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Teaser Tuesday: February 23rd 2016

Tuesday – hello again!  I’ve finished 2 books since last week and need to get on some reviews!  And I have another thrilling one to share today.

It’s The Girl You Lost by Kathryn Croft, an impulse download from Amazon this week.  I really enjoyed The Girl with No Past a few months back – so I thought I’d give this one a go.  So far so good – and I love this short yet powerful teaser!

“But what was I truly frightened of? What we had just done, or the fact that I had liked it?”
8% into book

Book Description:

Eighteen years ago your baby daughter was snatched. Today, she came back.

A sinister and darkly compelling psychological thriller from the No.1 bestselling author of The Girl With No Past.

Eighteen years ago, Simone Porter’s six-month-old daughter, Helena, was abducted. Simone and husband, Matt, have slowly rebuilt their shattered lives, but the pain at losing their child has never left them.

Then a young woman, Grace, appears out of the blue and tells Simone she has information about her stolen baby. But just who is Grace – and can Simone trust her?

When Grace herself disappears, Simone becomes embroiled in a desperate search for her baby and the woman who has vital clues about her whereabouts.

Simone is inching closer to the truth but it’ll take her into dangerous and disturbing territory.

Simone lost her baby. Will she lose her life trying to find her?

What do you think? Please share yours below too! Thanks for stopping by today!

Teaser Tuesdays is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB/Jenn of A Daily Rhythm. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:

• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title & author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!


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Book Review: Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani

Trail of Broken Wings
By Sejal Badani
Releases 5/1/15
April Kindle First Pick

Rating: 4 bones(out of 5 bones)

Wow.  This book was super powerful.  I have a hard time with books like this.  It was so incredibly sad, heart-breaking, and hard to read at times.  So it’s not a book that I can easily say “It’s so good go read it”  But if I look at the writing style and the story of overcoming your past, redemption, and moving forward, it is a powerful read.  Just be prepared and warned.

The story follows an Indian family, moved to the United States from India when the children were young.  The father, Brent, is now in a coma, and the family comes back together as he nears the end.  Like many books, this book flashes back to the past to explain what is going on in the present.  Brent’s wife is Ranee and together they have three girls, Marin, Trisha, and Sonya.

We come to know each of these characters very intimately.  Brent only through his wife and daughters and their memories.  In reading the book description, which I pasted below, I’m not sure that I ever really came to understand Brent’s actions or at least never felt any bit of sympathy for him.  His wife, Ranee, tried hard to be the typical submissive wife all while holding in and experiencing a lot of pain at Brent’s hand.  And seemed to constantly struggle with providing for and protecting her daughters.  She is really a complex character as the book goes on and I came to really understand her decisions, some of which I couldn’t ever imagine having to make.  But she probably surprised me the most of anyone.

Marin, the eldest, forced into an arranged marriage, much like her mother, is the Type A, super competitive sister, daughter, wife, and mother.  We get glimpses into her marriage to Raj, and her daughter Gia is a prominent character throughout the book as the past meets the present.  Also tormented growing up at Brent’s hand, we come to understand why she is who she is and how to use that moving forward.

Trisha, the middle daughter, works hard to maintain perfection.  Married to a man of her choice, and always Brent’s favorite, she appears to have it all together.  As we learn more about Trisha, we see this is not the case, as she holds some dark secrets from the past that come to light throughout the book.

Then there is Sonya, who throughout her entire life, had been told she should have been aborted.  Promised a boy, Brent decided to not abort Ranee’s third pregnancy, but when Sonya arrived, she took the majority of his frustration and could never live up to his expectations.  Now a world-traveled photographer estranged from her family for the last many years, she comes home to face her demons.

I could go on, this book had so many levels and characters, but all so flawlessly brought together for this powerful story of not letting your past define you and moving forward.  It ends with an encouraging message and left me thinking about it for days.

I would recommend this book, just go in expecting to be challenged.  Hugging my kids a little tighter after this.

Thank you to Kindle First for offering this book for April.

Book Description:

When her father falls into a coma, Indian American photographer Sonya reluctantly returns to the family she’d fled years before. Since she left home, Sonya has lived on the run, free of any ties, while her soft-spoken sister, Trisha, has created a perfect suburban life, and her ambitious sister, Marin, has built her own successful career. But as these women come together, their various methods of coping with a terrifying history can no longer hold their memories at bay.

