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The Island House by Posie Graeme-Evans
 
Book Club Recommended
The Island House

Singy and Freya are living parallel lives on the Scottish Island of Findnar, but during different times in history. Singy lived on Findnar during the time of a Viking raid where her entire family was murdered and Freya living in present day came from Australia to her dead father's Island House to finish her PhD in archaeology and to complete his research and to find the many historical, hidden treasures on Findnar.

It was exciting to be with Freya as she uncovered items noted on her father's research cards and items that had been used and left by Singy when she had lived on the island. On the other hand, it was heartbreaking to see the harsh life Singy had lived with the nuns and monks.

Ms. Graeme-Evans did an outstanding job of blending the two stories together. When Freya discovers something from Singy's era, you will be excited because you actually know the real story of the find and want to let Freya know. History buffs will go crazy with the archeological finds Freya uncovers.

The author described the two main characters in detail and as equivalent to each other with their likeness being the island they lived on and the people in their lives. There is even a parallel between their two love stories. The secondary characters are just as fascinating and are vital to the book's awe and storyline and are appealing in terms of their uniqueness.

The cover in itself is intriguing, and once I started reading, it was easy to get absorbed. The storyline and writing style are perfect in all respects, and the lives of Singy and Freya keep you looking for more. The interesting detail on the author’s part and such a marvelous blending of the two eras along with the flawless, captivating storyline that moved from one era to the next will keep you turning the pages and wanting to see more of what was to come.

As the chapters flowed from one character and one era to the other, you will see the similarities in the setting and lifestyle, but of course one is more primitive than the other. I loved how the ending sentence or simply one single word of a chapter was the beginning of the other era in the next chapter. What a beautiful writing style as well as a magnificent book.

Don’t miss this exceptional read that brought past and present together in an unforgettable tale of love, loss, hidden treasures, and discovery. Ms. Graeme-Evans did a remarkable job in this compelling read that will be in my list of favorites because of the history, the mystery, and the added flare of Scotland's magic and its legends and myths. 5/5

I received a free copy of this book from Simon & Schuster in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Romantic
The Secret Keeper

To be sixteen, to witness a murder, and to keep it a secret your entire life? When would Laurel find out the "real" reason for the murder. After fifty years, she needed to ask, but could she really find the answer? She had to. Time was running out.

Set in England and moving from the 1930's to 2011, you will follow Laurel as she continues to keep this secret and attempts to find out why her mother stabbed a visitor on her brother's birthday. Did the baby see or remember anything? Could that be possible? What if he did remember? Laurel, her father, and her mother were the only ones that were supposed to know, but were they?

The storyline is intriguing and the descriptions are amazing as you go back and forth in time to see what Laurel's mother's life was like as a child and also as a young adult and what life was like for Laurel, her sisters, and her brother as they grew up on a quaint farm in a loving family. Dorothy, Laurel's mother, lead a very significant life and had interesting people in her life that shaped her and her decisions.

The book seamlessly moves between time periods giving creative details of each era in the characters' lives and has you wanting to know more. An amazing storyline that keeps you guessing about the real reason for the murder and one that makes you want to be a part of the story in order to be part of the life the characters lead in each decade of their lives.

Finding out about her mother's motives and life before she was married was a goal Laurel was determined to solve before her mother died, and her mother is the only one who could give the answers to many questions, but could their dying mother tell all? Once clues about Dorothy's past begin to surface, you will be as anxious as Laurel was to find out other secrets her mother kept to herself all her life and secrets that caused her mother to commit murder.

This book was marvelous and captivating as all of Kate Morton's books, and the ending is absolutely SUPERB.

I thoroughly enjoyed the walk through Laurel's life and the flashbacks to her mother's life. Don't miss this book or any book Kate Morton has written...you will be taken away with her exceptional writing and fantastic storytelling skills as she weaves lives and situations together into incredible books. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Sweetest Hallelujah by Elaine Hussey
 
Book Club Recommended
The Sweetest Hallelujah

They lived on opposite sides of the tracks, Betty Jewel apparently on the wrong side and Cassie on the right side. Betty Jewel had a secret that she kept for ten years. A secret unknown to Cassie and that secret being their ultimate connection.

Betty Jewel was the mother of Billie and was dying of cancer. Cassie was a reporter who found herself a widow and someone who became a part of Betty Jewel, Mama/Miss Queen, and Billie's life. Billie was a precocious child and the center of the connection between Cassie and Billie's family.

When Billie accidentally found out her mother was dying from cancer because of her constant eavesdropping, she was determined to find her father so he could make her mother well. Billie took a trip to Memphis alone to find her daddy. This trip is what brought the secret out and what made Cassie want to help even more. She wanted to be a friend to Mary Jewel even though it wasn't proper for a white person to be friends with anyone in the black community.

THE SWEETEST HALLELUJAH had the "sweetest" characters. Mama/Miss Queen was strict, but the sweetest ever. She was portrayed so well, you could vividly see her as well as see through her. You will feel right at home with Mama/Miss Queen. She had loving arms for you no matter what. The description of her pies and their aroma will have your mouth watering, but everything about her sent out warmth and love.

THE SWEETEST HALLELUJAH is set in the deep south when the Jim Crow Laws were still a major part of everyone's life. THE SWEETEST HALLELUJAH is heartwarming as well as heartbreaking.

The author perfectly portrays this time in history along with the characters' feelings and fears. Every character was flawlessly portrayed from their expressions down to their clothing. The descriptions of the landscape, the houses, and even the weather was amazing.

THE SWEETEST HALLELUJAH is a story about friendship that breaks all boundaries and a story that you will not easily forget.

I truly enjoyed this book because of the bond between the women and the way the author carried it out so well. You will be right there with the characters sharing their laughter and their pain. Be sure to have some tissues on hand. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Burial Rites by Hannah Kent
 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Beautiful, Brilliant
Burial Rites

Marvelous, incredible, beautifully told.

A murderess who must be housed at a farm because there is a financial problem with the prisons? How would you feel about being forced to live with someone who committed murder? Would you feel safe? Would you protest?

Agnes Magnusdóttir was brought to Margret and Jon\\\'s home until her execution date. Agnes is required to work as a farmhand in a town that embellishes her murderous deeds more and more each time the tale is told. BURIAL RITES is based on an actual historical event in Iceland.

In alternating voices and flashbacks the author masterfully lets the reader in on the secrets and the story of the murders and of Agnes\\\' life before her conviction and in her current position in the chosen household.

The author also has you questioning if Agnes has been wrongfully accused. Her flashbacks describe the actual murder, her relationship with the deceased, and her earlier life. A life lived in this same town holding her captive.

The writing and prose is exceptional. The book flows beautifully as it describes the harsh life in Iceland and the bitter weather. There is no lull in the narration.

The book\\\'s descriptions are amazing. Every minute detail is described beautifully. Even the dreary, tedious life of each character is described so well you see it clearly and are right there sharing their misery. The living conditions were described as on the poverty level but the families had servants....that was a bit confusing.

Everyone was poised to not like Agnes, but as the story unfolded the family became fond of her simply because she was a good person and a good worker. The only person who didn\\\'t like her was Lauga, the daughter of Margret and Jon. Margret became comfortable with Agnes and enjoyed having her around. Each of the characters connected well and are marvelously authentic and believable.

BURIAL RITES is a book that you do not want to miss. The book\\\'s situation and setting, the writing, and the characters are all phenomenal and come alive through the author\\\'s exquisite skill. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation at the BEA by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Tamarack County: A Novel by William Kent Krueger
 
Book Club Recommended
Tamarack County

Murders, children coming back home, folks getting run off the road, revenge for a 20-year-old murder, and many unusual things happening in the bitter cold county of Tamarack in Northern Minnesota.

What was happening in this town that usually was a quiet place to be? No one knew the answer, and the police had no clue either. Even Cork, a retired deputy sheriff, was called in for the investigation that he was more involved with than he knew.

Cork O’Connor wasn't aware that his family would be involved and that part of his family was changing. Cork is a character you would personally want as a friend. He is a great father as well as a dedicated law man.

TAMARACK COUNTY is the second book I have read by Mr. Krueger. It is quite different from ORDINARY GRACE, but still beautifully detailed and written.

Mr. Krueger's characters are always an interesting lot. I enjoyed learning about the Indian traditions and a few Indian words. The landscape descriptions were amazing, but I wouldn't want to live in that cold climate, though, which seemed to be a major theme.

TAMARACK COUNTY definitely kept my attention with a good storyline but a storyline that wasn't gripping until the last half of the book when things did heat up in those freezing temperatures as the mystery unraveled as well as the history of the characters.

The characters were well developed, authentic, and very plausible. TAMARACK COUNTY is a book about community and family all working together for the good of each other.

TAMARACK COUNTY has religious and philosophical themes as subplots.

A quote from page 205 is quite meaningful and something I believe needs to be shared:

“Anger, hate, jealousy envy, fear. Fill your pockets with these heavy stones and you spend your life trying not to drown. Throw them away, and you float."

I hope you get to read this book. It was thought provoking, introspective, and will hold your interest. I enjoyed it. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Outcasts: A Novel by Kathleen Kent
 
Dark, Adventurous, Graphic
The Outcasts

It's the Wild West with a prostitute and an inexperienced lawman running loose.

Lucinda Carter and Nate Cannon will take you on a ride through the 1870's as they try to make a new life for themselves. They both wanted to start over, but they both ended up doing the same thing they always did.

Lucinda went from being a prostitute to being a teacher, and Nate is trying his hand at being a lawman to make a better life for his family.

Lucinda isn't an upstanding character, but her profession made her that way. She stole money from her landlady who is also the owner of the brothel she escaped from. Lucinda is only interested in herself and finding something that a friend told her was in the town she moved to. Lucinda was difficult to like simply because you knew she wasn't on the up and up.

Nate is a good man trying to fit in even though he is a greenhorn. I liked him because of his innocence and loyalty.

The book took a while for me to get interested because I wasn't sure where it was heading and how these two characters and their stories were connected. Each chapter went back and forth between the two characters. When you find out the connection between the two main characters, you will be surprised.

THE OUTCASTS became a bit better as you followed Lucinda around the classroom and back to her old ways and as you followed Nate around the countryside, but it still wasn't a wow. It actually wasn’t a favorite read.

I do have to say, though, that the writing is very descriptive allowing you to clearly see the scenes and activities of both characters.

The cover definitely pulled me in, and I was hoping for a better-connected story, but I wasn't "dying" to get back to the book .

Give it a try, though, if you like the Wild West. I am rating THE OUTCASTS 3/5.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher at a Hachette Book Event in New York City in return for an honest review.

Once We Were Brothers by Ronald H. Balson
 
Book Club Recommended
Fantastic, Beautiful, Informative
Once We Were Brothers

“We must never allow the world to forget.\" Page 179

That quote says it all, and Ben Solomon vowed to follow through on this edict, and he definitely was following through.

ONCE WE WERE BROTHERS is a powerful, well-researched first novel that will have you glued to the pages as Ben tells his story of hatred, horror, and the annihilation of his and other Jewish families during WWII.

Telling the story of the horrors of the Nazi occupation of Poland was stressful for the 83-year-old main character, Ben, but he had to tell it all, and Catherine, his attorney, wanted to be the one to help arrest Elliott/Otto.

Ben knew he knew Elliott Rosenzweig was not really Elliott Rosenzweig, but Otto Piatek, his brother turned Nazi during the war, and the person who was not accused of his horrific war crimes but living in the United States as a billionaire philanthropist.

ONCE WE WERE BROTHERS moves from present day to WWII in Poland as Ben Solomon tells how his family had to live and survive under Nazi occupation as a Jewish family.

ONCE WE WERE BROTHERS tells how Otto, a German boy, was left with the Solomon family, a Jewish family, because his mother couldn\\\\\\\'t take care of him. Otto became part of the Jewish home and loved the Solomons like his own family until his mother showed up and insisted he join the Germans.

Mr. Balson did a fantastic job researching for his first book and detailing every scene. ONCE WE WERE BROTHERS is a beautiful way to tell a horrible historical story.

You will feel as though you are inside the pages of the book and connecting with the characters both present and past. This book was amazing.

I am always in awe of the strength of the Europeans during this time period. How did they survive and deal with all that was going on especially the Jewish population?

This compelling WWII book is one you will want to read. It is perfectly relayed, phenomenal, and a part of history that again reveals what WWII was about. I finished this book in ONE day, and that is unusual for me.

Don\\\\\\\'t miss reading ONCE WE WERE BROTHERS. I definitely needed tissues a number of times and especially at the end and definitely when they told of the freeing of Buchenwald because my father was one of the Americans that freed this concentration camp.

This book is given an unequivocal 5/5.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Bellman & Black: A Novel by Diane Setterfield
 
Bellman & Black

A rook was the beginning and the end for William Bellman.

Black was the color of the day for this book along with rooks, who according to the author never forget.

BELLMAN & BLACK was an unusual read with the premise of death, darkness, black birds (rooks), the color black, and black events...namely funerals and mourning goods.

William Bellman inherited a cloth mill and made it very successful, but when a deathly illness plagued and overran his town, he had another business in mind partnering with the mysterious man in a black cloak.

Who was the cloaked man who took all the light away at Will's mother's funeral? Why was this man always around when there was a funeral?

Was this cloaked man and all the deaths in Will's family the result of Will's killing a rook when he was ten? Was this man with the black cloak Bellman's inspiration, success, or his downfall? Why were these rooks always hanging around?

BELLMAN & BLACK is a bit dark, but it still held my interest. Ms. Setterfield has a way with words and dark themes, but despite holding my interest, BELLMAN & BLACK was a bit dragged out hearing about William's life and then his new-found wealth.

I didn't seem to find the "ghost" in this ghost story until the very end. The "ghost" was a subtle theme even though it was to be the main theme. You will enjoy the wrapup in the ending pages....they were very unique.

Ms. Setterfield definitely did her research when it came to rooks. The different names that a collection of rooks can be called was quite interesting.

I am going to rate BELLMAN & BLACK a 3.5/5 even though Ms. Setterfield does draw you in with her excellent writing skills, her fantastic descriptions of scenes, her brilliance, and her amazing creativity because something just seemed to be off the mark a bit in this novel.

If you like dark themes, and you don't mind being told every detail of someone's life, you will enjoy this book. So please don't let me "frighten" you away from reading BELLMAN & BLACK.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Husband's Secret by Liane Moriarty
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Addictive
The Husband's Secret

A simple letter, but was it really that simple? A letter written long ago. A letter indicating it was not allowed to be opened. A letter that made John Paul’s wife, Cecelia, quite curious.

What harm would be done by opening the letter? Cecelia was dying to open it, but the message John-Paul wrote on the front of the envelope said it could not be opened until his death. When Cecilia asked her husband about it, he said he had been sentimental when he wrote it, and that she should just put it away. Obediently Cecilia, the good wife, put it away without opening it.

Hints about the contents of the letter will peak your curiosity as it did Cecelia’s. When she did open the letter and found out what John-Paul had written, she couldn't believe it. How could this be true? Cecelia the perfect wife and fixer of everything couldn't fix this.

Cecelia was the perfect wife, mother, and town citizen. She knew everyone in town, and she knew everything about the city residents. She remembered Tess when she came back to her childhood town because her husband didn't love her any more. Rachel was also part of Cecelia's circle. Rachel had a few heartbreaking situations in the past. But…what Cecelia found in that letter was going to be more than a heartbreak for Rachel.

THE HUSBAND'S SECRET was focused on this letter, Tess, Rachel and Cecilia. The letter’s secret had to do with an unknown connection between Tess, Cecelia, and Rachel and something that happened in the past that linked them together and something in the present that caused more heartache and pain.

When the book begins, you will think it is going to be a book about a husband’s affair, but it is more sinister than that. It actually is a tragic secret.

THE HUSBAND’S SECRET is about more than keeping secrets, though. It deals with a parent’s love for his/her child and about the lengths parents go to in order to protect their children. It deals with right and wrong, and it deals with the thought - do we really know our spouse or significant other?

Don’t be mislead into thinking it is simply a book about secrets between a husband and his wife. It is far more than that. It is a book about secrets whether they are large or small and about our decisions to reveal the secret or to not reveal the secret.

THE HUSBAND’S SECRET is an excellent read that will keep you pondering life, pondering the decisions we make, and thinking about the secrets most of us have. What is your secret? 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and LibraryThing in exchange for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
This Dark Road To Mercy

No mother, a deadbeat dad, a foster home, and then a kidnapping.

Easter and Ruby were placed in a foster home after their mother died since their father, Wade, had signed them away many years ago. But now he wanted them back. Wade was bad news all around.

Easter followed all the rules and Ruby followed whatever Easter said. Both girls will steal your heart because of their innocence and sweet ways. Their father will make you worry.

THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY is told in alternating voices with themes of a mystery to be solved, crimes that were committed, crimes that were being committed, and family dynamics. The book starts out with the main theme being the girls left in a foster home but it heats up when Wade's deeds surface.

Mr. Cash has a smooth, absorbing, detailed style of writing that pulls you in. The suspense of the book begins when Wade decides to do something stupid...well many stupid things.

All of the characters have a lot of charisma that make THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY a book you don't want to put down. It tells the tale of families, life in a small town, the town's problems, and its police force.

I really enjoyed THIS DARK ROAD TO MERCY which was filled with Southern-style emotion and suspense. Don't miss reading this book. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Source: http://silversolara.blogspot.com

The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Inspiring
The Invention of Wings

Sarah Grimke and Handful were complete opposites in the society of the 1800's.

Sarah was the daughter of a plantation owner, and Handful was her maid. Both were strong women regardless of their station in life.

Sarah didn't want to have a maid, and Handful didn't want to be a maid. She wanted to sew just like her mother did. She wanted to be a seamstress, but in reality, she wanted to be free. Charlotte, Handful's mother, made all the clothes for the household including the slaves. She was a bit of of a handful herself.

Through the beautiful storytelling of Ms. Kidd, you will follow the Grimke family through the decades of life on the plantation. You will meet Missus who was the wife of the plantation owner and who was in charge of of the slaves. She was very cruel.

The main characters, Sarah, Handful, Charlotte, and Missus will keep you up late reading about the day's activities either covert or in plain sight and either cruel or humane. These characters and their bond as well as their differences will be pulling at your heartstrings.

Historical Fiction at its best will be yours when you pick up THE INVENTION OF WINGS. There is a lot of profound thinking and pondering in every paragraph. I wasn't aware of Sarah's role in the abolitionist movement, and was pleasantly surprised to find information about her and her sister, Angeline, as I did some research of my own.

The storyline of THE INVENTION OF WINGS flows easily and masterfully as Ms. Kidd brings to life Southern living, the horrors of slavery, and tells of the people who worked toward abolishing slavery.

Don't miss this well-written, researched book of Ms. Kidd. Ms. Kidd’s notes at the end of the book were very helpful as she explained how she took the basis of history and fictionalized key parts of it for her book. THE INVENTION OF WINGS was incredible. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Source: http://silversolara.blogspot.com

 
Book Club Recommended
Brilliant, Dramatic, Adventurous
The Wife, the Maid, and The Mistress

Who would have thought that being a maid could be this dangerous? Maria never would have guessed that.

Maria cleaned for Judge Joseph Crater who had a mistress and who was involved with gangsters. Then one day Joseph disappeared, and even his wife didn't know where he was.

Joseph’s wife, Stella, their maid, Maria, and Joseph’s mistress, Ritzi, were characters you will love and feel sorry for. Stella Crater knew about her husband's mistress, Maria saw the mistress one day when she arrived to clean and was sworn to secrecy, and Ritizi hated what she did. All three women were tied to Joseph Crater for different reasons and hated him for different reasons.

THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS is based on a true incident. Judge Joseph Crater’s disappearance has never been solved, and his body has never been found.

When I realized THE WIFE, THE MAID, AND THE MISTRESS was based on a true incident, the book pulled me in even more. The book took you back to a time when showgirls, speakeasies, proper etiquette for ladies, murders, and greasing palms was prevalent.

You will be drawn into the glitz, the glamor, and the corruption of the 1930's and into the lifestyles of the wealthy as well as the working class.

Ritzi was my favorite just because of her guts. Maria was sweet and got drawn into something way out of her league. Stella was indifferent to life and her marriage. They all had a common thread and a common interest.

If you like historical fiction and this era, don’t miss THE WIFE, THE MAID, THE MISTRESS. The surprise ending ties things up nicely.

I am wholeheartedly recommending this book. Loved it. 5/5

The Fever Tree by Jennifer McVeigh
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Epic
The Fever Tree

Beautiful, powerful, mesmerizing....

From England to South Africa. From wealth to poverty. From being happy and content to being unhappy and resentful.

Frances had no choice but to move to South Africa after her father died. She was left with nothing and definitely didn't want to live with her aunt to be a nursemaid or to be treated like help instead of family. She had to accept Edwin's proposal. Things happened in between her marriage to Edwin, though, that made her second guess her decision to marry him and to move to South Africa.

THE FEVER TREE is written in a beautiful, descriptive style. The storyline held my interest because of the lifestyle, the setting, the period in history, and definitely because of the characters. You will feel sorry for Frances and really dislike Edwin and William.

Ms. McVeigh has an elegant writing style that immediately pulled me in. THE FEVER TREE is a book about family, class distinction, making decisions, and a love that endures...find out what this enduring love is as you turn the pages in this haunting, unforgettable read.

You will be able to put yourself in Frances' shoes and feel her despair with her life, her decisions, and her surroundings simply because of the amazing way Ms. McVeigh details every sentence and situation.

You will be able to vividly see every detail because of Ms. McVeigh's amazing imagery and feel what Frances and the other characters are feeling because of her writing skill. The description of the African landscape is stunning. You will feel the dust in your clothes and the bleakness of the dry land.

THE FEVER TREE is truly a sultry book you won't want to put down and one you will remember long after you turn the last page.

THE FEVER TREE is a beautiful combination of historical fiction and a passion for life, for causes, and dreams. Don't miss this mesmerizing debut novel. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Delicious!: A Novel by Ruth Reichl
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Interesting, Insightful
Delicious


Recipes, libraries, letters, books, food, authentic Italian butcher and cheese shops, aromas you can smell through the pages, and marvelous characters. What more can a reader ask for?

DELICIOUS is a reader's and a cook's paradise. DELICIOUS is one wonderful page of words after another.

The magic never stopped as Ms. Reichl introduced the reader to her believable, lovable characters and to mouthwatering food. Billie and every single character will steal your heart. The characters just had something that pulled you in.

When Billie finds letters in the library of a now defunct magazine company that were sent to a famous chef, Mr. Beard, from 13-year old Lulu during WWII, the book continues with the same mood of enjoying life, enjoying food, and discovering oneself. If you love old buildings from the 1800's, you will be in for another surprise.

These letters became the basis of DELICIOUS and also created a mystery about who Lulu was. The letters were used by a librarian as a fun game of finding clues that were very cleverly hidden and ones that led to the next clue...was the game ever over? If Lulu were still alive, Billie knew what a wonderful treat it would be to meet her.

If you want to be entertained and have your taste buds taken to the highest level, be sure to read DELICIOUS. You will also have the pleasure of learning how to face hidden fears in your life and share your life with those you should share it with.

DELICIOUS is unlike any book I have read. It grabs hold of you and takes you along for a "delicious" adventure and a very pleasurable reading ride.

Don't miss reading DELICIOUS. It is a beautiful, delightful book.?

My rating of DELICIOUS is a taste tempting, entertaining, and loving 5/5.

I received this book free of charge and without compensation from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Did you read DELICIOUS and LOVE it?

Freud's Mistress by Karen Mack, Jennifer Kaufman
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Dramatic, Insightful
Freud's Mistress


Out of work and no where to go, Minna had no other recourse but to ask her sister to take her in.

Minna knew the household wouldn't be calm with six children and a household staff?, but she managed. In fact, she managed very well. The children fell in love with her and so did her brother-in-law. Or did he really fall in love with her or was she simply a convenience??

Sigmund Freud ?betrayed ??his wife, ?and Minna betrayed her sister. The affair started out with ?early evening and some ?late night meetings that included flirting and drugs. Did his wife know about the affair or was she too addicted to opium to even notice?

You will definitely dislike Sigmund Freud as a person and question his thinking about why people develop psychological disorders. He was arrogant, a smooth operator, apparently quite good looking,? and he used his field of study to his advantage. He was not a kind man especially to women, but he knew how to seduce Minna. He had no regard for his wife who had six children with him.

Minna, “the mistress," was actually likable because even though she knew she couldn't stop herself about wanting to be with Freud, she did feel guilty. ? It was funny to be reminded that women of that era were so set on only finding a husband and no career per say except as domestic help, a companion for another woman, or caring for children.

FREUD’S MISTRESS was enjoyable and very well written. The book flowed nicely, and you could actually visualize everything and feel the characters' emotions and moods because of Ms. Mack’s and Ms. Kaufman’s marvelous writing skills.?

Some of the characters and some of the situations were comical. Love, infidelity, history, comedy, Freud's theories, ?and social issues were the main themes.?

It is always interesting to? look into the life of a famous person especially during the 1800's. ?If you like historical fiction, you should enjoy FREUD'S MISTRESS. 4/5

The ending notes from the authors that contained information about Sigmund Freud's life was quite interesting and helpful.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

Freud's Mistress by Karen Mack, Jennifer Kaufman
 
Book Club Recommended
Boring, Gloomy, Slow
Freud's Mistress


Out of work and no where to go, Minna had no other recourse but to ask her sister to take her in.

Minna knew the household wouldn't be calm with six children and a household staff?, but she managed. In fact, she managed very well. The children fell in love with her and so did her brother-in-law. Or did he really fall in love with her or was she simply a convenience??

Sigmund Freud ?betrayed ??his wife, ?and Minna betrayed her sister. The affair started out with ?early evening and some ?late night meetings that included flirting and drugs. Did his wife know about the affair or was she too addicted to opium to even notice?

You will definitely dislike Sigmund Freud as a person and question his thinking about why people develop psychological disorders. He was arrogant, a smooth operator, apparently quite good looking,? and he used his field of study to his advantage. He was not a kind man especially to women, but he knew how to seduce Minna. He had no regard for his wife who had six children with him.

Minna, “the mistress," was actually likable because even though she knew she couldn't stop herself about wanting to be with Freud, she did feel guilty. ? It was funny to be reminded that women of that era were so set on only finding a husband and no career per say except as domestic help, a companion for another woman, or caring for children.

FREUD’S MISTRESS was enjoyable and very well written. The book flowed nicely, and you could actually visualize everything and feel the characters' emotions and moods because of Ms. Mack’s and Ms. Kaufman’s marvelous writing skills.?

Some of the characters and some of the situations were comical. Love, infidelity, history, comedy, Freud's theories, ?and social issues were the main themes.?

It is always interesting to? look into the life of a famous person especially during the 1800's. ?If you like historical fiction, you should enjoy FREUD'S MISTRESS. 4/5

The ending notes from the authors that contained information about Sigmund Freud's life was quite interesting and helpful.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

Hunted (The Profiler) by Elizabeth Heiter
 
Book Club Recommended
Graphic, Dramatic, Dark
Hunted


Haunted, hunted, completed.

The Bakersville Burier definitely gave Evelyn Baine, an FBI profiler, a run for the money. The BAKBURY case as it was called and as he was called was a master at abducting his victims as well as avoiding the police. The Bakersville Burier had a grudge against women and a background that made him dangerous along with a background that fed his horrible desire to hurt.

HUNTED will keep you turning the pages as the "hunted" and the "hunter" keep eluding each other. HUNTED is an excellent thriller and a great debut novel for Ms. Heiter.

HUNTED kept me awake reading to find out what happened and also kept me awake with every light on because of the fright factor.

You will love Evelyn but want to tell her to lighten up and take care of her personal life as well as her professional life. Evelyn had a piece of herself in every murderer she profiled because of something that happened in her own life when she was younger.


I haven't read a thriller for a while and enjoyed the chase and the tension of HUNTED. You will be tempted to leave the lights on as you read and look behind you and around you when you are out. There is also a sweet romance hidden in all of this terror.

HUNTED is a book you will want to read if you like to delve into a criminal's past and try to figure out what caused him to want to murder and harm others.

Don't miss reading HUNTED. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

What are your thoughts? Will you read HUNTED?

That Night: A Novel by Chevy Stevens
 
Book Club Recommended
Slow, Dramatic, Unconvincing
That Night


Bullying and prison life were the main themes in THAT NIGHT.

The main character, Toni, had been bullied in high school because she was not in the "in" crowd. This bullying influenced her life in a negative way. Toni was very disliked by a group of girls in high school, and they kept after her for no other reason than to be mean.

Being accused of murdering her sweet sister and having the folks that bullied her testify that she always lied about things definitely didn't help her defense. She and her boyfriend were accused of the murder even though they were innocent and victims themselves and were sent to prison for 15 years.

Prison wasn't any better for Toni. Prison seemed like an extension of her high school problems.

THAT NIGHT is the second book I read by Chevy Stevens. To me it was not as good as the other book I read, but it did send a very powerful message?.

As I was reading, I was truly frightened which most likely was the author's purpose in getting across the points of the damaging and horrible aspects of bullying.

I really wasn't pulled in because of the beginning pages, but I kept coming back to learn about bullying and the repercussions of how it ruins a person's life. Stevens did a great deal of research and did a marvelous job of having the reader feel the fear caused by the bullying.

To me Ms. Steven's was unquestionably raising the awareness of bullying and excellently conveyed it in her book.

The book was very frightening as I was visualizing the scenes and thinking about what reaction I would have had in a bullying situation. If you have been bullied, you won't want to read this book; it will bring back too many unsettling memories. I never was bullied, but I was very shaken upon seeing how people act and the cruel things they do.

My rating is mainly affected by the first 200 pages that only talked of high school antics and their jealousy of each other. If you can get past the first 200 pages of high school drama and adolescent problems, the final pages are quite good.

I would have given the book a 2/5 because of the beginning pages, but I am changing the rating to a 3/5.

This rating is changed mainly because the ending pages were excellent as the true story of the murder became revealed and because bullying needs to be addressed. The public's awareness of bullying needs to be more in the open and needs to make the public realize this issue does exist and is a major social problem.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

What do you think?

Will you read Chevy Stevens' newest book?

The Qualities of Wood by Mary Vensel White
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Scary, Inspiring
The Qualities of Wood


Strange situations, strange characters, lots of secrets, and a small town.

QUALITIES OF WOOD has all of the above and more. It mainly includes a beautiful, flowing writing style ?and an interesting? storyline. The author masterfully keeps you wondering about the makeup of ?each character and the secrets that you know they are keeping.?

You will follow the main characters, Vivian and Nowell, through their present lives as well as their pasts. As Vivian and Nowell settle into a family home they are going to renovate and as they ?meet their neighbors, Vivian questions Nowell's past as well as the neighbors' pasts.

You will also get a glimpse into Vivian's teenage years as the author takes you back and forth in time. This was well done by having the flashback trigger something in Vivian's mind at the current moment and connect it to her past.?

