Book Review · FIction · Mystery · Suspense · Thriller

The Apartment

Thank you NetGalley, and K.L. Slater for the gifted copy of The Apartment.

Synopsis

It’s an opportunity she can’t refuse. The woman before her tried…

Meet Freya Miller. She needs a miracle. Her husband betrayed her. She is about to lose her family home. And her 5-year-old daughter, Skye, will lose the security she has always know. Freya doesn’t know what she is going to do, that is until she met Dr. Marsden in a coffee shop. He is looking for a new tenant in a fashionable area of London. But the best part is, the apartment is shockingly affordable. To Freya, the Addler House sounds too good to be true…but Freya really doesn’t have any other choices and plus Dr. Marsden is adamant that she and Skye will be a perfect fit with the other residents in the home.

Meet the Addler House. The Addler House has secrets. And Freya, she feels like she is being watched…even with her door being locked. A short time after moving in, objects begin moving, there are strange, unfamiliar smells in the apartment, and then there is that blinking light of a concealed camera. Is Freya dream home hiding a nightmarish reality? Was it chance that let Freya and Skye to the Addler house or was it something much more sinister and dark?

As pieces start clicking into place, and as the truth slowly comes out about The Addler House, can Freya and Skye get out or will they be locked in The Addler House forever?

Review

K.L. Slater is a new to me author and this is the first book of her’s that I have read. I thought, overall, the story was good. The book was well written and the characters were immediately likable. Honestly for me, it was the characters that kept me reading. While the story was interesting, I felt like the idea of taking an apartment with no questions asked and the idea that the apartment would only cost what you can afford seems too far fetched to me. Once I got past that part of the plot, the psychological part of this book was intriguing. Like Freya, I too could not figure out what was going on and who to trust and who not to trust. The biggest thing that I did not like about the psychological part of the book was that it was wrapped up way to fast for my liking. I did not feel like there was enough suspense, nor was there enough “start and restarts” of trying to figure out the “who done it.” Once things had started to unravel it was like that was the end of the story and it was finished up quick. I wish it would have been a little more drawn out. Over all this book was good and I would choose to pick up another book of K.L. Slater‘s.

Rating

About the Author

My writing journey . . .

After years of trying to get published and never getting further than the slush pile, I went back to university at the age of 40 where I gained  a first-class honours degree in English & Creative Writing and an MA in Creative Writing with distinction.

Although I also had a day job during the five years I studied at university, the courses gave me the time and space to try different writing and increased my confidence and belief in my writing. Before I graduated from my MA, I had secured representation at the Darley Anderson Literacy, TV and Film Agency who got me my first book deal. My literary agent is Camilla Bolton.

My first adult psychological thriller for Bookouture, ‘Safe with Me’,  actually started life as my dissertation on my English & Creative Writing degree in 2010.

The creepy voice of Anna came to me strong and insistent . . . she wanted to be written, she wouldn’t go away. I’m so glad I listened!

I first became published writing Young Adult fiction for Macmillan Children’s Books under the name Kim Slater. My award-winning YA debut, SMART, started life as a short story for my MA in Creative Writing in 2012.

I am now a full-time writer. I have a daughter and two stepsons and live with my husband in Nottingham and Yorkshire.

Book Review · Contemporary · Crime Mystery · FIction · Mystery

Come Join the Murder

This month I had the pleasure of working with BookSirens and was gifted a copy of the book Come Join the Murder by Holly Rae Garcia.

Synopsis

Meet Rebecca Crow. Rebecca’s four-year-old son is dead, and her husband is missing.

When Rebecca’s son and husband don’t come home after calling Rebecca to say they had a flat and AAA was there to assist, Rebecca begins to worry. Police are contacted. Divers find her husband’s car at the bottom of a canal with their son’s small, lifeless, body inside. The police have no suspects and nothing to go on but a passing mention of a man driving a van. 

Rebecca, although grief stricken, only has one thing on her mind…REVENGE!!

Meet James Porter. James knows exactly what happened, but he’ll do anything to keep it a secret.

