#BookReview Zodiac Unmasked by Robert Graysmith

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Zodiac Unmasked was an interesting take on the real life incidents revolving around the Zodiac Killer.

This book could have been a LOT shorter than it is, there is almost so much content in this book I got bored (and I am OBSESSED with conspiracies and theories, I’ll sit through long books and videos any day of the week). I almost quit this book completely because it was boring me to death. I did love all the research and information within this book, but it was almost too much.

This is one of many theories of who the Zodiac Killer was, and it truly is fleshed out. It may not be 100% correct, but it was a good read if you want to look into the information surrounding this theory.

The positives within this book is the amazing content within it, but that also ties with my major negative: it’s long, repetitive and becomes quite boring due to those two factors. The theory itself is confusing and long, but that doesn’t mean the book needs to be over 500 pages of repeating the same stuff over and over and over. I did enjoy the fact that the book was in chronological order, but I also felt that it didn’t need to be. I would have loved all the hard hitting facts and awesome plot points first before all the boring, nitty, gritty details.

Overall, I’m not totally impressed with this book. It bored me to tears and I almost stopped reading it.

1 out of 5 stars.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another book you might enjoy! Book Review: Confessions of an English Psychopath by Jack Strange

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#BookReview If We Had Known by Elise Juska

 

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“If We Had Known” was a unique read that gave me chills.

With all the shootings that have been happening, well…everywhere, I was honestly surprised I hadn’t seen millions upon millions of books trying to hone in on the public interest. When I initially picked this book up, I was under the impression this book might try to do just that, but it was surprisingly and beautifully respectful.

I did enjoy this book. I think it was an interesting ride all the way along, and it kept me hooked. There were a couple chapters where it was slow and I became bored, but overall it was an addicting ride.

So, what are my pros and cons?

Pros:
1. Different POVs – There are many different point of views in this story, and one of them is NOT the shooter (believe it or not). I appreciated watching the lives of many people fold out, and not just one.

2. Story Telling – I LOVE how Elise Juska told this story. Her choice of words and pace of the novel really fit well with this topic. I wouldn’t change a thing in relation to this.

3. Intertwining Stories – When stories intertwine I get so giddy! All of these stories having effects on each other (some positive, some very negative) made the book just a little bit more exciting. I could guess some of the effects that they would have on each other, but it was still nice to see that things do effect other people.

Cons:
1. Plot Device Characters – It felt like some characters were thrown in and taken out super fast just to move the plot along. I would have liked to see Anna’s boyfriends a little bit more and see how things affected them.

2. Happily Ever After – Everything tied up so nicely at the end! I was kind of hoping to leave off on a weird note, and not a semi-happy note. Now, everybody who knows me knows I like happy/good endings, but I felt a little cheated with this one. There shouldn’t have been a really good ending, and anybody who’s been through something like this would tell you how honest that was.

Overall, I really liked this book! There are definitely some minor problems with this book, but it was a worthy read!

Four out of five stars!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Did you enjoy this book? Why not check out another by Elisa Juska?! EliseJuska.com

Check out If We Had Known on Goodreads! Goodreads – If We Had Known

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Or check out another book you might enjoy! #BookReview Life Seemed Good, But… by Richard Bell

Comment below your favorite book that you read recently!

#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

 

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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 Do Not Ask by Elaine Williams Crockett

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Do Not Ask is an excellent crime/thriller!

This book is addicting, my goodness. I love a good political, crime novel (it’s evident if you look at my book shelf or my lists on Netflix…) so getting the chance to read this book made me so excited! I’ve been more focused on romances recently that I almost forgot this genre existed!

Do Not Ask is the second book in the Warren Alexander series, but you don’t need to be caught up to understand a thing! This book was a smooth read without the background, since Elaine fills in any big holes that you need to know along the way. She also makes this book full of fast twists and turns that will keep you addicted and following every story line.

Every part of this book was fantastic – which is shocking! It’s rare to find a book that I can’t pick apart some major flaw (so kudos to Elaine!). I loved the speed of the story and I found it to be unique and thrilling. I didn’t want to put this book down! Alongside all of that goodness, I also got heavily involved with trying to guess who did what. Since there was just enough back story to get the reader going, it makes it easy to follow along and play the detective game along with the plot.

