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Showing posts from August, 2018

Forbidden Lovers by Kimberley Troutte

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Release Date: August 1, 2018



Forbidden Lovers appears to be the first in a series. My assumption is that each sibling will have his or her own romance, I haven't gone to the author's website to confirm this. There is the chance that the series will keep going with cousins and even area visitors over time.

Julia Espinoza fell madly in love with Matt Harper when they were both teens. He abrupt departure always shook her and left her with a broken heart. When Matt left for the military, he felt as though he had no choice. He was heartbroken when Julia married shortly after his departure.

Years have passed. Matt's back in town and wants to get answers to this and another pressing question. Why has his domineering, miserable father suddenly reached out to Matt and his siblings? What on earth could that man want with kids he raised with an iron fist?

Julia is aware that the new stranger in town seems very familiar. When she realizes it's Matt, she's not sure what to do. …

Vox by Christina Dalcher

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Release Date - August 21



Image a world where women are limited to 100 words. If they exceed it, they get slammed with an electrical charge from a wristband they're forced to wear. That's Jean's life now. She and her five-year-old daughter are both limited to 100 words. Women can't work. They're subservient and meant only to serve the men in their lives. Cooking, cleaning, and raising the kids is Jean's life now. It's the life all women in the U.S. face. It's one they cannot stand but seem powerless to end. 100 words isn't much, certainly not enough for 24 hours.

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That above paragraph is exactly 100 words. Can you imagine your day's thoughts, fears, hopes, and dreams being limited to that each day? Vox terrified me. With the current administration, I could see parts of this novel becoming true. I could see some of the men in office thinking a world like that would be ideal. It's frightening and great fodder for book c…

Smothered by Autumn Chiklis

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Release Date - August 7, 2018



She's graduating summa cum laude from Columbia University. You'd think that Eloise "Lou" Hansen is ready to start a new chapter in her life. Before that can happen, there are a few things she needs, and she has the list to get her started.

Lou has yet to find a job. She's returning to California to live with her mom and dad. She doesn't want to be here long, but her list of getting up early each morning, getting in shape, and landing her dream job isn't going well. Meanwhile, her mom is ready to tackle the summer - one store, salon appointment, and spin class at a time. And, she'll make sure Lou is involved each step of the way. That means helping Lou find herself, even if Lou doesn't really want the help.

Smothered is part romance, part young adult, part new adult, and a whole lot of humor. This is Autumn Chiklis's debut. If the name seems familiar, it's because her dad is actor Michael Chiklis of The Shield

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones

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Release Date: August 21, 2018



Emily is head over heels in love with Adam. From their first meeting, she senses he's the one. She's had her heart broken in the past, and this time it feels reel. There's only one problem: his mother.

Pammie is controlling, manipulative, and determined to keep them apart. Emily begins to wonder how far Pammie will go to keep her son tied to her apron strings. When she makes comments like "over my dead body," does she really plan to take things that far?

I have one major issue with this book. Don't get me wrong, I was hooked and loved every second of the roller coaster ride, but I just can't believe Emily stayed. From the point of the second meeting with Pammie, that would have been it. I would have walked away and let that woman win. No way would I have stayed and I can't believe Emily put up with as much as she did.

The Other Woman is very gripping. You can't believe what happens happens. When I reached the end, I w…

Maybe For You: A Whiskey and Weddings Novel by Nicole McLaughlin

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Release Date - August 28, 2018



I've really enjoyed Nicole McLaughlin's prior novels. Maybe For You missed the mark for me. It was a book that I kept reading hoping there might be more of a hook, but I never really got into the characters or storyline.

After her fiance was killed shortly before their wedding, Alexis Parker's spent a year in Italy working through her grief and trying to move on. She's back in town where she'll help her brother at his whiskey distillery before moving on to a new job with the CIA.

Jake Cooper has been the one person to keep her grounded. He's been her sounding board. When the chance comes up to join Jake on a national tour to promote their whiskey, she takes it. His reputation as a playboy is causing issues within the company, and Alex could be the one to keep him in line. She never expects to find herself falling for him.

Jake's promised his business partner, who happens to be Alex's brother, that he'll take good care…

A Curve in the Road by Julianne MacLean

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Release Date - August 14, 2018



Driving home from her mom's house, Abbie MacIntyre's SUV is hit from behind. She spins out of control and ends up in a ravine. Her dog is thrown out the window. Jaws of life are needed to extract her.

She learns the driver of the other car was drunk. Surrounded by her co-workers, she has to get checked out, treated for injuries, and hope her dog is found and is okay. She also must tell her son of the accident that will change their lives. Somehow, she must put her life back together and turn a tragic evening into a chance to start anew.

As the publisher's blurb doesn't reveal one of the very first revelations, I'm leaving it out of my summary, but it does play a big part so that makes the review tough. In essence, this story turns into one of how do you forgive someone who has destroyed everything you know?

A Curve in the Road is short and doesn't slow in terms of pace. I started it and finished it in just a couple of hours. It…

Rust & Stardust by T. Greenwood

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Release Date - August 7, 2018



In 1948, 11-year-old Sally Horner is trying to fit in with a group of girls at school. The mission seems easy enough, she must accompany them to Woolworth's and shoplift an item. If she does that, she's in. Things go horribly wrong. She's caught by a man claiming to be an FBI agent. He tells her he must take her to a nearby city to appear in front of a judge. She goes along fearing she could go to jail.

Sally has no idea that Frank LaSalle is actually just out of prison after serving time for kidnapping and raping another young girl. One that he forced into becoming his wife to avoid charges.

