The Parents by Claire Seeber ~ 4⭐

Genre: Phycological Suspense ~ Release date: October 25, 2021

REVIEW: Do you love football? Or soccer? In the United States we call it soccer in England it is football. Well, if you love soccer and Psychological Suspense, you’ll love Claire Seeber’s new book The Parents.

I found her characters interesting. I always think of the English as stiff people and yet these folks weren’t that way. Although, I think all of them had problems going on in the background. Alex is the newcomer and she is widowed with two children. She has a 13 year old boy who decides to play football whose name is Harry and a girl named Iris who is the oldest and hates her mom. There were a lot of characters and I didn’t find myself particularly involved with any of them. 

Someone is digging into the background of the parents of the local team and spilling all the dirt on a vlog. That was interesting because everyone in town was waiting for the next shoe to drop. Most of that was pretty shocking. 

I don’t think I’ve ever watched a game of soccer so, I was pretty clueless when they were talking about the game, it’s different levels and whatnot. Most of the book took place around the team schedule and the clubhouse. Interestingly, they had a bar in the club. That’s something we don’t see here in the states. 

I’ll have my eye out for more from Claire Seeber. She has three other books that I’m going to check out. Maybe they won’t be about football or soccer! This girl is not a sports fan. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from #Bookouture and #Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: It seems like they have it all. But we all have something to hide…

Moving to this village was supposed to be a fresh start for me and my thirteen-year-old son Harry. After the tragic death of my husband, it was a chance to leave everything bad behind and make better memories at Primrose Cottage, the postcard-perfect house with honeysuckle around the door.

However, things haven’t exactly been easy since we arrived, and after what we’ve been though, I’m scared of letting anyone new into our lives.

But when one of the local dads asks Harry to join the weekend sports club, I find myself saying yes. The smile on my son’s face gives me hope that I might have made the right decision in uprooting our lives.

All the other parents seem so kind in welcoming me into the fold. At least, they are to begin with… Until someone begins anonymously exposing secrets about everyone in the group.

As betrayals surface and the claws come out, I see how imperfect these people really are; and how far they’ll go to hide the truth. Then when one of the parents ends up dead at the end of a party, I realise that it’s not just lies and scandal they’re covering up.

Too late, I realise that I should have stayed away…

A completely addictive page-turner about the secrets and lies hiding beneath the image of a perfect family. Fans of Big Little Lies, Lisa Jewell and Louise Candlish will be absolutely hooked by this pacey read with a jaw-dropping twist you just won’t see coming.

Riverbend Gap by Denise Hunter ~ 5⭐

Genre: Women’s Christian Fiction ~ Release date: October 19, 2021

REVIEW: If you’re a fan of Denise Hunter, you certainly have something to look forward to. Riverbend Gap is book one of a new series A Riverbend Romance. I was totally immersed in the first book and can’t wait for Mulberry Hollow the next installment to the series! 

There were so many characters in this book that were fighting against where they came from. Whether it was an alcoholic father, a drug addicted mother, the loss of a parent or a split family. They were all in some ways successful in overcoming the odds and yet there were still times the past would rear it’s ugly head. 

The romance at the center of this book was faced with impossible odds. I can’t tell you how that worked out. My heart broke many times and soared with hope many times during this read. I came to care for these folks and you will too. This author writes the best characters. They are flawed and perfect at the same time making them believable.

This book is one of those satisfying reads that will color your world for days after you finish reading it. It puts a good feeling in your heart and hope for this world. I can’t stop thinking about these characters. I think you’re going to love this book as much as I do. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from #Netgalley, #ThomasNelson and #FirstEditions. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

SYNOPSIS: She came in search of the family she’d always wanted—and found the kind of love she’d never dared imagine.

When Katelyn Loveland’s car veered off a winding Appalachian Mountain road, she thought she was done for. That is until Cooper Robinson, local sheriff’s deputy, came to her rescue. And though Katie narrowly escaped her brush with death, she still fell. Hard.

She wasn’t the only one. But soon Cooper learns that the woman he’s more attracted to than any he’s ever met is his brother’s new girlfriend—and therefore unquestionably off limits. Yet, despite their best efforts, Cooper and Katie can’t seem to avoid running into each other. Or ignore the undeniable chemistry between them.

