September & October 2017 Reads

Well….. it’s obviously been awhile ūüė¶ September saw a HUGE reading slump…. I went from reading anywhere from 6-9 books to a whopping 3 in September…. October wasn’t that much better….. Here’s to hoping November is better ūüôā

So I’ll do a quick mini-review round up of my September and October reads. It’s so impressive, I tell ya …. ::eyeroll::

Sate of the Onion
Title: State of the Onion
Author: Julie Hyzy
Read: Sept. 3-6, 2017
Pages: 325
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the first in the White House Chef Mystery series …. it was a fun read that I enjoyed! It was cute, but not cutesie …. if that makes sense? I definitely am looking forward to reading the next book in the series!

Where They Found Her
Title: Where They Found Her
Author: Kimberly McCreight
Read: Sept. 10-19, 2017
Pages: 326
Source: Purchased New
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: So this one I found in the bargain bin at Barnes & Noble. I had my eye on it when it first came out because I had read and LOVED her previous book,¬†Reconstructing Amelia, so I think I had high hopes for this one. I enjoyed it, but it didn’t grab me right off the bat and I struggled to really get into it. And when it was all revealed in the end, it wasn’t as surprising as I had hoped for. So good, but not great.
Obstruction of Justice
Title: Obstruction of Justice
Author: Perri O’Shaughnessy
Read: Sept. 20-29, 2017
Pages: 512
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the 3rd book in the Nina Reilly series. I have read and enjoyed the previous two so I was looking forward to this one! I enjoyed it and it definitely left me wanting to read the fourth book … if only they weren’t so long, I often find myself too intimidated by longer books these days….
Her Last Breath
Title: Her Last Breath
Author: Linda Castillo
Read: Oct. 2-5, 2017
Pages: 320
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: This is the 5th book in the Kate Burkholder series. I read and LOVED the first 4 in 2016 and had tried to pick this one up shortly after I read the 5th, but realized that I was a little burned out on the series. In fact, I can recall feeling like the books were all too similar to each other. So I set it aside and decided I’d come back to it later. Apparently a year later I decided it was time …. I’m glad I waited because I thoroughly enjoyed it! I had no trouble jumping right back into Kate’s life and I can’t wait to see where her and Tomasetti go in the future. I definitely recommend this series!
Pop Goes the Weasel
Title: Pop Goes the Weasel 
Author: M.J. Arlidge
Read: Oct. 8-13, 2017
Pages: 390
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: I read the first book in this series, Eeny Meeny,¬†¬†back in January of this year and I absolutely adored it! So I had high hopes for this one, but I wanted to let it sit for awhile (series burnout is real!) … and while I did enjoy this one, it definitely didn’t grab me as fast as the first book did. It was gruesome and a roller coaster ride, but I felt like it was a letdown from the first book. Yet I still want to continue on with this series, so it wasn’t terrible either. A solid thriller.
Beautiful Storm
Title: Beautiful Storm 
Author: Barbara Freethy
Read: Oct. 6-25, 2017
Pages: 321
Source: B&N Serial Reads
Rating: 3/5

Thoughts: This book was October’s selection for Barnes & Noble’s Serial Reads…. I don’t read a lot of romantic suspense, mainly because I don’t read a lot of romance. So I was a little unsure going into this one, but I was immediately intrigued by the storyline – the missing person’s case. If only it had been a little more on the intrigue and less on the romance (which really, wasn’t overbearing honestly…) it would have been a lot more interesting to me. So not something I would ever pick up on my own, but definitely a decent freebie read.
Winter Prey
Title: Winter Prey
Author: John Sandford
Read: Oct. 21-27, 2017
Pages: 400
Source: Paperbackswap
Rating: 4/5

Thoughts: I remember very clearly thoroughly loving the previous book in this series, Silent Prey, so I was looking forward to getting to this 5th book in the Lucas Davenport series. Why did I wait so long between books?!? I really enjoyed this book. It was so creepy and suspenseful. I know I’m only on the 5th book in the series, but other than #2 they’ve all been home runs for me! Definitely makes me look forward to continuing on sooner rather than later!

