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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Goodbye Paris by Mike Bond

goodbyeparis
source: free review copy courtesy of BookTrip / Meryl Moss Media
title: Goodbye Paris
author: Mike Bond
genre: crime thriller
published: June 11, 2019
pages: 343
first line: It rose from the deep, a huge wall of roaring green that blotted out the sky and smashed me under, whacked my surfboard into my head and punched the air from my lungs.

blurb:
Special Forces veteran Pono Hawkins races from a Tahiti surfing competition to France when he learns that a terrorist he’d thought was dead, Mustafa al-Boudienne, may have a backpack nuclear weapon and plans to destroy Paris. Pono was once Mustafa’s prisoner, and is now the only one left alive to identify him.

Joining forces with former allies from US, French and Russian intelligence, and with an intrepid and brilliant French agent, Anne Ronsard, with whom he soon falls in love, Pono sets out against impossible odds to catch and kill Mustafa and his terrorist cell before they can destroy the most beautiful city on Earth.

Another in the bestselling Pono Hawkins series after Saving Paradise and Killing Maine, GOODBYE PARIS is a hallmark Mike Bond thriller: alive, tense, exciting, and full of fascinating details and places. And that will keep you up all night.

my thoughts:

As the blurb reads, Pono Hawkins is a veteran from the Special Forces who races from a surfing competition in Tahiti to France to hunt down a terrorist he believes was dead. Hawkins is surfing and in need of rescue as the book opens which I thought was pretty cool actually.

Pono Hawkins lets us know early on that he lives in the same house with three gorgeous, sexual women. They dislike each other but just loooove to sleep with him. Get it? Got it? Good. Moving on. He has been through crazy adventurous times, he recently went to jail to cover for a buddy, then he was released from jail and now he lives with three hotties.
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Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants by Herb Freed

faith

source: free review copy via Meryl Moss Media
title: Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants: a novel in stories
author: Herb Freed
pages: 198
published: 2018
genre: fiction
first line: The top floor of the Rabbinical academy dormitory was the quietest place in Manhattan until six-fifteen in the morning when the clicking of high heels reverberated all the way down the marble-tiled hallway and woke Ben…

Blurb:
Ben Zelig thinks he has his life all figured out. Graduate from rabbinical school. Get hired by a spiritually enriched community. Meet a nice Jewish girl and start a family. Simple, right? Naturally, nothing goes according to plan, but life can still work out as long as you have Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants.

Herb Freed, the author of the timeless love story Bashert, is back with a collection of five short stories about the smart, witty, spiritual and, according to his mother, incredibly handsome, Rabbi Ben Zelig. In five stories about a rabbi’s life, Zelig navigates romance, family ties, colorful congregants and the meaning of faith. We follow him through the decades as master storyteller Freed takes us from humor to pathos and back again in an uplifting examination of what it means to be human.

My thoughts:
As Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants starts off it is 1969 and Ben Zelig is in Rabbi school in NYC. He is in the intern program and doing hands on work. The novella takes us through Ben’s life through 2007, we meet his family, friends and quirky characters like Uncle Joe, who is his mentor and advises him on everything from business deals to women. The story goes on as Ben goes on dates, trains to be a Rabbi and as he is there when his mom Bertha takes the test to become a U.S. citizen. It is mainly about Ben’s personal journey and how people and events tie in together and there is faith and hope within the pages as well. It all comes full circle at the end for Ben. I enjoyed some of the insightful writing like this passage…

“A soft rain began to fall, as it increased, Ben felt he was Adam banished from the garden. Where to go from here?”
p. 31, Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants by Herb Freed

Most of the story was amusing and quirky and it was interesting getting a glimpse into Jewish culture. Ben was dramatic and I did feel that some of the dialogue was over the top for the time and place. Like this conversation which takes place at a club.

The Chasid leaned forward , his intense sad eyes trying to understand. He cupped his ear with one hand. “You don’t got a name?”

