The Wrong Mr. Darcy by Evelyn Lozada with Holly Lorincz

The Wrong Mr. Darcy

Blurb:

The Wrong Mr. Darcy is a charming, multicultural, Pride and Prejudice–inspired romantic comedy from celebrity Evelyn Lozada and Holly Lorincz…

NO. Nothing about this was Mr. Darcy worth. There were so many triggering events in this book that there must have been a contest to see how many random and awful things could fit into one book billed as Pride and Prejudice with Basketball.

Let me just say that is you are triggered by anything, it’s in here. And they all were truly awful.

NetGalley/St. Martin’s June 9, 2020

 

 

Been There, Married That by Gigi Levangie

Been There, Married That

When he changes the locks, she changes the rules.

Agnes Murphy Nash is living the life of an author and a wife to Trevor, a big name producer. Living the dream with like 13 bathrooms!

Until the day Trevor locks her out and takes his assistant and “sleep companion” and leaves. As they navigate their divorce. As they toss barbs at each other and get down and dirty over custody and every other issue. This was like a fever dream. Where nothing makes any sense.

I’m going to stop right here.

From the beginning of this book, there was a mania. Every thought that came into her head came out of her mouth. I wasn’t rooting for anyone except the daughter and the three maids. 

The rest of them were highly unlikeable and it was just sort of all over the place.

The only hilarious moments were with the three maids. And that wasn’t enough to make me like it.

NetGalley/ St. Martin’s February 11th, 2020

BLOG TOUR* AN EVERYDAY HERO by LAURA TRENTHAM* RELEASE DAY! EXCERPT!

An Everyday Hero cover image

Always a pleasure to read Laura Trentham’s work. And this was exceptional.

The Story:

Greer Hadley thought by now she would be a big star in Nashville. But after a long struggle with no success, her big moment has passed her by.  At thirty she is back in the town of Madison living with her parents and making bad decisions.

She’s hurt and behaving badly. And one of those lands her in jail and standing before her Uncle Bill in court. Sentenced to community service, Greer is angry and not planning to do anything but pick up trash. But her wise uncle sends her to volunteer at a musical rehab facility for vets and their families.

The problem is Greer has lost her joy in music. So how is she going to help anyone?

Her first two challenges are a 15-year-old whose father did not come home from war. Ally is angry, hurting and acting out. Her mother isn’t handling things very well either.

Emmett was the man in high school. Handsome, athletic and expected to do big things in the military, much like his father and grandfather. But Emmett came home missing more than a limb. He lost himself. Riddled with guilt that shouldn’t be his, he is full of rage and self-loathing. How is Greer supposed to handle that?

By a twist of fate, they all may be able to save each other. Three stubborn and hurting people. Will they get a second chance?

I am so glad I was home alone when I read this. I sobbed. It was painful and uncomfortable and I am so much better for having read this.

A Five Star Read!

Well Done!

NetGalley/February 4th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Chapter 1

 

“Disorderly conduct. Public intoxication. Resisting arrest.” Judge Duckett put down the paper, linked his hands, and stared over his reading glasses from his perch behind the bench with a combination of exasperation and fatherly disapproval.

 

Greer Hadley shifted in her sensible heels and smoothed the skirt of the light pink suit she’d borrowed from her mama for the occasion. “I’ll give you the first two, Uncle Bill—” The judge cleared his throat and narrowed his eyes. “Excuse me—Judge Duckett—but I did not resist arrest.”

 

“That you recall.” Deputy Wayne Peeler drawled the words out in the most sarcastic, unprofessional manner possible.

 

She fisted her hands and took a deep breath. The impulse to punch Wayne in the face simmered below the surface like a volcano no longer at rest. But ten o’clock on a Monday morning during her arraignment was not the smartest time to lose her temper, and she’d promised herself not to add to her string of bad decisions.

 

She sweetened her voice and bared her teeth at Wayne in the facsimile of a smile. “I recall plenty, thank you very much.”

