The Dilemma by B.A.Paris

The Dilemma

Livia has been planning her 40th birthday party for 20 years! She wants it to be perfect and make up for the wedding she never had when her parents disowned her for getting pregnant and married so young.

But life has been good to Livia and Adam. Their two children Marnie,19 and Josh, 22 are both good kids. Until Livia finds out one of them is not making such good decisions and she knows if she tells Adam he will go ballistic. So she keeps her secret until after her party and hopes Marnie doesn’t show up and blow things up.

Adam is determined to have Marnie come home for the party and surprise her mother. And now Adam has a secret. One that will tear the family apart and he can’t say a word. Nothing happens until Livia has had her day. But suddenly something happens that puts Adam in an awful position and wishing he had never asked Marnie to come.

Suspenseful and twisty, I wasn’t sure until the last minute if any of it was true. This was a wicked good domestic suspense.

Highly Recommend a read!

NetGalley/ June 30th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

SAVING RUBY KING by Catherine Adel West

Saving Ruby King

Family. Faith. Secrets. Everything in this world comes full circle.
Ruby King lives on Chicago’s South Side. Her best friend is Layla, daughter of the Pastor. Her mother and Ruby’s are life long friends.
Everyone in the church knows that Alice’s husband beats her so it isn’t shocking when she is murdered in her own home.
The police dismiss it as just more violence in this area. But Ruby has lost her mother and now her father takes his frustrations out on her.
Her father has dirt on the pastor so he isn’t helping Ruby. Everyone has secrets. Everyone is assuming a lot. There are awful secrets and in the end, no one can save Ruby but Ruby.

It is hard to believe this is a debut novel! We hear the viewpoints of all the main characters and their heartbreaking secrets. This one of the most honest and touching books I have read.
NetGalley/June 16th, 2020 by Park Row

THE HALF SISTER by SANDIE JONES

The Half Sister

Kate and Lauren are sisters who have nothing in common on the surface. One is career-oriented and seems to live a glamourous and carefree life with her husband while the other is married to a jerk with kids and an unhappy life.

But on Sunday they all sit at their recently widowed mother’s home for dinner. They are all still grieving. Kate was especially close to her father while Lauren has always been closer to their mother, Rose.

What no one knows is Kate has been trying for years to conceive a baby. And Lauren would just as soon leave her husband and escape her life.

All of that is the backdrop for the one Sunday dinner when there is a knock at the door and a woman stands there asking for their father. Who she says is her father as well. It seems she has uploaded her DNA and found a match with Lauren. But has she? Can they believe anything she says?

These sisters could have avoided all of this if any of them had bothered to talk to each other. But secrets are what families do. And sometimes they are what blows your world apart. And everyone in this book is keeping secrets!

There were some issues I had with the DNA thing, but overall it was a good mystery!

NetGalley/ June 16th, 2020 by Minotaur Books

 

 

 

 

Happy Birthday, Momma! I Give You a Grandchild!

Today is my Momma’s birthday! Yes, the one I tell tales about. But this is a good tale.

I never know what to get her. She has everything, However, this one time, I gave her the gift of life.

I was pregnant and ready to have this mess over with. Momma had come to stay with me as I didn’t know nothing about having no babies. On June 6th I woke my husband up to tell him the bed had sprung a leak. It was a water bed. Turns out it had not. I had sprung a leak.

We got ourselves together and went to the hospital. A Catholic hospital. That is important because I was born in a Catholic hospital and my momma was still carrying a grudge against them because they told her that if she had complications their first priority was to save the baby. It was my first baby so I didn’t want to make a fuss so for 36 hours I screamed and cried and begged them to just kill me. Finally, my Momma spoke up and told them to get that baby out NOW! She threatened to take me to a real hospital. Finally, on her birthday, June 8th, they got that baby out! Happy Birthday Momma, here’s a baby.

I don’t know what I would have done without her. For months I was miserable. I loved my son but had no idea what to do with him. Thank you, Momma, for that and so much more. As for the said baby, he gave me my first grandchild. And don’t tell anyone, but he really is my favorite!

