Thursday, February 27, 2020

The Girl in White Gloves

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  A life in snapshots… 

Grace knows what people see. She’s the Cinderella story. An icon of glamor and elegance frozen in dazzling Technicolor. The picture of perfection. The girl in white gloves.

A woman in living color…
But behind the lens, beyond the panoramic views of glistening Mediterranean azure, she knows the truth. The sacrifices it takes for an unappreciated girl from Philadelphia to defy her family and become the reigning queen of the screen. The heartbreaking reasons she trades Hollywood for a crown. The loneliness of being a princess in a fairy tale kingdom that is all too real. 

Hardest of all for her adoring fans and loyal subjects to comprehend, is the harsh reality that to be the most envied woman in the world does not mean she is the happiest. Starved for affection and purpose, facing a labyrinth of romantic and social expectations with more twists and turns than Monaco’s infamous winding roads, Grace must find her own way to fulfillment. But what she risks--her art, her family, her marriage—she may never get back.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: This is my second book I have read by Kerri Maher.  I really didn't know much at all about Grace Kelly.  I really like how Maher takes famous women and creates a story about them.  I realize the novel is fiction, but I love that she is able to take facts and interweave fiction without taking anything away.  

I really liked the Hollywood Grace Kelly.  I felt she became weak after marring, however, I a sure it is extremely hard being royalty and marring into royalty.  The story also reminded me a bit of what is going today with Harry and Megan. I may just have to find a movie staring her since I have never seen a Grace Kelly movie.  

While I really enjoyed learning about Grace and journey, I found the story dragged just a bit in places.  However, not enough to keep me from reading more and I did enjoy the book.  I think that Maher has an unusual talent and I can't wait to see who she writes about next.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I have read The Kennedy Debutante and loved it. I can't wait to see who Kerri Maher writes about next. I will for sure check it out!

KERRI MAHER is the author of The Kennedy Debutante, which People magazine described as "a riveting reimagining of a true tale of forbidden love," and This Is Not a Writing Manual: Notes for the Young Writer in the Real World under the name Kerri Majors. She holds an MFA from Columbia University and founded YARN, an award-winning literary journal of short-form YA writing. A writing professor for many years, she now writes full time and lives with her daughter and dog in a leafy suburb west of Boston, Massachusetts.

Tuesday, February 25, 2020

Last Day

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis:  From celebrated New York Times bestselling author Luanne Rice comes a riveting story of a seaside community shaken by a violent crime and a tragic loss.

Years ago, Beth Lathrop and her sister Kate suffered what they thought would be the worst tragedy of their lives the night both the famous painting Moonlight and their mother were taken. The detective assigned to the case, Conor Reid, swore to protect the sisters from then on.
Beth moved on, throwing herself fully into the art world, running the family gallery, and raising a beautiful daughter with her husband Pete. Kate, instead, retreated into herself and took to the skies as a pilot, always on the run. When Beth is found strangled in her home, and Moonlight goes missing again, Detective Reid can’t help but feel a sense of déjà vu.
Reid immediately suspects Beth’s husband, whose affair is a poorly kept secret. He has an airtight alibi—but he also has a motive, and the evidence seems to point to him. Kate and Reid, along with the sisters’ closest childhood friends, struggle to make sense of Beth’s death, but they only find more questions: Who else would have wanted Beth dead? What’s the significance of Moonlight?
Twenty years ago, Reid vowed to protect Beth and Kate—and he’s failed. Now solving the case is turning into an obsession . . 

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Last Day was a great book that had me on the edge of my seat. History is repeating itself Kate Lathrop and she must help put the pieces together to find out who killed her sister, Beth.  I was convinced I knew who did it and was so surprised to find out I was wrong.  Never guessed the ending, not even close.

I loved the all the characters (okay maybe not Pete) and I especially liked Reid's dedication to the Lathrop family.  I really enjoyed how the story was tied to the earlier tragedy that Beth and Kate suffered as kids around the same painting.  I liked how Beth had a voice in the book, even though she was murdered. 

Even though we think Beth, her sister and their two friends knew each other inside and out, we find out Beth kept secrets from a lot of people.  As those secrets are revealed, we start to realize Beth had a lot going on and now we have to figure out who killed her and her unborn baby. 

Crazy good
Had to keep reading/hard to put down
Great characters
Amazing story
Want a sequel
Must Read

On a separate note, I can't post this review without telling you about the first time I met Luanne.  My mom was a huge fan and had started a book club - they called themselves The Princesses.  Luanne was on book tour and it included a stop at Barnes & Noble in Lansing, Michigan.  The Princesses all went and met and talked with Luanne. They loved her!  She also had a stop in Connecticut and my mom's friend Judy stopped by and chatted with Luanne.  Luanne often came by Books & Company in  Dayton, when I lived in the area, so I went…who doesn't do what their mom tells them to do.  

