Reviews

Book Review: Bascomville

“Bascomville: A Story of Love,”

by Mark A. Calde

Publisher: Tuscany Arts and Entertainment, Inc.;

August 11, 2016

bascom

 

Synopsis: Welcome to Bascomville, the singular domain of Max Bascom, the universe he has spun for himself from the raw materials of his surroundings.   This is Max’s journey from friend to lover.  From seducer to seduced.  From firstborn to prodigal. From betrayer to betrayed. And finally, from child to man.   This is Bascomville.   It’s where we live…

 

 

 

 

Review: There are no words to describe how honored I am to have received a copy of “Bascomville” by author Mark A. Calde. Not an author I was familiar with prior to reading this novel, I am in awe over the beautiful writing and depth of this novel. “Bascomville” tells the story of Max Bascom, his family and the girl next door, Janice. Max and Janice grow up together living as next door neighbors, but love each other from the time they were probably too young to honestly understand the meaning of loving another person.  Things in Max’s home and his life, which he refers to as Bascomville, are not exactly horrible, but not exactly normal and happy. The title encompasses Max’s immediate world of ups and downs within his family and everything that makes them who they are.

Max is the narrator of the novel and is a wonderfully complex character. Max is very smart and does well in school, however, his main concerns are Janice, his sister Lily and keeping things running smoothly at home. Max’s mom is a troubled soul which I initially likened to Bipolar Disorder/Manic Depression. She functions o.k. for a few weeks, then retreats into a quiet depression, and finishing it off in a flashy/silky kimono with her hair all crazy and wearing tons of makeup. It appears as if Max’s parents haven’t really dealt with her issues, but I can’t say much about that or I would be giving spoilers. Initially, Lily and her mother are extremely close but after a tragic accident, Lily feels blamed and pushed away. Max tries to keep the peace and keep the others happy, but he does occasionally blow up out of frustration with their lives.

The novel follows Max, his family, Janice, and Janice’s family from the time Max and Janice are 12 years old through their junior year in college. Max and Janice encounter their own obstacles, just as Max does with his family, but there is always a tremendous love and dependence on one another. They both do things to hurt the other yet they are always there for each other knowing just what to do when the other needs them. There are several tear-provoking moments in this novel, especially towards the end, but the beauty of the novel in its entirety is more prominent than the tragic moments. As Max would say, it’s Bascomville and that’s how things go.

Anyone that has ever lived with someone with recurring depressive and manic episodes will certainly identify with “Bascomville,” as well as, the family’s reactions to the mother’s behavior. Calde brilliantly illustrates the intricate dance a family does around mental issues with a family member, as well as, the impact on the children in the household. Max is a fabulous character and narrator giving such detailed insight into his world and what that means to him. I wanted a better ending for Max, but after sleeping on it, I realized that Max will be o.k. and that nothing could impact his love for Janice.

I must say again how beautifully this novel is written as if Calde sat and pondered every single word before writing it. It’s by no means difficult to read, but the language, descriptions, and emotions that it evokes are not from a casual, light-hearted author. “Bascomville” is an amazing piece of literary fiction and romance and I highly recommend this to any of my readers.

Learn more about Mark A. Calde by visiting his web page.

Purchase “Bascomville” on Amazon. Buy it, you will love it! 🙂

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the gracious author in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

 

Reviews

The TBR Book Tag

tbr-tag

Amanda at Hanging with Amanda posted this earlier and I decided to join in on the fun! Here’s a little peek into what us book bloggers are reading!

How do you keep track of your TBR pile?

I keep a Google Sheets file where I log the title, author, request date, and source as soon as I get them. Whether reading for fun or a review request I’ll lose track if I don’t organize it all!

Is your TBR mostly print or ebook?

Mostly ebooks, which makes me sad because I love real books. I have few places that I review for that offer hardback and paperback and often authors will send me a physical copy after it’s gone to print, even if I reviewed it awhile back. An author friend told me the other day the ratio of ebook sales to physical book sales so I get it, but still love physical books.

How do you determine which book from your TBR to read next?

I add books to my TBR list according to when the review request was received or when I downloaded it, but also try to pay attention to publication dates. At the end of the day, though, I usually look over my list and pick whatever I’m in the mood for.

