I love Paris. The architecture is amazingly beautiful and it’s a gorgeous city full of great things to do and wonderful art work (mustn’t forget the pastries either). When I saw the title of this book, I was immediately curious about what the premise of the story would be. Reading the back cover copy let me know it was exactly up my alley in the world of genre fiction.
The story is told from the point of view of six characters in alternating chapters. The girl who is seeking her brother; the matronly, dignified Parisian lady of leisure—and snobbery; a younger girl who is a bit of a lonely heart and loner; a man who is an old friend of the brother being sought; the building’s concierge; and another man who is a drunken lout.
All of the above people live in the same apartment building except the girl seeking her brother. He lives on the third floor and when she arrives to stay with him, he’s nowhere to be found.
Worried as her last communication with him was he’d be waiting up for her, she makes every effort to find him. His wallet, his keys, and his scooter are still where they belong.
As she makes her way to talk to each resident about where her brother might be, mysteries abound. She finds a secret passage in the walls of the building and learns they were used by the Nazis when they occupied Paris.
She seeks out the police but they seem unconcerned even though she found blood in her brother’s apartment as well as on his cat. One of the residents returns to the police with her, as he is fluent in French and she is not, and they then promise to try to find him. But it still doesn’t seem to her that they are going to take any action.
As she investigates, weird things keep happening such as her getting locked in a wine cellar which may or may not have been an intentional act. Shenanigans at a Halloween party lead her to doubt who she can trust. Overheard conversations between other residents also cause her to worry. The questions deepen with every page and conversation. This is a great mystery story with a lot of twists and turns. It’s atmospheric and dark in places but all in all, it’s a very satisfying, suspenseful read. One big twist in the story was late in the game but it was an interesting turn and I quite enjoyed the premise as well as the journey to the solution
I got this book in a book swap at a book club meeting. I may not have otherwise discovered it so I’m glad the luck of the draw was with me that night.
A domestic suspense novel set partially in Italy and partially in Derby, UK. Chapters alternate between three women. Leah, Joanna, and Amy each tell their stories in turn and we root for each one.
The death of a young woman nine months before the story starts is integral to the book. A family torn apart by death, suspicion of a bartender who left Italy after the death and an aunt who wants answers mix together in Italy. A woman nursing a broken heart and beginning to recover from it in Derby is another mystery as the book opens. What she has to do with the family in Italy is one of the conundrums the reader is faced with in reading the tale. Figuring out her connection to a place far away where she’s never been is part of the initial fun of the read.
I liked the way the author alternated the story with present day Leah and Johanna and wove what they were going through separately eventually to the denouement. The flashbacks with Amy added a poignant element to the tale.
Both Joanna and Leah get into dangerous situations in the book, some due to their own making which ramped up the anxiety on their behalf. Some were due to their natural curiosity and helpful natures. Each of them acted in a way to endanger themselves on occasion. This reader enjoyed the anxiety for their safety in those scenes. The author did an excellent job crafting the suspenseful parts of the tale. The way she tied the diverse elements together was very satisfying.
I read this one in part of an evening and part of a morning. It was a quick read, yet packed with fully drawn characters, suspense and convincing action.
I’ve been in the throes of writing the first draft of my latest book and haven’t taken time to read for a month. I started reading Chances Are at the end of October, but was only a couple of chapters in before I went on my forced diet of no reading. It was an intriguing story from the start —the hero was particularly compelling. I could actually picture him leaning against the doorway in all his macho glory. J I wasn’t sure about the heroine as she was a lawyer and I’m always leery of lawyer characters and/or law based stories. Being one myself sure can wreak havoc with my enjoyment of a book, movie, or television show. I’m hyper critical of mistakes when the law is involved. J
When I picked the story back up this weekend, I was pleasantly surprised to find the legal issues to be well done—except for a few moments of anxiety which were put at ease almost as soon as I started to twitch. J
The story was fast paced and enjoyable. The hero and heroine had great chemistry and the supporting characters (some of whom have been in other books of this series) were fully developed and delightful. I did guess one character’s secret pretty early on, but I really enjoyed her parts.
