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New Releases This Week {10.1.19}

These are the new releases for the week of October 1 that I’m adding to my wish lists.

Down Too Deep by J. Daniels– Following the sudden death of his wife, Nathan Bell has spent nearly two years burying himself in work and neglecting his biggest responsibility: his daughter. Overcome with guilt, he wants to connect with little Marley, but he doesn’t know how to do it alone. And then Jenna Savage throws him a lifeline. A single mom of twins, Jenna is more than capable of taking care of Nate’s adorable two-year-old, and wants to help Nathan however she can. Soon, attachments are made, forcing Jenna and her kids into new territory. And the closer everyone becomes, the more right it feels. Falling in love forces Nathan to face his biggest fear, and when hearts, both big and little, are on the line, the only thing scarier than needing someone is losing them all.

Deep Ambitions by Irene Hannon– Former Army Night Stalker Rick Jordan usually has his camp for foster children to himself during the winter months. But someone has visited recently–leaving a trail of blood. One of the two clues left behind tips Rick off to the identity of his visitor, who soon turns up dead. The police deem it an accident, but Rick isn’t convinced. With the help of private investigator Heather Shields, he sets out to decipher the remaining clue. Except someone doesn’t want them to succeed–and will stop at nothing to keep them from finding the truth. With her trademark psychological suspense ratcheting up the tension on every page, bestselling and award-winning author Irene Hannon takes you on a search for a cold-blooded killer with an ambitious goal and deadly intent.

It’s All About the Small Things by Melanie Shankle– Is my ordinary, everyday life actually significant? Is it okay to be fulfilled by the simple acts of raising kids, working in an office, and cooking chicken for dinner? It’s been said, “Life is not measured by the number of breaths we take, but by the number of moments that take our breath away.” The pressure of that can be staggering as we spend our days looking for that big thing that promises to take our breath away. Meanwhile, we lose sight of the small significance of fully living with every breath we take. Melanie Shankle, New York Times bestselling author and writer at The Big Mama Blog tackles these questions head on. Easygoing and relatable, she speaks directly to the heart of women of all ages who are longing to find significance and meaning in the normal, sometimes mundane world of driving carpool to soccer practice, attending class on their college campus, cooking meals for their family, or taking care of a sick loved one. The million little pieces that make a life aren’t necessarily glamorous or far-reaching. But God uses some of the smallest, most ordinary acts of faithfulness–and sometimes they look a whole lot like packing lunch.

The Lying Room by Nicci French– It should have been just a mid-life fling. A guilty indiscretion that Neve Connolly could have weathered. An escape from twenty years of routine marriage to her overworked husband, and from her increasingly distant children. But when Neve pays a morning-after visit to her lover, Saul, and finds him brutally murdered, their pied-à-terre still heady with her perfume, all the lies she has so painstakingly stitched together threaten to unravel. After scrubbing clean every trace of her existence from Saul’s life—and death—Neve believes she can return to normal, shaken but intact. But she can’t get out of her head the one tormenting question: what was she forgetting? An investigation into the slaying could provide the answer. It’s brought Detective Chief Inspector Alastair Hitching, and Neve’s worst fears, to her door. But with every new lie, every new misdirection to save herself, Neve descends further into the darkness of her betrayal—and into more danger than she ever imagined. Because Hitching isn’t the only one watching Neve. So is a determined killer who’s about to make the next terrifying move in a deadly affair.

The Butterfly Girl by Rene Denfeld– A year ago, Naomi, the investigator with an uncanny ability for finding missing children, made a promise that she would not take another case until she finds the younger sister who has been missing for years. Naomi has no picture, not even a name. All she has is a vague memory of a strawberry field at night, black dirt under her bare feet as she ran for her life. The search takes her to Portland, Oregon, where scores of homeless children wander the streets like ghosts, searching for money, food, and companionship. The sharp-eyed investigator soon discovers that young girls have been going missing for months, many later found in the dirty waters of the river. Though she does not want to get involved, Naomi is unable to resist the pull of children in need—and the fear she sees in the eyes of a twelve-year old girl named Celia. Running from an abusive stepfather and an addict mother, Celia has nothing but hope in the butterflies—her guides and guardians on the dangerous streets. She sees them all around her, tiny iridescent wisps of hope that soften the edges of this hard world and illuminate a cherished memory from her childhood—the Butterfly Museum, a place where everything is safe and nothing can hurt her. As danger creeps closer, Naomi and Celia find echoes of themselves in one another, forcing them each to consider the question: Can you still be lost even when you’ve been found? But will they find the answer too late?

