THE DARE by LESLEY KARA

The Dare

Lizzie and Alice have always been best friends. At 13, they are still there for each other. And as they leave for a walk in the country, a place they often go to jump the railroad tracks and argue and make-up and just be kids.

But this time one of them won’t come home. And one will have no clue what happened.

Lizzie has no memory of what happened. It’s all a nightmarish dream she can’t stop or make any clearer. As an epeleptic, she tries to figure out what happened before her seizure that day and deal with grief and uncalled for blame being placed on her by Alice’s sister.

Time goes on and twelve years go by. Lizzie is unpacking in the new place she and her fiancee have moved into when memories come flooding back and they still don’t make sense. As her fiancee, a GP, tries to be supportive he ends up hiring Alice’s sister as a nurse.

Now you know this isn’t going to end well, but oh my goodness, Kara strings you along until the last minutes! And what???

I loved every second of this one.

NetGalley/ August 3rd, 2021 PRHP-Ballentine

A PLACE LIKE HOME by Rosamunde Pilcher

A Place Like Home: Short Stories

Published posthumously, this is a collection of short stories by the wonderful Rosamunde Pilcher. Never before in book form, Aoife Inman has searched through the British library to collect short stories that Rosamunde Pilcher had written for magazines between 1976 and 1984. In all, there are 15 short stories.

I was a lover of The Shell Seekers and should probably read it again as an adult. Each story is of a woman and what having a home and what companionship means to them. Remember these stories were written in a different time. So most of these ladies are looking for new love or trying to reignite old flames.

Uncomplicated and sweet, and sometimes we need that. Pure Escapism.

NetGalley/July 27th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

FAR GONE by DANIELLE GIRARD

Far Gone (Badlands Thriller, #2)

Badlands Thriller #2

From the USA Today, bestselling author of White Out comes a story of two heroines with shattered pasts and a town with blood on its hands.

This thriller is the second in the Badlands Series. In North Dakota, where Detective Kylie Milliard in their peaceful little town. Only she knows it’s not what it looks like.

Kylie hasn’t worked a homicide in a long time, but when a couple is shot in their own home, with a baby sleeping yards away, she’s back in business.

She has two bodies, but no baby. Just a smear of blood on the basket where the baby should be. So either the killer took the baby, or someone else was in the house.

The DNA on the blood smear is shocking. It’s not a killers blood. It’s not the baby’s blood. But it is a familial march to a crime that involved a local nurse at the hospital, Lily. Ten years ago she was held captive for over a year. Raped and traumatized. Part of her brain has blocked a lot of that time for her own sanity. But things are about to get dangerous for the detective and the nurse.

As for the poor girl on the run from a killer who knows she was there, Hannah, is one of the bravest characters I’ve seen. And Lily. That poor woman had the backbone of steel.

Everyone in this story had secrets. Some harmless and embarrassing, and some downright murderous. Everyone wants to know the truth, but there are some people determined to not let that happen.

This author is always on her game. I’m pretty sure I bit a fingernail off reading this one. Which I count as a really good tale!

NetGalley/ June 15th, 2021 by Thomas & Mercer



The NATURE of WITCHES by RACHEL GRIFFIN

Climate Change meets Climate Witches in this Contemporary Fantasy/Paranormal Young Adult debut novel.

Witches have been maintaining the climate for a very long time. Their powers are the powers of the seasons. With the sun peaking in the season they are born.

But the humans or shaders have gotten greedy and off-track wanting more of everything without a thought as to how to it will affect the planet or the weather. They aren’t holding up their end of the bargain. Now the witches control over the weather is getting spotty. Witches are being depleted just trying to hold things together while the weather is acting like an out of control toddler.

But there may be hope. Clara is an Everwitch, she is rare and encompasses all of the seasons. But in Autumn Clara wants nothing more than to lose her magic. The power she has is out-of-control. She has already hurt people she loved. She just wants it gone so no one will be hurt. But the weather is hurting everyone.

When Winter comes and the world is raging as disaster after disaster kills more witches Clara finally understands that only she holds the power and answers that may save them all. But first, she needs to get control of her emotions and her magic.

Sang, is helping her with that. Big problem. He’s hot. She’s hot. He’s training her and he has a strangely calming effect on her magic. But will that keep him safe if she loses control?

And when Summer comes she will have to choose between her powers and love. Her responsibility to her fellow witches and her own personal happiness.

