#BookReview The Charming Predator by Lee MacKenzie

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The Charming Predator is an addicting read for anyone who loves true crime.

Lately I have been in a reading slump (probably from all of those school textbooks I’m devouring…) and most of the books I should love I haven’t been able to connect with. Buuuuut, this book instantly hooked me during this time and appeared to be exactly what I needed.

This book is intriguing because it’s supposed to be “real” (I say supposed to because Lee MacKenzie apparently has numerous pseudonyms). Kenner Jones did exist and there are numerous stories about how he scammed a ridiculous amount of people (including his wife).

I find it an interesting phenomenon that this happens to people. It seems so out of the ordinary and soap opera like, yet I’ve met many people who trick and manipulate anyone they can. Reading it, I found I could see “signs”, but that’s with me knowing the end of this story – I know he’s going to manipulate her, it’s almost like a bad movie you have seen over and over. “Don’t go through that door” or “Don’t talk to that person” and so on…

I have so much respect for this woman, because this was truly one of the worst moments (or say…years?) of her life. Writing a book like this takes courage, and my goodness is it a good book. I find it well written, easy to read and one of the better true crime, life story novels I have read in a while.

This book gets 5 out of 5 stars for sure.

I got this book through a charity that asks for donations to local community charities in return for previous read ARC copies – so my copy was an ARC.

Did you enjoy this book? Why not check out another? Book Review: From Wedding to Funeral: Spouses who Murder by Mindy M. Shelton

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#BookReview Dunbar by Edward St. Aubyn

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I love Shakespeare – anyone who knows me well can tell you that – so when I saw this book I knew I had to read it. But, sadly, it was under whelming and quite the disappointment. Perhaps I put to much pressure on this book before reading it?

I haven’t read King Lear yet, but I have been meaning to. I made sure to read over the synopsis and read some of the more “famous” pieces from the story online to get a better feel for it before I picked up this book. I wanted to understand the source material and see what Edward St. Aubyn would do with it. While he got the base of the story and plot correct, it just wasn’t as great as it could have been.

Henry Dunbar (our King Lear) the media mogul is our lead, who has three daughters (two of whom seem out of their right mind 99% of the time, I feel like they should have been in the psych ward, personally), is currently in what appears to be a psych ward with a not-so-funny comedian. He plans to escape and prevent the two psychotic daughters from running his company/getting his trust money.

The two psychotic daughters appear to be too evil – like it’s obvious, but their reasoning for getting the trust money doesn’t seem like a good enough reason to be crazy. I would have liked to see the craziness pulled back a bit to make it more realistic, or interesting. I just found them to pull away from the great story of Henry and Florence. While Florence does seem to be a little too goody-goody, their scenes are really beautiful and seem to be the best part of this entire story.

St. Aubyn uses a lot of Shakespeare quotes – which I loved! They were used in the correct context too. My issue within this, is sometimes it seemed like he was trying to write in iambic pentameter or using language from that era when it just didn’t fit in. The first chapter when Henry and his comedian friend are telling stories seem to be edging towards that era, but it just wasn’t funny. If anything, it made me more confused and bored. I had to keep re-reading what they were saying just to try to understand what they are doing (and I was an ace at Shakespeare in English, so how could I not understand normal English?…Geez).

My overall review – just read the original. There are some FANTASTIC adaptions out there that can wow your socks off and rival the original, and this one isn’t it. It’s a great story, and if it entered a contest it could potentially win, but it’s not the best I’ve seen. I gave up a few chapters in just to force myself through the book.

Edward is a great author, and while this might not be his strongest novel I’m sure he is great in other areas. I definitely want to give him another shot in the future with a book that’s an original story because I’m sure he could shine there.

Two out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Check out this fantastic author on Goodreads: Edward St. Aubyn on Goodreads

Or visit his website:  Edward St. Aubyn.com

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#BookReview Craving Flight by Tamsen Parker

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Tziporrah and Elan are another hit pair by Tamsen Parker!

To say this story is unique is an understatement! It’s rare for me to read a book involving some heavy erotica mixed with religion, but yet again Tamsen blows readers’s expectations out of the water.

