What You Wish For by Katherine Center ~ 5⭐

Genre: Domestic Fiction ~ Release Date: July 14, 2020

REVIEW: “What You Wish For” by Katherine Center is a fun and entertaining book. It totally held my interest and made me laugh out loud and giggle several times. Who doesn’t need that during these trying times in our country? If you want a book to get you out of your head, this should be your next read. You won’t be disappointed. 

There is some predictability to her story but, it is okay because the dialog, situations and the characters make up for it. The author made me love and care for her characters and what they were each dealing with in their lives. There were a few heavy subjects in the story but the way they were handled with empathy and humanity gave me hope.

I love a story that teaches me a few things and because the narrator was a librarian, there are some interesting things to learn. One of her friends is a math teacher and has a lot of cute little math jokes. So, I learned something new with this book. 

Katherine Center is new author for me and I am excited to read more from her. If you haven’t read any of her books yet, give her a try. You might find a new author to add to your list of favorites. I know I did!

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

SYNOPSIS: Samantha Casey is a school librarian who loves her job, the kids, and her school family with passion and joy for living. But she wasn’t always that way.

Duncan Carpenter is the new school principal who lives by rules and regulations, guided by the knowledge that bad things can happen. But he wasn’t always that way.

And Sam knows it. Because she knew him before—at another school, in a different life. Back then, she loved him—but she was invisible. To him. To everyone. Even to herself. She escaped to a new school, a new job, a new chance at living. But when Duncan, of all people, gets hired as the new principal there, it feels like the best thing that could possibly happen to the school—and the worst thing that could possibly happen to Sam. Until the opposite turns out to be true. The lovable Duncan she’d known is now a suit-and-tie wearing, rule-enforcing tough guy so hell-bent on protecting the school that he’s willing to destroy it.

As the school community spirals into chaos, and danger from all corners looms large, Sam and Duncan must find their way to who they really are, what it means to be brave, and how to take a chance on love—which is the riskiest move of all.

With Katherine Center’s sparkling dialogue, unforgettable characters, heart, hope, and humanity, What You Wish For is the author at her most compelling best.

Wedding at the Lakeside Resort by Susan Schild ~ Five ⭐

Genre: Fiction, Romance ~ Release Date June 25, 2020

REVIEW: There is nothing as satisfying as sitting down with another installment of The Lakeside Resort series. I was so excited to receive Susan Schild’s new book Wedding at the Lakeside Resort. I felt like I was going to have a nice long visit with my old friends. 

Susan’s character development is spot on because I feel like I know Jenny and Luke, her friend Charlotte and her mom and Step-dad. They are all such loving and caring folks. Her smooth style allows you to flow through the story and enjoy all that is happening.

This book is a continuation of Jenny’s life leading up to her wedding day. We share in all the preparations and planning for the big day. I am so excited for Jenny and Luke to be off on their long honeymoon pulling their restored airstream camper. I can only imagine what adventures are waiting for them. 

Susan Schild has done it again, If you have read any of the Lakeside Resort series, you will want to read this one too! Wedding at the Lakeside Resort will read well as a stand alone book, so go ahead and jump right in and catch the rest of the series later.

I received this book from the author for a fair and honest review. 

SYNOPSIS: Ready for more love and adventure after forty?
Come see why readers have fallen in love with the Lakeside Resort Series.
When it comes to love, forty-four year old Jenny Beckett’s track record isn’t great, but she’s finally found Luke Hammond, a kind, down to earth man who adores her. And she’s marrying him!
But Jenny has no time to moon about the big day. With the Lakeside Resort’s busiest season fast approaching, she’s busily preparing for guests coming to stay in her tiny cabins and vintage campers.
When Luke is called away on business, Jenny must single handedly manage the resort, oversee construction of their new cabin, and plan the wedding. But she’s also dealing with more troubling events. A late-night trespasser is destructive, and a developer is intent on building condominiums right next door. Jenny and Luke must scramble to protect the serenity and beauty of their beloved resort.
With love over 40 blooming all around, a plus-sized heroine, and relatable characters, come join your friends for a June wedding and stay awhile at the Lakeside Resort.
“A sweet, heartwarming story that will make you believe second chances are special gifts from heaven. I highly recommend this book as a great way to relax and enjoy time with characters created by a wonderful storyteller.” –Judith Keim, Bestselling Author of the Beach House Hotel Series

The Swap by Robyn Harding ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Genre: Psychological Fiction ~ Release date June 23, 2020

REVIEW: Interesting…The Swap by Robyn Harding  was just that. Ms. Harding is a new author for me. Her book was not only interesting, it was very entertaining.

