The Look of Love {Review}

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Release Date: November 25, 2014

Goodreads Synopsis:

Born during a Christmas blizzard, Jane Williams receives a rare gift: the ability to literally see true love. Jane has emerged from an ailing childhood a lonely, hopeless romantic when, on her twenty-fifth birthday, she receives a card from the midwife who delivered her. Jane must identify the six types of love before the full moon following her thirtieth birthday, or face grave consequences. When Jane falls for a science writer who doesn’t believe in love, she fears that her fate is sealed. Inspired by the classic song, The Look of Love will utterly enchant Sarah Jio’s rapidly growing fanbase.

My Review:

It’s no secret how much I loved Goodnight June, Sarah Jio’s last novel, and I couldn’t wait for the release of The Look of Love. I was especially intrigued by how different the book sounded from anything I have ever read. I was in the mood for different, but what I didn’t realize until I was completely enchanted by this book was how much I craved reading a love story, something truly heart-warming and emotion inducing. And not only do you get that with this new book by Jio, you get several love stories told by several perspectives, all connecting to Jane and her ‘gift’.

Jane has been told that she has a special gift of seeing when people are in love. Her entire life, she’s been skeptical of love because she watched her father break her mother’s heart. It was during that moment she first experienced her gift, but has spent her life seeing a doctor for what she’s always thought was a tumor in her brain causing the vision issues. Now nearing her 30th birthday, and never having found true love, she’s approached by a woman claiming she has the same gift and that Jane needs to fulfill her obligations of finding all of the types of love before her birthday, or risk never finding love herself.

Of course, who wouldn’t be skeptical of something so ridiculous. But as Jane thinks back to all of the times her vision has clouded over while looking at couples, she starts to believe in it’s truth. Thus starting her year long quest to find all of the types of love.

As most would expect with a book such as this, it was quite predictable. But it’s that comfortable predictability that I needed right now, and I fell head over heals in love with this story, and Jane. Jane, who’s been jaded about love her whole life, who mourns the loss of her beloved mother almost daily while she continues the legacy of her family flower shop. And once she learns of her gift, finally starts to witness love in all of it’s forms. Unconditional love, heart-breaking love, all-consuming love – just a few examples that Jane witnesses among her friends and loved ones. She even stumbles on the possibility of love for herself along the way.

So many passages in this book stuck with me, and I found myself highlighting on my Kindle quite often. Here are just a few of my favorites.

“It’s hard to put into words. It’s as much a feeling as it is the way your stomach flutters when you think of him. It’s the feeling of being reached and reaching someone. It’s the feeling of being seen by someone for who you really are and being adored for it.”

“She could read him like a book, and even when she came across an unsavory passage, she never once set the book back on the shelf. She adored the story of their love, even the rocky chapters.”

“You can be happy anyplace when there is love.”

Love is a powerful, incredible force, and this book proves that in many ways. It’s also messy and not always perfect. Where my heart broke for one couple, it would be bursting for another. I did find myself surprised by the turn of events a few times along the way, and I was even shocked by a few of them. But I finished this book with a huge smile on my face and my heart happy. It was just the heart-warming story I needed, perfect for this time of year.

5 Stars

See my review on Goodreads.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

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Someone is Watching {Review}

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Release Date: March 24, 2015

Goodreads Synopsis:

A fast-paced, intense psychological thriller from an international bestselling author–Rear Window meets The Silent Wife.

     Bailey has it all. At least, she had it all–a job she loved as a high-powered investigator in a top Miami law firm, a gorgeous condo in a stylish downtown high rise, a handsome boyfriend, a sizeable inheritance. A seemingly idyllic life.

     But that was before a brutal attack left her feeling insecure about her entire world. And with her attacker still on the loose and the police at a loss for clues, she can’t shake off the feeling that someone is watching her, monitoring her every move. Even after her half-sister, Claire, and Claire’s sassy teenage daughter, Jade, move into her apartment to care for her, their presence does little to ease her overwhelming anxiety. Plagued by nightmares, she begins spying on her neighbours through high-powered binoculars, becoming obsessed with the new tenants in the building across from hers. But the strange things she sees only deepen her fears. Is it all in her head? Is her growing paranoia just a symptom of trauma? Or is it possible that someone is really watching?

My Review:

My favorite and most memorable scary and suspenseful book ever read was Joy Fielding’s Whispers and Lies. Since then, I’ve read other Fielding books that haven’t lived up to that one, until now. I’m so thrilled that I got the chance to read this book!

