A Brighter Flame by Christine Nolfi ~ 5⭐

Genre: Friendship & Family Fiction ~ Release Date: September 27, 2022

REVIEW: A Brighter Flame by Christine Nolfi was an outstanding book! I felt like I have just read a book that I’ve never read before. It doesn’t have hints of another story line that I’ve read nor are the characters anything I expected. It also deals with a few subjects many of us have dealt with in our lives. Let me explain what I am talking about and give you an idea why this book is a little unique.

The storyline feels like it is about a girl who just can’t get a break and has a tough time making the right decisions in her life. She constantly gets knocked down but, she jumps right up and gets on with life. Whatever that is going to be. As the story unfolds we get to know Vale, her dad, mom, stepdad, sister and her grandmother and a few others. We meet Emmett. I really like Emmett. He is the neighborhood pharmacist and seems to be what Vale needs. There is so much more going on in this book. There is infidelity, past and possibly present, there is female issues (I can’t tell you which one or ones). In reality, there is so much going on in this book and so much reflection on the past. I couldn’t put it down. This book held me spellbound. 

I’ve given you and idea of the characters in this book and I am struggling to not tell you too much! I want to tell you everything! For every sentence I’ve written in this review, I’ve deleted two. SECRETS! There are a lot of secrets carried around by these characters who are very unique. Maybe they are unique because we learn more than one side to a lot of them. Some of them when pushed into a corner tell the whole story whether you want to hear it or not and probably for the first time. Some of the problems we think are being dealt with are not the problem at all and turn out to be something completely different. I know I’m kind of blind sometimes and read stories as black and white so, some things come as a surprise to me. Then I go back and remember there were clues all along. 

If you love good family drama, a great story and one that feels fresh, then you need to give A Brighter Flame a try. This is the first book by Christine Nolfi that I have read. I loved it and it won’t be my last. She has several books out for those who like to binge on the previously released books. I’m looking forward to her next book and the next!

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SYNOPSIS: She’s always wanted a sense of belonging. The last place she expects to find it is home.

Vale Lightner’s dreams turn to ash when the Pittsburgh bar she owns goes up in flames. Just like the past she escaped, very little seems salvageable. Facing unavoidable change, Vale returns to her hometown of Philadelphia to stay with her grandmother.

She knows that returning also means facing everything she left behind: a mother and stepfather who shunted her into the background from the day they married, and her charmed and favored half sister, Blythe, who has abandoned a perfect marriage and is now at a crossroads of her own. Everyone has their secrets, and this reunited family racked by them is about to reach a crisis point.

For a mother and her two daughters, this reunion is a chance for closure, newfound love, and forgiveness. As each of them reassesses her own memories of the past, only the truth can bring them together—in ways that could last forever. From the bestselling author of The Passing Storm comes a poignant novel about family secrets, healing, and the hope of second chances.

Overdue Wishes by Tammy L Grace ~ 5⭐

Genre: Women’s Romance Fiction ~ Release Date: September 15, 2022

REVIEW: Overdue Wishes by Tammy L. Grace was simply amazing. I can’t tell you how much I love The Wishing Tree Series and this is book number ten. I am hoping with all of the authors involved it goes on for quite a while. I am going to cry when the end of this series comes along.

Speaking of crying, I cried off and on the last fifteen percent or so of this book. Now, I can’t tell you why I cried because that would ruin it for you and I am not about to do that! You get to have those great big tears and that ugly cry just like I did! Let’s just say my heart was full and I was content at the very end of this book.

Overdue Wished is about Norma. She is a long standing citizen of Linden Falls. She lost her husband several years ago and has come to terms with being on her own. She keeps herself in good health and keeps up her fitness by walking every morning. She is pretty involved with the community and if you will remember she was the high school Librarian for many years. She loves to read just like some of us! Many things about Norma hit home for me. Norma thinks of herself as a plain Jane sort of person. That’s me. I don’t dress up unless it is required. I don’t dye my hair anymore and I don’t wear makeup. I lost my husband and was single for many years. So, you see we have a lot in common and I like Norma!

