TBR

September To Be Read Stack

Hello readers!

You can tell which book I’m currently reading by the Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

I’m all about Kindle e-books. I’m a hard core e-book reader. I haven’t read an actual book in quite a long time and I find that when I hold an actual book, it feels large and clunky. I much prefer my Kindle e-reader than an actual book. With that said, I get all of my books from Kindle Unlimited – I rarely, if ever, spend money on a book – it all goes into the $10 dollars a month I pay for Kindle Unlimited.

So, if you’re interested in reading lesser known authors and want to save a ton of money in books, join me!

I rarely read anything lower than a four-star review. I stopped reading for a long time simply because every book I read was stupid, or disappointing and ultimately, a waste of time. (I feel the same with movies – haven’t watched movies, or TV, in about a year). I’ve had great luck sticking to this philosophy and most of the books I read are pretty good.

You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.


My goal for 2020 is to read 100 books – I’m currently at 68 – I’m right on track but I like to give myself a little bit of wiggle room so I want to get at least two books ahead of schedule. Also, I reserved a bookclub on Goodreads back in 2014 and have never done anything with it – I’d like to start doing something with it. So – if you’re interested in joining the book club, read more about it here and you can join here. The books we read are adult romance, mystery/thriller and literary fiction so you must be 18+ years old to participate. I’ve never done this before but have always wanted to so please be patient with me as I stumble through the process. I’d like to try and read/discuss two books every month, meaning you have two weeks to read a book and then post your thoughts about it. We’ll try and touch on theme, character development and of course, the overall story. The rules are on the group page. I’ll start by picking the books the first few months but I’m hoping when we have enough members to ask for suggestions for books and then randomly draw from that selection.

I’m a cheapskate and I ONLY read free books, meaning, Kindle Unlimited books. So if you’re not already a Kindle Unlimited member, I would encourage you to become one. (This is not sponsored by Kindle Unlimited – however – if anyone is reading this from Kindle Unlimited …hit me up!) I read from Kindle Unlimited for two reasons: one – I’m cheap, books are expensive and I can read $80 bucks worth of books per month for only $10 bucks per month, and two – I feel like authors on Kindle Unlimited are lesser-known authors and deserve a chance to be read and quite honestly, I’m more satisfied reading these books than I am reading “best sellers” so, win-win!

Oh, and feel free to friend me on Goodreads, too. 🙂

Moving on, here is my September 2020 TBR stack:

  1. The Murmur of Bees by SofĂ­a Segovia
  2. By a Thread by Lucy Score
  3. Angel Killer by Andrew Mayne
  4. The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham
  5. A Fatal Obsession by Faith Martin
  6. The Lost Girls of Devon by Barbara O’Neal
  7. Find Me by Anne Frasier
  8. One Small Sacrifice by Hilary Davidson
Don’t forget about the Dear Reader bookclub on Goodreads!
Happy reading!
Book Corner, TBR

August To Be Read Stack

Hello readers!

You can tell which book I’m currently reading by the Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

I’m all about Kindle e-books. I’m a hard core e-book reader. I haven’t read an actual book in quite a long time and I find that when I hold an actual book, it feels large and clunky. I much prefer my Kindle e-reader than an actual book. With that said, I get all of my books from Kindle Unlimited – I rarely, if ever, spend money on a book – it all goes into the $10 dollars a month I pay for Kindle Unlimited.

So, if you’re interested in reading lesser known authors and want to save a ton of money in books, join me!

I rarely read anything lower than a four-star review. I stopped reading for a long time simply because every book I read was stupid, or disappointing and ultimately, a waste of time. (I feel the same with movies – haven’t watched movies, or TV, in about a year). I’ve had great luck sticking to this philosophy and most of the books I read are pretty good.

You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.


My goal for 2020 is to read 100 books – I’m currently at 60 – I’m right on track but I like to give myself a little bit of wiggle room so I want to get at least two books ahead of schedule. Also, I reserved a bookclub on Goodreads back in 2014 and have never done anything with it – I’d like to start doing something with it. So – if you’re interested in joining the book club, read more about it here and you can join here. The books we read are adult romance, mystery/thriller and literary fiction so you must be 18+ years old to participate. I’ve never done this before but have always wanted to so please be patient with me as I stumble through the process. I’d like to try and read/discuss two books every month, meaning you have two weeks to read a book and then post your thoughts about it. We’ll try and touch on theme, character development and of course, the overall story. The rules are on the group page. I’ll start by picking the books the first few months but I’m hoping when we have enough members to ask for suggestions for books and then randomly draw from that selection.

