Note to Readers

Roundtable Reviews receives many galley and ARC copies for review. Please understand that the finished copy may differ from the copies we have reviewed.

I have not received any compensation for writing this post other than a free digital or galley copy of the book. I have no material connection to the publisher, agent, or author whose book/s I am reviewing. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Thursday, August 17, 2017

The Man I Thought You Were by Leah Mercer

Setting: England
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date - August 30, 2017



Released for the Kindle last month, readers looking for the paperback version of The Man I Thought You Were only have a couple weeks to go.

Anna and her husband, Mark, have everything. They're madly in love, both have steady jobs, and they're ready to start their family. Mark's excellent with their young niece, and Anna knows he'll be an awesome dad. He comes home from work, tells her he's leaving, and vanishes. He doesn't take his car, any of his clothes, or cell phone.

Anna is stunned. She's certain he'll return home in a day or two. When he doesn't, she comes across a couple secrets he was hiding. Those secrets have the power to shatter her world.

Mark wants to shelter Anna from his past and future. Doing so may hurt her, but he's convinced it will hurt her less than if he stayed. He just doesn't imagine where his journey will really lead him. Meanwhile, Anna's determined to get to the bottom of things, even if it means getting hurt.

Strengths and Weaknesses

The opening page of The Man I Thought You Were pulled me in. It doesn't start slow. Mark comes in, says he's leaving her, and that's that. It's so immediate that you can't help but feel Anna's shock. From there, I was as desperate as Anna to figure out what spurred Mark's decision.

I had a hard time liking Mark. Even knowing all I did, I remained angry at him. I can't imagine making his choices, especially when you learn part of why he does. His judgment to me seemed skewed, especially after a decade with Anna. I didn't like how easily he walked away. Despite this, I adored Anna and kept reading to see how things would turn out for her.

RTR's Bottom Line

This isn't as much a romance as it is a look into the devastation some decisions have on people's lives. It's a book that will bring tears to the eyes. If you're looking for a touching, very emotional story, you'll find what you desire in The Man I Thought You Were.






Wednesday, August 16, 2017

Finding My Badass Self: A Year of Truth and Dares by Sherry Stanfa-Stanley

Genre: Non-Fiction/Humor
Publisher: She Writes Press
Release Date: August 22, 2017



I connected immediately with the author of Finding My Badass Self. Maybe the truths and dares she tried weren't always something I would have bothered with, but it never mattered. I connected with her hopes, fears, and frame of mind. I got her.

For 52 weeks, author Sherry Stanfa-Stanley pushed herself to try or do something completely out of character. From eating bugs to going to a nude beach, Stanfa-Stanley pushed herself. She was brazen and just went for it. Finding My Badass Self chronicles her experiences.

What made this book stand out so much to me? That's pretty easy. I get where she's coming from. I've been married for 26 years, thankfully we're happy together still. My kids are both in college now, though my son has moved into his own apartment at this point. I'm at that crossroads where I wonder what's next. I've been the stay-at-home mom for two decades. I get how she feels. I get the urge to do something unexpected.

In her case, her divorced triggered things. That was the one part I can't say I've experienced. I'd just gotten back into the work force - what a nightmare it is finding a job when you've been a stay-at-home mom for two decades! I wasn't sure my new job was something I wanted to do forever, but my dad's stroke and subsequent death and my mom's advancing Alzheimer's led me to quit. I'm back at that point where I need to figure things out. That's why Finding My Badass Self registered so strongly.

This book is funny, emotional, and keeps you wondering what comes next. I can't see myself going up in a hot air balloon or taking a mystery trip (Alzheimer's care and finances make that impossible), but I can live vicariously through the author. She took me away for a few hours, and I adore her for that.

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Motor Mix Series of Books by Emily Snape and Rilla Alexander

Genre: Board Book
Publisher: Chronicle Kids
Release Date: August 15, 2017



There are two books in the newly released Motor Mix series. These board books have pages that are divided into three sections that allow the reader to mix up the different vehicles and create unique inventions. The first, Flight, takes things like rockets, airplanes, helicopters, and hot air balloons. Mix them up to create a rock-copter or air-loon.



The second book in the series, Emergency, showcases fire trucks, planes, plows, tow trucks, ambulances, and more. Create fire-lances, snow-planes, and others.

Each vehicle comes with text that describes its noise and where it is used. This ensures the child also has vocabulary to learn. With the creative nature and the narrative, these two books are a solid choice for a creative child.