 

Truth was she didn’t recall the minute details, but the shock of Wayne’s whispered offer on Saturday night to make her troubles go away for a price had done more to sober her up than the couple of hours spent in lockup waiting for her parents.

 

Dressed in his tan uniform, Wayne adjusted his heavy gun belt so often she imagined he got off every night by rubbing his gun. Giving him a badge had only empowered the part of him desperate for respect and approval. His nickname in high school, “the Weasel,” had been well earned.

 

Unfortunately, she was the unreliable narrator of her life at the moment and no one would trust her recollections. Judge Duckett, her uncle Bill by marriage until he and her aunt Tonya had divorced, rustled papers from his desk.

 

The ethics of her former uncle acting as her judge were questionable, especially considering they had remained close even after he’d remarried, but if nepotism is what it took to make this nightmare go away, then she wouldn’t be the one to lodge a complaint.

 

“A witness claimed you were sitting quietly at the end of the bar until a song played on the jukebox. What was the song?” Her uncle glanced at her over his glasses again, which made him look like a stern teacher.

 

“‘Before He Cheats’ by Carrie Underwood.” She forced her chin up.

 

His mouth opened, closed, and he dropped his gaze back to the paper. A murmur broke out behind her.

 

She would not cry. She wouldn’t. She blinked like her life depended on a tear not falling. Later, in the privacy of her childhood bedroom, she would bury her face in the eyelet-covered pillow and let loose.

 

Beau Williams, her cheating ex-boyfriend, was only partially to blame for her embarrassing behavior. It was a confluence of setbacks that had had her holding down the end of the bar. Hearing Carrie’s revenge anthem had hit a nerve exposed by the shots of Jack. Rage had quickened the effects of the alcohol, and that’s when things got fuzzy.

 

“Yes, well. That is a rather … Let’s move on, shall we? The witness also claims after a heartfelt, albeit slurred speech about the vagaries of relationships and how the moral fiber of the Junior League of Madison was frayed, you fed five dollars into the jukebox and played the same song for over an hour. ‘Crazy’ by Patsy Cline, was it?”

 

Ugh. She didn’t recall how much money she’d fed the machine, but it sounded like something she would do. “Crazy” was one of her favorite songs. A master class in conveying emotion through simple lyrics. She was just sorry she’d wasted five dollars on Beau. He didn’t deserve her money, her heart, or Patsy.

 

“No one can fault my taste in the classics.” Greer tried a smile, but her lips quivered and she pressed them together.

 

Her uncle continued to read from the witness statement, “You proceeded to throw two glasses on the floor, shattering them, and attempted to break a chair across the jukebox.”

 

She swallowed hard. A vague picture of a frustratingly sturdy chair surfaced. The fact the chair remained intact while she was falling apart had sent her anger soaring higher and hotter. A glance from her uncle Bill over the paper had her giving him a nod. She couldn’t deny it.

 

He continued, “A patron called 911. When Deputy Peeler arrived, he pulled you away from the jukebox and forced you outside. That’s where, he claims, you kicked him … well, you know where.”

 

“Wayne dragged me down the stairs—”

 

“Deputy Peeler, if you please.” Wayne sniffed loudly.

 

“As Deputy Peeler escorted me down the stairs, I lost my balance and fell. The heel of my shoe jabbed into his crotch. Sorry.” Greer didn’t make an attempt to mask her not-sorry voice with fake respect.

 

If she accused Wayne of misbehavior on the job, he would deny it and spin it somehow to make her look even more irresponsible. Lord knows, she’d embarrassed her parents enough for a lifetime. Anyway, seeing him rolling on the ground and cupping his crotch had been sweet payback.

 

“I sustained an injury where that spike you call a heel caught me.” Wayne half turned toward her.

 

Instead of playing it smart and soothing his delicate male ego, she batted her eyes at him. “I’m sure that’s left the ladies of Madison real upset.”

 

Wayne took a step toward her. “You are such a—”

 

The gavel knocked against the bench and her uncle stood, looming over them. “I’ve heard enough, Deputy. Sit down.”

