Showing posts from September, 2021

Eight Perfect Hours by Lia Louis

 Release Date - September 28, 2021 Noelle Butterby put her dreams on hold after her mom's stroke. That the love of her life also left never helped. She's on her way back from a college alumni event when snow shuts down the motorway. She's stuck with cars all around and no chance of getting home any time soon and a dead phone. That's how she meets Sam, a handsome stranger who was on his way to the airport. While it's not exactly what she planned to do, Noelle takes his offer to use his charger. Sitting in his car for eight hours leads her to realize that there's something about Sam that creates feelings she's never experienced. But the minute the traffic clears, Sam's on his way and Noelle may never see him again. Fate intervenes and Sam and Noelle have to admit there's something unusual going on. Even when they leave never intending to see each other again, they somehow do meet up. But, they both have significant others, so they have no future toget

The House of Ashes - Stuart Neville

 Release Date - September 7, 2021 After her nervous breakdown, Sara Keane's husband has moved them from England to Northern Ireland. They'll live rent and mortgage-free in an old farmhouse his father purchased. In her new home, Sara has no friends, no car, no job, and no chance to leave the home. Damien wants it that way. He wants her to focus on getting well and not dealing with any distractions. She sees it as being a prisoner. When an elderly woman appears one day, feet bloody, and crying that this is her home and asking about the children, Sara starts looking into the woman's identity and the home's past. She learns that the home has a terrifying history, and that she and Mary have a lot in common, even if Sara doesn't want to admit it. That is all it takes to start bonding with this woman, even if Damien doesn't want her to learn the truth about this home's past. The House of Ashes is really a sad, haunting mystery that goes back for 60 years and is

When Sparks Fly by Helena Hunting

 Release Date - September 21, 2021 Avery Spark and her sisters suffered the greatest loss when their parents were killed in a car accident. They're successful business owners now and run their grandmother's hotel. In her downtime, Avery and her roommate, Declan McCormick, enjoy food, sports, and hanging out with their friends. On one of their usual evenings, Avery mixes things up by heading out on a date the night before she has to travel. It upsets Declan and that's where everything goes wrong. Declan decides to go out to a bar and ends up hungover on the morning he offered to loan Avery his SUV. Forced to take her car before winter tires are installed, Avery is in a horrible crash and needs a caregiver for several months while she heals. Declan's guilt has him signing up for the role. During their time together, Avery must rely on Declan in more ways than she ever imagined. He must overcome the guilt he feels. They start falling for each other, but can their new fee

The Matzah Ball by Jean Meltzer

 Release Date - September 28, 2021 With many Christmas romances out there, The Matzah Ball was a refreshing change of pace. I'm not Jewish, so I did spend some time hitting certain words on my Kindle to get a definition, but that wasn't a big deal. Context usually made it clear. Rachel Rubenstein-Goldblatt hides a secret from her parents. She's actually a bestselling author of Christmas romances. When she learns her publisher is not extending her contract, she's stunned. She needs the income, and that leads to her proposal. She'll write a Jewish romance, even though Hannukah doesn't lend itself to the same magical atmosphere as Christmas does. To pull it off, she needs a ticket to attend a sold-out Jewish dance. The music and festivities may be exactly what she needs to find the magic for her new book. The problem is the event's host and organizer is her archenemy, Jacob Greenberg. Jacob broke her heart when they were 12. She hasn't seen him in decade

The Necklace by Matt Witten

 Release Date - September 7, 2021 I was intrigued when I heard that Matt Witten's novel has been optioned for a film with Leonardo DiCaprio attached as producer of  The Necklace . Not everyone may realize what a kind-hearted man he is on sets, and he's been a favorite actor since What's Eating Gilbert Grape.   So that aside, I started reading, and it took absolutely no time to get me hooked. As much as I wanted not to keep mentally casting Kate Winslet as Susan Lentigo, I couldn't help it. Her performance in Mare of Easttown made me feel she was a perfect choice for both young and old Susan. And, I wouldn't hate seeing the chemistry between the two back on a screen. Two decades earlier, Susan Lentigo was a happily married mom to a young daughter. When she's asked to take a shift at the diner where she works, she makes arrangements with her mom to get Amy after school and watch her until after dinner. Only Susan never gets her mom's message that she has to ba

Beautiful Country by Qian Julie Wang

 Release Date - September 7, 2021 Oh did my heart break for Qian, the author of Beautiful Country . Young Qian and her family immigrated, albeit illegally, from China in the 1980s. Her parents, both college professors, were forced to teach the government's way or suffer the consequences. Eventually, their only choice became to leave the country and try to start anew in the U.S. In New York City, the family faced unimaginable conditions. Forced to work in sweatshops and live in overly crowded apartments, the stress gets to Qian's parents. Life in the "Beautiful Country" isn't as wonderful as they'd hoped. To find the beauty, the family must face bigger struggles than imagined and figure out how to start life anew in a country that doesn't want to welcome immigrants. This book is so beautifully written. While Qian is an adult now, she tells the story well through her thoughts as a child. The child who learns English by reading books and watching TV, and