The book is also realistic, which makes it an easy read. There’s no aliens or crazy conspiracies – it’s a fiction novel that makes it feel so real. There are some aspects of this book that seem a little odd, but it’s not surprising that they exist by any means (some adult chasing after young, pretty girls might make you squeamish, but it happens).

So, the question is – where do I want to see Elaine go from here? I definitely think she’s talented and needs to keep writing! This book was excellent, and I hope she continues writing to get better. My expectations are for her to write another novel, and I hope she’s able to write it so it’s not necessary to read all of the books before it – that should help gain some more readers. And hopefully, this book goes a little more mainstream. It’s awesome! It’s so good that it could be on a shelf next to Kathy Reichs in my local book story!

Five out of five stars.

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

 

Comment below with your favourite political thriller novel!

Did you enjoy this review? Check out another review you might enjoy! #BookReview The Winter Family by Clifford Jackman

If you enjoyed this review, tweet using the hashtags #BriarsReviews and #DoNotAsk

Want to check out more by Elaine Williams Crockett? Check out her website! http://www.elainewilliamscrockett.com/

 

Purchase this book:

Amazon Canada – Do Not Ask

Amazon USA – Do Not Ask

#BookReview #OnTheBrinkofPassion by Tamsen Parker

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Round Five of the Snow and Ice Games! I’m sad to see this series go, because I never knew how much I needed a sports romance book! But, this series is worth the ride! Maybe if we’re lucky, Tamsen will make a summer Olympics version of this series for Tokyo 2020… Hey, a girl can hope!

So let’s get into the meat of this story:

This time around we are graced with Jubilee and Beckett, and they are world class figure skaters. They weren’t initially paired with each other: Jubilee was originally with her husband (who has since passed away), and Beckett had been playing around with who his perfect partner would be. Finally, they settle on each other and seem to be the perfect fit. And of course, what’s figure skating without some competition? Sabrina and Todd, two of the people Jubilee and Beckett had been paired with, are their rival competitors.

Not even 24 pages into this sexy story, and I already love the dynamic between Jubilee and Beckett. They are sassy, competitive and keep each other on their toes. I absolutely love the fact that yet again Tamsen changes the dynamic of her main characters’s relationship. And if you think that this dynamic wavers at all, it doesn’t. The snarky and sarcastic comments keep coming and have perfect comedic timing. Honestly, this pair is my favourite out of all five of the books Tamsen has written in this series.

I liked the fact that Tamsen slowly revealed what happened to Jubilee’s husband Stephen. The way she slowly weaved it into the slowly really hit me emotionally. If she would have given away what happened earlier, I don’t think the story would have worked as well.

This story is sweet, sometimes heartbreaking, and fulfills everything I wanted in the final novel of this series. It felt like a roller coaster of emotions and it hit every note it needed too.

One thing about Tamsen Parker is she knows how to keep her fan base happy – she isn’t afraid of change. I can’t say enough how proud I am to watch her grow as an author because SHE’S SO GOOD. Ugh. Her books are so frustratingly good!

So, brief summary of this book for those wondering what type of topics this novel includes – minor spoilers of the plot without spoiling specifics…be warned:
1. Sexy figure skating pair get some sexy time on (Jubilee – female lead, Beckett – male lead).
2. Jubilee’s past partner (on and off the ice) has died, and both Beck and Jubilee have had other skating partners since.
3. Jubilee and Beck start having a sexual relationship, Jubilee is but isn’t into it (but consents)
4. Jubilee and Beck’s pasts are slowly revealed, which includes some harassment
5. Past partners Todd and Sabrina should not be trusted…
6. Lots of detailed sexy time

Overall, this book is super steamy and is worth the read. If you were only going to pick one book out of this series, I’d pick this one. It’s my favourite, I love it! All the books are good, but this one just inched by the competition (I’m not sure if it’s technical points or performance points where it surpassed, if we’re using figure skating as a reference).

