Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Review: Speak No Evil by Allison Brennan

Speak No Evil (No Evil Trilogy, #1)
Speak No Evil (Evil #1) by Allison Brennan
Narrated by: Tim Lundeen
Publisher: Audible Inc.
Length: 10 Hours 56 Minutes
Audiobook Publication date: February 17th 2012
My rating: 4.5 stars

Silence is deadly.
The murder of eighteen-year-old Angie Vance was exceptionally vile:her mouth was sealed with glue, an obscenity scrawled across her skin, and she was suffocated in a garbage bag. The killing seems personal, so police detective Carina Kincaid focuses her efforts on the victims much older ex-boyfriend, Steve Thomas. But without physical evidence, Carina can't make a collar or a case. She also can't stop Sheriff Nick Thomas, the prime suspect's brother, from conducting his own unwelcome investigation.

Though Nick is still scarred and unsteady from a recent confrontation with a serial killer, he's determined to prove his brother's innocence. But his confidence is shaken when he learns of Steve's dark side, and when a friend of the murdered girl meets a similarly gruesome fate. With no time to lose, Carina and Nick work together to trap a psychopath, before another unlucky woman faces an unspeakable end.

Evil has spoken. Now see what it can do.

My Thoughts:
Speak No Evil was like one of the gritty, disturbing mysteries you find on Criminal Minds the TV series with a sizzling romance thrown in. It was addictive and I couldn’t stop listening, so I blew through this in no time, not able to wait for my commute times to continue.

Carina Kincaid is a homicide detective and has just caught a violent, disturbing murder case: a girl was found gagged and suffocated, wrapped in garbage bags with the name SLUT written on her chest.  This murder has all the marks of a burgeoning serial killer and so Carina can’t help but feel the pressure to catch this guy ASAP before he strikes again. When Steve Thomas becomes the prime suspect, his brother Sheriff Nick Thomas steps into to aid his brother with his defense.  While Nick doesn’t want to think his brother had anything to do with the murder, it won’t stop him from uncovering the truth even if Steve is guilty. 

Nick is recovering emotionally and physically after wrapping up an investigation of a particularly nasty serial killer. The guy was caught but not before leaving a trail of victims.  Realizing the asset Nick can be to the investigation after learning his history, Carina pulls him in for help because it’s a race against the clock when victims start piling in.

The murders in this mystery were horrible and graphic, so fair warning for any who decides to pick this story up. Very disturbing especially because we get the killer’s POV in some of the chapters. *shivers* I think some of what makes this so very scary is the fact that these types of crimes actually happen in real life.  It reminds me to carry my pepper spray in my hand while walking to and from the parking garage at work!

Both Nick and Carina have painful baggage in their pasts that factor heavily into their jobs, making them better investigators, IMO, because to them the cases are personal.  Through the investigation Nick and Carina’s respect for one another grows along with a simmering attraction. Their romance was built on a deep connection between kindred spirits.  I did appreciate that neither Carina nor Nick tried to “solve” each other’s hurt rather they provided comfort and a listening ear.

I loved Carina’s big family, most of which were law enforcement professionals, and were very supportive of both Nick and Carina.  She had plenty of help and input from her brothers, who were key players in the investigation.  I hope to see more of them in the continuing series.

I was on the edge of my seat by the end of this read as the danger and stakes ramped up when it becomes apparent who the killer is. Sure to give you chills and thrills up to the end! I was happily surprised at finding this series and I definitely plan on reading the next two books.  The next book, See No Evil, centers on Connor Kincaid, Carina’s brother.

As for the audio, I enjoyed Tim Lundeen’s voice for the male characters, but I wasn’t thrilled with the female characterization. The story was thrilling enough to overlook that. 

Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Review & Giveaway: Wildflower Wedding by Luanne McLane

Wildflower Wedding (Cricket Creek #6)
Wildflower Wedding (Cricket Creek #6) by Luanne McLane
Publisher: Signet
Publication date: April 1st 2014
My rating:  3.5 stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Book Depository
Cricket Creek, Kentucky, is a sweet river town known for its baseball, shopping, and weddings. After the recession, business is finally bouncing back, but old insecurities—and heartaches—are slower to heal…

Growing up on the wrong side of the tracks, Gabby Goodwin had more to prove than the rest of Cricket Creek. Even now, as the successful owner of the local flower shop, she hasn’t forgotten her humble beginnings. So when her high school crush, the former class bad boy, walks back into her life, she keeps him at arm’s length, protecting her heart—and her pride.

