Tag: 4 stars

Audiobook Review: Only Girl Alive by Holly S. Roberts

Only Girl Alive
Series: Detective Eve Bennet #1
Author: Holly S. Roberts

Narrator: Stacia Keogh
Published: January 13, 2023
Audiobook: 7 hours 35 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: January 9-11, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars 

Book Description:

As day breaks over the Tanner family home, the house is deadly silent and the door is firmly closed. Upstairs, the whole family lie cold and lifeless in their beds. All with the same look of fear in their unblinking eyes…

Detective Eve Bennet takes a steadying breath as she enters the main bedroom of the Tanners’ modest home in the tight-knit town of Hilldale, Utah. Mrs Tanner’s high-collared nightgown and her long plaited blonde hair are soaked in blood. Next to her, Mr Tanner’s hands are clasped together in a final prayer.

Filled with dread, Eve forces herself towards the children’s rooms. But instead of two children, she only finds one. Where is the youngest daughter, Hannah? And why are there long scratches across the walls?

Eve tracks Hannah down to her uncle’s house nearby. But he won’t let her step foot in the house. Eve knows what it’s like to be held captive by a family member, and fears for Hannah’s safety. What is he terrified Hannah might reveal?

Back at the Tanner home, Eve makes a shocking discovery in the dust covered attic. Mr Tanner was hiding a dark secret from the rest of the community—the kind of secret someone would kill for.

Realizing another family could be in danger, Eve runs from the house and stumbles into the path of the one man she spent years trying to forget— and he won’t let her get away this time. Can Eve escape the evil that has haunted her whole life? And will she catch the killer before another innocent family is murdered?

Jessica’s Review:

Only Girl Alive is the first in the new Eve Bennet crime thriller series, and I am looking forward to the upcoming novels! Only Girl Alive is a fast moving and quick read that is also short: at just over 7.5 hours or around 275 pages this one got pulled me in from the beginning and I never lost interest!

Polygamist communities are an interesting topic to read about for me, both fictional and factual and we are dealing with one such community in this novel.  Detective Eve Bennet had been a part of this community in her past and we also get to see that in flashbacks. We see how her past affects the present and how her knowledge with the community helps with the case.  I don’t know if what was mentioned in the novel with polygamist community is factual, but it can be downright frightening what these women are forced to go through!

The reasoning for my four-star review was two things:  I was not surprised to find out who the killer was, it was a bit predictable for me.  The second reason was the narrator.  It took a while to get used to her voice. Keogh came off as nasally to me, but over time I adjusted and was able to really enjoy the audiobook. 

I was not surprised to find out that Roberts is a retired homicide detective, and she takes her knowledge and gives it to us in this fictionalized novel. I look forward to future installments of the Detective Eve Bennet series!

Many thanks to Bookouture Audio for granting me an audio arc to listen to and review. 

Purchase Links:
Amazon US
Amazon UK

A Review of Once Upon a Book Club’s 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas

Once Upon a Book Club is a monthly subscription box service that offers YA and adults boxes and very soon will be offering a middle grades box. Each month, subscribers receive a newly released novel and wrapped gifts labeled with page numbers. As they read the featured book, they are prompted to only open the gifts when they reach the specified page number. **Please note that I am not  a subscriber and have bought three boxes with my own money, including this 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas that my review today will be about. This is not a sponsored post with the company.**

  Once Upon a Book Club’s 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas
Series: Volume IV
Author: various

Published: December 1, 2021
230 pages

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: December 12-27, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars      

Book Description:

Volume 4 of The 12 Days of Book-Club-Mas features twelve, exclusive short stories from twelve authors who curated their stories around a specific wrapped gift that readers were meant to open as they read.

Jessica’s Review:

This was the 2021 version though I read it in 2022. That is because there were shipping issues that Once Upon A Book Club (OUABC) experienced. So yes, I held onto this box for a whole year! It is a book of 12 short stories, and at a certain point in the story you open your daily gift. The gift enhances the story and it was a fun experience!

The short stories are not Christmas related, but most were book related or dealt with some kind of death and grief.  I really enjoyed days 2,3, 6, and 10. Day 7 was my ultimate favorite story because like one character, I am a blogger!  I feel that the Day 6 short story should have actually been day 7 because the number 7 was consistent throughout the story.  OUABC missed out on that opportunity. 

The gifts were fun to get to and open each day. They range from books to curtains to more.  Some of the gifts I will use and the others I will have to figure out. 

I highly recommend giving OUABC ‘advent box’ a chance if you have the time for daily reads and the money for the box when it becomes available.  You would want to act fast as this box tends to sell out quickly!  Will I buy this box again in the future: More than likely!

Here are some of my pictures for an idea on what the box/gifts are like:

I shared each daily gift on my story on Instagram.  There is a photo album on my Facebook Page.

Day 8 was a gift smaller than my hand! It was an ornament of the book Jane Eyre:

Day 9 was uniquely shaped: It ended up being a bookend!

 The gifts ranged from as small as a keychain

To as large as curtains and a windshield protector for your car!:

 I wanted to get this review in early in the year!

To look into Once Upon a Book Club, their website is here.

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Short Story Sunday: Tell Her Story by Margot Hunt

Tell Her Story
Author: Margot Hunt

Main Narrator: Dakota Fanning
Published: May 5, 2022
Audiobook:
2 hours 52 minutes

Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: December 29-30, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars

Book Description:

Paige Barrett was living her dream as a journalist in New York City, racking up bylines as a staff writer at The Razor, a cutting-edge online magazine. But when she’s suddenly fired from her job and dumped by her boyfriend, she finds herself back home in the quaint seaside town of Shoreham, Florida, waiting tables and living in her sister’s guesthouse.

Restless and itching for something meaningful to occupy her time, she decides to launch a true-crime podcast about the death of Jessica Cady, a beloved teacher who died mysteriously 20 years earlier. The case went cold with no leads and no suspects, but the more Paige digs into the woman’s death, the closer she comes to a killer. In a small town like Shoreham, it’s impossible to keep a secret forever.

Jessica’s Review:

This was the last short audiobook I listened to in 2022. It was short at under three hours and I really enjoyed it!

We have a young and disgraced former journalist who is convinced by her sister to start a podcast featuring the cold case of a 20-year-old murder of a much-loved teacher in her hometown. And of course, she gets in over her head the further involved she gets. 

I really enjoyed this short story and liked Paige. I was fully involved in her journey to hopefully solving this long cold case.  Tell Her Story is currently only available in audio format and I feel that is the way it should be ‘read’ or listened to. We go on Paige’s journey of ‘whodunit’ with her and then part of the audiobook is the podcast. Dakota Fanning is our main narrator and she did a very good job portraying Paige.

This is a short story, so it was fast paced and I never lost interest in it. The farther Paige went in her research the more she discovers and she then finds herself involved in a way she never expected.  The podcast angle with the unexpected popularity adds to the danger and also shows how different our world is now than just 20 years ago when this murder happened.

I would be interested in looking at more of Hunt’s novels.  This was a good introduction to her for me.  

Purchase Links: Please note this one is only available in audio format currently.
Amazon US 
Amazon UK

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