Mustique Island by Sarah Morgan @wmmorrowbooks #bookreview #fiction

Overview

From bestselling author Sarah McCoy, a sun-splashed romp with a rich divorcée and her two wayward daughters in 1970s Mustique, the world’s most exclusive private island, where Princess Margaret and Mick Jagger were regulars and scandals stayed hidden from the press.

It’s January 1972 but the sun is white hot when Willy May Michael’s boat first kisses the dock of Mustique Isle. Tucked into the southernmost curve of the Caribbean, Mustique is a private island that has become a haven for the wealthy and privileged. Its owner is the eccentric British playboy Colin Tennant, who is determined to turn this speck of white sand into a luxurious neo-colonial retreat for his rich friends and into a royal court in exile for the Queen’s rebellious sister, Princess Margaret—one where Her Royal Highness can skinny dip, party, and entertain lovers away from the public eye.

Willy May, a former beauty queen from Texas—who is also no stranger to marital scandals—seeks out Mustique for its peaceful isolation. Determined to rebuild her life and her relationships with her two daughters, Hilly, a model, and Joanne, a musician, she constructs a fanciful white beach house across the island from Princess Margaret—and finds herself pulled into the island’s inner circle of aristocrats, rock stars, and hangers-on.

When Willy May’s daughters arrive, they discover that beneath its veneer of decadence, Mustique has a dark side, and like sand caught in the undertow, their mother-daughter story will shift and resettle in ways they never could have imagined.

Review

Willy May is searching for a place to escape. She has had her fill of marital scandals and failed relationships. Once she encounters Mustique Island, she knows this is the place for her. She decides to put down roots and build a new home. She hopes this will encourage her daughters to visit and to build a strong mother-daughter relationship.

Ok first off, this book was prefaced too me as being like Jessica Anya Blau…ugh…NO! Not even close. This book really had no plot. Took forever for anything to happen. And yes…I know I am in the minority. It has some really good reviews. Now, I did enjoy the escape. It is a great escape read. I enjoyed learning about the island and I could just picture the landscape and the ocean. But, nothing really happened in this book until near the end.

The name dropping made the book for me. I especially enjoyed reading about Princess Margaret. She was a partier first class!

Need a good escape read…this is it! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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Beach House Summer by Sarah Morgan @harlequinbooks #bookreview #fiction

Book Summary:


USA Today bestselling author Sarah Morgan returns with the ultimate beach read, as one woman forges the most unlikely friendship of all, and embarks on a summer of confrotning her past in order to build the future she wants…
When Joanna Whitman’s ex-husband, one of California’s most beloved celebrity chefs, dies in a car accident, she doesn’t know what to feel. Their dysfunctional marriage held more secrets than she cares to remember, but when she discovers a young woman was with him in the crash–who’s now in hospital, on her own, and pregnant –Joanna sees red. How dare he ruin yet another woman’s life? More than anyone, Joanna knows the brutal spotlight this girl is going to find herself in…unless she can find a way for them both to disappear?
Ashley can’t believe it when Joanna shows up in her hospital room and offers to spirit them both away for the summer to her secluded beach house on the Californian coast. Joanna should be

hating her, not helping her. But orphaned and pregnant, Ashley can’t turn Joanna down. Even though she knows that if Joanna ever discovers the real truth of why Ashley was in her ex’s car, their tentative bond would never hold.
Together, they escape to the beach house, nestled high above the sleepy Californian town where Joanna grew up, and left without a backward glance. Joanna’s only goal for the summer is privacy, but her return creates waves in the community, not least for the best friend she left behind. Both Joanna and Ashley are hiding secrets, but as they fall under the spell of their summer home – and draw on each other’s courage – these unlikely friends realise that to seize the futures they want, they must step out of the shadows and into the sunshine.

Review

Joanna’s husband has just been killed in a car accident. He had a young girl with him. But this is nothing new. Their marriage has been over for quite a while. Joanna soon pieces together who the young lady was in the car with her husband. Joanna takes this young lady under her wing and takes her to her remote beach house to escape the press.

Joanna’s beach house is located off the beaten path in her home town. She has a past here and an old romance she would like to forget. But, this has to be her safe haven right now. Can she manage all the emotions and insecurities?

I needed a good book to take me away. And this one hit the spot! I loved Joanna and Ashley. They compliment each other and even though she doesn’t know it, Joanna needs Ashley more! I really think Ashley is my favorite character in this book. She is quirky, funny and in need of help.

This novel gave me all the feels! I adored all the characters and especially the location. I could just picture this luxurious house. This is a great getaway read!

