Tell me no secrets – Lynda Stacey

tell me no secrets

Titel: Tell me no secrets
Auteur: Lynda Stacey
Pagina’s: 282
Uitgave: E-book
Genre: adultcontemporary
Links: Goodreads
images9cxhej2y
images9cxhej2yimages9cxhej2yimages9cxhej2y

Synopsis:

Can a secret be worse than a lie?
Every time Kate Duggan looks in a mirror she is confronted by her guilt; a long, red scar reminding her that she was ‘the one to walk away’ from the car accident. Not everyone was so lucky …
On the surface her fiancé Rob is supportive – but the reality is different. He’s controlling, manipulative and, if the phone call Kate overhears is anything to go by, he has a secret. But just how dangerous is that secret?
When Kate begins work at a firm of private investigators, she meets Ben Parker. His strong and silent persona is intriguing but it’s also a cover – because something devastating happened to Ben, something he can’t get over.
As Kate and Ben begin their first assignment, they become close. But, what they don’t realise is how close to home the investigation will bring them, or who will be hurt in the process.

Review:

Since the month of December I am proud member of the Choc Lit boekenfans group. With our little team we have the honor to read and review books by Choc Lit. Tell Me No Lies was my first book as a team-member and I wasn’t completely sure what to expect reading the synopsis. Was I diving into a thriller? A contemporary? And now even after reading I am not quite sure were to place Tell Me No Secrets.

I described it to a friend as contemporary with a little thriller twist. Because for me that is what it is. Calling it a thriller would be kind of unfair, because all-though you have a “mystery” and some “suspense” it never really felt like reading a thriller. There are to many “non-thriller” side lines about family, friendship, love and self acceptance that play an important part in the plot. Lucky for me, considering I am absolutely no big fan of real suspense novels, so this was perfect for me!

I really enjoyed reading Tell Me No Secrets and that was mainly because I liked all of the important characters in the story. I absolutely adored Kate, she is a very strong and independent woman, who knows how the world turns and deserves some happiness. I liked her sassiness and her sense of humor. You really saw her grow as a character throughout the story and I really felt for her. But I also loved her sister Eve! Another strong woman with a story to tell. I wasn’t expecting a disabled character in this story, but the way her disability was shown and used in the story, was very realistic and filled to the brim with humor. Absolutely lovely!

I also got the feeling that Linda Stacey did some research on the whole “private investigator” story-line. Because it never felt exaggerated. The little details about the van, the working of the panic button,… It felt real and that made the story so much more engaging and realistic.

The only point that bothered me in this story was the “big climax”. That felt exaggerated for me, a little bit overdone. That part of the story could have done with less drama and still have been quite compelling. Now it felt a little forced and to me it looked like Lynda Stacey wasn’t in her element while writing it. While the rest of the story really flows, this felt forced. It was harder to read and it couldn’t keep my attention. A real shame, because I absolutely loved the rest of the story!

Overal Tell Me No Secrets was a wonderful read. Filled to the brim with drama, secrets, suspense and a good portion of romance! I would recommend this story to all contemporary readers who want that little extra panache to the story. And of course for thriller readers who want to explore the contemporary genre! 

Blog tour: Ordnance

Do the words bounty hunters, cyborgs, mutants and adventures set in the future make your heart skip a few beats? Then you will be quite thriller with the special something I have for you today! As part of the blog-tour for the new SCIFI book Ordnance I get to share an exclusive expert from the book with you!

Ordnance, you say?

Yes, Ordnance is the debut book from Andrew Vaillencourt and the first installment in The Fixer series. The story is set around Roland Tankwicz, who isn’t even legally a person anymore.He is an aging cyborg who never really recovered from being betrayed and enslaved by his superiors in the army and who had to swallow a bitter pill when he got permanently classified as “defunct military ordnance”. Now he spents most of his time drinking beer and working as a fixer for the crime families in 25the century Boston. Easy mony if you were the kind of guy who was bullet-proof en could pick up a house.

But then Lucia Ribiero stumbled into his favorite watering hole dragging a squad of bounty hunters behind her. Shadows from his own dark past, and old debts still unpaid conspired to drive the old war-horse out for one more mission. Like any good soldier, the mission is all that matters for Roland.

Linked by a shared connection to her kidnapped father, the duo will face veritable armies of criminals, mutants, cyborgs, and corporate executives as they search for the missing man. The secrets of the Ribiero family are exposed as they approach the center of the labyrinth, and Lucia’s mental and physical issues present an even deeper mystery than her father’s disappearance.

Roland will have to face the horror of his past one more time, and Lucia will need to get a grip on her future if they expect to survive a running battle with an entire galaxy’s worth of mad science gone awry; and ultimately prevent a terrible history from repeating itself.

