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Showing posts from September, 2014

The Last Breath by Kimberly Belle

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Release Date - September 2014

Kimberly Belle
Harlequin MIRA

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Sixteen years ago, Gia Andrews left her hometown. She escaped the gossip and scorn that resulted after her stepmother was allegedly murdered by her father. Now he's dying and Gia's been given the responsibility of staying with him in their family home until he dies.

With little help from her siblings, Gia faces her fast and discovers there are things never revealed during the court hearings. Is her father really guilty or has someone else been walking free for years? As she forms a relationship with the town bartender, Gia decides to unravel the truth behind the murder and try to forge a life of her on in a town that scorns her entire family.

The buzz for The Last Breath started building prior to the book's release date. There's good reason. Gia's story is told from both her stepmother's side, back in the past, and then Gia's side in the present. Readers, therefore, a…

Swan Point by Sherryl Woods

Release Date - August 2014

Sherryl Woods
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

After her husband blatantly flaunted his affairs in front of her and then her children, Adelia Hernandez had enough and divorced him. Now she's the owner of a somewhat run-down home, but after renovations, she knows this will be the perfect place to start anew. She's been promoted to manager of the clothing boutique where she works, and she's ready to tackle this new world of being a single mom.

Gabe Franklin left Serenity after a turbulent youth. He's back, without plans to stay, and then Adelia catches his eye. The last thing he needs is to start a permanent relationship, but the Sweet Magnolias in town feel differently. They think Gabe is exactly what Adelia needs in her life, and vice versa. He never expected this one woman and her children to be the one thing he seems to need most.

Swan Point is the next novel in the Sweet Magnolia series. I've not read the others, but apparently …

One of Us by Tawni O'Dell

Release Date - August 2014

Tawni O'Dell
Gallery Books

Book Review by Bob Walch

Dr. Sheridan Doyle is the go-to guy in Philadelphia’s District Attorney’s office when there’s a situation that the forensic psychologist’s expertise can deal with. A local celebrity of sorts, Doyle’s public image is at odds with the real man beneath the slick veneer.  Raised in a blue-collar mining town, Danny Doyle was a bookish child plagued by panic attacks, bullying and a family history he’s never been able to completely put behind him. Now Doyle is back in his hometown and the trip turns into a busman’s holiday when he discovers a dead body on a walk one day. The corpse is by the infamous gallows where long ago a band of rebellious Irish miners was executed.
Ironically, the dead man is related to the wealthy mining family responsible for the miners’ deaths a century ago. Helping out the local law enforcement officials, Doyle uses his skills to create a profile of the killer but in doing so he comes pre…

Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

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Release Date - July 2013

Jojo Moyes
Penguin Books

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Ever since reading One Plus One, I've been trying to get my hands on every Jojo Moyes book I can. My journey through her past novels starts with Me Before You. If I had the money and status, this book would become a movie, which I've learned is in the works as I type this. It's powerful, honest, and oh so very emotional.

Louisa Clark's family depends on her income. Her father's job looks like it may be coming to an end, her sister is a single mom and trying to return to college, and her mother spends her time looking after Louisa's grandfather. When Louisa loses her job at a local cafe, the family is terrified of the mounting debt and loss of income.

While she'd love to take time off and figure out what to do, she has to help out. She accepts a temporary position as the caregiver to Will Traynor, a dynamic man left a quadriplegic following a horrific accident. Will's given …

The Oleander Sisters by Elaine Hussey

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Release Date - July 2014

Elaine Hussey
Harlequin MIRA

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

"Sis" Blake put her life on hold following a tragic car accident. She's raised her siblings, with the help of her grandmother. Now her sister, a single mom, is about to marry a man that Sis does not believe is all he makes himself appear to be. Her brother's returned from the war, missing one leg and unwilling to leave his room. To top it off the biggest hurricane in history is barreling towards their Mississippi town. Secrets are starting to come out, and Sis must keep her own sanity while also trying to keep her family from crumbling apart and safe from this storm that is looking worse with every passing hour.

The Oleander Sisters is a charming southern tale that delves into topics like teen pregnancy, abusive relationships, the trauma of the Vietnam War, and a heavy dose of southern cooking. Sis's grandmother owns a cafe, so a portion of the story takes place in that cafe.

