Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Mistletoe Cottage (Harmony Harbor) by Debbie Mason

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"'Tis the seaon for love . . . Sophie DiRossi loved growing up in Harmony Harbor. But after fleeing in disgrace many years ago, it is the last place she wants to be. Left homeless by a fire, she's forced to go back to the small coastal town that harbors a million secrets, including her own. Sophie sees this secret reflected every day in her daughter's blue eyes-and she must keep it hidden from the only man she has ever loved.
Sophie's return is a shock for everyone . . . especially Liam Gallagher. The firefighter had some serious feelings for Sophie-and seeing her again sparks a desire so fierce it takes his breath away. Now Liam will do whatever it takes to show Sophie that they deserve a second chance at love, even if everything they've concealed threatens to keep them apart. In this special town at this special time of the year, Sophie and Liam can only hope for a little holiday magic..." 

If ever a book needed to come with a warning, this one should have.  The warning?  “Lies beget lies.”  And this book and this town was filled with them.  Everyone seems to have a big secret and/or lie following them around so I can see this as a fairly long running series.  And that may be a good thing because this was one of the most enjoyable books I have read in a very long time.  It is going to be interesting just exactly what everyone is hiding.

 Mistletoe Cottage might make you frustrated and even make you dislike Sophie a bit for not coming clean (but then it would be a different book), it may frustrate you that her daughter is, eventually, using her PTST as a sort of weapon.  (I can understand, it but I didn’t have to like it). You may become frustrated with Liam for not getting the help he needs (and for the author to not have delved into Liam’s issue a tad more).

You may need a scorecard to keep everyone straight -there are a lot of character’s and I mean a lot.

 I loved the biggest bomb that I never once saw coming.  Total shock!

 I loved that this book dealt with the issues like it was ‘real life’ and not a fictional novel. 

I loved this book…period.

*ARC supplied by publisher.

Wednesday, October 12, 2016

The Lullaby Sky - Carolyn Brown

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After seven years of misery and abuse, it’s all over—Hannah O’Malley is officially divorced. Hallelujah. It’s like every Christmas in her life all rolled up into one glorious day. Not only does Hannah get to keep her grandmother’s spacious old house, but she has full custody of her sparky five-year-old daughter. All Hannah has to do now is put the past behind her.
And now that she’s free, she wants to make a difference. With the help of her warm, close-knit circle of friends—including her high school crush, Travis Wilson—Hannah begins turning her home into a safe house for other women who’ve endured the pain she’s known. But even as life and laughter return to Hannah’s home, she’s haunted by the memory of her dangerously unstable ex. With a second chance at love on the horizon, Hannah must face down her past in order to let the sunshine back into her life.

When this author was new and fresh to me, I found that I loved her work. I was thrilled to read her newest work. However it might have been that it was what I was *what* I was choosing that kept me so happy. But the last few books I have read are so similar in theme that wonder why I am even bothering with reading them. I can tell exactly how it is going to proceed and end. 

The Lullaby Sky is the traditional 'Southern small town abused by rotten husband woman becomes strong but has a poop load of friends to help her recover and who stand behind her and a totally hot man who loves her - but 'secretly' story.

I don't remember the author using this much preaching in her last books - but I read so much that maybe she did and I just didn't notice.

*ARC supplied by publisher

Friday, October 7, 2016

The Chang's vs the World

 The Wangs vs. the World by Jade Chang

Charles Wang is mad at America. A brash, lovable immigrant businessman who built a cosmetics empire and made a fortune, he’s just been ruined by the financial crisis. Now all Charles wants is to get his kids safely stowed away so that he can go to China and attempt to reclaim his family’s ancestral lands—and his pride.
Charles pulls Andrew, his aspiring comedian son, and Grace, his style-obsessed daughter, out of schools he can no longer afford. Together with their stepmother, Barbra, they embark on a cross-country road trip from their foreclosed Bel-Air home to the upstate New York hideout of the eldest daughter, disgraced art world it-girl Saina. But with his son waylaid by a temptress in New Orleans, his wife ready to defect for a set of 1,000-thread-count sheets, and an epic smash-up in North Carolina, Charles may have to choose between the old world and the new, between keeping his family intact and finally fulfilling his dream of starting anew in China.
Outrageously funny and full of charm, The Wangs vs. the World is an entirely fresh look at what it means to belong in America—and how going from glorious riches to (still name-brand) rags brings one family together in a way money never could.

This was a very unique and mind boggling book, and by unique I mean that if you love books that have a lot of passages that needs a translator but didn't have one, is full of shallow characters (that do grow a bit, but are still shallow) and seems to be written by a biased, prejudiced against 'white people' author - then this book might be right up your alley. This books description also promises that this would be a humorous book - no, not so much.

The idea was a good one and that is why I picked this book - a rich family has to learn what it is like to be poor due to a bankruptcy and they need to do so on a cross-country trip.

Spoiler, sort of>>>>does this book have a conclusion? Not really; at least not a satisfying one. In my opinion, it was more like the last episode of Newhart or the dream episode from Dallas (if you are old enough to remember those shows!)

I started this book with my whole heart and full attention and ended up after about 40% just skimming a lot of it until something actually happened. Or until they switched back to English.