It definitely was not a boring book for me.It wasn’t one of those books that kept you on the edge of your seat and that is ok. They don’t all have to be that way. This one is more laid back. 

The characters are pretty varied and just like in real life, you wouldn’t expect them to be friends. One of the characters was an internet influencer who became friends with and 18 year old high school senior to whom she taught pottery. She also became friends with a woman who owned a store in town. She never seemed to be able to have more than one friend at a time and was a user of people.

Things get pretty messed up in this book. There is a lot of back story on all of the characters which explains why they are involved with each other. That was satisfying for those who want to know!

The book has subjects that aren’t really familiar to me but, I am open minded enough to go along for the ride and enjoy a story that is different. I would recommend this book to my friends. It would make for a lively discussion. 

I received this book from the publisher for a fair and honest review. 

Synopsis: “No list of thrillers is complete without Robyn Harding,” proclaims Real Simple. Now the USA TODAY bestselling author of The Party delivers a riveting tale about the toxic relationship between two couples after a night of sexual shenanigans, and the manipulative teenager with an explosive secret at the center of it all.

Low Morrison is not your average teen. You could blame her hippie parents or her looming height or her dreary, isolated hometown on an island in the Pacific Northwest. But whatever the reason, Low just doesn’t fit in—and neither does Freya, an ethereal beauty and once-famous social media influencer who now owns the local pottery studio.

After signing up for a class, Low quickly falls under Freya’s spell. And Freya, buoyed by Low’s adoration, is compelled to share her darkest secrets and deepest desires. Finally, both feel a sense of belonging…that is, until Jamie walks through the studio door. Desperate for a baby, she and her husband have moved to the island hoping that the healthy environment will result in a pregnancy. Freya and Jamie become fast friends, as do their husbands, leaving Low alone once again.

Then one night, after a boozy dinner party, Freya suggests swapping partners. It should have been a harmless fling between consenting adults, one night of debauchery that they would put behind them, but instead, it upends their lives. And provides Low the perfect opportunity to unleash her growing resentment.

Robyn Harding brings her acclaimed storytelling, lauded as “fast-paced, thrilling, gut-wrenching” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six, to this dark and suspenseful thriller for fans of Megan Miranda and Lisa Jewell.

A Dog’s Chance by Casey Wilson ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Romance ~ Release date July 2, 2020

REVIEW: Casey Wilson! You’ve done it again. I did not want A Dog’s Chance to end. It was such a beautifully written book. It pulled at all of my heartstrings one at a time and all at once.

I woke up this morning thinking about Madison, Abbie, Arthur and Sonny. I was excited to get back to the book to see how everything was going to conclude. 

This author creates the best characters and her dogs are simply top notch. I like some of the story is told from the dogs point of view. It is unique and something you don’t see often. It comes off as very authentic. I especially loved these characters and more than once found myself aching to give them a hug.

If you read A Dog’s Hope and liked it, you will love this one. If you haven’t read either one and you love dogs, then you will definitely want to read both of them. These are stand alone stories. Pick up whichever book you can, get a cold drink and curl up in the hammock. You’re probably going to be there until you’re done.

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

SYNOPSIS: Sometimes the dogs we rescue… also rescue us.

A heart-wrenching and beautiful story perfect for dog lovers everywhere. Fans of A Dog’s Purpose, The Art of Racing in the Rain and Marley and Me will be utterly entranced by this gorgeous page-turner.

