Waiting To Begin by Amanda Prowse ~ 5⭐

Genre: Phycological Literary Fiction ~ Releases: June 8, 2021

REVIEW: Waiting To Begin by Amanda Prowse really struck a cord with me. This book hit me right in the heart. It speaks so eloquently about youth and the profound effect it has on our adult life.

Bess is the main character who made a few mistakes in her youth. It gained her a name and a reputation. Ones that she was not able to forget. Ones she kept hidden from her family and Mario, her husband. Bess had a pretty great relationship with Mario based on true love but built on a secret that she kept hidden from Mario. At the beginning of the book, I didn’t have much interest in young Bess. I read it anyway and came to understand the adult Bess in a much better way. You’ll have to read the book to see how it all works out. I don’t want to ruin it for you but, I know my heart was touched. 

If you like family drama, you’ll love this new novel from Amanda Prowse! I haven’t read a book by her yet that I didn’t love. Waiting to Begin is no exception.

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher and #Netgalley for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: From the bestselling author of The Girl in the Corner comes a story that asks: what would you risk for a shot at happiness?

1984. Bessie is a confident sixteen-year-old girl with the world at her feet, dreaming of what life will bring and what she’ll bring to this life. Then everything comes crashing down. Her bright and trusting smile is lost, banished by shame—and a secret she’ll carry with her for the rest of her life.

2021. The last thirty-seven years have not been easy for Bess. At fifty-three she is visibly weary, and her marriage to Mario is in tatters. Watching her son in newlywed bliss—the hope, the trust, the joy—Bess knows it is time to face her own demons, and try to save her relationship. But she’ll have to throw off the burden of shame if she is to honour that sixteen-year-old girl whose dreams lie frozen in time.

Can Bess face her past, finally come clean to Mario, and claim the love she has longed to fully experience all these years?

The Secrets We Left Behind by Soraya M Lane ~ 5⭐

Genre: Historical Fiction ~ Releases: May 20, 2021

REVIEW: HUMBLED is the word that comes to mind when I finished The Secrets We Left Behind by Soraya M Lane. I’m humbled when I stop to think of all the people in the world who gave up their lives and all the families that lost loved ones to fight in WWII. We had a lot of folks who gave all and not just in the United States. 

This is the second book I’ve read written by Soraya M Lane. I read her book The Last Correspondent and loved that one as well. She puts so much research into her stories. It is unbelievable. I feel like I’m right there in the midst of the war and what the women are fighting for. These two books are from a woman’s perspective. It doesn’t make war any easier to read about but, it does give you a look at how long we have had to fight for our rights and how strong we are as women.

I loved this book. I loved the love stories. I loved the fight for survival. I loved the characters. Did it all bring me to tears. YES!

If you haven’t read anything like this, I strongly urge you to try a book by Soraya M Lane. She is awesome. The Secrets We Left Behind releases May 20th. Pre-order yours now. I promise you, you will be glad you did!

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher and #Netgalley for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: How far will they go for family, friendship, and love?

Occupied France, 1940. When the staff at a field hospital draw straws to find out who will join the evacuation from Dunkirk, Nurse Cate is left behind. But when the Nazis arrive to claim prisoners of war, she takes her chance and flees into the night, taking one patient with her.

Fifty miles away, the surrendering soldiers of the Royal Norfolk Regiment are shot dead by the advancing Germans. Beneath the pile of bodies two men survive, crawling to the safety of a nearby farmhouse, where sisters Elise and Adelaide risk their lives to take them in. When Cate, too, arrives at their door with her injured soldier, the pressure mounts.

The sisters are risking everything to keep their visitors safe. But with the Nazis coming ever closer and relationships in the farmhouse intensifying, they must all question the sacrifices they are willing to make for the lives of others. How far will they go for family, friendship, and love?

