2018 Book #35 – The Last Move by Mary Burton

51YpIzdnQeL._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Last Move
Author: Mary Burton
Date finished: 4/29/18
Genre: Suspense, thriller
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Publication Date: September 19, 2017
Pages in book: 326
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: My friend Alex

Blurb from the cover:

In this gripping stand-alone from bestselling author Mary Burton, an FBI agent must catch a copycat killer. The only difference this time: she’s the final victim.

Catching monsters helps FBI agent Kate Hayden keep her nightmares at bay. Now an urgent call brings her back to San Antonio, the scene of her violent past. A brutal new murder shows hallmarks of a serial killer nicknamed the Samaritan. Tricky part is, Kate already caught him.

Either Kate made a deadly error, or she’s got a copycat on her hands. Paired with homicide detective Theo Mazur, she quickly realizes this murder is more twisted than it first appeared. Then a second body is found, the mode of death identical to a different case that Kate thought she’d put behind her.

Now Kate and Detective Mazur aren’t just working a homicide; the investigative pair is facing a formidable enemy who knows Kate intimately. While Mazur is personally trying to protect Kate, the closer they are drawn to the killer, the clearer it becomes that in this terrifying game, there is only one rule: don’t believe everything you see…

My rating:  3.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review:

My friend Alex had recently read this novel and asked me to read it also to see if it was appropriate for our office lending library (I believe it is appropriate so I’ve already added it to the library). I like a good suspense/thriller so I gave it a try, started it while on vacation this past weekend. This was a pretty good thriller, the plot line was definitely scary/creepy. The writing really gets into the mind of the killer at certain points and it made me feel kind of icky after reading those parts. And the murders are pretty gruesome but add a good layer of fear to the story. The characters themselves did feel a little 2-dimensional to me and I wouldn’t say that the tension between the two main characters lept off the page but overall it was a good book and I’d recommend reading it. It did make for a great vacation read, would’ve been an even better read for the beach!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2018 Book #14 – You Will Be Mine by Natasha Preston

51hQYpC879LTitle: You Will Be Mine
Author: Natasha Preston
Date finished: 2/9/18
Genre: Fiction, young adult, horror, suspense
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Publication Date: February 6, 2018
Pages in book: 304
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Love turns deadly in a new heart-pounding thriller from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of The Cellar and The Cabin!

ROSES ARE RED
VIOLETS ARE BLUE
WATCH YOUR BACK
I’M COMING FOR YOU

Lylah and her friends can’t wait to spend a night out together. Partying is the perfect way to let loose from the stress of life and school, and Lylah hopes that hitting the dance floor with Chace, her best friend, will bring them closer together. She’s been crushing on him since they met. If only he thought of her the same way…

The girls are touching up their makeup and the guys are sliding on their coats when the doorbell rings. No one is there. An envelope sits on the doormat. It’s an anonymous note addressed to their friend Sonny. A secret admirer? Maybe. They all laugh it off.

Except Sonny never comes home. And a new note arrives:

YOUR TURN

My rating:  3.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

Killing for revenge on Valentine’s Day

Lylah and her friends try to outrun a killer bent on revenge and fixated on their little household. They obviously don’t do too well though since more than one of them ends up murdered. The characters in this novel were ok, although I found Lylah to be a tad whiny, but I guess that’s to be expected when your friends are being killed off. The plot of the book was really good. Even though I did kind of see the plot twist at the end coming, it was still super creepy and dark/twisted and I thought it was great. The book was appropriately creepy too, I found myself looking over my shoulder for bad guys while I was reading it. I also like that this was a horror story centered around the Valentine’s Day holiday, I thought that was a fun twist on what is normally just a mushy day. My issues with the story line mostly consisted of what felt like holes in the plot or incomplete sections. At one point Riley and Lylah argue and I don’t think the reader knows what happens to Riley then but Lylah goes upstairs and goes to sleep with Chase. Just felt a little scattered with the plot line in some parts. Other than that I liked the book a lot and I thought it was a great book for what’s normally a romantic holiday.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2017 Book #68 – Seeing Red by Sandra Brown

