"Hope: Hope is the Light when Darkness Descends (Catwalk Book 2)" by S. Q. Orpin

Hope: Hope is the Light when Darkness Descends (Catwalk Book 2) by [S. Q. Orpin]

This book probably felt longer than it was because it contained an enormous cast of characters, a long list of entanglements, turmoil, and complications. I didn't find it difficult to keep track of the people, but I found it difficult to connect with them. I didn't feel like Kyle and Casi loved each other. Their hot and cold, I love you/I hate you attitudes, Casi's horrible decisions, and their immature passive-aggressive non-fights with borderline cheating afterward followed by long-winded apologies and declarations of their undying devotion put me off. A lot of the dialogues were speeches unloading information and drawn out explanations of how a character felt or why they did something or shouldn't have done something. I also found it disturbing that Casi would tongue kiss her husband's brother, and that they would all be okay naked around each other. How did Casi become qualified for a marketing executive job? There were so many things crammed into the book and mostly glossed over matter-of-factly that it didn't impact me as much as if there were fewer tragedies and traumatic instances that were more deeply written. I began to think most people in the story had personality disorders. How do you find this much dysfunction in one family? I don't even want to tell you how many of the same women the brothers slept with. Without giving spoilers, it held endless near-unbelievable drama dealing with addictions, exceedingly promiscuous sexual escapades, and maladjusted family relationships.

"Don't Make a Sound: A Sawyer Brooks Thriller" by T.R. Ragan

The description sounded like a book I'd enjoy, and as I started reading, it intrigued me. The multiple layer storyline worked well at first, but I figured out who Malice was and how it related to Sawyer's story too quickly. I found it a little weird that several characters were stereotypes of abuse victims. A lot of quotes from therapists as to how abuse victims should or would act as opposed to the characters' actions showing us the effects of abuse on victims. As the book approached its conclusion with crazier and wilder secrets emerging, it felt rushed and unbelievable. Things didn't play out naturally. Although the ideas were promising, I found the execution lacking. I still may give this author another shot.

"Apollo's Raven (Curse of Clansmen and Kings Book 1)" by Linnea Tanner

I started reading this book and thoroughly enjoyed the evolving curse, the evil banished brother trying to overthrow his father, and Catrin's forbidden love for Marcellus. It consisted of more politics and war than the star-crossed lovers' budding romance, in my opinion, which confused me at times, and there were many gruesome scenes I could not fully read, but others may not be put off by the things that make me squeamish. Something that bothered me was Rhiannon's treatment of Catrin and that she chose to take Agrona's side (whom she proclaimed she didn't trust) against her daughter. The way Catrin connected with the raven fascinated me. I grew invested in Catrin's and Marcellus's fate and wanted to find out if they'd remain true and stop constantly doubting each other. Their actions at the end of the book answered my question, and I'd like to read the sequel to see if their relationship becomes more steadfast and sure and discover what happens with Marrock. I feel Catrin will have to face him eventually.

"The One Enlightened (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 2)" by Yvette M Calleiro

The One Enlightened (Chronicles of the Diasodz Book 2) by [Yvette M Calleiro]

The One Enlightened is the second book of the Diasodz. I read the first, but I enjoyed this one more. Complicated levels within the battle of good versus evil developed. That was the best part of the story, in my opinion. It was detail-focused; I found myself skimming over the repeated inner thoughts of Sofia and Ar'ch about how they did or didn't feel for one another at the beginning, the minutiae of everyday routines, and sometimes the exercise sessions. The book reads very formally. It took me eight hours to finish the entire thing. I think a lot of the detailed sections could use shortening. Some of the story/history was repeated by different people.
Characters in this installment were a plus. New people to love and hate. Nolan and Valerie's secrets came to light and played an essential role in moving forward. I want to find out what happens with Drake and what Sofia's future holds. It has been hinted she will have to make a choice, and I need to know what that choice is. Whom will she save? Whom does she love the most? As the end of this second section of the series neared, so many things sprang up that left me wanting answers. That's great when reading a series.
I look forward to reading more.

"a Thousand Little messages: A KLM Origin Novel" by Linda Armstrong

a Thousand Little messages: A KLM Origin Novel (KLM Casebook Book 1) by [Linda Armstrong]

A unique mystery with a lesson to be learned. Pay attention to all those little gut feelings. I liked the main character and the idea that her love interest felt he was doing the women a favor, that they actually wanted to die. His character was probably my favorite, even though he took a back seat to the investigation portion of the novel. Some parts moved a little slow, but the ending satisfied.

"Strawberry Moon" by Joy M. Lilley

Strawberry Moon by [Joy M. Lilley]

I liked the cover of the book. It's enticing. I did find the smallest piece of the story related to the cover and title- Maisie described the moon when tragedy struck her family. I felt the book dragged on much longer than necessary, and even though there were parts that captured my interest for a minute, and I thought, "here we go; something is going to happen," nothing came of it. No questions were answered, and no resolutions evolved. I didn't care for Maisie or her constant fizzling and straying affections. Her mother's addiction/mental illness and her belief that she'd committed murder led to a confession, a possibly great angle that ended before it began. Was Gange the man Maisie had seen on the canal? Was Maisie's 'accident' really an accident, and if it wasn't, did someone attack her to end her questions about the murder? Why was Ralph hinted at as an alternate suspect? Why was Franz injected into the story buzzing around at the end with no real explanation? There were too many very long, slow passages that forced me to step away from the book. Perhaps the author has a sequel planned that will answer some questions, but I felt dragged in circles without any satisfaction. It is in dire need of editing and proofreading.

Make A Little Wish: A Paranormal Women's Fiction Romance Novel (Make A Little Magic Romantic Comedy Book 3) by Jennifer Archer

Make A Little Wish: A Paranormal Women's Fiction Romance Novel (Make A Little Magic Romantic Comedy Book 3) by [Jennifer Archer]

Oh, to be twenty-one again. Lisa thought it would be grand, and after reading a fortune cookie about her wish coming true, she wished to trade lives with Tory, a young and carefree college student. The problem was Lisa loved her kids and her husband; she'd just lost sight of some important things and hadn't communicated all her needs effectively. She desperately missed her family and tried everything she could think of to switch into her body and regain her life. The beginning captured my interest, but between half and three quarters through, I just wanted to see how they'd get back together. It took so long. I could sympathize with Lisa's character. Frazzled and feeling unappreciated, she wanted more, yearned for more. It didn't mean she didn't love her kids. I think the moral of the story proved worth the read.