I’m a cheapskate and I ONLY read free books, meaning, Kindle Unlimited books. So if you’re not already a Kindle Unlimited member, I would encourage you to become one. (This is not sponsored by Kindle Unlimited – however – if anyone is reading this from Kindle Unlimited …hit me up!) I read from Kindle Unlimited for two reasons: one – I’m cheap, books are expensive and I can read $80 bucks worth of books per month for only $10 bucks per month, and two – I feel like authors on Kindle Unlimited are lesser-known authors and deserve a chance to be read and quite honestly, I’m more satisfied reading these books than I am reading “best sellers” so, win-win!

Oh, and feel free to friend me on Goodreads, too. 🙂

Moving on, here is my August 2020 TBR stack:

  1. Everything You Are by Kerry Anne King
  2. Daughters of the Lake by Wendy Webb
  3. The Cruelest Stranger  by Winter Renshaw
  4. Hide Away (A Rachel Marin Thriller Book 1) by Jason Pinter
  5. Virgin River (A Virgin River Novel Book 1) by Robin Carr
  6. Blood on the Tracks (Sydney Rose Parnell Book 1) by Barbara Nickless
  7. METHOD by Kate Stewart
  8. Side Trip by Kerry Lonsdale
Don’t forget about the Dear Reader bookclub on Goodreads!
Happy reading!
Book Corner, Books Read - Podcast/Transcript

Dear Reader Book Review: The Good Daughter

 

 

 

 

 

Two girls are forced into the woods at gunpoint. One runs for her life. One is left behind.

Twenty-eight years ago, Charlotte and Samantha Quinn’s happy small-town family life was torn apart by a terrifying attack on their family home. It left their mother dead. It left their father—Pikeville’s notorious defense attorney—devastated. And it left the family fractured beyond repair, consumed by secrets from that terrible night.

Twenty-eight years later, Charlotte has followed in her father’s footsteps to become a lawyer herself—the ideal good daughter. But when violence comes to Pikeville again, and a shocking tragedy leaves the whole town traumatized, Charlotte is plunged into a nightmare. Not only is she the first witness on the scene, but it’s a case that unleashes the terrible memories she’s spent so long trying to suppress–because the shocking truth about the crime that destroyed her family nearly thirty years ago won’t stay buried forever. Packed with twists and turns, brimming with emotion and heart, The Good Daughter is fiction at its most thrilling.

This is a story is about a family trauma. It’s about living, and suffering, through the decisions made by your parents and how those decisions ultimately shape who you are as a person. I have read Karin Slaughter before. I remember REALLY enjoying her work and I was looking forward to reading this story. Though I wasn’t disappointed in her creative approach to a story line that has been done before, (let’s be honest, is there a premise that HASN’T been done before?), I was a bit disappointed in the way she mapped it out


What I liked: The characters were unique. The father was lovable but flighty. He was super focused on his career and often put his career ahead of his family. Though that doesn’t sound like a positive trait, it was obvious that he loved his family and constantly challenged them and their intellect through his interactions with them and I admired his compassion for people, even though I thought it was a bit idealistic and naive at times.

Mom was a genius. She could have easily worked for NASA or some super brainy place like that but she chose love over her ambitions. Though I think she was a bit bitter and disappointed by her life choices, overall, she made it work for her family. I think, sometimes, super brainy people are perceived as cold and unfeeling when I feel like the opposite is true, in most cases. I think super brainy people feel just as much as us less-than intelligent human beings do, they are just better at controlling who is allowed to see that side of them.

The oldest daughter, Samantha, is nearly as intelligent as her mother but she tends to be a bit more human than her mother. She suffered tremendous physical trauma and I liked her determination to move past it and work on getting her body back up to functioning level. She also didn’t allow her trauma to define her and she worked very hard to go on to become a very successful lawyer and even opened her heart to satisfying relationship. I didn’t, however, understand her reluctance to have a relationship with her younger sister, Charlotte, considering everything she suffered through was done to save her.

