Tidelands by Philippa Gregory

43268390. sy475 Tidelands by Philippa Gregory

The Fairmile #1

Expected publication: August 20th 2019 by Atria Books

480 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Midsummer’s Eve, 1648, England is in the grip of a civil war between renegade king and rebellious parliament. The struggle reaches every corner of the kingdom, even the remote tidelands —the marshy landscape of the south coast.

Alinor, a descendant of wisewomen, trapped in poverty and superstition, waits in the graveyard under the full moon for a ghost who will declare her free from her abusive husband. Instead, she meets James, a young man on the run, and shows him the secret ways across the treacherous marsh, not knowing that she is leading disaster into the heart of her life.

Suspected of possessing dark secrets in superstitious times, Alinor’s ambition and determination mark her out from her neighbors. This is the time of witch mania, and Alinor, a woman without a husband, skilled with herbs, suddenly enriched, arouses envy in her rivals and fear among the villagers, who are ready to take lethal action into their own hands.

It is dangerous for a woman to be different.

Review: I absolutely love Philippa Gregory’s Plantagenet and Tudors series so I was really excited to get the opportunity to read an advance copy of her new book. Besides the Tudors, I love witches and history from the time of the witch trials both in Europe and America. Alinor is a midwife in a very small village in the tidelands of England. Everyone knows everyone and everybody knows everybody else’s business. Alinor is very careful to make sure to correct people who ask for potions or charms. She is just a midwife, not a witch. She comes from a long line of women in this line of work and so far they haven’t had any issues with being put on trial for being a witch. Her husband has been MIA for months. She and her children, Alys and Rob, are living in poverty on the edge of her brother’s tenancy where he runs the ferry for the island that they live on. If I’m being perfectly honest, this was a really slow moving book. And I often found myself thinking that it felt a little repetitive as well. Alinor meets a priest and they end up falling for each other despite him being a Catholic priest in a time where Catholics had to hide their beliefs. Things with this man do not go quite as well as she had hoped. His actions in the last part of this book made me really dislike him. Alys was such a bratty teenager. She didn’t care about anything besides getting the money she needed to marry a local farmer’s son. And she does some things that she has to know will put her mother in an incredibly bad situation. Really, the only character in this book I didn’t end up disliking by the end of the book was Alinor’s son Rob, mostly because he was too young to be anything other than a good boy. I was a little surprised about the ending. It seemed pretty abrupt and unfinished. I’m hoping that since this is the first book of a new series that there will be more continued in book 2. Overall, I guess I was a little disappointed with it but it managed to hold my interest for about 60-65% of the time.

3 Stars

I received an advanced copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

41837243. sy475 Lock Every Door by Riley Sager

Published July 2nd 2019 by Dutton

384 Pages

Goodreads Summary: No visitors. No nights spent away from the apartment. No disturbing the other residents, all of whom are rich or famous or both. These are the only rules for Jules Larsen’s new job as an apartment sitter at the Bartholomew, one of Manhattan’s most high-profile and mysterious buildings. Recently heartbroken and just plain broke, Jules is taken in by the splendor of her surroundings and accepts the terms, ready to leave her past life behind.

As she gets to know the residents and staff of the Bartholomew, Jules finds herself drawn to fellow apartment sitter Ingrid, who comfortingly, disturbingly reminds her of the sister she lost eight years ago. When Ingrid confides that the Bartholomew is not what it seems and the dark history hidden beneath its gleaming facade is starting to frighten her, Jules brushes it off as a harmless ghost story . . . until the next day, when Ingrid disappears.

Searching for the truth about Ingrid’s disappearance, Jules digs deeper into the Bartholomew’s dark past and into the secrets kept within its walls. Her discovery that Ingrid is not the first apartment sitter to go missing at the Bartholomew pits Jules against the clock as she races to unmask a killer, expose the building’s hidden past, and escape the Bartholomew before her temporary status becomes permanent.

Review: This is my first book by Riley Sager and after seeing all of the hype about the first two books he wrote, I was equal parts nervous and excited to get a review copy of Lock Every Door. I love mysteries so that won out in the end and I gave it a shot. The synopsis totally hooked me too.

Jules has had a rough life. First, her sister disappears without a trace. Then a couple years later, her parents pass away and she is left all alone in the world with a mountain of debt. Then she catches her live-in boyfriend cheating on her the same day she loses her job…. Talk about a tough break. So when she finds an ad for an apartment sitter in Manhattan, she jumps on the chance and finds herself interviewing at a building she never in a million years would have dreamed she would have the opportunity to live in. A book she grew up reading with her sister took place in this very building. Her first day there isn’t even over before things start to get a little weird. There are all of these weird rules including that they are not allowed to have visitors or spend a night outside of the apartment. She meets another apartment sitter named Ingrid and they make a plan to meet up every day to make the time go faster and get out of the building. That plan very quickly falls apart.

This book was very well written. I was gripped by the story and the characters. I really connected with Jules and empathized with her situation. The more the story goes on, the more twists there are. Once you think you have an idea of what is happening, something else happens that throws all your ideas out the window. The action continually builds until the last few chapters when things explode. I was really surprised by the big reveal. I will most definitely be reading Riley Sager’s other books, both past and future.

5 Stars

I received an advance copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

We Were Killers Once by Becky Masterman

42301106We Were Killers Once by Becky Masterman (Brigid Quinn #4)

Published June 4th 2019 by Minotaur Books

320 Pages

Goodreads Summary: Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn returns in Becky Masterman’s fourth stunning thriller

In 1959, a family of four were brutally murdered in Holcomb, Kansas. Perry Smith and Dick Hickok were convicted and executed for the crime, and the murders and their investigation and solution became the subject of Truman Capote’s masterpiece, IN COLD BLOOD. But what if there was a third killer, who remained unknown? What if there was another family, also murdered, who crossed paths with this band of killers, though their murder remains unsolved? And what if Dick Hickok left a written confession, explaining everything?

