Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

Falling Behind Friday: You Were Always Mine by Nicole Baart @NicoleLynnBaart @AtriaBooks #BookBloggers #travelingsisterreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

A while back I started Falling Behind Friday and then I started falling behind on that. So I decided to give it another try but try to catch up on some of those reviews I have been fallen behind on writing. Today I am bringing you our reviews for You Were Always Mine by Nicole Baart . We read this one with a few members of the Traveling Sisters aways back.

Brenda’s review

A father’s tragic accident, A mother’s world shattered and her quest to find answers and put her world back together.

I have to start off by saying that I love this title. It’s such a powerful title for a story like this one and says so much for it. Every time I look at the title it sends such heartfelt shivers up my spine. You Were Always Mine is an emotional, compelling heartwarming story that explores adoption and the bonds of motherhood glued together by love.

This one is a little slow paced as it has a lot of emotional depth to it. Nicole Baart does such a great job capturing the strength, determination and love of a mother here with Jess Chamberlain. We see how secrets, grief and loss effects the family here including the children. It was refreshing to see the children being included in the storyline as well. There is a mystery here as well that ties into the story and we see Jess’s determination to find answers. The story is well-layered along with the clues and the reveal comes together well.

This one is a good choice for group reads as there is a lot to discuss here with this story. We shared some insight from personal experience in the discussion that really added to the story. There is also a good set of thought-provoking discussion question that really had me thinking more about the story. I highly recommend.

Norma’s review

Compelling, haunting & thought-provoking!

YOU WERE ALWAYS MINE by NICOLE BAART is an excellent, riveting, moving, and passionate story centered around adoption that I was immediately drawn into and had me interested right to the very end. 

Even though the intensity level of this tale slowly builds as the story progresses there is this brilliant obscure element to the storyline that immediately grabbed my attention and had me totally intrigued in what I was reading and what it all meant. This definitely brought in an extra layer of suspense to the story for me. It was quite puzzling and fit perfectly into the dynamics of this story. 

NICOLE BAART delivers an intriguing, engaging, complex and well-written multi-layered story here with absolutely wonderful character development, a suspenseful mystery, and a thoughtful and emotional storyline. 

I absolutely loved our main character here, Jessica and thought that she was an extremely well-written, realistic, believable and compassionate character. I was seeking the truth and wanting answers right along beside her.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Eye-catching, beautiful, appealing, meaningful and a significant representation to storyline that I absolutely love.
Title: The title is definitely intriguing and is a fitting, clever and excellent representation to storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, eloquent, expressive, beautiful and engaging.
Plot: Engrossing, perplexing, thought-provoking, insightful, fascinating, heartfelt, perfectly-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: Surprising, satisfying, and extremely pleasing. 
Overall: This was such a touching suspenseful family drama story about adoption, a mother’s love, family secrets, betrayal, and grief. And with the mystery to solve and Jessica’s perseverance to search for the truth turns this Women’s Fiction novel into quite the thrilling domestic thriller. All these themes made this extremely hard to put down! Would highly recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Atria Books, Nicole Baart for our copies to read and review.

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

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Stranger Diaries by Elly Griffiths #BookBloggers #travelingsisterreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Brenda’s review

Elly Griffiths is well known for her Ruth Galloway series. The Stranger Diaries  is a stand alone and my first book by Elly Griffiths. I read it in our Traveling Sisters reading group.

A gothic murder mystery with a modern twist, a whodunnit, and a ghost story.

The Stranger Diaries has a unique and interesting format to the story that we all loved. The story is told from different overlapping POVs, and timelines, passages from a book, a story within the story method and diary entries from one of the main characters.

We all were intrigued right from the start with this entertaining and fun story that takes place on the grounds of a school where a famous author R.M. Holland once lived. We loved the gothic tone and setting to the story and were drawn in the murder mystery and ghost story right from the start. There were some things here in this story that just didn’t work for me and a few of us just didn’t buy into. This lead to some discussion within the group and it was interesting to see how everyone reacted to these things.

The ending also left us with a few things to discuss.  Some of us were shocked by whodunnit and of course even though I was questioning a few things I didn’t figure out who it was.  You would think after so many thrillers my detective skills would be better. But no! The ending wrapped up quite quickly and a bit neat and we were questioning a few things about that. Leaving a few of us not buying into it and the rest not really bothered by it because of the well down gothic elements to the story. I highly recommend this one for group reads. There is plenty to talk about!

