Review: What’s Become of Her by Deb Caletti

What’s Become of Her by Deb Caletti
Series: Standalone
Publication Date: April 18th 2017
Links: Ebook • PaperbackHardcover • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

From National Book Award finalist Deb Caletti comes an emotionally riveting story of a woman falling for a man who may be hiding a dangerous secret—perfect for readers of Jodi Picoult and Kristin Hannah.

“Guilty people keep secrets.”

Isabelle Austen returns to her hometown on a small, isolated Pacific Northwest island to take over the family tourism business after the death of her mother, a disapproving parent and a hard woman to love. Feeling lost, Isabelle is also struggling with a recent divorce and wondering if she’ll ever come into her own. Then her life takes a surprising turn: The mysterious Henry North arrives on Parrish Island, steps off a seaplane, and changes Isabelle’s world forever. From the beginning, their relationship is heady and intense—then Isabelle learns of Henry’s disturbing past, involving the death of a fiancée and the disappearance of a wife. Suddenly Isabelle is caught between love and suspicion, paranoia and passion, as she searches for the truth she may not want to find—and is swept into a dangerous game she may not survive.

I used to read Deb Caletti’s YA contemporaries back in middle/high school, so when I heard she was releasing a suspense/thriller, I was intrigued enough to read it. It’s not my favorite genre, but I thought I’d give it a try to see how the author would play it out.

Isabelle Austen returns to her hometown on Parrish Island, only to take over the family tourism business because her mother recently passed away. Struggling to recover from her recent divorce, Isabelle is lost and vulnerable. It’s at this point that she meets a tourist, Henry, who begins to spend time with her and ask her out. She’s attracted to him and falls easily for him, but when a friend investigates Henry’s past and finds a dead fianceé and a dead wife, both who died of mysterious circumstances, Isabelle has to wonder if she should be afraid.

She finds out that Henry is not who she thinks he is… which causes her to make poor decisions while she’s wrapped in her paranoia and confusion. Thanks to her bad decisions, the suspense is both mysterious and frustrating, but it definitely kept me hooked and flipping the pages.

I was perplexed and intrigued by Isabelle’s character – I kept wondering why she stayed with Henry when everyone else tried to warn her off. Her decisions make her a flawed, frustrating, but addicting character. I found myself still rooting for her even when I didn’t agree with what she did.

This book is full of mystery and unanswered questions. I’m still not sure what to make of it, but it definitely succeeded in the mystery/suspense aspect. I’m excited to see if Deb Caletti will be writing more thrillers!


lacey


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Audiobook Review: Marrow by Tarryn Fisher

Marrow by Tarryn Fisher
Series: Standalone
Audiobook Publication Date: September 6th 2016
Length: 10 hours and 7 minutes
Narrated by: Audra Pagano
Links: Audible • Ebook • Paperback • Goodreads
Source: I received an audiobook in exchange for an honest review

In the Bone there is a house. In the house there is a girl. In the girl there is a darkness.

Margo is not like other girls. She lives in a derelict neighborhood called the Bone, in a cursed house, with her cursed mother, who hasn’t spoken to her in over two years. She lives her days feeling invisible. It’s not until she develops a friendship with her wheelchair-bound neighbor, Judah Grant, that things begin to change.

When a neighborhood girl, seven-year-old Neveah Anthony, goes missing, Judah sets out to help Margo uncover what happened to her. What Margo finds changes her, and with a new perspective on life she’s determined to find evil and punish it – targeting rapists and child molesters one by one. But hunting evil is dangerous, and Margo risks losing everything, including her own soul.

I honestly don’t know what to make of Marrow. This was my first Tarryn Fisher book and, well, to say it’s a little weird would be an understatement. It’s dark, twisty, disturbing – Marrow is not for the faint of heart. But if you’re ready to dive into a psychological thriller that will have you on the edge of your seat, this audiobook is for you. And if you’re a fan of Tarryn Fisher’s, I’m sure you’re used to her disturbing stories, so Marrow probably won’t be a disappointment!

