Review: Freedom’s Light

Freedom's Light

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

USA TODAY bestselling author Colleen Coble explores the mystery and the romance of the Revolutionary War.

A young lighthouse keeper must navigate the dangerous waters of revolution and one man’s obsession with her to find safe harbor with the sea captain she loves.

Hannah Thomas believes she’s escaped Galen Wright’s evil intentions by marrying an older lighthouse keeper. Seemingly safe in faraway Massachusetts, her world is upended when John is killed in one of the first battles of the Revolutionary War. Hannah is allowed to continue the difficult task of tending the twin lighthouses in John’s place, though she faces daily disapproval from John’s family. She thinks her loneliness will subside when her younger sister arrives, but she finds Lydia’s obsession with Galen only escalates the dangerous tides swirling around her.

A stormy night brings a shipwrecked sea captain to Hannah’s door, and though he is a Tory, her heart is as traitorous as the dark-eyed captain. Even though she discovers Birch Meredith isn’t the enemy he seemed at first, Hannah isn’t sure their love will ever see the light of freedom.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Freedom’s Light by Colleen Coble is an adventurous historical journey. Many risks are involved. Fighting from one danger, leads to another. Before Hannah realizes so is her heart. Physically and emotionally gripping, Freedom’s Light offers a peek into the revolutionary war and the life of women back then.

I was immediately drawn into the plot. A quickly escalating tale, with danger rising from every side. Safety seems to disappear once Hannah’s husband dies in the war. After that, she is busying trying to manage the lighthouses and her life. But with a creep after her, her sister’s crazy obsession, and her dead husband’s family giving her a hard time, it seems impossible. Then an unexpected stranger shows up, and whatever strength was holding up is coming undone. Despite the trouble and her own fears, Hannah still goes strong. It was difficult not to be impressed. Overall, I enjoyed reading this story.

Review: White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D’Avenia

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Hailed as Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars, this Italian bestseller is now available for the first time in English.

“I was born on the first day of school, and I grew up and old in just two hundred days . . .”

Sixteen-year-old Leo has a way with words, but he doesn’t know it yet. He spends his time texting, polishing soccer maneuvers, and killing time with Niko and Silvia. Until a new teacher arrives and challenges him to give voice to his dreams.

And so Leo is inspired to win over the red-haired beauty Beatrice. She doesn’t know Leo exists, but he’s convinced that his dream will come true. When Leo lands in the hospital and learns that Beatrice has been admitted too, his mission to be there for her will send him on a thrilling but heartbreaking journey. He wants to help her but doesn’t know how—and his dream of love will force him to grow up fast.

Having already sold over a million copies, Alessandro D’Avenia’s debut novel is considered Italy’s The Fault in Our Stars. Now available in English for the first time, this rich, funny, and heartwarming coming-of-age tale asks us to explore the meaning—and the cost—of friendship, and shows us what happens when suffering bursts into the world of teenagers and renders the world of adults speechless.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

White as Silence, Red as Song by Alessandro D’Avenia is emotionally just as good as The Fault in Our Stars. I was hooked. The sadness swept me up within its current. Immediately, I felt the love, the pain, and the loss. But there was also hope and happiness to be gained. The characters are young and have a lot to to learn. Especially, Leo. He is hopelessly in love with a girl who ends up with cancer. That cancer eats away at her until, she passes. I was just as anguished as Leo. But I enjoyed watching Leo fall and then slowly rise up, again. He found a new hope. A new direction that involved love. Love is red. Silence is white. The original girl of his heart, teaches him lessons that help Leo move forward in life. His family was supportive. This YA novel was completely sad, engaging, and beautiful. I recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

Review: Consumed by J.R. Ward

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the popular Black Dagger Brotherhood series comes a brand-new novel about arson investigator, Anne Ashburn, who is consumed by her troubled past, her family’s scorched legacy, and her current case: chasing a deadly killer.

Anne Ashburn is a woman consumed…

By her bitter family legacy, by her scorched career as a firefighter, by her obsession with department bad-boy Danny McGuire, and by a new case that pits her against a fiery killer.

Strong-willed Anne was fearless and loved the thrill of fighting fires, pushing herself to be the best. But when one risky decision at a warehouse fire changes her life forever, Anne must reinvent not only her job, but her whole self.

Shattered and demoralized, Anne finds her new career as an arson investigator a pale substitute for the adrenaline-fueled life she left behind. She doesn’t believe she will ever feel that same all-consuming passion for her job again–until she encounters a string of suspicious fires setting her beloved city ablaze.

Danny McGuire is a premiere fireman, best in the county, but in the midst of a personal meltdown. Danny is taking risks like never before and seems to have a death wish until he teams up with Anne to find the fire starter. But Danny may be more than a distraction, and as Anne narrows in on her target, the arsonist begins to target her.

From the creator of the bestselling Black Dagger Brotherhood, get ready for a new band of brothers. And a firestorm.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Consumed by J.R. Ward is draws me in like a moth to a flame. Irresistible to the flame, I couldn’t stop reading this book. Emotionally gripping, hot, and full of risks, this writer captures my full attention. The plot moved quickly. Attitude, loss, grief, and romance fill these pages. I enjoy watching the two siblings give each other shit. It was funny. They obviously care about each other but show it differently than most. Then, there’s the attraction between two firefighters who have a knack for danger. Just as they go on a scene they end up in a situation neither thought they would be in…the reality comes and shakes their world. Sending it breaking into pieces. Their confidence shatters. But with time and a team that still cares, they might just survive…unless someone they trust tries killing them and succeeds. Overall, this book consumes. It takes me in deep and does not let go.

 

Review: The Healing by Linda Byler

The Healing

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A hopeful story of unexpected love in the midst of illness, pain, and family conflict

John is the youngest of seven boys and is constantly overshadowed by his big brothers who seem to all be stronger, smarter, and better looking than he is. As a teenager, he knows he’s overweight and is sure he’ll never be popular like his brothers are. But those struggles are nothing compared to the battle he is about to fight. After weeks of feeling exhausted, depressed, and achy, he has no idea what’s wrong with him and begins to wonder if he’ll be miserable for the rest of his life. By the time he is finally diagnosed with Lyme disease, his body is failing and his spirits are nearly at rock bottom.

John’s parents and brothers try to help him, but as weeks turn into months with no real sign of improvement, the illness begins to take its toll on all of them. Minor disagreements turn into angry fights and old hurts surface amidst uncertainty and exhaustion. The Amish family that was once so tightly knit is unraveling before John’s eyes.

When John’s older brother Samuel begins dating Lena Zook—John’s eighth grade teacher—he tries to be happy for them, but it’s hard not to feel jealous. With all his health issues, John figures he’ll be lucky if he makes it through rumschpringe at all; he doesn’t dare hope to date anyone as lovely and smart and fun as Lena is.

Determined not to continue burdening his family, John begins to discover a quiet inner strength, even as his body falters. Recovery seems far off, but he nurtures a glimmer of hope that God has not forgotten him. And is it his imagination, or is Lena starting to spend more time with him than she’s spending with Samuel? Torn between following his heart and the fear of tearing his family apart even more, John’s struggles seem to only get more complicated, even as that glimmer of hope fans into flame.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Healing by Linda Byler is a Christian novel that grabbed me in quickly. An Amish family once happy and fine, suffers. The youngest Amish boy is constantly picked on by his brothers. None of them understood what he was going through nor how he felt. I felt so much sympathy for John I wanted to hug him. But seeing as I couldn’t, all I could do was cheer and pray for him. His journey is one filled with sadness, shame, guilt, responsibility, and love. God is good. Themes of faith, family, and love are strong. The mother wanted to give up multiple times, when John was suffering. Yet, her husband never let her fall down from her faith. He kept strong holding her up despite the downfalls. I fell in love with the entire family. It was hard not to…I saw them at their best and their worst. No novel, I have read has quite shown me the realistic sides to an Amish family. No one is perfect. We all suffer. How we handle it is where we might differ. Overall, this novel tested my strength.

Review: Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s Christmas in Gold Valley, and this wounded widower is about to get another shot at love…

Grant Dodge didn’t expect to find a woman sleeping in an abandoned cabin on his family ranch. Or to find her so intriguing. Unlike every other woman in town, McKenna Tate doesn’t know Grant’s a widower. There’s no pity in the looks she gives him. McKenna wants him, and Grant has forgotten what it’s like to feel like a man. A no-strings fling for Christmas might be the kind of holiday cheer Grant needs…

With only a suitcase to her name, McKenna came to Gold Valley to confront her birth father. She didn’t plan to work at the Dodge ranch or fall for the gorgeous cowboy who keeps his heart roped off. But there’s no denying the way their broken pieces fit together. Hope brought her to Gold Valley—but will it be the gift that could finally heal Grant, and McKenna’s own wounded heart?

Also includes a bonus Gold Valley novella, Snowed in with the Cowboy!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Tall, Dark Cowboy Christmas by Maisey Yates is a book that grabbed my whole heart and soul. A young woman is sent off to live in the fosters homes at the age of two. From there, she goes back and forth with no one loving her. She has no family. Just as she leaves the foster system, they give her a birth certificate. One that led her to her birth father. Now, she has the opportunity of a lifetime. Meet her family. But she’s afraid. Then, upon her way there, she sleeps in a broken down cabin where a tall, dark cowboy found her.

Grant Dodge has lost his mother. And then his young wife. She died of cancer. His heart has never been the same. Until he found a young tiny woman sleeping away in a cabin. That’s when his world got turned upside down. Utter chaos, complicated, and hot sex…make Grant feel again. Things he never wanted to feel yet he does. All because of McKenna. A lost woman searching for family.

Maisey Yates created a beautifully written novel about family, hope, and love. Letting go of the past is harder to than others say. Grief, loss, and unexpected love found its way into my heart. I cried. Their loss and pain felt like it was my own. The characters were downright charming. Irresistible banters and plenty of humor to keep my interest. Overall, this sexy contemporary is a must read for all.

Review: The Wrong Highlander by Lynsay Sands

The Wrong Highlander (Highland Brides, #7)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A laird’s daughter kidnaps a Highlander—and loses her heart… in New York Times bestselling author Lynsay Sands’ new historical romance…

Lady Evina Maclean has heard much about Rory Buchanan’s skill as a healer. What she hasn’t heard is how good the brawny Highlander looks bathing in a waterfall. But Evina can’t afford the distraction, for her ailing father urgently needs care. Only when she’s rendered Buchanan unconscious and dragged him back to her family’s castle does the truth emerge—it’s not Rory she’s kidnapped but his brother Conran.

Other ladies try to ensnare Conran with flattery. Evina hits him over the head with the hilt of her sword to save her kin—and Conran likes the spirited redhead all the more for it. He’s learned enough from his brother to heal Evina’s father, but there are other dangers swirling around the Maclean clan. And while the beautiful, independent lady has sworn not to marry, this wrong Highlander may be just the right man for her.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Wrong Highlander by Lynsay Sands is an incredible Scottish adventure. From kidnapping a handsome Highlander to saving family, these Highlanders have their hands full. A young unmarried woman thought she kidnapped the right man. Turned out, it was his brother who also knew how to act in as a healer. Saved her da’s life and then, working to save hers, Conran falls helplessly in love with the red hair beauty. Lady Evina is quick with a sword, a good horse rider, and clever as she is beautiful. It didn’t surprise me that the two would eventually fall in love. But getting to that point was difficult with a murderer running somewhere around the castle. Family and trust were strong themes found on these pages. They tied in well with the plot. Plenty of action, heat, and mystery to keep my interest. Overall, I recommend this novel to all.