Thank you to NetGalley and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for my copy to read and review.

From DeAnn’s review

This tale gets all the points for originality and atmosphere. It has a very gothic air and feels very British to this American reader. Set in modern times, but ample references to the past with Oxford, literature, diaries, and mysterious writers. Throw in an abandoned factory, a haunted school, magic, and several murders and you’ve got a classic mystery.

All throughout the book we are teased with snippets from a classic ghost story written by R.M. Holland. Clare just happens to be an expert on this writer and is writing a book about him. When life starts to mimic the story, things take a deadly turn and Kaur frantically tries to solve the case before another murder happens.

From Mary Beth’s review

I was so surprised who the killer was and I never suspected the killer. I didn’t think the killer has a strong motive. It just wasn’t good enough. I thought the plot was great and loved everything else about this book.

I just loved the characters. I loved Clare and her teenage daughter and I loved the dog Herbert and thought he was adorable. My favorite character was Byrony Hughes. I thought her character was done so well.

From Marilyn’s review

There is an eerie feel to the book, as more and more things happen that allude to Holland and his writings, which is fun in a modern day novel. I enjoyed reading from the POV of all three characters, the snobbish, beautiful Clare, the too mature for her age, Georgia, and the hard nosed, sarcastic and witty DS Kaur. Reading the events of the story from three different perspectives often changed the who and how of the story for me and even though I briefly picked the right person for the murderer, I was led astray by new events and seeing the events from a different view point. . And then there was the short story within this novel that added to the mysterious and gothic feel of the book. 

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

Posted in Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets @BerkleyPub #BookBloggers #travelingsistersread #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

The Last Woman in the Forest by Diane Les Becquets is now available!

Brenda’s review

An adventure, a wildlife study, rescue dogs, a harsh environment and a hunt for a serial killer.

The Last Woman In The Forest takes us on an adventure through an atmospheric setting with some harsh conditions that send some chills up my back in more ways than one.   

Diane Les Becquets weaves an interesting and unique story as she takes us on an adventure with our main character Marian as she joins a wildlife research group using rescue dogs.  I really loved the addition of the dogs who track endangered wildlife. They became characters themselves. Marian meets daring yet charismatic and smart Tate and she starts to see some inconsistency in their life.  The tension and suspense increases as Marian searches for answers and we learn more about a serial killer in the area.

The story jumps around a lot between different timelines and settings and I found myself confused at times.  This took away a bit from the beautifully descriptive writing of the setting for me. I got confused at times with the different areas the timelines were in and in the end, I needed Norma to clear some things up for me.  

Diane Les Becquets does a great job creating some interesting characters and I could see them coming alive in their environment.  I could feel the connection they had to the study, their dogs and the land around them.

I enjoyed the way the story came together in the end and I pieced a few things together but was still surprised with some of the twists to this story making this one a satisfying read for me.

Norma’s review

Slow burning, descriptive & eerily entertaining!

THE LAST WOMAN IN THE FOREST  by DIANE LES BECQUETS is an interesting, enjoyable, and chilling tale that immediately grabbed my attention and held steadily throughout.  Being from Alberta, Canada & visiting Montana often I absolutely loved the outdoor & wilderness backdrop to this story.

DIANE LES BECQUETS delivers a character-driven, atmospheric, slow-moving, intriguing and well-written read here that I wouldn’t necessarily say was all that suspenseful or gripping but the vividly descriptive details, the remote setting and the animals within this story made for quite the exciting, fascinating and intriguing read.  

So we are pretty much privy to what was happening and who we should be suspicious of quite early on but the execution and the unfolding are what intrigues and grip the reader.  It definitely didn’t interfere with my reading experience or hinder my enjoyment for the story at all.

The story is told through multiple timelines and perspectives from our main character’s Marian, and a retired forensic profiler Nick.  I really enjoyed the character of Nick and felt like we were actually put right into the investigation along with himself and Marian. His insight into the motivations and behaviour of a psychopath was extremely interesting and fascinating to read.

Norma’s Stats:

Cover: Beautiful, intriguing, eye-catching, haunting, appealing, isolating and an extremely fitting representation to storyline. I absolutely love the look and feel of this novel! 
Title: Intriguing, haunting and an extremely fitting representation to storyline. Love this title! 
Writing/Prose: Engaging, beautifully and descriptively written. 
Plot: Slow-building, steadily paced, fascinating, thought-provoking and powerful. 
Ending: A predictable outcome that left me feeling totally satisfied and pleased. 
Overall: I didn’t necessarily find this a thrilling read but I did rather enjoy the mystery, atmosphere and setting making this a great reading experience and escape! Would recommend!

