Saturday, December 14, 2019

CHILD’S PLAY by Danielle Steel

I’ve read and enjoyed so many of this author’s books. She’s a great author and knows how to draw in an audience for her different genres of books. This one was about family, love, loss and moving on finally.

Kate’s husband and the father of her three children was killed when the children were small. Kate worked very hard to do something with her life. Yes she did have many advantages to get to do this but she was not left a ton of money from her husband. She worked hard. She went back to college at an age where others were much younger. She graduated then went on to work at a prestigious law firm and became a lawyer who didn’t like to lose. She could be relentless. She wanted the best for her children just as any mother would. Kate didn’t want to remarry and go through the pain of losing anyone else like she did her husband. She spent her time making a life for her children and working hard to get somewhere in life. To show her kids that you can survive in the face of tragedy.

These characters were mostly likable. With the exception of Claire and even Amanda, they were all truly good and caring people. Kate to me was great. A strong woman who fought for what she wanted. Her mother who was always there for her and supported her emotionally as well as her grandchildren.  Amanda was engaged to Kate’s son and she was in my opinion not really in love with him. She was in love with the idea of spending a fortune on a wedding and then wanted to start having babies right from the start. I was so glad to see her gone. I didn’t like her at all. No one bullied her or treated her badly. Anthony, Kate’s son, was right to not marry her and it was truly best for them both. Never marry for all the wrong reasons. Tammy, Kate’s oldest daughter was probably my favorite. She worked very hard and had a huge secret of her own. I can’t give it away here so you’ll have to read this book for find it out. But she’s very likable and when she tells her mother her secret, which I figured out quickly, I think Kate handled it very well. Claire, I totally detested her. She was a spoiled brat who needed very badly to grow up. I mean for goodness sakes she is 26 years old and acting like a little kid whining and acting like the world revolves around her and her alone. Each of Kate’s children are old enough to be married and have families so the part that did bug me was how the grandmother acted like they were still young children. I mean a 29 year old man who should wait to get married until he is grown. He is grown!! But he is a good man and after a couple of months of big mistakes he does the right thing. I liked him. I liked Tammy and I liked Kate but I did not like Claire. At least not after her big news came to light. I loved Kate’s mother. She was a very likable person.

This story is a good one that takes us into the lives of a family with a bit of drama going on. They depend on their mom for a lot but they also know what they want and finally go for it. Some of the scenes in this book made me laugh. Some made me mad. But overall it was a very good book. It deals with a mother’s fears for her children which in my opinion we never stop having and she helps when she can. She steps back and lets them work things out too. She also decides she does need a life of her own but will she find that? I think Kate is a great mother, great daughter and really a very very likable woman. So she is possible well off. I would not say she is a privileged white woman as I read in another review. She worked very hard to have what she does and be able to give her children a good life. I mean all alone. Yes she was able to do that but I certainly do not begrudge her that. I could never have done it. I didn’t have the support, emotional support, to. So yes I liked Kate. I admired Kate. I think she should have told her youngest to either grow up or not come back until she could act right and treat her the way she should have. I don’t believe anyone bullied or picked on Amanda like another reviewer suggested. Maybe it looked that way to them but in reality Amanda was only in the story for a short while so I disagree with that assessment entirely.

I truly enjoyed this book. It felt like a real family with real problems and possible the right solutions for each. I think the characters were great, again except Claire. Very likable and did what they needed to be happy without hurting others. Even a broken engagement is necessary at times.

Thank you to #NetGalley, Random House-Ballantine and Danielle Steele for this book. This is my own honest review.

I give it 4 stars and a high recommendation!!

Monday, December 9, 2019

STAY by Catherine Ryan Hyde

How can one choice change a person’s life forever? One decision? Just one little thing you decide to do that changes the course of your life and the people you love most?

Lucas Painter is a child. Only fourteen years old and he already has the weight of the world on his shoulders. At least that is the way it turns out in the summer of 1969. His parents are constantly yelling. His brother is in Vietnam. His best friend is so messed up he doesn’t ever leave his house unless Lucas can convince him too. Then just for short periods of time. Lucas is a good boy. He never lies. He’s fair to everyone. He tries so hard to be the kind of kid people like. One day he decides to take a shortcut home and his life is never the same.

Lucas thinks he has to be strong for everyone but himself. He gives. He gives without expectations. He is always there to listen. To help anyone who may need him. The day he takes this shortcut is the beginning of a summer that will shape him, his brother, his best friend and a woman, Zoe, who thought it was time to go. But Lucas helped her to STAY!! He convinces her to STAY! Everyday Lucas goes running with Zoe’s dogs. They love to run, he loves to run. It helps him release stress and he definitely has a lot of that. Then one day he meets Zoe. Zoe has a whole story of her own and Lucas finally gets to know it all.

Throughout this story you learn more and more about the characters and it will touch your heart in ways you may not have experienced with a book. Though I have felt every emotion there is while reading, this one gives me every single one of those feels. The loneliness, sadness, happiness, tears, laughter, love, despair, need, wanting, you name it it’s in here. This is one book that truly is a page turner. Once you start it you will not want to put it down. It’s by far my favorite book by this author and I have read and loved several.