Review: The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In the snowy Highlands of Scotland, Suzanne McBride is dreaming of the perfect cozy Christmas. Her three adopted daughters are coming home for the holidays and she can’t wait to see them. But tensions are running high…

Workaholic Hannah knows she can’t avoid spending the holidays with her family two years in a row. But it’s not the weight of their expectations that’s panicking her—it’s the life-changing secret she’s hiding. Stay-at-home mom Beth is having a personal crisis. All she wants for Christmas is time to decide if she’s ready to return to work—seeing everyone was supposed to help her stress levels, not increase them! Posy isn’t sure she’s living her best life, but with her parents depending on her, making a change seems risky. But not as risky as falling for gorgeous new neighbor Luke…

As Suzanne’s dreams of the perfect McBride Christmas unravel, she must rely on the magic of the season to bring her daughters together. But will this new togetherness teach the sisters that their close-knit bond is strong enough to withstand anything—including a family Christmas?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Christmas Sisters by Sarah Morgan is a lot different than her previous novels. This one is deeper than the others. It has stories from three sisters each with their own issues. Their issues stem from their parents’ death and from various other things in their lives. They each struggle with what they want to do, what they should do, and what they actually end up doing. I felt sympathy immediately for these women. They are full grown and still coming to terms with their loss. Love, family, and hope were common themes that I found on these pages. It was a bit inspiring to watch them each battle their demons and come to terms with their grief. Heartbreaking but hopeful, Sarah Morgan created a realistic novel. I found myself sounded by her characters and enjoying as they grew emotionally and mentally. Unconditional love was on every page. The sacrifices that the adoptive mom made blew me away. There was so much attached to this story. It wasn’t like most novels. This one gripped a hold of me and didn’t let go…

Review: Through the Autumn Air by Kelly Irvin

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A mysterious English stranger appears in Mary Katherine Ropp’s kitchen one autumn night, heralding the beginning of a new chapter in the widow’s life.

The mother of ten, Mary Katherine is an empty-nester who lost her husband four years earlier. She misses her husband so much, she still talks to him. She pours her creative spirit into writing stories and serves as the district’s Budget newspaper scribe. An avid reader, her dream is to open a bookstore with her English friend, but the church elders want this wayward widow to work in an Amish-owned combination store.

When an English man breaks into her house looking for food, Mary Katherine doesn’t call the sheriff. She turns to her good friend, Ezekiel, who needs a cook at the restaurant he started after his wife died ten years earlier. Mary Katherine and Ezekiel set out separately to make sure their new friend isn’t caught up in the investigation, and their efforts keep bringing them together. They’re both still so in love with their long-gone spouses, so when the sparks begin to fly, they are beyond confused. Is it possible to find “The One” more than once in a lifetime?

But as Mary Katherine stands by her dear friend after the death of her husband, Mary Katherine is reminded of the terrible risk in giving her heart to someone. Can these two people, well-versed in the pain of loss, put the past behind them and trust in the hope of the future?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Through the Autumn Air by Kelly Irvin is a heart melting tale. Two spouses have lost a loved one. They are still feeling the pain of their loss. To coupe they end up having conversations with their dead spouses. It was a bit heart breaking and understandable. No one wants to let go of someone they love. From there, the plot quickly turned interesting. It took just one stranger to bring two widowed people together. God is good. It showed that God has ways of bringing happiness to others. First, the kindness and understanding towards a stranger, and then their growing romance….Friendships have a way of evolving deeper, if we let them. In this case, I fell in love with the characters. I couldn’t help it. They had a way of pulling me in deeper. Sweet, engaging, and full of surprises, Through the Autumn Air is one wonderful Amish journey.

 

Review: Cross Breed by Lora Leigh

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Fans of #1 New York Times bestselling author Lora Leigh’s scorching Breed series first met Cassie as a little girl in Elizabeth’s Wolf. Now Cassie has finally come into her own as a young woman, and she’s about to discover the one she is destined for–but it is unclear whether her fate is to be mated for life, or marked for death…

The Breeds are humans altered before conception with the DNA of the predators of the earth. But although they all carry the genetic material of beasts within them, Cassandra Sinclair stands apart. A unique mix of wolf, coyote and human, she is revered by many–but preyed upon by others. She is fiercely protected by her community…but no one manages to stop her when she slips away one day to offer her body in exchange for her sister’s safety.

The man she succumbs to surprises her by unleashing her inner animal in ways she never dreamed possible–and provokes her deep, furious rage. To Cassie’s shock, he is the mate she has long awaited. She may never be able to forgive his deception. Still, as dangerous enemies track her, and as the threat of all-out war between Breeds and the humans who despise them hovers in the air, they must join forces and hold fast to each other.

But the passionate union between them holds a potential that could change the world–and some will do anything to stop it…

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Cross Breed by Lora Leigh is an intense paranormal romance tale. I was sucked into the whole Breed and Human world. Scientists took children away from their families only to use their embryos for creating half humans and half animals. Taking sperm from coyotes and wolves the government thought they could create an army to use as a weapon against others. Only it backfired on them in ways they did not expect. Eventually, enough human families had missing family members used and killed for these experimentations. The offspring were not looked at as monsters by the majority of the humans. But that did not mean that others were not disgusted with the Breeds and hybrids.

A young woman, Cassie, is overpowered by the feelings of lust and lack of fear towards a man who first aimed to kill her. He knew she was his mate when he saw her at eighteen. But he never went to claim her until 6-years later. One challenge between, and a night of exotic passion lead to distrust and anger. No matter the danger towards them both, their mating heat keeps increasing and only they can help each other survive its brutal wave.

Dog, aka Cain, is a coyote Breed. But he lets the council who created him think he’s undercover for them. Dog wants to get the info to take them out and destroy them. The council are the ones responsible for creating the Breeds and Hybrids like himself. Anger and loss is all Dog knew until his mate. Cassie gives him hope and tears his world upside down…but he’ll do everything in his power to keep her alive and with him.

Lora Leigh created a world full of drama, risks, and heat. I felt the instant attraction between both protagonists. They reeled me in deep. The plot is full of adult language from time to time, some fighting but not graphic, and a little bit of BDSM is inside the sex scenes. I recommend this paranormal romance to all adults.

Review: When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A woman is forced to question her own identity in this riveting and emotionally charged thriller by the blockbuster bestselling author of The Good Girl, Mary Kubica. 

Jessie Sloane is on the path to rebuilding her life after years of caring for her ailing mother. She rents a new apartment and applies for college. But when the college informs her that her social security number has raised a red flag, Jessie discovers a shocking detail that causes her to doubt everything she’s ever known.

Finding herself suddenly at the center of a bizarre mystery, Jessie tumbles down a rabbit hole, which is only exacerbated by grief and a relentless lack of sleep. As days pass and the insomnia worsens, it plays with Jessie’s mind. Her judgment is blurred, her thoughts are hampered by fatigue. Jessie begins to see things until she can no longer tell the difference between what’s real and what she’s only imagined.

Meanwhile, twenty years earlier and two hundred and fifty miles away, another woman’s split-second decision may hold the key to Jessie’s secret past. Has Jessie’s whole life been a lie or have her delusions gotten the best of her?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

When the Lights Go Out by Mary Kubica is a very depressing yet intense novel. Inside, I followed a young woman’s journey through nightmares. She has been in the hospital at her mom’s side and won’t sleep until her mom gets better or passes away. The doctor tried to tell Jessie to get some sleep, but she won’t listen. I felt her pain and her tiredness. Her confusion and pain about finding her father and her mom’s cancer was horrifying. Jessie could not tell apart reality from nightmare. I could not tell the difference until the ending…that’s when all became clear. Grief, loss, and secrets are explored in this novel. I cried a lot when I read this story. Jessie did want her mom to die from cancer. She kept hoping she would get better. Then, there was the fact that Jessie never knew her own father. Mary Kubica never revealed that secret. But the man that should have been her father became one to her while her mom was passing away from her cancer. The death was slow…and when the last moment came, it sped by quickly. My heart broke. Overall, this was intriguing, dark, and heartbreaking.

 

Review: Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Earl. War hero. Notorious rake. After the Battle of Waterloo, Eli Dawes was presumed dead-and would have happily stayed that way. He’s no longer the reckless young man he once was, and only half as pretty. All he wants is to hide away in his country home, where no one can see his scars. But when he tries to sneak into his old bedroom in the middle of the night, he’s shocked to find someone already there.

Rose Hayward remembers Eli as the arrogant lord who helped her late fiance betray her. Finding him stealing into her art studio doesn’t correct her impression. Her only thought is to get him to leave immediately. Yet the tension between them is electric, and she can’t help but be drawn to him. He might be back from the dead, but it’s Rose who is suddenly feeling very, very much alive.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Last Night with the Earl by Kelly Bowen is historical romance that captures the heart and soul. Here, I got to explore the depths of humanity. How far are we willing to help others? An earl, suffering from war, gets a young boy soldier up on a horse when his fellow friend/soldier points a gun at him. Daring the earl to give up the horse so that his uninjured friend could run away. Yet the earl refuses and saves the boy instead. That day earned him more scars and possible death…Years later, just when everyone assumed him dead, the earl finds his father has died and is now taking up to hiding away from the public. Scarred, damaged, and licking his wounds, the earl is content to leave London’s society. Yet his plans are dashed when he comes back home. The one woman who caught his heart lives and teaches at his home residence. There they banter back and forth until both get their anger, loss, and grief straightened out…friendship builds up and so does the attraction and lust. However, both are too injured to let loose and love. The young female artist and the earl need to forgive, heal, and overcomes their fears.

I loved this novel. Kelly Bowen creates characters that are impossible to ignore. Her scenes are vivid, entertaining, and full of emotion. My heart broke for both protagonists. Their troubles made them three-dimensional. I easily was swept away by their actions, romance, and personalities. Plenty of heat, intrigue, and humor are displayed on the pages. These make it hard to stop reading the book. Overall, I highly recommend Last Night with the Earl to all readers. A discovery of art, passion, and inspiration await in this read.

 

Review: One More Moment by Samantha Chase

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Julian Grayson is taking a break
…from his cheating fiancée
…from his band
…from his life in the spotlight

Charlotte Clark is devoted to her work
…to save the world
…to help the homeless
…to get a broken man back on his feet

When Charlotte Clark offers to pay for Julian Grayson’s coffee, the world-famous drummer assumes she wants something from him. But Charlotte has no idea who he is, and Julian can’t resist keeping up the charade—being incognito is a novelty and a relief. He’ll have to tell her…eventually. But as Charlotte cheerfully undertakes to transform his life, Julian realizes there’s something about her that gives him what he hasn’t felt in years: hope.

Shaughnessy Brothers: Band on the Run Series:
One More Kiss (Book 1)
One More Promise (Book 2)
One More Moment (Book 3)

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

One More Moment by Samantha Chase is the best novel yet in this Band on the Run series. I could not tear my gaze away from the pages. Heat plus, raw emotions, and flaws that make it super easy to connect with the characters, make this a must read. Inside, is a famous rock musician who was badly burned. His ex burned him repeatedly and broke his pride. Julien is so full of anger that his character had this heavy weight constantly keeping him from being happy. Everyone tells him what and how he should live. He’s not ready to let go of his anger. That was until he met, a beautiful kind hearted woman. Charlotte has a way of stunning the drummer. He expects her to ask him for something. Yet she continuously proved she wanted nothing more than to help him. Julien needs to let lose his anger and face his past. Otherwise, his present happiness won’t be his future. And Julien wants Charlotte in his future more than he knows.

Once more, Samantha Chase has created a masterpiece. One that everyone can relate to…as well as remembering way after the last page is read. The characters made me fall in love and root for their happiness. Julien was a stubborn man. That made his fight tougher and more realistic. I liked how he was an average joe, who looked good, and had  a heart of gold despite his wealth and music talent. Charlotte was just an ordinary woman helping the homeless finds jobs. She complimented Julien and was his light to his darkness. Both were strong and independent characters. I cried for Julien’s pain, I laughed at how ridiculous Julien’s jealousy was, and I melted when they had their good moments. I cannot read a book by this writer without my heart and soul getting attached every damn time. Overall, I highly recommend this sexy as hell contemporary romance to all.

 

Review: Last One Home by Debbie Macomber

Last One Home (New Beginnings #1)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Growing up, Cassie Carter and her sisters, Karen and Nichole, were incredibly close — until one fateful event drove them apart. After high school, Cassie ran away from home to marry the wrong man, throwing away a college scholarship and breaking her parents’ hearts. To make matters worse, Cassie had always been their father’s favorite — a sentiment that weighed heavily on her sisters and made Cassie’s actions even harder to bear.

Now thirty-one, Cassie is back in Washington, living in Seattle with her daughter and hoping to leave her past behind. After ending a difficult marriage, Cassie is back on her own two feet, the pieces of her life slowly but surely coming together. Despite the strides Cassie’s made, she hasn’t been able to make peace with her sisters. Karen, the oldest, is a busy wife and mother, balancing her career with raising her two children. And Nichole, the youngest, is a stay-at-home mom whose husband indulges her every whim. Then one day, Cassie receives a letter from Karen, offering what Cassie thinks may be a chance to reconcile. And as Cassie opens herself up to new possibilities — making amends with her sisters, finding love once more — she realizes the power of compassion, and the promise of a fresh start.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Last One Home by Debbie Macomber is a story about forgiveness, moving forward, and new beginnings. Central themes were focused on family, love, and second chances. The tale was both sad and sweet. A young woman made some bad mistakes and learned how to move beyond them. Cassie is strong, independent, and smart. I liked her personality. She felt both lost and deserted by her family when they too, felt the same way about her. Loss, grief, and hope were shown here, too. Cassie and her family might have a chance at redeeming themselves and being a family again. Overall, this women’s fiction novel was great.

