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Lenaribka

Lenaribka

"We should read to give our souls a chance to luxuriate."

 

~Henry Miller

Currently reading

The Power of One
Humphrey Bower, Bryce Courtenay
The Romanov Mission
Robert Jackson
Goliath: A Thriller
Shawn Corridan, Gary Waid
Last Days of Summer
Steve Kluger

Insight

Insight - Santino Hassell DNF at 52%

You can't even imagine HOW much I wanted to BE ABLE to finish this book and give it a proper one star review. But I am not going to spend even one more second of my life on this book and on its shallow flat characters. They all sounded like they were 12 year old!
Terrible dialogues, not even a tiny flash of inspiration. Banal plot and amateurish writing.

I asked myself, what DID I MISS? Where come these 5 -4 stars reviews from? How can I be so blind to NOT see the reason for all this excitement?

At least I know now, that the author and I are not compatible and I'll try to avoid his book in the future.




***ARC provided by the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.***

The Power of One

The Power of One - Humphrey Bower, Bryce Courtenay Audible

At age 5 in a boarding school...

Darkness

Darkness - Kate Sherwood 3,5 stars



***Could be spoilerish***

The third book in the series confirmed my initial suspicious of Mosely being the most corrupted small town not only in Montana but in the whole country, if not worldwide.

It is a MM romance MYSTERY series. Let's talk about mystery.

What did Mosely offer us in the previous sequels?

Drug trafficking and semi-organized crime. The fact that it happens on the Canadian border is indeed very unusual-I could better understand it if it took place somewhere more southern - though the idea is refreshing- it contradicts all my imaginations of Canada being a place too dull to be criminal.

Criminal bikers with the connections to the Chicago mafia.

Corrupted FBI agents, corrupted retired Sheriff.

Arson.

At least one unsolved murder.


No wonder that the FBI and the DEA practically live in Mosely, mostly because they've got surveillance on Wade .
Let us TRY NOT to talk about WHY and HOW they all think that Wade is the main criminal brain and power behind EVERY SINGLE CRIME in Mosely, this criminal El Dorado and how their 24/7 observation makes all possible sexual interaction between our MCs even more complicated as it is already.

But honestly, I didn't get WHAT else the FBI and the DEA were doing there. It was a lot of noise around their job/activity in the previous sequels, but suddenly they moved in the background and it looks like their main task in the third book became just to stand in the way.

Darkness added some new activities to the criminal list of the citizens of Mosely. (Their criminal energy is tireless!) We got a meth labor right next to school - not that DEA starts to get bored there, but it is nothing comparing to a serial killer who suddenly appeared in the town!

Well, one can question the methods how this serial killer's case has been solved at the end. And, honestly, I don't want even start to complain about the investigation (what investigation?!). I just say, WHY the hell not?

And judging from the way it was solved, I dare to guess how the last sequel will end: our under-sheriff Jericho will take over the leading position of the Mosley Sheriff's Department. And his wannabe lover Wade will get a medal as Robin Hood of the 21th century.


But who cares?
The most important thing for now - they will be together. And I swear, they made a huge step forward in fulfilling THIS all-reader's collective dream. They are such a hot bunch together, the chemistry is fantastic and I enjoyed the dialogues, the heated banter between them in this sequel more than in the previous ones. Not to mention the inexorable progress of their relationship.

The bottom line:

Even if my mystery soul got frozen in a eye-roll pose at the end of the book,



my romance soul was perfidiously SATISFIED.






***ARC provided by the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Shantaram

Shantaram - Gregory David Roberts, Humphrey Bower Audible

“The only kingdom that makes any man a king is the kingdom of his own soul. The only power that has any real meaning is the power to better the world.”


If you EVER decide to READ this book that is 933 pages long, chose PLEASE the audio-book that is 43 hours long.

Humphrey Bower IS a BOMB. Honestly, he is one of the best narrators I ever listened to. If not the best. HE IS GRANDIOSE.
G-R-A-N-D-I-O-S-E.

