Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Book Lovers

For New York City literary agent Nora Stephens, spending time offline in North Carolina is not a get-away … it’s the one that got away! In real life this successful dealmaker has lost every one of her recent boyfriends to a meet-cute not of her making. There is no way this stylish hot shot with the regimented skin care routine and strictly scheduled calendar will ever make it through the month in oppressively sunny Sunshine Falls. But Nora has promised her younger sister Libby to spend time with her and bucket list before her next bun is out of the baby making oven. And she cannot bear to disappoint her. With wonky wifi she hunkers down in the local book store to get some work done and learns much to her chagrin that her NY nemesis, top notch editor Charlie Lastra is not only in this godforsaken little town at the very same time but his family owns the adorable shop and the B&B where she is staying. Many romcom moments later the two cannot deny the unlikely circumstances that brought them together and unquestionable chemistry they share. Sisterly connection, book obsession, steamy enemies to lovers - this laugh-out-loud summer read is a small town romance that will have you glued to that beach chair long after the sun goes down. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wednesday, May 11, 2022

Meant to Be

Joe Kingsley is the “It” guy of the eighties. Born into a high achieving, wealthy family - Joe always had that special something. Carrying the memory of his father, an astronaut and American hero who perished a tragic death, Joe is smothered with love from his stylish, well bred mother. With his all American good looks, athleticism and natural charm Joe finds it’s smooth sailing to pretty much get whatever and whomever he wants. His mother repeatedly reminding him that as the receiver of many gifts, much is expected. The pressure of being a Kingsley and barrage of unwanted publicity leaves Joe constantly on the search for true happiness and often his next adrenaline rush. One day, on a windy beach in the Hamptons, he stumbles upon a photo shoot and meets the most stunning woman he has ever seen. After continuous begging and pleading Cate finally agrees to a date. And just as Cate feared there is no turning back. Their pasts cannot be more different. Cate grew up in another world, a dysfunctional home filled with dread and disappointment. Until Joe, Cate never dreamed there was a love this great. Succumbing to the terrifying paparazzi and harsh public opinion, Cate cannot resist her full heart and Joe’s eternal optimism. Their romance is one people write books about.  Loosely (very loosely!) based on the Kennedy’s these characters were easily imaginable and beloved. This “what if” novel is beautiful all on its own - but with JFK Jr’s handsome face in mind, Meant to Be comes instantly to life and melted my heart. This imaginative, well written, captivating love story is unputdownable and the absolute PERFECT summer read! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Tuesday, May 10, 2022

An Island Wedding

On the remote island of Mure, between Scotland and Norway, Flora MacKenzie is planning her wedding. After a stint in London she is once again living on the island she was raised with her fiancé Joel and their baby Douglas who is soon to turn one. Flora is finally ready to tie the knot surrounded by beloved family and friends. While she manages the beautiful local hotel with her brother, she could think of no better place to take her vows. Then Olivia MacDonald shows up. Having left the island ten years ago in search of a bigger shinier life the breathtakingly beautiful Olivia returns instagram famous and engaged to a wealthy man. She is in Mure to plan her wedding (fancy planner in tow) and rub her success in the faces of her past. To further complicate matters Olivia wants to hold the affair the same time and place as Flora. When Joel who suffered a difficult lonely childhood decides he prefers a small simple ceremony Flora is unsure whether she can juggle the two simultaneously. This fifth book of a series can easily stand alone - say “I Do” to this enchanting arm chair travel to the Scottish Isles. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Wedding Crasher

Speak now or forever hold your peace? Solange Pereira, a beautiful Brazilian-American firecracker is helping her wedding planner cousin Lina with a fancy affair when she unexpectedly overhears a conversation in the stairwell. Unable to keep quiet during the ceremony, this wedding crasher becomes the wedding destroyer and stops this very sweet handsome groom from making the biggest mistake of his life. Little did she know that the couple had an odd agreement and Dean (sexy groom) does not believe in true love. This business-like arrangement checked all his boxes and that was that. Feeling absolutely mortified that she ruined his special day Solange cannot refuse Dean when he asks for a great big favor in return. As he fights for partnership in the law firm where he works, Dean must help recruit a woman from a well connected family. He needs Solange to “pretend date” him to accomplish this task. One rom-com mishap after another leads these adorable characters and their fake romance to finally acknowledge their very real chemistry. For these two career driven hotties giving real love a chance means putting to-do lists and meddling family aside and facing their own beating hearts. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thursday, April 28, 2022

