#BookReview: Spare Change by Bette Lee Crosby

Spare Change2Summary:

A woman grieving her loss. A boy running for his life. A town defending them both.

From award-winning USA TODAY Bestselling Author BETTE LEE CROSBY, the first book of a gritty, small-town, family saga in the tradition of the finest Southern fiction.

Small-town gossip never much bothered Olivia Westerly. As a single career woman, she’s weathered her share. It’s easy to ignore the raised eyebrows over her late-in-life marriage to Charlie Doyle. But after he drops dead on their honeymoon, the whispers are salt on her raw grief. Especially when an orphaned, eleven-year-old-boy shows up on her doorstep, looking for the grandfather he never met.

Behind Ethan Allen Doyle’s wary blue eyes lie heavily guarded emotions that unexpectedly tug on Olivia’s heart, and she finds herself wanting to win his trust. But when his murderous secret comes looking for him, the entire town embraces the lonely widow and desperate child to show itstrue heart when danger threatens one of its own.

A heartwarming tale of love, loss and unexpected gifts, featuring a woman you’d like to call friend, a boy you will ache to hug, and a town you wish you could call home.

Review:

This was our Book Club Read for the month and I am so happy it was chosen because everyone loved the book!

Bette Lee Crosby can always deliver a story like no other! I was engrossed from the first few pages. We meet several characters along the way and they each have such life they practically jump off the page. While reading the book I heard their voices, felt their emotions and truly developed feelings for each of them. But Ethan Allen was my favorite. I became one of his biggest champions along the way, and I have no doubt you will, too!

Olivia Webster is a single woman in the 1950’s working for the Southern Atlantic Telephone Company in Richmond, Virginia and she wanted her life to stay that way. She did not want children. She did not want a husband. She was all about her life as a professional woman until she met Charlie Doyle at a retirement party. He was as taken in by her. You see Charlie was always wanting to remain single because he was quite the lady’s man until he met Olivia. Together they were to change their lives and start a new adventure together as a married couple. Only tragedy strikes.

Benjamin is Charlie’s son and he is married to Susanna. They have a son named Ethan Allen. They live on a farm in the country and Susanna dreamed of becoming a singer in New York City. However, tragedy strikes them as well.

This is the story of what happens after all of this loss and how Ethan Allen survives.

I was in love with the ending of the story.

I highly recommend this book!! You will sit for an evening. You will fall in love.

You will then want to read another one of Bette Lee Crosby’s books.

Go get it and enjoy!

5 Stars.

#BookReview: Spring Break Navy SEAL (A Spring Breakers Short Story) by Sierra Hill

Spring Break Navy SealSummary:

While on spring break for her friend’s destination wedding, Abbie spends a sizzling night with Zayne, after which she sneaks away believing she’ll never have to see her hookup again.
Queue up a side of awkward, because the hot SEAL she slept with just happens to be the best man in the wedding.

Abbie’s only goal was to have a no-strings-attached hookup, and instead she finds a soldier whose only mission is to keep the flames burning a little while longer.

Can he convince Abbie that there’s more between them before they say goodbye to paradise?

Review:

This is the perfect beach read! It is steamy, tantalizing, sexy and fun to read. The novella takes about 90 minutes to read, so it is perfect for the beach or a quick afternoon rainy day break!

The electricity between Zayne and Abbie is so palpable is jumps off the page and when the two of them finally are alone, it is a no holds barred sexual romp. They are amazing together in the bedroom; but would they be just a one-night stand? Would there be more to their relationship?

Zayne and Abbie are both on Spring Break in Mexico. He is taking a break from his career as a Navy Seal and she is taking a break from Graduate School. But, ultimately, they are both there to attend a wedding!

What ensues is a scrumptious story. One that is sure to delight you if you are interested in a quick read to make you smile.

I love how nicely wrapped this one is! If you don’t mind sexual content, I say give this a read!

It has arrived just in time for summer!!

5 Stars

 

#BookReview: Crimson Falls Novella – The Stranger in the Woods by Kiersten Modglin

The Stranger in the Woods CoverSummary:

Arlie Montgomery is no stranger to tragedy.
In fact, tragedy brought Arlie everything she’d ever dreamed of in one fell swoop.

As a thriller author, Arlie should’ve had it easy. Growing up in the town of Crimson Falls, there was no shortage of inspiration, after all.

