Dying to Help, Penny Kline

dying-to-helpspolier alert

Title:  Dying to Help

Author: Penny Kline

Pages:  196

Genre: Mystery-Crime

Part of a series?  Yes, book one of the Anna McColl mystery series.

Published: September 14th, 2016

Thank you to Netgalley and Endeavor Press for giving me a copy of this book in exchange for a review.

Psychiatrist Anna McColl is having relationship issues.  She knows he’s bad for her- they don’t make each other happy, and she can’t trust him to stay away from his ex.  Add to that she is having trouble connecting to her friends and has a couple troubling new clients.  Dianne is convinced her brother died in jail for a murder he didn’t commit- and she wants Anna to help prove it.  Then there’s Jenny, a troubled young woman that she can’t seem to get through to.  While all this is whirling around, she is getting disturbing postcards and her home has been broken into- but nothing is ever actually taken.  Plants get watered, things get moved… just enough to make their presence known.  Lastly, she keeps seeing one of her old patients around.  As she moves through life, trying to help everyone and keep herself above water, it is clear that not everything is as it seems.

I must admit, I didn’t care for this book.  There were so many side things going on, and while some tied together well in the end it wasn’t enough to save the book for me.  I couldn’t connect with Anna, or really any of the characters, which always makes it difficult for me to become engrossed in a book.  I will say that I loved the premise, and that the writing style had a steadiness.   The book, while juggling many things, never seemed choppy. It just wasn’t my cup of tea.  Three Stars

On the adult content scale, there is language, violence and drinking.  None were over the top… I give it a four.  General.svg

The book is out now, if the premise intrigues you give it a whirl.  I would love to hear your thoughts.

Link to book:

Amazon Kindle

Amber

 

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October TBR

I am really excited about the books this month!  I have been waiting for the next Magnus Chase book, well, since I read the last line of the first book!  Let’s get started with the books I have slated for October!

  1. Someone to Love, Mary Balogh.  Anna Snow grew up in an orphanage.  When she inherits a fortune, not everyone in society is pleased.  One man is willing to help her learn the ropes, and hold her own.  *Thank you to First to Read*
  2. When All the Girls Have Gone, Jayne Ann Krentz.  Charlotte Sawyer can’t find her sister.  Teaming up with a struggling PI, they try to unravel what may have happened. *Thank you First to Read.*
  3. Jim Butcher’s Dresden Files: Wild Card, Jim Butcher and Mark Powers.  I love this series, and had no idea there were graphic novels!  *Thank you Netgalley!*
  4. To Love and Cherish, Lauren Layne.  I loved the Wedding Belles series, and can’t wait to read this installment.  *Thank you Netgalley!*
  5. The Killing Game, JS Carol.  Imagine eating at your favorite restaurant when a gunman walks in.  You have to bargain for your life!  Also, he has a bomb set up to his heart rate- he dies, you die.  *Thank you Netgalley!*
  6. $10,000,000 Marriage proposal.  James Patterson.  “Will you marry me for $10,000,000?” A mysterious billboard has three women intrigued.
  7. The French Kiss, James Patterson.  “It’s hard enough to move to a new city, but now everyone French detective Luc Moncrief cares about is being killed off. Welcome to New York. ” I grabbed the blurb from Goodreads- it’s perfect.
  8. The Hammer of Thor, Rick Riordan.  Magus Chase is back!  Thor has once again lost his hammer, but this time it has fallen into enemy hands.  I am so excited about this!

There will no doubt be others, but this is what I know I want to read.

french-kiss

Amber

September Wrap-up!

It’s already time (don’t we always feel this way?)!  I have really enjoyed my reading this month.  Several of the books surprised me, actually.  Let’s get started.

