3.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, MMD Book Club, RATING, Read in 2018

Review: The Bookshop on the Corner by Jenny Colgan

The Bookshop on the Corner
by Jenny Colgan

The Bookshop on the Corner

Copyright: 2016

Pages: 332

Read: Dec. 6 – 10, 2018

Rating: 3.5/5

Source: Library

 
Blurb: Nina Redmond is a literary matchmaker. Pairing a reader with that perfect book is her passion… and also her job. Or at least it was. Until yesterday, she was a librarian in the hectic city. But now the job she loved is no more.

Determined to make a new life for herself, Nina moves to a sleepy village many miles away. There she buys a van and transforms it into a bookmobile—a mobile bookshop that she drives from neighborhood to neighborhood, changing one life after another with the power of storytelling.

From helping her grumpy landlord deliver a lamb, to sharing picnics with a charming train conductor who serenades her with poetry, Nina discovers there’s plenty of adventure, magic, and soul in a place that’s beginning to feel like home… a place where she just might be able to write her own happy ending.


Review: This book was the December selection in the Modern Mrs. Darcy book club. I had honestly never even heard of this book before it was announced but it sounded like a cute read that I would enjoy even if it was a little bit out of my comfort zone. To be completely honest, after skipping the September book, DNF’ing the October book and skipping the November book, I was ecstatic for something that seemed like it might work for me again.

For the most part I did enjoy this book. However, it wasn’t perfect. The first 2/3 of the book was enjoyable and then the last 1/3 of the book there was another love interest thrown in there that felt forced and not vital to the overall storyline. It wasn’t even all that surprising, but it just didn’t work for me. Of course, romance and chick-lit novels are not my usual cup of tea, so that’s probably why I had an issue with it.

It definitely had a whimsical feel to it – how Nina just up and left everything she knew behind for an entirely different country. Not very practical, but it is fiction 🙂 I also had an issue with just how entirely wrapped up in books Nina was. I mean don’t get me wrong, I am a book lover – but I also have a life outside of books and it felt to me as if Nina lived only through her books … not entirely healthy, if you ask me.

I don’t know. It was a cute book and it read quickly and was enjoyable. It was also not something that I ever would have picked up on my own. And so while I can’t say that I absolutely loved it, I liked it well enough. Another win for Modern Mrs. Darcy for really helping me to explore outside of my comfort zone.

 

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3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Michael Bennett, Mini Review, P, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES

Mini Review: Bullseye by James Patterson

Bullseye
by James Patterson

Bullseye

Copyright: 2016

Pages: 327

Read: Dec. 2-5, 2018

Rating: 3/5

Source: Grandmother

 

Blurb: Caught in the crosshairs of a deadly standoff, Detective Michael Bennett must kill … or be killed. Tension between America and Russia is high as the UN convenes in New York City. Snow blankets the avenues of Manhattan’s exclusive Upper West Side. The storm is the perfect cover for a fashionable, highly trained team of lethal assassins as they prowl the streets. Their first hit is target practice. Their next hit could turn the Cold War red-hot once again – because they’re aiming for the president of the United States.

Pulled away from his family and pressed into service, Detective Michael Bennett must trace the source of a threat that could rip America apart – and ignite a war with the likes of which the world has never seen. With allegiances constantly in doubt and no one above suspicion, only Bennett can save the president – and the country – before the assassins’ deadly kill shot hits its mark.


Review: This is the 9th book in the Michael Bennett series. Unfortunately, I read this one quite a few weeks ago and ultimately have very little memory of it. 😦

I do remember reading it quite quickly and that it felt quite relevant. But other than that my memory of this one is quite lacking. I do enjoy the Michael Bennett series and am looking forward to reading the 10th book sooner rather than later!

3/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Nina Reilly, O, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES

Review: Breach of Promise by Perri O’Shaughnessy

Breach of Promise
by Perri O’Shaughnessy

Breach of Promise

Copyright: 1998

Pages: 535

Read: Nov. 24 – Dec. 1, 2018

Rating: 3/5

Source: Used book store

 

 

 
Blurb: In glitzy Lake Tahoe, couples break up every day. But few are as successful as Lindy and Mike Markov, who built a $200-million business together – before Mike took up with a younger woman. Now he’s claiming he doesn’t owe Lindy a dime since they never married. Attorney Nina Reilly, struggling to make a living in her one-woman office and raise a young son alone, agrees to take Lindy’s case. Nina knows winning is a long shot, even with a brilliant jury consultant and a palimony expert on her side. It’s the kind of case – full of passion and explosive secrets – that could make a fortune for a young lawyer. Or drive someone to commit murder – for love, money … or the right verdict.


