Monthly Wrap-Up : February 2019

Hello readers! I hope you all had amazing month.

This month I managed to read and review:

Total books : 6
Pages : 1516
2 NetGalley books
2 Author request (e-copies)
1 Blog tour (e-copy)
1 Owned (paperback)

1. Midnight on Mars by M.C.Glan — (Review) ★★★1/2
It was fast paced, interesting science-fiction novel mixed with cosmic energy and spirituality. But was predictable and couldn’t relate to characters.

2. The Secret to Falling in Love by Victoria Cooke — (Review) ★★★★1/2
It was lighthearted, relatable, refreshing chick lit that I recommend to fans of this genre. My only issue was, even though the book was short, it took me longer to finish this book. But that’s just me.

3. My Perfect Brother-in-Law by Cristina Hodgson — (Review) ★★★★★
It was entertaining, dramatic, fun and refreshing to read romcom suspense with a fitting title. I definitely recommend this book.

4. The Titan’s Curse (Percy Jackson and the Olympians, #3) by Rick Riordan — (Review) ★★★★★
I love anything by Rick Riordan. It was just fabulous, super fast paced, Greek mythomagical adventure that readers of MG, YA genre would definitely enjoy

5. Between the Lies by Michelle Adams — (Review) ★★★★★
It was easy to read, steady paced, page turner psychological thriller with brilliant plot and intriguing characters. I just loved this book and I highly recommend it.

6. It Started With A Note by Victoria Cooke — (Review) ★★★★
Felt little slow in last few chapters otherwise it was entertaining, engaging with beautiful writing and characters. A chick-lit, holiday romance in French countryside that I recommend to fans of this genre.

Other posts this month:

Book Blitz tour / Promo:

1. Kingdom Cold by Brittni Chenelle  [POST]
2. This Time by Azaaa Davis [POST+Interview]
3. Kingdom of Ash and Soot (The Order of the Crystal Daggers #1) [POST]
4. CLOUDED BY ENVY by Candace Robinson [POST]
5. Anastasia Phoenix Series [POST]
6. Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr.  [POST]

Cover Reveal:

1. The Butcher book series by Sian Claven [POST]
2. Lucid by Kristy Fairlamb [POST]
3. Flower Power Trip (Braxton Campus Mysteries #3) by James J. Cudney [POST]

Month at glance

Post I loved from Blogosphere:

1. 5 TIPS TO DRIVE TRAFFIC TO YOUR BOOK BLOG By Briana @Pages Unbound Reviews
2. HOW TO STAY POSITIVE WHILE BOOK BLOGGING and THE TRUTH ABOUT BOOK BLOGGING STATISTICS by  Marie @ drizzle & hurricane books
3. WHY I FELL IN LOVE WITH CONTEMPORARY YA by Orang-utan Librarian

Book of the Month:

HOW WAS YOUR MONTH IN READING? 
WHAT HAVE YOU READ? 
DO WE SHARE COMMON BOOKS FROM THIS LIST?

Share your thoughts in the comment-box below.

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It Started With A Note by Victoria Cooke

It Started With A Note by Victoria Cooke
Publication Date:
December 2nd 2018
Publisher: HQ Digital
Read date: February 25th 2019
Genre: Chick Lit / Women’s Fic / Romance
Pages: 290
Stars: 4/5

‘An unputdownable read’ – Rachel Burton on Who Needs Men Anyway?
One lost letter. A chance to change her life!Superhero single mum Cath always puts other people first. But now that she’s seen her son safely off to university (phew!), life seems a little, well…empty.
 
So when Cath unexpectedly discovers some letters written by her great-grandfather during the First World War, she decides to take herself on an adventure to France to retrace his footsteps.
 
Cath expects to spend her holiday visiting famous battlefields and testing out her French phrase book. What she doesn’t anticipate is that her tour guide, the handsome Olivier, will be quite so charming! Soon Cath isn’t simply unearthing the stories of the past – she’s writing a brand new one of her own, which might end up taking her in a very unexpected direction…
Bestselling author Victoria Cooke is back with a truly romantic and heart-warming read!
Readers love Victoria Cooke:‘What an amazing author. A breath of fresh air to the literary world. ‘
‘I will look forward to other books by this author and would definitely recommend reading this book, just brilliant!’
‘I loved this book! It gripped me from the start, so much so that I read it in one sitting…and was sad that it ended !! ‘
‘Definitely looking forward to reading more from this author.’
‘Please get writing some more books Victoria!’

