BEFORE AND AGAIN by BARBARA DELINSKY

Before and Again

Mackenzie Cooper took her eyes off the road for just a moment but the resulting collision was enough to rob her not only of her beloved daughter but ultimately of her marriage, family, and friends―and thanks to the nonstop media coverage, even her privacy. Now she lives in Vermont under the name Maggie Reid, in a small house with her cats and dog. She’s thankful for the new friends she’s made―though she can’t risk telling them too much. And she takes satisfaction in working as a makeup artist at the luxurious local spa, helping clients hide the visible outward signs of their weariness, illnesses, and injuries. Covering up scars is a skill she has mastered.

Her only goal is to stay under the radar and make it through her remaining probation. But she isn’t the only one in this peaceful town with secrets. When a friend’s teenage son is thrust into the national spotlight, accused of hacking a powerful man’s Twitter account, Maggie is torn between pulling away and protecting herself―or stepping into the glare to be at their side. As the stunning truth behind their case is slowly revealed, Maggie’s own carefully constructed story begins to unravel as well. She knows all too well that what we need from each other in this difficult world is comfort. But to provide it, sometimes we need to travel far outside our comfort zones.

Very few people can pull every emotion you have out of you in one afternoon. My heart ached for Maggie and the enormous amount of guilt she is living with. Still a few months shy of her probation being over, she has a decision to make. Will she protect her self and her own heart or will she stand by her friend?

This town of Devon that Maggie has claimed as her own safe space is full of characters hiding from something. And when her ex-husband shows up she is sure one of them must leave. She has built a protective shell around her heart and he is determined to break through.

With twists and turns around every corner I couldn’t stop reading. I’m glad I read this.

Very Well Done!

Netgalley/ June 26th 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Advertisements

BABY TEETH by ZOJE STAGE

Baby Teeth

“Now that she knew the name of the game – Scare Mommy – she should be able to defend herself. But goosebumps rose on her skin, even under the heat of the water, when she thought about her creepy daughter. The whites of her eyes. Her ability to sneak up on her as she slept.”

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette’s husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

You know that horribly creepy feeling you get when you wake up and one of your children is right there staring at you? Yes, that one. That is how Suzette feels every second of every day.

Hanna doesn’t speak. She can speak. But she won’t speak. Until she decides to, but only as a dead french witch and only to her mother and the things she says would have me dropping her off at the nearest mental hospital.

Books with children as the evil ones scare the living daylights out of me. Remember Children of the Corn?  Well this is one that will have you sleeping with one eye open!

Job well done!

NetGalley/July 17th 2018 by St Martin’s Press

BRING ME BACK by B.A.Paris

Bring Me Back

A young British couple are driving through France on holiday when they stop for gas. He runs in to pay, she stays in the car. When he returns her car door has been left open, but she’s not inside. No one ever sees her again. 

Ten years later he’s engaged to be married; he’s happy, and his past is only a tiny part his life now. Until he comes home from work and finds his new wife-to-be is sitting on their sofa. She’s turning something over in her fingers, holding it up to the light. Something that would have no worth to anyone else, something only he and she would know about because his wife is the sister of his missing first love.

As more and more questions are raised, their marriage becomes strained. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind?

My first issue with this book is that blurb above. That’s not what happened. They stopped at a rest area to go to the bathroom, had an argument and when he came out of the toilet she was gone and there was only a small Russian nesting doll on the ground.

My first thoughts were this was going to be a kidnapping and probably something much worse. When Finn is allowed to leave France, he is lost. And confused. Where did Layla go? Is she alive or dead? As the years go by he keeps their cottage just in case and moves to a small village near by.

Move forward 10 years or so and he is living with and engaged to Ellen, Layla’s sister. Then odd things begin to happen. Nesting dolls left or mailed to the house. Finn trying to keep them from Ellen and wondering if he is losing his mind or if Layla is really alive and playing with his head.

I kept yelling Danger! at him, but he wasn’t listening and that ending was like, What??? Even though towards the end you kind of wondered if someone here was seriously disturbed, you weren’t sure who it was until the very end.

At first I was going to give this a few stars, but then it just stayed with me for a couple of days and that for me is the sign of a good read!

NetGalley Reviews/ HQ

VISIBLE EMPIRE by HANNAH PITTARD

Visible Empire

It’s a humid June day when the phones begin to ring in Atlanta: disaster has struck. Air France Flight 007, which had been chartered to ferry home more than one hundred of Atlanta’s cultural leaders following a luxurious arts-oriented tour of Europe, crashed shortly after takeoff in Paris. In one fell swoop, many of the city’s wealthiest residents perished.

Left behind were children, spouses, lovers, friends, and a city on the cusp of great change: the Civil Rights movement was at its peak, the hedonism of the 60s was at its doorstep. In Hannah Pittard’s dazzling and most ambitious novel yet, she gives us the journeys of those who must now rebuild this place and their lives.

Visible Empire follows the chaos—and hope—that remained in the wake of the crash, and the truths that became evident because of it. This is a story about how we choose to look at the world, and those moments when we finally see it for what it is—whether we’re ready for that clarity or not.

Over 100 art lovers, patrons, and journalists from Atlanta, Georgia have been killed in the horrific crash of Air France at Orly. Leaving behind family and friends to grieve.

