Review: The Broken by Casey Kelleher.

My Rating: 5 stars….as always! 

Genre: Crime Fiction- Mystery/Thriller/Suspense

Published: 2/22/18

Print Length: 322 pages


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They took her dad, but she won’t let them take her.

Nancy Byrne was the apple of her daddy’s eye. He might have been one of the most-feared gangsters in London, yet Jimmy Byrne idolised his little Nancy. But now Jimmy is dead, gunned down in cold blood – and Nancy vows to avenge his death.

She’s only twenty years old, but as the new head of the ruthless Byrne gang, running a lucrative world of drugs, sex and violence, she’s in over her head. Keeping her family together all while Joanie, her beloved grandma, falls apart, and her brother Daniel goes off the rails forces Nancy to grow up – fast. 

But while Nancy takes the men on at their own game, there’s a greater danger hiding on the dark streets. Jimmy’s killer is on her trail – and will stop at nothing to shut her up. 

Blood might be thicker than water, but soon, Nancy realises she can’t trust anyone. Not even her own family.

Especially her own family.


 

I’m a HUGE fan of Casey Kelleher, so I got really excited when I found out she was writing The Broken! Before you read The Broken, you need to read the first book, The Betrayed. This is the first time she has written a follow up to one of her books. All the others are stand-alone. 

I discovered Casey last year & I have read every one of her books. The stories are fast-paced and filled with suspense. Before I dive into my review, here are all of her books up to date…not in order. Some of these books are also free with Kindle Unlimited! While I have loved every book, Rotten to the Core has been my favorite so far! 

 

 


My Review

The first chapter of The Broken is nail-biting and packed with suspense. Casey doesn’t waste any time and that’s what I love about her writing style. Her books always keep me on the edge of my seat, craving more! She has a way of making the readers feel so connected to her characters. I feel like I am right there in the book!

As I was reading the book, I found myself thinking back to The Betrayed a lot. I wish I had re-read it before I started The Broken. It’s been a while since I read it and I felt like I had forgotten some of the key elements. If it’s also been a while since you read the first book, I would recommend reading it again before starting this book. I was able to figure things out and eventually remembered what happened, but I struggled at times. 

The events that happen in the book are jaw-dropping…literally. Sometimes I would read something that I totally didn’t expect and all I could do was just stare at the book for a minute…in total disbelief! When I’m reading a suspense, I loved to have those unexpected shocks & Casey definitely delivered! 

Nancy is the type of woman I would want to go to war beside of, not against. The world she lives in is male-dominated, so she has to prove that she is capable of taking over the Byrne empire. I don’t want to give too much away, but I think Nancy is just as ruthless as her father, Jimmy Byrne. Nancy will do whatever it takes to keep her fathers legacy alive. 

In my opinion, the most shocking part of the book is Jack. OMG! SERIOUSLY?!?! He totally threw me off! I can’t wait to see what all happens in the third book! The ending of The Broken is a cliffhanger. I will be counting down the days once Casey announces the release date! 

I would definitely recommend The Broken to my book-loving friends…just remember to read The Betrayed first! And while you’re at it, just go ahead and read the rest of her books lol. You will be glad you did!

As always, thank you for taking your time to read my review!

To learn more about Casey & her books, you can visit her website by clicking HERE!

Casey is also very active with her readers on social media. 

Instagram: @caseykelleher

Facebook: Click Here!

Twitter: @caseykelleher

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Blog Tour+Review & Excerpt: Friends and Other Liars by Kaela Coble.

Genre: Women’s Fiction. Mystery/Suspense

Publication Date: 02/06/2018

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

Length: 370 pages


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To all my old friends:
So here you all are. Nice to see you can show up for a person once he’s dead.

When Ruby St. James returns to her hometown, it is to the grave of her old friend Danny, a member of a group that was, ten years ago, Ruby’s whole world. The crew made a pact back then: stay together, stay loyal, and stay honest. But that was before all of the lies.

Because even friends keep secrets. They just don’t stay secret for long.

Now Danny has left behind a letter for each of them, issuing one final ultimatum: share your darkest betrayal to the group, or risk it coming out in a trap he has created. When past mistakes resurface, the lines of friendship blurb, and four old friends are left trying to understand what it means to lie to the ones you love best.


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Prologue

Danny

Now

Look at them. I’m dead and they’re still pissing me off.

They’re disgusting. Sitting in their pew, huddled together like a pack of wolves. Each playing their part in mourning—the bereaved, the wilted, the guilty. They clutch at one another, leaning on each other physically and emotionally for support. Shaking heads, balled fists, crocodile tears. Asking why, how. Dabbing their swollen eyes with crumpled tissues. Declaring their loyalty and love for one another. For me.

