Saturday, January 18, 2020

BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN by Diane Chamberlain

My first book by Diane Chamberlain was THE DREAM DAUGHTER and boy what a read that was. It was fantastic. But this one is even better. It hooked me from the very first and would not let go.

“YOU HAVE TO MAKE PEACE WITH THE PAST OR YOU CAN NEVER MOVE INTO THE FUTURE”(from this book)

This book is told from two different women in two different time periods.

Anna who won a contest to paint a mural for the post office in Edenton, North Carolina. She is from New Jersey and has a lot to learn about Edenton. Not all pleasant either. Some of the people are hostile toward her. They don’t think she is the right one to paint the mural. After all they have a real artist who lives in their town. Anna needs a change as she is getting over the death of her mother. This setting is 1939 to 1940. She has no idea the tensions she is about to encounter either. The south was very full of prejudice at the time so she has to get use to this also.

Then we have Morgan, 2018. She is in prison for something she did not do. But no one believes her and she jumps at the chance to get out after a year to restore a mural for Lisa who is the daughter of Jesse Jameson Williams. She is on a tight deadline but it was her late father’s wish that Morgan be the one to restore the mural to it’s original state. Morgan knows nothing about restoration but is very willing to learn.

There are several characters in this story that you will come to love. They play a very pivotal role in Anna and Morgan’s lives. Each has a story to tell and it’s a good one. One that in the end will most likely blow you away. It did me. All hard work both of these young women put into their work is so touching. Morgan feels a connection to Anna, who goes missing, and wants to do all she can to find out what happened. Some things are harder than they seem though. Morgan feels guilty for what happened that sent her to prison even though it was not her fault. She feels like it was and she needs to come to terms with what happened.

This book is so full of wonderful writing. Such things that will keep you wondering what and why things happened. It’s descriptions are so realistic you will feel like you are actually there. Anna’s time period was way different than that of Morgan but each was told to perfection. It was like being in two places at once. I loved the characters in this book with the exception of one. You will know who he is when you read this book.

This book is so good you won’t forget it for a good long time. It’s one of the very few that I will want to read again. To me it’s just total perfection. Though at the very end I would have like to know one thing.....

Thank you #NetGalley, #DianeChamberlain, #StMartin’sPress for the eARC of this book. This is my review told from my very own opinions.

A BIG 5 stars and very high recommendation..

Sunday, January 12, 2020

THE MAN SHE MARRIED by Alison James

Going to your grave with no name or memorial is surely the ultimate human failure.
That is from this book. The one sentence that in my opinion sums up a lot of this story.

This is my first book by Alison James and it won’t be my last.

It’s a thriller and mystery in one. One that will pull you in and keep you turning the pages until the end. This book really blew me away. You will know right from the start who the bad person is in this story but you won’t know all the details of what he is. He has lots of secrets going on and it’s our job to unravel them. This book made me cringe so many times. From murder to disappearance. From so many lies to possible truths. From before to now. You will not want to put this book down until you find out everything. I truly enjoyed trying to figure out what was going to happen next. It sure kept me on edge in lots of places and some things I did not see coming. The ending was spectacular in my opinion.

The characters of this book are likable. Some more than others of course. You’ll meet a man who in my opinion has no conscience in many ways but he still surprised in that he had some kind of feelings for the main character. But he is still a horrible person. Exactly who is this man? You will see a few sides to him and not like almost any of them. Like I said there is one time that I kind of liked him. Maybe liked that he had a tiny bit of feelings toward one person. Just the tiniest of feelings though.

You’ll read Alice’s story, from now and then. She has a lot to tell you and you will want to know what she has to say. Then you will get Ben’s story. Ben is who Alice fell in love with and married. But is Ben who he claims to be?  Only a short part of this book, in part 1 you will hear his story and know something about him. The rest, the first, second and third parts are all Alice’s story and boy does she have a story to tell.

A huge thank you to #NetGalley, #Bookouture, #alisonjames for the eARC of this book. This is my own personal review.

I give it 4.5 stars and a high recommendation.

Wednesday, January 8, 2020

LIES THAT BIND by Ashley Farley

This is by far my favorite Ashley Farley book. I’ve loved and enjoyed several but this one is best in my opinion. It touches on so many things. From happiness, abuse, alcoholism, death, identity stealing, rape, disappearances, unexpected pregnancy and even in my opinion taking advantage of a person who is drinking and taking something. It has a lot going on but easy to follow.

This book starts out strong and keeps building until you find out everything you could possibly want to know about each character. It’s told from Maggie, Reese and Eva’s points of view. Things that are going on in all of their lives. The death of Eva’s husband and subsequent disappearance of her daughter set her on the road to almost self destruct while also running a business. Maggie leaving her family to follow the man she marries across the country to start a new life only to find things are not as they always appear. What will become of her. Reese, the daughter who has gone missing. Eva’s daughter. Her story was one that truly captivated me from the start and held me to the very end. I think she was possibly my favorite character. She sure had a lot going on in her days. What became of her?

