Classic/Historical · Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime

Sixteen trees of the Somme – Lars Mytting

42102301._SY475_| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Edvard grows up on a remote mountain farmstead in Norway with his taciturn grandfather, Sverre. The death of his parents, when he was three years old, has always been shrouded in mystery – he has never been told how or where it took place and has only a distant memory of his mother.

But he knows that the fate of his grandfather’s brother, Einar, is somehow bound up with this mystery. One day a coffin is delivered for his grandfather long before his death – a meticulous, beautiful piece of craftsmanship. Perhaps Einar is not dead after all.

Edvard’s desperate quest to unlock the family’s tragic secrets takes him on a long journey – from Norway to the Shetlands, and to the battlefields of France – to the discovery of a very unusual inheritance. The Sixteen Trees of the Somme is about the love of wood and finding your own self, a beautifully intricate and moving tale that spans an entire century.

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My thoughts:

I wish Goodreads had the ability to let us readers give half stars in rating. I would really need that function right now because I can’t decide if I want to give it a two star or a three star rating. Don’t get me wrong, I kind of liked the book. It was just so damn slow and that (in the end, no spoiler) mostly evolved around some threes just made it unbelievable. I could not connect with it and even though it was an interesting and kind of fun puzzle game regarding the family history, it was just not enough. I didn’t even like the main character that much.

I believe that if I hadn’t had the audiobook, I would have struggled to finish. It was just so tedious, I didn’t like the main character, who apparently cannot have a non-sexual relationship with women and the ending was quite unclear. Much better to listen, but the book itself was not as good as I had expected.

Gold star for the nice writing. I thought that was really good and Mytting did a great job with it.

 

Chick Lit · Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Romance

Whiskey and gunpowder – Liliana Hart

37655464| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Something old,
Something new,
Something borrowed,
Something…bedazzled?

In twenty-four hours, Addison Holmes will be a married woman. Maybe.

A week to plan a wedding in the south is not for the fainthearted, but Addison (along with the help of her neurotic mother, unreliable sister, and unpredictable Aunt Scarlet) are determined to pull it off.
There’s just one problem. Okay…two problems.

Problem #1: The preacher is missing.
This seems like a bad omen to Addison, and all the best investigators she knows are taking part in the pre-wedding festivities (that’s code for drunk).

That leaves one man for the task: FBI Special Agent Matt Savage. But Addison isn’t sure he’s the man for the job. She and Savage have a complicated history, and Savage could make the preacher disappear forever if it served his own agenda.

Problem #2: Rosemarie Valentine is in charge of booking the bridal party for a spa day. Enough said.

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My thoughts:

The sixth book in the series about Addison Holmes starts of as usual, with her complaining about something and in a situation beyond her control but still, somehow her fault. The sixth and hopefully last book was unfulfilling, repetitive and shallow. I’m so tired of her constant bitching and talk about how fat she gets from just looking at a cinnamon bun. You could feel that even the author was tired of writing the series and just no longer cared. And that is pissing me of. I overall really liked the series and if this indeed is the last book, it was not up to it full potential and I feel as readers deserved more.

Contemporary · Romance · Young, New adult/College

Rhythm, chord & Malykhin – Mariana Zapata

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Goodreads synopsis: Twenty-six-year-old Gaby Barreto might be a lot of things (loyal, sarcastic, one of the guys and a pain in the butt depending on which family member you ask), but dumb isn’t one of them. When her twin brother invites her to go on tour as his band’s merch girl, she isn’t exactly screaming at the top of her lungs with joy.

With no job opportunities pounding on her door, an ex-boyfriend she would still like to castrate, and no end in sight to moving out of her parents’ house in Dallas… it would be dumb to say no to the chance of a lifetime. Two bands, three continents, one tour. Spending the next ninety-plus days with three beloved idiots and eight complete strangers shouldn’t be a big deal, right?

If only the singer of the headlining band didn’t have tattoos… a great personality… a fantastic body… and if he wasn’t so funny….

Let’s be real: Gaby never had a chance against Sacha Malykhin.

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My thoughts:

I have to say that I really enjoyed this one, but I usually do when written by Zapata so why I expected anything less, I can’t say. It was funny, light and sweet. Just what I needed to take the edge of the stress I experienced in the beginning of July.

I love Zapata’s way of writing, which always seems to capture me right from the first word. She is the queen when it comes to slow burns and characters with many layers and this is certainly the one to top the list. It was almost a little to slow for my taste. It made it feel like it went by in a flash at the end when “finally” things started to happen.