Madison knows her fourteen-year-old daughter Abbie is struggling. She wishes she could give Abbie stability, the promise of a forever home in Millbury, but she is scared to stay in one town for too long, and every day Abbie seems more anxious. Until a chance encounter with a beautiful, boisterous golden retriever puppy called Duke changes everything…

Duke bounces into the community centre where Madison is working and when Abbie meets him she stops pacing the room. Duke is tugging his owner, seventy-five-year-old Arthur, along for the ride, and instantly Madison sees a way she and Arthur can help each other. She offers to train Duke so that Abbie gets to see him, and from that moment the four of them become a family.

Madison finally feels like she has a second chance at life and a reason to stay in town, but when her past catches up with her they are all at risk. Duke may have united this family, but will he be able to keep them together?

A reminder of the unbelievable bonds we form with the dogs in our lives. No matter how broken you are, the unconditional love of a dog can piece you back together.

Trouble the Water ~ by Rebecca Dwight Bruff ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

REVIEW: Awesome and Inspirational! Wow! Trouble the Water by Rebecca Dwight Bruff was right in my wheelhouse. There was a lot of creative license taken in this novel. It was all for the good and took nothing away from the life of Robert Smalls. She stuck to the facts as much as she possibly could. I absolutely loved the way she imagined how his life was as a young boy born to slavery and as a young man that fought for what he wanted out of life…freedom and a family. He signed up the first black men to fight in the civil war. He went on to represent South Carolina in Washington for five terms. That was an accomplished life! He was an American Hero many of us never learned about.

I read this book during the demonstrations and riots after the death of George Floyd in the custody of police officers. I found myself pausing and pondering the life of our black population 155 years after the civil war. I think President Lincoln and Robert Smalls would be disappointed in the lack of progress that has been made. They both changed so many lives but, it is apparent there is still progress to be made.

Rebecca Dwight Bruff gave me a lot to think about. I learned a lot from her book even though it is fiction. It is a beautiful, well written book and I would advise each one of you to pick up this book and see if it doesn’t change your life. I know Rebecca and Mr. Smalls changed mine.

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

Synopsis: Moving and inspirational, Trouble the Water reveals the little-known real-life story of Robert Smalls. 

Born enslaved before the Civil War, Smalls witnesses great privilege and immense suffering alongside his owner’s daughter and the dangerous son of a firebrand secessionist. When he’s only twelve, he’s put to work in Charleston, where he loads ships and learns to pilot a cotton steamer. When the war erupts and his cotton steamer becomes a confederate warship, Robert attempts a harrowing escape to freedom for himself and the people he loves.


“With this stunning debut novel, Rebecca Bruff establishes herself as an exciting new voice in historical fiction.” –Cassandra King Conroy, author of Moonrise, and Founding Honorary Chair of the Pat Conroy Literary Center

The Nanny’s Secret ~ Kiersten Modglin ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Genre: Psychological Suspense ~ Release date June 16, 2020

REVIEW: WHAT A BOOK! What a story. Oh my. The Nanny’s Secret by Kiersten Modglin is the second book I have read by her. Wow! I can not get this story out of my head. I’ll tell you, if you like psychological suspense, you will love her books. I can’t put them down once they’re in my hand. 

The experience is like being on a rollercoaster. There is the long climb to the top of the tracks with great anticipation and then you hold on for dear life as you hurtle to the bottom. Oh, but it’s so satisfying when you get to the end and you have survived. Your heart might be beating out of your chest and you might be winded from screaming but, it was worth the experience. 

I love her plot and character development. Neither of the books were anything alike. I get tired of authors that use the same general outline book after book. I can already tell that Kiersten takes great delight in delivering a unique story everytime! 

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

Synopsis: Olivia Mendes has a secret.

With her new position as a nanny for the prestigious Locke family, she’s learning just how powerful secrets can be. 

Orrick and Iris Locke, owners of the billion-dollar security company known as Locke Industries, are beautiful, mysterious, and seemingly perfect. When she enters their home, Olivia quickly discovers everything is not what it seems. The Lockes’ elusive empire is built on dark and terrifying truths and with Olivia now a part of their lives, she has no choice but to play her role.

