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Showing posts from January, 2020

The Big Five O by Jane Wenham-Jones

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Release Date - July 2019



Nearing 50 years myself, I expected to connect to the women in The Big Five O. The truth is I never did. Of all of them, Roz is the only one I found myself remotely interested in. Even then, I never felt compelled to read the novel in one sitting. That's why it's taken so long.

Four friends are all closing in on their 50 birthdays. They decide, some more enthusiastically than others, to celebrate together and hold a blow-out party in the middle of the summer.

There's Charlotte, an estate agent and empty nester who is finding it hard to let go of her kids, and she's more than a little suspicious about her husband's comings and goings.

Fay runs her own removal business and spends some evenings with her boy toy by her side.

Roz, a gallery assistant, is a struggling single mom who doesn't have the heart to tell everyone that she can't afford her bills let alone a party. When Roz comes up with a way to pay her bills, she doesn't dar…

The Love We Keep by Toni Blake

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Release Date - January 28, 2020



The Books in the Summer Island Series

Counting The Love We Keep, there have been three Summer Island romances. The other two novels are:

The One Who Stays - Meg Sloan inherits the Summerbrook Inn after her grandmother passes away. Meg has been in a relationship with Zack Sheppard for a while, but he hates staying. He's more at peace out on his fishing boat where he is gone for weeks at a time. Meg soon meets and starts falling for a summer visitor, Seth Darden, who is hiding things from Meg.

The Giving Heart - Lila is Meg's sister. She's on the island to house sit and meets an irritating real estate developer who wants to cut down trees adjacent to Meg's property. As much as Beck wants to appease Lila's anger, the development's been planned for a while and it's his job to make sure things get done.

This brings me to The Love We Keep. Meg's best friend, Suzanne is the island's florist. Her husband died six years ago, and…

The Look-Alike by Erica Spindler

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Release Date - January 28, 2020



I admit that Erica Spindler's new novel kept me on my toes. As some have said my reviews tend to be short and cut to the chase, I'm going to try a new structure and see what readers think.

In The Look-Alike, a young woman stumbles upon a murder victim while returning to her dorm after her study group meets. It shakes her enough that she can't help but wonder since the victim was dressed similarly if she was the target. Her overly protective father is one thing, but her mother suffers from mental illness and is convinced the woman was the true target. They decide to send the young woman to England to live with her grandmother.

Fast forward 10 years. Sienna is back. She's ready to start a new life and reunite with her mom and half-brother. Shortly after she returns, she learns the police reopened the investigation into the campus murder. Eerie phone calls begin. Someone has been watching and waiting, and she has no idea or why. Worse, she…

When We Were Vikings by Andrew David MacDonald

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Release Date - January 28, 2020



Zelda and her older brother, Gert, have been a team for years. Since their mother died from cancer, Gert's done all he can to keep his sister, a young disabled woman, with him. Their abusive uncle was not good enough. Zelda (fetal alcohol syndrome) is charming and follows Gert's rules. There is no smoking in the house. People must take their shoes off when they enter. Smiles mean thank you and fist bumps are a sign that you've earned Zelda's respect.

Her fascination with all things Viking helps with Zelda's strength and courage. When she comes to realize that Gert may be in over his head. She's determined to come to his rescue, even if he doesn't realize he needs her help.

When We Were Vikings is such an enjoyable read. Zelda's charming and witty. Her brother is a little more naive, but I get why he makes some of the choices he does. I just wish he'd thought it through a little better. I loved their support system of …

Big Lies in a Small Town by Diane Chamberlain

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Release Date - January 14, 2020



Big Lies in a Small Town takes place in two eras. You have the 1940s. Anna Dale wins a contest and is commissioned to paint a large mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. For some mysterious reason, Anna leaves before the mural is completed and is never seen again.

Morgan Christopher went to prison for her boyfriend's crime. She's offered an amazing deal. She can get out of prison now if she agrees to go to Edenton and restore the mural that Anna Dale started. Art was her life before her prison sentence. This gives her the chance to get back to her true passion, but restoration is not in her expertise. The artist who made the arrangements has made it clear. She is the only artist allowed to restore the mural, and she must have it completed by August 5th.

Knowing it's her only chance to start over, Morgan agrees. She idolized the artist who set this up. She has no idea why he chose her, and he's no longer alive to answer th…

The Last Affair by Margot Hunt

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Release Date - November 26, 2019



Kicking off the new year on a book that I struggled to finish. Margot Hunt's The Last Affair was too easily guessed. I had the killer figured out from the beginning.

Gwen Landon is dead. The local orthodontist's wife is found dead in their yard. Who killed her and why?

The town hides secrets. Josh Landon spotted his patients' mom at a conference. Nora is a popular food blogger stuck in an unhappy marriage. Josh gets that. His wife is unpleasant. Nora is everything he wants. Soon, the two are in the midst of an affair they can't give up. What Josh doesn't know is that his daughter, who's home after dropping out of college, spied him and Nora together.

Abby left college after finding out her boyfriend and roommate were hooking up. The last thing she will allow is for her father to do the same thing. She makes it her goal to put an end to Josh and Nora's affair.

That's in the past. When Gwen is found in their yard with her…