The Brutal Telling (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache #5) by Louise Penny

Book Description:

Published: September 22, 2009

Chaos is coming, old son.
With those words the peace of Three Pines is shattered. As families prepare to head back to the city and children say goodbye to summer, a stranger is found murdered in the village bistro and antiques store. Once again, Chief Inspector Gamache and his team are called in to strip back layers of lies, exposing both treasures and rancid secrets buried in the wilderness.
No one admits to knowing the murdered man, but as secrets are revealed, chaos begins to close in on the beloved bistro owner, Olivier. How did he make such a spectacular success of his business? What past did he leave behind and why has he buried himself in this tiny village? And why does every lead in the investigation find its way back to him?
As Olivier grows more frantic, a trail of clues and treasures— from first editions of Charlotte’s Web and Jane Eyre to a spider web with the word “WOE” woven in it—lead the Chief Inspector deep into the woods and across the continent in search of the truth, and finally back to Three Pines as the little village braces for the truth and the final, brutal telling.
Review –
The plot is a complex blend of mystery, history, greed, art, and lies, yet even with all its complexity, its never overly complicated. It’s quite cleverly constructed, and though some reviewers compare Penny to Agatha Christie, with all due respect to Ms. Christie, and I do love her books, Penny’s books reach further than Christie’s. Penny’s books explore so much more than just the solving of a murder. The Brutal Telling, especially, explores the broader themes that give rise to a violent and desperate act like murder.
 I wondered how long it would take the author, Louise Penny, to have a villager from Three Pines, accused and convicted of a murder and that’s exactly what she did in The Brutal Telling.
We discover that one of the owners and caretakers of the Bistro and Bed and Breakfast is not as good a person from what shows on the outside. He has been greedy most of his life and has lied to everyone, even his partner.
We never find out the name of the hermit or how he came to be in the cabin full of treasures in the woods, or where the treasures came from. There are too many unanswered questions.  I believe the author will tell us in another installment of this series the answers t those and other questions, like-did Chief Inspector Armand Gamache put the right man behind bars.  I think not.
Five stars *****
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Beg for Mercy: A Dark Conclusion by Lucian Bane

Book Description:

Published: August 18, 2015

***WARNING***
There are a couple of scenes in here that could be triggers for some abuse survivors. I did my best to be considerate of the sensitive readers while remaining true to the authenticity of the scenes.
****

The fight is on in this installment, Mercy is holding nothing back in her endeavor to prove to Sade he can experience love and pleasure. Sade,however has other plans and his darkness is front and center in them.

Meanwhile, Father Abraham is still on the loose with a score to settle with them all and no one is safe from his wrath.

Will love conquer all in this story? Can the heart really be used to recondition the brain? Find out what happens in this Dark Conclusion.

Review –

I think this installment of the Mercy series was rushed to a conclusion. Sade was a totally off the wall sadist and didn’t really seem to want to change and he  hurt and nearly killed Mercy in a very horrific and torturous way and in a very sexually explicit manner.

Father Abraham was dealt with much faster than I had expected but in a very gruesome way that I did not expect. A little bit of cruelty is okay but this was over the top.

Then all of a sudden Sade is a changed man and there is a HEA and a baby to boot.

Just a bit rushed for me.  Could have used another installment to tie loose ends up better. But that’s just me.

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The Last Time I Saw Her (Dr. Charlotte Stone #4) by Karen Robards

Book Description:

Published: August 25, 2015

In this world, Dr. Charlotte “Charlie” Stone skillfully probes the twisted minds of incarcerated serial killers to better understand what makes them tick, and to help nab those who remain at large. But in the next world, Charlotte’s ghostly lover—convicted killer Michael Garland—is facing death yet again. It seem the only way Charlie can snatch Michael from the jaws of oblivion is by proving his innocence. And this dead man’s dead ringer may just be the key.

A mysterious stranger has turned up in Big Stone Gap, Virginia, and Charlie is shocked to realize he could be Michael Garland’s identical twin. But she suspects the resemblance is only skin deep—and that behind the handsome face may lurk the perverse mind of a killer. While using all her keen profiling gifts, Charlie risks her life to discover the shocking secret that will clear Michael’s name.

Then a breakout at Wallens Ridge State Prison forces Charlie to contend with a sudden swarm of psychopaths bent on spilling blood. No one has a better chance of tracking down the deadly fugitives than Charlie—unless the rampaging killers manage to find her first and make this case her last. But Michael will move heaven and hell—and even make a devil’s bargain—for the chance to save Charlie’s life, and feel her touch once more . . . if only for the final time.