James didn’t plan to kill Rebecca’s son, but he’s not too broken up about it, either. There are more important things for him to worry about. He needs money, and his increasing appetite for murder is attracting the wrong kind of attention.

Will Rebecca get revenge? Will James continue to murder or get caught?

Review

This is my first time reading a book by Holly Rae Garcia. Overall, I thought the book was good. I enjoyed the story, however, I felt like the story was a bit too unbelievable. I don’t want to give too much away, but as the events of the book played out, I did not feel like they could happen without someone being seen or caught. In addition, while I thought the book was good, I was a bit confused as the story of what happened when her son when he died was repeated over and over and the story changed every time. It was not until the end that I figured out that these were the stories that Rebecca had told herself about the incident. I wish that would have been a little clearer from the beginning. Like I said, the book was good, and I enjoyed the read, I just wasn’t lost in it.

I appreciate the opportunity to read and review this book that was given to me by BookSirens and Holly Rae Garcia.

Rating

About the Author

Holly is a corporate photographer by day. When she’s not shooting or editing, she writes short stories and novels and runs a local book club. They meet at the pub. Okay, they’re a wine club that talks about books. Semantics.

She’s worn a lot of hats over the years, working as a waitress, bartender, 911 dispatcher, wedding photographer, lab technician, and a handful of soul-crushing roles at soul-crushing companies. But not her current role, that job is fantastic (in case her boss is reading this).

Holly loves the works of Edgar Allen Poe, Daniel Keyes, Richard Matheson, and Stephen King. Dark stories with sad endings are her jam. In her own writing, she leans towards the horror, sci-fi, and dystopian genres.

Holly lives on the Texas Coast with her family and five dogs.

Book Review · Psychology · Science Fiction · Young Adult

Equilibria

This month I had the pleasure of partnering with BookSirens and Vrinda Pendred to read Equilibria. Thank you to both for the gifted copy of this book.

Synopsis

Meet Anna Nolon. She is obsessive…about everything. She worries about her grades, her appearance, germs, the pattern of her footsteps, the number of syllables in the words she says, her parents’ approval, the future and, most of all, death.

It’s okay – so does everyone else. This is Equilibria: the first society built to accommodate OCD.

But when Aaron comes along – the strange new boy who doesn’t quite fit into that pristine society of Holy Balance and Order – Anna is forced to look at the dark shadows hanging over her and decide if perfection is really what she wants.

Review

Overall, I quite enjoyed this book. It was an interesting read for someone who has OCD herself. Much of what Anna was going through in the book I could relate to. I think that Vrinda Pendred did a fantastic job of explaining what the disease is like, while at the same time respecting the disease for the impact that it has on people. I also think she did a fantastic job describing what the other side starts to look like when you are fighting the disease. I am not sure if that was the true plan she had, but the image of sailing away in a boat will forever be in my mind when I think about OCD. The only thing that I did not like about this book is Equilibria: the first society built to accommodate OCD. While I did need accommodations while I was fighting the disease and sometimes still today, I would never, ever want to live in the fear for always like the people of Equilibria did. I hated that the book made it seem like those with OCD should be separated and accommodated. I think that is wrong on so many levels. I know when I was fighting the disease, all I wanted was to be like everyone else…to be “normal” again. Overall, I think Vrinda Pendred writes a great story with such detail to what the characters are experiencing, especially those with OCD. She writes of the struggles and the wanting to break free with such excellent descriptions that even without a diagnosis of OCD you can experience what the characters are going through. This was a fun book to get lost in.

Rating

About the Author

Vrinda originally grew up in Arizona, but moved to England in 1999, where she now lives with her husband and their two sons. Her first novel was The Ladder, a story about two friends learning to grow through their difficult childhoods and find the light that lies inside themselves. She followed this with the YA sci-fi / fantasy series The Wisdom.

Vrinda also runs a publishing house for writers with neurological conditions, called Conditional Publications. Their first book, Check Mates: A Collection of Fiction, Poetry and Artwork about Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder, by People with OCD, was released in 2010 (Kindle and paperback), with future books in the pipeline.

