Stacking the Shelves – November 17

This is a weekly meme hosted by Tynga’s Reviews and Reading Reality. Stacking The Shelves is all about sharing the books you are adding to your shelves, may it be physical or virtual. This means you can include books you buy in physical store or online, books you borrow from friends or the library, review books, gifts and of course ebooks!

I was approved for two books on NetGalley:

  • Sliding Home by Joyce Grant
  • You’d Be Mine by Erin Hahn

Thank you James Lorimer & Company and St. Martin’s Press for copies of these books! 

What books did you get this week?

1000 Followers!!! Giveaway Time!

I reached 1000 followers yesterday! Thanks so much to everyone who follows my blog!

To celebrate and thank all of my followers, I am hosting a giveaway! Here are the details:

Prizes:

Two winners will win:

  • A book of your choice from the Book Depository worth up to $20 USD

Rules:

  • Must live in a country where the Book Depository ships
  • Must follow my blog
  • Ends at 12:00 AM EST on November 26, 2018

Here’s the link to the giveaway: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thanks again to everyone! Good luck!

Blog Tour Review: How (Not) to Marry a Duke

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Title: How (Not) to Marry a Duke
Author: Felicia Kingsley
Genre: Romance
Publisher: Aria
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: August 21, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

A hilarious romantic comedy perfect for fans of Sophie Kinsella, Jo Watson and Meg Cabot.

One minute, Jemma Pears is a struggling theatrical make-up artist in London. The next, she’s been left a vast fortune by her estranged grandmother. The catch: she must marry a man with a title to inherit.
Jemma thinks this is truly impossible: she’s a romantic, searching for true love, not just a convenient marriage… and besides, where would she even find a titled guy?

Enter Ashford, the new Duke of Burlingham. His legacy: massive debts that he must pay back immediately or risk the bank seizing his assets. Or worse: his mother’s wrath!

When their lawyer hears of their situations, a secret match is made despite their mutual hatred of each other: through marrying Ashford, Jemma can inherit and Ashford can pay back his debts immediately. Problem solved. That is, until their marriage is leaked to the press and everyone finds out…

Now they have to play out the charade for at least a year or risk going to jail for fraud!

A hilarious pretense ensues and Jemma must battle against a crazy mother in law, a stuffy aristocracy, and finally, and most surprisingly of all, confusing feelings for Ashford…!

Review:

I absolutely loved this book! It was cute and funny!

The ending was kind of predictable because of the storyline. Jemma needs to marry a man with a title to receive her inheritance from her grandmother and Ashford is a Duke who requires a lot of money for him to save his properties. By coincidence, they have the same lawyer who sets them up to solve both of their problems! Of course, at first they hate each other because Jemma is not part of the aristocracy that Ashford usually associates with. But after living together for a while, things change.

There were a number of times that I laughed out loud. Ashford’s mother reminded me of Jane Fonda’s character in the movie Monster-In-Law. Jemma could not please her no matter what she did. They were completely different, so many of the scenes reminded me of that movie.

Though I could see where the story was heading, I loved the ending. I really enjoyed the whole story, and I fell in love with the characters. This is a great romantic comedy!

What to read next:

  • The Princess Diaries by Meg Cabot
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  • The Kiss Quotient by Helen Hoang

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About the Author:

Felicia Kingsley was born in 1987. She lives in a small town near Modena and works as an architect. Her debut novel How (Not) to Marry a Duke was the second most read e-book in Italy in 2017.

 

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Thank you to Aria for letting me participate in this blog tour.

Review: With You Always

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Title: With You Always
Author: Rena Olsen
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Release Date: August 7, 2018
Rating: ★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

From the author of The Girl Before comes a tense and incisive work of psychological suspense that examines how easy it is to fall into the wrong relationship…and how impossible it can be to leave.

In the wake of a painful breakup and struggling to prove herself at work, Julia feels adrift. When Bryce blows into her life, he seems like the perfect anchor. Handsome, charming, secure, and confident, Bryce brings out the best in Julia, sweeping her off her feet with attention and affection while grounding her with his certainty and faith. Together they embark on a path guided by the principles of his family and their church, each step a paving stone leading to happily ever after.

But this is no fairy tale.

Step by step, one small concession leading to another, Julia is slowly isolated from her job, her friends, and her family, until she comes to find that her dream come true is a cage. Then one day everything changes…and Julia is faced with no choice but to find a way out.

Review:

This book disappointed me a little, because it is marketed as a psychological thriller but it takes a long time for the thriller to begin.The thrilling parts of it only began in the last third of the book.

The thriller aspects of the story only began in the last third of the book. The beginning of the book laid the groundwork for the rest of it, but it took too long for the exciting part to start.

It is clear pretty early on that Bryce is controlling. He was very creepy, and I don’t know why Julia couldn’t see it. He was way too perfect. Since he was obviously creepy, the long story of their relationship leading up to the climax could have been shorter than the 200 pages it took up.

This book wasn’t for me, because I like fast paced thrillers. If you like a book that has a slower pace, this is for you.

What to read next:

  • Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn

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  • The Girl Before by Rena Olsen

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Have you read With You Always? What did you think of it?

