ARC Review: And Finally by Henry Marsh

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: And Finally

Author: Henry Marsh

Release Date: January 17th, 2023

Page Count: 242

Start Date: December 29th, 2022

Finish Date: January 17th, 2023

Review:

I’m not going to lie, I don’t really know what I was expecting when I picked up this book. I actually can’t even tell you why I picked it up. Once I found out what it was about, I was fully expecting a book full of depressing chat. I was expecting for this book to make me feel awful and overwhelmed. Especially when I found out that a doctor wrote it. However, I am happy to say that I was completely wrong. In fact, I am very impressed with how transparent the doctor was as he wrote this book. He even Made it easy for anybody to follow along with. If it was a little too complex, he took the time to explain it. I’m very impressed and very thankful that I read the book.

ARC Review: The Devil You Know by P.J. Tracy

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: The Devil You Know

Author: P.J. Tracy

Release Date: January 17th, 2023

Page Count: 294

Start Date: January 2nd, 2023

Finish Date: January 16th, 2023

Review:

Story: This is the third book in the Detective Margaret Nolan series. I really enjoyed it very much. I’m going to have to get it in audio when it releases to go with my other two audiobooks in the series. I’m bound to reread it eventually. These books are pretty dark, but not too dark. I don’t know how to really explain it better than that. I had trouble trying to predict anything that happened. Something I enjoy doing with mysteries. I sincerely hope that there are more books in this series.

Characters: I really enjoyed the multiple perspectives. The other two did the same thing. I guess it’s kind of obvious that Nolan is my favorite of all of them. She’s just so level headed. She’s constantly surrounded by very negative colleagues who would rather shut the case down quickly than accurately. Not her though. She’s tough, but she’s fair. She’s willing to hear people out.

Critiques: None

Final Thoughts: I can’t believe I’ve completely read all three books in this series. I really enjoyed them much more than I could ever explain. I want to see more books in this series. I’m a little sad that I don’t have any more books in this world to read if I’m being honest. I also love that this is written by a mother daughter team. That makes it even more wonderful in my opinion. These books can all be read as standalones, but I fully recommend reading them all. I know the authors also have other books out. I’ll be checking them out as soon as I can.

ARC Review: Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame by Meg Long

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: Swift the Storm, Fierce the Flame

Author: Meg Long

Release Date: January 17th, 2023

Page Count: 413

Start Date: January 2nd, 2023

Finish Date: January 16th, 2023

Review:

Story: I really enjoyed this book very much. I found the main character really relatable. The story was fast-paced and action-packed. It was full of intrigue and allure. It was easy to get sucked into this world and crave for more. There were parts I didn’t like as much as the rest, but that’s with all books. It’s also a personal thing for me. I also wish that I could have gotten some more for the end of the book. It makes me think that there will be more books to come in the future! I really hope so.

Characters: I really related to Remy so much. She’s got so much guilt over things she felt she did wrong. Especially feeling like she betrayed the only friend she really had. There were traits about her that I didn’t really care for, but I completely understood why. I liked her companion and the companion’s wolf as well. I wish there were more of her and that I remembered her name.

Critiques: None. Especially not if the book has a sequel eventually.

Final Thoughts: I really enjoyed this book. The author has another book that I thought I had read. I just found out I didn’t. I will definitely be reading it. It might actually be a book before this. I’m not really sure. I kind of hope so. There are things that were referenced in this book that I really would like to see played out.

ARC Review: The Tudors In Love by Sarah Gristwood

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: The Tudors in Love

Author: Sarah Gristwood

Release Date: December 13th, 2022

Page Count: 571

Start Date: December 11th, 2022

Finish Date: December 12th, 2022

Review:

I’ve read many books about King Henry VIII. Mostly fiction if I’m being honest. It’s always had me curious to learn more about that time frame. Most of the books that I’ve read have mostly focused on him and sometimes his wives. This covers the family in general. This was very informative. I actually wound up buying a copy so I can read it a second time and make highlights and notes. I’d also like to explore the book references made in the book for further reading on the family. I really recommend this for all the history buffs who love to read about the time period and about the Tudors.\

ARC Review: Rookie by Rebecca Barber

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: Rookie

Author: Rebecca Barber

Release Date: December 8th, 2022

Page Count: 303

Start Date: December 7th, 2022

Finish Date: December 8th, 2022

Review:

Story: This is the fifth book that I’ve read in this world and by this author. To say that both have become a favorite is a serious understatement. I’m obsessed with knowing what happens to everybody in the series! The writing style of Barber is just so unique. I can’t wait to see other books written by her. These books can be read alone, but I seriously think they should all be read. Even if they aren’t read in order. All of these books pack so much humor, spice, and thrill!

