Contemporary

DNF Mini Reviews: Blood Brothers and The Queen’s Army

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Blood Brothers by Jody ZimmermanBlood Brothers by Jody Zimmerman

Rating: DNF

Thirty-three year old Philip Hampton is an award winning freelance writer and investigative journalist. His younger brother, Billy, an A-list New Yorker, is on the brink of stardom in the international art market.

Orphaned as children, the two brothers are the only family either has until Billy is murdered. Shattered by his brother’s death, Philip vows revenge.

During a visit to Billy’s studio, Philip discovers Billy’s final painting. Certain that the painting somehow holds clues to Billy’s murder, Philip begins to unlock the painting’s secrets.

He finds himself drawn into a frantic search for the treasures from the largest art theft in history—the Isabella Stewart Gardner Museum Heist of 1990. Discovery of the treasure is Philip’s only hope of solving the murder, attaining retribution, and healing from emotional and sexual trauma from his childhood.

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Learning Not to Drown by Anna Shinoda

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Learning Not to Drown by Anna ShinodaLearning Not to Drown by Anna Shinoda

Rating: 3.5 of 5 stars

Family secrets cut to the bone in this mesmerizing debut novel about a teen whose drug-addicted brother is the prodigal son one time too many.

There is a pecking order to every family. Seventeen-year old Clare is the overprotected baby; Peter is the typical, rebellious middle child; and Luke is the oldest, the can’t-do-wrong favorite. To their mother, they are a normal, happy family.

To Clare, they are a family on the verge of disaster. Clare: the ambitious striver; Peter: the angry ticking time bomb; and Luke: a drug-addicted convicted felon who has been in and out of jail for as long as Clare can remember—and who has always been bailed out by their parents.

Clare loves Luke, but life as his sister hasn’t been easy. And when he comes home (again), she wants to believe this time will be different (again). Yet when the truths behind his arrests begin to surface, everything Clare knows is shaken to its core. And then Luke is arrested. Again.

Except this time is different, because Clare’s mom does the unthinkable on Luke’s behalf, and Clare has to decide whether turning her back on family is a selfish act…or the only way to keep from drowning along with them.

Debut novelist Anna Shinoda’s raw, gritty, powerful novel cuts right to the bone and brings to life the skeletons the lurk in the closet.

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The Other Woman

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The Other WomanThe Other Woman

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

After discovering her boyfriend is married, Carly soon meets the wife he’s been cheating on. And when yet another affair is discovered, all three women team up to plot mutual revenge on the three-timing SOB.

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Love Me for Me By Kate Laurens

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Love Me for Me by Kate LaurensLove Me for Me by Kate Laurens

Series: Safe Haven #1

Rating: 1.5 stars

A fresh start…

It’s been three years since Serena King learned to say no—no to the boys that were a desperate cry for help, no to the extra weight she put on in self defense, and most of all no to the abuse that has haunted her since she was fifteen. Now a sophomore in college, all she wants is to be normal. The last thing she expects is a guy who can make her want… make her want everything.

A new guy…

Alex Blackthorn is a bundle of contradictions, a sexy dark haired badness who goes slow… deliciously slow. And despite the iron will that has gotten her through the last few years, Serena finds herself unable to ignore the heat that sizzles between them whenever they’re together.

A dark past…

Serena never thought she could be involved in a relationship, but Alex makes her long for things she thought were out of her reach forever. When he finds out her secret… when he finds out what she did to keep herself sane… will he still want her, or he will treat her just like everyone else?

And Alex has a secret of his own.

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Friday Never Leaving by Vikki Wakefield

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Friday Never Leaving by Vikki WakefieldFriday Never Leaving by Vikki Wakefield

Rating: 4 of 5 stars

In this wrenching, exquisite coming-of-age novel, Friday discovers what makes a family – and a home.

Friday Brown has never had a home. She and her mother live on the road, running away from the past instead of putting down roots. So when her mom succumbs to cancer, the only thing Friday can do is keep moving. Her journey takes her to an abandoned house where a bunch of street kids are squatting, and an intimidating girl named Arden holds court.

Friday gets initiated into the group, but her relationship with Arden is precarious, which puts Friday – and anyone who befriends her – at risk. With the threat of a dangerous confrontation looming, Friday has to decide between returning to her isolated, transient life, or trying to help the people she’s come to care about – if she can still make it out alive.

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