I had a super busy month during May and I didn’t get to read as much as I normally do but the books I did get to read were great! I’d rather read 10 fantastic 4 and 5 star books all month than 30 just okay books. As a reminder, I’m sharing my 5 Star and 4 Star Favorites every month this year.
5 Stars = I loved it and it has an honored spot on my all-time favorite, will read again, list
4 Stars = I really really liked it but I won’t read it again
May 5 Star Reads:
1.Bound by Hatred by Cora Reilly- When Gianna watched her sister Aria getting married to a man she barely knew, she promised herself she wouldn’t let the same thing happen to her. Matteo – The Blade – Vitiello set his eyes on Gianna the moment he saw her on his brother Luca’s wedding, and Rocco Scuderi is more than willing to give his daughter to him, but Gianna has no intention of marrying for any other reason than love. A few months before the wedding, Gianna escapes her bodyguards and runs away. She has enough money to flee to Europe and begin a new life. But staying undetected when the mob is searching for her is a challenge that takes everything, especially as one of their best hunters and assassins is after her: Matteo Vitiello. After six months on the run, Gianna finally settles into a tentative routine in Munich, but then Matteo and a couple of her father’s soldiers find her with another man. Despite her pleads they kill her boyfriend, and Gianna is forced to marry Matteo. Her emotions alternating between guilt over having dragged an innocent into her world and hatred toward Matteo, Gianna is determined to make life hell for her husband. But Matteo is a master at mind games and their struggle for power soon turns into hate-fueled nights of passion.
I loved this book. It’s book 3 in a trilogy and while each story is a standalone you will enjoy the stories so much more if you read them in order as they all connect. I love mafia books. I don’t know why but I just really enjoy them. Highly recommend this series!
2. Carter Reed 2 by Tijan- Carter bought his way out of the mafia to protect Emma, but when an old ghost returns to the Mauricio Family, a chain of events starts that can harm everyone. While Carter must decide to return to the Mauricio Family or not, a face that is oddly familiar to Emma comes into her life. She’s given the chance to discover more about her family while tension between the rivaling Mauricio and Bertal Family comes to a head in an explosive way. The truce is officially off, and when the two worlds collide, Carter’s decision is made. He didn’t start this war, but he will end it. He will do anything to protect Emma.
Continuing with my love of mafia books, here is another one. You do need to read the first book, Carter Reed, prior to reading this one or it won’t make alot of sense. This book was so good- maybe not as fantastic as the first one but pretty dang close. Definitely a series I highly recommend.
3. Broken by Cynthia Eden- Ex-SEAL and LOST founder Gabe Spencer is accustomed to the unusual in his job. But when knockout Eve Gray steps into his office, he’s rattled. For the mysterious woman is a dead ringer for the heiress thought to be the latest prey of the serial killer who goes by the name Lady Killer. When Eve awoke in an Atlanta hospital, her past was a blank slate. Then she recognized her own face in the newspaper and vowed to learn the truth. Determined to confront the nightmares hidden in her mind, she never expects to find a partner in Gabe. As Gabe and Eve work together, their explosive attraction becomes irresistible. Gabe knows that his desire for Eve is growing too strong, bordering on a dangerous obsession, but nothing pulls him away from her. And when another Eve lookalike disappears, Gabe vows to protect Eve at all costs. While Eve may have forgotten the killer in her past, it’s clear he hasn’t forgotten her.
Next to the mafia books my other favorites are military heroes, probably because I have so many military men in my family. That makes me sound like I have daddy issues, which I assure you is not the case. Ha! This book was a romantic suspense with some good mystery in it. I’m gravitating a lot towards the mystery stories lately instead of straight romance so I enjoyed this one a lot. The second in the series is out now and on my TBR list and the third book is due to be released in October.
