BOOK TALK ON A THURSDAY: SISTERS LIKE US

After a summer and fall foray into Happily Inc. Susan Mallery now returns us to Mischief Bay. Harper and her sister Stacey couldn’t be more different. Harper was a full time wife and mother, happily making home a haven for her family. Until her husband decided he SLUwanted a divorce. Harper wasn’t educated or trained to be anything other than a wife and mom and she had to scramble to put food on the table for her daughter. She opened a business as a virtual assistant and is now overworked and underpaid. Just like most personal assistants, 😉
Stacey is a brainiac nerd, who’s more comfortable in her medical research lab than with most real people. She’s pregnant with her first child and is terrified. She’s scared she won’t bond with the baby, that she won’t know what to do, that her husband will love the baby more than he loves her.
Harper and Stacey are opposites, but they stand together against their overbearing mother. Harper’s teenage daughter, Becca, is also a viewpoint character.
The three women navigate life and change in their own ways.

I loved this one! The characters are archetypes in some ways. Harper is the perfect homemaker, Stacey is the nerd, Becca is the temperamental teenager. But in Mallery’s world, they’re also real people I feel like I know. Harper knows she’s on a hamster wheel of perfection, but she can’t see how to climb off. I’ve been on that wheel a time or two myself.

There are some familiar characters who return from the previous Mischief Bay books. Lucas, the guy we’ve gotten to know for his penchant for dating twenty-year-olds, is back and even showing signs of maturing. Lulu, Pam’s Chinese Crested dog, has a cameo appearance.

Sisters Like Us is both new and familiar. In the best way. I highly recommend it!

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I received a free copy of the book in return for a honest review. We both kept our side of the bargain.

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Book Talk Tuesday: A HERO TO HOLD

hero

A HERO TO HOLD by Sheri Humphreys is amazing.

Sheri is a friend and critique group member, a fellow Elnora workshop alum, and a damn good writer.

So while I may rave about this book, it’s not because I know the author. Or at least not only because I know her. This is a seriously good book.

From the back cover:

Viscountess Charlotte Haliday has lost her illusions. Scandal took her position in society and the husband she thought she loved, and his mysterious murder followed shortly thereafter. But now is the time to return to London, time to find whatever small portion of happiness remains to her.

The first step will be proving she is her own person, unafraid of the lies and deceit that came before. Then she will defy her father and all others who try to steal her independence. Never again will Charlotte have a husband or seek the perfect marriage of her best friend Jane, but perhaps she will dare the wrath of the gossip-mongers and indulge her tiniest desire. To do so will bring her face to face with a stranger in an alcove. It will lead to learning Mr. David Scott is not only a war hero soon to be awarded the Victoria Cross, but also the most formidable man she has ever met. Broken in every way except the ones that count, he just might make her believe in love. And only she can show him that he is not alone.

A HERO TO HOLD is the first book I remember reading with a physically disabled hero, confined to a wheelchair. But make no mistake, David Scott is a hero in every way. His injury and disability do not detract from his strength and charm. Lady Charlotte is strong and determined not to let scandal and widowhood define her. Together, they ignite the pages.

And to prove that while I may be prejudiced, Kirkus Reviews agrees with me:

“Humphreys’ exceptional debut utterly stuns with its professional style, natural dialogue, and extensive research.” — Kirkus Reviews (starred review)

Do yourself a favor and grab this one!

 

Book Talk Tuesday: Marry Me at Christmas

If it’s fall, it must be time for a Fool’s Gold Christmas story from Susan Mallery.

I love these stories, for so many reasons.

They’re romances, hello!?!?!

Marry Me at Christmas
Marry Me at Christmas

They’re set in Fool’s Gold, the best fictional town in California.

They’re set at Christmas time, when we love to snuggle with a warm afghan, a cup of tea, and a good book.

The steamy love scenes of the other Fool’s Gold books don’t appear. I like my love scenes to be behind closed doors, and the Christmas books meet my criteria.

In MARRY ME AT CHRISTMAS, we finally get to meet action movie star Jonny Blaze who’s been mentioned in the other 2015 Fool’s Gold books. Madeline Krug, part owner of the local wedding dress shop, is asked to plan Jonny’s sister’s wedding planned for the day after Christmas. Jonny has been her movie star crush and she’s intimidated by the thought of even meeting him, much less working with him.

Madeline manages to be professional and she and Jonny plan the wedding and attend some of Fool’s Gold’s local holiday festivities.

I love stories about two worlds colliding and I especially love stories about when a public life and a private life collide. Because at heart, we’re all just people swimming along in our lives, trying to work, love, and laugh and feel like we have a purpose. Whether our purpose is touching people’s lives through the arts or pouring coffee, we’re all happiest doing what we’re meant to do.

So all that combines to make MARRY ME AT CHRISTMAS a great book, for winter, for Christmas, for anytime. I love it!

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I received a free copy in return for an honest review.

Book Talk Tuesday: Thrill Me

I can’t believe summer is half over, but it must be. I got my third Fool’s Gold book last week. That’s the signal that summer and 100+ degree days are on the way out. I’m happy to see the end of summer heat but not so happy to see the end of Fool’s Gold until Christmas time.

