Review: Bad Mommy by Tarryn Fisher

Bad Mommy
Author: Tarryn Fisher
Publication Date: December 24, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Suspense

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Synopsis:

When Fig Coxbury buys a house on West Barrett Street, it’s not because she likes the neighborhood, or even because she likes the house. It’s because everything she desires is next door: The husband, the child, and the life that belongs to someone else.


Bad Mommy is a mind$#%^. I don’t know how else to explain it. It was everything I expected from Tarryn Fisher, but nothing like I expected. Every time I thought I had a grasp on what was going on, I would start a new section of the book and become completely disoriented. It was such a trip!

I want to go back and read Bad Mommy a second time. That’s high praise because it’s rare for me to re-read a book. I feel like I would grasp more from the story a second time, and enjoy it even more.

Anyone who loves a great psychologically suspenseful novel will enjoy Bad Mommy. It’s dark, deceitful and will keep you turning the pages long after you should have gone to bed.

And that’s all I’m saying because I’m not going to ruin this book for anyone. 😉

Review: Dark Water by Sara Bailey

darkwater7Dark Water
Author: Sara Bailey
Publication Date: October 3, 2016
Genre: Psychological Thriller
Note: I received an ARC from Nightingale Editions in exchange for an unbiased review.

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆

Synopsis:

Friendship doesn’t die, it waits…

A haunting and lyrical novel, Dark Water is a psychologically intense portrait of adolescent yearning and obsession.

When Helena returns to her childhood home in Orkney, she is forced to face memories that she has spent half a lifetime running from. Her best friend, the charismatic Anastasia, disappeared after a swimming incident. But what really happened that night by the wrecks?


I have mixed feelings about Dark Water. On one hand, it was an incredibly strong debut novel. On the other, it didn’t really feel like a psychological thriller.

Sara Bailey’s writing in Dark Water is exceptional. The pictures she paints in her novel are clear and concise. Her descriptions of Orkney were so beautiful and haunting. They took over the novel at times, but that was a good thing because the setting played a huge part in the story. I liked the characters and their dark history.

There were a couple of things that kept me from truly appreciating Dark Water, though. First, The story unraveled so slowly that it never truly pulled me in. I wasn’t truly invested in it until the last third of the book. That’s when the story felt like it really took shape and built toward an amazing ending. Second, I was interested in the characters and their present points of view, but not as much as I was interested in the past. The little bits of it I got weren’t enough. I wanted more of them. They were the only parts that made me feel like I was reading a psychological thriller.

Overall, Dark Water was a well written and interesting tale of the bond of an obsessive adolescent friendship. It wasn’t quite the psychological thriller I was hoping, but it was still a tale I think readers of the genre might enjoy.

Review: A Gift of Time by Beth Flynn

A gift of time coverA Gift of Time
Series:
Nine Minutes, #3
Author: Beth Flynn
Publication Date: July 19, 2016
Genre: New Adult, Romance, Psychological Thriller

Rating: ★ ★ ★ ★ ★

Note: You must read Nine Minutes and Out of Time prior to reading A Gift of Time. A Gift of Time is the conclusion to the this story.

Synopsis:

Are some secrets meant to stay buried?

 

Three months have passed since Jason “Grizz” Talbot was put to death by lethal injection for crimes he committed. His former wife, Ginny, whom he had abducted from a convenience store when she was a teenager and became the love obsession of his life, has spent more than the last decade trying to carve out a life of normalcy in the bustling suburbs of Fort Lauderdale—including a thriving and happy marriage to Tommy “Grunt” Dillon, a former member of Grizz’s gang.

 

Tired of the secrets and the lies, Ginny and Tommy thought the final piece of their past could be left behind forever with Grizz’s execution. However, the past comes crashing around Ginny and Tommy when a newly discovered secret threatens to destroy their marriage. When tragedy strikes, Ginny is forced to reach into her heart and decide, once and for all, what she really wants.

 

In this third book in the Nine Minutes trilogy, A Gift of Time takes readers from the busy tropical metropolis of South Florida into the serenity of the North Carolina Blue Ridge mountains as Ginny chases down the answers she needs.

Will she have the strength to confront the secrets of her past…and her heart?


An epic conclusion to an epic ride!

A Gift of Time was an amazing ending to an outstanding series. Beth Flynn continued to take readers on an epic, beautifully written ride. All of the questions fans of the series have been asking were answered. No secret was left untold.

I’m not going to say much else because I don’t want to ruin the conclusion of the story for anyone, but I will say that I don’t think Ginny, Grizz and Grunt’s story could have ended more perfectly. I absolutely loved the way everything turned out. I’m sad the story has come to an end, but I’m really looking forward to seeing what Beth Flynn comes up with next!

If you haven’t read the Nine Minutes Trilogy, I would highly recommend it. It is the best thriller and biker romance I’ve read. If you’re interested in reading it, as of now Nine Minutes is $1.99 on Kindle for a limited time.