A book that’s been on your TBR list the longest?

once-and-future

“A Once and Future Love,” by Anne Kelleher has been on my list the longest. It popped up one day on a Reading Deals e-mail and it sounded interesting, but I’ve never read it because I’m so busy keeping up with current books and requests.

A book you recently added to your TBR?

forward

“Forward,” by J. Saman. We recently connected on Goodreads where she was looking for reviewers!

A book in your TBR strictly because of its beautiful cover?

a-little-luck

“A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate,”by Linn B. Halton

A book on your TBR you never plan on reading?

learning-love

“Learning Love” (Port Charlotte Series Book 2), by Alexis Jacobson but only because I didn’t realize at the time (not paying attention) that it was the second in a series. 

An unpublished book on your TBR that you’re excited for?

“I Liked My Life,” by Abby Fabiaschi. The premise is somewhat dark but I’m really drawn to this book for some reason!

A book on your TBR that basically everyone’s read but you?

cruel

“Cruel Beautiful World,” by Caroline Leavitt. It’s been on my Kindle for a month or so, but I haven’t gotten to it!

A book on your TBR that everyone recommends to you?

vegetarian

“The Vegetarian,” by Han Kang… Another book that’s supposed to be dark and somewhat disturbing, but is apparently an absolute must-read.

A book on Your TBR that you’re dying to read?

Cupcake Overload (Cupcakes Book 2) by [Lopez, Bethany]

Absolutely “Cupcake Overload,” by Bethany Lopez! I was crazy about “Always Room for Cupcakes” and luckily she sent me the next in the series the day after I reviewed it!

How many books are there on your Goodreads TBR shelf?

Only 29 but I don’t have time to put them all on my spreadsheet and then on Goodreads. According to my spreadsheet as of today, I have 81… I may be caught up by Christmas!

It’s tagging time now! I tag-

all of my book blogger pals!

 

 

 

Reviews

Book review: Saffire: A Novel

“Saffire: A Novel,” by Sigmund Brouwer

Publication: Waterbrook; August 16, 2016

saffireSynopsis: For President Teddy Roosevelt, controlling the east-west passage between two oceans mattered so much that he orchestrated a revolution to control it. His command was to ‘let the dirt fly’ and for years, the American Zone of the Panama Canal mesmerized the world, working in uneasy co-existence with the Panamanian aristocrats. 

It’s in this buffered Zone where, in 1909, James Holt begins to protect a defenseless girl named Saffire, expecting a short and simple search for her mother. Instead, it draws him away from safety, into a land haunted by a history of pirates, gold runners, and plantation owners, all leaving behind ghosts of their interwoven desires sins and ambitions, ghosts that create the web of deceit and intrigue of a new generation of revolutionary politics.  It will also bring him together with a woman who will change his course—or bring an end to it.
  
A love story set within a historical mystery, Saffire brings to life the most impressive and embattled engineering achievement of the twentieth-century.

Review: In 1909, James Holt is sent to the American Zone of the Panama Canal during its construction, at the request of President Teddy Roosevelt. Holt has served under and fought with Roosevelt as one of his Rough Riders but does not know what this trip entails. Holt, a widower, resents having to leave his seven-year-old daughter at home on the ranch with her uncle, however, the payment promised is enough to save his ranch from foreclosure. He arrives to meet with Colonel George Washington Goethals, in charge of overseeing the construction of the canal, but while he is waiting he meets a young mulatto girl named Saffire. Saffire takes in interest in the book Holt is reading, they strike up a conversation and Holt learns that the young girl’s mother is missing and the police and government will not help her find her. Once Holt meets with Goethals, he learns that he is looking into a large sum of American money missing, as well as, investigating the disappearance of Saffire’s mother. Apparently, she left a note that she was going to America with a man, but Saffire is sure that her mother would not desert her. As Holt begins his investigation, he meets a variety of different locals but quickly learns there is almost no one that can be trusted. Torn between his desire to safely return home to his daughter and his wish to help Saffire, Holt weaves himself into a completely new culture that is full of secrets, danger, and the beautiful Raquel Sandoval.