Review –

I decided to read this book chiefly because it was free and I didn’t think I had ever read this author before, so I checked my GoodReads account and lo and behold, I had read Shattered back in 2011, but no other books in this series.

I hadn’t realized it was a series until after I had decided to read it and then it was too late. I always finished a book I start, no matter how long it takes me.

This was the last in the Dr. Charlotte Stone series so I didn’t have any back story but I trudged on through the book, but it was hard.

I found it to be totally out there, very predictable, boring and annoying because of the narrator’s voice. I finally reached the end and had couple of Biscoff cookies to celebrate. 

Don’t waste your time unless you are already invested in this series.

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Drunken Fireworks by Stephen King

Book Description:

Published: June 30, 2015

Only on audio! A brand-new, never-before-published Stephen King short story unavailable in any other format!

Alden McCausland and his mother are what they call “accident rich”; thanks to an unexpected life-insurance policy payout and a winning Big Maine Millions scratcher, Alden and his Ma are able to spend their summers down by Lake Abenaki, idly drinking their days away in a three-room cabin with an old dock and a lick of a beach.

Across the lake, they can see what “real rich” looks like: the Massimo family’s Twelve Pines Camp, the big white mansion with guest house and tennis court that Alden’s Ma says is paid for by “ill-gotten gains” courtesy of Massimo Construction. When Alden’s holiday-weekend sparklers and firecrackers set off what over the next few years comes to be known as the Fourth of July Arms Race, he learns how far he and the Massimos will go to win an annual neighborly rivalry—one that lands Alden in the Castle County jail.

Read by beloved Down East storyteller Tim Sample—praised by Stephen King for his “wit and talent and good-heartedness”—Drunken Fireworks makes for explosive audio listening.

Review –

Fantastic short story about the trials and tribulations of one-upmanship (my made up word for the day.

The characters were brought to life by narrator, Tim Sample, who did a magnificent job with the Maine dialect and made listening to the story a real pleasure. So like Stephen King, you never see the end coming. I loved it!!!

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Sail (Wake#2) by M. Mabie

Book Description:

Published: March 31, 2015

This isn’t just a two-year long one-night stand. It’s my life.

This is my life. Our life. It isn’t just some careless affair.

I’ve made the worst decisions a woman could, but I’ll earn my second chance.

She can try keeping all the guilt for herself, but I’m just as much to blame.

Loving Casey wasn’t my biggest mistake. Fighting it for so long was.

I’ll show her how fearless our love makes me. I’ll protect her torn heart.

He still has magic in his eyes. He’s the man who makes me happy.

Her voice still brings me to my knees. She says my name like it’s sacred.

I live for the day when I’m his. To take care of him. To love him the way he deserves.

I can’t wait to be all she needs. I can give her a happy life, security and so much love.

Sometimes two ships never meet in the night, but ours did.

Sometimes the water is rough. It beats you all to hell until you have no choice but get stronger.

Our love story reads more like a tragedy, but to me it’s clean and pure.

Let them point their fingers. Without a love like ours, they haven’t really lived. I pity them.

I’m a cheating wife and a villain. I am his honeybee.

I’m a snake in the grass and I sleep best when I’m lying next to his wife.

I want to be his everything.

I’m nothing without her anyway.

This isn’t even close to over.

Review –

In Sail, Blake became more assertive and more sure of herself (finally), but still the fate of their relationship was in Blake’s hands, which was pretty scary. She seems to have made a decision to end her marriage with Grant, but we’ve heard that before. The question is – will she or won’t she be strong enough to do what needs to be done for her and Casey’s sake?

There are still ups and downs in their relationship and Casey and Blake both realize their hang-ups about trust are partly to blame. Trying to over come this is not easy, especially for Blake. She thinks she has to do what needs to be done all on her own instead of excepting the support and presence of Casey. If only she had Casey go with her to have Grant sign the divorce papers…

I’m hoping for a HEA but I’ll have to read the last installment to find out. More later.

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I love this cover.

 

 

Entwined With You (Crossfire #3) by Sylvia Day

Book Description:

Published: June 4, 2013

The worldwide phenomenon continues as Eva and Gideon face the demons of their pasts, and accept the consequences of their obsessive desires…

From the moment I first met Gideon Cross, I recognized something in him that I needed. Something I couldn’t resist. I saw the dangerous and damaged soul inside–so much like my own. I was drawn to it. I needed him as surely as I needed my heart to beat.

