#BookReview Cursed Vines by Suzanne Ferreira

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Cursed Vines by Suzanne Ferreira is a unique mix of suspense, thrills and fantasy!

This book surprised me with how fantastic it was – not often do I pick up a book with no reviews on Goodreads and it be absolutely magical in all the best ways! I feel like a really lucky reader who gets to yell “First!” in the comment section since I’ve found such a truly unique and addicting read!

Now, to the review:

This story is full of incredible descriptions that paint this story onto your eyes. The descriptions of the characters, their wardrobe, the food and the history of Portugal and it’s culture were just breathtaking! As someone with little experience or knowledge of the Portuguese culture, I felt like I connected and understood so much more from just this book! The portrayal of the culture and locations were respectful and made me feel like I truly dove into this world. Suzanne just has a way with words that makes you connect so well with the story and it’s characters. If anything, I’d suggest this book alone for the way Suzanne paints the narrative for the reader.

Some of the little quirks of this novel was the different aspects of the culture – burning ears means someone is gossiping about you, and black cats being good luck because they will absorb all of the evil. I really liked the little tidbits of information that were sprinkled around the plot development. I felt like those really enhanced this book up a notch on the review spectrum.

Now onto the plot! This book, at first glance, seems like a typical thriller set in an exotic land to the average fiction reader. But alas, good reader, this book mixes in so many genres in a truly unbelievable way that it should be in it’s own subgenre. First of all, our lead Talia is a journalist who is seeking out murderers of twin girls – check off that crime and thriller box on your checklist. Next, there’s a healthy helping of the black arts, a cult, some voodoo and omens to check off the fantasy or supernatural check box. There’s a teaspoon of romance (just barely a teaspoon), some murder and drama to mix all of the plot line together into an epic journey.

Talia goes off to Portugal with her boyfriend Jared and her friend Caryn after a family member dies. There’s a little romance and a little conflict that sends all three characters on their separate ways – Caryn chasing a man & Jared and Talia breaking up. Talia meets the super sexy Nuno and sets off on her journalistic adventure. The family drama left behind after the funeral ignites this journey for Talia, since she also wants to discover some of her family’s secrets. Once she goes off with Nuno though, her world unravels and the plot travels like a B&M roller coaster (lots of flips, turns and crazy speeds).

The plot itself sounds like a mess, but it’s just because this book is so hard to summarize! There is so much going on, but it all works so well together! Suzanne has crafted this excellent epic that I really loved! There’s so much drama and suspense throughout the book, I couldn’t even put it down!

If I’m tearing apart the speed of the novel, I felt like it was pretty even paced until 3/4ths through the book. Suddenly, it picks up speed and the action goes nuts! I really liked that aspect of it, because I do tend to get bored near the end if nothing exciting happens. Alongside that point, I feel that Suzanne made the story slowly unfold at a good pace. Each little important plot tidbit is thrown in to make the reader catch up to what is really happening, and I thought it was perfection! As I slowly began to piece together what was happening, a little tidbit was thrown in that made me go “Yes! I was right” and then the plot continued to bounce along.

But, dear reader, you may be asking if there were negatives – and of course there were! No book is ever perfect. Here’s my list.

1.For a journalist, Talia is really trusting of people! That does set of the plot, but to me she was a little too trusting…
2. Jared/Talia’s relationship was SO GOOD. I wanted more! This isn’t a bad part of the book because there wasn’t really room in the narrative to expand about their relationship and relationship issues, but I would have loved to see more of them! Their dynamic was so intriguing! Ugh!
3. The ending just seems to stop suddenly! Just like a snap of the fingers and it’s over! I really wanted to know what happened – who survives, who doesn’t, what was the point of the dreams/omens and what was a dream/omen, the fallout of all the action, etc. I liked this book to the point I wanted more (which is a rarity).
4. Evil villain explaining all the evil plans – it worked really well within this book, but I feel like it’s a cliche some readers might not like. Was it a negative for me? No, not at all! I actually liked it, but I know a lot of readers cringe at that thought so I threw it down here.

Overall, this book was really good! It really surprised me that more people aren’t picking it up because it is so good! It’s the perfect mix of action and suspense! I’d highly recommend it, especially if you love thrillers, mysteries and action!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from Suzanne Ferreira in exchange for an honest review.