Review: This is the 4th book in the Nina Reilly series and it had been over a year since I had read the 3rd installment. Which is a shame, because I always end up enjoying these books – but I’m always daunted by the sheer size of them 😦

Anyway, this particular installment had a quite interesting premise. It was an interesting look at palimony (something I had never even heard of). However, this book was entirely too long. I was a little frustrated when we had a resolution to the legal case and yet there was still another 140 pages left to go. It definitely could have been edited down to a page count in the 400s without losing too much of the overall story. And the way the book ended … well, I didn’t feel like it was all entirely necessary. I don’t know – just seemed to be more padding than worthy content at times.

Anyway, I still enjoy Nina’s character and I most definitely look forward to reading more of her in the future. But I really wish these books weren’t quite so long.

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Eve Dallas, Fiction, R, RATING, Read in 2018, SERIES

Review: Holiday in Death by J.D. Robb

Holiday in Death
by J.D. Robb

Holiday in Death

Copyright: 1998

Pages: 308

Read: Nov. 19-24, 2018

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: No one likes to be alone during the holidays. And for New York’s most posh dating service, Personally Yours, it is the season to bring lonely hearts together. But Lieutenant Eve Dallas, on the trail of a ritualistic serial killer, has made a disturbing discovery: All of the killer’s victims have been traced to Personally Yours. As the murders continue, Eve enters an elite world of people searching for their one true love – and a killer searching for his next victim. A world where the power of love leads men and women into the ultimate act of betrayal…


Review: This is the 7th book in the Eve Dallas series and I’m pretty sure it had been over a year since I had read the 6th book. If I don’t read more than one a year, I will never catch up on this series (!). Anyway … this one was pretty decent.

Be forewarned, if rape is difficult for you to read about you need to avoid this books as it is a large part of the plot line and can be graphic at times.

All that aside though, I did enjoy this particular installment. I enjoyed seeing a little more of Peabody. And of course I always enjoy Eve and Roarke.

Overall a good read … and I need to read more of these books!

5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, H, RATING, Read in 2018, Review Book, TLC Book Tours

Review: For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt

 

About For Better and Worse

Paperback: 336 Pages

Publisher: MIRA; Original edition (December 11, 2018)

On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they’ll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.

Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He’s just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat’s always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage?


Review:

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

So when I was pitched this book I was immediately intrigued. It sounded like a book that I would really love. I was eager to get the chance to read it.

And now that I have read it … let me tell you! Just whoa! It grabbed me from the very first page and I was hooked until I finished it. I found it to be compulsively readable. I would pick it up and find myself having read 50 pages before I even realized it.

To be completely honest, this book was going to be a solid 4 star read for me … until that ending! I mean … just … whoa! That ending really bumped it to a 5 star book. It was like a punch in the gut that I was not expecting!

This is probably going to end up being one of those buzzy books … but in my opinion, it’s well worth the buzz! I am definitely glad that I got the chance to read it and I will for sure be recommending it to anyone who enjoys a good thriller!

Highly recommended!


Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

About Margot Hunt

Margot Hunt is the pseudonym of a bestselling writer of twelve previous novels. Her work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER is her first psychological thriller.

 

Connect with Margot

Website | Facebook | Twitter

tlc tour host

4/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, Lucas Davenport, RATING, Read in 2018, S, SERIES

Review: Night Prey by John Sandford

Night Prey
by John Sandford

Copyright: 1994

Pages: 384

Read: Nov. 11-14, 2018

Rating: 4/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

 

Blurb: John Sandford’s acclaimed Prey novels have taken readers into the minds of murderers and manhunters. Now his brilliant detective, Lucas Davenport, faces an equally brilliant – and elusive – opponent. A madman who becomes obsessed with a beautiful woman – and carves her initials into the flesh of his victims. 


Review: It had been over a year since the last time I picked up a Lucas Davenport novel, so I was excited to jump back in with Lucas … especially since I had so enjoyed the previous installment. I was most definitely looking forward to the 6th book. And this one did not disappoint! 

This is one twisted and crazy read. It was gruesome and violent. But I still thoroughly enjoyed it! Mr. Sandford definitely comes up with some creepy and clever killers for Lucas to have to hunt down. I really enjoyed the addition of Meagan’s character, even though I knew she wouldn’t be a long-lasting one (she was dying of cancer). It was interesting to see Lucas work with a female “partner” on this case. 

I am generally a huge supporter of reading series books in order (I’m actually kind of fanatical about it…) but I really think this book would read well as a standalone if needed. Either way, I definitely would recommend picking up this backlist book if you are looking for a fast paced thriller. 