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Review: Knoll by Stephen Hillard

Knoll
by Stephen Hillard

Knoll

Copyright: 2017

Pages: 274

Read: May 22-29, 2017

Rating: 3/5

Source: Publicist for review

 

 

Blurb: Bus McIntyre, small-town lawyer and Sixties survivor, is presented with evidence from the cold-case murder of his father Dean, a hard-drinking cop, four decades ago. It reveals Dean’s ties to a dead Mafia kingpin – and the assassination of JFK. Meanwhile, Banner McCoy, a young NSA data analyst assigned to a project code-named KNOLL, goes into hiding when she learns its objective: eliminate anyone with information on what really happened in Dallas on November 22, 1963. When Bus falls into the agency’s sights, all paths lead to a small Louisiana town full of secrets, where the late don’s aged but indefatigable hit man awaits, determined to tie up all loose ends.¬†


Review: If you have followed my blog for any time, you know by now that I am a sucker for anything JFK related. It’s a strange obsession I have. I gobble everything up about him, his life, his family, his presidency, his assassination, etc. So it was no surprise that when I was pitched this book I immediately jumped on the opportunity.

I will say that this book started out really slow for me. I had a hard time getting into the flow of the writing. It was a little bit of a strange start, really. But once I finally got into the book, I found it to be quite enjoyable.

I think my main complaint (if you can even call it that…) is that this book could have been a lot longer. I felt like there were a lot of things that could have been expanded upon. First of all¬†there could have been a lot more to Banner’s story. This book kind of opens up and you’re just thrown into everything. I think that’s what had me so confused in the beginning. I felt like there could have been a lot more meat to the story than there actually was. A lot more background would have been nice as well. It’s¬†a fine line sometimes, though. I know I have complained numerous times that a book could have been 100 pages shorter … this one I just feel could have been 100 pages longer!

Even so, without that “meat” I would have preferred a little more of, I still enjoyed this book. It was an interesting spin on the JFK assassination. I would definitely recommend this book to JFK junkies like myself as well as mystery fans.

I received a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own.

2015.32 REVIEW – The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins

The Girl on the Train
by Paula Hawkins

Copyright: 2015
Pages: 316
Rating: 5/5
Read: Sept. 13-20, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 32
Format: Print
Source: Cruise Ship Library
Series: N/A

The Girl on the Train Blurb: Rachel catches the same commuter train every morning. She knows it will wait at the same signal each time, overlooking a row of back gardens.

She’s even started to feel like she knows the people who live in one of the houses, “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life – as she sees it – is perfect. If only Rachel could be that happy.

And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough.

Now everything’s changed. Now Rachel has a chance to become a part of the lives she’s only watched from afar.

Now they’ll see: she’s much more than just the girl on the train…


 

Review: When this one first came out it had so much buzz surrounding it. But I was intrigued. I wanted to read it so badly. But¬†I usually end up hating buzz books. So I chose to hold off and let the buzz die off a little bit. When I went on my cruise recently, I finished the only two books I took with me. On the last night of the cruise, I decided I’d pop into the cruise ship’s library and see what they had. And I saw this book. I got so excited I nearly knocked my husband down to get to it. So I made a little trade¬†with one of the books I had finished for this one.

I started reading this one on my plane ride home. I read 100 pages. Actually, I should say I flew through 100 pages, because that’s more accurate. What I really found about this book was that it was an addictive read.

Another thing that I found was that the characters are horrible. Actually, they’re probably a bit beyond horrible, they’re¬†that bad.