In addition to her writing, Vrinda also does freelance proofreading and editing, and spent 9 years tutoring GCSE / A-Level English.  She holds a BA Hons in English with Creative Writing, a proofreading qualification with the Publishing Training Centre, and has completed work experience with Random House.  On the side, she sometimes writes and performs her own music and runs a herbal tea review blog with a friend.

Favourite Book Genres: YA / NA, Science-Fiction, Fantasy, Paranormal, Horror

Favourite Fiction Authors: Stephen King, Michael Grant, Graham Joyce, Cassandra Clare, Brigid Kemmerer, Holly Black, James Dashner, Margaret Atwood, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Edgar Allan Poe

Adult Fiction · Book Review · Contemporary Sports Romance · FIction · Romance

Stay

In April I participated in a Buddy Read with the We Be Book’N Book Club. Late last year I discovered Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy, and I absolutely love their books. When this came up as a buddy read, I couldn’t join the read fast enough!!!

Synopsis

Warning: Contains rabid hockey fans, misunderstood dick pics, hockey players at the opera and exploding ovaries. 

Meet Hailey Taylor Emery. She owns a business, Fetch – an anonymous virtual assistant service, with her ex-husband and has a hunch that her favorite client is actually hockey star Matt Eriksson. While it is against company rules to check is file (remember anonymous), she believes in her gut that she spends 95% of her day texting with her lifelong crush and catering to his every need.

Meet Matt Eriksson. Hockey player and still not over the destruction of his marriage. As he tries to move on, Matt believes that hockey and long-term relationships are a toxic mix. Matt’s ex-wife drives him insane and he hardly every gets to see his kids. The only person who understands is someone Matt has never seen the face of.

Enter a pair of hockey tickets. Hailey can’t resist hockey tickets and Matt can’t resist Hailey. But, will hockey and the sting of previous relationships get in the way of a relationship before it even gets started?

Stay is the 2nd book in the WAGS series by Sarina Bowen and Elle Kennedy.

Review

Last year I stumbled on author Elle Kennedy due to another buddy read with We Be Book’N. I read the first couple pages of the book in the buddy read and I was hooked. More recently I discovered Sarina Bowen, and just like with Elle, I was hooked!!!

I loved the story of Hailey and Matt. While Elle and Sarina write romance novels, there are so much more to their books than romance. Elle and Sarina are both geniuses when it comes to character development and ever character they write about make the story what it is. Sarina and Elle touch on all parts of relationships…the good, the bad, the heartbreaks, the makeups, and everything in between. They make you wish you were in a relationship with the characters in the book (especially the hockey players…I mean who can resist a hockey player). I can’t tell you enough how good at writing these authors are, other than to say I generally start a book and am so hooked that I finish the book the day I started it! There will be many more books by Sarina and Elle in my future and there should be books by these two in your future too!!!

Rating

About the Authors:

Sarina Bowen is the award-winning author of more than thirty contemporary novels. She has hit the USA Today bestseller’s list thirteen times and counting. Formerly a derivatives trader on Wall Street, Sarina holds a BA in economics from Yale University.

Sarina is a New Englander whose Vermont ancestors cut timber and farmed the north country since the 1760s. Sarina is grateful for the invention of indoor plumbing and wi-fi during the intervening 250 years. On a few wooded acres, she lives with her husband, two boys, and an ungodly amount of ski and hockey gear.

Sarina’s books are published in a dozen languages on four continents.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

New York TimesUSA Today and Wall Street Journal bestselling author, Elle Kennedy grew up in the suburbs of Toronto, Ontario, and holds a B.A. in English from York University. From an early age, she knew she wanted to be a writer, and actively began pursuing that dream when she was a teenager.

Elle writes romantic suspense and erotic contemporary romance for various publishers. She loves strong heroines and sexy alpha heroes, and just enough heat and danger to keep things interesting!