The Book Woman's Daughter

The packhorse librarians hold a special place in the heart of the majestic Kentucky mountains. Cussy Lovett, a Blue, was one of the very first women to enter these hills and spread the love of literacy to many simple folks who had few luxuries in their lives. Back breaking work in the mines and hunting in these remote hollers left the women at home often taking care of numerous children, ramshackle homes and elderly relatives with very little income. Honey Lovett, Cussy’s daughter is only 16 years old when her beloved parents are arrested for miscegenation. They are sentenced to prison and Honey struggles to find freedom and a way to carry on her mother’s legacy as a packhorse librarian, her true calling. Always ready to help a neighbor Honey carries the same deep beliefs and honor as her mother. She knows that learning to read and write unquestionably changes lives. Befriending Pearl, the new female forestry fire-watcher, Honey learns first hand how deeply the prejudices and suppression runs against Blue’s and women in general. Finding the strength through newfound sisterhood and books the two women attempt to establish their valuable place in the community. This wonderful sequel can easily stand alone. What a joy to climb back into the Appalachia Mountains and characters of Troublesome Creek. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Saturday, April 23, 2022

Take My Hand

In 1973 Civil Townsend is a brand new nursing school graduate. Raised from a long line of black physicians, a rarity in Montgomery Alabama, Civil is excited to start her first job at the Montgomery Family Planning Clinic. As she meets the other nurses and starts to get her bearings, Civil is asked to see some patients farther outside the city who are not able to get to the clinic. Her first home visit are two young girls named Erica and India. The Williams sisters are 11 and 13 years old and Civil is to administer a shot of Depo-Provera, a new and controversial form of birth control. Rule follower Civil does not question her superiors methods or motives. Because she is attending to black families, they do not question her. After months of following these protocols and growing great affection for these girls and their family Civil, along with her fellow nursing friend Alicia and lifelong friend Ty begin to question why the FDA has not approved this drug and why these poor, mostly illiterate folks are being treated and sterilized within consent. On a mission with the help of a clever young attorney, these everyday people bravely take on the United States government to expose and rectify a great injustice. Loosely based on true events and narrated by Civil then and now we are taken back to human and civil rights issues our country faced decades ago and sadly continue to battle every day. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Mr. Wrong Number

After losing her job, her boyfriend and burning down her building Olivia is back in Omaha. She is a penniless hot mess with very few options. Her older brother Jack offers her a months reprieve on an old air mattress in his swanky apartment so she can get her act together. Fancy pants Colin Beck is Jack’s roommate. He has known Olivia since childhood and they share an obnoxious teasing banter that only old family friends could tolerate. Handsome Colin who is perfection on paper gives her a hard time every chance he gets. One day as Olivia, a witty and talented writer is searching for a new job she receives a strange text from an unknown number asking her what she is wearing. Unable to deny her wordy self a comical comeback she replies. And thus begins a texting relationship between Mr. Wrong Number and Miss Misdial. The stranger becomes the only ally she has at the moment and their humorous exchanges brighten her darkest days. As a misguided attraction ensues, Colin puts the pieces together - Olivia is Miss Misdial. Stringing along this secret texting addiction Colin is shocked to realize he is falling for his best friends off-limits little sis. This delightful, laugh out loud romcom may be the reality break you are longing for. Absolutely adorable and looking forward to more from this entertaining author. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thursday, April 21, 2022

Cover Story

NYU student Lora Ricci snags a summer internship she has spent her life dreaming about. She is going to work at Elle magazine and is one step closer to becoming an actual writer. When she arrives Lora quickly finds herself in the beauty closet stocking supplies BUT she is at Elle, she is climbing the ladder and that is all that matters. Determined to shine Lora befriends the beautiful and exotic contributing editor, Cat Wolff. She begins to complete small tasks for Cat and quickly is taken under her very stylish wing. When the end of summer nears Cat offers Lora the opportunity to collaborate on a writing project she is certain will be published. Lora drops out of NYU, moves into Cat’s suite at The Plaza Hotel and begins a year long extravaganza of the whirlwind that is Cat’s glamorous life both personal and professional. Her parents disappointment keeps Lora from telling anyone her struggles or plans, she is laser focused only on getting published. Without any funds of her own Lora is constantly at the beck and call of every decision Cat makes, often leaving her confused and slightly suspicious of Cat’s true identity. As the pieces of this mysterious puzzle begin to fall apart so do Lora’s dreams. The format of writing lends itself to one giant binge read that you cannot put down. May remind you of Inventing Anna but even better with a twist - this is the absolute perfect read to take you away! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Frontier Follies

