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.

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.

I’LL NEVER LET YOU GO by Mary Burton

Thanks to NetGalley I was able to get a copy of I”LL NEVER LET YOU GO by Mary Burton for review.   I was quite excited because I love romantic suspense and Mary Burton is one of the best in this genre.

I’LL NEVER LET YOU GO is part of the Morgans of Nashville series, but before I read this book I was unaware it was part of a series.  Yes, there were a few things in I’ll NEVER LET YOU GO that I was unaware of because they must have happened in books I’ve yet to read, but did those small things keep me from enjoying I’LL NEVER LET YOU GO?  Not at all!

Leah Carson escaped an abusive husband, but while she was able to escape the physical abuse the emotional toll it left her is still lingering four years later.  Little cracks are however beginning to develop in the wall that Leah has built around herself, and she is becoming good friends with a woman who has invited her to join a local running group

Running is something that Leah once excelled at, but due to one last brutal attack from the man she was married to Leah no longer has the lung capacity to run the way she once did, but as with so many things in her life, running is something she is determined she will get back and be able to once again enjoy.

Alex Morgan is an investigator with the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation (TBI) and is hot on the trail of the woman that has befriended Leah because he believes that she is a good cop gone bad.  Alex convinces his brother to board his dog at the vet hospital where Leah is an associate vet, so that he may use Leah to get close to his prey.

What happens from here is that the hunter slowly becomes the hunted, and Leah turns out not to be the only victim.  Is Leah’s husband finally back to finish the job he started 4 years earlier or is there someone out there copying his horrid crimes, and stalking not only Leah, but those with whom she has finally started to get close to?

Mary Burton does an excellent job of leading readers down a path and then having that path take an unexpected twist that I for one didn’t see coming.  I’ve always tended to be a little cautious in being sure my house is locked even when I’m in it and being aware of my surroundings, and after reading I’LL NEVER LET YOU GO I think I might have to be a little more aware…the story is just that real!

REVIEW: ALL I WANT BY JILL SHALVIS

51H50Zv+fvL._SX308_BO1,204,203,200_I received ALL I WANT by Jill Shalvis from NetGalley for an honest review.  ALL I WANT is part of the Animal Magnetism series, but does a superb job of standing alone, as I discovered because unfortunately I have not read the previous books in the series.  (This is a problem I need to remedy ASAP!)

Zoe Stone is living alone after having done her best to be a surrogate parent to her sister and brother.  She’s decided it is time to take control of her life, and put herself first.  To assist with this she has agreed to a blind date with a dentist.  Her sister is helping her to dress, and while she’d love for Zoe to put on the LBD (Little Black Dress) Zoe insists on a more subdued style…something that invokes thoughts of Grannies playing BINGO.

When the doorbell rings Zoe decides she’s going to be assertive and take control of the date from the beginning.   To do this she kisses the handsome stranger at the door and that kiss results in instant chemistry.  Sounds like a great way to start a date right?  Wrong!

The handsome stranger at the door isn’t her blind date, but rather Parker James, a friend of her brother Wyatt’s who is going to be renting a room from Zoe for a bit while on “vacation” and recovering from a rather dramatic work accident.

Parker  who doesn’t understand the word vacation goes against superior orders and spies on the person responsible for his work incident, and whom he is determined will face the justice system for more than one crime.  While Parker isn’t fully recovered it doesn’t stop him from being the type of man that any woman would want, and as you read ALL I WANT I’m confident you’ll be like me and going aww…and where can I get a Parker?

Naturally the path to love isn’t smooth, because after all where would the fun be if girl kissed boy, and the next day they were running off to get married?   When you pick up ALL I WANT by Jill Shalvis you’ll want to be sure you have a clear day, as you’ll not want to quit reading until you turn the last page, or click the last click.

ALL I WANT doesn’t’ just have great chemistry between the main characters, it also has siblings look out for one another, as well as an adorable dog named Oreo who reluctantly adopts two kittens who end up being named Bonnie and Clyde, and like their namesakes manage to have their own adventures!  Rest assured that if you haven’t read the previous books in the series you won’t be lost by picking up this installment; rather you’ll want to go back and read from the beginning!  That’s where you’ll be finding me…searching for the rest of the books in the Animal Magnetism series.

Looking for a Sweet read…look no further than Candis Terry

Recently I started reading Candis Terry.  Why, you may ask did I decide to read Candis Terry?  The answer is really quite simple!  At the beginning of 2015 I made a resolution that I would I would attempt to read all the authors who were calling or Skyping with my local book club.  I’ve not been very successful, but I have read several.  Since Ms. Terry is going to be the author in September that we’ll be chatting with I decided it was time to change her status from languishing unread in my TBR to read!

I started with ANYTHING BUT SWEET as I thought this was the first book in the series.  There was a little bit of backstory that had me wondering if I missed something, but the bit of research I did still had me believing that ANYTHING BUT SWEET was the first book.  I thought ok…Ms. Terry just didn’t give us this full back story, but we’d get it eventually.  I’ve learned since then that perhaps the backstory I was wanting is in CRAZY SWEET FINE, but since I’ve not read this yet I don’t know.

Since book club hasn’t happened yet, and I’ve glommed all the Marie Force I feel I should for the moment (don’t want to get burnt out on a new favorite author) I decided to read SWEETEST MISTAKE by Ms. Terry.  What did I learn by reading that?  I learned that because I still have some time before the September book club meets that I need to get SOMETHING SWEETER read. 

Yes, these books are slightly older and not necessarily the one that will be discussed at book club, but my book club is very understanding about those of us who have to read in order, and while some of the members will have read the newest book,  TRULY SWEET it will be quite fine that I’m late to the Candis Terry party, because I did finally arrive, and look forward to enjoying myself for a long time to come!

TREADING WATER

treading water

A very long time ago I bought TREADING WATER by Marie Force from Amazon, and for some reason that as of this past week I’ve decided was total foolishness I allowed it to wallow in my TBR pile.  Since Marie Force is my latest author obsession I decided it was time to dig way deep into my Kindle Cloud and read something a friend has long told me is one of her favorite Marie Force books.

Expecting a good read, but not necessarily a heartwarming read that would have me instantly searching my Kindle Cloud for book two in the series I sat down with TREADING WATER.

Clare and Jack had a strong marriage, one that many admired until one day a tragedy struck.  Clare was struck by a car, and not expected to recover, but Jack the ever faithful loving husband wouldn’t hear of her being denied anything, and despite huge odds while still in a coma Clare survived for years.

Clare wasn’t done surprising people though, and what happens next will tear at everyone’s heartstrings.  Jack who had finally moved on with life is faced with decisions that no one should have to make, and in the end it’s Clare who makes the decision for both of them.

What decision you’re asking?  What happens next you’re asking?  My answer…you’re going to have to get a copy of TREADING WATER  by Marie Force and read it for yourself.