#BookReview: I Said Yes by Kiersten Modglin

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: February 18, 2020

Summary:

The next psychological thriller from the bestselling author of The Good Neighbors…

Yes.
The word that brought me such great joy and, eventually, such heartbreak.

When Mark asked me out for the first time, I didn’t have to think twice.
I said, “Yes.”

When he asked me to marry him just a year later, the answer came as easily as the breath that followed it.
“Yes.”

When he asked me to keep his secret, my response came too quickly.
“Yes.”

Now, in front of a judge and jury, I’ll be asked the question I never anticipated.
“Did you know who the killer is?”

The answer is second nature by now.
“Yes.”

Summary:

Kiersten Modglin wrote an elaborately delivered domestic thriller that will shock even the best reading detectives out there!

“I Said Yes” flips the script when you least expect it!

A few times I just wanted to scream! Because the surprises were just so huge!

Many things in this story will make you think twice before you answer your next simple “Yes or No” question! I know I will.

Once again….It was “Mind Boggling….Kiersten Modglining!!”😉

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

4 Stars.

 

#BookReview: You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: January 7, 2020

Summary:

Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart.

Mia Graydon’s life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too — unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of them, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he’s been dreaming of her too.

Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if?

 

Review:

Colleen Oakley has given us an emotional and thought-provoking page-turner with “You Were There Too”.

Once I picked this up, I found myself not wanting to do anything but keep reading until I finished.

The characters were faced with many difficult and tough decisions throughout this novel.

The ending was definitely unexpected and wowed me!

I am thrilled that this was selected as our book club read this month. I have found another new author, and I look forward to reading her other books.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for fair and honest review.

4.5 Stars.

 

#BookReview: The Sunday Potluck Club (The Sunday Potluck Club, #1) by Melissa Storm

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: March 31, 2020

Summary:

New friends can be found in unexpected places. For Bridget and Amy, that place was the cancer ward of an Anchorage hospital. Now, as each struggles to overcome loss, they lean on each other for support—sharing suppers, laughter and tears.

Bridget and Amy aren’t about to let hardship knock them down—Bridget plans to return to her veterinarian school studies, Amy to her position as a second-grade teacher—but neither feels quite ready. And so the Sunday Potluck Club is born, a way for Bridget, Amy, and other women who have lost a loved one to find solace and understanding. Savoring favorite dishes while sharing memories and the comfort of connection, the members of the Sunday Potluck Club nourish body and soul.

As weeks go by and the group grows in unforeseen ways, both Bridget and Amy areinspired to find greater purpose. Amy reaches out to a student whose father bravely faces his own struggle. Bridget volunteers at the local animal shelter, rehabilitating dogs whose unconditional love will bring others a chance to heal. And with the help of a very special man, Amy is realizing that there’s always room at the table for love and rekindled joy . .

Review:

Melissa Storm has written such charming and entertaining novel with “ The Sunday Potluck Club”.

The relationships between old friendships and new are pushed with the decisions they are forced to face, whether they feel like they were ready or not. This close-knit group of friends had experienced so much loss yet they helped each other through the tough times.

The dogs and cats in the story kept it entertaining too and I am definitely a sucker when it comes to animals.

A couple of my favorite quotes:

“It is not about what you have, it is about what you do.”

“Dogs are better than dudes, they should put that on a poster.”

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

Also: There is an intro to “Wednesday Walks and Wags” – the next book – which I am looking forward to. 🐾 🐾

#BookReview: Perfect Little Children by Sophie Hannah

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: February 4, 2020

Summary:

All Beth has to do is drive her son to his Under-14s away match, watch him play, and bring him home.

Just because she knows her ex-best friend lives near the football ground, that doesn’t mean she has to drive past her house and try to catch a glimpse of her. Why would Beth do that, and risk dredging up painful memories? She hasn’t seen Flora for twelve years. She doesn’t want to see her today, or ever again.

But she can’t resist. She parks outside the open gates of Newnham House, watches from across the road as Flora and her children Thomas and Emily step out of the car. Except… There’s something terribly wrong. Flora looks the same, only older. As Beth would have expected. It’s the children. Twelve years ago, Thomas and Emily were five and three years old. Today, they look precisely as they did then.

They are still five and three. They are Thomas and Emily without a doubt – Hilary hears Flora call them by their names – but they haven’t changed at all.

They are no taller, no older… Why haven’t they grown?

Review:

“Perfect Little Children” by Sophie Hannah was a haunting and mysterious novel.

It took me a little bit to really get into it and then I was unable to put it down.

The relationships between all of the characters in the novel were intense and complex.

I was definitely not expecting the surprising and twisted ending, so it made the wait worth it.

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for fair and honest review.

3.75 Stars

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

#BookReview: One plus Two (Maple Glen #6) by Christina Butrum

 

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: February 28, 2020

PreOrder Here:

Summary:

Hannah Michaelson wants nothing more than a fresh start and a safe place to stay. The only problem? She’s stranded roadside in a small town in the middle of winter. Even worse? Her sister’s baby is asleep in the back seat.