Months and years go by. Sally's widowed mother starts to lose hope that she'll ever see her daughter again. Sally fears she'll never escape the torture Frank puts her through. All they can hope for is a miracle.

Rust & Stardust: A Novel is based on the true story of Sally Horner. Her story was the inspiration behind the novel Lolita. It…

The Complete Slow Cooking for Two: A Perfectly Portioned Slow Cooker Cookbook by Linda Larsen

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Release Date - September 2015



The Complete Slow Cooking for Two: A Perfectly Portioned Slow Cooker Cookbook breaks recipes down into 11 chapters. Enjoy guides into converting standard recipes to slow cooker recipes and tips for making the most of your slow cooker. There are also appendixes to help you with cleaning tips, conversions, and a guide into the fruits and vegetables that are found to have the highest and lowest levels of pesticides and other contaminants before they're washed.

Categories in the slow cooker cookbook include:


Broths, Stocks, and CondimentsSoups, Stews, and ChiliBeef, Lamb, and PorkPoultry SeafoodMeatless MealsBeans and GrainsVegetables and SidesBreakfastsDesserts

I love that it includes spice rubs. Spices are essential for flavor, but the right rub can also hold in moisture. The All-American Dry Rub was fantastic with slow cooker pulled pork. My second find was the slow cooker recipes for chicken and beef stock. I like to make my own stocks, and the chicken…

Worth Fighting For by Wendy Qualls

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Release Date - August 14, 2018



Worth Fighting For is another entry in the Heart of the South series. Homeschooled for many years. Sterling Harper entered college without feeling anything for women. In a one-night trial to see if he really does like women at all, he gets his best friend pregnant. He's clearly gay, but now he's 18 and a dad. He marries his friend in an effort to do the right thing.

Ten years later, Sterling's wife is dead. He's raising his transgender daughter on his own. His in-laws are firmly against the transition and refuse to call "Louis" by her new chosen name Alexa. Sterling is not about to cave to their pressure, and it's clear they are not the right people to watch Alexa all summer long. He tires a nanny to watch her. Jericho is a confident gay man with a degree in special ed. He's perfect.

Soon Sterling finds that Jericho is perfect in more ways than one. For years, Sterling has hidden his sexual orientation from almost everyo…

RTR's Review of Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins

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Release Date - August 7, 2018



The bond that Emerson, Georgia, and Marley formed at a camp for overweight girls never eased. Fifteen years later, a tragedy brings them back together. Emerson's death is the unexpected blow, but it's her request to Georgia and Marley that sets things into action. She wants them to take their list of things they want to do and make it come true.

With a list full of tasks like be part of a photo shoot and get a guy to buy your drink, Marley and Georgia feel the list is a little outdated, but they will do anything to honor Emerson's memory.

As they tackle the list, they also face their pasts. Marley has never moved past her young twin sister's death. Georgia's never gotten past the pain she felt growing up with a controlling mother, verbally abusive sibling, and absentee father. For both, the past has done nothing to help them move past poor self-esteem and major mistakes when it comes to relationships. This list might be what it takes …

RTR's Book Review of Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

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Release Date - August 21, 2018



Not Her Daughter is Rea Frey's debut fictional novel. It's a gripping story, and the film rights have been acquired by Argent Pictures. It could well end up on the big screen.

Sarah Walker's essentially alone. Her mom left her when she was young. Her dad raised her into the strong young business owner she is today. A chance encounter in an airport leaves her reeling.

Emma Townsend's mother doesn't seem to love her. Emma is a beautiful, precocious child, but her mom has nothing but hateful words and bruises to leave their mark.

Amy Townsend knows she should love her daughter, but something keeps her from being the perfect mom. She struggles with her daughter's beauty and independence.

Once Sarah encounters Emma, she can't seem to let her go. The decision is made to kidnap the young girl. As Sarah and Emma bond during a trip across the U.S., Amy is at home waiting for news on whether her daughter is alive or dead. Public opinion…

RTR's Book Review of Sold on a Monday by Kristina McMorris

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Release Date: August 28, 2018



Sold On a Monday all starts with a real photograph from the Depression era. A mother is so desperate that she puts her children up for sale.



The story takes this real photograph and spins a story about the lives of those affected by the sale. Reporter Ellis Reed never meant for the photo to get attention. He's seen the pain the Depression and a loss of a child has brought to his family.

Lillian Palmer spots Ellis's photo and slips it to her boss. When that photo leads to Ellis' big break, she's happy for him, but the results of showing that photo to the world are not something she considered. It puts her own secrets at risk of spilling out.

Now that things are spiraling, Lillian and Ellis opt to work together to unravel what exactly became of the children affected most by the photo.

I had a rough time getting into Sold On a Monday. I liked the characters' roles in the story and the premise, but the actual heart of the story doesn't…

RTR's Book Review for Our House by Louise Standish

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Release Date - August 7, 2018



If you're looking for a book with a lead character you will despise, Our House is an excellent choice. I wanted to reach into the book and strangle Bram. At the very least, I would have loved to be able to tell him to grow a set.

Fiona adores her children and loves their father, though his past indiscretions weigh heavily. It's led to them being separated. To ease any strain on their children, they're doing a co-parenting deal where they take turn living in their home. When it's Bram's time with the boys, Fi goes to a flat they're sharing. When it's her turn, she moves back home and Bram heads to the flat.

Things go beyond the usual, however, when she returns from a trip early to find strangers moving into her home. Her boys are also missing. The new owners have proof that Bram sold them the house for $2 million. It's up to Fi to figure out if Bram is in danger, where are her boys, and how her house could have been sold ri…