't even know what side I'm on anymore. I don't understand how this town can continue to function without breaking under the weight of all the lies they've spun and lived.

Every time I find a shard of truth, my gut twists, my heart beats faster, and I hate this place a little more. Every time I think I've heard the worst, another truth is dug up from the ashes of more burning lies.

Worst of all, I don't even know who to trust anymore. My head is all messed up.

I pride myself on being impossible to fool.
I'm an expert at knowing when someone is lying to me.
I never believed in being blinded by love...until Lana.-Goodreads

Review: Lana is working through her kill list and Logan is getting closer. He's in her hometown now and knows something isn't right there. I feel like he came across pretty dense in this installment but it will still tons of fun and I couldn't stop reading. 

Grade: 4/5

Scarlet Angel

Book: Scarlet Angel
Series: Mindf*ck #3
Author: TS Abby

To kill a monster, you have to be twice as monstrous. To love a monster, you have to share your soul...

Logan Bennett makes me want to have a future not tainted by the constant hunger for revenge. Doesn't mean I can stop. Doesn't mean I want to stop. It just means I want more... one day.

But how do you make a good man love the monster inside you without stripping his soul away as well? He is all the best parts of me right now, resurrecting bits of my heart I forgot could even exist.

He makes me feel something other than cold.

He also thinks I'm weak and fragile. Something I laugh about to myself, while secretly soaking in all his protectiveness and concern.

If anyone touches him, harms him, or even threatens him, then they should probably run. Because his girlfriend is a little bit crazy. They just don't know it yet.-Goodreads

Review: Boogeyman, the killer Logan has been hunting, goes after Lana and she's ready for him. Unbeknownst to her, Hadley witnesses the entire fight and knows there is way more to Lana than meets the eye. What will happen next?

Another fun, fast-paced book in this series. Once again, I'd like to reiterate that the sexy covers are extremely misleading-this is a thriller series, more attune to the show Criminal Minds. 

Grade: 4/5


Book: Sidetracked
Series: Mindf*ck #2
Author: S.T. Abby

They always want to break me, but I'm too strong now. Untouchable.
Or at least I was...until her.


I've had tunnel vision for one main goal for so long, that I forgot there was a whole other world just outside. Until Lana.

She's everything I never expected, and I love the fact I can never guess her every move or reaction. It's part of the reason I keep falling. But I also know she shuts me out, hides things from me she feels she can't share.

One day, I hope she trusts me enough to share.

It isn't until my job puts her at risk that I realize just how fierce she is, but it doesn't stop me from doing all I can to protect her. I should walk away to protect her better, but I can't. Instead, I'm forced to find other ways to keep her safe.

I just hope it's enough.

Though she is fierce, she's still fragile...


Review: Another page turner! I couldn't put this down. We learn more about what is driving Lana as her relationship continues with Logan. So fun!

Grade: 4/5

The Risk

Book: The Risk
Series: Mindf*ck #1-#5
Author: S.T. Abbey

They took too much.
Left too little.
I had nothing to lose...until him.
I didn't expect him.
I didn't want to fall in love.
But I can't let him go.
Logan Bennett makes the world a safer place.
He's brilliant.
He's a hero.
He locks away the sick and depraved.
But while he's saving lives, I'm taking them. Collecting the debts that are owed to me.
Ten years ago, they took from me. They left me for dead.
They should have made sure I stayed dead.
Now I'm taking from them.
One name at a time.
I've trained for too long.
I've been patient.
I can't stop now.
Revenge is best served cold...
They never see me coming, until I paint their walls red.
Logan doesn't know how they hurt me. He doesn't know about the screams they ignored. He doesn't know how twisted that town really is.
He just knows people are dying.
He doesn't know he's in love with their killer.
No one suspects a dead girl.
And Logan doesn't suspect the girl in his bed.
They're looking for a monster.
Not a girl who loves red.
Not a girl in love.
I'm a faceless nightmare.
At least until I tell them the story they've pretended never happened.
But in the end, will Logan choose them? Or will we watch them burn together? -Goodreads

Review: Lana is serial killer working through a kill list. She was traumatized as a teenager and is out for revenge. Logan is a profiler for the FBI. They meet at a coffee shop and have a connection. Little does he know that the killer he's looking for is right in front of him.

Don't let the sexy cover or the provocative series name fool you. Reading this was like watching a season of Criminal Minds and each book was an episode. There was an over-arcing storyline (Lana's revenge killings and Logan getting closer to her) while each book also had it's own plot. We know Lana is out for revenge but her reasons aren't fully fleshed out until the last book in the series. Logan is an all-around nice guy who falls in love with a killer. The question is, when he discovers who Lana really is, will their relationship survive?

This book started a little slow but I overall really enjoyed it. Lana has a kill list but we don't know her exact motivations. She has a connect with Logan, where will it go? 

