Tag Archives: no spoilers

Lil Red’s Book Club: Hope Never Dies By Andrew Shaffer Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Hope Never Dies By Andrew Shaffer Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! After reading and reviewing an endless amount of thrillers, Hope Never Dies by Andrew Shaffer was a definite change of pace. It was also a most welcomed one because it was sheer perfection. Hope Never Dies is a mystery book starring none other than Barack Obama and Joe Biden. It was recently reviewed on one of Johnny’s favorite podcasts, Behind The Bastards, and after hearing about its hilarity, he had to buy it for me. What a guy!

Without giving any spoilers away, let’s discuss this ridiculous book further:

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Delaware’s favorite son, Joe Biden, is simply existing after eight years of being vice president of the United States. He’s aging, growing antsy with “nothing” to do, and most importantly – desperately misses Barack Obama. After several years of not speaking once their run in office was over, Joe grows lonelier and even more depressed when he sees his former best friend living it up with his new celebrity pals. However, their reunion is just about to get started.

Late one night, Joe encounters none other than former president Barack Obama lurking in the woods on his property. He doesn’t come with an invitation for a party or an outing with Bradley Cooper (The bane of Joe’s existence), rather, he has some bad news to share. Joe’s favorite Amtrak conductor, Finn, has passed away under suspicious circumstances. And, oddly enough, a map to Joe’s home was found in the pocket of the deceased.

Joe is beside himself with the loss of Finn and decides to take matters into his own hands to uncover the mystery of his death. Of course, he’ll need some help. Cue: Barack Obama and his Secret Service agent, Steve. Through high speed car chases, infiltrating a biker gang, and some good old fashioned grunt work, they discover that there was a lot more to Finn’s death than what meets the eye.

Obama and Biden stumble across a huge drug smuggling ring through their investigations with deceit and death creeping around every corner. It turns out that Joe didn’t really know his good friend, Finn, after all. Who was responsible for the death of the seasoned Amtrak conductor? And will Barack and Joe live to tell the tale? Read Hope Never Dies to find out!

Pretty crazy, right? Lol, guys, I seriously cannot with this book and I also cannot recommend it enough. I can’t remember the last time I read a humorous book and I was in stitches with every turn of the page of Hope Never Dies. Andrew Shaffer is a national treasure and he must be protected at all costs so he can keep cranking out Obama Biden mysteries.

Joe is the narrator in Hope Never Dies and he plays the part of the scorned lover. His jealousy over Barack’s new friends and yearning for what they once shared is palpable throughout the book. From throwing darts at a picture of Bradley Cooper to dreaming of Barack in a white toga riding a unicorn, there’s no denying it: He freaking loves Barack Obama, despite falling out of touch.

As always, Barack is cool as a cucumber and Joe is full of stumbling wise cracks. A point is also made to make some digs at other politicians, which is a hoot. Through looking death in the eyes and a whirlwind experience shared, Joe and Barack end their adventure as “brothers” once more. Which is great because the sequel, Hope Rides Again, will surely begin with them as besties. And, yes, Johnny got me Hope Rides Again too!

In all seriousness, I am awarding Hope Never Dies with the coveted ten out of ten stars. If you love the Obama Biden era as much as me and are looking for a laugh, then it is a must read. This book is absolutely insane and I am one hundred million percent there for it.

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Paris Apartment By Lucy Foley Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Paris Apartment By Lucy Foley Edition

Hello! We interrupt your regularly scheduled OOTD bloopers for a brand new Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing an excellent read by Lucy Foley called The Paris Apartment. This was a fast paced thriller that included everything I like – multiple narrators, short chapters, a good whodoneit, and lots of text in French. Before we begin, I will be placing a trigger warning on The Paris Apartment for violence and disturbing content. Now, let’s get to it – without giving any spoilers away, of course:

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Jess is on the run. Not only from her past but a petty crime committed in the UK. With no friends and family to turn to aside from her estranged half brother, Ben, she decides that now is as good a time as any to visit him in Paris. He somewhat reluctantly agrees, gives her his address, and promises to wait up for her when she arrives in the evening. However, during her travels, Ben stops replying to texts and phone calls. He is also nowhere to be found when Jess arrives at the ultra posh apartment that she has no idea how he affords as a freelance journalist.