You can either love this book or hate it. I love it. I don't though know if I would have loved it THAT much if I had read it and not listened to it.

It is not perfect, there were parts where I rolled my eyes, but there were so many great parts that I enormously enjoyed. And Humphrey Bower made all the great parts even greater and the weak parts simply great. Believe or not.

This book goes directly to my favorite shelf. And I declare Humphrey Bower officially to my favorite narrator.



Gregory David Roberts...Your life is everything but boring.

A Careful Heart

A Careful Heart - Ralph Josiah Bardsley 3,5 stars rounded up

[book:A Careful Heart|33864398] is a good and solid story that held my attention from the beginning up to the end, well written, with love to detail and melancholic elegance.

Not your typical MM Romance: though it is a love story, you won't find any sex scenes here. Sex happens but out of pages.

It is in the first place a novel about deep friendship and the power of love.

Two close friends—Travis Gaines and Stephen. Whereas Stephen is rather shy and very reserved, Travis is extroverted and communicative, but despite all the differences, they are the best friends - more like brothers - and they are inseparable.

[book:A Careful Heart|33864398] is a story of their friendship, their supportive families, their profound connections to each other, their life experiences, bad and good, and how they learn to be honest to themselves and their feelings. The author shows us their lives through high school, college, beginning of working careers and adulthood. From childhood to maturity, through thick and thin.

There is an interesting way of telling the story: [author:Ralph Josiah Bardsley|14439629] shows it from different points of view. The focus is not steadily set on only one characters, it flows between characters.

The book starts a bit slow but gains on pace through the story. The last part is full of surprises and an unexpected turn at then end can let us consider almost a change of a genre!

I mostly enjoyed the part that told the love story of Stephen und Gabe and the dynamic of their relationship. Moreover, Gabe became my favorite MC, though he is rather a main secondary characters in this book.

All in all, it is a good written, emotional and engaging novel. I think I would have enjoyed [book:A Careful Heart|33864398] much more if I had fallen for the main characters too, but despite I was invested in their story, I didn’t feel this deep connection to them that makes a good written interesting book to a 5 star reading experience.



***ARC provided by the publisher, via Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.

Ringo and the Sunshine Police

Ringo and the Sunshine Police - Nick Wilgus Not my favorite by the author.

Review closer to the release date...






***ARC provided by the publisher to GBR in exchange for an honest review.

The Devil's Prayer

The Devil's Prayer - Luke Gracias DNF at 53%

I hoped to read a religious thriller a là Dan Brown, but...forget it. The readers who compared this book in their reviews with Dan Brown's works probably never read them.

Ridiculous plot, flat writing, weak characters, with a lot of senseless violence.

I honestly won't recommend it to anyone.

I normally don't rate books I didn't finish, but WHAT I read was not more than one star rating for me.

***Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

Single Malt

Single Malt - Layla Reyne DNF at 63%

I really tried. But I couldn't cope with this writing style. I found it artificial, scattered and difficult to enjoy.

I noticed that I couldn't concentrate on the story-line and had to go back again and again to re-read what I hat read. It is normally not my art to read a book, and I blamed the story itself first, but it was most certainly the writing.

Besides, I have to confess that the case the both FBI Agents were working at and the way they approached it, was not very convincing and their investigation methods appeared amateurish, IMO.

Í failed to connect to the MCs. Maybe I should to avoid romance books where one of the MC has recently lost his partner/husband/lover. And 8 months since he's gone (here: the tragic car accident) is damn SHORT to fall in love again. It's not a bad book, and it COULD GET BETTER in the sequel, most likely you'll enjoy it.

I tried. But when reading became a chore I decided to give up.


If you can manage all this, then you probably would enjoy this book.


***Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

Praline Goes To Washington: Or, the Erotic Misdeeds of a Newly Native Californian in Our Nation's Capitol

Praline Goes To Washington: Or, the Erotic Misdeeds of a Newly Native Californian in Our Nation's Capitol - Marshall Thornton
A little appetizer...