ARC supplied by publisher

Thursday, September 29, 2016

A Change of Heart

Title: A Change of Heart, Author: Sonali Dev

“A rising talent.” —BooklistDr. Nikhil 'Nic' Joshi had it all—marriage, career, purpose. Until, while working for Doctors Without Borders in a Mumbai slum, his wife, Jen, discovered a black market organ transplant ring. Before she could expose the truth, Jen was killed.
Two years after the tragedy, Nic is a cruise ship doctor who spends his days treating seasickness and sunburn and his nights in a boozy haze. On one of those blurry evenings on deck, Nic meets a woman who makes a startling claim: she received Jen’s heart in a transplant and has a message for him. Nic wants to discount Jess Koirala’s story as absurd, but there’s something about her reckless desperation that resonates despite his doubts.
Jess has spent years working her way out of a nightmarish life in Calcutta and into a respectable Bollywood dance troupe. Now she faces losing the one thing that matters—her young son, Joy.  She needs to uncover the secrets Jen risked everything for; but the unforeseen bond that results between her and Nic is both a lifeline and a perilous complication.
Delving beyond the surface of modern Indian-American life, acclaimed author Sonali Dev’s page-turning novel is both riveting and emotionally rewarding—an extraordinary story of human connection, bravery, and hope.  

This was an intensely cruel book that borders on being a horror novel and not a love story. Had I known more about this book I would have never chosen it.

The characters - one who is trying to escape (Dr. Nikhil by drink) his horrid past and the other trying to save her young son, by pretending to have the heart of Nikhils' deceased wife - are truly shallow, however they do grow and change. Unfortunately it takes the entire book to do so.

I don't think I have ever felt such anger when reading a book that should not have war warranted it.

ARC supplied by pubisher

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Like a Bee to Honey (The Honeybee Sisters #3)

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Affectionately dubbed The Honeybee Sisters in their Wisconsin Amish community, the three Christner girls are devoted beekeepers who are coming-of-age—and discovering the sweet surprise of love…  Shy, skittish Rose Christner is more comfortable tending to the beehives on the family farm and keeping her aunt’s unruly cats in line than attending social gatherings with the rest of the die youngie. A childhood trauma and secret shame keep her heart under lock and key, and Rose just can’t accept the sweet attention she’s receiving from a handsome neighbor. But the more she shies away from Josiah Yoder, the more their families sneakily plot to bring them together. And when a vandal who’s been plaguing the Honeybee Farm starts targeting Rose, Josiah’s steadfast protection—and patience—just may lead her into his waiting arms…

This is a difficult review for me to write. I am not going to change how I feel about this book, just because I got the book from the publisher.

Personally I didn't like this book and I really disliked the protagonist. One needs to read the entire book (an the first two books in the trilogy) to see why she is the way she is (timid, weepy, over-anxious to please, for me- annoying). This fact made this a very difficult book for me to read. I understand that the Amish culture is different, but humans are humans and I just can't get over the guilt that this woman was allowed to carry and how it stunted her.

The author tried too hard and too obviously to pull on my heart-strings.

*ARC supplied by publisher

Sunset in Central Park

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In the chaos of New York, true love can be hard to find, even when it's been right under your nose all along…Love has never been a priority for garden designer Frankie Cole. After witnessing the fallout of her parents' divorce, she's seen the devastation an overload of emotion can cause. The only man she feels comfortable with is her friend Matt—but that's strictly platonic. If only she found it easier to ignore the way he makes her heart race…
Matt Walker has loved Frankie for years but, sensing how fragile she is beneath her feisty exterior, has always played it cool. But then he uncovers new depths to the girl he's known forever and doesn't want to wait a moment longer. He knows Frankie has secrets and has buried them deep, but can Matt persuade her to trust him with her heart and kiss him under the Manhattan sunset?

The is no reason why you would HAVE to read the first book in this series (trilogy?) since this can be seen as a stand alone book.

This was a mildly enjoyable romance novel that follows the formula to a T.

The heroine is full of self-recrimination, distrusts men to the point that she is obsessive and panics whenever a man comes to talk to her. However, not with her male friend of many years (naturally) a friend that she, of course has the hots for and he for her.

A little (okay a LOT) of angst, self-recrimination and over the top (to me) and lengthy inner-dialogue.
Any character growth that happens will be with Frankie and it will happen just in the last tenth of the book.

On a happy note for those that care, even though it takes Frankie and Matt more than 50% nearly 60% of the book to consummate their relationship, it was quite steamy.

Things naturally clear up for the ending.

*ARC supplied by ppublisher

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

Drone Threat (A Troy Pearce Novel)

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Book Description:

Troy Pearce and his team of drone experts are called to action when ISIS launches a series of attacks on U.S. soil. On the eve of President Lane’s historic Asian Security Summit, a hobby-store quadcopter lands on the White House lawn carrying a package and an ominous threat: Fly the enclosed black flag of ISIS over the White House by noon today or suffer the consequences. The threat further promises that every day the flag isn’t flown a new attack will be launched, each deadlier than the first.
President Lane refuses to comply with the outrageous demand, but the first drone attacks, sending a shudder through the U.S. economy. With few options available and even fewer clues, President Lane unleashes Troy Pearce and his Drone Command team to find and stop the untraceable source of the destabilizing attacks. But the terror mastermind proves more elusive and vindictive than any opponent Pearce has faced before . . . and if Pearce fails, the nation will suffer an unimaginable catastrophe on its soil or be forced into war.

This was the 4th book in a series -while I would have loved to have read the first three to get me up to speed, it wasn't truly necessary.  Feel  fairly confident that you can read this as a stand-alone.  The characters are well fleshed and the back-ground was filled in just enough for me.

This issue is an important one in this day and age and the idea certainty gave me the chills.

This book seemed to be well researched and it was certainly very well written, it kept me on the edge of my chair and, was for me, very satisfying.

*ARC supplied by publisher