Sunday, July 30, 2017

Gathering the Threads by Cindy Woodsmall



Well! What a fun journey this was! I have finally finished The Amish of Summer Grove Series. This is the third and final book in the series and will release in August 2017. I was so lucky and grateful to receive an advance copy from WaterBook Multnomah and help with the launch! 

For my review on Book One (The Ties that Bind) click here: Ties That Bind
For my review on Book One (Fraying at the Edge) click here: Fraying At The Edge

You can read what the first two books are about in my other blogs, but this is the wrap up of the Brenneman family saga about Ariana and her place in the world. Finding out she was switched at birth, she had to carve out a new life for herself and come to grips with the fact that who she thought were her birth parents were not. On top of that, she had to deal with the fact that her real birth parents are "worldly". This goes against everything Ariana stood for and believed in. 

It is also the story of her lifelong friendship with Quill and how they had to learn to forgive each other in order to move on in life. 

Also, we get to see through the series how Skylar, who is the girl really born to Amish parents, Lovina and Isaac come to terms with addiction and if she will find peace in the upheaval in her life as well. 

I don't like to give too much away in my reviews, because I want you to read them yourselves and enjoy them as much as I did. However, there were a few things I wanted to touch on. 

I couldn't stand Nicholas. Even towards the end, I found it hard to come to terms with how much turmoil he actually caused in Ariana's life. Again, no spoilers here, but for those who read the book, I would love your thoughts. 


Also, and I know I am going to get major darts thrown at me, but I didn't like, nor did I ever come to like Skylar. Even after things have started to settle, she still seemed entitled to me. 

However, I loved this series. I usually like Amish fiction but this series had a real depth to it. I think it's going to do very well in wrapping up the series for those who have read the first two and are looking forward to seeing how it all plays out. I was so lucky to get to read it in advance and I want to thank WaterBook Multnomah again for allowing me to help promote the last book as well as sending me the first two so that I could get caught up. No review was required. 

I hope you all enjoy this book as much as I did! Summer isn't over yet and I have plenty left on my summer reading list! What are you reading this summer? Comment below! 

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 wmbooks.com/gatheringthethreads 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 city...how 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.