First, I don’t read YA. So much angst. Not so for this book. I could have kept on reading if only the author hadn’t stopped writing. I loved Clara. A strong female lead and strong female characters. I adored every person in this book. I look forward to the next one.

June 1st, 2021 by Sourcebooks Fire/ NetGalley Review



INDEPENDENT BONES by CAROLYN HAINES

Independent Bones: A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery

A Sarah Booth Delaney Mystery

Carolyn Haines’s Independent Bones is the next novel in the series that Kirkus Reviews characterizes as “Stephanie Plum meets the Ya-Ya Sisterhood” featuring sassy Southern private investigator Sarah Booth Delaney.

It’s so good to be back in Zinnia, Mississippi, with PI Sarah Booth Delaney and her partner, Tinkie. Tinkie is at that I’m about to pop stage of pregnancy, which just makes me like her more. Her southern manners are slipping and as usual it’s hilarious.

Sarah Booth is at the new park that Harold donated and speaking is a woman Sarah Booth doesn’t know. Dr. Alala Diakos is a visiting professor who is at Ole Miss in Oxford for a year, working on a book and inciting men, as she demands women stand up for themselves and demand equal pay and rights. But this is Mississippi, where I don’t think we could vote until not that long ago. And these are some deeply southern bred men, who expect their women in the kitchen or cleaning the house.

One particularly loud man, Curtis, whose wife, Tansy is in the ER regularly because she doesn’t know her place. But try to get her to press charges and she will defend him like a momma bear. As the crowd gets fired up, Sarah discovers a rifle aimed at the speaker. Is it Curtis’s?

Sarah calls boyfriend Sheriff Coleman, who takes this seriously and offers the visiting professor police protection. But Alala isn’t interested in protection or men. And when Curtis is found dead, Alala shows up on Sarah Booth’s porch looking for help in proving her innocence. Only she’s not helping her case when it’s found that she threatened him in a bar. Nor does it look good when more than one man is dead and she is a suspect.

It’s always a good time with this crowd. Sarah Booth is a strong, female who by the way has a friend who happens to be a ghost. All the characters are fully developed by now and I always have a laugh at Tinkie, who may be giving birth in the yard.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ May 18th, 2021 by Minotaur Books





Sweetshop of Dreams by Jenny Colgan

Sweetshop of Dreams

A novel in recipes!

A delicious rom-com about finding yourself and breaking out of routines,Β The Sweetshop of DreamsΒ is full of tempting desserts, family secrets, and second chances.

In London, Rosie has a busy life. A job that is okay. A boyfriend who was rather bland and a momma’s boy. But who is she to complain?

When her mother asks her to check in on her Aunt Lilian who runs a sweetshop in Lipton but is having the issues that come with age and she is not one to ask for assistance. Rosie is thinking just a quick trip to sell the sweets shop and put her aunt in a facility and she’ll be back in London.

Lilian is not thrilled with someone coming to stay and poke through all of her things. It may be a sweets shop but it’s full of memories of love won and lost, decisions made and regretted.

Rosie sees this and while she works to get Lilian out of her depression and healthy again, she also brings new life to the sweet shop and soon it’s a project. She loves it. All the old-fashioned candies and the bright and eager smiles of the children and adults who are re-living their own childhoods through the smells and taste of their favorites.

When Rosie meets the dark and brooding Stephen while helping the local doctor, she begins to think maybe she won’t settle for a ho hum life in London.

Such a sweet treat to read this one. I went straight away to the Edinburgh candy!

NetGalley/ Sourcebooks Out now!

HER THREE LIVES by CATE HOLAHAN

Her Three Lives

“All human beings have three lives. Public, Private, and Secret” Gabriel Garcia Marquez

A very appropriate quote to start off the book. This standalone thriller is the latest from Holahan and it’s a twisty one.

Greg is a recently divorced architect who met Jade, twenty years his junior and fell head over heals for her six months ago. His ex-wife, Leah, got the house and the grown kids so Jade and Greg are living in a rental while their forever home is built and with Jade pregnant they will all be glad when things calm down.

Jade’s public life is pretty good. She’s a media influencer and designer. She is in love with Greg, having a baby and living the good life. Only divorce after 25 years and two kids is not going to be a love fest. The kids hate her and the ex is a nut.

Jade’s private life is complicated. When one evening she and Greg are going out. She is still in the bathroom when she hears the doorbell and then hears screaming. Running out of the bathroom she’s met by an intruder. While Greg survives, the baby does not. Someone deliberately made sure the baby did not live.

