The Sun Down Motel (Simone St. James)

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Pre-order link: https://amzn.to/34KGD4J

The secrets lurking in a rundown roadside motel ensnare a young woman, just as they did her aunt thirty-five years before, in this new atmospheric suspense novel from the national bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken Girls.

Upstate NY, 1982. Every small town like Fell, New York, has a place like the Sun Down Motel. Some customers are from out of town, passing through on their way to someplace better. Some are locals, trying to hide their secrets. Viv Delaney works as the night clerk to pay for her move to New York City. But something isn’t right at the Sun Down, and before long she’s determined to uncover all of the secrets hidden…


“Come on in the building seemed to say with it’s jagged up-and-down lights, its blue and yellow neon cheeriness. Get some sleep. Take it easy until the sun comes up again. And if you see someone sitting at the end of your bed, pay them no mind. That’s just one of my secrets. And I’m not going to tell.”

First off– if you do not like ghost stories, I do not think you will like this book. It’s HEAVILY coated with lots and lots of supernatural activities and yes: GHOSTS! But I love it! Give me ALLLL of the ghost stories! I feel as if Simone St. James is THE author for the perfect ghost story. *adds to forever one-click list*

The Sun Down Motel was so eerie, creepy, and spooky from the setting to the writing to the characters. The vibe was edgy, the tone was perfect, and the execution of the story as a whole had me on the edge of my seat the entire time. I didn’t want any of it to end. The past and present POVs really tie this story all together. The author took her time and precariously wrote each chapter to reflect the last. And once you get to one point in the past with Viv, you get to watch Carly get to that point in the present too. I loved that about the structure of this plot.

I SEEN EVERY SINGLE PART OF THIS STORY SO VIVIDLY IN MY MIND. I am sorry. I felt like that needed to be yelled. The setting, the characters, and the things that happen and play out all throughout really played a vivid picture in my mind. Like I was watching a movie. I love that. Plain and simple.

If ghost stories with wonderful writing and spooky, supernatural scenes are your jam– you do not want to miss out on this story. If ghost stories are not your thing– you probably won’t like this book. But I hope that if any one wants to take a change on one and sort of feel the genre out, they choose one of Simone St. James’ books. Preferably this one.Then again, I’m sure some people might say I am biased since I loved her last one so much too. Oh well. Just read the book okay! LOL!

 

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The Stranger Inside (Lisa Unger)

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Pre-order link: https://amzn.to/31961ij

Even good people are drawn to do evil things…

Twelve-year-old Rain Winter narrowly escaped an abduction while walking to a friend’s house. Her two best friends, Tess and Hank, were not as lucky. Tess never came home, and Hank was held in captivity before managing to escape. Their abductor was sent to prison but years later was released. Then someone delivered real justice–and killed him in cold blood.

Now Rain is living the perfect suburban life, her dark childhood buried deep. She spends her days as a stay-at-home mom, having put aside her career as a hard-hitting journalist to care for her infant daughter. But when another brutal murderer who escaped justice is found dead, Rain is unexpectedly drawn into the case. Eerie similarities to the murder of her friends’ abductor force Rain to revisit memories she’s worked hard to leave behind. Is there a vigilante at work? Who is the next target? Why can’t Rain just let it go?

Introducing one of the most compelling and original killers in crime fiction today, Lisa Unger takes readers deep inside the minds of both perpetrator and victim, blurring the lines between right and wrong, crime and justice, and showing that sometimes people deserve what comes to them.


I’m trying to really become a “true-crime” novel fan. Keyword: trying. I feel like if I can love the podcasts then I can love those same type of novels…right? Right???… *nervous laughter* So when The Stranger Inside was so kindly sent to me, I was truly excited to dive head first into this new-to-me genre.

The story-line wasn’t awful at all, I just didn’t love it. I’m not sure if it was just the timing of when I read the book or what but the pacing was a little slow at times and a lot of things started to become very repetitive. When this started happening– I ultimately felt like the author could have carved out some of the repetitiveness and really created a much stronger ending. Not a better one, just a stronger one.