 

Review: Believe Me

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Title: Believe Me
Author: J.P. Delaney
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Release Date: July 24, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

In this twisty psychological thriller from the New York Timesbestselling author of The Girl Before, an actress plays both sides of a murder investigation.

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Then she gets both. But nothing like she expected.

Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions. The rules? Never hit on the mark directly. Make it clear you’re available, but he has to proposition you, not the other way around. The firm is after evidence, not coercion. The innocent have nothing to hide.

Then the game changes.

When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

Claire can do this. She’s brilliant at assuming a voice and an identity. For a woman who’s mastered the art of manipulation, how difficult could it be to tempt a killer into a trap? But who is the decoy . . . and who is the prey?

Review:

This was a great thriller. It had tons of twists!

Claire was an unreliable character. I couldn’t trust what she did or said because sometimes she would lie and I couldn’t tell what was true. It made for a good story since I didn’t know what was happening, but it was frustrating at the same time because I couldn’t trust her.

Halfway through the book, I was sure that I had figured out who killed Stella. But there was a twist in part 3, which completely through me off. I was also wrong with my theory.

The last part of the story was different from the first two. There was less of the mystery because everyone was more settled in their lives. The mystery was resolved at the very end, but it felt rushed to me. I was surprised at how it ended.

This book is great if you love twisty thrillers!

What to read next:

  • A Noise Downstairs

  • Gone Girl

Have you read Believe Me? What did you think of it?

Review: A Noise Downstairs

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Title: A Noise Downstairs
Author: Linwood Barclay
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: Penguin Random House Canada
Source: Publisher
Release Date: July 24, 2018
Rating: ★★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

The New York Times bestselling author of No Time for Goodbyereturns with a haunting psychological thriller that blends the twists and turns of Gillian Flynn with the driving suspense of Harlan Coben, in which a man is troubled by odd sounds for which there is no rational explanation.

College professor Paul Davis is a normal guy with a normal life. Until, driving along a deserted road late one night, he surprises a murderer disposing of a couple of bodies. That’s when Paul’s “normal” existence is turned upside down. After nearly losing his own life in that encounter, he finds himself battling PTSD, depression, and severe problems at work. His wife, Charlotte, desperate to cheer him up, brings home a vintage typewriter—complete with ink ribbons and heavy round keys—to encourage him to get started on that novel he’s always intended to write.

However, the typewriter itself is a problem. Paul swears it’s possessed and types by itself at night. But only Paul can hear the noise coming from downstairs; Charlotte doesn’t hear a thing. And she worries he’s going off the rails.

Paul believes the typewriter is somehow connected to the murderer he discovered nearly a year ago. The killer had made his victims type apologies to him before ending their lives. Has another sick twist of fate entwined his life with the killer—could this be the same machine? Increasingly tormented but determined to discover the truth and confront his nightmare, Paul begins investigating the deaths himself.

But that may not be the best thing to do. Maybe Paul should just take the typewriter back to where his wife found it. Maybe he should stop asking questions and simply walk away while he can. . . .

Review:

I loved this thriller! I couldn’t put it down.

This story was super creepy. I couldn’t tell if Paul was going crazy or if things were actually happening to him. It was hard to tell. At first, I couldn’t tell why the narrative switched between Paul and other characters, mostly Anna White. It’s clear why at the end, so there was a good reason.

I kept thinking about how this story would have been so different if it had a woman as the main character. Many thrillers with female main characters imply that the woman is going crazy, and it’s much more frustrating. Usually she ends up having a drug or alcohol problem as well, such as in The Woman in the Window. I liked this story with a male main character much better. I feel like the other people in his life weren’t as hard on him, as they are when there is a woman who seems to be going crazy.

I loved the twists at the end. It all made sense, but it was pretty complicated. I really enjoyed this story.

What to read next:

  • The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

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  • Find You In The Dark by Nathan Ripley

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Have you read A Noise Downstairs? What did you think of it?

Review: Baby Teeth

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Title: Baby Teeth
Author: Zoje Stage
Genre: Thriller
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Release Date: July 17, 2018
Rating: ★★★★

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Goodreads Synopsis:

Sweetness can be deceptive.

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

Review:

This book was such a wild ride!

Hanna was so disturbing. I was actually scared when I read about the creepy things she would do. She tortured her mother in ways that weren’t always obvious. It’s hard to believe that a child could think up these ways to harm their parents. I can’t imagine going through something like that.

I had no idea how this book was going to end. It wasn’t a clear cut story where you know in general what will happen (for example in romances where the couple either gets together or not, or a mystery where the detective will find the killer). I didn’t know if everyone was going to die or live or some other unknown solution! I’ll admit I was surprised at the ending.

One strange thing about this book is that it has two different names. It is called Baby Teeth in North America, but it is called Bad Apple in the UK. I didn’t really understand why it is called Baby Teeth, but I can understand the Bad Apple reference, since Hanna really is a bad apple. If anyone knows the reasoning behind the different names I’d love to know!

I would love to see this story continued in a sequel! I highly recommend this book for a creepy thrilling read.

What to read next:

  • The Couple Next Door by Shari Lapena
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  • The Last Time I Lied by Riley Sager

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Have you read Baby Teeth? What did you think of it?