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The High Tide Club - Mary Kay Andrews

My first book of summer and I loved it.     Mary Kay Andrews stepped out of her normal writing style and did an amazing job.    The mystery, the family, the friendships, and the Southern Charm are all amazing.  The dual timelines of 1941 and the present time come together perfectly.   The two different eras tell the story of amazing characters learning about their history and of their future while making friendships that will last forever.   

 

The story is narrated by many different characters, which could cause some confusion, but Mary Kay Andrews did an amazing job in keeping the reader in line and aware of who was telling the story.    I enjoyed knowing the different perspectives of the characters.   This allowed me to get the true feelings and emotions of those who are telling the story, those who are living the events, and those who are hearing the story for the first time.    

 

While Josephine is the character that starts this story it is truly The High Tide Club members that bring the story to life.      As with most groups, there is one person who seems more in charge, in the know than the rest of the group.  Josephine is that person.   With her all-knowing personality came so many secrets of her own and others that she kept for her entire life that as her life was coming to an end (she is 99) she knew she needed to share the secrets with those who deserve to know them.    I felt like the fact that she kept the secrets for so long proved what a good friend she was.

 

This is an amazing book.    Everything about it was written in a way to pull the reader in and never let them go.    From the first page to the last I could not stop reading.    If you are new to Mary Kay Andrews or a long time fan this is a book of hers that you cannot pass up.    

Lovers at Seaside (Sweet with Heat: Seaside Summers) - Addison Cole

Have you ever started a book and known from the very first pages that this couple MUST be together?   That is what I felt when Grayson walks in on Parker in a candy eating, watching a scary movie, and getting drunk.     There is no judgment, no harsh words, just concern, understanding, and acceptance.   He is the forever gentleman taking care of this woman that he only knows through emails in a time when she is so alone.    SIGH… what an amazing man.  

 

I loved the Bert and Abe storyline.     Bert, the man Parker thought of as a father, knew exactly what he was doing by leading Parker to Abe.   While Abe is a mean, crabby, old man he opens his heart to Parker and Grayson.    Abe’s death leads to a happily ever after for Parker which is exactly what she deserved.   I love that Grayson was with her every step of the way.  

 

Addison Cole is talented in her writing.   She has a knack for her wonderful seaside settings, amazing characters, and sweet storylines.    The settings are described in such detail that they are easy to picture, making the reader feel as if they are there with the characters.     The characters are fun, sweet, and real.     They end up being friends of the reader while taking the reader on their amazing life journeys.    And the storylines…oh so sweet.     The attention to the little details pull the reader right into the book and never let them go.   Even when the last word is read I continue to think about their story and wonder what will happen next in this series.  

 

I am a HUGE fan of the Sweet with Heat series and am always excited when another book is being released.     With each book I get to know new characters, catch up with some old favorites, and revisit some of my favorite book places.

The Other Lady Vanishes - Amanda Quick

Take me back to the 1930’s… that is exactly what Amanda Quick has done. There is a drug called Daydream being made that causes hallucinations. Patient B, Adelaide, is forced to take these drugs when her husband(?) forces her into a sanitarium for the mentally ill so that he can take control of her inheritance. The amazing part? Adelaide escapes that sanitarium. She escapes and makes a life for herself in the small town of Burning Cove, California and meets Jake Truett. I love the town of Burning Cove. I questioned every person who lived or visited the town. It seemed everyone had a secret. They had a reason to be in Burning Cove besides just visiting for the fun of it. It was interesting to try to guess what was going to happen, who was going to do what next, and who was guilty of what. Everyone is guilty of something, just some things are worse than others. The characters in this book are great. There are so many quirks, so many background stories, and so interesting. I cheered for some, booed others, while trying to guess who is who within the story. I wanted to figure out how they fit together, how their stories would intertwine, and how it would all end. Amanda Quick is a talented author. She is now on my must-read list and I am excited to read more from her. I definitely recommend picking up The Other Lady Vanishes and falling into the exciting world of Adelaide Black

Caught Up in a Cowboy - Jennie Marts

A mix of a sports story with a cowboy country setting.     Rockford James is a cowboy at heart, having grown up in a little town, on a farm, with a steady girl until his dream of playing professional hockey comes true.     He leaves the little town, the farm, and his steady girl to follow that dream.     Young Rock plans to live the high life and never look back.  What he doesn't plan is to leave his heart back home.

