A Countess of Harleigh Mystery #2
The Countess, Francis, is back in the second of this series. Now a widow with a full house in town, she has no desire to head for the country as most do in August. She isn’t hunting for birds or a husband.
Her younger sister is visiting from America and has brought a friend. Within a few short weeks, the sister announces she is going to marry a man she just met. Francis is worried. She doesn’t want her sister to marry someone she barely knows. Didn’t work out that well for Francis!
Along with her Aunt and her cousin Charles, she has her hands full. Charles is a lovely man but rather scattered. Francis has been encouraging him to see an acquaintance of hers, Mary Archer. Charles isn’t enamored of Mrs. Archer and picks a poor time to break off seeing her. The next day the poor woman is dead, murdered in her own home. Charles just became a suspect.
With help from her friend and neighbor, George Hazelton, she hopes to find something in the poor woman’s belongings that will clear Charles. What they find sends them in an entirely different direction!
I really enjoyed this one. Historical Fiction is a favorite of mine and Ms. Freeman has a style of writing that is so easy to read. The characters are quirky and fun. Francis and George may have something going on soon so I hope we don’t have to wait long for the next book!
NetGalley/ June 25th, 2019 by Kensington
Max and his wife, Pip, are a perfect couple. And added to their perfect lives is Dylan, their son. When Dylan is diagnosed with a brain tumor their lives are forever changed.
Pip spends every minute in the PICU and Max is back to work and struggling with not being with Pip and Dylan. After so many months the news they receive from the latest scan is not good. They have a decision to make and if they can’t make one, the NHS will.
This first half of the book was heartbreaking and I can’t imagine having to make a life or death decision for your toddler. What would you do? Do you let go? Do you fight, knowing you will lose?
The second half I was confused. It wasn’t clear to me that this was a What if? story. What if the judge says no? What if they judge says yes? I was confused right up until the end. That is when I figured out that each of them was telling the story of what their own outcome would be. But I really wanted to know which one happened.
NetGalley/ June 25th, 2019 by G.P. Putnam’s Sons
In the Fall of 1940, Alexa and her mother were taken by the Nazi’s. Stacked like cordwood in cattle cars on a train. Most would die and the rest would labor. If you were a pretty blue-eyed blonde, you could end up as the slave of a Gestapo head. If you were lucky you didn’t get beaten every day.
I enjoyed reading a first-hand account of Alexa and her family.
This is a true story told by her granddaughter. The story and what happened to her is a solid story. It’s true. At only 13, she must grow up very fast and learn to survive.
The writing was monotone. I didn’t feel any emotion behind the characters. A lot of it could benefit from more editing. I didn’t feel her fear or any emotion. It is a true story and one with a horrific topic and that felt as if there should have been some emotion in it. I didn’t feel any fear or horror or anything.
The Second in the Victorian Village Mystery Series
Kate Hamilton is back in her hometown of Asheboro, Maryland. Staying at the dead Cordelia’s B and B. Trying to save the town and its history from going under. The only thing that ever made money in the town was a shovel factory that has long closed. It as well as the fantastic Barton Mansion were left to the city to be sold.
As Kate gets ready to get down to business and find out where Barton’s money came from and go through all of his documents, people start popping up asking questions, about the research and what she has found. And when one of them turns up dead in the library things get dicey.
I have enjoyed this author’s works before however, this one was pretty flat. Kate isn’t a likable character. All of the characters seemed flat. Although the historical parts were interesting the people were not.
NetGalley/ July 9th, 2019 by Minotaur Books
From the 1920s to the 1960s, the Collier and Parrish families have been very close. Living a life of wealth and privilege as major players in the steel industry in Bethlehem, PA.
They do everything together. Their children do everything together. Life looks perfect and everything they touch is gold.
By the time Frank and Joanna Collier and their two small children come to live on the estate, his own father has died leaving his mother and grandmother alone. While Joanna isn’t at all on board with this plan and is quite miserable about it and who wouldn’t be? No one needs 3 strong women under one roof! Every new wife and mother wants to be the queen of their domain but Joanna is feeling like an unwelcome guest and with Frank up to his ears in the business, she finds herself wandering through the nearby graveyard and not only finds a mystery but a handsome stranger.
I will own up to being a bit overwhelmed with all of the characters in this tale. There were a lot. There were also a lot of secrets. Nothing was what I thought it was. At the beginning I found myself whining about another book with a weak and whiny main character. I am so glad I stuck with it because it was nothing like that! These women were all strong. They had to be. The secrets they carried weighed heavy on them for decades.