Review: I’m Not Missing by Carrie Fountain

I'm Not Missing

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Miranda Black’s mother abandoned her, she took everything—the sun, moon, and stars—and Miranda found shelter in her friendship with Syd, who wore her own motherlessness like a badge of honor: Our mothers abandoned us. We won’t go begging for scraps.

When Syd runs away suddenly and inexplicably in the middle of their senior year, Miranda is abandoned once again, left to untangle the questions of why Syd left, where she is—and if she’s even a friend worth saving. Her only clue is Syd’s discarded pink leopard print cell phone and a single text contained there from the mysterious HIM. Along the way, forced to step out from Syd’s enormous shadow, Miranda finds herself stumbling into first love with Nick Allison of all people and learning what it means to be truly seen, to be finally not missing in her own life.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

I’m Not Missing by Carrie Fountain is a heartfelt YA novel. I followed a young Latina girl as she went through abandonment from her mom and her so-called best friend, Sydney. The girls relationship felt more one-sided. Miranda was more of a friend to Sydney than Sydney was to her. I was glad that Miranda didn’t have such a toxic friend in her life. It was sad but in a good way. Miranda is a protagonist that was easy to love. She’s bright, kind, and energetic. Her life seemed empty until she fell in love with a guy. Nick is a top boy scout and is headed to Harvard. Miranda is headed to Brown. Their colleges are pretty close…and it’s up to them to see where their stars lay.

Carrie Fountain had me falling in love with her characters. A young girl trying to step out into the light after being hidden away by a friend. Sydney was rude, obnoxious, and overbearing. She kept her friend in the dark, literally. The two girls had one connection other than that, they were complete opposites. I cried, laughed, and cheered as Miranda found herself. She totally blossomed by the ending. Overall, this novel was spectacular.

Review: Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou

Sister of Mine

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A debut novel of domestic suspense in the vein of Liane Moriarty, Shari Lapena and Claire Douglas about two sisters bound together by a murder

Penny and Hattie have always only had each other—their father left long ago and their mother died in a sudden tragic accident. Penny has always watched out for Hattie, even when she felt usurped by her younger, more vivacious sibling. When Penny’s marriage turns sour and her once-charming husband becomes controlling and abusive, who does she turn to for help but Hattie? An unguarded cigarette, helped along by a few conveniently lit matches and some sleeping pills, creates a deadly fire that frees Penny from an unimaginable life, but not without a cost. The weight of their secret binds the two sisters together, for better or worse. When a new man enters their lives, the twists deepen and the secrets compound. Meanwhile, incidents of arson begin to break out locally and the detective who investigated the death of Penny’s husband develops renewed interest in the case, threatening to unravel all their secrets.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Sister of Mine by Laurie Petrou is a haunting yet intense journey. Two sisters who are close end up with a deadly secret. One that can shatter their bond forever or keep it closer. The story consumed me. The emotional bond between Hattie and Penny made me cry. Penny suffered so much only to fall further away from everything. It felt terrible knowing that disaster was hanging over them constantly. Fear of their secret breaking out…then, to end up having their lives separated and utterly destroyed. It broke my heart to know how it ended for Penny. I had hoped for so much more for her. Penny was weak in the beginning yet became a strong woman in the end. Her life felt like it was over before it could even blossom. There’s nothing greater than two sisters who bond together…Overall, this mystery was good. I recommend it to others who love a dark and gripping story.

 

Review: The Feed by Nick Clark Windo

The Feed

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

Set in a post-apocalyptic world as unique and vividly imagined as those of Mad Max and The Girl with All the Gifts, a startling and timely debut that explores what it is to be human and what it truly means to be connected in the digital age.

IT MAKES US. IT DESTROYS US. NOW WE MUST LEARN TO LIVE WITHOUT IT.

The Feed is accessible everywhere, by everyone, at any time. It instantaneously links us to all information and global events as they break. Every interaction, every emotion, every image can be shared through it; it is the essential tool everyone relies on to know and understand the thoughts and feelings of partners, parents, friends, children, colleagues, bosses, employees . . . in fact, of anyone and everyone else in the world.

Tom and Kate use the Feed, but Tom has resisted its addiction, which makes him suspect to his family. After all, his father created it. But that opposition to constant connection serves Tom and Kate well when the Feed collapses after a horrific tragedy shatters the world as they know it.

The Feed’s collapse, taking modern society with it, leaves people scavenging to survive. Finding food is truly a matter of life and death. Minor ailments, previously treatable, now kill. And while the collapse has demolished the trappings of the modern world, it has also eroded trust. In a world where survival of the fittest is a way of life, there is no one to depend upon except yourself . . . and maybe even that is no longer true.

Tom and Kate have managed to protect themselves and their family. But then their six-year-old daughter, Bea, goes missing. Who has taken her? How do you begin to look for someone in a world without technology? And what happens when you can no longer even be certain that the people you love are really who they claim to be?

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

The Feed by Nick Clark Windo is emotional dystopian story. Imagine the world as you know, being connected to the internet. Everything is controlled by what humans do on this internet, aka The Feed. Humans are the source of energy for the feed. Apparently, none of the characters or humans could survive without the Internet. It was needed just a highly as the air required for one’s lungs. Take the internet away and society was doomed. But was it already doomed before it collapsed?

So, this story explores the depth in which society relies and on lives on The Feed. An internet thing that keeps everyone and everything going. It crashes and everyone falls apart. Destruction, chaos, and war among individuals who once loved each other…are depicted on these pages. I couldn’t find a connection to the characters. Their world was confusing and dark. The world really was obsessed with The Feed, if they could not learn to live without it.  This made me wonder if our society would go this extreme one day. Absolutely, scary fact to think about…but it left me wondering. Other than the couple who loss their daughter the story felt flat and repetitive. It did not capture my interest the way I thought it would have. I was expecting for a more realistic doom day relating to technology and society. Some of the fictional twists, just did not make sense. Overall, The Feed was okay but not the best.

Review: Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin

Paper Ghosts

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Carl Louis Feldman is an old man who was once a celebrated photographer. That was before he was tried for the murder of a young woman and acquitted. before his admission to a care home for dementia. Now his daughter has come to see him, to take him on a trip. Only she’s not his daughter and, if she has her way, he’s not coming back . . .

Because Carl’s past has finally caught up with him. The young woman driving the car is convinced her passenger is guilty, and that he’s killed, other young women. Including her sister Rachel. Now they’re following the trail of his photographs, his clues, his alleged crimes. To see if he remembers any of it. Confesses to any of it. To discover what really happened to Rachel. Has Carl truly forgotten what he did or is he just pretending? Perhaps he’s guilty of nothing and she’s the liar. Either way in driving him into the Texan wilderness she’s taking a terrible risk. For if Carl really is a serial killer, she’s alone in the most dangerous place of all . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Paper Ghosts by Julia Heaberlin is a frightening thriller. A young girl looses her sister to a murderer. But no one knows who killed her. The young girl girl, now a grown woman, is desperate to find answers. She believes an older man, a photographer with dementia, is the killer. Yet, nothing fits. She goes a long way out to set-up an adventure to help the old man remember details. The longer she’s with him, the more she’s not sure if he’s really forgetting or just playing her. Traveling a lone with a possible murderer is the craziest thing ever. However, Grace is willing to do it. The plot was steady. Sometimes slow. It felt like the who dun it was dragged out so much that finding the real killer was lost. I am still left questioning everything that I just read. The ending to me, was unsatisfactory. It left more things open than closed. I wanted to know all the answers. Only questions kept popping up instead. Overall, it was creepy and strange.

Review: The Hunger by Alma Katsu

The Hunger

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Evil is invisible, and it is everywhere.

Tamsen Donner must be a witch. That is the only way to explain the series of misfortunes that have plagued the wagon train known as the Donner Party. Depleted rations, bitter quarrels, and the mysterious death of a little boy have driven the pioneers to the brink of madness. They cannot escape the feeling that someone–or something–is stalking them. Whether it was a curse from the beautiful Tamsen, the choice to follow a disastrous experimental route West, or just plain bad luck–the 90 men, women, and children of the Donner Party are at the brink of one of the deadliest and most disastrous western adventures in American history.

While the ill-fated group struggles to survive in the treacherous mountain conditions–searing heat that turns the sand into bubbling stew; snows that freeze the oxen where they stand–evil begins to grow around them, and within them. As members of the party begin to disappear, they must ask themselves “What if there is something waiting in the mountains? Something disturbing and diseased…and very hungry?”

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Hunger by Alma Katsu is an interesting yet dark journey. A moment in history known as the Donner Party has been relived and retold here. Survival is key. Each member of that doomed party went through hell. Back then, traveling was difficult if not impossible. Timing was not on the Donner Party’s side. Their hardships soon led to chaos, mistrust, and death. Alma Katsu made this historical fiction come alive with a suspenseful voice. A sadness clung to every page. The intensity of the plot grew and it was hard to let go of the book. I felt sorry for the characters and enjoyed following them on this trail. The plot was steady but packed with the right amount of details and action to keep the pages turned. Overall, I would recommend it to those looking for a scary yet entertaining tale.

Review: The Amish Christmas Letters

The Amish Christmas Letters

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

With Christmas around the corner, it’s time for Amish families to include holiday greetings in their circle letters, each writer adding to a growing collection as it travels on to the next. In this delightful trio of stories, three cousins scattered across the country share their blessings—and reveal news of romantic surprises . . .

To win a friendly annual competition, matchmaker Marybeth Martin must bring one more couple together by Christmas. Her only prospect is a man more interested in a nanny than a wife—until his little girl shows him the light. . . . Struggling farmer’s daughter Katie Mae Kauffman discovers that she and a local widower and father of four can harvest more crops—and profits—together than separately. But she’ll have to put pride aside to make room for unexpected love. . . . Corralling an unruly brood of seven is not babysitter Carolyn Yutzy’s first choice for celebrating the season—but the sparks between her and their unsentimental yet irresistible uncle may be a gift neither was counting on . . .

Now, one by one, each resourceful young woman will have a holiday to remember—and to write home about . . .

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Amish Christmas Letters is a heartfelt Amish anthology that swept me off my feet. I loved the characters.

Marybeth is a single Amish woman trying to win a bet from her cousin. The loser has to house their mean relative. Only this bet ends up leaving Marybeth falling deep in love with the man she’s helping. As she works as a nanny, Marybeth gets to know the man she’s setting up…maybe, she will end up winning the Christmas met in more ways than expected. The man she’s trying to set up with a date, is strongly against marriage. But spending more time with Marybeth, the idea of marriage starts to look better. Then, there’s her cousin Katie.

Katie is a young unmarried Amish woman. Her father had a stroke and that left everything up to Katie to do. Doing women’s work in the house and keeping up with the farm, proves to be more than Katie can handle. Her Bishop notices it and sets a plan in motion. Little does Katie, her father, and the man with his kids know, but all of them will end up helping each other. At first, their resist the help and each other. But with a little more time, they each start to see the other one in a new light. From sassy and strong willed to becoming more than friends, these two were fun to follow.

Last, there was Carolyn. She was blindsided into babysitting for seven unruly kids. This one touched my heart even more so. The kids were misbehaving constantly, yet as soon as the parents entered into the scene, it was easy to see why. The children wanted their parents’ attention. Neither parent was giving their kids any attention. Their mother ignored their bad behavior. Their father refused to believe his kids were being bad. Both parents were to blame. At first, the children’s uncle thought it was Carolyn’s fault.  Thinking she was a bad babysitter, the uncle tried to get her fired. But he was wrong. Carolyn gave the kids more attention and love than their own parents. Soon or later, the parents would have to do something…In the meantime, Carolyn and their uncle keep bonding over the mishaps. Maybe, they will get their Christmas gift after all.

Overall, these three stories were sweet. I couldn’t stop reading them. The plots were fast. Plenty of action, intrigue, and romance to keep me interested. Themes such as faith, family, and love were shown. Obedience and respect were other lessons in this Amish journey. I recommend this collection to all readers.