Need a good read to take to the beach…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

Author Bio:


Sarah Morgan is a USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She has sold more than 21 million copies of her books and her trademark humour and warmth have gained her fans across the globe. Sarah lives with her family near London, England, where the rain frequently keeps her trapped in her office. Visit her at http://www.sarahmorgan.com

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On A Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass @harlequinbooks #excerpt #bookspotlight

On a Quiet Street

Author: Seraphina Nova Glass

ISBN: 9781525899751

Publication Date: May 17, 2022

Publisher: Graydon House Books

Book Summary:

A simple arrangement. A web of deceit with shocking consequences.

Welcome to Brighton Hills: an exclusive, gated community set against the stunning backdrop of the Oregon coast. Home to doctors, lawyers, judges–all the most upstanding members of society. Nothing ever goes wrong here. Right?

Cora’s husband, Finn, is a cheater. She knows it; she just needs to prove it. She’s tired of being the nagging, suspicious wife who analyzes her husband’s every move. She needs to catch him in the act. And what better way to do that than to set him up for a fall?

Paige has nothing to lose. After she lost her only child in a hit-and-run last year, her life fell apart: her marriage has imploded, she finds herself screaming at baristas and mail carriers, and she’s so convinced Caleb’s death wasn’t an accident that she’s secretly spying on all everyone in Brighton Hills so she can find the murderer. So it’s easy for her to entrap Finn and prove what kind of man he really is.

But Paige and Cora are about to discover far more than a cheating husband. What starts as a little agreement between friends sets into motion a series of events neither of them could have ever predicted, and that exposes the deep fault lines in Brighton Hills. Especially concerning their mysterious new neighbor, Georgia, a beautiful recluse who has deep, dark secrets of her own…

Author Bio:

Seraphina Nova Glass is a professor and playwright-in-residence at the University of Texas, Arlington, where she teaches film studies and playwriting. She holds an MFA in playwriting from Smith College, and she’s also a screenwriter and award-winning playwright. Seraphina has traveled the world using theatre and film as a teaching tool, living in South Africa, Guam and Kenya as a volunteer teacher, AIDS relief worker, and documentary filmmaker.

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Excerpt

ONE Paige
Paige stands, watering her marigolds in the front yard and marvels at how ugly they are. The sweet-potato-orange flowers remind her of a couch from the 1970s, and she suddenly hates them. She crouches down, ready to rip them from their roots, wondering why she ever planted such an ugly thing next to her pristine Russian sage, and then the memory steals her breath. The church Mother’s Day picnic when Caleb was in the sixth grade. Some moron had let the potato salad sit too long in the sun, and Caleb got food poisoning. All the kids got to pick a flower plant to give to their moms, and even though Caleb was puking mayonnaise, he insisted on going over to pick his flower to give her. He was so proud to hand it to her in its little plastic pot, and she said they’d plant it in the yard and they’d always have his special marigolds to look at. How could she have forgotten?
She feels tears rise in her throat but swallows them down. Her dachshund, Christopher, waddles over and noses her arm: he always senses when she’s going to cry, which is almost all the time since Caleb died. She kisses his head and looks at her now-beautiful marigolds. She’s interrupted by the kid who de-livers the newspaper as he rides his bike into the cul-de-sac and tosses a rolled-up paper, hitting little Christopher on his back.
“Are you a fucking psychopath?” Paige screams, jumping to her feet and hurling the paper back at the kid, which hits him in the head and knocks him off his bike.
“What the hell is wrong with you, lady?” he yells back, scrambling to gather himself and pick up his bike.
“What’s wrong with me? You tried to kill my dog. Why don’t you watch what the fuck you’re doing?”
His face contorts, and he tries to pedal away, but Paige grabs the garden hose and sprays him down until he’s out of reach. “Little monster!” she yells after him.
Thirty minutes later, the police ring her doorbell, but Paige doesn’t answer. She sits in the back garden, drinking coffee out of a lopsided clay mug with the word Mom carved into it by little fingers. She strokes Christopher’s head and examines the ivy climbing up the brick of the garage and wonders if it’s bad for the foundation. When she hears the ring again, she hollers at them.
“I’m not getting up for you people. If you need to talk to me, I’m back here.” She enjoys making them squeeze around the side of the house and hopes they rub up against the poi-son oak on their way.
“Morning, Mrs. Moretti,” one of the officers says. It’s the girl cop, Hernandez. Then the white guy chimes in. She hates him. Miller. Of course they sent Miller with his creepy mustache. He looks more like a child molester than a cop, she thinks. How does anyone take him seriously?
“We received a complaint,” he says.
“Oh, ya did, did ya? You guys actually looking into cases these days? Actually following up on shit?” Paige says, still petting the dog and not looking at them.
“You assaulted a fifteen-year-old? Come on.”