You can tell this is one of Tamsen’s earlier novels – it’s written beautifully, but it’s not as awesome as her newer ones. Her skill has grown so much, that if you haven’t read some of her newer readers, please pick it up after this book! This novel was fantastic, but her skill is continually growing.

To pick apart this book, it’s an emotional roller coaster full of romance, self doubt and change. In so few pages, Tamsen is able to weave some fantastic story telling to introduce us to a woman who seems so down on herself. She finds her religion, gets married and tries to live the life she wants to – yet it’s just not that perfect. I felt so strongly for this woman, and at times I hated Elan with a passion. He slowly grows on you, but I still felt frustrated with some of his behaviour. I would love to see Tzipporah grow more, but in under 200 pages Tamsen did a fantastic job of growing her character.

BDSM is a big part of this novel (and it seems to have more sex scenes in it than most erotica books I’ve read, percentage wise anyways). The romance isn’t as big of a focus as the BDSM and strange relationship the main couple have. That being said, I liked that it was so different and wasn’t just focused on some heavy romance. While I was frustrated with some of the situations, that just showed up skilled Tamsen is as a writer. She made me feel so passionately for Tzipporah which many other writers struggle to do.

Overall, I liked this book! It’s unique and made me think. Also, everytime Elan said “little bird” it killed me a little on the inside because it seems so cute!

Five out of five stars.

 

Comment below with your favourite unique romance novel!
If you enjoyed this book review, check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview #OnTheBrinkofPassion by Tamsen Parker

 

If you read this review, use the hashtags #BriarsReviews #CravingFlight on twitter!

Check out Tamsen Parker on her website: http://www.tamsenparker.com/ or on twitter @TamsenParker

Buy it now from Amazon:

Amazon Canada – Craving Flight

Amazon US – Craving Flight

#BookReview Bleeding Hearts by Alyxandra Harvey

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Here’s yet another #ThrowbackThursday book review filled with cute, vampire goodness from my teenage years!! I was so excited to find these books hiding in the back of my book shelf and I grabbed a random one! Here’s the review:

 

Alyxandra Harvey has a hit with the Drake Chronicles.

Bleeding Hearts is the fourth novel in the Drake Chronicles (one of my many vampire-based book obsessions). Each book follows one of the Drake children and their adventures and romances. Each book seems to get better compared to the last – in character development, plot and story lines and the romances. It was really nice to see Alyxandra Harvey grow with each book that came out. Knowing that this series came to an end was truly heart breaking, even if this series came to a perfect end.

This book changes point of views throughout, which can be distracting if you aren’t paying attention but I think it adds more to this novel. I liked seeing the different angles of the plot from each of the characters!

This wasn’t my favourite book in the series (in fact, it was my least favourite) but it was still an excellent addition. Everyone has their favourite character (*cough* Quinn *cough*) and Conor and Christabel just weren’t my favourite. They are still funny, fantastic and nerdy characters in this star line-up cast of characters and their story is absolutely delightful! They just don’t measure up in my eyes to some of the others.

There are many nerdy references in here, and that touched my nerdy heart. It’s always fun when you can actually understand the references – Star Wars, Firefly, etc.

Overall, this book is a recommended read from me. It’s a cute, romantic vampire novel in an absolutely adorable series that I was and am still obsessed with. Hopefully in the near future I pick up Alyxandra’s new books!

Five out of five stars.

 

Check out Alyxandra Harvey on Goodreads: Alyxandra Harvey on Goodreads

Or visit her website! AlyxandraHarvey.com

Or maybe, give her a shoutout on Twitter! @AlyxandraH

Enjoy my reviews? Check out my Goodreads page! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

Give me a shout-out on Twitter! Let me know your recent reads!!! Or give me some recommendations!  Briar’s Reviews on Twitter

#CoverReveal My Kinda Player by Lacey Black

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Today we have the gorgeous cover reveal for My Kinda Player by Lacey Black! Make sure you preorder your copy today!!