Ree Drummond lives on a ranch in Oklahoma. While her life is beyond busy helping on the ranch (not to be mistaken for a farm) raising her four children, running a successful blog and business complete with her own cooking show - this woman finds the time to share her hilarious, heartfelt and often wise essays about marriage and motherhood. After college Ree who had grown up in a more metropolitan lifestyle marries her blue eyed dreamy cowboy, Ladd. The day begins early on the Drummond Ranch and it took some time for Ree to consider waking in the dark “morning.” Over an hour to any grocery store and UPS hesitating to come out that far, Ree had to quickly learn bulk buying, time management and a way to extract humor in the daily oddities of ranch living. Always putting family first this dynamic woman can bring laughter to a tired table with ease. While supporting the business and all her children’s endeavors she somehow found a way to build The Pioneer Woman, never daring to dream it could reach the success story it is today. This delightful read had me smiling all the way through. Written with great finesse, Ree manages to smooth the bumps of every day life into a continuous and grateful celebration of family. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Monday, April 11, 2022

The Lioness

Katie Barstow is an A-list actress in 1964. Katie grew up on the stage with Broadway parents and entered Hollywood life to finally escape the clutches of her abusive manipulating mother. She is set to marry her brother’s best friend David, whom they grew up with, and planning a safari honeymoon only the very wealthy could consider. Katie’s companions include her brother and his pregnant wife, fellow starlet Carmen Tedesco with her privileged husband, Terrance a handsome actor she often works with and her infamous agent. They land in Africa excited to experience the Serengeti and all it offers. Gazing at herds of magnificent animals and photographing idyllic scenes seem to be right out of the movies. While these entitled guests drink gin and are waited on hand and foot they are worried about the wrong enemies. While cautious of their distance to wild animals of which they’ve been warned they are confronted by Russians with rifles. Escorted to Land Rovers and tied up in huts the Americans have no idea what these kidnappers want. Survival is the key to figuring out what is behind this brutal attack. Told from the many many many different voices of each character this story dragged. I adored the author’s beautiful descriptive writing but in the end I couldn’t figure out if there was too much backstory or not enough. The whole plot just fell flat. I have loved all of this authors books and enjoyed numerous novels of Africa, unfortunately this one was not for me. ⭐️⭐️

Dating Dr. Dil

Dr. Prem Verma is a successful doctor in addition to having his own southeast asian community tv show. A practical man, Dr. Dil neither believes in “love marriages” or risking a broken heart. Kareena Mann is a local attorney who nearing thirty has all the aunties circling the marriage matches on her behalf. She has focused on school and caring for her younger sister, beloved father and their precious home since her mother’s untimely passing. Kareena is beautiful, outspoken and successful but she may be ready to swipe online as she is well on her way to being considered an old maid. After a meet cute that fails miserably, Prem and Kareena decide to join forces and get what they truly want. He, the much needed investors for his community health center and Kareena is desperate for a downpayment to buy her childhood home as her father plans retirement. Even though their views on love and marriage are night and day, the young couple cannot deny their sizzling chemistry. Fighting fate is not easy when her younger sister is an actual bridezilla and Prem is running out of excuses to fend off his beating heart. Absolutely the cutest, wedding romcom filled with steamy scenes and hilarious dating mishaps. The theme of arranged marriage is common in many cultures and the aunties data spread sheets are not that different than signing up for the latest app. Highly recommend this perfect beach read! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Impossible Us

This is a love story like no other. Nick, a struggling writer whose wife just left him for his best friend - sends off a scathing email to a client who owes him money. Bee receives said email and although completely out of character, she responds to this stranger to let Nick know he’s got the wrong email. What ensues is a back and forth (You’ve Got Mail) flirtation that leads to a truly meaningful friendship. Finally, finally the two decide to meet in person. But Nick never shows, Bee never appears. Angry and hurt at first, the two later begin to dive back into the hundreds of messages sent between them and red flags are everywhere. They are somehow not in the same time/universe. Desperately wanting to meet but also filled with a strong desire to somehow make everything right they go out on a limb and commit to things that seem utterly impossible. I absolutely loved this alternative world (almost time travel -ish) premise. You have to roll with it because it can be confusing but it is superbly original and filled with wonderful quirky, witty characters. Beautifully written, this romance is a lot of fun and will fill you with wonder.  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

