Wednesday, September 30, 2020

Never Ask Me

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





Synopsis (from Amazon):  From New York Times bestselling author Jeff Abbott, a story of a family full of secrets. One conceals a long-hidden crime, one is trapped in a dangerous relationship. Another may be a murderer.

One seemingly perfect American family finds themselves targeted for destruction after the shocking murder of a family friend in the park behind their backyard.  Early one morning, Danielle Roberts, who lives next door to the Pollitts and has for a decade been like family to them, is found dead just beyond their property line, throwing the exclusive Winding Creek neighborhood of a wealthy Austin suburb into chaos.

The Pollitt family--dad Kyle, mom Iris, daughter Julia, and son Grant--are caught in a maelstrom of suspicion and intrigue. Ask your parents why they killed her, an anonymous email charges the son, Grant. No one can learn the truth now, thinks the father, Kyle. Never ask me what I'd do to protect my family, resolves the wife, Iris. I'll do whatever it takes to protect him, vows Julia of her best friend, Danielle's grieving teenage son, Ned, a boy in the midst of his own dangerous crisis, which may or may not have brought on his mother's murder.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  WOW! Crazy good.  This is my first Jeff Abbott book and I really enjoyed it.  I was pulled in page one. An amazing plot that includes international adoption, Russian spies, conspiracy, and murder.  I couldn't figure out who was behind it all and shocked when we find out at the end.  I can't wait to check out more of Abbott's books.   







Jeff Abbott is the New York Times bestselling author of eighteen novels. He is the winner of an International Thriller Writers Award (for the Sam Capra thriller The Last Minute) and is a three-time nominee for the Edgar Award. He lives in Austin with his family. You can visit his website at www.JeffAbbott.com.



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Tuesday, September 29, 2020

The Secret French Recipes of Sophie Valroux

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



Synopsis (from Amazon):  A disgraced chef rediscovers her passion for food and her roots in this stunning novel rich in culture and full of delectable recipes.

French-born American chef Sophie Valroux had one dream: to be part of the 1% of female chefs running a Michelin-starred restaurant. From spending summers with her grandmother, who taught her the power of cooking and food, to attending the Culinary Institute of America, Sophie finds herself on the cusp of getting everything she's dreamed of.

Until her career goes up in flames.

Sabotaged by a fellow chef, Sophie is fired, leaving her reputation ruined and confidence shaken. To add fuel to the fire, Sophie learns that her grandmother has suffered a stroke and takes the red-eye to France. There, Sophie discovers the simple home she remembers from her childhood is now a luxurious château, complete with two restaurants and a vineyard. As Sophie tries to reestablish herself in the kitchen, she comes to understand the lengths people will go to for success and love, and how dreams can change.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Very well written and the story ends well. It didn't really grab me.  In fact, I found Sophie and her story to be unbelievable.  If you like a book that takes place in France, hidden family secrets (really liked this part), and cooking, this book is for you.  I wish Sophie wasn't so weak.  I honestly can't imagine someone reacting like she did for so long or have any idea the business (an Inn/kitchen) your grandmother owned and ran.  That just seemed a little off. 

Amazon reviewers have rated this 4.5 stars, so I think it just isn't my cup of tea.



Samantha Vérant is a travel addict, a self-professed oenophile, and a determined, if occasionally unconventional, at home French chef. She lives in southwestern France, where she's married to a sexy French rocket scientist she met in 1989 (but ignored for twenty years), a stepmom to two incredible kids, and the adoptive mother to a ridiculously adorable French cat. When she’s not trekking from Provence to the Pyrénées or embracing her inner Julia Child, Sam is making her best effort to relearn those dreaded conjugations. 

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Monday, September 28, 2020

The Sea of Lost Girls

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


Synopsis (from Amazon):  In the tradition of Daphne du Maurier, Shari Lapena, and Michelle Richmond comes a new thriller from the bestselling author of The Lake of Dead Languages—a twisty, harrowing story set at a prestigious prep school in which one woman’s carefully hidden past might destroy her future.