Told from multiple points of view, we follow Robert and his wife Lily. Robert has been a very bad boy and has just told Lily about his affair with a fellow reporter and has been promptly kicked to the curb. Lily is in the last stages of pregnancy when she finds out the next day that she has lost her parents in the crash as well.

The 1960’s in Atlanta were a tense time. Racial lines had been drawn and to cross over them meant certain death. But young black men are tired of waiting for things to change and some take to violence.

Their are all kinds of people taking advantage of the tragedy of the crash. From the young to the old enough to know better.

We hear the story of the Mayor trying his best to help, but I’m still not sure what was up with the wife.

Others who have found themselves suddenly wealthy are getting drunk and high and spinning quickly out of control and you just feel the tension in the air around each character. Tragedy has a way of changing a person but whether it is for the better is not a foregone conclusion.

This was a bit wordy for me. I thought Lily and Piedmont’s characters were the strongest and most honest. The rest of them were like vultures circling roadkill. Not a pretty sight. And as for the ending, I’m not sure what that was.

Being born and raised in Georgia I had read about this event in school. It was shocking and changed a lot of lives forever.

Try it for yourself and let me know what you thought!

Netgalley/une 5th 2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt

Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe

Beach House Reunion (Beach House #5)

Whisking you back to the shores of her bestselling Beach House series, Mary Alice Monroe weaves together a tale of the struggles and triumphs of the historic Rutledge family of Charleston, South Carolina. Beautifully wrought and rich with keen insight, this is an illuminating tale of new beginnings, resilience, and one family’s enduring love.

I am so happy that Cara is back home on Isle of Palms. And she brought a pretty great surprise with her! Facing memories of her late husband and the special bond they had, as well as wishing her mother, Lovie, was still here to give her advice, she plows forward much like her beloved Loggerhead Turtles.

While she settles back into life at Primrose Cottage, her niece, Linnea, has graduated from college and is at loose ends. Feeling stifled in her family’s Charleston mansion, she heads to the beach. Home to Cara and Primrose. With no expectations to be anything other than happy.

With new love a possibility and her mother to guide her, Cara will pull her family together and break a long cycle of bad behavior, freeing them all to be who they are and live their best lives.

This series is so loving and beautiful. While the bad habits in a family can be broken, the strong bonds of these women can not. Very well done!

Netgalley/SimonandSchuster May 22, 2018

Titles To Look Forward To In May!

Sign of the Cross (Cal Donovan #1) Introducing Harvard professor Cal Donovan in the first of an intriguing new series of religious conspiracy thrillers.   May 1st

Love and Ruin The bestselling author of The Paris Wife returns to the subject of Ernest Hemingway in a novel about his passionate, stormy marriage to Martha Gellhorn—a fiercely independent, ambitious young woman who would become one of the greatest war correspondents of the twentieth century. May 1st

Summer in a Cornish Cove Set against the stunning backdrop of the glorious Cornish Riviera, this summer will change their lives for ever! The book to fall in love with this summer – May 1st

The Favorite Sister When five hyper-successful women agree to appear on a reality series set in New York City called Goal Diggers, the producers never expect the season will end in murder… May 15th

Fowl of the House of Usher (A Bird Lover's Mystery #7) It really is the dead of winter in Ruby Lake when a party becomes an invitation to murder for Birds & Bees owner Amy Simms . . . May 15th

 

Meltdown A timely thriller illuminating facts regarding the state of the world’s energy crisis, climate change, and the quandary of nuclear energy— May 15th

Beach House Reunion (Beach House #5) Whisking you back to the shores of her bestselling Beach House series, Mary Alice Monroe weaves together a tale of the struggles and triumphs of the historic Rutledge family of Charleston, South Carolina. May 22nd

A lot of good titles coming in May. Time to start planning those vacation reads! What’s on your May list?

xx Patricia

SUMMER IN A CORNISH COVE by KATE RYDER

Summer in a Cornish Cove

Oliver Foxley is an acclaimed movie star, global heartthrob and one half of Hollywood’s golden couple. But under the glare of the spotlight his ‘perfect’ life is slowly starting to crumble.

Cara Penhaligon is a struggling young Cornish artist, and widowed mother of two children. Life has been unbearably harsh to Cara, but meeting Oliver might just give her a second chance at the happiness she deserves. As each begins to heal the other, the pieces of Oliver’s frustrating jigsaw puzzle effortlessly fall into place. But as the Cornish summer draws to a close, Oliver faces the toughest of choices, and no one emerges quite as they were at the start.

Oliver Foxley seems to have it all together. He does not. He has been battling severe depression since he was a child. He has had some success holding it together, but it is getting harder. I got the feeling that his wife didn’t understand his condition as she seems to just want him to pull it together, which as we all know, doesn’t just magically happen with depression.

When he returns to Holy Isle, a retreat run by monks, he encounters a seriously disturbed young fan who turns into a stalker.

Cara, a widow and an artist has already had one great love in her life and is happy enough with what she has. Until she meets Oliver.

I think this is supposed to be a Romance, but the book needs some serious editing and character development. Characters are introduced and seem to be important to the story line and yet we are left hanging as to what happened to them.

Not to mention Oliver seemed a rather spineless man. Sleeping with more than one woman while his wife held down things at home. It was rather disjointed to be honest and I’m still not sure what the point was.

NetGalley/Aria