Review | I Believe in a Thing Called Love by Maurene Goo

Desi Lee believes anything is possible if you have a plan. That’s how she became student body president. Varsity soccer star. And it’s how she’ll get into Stanford. But—she’s never had a boyfriend. In fact, she’s a disaster in romance, a clumsy, stammering humiliation magnet whose botched attempts at flirting have become legendary with her friends. So when the hottest human specimen to have ever lived walks into her life one day, Desi decides to tackle her flirting failures with the same zest she’s applied to everything else in her life. She finds guidance in the Korean dramas her father has been obsessively watching for years—where the hapless heroine always seems to end up in the arms of her true love by episode ten. It’s a simple formula, and Desi is a quick study. Armed with her “K Drama Steps to True Love,” Desi goes after the moody, elusive artist Luca Drakos—and boat rescues, love triangles, and staged car crashes ensue. But when the fun and games turn to true feels, Desi finds out that real love is about way more than just drama.

Rating: 4 out of 5.

I have been wanting to pick this one up for a long time, so it’s another instance of kicking myself for waiting so long to read it. I really enjoyed one of Maurene Goo’s other books, so am glad I finally got to this one since it was just a wonderful read. Sure there were parts of it where it was a tad predictable but I absolutely loved all the K-drama references and the nods to Korean culture. I can’t say the route Desi took was appropriate and it was pretty out there – but it made the read fun and hilarious. This was great for a light and fun read and I’m so happy I finally got to it.

Happy reading!

Review | With the Fire On High by Elizabeth Acevedo

With her daughter to care for and her abuela to help support, high school senior Emoni Santiago has to make the tough decisions, and do what must be done. The one place she can let her responsibilities go is in the kitchen, where she adds a little something magical to everything she cooks, turning her food into straight-up goodness. Still, she knows she doesn’t have enough time for her school’s new culinary arts class, doesn’t have the money for the class’s trip to Spain — and shouldn’t still be dreaming of someday working in a real kitchen. But even with all the rules she has for her life — and all the rules everyone expects her to play by — once Emoni starts cooking, her only real choice is to let her talent break free.

Rating: 5 out of 5.

After loving the Poet X, I was super eager to get to this book, but was hesitant because I didn’t know if I would enjoy Elizabeth Acevedo’s prose as much as I loved her verse. I needn’t have worried because honestly, I loved it just as much. She paints the imagery of her characters and their lives so beautifully, the format of the writing doesn’t matter. My heart hurt for so many of the characters in this book, not just Emoni, and I also rejoiced in their victories and achievements. Everyone went through different growth and setbacks, everyone had their own secrets and history, and I just loved it. Plus her descriptions of all the food featured in the book made me wish I could taste all of the dishes and experience them the same way Emoni did.

This book has really cemented Acevedo as an auto buy author, no matter what format she writes in. I love the raw truth and heart she brings to her characters and the overall story and absolutely can’t wait to read more.

Happy reading!

Review | The Secrets of Love Story Bridge

It’s summer in the city and passions are soaring along with the temperature—for everyone but Mitchell Fisher, who hates all things romance. He relishes his job cutting off the padlocks that couples fasten to the famous “love story” bridge. Only his young daughter, Poppy, knows that behind his prickly veneer, Mitchell still grieves the loss of her mother.

Then one hot day, everything changes when Mitchell courageously rescues a woman who falls from the bridge into the river. He’s surprised to feel an unexpected connection to her, but she disappears before he can ask her name. Desperate to find out her identity, Mitchell is shocked to learn she’s been missing for almost a year. He teams up with her spirited sister, Liza, on a quest to find her again. However, she’s left only one clue behind—a message on the padlock she hung on the bridge.

Brimming with Phaedra Patrick’s signature charm and a sparkling cast of characters, The Secrets of Love Story Bridge follows one man’s journey to unlock his heart and discover new beginnings in the unlikeliest places.

This book was a read that will definitely tug at the heartstrings. We follow Mitchell, who is still grieving after losing the woman he loved. He’s cut himself off from really feeling emotions and his whole world is his job and his daughter. At the beginning of the book he’s a bit cynical towards anything romance and can come off as a bit cold, but seeing his growth and transformation was really a wonderful journey.