When We Let Go

Working at the magnificent Vizcaya Museum and Gardens in Miami, Avery Beckett is surrounded daily by beauty and calm. She focuses on the tours and gardens that need her constant attention. The day Jude shows up, on one knee, ring in hand Avery panics. As much as she truly loves him, she has not been honest and should have revealed her secret past long ago. Jude, a handsome widow, father of three and successful surgeon is devastated that Avery does not accept his proposal. After receiving a call that her father is ill, Avery heads back to North Carolina and their family farm. She has not been back in many years, has not spoken to her once beloved sister Willow in all that time.  Avery realizes that to have any sort of happy future she must face the horrific past. Little did she expect Elle, Jude’s surly and difficult teenage daughter, to secretly hitch a ride and upend all of her plans. Battling her own demons, Elle’s outward anger is only masking her pain. Together these women form new bonds that teach them all a lesson about family, both the one you are born into and the one you choose. This beautiful, tender story is filled with love, friendship and hope. I was simple taken away by the stunning descriptions of the mountains and rivers of North Carolina. I even want to try fly fishing! (That’s a first!) Highly recommend this perfect summer read! Release date: May 17, 2022! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Wednesday, March 30, 2022

The Love of My Life

Emma loves her husband Leo more than anything in the world. They have a beautiful daughter and have spent the past decade building a lovely marriage and home. Emma has recently gone into remission and the couple are reminded of their deep connection and gratitude for her current health. Leo is an obituary writer for the city’s newspaper and Emma is a well known marine biologist and spokesperson on BBC. He can’t seem to resist his nature of soothing his fears by writing a column for Emma hopefully to not be published for many years to come. As he quietly digs deeper Leo finds pieces of a puzzle that do not fit together. It doesn’t take long before his anxiety has him exposing horrifying emails and text messages. He begins to doubt if he knows his wife at all. When a well known actress goes missing Emma appears to have a secret and unexpected relationship with the woman’s husband, an outspoken rather brash radio host named Jeremy. The more Emma tries to explain each finding, the more twisted her lies become. The truth is nowhere in sight. A mysterious love story that could make even the most mundane details appear sinister. Unique, fast paced thriller kept me guessing until the very end. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Christie Affair

On December 3, 1926 famed mystery writer Agatha Christie is told by her husband Archie that he is in love with another woman. The couple quarrels after he makes this devastating announcement and leaves to spend the weekend with his mistress, not his wife. Later that evening Agatha, devastated by the news, packs a few things and leaves their estate in her precious sports car. She is not seen or heard from again for 11 days. During this time Archie appears shocked while the household staff points fingers at him. His girlfriend quietly leaves town. The police are called as the entire country begins a massive search for the famed author, mother and wife. Was this news story fodder for her latest book release? A public relations scandal to hold onto a crumbling marriage? The Christie Affair is cleverly narrated by Nan O’Dea, Archie’s mistress. Nan has her own agenda and personal history that has been well hidden. When Nan’s backstory crosses paths with the present search party she can no longer deny her unexpected role in the Christie’s life. This fictionalized account of what could have been, might have been - of one of the greatest unsolved mysteries of all time is positively mesmerizing. A novel not unlike one of Agatha’s own creations. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

56 Days

56 days ago Ciara and Oliver meet while waiting on line at a small grocery shop in Dublin. He admires her NASA tote bag, a quick conversation starter of rockets that leads to a walk, some coffee and invitation for a date. Ciara cannot believe her luck. She is rather shy, new to Dublin and Oliver is extremely handsome and charming. Days later Ireland is threatening official lockdown for the COVID virus. It jeopardizes their newfound friendship, something they desperately crave as pandemic restrictions of isolation continue to escalate. Very quickly, most likely too quickly, Ciara moves into Oliver’s apartment so they can work remotely and continue to get to know each other. To avoid confrontation Ciara doesn’t tell her sister or friends. Oliver appears quite content in their little bubble. He is more at ease than she has seen him since their initial meeting. Their romance blossoms but small clues Ciara can no longer ignore present themselves daily and she begins to snoop. Weeks later when a neighbor complains of a horrifying smell emanating down the hall the detectives arrive. A decomposing body is discovered in the bathroom. The apartment is wiped clean. As Oliver’s identity comes to light this perfect storm sheds new focus on a story that was buried long ago. Highly recommend this fast paced thriller, twists and turns until the bitter end.  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Thursday, March 24, 2022