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing for our copies to read and review.

From DeAnn’s review

The thriller part of the novel has a really interesting character –- Nick, a retired profiler who worked on a series of missing women cases. I enjoyed reading some of the profiles created and got a different look at crime solving from that angle. Nick definitely knows the minds of psychopaths and murderers and would like to solve these cases. This one has a great suspenseful ending that I really enjoyed (once it was over and I could breathe again!) and was a fitting conclusion.

From Heidi’s review

As soon as I started reading, the author’s love for her chosen setting became obvious as I was instantly teleported into a wintry forest landscape where bears, moose and caribou roamed and humans were at the mercy of the elements. I loved the way Les Becquets brings this setting to life – this really was armchair travel of the best kind! I wasn’t surprised to learn that the author is an avid outdoors enthusiast because her descriptions were vivid and beautiful – and at times terrifying! I also loved her knowledge on how to train rescue dogs, who were involved in Marian’s research projects. Any dog lover will appreciate the little snippets of observations on dog behaviour and training that run throughout the entire storyline.

Whilst the setting immediately drew me in, the mystery part of the story did not work so well for me. I am putting this down mainly to the structure of the story, which rolls out in two separate timelines told in Marian’s POV as well as short chapters introducing each of the female murder victims and the circumstances surrounding their disappearance. Then there are the chapters from the POV of retired forensic profiler Nick, who is helping Marian with her investigations into Tate’s life. For Heidi’s full review

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

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Huntress by Kate Quinn @KateQuinnAuthor @HarperCollinsCa @WmMorrowBooks #BookBloggers #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Happy pub day to The Huntress by Kate Quinn This is one to brave the cold, the snow or whatever weather elements you are experiencing to run and buy this book as soon as possible or run to your computer to add this one to your cart.

Brenda’s review

A trio of Nazi hunters, a lethal Nazi murder, a Russian bomber pilot and a gentle and quiet family where something just doesn’t seem right.

The Huntress is a suspenseful, exciting, compelling vividly written story that explores justice with a hint of romance to warm your heart. The hunter becomes the hunted in this.

Kate Quinn does a fantastic job here weaving three storylines together and throughout the story, my favorite changed as I read each one. A trio of Nazi hunters are on a search to capture the ruthless Nazi murderer who committed unspeakable war crimes. The hunter becomes the hunted. Each hunter has their reasons and is obsessed with finding The Huntress and each have their different ways of getting their revenge.

Kate Quinn does such a great job creating some interesting and exciting characters with some of them based on real people. She vividly captures the spirit of the team of Russian bombers called the Night Witches and brings them alive for us. My favorite character became bomber Nina Markova and I couldn’t get enough of her character. She is smart, bold, dangerously courageous and ferocious making her terrifying at times in her own way.

A bit high on drama and it does take on a bit of a climatic feel to it and is a bit longer than it needs to be. This did affect the way Lindsay felt about the story and it was hard for her to connect to the characters. This affected her enjoyment of the story.

The ending comes together so well. It’s a vivid tense climatic showdown that took my breath away. I was reading it so fast I had to slow myself down to take it all in. I highly recommend.

Thank you to HarperCollins Canada, William Morrow books for my copy to read and review

From Lindsay’s review

I am the outlier with my feelings about this novel. My biggest issue was the characters and the dialogue and demeanor of the characters. It didn’t have natural ease making many situations feel forced and awkward for me. Unfortunately, my disconnect with the characters completely overshadowed any enjoyment I may have attained from learning about this time in our history. 

From Stephanie’s review

The Huntress is an engrossing and at times dark cat-and-mouse thrill ride where the writing is detailed and rich with history! The mystery, perfect amount of romance, dynamic characters, skillful character development, and masterful, yet at times harrowing plot makes for a gripping and wonderful read and if you love WWII history, then I definitely recommend you read this one! For Stephanie’s full review

From Mary Beth’s review

I loved the author’s writing style. I loved The Night Witches and the bonding of the sisters. I fell in love with the characters. They were so well developed. I thought the author brought them to life. I loved the dynamics. 