10 Blind Dates by Ashley Elston– Sophie wants one thing for Christmas-a little freedom from her overprotective parents. So when they decide to spend Christmas in South Louisiana with her very pregnant older sister, Sophie is looking forward to some much needed private (read: make-out) time with her long-term boyfriend, Griffin. Except it turns out that Griffin wants a little freedom from their relationship. Cue devastation. Heartbroken, Sophie flees to her grandparents’ house, where the rest of her boisterous extended family is gathered for the holiday. That’s when her nonna devises a (not so) brilliant plan: Over the next ten days, Sophie will be set up on ten different blind dates by different family members. Like her sweet cousin Sara, who sets her up with a hot guy at an exclusive underground party. Or her crazy aunt Patrice, who signs Sophie up for a lead role in a living nativity. With a boy who barely reaches her shoulder. And a screaming baby. When Griffin turns up unexpectedly and begs for a second chance, Sophie feels more confused than ever. Because maybe, just maybe, she’s started to have feelings for someone else . . . Someone who is definitely not available. This is going to be the worst Christmas break ever… or is it?



Book Review: The Lemon Sisters

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The Lemon Sisters by Jill Shalvis- Brooke Lemon has always led the life she wanted, wild adventures—and mistakes—included, something her perfect sister, Mindy, never understood. So when Mindy shows up on Brooke’s doorstep in the throes of a break-down with her three little kids in tow, Brooke’s shocked.

Wanting to make amends, Brooke agrees to trade places, taking the kids back to Wildstone for a few days so Mindy can pick up the pieces and put herself back together. What Brooke doesn’t admit is she’s just as broken . . . Also how does one go home after seven years away? It doesn’t take long for Brooke to come face-to-face with her past, in the form of one tall, dark, sexy mistake. But Garrett’s no longer interested. Only his words don’t match his actions, leaving Brooke feeling things she’d shoved deep.

Soon the sisters begin to wonder: Are they lemons in life? In love? All they know is that neither seems to be able to run far enough to outpace her demons. And when secrets surface, they’ll have to learn that sometimes the one person who can help you the most is the one you never thought to ask.

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Published: June 18, 2019

Acquired: Public library e-book

Series: #3 in the Wildstone Series

My Rating: 5 Stars

My Thoughts: I loved this book! Jill Shalvis is one of my most favorite authors and it’s rare that I don’t love something she writes. I will admit that this is the first book in the Wildstone series that I’ve read. I don’t know how I missed the first 2 books but I will be reading them ASAP! One of my favorite things about this book was the contrast between the sisters. Brooke was the free-spirit sister who couldn’t wait to get out of her hometown and who had an exciting career until a helicopter crash left her grounded with PTSD. Mindy, on the other hand, was the sister who stayed in their hometown, got married, had children, and became a baker. I really liked reading about their childhood from their different perspectives. 

When Mindy shows up on Brooke’s doorstep with children in tow in the middle of a nervous breakdown, Brooke sees the opportunity to get to know her niece and nephews even if that means going back to her hometown and confronting the messes she left behind. The kids added so much to this story! They were hilarious and adorable and kept the story flowing easily. I cringed a bit at the relationship repair that needed to happen between Brooke and Garrett, although the repair that needed to happen between Mindy and her husband, Linc, was just as intense. I found myself sympathizing with both Brooke and Mindy for different reasons and I could see myself in both of them which made the story extremely real for me. I highly recommend this book and in my opinion you can read them in any order. 



New Releases This Week {9.24.19}

These are the new releases for the week of September 24 that I’m adding to my wish lists.