When her husband’s tragic death becomes national news, Arlie’s failing career skyrockets overnight. Suddenly she has everything she ever wanted, except the man she’d hoped to share her dream with.

As she approaches the anniversary of her husband’s death, Arlie finds a stranger in the woods outside of her town. A man with no memory of who he is or why he came to Crimson Falls. Desperate and lonely, Arlie takes him into her home.

With the town’s own anniversary—the cursed Founders Day—drawing near, crime levels rise and the annual murders begin. This year, the deaths take on a new twist: the killer is copying the murders from Arlie’s books.

As suspicions surrounding the stranger grow, Arlie must solve the mysteries she’s spent years writing. In a race against time, Arlie must stop the killer she may have created before he takes out the last victim from her books—her.

Review:

Well Done!! This book is Amazing! I was totally blown away at the end! Talk about the unexpected twist! Kiersten Modglin delivers a fantastic tale involving love and murder all wrapped into a delicious little package!!

You will not put this down!! If you want a thriller that will keep you guessing from the very first page to the last, this is the book for you.

Arlie and Brett Montgomery are living in Crimson Falls, until tragedy strikes, and he is killed at his job. After his death Arlie’s life will never be the same. Will she ever recover? If she does, how will she?

She meets Mason.

I must leave it at that. Otherwise, I am giving away the story.

I have to say I am so excited about this author; she is extremely talented at surprising the reader. I was absolutely “Wow’d’! After I finished the book I had to sit back and let it the story sink in. I cannot wait to read her other books!

Read this if you like psychological thrillers!

5 Stars.

Kiersten Modglin Author Headshot

#BookReviews: Crimson Falls Novellas Original Sin, The Last DuPont & Sight in the Dark

My ReviewTitle: Crimson Falls Novella Project
Authors: Kiersten Modglin, Emerald O’Brien, Julie Strier, Laurèn Lee, Greta Cribbs, Rachel Renee, A.M. Ialacci, and Amabel Daniels
Release: April 11, 2019
Genre: Psychological Suspense/Thriller Suspense
Cover Designer: Alora Kate
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/search?q=Crimson+Falls+Novella

Buy Links (Kindle Unlimited):
Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2EReJrn
Amazon CA: https://amzn.to/2CfGXLY
Amazon AU: https://amzn.to/2J12yO8
Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2HbykX1

Original Sin by Greta Cribbs:

What drives a man to become a killer?
When Dr. Meredith Bowen gets the opportunity to interview Duane Tolloch, a man convicted of committing multiple murders between 1965 and 1967, all she can think about is the needed boost this assignment will give to her career. A seasoned psychiatrist, she is no stranger to the darker regions of the human mind, but as Tolloch relates his tale of a “town curse” and a cycle of abuse that stretches back before he was even born, his story shakes Meredith’s preconceived notions about the nature of the human psyche, as well as her faith in science, to the core.
Was Tolloch simply a man who chose the wrong path, or did his abusive childhood create the monster he grew up to be?
Or could the theory of the town curse actually be true?

Review:

I was enraptured by this story. To be listening to a Serial Killer tell his story and feel empathy for him at the same time was very unsettling to say the least. But, wasn’t that the point?
Greta Cribbs delivers a very precise story about psychiatrist Meredith Bowen going to interview Serial Killer Duane Tolloch with a film crew in tow. He is at a Hospital for the Criminally Insane since murdering 3 college students.
But, as he tells his story you begin to wonder if he is a product of his upbringing? Or, was it that he was conceived on October 13th in Crimson Falls?
Wonderfully written. Fabulous Characters. Story not to be missed!

5 Stars.

The Last Dupont by Rachel Renee:

Ella Dupont learned the cruel truth about death at a young age. By the time she was five, her daddy had been murdered and her older sister died mysteriously. After deeming the town cursed, Ella’s momma whisked her away to start a new life, far from CrimsonFalls.
Twenty years later, Ella gets a phone call, discovering she is the last living relative to the Dupont name, appointed with the task of settling her grandmother’s’s estate. Her momma warned her never to return to the town, but Ella doesn’t believe in curses.
The moment she arrives in Crimson Falls, the town draws her in. Ella extends her visit, desperate to unravel her history from the towns mysterious past. She soon discovers that buried secrets could threaten the life of the last Dupont.