I wanted to slap Rachel upside her head on more than one occasion. I could hardly tolerate her near the end – either make the change in life you need to or stop whining about it and deal with what you’ve gotten yourself into. I had very little sympathy for her. Anna irritated me to no end. She was too proud of herself for breaking up a marriage – not something that’s really brag-worthy in my opinion. Then you had Megan, Scott and Tom. They were all screwed up too. Every single person in this book was screwed¬†up to the max, to be completely honest. It was just a little over the top in places, and I hated every single one of them. But yet, I kept reading. I had to know what really happened. It really was an addictive read.

I don’t know why I loved this one so much. It was irritating to me in so many places. I hated the characters. Yet I loved it. It’s such a strange thing to try to describe. But definitely a book I’d recommend.

2015.19 REVIEW – The Silent Wife by A.S.A. Harrison

The Silent Wife
by A.S.A. Harrison

Copyright: 2013
Pages: 326
Rating: 3/5
Read: June 18 – June 27, 2015
Challenge: No Challenge
Yearly count: 19
Format: Print
Source: Purchased
Series: N/A

The Silent WifeBlurb:
¬†Jodi and Todd are at a bad place in their marriage. Much is at stake, including the affluent life they lead in their beautiful waterfront condo in Chicago, as she, the killer, and he, the victim, rush haplessly toward the main event. He is a committed cheater. She lives and breathes denial. He exists in dual worlds. She likes to settle scores. He decides to play for keeps. She has nothing left to lose. Told in alternating voices,¬†The Silent Wife is about a marriage in the throes of dissolution, a couple headed for catastrophe, concessions that can’t be made, and promises that won’t be kept.


Review: I purchased this book new in 2014. And then I proceeded to do as I always do … I let it linger on my shelf. I have no idea what made me pick this one up, but it caught my eye when I went searching for my next read after finishing up¬†Misery.

So what did I think ….hmm. This is a tough one. What do you get when you absolutely hate both main characters? Because one is so stupid and the other is in such denial you want to slap her upside the head? Yeah. That’s where I’m at on this book. Todd is a class-A jerk wad. A cheater. Jodi needs to get her head out of the sand. Even after Todd leaves her for Natasha she’s in such denial that I wanted to strangle her.

But for some reason I kept reading this book. I was sucked in for whatever reason. I couldn’t tear myself away from the book (when I got the chance to pick it up … reading with 2 little ones is a whole different ball game). I had to know what happened. Little by little the book unfolds and I was left holding my breath until the very end. This is not necessarily a fast-paced thriller. It’s more slow-paced, but every bit as intriguing.

Bottom line … I enjoyed this one, but ultimately it was my distaste for Todd and Jodi that is keeping my opinion of this one more on the “okay” side than the “awesome” side.

2015.8 REVIEW – Dead as a Doornail by Charlaine Harris

Dead as a Doornail
by Charlaine Harris

Copyright:2005
Pages: 295
Rating: 4/5
Read: Feb. 20 – Feb. 25, 2015
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 8
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #5

Dead as a DoornailBlurb:¬†Small-town cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse has had more than her share of experience with the supernatural – but now it’s really hitting close to home. When Sookie sees her brother Jason’s eyes start to change, she knows he’s about to turn into a were panther for the first time – a transformation he embraces more readily than most shape-shifters she knows. But her concern becomes cold fear when a sniper sets his deadly sights on the local changeling population, and Jason’s new panther brethren suspect he may be the shooter. Now Sookie has until the next full moon to find out who’s behind the attacks – unless the killer decides to find her first…


Review: This is the 5th book in the Sookie series and I’m kicking myself for waiting so long before starting this series.

I find these books to be fun escapes. There’s not much thinking involved in them and sometimes that’s exactly what I need. Even though paranormal will never be my favorite genre, these books really appeal to me.

I found this book to be interesting. Sookie is always finding herself in trouble. And this installment is no exception. I’m so intrigued by the world Ms. Harris has created in this series. There’s so much pomp and circumstance regarding the vamps and weres and shifters. It’s just so interesting.

