Chasing Fireflies – Chloe Fowler

Rainey Collins is an upper middle class high school senior and older sister to Maverick, a precocious ‘tween’, with a ticking time bomb inside of her – a defective heart. Maverick was born with what’s called hypoplastic heart syndrome and has required several heart surgeries to date. While she continues to do well, there are no guarantees for her future – every day is a gift – and thus she remains the sole focus of the entire family. 

Liam Hayes is a young man who desperately wants to escape a hopeless home situation and does his best to stay out of reach Ray, his mother’s significant other. A bit of a loner, Liam just hopes to finish school, so he can escape his miserable homelife.  For Liam, home is a rundown trailer on the outskirts of town. 

Running late to his first class of the morning, he takes a vacant seat next to Rainey. Later that afternoon, Rainey chances to see Liam defend a student from a duo of bullies, Carson & Chase, and realizes there’s much more to him than most see is quickly intrigued. As the two start to talk and get to know one another, a romance slowly blossoms, much to little sister Maverick’s delight! 

A beautifully written story, rich in detail, with relatable characters and a stunning and unexpected ending. Told alternately by Rainey & Liam as they learn how to love in the face of adversity, change, loss, and hope, this story will give you all the feels. Marketed as a young adult novel, but will easily be loved by adults as well, who may re-live some of their own high school experiences. I highly recommend!   Oh – be sure to have some Kleenex nearby…

A full 5 stars – I would give this 6 if I could!!  A must read!

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from #Netgalley, in exchange for an objective review. 

Frozen Souls – Rita Herron

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from #Netgalley & Bookouture, in exchange for an objective review. 

It’s autumn in the small Appalachian town of Crooked Creek, and the townspeople are finally starting to relax after the murders that took place there over the summer. Halloween is coming, and so is some snow – a winter storm is headed for the mountains. Detective Ellie Reeves & fellow Deputy Shondra Eastwood are meeting for drinks to celebrate Shondra’s transfer to the CCPD.

Ranger Cord McClain and his team are being called out to search for a missing 15-year-old girl and her dog who became separated from the family during a hike. After a short search, they locate the teen who had fallen off a small ridge, but she relates a troubling story – as she was heading back to her parents, a man with a knife began chasing her, causing her to fall. Meanwhile the family dog is digging nearby and comes back to Cord holding a human finger in its mouth. Further exploration reveals a frozen female body, and Ellie is summoned to the scene. 

As the frozen solid body is brought to the morgue, Ellie begins her investigation, and believes her to be a woman that went missing eleven years ago.  But where has she been all this time? And how did her body wind up buried in the woods? Ellie gets a lead from the Detective who investigated the initial disappearance and starts looking for a person of interest from all those years ago – but finds nothing but dead ends. 

Meanwhile, Special Agent Derrick Fox is in Atlanta, GA working with Governor Weston, when the governor asks for his assistance in a personal matter. It seems his daughter Ginger had rented a cabin in Crooked Creek to get away from the media but has stopped returning his calls and he’s worried.  Ellie heads out to do a well check, and finds evidence of foul play – and no sign of Ginger…

As the investigation heats up, Ellie and her team search for the Governor’s daughter, while attempting to discover what happened to the other victim all those years ago. As the body count climbs, it becomes a race against time to catch a killer who’s rapidly spiraling out of control…

This has been an awesome new series find for me, thanks to Netgalley & Bookouture!  While this is the fourth book in the series, it can be read as a standalone, but there are references to earlier events and storylines that remain open ended, promising many avenues for future writings. The characters are likeable, flawed and the story doesn’t let up – this one will keep you flipping pages well after dark! Suspenseful, action packed and a very satisfying read!! I can’t wait for more!!! 

Better Off Dead – Lee Child & Andrew Child

There’s just something about a Jack Reacher book… 

In this latest adventure, written by both Lee Child and his brother Andrew, Reacher is on foot, somewhere in Arizona, as he heads west toward the coast. He comes across a jeep that appears to have hit a tree, and notes the female driver slumped across the steering wheel. As he walks closer to assess the situation and to check her for injuries, she suddenly sits upright, holding a pistol straight at him, wanting to know where Michael is…

That is just the beginning of Reacher’s unanticipated involvement in discovering the whereabouts of Michael, a former military bomb defuser, now in the clutches of Waad Dendoncker, a former civilian contractor for the Army believed to have turned domestic terrorist. As Reacher gains the trust of Michaela, former Army, and Michael’s twin sister, she begins to explain how he came to find her that morning.  Needless to say, his interest is piqued and he really has nowhere he needs to be, so he decides to lend his assistance. 

Dendoncker is the owner of a catering service that services high profile aircraft & private flights by providing food and attendants – but believed to be a cover for so much more. Piece by piece, Reacher & Michaela gain information – then Michaela goes missing – leaving Reacher determined to find her…and perhaps stop a weapon of mass destruction as well.

Filled with all of the action we’ve come to expect from a Reacher novel, I almost felt like I was reading sequences from a Steven Seagal movie script at times. That is not a complaint – just Reacher doing what Reacher does best. Action-filled, suspenseful and colorful, I read this one in one sitting, and now start the long wait for the next! You just can’t go wrong with a Reacher novel!! 

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from #Netgalley & Random House Publishing Group, in exchange for an objective review. 

The Last Goodnight – Kat Martin

Kade Logan is a ranch owner in the outskirts of Coffee Springs, Colorado and the car of his late wife has just been pulled out of a local lake. Heather Logan had been missing for a couple of years, having presumably run off with a lover, before her decomposed body was found in a shallow grave, and now, years later, her vehicle has been unearthed. Kade vows to himself that he will avenge her death. Eleanor ‘Ellie’ Bowman is a private investigator for Nighthawk Security, and she’s in the office today at the request of her boss, Conner Delaney, to assist on a new case. As she joins the meeting, she is introduced to Kade, who wishes to use Nighthawk Security’s services to help him discover Heather’s murderer.  A bit surprised at Ellie’s youth, Kade none-the-less accepts her expertise, and she arrives to the ranch undercover as a cook. 

As Ellie starts digging into Heather’s past, it becomes apparent that she had relationships with some of the men in town, including the sheriff, unbeknownst to Kade. When a head of cattle is found dead, there’s some concern, but when a second is found, along with the deliberate destruction of a mine on the ranch property, it becomes apparent that Kade is deliberately being sabotaged. But by who? And why? 

As things heat up between Ellie & Kade, the saboteur gets bolder as well, first shooting a beloved member of the family and then a ranch hand. Then another young woman is found murdered in a similar fashion to Heather, with no apparent connections, giving Ellie other avenues to pursue.  A visit to Vail, Colorado indicates that both women engaged in somewhat risky behavior – the pursuit of extramarital affairs – and Ellie & Kade gain some vital clues. But now a killer has set his sights on Ellie…

A good, sexy, suspenseful read from one of the greats!! The perfect rainy day or poolside read!! 

Available 10/26/2021

I received this book as an Advance Reader Copy from #Netgalley & Kensington Books, in exchange for an objective review.