Book Review: The Burning, by S.O. Esposito

The Burning, by S.O. Esposito
The Burning by S.O. Esposito

Published by Misterio Press, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 351

Source: author

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Alice Leininger seems to have the perfect life. She’s happily married, has two beautiful children, a close knit group of friends, and a cause she cares deeply about. But beneath the surface, her world of safety and comfort is unraveling. The periods of lost time she’s kept secret—even from her husband—are happening more frequently. She certainly doesn’t remember leaving her Sarasota home at three-thirty in the morning to burn someone alive. Now she sits in a Florida state mental institution, awaiting judgement on whether she’s fit to stand trial on charges of murder and arson. While a psychologist works to help Alice face her past, her future depends on the answer to one question: How far did she go for justice?

*This book is recommended for mature audiences. While there are no explicit scenes of graphic or explicit violence, it does touch on themes of trafficking and sexual assault.

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Book Review: Bring Me Back, by B.A. Paris

Bring Me Back, by B.A. Paris

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Published by HQ on June 19, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, mystery, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 384

Source: Netgalley

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A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again.

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

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Book Review: Baby Teeth, by Zoje Stage

Baby Teeth, by Zoje Stage

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

Published by St. Martin’s Press on July 17, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, horror, thriller

Format & Length: e-book, 320

Source: Netgalley

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Sweetness can be deceptive.

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

From blazing new talent Zoje Stage, Baby Teeth is a story about a perfect-looking family, and a darling little girl who wants nothing more than to kill her mother.

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Book Review: Good Trouble: Stories, by Joseph O’Neill

Good Trouble, by Joseph O'Neill

Good Trouble: Stories by Joseph O’Neill

Published by Pantheon on June 12, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary

Format & Length: e-book, 176

Source: Penguin’s First to Read

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A masterly collection of eleven stories about the way we live now from the best-selling author of Netherland

From bourgeois facial hair trends to parental sleep deprivation, O’Neill closely observes the mores of his characters, whose vacillations and second thoughts expose the mysterious pettiness, the underlying violence, and, sometimes, the surprising beauty of ordinary life in the early twenty-first century. A lonely wedding guest talks to a goose; a pair of poets struggle over whether to participate in a “pardon Edward Snowden” verse petition; a cowardly husband lets his wife face a possible intruder in their home; a potential co-op renter in New York City can’t find anyone to give him a character reference. On the surface, these men and women may only be in mild trouble, but O’Neill reminds us of the real, secretly political consequences of our internal monologues in these perfectly made, fiercely modern stories. No writer is more incisive about the strange world we live in now, and the laugh-out-loud vulnerability of his people is just as well fodder for tears.

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Book Review: Social Creature, by Tara Isabella Burton

Social Creature, by Tara Isabella Burton
Social Creature by Tara Isabella Burton

Published by Doubleday on June 5, 2018 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, suspense, thriller

Format & Length: paperback, 273

Source: publisher via Goodreads giveaway

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For readers of Gillian Flynn and Donna Tartt, a dark, propulsive and addictive debut thriller, splashed with all the glitz and glitter of New York City.

They go through both bottles of champagne right there on the High Line, with nothing but the stars over them… They drink and Lavinia tells Louise about all the places they will go together, when they finish their stories, when they are both great writers-to Paris and to Rome and to Trieste…

Lavinia will never go. She is going to die soon.

Louise has nothing. Lavinia has everything. After a chance encounter, the two spiral into an intimate, intense, and possibly toxic friendship.

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5 Hot Books to Read This Summer

5 hot books to read this summer

I don’t know about you, but I get excited for summer reading every year! Even when I was younger, I used to bring my school’s summer reading list to Barnes and Noble and proceed to stack them all together instead of picking the two or three that were required.

Summer reading means something different for every reader, though. In the following five selections there are a variety of styles and genres to choose from. Most have been previously published so if you’re a library lover it should be easy to get your hands on them!

Looking for a more comprehensive list of titles to choose from? Check out the 2018 Summer Reading Guides at Modern Mrs. Darcy and Sarah’s Book Shelves for even more options!

Ready to see my picks?

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May Reading Wrap Up

May 2018 Reading Wrap UpMay is always a crazy month in my personal life, with both my wedding anniversary and my husband’s birthday. There’s also always 17,384 walks, runs, dinners, and other types of fundraisers that I wind up going to. I keep telling my husband to stop being so nice to everyone so they stop inviting us everywhere! He’s an outgoing extrovert who just can’t help himself, though. What’s a wife to do?? Introvert that I am, I schedule in days or nights when I can just be at home and get cozy with a book! So, even amidst all the goings on, I still managed to read quite a few books this month!

I also spent some time this month updating the blog style and graphics. Since first starting this blog, I’ve changed the design a few times, but I think it’s finally at the point where it incorporates all the features I’ve been looking for and will not be changing again anytime soon! This is the first post in the new style, but I’ll be going back and updating older posts to match over the next few weeks. Or maybe months… I hadn’t realized I’ve posted over 200 times so far! What do you think of the new design? Let me know in the comments!

