#BookReview: Housewife Chronicles 2 by Jennifer Snow

Fun Middle Ground, This Time With Interesting Meta-Commentary. When I wrote my review for the first book in this series last October, I mentioned that it was a “light-ish, womenโ€™s fiction level mystery”, and that holds true here as well. Maybe a touch more suspensful/ action oriented than a typical women’s fiction book, though nowhere near enough to come into the actual suspense/ thriller genres. And funny (and at times outright hilarious), yet ultimately too serious to be a true comedy. Which ultimately makes this series a *great* “middle ground” of sorts between Snow’s bubblegum/ Hallmarkie romances and her dark-as-3AM JM Winchester persona. All of which speaks to just how talented a storyteller she is. And yet here we get enough meta-commentary about the publishing world and authors’ lives that one begins to question things. ๐Ÿ˜€ Truly a great tale here, again excellently told, and I for one can’t wait to see what these housewives manage to get wrapped up in next. Very much recommended.

This review of Housewife Chronicles 2 by Jennifer Snow was originally written on July 27, 2021.

Featured New Release Of The Week: The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish

This week we’re looking at a book that is far more twisted than even the river it is set on. This week we’re looking at The Other Passenger by Louise Candlish.

Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:

More Twisted Than The London River It Takes Place On. This is one of those hyper-twisted books where for much of the tale, you think you’re getting one thing… only for it to flip, then flip again, then again and again and again. Told mostly in two eras, the days immediately after a particular person goes missing and the year prior to that event, this is a tale of intrigue and, let’s be quite honest, quite deplorable characters. Seriously, if you are the type that has to “like” the characters or at least one of them… well, there really isn’t much of that to go around here. These characters are all horrible in some way or another, though hey, perhaps that is life. Overall a compelling story with an ending you won’t believe. Very much recommended.

#BlogTour: The Witness by John Ryder

For this blog tour we are looking at the newest inventive action thriller from John Ryder. For this blog tour, we’re looking at The Witness by John Ryder.

Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:

Solid Action Thriller. If you haven’t been reading John Ryder… you need to be. This is just the second time I’ve read a book from him, and he has clearly established a pattern of solid action thrillers with heroes who are conflicted and yet have solid and even innovative ideas on how to do their jobs. The house scene early was truly brilliant in what Ryder has Roche do to prepare the scene, and a few other actions late were nearly as good – if a *touch* more typical.

Indeed, the one flaw – which again I’m chalking up to “maybe British people don’t know their way around guns as well as Americans do” and even “most Americans also think this, but it is a myth” – is one point where even as Ryder uses the correct terminology – “suppressor” rather than “silencer” – he still gets the actual effects more Hollywood than real-world. Without giving a whole hell of a lot away, Roche is across the street when a suppressed shot goes off inside a building. *Roche doesn’t hear the shot.* In *reality*… everyone within at least a quarter mile is hearing that shot, even with it occurring indoors and even if they are indoors themselves.

Still, this was the only actual flaw in the writing and story here, with everything else being more “no one is perfect and this actually makes the story seem even more real” level. Truly an excellent action thriller, and one you won’t want to miss. Hell, even as this book is (currently?) listed as a standalone… let me say right here right now that I for one would like to come back to this world. ๐Ÿ˜€ Very much recommended.

And below the jump, the “publisher information” including the official description of the book, an author bio, social media links, and a link to buy the book!:)
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#BlogTour: The Falling Woman by Richard Farrell

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a solid debut featuring tough choices in the aftermath of a disaster. For this blog tour, we’re looking at The Falling Woman by Richard Farrell.

First, here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:

Tough Choices. Great Debut. This is a solidly written, compelling story that is a tremendous debut book. Farrell manages to use a miracle during a disaster to show that miracles… are not always that… while also showing just how complicated and messy real life is in oh so many ways. The mystery is solid enough to keep the reader invested, and then the action kicks into high gear a bit as things begin to unravel. Finally, a choice is made in an instant that will affect numerous lives – and Farrell shows all of this with remarkable reality. The overall style and tone won’t necessarily be exactly to everyone’s liking, but stick around – the book really is very, very good. Very much recommended.