 

Review: A Simple Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard

A Simple Christmas (Simple Gifts #3)

 

 

 

 

Synopsis: 

“Hubbard writes Amish stories with style and grace.”
–RT Book Reviews 

The rustic beauty of a country Christmas fills the Simple Gifts crafts shop, while the Amish residents of Willow Ridge pull together in uncertain times–and in the face of an unexpected homecoming. 

Nora Hooley’s shop is abuzz with preparations for the holiday open house, and Rosalyn Riehl is handcrafting wreaths from evergreen boughs, pinecones, and other natural materials. The work is a welcome diversion for the only unmarried daughter of Cornelius Riehl: her gruff dat has been receiving envelopes marked Past Due, leaving dutiful Rosalyn to manage the household’s inexplicably shrinking budget. Then another distraction swaggers into Simple Gifts–blue-jeaned and leather-jacketed, with a reputation that precedes him.

Marcus Hooley hightailed it to Willow Ridge on a wing and a prayer–not that he’s the praying type. He rejected his Amish roots long ago. But behind the bad-boy attitude is a gifted horse trainer who’s counting on some
bent-but-not-broken family ties to throw him a lifeline. He can’t erase his past, but a sparking attraction with strong, spirited Rosalyn holds the promise of a second chance . . . and of shedding light on shadowy secrets to build a bright tomorrow.

Praise for A Simple Vow

“Charlotte Hubbard has a way of writing that draws you into the story from beginning to end.”
–Romance Junkies

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

A Simple Christmas by Charlotte Hubbard is a sweet Amish tale. There is plenty of trouble, intrigue, and emotion to keep the pages turning. A person runs from his  life only to head straight into another mess. Only this one leads his heart  into a bright future. But until he figures out his path, a lot of mischief and sadness follow him everywhere. Another young person, is dealing issues with her father. A secret that is eating up the family and soon tears them apart. Meeting each other, leads them to hope…and maybe, happiness. Charlotte Hubbard brings a warm heartfelt story to life. Her characters are open and inviting. It is easy to get lost within their journey. Themes such as forgiveness, family, and faith is inserted into this book. I am in love with the novel. Perfect, clean, and inspiring…to read. Overall, I recommend to all Christian readers. This Amish tale is must read.

 

Review: Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz

Among the Red Stars

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

World War Two has shattered Valka’s homeland of Russia, and Valka is determined to help the effort. She knows her skills as a pilot rival the best of the men, so when an all-female aviation group forms, Valka is the first to sign up.

Flying has always meant freedom and exhilaration for Valka, but dropping bombs on German soldiers from a fragile canvas biplane is no joyride. The war is taking its toll on everyone, including the boy Valka grew up with, who is fighting for his life on the front lines.

As the war intensifies and those around her fall, Valka must decide how much she is willing to risk to defend the skies she once called home.

Inspired by the true story of the airwomen the Nazis called Night Witches, Gwen C. Katz weaves a tale of strength and sacrifice, learning to fight for yourself, and the perils of a world at war.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Among the Red Stars by Gwen C. Katz is a heart breaking tale. One of war, loss, and grief. But with that also comes hope, love, and strength. A young woman bravely goes into the air force knowing the risks. Her male friend is also fighting on the front lines. Danger, nightmares, and risks await them both. Their friendship never fades even as the war breaks out all around them. Hope keeps them both going.

Females are being allowed to fight in the war as pilots. Valka is one of them. She defies all the stereotypes that go against women during that time. Valka is brave, smart, and a good woman. I like her. Her personality makes this sad journey more enjoyable. I easily got lost within the pages. The relationship between both Valka and her male friend, Pasha, is heartfelt. Missing opportunities before the war, now have the chance to happen. But only if they both make it out alive. Overall, I would highly recommend this historical/women’s fiction novel to all.

 

Review: The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles

The Air You Breathe

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The story of an intense female friendship fueled by affection, envy and pride–and each woman’s fear that she would be nothing without the other.

Skinny, nine-year-old orphaned Dores is working in the kitchen of a sugar plantation in 1930s Brazil when in walks a girl who changes everything. Graça, the spoiled daughter of a wealthy sugar baron, is clever, well fed, pretty, and thrillingly ill behaved. Born to wildly different worlds, Dores and Graça quickly bond over shared mischief, and then, on a deeper level, over music.

One has a voice like a songbird; the other feels melodies in her soul and composes lyrics to match. Music will become their shared passion, the source of their partnership and their rivalry, and for each, the only way out of the life to which each was born. But only one of the two is destined to be a star. Their intimate, volatile bond will determine each of their fortunes–and haunt their memories.

Traveling from Brazil’s inland sugar plantations to the rowdy streets of Lapa in Rio de Janeiro, from Los Angeles during the Golden Age of Hollywood back to the irresistible drumbeat of home, The Air You Breathe unfurls a moving portrait of a lifelong friendship–its unparalleled rewards and lasting losses–and considers what we owe to the relationships that shape our lives.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Air You Breathe by Frances de Pontes Peebles delivers a Brazilian historical tale that is rich in culture. It also features two women going against the present life to find something better for themselves. They go away from their community’s expectations and soar higher than they can dream. Music, slavery, and unwavering friendship make this an interesting read. Frances de Pontes Peebles captures the time periods perfectly. Readers, like myself, will travel back in time to World War II era. The writing style is unique and gives a clear voice to these Brazilian women. It is both sad and fun to explore.

Inside this book, I got to watch as two women went on to begin their own future. They quickly became best of friends with a talent in the music industry. This road leads to a roller-coaster of jealousy, love, and loss. Both need the other one for support. To them, it was like they couldn’t operate well, unless they were together. However, despite their need for each other, they also have this push and pull relationship. Each gave their support to the other one yet at times they were competitive and cruel. The Air You Breathe is an emotionally engaging story. It is easy to get swept into the characters’ lives. Overall, I recommend this women’s fiction novel to others.

 

Review: California Summer by Anita Hughes

California Summer

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

“The perfect beach read!” —Mary Alice Monroe, New York Timesbestselling author of Beach House Reunion.

“Tender and triumphant…California Summer made my heart sing. —Allison Winn Scotch, New York Times bestselling author of Between Me and You

Anita Hughes’s California Summer is a charming and beautiful love story about a former Hollywood producer who trades her cast list in for cookbooks in the hopes of following her dreams and finding new love.

Ben and Rosie are Hollywood’s newest director/producer dream team. After hitting it big at Sundance, it seems that their ten years of love and hard work are finally paying off. Rosie is happy making independent films, but Ben wants the A-List celebrity package: a house in Beverly Hills, fancy cars in the driveway, and his name on the biggest blockbusters. He’s willing to do anything, even sleep with the most famous producer in town, to get them.

Rosie is devastated by Ben’s affair, and she decides to take a break from show business. She accepts her best friend’s invitation to spend the summer at her parents’ estate in Montecito. It’s far away from L.A., the perfect place to start over.

In Montecito, Rosie meets a colorful cast of characters including Rachel, who owns a chocolate store, and Josh, a handsome local who splits his time between surfing and classic cars. Suddenly Rosie has new friends and a new purpose. She starts a business in the village, and her luck seems to be turning around. But Rosie knows all too well that success comes with a price, and the price might be losing love…again.

California Summer is a touching and romantic story about following your dreams but not letting them get in the way of love.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

California Summer by Anita Hughes is definitely for fans of Samantha Chase, Brenda Novak, and Debbie Macomber. Here, I got to meet a young woman who finds betrayal where she least excepts it. From there, she moves forward creating a new life. New friends, following a dream, and maybe, even a new romance. But balancing her dreams and a new love seems impossible…this story is about finding the courage to chase after one’s dreams. It is sweet, engaging, and had me rooting all the way. California Summer is an easy read. The pacing is steady and fun.

Anita Hughes introduces Rosie. She lives with her love until she finds him breaking her heart. After the betrayal, Rosie leaves her old life. Starting a new one, seems like the best thing. Until she falls in love again. Fear, challenges, and acceptance are featured on these pages. I am in love with all the characters. Rosie is determined to keep everything she wants in her new life. But whether that happens is to be seen. Josh is a handsome man who makes Rosie believe in love again. Suddenly, the future looks bright. Overall, I recommend this contemporary to all readers.

 

Review: Maybe for You by Nicole McLaughlin

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

She’s never had a no-strings fling. He’s never had anything else. But maybe this time will be an exception?

After a year of mourning her fiancé, Alexis Parker has worked hard to rediscover what she wants out of life. Fresh out of the military and back stateside, her brother offers her a marketing job at the Stag Distillery. Ready for a new challenge, Alexis agrees to accompany her new co-worker Jake Cooperon a Stag cross-country promotional tour. He may have an infamous playboy reputation, but Alexis is surprised to find out that there is more to him than meets the eye. And she likes what she sees. . .

Jake promised Alexis’s brother that he’d be an absolute gentleman. Of course, that was before he and Alexis hit the road, and they both agree that what Alexis’s big brother doesn’t know won’t hurt him. The plan: to keep their fling confined to the RV, and everything will go back to normal once they head home. Things progress in ways neither of them could have imagined, and Jake realizes that he and Alexis make a perfect mix. Can he convince her that he’s ready to shake things up and give true love a shot?

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

Maybe for You by Nicole McLaughlin is both sad and a happy journey. A young woman loses her parents, and then her fiance. Alex feels like she can never love anyone for fear of losing them. Yet she is falling in love with her best friend, Jake. Jake is known for not having relationships. But with Alex, it feels right. Being with her, Jake feels happy. He now has to prove to her that they’re made for each other. Happiness can exist once more. But the journey will be totally chaos.

Nicole McLaughlin’s book made me cry and laugh. The characters just have a way of pulling my heart into their life story. They swept me up into their beautiful chaos. Love, fear, and new beginnings…that’s what this book explored. Plans can be difficult. One path closes but another one opens. Alex is a strong yet determined woman to show that she can move forward. Losing a loved one is never easy; however, she held her own. Jake was the good man. Always being there for her, Jake made me swoon from page one. He is this irresistible man that every woman dreams about…overall, I highly recommend this romantic tale to all readers.

 

Review: Second Chance at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer

Second Chance At Two Love Lane

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From USA Today bestselling author Kieran Kramer, comes Second Chance at Two Love Lane, a fast-paced tale about the intoxicating effects of fame and what happens when a past romance is rekindled behind the silver screen.

Sometimes love is waiting in the second act…

In her professional career, Ella Mancini plays matchmaker at Two Love Lane but, in her personal life, she takes the stage at the Dock Street Theatre. Now she has a chance at a new role in a Hollywood movie that happens to be filming in Charleston—one that features a big-name actress, Samantha Drake. Long ago, Ella passed up a major audition while awaiting a marriage proposal. Not only didn’t she get the role; she never got the ring, either. Instead, her boyfriend Hank went on to become a huge film star…leaving her, and all her dreams, behind.

But now Hank’s back in Charleston, cast as the male lead in the same movie Ella’s in. In spite of the dramatic tension off-screen, he and Ella try to stay cool onset. But when their old feelings start to heat up—at the same time leading-lady Samantha tries to play cupid—all bets are off. How can Hank convince Ella, after all this time, that she’s the one he really wants to be with in real life—and that some happy, rom-com endings really can come true?

 

“Readers who enjoy works by Nora Roberts and Luanne Rice will want to give Kramer a try.”—Library Journal

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Second Chance at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer is a sweet heartfelt story of second chances. New beginnings await a young pair. Their future lies in their hands. I loved the father-daughter bond. It was engaging…and brought me a little closer to the main protagonist. I felt her passion for theater, as well as her love for her father. Ella is a woman who leaves people liking her. Her personality if warm. Determined and ready, Ella leaves to tackle a college career. She will be the first to get a degree in her family. I felt the happiness bloom inside of her. A young guy catches her attention early and it is from there that they have a connection. Love on the horizon…or is it? They proved they have the heat and attraction, but they need more if there is to be a future together. Overall, I loved the fiery banters and chemistry that was displayed on every page. Tugging at me heart, I will never forget this story.

 

Review: A Dash of Love by Jill Sanders

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Head back to Pride Oregon to find out what some of your favorite Jill Sanders’ characters are up to.

Sara Jordan has finally been given the chance to run The Golden Oar, a restaurant that’s been in her family for generations. But the sexy know-it-all carpenter that her uncle hired to make some changes, keeps getting in her way. She’ll have to use all her skills just to prove that she’s up to the task.

