Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews, Traveling Sisters Reads

Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea @CharlieDonlea @KensingtonBooks #somechoosedarkness #travelingsistersread

Some Choose Darkness by Charlie Donlea is available now!

It’s no secret to just how much The Traveling Sister’s love Charlie Donlea and we have been reading his books in our groups since reading The Girl Who Was Taken. It was one of our first Traveling Sister group reads even before starting our Goodreads Group two years ago. Since then we have been introducing him to our members and everyone has become a fan for sure!

We read Some Choose Darkness with a few of our Traveling Sisters and with a few friends on Instagram and of course we all loved it. I highly recommend if you haven’t read any of his books to give this one a go. Now we all have our different favourite books and mine is Don’t Believe It. I do suggest reading The Girl Who Was Taken first because Don’t Believe It has a recurring character from The Girl Who Was Taken and it added a little more interest to the story.

Brenda’s review

Deadly secrets hiding in plain sight, a forensic reconstructionist, a cold case and the search to reconstruct the crime.

Some Choose Darkness is a gripping, suspenseful fascinating character study and compelling thriller with interesting strong characters. I loved the fierce, intelligent and determined characters of Rory and Angela. I love the dynamics created here between them that was done so differently with one from the past story line and the other character in the present.

Charlie Donlea boldly writes another entertaining, well layered story with those red herrings and carefully laid clues that only he can write and he has become a master at. We were drawn into uncovering the dark truth that connects the past to the present with some of us making those connections before others. Of course I didn’t make too many and that heart pounding ending left me once again tongue-tied after reading it and then shouting I can’t believe you did that to us again Charlie Donlea. I should of seen that coming. There are some unanswered questions that left me thinking and needing to discuss them in the group and in the end we all agree we really didn’t care. I highly recommend!

Norma’s review

Gripping, suspenseful, & fabulous characterizations!

Well the absolute perfect hook for enticing me to read this book was being invited to read her story from none other than our protagonist herself, Rory Moore in a very clever letter. It was just enough to pique my interest and get me excited to dive into this story!

SOME CHOOSE DARKNESS by CHARLIE DONLEA is an entertaining, dark, disturbing, suspenseful, and engaging psychological suspense novel that I must admit didn’t immediately grab my attention. I did have a little bit of problem with the repetitive nature of the story in the beginning, although I quickly learned its purpose though. Once I ignored that little niggling voice in my head I was able to sit back and enjoy this story and fly through those pages. 

CHARLIE DONLEA delivers a compelling, intriguing, and well-written read here with absolutely fantastic characters that totally captivated and fascinated me. The strength of this novel handsdown is the author’s fabulous characterizations. CHARLIE DONLEA definitely shines when it comes to how interesting and fleshed out his characters are. 

The story is told in alternate timelines and perspectives which I absolutely loved. There is a pivotal point in the story that happens around the halfway mark which I thought was quite the brilliant way to add tension and suspense to the storyline.

So I played at being an armchair detective and I’m not playing that game anymore as I pretty much had the whole ending figured out and it definitely ruined it for me. I really need to learn to just read the story and try not to piece things together so much. I felt the ending was a play by play of what I already had figured out. I definitely felt a little letdown and was not all that impressed with myself. LOL Although I will say I absolutely loved one aspect to the ending and so look forward to reading more about Rory Moore in the future. Hint…hint! 

Lindsay’s review

Another outstanding fast-paced, gripping thriller by Charlie Donela! I loved everything about this book!

Rory Moore is a quirky forensic reconstructionist who investigates cold murder cases. She insists on working alone and has an unexplained ability to pick up hidden details that have been overlooked by the police force, making her a valuable asset to local detectives. Rory’s father passes away, leaving her to close down his law practice. Through this process, Rory is introduced to a case that she can’t shake. A convicted murderer who has been in prison for the last forty years is set to be released on parole and her father was his attorney. While she dreads having to face the courtroom and public eye on such an infamous case, she is deeply drawn into the clients’ history and solving the many unanswered questions.

I have read and loved all of Charlie Donlea’s books and this is no exception! He has the magical writing formula that makes his novels undeniably captivating, addictively suspenseful and heart-poundingly unforgettable. He creates vivid and fascinating characters that engross and wrap you up in the story from page one. He consistently provides an absolutely fantastic read leaving me itching to read his next work!

