ARC, Books, Reviews

Book: Perfect Stranger

Perfect Stranger by Jake Cross

Publisher: Bookouture

Imagine a teenage stranger knocking on your door one night, claiming to be the daughter you didn’t know you had. She tells you she has no place to go. Would you invite her in to stay? Afterwards, you might regret it!

One night, that’s exactly what happens to Chris and Rose. Katie shows up on their doorstep and tells them she’s Chris’ daughter. She’s just lost her mother, a woman Chris remembers from a summer fling a long time ago. And while they are in shock by this revelation, Katie soon drops another bombshell. She has no place to go.

What Would You Do?

This is where Jake Cross creates a scenario that would put a lot of people in an awful position. Do you turn down a teenage girl with no place to go who claims to be your daughter? Or do you invite her in to stay? It seems like a catch-22 as turning her down means rejecting your daughter, but inviting her in could get you into serious trouble.

Therefore, Chris and Rose decide to invite her to live with them. At least until the DNA test comes back. But what strikes me as a little odd is they hide the fact Katie is (assumed to be) Chris’ daughter from their 18 year old daughter Julia. Likewise, Julia doesn’t ask any questions either and just accepts it. However, for some reason that just doesn’t seem likely, I would never just accept anyone moving in without an explanation and frankly I don’t know anyone who would.

As the story unfolds very strange things start to happen and people get hurt. Is Katie the cause of all this? It turns out Chris has some skeletons in his closet as well. Rose might not have invited a dangerous stranger into her home, he might have been living under her roof to begin with.

Protagonists

I don’t find the characters very likeable. They are back and forward between naive, hostile and oblivious, to everything around them and each other. It just doesn’t seem like the caring family I was expecting when I read the excerpt of this book.

The story is primarily based on coincidences however none of the protagonists seem to notice them. The first one happened right at the beginning and it continued on from there.

The idea behind the story is good. I like the concept of a long lost family member showing up and the change of dynamics that could case in a family in particular. It just didn’t grip me too much in this book. I feel if it was based on a little less coincidence it would be more believable for readers.

Overall it was an okay read. Therefore I would recommend it if you’re looking for a thriller to read on the pool side or the beach. It’s one of those books you can easily read if you want to do some light summer reading while getting a tan.

Rating 3/5

Perfect Stranger is available from August 21, 2019

Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

ARC, Books, Reviews

Book: Date night

Date Night by Samantha Hayes

You think you go on a date night with your husband to save your marriage, but you could have never known it would end up destroying your life….

Libby and Sean are married and have a 4 year old daughter Alice. Sean is a partner in a thriving veterinarian practice and Libby is starting her catering business. Everything seems to go great in their marriage. But then Libby finds a note on her car window one morning stating “Sean is having an affair”. She couldn’t have known those 5 words spelled disaster.

When Libby confronts Sean with the note, he denies everything, but Libby remains suspicious. To try and work things out between them, they decide to go on a date night. Little did they know that night was going to end a life.

When they return from their not-so-great date night they find their babysitter Sasha missing and their daughter asleep in her bed. Libby calls the police to report Sasha missing. Eventually the police arrest Libby for Sasha’s disappearance.

Samantha Hayes tells the story from Libby’s point of view in both the “before” the date night, and the “now” after her arrest. This slowly reveals what happened that night and why the police arrested Libby.

Twists, Turns and Shady Characters

The development of the characters is great. At the same time I don’t like their personalities too much. Sean seems pretty manipulative and Libby a little too naive at some points. There were times I just wanted to grab her and shake her while saying “can’t you see what he did there!”. With that said, that’s what, for me, makes a good book. When the main characters can make you feel something, whether that’s a positive or a negative feeling, that means they’ve got you hooked.

There are a few plot twists, some shake ups and some back stabbing all throughout the story. And up until the very end, I had no idea what happened to Sasha and who might have been the responsible party.

