Book Review

Book Review: The Sun Down Motel by Simone St. James

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Thriller / Mystery
Length: 327 pages
Author: Simone St. James
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: February 18th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…

DEFINITELY CREEPY.

Another thriller that I immensely enjoyed. Even as my Husband asked multiple times in the last 50 pages if I was okay. I was that enthralled and NEEDED TO KNOW.

What creeped me out most about this book was that relevance of it all. How easily this can and does happen to women. It was freaky to think of being watched, of being chose “just because” and disappearing without a trace.

The alternating story lines worked really well. I occasionally found them repetitive of each other, but overall, they kept the story moving. I was equally interested in both stories and thought they connected at the right time to tell the newest timeline.

I’m usually not into ghost stories, but this worked so well!! I was spooked by them, but they also played their own part. They definitely added to the ambiance and vibes of the whole book and gave me the heebie-jeebies multiple times. Remind me to never work at a run down motel in a small town. NOPE. That ending with all of the information rolling out was like WHOA. I loved finding out who was all included in what really happened in 1982.

Generally, thrillers slow down to where I feel like I need to just skim and get it over with. I never felt that way here. I found it easy to want to keep reading and the pages really flew by. An all out great thriller for it being a lesser read genre for me.

Overall audience notes:

  • Thriller / Mystery
  • Language: some strong
  • Romance: kisses
  • Violence: murder, physical altercations
  • Trigger warnings: mentions of rape victims (no full scenes), harassment, kidnapping, stalking

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Book Review

Book Review: The Beat Match (Showmen #3) by Kelly Siskind

Rating: ☆☆☆☆
Audience: Contemporary Romance
Length: 318 pages
Author: Kelly Siskind
Publisher: CD Books
Release Date: September 16th, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Treat yourself to this friends-to-lovers romance reviewers are calling “heart-melting” and “swoony” and “packed with heat and chemistry.”

Two DJs. One beat. An off-limits romance neither of them expected.

Weston Aldrich is known for his devastating looks and crisp Italian suits. He’s been groomed to take over his family business and is on the brink of closing a massive merger. Only two wild cards can derail him.

Wild Card One: If anyone learns he moonlights as a masked DJ, his credibility will be toast.
Wild Card Two: Annie can’t-hold-a-job Ward.

The Annie Ward he promised to help raise after her brother died. The scatterbrained girl who makes it her mission in life to drive him crazy. The gorgeous woman he’s not supposed to fantasize about, let alone kiss.

Annie hates Wes’s insanely overprotective nature, and how his ridiculous bone structure makes him look like a Greek god. His jokes about her plethora of jobs are beyond irksome. She has no plans to tell him about her latest aspiration, to match beats as a budding DJ. Until she learns what Wes does at night. Now she plans to prove Weston Aldrich has met his match.

CUTE & FAST-PACED.

I’ve been enjoying the Showmen series! I still think New Orleans Rush is my favorite, but I really had a good time with this story and loved how quickly I flew through it. There’s something about the way Siskind writes her characters that make the books hard to put down for long.

I thought Annie and Wes were pretty adorable. A long time friends to lovers situation where it was total opposites attract. Kind of a grump and sunshine situation. They both stumbled a bit and how to find their footing within the relationship and I liked watching this growth and maturity that occurred.

Sometimes the plot went a little too dramatic or that it some pieces just weren’t necessary? I did like the exploration of grief and how it’s different for everyone involved. No two people experience a situation the same way and this was clearly shown.

What kind of sealed the deal on the adorableness of these two was that epilogue. OH I LOVE A GOOD EPILOGUE. It was absolutely precious and I just became completely smitten with Wes all over again. A charming addition to the Showmen series!

Overall audience notes:

  • Contemporary romance
  • Language: some strong throughout
  • Kisses to open door scenes
  • Trigger/Content Warnings: depictions of grief, mentions of going to therapy, homelessness, loss of loved ones, gun violence

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Book Review

Book Review: A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire (Blood and Ash #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

Rating: ☆☆☆☆☆
Audience: Fantasy romance
Length: 496 pages
Author: Jennifer L. Armentrout
Publisher: Blue Box Press
Release Date: September 1st, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

A Betrayal…

Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.

A Choice…

Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants—to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself—about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.

A Secret…

But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.

THIS WAS AS GOOD AS I WAS EXPECTING.