I absolutely adored the main characters in this book! They were strong, flawed, unique females who I was fully invested in from start to finish. Donlea included characters on the autism spectrum within the story, leaving an impactful impression. I truly felt for these characters, immersed in their world, getting a serious glimpse into their minds and struggles. It was eye-opening, engrossing and heart wrenching.

Warning: the crimes involved within the plot are very dark, creepy and disturbing. Though they made me uncomfortable while reading them, it heightened the suspense and fueled my fascination to find out how things would come together in the end.

From Debra’s review

Donlea is quickly becoming my go-to writer. There are Authors who I anxiously await new books from and he is right there at the top of the list. I enjoy that his plots are plausible. There are twists, turns and reveals but all of them seem plausible. Nothing comes to far out of left field. He does his research and writes very good mystery/crime/psychological fiction. His book contains interesting characters who I feel for, root for and some I boo and hiss at. I also appreciate that his books are intelligent. He does not spoon feed his readers. True, some will figure out things around the half way mark. I figured out one thing fairly early but still didn’t now everything until around the 55% mark. Even if you figure things out or don’t, this is still a riveting tale about “the Thief” his “rush” and the women who he encountered and had in his life.

Again, I was captivated from page one. I found this story to be engrossing, well thought out, perfectly paced, exciting and intelligent. There were some suspenseful moments, but more importantly, Donlea knows how to write interesting and fully developed characters which we care about. I cared about what happened to the female characters in this book. I admired their strength and the way their minds worked. The strength in this book was not only the way in which the story was told via multiple POVs but in the characters themselves.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: I’m kind of neutral when it comes to this cover design. 
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, intriguing and absolutely loved how it played so fittingly into the storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, readable, fluent, appealing, straightforward, engaging, and captivating. 
Plot: Disturbing, dark, chilling, edgy, memorable, fascinating, suspenseful, fast-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. 
Ending: I was a little bummed in the end as I didn’t find it all that surprising or twisty. 
Overall: Rory was such a fabulous, refreshing & quirky character! I absolutely loved her and kind of wanted to join her in drinking a Dark Lord stout with her! Would recommend

Thank you so much to Kensington Books for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley

Have you read any of Charlie Donlea’s book? Have a favourite? Want to read any of his book? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Reads

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane @Mary_Beth_Keane @SimonSchusterCA

Ask Again, Yes by Mary Beth Keane is now available and I highly recommend for group reads. This was one of the best books I have read for a group read.

Brenda’s review

Ask, Again, Yes is a moving, quiet beautifully written family drama that explores love, forgiveness, friendship, tragedy and trauma that takes place over four decades.  We see neighbors whose lives are intertwined when tragedy strikes and a violent act tears them apart.

Mary Beth Keane writes with compassion and I could feel the tenderness, generosity and grace she has given her characters.  I was completely drawn into the lives of Peter and Kate who are both flawed by their childhood. I was fully invested in them over the years as they piece together their lives.

There are many things quietly written in the sentences here and secrets in the layers to the story.  At times I felt like I was observing the story and left to find those secrets for myself instead of being shown the story and allowing me to feel what the characters are feeling.  It left me so many questions as I was reading the story to pondered and so much I wanted to talk about.

The ending left me with too many questions with not enough closure with the many variables left opened for me to delve deep into the story with my own thoughts.  However that is what makes this story an excellent choice for group reads to discuss the many variables to this story and I really enjoyed discussing this one with Kim Its All About the Thrill and a few of our Traveling Sisters.  I highly recommend.

Thank you to Simon & Schuster Canada for my complimentary copy.

From Kim’s review

I can’t express how much I loved this book! It was a book that drew me in from the very first page. There has been quite a bit of hype surrounding this book and it fully deserves it. The story itself is just fascinating and unique. I have never read this author before and I absolutely loved her writing style. It flows so effortlessly that you really don’t want it to come to an end. For Kims’s full review

Posted in Reviews, Sister Read Reviews

One More Lie by Amy Lloyd @HarperCollinsCa @AmyLloydWrites @Hanover_Square

One More Lie by Amy Lloyd is available now!

Norma’s Review

Gripping, chilling, & sinister!