Really, they hate each other, and they hate themselves, and they hate me for making them face their own mortality. And they love me because it fuels their sick sense of pride in their little clan. The crew, they call themselves, even though they haven’t been whole for a decade. “Still supporting each other after all these years,” they declare, even though they wouldn’t know true support if it helped them climb out of a grave.

There’s Ally, the great beauty of Chatwick, sitting tall and stoic, practically cradling a weeping, whimpering Steph in her arms. Ally’s expression as she comforts Steph says everything about her that you need to know. In this most horrifying moment, she is proud to be the crew’s leader, to be the default person in whom to find solace. But the tightness around her lips and the slight narrowing of her eyes shows a bit of the self-righteousness she feels. Steph is a girlfriend of the crew, not an original member. What right does she have to this display? Ally shoots glances at her perfect husband, Aaron. High school sweethearts; couldn’t you just puke? Talk about not being an original member… Aaron the dreamboat isn’t one either. He didn’t swoop in until our sophomore year of high school. And if you ask me, we would have been just fine without him.

Emmett and Aaron sit together instead of with their respective significant others, no doubt upon Emmett’s insistence. He has always orchestrated the seating arrangements to split between genders. He’s the youngest of three brothers, and therefore the noise, the gossip, and the full range of feminine feelings have always made him uncomfortable. The heightened emotional state caused by my death is no doubt more unbearable for him than my death itself. That he is allowing Ally to tend to his sobbing girlfriend, offering no comfort of his own, comes as no surprise.

He and Aaron mimic the same posture—leaned forward, their elbows resting on the thighs of their cheap woolen pants. They face the front of the church, careful not to make eye contact with each other, so they won’t have to utter one of the lame platitudes they’ve heard too many times over the past days. “He’s in a better place.” “He’s finally at peace.” And my personal favorite: “He’s with Roger now.”

While they should be focusing on the tragedy that is (was) my life, instead my casket is a big, fat, polished-cedar reminder that one day this will be them. They ponder all the predictable questions that even people of the mildest intellect contemplate when faced with untimely death: Where do we go when we die? What will they say about me when I’m gone? What does it all mean? Tomorrow they will look into low-premium life insurance plans to take care of their burgeoning families, should something happen to them. It will make them feel like men in control of their lives. But they’re not. They’re boys, and they’re not in control of shit.

Speaking of boys, Murphy isn’t here, the coward. He always picks the easiest option, and in this case (and many cases), that means hiding. I’m dead, lying here about to be carried off and buried, but all he cares about is winning the argument. Murphy showing up would mean I got the last word, or that he had forgiven me, and either of those would mean he’s weak. He doesn’t realize he’s the weakest one of the bunch anyway.

That brings me to Ruby. She sits in the pew between the girls and the boys, the space between her and them so slight you would only notice if you were looking for it, like I am. She watches Ally comforting Steph, occasionally reaching out a hand to squeeze one of Ally’s. I know Ruby feels genuine grief, but mostly discomfort. She doesn’t know her place anymore, her role. I’m only now realizing that she never really knew it. She’s been an official outsider ever since she dared leave Chatwick at eighteen, but even before that, she and I were always the ones straddling the curvature of the crew’s closed circle. One foot in, one foot out. The dark ones.

I know it’s terrible how much enjoyment I get from watching her squirm, but it’s just too entertaining. Besides, with the fate of my soul no longer a question mark, I’m enjoying what I can. My death will be hardest on Ruby, for sure, but she’ll never admit it, and our crew won’t acknowledge it. She left. She abandoned us, so she can’t possibly feel it as deeply as they do. It’s amazing how grief turns so quickly from a group activity to a competitive sport.

It seems all of Chatwick turned up in their patent-leather shoes and cheap polyester blends. “To show their support,” they’d say. For who? Me? Four days ago, they wouldn’t have pissed on me if I were on fire. Most of them are only here to satisfy their morbid curiosity, whispering behind hands and rolling eyes, gathering tidbits to relay later to their neighbors who were unable to make it. But some are here for my mother, Charlene, whose deli (formerly my stepfather’s) is where they happily spend their food stamps. Either way, I wish they wouldn’t have come. It makes them feel too damn good about themselves, and they don’t deserve it. And I don’t deserve the show either, even if it is fake.

Mom stares blankly ahead of her as the priest eulogizes yet another man who has let her down. I look—well, looked—just like her. If you shaved off her two curtains of waist-length blond curls and straightened out her chest and hips, we would look like twins.