Characters: I was really happy to see that Seth got his own book. There were times that I was not happy with his attitude, but he didn’t stay in those attitudes long. There were times that I wanted to jump into the book and yell at both him and Clare to get it together. Maybe even shake them a bit. Lovingly, of course. I still adored both of them! Especially Clare. She’s so strong, but vulnerable and scared. I also loved seeing characters from other books. Especially Bryce, Emma, Luca, and Elise.

Critiques: As if!

Final Thoughts: When I first started reading these books, I knew that I would like them. I like sporty books. Romance or not. I wasn’t expecting to fall in love with the series. With every single character and their stories. I wasn’t expecting to become obsessed. This author is now on my instant buy list! She’s such an amazing writer!

ARC Review: The Third Instinct by Kent Lester

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: The Third Instinct

Author: Kent Lester

Release Date: December 6th, 2022

Page Count: 361

Start Date: November 25th, 2022

Finish Date: December 7th, 2022

Review:

Story: This book was both hilarious and intense. A very unique combo to have in a story and I loved every minute of it. I found out before starting this book that it was the second book in the series. I was nervous to read it without reading the first book first. I decided to give it a chance anyway. I really didn’t have any problems following along. It doesn’t mean that it can be read out of order. I may regret my decision when I read the first book. We will see.

Characters: I really liked Dan. He seemed to be in over his head half of the time. Yet he still managed to pull everything off. My favorite character in the whole book was Rudy. Even if he wasn’t in the book as much as I would have liked. I really empathized with Rachel. However, she made some decisions that I didn’t really agree with. She actually reminded me of 13 from House.

Critiques: None

Final Thoughts: This book was so fun! Just when it seemed like things were calming down, it all blows up again. I am looking forward to other books by this author. I also really look forward to reading the first book as well. I’m hoping there are many other books in this series!

New Review Guidelines

I have a flaw. I want to take on all review requests, all NetGalley books, and all blog tours. I want to support and promote authors and see them succeed in their goals and dreams. The problem is that I suck at time management and have fallen behind on reviews and deadlines multiple times. It makes me really look unreliable. In reality, I thought it was a brilliant idea to accept 20 book requests and tours that are all due in the same week. Then I shut down trying to figure out which one to prioritize. So, I’ve decided to develop some guidelines to practice going forward. I have some previous reviews and tours that I will keep as is. This is more for me personally. I’m hoping that this will help me hold myself accountable. I hope it will keep me from going overboard.

  1. I’m only taking on four projects a week. Period. If I have four NetGalley reviews, I won’t be taking on any requests or blog tours that are due on that week. Any of those can be swapped around. Four total. Whether it be NetGalley, requests, or tours.
  2. I am a slower reader. Unless it’s in an audiobook. I’d like to have at least a month out to review the book. I’d prefer two months, but one month minimum is acceptable for me. If it’s an audiobook, at least one week. Two weeks is preferable.
  3. I will post TikTok videos. I’m not the best editor, so the videos will mostly be me just talking about the book. I try to keep the videos shorter than three minutes.
  4. I don’t read erotic (where there’s no plot just sex) books at all. I also don’t read any book that glamorizes abuse of any kind. Sexual, mental, or physical.
  5. My reviews will be honest. If I don’t like the book and don’t finish it, I will message you personally. I do not review books that I do not finish. Please do not request that I change my star rating. How I rate the book is based on how much I loved it. 3 Stars= I really liked the book a lot, but I probably won’t reread it, 4 Stars= I really loved it! I might reread it, 5 Stars= I loved it. I will reread it. I want people to read it too and talk about it with me!
  6. I will make note of any typos I see and message you once I’m done reading to let you know about them. That will not be reflected in my review. My reviews will be intended for the story and my thoughts alone.
  7. I can’t review on Amazon. I made an account to do reviews on after they blocked me from reviews for no reason, but I just couldn’t get into writing reviews on it because I’m not fully sure they won’t shut that one down too. I do review on Goodreads, Instagram, TikTok, and my blog. I’m open to exploring reviewing other places too. Just request it and send me the book link for that site.