 

Find out more about Suzanne Ferreira on:

Goodreads – Author Page

http://www.suzanneferreira.com/

Twitter – @sferreiradixon

Facebook – @sferreiradixon

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads – Cursed Vines

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

Kobo

Barnes & Nobles

Chapters/Indigo/Coles – Canadian Book Seller

 

If you enjoyed this review, leave me a comment below or give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

 

If you enjoyed this review, check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay

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#BookReview Poison by Punctuation by Kelley Kaye

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This sequel is another thrilling yet cozy mystery that is set in the halls of a high school!

We continue on in this book with Emma and Leslie in yet another pickle. This time around, a student was murdered! The suspense is excellent in this story – I felt myself being pulled in even farther into the story as each page went by. It really hooks the reader and makes them feel committed! Throw in some A grade comedy, fantastic character development and lots of education allusions and you’ve got one epic book!

These two sleuths are basically the adult versions of Nancy Drew! The wittiness and cuteness of this book makes it the perfect relaxation novel. I also found it to be the perfect binging novel (although you could easily put this book down and jump back into it). It’s also a G to PG rated book – there’s nothing graphic or overly worrisome. Teens and adults alike will easily be able to read and enjoy this book!

It was a real delight seeing Emma and Leslie and their fantastic chemistry together again! The two of them make the perfect best friends for a fun, cozy story! I can almost feel them radiating their positivity off the pages! And on top of that, they are hilarious! I also have a strong love for the secondary characters as well! The other teachers are all interesting and truly characters.

Hunter was a real breakout character for me. I loved seeing more of him in this novel and I hope in any future books he’s hanging around more!

I loved all the quotations between the chapters – that’s one major part of this series that raises it above all the others! The Shakespeare quotes always get me! I love it!

My final comment – I loved that adoption became a big part of this book. The awareness of adoption, while out there, isn’t spoken about enough (in my honest opinion). Thank you Kelley for expanding the conversation!

Kelley Kaye is the Queen of cozy, comedic mysteries! I will definitely be looking for more books by her and I highly recommend picking up this must read novel!

Four out of five stars!

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

 

Check out this book on:

Goodreads – Poison by Punctuation

Youtube – Book Trailer – Poison by Punctuation

Amazon.com – Poison by Punctuation

Amazon.ca – Poison by Punctuation

 

Check out the first book in this series, Death by Diploma, on:

Goodreads – Death by Diploma

Youtube – Book Trailer – Death by Diploma

Amazon.com – Death by Diploma

Amazon.ca – Death by Diploma

Find out more about Kelley Kaye on:

Goodreads – Kelley Kaye or Goodreads – Kelley Kaye #2

YouTube – Kelley Kaye

http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/

Twitter – @KelKay1202

Facebook – Kelley Kaye

 

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

#BookReview My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh

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My Sunshine Away by M.O. Walsh is a haunting yet beautiful tale about a tragic childhood.

This book has blown me away with how thought provoking it is! M.O. Walsh’s beautiful writing style tells the tale of fifteen year old Lindy (in our narrator’s point of view) and the horrors that occur in their neighborhood. Add in the setting of Baton Rouge, Louisiana in the late 80s and you’ve got yourself the perfect coming of age story addressing some really tough issues that we are still seeing today.

This is another book that I wish would have been around in my high school years. I think this would have been perfect reading material that addresses the growth and change of a child to an adult, and the big issues in society that are still happening. M.O. Walsh made the story light hearted and fun (at times) in a setting that could have been extremely brutal.

As the book moves forward, the effects on the town and Lindy slowly unravel and the mystery of it all falls into place. The ghosts of everyone’s past comes to a nice close at the end of the book, so don’t worry about cliffhangers! The last few pages of the book are the perfect summary, better than anything I’ve ever seen before. It’s a real shame I don’t see this book (or eventually more) by M.O. Walsh on bookshelves at my local bookstore. This book is top tier writing!

My Sunshine Away had effects on me similar to 1984, To Kill a MockingBird and Shakespeare’s best works. The book tells a story and a narrative, but has grande themes that can be picked apart. On top of that, the book feels nostalgic of what most adults had in their childhood (I can relate to talking on the phone when your parents answer it and hold it for you). The surprise of a safe neighborhood not really being all that safe. Also seeing some of the non-fictitious aspects of our world (like the Challenger and Jeffrey Dahmer) really made this book feel real.

The characters also felt like people I would have known in my childhood – nerdy kids, the “weirdos”, that one girl everyone loves – they all were relatable. Seeing them change and how they ended up in adulthood was also a nice touch that helped close the story.

When I read this book, I thought it was a very soft adult novel – but apparently it’s a Young Adult novel! It’s a really nice read that Young Adults could handle. It has some tough themes, but nothing graphic. I’m actually even happier that this book should be on a Young Adult shelf, so those readers can get the impact of this story in their environment.

