Marie Reviews "Liquid Lies" by Loisa Lavrisa

Liquid LiesLiquid Lies by Lois Lavrisa

From the Author

Liquid Lies is based on Lavrisa's midwestern background, set in one of her favorite vacation spots, Lake Geneva, Wisconsin, where her husband's best friend owns a lake home. But she also drew on events in Savannah, which has been her home for almost two decades. "As a writer, I gather and learn from everything I see, experience, read- life is full of ideas," she said. "The inspiration for Liquid Lies sparked years ago from a local news event. Just a small spark ignited the idea for a mystery, and from there I began to layer many pieces together to form the main plot."

Other plotlines and characters started to take shape as she combined tidbits from the news story with her with admiration of Lake Geneva. "The whole town seems magical and clean scrubbed-a picturesque setting," she said. "But I wondered. Could more be happening there then tourists are able to see, what if evil lurked beneath the pristine surface?"

By asking "what if" questions, weaving elements of the murder mystery and adding some twists and turns, Lavrisa composed her mystery, Liquid Lies.
 
 
MY REVIEW:



 
 
I am a little conflicted about this book. While I was reading it, I thought it was suitable for a younger reader, except maybe for the minor sex scenes involved. The story and main character seemed to be almost cheerful and strangely upbeat considering how many deaths there were, and the facts that CiCi lost two of her best friends and broke up with her fiance she had been in a relationship with for like ten years. Over all, it was entertaining, with a bit of goofy humor and a relatively good plot idea. I wouldn't consider it a serious read. I guess the up side is, you can read about all the bad things that happen and still manage to smile at the end.
I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Marie Reviews "Just One Night, Part Two: Exposed" by Kyra Davis

Exposed (Just One Night, Part 2)Exposed by Kyra Davis

BOOK DESCRIPTION:

Part 2 of the Just One Night series. One passionate night with a stranger turned Kasie’s world upside down, and just when she thought she was getting the hang of things, her fiancé finds out...
You should sleep with a stranger—those words whispered in her ear by her best friend became a challenge Kasie took to heart. Suddenly, the man who gave her the most shocking pleasure in that upscale Vegas hotel—a man whose name she never bothered to find out—is her company’s biggest client.
As this unknown man becomes Mr. Dade at the office, and Mr. Dade becomes Robert in the bedroom, Kasie’s passion won’t let her deny him anything he wants. But when her fiancé, Dave, finds out, there’s no telling what he will do to keep her, or what Robert will do to steal her away once and for all.

MY REVIEW:

Wow, out of the frying pan and into the fire. Kasie is caught. She has confessed her affair to Dave, and thinks she should try to make ammends, that they can try to salvage their relationship. Dave isn't very accepting of her apology, and he uses her painful past, her admitted mistake with Robert, and her fear of losing her job to try to humiliate her and torment her into submission. He is quite ruthless. Kasie tolerates this for a little while because of her guilt over hurting him, but once she figures out Dave is in it for control not for authentic feelings, she considers herself at war. She outthinks him and comes up with a battle plan to win the game Dave is playing with her pride, her self esteem. Look out, Dave may have a few secrets of his own.
The problem then, is she better off in the situation with Robert than she was with Dave? The chemistry between the two of them skyrockets. Unbelievable heat. She thinks she is falling in love with Robert, and that he returns her feelings, but when he starts to want to manipulate and control her life, will she be able to tell him no?
This series is definitely getting better as it goes along. I have enjoyed reading the first two parts.
I was given this advanced copy for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Marie Reviews "Hope For the Wicked" by Edward Lorn

Hope for the WickedHope for the Wicked by Edward Lorn

BOOK DESCRIPTION ON AMAZON:

Sometimes, bad people do good deeds.

Larry and Mo Laughlin are retired killers turned private investigators with monetary woes. So when their handler introduces them to the Trudeaus, one final job is placed on the docket.

Jacob and Bernice Trudeau need their teenage daughter, Amy, found, and they also want the men responsible dead. Two million dollars is an offer Larry and Mo can’t refuse.

