Thursday, April 28, 2022

The President's Daughter

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





Synopsis (from Amazon):  All Presidents have nightmares.  This one is about to come true.

Matthew Keating, a one-time Navy SEALand a past presidenthas always defended his family as staunchly as he has his country. Now those defenses are under attack.

 
A madman abducts Keating’s teenage daughter, Melanie—turning every parent’s deepest fear into a matter of national security. As the world watches in real time, Keating embarks on a one-man special-ops mission that tests his strengths: as a leader, a warrior, and a father.

A rocket ride of a thriller—the #1 New York Times bestselling blockbuster by President Bill Clinton and James Patterson, “the dream team” (Lee Child).

Every detail is accurate—
because one of the authors is President Bill Clinton. 

The drama and action never stop—
because the other author is James Patterson.


One (or more) Sentence Summary: My family and I listened to this in the car on a drive to Florida. We all really enjoyed it and kept us entertained the whole 16 hour drive over 2 days. Great story, keeps you engaged, characters we all liked, and thrilling until the very end.


Bill Clinton was elected President of the United States in 1992, and he served until 2001. After leaving the White House, he established the Clinton Foundation, which helps improve global health, increase opportunity for girls and women, reduce childhood obesity and preventable diseases, create economic opportunity and growth, and address the effects of climate change. He is the author of a number of nonfiction works, including My Life, which was a #1 international bestseller. With James Patterson, he is co-author of the #1 international bestselling novel The President Is Missing. 
 
James Patterson is the world’s bestselling author and most trusted storyteller. He has created many enduring fictional characters and series, including Alex Cross, the Women’s Murder Club, Michael Bennett, and Maximum Ride. Among his notable literary collaborations are The President Is Missing, with President Bill Clinton, and the Max Einstein series, produced in partnership with the Albert Einstein Estate. For his prodigious imagination and championship of literacy in America, Patterson was awarded the 2019 National Humanities Medal. The National Book Foundation presented him with the Literarian Award for Outstanding Service to the American Literary Community, and he is also the recipient of an Edgar Award and nine Emmy Awards. He lives in Florida with his family.

Monday, April 25, 2022

The Newcomer

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






Synopsis (from Amazon):  In trouble and on the run....

After she discovers her sister Tanya dead on the floor of her fashionable New York City townhouse, Letty Carnahan is certain she knows who did it: Tanya’s ex; sleazy real estate entrepreneur Evan Wingfield. Even in the grip of grief and panic Letty heeds her late sister’s warnings: “If anything bad happens to me - it’s Evan. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.” So Letty grabs her sister’s Mercedes and hits the road....

With a trunkful of emotional baggage...

and her wailing four-year-old niece Maya. Letty is determined to out-run Evan and the law, but run to where? Tanya, a woman with a past shrouded in secrets, left behind a “go-bag” of cash and a big honking diamond ring - but only one clue: a faded magazine story about a sleepy mom-and-pop motel in a Florida beach town with the improbable name of Treasure Island. She sheds her old life and checks into an uncertain future at The Murmuring Surf Motel.

The No Vacancy sign is flashing and the sharks are circling....

And that’s the good news. Because The Surf, as the regulars call it, is the winter home of a close-knit flock of retirees and snowbirds who regard this odd-duck newcomer with suspicion and down-right hostility. As Letty settles into the motel’s former storage room, she tries to heal Maya’s heartache and unravel the key to her sister’s shady past, all while dodging the attention of the owner’s dangerously attractive son Joe, who just happens to be a local police detective. Can Letty find romance as well as a room at the inn - or will Joe betray her secrets and put her behind bars? With danger closing in, it’s a race to find the truth and right the wrongs of the past.


One (or more) Sentence Summary:  The Newcomer is a book full of quirky but fun (mostly - not the bad guy) characters that make you want to keep reading.  Perfect book for the beach or pool, but you can enjoy any time you need to escape! Thrilling with some romance baked in as well. Like all Mary Kay Andrews books I have read....really enjoyable!


Mary Kay Andrews is The New York Times bestselling author of The Beach House Cookbook and more than twenty novels, including The Weekenders, Ladies' Night, Spring FeverSummer Rental, The Fixer Upper, Deep Dish, Blue Christmas, Savannah Breeze, Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies, and Savannah Blues. A former journalist for The Atlanta Journal Constitution, she lives in Atlanta, Georgia.