Enjoy and be safe!

xx P

HELLO JUNE! CAN WE COME OUT NOW?

I love it when a month begins on a Monday! All orderly and stuff. And the sun is shining and the pool is sparkling like diamonds. But the lawn guys are here so the allergy fairy is locking the doors and windows.

Wow, what a past few days we have had. It’s hard to believe this is the country my relatives fought for. Even though all of them were slave owners and relatively horrid people, I would have thought by now we would have all learned we aren’t “special”. That every human being is precious and worth protecting.

But this is what happens when you elect crooks. They lie, cheat, steal, and then like the psychopathic narcissists that they are they toss verbal and real grenades and then run away. It’s not just the senseless killing of people, it’s also the economy, the virus, the total lack of empathy in our orange man and his posse. We are fed up. We need an adult in charge.

OU Boy and I went to the OKC protests yesterday and there were rules. The organizers had a bull horn and you better not step out of line. When they left, the people on the fringe, who are always looking for a reason to act a fool, came in and acted a fool.

So take a breath and I’ll tell you a tale!

I received a text from my baby sister the other day. It simply said, “Your mother is a hot mess”. She’s “my” mother now. So I had to get the dirt. Turns out Momma asked her if she would shave her legs for her. Sister said, “NO, that is where I draw the line!”. Sidenote: That is nowhere near where I draw the line. So Momma proceeded to plop her tiny hiney on the edge of the tub to shave her own legs. First, she cut up her leg then slid off the tub onto the floor making her ribs hurt. Mind you, the first time we took her along with us on the sailboat, she slipped and broke a rib. We will never live that down. But we were all asking the question WHY? Why are you shaving your legs? Her answer was so she could wear capri pants. OU Boy kept asking WHO? As in who is she shaving for?

For that, we have to go a day earlier. She forgot to lock her front door at the retirement center and when she woke up from her nap on the sofa there was a naked old man standing there looking at her. I feel relatively confident it’s only the second time she has seen a naked man. But, hey, if it puts a pep in her step, who cares.

I hope that made you laugh. We all need to laugh. And I can always count on my Momma for a good one!

Love each other

xx P

 

THE RED RED SNOW by CARO RAMSAY

The Red, Red Snow (Anderson & Costello #11)

Anderson and Costello #11

Called to investigate the bloodstained aftermath of an eventful Christmas party, detectives Anderson & Costello discover that the holiday season can be anything but merry.

The good detectives are back! Everything is crowded during the Christmas Ice Show. And when a seemingly random husband and father is stabbed in a crowded food court, there are no witnesses, no clues, and no idea who would do such a thing.

When a week later they are called out to a holiday cottage in a fairly remote glen in the highlands, they find two bodies. One inside and one outside. Whoever the killer was, there is no evidence of them. Not even a snowprint.

Anderson is glad enough to jump in as he has more problems than a man should have at home. And his partner has her own issues.

Full of superstition and family squabbles, the characters are really well done and the old tale of greed, superstitious nonsense, and stone-cold murder was very well done!

NetGalley/ June 2nd, 2020 by Severn House Publishers

BREAKFAST AT THE HONEY CREEK CAFE’ by JODI THOMAS

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café

From New York Times and the USA Today bestselling author Jodi Thomas, a romantic, heartwarming contemporary novel set in Honey Creek, Texas–a little town nestled in the rolling hills bordering the Brazos River, where family bonds and legends run deep, and friendship and love are always close to hand . . .

A Romance and a Mystery? Why yes, please! Jodi Thomas has us in Wayward Bend, Texas. A very small town founded after the fall of the Alamo. The bonds of friendship, family, and those pesky feuds are all here. These are good people. 

Meet the Mayor, Piper McKenzie, carrying on the family tradition. While she is the main character we hear the voices of Colby, Sam, and Pecos Smith, who all tell their side of the story and are all hoping for a happy ending.

I think Mr. Winston was my favorite character. All of the characters were well done and fully developed. I laughed, I cried, and it was a book I needed to read in this time of uncertainty.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ May 26th 2020 by Zebra Books Kensington

 

 

 

To Kill a Mocking Girl by Harper Kincaid

To Kill a Mocking Girl

Bookbinding Mystery #1

The first book in a new series is always exciting. This one takes place in Vienna, Virginia.

