Book Reviews

Book Review: Within These Walls by Ania Ahlborn


Sucked in from the very first page, I had a hard time putting this one down until I finished it.

Convicted cult leader locked up in a maximum security prison (for murdering two and convincing eight others to take their own lives) wants to tell his side of the story to a true crime writer? Yes, please. Tell me everything! Unfortunately, things don’t go as crime writer Lucas Graham expects them to.

My favorite thing about this book is the way Ahlborn set up the chapters, alternating between past and present and throwing in newspaper articles, police reports, and paranormal investigative reports. It could not have been an easy feat for her to keep all of the details straight and tie everything together, but she pulled it off brilliantly. Up until around 80%, this book was a solid 5-star read for me. Without spoilers, I can’t explain why the ending didn’t satisfy me the way the rest of the book did, so let’s just say the turn it took wasn’t for me. Even so, the final chapter was pretty darn clever, and I love Ahlborn’s style.

I highly recommend this one to those of you who are looking for a great suspense thriller with a paranormal slant and are intrigued by stories about cults. Just keep in mind that you might have a difficult time pulling yourself away to do other things. (Like eat or shower, for example.)



Book Reviews

Book Review: Author Anonymous by E.K. Blair


Since there was a lot of buzz about this book leading up to its release, I added it to my to-read shelf. After all, I’m drawn to stories that involve scandal, betrayal, and morally bankrupt characters. I had no plans to read it right away, but then it was released, and there was even more buzz about it. So I made a mental note to read it sooner than later. THEN the standard buzz (which typically surrounds new releases by best-selling authors) became infused with drama and gossip, catapulting Author Anonymous to the top of my to-read list.

For the first 21% of the book (up to chapter seven), I started to wonder what all the negative hype was about. I found Tori to be relatable and couldn’t imagine her doing anything to make so many readers so angry. I began to wonder if maybe I just have a higher tolerance for seriously flawed individuals who make bad decisions. But then, Tori crosses a line with one particular character, and that’s when the story really sucked me in. I felt a combination of shocked, irritated, sad, and nervous for the rest of the story.

The roller coaster of emotions I experienced was not solely because of Anonymous’ story either. It was also due to E.K.’s amazing ability to elicit those emotions. Instead of despising Tori for her betrayals and selfish, illogical excuses, E.K. somehow made me sympathize with her at times. That’s not to say I agree with the things she did, but I was made to understand her thought process. As for the other key players in this story? Oh my God, I felt so terrible for both of them! The displays of honesty in certain scenes just broke my heart.

Author Anonymous contains so much depth and emotion, and it’s one of those books that makes you wonder how well you really know those closest to you. It might also make you wonder how far you’d be willing to go if you abandoned loyalty and obligation to follow your heart. I couldn’t care less if this book is based on a true story or not. What matters is that it’s one hell of a read!




*In my opinion, this book contains a lot of explicit sex scenes. Some readers have even categorized it as erotic romance.

Book Reviews

Book Review: Make Me Believe by Karen Ferry


How is it possible to love someone you haven’t even kissed yet?

Make Me Believe is a realistic, well-written romance novel. Emma and Daniel (who are very different, almost polar opposites) are attracted to each other from the start. While they have occasional naughty thoughts about one another, there is no instalove in this story. Emma and Daniel’s emotional relationship grows at a steady pace, and I found myself pulling for them to become a couple from the start.

In addition to their differences, Emma and Daniel both have issues that have prevented them from being in serious relationships. Classic romance novel setup, right? Not exactly. Ferry did a nice job of revealing bits and pieces of each character’s issues as they get to know each other, and none of the issues are too over the top. (Sad and a bit disturbing, but not over the top.) Also, I like that once they become a couple, the issues don’t drive them apart. Instead, Emma and Daniel become sources of support for one another.

While I love the way Emma and Daniel’s friendship/relationship progresses, there was a lot of sex in this book. I know that two twenty-something adults engaging in lots of sex when they first start dating is quite normal, but I opted to skim certain scenes simply because there were pressing issues I was itching to learn more about!

One last thing…thoughts on Tom’s note: NOT the way I wanted it to go! But I do love the suspense. If you’ve read this book, tell me how you felt about it!

Oh, and I’ll definitely be reading Fool For Love, part two in Ferry’s Believe Series.