Wednesday, 26 July 2017

#Wishlist July: Paris

I have chosen books with Paris in the title this month! Because you know Paris. Love books set in Paris! ;)


From Edward Rutherfurd, the grand master of the historical novel, comes a dazzling epic about the magnificent city of Paris. 

Moving back and forth in time, the story unfolds through intimate and thrilling tales of self-discovery, divided loyalty, and long-kept secrets. As various characters come of age, seek their fortunes, and fall in and out of love, the novel follows nobles who claim descent from the hero of the celebrated poem The Song of Roland; a humble family that embodies the ideals of the French Revolution; a pair of brothers from the slums behind Montmartre, one of whom works on the Eiffel Tower as the other joins the underworld near the Moulin Rouge; and merchants who lose everything during the reign of Louis XV, rise again in the age of Napoleon, and help establish Paris as the great center of art and culture that it is today. With Rutherfurd’s unrivaled blend of impeccable research and narrative verve, this bold novel brings the sights, scents, and tastes of the City of Light to brilliant life.


Paris, 1862. A young girl in a threadbare dress and green boots, hungry for experience, meets the mysterious and wealthy artist Édouard Manet. The encounter will change her—and the art world—forever.

At seventeen, Victorine Meurent abandons her old life to become immersed in the Parisian society of dance halls and cafés, meeting writers and artists like Baudelaire and Alfred Stevens. As Manet’s model, Victorine explores a world of new possibilities and stirs the artist to push the boundaries of painting in his infamous portrait Olympia, which scandalizes even the most cosmopolitan city.

Manet becomes himself because of Victorine. But who does she become, that figure on the divan?

The City of Light hides a dark past...

When talented young violinist Fay Knox arrives in Paris from England, the city feels familiar to her. But not because Fay has visited Paris before. Back home, she finds an old canvas bag with a mysterious luggage tag hidden in her mother's old trunk, and soon starts to realize her connection with the streets of Paris runs deeper than she ever imagined. As Fay traces the past, she is taken back to 1937 Paris - and the eve of a war that changed her mother's life forever. When she discovers a dark secret buried years ago, Fay begins to question who she really is and where she belongs.

Filled with romance, family secrets, and the allure of Paris, A Week in Paris is the compelling story of two women living in two very different worlds who share far more than a passion for music.

Late nights at the office... Hotel rooms and secret rendezvous... Lingering perfume... Sizzling texts...

What takes place in Paris when husbands and wives tangle with infidelity?

In this compulsively readable collection, Tatiana de Rosnay paints a portrait of forbidden loves in many shades - sometimes tragic, sometimes humorous, sometimes heartfelt, always with a dry wit and unflinching authenticity. A PARIS AFFAIR will take you on a vacation overseas, into the hidden lives of husbands, wives, boyfriends and girlfriends, where illicit desire wars with duty, and where a French take on romance will surprise you every t

New York Times bestselling author Laurie R. King, beloved for her acclaimed Mary Russell/Sherlock Holmes series, consistently writes richly detailed and thoroughly suspenseful novels that bring a distant time and place to brilliant life. Now, in this thrilling new book, King leads readers into the vibrant and sensual Paris of the Jazz Age—and reveals the darkest secrets of its denizens.

Paris, France: September 1929. For Harris Stuyvesant, the assignment is a private investigator’s dream—he’s getting paid to prowl the cafés and bars of Montparnasse, looking for a pretty young woman. The American agent has a healthy appreciation for la vie de bohème, despite having worked for years at the U.S. Bureau of Investigation. The missing person in question is Philippa Crosby, a twenty-two year old from Boston who has been living in Paris, modeling and acting. Her family became alarmed when she stopped all communications, and Stuyvesant agreed to track her down. He wholly expects to find her in the arms of some up-and-coming artist, perhaps experimenting with the decadent lifestyle that is suddenly available on every rue and boulevard.

As Stuyvesant follows Philippa’s trail through the expatriate community of artists and writers, he finds that she is known to many of its famous—and infamous—inhabitants, from Shakespeare and Company’s Sylvia Beach to Ernest Hemingway to the Surrealist photographer Man Ray. But when the evidence leads Stuyvesant to the Théâtre du Grand-Guignol in Montmartre, his investigation takes a sharp, disturbing turn. At the Grand-Guignol, murder, insanity, and sexual perversion are all staged to shocking, brutal effect: depravity as art, savage human nature on stage.

Soon it becomes clear that one missing girl is a drop in the bucket. Here, amid the glittering lights of the cabarets, hides a monster whose artistic coup de grâce is to be rendered in blood. And Stuyvesant will have to descend into the darkest depths of perversion to find a killer . . . sifting through The Bones of Paris.

Stephanie at Layered Pages
Heather at The Maiden's Court

#BlogTour Casanova's Secret Wife by Barbara Lynn-Davis @hfvbt @KensingtonBooks

Casanova's Secret Wife by Barbara Lynn-Davis
My rating: 3 of 5 stars
Casanova's Secret Wife by Barbara Lynn-Davis
Publication Date: July 25, 2017
Kensington Books
eBook & Paperback; 304 Pages
Genre: Fiction/Historical/Biographical

Set in eighteenth-century Venice and based on an actual account by Giacomo Casanova—here is a lush tale of desire and risk.

Caterina Capreta was an innocent girl of fourteen when she caught the attention of the world’s most infamous chronicler of seduction: Giacomo Casanova. Intoxicated by a fierce love, she wed Casanova in secret. But his shocking betrayal inspired her to commit an act that would mark her forever …

Now twenty years later on the island of Murano, the woman in possession of Caterina’s most devastating secret has appeared with a request she cannot refuse: to take in a noble-born girl whose scandalous love affair resembles her own. But the girl’s presence stirs up unwelcome memories of Caterina’s turbulent past. Tested like never before, she reveals the story of the man she will never forget.

Bringing to life a fascinating chapter in the history of Venice, Casanova’s Secret Wife is a tour de force that charts one woman’s journey through love and loss to redemption.

Book Review

The books blurb really intrigued me and I was quite looking forward to reading this book. I have to admit that, despite recognizing Casanova's name and his reputation did I not know much about the man himself more than he has written books about his female conquests. With that in mind did I set out to read this book. Which when I look back probably made me a bit cynical when it came to his courtship of Caterina Capreta. Actually, with a bit, I mean quite a lot...