Does this small town have secrets they keep from each other? Do the neighbors really know each other? What was it that happened years ago that has everyone suspicious of each other?

Throughout the book there is a tension that the author perfectly conveys through her amazing writing style. The characters all seem to get along, but you feel something isn't right. The way Ms.White can make you feel the fright, the tension, the distrust, the betrayal, and the sneaking, ulterior motives going on is excellent. ?

THE QUALITIES OF WOOD? is a subtle thriller and a book you won't want to read if you are alone or at night. I became complete?l?y engrossed in the characters and the storyline. I imagine you will do the same and try to figure out what’s behind each character.

The ending sort of wrapped up the plot, but there was something that didn’t satisfy me. Regardless, it was a great read and a great debut novel. 4/5
?
I received a copy of this book from the publisher free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.?

Have you read QUALITIES OF WOOD?

What did you think?

The Paris Architect: A Novel by Charles Belfoure
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
The Paris Architect


Can you trust the people you used to trust? Can your life be normal? That question was asked every single day of Lucien's life and every single day of any French citizen living in Paris during the Nazi occupation.

Life definitely was not the same as before. You had to watch everything you said and did. Lucien had to make a decision about doing something he knew was very dangerous. Lucien was an architect and was asked to design hiding places for Jewish friends of Auguste Manet, a well-known businessman in Paris.

Lucien feared for his life but couldn't pass up this offer. Lucien agreed only because he had no money, and because he would be paid a large sum.

You will feel Lucien's fear as he is doing something he loves, but also considering whether it is worth the cost of his life if he gets caught. You will grow to love Lucien as his truly caring side comes out in the uncaring society of this era.

You will become immersed in Paris's new way of life that had to be endured, and you will share the fear of the citizens as they waited for the dreaded knock on the door looking for Jewish residents or for a French citizen who was hiding a Jewish citizen.

The horrors of occupation will be with you as you read as well as become involved with the authentic characters and marvelous writing style. The characters were perfectly portrayed from the deviousness and cruelty of the Gestapo to the cowering citizens. The author has an easy style and draws you right into the story.

THE PARIS ARCHITECT is another WWII tale but with a different twist and one where the tension builds and your fear for Lucien increases as you rapidly turn the pages.

This is an excellent historical fiction book with some graphic scenes that depict the atrocities of WWII, but will hold your interest until the last word because of the characters and their stories. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Click here to enter the contest until July 15. USA ONLY.

Sweet Water: A Novel (P.S.) by Christina Baker Kline
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Beautiful
Sweet Water


From New York City to Tennessee?

Was Cassie making the right move? She thought so, but meeting family members she hadn't seen since she was three was frightening as well as disillusioning. She had to find out her roots, to find out what happened to her mother, to find out why her mother really didn't want to live in Sweetwater, Tennessee, and to find out why her grandfather left her the family home and 60 acres?. What could the reason possibly be when she never knew him?

Cassie is an interesting character that you will love and one that pairs up with an absorbing story that unfolds as alternating ?voices from one generation to the next tell their tale in this splendid story. SWEET WATER smoothly flows from Grandmother Clyde's narrations to Cassie's retelling, reliving, and revealing of the secrets the Clyde family held.

Ms. Kline has this time written a marvelous book about families, roots, and life-changing secrets. Every family member was good at keeping secrets especially the one that Grandmother Clyde kept for 20 years and the secret that ate at her for her entire life. Did Grandfather Clyde want Cassie to find something out? Perhaps the secret?

I really enjoyed ?SWEET WATER because of the characters and the way Ms. Kline ?just pulled you in with her terrific, creative, thought-provoking storyline.

My rating is a 4/5 because SWEET WATER is a read you won't want to stop reading once you get going.? If you have read any of Ms. Kline’s other books, you know what a treat you are in for when you read SWEET WATER.

The only thing that is holding me back from giving the book a 5/5 is that it was difficult to figure out who the one narrator was until a number of pages into the book and also because of the peculiar love story. I am not sure how this love story fits in with the storyline except perhaps to prove how dysfunctional the Clyde family was.

Don't miss reading this newest addition to Ms. Kline's already fantastic lineup.
?
I received this book free of charge and without compensation from the publisher in return for an honest review.?

The Other Typist: A Novel by Suzanne Rindell
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Brilliant, Confusing
The Other Typist


The narration of the book was superb, the entire book was amazing, and the ending was incredible.

The characters came alive, and I could see every scene vividly. Ms. Rindell brought to the literary world a great style and an extraordinary book. Her descriptions are so lyrical and detailed you can easily and pleasantly visualize even the slightest action. The main "stage" of the book takes place in a police station, but that was not a detriment to the story. The smooth, easy flow of the novel was flawless, entertaining, and a bit mysterious.

The book focused on the lives of the two main characters, Rose and Odalie, with Odalie being "the other typist." The author was exploring relationships and human interaction....something we all have in our lives and need to deal with. Rose was the honest, unassuming one and Odalie seemed to want a friend but was manipulative, cunning, almost villian-like, and had another life separate from her typist's life at the police station. A life that Rose was not aware of but found out as their friendship progressed.

It was quite easy to get involved in the characters' lives which made the book difficult to put down. You will absolutely love how the book flowed but you will also be afraid for Rose as she enters this new relationship with Odalie. I liked Rose at the beginning but became disappointed as the book continued because of how she changed and how she was so captivated and easily swayed by Odalie. I didn't like Odalie from the minute she walked through the door at the police station on her first day of her new job. I could immediately tell what kind of person she was. Are you curious why I am saying this? :) You will have to find out when you read this impressive book.

Think of a friendship you had in your life. Was it a friendship that lasted, was it simply a friendship that you thought was a good one but one that didn't last, was it one you really shouldn't have been in, or was it one that turned out to be a friendship for life?

This book has everything a wonderful book should have: a beautiful writing style, characters you will become attached to, outstanding descriptions, an easily pulled into storyline, and a bit of secrecy and intrigue. Absolutely loved it. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Crooked River: A Novel by Valerie Geary
 
Book Club Recommended
Crooked River

Living in a meadow in a tepee with their father is how? Sam and Ollie spent their summers because it was the only way they saw him after he left them and their mother. ?Would the meadow and the tepee be their permanent home now because their mother had died?

That was the plan, but when a dead body is found floating in their swimming hole that summer, all is changed. Their father was accused of the murder, and all evidence pointed to this homeless beekeeper. His appearance and ?lifestyle made him the perfect suspect.

Both Sam and Ollie ?are endearing, quite bright, and love their father. Ollie doesn\\\\\\\'t talk when she is upset,? and she ?see?s? things that others do not. She sees things called Shimmerings that warn her about good and bad. Sam knows why Ollie doesn\\\\\\\'t talk, but she doesn\\\\\\\'t know what Ollie sees.

CROOKED RIVER has wonderful characters and a wonderful storyline. You will fall in love with both of the girls and their adopted grandparents, Franny and Zeb, but their father, Bear/Frank,? was? a bit more difficult to like.
?
Ms. Geary\\\\\\\'s writing is very descriptive, exceptionally absorbing, and keeps you glued to the pages as Sam and Ollie search for clues that could prove their father is innocent. ?As so many reviewers have said: \\\\\\\"This book is difficult to put down.\\\\\\\" I wholeheartedly agree.

Ms. Geary seamlessly and creatively takes you back and forth? in time as the story unfolds? and is told through each girl\\\\\\\'s voice in alternating chapters.?

Everything about CROOKED RIVER is warm and family oriented. CROOKED RIVER had me wanting to be there with Sam and Ollie to mother them and to tell them to be careful with their investigation of the murder and who they were befriending.

I really enjoyed this book. I will be looking for more from Ms. Geary. Don\\\\\\\'t miss reading CROOKED RIVER.

CROOKED RIVER just had a homey feel to it along with a storyline that had situations that ?could actually happen and a very suspenseful, tense ending. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Boring, Slow, Confusing
This Is The Water


The first two words in the title of the book is the way Ms. Murphy began many sentences in THIS IS THE WATER, and it seems to be her writing style. To me, it was an odd, unique style and took a bit of getting used to.

THIS IS THE WATER is about a swim team, the parents of the swimmers, and about a murder that affected the entire community.

I was looking for a mystery, but found a book mostly about swimming and the personal lives of the team's parents.

It was a bit difficult to get started because of how the book was written. ?The book did keep you guessing, though, about who the murderer was that was killing young girls at ?rest stops. When it was revealed, the scene was quite scary, and the murderer was someone you wouldn't expect.

I continued to read the book because I wanted to find out how it would end, but I did skim quite a few pages. 2/5

This book was given to me and my book club as a win in a contest on TLC. No compensation was given, and this review is my opinion.

 
Informative, Boring, Interesting
Ruth's Journey


Who can forget Scarlett O'Hara, Tara, and of course beloved Mammy. Ruth's Journey is a tale of Mammy.

Mammy was born in the Caribbean Islands, was the only survivor of an attack on her household, and made her way to Savannah with the Forniers. As their "child" she was treated well, but was sold to another family.

Mammy Ruth moves from one famous Southern family's ?home to another as we the reader follow her and find out what made Mammy the mammy she was. There are many happy situations, but there are also many sad ones.? The O'Haras are mentioned throughout the book ?and,? of course?,? that is where ?Mammy ends up.

RUTH'S JOURNEY was very well researched, but unfortunately difficult to follow and enjoy until the book was almost over.?

I loved GONE WITH THE WIND, but RUTH'S JOURNEY had something to be desired. It didn't get interesting until way into the book, and most specifically not until Mammy got to Tara with the O'Haras. Visualizing Tara and hearing chararacters' names from GONE WITH THE WIND made the wait worthwhile.

I enjoyed learning about Mammy, but RUTH'S JOURNEY wasn't a favorite read...it was a bit tedious even though the writing was outstanding.

You will love Mammy Ruth and feel sorry for her, and ?you will love learning about ?her strong will? and her love and loyalty for the people she cared for and ?kept her going on through all her many losses. Mammy Ruth was an interesting person, and a character? everyone most likely loved and will never forget especially in her dealings with Scarlett.? ? 3/5

?This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.?

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Insightful, Informative
The Story of Land And Sea


THE STORY OF LAND AND SEA is beautifully written with exquisite prose.?

The main character is Helen whose story is told before and after her death along with the tale of her husband, her father, her daughter, and Moll, a slave from the plantation and Helen's friend.

You will follow the characters through their lives on a plantation, on a ship, and in a regular household. The characters are an odd sort but ones with depth and with feelings that ooze through the pages simply because of Ms. Smith’s elegant writing style.

THE STORY OF LAND AND SEA takes the reader through complex situations with the reader being put directly into the story and being carried along with the characters and feeling every emotion especially their pain of loss.

I was a bit confused at first, but Ms. Smith writes so beautifully and so poignantly that you can't help but want to continue. THE STORY OF LAND AND SEA is a book unlike any other I have read simply because of the storyline and the time in history.?

?The confusion came about because of the time frame and order of dates. The book moves back and forth from past to present day in Helen and John's life but seemed to be out of order.

Despite the confusion, the book definitely will keep your interest and will keep you reading. Ms. Smith has written a thoughtful book in a time period that I wasn't familiar with and therefore made THE STORY OF LAND AND SEA even more intriguing and interesting.

I would recommend this book solely on the premise of the marvelous writing style Ms. Smith has and the background she gave as to why she wrote the book. The beauty of the reason Ms. Smith wrote the book makes THE STORY OF LAND AND SEA a stunning debut. 4/5 (See her video below)

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle
 
Book Club Recommended
The Last Breath



Was it her husband, her lover, or an intruder that took Ella Mae\'s last breath?

Regardless of who the guilty party was, her husband, Ray Andrews, was convicted and sent to prison for sixteen years. Ray was now on his way home but not because he had served his sentence but because he was dying of cancer. Will his children be there to greet him or have they forgotten him as they did when he was in prison?

THE LAST BREATH moves from past to present telling the story of Ella Mae\'s life before she was suffocated with Saran Wrap and her daughter\'s life as her father comes home.

While Gia Andrews struggles with coming home and having to face the shame of what happened sixteen years ago and finding out if her father really did kill her mother, you also follow her through her sexual romps. Her mother\'s romps with her lover were also part of storyline and definitely were a part of solving the mystery. These descriptions aren\'t graphic, but I had to give a warning. :)

As Gia investigates, she questions her uncle who was her father\'s attorney about his defense and if everything was truly done to prove Ray\'s innocence. Could the evidence all have been false or contrived and the real killer still be free?

Gia had to know. Would the professor writing a book about her father have the real facts or would it all be water under the bridge for now?

The book was tense and made me anxious to find out the truth and oh so good? because you can\'t figure out who the guilty party really was. You think you have it and then you change your mind.

The ending has a surprise, and it is an ending that I really liked. :) 4/5

If you read the book, please let me know what you thought.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Story Hour: A Novel by Thrity Umrigar
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Dramatic
The Story Hour


Storytelling and helping others was what Lakshmi did best along with her cooking and work ethics. Her life was a story to tell, and she had Maggie to listen and to learn from her stories.

THE STORY HOUR takes the reader through the lives of Lakshmi and Maggie...one the patient and one the doctor. The women met when Lakshmi tried to commit suicide.

Maggie broke the rules of patient/client protocol, but Maggie couldn't help it because she and Lakshmi were meant to be friends and confidantes. Maggie truly helped Lakshmi feel more confident as she tried to fit into the American way of life, and at the same time Lakshmi helped Maggie as she was struggling with "demons" of her own that stemmed from her childhood.

Ms. Umrigar has written another marvelous novel about an Indian woman trying to fit into her lonely, boring life with her American husband who really didn't love her. She also touches on infidelity issues with Maggie and what damage it does.

The book smoothly moved back and forth from past to present telling about the lives of both women and how their backgrounds shaped them into the woman they were today.

You will love Lakshmi just because she was a warm, caring, genuine person that you will feel sorry for but also one that you will cheer on as she struggles to overcome her shortcomings and feelings of worthlessness. Maggie on the other hand was a bit more difficult to like because she had it all and couldn't grasp how her infidelity would change things.

The writing was beautiful as well as the storyline. I would recommend THE STORY HOUR for book clubs. It has many issues, situations, and meanings worth discussing. 4/5

You have to read THE STORY HOUR in order to feel the full impact and the power of this marvelous book.

You will be immersed in cultures, food, friendships, and determination.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting
Flight of the Sparrow



Living in a structured house, living in a wetu.

Having enough food, always hungry.

Not showing love to your children, cherishing your children.

Living a strict Puritan existence, living carefree.

Never experiencing the pleasure of nature, hearing every little part of nature.

All those statements show the differences Mary Rowlandson found when comparing her Puritan life to her life in Indian captivity.

Which way would you want to live??

Mary Rowlandson and many others were captured by Indians and were forced to live within the Indian community. It was a harsh life for her as well as the entire Indian community. Despite the hardships, Mary blended in well and was protected by an Englishman.

You will follow Mary as she transforms from a Puritan English woman into an Indian woman. She loved her transformation and found the link to nature and peace that she didn't have as the wife of a strict Puritan minister.

FLIGHT OF THE SPARROW was very well researched and held my interest. At first I didn't realize FLIGHT OF THE SPARROW was based on an actual person. Once I found that out, the book became even more intriguing.

I have never read any book about this time period in American history, but want to find out more. FLIGHT OF THE SPARROW ?is a gripping account of Early America, and history buffs will not be disappointed.?

I recommend this book to anyone who loves a well-researched, historical novel.?

I can't divulge any more without telling the story, but take the time to read FLIGHT OF THE SPARROW. I thoroughly enjoyed it. 4/5?

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

The Lightkeeper's Wife: A Novel by Sarah Anne Johnson
 
Book Club Recommended
Confusing, Interesting
The LightKeeper's Wife


A seaman's life for me.

Hannah was worthy to be a seaman, and Annie/Blue turned into a seaman as well as a pirate?.

Hannah and Annie knew nothing about each other, but they had things in common: both? were headstrong for women of the 1800’s and they both loved the sea.

THE LIGHTKEEPER'S WIFE goes back and forth between Hannah's life and Annie/Blue's connecting both characters’ lives without their knowing.

THE LIGHTKEEPER'S WIFE is about enduring life and living a passion. You will feel Hannah's frustration as she tries to keep up the lighthouse after her husband has gone missing and only has Billy to help her.

The descriptions Ms. Johnson has of boat rescues and being at sea are amazing. Great detail in the telling of the story and the book's events keeps you reading.

I enjoyed THE LIGHTKEEPER'S WIFE. If you enjoy the 1800's and seafaring content, you will enjoy THE LIGHTKEEPER'S WIFE.

Gorgeous cover, fantastic writing, and great research, but my rating is going to be a 3/5 because of the disconnection with some parts of the book and for the length of time it took me to figure out what was going on and the length of time it took me to figure out who the characters were.

I received this book free of charge and without compensation from the publisher in return for an honest review.?

The Wishing Tide by Barbara Davis
 
Book Club Recommended
Optimistic, Fantastic, Romantic
The Wishing Tide


Mary, Lane, and Michael. Three marvelous and completely different characters when put together make the pages of THE WISHING TIDE come alive.

Lane owns a Bed & Breakfast, Mary is homeless, and Michael is the mysterious, unwanted guest who arrives during a storm for what appears to be for reasons other than not having any other place to stay for the night.

All three characters blend together with things in common that they don't know about, and they fill the pages of THE WISHING TIDE with a splendid, beautifully told story.

There is something about Mary that you can't help liking. Could it be her elusiveness, her purple bag, her ability to read a person, or just her constant presence?

Lane is a character you will feel sorry for even though she seems to have it all.

Michael seemed sinister, and is someone who appeared on the scene more than by chance and with secrets of his own to work out.?

THE WISHING TIDE is an emotional ride about life's lessons, personal secrets, and personal relationships.

The writing was beautiful, detailed, and flowed nicely. The descriptions have you hearing the sea, smelling the sea air, and feeling the sand as well as vividly visualizing the buildings, the quaint town, and every scene.

I enjoyed THE WISHING TIDE simply because it was a cozy, comforting read with outstanding characters, an intriguing storyline, and a magnificent setting.

The entire book and especially the ending wraps you up in a warm, homey cocoon. Don't miss reading THE WISHING TIDE. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Winter Guest by Pam Jenoff
 
Book Club Recommended
Fantastic
The Winter Guest


WWII was still going on, and Poland was suffering along with all the European countries as families struggled to survive.

Helena and Ruth were left in charge of their three younger siblings since their father was killed by a runaway wagon and their mother was put in the hospital. Both girls were hard workers but had different views about the war and safety as well as being jealous of each other for everything.?
As the book continued, something unforgivable happened between the two sisters that led to more jealousy even though the incident was not spoken about but felt by the sisters. ?

THE WINTER GUEST puts you right into the heart of the war with the fears and hardships the population was enduring. As Helena and Ruth struggle to keep themselves and their younger siblings fed and safe, Helena then finds something out about her mother's heritage that she had kept secret her entire life and a secret that puts their family in more danger because of their mother's secret.

As you follow the Nowak family through their daily routine, you learn what they had to go through worrying about the Germans storming into the town and knocking on the door or stealing what they had, worrying about hunger, worrying about the children, and worrying about staying alive.?

Ms. Jenoff has written yet another wonderful, heart wrenching account of WWI?I. The beginning pages grab your attention immediately, and the suspense and interest continues throughout the entire book.

?You will fall in love with the Norwak children. Ruth and Helena are a bit difficult to like, but they beautifully carry the story to the end with its intrigue and ?revelations. There is also a tender, sweet love story inside all of the pain and terror.

If you have never read a book by Ms. Jenoff, you need to. Ms. Jenoff perfectly depicts what happened in Europe during WWII in all of her books that I have read.

THE WINTER GUEST is no exception. Do not miss reading this book or any of her other books.

The only thing I don't understand is how the cover portrays "the winter guest" because I thought the guest was a male. :) 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Addictive
The Mill River Redemption



A bookstore, mothers, sisters, aunts, family secrets.

THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION is a wonderful, cozy, book that combines family, the love of books, and a small town and turns all of those into a book you won't want to stop reading.

Josie DiSantis had to move ?from New York ?back to her roots in Mill River, Vermont, after her husband was killed in a fire that destroyed their home. Luckily she and her daughters survived and had a loving aunt to take them in.

Mill River is a town that I would LOVE to live in. It seemed to be the perfect place to grow up, the perfect place to raise your children, and the perfect place to return to.

The only thing that wasn't perfect was the relationship between Josie's daughters, Rose and Emily. Something happened that tore their once close, sisterly relationship apart and had them estranged for years.

Josie tried to get them to reconcile all during her life and even after her death. Josie had devised a perfect plan described in her will that would hopefully bring the girls back together. Would this work? Nothing else had.

Josie was a strong character, Aunt Ivy was all the warmth anyone could ask for, and Rose and Emily were total opposites. Mill River and its residents knew everyone's business, but the town had the kindest folks ever.

I really enjoyed THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION because of the homey storyline and the beautifully described characters.

This is the first book I have read by Darcie Chan, and her writing style is inviting, descriptive, and simply superb.

I didn't want to stop reading because I wanted to see how the plan Josie devised was working out as well as wanting to be a part of that town with all those delightful residents.

Don't miss reading THE MILL RIVER REDEMPTION if you like cozy, heartwarming reads.

This is going to be one of my FAVORITE reads of this year. I didn't want it to end. I wanted to spend more time with the characters. :) Even the cover is alluring and captivating. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Informative
The House We Grew Up In


Four children then three, traditional chocolate-Easter-egg hunts ?where you had to save the foil wrappings, a tidy house and then a very cluttered one.

The Bird family was loving but very eccentric with Lorelei, the mother, being the oddest of all and who kept a secret that made her hold onto things.

Colin her husband re-installed the wall in their once duplex house and lived next door to his wife, Megan turned out to be a neat freak, Beth never left home until she was 30 because she thought her mother needed her, and the twins were total opposites as well as having a tragic incident happen to them.

There were a lot of strange things about the Birds, but they all loved each other. As the years went on and the children grew into adults?, Lorelei still held onto their childhood toys, clothes, blankets, ?and even drawings as she herself remained an adult? child and a compulsive shopper and hoarder. The children couldn't believe what was in their childhood home when they visited and how they had to navigate through a small path surrounded with things Lorelei just had to have and couldn't part with.

If you want to read a book that will have you shaking your head but also not wanting to put the book down because of total enjoyment, you will want to read THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN. The storyline and writing were marvelous.

I enjoyed THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN because of the unique, creative storyline with characters that kept you wanting to know how each of their lives would turn out. They all were quite unconventional, but you couldn’t help but love them.

THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN will have you thinking back to your childhood and wonder if what happened in the home you grew up in has actually shaped you into the person you are today.

We definitely can't forget the cover. It is absolutely gorgeous with the egg being the basis of the Bird family's many memories of their Easter egg hunts which kept them all connected.

Along with being a beautifully told story, THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN has a happy ending along with characters you will remember long after you turn the last page.

I don't think there will be any reader no matter what their preferred genre is who won't get caught up in this splendid story.

My rating is going to be a 4/5 simply because I was lost in the beginning pages, but the rest of the book definitely made up for my being lost.

Make THE HOUSE WE GREW UP IN a must read for yourself.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Inspiring, Informative
Little Mercies

A social worker charged with child negligence? A ten-year old left alone? What do Ellen and Jenny have in common?

The common thread has built a beautifully written story by Ms. Gudenkauf. It deals with social services from the adult and the child\\\'s side and what can easily happen both good and bad?.

?You will feel Ellen\\\'s pain as she deals with an accident she herself as a social worker deals with every day but with a situation she never thought she would have to personally deal with.

You will want to hug Jenny and take her home with you. ?How could a ten-year old have to deal with so much?

I was a bit worried LITTLE MERCIES was going to be too intense for me when I first started reading, but the author\\\'s writing style is so amazing along with the storyline that you don\\\'t want to stop. You \\\"must\\\" continue to see how things turn out.

LITTLE MERCIES allows the reader into the world of social services and lives of children that most of us don\\\'t know about and don\\\'t have to live through.
LITTLE MERCIES is a book that tears your heart apart, but has wonderful lessons about life and things to think about. The meaning of the book\\\'s title is explained as you read, and I enjoyed the meaning because it is so true. I started looking for \\\"little mercies\\\" in my own life.

I would put LITTLE MERCIES on your must read list. It is a book that will take you to a world people actually live through and make you glad you do not, but it will also make you realize that family is the most important element we have, and we should count our blessings.

My rating is a HUGE ?5/5.

?This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

Orphan Train by Christine Baker Kline
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Insightful
The Orphan Train


Two women from different eras but with similar life stories. How will that friendship progress?

You will be mesmerized by this book that is based on a true part of American history. ORPHAN TRAIN has magnificent detail and a wonderful storyline. I was pulled in within five pages. The two alternating time periods telling about the lives of Vivian and Molly is beautifully told. They are two appealing and well-developed characters that you want to know more about and won't be disappointed in what you find.

This book addresses the life of orphans who arrived in the Midwest in the late 1920's on the orphan train that originated in New York and how they are treated as second class citizens by most of the adopted families. It is told with enthusiasm and genuine compassion along with the detailing of feelings.

You will feel the despair and helplessness of "Dorothy" as she moves from one household to another with the second one being worse than the first. The beautiful prose carries you along. It makes you think about what is important in life and what you should keep with you and what you should leave behind and let go.

This book will pull at your heart strings and keep you up because you won't want to stop reading. It brings two generations together each with good and bad memories to share. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about a part of history I wasn’t aware of and with the added bonus of Ms. Kline's incredible writing style.

Don’t miss this splendid book. You will fall in love with both main characters and wish you could be there with them as you learn about a not-often discussed part of American history. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Kitchen House: A Novel by Kathleen Grissom
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Insightful
The Kitchen House


I absolutely loved this book...couldn't put it down.

You will fall in love with the characters and share their joy, sadness, triumphs, and defeats...you will want to be right there with the ladies in the kitchen house preparing meals and being loved by them.

The book is during the time of plantation owners and slavery. On his boat trip back from Ireland, James Pyke brought Lavinia with him...she is a seven-year-old white child whose parents died on the boat during the return trip.

Lavinia is sent to work in the Kitchen House, and the black families learn to love her and she learns to love them as the only family she knows...her memory is gone when she arrives and remembers nothing about her parents and her childhood.

Lavinia works alongside the ladies in the Kitchen House and then learns to take care of the Mistress of house's new born baby...the Mistress begins to teach Lavinia how to read and write. Lavinia is the main character along with Belle, Mama Mae and Papa George and of course the harsh plantation owners

The book takes you through the loyalties the black families have for each other and their Master and his family. It also makes your heart ache at the truths of what really occurred on the plantations concerning the relationship between the slaves and the plantation owners.

A lot of tragedies throughout the story, a terrific account of occurrences, excellent depictions of the surroundings and people.

Through the author's wonderful descriptions, you feel you are right there......the novel is fabulously written.

If you loved THE HELP, you will love this book as well or you may like it even more.

ENJOY!!!! It is wonderful.

 
Interesting
The Wonder of All Things


Would someone really be able to heal another person and have that ability and not know it? Does love bring it to the surface? Does it happen when a dire situation closely affecting the healer happens?

Ava didn't know she had the ability to heal, and it turned her life ?upside down ?and the entire town of Stone Temple as well. Folks were flocking to this unknown town after Ava healed her friend Wash.

?Most of the people coming to Stone Temple wanted Ava to heal them or a loved one, but she became ill when she healed someone so it was a difficult decision for her parents as well as Ava.

THE WONDER OF ALL THINGS will make you think about how you would react to the situation if you were the healer or if you were a person needing to be healed. The characters in the story "grow" on you, and you become attached to them.

?Ava was sweet, but aloof. Wash was very likeable. Macon, Ava's dad, was different. Brenda, Wash's grandmother will make you want a grandmother like her. Ava's mother, Heather, who had passed away,? was different. Carmen, Ava's stepmother, was likeable and someone I felt sorry for. The Reverend was someone I wasn't too fond of.

THE WONDER OF ALL THINGS was mostly conversation and a book that had an interesting storyline like Mr. Mott's other book, but it wasn't gripping. I simply kept reading because I "had" to find out if they knew why Ava had this power of healing and what happened to this small town that was flooded with more people than it could possibly hold. I didn't find the answers out to those questions.

It was an odd-themed book, well written, but not that interesting. The ending was a bit vague, and the entire book was nothing outstanding. 3/5

This book was given to me free of charge by the publisher and without compensation in return for an honest review.?

An Unseemly Wife by E.B. Moore
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative
An Unseemly Wife



Giving up the only life she knew, leaving all her possessions for a new life she was ?not ?excited about, following her husband's wishes and keeping? silent. That is what Ruth's life was like as she followed the rules of her Fold?.

We follow Ruth and her family as they get ready to leave their secure community for the unknown in Idaho and follow them on their difficult, two-thousand-mile trek. A trip that was supposed to give them a better life.

The writing in AN UNSEEMLY WIFE is beautiful, and Ms. Moore smoothly and masterfully moves from one time period to the other revealing what Ruth's life was before marrying Aaron and what it was like now. As the journey west continued, Ruth realized that her life with Aaron would never be the same. She had no family close by, and the people they met were not like her Fold at home.

AN UNSEEMLY WIFE is actually an account of the author's great grandmother. I enjoyed this book because I do like historical fiction, but definitely wouldn't want to be living in the 1800's as a woman.

AN UNSEEMLY WIFE did drag a bit, though, but it was quite educational to see the difficulties of traveling in and living in a covered wagon along with the hardships of everyday life. You will feel the family's pain as sad things happen, and all the characters definitely grow on you. The children were so innocent and good. Ruth was obedient and a very good mother. Aaron was a good husband, but not one that I would want. He was kind but too strict.

If you are interested in the early days of settling America, you will enjoy this book. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

Cattle Kate by Jana Bommersbach
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative
Cattle Kate


Westward Ho!!

Cattle Kate was a delicately raised rule follower, but she had to break away, and break away she did.

Ella Watson's story is creatively told and keeps your interest from the first page. "Taming" the west really wasn't for women was it? ?Even though it may not have been for women, homesteading is what Ella did, and what left Ella hanging from a rope at the ripe old age of 29.

I really did enjoy CATTLE KATE. Ms. Bommersbach did a great deal of research and turned ?her research into quite a fascinating?, splendid? book. The ending pages document dates and times?, and these are even categorized in an organized, unique way with wonderful detail.

Learning about the West and how the Wyoming Territory became settled will keep you turning the pages and wanting to find out how Ellla actually lived and what turned people against her and her husband.

?If you like fiction at its best, don't miss reading CATTLE KATE. You will get a little bit of everything to appreciate and delight in. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review

The Paris Winter: A Novel by Imogen Robertson
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Brilliant
The Paris Winter


Who wouldn't want to spend the winter in Paris? Maud was in Paris starving and freezing as an art student when Tanya, a wealthy woman, befriended her and helped ?Maud ?obtain a position ?in a home to take care of a young lady.