After the jump, the publisher’s press release about the book followed by some praise for it from a variety of sources:
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#BlogTour: Trouble In Big Timber by BJ Daniels

For this mid-week entry in the Slide Into Summer Romance Blog Tour Series, we’re looking at a romantic suspense that while deep in a series actually works quite well as a standalone book and entry point to the series. For this blog tour, we’re looking at Trouble In Big Timber by BJ Daniels.

Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:

Solid Romantic Suspense. This book is listed as Book 5 in a series, but I can tell you from having read it without having read any of the other books that it works totally fine as a standalone as well. The existence of people from the prior books is mentioned, but I didn’t actually note anything that could even really be a spoiler about those books in this one (other than the not-really-a-spoiler-due-to-genre-rules mentioning that certain people are together, possibly). Overall a truly solid book mostly on the mystery/ suspense side – it opens with a man attempting suicide and being stopped by what he believes is the butt-dial of a long-lost friend being murdered by his long-lost ex-best friend. But this *is* a romance, and that *does* develop, it just mostly develops later as our leading man and leading woman are largely approaching the investigation into the phone call and what it revealed from two very different angles that later become more intertwined. One of those with twists almost until the very last page (other than the epilogue). Very much recommended.

After the jump, an excerpt and the publisher details! ๐Ÿ™‚
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#BlogTour: What Happens In Miami by Nadine Gonzalez

For this second entry in the Slide Into Summer Romance Blog Tour Series, we’re looking at a sizzling Miami romance that takes us all over the city while telling a tale of mystery and romance. For this blog tour, we’re looking at What Happens In Miami by Nadine Gonzalez.

Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:

Sizzling Miami Romance. This is an incredible tour of Miami through the eyes of a megastar – who wasn’t always – and a struggling artist. As the two come together, we see most sides of Miami from its glittering glitz of the mega-famous to the down-in-the-dirt seediness of its struggling working class – and everything in between. Gonzalez does remarkable job of showing the breadth of the hispanic community’s lives in that city – and tells a solid tale of mystery and intrigue while building what is ultimately a romance novel. All tied up in less than 200 pages, making this a solid July 4th vacation read no matter what your plans for the weekend may be. Very much recommended.

Below the jump, an excerpt and the publisher information! ๐Ÿ™‚
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#BlogTour: Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica

For this blog tour, we’re looking at a book that has a *phenomenal* sequence after the opening scene… and then gets confusing. But then picks back up by the end and “breaks” a lot of “rules” for its genre, which makes it quite interesting indeed. For this tour, we’re looking at Local Woman Missing by Mary Kubica.

Here’s what I had to say on Goodreads:

Confusing Front. Interesting Ending. This book has one section at the front of the book that seems to go on *forever*… and yet is the singular most fascinating passage of the tale. In this particular section, we get a girl who is trapped in utter darkness and we *feel* what it is doing to her after being here for so long. Then she *finally* breaks free and runs for her life, and we feel her utter terror viscerally.

And then… the book completely transitions into a more “typical” domestic psychological suspense/ thriller. There is someone threatening someone. There is a murder. There is a suicide. And through 2/3 or so of the book, we get a fairly standard (though to be clear, engaging, if a bit confusing to pick up on at first, particularly in the mind-shock of coming from the escape into this) tale.

But then… Kubica begins to do things that you’re not supposed to do in this genre. We get a major reveal *before* the last 20% of the book. And then we build… and we get *another* reveal before the last 10% of the book! And another! And the actual ending… well, it isn’t the complete mind-bender that so many of these books end on. Which may be a good thing, depending on your tastes. And which I enjoyed just because it *didn’t* go the “typical” route, if for no other reason.