With a bit of ingenuity at the locked gate and some good old fashioned lock picking at Ben’s apartment door, she is finally inside. Rather than finding Ben asleep, she sees that his wallet and phone have been left behind. Still hopeful that her free spirited brother will arrive in the morning with an excuse that he forgot, Jess goes to sleep. And in the morning? Nothing. And the days to come? Nothing. Ben has disappeared.

The day after her arrival, Jess begins to investigate and there is no better place to start than with the residents of the apartment. There is the violent alcoholic Antoine on the first floor, nice guy Nicholas on the second, elusive Mimi and party girl Camille on the fourth, filthy rich Sophie and Jacques in the penthouse, and a concierge who sees everything in the lodge. All of them provide Jess with nothing of value but they all appear to be hiding something about her brother’s whereabouts.

The more Jess digs, the more she is convinced that someone in the apartment is to blame. In Ben’s wallet, she finds a business card for Theo, an editor of a Paris newspaper. He tells Jess that Ben was working on an article for him that was a pure investigative piece. A far cry from his usual restaurant reviews. Ben’s big scoop is about someone in the apartment but who? And is this how he came to disappear into thin air? Read The Paris Apartment to find out!

I really enjoyed The Paris Apartment and, despite the *slightly* farfetched conclusion, I think that it is worth the read. While I did figure out the grand reveals fairly easily, it was still a fun thriller that had me hooked. In fact, I was sad when I finished it because I wanted more – especially in regards to the reactions of the grand finale from the apartment residents.

Jess was a very likeable and unlikely heroine and she was so easy to root for. She has a somewhat scruffy appearance and is dirt poor so it was really endearing as she went about her investigation among people who want for nothing. Jess was also reckless and you truly felt that danger was around the corner for her all of the time, which kept me on the edge of my seat.

Although the other main players in the book were equally horrible in their own right, I still loved the back and forth chapters between all of them. Their chapters shifted between the past with Ben and the present without him so you got to learn all of the key moments that led up to his disappearance. I do like a more vague read but it was nice to have all of the cards out on the table with minimal guesswork for once.

Overall, I am going to rate The Paris Apartment with an eight out of ten stars. Was it the most original thing I’ve read? Not really. However, it was a good page turner and I still recommend it. I would definitely read more by Lucy Foley!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: Mexican Gothic By Silvia Moreno-Garcia Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Mexican Gothic By Silvia Moreno-Garcia Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Without giving any spoilers away, as always, we will be discussing a suspense novel by Silvia Moreno-Garcia called Mexican Gothic. Before we begin, I will be placing a big fat trigger warning on this book for disturbing content and violence both physical and sexual. Now, let’s get to it:

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Noemi Taboada is a young socialite living in Mexico City in the early 1950s. She is a tenacious woman and when she isn’t spending her free time dancing the night away she is diligently working towards a Masters degree in anthropology. Noemi’s biggest concern is what to wear on a night out but this is all about to change drastically after her family receives a disturbing letter from her cousin, Catalina.

Catalina is a bit older than Noemi and has been married for about a year to the handsome Virgil Doyle. She lives a fair distance away in the remote El Triunfo in the Doyle estate called the High Place. Noemi’s family assumed she was too busy being a newlywed to be in contact often and her letter is the first correspondence they’ve had since the wedding. In her letter, she describes hearing and seeing ghosts and desperately requests Noemi’s presence.

In exchange for checking in on Noemi, her father will allow her to go to a co-ed college to continue her studies. So, she packs her bags and makes her way to the High Place. Noemi’s destination is a looming estate shrouded by mist and an overwhelming darkness. The dark cloud is not limited to the property itself but to those who inhabit it too.