My favorite character was Nina. She was bold, reckless, daring and very brave. She feared nothing. I also loved the Rusalka. The Huntress was a monster. She was just plain evil and a mystery. She was also a coward. I loved the revenge against her. It was just so clever. I loved Jordan too. 

I just loved the ending. It was just amazing. It was gripping, nailbiting, and so suspenseful. My heart was pounding and I had to come up for air. Wow! 

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

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides @AlexMichaelides @CeladonBooks #BookBloggers #travelingsistersread #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

The Sisters are joining in on the hype for The Silent Patient by Alex Michaelides with our glowing reviews for this one. The hype more than lived up for us and we were left cheering after reading this one. If you haven’t read this one yet put everything on hold and dive right into this one!! If you have read it let us know if the hype was real for you or not. We read this one with a few of our Traveling sisters and this one is making it on some of our favorite lists.

Norma’s review

Astonishing, unputdownable and spellbinding stuff here!

Loved….loved….loved! This book is exactly what I needed……a fast-paced and fully absorbing thriller that I literally could not put down or stop thinking about. This was some fantastic storytelling!

THE SILENT PATIENT by ALEX MICHAELIDES is a dazzling, fascinating, compelling, and an absolutely fabulous psychological thriller novel that was quite the immersive and thrilling book to read. Right from the very beginning I knew that this book was going to be a gripping page-turner for me and I’m happy to say that it totally held my attention right to the very end, making this quite the compulsive and all-consuming read. 

ALEX MICHAELIDES delivers an impressive, clever, suspenseful, entertaining and well-written read here with an intriguing and refreshing premise, an intoxicating mystery and irresistible compelling characters. I thought this was an extremely well-crafted thriller where the author seductively guides you to the shocking and twisty conclusion. 

This book definitely appealed to this psychological thriller lover even though I wouldn’t necessarily say there is anything new here and you might have your suspicions early on like I did but it was all in the execution here that made this quite the fantastic and exhilarating read. I thought it was so cleverly and originally done. If an author can still make that ending shocking and thrilling to read even if you think you’ve figured out the outcome well then I’d say that is one heck of an accomplishment and perfect read! 

This was an absolutely fabulous psychological thriller that quickly made it into my favourite reads shelf making this my very first favourite of 2019!

Brenda’s review

A seemly perfect life, a murder, a wife who refuses to speak and a therapist obsessed made for a very intriguing read for us.

The Silent Patient is a clever, original and complex fast-paced character-based psychological thriller with one of the best gasp-worthy twists I have read. Paying attention to this character study might pay off with picking up some of those well-layered clues that lead to a very pleasing gasp-worthy twist. One even if you did pick up on some of those layered clues you might still find yourself shocked and left speechless. I highly recommend!

From Christina’s review

I guarantee this is going to be one of the top books of 2019 and if it’s on your list – pick it up, if it’s not – add it now. The prose, the pacing, the suspense and development into the story were all a complete slam dunk for me. This is absolutely the type of book that once you pick it up, you’re not going to be able to put it down until you’re done with it and know how it ends – and the ending, is quite the doozie. I’m thrilled by Alex Michaelides and really excited to see future works because this author knows how to get it done For Christina’s full review

From Debra’s review

This is a very clever tale which grabbed my attention right away. I was intrigued to learn what was going on. I had several theories and assumptions. Some were close and some were way off base – as in a mile off base. Of course, there is that shocking reveal – I did not see that coming – AT ALL. It really was the perfect “OMG, what did I just read?” moment followed by an “Aha!” moment. 

This book was a page turner for me. I kept turning the pages to learn how the book was going to unfold. The ending felt a little bit rushed and I wanted to just a tad bit more. Overall, a very enjoyable read even thought one character really annoyed me. 

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Intriguing, unsettling, creepy, eye-catching and an extremely fitting representation to storyline that kind of gives me the heebie-jeebies to look at. 
Title: The title of this book is an extremely fitting representation to storyline that definitely piqued my interest, totally intrigued and fascinated me. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, entertaining, compelling, engaging and convincing. I thoroughly enjoyed the writing style and it definitely spoke to me. 
Plot: Engrossing, refreshing, suspenseful, interesting, complex, fast-paced, and highly entertaining. 
Ending: A surprising and twist ending that definitely should shock and wow the reader regardless if you’ve figured it out or not. The ending was totally satisfying and did not disappoint!! 
Overall: A fantastic and riveting read that had me totally absorbed within this story right from the very start, thoroughly enjoying every minute of this debut thriller! Would recommend!

