#BookReview Do Not Ask by Elaine Williams Crockett


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 The Wolf of Wall Street by Jordan Belfort


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 We All Fall Down by Eric Walters


This #ThrowbackThursday is from over a decade ago for me. Oh how time flies!!!

We All Fall Down by Eric Walters is a tale of struggle in a fictional version of a real event.

Warning: Spoilers below.

Eric Walters came to my elementary school (yeah, I feel old, I read this YEARS ago initially) and brought a giant amount of his books. I ended up reading quite a bit by him and I wish I could find more because I remember loving him. The worst part about this book for me (back in the day of course) was one of my bullies in school did a book review on it as well and used his book review to make fun of me for reading the book. Which basically left me with a sour taste in my mouth for this book (despite it not being this book’s fault).

But now for the real review…

This book is sad. Really sad. But when you look at the events it is based off of, it’s understandable why it’s so sad. Especially when it’s introducing a young audience to such a big event! But I think Eric did a great job with this novel. When I first read this book when I was younger I did NOT understand how big this event was. I was pretty young and didn’t understand what explosions and twin towers were (I was more focused on Power Rangers, Sailor Moon and if there was a new Disney movie coming out). Having this book and having conversations with my parents, teachers and classmates involving this situation was a BIG step for me – and I applaud this book for making it possible.

Overall, this is a unique book. I like that it brings tough events up to a younger audience and leaves room for conversations. Is it totally realistic? Absolutely not. Did it need to be? No. As a kid, I don’t think I would have been prepared for these characters to die – I couldn’t contemplate death. Having bad things happen within the realm of reality was a much better alternative.

This book isn’t just made for kids as I keep saying, but as someone who read it as an adult and as a child, I truly respect it. It’s hard to write a book about real events, have it written in a respectful and truthful way, and have it be good. Good job Eric!

Five out of five stars.

Find Eric Walters on Goodreads: Eric Walters on Goodreads

Visit his website: Eric Walters.net

Or give him a shout out on Twitter! @EricRWalters

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#BookReview Hope Has Two Daughters by Monia Mazigh


Hope Has Two Daughters by Monia Mazigh is a beautifully written historical fiction.

This novel is set in Tunisia and follows Nadia and her daughter Lila – these two women’s stories are intertwined over generations (1980s and 2010s) that will leave you feeling breathless. Riots, studying Arabic, family tensions and drama all drive this story forward by the beautiful story telling from Monia Mazigh.

This novel shows the evolving stories of the two women, and how they aren’t so different. Despite being apart of different times, the themes in their lives remain the same. This story shows you hope and survival in different times of struggle, and can be very motivational if you read it under the right context. While this book may not be a non-fiction novel, it almost feels so real with Monia’s descriptive and realistic writing.

This isn’t the best book I’ve ever read, but it was a good read. While it may not be a five star book in my eyes, seeing how much potential this author has makes the book worth it. Yes, it’s not super fast moving. And of course, there is room to grow within the story (some plot lines could have been left out, there could have been more description in certain areas) but it still makes for a great read. It’s not a book I would leave out of conversations – it is a recommended read from my end. That being said, Monia Mazigh has room to grow as an author, and I’m sure the next book will be even better than this one (no matter what she chooses to write, whether it be a continuation/similar story or a completely different one). If her next novels feel as personal and touching as this one, I’m sure they will be fantastic.

Three out of five stars.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.



Check out Monia Mazigh on Goodreads: Monia Mazigh on Goodreads

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

#BookReview Rogue Desires by Tamsen Parker, Adriana Anders, Amy Jo Cousins and more!

Rogue Desire, an anthology of incredibly sexy stories, will play with your temptations.

This anthology holds stories from Adriana Anders, Tamsen Parker, Dakota Gray, Emma Barry, Jane Lee Blair, Ainsley Booth, Amy Jo Cousins and Stacy Agder.

If you’re looking for some sensual stories to fulfill your fantasies, this is the book for you. Especially if you want some quick, easy reads instead of a super long romance novel to fill up your time – you’ve found what you’re looking for!

I wouldn’t necessarily call it just contemporary romance – some of these stories are a bit more sexy than that name hints – but this still hits all the notes of a sexy, steamy romance.

