THE FAVOR by NORA MURPHY

A gripping debut domestic suspense novel, The Favor explores with compassion and depth what can happen when women pushed to the limit take matters into their own hands.

Leah and McKenna have never met, though they have parallel lives. They are both accomplished in their fields and have married men who are abusive. Leah, a lawyer, and McKennna, a pediatrician. The only thing they have in common is the liquor store.

If you have seen or read Strangers on a train, you are up to date. Only with women. Educated women with their own resources but relegated to the house by their abusers. They could just drive away, but they don’t.

The first portion was interesting and the rest was not. Predictable would be a good word. The wife letting herself go because her husband is tracking her every movement. Not going to the police because no one would believe them.

It felt like so many other books in the same genre.

NetGalley/May 31st, 2022 by Minotaur Books

THE WEDDING DRESS SEWING CIRCLE by JENNIFER RYAN

Three plucky women lift the spirits of home-front brides in wartime Britain, where clothes rationing leaves little opportunity for pomp or celebration–even at weddings–in this heartwarming novel based on true events, from the bestselling author of The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir.

Cressida Westcott fled her family manor many years ago. She is now a very successful designer in London and runs her design house. Until the Blitz. Bombs drop on the poor and wealthy the same way. Like so many people, she now has no place to go. Swallowing her pride she calls her niece and nephew who still live at the manor and is told she is more than welcome.

Returning with only what she had on when the bombs fell. Her niece, Violet, is thrilled her aunt has come to stay. Violet is young and about as shallow as a saucer on the surface. Her father taught her from birth that it is her job to marry well and have children.

Cressida isn’t the only thing going to the manor. So is Violet’s conscription letter. She is furious. How in the world can she find a titled husband wearing a uniform and scrubbing toilets?

Meanwhile, in the village, the vicar’s daughter, Grace, is hoping her sewing circle can help mend her mother’s wedding gown so that she can wear it at her own wedding to a much older and staid man of the cloth.

While trying to be useful Cressida and Violet both volunteer at the sewing circle and much to everyone’s surprise it’s a great fit. Cressida has connections and Grace is a worthy protege for her. As she helps them, they also help her. What woman doesn’t want a special white dress for her wedding? The ladies soon hatch a plan to get as many gowns as they can and re-make them so the war brides all feel special on their day.

Having Cressida down in the village encourages her nephew, Hugh, to come as well. And he finds he may still have feelings for the little girl who was his best friend for so long.

Oh, the power of women having to make do. That is when things get interesting. And this book was full of women getting the job done. And figuring out who they are in this new world.

Such a beautiful concept and telling of a story that made me laugh and cry!

NetGalley/: May 31st, 2022 by Ballantine Books

BLACK TIDE by KC JONES

Black Tide is described as a character-driven science fiction/ horror novel about what happens after a cataclysmic event leaves a world crawling with nightmares. Cujo meets A Quiet Place.

Beth is a self-described car wreck. Wasting a life wandering. She’s trying to change and so far she is doing well housesitting. On the Pacific Coast where billionaires from Silicon Valley have built massive homes by the beach. This time it’s for a couple who is out of the country. She also is dog sitting. And doing a responsible and safe job of it. Which for her is boring but no one has gotten hurt yet.

Mike is the next-door neighbor. Dealing with his own demons. When he and Beth meet over the fence and share a lot of champagne, they wake up to chaos and the world turned on its head.

They thought it was a simple meteor shower. It was not. And now they are stranded with no help and a lot of screams along with a dog who is not happy!

Aliens, strange lights, people disappearing in horrible ways, all of that, and more. For myself, there were a lot of plot holes, and I would have probably left Beth and the dog!

NetGalley/ May 31st. 2022 by Nightfire



A RIP THROUGH TIME by KELLEY ARMSTRONG

A Rip Through Time #1

With Armstrong finishing up her Rockton series, which we loved, she has given us a new one. A Rip Through Time is the series debut about a modern-day homicide detective from Vancouver who is in Scotland to be with her Nan, who is dying in hospital.

She goes out for a run and in an alley hears a woman scream. She looks but it’s very fuzzy and then she’s attacked herself. Two women, 150 years apart, attacked in the same way.

When Mallory regains consciousness she is in a bed she doesn’t know and being called Catriona. That bump on the head was a doozy because somehow she has traveled back in time to 1869! Figuring that Cat must be the woman who was attacked before and somehow they have switched places.

Now she’s a maid. With a lot of knowledge about dead bodies. Ending up in the home of an undertaker is convenient as she is determined to find out who killed Cat and who did she bring with her into the past that is still killing people?