Grade: 4/5

The Fall of Lord Drayson

Book: The Fall of Lord Drayson
Series: Tanglewood #1
Author: Rachael Anderson

When Colin Cavendish, the new earl of Drayson, informs Lucy Beresford that she and her mother need to vacate the house they've called home for the past two years, Lucy is fit to be tied. They have no money, no relations they can turn to for help, and nowhere to go. How dare the earl break the promise his father had made to the Beresfords without so much as a twinge of conscience?

Fate plays her hand when Lucy discovers the earl unconscious and injured in the middle of the road. When he awakens with no recollection of who he is, Lucy seizes the opportunity to teach the earl a much-needed lesson in humility and tells him that he is nothing more than a mere servant. Her servant, in fact.

And thus begins the charming tale of a pompous lord and an impetuous young woman, caught together in a web so tangled that it begs the question: Will they ever get out? -Goodreads

Review: Colin Cavendish, the new earl of Drayson, decides to sell one of his families homes in Tanglewood that is not used and financially draining. When he discovers his father was allowing a widower and her daughter to live on property, he travels there to tell them they have a few months to find new accommodations. Lucy's mother is out of town and she receives the message. As the earl is leaving the house, he has an accident and loses his memory. Lucy, still furious about his desire to sell the property, tells him he is her servant. 

This was a very cute romance. The beginning chapters featured sections written from both Lucy and Colin. Oddly, the story shifted completely to Lucy's perspective for the remainder of the book. I would have loved to have both. 

Grade: 3/5

All the Little Children

Book: All the Little Children
Author: Jo Furniss

Struggling with working-mother guilt, Marlene Greene hopes a camping trip in the forest will provide quality time with her three young children—until they see fires in the distance, columns of smoke distorting the sweeping view. Overnight, all communication with the outside world is lost.

Knowing something terrible has happened, Marlene suspects that the isolation of the remote campsite is all that’s protecting her family. But the arrival of a lost boy reveals they are not alone in the woods, and as the unfolding disaster ravages the land, more youngsters seek refuge under her wing. The lives of her own children aren’t the only ones at stake.

When their sanctuary is threatened, Marlene faces the mother of all dilemmas: Should she save her own kids or try to save them all?-Goodreads

Review: Marlene and her sister-in-law Joni take their children camping for the weekend (ages 3 through 15, plus a friend of her son). One of the boys climbs a tree and reports fires all over. Then, their cell phones aren't working. A trip home confirms Marlene's fears that something is wrong when she finds dead bodies everywhere covered in flies. She eventually learns a domestic terrorist unleashed a biological weapon resulting in the English plague. The island has been quarantined and no one appears to be coming for help. Marlene and Joni work together to keep everyone alive.

It's been awhile since I read a post-apocalyptic book and I really enjoyed the one. As a working mom, I could relate to Marlene's guilt about her career and how she disconnects when she travels. While I didn't agree with every decision she made, I thought she was a strong character who was doing her best in a bad situation. I also appreciated that she was a regular person, not someone who knew extreme survival skills. One thing that was kind of odd was that other than Marlene, Joni and Marlene's 3 year old Billy, I'm hard pressed to remember any other characters. Marlene had 3 children total, Joni 1 and they acquired several others on the way. Other than Billy, none of them made an impression. 

Grade: 3.5/5

Saturday, December 16, 2017

Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls

Book: Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls
Author: Lynn Weingarten

They say Delia burned herself to death in her stepfather’s shed. They say it was suicide.

But June doesn’t believe it.

June and Delia used to be closer than anything. Best friends in that way that comes before everyone else—before guys, before family. It was like being in love, but more. They had a billion secrets, binding them together like thin silk cords.

But one night a year ago, everything changed. June, Delia, and June’s boyfriend Ryan were just having a little fun. Their good time got out of hand. And in the cold blue light of morning, June knew only this—things would never be the same again.

And now, a year later, Delia is dead. June is certain she was murdered. And she owes it to her to find out the truth…which is far more complicated than she ever could have imagined.

Sexy, dark, and atmospheric, Suicide Notes from Beautiful Girls will keep you guessing until the very last page.-Goodreads

Review: This book is being marketed as Gone Girl meets 13 Reasons Why. Who is writing these blurbs? They are ruining the 'twists' in the book before anyone has read the first chapter. This book is also described as 'sexy.' Um, no. I'm not sure in what universe anyone would call this book sexy. This is a story about a toxic friendship between Delia and June. Delia is manipulative and possibly a psychopath. June has no apparent personality for the entire book. I don't buy for a minute these two were friends, even toxic ones. I think the 'twist' mid-way through could have been good but as mentioned earlier, the marketing ruined it. And don't even get me started on the end-I have no idea what even happened there.

Grade: 1/5

The Marriage Lie

Book: The Marriage Lie
Author: Kimberly Belle

Iris and Will's marriage is as close to perfect as it can be: a large house in a nice Atlanta neighborhood, rewarding careers and the excitement of trying for their first baby. But on the morning Will leaves for a business trip to Orlando, Iris's happy world comes to an abrupt halt. Another plane headed for Seattle has crashed into a field, killing everyone on board, and according to the airline, Will was one of the passengers on this plane.