Reese Marino gave up most of his wild ways years ago, graduating from college and becoming part owner of his uncle’s pizza parlor. The fact that Gabby still treats him like a troubled teenager drives him mad, but that’s not the only thing about the sassy florist driving him to distraction. Despite Gabby’s reluctant attitude, Reese is determined to win her over and show her that love often blooms right where you least expect it.

My Thoughts:
Wildflower Wedding is two heartwarming romances set in a small town with very little drama or angst; a feel-good story to pass an afternoon away. This is part of a series, but it’s not necessary to read the previous books to enjoy this installment.

Gabby grew in Cricket Creek in the wrong side town, one of the poor kids living in the trailer park. Even though she’s now owns a successful flower shop some of the old hang-ups from her upbringing still hold strong; like falling for the wrong guy, the one who’ll love and leave you.  When bad boy Reese Marino moves back to town, her long held crush comes roaring back.   He always showed her his sweet side, but Gabby stayed away knowing his reputation with the girls and for stirring up trouble. It seems Reece has made a lot of changes, but still she’s cautious.

After his father’s abandonment Reese went through a time where anger and hurt fueled his actions.  When things got out control his mother sent him away to live with her brother, Uncle Tony, in Brooklyn.  Reece made something of himself during that time by going to the Brooklyn Culinary Institute and he’s now back in Cricket Creek with his Uncle Tony and his mother opening up a family restaurant.  Growing up he’s always had a thing for Gabby, but she always kept him at arm’s length.  Reece could understand it back then, especially when he was nothing but trouble, but he’s not that troubled teen any longer. Will she open up her heart and be able to see it?

Uncle Tony has his own baggage after his discovering his wife was cheating.  Even a few years later he’s still bitter and hurt.  Trish, his landlord has recently moved to Cricket Creek as well and suffered a similar blow.  Can these two put aside their pain and trust issues enough to be happy? There’s definitely a palpable attraction and draw between the two of them.

I really enjoyed both of these romances, but if I had to pick I guess Tony and Trish’s appealed to me just a little more being they were older and had experienced marriage.  I’m not divorced, but I’m no stranger to the struggles you can face as a married couple and can imagine the pain of betrayal that both Trish and Tony were struggling to get past.  Plus, they had a bit of an antagonistic relationship to start off and I adored the fun push and pull between these two.

I did love that for the most part these couples dealt with their issues and reservations maturely and there wasn’t any over the top drama or third party involvement. Thank goodness!  I’ve had my fill for a while of angsty, drama filled reads lately!  Wildflower Wedding is a sweet, and at times spicy romance sure to leave you happy and satisfied in the end.


Connect with Luanne McLane:

The publisher has kindly provided a Paperback copy of Wildflower Wedding to one lucky Readers Den follower!  Entrants must be 18 years or older.  The giveaway is open to US or CA Residents only.

Monday, 28 April 2014

Review: A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger

A Midsummer's Nightmare by Kody Keplinger
Publisher: Hodder Children's Books
Publication date: February 6th 2014.
My rating: 3 stars.  

Sun, sex, and ... step-brothers. Another sizzling story from Hamilton High. Whitley Johnson's dream summer of shopping, partying and tanning on the beach has just turned into a nightmare. Because Dad didn't tell her he doesn't live by the beach anymore, or that he's no longer a bachelor. He's picked up and moved to a tiny, lame town called Hamilton and gotten himself a fiance. A fiance whose son just happens to be what's-his-name from last week's drunken graduation party one night stand. Just freakin' great. As if the summer couldn't get worse, Dad seems to forget Whitley's even there. She doesn't fit in with his perfect new country club family, and Whitley does what any kid lucky enough to go all summer unsupervised does: she parties. Hard. So hard that she doesn't even notice the good things right under her nose: a younger future step-sister who is just about the only person she's ever liked, a best friend (even though Whitley swears she doesn't 'do friends') and a smoking hot, sweet guy who isn't her step brother (yet) and who actually seems to care for her. It will take all three of them to convince her that they're not phoneys, and to get Whitley to get through her anger and begin to put the pieces of her family together.