Buried secrets rise to the surface as their father—the victim of humiliating racism and perpetrator of horrible violence—remains unconscious. As his condition worsens, the daughters and their mother wrestle with private hopes for his survival or death, as well as their own demons and buried secrets.

Told with forceful honesty, Trail of Broken Wings reveals the burden of shame and secrets, the toxicity of cruelty and aggression, and the exquisite, liberating power of speaking and owning truth.


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Book Review: The Turner House by Angela Flournoy

The Turner House
By Angela Flournoy
Releases 4/14/15
Provided free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Rating: 2 bones

This book just wasn’t for me.  The writing was great and I had a very vivid picture of all of the characters and the house and surroundings, it just didn’t move fast enough or hold my interest.  Thus taking me 10 days to finish (which for me is a lot.)  I’ve been reading a lot in the mystery/thriller genre lately, but like to switch it up, so I’m not opposed to good old fiction novel, this one just fell a bit flat for me.

The book follows the Turner Family through both flashbacks to their beginning and journey to the Yarrow House and current day.  The Turner family consisted of patriarch Francis, now deceased, matriarch Viola, now facing death, and their 13 children (and grandchildren.)  All 13 were mentioned at various times, but most of the story lines focused on Cha-Cha, the eldest son, and Lelah, the youngest daughter.

Cha-Cha, now in his 60’s is going through a bit of a crisis and self-discovery as he is convinced he has his own personal haint (new word for me – basically a ghost.)  No one is really giving him any sympathy, but through flashbacks and his mother’s memory, we come to find this may have been a common theme in their family.  Lelah on the other hand at around 40, has escaped an abusive relationship, with a daughter and now granddaughter, and finds comfort in gambling.

At all times there are a lot of things going on with all the family members, but in the background is the main story line – what to do with the Yarrow house, where the roots of this family were sowed over the last 50+ years, now worth only a 10th of the mortgage.  Everyone has their opinion and wheelings and dealings, but what drove me crazy is that Viola, who still owned the home, although unable to occupy it, had no say in the matter.  Her kids all, I’m sure with good intentions, wanted to throw in their two cents.  And nothing was every really accomplished and I felt she was just pushed around and included only when needed, which mad me sad.

Overall, really just a sad, depressing tone.  I felt like not everything was wrapped up in the end and the ending was too abrupt, although I was glad for it to be done.  Maybe if I were from Detroit this book would have more significance to me, but it just left me wanting more.

Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for allowing me to preview.

Book Description:

A powerful, timely debut, The Turner House marks a major new contribution to the story of the American family.

The Turners have lived on Yarrow Street for over fifty years. Their house has seen thirteen children grown and gone—and some returned; it has seen the arrival of grandchildren, the fall of Detroit’s East Side, and the loss of a father. The house still stands despite abandoned lots, an embattled city, and the inevitable shift outward to the suburbs. But now, as ailing matriarch Viola finds herself forced to leave her home and move in with her eldest son, the family discovers that the house is worth just a tenth of its mortgage. The Turner children are called home to decide its fate and to reckon with how each of their pasts haunts—and shapes—their family’s future.

Already praised by Ayana Mathis as “utterly moving” and “un-putdownable,” The Turner House brings us a colorful, complicated brood full of love and pride, sacrifice and unlikely inheritances. It’s a striking examination of the price we pay for our dreams and futures, and the ways in which our families bring us home.

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Video Book Review: The Book With No Pictures by B.J. Novak

The Book With No Pictures
By B.J. Novak
Released 9/30/14
Received as a gift

Rating: 5 bones(5 bones out of 5)

Trying something new today here.  I’ve attempted to review kids books in the past and need to start doing that again as we do read a lot over here!  This one was received as a gift, actually by my husband for his birthday.  While that might seem a bit odd, this book has given the kids, in turn us, so much joy, with the laughter that results each time we read it.


It’s a very simple, silly premise.  There are no pictures, but that will be remedied in very silly words/sounds, that the reader, presumably a parent or grown-up has to say, no matter what.

The words make no sense, but to a 3 & 5-year-old, that doesn’t matter.