As to the villain, having known some people who had similar experiences with bad apples, the villain didn’t seem over the top to me. It could easily have gone to a situation where reality was stretched there, but didn’t. Sadly, there are too many people in the world who place blame for their situations on others. Ms. Ryan nailed that aspect of things.
Overall, this was a great read. Steamy in spots, exciting drama, and true friendships and love were shown by the main cast of characters. The next book is being written now and I’m sure it’ll be more of the same—hoping we’ll see these characters, Jackson and Aimie, again as friends with the new hero and heroine. Small town romances are the best as it’s always a possibility to run into someone you already know. Willow Bay seems like a great place to live.
It’s release day for my new novel. The main character was inspired by my paternal great-grandmother and her tombstone.
No one is more surprised than sane, sensible Sophronia Neal when she inherits a Victorian manor from an elderly man she befriended at the bookstore she manages—except perhaps his two grandchildren who are outraged at the turn of events.
From that day, her existence becomes fraught with danger and intrigue. Not only does the house hold secrets Sophronia doesn’t understand, strange occurrences in her life make her question her sanity.
When she is attacked while walking her dog, she can’t decide if her life is in danger from a very real person intent on harming her or if there’s something more sinister at work—perhaps a restless spirit?
Five friends with ambitions to become documentarians travel from London to an abandoned asylum on a Scottish island. The doctor who ran the asylum died sixty years prior and the hospital was closed and is rumored to be haunted.
The author is excellent at evoking atmosphere. The descriptions—first of the pub where the friends met the man who was taking them to the island—then of the island itself—and, finally, the inside of the asylum. The descriptions were creepy and very well done. Dark clouds hanging over the island and the storm complete with lightning added to the exquisite sense of anticipation of meeting some supernatural beings in the corridors or hospital rooms in the abandoned building. Peeling paint, dead leaves and icy wind whirling through the scenes were particularly evocative.
This reader enjoyed the suspense of the book for most of the novel. Figuring out an essential plot point early on was interesting and upped the anticipation of what was ahead.
What was unexpected was the shock of what happened later in the story, and without any spoilers, it’s hard to say what that was, but it was almost too much for this reader. I confess, I glossed over some of that, swiping my e-reader pages faster until the tale moved past that part. I imagine many readers of this genre would revel in that section, but not this one. It didn’t ruin the story for me, but it was disturbing.
The flashes back to the past added to the overall creepiness of the novel. The author is definitely gifted with a talent for descriptiveness. I could see all the places in the story and some made my skin crawl.
If you’re a fan of horror, you shouldn’t pass on this one. The ending was particularly disturbing. Just don’t read before bed or you might wake up at 2 a.m, like I did thinking I heard someone calling my name…..
I have a new book coming out July 8, 2016. It’s called Rex, the Ex and the Hex from CHBB Publishing and it is such a fun story, I can’t wait for it to be available. There’s voodoo, witch doctors, a tarot card reader and even a haruspex. There’s a murder trial and even a laundromat. When did you last read a book with a scene in a muggy, steamy laundromat?
The story takes place in parts of south Alabama, Pensacola and even New Orleans. Here’s the awesome cover made by Rue Volley.
It’s release day for my book, Kat’s Song. BUY LINK
Kat McKay’s heart is locked tight against further entanglements. Determined not to give it again, she’s abandoned all hope of love and holds herself apart from men. The last one did a number on her and she’s never going there again.
Paul Baker, world-renowned musician, keeps his deepest secret close to his heart. He’s as determined as Kat McKay not to let his heart get stomped on. The difference is, his isn’t personal. It’s public.
Out of necessity, the two of them join together. One with a motive to protect and the other reluctant to be protected. Their competing desires threaten to derail them both. Resolution can only be made at great risk.
It’s not really my total favorite, but one of many. It’s also not really scary. It’s more suspenseful than anything. It’s called “Skeleton Key” and Kate Hudson and Gena Rowlands star in it. It’s intriguing and very atmospheric. The only real down side to it is the horrendous Cajun accents. *SHUDDER* If you can get past the accents, it’s a good flick for an evening’s entertainment.