Interested?

I can’t blame you! And I am so happy that I get to share a exclusive expert from the book with you!

Roland pulled his gloves off, revealing jet black hands the size of bear paws, “Yeah, well for all the trouble they went to keep us human, they sure as hell didn’t treat us like people.” He rolled up his sleeves, revealing massive forearms corded with black synthetic muscle fibers that rolled and flexed exactly like human muscle should. Lucia’s eyes widened at the sight. She hadn’t realized it, but only Roland’s face and head had any normal skin tone. The rest of him was kept a flat matte black, because that was the base color of the surface chromataphors that allowed him to assume various camouflage patterns. He could certainly shift the color to something almost human, but keeping his body any specific hue took up power that was better conserved. Roland simply wore long sleeves and gloves most of the time, because life was kind of tricky for a guy who walked around looking like an onyx statue.

Roland did not want to explain this part. He knew that it would likely have a deleterious impact on what Lucia saw when she looked at him. Right now, he was just a big military cyborg; just one of many ex-military veterans walking around with government-issued body parts. But there was real, inescapable ugliness involved in his creation, and nobody wanted to hear about that part. But, it all had a lot to do with Donald Ribiero, so out it came.

“So. You now know that they deliberately left over some of the more… human attributes to keep us psychologically grounded.” Roland wiggled all his fingers in an intricate wave pattern to demonstrate his dexterity, “As far as my nervous system can tell, these are really my fingers.” He picked up an empty beer can, balanced on his index finger for a moment, then let it fall to his palm where he crushed it into a lump the size of a ping pong ball. “I can feel through my skin, even though it’s heavily armored, and I use my own nerves to do it. They get help from force-feedback sensors, but the actual signal still gets carried by my own nerves to my own brain, not a computer. There is no disconnect between what my brain tells my body to do, and what my body tells my brain is happening. I can hold a baby while punching a tank to death with no problem; the same way you can pick up an egg in one hand and swing a hammer with the other.”

The entire design was geared towards making the body feel as human as possible to the brain that would have to live in it. “This is why many of my basic organic functions ended up intact, even if they didn’t have much combat value. Preserving non-essential functions meant preserving the will to live and the empathy required to make the appropriate decisions in the field.” Roland grinned, “I still need sleep. That could have easily been engineered out of the new body,” but the languid, lazy, decadent joy of sleeping in until noon on a Sunday is worth fighting for. He summed it up, “but sleeping is part of being human. Good for the brain.”

Roland smiled, “I still need food.” Which left him connected to eating, and to the simple human joys of mealtimes. Sourcing organic fuel off-world was a logistical nightmare, but, he chuckled, “Steak dinners are worth fighting for, y’know? After your third week fighting aliens in an ammonia atmosphere, the thought of a juicy T-Bone keeps you going.” Roland could still have sex. That sort of thing was not entirely necessary when you are fighting a corrupted AI at a mining station on Enceladus, but getting laid was definitely worth fighting for. He didn’t mention that, though; it felt a little uncouth going there with a girl fifteen years his junior.

All of these things made life meaningful, and keeping those connections allowed Roland’s unit to not lose their minds. They still loved life, and so they wanted to preserve it. They understood what they were taking away when they took it. They weren’t machines, they were men. The small reduction in combat effectiveness was completely acceptable since they did not devolve into amoral murder-bots like their predecessors. Nobody likes an amoral murder-bot.

Lucia cocked her head and sniffed, “Makes sense, when you think about it. They wanted human soldiers, not organic robots.” It really had been much more complicated than that. Rejection of the newly-grown techno-organic bodies was still an issue. Of thirty-six participants who made it to the final stage of integration, thirty-one suffered partial or complete rejection. Only five participants out of an original 230 applicants had made it into the field. This ended up being a blessing in disguise, because it was out there in the cold expanse of space a hundred light-years from Earth that they found out about the fail-safe: or the actual reason they called the project “Golem.”

Curious to learn more?

Be sure to check out the other blogs that are participating in the blogtour!
And take a look at the goodreads page of Ordnance. I myself was quite impressed with all the good reviews the book got!