Everytime I read a book from the Wishing Tree Series, I feel like I’m back at home for a little visit. I lived in a town during my high school years and my first marriage that was a lot like Linden Falls. It was bigger but, it had older homes in the downtown area that had been there for years. Wood siding and nothing fancy. We had the old mansions too but, they were few and far between. I knew the owners of many of the businesses and grew up with their kids. Downtown was a couple of blocks long and grew little in the 28 years I lived there. I still call it home. My own Linden Falls.

If you like good clean stories of people older than 40 or so and like to revisit them, then this series might be right up your alley. Tammy L. Grace is for me, one of those authors that I read unconditionally. I only have to hear she is coming out with a new book or series and I’m ready to read it. I don’t have to know what it is about. In fact, I would rather not know and just jump right in. Are you like that? If you haven’t started the Wishing Tree Series yet, what are you waiting for? The first book is free to download. Jump right in and enjoy the fun. Until next time…Happy Reading!

Don’t forget to support the authors you read by leaving them a review!

I recieved a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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SYNOPSIS: Wishes in branches tied with string. Someone’s hopes. Another’s dreams.

Norma Braxton, a member of the Winey Widows and a retired high school librarian, is busy working on the All-Class Reunion in Linden Falls, when she comes face-to-face with a man from her past. A man who knows her secret.

She’s determined to pretend he’s mistaken when he recognizes her, fearful that he could divulge what he knows and upend her quiet life. The life she’s carefully constructed and led for the last fifty years.

He’s persistent and doesn’t leave town like she hopes, committed to learn more about the woman he remembers. Norma hasn’t tied a wish on The Wishing Tree for years, but the appearance of the man she once knew, awakens something in her heart and leads her to the beloved tree in the center of town. Her wish is long overdue, but is there any chance of it coming true?

Join Tammy Grace, USA Today Bestselling author, as she brings the latest book in The Wishing Tree series alive, featuring a heart-warming story of love, loss, and the hope of turning lost dreams into second chances.

Orchid Blooming by Carol Van Den Hende ~ 4⭐

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction ~ Release Date: September 13, 2022

REVIEW: Orchid Blooming by Carol Van Den Hende is a book I won’t soon forget. I want to go back and read her first book Goodbye Orchid but, my schedule says I have other commitments and I must wait. So, keep your eye out for that review. 

Orchid Blooming is actually the prequel to Goodbye Orchid which shows us how Orchid grows and becomes a more whole woman. She lost her parents at age twelve and always blamed herself and has suffered triggers since then.  

We also see how she met Phoenix and how their relationship grew along with each of them. Orchid is twenty seven years old and has fought and worked hard for everything she has. I admire this character. 

I loved the characters in this book. We get to see how they change simply because their paths crossed. Maybe that wasn’t so simple but, it happened and I think they made each other better people. The other characters were just kind of incidental and really just helped move the story along. 

I will tell you, at the end of the book there is a sneak peek at the beginning of Goodbye Orchid. Yup. I read it and my heart stopped! I had to do some exploration to see if I could get more info. I had to know or I couldn’t go to sleep. I had to know or I would have left some other authors without reviews that I promised. I HAD to know even if it meant dropping everything including sleep and reading the book. I HAD TO KNOW! 

This book was awesome. I can’t wait to get back to the prequel. I highly recommend this series. If you loved Jojo Moyes Me Before You series, you’ll love these books. Until next time…Happy Reading.

Don’t forget to support the authors you read by leaving a review.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author/#Netgalley/#AzinePress. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own. 

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SYNOPSIS: A childhood tragedy followed her into adult life. Will she ever claim real happiness again?

Kind and generous, twenty-seven-year-old Orchid Paige will never forget that day. Living as best she can after witnessing her parents’ fatal accident, the beauty industry marketer yearns to win a promotion to China to connect to her mom’s ancestry. But with competition fierce, she despairs she’ll never make the grade… until she meets an encouraging man who makes her feel safe despite her usual distrust.

After Orchid convinces the handsome entrepreneur to let her gain experience at his nonprofit project, she’s determined to keep their relationship professional and ignore their powerful attraction. But when working on his military ad campaign for veterans triggers her own unresolved PTSD, she fears her confident mentor may be too good to be true even if she could trust him with her heart.

Can she conquer her vulnerabilities before she loses her chance at forever?

