Thursday, 19 October 2017

Review: Depth of Lies by E.C. Diskin

Depth of Lies by E.C. Diskin
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Publication date: September 26th 2017
My rating: 4 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | TBD

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33199875-the-good-daughter
“A brilliant examination of the shadows lurking in every relationship and what happens when you step into the darkness.” —Mindy Mejia, author of Everything You Want Me to Be

When Shea Walker, a sunny, easygoing mom, is found dead in a bathtub with a stomach full of booze and pills, the shocking discovery shatters the complacency of her comfortable suburban community.

Kat Burrows, Shea’s longtime friend and former neighbor, is hit hardest. How could a woman she thought she knew so well come to such a sordid end? What could lead happy, well-adjusted, responsible Shea to accidentally overdose on alcohol and narcotics? Or, worse, drive her to suicide?

Compelled to uncover the truth of Shea’s final months, Kat delves beneath the orderly surface of her familiar world to discover a web of thwarted desire, shameful secrets, and shocking betrayal that suggests a scarier explanation for what happened to Shea. As her carefully constructed reality begins to crumble, Kat must question every reassuring assumption her life is built upon to solve the mystery…and summon the courage and resourcefulness to survive it.


My Thoughts:
Kat has come back to Maple Park to attend her best friend, Shea’s funeral. She’s shocked and broken hearted over her friend’s death, which from initial impressions sounds a little like suicide.  Kat can’t believe her friend would take her own life and is frightened that she perhaps missed the signs if Shea did.  As she learns more of Shea’s last days, Kat’s determined to get to the bottom of what happened, and is stunned by some of the secrets she uncovers in the process. It makes her question how well did she even really know Shea or her friends of Maple Park? 

I was sucked into this mystery. The surprising twists made me wonder with every chapter ‘what happened here?’  I really liked Kat even though I don’t know if I could’ve been as bold as she was in her mission to get the truth.  She didn’t let uncomfortable situations stop her from asking difficult and embarrassing questions.  I was disturbed by several selfish characters, Shea’s husband Ryan was one of them, although I can’t say that things were completely black and white with him.  Much like real life, no one is all bad or all good, and the characters in Depth of Lies underscored that basic fact of life.

Kat is going through her own issues with her marriage, stemming from a move and job changes.  I appreciated the more she found out about her friend’s actual lives, the more Kat appreciated her husband and the comparatively minor problems they had. 

I will say I felt a little melancholy finishing the story, because I grew to like Shea (we get chapters from her perspective), faults and all.  Even though I knew she ends up dead, I still wished a happy ending for her.  In the beginning Shea’s death was a tragedy for sure, but I didn’t feel the sadness and anger at the loss until I got to know her.

Depth of Lies is the kind of story best read in one sitting.  I was anxious to get answers in the mystery of Shea’s death once I dived in, and resented every time I had to set the book aside because of real life.  I finally put it away until I had a chunk of time to read straight through.  I’m definitely looking forward to E.C. Diskin’s next tale!



Connect with E.C. Diskin:



Sunday, 15 October 2017

Weekly Wrap Up #14

Hi everyone, with Rachel and I's crazy work schedules, we miss sharing whats going on with us. We used to have a lot of fun with our Showcase Sunday posts, so thought we'd do something regular on the blog, where we share bookish news and life news in general as a weekly recap! We've decided to link our weekly wrap up's with The Sunday Post hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer.

Jasprit 
This week has just been kicking my butt big time, I've been hoping to come home and relax, but just have so much work to do, and then because my commute is taking extra longer, I've been having to leave extra earlier, when all I want to do is stay in bed all day long! So this is one of the reasons that I read 0 books this week, I know I can't even believe it myself, I have several on the go at the minute too, but just haven't had the time. I started Roni Loren's The Ones Who Got Away and I really did have high hopes for this one, but so far it hasn't been working out for me at all. But on the upside, I did renew my membership at the gym this week, I'd been telling myself for a while that I'd go and so was happy that I made it into a circuits class too and I could tell how unfit I was by the end of it, by how exhausted I was! 


WHAT I READ/REVIEWED 
Rachel:
 (Click on title for Goodreads link)




I loved my re-read of Devil in Spring especially after reading the previous books in the series first.  Sugar Pine Trail was super sweet.  Depth of Lies had a lot of surprises and twists, but I had a feeling of sadness upon finishing. I was looking forward to The Queen and the Cure, waiting for the audio to come out.  The narrator, Steve West, was excellent, but I wasn't pleased with the turn of events half-way through the book. There was a lot of action and plot movement, so I was distracted by the frustration, but still it dampened my pleasure.  I liked the first book better.  I'm still not sure how I'll rate The Ones Who Got Away. I think my feelings toward the story were based a lot on my mood at the time, but I will say it's not my favorite Roni Loren story.


