Harlequin Blog Tours ARC Review: Mayhem- Estelle Laure

Title: Mayhem

Author: Estelle Laure

Publisher: Wednesday Books

Pages: 304

Rating: 3/5

I wanted to love this book, but there was something missing for me. I don’t hate it. I liked what the author was trying to do however. I’ve seen the comparison to certain movies such as ‘The craft’ and “The Lost Boys’. I haven’t seen The Craft but, I’ve seen snippets of The lost Boys and the similarities are there…ALOT…so I guess that turned me off because I felt it wasn’t authentic enough. Roxy and her mother decide to escape Santa Monica, California and the abusive ways of Roxy’s dad… Lyle. However, Roxy’s mom did a 360 and started relying on alcohol and drugs to escape the bad memories. Big mistake. Lyle’s abusive ways have gone unhinged even further.

Mayhem has the opportunity to learn more about the family she never knew about. At the same time she’s learning about her family’s history. There’s another thing brewing in their quiet little town. A serial killer is on the loose and hurting young women. It’s freaking everyone out, especially Mayhem and her mother. Leaving them wondering if all it is really worth it, especially going after the killer. Thanks to Wednesday Books, Netgalley, and Harlequin Blog Tours for an opportunity to obtain a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Harlequin Blog Tours ARC Review: She’s Faking it- Kristin Rockaway

Title: She’s Faking It

Author: Kristin Rockaway

Publisher: Graydon Press

Pages: 384

Rating: 5/5

This is my first book from Kristin Rockaway and I absolutely loved it. Bree Bozeman feels like crap. She has a job at Grubgetter as a delivery driver, she has a crappy car that finally died on her while making a delivery and ignoring her check engine light that started flashing 3 weeks ago, she lives in a crappy space on top of someone’s garage, her last relationship failed, and one of her professors from college said to her that she doesn’t have what it takes for med school. Something that made her leave school. Life is just really hard for Bree and she just wants something good to happen for once.

Her sister Heather, whom has the best of intentions to help her sister, can come off as standoffish, judgmental, and annoying. With her obsessive organizing business and her husband being a orthodontist. Heather doesn’t need to worry about struggling. You have to admire Bree’s tenacity to better herself though. She may hate her job, but she does it so well. After finding out about a social media influencer, she decides to make her own Instagram and finally chase that lifestyle she so desperately was seeking. Her life seems to be going right on track including finding a hunky guy after creating her social media profile, but at what cost? I really enjoyed this beach read and definitely would recommend it. Huge thanks to NetGalley and Graydon House for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Harlequin Blog Tours: ARC Review: Out Now: Queer We Go Again!- Saundra Mitchell

Title: Out Now: Queer We Go Again!

Author: Saundra Mitchell

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Pages: 416

Rating: 3/5

I REALLY tried to like this book but I just couldn’t get into it for the life of me. Some stories were good, others lacked. With multiple stories like this, I like for the stories to have some sort of realism to them. I just didn’t get that from this book. I feel like I’m being harsh but, I’m just being truthful. I’ve seen people say the first book to this was better, so I might just give that one a go and see if I like it better. Thank you to NetGalley, Harlequin Tours and the publisher for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review

ARC Review: Breath Like Water- Anna Jarzab

Title: Breath Like Water

Author: Anna Jarzab

Publisher: Inkyard Press

Pages: 416

Rating: 5/5

As a person whose only known swimming all her life and wanting to be in the olympics, Susannah fears her body is slowing her down as she gets older. She thinks about the championship she won at 14 years old and if she can reach her potential again. Swimming demands so much out of young people and she’s scared to fail. Two people enter her life that will rearrange her life and career around. A coach that could help her reach that dream and a new fellow swimmer named Harry.

Susannah is such an amazing character. She’s mature, strong, and trying to fight those nagging demons in her head. Harry on the other hand is dealing with his own demons. He’s bipolar. Dealing with constant mood swings and anger throughout his life. He falls in love with Susannah but, he’s afraid his mental condition might scare her away.

