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Showing posts from June, 2018

All That's Left of Me by Janis Thomas

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Release Date - June 12, 2018



If you knew that your wish would come true, what would you wish for? Emma Davies is tired. Caring for a son with cerebral palsy is already tiring, but a full-time job on top of it is hard to take. Her husband is working on his book, so his income is minimal. It's her job that keeps them afloat. The last thing she needs is to hear her neighbor's dog bark at all hours. She wishes the dog away and is stunned to find the dog missing the next day.

Soon, Emma realizes anything she wishes for will come true. She can wish away her daughter's obnoxious boyfriend. She can wish away her boss, a man whose picture should be paired with the definition of sexual harassment, and anything else she wants.

Emma may have the power to change her life, but those changes may come at a cost. As she continues making changes, what is she giving up?

How many times have you thought it would be nice to make all your troubles go away? That's the heart of All That's…

The Widow's Watcher by Eliza Maxwell

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Release Date: May 29, 2018



After a tragedy rips her husband and children from her, Jenna Shaw is ready to join them. Leaving her dog with neighbors, Jenna sets off from Texas to find the perfect spot to end her life. She finds it at a rural Minnesota lake.

Lars Jorgensen has lived with tragedy and loss for decades. He's never had the resolution he desperately needs. When he spies a woman walking onto the frozen lake near his home, he is not about to let her do what he knows she intends. Much to her annoyance, he stops her. He's also forced to take her into his home when her car won't start.

Jenna wants nothing to do with Lars, but she has no choice. Lars' son has ordered the part needed to fix her car. In the meantime, Lars is the only person with space for a stranger. As she gets to know him, she realizes the gruff man has an incredible heart. He'll ask her for help in a way no one has, and it may be what Jenna needs to move past her grief and give life another t…

Little Big Love by Katy Regan

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Release Date - June 12, 2018



Katy Regan's Little Big Love is part coming of age and part women's fiction. Obesity is one of the themes you'll run into. Bullying, family dysfunction, alcoholism, emotion binge-eating, and parenting in today's world are others. Starting with the setting, which I loved, this story takes place on the North Sea coast in England. The main city is just below Hull, so it's an area I have been to several times as I have family in Bridlington.

Zac Hutchinson is 10 and considered obese. He's reached an age where he really wants to know his father. Mostly, he wants his mother to be happy. One night after a bit of wine, she blurts out that the only man she'll ever love was his father. Zac decides he's going to reunite them, even if his father's name seems to be forbidden.

While Zac and his best friend try to find where Liam is now, his mom and grandfather each take a look back in time to the events that led to Liam walking away.…

How Hard Can It Be? by Allison Pearson

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Release Date - June 5, 2018



In so many ways, Kate Reddy is me. There were moments in the book that I didn't know if I should laugh or cry. From writing or editing your teen's English essay to the "crime scene period," I've totally been there.

Kate Reddy is nearing 50. Her husband's packed in a paying career to become a bike-riding, healthy living, therapist who earns little to no money. Her teens are in the state most teens are where life is never fair and social media can be torture. With mounting bills, in-laws who need more help than they're getting, and a needy mother, Kate's trying to balance it all while getting a job outside the home for the first time in years.

The workforce isn't accepting of middle-aged women. Kate soon learns that to land a job, some creative marketing is necessary. She lies about her age and happens to land a job in the same financial firm she left so many years ago. The staff is all new, but it's a job Kate knows…

Imperfect Delight by Andrea de Carlo

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Release Date: June 5, 2018

Imperfect Delight is a good I truly get. I don't always agree with the characters' methods, but I get it. The best I description I can muster is: Think Chocolat but edgier.
To Milena, gelato is everything. Tourist season may be over, but her passion for creating unique flavors that speak to the nuances of the ingredients is everything. The end of tourist season doesn't mean she'll shut down or even slow down, despite what her girlfriend believes should happen. Her girlfriend's eyes are on having a baby together. They've met with the doctor and are days from starting treatments. Milena's going along with it, but she's not sure her heart's truly into the arduous process.
Nick Cruickshank, lead singer of the immensely popular rock band the Bebonkers, is preparing for a major show at a nearby airfield. He's also days away from his wedding to Aileen. His estate is a storm of activity. He's playing host to his band membe…

Jar of Hearts by Jennifer Hillier

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Release Date: June 12, 2018



I admit the cover art is the reason I stopped to take a closer look at Jar of Hearts. I loved the cover. It's not the cover that got me hooked though.

Georgina "Geo" Shaw's best friend was murdered when they were both 16. Geo should know. She was there. Her role in the events that evening were kept hidden for 14 years. Angela's body is found and the truth starts to come out. Geo receives a plea deal and goes to prison for five years in order to testify against a notorious serial killer, Calvin James, a man Geo once loved.