 

Wayne turned on his heel and left Greer to face her uncle Bill. This was where she would promise such a thing would never happen again, and he would give her a stern warning before dismissing all charges.

 

“I’m striking the resisting arrest charge. It was an accident.”

 

Greer forced herself not to look over her shoulder and stick her tongue out at Wayne. That left only two misdemeanors, which her uncle could expunge with a swipe of his pen.

 

He settled behind the bench and picked up his pen, his gaze on the papers. “You will pay for any damages.”

 

“I’ve already reimbursed Becky.” Technically, she’d had to use her parents’ money, considering she’d crawled home from Nashville broke. “And apologized profusely. You can be assured there will not be a repeat performance. I’ve learned my lesson.”

 

“Good. As for the other charges…”

 

Her deep breath cleansed a portion of the tension across her shoulders, and a smile born of relief appeared.

 

“You will perform fifty hours of community service.”

 

Her smile froze on her face. It sounded like a lot, but she’d been stupid and immature and deserved punishment. “I understand. Clean roads are important.”

 

“Litter pickup? Goodness no.” He took his glasses off and smiled at her for the first time, but it wasn’t the jolly-uncle smile she was familiar with. “You have talents that would be wasted on the side of the road picking up trash, Ms. Hadley. You will spend your fifty hours working at the Music Tree Foundation.”

 

“I’m not familiar with it.” She swallowed. The mention of music set her stomach roiling. “Highway 45 was in terrible shape on my drive in last week.”

 

“The foundation is a nonprofit music program that focuses on helping military veterans and their families cope with the trauma they’ve endured serving our country. They’re in need of volunteer songwriters and musicians.”

 

“I can’t write or play anymore.” Her dream of hearing one of her songs on the radio had died. Not in a blaze of glory but from a slow, torturous starvation of hope. At thirty, she was resigned to finding a real job and cobbling together a normal life in the place she’d tried to leave behind.

 

“My decision is final. As far as I can determine, your brain—despite this lapse in judgment—is in fine working order. You can and will help these men and women heal through your gift of music. Unless you’d rather spend thirty days in county lockup?”

 

Would her uncle actually throw her in jail? For a month? “No, Your Honor, I don’t want to go to county lockup.”

 

“Good. Once you turn in your log with all your hours signed off by the foundation’s manager, your record with this court will be cleared.” He handed her file to a clerk. “Case closed. Next up is docket number fourteen.”

 

She stood there until he met her gaze with his unflinching one. “Go home, Greer.”

 

Her parents were waiting at the door to the courtroom. While they’d faced the horror of having to bail their only child out of jail stoically, her mother’s embarrassment and disappointment were ripe and all-encompassing. Greer wilted and trailed her parents out of the courthouse.

 

She felt like a child. An incompetent, needy child living in her old bedroom and dependent on her parents for emotional and financial support. She thought she’d hit rock bottom many times over the years, but her situation now had revealed new lows.

 

The silence in the car built into a painful crescendo.

 

“The tiger lilies are lovely this year, don’t you think?” Her mother’s attempt at normalcy was strained but welcome.

 

Her father’s hands squeaked along the steering wheel as an answer.

 

Greer huddled in the backseat and stared out the window, the clumps of flowers on the side of the road an orange blur. As a teenager, she’d chafed at her parents’ protectiveness and had wanted nothing more than to escape to Nashville, where she’d been convinced glory and fame awaited. Now she was home and a disappointment not only to her parents but to herself. Even worse, she hadn’t come up with a plan to turn her life around.

 

“Ira Jenkins is back in the hospital. I thought I’d run by and check on him. Since Sarah passed, he seems a shell of the man he once was.” Her mother turned to face the backseat. “Would you like to come with me? I’m sure he’d be happy to see you.”

 

“He won’t remember me, Mama.”

 

“I’m sure he will.”

 

Greer scrunched farther down in the seat. The last thing she wanted was to make small talk with a man she hadn’t seen in years.