Charlotte, the youngest daughter, suffered tremendous mental (and some physical) trauma as well. However, Charlotte’s method of dealing with the trauma was to put it in a box and never open it. Her psyche catches up her and before long, she has no choice but to look in that box and deal with the ugly contents. She full of sarcasm and grit and I quite liked her though ultimately her coping mechanisms were self-destructive and nearly destroyed her life. I could understand Charlotte’s reluctance to reach out to Samantha and build that sisterly relationship with her because Charlotte felt guilty for running and not staying behind to help Samantha though she knew, logically, it wouldn’t have done any good.

I’m also on the fence on how the author approached telling this story. It opens with the trauma, then fast forwards to the sister’s future lives before circling back around to re-address the trauma from their perspective. But it wasn’t really that, either, that bothered me. It was the re-telling of the trauma as it really happened. I couldn’t quite figure out why she approached the story this way. Was it to showcase the reluctance the sisters had with remembering what really happened? It felt a little deceiving to me though I rather liked having to readjust my opinion on the characters not once, but twice, before the story ended.

What I didn’t like: The think the author did such a good job of developing the sisters as interesting characters the she couldn’t quite decide which story she wanted to tell so she told both. I don’t have a problem head hopping, if it’s done right, but the author spent just a large chunk of the story following one sister that I felt I couldn’t fully appreciate either story. I think if she flipped between the two chapter by chapter instead of sections at a time, I might have enjoyed it more. In fact, she has so much material in this story she could have easily separated this into series circling the same trauma but told from multiple points of view. And it looks like she plans on writing more about the sisters at some point as she lists the book as “book one,” so it looks she intends to follow these sisters around again but perhaps incorporating a different story.

Overall, it was a good story, I just felt like she was condensing a lot of good veins of this story into one artery and it felt a bit clogged at times. I would have given it five stars if it hadn’t been so densely packed with very good multiple story lines in one story. Honestly, that’s a good problem to have for a writer.

What were your thoughts?

If you would like to find out what I’m reading next to discuss, please visit/join my Dear Reader group on Goodreads.

Book Corner, TBR

July To Be Read Stack

Hello readers!

I thought it might be interesting to you to see what I have on my bookshelf to read every month. I periodically post book reviews, (when I’m feeling energetic, not always) and if I do, then you will have an opportunity to read the book so you know what the heck I’m talking about.

You can tell which book I’m currently reading by the Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

I’m all about Kindle e-books. I’m a hard core e-book reader. I haven’t read an actual book in quite a long time and I find that when I hold an actual book, it feels large and clunky. I much prefer my Kindle e-reader than an actual book. With that said, I get all of my books from Kindle Unlimited – I rarely, if ever, spend money on a book – it all goes into the $10 dollars a month I pay for Kindle Unlimited.

So, if you’re interested in reading lesser known authors and want to save a ton of money in books, join me!

I rarely read anything lower than a four-star review. I stopped reading for a long time simply because every book I read was stupid, or disappointing and ultimately, a waste of time. (I feel the same with movies – haven’t watched movies, or TV, in about a year). I’ve had great luck sticking to this philosophy and most of the books I read are pretty good.

You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.


My goal for 2020 is to read 100 books – I’m currently at 49 – I’m right on track but I like to give myself a little bit of wiggle room so I want to get at least two books ahead of schedule. Also, I reserved a bookclub on Goodreads back in 2014 and have never done anything with it – I’d like to start doing something with it. So – if you’re interested in joining the book club, read more about it here and you can join here. The books we read are adult romance, mystery/thriller and literary fiction so you must be 18+ years old to participate. I’ve never done this before but have always wanted to so please be patient with me as I stumble through the process. I’d like to try and read/discuss two books every month, meaning you have two weeks to read a book and then post your thoughts about it. We’ll try and touch on theme, character development and of course, the overall story. The rules are on the group page. I’ll start by picking the books the first few months but I’m hoping when we have enough members to ask for suggestions for books and then randomly draw from that selection.

I’m a cheapskate and I ONLY read free books, meaning, Kindle Unlimited books. So if you’re not already a Kindle Unlimited member, I would encourage you to become one. (This is not sponsored by Kindle Unlimited – however – if anyone is reading this from Kindle Unlimited …hit me up!) I read from Kindle Unlimited for two reasons: one – I’m cheap, books are expensive and I can read $80 bucks worth of books per month for only $10 bucks per month, and two – I feel like authors on Kindle Unlimited are lesser-known authors and deserve a chance to be read and quite honestly, I’m more satisfied reading these books than I am reading “best sellers” so, win-win!