You’ll love the characters. The time frame. The town. Most of the people. The descriptions. You’ll feel like you are right beside Lucas during all of this. It starts going back in time to the summer of 1969 then in the end goes fifty years ahead to let you know what happened to everyone and I do mean everyone. It does not leave you guessing or hanging. It has the perfect ending to what to me is the perfect book.. I honestly loved this book so much. I won’t be forgetting this story. It did make me do some ugly crying but it was so worth it.

Thank you #NetGalley, Lake Union and Catherine Ryan Hyde for this beautiful ARC. This is my own true review.

It’s a huge 5 stars and I most highly recommend it to everyone.

Friday, December 6, 2019

NOT AGAIN by Maria T. Henriksen

This is a very cute and touching story of a young girl who has to face many things in her life. From what seems to be a mother who is not really there for her emotionally to being assaulted by a neighbor boy who was just plain evil. Falling in love at what seems to be to be a very young age and going through all the ups and downs that go with that. Being 13 is a very hard age but when I was that age I was not at all into dating or boys yet. I of course noticed a cute boy but would never have thought about going with one. While to me Christina was just to young to be dating as was her first love Avery, they did seem to have a good relationship. Young love is hard enough when you are 16 but to be 13 and thinking you are in deep love is tough. You should be enjoying be a child not worrying about kissing and making out. That being said this book was a good one. The story was cute and endearing but also hard to read in places. I’ve been there where Christina was when she got hurt so badly. You don’t get over it. It stays with you forever. You learn to move on and have a life though.

This book made me laugh out loud in places. Like when Christina calls her boyfriend, who is only 14, a man. LOL He’s a child as she is but they do feel deeply for each other at the time. Love is hard but it’s also beautiful and when you meet the right person it seems like things do fall into place as they should be. Christina and her friends are all looking for something in life. Between the Christian parts in this book and the young people going to parties and doing a bit of drinking, they form deep friendships. Deep rivalries too. Kids can be mean and cruel at times and then they can be your best friends. The ones you confide in. Tell your deepest secrets too. Or most of the secrets anyway.

Christina, Avery and Joey are all friends who love each other in many ways. Christina is in love with Avery and he is in love with her. Joey is also in love with Christina but knows that she will love Avery for a long long time, possibly forever, so he steps down. He will find that special someone in his life eventually I’m sure.

This book is a Christian book and filled with very likable characters. Some will get under your skin while others will make you smile. It’s just a very good book but for a young age group than me. While it’s also one that you will enjoy too at any age. I loved how the author wrote things that happened in the early 80s true to the time period. The songs that they kids listened to or skated to. The way they depended on each other for moral support at times and were always there for each other when someone hurt or tried to hurt one of them. True friends are here no matter what.

I gave this book 4 stars and that is because I enjoyed the book immensely, but I also found it hard to imagine kids so young being so into dating. Of course when I was in school at that age it seems half the girls there were expecting babies so what do I know. I thought it was contagious. I swear I did. I was not at all smart about those things. So apparently young kids fall in love and have sex even back in the 70s when I thought drinking after them might cause it.

Thank you very much Maria T. Henriksen for this book. I throughly enjoyed it and I do recommend it to my book loving friends.

Monday, December 2, 2019

SNOW CREEK by Gregg Olsen

WOW!! OMG!! What a story. This book takes you on a path that you won’t soon forget. The twists and turns are so well done. Just when I think I have things all figured out another twist hits. The only thing I did get was who actually did the killing. I thought I had it then a total surprise hit. One you won’t see coming. Then when I thought I had it another hits. I love a book that takes me on such a wild and twisting ride.

I felt like I was in the woods in the mountains of Washington where this story takes place. I felt so bad for the Wheaton children. Their mother and father are missing. Have been missing for a while and they have no idea what is going on. They are not where they said they were going.

Megan Carpenter is the detective on the case of the missing parents. Ida Wheaton’s sister reported them missing then went back to her hometown in Idaho. Now this story is full of week women with very dominating husbands and they are a bit on the fanatical religious side. Ruth Turner, Ida’s sister tells the detective that she is to only call her husband’s phone if she absolutely has too. Talk about dominating but good grief.. This is about her sister going missing.

There is also the strange neighbors that live on the somewhat isolated mountain. No one wants to be bothered and they are not a friendly bunch. There is a crazy cat woman that lives next door to the Wheatons and the two women who moved way out here to be left alone in their marriage. People just don’t want to be dragged into each other’s business. Though before it’s over some very bad things will come to light here.

While all of this is going on we also learn a great deal about Megan Carpenter’s life before she came here. She has been through so much already and dealing with that is enough to make you cringe. You’ll read about the things she went through, found out and did. How she survived some pretty messed up things in her life. Her time with a shrink that helped her a lot. She listens to the tapes the Dr made for her. They sure tell a story of their own too. It’s kind of like reading two books in one and done so well. I never lost a thing with this. It made the story even better. It would not be what it is without everything that happens.

