Tag: #NetGalley

“Home for Erring and Outcast Girls” by Julie Kibler

“Home for Erring and Outcast Girls” by Julie Kibler

Blurb:

In turn-of-the-20th century Texas, the Berachah Home for the Redemption and Protection of Erring Girls is an unprecedented beacon of hope for young women consigned to the dangerous poverty of the streets by birth, circumstance, or personal tragedy. Built in 1903 on the dusty outskirts of Arlington, a remote dot between Dallas and Fort Worth’s red-light districts, the progressive home bucks public opinion by offering faith, training, and rehabilitation to prostitutes, addicts, unwed mothers, and “ruined” girls without forcibly separating mothers from children. When Lizzie Bates and Mattie McBride meet there—one sick and abused, but desperately clinging to her young daughter, the other jilted by the beau who fathered her ailing son—they form a friendship that will see them through unbearable loss, heartbreak, difficult choices, and ultimately, diverging paths.

A century later, Cate Sutton, a reclusive university librarian, uncovers the hidden histories of the two troubled women as she stumbles upon the cemetery on the home’s former grounds and begins to comb through its archives in her library. Pulled by an indescribable connection, what Cate discovers about their stories leads her to confront her own heartbreaking past, and to reclaim the life she thought she’d let go forever. With great pathos and powerful emotional resonance, Home for Erring and Outcast Girls explores the dark roads that lead us to ruin, and the paths we take to return to ourselves.

My Thoughts:

This is a very moving story and beautifully written. The narrative moves back and forth between Cate in the present, and Lizzie and Mattie in the early 1900’s. Mattie and Lizzie immediately appealed to me as characters. As the story opens, both are in desperate situations with no resources to draw on. Cate took me a little more time to warm up to because she has closed herself off from people so completely. In the end, I think I enjoyed her part of the story the most because of the depth of the transformation her research leads her to. Having lived a stone’s throw from Arlington, TX, where the Berachah home was located, I was very drawn to the historical aspect of the story. In the historical records there is mention of a Lizzie and a Mattie and the author has incorporated what is actually known about their lives into the this fictional account. I loved everything about this book, the setting, the characters, the historical setting and recommend it to anybody who wants a good story.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

Advertisements
The Beauty Geek’s Guide to Skin Care by Deborah Burnes

The Beauty Geek’s Guide to Skin Care by Deborah Burnes

Blurb:

When it comes to finding the perfect formula for dewy and healthy skin, knowledge is power. That’s why skin care guru Deborah Burnes shares everything you need to know about essential ingredients in this book—so that you can give your skin exactly what it needs to glow.

Whether you’re making products for your own use or trying to figure out which brands work best for you, The Beauty Geek’s Guide to Skin Care has all the latest insider info on 1,000 of the beauty industry’s most commonly used ingredients. Plus, you’ll learn the best practices and lifestyle habits to make healthy skin an everyday reality.

The Beauty Geek’s Guide to Skin Care features:

1,000 Ingredient Profiles—Learn the origin, uses, and benefits of the most popular natural and chemical ingredients.Skin Care 101—Get the lowdown on basic beauty practices and lifestyle hacks for best skin.DIY Beauty Recipes—Make your own cleansers, toners, masks, scrubs, and more with these easy-to-follow recipes for your very own signature products.

Knowledge is powerful and beautiful—especially when it comes to your skin. Get in the know with The Beauty Geek’s Guide to Skin Care.

My Thoughts:

If you are at all concerned about the ingredients in your skin care products, then this book will be a great resource for you. The definitions section of the book is packed with potential ingredients and explains what they are, what they do, and whether or not they are harmful and helpful. It’s a dictionary of skin care. In addition, the author goes through the steps of a good skin care routine and an explanation of why skin care is so important not just for surface appearances but for your overall health. While I haven’t tried the recipes they look like they would be straightforward and easy to replicate with the right ingredients. I think this is a book I will keep going back to whenever I come across and ingredient I’m not familiar with.

Alinefromabook’s rating:

Glowing StarGlowing StarGlowing StarGlowing Star

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

 

“The Liar’s Child” by Carla Buckley

“The Liar’s Child” by Carla Buckley

Sara Lennox has left her past behind and relocated to the Paradise apartments on North Carolina’s Outer Banks. She quickly finds herself having random encounters with the kids who live next door and their father. As a hurricane approaches, Sara realizes the kids are alone, their father can’t be found, and she has to get herself and the kids off the island. Now what?

