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Showing posts from May, 2017

Lock the Door by Jane Holland

Setting: Truro, England
Genre: Suspense/Mystery
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer
Release Date: January 2017



Meghan and Jon's world is torn apart when their newborn is diagnosed with a rare condition. Meghan fiercely protects the infant from the things that could end his life. One night the couple is hosting a dinner party in their back yard while seven-month-old Harry sleeps upstairs in the locked house. As the dinner party winds down, they discover their son is missing. He's disappeared into the night.

With her world shattered, Meghan does everything she can to find her son. Detectives may be busy looking into the disappearance of a number of babies in the area, but Meghan refuses to sit around waiting. She starts delving into those closest to them, which may bring things to light that Meghan will never be able to forget.

Lock the Door is a pretty gripping suspense novel. I was a little hesitant as there's another recent release, The Couple Next Door, that shares similariti…

Rejected Writers Take the Stage by Suzanne Kelman

Setting: Southlea Bay, Washington
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: June 6, 2017



I did it to myself again. Rejected Writers Take the Stage is the second book in a series by Suzanne Kelman. I need to pay closer attention so that's on me. With some books, however, you really don't need to have read the previous books in a series to follow along. In this case, I think you should.

Janet's working at the library when she spies the bossy leader of the Rejected Writers Club approaching. Opting to hide, Janet fails miserably and ends up getting roped into another club project that she really doesn't want to be part of.

Club member Annie owes $20,000 to the bank is about to lose her home and dog kennel. Annie's despondent over the thought, but the Rejected Writers Club decide to help out. They'll put on a musical and raise the necessary funds. Janet's dragged into the fundraiser and must learn really quickly how to direct a m…

Allie and Bea: A Novel by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Setting: California Genre: Women's Fiction Publisher: Lake Union Release Date: May 23, 2017

Allie and Bea: A Novel is as different as you'll get from Catherine Ryan Hyde's bestseller Pay It Forward. Yet, I found this novel to be just as powerful as that introduction to Hyde's writing. 
Bea is a widower who gets sucked into one of those obnoxious IRS phone scams. She'd barely been getting by after her husband died, but now with scammers taking every penny she owns, she has nothing left. Checks that were written to cover bills are bouncing, she can't afford groceries let alone the rent, and she has nothing left. Fleeing with her cat, Bea gets into her husband's old work van and starts driving up the coast. Her only goal is to live in a world where $700ish in Social Security payments is enough to get by. Bea's angry with the world and situation and wants to take back what she feels she is owed.
Allie's world is torn out from under her. Her parents are …

Any Time, Any Place by Jennifer Probst

Setting: Connecticut
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Gallery
Release Date: January 21, 2017



Any Time, Any Place is the second book in the Billionaire Builders series. It's a story of hidden secrets, a determined heroine, and an equally determined hero.

Raven is happy owning her bustling restaurant and bar called My Place. She'll never get past her father's death, however. He died in a car crash running away with Diana Pierce, the heiress to Pierce Construction.

Dalton Pierce has never gotten past his mother's death. How could a woman so loving with her children abandon them all to run away? While he and his brothers are at a local bar, he spies Raven and admits he falls pretty hard with both her and her antique mahogany bar.

When Raven's asked to be in a magazine, she can't refuse the publicity. At the same time, she needs the bar refinished and Dalton is the right man for the job. She cannot fraternize with the enemy, so how's she supposed to fighti…

No One But You by Brenda Novak

Setting: Silver Springs, California.
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: May 30, 2017



After escaping an abusive marriage to a police officer, Sadie Harris works as many hours as she can at a local diner, but it's not enough. She stumbles across an ad looking for an assistant. The job pays far more than Sadie currently makes. The problem is Dawson Reed, a man recently released from prison for murdering his parents, is the person in need of help. Sadie's just gotten out of one cruel relationship, she's very nervous about working for a man who was charged with murder.

Now that Dawson is out of prison, he's determined to find who really killed his parents. He also needs to get his sister out of the facility where she was placed and bring her back home. To do that, he needs someone who can be his sister's caregiver. Sadie is the perfect woman for the job.

