Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott @elliott_lexie @BerkleyPub @about_thethrill

It’s pub day for The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott and I am excited to bring our reviews for it.

Brenda’s review

A missing father, an inherited old Scottish manor with rumors of it being haunted, the daughter trying to escape from the feeling of it watching her. 

The Missings Years is an easy atmospheric read here with the setting of an old Scottish manor called the Manse that I thought should have felt more creepier and eerier with the secrets it keeps. I had some mixed feelings here and I began to wonder if maybe I have become a predictable reader expecting stories to feel a certain way. Here in this story, the lack of creepiness was made up by the house coming alive for me. It became a strong entertaining character with an attitude and I enjoyed the dynamics here with the house and our main character Ailsa. 

The characters here within the small town were also entertaining and I enjoyed hearing the rumors and the vibe it created here in the story. I found the characters to be interesting and the dynamics well down between them. 

The Missing Years is a slower paced read that read fast for me and read it quick quickly. It was a different pace from my usual dark and twisted and I thought the mystery came together a bit uneventful however I did love the way things wrapped up with the house. I highly recommend taking some time to get to know this house. 

Thank you to Elisha and Berkley Publishing for my complimentary copy.

From Kim’s review

Lock the doors and check them twice with this one! There is a slow burning creepy story line that builds with intensity as the story goes on. Mysterious things begin to happen that make you question if The Manse is in fact haunted as legend has it.

As Ailsa struggles to figure out if her father is still alive and what is going on at The Manse, she uncovers details of the past she may not want to hear. A quite interesting character named Fiona McCue is introduced that has a very interesting history that ties in with The Manse. Bravo to Ms. Elliott on her creative plot line that managed to carry a creepy undertone the entire story! It kept me guessing all the way to the end! For Kim’s full review

#travelingsistersread #BookBloggers #BookReview #askusaboutourbook #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads

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 Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth @SallyHepworth @StMartinsPress @about_thethrill

Sally Hepworth nailed it here for us with this better than expected and not what we expected must read which is out for sale tomorrow April 23, 2019.

Norma’s review

Clever, impactful & irresistible!

This book was nothing like I imagined it to be…..it was so much more than your typical “evil” mother-in-law tale!! Loved it!! 

THE MOTHER-IN-LAW by SALLY HEPWORTH is a gripping, captivating, thought-provoking, and fabulous mystery/thriller that I was immediately drawn into and devoured quickly. The story was so darn entertaining and absolutely un-put-down-able!!!! 

SALLY HEPWORTH delivers quite the unexpected, clever, engaging, complex and well-written story here told in alternating chapters between the past and the present in both Diana (mother-in-law) and Lucy’s perspectives. The storyline was brilliantly plotted, flowed seamlessly and the characterizations were absolutely spot-on. The dynamics between these characters totally fascinated and entertained me. And it was so interesting to hear from both sides as each of them had their own interpretations of what they actually meant or how they felt or thought about certain scenarios. 

The mystery itself here was done so well and not rushed at all. It was another one of those books where the fantastic storytelling guides and entertains you without any shocking unrealistic scenes. The storyline is full of twists and turns and so subtlety interspersed that totally snuck up on me in the end. I love it when an author is so talented to shock you with her writing style alone which just makes that pivotal moment much more shocking in its own right. Brilliant!!

Brenda’s review

Fractured relationships, complicated Mother- in-law, a suicide or murder and family secrets.

The Mother-In-Law is a compelling, multilayered, clever, and suspenseful domestic mystery that felt more like contemporary fiction that explores more the dynamics within the character than the mystery involving a suspicious death. There is a lot to explore and think about here with the depth to these characters.

The story is told in the POV of the mother-in-law Diana and her daughter-in-law Lucy.  We see more of their deeper thoughts through their POV and as we come to understand them and their relationship.  Diana is one of the most interesting characters I have read about with a lot to her then what you see on the surface.  She made for a great character to explore and talk about.

I devoured this one as fast as I could and was completely drawn into the lives of these characters.  I turned those pages as fast as I could and then slowly took in all the depth and layers to the characters.

The Mother-In-Law is a great choice for group reads as it really is a great thought-provoking story that brought out some different views of the characters and their dynamics. For me that is what makes a story so well layered is the many things it leaves you to think, explore and discuss and the Mother-in-Law sure did that for us. With each comment it gave me something else to think about. I highly recommend!

Lindsay’s review

 A twisty, addictive, suspense-filled family drama!

Lucy yearns to connect with her mother-in-law Diana. Having lost her own mother, she craves a maternal connection. However, Diana has always kept Lucy an arm’s length away – always being kind and available, but never quite embracing her with warmth and welcome into the family. 

