The Messenger by Daniel Silva

Sunday, January 31, 2016
When I started this thriller, I didn´t know that it was part of a series. And when I realized it, I was right in the middle of a tough but well-written plot about agent Gabriel Allon, who has to do another dangerous job. 

The Messenger
Author Daniel Silva
Gabriel Allon Series #6
Publisher G.P. Putnam´s Sons on July 25, 2006
Genre Thriller
Pages 352
Format Hardcover
Source Library

Gabriel Allon – art restorer and spy – is about to face the greatest challenge of his life. An al-Qaeda suspect is killed in London, and photographs are found on his computer – photographs that lead Israeli intelligence to suspect that al-Qaeda is planning one of its most audacious attacks ever, aimed straight at the heart of the Vatican. Allon and his colleagues soon find themselves in a deadly duel of wits against one of the most dangerous men in the world – a hunt that will take them across Europe to the Caribbean and back. But for them, there may not be enough of anything: enough time, enough facts, enough luck. All Allon can do is set a trap – and hope that he is not the one caught in it.


I have to be honest I am truly no friend of starting a series in the middle. 

Fire & Flood by Victoria Scott

Saturday, January 30, 2016
That is the first book in a duology where I wasn´t at first too eager to read it at all. The cover of the German edition wasn´t really my thing - still isn´t – and I didn´t have it on my schedule for the year anyway.

Fire & Flood
Author Victoria Scott
Fire & Flood Duology #1
Publisher Scholastic Press on February 25, 2014
Genre Young Adult      
Pages 320       
Format Hardcover

Tella Holloway is losing it. Her brother is sick, and when a dozen doctors can´t determine what´s wrong, her parents decide to move to the middle of nowhere for the fresh air. She´s lost her friends, her parents are driving her crazy, her brother is dying – and she´s helpless to change anything.
Until she receives mysterious instructions on how to become a Contender in the Brimstone Bleed. It´s an epic race across jungle, desert, ocean, and mountain that could win her the prize she desperately desires: the Cure for her brother´s illness. But all the Contenders are after the Cure for people they love, and there´s no guarantee that Tella (or any of them) will survive the race.
The jungle is terrifying, the clock is ticking, and Tella knows she can´t trust the allies she makes. And one big question emerges: Why have so many fallen sick in the first place?


I got asked by the publisher if I wouldn´t be interested in reading the second book and since I try to avoid jumping into a series, duology, trilogy, etc. in the middle without knowing the books that were published before (it just gives you a better picture of the entire development of characters, the plot, etc) I went to my library to see if they had it – and what can I say?

Sunset Embrace by Sandra Brown

Friday, January 29, 2016
I know Sandra Brown´s books for many years, and I personally believe she is at her best when she´s writing thrillers.

Sunset Embrace 
Author Sandra Brown
Coleman Family Saga #1
Publisher Grand Central Publishing on June 1, 1990
Genre Novel
Pages 384
Format Paperback

They were two untamed outcasts on a Texas-bound wagon train. Two passionate travelers, united by need, threatened by pasts they could not outrun … Lydia Bryant –voluptuous and russet-haired, fleeing from a secret shame, vowing that never again would a man, any man overpower her … Ross Coleman – dark, brooding and iron-willed, with the shadow of a lawless past in his piercing eyes, sworn to resist the temptation of his wanton longings … Fate threw them together on the same wild road, where they fought the breathtaking desire blazing between them, while the shadows of their enemies drew ever closer, until a showdown with their pursuers was inevitable. Before it was over, Lydia and Ross would face death … the truth about each other … and the astonishing strength of their love …


Yes, she has one or two good books in the other genres she´s written about, but Sunset Embrace isn´t one of them.

Low Pressure by Sandra Brown

Thursday, January 28, 2016
A beautiful and very haunting thriller. Sandra Brown shows with this book again that the human soul is as fragile as nothing else and that truth is above anything the most important value in a family or in life.