Five out of five stars!

I received a copy of this book from NetGalley & the author Tamsen Parker in exchange for an honest opinion. All thoughts and opinions are my own and are not influenced by other sources.

 

Did you enjoy this review? Why not check out another you might enjoy? #BookReview Fire on the Ice by Tamsen Parker

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Check out the rest of Tamsen’s library on Goodreads! Tamsen Parker on Goodreads or on her website TamsenParker.com

Do you have a favourite romance novel? Share it below in the comment section!

#BookReview The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort

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The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort was an interesting novel that left me completely disinterested.

As someone going into business, this book intrigued me. I also really want to watch the movie, but I wanted to read the book beforehand, so that helped me with picking this read. I thought this book would be over the top exciting, since that’s all I’ve heard about the movie, but alas it was not. This book was probably my most boring read of the year, and that’s not an over-exaggeration.

This book is said to be non-fiction, but Jordan Belfort’s opening lines at the beginning of the book also say he may or may not have changed the timelines, which lead me to believe it’s not 100% accurate. (But is anything 100% accurate in a memoir? You are relying on memory, which can tell some pretty epic lies…but that’s another story). Reading about all the antics within his career was definitely interesting – it’s not something I really thought about. All the drugs, alcohol, prostitutes, etc and all the craziness tied in together was definitely the basis of a really cool read. But, this book fell flat. The first “book” (it’s separated into books that have chapters in each) was fast paced and epic! I was hooked to every word I read! But Book two and onward left me feeling “meh”. It was slow paced, then it would suddenly pick up pace for two pages, and go back to boring again.

That being said, Jordan’s life is definitely worth a read – but maybe by a different author? This is Jordan’s first book, so with a little more experience and skill this book could have knocked it out of the park. Jordan definitely has talent in writing, it just needs a little more tweaking before he becomes a really great author.

As the narrator, Jordan does come off as that wealthy rich kid stereotype everyone hates. It is sometimes annoying listening to his ranting about how much money he makes, and his hot wife, and how he cheats and does drugs and will absolutely quit but never does. That felt like it was 60% of this book – the same comments being repeated in different ways. “I’ll quit…” then he doesn’t, “I’ll stop!…” then he doesn’t, and so on. There’s also no remorse for what he does. He is destroying lives, but hey, I’m rich so whatever! That’s what I got out of this book. There was no life lessons at the end, no big “Ta Da! I’ve done well!”, it’s just him being rich and all of the bad things he does in his life, and the end! His penis, erection and everything about his sex life is mentioned numerous times – and of course, according to him it’s god walking on earth. He rarely insults or looks down on himself, but will quickly do it to anybody else.

Overall, I’m sure Jordan’s life was and is interesting, but his story could have been told better. It’s almost as if he hasn’t learned anything in his life, or at least that’s how it’s portrayed. And, better yet, there’s another book in this series if you want to continue reading because HE DOESN’T FINISH HIS STORY IN THIS BOOK.

2 out of five stars.
Why? It had so much potential, and was so great in the beginning, but tumbled far down about one quarter into the book.

 

Did you enjoy this book? Check out another read you might enjoy! #BookReview So Near the Horizon by Jessica Koch

#BookReview Pop Sonnets by Erik Didriksen

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Pop Sonnets was perhaps one of the best reads in sonnets, aside from the wonderful William Shakespeare himself!

This wonderful set of poems has sonnets based on many pop culture hit songs. Each sonnet is written in the typical Shakespeare form (or English form) “a-b-a-b, c-d-c-d, e-f-e-f, g-g.” All of the sonnets flow smoothly and do not seem to be to cheesy. Also, each sonnet fully describes the song it is based upon.

I absolutely loved this book! Each sonnet gave me a chuckle as I read them. It seemed as if Shakespeare could have written them himself!

Five out of five stars! I saw nothing wrong with this wonderful book of sonnets! I loved it!

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.

 

Enjoy this review? Check out another book you might enjoy! Book Review: PAPER IN THE WIND by OLIVIA-MASON CHARLES