Oh did I love this. Even more than the first book. It just added to everything I experienced the first time, and now that I’m more solidified with characters/world/story, it made it all the better.

I am so in love with Hawke and Poppy. What a feisty relationship. I find myself smirking and enjoying their banter and conversations. I spent half the time shouting, JUST SAY I LOVE YOU ALREADY. Because seriously, the chemistry is off the charts. Not to mention the steam. H-o-t. A little bit past what I’m comfortable with (and I don’t mind skimming so it’s not a huge deal). I did like that it fit into the story and made the romance between them come alive. I like steamy scenes to really play their own part to the story.

What’s also amazing is the plot itself. Gods, wolves, vampires, OH MY. This is very intricate and layered. I learned even more about the world and how all the players were holding their cards. I’m excited to see how that keeps weaving into Poppy’s life as she unfolds the mysteries that have surrounded her.

Real obsessed with most of these side characters too. Namely, Kieran. His dry humor and witty remarks only make me love this series even more. I think he’ll play an even bigger role in the next installment, along with all of his werewolf friends. I can’t believe it myself, but I am loving this vampire/werewolf story. I think it’s all in how Armentrout has portrayed and written them. It’s not gimmicky, it’s fierce and powerful characters that have just made me love this series.

Amazing ending where I’m shouting, I KNEW IT. I actually don’t know if I know it, but all signs point towards a third book that’s sure to stop my heart a few times.

Overall audience notes:

  • Fantasy romance
  • Language: some light to strong
  • Romance: a bit of everything (as I said very steamy); would probably say 3 to 4 flames out of five; multiple open door scenes
  • Violence: bloody/gory; physical, magical, swords, catapults, fire, swords, arrows
  • Trigger warnings: PTSD from being captured and tortured; losing loved ones

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Book Review

Book Review: Bone Crier’s Moon (Bone Grace #1) by Kathryn Purdie

Rating: ☆☆☆
Audience: YA Fantasy
Length: 480 pages
Author: Kathryn Purdie
Publisher: Katherine Tegen Books
Release Date: March 3rd, 2020
Image & Other Reviews on: Goodreads

BOOK SUMMARY:

Bone ​Criers have a sacred duty. They alone can keep the dead from preying on the living. But their power to ferry the spirits of the dead into goddess Elara’s Night Heavens or Tyrus’s Underworld comes from sacrifice. The gods demand a promise of dedication. And that promise comes at the cost of the Bone Criers’ one true love.

Ailesse has been prepared since birth to become the matriarch of the Bone Criers, a mysterious famille of women who use strengths drawn from animal bones to ferry dead souls. But first she must complete her rite of passage and kill the boy she’s also destined to love.

Bastien’s father was slain by a Bone Crier and he’s been seeking revenge ever since. Yet when he finally captures one, his vengeance will have to wait. Ailesse’s ritual has begun and now their fates are entwined—in life and in death.

Sabine has never had the stomach for the Bone Criers’ work. But when her best friend Ailesse is taken captive, Sabine will do whatever it takes to save her, even if it means defying their traditions—and their matriarch—to break the bond between Ailesse and Bastien. Before they all die.

STARTED STRONG.

Fighting a tiger shark? Yeah, that’s a strong start.

I liked where things were going and how it was set-up. I was imagining a lot wider plot that would connect back into the characters..but alas, that was not the case. Everything took place in a small city, and it felt that way. There was this reiteration about a flute that went on for 450 pages. That’s mostly what I gathered from this.

Multiple POVs are my jam, and I liked having them here. I did find myself confused at times with who was speaking if I had to stop in the middle of a chapter. Their own voices didn’t resonate enough from the page to really help me grasp the character.

What was the thing with the owl?! I’m still confused, and have too many questions. This mythical owl kept showing up to further the plot by being the answer the characters needed. It was a cop-out. I’m guessing the owl plays a bigger role in book two? Maybe? I don’t know.

This is a quick read, and definitely fits in the young adult fantasy category. Besides struggling with the POVs, I did like the writing style because of it’s pace and not drawn out sentiments.

Ooooo, I haven’t even mentioned my true downfall with this one, the insta-love. Oh goodness, the instant love. We literally changed paragraphs and Bastien went from wanting to stab, to wanting to kiss Ailesse. Does not work for me.

Overall audience notes:

  • Young adult fantasy
  • Language: none
  • Romance: kiss
  • Violence: swords/knives, physical altercations, explosions

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