#BookReview The Fourth Courier by Timothy Jay Smith

If you’re looking for a book full of mystery, thrills and deceit then The Fourth Courier by Timothy Jay Smith might be for you!

This book was action packed, fast paced and full of intriguing characters (all of which seem to meet at the final climax of the book). Not only that, but Timothy Jay Smith had such a way with words that it was hard to put down! To just quote the opening lines of the book, “their steel girders boomed thunderously” had me hooked, and his way with his prose continued to be spotless and marvelous!

In this book, we follow Jay Porter the FBI agent while he is in Poland. Dead men are popping up everywhere and they all have very specific pieces of evidence about them suggesting there’s a murderer on the loose. Throw in the 90s setting with Russia, Poland and nuclear weapons, and you’ve got yourself a great start to a thrilling mystery novel. Along the way we meet characters who seem to belong to the mafia, a lovely lady named Basia who feels like a Bond girl, and lots and lots of deceit.

This book gave me Girl With the Dragon Tattoo and James Bond vibes. It’s really intriguing and dark yet still made me feel totally hooked on the book. I read it all in one sitting because I NEEDED to know how it ended. To top it off, having the incredible writing style of Timothy was just amazing! It was enchanting to read the story and see it happening in front of my eyes so well! He’s so descriptive!

If I had to give this book a rating, it would be R. There’s blood, guns and sex (lots of sex, among different genders too!).

If I had to list some of the “cons” of this book, it would be as followed:
1. There’s a lot of small side plot/comments that may throw some readers off. For example, Jay’s trouble with his ex-wife and son pop up briefly a few times. It’s not totally necessary to know all of that information to know about Jay, but it’s there. I could see that being a distraction for some readers.
2. Jay and Lilka had more chemistry than Jay had murder-solving capabilities, in my humble opinion. I would have liked to see him work a little harder on his crime solving abilities or flesh out the romance full out. But that’s just me – I like romance novels and I like mystery novels and I find them hard to mix together.

Overall, this is one great addition to your mystery and thriller shelf! I would 100% recommend this book if you like a good mystery novel or want something to spice of your reading! And, it’s relatively short! The copy I received was under 300 pages which made it nice and quick for me!

Four out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author, Timothy Jay Smith, in exchange for an honest review.

 

You can find out more about this book on:
Goodreads
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Barnes & Nobles
Indigo
Kobo
timothyjaysmith.com
Skyhorse Publishing

 

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#BookReview Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kay Bowles

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Amazon Sale – Down in the Belly of the Whale

 

Down in the Belly of the Whale by Kelley Kay Bowles is a witty and ingenious Young Adult novel that addresses a multitude of tough subject matter in an eye-opening manner.

I don’t know how Kelley does it, but she always manages to impress me. This time around, Kelley has a Young Adult novel that addresses so many tough subjects in one go! Topics such as self harm, child abuse, Multiple Sclerosis, loss of innocence, suicide and not so supportive parents are just some of the many that are tackled in this book. Each “issue” is brought into the story seamlessly and has plot lines throughout the narrative to deal with the issues. Most Young Adult books stay away from the tough yet so very real topics like these, so I have to applaud Kelley for taking the big leap in her story!

My teenage self would have loved a book like this, and I could have learned a lot in the process. On top of the subject matter, the book is written in the voice of a teenager (and it feels oh so real!). Just some of the quotes, such as “I’m going to wear a stunning pair of very expensive jeans that hug my curves like a two-year old with separation anxiety” make this book hilarious! This sitcom-like book creates a fantastic balance between realism and dark topics alongside the silly and goofy one-liners to make the book less depressing.

I did like the character development in this story – both Cora and Harper grow throughout. The change in their attitudes and view points was very obvious as the book went on! I think Kelley did a great job making these characters feel real and like teenagers. Bravo!!

The fantastical side of Harper being able to “sense” when someone is sick, and she’s able to sense mental illness is a big step forward. Mental illness is not always seen as someone being “sick”, rather it’s just an issue to be dealt with. Having a book directed towards teenagers have this point of view makes me very happy and very proud of Kelley’s writing.