And in the end, I cried and cried. A tale of family, pain, secrets, forgiveness, and trust. Never has the saying, “We never know what is really going on behind closed doors” been truer.
A beautiful story!
NetGalley/ St. Martin’s Press July 09,2019
A Sometimes in Love Novel
Sadie Gold is ready for something big after her soap opera tour. She wants to be taken seriously and not just seen as rich, spoiled and very well connected. When she is finally offered a part in a hit movie she is thrilled. Right up until she meets her stunt coordinator.
Bo Ibarra is hot, sexy and Sadie’s first love. After a decade the sparks are all still there. But they broke up for reasons that are still in play. The wrong side of the tracks, money, love is never easy. And on top of all of the issues they need to get past, Sadie has a secret she has been keeping all these years and now it’s out and there may be no way to find their way back to each other this time.
I loved the friends and other characters. Melonie Johnson is really good at writing love stories that feel real. And funny. I’m sure we will be seeing much more from this series.
NetGalley/June 25th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Paperbacks
“Rumors are like fires. No one admits to starting them and before you know it, they’re out of control.”
Joanna is a single mom by choice. Raising her son, Alfie, just down from her mom’s home. Alfie’s dad, Michael, and his mom are on the best of terms, Joanna just didn’t want to get married. Now Alfie is in school and Joanna needs to make nice with the other moms for her son. So when she joins the moms at the school gates she hears a juicy rumor. Which should have stayed at the school gates.
It gnaws at her. This case of a 10-year-old who long ago killed another child. And when she is invited to join the others for a book club, she blurts out the rumor. Once out of the mouth, it takes on a life of its own. Soon she has Michael on the hunt for the mysterious killer who may now be living in their tiny town.
Soon there is mass hysteria toward a woman in town and Joanna realizes she has put her entire family in danger. This time her words may come back to bite her!
Oh my, I loved this one! I was suspicious of every female and every time I thought we (Jo and I), had it nailed down, we were wrong! There was so much tension in this thriller. Fast paced, well written, and that ending! Whoa!
NetGalley/ Ballantine Books Random House
Emotional, Suspenseful, Domestic Drama, and Murder! Who are these people that Ryan Gracey thought were family?
Ryan has always been told she was a change of life baby. Born prematurely when her mother went to Mexico on a trip and was all of a sudden pregnant. When she came home she had a baby and Ryans older sister was off to college.
In Ryan’s mind, her older sister, Wendy, can do no wrong. She is the perfect daughter, wife, mother and career woman. In Ryan’s mind. But all of that comes into question when in the same week her father has a heart attack, her sister calls begging her to go watch her two little girls and she’ll be home at some point. What? As Ryan drops her own life to go and help her mother and sister, she is finding some strange things at her sister’s home. Where is Wendy? Who is Wendy?
Could Wendy be the perfect liar as well? Ryan intends to use her crime podcast contacts to find out the truth. Where is her sister? Heck, who is her sister? It seems as if everyone has a different opinion and when the truth comes to light, it’s explosive!
NetGalley/Mira June 25th, 2019 by MIRA
“Few crimes are reported as quickly as a snatched kid.”
Kelley Armstrong is a favorite of mine. Her Watcher Series and her urban fantasy books are really well done!
I wasn’t fully on board right away with this one. At first, we didn’t have enough information about her and her husband and daughter for me to decide if she was a wimp or nuts. Turns out she is neither.
When Aubrey is having playtime at the park with Charlotte, she meets a young woman and her son. Aubrey is very observant. The woman is young, with what looks like old track marks on her arms. While Aubrey is chatting with her son, the young lady moves away and begins speaking angrily in Russian to someone on a cell. How odd, she thinks.
The next time she goes to the park, she looks for the young lady and doesn’t find her. But she is sure that the little boy running towards the parking lot is her son. And from his screams for help, she is positive he is being kidnapped.
The police don’t believe her. No one believes her. Which had me thinking. Why? Why are all the moms at the park treating her like a pariah? What don’t we know? And there is.
Some of it was heartbreaking, some of it was secrets and lies, but in the end, she has to answer the question. How far do you go to protect someone else’s child?
There were numerous subplots going on her as well. Which muddied the waters a bit.
All in all, it was a good read.
NetGalley/ June 25th, 2019 by Minotaur Books