Carter Mitchell has one goal in life—to be the best mechanic he can be while running a successful shop. That, and to avoid love at all costs. But when his family calls on him to help a distressed woman on the side of the road, he doesn’t hesitate. Certain that he can stay strong in the face of the stranger’s beauty, he agrees to help.

Soon enough, the rugged mechanic realizes there’s more to Hannah’s extended stay in Maple Glen than he realized. His aunt is playing matchmaker again, but there’s something Hannah isn’t telling him.

Review:

It was so nice to be taken back to the romantic whimsical town of Maple Glen with “One Plus Two”.

Christina Butrum has a way of drawing you in with a touching, heartfelt story that keeps you reading until you see how it ends.

The characters in this book do not disappoint and you will especially fall in love with Hannah and Grace right from the beginning. Oh yes! You cannot forget about Carter! He was one of my favorites. And who doesn’t love Fran, the town matchmaker?!

This can be read as stand alone, however the characters from the previous books are definitely part of the backstory.

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

4 Stars.

#BookTour, #BookReview & #Giveaway – Wildland by Rebecca Hodge

E495379A-6C23-43A4-A836-EAD0D2C84F49I’m so honored to be part of Kate Rock Book Tours for “Wildland” by Rebecca Hodge! Such a pleasure and amazing opportunity! Thank you Kate Rock and Rebecca Hodge!

Date of Release: February 11, 2020

75019EE2-2254-4E9E-ADEE-6F9E30445867Rebecca Hodge is giving away an awesome Prize Package (see graphic):  

Here is the link to share:

http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/52592b2c7/?

Order link: https://amzn.to/34DLPq6

Website: https://www.rebeccahodgefiction.com/

Instagram: @rhodge.fiction

Review:

Everything in “Wildland” by Rebecca Hodge screams “Fervent”!

From the wild fires that began raging in the mountains to the deep, hot, and burning desire for Kat Jamison to determine her life’s next chapter; every moment was so deeply experienced.

As I joined Kat on her path and those of the other characters, I was so immersed I could not let go! I turned the pages with the same sense of urgency I’m sure each character was either trying to escape the Blue Ridge Mountains or rescue them!

Intense, powerful, inspirational!

Wildland left me breathless. Holding my dogs tighter! Appreciating my life!

I received a copy of this book from the publisher in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

Summary:

For fans of Jodi Picoult and Anita Shreve comes an exhilarating debut novel of one woman’s courage in the face of catastrophe.

She’ll do anything to save them.

But what will she do to save herself?

When Kat Jamison retreats to the Blue Ridge Mountains, she’s counting on peace and solitude to help her make a difficult decision. Her breast cancer has returned, but after the death of her husband, her will to fight is dampened. Now she has a choice to make: face yet another round of chemotherapy or surrender gracefully.

Self-reflection quickly proves impossible as her getaway is complicated by a pair of abandoned dogs and two friendly children staying nearby, Lily and Nirav. In no time at all, Kat’s quiet seclusion is invaded by the happy confusion of children and pets.

But when lightning ignites a deadly wildfire, Kat’s cabin is cut off from the rest of the camp, separating Lily and Nirav from their parents. Left with no choice, Kat, the children, and the dogs must flee on foot through the drought-stricken forest, away from the ravenous flames. As a frantic rescue mission is launched below the fire line, Kat drives the party deeper into the mountains, determined to save four innocent lives. But when the moment comes to save her own, Kat will have to decide just how hard she’s willing to fight to survive–and what’s worth living for.

A heart-pounding novel of bravery, sacrifice, and self-discovery, Wildland will keep you on the edge of your seat to the very last page.

Praise for Wildland:

“Heart-stopping…Hodge shows great skill in writing a story that’s both touching and exhilarating.”

—Diane Chamberlain, New York Times bestselling author of The Dream Daughter

#BookReview: Words for Anna: A Second Chance at First Love by Lara Russell

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: November 11, 2018

Summary:

In that moment, I understood why I had not been able to give up on finding her. We were not two people who travelled the world aimlessly, and we hadn’t been the whole time since we first said goodbye, when we left our birth country empty-handedly. We were a single entity, torn apart, little by little.

Set in Australia, England and South Africa in the early 2000s, Words for Anna is the heart-warming story of first love. Twelve years earlier, Anna and Daniel faced the cruelty of being forced apart as a result of one senseless letter. What happens when they are reunited and given a second chance at love?

Striving to establish a new identity, working in the Australian wine industry, Anna has had no choice but to create the best life she can for herself and her son, Mattie, in Sydney, Australia.

Meanwhile, Daniel, who has been pushing his father’s corporate agenda in the UK for years, as a means to an end, hopes that he may someday see Anna, his lost love, again.

But when they find each other in a chance meeting in Sydney, they are compelled to revisit the past. Forced to work together every day, the secrets Anna has kept for so long are gradually revealed. This, together with the separation they endured and the strange situation they now find themselves in, raises the question – Do they have any chance of rekindling their love?

Words for Anna is a moving novel about hope, resilience and rediscovery.

Review:

Lara Russell has written a captivating romance with “Words for Anna”.