Book Review · FIction · Romance · Women's Fiction

What Happens in Paradise

In April I participated in a Buddy Read with the We Be Book’N Book Club. I love Elin Hilderbrand books, so I couldn’t wait to jump in.

Summary

Meet Irene Steele. A year ago Irene was shocked to hear the news that her husband, a successful business man and father to her sons, was killed in a helicopter crash. What she was even more shocked to hear was that her husband had been leading a double life on the island of St. John, where there was another woman that loved him too.

Through a series of circumstances, Irene and her son’s find themselves back on the island of St. John. They are there to learn the truth about the husband/father they thought they knew and unravel the mystery of who this man actually was. As Irene and her son’s learn more about the man they thought they knew, they also learn more about themselves and begin to think about putting the pieces back together and forging a future.

This is the 2nd book in the Paradise Series by Elin Hilderbrand.

Review

I have read many of Elin Hilderbrand’s books over the years, and as always, she does not disappoint with the story she tells. Elin Hilderbrand does a wonderful job in weaving together the tragedy that a family suffers after the death of a loved one, along with positive plans for the future and happiness. What could have been a dark depressive book, was a wonderful story of loss, grief, love, uncertainty, and hope for the future. Elin Hilderbrand’s style of writing pulls you into the story and weaves you into the lives of the charters in the story she is telling. She braids you into their lives in a way that makes you believe that you are part of their family and part of the life they are living. And when you finish a book, they always leave you wanting more and wondering what happens to the charters after you read the last page. I love Elin Hilderbrand’s books and will continue to read each one she publishes!!!

Of note, this is the 2nd book in the Paradise Series. I did not realize this when I began this book and really wish I would have read the first book in the series first. If you take anything away from this review, other than Elin Hilderbrand is a fantastic author, take away that you should read this series in the order that they were written.

Rating

About the Author

Elin Hilderbrand lives on Nantucket with her husband and their three young children. She grew up in Collegeville, Pennsylvania, and traveled extensively before settling on Nantucket, which has been the setting for her five previous novels. Hilderbrand is a graduate of Johns Hopkins University and the graduate fiction workshop at the University of Iowa.

Book Review · FIction · Women's Fiction

The Ruby of the Sea

For this book I partnered with Suzy Approved Tours and Peggy Lampman. Thank you Suzy for the invitation to join this tour and thank you Peggy Lampman for the gifted copy of The Ruby of the Sea. All opinions in this review are my own.

Synopsis

Meet Linnea Chandler. For the last 15 years she has been aimlessly traveling the country, trying to find happiness, while running from her fear of the sea. Linnea returns to her hometown of Key West, Florida and although this is home, this is where the heart of her phobia of the sea lives. While she has kept this secret for years, she comes to find out that maybe keeping it a secret was not the best idea. After all, kept secrets sometimes come back to bite you when you least expect them to and can put wedges between loved ones.

Back home, Linnea reunites with her sisters, her parents, and the 19th century lighthouse that her family has called home since she was little. The lighthouse carries a troubled past and a frightening myth…a myth that if Linnea is honest with herself, eerily mirrors the mystery that is her younger sister.

The three sisters must decide to what extremes they are willing to protect the secrets that they carry. Can they ignore the lighthouse’s history and the fatal shipwreck in 1857 that caused so much pain? Can they defy a hurricane that is threatening to pummel their town? And when their world is upended, do the women have the strength to move forward?

Review

While this book was slow to start for me, once I got into the book I really enjoyed the story. While I thought that this was just going to be another story about three sisters coming together to clear the air of all that they have been through and are going through, I am glad to say that I was wrong. Peggy Lampman’s writing was full of wonderful and not so wonderful surprises! While I am not a huge fan of books that have multiple narrators, Peggy Lampman did a wonderful job of keeping each of the sister’s stories separate, while at the same time weaving them all together. While I was not sure I was going to like this book with how slow it started for me, I am glad that I stuck it out or I would have not learned of the sister’s tales and all that it takes to keep a family together during hard times.