With all of that being said, I really enjoyed the themes that were brought up in this story. From the legalities, the good, the bad, the forgiveness and all of the vindictive activities taking place, I really thought there were so many strong points all through the book. When this happens you get a lot to think about all throughout and I love when that happens.

Huge thank you to Harlequin for an early copy of this book. By reading it, I found some other books of this author that I think might be the perfect fit for me.

Where the Blame Lies (Mia Sheridan)

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Abducted.
Terrorized.
Imprisoned.

At nineteen-years-old, college student Josie Stratton was kidnapped by a madman and held shackled for ten months in an abandoned warehouse before she finally escaped her hellish prison.

Eight years later, when the body of a young woman is found chained in the basement of a vacant house, Cincinnati Police Detective Zach Copeland is instantly reminded of the crime committed against Josie Stratton. Zach was just a rookie on the perimeter of that case, but he’s never forgotten the traumatized woman with the haunted eyes.

As more information emerges, the crimes take on an even more sinister similarity. But Josie’s attacker died by suicide. Does the city have a copycat on its hands? A killer who picked up where the original perpetrator left off? Or are they facing something far more insidious?

Josie has spent the last eight years attempting to get her life back on track, but now there’s a very real chance she could be the unknown suspect’s next target. As Zach vows to keep her safe, and Josie finds herself responding to him in a way she hasn’t responded to any man in almost a decade, the investigation takes on an even more complex edge of danger.

As past and present collide, Josie and Zach are thrust toward a shocking and chilling truth. A revelation that threatens not only Josie’s life, but everything she’s been fighting so desperately to reclaim.


Every single time I read a Mia Sheridan story, I am blown away. Even if I don’t like the book, I’m still blown away at her incredible talent as an author.

Her books— they’re all just so beautifully written and so drastically different from one another. I feel like that’s her gift. She writes the most heartbreaking stories, in the most beautiful way.

But her characters…they never cease to destroy me. Usually it’s her male leads. She has a way of writing male characters with heartbreaking struggles and stories but this time it was the female lead role that got me. Josie really stole my heart from the get go. Her struggles, her situation, all of it. She captured me. She went through the unthinkable but still managed to be unapologetically HER. I loved her. She was masterfully written and her growth and change was magical.

And please— do not even get me STARTED on my love for Zach. And Josie. And Zach and Josie together. OMG. I just need a minute…

Now, I struggled with how I felt with A LOT of things that happened in this book (thank god there’s a discussion group am I right?) I struggled so hard EMOTIONALLY. But, I think it made me see certain types of people in different kinds of light. Isn’t that so amazing how an author can make you sympathize for a villain?! For someone who does bad things? Isn’t that just something? I feel like a nut-case even saying that.

My heart broke, it ached, it yearned, it melted, and then it broke some more. Mia absolutely put me through the ringer with this book and I wouldn’t trade even a second of it. Where the Blame Lies contained twist after twist that honestly— I didn’t see coming.

Are we sure Mia doesn’t need to write us a twisted thriller novel? I’m voting yes. I’m calling it right now.

Summer of Secrets (J.R.Rogue, Cynthia A. Rodriguez, and Christina Hart)

Image may contain: 3 people, textRuin Me by Christina Hart

Eleanor “Kitty” Bordeau, the baby of three sisters, lives by rules of the heart.

Too young to remember their lives before the tragedy, she’s always gotten away with being impulsive and responsibility-free.

And after running away from everything she ever knew, with heartbreak at her heels, passion only existed in the form of poetry.

Now, two years later, she’s back in her hometown, where her muse still haunts her.

But when heartbreak—also known as Joey Madden—catches up to her, Kitty decides to rewrite her story. And this time, she won’t allow his lies to once again ruin both their lives.

Hate Me by Cynthia A Rodriguez

As the second of three sisters, Eloise “Lucy” Bordeau was never known for breaking the rules. And since taking over the family business while her sisters ran from small-town living and escaped to the city, rules have become her life.

Until a stranger walks into her bookstore and gives her a night that rivals even the steamiest of romance novels.

Only, Ezra James isn’t a stranger.

He’s the man trying to buy the struggling Bordeau Books from underneath her.

And now that he’s had a taste of her, he’ll do anything to keep her underneath him.