Thursday, April 21, 2022

The Last Chance Library

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



Synopsis (from Amazon):  June Jones emerges from her shell to fight for her beloved local library, and through the efforts and support of an eclectic group of library patrons, she discovers life-changing friendships along the way.
 
Lonely librarian June Jones has never left the sleepy English village where she grew up. Shy and reclusive, the thirty-year-old would rather spend her time buried in books than venture out into the world. But when her library is threatened with closure, June is forced to emerge from behind the shelves to save the heart of her community and the place that holds the dearest memories of her mother.

Joining a band of eccentric yet dedicated locals in a campaign to keep the library, June opens herself up to other people for the first time since her mother died. It just so happens that her old school friend Alex Chen is back in town and willing to lend a helping hand. The kindhearted lawyer's feelings for her are obvious to everyone but June, who won't believe that anyone could ever care for her in that way.

To save the place and the books that mean so much to her, June must finally make some changes to her life. For once, she's determined not to go down without a fight. And maybe, in fighting for her cherished library, June can save herself, too.


One (or more) Sentence Summary:  What a delightful read! You can't help but fall in love and cheer on June Jones.  The library is more than a work place for June. Her mother was the head librarian and has since passed away. The Chalcot Library is all June knows and where she feels "at home". When the threat arises to close the library, June must come out of her shell and fight with everything she has and cross that line of feeling of her comfort zone.

Loved the characters, quick read, leaves you with a really good feeling. I can't wait to read Freya's next novel. 


Freya Sampson works in television as a creator and Executive Producer. Her credits include two documentary series for the BBC about the British Royal Family, and a number of factual and entertainment series. She studied History at Cambridge University and in 2018 was shortlisted for the Exeter Novel Prize. She lives in London with her husband, two young children and an antisocial cat. The Last Chance Library is her debut novel.

Monday, April 18, 2022

The Good Sister

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




Synopsis (from Amazon):  Sally Hepworth, the author of The Mother-In-Law delivers a knock-out of a novel about the lies that bind two sisters in The Good Sister.

There's only been one time that Rose couldn't stop me from doing the wrong thing and that was a mistake that will haunt me for the rest of my life.

Fern Castle works in her local library. She has dinner with her twin sister Rose three nights a week. And she avoids crowds, bright lights and loud noises as much as possible. Fern has a carefully structured life and disrupting her routine can be...dangerous.

When Rose discovers that she cannot get pregnant, Fern sees her chance to pay her sister back for everything Rose has done for her. Fern can have a baby for Rose. She just needs to find a father. Simple.

Fern's mission will shake the foundations of the life she has carefully built for herself and stir up dark secrets from the past, in this quirky, rich and shocking story of what families keep hidden.


One (or more) Sentence Summary: What a great book that will have you on the edge of your seat. The Good Sister is told by alternating chapters between Rose and Fern (twins) in a diary type of format. Some entries reflect back on their childhood, which help set the stage for the story. Filled with lots of family dynamics and twist and turns you won't be able to put this book down.  

Really enjoyed Sally Hepworth's other novels The Family Next Door, The Mother's Promise and The Mother-in-Law.


Sally Hepworth has lived around the world, spending extended periods in Singapore, the United Kingdom and Canada. She is the author of The Secrets of MidwivesThe Things We KeepThe Mother's PromiseThe Family Next Door and The Mother-in-Law. Sally now lives in Melbourne with her husband, three children, and one adorable dog.

Friday, April 15, 2022

The No-Show

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







Synopsis:  Three women who seemingly have nothing in common find that they're involved with the same man in this smart new rom-com by Beth O'Leary, bestselling author of The Flatshare.

Siobhan is a quick-tempered life coach with way too much on her plate. Miranda is a tree surgeon used to being treated as just one of the guys on the job. Jane is a soft-spoken volunteer for the local charity shop with zero sense of self-worth.
 
These three women are strangers who have only one thing in common: they’ve all been stood up on the same day, the very worst day to be stood up—Valentine’s Day. And, unbeknownst to them, they’ve all been stood up by the same man.
 
Once they've each forgiven him for standing them up, they are all in serious danger of falling in love with a man who may have not just one or two but three women on the go....
 
Is there more to him than meets the eye? Where was he on Valentine’s Day? And will they each untangle the truth before they all get their hearts broken?