The police knock on Lucy’s door one evening to inform her and her husband, Ollie, that Diana was found dead in her home, a suicide note tucked into her desk drawer. Left in devastating shock, Lucy and Ollie, along with Ollie’s sister and husband are left to pick up the pieces of their mother’s life. Diana was a wealthy and well-respected community figure who lived alone, having lost her loving husband years prior. As the days progress, several details come to light surrounding Diana’s death. The police come back to question Lucy and Ollie. Everything Lucy thought she knew about her husband and his family is challenged. Was Diana’s death truly a suicide? Did someone want Diana dead? 

I loved the pace and flow of this novel. It is narrated by several characters, all of which held an intricate perspective to the story. It was an engrossing, truly addictive journey that I hungrily devoured, my mind flip flopping between possibilities of scenarios of what actually happened. This book kept me on my toes, my suspicions thrown all over the place, flipping those pages as fast as possible. I am a big fan of the author, Sally Hepworth’s, writing. I’ve read and enjoyed several of her books and look forward to what she has in the future. 

From Kim’s review

Wow, I loved it! Please add me to the huge list of fans for Sally Hepworth.

The age old mother- in- law vs  daughter- in- law dilemma. Except this time the mother in law Diana ends up dead! Certainly even though Lucy and Diana have had their differences in the past, it surely would not have come to this?! As we search for the answer to this question we are privy to both Lucy and Diana’s point of view. Which allowed us to see how each really felt about the other as we got a look into each of their thoughts.

This book started out with a bang and did not let up. I literally flew through this book in less than 24 hours because I could not put it down! I loved the writers style which kept me gripped to the pages until the very end. I know that many will think Diana is unlikable, but dare I say I loved her. Yes I did! For Kim’s full review

Traveling Sisters Read

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 Sisters Read Reviews

Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf @HarperCollinsCa @hgudenkauf

Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf is now available and she is at her best and at the top of her game here!

Brenda’s review

Three Girls, an urban legend, a dark obsession and a chilling crime .

Before She Was Found is a chilling, unsettlingly realistic, thought-provoking story that explores some teenage drama here with bullying, popularity, fitting in and approval. It goes a little deeper than just mean girls. It also explores friendship, betrayal and the power of social media and the impact it all can have on family dynamics.

Before She Was Found starts off with an unsettling, disturbing and grisly scene and I was turning those pages as fast as I go to unravel what happened.  We learn of an urban legend and I was intrigued by it and enjoyed how that played into the story. The suspense and tension in the story increases with each page until that unsettling realistic ending that left me quite upset.  I have not had a reaction to a story like I did to this one before. I really dislike the ending and how it all came together but I loved this one and the themes and messages the Heather Gudenkauf explored in this story.

I read this one in the Traveling Sister group and it left us with different feeling with that ending. The ending worked for some of us but not for all of us. It really made for an interesting discussion. I highly recommend for book clubs as there is plenty to talk about and explore here.

Norma’s Review

Gripping, chilling, & mind-blowing stuff here!

I definitely have to start my review off with a little message to you HEATHER GUDENKAUF, you are by far one of my must-read and absolute favourite thriller writers ever and this book was freakin’ fantastic!!!!

BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND by HEATHER GUDENKAUF is an unsettling, dark, realistic, captivating, thought-provoking and fabulous thriller that pretty much had every aspect that I absolutely love in my thrillers. A haunting and chilling crime, a mysterious urban legend, fantastic storytelling that is absolutely dazzling, and interesting and complex characters to make this an all out absorbing and devouring read. 

HEATHER GUDENKAUF delivers quite the clever, intriguing, suspenseful, engaging, and well-written story here that starts off with quite the bang and never lets up to make this quite the tense and edge-of-your-seat read. I absolutely loved the way that this story unfolded in multiple character perspectives and formats including journal entries in Cora’s perspective. I find that this technique is always quite effective, appealing and very suspenseful with slow-burning reads. 

There is lots going on behind the scenes in this story that is quite thought-provoking and an important message for us to ponder. In the end I was totally taken by surprise and would have never of guessed the outcome. 

Lindsay’s review

A haunting crime in a small town community. 

Twelve-year-old classmates, Cora, Violet and Jordyn sneak out one night to visit the abandoned train yard at the edge of town. A night of sneaky mischief ends with Cora hospitalized with several stab wounds and Violent and Jordyn in shock and confusion as to what happened. Small town secrets are uncovered as the police question everyone connected to the three girls. Were all three girls victims of this brutal attack? Could one of the girls be behind the violent assault?

I was pulled into this chilling story right away. There were some gruesome scenes at the start that were hard to stomach, but the writing kept me intrigued and curious to find out what happened. It was an addictive, quick read that had me making excused to find time for ‘just one more chapter’.