You may recognize the name, B.J. Novak, as Ryan from The Office.  Also received by my husband is his other book One More Thing: Stories and Other Stories (Vintage Contemporaries).  Maybe he’ll stop back by and do a review of that too!?

But I will leave you with my kids and their favorite parts and thoughts on this silly book.  Great gift idea (Thanks Aunt K!) that I can see us passing along to many unsuspecting friends and family members!


Book Description:

A #1 New York Times bestseller, this innovative and wildly funny read-aloud by award-winning humorist/actor B.J. Novak will turn any reader into a comedian.
You might think a book with no pictures seems boring and serious. Except . . . here’s how books work. Everything written on the page has to be said by the person reading it aloud. Even if the words say . . .
Even if the words are a preposterous song about eating ants for breakfast, or just a list of astonishingly goofy sounds like BLAGGITY BLAGGITY and GLIBBITY GLOBBITY.
Cleverly irreverent and irresistibly silly, The Book with No Pictures is one that kids will beg to hear again and again. (And parents will be happy to oblige.)


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Book Review: The Winter Foundlings by Kate Rhodes

The Winter Foundlings (click on book or see below for description)
By Kate Rhodes
Released 2/24/15
Downloaded free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 bones

This was a hang-on-to-the-very-end true mystery if I’ve ever read one.  I guess it is the third book in the Alice Quentin series, but I didn’t feel like I’d missed anything not having read the first two.  I’m not a series fan, but I can definitely see the draw after (unknowingly) reading a few this year!  And I’ll be on the look out for more from Ms. Rhodes.

Alice Quentin is a psychologist and in this book she has signed on for a six-month stint at a high-security hospital (Northwood) housing some of the most dangerous criminals in London.  Hoping for some downtime to focus on some research, Alice is soon drawn into a new case.  This one involving the abduction and later killing of young girls.  Conveniently her new position also helps in the current case, as it seems this latest killer may be continuing (or copying) the killing spree of a high-profile inmate at Northwood, Louis Kinsella.   Alice is back and forth between Northwood and London throughout the book working both angles of the case.

The build-up of the book is really well done, but I felt like the ending was really rushed.  Like getting to 96% of the book and still not having answers!  It was all wrapped up and definitely a surprise, I just found myself wanting more information in the end.  But in true mystery sense, I was racking my brain trying to figure out who the killer was throughout the whole story.

And fun fact, The Foundling Museum, referenced throughout the book, and the motivation for the killer (not a spoiler – it’s in the title!) is a real place in London, initially a hospital or home for abandoned children.  And now the museum, which Alice visits in the book, pays tribute and holds some items from those children.  Fortunately, it does not appear that this rest of the story holds any truth!

The Foundling Hospital Collection spans four centuries and contains paintings, sculpture, prints, manuscripts, furniture, clocks, photographs and ephemera. Some of the most poignant items in the Collection are the foundling tokens.  These were pinned by mothers to their baby’s clothes and upon entry, the Hospital would attach them to the child’s record of admission. As foundling babies were given new names, these tokens helped ensure correct identification, should a parent ever return to claim their child. The children were not allowed to keep their tokens, which were frequently everyday objects, such as a coin or button. The Hospital gradually evolved a more sophisticated administrative system, whereby mothers were issued with receipts. So the practice of leaving tokens died out at the beginning of the nineteenth century. (from Foundling Museum website)

I really liked Alice as a character and really experienced the case right along side her.  Scared for her at times, but with the utmost respect.  There was just the right amount of personal life thrown in with the case that rounded this book out really well.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for allowing me to preview.  Great book, check it out!

Book Description:

Psychologist Alice Quentin has been looking forward to a break from her hectic London life. She has vowed to stay clear of police work. The previous cases she helped the police with have left her scarred. So, when Alice is given the rare opportunity to study treatment methods at Northwood high-security hospital outside of London, she is eager to get to work.

But then a young girl is discovered, dressed all in white, on the steps of the Foundling Museum. Four girls have recently gone missing in North London—this is the third to be found, dead. The fourth may still be alive, and Alice Quentin may be able to help. Britain’s most prolific child killer, Louis Kinsella, has been locked up in Northwood for over a decade. Yet, these recent kidnappings and murders are clearly connected to Kinsella’s earlier crimes. It seems that someone is continuing where he left off. So, when Detective Don Burns comes asking for Alice’s help, how can she refuse? Alice will do anything to help save a child—even if that means forming a relationship with a charismatic, ruthless murderer. But Kinsella is slow to give away his secrets, and time is running out for the latest kidnap victim, who is simply trying to survive. In her quest to save a life, Alice finds she has put her own life on the line.

