How to Love your Neighbor by Sophie Sullivan

How to Love Your Neighbor

Girl on her own struggling with an absent mother and an almost degree in interior design, inherits beach house from unknown grandparents.

Rich developer next door keeps asking her to sell. She is keeping the house and the back and forth between them is predictable and you knew it was going to end up with her in his bed and her designing his house and poof, problems solved.

Not a fan of romance if it’s the struggling girl meets rich bachelor type.

NetGalley/ January 18th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Griffin

JOAN IS OKAY by WEIKE WANG

Joan Is Okay

Joan is Chinese-American. At 36, a doctor at NYU. She has met her parents expectations and she works all the time. Taking all the shifts she can.

She thinks a lot and a lot of this story is played out in her head. There were not a lot of ups and downs. The book was interesting to a point and then it was just flat. It felt like a disconnect with the character.

After reading it, I wasn’t interested in reading it again. It just didn’t feel personal at all.

NetGalley/January 18th, 2022 by Random House

SUCH A PRETTY SMILE by KRISTI DEMEESTER

Such a Pretty Smile

I finished this book in one sitting. With the lights on and the doors locked.

This is for all the women who don’t want to sit still and look pretty. For the women and girls who have been patronized and marginalized by men.

Told by two rather unreliable narrators. Caroline and her daughter Lila. In 2004 Caroline is living in New Orleans. Girls have been disappearing and the bodies are found mutilated with horrific bites and scratches that leave the media calling the killer The Cur. All are young girls who won’t sit still and look pretty. The ones who refuse to be put in a box. They are opinionated and will not conform to what society wants them to be.

Caroline is having a hard time sleeping. She hears packs of dogs everywhere and loses time. Her fiance’ is also an artist and rather a jerk. Caroline has begun sculpting and the sculptures are disturbing but also gallery-worthy. With her father who is dying and a husband who is a narcissist, she has a lot of stress. Her doctor is patronizing and tells her to take a pill and it will be fine. It is not fine. Not fine at all.

Jump to 2019 and Caroline and her daughter Lila are living close to Atlanta where Caroline is now teaching and sculpting. But she is still haunted by whatever is in her past. And now girls are disappearing and found dead in the same manner as before.

Lila is hiding who and what she is from everyone. Her father and his wife in New Orleans, the school psychologist, and her mother. She feels like there is something inside of her, snarling and begging to be let out, but when she does, it backfires horribly.

I am not going any further with this story because you really need to experience it for yourself. Let me just say it has been a long time since I was this terrified for an entire book!

I can’t wait to see what comes next for this author. Look out, Stephen King!

NetGalley/ January 18th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press





OUR KIND of PEOPLE by Carol Wallace

Our Kind of People

Welcome to the Gilded Age in New York City. The war is over and the elite of the city are getting back to balls and debuts and other pursuits. In Helen Wilcox’s case, it means finding suitable matches for her two daughters on a shoestring budget.

While Helen comes from money, She has married for love. And boy were those people snobby and just plain mean.

But it is 1874 and the times were different. Classes were important and old money trumped the new money. So how will Helen find suitable men for her two daughters? Her husband has dreams of an elevated rail in NYC. It’s a genius idea but it will take a lot of money! When it lead to financial ruin, Helen is questioning her husband’s dream but not his love for her or hers for him.

And as their fortunes change, they along with daughters Jemima and Alice must take a hard look at the world as it is, not as it was and think long and hard about what they want.

To Marry an English Lord was written by Wallace. The inspiration for Downton Abbey so if you are missing it or Bridgerton, this should hold you until Mr. Fellowes brings us more! And thank goodness he will bring The Gilded Age to life!

NetGalley/January 11th, 2022 by G P Putman’s Sons

THE LAST HOUSE ON THE STREET by DIANE CHAMBERLAIN

The Last House on the Street

Some history, a little mystery and a lot of prejudice!

Told in two times, this story takes one of the characters, Ellie Hockley, and tells her story from 1965. A time when I watched the world through a child’s eyes. I was a child of the deep south and integration didn’t come for longer that it should have. The Voting Rights Act was passed and the SCOPE program was put into motion to help black people register to vote and to know their rights.

It was dangerous work. Work that did get people killed. Remember Mississippi? But against everyone’s advice and threats, Ellie has joined up to help. Her story and her character were very well done.

In 2010 Kayla and her daughter are moving into the house she designed with her husband. He died before the house was finished in an accident. There seem to be a lot of accidents around. But really this is Round Hill, North Carolina. What could possibly be so frightening about her house?

When a scary-looking old lady tells her not to move into the house, she is already shakey on that so maybe she will sell it.

In the end, they move in. Her next-door neighbor is Ellie Hockley and she is very helpful and welcoming. She also has secrets. A lot of secrets.

This book doesn’t clean up the past. I like that. I lived through this period as a child and it was just this bad. There is a lot of violence and prejudice and just plain meanness in here. And that is okay with me because it happened. And if we ever forget it we will repeat it. And right now this is a good time to read this book!

NetGalley/January 11th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press

RECKLESS GIRLS by RACHEL HAWKINS

Reckless Girls

Remember The Wife Upstairs? Well, Ms. Hawkins is back with another movie worthy book!

It took me a bit to warm up to Lux and Nico. Okay, I never liked Nico. Lux was a very sympathetic character. So let’s see what all the fuss is about.

Lux has spent a few years caring for her dying mother. Her parents divorced long ago and her father found a new family. She has a lot of bad energy about that. After her mother dies, she is adrift. Having nothing and no prospects,she is at her lowest when she meets Nico.

Nico is a rich and troubled playboy who is about surface deep. When he asks Lux to go to Maui with him aboard his boat she jumps at the chance. And you just know she should not do this.

,In Maui Nico is approached by two young women who offer a lot of money to be taken to Meroe Island. Yes, it is as creepy as the name implies. Supposedly used during WWII and the subject of a lot of suspicious stories, this island is anything but inviting.

But they could use the money to repair the boat and the girls, who say they are college friends, seem friendly, so on they go.

On arrival they find they aren’t alone. Meet Eliza and her boyfriend,Jake. They have a beautiful boat and plenty of booze and food. Very quickly they become close. Until someone else arrives and threatens to break up their idyllic vacation. And when he and his boat disappear they are relieved. And that is when everything goes awry.

Everyone here has secrets. Some deadly. No one is really who they say they are. And some of them are more than willing to kill to keep them.

This was a twisty, mind screw! And I loved every page of it!

NetGalley/January 4th, 2022 by St. Martin’s