?Maud found out the accommodations brought about more than a warm place to stay and good meals. Sylvie, the young lady she was taking care of, smoked opium and stole things?, her "brother" wasn't very honest, and nothing was what it seemed. What else was going to happen, and what did she get herself into?

What was supposed to be a life-changing winter turned out to be a winter of lies, ?danger?, deceit, and murder?.

The beginning of THE PARIS WINTER was a bit slow, but as the tale unraveled, there was nothing slow?, ??nothing short of deviousness, and nothing ?short of
intrigue?. Don't give up too soon.

You will feel sorry for Maud, you will love Tanya and Yvette - they are actually comical and so loyal to Maude, you will hate Sylvie and her "brother," and you will question all that goes on with them and question their motives.

I thoroughly enjoyed THE PARIS WINTER because of the well-developed, unlikeable, devious, corrupt characters and the unpredictable, twisted plot with a marvelous, thrilling ending. This thrilling ending was set during the Paris flood of 1910 and was a perfect connection to Maud's intentions.

Don't miss reading THE PARIS WINTER. You will be pulled in just like the flood waters of Paris pulled in its citizens. THE PARIS WINTER is an alluring, captivating historical read. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Dramatic
What The Lady Wants by Renee Rosen



Glamor, glitter, love, shopping, and ?famous names thrown around...what fun it was reading WHAT THE LADY WANTS.

WHAT THE LADY WANTS is set in Chicago during the 1800's when retail stores and innovations were beginning to surface. Famous industrialists such as Pullman, McCormick, Potter, Swift, Field, and Armour filled the pages. Hearing these names brought out the historical fiction aficionado in me.

Along with the business side of Chicago?,? WHAT THE LADY WANTS tells? the story of the personal life of Delia Spencer, Arthur Caton, and Marshall Field revealing ?Delia and Marshall?'s ongoing, infamous ?love ?affair. You will want to look up th?eir ?names to find ?more ?information on them and on Marshall Field & Company.

Both Delia and Marshall were captivating characters, and Ms. Rosen perfectly portrayed their life and the lifestyles of the wealthy ?during that time.

?A little bit of romance along with the history of Chicago makes WHAT THE LADY WANTS an intriguing, alluring ?read.

?You will also find out where the book's title came from. ENJOY!!? 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

The Bracelet by Dorothy Love
 
Book Club Recommended
Pointless, Poorly Written, Boring
The Bracelet


Diamond. Emerald. Amethyst. Diamond
= D. E. A. D.

A bracelet that mysteriously appeared on Celia Browning's nightstand was a bracelet she thought was from her fiancee, but once she saw what the individual jewels spelled out, she knew it wasn't good.

?Celia Browning was the daughter of a wealthy merchant and a descendant of a family member who died in their home about 20 years ago. The death was? said to be a suicide, but others believed it was a murder. Now just when she was finally going to be wed to her childhood sweetheart, nosy newspaper men began to question what happened and began causing trouble by printing articles in the paper, having people follow and frighten Celia, and leaving mysterious notes and gifts in the house.

Celia couldn't tell her father about any of these odd situations because he wasn't well. Her cousin, Ivy, was the only one who knew about the mysterious note but not the bracelet. Who should Celia tell, and when should Celia tell someone?

Could her uncle really have murdered his wife? What was this incident that happened so many years ago, and why does someone want to dredge it up again??

THE BRACELET gives the reader a glimpse into wealthy households? ?and appears to be about the Browning family and how they fit into society, but underneath all of that, ?it is a murder mystery that Celia needs to solve for her own peace of mind.

Are there family secrets and perhaps a murderer hidden within all that southern hospitality and charm? Does a red diary with clues truly exist and have the answers to the 20-year-old mystery?

?THE BRACELET was an enjoyable, clever read with just enough suspense to keep ?you guessing about who the culprit is that was sending gifts and leaving notes and who it is that wanted to ruin the Browning family but why now?

I enjoyed THE BRACELET because of the setting and the time period. Ms. Love definitely gave a perfect portrayal of wealthy, Southern life in the 1800's along with the added bonus of intrigue about the murder. The ending is definitely a surprise and quite a good one.

Don't miss reading THE BRACELET. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the author and pubslisher in return for an honest review.

The Silent Sister: A Novel by Diane Chamberlain
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Addictive, Interesting
The Silent Sister



Three children...and ?then there were two. All was hush, hush about how that happened, and Riley didn't find out why until after both her parents had passed away.

As Riley was cleaning out her parents' home, talking to different neighbors, and talking to folks her father had left things to in his will, she had her share of surprises and shocking revelations.

THE SILENT SISTER has twists that keep you turning the pages as you learn of secrets that had been kept for years and secrets that only a few folks knew about. How could anyone keep a secret like that? How could anyone live his/her entire life worrying that the secret might accidentally be revealed?

The characters were well developed, but a lot of them were unlikeable. Riley was a likeable character because she had to deal with everything, and she was the character that had to deal with these? secrets alone. Danny, her brother, was not likeable at all. He was too unpredictable. Riley's parents were not active characters and to me not likeable?, but they, especially her father, carried the storyline and its suspense.

I always enjoy Ms. Chamberlain's books, and this was no exception. THE SILENT SISTER is an intriguing read with a ?perfec?t ??title and a storyline filled with riveting ?incidents that were divulged.

The secrets, the betrayal, and the ending are superb. Don't miss reading THE SILENT SISTER. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

 
Book Club Recommended
Confusing, Pointless, Unconvincing
The Long Way Home



Peter Morrow hadn't returned after the year he and Clara had agreed upon for his return so the search for Peter began. Of course, Armand Gamache was asked to be involved even though he had retired from the police force.

THE LONG WAY HOME has the well-known, well-loved residents of Three Pines we all are familiar with and the residents that make Louise Penny's books ones I enjoy reading.

THE LONG WAY HOME was a bit different from her other books. Instead of solving a murder, the Three Pines residents were working together to find Peter.

This book was different because of the way the investigation took place. Gamache actually was not in charge; Clara was. It discussed muses and different art terms. It was more about artists than the solving of a regular murder mystery, but the characters as always worked beautifully together.

?I can't say I didn't like THE LONG WAY HOME, but it is quite different from her other books and took a bit of getting used to. Regardless of the style and plot, though, THE LONG WAY HOME still had the pull all of her books have on you. ?

?Ms. Penny's books usually involve emotions. THE LONG WAY HOME was specifically about happiness, sadness, and finding oneself.? 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Inspiring
Passing Through Perfect


PASSING THROUGH PERFECT is another perfectly wonderful novel by Bette Lee Crosby. Ms. Crosby is a master storyteller.

Her books grab your attention, reel you in, and won't let you go. Her books are always ones that are difficult to put down. PASSING THROUGH PERFECT is no exception. Ms. Crosby's books always have a cozy feeling, always remind you of what is important in life, and always have something to ponder.

The main characters in PASSING THROUGH PERFECT, Benjamin and Delia, are hard-working farmers even though Delia thinks Benjamin can do better. We follow Benjamin and Delia from their giddy, in-love young years to their mature love and are with them as they endure the hardships of being black and living in the South in the 1940's.

Ms. Crosby's characters ooze with authenticity in this book and all of her books. The characters in PASSING THROUGH PERFECT are all lovable and warm. You will share their sorrows and their joys as they experience them. You will be drawn into their lives and into the story and will be living the story along with the characters. You will cry along with the characters, and you will also be happy for them when they are happy.

Don't miss reading yet another marvelous book by Ms. Crosby. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by Ms. Crosby in return for an honest review.

The Secret of Magic by Deborah Johnson
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Brilliant, Informative
The Secret of Magic


A year-old murder, a book paralleling events and characters, and the South in the 1940's after WWII.

The charm of the South as well as its deep-seated prejudices comes forth in THE SECRET OF MAGIC as Regina Robichard travels from New York City to Revere, Mississippi, to investigate the murder of a young black man just returning from the war.

Regina hits brick walls right from the start even though she was invited by M. P. Calhoun, a powerful woman and author of a book also titled The Secret of Magic, to investigate the murder.

THE SECRET OF MAGIC has characters that are authentic and very likeable...well most of them are likeable. Some of them are down right mean and hateful. You will LOVE Willie, Willie because of his strength and determination.

THE SECRET OF MAGIC was a bit slow at first, but once Regina got to Mississippi and started her investigation, the interest picked up as we follow her through her investigation. You will become part of her activities and part of the laws of Post-WWII South.

You will become part of finding out the ways of and the secrets of the South, the secrets of how the town of Revere, Mississippi, is run, and the secrets of powerful Southern families. They will be secrets that aren’t pleasant.

You will melt into the pages and the comfort of Southern living, but you will also need to be prepared to shed some tears and feel fear for some of the characters.

THE SECRET OF MAGIC has beautiful, descriptive writing that pulls you in and keeps you turning the pages. Ms. Johnson is a master with words.

If you like Southern fiction, you won’t want to miss THE SECRET OF MAGIC. It is a marvelous read. 4/5

 
Confusing, Slow
One Step Too Far



Leaving her husband and child both physically and emotionally? What would make Emily, a happily married woman, just leave one day without a trace and make a new life for herself?

Emily renamed herself Cat, moved into a run down house, and made new friends that really were not her style, but she didn't go back even as she second-guessed her decision especially when she thought of Ben and Charlie.

ONE STEP TOO FAR went back and forth between Emily/Cat's childhood and her current life as well as going back and forth between all of the main characters. None of the characters were likable. They all had some addiction or problem.

When you reach page 100 or so, hints about what happened to make Cat leave are introduced. The hints are usually flashbacks or simply Cat's thoughts at the time.

Just as the first hundred pages were a bit slow, the rest of the book will have you turning the pages and reading as fast as you can.

ONE STEP TOO FAR pulls you in and makes you want to find out what was going on with Cat and to find out her secret. It didn’t pull me in enough, though, to say I enjoyed the read. It was too much all over the place.

ONE STEP TOO FAR was confusing and unconventional but definitely creative in style. I was lost at times. 3/5

The Secrets of Midwives by Sally Hepworth
 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Inspiring, Romantic
The Secrets of Midwives

Three women, three generations, common interests, but mostly secrets.

Floss, Grace, and Neva are grandmother, mother, and daughter. They all are midwives, and they have secrets that they have held a short time, secrets they have held for their entire lives, and most importantly secrets that they do not want to have to reveal. The secrets are personal secrets and not secrets about midwifery. These secrets bring the characters close together but also far apart.

THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES is a wonderful book addressing family relationships and how the delivering of babies is something so personal and intimate that a midwife can\\\'t help but become involved with her patients.

You will love the wonderful mix of characters. All the characters are loveable and all are characters you will want to get to know better, characters you will admire, and characters you will miss once the book has ended.?

Women\\\'s fiction fans won\\\'t want to stop reading THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES for many reasons. The main reason being that you will find yourself bonding with every character and feeling as though you are sharing the pain and joy along with them.

If you are like me, you will have tears throughout the book as you become involved with the characters and enjoy the smooth, enjoyable, delightful writing style of Ms. Hepworth.

Don\\\'t miss reading THE SECRETS OF MIDWIVES. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Inspiring, Informative
A Memory of Violets


Tilly, Flora, and Rosie...three characters connected by time, London, and flowers.

Flora, crippled and in care of her little sister since their mother died, lost her younger, blind sister Rosie on the street as they were selling flowers. Flora made it her life's quest to find Rosie. Tilly, a housemother at an orphanage where Flora stayed years before, makes a connection to both Flora and Rosie through a diary Tilly finds in the closet in her room? at the orphanage.

Tilly feels she was destined to find the diary a?nd to ?find Rosie. Tilly felt Flora's presence in her room through the smell of violets and cold breezes. Could Flora really be in the room Tilly now occupied? Could she and Flora together find Rosie,? and could Tilly find what she was looking for in life and ease the sadness about her own life??

Going back and forth in time and telling Flora and Rosie's story was intriguing and beautifully told. A MEMORY OF VIOLETS is a book set in the time period and place that I thoroughly enjoy....the 1800's in London. It also has a character based on a real person.

You will ?mingle with proper Victorian ladies as well as poverty-stricken children and families. Descriptions of both ends of the economic scale make this book absolutely wonderful.

The beautiful writing and descriptions keep you glued to the pages and ?give you ?the feeling that you are sharing every situation with the characters. Tilly's story is as good as Flora's and Rosie's story and reveals a secret she finds out about herself.

The characters are warm and inviting. A MEMORY OF VIOLETS is going to be a favorite for ?2015, and the characters will remain in my "memory" long after I turn the last page.

A MEMORY OF VIOLETS has a marvelous writing style and storyline. The book's beginning and ending make a full circle of life filled with love, understanding, and compassion.

I loved A MEMORY OF VIOLETS. The ending is chilling and oh so tender and beautiful. You need to make room in your toppling TBR stacks for A MEMORY OF VIOLETS. 5/5?

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

War of the Wives by Tamar Cohen
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun
War Of The Wives


My deepest sympathies, ?M?rs. Busfield. What? I am Mrs Busfield. ?Everyone was confused, but the cat was out of the bag.
?
Mr. ?Simon Busfield ?had two lives and two wives, and he was the only one who knew. Well only he and his accountant and his financial advisor, but definitely not the two women he claimed to be in love with and married to...one for 28 years and one for 17 years.

Despite the serious situations in the book, THE WAR OF THE WIVES is entertaining and humorous. Once you think the surprises are over, another one pops up.

WAR OF THE WIVES moves back and forth between Selina and Lottie's life telling how Simon managed to lie and cheat and remain married to both women at the same time without their knowing it. He must have been some major organizer to pull that off.

?I enjoyed WAR OF THE WIVES even though some parts were a bit hard to believe. I actually didn't like ?the two wives, Selina and Lottie. They both were self-centered and if you ask me a bit naive. How could they not know? Their children were a bit odd as well.

If you need a light, entertaining read, I suggest reading WAR OF THE WIVES. The ending was heartwarming and one that had yet another surprise. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Confusing
Doctor Death

A disappearance, a dead body and then other dead bodies. What caused the deaths? Was it murder, a natural death, or something else?

It is the 1800\\\'s, and medical procedures aren\\\'t very sophisticated, but Madeleine Karno wants to learn about medical procedures even though it was not lady-like to see or to take part in the medical field.

Meanwhile, someone was murdering town folks and mutilating them with human teeth bites. Madeleine was required to help even though her father wasn\\\'t happy, but she definitely was.

DOCTOR DEATH was a bit slow at first, but once the reader is taken to the convent and other murders happen, DOCTOR DEATH unveils hidden secrets of the town and the book\\\'s characters. I love secrets, doesn\\\'t everyone, though?

DOCTOR DEATH went from learning about medical procedures to solving multiple murders to an odd ending.

The book was very different in terms of content and a bit confusing. Great characters, though. Even though the ending was odd, it did wrap things up.

I enjoyed the read, but it isn\\\'t a favorite just because of the slow beginning, confusion about who was who and what was going on, and the odd ending. 3/5

 
Confusing
Hush, Hush



Did she or didn't she?

Melisandre was found not guilty, but was the charge of insanity the correct charge? How could anyone not be guilty of forgetting her child in a hot car?

After the trial, Melisandre left the country and lost custody of her other two children.

Melisandre returned years later, but when another murder occurred and she was present, she wasn't going to be going anywhere.?

The characters in HUSH, HUSH were an interesting mix and most were not likable. Melisandre was evil and manipulative, and her ex-husband wasn't a nice person. The girls, Alanna and Ruby, were ok. They were confused and were the way they were because of their crazy mother and their sneaky father.

HUSH, HUSH was set up in an interesting way. The book started? out with an interview and had several throughout the book with people who knew Melisandre because Melisandre wanted to make a documentary about when she met her estranged daughters. I didn't understand what the documentary was going to prove or the purpose of it. HUSH, HUSH then went back and forth between Melisandre and Tess's life and actually all over the place.

?HUSH, HUSH was difficult for me to follow. Not sure if it was the way it was set up or just the storyline. I also couldn't keep the characters straight. It did get a bit better toward the end but was still confusing even though the ending pages wrapped it all up.

?I was disappointed because I always enjoy Ms. Lippman's books. 3/5
?
This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Unconvincing, Poorly Written, Boring
Mist of Midnight

Was this woman the "real" Miss Ravenshaw or was the Miss Ravenshaw that was at Headbourne House a few weeks ago the "real" Miss Ravenshaw.

Rebecca Ravenshaw arrived with her chaperone from India after her parents were killed in an uprising and she was the only one in the family that had survived. Miss Ravenshaw had no place to go but back to her family mansion in England. When she arrived, everyone was shocked beyond belief.

How can this be Miss Ravenshaw when she committed suicide not more than a few weeks ago and is buried in the estate's cemetery. Is this Miss Ravenshaw the imposter or was the f?irst Miss Ravenshaw the imposter? Was the first Miss Ravenshaw murdered for her inheritance? Will the current Miss Ravenshaw have the same fate?

MIST OF MIDNIGHT has a hint of sinister to it. None of the characters can be trusted especially her cousin Captain Luke Whitfield. As the days go on, though, Rebecca falls in love with Luke and he seems to return the affection, but is he simply pretending to have affection for Rebecca? Is he the one who killed the imposter so he could inherit the family mansion? Will he also murder Rebecca for the family mansion?

?We the readers will be taken into English society and attend balls and mingle with the English aristocrats as we try to figure out who is genuine, who is an imposter, and who is only out for money.?

MIST OF MIDNIGHT dragged a bit at the beginning, but the mystery and intrigue kept me going. As mist covers the estate grounds at night, it adds suspense, questions, jealousy, and finally love. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Inspiring
The Relutant Midwife


Babies, folks helping each other, and a difficult, but wonderful era.

Patience and Becky knew each other from years before and became reacquainted when Becky moved back to town with Dr. Blum who is now disabled.

Patience is a midwife, and Becky is a nurse. Both women deliver babies together and share what they have food wise and material wise to make ends meet and to make it through the difficult times of The Depression. You will follow Patience, Becky, Dr. Blum, Patience's husband, and all of the other delightful town folks through their days.?

THE RELUCTANT MIDWIFE is one of those books you won't want to put down because the characters are so wholesome and because the story is so homey and heartwarming. Patience and Becky are characters you would want for a friend.

ENJOY if you read THE RELUCTANT MIDWIFE....any women's fiction fan will be hooked. You will want to crawl into the pages of the book, to be one of the characters, and to share in their lives.

THE MIDWIFE OF HOPE RIVER is recommended before reading THE RELUCTANT MIDWIFE, but I am having no trouble? with following the storyline. It is a marvelous read. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

The Pocket Wife: A Novel by Susan Crawford
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Fun
The Pocket Wife


A dead neighbor, the last one to see her alive, and Dana can't remember anything about that afternoon she spent with Celia.

Did she handle the heavy vase that killed Celia the day she died or does she remember that from when they bought it at a garage sale? Was Celia alive when she left that afternoon? Could she have killed her neighbor?

Dana keeps questioning herself about what happened that afternoon and has herself convinced that she did kill Celia. Dana wishes she could remember. If this wasn't worry enough with her fragile state and her former mental problems, Dana had to worry about her husband who she knew was having an affair.

The writing style of Susan Crawford is exquisitely descriptive and takes you right into Dana's mind making you wonder along with her just what actually did happen.

For me Dana wasn't likeable. Peter, Dana's husband, is a sneak. Celia even in death is mysterious. Celia's husband, Ronald, seems guilty. So many suspects to choose from. You will go back and forth and be stumped until the end. Jack the policeman seems to be the only honest and likeable one.

If you enjoy psychological thrillers, a range of unlikeable, but interesting characters, and a book you don't want to put down, THE POCKET WIFE fits the bill. The ending is great. 4/5

 
Book Club Recommended
Brilliant
Night, Night Sleep Tight


How could coming home to help your father get the house ready to sell turn into such a nightmare?

Deirdre dutifully said she would help her father with the house, but when she arrived, she found him at the bottom of the swimming pool. When did this happen? Who could have done this? Could she have done it and not realized it considering her past that she was just finding out about?

NIGHT, NIGHT SLEEP TIGHT was quite gripping and marvelously suspenseful. All of the things that were happening made me wonder if they were really by chance or if someone had planned them to frame Deirdre. After all, Deirdre's brother was sound asleep in their childhood home when she arrived. And what was it with folks from her past coming out of the woodwork and secrets about what actually happened the night of her car accident being revealed?

The characters were quite colorful with most of them on the untrustworthy side. They all seemed likely suspects in the murder and subsequently the garage fire. Deirdre seemed to be the only honest one and the one being blamed.

I really enjoyed NIGHT, NIGHT SLEEP TIGHT. The suspense began with the first few paragraphs, and it didn't stop.

NIGHT, NIGHT SLEEP TIGHT was a mystery and character analysis all rolled into one.

If you enjoy uncertainty, excitement, and tension at its finest, don't miss reading NIGHT, NIGHT SLEEP TIGHT.

NIGHT, NIGHT SLEEP TIGHT was ohhh so good and a book I couldn't wait to get back to. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Whisper Hollow by Chris Cander
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Interesting
Whisper Hollow



WHISPER HOLLOW whispered nothing but sadness, loneliness, ?secrets, ?and isolation.

Myrthen's isolation and sadness began after the death of her twin sister and then her marriage. Alta's sadness began ?upon her marriage to the man she didn't love or have anything in common with.

Both women have desires that break rules and traditions. Myrthen and Alta are traditional on the outside, but on the inside are very strong women with very strong convictions. Tragedy brings these two women farther apart instead of closer together and leaves them both lonelier than before.

WHISPER HOLLOW is set in the coal mining town of Verra, West Virginia,? ?before, during, and after WWII ?with traditional marriages of the wife at home and the husband working.
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Ms. Cander's writing pulls you in with her marvelous descriptions of characters and scenes. The characters are very authentic with some you will feel sorry for. You will definitely not like Myrthen as the years go on, and your heart will go out to Alta and Lidia. When Lidia arrives, the strong women of Verra, West Virginia, have another woman with a secret to take into their fold.

The beginning was a bit slow, but the characters, situations, writing style, and time period kept me going. ?I would recommend this book to anyone who likes secrets and family sagas. It is historical fiction and women's fiction rolled into one.
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WHISPER HOLLOW i?s an interesting look into the lives of the characters with circumstances that are very plausible. You will become attached to the women and to their situations.

The ending is redeeming in certain ways and definitely a page turner. ENJOY if you read WHISPER HOLLOW. I think you will. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic
One Mile Under


Being a white water guide ?was Dani’s dream job, but finding a dead body of a friend as she was completing a run put a whole different light on her dream job.

Was her friend's ?death an accident or was it murder? Too many things happened after she found the body to convince her that it was simply an accident.

The tension and the action escalated once Dani and her Uncle Ty decided to investigate. They became involved in an unscrupulousness scheme by environmentalists. ?Murder, corruption, and folks being paid off made ONE MILE UNDER an? action-packed thriller.

Dani and Uncle Ty were likable ?characters ?along with the folks that were being victimized by ?the ?environmental corruption. ?Most of the other characters were deadly,? frightening, dishonest, and cunning.

ONE MILE UNDER took a few pages to get interesting, but once it got going you won't want to put the book down. The ?detailed action was intense, and will have you feeling the fear and sharing the fear of the characters. The book had me on the edge of my seat.

Any reader who enjoys fast-paced, gripping, page-turning thrillers will definitely enjoy ONE MILE UNDER. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful
Last Night At The Blue Angel



Naomi and Sophia live alone as mother and daughter. Naomi is a singer and got her start i?n her ?Catholic school with Sister Idalia. Sophia loves her mother, sits at the night club when her mother sings, and sees things an eleven-year-old shouldn't be seeing.

LAST NIGHT AT THE BLUE ANGEL is mostly dialogue with wonderful characters who truly care for each other. Well...most characters care for each other. Naomi seems to be all about herself even though she appears to love her daughter, Sophia.

?LAST NIGHT AT THE BLUE ANGEL flashes back to Naomi's childhood then to her current situation that includes Sophia. ?Sophia is always worried and keeps lists of things she can improve and re-invent in case of a nuclear disaster. I loved Sophia but wasn't too fond of her mother.

Jim, the photographer, was sweet and was always put aside by Naomi, but he was so loved by Sophia.? Jim was obsessed with taking photos of buildings that were falling apart and ones he said he had to photograph before they would be gone forever.

David along with Naomi was not a favorite even though he was involved with Naomi.

LAST NIGHT AT THE BLUE ANGEL is about family relationships, love, and living with and loving what you have. ?For a debut novel, this book has a lot of depth and characters that will stay with you even after you have finished the book. Ms. Rotert writes beautifully and pulls you in so well that you become part of the story.

I enjoyed LAST NIGHT AT THE BLUE ANGEL, and enjoyed Naomi's early years a bit more than her present situation even though the early years were a bit wild.

Adorable Sophia made the present? ?very interesting and at times comical. She was so sweet and yet such a bundle of worries, but who wouldn't be worried with the life the confused but precocious child led.

There are adult situations scattered throughout the book but nothing graphic or explicit - simply insinuations.

Naomi's last night at The Blue Angel turned out for the best for her, but the last few pages are ones where you will need tissues.

ENJOY!!! 4/5

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At the end of the book, Ms. Rotert shares information about where her characters and storyline grew from. These pages were quite informative and interesting.

After reading these ending informational pages, I would say LAST NIGHT AT THE BLUE ANGEL can also be classified as historical fiction.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Adventurous, Graphic
The Secret Life of Violet Grant


A suitcase full of secrets? A suitcase that opens up the proverbial can of worms which leads Vivian Schuyler to find out about her aunt who supposedly murdered her husband.

Once Vivian found out some juicy details about her aunt, she couldn't stop researching her life. This could be her big break at the magazine with this story.

THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT goes back and forth between Vivian's life and Aunt Violet's life. Are there parallels between their lives? Vivian wants to know about her aunt and this mysterious suitcase's contents that started it all.

THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT is quite entertaining. Aunt Violet is definitely something else. I thoroughly enjoyed all of the characters....well most of them. ? They range from Vivian's stuffy mother to her carefree self.

Vivian is also a "modern" woman with a mind of her own and a heart that was broken.?

Professor Grant, Violet's husband, is a bit too controlling if you ask me and a poor excuse for a husband.

Violet was a favorite. She was a self-made woman that knew what she wanted, but she also was ?a bit submissive as women were in the early 1900's. ?

?THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT is thoroughly enjoyable and a book I couldn't put down because of the characters and because of the steps Vivian took to uncover the clues about her Aunt Violet.?

?I have no qualms about recommending THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT. You will be entertained by the characters and will love the secrets of the suitcase and of Aunt Violet. Who would think a suitcase could cause all this excitement, intrigue, entertainment, and of course a fantastic story?

LOVED this book. You will get caught up in all of ?Aunt Violet's and ?Vivian’s antics.? ?

THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRAND is a truly ?delightful, witty read.? ?The ending held a secret and surprise of its own.

Ms. Williams is a marvelous storyteller. THE SECRET LIFE OF VIOLET GRANT is going to be one of my favorite reads of this year. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

Second Chance Friends by Jennifer Scott
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Beautiful
Second Chance Friends

An accident, three women, and then four women to complete their circle.

Could the circle be completed, though, with the fourth woman?

Karen, Melinda, and Joanna met by chance the day a school bus ran into a car waiting at a red light as they helped save the children on the crashed bus but not the husband of the fourth woman, Maddie, in the car.

All three women had personal issues, but as women are they all were there for each other. They were even there for Maddie who really didn't want any part of the three women nor any part of her family or her life now that her husband was gone.

SECOND CHANCE FRIENDS is a book about women and how we bond. SECOND CHANCE FRIENDS is a very pleasant read with women you would want for friends along with sad as well as happy tears shed by the characters and you the reader.

SECOND CHANCE FRIENDS will appeal to the reader who enjoys a lot of character interaction. Karen was my favorite simply because she seemed innocent, naive, and lonely. Joanna wasn't happy about anything. Melinda didn't realize what she had until it was too late. Poor Maddie had it all and lost it all and didn't care.

SECOND CHANCE FRIENDS will warm your heart and will have you looking at your friendships and at your family in a whole different light and appreciating what you have. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Brilliant, Life Changing, Interesting
Little Black Lies

Catrin was once a wonderful mother, wife, and friend, but once her sons died she became a totally different person.

Catrin grieved as any mother would, but she never got over the death of her sons. She had plans to take revenge against the person responsible for their deaths even though another child went missing on the island and it was swarming with authorities and islanders looking for this third missing child.

Were all the disappearances accidents or deliberate kidnappings? Were they all related and carried out by the same person?

LITTLE BLACK LIES has beautiful, descriptive writing that will pull you along and have you absorbed in the lives of the islanders and especially in the lives of Catri?n, Callum, and Rachel. Could one of them be the one responsible for the disappearances and kidnappings? They always seemed to be involved in some way.

?LITTLE BLACK LIES has you questioning those three characters in your mind. Subtle hints make you think you know the answer about who is responsible and then boom...something happens and you change your mind.? Each character has some obsession that is more deadly than innocent. The characters stay with you even when you are not reading, and they will still haunt you after you close the last page.

When one of the suspects is arrested for yet another disappearance, the tension builds and the story turns into one you won't want to put down.?

LITTLE BLACK LIES has serious situations, lies, secrets, and love all rolled into one gripping, pull-you-in plot. Ms. Bolton's writing is riveting, and as she hints at what's happening, you can't help drawing yourself into the book's drama. ?The ending is excellent.

?If I were to put LITTLE BLACK LIES into a category, I would put it in the category of a psychological thriller.

ENJOY!! A marvelous read. 5/5?

?This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Sound of Glass by Karen White
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Inspiring
The Sound of Glass



Southern families and families with secrets.

After her husband died, Merritt le?ft their home in Maine and headed to South Carolina to Cal's grandmother's home? that she ?had inherited?. Little did ?Merritt know that ?her husband, Cal, never told anyone about her, and she didn't know anything about his family.

Grandmother Edith's home is a huge mansion where ??she ?kept secrets locked up inside herself and in the attic. The death of Edith's husband had an enormous impact on her life for more than one reason. After his death, Edith raised her only son C. J. alone, and he had a temper just like his father. C. J.'s son, Cal, married Merritt and took the temper with him to his marriage.

Merri?tt? is a bit unlikeable because she just couldn't relax and trust anyone, but who would after she knew no one even knew she existed. When her half brother?, Owen,? and ?her step-mother, Loralee, unexpectedly arrive at the house and plan on staying, secrets come out, and the story heats up with the secrets of the house and of the characters as they find clues about the house and each other's lives. Merritt became more likeable and caring as the book continued.

Loralee is a bit overbearing, but means well and is very loving. ?She definitely has a secret and a reason for moving in with Merritt. ?

Owen is precocious and a nerd, but very pleasant and sweet and tries to bring Merritt out of her shell.?