Overall happy but I just didn’t quite love it.

Chick Lit · Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Mystery/Crime · Romance

The husband’s secret – Liane Moriarty

17465450| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: My Darling Cecilia
If you’re reading this, then I’ve died . . .

Imagine your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret – something so terrible it would destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others too. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive . . .

Cecilia Fitzpatrick achieved it all – she’s an incredibly successful business woman, a pillar of her small community and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia – or each other – but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s devastating secret.

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My thoughts:

I really, really liked The Husband’s secrets. Never read anything by Moriarty before but keep seeing her name circulating out there in the bookish community. So when I found one of her books in my grandma’s bookshelf I just had to buy myself a copy and give it a try. Grandma has great taste in books.

At first I was a little confused. Judged by the synopsis, I thought that the letter would have had a much bigger part of the story than it actually has. But it is the three main characters, Cecilia, Rachel and Tess, and what was happening in their day to day life, that’s actually was the focal point. I like the history twist of the story, the character and their relationships. It is not disappointed at all that it was not what I first had foreseen. It is relatable, believable and realistic. Really well written and even though it is suppose to be a chick flick, the mystery feel of it and the dark emotions certainly made it a lot more likable for me. It made it more captivating, if you understand what I mean. And that ending was both wonderful, heartbreaking and you sit there thinking, what could have been and are not in your own life and on the butterfly effect.

Non of Moriartys books has interested me but after this I certainly feels that I should look into them to. Maybe I have missed something big here. Either way, I would differently recommend The Husband’s secrets. A perfect book for those late summer days.

Contemporary · Romance · Suspense

Through the fire – Katie Ruggle

36748616| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Kit Jernigan despairs of ever fitting in with her new tight-knit K9 unit. They’ve been through too much to open their arms to a stranger―and as mysterious fires begin raging across Monroe, she can’t convince them to trust her long enough to catch the woman she knows is responsible.
Wesley March, local fire spotter, knows Kit is right, and he’s willing to help her prove it. But the more time they spend together, the closer they get…and the more danger they’re in. A member of the K9 unit’s inner circle is determined to get revenge―no matter who gets burned in the process.
This time, it’s personal.

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My thoughts:

“I’m In Love!”

I’m in love. I love Wes! He is one of the best characters I have read about in a really long time and Ruggle have finally produced a book with the content and stability of a five star rating. I have not been shy with my thoughts about the Rocky mountain K9 unit series. After the grand slam of Search and Rescue (which I loved) I was expecting the same caliber with also this series. Which we didn’t receive in my opinion. But the fourth and last book just blew my mind and it was a perfect ending for the series and I could not have expected more.

Wes is a character who is super smart but has almost little to no social skills and is really uncomfortable with people due to that he have problems with interpreting them. He reminds me a lot of the character Don Tillman from the series with the same name, written by Graeme Simison except that Wes is not clueless when it comes to love. He just has troubles knowing if his feelings is reciprocated or not. Kit is the perfect female character for him and them together makes the sparkle fly. There is nothing fast in their relationships and they take their time, which makes it even more perfect. I often think the romantic aspect of a book is going forward to fast. I want substance and I certainly got it.

The plot of the story is also great. We have some final unraveling in some stuff and it was a lot of tension which made it even more captivating. I literally could not stop reading. It all mixed together with what I know from the three books before and the excitement for now, made it a reading journey I cannot stop ravaging about. I’m so happy I continued the series even though I was not a huge fan.

I feel a lot more exciting to continuing books written by Ruggle and she has started a new series. Let’s she was she is bringing on. 😀

Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction · Shortstory

The deal of a lifetime – Fredrik Backman

36297706| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: It all begins with a father telling a story to his son on Christmas Eve. But this isn’t your typical Christmas story. The father admits to his son that he’s taken a life but he won’t say whose—not yet.

One week earlier, in a hospital late at night, the man met a five-year-old girl with cancer. She’s a smart kid—smart enough to know that she won’t beat cancer by drawing with crayons all day, but it seems to make the adults happy, so she keeps doing it.

As the man tells his son about this plucky little girl, he slowly reveals more about himself: while he may be a successful businessman, idolized by the media and his peers, he knows he failed as a parent. Overwhelmed by the responsibility of fatherhood, he took the easy way out and left his wife and little boy twenty years ago to pursue professional success. Now he is left wondering if it’s too late to forge a relationship with his son, who seems to be his opposite in every way—prizing happiness over money, surrounded by loving friends in a cozy town where he feels right at home.