I remember I had my twins strapped down in a double umbrella stroller, the must have been about 18 months.  Luanne, of course was amazing.  I told her I was Princess Not Getting Any's (long story) daughter.  She even took a picture with me and my twins - how I wish I could find it.  This was back in 2004.  I swear it was posted on her website (or something), since blogs were not really a thing yet and  there wasn't any facebook.  Anyway, Luanne agreed to call in to one of the Princesses book club.  My mom was so excited.  

The night of the call my mom was extremely sick and couldn't call in.  She was so upset.  We found out a few days later that my mom had leukemia and only had a 10% change of surviving a year.  After six long months in the hospital (no one ever thinks they will be in the hospital that long), she was able to come home.  After another long 3 months of learning how to walk again and do every day task, she was living her life again.  I will never forget the day she was visiting for my twins 3rd birthday and fell.  At the hospital, I found out the leukemia had returned.  She knew, but didn't want to tell her kids.  She passed away at home at November 2006, surviving exactly 1 year after she was diagnosed.  

Luanne came through Dayton again, and I went to her book signing.  I couldn't say anything but handed her a note telling her about my mom.  She gave the best hug and I couldn't hold back the tears.  I will never forget how kind she was and how much my mom loved her books.  

My mom raised 4 young kids on her own after my parents divorced.  She was our world.  She sacrificed everything for her kids, family and friends.  She was loved by so many and was always there for everyone.  She was the strongest person I know and will always be my #1 hero.  I miss her terribly everyday. 

TLC Book Tours:  Check out what others are saying about The Last Day.

Instagram tour:

Saturday, February 1st: @eviebookish
Sunday, February 2nd: @readwithjamie
Monday, February 3rd: @lifeinlit
Tuesday, February 4th: @classiccourt12
Wednesday, February 5th: @thephdivabooks
Thursday, February 6th: @bluntscissorsbookreviews
Friday, February 7th: @novelgossip
Sunday, February 9th: @bookishconnoisseur
 Review tour:
Monday, February 3rd: Reading Reality
Wednesday, February 5th: PhDiva Blog
Friday, February 7th: @reads.a.latte.thrillers
Friday, February 7th: Kahakai Kitchen
Monday, February 10th: Patricia’s Wisdom
Tuesday, February 11th: @lilacsandliterature
Wednesday, February 12th: Blunt Scissors Book Reviews
Thursday, February 13th: Jessicamap Reviews and @jessicamap
Monday, February 17th: Books & Bindings
Wednesday, February 19th: From the TBR Pile
Monday, February 24th: Thoughts on This ‘n That
Tuesday, February 25th: Seaside Book Nook
Wednesday, February 26th: Nurse Bookie and @nurse_bookie

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Yes, ever since my mother introduced me to Luanne's books, I love reading her books.

Luanne Rice is the New York Times bestselling author of 34 novels, which have been translated into 24 languages. The author of Last Day, Dream Country, Beach Girls, Pretend She's Here and others, Rice often writes about love, family, nature, and the sea. She received the 2014 Connecticut Governor’s Arts Award for excellence and lifetime achievement in the Literary Arts category. 

Several of Rice's novels have been adapted for television, including Crazy in Love for TNT, Blue Moon for CBS, Follow the Stars Home and Silver Bells for the Hallmark Hall of Fame, and Beach Girls for Lifetime. Rice's four cats are her muses, and she speaks their language. She lives in Old Lyme, Connecticut.

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Connect with Luanne

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram

Monday, February 24, 2020

The Sun Down Motel

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis:  Welcome to Fell, NY. It’s no usual place.

Fell is an out-of-time small town in upstate NY where girls grow up being warned by their mothers to be careful or they will end up like Cathy Caldwell, the girl who was murdered and found under an overpass, or Victoria Lee who was killed and dumped on a jogging trail on the edge of town. There are a lot of dead girls in Fell.

One particular unsolved missing person’s case is the reason behind Carly Kirk’s visit to town. Carly has always been fascinated by her aunt Viv who disappeared while working at the Sun Down Motel before Carly was born. Using a small inheritance from her deceased mother, Carly leaves college to go to Fell and figure out what happened to her aunt thirty-five years ago. 