The darkest part of the forest – Holly Black

The Darkest Part of the Forest

Titel: The Darkest Part of the Forest
AuteurHolly Black
Pagina’s: 336
Uitgave: Paperback
Genre: Fantasy, Fairytale, YA
Links: Goodreads
images9cxhej2y
images9cxhej2yimages9cxhej2y

Synopsis:

Children can have a cruel, absolute sense of justice. Children can kill a monster and feel quite proud of themselves. A girl can look at her brother and believe they’re destined to be a knight and a bard who battle evil. She can believe she’s found the thing she’s been made for.
Hazel lives with her brother, Ben, in the strange town of Fairfold where humans and fae exist side by side. The faeries’ seemingly harmless magic attracts tourists, but Hazel knows how dangerous they can be, and she knows how to stop them. Or she did, once.
At the center of it all, there is a glass coffin in the woods. It rests right on the ground and in it sleeps a boy with horns on his head and ears as pointed as knives. Hazel and Ben were both in love with him as children. The boy has slept there for generations, never waking.
Until one day, he does…

Review:

The darkest Part of the Forest has everything to be a complete success. It has a very unique writing style, an intriguing premise and its a YA stand-alone. Lets be honest…. that is something you don’t see everyday. These days its all series and trilogies. I was so excited about the synopsis of the book and I must say that my expectations were quite high. Holly Martin is called the queen of Fae for something, right? But for me the book missed something and I can’t seem to put my finger on what it is.

“Once, there was a girl who vowed she would save everyone in the world, but forgot herself.” 

The Darkest Part of the Forest is a eerie, dark fairy-tale. And the first few chapters are absolutely wonderful. Full of creepiness and mystery. I was compelled to read on and on. Even forgetting that it was bedtime for me, considering an overenthusiastic child would be waking me in the wee hours of dawn. I just kept on reading, because I wanted more of that creepy, dark goodness. And then everything just fell a little flat for me. The story seemed to deflate and crept on…. It’s like the spell breaks the moment the horned prince wakes up and is ready to cause havoc!

“The only way to end grief was to go through it.” 

Maybe it just me. I seem to be struggling with YA fantasy for quite some time now. Its all so light and fluffy, something I also noticed in The Darkest Part of the Forest.  Dead, tormented bodies were found in the woods, monsters were on the loose and the situation was pretty dire. But it didn’t feel that way. It never got so dark as it was intended to be, if that makes any sense?

“There’s a monster in our wood. She’ll get you if you’re not good. Drag you under leaves and sticks. Punish you for all your tricks. Anest of hair and gnawed bone. You are never, ever coming… home.” 

I absolutely loved the way the Fae were portrayed in this story. They are evil, full of trickery and deceiving. And best of all there are so many kinds of them! There are dwellers of the woods with horns on there head. There is a kind that lives in the water. Some hang tourist to bleed out from trees and dip their hats in the blood they have spilled. I loved everything about them. Not because I have a sick mind and love to see torture and murder going around. But because it was such a refreshing take on fairies. They are dark and cruel. They can’t lie, but they are great in deceiving. And they make bargains with mortals… Bargains that those same mortals will come to regret.

“Well fine, then. I could send you out to win my favor. Possibly on a quest involving bringing a large mug of coffee and a doughnut. Or the wholesale slaughter of all my enemies. I haven’t decided which.” 

Apart from that I was surprised to see that one of the main characters falls in the LGBTQ spectrum and how well it was handled in the story. I absolutely love it when an author incorporates LGBTQ in the story, but without making it  big deal. Holly did that perfectly! The fact that Ben was gay was never question, he just was. But at the same time the fact that Ben is gay is quite an important side story. Really well executed!

I read The Darkest Part of the Forest in preparation of The Cruel Prince. One of my most anticipated releases of 2018. I hear there some reoccurring characters there and I wanted the full experience. But to be completely honest, this book has set a little damper on my excitement. I really hope Holly Black can win me over with the Cruel Prince. Because The Darkest Part of the Forest was quite a let down for me.

What to say… What to say…. The Darkest Part of the Forest is a creepy, dark fairytale. And I am convinced that my fourteen year old self would have absolutely loved it. My 32 year old self however found the book lacking. It just wasn’t cutting it for me. It should have been much darker! 

 

 

Haul December

So December….. you were good to me.
A little too good to be completely honest.
Because after months of being a really good girl… my haul got out of hand.
But hey, sometimes its perfectly fine to buy yourself a whole lotta books, right?

2017 Wrap up

I can’t believe we are almost mid January and I still have to post my 2017 wrap up. Let’s be honest, the year just flew by, right? It seems like yesterday that I was waggling around like a penguin, complaining about the extra weight and counting down to the moment I got to hold my little girl. And look at us now. That little baby has grown into a big girl who starts to crawl and explores our house like a tiny Indiana Jones. And my lovely, big boy has started his second year in kindergarten! One blink of an eye and the year has passed!

Time to look back at my challenges for the past year and of course a tiny peek into the future with my 2018 challenges!

What did I read in 2017?