Orchid Blooming is the captivating first book in the Goodbye, Orchid contemporary fiction series. If you like complex characters overcoming trauma, heart-warming stories, and compassionate connections, then you’ll adore award-winning author Carol Van Den Hende’s emotionally satisfying page-turner.

Miranda Writes by Gail Ward Olmsted ~ 4⭐

Genre: Legal Thriller ~ Release Date: September 8, 2022

Miranda Writes by Gail Olmstead was an enjoyable book. This was my first book by this author and it probably won’t be my last. I’ve looked at her other books and they appear to all be different and not the same genre. That sometimes makes them more interesting. I love an author that can write in more than one genre. I never know what to expect when I pick up one of their books. So, I’m looking forward to reading more from Gail Olmstead.

This book is a legal thriller. I’m thinking if you like John Grishan, you will probably like this book. The story starts out  building toward the court room drama toward the end. I loved how she wrote about the proceedings. The story felt real. It felt like this may have actually happened to someone! If not, the story and happenings were spot on. I didn’t find anything in the book that made me think that it was too far out and would never have happened. You know how some authors can twist a plot to make it come to the correct conclusion and you think to yourself that it was far fetched. This was not the case with Miranda Writes.

I loved that Miranda had a podcast and a blog! She worked her way up in listeneres and followers where she was actually making a living off of her endeavors. Nice gig. The other characters in the book were somewhat decent people.You’ll see what I mean when you read the book. Her dad was tried and true. He was a retired cop and watched out for his daughter. His girlfriend was not totally accepted by Miranda but, they grew to love each other. She has a best friend that runs a daycare and is not always accessable. All in all her character development was pretty interesting. They were well rounded and thought out.

I am not sure this was a true thriller but, it was a nice break from heavier reading. The story was interesting and held my attention. I didn’t have a hard time picking it back up after having to put it down. It was calling to me to find out how everything worked in the end.

If you like legal books and a great story no matter the genre, then this is a book for you. You will find it an enjoyable way to spend a day.

Dont forget to support the authors you read by leaving them a review!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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Wishful Thinking by Kay Bratt ~ 5⭐

Genre: Women’s Domestic Life Fiction ~ Release Date: September 8, 2022

REVIEW: Oh how nice it was to be able to visit the little town of Linden Falls and many of it’s inhabitants! For that alone I would give this book five stars. There are other reasons that it has earned my top rating. Wishful Thinking by Kay Bratt was a book I’ve been looking forward to for a while. I really missed The Wishing Tree Series. 

This book is mainly about Janie Stallard and her new shop Wishful Thinking. In Kay’s last book Wish You Were Here, we learned that Neva is Janie’s Aunt. Janie is going through a divorce and she and her two daughters are helping Neva with the Inn. There is a lot of Wishful Thinking going on in this book. You’ll have to read the book to see if you can identify all of the instances.

We are also introduced to a new character named Coco. She is a news journalist and has worked her way up in the business earning a degree and giving up her social life for her dream job. She is in crisis right now and has come to Linden Falls to get control of her life. You know the the town and the Wishing Tree does work miracles. Do they this time?

Speaking of the Wishing Tree, it is having its own crisis. There are new owners of a building and the property the tree sits on and they plan to take the tree down! How can that happen? The town rallies up support but is having a hard time coming up with the money to save the property and the tree. You’ll want to know how this turns out. Can the series go on without the Wishing Tree?

Janie’s husband comes to town which is a surprise for Janie. He seems to be a real thorn in her side. Their daughters have formed and alliance with him. What kind of troubles is he bringing into her life. Will life be the same for Janie when he gets done with his plan?

I have posed a lot of questions. My whole objective is to revive your interest in the continuation of the wonderful heartfelt series. I love the town and the inhabitants so much and I will be sad when I see the end. There are more to come! Books eight and fourteen are new authors to the series who wanted to be involved. I can’t wait to read their stories!

If you have read any of this series, you just have to continue. If you haven’t read any of it, I encourage you to download the first book for free and then hurry up and get caught up. I love this series and I know you will too. It has all the feels. 

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SYNOPSIS: Wishes in branches tied with string. Someone’s hopes. Another’s dreams.