It Started With A Note was beautiful French countryside romance, revolving around Cath, her trip to France retracing her great grandfather’s footstep by fulfilling his dying wish and finding a new meaning and perspective of life.

Plot was really interesting. 37-years-old, Cath was a single mother who lived life for others that included her lousy bother- Gray and unconcerned son-Kieran. She deserved more in life. All she needed was a ‘me-time’ in foreign country, a perfect way to get away from monotonous life and spend her employee of the year bonus. Tired of Gary’s unappreciative attitude, inspired by her great grandfather’s letters from WWI era, and after persistent persuasion of her work friend- Kaitlynn, Cath decide to take break and go to France and retrace her great grandfather’s footstep. But falling in love and holiday romance wasn’t in her itinerary.

This was different from all previous books I read by Victoria Cooke. Writing was amazing, flawless, taking me right into the setting of the book. Author brought out lifelike image of places, food and characters in it. And the heartwarming romantic scenes were the cherry on the top.

What I loved most about the book was, author covering the famous WWI memorials- Lochnagar Crater, Mametz Wood, Neuve Chapelle memorial, Menine Gate, In Flanders Fields Museum and many more- and all historical titbits on them in emotional and touching voice of Cath. Cath’s great-grandfather’s letters were another best part of the book. I loved to read them all. His love for his wife and daughter was heartfelt.

Cath’s sensitive and empathetic nature took her close to her great-grandfather who was long gone. She could feel what he might be seeing and experiencing. It changed her perspective and gave her strength to roam the streets of foreign land alone. Author expressed her feeling so realistically that I could feel it myself. Along with her it amazed me how her great-grandfather managed to learn French in dire situation.

Cath was funny, charming, practical, empathetic and sensitive woman. I loved how quickly she befriended other tourists at her hotel and how she met Olivier through them. Her bonding with American couples was unique and refreshing. I loved the ladies of the book, Martha, Kaitlynn, Cynthia and Jackie. They brought out the best in Cath and how they motivated her to live life better.

Cath’s relationship with Olivier and all other characters was charming to read. Her development was great. I loved how she turned out independent, strong woman. How she came out of her monotonous routine and embraced beauty and culture of foreign country, found her love for travelling, and her passion that she lost in raising her son alone.

Olivier was perfect gentlemen. He was everything you want in your partner- smart, knowledgeable, empathetic, funny, lively, handsome, rich and he could cook! He also had bad and dark past but I loved his honesty about it. He was real prince charming. It was crazy Cath took so long to accept her feeling for him. The time she took to decide about her relationship with Olivier and future was bit too much. From her perspective it was genuine but for me as a reader, it felt like she was over complicating things. Anyway, I loved how it turned out in the end.

The happily-ever-after ending was cherry on the top of all the wonderful things in the book.

It felt little slow in last 30% of the book. As I said I didn’t appreciate how long it took for Cath to decide what she want from her relationship with Olivier, even though Olivier was ready to work it out and coming up with all different option.

Overall, it was entertaining, engaging with beautiful writing and characters. A chic-lit, holiday romance in French countryside that I recommend to fans of this genre.

Author: Victoria Cooke 

Purchase Link: Amazon.in / Amazon.com

*** Note: I received e-ARC via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. ***

Previous books I read by Victoria Cooke

What do you think about the book and my review?
Have you read this book or any other books by Victoria Cooke?
Are you going to add it to you TBR?

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IMWAYR (57)

‘It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?’ is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It’s a great post to organise yourself. This meme started with J Kaye’s Blog and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date.

Hello Readers! Happy Monday!

What I read Last Week-

Currently Reading-

I’ve completed 80% of this book and I can’t wait to finish it. Review will be up tomorrow.

Next This Week-

43886602

Istanbul, 1591 – and Sultan Murad III, the mightiest ruler in the world, has been robbed. The Staff of Moses has been stolen from his private collection of religious artefacts in the Topkapi Palace – right from under his imperial nose! The wooden Staff, held by Moses as he parted the Red Sea, is a magical symbol of power worth a kings ransom – and the furious Sultan wants it back. 