Margo has lived her whole life in the Bone. The Bone is where the poor, the addicts, the hopeless reside. Margo herself is one of the hopeless, waiting for her mother to acknowledge her and knowing she never will. But one day Margo strikes a conversation with her handicapped neighbor, Judah, and when they start to form a relationship, things start to look up for her… until a seven-year-old girl goes missing, and Margo is determined to find out the culprit. And when she does, let’s just say Margo has her own form of justice. She becomes a vigilante, dealing out justice against those who deserve it… or do they?

The fascinating thing about Marrow is that sometime during the second half of the story, you don’t really know what is reality and what is not. Things are kind of all over the place and you’re left feeling pretty confused. I’m still not sure what to make of the story, though I do applaud the author for this wild trip of a thriller. I didn’t LOVE the story, but it was intriguing enough to keep me listening and wanting to know more. The narrator has an awkward, young adult feel to her, which fit Margo’s voice perfectly. At first I wasn’t a fan of the narration, but as I listened on and got to know the heroine better, I realized it was a perfect match. So audiobook-wise, it was a great listen, but the story just wasn’t exactly for me.

MARROW is now available on Audible: http://amzn.to/2d1EUML

3 hearts
lacey


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Early Review: Outside the Lines by Lisa Desrochers

Outside the Lines by Lisa Desrochers

Outside the Lines by Lisa Desrochers
Series: On the Run #1 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: January 19th 2016
Links: Ebook • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

As the oldest son of a Chicago crime lord, Robert Delgado always knew how dangerous life could be. With his mother dead and his father in prison, he’s taking charge of his family’s safety—putting himself and his siblings in witness protection to hide out in a backwater Florida town.

Fourth grade teacher Adri Wilson is worried about the new boy in her class. Sherm is quiet and evasive, especially when he’s around his even cagier older brother. Adri can’t help her attraction to Rob, or the urge to help them both in whatever way she can.

But the Delgados have enemies on two sides of the mob—their father’s former crew and the rival family he helped take down. It’s only a matter of time before someone finds them. And if Rob isn’t careful, Adri could end up in the crossfire…

I was a huge fan of Lisa Desrochers’ A Little Too Far series, so when I heard she was writing a new series, I couldn’t wait to read it! Outside the Lines is the first book in the On the Run series, and even though I didn’t fully love it, it’s an entertaining read with lots of potential for the series to get better. After the slow beginning, I found myself liking the book much better once the story picked up and I became invested in Rob and Adri’s romance. If you like your romances sweet but slow, with a little mafia thrown in, then Outside the Lines is for you.

Rob Delgado and his four younger siblings are on the run. With their father, a Chicago crime lord, locked up in prison, and enemies out to get them, Rob had to get his family away from Chicago. Under the Witness Protection program, they’ve moved to Port St. Mary, Florida and are now known as the Davidsons. It’s a small town for them to lie low in, at least until Rob can get back to Chicago and destroy his enemies. What he doesn’t expect is to fall for his youngest brother’s fourth grade teacher, Adri, who is sweet, pure, innocent… and has no idea who he really is.

“You are so fucking beautiful in every way, and all I can do is ruin you,” he finally says, his voice a raw wound. “I will ruin you, Adri, and then I’ll leave. You deserve so much better than that.”

Adri Wilson is concerned about her new student and grows to care for him… and his older brother. She finds herself captivated by the enigma that is Rob Davidson. But when things don’t add up about their family, Adri is determined to find out what the Davidsons are hiding. Along the way, she finds herself falling for Rob, even when he pushes her away. There’s a bit of back and forth between them, but the chemistry between them is hot, so even though it took a while for their relationship to move forward, I was invested in their romance.

“I don’t deserve your love, but I’m going to do everything in my power to earn it every single day for the rest of my life.”

I liked this book. It’s well-written, the characters were interesting and likable… but the beginning dragged. It took a while to become fully immersed in the story, so that took a little away from my enjoyment. But by the halfway mark I was more than invested in the story and the heart-warming romance. This book is a promising start to the On the Run series, and I’m definitely looking forward to the rest of the Delgado siblings’ stories.