Janie Stallard is carving out a new life for herself as the newest business owner in Linden Falls, overseeing a small shop called Wishful Thinking. In her spare time, she helps her aunt Neva run the Wishing Tree Inn. Things are moving along and as soon as Janie’s divorce is finalized, she will finally be free to fully embrace all the changes. But is that what her heart truly desires?

Coco Baines is a guest in the Wishing Tree Inn and has only one priority for her stay; she plans to be in town (and in the gym) long enough to return to her job looking like the svelte anchorwoman her boss expects her to be, no matter how unfair she believes the outdated stereotype to be. She has to have that promotion!

When a rampant rumor in town becomes truth that a new business owner has bought the land the Wishing tree sits on and plans to take it down, the whole town is in an uproar. Even with Janie and Coco both working hard to divert the crisis, it will take more than a few wishes to save it. A miracle is what they need.

Join Kay Bratt as she brings the latest book in the Wishing Tree series alive, featuring Janie Stallard, the new owner of the Wishful Thinking shop, and Coco Baines, a woman in crisis. You’ll also see many of the characters from other Wishing Tree books make an appearance in this one!

House of Mirrors by Nola Nash ~ 5⭐

Genre: Historical Fantasy Fiction ~ Release Date: September 6, 2022

REVIEW: Oh my gosh! If you are a fan of Nola Nash, this is one book of hers you don’t want to miss. I think this is the best book she has written to date. It is fun to read with a lot of history of the Civil War battle that took place in Franklin, Tennessee which happens to be right in my neck of the woods. 

The battle was The Five Bloodiest Hours of the Civil War. Upwards of 10,000 men died in those five hours. There were so many of them they were placed in piles. Folks didn’t have the time or anywhere to put them. The men were eventually placed in shallow graves. Can you imagine the work it took to bury that many men by hand? That war was so cruel and inhumane. I can’t get over how awful it was. Nola gives us good background without making it boring to read. She brought out the side of the war we don’t hear about. People’s homes were used as hospitals. So many of them…and the people themselves helped to nurse the men. The homes still stand and some of them have the battle scars to this day. She has given me a renewed interest in my area and I want to explore the homes and the places that were part of the book.

Her Louisiana background comes out in this book once again. As happens to a lot of us who have transplanted to new areas, Nola’s upbringing is a part of who she is heart and soul. The book also revolves around mirrors that are inhabited by souls that were trapped 150 years ago when their bodies died during the battle. The main character Ruby had a Grandmother that was known to talk to spirits. In this book Ruby finds that she has her own special powers. 

The characters were a delightful bunch. When you read this book you will see for yourself. I liked Ruby and how she was pulled and shoved through the whole book to embrace her abilities by her friends and the shopkeepers in town. Not only with the spirits but, her abilities that suit her for other work. I can’t tell you a whole lot because I don’t want to spoil anything for you. I want you to have a fabulous experience with this book just like I did. 

Once again, Nola Nash has brought us a most interesting and unique book. It is one that can’t compare to any other. Pick this one up and see for yourself. Until next time, Happy Reading!

Don’t forget to support the authors you read by leaving a review!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely me own.

To follow my blog, click on the heading of any blog post. This will bring up just that blog and you will see a follow button on the bottom right hand corner. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: Sometimes the only ones who see us for who we truly are, are the mirrors.

The small historic town of Franklin, Tennessee, hides a grisly past behind its pristine Hallmark movie façade. While the glories of the town history and its architecture are meticulously preserved, the hauntings left behind by the darker side of that history are kept tucked away in the local ghost tours. When a new couple moves in to the Bennett House, the town is brought face-to-face with the spirits of their past that have been trapped for a century and a half in mirror prisons that now reside on the Bennett House walls. Can Ruby Baxter, local tour guide, historian, and reluctant medium help the lost souls find the homes they belong in and peace with their own pasts so they can finally rest? Or will town prejudices against the spirits hold them hostage? Will the mirrors help Ruby find her purpose and finally see herself as others do?

Woven through the modern quest for helping the souls of the past find their voices and peace, are the Five Bloodiest Hours of the American Civil War – The Battle of Franklin. Mirroring events in the modern tale, the story of humanity, fear, and sacrifice of the soldiers and citizens whose experiences and names were left out of the history books is finally told so that they, too, can be seen for who they truly were.