Teach Me

Despite being the eldest sister, Elizabeth “Sophie” Bordeau’s relationship with rules has always been rocky, at best.

At seventeen, she lost her parents and inherited a life of responsibility she wasn’t ready for.
At twenty, she ran away from it all.
Now, at twenty-eight, she’s back to try to mend old wounds.

But when an unexpected connection from her past walks into her classroom, she has to decide whether she’s finished with her rule-breaking ways once and for all, or if Sloane Callahan is worth one last walk on the reckless side.


I wanted to review these three books together not because they’re all in the same mini-series or because they’re all set in the same summer or they all have the same sisters involved within them. But because even though they have a lot of similarities, they have so many more differences that really stuck out to me. So instead of breaking them all out, I wanted to include them in one post.

Each story has heartbreak, but each story displays it differently. One is emotional, one is intense, one is electrifying. Each story has a male lead and a female lead but while you are reading these, none of those leads are the same as another. One sister, is not like the other. One male, is definitely not like the other. They’re all so different and distinct and I think I loved that the most about these three stories. Yeah, we have three books about three sisters and one summer but wow, who knew how different their journey’s could all be.

Jen’s book, Teach Me had so much emotion packed into such a short novella. It was poetic and it was melancholy heave for me. Cynthia’s book, Hate Me packed so much tension that I could barely stand it any longer. If it was a longer book, I just know I would have combusted internally from all of the emotional and sexual tension. And Christina’s book Ruin Me… was electrifying. Christina has some of the most powerful, jarring writing that I have had the pleasure of reading.

I hope you all enjoy the journey these three women took us on. It’s quite different than anything else you might ever read from them. But in the best way possible. Indulge. Treat yourself. Explore and love the ride they take you on.

The Other Mrs. (Mary Kubica)

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Pre-order: https://amzn.to/2NRoVGL

Sadie and Will Foust have only just moved their family from bustling Chicago to small-town Maine when their neighbor, Morgan Baines, is found dead in her home. The murder rocks their tiny coastal island, but no one is more shaken than Sadie, who is terrified by the thought of a killer in her very own backyard.

But it’s not just Morgan’s death that has Sadie on edge. It’s their eerie old home, with its decrepit decor and creepy attic, which they inherited from Will’s sister after she died unexpectedly. It’s Will’s disturbed teenage niece Imogen, with her dark and threatening presence. And it’s the troubling past that continues to wear at the seams of their family.

As the eyes of suspicion turn toward the new family in town, Sadie is drawn deeper into the mystery of Morgan’s death. But Sadie must be careful, for the more she discovers about Mrs. Baines, the more she begins to realize just how much she has to lose if the truth ever comes to light.


Mary Kubica has a way with me. She just does. From her writing to her twists to her intricately woven POV’s, I guess by now I am just bias when it comes to her. I love her books. I haven’t met one that I did not enjoy. That’s a fact! So with me saying that, you can take what you want from my review LOL!

The downside of The Other Mrs. was that I really didn’t connect with Sadie and the character role that she played. And oh how I wish I would have, especially once the ending came around. I wish I could have attached to her more than what I did because I think the book would have had a completely different effect on me. The first part of the book I found her to be boring but yet again (I am bias, remember?) Mary Kubica’s writing kept my attention the entire way through. I did enjoy the over-all tone and the POV’s of Camille and Mouse and the way they spoke in their chapters though. I found it to be very engaging.

There is a lot going on in this book. A lot. A lot of characters, a lot of things happening on each page that you have to actually slow down, read, and retain. But with the book doing this, it will also make you think you know what’s gonna happen and then something totally unexpected happens. Which is my kind of book! I love the ole bait and switch scenarios. The Other Mrs. was a well crafted and well written mystery thriller with a quick-paced plot and very engaging and complex characters.

Educated (Tara Westover)

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Buy link: https://amzn.to/2Lj9LID

Tara Westover was 17 the first time she set foot in a classroom. Born to survivalists in the mountains of Idaho, she prepared for the end of the world by stockpiling home-canned peaches and sleeping with her “head-for-the-hills bag”. In the summer she stewed herbs for her mother, a midwife and healer, and in the winter she salvaged in her father’s junkyard.

