REVIEW: The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdown

The Witchfinder’s Sister by Beth Underdone

Read: April 18-May 3, 2017

Format: eBook ARC

My Book Rating: 2.5 Stars

Publisher: Ballantine Books

Release Date: April 25, 2017

Genre: Historical Fiction

Pages: 336

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Before Salem, there was Manningtree. . . .

 “This summer, my brother Matthew set himself to killing women, but without ever once breaking the law.”

Essex, England, 1645

With a heavy heart, Alice Hopkins returns to the small town she grew up in. Widowed, with child, and without prospects, she is forced to find refuge at the house of her younger brother, Matthew. In the five years she has been gone, the boy she knew has become a man of influence and wealth—but more has changed than merely his fortunes. Alice fears that even as the cruel burns of a childhood accident still mark his face, something terrible has scarred Matthew’s soul.

There is a new darkness in the town, too—frightened whispers are stirring in the streets, and Alice’s blood runs cold with dread when she discovers that Matthew is a ruthless hunter of suspected witches. Torn between devotion to her brother and horror at what he’s become, Alice is desperate to intervene—and deathly afraid of the consequences. But as Matthew’s reign of terror spreads, Alice must choose between her safety and her soul.

Alone and surrounded by suspicious eyes, Alice seeks out the fuel firing her brother’s brutal mission—and is drawn into the Hopkins family’s past. There she finds secrets nested within secrets: and at their heart, the poisonous truth. Only by putting her own life and liberty in peril can she defeat this darkest of evils—before more innocent women are forced to the gallows.

Inspired by the real-life story of notorious “Witchfinder General” Matthew Hopkins, Beth Underdown’s thrilling debut novel blends spellbinding history with harrowing storytelling for a truly haunting reading experience.


REVIEW

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

I’ve had a fascination with the Salem Witch Trials since I first heard about them, ages ago. So when I saw The Witchfinder’s Sister available on NetGalley, I thought this was a perfect read for me. It may not be the Salem witch trials, but they were still witch trials.

The Witchfinder’s Sister is based upon a real man named Matthew Hopkins who actually did put over a hundred women to death. This book is a fictional account of what happened, told from the first person perspective of his (fictional) sister, Alice.

This book started out solid. I loved the details of Alice’s life, from before she left home, while she was away with her husband, and then as she returned, a (secretly pregnant) widow.

But while the details of this story were engrossing, the plot never completely came together for me. Alice is, for the most part, an outsider watching her brothers actions but unable to do much. After all, she was just a woman and in the 1600’s they had no power. It’s possible this story could have benefited from being told in 3rd person, because then we could have seen past Alice’s limited view, but I honestly don’t know if that would have helped.

What I did really like was the way the author weaved a possible explanation for Matthew’s actions. His mother (Alice’s step-mother) is described as basically having a mental illness of some sort. Of course, back then, that wasn’t a thing. However, Alice at one point wonders if their mothers “weakness of mind” could have passed on to Matthew. Of course, there are also supernatural possibilities thrown in as well, but those never felt completely valid to me.

Overall, for a book that promised to be “haunting” and “spellbinding”, it really wasn’t. There was minimal interaction between our narrator and the accused witches. The one accused she did spent time with, never really seemed like a woman who had just been, essentially, sitting on death row. The feelings never felt genuine. I never felt the fear or the anguish of those who knew they were going to die, and most of that was because we very, very rarely saw it happen. I suppose you could say, for a book about women being accused of witchcraft, the accused were very secondary to anything else.

 

Would I recommend this book? Eh… not really. I mean, if you have interest in this particular witch hunt and want to read a fictionalized account of Matthew Hopkins, you might enjoy this. But for this reader, it was unfortunately pretty forgettable.



Get the Book here:

Amazon | Nook | iBooks

~ Add to Goodreads ~


QUOTES
(From an advanced release copy. Final text may vary.)

I am resolved to mark the season in the old way, but making a Christmas gift, and my gift will be to myself. It will be the chance to tell the truth. I will set it down now, while my memory holds. There is nothing to prevent me, for though I am imprisoned, I am not forbidden writing materials: ink, and pens, and paper have been brought to me without complaint. I fear it means they do not intend to let me go.