This book is far from swimming competitions and the stress from it. It’s about friendship, hope, being opened to new experiences in life and trusting people. I loved how Susannah and Harry connected despite their differences. Sorta hit close to home as my significant other also is bipolar. What an amazing story of two young people and their struggles with life and family. I truly enjoyed the ride this book took me on. Special thanks to NetGalley, and Harlequin Teen/ Inkyard Press for providing me with a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Harlequin Blog Tours-ARC Review: Sister Dear- Hannah Mary McKinnon

Title: Sister Dear

Author: Hannah Mary McKinnon

Publisher: Mira Books

Pages: 384

Rating: 5/5

Yet another amazing thriller that I have to add to my physical book library. Eleanor was raised by a toxic mother. She suffers from crappy self-esteem, she’s antisocial, and dislikes her body thanks to all the body shaming her evil mother has bestowed upon her. Eleanor has also lost the only person she’s ever known as her father to cancer. 

As she’s grieving him she finds out that he isn’t her father after all. She finds out her real father is a wealthy business man with a beautiful wife, and a daughter named Victoria. Of course her real father wants nothing to do with her. She’s instantly infuriated. She should should be living that great life, she should be in Victoria’s spot, she should be living that happy life. Instead, she lives in a crappy home with her mother and overall she’s just a unloveable miserable person. After finding out about Victoria, Eleanor vows to share that glamorous life with her sister…after all sharing is caring right?

I absolutely loved this book and couldn’t put it down. I definitely have found another thriller author who I will be reading more from. McKinnon has a way with words. Even though Eleanor was a bit cuckoo bananas you can’t help but feel sorry for her. That’s how well written this book was. Huge thanks to NetGalley, Mira Books, and Harlequin Publishing for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Harlequin Blog Tours- ARC Review: Truths I Never Told You- Kelly Rimmer

Excerpt:PROLOGUE


Grace
September 14, 1957




I am alone in a crowded family these days, and that’s the worst feeling I’ve ever experienced. Until these past few years, I had no idea that loneliness is worse than sadness. I’ve come to realize that’s because loneliness, by its very definition, cannot be shared.

Tonight there are four other souls in this house, but I am unreachably far from any of them, even as I’m far too close to guarantee their safety. Patrick said he’d be home by nine tonight, and I clung on to that promise all day.


He’ll be home at nine, I tell myself. You won’t do anything crazy if Patrick is here, so just hold on until nine.


I should have known better than to rely on that man by now. It’s 11:55 p.m., and I have no idea where he is.


Beth will be wanting a feed soon and I’m just so tired, I’m already bracing myself—as if the sound of her cry will be the thing that undoes me, instead of something I should be used to after four children. I feel the fear of that cry in my very bones—a kind of whole-body tension I can’t quite make sense of. When was the last time I had more than a few hours’ sleep? Twenty-four hours a day I am fixated on the terror that I will snap and hurt someone: Tim, Ruth, Jeremy, Beth…or myself. I am a threat to my children’s safety, but at the same time, their only protection from that very same threat.


I have learned a hard lesson these past few years; the more difficult life is, the louder your feelings become. On an ordinary day, I trust facts more than feelings, but when the world feels like it’s ending, it’s hard to distinguish where my thoughts are even coming from. Is this fear grounded in reality, or is my mind playing tricks on me again? There’s no way for me to be sure. Even the line between imagination and reality has worn down and it’s now too thin to delineate.


Sometimes I think I will walk away before something bad happens, as if removing myself from the equation would keep them all safe. But then Tim will skin his knee and come running to me, as if a simple hug could take all the world’s pain away. Or Jeremy will plant one of those sloppy kisses on my cheek, and I am reminded that for better or worse, I am his world. Ruth will slip my handbag over her shoulder as she follows me around the house, trying to walk in my footsteps, because to her, I seem like someone worth imitating. Or Beth will look up at me with that gummy grin when I try to feed her, and my heart contracts with a love that really does know no bounds.