Tess has worked hard to keep her past buried, where it belongs. Now she’s the wife to a respected professor at an elite boarding school, where she also teaches. Her seventeen-year-old son, Rudy, whose dark moods and complicated behavior she’s long worried about, seems to be thriving: he has a lead role in the school play and a smart and ambitious girlfriend. Tess tries not to think about the mistakes she made eighteen years ago, and mostly, she succeeds. 
And then one more morning she gets a text at 2:50 AM: it’s Rudy, asking for help. When Tess picks him up she finds him drenched and shivering, with a dark stain on his sweatshirt. Four hours later, Tess gets a phone call from the Haywood school headmistress: Lila Zeller, Rudy’s girlfriend, has been found dead on the beach, not far from where Tess found Rudy just hours before. 
As the investigation into Lila’s death escalates, Tess finds her family attacked on all sides. What first seemed like a tragic accidental death is turning into something far more sinister, and not only is Tess’s son a suspect but her husband is a person of interest too. But Lila’s death isn’t the first blemish on Haywood’s record, and the more Tess learns about Haywood’s fabled history, the more she realizes that not all skeletons will stay safely locked in the closet.

Mary Higgins Clark Award-winning author


One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Amazing! Talk about lots of twists and turns, this book made my head spin (in a good way).  The secrets that are kept and those that are revealed will keep you on the edge of your seat. I need to go check out more Carol Goodman's books.

PS...love books that take place in Maine or the coast.  I got my masters at the University of Maine and don't get back often enough.  Candem and Acadia National Park (Bass Harbor Lighthouse) are two of my favorite places.


Carol Goodman is the critically acclaimed author of fourteen novels, including The Lake of Dead Languages and The Seduction of Water, which won the 2003 Hammett Prize. Her books have been translated into sixteen languages. She lives in the Hudson Valley with her family, and teaches writing and literature at the New School and SUNY New Paltz.



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Friday, September 25, 2020

Anna and the French Kiss

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



Synopsis (from Amazon): Anna can't wait for her senior year in Atlanta, where she has a good job, a loyal best friend, and a crush on the verge of becoming more. So she's not too thrilled when her father unexpectedly ships her off to boarding school in Paris - until she meets Etienne St. Clair, the perfect boy. The only problem? He's taken, and Anna might be, too, if anything comes of her crush back home. Will a year of romantic near-misses end in the French kiss Anna awaits?



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Anna and the French Kiss has been on my book shelf for years (too many to count).  I didn't even realize there are 2 other books and it is a series! I can't wait to read the other two.  Oh, to be young again....I would have loved to be sent off to Paris as an 18 year old.  I had to make due with mid-Michigan!  Fun, cute, quick, easy read.  Really enjoyable and perfect summer read.



Stephanie Perkins is a New York Times and internationally bestselling author. She has always worked with books--first as a bookseller, then as a librarian, and now as a novelist. She and her husband live in the mountains of North Carolina. Every room of their house is painted a different color of the rainbow.

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Sunday, September 20, 2020

The Authenticity Project

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




Synopsis (from Amazon):  The story of a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love

Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes that most people aren't really honest with each other. But what if they were? And so he writes--in a plain, green journal--the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café. It's run by the incredibly tidy and efficient Monica, who furtively adds her own entry and leaves the book in the wine bar across the street. Before long, the others who find the green notebook add the truths about their own deepest selves--and soon find each other In Real Life at Monica's Café. 

The Authenticity Project's cast of characters--including Hazard, the charming addict who makes a vow to get sober; Alice, the fabulous mommy Instagrammer whose real life is a lot less perfect than it looks online; and their other new friends--is by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life. It's a story about being brave and putting your real self forward--and finding out that it's not as scary as it seems. In fact, it looks a lot like happiness. 

The Authenticity Project is just the tonic for our times that readers are clamoring for--and one they will take to their hearts and read with unabashed pleasure.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I wish I could find such a journal and bring together people who would not normally cross paths.  Beautiful, beautiful book, an unusual plot that works on so many levels, lovely characters, and a wonderful ending.  I would love to see a sequel. 

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I really want to read The Sober Diaries



Clare Pooley spent twenty years in the heady world of advertising before becoming a full-time mother. Pooley writes from her kitchen table in Fulham, London where she lives with her husband, three children, dog and an African pygmy hedgehog.