Anyway. I’m ready to talk about the books I read and reviewed this month now, how about you?

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Book Review: Ark of Blood, by J.F. Penn

Ark of Blood, by J.F. Penn

Ark of Blood by J.F. Penn
Published by The Creative Penn Limited  on April 16, 2015 (first published December 12th 2012)
Series: Arkane, #3
Genre(s): fiction, action, adventure, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 256
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A desperate race to find the Ark of the Covenant – and save the world from a devastating Holy War.

Cairo, Egypt. When the curator of the Museum of Antiquities is slaughtered in a horrific ritual by a group wearing the masks of Ancient Egyptian deities, local authorities ask for help from ARKANE, the agency tasked with investigating religious and paranormal events. Then, in Washington DC, a decapitated Arab body is discovered. The head is placed on the replica Ark of the Covenant along with a chilling message that warns of a terrifying escalation of violence in the Middle East.

ARKANE agent, British-Israeli psychologist Dr Morgan Sierra, must race against time to uncover the real Ark – aware that her nemesis, the vicious mercenary Natasha, is also in the hunt and out for bloody revenge. Morgan travels across Egypt and Jordan, retracing the steps of the Biblical Exodus and following a trail of clues that takes her into the mists of history – and mortal danger…

The third novel in the bestselling ARKANE series, EXODUS is a pulse-pounding thriller for fans of Dan Brown and James Rollins. Filled with puzzles, adventure and excitement, it also asks serious questions about the nature of religion…and the beliefs that lie at the very heart of humankind.

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Book Review: Red Agenda, by Cameron Poe

Red Agenda, by Cameron Poe

Red Agenda by Cameron Poe
Published by BookBaby on April 16, 2018
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, action, thriller
Format & Length: paperback, 434
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The most sought after commodity in the world is power, and when money is no object, power is up for grabs. Desiring autonomy, one small nation develops an unlikely plan to procure a nuclear-powered submarine. If all goes as intended, the Middle East will destabilize and the OPEC Alliance will crumble. Yet as money might buy power, there’s no guarantee that it buys loyalty. So when the submarine breaks the ocean surface it doesn’t travel to the Middle East, it sails for Russia, in an attempt to return the nation to its Soviet roots. Alerted to the possibility of the theft of a Russian sub, the CIA must foil the plan for acquisition without alarming the rest of the world. A step behind and suffering from department infighting, the CIA watches in disbelief as the single most powerful weapon in the world rises from the ocean floor. It doesn’t take long for them to realize that the commander of the vessel has no intention of honoring his contract. Scrambling to prevent a world-wide disaster, CIA operatives in coordination with the US Navy launch a daring and risky plan to quietly thwart a rogue submarine captain before he can obliterate Moscow and take control of the country. Those who volunteer for this mission risk their lives. Those who don’t risk the safety of the entire world.

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Book Review: Jar of Hearts, by Jennifer Hillier

Jar of Hearts, by Jennifer Hillier

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier
Published by Minotaur Books on June 12, 2018
Series: n/a
Genre(s): fiction, crime, mystery, suspense, thriller
Format & Length: e-book, 320
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“Jar of Hearts grabs you by the throat! The perfect blend of riveting characters, chilling details, and gasping twists in this standout thriller will keep you frantically reading until the explosive end.” – Lisa Gardner, New York Times bestselling author of Right Behind You

This is the story of three best friends: one who was murdered, one who went to prison, and one who’s been searching for the truth all these years . . .

When she was sixteen years old, Angela Wong—one of the most popular girls in school—disappeared without a trace. Nobody ever suspected that her best friend, Georgina Shaw, now an executive and rising star at her Seattle pharmaceutical company, was involved in any way. Certainly not Kaiser Brody, who was close with both girls back in high school.

But fourteen years later, Angela Wong’s remains are discovered in the woods near Geo’s childhood home. And Kaiser—now a detective with Seattle PD—finally learns the truth: Angela was a victim of Calvin James. The same Calvin James who murdered at least three other women.

To the authorities, Calvin is a serial killer. But to Geo, he’s something else entirely. Back in high school, Calvin was Geo’s first love. Turbulent and often volatile, their relationship bordered on obsession from the moment they met right up until the night Angela was killed.

For fourteen years, Geo knew what happened to Angela and told no one. For fourteen years, she carried the secret of Angela’s death until Geo was arrested and sent to prison.

While everyone thinks they finally know the truth, there are dark secrets buried deep. And what happened that fateful night is more complex and more chilling than anyone really knows. Now the obsessive past catches up with the deadly present when new bodies begin to turn up, killed in the exact same manner as Angela Wong.

How far will someone go to bury her secrets and hide her grief? How long can you get away with a lie? How long can you live with it?

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