What I Read: May 9-15

Unmasked: My Life Solving America’s Cold Cases by Paul Holes: This was absolutely fantastic. I already knew Paul Holes was a whip-smart and experienced detective, but his compassion and care really shone through in this book. A must-read for anyone interested in true crime as a genre. Thank you Celadon Books for the ARC!

Slightly Wicked (Bedwyn Saga #2) by Mary Balogh: This was such a drag compared to book one. I did not like Rannulf/Ralf as a love interest and, beyond the opening section, this was just so painfully boring. I do have book three (which focuses on Freyja) on hold and I should be able to read it soon. I am seriously determined to get to Wulfric’s book (which is the sixth and last in the series) but I was told that it’s more rewarding if you read the rest first.

A Feast for Crows (A Song of Ice and Fire #4) by George RR Martin: This is BAD. It’s so boring compared to A Storm of Swords and to be quite honest, I gave up about 55% of the way through. However, I am counting this as “read” because I made it through more than 500 pages…I just couldn’t handle 400 more of a bunch of nothing. If you’ve watched the show, you could probably skip this one. I will read A Dance with Dragons (eventually) though.

Address Unknown by Kathrine Kressmann Taylor: This is a 60-ish page story written in 1938, and follows two friends as they write letters back and forth at the very beginning of Hitler’s rise to power and the formation of Nazi Germany. It’s powerful and pretty horrifying (conceptually, at least).

Make It Sweet by Kristen Callihan: Lucian Osmond is a former professional hockey player who loves to bake. If that doesn’t grab your attention, maybe this isn’t the book for you. I read this in the span of one afternoon, and really enjoyed the majority of my time with Lucian and Emma. A few parts dragged a bit for me, but overall this was really cute.

CURRENTLY READING: I haven’t started it yet, but I think my next read is going to be The Life We Almost Had by Amelia Henley. Thank you Books Forward PR for the ARC!

REVIEW – Watch Her by Edwin Hill

Okay, i’m convinced. I need to go back and read the first two Hester Thursby novels because I am hooked! Watch Her is a sleepier contemporary mystery that really picks up after 1. A character is murdered and 2. Some family secrets all come to light in a heart-pounding final few chapters.

I really enjoyed Hester as a protagonist – she’s feisty and smart, but she doesn’t feel like a stereotype or charicature.

We get multiple perspectives in this book and that really worked to push the story along. Each character was different enough that I felt like I was getting a relatively comprehensive overview of the events of the book.

Content warnings: sexual harassment, death of a child, brief use of ableist language

Thank you Kensington Books and Books Forward PR for the ARC!

REVIEW – They’re Gone by E.A. Barres

Deb and Cessy come from different backgrounds, different marriages and have different experiences. And yet when the unthinkable happens, it causes them to connect in an effort to save their lives.

They’re Gone focuses on two very different women who have one thing in common – both of their husbands were murdered on the same night. As you can probably imagine, these murders uncover long-buried secrets that lead to some very dangerous people.

Overall, this is a solid thriller. It’s twisty and exciting. The “big” twist is relatively easy to guess, but I found myself just wondering when and how the reveal would happen, which made it fun to read.

Thank you Books Forward PR for the digital ARC!

REVIEW – The Second Mother by Jenny Milchman

{Available August 18, 2020} Oof. This was a lot. And it was a lot of things that didn’t work for me. I went into this expecting something a bit more thrilling and a bit more heart-racing and it just didn’t deliver. This book is LONG. Given there are a lot of descriptions of the island, a lot of repetitive incidents and a lot of buildup for a plot twist that could have been introduced 200 pages sooner.

The writing isn’t bad – this book just suffers from trying to accomplish too much, and in the end accomplishes very little. I also felt that the ending of the book didn’t uphold the overall vibes of the beginning. For how long the book is, the end wraps up a little too fast and a little too neatly.

Thank you Books Forward PR for the NetGalley ARC!