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Showing posts from July, 2020

Someone We Know by Shari Lapena

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Release Date - July 30, 2019



Olivia Sharpe is shocked when she spies a text message on her son's phone that says "Did you break in last night?" Her son has broken into two neighborhood homes. Worse, while inside, he hacked into their computers. She'd want to know, so she sends anonymous letters to the owners of the two homes. That's just the the start of the whispers and gossip.

When a woman in their neighborhood vanishes, police say it sounds like she was having an affair adn left on her own. When her body is found, the neighborhood explodes with gossip and secrets start to come out. Husbands and wives throughout the neighborhood all have things to hide and someone will do anything to keep those secrets from being revealed.

Expect plenty of twists in Someone We Know. The book focuses closely on Olivia, her husband, and her son; their best friends; a married empty nester; the missing woman's husband; a new single neighbor; and several others who are all part…

A Sweet Mess by Jayci Lee

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Release Date - July 14, 2020



Aubrey Choi loves her bakery and creating whatever her customers desire. That's what causes her to make a rich chocolate bundt cake filled with peanut butter cream cheese frosting and gummy worms. What a six-year-old girl desires is her goal, but the cake ends up in the wrong hands. The food critic that gets it leaves a less than pleasing review and it threatens to ruin Aubrey's business. Worse, she had a one-night stand with him.

Landon Kim never goes back on his reviews. The gummy worms in the cake were hideous, and he won't give Comfort Zone a second chance. Not even if the owner is a woman he found himself falling for. What he can do is make it up to her by getting her to appear on his best friend's cooking show. He's the producer, and he hopes the exposure is all that's needed to save her bakery.

Working side by side with a woman who is not at the top of his list is hard enough. Realizing he's falling head over heels for h…

The Kindness Method by Shahroo Izadi

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Release Date - July 9, 2019



The past few years have been far from easy or enjoyable. First, there was my dad's death. Second, I learned how much my mom's Alzheimer's had progressed and how much he was hiding from us regarding her behaviors. Finally, people in my community and across the nation have taken to bashing people who do not think exactly like they do. It's disheartening.

I'd struggled to read The Kindness Method: Change Your Habits for Good Using Self-Compassion and Understanding when it came out last year. I found myself eager to try again, but I still struggled some. I get what the author is trying to do to change her life. The introduction was so long that I found myself skipping pages to get to what I'd call the "meat" of the self-help book. When I got there, I'd lost interest unfortunately.

The book's main focus is about creating a custom plan or map. I guess that was where I was lost. I'd love to have a plan and be kinder t…

The Mall by Megan McCafferty

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Release Date - July 28, 2020



The Mall is a bit of a step back in time. It takes place in 1991, which is when I would have been getting married. In the few years before that, I spent hours with friends in the mall. We would bounce from the mall's two record stores, the arcade, the Ben and Jerry's scoop shop, Papa Ginos, and clothing retailers like Benneton or Nuevo Wavo. Malls are not what they were back then.

Cassie Worthy is back in action after weeks of mono knocking her down. Her reunion with her boyfriend goes horribly wrong when she's attacked by her boyfriends's new girlfriend. Worse, she's being fired because the new couple cannot bear to think of her working with them, too.

Crushed, she goes into Sam Goody's where a store clerk treats her horribly. She ends up bumping into an old friend's mom. She's offered a job in their family's upscale clothing shop. It's better than being unemployed shortly before college begins, so Cassie takes it. …

The Kids Are Gonna Ask by Gretchen Anthony

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Release Date - July 28, 2020



Thomas and Savannah McClair haven't had a horrible childhood, but it's not been the best either. Raised by their single mom and her parents, they've been loved. Their mother's death has always weighed heavily, however. Now, they're almost 18 and questions arise as to who their father was.

Not even their grandmother knows his identity, but she's willing to let them dig into their mom's past. It's turned into a podcast that's fully sponsored. Unfortunately, the public's mixed reaction to their digging has them feeling the pains of public scrutiny. Is it invasive or understandable to seek out your birth parent?

