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Thursday, September 29, 2022

Book Review: Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan

Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan
Genre: Young Adult Fiction (Paranormal/Thriller/Christian Fiction)
Date Published: May 1, 2012
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Do Right, Fear Nothing.

Sam Hopkins is a good kid who has fallen in with the wrong crowd. Hanging around with car thieves and thugs, Sam knows it’s only a matter of time before he makes one bad decision too many and gets into real trouble.

But one day, Sam sees these thugs harassing an eccentric schoolmate named Jennifer. Finding the courage to face the bullies down, Sam loses a bad set of friends and acquires a very strange new one.

Because Jennifer is not just eccentric. To Sam, she seems downright crazy. She has terrifying hallucinations involving demons, the devil, and death. And here’s the really crazy part: Sam is beginning to suspect that these visions may actually be prophecies’prophecies of something terrible that’s going to happen very soon. Unless he can stop it.

With no one to believe him, with no one to help him, Sam is now all alone in a race against time. Finding the truth before disaster strikes is going to be both crazy and very, very dangerous.

Crazy Dangerous by Andrew Klavan is told primarily from Sam’s point of view. There are a few parts told in Jennifer’s perspective too, which is needed to know how her mind is working and what she’s seeing. I enjoyed both characters equally. I wanted to punch the detective. Seriously, how dense can he be?! Anyhoo... I found that the story was a bit drawn out, especially in the beginning. Once you get past the first half or so, things pick up. It was an interesting and great idea. I loved the psychological/spiritual aspects. Overall, I enjoyed this story, and I'd definitely read more of this author's books.

I tucked my chin into my chest to hide my face. I pushed the cart along the hall, moving as quickly as I could. Sure, I was in disguise, but it wasn’t much of a disguise, was it? I mean, if someone walked by me really fast without paying too much attention, they might not notice anything peculiar. But the second anyone took a closer look at me, I was pretty much toast. A smallish sixteen-year-old kid with his overalls rolled up at the cuffs and sliding down at the sleeves: I must’ve looked like a sixth grader dressed up for Halloween. If I was going to reach Jennifer—if I was going to find out what she’d seen and what she thought was going to happen—I was going to have to do it fast, before anyone spotted me.

Where did I begin to look? I didn’t think there’d be any patients down here in the cellar. The halls were pretty empty. There were no nurses or aides or anything that I could see. Most of the doors were closed, and the few that were open revealed offices, baths, and a furnace room. I figured I had to get upstairs.

Luckily, there were arrows painted on the wall pointing to the elevators. Also luckily, I reached the elevator without bumping into anyone. Even more luckily, no one came by after I pushed the button and stood waiting for the elevator to arrive.

The door opened. The elevator was big, empty. My cart and I both got on. There were only two more floors in the building. I had seen the offices on the first floor, so I guessed that the patients’ rooms would be on the second. I pushed the button for the second floor.That’s when my luck ran out.

Andrew Klavan is the author of such internationally bestselling crime novels as True Crime, filmed by Clint Eastwood, Don’t Say A Word, filmed and starring Michael Douglas and Empire of Lies. Stephen King called him “the most original novelist of crime and suspense since Cornell Woolrich.” He has been nominated for the Mystery Writers of America’s Edgar Award five times and has won twice. He has also won the Thumping Good Read Award from WH Smith and been nominated twice for the Bouchercon’s Anthony. His books have been translated around the world. His most recent work of fiction is the serial fantasy-thriller podcast Another Kingdom, which was on iTune’s list of the top 100 podcasts. It will be published as a novel trilogy in 2019.

Andrew has also written thrillers for young adults, including the bestselling Homelanders series, which follows a heroic teenager’s battle against terrorists. His YA novel If We Survive was nominated for an International Thriller Writers award and his novel Game Over was nominated for Best Inspirational Novel by the publishing trade journal Romantic Times.

To learn more about Andrew Klavan and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Goodreads, FacebookYouTube, and Twitter.