After prison, Geo is ready to start her life over. She'll never be the power executive she was, but she doesn't feel she deserves it either. The problem is that Geo's ex-boyfriend escaped years ago. He's never been caught. Bodies are piling up and all seem to be sending a message to Geo. Calvin's not going to stop.

I will say that you're going to find a strong theme of abuse in Jar of Hearts. …

The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan

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Release Date: June 26, 2018



For many years, Laura and Casey spent every possible hour together. Casey's mom, Alex, was a breath of fresh air to Laura. Laura's own mom was highly religious and believed her daughter needed to be the same way. She and the other church women disapproved of Alex and made it very clear.

As time went on, Laura and Casey spent summers with their peers doing Alex's next treasure hunt. Those treasure hunts would change the girls and also lead to the end of a friendship.

It's been 17 years. Laura gets a note from Casey asking her to return for one more adventure. Laura's hesitant, but something pulls her back to her hometown. Now as women, Laura and Casey will be forced to look back at their past and towards an uncertain future.

The Summer List is a coming of age and women's fiction in one. The story switches back and forth between past and present. Pay attention to the dates at the beginning of the chapter and it's easy to keep up wi…

Bring Me Back by B. A. Paris

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Release Date: June 19, 2018



B. A. Paris is back with another excellent suspense/mystery. Bring Me Back kept me guessing and doubting myself.

On the return from a ski trip, Finn and his girlfriend Layla stop for a bathroom break. Finn is startled when he returns from the men's room to find Layla missing. She's nowhere to be found. What police don't know is that he didn't tell them the entire story.

Years have passed. Layla's never returned. Finn is now engaged to her sister, Ellen. Layla's disappearance drew them together. It's all about to go horribly wrong.

It starts with a phone call from one of the detectives Finn knows. One of Finn and Layla's former neighbors are certain he saw Layla. Before Finn and Ellen know what's happening, additional clues that Layla's alive are popping up.

Items from Ellen and Layla's childhood are popping up everywhere. Finn's getting emails that raise suspicions. Finn doesn't know who to trust. One thi…

Convenience Store Woman by Sayaka Murata

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Release Date: June 12, 2018



Since childhood, Keiko Furukura has been different. She thinks differently. She can be blunt. It's what causes her parents to worry that she'll never fit in with the normal world. When she takes a job at a convenience store while in college, they're happy enough. They're not as happy that she's now in her 30s and still working for that store.

Keiko is actually quite happy. She has a routine. There's a precise order to the things she must do each day. When a new employee comes in and starts to question why things must be so precise, he starts to make Keiko wonder if she's really where she should be.

I wasn't sure what I'd think of Convenience Store Woman. It was addicting. I was instantly drawn into Keiko's world. I loved the descriptions of her job and her life. She may not be your average person, but that's what made her so much fun.

The convenience store itself was appealing. What I wouldn't give to be able…

Dreams of Falling by Karen White

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Release Date: June 5, 2018



Karen White's Dreams of Falling spans several decades. It starts back in the 1950s with three best friends who get to travel to Myrtle Beach after graduating high school. Things lead to a secret that two of the three have kept hidden for decades.

Skip forward in time. Larkin left South Carolina after a horrible act of betrayal shattered her world. She's a talented copywriter in New York City with no plans to ever return to her hometown.

When her grandmother calls her, she's torn. She never wanted to return, but her mother, Ivy, is missing. Larkin makes the trip back to the place she swore she'd never see again. It's there that Larkin starts to uncover the truth about her grandmother, her mother, and herself.

Dreams of Falling wasn't a horribly fast-paced novel. It meanders back and forth between the 1950s and the 2000s. It details the experiences of Larkin's grandmother and her best friends, the secrets they hide, and skips back t…

Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe by Preston Norton

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Release Date: June 5, 2018



Wow! Just wow. If there is one book that I urge parents and teens to read, it's Neanderthal Opens the Door to the Universe. This book is fantastic. It's snarky, fun, endearing, and so, so powerful.

"Neanderthal" is really Cliff Hubbard. At 6' 6" and 250 pounds, his classmates would rather call him Neanderthal and make his life miserable. It only seemed to get worse after his older brother killed himself. Cliff is simply trying to make it through each and every day without the support of friends or even his parents, who have only gotten worse since his brother died.

After getting suspended for beating up one of the popular jocks who never stopped teasing Cliff, he returns to school ready to get right back into it. Only that jock isn't in school. It turns out he was in an accident. When he returns, he approaches Cliff. He had a near-death experience and God told him he needed to complete a list of tasks that he must complete wit…