Parker was hired to bring new life to the old building, but he hadn’t expected sparks to fly from the owner’s niece. As a series of mysterious accidents start to plague the job site, he finds himself working one-on-one with the temptress to avoid losing everything.

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Dash of Love by Jill Sanders is a sweet romantic temptation. I found the main characters funny, charming, and three-dimensional. Their lives were lonely, sad, and moving slowly until they met each other. Now, their world has just gotten complicated. A young man who lost his only mother figure is now coming back to make his business thrive. Only, he didn’t expect a beautiful minx to tempt him back into relationships. The young woman is working to prove herself. Working hard, determined, and not ready to settle, she soon find a hot tempting carpenter who sparks her insides.

A Dash of Love has melted my heart. The story was realistic. I can see the characters acting like this in real life. Their banters were fun to follow. I couldn’t stop laughing or falling in love with them. The backstories of both Parker and Sarah made me root for them harder. Jill Sanders captured life at both it’s weakest and strongest points. I loved reading, A Dash of Love. Overall, I would highly recommend it others.

Review: Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Cottonbloom is the perfect place for starting over, finding your way back home–and falling head over heels. . .

Ella Boudreaux has a lot to prove to her family, friends, and foes–and to herself. So when her marriage ends she decides to invest her energy and money into a place that brings back some of Ella’s happiest memories: the Abbott brothers’ garage. Maybe, if she puts her mind to it, she can teach skeptical, stubborn Mack Abbott how to make the business a true success. Which would be a lot easier if the hunky mechanic didn’t make her motor run quite so fast…and hot.

Mack was furious when his brother, Ford, sold his share of the business. He’s in no rush to team up with a wealthy divorcee who shows up to the garage in stilettos–and the longest, sexiest legs he’s seen in forever. But Ella’s grit and determination won’t quit…and soon Mack can see that she’s been down a few rough roads herself. Neither Mack nor Ella can deny the fierce attraction that’s revving up between them. Could it be that true love has been in the backseat all along…and they’ve finally found the key?

Rating: 5-stars

Review: 

Set the Night on Fire by Laura Trentham is an exciting romantic read. I loved the fierce protectiveness that Mack feels towards Ella. At first, he didn’t want her anywhere around him, but getting to know her changed all of that. Her determination sparked a fire inside of Mack. One that he tried to diminish but was helpless in shaking off. His attraction towards the beauty only increased. As other characters from the previous books and new ones came onto the scene it only sparked more of an interest to keep on reading. I ended up finishing the entire read in one sitting. Fast-paced packed with action, hot scenes, and humor to make the pages fly by…I was impressed.

Laura Trentham’s latest novel, wasn’t just a hot romance that I could not put down. It went deeper than that. It displayed the family and marriage abuse that Ella went through in her life. It gave me a glimpse into her loss. Losing a family member is never easy. The car mechanic garage meant and reminded Ella of her older brother. It was sentimental value to her. Plus, the brothers that worked it became like family to her. Despite what hell life brought to Ella, she bounced back. She became stronger and more independent. But she was also able to put some trust into the tough as nails mechanic aka Mack. Mack has his own personal struggles as well. I loved the depth and meaning this book brought. It was more than just a romance. It was life. Overall, I would highly recommend this romantic story to all readers.

Review: Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey

Dead Drift (Chesapeake Valor, #4)

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Private Investigator Kate Maxwell never stopped loving Luke Gallagher after he disappeared. Now he’s back, and together they must unravel a twisting thread of secrets, lies, and betrayal while on the brink of a biological disaster that will shake America to its core. Will they and their love survive, or will Luke and Kate become the terrorist’s next target?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Dead Drift by Dani Pettrey is an exciting yet deadly journey. One that will reunite two old lovers who never gave up…time has a way of pushing old memories to surface and soon anger turns to passion. But now, they’re both targets. A fierce enemy has found out who they are and where they’re located. The end goal was to kill them both. However, FBI Agent Kate Maxwell and top agent Luke Gallagher are not to be stopped.

Inside Dead Drift, I got to experience the thrill of chasing down and stopping the bad guys. Especially one that wouldn’t stop targeting the FBI members. Danger, romance, and suspense kept me turning the pages. Dani Pettrey brought to life, the law enforcement and organization of a federal criminal case. It was both exciting and terrifying at the same time. I wasn’t sure what to expect and numerous times I thought both main characters would die. Death hung in the air as the agents worked to escape and capture an enemy. Overall, I would recommend this to all Criminal Minds and NCIS fans. This book has all the similarities but the danger feels so much more realistic.

Review: The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs

The Winter Lodge (Lakeshore Chronicles #2)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

On the longest night of the year, Jenny Majesky loses everything in a devastating house fire. But among the ashes she finds an unusual treasure hidden amid her grandfather’s belongings, one that starts her on a search for the truth, and on a path toward a life that she never imagined. The Winter Lodge, a remote cabin owned by her half sister on the shores of Willow Lake, becomes a safe refuge for Jenny, where she and local police chief Rourke McKnight try to sort out the mysteries revealed by the fire. But when a blizzard traps them together, Jenny, accustomed to the safe predictability of running the family bakery, suddenly doesn’t feel so secure. For even as Rourke shelters her from the storm outside, she knows her heart is at risk. Now, following her dreams might mean walking away from her one chance at love.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Winter Lodge by Susan Wiggs was a heart felt tale about loss, grief, danger, and love. Moving forward and hope for the future were the other themes. The book was realistic. I could see everything that happened-happening in real life. It was emotional. I felt the characters’ pain and fear. Family is a huge thing. Having no parents and losing the grandparents that were like parents to the female protagonist was sad.

Imagine having loved someone yet someone else got between…that middle person died and all that’s left is an open sore. One that doesn’t diminish…but maybe, with a little hope there could be some healing. The pacing was steady. I never got bored while following the characters. The plot intensified as the bond between the protagonists grew. Their love never died…overall, I loved this story. It was sweet, heart breaking, and utter chaos. But it was so good.

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Review: Friction by Sandra Brown

Friction

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Sandra Brown comes a gripping story of family ties and forbidden attraction.

A Texas Ranger, relegated to deskwork due to past recklessness, petitions to regain custody of his five-year-old daughter, and his case is assigned to a family court judge who is as attractive as she is ambitious. When a masked gunman barges in during the custody hearing with his sights on the judge, the Ranger reacts instinctively and goes after him. But authorities apprehend the wrong man, and the real gunman remains unknown, at large, and a threat. Will this take-charge lawman jeopardize his chances of custody by going after the would-be assassin? And will this unlikely pair be able to deny the forbidden attraction building between them?

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Sandra Brown’s latest novel, Friction, was just the way I liked it. Raw, complicated,  dangerous, and emotionally charged. The plot was fast-paced. It had my adrenaline pumping, like the moment when the judge got into her car and there was the other main character…inside it with blood and a gun in his hand. Frightening and intense is the temperament of this tale. The characters have everything to lose. One has lost a lot more than he knew and has an even greater risk of losing what’s left. Loss, grief, and justice are the main themes to this novel.

Friction held my attention from the start. It gained my sympathy for a father who lost his wife and found out that his daughter who survived a deadly situation wasn’t really his. But he loved the little girl as if she were his own. Despite his dead wife’s betrayal, he was still in love with her. That proved how great of a man he was inside and out…then there was the lady judge whose life just got complicated. A man whose case she handled ended up being the one man she fell in love with…it was not intentional but it happened. He was not going to let a second woman die. So, he risked himself to save her…but the bad guys are still loose. Overall, I loved reading this thrilling book. I highly recommend it to all readers.

Review: Deep Cover by Scarlett Cole

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

ARE THEY IN TOO DEEP?

Ex-Navy SEAL Cabe Moss always comes when called to duty―at all costs. Even though the death of his fiancée nearly destroyed him, Cabe won’t let his past interfere with any work that has to get done. When his latest task pushes him to team up with FBI Agent Amy Murray, a fierce beauty with the undercover skills to match, Cabe must admit that, for the first time in years, he wants to do more than just complete their mission together…

Amy was born ready for this assignment, but working side-by-side with the the strong, silent, and frustratingly professional Cabe seems to be the biggest challenge of all. But when the sparks begin to fly―and the stakes rise to dangerous heights―the only thing Amy is left worrying about is how she can resist him. Their lives may be in danger, but their hearts hold the biggest risk of all…

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Deep Cover by Scarlett Cole is a sexy yet dangerous journey. Loss, grief, and moving forward after a death are commonly found here. I found them realistic, inspiring, and heart melting. The characters felt like I knew them forever. One character loss a loved one and on the two-year anniversary finds a woman who interests him. Instantly guilt hits him hard and he leaves. It isn’t until later that the same woman is working with him on the same op. That’s where everything rides like a roller-coaster from a theme park. A separation of work and love are seen on the pages. Also, there’s a hint of women harassment in the workforce dominated by males. I found it interesting.

Inside Deep Cover, I got to meet a Navy Seal who lost his love. Both him and his loved one were in the military and just started to get serious when he lost her. The loss has plagued Cabe ever since. He goes to work but is like a robot. Cabe keeps putting one foot in front of the other, until he meets, FBI Agent, Amy. Amy is a young gorgeous yet clever woman in a male dominated sector. She has just been sexual harassed by a senior male agent before meeting with Cabe. Cabe changes everything. He is nothing like the men she has worked with or met. He loves her intelligence and beauty. Both feel happy being near each other. However, Amy is on a deadly deep cover op that could go wrong any second. Cabe has to fight with letting Amy do her job as an agent while, doing is job to protect her. It’s a difficult situation for both of them. Yet Scarlett Cole made them so likable, I couldn’t stop reading. The intensity of their attraction and danger of the op made this a must read. Overall, I would highly recommend it to all romantic suspense readers.

Review: The Orphan’s Wish by Melanie Dickerson

 

The Orphan's Wish (Hagenheim, #8)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From the streets to an orphanage in a faraway kingdom, Aladdin has grown up alone. Until he meets Kirstyn. With a father who is the duke of Hagenheim and a mother who is the patroness of the orphanage where Aladdin lives, Kirstyn is a member of the most powerful family in the land . . . and way out of his league. Despite the difference in their stations, Aladdin quickly becomes Kirstyn’s favorite companion for taking walks in the forest, and their childhood friendship grows along with them.

Through his scrappy skills, intelligence, and hard work, Aladdin earns a position serving in the duke’s house. But he knows it isn’t enough to grant him his one desire: Kirstyn’s hand in marriage. If he hopes to change his station in life and feel worthy of marrying Kirstyn, he must leave Hagenheim to seek his fortune.

But once Aladdin leaves, no one is around to protect Kirstyn, and the greedy men desperate to take advantage of her father’s wealth take notice. Now, more than Aladdin’s background stands in the way of the future he’s worked so hard to obtain. His only hope is to rescue Kirstyn and somehow manage to win her hand as well.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Orphan’s Wish by Melanie Dickerson is another form of Aladdin. This one has so much more meaning and depth than the original Aladdin story. Yes, not stealing is the main moral of the story, but it holds more emotional luggage. Themes of friendship, love, and hope are discovered here. Somehow, a weave of Christian influence has been swept into the tale. It created a hopeful plot with characters searching for peace of mind and heart. Some violence is found in the book. Violence such as theft, bullying, and child abuse are mentioned. However, it is so low and almost non-existent.

Aladdin grew up knowing loss, grief, bullying, and theft. He has always felt ashamed of himself. One day, he sees young Kirstyn and they instantly become friends. Their friendship blossoms and as they grew older it turned into something much more. An attraction formed between a wealthy lady and an orphaned abused boy.  Aladdin felt the pressure of not being able to give his lady, Kirstyn what she deserves. So, he raised himself up the ladder and worked hard to provide her with a good home and a happy life. But will it be enough? Together, they help each other and create a happiness that is hard to ignore. I found this novel to be sweet, engaging, and heartfelt.

Review: Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent

Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Isabel meets Edward, both are at a crossroads: he wants to follow his late wife to the grave, and she is ready to give up on love. Thinking she is merely helping Edward’s daughter–who lives far away and has asked her to check in on her nonagenarian dad in New York–Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot soufflé will end up changing her life.