If You’re Reading This…by Kiersten Modglin ~ 5⭐

Genre: Psychological Fiction ~ Release Date: September 1, 2022

REVIEW: Kiersten Modglin has a new book coming out September 1st. It is called If You’re Reading This. Well, you all know by now that I am a big Kiersten Modglin fan and have been on her street team for over two years. She is the bomb! So, you know I’m going to read her new book and give you the scoop.

I think this new book has taken the spot of my favorite book by Kiersten!

I don’t read reviews before I write my own but, sometimes you can’t help but see a comment or two out there before you even get to pick up the book. I swear Ive seen the odd comment about this not being anything more that a excuse for a romance or not her typical book. Maybe, just maybe, this is why I like the book so well. It didn’t seem to be full of her normal twists and turns but, it was a continual slow burn until the end.

Y’all I loved this book! She could write 50 more like this and I would gobble every one of them up! This book was so full of raw pain. The pain that I’ve been through before and could relate to. Colbie loses the man she meant to spend the rest of her life with. His name was Phil.  Kiersten lost her father last year and I could feel her pain in this novel pouring out. It was nothing short of the feelings you have when you have lost a loved one. That alone makes this book a gem.

Her characters were fabulous. Her three best friends have helped her through the last year. Eric was her grooms best friend. James was her friend from early childhood and Miles was in the band that played the day of her wedding. These men took care of her and got her through. They each loved her and she wound up loving them. They were all the sweetest guys. Colbie’s sister was something else. She didn’t play a large part in the book. Thankfully! There was the only parent she had left and he was her stepdad, Jerry. I liked all of the main characters. Some of the side characters…not so much.

This book was a slow burn from beginning to the end. There was enough to this story that I kept turning the pages and couldn’t put the book down. I just had to know what was going on and what Colbie was questioning in her mind about Phil came to a head at the end. I would have liked the book to go on a bit longer. Hey, if someone thought this was an excuse for a romance book then I wanted all the romance!

The book is up for pre-order and if you are a fan like me you’re going to drop what you are doing and go put in an order! You are definitely going to want to read this book as soon as it hits your inbox or your mailbox. Happy Reading!

Don’t forget to support the authors you read by leaving a review!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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SYNOPSIS: The day of their dreams was nothing short of a nightmare.

On the one-year anniversary of her wedding, Colbie Moore’s life looks nothing like it should. Still grieving the loss of the man she meant to spend her life with, Colbie prepares for a weekend away to take her mind off her heartache, but the simple plan results in much more than she bargained for.

A box of letters, meant for the bride and groom to open on their anniversary, is instead opened by Colbie and her three best friends—Miles, James, and Eric. And what it holds could ruin everything.

A mysterious note from a surprising sender shocks Colbie, propelling her down a dark path to discover the truth about the man she loved—his life and his death—before it’s too late.

Soon, Colbie begins to question everyone around her as the mystery unravels.
What was Phil hiding from her when he died?
What secrets are still hidden?

The closer she gets to answers, the clearer it becomes that someone has gone to great lengths to protect their lies.
And if she pushes any more, everything she has left could be exactly what she stands to lose.

Is it worth risking everything to truly know the man she’s already lost?
After all, she’s been warned…she might not be able to handle what she finds.

A heart-wrenching domestic suspense about love, loss, and deception from bestselling author Kiersten Modglin.

A Limited Run by Karen McQuestion ~ 5⭐

Genres: Psychological Fiction & Thriller, Mystery & Suspense ~ Release: August 31, 2022

REVIEW: I am positively and absolutely a Karen McQuestion fangirl! I never knew until I ran into her books what a fabulous author she is. She has not just settled on on genre. This woman skips around and gives you a different genre once in a while. That puts her a step above if you ask me. Most authors master one genre and stay there. Karen has surprised me a few times by turning out a book in a different genre and let me tell you…she is a MASTER! I think she can write anything. A Limited Run is an example of that.