Quinn is that small town girl that loved Rock with all she had until he left her behind.    Wanting to prove she can move on without him she meets a bad boy and has a son.  But she has never let her heart heal from Rock breaking it.   Then he comes back to the little town to heal from an injury.  She steels her heart against him but first loves have a way of breaking through that steel.

This book was so much fun.   It has romance, family drama, and amazing characters.   I love Rock's mom and how she steps in to be Quinn's mom when she needs an ear or advice.    Quinn's dad is a grizzly bear with a tender heart.   The brother's of both Rock and Quinn are so true to how brothers should be.  Rock's egging him on, Quinn's being extra protective.

Caught Up in a Cowboy is the perfect book to fall into.   I definitely recommend picking up your own copy.

Paris Ever After - K.S.R. Burns

Amy turns 30 in Paris, doesn't that sound wonderful. It is. Amy ran away to Paris and met the most wonderful woman who took her in like Amy was her daughter. She found a job that she enjoyed, friends that she wanted to spend time with, and then she found out she was pregnant. She tried to tell her estranged husband but he refused to answer any of her attempts. Then she sees him, at the hotel she had stayed at, and she wonders what he wants and if he came to get her, to win her back over. Amy is a strong character and was able to take what was thrown at her without really losing a step. There were a few twists that I wondered if her reaction was realistic. The fact that her husband shows up, finds out she is pregnant, and then proceeds to just spend time with her without having an important conversation seemed off to me but Amy just went on with life. Maybe more of us should be that easy going but I do believe most people would question their husband about their intentions. There were a few other happenings that made me go HMM... is that real. The setting of Paris is one of my favorites. I love hearing about the sites, the great cafes, the beautiful cathedrals, and the wonderful sounds of Paris. Every time I read a book in this setting I hope that it takes me to a place that I haven't been and someday hope to visit. K.S.R. Burns is talented with her words and is able to transport her readers to a wonderful city. There are a few side stories, a friend now being who they seem and a stranger showing up and pushing Amy out of her comfort area, that kept the story interesting. I liked that they added an additional twist to a story that seemed to be heading down the path I expected it to.

Too Close to Breathe - Olivia Kiernan

WOW... This is a debut book by Olivia Kiernan. DCS Frankie Sheehan has a lot going on. She is working on solving a string of crimes while also dealing with a crime that happen against her. There is no doubt the crime against her left her with many issues to deal with but working is helping her get on with her life. I like that a Frankie didn't let her issues keep her out of living life. I actually think that because of what happen it helps her keep prospective of the crimes, sees things other have or could have missed, and work harder to solve a crime that others have written off as unsolvable. I was enthralled from the beginning and by the halfway point of the story I thought I had the case solved. Yea, well I wasn't even close. I love being wrong while reading. The hints led me one way while I should have gone the other way. While there were some hints that I knew were taking me the wrong direction since what fun would it be to give it all away at the beginning of the story I couldn't help but follow them. I am a synopsis and cover person. For me to want to read a book the cover has to grab my attention. The cover of Too Close to Breathe did just that. I look at the cover and saw a mystery, a thriller, and a dark story that I couldn't wait to pick up. Then when I read the synopsis and Olivia Kiernan was compared to such amazing authors as Tana French and Gillian Flynn I knew that I would not be able to pass on this book.

The Family Gathering - Robyn Carr

I am a Robyn Carr fan.   When I pick up one of her books I know that I am going to find a good romance story with wonderful, realistic characters.    The Family Gathering is exactly that and more.   I found a book with an amazingly unique and fun family, a storyline that I lost myself in, and a series that I am looking forward to more from.  

 

The Family Gathering is a book with a lot going on.    The main story is Dakota’s return to Sullivan’s Crossing and his trying to find his new normal.     He has to adjust to having family around, having friends, and living a civilian life.   In addition to Dakota’s story, the reader gets to catch up with his siblings and where they are in their lives.    There were a few times that I felt like I was lost in the secondary stories and there was too much going on.  

 

While there are tough subjects touched on within this story such as divorce, stalking, adoption, and mental illness this is a romance story.   If you love a good story as much as I do pick up this book and meet the wonderful people of Sullivan Crossing.  