Review:

To say this story surprised me at the end is not giving it enough credit, because it came at me like a car going 0-60 mph! The shock stood with me all day! It was that incredible. I did not see it coming!
Ella is the Last DuPont and She goes back to Crimson Falls to close out her Grandmothers Estate only to learn certain things along the way about her family and herself. Does Crimson Falls have a Curse? You will have to read this book to find out and I have to say that if you miss this one you are missing out!!

5 Stars.

Sight in the Dark by AM Ialacci:

When recently divorced Cleo Kemp inherits a house in the small town of Crimson Falls, she jumps at the opportunity to start over in the seemingly idyllic location. A photographer struggling to find work, Cleo stumbles into the woods looking for a dead body announced on her police scanner. But she’s not prepared for what she finds — the body of her handyman, and the only man in town who has seen her at her most vulnerable, Officer Will Truman.
Still reeling from being discarded by her second husband, Cleo has a hard time with trust, keeping everyone at arm’s length. But when she’s thrown into assisting Officer Truman with the case, she becomes consumed by the investigation. As she learns that every neighbor harbors dark secrets, she starts to wonder how she can really call Crimson Falls home, and if she can trust the man she’s starting to care for.
When the killer strikes again, closer to home than Cleo ever thought possible, she grows desperate to learn the truth. But in a town riddled with secrets, lies, and mysteries, is there such a thing?

Review:

A.M. Ialacci weaves a fabulous tale about Crimson falls and its Founders Day!
Cleo Kemp and her dog Oliver drive to Crimson falls to escape Cleo’s second bad marriage and to possibly settle in to her Great-Aunt Mildred’s home. There, she meets the handyman Nicholas only to have him found murdered in the woods just a few days later!
Cleo gets herself involved in the case with Officer Will Truman, more so than she expects and it is quite exciting! I could not put this one down.

5 Stars.

There are 8 Novella’s in this Series, be sure to check them out!!!

IMG_7891

 

#BookReview: I’m Fine and Neither are You by Camille Pagán

Im Find and Neither are youSummary:

 

Honesty is the best policy…except maybe when it comes to marriage in this brilliant novel about the high price of perfection from bestselling author Camille Pagán.

Wife. Mother. Breadwinner. Penelope Ruiz-Kar is doing it all—and barely keeping it together. Meanwhile, her best friend, Jenny Sweet, appears to be sailing through life. As close as the two women are, Jenny’s passionate marriage, pristine house, and ultra-polite child stand in stark contrast to Penelope’s underemployed husband, Sanjay, their unruly brood, and the daily grind she calls a career.

Then a shocking tragedy reveals that Jenny’s life is far from perfect. Reeling, Penelope vows to stop keeping the peace and finally deal with the issues in her relationship. So she and Sanjay agree to a radical proposal: both will write a list of changes they want each other to make—then commit to complete and total honesty.

What seems like a smart idea quickly spirals out of control, revealing new rifts and even deeper secrets. As Penelope stares down the possible implosion of her marriage, she must ask herself: When it comes to love, is honesty really the best policy?

Review:

Perfect Book Club Read! Read it and get your friends to read it!!

We read this with my Facebook page’s book club and everyone thoroughly enjoyed it. Camille Pagan delivers a story that most woman will find themselves relating to in one way or another. That is what makes this story most inviting; and, what keeps the conversation going.

Everyone will see a piece of themselves among these pages.

5 Stars.

#BookReview: The Perfect Girlfriend by Karen Hamilton

Summary:The Perfect Girlfriend

Juliette loves Nate.

She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.

The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.

She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…

Summary:

What a WIN for Hamilton’s first novel!! I was blown away by the sheer creepiness of Juliette; while also almost wanting to cheer her on. It was the oddest feeling, but Hamilton delivered a story where you truly wanted Juliette to “somehow” get a piece of happiness in the end. That was part of the awe of this book to me….to feel for such a dreadful character was astounding to me. This is such a remarkably written story; not to be missed!!!

Juliette is still in love with her ex-boyfriend Nate, or rather addicted to him….

Once they break up, she does all she can to become perfect in his eyes. She becomes a flight attendant at the same airline Nate is a pilot! She changes her hair color, stalks his house while he is and is not there, lays in his bed, brushes her teeth with his toothbrush, watches him drink coffee at the corner shop from his apartment….and, all of this is nothing!! She gets unleashed!!