As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward is teaching Isabel the luxury of slowing down and taking the time to think through everything she does, to deconstruct her own life, cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Dinner with Edward shows that life can be unappreciated at times. With work and everything else pulling the characters’ attention away…some of life’s greatest moments pass by them. Lost love and never having been loved, are two stories followed here. Life is messy, complex, and uncertain at times. That too, is shown here. Sometimes, a purpose is needed for some to move forward and that is exactly what Edward has found. Isabel is at that crossroads point in her life where she felt like something she wanted is missing. With Edward around, she has gotten to enjoy life more so and forget a little more about not having a love.

Isabel Vincent’s novel, is heartfelt. I got to savor the cooking, friendship, and life’s lessons through the eyes of the characters. Each one had his and her own problems. But when they meet, they ended up changing each others’ life. I loved how each one gave and took from the other in equal amounts. Their blossoming friendship helped heal their wounds. It also gave them a renewed purpose in their lives. Moving forward after losing a love one and feeling old and lonely only to have found a good friend to share life with was sweet. I cried for both characters. Isabel is charming and middle-aged. I was able to relate to her issues easily. Never being loved truly has left her feeling sad. Edward is a fabulous cook, who made me mouth water with his recipes. His way of making sure Isabel is fine, tugged at my heart. They had a way of making me fall in love. Realistic characters, good plot, and emotional journeys inside made this a must read for me. Overall, I recommend Dinner with Edward to all readers.

Review: From Nothing by Ken Goldstein

From Nothing

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Victor Selo had blown up his life. A wannabe rock star turned tech savant, he’d wagered his Silicon Valley executive position on a corporate inside straight and lost. Having security escort him out of the building was the best thing that happened to him that day. The rest left him in the hospital, broken, broke, and with no prospects. That’s when a shadowy stranger with questionable motives came with an offer: a chance to get his life back – and better – if he simply cooperates. It would require becoming invisible for a while, but he would be hiding in the spotlight, playing guitar in a Vegas cover band. Reluctantly, Victor accepts and begins an odyssey he never could have imagined. One that involves a charismatic lead singer who owns the stage but aspires to own an Elvis wedding chapel, a mesmerizing woman who can play anything on her keyboards and can really play with Victor’s head, and two specters from his old life offering competing devil’s bargains. Suddenly, multiple futures are opening up in front of Victor. All of them offer opportunity – and each comes with potentially catastrophic risk. Populated with a wide array of colorful characters, brimming with reflections on everything from love to God to the price of commitment, and backed by a great soundtrack, From Nothing is an endlessly engaging work of fiction that will resonate like your favorite song.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

From Nothing by Ken Goldstein is unlike any novel I have read. It carries so much punch and intrigue that I could not put it down. The tale carries me through one man’s journey from a corporate world to the lifestyle of a rock star. This book shows what happens when the main character rolls like a dice on a gambling table. The chances are fifty-fifty and the risks are high. An opportunity of taking a new road to life comes with consequences. But this character keeps rolling; making the best with each roll. I liked the do not look back attitude and how Victor moves forward despite his past life being destroyed. The remaining cast varied in positions and levels of life. It was quite interesting to follow them. The main focus was redemption for Victor. It was a long yet tough journey for him, whether he found it or not, is up for discovery. I enjoyed watching Victor grow as a man throughout novel. He went from being someone to nothing then to somebody going somewhere. His future held hope. Overall, I would recommend this read to all. There’s a little of everything for readers to like, relate to, and connect with…

Review: Where Hope Begins by Catherine West

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

In the aftermath of her husband’s act of adultery and abandonment, Savannah must finally face the ghosts that haunt her and discover for herself whether authentic faith, grace, and ultimate healing really do exist.

When her husband of twenty-one years leaves her, Savannah Barrington believes she’s lost almost everything she’s ever loved. With her daughter in college and her son in boarding school, Savannah retreats to her parents’ lake house in the Berkshires, where hope and healing come in the form of an old woman’s wisdom, a little girl’s laughter, a touch of magic, and a handsome man who’s willing to risk his own heart to prove she’s still worth loving.

But when her husband asks to reconcile, Savannah is faced with the hardest challenge of all: Forgiving the unforgivable. Somehow she must find freedom from the chains of their past and move forward, or face an unknown future without him.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Where Hope Begins by Catherine West is one of the most heart wrenching tales ever. I was quickly absorbing this novel and the characters were like real people to me. Their struggles, sadness, hope, and disappointment scratched at my heart. Leaving behind tiny marks. Love is so powerful it can destroy everything the main character believes in or gives her the strength to find her way through it all. It appeared that God left the woman featured in this story. Yet as I dug further, that became less true. Sometimes our paths get distorted and lost along the way. Then, they become clear again. But until we can see clearly, patience and hope is required.

Savannah lost her husband of twenty years due to common issues that most couples face. Loss, grief, and broken marriages. But what they had before their loss and grief was love for each other. And faith in God. However, that all came crashing down when they suffered and lost their way. Savannah lost her faith when her husband broke her heart. Not knowing what to do or where to go, she stumbled like a lost soul in a desert storm. Then, hope came in the form of Brock and his daughter. Together they help Savannah heal and find the strength and peace in her life once more. Overall, I loved this story. It felt realistic and was engaging from the beginning. It was easy to relate and connect with all the characters. In the end, I recommend this stunning emotional journey to all readers.

Review: The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER  •  FEATURING AN EXCLUSIVE NEW CHAPTER

GoodReads Choice Awards Semifinalist 

“Moving . . . a plot that surprises and devastates.”—New York Times Book Review

“A masterful epic.”—People magazine

“Mesmerizing . . . The Women in the Castle stands tall among the literature that reveals new truths about one of history’s most tragic eras.”—USA Today

Three women, haunted by the past and the secrets they hold

Set at the end of World War II, in a crumbling Bavarian castle that once played host to all of German high society, a powerful and propulsive story of three widows whose lives and fates become intertwined—an affecting, shocking, and ultimately redemptive novel from the author of the New York Times Notable Book The Hazards of Good Breeding.

Amid the ashes of Nazi Germany’s defeat, Marianne von Lingenfels returns to the once-grand castle of her husband’s ancestors, an imposing stone fortress now fallen into ruin following years of war. The widow of a resister murdered in the failed July 20, 1944, plot to assassinate Adolf Hitler, Marianne plans to uphold the promise she made to her husband’s brave conspirators: to find and protect their wives, her fellow resistance widows.

First Marianne rescues six-year-old Martin, the son of her dearest childhood friend, from a Nazi reeducation home. Together, they make their way across the smoldering wreckage of their homeland to Berlin, where Martin’s mother, the beautiful and naive Benita, has fallen into the hands of occupying Red Army soldiers. Then she locates Ania, another resister’s wife, and her two boys, now refugees languishing in one of the many camps that house the millions displaced by the war.

As Marianne assembles this makeshift family from the ruins of her husband’s resistance movement, she is certain their shared pain and circumstances will hold them together. But she quickly discovers that the black-and-white, highly principled world of her privileged past has become infinitely more complicated, filled with secrets and dark passions that threaten to tear them apart. Eventually, all three women must come to terms with the choices that have defined their lives before, during, and after the war—each with their own unique share of challenges.

Written with the devastating emotional power of The Nightingale, Sarah’s Key, and The Light Between Oceans, Jessica Shattuck’s evocative and utterly enthralling novel offers a fresh perspective on one of the most tumultuous periods in history. Combining piercing social insight and vivid historical atmosphere, The Women in the Castle is a dramatic yet nuanced portrait of war and its repercussions that explores what it means to survive, love, and, ultimately, to forgive in the wake of unimaginable hardship.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Women in the Castle by Jessica Shattuck is an outstanding tale. One that brings me back to the past during the start of WWII. The lives that were lost, held captive, and tortured during this time brings back an unforgettable sadness. Families torn apart and gone…with only their memories living on…

I am a huge historical buff especially for WWII. Hitler is by far one of the worst devils ever presented to this world. How it went on for so long…still bugs me. The lives of the characters is amazing. The Holocaust and the German support of Hitler are explored on these pages.

Three women who are strong, determined, and battling their future head on…I instantly was taken with each of them. Their stories were so real. It was like I was living through each one of them. Brilliant story telling on Jessica Shattuck’s part. Her book carries a lot of history as well as entertainment. Themes of survival, hope, and love are found in this novel. I highly recommend it to all readers.

Review: Savage Liberty by Eliot Pattison

Savage Liberty (Duncan McCallum #5)

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The fifth installation of Eliot Pattison’s Bone Rattler series follows the exiled Scotsman Duncan McCallum to the stepping-stones of the American Revolution

Acclaimed author Eliot Pattison continues his Bone Rattler series as Duncan McCallum is drawn into dark intrigue surrounding the Sons of Liberty in this gripping thriller set in the early days of the American revolution.

Pattison’s deep historical knowledge and attention to detail brings a young America to life, immersing the reader in the atmosphere and events that were to lead to the American rebellion. Protagonist Duncan McCallum is lead into a mystery of murder, treachery, and intrigue with Samuel Adams, John Hancock, and a secret society of American patriots organizing to resist the British throne.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Savage Liberty by Eliot Pattison is a novel that sent me back in time. I love following Scottish characters. I have never read a novel, where they were never not in trouble. There was always something going wrong to keep the action steady. Duncan MaCallum’s life was interesting. Death was constantly hanging over his head. Duncan is a strong, determined, and stubborn man. He appeared foolish but is not. He is braver than most men. His relationship with the strong-willed woman, Sarah, is beautiful. Both are good people struggling to survive in their new world. Boston was a place of danger, violence, and uprising. Duncan was smart to leave there but somehow it still chased after him. The time period was captured perfectly. Eliot Pattison created this story in way that deeply engaged me in all the characters’ lives. I felt as though I just lived through them all. Overall, I would recommend this to history fans and historical fiction lovers. This was fun to follow.

Review: Wonderblood by Julia Whicker

Wonderblood

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

It’s 500 years in the future, and a mad cow-like disease called “Bent Head” has killed off most of the U.S. population. Those remaining turn to magic and sacrifice to cleanse the Earth.

Wonderblood is Julia Whicker’s fascinating literary debut, set in a barren United States, an apocalyptic wasteland where warring factions compete for control of the land in strange and dangerous carnivals. A mad cow-like disease called “Bent Head” has killed off millions. Those who remain worship the ruins of NASA’s space shuttles, and Cape Canaveral is their Mecca. Medicine and science have been rejected in favor of magic, prophecy, and blood sacrifice.

When traveling marauders led by the bloodthirsty Mr. Capulatio invade her camp, a young girl named Aurora is taken captive as his bride and forced to join his band on their journey to Cape Canaveral. As war nears, she must decide if she is willing to become her captor’s queen. But then other queens emerge, some grotesque and others aggrieved, and not all are pleased with the girl’s ascent. Politics and survival are at the centre of this ravishing novel.

Rating: 3-stars

Review:

Wonderblood by Julia Whicker is a frightening, gross, and devastating tale. Loss, grief, and chaos loomed ahead in this read. The world went from how we knew it to one unrecognizable to me. Death. blood, gore, and sacrifice were everywhere. The story was strange. It was worse than any apocalypse novel that I have ever read. I couldn’t tell if they were any heroes, or if they were all just a bunch of lost souls too damaged by the destruction of their world. I would recommend this book if one is into the weird and unforgettable darkness that consumes long time afterwards. Wonderblood was a very dark read.

Review: Feral Attraction by Eileen Watkins

Synopsis:

Cat groomer Cassie McGlone tails a killer gone wild over feral felines. . .

Cassie’s good friend Dawn is part of an organization that’s trying to protect a colony of stray cats on the property of a senior condo community in Chadwick, New Jersey. The residents have got their backs up over the cat invasion, and Dawn has come to Cassie’s grooming and boarding shop, Cassie’s Comfy Cats, to ask her help in talking sense to them.

Not everyone’s against the cats. Eccentric Sabrina Ward feeds them and has even created makeshift shelters for them in the nearby woods, infuriating her neighbors. Following a heated community meeting–in which Cassie and her veterinarian boyfriend come up with a proposal–Sabrina’s body is found in the woods. The police are calling her death an accident, but Cassie smells a rat. Narrowing down the list of suspects may be tougher than herding cats, but Cassie is determined to collar the killer before another cat lover has a fatal accident . . .