Now for the tough part – the negatives. Were there negatives in this book for me? Yes. I felt the ending was rushed, which made some of the pieces being tied together feel less real. Is it necessarily a bad thing? No. It was just something that stuck out to me. Kelley ties up some of the loose ends nicely, but I would have loved a few more pages dedicated to these storylines. Other than that, this book felt flawless.

Would I recommend this book? Heck yes! This book was a fantastic Young Adult novel that I actually got into! I didn’t want to put it down, and I didn’t. I easily binged this book in one sitting, but it could easily be read in bits and pieces. If you like Young Adult novels, books that tackle dark subject matter (in a light-hearted way) or a splash of comedy, then you will love this book! I’d even recommend this to many adult readers, because of it’s amazing way of tackling the rough subjects.

There is a bit of an asterisk on the recommendation side – this book could be a major trigger for some people. Keep that in mind if you plan to pick up this book! The darker sides of this novel may not be suitable for all ages and maturity levels!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Kelley Kaye Bowles in exchange for an honest review.

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.ca

Amazon.com

 

Find out more about Kelley Kaye Bowles on:

Goodreads – Kelley Kaye Bowles

http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/

Twitter – @kelkay1202

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on Twitter to let me know you read it! @ReviewAlholic

 

And if you enjoyed this review, why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis

#BookReview More Than a Feeling by Sara Richardson

More Than a Feeling is a marvelous continuation of the Heart of Rockies series by Sara Richardson.

Years ago I managed to get my hands on one of the first books in this series, and then I bought the sequels! Silly me lost them among my shelves until I recently managed to clean my little library up. Of course, I had to pick this book up and continue the series (I’m sure #2 is hiding somewhere in my house. Whoever said you had to read these in order?!).

I really enjoy this series, but it is an R rated book – sex scenes, abusive pasts and a miscarriage are just a few parts of this story that make it a “tougher” read. It felt like an adult romance novel, which is what it was intended to be. That being said, this book could be a potential trigger for some readers.

I like that Sara didn’t hold back with Ruby’s story. Her story is rough and tough and isn’t all sunshine and roses. She’s lucky to find a man like Sawyer and a beautiful, unconventional family to fill her heart with. Oh, and the sex scenes made for a good romp too!

This book has a lot of tug and pull. Ruby wanted Sawyer, but didn’t want to tell him her secrets. Sawyer was very similar, but he was all in for this relationship. The ‘should I, shouldn’t I’ was a little annoying, but that’s because it’s one of those specific cliches I get bored with. That part of the book didn’t go on for a long time, but it’s still there. This little cliche made this book a slow burn romance, but when it hits the hot parts… wowza, it is hot!

I like contemporary romances like these. For whatever reason, they are really hitting all of the notes I want them to hit this year. There were some cons though…

1. Potential animal abuse. I strongly dislike animal abuse. Fortunately, a lot of the potential abuse isn’t shown in this novel. There’s just a little bit and it’s used to show Ruby’s compassion. Still… it’s a touchy topic for me.

2. Abusive exes. Yeek… These do happen in real life but they still make me shiver. Some readers might not enjoy some of the comments said in relation to this topic! So, reader beware…

3. Miscarriage. It happened in the past but I know it’s a very touchy subject for some people. Again, reader beware!

4. Sawyer is a really horny man. It’s not necessarily a giant con (it’s a romance novel, you kinda have to expect it) but I know a good friend of mine did not enjoy that part of the novel. So, it’s a potential con? Not for me, but for some readers.

If I had to pick the good things, they would be as followed:

1. Foster families and happy endings. I like seeing the positive side of building trust and making friendships! I’m glad this book put foster families in a good light.

2. Stand-alone versus series. This book could easily have stood alone, yet it’s apart of a series. Sara gives you just enough info to be able to jump into this book without knowing the rest of this series.

3. NO CLIFFHANGER! Thank goodness there was no cliffhanger. Those kill me.

Overall, I liked this book! The touchy subjects dropped one star off my rating, but realistically they can happen! So why not put them into a romance novel and use them for a happy ending?

Four out of five stars!