41WS6IgGCGLTitle: Seeing Red
Author: Sandra Brown
Date finished: 8/14/17
Genre: Fiction, romantic suspense
Publisher: Grand Central Publishing
Publication Date: August 15, 2017
Pages in book: 432
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Kerra Bailey is a TV journalist hot on the trail of a story guaranteed to skyrocket her career to new heights. Twenty-five years ago, Major Franklin Trapper became a national icon when he was photographed leading a handful of survivors to safety after the bombing of a Dallas hotel. For years, he gave frequent speeches and interviews but then suddenly dropped out of the public eye, shunning all media. Now Kerra is willing to use any means necessary to get an exclusive with the Major–even if she has to secure an introduction from his estranged son, former ATF agent John Trapper.

Still seething over his break with both the ATF and his father, Trapper wants no association with the bombing or the Major. Yet Kerra’s hints that there’s more to the story rouse Trapper’s interest despite himself. And when the interview goes catastrophically awry–with unknown assailants targeting not only the Major, but also Kerra–Trapper realizes he needs her under wraps if he’s going to track down the gunmen . . . and finally discover who was responsible for the Dallas bombing.

Kerra is wary of a man so charming one moment and dangerous the next, and she knows Trapper is withholding evidence from his ATF investigation into the bombing. But having no one else to trust and enemies lurking closer than they know, Kerra and Trapper join forces to expose a sinuous network of lies and conspiracy–and uncover who would want a national hero dead.

My rating:  4.25 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review. This book tells the story of Kerra Bailey, a local TV reporter in Dallas, Texas, and John Trapper, a surly private investigator who used to work for the ATF. John came up with what seemed like a conspiracy theory about the Pegasus Hotel bombing from years ago, and got fired because of it. But now that Kerra has interviewed John’s father (the hero of the Pegasus bombing) John’s theories don’t seem all that crazy now that Kerra and his father’s lives are threatened. Kerra and John team up to try and get to the bottom of it, but along the way John begins to develop feelings for her.
Overall I did really like this book. One of my favorite parts about it was that the first plot twist/surprise happened pretty early on in the book, which is why I can’t write too much about what happened without giving it away. The character development in this was good but not what I would call on par with some of Brown’s previous books. That being said, there were some great twists and turns in the plot of this novel, I definitely didn’t expect the ending to work out the way it did. Once we got to the big standoff scene, things happened kind of quickly and the ending (which was a little sad) wrapped up fast. There were some pieces of the plot that didn’t exactly fit for me, it seemed like it was a bit of a reach for the reasoning behind the twist to fit into the story. I still really liked the plot overall though and the book. I always love Sandra Brown’s books and while this book wasn’t my all-time favorite of hers (for the record that would be Deadline) it was still a great read!

The bottom line: I liked this book a lot, there were some great twists and turns in the story line, some of which I didn’t see coming. And the relationship between the two main characters had great tension and good development. There were some pieces of the story that didn’t fit quite right for me but overall I still really liked it. I would recommend it!

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #87 – Before I Go To Sleep by S.J. Watson

41swg71-9rl-_sx335_bo1204203200_Title: Before I Go To Sleep
Author: S.J. Watson
Date finished: 9/21/16
Genre: Fiction, thriller
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
Publication Date: June 14, 2011
Pages in book: 358
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Terryville Public Library

Blurb from the cover:

“As I sleep, my mind will erase everything I did today. I will wake up tomorrow as I did this morning. Thinking I’m still a child. Thinking I have a whole lifetime of choice ahead of me. . . .”
Memories define us. So what if you lost yours every time you went to sleep? Your name, your identity, your past, even the people you love—all forgotten overnight. And the one person you trust may be telling you only half the story.
Welcome to Christine’s life.