What used to be a flourishing mining community run by the Doyle family is now limited to a handful of zombie like servants and the remaining Doyles. There is Catalina and her husband Virgil, Virgil’s aunt and cousin named Florence and Francis, and Howard who is Virgil’s father. To Noemi, each one seems more unpleasant than the next and she has half a mind to turn around and go home.

The rules of High Place are strict and something that Noemi is not used to. No talking at dinner, no smoking, speak in hushed voices, and not to disturb Catalina because she needs her rest. The longer she is at the Doyle home, the worse Catalina seems to get and Noemi begins to get a taste of what her cousin suffers from.

Noemi starts to have dreadful bouts of sleepwalking, distressing nightmares, and terrifying encounters with the Doyle family. She used to scoff at the idea that there are ghosts lurking in the High Place but begins to see that Catalina might be right. High Place had a dark past and even more disturbing plans for the future of the Doyles. Will Noemi and her cousin make it out alive? Read Mexican Gothic to find out!

Upon finishing Mexican Gothic, I felt rather torn. I liked the book overall but found the plot twist to be extremely farfetched. Then, I began to take it for what it was despite its unlikelihood and decided it was still a very worthwhile read. I am not used to reading books with a touch of dark magic (Which is all I will say about the grand reveal.) and found that I enjoyed it even more after having time to digest it.

Noemi carried this story so well as the only narrator and I loved her sass, determination, and panache for bending the rules. She came to High Place with a mission of protecting her cousin and refused to leave until that was fulfilled. This showed so much strength and perseverance on her end because the easiest thing for her to do was simply leave – especially because the villains were completely despicable.

I will admit that some parts of Mexican Gothic kind of dragged on but it wasn’t as slow of a burn as books I have read recently. It continued to hold my attention until the very end and I will rate it with a seven out of ten stars. This is not a read for the faint of heart but if you dare to visit the High Place, you won’t be disappointed!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

Lil Red’s Book Club: The Family Across The Street By Nicole Trope Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: The Family Across The Street By Nicole Trope Edition

Hello everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we will be discussing an intense psychological thriller by Nicole Trope called The Family Across The Street – without giving any spoilers away, of course. This book was absolutely insane and before we begin, I will be placing a trigger warning on it for graphic violence and disturbing content. Now, let’s get to it:

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Katherine West lives in a posh neighborhood in Sydney, Australia with her husband and their set of twins, Sophie and George. They live on a quiet street and the residents can’t even remember the last time they heard a police siren or seen a cop driving by. It is picture perfect and safe as can be for Katherine, Gladys across the street, and all their neighbors. But, we all know that this is never the case in a thriller.

Logan is a former convict and is covered in violent tattoos inspired from his lifetime of struggle. He is finally turning into the man that he wants to be for himself and his wife and has been working as a delivery driver for his brother in law’s company. On the hottest day of the year, his day begins at Katherine’s home to deliver her new laptop.

At Katherine’s door, she tells Logan that she cannot open it and to leave her purchase there. He can’t do that, however, because it needs signed for and throughout his day, he can’t shake the feeling that there was something wrong. The nosy Gladys across the street feels similarly and throughout her day, she stops by Katherine’s door too only to be told it can’t be opened.

The perfect stranger and neighbor were right, of course, but what is happening in Katherine’s home is something that they never could have guessed. A hostage situation is unfolding in the West’s living room and Katherine and her two twins sit huddled on the couch as they are held at gunpoint. Who is the person that could possibly do this to such a beautiful family? That’s something you will never guess too so read The Family Across The Street to find out!

The Family Across The Street was a rollarcoaster ride of a read with the craziest twists and turns happening every chapter. This is why I had to keep the synopsis short and sweet because every shocking twist is so important to the story. The grand reveal is one that I would have never seen coming in a million years and I am still mulling it over several days after finishing it. It left me totally and completely shook.

The past few books that I have read have been slow burn thrillers and although I enjoyed them, it was nice to read something more fast paced. The Family Across The Street started out with a bang and the punches kept rolling until the last page. The chapters alternated between Katherine, Gladys, Logan, and the person holding the Wests hostage and I just had to keep reading to find out what happens next.