Grief-stricken and confused, Iris is convinced it all must be a huge misunderstanding. But as time passes and there is still no sign of Will, she reluctantly accepts that he is gone. Still, Iris needs answers. Why did Will lie about where he was going? What is in Seattle? And what else has he lied about? As Iris sets off on a desperate quest to find out what her husband was keeping from her, the answers she receives will shock her to her very core.-Goodreads

Review: Will and Iris are a happily married couple living in Atlanta trying to start a family. He's an IT professional and she's a counselor at a private high school. Will is flying to Orando on business when a plane heading to Seattle crashes, killing everyone on board.  Iris is shocked when she is told her husband was a passenger on the fight. Was he leading a double life? Cheating her on? Iris is determined to figure it out.

I read The Pilots Wife years ago and thought this would be similar. I was completely wrong. While both deal with spouses harboring secrets, this is definitely a thriller. Iris was annoying and naive but this was fast paced and I couldn't put it down (wanting to forgo sleep is my definition of a good book). The end also surprised me.

Overall, loved it!

Grade: 4.5/5

The Breakdown

Book: The Breakdown
Author: BA Paris

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside—the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…-Goodreads

ReviewCass is driving home in a bad rain storm and promises her husband she won't take the shortcut through the woods. She takes the shortcut anyway and sees a woman in a car on the side of the road. She stops and waits but the woman doesn't wave her over or seem distressed, so Cass leaves. When the woman is found murdered the next day, Cass feels extremely guilty, but not guilty enough to tell anyone that she saw her alive. Then Cass, who has a family history of dementia, starts forgetting things. What is going on? 

I really enjoyed BA Paris' Behind Closed Doors but this book was a huge disappointment. I'm not a detective but I was able to figure out almost everything in the first chapter. And how she figures almost everything out in the end, with the phone and exchange students, is so far fetched..I mean, come on. I was surprised by the murderer, I will refrain from spoilers but I definitely thought more than one person was 'in on it.' 

Overall, I didn't like this one. 

Grade: 1/5

The Marriage Pact

Book: The Marriage Pact
Author: Michelle Richmond

Newlyweds Alice and Jake are a picture-perfect couple. Alice, once a singer in a well-known rock band, is now a successful lawyer. Jake is a partner in an up-and-coming psychology practice. Their life together holds endless possibilities. After receiving an enticing wedding gift from one of Alice’s prominent clients, they decide to join an exclusive and mysterious group known only as The Pact.

The goal of The Pact seems simple: to keep marriages happy and intact, and most of its rules make sense: Always answer the phone when your spouse calls. Exchange thoughtful gifts monthly. Plan a trip together once per quarter. . . .

Never mention The Pact to anyone.

Alice and Jake are initially seduced by the glamorous parties, the sense of community, their widening social circle of like-minded couples--and then one of them breaks the rules. The young lovers are about to discover that for adherents to The Pact, membership, like marriage, is for life, and The Pact will go to any lengths to enforce that rule. For Jake and Alice, the marriage of their dreams is about to become their worst nightmare.-Goodreads

Review: After winning a big case at her law firm, Alice (an attorney) invites her client, a famous musician, to her upcoming wedding to Jake (a psychologist). Her client gives them a unique gift-an invitation to join an exclusive club called The Pact. The Pacts purpose is to keep marriages happy and intact (no Pact member has ever been divorced). Alice and Jake sign their contract with the Pact without reading it carefully. There is a thick manual with rules to follow and references to consequences if the rules are broken, but how nefarious can a group be that is dedicated to the sanctity of marriage? At first Alice and Jake like the rules-mandatory gifts to each other every month and a minimum 72-h vacation every 3 months. But when Alice is 'reported' for lack of dedication to her marriage, Alice and Jake quickly realize The Pact isn't all it appears to be. 

As I was reading this I kept wondering if the author was reading Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief (by Lawrence Wright, an incredible book if you haven't read it) while she was watching Fight Club and going through a divorce. That is the only explanation I can come up with for a book about a successful, supposedly smart couple who end up in a cult. The idea of this book isn't bad and I understand suspending some level of disbelief but the reader is expected to suspect disbelief at almost every turn. Alice is a successful attorney (who specializes in intellectual property and contracts) and I don't buy that she would sign the contract without reading it. Of course, this has to happen to keep the book going. A different profession for her would have worked better. The Pact has clear rules on marriage including mandatory weigh-ins to make sure you aren't +/- 10% of your wedding date weight, you must always answer is your spouse calls. If you break the rules, you have to deal with their own legal system that involves prison, attorneys, judges, torture and interrogation. I just could not believe any of this would happen. The Pact is somehow able to spy on members, eavesdrop, even intercept 911 calls. I rolled my eyes at least 100x. I was hoping the end would be amazing but alas, no such luck. 

Grade: 1/5