Nancy, Ruby’s mother, sits next to Mom, holding her limp hand. Nancy is the one who made all these arrangements, and despite the overabundance of flowers, I still appreciate her efforts. She saved my mother from having to coordinate another funeral, and I think one is enough for a lifetime. Ruby’s never forgiven Nancy for the way she handled her own illness back in the day, but as dicey as things got in the St. James household, they didn’t hold a candle to my family. Besides, Nancy’s one of the only assholes in this town who has any compassion, and I’m grateful she’s decided to bestow it upon Mom when she needs it most.

That’s all I ever needed. Compassion. If I’d ever gotten a shred of it from any of the people in this room, maybe I wouldn’t be in this fucking box.

My “friends” all think they will finally be rid of me once they’ve fulfilled this obligation. They will go back to the “happy,” normal, vanilla lives they lead, and their guilt will subside eventually.

Dumbasses. They have no idea Mom found the letters this morning.


About the author

Kaela Coble lives in Burlington, Vermont, and is a member of the League of Vermont Writers and a graduate of the WoMentoring Project. This is her first novel. 

Website: https://kaelacoble.com/

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/kaelacobleauthor/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/kaelacoble

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Friends-Other-Liars-Kaela-Coble/dp/1492651168

Barnes & Noblehttps://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/friends-and-other-liars-kaela-coble/1126273509#/

Books-A-Million: http://www.booksamillion.com/p/Friends-Other-Liars/Kaela-Coble/9781492651161

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781492651161


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-US & Canada Only-

One lucky winner will receive a copy of Friends and Other Liars! Click on the link below to enter!

Rafflecopter Link

Disclaimer: The giveaway is provided & handled by the publisher, Sourcebooks Landmark.


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My Rating: 4 stars

My Review

First, I want to say congrats to Kaela on her first novel! I’m excited that I had an opportunity to read and review Friends and Other Liars! She is a very talented author and I’m looking forward to more of her books in the future! 

When I am reading a book filled with suspense, one of the most important things to me is how the book is paced. I lose interest very quickly if I feel like the story is being dragged out. I felt like she did a great job and the book was perfectly paced. I was eager to turn the pages to find out what was going to happen next! 

When “the crew” made a pact as children, they thought they were making an agreement to always be honest and there for each other. As we discover throughout the book, each crew member has a secret they are hiding from the entire group. I enjoyed reading about their past and discovering what their secrets were! This book kept me on my toes! 

I’ll admit at first I was kinda pissed at Danny. I thought he was selfish and just an ass for doing what he did and especially throwing his poor mother into the drama. As I kept reading, I discovered more about Danny and what led up to his decisions. 

I truly enjoyed Friends and Other Liars and I would definitely recommend this book to my fellow book lovers. 

Thank you for taking your time to read my review! 

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New Release + Review! The Silent Room by Mari Hannah.

 

My Rating:

Genre: Thriller

Release Date: 1/16/18!

Publisher: Minotaur Books

Print Length: 417 pages


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Detective Sergeant Matthew Ryan wants to clear the name of his former boss, who stands accused of official corruption. But before he can do so, his boss disappears. Did he escape from police custody, or was he kidnapped? Or did something even worse happen to him?

The Silent Room has everything a good thriller should have—compelling characters, a gripping plot and storyline, superb pacing, and a strong sense of place. In addition it has heart, something many thrillers sorely lack. Add some truly scary villains, vast uncertainty about whom to trust, and a loudly ticking clock, and we have ourselves a thriller that will grip readers from the first pages and never let go.


 

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Disclaimer: I was provided an ARC from NetGalley & Minotaur Books in exchange for my honest review.

I have discovered so many amazing authors in the last few months. It’s one of the many perks of being a book blogger!  I was thrilled when I got the email from NetGalley letting me know I was going to receive a copy of The Silent Room to read and review.  I will definitely read more books by Mari Hannah in the future!

The first thing I want to discuss is the dialect. The dialect is a little different than it is in America. Sometimes I had a hard time understanding what the characters were talking about. I had no idea what a lay-by was, but I had to remind myself to focus on the most important parts of the book. Once I did that, I was able to keep up the pace.

The dialect had absolutely no impact on my rating. Just FYI…a lay-by is an area on the side of the road where vehicles can stop. Where I’m from, it’s called an emergency lane. Knowing what a lay-by was made no impact on the story. If you don’t understand what something is, don’t get caught up on it, just move along and you will be fine.

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The Silent Room was a thought-provoking thriller. What if someone you loved or was very close to was accused of a serious crime they claim they didn’t commit? Would you believe them, even if the evidence showed otherwise? Would you risk your life and job to clear their name? What would you do?

