Saturday, September 15, 2018

The Marsh King's Daughter

In Karen Dionne's The Marsh King's Daughter, this standalone thriller will have you at the edge of your seat in every single page. For Helena Pelletier, she had once lived an ideal life with her husband and two daughters. But when word around about her father's prison break, it shattered the peacefulness she shared with her family in Michigan. She had hidden a dark secret about her upbringing, her parents, and who she used to be. And that might splinter her marriage like a shard of glass.  As she sent her husband and two young daughters away, she promised herself that she would track him down right to the end. As she trailed him, she flashbacked to where she lived in the cabin with her mother and narcissistic and abusive father, how she learned to live outdoors from the outside world. There was so much out there she didn't know about until her mother concealed the truth from her and betrayed her trust. While she followed in his footsteps through the marshy lands, she recalled how cruel he was to her mother and to her, and how she planned their escape to turn him in. Later, she caught up to him in a face-to-face battle to fight for her survival and to save her marriage in an intense climax.

This was a nail-biting and mind-blowing thriller. I loved the vast locations of the marsh lands in Michigan from the rustic cabin in the past to where it is in everyday present life. I loved the intricate descriptions and visual images of each and every setting to tell this story. I instantly cared for Helena and how she endured and thrived as a young child in a complex household and how she grew up to take care of her own young family. She became no ordinary heroine who had emotional scars that were too hard for her to contain and to conceal. This would make you want to root for her in this ultimate fight of survival of life and death with non-stop action, drama, suspense and mystery.

Will you join forces to stop her father in The Marsh King's Daughter tonight?


Sunday, September 9, 2018


In Rio Youers's Halcyon, this thriller has elements of the Lord of the Flies with a modern day twist. Think of "Hotel California" by the Eagles:  "You can check out, but you can never leave..." That's what happened to Martin Lovegrove and his family in this chilling and disturbingly dark thriller. Martin Lovegrove is a well-respected architect in New York City and has a happy life with his two daughters, Edith and Shirley, and still in love with his wife Laura. But when Edith experiences some kind of "night terrors" in the night, it's enough to wake more than the death. She had witnessed the tragic devastation of the Buffalo car bombing in her mind right after it happened. With a bit of probing, they learned she had a special psychic ability at night and had learned to use positive energy. But later, she had "streamed" a high school shooting and her mother's death. For Valerie Kemp, she's a twisted soul who had been a victim of a sadistic fetish group and dealt with four years of abuse until she fought back in a violent way. Then she discovered Gray Peaks Island, which she had called Halcyon,  right on Lake Ontario, a safe haven for disillusioned American who deal with loss and grief, while she profits from her own greed. She manipulates the people to self-destruct and destroy other people's lives. But when Martin decides to check it out for himself with his family, it's not what it seems when they meet Valerie and learn about her sordid life in the past.  This paradise island is more than lost. And when Valerie learns about Edith's special "powers" from Shirley, she would have no choice to take matters into her own hands to get what she wants until the bitter end...

This was a gripping and compelling thriller that would leave you chilled from the first page to the last. I did care for Martin and his family and how they dealt with so many hardships during the storyline. I did feel bad for Edith who had to deal with her psychic powers and how she put them to good use. But I could see how Martin dealt with loss and how supported his two daughters, on and off the island. The private island in Lake Ontario was the perfect idyllic location along with some fantastic scenes on the mainland and in New Jersey too. This would make you want to shake your head a few times, bit your lip, and could feel the pull of the psychic energy from Edith on every page.
This has non-stop action, drama, suspense, and intrigue in one mind-numbing novel.

Will you be tempted to go to Halcyon tonight?


Saturday, September 8, 2018

As the Tide Comes In

In Cindy and Erin's Woodsmall's As the Tide Comes In, this emotional, heart-warming and tear-jerking Christian romance novel would make you shed tears and blow your nose a few times throughout the novel. For Tara Abbott, she lived in a foster care system and never knew much about her parents or grandparents. At age eighteen, her grandmother asked her to take care of her two younger half-brothers since she was dying from cancer. After she almost refused her, one look at them had sent her heart soaring and agreed to do so. For twelve years, she did everything she could to raise them and watch them grow up, graduate and spread their wings. But before they could do that, tragedy happened during a storm, when she was knocked out unconscious with a head injury. When she recovered, she later learned they didn't make it and they died in the cabin. Bereft from grief and confusion, she went to St. Simons Island to heal and find what she was looking for. That's when she met Gavin Burnside, a firefighter who had lived a hard life on the island. He once grew up overweight and had a special bond with a childhood friend named Siobhan. But his mother was stuck in debt from a tragic accident after his father died. Besides his mother, her three other friends had pseudo-adopted him as he grew up to an outstanding man he was today. When they crossed each other's paths, they learned a lot about life, love, and believing in God. While Tara continued to grief and recover, a connection between Gavin and her grew from friendship and then later blossomed to love, as she set a foot to find her own path to make a life out of herself and to fill her life with happiness and true love by God's hand.