Ben didn’t know how or why it came out, but the words flowed from the depths of his soul. “I am Benjamin, son of Solomon, of the tribe of Levi,” he said proudly.

p.29, Love, Faith and a Pair of Pants by Herb Freed

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Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

sister

source: review copy courtesy of Meryl Moss Media
title: Sister of Mine
author: Laurie Petrou/ Twitter
pages: 294
genre: psychological thriller
first line: She breaks into a run as soon as she clears the flames.
rated: 4 out of 5
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blurb:
For fans of Sarah Pinborough and Liane Moriarty comes a taut domestic suspense about the lies we tell to hold our lives together.

Sisters, like secrets, are best kept close.

Penny and Hattie, orphaned sisters in a small town, are best friends, bound together to the point of knots. But Penny, at the mercy of her brutal husband, is desperate for a fresh start. Willing to do anything for her older sister, Hattie agrees to help. A match is struck and a fire burns Penny’s marriage to the ground. With her husband gone, Penny is free, and the sisters, it seems, get away with murder. But freedom comes at a cost.

More than a year after the fire, a charming young man comes to town. Hattie and Penny quickly bring him into the fold and into their hearts but their love for him threatens the delicate balance. Soon long-held resentments, sibling rivalry, and debts unpaid boil over, and the bonds of sisterhood begin to snap. As one little lie grows into the next, the sisters’ secrets will unravel, eroding their lives until only a single, horrible truth remains: You owe me.

A compelling novel of suspense from a talented new voice, Sister of Mine asks us to consider the bonds of family, what it takes to commit the unthinkable, and how far you’ll go to protect the ones you love.

my thoughts:

Sister of Mine is a multi layered novel about two sisters, Penny and Hattie, who are tied together by a dark secret. This secret rips them apart as the years go by because of resentments, lies, cover-ups and bad memories.

As the story opens, their mother who raised them died in an accident at home while Penny was away at college. Giving up her dreams of finishing school, Penelope comes back home after the death of her mother to take care of her younger sister Hattie. She gets a steady job and marries a local man who turns out to be an abuser. Terrified of her husband and what he is capable of Penny sees only one way to escape him. When her husband is found dead in a house fire, the two sisters just want to get on with their lives and leave his memory behind.

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Eight Goodbyes by Christine Brae

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source: ARC via Meryl Moss Media
title: Eight Goodbyes
author: Christine Brae
published: Vesuvian Books (August 28, 2018)
first line: The only benefits of travelling a gazillion miles a year is the braided cord separating those with preferred airline status from the rest of the passengers.
pages: 279
rated: 3 1/2 of out 5 stars
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blurb:
One universe, nine planets, 204 countries, 809 islands and 7 seas, and I had the privilege of meeting you.”

When Tessa Talman meets Simon Fremont for the first time, not only is she attracted to him, she’s intrigued by how different their lives are. He’s a dedicated scientist, practical, pragmatic, and grounded—while she’s a head-in-the-clouds romance author. As their relationship grows, they agree to meet in places around the world, while continuing to live on opposite sides of the globe.

Though their feelings for each other deepen, their priorities remain the same. Simon is in a hurry to be financially sound and settle down, but Tessa is enjoying her freedom and newfound success. Neither is willing to give in, but as each goodbye gets harder, Tessa begins to wonder whether fame is the path to happiness, or if she has everything she needs in Simon.

Just as Tessa finds the courage to go after her own happily ever after, the unthinkable happens, separating them in ways they never imagined.

To move forward, she must let go of the past, and determine once and for all if love is truly more powerful than the pain of goodbye.

my thoughts:
Eight Goodbyes by Christine Brae was nice contemporary romance. Tessa is a successful romance author and she meets Simon on a plane. He is a scientist and the two start to keep in touch via Twitter and What’sApp for a few months. Simon flies out to visit Tessa on one of her book singing tours to spend some time with her. One thing leads to another and these two have great chemistry and begin a long distance fling, but each is trying to not get too attached.

“Every goodbye served only to increase the intensity of his feelings for her.”
-p. 173, Eight Goodbyes by Christine Brae

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