Gibbs, Cal's brother, was likable and helpful. He knew secrets about his brother and the house their grandmother lived in. The attic and its contents were the biggest secret his grandmother had and one that caused the most excitement and questions. Would Merritt find out what was meant by what was left in the attic and why Cal’s grandmother did what she did up there?

Did the house hold the family secrets, did the characters hold the family secrets, or did both the house and the characters hold the secrets that had been kept under wraps for years?? To me both the house and the characters were fragile just like Edith’s glass wind chimes.

THE SOUND OF GLASS is another remarkable, beautiful book by Karen White. Her descriptions of the characters, the scenes, and the emotions of the characters are very real. The book kept me wondering just what some of the female characters had to hide and why they were the way they were.

The characters will grow on you and grow on each other in a warm, inviting way. You will need some tissues as this wonderful story wraps up.

THE SOUND OF GLASS has suspense and mystery as well as addressing the issue of domestic violence.

I truly enjoyed THE SOUND OF GLASS, and if you have ever read one of Ms. White’s books, you know you will be in for a marvelous read. ?

I hope you get to read the book and enjoy it too.? It is oh so good. LOVED IT. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Under the Same Blue Sky: A Novel by Pamela Schoenewaldt
 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Informative
Under The Same Blue Sky


Where did Hazel belong? Did she belong in Dogwood, Pittsburgh, or somewhere else.

Hazel Renner's mother left her and left Dogwood, and Hazel's aunt and uncle lovingly raised her in Pittsburgh. The smog of Pittsburgh and the effects of war upon the citizens also had an effect on Hazel.

Like her mother, Hazel wanted to leave and find where she really belonged. She first tried teaching in Galway, but things happened there that necessitated her leaving and coming back home. Hazel then tried Dogwood where her she was born to see if that would help her find her roots.

UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY will pull you in because of the beautiful descriptions and wonderful characters. ?You will love Hazel and her parents and feel sorry for her and all the problems she encounters. ?Hazel's father was quite intense about his heritage and the war. You could vividly feel his every concern and the emotions of every character because Ms. Schoenewaldt has ?a marvelous ?knack for words and for descriptions of characters and situations.?

UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY was set during the first world war when German-Americans were under attack just as they were in Europe. History and a beautiful story make up UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY.

You will enjoy UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY because of the nicely flowing storyline. The only ?complaint I have is that I was really confused at the beginning. The healing power of Hazel was a bit confusing too and not sure why it was in the story.

UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY is worth reading because of the wonderful writing style of Ms. Schoenewaldt and her marvelous research of WWI. She has a very descriptive and in-depth writing style.?

?Sadness and heaviness do prevail in UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY as we read of worries about war, the Influenza Pandemic of 1918, and the aftermath of the effects the war had on its returning soldiers. UNDER THE SAME BLUE SKY is a book you will want to read but a book that will pull at your heart strings.? 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and TLC book tours in return for an honest review.

The Cake Therapist by Judith Fertig
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting
The Cake Therapist

Just as ?cake and icing go together, THE CAKE THERAPIST blends generations and sweets and turns both into one heartfelt story.

THE CAKE THERAPIST? is a wonderful treat for the senses, especially your taste buds, as well as feelings.

Claire O'Neil Davis has come back home to fulfill her dream of owning a bakery because it just felt like the right thing to do since she and her husband were having problems because of his infidelity

Claire seems to have a knack to be able to "read" people and be able to match up cake batter and icing to the person's mood. That definitely is a plus when she is helping couples choose the correct batter and icing for their wedding cakes.

Her talent of being able to "read" people definitely helps her figure out that her neighbor has some connection to a wedding couple's father and grumpy Mrs. Amici next door. This is when the fun begins.

If you want a "sweet" read that has love, family, sharing, and just darn good feelings in it, read THE CAKE THERAPIST.

You won't be disappointed, and you will be running to your nearest bakery to get some sweet treats and perhaps trying to figure out if you are chocolate and raspberry or blueberry and lemon.

The only thing that was a bit confusing was the reason for the flashbacks to the 1940's, but it all comes out in the final chapters that resound with a "yeah" for cake and as Claire says: "The Power Of Cake." Page 248

ENJOY!!! 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the author in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting
Eyes On You



All eyes on you every night on your TV show can sometimes be hazardous to your health as Robin Trainer? has found out.

Was someone jealous of Robin's success or was Robin imagining all the death threats and incidents happening to her at the TV station. Hate notes, voodoo dolls, poison-laced makeup, drug-laced brownies, what else can happen?
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As you follow Robin through her days, you will feel her terror at thinking someone is following her or share her fear of wondering what is going to happen next.?
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The characters in EYES ON YOU were all a suspicious lot and pretty cut throat. You never knew who you could trust.

I was very leery of most of the characters. I thought this one was the culprit then I thought no, this one must be it. EYES ON YOU wasn't gripping, but it was good. It definitely ?kept me turning the pages and ?guessing until the end.?

This is the first book I have read by Kate White. I enjoyed EYES ON YOU, but I wouldn't call it a terrifying thriller. I would call it? an intriguing thriller.? 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and TLC Book Tours in return for an honest review.

Tiny Little Thing by Beatriz Williams
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun
Tiny Little Thing



Secrets. We all have them, don’t we? But some secrets are a bit larger than others.

Tiny had a secret from her past that she definitely didn't want to be revealed especially since her husband was running for the Senate. But what ?is she going to be do with the photographs that keep appearing in her mailbox along with the blackmail notes.

Then when the ?person she thinks sent the photographs appears at a family gathering, things start to get sticky.

TINY LITTLE THING is a book that has characters that are high brow and not trustworthy. Tiny married Frank because her mother wanted her to marry him not because she loved Frank. Frank married Tiny just because of her family status. Caspian, the cousin, was at the center of it all, and the secrets Tiny held revolved around Caspian. Frank's secrets were secrets every wife dreads are true.

TINY LITTLE THING takes the reader back and forth through the years with background information that connects all the dots and keeps the reader interested simply because you want to see how these folks live in high society and when and if the secrets will be revealed.

TINY LITTLE THING has the Schu?yl?er sisters as two of the main characters, but it is not necessary to have read Ms. Williams' previous books to be able to follow the storyline.? Tiny's sister, Pepper, brings a bit of disruption to the family and especially to Tiny, but she was always like that.?

TINY LITTLE THING is for those readers who love family secrets and family dynamics. ?I enjoyed TINY LITTLE THING simply because Ms. Williams knows how to tell an intriguing story with drama as well as facts. Her writing just pulls you in.

?TINY LITTLE THING is a great summer read with an ending that is oh so good.

Don't forget to pack TINY LITTLE THING in your beach bag. 4/5

?This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

Dollbaby: A Novel by Laura Lane McNeal
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Addictive, Inspiring
Dollbaby



The 1960's, New Orleans, a matriarch, a girl without a daddy, housekeepers, families, and secrets.

Ibby was moved to her grandmother's home after her father passed away so her mother could have some time to herself. Ibby had never seen her grandmother before nor had she known about her until a week before this move. Ibby was frightened especially since she heard stories about her strict grandmother from her mother.

Ibby met Queenie and Doll before meeting her grandmother. Queenie and Doll are the staff in Grandmother Fannie's house. They are very loving and caring and huddle around Ibby and take good care of her when Fannie can’t.

The characters in DOLLBABY were ones I fell in love with along with Ibby, whose real name was Liberty Bell. Ibby was an understandably sad young lady for a twelve-year old with a heartbreaking story.

Queenie and Doll were warmhearted, Fannie was rough on the outside but loving on the inside with a past that was kept secret as well as a few other secrets that made the ending superb. Birdelia was sweet even though she was kept out of sight most of the time and had a story of her own. Well…just about every character had a story that was kept under wraps.

If you love Southern fiction with a Gone-With-The-Wind feeling, you will love DOLLBABY. We the reader follow Fannie, Ibby, Queenie, Doll, and Birdelia in their day-to-day activities during the time of The Civil Rights Movement.

DOLLBABY is an engaging, beautiful debut novel with amazing description, terrific, authentic characters, and a true-to-life storyline. The cover itself will pull you in and will keep you reading.

Historical fiction fans and fans of family sagas will not want to put DOLLBABY down and will miss the characters when the book ends. The ending was filled with revelations and proves family is everything even though they might have secrets.

Add DOLLBABY to your reading list this summer. I know you will love it too. It is going to be a favorite read for this year. The characters are what made DOLLBABY special.

I truly enjoyed this book. I hope you can read it too. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Romantic, Informative
Eight Hundred Grapes


Did you know it takes eight hundred grapes to make one bottle of wine?

That ?apparently is the best-kept secret of wine makers just like there were a lot of secrets the Ford family and other characters were not revealing.

EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES was an easy, enjoyable read. I liked the information about vineyards because we have a grape arbor, but nothing that would turn our grapes into wine. ?:)?

Georgia the main character was a bit wishy washy for an attorney, but you couldn't blame her when she found out the secret her fiance was keeping from her.

Her brothers were ?unusual, and I didn't like them. Georgia's parents and what was going on with her mother was quite strange.

As the book continued, EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES moved from one family drama to another, but the book did keep my interest. I actually was more interested in seeing what was going to happen to the winery than ?what was going to happen to all the relationship upheavals.

EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES will appeal to women's fiction fans. The writing was breezy and fun, but the plot was a bit predictable.

I would recommend EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES for a quick, summer beach read. ?4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.?

 
Book Club Recommended
Scary
A Necessary End


A pregnant teenager, a couple who can't conceive, and a deal Gabe and Adrianne can't pass up. Or was it really such a good deal?

Adrianne was so desperate to have a baby that she and Gabe signed up for a birth mother site that would give them access to unwed mothers who wanted to put their baby up for adoption. They got burned on the first mother and Leah sounded too good to be true so they took the “deal.”? Leah arrived at their home within 24 hours with her flight paid for and with her own secret agenda.?

I was apprehensive about their decision ?and about Leah ?the second I read about it. Leah was going to have the baby, stay with them for a year, be paid $400 a month ?with all medical expenses covered but ?with the stipulation that she could still decide to keep the baby.

A NECESSARY END kept me on the edge of my seat as the characters interacted and as Leah continued to show her true colors? and carry out her plan. Ms. Brown addressed a social situation that could escalate to this height.

Ms. Brown does a superb job of keeping the tension of the book's situation very high.

?A NECESSARY END is a gripping psychological thriller with characters that were well developed but ones that I wanted to shake and tell to wake up and see what actually was going on. There was a good deal of betrayal as well as manipulation.

If you enjoy books with characters you d?on't trust from the start and a gut feeling that all isn't as it really seems A NECESSARY END is a book you won't want to miss. The ending revelations and the ending itself are definitely a surprise and not what I expected. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Interesting, Informative
The Girl Who Wrote In Silk


Did Mei Lien stand on the edge of the boat's railing because she knew she had to or because she was forced to be there? Did this act begin or end Mei Lien’s life? Did this act begin or end Inara’s life?

Mei Lien lived 100 years ago?. Inara lives in the present. Their lives are unknowingly connected until Inara finds a family story on a hidden embroidered sleeve in a house that belonged to Inara's ancestors and where Mei Lien and her family had lived...the connection and the secrets begin.

The embroidered sleeve immediately catches Inara's attention and her curiosity. When she takes the sleeve to a Chinese professor at the local university, the sleeve and Inara immediately catch the professor's attention.

THE GIRL WHO WROTE IN SILK is beautifully written and beautifully told by Ms. Estes. The characters come alive, and the storyline is quite intriguing.

THE GIRL WHO WROTE IN SILK has secrets about a family home, a family connection, and an embroidered shirt sleeve that t?ells a story Inara just HAS to unravel. Just what were all of these secrets?

The story and the unraveling le?a?d to surprises for the characters and to a marvelous book. ? ?Ms Estes weaved a beautiful?, gripping, but sad ?tale that spanned from the 1800's to present day.

THE GIRL WHO WROTE IN SILK was difficult to put down simply because you will want to find out? about the embroidered sleeve as well as to find out? how Inara and Daniel Chin unravel the mystery even though we already know ?the answer ?as Ms. Estes skillfully goes back and forth revealing the past a?n?d the present.

THE GIRL WHO WROTE IN SILK is a?n ?appealing, alluring read? with charming, unforgettable characters?. You will love Mei Lien and admire her for her courage. You will also love her husband, Joseph, but despise Duncan Campbell.

The book is as captivating as the book's title and cover, and THE GIRL WHO WROTE IN SILK becomes even more intriguing each time you turn the page and clues are revealed.

I thoroughly enjoyed THE GIRL WHO WROTE IN SILK, but have some tissues ready.

I hope you have the pleasure of reading this marvelous book. ? A spectacular debut novel. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

Flame Tree Road by Shona Patel
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative
Flame Tree Road


India, the caste system, no rights for women except through marriage.

FLAME TREE ROAD addresses these issues that were prevalent in India during the 1800's.

Biren Roy is the main character. His father died at a young age, and his mother, like all Indian widows, became an outcast once their husbands were gone. Biren's mother's plight and the plight of all Indian widows gave Biren his drive to fight for equality for women in all respects - not only marriage.

Biren warmed my heart because of his goodness and his passion to help the women of India. Biren luckily was sent to an English school in India, gained entrance to a college in London where he earned his law degree, and then returned to India to achieve his goal.

We follow Biren, his family, and his career throughout the book. Biren married, and the beauty and passion of his respect for his marriage and his wife oozed through the pages.

FLAME TREE ROAD is a book that will hold your interest because of the mesmerizing aspect of India and Biren's passion for helping the women of India.

Ms. Patel's writing is beautiful with wonderful detail. Her writing flows and takes you with it.

ENJOY the depth of this book if you read it. FLAME TREE ROAD is filled with passion, love, and pain, and is a marvelous read even though it isn't always uplifting.

Ms. Patel described the lives, inequality, and caste system in India. I found the customs and culture of India extremely interesting especially the marriage proposal procedure. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Maud's Line by Margaret Verble
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative
Maud's Line


Maud's days were made of wishing and hoping, hard work, and disappointment.

Living with her father and brother in the early 1900's and being the only woman in the house left her little time for herself. Mustard, her father, was not a hard worker and was a trouble maker. Lovely, her brother, thankfully helped Maud, and they helped each other calm down their father. Maud did a lot day dreaming but also a lot of men's work.

MAUD'S LINE is set in the Cherokee Lands of Oklahoma where each family had property lines and many relatives.
I liked how relatives lived very close ?to each other and looked out for each other, but the violence between some families was difficult to fathom.

MAUD’S LINE took us through her days as her thoughts wandered and as she had to make a decision that would change her life. Most were days of non-stop working, but Maud did manage to find time to read books thanks to her mother, a wealthy neighbor, and a traveling peddler's influence.

The characters all had their own problems and ideas about things. Maud was the main character, and at times, she was "out of line" in terms of her relationships. Maud knew what she wanted and did whatever she could to get what she wanted. Maud did everything for her family even though her father was not the most loving and caring.

You couldn't help but love Maud, but you will also question some of her decisions. Maud always seemed to be the first one on the scene of something gruesome and kept secrets that were t her detriment.

Ms. Verble's descriptive, lush writing will simply pull you in along with the cover.

I enjoyed MAUD’S LINE, and I hope you decide to read it. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Fun
The Summer of Good Intentions


Ahhhhh Summer!!

Every July since they were babies, the Herington Clan gathered at their beach house. These summers were always memorable and something everyone looked forward to, but this year's family get together was turning out to not be the best.

The Herington's parents were divorced, Maggie was stressed just because she always had to be in control and organized, Jess and her husband were having trouble, and Virgie, the single sister, who had a stressful job had some bad news that was difficult to accept.

All of the characters were likeable and made you want to share the month with them even though they were not having the best summer this particular year. I liked Arthur, their father, the best. He seemed like such a terrific person.

As July drew to a close, a secret the Herington girls could never have imagined surfaced as well as a loss that was the last straw for their summer.

Despite the heartaches, THE SUMMER OF GOOD INTENTIONS is a nice, breezy read when you are in the mood for family drama, family bonding, and of course a well-written story.

Ms. Francis has a way of emotionally drawing you into the story, and her writing style keeps you interested. And speaking of emotions, you will need some tissues as you read the ending pages.

I truly enjoyed THE SUMMER OF GOOD INTENTIONS because it brought out family-related topics that we all can learn from. I would also call THE SUMMER OF GOOD INTENTIONS an uplifting read.

I loved Ms. Francis' comments about the bond of sisters and her tribute to her mother in the acknowledgements.

I now want to read her first book, THREE GOOD THINGS.

ENJOY when you read THE SUMMER OF GOOD INTENTIONS. Thanks, Ms. Francis. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Brilliant, Adventurous
In The Dark Places

A stolen tractor, blood in an abandoned hanger, and now dead bodies and missing suspects.

Th?is particular investigation went from looking for a stolen tractor to murder and covert activities.

IN THE DARK PLACES was quite a good mystery with terrific characters. ? I enjoyed the camaraderie among the investigators. The victims and their families were likable?, and the storyline made me not want to put the book down.

The tangled series of events made for ?an excellent, gripping read with clues that turned the investigation into other directions and into more than what the investigators first started out with.

IN THE DARK PLACES kept me guessing until the end. Mr. Robinson knows how to create drama that takes the reader to a different level and then wraps it all up with an ah ha at the end.

This is my first book by Mr. Robinson, and I thoroughly enjoyed IN THE DARK PLACES.

I would recommend IN THE DARK PLACES to any reader who likes to figure out the mystery but rarely does. :) 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Interesting, Romantic
The Last Summer At Chelsea Beach

Adelia Monteforte was put on a boat alone to America in 1941 as WWII was underway. Her mother forced her into leaving Italy and living with her aunt and uncle that she had never met.

Adelia was grateful for her aunt and uncle's love, but ?she ?felt out of place with them and with her accent. When she met the Connallys, things changed. There were children her own age, children to play with?, a family she felt very comfortable with, and their son she fell in love with.

Her aunt and uncle seemed distant but very kind to Adelia. Mrs. Connally was more of a mother to Adelia than her aunt, but I think Adelia made that happen as she chose to be closer to a stranger than her own relatives. She did upset me how she was closer to the family that lived next door at the beach than her blood relatives.

We follow ?Adelia who is a very strong-willed character and who makes decisions on her own even though she is quite young. I was surprised at her quick, poorly thought-out decisions. Some were decisions I definitely would not have made.?

Adelia had become unsettled in her town after a while and also with the Connallys and left for Washington, D.C. to escape Charlie Connally. She then moved on to London when Washington, D.C. wasn't far enough away for her.

London wasn't what she expected, but Adelia was able to make new friends and continue to work at the same newspaper she worked for in the USA. Adelia never thought London would be a?s? war torn as it was?, but no matter what the circumstances or how far she went, she never could get Charlie out of her mind.

THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH is filled with loss, growing up, learning about life, and a love story.

THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH had a lesson about the importance of family and the importance of following your heart.

As always, Ms. Jenoff's books are well researched and very well written. You become part of her books and want to be one of the characters simply because of the marvelous way Ms. Jenoff tells a story.

If you haven’t read THE LAST SUMMER AT CHELSEA BEACH or any of Ms. Jenoff’s books, what are you waiting for? :)

You won't go wrong with any of her books. ENJOY....I know you will. 5/5

 
Book Club Recommended
Brilliant, Beautiful
The Promise of Home


Letters from the past that reveal hidden secrets and untold tales, a mansion being restored, and all the wonderful characters from Ms. Chan's previous novels.

Mill River is a town I would want to live in. It has its problems, but the characters are just so homey and wonderful.

THE PROMISE OF HOME moves from the 1930's to present-day Mill River. Ms. Chan skillfully takes us from one time period to the other letting us in on the daily activities of all of Mill River's current residents and Father O'Brien's life as he grew up.

Father O'Brien definitely had an interesting past.

Emily is still the same Emily...still hurt from an incident from long ago.

Her sister, Rose, has mellowed, which is good.

Ruth has a great bookstore and bakery and owns the mansion Emily is restoring.

Aunt Ivy is the sweetest thing.

Josie is still a successful real estate agent and still juggling her life between family and work.

?The reader finds out more about the familiar characters that add to the appeal of this book.

THE PROMISE OF HOME has just enough drama, enough suspense, enough secrets, enough romance, and unfortunately just enough heartache to keep you glued to the pages.

THE PROMISE OF HOME is another charming, cozy read by Ms. Chan.

You do not have to read Ms. Chan's books in order, but I would recommend that you do that so you can get the full beauty of the characters who reside in the quaint town of Mill River. 5/5?

?This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting
Dead Money Run

Fifteen million dollars, fifteen years in prison, a murdered sister, and lots of bodies.

The day he got out of prison is when it all started.

Lou Malloy, now known as John Addams, is released from prison and goes on a killing spree as he looks for the money he hid and for his sister's killer.

Lou meets Hilary Kelly, and they team up? with both of them doing the investigating and with Lou doing the killing. We meet many unique characters.

DEAD MONEY RUN was fast-paced but a bit unbelievable how John acquired guns, found information, and always managed to get rid of people that were after him.

?I definitely wouldn't want to be on Lou Malloy's ?"?list.?"? :)? He had no qualms about maiming or killing people.? There is a lot of gore.

?As DEAD MONEY RUN continued, Lou found out that his sister may have been killed for more than the money he stole, and she may have been involved in other things.

DEAD MONEY RUN wasn't gripping, but is a read that will keep you wondering where the search will lead and who else is involved in following and trying to kill Lou ?and Hilary and what the motives of these people are. The ending was tense and quite good.

DEAD MONEY RUN needs a bit of polishing up in the believability factor, but I did enjoy ?DEAD MONEY RUN. We have to realize, though, that it is a book and not real life, right?

Mr. James knows how to tell a good tale and keep you interested. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful, Life Changing
Water From My Heart


Charlie Finn had an unusual childhood and a very unique rest of his life.

Charlie played poker, went to Harvard, had a job that ?paid well but ?was a job? that cost him the woman he loved, and then had another job that gave him a family but also danger.

WATER FROM MY HEART was a bit confusing at first because more than one story was going on. It started to come together around Page 100 or so.

?We follow Charlie as WATER FROM MY HEART goes back and forth from past to present. I liked Charlie despite some of the things he did in his life and despite the decisions he made that ruined lives as well as saved and touched lives.

WATER FROM MY HEART was a book about loss, life??, decisions, and regrets.

You will learn what the title means and see a redemption in Charlie. The ending was heartwarming.

I have read another book by Charles Martin that I thoroughly enjoyed...UNWRITTEN. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Adventurous, Insightful
The Secrets of Lake Road

Another summer, another tragic drowning, and a lot of awful memories.

After the tragedy of the drowning years ago, the beach community never expected another tragedy.

Jo and her family were the most affected by the tragedy that happened years ago, and that tragedy still haunted Jo. Will the awful memories ever go away, and will the real facts about the drowning perhaps be revealed?

The secrets of Lake Road were deep and haunting for those who had a secret. Ms. Katchur marvelously put together a story that will remain with you simply because it could really be a true situation.

Ms. Katchur skillfully takes the reader back years before and skillfully brings readers to the present as the storyline unfolds.

The characters in THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD were a bit difficult to like. Jo was my least favorite. She was a terrible, heartless mother. The secret she kept tucked inside most definitely affected her. Caroline her daughter seemed sweet and wise beyond her years. The other characters worked well around these two main characters.

I enjoyed the revelations at the end. One of the revelations was obvious toward the end, but the others were a surprise.

THE SECRETS OF LAKE ROAD is a murder/mystery with a bit of romance. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Summer at Hideaway Key by Barbara Davis
 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful
Summer at HIdeaway Key

An inherited beach cottage with memories of its own, a beach cottage filled with journals about the life of an unknown aunt, a job as a fashion designer in Milan, and decisions, decisions, decisions.

Lily St. Claire had no idea that her father had left her a beach cottage that once belonged to her estranged aunt or why he left it to her especially with all the secrets between her mother and her mother's sister. Lily needed to see the cottage for herself and was curious enough to head to Florida to Sand Pearl Cottage to find out what it was all about.

What Lily found was definitely not what she expected. Lily found boxes everywhere that held her aunt's possessions as well as the story about her life that no one was aware of and one that her mother would never talk about.

Lily needed to decide if she wanted to stay to uncover all she could find about her aunt or just leave the cottage and head to Milan for her dream job.

SUMMER AT HIDEAWAY KEY had a storyline that any women's fiction fan will not want to put down.

We meet a number of interesting characters, find secrets that had never been revealed, get a glimpse into her aunt's life, see the decisions Lily must make in her personal life, and see how Lily desperately tries to get her mother to shed some light on why her mother and her aunt never talked for over 30 years.

SUMMER AT HIDEAWAY KEY is another marvelous book by Ms. Davis. The characters, the setting, the atmosphere, and the storyline will keep you turning the pages and still want more. It was a glorious read up until the very last word.

Ms. Davis has a way of pulling you in and not letting go. There is always something lurking that you "must" know along with a touch of romance.

The journals made for an absolutely wonderful read....terrific book.

I always enjoy journals. When you read about journals in a book, do you ever ask yourself why you didn't do something like that or if you did leave journals what folks would think after they read them?

5/5

This book was given to me free of charge by the publisher and without compensation in return for an honest review.

House of Thieves: A Novel by Charles Belfoure
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Informative, Dramatic
House of Thieves


Gambling debts, robbery rings, and high society? and?? ?thugs? blending together? for a marvelous read.

HOUSE OF THIEVES takes us back to the late 1800's when women needed escorts and ?when ?men were their protectors. The men definitely? protected their wives and families and? kept secrets from them as they carried out their days.

The secret John Cross kept from his wife?, though,? was one he couldn't keep for long. When he returned home one evening with bruises and cuts, John had to tell his wife about his "deal" with Kent. The secret he kept was that their son, George, had racked up a gambling debt that he couldn't pay, and Kent came to John with ?a ?deal John wasn't able to pass up.

John wasn't able to pass it up because it was a good deal. John wasn't able to pass it up because ?it was a deal that he had to ?accept to ?keep his family safe. If he didn't go along with Kent, John saw what? Kent was capable of.

The deal took every waking minute of John's time and was something he would never dream of doing or being a part of.? If he got caught, he would ruin his family, but better to be ruined than dead.

The characters ?seemed quite authentic. John Cross made me afraid for him, Kent was despicable and ruthless, George made me angry that he would continue to ?do what he did to ?put his family? in this situation even? after his father told him he knew? of his dangerous obsession?.? Kent seemed as if he were just playing John Cross and his son's debt would never be settled, but John Cross had to keep finding homes and banks to rob so his family was safe.

You will get pulled into the time period and the storyline as you wonder how someone could be as evil and cunning as Kent and ?as your ?fear for John Cross? and his family mounts.?
.?
Mr. Belfoure has authored another intriguing, well-?written, captivating? book. Mr. Belfoure? pulls you in with his marvelous research and storyline about the life styles of the wealthy as well as the poor during this era.

?If you enjoy being treated to history, an alluring storyline, and an "oh my goodness" ending, HOUSE OF THIEVES will take you there.

One chapter after another keeps you mesmerized as unbelievable, possible events happen. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review. ?

The Paris Key by Juliet Blackwell
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Adventurous, Addictive
The Paris Key


Paris, memories, keys, and family secrets.

Genevieve needed to go back to Paris to her uncle's shop not only to get away from her soon-to-be ex-husband, but to take over Uncle Dave's lock and key shop? that she had loved as a child?. Little did she know that she would find family secrets as well.

Both her mother and uncle had passed, but the city held wonderful memories for Genevieve as well as for her mother as we go back and forth in time seeing Angela, Genevieve's mother, in Paris and her uncle who fell in love in Paris and stayed after the war.

Her uncle taught her a locksmith's tricks of the trade when she was twelve, and she wanted to try her hand at it again. As her uncle told her all the time, "Locksmiths Laugh At Love and Love Has Its Own Set of Burglar Keys." Genevieve wanted to re-live her times in his shop and to experience Paris as an adult as her mother had done.

When Genevieve explores a house where she is fixing locks and finds secret passages from WWII that have a connection to her mother's time in Paris, you will become totally absorbed in the storyline.

?THE PARIS KEY ??has you falling in love with the City of Lights as Ms. Blackwell describes the bakeries, the wine, the cheese, and the people. Ms. Blackwell’s writing style is so intriguing that you feel as though you are right there.

And…we can’t have a book about Paris without love. Love that held secrets about her mother and love for Genevieve.

I enjoyed THE PARIS KEY and the marvelous way Ms. Blackwell pulls you in with her descriptions and authenticity of the city.

If you have never been to Paris, THE PARIS KEY will make you want to get on the next plane. :)

ENJOY!!! I certainly did. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Stones in the Road by E.B. Moore
 
Book Club Recommended
Poorly Written, Pointless, Boring
Stones In The Road

Joshua's mother, Miriam, was forced into taking over decision making for the family after her husband, Abraham, was hurt in an accident?. This was totally out of character for a woman who was Plain.

Joshua endured his father's abuse just because that was the right thing to do when you were Plain. He completely feared his father, but had no recourse but to run away to avoid more abuse since he knew his father would blame him for the accident.

Joshua ran away to California and had to deal with and live with the English. Joshua found some good English as well as bad.

Miriam had to deal with and live with the reality that her son was gone even though she knew he was not dead, but out there somewhere even though everyone said he couldn't have survived the accident that had maimed his father.

In my opinion, Joshua endured more hardships than he had at home and more than Miriam endured even though losing a child is the worst thing in the world.

We follow Joshua as he finds work and families to live with. He was a sweet character, but felt guilty about not letting his mother know he was alive. He couldn't let her know for fear of having to face his father's wrath because he would send someone to find him?. Miriam was a dedicated wife and mother even though she lived with the hope her son was alive, but presumed dead. Abraham was a character that I did not like at all.

STONES IN THE ROAD takes us into homes and the way of living in the 1800's whether it was a Plain home or an English home. The book dragged a bit, but it was very interesting to see the different, difficult life style of both homes in the 1800's.

STONES IN THE ROAD was about family, about hardships, about survival, about choices, and about God's influence in your life.

I enjoyed the book for the historical aspect. Ms. Moore's writing style was beautiful along with wonderful description.

I would recommend STONES IN THE ROAD to those folks who want to know more about the customs of Plain people as well as see first-hand the hardships they had every day as well as the hardships of traveling across the country in a wagon train. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

The Last September by Nina de Gramont
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting
The Last September

Brett, Eli, Charlie, and Ladd....all connected and all a part of each other's ?lives and decisions.

THE LAST SEPTEMBER starts out in present day and heads back to the ?past when all four friends met and events began to unfold.?

Brett was the main character. We find out about her involvement in all three of the men's lives ?both ?past and present. The murder of Charlie?, ?how Charlie affected many lives, and the mental illness of his brother? ?are ?the main focus?.?

The background of each character and their lives is marvelously detailed by Ms. De Gramont, and has you wondering if one of them murdered Charlie for personal reasons since Charlie hurt each one of them in some way.