 

“Mary says the master has greater learning than any round here. She says he has as much knowledge of religion as the minister and of the Bible also. He has a book as well that has the names of all the witches written down in it. Mary says.”

 

I think now that to be close to someone can be to underestimate them. Grow too close, and you do not see what they are capable of; or you do not see it in time.

 

But there had been no spates of witch hanging for many years. Such things were a matter for Scotland, France, wild places across the sea or north of the border.

 

Names were how it had begun. One woman accuses another in a fit of grief or rage. And once you have said a name, there is no unsaying.

 

I wonder, not for the first time, whether Mother’s weakness of mind could have passed to him in the blood. Whether he was himself quite well.

 

“I think in truth I am here so that the good folk of Manningtree cannot come where I live and torch me in my bed.”

 

“We called a physician out, once. He said it was a brain sickness,” the night nurse told him. “But I do not believe in brain sickness. She is entirely the devil’s creature.”

 

It was a sin, the worst sin. But to say the truth, I would do the same again.

 

The number of women my brother Matthew killed, as far as I can reckon, is one hundred and six. He accomplished it in two of our short English summers, and the months between. One hundred and six women, through Essex, Suffolk, and beyond: that much is certain.

 

 

REVIEW: Secret Vampire by L. J. Smith

Secret Vampire by L. J. Smith

Series: Night World #1

Read: April 6-8, 2017

Format: Paperback

My Book Rating: 5 Stars

Publisher: Archway Paperbacks / Simon Pulse

Release Date: June 1996

Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

Pages: 242

Reading Challenge(s): Beat The Backlist 2017, 2017 YA

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

The diagnosis for Poppy was death. there was no hope—until James, her best friend and secret love, appeared in the hospital. But this was a James she didn’t know. He offered Poppy eternal life. Only he could open the door to the Night World. They’re soulmates—but can she follow him into death and beyond?

THE NIGHT WORLD isn’t a place. It’s all around us. The creatures of Night World are beautiful and deadly and irresistible to humans. Your best friend could be one—so could your crush.

The laws of Night World are very clear: humans must never learn that Night World exists. And members of Night World must never fall in love with a human. Violate the laws and the consequences are terrifying.

These are the stories about what happens when the rules get broken.


REVIEW

This is actually a re-re-re-re-re-etc-read for me. Its been roughly 20 years since I first discovered L. J. Smith and her Night World series. (Did I just age myself???) Unlike another favorite series from those days, which I re-read in recent years and then questioned my middle grade taste in books, this series is still as amazing as the day I read it.

Smith doesn’t waste time with describing every little nuance that her readers honestly aren’t going to care about, but within 2 pages I had a solid sense of who the heroine, Poppy, was as a person and how she felt about James, the hero of our story.

I was always a huge fan of the whole Soulmate trope and this series executes it perfectly. For me, there needs to be some kind of supernatural reason for Soulmates to exist, and in a world of vampires, witches, and shifters, it’s very easy to buy into that reasoning. Add in forbidden love and what teen girl could resist! Certainly not this one, even now that I’ve said goodbye to my teen years ages ago.

This is a short read, but it is utterly satisfying. There’s the star-crossed lovers, the villain, and vampires and witches galore! I seriously can’t wait to dive into the rest of these books. Who knows, maybe by the time I re-read the last of them, there will finally be a new release date set for the final book in the series. It’s only 17 years past due.

So should you read this one? YES. This was the book for the generation before Twilight. (And the author also created The Vampire Diaries – though the TV series took great liberties with the story. For the better IMO. But that’s a whole other book review!) So, what are you waiting for? Go sink your fangs into this amazing series!



Get the Book here:

Amazon | Nook | iBooks

~ Add to Goodreads ~

OR GET THE FIRST 3 BOOKS IN 1 VOLUME

Amazon | Nook | iBooks

~ Add to Goodreads ~


QUOTES

Looking at him, Poppy felt a pang—as always. It didn’t matter that she had seen  him every day, practically, for the past ten years. She still felt a quick sharp throb in her chest, somewhere between sweetness and pain, when first confronted with him every morning.

 

Until today she’d assumed it was her unconditional right to live. She hadn’t even been grateful for the privilege.

 

You don’t love a girl because of beauty. You love her because she sings a song only you can understand…

 
“There are two cardinal rules in the Night World,” he said steadily. “One is not to tell humans that it exists. The other is not to fall in love with a human. I’ve broken both of them.”