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Friday, September 18, 2020

The Queen's Secret

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



Synopsis (from Amazon):  If you love Jennifer Robson or The Crown you will love New York Times bestselling author Karen Harper’s novel about Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. 
1939. As the wife of the King George VI and the mother of the future queen, Elizabeth—“the queen mother”—shows a warm, smiling face to the world. But it’s no surprise that Hitler himself calls her the “Most Dangerous Woman in Europe.” For behind that soft voice and kindly demeanor is a will of steel.
Two years earlier, George was thrust onto the throne when his brother Edward abdicated, determined to marry his divorced, American mistress Mrs. Simpson. Vowing to do whatever it takes to make her husband’s reign a success, Elizabeth endears herself to the British people, and prevents the former king and his brazen bride from ever again setting foot in Buckingham Palace. 
Elizabeth holds many powerful cards, she’s also hiding damaging secrets about her past and her provenance that could prove to be her undoing.
In this riveting novel of royal secrets and intrigue, Karen Harper lifts the veil on one of the world’s most fascinating families, and how its “secret weapon” of a matriarch maneuvered her way through one of the most dangerous chapters of the century.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Fans of Netflix's series "The Crown", this book is for you.  As you know, I love "royal" type books and very much enjoyed The Queen's Secret. Keep in mind this is fiction.  If you enjoy reading books about the Royal family - you will enjoy it.  I want to read Harper's American Duchess.


New York Times and USA Today bestselling author KAREN HARPER is a former Ohio State University instructor and high school English teacher. Published since 1982, she writes contemporary suspense and historical novels about real British women. Two of her recent Tudor-era books were bestsellers in the UK and Russia. Harper won the Mary Higgins Clark Award for Dark Angel, and her novel Shattered Secrets was judged one of the best books of the year by Suspense Magazine.


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Thursday, September 17, 2020

Campaign Widows

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




Synopsis (from Amazon):  Cady Davenport is living the American dream…

At least she’s supposed to be. She’s in a new city, with a new job and even a new fiancé. But when her husband-to-be hits the road for the upcoming presidential election, Cady realizes she’s on her own—and that her dream life might not be all she’d imagined.

Until she finds herself thrust straight into the heart of the most influential inner circle in Washington, DC: the campaign widows. As friends, they’re an unlikely group—a fabulous Georgetown doyenne; a speechwriter turned mommy blogger; an artsy website editor; and a First Lady Hopeful who’s not convinced she wants the job. But they share one undeniable bond: their spouses are all out on the trail during a hotly contested election season.

Cady is unsure of her place in their illustrious group, but with the pressures of the unprecedented election mounting, the widows’ worlds keep turning—faster than ever—as they hold down the fort while running companies, raising babies, racking up page views and even reinventing themselves. And their friendship might be just what Cady needs to find the strength to pursue her own happiness.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Perfect time of year to read with the elections coming up.  Very entertaining book and very much enjoyed it.  Campaign Widows would make one think twice about going into politics at such a demanding level. I would imagine for those involved in a presidential campaign the family is "left behind" for several months.  The stress on everyone must be extremely high. When you can't take any more of those campaign ads come October, shut off the television and pick up Campaign Widows.  You will enjoy it so much more! 


Aimee Agresti is a novelist and entertainment journalist. A former staff writer for Us Weekly, she penned the magazine's coffeetable book Inside Hollywood. Her work has also appeared in People, Premiere, DC magazine, Capitol File, the Washington Post, Washingtonian, the Washington City Paper, Boston magazine, Women’s Health and the New York Observer. Aimee has made countless TV and radio appearances, dishing about celebrities on the likes of Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, E!, The Insider, Extra, VH1, MSNBC, Fox News Channel and HLN. The author of The Gilded Wings trilogy for young adults, she graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and lives with her husband and two sons in the Washington, DC, area.



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Wednesday, September 16, 2020

The Stranger Inside

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



Synopsis (from Amazon):  Even good people are drawn to do evil things ... Twelve-year-old Rain Winter narrowly escaped an abduction while walking to a friend's house. Her two best friends, Tess and Hank, were not as lucky. Tess never came home, and Hank was held in captivity before managing to escape. Their abductor was sent to prison but years later was released. Then someone delivered real justice--and killed him in cold blood.