As she finds herself digging deeper into the Lockes’ web of lies, Olivia begins to question everything she’s learned. When the family’s insidious nature is revealed, her loyalties will be put to the ultimate test. 

In this installment of the standalone LOCKE INDUSTRIES SERIES, The Nanny’s Secret may be the one to destroy everything…

The Weight of the Heart by Susana Aikin ⭐⭐⭐⭐

REVIEW: If you love in depth studies on family dynamics, this book is for you. The Weight of the Heart by Susana Aikin definitely fits this description and you will want to beg, borrow or buy a copy of this book.

This book was highly descriptive. You really got to know her characters by listening to what is going on in Anna’s head. There has been rifts in the sister’s relationships since the death of their father. The book explores their relationships along with their love interests and how they let their father control them. 

The most interesting character was Delia. She was brought in to cleanse the father’s house the sisters thought might now be haunted since their father died. The book takes place over a long day of rituals, mishaps and a lot of time to think and reflect.

My favorite relationship was the one between Anna and Marcus. It was probably the most messed up relationship in the book. I’m always amazed at what people will do for love!

I received a copy of this book from the author for a fair and honest review. Thank you Susana Aikin. 

Synopsis: Set in contemporary Spain, Susana Aikin’s latest novel is a colorful, beautifully written examination of memory, romance, and the intricacies of family duty. 

On a sweltering August day in Madrid, Anna, Julia, and Marion return to their childhood home. The once grand mansion, furnished with exotic objects and art that reflected the cultures of their English father and Spanish mother, once bustled with visitors. But since their father’s death, all three sisters have been reluctant to go back, still feeling the weight of his domineering influence. Julia believes that before the house can sell, it needs to be cleared of negative energy, and she has planned a limpieza, or cleaning ritual. Marion, the oldest, fears what the ceremony might unleash. Anna, the youngest and most capable and ambitious of the trio, is skeptical of the Cuban santeria hired by Julia. Still, she is wary of antagonizing her siblings or of stirring up old resentment. But as the ceremony progresses, guilt and recrimination become impossible to ignore. And if there’s a chance of bringing their house and their lives out of the shadows, it rests in the sisterhood, strength, and indomitable love that remains when the ghosts of the past surrender at last.

Tangled in Ivy by Ashley Farley ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

REVIEW: Tangled in Ivy is sure tangled up! I loved this book by Ashley Farley. This was my third book by Ms. Farley and I fell head over heels in love with each of them. If you haven’t read any of her books yet, what are you waiting for? She is a wonderful story teller and I have been totally entertained by the three books I’ve read and plan to keep reading more of her creations.

Her characters come alive and practically jump off the page into your heart. You instantly care for them and feel like you are part of the story. Her descriptions of the Lowcountry make me feel like I am back there once again. Her descriptions of surroundings are not boring and over the top. You get just enough to be able to picture the setting. I love the old homes in Charleston and enjoyed getting a glimpse of what life might have been like living in one of the grand dames.

Wow, and speaking of tangled up, this book will keep you on your toes. I promise you bored won’t be a word used to describe this story. There is a lot going on and because part of it is Lillian’s father’s memoir, it feels like it takes place during two time periods. Ivy is the name of Lillian’s mother. Life revolved around Ivy. She was a whirlwind and she kept it that way. Life was on her terms no matter what anyone else thought.

If you love a story with great characters, a little angst, a lot of love, some scandal and seeing how old money lives, you will enjoy this book. 

I received a copy of this book from the author and publisher for a fair and honest review. Thank you for the opportunity to read and review an early copy.

Synopsis: From the bestselling author of Sweet Tea Tuesdays comes a story of true love that spans decades.

Lillian Alexander’s father is dying of cancer. When he rambles on in a morphine-delirium, Lillian can’t ignore the feeling he’s trying to tell her something. At his funeral days later, she encounters ghosts from her past who stir long-suppressed memories from the day her mother died twenty-seven years ago. Why, if her mother’s death was an accident, does Lillian harbor guilt, as though she were somehow to blame?