James Holt is an intriguing character that is both very simple and very complex. He has a crooked nose due to a break when the love of his life punched him out of jealousy. He wears a cowboy hat and cowboy boots which make him very noticeable in the Panama Canal zones. Holt is fairly quiet but as a subtle, dry sense of humor and a fondness for sarcasm. Saffire was also a compelling character. This young, head-strong girl faces a great deal of racism due to her mixed ethnicity, but also appears to have a great deal of power, with many locals doing anything they can to help her. Saffire had grown-up in the home of the powerful Ezequiel Sandoval, whom she considered a grandfather, where her mother had worked as his cook until her disappearance. This was technically her home, but she roamed the streets as she pleased with a bodyguard not far behind. T.B. Miskimon, Goethal’s assistant, was a character that I loved and hated at the same time. He could quickly switch from following Holt and annoying him to death, to showing up at the right place and the right time to lend assistance. The banter between Holt and Miskimon was funny at times, despite Holt’s sarcasm and Miskimon’s disdain for it.

I admire the research and realism that went into “Saffire,” as well as, the fictional elements Brouwer included. Whether Holt was fighting the bad guys or taking moonlit walks with Raquel, the story was very entertaining and extremely interesting with facts about that time period. There were times I found myself wanting to hurry through some of the political history in various chapters. The information added value to the story, I just found it somewhat slow at times. Overall, this novel was beautifully written with a unique and engaging storyline. There were several suspenseful and surprising moments in the novel, specifically towards the end, that made this book even more enjoyable to read. I would highly recommend this novel to anyone, but especially lovers of historical fiction.

Learn more about Sigmund Brouwer by visiting his web page.

Purchase “Saffire” on Amazon.

*I received a copy of this novel from Blogging for Books in exchange for an honest review.

 

Book Blitz

Book Blitz: Ruin

Ruin
Clarissa Wild
Publication date: September 20th 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

Maybell Fairweather was the girl of my dreams.

Always smiling brightly, she kept going, despite the names her classmates called her behind her back.

She was full of curiosity and independence, the extent of which I could only be jealous of. Even though she had all odds stacked against her, she knew what she wanted from life and pursued it, no matter the cost.

She was completely my opposite in every way.

Perfect, even though she couldn’t see it.

Perfect … until me.

Because this is the story of how I ruined her.

Based on a true story. Standalone Romance. No cliffhanger.

 Purchase on Amazon

This gorgeous Limited Edition cover is available in Paperback ONLY and can be purchased here!

limited-edition-paperback-ruin

EXCERPT:

He winks, and somehow, it makes me blush.

For some reason, it’s hard to look away too.

“What’s your name?” I ask.

“Alexander Wright.”

I smile. “Maybell Fairweather.”

“Hmm … Maybell … nice name.”

“Thanks.” I blush.

I don’t know why or what it is about him, but he has this gentleness about him that soothes me and makes me want to ask him to stay, even if I don’t have a reason for it.

But then I realize it’s not the only reason I’m looking at him.

Something’s felt off since we met, and I couldn’t put my finger on it, but now, I can.

“Wait …” I mutter. “I know you, right?”

“Yeah, I’m that guy who ate a sandwich with you the other day. You don’t remember? Should I call a nurse?” He chuckles.

I roll my eyes. “No. I mean …” I recognize him from somewhere. “I know you from … school, right?”

His eyes suddenly widen, and he slams his lips shut.

HA! I knew he looked familiar. “No way! I knew it.”

The muscles in his face tighten. “Oh, boy.”

“I’ve seen you at school a few times.”

“Really?” he says, scratching the back of his neck.

“Yeah … don’t tell me I’m making this up. I’m not crazy … right?” I pout.

He smiles, his dimples making me wanna pinch his cheeks. “No, you’re not crazy. It’s just a surprise that you’d even recognize me. People usually don’t even see me. I’m invisible.”

“Yeah?” I bite my lip and frown. “Same here.”

He lowers his arm. “No … you’re not invisible at all,” he says, looking at me with half-mast eyes. “I see you. All the time.”