The novel unfolds through multiple characters perspectives. I did find myself slightly confused near the beginning trying to keep track of who was who, but as the story progressed, it became much clearer and easier to follow. I found Cora’s journal entries distracting which took away from my enjoyment. The “mean girl” scenes were a bit much. I think I would have enjoyed the novel more had those scenes been toned down.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Although I totally find this cover to be quite appealing and an effective representation to storyline it isn’t the sole reason for wanting or picking up this book. HEATHER GUDENKAUF is a must-read author for me regardless if I find the cover to be attractive or not. Whatever she writes, I will read!
Title: Clever, intriguing, fitting, impactful and a fabulous representation to storyline where the meaning is revealed to us as the story progresses. Love these meaningful titles!
Writing/Prose: Well-written, fluid, mesmerizing, beautiful and engaging.
Plot: Engrossing, clever, suspenseful, thought-provoking, believable, interesting, heartfelt, fast-paced, and entertaining.
Ending: An ending that left me speechless and totally took me by surprise! Loved that I didn’t figure out the outcome until it was revealed to us. 
Overall: The story was so darn thrilling, entertaining and absolutely un-put-down-able!!!! Would highly recommend!

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

#travelingsistersread #BookBloggers #BookReview #askusaboutourbook #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton @ChanelCleeton @BerkleyPub

When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton is now available. Happy Pub Day!!! We are so excited to bring you our reviews for this exciting historical fiction novel that is not to be missed.

Brenda’s review

Rich in historical detail, a little romance, forbidden affair, a bit of a spy thriller, with a tad of family drama.

When We Left Cuba by Chanel Cleeton is a stand alone follow up to  Next Year in Havana . The story centres around Beatriz Perez who is introduced in Next Year in Havana . I am so glad Chanel Cleeton gave her a voice with her own story here.

When We Left Cuba is a beautifully written story that explores vengeance, betrayal and sacrifices. Beatriz Perez is driven by revenge and her love for her country and caught between Cuban American politics, her family and a powerful man. I love her, passion strength and bravery and we see how fearless she is and willing to do what it takes to get her revenge.

I enjoyed so much in this story and found it had all that it needed to make for an interesting read but not heavy on the the details. It’s a fast paced read that was entertaining yet heartbreaking and heartwarming at times. While the characters are fictional they are along with some events inspired from real like people. It read a bit like a spy thriller and I was excited to turn those pages as fast as I could.  The tension and excitement rises right up to the satisfying ending. I highly recommend!

Norma’s Review

Intriguing, suspenseful, glamorous & magnetic!

WHEN WE LEFT CUBA by CHANEL CLEETON is an engaging, fascinating, entertaining, beautifully crafted and rich historical fiction novel that I thoroughly enjoyed. I was immediately drawn into our main characters life, Beatriz Perez and loved the romantic & adventurous journey that this book took me on.  The author’s passion and knowledge definitely shines through tenfold and where some of the content was missed by me I totally appreciated learning about this part of Cuban and American history.

I didn’t have the pleasure of reading and visiting the Perez family in the NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA before reading this novel WHEN WE LEFT CUBA.  And normally I tend to shy away from reading follow-up books out of sequence order because it somehow makes me feel like I’m missing out or cheating the “system”.  So with that being said I am definitely going to revisit the Perez family again but in the meantime I am so glad that I put all of my feelings aside and dove right into this fabulously written romantic & dashing tale of espionage, revenge, love, & family drama.  

Even though this is a follow-up and some of the characters are revisited here this is Beatriz’s story and definitely works and reads well as a standalone.

Norma’s Stats:
Cover: Strikingly beautiful, glamorous, gorgeous, appealing and a fitting representation to storyline. Love the cover art!
Title: Intriguing, fascinating, powerful and a wonderful representation to storyline. 
Writing/Prose: Beautifully written, passionate, knowledgeable, fluid, engaging and entertaining. Absolutely loved the writing style!
Plot: Intriguing, informative, fascinating, thought-provoking, fast-paced, atmospheric and entertaining.
Ending: A pat and happy ending that was very satisfying and pleasing. I have a fondness for Epilogues! 
Overall: A fun, tense and exciting read with fabulous characters filled with rich historical content. Would highly recommend! 

Thank you so much to Elisha at Berkley Publishing and Chanel Cleeton for the opportunity to read an ARC of this book in exchange for a review.

Have you read this one or Next Year in Havana? Want to read them! Drop us a comment! We would love to hear from you!