Yes, I had a hard time taking their romance serious because I kept on waiting for Caterina to realize that Casanova is a cad. Now, I don't say that he didn't love her, it was easy to see looking back and see that his love burned brightly for a short moment until he moved on to the next woman. The problem is for the woman or in this case the girl was it not that easy to move on. I came to like very much the grown up Caterina who is looking back to her history with Casanova while taking care of a young girl that was in the same situation as Caterina was in 20 years ago. She didn't have an easy life, was very sheltered and then Casanova showed up and swept her off her feet. It's understandable that this fourteen-year-old girl would fall head over heel in love with him. Now, it may be hard to read a love story with a girl so young with an older man, but I never had a problem with that since one has to see to the context of the story. Although I have to admit that she now and then seemed much older than fourteen, but back then girls at that age probably were more mature than today's teenagers.

Casanova's Secret Wife is a book that I'm glad to have read. Yes, I had a hard time with the romance part because I pretty much knew that this would not end good, but the writing is good and I loved that Barbara Lynn-Davis added towards the end some notes about Casanova books and the mentions of woman that could be Caterina Capreta. I always like knowing more about a real life person after reading a book.

Praise for Casanova's Secret Wife

“Lynn-Davis admirably incorporates historical detail into this page-turning drama of mystery, love, and loss….Yet the standout is her depiction of Casanova – Lynn-Davis clearly enjoys crafting a real-life character who stands apart from the legend, making him the book’s most enduring character.” - Publishers Weekly

“Lynn-Davis debuts with a fascinating story based on the notorious lover Giacomo Casanova’s writings. With Venice as the romantic backdrop and young love as its focus, this stunning tale of passion, betrayal and redemption is a richly woven tapestry of Casanova’s early life. By bringing little known history to life, Lynn-Davis delivers an unforgettable love story, centering not only on Casanova, but two women who share the beauty of love and the pain of loss; one will find salvation and the other true happiness.”- RT Book Reviews, 4 Stars

“Full of passion and rich historical detail . . . an enthralling read, impossible to put down.” --Phyllis T. Smith, bestselling author

“This is Venice beneath the mask: A dark and fascinating love story hiding in the shadows of the golden city.” --Marina Fiorato, bestselling author of The Glassblower of Murano

“Seductive and unforgettable” –Harmony Verna, author of Daughter of Australia

“Breathtaking, beautiful . . . will mesmerize readers." –Rosanna Chiofalo, author of Stella Mia

About the Author

Barbara Lynn-Davis graduated from Brown University with a degree in art history. She then worked at the Peggy Guggenheim Museum in Venice and later spent a year there while completing her Ph.D. in Renaissance art at Princeton University.

She currently teaches art history and writing at Wellesley College, and lives outside Boston with her family.

For more information please visit Barbara Lynn-Davis' website. You can also connect with her on Facebook and Goodreads.

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, July 25
Review at 100 Pages a Day
Spotlight at The Lit Bitch

Wednesday, July 26

Thursday, July 27

Friday, July 28

Monday, July 31
Review at A Bookish Affair
Spotlight at A Literary Vacation

Tuesday, August 1

Wednesday, August 2
Review & Guest Post at Books of All Kinds

Thursday, August 3
Interview at Let Them Read Books

Friday, August 4
Review at Pursuing Stacie

Monday, August 7

Tuesday, August 8

Wednesday, August 9

Thursday, August 10
Spotlight at Queen Bee Books

Friday, August 11

Monday, August 14
Spotlight at Books, Dreams, Life

Tuesday, August 15

Wednesday, August 16
Guest Post at Creating Herstory

Thursday, August 17

Friday, August 18

Monday, August 21
Review at Broken Teepee

Tuesday, August 22
Review at Bookramblings


During the Blog Tour we will be giving away a paperback copy of Casanova's Secret Wife! To enter, please enter via the Gleam form below.
Giveaway Rules
– Giveaway ends at 11:59pm EST on July 28th. You must be 18 or older to enter.
– Giveaway is open to residents in the US & Canada only.
– Only one entry per household.
– All giveaway entrants agree to be honest and not cheat the systems; any suspect of fraud is decided upon by blog/site owner and the sponsor, and entrants may be disqualified at our discretion.
– Winner has 48 hours to claim prize or new winner is chosen.
Casanova's Secret Wife

Tuesday, 25 July 2017

#CoverReveal Cold Blood by Robert Bryndza (@RobertBryndza) @bookouture


(Detective Erika Foster Book 5)
Out on 20th September

The suitcase was badly rusted, and took Erika several attempts, but it yielded and sagged open as she unzipped it. Nothing could prepare her for what she would find inside…

When a battered suitcase containing the dismembered body of a young man washes up on the shore of the river Thames, Detective Erika Foster is shocked. She’s worked on some terrifying cases but never seen anything like this before.

As Erika and her team set to work, she makes the link with another victim – the body of a young woman dumped in an identical suitcase two weeks ago. 

Erika quickly realises she’s on the trail of a serial killer who’s already made their next move. Yet just as Erika starts to make headway with the investigation, she is the victim of a brutal attack. 

But nothing will stop Erika. As the body count rises, the twin daughters of her colleague Commander Marsh are abducted, and the stakes are higher than ever before. Can Erika save the lives of two innocent children before it’s too late? She’s running out of time and about to make a disturbing discovery…there’s more than one killer.

Brilliantly gripping, Cold Blood will have you hooked from the first page and holding your breath to the heart-stopping and shocking ending.

#CoverReveal: House of Lies by by E.V. Seymour @KillerReads

‘A wicked twist and a killer ending’ Publishers Weekly

A sudden disappearance…

When Roz Outlaw's partner Tom mysteriously vanishes, she knows his life is in danger. Tom has been distracted lately, afraid, as though he is being hunted…

A desperate search…

With the police showing little interest Roz knows it falls to her to find Tom. But as Tom's secrets are uncovered nothing can prepare Roz for the dark lies and twisted truths she finds. She thought she loved Tom, but quickly realises she has been living with a stranger – a man with murder in his past.

A house of evil.