Romantic couple kissing with love and passion

 

Author Bio:

Want to be the first to get your hands on new books & get access to free short stories, giveaway prizes, previews, and more? Sign up here http://eepurl.com/FdY71

Clarissa Wild is a New York Times & USA Today Bestselling author, best known for the dark Romance novel Mr. X. Her novels include the Fierce Series, the Delirious Series, and Stalker. She is also a writer of erotic romance such as the Blissful Series, The Billionaire’s Bet series, and the Enflamed Series. She is an avid reader and writer of sexy stories about hot men and feisty women. Her other loves include her furry cat friend and learning about different cultures. In her free time she enjoys watching all sorts of movies, reading tons of books and cooking her favorite meals.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Fan Club

 

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Reviews

Book Review: Siracusa

“SIRACUSA,” BY DELIA EPHRON

PUBLISHER: BLUE RIDER PRESS; JULY 12, 2016

siracusa

Synopsis: New Yorker’s Michael, a famous writer, and Lizzie, a journalist, travel to Italy with their friends from Maine—Finn; his wife, Taylor; and their daughter, Snow. “From the beginning,” says Taylor, “it was a conspiracy for Lizzie and Finn to be together.” Told Rashomon-style in alternating points of view, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities past and present. Snow, ten years old and precociously drawn into a far more adult drama, becomes the catalyst for catastrophe as the novel explores collusion and betrayal in marriage.

With her inimitable psychological astute­ness and uncanny understanding of the human heart, Ephron delivers a powerful meditation on marriage, friendship, and the meaning of travel. Set on the sun-drenched coast of the Ionian Sea, Siracusa unfolds with the pacing of a psychological thriller and delivers an unexpected final act that none will see coming.

Review: Not sure exactly where to begin on this one, but I will say it was definitely not what I expected. “Siracusa” tells the story of two couples traveling together to Italy. Michael and Lizzie are from New York, and Finn, Taylor and their daughter, Snow are from Portland. For some reason, these couples take annual vacations together, although it didn’t appear that anyone got along except for Finn and Lizzie – who also used to date. Michael is a somewhat famous writer/playwright and Lizzie is a struggling journalist. Finn runs a marina (I think) and Taylor is a stay at home mom that is obsessed with their 10-year-old daughter Snow. Taylor always rides in the back seat of the car with Snow and even sleeps with her when they travel, putting her husband on a cot or sleeper sofa. Snow is a strange little thing. Although apparently intelligent, Snow says very little and makes even fewer facial expressions. When asked questions, she looks at Taylor who typically answers for her. This begins to change, however, as she becomes almost obsessed with Michael. Michael begins taking an interest in Snow, mainly to avoid spending time with his wife, and soon Snow always wants to be around him and listen to his stories that are not at all appropriate for a child’s ears. Finn and Lizzie drink and flirt with one another endlessly telling secrets and lies. Michael lies constantly and is dealing with his own issues, and of course, Taylor is obsessed with her daughter and spying on Finn wondering if he’s taken up smoking again.

There are several things that I both liked and disliked about “Siracusa.” First of all, each chapter is written from a different character’s perspective, either Michael, Lizzie, Finn, or Taylor. As the book progressed this provided some clues and insight as to what was going on, but otherwise it was confusing and I often found myself backtracking to find out who was talking. I also never really understood why these couples take annual vacations together because no one had anything in common with the other. The book begins with Finn and Lizzie breaking up, but never really explained the reason for their ongoing friendship.  Actually, to correct myself Lizzie and Taylor did have something in common. Both women were completely clueless and oblivious to what their husbands were doing or wanted to do with other women. They both seemed like intelligent women but were trapped in a fantasy regarding their marriages. The alternating perspectives also left me wondering where they were and what they were doing – several times. I would think they were at dinner when actually they were touring a building or something. Or I would think that everyone was together when actually Finn and Lizzie were off drinking alone.

An interesting aspect of this novel is watching the characters slowly unravel amidst all of the lies and secrets. Taylor keeps her accommodating and pleasing smile and nature for the most part, but everyone else pretty much falls apart in their own ways. I think this could have been a more powerful part of the novel if told from fewer perspectives because again it was confusing who was yelling at who or who was doing what. By the end of the novel, the only person that I had any interest in and just a tiny ounce of respect for was Lizzie. Everyone else returned to their lives as if there hadn’t been a tragedy while they were in Siracusa. It was evident, however, that everything weighed heavily on Lizzie. I respect the choices Lizzie made in the end, but I would have been delighted to see some horrible demise come to Michael, Finn, Taylor, and even 10-year-old Snow. Perhaps I shouldn’t wish harm on a child, but if you have read this or do read it then you will understand. She’s creepy and so incredibly entitled that it’s nauseating at times, although not really her own fault.