4. Hour Of Need by Melinda Leigh- While fighting in Afghanistan, Major Grant Barrett receives devastating news: his brother and sister-in-law have been murdered in Scarlet Falls, the sleepy suburb of Grant’s youth. Emotionally scarred from war, the career soldier returns home on emergency leave to temporarily care for his orphaned nephew and niece. But when someone tries to kidnap the kids and their teenage babysitter, Grant knows it’s not a random act…and neither were the murders. Already devastated by her neighbors’ violent deaths, Ellie Ross is shattered by the attempted abduction of her teenage daughter so she desperately turns to Grant for help. As they navigate a deadly search for the truth, they struggle with growing feelings for each other and Grant’s impending return to deployment. But time is running out. The killer is growing bolder by the hour, and Ellie and Grant must find him before the children become his next victims.
Another romantic suspense/mystery book that was great. I enjoyed the mystery in this one even though I did figure out the bad guy before the end. It was still a great read with solid characters and a great supporting cast. It is a standalone but there will be other books revolving around other characters from this story.
5. When I’m Gone by Abbi Glines- I had an urge to fix all her problems. Which was stupid. She was doing fine without me. But something about those big eyes…Mase Colt-Manning has always preferred his humble life as a Texas rancher to his birthright as the son of a legendary rock star. In fact, he rarely visits his father’s rarefied world in Rosemary Beach, especially if it means bunking at his vile half-sister Nan’s house—until one visit leads to a chance encounter with a young, gorgeous house maid who awakens him with her off-key but spirited imitation of a country music star…Reese Ellis finally has her freedom. After escaping a lifetime of abuse from her parents and classmates for an undiagnosed learning disorder, she seizes the opportunity to be a house maid to some of the richest families in Rosemary Beach. But her job is in jeopardy when she causes an accident at the home of her most important client, Nan Dillon. When a hot, half-naked stranger with a cowboy’s swagger comes to her rescue, she’s intrigued—then afraid once he shows his own interest. Reese has never met a trustworthy man in her life. Will Mase be any different?
I love the Rosemary Beach series and this one was a great addition. You don’t have to read the other books to enjoy this one but you will love the story so much more if you know all the characters first. Beware- this is a slight cliffhanger ending but it does end happily for now so it’s not too bad.
May 4 Star Reads:
1. The Liar by Nora Roberts- Shelby Foxworth lost her husband. Then she lost her illusions …The man who took her from Tennessee to an exclusive Philadelphia suburb left her in crippling debt. He was an adulterer and a liar, and when Shelby tracks down his safe-deposit box, she finds multiple IDs. The man she loved wasn’t just dead. He never really existed. Shelby takes her three-year-old daughter and heads south to seek comfort in her hometown, where she meets someone new: Griff Lott, a successful contractor. But her husband had secrets she has yet to discover. Even in this small town, surrounded by loved ones, danger is closer than she knows—and threatens Griff, as well. And an attempted murder is only the beginning.
I haven’t read a Nora Roberts book in quite awhile but this one peaked my interest. It was a good story. I wasn’t surprised by anything that happened in the book- it was pretty predictable but the characters made the book for me. I liked them.
2. The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins- Rachel takes the same commuter train every morning. Every day she rattles down the track, flashes past a stretch of cozy suburban homes, and stops at the signal that allows her to daily watch the same couple breakfasting on their deck. She’s even started to feel like she knows them. “Jess and Jason,” she calls them. Their life—as she sees it—is perfect. Not unlike the life she recently lost. And then she sees something shocking. It’s only a minute until the train moves on, but it’s enough. Now everything’s changed. Unable to keep it to herself, Rachel offers what she knows to the police, and becomes inextricably entwined in what happens next, as well as in the lives of everyone involved. Has she done more harm than good?
Everyone kept recommending this book to me so I reserved it from the library. It was another mystery/suspense but without the romance. The main character was highly unlikeable to me for most of the book- I just didn’t like her. She was a drunk and a whiner. But in the end I felt sorry for her more than I disliked her. I will say that my dislike of her actually enhanced my enjoyment of the story so not sure what that says about me. Ha! I did guess correctly about how it would end about half way through the story but it was still a good book.
Did you read anything good this month?