Review: The Maidens

Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★½

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Celadon Books) in exchange for an honest review. 

First off, I just want to preface by saying that I have not read the author’s other book, The Silent Patient. I cannot speak as to how this book compares nor did I have any expectations going in. I have heard from other reviewers that this book is set in the same universe as The Silent Patient, so if you’ve read that there are probably some references to it in this book. 

There were some things that I really liked about this book, and some things I did not like.

I really liked the dark academia setting and aesthetic. I thought it was very well done and had the perfect tone to create the dark academia atmosphere. 

The incorporation of greek tragedy and mythology was also well done. 

I also liked the short chapters. It helped the book flow so nicely and made reading the book a breeze. 

Now onto what I didn’t like. 

For a book called The Maidens, there was little time actually spent on the Maidens. We never really got to see what they did in their secret society, nor were the girls themselves explored that deeply. I felt like this was a missed opportunity and could have added to the mystery. 

When it comes to thrillers, the endings are often a hit or a miss. The ending of this one was a miss for me. The ending seemed a little out of left field and also felt rushed.

Overall, this book had a lot of potential but it fell a little flat for me. 


Connect with me!

Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Review: The Shadows

Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

I received an ARC of this book for free from the publisher (Celadon Books) in exchange for an honest review.

I just want to start off by saying that I haven’t read The Whisper Man so I cannot say how this book compares to that one. Because of that, I didn’t have any expectations going into the book. I ended up really enjoying it.

At first, I was a little hesitant to read this because I didn’t know how scary it was going to be. It ended up only being a little scary (at least to me). So if you’re a little bit of a scaredy cat like me, you should be able to handle this book.

The strongest part of this book was definitely the writing style. It was so effortless but still managed to create a creepy vibe. I liked the use of short chapters since it made the book easy to digest. There is some back and forth between past and present which was done really well. It wasn’t confusing at all since it was done in short spurts. I never felt like there was a huge information dump which can happen with dual timelines. 

My only critique of this book was the ending. I wasn’t wowed by it. I thought the reveal was going to be mind-blowing but it wasn’t. Don’t get me wrong, it wasn’t a bad ending. It just didn’t have the impact I was expecting. 

Overall, despite the ending, this was still a solid thriller. I would definitely recommend it. 


Connect with me!

Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Review: The Hunting Party

Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★

I received this book for free free as part of an Instagram tour (TLC Book Tours specifically) I did to promote the book.

As a whole, this was an okay thriller. There were some things I liked and some things I didn’t.

My main issue was that the story was a little slow. It takes a while for the storyline to pick up. Usually with thrillers, I’ll be turning the pages like crazy trying to find out what happens next. But that didn’t happen with this book until the last 100 pages. 

There were also a lot of characters and it was hard at first to differentiate them all, especially with the point of view shifts. Speaking of points of view, there was a tad bit too much of inner dialogue whenever there was a switch. It sometimes felt a little unnecessary. 

As for what I liked, I found that the mood and tone were very effective. It really helped set the scene. The book was very atmospheric and really captured the eerie vibe of the Scottish woods. 

The reveal at the end was a little underwhelming but in a way I liked that simplicity. Sometimes thrillers go way out there, so it was nice to see one that didn’t. 

Overall, this wasn’t a mind blowing thriller in any way but I still found it entertaining. 


Connect with me!

Goodreads | Instagram | Twitter | Facebook

Review: The Birthday Girl

Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★½

I received this book for free as part of an Instagram tour (Storygram Tours specifically) I did to promote the book.

I was really looking forward to reading this book because I love Melissa de la Cruz’s books. However, this book wasn’t as good as I expected it to be. 

As a thriller/mystery, the book falls kind of flat. There wasn’t much suspense. For a lot of the book I was waiting around for something big to happen. Nothing super thrilling happened until the very end. I was also expecting something to happen at her party but nothing really did. The big surprise happened in her past (the book is told in alternating timelines). 

One thing I did like were the descriptions. Melissa de la Cruz knows how to write about rich people and their lifestyle. I’ve read many of her books and that is a constant throughout a lot of them. I loved reading the descriptions of all the rich people at Ellie’s birthday party. They were hilarious; it was like watching a reality tv show. 

Overall, this book isn’t that surprising or thrilling but still has entertainment value. It’s a quick read, so if you want something short and entertaining to read, then go for it! 

Review: A Dangerous Duet

Click the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free free as part of an Instagram tour (TLC Book Tours specifically) I did to promote the book.

This was a very intriguing historical fiction mystery.

The book’s strongest point was that it was very atmospheric. It nailed that grimy Victorian England vibe perfectly. The author did a tremendous job bringing that world to life and evoking an air of mystery. 