To find Amy, the Laughlins must travel to Mexico, where they are thrust into a world of debauchery so foul they will be forever changed.

One crazed pimp, a veterinarian turned doc-for-hire, and an enigmatic facility called “The Show” lie in wait for the wayward couple.

Is there any hope for the wicked?

MY REVIEW:

Nightmare Worthy

This book is horrific. Dark, malefic, twisted, and often gross. I was awake trying to avoid nightmares the entire night after I finished reading it. Once you see it, you can not unsee it, and once you read it, you will see it. Graphic descriptions of child abuse, torture, murder, and the most shocking of all, the uncovering of what happened to Amy Trudeau. I don't know if the book title wants you to believe their is or is not hope for the wicked, maybe you draw your own conclusion after reading it. If you are a fan of horror, this book will satisfy. If you are sensitive to these things, this book is NOT for you. I was drawn in by the description but got a bigger dose of darkness than I expected. My rating of this book is based on how well written the book is, and the fact that if you read this sort of book, it would be awesome.

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Marie Reviews "The Princess Who Would Not Be Queen" by Sheela Word

The Princess Who Would Not Be QueenThe Princess Who Would Not Be Queen by Sheela Word

BOOK DESCRIPTION FROM AMAZON:

"A woman may reach for what she desires and gain it."

'Tis unjust that because Princess Bernadette is female, she cannot inherit her father's throne. She vows to become a Queen through marriage. Prince Geoffrey is her chosen bridegroom, but will they make it to the altar? (Short story, 28 pages)

This is the second story in "Nine Princesses: Tales of Love and Romance." The book is most likely to appeal to fans of Jane Austen, Georgette Heyer, or Shakespeare. Princess Bernadette represents Enneagram Personality Type 8.

MY REVIEW:


I found the story entertaining, more of a comical romance. The Princess who can not inherit the throne from her father sets about getting a throne her own way. She is a bit strong willed and stubborn about the whole situation, but things have a way of working out to give you that fairytale type ending. Plus, she sees a changing of the rules so women can inherit the throne. Win – win.

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Marie Reviews "Love, Lust, and Pixie Dust" by Erica Ridley

Love Lust and Pixie Dust by Erica Ridley

BOOK DESCRIPTION FROM AMAZON:

MIXING MAGIC WITH PLEASUREDaisy le Fey isn't staying a wannabe pixie forever. As soon as she's a licensed Tooth Fairy, she'll finally be on the Nether-Netherland ladder of success. All she has to do in order to trade in her homemade glitter wings for the real deal is complete her first solo assignment. Only that's no sweet child asleep on the pillow. It's a sexy man who refuses to hand over the tooth. Desperate to save her would-be career, she fights for possession. So what if her wand misses and turns the man's assistant into a pumpkin. It could happen to the best of fairies!

HAS NEVER BEEN SO MUCH FUNAnthropologist Trevor Masterson needs his latest find to save his job from impending budget cuts. But then a blonde bombshell wearing glitter wings sneaks into his tent at midnight, claims to be some sort of magical being, and tries to fly off with his discovery. When Trevor chases after the tooth--and the girl--no amount of science can explain their attraction or the chaos unraveling his carefully laid plans. But there's no such thing as magic... right?

MY REVIEW:


If there can be romance between humans and vampires, or humans and werewolves, then Tooth Fairies should have equal opportunity, right? This was a quick light read, sometimes highly unbelievable, but it is what it is. You want reality, look out the window. The characters were solid. You may not believe in tooth fairies, and there are many, in case you were in the dark on that point as I was before reading this book, but the world of Nether-Netherland and its inhabitants are brought to life quite well by the author. This particular apprentice fairy, Daisy le Fey may be a bit naive but she is likeable. The story progresses at a comfortable pace. The relationship dilemmas found don't exist exclusively between fairies of Nether-Netherland and anthropologists of Earth. I think that is why the story is relatable. They both want to achieve their goals, but have to figure out what is truly most important to them, and they have to compromise in order to attain those goals and still be together. I don't usually read paranormal romance, but this book was okay.

