Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Review - The Guest Room by Chris Bohjalian

Book Published - January 2016

Book Summary from Amazon

From the New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls comes the spellbinding tale of a party gone horribly wrong: two men lie dead in a suburban living room, two women are on the run from police, and a marriage is ripping apart at the seams.
When Kristin Chapman agrees to let her husband, Richard, host his brother’s bachelor party, she expects a certain amount of debauchery. She brings their young daughter to Manhattan for the evening, leaving her Westchester home to the men and their hired entertainment. What she does not expect is this: bacchanalian drunkenness, her husband sharing a dangerously intimate moment in the guest room, and two women stabbing and killing their Russian bodyguards before driving off into the night.

In the aftermath, Kristin and Richard’s life rapidly spirals into nightmare. The police throw them out of their home, now a crime scene, Richard’s investment banking firm puts him on indefinite leave, and Kristin is unsure if she can forgive her husband for the moment he shared with a dark-haired girl in the guest room. But the dark-haired girl, Alexandra, faces a much graver danger. In one breathless, violent night, she is free, running to escape the police who will arrest her and the gangsters who will kill her in a heartbeat. A captivating, chilling story about shame and scandal, The Guest Room is a riveting novel from one of our greatest storytellers.

My Review - 4 star

The Guest Room made me think, what would I do.  I understood the dilemma Richard and Kristin put themselves in, they supported their family in a special moment, who knew all hell would break lose with life or death consequences.

I have nothing against bachelor parties and some good fun with strippers.  Why not allow your husband to host one for his brother at your house.  I also have a 9 year old daughter and can see staying over at grandma's for the night, no big deal when you have a trusting relationship.  And then you get a call in the middle of the night that changes things forever.

All the men are having fun and making some shady inappropriate decisions but then one of the young ladies decided her life over fun and work and kills the guard in front of everyone, then shots in the other room.  Both guards are dead and the girls flee.  SHOCKING

This is where the betrayal, humiliation, legal and financial worries, marriage - for better or worst come into play.  I thought Chris Bohjalian did a great job on showing us the life of a sex slave to how the modern day support, at times without knowing.  There are always friends that never think consequences or beyond the moment of fun and all lose because of a very bad decision.

I really loved the family unit with Richard, Kristin and their daughter.  Richard was truly a good man. And I understood all of his decisions. Really great discussion on what would you do while reading.

The story was told from present and then from Alexanders side from the beginning of her life to being captured and put into the sex slave world right up to the night of the Bachelor party and running for her life.

The ending surprised me, I really like when an author doesn't always go for the life always works out endings, powerful.  I don't think my book club would appreciate this one, I need to think more about it and make a decision but I really enjoyed it.

A few years ago I recommend Trans-Sister Radio by Chris Bohjalian to them.  That was a great discussion.  Highly recommend.

Have you read a Chris Bohjalian?  Which one would you recommend?

Sunday, September 25, 2016

Monday's come to fast.........

Book Date now hosts It's Monday What Are Your Reading?  The meme that we use to share what we read this past week and what our plans are for the upcoming week.  It's a great way to see what others are reading and add to your own To Be Read List.

I can't believe it has been a month since I have participated.  Life has been crazy but really I just think Monday's come to fast.

I'm currently reading - the finale in a favourite series - it releases Tues, Sept 27

I just completed and reviewed - 4 stars

I missed a couple of weeks, I don't know how that happened, I had some great book dates though, here are my reviews.

I think this will be next read.  I can't believe NetGalley has it available and my request as an international blogger was approved.  SO GRATEFUL

Friday, September 16, 2016

NetGalley Discussion Hosted by Kourtni Reads

Kourtni from Kourtni Reads created this discussion - go here to join

Disclaimer: This post is in no way affiliated with or sponsored by NetGalley. Just a fun post based on a website that I’m sure a lot of us book bloggers spend a lot of time on.πŸ˜‰
The rules:
  • Link back to the tag’s creator (Kourtni Reads)
  • Thank and link back to the person who tagged you
  • Answer the questions the best you can. If you don’t use NetGalley, you can substitute other sites or places where you get books!
  • Tag a few people to do this too

Auto-Approved: Who’s one author whose books you automatically want to read, regardless of what they’re about?

Specifically from NetGalley my auto-approved authors that I would buy if not offered are:
  • Andrea Kane - Forensic Instincts series
  • Amanda Stevens - Graveyard Queen series
  • JT Ellison

Request: What makes you want to request a book that you see on NetGalley?

