Category: Book Review

Review – The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchison

The Butterfly Garden by Dot Hutchinson

Near an isolated mansion lies a beautiful garden.

In this garden grow luscious flowers, shady trees…and a collection of precious “butterflies”—young women who have been kidnapped and intricately tattooed to resemble their namesakes. Overseeing it all is the Gardener, a brutal, twisted man obsessed with capturing and preserving his lovely specimens.

When the garden is discovered, a survivor is brought in for questioning. FBI agents Victor Hanoverian and Brandon Eddison are tasked with piecing together one of the most stomach-churning cases of their careers. But the girl, known only as Maya, proves to be a puzzle herself.

As her story twists and turns, slowly shedding light on life in the Butterfly Garden, Maya reveals old grudges, new saviors, and horrific tales of a man who’d go to any length to hold beauty captive. But the more she shares, the more the agents have to wonder what she’s still hiding…

This week I listened to the audiobook of THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN by Dot Hutchinson. I will say up front, this book contains many triggers – and is likely not for everyone because of that. But as someone who is interested in true crime, crime thrillers, and books about serial killers – I found this book fascinating and disturbing.

We get a look inside The Butterfly Garden, a garden crafted by a serial killer called The Gardener to house his butterflies. The Gardener kidnaps beautiful women, tattoos them with butterfly wings, and hold them hostage in his garden. In his own twisted way, he thinks that he’s taking care of these women and saving them. There are so many horrors waiting in the garden, I found myself incredibly nervous for the characters at every turn.

The characters themselves are beautifully written – there are so many – but I didn’t find the number of characters to be overwhelming or burdensome while listening, every one was so distinct that I could easily tell them apart. I loved the main character, Maya, who is all hard edges. I connected with her right away, she’s complicated, unreliable, and multifaceted.

Inside the garden you uncover the horrors that have been occurring for over 30 years – I can’t say more without giving away any more of the book. This book is beautifully written and a hell of a ride.

The narrators for the audiobook Lauren Ezzo and Mel Foster did an incredible job. I can’t wait to listen to the next book.

You can find out more about this book here – or you can listen to it for FREE on audible by using my link!

Note: This page contains affiliate links.

Review – The Good Twin by Marti Green

This week I listened to the audiobook of THE GOOD TWIN by Marti Green. Thomas and Mercer (Amazon Publishing) was kind enough to send me a copy to review, but receiving this copy did not in any way influence my opinion. My opinions are my own.

In Marti Green’s twisting novel of psychological suspense, twin sisters become engaged in a dangerous deception…

Mallory Holcolm is an unfulfilled waitress and aspiring artist living in a Queens boardinghouse when she learns something astonishing about her past: she has an identical twin sister named Charly she never knew existed.

Charly is a Princeton graduate, a respected gallery owner, and an heiress married to her handsome college sweetheart, Ben. Charly got everything she ever wanted. Everything Mallory wanted, too. And now it might be easier than Mallory ever imagined. Because Ben has reasons of his own for wanting to help her.

It begins with his startling proposal. All Mallory has to do is say yes.

But as their devious plan falls into place, piece by piece, Mallory learns more about her sister and herself than she ever meant to—a discovery that comes with an unexpected twist. A chilling deception is about to become a dangerous double cross. And it’s going to change the rules of Ben and Mallory’s game to the very end.

I was sold on this book after reading the blurb. I’m a huge fan of psychological suspense/thrillers. Let me start out by saying — this book nailed it at every turn.

The sisters were so complicated, different — yet similar, and I was drawn to both of them. Each sister had a dark side in their own way, which I absolutely loved. Their dynamic was so interesting and a fresh take on twins. Though I’ve read a few books about twins, none have been anything like THE GOOD TWIN.

The point of views in this book were all unique and drew me in in their own ways. Marti does a great job of letting you in on what the characters are thinking and really laying out their motivations — and you may find yourself cheering while they’re doing horrible things.

Once the action really got going in this book — I didn’t want to stop listening. There were several twists I did not see coming at all! The narrator, Dara Rosenberg, did a fantastic job reading the book.

If you’re looking for a wonderful psychological suspense with hints of GONE GIRL, you’ll absolutely love this book!

You can find this book (and places to buy it) on Goodreads OR — you can use my audible link to listen to this book FOR FREE (plus you’ll get an extra code to listen to a second audiobook FOR FREE)!

 

 

 

Note: This page contains affiliate links.

Review – Children of Blood and Bone by Tomi Adeyemi

First of all, go buy this book right now. You don’t even need this review, just do it.

BUT — if you really want the review, here’s the deal y’all. Someone get me a bag of gushers because I’m about to gush about how AMAZING THIS BOOK IS.

I listened to Children of Blood and Bone on Audible, and I didn’t want to stop listening to this story for even a second. The narrator, Bahni Turpin, did a fantastic job. There was so much to this story, magic, romance, friendship, war, loss, heartbreak. There were layers upon layers, and the author, Tomi Adeyemi, managed to weave it all perfectly so I never felt I lost a single thread during this book.

When I began listening, I was a little taken aback by all the Gods, the magic users, and how the system all fit together. I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to keep track of them all or keep all the information straight in my mind, but that didn’t end up being a problem at all. The magical elements and the worldbuilding were perfect to keep you grounded in the story, but did not dump too much information on the reader at any time.

The friendships and relationships in this book are beautiful, heart-warming, and at times, heart-breaking. The characters in this book were so engaging, so real, so well defined. And I loved how the arcs of each character were interwoven.

Want to read this book? You can find it here on goodreads!