BOOKS RECEIVED 
Jasprit 
(Click on title for Goodreads link)

 
I'm really late when it comes to the Lisa Kleypas bandwagon, as I haven't read a single book of hers! I thought it was high time I changed this by getting myself a copy of Cold Hearted Rake from the library!

Rachel:
 (Click on title for Goodreads link)


I really enjoyed Sugar Pine Trail so I added these from Netgalley.  

NEW TO MY TBR
Jasprit 
(Click on Book for Goodreads link)

 

Karma Brown just popped up on my Goodreads feed this week, and I just added her books to my tbr pile straight away, I checked and quite a few of my friends have been fans of her books too. I was thinking of trying her books on audio, but I'm still in two minds about whether I want to try the paperback or just get the audio version. And despite not having the greatest run with Kasie's books lately, I couldn't resist adding Listen to Your Heart to my tbr, the cover is also super adorable! 


Rachel:
Nothing other than the books received above. :)






  WHAT I'M WATCHING:

Jasprit  


 
Of course I'm still loving the heck out of Strictly Come Dancing, it's the highlight of my Saturday. And I was ecstatic with the return of Riverdale season 2, there was so much I needed to know from the end of Season 1 and I was pleased to say it didn't disappoint, bring on Thursday (Netlflix UK shows it a day late) for more Bughead! 


Rachel:

I went to the movies and watched the new Lego movie with my family, and bits and pieces of one Longmire episode.  Haven't watched much else.
 
EVENTS OF THE WEEK

Jasprit 
I had my first personal training session this week, and I actually really enjoyed it! My teacher I've know for a while, as he does my classes during the week too, but he's good because he proper pushes you, like I'd normally just stick within my limits on the machines, but afterwards I was proper feeling it and sweating like no man's business! But because I enjoyed it so much, I've decided to book another six sessions! Wish me luck! 





Rachel:
My half-marathon is scheduled to go on October 28th. Two weeks away, but I'm wondering if the race will even take place with all the wildfires in the region (Wine Country, California).  I've read the fires are only 25% contained so far.  I can't believe the death toll and devastation!  So very tragic!  I'm in Central California right now, at our vacation home and the smoke from Wine Country is blowing over here making it extremely smoky in this valley!  I guess we'll see what happens.


How was your week?

Friday, 13 October 2017

Paperback Release & Giveaway: Paris For One by Jojo Moyes

Both Jasprit and I have read and loved Jojo Moyes writing so I'm pleased to alert readers to the Paperback Release of Paris For One as well as offer up a giveaway!  Jasprit read Paris For One a few months back (her review) and really enjoyed it, and I know Jojo Moyes can weave an entrancing tale. 



Publication Date: October 3rd 2017 (Paperback)
Publisher: Penguin Books
Purchase Links:

Book Description:

From the #1 "New York Times" bestselling author of "Me Before You" and "After You," a sensational collection featuring the title novella and eight other stories. Quintessential Jojo Moyes, "Paris for One and Other Stories" is an irresistibly romantic collection filled with humor and heart.
Nell is twenty-six and has never been to Paris. She's never even been on a romantic weekend away to anywhere before. Everyone knows travelling abroad isn't really her thing. But when Nell's boyfriend fails to show up for their romantic mini-vacation, she has the opportunity to prove everyone including herself wrong. Alone and in Paris, Nell uncovers a version of herself she never knew existed: independent and intrepid. Could this turn out to be the most adventurous weekend of her life? Funny, charming, and irresistible, "Paris for One"is vintage Moyes as are the other stories that round out the collection."

Paris for One
Between the Tweets
Love in the Afternoon
A Bird in the Hand
Crocodile Shoes
Holdups
Last Year's Coat
Thirteen Days with John C.
The Christmas List

 Reading Group Guide click HERE.

 Also, for fans of the Me Before You series, don't forget about the continuation of Louisa's story in Still Me coming January 2018. 


 (click on cover for Goodreads link)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/35791968-still-me



About Jojo Moyes:
Jojo Moyes is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of After You, The Horse Dancer, Me Before You, One Plus One, The Girl You Left Behind, The Last Letter from Your Lover, Silver Bay, and The Ship of Brides. She lives with her husband and three children in Essex, England


Connect with Jojo Moyes:




The publisher generously provided a Paperback copy of Paris For One to one lucky reader.  Simple fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.

Thursday, 12 October 2017

Review: Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins

Now That You Mention It by Kristan Higgins
Publisher: Harlequin Books
Publication date: December 26th 2017
Jasprit's rating: 4 Stars  Rachel's rating: 4.5 Stars
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | TBD

 https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33199875-the-good-daughter
One step forward. Two steps back. The Tufts scholarship that put Nora Stuart on the path to becoming a Boston medical specialist was a step forward. Being hit by a car and then overhearing her boyfriend hit on another doctor when she thought she was dying? Two major steps back.

