The Dark Light of Day (The Dark Light of Day #1) by T.M. Frazier

Book Description:

Published: January 2, 2016

Format: Audio/Audible

Homeless, sleeping in a junkyard, and on the run from a system that has failed her over and over again, Abby meets Jake, a tattooed blue-eyed biker with secrets that rival her own. Two broken souls that can’t be healed, they can’t be saved. Abby and Jake have to decide if they can accept the darkness not only within one another, but within themselves.

If they can accept each other for who they really are they might learn that love isn’t always found in the light…

WARNING: This is NOT your typical romance.
The story of Jake & Abby contains disturbing situations, graphic violence, sex, strong language, drug use, and all types of abuse.

Review –

I have read books with damaged, broken souls but they DO NOT compare to the utter desolation and suffering in the lives of Jake and Abby.

Abby’s parents were drug addicts and worse. When Abby was nine years old her mother didn’t have any money to pay for her drugs so she gave the man Abby in payment. When he tried to rape her she stabbed him in the eye with a piece of mirror that her mother used to snort cocaine. For punishment Abby’s mother tied her to a hot radiator and burned her with cigarettes and cut her all over her body with a knife. Abby did escape and run naked and bleeding to a fire station where she found help. Her mother was tried and sentenced to life in prison.

At seventeen Abby’s loses her grandmother and is homeless and hiding in a junkyard from Child Protective Services.

The last time twenty-two year old Jake Dunn saw his father he tried to kill him. He has always blamed Jake for the death of his wife and “good ” son. Now he’s a drunk and Jake has come back to look after the family business. He finds Abby in an old truck and almost shoots her, but falls in love with her at first sight instead. Jake know’s he’s no good for her and is too old for her and that he  kills people for a living, but it doesn’t matter. All that matters is Abby.

Abby and Jake find each other and are able to open up for the first time in their young lives.

Just as they are getting somewhere in their relationship, Jake has to leave town for a while for a job. If poor Abby hasn’t been through enough already, she goes through something even more traumatic while Jake is gone. It’s devastating. It’s disturbing. It will break your heart.

I won’t tell you what happens just know that it’s a dark storyline, with  broken characters, a damaged man, tough not annoying heroine, heartbreaking and sad, but heart warming at times… and most importantly, gave me a case of the feels.

This one will bring out some strong emotions in you. The Dark Light of Day is about so much more than finding love and healing. It’s about a girl, a girl who endured more than suffering and trauma than any person should ever go through, finding the strength to move on. That it’s okay to be touched, to fall in love, to find happiness and let people in. Jake and Abby were able to find beauty in all the ugly. 

A fantastic read and the cover, for the most part, matches the story.

Five stars.

 

 

 

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After The Storm (Kate Burkholder #7) by Linda Castillo

Book Description:

Published: July 14, 2015

Format: Audio/OverDrive

When a tornado tears through Painters Mill and unearths human remains, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder finds herself tasked with the responsibility of identifying the bones–and notifying the family. Evidence quickly emerges that the death was no accident and Kate finds herself plunged into a thirty year old case that takes her deep into the Amish community to which she once belonged.

Meanwhile, turmoil of an emotional and personal nature strikes at the very heart of Kate’s budding relationship with state agent John Tomasetti. A reality that strains their fragile new love to the breaking point and threatens the refuge they’ve built for themselves–and their future.

Under siege from an unknown assailant–and her own personal demons–Kate digs deep into the case only to discover proof of an unimaginable atrocity, a plethora of family secrets and the lengths to which people will go to protect their own.

Review –

This was, by far, the best of the Kate Burkholder novels to date.

Besides hunting for the identity of the bones found in the crawl space of an old barn, Kate discovers that she’s pregnant. She’s on the pill but sometimes is lax about routinely taking them so she feels guilty.  Add to this that Tomasetti isn’t thrilled about it and admits that he doesn’t even think he wants kids again. Of course, later, when heads are clearer he comes to want the child and even buys Kate an Amish made cradle.