Low Pressure
Author Sandra Brown
Publisher Grand Central Publishing on January 29, 2013
Genre Thriller
Pages 480
Format Trade Paperback

Bellamy Lyston Price was only 12 years old when her older sister Susan was killed on a stormy Memorial Day. Bellamy´s fear of storms is a legacy of the tornado that destroyed the crime scene as well as her memory of one vital fact that still eludes her. Now, 18 years later, Bellamy has written a novel based on Susan´s murder. It´s her first book, and it´s an instant sensation. But because the novel is based on the most traumatic event of her life, she´s published it under a pseudonym to protect herself and her family. But when a sleazy reporter for a tabloid newspaper discovers that the book is based on a real crime, Bellamy´s identity – and dark family secrets – are exposed. Suddenly, she finds herself embroiled in a personal conflict and at the mercy of her sister´s killer, who for almost two decades has gotten away with murder … and will stop at nothing to keep it that way.


And what can happen if a family ignores some certain signs that something is quite wrong?! I was so haunted by this thriller, that I was barely able to put it aside. 

Sea Swept by Nora Roberts

Wednesday, January 27, 2016
Nora Roberts has a very unique way of telling stories. Sea Swept is no exception. With sensitiveness and a fine humor, this novel shows every aspect, a reader wants to see in a good book.

Sea Swept
Author Nora Roberts
Chesapeake Bay Saga #1
Publisher Berkley on May 7, 2013 
Genre Novel   
Pages 368
Format Paperback
Source Purchased

A champion boat racer, Cameron Quinn traveled the world spending his winnings on champagne and women. But when his dying father called him home to care for Seth, a troubled young boy not unlike Cameron once was, his life changed overnight …
After years of independence, Cameron had to learn to live with his brothers again, while he struggled with cooking, cleaning, and caring for a difficult boy. Old rivalries and new resentments flared between Cameron and his brothers, but they tried to put aside their differences for Seth´s sake. In the end, a social worker would decide Seth´s fate, and as tough as she was beautiful, she had the power to bring the Quinns together – or tear them apart …


Sea Swept is the first book of the Chesapeake Bay Saga. 

Aquamarin by Andreas Eschbach

Tuesday, January 26, 2016
What a fantastic book! Unfortunately, this title is currently or better said, at the moment my review was written, only published in German.

Author Andreas Eschbach
Publisher Arena on June 1, 2015 
Genre Children 14+ 
Pages 400
Format Hardcover
Source Library

There´s a secret in the depth of the sea … Be aware of the sea! That´s what Saha got taught. A strange injury forbids the sixteen year old every water contact. In Seahaven, Saha is, because of that, an outsider. The town at the seaside of Australia lionizes the sea. Who does not dive or swim here, doesn´t belong to society. Like Saha. But a terrible incident puts that in question. For the first time, Saha dares to step into the ocean. There she discovers the incredible. She has a gift that must not be – can´t be. Not in Seahaven, not in the rest of the world. Who or what is she? The search for answers leads Saha into the darkest abyss of a blue shimmering world …


But I wanted to write a review anyway because this title is too great and too wonderful to be ignored by the rest of the reading world.

Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Monday, January 25, 2016
This is the first book of Colleen Hoovers famous Slammed Trilogy. I have to admit, that when this novel first appeared on the net as an eBook and produced a hype, I noticed that yes, but I had no attention at all to read it – no matter how great the critics were. The reason: I actually don´t like neither of them. Not ebooks and hype´s not as well.

Author Colleen Hoover
Slammed Series #1
Publisher Atria Books on September 18, 2012 
Genre Novel
Pages 352
Format Paperback
Source Library

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Laykenis forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she´s losing hope. Enter Will Cooper. The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope. Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossible painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.


This one I found by accident in my town library and thought, in the form of a real book why not?

Sycamore Row by John Grisham

Saturday, January 23, 2016
I have to admit, that I haven’t read A Time To Kill, the first book of the Jake Brigance series, for whatever reason. But I´ve watched the movie some years ago. Okay, it´s not the same as to read a book, but in this case, it was better than not knowing anything at all.

Sycamore Row
Author John Grisham
Jake Brigance Series #2
Publisher Doubleday on October 22, 2013
Genre Thriller
Pages 464
Format Hardcover
Source Library
Rating ✿✿✿✿ ★★★★

Seth Hubbard is a wealthy man dying of lung cancer. He trusts no one. Before he hangs himself from a sycamore tree, Hubbard leaves a new, handwritten, will. It is an act that drags his adult children, his black maid, and Jake into a conflict as riveting and dramatic as the murder trial that made Brigance one of Ford County´s most notorious citizens, just three years earlier. The second will raises far more questions than it answers. Why would Hubbard leave nearly all of his fortune to his maid? And what does it all have to do with a piece of land once known as Sycamore Row?