But, she has had a tragic backstory that you cannot help but develop feelings for. Her brother died when she was only 10. He was 4. Her childhood best friend moved away after the incident. Her school years were rough too. I wonder how her life would be if certain events were different. This part of the story makes you feel a bond of hope for her, which I found rather intense, because it felt so wrong.

Falling in love for Juliette changes everything.

Read this book!

You will devour it!!

I will read every book Karen Hamilton writes going forward!

5 Stars.

pro_readerI would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this novel via Netgalley.

 

 

#BookReview: Me for You by Lolly Winston

Me for YouSummary:

The last thing Rudy expected was to wake up one Saturday morning, a widow at fifty-four years old. Now, ten months after the untimely death of his beloved wife, he’s still not sure how to move on from the defining tragedy of his life—but his new job is helping. After being downsized from his finance position, Rudy turned to his first love: the piano. Some people might be embarrassed to work as the piano player at Nordstrom, but for Rudy, there’s joy in bringing a little music into the world. And it doesn’t hurt that Sasha, the Hungarian men’s watch clerk who is finally divorcing her no-good husband, finds time to join him at the bench every now and then.

Just when Rudy and Sasha’s relationship begins to deepen, the police come to the store with an update about Rudy’s wife’s untimely death—a coworker has confessed to her murder—but Rudy’s actions are suspicious enough to warrant a second look at him, too. With Sasha’s husband suddenly reappearing, and Rudy’s daughter confronting her own marital problems, suddenly life becomes more complicated than Rudy and Sasha could have imagined.

With Winston’s trademark humor and sweetness that will appeal to readers of Jennifer Weiner and Fredrik Backman but is uniquely her own, Lolly Winston delivers a heartfelt and realistic portrait of loss and grief, hope and forgiveness, and two imperfect people coming together to create a perfect love story.

Review:

Imagine waking up and speaking to your wife as she lay in bed only to discover that she is dead! I could not! That is what drew me in to want to read this book. I thought it was going to have all kinds of drama, but it fell short.

I didn’t find the humor that was spoken of in the summary.

The storylines that had the potential to be exciting were too short! They were over as quickly as they started.

I didn’t find myself falling in love with the main character Rudy because he just fell flat for me and did not touch my heart in any way. And, I was really trying!

Sasha, his coworker was one character that I was finding myself to caring for and her backstory was more interesting than most of the book.

I am beginning to think I may have something against piano music in department stores?? A lot of time was spent there.

Maybe that was where my boredom lied.

Without giving away the ending, I will say that I was very pleased with how the book closed.

This story may appeal to some readers, but it wasn’t to my liking.

2.5 Stars.

pro_readerI would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this novel via Netgalley.

#BookReview: The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio

The Beautiful StrangersSummary:

A legendary hotel on the Pacific becomes a haven where dreams, love, and a beguiling mystery come alive.
1958. Kate Morgan, tethered to her family’s failing San Francisco restaurant, is looking for an escape. She gets her chance by honoring a cryptic plea from her grandfather: find the beautiful stranger. The search takes her to Hotel del Coronado, the beachfront landmark on the Southern California coast where filming is underway on the movie Some Like It Hot.
For a movie lover like Kate, it’s a fantasy come true. So is the offer of a position at the glamorous hotel. And a new romance is making her heart beat just as fast. But as sure as she is that Coronado is her future, Kate discovers it’s also where the ghosts of the past have come to stay. Sixty years ago a guest died tragically, and she still haunts the hotel’s halls.
As the lives of two women—generations apart—intertwine, Kate’s courageous journey could change more than she ever imagined. And with Coronado wending its way through her soul, she must follow her dreams…wherever they may lead.

Review:

Make room on our bookshelf for The Beautiful Strangers! This book is Epic! I was totally blown away!! I didn’t even realize that I have a penchant for ghost stories and old Hollywood, so I was definitely entranced with this story. I don’t want to give anything away.
I walked away wanting to know more about the main character of the book, and I am sure you will too. Or, at least a trip to Coronado!

Camille Di Maio wrote a story that I absolutely fell in love with. It was unlike any other book I’ve read. She took timelines sixty years apart and wrapped them up like a gift!

You already know the summary, so let me say that Camille really left me breathless.

Until the very last line.

5 Stars Plus.

pro_readerI would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this novel via Netgalley.

