The Priest
Advance Reading Copy , Erotica , Fiction / March 29, 2020

Three steps forward, two steps back. The Priest was on its way to be my favorite of Tiffany Reisz’s The Original Sinners series. The characters are starting anew in New Orleans after leaving New York City. The story opens with Soren gone, this is not unexpected to the regular reader, new readers might be puzzled. Nora has gained a dog and the pair seem to be thriving together, no small feat for a woman who never even wanted the responsibility of a plant. Kingsley and Juliette are close to the birth of child number two. And then the Priest is found dead. And then Nora is pulled into the mystery. Like I said, the Priest was on its way. I liked the new character of Cyrus, a local private detective, and I thought the mystery of what happened to Father Ike somewhat thin but still interesting. Eleanor is thirty-eight in this installment and is at her most likable. She seems to be past trying to seduce every guy who sparks her interest and she and Kingsley are supportive friends. She is helping paint the coming baby’s nursery, you’re welcome Juliette, and appears to be a doting aunt to little Celeste. …

The Family Upstairs, by Lisa Jewell
Fiction , Women's Fiction / March 2, 2020

Things can really go off the rails in life! The Family Upstairs is a twisting tale of children caught in circumstance created by parents who seem lost and gullible. Enter in a man and women who take control of these lost parents and also the children.  As the reader swings back and forth between the chapters we are taken through the story by Libby, who has just inherited a huge house, then by Lucy, who seems to be a homeless drifter, and lastly a nameless narrator.  Seems like it would get confusing, but actually no, it works quite well.  Who is Libby and why does she inherit this valuable house? Who is Lucy? Who is the narrator? How do they fit together?  The Family Upstairs kept me asking questions all the way till the end.

The Peacock Emporium by Jojo Moyes
Fiction , Women's Fiction / February 5, 2020

This was almost a DNF.  I found it somewhat slow. No, really slow. I know readers love her other novels, but based on this one I don’t think I’m a fan. Save yourself and your time : read something else.

Where I End & You Begin by Preston Norton
Fiction , Young Adult / January 21, 2020

This book caught my attention and although I thought it a bit slow at first I have decided it was worth reading just because I am so out of touch with the teenage experience. It’s been a long time since I’ve been one and this book reminds me why I never want to be one again! It’s tough! Anyway, it’s a body swapping (yes, you read that right) life’s not fair, experimenting with sexuality, family issues kind of book. Readers remember- teenagers are not for the timid!

Theater Nights are Murder by Libby Klein
Advance Reading Copy , Fiction , Mystery / December 1, 2019

Theater Nights Are Murder is the latest mystery by Libby Klein. It is cute and quick. Nothing exceptional in this reviewer’s opinion and in fact I found the murder almost uninteresting, instead finding Poppy’s love triangle with Gia and Tim the best part of the plot. Still, readers of the “cozy” will probably enjoy the book.

The Hiding Place by C. J. Tudor
Fiction / May 30, 2019

I wish I liked The Hiding Place more. True, the main character, Joe, is somewhat interesting to follow along with, but the plot doesn’t come together for me. Gambling debts, childhood secrets, and what seems to be a “Pit” with mystical powers spin around in the book, not fully fleshed out in my opinion.  It was a quick read, but I don’t think I will remember it in a week.

Darcul, by Dacre Stoker and J. B. Barker
Fiction / April 28, 2019

Holy Cow, this book blew my mind! Dracula is one of my all time favorites so when I saw this I decided to give it a try. It is a combination of fact and fiction, woven into a prequel of sorts to Dracula. In it we meet Bram Stoker, who is inserted into the story as if he is a fictional character.  We meet his family too, and a slightly odd nanny named Ellen. This nanny is the source of the creepy, well written, old fashion horror story. It weaves realty with fantasy and horror as it skips back and forth between current time and Bram’s recollection of growing up.  I wanted to read it again immediately, just to scan over the detailed, rich, story that is Dracul.

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage
Fiction / February 13, 2019

Whoa, just whoa. This book isn’t just fiction, it’s horror. Old fashion “The Omen” or “Carrie” horror.  Written as a domestic suspense novel, Baby Teeth is the story of Hannah, a terror of a child and her parents who are bewildered as they try to raise her. Hannah is intelligent, manipulative, and down right evil. A nightmare. My only criticism about this book is that I thought it wrapped up a bit fast. Perhaps leaving room for a sequel? Yikes!

The Rose by Tiffany Reisz
Advance Reading Copy , Erotica , Fiction / February 13, 2019

If you are a fan of Tiffany Reisz you might as well skip this review and go purchase The Rose.  I say this because I think this is one of the author’s best offerings. It is explicit, actually sometimes just a touch beyond explicit, if that’s even possible. Still, it is written as a combination of erotic fantasy and Greek mythology which is a perfect match.  The story begins with the characters of Lia and August “sparring” around a Greek cup called the Rose Kylix.  Lia has it, August wants it. And much sexiness follows. There is a bit of an “ick factor” in the plot, between Lia and her mother. Although this ick factor makes sense in the frame of Greek mythology, I would deduct one star in any rating … because…. ick!!!  I have to say that I think the author is full of talent for story telling and it amuses me to think that she decided to aim her ability in the direction of mythology, probably just because she could.

Once Upon A River, by Diane Setterfield
Fiction , Mystery , Women's Fiction / January 14, 2019

This book is fascinating. The type of book that you want to read a second time. Like a river there are so many bends and runs, so many facets. This is a “story of stories” with family love at the center of three distinct families and their potential relationship with a mute girl who turns up in a small town. The characters of the novel are somewhat simple people. Some more or less educated than others. They have challenges and victories and their combined story is so interesting!! Some readers might be a bit impatient with the beginning. Like the headwaters of some rivers, the book starts small and somewhat quiet. Also like a river it is beautiful one minute, cruel the next, and always mysterious. This story will stay with me for a long time. I have no doubt I will reach for it again and enjoy it the second time as much, if not more, than the first.