  1. Curious Minds, Janet Evanovich and Phoeff Sutton.  Analyst Riley Moon takes on a job that she is ridiculously underqualified for- keeping rich client Emmerson Knight safe and happy.  It was a lot of laughs and the story was great.    Five Stars
  2. The Confectioner’s Tale, Laura Madeleine.  A historical romance mixed with a bit of modern mystery.  Told in several voices, this book was well written and really interesting.  Five Stars
  3.  Suicide Squad, Marv Wolfman.  I loved the movie, but felt like there was a lot that could have been done for plot and character development- plus I just wanted more time with certain characters.  This book delivered that for me.  Four Stars
  4.  A Change of Heart, Sonali Dev.  A doctor looses his wife tragically and can’t seem to move on.  Two years later, a woman approaches him claiming to have her heart.  Five Stars
  5. 113 Minutes, James Patterson and Max Dilallo.  One of this month’s Bookshots.  What if you knew who killed your son?  How far would you go for vengeance?  Five Stars
  6.  Our Chemical Hearts, Krystal Sutherland.  A young man’s first taste of love, and a young woman’s struggle to move forward after tragedy.  Sometimes love doesn’t work out- but it’s still worth it.  I loved this book- I laughed and cried.  The characters were brilliant.  Five Stars
  7. Hunted, James Patterson and Andrew Holms.  The other Bookshot for this month that I read.  Someone is luring homeless men into a deadly game.  Five Stars
  8. Environmentally Friendly, Elias Zanbaka.  This is the shortest story I have read by far, but it packs a huge punch.  Interesting plot, great action and a really great lead character.  Five Stars
  9. Girl Number One, Jane Holland.  Eleanor Blackwood was the only witness to her mother’s murder.  When she discovers a body in the exact same spot that her mother died, it is a fight to prove herself to the police and stop a madman.  Five Stars
  10. Marrying Winterborne, Lisa Kleypas.  A sheltered beauty has to learn to fight for the man she wants.  There are secrets, though, that could still tear them apart.  Four Stars
  11. A Scot in the Dark, Sarah MacLean.  Lillian Hargrove has been lonely for so long- with no friends and overlooked by a string of guardians.  When an artist comes into her world, she accepts him at face value to her detriment.  Scandal!  Alec, the new duke of Warnick had no idea he had a ward.  Now he has to go clean up her scandal- when the two meet?  Magic.  Five Stars
  12. Home, Harlan Coben.  After ten years, one boy is found out of the two lost.  Where has he been?  What has he been through?  Where is the other boy?!?! Three Stars
  13.  Stalking Jack the Ripper, Kerri Maniscalco.  Audrey Rose is not your typical girl.  In a time where women were meant to marry well, she wants to study.  Bodies.  She joins her uncle, helping with his work.  When women start dying, the world goes mad.  Man after man is locked up for being Leather Apron, but the police have no clue where to look.  Can she discover the killer?  Five Stars
  14. Who We Were Before, Leah Mercer.  This was my Kindle First pick.  Zoe and Edward have faced an unbearable tragedy.  While they love one another, neither one is able to cope properly with the loss of their son.  With words that can’t be taken back, and some that are never said at all, a marriage is in shambles.  Can a weekend in Paris help them find one another again?  Five Stars
  15. A Taste for Monsters, Matthew J. Kirby.  Evelyn is disfigured due to her previous job, and she is desperate.  Only the hospital will take her on as she is now!  Once there though, she is denied the job she wants and offered another instead.  She is to be maid to The Elephant Man, a man who understands disfigurement and how it makes one look at oneself.  As the two get to know each other, his kindness and spirit help her to heal.  Outside the hospital, though, women are being murdered- and they are coming to them for help.  The ordeal is proving too much for Joseph though, and as his health declines Evelyn has to find a way to help the spirits- and Joseph.  I loved this book!  Five Stars

Over and over again this month, I closed a book saying to myself “That one is my new favorite”.  So many wonderful stories, I spent the whole month enthralled!

Amber

 

 

Comparing the “Rippers”

a taste for monstersstalking-jack-the-ripperspolier alert

Stalking Jack the Ripper, Kerri Maniscalco came out just one week before A Taste for Monsters, Matthew J. Kirby (the links go to my full review of each).  Both were touted as mysterious and thrilling novels in the times of Jack the Ripper.  Both had strong and interesting heroines and both had some romance.  It stands to reason that I would have to do a post about my thoughts on both books- the differences and what I liked for both.

Each book was well written, though Kirby’s seemed to be more neat if that makes sense.  It never read like a YA novel to me.  Evelyn was a very mature heroine- almost too mature for her age due to what she dealt with in her life.  Audrey Rose, on the other hand is much more relatable to a young audience.  I would say that the same rings true for the supporting caste of characters for both books.

Both had aspects of the Ripper’s crimes- Audrey with the autopsies was far more graphic and gruesome because of the material.  Evelyn, dealing with the spirits, dealt more with finding the souls peace and learning about who they were.  Both made for interesting reading for different reasons.  If you like the gruesome descriptions and bone chilling suspense, that’s Maniscalco’s book.  Kirby’s was a sweeter, more sensitive look at the victims and spent little time on the ripper themselves.

Romantically, we have Audrey Rose/ Thomas and Evelyn/ Joseph.  Audrey and Thomas had an insta-attraction.  Evelyn and Joseph had a love that was of the soul and spirit first.  There was a lot of angst and confusion between Audrey and Thomas, Evelyn and Joseph had some confusion but their love seemed sweeter.

As far as having what I want in a historical fiction, both were well versed in Ripper Lore, but I would say Kirby brought London of the times to focus better.  Now, these are just my opinions.  Also, it must be said that I love both books.  I will be reading the rest of Maniscalco’s series as it comes out.  I almost wish there was more time with Kirby’s characters, but the way it was written was perfect.  I highly recommend buying both books, but if you only get one then I hope my small break down of the differences helps you with your choice.

Happy Reading,

Amber

A Taste for Monsters, Matthew J. Kirby

a taste for monstersspolier alertTitle: A Taste For Monsters

Author: Matthew J. Kirby

Pages:  352

Genre: historical fiction, mystery, lit, YA

Part of a series?  No

Published: September 27th, 2016

Evelyn Fallows knows of only one place where she will be safe.  Disfigured from her time working in a match factory, no one else will hire her… but at the hospital, surely?  She goes to apply to be a probationer.  The matron refuses, both due to her age and her looks.   There is one position open, though, as a maid to Joseph Merrick- their only live in patient and a man nicknamed The Elephant Man due to his birth defect.  Knowing that nothing awaits her outside of the hospital but pain, she accepts.