A Midsummer’s Nightmare ended up surprising me in so many ways. I had only read one book previously by Keplinger (Shut Out) and whilst I remember sitting there with a dopey grin on my face throughout, A Midsummer’s Nightmare definitely took a different approach. Whitley is a fun girl, she likes going out and having fun, partying, and so when its time for her to go to her dad’s for the summer (a yearly tradition) she can’t wait to relax, her dad has a cool condo, and they normally just sit back, relax and drink. So it’s kind of a shock when her dad ends up taking her to his home, which isn’t his condo, but a house with his fiancé and kids living there and her future step brother ends up being the guy she slept with the night before! How awkward is that. 

Right away I knew Whitley’s dad was going to be an annoying character, which dad doesn’t tell his daughter before that he got rid of the condo, a place Whitley loved and that he’s engaged? His excuse was he didn’t have the right opportunity. Seriously? Also the fact that Whitley only gets to see him once a year, shouldn’t he make the most of this time with her? No instead he never seems to have time for Whitley, he either has errands to run, or he’s forgotten that he meant to spend time with her and ends up arranging something with his future step children instead. And then also when things start going crazy for Whitley who steps into make sure she’s doing okay? His fiancé! He ignores her current fiasco, not thinking that she would need some support. And only steps in when he thought his reputation was on the line. Who does that? Okay ranting about Whitley’s dad aside, this was one of the reasons that I could understand Whitley wanting to go out and have a good time, her dad didn’t ever give her the time of day and all her mum wanted to do was moan about her dad all the time. So despite Whitley feeling as if she was disregarded, the move with her dad’s future family was actually what Whitley needed. She didn’t really have anyone back at home she could talk to, and although things were awkward with Sylvia’s son Nathan, at least he understood her and made time for her. Also she ended up making some great friends in Hamilton and having fun with her future step sister Bailey. 

Despite doing some crazy things along the way, Whitley did show some great growth and maturity by the end of this book. I liked the fact that she took charge of the situation and confronted her problems head on. My only complaint is that (highlight to view spoiler) she resolved her issues with her dad way too quickly, if she had to just talk to her dad to get everything sorted in a jiffy, then the situation could have been sorted out much quicker, instead of fretting away. I think I’m more annoyed with how easily she was able to forgive him; I think I would have preferred a slower progress of development between the two  But other than that I really enjoyed A Midsummer’s Nightmare, there was also a cameo appearance from Wes and Bianca from The Duff. I know everyone has been on at me to give that book a go. So this book has definitely given me a push in the right direction to do so.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

Showcase Sunday #51

Showcase Sunday is a weekly meme hosted by Vicky at Books, Biscuits and Tea. The aim is to showcase our newest books or book related swag and to see what everyone else received for review, borrowed from libraries, bought in bookshops and downloaded onto eReaders this week. 

Hey everyone, I hope you've all been reading some great books! April seemed to be a month of brilliant releases. I forgot how many books I had pre-ordered but was very excited to see them arrive. I have devoured every single book by Jenny Han, so couldn't wait to get my hands on her latest book. The same can be said of Laini Taylor's Dreams of Gods and Monsters, I am dying to know how things will end in her series. I'm actually attending a Laini Taylor event this week, she will be hosting a discussion and a signing afterwards, I can't wait! 

What I Thought was True by Huntley Fitzpatrick | To All the Boys I've Loved Before by Jenny Han | Let's Get Lost by Adi Alsaid.

Thank you MIRA Ink

Thank you Sarah Alderson.

Out of Control by Sarah Alderson | Dreams of Gods & Monsters by Laini Taylor | Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn. 

Sarah Alderson is another of my go to authors. she is wonderful in creating stories that you just want to get lost in, she was sweet enough to give early copies of Out of Control and her adult novel Come Back to Me. See what I mean now? I received so many brilliant books all in one go, that I have no clue where to start (so far I've only been able to read What I Thought was True from this stack :( ).

Let's see the pretties Rachel received.

Red at NightAll You Need is Love (Green Mountain #1)    Speak No Evil (No Evil Trilogy, #1)   

Thank you to Berkley!