Truly an interesting story, one that could have arguably been told in a better way. But still engaging and still worthy of reading – and without any objective flaws to hang a star reduction on. Therefore it maintains the full five stars and is very much recommended.

Below the jump, a chapter long excerpt from one of the early scenes in the book followed by the book and author details.
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#BlogTour: False Allegiance by Nick Thacker

For this blog tour, we’re looking at an explosive action/ mystery that looks into an oft-neglected global topic. For this blog tour, we’re looking at False Allegiance by Nick Thacker.

Here’s what I had to say about it on Goodreads:

False Promise? Let me be extremely clear: As far as “facing constant threat of death from mysterious operators” plot lines go, this one was solid. After what has become a usual opening chapter establishing Jake Parker just trying to live his life, we pretty well immediately go into “constantly running from the bad guys while trying to solve a global mystery” mode, and in this part Thacker is excellent. We even get a bit of real-world discussion on yet another oft-neglected topic, in this case … well, revealing that is a bit of a spoiler. But an interesting one, for sure.

But no, the “False Promise?” question from the title more has to do with the ending of Book 2 and my own expectations for this book based on that. I was expecting a lot more direct involvement from Parker’s dad, leading up to a direct confrontation between father and son where guns would be blazing both directions. That… doesn’t happen here. Though Parker’s dad *does* play a role in most of the tale and there *is* (eventually) a confrontation and even a resolution. It just wasn’t the all encompassing explosive type I for some reason was expecting/ hoping for.

But Thacker does in fact do an excellent job of telling yet another globe trotting Jake Parker tale and both wraps up this current version while allowing for new possibilities down the road. This reader, for one, hopes we eventually get to explore some of those. Very much recommended.

Below the jump, the publisher information, including a book description and buy links. ๐Ÿ™‚
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#BookReview: The House With The Blue Front Door by Elizabeth Bromke

Interconnected and Interweaving. Bromke executes on an interconnected and interweaving style here better than many other attempts I’ve seen at such an approach. Told via half a dozen or so perspectives – mostly the various ladies who live in a particular neighborhood – this book has its own central mystery while also revealing bits and pieces of a larger mythos. A mythos that will leave the reader with bated breath desperate for the next book… where it is possible Bromke will continue to tease out this particular larger, seemingly darker, mystery. If you are a reader that can have *no possible spoilers* when reading a book, you’re going to want to start with Book 1 of this series. I personally started with Book 2 and had no real problems following the story (thanks in part to Bromke putting a summary of each character and where they are at the start of the tale), but I generally have no issues doing this and back reading the original stories. This is one of those women’s fiction tales that might come close to the cozy mystery label, perhaps – I’ve never read a book knowing it was labeled as a “cozy mystery”, but knowing how friends speak of what that genre entails, this book certainly gets close to that feeling. Ultimately a fun, compelling, and short-ish (just over 200 page?) read that truly will have you coming back to this series. Very much recommended.

This review of The House With The Blue Front Door by Elizabeth Bromke was originally written on April 24, 2021.

#BookReview: Dead Secret by Noelle Holten

Intriguing Mystery. Explosive Ending. This was my first book from Holten, and thus obviously I hadn’t read the prior three books in this series. And yet this book totally works. Yes, there are references to prior events, but they are explained enough to keep the current story going without overburdening the current story with prior details. If you’ve ever started in the middle of a military technothriller series ala Tom Clancy or Dale Brown – similar feel here.

Overall, the world is interesting in that you get a typical-yet-not detective and an entire cast of well developed characters all working together almost in an ensemble fashion that works so well in so many mediums. Holten shows herself adept at the technique of using the final sentences of a chapter to hook the reader into reading the next, and indeed uses the final chapter of the overall book to similar effect – the reader is left almost breathless in desperate need for the next book.

If you’re open to police procedurals at all, particularly those set in the UK, you’re going to enjoy this book. Even if you’re not, you should really give this book a chance – the characters are that strong. Very much recommended.

This review of Dead Secret by Noelle Holten was originally written on March 10, 2021.