Second Life by S.J. Watson (Audiobook)

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Second Life is the second novel from S.J. Watson with his first being the bestselling novel Before I Go to Sleep (my review) which was a favorite of mine.  Once again he delivers a psychological thriller; this time about a happily married woman leading a second life – a much more dangerous life.  It makes a person question the people around them.  How well do you really know your mate, your neighbor, or even your best friend.  I love books like this that have me trying to dissect the story as I go along only to be hit with a twist at the end that leaves me shocked.  There are things to like in Second Life and things to like not so much but ultimately it will keep you turning the pages to discover just how this twisted story will end.  I listened to the audiobook of Second Life which is narrated by Susan Lyons and she does a fantastic job of adding the thrill to this psychological thriller!

When Julia learns that her sister Kate has been murdered it sets her off on a very dangerous path.  Julia is devastated by her sister’s death but at the same time she feels relief.  Julia and her husband adopted her sister’s boy Connor when he was very young but lately her sister had been talking of trying to regain custody.  Still she didn’t want her sister dead and since she doesn’t feel the police are doing enough to find her sister’s killer she takes it upon herself to do a little investigating.

Julia’s investigation leads into her into the world of online dating.  She learns from Kate’s friend Anna that Kate had been meeting men she met online and Julia feels sure that it is one of these men that has murdered her.  So despite some misgivings Julia at first pretends to be her sister but then sets up her own profile and does indeed meet a man she finds very suspicious.  Yet as she talks with this man she finds herself being drawn more and more into this cybersex online world.  How far will she take this new obsession of hers?  Will she allow it to destroy her family and her life?

I’ve seen some mixed reviews for Second Life but I really enjoyed it.  It’s not the same as Before I Go to Sleep and I think if you go into it that way you really enjoy it.  I found Julia to be a very selfish person but we learn that she has an addictive personality early on and I wonder if that’s not why she focuses so solely on herself.  The novel also really highlights the dangers of the internet.  A person really has no idea who they are talking to when they’re online and it’s scary.  It also highlights the dangers of getting into things like cybersex or sharing personal information and all of a sudden finding your online life infringing on your real one. I loved the twist at the end and if I had one complaint it would only be that I wasn’t too fond of the very last sentence that left me looking for a bit more.  Highly recommended!

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Source: Digital review copy received from the publisher for an honest review. Audiobook personal copy. No compensation was received.

The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley (Audiobook) & Giveaway (Paper Copy – US only)

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The Seven Sisters by Lucinda Riley is the first novel in what is going to be a series of seven books all inspired by the ancient myth of the Seven Sisters of Pleiades and it is awesome! Today is the kickoff for The Seven Sisters book tour with Historical Fiction Virtual Book Tours and I’m so excited to kick it off with a five star review! This novel is full of all the things I like in a book like great characters, beautiful settings, and a storyline that grabs my interest from the beginning and never lets go even for a minute. The Seven Sisters is sure to please her loyal fans along with new ones like me!

This is a story that weaves from past to present and does so seamlessly. Quite often I find one side of the story so much more interesting but not this time. I was equally anxious to read both and loved traveling back and forth from the beautiful Brazil to the romance of Paris.

In present we have Maia who is the eldest of the sisters. Their father had adopted all six girls from different parts of the world as babies. Upon learning of their father’s death the sisters all come home to gather support from each other while they grieve their beloved Pa Salt as they called him. When the will is read the girls each receive a letter from their father which leaves them an idea of where they had been born. While some of the other sisters have been curious over the years to learn of their birthplace Maia was always happy to let things alone but after reading her father’s letter to her she becomes curious enough to want to delve further into her heritage. Maia travels to Rio de Janeiro and with the help of a novelist she has worked with she finds that she descends from one of the more prominent families there. However she isn’t greeted very warmly and thinking all is lost she goes to leave but is approached by a maid who gives Maia a stack of old letters – old letters that lead her into a past she never could have imagined.

There is so much more that I haven’t even touched on. The book is quite long at almost 500 pages but you’d never know it. Once you start reading it is impossible to put it down. I listened to the audiobook which I have to say is simply incredible. It is narrated by Emily Lucienne and she does such a fantastic job. The audio comes in at eighteen and a half hours and it just flew by.

The Seven Sisters is a must for your summer reading! It’s a favorite of mine so far this year for both the amazing story and the great audio production. Highly recommended!