#BookReview: Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser

Forget You Know MeSummary:

The next “masterful” (Publishers Weekly) novel from “the gifted Jessica Strawser” (Adriana Trigiani), hailed as “immensely satisfying” (Kathleen Barber) and “that book you can’t put down” (Sally Hepworth). A video call between friends captures a shocking incident no one was supposed to see.

The secrets it exposes threaten to change their lives forever.

Molly and Liza have always been enviably close. Even after Molly married Daniel, the couple considered Liza an honorary family member. But after Liza moved away, things grew more strained than anyone wanted to admit—in the friendship and the marriage.
When Daniel goes away on business, Molly and Liza plan to reconnect with a nice long video chat after the kids are in bed. But then Molly leaves the room to check on a crying child.

What Liza sees next will change everything.

Only one thing is certain: Molly needs her. Liza drives all night to be at Molly’s side—but when she arrives, the reception is icy, leaving Liza baffled and hurt. She knows there’s no denying what she saw.
Or is there?

In disbelief that their friendship could really be over, Liza is unaware she’s about to have a near miss of her own.

And Molly, refusing to deal with what’s happened, won’t turn to Daniel, either.
But none of them can go on pretending. Not after this.

Forget You Know Me is a “twisty, emotionally complex, powder keg of a tale” (bestselling author Emily Carpenter) about the wounds of people who’ve grown apart. Best friends, separated by miles. Spouses, hardened by neglect. A mother, isolated by pain.

One moment will change things for them all.

Review:

I thought it was going to be a suspenseful story, which it was not. It was more of a woman’s fiction novel. In that genre I would say it would have done better, but I never knew which way this story was going. It was frustrating.

Even what should have grabbed me at the beginning of the story just did not; I got exciting for a few pages, but it did not last long.

I was disappointed to say the least. Liza and Molly were not characters that drew me in even as I kept reading.

By the end of the book I was given a lesson on relationships, and I guess that was not what I was looking for. But I do not want to say the book was bad, because Strawser is a talented writer, as far as writing skills go. She really made me connect to the scenes.
It is truly the story of friendship, love and loyalty.

It just was not for me, because it was not what I was expecting.

3 Stars.

pro_readerI would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this novel via Netgalley.

#BookReview: The Night Olivia Fell by Christina McDonald

Summary:The Night Olivia Fell

In the vein of Big Little Lies and Reconstructing Amelia comes an emotionally charged domestic suspense novel about a mother unraveling the truth behind how her daughter became brain dead. And pregnant.

A search for the truth. A lifetime of lies.

In the small hours of the morning, Abi Knight is startled awake by the phone call no mother ever wants to get: her teenage daughter Olivia has fallen off a bridge. Not only is Olivia brain dead, she’s pregnant and must remain on life support to keep her baby alive. And then Abi sees the angry bruises circling Olivia’s wrists.

When the police unexpectedly rule Olivia’s fall an accident, Abi decides to find out what really happened that night. Heartbroken and grieving, she unravels the threads of her daughter’s life. Was Olivia’s fall an accident? Or something far more sinister?

Christina McDonald weaves a suspenseful and heartwrenching tale of hidden relationships, devastating lies, and the power of a mother’s love. With flashbacks of Olivia’s own resolve to uncover family secrets, this taut and emotional novel asks: how well do you know your children? And how well do they know you?

Review:

Christina McDonald wrote an emotionally charged suspense novel introducing many characters that each grew on me; by the end of the novel I was invested in each of them and the outcome that I cried when it was uncovered.

It begins when Abi Knight is awoken in the middle of the night when her phone rings to discover that her daughter has been in an accident. She has fallen off a bridge and the accident has left her brain dead, but to everyone’s surprise she is pregnant!! So, they are to keep her on life support long enough for the baby to be born.

The story is about that fight for the baby’s life and the fight for the justice that Abi is fighting for. It is believed the fall was that of an accident, but Abi knows her daughter was involved in something much more sinister. She is not going to give up until she finds out the truth. What is the truth? Was it an accident or was she involved in a crime? I was truly gripped in the outcome.

We are told the story from both Abi and Olivia’s side which was a stunning way to tell the story and the writing was magnificent! A truly splendid story if you want to be drawn in and read a book that will not let you go!

I will be back for more by Christina McDonald!

5 Stars.

PS. I LOVED THE COVER!!

pro_readerI would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this novel via Netgalley.