The Winter Foundling is Kate Rhode’s exciting thriller featuring Alice Quentin following Crossbones Yard and A Killing of Angels.


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Book Review: Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

Gone Girl (click on book or see below for description)
By Gillian Flynn
Released: 6/5/12
Hardcopy book provided by my lovely sister-in-law!

Rating: 4 bones

I did it!  I finally read the book that everyone in the world read and that many books I’ve recently read have been compared to!  And I get it.  This book does give other books a pretty high standard to live up to on the craziness scale.  All the hype had me almost disappointed as this is a pretty long book, but the ending sealed the deal.

I think I’ll keep this short as you can read through the other 36,892 (and counting) reviews on Amazon or 101,176 on Goodreads!  Definitely  a thrilling story with a lot of mystery as to what will happen next and even what is happening as you are reading.  You will shift your alliances (if you even make any) at various times through the book, find yourself holding your breath at others, and maybe even not wanting to see what is next at times too.  I haven’t gone through this wide of emotions in a book in a long time.  And while this book is also pretty long, I couldn’t wait to keep reading and it definitely held my interest.  And the ending, well I’ll just say I want MORE (and had to re-read it a few times!)

I’m not much for movies made from books, I always feel a bit disappointed, but since this one is a recent release – I’m going to go for it.  What did you think if you’ve both read and seen?  I’ve stayed away from reviews so far – but on my “to-watch” list this weekend – so I’ll see!

Ok – I know this review was very vague (not my usual style) but I’m going to leave it that way.  I went in pretty blind (other than other books I’ve read recently be compared to it – like The Girl on the Train) and think it added to the excitement and my enjoyment of the story.  If you’re looking for a good ride with lots of twists and that will keep your mind spinning, this book is for you! Check!

Book Description:

On a warm summer morning in North Carthage, Missouri, it is Nick and Amy Dunne’s fifth wedding anniversary. Presents are being wrapped and reservations are being made when Nick’s clever and beautiful wife disappears. Husband-of-the-Year Nick isn’t doing himself any favors with cringe-worthy daydreams about the slope and shape of his wife’s head, but passages from Amy’s diary reveal the alpha-girl perfectionist could have put anyone dangerously on edge. Under mounting pressure from the police and the media—as well as Amy’s fiercely doting parents—the town golden boy parades an endless series of lies, deceits, and inappropriate behavior. Nick is oddly evasive, and he’s definitely bitter—but is he really a killer? 


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Book Review: The Missing One by Lucy Atkins

The Missing One (click on book or see below for description)
By Lucy Atkins
Releases 2/3/15
Provided free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 bones

Keeping my 2015 good streak going – this book did not disappoint.  I guess true with most mysteries where someone is searching for something, but this one reminded me of my last read “Little Black Lies” in that the main character, Kali, was searching for answers on just who her mother was.

The book begins with the death of Kali’s (Kal as she prefers to be called) mother, Elena.  When Kal enters her late mother’s office in search of her birth certificate, she discovers 37 years worth of postcards from someone named Susannah, that simply say “Thinking of you.”  As she thinks on it, Kali realizes she doesn’t really know much about her parents, especially her mother.  Her father, still in the picture, is not very helpful with answers (and thinks someone’s past is their own) and her sister, Alice, who always had a very different relationship with her mother, doesn’t seem to know much more.  So Kali, in quite the mid-life crisis of her own, convinced her husband is cheating on her, acts quite impulsively, and telling no one boards a plane to Vancouver in search on answers.  And oh yeah, she brings her toddler, Finn with her.

I had a love/hate relationship with Kal.  In the beginning, I really could relate to her.  Having a young kid(s), a husband with a thriving career that keeps him away from home more than anyone would like, quite the planner, and wanting to know why her mother always had a wall up between her and even her son (not that last part personally – but wanting answers to everything!)  But then when she starts on this adventure, I tried to imagine what I would do in that situation (praying that I never would be) and just lost touch with her and wanted to scream at her (especially because she had her young child with her and you’ll find out something else later that will/may enrage you too!)  That didn’t take away from the story, as I’m not sure I can say I really liked any of the characters!  (Great for the story, bad if they were in my life!)