The key to unlocking Tom's past lies in his childhood home – Vixenhead. A house of wickedness that keeps its secrets well hidden. Can Roz find Tom before it's too late or will the evil within Vixenhead claim her too…

#BookReview The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase (@evepchase) @PutnamBooks

The Wildling Sisters by Eve Chase
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Nineteen fifty-nine. The four Wilde sisters, Isla, Violet, Maggie and Dot, are spending the summer in the Cotswolds, at Applecote Manor. Affectionately called the Wildlings, the sisters are exceptionally close, yet this year there's a sense of nostalgia. Things are changing.

Except for Applecote itself, a house that seems frozen in time. The sisters haven't been there in five years; not since their cousin Audrey mysteriously vanished.

But as they discover Applecote's dark secrets and new temptations, the sisters begin to grow apart. Until the night everything spirals out of control and the Wildlings form a bond far thicker than blood...


I read Eve Chase debut book, Black Rabbit Hall last year and it was such a great book! So, when The Wildling Sisters showed up on NetGalley didn't I hesitate to request the book. Now, I have to admit that this book's cover isn't really a favorite of mine and if not the name of the author had been familiar had I perhaps not have been interested in the book. I just think that the three faces on the cover so oddly placed, like why are the third girls face under the other two's? It's puzzling!

However, the cover is the only thing that I have to complain about for the story is superb. Even better than Black Rabbit Hall's and that book was really good. I was instantly pulled into the story and I loved both timelines. Eve Chase has an ability to write that makes it hard to stop reading the book, it feels like you just breeze through the pages, and loved both the story in 1959 about the sisters who are living with the aunt and uncle on the Applecote Manor during the summer after their mother has decided to work abroad. The time has practically stood still in the house since the day five years before when their cousin Audrey disappeared. What happened to her? In the present story has a Jessie and her family moved into the house. For Jessie is this a dream house and a chance to start over fresh after they have lived in a house where her husband lived with his first wife who tragically died. But, soon she wonders if they made a mistake when her stepdaughter tells her that 50 years before a young girl disappeared from the house and was never seen again...

I love books with two timelines, and The Wildling Sisters is a fabulous story. I liked both the story in the past and the present and I found the ending very emotional. It's such a beautifully written story, filled with both happiness and sadness.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

#BookReview Gotham Academy: Second Semester, Vol. 1 by Brenden Fletcher

Gotham Academy: Second Semester, Vol. 1: Welcome Back by Brenden Fletcher
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

GOTHAM ACADEMY is back for its second semester!

When you're Gotham Academy student Olive Silverlock, winter holidays can be a drag. Luckily, when a new student shows up at Gotham Academy to keep her company while the other students are away, Olive finds what could be a brand new friend...or a whole lot of trouble. And when Maps, Kyle, Colton, Pomeline and the rest of the students of Gotham's #1 prep school return for a new semester, the adventures are twice as mysterious and twice as dangerous!



Gotham Academy is a fabulous series that can be read both by kids and grown-ups. This is the second volume I've read in this series and I totally loved it. Honestly, I could sit down and re-read it, both for the stories and for the wonderful art.

For those of you that don't know anything about Gotham Academy will I tell you this: It's a school with strange teachers, secret passengers, kids with abilities (not all of them, but some) and now and then a guy called Bruce Wayne shows up.

My favorite character is Maps, she is a young Asian girl that reminds me of Jubilee from Marvel and she loves adventures and mysteries. Of course, I like the rest of the characters to Silverlock, Kyle, etc. But, it's just something about this spunky kid that makes me truly love this series.

The art is marvelous, this is the kind of art that I really, really love and I've added some screen caps for you all to see:

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

#BookReview Deadfall by Linda Fairstein @DuttonBooks

Deadfall by Linda Fairstein
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Hunting a killer within New York's urban jungle becomes the biggest case of Alexandra Cooper's career in New York Times bestselling author Linda Fairstein's latest riveting thriller.

A wild heart beats within New York City. Amid concrete and skyscrapers, the Wildlife Conservation Society works to preserve and protect the animal kingdom both within and beyond the borders of the five boroughs. But dangerous creatures don't always have claws and fangs, as Assistant DA Alexandra Cooper and NYPD detectives Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace know all too well. Predators lurk close to home, and in the aftermath of the shocking assassination of an iconic public figure—someone Alex has worked with for years—the trio must unravel the motive behind the shooting to discover who is the bigger snake: the killer or the victim.

The murder investigation provides more questions than answers, as a tangled mess of secrets slowly comes to light. From street gangs to secret societies, from big-game hunting to the illegal animal trade, from New York City zoos to the highest offices in city government, Alex has her work cut out for her—especially since the task force, led by the US Attorney, seems to be more against her than with her. As tensions rise between Alex and the feds, she must determine just how far she is willing to go to uncover the truth—and uphold the integrity of the office she has so proudly served.


OBS this review spoilers the ending of the previous book!

Entombed, book seven in the Alexandra Cooper series was the first book I read by Fairstein and I loved it. Since then have I read two other books in the series before I read this one. One of them was the book previous (and the other is the first book in the series) and that one ended with a cliffhanger, which I remembered when I started this book. And, the beginning was very strong, with Alex saying goodbye to Paul Battaglia, her mentor who in her eyes has lately fallen from the pedestal, but he had such a great impact on her life that it's still hard to grasp for her that he has been murdered. It doesn't get better when she starts to be seen as a suspect, despite being the one that was with him as he was shot. The question is, who really shot Battaglia and why?

The Alexandra Cooper series is one of my favorites. I have a couple of unread books waiting to be read at home and I was thrilled to get the chance to read this book. Now, you don't have had to read the previous book to read this book. The events that happened in the last book is mentioned, but it will not make this story confusing, despite the fact that Battaglia was killed in the end of the last book.

What this book, unfortunately, lack that the previous books I have read are an interesting villain and a thrilling plot. Don't take me wrong, the beginning was strong and I liked reading the book. But, the plot ended to be a lot wordier than I liked, the kind of book when one tends to zone out a bit while reading. As much as I like to read Fairstein's usual history lesson about New York, this time Bronx Zoo and its past were there just so much dialog that I found myself a bit bored, to be honest. And, the whom the villain turned out to be, well that was hardly a surprise.