Retired FBI agent Brigid Quinn and her husband Carlo, a former priest and university professor, are trying to enjoy each other in this new stage in their lives. But a memento from Carlo’s days as a prison chaplain–a handwritten document hidden away undetected in a box of Carlo’s old things–has become a target for a man on the run from his past. Jerry Beaufort has just been released from prison after decades behind bars, and though he’d like to get on with living the rest of his life, he knows that somewhere there is a written record of the time he spent with two killers in 1959. Following the path of this letter will bring Jerry into contact with the last person he’ll see as a threat: Brigid Quinn.

Review: I was browsing NetGalley for some books to request and the cover of this one really caught my eye. When I read the synopsis and found out it is connected with In Cold Blood by Truman Capote and the real life killers behind it, I knew I had to get it. I didn’t realize until I added the book to my Goodreads that it was the 4th book in a series but I really don’t think that you need to have read the first three books. I never felt lost at all. When previous events were mentioned, the author provided enough information that I felt like I knew what I needed to.

The book alternates between Brigid’s point of view and an ex-con named Jeremiah Beaufort. At first I couldn’t really see where the story would bring the two of them together but as it began to unfold, I could tell that it was going to be a very interesting confrontation. Jerry was written so well. I was thoroughly creeped out by him and dumbfounded how someone could be the way he was. Brigid seemed like a really spunky badass, pretty much exactly how I imagined a retired FBI agent would be. The tie-in with In Cold Blood is completely fictional BUT imagine if it wasn’t… What if one of the most well-known crimes in US history didn’t exactly happen the way everyone thought after all these years… That’s what I really loved about this book. Everything got so intense towards the end! If you enjoy thrillers with a little splash of true crime, I definitely recommend you check this book out!

4 Stars

I received an advanced copy of the book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

August TBR

Hello-August-Sunset-Beach

How is it August already?! This summer is just flying! Which is okay with me because fall is my favorite season so the sooner we get to fall the better.  I actually did pretty well with my TBR last month so I decided to make another monthly TBR.  There were a few books I didn’t get to from my July TBR and I’m still in the mood to read them so I will add them into my August TBR.

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The books from last month are:

  • Fall On Your Knees by Ann-Marie McDonald
  • The Shadow of the Wind by Carlos Ruiz Zafon
  • Shadow of Night by Deborah Harkness
  • A Breath of Snow and Ashes

New additions are:

  • The Girl From Everywhere by Heidi Heilig
  • Lost Stars by Claudia Gray
  • You’re Never Weird On The Internet (Almost) by Felicia Day
  • A Court of Mist and Fury by Sarah J. Maas

I actually had my husband pick two books off my shelves for me to read and he chose Lost Stars and You’re Never Weird on the Internet (Almost).

I also have 3 books that are on pre-order that I do not have in my possession yet that will also be a part of my TBR.

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I also have two eARCs that I need to read in August, one of which I have already started.  I’m reading Sting right now and so far it is great!  I am really looking forward to reading Between Two Fires as well.  It sounds really good.

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So that is my TBR for August! What will you be reading?

Best of My Love by Susan Mallery

26721599Best of My Love by Susan Mallery

Expected publication: April 26th 2016 by HQN Books

384 pages

Goodreads Summary: To overcome her painful past, baker Shelby Gilmore goes on the hunt for a friend—a male friend—to convince her stubborn psyche that men can be trusted. But where in a town as small as Fool’s Gold will the petite blonde find a guy willing to not date her?

Dark, charming Aidan Mitchell puts the “adventure” in Mitchell Adventure Tours…and into the beds of his many willing female tourists. Until he realizes he’s inadvertently become that guy—the one-night Casanova—and worse, everyone in town knows it. Maybe Shelby’s boy/girl experiment will help him see women as more than just conquests so he can change his ways and win back his self-respect.

As Aidan and Shelby explore the secret lives of men and women, the heat between them fires up the Fool’s Gold rumor mill. If no one will believe they’re just friends, maybe they should give the gossips something to really talk about!

Review: I received an ARC from the publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Whenever I am looking for a feel good romance, I turn to authors like Susan Mallery.  Her stories that take place in Fool’s Gold have never failed me and this one was no different.  While there were some things that bugged me, I know that those things come with these kinds of books.  The things I didn’t like included how unrealistic it is that a small town would have multiple ex-NFL players, country stars, ex-Olympic athletes, etc and that these stories are so predictable.  But the predictability is also the reason I turn to these books.  I want my happy ending.  The main characters in this story, Aidan and Shelby, were very likable and I enjoyed reading their story.  I love Charlie, Aidan’s little Bichon Frise.  So cute.  I think what I loved most was that both of these characters were overcoming some pretty heavy stuff and they were able to work through them together.  It made their relationship stronger.  And as their relationship grew stronger, they also grew stronger individually.  Shelby was able to make her dreams come true and expand her bakery business.  And Aidan was able to come up with new offerings for his tour business.  There are many mentions of another town called Happily, Inc. where Aidan’s brothers moved to so I’m wondering if that is an opening to a new series.

Overall, I really enjoyed reading this book and would recommend it to anyone looking for a feel good romance.

Best of My Love is the final installment in the Fool’s Gold series by Susan Mallery.

3.5 Stars