Now Rain is living the perfect suburban life, her dark childhood buried deep. She spends her days as a stay-at-home mom, having put aside her career as a hard-hitting journalist to care for her infant daughter. But when another brutal murderer who escaped justice is found dead, Rain is unexpectedly drawn into the case. Eerie similarities to the murder of her friends' abductor force Rain to revisit memories she's worked hard to leave behind. Is there a vigilante at work? Who is the next target? Why can't Rain just let it go?

Introducing one of the most compelling and original killers in crime fiction today, Lisa Unger takes readers deep inside the minds of both perpetrator and victim, blurring the lines between right and wrong, crime and justice, and showing that sometimes people deserve what comes to them.


One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Another crazy, twisted good book!  Loved how it all came together at the end.  I listened to The Stranger Inside on Overdrive in two days.  I couldn't' stop listening to it. Scary at times, but not enough to cause sleepless nights.  Great read!

Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of eighteen novels, including CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45 (Oct 2020). With millions of readers worldwide and books published in twenty-six languages, Lisa Unger is widely regarded as a master of suspense. In 2019, she received two Edgar Award nominations, an honor held by only a few writers including Agatha Christie, and was shortlisted for the Hammett Prize and Macavity Awards. Her latest release, THE STRANGER INSIDE, was named a "Best Book" by People, Boston Globe, Kirkus and BookBub. And her Edgar-nominated short story THE SLEEP TIGHT MOTEL was a #1 bestselling single.

Unger's critically acclaimed books have been voted "Best of the Year" or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning America, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, IndieBound and many others. Her writing has appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Travel+Leisure. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family.



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Sunday, September 13, 2020

One Plus One

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




Synopsis (from Amazon): Suppose your life sucks. A lot. Your husband has done a vanishing act, your teenage stepson is being bullied, and your math whiz daughter has a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity that you can’t afford to pay for. That’s Jess’s life in a nutshell—until an unexpected knight in shining armor offers to rescue them. Only Jess’s knight turns out to be Geeky Ed, the obnoxious tech millionaire whose vacation home she happens to clean. But Ed has big problems of his own, and driving the dysfunctional family to the Math Olympiad feels like his first unselfish act in ages . . . maybe ever.
 
One Plus One is Jojo Moyes at her astounding best. You’ll laugh, you’ll weep, and when you flip the last page, you’ll want to start all over again.




One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Like all Jojo's books - incredibly good and can't get enough.  


photo from Goodreads

Jojo Moyes is a British novelist.

Moyes studied at Royal Holloway, University of London. She won a bursary financed by The Independent newspaper to study journalism at City University and subsequently worked for The Independent for 10 years. In 2001 she became a full time novelist.

Moyes' novel Foreign Fruit won the Romantic Novelists' Association (RNA) Romantic Novel of the Year in 2004.

She is married to journalist Charles Arthur and has three children. 
Bio from Goodreads.

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Saturday, September 12, 2020

Sex and Vanity

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





Synopsis (from Amazon):  On her very first morning on the jewel-like island of Capri, Lucie Churchill sets eyes on George Zao and she instantly can't stand him. She can't stand it when he gallantly offers to trade hotel rooms with her so that she can have a view of the Tyrrhenian Sea, she can't stand that he knows more about Casa Malaparte than she does, and she really can't stand it when he kisses her in the darkness of the ancient ruins of a Roman villa and they are caught by her snobbish, disapproving cousin Charlotte. "Your mother is Chinese so it's no surprise you'd be attracted to someone like him," Charlotte teases. The daughter of an American-born Chinese mother and a blue-blooded New York father, Lucie has always sublimated the Asian side of herself in favor of the white side, and she adamantly denies having feelings for George. But several years later, when George unexpectedly appears in East Hampton, where Lucie is weekending with her new fiancé, Lucie finds herself drawn to George again. Soon, Lucie is spinning a web of deceit that involves her family, her fiancé, the co-op board of her Fifth Avenue apartment building, and ultimately herself as she tries mightily to deny George entry into her world--and her heart. Moving between summer playgrounds of privilege, peppered with decadent food and extravagant fashion, Sex and Vanity is a truly modern love story, a daring homage to A Room with a View, and a brilliantly funny comedy of manners set between two cultures.

A GOOD MORNING AMERICA Book Club Pick! 

"Kevin Kwan's new book is his most decadent yet." --Entertainment Weekly 

The iconic author of the bestselling phenomenon Crazy Rich Asians returns with the glittering tale of a young woman who finds herself torn between two men: the WASPY fiancé of her family's dreams and George Zao, the man she is desperately trying to avoid falling in love with.