Find this book on:
Amazon.ca
Kobo
Indigo.ca

Check out some other reviews and books you might enjoy:
#TopBooksList Briar’s Top Romance Novels
#BookReview Something Like Love by Sara Richardson
#BookReview Fly With Me by Hudson Lin

 

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#BookReview Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive by Joe Montaperto

Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive by Joe Montaperto is a story full of personality!

One thing about Joe Montaperto is that he knows how to write with style. He has a very particular tone in his writing that makes you feel like you’re out in the back, having some beers and listening to Joe tell his tales.

This book is a continuation of Joe’s previous works (Lovely Chaos) which invites the reader into Joe’s actual life. This time around the comedian/writer takes us on a tour that involves… well… you guessed it, catering. The entire book is full of raunchy and hysterical humor and even throws in some educational tidbits along the way.

The thing about this book… I’d really like to hear it in audiobook form. I felt like this could have been a stand-up performance or a story Joe would tell you when you’re hanging out with him. It felt very real and honest, but there were some funny comments that would have been SO much better if I heard them. Some of the comments flew right over my head as a reader. I’m sure if Joe were telling it like it is, I would have gotten way more of the jokes.

That being said, it’s still a fun and relatively short book. It’s honest, amusing, and even goes into some controversial topics (ever heard of Roundup?).

I did enjoy learning a bit about catering though. It makes sense, working for more than one business to make money.

Overall, this book is a nice addition to my shelf! I’m glad I got to dip my toes in the water again and pick up a book by Joe. His books are almost niche because of his wild, unique writing voice. He stands out in the crowd – but that’s what comedians are supposed to do.

Four out of five stars.

I received this book for free from the author, Joe Montaperto, in exchange for an honest review.

 

 

Check out some of the work by Joe below:

www.joemontaperto.com

Goodreads – Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive
Amazon.ca – Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive
Amazon.com – Nobody Gets out of Catering Alive
Smashwords – Nobody Gets Out of Catering Alive

Check out another book in this series:
Goodreads – Lovely Chaos
Amazon.ca – Lovely Chaos
Amazon.com – Lovely Chaos
Smashwords – Lovely Chaos

and on Authors Den!

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#BookReview Open Source by Anna L. Davis

 

Open Source by Anna L. Davis is an R rated, epic, sci-fi, fantasy, crazy adventure!

This book far exceeded my expectations, especially since sci-fi isn’t my usual genre. Anna makes this fantasy novel come off the page and take over my brain (pun totally intended, by the way).

Ryker, our home-less former writer lead, doesn’t have a NeuroChip in his brain. Everyone else in this world does, and it’s a fad that’s taking over the nation. Soon enough, our friend gets himself into a difficult situation and a chip is forced into his brain. His buddy Sawyer, Rae, Rae’s ex Nox, a bag lady, and many more quirky characters dance across the pages and whisk us through a not-so-distant, potential future. What do we do when chips are in our brains, following our every move? Will politics get in the way of the potential good? It’s sci-fi, the answer is always yes.

This is one of the few books that I didn’t see the ending coming, and I loved that. There’s so many little hints along the way, yet I just didn’t connect those dots. Anna has a well crafted story on her hands and it’s so well thought out. The seeds planted along the way will make you question reality itself – what the heck is going on in this book?! Everything ties itself up nicely in the end, thank goodness. But… I still want that sequel. It says this is book one in the series everywhere I look, so I really hope Anna throws us some more epic fantasy our way!

I don’t have many cons about this book. I would have liked to read this as a book I binged instead of putting it down. I’m not much of a tech or sci-fi fan, so I ended up forgetting some of the terminology and background when I left it for a few days. It’s still easy enough to read if you step away, but personally I want to binge it.

I like that the story leaves off like the book could end, even though the story could continue. I hate cliffhangers, so this ending bides well with me.

Overall, this book is truly an epic. I could see a television show or a movie being made of it. It’s just so darn good! I have to say… it’s one of my top reads of 2019!! I never thought I’d put a sci-fi that high on my list, but I did! And it’s all Anna L. Davis’s fault!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

Find out more about this book and the author on:
Goodreads – Open Source
Twitter – @annaldavis1
Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Barnes & Noble

Check out some other reviews and books you might enjoy:
#BookReview The Sinking of Bethany Ann Crane by K. Kris Loomis
#BookReview – Strungballs by Mike Russell

 

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#BookReview A Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon

The Long, Hot Summer by Kathleen MacMahon is one of the loveliest books I’ve read this year.