I expected the plot with the mystery woman to be a bit different and while I still fully enjoyed the story it surprised me when it was taking different turns. If you’re looking for a story of warmth and learning to deal with grief and let go of self imposed guilt, then this is a good one for it.

If you want to check out an excerpt from this book, make sure to check out my blog tour stop for it – The Secrets of Love Story Bridge | Excerpt.

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | The Summer Set | Excerpt

Today is my stop on the blog tour for The Summer Set by Aimee Agresti and I’m excited to share an excerpt with you all!

With a setting inspired by the real-life Williamstown Theatre Festival in the Berkshires where stars like Bradley Cooper, Gwyneth Paltrow, Lauren Graham, and Chris Pine have performed, THE SUMMER SET (Graydon House Books; May 12; $17.99) is a salacious rom-com, beach read perfect for Broadway nerds and Hollywood gossips alike.

Charlie Savoy was once Hollywood’s hottest A-lister. Now, ten years later, she’s pushing forty, exiled from the film world back at the summer Shakespeare theater in the Berkshires that launched her career—and where her first love, Nick, is the artistic director.

It’s not exactly her first choice. But as parts are cast and rehearsals begin, Charlie is surprised to find herself thriving: bonding with celebrity actors, forging unexpected new friendships, and even reigniting her spark with Nick despite their complicated history.

Until Charlie’s old rival, Hollywood’s current “It Girl,” is brought on set, threatening to undo everything she’s been working towards. As the drama amps up both on the stage and behind the curtains, Charlie must put on one heck of a show to fight for the second chance she deserves in her career and in love.

Buy Links | Harlequin  | Barnes & Noble | Amazon |
Books-A-Million | Powell’s

2
I MISSED YOU TOO

Charlie studied herself in her bathroom mirror. In just a week her bruised eye had faded to the dull gray of rancid meat, now easily disguised by concealer. She flat-ironed her raven hair, securing it in a sleek, low ponytail, then rummaged the closet for her most professional-looking getup: that slim black suit, pale pink silk blouse with the bow at the neck and the stilettos she only wore when she felt compelled to impress. Her wardrobe from that perfume ad a decade earlier but timeless nonetheless, just like the moniker that had been etched in script on the curved bottle of the fragrance.

Outside, Boston did its best impersonation of her supposed hometown, London. (Though she had lived away from there enough during childhood to have eluded the accent.) The dreary May rain made her think of her mom: the estimable Dame Sarah Rose Kingsbury. News of Charlie’s incident had warranted mentions in a few celebrity weeklies and, unfortunately, made the hop across the pond. Her mother had called, texted and finally, after no response, emailed: Charlie, Did you receive my voice mail and text? I trust you’re alright. Another of your stunts? Please respond. Love, Mum. Her mom’s correspondence always scanned like a telegram, full of stops and full stops—much like their relationship itself. Charlie, reveling in being briefly unreachable and not in the mood to answer questions, hadn’t yet bothered to replace her phone and had indeed missed the call but wrote back assuring her mom that she was fine, though the accident had not, in fact, been performance art.

By the time Charlie reached the foreboding Suffolk County Courthouse, her lawyer/friend Sam—who had shepherded her through the theater purchase (while questioning her sanity)—was already there pacing, barking into her phone.

“This should be easy,” Sam told her, hanging up, hugging her while scrolling her inbox. Sam wore suits and radiated responsibility, two things Charlie found comforting in a lawyer. “Be contrite and it should be open-and-shut for community service.”

The sterile courtroom’s pin-drop silence made Charlie shiver. Next to her, Sam tucked her phone in her bag and rose to her feet, gesturing for Charlie to stand as the judge materialized at the bench. Charlie found it oddly reassuring that the judge was the kind of woman who wore pearls and a frilly collar outside her robe.

“You were okay with my email, right?” Sam whispered, as they sat again.

“What email?” she whispered back.

“My email. An hour ago? You have got to get a new phone,” Sam scolded.

“I know, I know—”

“There was this arrangement, last minute, I hope you’ll be amenable to but—”

“What’s that supposed to mean?” Charlie pleaded.

The judge had begun speaking, so Sam hushed her. Too late.