The tension between Kate and John was so strong you could feel it. Linda Castillo is a great creator of angst.

I had my fingers crossed that the author would let it work out but because of all the falls and rough blows she took subduing the murderer, Kate loses the baby. I cried and cried and cried. I guess it just wasn’t the right time for them but I have my fingers crossed that soon their happily ever after will happen.

Five stars !!!!!

The Dead Will Tell (Kate Burkholder #6) by Linda Castillo

Book Description:

Published: July 8, 2014

Format: Audio/OverDrive

Everyone in Painters Mill knows the abandoned Hochstetler farm is haunted. But only a handful of the residents remember the terrible secrets lost in the muted/hushed whispers of time—and now death is stalking them, seemingly from the grave.

On a late-night shift, Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of an apparent suicide—an old man found hanging from the rafters in his dilapidated barn. But evidence quickly points to murder and Kate finds herself chasing a singularly difficult and elusive trail of evidence that somehow points back to the tragedy of that long ago incident. Meanwhile, Kate has moved in with state agent John Tomasetti and for the first time in so long, they’re both happy; a bliss quickly shattered when one of the men responsible for the murders of Tomasetti’s family four years ago is found not guilty, and walks away a free man. Will Tomasetti be pulled back to his own haunted past?

When a second man is found dead—also seemingly by his own hand—Kate discovers a link in the case that sends the investigation in a direction no one could imagine and revealing the horrifying truth of what really happened that terrible night thirty-five years ago, when an Amish father and his four children perished—and his young wife disappeared without a trace.

And, as Kate knows—the past never truly dies .  . .

Review –

The story begins thirty-five years earlier as a young Billy Hochstetler is awakened in the middle of the night by intruders threatening his family. During the burglary, his father is shot and killed, his mother is forced to leave with the three men, and he and the children are forced into the cellar. Billy decides to try to save his mother and after escaping through a window, goes after her, leaving his brothers and sisters by themselves. He chases the get-away car, but is unsuccessful in rescuing his mother. He returns to the house to find it engulfed in flames. In one night he has lost his family.

Fast forward to present day…Painter’s Mill Chief of Police Kate Burkholder is called to the scene of a supposed suicide. After checking the scene and looking into other facets of the dead man’s life, it is determined that he was murdered. Inside the mouth of the murdered man was a small carved Amish doll with the name Hochstetler on it.  Circumstances in subsequent murders also  seemed to bring the Hochstetler incident into the mix. But are there any other connecting threads?

Kate and her officers, including over seventy Pickles, have to work around the clock to solves theses crimes and harm comes to some.

John Tomasetti is dealt a blow when one of the men responsible for the murders of his wife and daughters is let go-free as a bird.  Tomasetti has to do something, but will it be legal or ethical?

Kate and John have been living together now for about six months and she’s afraid that now that she’s given away her heart John will hurt her.

Great read and I can’t wait for the next one to become available on OverDrive.

 

How to Tame Beasts and Other Wild Things by A. Wilding Wells

Book Description:

Published: April 11, 2016

An artsy young woman, given the impossible task by her estranged father to score her widowed brother-in-law a wife, instead finds love, self-discovery and redemption.

“My name is Matilda Pearl. My life is a non-stop riddle I hope to one day solve.
I’ve learned to protect my heart; fate has dealt me more than a few shit cards in my twenty-two years. Invisibility tops my list, not to mention tragedy.
I was yanked out of a Paris-France life by my ass of a father, and thrown into a one year journey on a farm in Wisconsin. I’ve been assigned the impossible: Wife Catcher.
Simply put, until I replace myself I’m Mary Poppins, the beast tamer, ringmaster of the unruly, complete with twin toddlers and a beast of a man. Ladies and Gentlemen, welcome to my three-ring circus.
“The Beast – Balthazar Cox – is repulsive…as in that sexy, I-just-died-and-went-to-heaven sort of repulsive. He walks the earth like he owns it, with his tatted trunk of a body and chiseled-rough, blazing good looks. The beastly Brit – did I mention that he’s English? – also happens to be my widowed brother-in-law, a man haunted by betrayal and abandonment, and for whom I’m on task to find a wife. If I succeed I’ll be rewarded with my juicy trust fund. And, yes, it will happen. You can keep your diamonds and designer clothes…. With my bag of loot, I plan on becoming the Patron Saint of Lost and Found Animals.

