The Impossible Girl by Lydia Kang

Overview

Manhattan, 1850. Born out of wedlock to a wealthy socialite and a nameless immigrant, Cora Lee can mingle with the rich just as easily as she can slip unnoticed into the slums and graveyards of the city. As the only female resurrectionist in New York, she’s carved out a niche procuring bodies afflicted with the strangest of anomalies. Anatomists will pay exorbitant sums for such specimens—dissecting and displaying them for the eager public.

Cora’s specialty is not only profitable, it’s a means to keep a finger on the pulse of those searching for her. She’s the girl born with two hearts—a legend among grave robbers and anatomists—sought after as an endangered prize.

Now, as a series of murders unfolds closer and closer to Cora, she can no longer trust those she holds dear, including the young medical student she’s fallen for. Because someone has no intention of waiting for Cora to die a natural death.

Review

Cora is an amazingly smart woman. She not only is shrewd but also tough as nails. She even dresses as her “twin brother” to make life easier for her. She is a resurrectionist. What is that? She is someone who procures freshly dead bodies out of the cemeteries for dissection for medical schools and cabinets of curiosities. Cora also has an anomaly. She has two hearts. This puts a price on her head. $500 for the girl with two hearts!

Cora is a complex character. She dresses as a man and maneuvers around the underworld. She can definitely hold her own in a fight! I admire this about her…but I also admire her intelligence and wit. These “smarts” keep her alive.

There is so much I want to say about this book. I am still thinking about it. You talk about action packed! This story is so creative and unique. It is fast paced and full of science and medicine. That is right up my alley. Add the historical aspect and you have a fantastic read. Superbly done! Grab this one today!

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The Ancient Nine by Ian Smith

Overview

“Pulls you into the depths of a secret world from the first page. Ian Smith’s novel is unmissable.” —Harlan Coben, author of Missing You

Cambridge, Massachusetts, Fall 1988

Spenser Collins

An unlikely Harvard prospect, smart and athletic, strapped for cash, determined to succeed. Calls his mother—who raised him on her own in Chicago—every week.

Dalton Winthrop

A white-shoe legacy at Harvard, he’s just the most recent in a string of moneyed, privileged Winthrop men in Cambridge. He’s got the ease—and the deep knowledge—that come from belonging.

These two find enough common ground to become friends, cementing their bond when Spenser is “punched” to join the Delphic Club, one of the most exclusive of Harvard’s famous all-male final clubs. Founded in the nineteenth century, the Delphic has had titans of industry, Hollywood legends, heads of state, and power brokers among its members.

Dalton Winthrop knows firsthand that the Delphic doesn’t offer memberships to just anyone. His great-uncle is one of their oldest living members, and Dalton grew up on stories of the club’s rituals. But why is his uncle so cryptic about the Ancient Nine, a shadowy group of alums whose identities are unknown and whose power is absolute? They protect the Delphic’s darkest and oldest secrets—including what happened to a student who sneaked into the club’s stately brick mansion in 1927 and was never seen again.

Dalton steers Spenser into deeper and deeper recesses of the club, and beyond, to try to make sense of what they think they may be seeing. But with each scrap of information they get from an octogenarian Crimson graduate, a crumbling newspaper in the library’s archives, or one of Harvard’s most famous and heavily guarded historical books, a fresh complication trips them up. The more the friends investigate, the more questions they unearth, tangling the story of the club, the disappearance, and the Ancient Nine, until they realize their own lives are in danger.

Review

Spenser is a struggling student at Harvard. He is always low on money and does not come from the right background. He is from the south side of Chicago. So, fitting in with all the rich, preppy boys at Harvard is not so easy. When he receives an invitation to one of the exclusive clubs which Harvard is famous for, this adds a whole new element of complication to his college life.

Spenser does not understand how he can be selected for one of the secret clubs at Harvard. He does not fit the bill! Luckily his friend, Dalton is there to help. When these two discover the story about a death of a student years ago, it leads them into a tangled mess of a mystery which could get them killed.

Spenser is a great character. He is hardworking and determined. Then there is Dalton. He is the opposite of Spenser. These two together create a good team. I love their chemistry and Dalton’s no nonsense attitude really balances the two.