Blogger recommendations is my #1 or favourite authors.  I have tried a few from the covers and or descriptions but to be honest this is a hit or miss for me.  Being an international blogger doesn't always help with the choices either. Sad face when I get turned down.

Feedback Ratio: Do you review every book you read? If not, how do you decide what books to review?

The suggested feedback ratio is 80% and I am currently at 79%.  To be honest since they put this in I am a little stressed out by it.  I try not to request often because I want to make sure I enjoy them.  I have tried to review everyone that I request but I am down by 2.  I need to think about how to give feedback when it is a DNF.
I try to review every book I read but I have realized this year that I haven't.  I want to sit and think about it then I start another book and it's usually a done deal then.  There are 3 I really want to review but I'm starting to think it's not going to happen.

Badges: If you could create your own badge to display on your blog, what would it be for?

Badge, hmmmm - How about a country representing Badge - A Bermudian NetGalley blogger.  I currently have 4 but didn't even consider putting them on my sidebar, do bloggers or authors really care?

Wish for It: What’s one book that you are absolutely dying to read?

I have been waiting for months to read this one, I need it on Kindle immediately.  I understand how UK and International readers patiently wait now.  I am unsure when it will be released in the US for Kindle, I heard November.  It isn't on NetGalley either.


The day Adam Dunne's girlfriend, Sarah, fails to return from a Barcelona business trip, his perfect life begins to fall apart. Days later, the arrival of her passport and a note that reads ''I'm sorry--S'' sets off real alarm bells. He vows to do whatever it takes to find her. 

Adam is puzzled when he connects Sarah to a cruise ship called the Celebrate --and to a woman, Estelle, who disappeared from the same ship in eerily similar circumstances almost exactly a year before. 

To get answers, Adam must confront some difficult truths about his relationship with Sarah. He must do things of which he never thought himself capable. And he must try to outwit a predator who seems to have found the perfect hunting ground …

2016 NetGalley Challenge: What was the last book that you received as an ARC that you reviewed? If you’ve never received an ARC, what’s the last book you reviewed?

The last book reviewed actually was a NetGalley choice from Auto Approved.

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Review - The Hidden Legacy by G. J. Minett

Published - November 2015


Ellen has received a life-changing inheritance. If only she knew who had left it to her . . . 

1966. A horrifying crime at a secondary school, with devastating consequences for all involved.

2008. A life-changing gift, if only the recipient can work out why . . .

Recently divorced and with two young children, Ellen Sutherland is up to her elbows in professional and personal stress. When she's invited to travel all the way to Cheltenham to hear the content of an old woman's will, she's far from convinced the journey will be worthwhile.

But when she arrives, the news is astounding. Eudora Nash has left Ellen a beautiful cottage worth an amount of money that could turn her life around. There's just one problem - Ellen has never even heard of Eudora Nash. 

Her curiosity piqued, Ellen and her friend Kate travel to the West Country in search of answers. But they are not the only ones interested in the cottage, and Ellen little imagines how much she has to learn about her past . . .

My Review - 4

This book has the feel of a classic, something quiet and remarkable about it.  I am impressed it is G. J. Minett's debut.  The opening is one of the best I have read, shocking incident that lays the foundation for the book.  

Ellen is the main character and a strong willed one, I respected and really enjoyed.  She is told a beautiful cottage has been given to her from the will of a lady she has never heard of.  Ellen begins the journey of trying to find out why while we read and slowly discover the hidden legacy right to the end.  

Ellen's mom has Alzheimer disease and is unable to answer Ellen's questions.  She goes into the unknown with her best friend Kate which made the journey more believable. 

The story was told by different time periods and multiple characters, mostly from the current 2008, 1974, 1966 when the intro incident occurred etc, I found this at times to be a little puzzling but it did still move the story along. I enjoyed all of the characters, even disliking the reporter, but he was still a great character.  The intricate details of a will and the secrets numerous characters wanted to understand and be revealed was the essence of this beautiful mystery.

But it's the lack of detail that's the problem.  He's at that stage in life where he doesn't want mysteries any more - what he wants is answers.  Kindle 66% 

I prefer more seating on the edge of my seat thrillers, but this mystery you had to take your time and cherish the moments. If you enjoy historical novels and mysteries, I highly recommend this one to you.

I read the review of The Hidden Legacy over at Cleopatra Loves Books blog and had to download it. It was one of her top ten books in 2015 and a 5 star read, check out her review.