The overall plot is fine although two married couples traveling together that do not like each other is not really ground-breaking. The original idea probably had excellent potential but the characters are so unlikable it’s challenging to even focus on the plot and events of the novel. This may sound contradictory but this novel keeps you interested and it is a page-turner. Although it involves such miserable people, you find yourself flying through the book, perhaps in hopes of someone actually saying or doing something nice to one of the others? There is a huge twist towards the end that I did not see coming and although sad, it added to the excitement of the novel. How it was dealt with by the characters, however, made me cringe.

“Siracusa” is definitely not one of my favorite books that I’ve read, but reviews on it are mixed. Some people hate it, others love it and some are in the middle. I couldn’t get past the crappy characters and the overall dark feeling I had once finished reading but it is definitely an interesting look into people when they no longer care about anyone but themselves.

Learn more about Delia Ephron by visiting her web page.

Purchase “Siracusa” on Amazon.

*I received this novel from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Reviews

Book Review: The Green Tunnel

“THE GREEN TUNNEL, A HIKER’S APPALACHIAN TRAIL DIARY,”

BY PATRICK BREDLAU

PUBLISHER: VIRTUALBOOKWORM.COM PUBLISHING; JANUARY 6, 2016

green-tunnelSynopsis: “The Green Tunnel, A Hiker’s Appalachian Trail Diary” is the true-life story of a retiree’s joys, challenges, and physical rigors while thru-hiking the entire 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail in one great epic walk. The book’s title refers to the nickname, Green Tunnel, given by hikers for deeply-shaded trail sections that cut through dark and densely-wooded forests. All too often, tree canopies block out all sunlight or views of the sky, sometimes for hundreds of miles. Readers follow RW as he walks north, starting out from the cold winter mountains of Georgia, until he finally reaches Maine during the height of New England fall colors. Along the way, readers encounter a fugitive from the FBI, internationally-known backpackers, the homeless, plus many other hikers seeking adventure or redemption. Trail angels often come to the rescue. Journal entries are frequently peppered with humorous and historical anecdotes, along with colorful descriptions of the swiftly changing scenery and seasons. Readers will also find a good deal of useful backpacking information, from the many firsthand tips and advice on equipment, food, trail culture, lodging, and the hazards of wilderness hiking.

Review: I was crazy about this first-hand account of the Appalachian Trail from Patrick Bredlau! I’ve always loved hiking so I was immediately drawn to this book, although I would never attempt anything like the entire AT. The preparation, training and hiking highs and lows were all fascinating and I was completely consumed in this book. Initially, I thought it looked interesting but didn’t expect it to become such a page-turner. Bredlau gives a very raw and honest account of the emotional and physical pain involved in thru-hiking the AT, as well as, wonderful accounts of all of the sights and people along the way.

Living in Roanoke, Virginia, I loved hearing about familiar trails in the book, as well as, familiar hotels and restaurants. Also, I learned so much from “The Green Tunnel!” I didn’t know about trail angels and trail magic, people that shuttle the hikers in and out of town, and didn’t know about slackpacking. I naively thought thru-hikers got on the trail and hiked, stopping at hostels and post offices along the way.  This has inspired me to follow trail diaries next year to see when people will passing through and visiting to leave a little trail magic myself!

Whether you are a hiker or not, this is a very entertaining and interesting memoir that is absolutely worth checking out. If you’ve ever considered hiking the AT, then I absolutely recommend reading this book because it is very straightforward and honest about injuries, illnesses and all of the other crazy twists and turns that can occur while tackling 2185 miles on a trail.

Learn more about Patrick Bredlau by visiting his web page.

Purchase “The Green Tunnel A Hiker’s Appalachian Trail Diary” on Amazon.

*I received this novel from Reading Deals in exchange for an honest review.

Reviews

Book Review: Eclipse Lake

“ECLIPSE LAKE,” BY MAE CLAIR

PUBLICATION DATE: JUNE 21, 2014

eclipse-lakeSynopsis: Small towns hold the darkest secrets.

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.

But memories in small towns are bitter and long.

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.

Review: This is the second book I’ve read by author Mae Clair and once again, she does not disappoint! Dane Carlisle grew up in Onyx and Eclipse Lake and was basically a young criminal in his teenage years. Fast-forward fifteen years and Dane has become a very successful business owner of a security company, adopted Jesse when he was six and has been a widower for three years. Before she died, his wife urged Dane to return home and make peace with his brother Jonah, so Dane and his son Jesse fly from San Diego to Pennsylvania on a mission to return to Eclipse Lake and face Dane’s old ghosts. The problem is that Dane never gets the nerve to tell Jesse about his past before getting there.