As they try to piece together what happened and why, I kept thinking someone was trying to gaslight them. But who? And why? Greg goes into full security mode and installs cameras in every room, alarms, and trackers. He’s also very paranoid.

Jade’s secret life is not as bad as she believes it to be, but when you leave it off of your dating profile, it becomes something that could hurt you.

With the ‘help’ of Violet, Greg’s daughter, he begins to doubt Jade. Is she trying to kill him for money? Was she even pregnant and why is she visiting a prison?

Oh what a tangled web this was. These kids were just vile and their mother a loon.

So what did I think? It was a good idea for a book, but to me there was no sense of urgency and Greg was a pretty limp character.

NetGalley/ April 20th, 2021 Grand Central Publishing

THE GOOD SISTER by SALLY HEPWORTH

The Good Sister

Fern and Rose are twins. And as different as two people could be. Rose is married and seems to be happy with life except for the fact that she can’t get pregnant.

Fern is more of a free spirit but has severe sensory issues. The world and it’s inhabitants are a bit too extra for her.

But they both have secrets. Rose protected Fern from their crazy mother. Or did she?

Rose manipulates Fern into having a baby for her. And as soon as she is pregnant Rose turns into someone Fern doesn’t know at all.

I loved Fern. She has all these issues but she finds love with someone who understands them perfectly. But in the end, will she be able to stand up to Rose? Or will her mother actually save the day and expose who is the sociopath here?

That was some ending! Did not see that coming!

NetGalley/ April 13th, 2021 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

FORGET ME NOT by ALEXANDRA OLIVA

She was born for all the wrong reasons. But her search for the truth reveals answers she wishes she could forget in this suspenseful and deeply moving novel from the author of The Last One.

Linda Russell had no idea who she was or where she was when she walked into town dirty, malnourished and unable to speak. As a child, she hadn’t understood why her mother hated her and why her sister disappeared into the basement never to return. Left alone on 20 acres fenced in with a steel fence with razor wire on top. All she knew was that her mother wasn’t coming back, not that she had been much of a mother.

She lived like a wild child in the woods. More comfortable there than inside. And for her first twelve years of life she never knew caring or love. That was for the ‘other sister’. The one who disappeared. Linda probably would have been there still if she hadn’t seen something that terrified her. So she climbs the wall and goes for help. Waking up in a hospital with a man who says he is her father, she is feeling a new type of trap.

Now in her twenties she is living in Seattle. Set up in her own apartment with enough money for life. It turns out her mother and father were rich scientists. Only her mother was crazy. Driven mad by the death of another child and determined to clone her first daughter. She’s nuts.

When Linda discovers social media, her past is there for anyone to find. #CloneGirl is what the haters call her. Her life consists of her sheath, and consider this is a few years in the future and think Ipad on your arm. Her father keeps track of her every move and insists she go outside once a day at least. But she doesn’t want to go anywhere but back to the woods.

Until she meets her new neighbor. A girl who is an expert with technology and introduces Linda to SocialHub and all of the search engines.

When news reaches her that her childhood home is on fire, this seems to trigger a strength in Linda. She will return to her home. She wants answers. She needs them to move on. But going back will set in motion more death, shocking news, and a plot to clone humans.

Everything she thought was true was not. Nothing is what she thought it was and the ending was truly shocking!

NetGalley/ March 2nd, 2021 by Ballantine Books







Long Island Iced Tina by Maria DiRico

Long Island Iced Tina

This is the second in the Catering Hall Mystery Series. Mia Carina is back in Queens, in charge of the family catering hall, Belle View Banquet Manor. The Family’s legal enterprise.

Mia’s friend, Nicole is having that baby! And the Nonnas are planning showers like mad. One is to be held at Belle View but when Nicoles stepmother throws one at the fancy Versaille. Of course Mia has to attend and she is left with a lot of questions. How can Nicole’s father afford all of this? And what do we really know about this tart Tina?

While no blood was shed between the nonnas and the new wife, she is highly upset when Nicole opens a gift with a tag from her and it turns out to be a stolen painting. Shocking, right?

And later when Mia finds Tina’s body floating in the marina and Nicole’s father is arrested, Mia is not going to let that happen. With help from the family and The Family, she may be able to find out who the killer is and what else is going on at that fancy Versailles.

I laughed through the entire book. Every character is so well thought out and adds something to the tale. I think this one is a winner!

NetGalley/ February 23rd, 2021 by Kensington Publishing Corporation