SWEET LITTLE LIES by Jill Shalvis

I’ve been reading Jill Shalvis off and on for years. I’m embarrassed to say that I’ve started all of her various series, but have yet to finish one! I know many of my personal friends who will probably now disown me for that!

2016 has been a really rough year for me healthwise, and it’s put me into a major reading slump. When I picked up SWEET LITTLE LIES by Jill Shalvis I knew I would be in for a very enjoyable read, what I didn’t know was that it would be the book that brought back my total joy of reading.

Pru is a great character. She lost her parents in a tragic accident that changed her life in more ways than one. Now years later she has a job as a Captain for a charter company that does tours of the San Francisco Bay area. She has adopted a dog who is quite the character himself, and has just moved into an apartment complex which has a courtyard with a fountain that is said to bring true love to those who throw a coin into it and wish for it.

Pru is so generous she doesn’t wish for love for herself, but rather for Finn, a pub owner whose pub is near the complex. Finn has also lost a parent due to a tragic accident. Coincidence or not? Finn however has a sibling and with the death of his parent Finn’s life changes in more ways than one, and he now has little time for fun as he feels he needs to keep his brother on the straight and narrow.

When Pru and Finn meet the sparks fly, and the fun begins. Neither wants to be attracted to the other, but chemistry and fate have other plans for the couple. Will their secrets allow them to be together or will those secrets tear them apart never to be the awesome couple they can be?

As I said earlier SWEET LITTLE LIES is a great book, and I believe you need to plan your reading schedule accordingly. You won’t want to put it down!

Sweet Little Lies was an ARC that was provided to me for honest review.

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What a Year!

When I started ColorMeRead I had very good intentions.  Then life decided to take me on a totally unexpected journey, and ColorMeRead was neglected by me, but helped along by a wonderful group of women who supported the idea of my having a reading blog and who supported me through my unexpected journey when I received those words that no one ever wants to hear…You have breast cancer.

I was extremely fortunate to have a great team of doctors who supported me when I was hysterical.  Who gave me great advice, and saw me through some terrible decisions and made me feel like I mattered even when I had to suffer through appointments and exams I felt were humiliating.

Along with that great team of doctors I had amazing friends who let me cry, let me laugh, and gave me great perspective.  Without the support system I was able to put together rather quickly I don’t know if I would have come through the other side.  Yes I didn’t come out the other side the same person I was before…I was slightly depressed, but at least I had my sanity.  

What suffered the most was my concentration and my joy of reading.  Every year I set a goal of reading 100 books whether they’re print or audio, and this year I won’t come anywhere close because I couldn’t concentrate on a book.  When I read I would enjoy what I was reading, but I would find myself quickly bored by reading.  I kept myself entertained by doing more crossword puzzles than I probably have in my entire life.  I also got into adult coloring.

Now 6 months later I’ve been through a double mastectomy, reconstruction surgery, and genetic testing.  I was extremely lucky I didn’t have to do radiation (thanks to my choice to do a mastectomy vs. a lumpectomy) and thankfully I was caught soon enough that I managed to escape chemo as well.  I also don’t have the genetic mutation, so my risk of recurrence stays low, and another surgery to remove my ovaries is unnecessary.  I’m also beginning to feel more like myself as my doctor appointments get to be spread further and further apart.  Lastly I’m beginning to find my joy in reading again, and hope to be as much a contributor to ColorMeRead as my wonderful friends have been.

Thank you to all of them for supporting me, and not giving up on me.  To the rest of you…get a mammogram.  I’m proof they work!

HIDE AWAY by Iris Johansen

HIDE AWAY is the second installment of Iris Johansen’s latest Eve Duncan series. This story picks up right where Shadow Play left off. Eve Duncan and Joe Quinn are trying to save the life of Cara Delaney from a drug cartel. The cartel will do anything to make sure that certain people do not find out Cara is alive

Eve and Cara travels to Scotland to meet up with Jane McGuire. Lord MacDuff who has been trying for years to get Jane’s help in finding Cira’s treasure agrees to keep them hidden and safe on his latest treasure hunt.  MacDuff believes that Jane is a direct descendant of Cira and is the key to finding the lost treasure.

Joe Quinn has stayed in Atlanta in hopes of throwing off the hired killers and the FBI, which works only for a short time. Once it’s clear the killers are on the way to Scotland so is Joe Quinn.

HIDE AWAY starts with a bang and doesn’t slow down. This book is full of twist and turns and double crosses. It does end with a cliffhanger and I can’t wait until the third book comes out to find out how everything will be resolved. I love Eve and Joe and without giving away a spoiler Ms. Johansen has full filled one of this reader’s greatest wishes for them.

The reviewer received a copy of Hide Away from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.

 

The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery

As I sat down to write this review it was a somewhat cold very rainy day where I live.  I couldn’t help but think it’s the type of day that someone is going to want to find a  comfortable spot to read, curled up with their favorite beverage and a soft throw and most importantly a good book.  What better choice for the book than Susan Mallery’s newest…THE FRIENDS WE KEEP.