 

Review: Valentina by S.E. Lynes

Valentina: A Hauntingly Intelligent Psychological Thriller
Author:
S.E. Lynes
Publication Date: July 1, 2016
Genre: Psychological Thriller, Fiction
Note: I received an ARC from Blackbird Digital Books in exchange for an unbiased review.

Synopsis:

When  Glasgow journalist  Shona McGilvery moves with her partner  Mikey  and their baby to an idyllic cottage in rural Scotland, they believe that all that lies ahead of them is happiness.

But with Mikey working offshore, the  frightening  isolation of the Aberdeenshire  countryside begins to drive her insane…

That is, until she is rescued by a new friendship with the enchanting Valentina.

She has the perfect home, the perfect man, and a charismatic new best friend – or does she?

As her fairytale life begins to unravel, the deep dark wood becomes the least of her fears…


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


When Mikey takes an off-shore job, he moves his girlfriend Shona and their baby to a cottage in rural Scotland. The move leaves Shana and the baby alone the majority of the time. Shona immediately feels lonely and isolated. She’s pleased when she makes a connection with vibrant Valentina.

With Mikey gone more and more, Shona depends on Valentina and her young son for companionship and support. But the more Shona gets to know Valentina, the more she begins to wonder about her new friend. Something is not adding up and Shona can’t put her finger on it.

The closer she becomes with Valentina, the more Shona’s life feels like it’s beginning to spin out of control.

Valentina was a very good psychological thriller.The writing was incredible. It had a dark and dreary feel to it, which is exactly what I would expect from a thriller. I could imagine the story playing out on a dark and grainy movie screen. The setting was absolutely perfect.

The characters were extremely complex. Shona was stuck in the haze of new motherhood. She was overwhelmed, anxious and lonely. She was desperate for a friend and confidant. As sweet as her boyfriend Mikey was, his absence was slowly draining her.

Valentina was the answer to Shona’s prayers. She was supportive and available at a moments notice. They had children the same age and that helped strengthened their bond. Their friendship fills the void Shona was missing in her near perfect life.

But as the synopsis hints, things may not be as perfect as they seem. I don’t want to give anything away, but I will say that I guessed part of the twist correctly. The rest of it definitely surprised me. It was really cool.

Valentina had all the makings of the perfect psychological thriller except for one thing: the pace. While I was immediately pulled in by the imagery and emotion of the story, Part I of the book moved so slowly I was beginning to lose interest. Shona’s day-to-day life was so mundane. I get it. I’ve had a baby and know how trying, boring and emotional that first year is, but Shona’s boredom started to make me bored. There needed to be the introduction to and build of a relationship with Valentina, but I wish it would have been faster paced. Parts II and III moved a lot quicker and contained most of the action. They’re what made the story truly interesting and amazing.

Despite the slower pace, Valentina was still a wonderful psychological thriller that had guessing until the end. I would definitely recommend it.

 

 

Review: Shame by Rachel Van Dyken

Shame
Series:
Ruin, #3
Author: Rachel Van Dyken
Publication Date: October 4, 2014
Genre: New Adult, Contemporary Romance

Synopsis:

Everything done in darkness will eventually be brought into the light. I ran, but all it did was keep me one step ahead of my past. I tried to start over; new name, new identity. But you can’t change your soul. A fresh start at college was just what I needed. For a while, it worked. I was the party girl, the one who seemed confident, but it was a lie. When guys kissed me – I felt only pain. When they touched me – nothing but fear. Deep inside, every girl wants to be the beauty in the story, to find someone who will see you as their world. But the truth? I was the beast. And as much as I wanted redemption, I wasn’t fool enough to think I’d ever get it.

Until he walked into my life. I wasn’t prepared to fall for someone. My scars were too deep, the wounds too raw. But he offered me peace, he offered me security. I should have known it was just another lie – I should have known that falling in love with my professor was a bad idea. But I was powerless to stop myself from falling. And he was powerless to catch me. Because the darkness finally caught up to me, and as fate would have it, a cruel twist almost bled me dry. But I’m stronger than I knew. I’m stronger than you think. You think you know my story, but you don’t – after all everyone has Shame in their lives – and I’m no longer afraid to show you mine.


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


Wow. Shame was freakin’ crazy. After reading Toxic, the second book in the Ruin series, I knew there was more to party girl Lisa than met the eye. She had a hidden past that I was looking forward to exploring. What I wasn’t expecting was the crazy ride Shame took me on. I feel like I can’t even really tell you much about the book because I would be giving too much away. It’s definitely a book you have to read for yourself.

In Shame, Lisa is trying to out run her past. It’s a past filled with pain and hurt — both her own and that which she caused others. Lisa’s created a new, better version of herself and she’s doing everything she can to make a brighter future at the UW.