Those moments remind me that everything changes, and that this cloud has come and gone twice now, so if I just hang on, it will pass again. I don’t feel hope yet, but I should know hope, because I’ve walked this path before and even when the mountains and valleys seemed insurmountable, I survived them.


I’m constantly trying to talk myself around to calm, and sometimes, for brief and beautiful moments, I do. But the hard, cold truth is that every time the night comes, it seems blacker than it did before.


Tonight I’m teetering on the edge of something horrific.


Tonight the sound of my baby’s cry might just be the thing that breaks me altogether.


I’m scared of so many things these days, but most of all now, I fear myself.






Excerpted from Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer, Copyright © 2020 by Lantana Management Pty Ltd. Published by Graydon House Books.


Title: Truths I Never Told You

Author: Kelly Rimmer

Publisher: Graydon House

Pages: 352

Rating: 5/5

“‘Everything changes’ was his consolation when things were rough. It was his reminder to stay humble when things were good”.
-Beth, Things I Never Told You 

TW/CW: Post-Partum Depression, Infertility
Beth is the youngest of three. She has two older brothers named Tim and Jeremy, and a older sister named Ruth. They lost their mother Grace when they were just kids. Despite everything and the clashing amongst themselves, they were a tight knit family and loved their father, Patrick. Unfortunately, their father’s health is declining because of heart disease and dementia. Beth along with her siblings decide to put Patrick into a nursing home. Beth has taken the grueling task of cleaning her father’s home and trying to sell the house. She’s on maternity leave from giving birth to her son Noah. What perfect time to do it then now. Beth however hasn’t been herself lately. Ever since she had Noah she doesn’t have the patience to deal with him, she doesn’t get good sleep, and she’s constantly giving Noah to her mother in law to babysit to try and get away from him. She’s constantly questioning her motherly skills. Even her family notices this change with her. They always ask her if she’s ok. She says she’s fine but, they all know it’s not true. As a psychologist she knows she isn’t well, but she refuses to get professional help for herself because she doesn’t want her professional career to go down the crapper.

As she cleans her father’s attic she comes across a locked door. She wonders why her father has this locked door and where the key for the lock is at. When she finally get’s a hold of the key she realizes all the things her father has been hoarding including some papers that her mother wrote. Papers that reveal some deep dark secrets about her father and their marriage. Beth can’t believe it. The hardworking and amazing father she knew was different then the young husband her mother married. As a young husband, he stayed out late, didn’t help out with his four kids, was always drunk, and provided no type of income because he spent all his money. There was a whole family that Beth and her siblings knew nothing about, including a aunt that knows the actual truth about Grace’s marriage and death. The book flips in between the 1950’s and the 1990’s. It wasn’t hard to keep up with the story like some other books. 

It was great seeing how both mother and daughter dealt with Post-partum Depression. Grace had a little more of a hard time with it in the 50’s because they just expected you to deal with it. I will say though, Beth was not my favorite. She was a selfish and entitled person and that really turned me off from her as main character. The Truths I Never Told You was a amazing book that tackled serious issues such as PPD, infertility, and motherhood. I would definitely recommend this book. Thank you to NetGalley and Harlequin Graydon House for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Harlequin Blog Tour- ARC Review: Tigers, Not Daughters- Samantha Mabry

Title: Tigers, Not Daughters

Author: Samantha Mabry

Publisher: Algonquin Young Readers

Pages: 288

Rating: 5/5

We Start off with all four Torres sisters trying to escape their hellhole home…away from their awful father. The Torres sisters consist of Anna, Jessica, Iridian, and Rosa. With no direction taking them anywhere, the Torres sisters decide to escape in the middle of the night and thanks to their nosey neighbors they were caught. A couple of months later Ana falls to her death from her window.