I liked how the book focused on the unsavory parts of Victorian England. From the life of orphans to brothels, this book showcased it all. It was really interesting to see that mixed in with the musical element. It all worked really well together.

As for the mystery, I thought it was good up until the end. It was a fairly straight forward mystery so I wasn’t necessarily wowed by it. It was pretty much solved about 75% of the way through. The rest of the book was just the resolution and aftermath of it all. That being said, it was a very action packed last quarter. 

There was a little bit of romance in this as well, but I could have done without it. It felt a little forced. The book would have been just as strong had it not been there. 

Overall, this was a compelling historical mystery that will make you feel like you are actually in Victorian England. 

Review: Jinxed

37593070

Click on the picture to purchase the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free as part of an Instagram tour (TLC Book Tours specifically) I did to promote the book. 

This book was a lot of fun.

It reminded me a lot of Scream (one of my favorite horror films) so of course I loved this book.

I loved the performing arts theme and how it was woven throughout the novel.

The storyline was slightly predictable, but that’s just because it’s a slasher, and they tend to follow the same basic pattern (there’s a killer, people die in gruesome ways, there’s the big reveal at the end, etc.). Also, the characters weren’t all that interesting, but once again that is typical of a slasher. 

IMG_0615

That being said, the endings of horror books tend to make or break them, and I was not disappointed by the ending of this book. The reveals at the end were good, but the epilogue really took it to the next level. The author ended the book perfectly. 

As for the scare factor, this book isn’t that scary (I’m actually a pretty big scaredy cat and had no trouble reading this at night). The only word of caution I have is that there is some gore and violence (hello, it’s a slasher).

Overall, this is a great book to read if you are looking to get into the Halloween spirit and want to read a fun slasher. 

Blog Tour: Busted guest post

Today I am partnering with Love Books Group for a guest post from author, Michele I. Khoury. In her post, she talks about the story behind one of her characters and the research she did to bring that character to life. Keep scrolling to read her post and to find more information about her book!


eCover

Click the picture to purchase the book

Guest post by the author

Busted: The Story Behind the Good Guy

While writing my debut novel, I did a ton of research, which also included interviewing people who had the same profession as the characters in Busted. The story is about three people who collide over cocaine and how their experiences intertwine.

One of the primary characters is a DEA Special Agent, named Bobby Garcia. While I created a storyline that included drugs and the drug world, I did what writers are not supposed to do: I wrote about topics that I did not know.

Through research and networking, I met a Lt. in Narcotics from the Anaheim Police Department (the same city where Disneyland is located.)

The lieutenant was wonderful. Not only did I interview him on numerous occasions, but I also emailed him at all hours the day and night, to which he responded quickly. He is an honorable individual; he is conscious and respectful of the law, and relentless in arresting drug dealers. Unlike another character in my novel, the lieutenant is committed to the war on drugs and believes that marijuana is a gateway drug.

Not having a legal background, I found myself fascinated by the intricacies of law enforcement. He educated me about the process of identifying suspects, tracking their behavior, finding proof, obtaining search warrants, and setting up stings. The dedication he exhibited became the basis for the DEA Special Agent in my story.

Bobby was a joy to create—a dedicated thirty-eight-year-old family man, who loves his job. His vulnerability comes from his daughter, a rebellious fourteen-year-old who accidentally OD’s on cocaine. Bobby didn’t need any more motivation to rid society of drugs, but when his daughter almost dies, he’s personally impacted and allows his emotions to cloud his judgment.

Dear Reader, What about you? Have you ever taken on a project where you had no clue as to what you were getting into? If so, what was it? What happened? How did you learn what you needed? Were you successful? Or not? What value did you gain?

Warmest Regards,

Michele I. Khoury

Please feel free to contact or follow me:

Mkhoury18@gmail.com

http://www.michelekhoury.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMicheleKhoury/

Twitter: Michele Khoury@MicheleIKhoury

Subscribe to my blogs: http://michelekhoury.com/blog/


Blurb 

Impacted by the recession, twenty-four-year-old artist Gina McKenna is down to her last few dollars and days away from living in her car when a successful businessman buys a painting and commissions another. As their relationship evolves, she’s seduced by his charm and mesmerized by his luxurious lifestyle until she discovers he’s a drug kingpin. As her world turns upside down, she struggles to survive vicious brutality. 

Miguel Lopez is a cocaine supplier with a weightlifter’s physique and ‘the rules do not apply to me’ attitude. Maniacal and ruthless, he has no qualms about killing anyone who interferes with his distribution network, including Gina. 

