Review: The Broken Girls by Simone St. James

synopsis:

Vermont, 1950. There’s a place for the girls whom no one wants–the troublemakers, the illegitimate, the too smart for their own good. It’s called Idlewild Hall. And in the small town where it’s located, there are rumors that the boarding school is haunted. Four roommates bond over their whispered fears, their budding friendship blossoming–until one of them mysteriously disappears. . . .

Vermont, 2014. As much as she’s tried, journalist Fiona Sheridan cannot stop revisiting the events surrounding her older sister’s death. Twenty years ago, her body was found lying in the overgrown fields near the ruins of Idlewild Hall. And though her sister’s boyfriend was tried and convicted of murder, Fiona can’t shake the suspicion that something was never right about the case.

When Fiona discovers that Idlewild Hall is being restored by an anonymous benefactor, she decides to write a story about it. But a shocking discovery during the renovations will link the loss of her sister to secrets that were meant to stay hidden in the past–and a voice that won’t be silenced. . . .

review:

A seriously atmospheric, creepy, spooky, eerie (seriously, think of a synonym for any of those words and it will fit the bill) tale that will haunt you day and night.

I am not one for supernatural books, but this one was SO well done, it had me believing in ghosts by the time I was finished. So well done, in fact, that I went and bought this author’s entire back catalogue of titles. Mary Hand is a fascinating character and her powers are definitely unique. I loved her storyline, and would have enjoyed learning more about her history.

I thoroughly enjoyed this dual timeline story, I think this structure worked really well for this book. I was totally invested in these characters and couldn’t wait to find out what happened to them.

On a side note, I was in the car while waiting to pick up my kiddos from school, and a dear friend banged on my window to scare me, and I just happened to be reading this book. Let’s just say I screamed like crazy!😆

This was a Traveling Sisters read and I thoroughly enjoyed the thoughts brought to the table by my friends. A very enjoyable experience!

Advance copy provided by Edelweiss – thank you.

4 stars

Netgalley: What’s On My Shelf

I don’t know about you, but I have a major Netgalley addiction! I just can’t stop reading and requesting from this site. I feel so lucky to be able to receive these ARCs, and look forward to reading them all.

Here are my latest downloads (I have A LOT more on my shelf than this🙈 major twitchy finger!).

Have you read any of these titles? Have any on your shelf? What are you most looking forward to reading on your shelf?

Review: Mister Tender’s Girl by Carter Wilson

synopsis:

How far are you willing to go for Mister Tender?

At fourteen, Alice Hill was viciously attacked by two of her classmates and left to die. The teens claim she was a sacrifice for a man called Mister Tender, but that could never be true: Mister Tender doesn’t exist. His sinister character is pop-culture fiction, created by Alice’s own father in a series of popular graphic novels.

Over a decade later, Alice has changed her name and is trying to heal. But someone is watching her. They know more about Alice than any stranger could: her scars, her fears, and the secrets she keeps locked away. She can try to escape her past, but Mister Tender is never far behind. He will come with a smile that seduces, and a dark whisper in her ear…

Inspired by a true story, this gripping thriller plunges you into a world of haunting memories and unseen threats, leaving you guessing until the harrowing end.

review:

Crazy unique plot, brilliant storytelling – you will not trust anyone for even a second. You will be horrified and scared and creeped out.

Read this one in less than 24 hours. I want this review to be short and sweet so you can go into it knowing as little as possible.

Recommend reading with the light on.

4.5 stars

Thank you to Netgalley, Sourcebooks Landmark and Carter Wilson for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Murder in Belgravia by Lynn Brittney

synopsis:

The first in an exciting new Mayfair 100 series of nostalgic crime sagas.

Set against the backdrop of WW1, Mayfair 100 is the telephone number for a small specially-formed crimebusting team based in a house in Mayfair. London, 1915. Just 10 months into the First World War, the City is flooded with women taking over the work vacated by men in the Armed Services. Chief Inspector Peter Beech, a young man invalided out of the war in one of the first battles, is faced with investigating the murder of an aristocrat and the man’s wife, a key witness and suspect, will only speak to a woman about the unpleasant details of the case. After persuading the Chief Commissioner to allow him to set up a clandestine team to deal with such situations, Beech puts together a small motley crew of well-educated women and professional policemen. As Beech, Victoria, Caroline, Rigsby and Tollman investigate the murder, they delve into the seedier parts of WWI London, taking them from criminal gangs to brothels and underground drug rings supplying heroin to the upper classes. Will the Mayfair 100 team solve the murder? And if they do, will they be allowed to continue working as a team?

review:

A very thrilling historical mystery. This one starts slowly, like a straightforward whodunnit, but quickly evolves in something much more complex and fascinating. Set in London during World War I, we have soldiers, street gangs, prostitution rings and much, much more, and it all works together well to create an intricate mystery.