3.5 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: On the Run series

Outside the Lines by Lisa Desrochers Over the Line by Lisa Desrochers

#1 ~ Outside the Lines: Ebook • Goodreads
#2 ~ Over the Line: My Review • EbookGoodreads


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Release Day Review: Darkest Before Dawn by Maya Banks

Darkest Before Dawn by Maya Banks

Darkest Before Dawn by Maya Banks
Series: KGI #10 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 27th 2015
Links: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The Kelly Group International (KGI): A super-elite, top secret, family-run business.
Qualifications: High intelligence, rock-hard body, military background.
Mission: Hostage/kidnap victim recovery. Intelligence gathering. Handling jobs the U.S. government can’t…

The enigmatic Hancock has been both opponent and ally to the KGI teams for as long as they’ve known him. Always working a deep game, Hancock’s true allegiance has never been apparent, but one thing is for certain—he never lets anything get in the way of duty.

But now, his absolute belief in the primacy of his ultimate goal is challenged by a captive he’s been ordered to guard, no matter how much she suffers in her prison. She’s the only woman who’s ever managed to penetrate the rigid walls surrounding his icy heart, but will he allow his perplexing feelings for the beautiful victim to destroy a mission he’s spent years working to complete or will he be forced to sacrifice her for “the greater good.”

This is my first KGI book, though it’s not my first Maya Banks read. I was previously a big fan of the books I have read from her, so I was excited to read Darkest Before Dawn, and plus, I love a good romantic suspense. It wasn’t too difficult to get into this book, given that I haven’t read any of the other KGI books, but unfortunately, what prevented me from fully enjoying this was the insane amount of repetition. The premise of Darkest Before Dawn had great potential, but I would’ve enjoyed this book so much more if a ton of the narrative had been cut shorter.

Honor Cambridge is on the run from a terrorist organization out to kill her, trying to survive one day at a time in the Middle East. She’s a headstrong, fierce, honorable woman who’s been through so much yet still keeps her head held high. She’s close to freedom until Hancock intercepts her journey – she believes he’s there to save her, but little does she know that she’s a pawn on his chessboard.

Hancock is a mercenary – deadly, cold, unfeeling, and loyal to his duty to a fault. He and his men do things that no one else wants to do in order to help the ‘greater good’. Unfortunately, when that means sacrificing a sole person for the greater good, then that’s what he must do. Hancock’s objective is to take down Maksimov, an evil man who’s killed thousands of people, and the only way to get access to Maksimov is through Honor. So Hancock sets it up so that she believes he’s taking her to freedom, when in fact he’s leading her something worse than death. But what happens when he grows to care for his captive, and wants to make a life with her?

While I really enjoyed Honor’s character, Hancock was a miss for me. I got annoyed when he kept going on and on about the ‘greater good’ and trying to reason with himself that what he was doing to Honor would be worth it. Honor was the main reason I was able to keep reading, though the repetition of everything got old fast. I found myself skimming chunks of the book to get to the dialogue, because all the unnecessary details were just too boring.

I really wish this book could’ve been shortened, because I did enjoy the action and suspense. I liked the way the romance played out, that it wasn’t too rushed or too fast. Darkest Before Dawn was mainly an okay read – I wish I could’ve loved it more, but it was just too wordy for my taste.

3 hearts
lacey


Reading Order: KGI series

  
  
  
 Darkest Before Dawn by Maya Banks

#1 ~ The Darkest Hour: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ No Place to Run: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#3 ~ Hidden Away: Ebook • Paperback • AudibleGoodreads
#4 ~ Whispers in the Dark: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#5 ~  Echoes at Dawn: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#5.5 ~ Softly at Sunrise: Ebook • AudibleGoodreads
#6 ~ Shades of Gray: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#7 ~ Forged in Steel: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#8 ~ After the Storm: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#9 ~ When Day Breaks: EbookPaperbackAudibleGoodreads
#10 ~ Darkest Before Dawn: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads


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Early Review: Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker

Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker

Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker
Series: Burying Water #4 (full reading order below)
Publication Date: October 27th 2015
Links: EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
Source: I received an ARC from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

The USA TODAY bestselling author of the Ten Tiny Breaths series and Burying Water—which Kirkus Reviews called “a sexy, romantic, gangster-tinged page-turner”—returns with a new novel packed with romance, plot twists, and psychological suspense.

