Tag Archives: recommended

Serving Up Secrecy, by H.M. Shander

It’s the release day for Serving Up Secrecy, the newest book in the Ladies of Westside series and so far it is fantastic! I’m loving the characters and H.M.’s style is so easy to read and engaging that I finish reading a chapter before I realize it.

I have loved her books Run Away Charlotte and Ask Me Again, and am excited to be getting into another series of hers. I haven’t finished but I highly recommend this one. What’s it about, you ask? Well…

A wedding. A one-night stand. A future forever changed.

Joy is happy to do her own thing and be whatever she wants… until the day she discovers she’s pregnant. With that little pink line on the test, her focus shifts toward the future and finding the guy from the night she vaguely remembers.

James is the jam to her peanut butter. He’s charming and brilliant and understands how to treat a lady. A steady focus on the road ahead of him, he knows exactly what he wants from life, and figures Joy could be a part of that. However, his living the dream does not include children. Ever.

If she tells him the truth, he’ll leave. She’s going to make the most of their time together before cutting him free, as a pregnancy can only stay a secret for so long. However, it doesn’t prevent deeper feelings from growing. 

Will Joy call it a heart-breaking fling and cut James loose, or will she share with him the big secret and risk ruining his future plans for a chance at love?

Go now and buy! I’ll post a review when I’m finished, and probably scoop up the others in the series too.

Kindle: http://mybook.to/SUSecrecy

Kobo: http://goo.gl/dv6YsV

Nook: http://goo.gl/hfBQNc

iBooks: http://goo.gl/STf1ip


Book Review: Blackbird Summer

Blackbird Summer

In the cornerstone of the rural south, Brooklyn, Mississippi, no one dares make eye contact with the strange Caibre family. Until the rewards are worth the cost. The townsfolk come, cash in hand, always at night, to pay for services only a Gifted can provide.

No matter the Gifts prevalent in her family, at twenty-one, Tallulah is expected to follow the path laid out for her: marriage, babies, and helping her mama teach the family home school program. She’s resigned to live the quiet life and stay out of trouble…until she meets Logan.

An outsider and all around rebel, Logan doesn’t care about her family’s reputation. Yet after a tragic loss wreaks havoc on the crumbling relationship between the Caibres and the townsfolk, Tallulah must decide if love and freedom are worth risking everything.

I was lucky enough to receive an ARC of Blackbird Summer and it may be the best book I’ve read in a long time. I said on Twitter that I wish Goodreads let me give a book 6 stars and it’s not a joke.

The Gifted members of the family are all so wonderful that I found myself wishing I was related to them. Their Gifts were awesome but it was the love they shared and the close-knit quality of their family that drew me to them, and it was the same love that tore me apart when tragedy struck them. I was so invested in their family, in fact, that when the unthinkable happened I cried.

The forbidden love story between Tully and Logan moved at a natural pace for a couple of twentysomethings, with just enough romance story trappings to make me swoon. I was rooting for them the whole time, and hoping things would work out between them in the face of the Caibre family traditions.

The Caibre family had such strong traditions and folk-like tendencies that when Tully mentioned things like dial up internet and cell phones it almost seemed foreign. She and her sister Delia were complete opposites but Delia seemed to serve as the story’s link to the “future” while Tully represented the traditional “past” even though she was only a few years older than Delia. The disparity between the two sisters made their characters all the more real and when they faced some very real-world problems I felt like they were my own sisters in need of support and love.

The true genius behind Shotwell’s writing is her ability to make you lose yourself in the story. I had a hard time putting it down, always telling myself I would read just one more chapter. I was also excited to see that there’s another Blackbird novel in the works and hope it’s about Delia, though I can’t imagine what can still happen in Brooklyn.

I highly, highly recommend Blackbird Summer to everyone. I honestly cannot wait until it comes out so I can point people in the direction of buy links, and you can bet I’m going to be reminding you when it comes out.

Book Review: Empath (Flawed Series #1)


Ever since she was a child, Jade has had to deal with an empathetic power so strong that her first day of school started with convulsions. Since then she has been protected by her family and her own fear of herself, but all that changed when her college didn’t offer an online version of a course she needed. Thanks to that, she met Cam Schuyler and his welcoming siblings but at the same time something dangerous is hiding around the corner.

I really liked this book! I was hooked right away, not just by Jade but by the mystery of the sadistic serial killer whose story was told right alongside hers. I was really interested to see how the two of them would end up in each other’s worlds, especially since she had such heightened empathetic power and he was just plain terrifying. But whereas Jade’s story was told pretty much right away, Ethan’s took a little longer to tease out.

The supporting characters were fun people, from Jade’s friends from home to the Schuylers that kind of become her family, and though I’m not sure I could handle hanging around with them too often they really did make a good counterpoint to Jade’s reclusiveness due to her “handicap,” as she puts it.

I really liked Logan, one of the love interests, right from the start, which was why I was disappointed that after a couple of chapters that heavily featured him, he sort of disappeared for a third of the book and apart from Jade talking about him he was just kind of gone. It made me wonder if he was going to be the subject of another book in the series and not explored further.

I’m not going to give anything away, but the ending was really exciting once the serial killer and the friends’ worlds finally collided! Once I got there I couldn’t put my reader down, and though the ending was satisfying I was dying to find out where one of the characters was headed. Literally.

Empath is a fun, quick read and I think it is the beginning of what promises to be a great series of books. You should definitely check it out on Amazon!

Book Review: Hesitation Wounds

Hesitation WoundsDr. Susanna Seliger is a renowned psychiatrist who specializes in treatment-resistant depression. The most difficult cases come through her door, and Susa is always ready to discuss treatment options, medication, and symptom management but draws the line at engaging with feelings. A strict adherence to protocol keeps her from falling apart but she is haunted by  feelings that she could have helped the people closest to her.

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

This book is beautifully written and intensely sad. Not surprising, considering it’s a story about a doctor who works with treatment-resistant depression and ECT, but Hesitation Wounds is more about the emptiness inside the doctor than the sadness of her patients.

The first person perspective plus her writing style made me feel like I was reading a very long series of blog posts. This is not to say it was a bad thing, just that it felt less like a story than a confessional. I found myself wondering if there were parts that weren’t strictly fictional, because it felt so deep and personal.

At first I thought we would be spending more time with Jim, the young man introduced early in the story as one of Susa’s patients. He seemed to be very important to her and I was certain that he was going to be the thing that helped her resolve her own lingering guilt and depression, so I was a little surprised things went the way they did.

Her history with her family unfolded slowly, with only hints of the incident with her brother given that sent me off into a completely different direction than what actually happened. It was satisfying because it gave me time to get comfortable with the characters and feel for them before I fully knew their stories. It also made certain aspects of her youth more heartbreaking, especially where her brother’s friend Ray is concerned.

The second half of the book felt more hopeful, and I felt my spirits lift with hers when Susa met her daughter and said goodbye to her cheating ex. It wasn’t long before the heaviness of the first half crept back in, but it couldn’t cover the happiness she felt when she talked about her little girl. The ending continued on in this way and brought tears to my eyes, seeing her come full circle as she did.

I really enjoyed this book on a lot of levels, but I do have to warn people that the subject matter might be a trigger for someone with depression or anxiety, and there are frank discussions of suicide. It’s not an easy book to read at times but I’m glad I have it in my collection. There are times you just want something a little deeper, and Hesitation Wounds delivers with a punch.

Pick it up at Amazon!