This is not a mystery in the traditional sense, but it is a thriller that centers around a family drama that the reader won’t fully understand until the end. I found the story to be more and more captivating as I got further and further into it. None of the characters are candidates for sainthood and the lot of them could keep a whole office full of therapists busy for months, but I still found them engaging and felt compelled to find out what had happened to them. One of my favorite parts was the driving in the hurricane. The descriptions were so vivid that reading it was like being in the car with them. I was just completely engrossed in this story from beginning to end and I think everybody else should read it too!

Alinefromabook’s rating:  5-star-rating 5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine for providing a review copy.

 

“The Belting Inheritance” by Julian Symons

“The Belting Inheritance” by Julian Symons

Lady Wainwright rules over Belting Manor with an iron hand. Her elder sons Hugh & David have both been killed in the war and she’s left with her two younger sons, who she finds to be perpetually disappointing. Also in the household is her orphaned nephew, who is now 19 and has just returned from college on a break. Lady Wainwright’s health is starting to fail and the brothers are hanging around out of habit and a desire to not be written out of the will. But then a stranger shows up claiming to be David, returned from years in a Russian prison camp. Everybody is skeptical except Lady Wainwright. Hugh sends his nephew to London to find people that knew David and will be able to expose him as an imposter. When the mystery is finally solved you will be surprised.

My work for this book is charming. The story is told by the nephew as narrator and he is delightful. The story is carefully crafted to move at a fully engaging pace with fascinating people and conversations. The number of family secrets seems limitless and there is more than one skeleton hidden in the closets of Belting Manor. I was quite frankly, surprised by how much I enjoyed story. A great example of a British crime story and I highly recommend it.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon   |   Goodreads

“One Man’s Meat” by Colin Watson

“One Man’s Meat” by Colin Watson

A young man has fallen out of a carnival ride to his death in the city of Flaxborough. DI Purbright and Sgt. Love are charged with the investigation. While busy with this, the wife of the local dog food manufacturer’s manager goes missing. But her husband thinks she just setting him up to look bad during the divorce proceedings. And then, Miss Teatime is asked for assistance by an old friend who’s in a bit of a muddle with a job he was hired to do by the dog food people and know wants to get out of. When Miss Teatime discovers that dogs have been disappearing from the local shelter you have to wonder what’s to become of Flaxborough. Will Purbright and Love be able to untangle all these knots? You’ll have to get yourself a copy of the book and find out.

You all know how much I have been enjoying this series and this one is no exception. I found this story a little bit different in that much of the story is told from the perspective of those perpetrating the crimes, rather than all from the investigator’s standpoint. The story starts with the riders in the carnival ride shortly before the fall and left me feeling a little off balance right from the start. The drama increase from there and the kidnapping plot gets underway. In the end, Purbright brings the investigation to a mostly satisfying conclusion and Flaxborough returns to its quirky self once again. I thoroughly enjoyed this one!

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

“No Cure for the Dead” by Christine Trent

“No Cure for the Dead” by Christine Trent

We all know Florence Nightingale and her contributions to the nursing profession, but was she also a detective? In “No Cure for the Dead”, Christine Trent presents Florence as just that. She has recently been appointed as director of a hospital for women in London. One week into her new job she finds one of her nurses hanging from the ceiling in the hospital’s library. The board of directors start to think that hiring her was a mistake, the police seem to think it’s a case of suicide, but when more strange things start to happen in the hospital Florence is convinced there is more to this story. With the help of her companion she begins an investigation of her own. Will she be able to uncover the culprit before more people are hurt?

This one really surprised me with its suspense and charm. “No Cure for the Dead” is the first in a new series from the author and I’d say it’s off to a great start. I really loved the Florence character that the author created and the personality felt true to life. I could see Florence Nightingale doing this investigation. In addition, there is a whole host of other fun characters from the daft old lady patient to the young boy who does odd jobs for the hospital, they were all believable and fit in with the story and the setting. The investigation has a lot of unexpected twists which makes it a very engaging mystery. I found that the author’s descriptions of London at the time really drew me into the story. Basically, I loved this story and can’t wait for the next installment in the series.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Crooked Staircase” by Dean Koontz

“The Crooked Staircase” by Dean Koontz

A Jane Hawk Novel #3

Looking for non-stop action? Look no further. Reading a Jane Hawk book is like riding a roller-coaster, in a good way. Jane is still hot on the trail of the conspirators who are taking over people’s minds. As she gets closer, the danger begins to spread to those closest to her. But Jane has a way to turn the tables. Armed with the mind control device, Jane uses one of their own against the conspirators and unravels some of their darkest secrets. Meanwhile, those being controlled continue to wreak havoc, and Jane’s son is hidden from view. Can Jane bring these people down, or will they get to her and her loved ones first?