So, Deadfall was not as engrossing as the previous books I have read, it's still a good book, but not the one I would recommend starting with if you want to read the series (go for Entombed, they find a body entombed in a house where Edgar Allan Poe once lived).

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review.

#BookReview Army of Darkness / Xena, Warrior Princess: Forever and a Day by Scott Lobdell

Army of Darkness / Xena, Warrior Princess: Forever and a Day by Scott Lobdell
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Xena, Warrior Princess, has toppled nations through the force of her will. She's captained the most deadly pirate crew ever to sail the seas. She even turned her back on her past, seeking redemption for her darker acts alongside her partner Gabrielle. And yet, despite her propensity for defeating all odds, her thousand-strong army has fallen to an implacable and ancient evil. Her only recourse? To use the dreaded Necronomicon to summon Ash Williams - the wise-ass, butt-kicking, smooth-talkin' demon-killer from the future - for aid! But how can Xena save the world when that chainsaw-wielding knucklehead's every temporal mishap threatens to unravel time itself?

Cult favorite media sensations Army of Darkness and Xena, Warrior Princess collide in a wildly hilarious adventure written by Scott Lobdell (Red Hood and the Outlaws, Uncanny X-Men) and featuring artwork by Elliot Fernandez and Diego Galindo!


I have to admit that I was a bit unsure about this Army of Darkness and Xena collaboration. Mostly because I have never really been a fan of the Army of Darkness movies. All I saw when I found this volume to read on NetGalley was Xena and well the Army of Darkness part did I realize soon after.

However, this volume Forever and a Day is quite a nice story with Ash trying to get back in time to help Xena and Gabrielle, but he keeps on getting back to the wrong time. Or is he? It's a fast read and I quite enjoyed it. A plus that the art is really good. So, despite not being 100% sure about this volume from the beginning do I have to admit that it was great fun to read it and I wouldn't mind reading more Ash and Xena adventures.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Saturday, 22 July 2017

#BookReview Freud's Mistress by Karen Mac

Freud's Mistress by Karen Mack
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Minna Bernays is an overeducated woman with limited options. Fired yet again for speaking her mind, she finds herself out on the street and out of options. In 1895 Vienna, even though the city is aswirl with avant-garde artists and writers and revolutionary are still very few options for women besides marriage. And settling is not something Minna has ever done.

Out of desperation, Minna turns to her older sister, Martha, for help. But Martha has her own problems — six young children, a host of physical ailments, a household run with military precision, and an absent, overworked, disinterested husband who happens to be Sigmund Freud. Freud is a struggling professor, all but shunned by his peers and under attack for his theories, most of which center around sexual impulses, urges, and perversions. While Martha is shocked and repulsed by her husband’s "pornographic" work, Minna is fascinated.

Minna is everything Martha is not—intellectually curious, an avid reader, stunning. But while she and Freud embark on what is at first simply an intellectual courtship, something deeper is brewing beneath the surface, something Minna cannot escape.


I will start off this review by noting two things, first, it's pretty weird reading a historical (romance) with Freud as the man in the leading role and secondly, Freud is a bit of an ashole. Now, the picture I have in my head is of the older Freud, but he is quite young in this book, but I still had a hard time seeing The Father of Psychoanalysis seducing his sisters-in-law.

However, despite that was this book quite good. I liked getting a closer look into Freud's own marriage and his close relationship with Martha. It's not proven that they had an affair although there is some documented evidence of it. Still, it was fascinating to read this book, not just for the romance between Freud and Martha, but for the historical setting and how hard it is for Freud to win favor for his ideas.

It's also interesting to read how Freud seems to be obsessed with a person for a time and then move on. At one point is it Martha that captivated him, and in the next moment is there someone else and it's not always sexually, he just finds someone ideas utterly captivating. I do feel sorry for Martha, but then again, the woman that should have most sympathy is Minna. But, she seems to know her husband quite well by then and doesn't seem to care so much about his for the moment passion for Martha. As I wrote above, Freud is an ashole!

Anyway, I quite liked this book, and if you like historical fiction do I recommend this book warmly!

#BookReview Prayer for the Dead by James Oswald @crookedlanebks

Prayer for the Dead by James Oswald
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Detective Inspector Tony McLean is on the case when the search for a missing journalist uncovers the scene of a carefully staged murder. In a sealed chamber, deep in the heart of Gilmerton Cove, a mysterious network of caves and passages sprawling beneath Edinburgh, the body is discovered in a seemingly macabre ritual of purification. But McLean knew the dead man and can't shake off the suspicion that there is far more to this case than meets the eye.

For one thing, the baffling lack of forensics at the crime scene seems impossible. But that's just the first in a series of revelations about this case that seems beyond belief. Teamed with the most unlikely and unwelcome of allies, McLean must track down a killer--driven by the darkest compulsions and who will answer only to a higher power--until it's his own blood on the altar.

Shocking and suspenseful, Prayer for the Dead, the fifth installment in James Oswald's internationally bestselling series, plunges readers into the bone-chilling darkness of an underground world filled with ancient secrets.


As much as I enjoyed listening to the fifth book in this series was I'm not really pleased with the narrator choice to whisper the killer's thoughts. It just sounded like he was mumbling and I was lucky if I could hear a word or two and understand what the heck the killer was doing.

Now, I like Tony McLean, and I like the paranormal angle to the books in this series. But, this was not the strongest book in the series. The best part was towards the end when the story finally started to make sense. But, for the most part, the book did feel a bit slow, more bodies are found and they are trying to figure out the link between the bodies and discover who the killer is. Personally, would I loved the book to be more thrilling to read. To be honest, the story just didn't feel very memorable. It's an OK book, but it felt like 2/3 of the book just plodded along in a slow pace and BAM then the ending happened (which I liked) and then the book was over. On a side now, I loved Madame Rose and her cats.

Despite my lackluster opinion of the book, I do look forward to reading the next book, and the one before that I've missed to read.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through Netgalley for an honest review!

#BookReview Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge @MichaelJBooks

Hide and Seek by M.J. Arlidge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Prison is no place for a detective
Helen Grace was one of the country's best police investigators.
Now she's behind bars with the killers she caught.

Framed for murder
She knows there is only way out:
stay alive until her trial and somehow prove her innocence.

