Friday, December 22, 2017

review: lucky bang by deborah coonts

This post contains affiliate links.

Lucky Bang gets started with a literal bang when Lucky finds dynamite in the women's bathroom! Fortunately, everyone is safe, but Lucky knows the old dynamite sticks are connected to her past. As always, she plunges right into the investigation despite having been in the hospital after the explosion. This novella reveals more about Lucky's semi-mysterious father while also delving a bit into Lucky's potential love triangle. It's a lively tale absolutely fitting for Lucky's crazy life.
Review copy provided by the publicist, Kate Tilton.

Thursday, December 21, 2017

review: gratoony the loony by gilles gratton & greg oliver

This post contains affiliate links.

Gilles Gratton had a fairly short professional hockey career, but his antics (and a goalie mask painted like a lion) made him a memorable player from the 1970s era. In his memoir, Gratton reveals his lack of interest in playing hockey, some of his family's issues, and how adamantly he believes in past lives. With coauthor Greg Oliver, Gratton shares some wild stories about the exploits of professional athletes (which he admits would probably land someone in jail if attempted today) and paints quite the picture of the time. Throughout Gratton's tales are inserts from friends, family, and hockey associates who also reflect on the experiences. Gratoony the Loony isn't the most polished or linear tale, but it feels like Gratton's voice has really come through in this memoir.
Review copy provided by the publisher, ECW Press.

Friday, December 15, 2017

review: the art of running in heels by rachel gibson

This post contains affiliate links.

Lexie Kowalsky is the daughter of a former NHL player who now coaches the Seattle Chinooks (the story of Lexie's mom and dad kicked off the series), but she makes a name for herself by winning a The Bachelor-style show called Gettin' Hitched. When it comes time to tape the wedding for the big finale, Lexie bails. A friend who owns a plane whisks her off to British Columbia to hide from the fallout. On the small plane is an attractive man also going to Canada. He knows who Lexie is, but Lexie doesn't realize the man who helps her out of her uncomfortable wedding garb is the new player her father keeps railing about. Lexie and Sean hook up and then it all gets complicated.

A series based around a Seattle NHL team and a book specifically about hype around a runaway reality show bride seems likely to be filled with all sorts of improbable situations, but Rachel Gibson makes it work. It's clear she knows the Pacific Northwest and hockey. The most implausible thing in The Art of Running in Heels ended up being when CNN tossed to a KING reporter. A few years ago this was unlikely because it's not really how the industry works, but it's impossible now that Tegna (who bought KING in 2013) ended the station's CNN affiliation. The Art of Running in Heels is an absolutely delightful romp. The one off-putting thing is the sexism displayed by Lexie's father and a few of the hockey players. With the incredible news that Seattle is finally in the running for an expansion NHL team (of course, it happened after I left!), Rachel Gibson's Chinooks Hockey Team series is one to check out.
Review copy provided by the publisher, Avon.

Tuesday, December 12, 2017

top ten tuesday: favorites of 2017

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish. Every Tuesday the site has a new top ten list with this week's being Ten Favorite Books of 2017. All the links below are to my reviews.

The Devil Crept In by Ania Ahlborn
The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor
Seeking Mr. Wrong by Natalie Charles
We Are Never Meeting in Real Life. by Samantha Irby
The Walls by Hollie Overton
The Daughters of Ireland by Santa Montefiore
The Wild Woman's Guide to Traveling the World by Kristin Rockaway
Best Day Ever by Kaira Rouda
The Vanishing Season by Joanna Schaffhausen
History is All You Left Me by Adam Silvera

Friday, December 8, 2017

review: the vanishing season by joanna schaffhausen

This post contains affiliate links.

Abigail Ellery Hathaway was kidnapped by a serial killer on her 14th birthday. She survived thanks to FBI profiler Reed Markham, who rescued her from a closet in the killer's lair and then wrote a book all about it. Because he gained fame (and money) at Ellery's expense, Reed agrees to help when Ellery contacts him about the disappearances of three people in the small town where she's now in law enforcement herself. Ellery believes a serial killer is behind the disappearances, but Reed can't help but wonder if Ellery's experience as a teen has caused her to snap.

Joanna Schaffhausen's debut is absolutely gripping with some great twists that lead to a stunning conclusion. The details of the plot are expertly woven so that it all feels remarkably real. The emotions felt by the characters (both major and minor) not only feel appropriate, but also help push the story forward. Although there were a few things related to the investigation that felt a little inaccurate (particularly that no one would've known Ellery's history given that she would've had to undergo a background check), The Vanishing Season is an excellent tale.

About the audiobook: The Vanishing Season is read by Lauren Fortgang. Her narration creates the perfect atmosphere and her voice lends itself well to all the characters (who are easily distinguished between). The audio version was published December 2017 by Blackstone Audio. It runs 9 hours.
Review copy provided by Audiobook Jukebox.