This was so beautiful and heart-warming from beginning to end. It pulled at the heart-strings and made me crazy with a heavy heart. The Woodsmalls have a wonderful way to describe emotional heart-wrenching pain in fantastic prose. I did care for Tara as I watched her grow up and heal from her grief, how she made a name out of herself in her brothers' memory and how she followed her heart to go back home to Gavin. I did love Gavin and the Glynn Marsh Ladies in thier wonderful and tender story, when each of them dealt with life's surprises, both good and bad, and how they pulled together to help Tara find her own way home.  This would make you crazy and feel blessed by God with all of his miracles with non-stop action, drama, tender romance, and a hint of intrigue on every page.

Will you be there to find your way home as the tide comes in tonight?

Saturday, September 1, 2018

The Secret History of the Pink Carnation

In Lauren Willig's The Secret History of the Pink Carnation, the first installment in the Pink Carnation historical romance series, this debut will sweep you off your feet and take you on an adventurous journey. For Eloise Kelly, an American who's writing a thesis on the Pink Carnation, a legendary hero that helped saved the English from the French Guillotine along with the Scarlet Pimpernel and the Purple Gentian in the same league.  She would have to go to England to read the manuscript from Lord Selwick's aunt over the span of that fortnight for her research. When she started reading, we're introduced to Amy Balcourt, a 20-year-old French woman who always looking for excitement and adventure, especially to see her brother Eduoard. In order to go there, her cousin Jane and her chaperone, her Aunt Gwen, must come with her on the boat ride. And that's what she met Lord Richard Selwick, an insufferable man who has a secret to hide. At first, they had gotten off on the wrong foot. But later, after Amy surprises her father, she becomes intrigued on the Purple Gentian's identity. And when she plotted to join his league, the Gentian was under her nose and kissed her passionately. That's when things get heated and intense between them, when Richard had to put his foot down. He had been broken-hearted before and didn't want to get his defenses down. But he tried not to get the best of him, when he must be jealous of his alter ego's self.  Instead of being in a compromising position, they both set out to thwart Delaroche by stealing the Swiss gold. And when he unmasked himself, it was up to Amy and Jane to become the Pink Carnation. While Amy fell in love and followed her heart to her greatest passion, she saved Richard and professed her true love for him... leaving a surprise twist on who was the Pink Carnation's true identity for future adventures...

This was a fantastic and excellent historical romance series. No wonder my sister-in-law had devoured her serial books in the past and loved it so much. This has a lot of excellent elements to keeps us from reading: romance, action, suspense, intrigue. I did care for Eloise who loves to dig into her research and needs to lighten her load a bit. But I did thik Colin Selwick is insufferable and could be her greatest adversial match.  I also have found Amy and Richard both daring and dashing, compelling and amazing, that they found their soul mate into each other. I loved the English and French dual locations with fascinating and eye-popping scenic scenes. This would make you swoon and sway, fan yourself, drink a tall glass of water, and become hooked from start to finish with non-stop action and adventure, plenty of romance, suspense and intrigue on every page.

Will you be swept away in the Secret History of the Pink Carnation today?

Monday, August 27, 2018

She Was the Quiet One

In Michele Campbell's She Was the Quiet One, this thriller is quite disturbing, twisted, and all shades of crazy. For fraternal twins Rose and Isabel "Bel" Enright, their grandmother sent them to a top-notch boarding school in Connecticut after their mother died.  They had been close and good friends, right until they stepped inside Odell Academy. Things had changed between them, when Bel hung out with the wrong crowd. Ever since they were a slipper attack against Rose and her roommate, it had caused a nasty rift between them, though Bel had been loopy from her pain medicine and had gotten off scot-free. But Bel had a secret crush with one of the nearest teachers that had lead to an infatuation and later a scandal. Besides Rose, other classmates were suspicious of her behavior and had caught off with their dirty secret. For Sarah Donovan, she thought she had a perfect marriage to Heath, her high school sweetheart, until he acted strangely to her and had an affair with Bel. But with more tension between Rose and Bel over the past couple of days, it had made other students hate Rose and gave her a hard time. As Bel took her affair to another level, someone knew about it and blackmailed the Donovans at the school--someone else other than Rose. And then later when Bel was killed in the woods, people blamed Rose and tried to frame it on her. She would do anything to prove her innocence when everyone was out to get her until she could convince someone else to take her side in the matter of life and death.