I didn’t get too much this week.  I’m trying to make a dent (as always) in my review pile anyhow. I’m really excited for All You Need is Love after reading Andrea’s @The Bookish Babe review.  It sounds just like the sweet romance I gravitate to.  Red At Night was a freebie novella by Katie McGarry and I’ve loved all her YA romances, so how could I pass it up?  Speak No Evil was offered to me on sale when I logged into my audible account.  I saw high ratings so I scooped it up! I’ve been listening to it and it’s a procedural crime/mystery sort of along the lines of Criminal Minds and it’s really good! Really disturbing, but really good! I don’t want to stop listening to it at the end of my commute. 

If you posted a book haul this week, we would love to see what you received, so leave us a link in the comments and we'll be over to check it out!

Friday, 25 April 2014

Review: Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi

Ignite Me (Shatter Me #3) by Tahereh Mafi
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication date: February 4th 2014
My rating: 3.5 stars

With Omega Point destroyed, Juliette doesn’t know if the rebels, her friends, or even Adam are alive. But that won’t keep her from trying to take down The Reestablishment once and for all. Now she must rely on Warner, the handsome commander of Sector 45. The one person she never thought she could trust. The same person who saved her life. He promises to help Juliette master her powers and save their dying world . . . but that’s not all he wants with her.

Ignite Me had been one of my highly anticipated series finales this year. There was a major love triangle which emerged in the second book Unravel me and although I’m not a fan of these, I desperately wanted to know how things would end. Also I had switched teams in the second book and although I had a clear favourite, I didn’t want to see the other guy heartbroken like I had seen done before in previous books. So I definitely went into this book with my heart in my throat. It didn’t help the least that my order of this book was messed over (my copy didn’t arrive a few days late) by that time everyone was talking about it over on Twitter, Goodreads, and Instragram and I had such a hard time avoiding any spoilers. 

Ignite me kicks off with a lot of things in disarray, with Juliette finding herself injured and having no idea how the others are, it’s a real testing time for her. Also she’s utterly confused about her feelings towards Warner, the more she spends time with him the more she becomes to realise that he really isn’t the monster, she assumed that he was. I was actually delighted with the real Warner that we became to know in Unravel me, he was truly a lonely individual, despite this tough exterior persona he put across, I really did want to give him several hugs over the course of this book. I enjoyed the deeper Mafi went with his character, how we were able to learn all about his deepest fears and desires, honestly it made me love him that much more. However what I didn’t like was how a character I truly admired and appreciated in Shatter Me became this hardened person who didn’t really care about anyone else. This had happened to me before with another series I adored (Queen of Babble) and honestly it just leaves a bitter taste in your mouth. He was acting so out of character, biting people’s heads off, being completely rude and at times putting his friend’s life in danger. At times I really didn’t want to be around this character and his hot headedness, yes his behaviour and reasons for acting at were totally understandable. But what happened to the sweet guy we were introduced to who constantly made me swoon? 

However despite this character's major personality change, Mafi was able to lift my mood with some wonderful characters. Two characters definitely made this book for me; Warner and Kenji. Kenji was brilliant in providing much needed banter and fun during stressful scenes, never have I needed Kenji around more when a certain character was annoying the heck out of me. I also enjoyed his reactions with Juliet and Warner. Warner was truly a delight to get to know, he was utterly dreamy in this book. 

I do think however the see-saw relationship between Juliet and Warner could have been dealt with a bit more better. In Unravel Me Warner was so intent with his feelings with Juliette, and Juliette was the confused one, but this time it was the other way around. Warner had been burred pretty bad so really didn’t want to put his heart on the line again, which I completely understood. But there was this intense will they won’t they vibe forever, I did enjoy the slow teasing and build up because afterwards it was completely worth it, but I wished I didn’t have to wait (highlight to view spoiler) until chapter 55 to get some action  

It might seem like my review so far has been completely ranty, but this is not the case at all. I really did enjoy Ignite Me, some things may have irked me along the way, but the way things ended (but a little rushed) with hope and on the horizon for everyone was really in my eyes the best ending possible.

Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Review: Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers

Grave Mercy (His Fair Assassin #1) by Robin LaFevers
Publisher: Houghton Mifflin Harcourt
Publication date: April 3rd 2012
My rating: 5 stars 

Why be the sheep, when you can be the wolf? Seventeen-year-old Ismae escapes from the brutality of an arranged marriage into the sanctuary of the convent of St. Mortain, where the sisters still serve the gods of old. Here she learns that the god of Death Himself has blessed her with dangerous gifts—and a violent destiny. If she chooses to stay at the convent, she will be trained as an assassin and serve as a handmaiden to Death. To claim her new life, she must destroy the lives of others. Ismae’s most important assignment takes her straight into the high court of Brittany—where she finds herself woefully under prepared—not only for the deadly games of intrigue and treason, but for the impossible choices she must make. For how can she deliver Death’s vengeance upon a target who, against her will, has stolen her heart?

Grace Mercy was a unanimous winner in my end of blog poll, as the book that I needed to pick up next from my tbr pile and I am so glad that so many of you gave me the extra push to pick this book sooner rather than later, as grave Mercy was one of the best historical fiction books I have ever read. 

The lovely Siiri I planned to read this book together and because of our busy schedules we decided to read 10 chapters a day; however none of us imagined that we’d be dying to read more chapters, once we’d finished off our assigned reading. LaFevers just wonderfully knew how to throw you head first into the story. We found ourselves with our MC Ismae who’s just been married, a marriage arranged by her father. On the first night things end up going the way Ismae knew they would, but she didn’t think that she would be whisked away to a covenant and made to become a formidable figure under St. Mortain of death. Ismae was trained up to assassinate anyone who bore the marque. On her assignment Ismae asked no questions, but just did what was acquired of her. But when Gavriel Duval turns up at the covenant demanding that they at least question their supposed targets before just killing them, this has Ismae questioning whether what she is doing is right. Also on top of this the covenant need a person on the inside to keep on top of the Duchess’ dire situation and who better than Ismae who will pretend to be Duval’s mistress. 

I loved the situation that Ismae found herself, not only did she find herself questioning if she was doing the right thing, but she also found herself in an awkward position with Duval. He clearly didn’t like Ismae, but now he was stuck with her for the foreseeable future. Duval didn’t really give off the greatest impression, he came across as an enraged man who didn’t like people meddling in his business, but really did he expect Ismae to disregard what she was required to do? I loved how both were forced into this situation. (I always find book where two characters are forced in a situation or to work together the best, more so when the situation creates a lot of tension and swoony scenes between said characters and I had a feeling that we would be definitely getting a lot of this from these two characters). 

I loved the slow tense build up between Ismae and Duval; they started off as two characters that completely didn't trust one another, to two characters who knew they had to trust each other in order to support the Duchess. I loved the banter that developed between Ismae and Duval and how in situations where Ismae was doing her job, Duval would just turn up glaring to drag Ismae away. At times it did seem Ismae was getting somewhere with her role she was playing, but I did like it when Ismae found herself in an awkward situation and Duval unexpectedly came to her aid (not that she needed helping) but I liked how he knew to be at the right place at the right time. And these abrupt turn ups did really give us an insight into the sort of character he was. 

Duval really stole my heart in this book, not only was he loyal to his Duchess, he was intelligent, funny, and totally swoon worthy, I was told earlier about a few chapters which I would thoroughly enjoy and they were so worth it, but I think any scene which had Duval in it became a favourite. LaFevers also excelled in writing great characters other than Duval (I could probably talk about him for the rest of my review.) I adored Beast and De Lorrnay, I enjoyed the fun they had in their scenes (I really wished we had more of them). The same could be said of Sybella and Annith, both really shone in the little time we spent with them. And the rest of the characters from the young but brave Duchess to Abess all brought something different to the story. I truly admired the variety that LaFevers gave us. 

I also hugely enjoyed the mystery aspect to this book; we had some nice build up of tension, as we didn’t know who we really could trust. There were some characters which had me raging and needing a couple of slaps, but time and time again loyalties to the Duchess were tested. And finally after I did discover who could be the biggest ever fraud, I was still floored as to why they had deceived us so much in the first place. So Grace Mercy was definitely a book which kept on my toes with its great mystery, will she/ won’t they moments and of course continual aspects of fear that something could go horribly wrong. LeFevers weaves elements of sabotage in to this story wonderfully alongside aspects of heart break. (highlight to view spoiler) De Lornay *cries* why?. And for this reason I can say this is one of the best books I have read in a long time!

