#BookReview & #ChristinesFamilyFavorites: One Last Summer by Victoria Connelly

DE181759-E0D3-4CA8-8488-80FB87E4FCDAReviewer: Christine Davis

Date of Release: February 5, 2019

Summary:

They have the whole summer ahead of them. Is it enough to rekindle the friendship they once shared?

Harriet Greenleaf dreams of spending the summer in a beautiful ancient priory on the Somerset coast with her two best friends—but her dream is bittersweet. On the one hand, it’s a chance to reconnect three lives that have drifted apart; on the other, she has a devastating secret to share that will change everything between them forever. First to arrive is Audrey—the workaholic who’s heading for a heart attack unless she slows down and makes time for herself. Then Lisa, the happy-go-lucky flirt who’s always struggled to commit to anyone—or anything. Ever the optimist, can Harriet remind them of the joy in their lives and the importance of celebrating good friendship before it’s gone?

Through the highs and lows of a long, glorious summer, these three women will rediscover what it means to be there for each other—before they face the hardest of goodbyes

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Review:

How do you say goodbye? Knowing you’ll never see those you love ever again! Victoria Connelly takes this question to the heart and answers it in the most body and soul consuming way in her amazing novel “One Last Summer”

If you knew your time was soon going to be up on this Earth, how would you handle it? The main character in Connelly’s tale has to answer this question and does so in a beautifully constructed answer. She gathers love all around her and shares her last summer with her dearest of heart before cancer claims her.

This story struck me to the core. At a time I was in my own battle with cancer. My heart and mind got absorbed into this timely tale for me and I came away with tears streaming down my cheeks!

I have recommended books before but not one as strongly as I would this one! Take this book with you favorite hankie, curl up at your best reading spot and be prepared to have an emotional time with a beautiful tale of love, strength and friendship!

5 Stars.

#BookReview & #ChristinesFamilyFavorites: Carolyn’s Song: A Novella by Elizabeth Huss

DE181759-E0D3-4CA8-8488-80FB87E4FCDAReviewer: Christine Davis

Date of Release: December 30, 2017

Summary:

“…They would get their own full color page in the yearbook for sure. Christine with her full, glamour girl smile and Sandy with his friendly, crooked grin… Lynn sighed. That was the perfect scene. It couldn’t be any other way and be right…”
Combination locks, confusing class schedules, first love, Algebra, peanut butter crackers and a handsome senior with gray- green eyes.–And that’s just the first week of high school! Freshman Lynn James is trying her best to navigate her way through the confusing hallways of Trelawney High School. For years, her life has been all about playing violin, hanging out with her best friend Patty and spending time with her mom and dad. And, sometimes even her little sister Tabitha. But now that she’s finally in high school, Lynn senses new, unfamiliar doors opening all around her. Will Lynn be able to find her own song? Or, will she get lost in the sea of sour notes at Trelawney High?

An engaging novella about a high school girl trying to find her own path.

F2274896-8F2D-43C3-92A8-E5209B04C3F0Review:

A girl, a boy and all that everyone of us experienced during those happy, troubled and unforgettable times of High School. All this is wrapped up in Elizabeth Huss’ book “Carolyn’s Song.”

Ever look at that one boy who’s face and marvelous smile took your heart in a second flat? Then that gut punch comes when you realize “Hey, is THAT his girlfriend?” Drama of the teen years is brought front and center in this heartwarming novella by Huss.

I took a trip down memory lane with this tale of young love. Remembering my first real crush and how head over heals I felt when he returned my affections. Also brought back to life for me was the nerve wracking experience of that freshman year of high school. Huss did a super job re-creating those tender years.

Slip back on your letterman jacket and grab a Cola, sit back and enjoy a time travel adventure of your yester years with this book, you’ll have a blast!

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

#BookReview & #ChristinesFamilyFavorites: Winter Flower by Charles Sheehan-Miles

DE181759-E0D3-4CA8-8488-80FB87E4FCDAReviewer: Christine Davis

Release Date: June 4, 2019

Summary:

From the bestselling author of Just Remember to Breathe and The Last Hour, a shocking and poignant story of a family on the brink of destruction and the transformational events that could bring them back together—or tear them apart.

Every day, Cole Roberts reminds himself that life wasn’t always this bleak. He was once passionately in love with Erin. Sam used to be an artistic and lively kid. They hadn’t always lived in a shabby two-room house in rural Alabama, where he runs a mediocre restaurant in the middle of nowhere.
That was before Brenna disappeared. It was before Cole lost his job and they lost their home.

Every day it gets worse. Erin drinks wine out of the bottle and spends her days with a tormented expression, searching the web for signs of their daughter. Sam hides in his room and rarely speaks. And Cole works himself to a stupor for a paycheck a fraction of the size of his old salary.

Until one day a phone call changes everything.

winter flower is at once a tragic tale of the disappearance of a child; struggling with gender identity; of the dark world of sex-trafficking and the transformation and healing of a family. Sheehan-Miles’s longest novel delves into the depths of family life—and how, sometimes, we can heal and find restoration.

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Review:

Tragic events can alter a family faster than anything else. In Charles Sheehan-Miles’s book “Winter Flower” tragedy takes it’s toll on one family barely holding it together in the first place.

A swirling mass of horrible happenings tear through a family and brings forth some of the worst people civilization has to offer to aide in their suffering. Yet, strength and love holds on and slowly helps repair some of the damage. Will time heal all wounds or erase the past? Does it ever?