ONE MORE LIE by AMY LLOYD is an engaging, dark, suspenseful, and thrilling psychological suspense novel that immediately grabbed my attention and held taut right to the very last page. I was hooked right from the very first page and was racing through those pages as fast as I possibly could to see exactly who was deceiving who. The short chapters definitely helped to make this a fast-paced and quick read whilst ratcheting up the intensity level as the story progressed. 

AMY LLOYD delivers an uncomfortable, intriguing, and well-written read here with characters that totally captivated and fascinated me. The subject matter is a little bit disturbing and I wouldn’t say the characters were all that likable or relateable but they definitely got under my skin though. The voices from our two main characters, Sean and Charlotte were distinctively their own and had me feeling different emotions for each of them. AMY LLOYD handles the tough subject matter really well here and with care. 

Now I wouldn’t necessarily say that this story was all that shocking or twisty but it definitely had one heck of a thrilling and satisfying resolution in the end. 

I’d like to thank HarperCollins Canada for providing me with an advanced copy of this book.

Brenda’s review

One More Lie is a fast-paced, suspenseful engaging and chilling read.  From the very first pages, I was hooked wanting to know about the tangle of lies that lead to one more lie.  


The premise of this story is disturbing and chilling here with the thought and reality of children so young committing crimes. I was fascinated by the unhealthy and toxic relationships here between the characters at a young age and the impact it had on them after a crime was committed.  Amy Lloyd did push that uncomfortable feeling however I never felt that this story was going to go in the direction of anything more than just an entertaining thriller. The tension and suspense increased with each chapter as we become tangled in the web of deceit and lies and I was turning the pages as fast as I could to find out the truth.   The truth in end left me completely satisfied with the way it all came together.

I received my copy from the publisher on NetGalley

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Dark, creepy, suspenseful, and a fitting representation to storyline. 
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, intriguing and such a fitting representation to storyline. There was always one more lie…… 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, readable, engaging, and captivating. 
Plot: Disturbing, dark, sinister, memorable, fascinating, suspenseful, fast-paced, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. 
Ending: There isn’t too much I can say about this ending without being spoilerish but I will say that I thought it fit extremely well and was totally satisfied with how everything all played out. 
Overall: 4.5 Stars! The storytelling and the suspense of figuring out the truth from all the lies made this such an entertaining and enjoyable read. Would highly recommend!

Have you read this one? Want to read it? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin @WunderbooksPR! @DelacortePress @MelanieBen

The Traveling Sisters are discussing The Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin and highly recommend this story that is now available!

Norma and I along with a few of our Traveling Sisters have finished reading this story and we are excited to share our reviews with you. The discussion is still going on and Lindsay is finishing up. Please check back for Lindsay’s review.

Norma’s Review

Captivating, affecting, & illuminating!

MISTRESS OF THE RITZ by MELANIE BENJAMIN is an engaging, suspenseful, and hauntingly beautiful historical fiction novel that totally captures something extraordinary here as well as fully capturing my heart. I was immediately taken with this story and found myself totally mesmerized and in awe of MELANIE BENJAMIN’S ability to weave such a fantastic story that is based on real-life people and actual historical events with her own liberties of juicy fictional storytelling. 

MELANIE BENJAMIN delivers a vividly descriptive, interesting, and well-written read here with characters and a setting that totally captivated and intrigued me. I was totally taken and fascinated with both Claude and Blanche’s dynamic relationship as well as with their lives spent in the highly acclaimed Hotel Ritz in Paris. 

I was thoroughly entertained and enjoyed how this story unfolded right from the very beginning. And I was totally wrapped up in this couple’s relationship and loved the suspense of the unraveling of the secrets and lies. 

Brenda’s Review

I read Mistress of the Ritz with a few of our Traveling Sisters and we all really enjoyed this one with us having similar thoughts on it.

An extraordinary real-life American woman, a proper Frenchman and a glamorous iconic hotel.

Mistress of the Ritz explores the lives of brash and reckless real life Blanche and proud Claude Auzello The Mistress and Master of the Ritz. The story starts off slow and it’s all about the characters here. The story delves into their marriage where secrets and lies threaten their marriage along with the Hotel Ritz in Paris. The real-life people and events are the inspiration of this story and Melanie Benjamin skillfully weaves them into the story well giving her own fictional account to the story and characters. She brings vibrant life to the Ritz and what it must have been like hosting the German’s in this beloved hotel.

