Book review – The Obsession by Nora Roberts

Before I start my review I feel like I need to post some disclaimers about this review. First, Nora Roberts is one of my top 10 favorite authors. Second, Nora Roberts is also one of my auto-buy authors (see first point). Third, when I was given the opportunity to receive an ARC of The Obsession I’m pretty sure I screamed so loudly my husband thought something was wrong (hehe). But seriously, I love Nora Roberts’ books and The Obsession was no exception.

The Obsession.jpg

Rating: 4.5/5 stars!

Goodreads description

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father’s crimes and made him infamous.

Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, thousands of miles away from everything she’s ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton.

Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she’s always secretly craved. But as she’s learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.


My honest review:

My favorite type of novel that Nora Roberts writes are her thrillers. There is always an element of romance to them, but it is in no way overwhelming nor the main point of the novel. That remains true for The Obsession.

The first few chapters are extremely intense and involve a very sensitive subject matter. Naomi is only a preteen when she uncovers that her father is a serial killer and rapist. Her childhood is spent moving around trying to protect her and her brother from the horrible things their father did. By the time Naomi is an adult she is a successful yet reclusive photographer trying to hide her family’s past.

Naomi stumbles onto the town of Sunrise Cove, WA and immediately falls in love with a run down, secluded manor house. Despite the odds against her she slowly starts to fall in love with Xander, the town mechanic, part bar owner, rock band leader, and all around great guy. Xander slowly breaks down Naomi’s defenses even as something sinister seems to be happening in the tiny town of Sunrise Cove.

One thing I love about Nora Roberts’ novels is that she never makes the male love interest also be the bad guy. I like knowing I can trust at least one person throughout the novel. From the first introduction you know Xander is great for Naomi. He is a grounding force who loves hard and protects harder. When women start turning up tortured, raped, and murdered Xander rallies his friends and family to help keep an eye on Naomi. I loved Xander’s character. He is a macho man without being a chauvinistic pig. He main concern is to keep Naomi safe from the psycho who is terrorizing the town.

I had a feeling I knew who the murderer was fairly early on in the novel. This did nothing to spoil the novel for me. I loved the intensity and suspense throughout the novel. I was constantly on the edge of my seat. The ending was PERFECT! I didn’t want the book to end any other way. This will be my newest highly recommended Nora Roberts book. Now I’m hoping that they turn it into a Lifetime movie 😉

THE SWAY by Ruby Knight – Cover Reveal

Welcome to the cover reveal of “The Sway” by Ruby Knight.  The Sway is a fantasy novel, releasing on 17 May 2016. I was given the incredible opportunity to beta read this book when it was just an idea. I cannot wait to get my hands on the final copy! 

Title: The Sway
Author: Ruby Knight
Genre: Fantasy
Release Date: 17 May 2016


Her mission is to get close to him for inside information. 

His mission is to kidnap her for a supernatural militant group. 

Recruited in her teens for a life of espionage, Julia Caldwell, now 19, is theyoungest CIA agent on record. Her mission is simple: get close to Cole Thomas for intel on his father, a known and dangerous weapons dealer. As she grows closer to Cole, something is off. He might not be who she thinks he is. And worse, his mission will put an end to hers.

Always believing the government’s story that her purpose in life was to keep the world safe, Julia doesn’t know who to trust or who to believe. But now, THE SWAY has a different story—a different purpose for her—that goes well beyond all she ever imagined.


Ruby wrote her first book during her senior year of college and hasn’t stopped writing since. She graduated with a degree in History and a minor in Psychology. When she isn’t manically writing stories on her laptop,  coaching a high school dance team and teaching high school history– You can find her playing with her adorable little boy. She is from San Diego but was raised in Northern Utah. Her dad nicknamed her Rube at a young age and it always stuck. She currently lives in Utah under the shadow of the Wasatch Mountains. Ruby loves to read all things New Adult and Young Adult. She is a wannabe yogi and shamelessly indulges in TV shows like Quantico, Scandal, and The Blacklist. You might find her with a Diet Dr Pepper with coconut flavor in it on most days, as this is what she considers to be water.