“When the past resurfaces more than once for both of us, all hell breaks loose. Can you be lost and found at once? In other words, sometimes lies can be cathartic. Some people heal us; some of us heal others.
“This is mostly a love story, an unlikely sexy romance with whiplash twists, boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed, and multiple risks of losing everything. It may have more heartache, and drama than some but in the end it’s about truth, discovery and forgiveness. Maybe it was wrong to fall for him. Or maybe the hole in his heart was always waiting for me to fill it. Now there’s a riddle for you.”

Review –

Fantastically quirky with humor for good measure, is how I would describe this book. I can’t tell a lie – I chose to read this book because of the cover and really had no idea what to expect. It made me feel emotion at every turn. I loved it!

Apart from an impossibly sweet and hot romance, there are also moments of absolute hilarity. House trained donkeys, horny bees, foul mouthed parrots, chandeliered chicken coops and a possessed staircase all play a part in this crazy ride. I laughed about as hard as I swooned and I shed a tear about as many times as I had to fan myself. What an absolutely charmingly odd little gem of a book.

Highly recommended!

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Hidden Bodies (You #2) by Caroline Kepnes

Book Description:

Published: February 23, 2016

Joe Goldberg is no stranger to hiding bodies. In the past ten years, this thirty-something has buried four of them, collateral damage in his quest for love. Now he’s heading west to Los Angeles, the city of second chances, determined to put his past behind him.

In Hollywood, Joe blends in effortlessly with the other young upstarts. He eats guac, works in a bookstore, and flirts with a journalist neighbor. But while others seem fixated on their own reflections, Joe can’t stop looking over his shoulder. The problem with hidden bodies is that they don’t always stay that way. They re-emerge, like dark thoughts, multiplying and threatening to destroy what Joe wants most: true love. And when he finds it in a darkened room in  Soho House, he’s more desperate than ever to keep his secrets

Review –

Joe Goldberg is a man you definitely don’t want to add to your list of friends because he may decide he wants to kill you.

In this, the second in the YOU series, Joe has met Amy and fallen head over heals for her and he thinks she feels the same way until one day wakes up and discovers that she has left him and stolen first editions from a book store he runs. She goes to Hollywood to become an actress and Joe, obsessed as ever, follows her with a plan to kill her.

Once there he realizes it will be harder to find Amy than he though so while living his new life in California he meets and “falls in love” with Love, the daughter of a wealthy grocery store chain owning family. He determines that he wants to seriously spend the rest of his life with love and eliminates anyone who gets in his way and hides the bodies, hopefully where they won’t be found. BUT, will Joe be able to elude the authorities and stay a free man or will he trip up and get caught?

You’ll have to read the book to find out.  It is dark and funny at the same time and I can’t wait for the next installment because surely there will be a #3, right, Ms. Kepnes??????

Fantastic read!

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Stirred Up by S.E. Hall and Angela Graham

Book Description:

Published: April 26, 2014

Certain men. Certain professions. Some things are just universally sexy.

But maybe not quite this sexy…

“Lay back for me.”

Review –
Addison and Brady, who is her brother’s best friend,  fight their feelings for each other. They are best friends and never can be more, at least that’s how Addison feels. She’s afraid if the relationship went further and it didn’t work out, it would ruin their perfect, long time friendship.