This book has wonderful characters. The scenes make you feel like you are there with each person. From the beginning to the terror that Eva has to go through it will hold you. It’s told in a way that you just don’t want to let go. You want to know what happens and what is going to happen. It even has a little bit of a thriller aspect to it.

Ashley Farley has definitely outdone herself with this book in my opinion. It’s great.

Thank you to #ashelyfarley for this ARC for my complete and honest review. This is my own opinion.

I gave it 5 stars and a high recommendation. It’s truly so good.

Tuesday, January 7, 2020

BETTER ENDINGS


Happy release day to BETTER ENDINGS, by Tina Hogan Grant. 

This is the 2nd book in the Tammy Mellows series. (RECKLESS BEGINNINGS is the 1st). 

The synopsis

It took a new love to discover her demons

Tammy Mellows embarks on a journey of redemption and discovery in this heart-warming tale of love, strength, and the sea…

After narrowly escaping with her own life from Steven, the father of her child and an abusive heroin addict, Tammy Mellows believed she finally gained control of her own self.

She couldn’t be more wrong. When a new love interest enters her world, the relationship unveils hidden demons Tammy never knew she had, and feared they would destroy her newfound love with Dwayne, which had become the most important thing to her, other than her son.

Faced with unexpected challenges, she finds solace on the ocean and becomes a commercial fisherwomanan industry dominated by men. Some of whom question her ability and stamina to make it through the season.

Still trying to cope with her own personal battles, she now finds herself facing high expectations in order to be accepted by the rest of the fleet, and for self-gratification, she must push herself to the limit and reach deep within herself, and rediscover a strength that had lain dormant for too long.
And on a fateful night crossing over storm-swept waters, she will face down her demons once and for all... 

Will Tammy overcome her demons and find happiness with her new love?

Will she succeed and prove herself enough to become a member of the fishery?


Early Reviews
I absolutely loved this story. I was completely captivated by needing to know what was going to happen and how it would end. I actually binge read this entire book in one night. – Amazon reviewer


Absolutely loved this book! I didn't want to put it down. I had to see how it would end! Strong female lead character. Just goes to show what motivating can do! Highly recommend this book!  Amazon reviewer.


Available where all paperbacks are sold, and on Kindle for $3.99



Sunday, January 5, 2020

THE GIRLS WITH NO NAMES by Serena Burdick

This book grabbed me from the very first when Effie was in the basement feeling like she was dying. Effie was born with a bad heart. A hole in her heart and she was not suppose to live a year. She’s 13 now and looking for her sister Luella.

Luella and Effie are sisters. Very close sisters who will do anything for each other. Luella never believed that Effie was really dying despite the fact she has a terrible heart problem and what they call “blue fits”. Their parents love them and trust them it seems completely. But when the Gypsies come around they love to sneak off and go visit them.

Luella is a ballet dancer in the very early 1900s and is 16 years old. She is very fascinated by the Gypsies and loves going to visit and listen to their music while dancing with them also. Effie is more fascinated with the fortune telling part. She goes along mainly because of Luella though. She seems to almost worship her older sister.

Effie was born in 1900 and with a hole in her heart. The dr told her parents that she would never survive to see her first birthday. Each year on her birthday Jeanne, the girls mother, is afraid it will be Effie’s last. She’s not ready to lose her baby girl. It seems the birth of Effie puts a distance between their parents in the fear of having another baby born with problems. But their problems are by far not Effie’s fault.

The parents seem to truly love the girls and give them a good life. Their father, Emory, does not allow to many maids or help and seems like he may be a little bit on the stingy side but it’s understandable if he’s doing this to teach his girls to be selfs reliable. Luella wants her own maid but Effie does not see the sense in that. Luella is growing up and wants things that her parents don’t understand. She’s like a free spirit in many ways.

One morning Effie awakes and Luella is gone. She is convinced her father sent her to the HOUSE OF MERCY. A place where young girls were sent if they were a bit out of hand or for other reasons. It’s not a very pleasant place though. The girls are treated more like slave workers than human beings. The so called Sisters who run the place are cruel indeed. Makes me wonder about any religion that allows such cruelty. Effie finds a way to get put in this awful place and meets a girl, Mable. Mable is a character I won’t forget soon. This book tells her story along with Effie’s and Luella’s. Jeanna tells her story of fear and heartbreak. Many points of views are told here. Each so worth reading and knowing. It explains so much about each of the characters of this book.

I love the end where the author told about the places like HOUSE OF MERCY that were everywhere back then. They were all cruel and treated women, both young and older, terrible. The research that was done for this book is very interesting and worth reading also. So at the end be sure and read that part.