Deja Revu: May 15, 2017

Picture
Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.

REVIEW: It Started With Goodbye by Christina June + Recipe Link

Wow, it’s been a LONG time since I’ve had a chance to post a review. Sorry about that! I am woefully behind. I’m actually feeling like I might need to take a brief reading break, both to give my brain a break and to give myself time to post my backlog of reviews. (Maybe it’ll help me focus on my Super Secret Group Project Short Story too…)

Anyway, anyone who knows me knows that I have a problem with going to bed at a decent time. My FitBit tells me to start getting ready for bed every night at 11pm. And there I am at 2 am saying, “Just one more chapter!”

This past week I’ve been working really hard to fight my bad habits though. I managed to go to sleep at a semi-normal hour like a real grown up. (Except for the night I had to be at work until 12:30 am.) Fingers crossed I can keep this up and establish a good routine!

Also new this week? I tried a new recipe, using an ingredient I hate (Balsamic Vinegar) and ended up loving it! WHO KNEW!

You can check out the recipe for Honey Balsamic Chicken Breasts and Veggies on DamnDelicious.net (1o year old LOVED the chicken, and liked the asparagus and potatoes. She wouldn’t eat more than a bite of the rest. 5 year old LOVED the potatoes, tolerated the chicken, and wouldn’t touch the rest. Husband said I put in too many tomatoes – which were one of my favorite parts of the recipe!)

We’ll definitely make this again. I added the red bell pepper for extra color (it was on sale). This was my first time cooking asparagus and I think it turned out pretty well. The Husband was shocked at how big (fat) the asparagus was…. but I’ve only ever eaten it once before so I didn’t even realize it was huge until looking back at the original recipe’s photos! Oh well, it was tasty!

Without further ado, enjoy today’s book review!


It Started With Goodbye by Christina June

Read: March 2 – March 7, 2017

Format: eBook ARC

My Book Rating: 4.5 Stars

Publisher: Blink/HarperCollins

Release Date: May 9, 2017

Genre: YA Contemporary

Pages: 304

Reading Challenge(s): Retellings 2017, 2017 YA

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Sixteen-year-old Tatum Elsea is bracing for the worst summer of her life. After being falsely accused of a crime, she’s stuck under stepmother-imposed house arrest and her BFF’s gone ghost. Tatum fills her newfound free time with community service by day and working at her covert graphic design business at night (which includes trading emails with a cute cello-playing client). When Tatum discovers she’s not the only one in the house keeping secrets, she finds she has the chance to make amends with her family and friends. Equipped with a new perspective, and assisted by her feisty step-abuela-slash-fairy-godmother, Tatum is ready to start fresh and maybe even get her happy ending along the way.


REVIEW

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

It Started With Goodbye is a charming, modern adaptation of Cinderella. When sixteen-year-old Tatum finds herself in the wrong place at the wrong time, she ends up arrested and sentenced to a summer of community service and a hefty fine. Shortly thereafter her father leaves on a business trip, leaving poor Tatum alone with her overbearing and impossible-to-please stepmother and her perfect step-sister, Tilly.

Worst. Summer. Ever.

Or is it?

Despite being forced into manual labor and iced out by her bff, Tatum finds new friends and learns a lot about her family, friendships, and herself over the summer. With the encouragement of her “fairy godmother” (aka her stepmother’s mom), she starts a secret online design business. And begins flirting online with a client, her very own prince charming.

I loved the dialogue in this book. I would love to hang out with Tatum. I loved all of the characters actually, I thought they were very well rounded. The “evil stepmother” wasn’t really evil, she always meant well and just didn’t see eye to eye with Tatum. Neither of them communicated with each other very well. I loved the “fairy godmother”, she was a real gem, offering just the right advice when Tatum needed it. I even loved Tilly, the step-sister—the perfect daughter—who Tatum comes to realize maybe isn’t all that bad after all.

I’m not sure this is a book that will stay with me forever, but I truly enjoyed this story and the characters and would absolutely recommend it for fans of young adult fiction, and especially modern fairy tale retellings.


Get the Book here:

Amazon | Nook | iBooks

~ Add to Goodreads ~


QUOTES

I stared blankly at him, still trying to process what he was saying. My head was spinning, and it sounded like he was speaking Greek while his cheeks were stuffed full of mashed potatoes.