If you look up the genres listed for this book, you will find they are wide and varied. I’m going to make up my own genre. It is Parent, Sibling, and Human relationships with a little creepy thrown in. How does that sound? I could just make it Creepy Relationships but, that doesn’t hit it either. I really think Karen has come up with a new genre. There are several things I like about this book. Let me explain.

The timeframe of the book is modern day. I also goes back to a show that was on television probably back in the 1990’s that took place in a town called Haven in the 1940’s. The show was only on for two seasons but has gained a cult following. Most of the book took place in the town of Haven and I love going back in time and being able to enjoy life at a different time. That part of the book was right up my alley. A billionaire has taken an interest in A Little Slice of Haven also and has built a large warehouse that contains the town of Haven. The five main actors are invited back for 10 days to live in Haven. If they stay the whole time and stay in character, they will each receive $2,000,000.00. I woud do that! Wouldn’t you?

The characters are introduced as their modern day selves and then as they related to each other in the show. By the way, I have to tell you the show was about the Barlow family. This book was so interesting. I love how the town and show was all recreated. I did, however, wonder why Felix Worthington (the billionaire) wanted to recreate the town and then pay the actors to come back to recreate their roles. You have to read the book and get all the way to the end to find out why in the world he would want to spend all that money! 

This book was worth every minute I put into it. I had a few surprises along the way too! First, there is a character with the name Lauren Pisanelli! As you know that is my last name. I was tickled she used my name. Then as I read further along there was a character by the name of Phyllis Jones!! My maiden name. How awesome was that? That might be one reason I’m so in love with this book but, it truly is a fun book. I loved the town, the time period and the characters both The Barlows and the actors.

If you love to read books about another time period with a little suspense, a little romance and intrigue, you will love this book as much as I do. It comes out August 31, 2022 and if you read it, I would love to hear what you think about A Limited Run!

Don’t forget to support the authors you read by leaving a review!

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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SYNOPSIS: “A Limited Run is an incredibly gripping story, with a delicious edge of creepiness. I couldn’t stop reading it—easily one of my favorites this year! Another masterpiece from McQuestion!” – Freida McFadden, #1 Amazon Bestselling Author

When billionaire Felix Worthington invites the five cast members of the TV show A Little Slice of Haven to recreate their roles twenty-five years later, they’re initially skeptical. It’s an unusual request, even for a self-professed superfan like Felix.

For several of them, playing a member of the Barlow family in the small town of Haven in the 1940s was an experience best forgotten. Meri Wetzel, who played a loving wife and mother, has spent the last two decades avoiding her TV husband, Jeff. And the actors who played their children each have lingering resentments of their own.

But living in a recreated version of the town in a warehouse in Montana has its appeal, even knowing they’ll be filmed with hidden cameras as they improvise with other actors playing the townspeople. And the clincher? Two million dollars for each of them, provided they stay all ten days and remain in character the entire time. One by one, they set aside their hesitations and agree to the terms.

After all, with two million dollars they’d be set for life, and really, what could go wrong?

The Secrets We Hide by Patricia Sands ~ 5⭐

Genres: Family Life & Psychological Fiction ~ Release Date: August 25, 2022

REVIEW: I have several SECRETS to reveal to you. Well…a few anyway! Secret number one: The Secrets We Hide by Patricia Sands is the first ever book that I have read of hers. Secret number two: It is not however the only book of hers in my kindle library. There are a total of FIVE! It’s not that I haven’t wanted to read her books, it was finding the time. When you’re a reviewer, you read by deadline and author request. My final secret I’m revealing today is that I am a sold, diehard fan of Patricia Sands. I absolutely and madly fell in love with The Secrets We Hide.

It took me a few short reading spells to get into the book. It was interesting from the get go but, I had a few things on my mind and a few projects taking up my time. Two days ago my husband announced he was going fishing. Yay! I’m spending the day reading. Well, I picked up my book and became spellbound with the story that Patricia wove for her readers. I couldn’t put it down. I read every chance I got for the next two days and finished the last half hour this morning.

The characters were people that I could look up to and admire. The main character was Kaito. He is a fellow that was born in Japan and when he was in high school his parents moved the family to Honolulu, Hawaii. His best friend’s family also moved there at the same time. Her name was Hana and after graduation they married. I don’t want to tell you a lot about the story because I want you to discover it for yourself. This book is like a beautiful flower that opens one petal at a time and reveals something new and beautiful to the story.

