img_0841     GATHER THE DAUGHTERS by Jennie Melamed 

When the country became a wasteland, several men and their families colonized a coastal island where they built a fundamentalist society based on worshipping ancestors, controlling breeding, and restricting all knowledge of prior history of the unknown wastelands. Only the Wanderers or chosen male descendants of the original ten families are allowed to enter the still burning wastelands to scavenge for debris.

In this patriarchal dystopian society, as soon as a daughter reaches puberty or “fruition”, her sole purpose becomes breeding. Daughters do not want to give birth to daughters so they will not have to endure the incestuous abuse they themselves endured until their first bleeding. When a daughter’s children begins to have children, both parents are no longer deemed useful and are forced to drink the draught that will end their lives making room for future generations.

The story is told through the differing perspectives of four daughters: Vanessa, Amanda, Caitlyn, and Janey.

Vanessa is 13 years old and has an unquenchable thirst for knowledge about any tidbit of information beyond the suppressive colony.
Amanda is not quite 15 and is married and pregnant. She has a mother who despises her and a father who loves her too much. Her only escape was to marry and get away from her family.
Caitlyn, a rare first-generation child from the wasteland, came to the island when she was just a baby. Her father is a drunk and a her mother is a meek wallflower.
Janey, a fiery red-haired 17 year old, does everything in her power not to become a woman. She doesn’t eat much hoping to prolong her fruition and wants to seek the truth about what lies beyond the colony.

This book was so great, I read through the first half non-stop. Seeing the colony through each girls’ eyes was very interesting as the history of the wastelands and the mystery surrounding the colony was slowly revealed in bits and snatches. Not one of the girls was entirely happy and felt as if she were missing something but couldn’t identify what that missing component was. Just a deep yearning for freedom. This debut novel by Jennie Melamed was spellbinding and riveting! I rate this book 5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review.

Reviewed: February 26, 2017. Novel Publish Date: July 25, 2017.

Link to purchase: Goodreads


ONE PERFECT LIE by Lisa Scottoline

img_0840       ONE PERFECT LIE by Lisa Scottoline

One Perfect Lie by Lisa Scottoline is a literary mystery about a stranger new to the town of Central Valley, Pennsylvania, masquerading as a coach and teacher. Unbeknownst to the students, parents, and faculty, Curt Abbot, known as Chris Brennan, has a plan that will soon leave this small southern town reeling or does he?

This story is very intriguing in that the protagonist’s motives are not made clear until about halfway through the novel, which definitely kept my interest. It was also not the norm in that the protagonist was male, although there were other female characters who contributed to the plot. I don’t want to reveal any spoilers so I won’t elaborate, but who I thought the protagonist was and what I suspected was going to happen, did not, and kept me guessing until the very end. Well done! I rate this novel 4 out of 5 stars.

Thank you NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review.

Reviewed: February 18, 2017. Novel Publish Date: April 11, 2017.

Link to purchase: Goodreads



img_0842   FIGHTING ATTRACTION by Sarah Castille

The erotica novel Fighting Attraction by Sarah Castille is the 4th instalment in the Redemption series and focuses on Penny and Rampage’s story. Penny Worthington, a prim-and-proper British legal assistant, has had multiple failed relationships and can’t seem to get it right. Her growing desire for bad boy and MMA fighter Jackson Caldwell, a.k.a. Rampage, is all she can think about. Rampage, a regular Joe from Tennessee, feels he’s not good enough for proper Penny, and is hiding a dirty little secret of his own. Torn between wanting to protect her and secretly dominate her into his submissive, Rampage must decide what’s best for Penny.

As always Sarah Castille does not disappoint. Great storyline and hot love scenes! You can read this book as a stand-alone and don’t need to read the prior three to follow the story as each novel focuses on a different set of characters within the same club. I rate this novel 4.5 out of 5 on the hot scale. (I highly recommend Sinner’s Tribe Motorcycle Club, another great series by Sarah Castille if you enjoy her writing.)

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review.

Reviewed: February 12, 2017. Novel Publish Date: April 4, 2017.

Link to purchase: Goodreads


SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE by Sarah Schmidt

img_0839      SEE WHAT I HAVE DONE by Sarah Schmidt

This mystery is Sarah Schmidt’s reimagined account of the famous 1892 axe murders of Andrew and Abby Borden by Andrew’s youngest daughter, Lizzie Borden. The eldest daughter, Emma, was away at the time of the murders and returns home to find Lizzie and the grizzly scene. The only other occupants home at the time were the longtime maid, Bridget, and the girls’ uncle, John Morse, who stopped for an overnight visit.

Every chapter alternates between the perspectives of four character’s, Lizzie, Emma, Bridget, and Benjamin, offering very interesting tidbits of the family’s dysfunction, it’s many secrets, hidden hostilities, sibling rivalry, and what led up to the murders. I wasn’t very familiar with the details of this true-crime story and therefore enjoyed the many plot twists and turns immensely. Definitely add to your “want to read” list. I rate it 4.5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you NetGalley and Grove Atlantic Monthly Press for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review.

Reviewed: February 11, 2017. Novel Publish Date: August 1, 2017.

Link to purchase: Goodreads


img_0830    THE HIDDEN THREAD by Liz Trenow

In the historical fiction novel The Hidden Thread by Liz Trenow, set in 1760, Anna Butterfield’s world is turned upside down when her mother passes after a long illness and she must relocate from Suffolk to London to live with her uncle Joseph Sadler, an eminent mercer, in order to be presented to society in the hopes of finding find a suitable marriage partner so she can continue providing for her father and younger sister. Her cousin Lizzie becomes her greatest friend and confidant helping Anne to navigate in this unknown and new world.

During this time, Anne meets Henry, a French immigrant and lower class apprentice working toward his mastership whom she has an instant connection with, but is quickly discouraged from pursuing.The times are unstable as the silk wars continue to cause smugglers to become more dangerous and unpredictable. Henry becomes involved in the riots in order to protest for fair wages.

This novel was beautifully written as the author uses rich descriptive language, has developed deep characters that readers can become invested in, and a plot that will keep you interested for the most part (tedious at times) with alternating perspectives between Anna and Henry. I especially liked the tidbit of advice offered at the beginning of every chapter. If you like historical fiction, you’ll appreciate the research put into the novel about the silk trade. I rate this novel 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Thank you NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review.

Reviewed: January 31, 2017. Novel Publish Date: May 1, 2017.

Link to purchase: Goodreads