THE LAST SEPTEMBER is a deep?, emotional? read about decisions made, promises made, promises broken?, mental illness, and love??.?

?Ms. De Gramont has an exquisite writing style? ?that has the reader sharing every emotion the characters are experiencing.

THE LAST SEPTEMBER is not an uplifting book, but one that is gripping simply because of the way Ms. De Gramont tells the story. It is a mystery about life as well as a mystery about finding the person who murdered Charlie.

THE LAST SEPTEMBER pulls the reader in because of how deeply involved and connected Ms. De Gramont has you become with each character.

THE LAST SEPTEMBER is a book that needs to be savored and ?one that you will think about even after the last page is turned because it won't easily leave you. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Silver's Reviews
http://silversolara.blogspot.com

Along the Infinite Sea by Beatriz Williams
 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Romantic, Epic
Along The Infinite Sea

Pepper is back and as usual something? is brewing. The brew is that she is pregnant and has no place to go.

Pepper did have some money, though, because she found an old Mercedes at her sister's home, ?got it in perfect working order, and sold it. Little did Pepper know that the car and Annabelle, the woman who bought the car, had a colorful and intense history of love, loss, and complications that involved the car.

What secrets do both Annabelle and Pepper have? ?Will they both reveal them after Annabelle Dommerich takes Pepper with her to her home? Will they be able to share their secrets since after one day at Annabelle's, Pepper finds that Annabelle has disappeared on one of her trips with no return date leaving Pepper at the house with Annabelle's housekeeper and dogs.

ALONG THE INFINITE SEA has beautiful descriptions, wonderful characters, secrets that everyone likes to hear, and amazing characters. Annabelle is a character you can't help but love. Pepper is fun and both Annabelle and Pepper are quite likable yet very mysterious.? When Alice arrives, the story gets even more interesting.?

ALONG THE INFINITE SEA is another book of Ms. Williams that I thoroughly enjoyed. I enjoyed the back and forth in time and the way Ms. Williams knows how to tell a story. Her way with words and the story line kept me wanting more. The story of Annabelle and the revelation of the history of the car and her marriage was very intriguing.

Women's fiction fans will have another read that will stay with them after turning the last page.? The Schuyler girls always have something fun or disastrous going on in their lives.

If you haven't read any of Ms. Williams' books, you definitely want to take a look at them. I know you won't be disappointed.? 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Tahoe Blue Fire


Three murders, a hastily scribbled note written by a dying woman, and an investigation that takes you from Tahoe all the way to Italy. ? ? Count me in on this investigation. :)

Owen McKenna has yet another ?case to solve that involves bizarre ?murders that are somehow connected to the Medici Family of Florence, Italy, and that lead Owen to Italy. Investigating in Italy was no safer than in the United States, though, especially after he visits a former member of The Cosa Nostra.

When the case seems to be nearing a solution, something else happens and Owen is back to square one along with the reader, but of course he doesn't give up.

Mr. Borg has given his readers another wonderfully researched and ?thrilling ?mystery that is difficult to put down.? You won't ?want ?to stop reading as the action heats up.

TAHOE BLUE FIRE? ?is written for historical fiction fans and especially those who love Frank Sinatra.

TAHOE BLUE FIRE also has the same wonderful characters including, Spot, appropriately named his Largeness.

Despite the terror and close calls in TAHOE BLUE FIRE, the ending is heartwarming.

If you have never read one of Mr. Borg's books, you will definitely want to so you don't miss out on fantastic story lines that generate great discussions?, include amazing locations with beautiful descriptions, and edge-of-your-seat action. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.?

Chance Harbor by Holly Robinson
 
Book Club Recommended
Chance Harbor

Eve, Zoe, Catherine, and Willow. Grandmother, mother, daughters, and granddaughter all caught up in family secrets.

All four women had a lot going on over the years that made today difficult for each one of them.

Join in the suspense as well as the family saga that will pull at your heart strings but make you want to be with the characters.

CHANCE HARBOR takes us through the years with Eve, Zoe, Catherine, and Willow. Willow was my favorite. She was sweet but wise. Zoe made me crazy. Eve and Catherine were characters that held the story together as secrets unraveled and brought the characters closer, made them more understanding, or simply helped them find themselves.

All four women had wonderful stories to tell and secrets to reveal. Secrets both good and bad. I couldn’t decide whose secret I liked the most. :) I think I am going to go with Eve's being the best. :)

Ms. Robinson has crafted a beautiful story with unforgettable characters and with wonderful descriptions of Prince Edward Island that take you there sharing the characters' experiences and pain as well as their little bit of the happiness.

I truly enjoyed CHANCE HARBOR, and any women's fiction fan which includes me will fall in love with this book and its characters. The setting as well as the warmth and the vividness of the characters pull you in and keep you turning the pages.

Ms. Robinson has a way with words that has you not wanting the characters' stories or the book to end.

This was my first book by this author even though this isn't her first book.

Absolutely recommend this book. Read it and ENJOY. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Darkness the Color Of Snow


What really did happen the night of the accident?

Ronny kept asking himself over and over if it was his fault or if Matt caused his own death. Ronny and Matt had been friends throughout high school but now Ronny was a police officer and Matt was still the trouble-making kid he had always been.

DARKNESS THE COLOR OF SNOW takes the reader from present day back to Ronnie and Matt's high school days letting us in on their antics and how they fell apart and where they are today.

DARKNESS THE COLOR OF SNOW also touches on the topic of small towns and the way corruption can occur with its officials.

I truly did not like Martin who was the head of the town council. He was a corrupt official who was doing illegal things but made himself appear to be the good guy to the public.

Ronny was a sweet kid who seemed to always get the short end of the deal.

Matt was not a nice person and someone who caused Ronny grief during their teenage years as well as their adult years.

DARKNESS THE COLOR OF SNOW was a tense read, but very good. I am actually going to classify it as a psychological thriller. The situation and the characters kept me glued to the pages but also had me nervous for the decisions the characters made.

I was trying to figure out the significance of the title of DARKNESS THE COLOR OF SNOW and came up with the idea that the book had dark things happening in the small town of Lydell and the snow that was always falling made it an emotionally cold place to live.

Let me know what you think of the book and the significance of the title if you read the book.

I did enjoy the read. I live in a small town, and wonder what goes on here that we don't know about. :) 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
A Curious Beginning

A secret past that she wasn't aware of puts Veronica Speedwell in danger after her aunt passed away.

Veronica Speedwell is now without family, and as an intruder enters her home and tries to harm her, a Baron saves her life just in time. Even though Veronica seems to be able to take care of herself, the Baron insists that he be her protector. The Baron and Veronica begin a journey to London to meet a friend the Baron believes can protect Veronica for him. During their travel time, the Baron tells Veronica he knows secrets about her past that he can't tell her just yet but will.

Veronica isn't too happy with the arrangements of having to be protected, but being interested in what the Baron will tell her makes her stay with the Baron’s friend, Stoker. Not even 24 hours after the Baron left Veronica in safe keeping with Stoker, the pair finds out that the Baron has been murdered. With that news Stoker whisks himself and Veronica away where the murderer who most likely is still after Veronica can't find them. Adventures and danger follow them.

A CURIOUS BEGINNING is the first book I have read by Ms. Raybourn and the character Miss Speedwell. The book is interesting but odd with odd characters. Miss Speedwell is very independent and Stoker is a taxidermist who once was with a traveling circus. The characters where Stoker and Veronica make their hiding place are all quite bizarre, but I guess when you are in a traveling circus, that is what you see.

A CURIOUS BEGINNING is adventure and murder investigations all rolled into one with some good twists. It was also comical at times.

A CURIOUS BEGINNING was a bit different from what I expected, but I kept reading because I wanted to find out who the murderer was as well as to find out what Veronica's secret past was. And....her past was an excellent revelation.

It wasn’t a favorite, but I did like Veronica, and the storyline picked up toward the end of the book. In fact, the ending was quite exciting and makes my rating go from my original 3/5 to 4/5.

Readers who like quirky characters, intrigue, mystery, and a bit of romance should enjoy A CURIOUS BEGINNING. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Addictive, Interesting
The Lake House


Alice the author and sister of Theo and Sadie the detective.

Would these two women be able to find information about the disappearance 70 years ago of 11-month old Theo ??if they worked together on this cold case even though the police had not been able to find one clue or to find Theo?

Alice had lived the nightmare of her brother's disappearance, and Sadie wanted to investigate the years-old case after she found the sprawling, abandoned estate of the Edevane family.

I LOVED exploring the estate and finding the clues of the case with Sadie and finding things that were left by the family. I would have loved to live on the estate as well as to be a part of the investigating.

THE LAKE HOUSE goes back and forth in time and is filled with mystery, hidden passageways, intrigue, family secrets, and all of Ms. Morton's wonderful, creative writing skills, marvelous story lines, and descriptions that get better each time you turn the page and that put you right at the scene or definitely wanting to be there with the characters.

?Ms. Morton knows how to keep her readers interested and not want the book to end.? Twists and turns seem to be Ms. Morton's trademark along with marvelous, surprise endings. And what a spectacular ending THE LAKE HOUSE has. You will love it!!

Ms. Morton had me hooked on her book THE FORGOTTEN GARDEN, and THE LAKE HOUSE is going to be right up there with it as one of my all-time favorites. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

 
Book Club Recommended
When The Devil's Idle

A murder in ?the quiet town of Patmos, Greece. Who would want to murder a 90-year-old ?German?

A murder in an enclosed compound with no one but family and the family's gardener and housekeeper around.? How did the murderer get into the ?secure ?compound? One of them had to be the killer since it was difficult to get into the compound, but who and why??

WHEN THE DEVIL'S IDLE is set in Greece with interesting characters? and a wonderful glimpse at Greece's culture.?

The main character Patronas ?was quite likable and a bit comical despite the seriousness of the situation he an?d? his fellow policemen were investigating.?? He was a great character to keep the book interesting and moving along. ?

?Along with the beauty of Greece, WHEN THE DEVIL'S IDLE brought up the horrors of WWII and what happened to the children of Aghios Stefanos. Could this be the reason some?one wanted Gunther Bechtel dead after all this time?

The ending was a bit odd, but the crime was solved. :)

WHEN THE DEVIL'S IDLE dragged a bit and was difficult to follow at first with all the Greek names, but I enjoyed the book and became attached to the characters as I continued reading. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Inspiring, Optimistic
White Collar Girl


A family of journalists, stolen bylines. ?struggling ?women reporters in the 1950's, and Chicago.

WHITE COLLAR GIRL takes us into the world of journalism and news reporting as we are introduced to the Walshes who are generation after generation of journalists.

The ?elder ?Walshes ?definitely ?have talent, but a family? tragedy? ke?eps them from continuing their careers. The tragedy didn't stop Jordan Walsh, though. This tragedy kept her pushing ahead and wanting to break into having more respect for women reporters.

Jordan Walsh was one of the few female journalists on the staff ?at the Tribune and along with all of the women journalists was relegated to reporting and writing about weddings and fashion. But....Jordan wanted more...she wanted a big story.

Jordan got her story?....corruption in the mayor's office…as well as many more big stories. Being a woman, though, she had a tough time collecting information and being given credit as the journalist who did the research and wrote the article.

Ms. Rosen ?definitely ?knows how? ?to skillfully ?spin ?together fiction and history?. Her research and characters are always marvelous.

WHITE COLLAR GIRL is another terrific novel by Ms. Rosen? where she blends a fascinating story line with historical facts and historical as well as fictitious characters?.

Ms. Rosen also adds in love and life styles of the 1950's. Cigarettes hung from everyone's mouth both male and female, and liquor flowed freely.

I enjoyed WHITE COLLAR GIRL just as I enjoyed Ms. Rosen’s other two books.

Don’t miss reading this book and her other books. Historical fiction and women's fiction fans will not want this or any of her books to end. 5/5

?This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Hundred Gifts by Jennifer Scott
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun
The Hundred Gifts


An empty nest, a cooking class, an ornery neighbor, and fun-loving women who wanted to learn how to cook.

Brenda had an empty nest, nothing to do to pass the time, and a husband that didn't pay attention to her.

When Brenda happened upon Paula who was starting a business that was a cooking class, Brenda thought being a cooking teacher would be something good for her.

Brenda got into more than she bargained for, though. The class burned food and had to deal with a complaining neighbor who lived above the classroom, but luckily Brenda also met a wonderful group of women.

Virginia, the lady who lived above the classroom, always barged into the class and complained about noise and smells. The students didn't know what to make of her at first or how to handle her, but they figured they should try a little kindness. Did that work?

I laughed out loud and thoroughly enjoyed this book. It was witty, heartwarming, light, addressed family issues, and had a lovely ending.

A perfect book to boost your spirits and to give as a Christmas gift.

ENJOY!!! 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

Jamaica Inn by Daphne Du Maurier
 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Romantic, Dramatic
Jamaica Inn

Mary complied with her dying mother's wishes that she move in with her Aunt Patience. Little did Mary's mother know what that wish held for Mary.

Those wishes turned out to be very unpleasant for Mary. Mary had to endure her uncle's ?horribly ?mean disposition, his illegal activities, his mistreatment of Aunt Patience, and ?Mary's being pulled into it all.

Mary saw things at Jamaica Inn that she had never seen before. For one thing?, this Inn never had any guests ?except for unsavory characters.

The setting of JAMAICA INN is perfect for this gothic, dark story line. Ms. Du Maurier did it again with her detailed writing and pull-you-in tale. She keeps everything dark enough, subtle? ?enough, and interesting enough that even though you dislike what is going on and will definitely ?dislike ?Uncle Joss, you can't stop reading.

?I literally hated Uncle Joss because of his cruel, rude personality. I felt sorry for Aunt Patience because of her fear of Uncle Joss and her reluctance to leave. I feared for Mary's safety in this desolate, dreary place.

The book was a perfect Du Maurier book. The entire book was suspenseful, tense, and had a sinister tone.

JAMAICA INN is a book I would recommend to those who know Du Maurier's writing even though it took me this long to know the book was out there and to read it. :)

If you don't know Du Maurier's writing, you will want to.

Enjoy and read JAMAICA INN when you can. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

The Seafront Tearoom by Vanessa Greene
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun
The Seafront Tearoom


THE SEAFRONT TEAROOM is a cozy, comfy, sweet read.

Tea, cakes, love, and friendship are all a part of THE SEAFRONT TEAROOM.

We meet three women who start out as strangers and bond over tea, tea rooms, and personal situations.

Charlie works for a magazine that is currently reviewing tea rooms in Scarborough, England. Kat is a single mom who is a tea connoisseur and has a talent for writing. Seraphine is an au pair from France who helps with the tea room reviews.

I fell in love with the idea of visiting quaint, out-of-the-way tea rooms and meeting the owners.

? Ms. Greene's descriptions of the characters as well as the surroundings pulled me in and had me wanting to open a tea room and spend time with these characters. :)

THE SEAFRONT TEAROOM is filled with wonderful characters you would want to be friends with and tea room locations you will want to visit.

THE SEAFRONT TEAROOM is as inviting as the cover.

Read and enjoy!! 5/5

This book was given to me without compensation and free of charge in return for an honest review.?

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Optimistic, Interesting
The Readers of Broken Wheel Recommend

"This one's on me."

How many times would Sara hear that? She couldn't keep taking things for free ?and ?especially the rent.

Sara came to Broken Wheel, Iowa, ?from Sweden ?to meet her pen pal, Amy, but what she found when she arrived wasn't what she was expecting.

?She didn't find Amy but a town of friendly folks who loved Amy and who loved giving Sara things for free. They also offered Amy's house to Sara since Amy was no longer in Broken Wheel.

Sara was only there for two months on a visiting visa, but as she moved around the town and saw how there were so few stores and NO bookstore, she realized that Broken Wheel needed a bookstore.

Sara was determined to make the town of Broken Wheel a town of readers.

This book was a delightful read especially when books and authors I know were mentioned and love bloomed.

THE READERS OF BROKEN WHEEL is a gem and a book that is perfect for a change of pace as well as a treasure for any book lover.

I truly enjoyed the small town of Broken Wheel and its quirky, caring residents.

A favorite of 2015 for me. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

The Forgotten Room: A Novel by Karen White, Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig
 
Book Club Recommended
Pointless, Unconvincing, Confusing
The Forgotten Room

Three women, three generations?....what is their connection?

?Olive, Lucy, and Kate are the women. We learn about the?m in alternating chapters from 1892 to 1944 as the connection is hinted at it while we the reader try to figure out just how it all links together.

A house, a ruby necklace, a law firm, and an injured soldier start the connection and get the pieces together in this beautifully told story filled with love, loss, revenge, and secrets.

?The house belongs to the Pratt family where Olive worked as a housemaid in? 1892 and the housemaid that was forced to be painted by one of the Pratt's sons.

The ruby necklace is one that Kate's mother gave her but would never wear.

The law firm is where Lucy worked and where Lucy was trying to find out what she could about the Pratt house and Harry Pratt.

The injured soldier is mesmerized by Kate and said she looks exactly like someone he knew a long time ago.

I absolutely loved THE FORGOTTEN ROOM.

The three main characters were colorful, interesting, and perfectly portrayed the time period they were representing. Their connection is gradually revealed as each chapter adds more details to each woman's life and adds answers to how they are connected.

Ms. White, Ms. Williams, and Ms. Willig flawlessly combined their talents and put together a brilliant, intriguing, amazing book that has twists, secrets, and history.

THE FORGOTTEN ROOM is a book that historical fiction and women's fiction fans will devour.

Don’t miss reading THE FORGOTTEN ROOM. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Informative, Interesting
I'll See You In Paris

What was the intrigue and what was the secret about the book Annie always wanted to read but never did?

Why was her mother so evasive about that book?, The Missing Duchess,? and who was the Duchess of Marlborough?

Why did she and her mother really go to London?

Would the book and their trip to London reveal secrets in Annie's life?

?We follow Annie in present day and Pru, Win, and The Duchess (Mrs. Spencer) in the not so distant past.

Annie meets a British citizen who knew The Duchess, Pru?, and Win. Pru is the caregiver for the feisty Duchess. Win is the author who wrote the book about The Duchess who claims she really isn't a Duchess. Getting the story for his book was difficult for Win because The Duchess kept her life under wraps.

Annie gets the low down about all three characters from a British citizen, Gus, and she also trespasses into the house The Duchess lived in.

I enjoyed Annie's trips into the the house. I always love finding secrets and finding treasures from the past.

I enjoyed the back and forth in time and the "real time" story from Pru, The Duchess, and Win.

The characters in I'LL SEE YOU IN PARIS were quirky and fun. I loved The Duchess...she was a character.

I like this quote that was inside the book:

"Let us be grateful to the people who make us happy; they are the charming gardeners who make our souls blossom." Marcel Proust

I'LL SEE YOU IN PARIS was very light and enjoyable with memorable characters and was well researched. I love the cover and the revelations at the end.

I do have to say the book was a bit confusing at times, but it is oh so good and so very creative.

ENJOY!! 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Missing Pieces by Heather Gudenkauf
 
Book Club Recommended
Missing Pieces

Penny Gate, Iowa, sounded like such a serene place, but Sarah found out it definitely was far from serene when it came to her husband's family.

The Quinlans, and especially her husband, Jack, had many secrets about family accidents /murders that were 30 years apart. Sarah found out more about the secrets in the 24 hours she was in Penny Gate than she knew for the past 20 years of her marriage.

Sarah needed to know why Jack lied to her about how his parents died and answers to other secrets she found out he kept from her.

What brought Sarah and Jack back to Penny Gate after 20 years was an accident that his beloved Aunt Julia had that was similar to his mother's accident. Aunt Julia had raised Jack and his sister after his parents were gone.

Every hour Sarah and Jack spent in Penny Gate was an hour that added more questions and more secrets being revealed about Jack and his relatives. The revelations were not pleasant.

MISSING PIECES will have mystery lovers scratching their heads until the last pages as well as loving the intrigue.

Ms. Gudenkauf's detailed writing style and marvelous storyline made MISSING PIECES a book that was difficult to put down. I stayed up way into the night to finish it.

See if you can solve the mystery of the 30-year-old murder as well as the current one. The twists and turns along with the very suspenseful ending will have you on the edge of your seat and guessing until the end.

Don't miss reading MISSING PIECES. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Passenger by Lisa Lutz
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Adventurous, Addictive
The Passenger



Had Tanya? ?killed her husband or did she just happen upon him and panic about what to do?

After she found her husband dead at the bottom of the stairs, Tanya took off and met a bad-news bartender named Blue. After ?she met Blue, Tanya ?could be found running from city to city?, scanning the obituaries, visiting funeral homes, and stealing wallets and credit cards to get herself a new identity.

THE PASSENGER will keep you turning the pages as fast as Tanya moved from place to place and changed her identity...and that is quickly.? You will be guessing ?her story ?until the last page.?

I truly enjoyed THE PASSENGER. Tanya wasn't really likable just because and Blue was a bit scary. Both were very resourceful and crafty.

THE PASSENGER was clever and a book that will make you wonder what Tanya's real story is and how she does escape every situation.? Her escapades will have you on the edge of your seat.

Every time you turned the page a new twist and surprise was there to greet you.? As every review has said: "It was a "wild" ride" and a ride that I really enjoyed.

This is my first book by Ms. Lutz, but she definitely packs a book with intrigue, a terrific storyline, and interesting characters.

?Mystery lovers and lovers of psychological thrillers won't want to miss reading THE PASSENGER.

The book had me glued to the pages and had me wanting to know what Tanya would do next. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Boring, Informative
Flight of Dreams


?Could anyone have secrets on the Hindenburg with its size and carefully patrolled space?

It appeared that everyone had a personal secret, but one of the public secrets was the worry about a bomb threat.

The passengers had heard of a bomb threat, but it was down played.

Emilie, Max, Werner, Edward, and Leonhard and Getrude Adelt are the main storytellers. Emilie was the only female on board, Max was the navigator, Werner was the cabin boy, Edward was an American, and the Adelts are journalists.

FLIGHT OF DREAMS tells of the three-day flight of the Hindenburg and its fire on the third day as it neared its landing spot of Lakehurst, New Jersey.

We follow the days and nights of the passengers as the Hindenburg makes it way across the ocean at 600 feet and as it drops to 200 feet to make a mail drop in Cologne before heading out to the ocean.

Ms. Lawhon takes us into the private as well as public lives of the passengers and makes the three-day trip across the Atlantic both technical and personal. The skillful way Ms. Lawhon wove the personal stories of the characters with the technical aspect of the Hindenburg made FLIGHT OF DREAMS a captivating, intriguing, mysterious read.

Ms. Lawhon did marvelous research for her book?,? and the passengers were an interesting group.

I enjoyed Emilie and Max's connection and their love story.

Werner was my favorite simply because he was so young, so happy to be a crew member, and such a hard worker.

Edward, the American, seemed to be causing the most grief and seemed to be a bit evil.

The Adelts were an interesting couple simply because of their curiosity and wanting to find out facts like every good journalist does.

It was fascinating to me how the Hindenburg actually stayed in flight. It is a piece of history I had ?known of but never knew much about. I learned quite a bit about the Hindenburg from Ms. Lawhon's marvelous book and wanted to learn more. I found plenty of information about the Hindenburg itself, the flight, the crew, its passengers, and the crash.

Could one of the passengers purposely have caused the crash or was it a mechanical malfunction? Did historians really know what happened?

History buffs should definitely read FLIGHT OF DREAMS. 5/5?

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

In Another Life by Julie Christine Johnson
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting
In Another Life

Is Lia coming back to her roots?

Is Lia coming back to do research?

Is Lia coming back to France to try to heal her broken heart and find out more about how her husband died?

Is Lia coming back to find secrets she didn't know about people she trusted and people she shouldn't trust?

Lia Carrer probably came back to Languedoc because of all of those reasons and wasn't aware why she felt the need to return. She did know that being with her friend from college and her friend's family in beautiful, laid back Southern France was comforting.

A few of the people she found and things she saw were not comforting and hard to believe, though.

Could a few of these people have been reincarnated from 1208?

IN ANOTHER LIFE pulls you in with the detailed descriptions of the landscape and the beauty of Southern France and its vineyards.

We learn some history and bask in the love Lia finds as well as marvel at what Lia finds out about a centuries-old murder and her husband's death.

I am not sure if I can call this book historical fiction, women's fiction, or paranormal which I normally do not read. I am going to go with all three. I am not familiar with the historical part, but it was interesting to learn about this event.

The cover is gorgeous. the story line is good but confusing at times, and Ms. Johnson's writing flows beautifully and is very detailed. It is a marvelous debut novel in all aspects.

IN ANOTHER LIFE has love, mystery, murder, and history all rolled into one.

The blending of the two time periods and especially the book's ending is a bit chilling, but oh so good. 4/5

Black Rabbit Hall by Eve Chase
 
Book Club Recommended
Addictive
Black Rabbit Hall

What secrets does Black Rabbit Hall hold, and will Lorna find out what the secrets of the Alton family are as she explores the Alton's summer home?

Lorna is looking for a place for her wedding and is pulled toward Black Rabbit Hall. She has a feeling that it is somehow connected to her past.

Tragedies were plentiful at Black Rabbit Hall when the Altons lived there. Lauren's fiancé isn't comfortable about having their wedding there, but Lorna insists that there is some connection to her and her family, and she wants to find out and have her wedding there.

We learn about the Alton's family life at Black Rabbit Hall through flashbacks and then move forward to present day.

Toby, Amber, Kitty, and Barney told the story of Black Rabbit Hall....a story with great family dynamics.

Ms. Chase's descriptions are marvelous. You can put yourself into every scene of the story and clearly picture what is happening and carried out. I loved going back in time and seeing what was left behind in the kitchen and other areas of BLACK RABBIT HALL.

The old house definitely is a trove of memories and untold secrets and stories. You can smell the dust, see the family’s comings and goings, hear the water dripping from the leaky roof, and visualize the people who lived there.

BLACK RABBIT HALL was a family saga with hints of foreboding as you turned each page.

BLACK RABBIT HALL had marvelous characters that were loving and endearing and of course there was a villain who ruined it all.

I thoroughly enjoyed this book...an excellent debut. The only disappointment, which really isn't a disappointment, was when Ms. Chase left you hanging and waiting with something "juicy" at the end of a chapter and took you back to the past or from the past to the future. :)

ENJOY when you read....the ending was emotional, and the entire book is addicting!!

Loved the book. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Dramatic, Interesting, Informative
The Taxidermist's Daughter

Blackthorn House was a place you didn't want to visit.

Blackthorn House had the odd Gifford family living there.

Blackthorn House had secrets.

Connie Gifford and her father lived at Blackthorn House and were well known for their taxidermy, but no one ever came around any more for visits or taxidermy.

What had happened to make them outcasts? Was it because of their business? Was it because Connie had had an accident many years ago and sort of became a recluse? Was it because her father was quite odd and always would disappear? Or was it that Gifford and a select few had a secret?

There was something going on in the town that had people watching the Blackthorn House and holding secret meetings that resulted in the men of the town going missing, hiding, and worrying.

?As the book continues, we keep hearing about something that happened ten years ago that frightened the men in the town because of their involvement.?

THE TAXIDERMIST'S DAUGHTER had odd, mysterious characters and ?a ?dark undercurrent.? Some parts of the book are not for the faint of heart...pretty gruesome.?

It took a while to get interested, but the story line was well crafted and became good after a woman's body was found and the secrets kept for ten years began to be revealed.

The writing was very descriptive, and you could see the characters as they represented that time period no matter what their social class was.

I can’t say it was a favorite, but it did keep me interested by keeping me wondering what the secrets were. 3.5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Insightful, Interesting
Glory Over Everything


From James Pyke to James Burton.

?From the South to the North.

From a plantation to a home in Philadelphia.

James Pyke fled from the plantation to start a new life after he killed his abusive father. It wasn't an easy life, but James? ?managed to find a wealthy family with a silversmith business who took him in, adopted him, and taught him the trade.?

James became very successful with his father's silversmith business and quite prominent in society.

We follow James from his childhood to his adult life. He could never be happy no matter how wonderful his life had become because he always feared the secret he had would be exposed.

GLORY OVER EVERYTHING kept my interest even though it dragged a bit at times. Once the secret James had been keeping is revealed, the book heats up. The last quarter of the book is very suspenseful, and the book has a satisfying ending.

If you enjoy this time period in history, you will enjoy how Ms. Grissom put together a story line that will captivate you with a wonderful, emotionally packed sequel to THE KITCHEN HOUSE about life during the 1800's.

Enjoy!! 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher good return for an honest review.

Stars Over Sunset Boulevard by Susan Meissner
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Optimistic, Fun
Stars Over Sunset Boulevard

Violet, the Southern Belle, and Audry, the aspiring actress met by chance, became roommates, and worked at the same secretarial pool at Selznick International.

The stages of Gone With The Wind were the feature of the book along with Violet and Audry's personal lives.

STARS OVER SUNSET BOULEVARD has the glitter of Hollywood, the disappointments of Hollywood, behind-the-scenes fun, and the wonderful, amazing friendship between Violet and Audry.

I really enjoyed STARS OVER SUNSET BOULEVARD because of the warmth of the characters. It wasn't as much about Hollywood, as it was about friends, lives, and choices.

STARS OVER SUNSET BOULEVARD will enchant and delight all women's fiction fans and of course fans of Hollywood and Gone With the Wind.

Don't miss reading this beautifully written, touching book.

You will not be disappointed with the love and tenderness along with some jealousy that oozes off the pages with Violet and Audry's enduring friendship.

A lovely, heartwarming read that will have you thinking about your friendships.

ENJOY....I definitely did. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Interesting, Adventurous
The Secrets of Flight



THE SECRETS OF FLIGHT is filled with writers, readers, secrets, life’s lessons, and? laugh-out-loud situations.?

We meet 87-year-old Mrs. Browning also known as Miriam Lichtenstein who has a story that needs to be told and Elyse a 15-year old who helps record her story.

We learn about Mrs Browning's past through flashbacks and the story she has Elyse typing for her.

The two main characters were lovable and two people who would be wonderful to know. I am wondering if the characters were actual people in the author's life.

I enjoyed flashing back to Mrs. Brownings' life and seeing her excitement and experiences with flying as well as her personal life. I learned about The Fly Girls who were famous during WWII.

The friendship between Elyse and Mrs. Browning beautifully wove the story.

THE SECRETS OF FLIGHT is a well-researched, marvelous debut filled with vivid descriptions.

THE SECRETS OF FLIGHT took a few pages to get the gist of the story line, but it was funny, endearing, and a must read for historical fiction and women's fiction fans.

I enjoyed THE SECRETS OF FLIGHT and was anxious to get back to the book and to the characters.

ENJOY when you read the book. I did. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the author and publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Slow, Boring
Britt-Marie Was Here

Keeping up appearances but not being appreciated was Britt-Marie's life.?

Britt-Marie always ?worried ?what other?s? would think if something happened to her when they traveled and her hotel room was not in pristine order.