Connect with Ruby at her Website, Facebook and Twitter.

This event is organized by Pen & Ink Book Tours.


Book review – Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beazley

Keep Me Posted by Lisa Beasley was released a few days ago, and I have to say that this book is one-of-a-kind. I loved every second of reading it. The Goodreads description and my honest review are posted below.

Keep Me Posted book cover.jpg

Rating: 4/5 stars! 

Goodreads description

Two sisters share the surprising highs and cringe-worthy lows of social media fame, when their most private thoughts become incredibly public in this fresh and funny debut novel.

Sisters Cassie and Sid Sunday have not done a bang-up job of keeping in touch. In their defense, it hasn’t been easy: life veered in sharply different directions for the once-close sisters. Today, beautiful and big-hearted Sid lives an expat’s life of leisure in far-off Singapore, while harried, iPhone-clutching Cassie can’t seem to make it work as a wife and a mom to twin toddlers in Manhattan.

It doesn’t help that Sid spurns all social media while Cassie is addicted to Facebook. So when Sid issues a challenge to reconnect the old-fashioned way—through real, handwritten letters—Cassie figures, why not?

The experiment exceeds both of their expectations, and the letters become a kind of mutual confessional that have real and soul-satisfying effects. And they just might have the power to help Cassie save her marriage, and give Sid the strength to get her life back on track.

But first, one of Cassie’s infamous lapses in judgment comes back to bite her, and all of the letters wind up the one place you’d never, ever want to see them: the Internet…


My honest review:

I was immediately drawn to both Cassie and Sid. Two sisters that couldn’t be more different. Sid the beautiful yet carefree sister, a bit of a free spirit, who lives in Singapore with her two children and rarely-home husband. Cassie is the typical New York-type sister. She’s more conscience about her looks, her New York style, and whether she’s keeping up with all the latest big city fads.

Their letting writing experiment starts as a way to repeat and preserve history. The romantic notion of having physical copies of correspondence is a huge attraction so much so that Cassie takes it upon herself to keep hard copies of each letter they send and receive. She scans each letter into her computer then uploads them to a (supposedly) private blog. By the time Cassie realizes that her blog is no longer private the damage has been done.

My absolute favorite part of this book was the actual letters. They were about real-life problems that anyone could experience. The emotions shown cut right to the heart. I found myself invested in the sisters’ lives. I wanted the best for them. I wanted them to make everything work out for the best. Each letter dives deeper into the human psyche of what each woman is dealing with half a world apart from each other.

Since this book deals with real life situations and problems that many people face today at times it can almost be painful to read. My heart hurt multiple times because Cassie or Sid were hurting. Their problems don’t just go away like a magical fairytale. They have to work at it. They have to admit defeat in some cases, and they both have to grow and mature if there is any chance for them to find happiness.

This book reads like nonfiction. I had to remind myself several times that the letters, characters, life situations, and consequences were all fiction. I devoured each chapter and letter. I found myself thinking about Cassie and Sid were doing while I wasn’t reading the book. (I know, I know they are fictional characters). I will only touch briefly on the ending by saying this…. IT. IS. PERFECT. There’s no fairytale poof that makes everything magically ok. The conclusion is real. It shows the faults of all the characters and if or how they can get past them

I highly recommend this book to any reader of any genre. You will love Cassie for her spunk and you’ll love Sid for her loving and grounded spirit. I think I’ll always wish that I could actually meet them in real life. If you haven’t done so already, PICK UP THIS BOOK ASAP!

Find Lisa Beazley at the links below ∇

Author Website



Purchase on Amazon here

huge thank you to New American Library for sending me a copy of this book!


