Monday, December 11, 2017

Evilly Amused: A Twisted Rose Mystery Novel by Marlowe Blue

**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book for Hidden Gems**
WOW! I loved this book. I had a sense for who was the real murderer and I had figured out why. But there was one major part I had not figured out and that part had me scared to the bone trying to finish this book.

Lela hangs out with wrong crowd called "The Hex". 4 of the 6 end up dead and its really obvious who the real murderer was and the obsession she had with Lela made it obvious why. However, Lela is found with the murder weapon and everyone's blood all over her -- don't worry I'm not giving too much away, she's only in jail for like 5 min (I felt like this could have been drawn out a little better to draw up the suspense but then I also like not wasting my time too). But then we get a nice little treat for the twist at the end. my husband happened to look over my shoulder at this point and was like "what the hell are you reading". I was terrified to finish reading and the ending really saved the book so it wasn't another thriller that I had figured out before the end with no fun in finishing the book. Well done. 5 out of 5 stars.

These Wicked Wings by V.B. Marlowe

**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book for Hidden Gems**
NOPE NOPE Defiantly not!!!! Made it 10% through this book and decided this one was not for me. The cover is beautiful and the description is done really well so it seems like a good book. However, I was bored and disconnected. Maybe someone who really, and I mean REALLY, likes a book in the sci-fi/YA genre would enjoy it.

The Neglected Ones by C.L. Salaski

**I voluntarily reviewed this book for Hidden Gems.** YES! This book really did an amazing job of bringing the horrors of what our elderly community go through. Tears were brought to my eyes on multiple occasions. I think the book would have been just as good without the paranormal stuff. I felt like the ghost brought the story down a little bit and were randomly inserted.

Friday, December 1, 2017

A Mother's Lie by Jo Crow

**I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of the book*** Well I liked the concept of the book. However, the execution needs some work. The cover is amazing and as a mother myself I was eager to see where this little boy was wandering off to.

We follow Clara as she returns to her childhood home in hopes to complete a documentary for funds to get the medical treatment her little boy needs. Returning home isn't so bad... for normal people. As for Clara, the whole town is convinced she is the killer of her own parents. One of them being a main reason that the town has any money coming in at all. You see where their grudge would be raised pretty good. As the case is reopened with her return, she races the police to prove that she is innocent. Clara brings to light the old saying, "one step forward, two steps back". Everything she does to clear her own name just digs her into a deeper hole as more and more evidence is stacked against her.

I was sucked in early in the book but found myself distracted about half way through. I felt as though Crow's writing style had changed. It was as if "big words" were trying to be inserted to make things more interesting, however, I found them highly distracting. Then the writing goes back to being like it was in the beginning and not as intense with the amount of odd words being used. As a sucker for most thrillers, I like when a book pulls you in and can really give you the feeling that you're there. However, I found Crow's need to describe EVERYTHING annoying. I felt like each detail had five words to describe it and found myself just wanting to skim to get it over with. Crow did a good job with the ending and pulling me back in. I am glad I stuck with it and finished.

I'm indifferent as to recommending this book.
3 out of 5 stars.

Wednesday, November 22, 2017

Pages in the wind by Sally Saylor De Smet

**I voluntarily reviewed an Advanced Reader Copy of this book**
WOW! This book was really refreshing. There are tons of twists and turns which really made me happy. The description makes it seem like it is only the crime that she cannot remember but I got the impression that she completely lost her entire life's memories. I'm a sucker for books where characters suffer from amnesia so I was really excited to read this one. I liked that there wasn't "wasted time" between the sessions and we stayed on topic, until the end. I feel like the last 10% of the book wasn't sure how to end after the hypnosis had ended - this is where Sally lost one of the stars on me otherwise this would half been an easy 5 star.

Pages In The Wind held my attention really well for most of it. Em is charged for murdering her father and she is given the wonderful Dr. Liebermann to help her figure out all the details because she can't remember any of them. We go through her childhood with her starting at 8. Through the sessions we experience her joy and her pain. Sally does an amazing job of crafting together this character who keeps trying every time even when she is knocked down. 

Emily is your typical girl in her "situation". The need for being loved always out weighs the negative situations we are placed into (for a while). I was anxious to know where Penelope was going to fit in as she kept coming up. Even though she was dead I knew that wasn't going to be the end of it. I was happy with this twist and it brought out a big reaction from me. Obviously, I can't stand Dad and I'm baffled by Mom. As a mom of three I can't imagine resorting to the same ways she did and I'm really pissed off at her for that. As for Robert, kudos to him. Very few people would continue to make their way through life and thrive to become something like he did. The dream big brother, putting Emily before himself when he is dealing with that much pain, he is my favorite. Then we have Reid. I'm not sure what Sally's intentions were with him. Was I supposed to be wrapped up in him as much as Emily was or was I meant to be annoyed by him? Because I was REALLY annoyed by him. So much that I was sad when he came back into the picture. I begged her along side Robert to GET ON THAT PLANE! I was so angry when he came and ruined every possibility she could of had. Thank you Dr. Daniel Liebermann for being a concerned psychiatrist! I'm so tired of them always being portrayed as individuals that aren't really concerned for their patient beyond the hour they get every week or so. 

