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Saturday, December 3, 2016

All the Breaking Waves by Kerry Lonsdale

Setting: Pacific Grove, California
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: December 6, 2016

Events from her childhood shaped Molly Brennan's life. Now a single mother, her daughter shares the same visions Molly's mother had. After her visions lead to the young girl being suspended from school, Molly returns to her grandmother's coastal home in hopes of getting Cassie the help she needs to manage her gift.

Returning to her childhood home puts Molly back in reach of the love of her life. She broke his heart and misses him dearly, but secrets from her past keep her from believing they could have something more.

All the Breaking Waves is a solid contemporary romance with a few paranormal leanings thrown in. The romance builds slowly as the story's main focus remains on Molly's quest to rescue her daughter from the visions and dreams that plague her.

I found myself drawn to Molly and Cassie and wondered how Cassie's visions would play out. She's a precocious child and one that I really enjoyed. Molly's romance is secondary, but it's just as enjoyable.

All in all, this is another solid offering from Lake Union Publishing. I enjoyed every page and believe many readers looking for a touch of romance and a touch of the paranormal will agree.

Friday, December 2, 2016

The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle

Setting: Georgia
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: December 27, 2016

Seven years of marriage have been nothing more than wedded bliss for Iris and Will. With a stunning home, great jobs, and the decision to start a family, Iris cannot imagine anything being better. Her world is shattered when she learns Will lied. He was heading to Orlando, Florida, for a convention, but she gets the call that he was actually on a flight headed for Seattle. That plane crashed and there are no survivors.

In the middle of her grief, Iris wants answers to the myriad of questions that are raised. The deeper she digs, the more Iris realizes that she was married to a stranger and nothing will prepare her what happens next.

Clear a few hours from your schedule. I spent a number of chapters with tears pouring down my face. Just as I started to wonder if the emotional pull of this novel would ease up and let me dry my eyes, the suspense aspect kicks in and kept me hooked. The Marriage Lie is fast paced, completely absorbing, and full of twists.

As you keep reading The Marriage Lie, you feel for Iris and all the lies she's been told. The novel definitely loses a bit of the romantic edge and turns into a complete edge-of-your-seat suspense novel. I loved that shift and couldn't stop reading. In the end, it led to me heading to bed at 6 p.m. so that I could read the rest of the story without anyone interrupting me. It's that good.

Thursday, December 1, 2016

Say Goodbye for Now by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Setting: 1950's Texas
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: December 13, 2016

I have to admit that Say Goodbye For Now infuriated me a little. Catherine Ryan Hyde is a favorite author. I loved Pay It Forward and have continued to enjoy her novels. In this case, the writing is solid, the characters are likable, but the time period and attitudes drive me crazy.

Since her divorce, Dr. Lucy likes the solitude she's created on her rural Texas ranch. She has her dogs, her horses, and little communication with the community. From time to time, she uses her medical license to help others out and that's how she comes into the lives of young Pete Solomon and Calvin and Justin Bell, a single father and his son.

Pete is heading fishing with a friend when he spies an injured dog on the roadway. He gets his wagon and takes it to the local vet, only to have the vet refuse to treat it as it is a wolf. Pete learns of Dr. Lucy and brings the dog there hoping she might help. It's a long walk and he's soon befriended by a young black boy (Justin). Pete lets him tag along and the two form a friendship.

Dr. Lucy isn't thrilled with visitors, but she looks at the wolf hybrid and knows she can save it. She also ends up taking Pete, a boy with an abusive father, under her wing. Pete's friendship with Justin brings the Bells into her life when Pete finds Justin badly beaten and left for dead. Soon she's caring for an entire household and surprises herself when she realizes she likes this makeshift family.

There's a big problem. Laws prohibit interracial relationships and marriages, so her growing feelings with Calvin put them all at risk. The Bells are forced to leave Texas, and Dr. Lucy doesn't know if the world will ever stop being such a hateful, bigoted place that simply allows love to thrive.

I'd like to say we've come so far, but then this election proved otherwise. I know some people with Indian heritage who were born and raised in the U.S. They tell me how they have people come to them on the streets or in stores saying the new president will force them to go home. Hatred and racism is clearly still a prevalent force today and that saddens me.

I loved Say Goodbye for Now, but I also found myself sad that racism and bigotry are alive and well, even if it does take a slightly different form. I suggest reading Say Goodbye for Now and enjoying the characters, the plot, and hoping we'll avoid past mistakes!