“There are facts. And there is the truth. Which are you going to believe?"



Everyone who is familiar with the works of [a:Marshall Thornton|3000192|Marshall Thornton|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1263196997p2/3000192.jpg] knows that along with the gay mystery, the comedy belongs to one of his home genres. And he is good in it.

I like this unobtrusive smart and dry humor so typical for his characters, and not only in the comedy's novels.

With [b:Praline Goes To Washington: Or, the Erotic Misdeeds of a Newly Native Californian in Our Nation's Capitol|33862329|Praline Goes To Washington Or, the Erotic Misdeeds of a Newly Native Californian in Our Nation's Capitol|Marshall Thornton|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1484488880s/33862329.jpg|54813599] Marshall Thornton has proved that political satire, as a genre of literature, is not alien to him.

I fucking love the first book in The Perils of Praline series , it is one of the most hilarious, sarcastic and quotable book I ever read. It is the very finest social satire full of ridiculous situation, witty dialogues and great lines.

I expected the same (even more!) from the second book, and was excited to hold the copy in my hands.

Praline Goes To Washington is an excellent written piece of political satire, and at the same time it is an example of a very rare genre that is most likely doomed to remain in the niche.

I'll try to explain:

Political satire & Gay erotica
Readers who enjoy Political Satire (judging from my life experience) are usually not regular readers of Gay Erotica(this one is VERY GRAPHICALLY delicious). Readers who enjoy Gay Erotica don't read Political Satire, normally.
And...THIS KIND OF GAY EROTICA won't read an average MM Romance Reader. ("He said that he loves him on the page 5 and he fucks someone else on the page 10!")


To enjoy political satire, you have to know the political/social background.

I had to admit, much to my regret, I didn't know all the necessary information behind the scenes to be able to enjoy this militant irony. There were so many names (slightly modified) that every American reader would immediately recognize and identify with a real person AND... COULD easily understand the sarcasm and exaggeration that was hidden behind, but I didn't. I knew who was hidden behind Helmut Dump and his wife Melanoma, but not more. I have openly to confess that I GOT TIRED from all this political circus at the end and even AVOIDED all political discussions ON PURPOSE recently. Since I tried to express my opinion about it on FB and got a lot of feedback like "go away/disappear and don't disturb other people to express their temper", I am not politically motivated at all, FYI.


You have to be a passionate democrat (that is only logical).That is easy, I think.

You have to be a child, in your heart.
YES. Because Praline is such a kind naive sweetheart. I try to imagine that his IQ is simply too low not too academic and ignore an obvious fact that he is an idiot a charming naive young man.


It is a NOW/TODAY fiction.
It won't be very actual and interesting probably/maybe 4 years from now later.


I REALLY REALLY wish more readers from the TARGET AUDIENCE read it. Those who are political NOT ignorant. Those who can enjoy Gay Erotica. Those who read the first book in the series and enjoyed it. Those who are fans of Marshall Thornton. Those who are NOT fans of the current president.



If the Creek Don't Rise: A Novel

If the Creek Don't Rise: A Novel - Leah Weiss
Beautiful prose, deeply developed characters, engaging story-line, unforgettable read.

I wish I could adopt the blurb and make it to my review. It has absolutely everything that a reader needs to know to decide if it is worth it to read this book or not. Honestly, just read the blurb and you will know.

This book is a pure beauty, in words and in a way the story is told. It has a very unique structure, a multiple first person pov. I'm not a big fan of changing POV, and I have never imagined that a multiple viewpoint novel could be such a satisfying read, and even less that a debut author can master the challenge with such ease and style.

Set in a small provincial community, in North Carolina, in the Appalachian mountain, in the 1970s, [b:If The Creek Don't Rise: A Novel|32804703|If The Creek Don't Rise A Novel|Leah Weiss|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1478043967s/32804703.jpg|53402293] tells the story of Sadie Blue, of finding hopes and strength to be able to take fate in her own hands.