There is a progressive police inspector who decides to put together a team of individuals to help solve his case, including a female lawyer and doctor which was unheard of at the time. There is much to be said here about the advancement of women in society as the war began to change their roles. As there was a lack of men, women slowly but surely began to come into positions formerly held only by men – with much disdain from certain individuals. And I love how this story put women front and center as an integral, intelligent, important part of the work.

The author uses real historical locations, events and people (the ones I didn’t recognize, I looked up to get a visual) and I learned even more about this period.

This has a similar feel to Victoria Thompson’s Gaslight Mystery Series that I’m always raving about – if you enjoy those books, you will enjoy this as well!

Thank you to Netgalley, Lynn Brittney and Mirror Books for a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Review: Let Me Lie by Clare Mackintosh

synopsis:

Two years ago, Tom and Caroline Johnson committed suicide, one seemingly unable to live without the other. Their adult daughter, Anna, is struggling to come to terms with her parents’ deaths, unable to comprehend why they chose to end their lives. Now with a young baby herself, she feels her mother’s presence keenly and is determined to find out what really happened to her parents. But as Anna digs up the past, someone is trying to stop her. She soon learns that nothing is as it seemed.

review:

Clare Mackintosh is a brilliant writer. If she writes it, I will read it.

I hate to compare author’s novels to each other and not take them as original works, but I struggled with that in this case. I Let You Go was an amazing book – it ripped out my heart and brought me to tears. (Bit dramatic? Yes. But true.) This one unfortunately didn’t pan out how I was hoping.

This will be an exciting, twisty thriller to some, but for someone who reads a lot of this genre, I found it to be a bit predictable. There are many twists to be had, and unfortunately, they didn’t work for me. This is a downfall for a reader who loves thrillers and mysteries – I seem to always have my detective hat on and can’t take it off and just enjoy!

I did love the characters of Murray and Sarah and would love to hear more about their story.

This was a Traveling Sisters group read and I always love hearing the perspectives from my buddies, they always add a fresh take to my perspective.

Copy provided by Edelweiss for an honest review- thank you.

3 stars

Review: She Regrets Nothing by Andrea Dunlop

synopsis:

When Laila Lawrence becomes an orphan at twenty-three, the sudden loss unexpectedly introduces her to three glamorous cousins from New York who show up unannounced at her mother’s funeral. The three siblings are scions of the wealthy family from which Laila’s father had been estranged long before his own untimely demise ten years before.

Two years later, Laila has left behind her quiet life in Grosse Point, Michigan to move to New York City, landing her smack in the middle of her cousins’ decadent world. As the truth about why Laila’s parents became estranged from the family patriarch becomes clear, Laila grows ever more resolved to claim what’s rightfully hers. Caught between longing for the love of her family and her relentless pursuit of the lifestyle she feels she was unfairly denied, Laila finds herself reawakening a long dead family scandal—not to mention setting off several new ones—as she becomes further enmeshed in the lives and love affairs of her cousins. But will Laila ever, truly, belong in their world? Sly and sexy, She Regrets Nothing is a sharply observed and utterly seductive tale about family, fortune, and fate—and the dark side of wealth.

review:

This is a coming of age tale of a woman who discovers she has a long-lost, wealthy family in New York City. It is a dark, edgy, gritty story of a life that has been changed tremendously by these circumstances.

I’m not going to lie, I was first drawn to this book by it’s gorgeous cover, and it is one that suits it well. I especially enjoyed reading about the places in NYC that I was familiar with, I love how it took on a life of its own and was almost a character in the story.

This book was Gossip Girl meets Sex and the City with a darker edge. It took a very unexpected left turn in the last quarter or so of the book which threw me for a loop, in a good way. I wasn’t anticipating the conclusion but it wrapped up quite well.

3.5 stars

Thank you to Netgalley, the publisher and the author for a copy of this cook in exchange for an honest review.