The Newcomer by Mary Kay Andrews ~ 5⭐

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction ~ Releases: May 4, 2021

REVIEW: Look! I don’t know where I got the idea that Mary Kay Andrews was an author of romance books but, she’s NOT! I just finished The Newcomer and that is not just a romance book. It is about murder, love gone wrong, swindling old folks, robbery, kidnapping and the list goes on. This was my first novel by Ms. Andrews and it won’t be my last. This was a fabulous book. I’ll certainly be looking for more of her work in the future. 

Everything was just right. I’m not kidding. Just enough romance, enough crime, enough of the old folks butting in and complaining. I never felt overwhelmed by any one aspect of the book. You know how sometimes you want to say “just get on with it”? I never felt that. I didn’t feel like I didn’t want to continue. I kind of felt like things would work out but then I wasn’t totally positive about that either. I guess what I’m trying to say is this was a well crafted story from beginning to end. 

If you are a fan of Mary Kay Andrews, you will want to make sure you get your hands on a copy of this book. If your like me and haven’t read her books, this one will be a great place to start! 

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher and #Netgalley for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: Mary Kay Andrews, the New York Times bestselling author and Queen of the Beach Reads delivers her next page-turner for the summer with The Newcomer.

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.”

With a trunkful of emotional baggage…

So Letty grabs her sister’s Mercedes and hits the road with 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 & 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.

The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser ~ 5⭐

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction ~ Releases: May 4, 2021

REVIEW: The Bookshop of Second Chances by Jackie Fraser drew me in with the first paragraph and made me chuckle. From there, I gradually fell in love. When ancestry updated, I found out I was actually 30% Scottish. I’m more Scottish than anything else! I didn’t know this book took place in Scotland when I chose it to read. Can I just tell you how much I want to visit Scotland? Oh my.

I hope her characters were a good representation of the folks I might find during my visit. There were people with royal titles and the commoners. I like most of the folks I met on this journey. I kept thinking to myself that I would give anything to live in a home like Thea. A home that was once part of an estate. A nice garden and peace and quiet.  Oh! There was even a library of valuable books. Yup. I could live there! I immersed myself in this book. 

If you like a book that has a love story with a few complications and a chance to get to know another country, then The Bookshop of Second Chances might be a book for you to check out. This was Jackie Fraser’s first novel. I predict she will go far. I know I will be anxiously waiting for her next book. 

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher and #Netgalley for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: A woman desperate to turn a new page heads to the Scottish coast and finds herself locked in a battle of wills with an infuriatingly aloof bookseller in this utterly heartwarming debut, perfect for readers of Evvie Drake Starts Over.

Thea Mottram is having a bad month. She’s been let go from her office job with no notice—and to make matters even worse, her husband of nearly twenty years has decided to leave her for one of her friends. Bewildered and completely lost, Thea doesn’t know what to do. But when she learns that a distant great uncle in Scotland has passed away, leaving her his home and a hefty antique book collection, she decides to leave Sussex for a few weeks. Escaping to a small coastal town where no one knows her seems to be exactly what she needs.

Almost instantly, Thea becomes enamored with the quaint cottage, comforted by its cozy rooms and lovely but neglected garden. The locals in nearby Baldochrie are just as warm, quirky, and inviting. The only person she can’t seem to win over is bookshop owner Edward Maltravers, to whom she hopes to sell her uncle’s book collection. His gruff attitude—fueled by an infamous, long-standing feud with his brother, a local lord—tests Thea’s patience. But bickering with Edward proves oddly refreshing and exciting, leading Thea to develop feelings she hasn’t experienced in a long time. As she follows a thrilling yet terrifying impulse to stay in Scotland indefinitely, Thea realizes that her new life may quickly become just as complicated as the one she was running from.

Pecan Pie for Breakfast by Susan Schild ~5⭐

Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction ~ Releases: May 27, 2021

REVIEW: CALLING ALL SUSAN SCHILD FANS! You are in for a Sweeeet Treat…Pecan Pie for Breakfast is the first book in a brand new series by Susan Schild called Azalea Lake Sweet Romance. I can’t wait for more stories in this series!