“Oh, I did no such thing,” she snaps.
Hernandez sits across from Paige. “You wanna tell us what d id happen, then?”
“Are you planning on arresting me if I don’t?” she asks, and the two officers give each
other a silent look she can’t read.
“His parents don’t want to press charges so…”
Paige doesn’t say anything. They don’t have to tell her it’s because they pity her.
“But, Paige,” Miller says, “we can’t keep coming out here for this sort of thing.”
“Good,” Paige says firmly. “Maybe it will free you up to do your real job and find out who
killed my son.” Hernandez stands.
“Again, you know we aren’t the detectives on the—” But before Hernandez can finish,
Paige interrupts, not wanting to hear the excuses.
“And maybe go charge the idiot kid for trying to kill my dog. How about that?” Paige stands and goes inside, not waiting for a response. She hears them mumble
something to one another and make their way out. She can’t restrain herself or force herself to be kind. She used to be kind, but now, it’s as though her brain has been rewired. Defensiveness inhabits the place where empathy used to live. The uniforms of the cops trigger her, too; it reminds her of that night, the red, flashing lights a nightmarish strobe from a movie scene. A horror movie, not real life. It can’t be her real life. She still can’t accept that.
The uniforms spoke, saying condescending things, pulling her away, calling her ma’am, and asking stupid questions. Now, when she sees them, it brings up regrets. She doesn’t know why this happens, but the uniforms bring her back to that night, and it makes her long for the chance to do all the things she never did with Caleb and mourn over the times they did have. It forces fragments of memories to materialize, like when he was six, he wanted a My Little Pony named Star Prancer. It was pink with purple flowers in its mane, and she didn’t let him have it because she thought she was protecting him from being made fun of at school. Now, the memory fills her with self-reproach.
She tries not to think about the time she fell asleep on the couch watching Rugrats with him when he was just a toddler and woke up to his screaming because he’d fallen off the couch and hit his head on the coffee table. He was okay, but it could have been worse. He could have put his finger in an outlet, pushed on the window screen and fallen to his death from the second floor, drunk the bleach under the sink! When this memory comes, she has to quickly stand up and busy herself, push out a heavy breath, and shake off the shame it brings. He could have died from her negligence that afternoon. She never told Grant. She told Cora once, who said every parent has a moment like that, it’s life. People fall asleep. But Paige has never forgiven herself. She loved Caleb more than life, and now the doubt and little moments of regret push into her thoughts and render her miserable and anxious all the time.
She didn’t stay home like Cora, she practically lived at the restaurant. She ran it for years. Caleb grew up doing his homework in the kitchen break room and helping wipe down tables and hand out menus. He seemed to love it. He didn’t watch TV all afternoon after school, he talked to new people, learned skills. But did she only tell herself that to alleviate the guilt? Would he have thrived more if he had had a more nor mal day-to-day? When he clung to her leg that first day of preschool, should she have forced him to go? Should he have let him change his college major so many times? Had he been happy? Had she done right by him?

And why was there a gun at the scene? Was he in trouble, and she didn’t know? Did he have friends she didn’t know about? He’d told her everything, she thought. They were close. Weren’t they?
As she approaches the kitchen window to put her mug down, she sees Grant pulling up outside. She can see him shaking his head at the sight of the cops before he even gets out of the car.
He doesn’t mention the police when he comes in. He silently pours himself a cup of coffee and finds Paige back out in the garden, where she has scurried to upon seeing him. He hands her a copy of the Times after removing the crossword puzzle for himself and then peers at it over his glasses.
He doesn’t speak until Christopher comes to greet him, and then he says, “Who wants a pocket cookie?” and takes a small dog biscuit from his shirt pocket and smiles down at little Christopher, who devours it.
This is how it’s been for the many months since Grant and Paige suffered insurmountable loss. It might be possible to get through it to the other side, but maybe not together, Paige said to Grant one night after one of many arguments about how they should cope. Grant wanted to sit in his old, leather recliner in the downstairs family room and stare into the wood-burning fireplace, Christopher at his feet, drinking a scotch and absorbing the quiet and stillness.
Paige, on the other hand, wanted to scream at everyone she met. She wanted to abuse the police for not finding who was responsible for the hit-and-run. She wanted to spend her days posting flyers offering a reward to anyone with information, even though she knew only eight percent of hit-and-runs are ever solved. When the world didn’t respond the way she needed, she stopped helping run the small restaurant they owned so she could just hole up at home and shout at Jeopardy! and paper boys. She needed to take up space and be loud. They each couldn’t stand how the other was mourning, so finally, Grant moved into the small apartment above their little Italian place, Moretti’s, and gave Paige the space she needed to take up.
Now—almost a year since the tragic day—Grant still comes over every Sunday to make sure the take-out boxes are picked up and the trash is taken out, that she’s taking care of herself and the house isn’t falling apart. And to kiss her on the cheek before he leaves and tell her he loves her. He doesn’t make observations or suggestions, just benign comments about the recent news headlines or the new baked mostaccioli special at the restaurant.
She sees him spot the pair of binoculars on the small table next to her Adirondack chair. She doesn’t need to lie and say she’s bird-watching or some nonsense. He knows she thinks one of the neighbors killed her son. She’s sure of it. It’s a gated community, and very few people come in and out who don’t live here. Especially that late at night. The entrance camera was conveniently disabled that night, so that makes her think it wasn’t an accident but planned. There was a gun next to Caleb’s body, but it wasn’t fired, and there was no gunshot wound. Something was very wrong with this scenario, and if the po-lice won’t prove homicide, she’s going to uncover which of her bastard neighbors had a motive.
She has repeated all of this to Grant a thousand times, and he used to implore her to try to focus on work or take a vacation—anything but obsess—and to warn her that she was destroying her health and their relationship, but he stopped responding to this sort of conspiracy-theory talk months ago.