Ellie is on assignment to photograph Eclipse Lake but quickly witnesses the unearthing of someone’s skeletal remains and meets Jonah, Dane’s estranged brother. A few days later, Dane and Jesse have arrived and are staying in the cabin beside of Ellie’s but she meets Dane when he is in the woods and knocks over her tripod, destroying an expensive lens. Offering her dinner, and the cost of the lens, Dane and Ellie find themselves quickly falling for each other, but that also leaves Ellie caught up in all of the repercussions of Dane’s past and his return to Eclipse Lake. Dane struggles with rebuilding a relationship with Jonah, Jesse struggles with coming to terms with his Dad’s past and both Dane and Ellie struggle with their newfound relationship and new feelings.

Those of you that have followed my blog for awhile already know that I am a huge Mae Clair fan. She was one of the first authors to approach me for a review after starting this blog and we continue to communicate in some way several times a week whether through e-mail or social media. With that being said, don’t think I would give her a great review if it wasn’t completely deserved!! This was such a fantastic book that I sat down to read and did nothing else until a few hours later when I finished it. Mae has an incredible style of writing that pulls you into the plot and makes her books impossible to put down until finished. Her characters are relatable and realistic,struggling with situations or fears that any of us could have. A parent who doesn’t want his son to know about his misspent youth? Yes, I get that completely. Someone estranged from their family that fears returning home to try to make amends? Oh yes, I completely get that! As I was reading this I was thinking that although she wrote this book long before we met, I felt like there was a personal message just for me saying I should try to make amends with family I no longer speak with. Obviously, that’s not the case, but this novel is one of those great reads where you don’t feel as if you are on the outside looking in, but feel as if you a part of the story.

“Eclipse Lake” is fantastic in that it embodies Mae’s suspenseful, mysterious writing but also includes a realistic romance with a widower and a photographer, neither of which know what to do about their feelings, and includes trials of having a teenage child, family ghosts, and more.  There is something for every reader in this novel and definitely one that I would recommend to anyone. One more thing that makes Mae Clair really cool – she loves Mothman!

Learn more about Mae Clair by visiting her web page.

Purchase “Eclipse Lake” on Amazon.

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an hoenst review.

Reviews

Review: Lust, Money & Murder Book 7

LUST, MONEY & MURDER – BOOK 7, OFF THE GRID,BY MIKE WELLS

PUBLISHER: MIKE WELLS BOOKS; MARCH 8, 2016

lust7

 

Synopsis: This book is the 7th in the Lust, Money & Murder series and begins the 3rd trilogy. When Elaine Brogan and Nick LaGrange are called to meet with Raj Malik at the American Embassy in Paris, it kicks off a treacherous adventure that neither of them could have ever imagined. Join Elaine, Nick, Luna Faye, Tony, Dimitriy, and more familiar characters from the best-selling series in another Mike Wells “unputdownable” crime thriller.

 

 

 

Review: Once again, I have finished an installment of the Lust, Money & Murder series and am left wanting the next book! “Lust, Money & Murder Book 7 – Off the Grid” is just as fantastic as all of the other books in this series, with plenty of surprises, twists, and turns. This is an instance where I truly can’t go into the plot very much because of spoilers, but I didn’t see any of this coming. Very early in the novel, Nick and Elaine find themselves in a very unpleasant situation, to say the least. Tony is at home with the children so calls on Luna, who then calls on Dmitry so it’s the usual cast of characters. A cool thing about this novel is the background provided about Luna. I loved her story and how she came to be a part of the Secret Service! Cattoretti is back, of course, but he’s not the worst of the bad guys in this one. Yes, he’s plotting and scheming, but there is a worse villain in this book that is absolutely infuriating. There is a new addition to this one, a nurse named Alisha, who is quite the character also.