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Marie Reviews "Christmas In Wine Country" by Addison Westlake

Christmas in Wine CountryChristmas in Wine Country by Addison Westlake

BOOK DESCRIPTION ON AMAZON:

A romantic comedy set in Northern California's wine country.

It's Lila's big debut as an event planner and the company holiday party is going to be her chance to shine. At a Tuscan-style vineyard near the Northern California coast in the perfect little black dress she's sure to impress commitment-phobe Phillip. What could go wrong?
72 hours later with no job and no boyfriend, Lila finds herself with all kinds of answers to that question. Like mistaking the glowering Jake Endicott of Endicott Vineyards for the groundskeeper. Or a new video on YouTube featuring Lila pawing her way through drunken karaoke of "Hungry Like the Wolf."
Solo on the romantic holiday getaway she'd booked for her and Phillip near the vineyard, Lila at least gets to visit with her old friend Annie who lives nearby in the coastal town of Redwood Cove. Drawn into the local bookstore with gleaming wooden floors and welcoming armchairs, Lila chats with the owner and impulsively accepts a job offer.
Sleepy, misty Redwood Cove is the perfect place for Lila to take a break from her horrible track record with guys. The only one she finds even remotely attractive knows her as the holiday party crazy lady. Ranked in Bay Area magazine's 10 hottest bachelors, Jake Endicott is just the type Old Lila would have wasted years pining after.
Join Lila on her year of comedy, adventure and self-discovery on the Northern California coast, with all kinds of ups, downs and misadventures and a full cast of small-town wine country characters. Thankfully, even the greatest misunderstandings can all be worked out with a little Frank Sinatra and mistletoe.
 
MY REVIEW:


Much like trying to force a square peg into a round hole, Lila just doesn't fit in this world she is trying to climb the corporate ladder in. It culminates with blow up cacti, a baby Jesus pinata, and a margarita cart toting donkey in an event she is supposed to be coordinating. While this party goes horribly wrong, she also notices her boyfriend, who wouldn't label himself as her boyfriend, is getting pretty friendly with a gorgeous woman in a backless red dress. After too many drinks and a YouTube worthy video of howling Kareoke, the final stone of humiliation is thrown when she returns to her job to be laid off. Thinking she can slip away with her boyfriend to a romantic vacation she booked, he delivers the final blow. He breaks off their "relationship" for the woman in red.
Completely miserable, with an implied eating disorder forcing herself to be extremely thin, a career going nowhere that she didn't really care for anyway, and a horrible track record of being a door mat for any man who would take her for granted, she misses the cancellation time frame and slinks off to the romantic weekend getaway by herself in Redwood Cove.
A job in the local book store brings out her inner Mr. Meows, a puppet character for the story hour. She is a local celebrity among the children of the area, aka "Cat Lady". She recaptures her friendship with her college room mate and gains new friendships along the way. She works out her habit of pining after unattainable men while forming a relationship with Bachelor #7, Jake Endicott. He would usually be on the newly formed "Do Not Date List", but first impressions can be deceiving.

I liked the book, appreciated the story, laughed at some of the characters, loved wise old Gram. It was an enjoyable read.

I was given this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Marie Reviews "The Sea Of Tranquility" by Katja Millay

The Sea of Tranquility by Katja Millay

DESCRIPTION FROM AMAZON:
 
I live in a world without magic or miracles. A place where there are no clairvoyants or shapeshifters, no angels or superhuman boys to save you. A place where people die and music disintegrates and things suck. I am pressed so hard against the earth by the weight of reality that some days I wonder how I am still able to lift my feet to walk. Former piano prodigy Nastya Kashnikov wants two things: to get through high school without anyone learning about her past and to make the boy who took everything from her—her identity, her spirit, her will to live—pay. Josh Bennett’s story is no secret: every person he loves has been taken from his life until, at seventeen years old, there is no one left. Now all he wants is be left alone and people allow it because when your name is synonymous with death, everyone tends to give you your space. Everyone except Nastya, the mysterious new girl at school who starts showing up and won’t go away until she’s insinuated herself into every aspect of his life. But the more he gets to know her, the more of an enigma she becomes. As their relationship intensifies and the unanswered questions begin to pile up, he starts to wonder if he will ever learn the secrets she’s been hiding—or if he even wants to. The Sea of Tranquility is a rich, intense, and brilliantly imagined story about a lonely boy, an emotionally fragile girl, and the miracle of second chances.