Quinn Caine is happy to be home in Vienna. She has been teaching overseas for a bit and is now working as a bookbinder in her family business Prose and Scones. She’s happy to be home, but not everyone is happy to see her. Old rivalries never seem to die. But this one turns up dead.

The characters are really well done. Her cousin, the nun, is a hoot. And of course, there is a hunky love interest. There were some really good twists and turns and some screw-ups, but Quinn and her friends are my next go-to cozy!

NetGalley/ May 12th, 2020 by Crooked Lane Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Woman in the Mirror: A Novel by Rebecca James

The Woman in the Mirror: A Novel

They wanted her land. She didn’t want to give it. He made her fall in love with him. And then he labeled her a witch. She can hear the horses coming. She knows he has betrayed her. But if she is to die, it will be on her own terms and heaven help Ivan de Grey’s family and the cursed land where he will build his enormous Gothic home, Winterbourne Hall. On the bluff overlooking the sea, where once a woman had lived, loved and died.

And so it stood in Cornwall in isolation, looking gloomy and slightly scary.

In 1947, Alice Miller is living in London but can’t wait to get away. Memories of horrible things haunt her. When she sees the advert about a governess position at Winterbourne, she jumps at the chance. Her job will be to care for Captain Jonothan de Grey’s children. Twins, a boy and a girl, 8 years old and motherless.

Alice falls in love with the children as well as their father. The children seem to adore her but when they start behaving alarmingly like little demons and turn on her she is suspicious. The house seems to be cursed. When her one night with her boss leaves her pregnant and half-crazed, Jonothan tells her they are going to Paris. He drops her off with the nuns and hopes she will be safe there.

In the present day, Rachel Wright, just opening her gallery has also just received a letter for solicitors that her Aunt Constance has died and left Winterbourne and everything to her, her niece. Rachel is stunned. She was adopted as an infant and has been searching for her mother for a long time. She sees this as a chance to find out what happened to her mother and who was her father?

The answers she finds are alarming and sad. The house itself is dark and foreboding and you just know there is a dead body or two waiting to be found!

There are multiple timelines here. And we hear Alice’s and Rachel’s and someone or something else. Something malicious that wants them all to die.

Rachel gets answers and decides to stay in Winterbourne. After all, they have destroyed the mirror and the house does seem lighter, but you can bet this isn’t the end!

The timelines were a bit much but looking back, it was the only way the story could be told. And Oh what a story it is!

A good old fashioned ghost story! Witches, Curses, Women driven mad, Scary Children, I would say this one had it all!

NetGalley/March 17th, 2020 by Minotaur Books

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

The BORGIA CONFESSIONS by ALYSSA PALOMBO

The Borgia Confessions

‘Under Palombo’s skillful hand, the entangled world of the Borgias comes vividly to life, exposing the dark facets of class structure and the all-consuming greed that comes with ambition–and love.” – Heather Webb, internationally bestselling author of Last Christmas in Paris and Meet Me in Monaco

 

This is my favorite type of historical fiction. The players are real and the facts are real. Palombo has taken the players and the facts and woven them together with what could have happened and created a book I couldn’t put down.
Rome, in 1492, Rodrigo Borgia has been named Pope Alexander. Never mind how he got the job when he had multiple illegitimate children and a mistress living next door. The Borgia family was known for being greedy, ambitious to a fault, and eliminating the competition as this mockery of a pope is intent on one thing. Making sure his children, as well as himself, are all-powerful and wealthy is the goal.
There have been many attempts to explain the Borgias. And while Lucretia is in reality not such an awful person, she has been painted with an ugly brush as a lover of both her brother and her father. Although I nor the author saw any evidence of that.
There was not one redeeming character in this story. They were all equally easy to hate.
Even so, the writing was superb and the story, while not pretty, was fair and informative.
I loved it and would have no problem recommending it.
NetGalley/February 11th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Griffin