Injured in more ways than one, Nora feels her carefully built life cracking at the edges. There's only one place to land: home. But the tiny Maine community she left fifteen years ago doesn't necessarily want her. At every turn, someone holds the prodigal daughter of Scupper Island responsible for small-town drama and big-time disappointments.

With a tough islander mother who's always been distant and a wild-child sister in jail, unable to raise her daughter--a withdrawn teen as eager to ditch the island as Nora once was--Nora has her work cut out for her if she's going to take what might be her last chance to mend the family.

But as some relationships crumble around her, others unexpectedly strengthen. Balancing loss and opportunity, a dark event from her past with hope for the future, Nora will discover that tackling old pain makes room for promise...and the chance to begin again.

Jasprit's Thoughts:
Yeah so I tried writing a mini review, but that didn't happen, as I had far too much to say about this beautiful book! Sorry in advance!

I’ve really been struggling lately with the beginning of books, I don’t know if it’s just that they’re unable to keep my attention, or they’re just lacking that big event to reel me in from the beginning. Thank goodness this was not the case with Now That You Mention It, it was refreshingly unique as I found myself flying through the pages from the very beginning, Higgins was really able to capture my attention with Nora’s life and weave such a beautiful story. With the turn of events, I was totally for Nora going back home and spending time with her family, however, as we don’t really know Nora’s back story or of why she left Scupper Island in the first place, I was really overwhelmed with the turn of events. I wanted Nora to rush back to Boston and be with Bobby, I know he was a complete and utter douche face, but you know with certain characters you want to give them a second chance and honestly with the way things were going I honestly thought Bobby was redeeming himself. And with the stuff Nora had to deal with back home, with a mother who wouldn’t really open up, and a niece who didn’t want to know her, wasn’t Nora just better off in Boston?

The revelations came kept coming in Now That You Mention It and I was so glad that I was reading this book with Rachel as I constantly wanted to discuss what the hell was going on! The revelations bought on so many different feelings; my heart just broke with had happened, but I appreciated the way Higgins gave the story to us, as I so wasn’t expecting it, so I was completely left reeling. Nora’s story was captured so well in this book, I felt as if I’d really got to know her as a character and I loved how strong she was and just how far she came over the course of the story. Nora never had an easy time, she had experienced a tough life, been pushed to her limits, but I admired her ability not to give up, and the way things ended up in the end. I liked how friends cropped up when she was least expecting them, and she was willing to try and try again until she made some breakthroughs with people she cared about. Although overall, I really enjoyed this book, as all I wanted to do was devour all the beautiful pages, I felt as towards the end of the book, it was a little anti-climactic, the big reveal, wasn’t that big to me, may be because I was left in shock whilst experiencing Nora’s journey. But this aside, Now That You Mention It was truly a wonderful read, I loved all the shocks and surprises along the way, how Higgins was able to take me through feelings of anger, hurt and love in one incredible journey. Also, just a heads up, don’t assume that you know anyone, I thought I was a good judge of character, but Higgins completely had me fooled! Now That You Mention It was my first book by Higgins, but it certainly won’t be my last!





Rachel's Thoughts:
I loved Nora! I was completely sucked into her story; unraveling the past, and hoping for a satisfying future for her! I felt bad for all that she went through.  God, high school can be so hard! The kids were awful to her, yet Nora rose above it and became an accomplished woman.  Leaving Scupper Island, where she grew to become a doctor in Boston, she hasn’t returned for fifteen years, and who could blame her?  After an accident leaves Nora banged up and without a boyfriend (good riddance, Bobby!) she returns home determined to get closer to her mother and her fifteen-year-old niece, Poe.

There was a lot going on, but it wasn’t confusing, and I couldn’t put the story down.  At first Nora seems like a woman full of confidence, just dating a complete douchbag.  I couldn’t stand Bobby! What kind of boyfriend starts picking up on another woman while you lay unconscious in a hospital bed? (Not a spoiler, it’s in the book description) I do have to say there was a moment where I thought he might change, but, yeah, no. I loved Sully, Nora’s high school-mate now all grown-up with a daughter of his own. Nora and Sully had a bit of a rough start, but I completely swooned over this man!

When she returns home, we discover Nora wasn’t always the strong confident woman portrayed at first.  She’s dealing with so much!  Nora’s relationship with her mother and sister, Lily, are strained and we start to find out why.  I was riveted!  Even though Lily’s not present really, except for flashbacks, I honestly couldn’t stand her. Yes, she was in pain and had issues, but so did Nora! Yet, Nora was nothing but loving towards her, hopeful they would draw closer and lend support to each other.  I like that when Nora realized it was time to accept there’s no changing some people, she got support and love from others to make up for it. 

Nora’s journey sorting out the past, mending fences, and making peace with her life was at times heartbreaking, but also heartwarming, and I loved every minute!  Out of the three Kristan Higgins novels I’ve read, Now That You Mention It is my favorite to date.

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