Wells does not disappoint with the government/political secrets and drama in this book, as with the others, but there is more foreign/political drama and unrest weaved into this book just adding to the suspense. There were times in the first quarter or so of the book that things were sort of dragging with Nick and Elaine’s story, but things plummet into full force action and suspense for the remainder of the novel. I was trying to think of some original praise for Wells’ novels for this review since this is the 7th time I have reviewed his books (lol!) and I think one thing that pulls me into these novels so much is that you forget you are reading a work of fiction written by an author. It honestly feels as if Nick or Elaine are real people telling you a story about their career. Granted so many things occur that I would think that they couldn’t possibly happen, but it’s all written with such realism that I find myself forgetting that it isn’t real. I am feeling sad, however, because there are only 2 books left in this series… Then what will I read? As always, if you have not yet read Mike Wells “Lust, Money & Murder” series, you need to get book 1 and get started. Book 7, like the others before that, are all fast-paced, action-packed, and leave you dying for the next one!

Learn more about Mike Wells and all of his novels by visiting his web page.

Purchase “Lust, Money & Murder Book 7” on Amazon.

*Disclaimer: I received a copy of this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

Posts

What am I reading?

Hope everyone has had a fabulous week! Here is what I am planning on reading and reviewing this coming week! And yes, Mike Wells is on the list again this week, lol! If you have read this series you will understand and if not – they are must-reads!

Lust, Money & Murder – Book 7, Off the Grid,

by Mike Wells

Publisher: Mike Wells Books; March 8, 2016

lust7

Synopsis: This book is the 7th in the Lust, Money & Murder series and begins the 3rd trilogy. When Elaine Brogan and Nick LaGrange are called to meet with Raj Malik at the American Embassy in Paris, it kicks off a treacherous adventure that neither of them could have ever imagined. Join Elaine, Nick, Luna Faye, Tony, Dimitriy, and more familiar characters from the best-selling series in another Mike Wells “unputdownable” crime thriller.

 

 

 

Eclipse Lake, by Mae Clair

Publication Date: June 21, 2014

eclipse-lakeSynopsis: Small towns hold the darkest secrets.

Fifteen years after leaving his criminal past and estranged brother behind, widower Dane Carlisle returns to his hometown on the banks of sleepy Eclipse Lake. Now, a successful businessman, he has kept his troubled past a secret from most everyone, including his seventeen-year-old son.

But memories in small towns are bitter and long.

Ellie Sullivan, a nature photographer for a national magazine, has a habit of ping-ponging across the map. Her latest assignment leads her to Eclipse Lake where she becomes caught up in the enmity between Dane, his brother Jonah, and a vengeful town sheriff. When freshly-discovered skeletal remains are linked to an unsolved murder and Dane’s past, Ellie is left questioning her growing attraction for a man who harbors long-buried secrets.

The Green Tunnel, A Hiker’s Appalachian Trail Diary,

by Patrick Bredlau

Publisher: Virtualbookworm.com Publishing; January 6, 2016

green-tunnelSynopsis: “The Green Tunnel, A Hiker’s Appalachian Trail Diary” is the true-life story of a retiree’s joys, challenges, and physical rigors while thru-hiking the entire 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail in one great epic walk. The book’s title refers to the nickname, Green Tunnel, given by hikers for deeply-shaded trail sections that cut through dark and densely-wooded forests. All too often, tree canopies block out all sunlight or views of the sky, sometimes for hundreds of miles. Readers follow RW as he walks north, starting out from the cold winter mountains of Georgia, until he finally reaches Maine during the height of New England fall colors. Along the way, readers encounter a fugitive from the FBI, internationally-known backpackers, the homeless, plus many other hikers seeking adventure or redemption. Trail angels often come to the rescue. Journal entries are frequently peppered with humorous and historical anecdotes, along with colorful descriptions of the swiftly changing scenery and seasons. Readers will also find a good deal of useful backpacking information, from the many firsthand tips and advice on equipment, food, trail culture, lodging, and the hazards of wilderness hiking. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Patrick Bredlau (Trail name: RW) has lived most of his life in the flat lands of Illinois. His life-long enthusiasm for the outdoors was fostered by the Boy Scouts of America during his childhood, and later as a Boy Scout leader on many hiking and backpacking trips. His favorite sports are backpacking, fishing, and sailing. His passion for backpacking led him to hike some of the most spectacular natural locations in the United States and Canada, including the Rocky Mountains, Grand Canyon, Glacier National Park, and Banff National Park. As a sailboat racer, he has participated in the prestigious Chicago to Mackinac Island race, as well as other races on Lake Michigan. After a long and successful 38-year career as a federal bank examiner and instructor, Patrick retired in 2013 to spend more time with his family and enjoy the outdoors. His first major adventure after retirement was to successfully thru-hike the entire 2,185 miles of the Appalachian Trail in 2014.