Ivy Lee, a talented tattoo artist who spent the early part of her twenties on the move, is looking for a place to call home. She thinks she might have finally found it working in her uncle’s tattoo shop in San Francisco. But all that changes when a robbery turns deadly, compelling her to pack up her things yet again.

When they need the best, they call him. That’s why Sebastian Riker is back in California, cleaning up the mess made after a tattoo shop owner with a penchant for blackmail got himself shot. But it’s impossible to get the answers he needs from a dead body, leaving him to look elsewhere. Namely, to the twenty-something-year-old niece who believes this was a random attack. Who needs to keep believing that until Sebastian finds what he’s searching for.

Ivy has one foot out of San Francisco when a chance encounter with a stranger stalls her departure. She’s always been drawn to intense men, so it’s no wonder that she now finds a reason to stay after all, quickly intoxicated by his dark smile, his intimidating strength, and his quiet control.

That is, until Ivy discovers that their encounter was no accident—and that their attraction could be her undoing.

I’m such a big fan of K.A. Tucker’s Burying Water series, because each book I’ve read I have enjoyed so much. Surviving Ice is another solid, entertaining addition to the series – I think it might be my new favorite! I highly enjoyed Ivy and Sebastian characters, who are much different than the series’ previous characters. They are unique and refreshing, and I was addicted to their story from the start. Fans of the series won’t want to miss this intense, romantic tale between an edgy tattoo artist and a former Navy SEAL with a secret.

Ivy is a nomad at heart, never able to settle in one place for long. But for now, she’s in San Francisco, where her beloved uncle lives with his tattoo shop. She’s actually thinking about staying in SF for longer than the norm, until her uncle gets murdered – and she’s the only witness. In between having to deal with her grief and the tattoo shop that now belongs to her, she unknowingly becomes a target to a dangerous organization who wants to take her out.

I would become a reaper of sorts, delivering an end to those who needed it.
Without medals, without fanfare, but with quiet honor.

I kind of dig books whose main character is hiding his/her identity, and in the case of Surviving Ice, Sebastian – also known as Ice – is hiding one hell of an identity. A former SEAL and a mercenary, Sebastian has incredible skills he uses on targets when his employer sends him off on a mission. And his next mission is to find a missing tape that could incriminate his employer, and the only connection to that tape goes by the name of Ivy Lee.

I honestly couldn’t put this book down. K.A. Tucker has a way with words that kept me hooked onto each page. She’s created incredible characters in Ivy and Sebastian, who couldn’t be more perfect together. Ivy is a sassy, strong, badass chick I admired. Sebastian is the calm and quiet kind of hero, though his character is tinged with mystery and danger. I loved how the two of them form a connection through a seven-hour long tattoo session, despite the fact that Sebastian enters Ivy’s life with a false identity. Ivy is supposed to be Sebastian’s target, but what happens when he starts falling for her, and vice versa?

Who are you, really, Sebastian?
Besides the stranger who strolled in and seized my heart?

The romance between Ivy and Sebastian developed so naturally, I applaud the author for being able to make me root for them despite the lies. And I loved how K.A. Tucker was able to weave the suspense perfectly well within the romance. The suspense is heart-pounding and nail-biting, with enough action throughout the book to keep me satisfied and never bored.

A seamless mix of romance and suspense, Surviving Ice is a brilliant NA novel not to be missed.

4 hearts
lacey

Quotes are taken from the arc and are subject to change in the final version.


Reading Order: Burying Water series

Burying Water by K.A. Tucker Becoming Rain by K.A. Tucker Chasing River by K.A. Tucker Surviving Ice by K.A. Tucker

#1 ~ Burying Water: My Review • EbookPaperback • AudibleGoodreads
#2 ~ Becoming Rain: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#3 ~ Chasing River: My Review • EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads
#4 ~ Surviving Ice: EbookPaperbackAudible • Goodreads (Oct. 27, 2015)


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