Beth O'Leary is a Sunday Times bestselling author whose novels have been translated into more than thirty languages. Her debut, THE FLATSHARE, sold over half a million copies and changed her life completely. Her second novel, THE SWITCH, has been optioned for film by Amblin Partners, Steven Spielberg's production company. Beth writes her books in the Hampshire countryside with a very badly behaved golden retriever for company. If she's not at her desk, you'll usually find her curled up somewhere with a book, a cup of tea and several woolly jumpers (whatever the weather).

Thursday, April 14, 2022

The Wedding Ringer

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






Synopsis (from Amazon):  A woman who wants nothing to do with love or friendship finds both in the unlikeliest ways in this hilarious and heartwarming debut by Kerry Rea.

Once upon a time, Willa Callister was a successful blogger with a good credit score, actual hobbies, and legs that she shaved more than once a month. But after finding her fiancĂ© in bed with her best friend, she now spends her days performing at children's birthday parties in a ball gown that makes her look like a walking bottle of Pepto Bismol. Willa dreams of starting fresh, where no one knows who she used to be, but first she needs to save up enough money to make it happen. 

Maisie Mitchell needs something too: another bridesmaid for her wedding. After a chance encounter at a coffee shop, Maisie offers to pay Willa to be in her bridal party. Willa wants nothing to do with weddings—or Maisie—but the money will give her the freedom to start the new life she so badly desires. 

Willa's bridesmaid duties thrust her into Maisie's high-energy world and into the path of hotshot doctor Liam Rafferty. But as Willa and Maisie form a real friendship, and Liam's annoyingly irresistible smile makes her reconsider her mantra that all men are trash, Willa's exit strategy becomes way more complicated. And when a secret from Maisie's past threatens to derail the wedding, Willa must consider whether friendship—and romance—are worth sticking around for.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: A really cute and different twist on becoming a bridesmaid and falling for the groomsman. Willa is a great character that will have you laughing along the way, but you also feel sorry for her and what her life has become. In walks Willa and you can't help but want to help her and her fake friendship. 

Very fast read with characters that I really liked. Enjoyable - perfect book for anytime of the year, but especially in June during all the June weddings!

On a side note, I seem to be reading a lot of Ohio authors, which is purely by accident (I live in Ohio too). I would love to read other book by Kerry Rea as this is her first novel - would love to come to a book signing in Columbus (just a skip away). 




Kerry Rea is a 2017 and 2019 #Pitchwars mentee. Her work has appeared in Seventeen Magazine. She lives in Columbus, Ohio, with her husband and four dogs. The Wedding Ringer is her debut novel.

Monday, April 11, 2022

Summer on the Island

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







Synopsis: 

Summer at the Cape is the fourth original hardcover from New York Times, USA TODAY, and Publisher's Weekly bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne. With the emotional pull of Debbie Macomber, Barbara Delinsky, and Susan Wiggs, RaeAnne tells the story of the Porter sisters, Cami and Violet, who come together to mourn the death of Violet's twin, Lily. Over the course of the summer, the sisters must make peace with each other and also individually with their free-spirited, outspoken, activist mother who left their father two decades earlier.


As the older sister to identical twins Violet and Lily, Cami Porter had always been the odd sister out. The breach became even stronger when her parents split up—while the twins stayed in Cape Sanctuary with their free-spirited activist mother, Rosemary, fourteen-year-old Cami moved to L.A. with her by-the-book attorney father, Ted. Nearly twenty years later, when Cami gets the tragic news that Lily has drowned saving a child, Cami returns to her childhood home—her mother and Violet need her.

Lily had spent her entire life looking for something to be passionate about, and in leasing a property from neighbor Franklin Rafferty and setting up Coastal Pines Glamping, she was about to see her dream realized. Following her death, the sadness and grief Rosemary, Violet and Cami feel is compounded by Jon Rafferty, son of the neighbor whose land Lily had leased. Jon, who hadn't seen his father in years, is stunned to learn that his father is in the early stages of Alzheimer's Disease, and he worries that the Porter women took advantage of him. But Jon can see that the Porter family is in mourning, and agrees they can keep the land through the summer, and then they'll need to shut the glamping site down.


Then there's Violet—the child Lily saved, Ariana Mendoza, is the daughter of Violet's former high school sweetheart, Alex Mendoza. She could never forgive him way back when for cheating on her, but she is so grateful that his adorable little girl is okay. Alex still has feelings for Violet, but he is overcome with grief and gratitude at the same time for the loss of Lily, who died saving his child.