Locked up with a killer
But when a mutilated body is found in the cell next door,
Helen fears her days are numbered.

A murderer is on the loose.
And she must find them.
Before she's next . . .


I have spent this week listening to the last three books in this series and it was marvelous. I love these books, and it was quite nice to just pick the next book when one was done. The book before this one ended with a cliffhanger which made me quite happy that I could start listening to this one directly.

A Warning, don't read this review if you don't want to know the ending of the last book!

Helen Grace is in prison, framed for murders she didn't commit and now she has to find a way to prove that she is innocent. Thankfully outside if prison is her fellow colleague and friend Charlie on the hunt for the real killer. However, Grace has a bigger problem at the moment, there is a killer in prison. Well, it's a prison so there are probably quite a lot of killers. However, this one is killing fellow inmates...

This book, just like the previous books thrilling from the beginning until the end. I love the short chapters that make me just wanna listen to one more chapter and suddenly you're halfway through the book. I found both storylines intriguing. Charlie has to find the real killer and at the same time trying to convince her new boss Sanderson that Grace is innocent. And, Grace has to try to figure out who the killer is that is roaming the prison. Is it a fellow inmate or guard? 

Hide and Seek is a great book. I was surprised over the identity of the killer and it's nice to not see the ending coming now and then...

Thursday, 20 July 2017

#CoverCrush: Beneath the Sugar Sky by Seanan McGuire

For new visitors do I want to explain that Cover Crush is something that my friend Erin over at Flashlight Commentary came up with and I adopted the idea together with some other friends. And, now we try to put up a Cover Crush every week. You can check below my pick of the week for their choices this week!

A stand-alone fantasy tale from Seanan McGuire's Alex award-winning Wayward Children series, which began in the Hugo and Nebula finalist Every Heart a Doorway

Beneath the Sugar Sky, the third book in McGuire's Wayward Children series, returns to Eleanor West's Home for Wayward Children in a stand-alone contemporary fantasy for fans of all ages. At this magical boarding school, children who have experienced fantasy adventures are reintroduced to the "real" world.

Sumi died years before her prophesied daughter Rini could be born. Rini was born anyway, and now she’s trying to bring her mother back from a world without magic.

Some thoughts about the cover:

This series has some of the best covers I've ever seen and I simply adore this the third books cover. Isn't this cover simply gorgeous? The colors in the sky, the red ocean and of course the tantalizing open door...

Check out what my friends have picked for Cover Crush's this week:

Stephanie @ Layered Pages


#BlogTour His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray (@ShelleySGray) @partnersincr1me

His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray

His Guilt

by Shelley Shepard Gray

on Tour July 10 - August 10, 2017


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Shelley Shepard Gray delivers the next novel in her Amish of Hart County series—a suspenseful tale of an Amish man who will risk all to protect the woman he loves.

Mark Fisher has returned home to Hart County, determined to put the past behind him. Two years ago, after being wrongly accused of assault, he left the Amish community, though never forgot his home. When the one person who had helped him through his rough times asks for help, Mark returns. But it is pretty Waneta Cain who makes him want to stay…

Neeta is one of the few people in Hart County who doesn’t believe Mark is guilty of hurting anyone. However, his worldliness and tough exterior do make her uneasy. As she begins to see the real man behind all the gossip and prejudice, she wonders if he is the man for her.

Just when Mark starts to believe a new life is possible, a close friend of Neeta’s is attacked. Once again, everyone in the community seems to believe he is guilty. But what hurts most is Neeta’s sudden wariness around him. When another woman is hurt, a woman who is close to both Neeta and himself, Mark fears he knows the real culprit. And time is running out. Will Mark be able to find him before Neeta becomes his next victim?

Book Details:

Genre: Fiction, Amish Fiction
Published by: Avon Inspire/HarperCollins
Publication Date: July 4th 2017
Number of Pages: 304
ISBN: 0062469134 (ISBN13: 9780062469137)
Series: The Amish of Hart County #2 | It is a stand-alone novel

Read an excerpt:

Chapter 1
Horse Cove, Kentucky
August 4

He was watching her again.
As she handed her customer change across the counter of the Blooms and Berries nursery, Waneta Cain did her best to pretend that their newest employee was not inordinately interested in everything she did. He was simply observant.
Surely, it was just her imagination playing tricks on her anyway. Mark Fisher was probably trying to see how she handled the checkout counter. She used to watch Mr. Lehmann all the time when she’d first started at the nursery.
That had to be the reason.
“Thanks for your help, Neeta,” Mr. Killian said, interrupting her thoughts. “I’d be lost without you.”
“I’m simply glad I could help ya,” she told the Englisher with a bright smile as he lifted his box of seedlings from the wide well-worn countertop. “See ya soon.”
The man tipped his ball cap. “You sure will if I can’t get these to bear fruit. Wish me luck.”
“Good luck and good blessings, too.” After helping him with the door, she let it close behind her with a satisfying thunk.
She chuckled to herself. That Mr. Killian was a terrible gardener but a frequent customer. She sincerely hoped that one day he would develop that green thumb he wanted so badly.
“Do you always act that way?”
A shiver coursed through her as she turned.
Meeting Mark’s dark-brown eyes, which seemed to be studying her intently, she struggled to appear calm. “Like what?”
Mark stepped away from the row of metal shelves located in the back of the store. He’d been unpacking boxes and restocking shelves for the last hour. Methodically sorting and organizing merchandise while she helped customers. “Like they’re your friends,” he replied. “Like you’re so happy to see them.” Stepping closer, he lifted his shoulder. “Is that how you really are… or is that just an act?”
She didn’t care for the way he seemed to be insinuating that she wasn’t genuine. “It’s not an act. Mr. Killian is in her a lot. He’s nice. We are friends.”
“He’s English and must be fifty years old.”
“I don’t see how that matters. I can like people who are different than me.”
“Maybe you can. But you were sure smiling at him a lot. Or do you do that on purpose? To make sure that he will return?”
His question made her uncomfortable, but his sarcastic tone made her angry. “I don’t know why you are asking such things. I really don’t like what you are suggesting. I’m not doing anything out of the ordinary or smiling at customers in any special way. I’m just being my regular self.”
“Huh. So you treat everyone with smiles and kindness. You are friends with all sorts of people. Even people who are different from you. Except me.”
“I’ve been perfectly amiable to you,” she retorted. Except, of course, that was a lie.
“I don’t think so,” Mark murmured. “I’ve been her seven hours, four of them barely six feet away from you.”
She knew that. She’d known exactly where he was every moment they’d been together. “And?”
“And during all that time you’ve hardly said ten words to me. You sure aren’t smiling at me.”
She opened her mouth, closed it again. What could she say? He wasn’t wrong.
Mark stepped closer, invading her space. She could see the fine brown hairs on his forearms now. Noticed that he hadn’t shaved in a day or two.
“Is it because I was taken in for questioning?” he asked quietly, his dark-brown eyes watching her, as if he feared she would run. “Or, is it just me? Do you not want anything to do with me, Waneta?”
Her palms were sweating. She fisted both as she tried to come up with an answer. He was right on all accounts. She was uneasy around him.
Fact was, Mark Fisher was a large man. Tall and well-muscled. He had a rough way about him, too. It was disconcerting.
Of course, she’d always felt uneasy around him. He’d been an angry teenager, always glaring and short-tempered with most everyone. After he finished school, he’d worked for a few people around town. Rumor had it that his brother, Calvin, had taken off as soon as their mother did. Mark had even lived in Mr. Lehmann’s home for a time, until he was taken in for questioning about Bethany’s assault.
And after he was questioned, then let go for insufficient evidence, he disappeared for two years.
Now he was back.
Mr. Lehmann assured her that Mark hadn’t done anything wrong, but a lot of people in the community still believed that he was the masked man who’d beaten Bethany Williams. It wasn’t much of a stretch. Bethany had told lots of people that her assailant was over six feet tall and was very strong. But she also said she wasn’t able to identify the man.
Few other details had circulated after that. Then Bethany and her family moved up north, practically the moment she was released from the hospital.
Realizing Mark was still waiting, Waneta said, “I haven’t spoken to you much because we don’t’ know each other.”
His eyes narrowed. “But that’s not really true. We knew each other once. We did go to the same Amish school.”
“You were ahead of me in school. We hardly talked then.” He was only three years older than herself, but they were miles apart in terms of how they’d lived their lives. He’d also been the kind of boy she’d been a little scared of. He was rough and always seemed so angry.
For a second, he looked dumbfounded. “So, you do remember.”
“Of course I remember you and your brother, Calvin. Our school wasn’t that big, Mark.” Feeling pretty good about how self-assured she was sounding, Neeta folded her arms across her chest. “But that was a long time ago. Years have gone by.”
“Yeah. You’re right,” he said slowly. “Years have gone by. Practically a whole lifetime.”
He sounded so sad. She wondered what was going through his head. Did he regret hurting Bethany? And what had been doing for the two years since it all happened? Why had he even come back to Horse Cave? Surely, there were other, far better places to start over.
The door jangled as a couple came in. Like Mr. Killian, they were regular customers. James and Katie Eicher were Amish and lived on a large farm on the outskirts of town.
Glad for the reprieve, she smiled at them. “Hiya, Katie. James. How can I help you?”
Just as Katie was about to answer, her husband put a hand on her arm. “Go wait in the buggy, Kate.”
Katie looked at her husband in confusion, then blanched when she caught sight of Mark. Without a word, she turned and walked back out the door.
When it closed again, James glared at Mark. “What are you doing here?”
Mark lifted his chin. “I work here.”
“Is that true, Neeta?” James asked. “Did Henry actually hire him?”
“Jah. Today is Mark’s first day.” Unsure how to handle his anger, she cleared his throat. “Now, um, how may I help you?”
“Where is Henry?”
She looked around the room, which was a ridiculous exercise, seeing as it was perfectly obvious that Mr. Lehmann was not there.
“He’s out back,” Mark said, pointing to one of the four large greenhouses behind the retail store. “You want me to go get him for ya?”
“I don’t want you to do a thing for me,” James said. “I’ll go find him myself.”
Mark rocked back on his heels. “Suit yourself.”
Neeta winced at his flippant tone.
James, however, looked irate. Pointing a finger at him, James said, “I’m telling you now, Fisher. You stay far away from my wife. Don’t talk to her. Don’t even look at her.”
Instead of looking cowed, the corners of Mark’s lips lifted. “Or what?”
“Or I’ll do everything I can to ensure that you leave here for good.”
Mark narrowed his eyes. “Are you threatening me?”
Ignoring Mark again, James turned to her. “I can’t believe you are working in here with him. Do your parents even know?”
Before she could say that they did not, James strode out the door. It slammed in his wake.
For a good couple of seconds, Neeta stared at the door. She tried to calm herself, especially since she’d just realized that her hands were shaking.
Why was she so rattled? Was it because she was afraid of Mark Fisher?
Or because James’s anger had been so scorching?
“You never answered him,” Mark said from behind her, startling her out of her dark thoughts. “Do your parents know that you are working here with me?”
“Why not?” he asked. “Is it because you’re afraid that they’ll want you to stay far, far away from the dangerous Mark Fisher, too?”
Before she could answer, the door opened again. This time it brought in Mr. Lehmann.
He looked from Mark to her and signed. “I came to check on how you two are doing after James Eicher’s visit. It doesn’t look like you’re doing too gut.”
“I’m fine, Mr. Lehmann,” she said. “But, um, well, it’s four o’clock.”
“Which means it’s time for you to get on him,” he said with a kind smile. “Grab your things and get on your way. We’ll see you tomorrow.”
She smiled weakly as she turned toward the back storage room, where her belongings were stowed. For the first time since she’s started working at the nursery, returning to work filled her with dread.
She didn’t trust Mark. Worse, she didn’t trust herself when she was around him.
Excerpt from His Guilt by Shelley Shepard Gray. Copyright © 2017 by Shelley Shepard Gray. Reproduced with permission from HarperCollins. All rights reserved.
  Shelley Shepard Gray

Author Bio:

Shelley Shepard Gray is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author, a finalist for the American Christian Fiction Writers prestigious Carol Award, and a two-time HOLT Medallion winner. She lives in southern Ohio, where she writes full-time, bakes too much, and can often be found walking her dachshunds on her town’s bike trail.