While I liked the characters in The Kids Are Gonna Ask, some of the adults infuriated me. You'll see what I mean. The plot moves along at a great pace and keeps your interest from the very first page. I didn't find any shocking plot twists in it, and it didn't go into the direction I thought it might…

The Bright Lands by John Fram

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Release Date - July 7, 2020



Bentley, Texas, loves football and its conservative ways. It's the latter part of that passion that found Joel Whitley leaving his hometown for New York City. Being a gay man in a conservative Texas town wasn't easy or enjoyable.

Years later, a message from his younger brother brings Joel back to Bentley. When his brother disappears, he knows something is wrong. The messages he's getting from his brother are clearly being sent by someone else. His worst fears are confirmed when Dylan's body is discovered.

He's not about to let police brush this crime off. His former girlfriend is now a sheriff's deputy and her own brother vanished under mysterious circumstances. While she may harbor ill feelings towards Joel, she wants to know what's happening in her town. It's clear many students and adults are hiding something, and it's up to the two of them to figure out if their town is harboring a murderer.

I loved the premise in Th…

He Started It by Samantha Downing

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Release Date - July 21, 2020



He Started It started starts with a simple statement. "You want a heroine." Most stories do have a heroine. This book stands apart as the family within the pages is so flawed and unlikable that by the final page I wondered what the hell I'd done. It was a few hours of my life that I can't get back. I read every page, sure, but I never liked anything I read.

Eddie, Beth, and Portia were just 14, 12, and 6 when their grandfather took them on a road trip across the U.S. Two decades later, the trio find themselves hitting the road again. Their grandfather died and wants his ashes spread on the other side of the country. If they want to inherit his millions to split equally, they must recreate the road trip they all went on together. The last road trip wasn't a fun family vacation due to situations and circumstances revealed along the way. This one could prove to be even worse.

Eddie, Beth, Portia, their parents, and their grandfather put …

The Cottages on Silver Beach by Raeann Thayne

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Release Date - June 2018



Here's an older romance you may have overlooked that needs to be on your TBR pile. The Cottages on Silver Beach feature FBI agent Elliot Bailey. He's back in town for his sister's wedding reception and books one of Megan Hamilton's lakefront cottages. There's one big problem. She hates him and doesn't see he's the one who make the online reservation until it's paid in full. She can't turn him away.

Megan is an up-and-coming photographer and inn owner. She's spent years helping her brother raise his kids after his wife vanished. The town suspects he murdered her, but her body's never been found. Elliot is one of those who turned his back on his former best friend, and Megan's not about to forgive or forget.

Back in Haven Point, Elliot is forced to realize that he's never going to get over Megan, but she's guarded and can't return his feelings knowing he still feels her brother is guilty.

I'm not s…

Really? At Your Age? by Jacqueline Diamond

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Thanks to author Jacqueline Diamond for providing an advanced copy of her latest romance novel.

Release Date - July 16, 2020



Cody's a widow with frozen embryos available. The kicker is she's 52 now. The clock is ticking and an earthquake has her thinking she's waited far long enough. There's another issue. Her long-time crush and co-worker Ben's daughter offers to be the surrogate to her child. Whether she says yes or no, someone's going to get hurt.

As I started reading the book, I found it so hard to imagine being my age and wanting a child. As a result, I wasn't sure I'd be able to sympathize with Cody. I have my hands full with a parent with Alzheimer's, and her tantrums and agitation are worse than my children's tantrums ever were. I'm exhausted all of the time and just couldn't imagine starting with newborns at this age. I entered into Really? At Your Age? wondering if I'd be able to connect with the characters or not.

What ha…

What You Wish For by Katherine Center

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Release Date - July 14, 2020



Samantha Casey loves her job as a school librarian. She's found incredible joy at inspiring the kids in the school to get lost in books and embrace the joy in life. She hasn't always been happy. She has epilepsy and that made her own childhood miserable.

When her beloved principal and pseudo-father passes away unexpectedly, Sam never expects Duncan Carpenter to be chosen to replace him. She left Duncan years ago and never thought she'd see him again. She hopes it's a different Duncan Carpenter, but it's not. He's back in her life and nothing like she remembers.

The careful, colorful Duncan is now a by-the-book leader whose non-stop rules make him more dictator than vibrant gym teacher. She's not sure she can tolerate the new Duncan and plans to drive him out with the help of her co-workers.

What You Wish For is an entertaining novel. I liked Sam and had Duncan pegged from the start. While it is a romance, it's so much more. …