This continues to be a compelling series that feels like it’s all too real. Jane is like a one-man army as she continues to undermine the organization while staying just under their radar. We get to know her son a little more in this book and he is a great kid. As usual, there is a cast of side characters, good and bad, who make Jane’s work possible. I especially enjoyed the Shukla twins in this one. I continue to be surprised by the complexity of the plot in these books. Dean Koontz is a best-selling author for good reason. His stories are carefully crafted and his characters are well-developed and believable. I am a huge fan of this series and can’t wait for book 4 later this year.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 5-star-rating  5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“A Gentleman’s Murder” by Christopher Huang

“A Gentleman’s Murder” by Christopher Huang

London, the 1920’s. The first World War is over but the after-effects are still being felt. Especially among the men who survived, many of whom are now members of the Britannia Club. Eric Peterkin is one of these men. The men of his family have been members since the club originated and they have all been highly respected by their peers. Eric has just recently been admitted and is still adjusting to civilian life after serving in Flanders during the war. One evening another new member makes a wager with one of the board members that the club’s vault cannot be broken into. Unfortunately for him, he will end up dead by morning on the floor of that same vault. Eric can’t help but notice some suspicious things going on with the investigation and decides to look into the matter himself. This may turn out to be more dangerous than war.

This story has a very clever plot line that definitely makes the reader work to figure out who the culprit is. The story also really captures the time period of the mid-1920’s. Eric Peterkin is a very likable character, young and handsome. His sister Penny, though, was my favorite. She is a secondary character but I found her absolutely delightful. There are a whole host of former military men involved in this mystery and each has a unique personality and story which adds depth to the story. The only thing I didn’t like about this book is the periodic flashbacks to the war. I found the descriptions to be disturbing, though they did add to my understanding of the story and the characters. So, if you are sensitive about such topics you might not enjoy this book. However, if you enjoy historical mysteries I think this is a good one for you.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  4-star-rating 4 stars!!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website

“The Naked Nuns” by Colin Watson

“The Naked Nuns” by Colin Watson

Are there really nuns running around naked in Flaxborough? Suspicious, coded letters have been received by the police which point to a murder soon to be committed in Flaxborough. Word comes down to Inspector Purbright and he begins the thankless search for who the victim is to be. Meanwhile, a local businessman receives a threatening letter. He is offered protection but doesn’t seem to take the situation very seriously. Then there’s the suspicious character who turns up at Miss Teatime’s. A friend of a friend he claims to be, but when his dark past comes to light he is suspect #1. When it all comes to a head, all the answers will be revealed.

This is book 8 in the Flaxborough Mysteries series. I think this is my least favorite story so far. While the writing is classic Colin Watson, I found the story overall to be kind of messy and it felt like it could have been structured a little better. That being said, all my favorite characters are back: Inspector Purbright, Seargeant Love, Miss Teatime and Chief Constable Chubb. The secondary characters didn’t seem as compelling as in some of the other books. Overall, I found this one a little disappointing.

Alinefromabook’s rating:  3-5-star-rating 3.5 stars!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads

“Gods of Howl Mountain” by Taylor Brown

“Gods of Howl Mountain” by Taylor Brown

Rory has returned from the Korean war having lost one leg while there. He’s living with his grandmother on Howl Mountain. Rory’s history is troubled. He was born to an unwed mother while she was in a psychiatric facility, a facility she continues to live in. His grandmother raised me on the mountain, making a living for them by providing traditional remedies to the community. Rory is making money by running whiskey for family friend Eustace. Then Rory has a run-in with the Muldoons, who threaten his life, the county sheriff, who threatens his liberty, and the beautiful Christine, who turns his heart upside down.

This is a beautifully crafted story of life in the mountains of North Carolina. The author carefully reveals to us the challenges that Rory faces as he tries to build a life for himself and deal with the scars, physical and emotional, left him by the war. The descriptions in this story are rich and full of color, and they really draw you into the environment of Howl Mountain. The characters are each unique and complex, hiding a variety of secrets and revealing very little. The story reveals how government actions in the mountains have affected the lives and spirits of the people who live there, and how sometimes the mountain is more menacing than beautiful. This is a story of survival and a story of hope.

Alinefromabook’s rating: 4-5-star-rating  4.5 stars!!

Happy Reading!

Links:   Amazon US   |   Amazon UK   |   Goodreads   |   Author’s website