I …

Murder 101 by Faye Kellerman

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Release Date - September 2014

Faye Kellerman
William Morrow

Book Review by Bob Walch

Peter Decker and his wife Rina Lazarus have moved closer to their adult children and foster son in upstate New York. Peter’s new job with the Greenbury Police Department is a bit of a drag after Los Angeles. Also his new partner, a former Harvard student with plenty of attitude, has made the transition even more onerous.
Just when he’s seriously questioning the wisdom of the move Peter is given a case that begins with a cemetery break-in but escalates quickly into something far more sinister. A mausoleum featuring Tiffany panels has been broken into and fakes substituted for the valuable originals. Next a female student at a posh local college is murdered.
Suddenly Decker is no longer bored with his new job. In fact as he and his partner begin checking out the academic set to find the killer they stumble upon dark secrets, international intrigue involving Russia and a group of ruthless individuals who wi…

The Rachel Knight Series by Marcia Clark

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Marcia Clark. It's a name many people instantly recognize due to her ties to the O.J. Simpson trial in the 1990s. She's also the author of an exciting legal thriller series about D.A. Rachel Knight.

Usually, I would review these books separately, but as there is a fourth book in the series that will be getting it's own review in the near future, I decided to put these three together.

In the series first book, Guilt by Association, Rachel is disheartened to come across a crime scene. Her associate and friend Jake is found dead in a seedy motel. He's holding pornographic images of a teen boy, the same teen boy who is also dead in the same motel room. Rachel cannot believe for one minute that Jake is that type of person, but how well did she really know him?

The second book in the Rachel Knight series, Guilt by Degrees, starts with the murder of a homeless man. This man was bleeding out on the streets while dozens of people walked over or past him. A m…

The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit by Graham Joyce

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Release Date - August 2014

Graham Joyce
Doubleday

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

When he was very young, David Barwise's father took him to the beach. There, tragedy struck and David's life changed drastically. Now, he's a college student and despite his mother and step-father's wishes, David returns to Skegness to work at a summer resort. As a "greencoat," David spends his days judging sandcastle competitions, handling lighting for the nightly performances, and generally doing whatever is asked of him.

It's a summer of change for David. While at the beach, he spies a man and a young boy. Trying to get them involved in activities leads nowhere, and soon realizes they may not be alive at all. Is he seeing ghosts?

There's far more to The Ghost in the Electric Blue Suit. David begins to fall for a cleaning lady who has an overly protective, if not abusive, husband. He is also torn by his growing attraction to a young woman whose heritage (her mother is f…

The Surprise Triplets by Jacqueline Diamond

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Release Date - September 2014

Jacqueline Diamond
Harlequin

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

As a fertility counselor, Melissa Everhart spends her days discussing pregnancy with her patients. Melissa is pregnant, too, with triplets no less. She's about to embark on a new life as a single mom. While she loved her husband, his random announcement that he had a vasectomy led to their divorce. She wants a family of her own, and she will let nothing get in her way. Now her ex is back in her life, part of the team at Safe Harbor.

Melissa soon discovers that her former sister-in-law is in trouble, and he's now the guardian of his young niece. For a man who never wanted kids, he's doing an amazing job. As the former couple spend more and more time together, Melissa begins to wonder if Edmond deserves a second chance.

If you've read any of the Safe Harbor romances, you know that the doctors, nurses, and administrators in this medical center are more like a tight knit family than …

God Doesn't Love Us All the Same by Nina Guilbeau

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Release Date - May 2014

Nina Guilbeau
Juania Books

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

God Doesn't Love Us All the Same bounces between past and present. It all starts with Janine Harris. She's about to leave work when she realizes she locked her wallet in the bank vault. She has no money to get home.  While wandering the streets, she comes across a homeless woman, Vera, and wonders how did Vera get to where she is today.

After inviting Vera to join her for a cup of coffee while she waits for her sister, Janine begins to learn of Vera's tragic upbringing. Vera's start in life was rife with tragedy and the harsh realities of racism, abuse, and murder would be obstacles that she alone needed to overcome.

I loved Vera's story. I admit at times errors in the story would catch my eye and pull me from the story, but I still wanted to know if Vera could forgive herself. These errors ranged from a situation with Vera where a guy was "pushing his ... deeper and deeper into h…

Almost Perfect by Diane Daniels Manning

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Release Date - January 2014

Diane Daniels Manning

Book Review by Tracy Farnsworth

Benny is a young teen with mild autism who dreams of two things. He wants his mom to become part of their family again, and he wants a dog. Despite his dreams of becoming a dog owner, his father and stepmother seem happy to say no.

At 70, Bess Rutledge is ready to demolish her poodle kennel. This last litter will end her long-running business, and she'll no longer raise and train poodles for dog shows. All of that changes when she meets Bennie. He lights a spark that has her thinking maybe her dream of making it to the Westminster competition doesn't have to just be a dream anymore. Despite all, Bess is still reluctant and Benny must find a way to break through the walls she's erected.

Almost Perfect is set in an area I know well. I have an aunt and uncle in West Redding, so I've spent many spring vacations at their home. It was fun to go back in time to when the Danbury Fair operated, now…