 

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GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US RESIDENTS ONLY
1 paperback copy up for grabs!
*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter
Draw Date June 18/15

 

 

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Source: Audiobook personal copy.

Trail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani (Audiobook) & Giveaway (Paper copy – US/Canada)

Trail-of-Broken-Wings_300dpiTrail of Broken Wings by Sejal Badani is an emotionally powerful book that portrays the effects of domestic abuse on a family throughout their lives.  It is an extremely well written book and despite the subject matter this is a book well worth reading.  You always think you know people but a family can look perfect on the outside and yet the inside is completely broken.  It’s a vicious cycle that destroys lives.

Sonya hasn’t been home in years and probably still wouldn’t be if not for her father being in a coma.  Sonya, a photographer, has been traveling the world and  living her life as she wishes.  It’s not as if she really cares what happens to her father having spent years living with his abuse as did her sister Marin.  Only one sister seemed to be his favorite and escape the abuse and that was Trish.  And in the background always was their mother Ranee who never lifted a finger to stop the abuse that she, along with her children, suffered.  Of course the abuser always has an excuse for his actions and in Brent’s case, having immigrated to America to give his family a better life, failed under the pressure of not fitting in and took it out on his family.

With Sonya home and the women all sitting with their father they find their memories of the past rushing to the surface.  None of them have gotten past the horrific violence they suffered at his hands and it’s invaded their lives.  Sonya doesn’t seem capable of having a relationship in her adult life, Marin feels she has to control everything in her family to the point of alienating both her daughter and her husband, and Trish is bent on destroying her marriage.  Even more disturbing both Ranee and her daughter Trish are harboring a secret that has the power to destroy them all.  As Brent’s condition worsens all of them have their own private thoughts on whether they want this man to live or die and in doing so – in bringing the past into the present – they might all be able to finally move on from the horrors of their past and look to the future.

I could not stop listening to this book.  It’s one of those books that even though the subject matter is disturbing you are still drawn into it.  The author really lets you get to know her characters so you become emotionally involved with them and the audiobook makes this story all the more real.  It is narrated by Karen Peakes who does a fabulous job of bringing all the emotion to this book that it deserves.  I highly recommend Trail of Broken Wings.

 

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GIVEAWAY – OPEN TO US & CANADIAN RESIDENTS

1 paper copy up for giveaway

*CLICK HERE* and fill out the form to enter

Draw Date June 3/15

 

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Source: Digital review copy provided by the publisher for an honest review.   Audiobook personal copy.  No compensation was received.

I Regret Nothing by Jen Lancaster (Audiobook)

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Let’s just start right off by me saying that I absolutely loved I Regret Nothing: A Memoir by Jen Lancaster! I listened to the audio version which is read by Jen herself and if you’ve never listened to her narrate one of her own books you are really missing out. I’ve listened to a couple of them and she is fantastic. Her personality and humor shine through as you listen and since I find her incredibly funny listening to her really adds to my enjoyment. She never fails to cheer me up!

I Regret Nothing is Jen’s latest personal memoir. Her memoir really resonated with me because I felt as though she was talking about me. I share her sense of humor, we are close to the same age, and have both been at that point in life where you begin looking around and assessing all the regrets you might have. Also I always connect with people who love their furbabies as obsessively as I do. We definitely share the same parenting skills there. Lol. Above everything I picture Jen as someone I could find myself sitting with and having a drink while our dogs poke us with their noses.  She’s very real and doesn’t sugar coat anything for her audience.  I like that.

In this book Jen writes herself a Bucket List to make sure she has no regrets when all is said and done. In doing so she takes us along as she attempts to ride a tricycle, learns Italian, and goes on a trip to Rome. All along she reflects back on her life and addresses current – sometimes serious – issues. What makes it all so special is Jen herself. When I wasn’t laughing out loud I was shaking my head as I agreed with something she said. She’s truly a story teller even when it’s the story of her own life.

I highly recommend Jen’s memoir especially to those who love her books but I think it will really appeal to women in their late 30’s and 40’s as they will be able to easily relate to being at that point in their own lives as Jen was. Jen shares her heart and soul in this memoir along with a good dose of humor and her message is clear – live your life without regrets! I loved it!

 

 

 

Source:  Review copy received from the publisher for an honest review.  No compensation was received.