Brother by Ania Ahlborn

brother
source: purchased
title: Brother
author: Ania Ahlborn
published: September 29th 2015
pages: 319
genre: horror
first line: Michael twisted in his bed, the threadbare blanket he’d used all his life tangled around his legs.
rated: 4 out of 5
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blurb:
From the bestselling horror author of Within These Walls and The Bird Eater comes a terrifying novel that follows a teenager determined to break from his family’s unconventional—and deeply disturbing—traditions.

Deep in the heart of Appalachia stands a crooked farmhouse miles from any road. The Morrows keep to themselves, and it’s served them well so far. When girls go missing off the side of the highway, the cops don’t knock on their door. Which is a good thing, seeing as to what’s buried in the Morrows’ backyard.

But nineteen-year-old Michael Morrow isn’t like the rest of his family. He doesn’t take pleasure in the screams that echo through the trees. Michael pines for normalcy, and he’s sure that someday he’ll see the world beyond West Virginia. When he meets Alice, a pretty girl working at a record shop in the small nearby town of Dahlia, he’s immediately smitten. For a moment, he nearly forgets about the monster he’s become. But his brother, Rebel, is all too eager to remind Michael of his place…

my thoughts:
Brother by Ania Ahlborn is easily one of the most disturbing books I have ever read. It was crazy. I am a fan of horror so I was intrigued when I saw the premise and I chose this as my read for FraterFest last week.

Set in 1980, the book centers on the Morrow family who live in an old farmhouse in the deep backwoods of Virginia. Nineteen year old Michael lives with his older sister Misty Dawn, his older brother Reb and his parents Claudine and Wade. Wade is a Vietnam veteran and Claudine is the head of the family and evil personified.

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One Little Secret by Cate Holahan

one
source: free ARC via AmazonPrime
title: One Little Secret by Cate Holahan
author: Cate Holahan / Twitter
genre: crime thriller
published: July 9, 2019
pages: 313
first line: Drowning can happen in two inches of water. 
rated: 4 out of 5
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blurb:
Everyone has a secret. For some, it’s worth dying to protect. For others, it’s worth killing.

The glass beach house was supposed to be the getaway that Susan needed. Eager to help her transplanted family set down roots in their new town – and desperate for some kid-free conversation – she invites her new neighbors to join in on a week-long sublet with her and her workaholic husband.

Over the course of the first evening, liquor loosens inhibitions and lips. The three couples begin picking up on the others’ marital tensions and work frustrations, as well as revealing their own. But someone says too much. And the next morning one of the women is discovered dead on the private beach.

Town detective Gabby Watkins must figure out who permanently silenced the deceased. As she investigates, she learns that everyone in the glass house was hiding something that could tie them to the murder, and that the biggest secrets of all are often in plain sight for anyone willing to look.

A taut, locked room mystery with an unforgettable cast of characters, One Little Secret promises to keep readers eyes glued to the pages and debating the blinders that we all put on in the service of politeness.

my thoughts:
Funny enough One Little Secret started out a little rough for me and I almost DNF’d it but I am really glad I kept reading because it turned into a gripping read that I could not wait to get back to.

Investigator Gabby Watkins is working on two cases; a possible rape and a murder case. An 18 year old au pair wakes up in a strange man’s bed after having been drugged the night before at a house party. A group of parents are vacationing in the Hamptons while their kids are off at summer camp when one of the moms is found dead on the beach one morning.

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In at the Deep End by Kate Davies

insource: free review copy via AmazonVine
title: In at the Deep End
author: Kate DaviesTwitter
genre: fiction/humor/LGBT
published: 2019
pages: 320
first line: One Saturday morning last January, Alice pointed out that I hadn’t had sex in three years.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
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blurb:

A fresh, funny, audacious debut novel about a Bridget Jones–like twenty-something who discovers that she may have simply been looking for love — and, ahem, pleasure — in all the wrong places (aka: from men)

Julia hasn’t had sex in three years. Her roommate has a boyfriend—and their sex noises are audible through the walls, maybe even throughout the neighborhood. Not to mention, she’s treading water in a dead-end job, her know-it-all therapist gives her advice she doesn’t ask for, and the men she is surrounded by are, to be polite, subpar. Enough is enough.

my thoughts: 
In at the Deep End by Kate Davies was an AmazonVine acquisition. This one has been compared to Bridget Jones. I remember reading Bridget Jones. I read that book twice and watched the film many times. I always get a kick out of Hugh Grant. Anyway, this story centers on twenty something Julia who has been single and lonely for the past three years. She lives in the U.K. with her roommate Alice. Julia always wanted to be a dancer but after an injury she took a job as a civil servant. She thinks sex is overrated and wonders if she will ever find passion and true love. She also misses dancing since it is such a part of who she is.

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The Magical Sunglasses by Nicole McGrath

ebook cover (450x450)

source: free review copy via Authoright

Summary:
What would you do if you had one day with magical powers? This fun, bouncy read captures the imagination, and demonstrates the power of courage and self-belief. Inclusive book for early school aged children. Message for everyone.

Information about the Book
Title: The Magical Sunglasses
Author: Nicole McGrath
Illustrator: Nick Roberts
Release Date: 26th September 2019
Genre: Picture Book
Page Count: 20
Publisher: Clink Street Publishing

Goodreads Link: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/48248795-the-magical-sunglasses
Amazon Link: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Magical-Sunglasses-Nicole-McGrath-ebook/dp/B07VWD43FN

My thoughts:
The Magical Sunglasses is an adorable young children’s book about a teacher who gives her class magical sunglasses so that they can each face their fears. One by one, each student puts on the sunglasses and finds the encouragement they need. One of the kids is afraid of the dark, one wants to do better on tests and another is afraid of heights.

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The Tower of Songs (A Duck Darley Novel) by Casey Barrett

tower

source: free review copy courtesy of BookTrip / Meryl Moss Media
title: The Tower of Songs (A Duck Darley Novel)
author: Casey Barrett
published: 2019
genre: crime thriller
pages: 326
first line: Danny Soto opened the door to find Mr. Sun flanked by a pair of female bodyguards.
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
Embracing an improbable stretch of sobriety, unlicensed P.I. Duck Darley has proven himself stronger than the temptations that loom in the shadows of New York City. But the familiar pull of self-destruction lingers like garbage in July when Layla Soto, a sharp-tongued Park Avenue teenager with a family as screwed up as his own, presents a twisted missing-persons case he can’t refuse . . .

Layla saw video evidence of her billionaire father being abducted from their home—at the top of the tallest residential tower on earth. She suspects her grandmother, a Chinese social climber on husband number three, orchestrated the act to silence her only son. Duck agrees to investigate the hedge funder’s disappearance, if only for the rush of a new thrill—and an excuse to reconcile with Cass Kimball, his leather-clad sometime partner who nearly got him killed . . .

As the unlikely duo become immersed in a high-stakes ransom linked to the international drug trade and the delicate relations between the two most powerful nations on earth, survival means trusting no one. Because when confronting absolute power, certain forces will stop at nothing to bury the truth.

my thoughts:
The Tower of Songs is book 3 in author Casey Barrett’s Duck Darley series but this thrilling book reads fine as a stand alone.

As the story starts off we witness billionaire Danny Soto being abducted. Fast forward to his teenage daughter Layla and her mom hiring private detective Duck Darley to find her missing father. They have video of Danny Soto being abducted from their penthouse in Manhattan. Layla tells Duck she suspects her grandmother Nai Nai is involved. Nai Nai is the mysterious matriarch of the family and she is well connected.

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