Kiss the Girls (Alex Cross 2) by James Patterson

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source: purchased
title: Kiss the Girls Alex Cross 2
author: James Patterson(Twitter)
genre: crime thriller/detective fiction
pages: 481
published: 1995
first line: For three weeks, the young killer actually lived inside the walls of an extraordinary fifteen-room beach house.
rated: 4 1/2 out of 5 stars
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blurb:

In Los Angeles, a reporter investigating a series of murders is killed. In Chapel Hill, North Carolina, a beautiful medical intern suddenly disappears. In the sequel to Along Came a Spider,Washington D.C.’s Alex Cross is back to solve the most baffling and terrifying murder case ever. Two clever pattern killers are collaborating, cooperating, competing-and they are working coast to coast.

my thoughts:

After having read and really enjoyed Along Came a Spider I knew I had to read the second in the Alex Cross series. Kiss the Girls starts off where Along Came a Spider left off, but it is definitely a stand alone read. There are a few references to characters and occurrences from the first novel but nothing that would confuse a reader. The ending wraps up nicely while leaving room for the next installment.

At the start of Kiss the Girls  there is a serial who calls himself “Casanova” and has been abducting and torturing beautiful and successful young women in their early twenties. Alex Cross is a Washington, D.C. homicide investigator and forensic psychologist who has been called to go to South Carolina with his partner to the scene of the latest murder by Casanova. This is the third victim. Cross has also just been notified that his niece Naomi Cross is missing. He fears Casanova has taken her.

As the story flows, the detectives realize there are two killers working together and that this spree has been going on for over a decade. Casanova has a partner, The Gentleman. What ensues is a thrilling cat and mouse chase with twists and turns as the detectives try to find the missing women and the case hits close to home for Cross as he tries to find his niece.

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Along Came a Spider by James Patterson

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source: purchased
title: Along Came A Spider
author: James Patterson (Twitter)
pages: 449
genre: crime thriller/detective fiction
published: December 1, 1993
first line: The Charles Lindbergh farmhouse glowed with bright, orangish lights.
rated: 5 out of 5 stars!
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blurb:
Discover the classic thriller that launched the #1 detective series of the past twenty-five years, now one of PBS’s “100 Great American Reads”

Alex Cross is a homicide detective with a Ph.D. in psychology. He works and lives in the ghettos of D. C. and looks like Muhammad Ali in his prime. He’s a tough guy from a tough part of town who wears Harris Tweed jackets and likes to relax by banging out Gershwin tunes on his baby grand piano. But he also has two adorable kids of his own, and they are his own special vulnerabilities.

Jezzie Flanagan is the first woman ever to hold the highly sensitive job as supervisor of the Secret Service in Washington. Blond, mysterious, seductive, she’s got an outer shell that’s as tough as it is beautiful. She rides her black BMW motorcycle at speeds of no less than 100 mph. What is she running from? What is her secret?

Alex Cross and Jezzie Flanagan are about to have a forbidden love affair-at the worst possible time for both of them. Because Gary Soneji, who wants to commit the “crime of the century,” is playing at the top of his game. Soneji has outsmarted the FBI, the Secret Service, and the police. Who will be his next victim?

Gary Soneji is every parent’s worst nightmare. He has become Alex Cross’s nightmare. And now, reader, he’s about to become yours.

my thoughts:

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Hellooooooo everyone. I am still here. I have to begin this post by saying that I miss you guys and I miss blog-land but I am still on major vacation/summertime mode. I am going to try to catch up online this weekend and hopefully by next weekend I will have an updates and mailbox post.

Anyway, onto my thoughts on Along Came A Spider by James Patterson a.k.a. my favorite book of 2018 so far. This book was fantastic and once I was finished reading I had a serious book hangover.

The New York Daily News says:
“James Patterson is to suspense what Danielle Steel is to romance”.

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Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram

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source: free ARC courtesy of Poetic Book Tours
title: Louisiana Catch
author: Sweta Srivastava Vikram 
published: April 10, 2018
pages: 254
genre: fiction

about the book:
Ahana, a wealthy thirty-three-year-old New Delhi woman, flees the pain of her mother’s death and her dark past by accepting a huge project in New Orleans, where she’ll coordinate the Annual Women’s Conference to raise awareness around violence against women. Her half-Indian, half-Irish colleague and public relations guru, Rohan Brady, who helps Ahana develop her online presence, offends her prim sensibilities with his raunchy humor. She is convinced that he’s a womanizer. Meanwhile, she seeks relief from her pain in an online support group, where she makes a good friend: the mercurial Jay Dubois, who is also grieving the loss of his mother. Her work in the U.S. and the online medium brings the two men into her life, and Ahana learns that neither is what he seems. With their differing sensibilities on a collision course, Ahana finds herself in a dangerous situation—and she discovers a side of herself that she never realized she had.

Louisiana Catch is an emotionally immersive novel about trust and who we project ourselves to be in the world. It’s a book about Ahana’s unreliable instincts and her ongoing battle to determine whom to place her faith in as she, Rohan, and Jay shed layers of their identities.