Overall, this book is an emotional, yet melancholic ride that will pull at your heartstrings and play with your emotions. It’s so well developed, it’s hard to believe that this is a debut novel! It feels like an expert in his craft wrote it! I highly recommend this book, and it’s a definite must read! I’m sad I didn’t pick this book up years ago! What a truly fantastic novel!

PS – What a stunning cover! This cover calls out to me, even though it’s so simple yet so elegant! What a gem!

Five out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Find this book on:

Goodreads: Goodreads – My Sunshine Away

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – My Sunshine Away

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – My Sunshine Away

 

Find out more about M.O. Walsh on his website: http://www.mowalsh.com/

Or give us both a shout out on Twitter! @M_O_Walsh & @ReviewAlholic

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another you might enjoy! #BookReview Crime Seen by Kate Lines

And comment below! What is your favourite novel?

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye

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Death by Diploma by Kelley Kaye is a fun, cozy mystery that is perfect for binging!

I’ve gotta say, I have been yearning for some teacher centered reads lately (ironically, since school is getting out around now for the elementary school kids in my area). And what is my luck that Kelley Kaye has an awesome mystery series that’s full of teachers, silly antics and loads of thrills!

Our lead Emma working at a new school and meets Leslie, the current head of the English department. While being introduced to her new life as the high school English teacher, she discovers a murder! Leslie, Emma and a band of jolly characters must work together to find out who killed a beloved janitor and all of the secrets he held behind the scenes in his life.

The book is FULL of quotes – Star Wars and Shakespeare just to name a couple! I loved all of the silly references that I understood, and the ones I didn’t I got to look up and find MORE books to add to my never ending to-be-read pile! Add in the comedy that Kelley Kaye is clearly an expert at providing, and you’ve got yourself a fun time! Work your way through this book and try to solve the mystery, or just enjoy the giggles you’ll get from the wacky one liners!

For me as a reader, I couldn’t find much wrong with this book. It was short enough to binge it but long enough to feel fulfilling. It was also packed with everything I love – silly comments, epic quotes and fun characters. There’s drama, a splash of flirtiness and romance, gossip, thrills and chills. It hits all the notes I want in a sweet novel!

I would say this book is for 16+, due to some of the adult comments used in the book. That being said, if you’ve got a mature teen they will have no problem reading this book! It’s not R rated, it just has adult comments that you might not want to read to your children.

Five out of five stars! It was a fun ride that I definitely want more of! I’ll be searching for Kelley Kaye’s books on every bookshelf I can!

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

 

Check out this book on:

 

Check out the first bo on:

Goodreads – Death by Diploma

Youtube – Book Trailer – Death by Diploma

Amazon.com – Death by Diploma

Amazon.ca – Death by Diploma

Find out more about Kelley Kaye on:

Goodreads – Kelley Kaye or Goodreads – Kelley Kaye #2

YouTube – Kelley Kaye

http://www.kelleykaybowles.com/

Twitter – @KelKay1202

Facebook – Kelley Kaye

 

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

And comment below! What books do you find “cozy”?

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview A Study for Love by Ruth Miranda

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A Study for Love by Ruth Miranda is one of the best books I’ve ever read!

This novel is a mixture of murder mystery, drama, suspense, thriller and romance. Camilla and Sebastian, our main characters for this novel, are a truly intriguing pair that will resonate with you! The roller coaster of emotions these characters go through, mixed with the epic murder mystery, makes one epic story that is an absolute must read!

This book started off fast and had me hooked instantly. Normally it takes me a while to get into a book, but Ruth Miranda did an excellent job at grabbing my attention and keeping it. Sebastian, who used to be a famous photographer and has since fallen out of grace, is grieving over the loss of his wife and daughter. Camila, a disgraced woman whose life is filled with scandal, literally runs into Sebastian and suddenly their lives are entangled. Was Sebastian’s family murdered? Can the two of them ever come back into good graces?

This story is a unique spin on the murder mystery meets celebrity aspect of this genre. I really liked the pacing, the character growth and development, and the plot itself. I truly hope Ruth makes a sequel to this book, because I am in love with these characters and I need more! It leaves off in a way that makes me yearn for more, or at least have Ruth tell me what happened because it’s oh so good!

As for the ending, it’s an epic conclusion of twists and turns. I had my suspicions of what was going to occur, but it still came as quite the surprise!