Catch Up With Ms. Gray On: Website , Goodreads , Twitter , & Facebook !

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Wednesday, 19 July 2017

#BookReview How We Found You by J.T. Lawrence (@pulpbooks)

How We Found You by J.T. Lawrence
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Would you sacrifice your son to save your daughter?

There’s something different about Kate’s four-year-old son. He wasn’t created the old fashioned way. Now a violent cult wants him dead and Kate will do anything to protect him – until they take her daughter.

In tomorrow’s world, Kate is haunted by a brutal past. Struggling to navigate a life that seems like an experiment in virtual reality, her paranoia threatens to consume her. But when someone tries to kidnap Mally, she realises she was absolutely right to be afraid.
With only hours to go before the cult's prophecy is to be fulfilled, Kate and Seth face more danger than they’ve ever imagined, desperate to keep him safe. However, the charismatic leader of the cult has other ideas, which puts Kate in an impossible position. Who will she choose to live, and who will she have to sacrifice?

Glimpse JT Lawrence’s chilling vision of the all-too-near future in this dark psychological thriller with a twist that will send you reeling. How We Found You is the second book in the riveting series When Tomorrow Calls.

Don’t blink, or you’ll miss it. Start reading How We Found You now.


I've been putting off writing this review. For some reason are the 5-star reviews sometimes the hardest one to write. I mean how will I be able to express how much I enjoyed reading this book? Even now I'm a bit lost for words. But, I will give it a try.

How We Found You is the sequel to How We Found You. I've not read the first book, but I did not find it hard to get into this book, although I did several times during this book think that I really need to read How We Found You to get the backstory to the story in this book. Just to get the know the characters that I've come to care for, a bit better.

The setting for How We Found You is in the future, not that far for in the future, but it feels like another world. The futuristic technology is one aspect that made me love this book. To read about how everything has progressed fascinated me. But, there are those that are afraid how the progress that sees the birth of children not through the usual way as a sign of the end. For Kate does this mean that there are those that want to kill her son. And, they will try every means necessary to succeed.

First, I want to say that this book intrigued me from the beginning. I loved the setting of a futuristic South Africa, of a cult after children to stop a prophecy and of a mother who that will do everything to protect her children. The writing is fabulous, I was pulled into the story and the only thing I regretted was not reading the How We Found You first. Yes, you can read this as a stand-alone, but I personally would have started with book one. But, at least I have the first book to read now.

I will end this review by saying that this book is marvelous and I greatly enjoyed reading it!

I want to thank TBConFB for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

#BookReview: Little Boy Blue by M.J. Arlidge (@mjarlidge) @MichaelJBooks

Little Boy Blue by M.J. Arlidge
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Detective Inspector Helen Grace is no stranger to tragedy. But when a body is found in a Southampton nightclub, the death cuts too close to the bone. Hiding her personal connection to the victim - and a double-life which must remain secret at all costs - Helen becomes a woman possessed, working her team around the clock to chase down every lead. As the killer strikes again, the investigation takes its toll not only on Helen but also her senior officers. Tempers flare, friendships fray and Helen faces an impossible choice. Confess her sins and lose control of the case? Or keep living a lie, protecting her darkest secrets, and risk getting trapped in this tangled web? But whatever she does, this killer will not stop until the truth is revealed: there are some fates worse than death . . .


The Helen Grace series is a favorite of mine and last night did I decide to start listening to the book. A bad decision to start late at night btw since I had to force myself to stop listen quite early one since it was pretty late and I had to work today. Anyway, I'm really thankful that I have the next book as an audiobook was well since this one ended with a frustrating cliffhanger. I'm also glad I did not read the book and then had to wait until the next book was published!

In Little Boy Blue must Helene Grace tackle a very personal case. The murder victim is someone that she knew, but for reasons can't she tell her fellow colleagues that she knew the person in question. Now, she has to keep her emotions in check while trying to find the devious murderer. But, how long can she hide the truth?

As usual, has M.J. Arlidge written a thriller that from the start captivated me. I quite enjoy listening to this book. Elizabeth Bower is a great narrator, and her ability to change her voice for all the characters make it easy to know who is who. Also, the book is so thrilling that the hours just fly away when you're listening to the book.

I did suspect the identity of the killer, I'm not quite sure when it hit me who the person probably would be. However, it made the book more interesting to listen to. Was I right about my suspicious or not made the book more thrilling? Btw, yes I was right...

Little Boy Blue is just as the previous books brilliant. I do recommend reading this series from the beginning and not from book two as I did. This is a series that definitely is best suited to read in order.

#BookReview Blame by Jeff Abbott (@JeffAbbott) @GrandCentralPub #Giveaway

Blame by Jeff Abbott
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Sometimes the person you thought you knew best...Turns out to be someone you never really knew at all.

The crash that killed him

Two years ago, Jane Norton crashed her car on a lonely road, killing her friend David and leaving her with amnesia. At first, everyone was sympathetic. Then they found Jane's note: I wish we were dead together.

A girl to blame

From that day the town turned against her. But even now Jane is filled with questions: Why were they on that road? Why was she with David? Did she really want to die?

The secrets she should forget

Most of all, she must find out who has just written her an anonymous message: I know what really happened. I know what you don't remember...


Oh, this book is good. Blame is the kind of book that I felt right from the start will turn out to be great. I've read a book by Jeff Abbott before (The First Order book 5 in the Sam Capra series) and I knew he can write, and I was eagerly awaiting the day I could start reading this book. I was however when I started to read the book a bit surprised about how young Jane was, only 17. I had after reading the blurb imagined her older.

Jane's memory loss is not just from the accident two years ago. She can't remember the last three years of her life, not her father's death neither the new friends she made in high school. So, all she can go after is what all the people, her mother and the friends she has left tell hers. Her life isn't easy, memory loss and almost everyone thinks she is responsible for the death of David in the car crash. That she meant to kill them both. But, was she really suicidal? It's time for Jane to find out what really happened two years ago, was it an accident, or was she trying to kill them both? Or was someone else involved in the crash?

I love the fact that pretty much everyone acted so mysterious and suspicious in this book. From Jane's mother to her friends. Jane can't be sure whom to trust and it doesn't help that so doesn't remember more than glimpses the last three years of her life. It's a thrilling book to read, fast-paced, and I had a hard time figuring out how it all would end. They all seemed to have secrets.