I will tell you that Kaito turned to Buddhism to guide his life. I learned a lot about their beliefs in this book. The book does not bore you with drab descriptions of the religion. The author makes it interesting and brings it alive. She does the same thing with the settings in the book. There are several locations that we learn about during the story. The main ones are Hawaii, France and Tokyo.

This story is so complex with love, family, loyalty, forgiveness and humanity. The plot is complex like anybody’s life. I didn’t want it to end. The Secrets We Hide was not just a great read, it was an experience. Well done Patricia Sands! I’ll be talking about this book for a long time.

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SYNOPSIS: The deep traditions and values of Kaito Tanaka’s Japanese heritage are severely tested when he returns home to Honolulu from duty in Vietnam to find his wife, Hana, in the grip of progressive mental health challenges.

As Hana’s condition worsens, Kaito’s life becomes absorbed in protecting and caring for her and their daughter, Kiana. Hana becomes increasingly reclusive while their daughter Kiana grows troubled and rebellious. A friend’s mysterious death followed by Kiana’s sudden disappearance cut deeply into Kaito’s soul. Meditation is Kaito’s drug of choice. Secrecy hides the truth from others but Kaito’s commitment to Hana is unwavering.

As years go by, Kaito begins to make an annual pilgrimage to a Buddhist retreat in Koyasan that renews his spirit. In the end, a serendipitous coincidence there opens the door to happiness – if he can allow himself to accept it.

“Set against lush backdrops in Hawaii, Japan, Corsica, and the south of France, this beautiful story of resilience perfectly balances the heartbreak and destruction of mental illness with the compassion and serenity of an unforgettable hero.” Barbara Claypole White, bestselling author of The Perfect Son and The Promise Between Us.

Secrets and Lies by J. S. Ellis ~ 5⭐

Genre: Psychological Fiction ~ Release Date: August 23, 2022

REVIEW: Secrets and Lies by J.S. Ellis is the second book of The Secret They Kept series with The Secret The Kept being the title of the first book. I can’t help but think there is going to be at least one more book in this series. I felt like Secrets and Lies left me with a lot of unanswered questions. The first book brought overwhelming success hence book two and here’s hoping for a book three!

I really think you should read The Secret They Kept before you read Secrets and Lies. You won’t be sorry. I think you can read book two as a stand alone but, the background and introduction to the characters in book one will lend more richness to the story. I think you would lose a lot if you read book two first and then go back to book one. So, enhance your reading experience and read these books in order. 

The characters in these books are a little quirky. They may not be the kind of people in your group of friends but, their beauty and open lives will pull you in. Emily is the main character and is a lot like some of us. I don’t think she sees herself as beautiful and doesn’t always go the extra mile to take care of herself and her home. She was not always like this but, the things that happen in the first book and now the second one have changed who she is as a person. She is drawn to Lucien who is a stunningly beautiful man. Nobody compares. His coloring, clothes and the way he carries himself make him a stand out in any crowd. Emily is also interested in a detective that is prominent in the story. You have to read these books to understand how all of this fits. It’s quite interesting.

I have become a fan of J.S. Ellis. She writes great Psychological Suspense. I rarely know what is going to happen. She weaves such a good story and has characters that just draw you in that you really don’t realize what you are reading. You think you are reading a normal fiction book until the first twist comes your way. Then you just jump right in and fly along because you can’t wait to see what happens.

If you love Suspense, Psychological Suspense, murders that have gone unsolved, A love story or two or three along the way, domestic fiction, you name it, you’ll love this new series by J.S. Ellis.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

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SYNOPSIS: Emily Clarke is still haunted by the events that unraveled a year ago.

Not having seen or spoken to Lucien, she is struggling to sell her home in Greenwich while using alcohol to help her cope.
Arriving home from the holiday, Emily finds a single red rose outside her door, is it Lucien trying to send her a message?

Then… the attacks begin.

The people she cares for are being attacked by a malicious culprit. With Lucien picking that moment to reappear, Emily can’t help but question his motives. Does he know who is behind the vicious crimes? Together, can they put an end to the rash of violence?