THRILL ME by Susan Mallery
THRILL ME by Susan Mallery

THRILL ME is Maya’s story. We met Maya in last month’s offering, KISS ME. Maya returned to Fool’s Gold with her friend Phoebe who fell in love with Maya’s stepbrother Zane in KISS ME. Now Maya’s been offered a job in Fool’s Gold, the only town that’s ever felt like home. She’s tired of life in LA and ready to come home. She never expected Del would be coming home too.

Del Mitchell and Maya were in love when they were just out of high school. In love and engaged. Until Maya panicked, dumped Del, and left town for college. Del packed up and left too. He’s back in town for his dad’s upcoming birthday party and to decide his next project. He doesn’t expect to strike up a friendship with Maya again, not after she broke up with him.

I loved this one! (No shock, I know.)

Maya and Del are older, smarter, and more experienced now. They’re both surprised that those youthful feelings of love can be so easily rekindled. But Maya just got back to town and Del will leaving at the end of summer. She’d love to travel to some of the places he’s planning to see, but it doesn’t make sense to leave a good job and the only home she’s ever felt she belonged in. Del wants to ask Maya to come with him. They make a great team behind the camera. He’s got a vision for a video project and Maya would be a perfect partner. Except can he trust her? She ran off once, she could do it again.

As usual, I really enjoyed this one and recommend it. The sex is still pushing my boundaries, but it’s later in the book and more subdued than earlier Fool’s Gold installments, which I like.

Go. Buy. Escape. Enjoy. Trust me.

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√ I received a free copy of THRILL ME in return for an honest review.

Book Talk Tuesday: Still Yours

I’m enjoying this New Adult Series written by Amy Patrick (Disclaimer: Amy is a 2014 Golden Heart (R) sister and I love her, so of course I love her books. But check out some of her amazing reviews on Amazon and you’ll know I’m not that biased).

Still Yours by Amy Patrick
Still Yours by Amy Patrick

In STILL YOURS, Mara has come back to Rhode Island after college and her first job. Her mom is sinking into depression and Mara wants to help. She gets a new job at a local television station. Things should be fine. Except she’s assigned a story to cover and it’s her high school love whom she left behind without explanation after graduation.

Reid is now a rich internet tycoon, thanks to his website, Still Yours, where people search for lost loves.

As Reid and Mara get to know each other as adults, Mara is also dealing with her depressed mother and her contrite father who wants to reconcile with his family.

Amy’s writing is crisp and fun. Mara and Reid are likeable and realistic.

I’m reading this series out of order. My TBR file on my Kindle is so big, I’ve decided to just start reading down the list. So this one popped up first and I read it. But STILL YOURS also stands on its own. It’s a fun read and I’m looking forward to the next one that makes its way to the top of my pile.

I highly recommend it! And not just for the new adults in your life. It’s a good solid romance for anyone who loves good romantic stories.

Book Talk Tuesday: Finding Me

It’s here! I finally got my hands on this baby Friday. I started reading and didn’t put it down until I finished it.

Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman
Finding Me by Kathryn Cushman

It officially releases on April 7th, but Amazon says its available today! I highly recommend you pop over and snap it up.

I’ve loved everything Katie Cushman has written but this one may be her best yet.

Kelli Huddleston’s world has imploded. Her father and step-mother were recently killed in an accident and as Kelli cleans out her father’s things, she discovers that everything she believed about herself and her father is a lie.

How do you go on after that?

For a women’s fiction book, this one was full of suspense. I had to keep turning the pages to see if Kelli was going to spill her secret to anyone.

The story begins in Santa Barbara then Kelli travels to Tennessee on a journey to find some answers. Along the way, she finds herself. And a whole lot more.

I love this one and recommend it enthusiastically!

Book Talk Tuesday: Three-Day Town

Somehow, a couple new releases snuck by me and I’m behind in one of my favorite series, so I grabbed the next one and just finished THREE DAY TOWN by Margaret Maron.

From the description:

3dtAfter a year of marriage, Judge Deborah Knott and Sheriff’s Deputy Dwight Bryant are off to New York City for a long-delayed honeymoon. January might not be the perfect time to take a bite of the Big Apple, but Dwight’s sister-in-law has arranged for them to stay in her Upper West Side apartment for a week.

Deborah had been asked to deliver a package to Lieutenant Sigrid Harald of the NYPD from Sigrid’s Colleton County grandmother. But when the homicide detective comes to pick it up, the package is missing and the building’s super is found murdered. Now despite their desire to enjoy a blissful winter getaway, Deborah and Dwight must team up with Lt. Harald to catch the killer before he strikes again.

This is the seventeenth in Maron’s Judge Deborah Knott series. It’s also the first time Deborah has crossed paths with Maron’s other series detective, Lieutenant Sigrid Harald. Fans have been asking when the two can intersect and Maron managed it beautifully. I’ve read all the Deborah Knott books but only the first in the Sigrid Harald series, so I may not be the best qualified fan to cast a vote.

Maron lived in New York for many years and her love for the city and her knowledge of its quirks shines through the pages of this story.

THREE-DAY TOWN is a worthy addition to both Deborah’s and Sigrid’s stories. I enjoyed it a lot. Maron writes traditional “fair play” novels and this one is no exception. The clues are played fairly and the culprit is a surprise, but not without reason.

Now I get to read the next one in the series, THE BUZZARD TABLE. Ironic considering this picture I took across the street from our house a couple of days ago. IMG_4230