For me, as a Tamsen Parker fangirl extraordinaire (can I get a button or something pronouncing my love for Tamsen’s writing? I feel like I’m apart of the fan club by now) I really love that her writing is growing yet again. I grew to love and feel for the characters in such a small set of chapters, and melt into a puddle reading the sexiness in that story. And I probably blushed a lot – that story was really steamy…

I will applaud this anthology as a whole though. Normally anthologies all have very similar stories or similar styles of writing – this one does not. Yes they are “similar” – you know, romance and sexiness all over – but they all have different themes and plot lines. Not just ‘hey you’re sexy, let’s get together” plot lines. Also, each writer is unique and completely different than the others. It’s not just carbon copies of the same type of author over and over writing a slightly different story. So, you will most likely find at least one story in this if you like romance – or hopefully more than one!

I kind of wish I could give each individual story star ratings, but they all rate between 4 and 5. Some of the stories weren’t necessarily my cup of tea, but they were all great reads – they kept me hooked and interested, I felt invested in the characters, and I enjoyed reading the stories. It didn’t feel like work or like I was forcing myself through the stories.

Reading some other reviews, I have seen that some people think these stories are “rushed” and yes, I might agree – but you need to remember these are short stories with little wiggle room for giant character development. Many of my favourite short stories seem “rushed” to me – The Veldt – but they still worked. If given the opportunity, I would love to see all authors expand on these stories, but to me they felt like they were just “rushed” enough – not so crazy fast it’s unbelievable, but not to slow to make it an entire novel.

Another great point about this book is the new authors you will be introduced to. While I’ve seen the names of some of these authors floating around Goodreads and Twitter, I never really looked into them – and now I know I should! Being able to see some of these authors write a full length novel instead of a tiny, itty, bitty story will be delightful!! So you may find your new must-read in this series!!!

My other thought from other reviews I peeked at after reading – “political” is a word used a lot, and it does seem fitting but I, for whatever reason, don’t like that word necessarily being put with this. Sexy politics seem so off…yet the politics behind each story made each a little bit better. It’s not like your following a sexy election from beginning to end, which is what that word leads me to believe when I see it pop up. So readers beware!

Overall, five out of five stars. It was sexy and a great read!

I received an uncorrected proof from Tamsen Parker for an honest review.35654211

Quick Book Review: The Almond Tree by Michelle Cohen Corasanti


Photo via Goodreads.

I usually do not read this kind of book, but I must say it wow-ed me on so many levels. It started out to slow for my liking, but after about three chapters I was highly addicted and I wanted to know the life story of Ichmad Hamid. This book follws the life of Ichmad Hamid from when he was a child to when he begins an elderly man. You learn of the bright mind that Ichmad has and how he tries to get a better life for his family because of his gifted mind. I learned quite a bit about culture from this book, and I learned an even greater amount of knowledge on racism and hatred. This book centrals around a main concept (at least what I got as the main theme) of family. No matter what happened in this book Ichmad cared greatly about his family and always focused on that. When Ichmad went through school, he made sure to consider his family before every move. Ichmad made sure to think of his family when he started to develop farther in his love life as well.

I only had two problems with this book, and one was what was centered around Nora. She did go along well with the theme of family, but her storyline did break my heart quite a bit.

My second problem was that the book just seemed to end. I didn’t really see a resolution of any form happen, it felt as if the author ran out of words she was allowed to use and ended it. If some form of slowing down or conclusion would have happened, it could have been a much better book.

Either way, I believe it deserves 5 out of 5 stars for the beautiful message it sends.

Side note: I received this book free through Goodreads First Reads.

Quick Book Review: Guilty:A Split Moment – A Split Family by Jane Bidder


Photo via Goodreads.

** spoiler alert ** This book was an amazing take on having a family member go to prison.

This book started out very slow for me, and I did not enjoy the first quarter of the book. I found it very hard to get into, until Simon went to prison. Once Simon went to prison for texting and driving and in turn killing a woman, the book became very interesting to me and had my hanging on at every word. It gave a very interesting perspective on what happens to family relationships when one person is thrown into a prison.

I found the relationships in this book very believable, and I also found the plot line very believable as well. The conversations made sense, and along the way I had constant questions that were eventually answered.

The only way this book could have been any better was if the beginning was more catchy to hold onto my attention. It felt very slow and boring at the beginning, but it was an introduction.

I still have questions about what happened to the characters and there is a special place in my heart for them.

Four out of five stars! Due to the boring beginning.

I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.