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Wednesday, September 28, 2022

Book Review: The Girls I've Been by Tess Sharpe

The Girls I've Been by Tess Sharpe 
Genre: Young Adult Fiction (Thriller/Mystery)
Date Published: January 26, 2021
Publisher: G.P. Putnam's Sons Books for Young Readers

A slick, twisty YA page-turner about the daughter of a con artist who is taken hostage in a bank heist.

Nora O’Malley’s been a lot of girls. As the daughter of a con-artist who targets criminal men, she grew up as her mother’s protégé. But when mom fell for the mark instead of conning him, Nora pulled the ultimate con: escape.

For five years Nora’s been playing at normal. But she needs to dust off the skills she ditched because she has three problems:

#1: Her ex walked in on her with her girlfriend. Even though they’re all friends, Wes didn’t know about her and Iris.

#2: The morning after Wes finds them kissing, they all have to meet to deposit the fundraiser money they raised at the bank. It’s a nightmare that goes from awkward to deadly, because:

#3: Right after they enter bank, two guys start robbing it.

The bank robbers may be trouble, but Nora’s something else entirely. They have no idea who they’re really holding hostage…

The Girls I've Been by Tess Sharpe is really a book about abuse and survival. Nora is the ultimate survivor, and she's had to become many different girls in order to do so. This isn't a split personality kind of thing. Nora is very aware of the different people she becomes with each con her Mom is working, and by default Nora is forced to work them too. There was a lot of going back and forth between present day and her past, so that made the story drag quite a bit, but it gives you a full view of Nora's life and why she is the way she is. 

I'd seen a headline that this was going to be a Netflix movie, starring Millie Bobby Brown, so I had to check it out.

Chapter 1: August 8, 9:09AM
It was supposed to be twenty minutes.

That’s what I told myself when I woke up that morning. It would be just twenty minutes. We’d meet in the bank parking lot, we’d go in, we’d make the deposit, and it would be awkward, it would be so awkward, but it would be twenty minutes, tops.

I could survive twenty minutes with my ex-boyfriend and new girlfriend. I could handle the awkwardness. I was a freaking champ.

I even got donuts, thinking maybe that would help smooth things over after last night’s make-out interruptus, which I know is downplaying what happened. I get fried dough can’t fix everything, but still. Everyone loves donuts. Especially when they have sprinkles . . . or bacon. Or both. So I get the donuts—and coffee, because Iris is basically a grizzly bear unless she downs some caffeine in the morning—and of course, that makes me late. By the time I pull up to the bank, they’re both already there.

Wes is out of his truck, tall and blond and leaning against the chipped tailgate, the bank envelope with all the cash from last night next to him. Iris is lounging on the hood of her Volvo in her watercolor dress, her curls swinging as she plays with that lighter she found on the railroad tracks. She’s gonna set her brush-out on fire one of these days, I swear to God.

“You’re late” is the first thing Wes says when I get out of my car.

“I brought donuts.” I hand Iris her coffee, and she hops off the hood.


“Can we just get this over with?” he asks. He doesn’t even look at the donuts. My stomach clenches. Are we really back to this? How can we be back to this, after everything?

I press my lips together, trying not to look too annoyed. “Fine.” I put the bakery box back in my car. “Let’s go.” I snatch up the envelope from his tailgate.

The bank’s just opened, so there are only two people ahead of us. Iris fills out the deposit slip, and I stand in line with Wes right behind me.

The line moves as Iris walks over with the slip, taking the envelope from me and tucking it into her purse. She looks warily at Wes, then at me.

I bite my lip. Just a few more minutes.

Iris sighs. “Look,” she says to Wes, propping her hands on her hips. “I understand that the way you found out wasn’t great. But—”

That’s when Iris is interrupted.

But not by Wes.

No, Iris gets interrupted by the guy in front of us. Because the guy in front of us? He chooses that moment to pull out a gun and start robbing the freaking bank.The first thing I think is Shit! The second thing I think is Get down. And the third thing I think is We’re all gonna die because I waited for the bacon donuts.


Born in a mountain cabin to a punk rocker mother, Tess Sharpe grew up in rural California. She lives deep in the backwoods with a pack of dogs and a growing cabal of slightly feral cats.