As always I set myself a reading goal on goodreads. This year I kept it as low as possible, thinking with a new baby on the way I wouldn’t find any time to read. I know… I should have know better. Because I thought the exact same thing the year I gave birth to Jules and it was one of my best reading years ever. So a small goal of 12 books. One book a month, nothing fancy. And for quite some time it actually looked like even that was a little farfetched. Because the first 4 months of the years I was really in a reading slump. (My pregnancy brain doesn’t do well with books it turns out.) But then my reading really kicked of and I finished the year with 57 books read!

I read a grand total of 23.204 pages. A little disappointing I must say, considering I read over 30.000 pages in 2016 and 29.000 in 2015. So yes, quite a set back….

But I have to say that overall I am quite pleased with myself. I read more books then I anticipated and I absolutely loved most of them! Goodreads tells me that gave an average rating of 3,7. And when I look at my rating I see I don’t give a single 1 star review!

As always you can find all my written books linked with their reviews on my year page for 2017!

What about my challenges in 2017?

In 2017 I only joined the verbeelding leeschallenge, hosted by the wonderful Flemish blogger Kathleen from verbeelding! I told you, I kept my expectations really low. But I am ashamed to say that I didn’t meet the goal I set myself. The verbeelding reading challenge of 2017 contained 30 challenges and I failed to complete 6 of them. So I scored 24/30. If reading was an exam, I would still pass my exam. But I am not proud of it! If you want to see what the challenges were, I kindly direct you to the page dedicated to the verbeelding challenge.

What is up for 2018?

I am ready to kick of a wonderful reading year. I set my Goodreads goal on 52 books. 1 book a week seemed like a good target this year!

Apart from that I have made myself a TBR Jar! The jar contains 12 bookish challenge that I can fill in according to my reading taste of that month. I will pick a challenge from the Jar in every wrap up video!

Apart from that I am participating in 3 different reading challenges! Of course as always the verbeelding reading challenge. Kathleen has once again outdone herself and I am pretty sure I will be reading outside of my comfort zone because of her! You can find the 30 challenges on the page I dedicated for the 2018 version!

As followers of my blog may know I am a member of the Hebban Readers, so of course I am joining the Hebban reading challenge 2018. 50 different reading challenges which I am quite sure of I won’t all complete. But I just can’t withstand the temptation of entering. You can find all the info about the Hebban reading challenge here and if you want to follow my updates then check out this page!

And last but not least I am joining the Beat the Backlist 2018 challenge hosted by Novel Knight!  A wonderful challenge were the main focus is all about reading books that are on your blacklist. So no 2018 publications! Finally an opportunity for me to work trough that huge pile of TBR books that I accumulated over the past few years! And it also speaks to the competitioner in me! I absolutely love the concept that you are part of a team and earning points with reading books! Earning points doing what I love! You got to love that! I am planning on reading 30 Backlist books over the year!

I will post quarterly update on all of the challenges I am participating in!

So tell me what are your reading goals for 2018? And are you participating in any challenges?

Unboxing Secret Bookish Santa

Net als vorig jaar nam ik deel aan de geweldige Secret Bookish Santa georganiseerd door de al even geweldige Kwante in wonderland.
En dit jaar, gezien ik nu niet geveld werd door zwangerschapsmisselijkheid, maakte ik een echt unboxing filmpje met de hulp van Jules!

Nogmaals bedankt aan mijn gulle gever!

https://youtu.be/AskZzrRP5ro

Wil je zelf ook graag zo een verwenpakketje ontvangen en verzenden? Dan kan je bij Kwante je nu inschrijven voor de Secret Valentine!

2018

2018 staat voor de deur en net als iedereen kijk ik dan eens terug op het afgelopen jaar en maak ik goede voornemens voor het volgende jaar.
Voor Boek in Wonderland wil dat zeggen dat er toch wel wat veranderingen op poten staan… want ik wil erg graag terug gaan bloggen in het Engels.
Voornamelijk om mezelf wat werk te besparen, want zoals jullie weten lees ik praktisch enkel in het Engels en dat wil ook zeggen dat ik heel wat reviews voor uitgeverijen en auteurs moet vertalen… Daarom ga ik in 2018 dus in het engels bloggen.

Maandag publiceer ik nog een filmpje in het Nederlands, namelijk mijn Secret Santa Unboxing die de geweldige Kwante (van Kwante in Wonderland) organiseerde. Daarna beginnen we met een frisse start en gaan we dus in het Engels verder. Voor hoe lang…. geen idee. We zien wel wat 2018 brengt!

Maar alvast mijn allerbeste wensen voor het nieuwe jaar! Geniet met volle teugen van het nieuwe jaar en alle prachtige boeken die eraan staan te komen!