Most people would like to say they would help, but when things start to get messy and their own lives are at risk, they may not feel the same way. Luckily, Detective Inspector Jack Fenwick has Detective Sergent Matthew Ryan, Grace Ellis and Frank Newman working on his behalf to uncover the truth. Will they find Jack in enough time? Will they discover the truth before its too late? What will happen in this fast-paced, action-packed thriller?

I guess you will have to get your copy of The Silent Room to find out! I don’t want to give away too many details! There are so many twists and turns in this book and it’s filled with surprises that left me completely shocked! I want you to be able to experience the same thing!

If you love a heart-racing, page-turning, thought-provoking thriller, you will love The Silent Room!

Thank you for taking your time to read my review!

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You can read about Mari Hannah on her GoodReads profile by clicking HERE!

 

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Review: Once Pined (A Riley Paige Mystery #6) by Blake Pierce.

 

My Rating: 3.5 Stars!

Genre: Thriller/Mystery

Published: 12/16/2016

Print Length: 212 Pages


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Men and women are turning up dead in the outskirts of Seattle, poisoned by a mysterious chemical. When a pattern is discovered and it becomes clear that a twisted serial killer is on the hunt, the FBI calls in their best asset: Special Agent Riley Paige. Riley is urged to return to the line of duty—but Riley, still reeling from the attacks on her family, is loath to return. Yet as bodies mount, and the murders become more inexplicable, Riley knows she has no choice.

The case takes Riley deep into the unsettling world of nursing homes, of hospitals, of drifting caretakers and psychotic patients. As Riley delves deeper into the mind of the murderer, she realizes she is hunting the most terrifying killer of all: one whose madness knows no depths—and yet who may just appear shockingly ordinary.

A dark psychological thriller with heart-pounding suspense, ONCE PINED is book #6 in a riveting new series—with a beloved new character—that will leave you turning pages late into the night.


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As you can see, I just finished the 6th book in the series. I’m a HUGE fan of Blake Pierce! He is one of my favorite thriller authors. There are a total of 12 books in the series.  I’m glad there’s 12 because I can’t seem to get enough of FBI Agent Riley Paige!

As much as I have loved the previous 5 books, the 6th book was lacking some creativity. The serial killers in the previous books have left me speechless, but that didn’t happen with Once Pinned.

However, I was still intrigued and the story was still action-packed and I enjoyed it. I was relieved that Agent Carl Walder wasn’t in this book…he was beginning to wear me down. The only reason I gave Once Pinned 3.5 stars is due to the lack of creativity.

I will still continue to read the Riley Paige Mystery Series!


You can learn more about Blake Pierce by visiting his website! Click HERE!

 

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New Release + Review: Keep Her Safe by Richard Parker. Release Date: 1/11/18!

My Rating: 4 Stars!

Genre: Psychological Thriller

Release Date: 1/11/18

Publisher: Bookouture

Print Length: 285 Pages


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How far would you go to protect your child? Maggie’s daughter Penny is her whole world… and she’d do anything to protect her. So when Maggie wakes one night to find a strange woman in her home, she runs to barricade herself in her bedroom with her child. Maggie knows why she’s come…

Someone has been targeting mothers and offering them a choice: do as he says or their child disappears. This stranger in her home has until dawn to follow his orders… but Maggie too has the ‘choice’ to make. Can she put the pieces together to stop the cycle before her time is up?

An edge-of-your-seat thriller that will keep you turning the pages. Perfect for fans of Adam Croft and Rachel Abbott.


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Disclaimer: I was provided an ARC by Netgalley and Bookouture in exchange for my honest review.

I am not a mother, but I am very close to my niece and very protective of her. I would like to think I would do whatever was necessary to protect her, even if it meant killing someone else. Keep Her Safe was a thought-provoking thriller that had me questioning everything about myself.

The story starts out fast-paced and action-packed. The author doesn’t waste any time. From the beginning, the cat and mouse game began. I’m trying to word this review in a way that it won’t spoil anything for you. There are so many intense situations in the book, it will leave your heart pounding and eager to turn the page!

Keep Her Safe has an abundance of uncertainty throughout the book. Will Maggie do the unthinkable to keep her child from being put in further danger, or will she try to stop this madness? Holly, the woman sent on this mission, also has her struggle of self-doubt. Is she the type of person who would be able to go through with her instructions?

Would you kill for your child if you were in the same situation as Maggie and Holly? Before you automatically answer that question, read Keep Her Safe. You may end up surprising yourself.