Praise for The Persian Always Meows Twice

“Fans of felines will appreciate Cassie’s demonstrated attachment to the master species, which Watkins successfully integrates throughout her debut, a deft blend of mystery and cat love.” –Kirkus Reviews

“A promising start to a new cozy series. And the information the author provides about cats is fascinating.” –Suspense Magazine

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Feral Attraction by Eileen Watkins is an exciting feline mystery. It turns out that a community of feral cats have moved closer to an older retired community housing center. That’s where all the trouble begins…A few residents began feeding the cats thus, an increase in the population of feral cats being seen. Many of the residents do not like the cats and want them gone. Some are willing to go to the extreme to get rid of the cats and those invloved in helping the cats stay alive and free. Murder, mayhem, and a charming cast of characters are found in this book. I love how an expert cat groomer who has an animal behavior degree is called in to settle the dispute. But Cassie soon finds herself in more hot trouble than she can handle…I loved reading this new novel. Overall, I would recommend Feral Attraction to all readers. I can’t wait for the next book!

Review: Goodbye Cruller World by Ginger Bolton

Synopsis:

Named after her beloved tabby, Deputy Donut, Emily Westhill’s donut shop in small-town Fallingbrook, Wisconsin, is doing so well, she’s expanding into catering weddings. But a killer is about to crash the reception . . .

Normally, Emily’s eyes tend to glaze over when prospective brides go on about their wedding plans. But when the owner of the clothing shop, Dressed to Kill, asks Emily to design a donut wall for her reception, she’s immediately sweet on the idea. With the help of her father-in-law and business partner–the former police chief of Fallingbrook–she hangs the treats from dowels on the wall so guests can help themselves.

But that night, when the groom ends up on the floor with signs of poisoning, Emily suspects someone has tampered with her treats. When the groom dies, there’s no way to sugarcoat it: she’s got a murder on her hands. Despite a list of suspects as long as the guest list, Emily vows to find out who created the killer confection to save her shop’s reputation and keep the bride out of handcuffs. She’ll have to move fast . . . before the poisoner takes a powder.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Goodbye Cruller World by Ginger Bolton is one of the best cozy murder mysteries I have read lately. The characters are so real. The cast of characters are funny, charming, and deadly if crossed. Themes of family, love, and food can be found inside this book. Ginger Bolton created an a very entertaining piece of fiction.

The main question was how far does our love push us and how far is too, far? An older sister takes raising her younger sister way too seriously…Jenna was right in saying, that her older sister, Suzanne, is smothering her. When one cannot be allowed to marry a man whether he was decent or not, is not up to anyone but the bride. Yet things do not go as planned and get sticky pretty fast.

Emily is the main protagonist. She owns a bakery with her father-in-law. Emily lost her husband and her interest in weddings isn’t high. But then, she was asked to do a baking thing, and Emily is all in…until the groom is found dead eating one of her creations. Who poisoned him and why? Emily will work hard to find who the killer is to save her business and her friend aka the bride.

Another lovable character is Brent. Brent is a police officer who is deeply interested in Emily. Emily likes Brent, too. Plus, her feline cat, Dep, likes him as well. Brent ran miles just to get to a deadly scene where Emily is involved. The man deserved happiness and medals in my book. His personality is fun.

Overall, I would highly recommend Goodbye Cruller World to all readers. I got swept up immediately. The danger made it fast-paced. Ginger Bolton’s writing was engaging to follow. I truly loved her characters and how the scenes played out in the end. It was amazing. Never a boring moment and plenty of action.

Review: Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

From Barbara Delinsky, the New York Times bestselling author of Blueprints and Sweet Salt Air, a brand-new novel about a woman in hiding finding the courage to face the world again.

Mackenzie Cooper took her eyes off the road for just a moment but the resulting collision was enough to rob her not only of her beloved daughter but ultimately of her marriage, family, and friends—and thanks to the nonstop media coverage, even her privacy. Now she lives in Vermont under the name Maggie Reid, in a small house with her cats and dog. She’s thankful for the new friends she’s made—though she can’t risk telling them too much. And she takes satisfaction in working as a makeup artist at the luxurious local spa, helping clients hide the visible outward signs of their weariness, illnesses, and injuries. Covering up scars is a skill she has mastered.

Her only goal is to stay under the radar and make it through her remaining probation. But she isn’t the only one in this peaceful town with secrets. When a friend’s teenage son is thrust into the national spotlight, accused of hacking a powerful man’s Twitter account, Maggie is torn between pulling away and protecting herself—or stepping into the glare to be at their side. As the stunning truth behind their case is slowly revealed, Maggie’s own carefully constructed story begins to unravel as well. She knows all too well that what we need from each other in this difficult world is comfort. But to provide it, sometimes we need to travel far outside our comfort zones.

From a multimillion-selling master of women’s fiction, Before and Again is a story of the relationships we find ourselves in—mothers and daughters, spouses and siblings, true companions and fair-weather friends—and what kind of sacrifices we are or aren’t willing to make to sustain them through good times and bad.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Before and Again by Barbara Delinsky is a fast paced plot. The story is about a family’s life that gets turned upside down when they loose their only daughter. A five-year-old girl, dead on impact of another car hitting them. The mother was driving the car. Since then, life has beennothing but hell for the parents. A divorce, separation, guilt, shame, and grief immediately consumed me. I felt an instant sympathy for the family, especially the mother. It was intense. Sad, horrifying, and just one big emotionally charged journey. What started out as a sad and dark road, soon proved to hold some hope and light for this couple. I loved how realistic and how I was shown what was happening.

The situations were not easy but I could easily see all of this happening in real life. It’s difficult to lose a loved one, especially one that was so young and in the mother’s care at the time…the physical and emotional trauma would be hard. Yet Barbara Delinsky showed that there is always a light at the end of the long dark tunnel. We may lose ourselves but not all is lost. There is hope for a future…overall, I would recommend this to readers everywhere.

 

Review: The Woman Behind the Waterfall by Lenoroa Meriel

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Heartbreak and transformation in the beauty of a Ukrainian village

For seven-year old Angela, happiness is exploring the lush countryside around her home in western Ukraine. Her wild imagination takes her into birds and flowers, and into the waters of the river.

All that changes when, one morning, she sees her mother crying. As she tries to find out why, she is drawn on an extraordinary journey into the secrets of her family, and her mother’s fateful choices.

Can Angela lead her mother back to happiness before her innocence is destroyed by the shadows of a dark past?

Beautiful, poetic and richly sensory, this is a tale that will haunt and lift its readers.

“A strange and beautiful novel” – Esther Freud, author of Mr Mac and Me, Hideous Kinky, Peeless Flats

“Readers looking for a classic tale of love and loss will be rewarded with an intoxicating world” – Kirkus Reviews

Rating: 3.5-stars

Review:

The Woman Behind the Waterfall by Leonora Meriel is a deep emotional tale. One that reads like poetry. It was a bit too slow and stretched out for my tastes when it comes to the pacing. However, the story presented was interesting. Reading this novel, made me sad. It felt like everything was crashing down around the mother and daughter. The mother made some wrong choices and feels regret. Her daughter is a ray of sunshine and innocence. Their love for each other is all they have. This book was different than what I usually read. Not exactly what I expected but unique. Overall, those looking for an emotional yet strong theme on family may love reading this.

Review: Wanted: A Perfect Partner by Debbie Macomber

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Sweet, fun romance stories by #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber are to be enjoyed again and again!

Single mom Meg Remington isn’t looking for another chance at love, but her teenage daughter, Lindsay, has other plans, so she places a personal ad on her mother’s behalf. When it’s answered by Steve Conlan, he actually seems…perfect! But there’s more at work, as the reluctant couple soon discovers. Meg and Steve want to teach their matchmakers a lesson–if only they weren’t really falling for each other!

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Wanted: Perfect Partner by Debbie Macomber held some very exciting and unexpected twists. I was not sure what to expect with this read. But what I found was a fun, emotionally engaging, and romantic journey. A single divorced mother with a teenage daughter trying to get her married. A daughter who places an ad for dating in a newspaper for her mom.  Single bachelor and brother to a young woman, plots to get her brother married off…only things go a little wacky, intense, and hot.

I loved reading it. Moments like Steve returning Meg’s purse only to have the cops called trying t arrest him…and Meg’s daughter saying he’s a convicted felon…was hilarious. Steve and Meg thought they could have the upper hand on their date arrangers only for it to back fire completely. Humor was found everywhere. Steve pretended to be a convicted felon while Meg presented herself as a cheap hookup girl.

At first Steve and Meg, were emebarrassed. Then, they went from embarrassment to taking control or so they thought. But what they did not plan on was the attraction they started to feel…

Debbie Macomber once again, has written a story that tugged at my heart. I fell completely in love with her characters. All of them were amazing. They were perfect at their roles. In fact, some were so perfect, that I didn’t see the ending twist. Overall, I would recommend this realistic heartfelt yet romantic comedy to all readers.

 

Review: Laird of the Black Isle by Paula Quinn

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

This Highlander will risk everything to find his daughter…

Lachlan MacKenzie has nothing left to lose since his wife and daughter were killed. But when a shadowy figure reveals his little girl might still be alive, Lachlan will do whatever it takes to find her—even abduct a lass from the MacGregor clan for an exchange. Being caught would mean certain death. But the laird of the Black Isle won’t let anything—or anyone—interfere with his mission…not even his beautiful, stubborn captive.

Even his heart

All Mailie MacGregor wants is to return home to her family. And the Highland beast who captured her can go to the devil. Her plan: to thwart him at any cost and win her freedom. But she never expected to be so drawn to the fierce warrior and the desire in his eyes.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Laird of the Black Isle by Paula Quinn is a romance that pulled at my heart stings. A warrior who lost his family while away from home, lives in isolation. Until a messenger comes, bearing news that his boss has word of his daughter’s life. Lachlan diminished the news but his heart couldn’t ignore the possiblity that his daughter may still be alive. All he has to do, is kidnap a MacGregor clan woman and give her to a monster. Yet, even that plan has flaws…

Lachlan is a tough man who has had to endure many demons. While on a journey, his wife and Home were burned to the ground. His daughter was thought to be dead as well. Lachlan distanced himself from others but his heart of gold never stopped him. He helped feed his clan and still did whatever he could for them. No matter the distance he put between him and his clan, Lachlan still earned respect from everyone. A grizzly bear with a good heart. A heavy heart full of woe. Until her kidnapped her…a woman who got under his skin and into his heart…

Mailie MacGregor is a strong woman from a fierce warrior clan. They hover around her like guards all day and night. When they all least expect it, a stranger kidnaps her. Taking her away from everyone only to soon hand her over to the very man she fears. But Mailie is more potent than either she nor Lachlan deem she is. Her presence causes chaos for the fearless warrior. She ends up defeating the walls he has built to protect himself. Mailie is his light…in his dark world. But then, there’s her heart falling to him when she would hate him…

Laird of the Black Isle is funny, charming, and full of action. Themes of family, faith, and second chances are seen here. The pages enchanted me from the beginning. Two heroes who have tugged and pulled at my heart. Until, I have fallen in love with their story. Danger, intrigue, and happy endings are inside this novel. Overall, I highly recommend this Highland romance to all.

Review: The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Lucy Lang isn’t looking for fireworks…

She’s looking for a nice, decent man. Someone who’ll mow the lawn, flip chicken on the barbeque, teach their future children to play soccer. But most important… someone who won’t inspire the slightest stirring in her heart…or anywhere else. A young widow, Lucy can’t risk that kind of loss again. But sharing her life with a cat named Fat Mikey and the Black Widows at the family bakery isn’t enough either. So it’s goodbye to Ethan, her hot but entirely inappropriate “friend with privileges” and hello to a man she can marry.

Too bad Ethan Mirabelli isn’t going anywhere. As far as he’s concerned, what she needs might be right under her nose. But can he convince her that the next best thing can really be forever?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

The Next Best Thing by Kristan Higgins is a sweet yet steady contemporary romance. I enjoyed the themes of friendship, family, and forgiving. Other themes were widowhood, death, and grief. I cannot imagine loosing a loved one or how I would be able to move forward from that kind of loss. But with family and friends, anything is possible. But the character has to be willing to let down her guard and accept fate.

Lucy Lang has always wanted marriage and kids. But she lost her husband not too long after they married. That left Lucy alone, miserable, and widowed. She felt like widowhood is a curse in her family. Every woman older than her has lost their husbands. Widowhoodseems to be their curse. Except most of them were able to have kids before they lost their loved ones. Unlike alucy who has nothing but memories to hold of her late husband. It’s been years and she still cannot let go. Until Lucy’s younger sister gives birth to a baby. Holding the baby made Lucy want more in life.

Her plan is to find someone to love her and give her what she wants in a partner. But she does not want to fall in love with the man.