I adore the setting of this novel. The rich history of Harvard is the perfect backdrop for this story. And believe me, the author knew how to weave a great tale around all this history. With the Delphic (the secret society), The Ancient Nine ( a secret within the secret society), the old house with secret rooms, how could the reader not be captivated. This tale just seems to drag a little. It has the rich history and the secrets but not a lot of action to keep the story moving.

I received this novel from St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley for a honest review.

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Blind Switch by Michael Sova Book Spotlight

Blind Switch

By Michael Sova

Genre: Thriller, Suspense

A professional killer makes a hit, leaving no obvious signs of foul play.  There’s only one problem.  He got the wrong guy and is reluctantly called back into service.  His new target is female, blind, and scared.  She knows he’s out there somewhere, closing in on her.  She also knows she’ll never see him coming.

Years after the Deepwater Horizon disaster, bestselling fiction author Martin Reginald introduces a compelling new trilogy and tells a different version of that well publicized story.  In the first two novels, he suggests the explosion was an act of sabotage and the presumed culprit was the owner of Sand-Sational, a Louisiana-based beach restoration company.  The biggest revelations are promised in the final book in the series, but Reginald is murdered before the manuscript is completed.  Why?  Was someone trying to keep him quiet?  Is it possible his novels were less fictional than anyone realized?  What happens when it turns out Reginald himself was something of an illusion?

From the Caribbean to the Big Apple and back again, Blind Switch is a triumph of non-stop action and intensity in which very little is as it first appears.  Michael Sova returns with his most intriguing, most suspenseful, and most surprising work to date.

About the Author

Michael Sova is the author of the suspense novels A Shot at Redemption and Parlor City Paradise, as well as his 2017 release, a sports-themed cookbook titled 21 Sundays of Fantastic Football Food: Celebrating the Foods and Follies of Professional Football.  His new novel, a thriller titled Blind Switch, was published in July and is available now in paperback and most popular eBook formats.

On Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Michael-Sova-439490182797826

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/Micsova

Website: http://www.michaelsova.com

On Amazon: https://amzn.to/2KxlZtw

Blind Switch Excerpt

Having no better options, he waited directly in front of the bathroom door.  The target would see him right away, or so Fisher assumed, but he didn’t plan on giving Reginald time to think let alone react.  He’d grab his wrist and yank him forward.   In that same motion, he’d get an arm around his neck, bring him to the floor, and the syringe tucked into Fisher’s waistband would do the rest.  He’d managed similar takedowns half a dozen times before and never had a problem.

This time, however, the plan had to be modified slightly when Reginald turned the bathroom light off before pulling the door open.  Fisher hadn’t considered that and it gave him pause.  His eyes had already adjusted to the room’s dimness but he still couldn’t see for shit and he knew Reginald wouldn’t be able to see much of anything.  For a moment, he wasn’t sure what to do.  If he didn’t hit Reginald just right, the asshole might fall backwards, slam into the bathroom door and send it crashing into the wall.  Fisher doubted the sound would carry far but it might cause someone in a nearby cabin to come investigate.  That wouldn’t do.

He took a step to the side, giving Reginald space to move into the room.  Except… he didn’t.  Fisher couldn’t see much but he could sense Reginald frozen in the bathroom doorway, no doubt wondering what the hell was going on.  His room hadn’t been dark when he went into the bathroom so why was it dark now?  Was there a power outage?  Had he turned the lights off himself without being aware of the act?  Had something somehow come unplugged?

Reginald was weighing the various scenarios.  That’s what anyone would do in that situation and had to be the reason he still hadn’t moved.  Fisher wished he could see the expression on his face but all he could really make out was an indistinct mass against a pitch-black background.   If Reginald were smart, if he had one shred of common sense, he’d retreat into the bathroom and close and lock the door.  What could Fisher do then?  It wasn’t like his target would sit there quietly while he went to work with his set of picks.  But whatever the guy was thinking, Reginald must not have felt threatened because he reached back into the bathroom and hit the wall switch.

The room was instantly filled with bright, florescent light, as was a small area right in front of the door.  That’s right where Fisher had been standing a few moments before.  He’d moved but not far enough.  His left shoe and the lower part of that leg were now brightly illuminated.  Reginald stared at them dumbly and then his gaze slowly lifted.  He had time to take in the black shoes, black pants, black jacket and black gloves.  A question formed on his lips.  That’s when one of the shoes shot up and caught him squarely in the nuts.  His mouth hanging open, Reginald crumpled to the floor as Scott Fisher moved in.

