She was known as Mad Maddie in her neighborhood because of her past. She was the lone survivor of a stalker/murderer in her college dorm which resulted in a nervous breakdown and internment into a mental facility. As she moves on with her life, her fiance is murdered in their home while she is upstairs. Due to her background she was a suspect. Now, living in a new neighborhood in Virtue Falls, Maddie meets her neighbor Jacob by driving her car into the living room of his home. Jacob survives the incident and continues to live in his demolished home where he can see and hear clearly the goings on across the street. Not everything is as it looks…
This novel had me hooked right from the first scene! There was something about Maddie and Jacob that drew me in. Whereas she was nicknamed Mad Maddie by her neighbors, Jacob was actually crazier than she. He was an ex-soldier with PTSD who had delusions of death. He was actually mad that Maddie had missed him with her car! Watching the two of them navigate into a friendship, or really a co-dependency, was really interesting. Seeing this mystery play out was even more so.
I have read all of the Virtue Falls novels, including the Woman Who Couldn’t Scream which follows this novel in the series. I’ve enjoyed them, liking the continuing story of the town and it’s inhabitants. There are subplots in each novel that moves the town’s story forward. Even though I read the fourth book before the third, I don’t think I messed up the story’s sequence too much. This novel was still my favorite so far. Each piece came together in the perfect package of psychosis, mystery, and romance. Well done, Ms. Dodd! May I have another? ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
It was a short month but I still managed to read 16 books. Some of them were audio books that I listened to while driving or working out and yes, I am counting those too! Not all of them were talked about on my blog in February and some of them are posts scheduled for the future release dates.
What happened on my blog in February? Here’s a recap!
GREAT FEBRUARY READS!
Fall (VIP #3) by Kristen Callihan
“This was not a lighthearted novel. Yes, I did laugh, but I also cried a bit and stopped to think about how this portrayal could parallel a lot of people’s lives that read it. Not that we’re all rock stars, well at least outside my own head, but the fact that we all have moments of darkness and that dream that being needed and loved can help us overcome despair.”
On Thin Ice (Juniper Falls #3) by Julie Cross
“On Thin Ice explores a lot of tough subjects; bullying, depression, and suicide but the novel does a great job of putting a spotlight on these problems and allowing it’s characters to work their way to a solution in a very real, unforced way. “
Circle of the Moon (Soulwood#4) by Faith Hunter
“Circle of the Moon advances Nell’s journey away from her Churchwoman background towards a “city” life. Her magic gets stronger and she has to constantly fight the urge to kill for her land, Soulwood, but she is also in a more maternal role with becoming the guardian of her younger sister Mud, who also has earth magic tendencies similar to Nell’s. Her tentative feelings for Occam resolve into want and his feelings for Nell into love.”
BLOGGER TO BLOGGER SERIES
If you missed learning a little bit more about these two book bloggers, here’s your chance! They are both wonderful and very different from each other.. Click the link to take a look.
If you know what a Mash-Up is then you probably understood my other post in this category. A Mash-up in music is when you combine two different genre’s to create an original flavor of music. What I was shooting for in this next post was to describe a book blogger using the books they had read recently on their blog. If you missed this one click the link and let me know if I missed the mark or not.
I have started to contribute to a weekly Meme called It’s Monday, What are you Reading? I’ve always liked reading what my fellow bloggers are reading because I’m nosy and curious. My taste in books varies so much that I thought you may enjoy seeing what I’m reading each week. I created this graphic, so when you see it, come visit and let me know what you think about my book choices!
ELIMINATING MY TBR
I only read one of the books I listed in this category last month. Since I’m a mood reader it’s really hard to set a list and stick with it. Here are a couple I’m looking forward to reading in March.
A Dangerous Collaboration (A Veronica Speedway novel) by Deanna Raybourn
A bride mysteriously disappears on her wedding day in the newest Veronica Speedwell adventure by the New York Times bestselling author of the Lady Julia Grey series.
Lured by the promise of a rare and elusive butterfly, the intrepid Veronica Speedwell is persuaded by Lord Templeton-Vane, the brother of her colleague Stoker, to pose as his fiancée at a house party on a Cornish isle owned by his oldest friend, Malcolm Romilly.
But Veronica soon learns that one question hangs over the party: What happened to Rosamund? Three years ago, Malcolm Romilly’s bride vanished on their wedding day, and no trace of her has ever been found. Now those who were closest to her have gathered, each a possible suspect in her disappearance.
From the poison garden kept by Malcolm’s sister to the high towers of the family castle, the island’s atmosphere is full of shadows, and danger lurks around every corner.