Wrapped Up In You by Jill Shalvis– After a lifetime on the move, Ivy Snow is an expert in all things temporary—schools, friends, and way too many Mr. Wrongs. Now that she owns a successful taco truck in San Francisco and an apartment to call home, Ivy’s reinvented life is on solid ground. And she’s guarded against anything that can rock it. Like the realities of a past she’s worked hard to cover up. And especially Kel O’Donnell. Too hot not to set off alarms, he screams temporary. If only his whispers weren’t so delightfully naughty and irresistible. Kel, an Idaho sheriff and ranch owner, is on vacay, but Ivy’s a spicy reason to give his short-terms plans a second thought. Best of all, she’s a tonic for his untrusting heart, burned once and still in repair. But when Ivy’s past intrudes on a perfect romance, Kel fears that everything she’s told him has been a perfect lie. Now, if only Ivy’s willing to share, Kel will fight for a true love story.

Kiss Me Tonight by Emma Hart– What do a wrong number text, a burning building, and a quirky florist have in common? A hunky firefighter with an extra-large…hosepipe. In hindsight, I never should have opened that text message. The last thing I needed first thing on a Monday was a picture of some stranger’s, um, eggplant, in my inbox. I also should have replaced the batteries in my fire alarm, because my Friday night did not need to end with my apartment building going up in flames. But it’s fine. It’s fine. Everything is fine. I’m only lying in a hospital bed with more split ends than I’ve ever had, almost all my Earthly possessions have turned to ash, and apparently, they don’t serve wine to patients in this place. But like I said, it’s fine. Until he walks in. The guy who saved my life. My hero. Noah Jacobs. And the universe is amusing itself at my expense, because the dirty photo I woke up to on Monday? It’s his.

The Savior by J.R. Ward– In the venerable history of the Black Dagger Brotherhood, only one male has ever been expelled—but Murhder’s insanity gave the Brothers no choice. Haunted by visions of a female he could not save, he nonetheless returns to Caldwell on a mission to right the wrong that ruined him. However, he is not prepared for what he must face in his quest for redemption. Dr. Sarah Watkins, researcher at a biomedical firm, is struggling with the loss of her fellow scientist fiancé. When the FBI starts asking about his death, she questions what really happened and soon learns the terrible truth: Her firm is conducting inhumane experiments in secret and the man she thought she knew and loved was involved in the torture. As Murhder and Sarah’s destinies become irrevocably entwined, desire ignites between them. But can they forge a future that spans the divide separating the two species? And as a new foe emerges in the war against the vampires, will Murhder return to his Brothers… or resume his lonely existence forevermore?

My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing– Every marriage has secrets. Everyone has flaws. Your wife isn’t perfect – you know that – but then again nor are you. But now a serial killer is on the loose in your small town, preying on young women. Fear is driving your well-behaved young daughter off the rails, and you find yourself in bed late at night, looking at the woman who lies asleep beside you.



Book Review: Evvie Drake Starts Over

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Evvie Drake Starts Over by Linda Holmes– In a small town in Maine, recently widowed Eveleth “Evvie” Drake rarely leaves her house. Everyone in town, including her best friend, Andy, thinks grief keeps her locked inside, and she doesn’t correct them. In New York, Dean Tenney, former major-league pitcher and Andy’s childhood friend, is struggling with a case of the “yips”: he can’t throw straight anymore, and he can’t figure out why. An invitation from Andy to stay in Maine for a few months seems like the perfect chance to hit the reset button.

When Dean moves into an apartment at the back of Evvie’s house, the two make a deal: Dean won’t ask about Evvie’s late husband, and Evvie won’t ask about Dean’s baseball career. Rules, though, have a funny way of being broken–and what starts as an unexpected friendship soon turns into something more. But before they can find out what might lie ahead, they’ll have to wrestle a few demons: the bonds they’ve broken, the plans they’ve changed, and the secrets they’ve kept. They’ll need a lot of help, but in life, as in baseball, there’s always a chance–right up until the last out.

Genre: Contemporary Romance

Published: June 25, 2019

Acquired: Public library e-book

Series: Standalone

My Rating: 4 Stars

My Thoughts: Charming and real are the best ways I can think to describe this story. Evvie Drake is the woman everyone in town wants to feel sorry for because they don’t know the full story. They only see her as the widow who lost her husband too soon. They don’t know that her marriage was over and she can’t figure out how to live her life without exposing the truth to those close to her. I’ve seen this book compared to a Hallmark movie and I don’t disagree but there was definitely more substance and more raw real life lived within the pages than you typically find in a Hallmark movie. 