Sophomore year of college isn’t starting out very well for Lisa, though. Her past has come back to haunt her through anonymous letters in her mailbox. Lisa’s starting to get scared. Her new psychology professor isn’t helping either. He may be hot as hell, but he seems to have a grudge against Lisa. One minute, Lisa thinks there might be something between them. The next, he’s insulting her. The stress of it all is almost too much to handle.

Student/teacher relationships are one of my least favorite relationship tropes, but it didn’t really bother me in this book. While I was a little worried about Lisa and Tristan getting caught and in trouble, I could also see where the story was going. That helped make their relationship more enjoyable to read.

I loved Lisa’s character. She was just as complex as the storyline. Her past was so interesting. I loved reading about it through Taylor’s journal entries.

Tristan won’t be making my book boyfriend list. I had a love/hate relationship with him, but that’s okay. His character and role made him perfect for Lisa.

The real gem in this story for me was Taylor, or more accurately, his journals. He was such an interesting and dark character! He created some twists and turns I didn’t see coming. His part in the story made this more a thriller than a romance.

Shame was a really cool book. It wasn’t what I expected at all and I loved that. I think other readers will, too.

I would highly suggest reading the first two books in the Ruin series prior to reading Shame, as the stories build upon each other. I would recommend the entire series to New Adult readers. I’ve truly enjoyed reading them.

Review: Pistol Whipped by Susan Ward

Pistol Whipped
Series: Locked & Loaded, #2
Author: Susan Ward
Publication Date: April 27, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Note: I received this book from the author via Goodreads in exchange for an unbiased review.

Synopsis:

The Locked & Loaded Series is a spinoff of the Amazon Bestselling Sand & Fog Series. Each book is a standalone and can be read in any order.

 

I’m Dillon Warrick.

Ex-Special Forces. I have no memory of what went down on my last deployment, so when the opportunity came to resign my commission and sign up for a new gig I jumped on it.

Now I’m the personal bodyguard for the biggest celebrity on the globe and still living life on the edge. I’m six feet two inches of blond-haired, blue-eyed Adonis, combat-fit body and fully loaded weapon.

My best friend, Graham, thinks I’m running too close to the edge and about to take a fall. And then there’s Rachel, my former high school sweetheart turned f&&k-buddy. As incredible as she is, I can’t commit until I unravel the mystery of what happened on my final mission.


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ★


I’m pretty amazed at how much story and impact this short 121 page book had. I wouldn’t exactly classify it as a romance but more of a mystery. There were several twists and turns I didn’t see coming. I had my guesses of what was hiding in Dillon’s memory, but I never could have imagined what was hiding there. It was a really fun story to read unfold. I was sad when the story ended. I wish it would have been longer. I wanted to know more of what happened to Dillon after his memory returned.

I would recommend Pistol Whipped to readers who like a mystery to unravel in their romance novels.

Review: Fractured Faith by Jasmine Denton

Fractured Faith

Series: Glass Houses, #1

Author: Jasmine Denton

Publication Date: March 25, 2016

Genre: Young Adult, Suspense, Thriller, Mystery

Note: I received an electronic copy from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Goodreads Synopsis:

When her sophomore year of high school began, all Faith cared about was fitting in. She’d made up her mind that this was the year—she’d be the most stylish girl in school, finally catch the eye of hottie athlete Tyler. All of that changed with a class assignment. The project was simple enough: write an autobiography.
When Faith looks into her past, she realizes her history isn’t as clear as she thought was. Driven by the nagging feeling that her parents are hiding something sinister and an ever growing pile of questions, Faith enlists the help of her cousins (and best friends) to uncover the truth. Faith is about to discover that some secrets are kept for a reason….
As she pokes at the past, she unleashes a hidden danger that could put her–and everyone she loves–in the ground.


  ★ ★ ★ ★ ☆


Oh my goodness. I think it’s going to take me a bit to recover from reading Fractured Faith.

Fractured Faith felt like a wild ride. It captivated me and kept me wanting to know the answers to all of Faith’s questions. It was so intense! I kept having to take little breaks while reading it because I couldn’t handle the suspense at times. I thought I knew where the story was headed but the twist and turns it took surprised me.

I felt bad for Faith. The truths she found weren’t something anyone would ever want to know. The way she acted out after learning her history made complete sense. I wish her parents would have been open and honest with her about it all. It might have saved Faith from being so self-destructive.

The only thing that kept me from giving Fractured Faith 5 stars was the major twist at the end. While it shocked me, part of it just didn’t feel like it could happen in real life…

**SPOILERS**

…I could see the Carver still being alive, but having multiple children with his victims? That seemed a little out there. Up to that point, it was a believable situation.

**END SPOILERS**

Fractured Faith was a dark and intense Young Adult novel that readers who like thrillers will enjoy.