 

Title: My Kinda Player

Series: Summer Sisters book 5

Author: Lacey Black

Release Date: April 17, 2018

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About My Kinda Player:

AJ Summer witnessed four of her sisters fall in love and settle down. But not her. She’s

stuck in a rut, destined to spend the rest of her life watching from the dugout, kissing

frogs. Then one night, she meets a mysterious stranger, who makes her feel alive and

realize she’s not as broken as she thought–until she wakes up alone.

Sawyer Randall lost everything in a split-second when a game-winning play resulted in a

career-ending injury. Looking for a fresh start, he settles into the cozy beach town of

Jupiter Bay. A chance meeting with a gorgeous woman leaves him restless and anxious

for something he swore he’d never want again–love.

But sometimes Prince Charming isn’t who he seems. What happens when circumstances

are misleading? Will their love be strong enough to see them through unscathed? Or will

AJ be played by the player?

 

*Though part of a series, this book can be read as a standalone. It is intended for those 18

and over due to graphic language, descriptive sex, and the world’s most inappropriate

grandparents.

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Pre-Order Your Copy!

Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK  | Amazon AU | Goodreads

*All other retailers on release day.

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About Lacey Black:

Lacey Black is a Midwestern girl with a passion for reading, writing, and shopping. She carries her e-reader with her everywhere she goes so she never misses an opportunity to read a few pages. Always looking for a happily ever after, Lacey is passionate about contemporary romance novels and enjoys it further when you mix in a little suspense. She resides in a small town in Illinois with her husband, two children, and a chocolate lab. Lacey loves watching NASCAR races, shooting guns, and should only consume one mixed drink because she’s a lightweight.

Lacey’s debut novel, Trust Me, was released in August 2014 and has been an Amazon Bestseller twice for Free e-books, as well as #1 for Contemporary Romance. All of the Rivers Edge books have been bestsellers in the Romance and Contemporary Romance categories.

Connect with Lacey:

Email | Facebook | Twitter | Blog

 

#BookReview Saint’s Vigil by Bryan Phoenix

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Saint’s Vigil by Bryan Phoenix

This horror/thriller was a read that was on my bookshelf for quite a long time. I tried picking it up a few times but it wasn’t doing it for me. Finally, I forced myself to sit down and finish it – and it was quite the treat. It just took a little bit to get starter.

This book is brutal (in a good way, I guess? It’s meant to be). It’s not lighthearted, and I dare say it deserved an NC17 or R rating if it was rating through the MPAA. There’s lots of pain and loss within the story, but I wouldn’t say this horror lives up to a Stephen King kind of horror. This kind of horror was very brutal, bloody and cruel. It’s not a scare you psychologically, it’s more of a realistic, disgusting kind of horror. Some people like that, I personally don’t. And don’t get me wrong, I LOVE a good horror novel that scares me, but this one seemed more wrong than scary. There’s corpses and mutilation and things you don’t typically see in books (or I’m reading all the wrong ones…or right ones? I guess…)

The style of this book flows smoothly, and it keeps moving at a relatively medium-pace the entire novel. I thought it could have moved a bit faster (due to how large this book is) but it was okay.

I found the characters kind of dull. I didn’t connect with them like I do other characters (villainous and heroes/antiheroes alike). Within this story, these characters could have been real winners – the brutal nature of this story leaves so much room for characters with real motives and crazy storylines, but it didn’t hit it out of the park for me.

Overall, this book has good themes but wasn’t my top novel of the year. It’s a good read for someone who wants something brutal and “disgusting” (in a good way, I promise!! Like a brutal Quenten Tarantino sort of book).

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

 

Check out Bryan on Goodreads! Bryan Phoenix on Goodreads

Or check out his website! Bryan Phoenix.com

Check me out on Goodreads where I post up to date reviews as soon as they happen! Be the first in the know!! Briar’s Reviews on Goodreads

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#ReleaseDayBlitz Tell Me a Story

I’m one day late to the party, but it’s never to late to enjoy a new book! Check out Tell Me a Story, a new release by Jennifer Rebecca! Find out some epic details below:

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Today we have the release blitz for TELL ME A STORY by Jennifer Rebecca! Check it out and be sure to grab your copy today:

 

Title: TELL ME A STORY  

Author: JENNIFER REBECCA

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Cover by Alyssa Garcia at Uplifting Designs.