Determined to discover Rosamund’s fate, Veronica and Stoker match wits with a murderer who has already struck once and will not hesitate to kill again.…
The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets
From the national bestselling author of Breaking Wild, here is a riveting and powerful thriller about a woman whose greatest threat could be the man she loves.…
Marian Engström has found her true calling: working with rescue dogs to help protect endangered wildlife. Her first assignment takes her to northern Alberta, where she falls in love with her mentor, the daring and brilliant Tate. After they’re separated from each other on another assignment, Marian is shattered to learn of Tate’s tragic death. Worse still is the aftermath in which Marian discovers disturbing inconsistencies about Tate’s life, and begins to wonder if the man she loved could have been responsible for the unsolved murders of at least four women.
Hoping to clear Tate’s name, Marian reaches out to a retired forensic profiler who’s haunted by the open cases. But as Marian relives her relationship with Tate and circles ever closer to the truth, evil stalks her every move.…
OK, I may be cheating a bit because both of these are ARC’s so I MUST read them! LOL. We’ll see if the month gets away from me again.
The second novel in the Cape Charade series, What Doesn’t Kill Her continues the story of our heroine Kellen Adams. After finding out she’d had a daughter while in a coma, Kellen, Max and Rae are trying to ease into a family unit. Suffering from PTSD after her years in Afghanistan, Kellen is having the tougher time bonding with her new daughter. Needing a break, she takes a side job delivering an archeological find to a recluse in the wilderness with a man she doesn’t know. On the way, the man tries to kill her, Kellen evades the kill, and finds out her new seven year old daughter Rae has hidden in the back of the van in the hopes of bonding with her mother. Escaping into the wilderness, Kellen and her pink sparkly daughter find out that they are being hunted by two teams of men. One is out to collect the valuable item they are carrying, and the other is out to kill Kellen. This quick trip has suddenly turned into the run for their lives.
Kellen started off so out of her element as a mom, but as she and her daughter evaded capture Kellen found that she did in fact care deeply for this little girl. Kellen’s maternal instincts are slightly skewed from the traumatic events in her past but she does teach Rae some invaluable lessons in self defense that were dramatic and sweet at the same time. Imagine trying to relay to a seven year old girl that they were being hunted by people who were trying to hurt them without scaring the crap out of her. There were some seriously funny conversations between these two that really added a lot of maternal warmth to Kellen’s character. For Kellen, this trip was a boot camp to motherhood.
I really liked Max in Dead Girl Running and he was even more likable as a dad and love interest to Kellen in this novel. He was alpha male enough to want to sweep in and keep his girls safe, but smart enough to let Kellen use her skills and provide her own safety. That’s not to say that he didn’t want to kick ass and take prisoners, but this was a woman who took charge of her own life and didn’t wait for anyone to save her. The two of them were very well balanced and I really enjoyed watching their relationship grow into a romantic one.
What Doesn’t Kill Her was even better than Dead Girl Running, and I loved that novel! There was some great dialog between Rae and Kellen that provided comic relief to what would’ve been a non stop action novel. Those moments of warmth between mother and daughter allowed the reader to build a deeper connection with Kellen, and I cared even more when she and Max reunited as a couple. I can’t wait to see what happens in the next Cape Charade book, Stranger She knows. It can’t come soon enough for me! ❤️❤️❤️❤️❤️
I was given a free ARC of this book for an honest review and it was honest!
Opinions from around the Blogosphere
“What makes this book a fun read is, for the most part, the non-stop action and diversity of settings: As the plot progresses, readers witness lots of action, near-misses, and pursuers, and assassins in exciting locations such as vineyards, resorts, and mountain-top lodges – and the chase is always on.” Mystery Tribune
Journalist Tess Newell is being held hostage in an African cell when French Leggionaire Flynn is also taken hostage and thrown into the dark with her. In complete darkness Tess bandages his wounds waiting for the cell door to open and the terrorist Hamid to come in for another round of torture. Fortunately, Flynn isn’t going to wait around for that to happen and in a daring breakout he and Tess join together to outsmart and outwit the terrorists who want to use them as propaganda for their own agenda.
Just because they had escaped doesn’t mean that Tess and Flynn are safe. They must get to where Tess has hidden a file that will break her story wide open and end the political corruption that is fueling a war and will stop the terrorist plot. This novel started off quickly with a breakout and was running non stop until the end of the book. Did they defeat their enemies? You need to read this book to find out.
I really enjoyed this story. Tess was her own brand of hero, finding a story and not giving up even though her own life came under fire. She and Flynn were not without their problems, but they were stronger together than they were apart. I liked their mix of brains and brawn that didn’t always fall down stereotypical lines. It helped ground their characters and made it easy for the reader to root for and identify with them.
This is the second book in a series, but can be read as a stand alone novel. I didn’t read the first book, and didn’t feel like I missed out on too much back story. I am curious enough to go back and read Deception Island. I think I may have found a new author I can enjoy! ❤️❤️❤️❤️
Rockton is a town in the middle of nowhere, completely off the grid with no electricity, email or internet. It has been established as a haven for people running away from their previous lives, most of whom were victims of some sort, although their histories aren’t revealed so a few are more threat than prey. When the council who decides who lives and leaves Rockton drops an unexpected guest in their laps, Detective Casey Duncan and her lover Sheriff Eric Dalton find themselves harboring a serial killer.