3.5/5, AUTHOR, B, Book Review, Non-Fiction, Presidential Reading Challenge, RATING, Read in 2018

Review: Martha Washington: An American Life by Patricia Brady

Martha Washington: An American Life
by Patricia Brady

Copyright: 2005

Pages:236

Read: Nov. 2 – 13, 2018

Rating: 3/5

Source: Abebooks.com


BlurbMartha Dandridge Custis was a wealthy, good-looking widow and the mother of two young children when, in 1759, she started a new life as Martha Washington. Thus began an ardent love affair and one of our country’s most influential partnerships. George Washington’s career might have been very different without his marriage to his “dearest Patsy.” Her fortune ensured the success of his Mount Vernon, but much more important was the emotional support she brought to their marriage. Under his glacial exterior, George Washington was often insecure, indecisive, and prone to fits of temper. His wife was the person who truly knew and loved the complex man behind the noble mask. 

Martha Washington’s name is one of the most recognizable in American history and yet Martha herself is the invisible woman in American history. She burned her private correspondence after George’s death, but with painstaking research, Patricia Brady has finally recovered the real person. Never the kindly frump of popular mythology, she was an able landowner, an indomitable patriot, and her husband’s confidante in military, political, and personal matters for four decades. 

Martha’s world extended from the Virginia plantation aristocracy into which she was born to the rugged battlefields of the Revolution. For eight long years, her husband stayed in the field – the only way he could hold is army together, though he was homesick and desperately worried about Mount Vernon. And every year, she joined him at Valley Forge and other winter camps, providing the loving comfort that allowed him to keep going. In the new capitals of New York and Philadelphia, she used her charm and humor shrewdly to help George negotiate the churning political waters of the new country. She was at his side and on his side as political enemies like Thomas Jefferson and James Madison unleashed vicious tabloid newspaper attacks against Washington. 

This superb work vividly portrays her remarkable life, her unusual achievements, and her great contribution to America. Because she was the first, Martha Washington had no role model, no precedent, and she set a standard for every presidential couple for the next two and half centuries. 


Review: So as part of my personal Presidential Reading Challenge, I have decided that I would also try and read a single work on each First Lady as well. Having read six books on George Washington (I skipped the Ron Chernow book… I just couldn’t face another 900 pages of Mr. Washington at this time – however I am keeping it on my shelf for future reading), I was ready to move on to his First Lady. To be honest, I didn’t know a lot about Martha Washington, so I was eager to learn a little bit more about her. 

Overall, I found this book to be quite readable. The only struggle I had was the sheer number of people mentioned. Children, grandchildren, nieces, nephews, in-laws, random friends .. near the end it was quite difficult to keep them all straight when they all seemed to share the same name. 

Martha Washington is somewhat of an enigma in our nation’s history. She destroyed most of her and her husband’s intimate correspondence after his death and so a lot of her has been lost to the ages. That’s really a shame for historians and history buffs alike. However I can respect and understand the want and need for that privacy after so much of their life was lived in public life. I feel like Ms. Brady did a remarkable job in piecing together Martha Washington, even without the help of the marital correspondence that would have made things infinitely more useful. 

While we all know what George Washington did for our country, we never really think much about the sacrifices that Martha Washington made as well. She basically gave up her private life with her husband so he could fulfill his sense of duty. He did quite a few things without her true blessing, but she was still very supportive and followed him nearly everywhere she could.

I was really intrigued by the descriptions of Martha Washington as a pretty independent woman who got what she wanted. She basically confronted her future father-in-law and demanded him bless the marriage of her and his son, her first husband. After the death of her first husband, instead of immediately bowing down to another man, she took matters in her own hands and took care of all her affairs until she decided on another husband. As a very wealthy widow, she had the cream of the crop coming to her for courtship, and yet she chose George Washington. I have to believe that she knew what (and who) she wanted and was determined to get it and not settle for less. That sort of independence goes against everything I “know” about women in her time period – I just loved that about her! 

I’m glad that I have decided to also learn more about the First Ladies during this journey. It will be interesting going forward to see how the subsequent First Ladies compare to Martha Washington. Being the first First Lady she had no idea what precedent she was setting for the “job.” I personally think she did a wonderful job and I thoroughly enjoyed learning more about her. 

2/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2018

Review: Hallowe’en Party by Agatha Christie

Hallowe’en Party
by Agatha Christie

Hallowe'en Party

 

Copyright: 1969

Pages: 336

Read: Nov. 4 – 6, 2018

Rating: 2/5

Source: Library

 

Blurb: A teenage murder witness is drowned in a tub of apples… At a Hallowe’en party, Joyce—a hostile thirteen-year-old—boasts that she once witnessed a murder. When no-one believes her, she storms off home. But within hours her body is found, still in the house, drowned in an apple-bobbing tub. That night, Hercule Poirot is called in to find the ‘evil presence’. But first he must establish whether he is looking for a murderer or a double-murderer…


Review: Believe it or not, I had never read a book by Agatha Christie. Crazy, right? Well the opportunity arose to give her a shot with this book. And unfortunately, it fell flat for me.