“Ms. Savoy, this is the part where I get to talk.” The judge looked up from the paper she had been reading aloud. “Maybe it was different in your episodes of Law & Order?”

“No, ma’am, I mean, Your Honor, sir, ma’am, no,” Charlie stumbled. She had been wrong about the judge. The woman continued on about the damage Charlie caused and the significant hours of service required like Charlie was the honoree at one of those Comedy Central roasts, albeit one that could end with her in a jail cell.

Until finally, the judge cut to the chase: “…an assignment has presented itself,” she said slowly. “Which will make fine use of Ms. Savoy’s expertise…” Charlie caught Sam’s side-eye. “So Charlotte Savoy shall be required to complete sixty days with the Chamberlain Summer Theater in—”

“NO!” Charlie expelled the word, an anaphylactic response. The judge scowled as though jail might still be an option. “Sorry, Your Honor, I just mean—can I object?” Sam shot her a lethal glare. “It’s just that, well—” Charlie tried again as a door at the back of the courtroom creaked open, footsteps echoing. She turned to discover the equivalent of a ghost.

Nick Blunt—director, ex, first love, disappointment, invertebrate—heading her way.

“Mr. Blunt, thank you for joining us,” the judge said, unimpressed.

Charlie’s posture straightened, heartbeat ticking faster than seemed medically sound. She felt betrayed by her own being, muscles, nerves, ashamed of this reaction.

“Sorry, Your Honor,” he said in that deep rasp.

Charlie wished she hated that voice. And it seemed an abomination that he could still be attractive—physically at least.

Rugged with an athletic build, he wore black jeans, a blazer and aviator sunglasses, which he pulled off as he walked (pure affectation since, to her knowledge, it was still raining outside), tucking them into the V of his slim sweater.

He took his place beside Charlie, flashing that smile he deployed when he aimed to be his most charming.

“Hi there,” he said, as though surprised to be meeting this way.

“Shouldn’t you be wearing a cape?” Charlie rolled her eyes, focused on the judge reading again, and returned her body to its proper slouch, recalibrating her expression between boredom and disgust.

“I missed you too, Charlie,” he whispered back.

From the corner of her eye, Charlie spotted the sharp beak of that tattoo—the meadowlark—curving around from the back of his neck. It was still there, which gave her a pang of affection, a flare-up she forced herself to snuff out. She imagined how they might look to those few people sitting in the rows behind them. Nick and her with these identical birds inked onto the backs of their necks, midflight and gazing at each other anytime he stood on her right side, as he did now. Mirror images, bookends, the birds’ once-vibrant golden hue as faded as the memory of the hot, sticky night she and Nick had stolen away from campus to get them together.

Over the years, she had considered having hers removed or morphed into some other design, but why should she? She liked it. At face value. Charlie sighed again, more loudly than intended, as her mind sped to how this summer would now be.

“Ms. Savoy, is there a problem?” the judge asked, irked.

“Your Honor, I just wondered—is there a littered park or something? Instead?”

“We’re fine, Your Honor.” Sam patted Charlie’s arm in warning.

“Ms. Savoy will report to service June 1.” The judge slammed the gavel, which, to Charlie, sounded like a nail being hammered into a coffin.

“I had a client last week who’s cleaning restrooms at South Station this summer,” Sam said apologetically as they walked out.

Charlie just charged ahead down the hall, an urgent need to escape, her mind struggling to process it all.

“So, craziest thing happened,” Nick launched in, catching up to them at the elevator. “I was reading the news and saw about your little mishap—” He sounded truly concerned for a moment.

“Don’t pretend like you don’t have a Google alert on me,” Charlie cut him off, stabbing the down button too many times.

“You always were a terrible driver—”

“That river came outta nowhere—”

“But a stellar swimmer—”

She nodded once. She couldn’t argue with that.

He went on, “So I made a few calls and—”

“Don’t be fooled by…that.” She waved her hand back toward the courtroom. “You need me more than I need you.”

The elevator opened.

“We’ll see about that.” He let them on first. Charlie hit the button again-again-again to close the doors, but he made it in. “How long has it been, anyway?”