I’m also going to try HARDER to write my reviews after I read books. I fly through books so fast that stopping to write my thoughts feels like it slows me down, but I know there are some of you out there that like to read reviews, so I will try and do better. I did a horrible job on my May reads, i.e. I didn’t write a single review, but I think in addition to putting my thoughts out there for anyone interested in reading my thoughts, it would help me process what other writers are doing to help my own writing.

Oh, and feel free to friend me on Goodreads, too. 🙂

Moving on, here is my July 2020 TBR stack:

  1. The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson
  2. The Good Daughter by Karin Slaughter 
  3. The Friend by Teresa Driscoll
  4. A Killer’s Wife (Desert Plains Book 1) by Victor Methos
  5. Devoted by Dean Koontz
  6. Come Homicide or High Water (Welcome Back to Scumble River Book 3) by Denise Swanson
  7. The Spider Heist (Spider Heist Thrillers Book 1) by Jason Kasper
  8. The First Mrs. Rothschild by Sara Aharoni, Yardenne Greenspan (Translator)
Don’t forget about the Dear Reader bookclub on Goodreads!
Happy reading!
Book Corner, TBR

June To Be Read Stack

Hello readers!

I thought it might be interesting to you to see what I have on my bookshelf to read every month. I periodically post book reviews, (when I’m feeling energetic, not always) and if I do, then you will have an opportunity to read the book so you know what the heck I’m talking about.

You can tell which book I’m currently reading by the Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

I’m all about Kindle e-books. I’m a hard core e-book reader. I haven’t read an actual book in quite a long time and I find that when I hold an actual book, it feels large and clunky. I much prefer my Kindle e-reader than an actual book. With that said, I get all of my books from Kindle Unlimited – I rarely, if ever, spend money on a book – it all goes into the $10 dollars a month I pay for Kindle Unlimited.

So, if you’re interested in reading lesser known authors and want to save a ton of money in books, join me!

I rarely read anything lower than a four-star review. I stopped reading for a long time simply because every book I read was stupid, or disappointing and ultimately, a waste of time. (I feel the same with movies – haven’t watched movies, or TV, in about a year). I’ve had great luck sticking to this philosophy and most of the books I read are pretty good.

You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.


My goal for 2020 is to read 100 books – I’m currently at 41 – I’m right on track but I like to give myself a little bit of wiggle room so I want to get at least two books ahead of schedule. Also, I reserved a bookclub on Goodreads back in 2014 and have never done anything with it – I’d like to start doing something with it. So – if you’re interested in joining the book club, read more about it here and you can join here. The books we read are adult romance, mystery/thriller and literary fiction so you must be 18+ years old to participate. I’ve never done this before but have always wanted to so please be patient with me as I stumble through the process. I’d like to try and read/discuss two books every month, meaning you have two weeks to read a book and then post your thoughts about it. We’ll try and touch on theme, character development and of course, the overall story. The rules are on the group page. I’ll start by picking the books the first few months but I’m hoping when we have enough members to ask for suggestions for books and then randomly draw from that selection.

I’m a cheapskate and I ONLY read free books, meaning, Kindle Unlimited books. So if you’re not already a Kindle Unlimited member, I would encourage you to become one. (This is not sponsored by Kindle Unlimited – however – if anyone is reading this from Kindle Unlimited …hit me up!) I read from Kindle Unlimited for two reasons: one – I’m cheap, books are expensive and I can read $80 bucks worth of books per month for only $10 bucks per month, and two – I feel like authors on Kindle Unlimited are lesser-known authors and deserve a chance to be read and quite honestly, I’m more satisfied reading these books than I am reading “best sellers” so, win-win!

I’m also going to try HARDER to write my reviews after I read books. I fly through books so fast that stopping to write my thoughts feels like it slows me down, but I know there are some of you out there that like to read reviews, so I will try and do better. I did a horrible job on my May reads, i.e. I didn’t write a single review, but I think in addition to putting my thoughts out there for anyone interested in reading my thoughts, it would help me process what other writers are doing to help my own writing.