Brady is constantly pushing for more because he’s had real feelings for her as long as he can remember.
Addison is trying to figure her feelings while having a secret tryst with the handsome Dr. Reynolds, who is an OBGYN and he examines her thoroughly each time she goes to his office.  He wants to take her out in public as in date, but she says she wants to keep it private and will only see him in his office.  Eventually, he tells he does not f**k his patients and refuses to see her at his office. Without  seeing him for a few days she  finally calls in to his office and uses and fake name to get an appointment. When Dr. Reynolds walks in he plays along for a while but then tells her again that he can not carry on with her in his office. So, she bites the bullet and asks him to dinner at her house.

Of course, he comes and after some wine, one thing leads to another and they have sex and Addison makes her move and tells the doctor that she loves him but was afraid it would ruin what they had.  ARE YOU READY FOR IT?  The twist is that Dr. Reynolds and Brady are the same person.  I never saw it coming and it made me smile from ear to ear.

 It’s short and doesn’t take long to read and is well worth your time.
Adult with explicit sex

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Fates and Furies by Lauren Groff

Book Description:

Published: September 15, 2015

Every story has two sides. Every relationship has two perspectives. And sometimes, it turns out, the key to a great marriage is not its truths but its secrets. At the core of this rich, expansive, layered novel, Lauren Groff presents the story of one such marriage over the course of twenty-four years.

At age twenty-two, Lotto and Mathilde are tall, glamorous, madly in love, and destined for greatness. A decade later, their marriage is still the envy of their friends, but with an electric thrill we understand that things are even more complicated and remarkable than they have seemed.

Review –

Five-star-feedback-on-oDesk

I don’t know who they get to write the book “blurbs” but this one doesn’t give you a clue as to the real story of this book.

The book is divided in two parts: The Fates and the Furies. The Fates was Lotto’s story and the Fates was the point of view of Mathilde.  It goes that way because Lotto is the simpler of the two, the grander, the more dramatic — the one whom fate (and the fortune of being born into wealth and privilege) had graced. It goes that way because Mathilde operates behind the scenes and in the shadows, keeps most of the secrets, and all of the worst ones. Because it is Lotto’s version of Mathilde we must see first in order to understand Mathilde’s version of Lotto.

By the end of Fates And Furies, we have seen both sides, maybe even all sides of Lotto and Mathilde. We’ve seen the man and the woman behind the man, borne witness to terrible truths brought forth for spite’s sake and watched a dark turn to furious vengeance when Mathilde (suddenly, but not at all uncharacteristically) goes full Lady MacBeth and scorches the very earth. We know their secrets. We know their fears. We know what they did behind closed doors (and ones just slightly ajar). And yet still we are left with one lingering question.

Whose tale do we believe?   

Fantastic book. A MUST read.

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Maybe Someday(Maybe #1) by Colleen Hoover

Book Description:

Published: March 18, 2014

At twenty-two years old, Sydney is enjoying a great life: She’s in college, working a steady job, in love with her wonderful boyfriend, Hunter, and rooming with her best friend, Tori. But everything changes when she discovers that Hunter is cheating on her—and she’s forced to decide what her next move should be.

Soon, Sydney finds herself captivated by her mysterious and attractive neighbor, Ridge. She can’t take her eyes off him or stop listening to the passionate way he plays his guitar every evening out on his balcony. And there’s something about Sydney that Ridge can’t ignore, either. They soon find themselves needing each other in more ways than one.

A passionate tale of friendship, betrayal, and romance, Maybe Someday will immerse readers in Sydney’s tumultuous world from the very first page.

Review –

I don’t know how the author, Colleen Hoover, does it, but most of her books are true tear-jerkers and this one is THAT, but it’s also heart-wrenching!

You feel for Sydney, knowing that Ridge has a sick girlfriend of five years that he says he will never leave  and always love, and you feel for Ridge, knowing that he does love Maggie with his whole heart and will never leave her but that feelings for Sydney are developing in a way he never thought possible. Their story is a roller coaster of emotions and I cried and cried and almost couldn’t stand it. The pain was so real.

I had the audio version and the narrators were top-notch and made Ridge and Sydney seem completely alive.

I loved this book and I won’t give away  the ONE element of the story that made it an even bigger tear-jerker because I want you to read it or listen to it. You won’t regret it.

