#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 The Cuckoo House by Andre Harden

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The Cuckoo House is a thrilling horror novel that will keep you on the edge of your seat.

This book has everything you’d expect out of a creepy novel – an old house, a murder in that house, creepy old man, spiders, animals going missing, old wive’s tales, sex, objects moving, silence, a frustrated wife, bones, hot summer days, more murder, and a lot of suspense.

Andre’s writing made me feel Jane’s frustration. As a reader, I couldn’t help but develop strong feelings for this woman and want her to succeed in her goal. While it seems like a simple thing to do, connect reader’s with your characters, often time it isn’t. Good job on Andre’s part for being able to draw the reader in to his characters! That’s a feat all on it’s own!

Additionally, I could feel the suspense in certain chapters. As an avid reader of thrillers and horror, I knew something bad was coming. Andre was able to keep me hooked and anxiously waiting, then would surprise me with the lack of scares or abundance of them. That’s another bonus of this novel – Andre was able to play with my emotions in a way other horror novels haven’t been able too.

The reference to The Shining (“REDRUM”) is a nice touch, especially since I just finished the book and can actually understand the reference. I won’t lie, when I read the shining I was confused at first as to why RED RUM was a problem, but when you realize that’s MURDER spelled backwards, it makes a lot more sense!

The title relating to a comment in the book was another nice touch – it’s a fantastic reference that some readers wouldn’t understand. Having the title has a metaphor for the novel is a really nice touch, in my opinion. It always impresses me when the title has something to do with the novel instead of just be randomly generated.

Now for the ending….. it’s insanity! I want another book chronicling what happens after, but at the same time it was perfectly horrifying.

Side note: The old creepy man’s name is Jasper, which personally makes me giggle. There’s a poodle that lives down the street from me named Jasper, so all I could imagine was the poodle.

This book has one con for me, but it doesn’t take much away from the story. I would have liked more description – I’m a sucker for description, and when I do my own creative writing I tend to explain a LOT. I think if there would have been just a little bit more description instead of talking (or have the communication between characters have a bit more depth in word choice), this book would hit it out of the park and be up their with the best! That being said, Andre Harden’s writing style is excellent for this genre. Just because my reading style and his writing style aren’t perfectly matched, doesn’t mean that he isn’t fantastic. I think he’s extremely talented and the more he writes, the better he’ll get (just like with every other author). And this book is off to an incredibly strong start!

The book is definitely rated R for the horror. The sex isn’t erotic, there isn’t any scenes full of excessive gore, but the horror mixed with the sex might be a little too much for some readers. So, I’ll settle on the R rating, but just barely an R rating.

Overall, this book is an intense read! It’s packed full of horror and insanity, and it’s worth every page! Short but sweet!

Four out of five stars!

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

 

About The Cuckoo House:

After the violent death of its owners, a small house sits empty and forlorn until it is bought by a young couple looking for a new start.

Jane has had a series of miscarriages and wants only to concieve and start a family. Steve, a budding author, hopes to research the deaths of the previous inhabitants and write a thriller inspired by the events.

As the hot summer stretches out, their goals collide and Steve begins to suspect that an evil presence lurks in the house, turning their dreams toward its own dark purpose.

 

Check out this book on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/36429551-the-cuckoo-house

Purchase this book on:

Amazon.com – Amazon.com – The Cuckoo House

Amazon.ca – Amazon.ca – The Cuckoo House

Find out more about Andre Harden on:

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17242642.Andre_Harden

His Website: andreharden.com

 

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

And comment below! What are you reading this week?

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview One Step Ahead by Denver Murphy

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This book  is a fascinating thriller that will leave you on the edge of your seat!

I really liked this novel, especially since it was refreshing and exciting to read. At every twist and turn I was hooked and wanted more!

One of the best parts of this novels if the changing point of views. Switching back and forth between Brandt and Johnson with her fellow officers was an excellent way to show both sides of this crime story. I really love a good crime novel that lets you see into the bad guy’s point of view and understand his motives, rather than just showing the good guys’ point of view the entire novel.

Denver’s writing style really matched my reading style with this novel. I highly recommend everyone pick this novel up as soon as possible if you love a great crime drama with a large gallon of suspense and thriller mixed in.

If anything, the character development of Brandt was the most interesting part of this book. Seeing his background, his motives and his actions. The arc of his character was so addicting, even without all of the crime drama going on around him. He is a bit of a dark character, so if you’re light-hearted this story may not be for you! But, it’s so worth the read! This wild character is one of the best characters I’ve seen in quite a while in works of fiction!

I don’t have any cons for this novel, because it truly was an epic read. It kept me interested the entire time, the plot was intriguing, the characters had depth, and you will not see the ending coming!

Overall, I highly recommend this book! It’s a must read for all crime enthusiasts!

Five out of five stars!

I received a copy of this novel from the author Denver Murphy in exchange for an honest review.

 

Check out Gamekeeper Turned Poacher:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com

Amazon.ca

 

Find out more about Denver Murphy:

http://www.denvermurphy.com/

Give us both a shout out on Twitter! @DenverAuthor & @ReviewAlholic

 

Photo from Goodreads.

#BookReview Intricate Intentions by Jennifer Rayes

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This addicting series will keep you hooked with it’s fast paced suspense and drama!

If I’m being honest, I’m really into this series right now, way more than I expected! It has the perfect mix of drama, suspense and romance (well, this book lacked on the romance end – but I’m sure more will come).