Oh, and feel free to friend me on Goodreads, too. 🙂

Moving on, here is my June 2020 TBR stack:

 

  1. The Trade by Meghan Quinn
  2. All That Remains by Jack Hunt
  3. Punk 57 by Penelope Douglas
  4. The Art of Inheriting Secrets by Barbara O’Neal
  5. I Will Make You Pay by Teresa Driscoll
  6. The Other Wife by Claire McGowan
  7. Duke of Debauchery (Sins and Scoundrels Book 5) by Scarlett Scott
  8. Sorry I Missed You by Suzy Krause
Don’t forget about the Dear Reader bookclub on Goodreads!
Happy reading!
TBR

May To Be Read Stack

Hello readers!

I thought it might be interesting to you to see what I have on my bookshelf to read every month. I periodically post book reviews, (when I’m feeling energetic, not always) and if I do, then you will have an opportunity to read the book so you know what the heck I’m talking about.

You can tell which book I’m currently reading by the Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

I’m all about Kindle e-books. I’m a hard core e-book reader. I haven’t read an actual book in quite a long time and I find that when I hold an actual book, it feels large and clunky. I much prefer my Kindle e-reader than an actual book. With that said, I get all of my books from Kindle Unlimited – I rarely, if ever, spend money on a book – it all goes into the $10 dollars a month I pay for Kindle Unlimited.

So, if you’re interested in reading lesser known authors and want to save a ton of money in books, join me!

I rarely read anything lower than a four-star review. I stopped reading for a long time simply because every book I read was stupid, or disappointing and ultimately, a waste of time. (I feel the same with movies – haven’t watched movies, or TV, in about a year). I’ve had great luck sticking to this philosophy and most of the books I read are pretty good.

You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.

Here is my May 2020 TBR stack:

 

  1. In Bed with the Earl (Lost Lords of London Book 1) by Christi Caldwell
  2. Cross Her Heart (Bree Taggert Book 1) by Melinda Leigh
  3. The Star and the Shamrock by Jean Grainger
  4. Winter World (The Long Winter Trilogy Book 1)by A.G. Riddle
  5. Wall of Silence by Tracy Buchanan
  6. The Weight of Ink by Rachel Kadish
  7. She Can Tell (She Can Series, Book 2) by Melinda Leigh
  8. The Man Who Played with Fire: Stieg Larsson’s Lost Files and the Hunt for an Assassin by Jan Stocklassa, Tara F. Chace (Translator)
  9. In An Instant by Suzanne Redfearn

 

TBR

April To Be Read Stack

Hello readers!

I thought it might be interesting to you to see what I have on my bookshelf to read every month. I periodically post book reviews, (when I’m feeling energetic, not always) and if I do, then you will have an opportunity to read the book so you know what the heck I’m talking about.

You can tell which book I’m currently reading by the Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

I’m all about Kindle e-books. I’m a hard core e-book reader. I haven’t read an actual book in quite a long time and I find that when I hold an actual book, it feels large and clunky. I much prefer my Kindle e-reader than an actual book. With that said, I get all of my books from Kindle Unlimited – I rarely, if ever, spend money on a book – it all goes into the $10 dollars a month I pay for Kindle Unlimited.

So, if you’re interested in reading lesser known authors and want to save a ton of money in books, join me!

I rarely read anything lower than a four-star review. I stopped reading for a long time simply because every book I read was stupid, or disappointing and ultimately, a waste of time. (I feel the same with movies – haven’t watched movies, or TV, in about a year). I’ve had great luck sticking to this philosophy and most of the books I read are pretty good.

You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.

Here is my April 2020 TBR stack:

  1. The Last Sister by Kendra Elliott
  2. Last Day by Luanne Rice
  3. When We Believed in Mermaids by Barbara O’Neal
  4. A Cold Trail by Robert Dugoni
  5. Protecting What’s Mine by Lucy Score
  6. Sweet Temptation by Cora Reilly
  7. Hopeless by Colleen Hoover
  8. The Neon Lawyer by Victor Methos

Happy Reading!

TBR

March To Be Read Stack

Hello readers!

I thought it might be interesting to you to see what I have on my bookshelf to read every month. I periodically post book reviews, (when I’m feeling energetic, not always) and if I do, then you will have an opportunity to read the book so you know what the heck I’m talking about.

You can tell which book I’m currently reading by the Goodreads widget in the sidebar.

I’m all about Kindle e-books. I’m a hard core e-book reader. I haven’t read an actual book in quite a long time and I find that when I hold an actual book, it feels large and clunky. I much prefer my Kindle e-reader than an actual book. With that said, I get all of my books from Kindle Unlimited – I rarely, if ever, spend money on a book – it all goes into the $10 dollars a month I pay for Kindle Unlimited.