“Yes, I know exactly what I’ve done. And that would be a big fat nothing wrong. The only thing I’m guilty of is trying to protect my friend from her sketchy boyfriend, and failing. No, I didn’t know he was going to steal that stuff. No, I didn’t help him. My plan was to go to Mason’s, buy some pencils, maybe help Ashlyn pick out some nail polish, and come home. Contrary to popular belief, a field trip to our city’s finest was not on my agenda today. So can everyone please calm down?”

None of them had on eyeliner or showed bare knees, two things every parent knew were gateways into delinquency.

“My leprechaun actually got deported. He brought illegal “items” into the country when he arrived, and DHS sent him right back. Such a shame.”

Abby’s sympathetic face was on, and she looked itchy to give me a hug, but also wary, like she was afraid that if she touched me, I might cry or break or punch her. Maybe all three.

Sometimes I was rage. Sometimes I wallowed. Most of the time, though, I felt defeated.

I sucked in a breath. Flirting in person was so much better than over the internet.

 

Deja Revu: May 8, 2017

Picture
Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.
Picture

Meme

Picture

Contemporary

Paranormal

Romance

Picture

Contemporary

Fantasy

Religious

Romance

Picture

Non-Fiction

Romance

Picture

Romance

Stacking The Shelves #2


Round 2 of Stacking the Shelves!

Same as last week, I’m rating the books I receive 1-5.
1 meaning there’s very little chance I’ll ever actually get around to reading this book.
5 meaning unless something else arrives that I HAVE to read, this near the top of the list and there’s a likely chance that you’ll see a review of said book from me at some point.


Lost In You by Jules Bennett (The Monroes #3) – 2
A romance novel. Nothing in the blurb really jumps out and calls to me, so I may read it, or I may not…

The Cajun Doctor by Sandra Hill – 5
Okay, the publisher actually sent me TWO copies of this one now! I feel extra obligated to read it now. (I gave it a 3 last time.) I’ll probably give away at least one, if not both, copies of this book when I eventually do read and review it.

Consciousness Archaeology by Maximus Freeman – 4
I rate this one so high because it’s only 100 pages. It’s tiny. I’m not sure if I’ll actually be able to FINISH the book, but I’ll try! It might actually one my dad might enjoy, so I’ll likely pass it along to him when I’m done.

Adult-ish by Cristina Vanko – 5
This is actually more of a journal style book. Being that I’ve been an adult for… a while… I’ll probably skim through this book without filling it out, then pass it along as a graduation gift for someone at some point in time.

Ascension by Hannah Rials – 4
Vampires? Check. Witches? Check. YA? Check.
Yeah, this one is right up my alley. I’ll most likely read this.

Trophy Son by Douglas Brunt – 3
I’m not overly excited for this one, but at the same time, I tend to enjoy books from St. Martin’s Press and I like the idea behind this book – parents pushing their children to succeed no matter what. I might get around to this one.

The Little French Bistro by Nina George – 3
This sounds literary and chic-litish, so I’m not so sure on this one. I do love Europe though, but I’m not really sure if I enjoy READING about Europe.

The Ambassador’s Daughter by Harvey J. Williams – 4
I know literally nothing about Apartheid and South Africa, so this is one that I’m intrigued by. The reviews on Goodreads have me hesitant, but it’s not a very big book, so I probably will read it at some point.

The Three Little Pigs by Katelyn Sinclair – 5
This is a children’s picture book of the classic fairy tale. I’m sure I’ll read this with my daughters at some point.

The Red Wraith by Nick Wisseman – 2
The blurb for this book sounds really confusing. It could be that I’ll love it, or it’ll all be over my head. Not at the top of my pile.

Searching for Home by Ann Gaylia O’Barr – 3
This could be awesome… or boring. Nothing really jumps out at me from the cover or the blurb, so I’m not sure if I’ll read it.

The Last Savannah by Mike Bond – 4
The cover on this one is GORGEOUS. And I love the African Savannah. I’ve read iffy reviews, but I’m willing to give this one a shot.