(I think I need to check into buying some Kleenex stock!)

Five stars *****

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More (All or Nothing #2) by Lea Griffith

Book Description:

Published: February 10, 2015

Three years ago, Ruthie Copeland ran away from an erotic connection that shook her to the core. Now she realizes that Tobias Edwards is the only man who can give her what she craves. Determined to reignite the dangerous flame between them, Ruthie seeks him out at The Underground—and discovers a changed man. Though Ruthie, blind since childhood, cannot see the scars on Toby’s face that forced him to seal off his heart, her gentle submission eases the pain of her body’s only Master.

Toby stopped feeling after Ruthie left, stopped expecting to find release in meaningless dominance play. Now that Ruthie has taken their dance to the limits of ecstasy, Toby’s lost in a haze of sensation. Yet the enemies that left him disfigured may reappear at any moment. Ruthie’s love gives him the strength to face those who seek to break him, but Toby fears he must leave her to save her life.

More is an erotic romance intended for mature audiences.

Review –

This book was offered as a free e-book and that’s the only reason I chose to read it. Usually when reading a series I start with Number One, but this was the second but it stood on it’s own just fine.

The story was good but not new and it was  predictable. Blind submissive is in love with dark damaged Dom and has to convince him that it’s okay to love her back.  It’s a good read but nothing really special.

Adult

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It’s Not Summer Without You (Summer#2) by Jenny Han

Book Description:

Published: April 27, 2010

Can summer be truly summer without Cousins Beach?

It used to be that Belly counted the days until summer, until she was back at Cousins Beach with Conrad and Jeremiah. But not this year. Not after Susannah got sick again and Conrad stopped caring. Everything that was right and good has fallen apart, leaving Belly wishing summer would never come.
But when Jeremiah calls saying Conrad has disappeared, Belly knows what she must do to make things right again. And it can only happen back at the beach house, the three of them together, the way things used to be. If this summer really and truly is the last summer, it should end the way it started–at Cousins Beach.

Review –

We found out, in the beginning of the second book of the Summer Trilogy, that when Conrad came to pick up Belly in December, they drove to Cousins Beach and stayed in the summer-house overnight, but all they did was kiss (a lot)  and drink hot chocolate. The relationship seemed to slowly  fall apart after that  and then after he took her to the prom in May he broke up with her. Now it is July and Jeremiah calls to say Conrad is missing and he wants Belly to help, so of course she’s going to go and help find Conrad. She packed her bags and tells her best friend Taylor to lie to her mother if she called because she is going to be her alibi. Jeremiah picks her up and then they drive to Brown University and talk to Conrad’s roommate, which is no help so they find another friend to ask  and they find out that he mentioned the beach so they know that he’s going to Cousins Beach so that’s where they go.

Once they get there  Conrad is mad that they came and told them to go right back but of course they don’t. They fight and  argue and Conrad says he still is not coming back. The next morning Belly finds out that Conrad’s father is planning to sell the summer-house and that’s why Conrad is here, not to disappear but to save the house. Conrad’s father says that he definitely is going to sell the house and there’s a lot of yelling and arguing but finally he leaves and they decide that they need to have a party because it’s the last night  in the house on the beach, so they get liquor and beer and pizza and Belly gets drunk and at 4 o’clock in the morning calls her mother and tells her the situation and her mother gets in the car and heads for Cousins Beach.

Once Belly’s mother gets there she tries talking some sense into the boys’ father, but to no avail-BUT finally he concedes and says he will not sell it because he now understands that the boys want to keep it as a way to staying close to their dead mother.

Conrad is still acting indifferent to Belly and her feelings for him. It’s true deep inside he knows he loves her but won’t admit it. Belly is hurt and Jeremiah confesses him feelings for Belly and they kiss and Belly is a bit taken aback at how the kiss makes her feel. It’s not said, but it’s implied that form a relationship because at the end of the book two years have passed and Belly is questioning if she has chosen the right boy.

Can’t wait to read the next book.

Five stars *****

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