Breathtaking nature as an astonishing contrast to the terribly poor living and social conditions.

For me it was shocking to learn how poor and uneducated were the people who lived in this area. I couldn't believe I was reading about the 1970s setting in the USA, and not about the much earlier period of time in some foreign country, abandoned by God and civilization.


I absolutely LOVE this book.

***Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Blood Stained Tea

Blood Stained Tea - Amy Tasukada
Well...it was a frustrating read for me. I liked the premise more than I liked the book.
I probably would have DNF it if I had read it alone. But it was an intimate BR with my dear friend Sofia and I didn't want to give up this struggle and leave her alone.

Besides, it is always a pleasure to exchange thoughts with her. It's only pity that this book didn't give too many opportunities for an interesting discussion.

This book was not awful. Even if the story-line and the characters lacked of logic and depth, it was easy to come through. Like a comic cartoon. That is one of a few positive things about this book for me. What I also found interesting is the cultural aspect and the setting.

[b:Blood Stained Tea|33152873|Blood Stained Tea (The Yakuza Path #1)|Amy Tasukada|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1480461236s/33152873.jpg|53843270] takes place in Kyoto, Japan. It was refreshing and new for me, and I googled. I always enjoy books that teach me something new, and here it was Kyoto's festivals, Japanese tea ceremony and traditions.

It COULD have been a beautiful tragic enemies-to-lovers romance story, rich in plot and a cultural background and with much passion. COULD HAVE...but it wasn't.
Unfortunately the author failed on all fronts, IMO.

A story summary:

After the Korean mafia has established itself in Osaka forcing the Japanese mafia there into a bloody territory war Kyoto is its next target for expansion. Nao, a son of a Godfather of the Yakuza Japanese mafia, withdrew from the family business 4 years ago, for private reasons, and runs since then his own small tea-house. He lives a very solitary and simple life, when one rainy night he finds a badly wounded young man on the street. As he takes him home to take care of, he doesn't know that this attractive Korean young man is an important member of the Korean mob...

How the story goes on, is easy to guess: they fell in love, and...well...their origins make everything only complicated. But don't rush to stamp this book as a gay Romeo and Juliet story. IT IS NOT. But you can find it yourself.

My issues:

Insta-love.

Saehyun disrespects Nao on the one page and on the next page he talks already about their relationship and being Nao's boyfriend. It went totally unnoticed for me.

Dialogues. THEY ARE AWFUL. Do adult people talk this way?! (I mean those with an average IQ?)

ILLOGICAL actions. I'm not a mafia expert, but what I read here was ridiculous.

Characters: without any depth, too flat and superficial, two-dimensional, boring, stupid.

ENDING. Oh please...
If the author decides to erase the only, more or less, likable and significant character for an impressive and illogical ending...then I'm out here.


I didn't like the writing. But it is just my personal taste.


I'm not going to read the next book in the series. I can imagine how it ends: Nao will get a new kitty.

I think I'm not going to read more by the author.

***Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

Gavin

Gavin - Russell (Russel Madajewski)
WARNING: This book contains graphic scenes, explicit language, and violent, sexual situations.





MORE WARNING: This book contains also rape and child abuse. AND It is NOT a ROMANCE. If you look for a sweet emotional relationship drama, with a little bit mystery in a background, then it is not for you. I'm not even sure that I can recommend this book to a vanilla mystery reader, because this book IS BRUTAL.

I am glad that I gave this book one more chance, because I was VERY closed to give up at 10% . I actually HAD given up, but this decision left me feel rather uneasy, and after a bit more deliberation I picked it up again.

The book starts with a crime scene (yes, with a graphic and brutal one). When Detective Gavin Nolan and his partner detective Derrick Williamson arrive at the scene they find two men brutally murdered - I will spare you the details- and a message, written in blood upon the mirror: Gavin, you could save me.

My main reason why I wanted to give up at around 10% was a presumption that this book was solely about a hate crime. I was not in the mood for a serial killer who hates gay men, hunts them and carries out his sick fantasies killing them in a especially perverse way. Homophobia/bigotry is not my thing.