Her father forbade hospitals, so Tara never saw a doctor or nurse. Gashes and concussions, even burns from explosions, were all treated at home with herbalism. The family was so isolated from mainstream society that there was no one to ensure the children received an education and no one to intervene when one of Tara’s older brothers became violent.

Then, lacking any formal education, Tara began to educate herself. She taught herself enough mathematics and grammar to be admitted to Brigham Young University, where she studied history, learning for the first time about important world events like the Holocaust and the civil rights movement. Her quest for knowledge transformed her, taking her over oceans and across continents, to Harvard and to Cambridge. Only then would she wonder if she’d traveled too far, if there was still a way home.

Educated is an account of the struggle for self-invention. It is a tale of fierce family loyalty and of the grief that comes with severing the closest of ties. With the acute insight that distinguishes all great writers, Westover has crafted a universal coming-of-age story that gets to the heart of what an education is and what it offers: the perspective to see one’s life through new eyes and the will to change it.


“It’s strange how you give the people you love so much power over you.”

By the time I had finished this book I realized that it was not near as good as I had anticipated it would be. In fact, the book as a whole was very underwhelming. I felt like the characters and the setting as a whole were fascinating in a sense but not “mind-blowing”.

The writing was nice. It wasn’t tedious and it wasn’t sloppy. Usually when you read memoirs they get really bogged down with just mediocre writing but Tara had a unique writing ability that didn’t bore me in any way. But with me saying that, at times the story became very repetitive. I felt like she kept going back over things that happened multiple times and when she would do that, it would make the timeline very difficult to follow.

What I did love about Educated was Tara’s drive to educate herself and get herself away from her toxic life and surroundings. Her drive for a better life really made this book what it was. It was inspiring and I loved the message it sent out to readers letting them know they can do whatever they set their minds to.

I also really loved how this entire novel is a prime example of not only emotional abuse but also physical abuse. To me, this is a part of the story that readers are just ignoring or skipping over but it was very important in my eyes. Tara suffered from not just her father, but from every single person in her family. From her mother to her siblings. I can’t fathom what that kind of life was like for her when just reading about it made me sympathetic.

Educated was the type of read I know that hundreds of other people loved. But the main reason I see as to why they loved it so much was simply because of the “mountain-people” type lifestyle these people lived. To me, that part was very underwhelming and not the point of this story at all. (I live in Arkansas, I see this stuff all of the time.) I think with me being very familiar to that type of lifestyle for some people, that aspect of the story was not as mind-blowing to me. BUT! In my own opinion, this book was about so much more. About one girl’s endurance and drive to make a better life for HERSELF and for no one else and for that reason alone right there– I really appreciated this story.

The Truth About Tomorrow (B. Celeste)

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Buy link: https://amzn.to/2NBZPeP

Age is just a number.

Just like he’s just a boy and I’m just a girl.

Except that’s not true, is it?

Because fifteen may be a number, but it’s bigger than that. Bigger than us.

It’s a number that separates us.

An excuse that keeps us apart. 

But I’m not willing to give in until I get what I want.

After all, how many other girls can bring a grown man to his knees with one little smile?


I first want to start out by saying that I didn’t NOT like this book. I am going to do my best at explaining all of that just very briefly because I don’t feel like this book should have to have a lot of negativity.

The main thing I did not like about this entire story was the length of it. I’m never afraid to read a long book. I was not intimidated by the size of this story at all. 500 pages is a breeze for me. BUT…I just felt like it should have been 200 pages shorter. I really liked the author’s writing and the trope didn’t bother me (although I DO feel like if the author was going to be so explicit about it, the age gap should have been way less than what it was but I have read worse) but there was a lot of excessive scenes and internal dialogue that was just not needed. And when I say that, I don’t think I am exaggerating one bit.

Tropes like this story teeter on two different edges. People will know what this book is about, read it, and still hate it. Even though they are very much aware of the trope. I don’t think that is fair so I think that is why I really wanted to clarify that that WASN’T the reason I didn’t LOVE the book. I think book contained great writing and characters that had an immense amount of depth and feelings but the book as a whole was just too long.