This was a well-done and well-written fascinating thriller that has its own dark side. I did feel sorry for Bel, who was caught up with the wrong crowd, and had gotten hurt--later killed--in the midst of it.  I did feel the most sorry for Rose, who wanted to do the right thing from the wrongs, even though it made her look like a pariah. I also did feel sorry for Sarah who had dealt with the most shocking things that fall, when she had to see Heath in a different light. I did love the vast locations in the Connecticut area, inside and outside the school with vivid imagery and compelling gripping scenes. This would make you hold on to your seat and to buckle up with a wild ride with non-stop action, intense drama, lots of intrigue and suspense on every page.

Will you be there to read She Was the Quiet One tonight?


Sunday, August 26, 2018

In the Vines

In Shannon Kirk's In the Vines, this standalone thriller will have you tangled in a patch of thorny vines from start to finish. For Mary Olivia Pentecost, aka MOP, she was born in a wealthy and guarded family in the New England region. She just graduated in college and madly in love with her boyfriend, Manny Acista, who's also wealthy and well-known too. But since her mother's mysterious death two years ago, she had always wondered what happened to her, since she was an only child and really close to her mother.  Besides her aunt, a former nun named Mary Patience, and another aunt, Lynnette Viola (Liv for short), they knew the secrets of what happened then and what had happened now. For Liv, she was in love with a married man and had plotted to frame his wife for a murder. She had kept the secret clutched to her chest until MOP discovers a big secret. She would do anything to keep it from her when the truth had unraveled before her eyes. Not only that her mother was alive for two years, awakened and weak from a coma, but her aunt's rival pulled a surprise of her own. In the end, both Liv and MOP fight for their lives to keep it unwrapped with a shocking ending.

This was a gripping and a bit darkly disturbing psychological thriller. I did care for MOP, when she had thought she had a perfect life until her mother's disappearance. And that had lead to a trail of secrets. I also had found Liv pretty disturbing as she had talked to herself numerous times, though she had led a difficult live with 3 miscarriages and her lover murdered. No wonder it had sent her over the edge. I did like the scenic descriptions of the scenery in Boston and the locations around the born, then and now. This would make you want to stay up late with the light on, bit your lip, and gasp a dozen times with nail-biting non-stop action, suspense, drama and dark intrigue.

Will you be tangled In the Vines tonight?

Sunday, August 19, 2018

The Night the Lights Went Out

In Karen White's the Night the Lights Went Out, this woman's fiction novel is so breath-taking and powerful enough to pull on your heart strings for a wild ride. Merilee Dunlap was a recently divorced woman with two young children. After her husband's infidelity, she moved from Atlanta to the suburb of Sweet Apple.  But things aren't what they seem what they arrived. She had met her landlord, Alice "Sugar" Prescott, a ninety-year-old woman who lived a hard life throughout her years. At first, she didn't know anything about Merilee and her children, but she didn't mind giving her a helping hand or baking them cookies. When Merilee dropped off her kids at school, she met somebody named Heather Blackford who was in part of the welcoming committee and later friended her. Later on, she became part of the Sweet Apple community and became involved with school events; meanwhile, someone's an anonymous blogger who had the eyes on the sights and sounds of the neighborhood. When things had gotten hunky-dory and things were fine for a while, until Merilee discovered a tragic drowning. Later, the spotlight was on her, since this wasn't the first time she had lost someone from a drowning and had now carried a heart-wrenching secret close to her heart. But when the Sweet Apple PD suspect Merilee of the crimes, the tables have been turned to find out who set her up, someone she didn't suspect from her past, and to set the record straight to clear her name in a powerful ending.

This was a fabulous woman's fiction novel that dealt with friendship and how two people like Merilee and Sugar  had shared some secrets of their past. I loved the Sweet Apple small-town community and how she made new friends and bonded with people. I did become fond of Sugar and Dan, though I couldn't stand Heather or her parents for that matter.  I did like the mesmerizing locations of Sweet Apple and Tybee, Georgia, and how the visual images popped on the page for the scenic scenery. This would make you want to cry and root for Merillee, sigh and shake your head, and feel compassionate about your own neighbors with non-stop drama, action, suspense, and a spark of romance.

Will you be there on the Night When the Lights Went Out?