Britt-Marie was 63 and needed a job. If anyone would drive you crazy about a job or just about anything, it would be Britt-Marie. The only job the employment agency had for Britt-Marie was in a town called Borg, and the job was cleaning the recreation center.

Britt-Marie was appalled when Borg didn't have any Faxin for her cleaning routine. How could they not have Faxin? How can you get anything clean without it?

Britt-Marie has a germ and dirt aversion which is comically portrayed and makes you laugh out loud at her statements.

?Borg grows to love Britt-Marie, and Britt-Marie loves Borg and its residents.

BRITT-MARIE WAS HERE is a heartwarming, funny, enjoyable read.

I was delighted with this book from the first three-word sentence of the book, and the delight continued until the last page. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Other Widow: A Novel by Susan Crawford
 
Book Club Recommended
The Other Widow

Was it really an accident?

Who was the other person in the car with Joe?

Why was a million dollar insurance policy taken out not even a month before the accident?

We meet Joe, Samuel, Karen, Dorrie, ?Edward, ?and Maggie. Husbands and wives who were not faithful?, Joe's boss, and an insurance agent who used to be a policeman reviewing the life insurance policy.

?After Joe was killed in a car accident, the tension builds, the characters show their true colors, and secrets become revealed.

THE OTHER WIDOW is definitely a page turner with the reader questioning who might have been at fault for the accident and if the characters were as honest and upright as they made themselves appear especially Edward.

THE OTHER WIDOW kept me wondering what was up with the characters and how they played into each other's lives. As you follow the characters, you can't help but become more involved in the story line and their lives.

I really liked the book and had a difficult time putting it down. It was mystery and women's fiction rolled into one marvelous read.

The only puzzle not solved for me was the significance of the book's title, but the author cleared that up for me. See if you are clever enough to make the connection. :)

If you enjoy intrigue and family dynamics, don't miss reading THE OTHER WIDOW. Loved it. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

Wilde Lake: A Novel by Laura Lippman
 
Book Club Recommended
Wilde Lake


The famous Brandt family....could they do anything wrong or were they not able to because of their status? Or...did they do it anyway?

The Brandt family was made up of attorneys and secrets.? Lu and her brother AJ were eight years apart with Lu admiring AJ and his friends. The secrets kept all of those years of the night AJ saved someone's life along with another secret and how it affected their lives became apparent as the book continued.?

Wilde Lake tells the story through flashbacks.? The flashbacks allowed us into the Brandt family's history.?

Lu Brandt tells of her motherless childhood, how she admired her older brother, and of her adult life raising twins alone and being the ?first female state's attorney of Howard County, Maryland, trying a homeless man for murder.

?As this trial moved forward quickly and then ended quickly, things that had happened in the past slowly creeped up.?

WILDE LAKE seemed more of a family saga than a mystery. ?I enjoyed the characters even though they all were a bit socially awkward.

WILDE LAKE dragged a little at times because I kept waiting for the mystery.

I can’t say I didn’t like the book, but it took a while to get to the mystery, but it was worth the wait.

ENJOY when you read WILDE LAKE. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Inspiring, Optimistic
The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper


How could a charm bracelet stir up so many emotions and curiosity?

After Arthur's wife passed away and he was cleaning out her things, his discovery of a hidden charm bracelet had him curious about what each charm meant. He also wanted to know ?why he never saw Miriam wearing it and why she had it hidden ?in the toe of a boot.

This charm bracelet pulled him out of his hermit slump and onto adventures he never dreamed of as he traced where each charm came from and what their meaning was to Miriam. He had a few surprises.

Every adventure made him wonder what his wife's life was like before she met him. He couldn't stop searching for the meaning of each charm. These adventures also made him feel guilty he never took Miriam anywhere.

Arthur's finds and discussions with the people he met left him happier and more confident. He also was helping those he met come to grips with what they were dealing with.

Arthur was an ?absolutely endearing, charming, sweet character for me. I really enjoyed his antics and his thinking? and especially the adventures he took us on.? We traveled the globe with him. I wanted to know the answers about the charms too and loved sharing Arthur's days.

THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER is an adorable, enchanting, uplifting read. Be prepared to fall in love with Arthur Pepper.

?THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER has a very clever, enjoyable story line that gives you a nice cozy feeling. It felt like a big hug that you didn't want to end.

Give yourself a marvelous treat, and don't miss reading THE CURIOUS CHARMS OF ARTHUR PEPPER.

There aren't enough delightful words to describe this book. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Informative, Insightful, Interesting
So Close To Home


A very well written and thoroughly researched historical account of The Heredia that was bombed and sunk by the Germans in the Gulf of Mexico during World War II that had civilians on board.

Mr. Tougias and Ms O'Leary detailed the military aspects and described all scenes so vividly that you could feel the cold and dampness and the fear all crew members and the Downs family was experiencing as they escaped from the wreckage.

You could actually put yourself with the survivors as they clung to a small makeshift raft, feared the sharks, suffered sun burn, craved water and food, and prayed for rescue boats to arrive.

The technical aspect was a bit too much for me to absorb, but the human element added in made for an excellent read. If you are a military buff, SO CLOSE TO HOME will be a book you will want to read.

The personal aspect of the survivors, and especially the Downs family held my interest.

I normally do not read non-fiction, but I am glad I read this book. It is an event in history that I knew nothing about. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Blue Bath: A Novel by Mary Waters-Sayer
 
Book Club Recommended
The Blue Bath


Remodeling an old mansion, finding an old flame, ?having a very successful husband and young son, ?and dealing with it all.

THE BLUE BATH goes back and forth in time from when Kat was in Paris at art school, living with her lover, Daniel,? then to present day with her husband, her son, and the resurgence of her lover.

?Kat sees Daniel ?20 years later ?at the opening of a gallery with paintings of her ?that Daniel had done ?from when they were together. Would anyone recognize her in the paintings? Kat needed to escape the gallery and she did, but would it be as easy to escape the memories and Daniel himself?

What did all this mean for Kat?

Can what you do during your younger years haunt you later in life? This is a question Kat needed to consider since her life was definitely not what it was when she was young and in love in Paris.

THE BLUE BATH is a book that artists and art aficionados will enjoy and connect with.

THE BLUE BATH is for anyone who has experienced unending love?.?

THE BLUE BATH is for those readers who have been to London or Paris.

The characters were somewhat likable and some were definitely unlikable.

The story line was predictable, but overall THE BLUE BATH is a thoughtful, introspective book.

The book has marvelous description, and the author has a beautiful writing style. Ms. Waters-Sayer can vividly describe anything and pull you in.

The totally absorbing, gorgeous cover of THE BLUE BATH definitely pulled me in, but the story line needed a bit more pizzazz even though the book became quite intriguing as the ending neared.

ENJOY, and find out the significance of the cover. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

I Let You Go by Clare Mackintosh
 
Book Club Recommended
Addictive, Dramatic, Brilliant
I Let You Go


Two minutes sooner, two minutes later....it would have made a difference.

Two minutes sooner, two minutes later....it would have saved the horrible pain.

Two minutes sooner, two minutes later....it would have saved Jacob's life.

Two minutes sooner, two minutes later....it would have kept? ?J?acob's mother ?from seeing a car hit her son, kill her son, and see the driver run from the scene leaving her with this unending pain.

We meet Kate and Ray the detectives, Jenna who leaves Bristol after the accident, and a town in Wales where everyone would want to live and where Jenna goes.?

We learn about Jenna's life past and present, and we learn about the lives of the police detectives both personal and professionally. Jenna's past life was not a pleasant one.

I LET YOU GO takes off like a speeding train and doesn't stop with the suspense until the last page.

I LET YOU GO is a thriller ?with many twists and some unpleasant surprises and revelations. It addresses domestic abuse and its disastrous effects.

Most of the characters were believable and likeable, but one of them was definitely evil.? I flinched and feared for Jenna as she dealt with this evil character.

I never guessed the twist at the end.

Ms. Mackintosh wrote a brilliantly crafted, chilling debut that you won't want to put down.

Do not miss reading I LET YOU GO?, but be ready for some disturbing situations in this overall excellent thriller. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation from the publisher in return for an honest review.

Sister Dear by Laura McNeill
 
Book Club Recommended
Sister Dear


Two Sisters, one jealous sister, and a trail of unbelievable acts.

Could you really be that jealous of someone and have such a desire for revenge t?hat you would go to any lengths ?t?o ruin that person's life?

?We meet Allie as she is released from prison after? ?ten years for a crime she didn't commit, Emma, Allie's sister who raised Allie's daughter, and Caroline, Allie's 15-year-old daughter.

Allie was released from prison and returned to her home town in hopes of reconciling with her daughter, but all wasn't easy especially in the small town of Brunswick where the residents didn't forget what happened ten years ago and wouldn't change what they believed.

Allie knew she hadn't killed a man, but the jury and the town still accused her and shunned her.

Being a felon in her small, home town wasn't working out too well for Allie. Emma subtly and cruelly made things difficult for her sister and niece and would stop at nothing to keep Caroline as her own. Caroline was embarrassed to have anyone know her mother was out of prison and back in Brunswick.

All of the characters had a lot of baggage to deal with along with the jealousy factor that definitely did a lot of personal damage.

The characters in SISTER DEAR were for the most par?t ?not trustworthy.

Emma was a sister that I am glad was not mine.

The sheriff was not likable at all and definitely a ?sheriff who had some secrets.

I liked Allie and Caroline, though, because they seemed genuine.

SISTER DEAR is unmistakably a tension-building page turner that keeps your interest from the opening sentence.

Be sure you have a lot of time when you begin SISTER DEAR because you won’t be able to stop reading.

The last 20 pages became even more suspenseful...I was nervous. :) 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and Litfuse Publicity in return for an honest review.

Flight Patterns by Karen White
 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Fantastic, Dramatic
Flight Patterns

Georgia vowed she would never return home after she and her sister had words and parted ways ten years ago.

But....never say never. James, a client of Georgia's looking for a special Limoges China pattern changed it all because Georgia had to go home to look for a similar piece that she remembers her grandmother had, and James went with her.

FLIGHT PATTERNS pulled me in immediately with the marvelous writing style of Karen White and the interesting research done on Limoges China and beekeeping.

Learning about china patterns and the nature of bees couldn't have been more enjoyable.

I absolutely loved FLIGHT PATTERNS and enjoyed the characters.

Georgia was a bit aloof but likeable.

I was a bit perturbed with Maisey's negative attitude.

Becky was simply adorable, and Grandfather was wonderful.

Birdie was an odd, mysterious character.

James was every bit the gentleman and very likeable.

My favorite part was the mystery behind the connection between the Limoges soup cup and Georgia and Maisey's family and James' family.

FLIGHT PATTERNS is a beautiful book about family, reconnecting, and has the added bonus of a few family secrets. The secrets are quite good. :)

The beekeeper's quotes at the head of each chapter were thoughtful and interesting, and the inspiring quotes throughout the book were marvelous.

Another lovely, enjoyable, memorable read that won't disappoint fans of Karen White and women's fiction.

Do not miss reading FLIGHT PATTERNS. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for a honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
The Girls In The Garden

Moving into a garden park community after their beautiful home was burned down definitely was a change for Pip and Grace as well as their mother Clare.

They lost everything in the fire and had to start from scratch. They also lost their father but not to the fire.

The park and specifically its residents were quite odd. The main characters were teenagers who could run free and do whatever they wanted in their park gardens.

There are a lot of present and past secrets hiding among the residents that keep up the intrigue from the first few sentences that tell of a young girl found in the bushes either unconscious or dead.?

THE GIRLS IN THE GARDEN was more about the characters and their personalities rather than having a plot. It was quite an unconventional book but the oddity of the book is what kept me reading.

Pip was my favorite character. She tried to stay away from the "gang" and not participate in all the bizarre happenings of the teenagers. A few of the adults were definitely different too and seemed to have the biggest secrets.

If you enjoy a different read with different characters along with a bit of a mystery, THE GIRLS IN THE GARDEN is definitely a read you will enjoy.

The book's suspense and the guessing who caused the young girl to be found in the bushes was non-stop until the last word on the last page. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Liar Liar


Four separate, deadly fires all within two days' time?. Was it one person or was it a team? The police department was baffled.

Each fire was planned and carefully calculated with deaths occurring in three? of the four fires and the horrible terror that accompanies the thoughts of how each person died?.

The arsonist was elusive and clever,? and the police force ?wasn't able to apprehend who did it or find similarities when it came to who and why that specific house was chosen as the target?. Helen Grace, top police woman, ?was always top-notch at her job, but nothing good was happening with this case.

LIAR, LIAR is the first book I have read by M. J. Arlidge and ?I ?enjoyed the brief chapters, the characters, and the tension that built as the book continued. ?M. J. Arlidge skillfully worded each sentence and situation and made the fear? and frustration? caused by the fires very real?.?
? ?
LIAR, LIAR was ?an anxious, edgy, non-stop read simply because of the frightening subject?. ?Every time I thought I knew who the arsonist was, I was wrong.?

Reading LIAR, LIAR would be best during the day?light hours. The ending is outstanding, and quite a surprise.

You will also find out the meaning of the title, which had me puzzled until the end.

ENJOY!! 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Memory of Lemon by Judith Fertig
 
Book Club Recommended
Romantic, Fun, Interesting
The Memory of Lemon


Neely is back, and her bakeshop is a pleasant, delicious, heartwarming way to spend an evening of reading.

The smells, the visuals of the baked goods, and the taste of everything Ms. Fertig describes makes your mouth water.

THE MEMORY OF LEMON begins with a difficult bride who can't decide on her wedding cake flavor and venue. Neely just can't "taste" her personality and choose the perfect flavor for the bride. There is something familiar for Neely about the venue the bride chooses, but she can't place it.

THE MEMORY OF LEMON has familiar characters and brings the warmth of the characters back as we share Neely's life as a baker who knows what flavor cake and icing you are, as a woman getting a divorce, as a woman who is in charge of carrying for her grandmother, as a woman whose father wants to reconnect after 20 years, and as a woman who wants to reconnect with her childhood sweetheart.

I enjoyed reconnecting with the characters. The book can be read as a stand alone, though.

THE MEMORY OF LEMON is another sweet read but also a read that has some not-so-sweet aspects for Neely.

ENJOY when you read THE MEMORY OF LEMON.

My not-perfect rating is because the flashbacks were a bit confusing. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

A Certain Age: A Novel by Beatriz Williams
 
Book Club Recommended
Confusing, Interesting, Addictive
A Certain Aghe


Falling in love with a younger man while you are still married and then having a younger woman come along wasn't the best thing to happen to Mrs. Theresa Marshall.

A CERTAIN AGE began with an excerpt from a murder trial then moved to alternating chapters and told of the life of high society and how they adapted social protocol to whatever they wanted.

We follow Mrs. Marshall, Mr. Marshall, Captain Rofrano, and Miss Fortescue in the scandalous antics they were all involved in. Decisions had to be made and?? Sophie Fortescue had the most difficult decision, even though her father was the one that would be making the decision about who she was to marry.

Ms. Williams again perfectly portrays the time period and how women in wealthy families really didn't have a choice about choosing their spouse. After the marriage proposal was made, an investigation into the Fortescue family adds another layer to the book. The Fortescues are not who they say they are, and a house that Mr. Rofrano grew up in was part of their secret.

Once the secret was revealed and Sophie Fortescue was more outspoken, the book heated up with an ending that was oh so good with an unexpected twist.

I enjoyed the characters, but Mrs. Marshall and Mr. Fortescue were my least favorites. Mr. Fortescue was too controlling, and Mrs. Marshall was too sneaky for me.

A CERTAIN AGE was beautifully written as all of Ms. Williams’ books even though it took me a while to get connected, but it was still enjoyable.

The book's cover is stunning, and the book is patterned after an opera titled Der Rosenkavalie.

ENJOY if you read A CERTAIN AGE. 4/5

Since She Went Away by David Bell
 
Book Club Recommended
Since She Went Away


Jenna lives with worry and heartache since she feels responsible for the disappearance of her friend, Celia.

They were to meet, but Jenna was delayed as usual, and when Jenna did arrive at their arranged meeting place, Celia wasn't there and was no where to be found. Three months later, she was still missing.

?Secrets and clues kept popping up, but led to dead ends for the most part. Besides Jenna being completely involved in the first disappearance, her son had a girlfriend who then disappears and might have a connection.? What the connection may have been or if there really was one added intrigue.

SINCE SHE WENT AWAY is the first book I have read by Mr. Bell. His writing easily flows and pulls you along. The characters could easily be going through some of the problems they are encountering in real life.?? Social issues were addressed as well as the problem of “who done it” and “where are they.”

SINCE SHE WENT AWAY? was a tense read with characters that were believable as well as shady and scary. It was difficult to decide who you could trust and whose story to believe.

The ending had a good twist with hints that led me down the wrong path as I read.

ENJOY if you read SINCE SHE WENT AWAY. It is a well-written page turner that has you finishing the book before you know it. 5/5

?I received this book free of charge and without compensation from the publisher in return for an honest review.?

Radio Girls by Sarah-Jane Stratford
 
Book Club Recommended
Slow, Fun, Boring
Radio Girls

Before the Internet and cell phones.

Before women were seen as being more than secretar?ies?.

RADIO GIRLS takes us back to the ?era of the ?wireless ?radio ?and the BBC.? Loved the history.?? Loved learning about the development of radio, the shows, and hearing that some listeners were afraid of the wireless.?

The time period is authentically portrayed?, and Hilda Matheson, a real historical figure, is ?one of the main characters. Hilda Matheson was The Director of Talks at the BBC and always had very interesting people on her show.

Maisie was ?another main character and also ?a terrific character. I enjoyed ?h?er spunk and how she ?carried out her harried?, but enjoyable? job every day?.

?RADIO GIRLS was a pleasant, educational read.? The cover is quite charming and drew me in immediately.

Anyone who enjoys the era between WWI and WWII and sharing the lives of women and their fashionable clothing and lifestyles will thoroughly enjoy RADIO GIRLS. All the glitz and glamour of the era shines through as you learn the history of the BBC. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Graphic, Dramatic, Addictive
All Is Not Forgotten


A small town, a perfect town, a town with secrets, and a town with the not so perfect residents they think they are.

The night Jenny Kramer is attacked is the night that the town gets turned upside down along with her fami?ly. Jenny's father is obsessed with finding her attacker, and the town can't believe something like this could happen in Fairview, Connecticut.

The horrible attack on Jenny brought about a decision her parents ?had to make concerning a drug that would erase Jenny's complete memory of the attack.

Mr. and Mrs. Kramer were at odds about the drug, but they did agree to go ahead with the treatment.

Along with the treatment comes a psychiatrist, Dr. Forrester, who administered the treatment as well as the doctor who provided therapy for the entire family.

The author definitely expands the reader's knowledge about psychiatric therapy? as Dr. Forrester interviews Jenny, her family, and a character named Sean.

?We the reader follow the investigation and question who really is the attacker.

ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN is a powerful, amazingly written read. The story line is highly developed, carried out in an organized fashion, and gives the reader a lot to think about.

You will be frustrated at first because you don't know who the narrator is, but it becomes apparent and is revealed a few chapters in.?

By chapter 18 you will be biting your fingernails and be on the edge of your seat with the suspense, possible findings, and seeing how cunning and evil some of the characters are.?

Reading ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN? was a definite treat on an intellectual leve?l, ?and the approach to the book's subject was unique.

ALL IS NOT FORGOTTEN was a tense, stay-with-you psychological thriller and will make you wonder if folks are really who they appear to be. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

The Lost Girls: A Novel by Heather Young
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Gloomy, Dark
The Lost Girls


Inheriting a house she had only lived in for one summer of her childhood seemed to be a way out of her current situation? for Justine and her daughters.

Arriving at the house that Aunt Lucy left her was not what Justine had expected. The house was run down and no where close to anything but some odd neighbors.

Aunt Lucy??'s? sister ?who ?had disappeared at the age of six and was never found was the main focus of the book? along with the emotional lives of each character.

THE LOST GIRLS was a family saga that had chapters about the lives of the three sisters, Lilith, Lucy, Emily, and Justine both past and present. The Evans women lived unhappy lives which carried on from one generation to the next.

The father of Lilith, Lucy, and Emily was a bit disturbing. He was odd and strict. The girls were different but interesting. Justine and her daughters followed suit.

I enjoyed THE LOST GIRLS despite the gloomy feeling that seemed to overshadow everyone. Ms. Young has a marvelous, descriptive writing style that helped you understand and connect with each character and each situation.? Her writing just pulled you into the story.

If you enjoy a bit of family drama as well as secrets and mysteries, you will enjoy THE LOST GIRLS. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.?

After Anna by Alex Lake
 
Book Club Recommended
After Anna



A parents' worst nightmare....four little words: "Your Child Is Missing."

Anna disappeared ?without a trace ?a?s ?school was being let out ?for the day.

?Anna's mother, Julia, was late picking her up and blamed herself. She and other family members were hoping that another family member had picked her up. Well....someone did pick her up, but they never brought her home.

Anna was missing for a week, and then surprisingly returned. Very strange in a kidnapping case, but she was safe and unharmed. But was she and were other family members really safe in such an odd turn of events?

AFTER ANNA had me on the edge of my seat as the kidnapper narrated what was happening and as we flashed back to the ongoing police investigation and daily lives of the characters.

AFTER ANNA is a must read for anyone who loves thrillers, chilling situations, a unique story line, and an evil, manipulating villain.

Mr. Lake did a marvelous job of keeping me guessing even though a few folks said they guessed right away who the kidnapper was.

I would consider this one of the top thrillers I have read this year. As I neared the end, I couldn't turn the pages fast enough to see the outcome.

ENJOY if you read AFTER ANNA. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
The House Between Tides

From 1910 to 2010, The ?I?sle of Skye, inherited castles, and human bones.

THE HOUSE BETWEEN TIDES takes us back to 1910 when Theo and Beatrice Blake spent their summers in Muirlan House in the Outer Hebrides of Scotland and then to present day when Hetty inherits the ruins of the house with hopes of turning it into a hotel.

Theo and Beatrice Blake didn't do too much to make Muirlan House a home? so when Hetty arrived to see her inheritance many years? later?, she was taken by surprise to see it in ruins and more surprised to find bones buried under the rotting floorboards.

THE HOUSE BETWEEN TIDES was a lovely read for me especially because of the setting. I enjoyed going back and forth in time to see how the characters lived then and how they lived now.

The characters themselves were interesting because of the jobs they had on the estate in 1910 and present-day Hetty who really had no clue how to live in this remote area with peat as the heating source, the constant rain, and having to be mindful of the tides.

The connection Hetty had to her ancestral family was not very strong, but strong and interesting enough to want to find things out about the family's history. And what a history it is. All she has for information, though, are photographs, paintings, a few letters, and the ruins of Muirlan House. Will these bits of evidence reveal the answers to whose bones were found as well as the mystery of who Theo Blake was and what his connection is to the girl in his earlier photos?

THE HOUSE BETWEEN TIDES is a very captivating read. The detailed, marvelous descriptions of the life and the setting are wonderful. You could just feel yourself at the social gatherings, feel the rain, feel the tension between characters, and feel the dreariness of the landscape.

If you enjoy traveling back and forth in time, mysteries, finding old letters, love affairs, and figuring out family connections, you will love THE HOUSE BETWEEN TIDES.

We also can’t forget that alluring, eerie, pull-you-in cover. It definitely sets the stage for the book.

ENJOY if you read THE HOUSE BETWEEN TIDES. A marvelous summer read or any-time-of-the-year read. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Behind Closed Doors by B. A. Paris
 
Book Club Recommended
Addictive, Scary, Dramatic
Behind Closed Doors


Jack Angel..... what a gentle name, but what a terrifying person.

Jack and Grace have what appears to be the perfect marriage and Grace the perfect life not having to work, painting, cooking perfect meals, and having perfect dinner parties. All is not what it appears, though.

Ms. Paris takes the reader on a terrifying ride with the three main characters....Grace, Jack, and Millie.

She has a writing style that draws you in and makes the characters and situations very real.

Ms. Paris is so good I could just feel something was wrong the minute Grace met charming, dashing, wealthy Jack. I was extremely frightened for Grace as I was reading and feared for her every time Jack had planned one of his horrific deeds.

I couldn't believe someone could be as evil as Jack.

If you truly want to hate a character, Jack is your man.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS was quite intense and had such an extremely scary plot that you won't be able to read it except in broad daylight.

BEHIND CLOSED DOORS is a chilling nightmare, but also a must read. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

Watching Edie by Camilla Way
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Dark, Addictive
Watching Edie


Heather and Edie. Friends since high school but total opposites.

Heather was the studious, compliant one. Edie was not interested in school and was rebellious.

Heather and Edie met in high school and went their separate ways, but did they?

Heather showed up at Edie's flat many years later and noticed that Edie was pregnant, but Edie sent her away. Edie wonders how Heather found her and if Heather had been watching her for years.

After Edie's daughter is born, Heather appears again but Edie let her stay this time to take care of the baby because she couldn't handle her new responsibility. Both girls came from unstable families.

Ms. Way was masterful in her organization of the book and also kept me on edge the entire time I was reading. You never knew what Heather was going to do, and you feared for Edie as well as feared for Heather herself.

The theme and mystery of what happened that tore the friends apart was quite cleverly weaved into the story and kept from the reader until the very end. I do have to say that I really didn't like either of the main characters. They both made terrible choices in their lives.

I actually was fearful about many of the situations they involved themselves in. Most of the situations were unsafe and poor choices on the part of the characters, and these choices had me nervously turning the pages.

Ms. Way addressed many social issues such as drinking by teenagers, drug abuse, domestic abuse, and mental illness.

I wasn't sure at first if I was going to like the book because the characters definitely led risky lives and made me nervous. I didn't put the book down, though, because I wanted to know what became of the two main characters.

WATCHING EDIE definitely is a tense, but a well-written debut. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Karolina's Twins


Re-telling your nightmare of living in occupied Poland during WWII would stir up emotions that I would want to forget, but Lena Scheinman Woodward wanted it told.

Lena Woodward lived in Poland during the holocaust, lost her entire family, but did find her best friend, Karolina, in the factory where they were required to work and make coats for the Germans.

We are there as Lena tells of her experiences to an attorney and private investigator in hopes of getting the help she needs to fulfill the promise she made to her friend Karolina to find her twins.

Lena Woodard made a promise to her friend 70 years ago, and now at the age of 89 decided to tell her story and to try to find Karolina's children that sadly had to be abandoned because of the situation they were in.

When Lena's son finds out she is telling her story, he causes problems because he is worried about his inheritance being taken by the attorney and the investigator even though he indicates his concern is only with his mother's welfare.

As Lena's story unfolded for her attorney, Catherine, we re-lived with her the terror and atrocities committed by the Nazis, and we learned that there was a secret Lena had been keeping for 70 years.

Lena and Catherine were two characters I loved. They were strong, determined women. Liam was fun. Arthur, Lena's son, was not pleasant. I truly enjoyed the interaction of the characters both present day and past as Lena told her story.

KAROLINA'S TWINS flowed very nicely, and was another well-researched book by Mr. Balson. Mr. Balson has a marvelous writing style and a knack for keeping readers interested by combining facts with human interest.

Mr. Balson indicated that his book is fiction, but it is similar to the life of Fay Scharf Waldman whom he met after writing his first book.

World War II buffs will add yet another layer to their interest and desire to learn the truth. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Tahoe Dark

Familiar characters we love, more murders than you care to hear of, but as always Owen McKenna has everything covered.

Todd Borg's latest, marvelous thriller, TAHOE DARK, includes a kidnapping, a murder of the father of the kidnapped son, a robbery of an armored truck, and old grudges coming to the surface.

TAHOE DARK is packed with action and twists. The surprises just keep on coming, and Owen keeps on resolving them.

TAHOE DARK continues the tradition of Todd Borg's excellence with his wonderful descriptions and plot lines. You think the characters have had enough, and then along comes a situation that is somehow connected to the previous one. The action doesn't stop, and it all smoothly flows and connects.

?The ending comes crashing in with the final scene being another Todd Borg masterpiece.

Give yourself a treat and read a TAHOE book. ENJOY when you do. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the author in return for an honest review.

The Velvet Hours by Alyson Richman
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Romantic, Beautiful
The Velvet Hours


From 1898 to 1940 we meet Solange and Marthe de Florian.

Solange is the granddaughter of Marthe and the grandmother Solange never knew existed until she was nineteen years old.

Solange's father never knew Marthe was his birth mother until he was eighteen and kept Marthe from Solange until Solange's mother had passed away.

The meeting of the two women allowed Solange to learn of her grandmother's life and legacy in an apartment filled with collected treasures and the traces of men Marthe had collected during her lifetime.

I really enjoyed getting to know Marthe and Solange as Marthe told her life story to her granddaughter. What a treat it must have been for Solange to listen to the story. Marthe's life was one that went from poverty to living a luxurious life paid for by Charles and other men.

THE VELVET HOURS was enticing, sensual, and exceptionally interesting since it was based on the real life of Marthe.

?I truly enjoyed the book and recommend THE VELVET HOURS for historical fiction fans. Ms. Richman's writing and research are absolutely marvelous.

Don't forget to search for photos of Marthe's apartment and her famous portrait? by ?artist, ?Giovanni Boldini.

It is totally amazing to me how the apartment and its contents made it through WWII without being ransacked or destroyed and that no one entered it for 70 years.

ENJOY when you read THE VELVET HOURS. ?

I hope you fall in love with Marthe's story as I did. ?5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
The Confectioner's Tale

A chance encounter, a patisserie, back and forth in time, and secrets that will keep you turning the pages.

We meet Guillaume du Frere in 1910 who started out as a railway man, met the daughter of the owner of a patisserie, and then saved her life. Saving her life took Guillaume away from the difficult railway work and into the sweet, hard-working life in a patisserie.

We meet Petra in 1988 who is writing a thesis and stumbles upon the files of her grandfather who has a secret that is well hidden but a secret that she wants to uncover.

THE CONFECTIONER'S TALE was a fun, breezy read for me even though it took a few chapters to get going.

I enjoyed the characters, the time travel, the delicious pastries, the mystery? of what her grandfather had done, the love story, and a few other secrets.


Ms. Madeleine's writing draws you in, puts you in Paris 1910, makes your mouth water at the mention of the sweets, and seamlessly takes you to 1988 as you try to put together the pieces along with Petra to solve the mystery of what the words "Forgive Me" meant and what they had to do with her grandfather and his secret.

The beautiful cover adds to the sweetness of the love story as well as the intrigue of THE CONFECTIONER'S TALE.

ENJOY when you read THE CONFECTIONER'S TALE. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

Letters from Paris by Juliet Blackwell
 
Book Club Recommended
Letters From Paris


I fell in love with L?ETTERS FROM PARIS the minute Claire walked into the warmth of her childhood home as she returned to take care of her dying grandmother.

Claire had left Louisiana right after college for a high-paying job in Chicago, but returned because her grandmother needed her. While Claire was ?in Louisiana, she found a treasure in the attic that she remembered from her youth and a treasure that her grandmother suggested had a secret that Claire may find the answer to if she went to Paris.