Book review – The Cracked Spine

Happy book birthday to THE CRACKED SPINE by Paige Shelton! This is the first book in the new Scottish Bookshop Mystery. Available now at all major book retailers.

The Cracked Spine .jpg


Rating: 5/5 stars!

Goodreads description

In need of a good adventure, Delaney Nichols takes the leap and moves to Edinburgh, Scotland to start a job at The Cracked Spine. She doesn’t know much about what she’s gotten herself into, other than that the work sounds exciting, and that her new boss, Edwin MacAlister, has given her the opportunity of a lifetime. Edwin has promised that she’ll be working with “a desk that has seen the likes of kings and queens, paupers and princes,” and Delaney can’t wait to get started.

When she arrives, she meets her new Scottish family; also working at the Cracked Spine are Rosie, perpetually wrapped in scarves, and who always has tiny dog Hector in tow; Hamlet, a nineteen-year-old thespian with a colored past and bright future; and Edwin, who is just as enigmatic and mysterious as Delaney expected. An unexpected bonus is Tom the bartender from across the street, with his piercing eyes, and a rolling brogue — and it doesn’t hurt that he looks awfully good in a kilt.

But before she can settle into her new life, a precious artifact — a previously undiscovered First Folio of Shakespeare’s plays — goes missing, and Edwin’s sister is murdered, seemingly in connection to the missing folio. Delaney decides to do some sleuthing of her own, to find out just what the real story is behind the priceless folio, and how it’s connected to the tragic death, all without getting harmed herself.



My honest review:

The Cracked Spine by Paige Shelton is a fantastic cozy mystery. From the first page I was drawn into the small town, big heart feel of Edinburgh. I’ll admit that I have a huge obsession with novels, but especially mysteries, set in the British Isles. I love the landscape, the accents, the characters, the local slang, and the pubs. Paige Shelton does a fantastic job painting the setting for this novel. I could almost smell the dewey grass and pipe smoke wafting in off the cobblestoned street.

The characters are just as unique and original as the setting. The first character you meet is Elias the cabbie, and you know from this immediate encounter that Delaney is going to fit in just right in Edinburgh. There is a decent amount of characters in the novel, especially as the mystery progresses. I never had any issues keep each character straight. From Rosie and her dog Hector to Hamlet, Edwin, Aggie, and Tom each person felt genuine and at times very real. I could easily imagine giving Hector a good ear scratch or catching Tom about town in his kilt. I found myself laughing along with the many anecdotes that Delaney encounters. I did feel like I barely got to know most of the secondary characters. This mystery mainly involved Edwin, Delaney, and Hamlet so I hope to find out more about the other characters in later novels.

I found this cozy novel to be a bit more suspenseful than is the norm in cozies. The murder was multi-faceted and the true killer was a surprise at the end. Although the suspense was high for most of the novel, it was a book I enjoyed reading late into the night with no fears of nightmares or disturbed sleep. The perfect whodunit!

I loved every second that I was absorbed into The Cracked Spine. This is a perfect cozy-yet-suspenseful mystery. The characters were realistic and genuine, the setting is gorgeous, and the mystery kept me guessing until the very end. I guarantee that this will be one of my top cozy mysteries of 2016!


Find Paige Shelton at the links below ∇

Author website




A huge THANK YOU to Minotaur Books for sending me an early copy of this novel!


Book signing with Harlan Coben

Last night I had the opportunity to go to a book signing (my first EVER!!) for Harlan Coben at my favorite indie book store, Chester County Book Company. Lisa Scottoline was also there as an interviewer. She happens to be a huge fan and friend of Harlan Coben’s, and it definitely showed during the author discussion.


Now I know this was my first book signing but the interactions between the authors was fantastic. I’ve never laughed so hard listening to someone describe the inspirations for their novels. Both authors were HILARIOUS! They joked. They shared stories.  They talked like friends sitting in someone’s backyard. Lisa and Harlan seemed to genuinely enjoy spending time with their readers. Their love for what they do, no matter how hard, was obvious.