Of note, Peggy Lampman writes of mental health troubles in this book. Since I am a social worker and work with people with mental health troubles, I am always interested in how people portray them. Will they give the issue the attention that it deserves while not overwhelming the reader? Without giving the story away, I think that Peggy Lampman did a great job of describing what one goes through with a mental illness. She did a great job of showing the severity of what those affected go through, while at the same time telling a beautiful story of the person affected and how the family is affected as well. I can only hope that other authors would take the same care with the subject of mental illness as Peggy Lampman did.

Rating

About the Author

Peggy Lampman’s passion is writing women’s fiction, which provokes the mind and touches the heart. She uses contemporary themes as a means to break down relationship, familial and cultural barriers. Her novels, THE PROMISE KITCHEN, THE WELCOME HOME DINER and THE RUBY OF THE SEA, reflect this fascination. Of particular pleasure to her is developing flawed characters-living in and reconciling with-the shadows cast by their equally flawed parents.

She grew up in Alabama and planted roots in her college town of Ann Arbor, Michigan where she owned a specialty food store and wrote a food column for the Ann Arbor News and MLive

After earning a bachelor’s degree in communications, summa cum laude, from the University of Michigan, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter and photographer for a public relations firm. After moving back to Ann Arbor, her college town, she opened a specialty foods store, the Back Alley Gourmet. Years later, Peggy sold the store and started writing a weekly food column for the Ann Arbor News and MLive. Lampman writes the popular blog www.dinnerfeed.com. She is currently writing her fourth book.

Adult Fiction · Book Review · Contemporary · Crime Mystery · FIction · Mystery · Suspense · Thriller

The Family Upstairs

This month I had the pleasure of participating in a buddy read with We Be Book’N. This book club gets me into so much trouble…turning me on to new books to read and sucking me in to buddy reads, but I would not have it any other way!!! 🙂

Synopsis

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets. 

Goodreads.com Synopsis of The Family Upstairs

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

Meet Libby Jones. Adopted as a young child, Libby has always wondered who she is. Days after her 25th birthday, Libby receives a letter in the mail that she has been waiting for her entire life. The letter not only tells her the identity of her birth parents, but also tells her that she has inherited her parent’s abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames Rive. The home is worth millions!!! Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. Little does she know that others have been waiting this day as well…

Review

The only way to describe this book is weird…the kind of weird that you can’t keep but reading!! This is the first book that I have read by Lisa Jewell, even though I have several of her books on my shelves! And while weird, this book did not disappoint! When I first started reading this book, I thought it was going to be a nice story about Libby and her inherited home and how she fixes it up (I have a bad or good habit of not reading the synopsis of a book before I read it). Boy was I wrong!! This book flips back and forth between the present and 25 years ago. It describes Libby’s life now, but also the disturbing life going on at 16 Cheyne Walk. As I read the descriptions of the lives that were being lived at 16 Cheyne Walk, I was in awe and a little mad about what was happening at the home. I was frustrated with the things that the kids in the house were going through (enter my social work background). This book was like an accident scene…you know, the kind that you know you should look away from, but at the same time, can’t bear to turn away form. Lisa Jewel tells a fantastically haunting story that captured me early on. The story was intriguing and you could not help wondering what was going to happen next. Lisa Jewel‘s writing is wonderfully descriptive and I could imagine the home and the experiences in my mind’s eye. This book was full of suspense and mystery that kept me guessing to the very end. The only thing about this book that I didn’t like was that it wrapped up too quickly…I felt there was more story to tell and more to wrap up. This book left me wishing for more!!

I am so glad that I finally read a book by Lisa Jewell. I am also glad that I read this book as a buddy read as we all had fun sharing our theories of what was happening in the book. It was wonderful to be able to share frustrations with the book and know I was not the only one feeling that way!!! Lisa Jewel is definitely on my list of authors to continue to read. I am excited to get my hands on the other books that she has written!!!

Rating

About the Author

Lisa was born in London in 1968. Her mother was a secretary and her father was a textile agent and she was brought up in the northernmost reaches of London with her two younger sisters. She was educated at a Catholic girls’ Grammar school in Finchley. After leaving school at sixteen she spent two years at Barnet College doing an arts foundation course and then two years at Epsom School of Art & Design studying Fashion Illustration and Communication.