Claire wasn't sure what she would find but complied with her dying grandmother's wishes and left for Paris.

Claire found more than the secret of the mask when she arrived. What else is there an abundance of in Paris? Love, of course.?

As for her mission, Claire found a mask creator in Paris who made copies of “L’Inconnue”? - The Unknown Woman?, obtained a temporary job there, and learned how to sculpt while learning the ?mask's story and about the family ???legacy behind ?he mask.

Meanwhile LETTERS FROM PARIS takes us back to the life of the model for the mask and her tragic, difficult life.? The tragedy and story of "LInconue" was well known in France and was part? of many French households.

Ms. Blackwell did another marvelous job of taking you to Paris and experiencing the life there. I enjoyed Claire's adventures and loved the description of the market and the delicious, mouth-watering meals made by the French people.?

Being taken to Paris and its countryside through Ms. Blackwell's descriptions was a marvelous treat. I would have loved to join in the fun at the gorgeous family estate. A family anyone would love to be a part of.

LETTERS FROM PARIS left me with a warm, cozy feeling because it was filled with history, family, Paris, love, and was simply a lovely read.

ENJOY!! 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review

News of the World: A Novel by Paulette Jiles
 
Book Club Recommended
Adventurous, Interesting, Informative
News Of The World


Captain Kidd had experience traveling uncharted lands as he read his newspapers in different towns to spread the news of the world, but traveling with a ten-year-old girl who couldn't speak English was quite a different task for him.

Johanna had been kidnapped by the Kiowa Indians after her family was killed in a raid, but Johanna was now released and needed to be returned to her aunt and uncle. She didn't know who they were, and they didn't know her.

NEWS OF THE WORLD flows beautifully as we follow Captain Kidd and Johanna on their 400-mile journey that Captain Kidd regretfully had accepted. He had to deal with no language communication except for a few words and sign language as well as Johanna's numerous attempts to escape.

NEWS OF THE WORLD was an enjoyable read because the writing was marvelous, the story line was interesting, and the characters were authentic and likable. ?Johanna grew on you. ??Mrs. Gannet was charming. Captain Kidd was a perfect gentleman, a wonderful father, and an all-around good guy.?

I enjoyed the historical aspect of how there were folks who went from town to town reading the news. ?I loved the descriptions of the undeveloped country and am happy I didn't live back then. It was difficult to imagine there were no paved roads.? We readers even get to be in the middle of a gun fight.

NEWS OF THE WORLD is filled with beautiful, descriptive writing that pulls you in I truly enjoyed NEWS OF THE WORLD mainly because of the characters and definitely the warmth and kindness of Captain Kidd.

If you need a quick, enjoyable, heartwarming read, NEWS OF THE WORLD fits the bill along with a history lesson. 4/5

This book was giv?en to me free of charge and without compensation from the publisher in return for an honest review.?

 
Book Club Recommended
The Girl In The Castle


Kitty was nine.

Kitty was ignored by her mother.

Kitty was friends with a servant.

Kitty had a very harsh governess.

Kitty could see her dead ancestor in the castle tower, and no one believed her.

Poor Kitty Deverill had a lot to deal with at her young age, but she was spunky, delightful, and resilient.

Kitty was a character I really enjoyed, and THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE was a book I really enjoyed..

?THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE is set around 1910 and ?lets us into? ?the ?lives of aristocrats and the lives of servants in a castle.

?I enjoyed the talk of life in both worlds and the Deverill family.?

THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE also addressed the issue of Ireland and the British during the fight for Irish liberty. That part of history was interesting, but I liked the family saga better.

The personal side of the lives of the characters intrigued me. THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE was a fun, informative read with unforgettable characters.

?Ms. Montefiore's writing is exquisite and detailed easily allowing the reader to step into every situation ?with the characters.

ENJOY if you read THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE. The book became better and better as I turned each page.

You will fall in love with the characters and wish you could join in the family fun at the castle in Ireland and in their homes in London.

The gorgeous cover pulls you in along with the marvelous story line.

I am looking forward to Ms. Montefiore's sequels to THE GIRL IN THE CASTLE. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.

Love, Alice by Barbara Davis
 
Book Club Recommended
Love, Alice


Dovie spent her lunch hours in the cemetery every day since her fiancee committed suicide. Dovie hoped she would find out why William would kill himself a few weeks before their wedding.

The cemetery didn't tell her much, but she did befriend the caretaker?? of the cemetery?, Josiah?, as well as come across ?Dora who was grieving the death of her daughter, Alice.

Dovie didn't find relief from her ?own grieving, but she did find Alice and Dora's story? very? interesting. Alice was connected to a powerful, wealthy family in town, and had been buried in the family's plot.? ?That in itself caused Dovie's curiosity to peak and to want to ?know more.

?When Dovie finds letters that had been left and written by Alice, a definite connection between the letters?, Dora, and the Tate family comes to light.

LOVE, ALICE goes back and forth in time using letters written by Alice, facts about the Tate family,? and Alice's mother to help reveal the secrets of Dora's grief.?

I always enjoy books that go back in forth in time and especially when the mystery is revealed through letters or some other unique ?way.

?I enjoyed Dovie and Dora's friendship and the determination Dovie had to find out the truth. The Tate family was a bit mysterious with Mrs. Tate being pleasant but secretive and her son being closed mouth and a bit unpleasant at times. Dovie knew some secret was kept by the Tate's, and she wanted to know what it was.

LOVE, ALICE grabbed me from the first page because of Ms. Davis' marvelous skill of storytelling and ?descriptive writing.

Ms. Davis’ books are books I don’t want to end simply because of the characters, the setting, and definitely the story line.

LOVE, ALICE is another heartwarming book by Ms. Davis about family, about love, about the love between mother and child, and about choices with characters that you would want to know and spend time with and a town you would want to live in.

This is going to be my favorite of her books even though I loved every book Ms. Davis has written. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and author in return for an honest review.

Stalked (The Profiler) by Elizabeth Heiter
 
Book Club Recommended
Stalked


STALKED had many layers and many secrets, and ?most of them were deadly.

Kidnappings, disappearances, questionable police officers, accidents involving the police involved in the case, human trafficking, and barely a clue about anything or any connection that could be found.

?STALKED was an intense but very good read.

STALKED focused on the investigation of a teenager who disappeared and led to many other issues and many suspects along with the questions of why and how.

The writing style of Ms. Heiter is smooth, detailed, and makes the story come alive and seem real.

If suspense, character banter, behind-the-scenes police work, on-site police work, interviewing suspects by FBI and local officers, and a good who-done-it are things that intrigue you, then STALKED is a book you will want to read.

ENJOY if you read STALKED. 4/4

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Two Days Gone



Author and loving family man turned murderer?

Thomas Houston loved his family, his job, teaching, and writing his novels. What made him kill his entire family on a Saturday night?

No one and especially his ?State Trooper friend, DeMarco, can believe he did it, but everything points to Thomas. The missing knife and the missing Thomas himself were strong clues but difficult to believe.

Mr. Silvis keeps you guessing? as we follow Thomas as he struggles with this nightmare and as he is running and hiding.

We also follow State Trooper DeMarco as he questions suspects and people who knew Thomas as well as his questioning whether or not Thomas really did kill his entire family.

TWO DAYS GONE has marvelous, descriptive writing that allows you to feel Thomas' physical pain as he is on the run and his emotional pain at the thought of his beautiful family being gone.

Trooper DeMarco's investigation was relentless, oh so good, and impressively described.

Mr. Silvis definitely knows how to tell a terrific story that has extraordinary, believable characters.

This was the first book I read by Mr. Silvis, and I thoroughly enjoyed TWO DAYS GONE.

The book kept spinning and spiraling into better and better as it became more frightening and more tense leaving the reader with an awesome finish.

ENJOY if you read TWO DAYS GONE. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Leopard at the Door by Jennifer McVeigh
 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Interesting, Informative
Leopard At The Door


Can you really ?come back home? Is it always the same or always changed?

Rachel was returning to her childhood home after being in England for six years and living with her maternal grandparents for schooling after her mother had passed away.

Rachel always loved her home in Africa, but coming back didn't seem like the right choice after she met her father's live-in companion, Sara, and with all the upheaval ?and Mau Mau Rebellion. Sara was not like her sweet, caring mother, and Rachel didn't agree with her father's plan to move all the people who lived and worked on their land to reserves.

We follow Rachel as she fights with her own thoughts about what is right and what is wrong since she returned.

Ms. McVeigh's ?exquisite, vivid? descriptions of the land and its people of Africa draw you into the book ?as you are mesmerized ?by the lifestyle and landscape. Her research is marvelous.?

The historical aspect was frightening and quite tense as the book neared its ending. The personal life of Rachel took a turn at the end making me think about how life really does change and wondering if life is ever the same after circumstances fill one's life.

?LEOPARD AT THE DOOR is a story of love, secrets, and believing in your decisions and standing by them. Rachel has a secret that she has kept since her childhood and worries what will happen to her and the person the secret is about if the secret is found out.

LEOPARD AT THE DOOR is a powerful, beautifully crafted book ?that will stay with you and have you looking up facts about the Mau Mau Rebellion.

LEOPARD AT THE DOOR is recommended for anyone who enjoys a book that pulls at your heart strings, teaches you history, has extraordinary detail, and loves a writing style that is thoroughly absorbing and impeccable. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Traveling Light by Lynne Branard
 
Book Club Recommended
Fun, Inspiring
Traveling Light


Winning the bid for an unclaimed storage unit wasn't Alissa's favorite prize, but what she found inside actually changed her life.

Alissa works for a local newspaper in North Carolina owned by her father and impulsively decides that she is going to take a road trip to New Mexico to return Roger Hart's ashes that were in the storage unit to his family.

Alissa begins her journey with the ashes and her dog. When she stops at a restaurant and meets Blossom, her road trip and her life have an added passenger and some added changes.

TRAVELING LIGHT is a sweet, lighthearted read and a read that will make you think about your own life and decisions you make and have made.

I enjoyed Alissa because she was a good person, and I really enjoyed Blossom. Blossom had the perfect name because she just brightened up any place she was and helped Alissa see her life in a different perspective.

TRAVELING LIGHT is a book to read when you need to be uplifted, when you need to hear good comments about mankind, and when you just need a change of pace that comes with beautiful, descriptive writing and marvelous characters.

Enjoy TRAVELING LIGHT if you read it. It even has some sweet romances included. :) 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Things We Have in Common by Tasha Kavanagh
 
Book Club Recommended
Things We Have In Common


We meet Yasmin, Alice, and a man that Yasmin sees lurking ?at school and around town ?and who she thinks is going to abduct Alice.

Yasmin is a misfit and tries to win Alice's friendship at all costs.? Alice is a popular girl at school. The supposed abductor's name is Samuel and is very odd.?

When Yasmin actually meets ?Samuel, she sees him in a different light and wants to spend time with him and his dog, Bea.

I felt bad for Yasmin just because of how she worked so hard to befriend her classmates and ?Samuel ?and how she didn't even fit in at home.

Alice and her friends were quite mean to Yasmin and made it difficult to understand why she tried so hard to get their attention.

THINGS WE HAVE IN COMMON is written with Yasmin speaking to? ?Samuel ?even when she isn't with him. That? was? a bit? odd and a bit confusing??.

When ?Alice does go missing?, Yasmin continues to befriend Samuel even though someone else has been accused of the abduction, and Yasmin won’t mention Samuel to the police. She seems to have some obsession with him and wants to protect him.

THINGS WE HAVE IN COMMON was very different to the point of ?being ?extremely odd? and something I normally do not read?, but ?it is? well written and kept my interest because I wanted to find out what really was going on.

The ending was just as interesting as the rest of book and carried the same oddity along with Yasmin who will continue to haunt you even after you turn the last page.

Even though THINGS WE HAVE IN COMMON was not a normal read for me, my rating is a 4/5 because of the different writing style and the creativity needed to carry out the plot.?

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Stolen Beauty: A Novel by Laurie Lico Albanese
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Informative
Stolen Beauty


Love, war, and art.

STOLEN BEAUTY moves from 1900 to 1938 as we follow the lives of Adele and Maria.

In 1900, Adele's story was about her life and how she became fascinated with the painter Gustav Klimt and that era of art.

In 1938, the story is told of Maria, Adele's niece, newly married and taken from her home? and taken from her husband? at the beginning of WWII when Hitler invaded ?Austria.

STOLEN BEAUTY was interesting?, but since I am not an art aficionado, I was a bit confused. Despite my lack of knowledge in the art area, though, I did learn a lot about Gustav Klimt.

The WWII sections were heartbreaking as usual.

I do have to say I enjoyed the story of Maria more than Adele, but most likely because I don't know too much about art. Maria also seemed to be a warmer character than Adele.

It took me halfway through the book to warm up to the characters, and even though it wasn't a favorite, I enjoyed the book.

Ms. Lico Albanese did a marvelous job of researching, and she has wonderful, descriptive writing.

ENJOY if you read STOLEN BEAUTY. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Good Daughter by Alexandra Burt
 
Book Club Recommended
The Good Daughter


A childhood filled with secrets about her identity and her life, never going to school, and always on the move until her mother finally came back to Aurora, Texas. That is what Dahlia dealt with throughout her childhood.

Dahlia left it all when she could and didn't return to Aurora until 15 years later only to find her mother still secretive and not in good health mentally or physically.

Dahlia finds out things that now make sense and a lot of things that don't as she remembers how they lived and begins to questions her mother.

THE GOOD DAUGHTER was very well written, had a different but good plot, and is a page-turning read.

There is one mysterious character that didn't seem to have a connection at first, but then everything fell into place for a truly marvelous, unique book.

THE GOOD DAUGHTER is for those readers who like family sagas but a family that is a bit strange.

I enjoyed THE GOOD DAUGHTER because of the mystery and the unconventional characters. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Beautiful, Dramatic
The Mother's Promise

A mother's love is constant no matter what, and Alice definitely has a mother's never-ending love for her daughter Zoe.


Alice and Zoe are close and even closer than a mother and daughter normally are because Alice does not have a husband or any family, and obviously Zoe has no father.

Zoe ?along with the absence of family and friends ?has a social anxiety disorder? that causes more worry for Alice and deeply affects Zoe. When Alice finds out she has ovarian cancer, the exact cancer that caused her mother's death, her worry about Zoe is even more stressful.


We follow Alice and Zoe as they struggle through the battle of cancer treatments and resolving Zoe's anxiety issues.


During the treatment of her cancer, A?lice makes friends with her social worker, Sonja, and with her nurse, Kate, who also have problems of their own.

The subject matter of THE MOTHER'S PROMISE was a bit of a downer because of the cancer as well as other social problems, but it also was wonderful because of the development of friendships and the concern the characters had for each other.

Alice, Zoe, Kate, and Sonja were warm characters that worked well together, supported each other, and were perfectly portrayed.

THE MOTHER’S PROMISE was beautifully written and pulled you into the story and the lives of the characters as the difficult situations and life issues were addressed. You can't help but become attached to Zoe and all the characters and cry along with them as the situations escalate.

Ms. Hepworth will again take women’s fiction fans on an emotional ride of real life situations and real emotions.


Get out the tissue box as you deal with the characters’ feelings and make them your own.

ENJOY!! 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Romantic
The Dressmaker's Dowry


From San Francisco 1876 to present day, we learn of the plight of the poor, the privilege of the wealthy, and secrets of a family that connect both eras.

Sarah married into a wealthy family and brought a secret with her that she never revealed to her husband. Her husband's family had a secret too, but he was unaware of it. Or was he?

Sarah was writing her thesis and came across two dressmakers, Hannalore and Margaret, who lived in1876 and who fascinated her because of the story of their lives.

As Sarah researches, she finds connections between the dressmakers and her husband's family.

THE DRESSMAKER'S DOWRY moved us back and forth in time with Hannalore's life story being much more interesting than Sarah's story about her life as the wife of a wealthy man and a journalist.

Hannalore's story tells of her hardships as well as her resilience as she takes care of herself and her three siblings after her mother dies and they escape from their drunken, abusive father.

The characters definitely were authentic especially the wealthy with their fancy clothing and privileges. The destitute were equally well described, and you could feel their pain and suffering through the excellent writing style and descriptions of Ms. Jaeger.

I enjoyed THE DRESSMAKER'S DOWRY.

I would recommend this book to readers who enjoy historical fiction, switching back and forth in time, and finding items from from past to present turning up for a mystery that includes a bit of love. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

I See You by Clare Mackintosh
 
Book Club Recommended
I See You


Seeing your blurry but recognizable photo in an ad for escorts caught Zoe Walker's attention, but no one in her family believed the photo was Zoe.

After seeing other faces in the same ad and seeing that harm had come to those women either brutally or by robbery definitely had Zoe worrying she was next.

I SEE YOU was confusing at first because there were too many characters, and making a connection took a while.

The plot seemed to go round and round and not get anywhere, but I didn't want to stop because I know Ms. Mackintosh throws in zingers and twists right up to the end.

The zingers started when Zoe's live-in boyfriend and her boss seemed to be suspects in the stalking.


The ending was ?good and was worth the LONG wait for the suspense to begin.


I am wavering between a 3/5 and a 4/5 for my rating.

The 3/5 would be because it took too long for the suspense to begin.

The 4/5 would be because I SEE YOU dealt with a problem that technology? can potentially cause as well as being helpful, the intense ending, and how the characters involved with the crimes were a complete surprise.

I will leave it at that, and let you make your decision after you read the book.

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Land of Hidden Fires by Kirk Kjeldsen
 
Book Club Recommended
Land of Hidden Fires


A motherless child who disliked her father, a downed airplane during WWII, an escape, and a German officer searching for the downed pilot.

Kari did not get along with her father and simply just made it through each day. Her father was not like her. Kari was always curious about things. Her father just wanted to go on with his farming and take no interest in what was going on around him.

The day Kari saw a plane crash was the day she realized she had to do something for the pilot and the day she saw her chance to leave. She decided she would take Lance, the American soldier, to Sweden.

LAND OF HIDDEN FIRES allows the reader to experience the dangerous trip Kari and Lance took in the freezing weather while they feared being caught by the Germans and as Kari felt remorse about leaving her father and taking his horse and carriage.

We continue as three characters pursue three different journeys but for connected reasons.

We follow Kari and Lance as they head to freedom for Lance in Sweden.

We follow Kari's father, Erling, as he searches for his young daughter.

We follow the German officer as he searches for Lance.

Mr. Kjeldsen has wonderful descriptions of the landscape, the characters, and the thoughts and feelings of the characters.

I liked the thought at the end of the book that said: “People seemed to be full of hidden fires, invisible to one another and often even invisible to oneself.” If you have the pleasure of reading this book, you will understand the quote.

I enjoyed LAND OF HIDDEN FIRES. The book was sensitive, thoughtful, but definitely tense.

I think readers will enjoy the hidden, emotional messages as well as Mr. Kjeldsen’s marvelous writing style and story line that kept me turning the pages and wanting to get back to the characters' journeys. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the author in return for an honest review.

Never Let You Go: A Novel by Chevy Stevens
 
Book Club Recommended
Beautiful, Dark, Addictive
Never Let You Go



You can't wear that, I saw you smiling at that man, you don't need to leave the house.

Those things happened to Lindsey as her marriage progressed. Andrew was so sweet and caring especially during her pregnancy, but it got worse every day.? She was afraid of her husband, Andrew, and she knew that wasn't how it should be. ?

Lindsey finally left Andrew, and in his rage Andrew was in a car accident, killed a woman, and went to jail for ten years.

Andrew is now out of jail??, and Lindsey’s fears are back. She knows he will find her and follow her because he always told her he will never let her go.

NEVER LET YOU GO has tension oozing through the pages and keeps you turning the pages as you want to know what is going to happen next. The ending is one marvelous surprise.

If you enjoy suspense and edge-of-your seat tension, NEVER LET YOU GO is a book you don't want to miss. Living through the nightmare with Lindsey is gripping and a tribute to the skillful writing style of Ms. Stevens.

There are no gory murder scenes but you become emotionally drained along with the characters as we follow them through their stress as well as their love.

Ms. Stevens addresses a social problem that I am sure plagues more women than we know of. Domestic abuse is most likely overlooked because the victims do not want to report the abuser.

If you are in the mood for a tense, well-written book with an unforgettable ending in more ways than one, you will want to read NEVER LET YOU GO. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
A Simple Favor



Mothers, Friends, Secrets....Stephanie and Emily were mothers, ?they were ?friends, and they both had secrets even though they thought they knew each other better than they knew themselves.

A SIMPLE FAVOR begins when Stephanie keeps Emily's son, Nicky, after school because Emily is going to be late. But...after school turns into overnight, then after school turns ?into another day and ?another ?night, and then ?yet ?another day and another ?night with no Emily.

Stephanie didn't know where to turn except to her "mommy blog." Stephanie waits and waits and writes and writes. Stephanie finally calls Emily's husband, Sean, who was in London to tell him his wife has disappeared and that she has been keeping Nicky. Sean didn’t even know who Stephanie was.

Sean doesn't seem concerned since Emily said she was going on a business trip, but the problem is that Emily never returns from the business trip.

Sean, Stephanie, and the two boys spend a lot of time with each other until they find out the truth that Emily is dead.

As we read, Stephanie places her thoughts and emotions on her blog ?and also with Sean.

A SIMPLE FAVOR keeps having secrets pop up about all of the characters both current and past.

A SIMPLE FAVOR had a unique style with Stephanie's blog taking up most of the chapters ?and all the other chapters also being about Stephanie as she lives her daily life with her son and now Sean and Nicky.? Chapters only about Stephanie change as the book continues, and the scare factor definitely moves up a few notches.
?
My interest in the book was very high simply because of the wonderful writing and story line. The characters were authentic, but it was difficult to believe someone could act that way and think of ways to hurt others.

I had my doubts about Stephanie's sanity and motives and about the life she lead. Stephanie was quite gullible and insecure.

Emily was a difficult one to figure out, a character I didn't like, and a character I grew to hate. She was conniving and evil.

Sean seemed like a nice enough guy that was caught in the middle of everything.
?
?A SIMPLE FAVOR is an excellent psychological thriller that kept me guessing and wondering what really was going on in the lives of the characters. ?

?Were they honest with each other, honest with themselves, or were they all just fakes?? Can we really trust or truly believe anyone?

The story line became quite intense and very good as the book continued.

The wrap up is amazing. A brilliant debut. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
The Secrets You Keep


An automobile accident, a book that can't seem to ?get written, a new home, a murder, and unsettling questions Bryn had about her new husband.

Bryn was recovering from an accident with the total support from her husband starting to wane after three months. Was he tired of her fragility? Was he doing things behind her back?? What else didn't she know about her new husband's current and past life??

All of this uncertainty also caused Bryn to not be able to focus on the new book she was to be writing. Her writing kept her busy, but the inspiration just didn't materialize.

What? ?did materialize was the brutal murder of the chef who catered the dinner party Bryn hosted at her home and things getting worse for her in every aspect. The visits and questions about the murder from the police were very disconcerting, and Bryn wasn't even sure she could trust her husband.
??
When another murder occurs, my mind immediately went to one of the characters as being the same person who murdered the chef. ?

THE SECRETS YOU KEEP was q?uite a good mystery with most characters not being trustworthy and others who were caught in the middle of the deceit.
??
THE SECRETS YOU KEEP kept me awake longer than usual and kept me in suspense as have all of Ms. White's books.?

Ms. White did it again with another splendid mystery that was well written ?and had plenty of intrigue.

I enjoyed the storyline and trying to guess who the real murderer was.

ENJOY if you read THE SECRETS YOU KEEP. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation in return for an honest review.?

A Bridge Across the Ocean by Susan Meissner
 
Book Club Recommended
A Bridge Across the Ocean

Three women, three stories, three connected lives.

Annaliese, Brett?e?, and Simone were connected by WWII and ghosts.

A BRIDGE ACROSS THE OCEAN takes us from WWII to present day with three intriguing stories.

Annaliese was a German girl, Brett was a present-day American who had inherited an unusual gift, and Simone was a French girl who fell in love with an American during WWII.

Even though ghosts appear in this novel, the ghosts are what connects the present to the past for the three main characters. It isn't a major theme, but a good one.? The paranormal aspect didn't detract from the wonderful, detailed story line.?

?The characters were all ones that you couldn't help but sympathize with and love.?

?Annaliese's story was my favorite simply because of the mystery surrounding her.?

Brette's story was interesting even though I am not interested in paranormal, but her ability to see spirits added another layer to the book and made connections between characters.

Simone's story was sweet, sad, and very plausible.

?What I enjoyed was learning about the RMS Queen Mary that was first used as a war ship then a ship that brought WWII European brides back to America to be united with their husbands.?

A BRIDGE ACROSS THE OCEAN is another truly enjoyable, emotional book by Ms. Meissner.

The final pages and revelations are marvelous...loved the book. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Dark, Interesting, Insightful
The Orphan's Tale


Noa was thrown out of her parents' home because she had become pregnant to a German soldier but needed to leave after the Germans took her baby. As Noa made her way out of town, she came upon a train of Jewish infants left to die (talk about heartbreaking.)

Noa took one of the babies, couldn't continue because they both were almost frozen, and then collapsed near the circus. The circus members rescued Noa and the baby, but Noa had to perform on the flying trapeze with Astrid to earn her keep.

Even though Noa and Astrid worked together as a team on the flying trapeze, there was tension between them because Noa was terrified of flying especially since she almost fell to her death during practice one day. The tension subsided as Noa tried harder to please Astrid and when Noa found out the reason Astrid hid from the Nazi soldiers.

The first time Astrid immediately and very quickly disappeared when the Nazi soldiers burst into the circus building, Noa knew something was going on.

How did they know she was Jewish? Did someone tell on her? The circus owner kept up a good front and steered the Nazi soldiers from the Jewish performers he was hiding, but it was stressful for all.

THE ORPHAN'S TALE is another beautifully written book by Ms. Jenoff revealing another not well-known fact about WWII. The circus theme was quite interesting. I wasn't aware of traveling circuses during that time, but it seems like the perfect way to help keep? ?some of the Jewish community safe and hidden during the Holocaust.

?THE ORPHAN'S TALE smoothly flows from Noa's story to Astrid's as we learn about their lives and their secrets that they both are afraid to tell.? Despite secrets, their friendship strengthens even though there is a thin line that may destroy it.

I truly enjoyed THE ORPHAN'S TALE as I have enjoyed all of Ms. Jenoff's books. Ms. Jenoff has a marvelous way of writing a story based on the unpleasant facts of WWII.

THE ORPHAN'S TALE had a different theme, and I always learn new things about the Holocaust when I read Ms. Jenoff's books.

Ms. Jenoff always does exquisite research. You would think all has been known and written about WWII, but the circus assisting the Jewish people was interesting, enlightening, and wonderful to know how another group helped the Jewish people.

Don't miss reading another heartbreaking but heartwarming book by Ms. Jenoff. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review for TLC.

 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Dramatic, Dark
The Women in the Castle


Before,? during?,? and after the war Marianne was there to support everyone even though she had lost everything except her ?castle and her children.

Marianne previously lived in a castle with her husband, Albrecht and her children before the Germans took it over. Her ?husband was a member of the resistance but was killed by the Germans along with other members. His request was for Marianne to take care of the families of other members if he and his fellow members were killed.

Marianne complied with her husband's wishes and found two women including Benita who had married a man Marianne actually had loved at one time and who was a family friend.

These women and their children lived together and endured the hardships after the war as well as sharing their lives before and during the war.

Marianne was an organizer, Benita was a follower, and Ania was a great help to Marianne. All three women had endured a lot and were there for each other in their own way as they recovered after the war.

THE WOMEN IN THE CASTLE gives us insight into how families lived in Europe before, during, and after Hitler's regime. ?The book ends with the year 1991.?

THE WOMEN IN THE CASTLE is well written, well researched, and with authentic characters and descriptions that draw you in...descriptions that allow you to share the experiences every character is dealing with whether good or bad.? Some of the experiences are quite grizzly.?

It took me a few chapters to get connected and to warm up to the characters, but once I did, I became fully involved with their lives as well as becoming familiar with yet another piece of WWII's history.

Historical fiction fans and women's fiction fans will love THE WOMEN IN THE CASTLE. Be prepared for a heart wrenching, but very thought-provoking read.

The historical aspect and the friendships between the three women draw the reader in and keep the pages turning while you also don't want the book to end. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.?

 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic, Scary, Addictive
The Widow's House


Clare and Jess Martin are struggling writers even though Jess has already had one book published. They both want to continue writing, and Jess wants to make his second book a best seller, but their finances are holding them back.

They have exhausted their savings and are now looking for a new home that they can afford. Unfortunately, everything is out of their price range.

But....when they have the offer to be a caretaker at Riven House in the town where they both went to college, where Clare grew up, and where their writing professor lived, they jump at the chance. Free lodging wasn't a bad deal either.

Who wouldn't want to re-connect with a famous writer who had been your college professor ?

The only "catch" is that the house is in utter disrepair and has many odd, creepy folks that live on the estate with the professor.

?The treasures Clare finds in the house as she is cleaning as well as the ghosts and the sounds that haunt the house? caught my interest.
?
THE WIDOW'S HOUSE has a gorgeous cover that pulls you in, and the story line along with the characters and what has happened and what currently happens at Riven House is intriguing.

A paranormal aspect is there, but it isn't over powering ?and ??definitely ?adds to the book's? interest.

It took me about 100 pages to get connected, but it was worth the wait? as the family saga and secrets unfolded.?

?Along with the mystery and eeriness of the house, there is a mystery about who Clare's birth mother really was.

Those readers who enjoy a mystery, a unique family, ghosts, family secrets, and a Gothic theme will enjoy THE WIDOW’S HOUSE.

Ms. Goodman has a marvelous writing style that will draw you in and have you easily connecting with the characters.

The ending is quite good. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Cutaway: A Thriller by Christina Kovac
 
Book Club Recommended
Confusing, Interesting, Informative
The Cutaway


Cameras, cameras, cameras....you never know when you may be on one or in a recorded news clip.

Virginia Knightly was the only female news person in her office…an office that seemed to be falling apart. They needed a big story, and the new boss wasn't helping hold it together.

Virginia got demoted, and then a new face appears. This new face takes the position of another of Virginia's friends on the news staff.

All this is happening while a huge news story about the murder of a high profile lawyer is taking place.

Everyone is fighting for news, and a lot of people including the police force, politicians, and even the press were not being up front and honest about everything. Meanwhile Virginia took on things she really shouldn't be doing alone.

THE CUTAWAY takes us into the world of TV news bringing out all the hard work and investigation reporters and newscasters do.

The characters are marvelous and so well developed that you can actually visualize them and consider them "real" people that you may even know.

The story line held my interest and slowly but cleverly led you to the end along with many guesses as to who had "done it" without my actually guessing correctly.