MY REVIEW:


A Five Star Full Spectrum Of Emotions

The Sea of Tranquility is one of my recent favorites. Could Not Put It Down. The story was incredibly touching, both Emilia (Nastya) and Josh have suffered so much pain, so much loss, in the short amount of time they have lived. I was in awe of the writer's talent and ability to develop the story, introducing you to the two main characters who were very complex, wrapped up in their pain and still working their way toward healing, and gradually building your knowledge of them, like gaining a new friend. I absolutely loved the way Josh and Nastya fell in love slowly and thoroughly, and the idea that they were meant to do so based on facts given about what happens when you die and then come back that you will discover when you read it.

I don't always recommend reading a book if I thought it was okay, or even if I thought it was good.
I strongly recommend this one. You will surely miss out on something extraordinary if you don't.

I was given a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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Marie Reviews "The Inconvenient Marriage Of Charlotte Beck" by Kathleen Y'Barbo



DESCRIPTION ON AMAZON:

Unlikely romance is sometimes just an inconvenient marriage away

Charlotte Beck may be entering adulthood, but she can’t seem to keep to her stubborn, independent spirit from bucking social protocol. Fed up with her behavior, Charlotte’s father Daniel pressures her to settle into a nice marriage despite knowing she is set on going to college. Then Daniel sees Charlotte with the handsome but annoying English astronomer Alex Hambly, and everything changes.

Though Alex and Charlotte can barely stand one another, Daniel offers them a deal they can’t refuse: if they agree to marry, he will save Alex’s family from financial ruin and grant Charlotte the freedom to go to college. Reluctantly the couple agrees, but in private they plot to annul the marriage as soon as possible.

But when Alex’s feelings change and he refuses to dissolve their contract, will Charlotte find a way out of her vows? Or will she discover that maybe this marriage isn’t so inconvenient after all?
From the Trade Paperback edition.

MY REVIEW:


Charlotte Beck Gets What She Wants, Even When She Doesn't Know It Is What She Wants

Spoiled wild child from America rocks the social elite on their ears with her crazy antics. She makes a splash across newspaper headlines by riding horseback with Indians while shooting the hat off Bill Cody's head in his Wild West Show. She always manages to wriggle free of consequences. She even manages to make it a trend to participate in the show. She sees her life moving along quite nicely when she trades inside business information with her father for a degree in mathematical studies. She longs to work in his company.
Charlotte's father wants her to marry and feels that English business man, and astronomer, Alex Hambly is the only one who can keep his daughter both happy and in check. He uses Alex's family financial woes and his daughter's desire to attend school to bind them into an arranged marriage contract. The couple grudgingly agrees, hoping something will happen in the four years before she graduates to change the situation. They drive each other crazy, build up the usual tensions and cave to the marriage anyway, even as they plot a way to get out of it as soon after saying their vows as possible.
This is where the question of faith comes to play a role, although it seems a small role, in the book. Can Alex go through with the annulment when he made a promise before God? The marriage Charlotte originally finds so inconvenient to her goals turns out to be what she wants after all.
I enjoyed this story, although it was a little predictable and Charlotte was very immature and frustrating. I did find the corset bonfire a little amusing. The truth behind her mother being gone was never explained in detail. Suspicions of adultery and questions of Charlotte's true paternity were hinted at, but her birth certificate was revealed at the end of the story and her mother's love for her father confirmed.
I was given  a copy of this book for free in exchange for an honest review.

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