 

“You’ll have to get out eventually and face the music.” Her mother’s smile wavered and threatened to turn into tears. “So to speak.”

 

Her mother was trying, which was more than could be said for Greer at the moment. Her parents deserved a better daughter. Someone successful they could brag on at the Wednesday-night potlucks at church. Not a daughter they had to bail out of jail.

 

“I will. I promise. Just not to see Mr. Jenkins.” Greer leaned forward and squeezed her mother’s hand over the seat, needing to give her something to hope for even if Greer wasn’t sure what that might be.

 

Her father cleared his throat. “You need to think about the future.”

 

He ignored her mother’s whispered, “Not now, Frank.”

 

“A job. Or back to school. We’ll put you through nursing or accounting or something useful.” He shifted to meet her gaze in the rearview mirror. “But you can’t keep on like you’re doing. You need a purpose.”

 

“I’ll start looking for a job tomorrow.” School had never been her wheelhouse. She’d been sure she’d make it in Nashville and had never formulated a backup plan.

 

They pulled up to her childhood home, a two-story brick Colonial on the main street of Madison, Tennessee. Oaks had been planted down a middle island like a line of soldiers at attention. They had grown to shade both sides of the street. It was picturesque and cast the imagination back to a time when ladies lounged on porches with their iced tea and gossiped with their neighbors to escape the heat of summer. Air-conditioning had altered that way of life.

 

At one time, as a kid, she’d known every family up and down the street well enough to knock on their door for help or run through their backyard in epic games of tag. Now, though, the houses were being bought up by people who used Madison to escape the bustle of an expanding Nashville. They built pools in the backyards and fences and weren’t outside except to walk their trendy dogs.

 

The march of progress through Madison added to her melancholy sadness. There was a reason not being able to go home again was a recurring theme in books and songs.

 

“We love you, Greer. You know that, don’t you?” Her mother’s voice was tight with emotion, but she didn’t turn around, thank goodness.

 

Her mother never cried and if Greer witnessed tears, she would burst into sobs herself and embarrass everyone.

 

“I know. Thanks for everything. I’m going to do better. Be better.” It seemed a wholly inadequate promise she wasn’t even sure she could keep, but it was all she could manage. She ducked out of the car and skipped around to a side door of the house that was always unlocked.

 

Her room was both a haven and a mocking reminder of the state of her life. Posters of album covers papered the wall behind her bed, the colors faded from the sun and the edges curling with age.

 

In high school, she’d gravitated toward indie folk artists and away from the commercially driven country-music machine located a few miles south. Joan Baez was flanked by Patty Griffin and Dolly Parton. Even though Dolly veered more country than Greer, no one could deny the legend’s songwriting chops. The guitar Greer had hocked for rent money had borne Dolly’s signature like a talisman. Sometimes Greer ached for her guitar like a missing limb.

 

The flashing glimpse of a woman in a pale pink suit stopped her in the middle of the floor. She turned to face the full-length mirror glued to the back of the closet door. God, it was like glimpsing her mom through a time warp.

 

Greer touched the delicate pearls that had been passed down to her on her eighteenth birthday. They were old-fashioned and traditional and stereotypical of a Southern “good girl.” Not her style. She’d left them in her dresser drawer when she’d left home the day after high school graduation.

 

A tug of recognition of the women who had come before her had her clutching the strand in her hand as if something lost were now found. Was it her circumstances or her age growing her nostalgia like a tree setting roots?

 

She turned around to break the connection with the stranger in the mirror, stripped off the pink suit, and pulled on jeans and a cotton oxford. Her mother would appreciate seeing her in something besides the frayed shorts and grungy concert T-shirts she’d lounged around in the last week. She reached behind her neck for the clasp of the necklace, but her hands stilled, then dropped to her sides, leaving the pearls in place.

 

She stepped out of her room and was enveloped in silence. Her father had returned to his insurance office and her mother must have set off for her hospital visit. The house took on an expectant quality, as if waiting for its true owners to return. She was no longer a fundamental part of this world. Not unwelcome, perhaps, but a loose cog in her parents’ lives.