Thank you so much to NetGalley, Celadon Books and Alex Michaelides for the opportunity to read and review an advanced copy of this book.

Debut of the season? We agree? Do you? Are you adding this one to your TBR list? Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Friends Reads, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler #BookBloggers #travelingsistersread #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook @HarperCollinsCa @AuthorLizLawler

Don’t Wake Up by Liz Lawler is now available!

Don’t Wake Up takes dark and disturbing to a different level here when we learn the unsettling scenario our main character Alex has endured. So unbelievable that everyone starts to question Alex’s story, setting Alex up to be an interesting unreliable character. That dark and twisted part of me was drawn into Alex’s life and at times I questioned if maybe this one has gone a bit too far for me. Things start to slow down a bit there as Alex’s life spirals out of control and the dynamics between the characters become interesting however at times the story felt like it wasn’t moving forward as fast as I wanted it too. Norma who was ahead of me struggled a bit here too but told me to be patient and give it some time. Things started to pick up for me as we learn the truth.

Liz Lawler does a good job here leading us to those twists and turns as there were a few ways the story could of went. What at times felt like the story could be predictable took a different turn than I expected to keep me guessing right up to that satisfying ending.

Norma’s Review

Edgy, mysterious, & disturbing!

DON’T WAKE UP by LIZ LAWLER is an engaging, dark, suspenseful, and intense psychological thriller that I was immediately drawn into.  The subject matter is disturbingly nightmarish and terrifying to make this quite the intriguing, enjoyable and entertaining read.

This book immediately grabbed my attention but necessarily didn’t keep it all the way through though.  I did get a tiny bit impatient with some aspects of the storyline as it seemed to stall a little bit but it totally grabbed me again and in the end I was thoroughly impressed with the way certain things played out.

LIZ LAWLER delivers a character-driven, interesting, and well-written read here that had me feeling anxious as well as had me questioning and suspicious of almost everything that I was reading.

The only thing that bothered me a little bit while reading this one was something to do with the investigation and the actions of the authorities.  I have a reading pet-peeve when a character’s behaviour is questioned and not believed by the police. It definitely bugs me as a reader.

Thank you so much to Edelweiss, HarperCollins Canada & Liz Lawler for the opportunity to read an electronic ARC of this book.

Lindsay’s Review

Mysterious, suspenseful and chilling!

Dr. Alex Taylor wakes up under the bright lights of an operating table, groggy and confused. She is strapped down and hooked up to an IV with no sense of what happened. Assuming she had a bad accident, she asks the doctor beside her for details. The next thing she knows, she is waking up on a gurney in the hospital she works at, surrounded by her co-workers. They tell her she was found unconscious in the parking lot. What happened between those two waking moments? Alex knows she was targeted and something happened to her in that mysterious hospital operating room. She embarks on a quest to find answers and uncover the truth behind her peculiar and puzzling situation.

The first chapter starts with a bang! It pulled me right into the story, feeling the suspense and sympathizing with Alex’s situation. I applaud the author, Liz Lawler, for creating such a powerful start to this debut novel – it was unique, captivating and suspenseful. As the novel progressed, my intrigue weakened as I couldn’t fully connect to the characters and the pace slowed. There were some surprising twists in the novel which kept me on my toes, but some of the dialogue and behaviour felt unnatural and took away from my connection to the story. 

Overall, I enjoyed the book, am glad I read it and would be interested in reading more from this author. Many readers have loved this one, so be sure to check out those several raving reviews! 

Warning: there is a scene with animal abuse that I found difficult to read.

Thank you to Edelweiss and HarperCollins for providing me with an ARC to read and review!

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Suspenseful, intriguing, mysterious, dark, eye-catching and a fitting representation to storyline. 
Title: Appealing, suspenseful, disturbing, intriguing and absolutely love how the title plays so fittingly and terrifyingly into storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Well-written, engaging, and captivating. 
Plot: Harrowing, dark, tension-filled, suspenseful, gripping, fast-paced, clever, absorbing, enjoyable and entertaining. 
Ending: An unexpected and unpredictable ending that totally took me by surprise. 
Overall: I was quite delighted that the author totally took me by surprise here and I totally missed a major clue to the “who” of the “whodunit”! Loved it!!!! Would definitely recommend!

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