Blame is a great book. If you like psychological thrillers will you love this one!

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy for an honest review!

Blame by Jeff Abbott

#BookReview Afterlife by Marcus Sakey

Afterlife by Marcus Sakey
My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Between life and death lies an epic war, a relentless manhunt through two worlds… and an unforgettable love story.

The last thing FBI agent Will Brody remembers is the explosion — a thousand shards of glass surfing a lethal shock wave.

He wakes without a scratch.

The building is in ruins. His team is gone. Outside, Chicago is dark. Cars lie abandoned. No planes cross the sky. He’s relieved to spot other people — until he sees they’re carrying machetes.

Welcome to the afterlife.

Claire McCoy stands over the body of Will Brody. As head of an FBI task force, she hasn’t had a decent night’s sleep in weeks. A terrorist has claimed eighteen lives and thrown the nation into panic.

Against this horror, something reckless and beautiful happened. She fell in love… with Will Brody.

But the line between life and death is narrower than any of us suspect — and all that matters to Will and Claire is getting back to each other.


In hindsight should I probably quite early on, just stopped reading this book when I realized that it was not working. Except, my middle name is apparently stubborn and I thought the idea of the book was so fantastic that I couldn't understand why I just couldn't get into the book. I mean it's nothing wrong with the writing, the characters did not annoy me either. I just felt a bit listless reading the book, and I think it's because I just didn't care that much for the story or for the characters. It was just not a book for me.

This will not be a long review. I have nothing really good to say about it, nor bad. I can understand why the story would appeal to readers, I just couldn't feel it myself. I think if the story of this book appeals to you, should you give it a go. The concept is interesting, with an afterlife where you can either become an eater and get godlike powers or try not be "eaten". If I had cared more for the characters would I probably have enjoyed the book more. However, I cared very little about Claire and Will's life and, romance and their angst and that made the book a bit slow to read.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

#BookReview Look Behind You by Iris Johansen @StMartinsPress

Look Behind You by Iris Johansen
My rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

A serial killer is on the loose in San Diego, and he has a most unusual M.O.: With each kill, he leaves behind objects with unclear meanings. Most of the recent killings are centered near Kendra Michaels’ home and office, so it comes as no great surprise when the FBI shows up at her door. The investigators soon make a startling discovery: the left-behind objects are actually souvenirs of other unsolved serial murder cases in various U.S. cities. And the new cases feature “holdback” characteristics of the other murders unknown to the general public. Kendra realizes that the killer has come to challenge and taunt her. The investigators become his newest targets, even as Kendra slowly begins to suspect that one of them may be the killer himself. She must find the killer as the body count rises, and to do so she relies on her own ”dream team” of agent-for-hire Adam Lynch and private investigator Jessie Mercado. They must risk everything to defeat a psychopath whose terrifying plan is years in the making.


Look Behind You is book five in the Kendra Michaels series. I have only read the previous book, Night Watch in this series, but I have read several of Iris Johansen's Eve Duncan books.

I was curious to see how I would about this book. Night Watch was OK, but not as interesting as the Eve Duncan books usually are. Eve is such a wonderful character and I haven't warmed up to Kendra in the same way. However, I did find that the storyline in this book was much more interesting than in Night Watch, and I have slowly started to come to like Kendra. It helps that I think the female characters in this book are pretty awesome, besides Kendra do we have her best friend Olivia and showing helping Kendra is private detective Jessie who once was a bodyguard to a famous singer. However, my big problem is Adam Lynch. I just can't seem to warm up to him. And, yes like I wrote in my review for Night Watch does he remind me of Quinn, Eve's significant other. Just less interesting. Lynch macho man style just annoys and bores me. I hope one day to warm up to him. But, his over protecting style and know it all just makes me grind my teeth.

Nevertheless, the story is not at all bad, the hunt for the serial killer is interesting and intense and I was really baffled over the identity of the killer. Truly, and utterly stunned! Too bad that Adam had to get back from China. I was thinking of giving the book four stars, but a big heart to heart between Adman and Kendra made me realize that I was not totally enjoying the book. But, still, the revelation of the killers must be rewarded so I give it 0.5 more stars just because of that!  It really sucks when the main character falls for someone and you don't feel any chemistry between them. Still, it's a good book and I wouldn't mind reading the ones I've missed.

I want to thank the publisher for providing me with a free copy through NetGalley for an honest review!

Monday, 17 July 2017

#BookReview The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence by Alyssa Palombo (@AlyssInWnderlnd) @FreshFiction

The Most Beautiful Woman in Florence: A Story of Botticelli by Alyssa Palombo
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A girl as beautiful as Simonetta Cattaneo never wants for marriage proposals in 15th Century Italy, but she jumps at the chance to marry Marco Vespucci. Marco is young, handsome and well-educated. Not to mention he is one of the powerful Medici family’s favored circle.

Even before her marriage with Marco is set, Simonetta is swept up into Lorenzo and Giuliano de’ Medici’s glittering circle of politicians, poets, artists, and philosophers. The men of Florence―most notably the rakish Giuliano de’ Medici―become enthralled with her beauty. That she is educated and an ardent reader of poetry makes her more desirable and fashionable still. But it is her acquaintance with a young painter, Sandro Botticelli, which strikes her heart most. Botticelli immediately invites Simonetta, newly proclaimed the most beautiful woman in Florence, to pose for him. As Simonetta learns to navigate her marriage, her place in Florentine society, and the politics of beauty and desire, she and Botticelli develop a passionate intimacy, one that leads to her immortalization in his masterpiece, The Birth of Venus.


The gorgeous cover of THE MOST BEAUTIFUL WOMAN IN FLORANCE caught my eyes a couple of months ago and the book's description about the muse of Botticelli who inspired him to paint The Birth of Venus sounded very intriguing. I love reading historical fiction about real people and I was very happy when I got the chance to read this book. The Birth of Venus is a very famous painting, but I have to admit that Sandro Botticelli's life is not something that I had any knowledge about. However, that made the book even more intriguing to read since through this book did I get a fictional glimpse into the painter's life which made me yearn to learn more about him.