Over time as she gets to know Joseph, she sees his kindness and beautiful nature.  The two grow close.  While they are safe in the hospital, though, a madman in loose in London.  They call him Leather Apron, and he is killing women.  Each woman comes to the hospital as a spirit, haunting Mr. Merrick.  When he asks for help, Evelyn doesn’t want to.  She can’t go out there!  As his health deteriorates due to sleeplessness and worry, Evelyn has to come to terms with her fears.  The souls need peace… Joseph needs peace.

So, this book was nothing like I imagined.  I thought it would be another gruesome mystery- and it had it’s moments- but there was so much more!  The characters were perfection!  Mr. Merrick became this beautiful, unique soul.  I loved him.  The story was fast paced and gorgeously crafted.  Yes, there was a mystery- and more than one gruesome exert- but there was also a stunning commentary on how we see each other.    I adored this book and recommend it to anyone.  Five stars and an extra one for creativity.  Five Stars  star

On the adult content scale, there is violence, obviously, along with drinking and some language.  None are overbearing though, and so I would still give it a three.  General.svg

This book is out now- go get it!

Link to book:

Amazon Kindle

Amber

What’s New Wednesday? Week 22!

reading-to-kidsHey guys!  Today is Read a child a book you like day.  Boy, that’s a mouthful but definitely a worthy endeavor!  Let’s jump right in!

What’s new with me?

So, I may be late on the bandwagon, but I signed up for Litsy.  It’s a free app for android and apple that is being called the Instagram of books.  Having never really understood/ used Instagram, that was not helpful.  I do like the layout though, and feel much more comfortable placing book quotes and quick pics there.  Other than that, I got my Coffee essential oil in.  It smells amazing!  I can’t wait to make a sugar scrub with this and may add it to my lotion for my under eyes.  Oh, and A Taste for Monsters came out- I am about 3/4 done with it already!  Love this book!  I will do a review, but I am also considering a post that talks of the differences between this book and Stalking Jack the Ripper, which came out last week.  What are your thoughts?

What’s new in news?

I swore I would stay out of politics here, but is anyone not talking about the debate?  There are memes, clips, and jokes everywhere.  You can also find the whole thing to watch or Facebook had a link to it in writing.  Craziness!  It did not change my mind as to who to vote for (not saying:) but it was rather eye opening.

What’s new in books?

The first week of October is gonna be big for me.  I will pick my Kindle First read and then on the fourth three books come out!  French Kiss, by James Patterson (bookshot!),  $10,000,000 Marriage Proposal, by James Patterson, and Hammer of Thor (Magnus Chase book #2), by Rick Riordan.  I have preordered them all and am super excited!

So that’s it for me this week, what’s new with you?

Amber

Who We Were Before, Leah Mercer

who we were beforespolier alertTitle: Who We Were Before

Author: Leah Mercer

Pages: 256

Genre: literary fiction

Part of a series?  No.

Published: October 1st, 2016

This was my Kindle First read for the month, and I really liked it.

Zoe and Edward had it all-a great marriage and a miracle child that neither ever thought they would get. One day, it all goes wrong.  Milo, their toddler son, is gone and neither one knows how to work through the grief.  Edward, for his part, is eager to move on and trying to get Zoe to follow his lead.  Zoe can’t move forward.  Not only because she feels responsible for Milo’s death, but because she can’t seem to heal.  She can’t talk.

Her parents decide they need a weekend away.  A last ditch effort to find each other again and save their marriage.  As soon as they reach Paris though, they get separated.  Zoe, for her part, gets her pocket picked.  She has no money, no cell phone, and no idea which hotel they are staying at.  As the two move through Paris missing one another at every turn, you see their current feelings and get flashbacks to the past.  In many ways it is the story of a marriage- when it was great and where it went wrong.   Can a couple get through all of this and come out whole?  Especially when both sides have made mistakes?

I have a love hate relationship with this book.  On a literary level, it was well written with a fantastic plot that drew me in, and the characters are really well developed.  Also, while I feel I have heard the premise before, the story seemed fresh and unique to me.  What I had issue with, though, were some of the decisions made by the characters.  I feel like the wife could have tried harder, earlier, to be found.  I also feel like the husband could have tried harder to find her… but I do understand the why’s here.  I just didn’t like this part of the characters.  Oh, it was in line with their character…. these were just things that I didn’t care for.  It made it harder to love these two, though I do.  All in all, this is a five star book for me, plus the bonus star for creativity.  Five Stars  star

 

On the adult content scale, there are some heavy hitting issues.  There’s also alcohol, language and some sexual content though it is pretty mild.  I would give it a four.

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The book is out 10-01-2016, go get it!

Link to book:

Amazon Kindle

Amber