However, the main character, Gavin Nolan got my attention from the very beginning: recently divorced, he’s just moved into his new apartment in downtown. It was something mysterious, enigmatic about an attractive athletic and smart detective by the Homicide Division in Chicago that kept me on reading.



Does Gavin have something to hide, from the world? Was there something in his past that he does not want to recall and tries to forget? What kind of connection can have a CPD cop and a murderer?. The victims didn’t know each other, they have various age ranges, different backgrounds, social circles, but it doesn’t look like the killer chosen them randomly. It has to be a connection between all the victims. Though what can they all have in common? And how Gavin could fit in this schema?

It is a tough (because of the topic, see the warning) but extremely thrilling read. After my initial difficulties to get into the story (mostly because I misinterpreted it), I couldn’t put it down, and swallowed almost 500 pages in three days (it is a very unusual reading speed for me).

I normally do not like when flashbacks take a lot of place in the plot, but here exactly the interplay between past and present, memories and actual places made the story.

I found the writing became also better as the story unfolded. I would describe it simple but fluent and entertaining. There were some really shining moments, but there was also some parts that appears amateurish. To say it in other words, this book is not perfect, it has its issues, but all in all I honestly enjoyed it (I know that to talk about enjoying sounds a bit perverse, considering the topic), and I am looking forward to the next sequel.



A horror fast paced mystery full of surprises, a provoking and gripping story-line, complex and unusual characters.






***ARC provided to Gay Book Reviews by the author in exchange for an honest review.***

The Curse of the Blue Scarab: A Monster Mash-up

The Curse of the Blue Scarab: A Monster Mash-up - Josh Lanyon
It is a while already since I finished this book, and I have to admit, I’m still is in two minds about it.

Considering the writing quality and the fact how the style and language harmonized with that period and with a created historical atmosphere [b:The Curse of the Blue Scarab|31421764|The Curse of the Blue Scarab|Josh Lanyon|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1470859190s/31421764.jpg|52113304] is a nice piece of fiction.

However, judging by my personal enjoyment, I cannot give this book more than 3 stars, and I am generous here.

Had the author published it under another name, I would have never guessed that it came from the pen of Josh Lanyon. That fact shows, on the one hand, a wide range of JL’s writing skills, on the other hand, it shows that readers don’t meet with approval every experiment. It takes courage to try something new, and we have to respect it, but we are habit creatures regarding our reads.

This book is excellently written, as I’ve already mentioned. However, by and by, exactly the writing became my problem. I found it very interesting, unusual and perfectly suitable to the story line at the beginning, but as the story unfolded, it became increasingly frustrating to concentrate on the events and the story line.

What happened here: a good writing became an obstacle to the story itself. It started to be difficult to come through long-winded passages in old-fashioned language - that matched perfectly with the historical atmosphere- but that became difficult for me to enjoy.

The story is slowly paced that have never been a problem for me, if I’m connected with the characters and If I am intrigued with the story and its development. Unfortunately I couldn’t really connect with the MCs and I found the story rather boring than enigmatic and, in regard to a mystery concept, rather illogical than mysterious. I didn't get why the mummy has to be moved from host to host, leaving dead bodies behind, if the main owner could simply keep it in his house without bringing anyone in danger of death.

The ending I liked more than the majority of the readers, and I am glad that it didn’t turn at the end into a horror-paranormal-novel with the revitalized bloodthirsty mummy that one could have initially presumed.

It was my first book in a mashup genre, and it is nice to be introduced to it. I knew it solely from movies (like The Naked Gun, if I can qualify this series as such).
I didn't read the original [b:The Mummy|28805554|The Mummy|Riccardo Stephens|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1454152055s/28805554.jpg|49018817] that serves as the basis for [b:The Curse of the Blue Scarab|31421764|The Curse of the Blue Scarab|Josh Lanyon|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1470859190s/31421764.jpg|52113304], but I know that it is not actually funny, quite the opposite. However, considering the mashup genre I think, I’d have had much more fun reading [b:The Curse of the Blue Scarab|31421764|The Curse of the Blue Scarab|Josh Lanyon|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1470859190s/31421764.jpg|52113304], if it had been told with more humor.