Flying at Night - Rebecca L.  Brown

Fly at Night was emotionally pulling.    I felt for Piper, I disliked her mother, I wanted to give her husband a guiding hand, and I wanted to hug her son.     Piper was overwhelmed.    Her mother was selfish, although with the abusive lifestyle she lived in she was due to be selfish.      Her husband just needs someone to show him what to do, he wants to help but doesn’t quite know what to do.    Curtis, her son, has autism and lives a full life with just some idiosyncrasies that make him sometimes hard to understand.  

 

I felt for Piper.     She is a stay at home mom with so much on her plate and she doesn’t ask for help.    Piper has an autistic son, a father who is now mentally challenged after having a heart attack, and a husband who seems to want to help but doesn’t know what to do.   Add to that a mother who walked away and left her to deal with everything.     I am not sure how much more she could handle without crumbling.

 

This book was interesting, I enjoyed it.   Yet, it felt like I was reading a story.  I know I was but I like to fall into my books, become attached to the characters, and become invested in the plot.    With Fly at Night I wasn’t as invested in the story.    I enjoyed it, I wanted to know what happens, and I am glad that I took the time to read it.  

Source: http://asoccermomsbookblog.blogspot.com
The Secret Life of Mrs. London - Rebecca Rosenberg

I have been a historical fiction fan forever and was intrigued by The Secret Life of Mrs. London. Jack London was an unknown to me. I am not familiar with his writing, his life, or anything else about him. It was interesting to learn about him in a fiction book, but still walk away with facts about his life. He was not overly likable, the way he treated those close to him was not something that I could understand. He was entirely into himself, his needs, and the way he wanted those in the public to perceive him. I struggled with his decisions and his actions but they played a huge part of the story of Houdini and Charmian (Mrs. London). Houdini is someone I am familiar with. He has always intrigued me. I love magic and risks he took while entertaining crowds has always interested me. The author, Rebecca Rosenberg, did an amazing job of describing his shows, from the things he wore to the tricks her did I could picture them as I was reading. The relationship with his wife, Bessie, was sweet. There is no doubt he loved her but there was more to their relationship. Charmian is not your typical wife. She is wife to an eccentric writer who is very demanding of her while not always giving her what she needs. Her devotion to Jack London was unrequited. I wanted her to be stronger, stand up to him, demand he give her the attention she needed. The Secret Life of Mrs. London is an amazing historical fiction story that I would recommend picking up.

The Secret to Southern Charm (The Peachtree Bluff Series Book 2) - Kristy Woodson Harvey

I am hooked on Kristy Woodson Harvey’s southern charm.     While reading I was actually hearing the characters with southern accents, picturing them in their houses with wraparound porches, and drinking sweet tea.

 

The Secret to Southern Charm is the second book in The Peachtree Bluff Series.    I think that the books are better read in order.   Book two starts off exactly where book one ended.    The storyline continues with Ansley, Caroline, Sloane, and Emerson all back in Georgia together.   

 

We learn about Sloane’s life as a military wife and the fears she had when she was first married.    I saw Sloane’s strength when dealing with her husband’s MIA status, while she needed a little push to get out of her own head and back into the real world I could see her figuring out how to put one foot in front of the other getting back to living.    She took care of her children, she painted again, and she found out what was missing of herself even before the MIA.  

 

While this is mostly Sloane’s story the spotlight is shared with the rest of her family.   I loved catching up with Ansley and her long ago love Jack, seeing Emerson and Mark being together, and watching Caroline figure out if James is who she is meant to be with.     These are storylines that are not quite done.   There is more in store for each of these characters. 

 

I am excited for more of Peachtree Bluff series and the amazing Southern Charm.  

Other People's Houses - Abbi Waxman

Other People’s Houses is such a realistic story. Maybe not all the storylines would be happening at the same time, but it is the idea that closed doors every family has their own world happening. As the neighbors look on, there are things that should be kept private yet in a neighborhood where everyone knows everyone it is close to impossible. Many times the happenings behind closed doors become more drama than they have to be just because of other’s opinions, “help”, or just plain nosiness. Frances was the know all in her neighborhood. Probably due to the fact that she was the stay at home mom that everyone turned to when they needed help. She was given an inside look, through the kids especially, behind the walls of her neighbors. She tried to help everyone, she had her nose in everyone’s household, but she was not the gossip. She knew what was happening, she was willing to help, and she didn’t spread their gossip around. The other characters all tell their story but Frances is the main narrator. I liked being able to hear firsthand what has happening in their lives and getting an inside look at their lives. Some of the problems were heavy, some were not so heavy, but all were realistic to the real lives in US. I laughed, I blushed, and I felt compassion for most of the characters. I am recommending this book to anyone who enjoys getting an inside look at the lives of others.