As they grow closer, Katie shares secrets from her past and the real reason she moved to their small North Carolina town. She also wins over Cooper’s welcoming and bighearted family. But they don’t know that her feelings for Cooper keep growing—all while she’s dating his brother. Soon the stakes of their emotional connection become higher than either could have imagined.

Katie stands to lose the first family she’s ever had, and a scandal could doom Cooper’s campaign for sheriff. Suddenly they find themselves on the edge of another precipice—and they’re forced to make a decision that could change their lives forever.

  • Sweet and thoughtful contemporary read
  • First in the new Riverbend Romance series
  • Book length: approximately 82,000 words
  • Includes discussion questions for book clubs

The Truth About Elves by Ekta R Garg ~ 4⭐

Genre: Holiday Fiction ~ Release date: September 20, 2021

REVIEW: I took a chance and requested the debut novel by Ekta R Garg called The Truth About Elves and I’m glad I did! 

It is supposed to be a Christmas story but, in reality it takes place just before Christmas. The author has created what you might call an alternate world where Santa lives and the business of meeting expectations of Christmas happens. I think Santa does more than we ever knew. 

This is a really short book and can be read in an evening. So, I really can’t tell you a lot about it or I would give the whole premise of the book away. I don’t want to get on Santa’s naughty list. I need more books for Christmas!

If you find you have a few hours some night and want to read a cute little story before Christmas, this book will fill that wish quite nicely. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from #AtmospherePress and #Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

SYNOPSIS: As a bartender in Las Vegas, Curtis seems to have the dream life. He’s single, lives close to the Strip, and only has to worry about when to pick up the next extra shift. No one knows the truth about what happened ten years ago, and no one knows how he spends three months every year: as a part-time elf for Santa Claus.

When Curtis went to the Arctic Circle the first time, he thought he could escape the unthinkable. Now, the anniversary of the worst day of his life is coming up, and he’s been asked to do the unbelievable. If Curtis wasn’t a man of his word, he would turn his back on the whole thing. But Mr. C. took Curtis in when he had nowhere else to go, and now the boss is calling in a favor—the kind that will make Curtis face the memory of the unimaginable.

If you’ve ever wondered whether holiday magic is real, come find out. Embrace the season and the power of forgiveness along with Curtis as he discovers The Truth About Elves.

Oh William! by Elizabeth Strout ~ 4⭐

Genre: Marriage and Divorce Fiction ~ Release date: October 19, 2021

REVIEW: Oh William! was not my first book by Elizabeth Strout. I was surprised by how many of her books I’ve read. I think there is something about her writing style that just draws me in. It’s kind of like conversing or corresponding with an old friend. For me, she doesn’t have an eloquent or lyrical writing style. She writes exactly like someone might talk to themselves. It moves in a linear direction but, it kind of wanders around like my mind seems to do when I’m pondering something. Elizabeth Strout has a style all her own. 

This book explores human relationships and how they are all different. Lucy takes a trip with her ex-husband to investigate an old family secret. It’s interesting how the parties involved handle the discovery. Lucy and William’s friendship has stood the test of time which I liked. 

There are two other books in this series. My Name is Lucy Barton and Anything is Possible. If you’ve read the first two, you’ll want to read this one but, don’t let it stop you from reading this one even if you haven’t read the others. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from #RandomHouse and #Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.  

SYNOPSIS: The Pulitzer Prize-winning, Booker-longlisted, bestselling author returns to her beloved heroine Lucy Barton in a luminous novel about love, loss, and the family secrets that can erupt and bewilder us at any point in life

Lucy Barton is a successful writer living in New York, navigating the second half of her life as a recent widow and parent to two adult daughters. A surprise encounter leads her to reconnect with William, her first husband – and longtime, on-again-off-again friend and confidante. Recalling their college years, the birth of their daughters, the painful dissolution of their marriage, and the lives they built with other people, Strout weaves a portrait, stunning in its subtlety, of a tender, complex, decades-long partnership.

Oh William! captures the joy and sorrow of watching children grow up and start families of their own; of discovering family secrets, late in life, that alter everything we think we know about those closest to us; and the way people live and love, against all odds. At the heart of this story is the unforgettable, indomitable voice of Lucy Barton, who once again offers a profound, lasting reflection on the mystery of existence. ‘This is the way of life,’ Lucy says. ‘The many things we do not know until it is too late.’