When Lillian and her twin sister, Layla, learn the Stoney family fortune is gone, Lillian fights to save her ancestral home on Charleston’s prestigious East Battery. Desperate to resolve her money problems and get answers to her questions about the past, she tears her father’s study apart in search of clues. She discovers a thumb drive in a hollowed-out hardback copy of For Whom the Bell Tolls. The thumb drive, marked For Lillian in his handwriting, contains her father’s memoir. Secluded in the family’s cottage on Wadmalaw Island, she immerses herself in her father’s account of his stormy relationship with her mother. What she learns sets her on a journey of self-discovery.

Tangled in Ivy is a tale of tortured souls and southern family dysfunction.

Stranger in the Lake by Kimberly Belle ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

REVIEW: Kimberly Belle has once again delivered! Stranger in the Lake was a good book with a different flavor from her other books. I couldn’t wait to dig in. They are all so delicious and slide right down leaving you wanting another one. 

The suspense in this book is a very gradual climb. I liked that. I liked her characters and could never figure out who the culprit was. I went back and forth and all over the place and didn’t know who did it until it was revealed. Of course, if the author doesn’t come right out and tell me at the very beginning, I never figure them out. Does that mean my mind isn’t devious?

If you haven’t read a Kimberly Belle book, you really need to. You won’t be disappointed. She always delivers a great read. Her book are entertaining and will keep you in your seat reading long after bedtime. 

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

Synopsis: When Charlotte married the wealthy widower Paul, it caused a ripple of gossip in their small lakeside town. They have a charmed life together, despite the cruel whispers about her humble past and his first marriage. But everything starts to unravel when she discovers a young woman’s body floating in the exact same spot where Paul’s first wife tragically drowned.

At first, it seems like a horrific coincidence, but the stranger in the lake is no stranger. Charlotte saw Paul talking to her the day before, even though Paul tells the police he’s never met the woman. His lie exposes cracks in their fragile new marriage, cracks Charlotte is determined to keep from breaking them in two.

As Charlotte uncovers dark mysteries about the man she married, she doesn’t know what to trust—her heart, which knows Paul to be a good man, or her growing suspicion that there’s something he’s hiding in the water.

Perfectly Famous by Emily Liebert ⭐⭐⭐⭐

REVIEW: Pretty darn good! I just finished Perfectly Famous by Emily Liebert and must say I really liked the premise of the book. There were basically two writers in the story. What more could a book nerd want? Right? It held my interest and kept me entertained. This book is classified as suspense and psychological fiction. There were a few twists and turns along the way to keep me engrossed. 

The book went back and forth between the two main characters. I learned pretty quick to pay attention to the heading of the chapters. That is how you know which character you are reading about in the beginning. Once I got into the book, it wasn’t a problem.

I took a peek at her other books and it looks like this is the second book for her in this genre. If you like suspense, you will probably like this book. It was an easy story to read and a great way to pass the time. This was my first book by this author and I will be keeping an eye on her in the future. 

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

SYNOPSIS: “gripping tale of subterfuge, betrayal, and retribution” (Liv Constantine, bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish)—comes the story of a journalist obsessed with finding a crime novelist who disappears after a deadly attack on her beloved daughter.

As a mother and a famous author, Ward DeFleur has it all. She lives in a beautiful estate in picture-perfect Connecticut, along with her teenage daughter, Stevie, where nothing can go wrong. Until, one night, when Stevie is brutally murdered and Ward’s entire world is shattered. Consumed by panic and grief, Ward vows never to put pen to paper again.

Enter Bree Bennett.

Bree is a recently-divorced, former-journalist-cum-housewife, desperate to fill her days with something other than Pilates classes and grocery shopping. So she decides to start writing for the town newspaper. What begins as Bree’s effort to tell Ward’s tragic narrative turns into a fixation with finding her favorite author. Unfortunately, Ward doesn’t want to be found. Even worse, Stevie’s killer is still on the loose…

This harrowing tale of one woman’s infatuation and another woman’s fear is full of explosive surprises, perfect for fans of The Night Olivia Fell and Then She Was Gone.