One (or more) Sentence Summary:  A wonderful journey to Capri! Another great novel by Kevin Kwan!  I love how descriptive Kevin is with all his books.  In Sex and Vanity, I felt I was at the parties and eating all that wonderful food and dress to a T! Great summer read!  This would be another Kwan book that would make a great movie!



Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  Loved the Crazy Rich Asians triology! 



KEVIN KWAN is the author of Crazy Rich Asians, the international bestselling novel that has been translated into more than 30 languages. Its sequel, China Rich Girlfriend, was released in 2015, and Rich People Problems, the final book in the trilogy, followed in 2017. For several weeks in 2018, the Crazy Rich Asians trilogy commanded the top three positions of the New York Times bestseller list - an almost unprecedented single-author trifecta, and the film adaptation of Crazy Rich Asians became Hollywood's highest grossing romantic comedy in over a decade. In 2018, Kevin was named by Time Magazine as one of the 100 Most Influential People in the World. For the latest news and information, please visit:
www.kevinkwanbooks.com


https://instagram.com/kevinkwanbooks/


https://www.facebook.com/KevinKwanBooks


https://twitter.com/kevinkwanbooks




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Thursday, September 10, 2020

Alice Bliss

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



Synopsis (from Amazon): "Outside the back window Alice can see the outlines of the garden, some of the furrows visible under the snow, stretching away in long thin rows. She can't imagine doing the garden without her dad. It's his thing; she's always thought of herself as his assistant at best. She can't imagine doing anything without her dad and she starts to feel like she can't breathe. And then she looks at him. Just looks at him as he watches the fire with muffin crumbs on his lap. 
'I'll write to you.' 
'I know, sweetheart.' 
'Every day.'" 
--From Alice Bliss 

When Alice Bliss learns that her father, Matt, is being deployed to Iraq, she's heartbroken. Alice idolizes her father, loves working beside him in their garden, accompanying him on the occasional roofing job, playing baseball. When he ships out, Alice is faced with finding a way to fill the emptiness he has left behind. 

Matt will miss seeing his daughter blossom from a tomboy into a full-blown teenager. Alice will learn to drive, join the track team, go to her first dance, and fall in love, all while trying to be strong for her mother, Angie, and take care of her precocious little sister, Ellie. But the smell of Matt is starting to fade from his blue shirt that Alice wears everyday, and the phone calls are never long enough. 

Alice Bliss is a profoundly moving coming-of-age novel about love and its many variations--the support of a small town looking after its own; love between an absent father and his daughter; the complicated love between an adolescent girl and her mother; and an exploration of new love with the boy-next-door. These characters' struggles amidst uncertain times echo our own, lending the novel an immediacy and poignancy that is both relevant and real. At once universal and very personal, Alice Bliss is a transforming story about those who are left at home during wartime, and a teenage girl bravely facing the future.



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  Wonderful book and you will need some kleenex.

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Tuesday, September 8, 2020

You Are Not Alone

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




Synopsis (from Amazon):  Shay Miller wants to find love, but it eludes her. She wants to be fulfilled, but her job is a dead end. She wants to belong, but her life is increasingly lonely.

Until Shay meets the Moore sisters. Cassandra and Jane live a life of glamorous perfection, and always get what they desire. When they invite Shay into their circle, everything seems to get better.  

Shay would die for them to like her.  
She may have to.


One (or more) Sentence Summary:  When you are down on your luck, be careful who you befriend.  Another great thriller....I have been on a roll, reading amazing books!  Shay seemed very week and insecure to me, but given her luck and place in life, I get it.  The Moore sisters seem to be good to be true....crazy good!  I couldn't get through it fast enough.  I listened to The Wife Between Us - another great book by this duo!


GREER HENDRICKS spent two decades as an editor at Simon & Schuster. Her writing has been published in The New York Times, Allure, and Publishers Weekly

SARAH PEKKANEN is the internationally and USA Today bestselling author of eight previous novels. A former investigative journalist and feature writer, her work has been published in The Washington PostUSA Today, and many others.

Together, they have written the New York Times bestselling novels The Wife Between Us and An Anonymous Girl.



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