When it came to the actual book signing Harlan was so nice. He made small talk with each attendant and even made jokes with me about how I brought my mom along! (THANKS MOM!) I will always remember this not just because it was my first book signing, but also because of the amazing personalities of both Lisa Scottoline and Harlan Coben. I can’t wait for me next book signing! I am definitely going to keep my eyes open for the next Coben/Scottoline signing for sure.

The exact moment that Harlan Coben realized I brought my Mom with me 🙂


I laughed the ENTIRE time I talked with him.
A great author, hilarious speaker, and an all-around fantastic person! 


Chester County Book Company

Book review – Blood on Snow and Midnight Sun by Jo Nesbo

I’m doing things a bit differently with this blog post. This is a double book review of the first two books in the Blood on Snow book series by Jo Nesbo. Thank you to A.A. Knopf for my copy of Midnight Sun.

blood on snow.jpg

Rating: 3/5 stars

Goodreads description

This is the story of Olav: an extremely talented “fixer” for one of Oslo’s most powerful crime bosses. But Olav is also an unusually complicated fixer. He has a capacity for love that is as far-reaching as is his gift for murder. He is our straightforward, calm-in-the-face-of-crisis narrator with a storyteller’s hypnotic knack for fantasy. He has an “innate talent for subordination” but running through his veins is a “virus” born of the power over life and death. And while his latest job puts him at the pinnacle of his trade, it may be mutating into his greatest mistake. . . .

My honest review:

This book was a quick, easy read and my first Jo Nesbo book. It could almost be considered a novella really. The storyline was decent although not as detailed as it would have been in a longer novel. I didn’t find myself getting attached to the characters like I usually do with these types of books. I found myself getting irritated with Olav and his simplicity at times. I can honestly say that I am terrified of The Fisherman, and I’m so happy that he is just a character in the book.

Even without the detail I’m used to in crime dramas, this book had great backbone and lifelike characters.  Jo Nesbo has a writing style that is easy to follow. This book was an enjoyable read, and I will definitely read more of his novels in the future.



midnight sun2.jpg

Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads description

Jon is on the run. He has betrayed Oslo’s biggest crime lord: The Fisherman.

Fleeing to an isolated corner of Norway, to a mountain town so far north that the sun never sets, Jon hopes to find sanctuary amongst a local religious sect.

Hiding out in a shepherd’s cabin in the wilderness, all that stands between him and his fate are Lea, a bereaved mother and her young son, Knut.

But while Lea provides him with a rifle and Knut brings essential supplies, the midnight sun is slowly driving Jon to insanity.

And then he discovers that The Fisherman’s men are getting closer…

My honest review:

It’s really hard for me to talk about this book without revealing spoilers, but I will do my best. I enjoyed reading this book. I immediately found myself relating to Jon (or Ulf) throughout the book. His actions and reactions are so perfectly human. His mistakes are ones that many in the same position would make. I feel like this book does a much better job of drawing you into the life of each character and how that affects Jon’s existence.

This book also explores a bit more of the Norwegian culture and sub-cultures. With almost 100 pages more than Blood on SnowMidnight Sun went into more detail about everything from surroundings to environment to personal relationships. I was actually upset when the book ended. I am very excited to see where the series is headed and to see who else will tangle with The Fisherman.

Find the Author at the links below ∇

Author website



January Wrap-Up

January flew by and ended in a snow storm where I live. Even so, I was able to read a total of 5 books this month. I’m fairly certain that two of this month’s books will be in my top 10 favorite books of the year! I’m hoping to read at least 75 books in 2016. I think this month was a solid start. As the year goes on I want to participate in a few different reading challenges. Leave a comment at the bottom with some of your favorite book challenges or your favorite book from January.







To Helvetica and Back by Paige Shelton – 4/5 stars

Goodreads description

This is the first book in a new cozy mystery series set in Star City, Utah. While classified as a cozy, this book has enough suspense and intrigue to keep your attention throughout the story. A solid start for a new series.

