Wednesday, August 15, 2018

Review: Bring Me Back

Bring Me Back

Bring Me Back
B.A. Paris

Finn's girlfriend Layla disappeared a decade ago in France at a roadside rest area. At the time he told the police he was in the restroom and when he returned to his car she had vanished. But, this wasn't exactly the truth. Nevertheless, Layla was never found. Now Finn has a new life but when he decides to get married the past starts to catch up with him with signs and clues that Layla may still be alive.

Bring Me Back is a riveting story from start to finish. I couldn't imagine how it would turn out until I got to the end. Alternating between the past and the present and between Finn's story and Layla's this book is one that will keep you on the edge of your seat. This author knows how to tell a story, and I can't wait to find time for her other two books, Behind Closed Doors and The Break Down.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Review: A Sorrowful Sanctuary

A Sorrowful Sanctuary (Lane Winslow #5)

A Sorrowful Sanctuary
Iona Whishaw


It's 1947, and Lane Winslow is enjoying her summer in the small town of Nelson in British Columbia. She spends her days visiting neighbors and joining them at the beach. The relaxed atmosphere changes when a young man is found severely injured in a rowboat at the shore. No one knows who he is or where he came from and when he later dies, Lane and her friend Inspector Darling still have no clue about his murder. When another young man, Carl, who lives just outside the town is reported missing by his mother both Lane and the police wonder if there is a connection between the two men. As if this weren't enough to unsettle a small town, several robberies have been reported in the area, and residents are starting to feel a little unnerved.

Instead of relaxing at the beach, Lane decides to spend her time trying to help Inspector Darling and his team to find out who the mystery man is and why he was murdered. Hopefully, they will be able to find the other missing man before it's too late. Whishaw has provided readers with another satisfying mystery with A Sorrowful Sanctuary her fifth in the Lane Winslow series. I became a fan after reading the fourth book It Begins with Betrayal. I enjoy the fact that Lane is a character who knows her mind and likes to take action when she can. Although occasionally and especially in this latest story she and Inspector Darling seem to be at a turning point in their relationship which has her a little out of her comfort zone. I can't wait to read another installment.

Thanks to Touchstone Editions for allowing me to read and review this book in exchange for an honest review.


Tuesday, July 31, 2018

Review: Campaign Widows


Campaign Widows
Campaign Widows
Aimee Agresti

This fun story follows a group of characters who work in Washington D.C. as journalists, campaigners, and socialites. The main character Cady has recently relocated to D.C. to be with her boyfriend, Jackson. The only problem, he's hardly ever around. Instead, he's with his boss out on the presidential campaign trail which leaves Cady mostly alone. Luckily, it doesn't take her long to meet new friends, not least of which is Birdie a local socialite, known for her great parties. She will be a useful ally for Cady to have as she tries to navigate her way through the cities array of prominent residents while she works for one of the cities morning television programs. When Cady finds that she has access to a potential first lady who isn't too keen to have the job her career takes off. And as she tries to work out her relationship with Jackson she relies on friends to keep her going when he isn't around.

Campaign Widows was a delight to read. It was fun, lighthearted and full of lively characters. So, if your tired of the current political scene let Agresti whisk you away to a more entertaining one.

Thanks to Graydon House Books for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.


Sunday, July 22, 2018

Review: Social Creature


Social Creature
Social Creature
Tara Isabella Burton

As soon as Lavinia meets Louise, it's like a train wreck waiting to happen. Lavinia leads a charmed New York life full of friends, parties and all the excitement one expects from a socialite. In fact, it seems like she has it all. The only thing missing is a best friend, which Lavinia finds when she encounters Louise, who has come to tutor Cordelia, Lavinia's little sister. Louise couldn't be more different, whereas she works two or three jobs to pay the rent on her subsidized rental unit and struggles to make ends meet, Lavinia doesn't work at all, nor does she study at the moment, plus she lives in her parents' fabulous apartment.

