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Monthly Book Report: May 2017

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I didn’t have much time to read in May. I was busy trying to get my house in order to host our Memorial Day picnic with family and friends. But I did manage to read 6 really good books that are definitely worth sharing. 

1. Tortured by Nicole Williams– When he left for a twelve-month deployment, she knew it would feel like forever before they saw each other again. She didn’t realize how right she was. When Lance Corporal Brecken Connolly gets taken as a POW, Camryn hopes for the best but steels herself for the worst. In the end, steel was what she needed to survive when he didn’t. She moves on the only way she knows how—gilding herself in more steel. Years go by. She builds a new life. She leaves the old one behind. Until one day, she sees the face of a ghost on the news. Brecken seems to have risen from the dead, but she knows she can’t perform the same miracle for herself. While Brecken was held in a torture camp for the past five years, she’s been trapped in her own kind of prison. One she can’t be saved from. The man she mourned comes back to join the living, but the girl he wanted to spend his life with isn’t the same woman he comes back for. Brecken isn’t the same person either. The past five years have changed them both. While he’s determined to put the pieces back together, she’s resolved to let hers rot where they shattered. Broken or not, Brecken wants her back. He’ll do anything to achieve that. Even if it means going against the warden of Camryn’s personal prison—her husband.

I loved this book. It was very emotional and full of ugliness but also full of powerful loyalty and love. I will warn you though- if you are triggered at all by domestic violence then you will want to skip this book. It was hard reading at times but so worth it. 

2. Threads of Suspicion by Dee Henderson– Evie Blackwell’s reputation as a top investigator for the Illinois State Police has landed her an appointment to the governor’s new Missing Persons Task Force. This elite investigative team is launched with plenty of public fanfare. The governor has made this initiative a high priority, so they will have to produce results–and quickly. Evie and her new partner, David Marshal, are assigned to a pair of unrelated cases in suburban Chicago, and while both involve persons now missing for several years, the cases couldn’t be more different. While Evie opens old wounds in a close-knit neighborhood to find a missing college student, David searches for a private investigator working for a high-powered client. With a deep conviction that “justice for all” truly matters, Evie and David are unrelenting in their search for the truth. But Evie must also find answers to the questions that lie just beneath the surface in her personal life.

This is book 2 in the series but you can follow the storyline even if you haven’t read book 1. I really love this series! Evie Blackwell is a great main character and all the supporting characters fit really well into the story. I can’t wait to read the next book in this series. I just love Dee Henderson! She is a Christian author but her books are not slap you in the face with religion. It’s subtle and well placed and authentic.

3. A Simple Favor by Darcey BellIt starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time. But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over. Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.

Oh man, this book. This book was a mind blower. It was full of twists and turns and holy cow moments. I thought I had it figured out but I was wrong. I love books that keep me guessing and hold my attention. If you like suspenseful books that you can’t put down until the very last page then you’ll love this one!

4. Rescuing Kassie by Susan Stoker– Graham “Hollywood” Caverly feels the chemistry with Kassie Anderson in the emails they’ve been exchanging through a dating site. When they finally meet in person, and that online chemistry proves to have real-life sizzle, he knows she’s the one. He couldn’t be happier when their first date, at an annual Army Ball, goes better than he could have imagined. Until Kassie drops a bomb. Kassie doesn’t want to approach Hollywood on the dating site, but threats to her family leave her no other choice. She definitely doesn’t want to fall for the man. But fall she does. Hard. After she admits the ruse–and after some understandable anger on both their parts–Kassie wonders if, in Hollywood’s arms, a happy future is within her grasp. But her past always finds her, and in Kassie’s case, that’s a dangerous proposition–because she’s connected to an old enemy of Hollywood’s Delta Force team. Very intimately connected… And it will take Hollywood, his Delta brothers, and even some outside help to do what should have been done the first time–eliminate the threat once and for all.

This is one of my favorite authors. Rescuing Kassie is the 5th book in the Delta Force Heroes Series. Each book is a stand-alone with no cliffhanger endings and the same characters appear in each book so the stories all connect in some way. This book was really good and I loved seeing all the old characters reappear. 

5. Curveball by Mariah Dietz– Shakespeare believed there was always humor in tragedy and tragedy in humor. My life proved his theory as fact. At eighteen I was a single parent moving to this small town to be with the man I loved. The one who was supposed to love and cherish me in return. Finding out he had a wife was tragic. Remaining in love with him in spite of her was more tragic. My mom and best friend setting me up on a long string of blind dates was an ongoing tragedy. Nine years later, I’ve learned to see the humor in most situations. My mom and best friend setting me up on disastrous blind dates. My son’s jokes. The fire alarm going off each time I cook. My constant bright spot always adding to the humor was my son, Hayden. But when Hayden had a life-threatening allergic reaction, the man who came to help my little boy became my own savior. His laugh, his smile, and the way his eyes lit up when he spoke to my son made him a beacon of light in both our lives. But I wasn’t the only one who noticed him. When I began having feelings for the man my best and only friend had fallen for, I knew following my heart would once again lead to a fresh round of heartbreak. Love led me to this town. Lies kept me there. Would history repeat itself? Or had life just thrown me another Curveball?

I wasn’t sure what to expect from this book. I’ve never read anything by this author before but the blurb got my attention so I gave it a try. And I loved it! It had everything- infidelity, betrayal, manipulation, and love. All the makings of a great story. Ha! 

6. Only Ever You by Rebecca Drake– Jill Lassiter’s three-year-old daughter disappears from a playground only to return after 40 frantic minutes, but her mother’s relief is short-lived–there’s a tiny puncture mark on Sophia’s arm. When doctors can find no trace of drugs in her system, Jill accepts she’ll never know what happened, but at least her child is safe. Except Sophia isn’t. Someone is watching the Lassiter home in an affluent Pennsylvania suburb, infiltrating the family’s personal and professional lives. While Jill struggles to balance building her photography business with parenting high-spirited Sophia, and David is distracted by pressure to make partner at his law firm, both of them are holding on in a marriage that’s already been rocked by loss. Three months after the incident at the park, Sophia disappears again, but this time Jill and David become the focus of police and media scrutiny and suspicion. Facing every parent’s worst nightmare a second time, Jill discovers that someone doesn’t just want Sophia for her own, she wants to destroy the entire family.

Oh man, this was another great book. I borrowed this one from the library and it was so good. I figured out parts of the story line pretty early on but it still held my attention and then there was a big twist that I did not see coming. I really enjoyed it and couldn’t put it down! 

I’m working on my list for summer reading and I’ll share it when I’m done. I want to spend a lot more time reading this summer and I think having a list will keep me on track. 

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  • Valerie

    I read Only Ever You based on your review and it was so good. I couldn’t put it down! Thanks for the great suggestion!

  • Stephanie Burris Towne

    A Simple Favor sounds soooo good! Adding it to my HUGE To Be Read pile-thanks!