***Copy provided kindly by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Rescue Me

Rescue Me - Michelle L. Teichman
DNF at 50%

I honestly hate to DNF it.
One of my resolutions for the New Year was to have as few DNF books as possible, best not to have such books at all. It does not mean though that I plan to torture myself with books I don’t like but only that I will TRY better to choose MY books.
And here is the consequence: I will TRY to avoid F/F Romance books. It is just not my cuppa.

It pained me to say it, looking at you with my rainbow -colored eyes, and thinking that we, girls, have to stick together, but I assure you that my not liking FF has nothing to do with my position and my attitudes. I’m a passionate supporter of LGBT rights, and I do and will do it where I can, with all my heart. But I’m a straight woman, and I just don’t enjoy FF books where the main focus is set on relationships and sexual tension. However, I read and liked some lesbian literary fiction books.

[b:Rescue Me|32720031|Rescue Me|Michelle L. Teichman|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1477064565s/32720031.jpg|52840134] is not a bad book and it is not bad written, but I'm not a target audience for it. Maybe if the mystery had convinced me, I could have finished it, but the mystery didn't grab me, and I had problems with some twists.
Like:
1) Does a 1,5 year old dead body stink?! Or how can it be partly liquid?!
2) How can police suspects the local ambulance service to be involved in the crime case when it is clear that a real ambulance car arrived first LATER? So it can't be THIS local ambulance service, right?
3) How can THIS alcoholic drugged woman be a mother of the missing female police officer?! And why nobody knew it?!

I think I could forgive a MM Romance novel many irregularities, if I like the main characters and if I enjoy the interaction between them, but unfortunately I don’t do it in case of FF Romance.

So, it is my first DNF book this year, and I hope the last one.

I think, had I finished it, I could have rated it between 2 and 3 stars.

***Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***

Lucky Days

Lucky Days - Marshall Thornton *** Spoiler-free!***

I think I'll pick an audio book for my next read. It was a reading marathon through the night (with a short pause for a bothersome need like sleeping), my eyes are exhausted - I had a busy working week, the first one after holidays – but...Do I need to explain anything?!

Who wouldn't have done the same?!
It is the book #9 of Boystown series series, FGS! We are entre nous. We know what we want and what we can expect but the most important thing - we know WHY. And I assure you, [b:Lucky Days|32882877|Lucky Days (Boystown, #9)|Marshall Thornton|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1478450663s/32882877.jpg|53495848] WAS WORTH THE WAIT.


I have a LOT of feelings about this book, I HIGHLIGHTED a lot, and I promise to do my best not to spoil ANYTHING for you in my review. You'll read this sequel and you'll enjoy it, I just know it. Period.

[b:Lucky Days|32882877|Lucky Days (Boystown, #9)|Marshall Thornton|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1478450663s/32882877.jpg|53495848] is for me the most complex installment in the series:

There are 3 cases that Nick are involved into.

The main case is Jimmy English trail that starts, it occupies the main part in this book. And even if Nick doesn't make the rules here, he plays one of the main ( if not the main) role here. Let me reveal the precise details - he is NOT amused about it. The second case reminds of Nick's previous cases, a gay customer needs his services as a private investigator and the third one is more of the private nature in that he is involved rather emotionally than factually(and is very tiny from Nick's attention, but it is THERE).


There are many secondary characters. (Especially in regard to Jimmy English trail.)

Don't worry though - the author leads his readers very skillfully through the jungle of names. I have to admit that I didn't know IMMEDIATELY who was who in SOME situations, but before I had decided to pick up the previous sequel to refresh my memories and started to seek for the names, I got my explanation from the author out of the context that followed.