As Carly uncovers more about the mysterious happenings at the motel and Fell’s secrets, she discovers that Viv had been trying to unravel mysteries of her own—including a possible serial killer working in Fell targeting women. If Carly can find the answers Viv was searching for, she might be able to solve the mystery that has haunted her family for years. But as Carly digs deeper, she puts herself in front of the same dangers that faced her aunt all those years ago.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I read this book at night and I was too afraid to go to asleep! Really a great suspenseful book that had me hooked from day one.  Totally creepy and totally a must read! How Simon wove two stories together is amazing.  Loved it!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Yes!  I l really enjoy her books.  Check out my review on her The Broken Girls book.

Simone St. James is the USA Today bestselling and award-winning author of The Broken GirlsLost Among the Living, and The Haunting of Maddy Clare. She wrote her first ghost story, about a haunted library, when she was in high school, and spent twenty years behind the scenes in the television business before leaving to write full-time.

Saturday, February 22, 2020

The After Wife

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Goodreads):  From author Melanie Summers, comes a heartfelt and uplifting tale of love, loss, and letting go...

After losing her husband, writer Abigail Carson has all but given up on life. Having spent the last year cocooned in her Manhattan apartment, Abigail is suddenly forced to find a new home where she can stretch her dwindling savings. Intent on isolation, she moves to a tiny village in Nova Scotia where she’ll have no one to interrupt her solitude.

Little does Abigail realize that small-town life offers far less privacy than the big city. With neighbors knocking on the door bearing homemade treats and invitations, Abby soon finds herself immersed in the lives of the people of South Haven. She forms an unlikely friendship with Liam Wright, the handyman renovating her dilapidated cottage, and his daughter, seven-year-old Olive.

As the dark cloud engulfing Abigail lifts, she begins to believe she may have found love again. But just as Abigail is ready to leap, she discovers Liam carries with him a shocking secret that will ultimately cause everything to unravel. Abigail must decide if she will turn away from his pain or open her heart in the most hopeless of circumstances.

Insightful, enchanting, and filled with hope, The After Wife reminds us of the importance of human connection and the inseparable nature of love and survival.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: You all know I LOVE Melanie Summers' novels.  Did you know that The After Wife is not what I would call Melanie's normal genre (it's not chit-lit)?  Like all of Melanie's books, I didn't want it to end. I LOVED it!  

Abigail who has lost her husband to cancer, is a writer, has no children, and her family lives across the country.  She is easily able to shut herself in her apartment and hide from reality. Due to circumstances she must sell her apartment and return her book advance. She finds herself listening to one of her dreams (where her husband visits her) and moves to a tiny town, South Haven, Nova Scotia.  She thinks her and her cat can hide out there, but the little town doesn't believe in privacy.

When she hires Liam to make her house "livable" she has no idea what he and his daughter have gone through as well.  Abigail quickly learns to appreciate the small town and all her caring neighbors.  As she begins to live her life again, she begins to write as well.  Abigail opens her heart again, but will her past come to haunt her again?  

Abigail is so real that I want to move to South Haven!  I loved the characters in The After Wife and how the story developed.  Melanie hasn't made me cry until I read The After Wife. She does keep me up all night, because I can't put her books down once I start reading. It is such a lovely story of heart wrenching grief, followed by unexpecting love and learning it is okay to live again.

If you need a great book to read (and a cry), grab The After Wife.  I am sure you will love it too.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:   Give me a Melanie Summers book any day.  I adore her books. See why I love her books: The Royal Treatment, The Royal Wedding, The Royal Delivery, The Honeymooner,  Whisked Away, and The Suite Life.


Melanie made a name for herself with her debut novel, Break in Two, a contemporary romance that cracked the Top 10 Paid on Amazon in both the UK and Canada, and the top 50 Paid in the USA. Her highly acclaimed Full Hearts Series was picked up by both Piatkus Entice (a division of Hachette UK) and HarperCollins Canada. Her first three books have been translated into Czech and Slovak by EuroMedia. Since 2013, she has written and published eleven novels and three novellas. She has sold over a quarter of a million books around the globe.

In her previous life (i.e. before having children), Melanie got her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, then went on to work in the soul-sucking customer service industry for a large cellular network provider that shall remain nameless (unless you write her personally - then she'll dish). On her days off, she took courses and studied to become a Chartered Mediator. That designation landed her a job at the R.C.M.P. as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for ‘K’ Division. Having had enough of mediating arguments between gun-toting police officers, she decided it was much safer to have children so she could continue her study of conflict in a weapon-free environment (and one which doesn’t require makeup and/or nylons).

Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three sporty nerd children, their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog, Lucy, and a small furry dictator named Nelson. When she's not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken ‘from above’. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something—more like just staying until they turn the lights off.

She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International. Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.