Siracusa, by Delia Ephron

Publisher: Blue Rider Press; July 12, 2016

siracusa

Synopsis: New Yorkers Michael, a famous writer, and Lizzie, a journalist, travel to Italy with their friends from Maine—Finn; his wife, Taylor; and their daughter, Snow. “From the beginning,” says Taylor, “it was a conspiracy for Lizzie and Finn to be together.” Told Rashomon-style in alternating points of view, the characters expose and stumble upon lies and infidelities past and present. Snow, ten years old and precociously drawn into a far more adult drama, becomes the catalyst for catastrophe as the novel explores collusion and betrayal in marriage.

With her inimitable psychological astute­ness and uncanny understanding of the human heart, Ephron delivers a powerful meditation on marriage, friendship, and the meaning of travel. Set on the sun-drenched coast of the Ionian Sea, Siracusa unfolds with the pacing of a psychological thriller and delivers an unexpected final act that none will see coming.

 

Bayou, Whispers from the Past: A Novel,

by Lauren Faulkenberry 

Publisher: Velvet Morning Press; October 10, 2016

whispers

Synopsis: New love put to the test in the sultry bayous of Louisiana…

Thirty-one-year old Enza has finally found love with sexy fireman Jack, and through him, she has gained a family, years after her mother abandoned her. With her friend Kate in town, Enza’s looking forward to her first Christmas in Bayou Sabine, surrounded by those she cares about most. But instead the holiday ends in turmoil. One guest puts someone Enza loves—and her relationship with Jack—in danger, and another guest brings news that makes Enza question the circumstances surrounding her mother’s departure.

Enza, fleeing Jack and the drama in Bayou Sabine, sets off with Kate on a road trip à la Thelma & Louise. But will she find answers about her mother’s disappearance and the strength to accept the truth? And will she return home in time to save everything that’s important to her?

 

Happy reading and as always, let me know if there is something you think I should add to my list! 🙂

 

Reviews

Review: The Lesser Bohemians

“THE LESSER BOHEMIANS,”

BY EIMEAR MCBRIDE

PUBLICATION: CROWN PUBLISHING;

SEPTEMBER 20, 2016

lesserSynopsis: One night an eighteen-year-old Irish girl, recently arrived in London to attend drama school, meets an older man – a well-regarded actor in his own right. While she is naive and thrilled by life in the big city, he is haunted by more than a few demons, and the clamorous relationship that ensues risks undoing them both.
 
A captivating story of passion and innocence, joy and discovery set against the vibrant atmosphere of 1990s London over the course of a single year, THE LESSER BOHEMIANS glows with the eddies and anxieties of growing up, and the transformative intensity of a powerful new love.

Review: I really wanted to like “The Lesser Bohemians” and I gave it a good try, but this book just wasn’t for me. Eily is a young woman starting drama school and falls into an affair with a professor, Stephen, who is twice her age. In the process of classes and actually participating in her education is a mix of drinking, smoking, and lots of sex. Set in the 1990’s, I wasn’t expecting this novel to read as it did, but basically, it’s an epic. It’s classified as a novel under literary fiction, coming of age, etc. But it’s a long, tiring poem describing about a year of Eily’s life.

I do not have any issues with poetry although epics are not my favorite, think “Beowulf,” but it’s just not what I was expecting. I think I re-read the first 5-6 pages 2-3 times not knowing what the hell was going on and what this was classified as a literary fiction novel, then finally just stuck with it and pushed forward. When I was an undergrad and during grad school, I was one of those book geeks that loved classes that assigned a lot of novels, regardless of the genre, but every once in a while I would get one that was like watching paint dry. This is what this reminded me of. It was like a horrible, cruel assignment that I had to finish because I had a paper due on it the next day. I hate to be hateful or critical, but I just didn’t like it. However, I always find something positive, and I can say that a great deal of the writing was beautiful. If McBride was writing a series of poems, they would probably take your breath away. But this continuation of getting drunk, getting laid, and being hungover just didn’t do it for me. I didn’t see the romance in this one. If you are into epics and can appreciate the over-used topic of an old professor getting naked with a young student,then you may like it. But, it just wasn’t for me.

*Disclaimer: I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.