Month: March 2015

BOOK REVIEW: Play Dead by Meryl Sawyer

Posted March 31, 2015 by Fizzy Pop in book review, Fizzy Pop, Fizzy Pop Collection, Meryl Sawyer, Play Dead, Play Dead by Meryl Sawyer / 0 Comments

When Newport Beach heiress Hayley Fordham heads to Costa Rica on an art commission, she has no idea she’s narrowly escaped an assassin’s car bomb. But before the paint’s even dry on her mural, her stepsiblings have arranged her funeral and redivided the family trust. The fact that Hayley is still very much alive remains a secret to everyone but FBI investigator Ryan Hollister, who intercepts the “victim” returning home in the flesh.

Ryan has zero tolerance for the pampered elite. But there’s something about the complex Hayley that sets his blood racing. With evidence pointing to a Fordham family associate, Ryan needs her cooperation—and her closeness—more than he dares admit. Because now, especially now, he’s prepared to risk anything to stop Hayley from being killed…again.

‘Play Dead’ by Meryl Sawyer is a book I had read before but it had been a while.  It was very well written and even with having read it there was enough twists and turns that I was still guessing as I neared the end of the book.  I have to say I really enough reading mystery novels.  But I struggle with mystery novels due to the sheer number of characters that need to be introduced rather quickly if the book is to flow.  I find myself having to look back a lot to try to remember who is who. However, that is a me issue and not a writing issue.

Haylee Fordham’s family thinks she is dead.  Her car was blown up in a local restaurant parking lot.  However, it’s not long after the memorial and Haylee shows up alive and well.  But who wanted her dead?  And why?  Meryl Sawyer takes you through the twists and turns of figuring out just those questions while also developing strong side stories and engaging the reader into the actual lives of the characters.  I didn’t feel like I was slogging through the story to find out who tried to murder the main character.  The story was engaging and added to the mystery instead of taking away from it.

The drawback for me was the romance.  It didn’t feel natural or organic.  And instead of adding to the story it felt like an aside and actually took away from the story.  Don’t get me wrong, I have read my fair share of romance novels.  But I didn’t pick this up as a romance.  The cover had clothed people after all :S  The colliding of the characters with the romance felt forced and out of place.  It smoothed over towards the end though.

I did enjoy ‘Play Dead’.  It was mostly well written and the story line and the characters were engaging and captivating.  The mystery wasn’t wide open to be completely figured out before you got to the reveals.  And there were multiple reveals.  It was wrapped up a tad too neatly at the end but that did not detract from the overall story.

Goodreads     Amazon     Barnes & Noble

Play Dead

About Meryl Sawyer

Responsible for more than 25 romantic novels (and still counting) Meryl Sawyer has quickly become one of the biggest names in romance fiction. A New York Times best-selling author (as well as an author that has won numerous other awards for her writing), Meryl Sawyer has established a track record of excellence not only in her writing, but also with her storytelling and ability to reel in new readers that might not have otherwise picked up a romantic piece of fiction.

Website | Goodreads


BOOK REVIEW: Promise You Won’t Tell by John Locke

BOOK REVIEW: Promise You Won’t Tell by John Locke

“I think something might have happened to me Saturday night. Something bad.” Private Investigator Dani Ripper’s client list is nuttier than the Looney Tunes conga line, but she diligently solves one crazy case after another, waiting for a game-changer. Enter Riley Freeman, 17-year-old honor student. Saturday afternoon Riley quietly placed a little strawberry sticker on her private area and pretended it was a tattoo. She didn’t tell anyone about it. That night she went to a slumber party that featured drinking and boys. Riley fell asleep, woke up the next day with no reason to think anything happened… …Until Monday, at school, when a classmate called her Strawberry. Coincidence or crime? Dani agrees to investigate. And the roller coaster ride begins. ‘Promise You Won’t Tell?’ had a good premise.  It had a lot of potential to be a good story.  And it was, mostly.  There was humor, a smidge of […]

BOOK REVIEW: Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent

BOOK REVIEW: Fireflies in December by Jennifer Erin Valent

 Jessilyn Lassiter never knew that hatred could lurk in the human heart until the summer of 1932 when she turned 13. When her best friend, Gemma, loses her parents in a tragic fire, Jessilyn’s father vows to care for her as one of his own, despite the fact that Gemma is black and prejudice is prevalent in their southern Virginia town. Violence springs up as a ragtag band of Ku Klux Klan members unite and decide to take matters into their own hands. As tensions mount in the small community, loyalties are tested and Jessilyn is forced to say good-bye to the carefree days of her youth. Fireflies in December is the 2007 winner of the Christian Writers Guild’s Operation First Novel contest, and a 2010 Christy Award winner. I have read ‘Fireflies in December’ by Jennifer Erin Valent a couple of times now.  Each time I find something different […]