Just a book blog

Just a book blog

I'm Jenn.

I like to read then blog about it :-)

Review
5 Stars
The Night Before
The Night Before - Wendy   Walker

Laura Heart is back in her home town, staying with her sister and her family while she gets back on her feet. When she disappears after going on a date with a man she met online, her sister Rosie is desperate to find her. But Rosie starts to wonder if Laura is more of a danger than the stranger she went out with.

Ooh, this was good! I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. I wanted the book to just end already because I couldn't stand not knowing what happened to Laura. This is told from Laura's point of view and also from Rosie's point of view while she's worrying and looking for her sister. Both sisters' stories are weaved together so well that you don't miss a beat. This book is full of suspense and twists and ugh, did I mention how good it was?! I was pleasantly surprised at a few things.. I thought I had it all figured out but I was wrong. Loved the characters and the depth of this whole book.

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC.

Review
5 Stars
A Thousand Doors: An Anthology of Many Lives
A Thousand Doors: An Anthology of Many Lives  - J.T. Ellison

Mia Jensen has had a horrible day. She's wondering how she got to this point in her life when she hears a noise in the kitchen. She's brutally attacked and left for dead and as she's dying she experiences some of the lives she could have lived if only she made a different choice.

This anthology tells the many lives Mia Jensen could have lived. If only. In my opinion there's not one bad story here. They're all strong, interesting and they all have the same flavour.. they all seemed like Mia. Contributors include Catherine McKenzie, Kaira Rouda, Kimberly Belle and Kate Moretti, but like I said every one of these stories is great. They felt complete. I know I've wondered "what would have happened if I did that?" and "if I hadn't of done that then this never would have happened." A unique and thought-provoking read that brought out a lot of emotions both for me and Mia Jensen.

Thank you to Netgalley and Two Tales Press for an ARC.

Review
4 Stars
A Midwinter's Tail
A Midwinter's Tail - Bethany Blake

Professional pet sitter Daphne Templeton is getting ready to attend Sylvan Creek's annual Bark the Halls Ball. Everyone will be there including special guest CeeCee French, founder of a national chain of pet care franchises. But not everyone is excited to see CeeCee. Daphne’s friend Moxie Bloom is one of those people. When CeeCee is found stabbed to death, Moxie is the prime suspect. But Daphne knows her friend is innocent and she's going to prove it with the help of her basset hound sidekick Socrates.

Another fun installment in the Lucky Paws Petsitting series. I love this series and was so happy to be able to get my hands on A Midwinter's Tail early. I enjoyed catching up with Daphne and the gang and seeing who got into trouble this time around. I wasn't disappointed. Lots of cozy holiday vibes. Lots of love for animals. I have lots of love for that cute little pug on the cover! So cute. I'm looking forward to the next book!

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington for an ARC.

Review
5 Stars
Our Little Lies
Our Little Lies - Sue Watson

Marianne has what others would think of as the perfect life. Beautiful house on the best street in the neighbourhood, three bright children and a handsome and charismatic husband who also happens to be a successful surgeon. Marianne's past has been hard, but Simon makes sure she's looked after with flowers and trips. But he has just said another woman's name in conversation and Marianne knows that something's going on between them. As she starts to learn more about Caroline she doesn't find herself jealous, she finds herself afraid.

I was hooked from page one. The writing was great. The characters were frustrating and drove me up the wall at times but I needed to know what was going on! What are they hiding? What's the truth and what's a lie? I enjoyed this book from cover to cover but it really picks up at the halfway point. The suspense! I couldn't wait to finish it, it was so good. It had me guessing the whole time. I was not disappointed with this one.

Thank you to Netgalley and Bookouture for an e-copy.

Review
3 Stars
The Body in the Attic
The Body in the Attic - Judi Lynn

Jazzi Zanders and her cousin, Jerod, are house-flippers. They're now working on a house that was owned by the late Cal Juniper, a man who used to date Jazzi's aunt Lynda. Lynda moved to New York after breaking up with Cal and didn't bother to keep in touch with her family. Now they know why. Lynda's bones have been found in Cal's attic.

Look, there's a pug on the cover :-) This is a book about food with some house-flipping and murder on the side. I love watching shows about flipping and fixing and all that, so this was interesting and refreshing. Family and friends were close and would get together every Sunday to, you guessed it, eat. George, the pug, would drink beer and eat lots of people food which I did not like. The mystery itself was fine. Things happened extremely fast between Jazzi and the contractor. I get that it's just a book and things have to flow for the sake of the story but some of these things just really irritated me and took away from my enjoyment of the book overall.

Thank you to Netgalley and Kensington Books for an e-copy.

Review
4 Stars
Mountain of the Dead
Mountain of the Dead - Jeremy Bates

An American true-crime writer has traveled across the world to follow the footsteps of the nine Russian hikers who slashed open their tent in the middle of the night to flee into a blizzard in subpolar temperatures. They all died, some of them violent deaths, but nobody knows exactly what happened.