“You know how long it’s been,” she said as the doors closed so she was now looking at their reflection. It had been six years, three months, two weeks and two days since they last saw each other. At the long-awaited premiere for Midnight Daydream—which should’ve been a thrilling night since a series of snags had pushed the film’s release date back two years after filming. But instead of celebratory toasts, it had ended with a glass of the party’s signature cocktail—a messy blackberry-infused bourbon concoction the shade of the night sky—being thrown. In retrospect, she thought, there’d been so many signs the movie was cursed.

“You’re just mad your self-imposed exile is over.” He smirked.

“Always with the probing psychoanalysis.” She watched the floor numbers descend, doors finally opening.

Sam scurried out ahead of them. “My work here is done. I’m sure you two have a lot of catching up to do.” She gave Charlie an air-kiss before striding off.

“Wait, no, I just need to—” Charlie tried to stop her, but Sam had already hopped in a cab.

“So, I have an office not too far, off Newbury Street, off-season headquarters for Chamberlain—” Nick started.

“Luckily you’re usually phoning it in, so I haven’t had the privilege of running into you around town.” She walked ahead in the cool, pelting rain.

He stayed where he was. “I’d invite you out for a drink—”

“It’s, like, 10 a.m. That’s too early. Even for you—” She glanced back.

“Summer is gorgeous in the Berkshires, as you may recall,” he shouted, sunglasses back on, absurdly, and that smile again. “Welcome back to Chamberlain, Charlie.

Excerpted from The Summer Set by Aimee Agresti, Copyright © 2020 by Aimee Agresti. 
Published by Graydon House Books.

Aimee Agresti is the author of Campaign Widows and The Gilded Wings trilogy for young adults. A former staff writer for Us Weekly, she penned the magazine’s coffee table book Inside Hollywood. Aimee’s work has also appeared in People, Premiere, DC magazine, Capitol File, the Washington Post, Washingtonian, the Washington City Paper, Boston magazine, Women’s Health and the New York Observer, and she has made countless TV and radio appearances, dishing about celebrities on the likes of Access Hollywood, Entertainment Tonight, E!, The Insider, Extra, VH1, MSNBC, Fox News Channel and HLN. Aimee graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in journalism and lives with her husband and two sons in the Washington, DC, area.

Social Links | Author Website | Twitter: @AimeeAgresti |
Instagram: @aimeeagresti | Facebook: @AimeeAgrestiAuthor | Goodreads

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | Hickville Crossroads | Review

Frasier Anderson is one of the hottest teenage actors in the UK, but he’s virtually unknown in the US. Now he’s landed the leading role in a big-budget Hollywood film that could make him an international star. 

So how do you prepare a Scot for a role as a Texas high school student? Give him a fake name, a fake accent, and embed him in a Texas high school. He only has to follow three rules:

No drama. No girls. And no telling who he really is.

Jenna Wiley is smart, funny, and has a few no-drama, no-dating rules of her own. Her friendship with new kid Ethan Smith is perfect and might even lead to something more. Except for a few things that don’t add up. Like his mom being afraid to have company. Or their house, which is more staged than lived in. Or his sister, whom nobody talks about.

It all comes to a boil when Frasier’s biggest secrets hit the tabloids and the paparazzi swarm Hillside with Jenna in their sights.

Can Frasier convince Jenna that shy, goofy Ethan Smith is closer to real than the image the tabloids have created?

And can she ever forgive him for breaking the most important rule of all? Because for Jenna, when it comes to love and science, the truth is all that matters.

BUY LINKS | Amazon |iBooks|Kobo

If you’re looking for something lighthearted yet with an appropriate dose of angst, this will fit the bill. Though this is the 4th book in the Hickville High series it can be read as a standalone. It features Frasier and Jenna, the former being an actor from Scotland who is having to take a crash course in American high school so that he can better prepare for his new role.

I really enjoyed the humor in this story, it had it’s quirks while still being serious at times. It is written a little younger but is a fun story and a heartwarming romance.

Mary Karlik has always been a dreamer. When she was a teen, she read The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe, and then sat in every wardrobe in her Nanna’s home, trying to open the door to Narnia. She didn’t find it, but she did discover her voice as an author: one filled with her young adult self, and grounded in her roots as a Texan and her Scottish heritage, nourished by obscure Scottish folklore. 