No one knows how much he risked for me. How much I’d been threatened, or just how dark and desperate the shadow of our pasts would become.

Entwined by our secrets, we tried to defy the odds. We made our own rules and surrendered completely to the exquisite power of possession…

Review –

OMG, Gideon killed Nathan, Eva’s evil step-brother who raped her multiple times, and someone is covering up his tracks.  Why, no one knows, but Gideon realizes that nothing comes free.

Eva meets up with a former rock-star-wanna-be who is also a former lover from years past and now he is a famous rock-star and has written a song about Eva and Gideon sees her kissing Brett and all hell breaks loose and Gideon beats him  fiercely in front of plenty of witnesses and then of course gives Eva the cold shoulder. So what does Eva do-she thinks she’s an awful person and doesn’t deserve to walk in Gideon’s shadow(she really doesn’t think that-but almost). Nothing is ever his fault-she is always the one to blame.

We find out more about his abuse as a child and who lied about it and why. We also learn that his former fiancée, Corrine, is hounding him because she realizes that he really is interested in another woman, Eva. This causes a lot of trouble between Eva and Gideon because of her jealousy.

Cary is 1) beaten to a pulp by Nathan, 2) trying to makes relationships work with Trey and Tatianna AT THE SAME TIME  and 3) surprised and scared  when he finds out that Tatianna is pregnant.  Poor Cary.

Gideon convinces Eva to marry him secretly and then has to rush to the hospital where Corrine is rushed after swallowing a bottle of pills and loses a baby.

With all this turmoil you would expect the book to end on a sad or ominous note, but it ends on a particularly high note, so that tells you that BAD THINGS are coming.

Starting the last of the series tomorrow.  Can’t wait.

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Luckiest Girl Alive by Jessica Knoll

Book Description:

Published: May 12, 2015

HER PERFECT LIFE
IS A PERFECT LIE.

As a teenager at the prestigious Bradley School, Ani FaNelli endured a shocking, public humiliation that left her desperate to reinvent herself. Now, with a glamorous job, expensive wardrobe, and handsome blue blood fiancé, she’s this close to living the perfect life she’s worked so hard to achieve.

But Ani has a secret.

There’s something else buried in her past that still haunts her, something private and painful that threatens to bubble to the surface and destroy everything.

With a singular voice and twists you won’t see coming, Luckiest Girl Alive explores the unbearable pressure that so many women feel to “have it all” and introduces a heroine whose sharp edges and cutthroat ambition have been protecting a scandalous truth, and a heart that’s bigger than it first appears.

The question remains: will breaking her silence destroy all that she has worked for—or, will it at long last, set Ani free?

Review –

Like everyone else, I believed that blurb that this book was for those of us that loved GONE GIRL, and that couldn’t be farther from the truth. I think it was just a gimmick to get people to read it.

I hated the character of Tiffany/Ani from the very beginning and I never changed my mind about her. I felt sorry for her for what happened when she was fourteen (both events) but she wanted to be part of the in-crowd and it did not turn out well.

As an adult she was still trying to achieve “in crowd” status by having the right fiancée, the right engagement ring, the right color and style of hair and the perfect body.  I didn’t like her fiancée either-he was tow faced. He would act one way around her and when he was alone talk trash about her to his friends.

I DID like the ending because I think Dean finally will get what’s coming to him.

It was a good read, but not at all what I had expected.

 

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An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

Book Description:

Published: September 21, 2006

Katherine V thought boys were gross
Katherine X just wanted to be friends
Katherine XVIII dumped him in an e-mail
K-19 broke his heart
When it comes to relationships, Colin Singleton’s type happens to be girls named Katherine. And when it comes to girls named Katherine, Colin is always getting dumped. Nineteen times, to be exact.

On a road trip miles from home, this anagram-happy, washed-up child prodigy has ten thousand dollars in his pocket, a bloodthirsty feral hog on his trail, and an overweight, Judge Judy-loving best friend riding shotgun–but no Katherines. Colin is on a mission to prove The Theorem of Underlying Katherine Predictability, which he hopes will predict the future of any relationship, avenge Dumpees everywhere, and finally win him the girl. Love, friendship, and a dead Austro-Hungarian archduke add up to surprising and heart-changing conclusions in this ingeniously layered comic novel about reinventing oneself.