I was riveted to this realistic gritty story. Characters would repulse me and others had me cheering for the true grit they showed under unimaginable sorrows! This book takes humanity at its best and worst and weaves an unforgettable tale!

When ever the chance happens upon you in your favorite book store or pursuing a beloved ebook site, you look and see “Winter Flower”,  do yourself a favor and get a copy!

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

#BookReview & #ChristinesFamilyFavorites: The Center of the World by Jacqueline Sheehan

DE181759-E0D3-4CA8-8488-80FB87E4FCDAReviewer: Christine Davis

Summary:

In New York Times bestselling author Jacqueline Sheehan’s evocative and emotionally compelling novel, a mother and her adopted daughter each embark on a journey of self-discovery in the wake of a stunning revelation.

How do you keep a secret so huge that it could devastate everyone you care about? For Kate Malloy, the answer is simple: one lie at a time. That’s how she has protected her daughter for more than a dozen years, shielding her from a terrible truth. Sofia, a fifteen-year-old soccer star living in New England, believes she was born in Mexico and legally adopted by Kate. But a posthumous letter from her stepfather tells Sofia a different story—one of civil unrest and bloodshed, death-defying heroism and child-smuggling, harrowing sacrifice and desperate decisions.

Sofia’s trust in her mother is shattered. At last Kate must do what she knows is right—accompany Sofia back to Guatemala, the place where Kate found horror and heartache but also the greatest joy of her life. As mother and daughter confront the damage done by years of dangerous yet necessary deceptions, they discover how much love, hope, and happiness may still remain—if they have the courage to face their past.

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Review:

The teen years can be full of changes that can have everlasting effects on a young girl. Not every teen girl finds out everything about her life is not what she thought it was! How could her mother keep the truth hidden for so long under so many lies? A mother who risked her life many years ago and lost her true love to save her

Jacqueline Sheehan’s novel “The Center of The World” brings readers face to face with the terrible civil war in Guatemala during the 1990s. And how, through the gruesome carnage of that war, a family was born.

I was drawn into this book with rememberances of Guatemala ten years later. A time that I was there doing the same thing the main character was; overseas study for college credit. I was at the same towns, market places and with Mayan Indians learning and sharing with them, just like Sheehan’s character. But I saw only what was after the war, unlike in the book, being there for the war!

This book is a tribute to what great lengths the love of a mother, the heart of a good friend and the strength of the binding ties of family can have on one’s life. You will be in tears and cheering while you travel along the reading road to The Center of the World!

5 Stars.

 

#BookReview: The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

Reviewer: Christine Davis

092D8DB8-797E-4668-8F4E-0DE83A55BB0ESummary:

Vincent, Jules, Sylvie, and Sam are ruthlessly ambitious high-flyers working in the lucrative world of Wall Street finance where deception and intimidation thrive. Getting rich is all that matters, and they’ll do anything to reach the top.

When they are ordered to participate in a corporate team-building exercise that requires them to escape from a locked elevator, dark secrets of their team begin to be laid bare.

The biggest mystery to solve in this lethal game: What happened to Sara Hall? Once a young shining star—”now gone but not forgotten”.

This is no longer a game.
They’re fighting for their lives.

Review:

Clang!

Your trapped in an enclosed space and only your wit and the cooperation of three other people you don’t trust will get you out! Would you survive the challenge? Do the characters in Megan Goldin’s book survive? This gripping story will take you into “The Escape Room” to find out!

Goldin does a masterful job guiding the reader into the minds of those trapped inside an escape room, or is it? Yes they are trapped, yes there are clues given to help them figure out what is going on but just who is in charge of this game? 

A mysterious and suspenseful time will await you if you choose to partake in this tale of these twisted events within this book!

I enjoyed Goldin’s descriptive writing style and how she revealed the reasons behind each character’s actions to accomplishing their goals. If this sounds like your ‘cup of tea’ then drink up and enjoy this novel!

5 Stars.

#BookReview & #SpookyReads: The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

87FB7773-4864-4FF8-A5E9-C5E05BC51E8BReviewer: Christine Davis

73B7D372-7743-4D18-8D3D-85273020C68CSummary:

A chilling ghost story with a twist: the New York Timesbestselling author of The Winter People returns to the woods of Vermont to tell the story of a husband and wife who don’t simply move into a haunted house, they start building one from scratch, without knowing it, until it’s too late . . .

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate abandon the comforts of suburbia and their teaching jobs to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this charming property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. As Helen starts carefully sourcing decorative building materials for her home–wooden beams, mantles, historic bricks–she starts to unearth, and literally conjure, the tragic lives of Hattie’s descendants, three generations of “Breckenridge women,” each of whom died amidst suspicion, and who seem to still be seeking something precious and elusive in the present day.

Review:

We all fantasize of that perfect place. A place to build your dream home and live life like you always wanted to. Should that place include those who lived there long ago, decades ago?

Author Jennifer McMahon takes her characters in her book ‘The Invited’ to the point where they must ask themselves; “who does belong and who doesn’t ?” at their new home. Where does the history of a place, a family, belong beside the living of today? How far should someone go to find out if history was correct in condemning another to death? And what do you do if the dead won’t stay quiet? Do you invite them in?

My heart clenched and my eyes popped wide as I read how closely intertwined the lives of people became with “the other realms” in this story. A haunted house scary book you say? Nope. Scary graveyard tale? Not in any traditional sense! To find out who’s been invited you’ll have to read and wonder if the decision to give invitations was wise!

I was given a copy of this book by the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.