There are a few scenes where the author recalls some things that happened in the first book, Jake thinks about those things and their aftereffects which led to his financial situation and where he and his family now live.

Girl Online by Zoe Sugg

Friday, January 22, 2016
With Girl Online presents the author a beautifully written book. Zoe Sugg shows all the problems and defiance’s teenager and young adults have to face in their daily life.

Girl Online*
Author Zoe Sugg
Girl Online #1
Publisher Atria Keywords on November 25, 2014 
Genre Children 12+
Pages 352
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher

I have this dream that, secretly, all teenage girls feel exactly like me. And maybe one day, when we realize that we all feel the same, we can all stop pretending we´re something we´re not. That would be awesome. But until that day, I´m going to keep it real on this blog and keep it unreal in “real” life.


In a refreshing and sometimes ironic and a bit sarcastic way, the protagonist Penny lets the reader be a part of her world.

2016 New Release Challenge - Sign-Up Post

Friday, January 15, 2016

I first read about this challenge at Lexxie´s (un)Conventional BookViews and after I made my way through her post (no, it´s not that long!) and realized that she´d be one of the hosts, the other will be Stormy @Books, Movies, Reviews! Oh My!, I thought it sounds fun and that I could sign-up for it (which I am doing with this post now). `Cause what could possibly go wrong?

Wallbanger by Alice Clayton

Sunday, January 10, 2016

OMG what a hilarious and entertaining book! Alice Clayton has a very humorous way to show both sides of the medal – the male and the female one.

Author Alice Clayton
Cocktail Series #1
Publisher Gallery Books on August 13, 2013 
Genre Love-Women-Erotica   
Pages 384
Format Paperback
Source Publisher
Rating ✶✶✶✶✶

The first night after Caroline moves into her fantastic new San Francisco apartment, she realizes she´s gaining an intimate knowledge of her new neighbor´s nocturnal adventures. Thanks to paper-thin walls and the guy´s athletic prowess, she can hear not just his bed banging against the wall, but the ecstatic response of what seems (as loud night after loud night goes by) like an endless parade of women. And since Caroline is currently on a self-imposed dating hiatus, and her neighbor is clearly lethally attractive to women, she finds her fantasies keep her awake even longer than the noise. So when the wallbanging threatens to literally bounce her out of bed, Caroline, clad in sexual frustration and a pink baby-doll nightie, confronts Simon Parker, her heard-but-never-seen neighbor. The tension between them is as thick as the walls are thin, and the results just as mixed. Suddenly, Caroline is finding she may have discovered a whole new definition of neighborly …


Wallbanger is one of those books too, where I wasn´t impressed by its cover at all. Not at first sight. 

The Year I Met You by Cecelia Ahern

Saturday, January 09, 2016
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I don´t know what exactly it is that brings me from time to time back to a novel written by Cecelia Ahern. I know that her style is different from what I usually read that it can be a hit or not and anyways I pick one and read it.

Author Cecelia Ahern
Publisher Harper Collins on October 9, 2014
Genre Novel
Pages 337 
Format Hardcover
Source Publisher
Rating ✿✿✿✿,5

Jasmine knows two things: one, she loves her vulnerable sister unconditionally and will fight to the death to protect her from anyone who upsets her. Two, she´s only ever been good at one thing – her job helping business start-ups. So when she´s sacked and put on gardening leave, Jasmine realizes that she has nothing else to fill her life. Insomnia keeps her staring out of her bedroom window, and she finds herself watching the antics of her neighbor, shock jock Matt, with more than the casual eye. Matt is also taking a forced leave of absence from work, after one of his controversial chat shows went too far … Jasmine has every reason to dislike Matt, and the feeling appears to be mutual. But not everything is as it seems, and soon Jasmine and Matt are forced to think again …


This one was in the lucky position to turn out to be a hit. Not everyone will be the right reader for an Ahern novel, yes, and maybe not every novel of her is what you are looking for in a book – but sometimes, and this is one of those times – she catches the right amount of feelings, the right amount of story and humor to go to the readers heart.
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