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Lies by T.M. Logan

Overview

When Joe Lynch stumbles across his wife driving into a hotel car park while she’s supposed to be at work, he’s intrigued enough to follow her in.

And when he witnesses her in an angry altercation with family friend Ben, he knows he ought to intervene.

But just as the confrontation between the two men turns violent, and Ben is knocked unconscious, Joe’s young son has an asthma attack – and Joe must flee in order to help him.

When he returns, desperate to make sure Ben is OK, Joe is horrified to find that Ben has disappeared.

And that’s when Joe receives the first message . . .

Review

Joe is in a mess. Someone is sabotaging his whole life. Job, family, everything is going down the drain. He cannot figure out why!

This book starts off with a bang. There are actual places in this story I said, out loud, “OH SH*#!”

I enjoyed the anticipation this novel creates. However, the story bogs down in the middle. It is the continuation of all of the tragedies happening to Joe. It just keeps on and on.

The characters are a little lacking in this read. Joe is a little bit of a wimp in my book. I expected more out of him. I wanted him to be more angry, with more fight to keep what he has earned. He just didn’t have it in him. And then there is his wife! She is a piece of work! I wanted to beat her within an inch of her life.

But any book which creates this kind of reaction to the characters can’t be all bad. And it is not! it is a lightening fast read with plenty of gasp worthy action.

I received this novel from St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley for a honest review.

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The Dutch Wife by Ellen Keith

Overview

Amsterdam, May 1943. As the tulips bloom and the Nazis tighten their grip across the city, the last signs of Dutch resistance are being swept away. Marijke de Graaf and her husband are arrested and deported to different concentration camps in Germany. Marijke is given a terrible choice: to suffer a slow death in the labour camp or—for a chance at survival—to join the camp brothel.

On the other side of the barbed wire, SS officer Karl Müller arrives at the camp hoping to live up to his father’s expectations of wartime glory. But faced with a brutal routine of overseeing executions and punishments, he longs for an escape. When he encounters the newly arrived Marijke, this meeting changes their lives forever.

Woven into the narrative across space and time is Luciano Wagner’s ordeal in 1977 Buenos Aires, during the heat of the Argentine Dirty War. In his struggle to endure military captivity, he searches for ways to resist from a prison cell he may never leave.

From the Netherlands to Germany to Argentina, The Dutch Wife braids together the stories of three individuals who share a dark secret and are entangled in two of the most oppressive reigns of terror in modern history. This is a novel about the blurred lines between love and lust, abuse and resistance, and right and wrong, as well as the capacity for ordinary people to persevere and do the unthinkable in extraordinary circumstances.

Review

Marijke and her husband are political prisoners of the Third Reich. Marijke stays alive by becoming one of the many women in the camp brothel. This is where she encounters Karl Müller, an SS officer. He falls in love with this Dutch beauty. This could ultimately be the death of her.

There is another story line weaving through this novel. Luciano has been kidnapped by the Argentine Army. He struggles to maintain his sanity and his strength while being tortured and starved. The reason for this tragedy is not revealed to the reader till the very end of this tale.

This story is hard to read in places. It is difficult to read about man’s inhumanity to man! When Marijke becomes a lady in the brothel, I cringed. I can’t imagine going through what these people went through to survive. Then there is Luciano’s hardship. It is along the same line and is definitely cringe worthy. But, the whole time I am wondering what the devil this has to do with Marijke? Why is this even part of this book? I figured it out before the author let me in on the why…it is a big WHY!

I wish the characters were a little more well-rounded. They seem a little detached and unfeeling. And this is a novel which gives you all the feels. The horrors, the torture, the relief when it is all over create a fantastic story. One not soon forgotten.

I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review.

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The Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Laura Willig and Karen White

Overview

From the New York Times bestselling authors of The Forgotten Room comes a captivating historical mystery, infused with romance, that links the lives of three women across a century—two deep in the past, one in the present—to the doomed passenger liner, RMS Lusitania.