As Sadie and Dawson get to know each other, the chemistry is obvious. However, Sadie's so…

The Original Ginny Moon by Benjamin Ludwig

Genre: General Fiction Publisher: Park Row Release Date: May 2, 2017

Ginny Moon is not your typical 14-year-old girl. She's autistic. Five years ago, she was pulled from her abusive mother's home and hospitalized for malnutrition and broken bones. In those five years, she's bounced from foster home to foster home, but she's currently living with the man and woman who could be her "forever dad" and "forever mom."
Ginny's "forever mom" is pregnant and concerned about Ginny's behavior. Ginny is too obsessed with the "Baby Doll" she was forced to leave behind when she was taken from her mom's house to think about her actions. Ginny will do whatever it takes to get her "Baby Doll" back, even if it means running away, being kidnapped, or upsetting her foster parents.
My initial thoughts on The Original Ginny Moon were clear and immediate. I felt horrible for Ginny, all she'd been through, and the complete ign…

The Garden of Small Beginnings by Abbi Waxman

Setting: California
Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 2, 2017



After the tragic death of her husband, Lillian's balanced her time between mourning his loss, bringing in the sole household income, and raising her two young daughters. Her days are spent illustrating textbooks, and her nights are all about breaking up arguments and getting them to bed on time.

A new client needs Lillian to illustrate plants found in the garden. Her boss enrolls her for a Saturday morning garden class that happens to be run by the new client's son of all things. Lillian never expects that this one class will change her life.

Suddenly, Lillian finds herself developing romantic feelings for another man. She's making new friends, finding her sister's role in their lives changing, and trying to come to terms with the fact that her brash, overbearing mother will never change. In one garden setting, Lillian finds herself facing a renewal she never thought possible or…

In This Moment by Karma Brown

Genre: Women's Fiction
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: May 31, 2017



Karma Brown's In This Moment ended up being a very addicting read. The main character is Meg Pepper. Meg's a mom, a wife, a successful realtor, and a woman tormented by her past. After picking up her daughter, she's at an intersection and stops to allow a teen boy to cross. What Meg never notices is that there's a driver down the road who's using a cell phone. That driver runs a stop sign and plows into the boy leaving him critically injured.

Meg and her daughter know the boy. Their families are friends. Worse, this one even brings Meg's past back to the forefront of her mind and she's struggling with the memories. As time goes on, it's clear that she has to decide what's more important: her family or events of the past.

I loved In This Moment. The characters were well developed and, though they had flaws, I could understand where they were coming from. The writing also flowe…

Any Day Now by Robyn Carr

Setting: Colorado
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Harlequin
Release Date: April 2017



Generally, I adore Robyn Carr's writing. Any Day Now: A Novel is the latest in Carr's Sullivan's Crossing series. I wanted to love it. The description made it sound like a book I'd really enjoy. In the end, I liked it but not enough to even consider it as a keeper. It also didn't compel me to read the first book in the series. I simply never felt that strong a bond with any of the characters.

Sierra Jones moved to Sullivan's Crossing to be closer to her brother. She's a woman with secrets, and she's ready for a fresh start. She wants to put her past behind her and start anew. She never imagines she'll find herself falling for the small town and the people within it.

It's Sully, the owner of the campground where Sierra finds a home, that first really bonds wth Sierra. He's the father figure she needs at this point in her life. Between Sully, Sierra…

Pete With No Pants by Rowboat Watkins

Genre: Children's Picture Book
Publisher: Chronicle Books
Release Date: May 2, 2017



Pete is big and gray and pantless. Is he a boulder? A squirrel? A rain cloud? Pick up Pete With No Pants and find out what Pete really is.

Rowboat Watkins' story takes a charming young elephant and tells a humorous tale of Pete's adventures and he runs around his property without any pants on. Humor grows as his mother tries to get pants back on him. I'm a mom and definitely understand that struggle!

Ideal for the beginning reader, the vocabulary is never challenging. Illustrations are colorful and capture exactly what Pete is up to throughout the day. This book is a win!


Just a Normal Tuesday by Kim Turrisi

Setting: Ft. Lauderdale, Florida
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
Publisher: Kids Can Press
Release Date: May 2, 2017



It all starts on a Tuesday that feels more like a Monday to 16-year-old Kai Sheehan. After a pop quiz and other daily woes, she goes home to find a letter from her older sister. It's a suicide note. Kai's sister is her rock, and the suicide note threatens to destroy all that Kai knows. What follows is Kai's dealings with grief, rage, and sadness. It's a path that leads her parents to send her to a camp for teens dealing with the same issues Kai faces -- a grief camp called the Tree House.

Here's the main thing I have to say about Just a Normal Tuesday. Be ready for waterworks. Reading that story with dry eyes became impossible. The author literally sucks you into the Sheehan's world and crying became the norm. This book tugs at the emotions, and you feel every ounce of Kai's grief in the first few chapters. I quickly ran through our half-empty box…