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Showing posts from April, 2020

Jack Kerouac Is Dead to Me by Gae Polisner

Release Date - April 7, 2020 At 15, JL Markham's life once surrounded her best friend Aubrey. The pair did everything together. High school is changing them. Aubrey's spending time with a crowd that mocks JL. JL's becoming hooked on a senior, Max, who has the bad boy persona, which doesn't matter to JL, but it seems others are dead set on branding her a "Jezebel" like the butterflies she raises. Butterflies are the only things bringing her a sense of calm at the moment. Her mother's mental health issues and her father's extended business trip are tearing the family apart. JL's had enough, and Max's news that as soon as school's over, he's hitting the road just as Jack Kerouac did. It's up to JL to decide if she's staying or joining him. I have mixed feelings on this book. Part of me loved it. JL is endearing. Her coming-of-age story is told between past and present. It's easy to see just how much her lack of truly r

Master Class by Christina Dalcher

Release Date - April 21, 2020 Master Class is the most engrossing, irritating novel I've read in a while. Don't get me wrong. I did love it, but I also became so angry as I read it. What made me so angry? The fact that this novel isn't too far off things that happened in the past. I'd never heard of this dark part of history. Thanks so much to Berkley for allowing me to be part of their blog. I'm delighted to share this book with Roundtable readers. It's not the world we know anymore. Women have their fetuses tested in the early stages of pregnancy to determine if it's worth carrying them to term. Children take tests to check their "Q" levels. Children with high Q's go to the best schools. Those who score low get sent to low-tier schools in the Midwest. Teachers are tested and teach children at their approved level. It's a world where children with behavioral issues or challenges with learning don't take a teacher's time aw

The Summer Villa by Melissa Hill

Release Date - April 28, 2020 Thanks to Harlequin for bringing The Summer Villa to my attention and inviting me to be part of the blog tour. I want so much to be part of this book's gorgeous setting. Melissa Hill brought Italy to life in this book. Annie, Colette, and Kim all met during a life-changing getaway to the Amalfi Coast in Italy. Since that meeting, they've become true friends. Kim's bought the villa where they stayed and is about to debut La Dolce Vita for the first time. She's asked her good friends to return to celebrate the villa's remodel. Back then, Kim was escaping her controlling parents' demands that she marry a stranger to form an ideal arrangement for their needs. Annie was escaping a life of frustration and sorrow. Colette needed to refresh as her mom's caregiver after a cancer diagnosis. Italy proved to be exactly what they needed. Now, all three are back and still dealing with life's hurdles. Kim's villa is gorgeou

The New Husband by D.J. Palmer

Release Date - April 14, 2020 If you've never been to Lake Winnipesaukee, it's a gorgeous lake surrounded by small towns with museums, churches, and historic buildings dotting the shores. Wolfeboro is the town I am most familiar with, and it became what I envisioned as I read The New Husband . When her husband disappears, Nina Garrity is left to pick up the pieces. The assumption is that Glen fell into the lake while fishing. He may have hit his head, which explains the blood on the boat, but his body's never been recovered. It's been two years and Nina's growing fond of the new man in her life. Simon Fitch, a local teacher, is perfect. He's great with her children, and he's devoted to her. He has plenty of money to buy her things and assures he she doesn't have to work. The problem is that Nina's daughter doesn't get along with Simon and seems determined to drive a wedge between them. Getting Maggie to accept that her father's gone

The Closer You Get by Mary Torjussen

Release Date - April 21, 2020 Ruby is crazy about her boss, and he's equally crazy about her. They make a plan to tell their spouses they're leaving. They're going to start a new life together. Ruby packs her important belongings, tells her husband it's over, and heads to their meeting point. Harry never shows up. The weekend passes and Ruby still hasn't heard a word from Harry. She has no home to go to for now, so she heads to work Monday morning to see what's going on. There, she learns her job has been terminated. Harry and his wife are off on vacation to celebrate his wife's pregnancy. Ruby's heartbroken and alone. Ruby has two choices, start a life on her own or return to her verbally abusive husband. She cannot handle more years of being criticized and controlled. She manages to find a small apartment and starts a job search. Before long, she realizes that someone is following her. Someone is sending her cryptic notes attached to photos of