As Ahana matures from a victim of domestic sexual abuse into a global feminist leader, she must confront her issues: both with the men in her life and, ultimately, with her own instincts. Whom can she rely on to have her best interests at heart?

My thoughts:

In Louisiana Catch Ahana is in her early thirties, lives in New Delhi and is very close to her mom who is a successful doctor. Her life changes drastically after she finally divorces her abusive husband Dev and when not long after, her beloved mother passes away. As the story flows Ahana deals with the loss of her mother and she tries to find her inner strength being that she was sheltered for much of her life. She finds a support group online where she meets a man named Jay. She cannot shake the feeling that Jay isn’t what he makes himself out to be as he has a bad habit of manipulating her through his texts and emails yet she can’t fully break off the online connection. She also meets Rohan Brady at work. Ahana initially doesn’t trust Rohan but the two eventually become friends. Also in the mix are Ahana’s family and close friends like Naina and her work as a women’s advocate for a non-profit. She works in public relations for “Freedom Movement”. Her work lets her travel to different parts of the country like Louisiana and NYC.

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Thirsty: An Eastside Brewery Novel by Mia Hopkins

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source: free ARC via NetGalley/Randomhouse/LoveSwept
title: Thirsty: An Eastside Brewery Novel
author: Mia Hopkins/ Twitter
published: March 13, 2018
pages: 254
genre: contemporary steamy romance
first lines: You want a hero. Before we start, you should know-I’m not him. I’m not your hero.
rated: 3 out of 5  1heartred1heartred1heartred

blurb:
My name is Salvador Rosas. Back in the barrio, my past is written on the walls: ESHB. Short for East Side Hollenbeck, my father’s gang—my gang. Hell, it’s a family tradition, one that sent both my brothers away. They used to call me “Ghost” because I haunted people’s dreams. Now I’ve got nothing going for me except a hipster gringo mentoring me in a new career. An ex-con making craft beer? No mames.

Still, people in this neighborhood look out for one another. That’s how I became Vanessa Velasco’s unwelcome tenant. Chiquita pero picosa. She’s little, but with curves so sweet they’re dangerous. I remember Vanessa from the old days, the straight-A student with big plans. Plans that were derailed by another kid stupid enough to think he was bulletproof. Now Vanessa knows better than to believe in empty promises. There’s fire in her . . . and if I touch her, I might get burned.

I’m trying everything I can to go straight. But when East Side Hollenbeck comes calling, I might have to risk it all to find out if there’s a future for Vanessa and me. Because she’s the only one who can quench my thirst for something real.

my thoughts:
You know how sometimes you don’t realize something right away? I’m trying to think of an example to elaborate further but it eludes me right now.

I have to say right off the bat that Mia Hopkins is a great writer, I enjoyed her writing style and Thirsty: An Eastside Brewery Novel drew me in from page one. This is one of those books you can read in one sitting, I read it in two. The story is told first person POV by Salvador Rosas a.k.a. Ghost. I requested this one from NetGalley because I saw it revolved around Latinos. Being Puerto Rican myself this book intrigued me straight away because the main characters are Latin and I enjoy good romance. I haven’t read a full on romance novel featuring Hispanics before. Like ever. I’ve never really come across any. And I read alot of romance, it is a favorite genre but the couples are usually white. So guess what happened when I finally found a romance novel centering on a Latino couple? Guess.

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The hero is a gang-banger. Ghost is Mexican, he has recently finished serving a five-year prison stint for car theft. He’s a janitor now. And duh, this is all in the blurb I know. It didn’t dawn on me until I started reading. I decided to keep reading because like I said the writing was very good. I didn’t like the stereotypes here though and they did bother me. I think the author wrote a good book but it is just that for my first time reading a Latin centered romance, I didn’t like that the hero was a gang-banger. So, I read on and I actually enjoyed the story. I will say, it is a story about getting your life together so the plot was full of hope and redemption.

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Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

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source: purchased
title: Milk and Honey
author: Rupi Kaur/Twitter
genre: poetry
published: 2014
pages: 204
rated: 4 out of 5 stars
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blurb:
#1 New York Times bestseller Milk and Honey is a collection of poetry and prose about survival. About the experience of violence, abuse, love, loss, and femininity.

The book is divided into four chapters, and each chapter serves a different purpose. Deals with a different pain. Heals a different heartache. Milk and Honey takes readers through a journey of the most bitter moments in life and finds sweetness in them because there is sweetness everywhere if you are just willing to look.

my thoughts:
I went to Barnes & Noble with my daughter recently. I love our trips to the bookstore and library because she tends to find really interesting books. We didn’t have anything particular in mind when we went, just stopping to browse on a Saturday morning while out running errands. After a little while, she came up to me with a copy of Milk and Honey and said “Mom, I’ve heard so much about this one. I want to read it.”
She read it first and she would come and read passages to me that she liked.

it must hurt to know
I am your most
beautiful
regret
p.94, Milk and Honey by Rupi Kaur

I read Milk and Honey afterwards in one sitting. This is a collection of moving poetry by Rupi Kaur. There are sketches by the author with some of the poems. The book is separated into four parts, the hurting, the loving, the breaking and the healing. There are themes of abuse, heartache, family, finding oneself and healing within these poems.

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