The second half takes off and I flew through the pages as fast as I could as we see the secrets and lies unfold. I was completing captivated by Blanche and Claude as they learn the truth about each other. My heart was warmed yet broken after reading this one.

Melanie Benjamin wraps up that ending well and brilliantly left us wanting and needing to talk to each other about it. It was nice to be able to share how that ending made me feel and see how it made my TS feel. The Mistress of the Ritz makes for a great choice for a group read and you will want to talk about it. I highly recommend.

From Debra’s review

The books begins with the couple meeting and showcases the issues in their marriage, their cultural issues and through the use of differing POV, chapters, the reader is given each character’s inner thoughts, motivations and secrets. Some have found the beginning to be slow, but I actually enjoyed the pace. I appreciated how the Author took her time introducing each character and their marital issues. I thought this was nicely done to show how they grew to keep secrets, had misconceptions about the other, lacked effective communication skills and how this affected each other throughout their marriage and especially during a time of great danger. They loved each other, but how well did they know each other? From Debra’s review on Goodreads

From Stephanie’s review

Although the book was a tad slow to start as it centered a bit on the marital problems of the Auzellos, I found by the second half that I couldn’t put the book down and was completely immersed in the story. I thought Benjamin did a great job with telling this story, especially since there is so little record about the Auzellos, but Benjamin takes what is known and turns it into an inspiring, captivating read about two people that I’d never heard of in history. The characters really came alive for me in the second half, and the novel was written as smooth as silk. Of course, the Auzellos aren’t the only main characters in the book as I think the Ritz took on a life of its own with the story sweeping and swirling in and around it. For Stephanie’s full review

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Lovely, intriguing, majestic, eye-catching and a fitting representation to storyline. 
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, intriguing and absolutely love how the title plays so fittingly into storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, beautiful, fluid, vivid, engaging, and captivating. I totally connected with and absolutely loved MELANIE BENJAMIN’S writing style. 
Plot: Haunting, memorable, fascinating, inspiring, suspenseful, perfectly-paced, original, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. I absolutely loved that this book was inspired by the real-life couple of Claude and Blanche and the setting of the Ritz. As I thoroughly enjoy books that are based on real life events and people. Knowing that just makes the story that much more appealing, memorable and fascinating to read. 
Ending: An exceptional and extremely palpable ending that warmed my heart but also left it a little broken-hearted.
Overall: 4.5 Stars! I was totally captivated by this book and totally taken with these characters and their lives and with the events that happened at the Ritz. A book that I am glad that I took my time with and savoured every single word! Loved this book so much!!!! Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to Ariel at Wunderkind PR, NetGalley, Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine / Delacorte Press, and Melanie Benjamin for the opportunity to read an electronic ARC of this book.

Have you read this one? Want to read this one? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

#travelingsistersread #BookBloggers #BookReview #askusaboutourbook #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads

Traveling Friends Group Read June Pick: Miracle Creek by Angie Kim @AngieKimWriter #travelingfriendsread

Norma, Lindsay and I are back to reading with our friends after taking a little break to catch up on ARCS. That didn’t happen and probably won’t. lol . Just too many great book published every week we don’t want to miss.

Our June pick for the month is Miracle Creek by Angie Kim and already we have a good size group signed up to read it. Start date is June 15 and the discussion will be ongoing until everyone reading has finished. We are so excited to be reading this one.

Please join us in the Traveling Friends Goodreads Group

Posted in Reviews, The Sisters Recommend, Traveling Sisters Reads

The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda @KairaRouda @HarlequinBooks @HarperCollinsCa

The Favorite Daughter by Kaira Rouda is now available and if you love a well written fascinating and unreliable character who is much more than that, this is one you do not want to miss. We won’t be forgetting Jane and she has become one of our favorite characters.

After reading Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda it’s hard to believe she could top just how fascinating Paul was. Well she nailed it here with Jane and we have to say we loved her and might just be a bit worried that we did so much!

We read The Favorite Daughter with a few members of the Traveling Sister group and we all mostly loved Jane. Jane gave us a lot to talk about and we really enjoyed our discussion.

Brenda’s Review

The compassionate perfect mother, a loving wife and an all around perfect member of the community. It’s all in the perception with Jane!