To learn more about Tess Sharpe and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, and Twitter.

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Monday, September 26, 2022

Book Review: The Girl the Sea Gave Back by Adrienne Young

The Girl the Sea Gave Back (Sky in the Deep #2) by Adrienne Young
Genre: Young Adult Fiction (Fantasy/Historical/Romance)
Date Published: September 3, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books

The new gut-wrenching epic from the New York Times bestselling author of Sky in the Deep.

For as long as she can remember, Tova has lived among the Svell, the people who found her washed ashore as a child and use her for her gift as a Truthtongue. Her own home and clan are long-faded memories, but the sacred symbols and staves inked over every inch of her skin mark her as one who can cast the rune stones and see into the future. She has found a fragile place among those who fear her, but when two clans to the east bury their age-old blood feud and join together as one, her world is dangerously close to collapse.

For the first time in generations, the leaders of the Svell are divided. Should they maintain peace or go to war with the allied clans to protect their newfound power? And when their chieftain looks to Tova to cast the stones, she sets into motion a series of events that will not only change the landscape of the mainland forever but will give her something she believed she could never have again—a home.

The Girl the Sea Gave Back is the second book in the Sky and Sea duology by Adrienne Young. This one didn’t captivate me the way the first book did. I hate to say that, because Tova has such an interesting story and history. She carried this book. But, the other characters with their weird names all blended into one another. It was a bit frustrating because there wasn’t much to set them apart from one another. I got them all mixed up through the whole book. I enjoyed getting to see some of the characters from the first book though. I just wish the new characters were fleshed out more. 

Have you read the first book?

Adrienne Young is the New York Times, USA Today, and Indie list bestselling author of Sky in the Deep, The Girl the Sea Gave Back, Fable, Namesake, The Last Legacy, and the forthcoming Spells for Forgetting. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, sipping wine over long dinners or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.

To learn more about Adrienne Young and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Goodreads and Instagram.

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Sunday, September 25, 2022

Book Review! I Let You Fall by Sara Downing

I Let You Fall by Sara Downing
Genre: Adult Fiction (Paranormal Romance)
Date Published: June 20, 2022
Publisher: Quilla Books

On a summer night in London, art teacher Eve Chapman finds herself in a hospital emergency room. She watches surgeons desperately operate on a young woman with a terrible head injury. But when the bandages are removed, Eve is horrified to find her own body on the operating table.

Trapped in a coma, Eve struggles to cope with the fact that no matter how hard she tries, her family and friends cannot see or hear her. But then she meets Luca Diaz, a handsome and comatose lawyer who can see her. He takes Eve under his wing and teaches her how to use her new abilities to help the living.

As the weeks pass, Eve struggles to find a way back to her body and to Nathan, the man she loves. But the more time she spends with Luca, the more she wonders if her old life is worth going back to at all.

I Let You Fall by Sara Downing is a story about Eve, who finds herself in a coma at the hospital. No one can see or hear her, until she finds someone like her and he teaches her the ropes. It was an interesting look at what might go on when coma patients are seemingly unaware. It’s a nice idea. I still don’t understand the two consciousnesses that are unaware of each other. One is stuck to her body and one isn’t. I really hoped that would have been explained. I understand one is what is keeping her tied to her body, but they are both individually conscious apart from one another, and that didn’t make sense to me. It was an interesting story though.

The ARC of I Let You Fall by Sara Downing was kindly provided to me by the publisher for review. The opinions are my own.

Sara Downing is the author of the popular Head Over Heels contemporary romance series, plus a further romance, Stage Fright, and a historical novel, Urban Venus.

In 2016, Sara published The Lost Boy, her first foray into the world of the supernatural. Her latest novel, I Let You Fall, is now on pre-order and will be available from June 20, 2022.

Sara lives in rural Worcestershire with her husband, three almost grown-up children, a Labrador and a cat. Before children she was a Chartered Accountant, but always knew her dream career lay elsewhere. She started writing in 2009 and hasn't since yearned to return to the world of accountancy.