From the minute I picked up Crickets story, I couldn’t put it down. I was compelled to see where it was going to take me. I was totally immersed in her world. I don’t know about you but, when I find a story like this, I live in the world of the characters. My mind is consumed even when I’m not actively reading. This is one of those books that gives you a hangover and you’re not able to move on to a new book for a day or two. 

Susan brings her sweet, compassionate and gentle style to this book. It is everything you’ve come to expect from her books. She doesn’t disappoint! If you have read any of her books and enjoyed them your going to love this new series. Go ahead and take my advice and pre-order this book now. You will be glad you did. 

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

SYNOPSIS: USA Today Bestselling Author Susan Schild writes heartwarming romances about heroines over 40 having adventures and falling in love.

After a rough divorce, 45-year-old Cricket has built a new life for herself in the charming small town of Azalea Lake, North Carolina. With her senior caregiving business taking off and a possible new romance brewing with a handsome neighbor, Cricket’s life is looking up. But before she moves ahead, she must deal with unfinished business from the past, namely her ex-husband Knox who abandoned her without a word of explanation and has become a famous rock climber.

Cricket and her best friend Honey decide to track down the elusive ex and discover why he left. Posing as wannabee rock climbers, they find Knox and learn the truth. Finally able to stop blaming herself and let go of the past, Cricket realizes how much promise her new life holds and embraces her budding happiness.

Join the scores of readers who have fallen in love with Susan Schild’s charming small-town romances.

Ripple of Doubt by Jenifer Ruff ~ 5⭐

Genre: Suspense ~ Releases: April 30, 2021

REVIEW: Ripple of Doubt by Jenifer Ruff is the fourth book in The Agent Victoria Heslin Series and boy oh boy it was a good one! I read number three “When They Find Us” last year and rated that a five star book. I think Ripple of Doubt was even better. 

I liked this story because it has more of her family. More of Ned and Rivera (her vet and her partner) and I think I love Rivera a little bit. I think they both love her but, Ned loves her animals too! Who doesn’t love a man that loves your animals? We get to know her brother Alex and her Dad Mr. Heslin. I like Victoria and all the men in her life and was excited to be with them again. 

The plot of this book was more of the Suspense that I like. It was an actual “who done it”. There are several neighbors who are looked at and not one but two bodies were found during their time at the lake house. That made lots of work for the little local police department. 

If you like a good mystery with characters you already know, you will like this one! Jenifer Ruff writes her novels as standalone books. Each case is different but, Victoria’s life moves along through each of them. I have only read the last two and aim to read the first two as soon as possible. I’m definitely looking forward to the next one coming out in 2022!

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

SYNOPSIS: A young woman mysteriously drowns in Lake Lucinda. She’s not the first to die there and she might not be the last.

FBI Agent Victoria Heslin visits her family’s secluded lake house to recuperate from a plane crash. But her peaceful recovery time turns into a murder investigation when she discovers the body of an unidentified young woman in the lake.

Only a few others live in the exclusive Lake Lucinda community and all of them are suspects, including Victoria’s brother. Which of them knows more than they are saying? How many of them are lying? Who is guilty? As Victoria’s personal investigation unfolds, she learns they all have secrets to hide.

Will Victoria uncover the dark mysteries of Lake Lucinda before more lives are lost? And will doing so destroy what’s left of her family?

Fans of James Patterson, Megan Miranda, and Agatha Christie will love this mystery by USA Today bestselling author Jenifer Ruff.

Ripple of Doubt is book 4 in the award-winning Agent Victoria Heslin Thriller Series. It can be read as a standalone.

The Dark Hour by K.J. Young ~ 5⭐

Genre: Horror Suspense ~ Releases: May 1, 2021

REVIEW: Good Golly! I loved this book. It was so fun to read. I had a great time trying to figure out where it was all leading up to. I had an inkling what was happening but, I didn’t have an idea of how it was being accomplished. Oh my…your mouth is going to drop to the floor when you find out! 