 

She tiptoed downstairs to the kitchen and made herself a ham sandwich. May was too early for fresh tomatoes, but in another month or two her mother’s garden would make tomato sandwiches an everyday treat.

 

Craving an escape, Greer grabbed a book and settled in her favorite window seat. The rest of the afternoon passed in the same expectant silence. The chime of the doorbell made her start and drop her book. If she pretended no one was home, maybe whoever was on the front porch would go away. The last thing she wanted was to face one of Madison’s gossips masquerading as a do-gooder.

 

The creak of the door opening had her bolting to her feet.

 

“Greer? I know you’re home. Are you decent?” Her uncle Bill’s booming voice echoed in the two-story foyer.

 

She propped her shoulder in the doorway of the sunroom. “Letting yourself in people’s houses is a good way of getting shot around here.”

 

“While your mama would have liked to have shot me during the divorce with her sister, I hope we’ve made our peace.” He closed the door behind him and Greer did what she’d wanted to do in the courtroom—she threw herself at him for a hug.

 

He lifted her off her feet and spun her once around. Her laugh hit her ears like a foreign language. It had been too long since she’d laughed from a place of happiness.

 

“You could have just come out to the house. You didn’t have to get arrested to see me.” Bill let her go, and she led him into the sunroom.

 

“Do you want something to drink?” Greer asked, already turning for the kitchen and the fresh brewed pitcher of sweet iced tea.

 

“No, thanks. Mary has fried chicken ready to go in the pan, so I can’t stay long.”

 

Bill had divorced her aunt Tonya more than a decade earlier and married the choir director of the biggest black church in town. A scandal had ensued not because he’d married a black woman, but because he, a long-standing deacon in the Church of Christ, had converted to a heathen Methodist.

 

“How is Mary?”

 

“Always singing.” He shook his head, an indulgent smile on his face, as they settled into their seats.

 

His comment sprinkled salt on an open wound. She’d begged off going to church with her parents because of the questions she was sure to face and the hymns she couldn’t bring herself to sing. Some of her earlier happiness at seeing him leaked out. “Good for her.”

 

“I came to make sure you weren’t mad at me.”

 

“Why would I be mad?”

 

“I got the impression you expected me to dismiss the charges.” His smile turned into a wince.

 

“I wouldn’t have been upset if you had, but I get it. I was an idiot and deserve punishment.” She picked at the fringe on a decades-old needlepoint pillow and cast him a pleading glance. “I’d rather pick up trash, though, if it’s all the same to you.”

 

“It’s not the same to me.” He crossed his long legs and tapped a finger on the cherry armrest of the antique chair that looked ready to surrender at any moment to his bulk. “Do you remember Amelia Shelton?”

 

“Mary’s daughter? She was a couple of years ahead of me in school. We didn’t hang out or anything, but she seemed nice.” Greer couldn’t remember the last time she’d seen Amelia. Greer’s side of the family had skipped Bill and Mary’s small wedding ceremony; the acrimony between him and her aunt Tonya hadn’t faded at that point.

 

“Amelia is the founder and director of the Music Tree Foundation and is desperate for qualified volunteers. You’ve been playing and singing and writing music since you were knee high. It was meant to be.”

 

“It’s not meant to be. I’ve got to get a real job.”

 

Her uncle made a scoffing sound. “You’re too much like my Mary. You could never leave music behind.”

 

“Music dumped me on the side of the road, gave me the finger, and peeled out.” Greer shook her head and touched the string of pearls, her gaze on his polished black dress shoes. “I’m a mess, Uncle Bill. I have nothing to offer. In fact, I’ll probably make things worse for whatever poor soul I get paired with.”

 

She expected him to argue, but he seemed to be weighing the truth in her words like the scales of justice. His shrug wasn’t in the least reassuring. “Amelia has done something really special with her foundation. It might do you a world of good to focus on someone besides yourself.”

 

“Dang, that’s harsh.”