There’s nothing more fun than watching a perfect plan go to pieces.

Ethan is the younger brother of Lucy’s late husband. Ethan and Lucy got along well, in fact, too well. Until the moment Lucy held her sister’s baby, their perfect no strings attached relationship ends. Lucy tells Ethan that they cannot have sex anymore because she wants to find a husband. Ethan has loved Lucy for a long time. Lucy has never realized that nor does she until it’s almost too late…

Cutting off their relationship and trying to be just friends is tough. Ethan starts to treat Lucy like a regular everyday chic. Lucy feels like Ethan has dumped her…but it was her who dumped him. When he starts hanging around women, the jealousy breaks out.

Lucy loves Ethan but thinks he isn’t perfect for her.

Ethan has been therefor Lucy every time and always.

When Lucy starts to date men, things get funny. Some men are just not that great of a match. Both Ethan and Lucy have jealous issues and are starting to realize what they had…or could have if they open up to each other.

The Next Best Thing is funny, sad, and real. Some parts made me laugh so hard while other moments I cried my eyes out. There was always this strong push and pull between Lucy and Ethan. I could not get enough of them and their craziness. Lucy gets into so much trouble that Ethan has to come save her butt every time. He was the closet thing to a perfect knight in shinning armor. Cheesy, feel good, and romantic…this novel almost reminded me of The Big Fat Greek Wedding movie. Overall, I recommend this contemporary romance to all.

 

 

Review: Trumpets of Jericho by J. Michael Dolan

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

The Trumpets of Jericho is the first book, and only novel, devoted in its entirety to one of the more remarkable if lesser-known stories of the Holocaust–the defiant 1944 Jewish armed revolt at the Nazi death camp Auschwitz– and the just as inspiring account of the four young female conspirators arrested and savagely tortured by the Gestapo during the investigation that followed.

As one of the architects of the rebellion, the 22-year-old Roza Robota, arguably the greatest Jewish heroine to come out of the Holocaust yet little remembered today, is brought to vivid and long-overdue life. Meet her and the rest of the heroes, and villains, in this epochal saga that will both thrill and horrify you at the heights and depths our unpredictable kind is capable of reaching.

In Trumpets, the historian, J. Michael Dolan has produced a work that he believes will stir you as deeply as its subject has him. In conjunction with bringing this epic tale to light, he explores, among other themes, religion and the existence of God, the psychology of genocide, friendship and romantic love, sexual and other pathologies, the nature of good and evil, right and wrong.

Above all, he shows how the most monstrous crime ever committed was in the end no match for the indomitability, the grandeur of the human spirit.

“As moving as Schindler’s List, horrific as Son of Saul, heroic as The Grey Zone… an adventure of a book destined itself for Hollywood.” –Raja-Rao Literary Endowment

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

Trumpets of Jericho by J. Michael Dolan is a fascinating account of World War II. The darkest time period in history. I am a huge fan on anything that shows me what it was like during that time era. The horrors of what people went through was an emotional journey unlike any other. I loved how historian, J. Michael Dolan, used both fictional and real characters for his book. It was easy to follow along. Loss, grief, and death followed every page. The plot was engaging. It portrayed a realistic telling of those events in 1944. I greatly appreciated how much history and research the writer did. It was like being teleported back in time. A  time full of dangerous, deadly, and intense situations. Danger existed everywhere back then.

Trumpets of Jericho, is a must read  for all. It is both an educational and entertaining story. S much history to relive and remember. Plus, there are some heroic figures I do not remember studying in school and have learned by reading this novel. One such heroine, was Roza Roberta.   I was able to connect with her immediately. She fought against the wrongs of this horror from the Holocaust. She was a strong character that I really liked. The story took me straight back to Auschwitz, known as the death camp. I cried reading this…It was well-told. I can see this historical novel being a bestselling movie one day. I would so watch it! There are multiple themes associated with the crimes committed during this era. It was interesting to read. Overall, I recommend this powerful story, Trumpets of Jericho, to all readers.

 

 

Review: Becoming the Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Twin sisters Waverly and Charlie Talbot have drifted far apart as they pursue opposite dreams of stardom and service to the poor. On an astonishing journey across Central Europe, they must come together to face their fears, find their courage and fight for what they love.

Celebrity chef Waverly Ross has built a successful career with her home-entertaining show Simply Perfect. Yet she and her husband, Andrew, have never been able to realize the true desire of Waverly’s heart: to become a mother. Meanwhile Waverly’s twin sister, Charlie Talbot, buries her bitter disappointment and shattered idealism beneath a life spent serving others as an international aid worked in Budapest, Hungary.

When the beloved aunt who raised them passes away, Waverly and Charlie come together in their grief after living years on separate continents. Struck by a fierce desire to bridge the distance between them, Charlie offers Waverly and her husband the selfless gift of surrogacy.

But soon the sisters find they are each in danger of losing their jobs, seemingly putting their dreams on hold once again. When Waverly shows up unannounced in Budapest with a plan to rescue Simply Perfect, the sisters embark on an adventure across Central Europe that could save them both from occupational hazards. Though the twins haven’t had to rely on each other since childhood, an unforeseen dangerous turn in their journey across Europe forces them to stand together to save their careers, the baby, and each other.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Becoming the Talbot Sisters by Rachel Linden is an awe inspiring tale of the bond between two sisters. Being an older sister, I can relate to these sisters. My baby sister has moved away to pursue her dreams, and I felt like we drifted apart. But we still love each other and are there when we need each other. The same can be shown in this book with the Talbot sisters. Their aunt passes away and that starts their reunion in becoming closer. From there their journeys become messy, complicated, and scary. But they now, have each other in their lives again and from there they learn and help each other. I loved the protrayal of the sister bonding moments, the emotional rollercoaster each one took, and the sacrifices they made. It was a steady piece of fiction. The plot was heartfelt and realistic. Overall, I recommend it to readers.

Review: A Chance at Forever by Melissa Jagears

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

Mercy McClain joined the school board to protect the children of Teaville, Kansas, from the bullying she experienced as a child. When the worst offender from her school days applies for a teaching position, she is dead set against it. Yet Aaron Firebrook claims to be a changed man. Can he earn Mercy’s trust–and her support for the challenges to come?

Rating: 4.5-stars

Review:

A Chance at Forver by Melissa Jagears is a sweet, heartfelt, and engaging tale. I was instantly taken in with the main protagonists. Their journeys were both internal and external. A you woman was tormented every day by a peer of hers. Now, years later, the meet again. This time, he has changed his name and appearance. But something about him is different.

Mercy has a difference that is visible to everyone’s eyes. Her stump of a hand puts her on edge. She feels handicapped by it. When she was a girl, a boy made fun of her daily for her stump…yet she still survived. Now grown, Mercy is still struggling with her physical appearance. It went from a physical to an emotional handicap.

Aaron was a young boy who tormented others to make himself feel better. He knew what he was doing was wrong yet he still did it. His family life was awful and he thought others should not be happy if he wasn’t. Now as a grown man, Aaron wants to apologize to all his peers and hope to make a difference in his students’ lives. But Mercy might prevent that…and his past has a way of hindering him from his future happiness.

Together Mercy and Aaron have a long way to go. Both need to learn what is stopping them from being happy. Forgiveness is not just one sided. Each protagonist has suffered pain, loss, and trauma. But with some faith, friends, and new beginnings they might just find the peace they’re looking for…

A Chance at Forver deals with bullying, handicaps, faith, and hope. Second chances are given and found here. I felt sorry for both characters and the other side characters that they influence throughout their journey. Melissa Jagears has captivated me with her novel. I could not stop reading this heart tugging story. It was powerful, educational, and inspiring. Overall, I would highly recommend this historical novel to all readers.

 

Review: Pelican Point by Irene Hannon

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A crumbling lighthouse is not part of the inheritance Army doctor Ben Garrison expects to claim when he journeys to Hope Harbor. Fresh out of the service, he wants only to unload the tower of bricks, decompress from years of treating battlefield trauma, and prepare to launch his civilian career.

Hope Harbor Herald editor Marci Weber has other ideas. She may not be a Hope Harbor native, but the small Oregon seaside town has become home–and she’s determined to save the Pelican Point landmark.

Sparks fly as the two go head to head over the fate of the lighthouse. But when they start to cooperate, a different kind of fire ignites. And as they work together, might Hope Harbor heal the hearts of these two romance-wary souls?

Bestselling author Irene Hannon invites readers back to their favorite town for a story that will light a beacon of hope within their hearts.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Pelican Point by Irene Hannon is a nice clean read. It is a story of one grandson who loss his grandfather and inherits a lighthouse that nobody wants, ncluding him. Then, there is the cat he tried to save only to get scratched up, the police called on him, and a determined female reporter wanting a story from him. Ben Garrison is an easy character to like and connect with…his emotional journey sucked me into the story. Sad, entertaining, and hopeful, this novel was good. I felt everything Ben did.  It was like I was there personally watching it all unfold. Overall, I recommend this sweet heartfelt tale to all readers.

Review: Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

A grieving daughter and abuse survivor must summon the courage to run a feminist conference, trust a man she meets over the Internet, and escape a catfishing stalker to find her power.
Ahana, a wealthy thirty-three-year-old New Delhi woman, flees the pain of her mother’s death, and her dark past, by accepting a huge project in New Orleans, where she’ll coordinate an annual conference to raise awareness of violence against women. Her half-Indian, half-Irish colleague and public relations guru, Rohan Brady, who helps Ahana develop her online presence, offends her prim sensibilities with his raunchy humor. She is convinced that he’s a womanizer.

Meanwhile, she seeks relief from her pain in an online support group, where she makes a good friend: the mercurial Jay Dubois, who is also grieving the loss of his mother. Louisiana Catch is an emotionally immersive novel about identity, shame, and who we project ourselves to be in the world. It’s a book about Ahana’s unreliable instincts and her ongoing battle to determine whom to place her trust in as she, Rohan, and Jay shed layers of their identities.

Louisiana Catch is a triumph. In Ahana, Sweta Vikram has created an unforgettable character, strong, wise, and deeply human, who’ll inspire a new generation struggling to come to terms with their identity in a world of blurring identities.” –KARAN BAJAJ, New York Times bestselling author, The Yoga of Max’s Discontent

“In Louisiana Catch, Sweta Vikram brings life to the complex human rights issue of violence against women. Through one woman’s journey to make sense of her past and ultimately heal, Vikram shows us that yoga can reconnect us to ourselves, and that by empowering others, we transform our own lives.” –ZOE LEPAGE, Founder, Exhale to Inhale

Louisiana Catch perfectly captures what it means to be human in a digital world, where support groups meet online, love interests flirt on Twitter, and people get confused with personas. Equal parts tender and playful, moving and hopeful, Vikram’s prose connects us with timeless truths about grief and redemption in a satisfyingly modern way.” –STEPHANIE PATERIK, Managing Editor, Adweek

Learn more at http://www.SwetaVikram.com
From Modern History Press, http://www.ModernHistoryPress.com

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

Louisiana Catch by Sweta Vikram is like a drug. It pulls you into its depth and hooks you inside of its journey. This was one epic path that the writer lead me on…I was intrigued. A woman, Ahana, finds herself in one of the most complicated and dangerous situations a woman should never be found in, yet Ahana does. She lost her mother and she soon becomes a victim to her husband’s brutal sexual torment.

Rape is ongoing issue women worldwide still face. This issue should be solved yet so many fall victim. Some never survive that form of destruction, both physically and emotionally. I found myself crying for Ahana. Her losses are so great and many. People she should be able to trust turn out to be the worst. I felt the fear, the risks, and the danger as the plot carries me from beginning to end. Ahana is a strong female protagonist. She may loose her way occasionally but eventually finds it. No one is perfect. Life is messy.

Sweta Vikram captures my attention with the devasting events and the suspense of what will come from it. I felt sympathy and a connection instantly to Ahana. I really liked her. Her colleague, Rohan, is another great character. He was there helping her. Or trying to help her when she was in a bad situation. From the beginning to end of her journey, Rohan supports Ahana. Ahana at times made me want to shake her, for her carelessness but she has grown into a wonderful woman at the end of her journey. This is one unforgettable character that will forever live in the minds of readers like me and countless others. There are so many things that drag readers into Ayana’s sad yet powerful story. Overall, I would recommend this novel to all women including those who have been abused. It shows that even though the world is a dark place, there too, is a light that will eventually shine bright.

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