Review-

I had expected to like this book because my name is Katherine and so how could a book about a bunch of Katherines be bad, right?

It’s BAD. I’m not even going to go into detail about how BAD it is. Do not waste your time.  We are talking BORING!!!!!!!!!!!!

“Nuff said.

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Bait (Wake #1) by M. Mabie

Book Description:

Published: October 13, 2014

He was trouble from the start, but I couldn’t resist.
She was the best kind of trouble. The kind that was so wrong, it felt right.

I’ve tried and failed to stay away from him.
I’ve done everything in my power to make her mine and keep her.

He’s almost impossible to say no to.
She never tells me yes.

We’re always fighting.
When we’re not fighting, we’re… well… making up.

He makes me laugh so hard.
I miss her laugh the most.

I’m a liar.
She knows the truth, but won’t admit it.

Sometimes, I wish I’d never met him.
I wish we could meet all over again. I’d do better.

His girlfriend knows.
The guy she’s with is a fool.

I’ll never love anyone like I love him.
She doesn’t love me enough to choose us.

It was the wrong place.
It was the wrong time.

It should have been him.
It will always be her.

This book contains adult situations and is recommended for adult readers. 

Review –

This was offered as a free book and I didn’t think I’d like it but the more I read the more I had to keep flipping pages, or whatever you do on a e-reader.

It’s a boy meets girl/girl meet boy at a bar and then has a one night stand kind of story, but it doesn’t end there. 

The girl, Blake, has a boyfriend(who later becomes her fiancée and husband) but  feels a pull toward Casey, the brother and twin of the boy who is dating her  best friend. Casey is at the bar having a few drinks before going to break up with his girl-friend.

Of course, the one-night stand is earth movingly good and they decide to keep in touch by texting and of course this leads to many many hook-ups over the course of almost two years. They can’t get enough of each other, but Blake doesn’t think that Casey wants what she wants and Casey is so jealous of her boyfriend he can’t see straight.

Blake eventually married Grant (a robot like man) who comes make her come unless she asks him to call her “Betty”, the nickname given to her my Casey.  They marry on the exact date of the first anniversary of her one night stand with Casey, in May and on New Year’s Eve it comes to a head and her husband finds out about Casey. 

Blake tells Casey that she has to go back to him to finish it(get a divorce) and then she can finally come to him and stay.  End.

BLAKE GOT ON MY LAST NERVE. She thought about Casey 24/7 and “loved” Grant but wasn’t in love with him.  I wanted to shake her. How could she not see what Casey was offering her as opposed to the mundane, hum-drum life  of being married to Grant?

I’ve already purchased the next in the series(Over-priced-but I had to see how things turn out-right?)

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No Mercy : A Darker Continuation by Lucian Bane

Book Description:

Published: May 26, 2015

Sade and Mercy’s journey takes a dark turn in No Mercy A Darker Continuation some nightmares last only minutes. Sometimes those minutes can last a lifetime.

Dark lusts and self-loathing become a merciless dance Sade can’t escape. Surviving one night of horror leads him to a ledge he’s never been, where terror mixes with his sadism and masochism for a whole new monster with No Mercy.

Review –

I only thought MERCY was Dark, this one has it beat to HELL. 

Sade, Mercy and Bo are confronted with the sadistic “Father Abraham”, (who we find out is clinically insane, as if his actions aren’t a death give away) and are subjected to unspeakable torture.  After having their feet nailed to the floor (yes, you read right)  somehow, and things get a bit blurry in my mind here because just thinking of nails through my feet caused me to skip some paragraphs, Mercy is tied to a chair, gets thrown against a wall, chair and all and then suffers from PTSD  amnesia and they are all rescued by Kane Kross and Abraham is “killed”.

The rest of the story is Sade trying to get Mercy to remember who she is and who he is and what their relationship was before all the torture, but he’s warned to take it slow and he does at first. But, Sade being Sade, he can’t resist to speed things along and Mercy can’t remember him and the things he tells her only makes her more afraid of him.  He does things to her that he shouldn’t do(and almost kills her in the process) but then they are informed that they have to move out quick to another safe house and only the old Mercy knows the voice activated code that will get them to their escape vehicle. Finally she remembers and they get away just in the nick of time and her father shows up and she realizes he really isn’t dead and that she will never fully remember her old self but Sade also realises that the NEW Mercy loves him too. 

At the very end they find out that Abraham isn’t dead after all and he is coming after them with a vengeance.

Can’t wait to read the next installment.  WOW!!!!!

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