 

He patted her knee. “I’ve seen all kinds come through my courtroom. The ones who turn it around are the ones who quit feeling sorry for themselves.”

 

“But—”

 

“But nothing. Beau is an asshole. Not the first or the last you’re likely to encounter. Don’t you deserve better than him?”

 

“Yes?” She wished she’d been able to put more conviction into the word.

 

Beau was successful, nice-looking—even though a bald spot was conquering his hair day by day—and respected in their town. They’d known each other since high school, but had only started dating in the last year.

 

He was solid and steady and comfortable. Three things lacking from her life. Catching him cheating with the president of the Junior League had been another seismic shift in her world, leaving her unsure and off balance.

 

“If you can’t believe in yourself yet, then believe me. You are talented, Greer, and you have the ability to help people find their voice.” He slipped a card out of his wallet. When she didn’t reach for it, he waved it in her face until she took it.

 

A tree styled with musical symbols of all different colors decorated one side of the card. She ran her thumb over the raised black ink of Amelia’s name and an address on the outskirts of Nashville. “I don’t have much choice, do I?”

 

“Not if you want to stay in my—and the court’s—good graces. She’s expecting you tomorrow at three.”

 

“No rest for the wicked, huh?” Her smile was born of sarcasm.

 

Bill rose and ruffled her hair like he had when she was little. “Not wicked. Lost.”

 

Greer walked him out, brushed a kiss on his cheek, and murmured her thanks. She leaned on the porch rail and waved until he disappeared down the street.

 

I once was lost, and now I’m found. She’d sung “Amazing Grace” so many times that the lyrics had ceased to have an impact. But, standing on her childhood front porch, having come full circle, a shiver went down her spine, and goose bumps broke over her arms despite the heat that wavered over the pavement like a mirage. Her granny would have said that someone had walked over her grave. Maybe so. Or maybe change was a-coming whether she wanted to face up to it or not.

 

Copyright © 2020 by Laura Trentham

 

BILOXI by MARY MILLER

Biloxi

I had high hopes for this book. Having been a resident of Biloxi for many years before Katrina came and took it all.

While I enjoyed reading about places I know, I never got a good handle on Louis.

Louis McDonald, Jr. is a 63-year-old man who has had a bad time of it lately. Almost a country songs worth. His wife left, his daughter is a mother now and living her life and Louis has absolutely no ‘get up and go’. And honestly, I’m not sure he ever had any!

Expecting a large inheritance from his recently dead father, he quits his job and waits for the money to arrive. Some would call him grumpy, or eccentric. I called him whiny and lazy. 63 is not old. He drives out of his way to avoid seeing his ex and finds a sign for a free dog. On an impulse, he stops. The dog is his if he wants it and he does.

So far all we see him do is drink, watch reality television and wait for Frank to drop off his leftovers each night. But the dog gets him up and out of himself. Until the dogs real owner shows up and while she robs him blind, he keeps the dog.

Basically, if I had to say anything about his attitude toward life it would be ‘Meh’. I just could not picture the character in my mind at all. I don’t mind a grouchy main character, but this wasn’t grouchy, it was dull.

 

 

 

EDISTO TIDINGS by C.HOPE Clark

The Edisto Island Mysteries #6

Police Chief Callie Morgan is back with another mystery to solve. It’s almost Christmas and Callie is busy getting ready for her son to come home and making sure the Island is safe. The tourists have gone home and things are pretty quiet with just the residents and a few families coming in for a holiday at the beach.

It’s also Callie’s birthday and her surprise party is just that! A surprise party at the new restaurant in town whose owner is quite hunky and mysterious and her former boss and friend, Stan isn’t filling her in on anything. Before she can even enjoy her own party, a body is found on a plot owned by local pain in the bum, Brice! And the dead man is Ben, his attorney and Callie’s kind of step-dad.

When renters begin reporting thefts of Christmas gifts, the town seems to want to ignore it. Turns out it is kind of a tradition. Edisto Santa, stealing from the rich and giving to the poor. And when Callie demands the gifts be returned, she is suddenly the bad guy.