You can find her Texas roots in her indie published, YA contemporary romance Hickville series , which has been described as “100% solid storytelling,” and begins with Welcome to Hickville High, a “lovely story about growing up.”

She digs deep into her Scottish roots – there is magic there, she just knows it – for her YA epic fantasy Fairy Trafficking series published by Ink Monster Publishing LLC. Her first book, Magic Harvest, debuted in September of 2018. It reached #1 in 3 categories of YA Fantasy on Amazon. Magic Heist, the second in the series has been described as “a fun twisty read which will never let you guess what will happen next.”

Mary recently moved from the beautiful Sangre de Cristo mountains of Northern New Mexico where she was a certified professional ski instructor to Texas. She loves visiting Scotland where she is currently earning a degree in Gaelic Language Studies at Sabhal Mòr Ostaig in Skye—part of the University of Highlands and Islands system. Mary also earned her MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University, has a B.S. degree from Texas A&M University, and is a Registered Nurse. 

Mary is an active member of Romance Writers of America and serves on a national committee of RWA. She formerly served on the board of the Young Adult Romance Writers of America. She is an active member of the Dallas Area Romance Authors and looks forward to raising a glass or two of gin and tonic with her fellow writers every year at RWA’s national convention. 

Author linksWebsite | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Newsletter | Goodreads


GIVEAWAY! Enter to win the Anderson tartan (her Scottish character is Anderson), a $25 Amazon gift card + 2x ebook copies of Hickville Crossroads
Click Here to Enter the Rafflecopter giveaway!

XBTBanner1

Want to check out more posts on the blog tour? Check out the schedule below!

May 4th
BookHounds ya >> Interview
Viviana MacKade >> Guest post
Rockin’ Book Reviews >> Review

May 5th
Living in a Bookworld >> Excerpt
breen.rb >> Review
Wicked Reads >> Review

May 6th
Read Your Writes Book Reviews >> Interview
Wishful Endings >> Guest post
Underneath the Covers >> Excerpt
The Wandering Wordsmith >> Review

May 7th
Valerie Ullmer | Romance Author >> Excerpt
book junkie reviews >> Excerpt
Beckybookstore >> Review

May 8th
Lisa Loves Literature >> Interview
ACME Teen Books – Kids, YA, & NA Too! >> Guest post
One Girl and A Book >> Review

Happy reading!

Blog Tour | The Summer Villa | Review

When a little white lie becomes the story of your life, what if the truth comes out?

For three woman, it’s a life-changing trip: one finds the man of her dreams, another discovers inspiration amidst Italian food and culture, while a chance encounter with a handsome local ushers in the ultimate life change for the third. But most importantly, it’s the beginning of a deep and lasting friendship between all three.

Now years later, Kim Weston – entrepreneur and owner of internationally successful Italian food and lifestyle business, The Sweet Life – has bought and restored the tumble-down villa to its former glory — and plans to reopen Villa Dolce Vita as a wellness/cultural retreat – a fitting honor to the root of her business inspiration.

To celebrate the villa’s grand opening, she and her Italian business partners are throwing a huge three-day party; flying a group of family, business and media contacts to the Amalfi Coast to join in the celebrations. And most importantly, the (still) close friends who started the journey with her: Annie and husband Nate, whose love story began at the villa, and single mum Eva, whose son was the result of an ill-advised Italian fling.

But in the run up to the planned weekend in Italy, it becomes clear that not everyone is happy about the party, nor are they on board with such ambitious plans for the location. And, as Villa Dolce Vita’s grand relaunch draws closer, old memories and past secrets come to light, and the three old friends are forced to question if anything that happened on that first fateful trip to the villa is at all what it seemed.

BUY LINKS | HarlequinIndiebound |Amazon | Barnes & Noble |
Target | Walmart | Google |Kobo

I really enjoyed this story as it slowly unwound to reveal the different timelines for the three women featured. There were some moments that were perhaps predictable and the beginning did take a little getting time to really get invested, but as it continues on you get sucked into the three women and their respective stories. The descriptions of the Amalfi coast are vibrant and wonderful, really painting a picture of what the setting is.

I did really enjoy as things got more and more intense, what with the teasing of secrets and the feeling that something was coming. It was that fact that kept the story going and really picked up the pace of the book.