Filled with plenty of mystery and intrigue, this book is my definition of a perfect suspenseful novel. I loved the Rear Window movie feel – that just added a little uniqueness to the story. But most importantly, as all of the clues were being laid out to me, I was never able to come to a conclusion about the ‘who dun it’, and that in itself is a sign of an excellent mystery novel. Maybe my brain was purposefully being obtuse, but I’m glad I was unaware the entire time, because it added to the experience. I prefer not to know until the end – that suspenseful build up is the best part of reading a book like this!

There were some very fast-paced parts of the book that made it hard to put down, while other parts were slower and perfect for setting the mood and tone of the book. I never felt like the book was too long or short in length – everything was perfectly timed. I will admit there were times while reading it that I found myself jumping at noises in my house because I was so freaked out. Delightfully creepy and a truly brilliant mystery that I highly recommend.

5 Stars

See my review on Goodreads.

ARC kindly provided by the publisher, via Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

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The Girl on the Train {Review}

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A debut psychological thriller about a woman who becomes emotionally entangled in a murder investigation because of something she witnesses on her daily commute.

Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning and every night. Every day she rattles over the same track junctions, flashes past the same stretch of cozy suburban homes. And every day she stops at the same signal and she sees the same couple, breakfasting on their roof deck, living the perfect life that Rachel craves for herself—a lifestyle she recently lost. She looks forward to observing this household every morning, even makes up names and narratives for its residents. Then one day Rachel sees someone new in their garden, and soon after, the woman who lived there disappears.

Unable to keep this information to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and in the process is drawn into the lives of the couple she thought of as Jason and Jess but whose names—she has learned from the news—are really Megan and Scott Hipwell.

But the police accuse Rachel of being unreliable, and it’s true that her memories can’t always be trusted. Plus there are the stories that her ex-husband’s new wife has been spreading about her. By the time Megan’s body is found, Rachel is in over her head, intricately entangled in the details of the investigation, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she put others in danger? Has she done more harm than good?

A compulsively readable, emotionally immersive, Hitchcockian thriller that draws comparisons to Gone Girl, The Silent Wife, or Before I Go to Sleep, this is an electrifying debut embraced by readers across markets and categories.

My Review:

Disturbing and suspenseful. I really enjoyed it – it was perfect for this time of year, when I love reading creepy thrillers. This one kept you guessing until the very end.

I loved how unique the story was. And that it was written with several points of view, as well as having flashbacks to before the crime happened. My mind was in overdrive trying to piece things together and figure out how it all connected. The author does a really wonderful job of making you question everyone and everything.

Great debut from this author and I definitely recommend! I’m sorry for such a vague and short review, but books like this are better read without any spoilers!

4 Stars

ARC kindly provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

See my review on Goodreads.

 

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Into the Darkest Corner {Review}

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Amazon Goodreads


Goodreads Synopsis:

When young, pretty Catherine Bailey meets Lee Brightman, she can’t believe her luck. Gorgeous, charismatic, and a bit mysterious, Lee seems almost too perfect to be true.

But what begins as flattering attention and spontaneous, passionate sex transforms into raging jealousy, and Catherine soon discovers that Lee’s dazzling blue eyes and blond good looks hide a dark, violent nature. Disturbed by his increasingly erratic, controlling behavior, she tries to break it off; turning to her friends for support, she’s stunned to find they don’t believe her. Increasingly isolated and driven into the darkest corner of her world, a desperate Catherine plans a meticulous escape.

Four years later, Lee is behind bars and Catherine—now Cathy—is trying to build a new life in a new city. Though her body has healed, the trauma of the past still haunts her. Then Stuart Richardson, her attractive new neighbor, moves in. Encouraging her to confront her fears, he sparks unexpected hope and the possibility of love and a normal life.

Until the day the phone rings . . .

My Review:

Because of the time of year, and my love of Halloween and all things scary, I have been more in the mood to read suspense/thriller books than anything else. While trying to find a good one on Amazon, I came across this gem on the top 100 best seller Kindle list. It was getting some great reviews, and a few of my Goodreads friends had enjoyed it, so I decided to give it a try.

What a fantastic thriller. It really had me creeped out at times, and I admit had me a little jumpy while I was reading it late at night. I love when I find a good suspense that can scare me like that. This book is definitely intense and captivating.