I definitely recommend this book to anyone who loves an epic drama, suspense and murder mysteries, or a little splash of romance in this book. It’s definitely an adult novel, but mature teenagers could easily love this book just as much as the adults. There are some sexy scenes, but no brutal gore.

Overall, I loved it! I would give it six out of five if that was a possible score! It’s one of the best books I’ve ever read!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from the author Ruth Miranda in exchange for an honest review.

Amazon.com – A Study for Love / Amazon.ca – A Study for Love

 

Find more books by Ruth Miranda on Amazon:

Amazon.com – Ruth Miranda

 

If you read this review, use the hashtag #briarsreviews and give me a shout out on Twitter! @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Bride by Gary Corbin

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The Mountain Man’s Bride was an excellent sequel that is a definite must read!

I really like this series – it feels so simple and smooth, despite having epic plot lines. I’m able to easily get lost in Gary’s words and feel like it’s some epic crime television show playing in my head.

Gary is gradually making this couple (Lehigh and Stacy) more complex and more interesting as each book goes by. He doesn’t stick to the same old plot, and he makes one hell of a story! One of the major bonuses with this book was that Stacy got more action! I love both Lehigh and Stacy (and their dogs of course) so much as characters. They feel real and as if they could be my neighbors.

In my opinion, you could easily skip book one and jump into this novel. I wouldn’t suggest it, because this series is a real gem, but if you randomly picked this book up you’d be fine. Gary weaves in enough information to be able to read this without background.

The murder mystery in this book was intriguing, and I loved the twists and turns that came along with it. After this novel, I’m more than pumped to read the third book in this series. I would highly recommend this series to anyone who loves a good drama, mixed with some crime and a splash of romance.

I don’t have many cons about this book, to be brutally honest. I felt like the book was just long enough – there wasn’t anything that was left out and nothing felt like it didn’t belong. There were times that I wanted some of the background history of certain relationships between characters, but the book got along without them. That’s just me being picky and way to curious about how this story line came to be.

Overall, this book is A grade! It’s a must read and a recommendation from this reader and I’ll be definitely picking up the next book!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book from Gary Corbin (the author) in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out Gary Corbin:

Gary Corbin Author site: http://garycorbinwriting.com/

Blog: http://garycorbinwriting.com/category/blog/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/garycorbin1

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/garycorbin

Google+: https://plus.google.com/+GaryCorbin/posts

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/2046490-gary

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/GaryCorbin

 

Check out this book:

https://smile.amazon.com/Mountain-Mans-Bride-Book-Mysteries/dp/0997496738/

Amazon.ca – The Mountain Man’s Bride

Amazon.com – The Mountain Man’s Bride

 

If you read this review, give me a shout out on twitter using the hashtag #briarsreviews @ReviewAlholic

And comment below – what are you reading today?

#BookReview The Mountain Man’s Dog by Gary Corbin

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The Mountain Man’s Dog is a thrilling read!

This book is a fantastic mixture of action, romance, mystery and a dash of politics! We follow Lehigh (Lee) and his dog Lucky as he woos an old friend named Stacy and gets involved with the wrong people…

The fast paced momentum of this book will keep you hooked at every turn, and the even mixture of action, mystery and romance will also keep you on your toes. I like that it didn’t stay to just one “genre” throughout this book, because this style worked so well with this story. Gary makes you feel for these characters and yearn to know what will happen next.

There were some cheesier or soap opera like situations that happen, but I think it worked well enough. I kind of liked the dramatic plot points because it made the characters go through emotional changes and grow their characters, but some readers may not.

One aspect of this book that made it stand out for me was Lucky. Not many books involve animals as an actual character, which made this book step up above the rest for me. I really liked Lucky being involved and essentially being her own character! But hey, I’m an animal lover!

This is the first book in the series, but it ends on it’s own note to fulfill the story. Having a book coming to a close (and not a cliffhanger) is a real positive note for me – it only makes me want to read the next novel even more. I will definitely be picking up the next book in the series!

I would highly recommend this book – it’s fun and kept me interested. If you like mysteries, thrillers, and a story with a little bit of romance, then this book is for you!!

Five out of five stars!

I received a free copy of this book form the author in exchange for an honest review.

 

Want to purchase this book? Find it on Amazon:

Amazon.ca – The Mountain Man’s Dog

Amazon.com – The Mountain Man’s Dog

 

Check out Gary Corbin’s website: http://www.garycorbinwriting.com/

Give him a shout out on twitter! @GaryCorbin

Check Briar’s Reviews out on twitter: @ReviewAlholic

Comment below – what is your favourite thriller novel?