Right off I will tell you I never read Horror. I’m super glad I took a chance on this one. I love the older couple who are actually brother and sister named Roy and Alma Walgrave who at one time had a world renowned magic act. Mark Norman and eventually his girlfriend move into their mansion to take care of them in their later years. 

Roy and Alma belong to The Redevine Society. Mark can’t figure out why they are in this group with two younger couples and what they have in common besides drinking together. There is also an old hippie that hangs around the industrial building next door who is always warning Mark that people don’t come out of the house the same. The house is spooky. 

This is the creepiest book I’ve ever read. It was a ton of fun! If you’re in for a creepy, spooky time and love something different, this is your book! You won’t be disappointed. I promise you. 

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher and #Netgalley for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: “Deliciously creepy!”—Barbara Taylor Sissel, bestselling author of The Truth We Bury

Mark Norman can’t catch a break—until he’s hired as a live-in home health aide for two elderly siblings who live at Alden Manor, a run-down mansion mired in the past. His charges, former stage magicians Roy and Alma Walgrave, give off an eerie vibe, but they are also wealthy and careless with their money. Seizing the opportunity, Mark soon makes himself indispensable to the old folks, losing himself in fantasies of inheriting the Walgrave fortune upon their deaths. When another employee, a young woman named Lisa, shares her dark premonitions and insists that evil lurks in the house, Mark thinks she’s paranoid and unstable.

Until he begins to notice odd, unsettling things himself.

When nightmares begin to plague him and the house gradually reveals a web of lies and twisted secrets, he can no longer deny the possibility that Alden Manor is pervaded by some sinister force. He’s terrified of losing his mind—or worse, his life. But he’s so close to landing a big financial windfall that walking away is not an option.

In the past, Mark has always known when to cut loose and get out. But if he can just stick this out a bit longer . . .

The Perfect Daughter by D.J. Palmer ~ 4⭐

Genre: Phycological Thriller ~ Releases: April 20, 2020

REVIEW: Very interesting! I finished The Perfect Daughter by D.J. Palmer yesterday morning and I had to let it sit with me for a while before I could write the review. I wasn’t sure how I felt about it. If you know me, you know I like anything with medical cases and I love legal mysteries. So, right off the bat I had two of my favorites in one book! 

Penny is an adopted daughter who was found in a park and has developed multiple personalities known today as DID (Dissociative Identity Disorder). She has been accused of murdering her biological mother. About 75% of the book was background and trying to find out which one of the personalities committed the murder. The last part was the court trial and the huge surprise ending. I can tell you I didn’t see that one coming at me!

There were some gnarly people in this book. I loved several of the characters and hated what they were going through. For some reason, I felt like I was on the outside looking in. I didn’t have the connection with the characters like I thought I would. Maybe it was the DID that actually made me stand back. 

This story will pull at your heartstrings and it was a good read. I read The New Husband by Mr. Palmer and I will have to say they are nothing alike. If you like a story like this, take a chance on The Perfect Daughter. 

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher and Netgalley for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: A thriller that explores the truth or lies behind a teenage girl’s multiple personality disorder, from D.J. Palmer, the author of The New Husband.

Meet Ruby, who speaks with a British accent.
Then there’s Chloe, a perfectionist who strives for straight A’s in school.
And along comes Eve, who is spiteful and vicious.
All of them live inside Penny…
Or do they?

Penny Francone, age sixteen, is a murderer. Her guilt is beyond doubt: she was found alone in the victim’s apartment, covered in blood, holding the murder weapon. The victim’s identity and her secret relationship to Penny give Penny the perfect motive, sealing the deal. All the jury needs to decide now is where Penny will serve out her sentence. Will she be found not guilty by reason of insanity, as her lawyer intends to argue? Or will she get a life sentence in a maximum-security prison?