#BookReview #BookBloggers #travelingsisterreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

Posted in Reviews, Traveling Sisters Read Reviews

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer @HarperCollinsCa @KelRimmerWrites #BookBloggers #travelingsisterreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

The Things We Cannot Say by Kelly Rimmer is now available and I highly recommend adding this one to your list to read right away. If you are a fan of historical fiction it is one not to be missed. This is one of those stories that reminds us why these stories need to be said and reminds us why we read.

Brenda’s review

The Things We Cannot Say is a heartbreaking, heartwarming hopeful story that explores love, loss, hardship, sacrifice and the relationships that bond people together. Through duel timelines we see the bonds between a family and the things they cannot say and the things that bring them together.

What really stood out for me and what I really loved about this story was the compelling and emotional layered duel timelines and how they connected the story and the family. We see the historical side to the story and then a modern side to it. Each are strong, interesting stories with their conflicts and heartache that shape the people they are. Now usually I like the historical timeline a tad more however in this story I preferred the modern one. I am alway intrigued by storylines that revolves around an illness or disorder etc and we see how that affects family dynamics.

The story comes together in an emotional and powerful ending that will sure have you reaching for tissues. After reading this one we were left a mess, cried a bit and then shared our thoughts with each other. This is the type of story to share with someone and I am glad to be able to share with Lindsay and a couple of our Traveling Sisters.

Lindsay’s review

I read “Before I Let You Go” last year which was my first book by Kelly Rimmer. I finished that novel overcome with unshakable emotion and a feeling of being forever changed. That storyline and those characters still haunt me to this day. This novel, although a completely different type of storyline, left me feeling the exact same. I was teary during the first page of the Prologue. I felt an intense emotional connection to the characters in the first few pages of Chapter 1. What does this tell me? The power behind Kelly Rimmer’s writing is undeniably impactful. Her words resonate so deeply within me, in ways I find hard to describe. She has easily earned a spot on my Favourite Authors list.

Alina Dziak is fifteen-years-old when this story begins in Nazi occupied Poland during WWII. She is engaged to Tomasz, her best friend who moved away to attend medical school. She dreams of their reunion when the chaos of war is a thing of the past and they can start a family. As the war persists, Alina has the opportunity to flee to safer territory where Tomasz could meet her to live the life they always dreamed of. 

Told in dual timelines, both narratives and storylines kept me fully engaged. The characters were unique and unforgettable. I read a lot of WWII novels and yet, this story introduced me to a completely different wartime perspective which I truly appreciate learning about. It’s why I love reading historical fiction. 

Thank you to Edelweiss, Graydon House and HarperCollins Canada for our copies to read and review!

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

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

Falling Behind Friday: A Ladder To The Sky by John Boyne @CrownPublishing #BookReview #BookBloggers #travelingfriendsreads #askthetravelingsistersaboutourreads #askusaboutourbook

This week I am bringing you another review that I have fallen behind on. We read A Ladder to the Sky  by John Boyne with a few of our friends on Instagram. Our main character Maurice sure gave us a lot to talk about.

Brenda’s review

He is hungry for success, ambitious yet lacks talent, devious and manipulating.  Nothing stands in his way of getting what he wants

The Ladder To The Sky is a compelling yet disturbing dark story that explores how far one man will go to achieve success using deceit and manipulation. It has been quoted as a “deliciously dark tale” and I have to agree.  Maurice is handsome, charming and not afraid to work that. He is dangerously fascinating yet irresistible. Oh, and he is a sociopath. He had us feeling uncomfortable, disturbed and angry. He shocked us and watching him throughout this story felt like watching a train wreck about to happen in slow motion and there is nothing you can do to stop it.

It’s a great one to read in a group as there is a lot to talk about here with this one and if you are like me it’s also a great one to get wrapped up in your little thoughts and discussion with the characters. I highly recommend.

Lindsay’s review

Maurice – you conniving, selfish scoundrel! Never have I ever been so intrigued by such a nasty and repulsive main character. Wow!

This novel follows Maurice Swift in his rise to fame. We are introduced to Maurice as a handsome young man whose goal in life is to become a famous writer. He will stop at nothing to get ahead, latching on to countless people to use them for all he can get. As the story progresses, we witness just how greedy, manipulative and destructive he can be.

This story is unpredictable, outrageous, fascinating and jaw-dropping. I felt like I was in a constant state of shock, never knowing what to anticipate next. The author, John Boyne, has such a unique and enthralling way with words. He created a highly unlikeable main character with such an addictive and engrossing storyline that you can’t help but be intrigued and curious throughout. The writing is brilliant, the characters are unforgettable, the storyline is unique and shocking. 

This is my second novel by John Boyne and I thoroughly enjoyed it. I highly recommend checking out this book and author! 

Thank you to NetGalley, Crown Publishing and John Boyne for providing us a copy to read and review. I also purchased a copy for myself

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