Out of Australia by Steven Strong – 4
Hands down, my favorite class in college was an Anthropology elective I took. It was hard work, lots of reading and studying, a lot went over my head, but I was fascinated. I’m interested to read this alternative case for Homo Sapians coming out of Australia, vs the overall accepted out of Africa theory.

Born Both: An Intersex Life by Hida Viloria – 5
A memoir. The author was born with both sex organs and raised as a girl. I’m very interested to read about the authors life, which is a very unique one.

A Single Spy by William Christie – 4
Nazi’s…WWII… Russia… All things I know little about. I’m interested to see if this one captures my interest.

 

NETGALLEY ARCS:

Living in Italy: The Real Deal by Stef Smulders – 5
A comedic memoir of a couple trying to move to Italy. I’ve always been fascinated with Italy and am proud to say I’m 1/4 Italian, but I don’t know much about living there!

 

 

 

Deja Revu: April 23, 2017

Yeah yeah, I’m super late posting this. Better late than never though, right?
Picture
Déjà Revu is a weekly review round-up that is open to all book review blogs.
Picture

Meme

Picture

Contemporary

Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic

Paranormal

Religious

Romance

Picture

Contemporary

Romance

Picture

Contemporary

Dystopian/Post Apocalyptic

General Fiction

Non-Fiction

Paranormal

Romance

Picture

Romance

Woman’s Fiction

REVIEW: Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter

Beauty of the Beast by Rachel L. Demeter

Series: Fairytale Retellings #1

Read: February 6 – April 10, 2017

Format: ARC eBook

My Book Rating: 3.5 Stars

Publisher: Self-Published

Release Date: March 15, 2017

Genre: Historical Romance

Pages: 342

Reading Challenge(s): Fairy Tale Retellings

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.

A BEAST LIVING IN THE SHADOW OF HIS PAST

Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.

A BEAUTY IN PURSUIT OF A BETTER FUTURE

Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.

BEAUTY AND THE BEAST

Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.

* * *

Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.

* * *

Disclaimer: This is an edgy, historical romance retelling of the classic fairy tale Beauty and the Beast. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Beauty of the Beast is a slow-burn romance that features a descriptive, richly detailed, and atmospheric writing style.


REVIEW

Beauty of the Beast is a realistic historical fairy tale retelling. I’ll let you figure out which fairy tale. 😉

From the start I was lost in this epic tale. The setting (though over described for this particular readers tastes) was epic and beautiful. The heroine kind and caring. The hero, beyond damaged. And the villain? Just when you loathe him beyond imagination, the author gives you a taste of his backstory and you almost don’t hate him as much. Almost.

It was fun to read this book and compare events and scenes to the Disney version, at times they were nearly identical, but at other times they were brand new. I much preferred the brand new, because it was something… new!

I loved the backstory of Prince Adam, how he was forced to watch his family murdered, how he was burned and badly disfigured. It was at times TOO well described. Leaving me feeling a little sick. (I mean that in the best way.)

I honestly didn’t care as much for Isabelle, I’m not sure if it was her use of Mon Dieu all the time or what. But something about her kept me from fully connecting. She was well developed, so I think its just me. Isabelle and I probably just wouldn’t be good friends if she was a real person.

Raphael, the villain, is a selfish, arrogant, drunken jackass. I was absolutely repulsed by him. I couldn’t believe Isabelle would ever have agreed to marry him, no matter how dire her situation. In other words, he was a great villain.

I liked that Demeter also added in a couple of “wicked step-sisters” for Isabelle. It was a nice touch, one of those changes from the Disney version that I appreciated.

The love story built slowly. So slowly that I can’t really pinpoint the moment their relationship turned into “something more”.

I would recommend this for fans of sweeping epic historical romances. Those looking for the magic and wonder typically found in a fairy tale will be disappointed that there are no evil witches and curses. A word of warning though, this book gets very dark in a few places.

 

An ARC of this book was kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.


Get the Book here:

Amazon | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

~ Add to Goodreads ~


QUOTES

 

“Why are you trying to prove?” she managed to choke out. Her voice sounded faint and weary; she didn’t recognize it as her own.

“That you are mine. And you belong to me.”

 

Adam was a flesh-and-blood enigma, a beautiful mystery that she ached to unravel.

 

Adam’s eyes flashed open and captured her own. In a rush of movement, he closed the space between them and seized her mouth in a blistering kiss. It burned. Claimed her soul. Whispered a thousand unspoken secrets.