Family drama, generations of Irish men & ladies, comedy, tragedy and character growth. What more could a girl ask for in novel? Not much else!!

I was truly surprised by how amazing this book was, considering it has so few reviews. It’s by far one of my favourite reads and it will sit high atop my shelves. Kathleen MacMahon has a beautiful sense of writing style and her prose is just magnificent. I can’t get enough of this book and I want more by her.

This story follows the MacEntees – an Irish family with four generations of men and women trying to deal with a long, hot summer. Deidre and Manus were once married, but Manus is now with his male lover and at Deidre is grasping with the fact that she is now “old” and in her 80s. Alma, Acushla and MacDara are their children and they all have to grasp with their own choices too. Alma and Acushla married twin brothers, and somehow their lives are echoing each other. The girls’ children, Constance and Nora, are also dealing with their own lives choices. The entire book follows these characters one by one and lets us into a world of family drama, insanity and growth.

I would have loved to read a book like this in high school, when you have the opportunity to pick apart lines and themes within the story. I loved seeing how each character interacted and how life didn’t end up the way they quite expected it. Lots of humors is thrown in with the tragedy, family drama is addressed in a very real way, and this book shows just how tough life can be (yet also how fruitful and silly we can make it). In summary, it’s all about perspective.

Kathleen does a great job showing the differences between the generations and how they interact with one another. The conflict felt so real and the book felt like it could have been a non-fiction retelling (but it’s not!). I really want to read more by Kathleen because she has a real knack for story telling. I was so attached to these characters and I was furious that this book had to end (and in the way that it did! I cried! I never cry at books!).

I HIGHLY recommend this book if you love fictional dramas, stories set in Ireland, and books about being a family.

Five out of five stars! I would give it more if I could.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out another book (or review!) that you might enjoy:
#BookReview Someone You Love Is Gone by Gurjinder Basran
To Wendy’s With Love: the 22-year Lunch by Diane Keyes- BOOK REVIEW
Quick Book Review: The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti
Quick Book Review: The Nightingale by Kristin Hannah

 

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#BookReview Fire Sermon by Jamie Quatro

This book was my best surprise of the year. To be honest, I just picked up a random book from my shelf. I decided that I would just take a very un-calculated risk and pick up whatever book my eyes went to – and this book was it.

Fire Sermon is an incredible novel following the journey of a religious woman who begins to have an affair on her husband. The narrative is not your typical romance novel, it’s truly a dramatic unfolding of the character. I loved this character study and how beautifully Jamie Quatro could write out this woman’s feelings and experiences. Seriously, it blew me out of the water. I truly did not expect this book to be half as good as it was.

Jamie Quatro has a beautiful writing style, full of metaphors and truly engaging descriptions. This book could have been a real flop because of the subject matter, but it had me hooked at every single word. There isn’t one thing I would change about this book because it truly was just mesmerizing. I highly recommend it! I’m almost frustrated that I didn’t read it sooner! This is one incredible, lovely and amazing piece of literature that I think anyone who loves drama and riveting reads should pick up.

Maggie has a ‘romantic’ relationship with her husband, but begins to fall in love with an intellectual poet. She’s cheating on her husband, but doesn’t know how to deal with it. The sex with her husband isn’t all that great and it hurts, but she feels like she owes him his pleasure. The more she engages in infidelity, the more she questions herself. Can someone truly fall out of love or change their feelings about someone? Will God understand what she has done?

Even if you’re not religious, I think this book is an excellent view into one woman’s perspective. Yes, it’s fiction but it does really open your eyes to another world. The struggles and changes in a woman’s life can be more troublesome than one thinks and I loved that Jamie opened us into Maggie’s world. The story is absolutely breathtaking.

Five out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Kobo

 

And give me a shout out on Twitter if you read this review! #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

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Check out another book you might enjoy: #BookReview Sons of York by Lesley J Nickell