Face to face with the idea that something is missing, the man is given the unexpected chance to do something selfless that could change the destiny of the little girl in the hospital bed. But before he can make the deal of a lifetime, he needs to find out what his own life has actually been worth in the eyes of his son. And so, he seeks him out and tells him this story…

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My thoughts:

“Short story”

Sad story about the meaning of life, the choices we take and the people they affect. Filled with love, hate, happiness and sadness. All emotions crammed onto not even 100 pages. I’m glad it was as short as it was and my Fredrik Backman craving I have had the last days is finally saturated. And now I have officially read every book Backman has published so far and he is still one of my absolute favorite authors.

 

Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Sizzle – Julie Garwood

6671931| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Lyra Prescott, a Los Angeles film student, is closing in on graduation and facing important decisions about her future. She’s already been offered a job at her hometown TV station, an opportunity that could ultimately launch her dream career as a film editor. But heading back home would also mean dealing with her overprotective brothers, social-climbing mother, and eccentric grandmother. Unsure of her future, Lyra dives into work on her final school assignment: a documentary transformed by a twist of fate into a real-life horror film.

After she unwittingly captures a shocking crime on camera, a rash of mysterious, treacherous incidents convince Lyra that she’s trapped in a sinister scenario headed for a violent ending. Running scared, she turns to her best friend, Sidney Buchanan, whose connections bring dauntless and devilishly handsome FBI agent Sam Kincaid into Lyra’s life. As the noose of deadly intrigue tightens and the feelings between them deepen, Lyra and Sam must place their faith in each other’s hands – and stand together against the malevolent forces about to break loose.

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My thoughts:

“So it is not a full pot in rating but still just what I needed.”

Garwood has this nice way of writing which makes you feel warm and captivated by her books and this one was no exception. This time it is even a little funny. Not only does we follow the good guys, Lyra and Sam, but also some of the bad guys, and one of them is hilarious. He prides himself with being smarter than everyone else but in the end he keep taking those not so smart decisions which is resulting in some funny situations. It fit perfectly and I wanted more of it.

The plot is quite believable if not a little exaggerative and the relationship between Lyra and Sam feels a little forced. To much of that instant attraction and not enough off actual conversation between the main characters. And I would have loved to get more of Gigi and the whole tornado around her. She is one heck of a good character and I would totally read a book only about her. So it is not a full pot in rating but still just what I needed. Been having trouble with a reading slump lately that I’m trying to dig myself out off it.

This is the 8th book in the series and that Garwood still can keep me captivating I find it somewhat impressive. Specially since the books, I so far have read, are between 10 and 20 years old. But it still does not feel old fashioned.

 

 

Contemporary · Mystery/Crime · Romance · Suspense

Dirty laundry – Liliana Hart

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| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: A new novel in the New York Times bestselling series: Coroner JJ Graves and her husband Sheriff Jack Lawson are back on the job when the body of an elderly woman is found in Bloody Mary.

Rosalyn McGowen is everyone’s favorite great-grandmother. She always has baked treats in her bag, she smells of roses, and she takes in stray cats. No one knows who could hurt a sweet old lady. But Rosalyn isn’t exactly as she seems. Every Thursday at noon Rosalyn secretly posts The Bloody Mary Tattler on social media, and it has everyone in town both captivated and horrified.

When Rosalyn’s secret is discovered along with her body, it’s not easy for JJ to determine her death as a homicide. But it’s not long before they discover the list of suspects is endless and Rosalyn didn’t exactly take all of her secrets to the grave.

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My thoughts:

“There relationship is so well written, it feels natural and realistic and it is easy to connect with.”

Another brilliant J.J Graves story from Liliana Hart. I read book 4.5 in the series several years ago and then I quite forgot about the series while waiting for book five. It was nice to pick up the thread again. I really like Harts writing where you get this warm, fuzzy feeling and even though the book about murder, death and human eating cats, there is also an aura of a feel good book at the same time. Mostly because I love JJ and Jack. Their relationship is so well written, it feels natural and realistic and it is easy to connect with. This time the book also has the feel of a mix between “desperate housewives” and “Midsomer Murders”. Such a fun story and plot to follow.

