Thursday, September 23, 2021

The Night She Disappeared

In 2017 Tallulah Murray goes to the pub with her boyfriend (and father of her child) Zach and they are never seen again. Barely out of highschool, the young couple was seen leaving the pub and going to a party at an old nearby mansion called Dark Place. The town begins a search party, devastated and frightened that an innocent couple could disappear. In 2019 Sophie finds a strange note attached to a fence post near the woods of the boarding school where she is the girlfriend of the new headmaster. It says DIG HERE. Sophie, a mystery writer, cannot resist following every clue and detail she can get her hands on. Sophie quickly befriends Kim, Tallulah’s heartbroken mother and opens up this cold case that no-one in the small English village can understand. Narrated within two timelines and filled with a cast of excellent characters, this fast paced drama uncovers buried secrets that were never meant to be found. Twists and turns until the very end, this is another unputdownable read from one of my favorite authors Lisa Jewel. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Book of Magic

The Owens family witches have been cursed for over 300 years. They are forbidden to fall in love. If one of the family members breaks this rule, their loved ones suffer fatal consequences. When Aunt Jet is nearing the end of her life she sets the wheels in motion to end this curse and release the family from a loveless life. The story begins in the Magnolia house outside of Boston and we are reintroduced to the many (many) characters and their plight to hide love. Ultimately traveling to Europe to reunite with long lost brother Vincent, Jets sister Franny and the younger nieces use their unusual gifts to search for answers and break the spell that has been controlling their lives all these years. This is the fourth and final of the Owens saga. I have read them all and unfortunately this was my least favorite. There was an enormous amount of extraneous background information and too many confusing character timelines to follow. I love the witches but this one dragged on and on with very little happening. If you have read the other three - The Book of Magic brings closure for the Owens but is sadly not very enticing.  ⭐️⭐️

Tuesday, September 7, 2021

Talk Bookish To Me

Kara is a bestselling romance novelist. After a string of huge successes she is completely stuck. Writers block is a nightmare. With her deadline fast approaching and daily reminders from her publisher, Kara is beside herself with worry. The only bright spot lately is helping her very best friend with her extravagant wedding plans. At the couple’s celebratory dinner, the first of many events, Kara bumps into her oldest and truest love. The man who stole and broke her heart in college - Ryan Thompson. Apparently an old friend of the groom, Kara is speechless facing the man she has tried to forget about for the last decade. The two unexpectedly leave the past in the past and as they are brought together by nuptial duties and sneaky friends the chemistry is bursting into flames. And the best part is - Kara is writing again. Writer’s unblock, a gift from the gods. Serious worries aside, she will do whatever it takes to keep this momentum going. Adorably hot, I loved the book in the book writing and truly likable characters. Like Kara, the author had a little trouble wrapping it up as well but all is forgiven. An HEA is an HEA. (Happily Ever After) And this is a cute one! ⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Perfect Family

The Adler family live in a lovely upscale neighborhood in Portland, Oregon. Thomas is a successful realtor and Viv, with her impeccable taste, has just started her own decorating/design firm. One typical summer morning they awake to find their house was egged. Disregarding the event as kids acting out, they begrudgingly clean the mess and move on with their day. Until the smoke bomb is tossed on their lawn. The tires are slashed on Thomas’s car. And their relatively quiet lives are turned completely upside down. Thomas recently attended an out-of-control bachelor party and is now receiving threatening messages. Daughter Tarryn is a mouthy troubled teen exploring a dangerous online community. Star soccer player Eli announces he is dropping out of college and Viv silently punishes herself for her recent indiscretions. As each family member narrates a chapter it is clear someone is out to get them. The Adler’s struggle to keep it together while they question their own culpability, friendships and the importance of maintaining the perfect family facade. Fast paced suspense at its best. Apparently everyone is capable of hiding something. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

The Royals Next Door

Romance reader and podcaster Piper Evans has some new neighbors in the mansion next door and they just happen to be royalty. The British entourage that shows up literally swinging from the trees sternly introduce themselves and deduce that Piper and her meek mother living on the edge of the property are of no threat to the Prince and his beautiful wife. Harrison Cole heads up security. This tight lipped incredibly gorgeous man behind the shiny aviators slowly eases up in her presence. Piper and Harrison slowly become friends and their chemistry blossoms as summer on this small beautiful island really starts to heat up. Piper has a few months off from her job at the local elementary school and since she expected a few quiet months reading and taking care of her needy mother, she never dreamed  of being swept off her feet by this knight in shining armor. When the media gets a tip of who is behind the newly installed gates Piper’s mundane life becomes more than complicated. Steamy hot romance with a nod towards the Prince Harry and Meghan Markle drama - this unputdownable read was my second by author Karina Halle and no doubt five very romantic stars! ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Her Turn

Editing one of the most well known columns in a premier Washington DC paper keeps Liz on her toes. My Turn features essays (selected anonymously by Liz) that reflect the daily lives of their readers. Lately she has been reaching out of her comfort zone choosing pieces that dangerously rock the boat of her somewhat quiet and mostly uneventful life. After relocating to DC post divorce ten years ago, Liz relies on a small group of quirky friends, her college aged son and work to sustain a semblance of normalcy. She keeps busy doing yoga, Italian lessons and book club, sprinkled with an array of unappealing affairs. When her ex’s new wife submits a very personal essay, Liz begins a secret communication threatening all of the bottled up anger she has embraced for a decade. A journalist by trade, Liz is a bit of a know-it-all searching for a way to accept, forgive and find love once again. Delving into the painful memories of her marriage weighed against her mother’s severe dementia brings the truth into focus. For a quiet story this one moves quickly and is beautifully written. This Canadian author should not be missed. ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️