Once Kal gets to Vancouver, she easily locates Susannah, and upon meeting her, something is just off.  I never really trusted her, and I’m sure that was intentional.   But Kal, with Finn’s safety and comfort at the top of her list, chooses to trust her…

The anticipation in this book was so, incredibly thick.  I was frantically turning pages, possibly holding my breath, just knowing something was about to happen.   And when it does, prepare to hang on to the very end and prepare for ANYTHING!  I had some guesses throughout, some were on point, others off, but it was definitely not predictable.

I don’t want to spoil anything, but the book cover (seen above) is a little teaser in and of itself.  Kal does pry (and yes I mean painfully pry) information about her mother from Susannah very slowly.  First and foremost, she found out she was a pioneering orca (killer whale) researcher and activist in the 70’s.  Some of these details hurt my heart, a lot, as an animal advocate myself.  And strange timing, one morning while reading this book, I turned on the TODAY show and the story was about a captive orca, Lolita and that her release back to the wild was still a hot topic of debate.  So much to my dismay, orcas are still facing the same issues they were 40 years ago.  But I found the topic of orcas fascinating and an intricate part of this book.


I could go on, this book had so much going on and kept me hanging on to every word to the very end.  As facts filled in though, I still had a few questions at the end.  I’m one who likes everything wrapped up neatly, and while most things were, some I felt were not.  Maybe I missed it in my fast reading, but I’m usually pretty good!  Let me know if you read this book and I’d love to chat.  And do read this book, it’s a good one!

Thank you to NetGalley and Quercus (US) for allowing me to preview this great book!  Can’t wait for Ms. Atkin’s next one!

Book Description:

In her gripping debut novel The Missing One, Lucy Atkins takes us to the beautiful and rugged Pacific Northwest, where one woman endeavors to discover the dark secrets of her family’s past in order to understand and accept herself.

Kal McKenzie was never close to her mother Elena, whose coldness towards her spoiled any chance of a good relationship. When Elena dies of cancer, Kal feels forlorn; how do you mourn a mother who, inexplicably, just didn’t seem to love you?
While clearing out Elena’s art studio, Kal finds a drawer packed with postcards, each bearing an identical one-line message from a woman named Susannah Gillespie: “Thinking of you.” Who is this woman and does she hold the key to her ruined relationship with her mother?
Having recently seen a covetous text from an old girlfriend on her husband’s cell phone, Kal, dismayed over her mother’s death and disillusioned by her marriage, impulsively sets off with her toddler Finn to Susannah’s home and art gallery on a remote British Columbian island, a place of storms and killer whales.
When Kal reaches the island, the striking and enigmatic Susannah will only share a few scraps of information about Elena. Kal discovers that her mother was a pioneering orca researcher and activist.
As Kal struggles to piece together her mother’s career and relationship with Susannah, Susannah’s behavior grows more and more erratic. Most worrying of all, Susannah is becoming increasingly preoccupied with little Finn.
Told in competing narratives of past and present, The Missing One intermixes Kal’s journey with her mother’s coming of a age as a woman, scientist and activist. As these two narratives converge the novel transforms into a white-knuckle thriller where the secrets of the past threaten to tear Kal’s family apart.

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Book Review: Little Black Lies by Sandra Block

Little Black Lies (click on book or see below for description)
By Sandra Block
Releases 2/17/15
Provided free through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 4 bones

This book caught me off guard a little.   It started off much lighter than most mysteries I read.  Meaning not with a murder or traumatic event.  It jumped right into life in the psychiatry ward of a Buffalo hospital and its colorful cast of doctors.  Dr. Zoe Goldman, one of those psychiatrists, is our main character.  Extremely tall, as referenced throughout the book, adopted at the young age of four by her mother’s best friend, and in a relationship with the “Frenchman”, Zoe has some issues of her own.

Recurring dreams and inconsistent information she has been receiving (or not receiving) from her mother, have Zoe questioning some things she has been told about her past.  Going only off a picture and a newspaper article, she begins diving into her past.  Her mother, in a home, suffering from Alzheimer’s, isn’t much help, and anyone else that would know anything is long gone.  With Sam, her psychiatrist (is it odd that a psychiatrist sees a psychiatrist?), she explores dream manipulation and hypnosis.  When those don’t work out, she starts her investigation.