Anna and Daniel’s relationship was powerful yet complex.

It was an entertaining sequence of events in this novel bringing it full circle.

I enjoyed this novel and would definitely recommend this book.

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

4 Stars.

 

#BookReview: I Said Yes by Kiersten Modglin

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Reviewer: Serena Soape

Date of Release: February 18, 2020

Summary:

Yes. The word that brought me such great joy and, eventually, such heartbreak.

When Mark asked me out for the first time, I didn’t have to think twice.
I said, “Yes.”

When he asked me to marry him just a year later, the answer came as easily as the breath that followed it.
“Yes.”

When he asked me to keep his secret, my response came too quickly.
“Yes.”

Now, in front of a judge and jury, I’ll be asked the question I never anticipated.
“Did you know who the killer is?”

The answer is second nature by now.
“Yes.”

Review:

Kiersten Modglin is well known for twists and “what just happened?” And “no way”……

“I Said Yes” is another prime example of a suspenseful page turning novel!

Early on, I thought I had it all figured out. OK – well sort of figured out, but then realized I was wrong and totally, of course! Never saw it coming!!

Full of thrilling suspense, this is another must read book!!!

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for fair and honest review.

4.5 Stars.

#BookReview: Dead Before Dying (Shadow Valley Manor #1) by Kerry Schafer

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Reviewer: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: February 9, 2016

Summary:

Twisting and eerie, sharp and unforgettable, DEAD BEFORE DYING brings a heroine worthy of Sue Grafton to a terror worthy of Dean Koontz.

In this supernatural thriller, shot through with biting wit, Maureen Keslyn checks herself in to Shadow Valley Manor to recuperate and rehabilitate from her last job. There, she runs afoul of the stern director and makes friends with some of the other residents, mostly older, all harboring either a secret or a grudge. With secrets of her own, like why she has her own Federal Agent checking up on her, and how she injured herself in the first place, Maureen fits right in, even as she sticks out like a thorn.
But Shadow Valley isn’t just for rest–Maureen is working undercover, seeking to find and eradicate whatever forces are picking off the residents (and staff) at a grisly clip. With her resources dwindling one death at a time, and unnatural forces seething to rise up once more, Maureen’s experience fighting the supernatural will be her only hope to destroy a clever and powerful evil–and her only chance at surviving it. She’ll need people as paranoid as she is–from the sheriff, to the undertaker’s daughter, to a cook whose knife skills in the kitchen could prove deadly out of it–if she is going to bring rest to the weary, and peace to the dead…

Review:

I met the most colorful cast of characters while reading Kerry Schafer’s “Dead Before Dying”, and it was so exciting!

This was a paranormal murder mystery unlike any other! It was set in a Nursing Home called “Shadow Valley Manor”, where FBI Agent Maureen Keslyn works both diligently and humorously to solve a crime. I appreciated Maureen because she was in her 50’s! It was cool to have an older kick-a&& heroine!

Other stories are told about each elderly paranormal being living there; and I was (dare I say) enamored with the story of the 90 year old vampire. I also love how the cat warns Maureen of ghoulish things in the night! (And me…Yes, I was known to jump while reading!..lol)

There is this overall sense of creepiness, which I thought Schafer wrote wonderfully. I was totally drawn in because this story is intriguing, enticing, dark, and smoldering with the sense of need to know!!

I moved urgently through the story because I always had to know what was around the next corner!!

I highly recommend Kerry Schafer! She is so very talented at this paranormal mystery stuff! Wow! Her audible was fabulous, too!

I received a copy of this book on audible from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

4.5 Stars.

#BookReview: Lavender, Loss & Love at the Villa des Violettes (Villa des Violettes #3) by Patricia Sands

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Review: Annie Horsky McDonnell

Date of Release: January 24, 2020

Summary:

A sizzling heat wave is only part of the drama unfolding on the sun-drenched Côte d’Azur …

When Kat and Philippe settle into a new season as innkeepers at the Villa des Violettes, extraordinary stories are revealed by guests. Ancestry, intrigue, and lessons in friendship are part of the narrative. As summer draws to a close, an urgent call sends Kat and Philippe back to Sainte-Mathilde where the family gathers to support each other in an emergency situation.

From the splendor of the lavender season through to the changing landscape of autumn and the festivities of the grape harvest, the Love in Provence characters face challenges, make memories and attempt to maintain their usual joie de vivre!

Review:

I felt the power of friendship and love pour out onto the pages of “Lavender, Love, & Loss at Villa des Violettes”.

Once again, Patricia Sands captured the essence of France beautifully. Each page like a photograph; only you could smell or taste it! I was taken away!

Her writing is truly delectable.

It is always a gift to sit down and visit with Kat and Philippe.

I was so delighted each time an old friend from another story stopped by, but just as tickled to meet new ones!

I was truly touched when three friends from Canada visited Villa des Violettes. I trust you will all find a piece of you among their B&B guests or interwoven into Kat’s other friends or family tales.

I will never smell or look at lavender the same.

I am thinking of a lot of my loved ones by this story.

I have been truly touched and moved. I trust you will be, too.

5 Stars.