Although somewhere in the middle of the story line I felt it dragged on a bit. The pace seemed a little out of it for a bit there. A little further on though, we hit the ground running again, preparing for a finale I didn’t see coming.

If you think this is a romantic book about a date night, you better buckle up and prepare for murder.

Rating: 4/5

Date Night is available from August 20, 2019

Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

ARC, Books, Reviews

Book: Her Silent Cry

Detective Josie Quinn #6 by Lisa Regan

Publisher: Bookouture

Round and round she goes, blonde pigtails flying, her high-pitched giggle catching on the wind. But as the ride slows to a stop, her seat is suddenly empty. Little Lucy is gone…

Everyone knows you have to watch little children like a hawk because they disappear in the blink of an eye. But what if you are? And what if you’re sitting right next to them on a moving carousel? You wouldn’t think a child could disappear from a moving ride while you’re sitting next to them. But that’s exactly what happened to Amy. Her daughter Lucy is nowhere to be found when the ride comes to a stop.

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ARC, Books, Reviews

Book: Pricked

Pricked by Scott Mooney

Publisher: Bleeding Ink Publishing

Pricked starts out by introducing us to the main character Briar Pryce. She seems like a normal human at first but she’s not. She lives in a magical part of New York City called the Poisoned Apple and she has magical powers.

Briar’s powers are pretty unique. I haven’t come across them just yet in a fantasy book. She’s able to manipulate other people’s emotions by using flowers, and roses are her flowers of choice. The roses even change colour based on the emotions Briar pours into them.

The magical powers attract the attention of the Elite. They hire Briar to find the human boyfriend of an Elite’s daughter. While she is thrown into the world of Elite intrigues, she has to find the boyfriend in time before he gets killed. Or before a war destroys the human world in New York City.

Missing Back Story

The author seemed to have had a back story in his head already, which was rather apparent when I started reading. The author seems to know things about the backdrop of Briar, her friends and the Poisoned Apple. Unfortunately the reader doesn’t yet. So as this is the first (or only?) book, this is where the story has to be created and set. I felt like I was missing some pieces of the puzzle. Why does she think the spell that transformed her best friend into a cat was meant for her? What could she have done prior to this story taking place to “deserve” that? Some things get cleared up along the way but for me it felt like I had to assume certain things to make it all fit.

I will say, as a whole, the key words for me that came up while reading where “happy” “upbeat” and even a bit witty at times. Maybe even a bit too witty as some jokes really need a bit of “know how”of the real world.

What I also really liked was the backdrop of New York City. There is this almost other dimensional magical world that exists in the same spot as one of the most famous cities in the world.

A Little More Depth

Overall it’s not a bad story, I just think it still needs a little work. The time span seems to be a few days. Which doesn’t really give it enough time to flow and develop and to really create the characters. I know who are in the book and sort of who they are in relation to Briar but I don’t really get to know them.
It would have been nice to have a little more character development throughout. It’s done with 1 or 2 characters and the rest of them are just “there”. It all lacked a little depth for me.

If you like a light summer read with a relatively simple story and some good jokes and a happy vibe, this might be your book.

Rating: 3/5

With that rating set, I have to say it came to a 3/5 because I don’t do half stars. It felt worthy of more than a 2 star but 3 is stretching it a little. So the benefit of the doubt applies here.

Pricked is available from August 13, 2019

Disclaimer: I received this book as an ARC from Netgalley and Bleeding Ink Publishing in exchange for my honest and unbiased review. All opinions are my own.

ARC, Books, Reviews

Book: We Were Sisters

We Were Sisters by Wendy Clarke

Publisher: Bookouture

I turn to where I left my baby in his pushchair and pull up short. With a racing heart, I look around wildly, fear gripping my stomach. I only looked away for a moment. The pushchair and my baby are gone.

Our protagonist is Kelly. She is married to Mitch and they have three children; the twins Isabella and Sophie and newborn boy Noah. Just your regular family living in Brighton you’d say. But you never know what goes on in someone’s mind…

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