The story moves along well, but I don’t feel like we hit the story line till at least halfway through.  And even then, I didn’t feel like I was in mystery mode.  The book goes between Zoe’s personal life, some romance, some encounters with her mom and brother, and then her work life.  She has a few patients who we come to know, but the two worlds just seem so separate.  Without spoiling anything, my brain just wasn’t scrambling to come up with guesses like I usually do in mystery books.  And this one, as I stated, from the beginning, just didn’t fit the stereotype.  Not saying this is a bad thing at all, and actually I liked it because I was really caught off guard when I got to the “big reveal”.  Really caught off guard. Emphasis added.  Maybe you will have figured it out, I honestly had no idea.  And I love that when a book can do that!

I was hanging on to every word until the very end and finished this book pretty quick!  And shout out to Ms. Block for her letter and notes at the end.  That is seriously my favorite part of a book to know a little back story on where this story came from!  Definitely a great book and another shout out to NetGalley for allowing me to preview, look for it on February 17th!

Book Description:

She helps people conquer their demons. But she has a few of her own…

In the halls of the psychiatric ward, Dr. Zoe Goldman is a resident in training, dedicated to helping troubled patients. However, she has plenty of baggage of her own. When her newest patient arrives – a beautiful sociopath who murdered her mother – Zoe becomes obsessed with questions about her own mother’s death. But the truth remains tauntingly out of reach, locked away within her nightmares of an uncontrollable fire. And as her adoptive mother loses her memory to dementia, the time to find the answers is running out.

As Zoe digs deeper, she realizes that the danger is not just in her dreams but is now close at hand. And she has no choice but to face what terrifies her the most. Because what she can’t remember just might kill her.

Little Black Lies is about madness and memory – and the dangerous, little lies we tell ourselves just to survive.



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Book Review: Crash and Burn by Lisa Gardner

Crash & Burn (Click book or see below for description)
By Lisa Gardner
Releases 2/3/15
Downloaded free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating: 5 bones

I’ll get right to the point, I loved this book (which feels so good to say – I’m stingy with my 5-bone ratings!)  Maybe not some of the subject matter, you will never guess where this book is headed, but the fact that it kept me on my toes, up late, and trying to figure it out, made for a great book for me.  Starting off 2015 strong!  (Check out a bonus teaser HERE!)

The book jumps right into the action with a car wreck, subsequent manhunt for a supposed missing child, and then Pandora’s box begins to open.  Nicky Frank, main character, suffered some brain damage from the wreck, and as it turned out also a few other recent head injuries, so she can sense things and knows things are not what they seem but can’t quite put the story together.  Introduce her husband, Thomas, and you just know something is off.  Can he be trusted?  What is he hiding?  As Sergeant Wyatt Foster takes on this case, he has a lot more questions than answers too.  And every time he thinks he has an answer or comes up with a theory, it either is completely off or just opens up so much more.  The reader jumps right on board for this ride of finding answers and it is quite the exciting one!

And just who is Vero?  A nagging question asked up front and throughout the whole story.  In the end, I never would have guessed the answer, and believe me, I had a lot of guesses throughout the book.  The book does that with so many different characters and occurrences, it keeps the reader so engaged!  What really happened the night of the car crash?  Who is Nicky?  Who is Thomas?  Why did they move so much? Was there really a dollhouse?  Are these things just coincidence?  What REALLY happened?  SO much anticipation, I couldn’t get enough!

Like I said before, this book went to a place I did not see coming.  It became very dark at times and addressed some harder topics I wasn’t expecting.  But in the end it was all wrapped up.  With so much action and so many questions throughout the book, I was really worried one would be left out, but the author did a great job of tying it all up.  I love the book description (see below) as it really gives a great glimpse into this book.

Check out this book, just make sure you have time to finish it, my biggest complaint was having to wait in between readings (sleep trumps all with little kids!!)  Thanks to NetGalley for another great read!  I’ll definitely be looking up other titles from Ms. Gardner!

Book Description:

My name is Nicky Frank. Except, most likely, it isn’t.