Thursday, November 16, 2017

The Girl in the Rain by L.G. Davis

**I voluntarily reviewed an Advance Reader Copy of this book from Hidden Gems in exchange for my honest review. **

I am so angry. I cannot stand when women willingly subject themselves to abuse. As a survivor it pisses me off more to watch a woman voluntarily stay in her position than the man causing the abuse. As grown women we should have it figured out by now when a situation is toxic and stop being in fear of loosing somebody. With that said. I did enjoy this book. I wanted to read this book because I though the main character was going to get out of the abusive situation by shooting him herself. I guess I misread the caption. The cover is also beautifully done.

Here we have the weak, guilt ridden, push over Paige Wilson. She has bent over backwards for her brother who uses her. Finally, ready to stand up to him and put an end to this. Attempt one ends with a bang. This turning her life into more misery. Fighting to pay the bills and her mother's debt, Paige is an Algebra teacher who comes home everyday to receive verbal abuse. Each step that she takes to better her life is knocked down three times as hard. including a knife to her best friend. Until finally, a gorgeous billionaire comes to town ready to open her world to all new possibilities. Dinners in Mexico and extravagant gifts she has the wedding of her dreams.... or does she.

The book was great, there was a lull period near the end of the book that I was confused why it hadn't just ended long before but then when the twist comes I see how everything had to be set up but it still took a long time to set up everything for the twist. I don't think I quite understand the title to what is going on. I'm getting exhausted of all these books "The Girl ___" like can people not come up with their own titles anymore??

Obviously, I can't stand Ryan (Paige's brother), and I have a hard time with Paige as she is willing to deal with abuse because she is guilt ridden. Mr. Billionaire feels too good to be true, and thankfully Paige has an awesome friend who stands beside her and willing to be helpful in any way. Her I like a lot!

This book is part of a 2 book series and I am excitedly waiting to see what happens in book 2 now that Paige has stepped up and defended herself!!
4 out of 5

Obscura by Jaden Wilkes

**I voluntarily reviewed and Advance Reader Copy of this book from Hidden Gems in exchange for my honest review. **

Well unfortunately I was not familiar with this author before reading Obscura. Let me tell you how disappointed in myself I am!!. There are a few reasons I chose read this book besides the cover being absolutely beautiful! I am a sucker for psychological thrillers that grab you and don't let go, the header promised a twisted mind f*uck so that was my first draw. I then read the description and it went through a story of how a young woman was attacked and fought her way to reclaim her life by punishing those who had hurt them. Then something happens...but what?!?! I had to know and I'm so glad I did!!!

Right away we face the reality of Gloria's attack and go through it with her step by step, thought by thought. (Warning this may be difficult to read through if you are a survivor yourself recently). Gloria then moves home with her mom where she receives mental help with her therapist and a great group of girls called the "Surviving Butterflies". This group is good for Gloria but I fear Zoe may be harmful for her. Of course the one girl I don't want her to become friends with she looks up to and follows and is willing to do anything for... or is she. Zoe and Gloria develop this second group after hearing about a group of women who deliver punishments on men who have abused women... The Kingmakers.

Ready to reclaim the power from the men who had destroyed them, Zoe and Gloria lead these girls delivering unheard of punishments upon men. Now, I'm not one that believes in feminism so I struggled with their intentions. Then Gloria says exactly what I was thinking through all of this, "Removing men from our culture wouldn't fix it. You couldn't heal by smashing it apart over and over again." This is something I truly stand behind. There is a huge feminist movement going on but it doesn't have anything to do with raising women, it has to do with lowering men. This is something I cannot support so I was happy to see that things were brought back to where I stand.

With all the lies Gloria was trying to keep together to her mom, her therapist, Zoe, the Surviving Butterflies and Adam. I wasn't sure how she was really "healing" after her attack. Then the big moment comes. Gloria's attacker has been found and his punishment has been assigned. Is Gloria ready? Will she finally follow Zoe beyond no return? One the edge of my seat I walked alongside Gloria through this test and what it would lead to. I was horrified and when the twist came about I was slapped across the face!!! So many emotions flooded through me and I was tingling as I discovered who Zoe really was.

There were a couple things that I found that contradicted themselves. I'm hoping that at some point Wilkes can clear up for me or if I'm just confused and not following along with the twist.
1 The name of the trainer girls went from "Lorelei and Trinity" to "Lorelei and Tiffany"
2. In the beginning she made a comment about having failed all the classes but then she discussed that everything came as incomplete

I liked Gloria, it may have a lot to do with the situation she had found herself in, maybe I felt more sorry for her than anything. I was really confused at where Zoe was leading her. I thought this was going to become either a love fantasy with Zoe since she was thinking of her while having sex with Adam, or was going to put her in a position to have her take the fall. (I was way off).  Adam annoyed the crap out of me. I  can't stand a lot of talking during the act so I just wanted him to shut up. Gloria's mom concerned me. She was a little too focused on work I felt. Having just had my family in a similar situation, my step-daughter didn't want to be alone a lot so someone is always home for her. I get she has to pay the bills but working really late I don't think was expectable as a parent.

I highly recommend this book and I am looking forward to reading more by Jaden Wilkes.
5 out of 5