Cassie is happy. She is one of the only female firefighters in her Austin department. She’s so good at her job she’s about to receive an award for Valor when we first meet her. She loves her job and her team. Cassie is gobsmacked when the presenter isn’t the Mayor but a Councilman. An enemy from high school. Let’s just say he leaves the stage on a stretcher and Cassie may not be making Lieutenant or even have a job left.
Cassie’s mother left her and her father when Cassie was 16 and she isn’t over it or anything else. So when out of the blue she receives a call from Diana, her mother, asking her to move to the Boston area and stay with her for a year while she is having a bit of a problem with her eye.
Reminding herself it is only temporary she heads out knowing that she will have a job with a much smaller and older station with guys she knows don’t want a woman in their boys’ club. But she needs to stay away from Austin and let the dust settle.
Before leaving Austin her Captain had told her to not make waves and DO. NOT. Date. Firemen. Not a problem for Cassie as she doesn’t even believe in love and never dates. The hazing and lack of support at the station is compounded with a new guy who on day one turns her life upside down!
I loved this story. Every character was so well done. This was a tale of perspective, forgiveness, and the complicated love of family. I was so moved by the courage Cassie and her mother had.
Very Well Done!
NetGalley/ August 13th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Press
Summer is in full swing here. Lots of sun, sand, and water. And of course, a good book!
Some of my favorite reads this summer have been:
Oh, what a twisty puzzle this thriller was!
Mean Girls meets the PTA
This is an outstanding novel about freedom, racism, and family.
Another one that tugged at my heartstrings and made me cry!
What is everyone looking forward to reading? At the moment I am reading Campusland by Scott Johnson.
Have a good one! We are under a severe heat warning. I’ll be in the pool!
A heartwarming story of two very strong and independent women. Jenna and Maureen have been best friends forever. Their dream was to go to Paris together after graduation from college. At the last minute, Maureen gets pregnant and has to get married. A short-lived event. Jenna, a nurse, marries Kyle, a surgeon. Bad idea. After having been a single mom for 20 years, she is now an empty nester.
Neither of the friends is into dating. But the house is awfully quiet now. Maybe it’s time to re-create themselves. Plan that trip to Paris now. Until each of them stumbles awkwardly into men they wouldn’t have looked twice at until they did.
Debbie always looks at the bright side of things in her books. Yes, there is heartbreak, misunderstandings, and dreams deferred, but in the end, I was crying like a baby. Because that is what her books do. They make you feel. The characters are so very human and make mistakes, but they are good people. I always feel as if I just had a true heart to heart with my grandmother after one of her books.
NetGalley/July, 16th 2019 by Ballantine Books
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
Azalea Marie Centre aka Knot, a nickname from her father. We follow her story from 1941 to 1987. She has moved to the town of West Mills, North Carolina to teach school. Or to be out from under her family, either way, she’s here and she’s a complete mystery to the town folk of this African-American town.
At a time when single women weren’t swilling down moonshine on the regular nor enthralled with 19th Century literature and for goodness sakes, they weren’t having one night stands with men. She is determined to do everything her way. And I thought that was a pretty selfish outlook. Her dear friend Otis Lee Loving and his wife have become her family.
So when she gets into a bit of trouble, Otis is there to bail her out. Again and again. I did not care for her blase’ attitude or her lack of consideration of how her behavior hurt so many people. People who should have been taking care of their own families instead of cleaning up her messes.
And once those secret messes come tumbling out of the closet, the damage may be too hard to repair. As her own family shuns her and her adopted family is tired of bailing her out of trouble, Knot may just have to own up to her bad behavior and face the consequences.
A story of family, secrets and how the power of love can soothe even the ugliest of hurts.
I can’t believe this is a debut novel. The author’s style is smooth and honest and he didn’t try to make it pretty. It was life. Then and Now.
I would highly recommend it!
NetGalley/June 4th 2019 by Bloomsbury Publishing
The worst birthday ever might just be the gift of a lifetime…
Sophie and Gabe Bloom along with her two best friends and their spouses are ready to celebrate Sophie’s 42nd birthday with a nice dinner out. In very short order they get down to the gossip going around about all of the men caught out in the Ashley Madison cheating scandal. And, Happy Birthday!, guess who is the top cheater? Gabe.
Humiliated? Yes. Done? Yes. Sophie hops a flight to France to see her daughter who is studying in Paris struggling with her own cheater. Sophie ends up in Saint-Paul-de-Vence. Artists abound and Sophie finds herself putting her dreams and desires first for once.
I love strong women. And Sophie did not hesitate to jump into the unknown while trying to heal her heart and grieve for what she thought she had. In this story, she discovers her own voice, her own strength and becomes her true self. She decides what is over and what is unbreakable.
Edelweiss/ Harper Collins May 14, 2019
This story is told in dual timelines. The night before and the day after.
There is also a conversation from months ago with what looks to be her therapist. Laura is angry, self-destructive and obsessed with finding love.
We find out bits and pieces seen through the eyes of Laura as well as her sister Rose.
Laura grew up believing her father loved Rose more. And then he left. Is Laura simply not loveable? She has a pattern of falling for unavailable men and then exploding when they don’t commit. So when her latest relationship is over, she heads home to Rose and Joe. The first thing she does is sign up for a dating app. When she doesn’t come home after one date, Rose isn’t sure who she is more frightened for. Laura or John.
As Rose, Joe and best bud, Gabe search for Laura, long-buried secrets come bubbling to the surface. Did any of them really know the others? The past seen through the eyes of all of them is quite different. But who is right?
This one sent me in so many different directions! It was like trying to untie a complicated knot! There were secrets inside of secrets and when it all came to a head at the end I was left sitting there with my mouth hanging open! What???
Netgalley/ May 14th 2019 by St. Martin’s Press