This story will touch your heart. Make you hold your breath in several places and even laugh in a few. It’s told from several prospectives and the characters are so well developed. I loved them all. I think this book is one that will stick with me for a long time. The ending did make me cry, but also part of it made my heart happy. It’s the story of not just two girls, but three and the mother of two of them, and how they survived, dealt with and endured some things that no young girl should have too. I was also surprised that back then at 16 a girl could get married without the parents consent. Men could do whatever they wanted and got away with it, that part didn’t surprise me though. It’s the story of love, loss, finding one’s self and losing people who are a treasure. It’s well written and a very touching story.

Thank you to #NetGalley, #Harlequin, and a new to me author, Serena Burdick. I look forward to more from this author. This is my own review.

I have to give it 5 stars. A very high recommendation also. A must read.

Monday, December 30, 2019

THIS IS NOT HOW IT ENDS by Rochelle Weinstein

This was a very emotionally charged book. One that will pull at your heart in every way. It’s a very raw story of love and loss. A bit of laughter and friendships you will absolutely love. A very tight friendship despite everything that happens. It’s a beautiful story of so many feelings. One that touched my heart many times over. One that I had a hard time putting down.

Charlotte/Charley meets this man on an airplane, Phillip. They fall madly in love and become engaged. Charley’s mom gets a terrible diagnosis and leaves Charley devastated. Phillip watches her go through the worst pain a daughter has to go through. Charley has issues. Trust and giving her heart over completely are top of the list. Her dad had left when she was small never to return. That is enough to make it hard to trust. Then she loses her mother and she’s alone. Phillip and Charley though have a love that will transcend everything. He loves Charley with all his heart. But he also is gone so much of the time. He leaves Charley alone to wonder if things are what they seem. To wonder if they do truly belong together.

Phillip is a wonderful man. He fell for Charley from the start. He has his own demons but he buries them in his work. He has businesses all over the world and he takes them very serious. He takes failing businesses and makes them whole again. Makes up for the things they lack and gives people what they need. Jobs, a worry free life knowing they won’t lose said job. He loves completely and from his soul. But he has a secret also. One that will devastate Charley and one he truly wants to protect her from.

Ben... Aww Ben. I loved Ben. He is a broken man with a little boy named Jimmy. Jimmy is all he has left after losing his wife. Ben and Phillip are also best friends. Ben knows that Phillip has helped him and taken him under his wing. He truly loves Phillip and considers him family. They are such good friends. The very best of friends. Phillip is also keeping a secret from Ben though.

This is a story that will pull you in. Tear your heart out and stomp on it a few times. It will break your heart and put it back together again only to break it again. There are two letters in this story that made me weep. I do mean literally weep. I don’t see how anyone can read them and not feel like their heart is going to break into several thousand pieces. If they can they obviously don’t feel deep emotion. One is a letter to Ben. The other a letter to Charley. This is a beautifully written story of love, loss, maybe a bit of betrayal and coming together. Of a friendship that can’t be broken no matter what. Of a love that was meant to be. Of so much. It’s just one of those stories that will keep you thinking about life and what you would do. Or what could you do. Could you move on or continue. It’s the best book I’ve read by this author hands down.

Be warned, this book requires lots and lots of tissues and I don’t say that lightly. It’s going to make you cry. There are some laughs but for the most part you will have the big ugly, huge tear cries.

Thank you to #NetGalley, #LakeUnion, #RochelleWeinstein for this eARC. This is my own true review.

I had to give it only 5 stars and the highest recommendation ever. It’s worth so many more stars and an even better review.

Friday, December 27, 2019

THE MOONSHINER’S DAUGHTER by Donna Everhart

I love Donna Everhart’s writing. Her books always leave me with many feelings. This one left me in tears. From the start to the end it’s a good story. Lots of history and family involved. Also the young girl in the book has an eating disorder. No one seems to notice this though.

After losing her mother Jessie Sasser swore she would have nothing to do with the moon shining business. She blamed it and her daddy for her mother’s death. She hated anything and everything to do with moon shining. He daddy was determined that she would help though and tried to make her understand that it was what kept them in a home and with food to eat. She didn’t want anything, not even the food, that came from moonshining though. To her it was pure evil.

Lots of things happen in this book that will keep you turning the pages. From family members turning on each other in ways that cost them plenty to kids being bullied in school. It was a very well written story and obviously well researched. I’m never disappointed in a book by this author and this one is possible my favorite one yet. It certainly made me cry in many places and laugh in a few too.

Most of the characters are so likable and so well developed. There are some you won’t like at all for obvious reasons. I absolutely loved Mrs Brewer. She was like the most helpful person to the Sasser children when they needed it most. The ending left me in big tears but it somehow seemed just right. This book held a bit of a mystery for a while but you will find answers too. I did at least.

Thank you to #NetGalley, #Kensington and #DonnaEverhart for this ARC. This is my own review.

I give it a huge 5 stars and a very high recommendation.

BIG LIES IN A SMALL TOWN by Diane Chamberlain

My first book by Diane Chamberlain was THE DREAM DAUGHTER and boy what a read that was. It was fantastic. But this one is even better. It ...