[b:Lucky Days|32882877|Lucky Days (Boystown, #9)|Marshall Thornton|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1478450663s/32882877.jpg|53495848] has more than ONE sub-genre.
We have a COURT DRAMA, a RUN-AWAY-ROAD-MOVIE, a crime investigation a là Nick Nowak (you know this typical for Nick ones, we know from previous books, asking questions-> making conclusions), and yes, a GAY ROMANCE(that doesn't take up a lot of space in this book, but it doesn't mean automatically LESS INTENSITY, just the opposite), no I won't add GAY EROTICA, there are not TOO MANY sex scenes, and I LOVE THEM, but SEX is a delicious addition to the plot and not the opposite.



I don't need to praise the writing(We are entre nous, remember?), we all know that [a:Marshall Thornton|3000192|Marshall Thornton|https://images.gr-assets.com/authors/1263196997p2/3000192.jpg] is an AMAZING WRITER. With a SPECIAL talent for dialogues (no one can do it better!), but not only. He is the best in writing the best ENDING. You know, the one that leaves you with tears in your eyes (because it is soooo emotional and touching), that doesn't piss you off (because he doesn't do mean cliffhangers), but the one that leaves you craving for more.

Overall, I really loved this book. It has everything I enjoy: a dramatic tension, a very clever mystery, an emotional part and....IT HAS NICK. Marshall Thornton gave me somebody I don't want to live without. He gave me something I want to have AS LONG AS POSSIBLE. Marshall Thornton amazes me with his ideas again and again. And I just can't have enough of this series=I just can't have enough of Nick.



*Copy provided by the author in exchange for an honest review*


Dare to Remember

Dare to Remember - Susanna Beard The first thing I did when I had finished this book- I took away "Shocking. Page-Turning. Psychological Thriller." from the title. (Thanks to my GR librarian rights I dare).

Because
a)If it IS a page turner or NOT decides the reader and not the publisher,
and
b)I disagree to label this novel as a "Shocking. Page-Turning. Psychological Thriller." It is not shocking, and not a thriller. Well it was a page-turner, for sure.
Besides, a genre itself has to stay away from any title, IMO.

[b:Dare to Remember|33144357|Dare to Remember|Susanna Beard|https://images.gr-assets.com/books/1480365919s/33144357.jpg|53830159] is a psychological DRAMA. A good written one.
It is a solid debut work, in a simple but beautiful and powerful language.

I read the whole book almost in one sitting and remained extremely tense while reading. The plot kept me permanently in the state when I expected something extremely bad and shocking would happen very soon, or on the next page. This nail-biting suspense of the plot is maybe typical for Stephen King's books however was unusual for this melancholically slow paced story that Susanna Beard skillfully created. Maybe I should blame "Shocking. Page-Turning. Psychological Thriller" in the title, but I think it is exactly what the author wanted to achieve with her book. It is this almost invisible mystery element, this BIG unsolved uncertainty, these many unanswered questions that the crime left and this strange feeling of GUILT that doesn't let Lisa go. WHY? WHAT really happened there?!

Lisa lost her roommate and her best friend in a brutally attack that happened in their small apartment. She survived and her body is recovering, but mental damages and suffering caused by this crime are enormous. The worst of all- she lost her memories. She can recall EVERYTHING before the attack, but she doesn't know WHAT really happened. All her life is divided into BEFORE and AFTER. BEFORE she LIVED, AFTER - panic attacks, trauma, loneliness, isolation, no friends, no social life. But she tries, she moves forward, even if she has doubts that she'll ever feel strong and confident and ready to face the world again.


Bit by bit she becomes her memories back, flashlights, fragments, pieces that help to reconstruct the events. Could she answer the very important question: WHY? And where is this guilt comes from? Did she blocked her memory because of the shocking truth?

This book was a pleasant surprise, an engaging plot, very interesting and well-discovered main and second characters (not to forget a fabulous four-legged friend) and a great message at the end.

Highly recommended.

***Copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review***