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Mailbox Monday – 1/23

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Mailbox Monday

Mailbox Monday is the gathering place for readers to share the books that came in their mailbox during the last week. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Tell us about your new arrivals by adding your Mailbox Monday post to the linky at mailboxmonday.wordpress.com.

Ebooks

This week I only picked up one new book from NetGalley.

Mailbox Monday – 1/23The King of Bourbon Street by Thea de Salle
Series: NOLA Nights #1
Published by Pocket Star on February 13, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary Romance
Pages: 250
Format: eARC
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Hotel chain mogul Sol DuMont is about to learn that some of life’s biggest surprises come in deceptively small packages—namely a petite heiress named Rain who’s hell-bent on upsetting her family’s expectations—in this first book in the all new series by Thea de Salle, set against the sultry backdrop of New Orleans.

Thirty-seven-year-old Sol DuMont is a divorcee and the owner of a mid-sized hotel chain in New Orleans. Since Hurricane Katrina, his father’s death, and the decision that he and his ex-wife Maddy are far better off friends than lovers, he’s lost interest in almost everything he held dear—parties, people, and pushing limits.

All his limits.

Then Arianna Barrington checks into his hotel.

Twenty-four-year-old Arianna “Rain” Barrington could have been society’s sweetheart. Her family is moneyed, connected press darlings, and make sweeping headlines from coast to coast for reasons both good and bad. But when her mother shoves her at Charles Harwood—the obnoxious, entitled heir of Harwood Corp—to cement a billion-dollar business merger, Rain does the only thing she can think of to escape: she creates a scandal so big Harwood doesn’t want her anymore before fleeing to New Orleans for much-needed rest and relaxation.

All she wants is jazz piano, beignets, and to sail the Mississippi. What she gets is Sol DuMont, a whirlwind affair, and a hands-on education in sex, power play, and pushing limits.

All her limits.

Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis

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Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis Two Days Gone by Randall Silvis
Series: Ryan DeMarco #1
Published by Sourcebooks Landmark on January 10, 2017
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Mystery
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
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A literary page-turner about a beloved college professor accused of murdering his entire family, and one small-town cop's dangerous search for answers.

Thomas Huston, a beloved professor and bestselling author, is something of a local hero in the small Pennsylvania college town where he lives and teaches. So when Huston's wife and children are found brutally murdered in their home, the community reacts with shock and anger. Huston has also mysteriously disappeared, and suddenly, the town celebrity is suspect number one.

Sergeant Ryan DeMarco has secrets of his own, but he can't believe that a man he admired, a man he had considered a friend, could be capable of such a crime. Hoping to glean clues about Huston's mind-set, DeMarco delves into the professor's notes on his novel-in-progress. Soon, DeMarco doesn't know who to trust—and the more he uncovers about Huston's secret life, the more treacherous his search becomes.

Two men – Huston and DeMarco. Huston is a writer, a family man, a celebrity, and from all indications, has gone off the deep end and killed his wife children. DeMarco is a semi-stereotypical cop, a loner, a wounded man, but a good guy. The two were maybe friends by now DeMarco’s job is to find Huston, who is on the run, or not. It’s a decent set-up. Huston’s thoughts are rambling, he doesn’t let us know what happened. DeMarco thinks Huston is probably innocent, but the majority of the book is about finding Huston, other suspects barely enter the picture until late.

I struggled through this one. I didn’t get a chance to care about Huston because you never really know him, you just know the him that is shattered by the murders of his family. DeMarco I could almost like, but it’s not just his dark moods and drinking and stalking his ex, he’s not really a good cop. Lots of fictional cops fail to call for backup or don’t give their superior the whole story, I can overlook that, but he makes a couple of decisions that seem just wrong, even for a rogue cop.

The writing was uneven for me. Sometimes it was lush and descriptive and atmospheric, sometimes it seemed overly detail and melodramatic, trying too hard to be a “literary” mystery, like being a thriller wasn’t good enough.

As a mystery, it worked well. The clues were there even if we got one important one rather late, but I didn’t put them together. The secondary characters were fleshed out well.

Maybe it just needed to be a bit shorter or a bit less wordy. I didn’t find it as engrossing as I had hoped.

About Randall Silvis

Randall Silvis is the internationally acclaimed author of over a dozen novels, one story collection, and one book of narrative nonfiction. Also a prize-winning playwright, a produced screenwriter, and a prolific essayist, he has been published and produced in virtually every field and genre of creative writing. His numerous essays, articles, poems and short stories have appeared in the Discovery Channel magazines, The Writer, Prism International, Short Story International, Manoa, and numerous other online and print magazines. His work has been translated into 10 languages.

Silvis’s many literary awards include two writing fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts, the prestigious Drue Heinz Literature Prize, a Fulbright Senior Scholar Research Award, six fellowships for his fiction, drama, and screenwriting from the Pennsylvania Council On the Arts, and an honorary Doctor of Letters degree awarded for distinguished literary achievement.”​

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

Holiday with a Twist by Shannon Stacey

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Holiday with a Twist by Shannon Stacey Holiday with a Twist by Shannon Stacey
Published by Carina Press on November 21, 2016
Source: NetGalley
Genres: Contemporary Romance, Christmas
Pages: 110
Format: eARC
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After a messy breakup, Leigh Holloway is ready to start her life over. Until her parents put the family home on the market and call her back for one final, memory-making Christmas. The last thing she wants to do is deprive her mom of the perfect holiday, so she'll lie her way through the visit and worry about her future in the New Year. Too bad the only bar in town is owned by a guy she seriously wronged in high school.

Leigh's best friend broke Croy Dawson's heart, and Croy knows it was Leigh's fault. They've never liked each other, but Croy isn't cruel: he'd never turn away a pretty woman in need of some family-Christmas fortification. He doesn't expect her to drink just enough candy-cane martinis to tell him her secrets—and he definitely doesn't expect to get caught up in her holiday madness.

Despite the surprising love and laughter, Croy and Leigh can't escape the truth: he can't walk away from his family obligations and she has a life and career to reboot. But anything is possible if your holiday comes with a twist…

Holiday with a Twist is just a sweet, feel-good Christmas romance. It’s light and fun and a perfect seasonal read for me. Leigh keeping her breakup and quitting her job a secret from her family is silly, but in all honesty I like when the “issue” between the two main characters in a romance isn’t a big deal that takes a lot to overcome. Croy and Leigh were friends forever, even if they haven’t talked to each other in years, and I like how they settle back in to the friendship. They’re a good couple. They know each other well, good and bad, and still fall in love. This is a novella, so the attraction is almost instant and the relationship evolve quickly, but I bought it.

Holiday with a Twist is part of the Carina Press Romance Promise: all the romance you’re looking for with an HEA/HFN. It’s a promise! Love that! I don’t have to worry if it’ll work out or not, they promise it will. When I need a light romance, I tend to turn toward Carina Press – maybe that’s why. I’ll probably be picking up more of Shannon Stacey’s books. That’s another reason I like novellas, they let you try new authors without a huge commitment.

About Shannon Stacey

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author Shannon Stacey lives with her husband and two sons in New England, where her two favorite activities are writing stories of happily ever after and riding her four-wheeler. From May to November, the Stacey family spends their weekends on their ATVs, making loads of muddy laundry to keep Shannon busy when she’s not at her computer. She prefers writing to laundry, however, and considers herself lucky she got to be an author when she grew up.

Reading this book contributed to these challenges:

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