 

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Tell Me A Story Synopsis:

George Washington Township, New Jersey has seen its fair share of crime and tragedy. Most recently, a young boy is missing from his home and the tenacious Detective Claire Goodnite is eager to find him.

But the case is stirring up old memories best left forgotten. When a blast from her own past, FBI Special Agent Wesley O’Connell, turns up, Claire finds it hard to keep old ghosts at rest. And even harder to keep the sexy SAIC out of her case and her bed.

Claire Goodnite is the best damn detective in the state of New Jersey and you better believe she’s coming for you.

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Grab Your Copy Today:

Amazon | iBooks | Kobo | Nook

 

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About the Author:

Jennifer is a thirty something lover of words, all words: the written, the spoken, the sung (even poorly), the sweet, the funny, and even the four letter variety. She is a native of San Diego, California where she grew up reading the Brownings and Rebecca with her mother and Clifford and the Dog who Glowed in the Dark with her dad, much to her mother’s dismay.

Jennifer is a graduate of California State University San Marcos where she studied Criminology and Justice Studies. She is also an Alpha Xi Delta.

10 years ago, she was swept off her feet by her very own sailor. Today, they are happily married and the parents of a 8 year old and 6 year old twins. She can often be found in East Texas on the soccer fields, drawing with her children, or reading. Jennifer is convinced that if she puts her fitbit on one of the dogs, she might finally make her step goals. She loves a great romance, an alpha hero, and lots and lots of laughter.

Website | Email | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter

 

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Giveaway Details:

<a class=”rcptr” href=”http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/4cf78adb644/” rel=”nofollow” data-raflid=”4cf78adb644″ data-theme=”classic” data-template=”” id=”rcwidget_zj9432xf”>a Rafflecopter giveaway</a>

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Buy Links:

Amazon-http://amzn.to/2HKxIVe

iBooks-https://apple.co/2DTt0SO

KOBO-http://bit.ly/2ouOcbb

Nook-http://bit.ly/2EUCO3z

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Links:

www.JenniferRebeccaAuthor.com

JenniferRebeccaAuthor@gmail.com

facebook.com/JenniferRebeccaAuthor

Twitter: @JenniRLreads

Instagram: @JenniRLreads

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Except:

A shrill ring wakes me from a restless sleep—I had the dream again. My phone bounces around on the unfamiliar night stand that I must have left it on last night.

“Goodnite,” I rasp, my voice heavy with sleep.

“Detective, this is dispatch,” the disembodied voice from my phone informs me. “We were told to notify you that the body of a male child has been recovered at the rocks near the bottom of the falls. Possible match for your missing person.”

“I’m on my way.”

That’s all I need to know, and I am throwing back the blankets that are tangled around my body—my naked body. I pull my jeans on—without panties—and then my boots. I quietly search for my bra, hopefully not waking . . . not waking . . . I look over at the bed where a man with warm brown hair and a stubbled jaw sleeps on the bed that I just vacated. Nope, not ringing any bells. At least he’s good looking. I shrug.

I should be embarrassed about letting some random pick me up at a bar the next town over. But I’m not. This case has been . . . rough . . . and I needed to blow off some steam. Will I call him again? Uhh, no. Will he call me? He’d have to find me first. Did he have a good time? You betcha.

I see my bra hanging from a lamp shade and grab it, tucking it into my back pocket. I pull my tank top and t-shirt on, having found both rumpled on the floor. I reach into the front pocket of my jeans and find —thank God—a hair tie and toss my long, inky hair on top of my head in a messy bun. I pull on my coat that had been dropped by the front door.

I palm my phone and pull my keys out of the same pocket the hair tie came out of. I step out into the New Jersey cold without ever looking back at . . . Mike? No, that’s not it. I shrug to myself, fuck it.

I beep the locks on my car and climb in. I unlock the glove box and feel the weight of my badge and sidearm in my hand as I pull them both out of their hiding spot, placing both on the dash. I fire up my nondescript Tahoe and head towards tragedy.

My name is Claire Goodnite and I’m the best damn detective in the state of New Jersey and you better believe I’m coming for you.
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