SUMMER AT THE CAPE

Author: RaeAnne Thayne

ISBN: 9781335936356

Publication Date: April 5, 2022

Publisher: HQN





Buy Links: 

BookShop.org

Harlequin 

Barnes & Noble

Amazon

Books-A-Million

Powell’s 





New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful norhtern Utah mountains where she lives with her family.   Her stories have been described as "poignant and sweet" with "beautiful honest storytelling that goes straight to the heart."  She loves to hear from readers and can be reached through her website at www.raeannethayne.com.

Social Links:

Author Website

Twitter: @raeannethayne

Facebook: RaeAnne Thayne

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Excerpt: 

2

VIOLET


WILD, FRENZIED BARKING RANG OUT WHEN Violet Porter let herself into the back door of her mother’s comfortable kitchen at Moongate Farm.

Rosemary was nowhere in sight. Instead, a cranky-faced schnauzer–toy poodle mix planted himself in front of the door, telling her in no uncertain terms that she was an intruder who wasn’t welcome here.

“Hi, Baxter,” she said, mouth stretched thin in what she knew was an insincere smile. “How are you, buddy?”

Lily’s dog only growled at her, baring his teeth with his hack-les raised as if he wanted to rip her throat out.

The dog hated her. Violet wasn’t exactly sure why. 

She might have thought he would look more fondly toward her, considering she was the identical twin to his late owner. But maybe that was the problem. Maybe the fact that she looked so much like Lily but clearly wasn’t her sister confused the dog and made him view her as a threat.

He had never really warmed to her, even when he lived in her condo with Lily. Since Lily’s death, he had become down-right hostile.

“Stop that. What’s gotten into you? I could hear you clear back in my bedroom.”

Her mother’s voice trailed out from down the hall, becoming louder as she approached the kitchen, still fastening an earring.

She stopped dead when she spotted Violet.

“Oh! Violet! You scared me! What are you doing here?”

“You invited me. Remember? You’ve known for months I was coming to help you out during my summer break.”

“You were coming tomorrow. Not today!”

Okay. That wasn’t exactly the warm welcome she might have expected, Violet thought wryly. Instead, her mother was staring at her with an expression that seemed a curious mix of chagrin and dismay.

She shrugged as Baxter continued to growl. Wasn’t anybody happy to see her?

“I finished cleaning out my classroom and calculating final grades this morning. Since all my things were already packed and loaded into my car, I couldn’t see any reason to wait until the morning to drive up. Is there a problem?”

Rosemary, usually so even-tempered, looked at her, then at the giant wrought iron clock on the wall of the Moongate Farm kitchen with a hint of panic in her eyes.

“No. It’s only…this is, er, a bit of a complication. I’m expecting dinner guests any moment.”

“That must be why it smells so good in here.”

It smelled like roasting vegetables mixed with garlic and cheese. Violet’s stomach rumbled loud enough she was certain her mother had to hear, but Rosemary didn’t seem to notice, looking at the clock again.

Why was she so nervous? Who was coming? If she didn’t know better, Violet might have suspected her mother was expecting a date.

Not impossible, she supposed. Her mother was still a beautiful woman, with high cheekbones, a wide smile and the deep blue eyes she had handed down to Violet and her identical twin.

Rosemary didn’t date much, though she’d had a few relationships since her divorce from Violet’s father.

As far as Violet knew, she had broken up with the most re-cent man she had dated more than a year earlier and Rosemary hadn’t mentioned anyone else.

Then again, just as Violet didn’t tell her mother everything that went on in her life in Sacramento, Rosemary likely had secrets of her own here in Cape Sanctuary.

“No problem,” she said, trying for a cheerful tone. “You don’t have to worry about feeding me. If I get hungry later, I’ll make a sandwich or something. I’ll get out of your way.”

“You’re not in the way,” Rosemary protested. “It’s just, well…” She didn’t have time to finish before a knock sounded at the back door. Baxter, annoying little beast, gave one sharp bark, sniffed at the door, then plopped down expectantly.

Violet thought she heard a man’s deep voice say something on the other side of the door and then a child’s laughter in response.

Something about that voice rang a chord. She frowned, suddenly unsettled. “Mom. Who are you expecting?”

“Just some…some friends from town,” Rosemary said vaguely. She heard the man’s voice again and her disquiet turned into full-fledged dismay.

No. Rosemary wouldn’t have. Would she?