Monday, 21 April 2014

Review: Red Hill by Jaime McGuire

Red Hill
Red Hill by Jaime McGuire
Narrated by: Emma Galvin, January LaVoy, Zachary Webber
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
Length: 9 Hours 38 Minutes
Publication date: October 1st 2013
My rating: 4.5 stars

When the world ends, can love survive?

For Scarlet, raising her two daughters alone makes fighting for tomorrow an everyday battle. Nathan has a wife, but can’t remember what it’s like to be in love; only his young daughter Zoe makes coming home worthwhile. Miranda’s biggest concern is whether her new VW Bug is big enough to carry her sister and their boyfriends on a weekend escape from college finals.

When reports of a widespread, deadly “outbreak” begin to surface, these ordinary people face extraordinary circumstances and suddenly their fates are intertwined. Recognizing they can’t outrun the danger, Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda desperately seek shelter at the same secluded ranch, Red Hill. Emotions run high while old and new relationships are tested in the face of a terrifying enemy—an enemy who no longer remembers what it’s like to be human.

Set against the backdrop of a brilliantly realized apocalyptic world, love somehow finds a way to survive. But what happens when the one you’d die for becomes the one who could destroy you?

Red Hill grabs you from page one and doesn’t let go until its stunning conclusion. This is #1 New York Times bestselling author Jamie McGuire at her unforgettable best.

My Thoughts:
I’ve always been a fan of zombie stories, and usually they’re told in an apocalyptic, end-of-the-world type scenario, and I’ve always been attracted to those types of tales.  Not sure exactly what about them that appeals to me, but part of it is the challenges faced in the fight to survive.  Red Hill was a thrilling, personal story that brought out a mix of emotions, and I enjoyed every second of it!

Red Hill was the zombie apocalypse told from three perspectives: Scarlet, Nathan, and Miranda.

Scarlet is a divorced single mother desperately trying to find her two daughters after all hell broke loose.  She was separated from her girls when they go to spend the weekend with their father and she drives off to work.  Scarlet has one mission, one goal, and that is to reunite with her daughters and find someplace safe to hole up.  I felt a keen connection to Scarlet as a mother and could easily relate to the desperate determination she felt trying to find her girls.  I was rooting for her success and biting my nails nervously at every turn.  Scarlet was incredibly brave and one tough lady, and I admired her even when I didn’t completely agree with some of her decisions in the end. Would I make the same choices, knowing it endangered my life or those around me? Maybe. Probably.

Nathan, a recently abandoned husband and father to seven-year old, Zoe is scrambling to find a safe haven after the outbreak with his daughter in tow.  He was stuck in a loveless marriage and trying hold everything together for his daughter who has special needs.  I don’t think her condition was ever named but she might have had Asperger’s syndrome.  I felt his depression and sad resignation at his situation as the story began, but all that changed with the outbreak.  Ironically, the apocalypse sort gave Nathan a new lease on life, and I was hoping he’d get a happy ending.  Even though romance wasn’t the focus of this story I was hoping that Scarlet and Nathan would connect and I wasn’t disappointed. 

Miranda starts the story as a college student escaping for a weekend away with her sister and their boyfriends, and then a run for their lives when the situation becomes crazy.  They were on their way to her father’s weekend home, Red Hill to spend time with him and now they can’t get there fast enough. My heart broke for her and her boyfriend, Bryce at the situation they find themselves in when the get to Red Hill.

We get the end of the world told from each Scarlet, Nathan and Miranda’s personal perspectives, and I loved how their stories overlapped each other until they all come to the same point: Red Hill. Their struggles, emotional and otherwise felt real and made a zombie apocalypse feel very possible.

This is not the first story I’ve read and enjoyed of Jaime McGuire’s, but I was surprised Red Hill was so completely different from Beautiful Disaster.  Being able to switch from one genre to another and still manage to tell a moving story really impressed me.

I listened to the audio version of Red Hill, and I highly recommend it.  There were three different narrators: January LaVoy as Scarlet had an appealing, low, sultry voice, and the determination and sincerity as a mother on a mission came through loud and clear with her performance.  Zachary Webber as Nathan did an amazing job conveying his depression in the beginning, and boy was his voice ever sexy!  Emma Galvin as Miranda sounded age perfect: fresh, plucky and strong. I thought each did a brilliant job!

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