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I read this book for the Terryville Library’s Fiction Lover’s Book Discussion group discussion for this month (September). We haven’t read any thrillers really in book club this year so I was excited to read this one, especially since I haven’t read it before and its a pretty popular book/movie (movie starring Nicole Kidman). This book tells the story of Christine Lucas, who wakes up each day not realizing where or even sometimes who she is. Sometimes she wakes up thinking she’s a child, and other times she thinks she’s someone in her young twenties, but she’s really in her late forties. Christine has been living every day anew after a tragic accident leaves her with amnesia. Every time she goes to sleep the slate (her memory) is wiped clean and she can’t remember pretty much anything. Her husband, Ben, patiently guides her through this process each and every day, selflessly putting Chris’s happiness before his own. But then Chris starts seeing Dr. Nash, who is trying to help her recover her memory. And one of his methods involves her keeping a journal. This concept allows her to read events from precious days and commit those events to memory during the current day instead of losing them when she foes to sleep. But that is when Chris starts to notice that Ben’s stories don’t add up from day to day.  And with her memory loss putting her in such a vulnerable position, how much can she really trust her husband? Or how can she really afford not to?
Overall I ended up really liking this book. Unfortunately I wasn’t able to finish before the meeting (it was this past Monday) so I read over half the book already knowing what the ending was going to be and who the bad guy was. Somehow though that didn’t ruin the book at all for me. This book grabbed me right from the first page and I thought the author did a great job of drawing in the reader with the way the book was set up. I also thought the author did a great job of building tension in the story. I was completely freaking out towards the end of the book, screaming at Christine to RUN! While the thought that Chris missed so much of her life because of the amnesia is sad, I thought her character had a great amount of strength. I really liked this one and I would definitely recommend!

The bottom line: I liked this book a lot, it had me on the edge of my seat waiting to find out what was going to happen! A great thriller, I would recommend.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2016 Book #38 – White Hot by Sandra Brown — PLUS Movie Review!!

51Gi0Iy4cvL._SX316_BO1,204,203,200_Title: White Hot
Author: Sandra Brown
Date finished: 4/23/16
Genre: Fiction, romantic suspense
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Publication Date: 2004
Pages in book: 419
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: Amazon – purchased

Blurb from the cover:

When she hears that her younger brother Danny has committed suicide, Sayre Lynch relents from a vow never to return to Destiny, her small Louisiana hometown. Planning to leave immediately after the funeral, Sayre instead finds herself drawn into the web cast by Huff Hoyle, her controlling and tyrannical father, who owns the town’s sole industry and, with her older brother, runs the lives of everyone who lives there. But underneath the Hoyles’ rigid control, trouble is brewing. Old hatreds foster plans for revenge, past crimes resurface, and a maverick deputy sheriff determines that Danny’s death was not suicide. Tensions mount, threatening to ignite a powder keg of long-held hostility.

My rating:  4.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: This book will count towards my Book Riot 2016 Read Harder reading challenge, marking off the “read a book that was adapted into a movie, then watch the movie and debate which was better” since that is exactly what I did. So if you read my blog you know that overall I am definitely a fan of Sandra Brown. Her novels are always enthralling, drawing me in from the first page. I try to only read her books on my days off or vacation days because I know once I start reading it I won’t be able to put it down. So when I saw that one of her books was being made into a movie on the Hallmark channel, well my gosh I was ecstatic. Unfortunately I don’t get the specific channel on my house that it was being aired on, but luckily my mom does and was nice enough to tape it for me! I finished the book Saturday and then watched the movie. The book (and the movie) are about the Hoyle family and all their drama. The book is full of revenge, deception, murder, and ultimately some romance.
Overall I liked this book a lot. I don’t think it was one of my favorites of Brown’s but as always she crafts a masterful story. There aren’t many authors that I read where there are plot twists that I don’t see coming but Brown always seems to catch me unaware. While I really liked the book, the movie just did not hold up to what I expected after reading the book. There were so many plot points from the book that didn’t make it into the movie that it almost would have been better had I watched the movie without ever reading the book. It was pretty much 2 different stories. I was really disappointed how different Sayre was in the book and the movie. In the book she was portrayed as this bad-ass red head who had survived a lot to become the successful person she was today. But the Sayre from the movie pretty much just cried all the whole time, it was awful. I was so much looking forward to the movie version of a good book but I ended up just being disappointed.

The bottom line: This was a great read. There were definitely some plot twists I did not see coming and the ending was what I wanted though it was slightly abrupt. The movie honestly was such a let down. It was almost nothing like the book, while most of the words were similar they were told in a different location and in a different order and some of the plot points are just completely skewed and half of them are missing. I would recommend the book definitely but would probably say skip the movie.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page