Hayley, Nicole, and Gabby are at different stages of their lives, but that doesn’t stop them from being friends and worrying about each other the way close friends often do.

Hayley, a young woman with fertility issues wants nothing as much as much as she wants a biological child.  Her husband is willing to adopt, but Hayley having been adopted herself is against that idea,  As THE FRIENDS WE KEEP progresses we find out that what Hayley always believed about being the adopted daughter vs. the biological one might truly be more about her sister’s personality and her parents’ ability to cope with that attitude than any kind of favoritism.  Even as Hayley is discovering that her views of being the adopted child might be wrong will it be enough for her to abandon her dreams of a child?  What will it take for her to realize that a biological child of her own might never happen?

Nicole, a divorced mom with a young child enthralled with Brad the Dragon is scared to enter a new relationship.  When her son Tyler wins a chance for the author and creator of Brad the Dragon to come to his day camp and meet everyone she is less than thrilled.  She has a prejudice against the man, and she’s never even met him!  When the handsome author arrives Nicole just might discover a side to him that she never expected.  Is she willing and able to change her attitude about men and dating, and reach out for a chance at not only love but a positive role model for her son?

Gabby is the second wife of a powerful successful man.  She and her husband have very similar ideas about raising their family…well only where their children are concerned, not where Gabby’s ability to discipline his child from his previous marriage.  When an unplanned pregnancy is discovered Gabby’s plan to get back into the workforce after five years as a stay at home mom is potentially shoved aside.  While the marriage is strong this could prove to be a breaking point for Gabby as she feels that her husband isn’t putting her feelings into consideration, but only those of his oldest daughter.

While each woman is struggling with her own family they have one another to lean on, and gain perspective from.  Everyone should be as lucky as Gabby, Hayley, and Nicole to have friends to offer opinions and support.

It must be hard to write a story with multiple main characters and be sure that each one gets their fair share of the story line.  Susan Mallery has been writing multiple character stories for a while now, and I believe has mastered the ability.  While reading THE FRIENDS WE KEEP it’s impossible to know who the main character is and who the supporting characters are as each one rises and sets much like the sun does, but never recedes so far into the background as to be a non-essential part of the story.  

With three very distinct timely themes running through the story one could worry that one theme would not be handled as gently as it should, or the resolution would be rushed as the word count winds down, but Susan Mallery uses her writing skills to wrap up each story so that when the last page is turned readers are content that each woman has reached a decision that is perfect for them and their families.

TIL DEATH DO US PART by Amanda Quick

Calista Langley operates an exclusive “introduction” agency in Victorian London, catering to respectable ladies and gentlemen who find themselves alone in the world. Calista’s clients are by referral only and she always has her brother Andrew investigate each member to insure no married or fortune hunters are allowed. 

The brother of one of her clients, Trent Hastings, a reclusive author of popular crime novels, visits Calista to determine if this is a proper place for his sister. Trent discovers that Calista has been receiving memento mori trinket and offers his assistance in finding the culprit. Trent and Calista comb through her files of rejected clients in hopes of identifying her tormentor. Trent comes to believe that a murderer is stalking Calista.

TIL DEATH DO US PART is a fast paced wonderful read. I’ve read all of Amanda Quick’s books and I’ve never been disappointed and TIL DEATH DO US PART continues that streak.

 I will say I was kept guessing who the real culprit and their motive was until the end. Amanda Quick has a wonderful way of letting the readers get to know her characters. The dialogue is witty, the romance is very believable and the investigation techniques used are very ingenious to the time period. I would highly recommend TIL DEATH DO US PART to anyone who likes historical romantic suspense. Trent and Calista are a wonderful couple and I hope they are included in future books.

This book was provided by NetGalley for an honest review.

 

Wedding Cake Murder

wedding cake

 

Hannah Swenson is back planning her wedding and preparing to compete on the Food Channel’s “Dessert Chef Competition”. Her nice small wedding has just turned into a major town event and the planning has been taken over by her mother Delores and sister Andrea. They assure Hannah all she will need to do it pick her dress and show up. They have several dresses already order for her to pick from. The Food Channel has found out about her wedding and now they are planning on filming it for their show.

As Hannah and Michelle go through one or their trial runs for the competition Michele walks into the freezer and finds one of the judges on the floor with a piece of Hannah’s wedding cake in his hands. Since Michelle found the body Hannah feels she must find the murder.

As always Ms. Fluke has written another tasty book. The whole Lake Eden gang is back and preparing for Hannah’s wedding. I think the author handled the whole Mike and Norman situation wonderfully. I’ve read all of her previous books and I could never pick between Mike or Norman but I wanted to see Hannah married and happy.

I really like that Ross jumps right in and helps Hannah with this case since there is more than enough suspects. Ms. Fluke keeps you guessing who the culprit is until the very end.