A Season of Change by Beth Wiseman ~ 5⭐

Genre: Amish Romance ~ Release date: October 5, 2021

REVIEW: A Season of Change was my first book by Beth Wiseman and a great book it was! I couldn’t put it down. It was number three in a series but, it did wonderfully as a stand alone. I didn’t realize it was part of a series when I started it. I want to go back and read books one and two although, I never felt lost or that I was missing anything reading this book out of order.

This book was like drinking water after a drought. It went down smooth and was refreshing. I just read a book that was a struggle so, I really enjoyed sitting back and relaxing with such a good book. Because it is an Amish romance, I knew there would be some talk of God but it wasn’t over the top or down your throat. Just a nice story that filled me up. 

There were troubles and characters finding their way forward to a fruitful life. It was poignant, brought tears to my eyes and made me remember that no matter what we are loved! If you enjoy a clean love story which includes love among family and those that become family, you will most likely find yourself falling in love with this book. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from #FirstEditions and #Netgalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

SYNOPSIS: Finding peace means letting go of the past—and embracing the change that is to come. 

Sisters Esther and Lizzie have a new employee, Rose Petersheim, to help them tend to The Peony Inn. But their old matchmaking ways have stayed the same. The sisters focus their efforts on the lovely twenty-five-year-old Rose. Though Rose is witty and outspoken, her nervous chattering makes her the best match for someone calm and good at listening. Someone like Benjamin—the handsome handyman who recently moved to town. 

But when Esther receives an anonymous love letter and flowers, Rose’s love life is no longer the only one capturing the sisters’ attention. As they sleuth around searching for Esther’s secret admirer, they uncover that their grumpy renter, Gus, has a secret of his own that could bring about a difficult change in all their lives. And their continued meddling in Rose’s affairs reveals she, too, is hiding something—an old wound that could threaten her future happiness. 

As Rose, Lizzie, Esther, and Gus struggle to release the weight of their pasts, they discover that although people are complicated, love doesn’t need to be. 

This charming third installment of the Amish Inn series from bestselling author Beth Wiseman is a picture of loss and healing in which forgiveness will prove to be the greatest act of love.

The Last Guest by Tess Little ~ 3⭐

Genre: Phycological Literary Fiction ~ Release date: October 5, 2021

REVIEW: The Last Guest was a debut novel for writer Tess Little. I liked the premise of the novel but for me, it was just ok. I do think it was a decent debut for this author.

The first thing I noticed that was different is the book was set up as a prologue, three acts and an epilogue. Sort of like a play but it didn’t read anything like that. 

A majority of the book was the memories and thoughts of the main character’s ex-wife whose name was Elspeth. I read every thought she had. Every feeling she felt. I didn’t like Elspeth and I really didn’t care. I don’t think I liked anyone in the book. I didn’t feel a connection with the characters. I felt like I was watching from the outside and I really just wanted to go home. 

Richard was the main character who died on his 50th birthday. There were only a few friends at the party. They all were drunk, passed out and found Richard dead the next morning. All eight Guest were considered suspects

This book was very dark. I kept finding myself doing other things instead of reading. I couldn’t read for very long at one time. I will say this, maybe this book was so artistic it was over my head. If you like dark, mysterious books, this one will be for you. It’s only problem was it’s not my kind of book. Somebody is going to LOVE this book! I will even predict it may be a best seller. 

I received a complimentary copy of this book from #Netgalley and #RandomHousePublishing-Ballentine. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.  

SYNOPSIS: When Elspeth Bell attends the fiftieth birthday party of her ex-husband, Richard Bryant, the Hollywood director who launched her acting career, all she wants is to pass unnoticed through the glamorous crowd in his sprawling Los Angeles mansion. Instead, there are only seven other guests—and Richard’s pet octopus, Persephone, watching over them from her tank as the intimate party grows more surreal (and rowdy) by the hour. Come morning, Richard is dead—and all of the guests are suspects.

In the weeks that follow, each guest comes under suspicion: the school friend, the studio producer, the actress, the actor, the new partner, the manager, the cinematographer, and even Elspeth herself. What starts out as a locked-room mystery soon reveals itself to be much more complicated, as dark stories from Richard’s past surface, colliding with memories of their marriage that Elspeth vowed never to revisit. She begins to wonder not just who killed Richard, but why these eight guests were invited—and what sort of man would desire to possess a creature as mysterious and unsettling as Persephone.

The Last Guest is a stylish exploration of power—the power of memory, the power of perception, the power of one person over another.