So what do the thefts and a dead man have in common? You will never guess!

I love this series. Mainly because my Momma is from Charleston and was born in Walterboro and my family still has property on Edisto. But the writing is so good. From the first page, we kick into high gear and never let up! There is no page after page of backstory, just my need to know who this Santa fellow is!!!

Great Tale!

NetGalley/BellBooks   October 21, 2019

 

 

 

 

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland

The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland

When we first meet Ailsa Rae, she is dying. She has lived with a heart condition since her birth and is waiting for a transplant. She has a blog and has blogged about her experience as a patient on the organ registry. She has also had a best friend, boyfriend and a fellow patient in Lennox.

Just as Lennox dies, a heart becomes available for Ailsa. And this is the story of how she learned to live instead of existing.

Months later, she is doing well physically but not so much emotionally. It is going to take a bit of time to stop feeling fragile and stretch her limits. She has ups and downs and uses her blog to ask her followers advice in poll form. She’s missed out on so much and now she needs to learn to be healthy and alive.

I loved her mum. What a woman she is! And she has always been there for her only child. Now they both have to figure out what their new roles and lives will be.

Her new heart is strong and thumping along and it makes itself at home in her chest, she must learn to not only protect it but to listen to it and claim it as her own.

A good story. There were a few discrepancies, but all in all a good story.

NetGalley/ St. Martin’s Press  October 29th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Griffin

 

Christmas Angels by Nancy Naigle *Release Day*

Christmas Angels

 

Liz has the best memories of her grandparents’ inn in the town of Angel’s Creek and was heartbroken when it was sold. But while looking at inns on the internet she sees her Inn. For sale!

Thanks to a great job and tidy little savings, she not only puts in a bid, but she is also the winning bid! Alas, the place was gutted to put in an art gallery and now the place looks nothing like what she remembers.

Matt is just hoping the new owner isn’t planning on the same thing. And when he sees her, his childhood friend and crush, he knows he is going to help her re-build the inn to its former self.

What a great story with all of the feels. Hope, Loss, Joy, Love. Matt and Liz are great characters and I hope we see more of them.

A perfect holiday read!

October 15th, 2019 by St. Martin’s Griffin

Keeping Lucy by T.Greenwood

Keeping Lucy

It is 1969 and in Dover, Ginny has just given birth to a daughter, Lucy. But Lucy doesn’t get to hold her baby and take her home. Lucy has Down’s Syndrome and her father and grandfather just can’t have that.

They proceed to stick Lucy in Willowridge and assure Ginny it is for the best. It is not. It is a hell hole for unwanted children. When Ginny finally finds her backbone and rescues Lucy things got tense.

I had to keep reminding myself this was 1969. Times were different. But it was still the same poor woman can’t manage herself and can’t see that her husband is the bad guy.

I understood this was based on true events. If so I am happy things turned out well, but the story was lacking.

 

NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press  August 6th, 2019

 

 

 

 

Things You Save in a Fire by Katherine Center

Things You Save in a Fire

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

THE PERFECT DATE by EVELYN LOZADA with HOLLY LORINCZ

The Perfect Date

When a single mom ends up playing an unwilling fake girlfriend to a charming playboy baseball player, love suddenly turns everything upside down in this fun, heartwarming multicultural romance.

The Story:

Angel Gomez lives in the Bronx. An unwed mother by age 16. Her son Jose means the world to her and she has worked and studied tirelessly to get to where she is now. Passing her finals at nursing school. She has no time for men or playing around.

Duke Lewis, a star pitcher who parties hard and is basically a drunk with issues. In order to keep his place on the team, he needs to clean up his act. What could be better than a nurse? A pretend girlfriend until the headlines die down.

My Take:

Angel has a rather uppity attitude towards other women. I could not understand why she would agree to do something that seems so out of character for her. All of the men were disgusting stereotypes of male athletes and their money hungry wives.

For me, this was much like the Real Housewives. Bad and embarrassing.

NetGalley/ St. Martin’s Griffin  June 11, 2019