If I’m comparing it to other works, it feels like 25% Game of Thrones (for some of it’s more violent content), 25% Reign (drama and royalty) and 50% soap opera. This book specifically started out with a big bang (much like Game of Thrones with it’s final episodes of their seasons) and continues the action through out. I didn’t feel bored anywhere in this book, and it’s hard to keep my attention!

My cons of the novel are as followed:
1. Cliffhangers – I have a strong hatred for cliffhangers, especially since we don’t know when the next book is coming out. I like a book being able to stand alone at the end and be it’s own entity, so the cliffhanger is more of a personal annoyance than a “con”, but it fits here.

2. Not enough Raoul – This time around there was lots of Dominique, but Raoul didn’t get enough “screen time”. I’d love to see both boys grow in their character arcs in further novels. Additionally, Raoul was just… odd. I’ll stick with odd so I don’t spoil anything. Hopefully, he’ll grow in the next book.

3. Carlos – I just wasn’t digging him at all. His story works within the overall plot, but I’d rather of had more Dominique and Raoul time. Again, personal annoyance.

4. “Second Book Curse” – The second book curse of most series seems to be the the second book is a little more boring than the first. It’s a stepping stone to the next book, so I REALLY hope we get another one that picks the series up. I loved this book, but I’m scared it will have the “Second Book Curse” where we never see the third book in the series because people didn’t love the second one as much…

My pros:
1. Fast Paced – Constant movement of the plot, mixed with action and dramatic scenes.

2. Fantasy – This book seems to be picking up some more fantastical plot lines, and it fits. I like how it’s expanding instead of staying the same old, same old.

3. Lovable Characters – I still love these characters – Gaia, Emily, Dominique, Raoul – and the newer characters being introduced are becoming just as lovable. They do have their flaws, but that’s kind of why I like them. I hate perfect Mary Sues or plain Janes, so having these characters be flawed and unique is a nice change.

4. Change in Plot – This might be a con for some readers, but the plot has moved from Human Trafficking over to a virus. I would like to see both plot lines continued in some form, but I can settle with a change like this. It makes the books move smoother and cover more topics.

Overall, I like this series! I want it to continue and I want more! Jennifer Rayes is a great author and the more she writes, the better it will get. I’m hoping more people read this series so Jennifer Rayes can continue writing it. The books are good and I’d love to see a “House of Night” treatment with this series where it gets more books to cover more content with all of it’s characters.

Five out of five stars.

I received a free copy of this book form Jennifer Rayes in exchange of an honest review.

 

Check this book out on:

Intricate Intentions (#2) on Amazon.com

Intricate Intentions (#2) on Amazon.ca

 

Check out the first book in the series on:

Intricate Deceptions (#1) on Amazon.com

Intricate Deceptions (#1) on Amazon.ca

 

Find Jennifer Rayes on her website or Goodreads:

http://jenniferrayes.wix.com/intricateseries

https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7410834.Jennifer_Rayes

 

Comment below if you’re read anything by Jennifer Rayes! And give me a shout-out on Twitter if you read this review! @ReviewAlholic

#BookReview Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay

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One Word: Wow!

Twisted Reasons by Geza Tatrallyay was an epic, suspenseful thriller that kept me hooked at every turn!

This thriller novel follows an international story revolving around stolen uranium – trailing across Russia, Vienna, Georgia, and other beautiful landscapes. While I don’t know much about those areas or the atomic bombs, I found Geza’s retellings to be enough to get me really hooked to the story. Mix in Geza’s skill of weaving a beautiful story, epic character arcs and the suspenseful twists and turns and you’ve got one awesome novel!

DISCLAIMER: There were some R rated scenes in this novel (both sexual and horrific in nature), so if you are not comfortable with brutal topics, this book might not be for you.

My pros: The chapters are short (which makes it great for little caffeine breaks for this reviewer!), relatable characters who grow over the novel, epic twists and turns (some I saw coming, but I’ve watched too many soap operas), incredible descriptions (landscapes, history, etc), and the story comes to a “close”. There is a sequel, but I like when a book can be it’s own entity and have an ending.

My cons: The cover is boring. I am the type of person who will pick up a book because the cover looks cool (yeah, I know, don’t judge a book by it’s cover but some covers are just SO awesome), so I might have skipped over this book. Luckily, I didn’t, because this book is a real gem and a must read for those who love suspense and thrills!

Overall, this book was intense and awesome. I really enjoyed it and I want to read more! I liked it more than most famous/popular thriller novels are out there. It felt more real and not “typical”. While it does have a “typical” story line – thriller, suspense, mystery, politics, war – it felt unique by the way Geza wrote it. He knows his material, he is clearly a very talented writer, and he makes characters we get invested in. Most stories follow the same old, same old path with the same story arc – Geza made this feel different, and I really enjoyed it. That being said, I will definitely be picking up the sequel!

Five out of five stars!!

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

 

Check out more books by Geza on his website: www.gezatatrallyay.com

Check out this book (Twisted Reasons) the first in the series on Amazon:

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.com

Twisted Reasons (#1) on Amazon.ca

Check out the sequel (Twisted Traffick) on Amazon:

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.com

Twisted Traffick (#2) on Amazon.ca

Stay tuned for the third book in the series, coming June 2018!!!

Give Geza and myself a shout-out on Twitter if you read this review! @GezaTatrallyay & Briar’s Reviews – @ReviewAlholic