Lucky for her, the master of the house is also a bit of a sleuth in cahoots with the homicide detective who is impressed and leary of “Cat’s” knowledge and ability to read and write even. But finding this killer won’t be easy because Cat has a bit of a nefarious past and she isn’t well-liked by pretty much anyone.

But Dr. Gray’s sister is interested and here I think we have the beginning of a mystery-solving trio!

Armstrong is a strong writer. Her characters are interesting and strong women. Here we get a mystery, time travel, a little romance and a lot of good characters, and great writing.

NetGalley/May 31st, 2022 by Minotaur Books



the phone booth at the edge of the world by Laura Imai Messina

The international bestselling novel sold in 21 countries, about grief, mourning, and the joy of survival, inspired by a real phone booth in Japan with its disconnected “wind” phone, a place of pilgrimage and solace since the 2011 tsunami

Yui has lost her mother and her young daughter to the March 11, 2011 tsunami that ripped across Japan causing terrible fatalities and missing persons as well as loss of complete villages. Yui marks every day as relative to that date. When she is on-air at the radio station or at home, she is struggling with her loss and grief.

One day a caller to her show talks about an old disconnected phone booth that sits in a garden. People come from all over to “talk” to their loved ones. Whispering their questions to the wind. Hoping for a connection. Yui is skeptical but soon she takes her own trip to the garden with the phone booth.

But she just can’t bring herself to go to the phone booth. Instead, she meets Takeshi, a man with a young daughter whose mother has died. The little girl has not spoken a word since. Yui can relate. And soon they strike up a friendship. But Yui is afraid of anything more.

This was a beautiful and heartbreaking story. How we handle grief is very personal. No two people grieve the same way.

Thank you to Overlook Press for this lovely read.







The SEAMSTRESS of NEW ORLEANS by DIANE C.McPHAIL

Can we take a look at this gorgeous cover? Stunning!

It’s 1900 and a new century has dawned and women are making some noise. Fighting for equality in a man’s world.

Alice Butterworth knows all of those rules. She also knows she needs to find a job as it looks like her husband is not going to be returning from his business trip. Desperate and broke, she overhears women talking about Mardi Gras in New Orleans. How a seamstress can flourish there. And Alice is a good seamstress. So to New Orleans, she goes. Carrying a parting gift from the no-good husband. A baby.

She finally arrives at an orphanage where she can stay and teach sewing to the older girls.

Constance is a young mother and wife. Her husband is shady at best. He isn’t coming home either. She knows this for certain. She works very closely with the orphanage and meeting Alice she offers her lodging with her little family while she helps her create a gown for the Leap Year Ball for Mardi Gras. It’s an all-women Krewe which at that time was forward. But she needs something to take her mind off of the fear she feels. Who is the mysterious man following her? And why?

This is a story of women helping women. Of being brave and standing together. While there was quite a bit of Mardi Gras trivia, this was ultimately about empowering women.

NetGalley/May 31st, 2022 by Kensington Publishing Corp. A John Scognamiglio Book


THE ISLAND by ADRIAN McKINTY

From the Best Selling Author of The Chain comes a new and explosive new thriller. The Island grabs your attention on page one and doesn’t let up at all.

Heather Baxter is still getting used to being married. A girl from a small island, she moved to Seattle and became a massage therapist. This is where she meets Tom. A doctor whose wife died in a fall down the stairs of their home. He has two kids, Olivia who is fourteen but looks like sixteen, and Owen who is eleven. Oh, they hate Heather. They are rude and spoiled and for some reason, medicated.

When Tom is invited to Australia to speak at a convention of other doctors the kids beg to go and maybe this is what they need to come together as a new family. It is not.

The kids are bored, Heather is sick of them and Tom is sketchy from day one. When someone tells them about Dutch Island, the kids beg to go after being told of all the koalas on the island. But the island is not open for company. There is one ferry that takes people out and back. But only the family who lives on the island. But of course, they all beg to go, and soon a German couple is asking as well.

Shortly after landing, they are told to be back by a specific time. There are no phones or internet on the island and they need to be off the island. But a horrific accident puts them on a collision course with the insane clan who lives there and suddenly Tom is gone and Heather turns into John McClane of Die Hard.

Sick and tired of being underestimated, Heather takes control of the situation in a way that had me wondering if she was secretly CIA! There was so much tension in this book, you could feel the heat and smell the fear.

I loved Heather. They never saw her coming. It was thrilling!

Soon to be a Hulu series.

