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Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for providing many of the books you see reviewed here.

Monday, August 19, 2019

Because You're Mine by Rea Frey

Release Date - August 6, 2019

I remember a year ago or so, I read Rea Frey's Not Her Daughter and was left with mixed feelings. I liked the kidnapper a lot. I promised myself that this author was not one I would miss in the future. Because You're Mine did one thing very well. Despite my having a feeling part of what happened, I found myself mildly shocked when I read the final page. Kudos to Rea Frey for leaving me feeling pleasantly surprised that she managed to slip something by me.

Lee is a single mom to a seven-year-old son who is on the spectrum. Her best friend, Grace, seems to have a much better bond with Mason than she does, and that often leaves her feeling sad and uncertain. When she's offered a chance to get away with the rest of the moms, she hesitantly accepts. After all, Mason's tutor, Noah, agrees he'll stay with Mason while she's away.

Before the weekend is over, someone will be dead and several in the community are reeling. Many questions arise and the reader is left with a trip between past and present to learn the truth.

I have never been a fan of books that do a lot of quick flips from past to present. It worked in Because You're Mine. In fact, it ended up being essential. The story starts at a slow, yet realistic pace, but when it takes off, it flew. It rushed to the ending and had me on the edge of my seat for most of the chapters.

Here's the thing. I never really liked any of the characters. I had parts of the "mystery" figured out. Yet, there is that one moment where something happens that I wasn't expecting and I loved that aspect. It left me incredibly happy that I became part of the characters' lives for a few hours. It was a quick read that left me delighted I'd picked it.

Thursday, August 15, 2019

On the Corner of Love and Hate by Nina Bocci

Release Date - August 20, 2019

For more than two decades, Emma Peroni and Cooper Endicott have been friends. Emma's mayor dad and Cooper's governor mom, and the small-town closeness all of the residents of Hope Lake, Pennsylvania enjoy, have meant they've always been tied at the hip.

Emma's dad is ready to retire, and he wants Cooper to continue the work he's done as Hope Lake's mayor. While Cooper is interested, his reputation needs a bit of polishing. He's a bit of a lady's man, and it's gotten him in trouble in the past. Emma's asked to help with Cooper's campaign.

There's a bigger issue as far as Emma is concerned. For all their bickering, she's falling for Cooper. The last thing she needs is to enter into any kind of relationship with him, but it's hard to ignore her feelings as she spends more time working closely with him.

This was a fun romance. On the Corner of Love and Hate is packed with chemistry between Cooper and Emma. Minor characters are equally appealing, and even the brewery made me want to be part of the action. I could easily see myself sitting down to an IPA with Emma.

They may have been a bit blind to their attraction at times, but it kept the intrigue going. One character was not my favorite. You'll get to know Whitney, and I'm still not sure I enjoyed her segments at all. She had little in the way of redeeming qualities.

I was still hooked and had to see if Cooper would win the election and if they'd figure it out. It turned out to be a great choice for a breezy summer day outside. 

Sunday, August 11, 2019

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Release Date - August 13, 2019

Cassie Hanwell should be over the moon. Her entire life has been dedicated to helping others. As a Texan paramedic and firefighter, her heroic moments have led to this very moment. She's about to be awarded in a big way, but one action during that event leads to her having a choice of apologizing or being fired.
Now she's in Massachusetts caring for a mom she hasn't seen in ages and working for a small station where the men insist on treating her like a woman and not a fellow firefighter. It's driving her mad. Worse, after years of being a tomboy and avoiding any relationships, she can't help but feel a strong attraction to the newbie. The last thing she needs is to fall for a fellow firefighter.

I adored Things You Save in a Fire. It was emotional, paced perfectly, and filled with so many characters I grew to love. I was kind of sad when the novel ended. I would have appreciated spending far more time with the guys.

This was the first novel I've read by Katherine Center. I have been missing out. I laughed, I cried, and I didn't want to let go.