Truths I Never Told You by Kelly Rimmer

Release Date - April 14, 2020 I am extremely grateful to Graydon House for recommending Kelly Rimmer's Truths I Never Told You . I wasn't sure I was going to love this book after I started it. A few chapters later, I was fully engaged with both Grace (past) and Beth (present) and proceeded to read it in one sitting. Beth is a new mom. Society seems to expect all new moms instantly adore and love their children. Beth doesn't find it as easy. Her son seems to  be a stranger and she doesn't feel that immediate bond. The only thing she thinks she's any good at is breastfeeding. Everything else is hard. She has a hard time sleeping. She keeps her feelings bottled up. She's withdrawing from her family. As a licensed therapist, she is not about to admit she's suffering from postpartum depression. When Beth's dad's dementia and heart disease worsen, it's clear that he needs to go into a nursing home. Beth offers to clean his home, and what she f

April Harlequin Blog Tour

April's highlighted Harlequin romances are all delightful. I'm not sure I could pick one favorite out of the three. All were equally engaging and left me feeling so satisfied. Melissa Senate's Wyoming Special Delivery is the second book in the Dawson Family Ranch series. Jilted bride Daisy Dawson never expected to go into labor after the baby's father fails to show for their wedding. She's lucky Harrison McCord drove past and helped delivery her son. What she doesn't know is that this guest is at the Dawson Family Ranch with news that the Dawson's will not appreciate. The setting in this story was only part of the reason I loved it. I sympathized with Harrison, but I could also see the Dawson's point of view. It's easy to feel for both sides. While the reader knows from the start how things could easily be resolved, you get to watch Daisy and Harrison's relationship build and evolve. I loved it. In Brenda Jackson's Seduced by a

Hide Away by Jason Pinter

Release Date - March 1, 2020 Rachel Marin ran from her former life for reasons only she knows. Her new life in Illinois has her working hard and keeping her children safe. This single mom is probably as tough as they come, and very few know her real story. When the mayor turns up dead, Rachel knows it's not the suicide others believed. She's going to prove it. The two detectives on the case are not thrilled with the novice sleuth and wonder if she may know it was a murder because she was involved. Rachel has to stay two steps ahead if she's going to solve the crime, keep her children safe, and prove her innocence. While I found Hide Away to be hard to put down, I also wondered very often why a mother whose children were her main concern kept putting herself in harm's way. It seemed a little unbelievable that given all her kids had experienced that she'd constantly be late to return home. The "mom" in me didn't believe that would happen. If my

Keep Me Afloat by Jennifer Gold

Release Date - March 3, 2020 Abby Fisher never planned to return home, but she's a marine biologist and her grant money ran out. She's home and needing to start over. The problem is that five years ago, she left her town after her marriage ended and her life was in shambles. Returning home isn't ideal, but she has no where else to go. Back at home, five years has clearly changed her and those she loves. Her parents aren't the same. Her friends have moved on and are starting or trying to start families after building careers. She's still dreaming of a job that puts her out on the ocean and also pays a regular income. All of this starting over isn't going to be easy when she can't seem to let go of her past. Keep Me Afloat drew me in. It's told in past and present. You get to meet Abby and her friends. You fall in love with her coastal town. You also slowly start to see what happened to change her life. Part of it ends up being a surprise that I

Book Blog: We Didn't Ask For This by Adi Alsaid

Special thanks to Inkyard Press for inviting Roundtable Reviews to be part of the book tour for We Didn't Ask For This . The message in this story is one I have very strong feelings for, and it's a current event most people are aware of. If you know who Greta Thunberg is, you'll understand the importance. Look for Adi Alsaid's novel on April 7th. Marisa Cuervas has one goal. She wants people to take the importance of helping to save the oceans seriously. To do so, she gets a few friends to join her in a lockdown. Each of the friends and Marisa chains themselves to a school exit/entrance. Until Marisa's demands are met, no one will be allowed in or out. This act angers some students. It's the one night of the school year that they're allowed to take over the school. It's a night where some students see their plans for the evening go awry. From the boy who finally has the courage to reveal his feelings to his crush. One hopes to prove she's just