The family falls completely apart. Everyone stricken with grief…dealing with Ana’s death in their own destructive ways. Jessica is the only one whose really providing for the family, while at the same time dealing with her own grief issues and a abusive boyfriend. Iridian loves to write and just be alone with her thoughts, and Rosa is focusing on the more spiritual side of things…including a loose Hyena in town who she thinks could be Ana reincarnated. But, there’s something no-one was counting on..strange supernatural things have been happening in the Torres home since Ana’s death. Mysterious writings on the wall, mysterious shadows, and mysterious laughter. The Torres sisters think that it’s Ana trying to communicate with them. Even possibly try to run them out of the home they’ve known so they can finally be free of their fathers tyrannical behavior. 

Tigers, not daughters was so beautifully written. Amazing prose. Mary makes you feel the words with every sentence written. The book makes you really realize how much grief changes a person. To what extents they go through to fight the demons. I’ve been seeing ‘Tigers, Not Daughters’ to ‘Little Women’. I’ve never read ‘Little Women’ but, I will definitely put it on my TBR list. Thank You to NetGalley and Algonquin Young Readers for providing me with a physical copy of an ARC in a exchange for a honest review. 

Tigers, Not Daughters comes out March 24, 2020.

Harlequin Blog Tours- ARC Review: The Sea Glass Cottage- RaeAnne Thayne

Title: The Sea Glass Cottage

Author: RaeAnne Thayne

Publisher: Mills & Boon

Pages: 384

Rating: 5/5

I’m a sucker for cozy and generational stories. Reading: The Sea Glass Cottage felt like reading one of my other fave authors. Debbie Macomb, whose stories give you all the feels The Sea Glass Cottage has.
Olivia Harper is a entrepreneur that lives and makes a living in Seattle. She’s been trying to keep it together, especially because she’s dealing with PTSD. A while ago she was in a coffeehouse and a barista got brutally attacked. It weighs so heavily in her mind because she froze when everything happened and she wasn’t able to help the barista. She receives a call that adds on to her already stressed out life.
Her mother, whom she already has a rocky relationship with has fallen off a ladder and broken a few bones. She immediately drops everything and heads to her mother. In the back of her mind she’s hoping she can rekindle their relationship as mother and daughter. Three generations of women with baggage, secrets, teenage angst, men issues, and everything else you can imagine under the sun. Will they be able to leave the past behind them and turn over new leafs? Will they become a happy family?

I really enjoyed this book and I related a lot to Olivia. Even though she’s been treated like crap by her family, she still manages to be there for them…or maybe we’re just pushovers?
Thank you to NetGalley, Mills & Boon, ,and HarperCollins for a copy of this awesome book in a exchange for a honest review!

Harlequin Book Tours- ARC Review- Ten Days Long )A.L. McKittridge #1)- Beverly Long

Title: Ten Days Gone

Author: Beverly Long

Publisher: Mira Books

Pages: 384

Rating: 5/5

Books such as ‘Ten Days Gone’ remind me of James Patterson’s The Women’s Murder Club and The Alex Cross Series. Procedurals are one of my faves. I’m sure the A.L. McKittridge Series will be one of the my faves series’s. 
The book opens up with the death of the fourth woman in forty days. Each killed 10 days apart. The clues are out there. He has a M.O. The Baywood, Wisconsin Police Department have to act fast before the killer takes on his next victim. The author does a great job at describing the characters, making sure they stay embedded into your memory. A.L and Rena are very feisty characters and I love it. Both are dealing not only with the murders but, also dealing with their own personal battles in their respective homes. I loved the different point of views. I didn’t feel overwhelmed like certain authors make you feel sometimes. Ten Days Gone kept me on my toes (as a great thriller should make you feel), wanting to know what was coming next, and holding my breath for the next victim. The ending was mind blowing and I can’t wait to see what’s going to happen next. Thank you to Harlequin Trade Publishing, Mira and Beverly Long, and NetGalley for a e-arc in a exchange for an honest review. I’m happy to be a part of the Harlequin Blog Tours.