NetGalley/May 17th, 2022 Little, Brown & Company

JUST LIKE MOTHER by ANNE HELTZEL

Well, this one started with a bang! Two children, little girls, cousins, walk into the woods and one turns into something insane.

The last time Maeve saw her cousin Andrea was when she fled the weird cult they were being raised in. The police moved in pretty quick and arrested all of the ‘mothers’. And from there the girls’ lives took many different turns.

Maeve wants to forget. She has walls securely built and isn’t letting anyone in. And when Andrea finds her again, Maeve is conflicted but Andrea is the only family she has.

Andrea seems to have it all. The house in the Catskills, a perfect husband and a brand built on having babies. It’s almost cult-like followers are about as crazy as they come. And soon Maeve is bowing to the wishes of her cousin, and spending almost all of her time at her cousin’s house with a bunch of nuts.

All they talk about are babies. The only reason we exist. Helping women have babies is a noble cause but this is not that. As happy as Andrea seems, she can’t have the one thing she wants. A child. She expects Maeve to lend her an egg or two and that is when Maeve finds her spine and refuses.

The weirder things get, the more memories Maeve is finding. Of what their past was really like and what they hid behind locked doors. Will she make it out alive?

Talk about your scary reads! This was some seriously messed-up stuff that was going on in this book. And the ending was a bit shadowy.

NetGalley/May 17, 2022, Tor MacMillan Forge


BLOOMSBURY GIRLS by NATALIE JENNER

Bloomsbury Girls

The internationally bestselling author of The Jane Austen Society returns with a compelling and heartwarming story of post-war London, a century-old bookstore, and three women determined to find their way in a fast-changing world.

The war is over in London and the delightful Evie Stone is back. Having completed her studies at Cambridge she is hoping to get a position at the school. However, in typical fashion, the position goes to a man.

Using one of her contacts from The Jane Austen Society as a reference, she applies for a job at Bloomsbury Books. Selling new and rare books and resisting change in any form for a hundred years. Run by men and the fifty-one rules. Yes, 51.

But it’s 1950 and things are about to be shaken up like a snow globe with Evie’s arrival.

The women who work here, Vivien and Grace are tired of all of the men treating them as less than. Vivien’s fiance died in action in the war and Vivien is angry about a lot of things. Being passed over for a job she is very qualified for as well as her mortal enemy Alec, Head of Fiction. Vivien wants to write. She is constantly writing. Alec wants to write but never can.

Grace, the married one in the group is a glorified secretary who is just trying to support her family after her husband came back from the war a different man. A mean man who she wishes she could leave.

And then there is Evie. One of the first class of female students allowed to graduate and earn a degree at Cambridge. But Evie isn’t there to just work out a system for the messy rare book section, she has a purpose and is looking for something. Something she found at the great house in Chawton.

A chance meeting with Daphne Du Maurier has lit a fire under these women. Why can’t they follow their dreams? When other women join their cause, such as Peggy Guggenheim, Sonia Blair, Ellen Doubleday, and others, things are getting done. Have the women outplayed the men here? Oh, yes. And it is delicious.

I am so happy to see Evie! I so wanted to hear how she was getting on. And in this tale, she may even find love!

Very Well Done once again!

NetGalley/May 17th, 2022 by St. Martin’s Press







NERUDA ON THE PARK by CLEYVIS NATERA

An exhilarating debut novel following members of a Dominican family in New York City who take radically different paths when faced with encroaching gentrification

A beautiful debut novel. Eusebia and her husband, Vladimir, along with their daughter, Luz, have lived in Nothar Park which is a predominately Dominican part of New York for twenty years. Having come from the Dominican Republic.

Eusebia is considered an elder in the community and she isn’t happy about the gentrification going on around them. Especially when the owner of their building decides to go condo and sell the units. So they must move out or be bought out. They are both proud of their daughter, a lawyer in a fancy firm downtown.

All the while behind Eusebia’s back, Luz is helping her father design the perfect house in the Dominican Republic for him and his wife when they retire. They have worked hard and sacrificed for their dreams and their daughter.

After an accident, Eusebia is even more determined than ever to keep her neighborhood as it is. She enlists her group of women friends and they come up with a plan that may get them all killed.

Meanwhile, Luz has lost her job and fallen hard for the man leading the demo project. This pits mother and daughter against each other and will lead to dangerous results.

It’s hard to believe this is a debut novel. Natera’s writing weaves together themes of family, identity, and community and what we are willing to sacrifice for those we love.

It is a beautifully told story.

NetGalley/May 17th, 2022 by Ballantine Books