I throughly enjoyed this book. Most all the characters are very likable. Even the crazy ones. Even the killers are somewhat likable. This book is a very good one. I can’t wait for the nest one. I know it will be great and I’ll find out what exactly happened in Megan’s life that she had to fight so hard to overcome. She’s one strong female and you will like her.

This is my first book by Gregg Olsen and will by no means be my last. I loved it. I didn’t want to put it down for anything. Trust me it is a very good pager turner that will have you guessing and second guessing.

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

It’s a big 4 stars. Make that 4.5 stars and a high recommendation to anyone that likes a good mystery/thriller series.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

CHATEAU WEDDING by Tess Thompson

This is a short and sweet story of the wedding between Stone and Pepper. If it could go wrong it certainly did with this wedding. But Pepper being who she is managed to put things into perspective and carry one.

This is a short story about a wedding taking place in Paris. It’s one of the Cliffside Bay short story’s and will show you how strong a young woman can be in the face of adversity. The love of her life only wants what she wants. Everything to be perfect. And perfect it will be as long as the two of them get married and make a life with their friends and family all there.

This is not a stand alone book. You need to read this series as I know you will love it. Each book is about a different couple and a couple of shorts thrown in to keep the romance going. It’s a sweet story of a couple finally getting to where they belong. Together forever.

A true love story.

I gave it 4 stars and loved the book. Thank you to Tess Thompson for this ARC. This is my own honest review.

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

A LIGHT IN THE HALLWAY by Amanda Prowse

Amanda Prowse writes books that take your heart on a journey. This was a very sad story of love and loss. When Nick’s wife dies he has to figure out a way to make a life for him and their son Oliver. Oliver is 18 and getting ready to leave for university. That means Nick will be alone and he doesn’t know if he can do alone. Kerry was his wife since they were 17 years old.

Nick has a lot on his plate with in-laws, friends, a job, a son who is leaving and a special someone that may help him over this hurdle in life. Though to me four and a half months is not enough time for grieving this story is not about my life. It’s about Nick’s and his wife was sick for a long time. Can he possibly find love and happiness with someone else. Can Oliver accept another woman so soon after the loss of his mother? Oliver is a great kid and makes his dad very proud. He doesn’t want to accept Beverly at first and tends to run to his Auntie Di way to much but he’s pretty level headed so things may work out ok.

I have read a few of this author’s books and truly loved them so much. While this one was by far not my favorite it was very good. It has all the feels in it, laughter, tears, heartache, but it was a bit long to me. In some places I found myself wanting it to move on already. But overall it truly is a good story. It was well written. The characters were likable and the two storylines were great. One being Nick as a kid and the other Nick as a grown up. The things he went through during 1992 then jumping to after he is grown and what he goes through losing his wife. It was done beautifully. I enjoyed reading the antics of the young boys and what all they did and went through. The true friendships that led them into adulthood. Nick is very likable and so are his friends and family.

I have to thank #NetGalley, #AmandaProwse for this book. This is my own review.

I gave it 4 stars and recommend it to all. Be prepared for a very good read.

Friday, November 22, 2019

JILTED: NICO AND SOPHIE by Tess Thompson

Another trip to Cliffside Bay... It’s always an experience that I look forward too.

Since she was a very young girl Sophie knew who she was suppose to be with when she grew up. She knew who her soulmate would be. Not his name, but exactly what he looked like down to his dog. Sophie had grown up with two loving parents who doted on her and loved her no matter what. They had adopted her when she was just a baby.

Nico was a broken man. He didn’t know what it was to be loved so unconditionally and completely so it was quite scary for him to believe that Sophie or anyone could do that. His life growing up was quite unpleasant and didn’t have the love that he definitely deserved. His engagement had fallen apart when his fiancĂ© left him for her best friend. He has definite trust issues.

Love lives in Cliffside Bay. Everyone there is happy and carefree in their own way. These two will go through a lot to find true love but in this area it has to work out. They can travel the world and still come back to Cliffside to be home again. Theirs is a love story that a lot of us may can relate to. Finding that special someone and fighting for it. Never giving up. Never letting anyone make you feel differently about the love of your life.

I love the characters in this series and maybe have a new favorite after reading this one. I absolutely loved Judi. She is one heck of a woman. What she does for Nico and Sophie is beyond just being a friend.

This book has some laughter, anger, scary parts and mostly lots of kisses and love. It’s perfect just the way I read it. It’s such a good love story and is so authentic in the way it’s told that you will feel like you are right there. Or at least feel.. It’s a true love story from start to finish. A touching story of two people who may not have been if not for the unrelenting love that one young lady has for someone who thinks he is to old for her. Sophie just doesn’t give up. She knows who she was meant to be with and with someone’s help goes for him with all she has.

I have to give this awesome book 5 stars and a high recommendation. Thank you to Tess Thompson for the ARC. This my own feelings and thoughts about this book and in no way reflects anything else.

Isn’t love grand!!!!

CHILD’S PLAY by Danielle Steel

I’ve read and enjoyed so many of this author’s books. She’s a great author and knows how to draw in an audience for her different genres o...