To be completely honest, I just didn’t care for Hercule Poirot’s voice. There were also a lot of characters in this one that I had trouble keeping straight. I also didn’t really care for the storyline, when it was revealed at the end I was just a little confused. I can’t decide if I just didn’t pay enough attention (I am slightly guilty of skimming a little bit) or if it was just so out of left field that it didn’t make sense.

It just didn’t work for me. I would still like to pick up a different book by Ms. Christie just to see if it was just a weak book, but I think next time I would pick up a more popular choice.

4.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, C, Fiction, RATING, Read in 2018

Review: All Around the Town by Mary Higgins Clark

All Around the Town
by Mary Higgins Clark

All Around the Town

 

Copyright: 1992

Pages: 238

Read: Oct. 30 – Nov. 1, 2018

Rating: 4.5/5

Source: Goodwill

 

Blurb: Laurie Kenyon, a twenty-one-year-old college senior, is accused of murdering her English professor, Allan Grant. When he is founds tabbed to death, her fingerprints are everywhere – on the door, on the curtain, on the knife.

Arraigned on a murder charge, a shocked and bewildered Laurie has no memory of the crime. Traumatized by abuse she suffered after she was kidnapped at the age of four and held for two years, she has developed multiple personalities. Laurie, the host personality, does not know that others coexist with her, nor is she aware that one of her alternates, Leona, has been writing Allan Grant crazed love letters and secretly entering his home.

Bic Hawkins, Laurie’s abductor, an unsavory drifter, has been scratching out a living singing in taverns and acting as a fundamentalist preacher. Now he has become a celebrated television evangelist, who has achieved fame for his talent to mesmerize people. Before releasing her, Bic had threatened six-year-old Laurie with death if she ever talked about what he had done to her and, terrified, she has erased the experience from her mind.

Attorney Sarah Kenyon has quit her job as an assistant prosecutor to defend her younger sister. Sarah brings in psychiatrist Dr. Justin Donnelly, a specialist in the treatment of multiple personalities, to save her sister by unlocking the unbearable memories of her lost years that she has been suppressing.

Bic’s obsession with Laurie has never diminished. Now it is rivaled by his fear of exposure. He is compelled both to be close to her and to eliminate her forever.


Review: I can always count on Mary Higgins Clark for a really great read and this one definitely did not disappoint!

I didn’t read the description very closely because when the multiple personalities came out it was like a total shock! Ha! But I really think that that aspect made this book just so much better. Multiple personality disorder is not something that I am very familiar with, but I do feel like Ms. Clark aced it.

Even though this book was originally published in 1992 it felt like something that could have been written in 2018. It felt like a it fit right in with all the psychological thrillers that are all the rage right now. The characters were all well developed and each had their own individual story, even the minor characters. And then there was that ending … it was one that I kind of saw coming, but it was still enjoyable to see how it all ended up being wrapped up. This was just a good solid read.

This book just absolutely flew by! I thoroughly loved it and couldn’t get through it fast enough. Highly, highly recommended!!

3.5/5, AUTHOR, Book Review, Fiction, P, RATING, Read in 2018

Review: The Judas Goat by Robert B. Parker

The Judas Goat
by Robert B. Parker

The Judas Goat

 

Copyright: 1978

Pages: 203

Read: Oct. 28-30, 2018

Rating: 3/5

Source: Paperbackswap

 

Blurb: Spenser has gone to London — and not to see the Queen. He’s gone to track down a bunch of bombers who’ve blown away his client’s wife and kids. His job is to catch them. Or kill them. His client isn’t choosy.

But there are nine killers to one Spenser — long odds. Hawk helps balance the equation. The rest depends on a wild plan. Spenser will get one of the terrorists to play Judas Goat — to lead him to others. Trouble is, he hasn’t counted on her being very blond, very beautiful and very dangerous.


Review: This is the 5th book in the Spenser series. This was a quick and fun read. It was a little violent (nothing over the top), but more than I remember in previous installments. You can also tell that it’s a little dated … based on the clothing descriptions 😀 However the actual storyline itself was not dated at all, it was quite enjoyable.

I like Spenser’s character … he’s a hard-hitting dude with some heart to him. I also like the addition of Hawk’s character, I think he adds a really great dimension to the book and I hope he continues to make appearances in subsequent installments.

Overall I enjoyed this one. It was a good and solid installment and I’m definitely looking forward to the next book.