 

A chill seeped into her bones—one that had nothing to do with the rain and everything to do with her blossoming feelings.

 

Rivulets of water dripped from the dark strands of his hair and tracked down his cheeks; they resembled the tears he refused to shed.

“You, Isabelle, have reminded me that goodness and beauty still exist in the world.”

 

Deliberately. Softly. She poured all her longing, all her loneliness, into the intimate movement. The kiss began as a featherlight caress, a whisper of a butterfly’s wing, that left her throbbing for more.

 

“You’re a dreadful dancer,” he murmured against her ear. Paired with the husky baritone of his voice, the insult sounded rather like an endearment.

 

Isabelle stopped dead in her tracks while a premonition eclipsed her thoughts. Her flight or fight instinct kicked into place. She was being watched… hunted.

 

Alas, should he live to see a hundred years, he’d never forget the sight of the king and queen’s severed heads on spikes… how the mob had paraded them about the courtyard, the crowd cheering and waving their tricolored freedom flags. Those memories were forever burned into his thoughts, into his very being. 

 

REVIEW: Leaving Yesterday by Zoe Dawson

Leaving Yesterday by Zoe Dawson

Series: Laurel Falls #1

Read: April 6-13, 2017

Format: eBook ARC

My Book Rating: 3.5 Stars

Publisher: Loveswept

Release Date: February 9, 2016

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 268

Reading Challenge(s): TBR 2017, Beat The Backlist 2017

 

ABOUT THE BOOK

If you love Susan Mallery, Kristan Higgins, or Rachel Gibson, don’t miss the start of this captivating small-town romance series! Laurel Falls, Montana, features spectacular mountain scenery—but it takes a rugged cowboy to convince one woman to slow down and enjoy the view.

Rafferty Hamilton doesn’t plan on putting down roots anytime soon. With her divorce final, the hotel heiress has left Manhattan behind to scout new locations for her family’s chain of resorts. Which is why it’s so frustrating to be stranded in Laurel Falls while a good-looking, slow-talking, Stetson-wearing mechanic takes his sweet time with her overheated coupe.

A decorated vet who paid his dues in Afghanistan, Trace Black can fix anything with an engine and get it revving—even Rafferty’s ridiculous sports car. He couldn’t say the same for the knockout driver, who looks like she’s never gripped a gear shaft in her life. Women like Rafferty don’t usually stick around in Laurel Falls, but Trace finds himself showing her everything his hometown has to offer before she cruises on down the road.

As the days pass, Rafferty finds herself charmed by the pace of life and the openhearted warmth of the residents. She’s even tempted to trust again—and it’s all thanks to Trace. He’s not the kind of guy she’s used to falling for, but he just might be the man she needs.


REVIEW

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

Leaving Yesterday started strong with a hero and heroine I liked. Right off the bat I could tell they were both good people, each with their own set of baggage, each deserving to find real love.

Things I liked: The hero and heroine. They were both strong and independent and meshed well together. I loved the nickname he had for her (Commander Princess). I liked the town, I want to visit and see the mountains and springs and stay at that rundown abandoned old inn! This book also had great, fully developed side characters who have been set up to get their own novels.

What I didn’t like so much: Those side characters I mentioned? While I loved them all, I wasn’t a fan of the POV shifts into their heads. Call me a traditionalist, but I’d rather my romance novels stick with the h/H POVs and leave the side characters to the side. I don’t want in their heads yet, learning all the details of their personal stories. I think this would have benefited with either a revised blurb indicating that there were more stories here than just the main characters romance, or reclassifying this as…. something else. A contemporary drama maybe? I don’t know. It just wasn’t what I expected and that sort of put a damper on my reading experience.

All that said, this was an enjoyable story about enjoyable characters. I would gladly revisit Laurel Falls to see what happens for those secondary characters as well as to see how things are going with Trace and Rafferty. (I really hate her name by the way. But it is the perfect trust-fund baby name.)



Get the Book here:

Amazon | Nook | iBooks | Kobo

~ Add to Goodreads ~


QUOTES

“You don’t know how to fix my car. Do you?”
His eyes flashed. “Never said that. I can fix anything, sure as shootin’.”


“My bullshit meter has a low threshold. We’re bound to strike sparks off each other.”