“Mom. Who’s here?” Her voice sounded shrill and she was quite sure Rosemary could pick up on it.

“I didn’t know you were coming tonight,” her mom said defensively. “You told me you were coming tomorrow, so I…I invited Alexandro and his daughter for dinner. He’s been such a help to me with Wild Hearts. I could never have set up all those tents or moved in the furniture without him. I’ve been meaning to have him and his daughter over for dinner but the time got away from me, until here we are. I’m sorry. You weren’t supposed to be here until tomorrow and I didn’t think it would be a problem.”

The news hit her like a hatchet to the chest. Alex was here, on the other side of the door. Alex, who had once been her best friend, the man she thought would be her forever.

Alex, who had betrayed her.

She had seen him exactly twice since they broke up a decade ago.

One previous encounter had been a few years after he married Claudia Crane, when she had bumped into him at the grocery store while home from college for a brief visit.

The second time had been four months earlier at Lily’s memorial service.

That was two times too many, really. Three encounters was asking far too much of her.

She wanted to jump back into her car and head back to Sacramento.

No. This was silly. She had known she would see him this summer. How could she avoid it? Cape Sanctuary was a small town. Not only that, but his house and boat charter business were both just down the road from Moongate Farm.

The concept had seemed fine in the abstract. Like algebra and the periodic table.

It had been nearly a decade, after all. She was a completely different person from that besotted girl she had once been.

He meant nothing to her anymore. She should be able to blithely chat with him about what he had been up to the past decade.

Yeah. Not happening.

Maybe she could turn around, climb back into her car and go hang out at The Sea Shanty until he was gone.

No. That was just kicking the can down the road. She had to face him eventually. Why not now?

She could come up with a dozen reasons, but none of them seemed compelling enough for her to flee without at least saying hello.

“I’m sorry,” Rosemary said again, her hand on the doorknob. “It’s fine, Mom. Don’t worry about it. Don’t leave them standing outside. I’ll just say hello and then head over to the bunk-house to settle in. You won’t even know I’m here. It will be fine.”

She didn’t believe that for a minute, but she forced herself to put on a pleasant smile as her mother opened the door.

And there he was.

As gorgeous as ever, with those thick dark eyelashes, strong features, full mouth that could kiss like no one else she had ever met…

Her toes curled at the unwelcome memories and she forced her attention away from Alex to the young girl standing beside him. She had dark hair that swung to her shoulders, bright brown eyes and dimples like her father.

Right now she was staring at Violet like she had just grown a second head.

“Miss Lily?” she whispered, big brown eyes wide and mouth ajar.

Of course. Ariana thought Violet was her sister. It was a natural mistake, as they were identical twins, though as an adult, Vi had mostly seen the differences between them.

She approached the girl with the same patient, reassuring mile she used in her classroom when one of her students was upset about something.

“Hi there,” she said calmly, doing her best to ignore Alex’s intense gaze for now. “You must be Ariana. I’m Violet. Lily was my twin sister.”

“You look just like her,” the girl said breathlessly. Her gaze narrowed. “Except I think maybe your hair is a little shorter than hers was. And she had a tattoo of flowers on her wrist and you don’t.”

When they were in college, Lily had insisted on getting a tiny bouquet of flowers, intertwined lilies and violets and camellias to represent the three Porter sisters.

She had begged Violet and Cami to both get one, too. Cami, older by two years and always far more mature than either Vi or Lily, had politely explained that she didn’t want any tattoos because of the serious nature of the law career she was pursuing. Violet had promised she would but then kept putting it off.

She still could go get a tattoo. After Lily’s death, she had thought more seriously about it, but the loss of her sister was always with her. She didn’t need a mark on her skin to remind her Lily wasn’t here.

She forced a smile for the girl. “Right. No tattoo. That’s one sure way of telling us apart.”

Plus, she was alive and Lily wasn’t. But she wasn’t cruel enough to say that out loud, especially not to this child.

Lily had drowned after rescuing Ariana and a visiting friend when a rogue wave from an offshore winter storm dragged the girls out to sea. Lily had somehow managed to get both girls back to safety, but the Pacific had been relentless that day, and before Lily could climb out herself, another wave had pulled her under.

Violet certainly couldn’t blame this child for a cruel act of nature.

Or for her parentage.


Excerpted from Summer at the Cape by RaeAnne Thayne. Copyright © 2022 by RaeAnne Thayne. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.