To learn more about Sara Downing and her books, visit her website. You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr, BookBub, YouTube, Pinterest, and Twitter.

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Saturday, September 24, 2022

Book Review! Hunger by Alexis Calder

Hunger (Royal Blood #2) by Alexis Calder
Genre: New Adult Fiction (Paranormal/Fantasy Romance)
Date Published: August 23, 2022
Publisher: Self

Why can’t I stay away from the Vampire King?

I thought if I kept my head down and ignored the supernatural drama, I’d make it to the solstice and finally get free of Lost Harbor.

Instead, the dead vampires were just the beginning.

Something even worse has come to town and I’m forced to choose between the life I think I want and the male who has my heart.

Any choice I make feels like the wrong one.

This is book 2 of the Royal Blood Series. It is not a standalone. This book contains violence, steam, and mature themes.

Hunger is the second book in the Royal Blood Trilogy by Alexis Caulder. This on is a little different from the past series I’ve read by this author. That’s not a bad thing. Where I have little faith in the humanity of so many characters in the past series’. This trilogy offers a little hope  for characters I wouldn’t normally trust. Plus, there’s characters have some depth and a story behind them. Isla has a history she never imagined. I loved learning it all with her. The romance was nice, but it wasn’t the only thing to carry this story. There’s a lot going on here. I think this is supposed to be a trilogy, but this book seemed to wrap things up nicely. So, we’ll see. I’m always up for more by this author.--

The ARC of Hunger by Alexis Calder was kindly provided to me by Book Sprout for review. The opinions are my own.
Have you read the first book in this series?

Check out my reviews of other series by this author!

Alexis Calder writes sassy heroines and sexy heroes with a sprinkle of sarcasm. She lives in the Rockies and drinks far too much coffee and just the right amount of wine.

To learn more about Alexis Calder and her books, visit her on GoodreadsFacebookFacebook Reader GroupTwitter, and BookBub.

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Book Review! Obsession by Alexis Calder

Obsession (Royal Blood #1) by Alexis Calder
Genre: New Adult Fiction (Paranormal/Fantasy Romance)
Date Published: May 31, 2022
Publisher: Self

I hate everything about the Vampire King. So why did I let him have a taste?

A momentary lapse of judgment in a coat closet leads me into the arms of the smoking hot Vampire King. In my defense, I didn’t know it was him. He’s not allowed in shifter territory and I’m not allowed near him. As a human living in a supernatural city, I’m near powerless around these monsters. The shifters protect me because they own me. Which means, I have to follow their rules.

If anyone finds out what I did, I’m screwed. Again. You know what I mean.

Nobody can know what happened, but the king isn’t going to let me forget. The Vampire King doesn’t like to be told no and for my rejection, he’s determined to make me pay.

Now I’m stuck in the middle between the shifters and the vampires. To the Vampire King, it’s a game; but it could cost me my life.

Obsession is book one in a dark, steamy, hate to love vampire romance trilogy. If you like dangerous monsters who take what they want, this book is for you. There are no good guys in this story. Mind the cliff. 17+ for dark themes, steam, and violence

Obsession is the first book in the Royal Blood series by Alexis Caulder. This story is told primarily from Isla's point of view, with a couple chapters told from Dante. Isla is a lowly human trapped in a supernatural world. Humans are basically disposable in the Crescent pack, and unless you've caught the eye of the Alpha's son, you're not safe as a human. Now it seems, vampires aren't safe either as they are being killed in gruesome ways. So, with Obsession, you have a steamy enemies to lovers romance, mysterious murders, and a plot that's detailed and both interesting and intricately woven in a way that pulls you right into their World.

Have you read the next book in this trilogy yet?

Check out my reviews of other series by this author!

Alexis Calder writes sassy heroines and sexy heroes with a sprinkle of sarcasm. She lives in the Rockies and drinks far too much coffee and just the right amount of wine.

To learn more about Alexis Calder and her books, visit her on GoodreadsFacebookFacebook Reader GroupTwitter, and BookBub.

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