“I don’t live here, Trace, and I’m not staying. We’ve established that. As soon as you put in my new transmission, I’ll be gone. So what if they do talk? Nothing happened, well, except for that kiss.”
“Except for that kiss? Doesn’t sound like I tried hard enough there. Maybe I should give it another shot.”
“Trace…”

 

“He needs help picking out a shirt.”
Reese looked puzzled. “Are the fashion police after you or something?”

 

“So tell me something bout yourself not many people know.”
“I believe in alien abductions.”

He huffed out a laugh.

 

You’re always so careful, holding back. Always doing some deal for your dad. You’re his closer, his hit woman.

Stacking The Shelves #1


I am now known by many for my Goodreads addiction. I wish I could say that I don’t buy books, or request ARC’s from NetGalley, because I have so many from my Goodreads addiction, but that would be a lie.

I’ve been meaning to start a Stacking the Shelves post for a while now, which is why there are so many books in the photo above, I’ve been saving them in a stack to eventually photograph. I finally did it.

Stacking The Shelves is a weekly thing that Tynga’s Reviews started. You can find out more info on her blog, HERE, and also see other bloggers book stacks.

I’ve also decided to rate the books I receive 1-5.
1 meaning there’s very little chance I’ll ever actually get around to reading this book.
5 meaning unless something else arrives that I HAVE to read, this near the top of the list and there’s a likely chance that you’ll see a review of said book from me at some point.


Come Sundown by Nora Roberts – 3
I’ve never actually read a Nora Roberts book. A lot of people entered for this so I was surprised I won. I likely won’t read it before it’s release date, but I do plan to read it at some point.
Goodreads | Amazon

It’s Always The Husband by Michele Campbell – 4
I remember thinking this one looked REALLY good when I entered. I was pretty happy to win. I’m hoping to read this sooner rather then later. I don’t read enough mystery/suspense novels.
Goodreads | Amazon

Snowbirds by Crissa-Jean Chapell – 3
This cover just doesn’t call to me. I am interested in learning more about the Amish though, and it sounds like it could be a good mystery/suspense/thriller so I’m hoping I get to this one.
Goodreads | Amazon

The Bone Witch by Rin Chupeco – n/a
Okay, so I actually already read this one through NetGalley. And I LOVED the cover, but the book not so much. You can find my review HERE. I may re-read this in the future if I get my hands on the sequel.
Goodreads | Amazon

Disrupted: My Misadventure in the Start-Up by Dan Lyons – 4
Hatchette Books sent the BEST promo kit with this book, it was so fun and creative, I won’t soon forget this one! Plus it sounds really interesting, the real life misadventures of a 50 year old man trying to survive in the new open office style Internet start up. Plus the cover is really fun.
Goodreads | Amazon

Buddhist Economics by Clair Brown – 2
This book actually seems like it could be pretty cool and I do want to read it, but I don’t gravitate toward non-humor non-fiction, so if I’m being honest, I likely will not read it.
Goodreads | Amazon

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin – 2
This is chic lit. I don’t have a very good relationship with chic lit so the odds of me actually reading this one aren’t good. If I end up reading and liking Something Borrowed (which I’ve been borrowing from a friend for year, then I’ll probably read this one.
Goodreads | Amazon

Despite the Ghosts by Dylan Newton – 2
While this book sounds like it might be interesting, the cover SCREAMS low-budget indie book, which makes me think the editing might not be up to par. I may read this one, or it may fall by the wayside. Only time will tell.
Goodreads | Amazon

The Twilight Wife by A. J. Banner – 4
I LOVE this cover! The book itself sounds really good too. I don’t read enough psychological thrillers. This one sounds like it might be right up my alley with a woman who begins having visions (memories?) that lead her to believe the life she’s living isn’t the truth.
Goodreads | Amazon

NOVA by Margaret Fortune – 3
I could love this book or I could hate it. A reviewer I usually see eye-to-eye with gave it a 3.5, so I’m hoping I love it. I’m not sure where it will fall in the priority list. I don’t read a lot of sci-fi, but it is YA, even though the cover doesn’t look YA to me.
Goodreads | Amazon

