Review: Indelible by Peter Helton

Indelible

Chris Honeysett agrees to do an exhibition at the prestigious Bath Arts Academy together with several other artists to celebrate the Academy’s thirtieth-year anniversary. Shortly after arriving at the Academy, and against his better judgement, he takes on a position as a tutor. Several peculiar incidents start to happen leading to the death of one of his fellows and Honeysett being framed for murder.

Indelible is a mystery novel by Peter Helton. It is the sixth book in the Chris Honeysett series. My local librarian recommended me this title after an afternoon chat about my love for Agatha Christie. The front cover of the book even describes the characters of this book as Agatha Christie-like. But were they really? I’m not so sure. They were extremely quirky and the general feeling of the book reminded me very much of Christie’s novels, but what I really liked about this book was the amount of humor it contained.

Chris Honeysett is a great character! He is both a painter and a private detective with a self-deprecating sense of humor. He is probably a better painter than a PI, but his dialogues are pretty funny. There is also a significant amount of information about art and painting. The author has a fine arts degree and he uses that knowledge very well in composing the story. The end did not disappoint, but I found the early chapters were a bit too slow for my taste, and it took me a while to get into this book.

3 star

Book Details:

Title: Indelible/Author: Peter Helton/Genre: Mystery / ISBN:9780727884237/Publisher: Severn House Publishers/Rating: 3-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Review: Sight (The Delta Girls-Book 1) By Juliet Madison

Sight

When Savannah wakes up after two months in the hospital, she sees a whole lot more than expected, things that could put those close to her at risk.

Three months after being discharged from the hospital, Savannah Delcarta and her family start a new life in the town of Iris Harbor. The change is difficult at first, but Savanna and her four sisters share a lot more than sisterhood and friendship in common. All five sisters have paranormal abilities. Savannah has the gift of sight, Serena the gift of sound, Sasha the gift of scent, Tamara the gift of taste and Talia the gift of touch. When the sisters get together and hold hands, they are able to predict the future using one of those senses.

When a serial arsonist terrorizes Iris Harbor, the Delcarta sisters rely on their senses to find out who is behind the mysterious fires.

This is book one of the Delta Girls series and I absolutely LOVED it! The story is awesome! Savannah is sassy and kind and the plot is well-developed. I really had a great time reading it. It was a nice, enjoyable afternoon read. I liked that there was the right amount of adventure, romance and suspense weaved in the story. Because this is book one, not all the characters were as developed as Savannah, but we get an introduction to her sisters and mother as well. I’m definitely looking forward to the other books in the series, and to learn more about the Delcarta sisters.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on July 14, 2015.

5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Book Details:

Title: Sight (The Delta Girls-Book 1) /Author: Juliet Madison/Genre:Paranormal/YA / ISBN: 978162681550-6/Publisher: Diversion Books/Rating: 4-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Review: Constant Fear By Daniel Palmer

Constant Fear

In Daniel Palmer’s electrifying, brilliantly plotted new thriller, a private school campus becomes a battleground as a desperate father takes on a terrifying enemy….

Jake Dent lives with his diabetic teenage son Andy in the town of Winston, MA. Andy is a computer geek and part of the Shire–a group of hacker kids who steal money from rich people’s bank accounts to give to charity. It’s all nice and fun until the kids hack a drug cartel’s bank account and steal millions of dollars. When the drug dealers stage a chemical spill at the school and take the children hostage; Jake an ex-baseball player turned Rambo, goes on a race against time to save his son and the rest of the kids.

I really enjoyed Daniel Palmer’s new thriller Constant Fear. I wouldn’t call it a page-turner, but it certainly kept me interested. The story is really well-written and the book has a great premise. The characters were well developed, but I found some of the chapters with descriptions of the guns and ammo to be a little too long and boring. Overall, I definitely recommend this thriller.

I’d like to thank NetGalley for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on May 26, 2015.

3 star

Book Details:

Title: Constant Fear/Author: Daniel Palmer/Pages: 416/Genre: Thriller/ ISBN: 9780758293466/Publisher: Kensington/Rating: 3-Stars/Read: May, 2015.

Review: The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Arnim

The Enchanted April

Title: The Enchanted April

Author: Elizabeth von Arnim

Pages: 222

Genre: Fiction/Classics

ISBN: 9780143107736

Publisher: Penguin Classics

Rating: 4-Stars

Read: May, 2015

Four very different women take up an offer advertised in the Times for a “small medieval Italian Castle on the shores of the Mediterranean to be let furnished for the month of April.” As each blossoms in the warmth of the Italian spring, quite unexpected changes occur.

This is a lovely book by Elizabeth von Arnim! Four women decide to leave their dreary lives in London and rent a villa in Italy. A delightful afternoon read, and a great homage to friendship and most importantly, the power of traveling and how transformative it can be in our lives. I love Arnim’s descriptions of the landscape, the scenery and the flowers. I love flowers and I could almost smell them on the pages of this book. My only complaint, and the reason I didn’t rate this book 5 stars was the husbands’ part in the story (without giving too much away). I would’ve let them out completely and glorified the power of female friendship. Overall, a fantastic read.