May 2013

Her finances are in dire straits and bestselling author Sarah Blake is struggling to find a big idea for her next book. Desperate, she breaks the one promise she made to her Alzheimer’s-stricken mother and opens an old chest that belonged to her great-grandfather, who died when the RMS Lusitania was sunk by a German U-Boat in 1915. What she discovers there could change history. Sarah embarks on an ambitious journey to England to enlist the help of John Langford, a recently disgraced Member of Parliament whose family archives might contain the only key to the long-ago catastrophe. . . .

April 1915

Southern belle Caroline Telfair Hochstetter’s marriage is in crisis. Her formerly attentive industrialist husband, Gilbert, has become remote, pre-occupied with business . . . and something else that she can’t quite put a finger on. She’s hoping a trip to London in Lusitania’s lavish first-class accommodations will help them reconnect—but she can’t ignore the spark she feels for her old friend, Robert Langford, who turns out to be on the same voyage. Feeling restless and longing for a different existence, Caroline is determined to stop being a bystander, and take charge of her own life. . .

Tessa Fairweather is traveling second-class on the Lusitania, returning home to Devon. Or at least, that’s her story. Tessa has never left the United States and her English accent is a hasty fake. She’s really Tennessee Schaff, the daughter of a roving con man, and she can steal and forge just about anything. But she’s had enough. Her partner has promised that if they can pull off this one last heist aboard the Lusitania, they’ll finally leave the game behind. Tess desperately wants to believe that, but Tess has the uneasy feeling there’s something about this job that isn’t as it seems. . . .

As the Lusitania steams toward its fate, three women work against time to unravel a plot that will change the course of their own lives . . . and history itself.

Review

This story is told by three different narrators. Sarah is in the present day. Caroline and Tessa are both set during 1915. Sarah has come across some information about her great-grandfather and she is on the hunt to find out more. Caroline is a rich socialite. Her husband has recently distanced himself from her and she wants to know why. Tessa is just a con artist/thief. She is on board the Lusitania to do a very specific job.

Sarah is a struggling author and she thinks she has finally found the topic of her next book, her great-grandfather’s story. Trouble is, she can’t find enough information. So she heads to England to do research and ask questions. This puts her on to Caroline and Tessa and the Lusitania.

The mystery in this story is intricate and creative. I enjoyed how it slowly unravels and twists around and leaves you unsure of exactly what is happening. There are also love stories weaving about the characters. And you think you know…but you really don’t know!

The rich history of the Lusitania and the time period is so well done! I must expand my horizons and read more! Don’t miss this one!

I received this novel from Edelweiss for a honest review.

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Maybe for You by Nicole McLaughlin

Overview

She’s never had a no-strings fling. He’s never had anything else. But maybe this time will be an exception?

After a year of mourning her fiancé, Alexis Parker has worked hard to rediscover what she wants out of life. Fresh out of the military and back stateside, her brother offers her a marketing job at the Stag Distillery. Ready for a new challenge, Alexis agrees to accompany her new co-worker Jake Cooperon a Stag cross-country promotional tour. He may have an infamous playboy reputation, but Alexis is surprised to find out that there is more to him than meets the eye. And she likes what she sees. . .

Jake promised Alexis’s brother that he’d be an absolute gentleman. Of course, that was before he and Alexis hit the road, and they both agree that what Alexis’s big brother doesn’t know won’t hurt him. The plan: to keep their fling confined to the RV, and everything will go back to normal once they head home. Things progress in ways neither of them could have imagined, and Jake realizes that he and Alexis make a perfect mix. Can he convince her that he’s ready to shake things up and give true love a shot?

Review

Alexis is slowly recovering from the death of her fiancé. She has recently left the military and is planning on a new job with the CIA. Jake has been there for her during this tragic time. Their friendship has thrived but can it survive through a relationship.

I love that Alexis and Jake are friends first. She relies on his strength and their relationship just grows from there, even though Alexis is not sure she can love again. It terrifies her! But, Jake is there to help her find her way. I adore Jake’s strength. He makes Alexis feel safe and protected. And when they finally get together….the pages SIZZLE!

I found myself smiling through many parts of this story. I love Jake’s kindness and thoughtfulness. You can certainly tell he loves her. It just oozes off the pages. Alexis is smart, but she tends not to see what is right before her eyes. So, she can be a little frustrating in places. Considering she just lost her fiancé, this is warranted.

This is a sweet, kind love story. It hits you in all the right places!

I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review.

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