Archive for January 20th, 2016

The Undoing


The Undoing by Averil Dean

(Excerpt from Goodreads) On a bitter January evening, three people are found murdered in the isolated Blackbird hotel.

Best friends since childhood, Eric, Rory and Celia have always been inseparable. Together they’ve coped with broken homes and damaged families, clinging to each other as they’ve navigated their tenuous lives. Their bond is potent and passionate—and its intensity can be volatile.

When the trio decides to follow Celia’s dream of buying and renovating the Blackbird, a dilapidated hotel that sits on the perilous cliffs of Jawbone Ridge, new jealousies arise and long-held suspicions start to unravel their relationship. Soon they find themselves pushed to the breaking point, where trust becomes doubt, longing becomes obsession, and someone will commit the ultimate betrayal.

An unflinching story of ambition, desire and envy, The Undoing traces the events leading to that fateful night, revealing the intimate connections, dark secrets and terrible lies that wove them together—and tore them apart.


My Review

4 stars

We start the book with Julian Moss leaping to his death from a pine tree into a ravine. From there the story revolves around three people: Eric, Rory, and Celia. Celia and Rory are step siblings. Their parents married when they were around 10 years of age. Both are best friends with Eric, who comes with his own baggage that helps keep the three together. Together they buy and start renovating an old hotel, the Blackbird. But jealousy starts to run rampant and the tight group is going to be broken apart.

This was an interesting read, and I don’t mean that in a bad way. The story is told backward. You start with Julian committing suicide, his arrival at the Blackbird the day before, and on from there. I admit that I was kinds of lost at the beginning of each chapter and had to keep flipping back and forth to figure out where in time that part of the story was at. But this is a story that you need to read it that way. You just get the feeling that there is more to the story but it was better revealed in reverse.

This was a good thriller and I admit that I couldn’t figure out what was going on until the end. It was such a tangle of selfishness, jealousy, and such that it took me a while to figure out what really happened. This is a great story and if you like messed up romances, selfish playboys, and an old hotel that is being remodeled for a bed and bath, you will really like this story.

To purchase The Undoing make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Averil Dean’s website.

I received The Undoing for free from Harlequin/MIRA/HQN in exchange for an honest review.

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Planetfall by Emma Newman

(Excerpt from Goodreads) From the award-nominated author Emma Newman, comes a novel of how one secret withheld to protect humanity’s future might be its undoing…

Renata Ghali believed in Lee Suh-Mi’s vision of a world far beyond Earth, calling to humanity. A planet promising to reveal the truth about our place in the cosmos, untainted by overpopulation, pollution, and war. Ren believed in that vision enough to give up everything to follow Suh-Mi into the unknown.

More than twenty-two years have passed since Ren and the rest of the faithful braved the starry abyss and established a colony at the base of an enigmatic alien structure where Suh-Mi has since resided, alone. All that time, Ren has worked hard as the colony’s 3-D printer engineer, creating the tools necessary for human survival in an alien environment, and harboring a devastating secret.

Ren continues to perpetuate the lie forming the foundation of the colony for the good of her fellow colonists, despite the personal cost. Then a stranger appears, far too young to have been part of the first planetfall, a man who bears a remarkable resemblance to Suh-Mi.

The truth Ren has concealed since planetfall can no longer be hidden. And its revelation might tear the colony apart…


My Review

3 stars

Twenty years ago, Suh-Mi and Ren we lovers when Suh-Mi starting having visions about leaving a failing Earth to start a colony in space at a location that only she knew. With the help of Mack, they put together a colony of people that shared their idea and left the Earth. There were some troubles they had upon Plantfall, like a group of the colonists not making it to the planet, and other difficulties.

Present day, Mack and Ren have lots of secrets, but no one knows about them. Until a young man, Sung-Soo arrives at the colony. Where he come from is a mystery and more troubling is he shares DNA with Suh-Mi, who went into a structure they call God’s City. This is troubling for Mack and Ren since they know that truth of what really happened on Planetfall and know that the truth will be coming out with the arrival of Sung-Soo. The question is if the colonists will be able to live with the truth.

It is obvious Ren and Mack have a lot of secrets but you don’t find out about them until closer to the end of the story, which I admit does get a little annoying. Beyond that I can’t say that I really liked Ren. She clearly had issues relating to Planetfall and mental illness. I did like how this is part of the story. You don’t really have issues like this in most books. Sung-Soo is a great character. You don’t know if he is completely innocent or if there is more going on.

I admit that I didn’t like the end of the story. It works to end everything but I’m not a fan of endings like this. I have not read other books by Emma Newman and I do feel that I will check out her other books. As for Planetfall, it is not a bad book. There are good parts in it. But I don’t know if I would read it again knowing what I know now.

To purchase Planetfall make sure to visit Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Goodreads, and Emma Newman’s website.

I received Planetfall for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

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a_north_shore_story copy (1)

A North Shore Story by Dean Economics and Alyssa Machinis

For the teenagers of Chicago’s North Shore, everyone has something to hide.

In a daring attempt to impress the elusive Sophia, Michael makes the biggest decision of his life, stealing over a hundred thousand dollars from St. Theodore Community Church.

That same night, Nichole’s insecurities are finally forgotten with a drug she soon won’t be able to control.

When Michael makes his getaway, he sees his friend Joseph cheat on his girlfriend with the priest’s daughter and knock over a candle that sets the church ablaze.

As the consequences of that night unfold, Joseph is blamed for the fire and the missing money. Can the teenagers of the North Shore confess their vices to help their friend? Or will their greed, infidelity and jealousy change all their lives forever?

Headshot - Dean (1) copy     Headshot - Alyssa 5 (1) copyDean Economics and Alyssa Machinis


@DeanEconomos, @lyssa_machinis, @prbythebook

To purchase The North Shore Story make sure to check out the following links:

Amazon     Barnes and Noble     Kobo     Goodreads

PR By The Book

I would like to thank Alessandra Wike with PR by the Book for the information on this book.

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