I enjoyed the connection between Evvie and Dean. They formed a solid friendship based on a very particular set of rules that worked for them. It was more of a slow burn fall into romance but it worked for this story. If I had any gripes at all about the story it would be Andy, the best friend of Evvie. I found him selfish and a bit too quick to dismiss the friendship for a “best friend”. By far my favorite thing about this book was the grown up thoughts, feelings, and actions. There was no juvenile over-the-top drama or crazy antics thrown in just to have a conflict. The conflict that did exist was organic to the story and was handled like adults would handle it in real life. I definitely recommend this book!



New Releases This Week {9.17.19}

These are the new releases for the week of September 17 that I’m adding to my wish lists.

Save Your Breath by Melinda Leigh– When true-crime writer Olivia Cruz disappears with no signs of foul play, her new boyfriend, Lincoln Sharp, suspects the worst. He knows she didn’t leave willingly and turns to attorney Morgan Dane and PI Lance Kruger to find her before it’s too late. As they dig through Olivia’s life, they are shocked to discover a connection between her current book research on two cold murder cases and the suicide of one of Morgan’s prospective clients. As Morgan and Lance investigate, the number of suspects grows, but time is running out to find Olivia alive. When danger comes knocking at their door, Morgan and Lance realize that they may be the killer’s next targets.

The Stranger Inside by Lisa Unger– Twelve-year-old Rain Winter narrowly escaped an abduction while walking to a friend’s house. Her two best friends, Tess and Hank, were not as lucky. Tess never came home, and Hank was held in captivity before managing to escape. Their abductor was sent to prison but years later was released. Then someone delivered real justice—and killed him in cold blood. Now Rain is living the perfect suburban life, her dark childhood buried deep. She spends her days as a stay-at-home mom, having put aside her career as a hard-hitting journalist to care for her infant daughter. But when another brutal murderer who escaped justice is found dead, Rain is unexpectedly drawn into the case. Eerie similarities to the murder of her friends’ abductor force Rain to revisit memories she’s worked hard to leave behind. Is there a vigilante at work? Who is the next target? Why can’t Rain just let it go?

Winter in Paradise by Elin Hilderbrand– Irene Steele shares her idyllic life in a beautiful Iowa City Victorian house with a husband who loves her to sky-writing, sentimental extremes. But as she rings in the new year one cold and snowy night, everything she thought she knew falls to pieces with a shocking phone call: her beloved husband, away on business, has been killed in a plane crash. Before Irene can even process the news, she must first confront the perplexing details of her husband’s death on the distant Caribbean island of St. John. After Irene and her sons arrive at this faraway paradise, they make yet another shocking discovery: her husband had been living a secret life. As Irene untangles a web of intrigue and deceit, and as she and her sons find themselves drawn into the vibrant island culture, they have to face the truth about their family, and about their own futures. 

Met Her Match by Jude Deveraux– Terri Rayburn is a girl with a reputation. She doesn’t deserve it, but having grown up on the outskirts of Summer Hill, Virginia, she knows how small towns work. The only way to deal with vicious gossip is to ignore it. So she keeps to herself as she runs the summer resort on Lake Kissel.When she returns home from a short trip to find a handsome stranger living in her house, she smells a rat. Someone is trying to fix her up, and she has to admit that Nate Taggert is just her type. However, Nate is engaged to the daughter of the mayor and strictly off-limits.Nate and Terri form an unlikely friendship while he throws himself into life at the lake. As Nate starts to hear rumors about Terri he’s confused. Knowing how smart, beautiful and strong she is, he’s determined to discover the source of the gossip. Terri doesn’t want to revisit the past, but Nate won’t stop until he discovers the truth–even if the truth might be more than either of them can handle.

Strangers She Knows by Christina Dodd– I have three deadly problems: 1. I’ve seriously offended a maniacal killer. 2. I just had a bullet removed from my brain. 3. My new daughter is growing up too fast–and she’s in the line of fire. Living on an obscure, technology-free island off California means safety from the murderer who hunts Kellen Adams and her new family…. Or does it? Family time becomes terror-time, and at last, alone, Kellen faces a killer playing a cruel game. Only one can survive, and Kellen knows who must win…and who must die.