The Suite Spot

Rachel Beck is out of work, out of money and out of options. As a single mom with a sweet but useless on-off again boyfriend she is staying with her own mother but searching for a way out. When a friend of a friend hooks her up with a job opportunity at a hip new brewery hotel Rachel is torn. Lake Erie is a long way from South Florida, another world, far from anything she has ever known. Deciding that Mason, the owner, sounded decent on the phone and the fact that she has no other offers, Rachel hits the road. Feeling positive and hopeful she arrives with her little girl to a breathtaking location … with no hotel in sight. Mason didn’t mention on the phone interview that the hotel is under construction and he is desperate for help. She has nothing more to lose and dives right in. Rachel is organized and creative and it just so happens that moody Mason is extremely cute. As the two slowly become friends, the hotel vision comes alive and it is everything she ever wanted. When her ex starts some trouble it is up to Rachel to redesign her own future as well. Adorable, fun romcom with a sexy creative cast. Rachel is the sister from The Float Plan (which I loved!) but you do not have to read in order to enjoy.  ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

One Italian Summer

Katy’s entire life has fallen apart. She has no taste for food, she cannot sleep and no longer knows if she is meant to be married to Eric. The illness and passing of her beloved mother has left her completely empty, devoid of any feelings except utter sadness. On a whim she decides to take the trip they had always dreamed of going on together - to retrace her mother’s memorable summer in Positano, Italy. When she arrives, itinerary in hand, she is immediately swept away with sunshine and memories that are not hers but those her mother described in breathtaking detail over the years. One day there is a woman at the front desk mailing a package and against everything Katy ever believed or understood, by some magical twist of fate, it is her mother Carol. Only she is 30 years old, not 60 and she is healthy and beautiful. Shocked but grateful the two become fast friends. While enjoying the idyllic surroundings and mouth watering food, Katy begins to see her mother in a new light as an independent woman who desires things she never knew about. As the days speed by too quickly Katy is desperate to figure out her own reality. I often imagine what a wonderful thing it would be if children could see that their parents have dreams and hopes - not just as parents but as people. Simply adored this armchair travel to the most beautiful setting folded between the pages of a mother-daughter love story. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Sunday, March 13, 2022

Woman on Fire

Jules Roth has always wanted to be a journalist. After completing graduate school she finds her way into the newspaper office of Dan Mansfield, famous investigative reporter and idol. Dan is quickly impressed with Jules’s gumption and gives her a chance to help him with a private matter he is researching for his close and very famous friend, designer Ellis Baum. They set off in search of a painting the Nazi’s stole when he was a young boy, almost 80 years ago. It is a painting featuring his mother who perished in their filthy hands. Woman on Fire by Ernst Engel is the only picture of her in existence and Ellis must have it before he leaves this world. Unfortunately, they are not the only ones desperately seeking to obtain this painting. Margaux de Laurent is beautiful, wealthy and one of the most famous gallerists in the world. She is the granddaughter of a man who hid and saved artwork from German hands, she is also a manipulating psychopath. From her powerful position it is a race to find this painting recently stolen from a Nazi heir that had been hiding priceless artwork for many years. This fast paced thriller takes us from Chicago to the hills of France and Germany. Leaving no stone unturned this small group slowly uncovers the mysterious and dangerous trail that leads them to the truth. Filled with history, art, romance and mystery - Woman on Fire will keep you guessing until the very end. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

the Next Thing You Know

Nova Huston is a death doula, someone whose job it is to help an individual transition at the end of life. Ranging from emotional support, medical advocate to family mediator and more - Nova fills in whatever gaps the terminally ill patient needs. It is not an easy job to navigate but together with her boss and mentor Kelly they run a small successful practice in Cincinnati, Ohio. One day Mason Shaylor a handsome musician walks into her office. With shaky hands and apparent surgical scars, Mason is much too young to be looking at his final days. Remaining guarded and reluctant to fill out any of the necessary paperwork that new patients usually require, it is hard for Nova to figure out what Mason truly desires. As the two spend more time together, their connection and chemistry is undeniable. Nova encourages Mason to find forgiveness, acceptance and even if he cannot play guitar like he used to, his remaining days can be filled with love and even music. This beautifully written, heartbreaking and heartwarming story of family, love and trust is both hard to read and necessary. End-of-life is part of life - and very few of us understand how to approach this knowingly. Choosing to live is as important as choosing to die with dignity. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️