MELISSA HILL lives in south Dublin with her husband and daughter. A USA TODAY and international #1 bestseller, she is the author of 13 novels, including The Gift of a Charm and A Gift From Tiffany’s. The Gift of a Charm was a USA TODAY bestseller. Hailed “the queen of the big plot twist,” she combines all the warmth and humor of contemporary women’s fiction with plots that keep readers guessing from page to page. Melissa also cowrites forensic thrillers with her husband, Kevin, under the pseudonym Casey Hill, featuring crime scene investigator Reilly Steel. For more information, visit www.caseyhillbooks.com.

SOCIAL LINKS | Author Website | TWITTER: @melissahillbks |
FB: @melissahillbooks |Goodreads

Happy reading!

Review | Komi Can’t Communicate Vol 1

Timid Tadano is a total wallflower, and that’s just the way he likes it. But all that changes when he finds himself alone in a classroom on the first day of high school with the legendary Komi. He quickly realizes she isn’t aloof—she’s just super awkward. Now he’s made it his mission to help her on her quest to make 100 friends!

This manga really surprised me as I didn’t really know where it was going to go. I really appreciate the fact that more mangas are coming out which feature real life issues such as anxiety. In this manga we primarily follow Tadano as he attempts to help Komi make friends after discovering she is unable to speak to people. When she tries to speak to someone else she freezes and is unable to communicate.

Tadano doesn’t always handle things the right way, but it’s obvious he’s trying to do his best in helping Komi, even though he’s a bit of an introvert himself. It’s also been set up that their school contains a number of people who perhaps don’t quite fit in at other schools, so I could see this series tackling more issues than just Kimo’s issue with communication and anxiety.

Happy reading!

Blog Tour: Sunrise on Half Moon Bay | Review

Sometimes the happiness we’re looking for has been there all along…

Adele and Justine have never been close. Born twenty years apart, Justine was already an adult when Addie was born. The sisters love each other but they don’t really know each other.

When Addie dropped out of university to care for their ailing parents, Justine, a successful lawyer, covered the expenses. It was the best arrangement at the time but now that their parents are gone, the future has changed dramatically for both women.

Addie had great plans for her life but has been worn down by the pressures of being a caregiver and doesn’t know how to live for herself. And Justine’s success has come at a price. Her marriage is falling apart despite her best efforts.

Neither woman knows how to start life over but both realize they can and must support each other the way only sisters can. Together they find the strength to accept their failures and overcome their challenges. Happiness is within reach, if only they have the courage to fight for it.

Set in the stunning coastal town of Half Moon Bay, California, Robyn Carr’s new novel examines the joys of sisterhood and the importance of embracing change.

Buy Links: Harlequin  | Indiebound | Amazon | Barnes & Noble  |
Books-A-Million | Target | Walmart | Google | iBooks | Kobo

I don’t read a ton of women’s fiction and while I’ve seen Robyn Carr’s books I’ve never picked one up. That being said the synopsis of this one interested me so I decided to pick it up and I don’t regret it. This was a really powerful story about two sisters who are trying to figure out where their lives go from where they are (though in different ways) as well as growing closer.

It really was a wonderful story and I found I really enjoyed reading Carr’s writing. She handled the issues in the story very well and really wrote eloquently. Since this was my first experience with her writing I was very pleasantly surprised. It was great to see the two sisters coming together when they had spent so much of their lives apart and being there for each other. If you’re looking for a contemporary fiction that will tug the heartstrings and really suck you in to the characters, I would recommend this.

Robyn Carr is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than sixty novels, including highly praised women’s fiction such as Four Friends and The View From Alameda Island and the critically acclaimed Virgin River, Thunder Point and Sullivan’s Crossing series. Virgin River is now a Netflix Original series. Robyn lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. Visit her website at www.RobynCarr.com.

Social Links: Author Website | Twitter: @RCarrWriter |
Facebook: @RobynCarrWriter | Instagram: @RobynCarrWriter | Goodreads

Happy reading!

Blog Tour: Truths I Never Told You

After finding disturbing journal pages that suggest her late mother didn’t die in a car accident as her father had always maintained, Beth Walsh begins a search for answers to the question — what really happened to their mother? With the power and relevance of Jodi Picoult and Lisa Jewell, Rimmer pens a provocative novel told by two women a generation apart, the struggles they unwittingly shared, and a family mystery that may unravel everything they believed to be true.