Nicole Frank shouldn’t have been able to survive the car accident, much less crawl up the steep ravine. Not in the dark, not in the rain, not with her injuries. But one thought allows her to defy the odds and flag down help: Vero.

I’m looking for a little girl. I have to save her. Except, most likely, she doesn’t exist.

Sergeant Wyatt Foster is frustrated when even the search dogs can’t find any trace of the mysterious missing child. Until Nicky’s husband, Thomas, arrives with a host of shattering revelations: Nicole Frank suffers from a rare brain injury and the police shouldn’t trust anything she says.

My husband claims he’ll do anything to save me. Except, most likely, he can’t.

Who is Nicky Frank, and what happened the night her car sailed off the road? Was it a random accident or something more sinister given the woman’s lack of family and no close friends? The deeper Wyatt digs, the more concerned he becomes. Because it turns out, in the past few months, Nicky has suffered from more than one close accident. . . . In fact, it would appear someone very much wants her dead.

This is my life. Except, most likely, it’s not. Now watch me crash and burn.


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Book Review: The Ripper’s Wife by Brandy Purdy

The Ripper’s Wife (click book or see below for description)
By Brandy Purdy
Released 10/28/14
Downloaded free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Rating:4 bones

I’d been sitting on this one for a while, the fact that I chose to read over Christmas is a bit puzzling, but none-the-less, I’m glad (in a twisted way) that I finally picked up!  Admittedly, I was hoping this story would go differently as it actually started quite how I liked, but it was overall (not surprisingly) a pretty dark, depressing story.

Let me explain.  I’ve heard of Jack the Ripper, murderer of prostitutes in London in the late 1800’s, and curiosity got the better of me to request this book.  But what a wonderful idea to hear it from the viewpoint of his wife!  And I did do some research after I read the book, which I will quickly summarize.

Jack the Ripper to this day is not known.  There are some theories, and James Maybrick, as Jack, is a working theory.  A diary was found of his maybe 20 years back, and is referred to in this book, that held some never publicized details.  His wife, Florence, Florie, is a real person as well, who was in fact convicted of killing her husband, and the main facts in the story are true.  So this book goes back and forth between Florie’s viewpoint, James’ (Jack’s) diary, and between present day (in the storyline) and how they courted, married, and lived (the time of the murders.)  It was quite confusing to keep track of, especially since there were no paragraphs in my ARC (maybe there are in the hard copy?)

That all being said, I pushed through.  The book started out how I wanted it to.  A beautiful romance between James and Florie.  When I stated earlier that I had hoped things would go differently, I really wanted Jack to be a true alter-ego of James (loving husband at home, murdered at night), when actually James was a pretty rotten person, at least to his wife.  But I enjoyed going back and forth between his home life and his murdering life and living it through Florie’s eyes.  You can’t help but feel for her at times, but no one was truly innocent.  The working theory throughout the book is that Florie, his wife, is the reason Jack the Ripper existed.

The book continues the story long after Jack’s death, which as I mentioned, Florie was convicted of, but the reader gets all the facts and can decide for themselves what they think (I’ll hold it there on this one!)  It bounces back and forth between good times and bad for her and does have a settling ending.  Florie possesses the knowledge of who her husband really was and is very calculating in what she should or shouldn’t do with that knowledge, which is fascinating.

Overall definitely not a happy read, but one that challenged me, kept me interested, and I would highly recommend if this subject peaks your interest at all!

Book Description:

A suspenseful, spellbinding novel of love, jealousy, and murder, The Ripper’s Wife reimagines the most notorious serial killer in history through the eyes of the woman who sealed his fate.

“Love makes sane men mad and can turn a gentle man into a fiend.”

It begins as a fairytale romance–a shipboard meeting in 1880 between vivacious Southern belle Florence Chandler and handsome English cotton broker James Maybrick. Courtship and a lavish wedding soon follow, and the couple settles into an affluent Liverpool suburb.

From the first, their marriage is doomed by lies. Florie, hardly the heiress her scheming mother portrayed, is treated as an outsider by fashionable English society. James’s secrets are infinitely darker–he has a mistress, an arsenic addiction, and a vicious temper. But Florie has no inkling of her husband’s depravity until she discovers his diary–and in it, a litany of bloody deeds. . .

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