So, if you’re interested in reading lesser known authors and want to save a ton of money in books, join me!

I rarely read anything lower than a four-star review. I stopped reading for a long time simply because every book I read was stupid, or disappointing and ultimately, a waste of time. (I feel the same with movies – haven’t watched movies, or TV, in about a year). I’ve had great luck sticking to this philosophy and most of the books I read are pretty good.

You can see my book ratings on my Goodreads account.

Here is my March 2020 TBR stack:

  1. Regretting You by Colleen Hoover
  2. When I was You by Minka Kent
  3. The Guy on the Left by Kate Stewart
  4. The Names of the Dead by Kevin Wignall
  5. The Dressmaker’s Gift by Fiona Valpy

Happy Reading!

 

Book Corner

Book Review: Dirty Letters

I’d never forgotten him—a man I’d yet to meet.

Griffin Quinn was my childhood pen pal, the British boy who couldn’t have been more different from me. Over the years, through hundreds of letters, we became best friends, sharing our deepest, darkest secrets and forming a connection I never thought could break.

Until one day it did.

Then, out of the blue, a new letter arrived. A scathing one—one with eight years of pent-up anger. I had no choice but to finally come clean as to why I stopped writing.

Griffin forgave me, and somehow we were able to rekindle our childhood connection. Only now we were adults, and that connection had grown to a spark. Our letters quickly went from fun to flirty to downright dirty, revealing our wildest fantasies. So it only made sense that we would take our relationship to the next level and see each other in person.

Only Griff didn’t want to meet. He asked that I trust him and said it was for the best. But I wanted more—more Griff, in the flesh—so I took a big chance and went looking for him. People have done crazier things for love.

But what I found could change everything.

First of all, can we take a minute to appreciate the male HOTNESS of the model on the book cover. Wow.

Secondly, the first line of the blurb is KILLER. Love it.

I’ve always been fascinated by building relationships sight unseen. I would like to think that one has a better chance of building a solid relationship by getting to know the PERSON first before becoming distracted by the gift wrapping … but maybe that’s an unrealistic view because physical attraction is a big part of a relationship.

So when I read the blurb to this book, I was immediately intrigued. It sounded pretty close to an idea I had for a story a few years back (and one I might still cultivate).

It started out really cute. I loved how the authors built up the suspense between the characters but I would have liked to have had more letter writing and more tension building before they actually met. And by that I mean, I wanted to see more character development. The transition from writing each other and being friends to suddenly crossing the friend line was just too abrupt for me. I wanted more friendship and a gradual jump.

And then when that jump finally occurred, I wanted it dirtier. They were almost too polite with one another.

The transition from friendship to downright talking dirty was smooth, I just wanted to see MORE of it.

And the part where Griff doesn’t want to see her was a nice touch but the reason why Griff didn’t want to see her … I actually rolled my eyes. It seemed cliche but I understood why the authors picked that occupation because it directly conflicted with Luca’s “issues.”

I thought Luca’s (platonic) relationship with her therapist was cute and believable since the therapist was pretty much a stand-in father to Luca. I feel like that relationship really brought some humor to the story and made Luca more likable, in my opinion. Though again, I understand why the authors picked Luca’s phobia, it almost felt like they picked a phobia out of a hat because it just didn’t seem to fit Luca’s personality and I often times felt like her character was inconsistent.

I felt like Griff tried harder than Luca did and at times, it almost felt like he was chasing her, nay, obsessed by her at times.

Overall, it’s a cute story and the premise was different and interesting. I just wish we could have seen more of their relationship develop via the letters before they actually met.

Book Corner

Book Review: Hidden in Plain Sight

By day, Roberta Lake is a computer software and hardware specialist with an uncanny knack for understanding the inner workings of the technology she works on. By night, she is a CIA Brain Trust operative, putting her abilities in mind communication, infiltration, and control to use on people instead of gadgets.

In other words, Roberta Lake is a psychic assassin.

Under the watchful eye of the Brain Trust, as well as her handlers, the Three Wise Men, Roberta takes out her assigned targets from afar with the help of her alter ego, Bobbi Waters—the true killer of the two—and only after she determines whether the target truly deserves to die.