She worked for the fashion chain Warehouse for three years as a PR assistant and then for Thomas Pink, the Jermyn Street shirt company for four years as a receptionist and PA. She started her first novel, Ralph’s Party, for a bet in 1996. She finished it in 1997 and it was published by Penguin books in May 1998. It went on to become the best-selling debut novel of that year.

She has since written a further nine novels, as is currently at work on her eleventh.

She now lives in an innermost part of north London with her husband Jascha, an IT consultant, her daughters, Amelie and Evie and her silver tabbies, Jack and Milly.

Audiobook · Book Review · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance · FIction · Romance · Women's Fiction

Not the Girl You Marry

Synopsis

Meet Jack Nolan. Jack is a journalist, but instead of covering politics, like he wants to be doing, he is stuck at an internet media company as the “how-to” guy. Jack is fed up with writing “fluff articles” and wants more than anything to break into the world of politics. In order to move up in his career, Jack strikes a deal with his boss to write one final “farewell” piece: How to Lose a Girl. Jack thinks this should be easy task, that is, until he meets Hannah Mayfield.

Meet Hannah Mayfield. Hannah is an event planner and her only focus is climbing the career ladder. Hannah is know for her events with professional sports players, but nobody thinks that she will ever be able to plan weddings. In order to secure a promotion, Hannah must prove to her boss that she has range, which includes planning a romantic wedding, which she dreads.

Jack and Hannah meet. Hannah thinks that he is the perfect man to date for a couple of weeks to show her boss that she is not scared of feelings. And Jack decides to use Hannah as his “How to Lose a Girl” girl. But then, Jack and Hannah’s fake relationship starts to feel real. Jack is no longer sure that Hannah is the one he wants to lose for his article and Hannah begins to think that Jack is not just some guy she will date for a couple of weeks.

What will Jack and Hannah put first…their promotions or their relationship? Read Not the Girl You Marry to find out!!!

Review

I listened to this book in the car driving to and from work. As I began to listen, this felt a lot like the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” While the base of the story was very similar, I think Andie J Christopher‘s characters that she created where fantastic. I loved Jack and Hannah as well as all of the minor characters in the book. I thought they were both funny, charming, and just a little “crazy” (in a good way, of course!!!). Jack and Hannah and their banter back and forth made this story stand out from the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” It shaped the story that made me what to continue listening long after my drive had ended. Andie J Christopher does a wonderful job with her descriptions of characters as well as the situations they are in. It is easy to picture each part of the story in your mind’s eye and see it all unfolding before you! While this was first book of Andie J Christopher that I have read, I will for sure be checking out her other books!!!

Rating

Meet the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Andie J. Christopher writes edgy, funny, sexy contemporary romance featuring heat, humor, and dirty talking heroes that make readers sweat. She grew up in a family of voracious readers, and picked up her first Harlequin Romance novel at age twelve when she’d finished reading everything else in her grandmother’s house. It was love at first read. It wasn’t too long before she started writing her own stories — her first heroine drank Campari and drove an Alfa Romeo up a winding road to a minor royal’s estate in Spain. Andie lives in the Nation’s Capital with her French Bulldog, Gus, a stockpile of Campari, and way too many books.

Action · Adult Fiction · Book Review · Crime Thriller · FIction · Mystery · Thriller

No Exit

I am in a book club on Facebook called We Be Book’N. One of the Buddy Reads this month was the book No Exit. This book had been sitting on my shelf for a while and I had been hearing good things, so I jumped into the Buddy Read.

Synopsis

A kidnapped little girl locked in a stranger’s van. No help for miles. What would you do?

Meet Darby Thorne. A college student in Colorado, she leaves school to travel to Utah to see her dying mother. Darby is trying to beat the blizzard that is on its way, but unfortunately the blizzard is upon her faster than she predicted. With the roads becoming impassable, Darby is forced to pull over at a remote highway rest stop to wait out the storm. Darby enters the rest stop and finds 4 complete strangers.

