#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.

#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.

#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.

#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!!

#BookReview: I Owe you One by Sophie Kinsella

I owe you one

Summary:

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” And since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will?

It’s simply not in Fixie’s nature to say no to people. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, she not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, an investment manager, scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

But then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life, and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. As always, she wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. No sooner has Seb agreed than the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?

Review:

I fell in love with this story right away! Fixie Farr is such an endearing character that you cannot help but fall in love with. I mean she is literally a hero from the beginning of the story saving Sebastian’s laptop from water damage, hence the beginning of the “I Owe you One” story!

This was the story of Fixie becoming the woman she was meant to be. She was working at her family business, living at home with her Mother, Single; in love with her first crush and shy to speak up around her own brother. As this story unfolds, Fixies learns that she must believe in her own strengths to find her own destiny. The question is what is that destiny?

I often could not put the book down.

I had never read a Sophie Kinsella story until this one and I am very excited for my next!

5 Stars

#BookReview: Wildflower Heart by Grace Greene

Wildflower Heart

Summary:

Kara Hart was scarred by loss—first the loss of her mother and now her husband. She feels broken, with no will to move forward, until her father does the unexpected: he moves to the Virginia countryside to restore an old Victorian mansion. Kara decides to go with him, telling herself that it will only be temporary.
The huge house is neglected and derelict, but Kara discovers its breathtaking field of wildflowers and is stunned by their beauty. The house, the grounds, and the quirky neighbors—including a handsome one—are almost as fascinating as her father’s sudden willingness to discuss her mother and his own secret past.
Kara is finding her new normal when tragedy strikes again, forcing her to make difficult choices. Will she go back to her old life and risk losing all she has gained? Or will she face her fears and give herself the opportunity to grow?

Review:

I had to read this book because two of my favorite authors, Patricia Sands and Bette Lee Crosby were recommending it. I have to say that their recommendation was fabulous!! I am grateful I read it and look forward to the next in this series, as this is just book 1 in “The Wildflower House Book” Series. I also want to read her other novels. This is very exciting! I love being introduced to an author that I will be following.

We meet Kara who enters wildly into the story, there is no slow lead up; which I loved! Grace Greene uses the wildflower both literally and figuratively throughout the story until the very end. Her writing is very poetic, so you really feel as though are where Kara is during each scene. It is truly beautiful.

This is the story of Kara’s journey of recovery from a tragic event that occurred when she heard heartbreaking news from her husband, Niles on their anniversary. She was able to depend on her Father, even though he may have been the “king of Understatements”; he was still the one that she could count on when it really mattered. Loss. Regret. Forgiveness. Grief. Family. Love. Are all intermixed in this story, like the seeds of wildflowers. Characters you don’t want to say goodbye to; which always makes the best stories!

The way she describes the wildflower garden. Let’s just say, my 12-degree day was definitely warmer!

Well Done!

This is a great cup of tea, warm blanket or sitting by the seaside read.

4 Stars.

#BookReview & #GiveAway: Liar Liar by Sarah Flint On Tour

 

I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Liar LiarFrom the bestselling author of Mummy’s Favourite and The Trophy Taker.

DC ‘Charlie’ Stafford returns with a superb new, brutally gripping serial killer thriller, where the hunter becomes the hunted. Perfect for the fans of Angela Marsons.
A faithful dog lies wounded beside the mutilated body of its owner.

A woman is discovered bound and gagged, dead in her own bed.

Both are police officers.

Both have a red rose at their side… worryingly more will follow…
Lies and accusations abound but who is behind the murders and why are the victims being targeted?
Charlie, Hunter and the team must find the killer targeting their own before another body is found.

Review:

I often enjoy a criminal fiction novel that is written by an author with a background in the field, and Sarah Flint was no exception. She has a career spanning over 35 years serving with the Metropolitan Police in London.
She starts off with the suspense at the very first few pages, and does not let you go until the very end. This is definitely a gripping crime novel that will keep you guessing, and we all know that is what makes these novels so intriguing. It felt as though this story was very personal for Sarah Flint. Maybe it was because the story involved police officers being murdered. I am not quite sure; but, it definitely had a realness to it.
This being the 3rd in the DC Charlotte “Charlie” Stafford Series does not make it any less understandable, so it can definitely stand alone. However, it does make me want to add the other two to my To-Read shelf; which I have done.
I really enjoyed her characters DC Charlie and DI Hunter, which made it all the more exciting. I am hoping there is more for Charlie. We shall see…

5 Stars.

GIVEAWAY: LEAVE A COMMENT BELOW TO BE ENTERED INTO A GIVEAWAY OF EBOOK COPY. WINNER ANNOUNCED DECEMBER 15th.

#LiarLiar #NetGalley @McHorsky @TheWriteReview

 

#BookReview: The Girl without a Name by Sandra Block

YOU COULD WIN THIS BOOK AND PART 1 TO THIS ON MONDAY!!!The Girl without a NameThis book was fabulous!  I wish it was not over, and I can only hope there is more to come! Sandra Block is a magnificent story teller!! A psychological thriller at its best! I need to go back and read Sandra Blocks first story with Dr. Zoe Goldman, “Little Black Lies”.

The story begins with a patient being admitted…..

