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What Unbreakable Looks Like by Kate McLaughlin

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Release Date - June 23, 2020



Lex's mother was happier to drain a bottle of booze than she was spending time with her daughter. For that reason, she never notices the attention Lex is getting from a family friend. Lex ends up part of a trafficking ring where she's drugged and becomes part of a ring of girls who are used and abused. As Poppy, she's happy she has the drugs to numb her to the rest of her daily existence. When police raid the hotel where she and other girls are being held, she's given the chance to start anew. The problem is she knows what she was, and she's not sure anyone can love her. Her mother sure didn't.

Her aunt and uncle are desperate to help Lex experience the life she was meant to live. They take her in and hope their efforts can get through to the teen. When some of the boys at her new school assault her, Lex has to summon every inch of strength she has to fight for herself and to learn to trust again.

I know that trafficking exists. I …

She's Faking It by Kristin Rockaway

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Release Date - June 30, 2020



She's Faking It drew me in from the start. Bree Bozeman is in a tight spot. Her slacker boyfriend took off to find himself. In the process he left her stuck with the rent. When her car dies in the middle of her job as a food delivery person, her five-star rating and job as a GrubGetter vanish.

It's her sister who urges her to read a guide from a self-help life coach. Bree is desperate, so she's eager to try anything that might help her find out who she is and what she wants from life. The problem is that even after reading the book, she's not certain she knows. For now, she opts to take the guru's advice and "fake it until you make it."

Faking it could be the solution to Bree's problems. She's starting to get freebies from companies who spot her Instagram account. She's gaining followers. Best of all, she may have found the man of her dreams. Can you really build a life for yourself when it's based on a lie?

Th…

Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle

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Release Date - June 9, 2020



Marrying an older widower has not made Charlotte's life easy. Despite the fact that she is madly in love with him, gossip is that she married him for his wealth. There's another problem. His first wife, an expert swimmer, drowned mysteriously. When a second body is found in the lake, right under Charlotte and Paul's dock, fingers are pointed at Paul.

What's worse is that Charlotte saw Paul talking to the mystery woman the day before. Is the husband she loves a killer? When he abruptly takes off with his camping and survival gear and tells her he'll be out of touch for a few days, Charlotte becomes convinced that all is not right in her marriage and that her husband is clearly hiding things from her. Can she stay in a marriage that's potentially built on lies?

Stranger in the Lake starts with a bang. It's set in a remote lake town in North Carolina. Charlotte grew up in a house filled with liars, and she raised her brother when it…

Saving Ruby King by Catherine Adel West

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Release Date - June 16, 2020



Life's hard enough. When Ruby King's mom is murdered in their Chicago home, it's not taken overly seriously given the violence in the South Side. For Ruby, it leaves her alone with an abusive father and longing for her mom.

Her friend Layla knows of the household violence Ruby and her mother experienced. She wants desperately to help, but her dad, the church's pastor, tells her to stay out of it. Desperate to help her friend, Layla ignores her dad, which brings up secrets that both families have been hiding.

This book couldn't be more fitting given the times. It's tragic that the story fits so well to all that's going on today. Even though the Black Lives Matter movement is strong and getting the attention that must happen for change to begin, the story never preaches. What I did struggle with was the opening chapters. It took a bit of time to get into it as the voices change each chapter. A flood of characters kicked things of…

A Family for Beginners by Sarah Morgan

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Release Date - May 5, 2020



Flora Donovan is happy with her job as a florist, but she's not as happy in other areas. Her apartment is the pits. Her mother also died when she was young, and she was raised by an aunt who really had no interest in becoming an "instant mom." When she meets Jack Parker, a widower, she enters into a relationship cautiously. She knows that his daughters have to come before her as they're grieving the loss of their mom.

When a burst pipe destroys Flora's apartment, Jack asks Flora to stay with them until she can find something safer than where she was. She's hesitant, but he and his younger daughter insist. It's the teen daughter that is going to prove to be harder to befriend. Soon, Flora's invited to join the family on their yearly trip to the Lake District in the U.K., and that's where she will have to decide if she can be part of this family or if walking away would be best for these girls.

A Family for Beginners was a…

Dovetail by Karen McQuestion

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Release Date - March 10, 2020



Joe Arneson has been having a series of recurrent dreams. These dreams feel too real to be dreams. They leave him shaking and unstable. That's why his dad decides to send Joe to a psychiatric hospital. Joe's not finding the help he needs there, and one day a woman claiming to be his grandmother comes to get him out. He knows his grandmother is dead, but he wants to leave the hospital, too, so he heads off with her to her small Wisconsin town.

In Wisconsin, Joe's offered a job to sort through his grandmother's things before she dies. He learns that the woman really is his grandmother and that his father's lied to him for year. He doesn't understand why. As he goes through old photos, he realizes that his dreams are somehow tied to events of the past. His grandmother's sister Alice died decades ago, and his grandmother needs to reveal the truth of those events and events surrounding the reason his father hates her so much.

Doveta…

The Caretakers by Eliza Maxwell

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Release Date - April 14, 2020



Tessa Shepherd's film may have taken the world by storm and freed a seemingly innocent man from prison. Right after his release, he kidnaps the daughter of a law enforcement agent who put him behind bars. He tells police that Tessa holds the keys to the woman's location, and he'll kill her if they don't find her soon. Tessa becomes one of the most hated people on the planet. When reporters show up at her mother's funeral, it's too much. Tessa learns her mom owned a rundown estate home and flees to it.

There, she learns that the manor home is tended to by a couple of elderly women. One wants Tessa and uncover the truth. There's a mystery to solve, but Tessa's lost the confidence to unravel the murder that destroyed a family and turned Fallbrook into crumbling ruins. She also learns that she's the next if she can't figure out where the girl is being held.

There are two mysteries going on in The Caretakers. You have t…