Protected (Deadly Secrets) - Elisabeth Naughton

The story starts with a bombing that is described in such detail that I could feel myself being with Kelsey, trapped and in the dark.   The fear she feels comes across loud and clear.   I loved how attentive Hunter was.   Being former Army Ranger he was able to keep his cool and help Kelsey keep calm so that they could come out alive and well. 

 

All the way through the story you could feel how well Kelsey and Hunter balanced each other.   Hunter was aware of the dangers surrounding Kelsey but was able to help her process them and find ways to keep her safe.     Kelsey allowed Hunter to open his life to a woman, something he had sworn off doing.   Together they kept each other grounded, safe, and willing to find happiness they both deserved.

 

I loved the mystery part of the story.   Elisabeth Naughton does a great job with her clues in leading the reader through many twists and turns.     She kept me reading page after page, guessing at who was behind all the threats, and not giving away too much to give it all away too early.      This is the first book in the Deadly Secret Series that I have read and   it is easily a standalone book within a series.     Maybe there was history I didn’t know of but it took nothing away from the story itself.   

 

 

Protected is a great mystery with twists of romance.    I loved the characters and the storyline kept me reading long past I should have gone to bed.      I recommend picking up your own copy and losing yourself in this great read.   

One of the best of 2018

The Broken Girls - Simone St. James

From the very first chapter I was hooked.     Sometimes when a book bounces between era’s it gets hard to follow.   With the Broken Girls it was so easy to tell who was telling the story, where they were, and what was happening.  The past to present alternating chapters were perfect.   

 

Broken Girls has a ghost story aspect with a mystery to solve.    Who is Mary Hand?   I was thrilled with each hint, each clue, and each step that Fiona took towards solving the mystery of what happen at Idlewood Hall.    There were many twists and turns that I didn’t see coming yet thrilled me to learn about.    I knew that Fiona would find the truth but I had no clue how she would manage to do it.  

 

This book is amazing.    It will definitely make my favorites of 2018 list.    If you are a Gothic mystery fan this is the book for you.    

Let Me Lie - Clare Mackintosh

Let Me Lie is a true psychological thriller. The suspense, the mystery, the secrets all feed into the story keeping the reader guessing as to what will happen next. There were so many twists and turns that I found myself wanting to skip ahead and see where they were heading. And oh the lies… so many lies. Lies on top of lies on top of lies. Sounds like it could get confusing but it was just the opposite. They all played into the story perfectly. The story is told from multiple points of views. I loved that one of the points of view was unidentified. This kept me guessing as who was telling their story without revealing themselves. From the different voices it was fun to try to tell who was lying, who was telling the truth, and who was telling the story as they knew it whether truthful or not. If you are looking for a psychological thriller full of twists and moment that will make you stop and think…Let Me Lie is the book for you.

— feeling amazing
Not Quite Crazy - Catherine Bybee

I am hooked on the Not Quite series.    This one was like a fairy tale.   Girl works while raising her best friends son, stops to help a stranger during a snow storm, and stranger changes her life.     The catch?   The stranger is her boss and CEO of a private jet company.  

 

The stranger is Jason Fairchild.   He lives to work.    Until a fateful night when Rachel Price gives him a ride after is Audi swerves into a snow ditch.   Immediately when these two met the reader could feel the attraction.   I knew their story would be interesting, fun, and sexy.    I loved that Jason immediately took into account that Rachel was a mom.    He made plans, dates that included Owen.    He connected with Owen just as quickly as he connected with Rachel.     

 

Not Quite Crazy is a fun and fast read.   The storyline was enjoyable, quick, and easy to follow.   There was flirting, sexy fun, and family time.   Add in some drama, some family discord, and some scary mom moments and it is the perfect story.      There are twists and turns throughout the story that changes some of the storylines from where I thought they were going to go but the ending was perfect.    I ended with hope for Owen to be happy and a full heart for Rachel to be living life her way with Jason who is going to give her the world.   

 

I definitely recommend picking up your own copy of Not Quite Crazy.