Posts

Showing posts from December, 2016

The Patriots by Sana Krasikov

Setting: U.S., Russia, Siberia
Genre: Historic Fiction
Publisher: Spiegel & Grau
Release Date: January 24, 2017



The Patriots: A Novel begins with a young boy seeing his mother again for the first time in years after her release from a work camp. Rather than go with a stranger, as he fears, the orphanage where he's been staying asks to keep him. The story then jumps back in time to the decision Florence Fein makes leaving her family in Ohio and emigrating to the Soviet Union. The journey moves back and forth between Julian's experiences with his mother and Florence's experiences in the Soviet Union during Stalin's reign.

Some of the details are hard to take emotionally. It's simply so hard to imagine, yet I know it's true as I've read history books, seen movies and documentaries, and know war stories relatives shared. That doesn't make it any easier while reading this piece of fiction.

Sana Krasikov's The Patriots is a work of intricate, gorgeous…

Wrecked by Elle Casey

Setting: Remote Island
Genre: Teen Fiction
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services
Release Date: November 2013



It should be a time of excitement as spoiled twins Kevin and Sarah head off on a family cruise. The issue is that they don't care for the company they're about to keep. Their dad is hoping to wine and dine his way into a business venture with Mr. Buckley, the father to their nerdy classmates Jonathan and Candi.

For Jonathan and Candi, it's not easy to hide the crushes they have on Sarah and Kevin. The problem is that jock Kevin and popular girl Sarah would never be caught dead with them. When the cruise ship encounters issues, the four find themselves stranded on a remote island together. Left alone, it's up to them to not only survive by forming a strong team working together.

That's the general premise in Wrecked. Think of it as the popular Brooke Shield's film Blue Lagoon but with more characters. Here's where the review gets difficult. I always lov…

The Sleepwalker: A Novel by Chris Bohjalian

Setting: Vermont
Genre: General Fiction/Women's Fiction/Mystery
Publisher: Doubleday
Release Date: January 10, 2017



Late at night while her daughters sleep, Annalee Ahlberg vanishes. The wife and mother is a sleepwalker who's been known to take unusual risks while sleepwalking. Her daughters hope she's alive, but as weeks and months pass, even they start to lose hope that they'll see her again. The only clue is a scrap of her nightshirt found near a local river. No body's been found and there's been no trace of her since she went to bed.

Lianna, the oldest daughter, takes a leave of absence from her college studies to help her father with her younger sister Paige. As their father drifts farther and farther into his work and nightcaps, the girls struggle to come to terms with what happens. Lianna finds herself drawn to the older detective investigating the case. He knew her mother and is just as convinced that Annalee never would have willingly walked away. Lia…

Stalked by Elizabeth Heiter

Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: December 27, 2016



Cheerleader Haley Cook vanished while walking into her high school. No one has seen or heard from her since. That is until her mother finds a journal entry hidden away. This brings the investigation to the attention of Evelyn Baine, an FBI profiler. The more Evelyn digs, the more she discovers that everyone around Haley is a potential suspect. From the things Haley hid from her mother, father, and stepfather to the things people have left out during interviews, it becomes difficult to decide if Haley was simply getting away from everyone in her life or if she is truly in danger.

Stalked is another entry into Elizabeth Heiter's The Profiler series. I've loved the books in the past, but I did find this one took me a little longer to get into. Once I did, the action held my attention until the final page.

Evelyn's tough and determined. I like that. She pairs up with a local detective in Stalked, so there…

The Food of Love by Amanda Prowse

Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: December 1, 2016



Almost two decades of having the perfect marriage and two wonderful daughters has Freya Braithwaite feeling incredibly content. Her world isn't as perfect as it seems, however. Soon enough, her youngest daughter, Lexi, proves to be spiraling out of control, hostage to the frightening world of eating disorders.

I remember having a guest speaker in high school who discussed her daughter's struggles with anorexia. Memories of that discussion came back as I read The Food of Love. Freya's pain and uncertainty came through clearly as the chapters progressed. yet, I also wondered why she remained so lenient as the story progressed. I started to find myself annoyed with her and cheering on her husband. I also felt her husband's fear and anger, and the older daughter's frustration. Amanda Prowse did a wonderful job capturing everyone's point of view as they watched Lexi spiral ou…

Lift and Separate: A Novel by Marilyn Simon Rothstein

Genre: Women's Fiction
Pubisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: December 1, 2016



With three grown children, Marcy Hammer and her husband should be enjoying having the house to themselves. Instead, Harvey, the CEO of a lingerie company, is having an affair with a 20-something and moving on with his life. Marcy's world will never be the same.

Soon enough, Marcy faces new challenges, and there's no time for moping in her new life. She's going to do everything she can to face each day with the strength she never knew she had and with friendships she never imagined.

Lift and Separate is part drama and part women's fiction with a bit of humor thrown in. There's clearly little to like with Harvey, though I admit there were times I almost felt bad for the jerk. Keyword there is almost! I liked Marcy, though there were times I wished she'd be a little more forthright with those around her.

There were times I needed Kleenex on hand while reading Marilyn Simon Ro…

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 pl…

The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle

Image
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

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 ho…