The Cajun Doctor by Sandra Hill – 3
I don’t read a lot of straight up romance, but if I do have a hankering for one I think this would be a good choice. It takes place in bayous of Louisiana, a place I know nothing about, so I think that might be a fun place to “travel” to. Plus I love the colors/contrast on the cover.
Goodreads | Amazon

The Princess Problem by Teri Wilson – 4
This book is super short. And it has a princess. I’m a sucker for anything with royalty. The cover is super cute too.
Goodreads | Amazon

A Cowboy’s Wish Upon a Star by Caro Carson – 3
Just like royalty, I like movie stars. It’s that glamorous life I’ll never know that I’m drawn to. If I’m in the mood to read a (short) romance, this might be one.
Goodreads | Amazon

The Best Man by Kristan Higgins – 4
LOOK HOW CUTE THIS COVER IS!!! If I want a cute little contemporary romance I would snag this book up fast based on this cover.
Goodreads | Amazon

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan – 4
Again – royalty! This one is a beast so I probably won’t be reading it very soon, but I absolutely plan to get this one read!
Goodreads | Amazon

 

EBOOKS:

Tainted (Demon Withinn #1) by Ginna Moran – 5
Buying this book was Katie @ Just Another Girl and Her Books fault. I read her review of…. the third book in the series and she really liked them and they’re paranormal and…. it was only 99 cents so I bought the book and I’ll give it a try. (Side note: The cover has been updated on Amazon since I bought the book 9 days ago. I LOVE THE NEW COVER!)
Goodreads | Amazon

Hunter’s Curse: A Destined for Dreams Short Story by Ginna Moran – 3
I always snag freebies from authors I’ve purchased books from. If I like Tainted I’ll quite likely read this one. Plus it’s short.
Goodreads | Amazon

Destined for Dreams by Ginna Moran – 3
See above. If I like Tainted, then I’ll read Hunter’s Curse, then I’ll read this one! (This was also a freebie at the time!)
Goodreads | Amazon

The Nightmare Inflictor: A Destined For Dreams Short Story by Ginna Moran – 3
I actually just found this freebie when I was putting together this post! See above.
Goodreads | Amazon

Royal Day Out: A From The Notebooks of a Middle School Princess e-short by Meg Cabot – 5
It’s Meg Cabot. And a freebie. Of course I’ll read it. Even though it’s for younger kids than I normally read!
Goodreads | Amazon

Shadowland (Mediator #1) by Meg Cabot
I own the paperback but I’ve been waiting FOREVER for a good sale price on this series for my Kindle! $1.99? SOLD! (If you don’t know this one, it’s a fun teen YA about a girl named Suze who can talk to ghosts, then moves across the country and ends up living in a bedroom haunted by a super hot and chivalrous 1850’s Spaniard named Jesse.)
Goodreads | Amazon

Size 12 Is Not Fat (Heather Wells #1) by Meg Cabot
I actually have yet to read this whole series by Meg Cabot, but I listened to the audiobook of the last book first and LOVED it! A former pop princess’ mother steals her fortune and she’s left to live a normal life working at a college. Somehow she always ends up entangled in murder investigations.
Goodreads | Amazon

 

NETGALLEY ARCS:

Watch Me Disappear by Janelle Brown – 5
This is called a “double dip” because I also won it from Goodreads. Hopefully this is a good psychological thriller
Goodreads | Amazon

The Witchfinders Sister by Beth Underdown – 5
I like the historical aspect of this, using a fictional sister to tell the story of a real man from history who tried and killed many women for witchcraft.
Goodreads | Amazon

The Secret of the India Orchid by Nancy Campbell Allen – 5
This cover is absolutely stunning. I had to have the book based on the cover alone, but this is also a historical novel that fatures royalty and spies and romance.
Goodreads | Amazon

The Falconer by Elisabeth May – 5
This looks like a cool YA fantasy series. The bonus for me for this book is that it’s an older title so it counts for my #BeatTheBacklist challenge! The downside is the formatting of the ARC is so wonky I can’t use text to speech on my Kindle at work. 🙁
Goodreads | Amazon

Royal Bastards by Andrew Shvarts – 5
I heard this book was really awesome, but I’m not so sure yet. A bunch of bastards band together and witness a crime. Now they have to prevent a civil war. It could be really good, or it might not be for me. I’ll find out soon. This one releases in June.
Goodreads | Amazon