Dedicated to eradicating illegal drugs, DEA Special Agent Bobby Garcia spent months and hundreds of thousands of dollars working undercover to buy his way up a dealer chain to identify the moneyman. When his fourteen-year-old daughter overdoses on cocaine, he traces the blow to Lopez. As Bobby’s mission becomes personal, he makes emotional decisions, which negatively impact civilians and his job. Unable to let go, he risks his career to orchestrate the biggest drug sting in Southern California. What happens isn’t what he expected. 

When a deputy district attorney meets Gina at a party, he is smitten. As his attraction grows, so does Gina’s involvement with the DEA’s case, of which he is the designated prosecutor. Mindful of his professional ethics, he tries to stifle his feelings. 

Sex and violence permeate the twists and turns of this cautionary tale about choosing one’s friends well.


Khoury, Michele 04-16-4872_cover

About the Author

Writing is Michele I. Khoury’s third career. After graduating from the University of California at Riverside with a Masters degree in Economics, she worked at Xerox, where she set multiple sales records, and Apple Computer, where she received the Business Development Manager of the Year award. For twenty-one years, she was an international business consultant and taught technology companies around the world how to sell.

Her writing career began when she took the Beginning, Intermediate, and Advanced Novel Writing Classes offered through the University of California Irvine’s extension program. She was one of three out of the fourteen students her professor choose to mentor and attended weekly critique sessions for six years. BUSTED is her debut novel, and she is currently writing her second book, which is about domestic violence and abuse.

She lives in Orange County, California with her husband and rescued dogs, Bubbles and Thriller.

For more information, please visit http://www.michelekhoury.com.


Busted

 

Review: Dead Girl Running (Cape Charade #1)

35750274

Click the picture to buy the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★½

I received this book for free from the publisher (Harlequin) as part of their bookstagram publicity campaign.

I always have a hard time with rating thrillers. I’m pickier with them than with other genres, and I usually end up rating them somewhere in the middle which is exactly what happened with this book (hence my 3.5 stars).

IMG_0592

I loved how the book started off. The opening chapter was really good and helped set up the overall plot line well. 

The succeeding chapters, were a bit of an information dump. You get the main character’s backstory and get introduced to a ton of characters. I had a hard time keeping up with all the characters and who they were. 

The mystery was very interesting so I was eager to keep reading. I found that I really enjoyed the writing style. Christian Dodd is an excellent writer. I had just finished reading a not-that-great chick lit book before picking up this book, so the writing in this was a nice change.

The book kind of stalled a bit towards the middle, but picked up tremendously towards the end. There was a lot of action in the last 70 pages. However, there were some scenarios towards the end that didn’t feel very realistic so I didn’t love that. 

The book does end in a slight cliffhanger, so I am interested in reading the next book.

Overall, this was a well written thriller, but it did have its flaws. 

Review: Girls’ Night Out

37759098

Click the picture to buy the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★½

I received this book for free from the authors in exchange for an honest review. 

This book started off really strong. There was a lot of intrigue, which made this a complete page turner. I just couldn’t put it down! I needed to know what happened to Ashley. 

Then the ending came and I was a bit disappointed. It wasn’t as big of a reveal as I thought it was going to be. I was expecting a huge twist that usually comes with thrillers, but instead it was more subdued. That being said I still enjoyed the book overall. 

IMG_0430

I really liked how the authors combined chick lit elements with thriller/suspense elements. The book was a strong blend of the two genres. The setting really helped with that. Mexico was perfect for this story to take place in. 

As for the characters, I wasn’t a big fan of any of them. All three of the main characters annoyed me at some point. I just couldn’t get over some of their reasonings for the things they did and the attitudes they held. They were all a little too self absorbed and it was hard to feel any sympathy towards them. 

Overall, if you’re looking to unwind and want to read a fast paced and thrilling beach read for the summer, be sure to check out this book! 

SaveSave

Review: Exhibit Alexandra

9781524761073

Click the picture to buy the book on Amazon

Rating: ★★★★

I received this book for free from Blogging For Books in exchange for an honest review. 

Wow. This was a twisted story.

This is a hard book to review because I don’t want to spoil anything which is hard to do with a thriller, so if my review turns out a bit vague and abstract, that’s why. 

The book started off a bit slow but really picked up about halfway through. By the time I got near the end, I was hooked. 

IMG_0234

Like the cover of the book suggests, you don’t know what is real and what is an illusion or reflection. That is the brilliance of this psychological thriller. Even at the end when you discover the truth, you don’t even know the full truth. You’re left wondering what parts are real and what parts are performance. The truth and fiction are woven together to create a captivating story about identity. 

I really liked the ethical questions that this book brought up. I majored in philosophy in college and I always loved learning about ethics. This book definitely posed interesting ethical questions related to art throughout the novel. 

Overall, this is an enthralling psychological thriller that dives deep and offers a fascinating look into a woman’s quest for identity. 

SaveSave

SaveSaveSaveSave