With her father recently moved to a care facility because of worsening signs of dementia, Beth Walsh volunteers to clear out the family home to prepare it for sale. Why shouldn’t she be the one, after all? Her three siblings are all busy with their families and successful careers, and Beth is on maternity leave after giving birth to Noah, their miracle baby. It took her and her husband Hunter years to get pregnant, but now that they have Noah, Beth can only feel panic. And leaving Noah with her in-laws while she pokes about in their father’s house gives her a perfect excuse not to have to deal with motherhood.

Beth is surprised to discover the door to their old attic playroom padlocked, and even more shocked to see what’s behind it – a hoarder’s mess of her father’s paintings, mounds of discarded papers, and miscellaneous junk. Her father was the most fastidious, everything-in-its-place man, and this chaos makes no sense. As she picks through the clutter, she finds a handwritten note attached to one of the paintings, in what appears to be in her late mother’s handwriting. Beth and her siblings grew up believing Grace Walsh died in a car accident when they were little more than toddlers, but this note suggests something much darker may be true. A frantic search uncovers more notes, seemingly a series of loose journal entries that paint a very disturbing portrait of a woman in profound distress, and of a husband that bears very little resemblance to the father Beth and her siblings know.

A fast-paced, harrowing look at the fault in memories and the lies that can bond families together – or tear them apart.

BUY LINKS: Amazon IndieBound Barnes & Noble Apple Books
Books-A-Million Google Play

I was really hoping this book would be an intriguing journey of discovering family secrets, but it ended up being so much more than I expected. In it we follow two timelines in the same family, with the main character, Beth, discovering what happened when her parents were younger. She does this while going through her own difficulties and emotional issues. She and her siblings have to work through a number of things related to their father’s impending death and secrets that start to surface add another layer to the story.

Definite trigger warnings for death of a parent, postpartum depression (and depression in general) and talk of dementia. I really enjoyed the writing style and the dual timelines, with more and more of the past being revealed as time went on. There’s also some good discussion about the way contraception and abortions were looked at in the 50s as well as the roles women were expected to play at that time. Both timelines and the generations of this family were full of personality, depth and secrets and while unwinding them was hard, it was worth it.

Kelly Rimmer is the worldwide and USA TODAY bestselling author of Before I Let You Go, Me Without You, and The Secret Daughter. She lives in rural Australia with her husband, two children and fantastically naughty dogs, Sully and Basil. Her novels have been translated into more than twenty languages. Please visit her at www.Kelly.Rimmer.com


SOCIAL LINKS:
Facebook: @Kellymrimmer
Twitter: @KelRimmerWrites
Instagram: @kelrimmerwrites

Happy reading!

Review: Passion on Park Avenue

For as long as she can remember, Bronx-born Naomi Powell has had one goal: to prove her worth among the Upper East Side elite—the same people for which her mom worked as a housekeeper. Now, as the strongminded, sassy CEO of one of the biggest jewelry empires in the country, Naomi finally has exactly what she wants—but it’s going to take more than just the right address to make Manhattan’s upper class stop treating her like an outsider.

The worst offender is her new neighbor, Oliver Cunningham—the grown son of the very family Naomi’s mother used to work for. Oliver used to torment Naomi when they were children, and as a ridiculously attractive adult, he’s tormenting her in entirely different ways. Now they find themselves engaged in a battle-of-wills that will either consume or destroy them…

Filled with charm and heart and plenty of sex and snark, this entertaining series will hook you from the very first page.

This one was such a fun roller coaster ride. In it we primarily follow Naomi, but also Clair and Audrey, who all find out that they were in relationships with Claire’s husband the day of his funeral. They form a fast friendship and a pact to look out for each other.

A lot of the book has to do with holding grudges and how to move on from them, people changing and also takes a look at what Alzheimer’s not only does to those who suffer from it but those around them. While this was a great romance between Naomi and Oliver, it had much more depth than I expected. Layne really dove into their feelings and internal conflicts between each other.

I really loved the banter between them and their friends/family. The writing style was so fluid and easy that it made for a really fast read.

Happy reading!