Sunday, July 23, 2017

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

Well, talk about a surprise. I kept hearing about Ms. Paris' new book out this year called The Breakdown and then saw this was her first book. I read it on my iPad and it went so fast! 

The premise is this: Grace and Jack appear to have the perfect marriage, but they don't. What we always see is not always the truth. But, I don't want to give too much away. This description is from Goodreads: 

Picture this: a dinner party at their perfect home, the conversation and wine flowing. They appear to be in their element while entertaining. And Grace's friends are eager to reciprocate with lunch the following week. Grace wants to go, but knows she never will. Her friends call—so why doesn't Grace ever answer the phone? And how can she cook such elaborate meals but remain so slim?

So, that being said, enjoy this book. I know some reviews were saying what was going on in the book wasn't totally feasible, and while at first, I thought, "Well, I would know what to do", I started thinking, "Maybe not." I think what happened IS possible due to the way the author wrote and explained it. 

Anyway, what I really wanted to rave about was the ending. I absolutely loved the way the author ended this. I thought it was one of the most creative endings I have ever read. Like I said, I was reading on my iPad and when ending a chapter, I thought I had a few more pages left, only to find I hit the end. I was sitting there, not in shock, but just totally satisfied with the book and that hasn't happened in A LONG TIME. 

I cannot wait to read Ms. Paris' new book. Let me know what you think about this one though and let me know what you think about how the author ended the story. 

Monday, July 17, 2017

Fraying at the Edge by Cindy Woodsmall

Greetings, all! 

The time is getting closer to the release of the third book in this series, Gathering the Threads, but today I want to talk about the second book, Fraying at the Edge. For the review on the FIRST book click here: Ties That Bind

The second book picks up from where the first one left off, launching Ariana into her strange new modern world.  She is so committed to her Amish lifestyle and faith she feels like she's falling apart or "Fraying at the Edge" (ha! You like how I did that?) when her biological father places certain demands on her. 

Meanwhile, Skylar (the biological daughter of the Amish Brenneman family) is also struggling acclimating to her new environment as well. She tries everything in her power, while struggling with addiction, to alienate the Brennemans the best she can. 

Neither girl wants to be in the situation they are in. Can they find some kind of peace or at least tolerance for their surroundings while waiting for the end of the time period that was forced on them? 

My two cents; This series has been great so far. I cannot wait to read the third book. I will be starting it today.  I kind of felt like a bad person while reading this one, because I absolutely felt no sympathy for Nicholas, Ariana's biological father. Without giving too much away, I thought he was horribly rude, unrelenting and quite frankly, totally disrespectful of Ariana's lifestyle and faith. I don't like to rant too much on blogs, for fear of spoiling something, so I will not give any more away, except to say, I haven't been this engrossed in characters in a long time. 

Isn't it great when you actually care what happens in a book and get vested in the characters? I find lately that it doesn't happen a lot, but with this series, I really can't wait to find out what happens. The only downside will be when I am finished the last book and they will be gone. 

A big thanks goes to Waterbook Multnomah for allowing me to be on the launch team for Gathering the Threads and also for sending me the first two books in the series. No review was required. 

SPECIAL:  Right now when you pre-order Gathering the Threads, you will get The Ties that Bind FREE!!! Go to today to get this awesome BOGO deal! 

And, as always, please let me know what you think! Thanks for reading! 

Wednesday, July 12, 2017

The Address by Fiona Davis

Quick synopsis: This book switches back and forth between 1885 and 1985 and involves a woman named Sara who helps run a prestigious hotel in England. She is approached by Theodore Camden after an incident who offers her a job in the now famous Dakota Apartment building in New York City, which, in the story, hasn't been completed yet. Theodore is one of the architects working on the building.  Sara travels to the United States to be the manager of the property which promises to be THE address that everyone will want to live in. 

The more modern portion of the story involves, Melinda a descendant of Theodore Camden and her "cousin" Bailey. They call each other "cousins" because Bailey's grandfather was a "ward" of Theodore Camden's, essentially an orphan that he and his wife, Minnie took in along with their own children. Bailey is struggling with being an alcoholic and takes a job helping Melinda, who is back at the Dakota renovating her own apartment. Bailey is appalled at the renovations Melinda is doing to a historical building, but down on her luck, Bailey assists. 

While in the building, Bailey finds old artifacts, showing her some of Theodore Camden's past. She sets out to find out the link between her life and the one shown in the 1885 portions of the story. I won't go into any spoilers here, so on to my two cents!

Wow! I loved this story. I admit, I didn't think I would like it as much a I did when I started the book, but for me, it took off and that was it! I found myself wanting to get back to it as soon as I could and reading late into the night. Plus! It had my favorite city in it and also my second favorite thing about a book is when I think something is fiction and it turns out not to be, making me look further.  I know about the Dakota building. For those who may not, it's where John Lennon lived and was ultimately killed. However, there is something in this book (I won't get into it) that turned out to be a real place (noted at the end). I highly recommend this story. I thoroughly enjoyed it. Family drama, mystery, history, my favorite could I not? Thank you so much to Penguin's First to Read Program for the ARC.

Friday, June 30, 2017

The Ties That Bind by Cindy Woodsmall

Total disclosure: I was allowed to join a launch team for the third book in this series. First, thanks in advance to WaterBook & Multnomah for sending me the first two books in the series so that I could get caught up. So, let's start there! 