I found this book to be as strong as the first book, The Suicide Forest, in Bates' World's Scariest Places. The Dyatlov Pass Incident happened in 1959 and of course I had to Google to find out what went on and what's true compared to what Bates has come up with himself. The author has created a great story. What's been covered up? What's really out there? The remote location, the weather, what could go wrong.. it's scary because you just never know. A few parts in this book I found the author went overboard in regards to some situations the American author, Corey, found himself in. It seemed unnecessary and took away from the flow of the story but overall this was really good and definitely interesting.

Review
5 Stars
The Last Time I Lied
The Last Time I Lied - Riley Sager

Fifteen years ago the three girls who were staying with Emma Davis in a tiny cabin at Camp Nightingale vanished into the night never to be seen or heard from again. The camp closed its doors after the tragedy, but Francesca Harris-White, the wealthy owner, finds Emma and tells her she will be reopening Camp Nightingale and that she would like for her to come back as a painting instructor. Emma sees this as an opportunity to find out what really happened to Vivian, Natalie, and Allison.

I loved The Final Girls, the writing was so good. So I was expecting big things from the author's next book and I was not disappointed! I loved the camp setting, the mystery and suspense.. what happened to these three teenagers? I couldn't wait to find out. I thought the author was going to lose me a few times towards the end but everything came together so well. Definitely an enjoyable page-turner for me. I look forward to reading more from Riley Sager.

Review
2 Stars
An Unwanted Guest
An Unwanted Guest - Shari Lapena

Mitchell's Inn is a secluded mountain lodge. What seemed cozy in the brochure ends up being a nightmare when a storm hits and cuts off the electricity and with it all contact with the outside world leaving the guests and small staff trapped with a killer.

Of course I couldn't wait to get my hands on this. I loved The Couple Next Door and A Stranger in the House. It sounded great - an old mountain lodge nestled in the woods, no wi-fi just enjoying nature and one another's company. But this one was disappointing right from the get-go. I understand there were lots of characters so we could guess who the murderer was and who'd be the next to die but I had a hard time remembering who was who. The writing was juvenile, repetitive and choppy.  The sudden change in character point-of-view was jarring. The story was unbelievable. The reveal was anticlimactic. I can't believe this is written by the same author.

Review
4 Stars
Jar of Hearts
Jar of Hearts - Jennifer Hillier

Georgina, Angela and Kaiser were best friends in high school. Angela, the most popular girl in school, loved her life so it didn't make sense that she'd disappear one night without a trace. Her remains have been found fourteen years later in the woods near Geo's childhood home. Kaiser, now a detective with Seattle PD, finally learns that Angela was a victim of serial killer Calvin James. Calvin was Geo's first love in high school and their relationship was far from perfect. During those fourteen years Geo made something of herself - she's the youngest VP at Shipp Pharmaceuticals and she's engaged to the rich CEO. Nobody ever suspected that she knew what happened to her best friend until she was arrested and sent to prison.

I have to admit this took me a while to get into but since it was a library book I kept turning those pages so I could finish quickly. Somewhere along the line I became absorbed. Poor Angela, what happened to her? I enjoyed reading about their teen years, prison life for Geo, and afterwards when we learn even more secrets. I was impressed with how some things happened but I also couldn't get over how convenient some things were. I hated the epilogue! But overall this was a disturbing, entertaining read. Now that I know how the name of the book ties in with the story I love it!

Review
5 Stars
Our House
Our House - Louise Candlish

Fiona Lawson has returned home to find strangers moving into her house. Fi and her estranged husband, Bram, have bird's nest custody - each parent spends a few nights a week with their two sons in the prized family home to maintain stability for the children. Bram's not at the house, neither are the children, or any of their possessions. The house has been sold to a young couple but Fi did not agree to sell their house.

This book was good right from the start. It has an interesting and unique premise where this coveted house on Trinity Avenue has been sold while Fi was away for a couple days. She knows absolutely nothing about what's going on. Her husband has been keeping things from her and everything ends up snowballing until every messy detail comes out. It's realistic, too, to have one thing happen after the other and before you know it you've dug yourself into a hole and you feel like it's too late to come out of it. This whole book is solid and hard to put down. The characters, their relationships, their situations are real. Lots of lies, loss of control, deceit, manipulation, hiding. Everything was great especially the ending - loved it!

I won a copy through a Goodreads giveaway. Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for a hardcover copy.

Review
4 Stars
Three Days Missing
Three Days Missing - Kimberly Belle

Kat Jenkins has let her young son, Ethan, go on an overnight field trip with his class. When she wakes up in the middle of the night to the sound of a policeman pounding on her door, she prays it has something to do with her ex and not their child but that's not the case. Ethan is missing. The authorities have come up empty-handed and the search dogs have lost his scent in the mountain forest. Another mother, Stef Huntington, whose child is in Ethan's class and on the same field trip doesn't know much about Kat but her son's disappearance affects her own life in a big way.