I received an early copy of this book for free from Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest review. The new edition of this book is scheduled to be published on June 2, 2015.

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5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Review: Broken Promise by Linwood Barclay

Broken+Promise

Title: Broken Promise: A Thriller

Author: Linwood Barclay

Pages: 488

Genre: Crime/Thriller

ISBN: 9780451472670

Publisher: NAL

Rating: 4-Stars

Read: May 2015

After his wife’s death and the collapse of his newspaper, David Harwood has no choice but to uproot his nine-year-old son and move back into his childhood home in Promise Falls, New York. David believes his life is in free fall, and he can’t find a way to stop his descent…

David Harwood is a widowed father who moves back to his hometown of Promise Falls, NY with his young son Ethan. Life is at its low for David, he loses his job at a local newspaper shortly after moving back and has to move in back with his parents. When David’s mother asks him to take some food to a nearby cousin, he finds out that his cousin Marla is raising a baby. The problem is that Marla does not have a child. David starts to snoop around to try to get to the bottom of the story, and hopefully find the actual mother of the baby. When he learns that the mother of the baby has been murdered, he starts his own investigations, leaning on his experience as a reporter, to find out what happened and what role–if any, his cousin played in the crime.

Linwood Barclay is indeed a master of suspense. Broken Promise was a delight to read. A real page turner. I love the way Barclay developed his characters! The plot was very well written, full of twists and unexpected events. A fantastic thriller! My only complaint was the fact that although the ending was really good, there were a few loose ends that were not explained. I’m hoping there will be a sequel. Overall, it is a great read for fans of this genre.

I received an early copy of this book for free from Penguin Random House in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published on July 28, 2015.

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5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Review: The Husband’s Secret by Liane Moriarty

The husband's secret

Title: The Husband’s Secret

Author: Liane Moriarty

Pages: 394

Genre: Fiction

ISBN: 9780399159343

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons 

Rating: 3-Stars

Read: May 2015–I own a copy

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive.

Cecilia Fitzpatrick is a successful business woman and a devoted mother and wife who someday, accidentally, stumbles upon her husband’s letter addressed to her.

“For my wife, Cecilia Fitzpatrick
To be opened only in the event of my death”

And just like Pandora’s box, once the letter is opened we are immersed in a tale of secrets and the repercussion of those secrets in our lives.

The Husband’s Secret is Liane Moriarty’s fifth of six novels. What I absolutely love about Moriarty’s books is her writing style. I love her voice! I love the way she develops her characters and the characters’ dialogues; the twists and turns, and her ability to weave in a bit of humor even in the most serious and sad parts of her books. Moriarty is excellent at writing about everyday life with its secrets, betrayals, heartbreaks and illusions. In that sense the author did not disappoint– but having read Big Little Lies (her latest novel) first, I feel I was a little bit spoiled and expected so much more from this novel. I found the subject of the letter a bit predictable and the ending left me wanting a lot more.

Overall, this is another wonderful book by an author who is quickly becoming another favorite of mine.

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5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Review: What You Left Behind by Samantha Hays

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Title: What You Left Behind

Author: Samantha Hayes

Pages: 309

Genre: Crime/Thriller

ISBN: 9780804136921

Publisher: Crown Publishers

Rating: 3-Stars

Read: May 2015

Two years after a terrifying spate of teenage suicides, the remote village of Radcote has just begun to heal. Then a young man is killed in a freak motorcycle accident and a suicide note is found among his belongings. When a second boy is found dead shortly thereafter, the nightmare of repeat suicides once again threatens the community.

This is the second installment of the Detective Inspector Lorraine Fischer’s series. I haven’t read the first book, but I was able to read this story as a standalone. The book begins with D.I. Lorraine Fischer’s visit to her sister Jo in the remote village of Radcote, where a series of apparent teenage suicides are happening. Lorraine soon learns that there is more to this vacation than it meets the eyes. She arrives in town with her daughter Stella to find her sister Jo having an extra-marital affair, and her nephew Freddie acting moody and withdrawn. When another teen suicide happens shortly after Lorraine’s arrival, the detective can’t help but start her investigation into what is happening in Radcote.

What You Left Behind is one of those books with a fantastic premise, but gets lost somehow half-way into the story. There were too many subplots and red herrings. The characters were a bit dull, the dialogue was boring and clunky, and although towards the end the novel perks back up leading to a surprising finale–overall this book didn’t do it for me.

I received this book for free from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review.