It isn't long before Lavinia convinces Louise to move in, but it's a move that leaves Louise more and more dependent on Lavinia and her goodwill, which ultimately depends on her moods. As soon as we think we have Lavinia pegged for the toxic, ego-fueled needy friend in the relationship, something happens and we realize that Louise isn't the long-suffering friend we thought she was. In fact, with the use of social media, she deceives all her friends,which were Lavinia's friends, to begin with, until one day it all falls apart.

Burton has created a page-turner of a book that has received a lot of attention recently. This one is dark but addictive, the kind of story that pulls you along at break neck speed, to the very last page. I can't wait to see what comes next from this author.

Thanks to Double Day for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, July 2, 2018

Review: Still Lives

Still Lives

Still Lives
Maria Hummel

Maggie Richter is a copy-editor at the Rocque Museum in Los Angeles. Reluctantly, she attends an opening of a new exhibition entitled Still Lives, in which the controversial artist Kim Lord appears painted as various famous female murder victims. Maggie didn't intend to make an appearance at the opening since Kim Lord is the reason for her breakup with boyfriend Greg Shaw Ferguson, but work comes first. The only problem with the exhibition is the missing artist. Kim Lord is nowhere to be found, and it isn't clear if it is a publicity stunt or if she has disappeared. When she fails to contact anyone for days, it becomes clear that something has happened to the artist.

Not long after, Greg becomes a suspect in her disappearance and Maggie is trying hard not to get swept up into events, but she finds it hard to believe that Greg could hurt anyone. It makes her think long and hard about who from the museum could be involved with Kim Lord. Of course the more involved she becomes, the more likely she is to become a target as well.

This smart, fast-paced mystery is filled with glimpses into the L.A. Art scene and the lives of those who make a living out of the creative process.

Thanks to Counterpoint Press for allowing me to read this in exchange for an honest review.

Friday, June 29, 2018

Review: Milk

Milk!: A 10,000-Year Food Fracas

Milk
Mark Kurlansky

If there is anything, you want to know about milk the answer is most likely in this book. If like me you haven't given much thought to milk other than pouring it in your coffee or over you breakfast cereal you might be surprised to find that Kurlansky has looked into the history of milk from antiquity until today and the role it plays in our modern lives. Whether he is examining old recipes in which milk was first used, exploring accounts of making milk safe for the masses, discussing the process of pasteurization and the spread of milk or just thinking about the welfare of milk herds in the industrialized world there is a wealth of information contained within this book. Not surprisingly, I learned a lot from Kurlansky's thoughtful approach, and I can honestly say that this cultural history of milk is unlike anything else I've read lately.

Thanks to Bloomsbury Publishing for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Review: Lands of Lost Borders

Lands of Lost Borders: A Journey on the Silk Road
Lands of Lost Borders
Kate Harris

Kate and friend Mel set out on an epic journey which takes them across the famous silk road. Traveling from Turkey to Tibet with on a bicycle with a tent for shelter and a lot of courage and determination, Kate guides the reader along the journey with tales of previous explorers and interesting facts about some of the places along the trip.

The opening of Lands of Lost Borders focuses on the author and her journey through life up to the point where she drops out of MIT and decides to hit the open road in search of adventure. It was interesting getting to know the author and finding out more about what compelled her to embark on an exploration of her own. While I liked the book, I did feel that it dealt a lot with the past and perhaps the author's need to convey what she learned in her Master's degree of the History of Science, instead of focusing more on her current travels through some fascinating countries. I would have liked to know more about the local people and their cultures. Sometimes while reading this book, I had the feeling that I, along with the author was a million miles away from the silk road. I'm not sure what I was expecting, but I think I was waiting for more of a connection to the present. The book is, however, well written and it is clear the author put a lot of time and effort into this work.

Thanks to Goodreads and William Morrow for allowing me to read this book in exchange for an honest review.