A small undercover unit of hand-picked, trusted warriors is hastily assembled to track down the thieves. They are the Rüzgar the Wind and like the wind, they travel silently and unseen. Awa, the studious daughter of a noble family from the Songhai Empire in West Africa, was kidnapped and enslaved by Moroccans after the disastrous Battle of Tondibi. Awa is a whirling and deadly force when she has a scimitar in her hand. Will, who was snatched from his home in London at the age of 5, is now 16 and a galley slave on board a Moroccan warship. Joining the Rüzgar turns him into a man. He and Awa become fast friends. The other comrades are Turkish, Greek and Albanian, all led by the charismatic Bosnian Mehmed Konjic, a wise counsellor and natural hero. 

WHAT ARE YOU READING THIS WEEK? 
HAVE YOU READ ANY OF THESE BOOKS BEFORE OR PLANNING TO READ IN FUTURE? 
WHAT DO YOU THINK ABOUT THEM??

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Between the Lies by Michelle Adams

Between the Lies by Michelle Adams
Expected Publication Date: March 5th 2019
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin
Read Date: February 22nd 2019
Genre: Mystery / psychological thriller
Pages: 336
Stars: 5/5

The truth is hiding between the lies.

A page-turning psychological thriller with twists that keep the reader guessing until last page, this addictive read will be loved by fans of Shari Lapena’s A STRANGER IN THE HOUSE and Liz Lawler’s DON’T WAKE UP.

What would you do if you woke up and didn’t know who you were?

Chloe Daniels regains consciousness in a hospital with no memory of how she got there. 
She doesn’t recognise the strangers who call themselves family. She can’t even remember her own name.

What if your past remained a mystery?

As she slowly recovers, her parents and sister begin to share details of her life. 
The successful career. The seaside home. The near-fatal car crash.
But Chloe senses they’re keeping dark secrets – and her determination to uncover the truth will have devastating consequences.

What if the people you should be able trust are lying to you?

Her name is Chloe. She is 32 years old, a lawyer, had house of her own and lived a happy good life… That’s what her family told her, not what she remembers.

Between the Lies revolved around Chloe’s forgotten life and her constant fight and efforts of knowing who she really was and what her life before the accident was.

All characters were so creative and intriguing. They were all flawed and unlikable, even Chloe at some point and even those who seemed likable at first. They were highly unpredictable and complicated that made the book stand out from all psychological thriller.

Chloe’s father. He was so much controlling. I never trusted him throughout the story. I even had a doubt he was responsible for what happened to Chloe. At some point I could reason with his perception regarding Chloe’s past and there was some truth as well but he twisted and manipulated it to the extent that it horrified me.

Chloe’s mother was living somewhat good happy life outside the house but in house felt anxious around her and even more in presence of her father. It felt like she was acting the script written by Chloe’s father and I didn’t like it. I could feel how terrible her life might be to live with such tyrant but I also hated her for not standing up for her own daughter.

Jess was Chloe’s younger sister who was lil bit more normal than her parents. She first gave the impression of not knowing half of the truth. But I was so wrong about her as well.

Chloe was more complex. We get to know her more as her memory returns. She was not all nicest and likable. She had a lot to cope with. She made some terrible mistakes, she was weak and always ran away from difficulties which cost her more than her life and memory.  But she tried to make things right and that’s what made her human. Her development was gradual and I liked how she followed her instincts and turned out stronger at the end.

Book was gripping from the very beginning. Chloe was in terrible accident. When she woke up from coma one month later, she didn’t know who she was, what her past life was like. She felt stranger among her own family and home they said she grew up in. And suspicious thing was they don’t allow her to go out or meet anyone else which immediately created doubt in my mind and made me to believe Chloe.

I was eager to know who she really was and why her own family were keeping her prisoner, did she has some other home or family, if they were telling the truth why she felt weird and strange among them? And as I read more I get to know how manipulating they were. Can she find out the truth about her and her past life between the lies? Eventual returns of memory and what Chloe discovers over the course of the book gives answer to all these questions.

The plot was so brilliant and engrossing. Each chapter ended with a twist, a more questions, a shocking discovery that made me more desperate to find out the truth, and reality of Chloe’s life. I devoured each pages with its depth.

The book had many layers. It was about truth, lies, and manipulation; betrayal, loss and love; dysfunctional family and its impact on life of all family members; how past is important in life and how it helps us to be better person.