My 4 star review!


Mr. Monster by Dan Wells – 4/5 stars

Goodreads description

This is the second book in the John Cleaver series. John finds himself in another sticky situation when a new demon comes to town looking to avenge it’s friend. I liked this book even more than the first one. I can’t wait to continue reading this series and see how John’s character and desire to kill grows over time.


Even the Dead by Benjamin Black – 2.5/5 stars

Goodreads description

When I received a copy of this book I didn’t realize that this was the 7th book in the Quirke series. It took me a while to get my bearings with the characters. Once I got to know them the story moved too slowly. This is heavy crime noir. I found myself getting distracted from the main story. This seems like another decent entry into the book series, but it just wasn’t right for me. Side note : I’m pretty sure that I got secondhand smoke just from reading this book *coughcough* I’m positive there was someone smoking a cigarette on every other page.


The Sword of Summer by Rick Riordan – 5/5 stars

Goodreads description

The Sword of Summer is the first book in the new Magnus Chase and the Gods of Asgard series. I loved every page of this book. I immediately felt a kinship with Magnus from the first chapter. And speaking of chapters, you can be sure to find some hilarious chapter titles throughout this novel. Magnus definitely fills those chapters with a big personality and genuine emotions. The numerous characters he meets add to the complexity of the story. This is an all around fantastic book. I’m anxiously waiting for the next in the series to be released in October 2016. Easily a favorite read for 2016.


A Darker Shade of Magic by V.E. Schwab – 5/5 stars

Goodreads description

I went way out of my comfort zone with this one. I do not read much Fantasy, but I was immediately sucked into the world and characters in A Darker Shade of Magic. I can honestly say that I have never gotten so attached to characters as fast as I did during this novel. I buddy read this book with two Instagram friends. We were all worried about feeling pressure to read the book too fast, but we all finished it in 48 hours! We have so many theories about what will happen in the next book. I won’t divulge any since they definitely contain spoilers. I am so happy that the next book in the series comes out at the end of February! This is another one that is destined to be a top favorite of 2016.


Book review – To Helvetica and Back by Paige Shelton



Rating: 4/5 stars

Goodreads Book Description:

Star City is known for its slopes and its powder. But nestled in the valley of this ski resort town is a side street full of shops that specialize in the simple charms of earlier eras. One of those shops is the Rescued Word, where Chester Henry and his adult granddaughter Clare lovingly repair old typewriters and restore old books. Who ever thought their quaint store would hold the key to some modern-day trouble?

When a stranger to town demands they turn over an antique Underwood typewriter they’re repairing for a customer, Clare fears she may need to be rescued. A call to the police scares the man off, but later Clare finds his dead body in the back alley. What about a dusty old typewriter could possibly be worth killing for?

My honest review:

To Helvetica and Back (Book #1 of A Dangerous Type Mystery series) by Paige Shelton is the perfect example of a great cozy mystery. I loved the rich setting of Star City, Utah. The attention to detail throughout the book makes you feel like you’ve seen this quaint town firsthand. There were no small town cliches, and each location or building visited felt genuine. Having a strong setting is important to me in a cozy mystery.

To be classified a cozy mystery a book shouldn’t have gore or detailed brutal violence, explicit sexual scenes, or be too shocking in general. With these stipulations many books fall flat at engaging the reader. This is not the case with this book. Each character is unique with a clear voice and personality. I especially loved Clare. Her spunky attitude and urge to know more about everything was felt through the entire novel. Her slowly budding relationship with Seth was the perfect mix of flirty and sweet with a side of speculation. I can’t wait to see how their relationship evolves in future books in the series.

