Thursday, February 25, 2021

Our Darkest Night

Antonina Mazin lives with her beloved father in Venice, Italy. He is a brilliant doctor who has always loved and cared for the community in which they live. As the Nazi’s close in on their world in the fall of 1943 he knows he must send his daughter away to safety. A narrative is created and arranged. Antonina Mazin becomes Nina. She is “married” to Nico Gerardi, a farmer in the countryside. This handsome young man is to keep Nina out of danger through the war and she will pose as his new wife and help on the family farm. This life of manual labor is not an easy change for Nina, a city girl through and through. Eventually Nico’s family, who have no idea of her real identity, slowly begin to trust this beautiful girl and happily accept her as their own. As the war inches closer to their little village the local Nazi officials grow suspicious of Nico’s travels. Much to Nina’s surprise she is falling helplessly in love with the kindest and most generous man she has ever met. Happiness seems just within reach as the horrors of World War II finally close in on them. Beautifully written saga of history, love and family with the most gorgeous Italian scenery. Highly recommend this wonderful historical fiction novel! ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Wife Upstairs

Jane is a rather plain nondescript young woman who walks dogs for a living in the fancy neighborhood called Thornfield Estates. Manicured landscapes, luxury cars and rows of mansions line the exclusive streets. As Jane picks and drops off her charges she tends to casually slip a jewel or any small valuable in her pocket as her pretentious clients never know the difference. Pleasant enough, none of these ladies who lunch find meek Jane a threat which only enhances her opportunity. One day she meets Eddie, an extremely handsome, recently widowed neighbor. They instantly click and begin seeing each other. Jane is no longer focused on the small trinket but is laser focused on becoming part of this prestigious community. As she weasels her way into Eddie’s life Jane realizes she is not the one holding the tricky cards. Eddie’s wife Bea and her best friend disappeared in a mysterious boating accident. The police are still investigating. The more Jane learns, the more frightened she becomes. Jane is no longer sure who is playing who. This absolutely suspenseful page turner will keep you at the edge of your seat. Highly recommend this domestic thriller. Couldn’t put down! ⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Moonlight School

It is 1911 and Lucy Wilson lives a charmed existence with her wealthy father in Louisville, Kentucky. The untimely death of her mother and disappearance of her sister many years ago had left a gaping hole in her heart but after Lucy graduates from a fancy girl’s finishing school her only ambition is to find a suitable husband. When her father’s cousin Cora Wilson Stewart requests Lucy assist her as a scribe for 6 months in the mountains of Appalachia she is more than just a little bit hesitant. Shocked by the severely poverty-stricken county, Lucy is further surprised to learn that most residents are illiterate. As she arrives in Rowan County with nothing more than the goal to leave as fast as possible, she is quickly in awe of Cora and her mission to help the mountain people maintain the generous loving community they have lived in for generations. At the time it was believed there was a window for learning and that it was too late for adults. These brave women realized that was untrue and did everything they could to give the gift of reading to all. Based on the true story of Cora Wilson Stewart’s mission to spread adult literacy, this beautiful story melted my heart. Highly recommend! ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Monday, February 8, 2021

This Close to Okay

Tallie is on her way home from work one rainy nasty evening when she sees a man on the wrong side of the bridge. He has climbed the rails and is staring at the stormy dark river. Without hesitation Tallie pulls her car over and races to help this man, gently coaxing him to speak with her, accept a ride and leave this dire situation. After a warm cup of coffee and the calming effect of Tallie’s voice, Emmett shares a little about himself. With nowhere else to go this handsome sweet man agrees to spend the night on her couch. Tallie is a professional therapist and although this may appear just a teensy bit unethical, she tells Emmett she is a teacher. She decides that someone who wants to kill themselves is not looking for a last minute therapy session. As Emmett opens up to Tallie’s natural warmth and hospitality, she details her own recent heartbreaking divorce and failure to have a child. The two connect on a deep level, trusting each other with feelings rarely expressed out loud. Narrated by both Tallie and Emmett the reader has a chance to see both sides of the coin. As their truths unfold it it is clear that even if fate brought them together it takes extraordinary forgiveness to mend a broken heart. Tiny bits of repetition did not stop me from loving this beautiful story. More therapeutic than sad, I highly recommend! ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Thursday, February 4, 2021

The Love Proof

Sophie Jones has been a prodigy her entire life. Different from all the other children her parents were determined to make sure she always felt surrounded by love and kindness. When she begins at Yale, Sophie is set to change the world. Her theories and mathematical skills precede her arrival as it is decided which professor she will work with. A week into the first semester, quiet, sweet Sophie meets Jake and her life is changed forever. Mesmerized by this new and physical love she has never experienced, Sophie is slowly drained of her aspirations, intent on spending as much time with Jake as possible. But Jake has his own journey to travel. After a difficult and stormy childhood Jake is determined to make a lot of money, take care of his mother and have all the things that have always been out of reach. Understanding Sophies gift to the world, Jake is devastated that he has inadvertently led Sophie astray from her study of time theory and must find a way to get her back on track. After years of painful separation and near misses, the two cannot fight their true love connection. An eccentric and memorable love story, this is not your average romance. ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Love in Lockdown

One night while Sophia quietly cries on her balcony, a mysterious voice calls down to her. Her neighbor above, whom she has never met, offers conversation that makes Sophia feel remarkably better. England is on lockdown and as everyone adjusts to weeks upon weeks of life in isolation, fear of catching the virus and pure loneliness, Sophia realizes her purpose may be to help those in her community who cannot manage on their own. As Jack becomes her confidante and she assists him getting much needed groceries, they form a bond unlike any she has ever experienced. Without ever having met each other this young couple have become dependent on the strength and encouragement provided each and every night on the balcony. This well timed pandemic love story reminds us that giving to others can make people feel less alone in a world that continues to challenge us every day. Spreading the kindness and falling in love go hand in hand in this adorable, uplifting Valentine’s treat.⭐⭐⭐⭐

The Ex Talk

Shay Goldstein has been in love with public radio her entire life. Starting as an intern after college, Shay has been at this Seattle station for the last ten years. With a voice she assumed was annoying Shay has remained behind the scenes producing shows and helping their stars succeed. When the station runs into tough times they are searching for something new and hip to uplift their ratings. Shay randomly pitches her boss an idea where the co-hosts who have recently split up could coach their audience with relationship and romance advice. Shockingly she is placed on the air with her handsome nemesis who recently joined the team and insists he knows absolutely everything. Terrified of going live and convincing everyone in her life she secretly dated Dominic is no easy task. No sooner is the show aired that it becomes a sensational hit. Climbing the radio and podcast charts, a dream come true, becomes an issue when the duo quietly and completely fall in love with each other. As their relationship gets harder to camouflage this laugh out loud rom-com will lift your spirits and melt your heart. ⭐⭐⭐⭐