Overall, I loved the book. However, I feel like the ending of the book was lacking the same type of action and thrill as the beginning and middle of the book. I still enjoyed the ending, but I would have expected something more shocking. This is the only reason I didn’t give Keep Her Safe 5 stars.

I believe this book is worth reading for yourself. I would recommend it to my thriller/suspense book friends!

Hope you enjoy my review!

Happy Reading!

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NEW RELEASE & REVIEW: Two Girls Down by Louisa Luna. 1/9/18!

 

You can read my REVIEW by clicking here!

Happy Release Day, Louisa Luna! 👏 👏 👏

 Blurb:

As addictive, cinematic, and binge-worthy a narrative as The Wire and The KillingTwo Girls Down introduces Louisa Luna as a thriller writer of immense talent and verve.   
   When two young sisters disappear from a strip mall parking lot in a small Pennsylvania town, their devastated mother hires an enigmatic bounty hunter, Alice Vega, to help find the girls. Immediately shut out by a local police department already stretched thin by budget cuts and the growing OxyContin and meth epidemic, Vega enlists the help of a disgraced former cop, Max Caplan. Cap is a man trying to put the scandal of his past behind him and move on, but Vega needs his help to find the girls, and she will not be denied. 
   With little to go on, Vega and Cap will go to extraordinary lengths to untangle a dangerous web of lies, false leads, and complex relationships to find the girls before time runs out, and they are gone forever.

 

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New Release & Review: Wicked Little Games by Dee Palmer.

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Title: Wicked Little Games
Series: Little Games Duet #1
Author: Dee Palmer

Genre: Romantic Suspense

Release Date: January 5, 2018

 

Blurb
“You promised me forever: You lied.”
Tia was five years old when she fell in love with Atticus
Kraus. She didn’t care about the castle he lived in, that he was the heir to a
vast empire, or that she was the daughter of his housekeeper. She cared about
the boy who made her smile, the boy who defied his mother to make her his
friend, and the boy who made her feel less alone.
Atticus made it crystal clear her place was right beside
him—in play, in life, and in love. He promised her forever, and she
promised to wait…
As she turns eighteen Tia is excited with the plans she’s
made with her first love and soul mate. Her studies at a top college will
ensure she finally moves away from Atticus’s judgemental family and her own
toxic mother. With Atticus at her side, she feels the first sense of true
happiness.
When suddenly accused and found guilty of stealing a Kraus
family heirloom, Tia is sentenced to six years in prison, and her world falls apart.
Abandoned and betrayed, this is just the beginning of her nightmare, as once
again she finds herself very much alone. How could this happen?
Prison changes her, but it also gives her time: time to
forge new friendships, time to learn new skills, and time to plan her revenge.
Her life was destroyed by Wicked Little Games, and she knows exactly who’s
going to pay…

 

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU

Free in Kindle Unlimited

Coming Soon

Releasing March 2, 2018

ADD TO GOODREADS

Author Bio
Dee Palmer lives just outside of London with her husband and
(slightly embarrassed) children. Her passion is writing sexy steamy romance
stories that will scorch the pages right off your kindle and are guaranteed to
make your heart pound. She loves an HEA but isn’t afraid to put her readers
through the ringer before she delivers.
When not at her desk she can be found either fannying around on Facebook or
with her nose stuck in her Kindle. Once in a while when the lights are down she
might be spotted about town searching for the best French martinis and throwing
some dubious shapes on the dance floor.
Author Links

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These are just a few words that describe Wicked Little Games. Once I read the description of the ARC, I knew I had to get my hands on it! This is the first book I’ve read by Dee Palmer. I was very pleased! I can’t wait to read more of her books! She is now one of my favorite authors!

In the beginning of Wicked Little Games, the author takes us back in time to Atticus and Tia’s childhood… where this wicked little story begins. Atticus and Tia are from two different worlds. He is the heir to his families empire and she is the daughter of their housekeeper. Even with the world against them, they became best friends. 

Skipping forward, Tia is accused of a crime that she didn’t commit, and now she is out for revenge. The story gives us little insight of what Tia’s plan actually is, but the author gives us enough information to keep us in suspense without it becoming boring. I think some books rush through too fast. I enjoyed savoring this story.

The end of Wicked Little Games left me stunned and speechless. I have no clue what will happen in the next book. The cliffhanger left me questioning everything I thought. I’m not sure who to trust at this point.  All I know is I can’t wait to get my hands on Twisted Little Games! 

I give Wicked Little Games 5 Stars! 

Disclaimer: ARC provided in exchange for an honest review. 

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