Is Oliver Brady a serial killer? Without being able to jump online and check out his story and background, Casey and Eric have to try to contain him safely in a town that wants nothing to do with him. This mystery was a classic is he or isn’t he, and when someone turns up dead and Brady goes missing this classic mystery turned into an action-adventure novel that I could envision in technicolor on the big screen.
This Fallen Prey is the third novel so we didn’t need the back story on Rockton or its inhabitants, so more than the other two novels in the series, we jumped right into the story. The psychology of this story was thrilling. Rockton is full of scary and scared individuals, so seeing their reactions to Oliver Brady’s presence put a twisted spin on an already twisted plot, pitting Casey and Eric against pretty much everyone. I enjoyed the anxiety I was feeling as the plot unfolded, is that weird? Well, regardless, this was an edge of your seat thrill ride.
❤️❤️❤️❤️ I received a copy of this book through NetGalley for an honest review and it was honest.
Finally, we get Kateri’s story! A constant presence in the other Virtue Falls novels, Kateri, now the Sheriff of Virtue Falls, is chasing after a violent fugitive as well as trying to catch a killer. Virtue Falls may be a charming resort town, but it has a pretty violent past. The Woman Who Couldn’t Scream is the fourth book in the series, each of which are wonderful romantic thrillers, and this one is no different. Kateri’s childhood friend moves back to town under an assumed name, just as the violence hits. Is it a coincidence??
Merida, Kateri’s friend who has moved back, has eagerly left her last ten years behind. She is mute and had been the wife of a domineering elderly man who controlled her every action. Caught in that unhappy marriage through horrific circumstance, she had bottled up her plans for revenge against the man she thinks put her there. When she comes face to face with him in Virtue Falls amidst what seems to be a serial killer in action, she is forced to face her feelings sooner than she had planned.
This novel had so many twists and turns! Kateri, still dealing with her past injuries from the tsunami that hit in the first book, has finally semi recovered and finds herself back in a leadership role in town. Her search for a killer while dealing with her feelings for two men mess with her head and certainly adds tension to an already tension filled book! I also liked Merida’s character from the start. She is not the victim she appears and actually has a strong core that has gotten her through some really difficult times. Her story is twisted and fascinating and lends an air of dark mystery to an already action packed start to the book.
Virtue Falls is filled with some zany and interesting characters and even though its been awhile since I read one of these novels, it was easy to jump right in and remember why I keep picking up the books in this series. ❤️❤️❤️❤️❣️
I received a copy of this book from the author for my honest review and it was honest.
Sarie Holland is at a college party nursing one beer all night long. She can usually avoid temptation, doesn’t do drugs, and is a very responsible girl. However, on this night she lets herself take one hit off a bong. That one hit sets her down a path that changes her life forever. At this party, because of that bong hit, she is approached by a cute guy and asked for a ride across Philly to “pick up a book” from a friend. She doesn’t realize until after she is waiting for him in her car, how stupid she was. The apartment her friend has gone in to retrieve his “book” was under surveillance for drugs. The cop, Ben Wildey, takes Sarie in for possession, her friend D, having run away, leaving her holding the stash. Continue reading “This Chick Read : Canary by Duane Swierczynski”→
Kaia had led a very unusual life. Her parents were hired assasins, taking her on jobs with them, until one day – the job hit back. Kaia escapes to live with her “grandparents” in South Carolina, where, for the first time, she leads the life she always wanted to have with her parents. A normal one. One day, ‘stranger danger’ hits town, and she realizes that her parents may not be dead. This book is mostly about her search for them.
I knew I was in for a crazy book when Kaia defends herself from a kidnapping by kicking butt, stepping on the guys neck, and pointing his own rifle down at his head. She’s trying to figure out if she’ll shoot or not, when her boyfriend Oliver walks through the door to pick her up for a movie, and catches her in the act. Does he run screaming from the room? Nope! He follows her into a car and makes a mad escape with her. Ok, not very realistic, but it did keep the pace of the book from slowing down.
I was exhausted from reading this book. It was all action, with only moments for reflection and reason. Kaia didn’t appeal to me very much, and instead I looked for Oliver’s POV to bring a little realism and sanity into the story line. Ok, yes, I understand what kind of book I was reading, but I just couldn’t really care if Kaia ever found her parents alive or dead, and that was the whole plot! I gave this book ❤❤❤ because it was well written and there weren’t too many holes in the plot. I would’ve liked it better if it was told entirely from Oliver’s POV. He was sweet, mixed with a bunch of teenage badass…
I was given an ARC of this book for my honest review, and yep, I was honest.
I am excited to be able to share the cover of Laura Carter’s newest novel, Scarred by You! This sexy new thriller will be released at the end of the month, and after reading the blurb I released last week, I’m anticipating that this will be a fun book to read! Continue reading “Cover Reveal! Scarred by You by Laura Carter”→