This book grabbed me from the beginning and I must confess the characters stuck with me long after I put the book down. I found this book to have a lot of depth, something that is not found too easily these days. 

Ariana Brenneman is faithful to her Amish family and their lifestyle. She is a firm believer in the Old Ways and is at peace with her life. Her faith is unshakable. However, she is also getting over being hurt by an old friend, Quill Schlabach. 

Quill left the Amish years prior and started helping other Amish people leave the community when they wish to do so. He helped Ariana's friend, Frieda leave and Ariana sees this as completely disrespectful and a betrayal to the Amish community. Ariana shockingly learns that Quill is back and that is possibly helping a family member of Ariana's to leave the community. 

Ariana is determined to find out who it is and try to stop it.  She is also trying to focus on the positive in her life, which includes her dream of opening a cafe. 

However, there is a huge possible bombshell lurking that could shatter Ariana's life as she knows it. I don't want to give too much away here, but believe me, I felt this story was riveting. I was really drawn in. 

The next book is Fraying at the Edge. I will do blog on that when I am finished, but I also want to say that the third book, Gathering The Threads is going to be available August 2017 and I can't wait. 

Saturday, May 27, 2017

The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda

Hello, all! 
I just finished The Perfect Stranger by Megan Miranda. I received a copy from NetGalley. No review was required. But, I still thank Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review. 

The Perfect Stranger had a great lure, mystery, intrigue, suspense. Unfortunately it didn't really deliver for me. It took me way too long to finish it. The story revolves around Leah Stevens who is recovering from a scandal at work. When Leah is at her lowest point and trying to figure out her next move, she comes back into contact with her old college roommate, Emmy. Emmy says she is bouncing back from a breakup, so she suggests she and Leah leave their troubles behind in Boston and share a house in the woods in Pennsylvania. 

After they arrive and get semi-settled, a brutal assault takes place near the lake where they live. The victim: Bethany Jarvitz. Is the suspect a coach at the school where Leah teaches and has contact with? Is Leah in danger? 

Then, Emmy disappears and it looks like she may be the next victim. Can Leah find her in time? What's Leah's role in all this? 

Well, you can read to find out, but I found it very slow moving. However, some parts were good, and I guess since I wanted to see what happened, I stuck it out, but it just seemed to take too long. I thought the ending could have been written differently and then it would have been worth it. I was already looking forward to my next book. 

I really am grateful to NetGalley! I am sure I will enjoy the next one I get a lot more! 

Saturday, May 13, 2017

The Bookshop at Water's End by Patti Callahan Henry

Hello, all! I hope everyone is gearing up for some great summer reading. I know I am. I am also getting quite intimidated by my "to read" list (lol).  It has a life of its own. 

If you are looking for a light, good beachy read, you can always turn to Patti Callahan Henry. Her new book The Bookshop at Water's End coming July 2017 is perfect for your beach vacation. 

There are some heavy parts in it, but nothing crushing. Bonny and Lainey have been friends all their lives, spending summers together at the beach and on the river in a magical South Carolina town. Flashing back to the times when they were young and Lainey's mom disappears and then coming back to present day, where Bonny is having several problems of her own, you get a thorough feel of their long standing friendship. 

Bonny and Lainey return to the place where the best and worst things have happened to them to try and make peace and clear their heads. Can they? Can they fix past and present issues? Along for the ride is Bonny's daughter, Piper and Lainey's children, George and Daisy. Piper is fighting her own demons, but just like Bonny and Lainey back in the day, Piper also finds solace in the bookshop at Water's End.

My two cents: I got pulled into this book very quickly and it really kept my interest. The only thing I didn't feel was that the bookshop didn't have such a big role in the story to be the focus of the title, in my opinion. Yes, the bookshop owner, Mimi is a major player in the story, but the title is all about the bookshop. I might be nitpicking. 

In any event, some parts were  a little too dramatic, but sometimes that's good in a story. It's DEFINITELY a read to be enjoyed with the summer wind in your hair while you're sitting near the water. Let me know what you think. Thank you to NetGalley for an advance reader copy of this book. No review was required. 

Sunday, April 30, 2017

The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green

I really should blog on every book I read.  I find I really do enjoy it. I give EVERYTHING I read a star rating on but the ones I blog about are the ones I get in exchange for an honest review. This one I received from First To Read by Penguin. It's a great program!  

This one was a hard one to review. This is my 4th Jane Green book. I keep trying her books because the masses seem to love her. I have two more on my "to read" list and then that will be it for me. This one, however, was a little better than the other three I read and therefore, I gave it one more star than the others. It wasn't as dramatic as the others, either and slightly more believable. Ronni Sunshine, megastar back in her heyday, has three daughters, Nell, Meredith and Lizzy. Ronni is sick (not really a spoiler) and wants to, as a lot of people do, make amends with her family. All three girls are not close with their mother, due to the fact that her actor life took her away from them for long periods of time and quite frankly, made her quite the narcissist. The girls aren't close with each other either. Each daughter has branched out and they barely talk. Ronni wants to try and change that, too and try and make them see that they need each other. Word of advice, the book did hold my interest, but it is a light read. There are no surprises here. What you read on Goodreads, or the book jacket is what you get. But, all in all, a good story, except for a side issue (which I won't go into here) seemed to be an afterthought that wanted to be forced into the story by the author and not really relevant to the main plot. Thank you so much to Penguin Random House First To Read Program! I really appreciate it.