An excellent debut that slowly drew the reader into the meat of the story line, gave hints to something bigger, and kept me reading. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Widow of Wall Street: A Novel by Randy Susan Meyers
 
Book Club Recommended
The Widow of Wall STreet


Phoebe always was a girl who loved her books, and she found a husband who also loved his books, but a different kind than Phoebe loved.

Phoebe loved her school books, Jake loved his books that showed his money growing.

??Phoebe married Jake at a young age, and Jake said he would always take care of her. Jake's parents had been in some sort of trouble, and Phoebe's mother never liked him.

THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET follows Phoebe and Jake from their teenage years, through the years of marriage, and through the crisis ranging from 1960 to 2010.

As Jake's empire grew, Phoebe became dragged in as well, but only by talking up her husband's business and how well it was doing.
The years went by, and Jake made money, but he was in over his head most of the time. When Jake's empire tumbles, Phoebe, the loyal, compliant wife, tumbles with him.

Readers who enjoy women's fiction, drama, and a strong female character will enjoy this book. ??Ms. Meyers' marvelous writing pulls the reader into the high stakes of Wall Street, the power and lives of the wealthy, and reminds us of the saying: “Money is the root of all evil. “

??I enjoyed THE WIDOW OF WALL STREET along with its tense moments and a truly thoughtful ending.

ENJOY if you read this book. 5/5??

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
The Night The Lights Went Out



A new town, a new home, a friend you really don't want, a blog that tells the town's gossip, and Merilee has to deal with all of this along with her divorced husband and his pregnant girlfriend.

Living in Sweet Apple, Georgia, seemed like a good town to start over and for the most part it was.

Merilee was renting a house on the property of the town's oldest citizen, Sugar Preston. Sugar was portrayed as anything but sweet, but actually she was.

Merilee and Sugar became friends and shared stories from Sugar's childhood that made sense as to why Sugar was the way she was.

Sugar and quite a few town residents had secrets, and now that Merilee arrived in town, the anonymous blog writer had more ammunition for her daily posts and Southern sayings.

As Sugar knew, there were more people in this town that had better stories than Merilee had. Sugar's past was a soap opera in itself and filled with stories but no one dared to tell them except Sugar herself and many stories were told for the first time to Merilee.

Totally and completely enjoyed the characters and the story line of THE NIGHT THE LIGHTS WENT OUT. Sugar was very lovable, Merilee was sweet, and I didn't like Heather from the minute I met her.

Readers of women's fiction will again be transported back to the days of Southern ?hospitality and then brought back to current day with women who keep secrets and have everything and like to flaunt it.

Ms. White has done it again with a marvelous story filled with wonderful characters with Southern charm?. If you have ever read any of Karen White's books, you will love this book just like all of her books and not want to put the book down.

I have LOVED all of Ms. White's books, but this has to be my all-time favorite. 5/5?

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Forever Summer by Jamie Brenner
 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Beautiful, Addictive
The Forever Summer


Secrets, mistakes, and revelations abound in THE FOREVER SUMMER.

We meet the Bishop family with members having secrets from the past as well as the present.

We also meet family members that were not known to exist.

THE FOREVER SUMMER brings together an unknown half sister, a grandmother, and memories of a father the sisters never knew.

The generations of women and how they connected as strangers was wonderful, and the beach setting was perfect for the connections and story line.

THE FOREVER SUMMER was filled with character disappointments, but it was also filled with love and making family connections and approval very enjoyable.

I enjoyed the characters....especially Grandmother Amelia. Amelia made everything pleasant and made everything and everyone come together.

THE FOREVER SUMMER was an enjoyable read and filled with what women do best when they are together....nurture and care for each other.

A heartwarming beach read...ENJOY when you get to read this book. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Baker's Secret: A Novel by Stephen P. Kiernan
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Inspiring, Addictive
The Baker's Secret


THE BAKER’S SECRET takes us to a small village in Normandy during WWII. We follow Emma, her family, and the village as they live under the restraints of German occupation. The village citizens work together to stay alive and to help each other.

Emma is a very strong female character that you can't help but sympathize with and fall in love with. She is someone you would love to have had in your village during WWII.

Emma's strength and subtle resistance to the Germans was amazing. Emma knew how to be subversive and still stay alive.

Emma's role in helping to save the residents of her town was to follow the Kommandant's order to bake bread for him and his men every day.

Emma had a secret about baking this bread. She would sneak in two extra loaves to share with the townspeople by stretching the number of required loaves by two.

THE BAKER'S SECRET shows the unity the Europeans had to have in order to survive.

The characters were authentic, and you will become immersed in their lives and suffer with them as well as silently cheer with them when the courage they share turns in to a triumph.

I thoroughly enjoyed THE BAKER'S SECRET. The writing is marvelous and detailed. The book is one you won't want to put down.

If you read only one book this year, make it THE BAKER'S SECRET.

THE BAKER'S SECRET is a wonderful testimony and tribute to the people who lived through and survived WWII. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

I Found You: A Novel by Lisa Jewell
 
Book Club Recommended
Unconvincing, Addictive, Fantastic
I Found You


What happens when there is a single woman with three children, a man who doesn't know who he is, a newly married woman who just moved to town, and a family who might have a connection to them at some point?

Alice, Lily, and "Frank" are connected but don't know they are.

Alice invited "Frank" inside her home when she saw him sitting on the beach.

Lily's husband has disappeared and has no clue what happened to him or if she even knows who he is.

"Frank" doesn't know who he is.

I FOUND YOU has odd, dysfunctional, and mentally ill characters but flows well and has a story line that grabs you. I liked the back and forth in time and the back and forth between the three main characters.

As you read you know something is wrong all around. Someone just doesn't disappear, end up back where they may have been as a child, or be in some place a crime had taken place.

Ms. Jewell weaved in a great deal of suspense, intrigue, edge-of-your-seat tension, and a whole lot of I don't want to stop reading in I FOUND YOU even though some chapters were literally frightening and became more frightening as the book continued.

The secret of it all led to an ending with a marvelous twist and surprise. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Inspiring, Insightful
Rise & Shine, Benedict Stone


A knock on the door in the middle of the night could only mean one thing, right? Bad news.

If it were Estelle, though, it would be good news so Benedict decided to answer the knock.

Much to his surprise, it wasn't Estelle, but Gemma who announced that she was his niece from America and she had lost her purse, her passport, and her phone. She wanted to stay with Uncle Ben. What else could he say but yes?

Gemma was a bit on the troublesome side, but she also was good for Benedict since the house was pretty lonely after Estelle left.

Gemma was the one who was helping Benedict change even though Gemma was pretty closed mouth about why she appeared on his doorstep and didn't want to call her father to let him know where she was.

Benedict was sweet but naive and had a heart of gold. He and Gemma grew together, and Gemma helped Benedict in his jewelry shop - a shop Gemma said needed some new ideas and changes just like Benedict did.

Gemma also was playing matchmaker as she helped her Uncle Ben get his wife back.

I thoroughly enjoyed Benedict and felt sorry for him as he worked through living without his wife. His jewelry shop and their love just hadn't been enough for them after they were unable to have children after eight years.

RISE & SHINE, BENEDICT STONE was a heartwarming read about family, about trying new things, and about trying to get what you need in life.

If you need an uplifting read for any reason, RISE & SHINE, BENEDICT STONE fits the bill. It brings back memories and thoughts of the precious things we all have in our lives and truly need to focus on.

ENJOY!! 5/5

This book was give to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Book of Summer: A Novel by Michelle Gable
 
Book Club Recommended
The Book of Summer

A summer home filled with years of memories, a book filled with years of written memories, and a home that is eroding away and about to fall off the cliff.

The Cliff House, appropriately named, has been the summer home on Nantucket for the Young/Packard/Codman family for over one hundred years. The women maintained the house, but now only Cissy is left, and she doesn't want to give up and face the reality that the house will be falling into the ocean before too long.

To help her mother come to the realization that she cannot continue to live in the summer home, Bess comes back home after four years. The memories are pretty strong for Bess and even more so when she finds the book containing the thoughts of the guests and family members who stayed there, but she can't convince her mother to leave.

THE BOOK OF SUMMER follows the family from 1939 to present day with flashbacks from entries in the memory book kept at the house. I actually enjoyed the present-day story more than the past.


THE BOOK OF SUMMER is a pleasurable read and a book I enjoyed because of the family drama, its secrets, and the characters. The characters are comical and lovable as well as stubborn. The reader gets to meet each generation of the women who kept the house going.


THE BOOK OF SUMMER was a bit confusing at first and didn't grab me right away like her other two books, but it definitely grabs your attention as you meet the characters and learn more about the history of Cliff House. That gorgeous cover draws you in as well.


THE BOOK OF SUMMER is delightful, thoughtful, and a book about families that has you focusing on your family history.


ENJOY when you read THE BOOK OF SUMMER. 4/ 5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Not a Sound

?
As if losing your hearing because of a hit-and-run driver wasn't enough trauma, Amelia and her service dog, Stitch, found a dead body of a fellow nurse on the beach. ??

In addition to losing her hearing and her job as a trauma nurse, Amelia's depression and drinking also caused the failure of her marriage and her income. She desperately needed a job and needed to get back into society because she was still living on her savings after two years and was lonely.
?
We follow Amelia through her days and nights and her fear about the killer knowing she was the one who found the body, her fear about little things happening while she is away from home, her fear about public interaction, and her continued fear of living in her silent world with people who have the ability to hear even though she can sign and read lips.??

We also follow the police investigation with Jake, the head detective, and his protectiveness of Amelia. Is he only being overly protective because he is Ameilia's brother's best friend or for some other reason. Is he also being overprotective when she does investigating herself because she is putting herself in danger by "snooping ?"
?
Ms. Gudenkauf puts you into Amelia's life and has you wondering what it would be like to be deaf as you empathize with Amelia. Ms. Gudenkauf’s research must have been extensive to make the reader completely feel and experience what Amelia was experiencing as she dealt with the everyday trials of her hearing loss and trying to find out who the murderer was.

?The suspense in NOT A SOUND picked up at every turn of the page, and I had a few suspects in mind. Ms. Gudenkauf's writing style pulls you in and keeps you interested and wondering what secrets some of the characters are keeping.

If you enjoy suspense at its best, you won't want to miss NOT A SOUND. I couldn't stop reading. 5/5??

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Fantastic, Beautiful
Before The Rain Falls

As Della was released from prison after her life sentence and returning to Puerto Pesar, The Port of Regret, she wondered if she would regret going back since her life had definitely been a regret for more than one reason.

Della had been found guilty of murdering her sister Eula. The trial and the story became well known, and portraits of both Della and her sister became famous. Eula's portrait, the Santa Bonita, was most talked about and rumored to have actual tears falling from her eyes. Della should have been the one with tears for having to spend her life in prison only four hours after she had married Tomas.

We move to another family in town that also had two sisters and a grandmother that raised them. They were sisters, Paloma and Mercedes, who knew the story of Della and Eula. Paloma went to New York to become a doctor and has returned for a month to take care of her grandmother who had a heart attack. The younger sister, Mercedes, was trouble from the beginning and still was but Paloma was trying to reconnect and help Mercedes.

Another person who knew the story of the murder, Della's prison term, and the crying portrait was, Mick, a reporter from New York looking for a story to boost his career. When all three of these characters meet, an intriguing story is created that you won't want to put down.

BEFORE THE RAIN FALLS has a mesmerizing cover and a mesmerizing story line. The characters are very easy to connect with and love. We follow the story and the characters as the author takes us back and forth between what Della's life was like before and during her prison term, when she returns home, and her interaction with the town and its residents. All characters are connected to Della's story in one way or another.

BEFORE THE RAIN FALLS had me completely absorbed. Ms. Di Maio has a writing style that just pulls you in, allows you to meet characters you will fall in love with, and meet characters you would want to have in your life.

BEFORE THE RAIN FALLS has love, family, tears, heartbreak, and yearning, but ultimately gives you a warm feeling inside.

BEFORE THE RAIN FALLS has a beautiful cover, a beautiful story line, and beautiful, heartfelt characters.

Do NOT miss reading BEFORE THE RAIN FALLS.

It is a perfect book for women's fiction fans and makes you feel the need to hug all your women friends and family. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Unconvincing, Boring
You'll Never Know, Dear


When a child disappears, the pain never goes away no matter how long ago it has been.

Lis Woodham's four-year-old sister, Janey, along with her doll disappeared forty years ago and was never found. There were no clues about what happened then and no clues now.

Each year Janey's mother, Miss Sorrel, would put an ad in the paper on the anniversary of the disappearance in hopes that someone would come forward with the doll or information about her daughter's disappearance and earn the reward offered. There never was an answer to the ad for all of those years except for now. Someone saw the ad and brought a battered doll to their house hoping it was Janey's.

Before they could tell if the doll was actually Janey's, the person bringing the doll ran out of the house and disappeared.

This caused more anxiety for the family, and it seemed that once the doll was returned, the family was plagued with danger. Their house was burglarized and then filled with carbon monoxide causing harm to Grandma Sorrel and Lis.

The accident brought Lis's daughter, Vanessa, home to help take care of her mother and grandmother, and Vanessa got involved in the forty-year-old investigation.

YOU'LL NEVER KNOW, DEAR was a mystery that will definitely hold your interest because of Ms. Ephron’s talent of drawing the reader into the story.

YOU’LL NEVER KNOW, DEAR wasn't fast paced or gripping, but had just enough intrigue to keep you turning the pages.

The ending revealed quite a few secrets that some of the characters wished had not been revealed and other secrets that were welcome revelations.

YOU'LL NEVER KNOW, DEAR was a good mystery with tense moments and a mystery that will keep you guessing. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green
 
Book Club Recommended
Interesting, Insightful
The Sunshine Sisters


Ronni Sunshine is a famous, wonderful, pleasant actress on stage, but at home she is anything but wonderful and pleasant. She has no time for her daughters.

We follow Meredith, Nell, and Lizzy as they grow up in an unloving household with a mother who is more of a tyrant than a mother and a mother who cares only for herself.

The girls flee the nest one at a time and have troubles of their own because of their childhood, but now that Ronni is dying, she wants her daughters to rally around her. Ronni also had something else in mind when she invited her daughters back to their childhood home.

Each sister has a totally different personality, and it was interesting to follow them to see the path each one took. Nell seemed to be the responsible one. Meredith seemed to still be looking for happiness. Lizzy was still the fly-by-night, spoiled one.

The family issues and the different lifestyles the girls led were nicely developed by Ms. Green and could be the lifestyle of any young girl growing up trying to make choices.

This is my first book by Ms. Green. It was an enjoyable read and not something I normally read so I was surprised how her writing and story line pulled me in.

Nell seemed like a genuine person who worked hard in her life to make up what she had missed during her childhood.

Meredith kept speaking to me because of the way she put everyone before herself and kept the peace.

Lizzy was self-centered like her mother, and I liked her the least.

The characters did grow on me as they grew emotionally and made choices they never thought they would.

Women's fiction fans will enjoy this book because of the family drama, the regrets, the healing, and how Ms. Green addressed both family and friend relationships, as well as addressing end-of-life decisions.. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Cocoa Beach: A Novel by Beatriz Williams
 
Book Club Recommended
Cocoa Beach


Falling in love and marrying during a war usually turns out to be a good thing, but for Virginia Fortescue Fitzwilliam it wasn't working out.

Virginia fell in love, married, and then spent hardly any time with her husband. The war is over, she still hasn't seen him, and then she returns to the United States to her father and her sister.

Her family has secrets, and she finds out Simon does too. Simon seems to be the perfect manipulator and liar.

We follow Virginia and Simon Fitzwilliam as the book goes back and forth from WWI to after the war and as their love affair blossomed and faded and the secrets Simon held were revealed.

After three years of not seeing Simon, a fire in Cocoa Beach claimed his life, Virginia went there to settle things, and her adventure in Florida begins...well if you want to call it an adventure. An adventure is to be fun, but Virginia runs into trouble and more secrets.

COCOA BEACH had beautifully detailed writing. It was a bit slow at first, but the story line was marvelous as always and filled with mystery.

COCOA BEACH is another winner by Beatriz Williams that keeps you turning the pages wanting to know what really happened and what really was going on.

Something sinister was brewing throughout, and the end will have you saying: What? Who was the bigger liar?

ENJOY if you read COCOA BEACH...a marvelous, thoughtful read with mystery and a lot of questions. 4/5


This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Almost Sisters: A Novel by Joshilyn Jackson
 
Book Club Recommended
The Almost Sisters



A successful career, an ailing grandmother, a one-night stand, and a Southern family with untold secrets.

Leia had always been close to her grandmother, but did she really know her grandmother? After finding out her grandmother has been suffering with dementia for over 10 years, Leia puts the job she loves on hold and goes to Alabama to see what actually is going on.

What Leia finds at her grandmother's home isn't what she had expected, and coupled with her unexpected pregnancy was a bit ?overwhelmed.

Grandmother Birchie and her life-long friend, Wittie, are delightful characters and characters that can no longer live alone, but are putting up a fight.? When the secret in their attic is found, they get a reprieve from having to leave their home becaus?e the Sheriff ordered them to stay in the state.

THE ALMOST SISTERS had a lot of drama? and a lot of love?. I thoroughly enjoyed the storyline, the Southern charm, and especially the characters. They all were lovable, authentic, and sweet in their own way.

THE ALMOST SISTERS was a very enjoyable first book I have read by ?Ms. Jackson?. She has a marvelous writing style and a women’s-fiction-theme-based story with some characters having unusual problems and others with normal, everyday problems that the reader can relate to.

THE ALMOST SISTERS is a touching, endearing book about family.

I would ?recommend THE ALMOST SISTERS to readers who enjoy Southern living and adorable characters you wish you could spend some time with and will miss once you turn the last page.

THE ALMOST SISTERS is a book that will bring you closer to your own loved ones. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for a honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Hello Sunshine


"Hello Sunshine” normally meant someone was leaving a compliment on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.

The day of Sunshine Stephens’ 35th birthday didn't bode well for the “hello sunshine” greeting.

Everything she had made up about herself was being made public by a hacker, and no one knew who the hacker was.

Sunshine's life was turned upside down personally and professionally. Not telling the truth from the start backfired on her.

When Sunshine started her career as a TV chef, she should have been truthful and said she was from the Hamptons and not from a Georgia farm town.

Telling the truth was something she hadn't done for years, and telling the truth now had no credence. No one believed anything she said.

Where could the real Sunny Stephens go except back home? When she got home she had a big surprise too.

The characters in HELLO SUNSHINE were for the most part likable, but they also were on the side of deceitful.

HELLO SUNSHINE was an easy, breezy read for me. I loved the cooking theme, and I loved the glimpse into the life in the Hamptons even though it was on the wrong side of town.

If you enjoy people watching, family situations, and food, HELLO SUNSHINE fits the bill.

I enjoyed HELLO SUNSHINE and the wisdom of life decisions which was a major theme. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry
 
Book Club Recommended
The Bookshop at Water's End


A summer home that has been left abandoned for years, but a summer home that Bonny now desperately needs to return to regardless of the pain and memories it holds.

The town of Watersend, South Carolina, was quaint, a treasure from childhood, and had the best bookstore with a marvelous bookstore owner that could pick out a book you "need" not a book that you want.

We meet many likable and believable characters except one in THE BOOKSHOP AT WATER’S END. You are able to empathize with the characters as well as want everything to turn out for them.

The main character, Bonny, was a successful doctor, but a tragic mistake in the emergency room one night caused Bonny to be put on sabbatical and has her deciding to return to the childhood summer home that contains secrets and some happy and not so happy memories.

A happy memory was the friendship between Bonny and Lainey. They were labeled the "summer sisters."

They had made a pact to always be there for each other. Bonny needed Lainey now, and Lainey came back to the house with her two children even though she also had some bad summer memories and really didn’t want to.

The bookstore and its owner were definitely a happy memory. Mimi, the bookstore owner was marvelous. Any book that has a bookstore and a book club in it definitely makes the story line even more appealing.

Two not-so-happy memories and ones that were difficult to forget gnawed at both women. The disappearance of Lainey's mother and Bonny's love for Lainey's brother, Owen, who was the love of her life, but a love she could never get to stay were memories difficult to get over.

The book’s setting was perfect, and the descriptions of the house, the town, the beach, and the ocean put you there with the characters sharing their days and their feelings both good and bad.

THE BOOK SHOP AT WATER'S END was a warm, inviting read bringing women together for what we do best - support each other.

This was my first book by Ms. Henry, and it was a delightful, summer treat.

ENJOY!! 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

The Child by Fiona Barton
 
Book Club Recommended
Dramatic
The Child


An unsolved mystery resurfaced when a baby's skeleton was found at a building site.

Along with the skeleton, three main characters emerge too. Kate is a reporter investigating the story. Emma is a nervous adult who became intrigued as well as possessed when she sees the story of the baby. Angela is the mother whose baby disappeared more than 40 years ago never to be found.

THE CHILD took a while to get interesting simply because it was a bit slow, and there were too many characters thrown in. I was lost with so many different characters and couldn't seem to figure out the connection until around half way through the book so don’t give up because it is worth the wait.

As the pages turned and I reached the halfway point, the book started making a connection for me and kept my attention. The mystery became intriguing.

The characters seemed genuine for their roles, but something was odd and different about each of them.

This was my first book by Ms. Barton so I imagine I needed to get used to her writing style and her attention to detail.

There are some good twists to the story as well as some disturbing subjects that are addressed.

All in all, THE CHILD is a good read that will keep you guessing. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Addictive, Dramatic
The Breakdown


For three years, Cass Anderson had been taking care of her mother who had dementia.  It has taken its toll on her, and has also made her worry that she too may have dementia some day.

The worry actually seemed to be coming true since Cass has been forgetting everything including appointments, where she left money given to her to buy a gift, and lunch dates.

On her way home from a work party, Cass passed by a car on a deserted road and didn't stop because the driver gave no indication that any help was needed. The next morning the news announced that a woman had been murdered on that same road.

The guilt Cass felt from not stopping to help caused her memory to get worse and her fears that the murderer saw her that night and was after her escalated.  She did get phone calls that had no one on the other end of the line as well as many other instances that made her think she was heading the path of her mother. Was it dementia or stress?  Or could it be someone making her think her memory was declining.

THE BREAKDOWN was very tense, and did have me thinking someone was purposely doing all of these things to stress her to the point of losing her memory and deciding to not go back to work.

THE BREAKDOWN had me turning the pages as well as being nervous for Cass, but it was nothing like the tension and terror of her first book.

As the ending neared, the suspense was very high as the truth came out.

I sort of figured out toward the end what was going on, but the plot and revelation were carefully and cleverly carried out by Ms. Paris.

ENJOY!!  4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.For three years, Cass Anderson had been taking care of her mother who had dementia.  It has taken its toll on her, and has also made her worry that she too may have dementia some day.

The worry actually seemed to be coming true since Cass has been forgetting everything including appointments, where she left money given to her to buy a gift, and lunch dates.

On her way home from a work party, Cass passed by a car on a deserted road and didn't stop because the driver gave no indication that any help was needed. The next morning the news announced that a woman had been murdered on that same road.

The guilt Cass felt from not stopping to help caused her memory to get worse and her fears that the murderer saw her that night and was after her escalated.  She did get phone calls that had no one on the other end of the line as well as many other instances that made her think she was heading the path of her mother. Was it dementia or stress?  Or could it be someone making her think her memory was declining.

THE BREAKDOWN was very tense, and did have me thinking someone was purposely doing all of these things to stress her to the point of losing her memory and deciding to not go back to work.

THE BREAKDOWN had me turning the pages as well as being nervous for Cass, but it was nothing like the tension and terror of her first book.

As the ending neared, the suspense was very high as the truth came out.

I sort of figured out toward the end what was going on, but the plot and revelation were carefully and cleverly carried out by Ms. Paris.

ENJOY!!  4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
The Wildling Sisters


Applecote Manor in 1959 was home for Perry, Sylvia, and Audrey as well as the summer vacation place for the Wildling sisters Margot, Flora, Pam, and Dot until the summer Audrey disappeared.

When Audrey disappeared, the girls never went back until one summer when their mother decided she needed to get away from it all. She sent her daughters back to Applecote Manor to stay with their aunt and uncle.

This summer wasn't the best for anyone, though. The close knit sisters drew apart, and Margot was obsessed with finding out what really happened to Audrey. Along with everything else, Aunt Sylvia did a few odd things and kept things from the girls.

Meanwhile back to present day at Applecote Manor. Applecote Manor has just been bought by Jessie and Will against the wishes of their rebellious teenage daughter, Bella, who is mourning the loss of her mother. Bella gives her stepmother, Jessie, a rough time by continually making hurtful comments to Jessie about how she isn't her mother. Once Bella finds boxes of her mother's things, the comments get worse.

Bella also feels that Applecote Manor still houses the ghost of Audrey and her family. A few things happen that might make that true especially since Bella is living in the attic rooms where Audrey lived.

As we go back and forth, we find out the personalities of the characters are mostly carefree in 1959 until the disappearance of Audrey and quite tense in present day.

THE WILDLING SISTERS grabs you from the first sentence. Ms. Chase's writing is marvelous, enticing, and detailed.

I enjoyed both the present and past stories and loved the descriptions of Applecote Manor and its grounds when they were in pristine shape and in present day when both the house and grounds needed a lot of work.

If you like mysteries and family drama, the WILDLING SISTERS is for you. It has a hint of Gothic and an undertone of foreboding.

ENJOY!! 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Insightful, Adventurous
The Cottingley Secret


Can Olivia have some connection to Elsie and Frances who lived 100 years ago? Can Olivia find it?

Is the connection somewhere in the pages of the rare books in the bookshop, SOMETHING OLD, that Olivia's grandfather left her? Is it in the story she finds that leads her to believe in herself like Elsie and Frances believed in fairies?

Olivia lives in present day and finds a manuscript in her grandfather's things that refers to fairies. As she reads the manuscript and deals with her unhappy life at this time, she believes her grandmother knew Frances.

Olivia is excited that she inherited the bookshop, but doesn't know what to do with it. What decision will she make about the bookshop and her life? Will she decide to move to Ireland and run the bookshop and most importantly follow what will make her happy or marry the man that she realizes isn't the man she should marry?

We move to 1917 and visit with Elsie and Frances who are cousins and live under the same roof since Frances moved there from South Africa while her father was called to serve in the war.

Frances is a precocious child and believes she sees fairies at the beck, but no one believes her . She and Elsie get together to prove the fairies are really there, and their story becomes a sensation.

THE COTTINGLEY SECRET took a few pages for me to connect, but once I got hooked and also realized that this fairy story was famous, I couldn't stop reading.

I loved how the book went back and forth from 1917 to present day, and I truly enjoyed the secrets and connections between the characters from both time periods as they were revealed.

Who doesn't love a book that has a bookshop in it? And who doesn't love an old bookshop with secrets and memories that might help you make personal decisions and find connections?

Hazel Gaynor's books are always magical whether there is magic in them or not.

And…her books are always filled with love.

ENJOY!! 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

 
Book Club Recommended
Emma In The Night


Two sisters disappear after a fight over a necklace, two sisters leave no trace except a pair of shoes and a car on the beach, two sisters leave and then one sister returns after three years.

The police have questions for Cass about where she and Emma were, but Cass can't pinpoint where they have been held captive for the past three years. Cass only knows it was an island.

EMMA IN THE NIGHT moves along as we join in the questioning of Cass by the police and a psychologist. Cass tells all, but holds back some things on purpose. What Cass doesn't hold back is what she wants to shock her mother with because her mother was abusive and a narcissist.

Mrs. Martin as Cass calls her mother was the reason they left. Cass's story about their three years away was filled with half truths, and Cass seemed to lie quite a lot about many things.

The characters all seemed mentally disturbed and as if they had to be top dog competing with and against each other.

As the book continued, the tension about the story of the girls leaving home and the investigation increased. You never knew who to trust or to believe.

EMMA IN THE NIGHT is definitely a psychological thriller. The most interesting aspect was learning about narcissism and how it affects an entire family. It actually was an education and thoroughly frightening to learn about this disorder.

Readers who enjoy unusual family drama along with intense psychological situations to the point of unbelievable will enjoy EMMA IN THE NIGHT.

The ending was exceptional and unexpected, and the book was a bit disturbing. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Bring Her Home by David Bell
 
Book Club Recommended
Bring Her Home


A teenager not being home at curfew time, a phone call no parent wants to get, and a lot of questions.

Summer and Haley were the best of friends since first grade, and now that they are teenagers they share secrets and go everywhere together.

Going everywhere together one fateful night turned into a nightmare for Bill, Summer's father, and Haley's mother.

The police were investigating everyone who had known the girls and everything that had happened to Bill and Summer before and after the death of Summer's mother a year ago. I suspected a few characters as I continued reading and one in particular.

The police never had a handle on things because something new would turn up to turn the investigation back to square one. Some of the findings were unbelievable.

BRING HER HOME led us through the horror of a child gone missing and dying as well as learning the steps taken in a police investigation with this type of crime.

The characters and their emotions were credible, but trusting a few of them was difficult. Bill was very emotional to the point of doing crazy things, but who wouldn't when your daughter was missing. The teenagers did some things that were quite unimaginable. The neighbor, Adam, was too nice to be believable.

The secrecy of teenagers was one of the major themes and was very well done by Mr. Bell.

My only criticism is that BRING HER HOME was a bit long and dragged out.

All in all, though, the book kept me guessing, and the end was good. 4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

At Wave's End: A Novel by Patricia Perry Donovan
 
Book Club Recommended
At Wave's End


You won a bed and breakfast in yet another contest, Mom? Please say I am not hearing you correctly?

Poor Faith. Her mother, Connie, has always entered contests ever since she was a child and has never won, but then she wins this one which seems unbelievable because of the prize. Connie has won this prize after writing an essay about why she should win the bed and breakfast, and Connie is determined to come all the way from New Mexico to claim and see her prize.

Faith lives in New York City and accompanies her mother to the bed and breakfast at Wave's End at the Jersey Shore. As predicted, the place is in bad shape and nothing like the pictures in the contest.

As Faith argues with her mother about the "prize," a hurricane is making its way up the coast. Faith goes back to New York and then returns as the hurricane is gaining in intensity to make sure her mother is safe.

Faith finds more than she wants to find when she returns with her mother's impulsiveness being a very big problem this time.

AT WAVE'S END is an enjoyable read with characters that were very believable and lovable. A mother/daughter team is always a treat because it can go two ways: the best it can be or the worst it can be. :)

You will be comparing your relationship with your mother and might see some similarities as well as differences.

Secrets kept for a long time and finally revealed are part of AT WAVE'S END, but do they bring mother and daughter closer or farther apart?

Food was another major component with three of the characters being chefs, and who doesn't like to talk about food and gorgeous kitchens?

If you need a fun, light, heartwarming read that shows the resiliency of and the generosity of mankind, then you will not want to miss AT WAVE'S END.

It has something for everyone and the reason I enjoy women's fiction....family, love, tenderness, surprises, a few tears, and warmth.

ENJOY!! I certainly did. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the author in return for an honest review.

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