Another element that helped make this book stand out as a great cozy mystery is involving different jobs and hobbies in the novel. Clare works at The Rescued Word repairing old typewriters with her grandfather. Her best friend is a local police officer. Seth, the town newbie, is a geologist studying the old mines in the area. There is a motorcycle gang in town relocating goats. Paige Shelton did a great job of weaving the different lifestyles and backgrounds of each character into the story without making it seem forced or awkward. I think it takes great skill to make rocks interesting!

Overall, I think this book is a great start to a new mystery series. I am very critical of cozies since so much can fall flat without the shock and awe value. The book is fast paced and keeps you guessing until the end. The ending was perfectly timed with no messy bits left unfinished.

Purchase Links:

Amazon US

Barnes & Noble


Keep up with Paige Shelton:




Goodreads Author Page


Book review – Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer


It’s release day for Thicker Than Water by Brigid Kemmerer. *throws confetti* I was lucky to receive an early copy from Kensington Books. Read my honest review below the synopsis.

Rating: 3.8/5 stars


On his own

Thomas Bellweather hasn’t been in town long. Just long enough for his newlywed mother to be murdered, and for his new stepdad’s cop colleagues to decide Thomas is the primary suspect.

Not that there’s any evidence. But before Thomas got to Frederick there had only been one other murder in twenty years.

The only person who believes him is Charlotte Rooker, little sister to three cops and, with her soft hands and sweet curves, straight-up dangerous to Thomas. Her friend was the other murder vic. And she’d like a couple answers….Answers that could get them both killed, and reveal a truth Thomas would die to keep hidden.

The more they dig, the more it seems the only way they’ll hear the real story is from the source–the killer.

Not the kind of future plan a college recruiter likes to hear. But then, the better it works, the less likely either of them is going to have a future. . .


I’ll start off by saying that I have gone back and forth with my rating for this book since I read the last page. I still don’t know exactly what I want to rate it so I picked 3.8 out of 5 stars. This book is considered a paranormal romance. The romance aspect is quite clear from the beginning of the book. The paranormal side is sneaky. I didn’t really notice the paranormal side until 3/4 through the book. When it did show it’s face….. boy was it a shocker! My main reason for not rating the book 4/5 stars is because it took me far too long to be ok with the paranormal twist. The last quarter of the book flies past in a blur of investigation and confrontation. I will say that the ending is much neater and cleaner than I expected it to be. I was actually very happy with how the book ended (no spoilers here!). My absolute favorite character in the whole book is Nicole, Charlotte’s best friend. Nicole brings much needed humor to many scenes in the book. She also seems to one of the realest characters as well. Her spunky personality and witty comebacks will leave you wishing that she had a more major role throughout the book.

In general, I really did enjoy reading this book. I would consider this more of a YA book but readers both young and old will enjoy it in my opinion. I loved Brigid Kemmerer’s writing style. Her language flowed naturally and her story line urges the reader to keep turning pages. I can’t wait to see what Kemmerer writes in the future.

Similar books:

Dead Ringer by Jessie Rosen

Not If I See You First by Eric Lindstrom

After The Woods by Kim Savage

Author website:

Brigid Kemmerer

Purchase link:
Thicker Than Water

Home Alone, the classic illustrated storybook

It’s almost Christmas, and I’ve been watching lots of holiday movies to get into the spirit of the season. One of my favorite movies to watch is Home Alone. When I was young I thought Kevin McCallister was just the coolest kid ever! In honor of the 25th anniversary of the movie’s release, Quirk Books and with artist Kim Smith have designed a gorgeous, illustrated storybook of Home Alone.


Home Alone.jpg


This book is a perfect introduction to the Home Alone movie for younger children or as a movie companion to anyone who enjoys the original story. Every page is bursting with color, and many familiar scenes are depicted throughout the storybook.




Home Alone, the classic illustrated storybook, is destined to become a classic just like the movie. I can’t wait to include this book in our family Christmas traditions every year.


What are some of your favorite holiday books or movies? Do you have any fun Christmas traditions?


Home Alone: The Classic Illustrated Storybook

Quirk Books