The Favorite Daughter  is such a fun and entertaining story that had me shocked by Jane’s behaviour and laughing at her as well. The story is well layered and through Jane’s POV the pieces to the mystery all come together as we see things from Jane’s delusional perception. I thought is was so brilliantly written and clever just how it all comes together.

Jane is such a fascinating entertaining character who is much more than just an unreliable character.  She has this over the top way to her that sucks you right into not only her mind but her conversations as she addresses us the readers. Jane drew us into her perception and right into the dialog. She had me wanting to join in with some of the conversations she was having with us the reader.  Now I have been known to yell at characters before but talking to them is a first. lol . I thought it was a fun and entertaining way to get to know just how Jane’s mind works. I could go on and on with just how fascinating I thought Jane was, however, you need to experience Jane on your own.  

The Favorite Daughter makes for a great book to read in a group and Jane is just so fun to talk about.  I highly recommend.

Norma’s Review

Chilling, absorbing, & oh so wickedly entertaining!

THE FAVORITE DAUGHTER by KAIRA ROUDA was such a wickedly delightful, gripping and immersive tale that totally sucked me right into this hauntingly dark psychological suspense novel. Once I started reading this one it was hard not to get totally wrapped up in Jane’s fascinating, snarky, obsessive and audacious character. Making it quite the deliciously fun, compelling and an all consuming page-turner. 

KAIRA ROUDA delivers an intriguing, unique and enthralling story here that was so irresistibly written. I absolutely loved Jane’s voice and thought she was such a fantastic character. And the execution and portrayal of Jane’s character was so darn entertaining and absolutely ingenious, allowing us to fully be in the moment with Jane and this story. Extremely impressive! 

I absolutely loved the addition of these little bits of morbid trivia that were included in the storyline in regards to the unusual and freakish ways someone can die. There was one particular way that had me and Brenda chuckling as a friend actually advised me not to do this because I could possibly really hurt myself. Do not under any circumstances put knives in the dishwasher facing upwards because you know you might trip and fall right into the dishwasher and die. Ever since she told me this story I have always and advise others to always put the cutlery in the dishwasher face down. Thanks Jane and my friend Stella for this piece of advice! 

Lindsay’s Review

Wowie – Jane is one character I will NEVER forget!

Jane and David lost their daughter, Mary, in a tragic accident one year ago.   Since then, Jane has been lost within a whirlwind of antidepressants, hiding herself at home, barely interacting with her family.   David plans a memorial service for Mary one year after her passing which marks the day that Jane decides she will move forward from her grieving.   She plans to stop medicating, focus on her youngest daughter, Betsy, and renew the spark that has been lost in her marriage. She is ready to reemerge within her wealthy community and recapture the image of the perfect family she once had.

This novel is narrated by Jane which was brilliantly executed!   Being inside her head was one shocking and unforgettable journey that I will be thinking of long after I finished this book.   I loved her snarky, confident and obsessive personality (not sure what that says about me – hah!). Her inner thoughts and dialogue had me stunned yet addicted to this tragic family story.

 There were a few details to this plot that I had figured out early on, yet it didn’t detract from my enjoyment.   For me, the true entertainment was getting inside Jane’s head and exploring her personality rather than finding out exactly what happened in the storyline.   The author, Kaira Rouda, did an outstanding job with Jane’s character. I look forward to checking out her previous book, Best Day Ever, which I have heard many wonderful things about.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Intriguing, suspenseful, appealing, attractive and an extremely fitting representation to storyline.
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, intriguing and a fitting representation to storyline.
Writing/Prose: Well-written, vivid, engaging, fascinating, irresistible, amusing, captivating, and fluid. Thoroughly enjoyed the narrative!
Plot: Intriguing, perfectly over-the-top, suspenseful, engrossing, fast-paced, enjoyable and extremely entertaining. I was totally sucked right into this storyline!
Ending: The perfect ending that left me feeling totally elated and satisfied!
Overall: 4.5 Stars! This book was absolutely fabulous and the perfect escape as it was so darn entertaining, fun and amusing to read! Oh and did I mention that it has one of the absolute best psychological characters ever. Kaira Rouda definitely has the knack for writing fabulous characters. Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Edelweiss, Goodreads Giveaway, Harlequin / Graydon House and Kaira Rouda for the opportunity to read an advanced copy of this book in. 

Have you read this one? Want to read this one? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

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