I really liked The Marriage Lie and I enjoy Kimberly Belle's writing so obviously this book was good! I was hooked from the very first page. I couldn't turn the pages fast enough. What happened to Ethan?! Lots of suspense and tension. I did see some things coming a mile away, and it did start to unravel for me towards the end, but overall this was an entertaining read that held my attention and had me looking forward to when I could pick it back up. I liked reading from Kat's perspective as well as Stef's and I liked how they were woven together. I can't wait for more from this author.

Review
4 Stars
An Anonymous Girl
An Anonymous Girl - Greer Hendricks, Sarah Pekkanen

Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by Dr. Shields. Jess thinks she's going to answer a few questions, collect the easy cash and it'll be over. But the questions grow more and more invasive and soon Jess believes that Dr. Shields knows exactly what she's thinking. And what she's hiding.

This is written by the same women who wrote "The Wife Between Us" so of course it's going to be good, right? Right! Interesting concept where Jess participates in an anonymous study that focuses on ethics and morality. Dr. Shields is intense. She definitely brought out some emotions from me - frustration, anger, impatience. But her mind was amazing. These characters have so many layers that shaped them into who they are. Most of this book had me thinking not much is happening, but now that it's over I realize that it's one of those quietly good books that leave you thinking. There's passion, betrayal, obsession, deceit, jealousy, manipulation. And even though I felt like not much was happening it was never boring and I could not stop turning the pages.

Thank you to Netgalley and St. Martin's Press for an ARC.

Review
5 Stars
Just Between You And Me: A Memoir
Just Between You And Me: A Memoir - Myles Goodwyn

When I started this book, I was depressed and I guess because I listen to a lot of April Wine, reading this book felt like a friend sharing their story with me. It kept my mind off things and I couldn't wait to pick it back up. Myles lays it all out in the open for us. He tells us about his childhood. Growing up poor, his mother dying at a young age. His early bands. How April Wine came to be, and their many lineup changes and what their songs are about. He takes us through his later years, talks about his health and his other ventures. There's nothing in here that's crude, he doesn't put anyone down. He seems like a classy, down-to-earth guy and like I said it felt like I had a friend while I was reading this book. I could gush about how I think April Wine is the best band to come out of Canada. And they started in Nova Scotia, where I'm from! So cool. Definitely check this book out if you're a big April Wine/Myles Goodwyn fan.

Review
4 Stars
Like Never and Always
Like Never and Always - Ann Aguirre

Two best friends are dating brothers. They're all hanging out together, driving around on a hot summer night when things go horribly wrong. Liv wakes in the hospital, but everyone is calling her Morgan. She's hoping things will get cleared up when the bandages come off, but sadly that's not what happens. Liv has become her best friend Morgan. Morgan is a beautiful rich girl who seemed to have the perfect life, but as Liv finds out it's anything but. She uncovers one dark secret after the other until she fulfills Morgan's last request.

This book immediately had me hooked. What is going on?! Liv died but now she's in Morgan's body? And all these secrets Morgan had - wow. This book can serve as a reminder that everyone has their own story, we shouldn't judge or jump to conclusions. I liked the characters. The story was never boring - one thing snowballed into a lot of dirty secrets coming out and Morgan/Liv found strength and courage to keep her head held high. I liked how she no longer took the little things for granted and that she also found out who her true friends were. A compulsive and interesting read for me.

Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan-Tor/Forge for a copy of this book
.

Review
2 Stars
Invite Me In
By Private Invitation - Stephanie Julian

This started off good - Annabelle Elder is an antiques dealer. She collects erotic art, but her life is the complete opposite of steamy. When she attends a New Year's Eve party at Haven Hotel with her best friend she decides to be a little more open-minded, especially when she meets handsome, rich, charming Jared Golden and discovers the pleasure palace he has set up in the hotel. Only those who've received invitations may go and nobody will spill what goes on behind closed doors. I liked the fancy hotel and waiting to see what will happen between Annabelle and Jared, who seemed to be interesting as individuals, but things became soo boring between them. It was the same thing over and over and over with one completely weird scene in the middle that had me wondering things like 'why??' and 'what the fuck???' So much heat in their eyes, their blood, their touch, their everything! To be honest I skimmed the hell out of this book after I managed to get to the halfway mark. I caught the part where Annabelle was jealous of the piece of property Jared wanted to buy because that's the way he looks at her.. really????? Ugh.

Review
2 Stars
Nailed
Nailed - Lucia Jordan

This had an interesting premise - newly single Conrad Blunt has his secretary find an escort for him to take to the charity ball.. his sister doesn't like that idea and has her best friend done up to accompany him which he doesn't know and he doesn't remember Emma anyway. But this was boring. It was repetitious. It was like the author went through the thesaurus and used weird words to describe the anticlimactic sex scene between these two. Ugh. Thank God it was short and it was free. I won't be reading more in this series or looking for more from this author.