Overall, I liked this book and I enjoy this series. Definitely recommended.

2014.46 REVIEW – Dead to the World by Charlaine Harris

Dead to the World
by Charlaine Harris

Copyright: 2004
Pages: 291
Rating: 4/5
Read: Oct. 25 – Nov. 1, 2014
Challenge: RIP IX
Yearly count: 46
Format: Print
Source: Personal Copy
Series: Sookie Stackhouse #4

Dead to the WorldBlurb:¬†It’s not every day that you come across a naked man on the side of the road. That’s why cocktail waitress Sookie Stackhouse doesn’t just drive on by. Turns out the poor thing hasn’t a clue who he is, but Sookie does. It’s Eric the vampire – but now he’s a kinder, gentler Eric. And a scared Eric, because whoever took his memory now wants his life. Sookie’s investigation into who and why leads straight into a dangerous battle among witches, vampires, and werewolves. But a greater danger could be to Sookie’s heart – because this version of Eric is very difficult to resist…


Review: Paranormal is not normally my cup of tea, but for some reason I really enjoy the Sookie Stackhouse series. This book is another good installment, in my opinion.

What gets me every single time is just how much trouble Sookie manages to find herself in. And how she gets out of it is even more remarkable!

There’s not much that I could possibly say about this book that hasn’t been mentioned a gazillion times before.

I enjoyed it. And I would recommend this series to just about anyone.

2014.34 REVIEW – The Butcher by Jennifer Hillier

The Butcher
by Jennifer Hillier

Copyright: 2014
Pages: 354
Rating: 3/5
Read: July 20-July 23, 2014
Challenge: No challenge
Yearly count: 34
Format:  E-Book
Source: NetGalley
Series: N/A

The ButcherBlurb:¬†From the author of the acclaimed suspense novels¬†Creep¬†and¬†Freak¬†and whom Jeffery Deaver has praised as a ‚Äútop of the line thriller writer,‚Ä̬†The¬†Butcher¬†is a high-octane novel about lethal secrets that refuse to die‚ÄĒuntil they kill again.

A rash of grisly serial murders plagued Seattle until the infamous ‚ÄúBeacon Hill Butcher‚ÄĚ was finally hunted down and killed by police chief Edward Shank in 1985. Now, some thirty years later, Shank, retired and widowed, is giving up his large rambling Victorian house to his grandson Matt, whom he helped raise.

Settling back into his childhood home and doing some renovations in the backyard to make the house feel like his own, Matt, a young up-and-coming chef and restaurateur, stumbles upon a locked crate he’s never seen before. Curious, he picks the padlock and makes a discovery so gruesome it will forever haunt him… Faced with this deep dark family secret, Matt must decide whether to keep what he knows buried in the past, go to the police, or take matters into his own hands.

Meanwhile Matt‚Äôs girlfriend, Sam, has always suspected that her mother was murdered by the Beacon Hill Butcher‚ÄĒtwo years¬†after¬†the supposed Butcher was gunned down. As she pursues leads that will prove her right, Sam heads right into the path of Matt‚Äôs terrible secret.

A thriller with taut, fast-paced suspense, and twists around every corner, The Butcher will keep you guessing until the bitter, bloody end.


Review: I received a copy of this book for free via NetGalley, all opinions expressed below are my own.

I first saw this book mentioned in a NetGalley email and was immediately intrigued. So I requested access and was glad to snag an e-galley.

This one is a tough one to¬†describe. Here’s the deal: you know¬†exactly who the Butcher is within the first chapter. I’m not entirely sure I liked that strategy. Nothing … and I mean¬†nothing was a surprise in this book. I hate to use this word, but it was so predictable. That’s why I can’t rate it higher than a 3.

Overall it was a good book in general. I would recommend it, but if you like a lot of twists and turns, this one might not be for you. But it does read quickly and easily and kept me quite entertained.