All Darby knows about her mom is that she is “okay.” Desperate to call home, Darby struggles to find a signal. In her search, Darby makes a horrifying discovery. In the van parked next to her car is a little girl locked in an animal crate! At first Darby believes that she is just seeing things, but then her mind goes into overdrive…who is the child? Why has she been taken? How can she save the little girl?

In her struggle to save the little girl, Darby must figure out which one of the strangers is the kidnapper. Darby needs to save her life and the little girl’s, but the question is Who Can She Trust?

Review

OH MY GOODNESS!!! Taylor Adams is a stellar writer! They weren’t kidding when they said he “diabolically ratchets up the tension with every page.” This was a book that was FANTASTIC from start to finish. This book pulled me in at page one and I could not put it down until I finished. Each time I thought I had figured out who the kidnapper was and how Darcy was going to save herself and the little girl, Taylor Adams would throw a wrench in my predictions taking the tension up notch after notch until I could not turn the pages fast enough!! There were so many twist and turns to this book that definitely left me on the edge of my seat. Taylor Adams writes in such a way that allows you to feel the stress of the situation and the stress of the characters. In addition, there were places in the book where I felt myself holding my breath wondering what turn the story would take next. This book was incredible! I cannot recommend it enough!!!

Rating

About the Author

Taylor Adams directed the acclaimed short film And I Feel Fine in 2008 and graduated from Eastern Washington University with the Excellence in Screenwriting Award and the prestigious Edmund G. Yarwood Award. His directorial work has screened at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival and his writing has been featured on KAYU-TV’s Fox Life blog. He has worked in the film/television industry for several years and lives in Washington state.

Adams is the author of EYESHOT, OUR LAST NIGHT, and NO EXIT, published by Joffe Books (http://www.joffebooks.com/).

Author Bio taken from https://tayloradamsauthor.com/

Book Review · FIction · Historical Fiction

This Tender Land

Synopsis

Meet Odie and Albert. Two brothers living at the Lincoln School in Minnesota in 1932. At the Lincoln School, hundreds of Native American children are separated from their families so they can be educated. Odie and Albert are not Native Americans, they are orphans the school took in and Odie in particular loves to explore and get into trouble which puts him into no so good graces with the school’s superintendent, Mrs. Brickman or “the Black Witch” as the kids call her.

Due to several horrible circumstances, Odie and Albert are forced to flee, taking their best friend Mose and a little girl named Emmy with them. Stealing a canoe, Odie, Albert, Mose, and Emmy set off down the Mississippi to find a place to call home. During the summer of 1932, Odie, Albert, Mose and Emmy will journey into the large world of the unknown. Along the way they will meet others who are also adrift, getting themselves into situations that both excite and terrify them. Where will they end up and will they be able to find a place in this world where they belong?

Review

I had heard tons of hype about this book, but never really looked at what the book was about. When my book club selected the book, it was time to buckle down and read this 465 page book and let me tell you I am so glad that I did. And I am also glad that I did not read the synopsis and had no idea where this book was going to go – it was like I was on the same adventure with Odie and the others!!! William Kent Krueger is a fabulous story teller. He writes in such a way that you feel what the characters are feeling. You cheer for the good times and silently curse the horrible things that happen to them in their young lives. He writes in such a way that has you turning page after page and not wanting to stop! While this book stopped at 465 pages, let me tell you I wanted to read many, many more pages to learn more about these characters and what happened in their lives.

This book was one that will stick with me for a long time. It was full of so many lessons and nuggets of knowledge. It was filled with life’s dilemmas and morals to many questions presented in the course of the story. Most of all, this was a story that tugged at my heartstrings. While I usually sell the books I have read to make room for new ones in my collection, this is one that I will NOT be selling. This is a book that I will for sure read again (and probably again after that). This is a story that has spoken to me and will speak to each one of you every time you read it.

Rating

This book is definitely a 5+ star book!!!