The conclusion in the end was however somewhat rushed and rich in details. It was a little hard to keep up with it to understand who the killer was and the why’s. It also ended on a major cliffhanger and we still haven’t received the whole truth around JJ’s dead parents. There is just so many loose threads floats around and it is time to knot some of them and be done with it. It is time to reveal those secrets.

Adult fiction/Erotica · Contemporary · Fiction/Science Fiction

The storied life of A.J Fikry – Gabrielle Zevin

18293427| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: As surprising as it is moving, The Storied Life of A. J. Fikry is an unforgettable tale of transformation and second chances, an irresistible affirmation of why we read, and why we love.

We are not quite novels.
We are not quite short stories.
In the end, we are collected works.

A. J. Fikry’s life is not at all what he expected it to be. His wife has died; his bookstore is experiencing the worst sales in its history; and now his prized possession, a rare collection of Poe poems, has been stolen. Slowly but surely, he is isolating himself from all the people of Alice Island—from Chief Lambiase, the well-intentioned police officer who’s always felt kindly toward him; from Ismay, his sister-in-law, who is hell-bent on saving A.J. from his dreary self; from Amelia, the lovely and idealistic (if eccentric) Knightley Press sales rep who persists in taking the ferry to Alice Island, refusing to be deterred by A.J.’s bad attitude. Even the books in his store have stopped holding pleasure for him. These days, he can only see them as a sign of a world that is changing too rapidly.

And then a mysterious package appears at the bookstore. It’s a small package, though large in weight—an unexpected arrival that gives A.J. the opportunity to make his life over, the ability to see everything anew. It doesn’t take long for the locals to notice the change overcoming A.J., for the determined sales rep Amelia to see her curmudgeonly client in a new light, for the wisdom of all those books to become again the lifeblood of A.J.’s world. Or for everything to twist again into a version of his life that he didn’t see coming.

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My thoughts:

“Heartwarming.”

What a lovely book. Took me by total surprise. I started it because I had it on my list after seeing one of the book tubers I follow talking about it. I just wanted something easy to read during the days before the holiday where I planned to start a real brick of a book, and oh my what a wonderful story. So captivating, sad but jet happy at the same time. It is by far, one of the best books I have read this year.

This is a short story with only 260 pages but it is enough to capture both my heart and soul. It is charming, funny and an easy read with some deep thoughts and emotions. How I have missed it for so long I have no idea. I love this kind of books. Heartwarming. I read a review on Goodreads written by a person who do not like heartwarming books. *Dramatic gasps* That is like the best thing ever. And I love when I find those like The Storied Life och A.J. Fikry who are not only heartwarming but also captivating on the brink to life changing. I cannot rave enough about this one without giving away spoilers. You just have to read it.

This is a definite reread for me.

Contemporary · Romance

The General – Jessica Gadziala

42527241| GOODREADS | MY RATING: ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥|

Goodreads synopsis: Everyone in Navesink Bank knows about Senator Ericsson’s son, his wife, and the story that hit headlines that eventually led to one of the Mallick boys going to jail for assault.

What became of that woman after being coerced into lying on the stand was unknown.

That was until late one night when a phone rang in the offices of Quinton Baird & Associates.

And her voice was on the other end of the line.

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My thoughts:

“It is a great story in a somewhat passive pace and an easy read.”

A sweet story about a woman who finally has had enough and taking her own life in her own hands. With a story that didn’t disappoint and a romantic twist that feels natural and compelling we finally get to know the whole truth and nothing but the truth about Jenny and Eli. Why she lied and destroyed the life of her savior. In the book about Eli I disliked Jenny and in The General, you do get to know the whole truth and see that in the end, she pretty much saved his and somewhat her own life right there and then. But in Jenny’s case it is Smith who is the real savior. The man who not only saves her from a life in prison but also from a life she didn’t want.

Jenny is a really sweet character and a deep one with a lot of layers. Smith is a typical good guy characters who I feel is missing a couple of layers but in the end is just as perfect as he can be. It is a great story in a somewhat passive pace and an easy read.

There is however two thinks that bothers me.

  1. If Quinton Baird & Associates goes under the cover of security, how the heck could she do a simple Google search and find “fixers” when they are not supposed to exist and be that easy to find. If for an example Maren had leave a card or something for Jenny way back, since she knew the truth, I would totally understand. But not just a simple Google search to find this cloak and dagger company.
  2. What was on the laptop? Why even bring it up in the story if not saying what was or not was on it and not even mentioning it later on.