If you read this and are still okay with me doing a review, please feel free to email me at nikkiereads@starsbooksandtea.com

Audiobook Review: Deep into the Dark by PJ Tracy

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Title: Deep into the Dark

Author: P.J. Tracy

Release Date: January 12, 2021

Page Count: 350

Start Date: November 7th, 2022

Finish Date: December 5th, 2022

Review:

Story: This story intrigued me from the very beginning. It both fascinated me and creeped me out at the same time. I did not expect anything that happened. I tried to guess many times, but I was wrong every time. I am excited to read other books by PJ Tracy. I can also see myself rereading this book. Probably more than once if I’m being honest.

Characters: Same Survived deployment to come home with a broken mind. His marriage has also fallen apart. Melody finds herself needing a friend when her boyfriend gets violent. I found myself rooting these two on. Especially when everything seemed to be against them. I also really adored Detective Margaret. She did her job, but she was fair and kept an open mind.

Critiques: None

Narration:  I feel that the narrator really accented the tone of this story well. I enjoyed it and I hope that the other books have the same narrator.

Final Thoughts: This story was an intense ride. I loved every single minute of it. I love to try to figure things out as I read. While I’m always thrilled when I get it right, I’m okay with being wrong. I was completely wrong with this book. Every single guess. The betrayal I felt at the end of the book was intense as well. I wasn’t expecting it. I fully recommend it to anybody who loves thrillers and mysteries.

Nonfiction Review: Empire of Ice and Stone by Buddy Levy

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Title: Empire of Ice and Stone

Author: Buddy Levy

Release Date: December 6th, 2022

Page Count: 426

Start Date: November 24th, 2022

Finish Date: December 5th, 2022

Review:

I was actually surprised to find that this book was nonfiction. I was expecting a fantasy novel of some kind. Or something similar at the least. I really enjoyed the book anyway. I feel like I learned a lot about an expedition that I had never heard about until now. There was only one part of the book that I didn’t really care for. I won’t get into the details, but it was a very gory thing that happens in a pack of dogs. I really wish I could unread it and get it out of my brain. Because of this and other things that happen through the book, I do caution being aware of triggers before getting into it. There are references of violent incidents that happen through the entire expedition. This includes animal violence.

Book Tour Review: Malibu Burns by Mark Richardson

Rating: 3 out of 5.

Title: Malibu Burns

Author: Mark Richardson

Release Date: September 25th, 2022

Page Count: 288

Start Date: November 21st, 2022

Finish Date: December 2nd, 2022

Review:

Story: For those who read my reviews, it’s very obvious that I choose to go into most books I read blindly. The ones I go into known are because somebody talked about them or I saw posts on social media. I don’t really address the fact that I do like to go into books with theories. This is one of the books where my theory was so off base it blew my mind. I wasn’t even in the right genre. My guess by the cover and the title was that this was a mystery or detective type. Probably set in a tropical era. This book gave me Girl Interrupted vibes. I read after the fact that this is a dystopian type book. I can totally see that. I really did enjoy the book very much. It’s quirky and fun. It’s hard not to get immersed in the book. Even if it’s just to find out what more chaos will unfold through it all. I do want to note that this book covers mental illness and other potentially sensitive topics.

Characters: Malibu is our main character. The whole story is told from her point of view. She comes off as mentally unstable. Possibly has a touch of schizophrenia. She’s definitely a pyro. There were a few other characters that had some pretty important parts. I feel like talking too much about them would spoil parts of the book.

Critiques: There were things that were glossed over that I really feel shouldn’t have been. There were also parts that I feel really didn’t need to be included.

Final Thoughts: I may have been completely off base about my theory. It’s something that I will remember for a long time. I really did enjoy the book though. There were some very graphic and gory parts of the book. I can’t say I was in love with the book, and I probably won’t ever read it again. I don’t regret reading it though, and I do strongly recommend it. I would advise you to read what the book is about before getting into it. There are parts that might not be okay for more sensitive readers.