Already reeling from tragedy after the sudden passing of her beloved husband a few years before, now Grace is on her knees, grateful that Massachusetts doesn’t allow the death penalty.

As Penny awaits trial in a state mental hospital, she is treated by Dr. Mitchell McHugh, a psychiatrist battling demons of his own. Grace’s determination to understand the why behind her daughter’s terrible crime fuels Mitch’s resolve to help the Francone family. Together, they set out in search of the truth about Penny, but discover instead a shocking hidden history of secrets, lies, and betrayals that threatens to consume them all.

The perfect daughter. Is she fooling them all?

Her Last Chance by Alison Ragsdale ~ 5⭐

Genre: Contemporary Literature ~ Releases: April 13, 2021

REVIEW: I think I’m about ready to run my tear ducts dry! This is the second book I’ve read this week that caused me to cry like a baby. At one point I was doing the ugly cry. I highly recommend you read Her Last Chance by Alison Ragsdale. You will need to have a box of tissues handy. 

The characters are so warm and loving. I was drawn into their story from page one and had a hard time putting it down to go to bed. My dreams were filled with this story and the tragedies this family were facing. I loved when Rick told Ava “We are strong enough”. That is such a beautiful sentiment. With God’s love we are always strong enough!

Alison knocked this one out of the park! The medical situations that had to be researched were well done. There was also art and art history, tourist destinations in other countries, guide dog information. There were so many things in this book that went above and beyond just a story. 

If you’ve read anything by Alison Ragsdale then you need to read Her Last Chance! If you haven’t read any of her books, I strongly recommend that you pre-order this one so you can start it as soon as possible. This one is worth taking a day off work! 

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher and Netgalley for a fair and honest review! Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: My darling girl, I watch you playing outside in the grass. Your long blonde hair sweeps back and your blue eyes are bright with joy. You are utterly perfect, I never imagined something could be so wrong and I’d be powerless to protect you…

Ava’s daughter Carly is everything a ten-year-old should be: energetic, creative and the light of her parents’ lives. But when she starts stumbling down stairs and walking into doors, Ava wants to rush to the doctor. Her husband Rick is sure she’s fretting over nothing – kids can be a little clumsy sometimes. But Ava’s instinct is telling her something is seriously wrong.

Against Rick’s advice, Ava takes Carly to see a specialist and is given a devastating diagnosis: a rare genetic condition that will change her future forever. When Rick realises the truth, he is determined to do all he can to help Carly enjoy what light she has left. The close-knit family take it one day at a time, walking to the beach and watching the sunrise.

Just as Ava begins to imagine a new future for them all, a tragic accident throws their lives into chaos once more. To give her daughter a chance at a full life, Ava faces a devastating choice. How can she possibly choose between the two people she loves most?

An emotional, heartbreaking page-turner about a mother’s love and an utterly devastating decision. Readers of Kate Hewitt, My Sister’s Keeper and Diane Chamberlain will keep this story in their hearts forever.

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth ~ 4⭐

Genre: Domestic Suspense ~ Releases: April 13, 2021

REVIEW: The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth was an enjoyable book. It kept me interested from the beginning until the end. I had trouble figuring out who the “good” Sister was. Was it Rose or was it Fern? We find out at the end but, I’m not going to ruin it for you. 

This book was missing a little something for me. I’m not sure what it was. I don’t know if I was expecting a few more twists or if the sense of impending doom wasn’t strong enough. It was just barely there under the surface.

I did like the character development. I liked Fern but,  her sister took too much control of her life. Fern has sensory perception problems and I loved her thought processes. Wally is Fern’s boyfriend. He was fabulous. All in all it was a good story and worth the time to read it. I’m not sorry I did and would recommend it. 

I received a copy of this book from the author/publisher and Netgalley for a fair and honest review. Thank you! 

SYNOPSIS: 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.