This copy was provided by NetGalley for a fair and honest review.

CHALLENGE!

Last year a personal friend of mine hosted a challenge daring readers to use the library more, and since I use the library for audio books I signed up!  I ended up reading 2 books from the library as well as the audios that I listened to.

This year she has declined to host the challenge, but she found someone else to host it, and I’ve again signed up.  I’m super excited about this because while I know I will use the audio part of the library I’m hoping that I will also actually read some more books from the library.  I set my library reading goal at 24, but should easily exceed that with just the audios.

What I didn’t do last year that I hope to do this year is to take the money I would have spent on either the audio or the book and put it from my checking account into my savings account.  I will decide the amount based on the type of book.  For example if I do an audio I will use the Audible price since I mostly do the downloadable audios.  If I do a CD audio then I’ll use that price.  An ebook that is available in paperback will be at the price, but one only available as hardcover will be at that price.  It will be interesting to see if I can actually put the savings in my savings account.

Do you use the library?  What do you like best about it?  What do you like least?   I’m looking forward to hearing your comments!

MY KIND OF WONDERFUL

Bailey Moore and Hudson Kincaid are both survivors.  They’ve lived very different lives, but those early influences are still affecting the way they live today.

Bailey and Hudson meet when Bailey comes to Cedar Ridge to paint a mural about the Kincaid family.  Hudson is against having the mural painted as he feels that part of the family is missing and the part that is in Cedar Ridge is loving, but a bit on the dysfunctional side.

Bailey can’t be persuaded to give up on the idea of the mural as she has always lived a cautious life.  She was diagnosed at an early age with a fatal disease and the treatment and cure of the disease are all Bailey has focused on.  Now that she’s had several month disease free she has a bucket list of things to accomplish and stretching her wings both by living a real life and stretching her creative skills are high on her list.

The chemistry between Bailey and Hudson is instant and shows right away.   We as readers get to enjoy the trials and tribulations of watching two people fall in love while those around them both support them and interfere in the loving way that friends and families do.

MY KIND OF WONDERFUL is the second book in a series, and while I didn’t read the first book I would recommend that others start at the beginning.  There are several couples in MY KIND OF WONDERFUL and I know that they can’t all have had their stories in the first book, but perhaps there is more of their back story in that first book, which will only add to the enjoyment level of MY KIND OF WONDERFUL.

Jill Shalvis is a prolific author who has written a variety of series, and therefore when you sit down to read MY KIND OF WONDERFUL be careful if you’ve never read Shalvis before because you’ll be looking through your favorite retailer or library for all she has written, and life and chores that go with life may very well be forgotten as you delve into the wonderful various worlds created by Ms. Shalvis.

Secret Sisters

 

secret sisters

Jayne Ann Krentz is one of my favorite authors.  I discovered her more years ago than I want to admit, and she would more than likely want me to admit.  Unfortunately, I don’t recall the title of the first book I read, but I do vividly remember locking myself in my room, and not coming out until I had finished the book!

Now all these years later I wish I could have repeated the process, but unfortunately life has changed, and responsibilities come first, but SECRET SISTERS was always yelling to me to forget those responsibilities and read read read!

Once upon a time Madeline Chase and Daphne were innocent young girls having a sleep over, when a terrible thing occurred and changed their lives forever.  Two girls who thought they were as close as sisters and would never be separated not only are torn apart, but don’t see one another for eighteen years.

Madeline is now heir to a hotel chain, and she is called to Cooper Island by Tom, a longtime caretaker of a long abandoned hotel that is part of the chain.  Why is the hotel abandoned one might wonder?  The answer…this is where the awful tragedy that split Madeline and Daphne took place.  Why wouldn’t Madeline’s Grandmother want to sell the hotel if it held awful memories?  Perhaps memories aren’t the only thing the hotel is holding…maybe it has more stories hidden in its walls than Edith Chase, Madeline’s Grandmother, or Tom Lomax, the caregiver want to release.

There is one family on the island who is not happy that Madeline is back on the island and will stop at nothing to get rid of Madeline be it just by getting her off the island, or perhaps something more permanent.  Jack is determined to keep Madeline safe while getting to the bottom of what happened on the island eighteen years ago.

The Websters believe that the world should fall at their feet, and when Madeline doesn’t quite agree the result are truly fascinating.  Just when you think that one member of the family is sinister and how could anyone be so sinister you find out that another member of the family is perhaps just the tiniest bit more sinister.  The Webster family is one with huge dreams, and much to lose, and their story while very well written, and quite real is scary to think about.

Never once during SECRET SISTERS does the action slow or the story line become unbelievable.  SECRET SISTERS is Jayne Ann Krentz at her finest, and truly reminds me of the reasons why I love her as an author.  With SECRET SISTERS releasing in time for the holiday I suggest saving a bit so that you can get the reader in your life a present they will truly enjoy!