The story was first person narrative from Chloe’s perspective. Her voice was full of emotion – frustration of not remembering anything, her anger for lies her family told, desperation to have normality, and a sense of sadness and regret for losing her loved ones. Author portrayed Cleo’s feelings so wonderfully that it drew me into the heart and mind of Chloe. The setting was atmospheric. Constant fog and rain, Chloe’s house, forest, surrounding village, beach created perfect tense atmosphere for the plot.

There were passages from unknown narrator in between the chapters that tells about narrator’s thought and obsessive love for Chloe. It was creepy to read his thoughts and it gave bad vibes. He raised even more questions and I was so sure he was the reason for what happened to Chloe but who he was that I couldn’t guess until climax.

Twist and turns and suspense was mind-blowing. That twist at around 45% of the book just baffled me. I couldn’t trust anyone, not even Chloe. Last 30% of the book was utterly brilliant. Near the climax, I could guess who might be the narrator, who caused the accident, who was that obsessed lover and what might have happened.  But I was so so wrong in my theories. What a turn of events that was! And end was totally unpredictable. I believed the event as they were described in the end but I was shocked by what Chloe revealed.

Overall, it was easy to read, steady paced, page turner psychological thriller with brilliant plot and intriguing characters. I just loved this book and I highly recommend it.

About the author:

MICHELLE ADAMS is a British writer living abroad in Cyprus for the last four years. She is a part-time scientist and has published six science fiction novels under a pseudonym, including a YA dystopian series. She is also the author of If You Knew My Sister.
Website: http://www.michelleadams.co.uk/

*** Note: I received e-ARC from the publisher via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review. ***

What do you think about the book and my review?
Have you read this book already or any previous books by author?
Are you going to add it to your TBR?

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#releaseday #promo #spotlight : Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr.

Hello readers! I’m so excited to share the news that a new legal thriller Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr. is now available. If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book, be sure to check out all the details below.

Book Details:

Justice Gone by N. Lombardi Jr.
Publication Date: 22nd February 2019
Publisher: Roundfire Books
Genre: Legal Thriller / Fiction

Justice Gone, a mystery/legal thriller which publishes February 22, 2019, touches upon many topical, controversial issues in today’s society as well as being a thrilling and engaging read. The story encapsulates current social issues: police brutality, homelessness, the plight of returning war veterans, the frenzy of the press, and the mechanics of the US judicial system.

“When a homeless war veteran is beaten to death by the police, stormy protests ensue, engulfing a small New Jersey town. Soon after, three cops are gunned down.

 A multi-state manhunt is underway for a cop killer on the loose. And Dr. Tessa Thorpe, a veteran’s counselor, is caught up in the chase.

Donald Darfield, an African-American Iraqi war vet, war-time buddy of the beaten man, and one of Tessa’s patients, is holed up in a mountain cabin. Tessa, acting on instinct, sets off to find him, but the swarm of law enforcement officers gets there first, leading to Darfield’s dramatic capture.

Now, the only people separating him from the lethal needle of state justice are Tessa and ageing blind lawyer, Nathaniel Bodine. Can they untangle the web tightening around Darfield in time, when the press and the justice system are baying for revenge?”

Justice Gone is the first in a series of psychological thrillers involving Dr. Tessa Thorpe.

Book Links:

Goodreads / Barnes and Noble / Book Depository / Waterstones

Amazon UK

Amazon US

About Author:

N. Lombardi Jr, the N for Nicholas, has spent over half his life in Africa, Asia, and the Middle East, working as a groundwater geologist. Nick can speak five languages: Swahili, Thai, Lao, Chinese, and Khmer (Cambodian).
In 1997, while visiting Lao People’s Democratic Republic, he witnessed the remnants of a secret war that had been waged for nine years, among which were children wounded from leftover cluster bombs. Driven by what he saw, he worked on The Plain of Jars for the next eight years.
Nick maintains a website with content that spans most aspects of the novel: The Secret War, Laotian culture, Buddhism etc. http://plainofjars.net
His second novel, Journey Towards a Falling Sun, is set in the wild frontier of northern Kenya.
His latest novel, Justice Gone was inspired by the fatal beating of a homeless man by police.
Nick now lives in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Author Link:

Amazon / Goodreads page

What do you think about the book?
Have you read this book already?
Are you going to add it to your TBR?

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