The thing about suspense/mystery novels is that it’s hard to do a proper review of them without giving any of the goods away. I prefer to go into these books completely blind, having only read the synopsis. If I have even the smallest part of the story ruined for me, it ruins my entire experience. I LOVE the element of surprise and try to avoid spoilers at all costs.

That being said, I don’t want to give away anything about this book. The best part of reading it was the constant suspense and the not knowing who you could trust and believe. I couldn’t read it fast enough, and was dying to get to the end and see how everything played out. This is a longer book (longer than I usually like to read), but I still managed to finish the book quickly, because I never wanted to put it down!

A wonderful thriller for those of you that enjoy this genre. I plan to look for more books by this author in the future!

4.5 Stars

See my review on Goodreads.

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Filthy Beautiful Lies {Review}

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Meet Colton Drake

I have no idea why she auctioned off her virginity for a cool mill. Regardless, I’m now the proud new owner of a perfectly intact hymen. A lot of good that will do me. I have certain tastes, certain sexual proclivities. My cock is a bit more discriminatory than most. And training a virgin takes finesse and patience – both of which I lack.

Sophie Evans has been backed into a corner. With her sister’s life hanging in the balance, the only choice is to claw her way out, even if that means selling her virginity to the highest bidder at an exclusive erotic club. When Colton Drake takes her home, she quickly learns nothing is as it seems with this beautifully troubled man. Being with him poses challenges she never expected, and pushes her to want things she never anticipated.

My Thoughts:

Dear Kendall Ryan,

You are the queen of sexy writing. I love you and your books. Please never stop writing.

love,
Brandie

In all seriousness, I haven’t read a Kendall Ryan book that I haven’t enjoyed. But I do have my favorites, and it’s always a challenge in my mind for an author to top one of my favorite books. This series has officially rocketed to the top of my favorite KR books. To say I loved it is an understatement.

My review is for both books – Filthy Beautiful Lies & Filthy Beautiful Love.

I was desperate for something really good to read, that would pull me in immediately. And this series was the perfect solution to my book funk. I devoured both books in two days, because I couldn’t put them down. It was everything I love and look for in a book – a slow build romance, sexiness, humor, friendship & so much heart and emotion that I felt connected to both of these fantastic characters.

And did I mention it was hot?

Colton Drake, charming & sexy, is the perfect leading man. But clearly he’s got issues, or why else would he buy a girl for sex, right? He’s a successful, good looking guy who could have any girl he wants. But what he really wants is a companion, someone who will give him no strings sex, and be there for him whenever he needs – but without the drama and emotions involved in a relationship. Seems shallow, but once you start to get a glimpse of the real man behind the issues, you fall head over heals. Those little glimpses of kindness and affection won me over immediately. I wanted to know Colton and find out what had broken him.

Sophie Evans is a sweet and innocent girl, who wants nothing more than to save her sister’s life, no matter how much it’ll cost her. What she doesn’t expect was that she’d be attracted to Colton, let alone enjoy his company and find comfort in his companionship. She’s spent her life being in the shadows of her sister, selflessly giving herself to her family without ever thinking about her needs or wants. And for the first time she is able to be herself. I loved her strength, but it was how selfless she was that gripped at my heart.

The best part of this series was the slow burn between Colton & Sophie. There is no insta-love. The suspense and build up of their romance was intense and wonderful. Yes, it was super hot (I expect nothing less from Kendall Ryan), but I also felt the emotion between these two. Not only was the story about finding love, but it was also about finding themselves along the way.

KR also packed a wicked punch at the end of the first book that I never saw coming. I LOVE when an author keeps me on my toes, and I can’t even tell you how glad I was that the second book was waiting for me on my Kindle.

Another thing I loved about the book were the secondary characters. It was easy to adore Pace and Collin, Colton’s brothers, and Sophie’s sister, Becca. I’m so excited that Pace is getting his own book – Filthy Beautiful Lust.

With all of KR’s books I feel that I get just enough back story and description to keep me wanting more, without dragging things out. Having just read a book recently that I felt was way too long and drawn out, I loved that this book kept on pace and didn’t drag. I found myself excited to pick it up any chance I could, and that is a sign of a great book, in my opinion.

A beautiful story full of emotion and the perfect amount of steam – it surpassed all of my expectations. Another fantastic series by Kendall Ryan.

See my review on Goodreads.

 

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