Other than the guilty party in this book, all of the characters were so likeable and it made all of the blows that much more painful. I loved brave, determined Katherine and her children. I eventually came around to busybody Gladys and simply adored Logan who was so desperate to keep himself on the straight and narrow. Needless to say, these characters would have never crossed paths had tragedy not struck and their interactions were really cool to read.

Overall, I am going to rate The Family Across The Street with an eight out of ten stars. This book was gruesome and difficult to read at times so if that’s not your bag, then don’t bother. However, if you are looking for a mind blowing thriller that keeps you at the edge of your seat, then I can’t recommend it enough!

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Breach By Kelly Sokol Edition

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Lil Red’s Book Club: Breach By Kelly Sokol Edition

Hi everyone and welcome to a brand new edition of Lil Red’s Book Club! Today, we are going to be discussing a novel called Breach by Kelly Sokol – without giving any spoilers away, of course. Breach was a far cry from the usual thrillers that I am so partial to and I was surprised by how much I enjoyed it. Before we begin, I am going to be placing a trigger warning on Breach. One of the main characters is suffering from PTSD from his time in the Navy and there are also references to miscarriages and abortion.

Now, let’s get to it and peep that amazing cover art:

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Marleigh is a hard working twenty-two year old who is desperate to create a good life for herself. She came from a difficult home life and is now working three jobs while taking night classes to give herself a bright future. Her most important job is taking care of her grandpa’s boxing gym and trying to keep it afloat. Marleigh’s “Pops” is suffering from dementia and was the only person in her life who ever looked out for her.

While manning the front desk at the gym and studying for school, a handsome stranger named Jace walks in. And, in that instant, Marleigh’s life will change forever. Jace is an EOD specialist with a similarly sad past and a whirlwind romance begins before he is deployed again. Marleigh didn’t know it was possible to love someone so much until their relationship and, for once, her life is good.

In the short amount of time that Marleigh and Jace have been together, they got married and pregnant. Jace would be deployed, he would return home, Marleigh would get pregnant again, rinse and repeat. For a while, things are good and Jace would come home as his normal self. However, with each passing deployment, his mood worsens and not even Marleigh or their three boys brings him happiness.

Not only does Jace struggle with civilian life but he is also hitting the bottle more and more regularly. Between sleepless nights, tracking her husband down at the bar, and being a boy mom of three, Marleigh is simply exhausted. It has gotten to the point where she hardly recognizes the man that she fell in love with and her boys seem afraid of their father.

Marleigh thinks back on her and Jace’s promise to each other to always be there no matter what. She is desperate to save her family but one tragic accident starts a rapid downward spiral. How will Marleigh survive this latest blow? Will she still end up with the life that she dreamed of? Read Breach to find out!

Like I said at the start of this post, I was taken by surprise by how much I liked Breach. I read it in three sittings and was, honestly, sad when it was over. I got so wrapped up in the story line, the romance (The love scenes are steamy!), and rooting for Marleigh to come out on top every step of the way.

I was so impressed by Marleigh as a main character and her work ethic reminded me of me. I definitely remember working three jobs before I graduated college and it was exhausting. I loved her dedication to her Pops, husband, and children. She was tough but caring, talented, and a survivor. My heart ached when her fairy tale romance began disintegrating because she deserved the best of the best.

Breach isn’t a true story but the plot of an enlisted special operator and his wife is all too real for so many people. In fact, I think that’s why I enjoyed it so much. Don’t get me wrong, I love my thrillers and an unstable narrator – you all know that. However, the plots of those books are so far fetched that it wouldn’t happen in real life. Breach felt one hundred percent real and it had me hooked from start to finish.

I am going to award Breach with a seven and a half out of ten stars. As you all know, I am a stickler for typos but I only reduced the score by half a star this time around. With a book as good as Breach, I was feeling generous! I highly recommend this read.

What are you currently reading? What should I read next? I want to hear from all of you, so leave me a comment and let’s chat! Much love. -Sarah