This arrangement spins out of control when the Brain Trust suspects Bobbi is fracturing from Roberta, becoming a separate persona. Roberta is deemed a threat to the organization, and this time, it’s her life that’s being targeted. What’s worse—they want to know her secrets first, and she’d rather die by her own hand than be the blueprint for an unstoppable force of psychic killers let loose on the world.

I downloaded this book from NetGalley so in essence, it was gifted to me for my review. (More about NetGalley soon).

First off, the book cover and the blurb are what sucked me in – the eye really captured my attention. And I like the title, though after reading the book, I think “Hidden in Sight” would have been a more appropriate title because for me, this story was anything BUT plain.

It’s an intriguing premise and though I personally don’t believe in psychics and the paranormal, I do believe it’s possible on some level, if not probable. So I’m coming at this read from that opinion.

I was confused right off the bat. The author does a really good job of pushing me right into the middle of Roberta’s story but it took me several chapters before I started to get a feel for what was happening. For example, I thought Roberta and Bobbi were two separate people for several chapters. And I couldn’t figure out the relationship between Roberta and her boss Magi and why were they jumping right into sex? Though an interesting read, I felt cheated in some respects because I wanted to see more character build up before the action.

Though I certainly understand why the author chose to open the story this way, and it was interesting, if not terribly confusing, I feel like if an author is going to open up her story this way, then allow me a moment to catch my breath and catch up to the premise. I needed to know more about Roberta, how she discovered her abilities, who these characters were and why they were important to the story. Though I’m not a fan of back story, a little back story goes a long way.

This story felt more like part four of a series. And I can definitely tell that the author is working that angle with this premise, and I think it’s a good idea, but to me, this was like walking into a movie theater late and jumping right into a story that A. I have no idea what it’s about, B. where it’s going, and C. why I should care enough to stick around and figure it out.

I wanted to know more about how Roberta discovered her talents. I wanted to see her struggles and her emotional journey that led to her decision to terminate bad people. I wanted to know more about her family history and why this ability is prevalent in her family. I wanted to know how she was recruited and by whom. I wanted to experience her first kill and the creation of Bobbi because after the author reveals who Bobbi is, I totally bought the REASON Roberta created her. I wanted to experience Roberta’s moral dilemmas and struggles. I really wanted to see more relationship building between her and Magi – I’m suddenly thrown into the middle of a sex scene and a few chapters later Magi is professing love. Whoa guys, slow down! And I wanted to know why Roberta felt so uneasy about Jenny. Other than that character being annoying, why did her gut tell her there was something off about her co-worker? What actions caused Roberta to be suspicious about Jenny? Simply being annoying doesn’t quite justify why Roberta felt the way she did about Jenny.

I felt like a runaway train trying to make out details from a blurred landscape – it was exhausting and frustrating.

And perhaps that’s the author’s intent, to spoon feed backstory to the reader as the series progresses, I can appreciate that approach, but I needed a bit more backstory IN THIS STORY because it took me a while to play catch up.

This premise also reminds me a lot of the TV show, “Alias” with Jennifer Garner. The character is recruited from college for her raw talent and then cultivated and groomed to be an effective tool for an agency’s agenda.  Then, her and her handler develop feelings for one another which complicates their working relationship. That premise has always fascinated me and being a fan of “Alias” I really liked the strong female character and her ability to kick ass virtually all the time.

Which brings me to another point of contention: Roberta is seemingly invincible.

I’m all about strong, powerful women. But Roberta doesn’t seem to have any weaknesses. Her ability to compartmentalize and turn her mind off/on is certainly impressive, but short of killing her physical body, what weaknesses does she really have? We’re lucky that Roberta has a strong moral compass and she’s capable of compassion and love as evidenced by her interactions with her family, but surely there is a physical limitation to her supernatural powers? If so, this story didn’t reveal it. And though her ability to control a target’s mind, and other entities, (no spoilers), it’s almost too much power, too easy, in some ways. I want to see a weakness that is not readily apparent and not many people know about but when someone stumbles across it, it absolutely cripples Roberta and she has to come up with creative ways to handle it.

At this point, Roberta is more machine than human. Which may be what the author is going for, but in order for me to care about her, the possibility of losing her will only enrich the story, in my opinion.

Overall, the story is well written, fast-paced and interesting. I think the author has the potential of taking Roberta on some incredible journeys, I would propose slowing down and allowing the reader to enjoy the experience.

*All views expressed on this site are my own and do not represent the opinions of any entity whatsoever with which I have been, am now, or will be affiliated.