Review – My Highland Spy by Victoria Roberts

Review – My Highland Spy by Victoria Roberts

I LOVED this book. I picked it up just because I couldn’t resist the title of Kill or be Kilt. And I’m SO glad I stumbled upon this series. There was an excellent balance of outside action + romance. The romance was incredibly believable and flowed very naturally throughout the whole book. I liked the way the history was woven into the plot.

Throughout the book there were twists I didn’t expect, moments I was screaming to myself LOVE HIM ALREADY, and I genuinely cared about what happened to Ravenna, Ruairi, and the rest of the Sutherland clan. And I absolutely loved how fiery Ravenna and Grace both were.

I listened to this book on Audible, via the awesome Romance package, and I have to say I loved the narration of this book as well as the story.

I can’t wait to read the rest of the series!

You can buy this book on Amazon here — or Listen to it on Audible like I did here (my link will give you two free credits if you’re new to Audible!).

 

 

note: This post contains affiliate links

Books I’ve been enjoying

Last year, my family and I moved. We’ve got a lovely house now, we’re finally settled — but one of the unfortunate side effects of the move is my commute. It nearly doubled. Most days, I find myself in the car for 45 minutes to an hour and a half each way. And I have to say, the only thing that’s really saved my sanity is audio books. I figured I’d share a few of the audio books I’ve listened to recently that I really enjoyed!

American Gods by Neil Gaiman

I absolutely loved this audiobook. I had no idea what I was getting into when I started it, I wanted no spoilers, I didn’t want to know a single thing about the book — so I just dove in. In the beginning, I’d simply wanted to listen to American Gods because I’d planned to watch the TV show. I did not plan to be completely consumed by the story, the characters, and the full cast in the audiobook. The world and the characters are so rich, the writing beautiful. I loved everything about it.

The Shades of Magic Series – by V.E. Schwab
A Darker Shade of Magic, A Gathering of Shadows, A Conjuring of Light

When A DARKER SHADE OF MAGIC came out three years ago, I tried to purchase a copy then. Alas, it was sold out. Then it slipped off my radar until I bought an ebook of it, but it got lost in my TBR pile. But finally, the audio book made its way into my life, and I cannot express how thankful I am to have read this series. These books made me love the characters, broke my heart (several times), and left me DYING when I had to pause them. I want to steal Kell’s coat, go on a ship with Lila, and give Rhy a long, much-needed hug. This was a world I was so sad to leave. There are not enough good things I can say about this series, other than, if this is not in your life already — fix it, and fix it now.

If you want to listen to any of these books (and I suggest you do) you can use my affiliate link to get two free books from audible!

 

Note: This post contains affiliate links

Book Review – Blackbird Summer by Em Shotwell

It’s been a few months since I read Em Shotwell’s Blackbird Summer — and this book has stuck with me. I’ve been trying to find time to write this review (so sorry it’s taken so long). I heard about this book from my amazing critique partner, Elesha Teskey, but my TBR pile has been MILES deep for a while. I finally was able to carve out some time to read this book — and let me tell you — I am SO HAPPY I did.

Blackbird Summer is — well — Small town meets xmen. That’s what hooked me about it. I LOVE books about small towns (that’s actually what I’m writing right now, yay!)

So now to the nitty gritty. It’s rare — really rare — that a book makes me emotional. I think the last time a book made me cry was when Sirius died. But this book got me. There are so many emotional twists and turns, but in the best possible way.

Blackbird Summer focuses on a family of outcasts in a small rural town in Mississippi. (Who doesn’t love a good family of outcasts, right?)  I immediately got a sense of this family, and grew to love them. The way Em wrote this book, you feel like you’re folded into this family, it becomes a part of you. I knew these characters, I could see my own family in them, and though it’s a large family in the book — all of the characters were so distinct, I had no problem telling them apart.

The main character, Tallulah doesn’t want to follow the path her family has laid out for her — namely, working at a produce stand and having more gifted babies from an arranged marriage. Tallulah meets an outsider, and the ‘shipping gets real. A tragic loss shakes the family, and brings the tension between the family and the town to a head.

There’s a great balance of romance and action that pulls you through the book. I didn’t want to put it down (but you know, life). If you’re looking for characters you’re going to love ‘shipping, this book is for you. I NEEDED these characters to be together like I needed air. There’s a good balance of tension, romance, and suspense — the only thing I really wanted was a bit more heat.

When I finished this book, I was so sad that I had to leave these characters. I can’t wait for a sequel — or literally anything else I can get my hands on that’s in this world.

If you love small towns, romance, and mystery sprinkled with a little bit of magical realism then what are you waiting for? BUY THIS BOOK.

Book Review – Embracing the Rain by Amy Bledsoe

Embracing-The-Rain-By-Amy-Bledsoe Let me start by saying, I absolutely loved this book. It took me on an emotional journey, and left me needing to recover. Embracing the Rain is a wonderful romance with a hint of suspense that holds you captive until the last page.

Author, Amy Bledsoe, had the rare ability to make me care about every-single-one of her characters, even the animals! The depth of the characters, their back stories, their quirks, and more importantly flaws — it all added up to very real characters that were well-rounded. Realistic ups-and-downs in the relationships kept me eager to find out what happened next. The romance, and romantic tension were not only believable, but palpable.

This book is based in a small town in Oklahoma, and centers around two characters who both have dark pasts, and secrets that they want to keep hidden. As the characters fell in love, I found myself rooting for them, and wanting to know how the rest of their lives unfolded. If you’re looking for a great romance that’s an easy read, with a bit of suspense, be sure to pick up Embracing the Rain by Amy Bledsoe.

Find Embracing the Rain on Goodreads.

Find Embracing the Rain on Amazon.