Read the rest of this review at Chick Lit Plus:

http://chicklitplus.com/bookreview-the-girl-without-a-name-by-sandra-block/

 

#BookReview & #Excerpt ~ “What the Heart Remembers” by Bette Lee Crosby

What the heart remembersSummary:

TWO LOVERS. ONE CHANCE AT HAPPINESS….When Max Martinelli returns to Paris in search of her lost love, what she finds will change her life forever.
For three years the memory of Julien Marceau has haunted Max. Her life is stuck on hold simply because she can’t stop wondering what would have happened if she had gone back. Was Julien simply part of the magic of Paris? Or was he meant to be her destiny?
After a New Year’s Eve party that ends in disaster, Max decides to find out once and for all. She is going to return to Paris and search for Julien. But will her search bring forever after happiness or a truth so ugly it will change her life forever?
What the Heart Remembers is Book 3 in the Award-Winning Memory House Series

Excerpt:

Before I left Wyattsville Annie told me that after her mother died she kept going back to the places they’d gone together. The same restaurant, the same beauty parlor. She even went crosstown to the same library. She claims doing that was a big mistake. It was never the same, according to Annie, and going back spoiled her good memories. She said when you’re happy and having a good time you can’t see the imperfections of a place, but if you go back and look at it with a critical eye trying to figure out what it was that you enjoyed so much you’ll discover it’s nothing like you remembered. I’m beginning to wonder if maybe she isn’t right.

Review:

This is the Book 3 in the “Memory House Series”, and once again, I was enamored.

Bette Lee Crosby’s writing is just so beautiful.  Especially when writing about Paris in this story. I felt like I was given a guided tour of the city!! When she writes about her character’s thoughts, you feel as though you are in their head. She paints a very vivid picture, and it is truly magical.

Annie and Ophelia are still a huge part of this story, but the main character in this book is Maxine (Max) Martinelli. She has been Annie’s best friend for about one year now. Their connection is powerful.

It was a year of love; the best love Max has ever known. She will not be able to move on in her life until she finds Julien, and gets answers. She met him in Paris, where she spent her junior year of college, studying abroad.

It has been three years since she has seen him, but he is ingrained in her heart and mind so deeply, that her life is limited. As if he is going to show up at her doorstep one day.

As Bette wrote in this book, “What the heart remembers isn’t always a true picture of what was”!! I could not wait to find out what the true picture was…

A return trip to Paris is definitely in order! She is determined to find out why Julien had never joined her to the United States as he had promised her. She believes with all of her heart that whatever happened, it was not because he simply chose not to join her.

Will she find Julien? Will their love be restored? Or, will she regret this trip forever? Going against everyone’s advice, she heads for Paris.

If you have a lost love…. you do not want to miss this book. If you want to travel from your couch, you do not want to miss this book.

If you love a great story, I highly recommend “What the Heart Remembers” by Bette Lee Crosby.

You do not want to miss this book.

5 Stars.

#BookReview ~ “A Matter of Time” by Margaret Locke (my quote is on the back of this book!)

A Matter of TimeSummary:

Love comes when least expected.

Nobody would blame widowed doctoral student Eliza James for giving up on Happily Ever After; at twenty-nine, she’s suffered more loss than most people do in a lifetime. But Eliza’s convinced her own hero is still out there, waiting for her, just like in the beloved romance novels she devours. Every girl deserves a Darcy, right?

Only Eliza doesn’t dream of a modern-day affair: she wants the whole Regency experience. When a magical manuscript thrusts her back two hundred years into the arms and life of one Deveric Mattersley, Duke of Claremont, however, Eliza soon realizes some fantasies aren’t all they’re cracked up to be, especially when her duke proves himself less than a Prince Charming.

Deveric Mattersley has no interest in women, much less marriage. Determined to atone for his sins after convincing himself he’s at fault for the death of his first wife, he decrees himself content to focus on running his family’s estates, and on raising his son–until the mysterious Mrs. James appears. Who is she? What does she want? And why does she make Dev’s blood run hot in a way no woman ever has?

Can a man with a past and a woman from the future forge a love for all time?


“I fell in love with this book, just as I did with the Jane Austen classics. There’s a new Mr. Darcy in town.” – Annie, ARC reader, reviewer for The Write Review and ChickLitPlus.com.

A Matter of Time back coverReview:

I fell in deep love with the first book in this series; called “A Man of Character”, so the anticipation of this release was exciting to say the least. Margaret Locke quickly went on to my list of favorite authors to follow!!!

This book can be a stand-alone read, but I have to say that you should not miss out on “A Man of Character” because it is such a wonderful story. Her new book, does not disappoint, either.

This is not your typical love story. Margaret Locke is a true gift to romance lovers everywhere. This is a magical romp not to be missed.

In her book, “A Matter of Time”, she takes us to England in the year 1812, right in the middle of what we call the Regency Period. In the present day, 2011, Eliza has always dreamed of meeting her “Duke” and living a life like a character in one of Jane Austen’s books. So, when a magical manuscript shows up in the hands of her best friend, Cat…what more could Eliza wish for.

Eliza is thrust back two hundred years, and she enters the lives of the Mattersley family like a tornado!! Is Deveric Mattersley, her Mr. Darcy? Either way, there is certainly a new Mr. Darcy in town. He is the Duke of Claremont, after all…her dream man! Right? Or, maybe this is not really her dream?

Watching her integrate in to this new lifestyle was very entertaining. Margaret Locke really did her research on this time period, because I really felt like I was back there. Seeing her struggles were real…like not using the proper words or etiquette.

Once again, Margaret Locke took me on a journey that I enjoyed thoroughly. Her characters are awesome, and you will find yourself invested in them. You will be disappointed when the book ends, wondering when her next one will be released.

I am TEAM ELIZA!!

5 Stars.