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3 star

Review: Landfall by Ellen Urbani

Landfall-CoverTitle: Landfall

Author: Ellen Urbani

Pages: 304

Genre: Contemporary Historical Fiction

ISBN: 9780988265776

Publisher: Forest Avenue Press

Rating: 4-stars

Read: May 2015

In a car laden with supplies intended for hurricane victims, Rose and her mother catapult off the road onto the shoals of the Black Warrior River in Alabama, killing an unidentified storm survivor. To escape the scene, Rose, orphaned by the crash, laces the dead girl’s sneakers onto her own feet and cannot bring herself to take them off. When she learns she shares not only shoes but a name and a birth year with the Jane Doe, Rose embarks upon a guilt-assuaging odyssey to retrace the girl’s last steps…

Ellen Urbani’s second novel Landfall is a beautifully written tale of two girls, their mothers, and the aftermath of hurricane Katrina. The book is written from the  alternating perspective of these two teenagers, Rose and Rosebud (Rosy), who share the same name and birth year. The book describes how their destinies merge, and develops into a surprising twist and unexpected ending.

At first I wasn’t sure I was going to like this book, but Urbani’s writing is gorgeous, her voice is convincing, and the characters are well developed. I really liked the way the author researched the events that took place after hurricane Katrina, and how she was able to weave those details in the story. After finding out the author came from a healthcare background, I understood why she took her time describing with great details the passages at the Superdome and the events at the Crescent City Connection Bridge.

The story is not necessarily a happy one, but I definitely recommend this book for its fascinating historical accuracy, beautiful vernacular, and rich and well-developed characters.

I’d like to thank Edelweiss for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. This book is scheduled to be published in August 2015.

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5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Review: Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Ari Dante Cover

Title: Aristotle and Dante Discover The Secrets of the Universe by Benjamin Alire Saenz

Author: Benjamin Alire Saenz

Pages: 368

Genre: YA

ISBN: 9781442408920

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers 

Rating: 4-Stars

Dante can swim. Ari can’t. Dante is articulate and self-assured. Ari has a hard time with words and suffers from self-doubt. Dante gets lost in poetry and art. Ari gets lost in thoughts of his older brother who is in prison. Dante is fair skinned. Ari’s features are much darker. It seems that a boy like Dante, with his open and unique perspective on life, would be the last person to break down the walls that Ari has built around himself.

But against all odds, when Ari and Dante meet, they develop a special bond that will teach them the most important truths of their lives, and help define the people they want to be. But there are big hurdles in their way, and only by believing in each other―and the power of their friendship―can Ari and Dante emerge stronger on the other side.

I decided to read this novel after I joined Caught Read Handed’s Blogger’s Book Club. This was the novel featured for the month of May, and I’m so glad that I decided to join that book club.

Quite often I start reading a book without ever reading previous reviews, and many times I don’t read the book jacket—If a book has a good title and a good cover, then I’m bound to give that book a try. So, this was the case of Aristotle and Dante Discover the Secrets of the Universe. Not only this book has an interesting title, but it also has a great cover to go with it.

This is such a beautifully written novel by Benjamin Alire Saenz, and it completely took me by surprise. Saenz prose is magical! This book was such a pleasure to read, and I loved the two characters—Ari and Dante. A coming-of-age story with a twist; The author captured the angst and despair of a fifteen-year-old in a simple, but by no means simplistic way.

I loved how he tackled the topics of sexuality and puberty, and how he questioned traditional roles without making it too dense. In fact, this is a beautiful story of love, friendship, acceptance and discovery.

“The problem with my life is that it was someone else’s idea.”

I definitely recommend this book to pretty much anyone with an open mind.

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5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

Review: Storm Rising by Rachael Richey

Storm RisisngTitle: Storm Rising (NightHawk Series)

Author: Rachael Richey

Pages: 288 (Kindle format)

Genre: Romance

ISBN:9781628307665

Publisher: Wild Rose Publishing

Rating: 4-Stars

Read: April 2015

Frontman of the grunge rock band NightHawk, Gideon Hawk has had enough of the rock star life. He is jaded, disillusioned, and haunted by the memory of an unresolved heartbreak…

The book starts with Abigail Thomson (Abi) attending the funeral of her mother, and from then on you get a sense that something really bad happened in Abi’s life to explain her troubled relationship with her father and her estranged mother. While at her parents’ house, Abi makes a discovery that will lead to a series of life-events and twists changing the course of Abi’s life forever.

Gideon Hawk is this 29-year-old sexy rock star who is just about done with the fame and limelight of his rock star life. After declaring he is leaving his band–while on tour in the U.S.–Gideon flies back to England in hopes to reconnect with Abi and somehow bring some resolution to an unresolved heartbreak that separated them ten years earlier.

This is Rachael Richey’s first novel in the NightHawk Series. I really liked the way Richey weaved romance with a rock star twist. I was a huge Grunge music fan, and reading this novel brought back lots of memories of being a teenager and dreaming of rock stars. I have to say that it took me a few chapters to get into this book, but then—oh! Was I hooked? I read this book in one sitting, and I LOVED it. I’m looking forward to the next books in this series.

I’d like to thank the author for providing me with a free copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.

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5_Star_Rating_System_4_stars

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