“What’s the latest?” is all he asks, looking away from the binoculars and back to his crossword. She gives a dismissive wave of her hand, a sort of I know you don’t really want to hear about it gesture. Then, after a few moments, she says, “Danny Howell at 6758. He hasn’t driven his Mercedes in months.” She gives Grant a triumphant look, but he doesn’t appear to be following.
“Okay,” he says, filling in the word ostrich.
“So I broke into his garage to see what the deal was, and there’s a dent in his bumper.” “You broke in?” he asks, concerned. She knows the How-ells have five vehicles, and the
dent could be from a myriad of causes over the last year, but she won’t let it go.
“Yes, and it’s a good thing I did. I’m gonna go back and take photos. See if the police
can tell if it looks like he might have hit a person.” She knows there is a sad desperation in her voice as she works herself up. “You think they can tell that? Like if the dent were a pole from a drive-through, they could see paint or the scratches or something, right? I bet they can tell.”
“It’s worth a shot,” he says, and she knows what he wants to say, also knows he won’t waste words telling her not to break into the garage a second time for photos. He changes the subject.
“I’m looking for someone to help out at the restaurant a few days a week—mostly just a piano player for the dinner crowd—but I could use a little bookkeeping and scheduling, too,” he says, and Paige knows it’s a soft attempt to distract her, but she doesn’t bite.
“Oh, well, good luck. I hope you find someone,” she says, and they stare off into the backyard trees.
“The ivy is looking robust,” he comments after a few minutes of silence.
“You think it’s hurting the foundation?” she asks.
“Nah,” he says, and he reaches over and places his hand over hers on the arm of her
chair for a few moments before getting up to go. On his way out, he kisses her on the cheek, tells her he loves her. Then he loads the dishwasher and takes out the trash before heading to his car. She watches him reluctantly leaving, knowing that he wishes he could stay, that things were different.
When Paige hears the sound of Grant’s motor fade as he turns out of the front gate, she imagines herself calling him on his cell and telling him to come back and pick her up, that she’ll come to Moretti’s with him and do all the scheduling and books, that she’ll learn to play the piano just so she can make him happy. And, after all the patrons leave for the night, they’ll share bottles of Chianti on checkered tablecloths in a dimly lit back booth. They’ll eat linguini and clams and have a Lady and the Tramp moment, and they will be happy again.
Paige does not do this. She goes into the living room and closes the drapes Grant opened, blocking out the sunlight, then she crawls under a bunched-up duvet on the couch that smells like sour milk, and she begs for sleep.
Excerpted from On A Quiet Street by Seraphina Nova Glass, Copyright © 2022 by Seraphina Nova Glass. Published by arrangement with Harlequin Books S.A.

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The Devil’s Whispers by Lucas Hault #gothic #bookreview #horror

Overview

Famed British lawyer Gerard Woodward is summoned to an ancient Welsh castle to assist a dying lord in his final affairs. But as his host slips closer to death, Gerard begins to feel less like a guest and more like a prisoner. When he finds himself locked inside his room, he realizes he must escape.

After finding his way out of his room, Gerard begins to wonder if he was safer locked inside. The labyrinthine halls echo secrets. A terrible wail and the rattling of chains sets his nerves on end. Something sinister is happening within the walls of Mathers Castle, and when he descends into the dungeons, he discovers a horrible secret…

In nearby London, children vanish into the night, animals are horribly mutilated, and a savage creature stalks the shadows. When Gerard’s wife, Raelyn, becomes the creature’s next target, Gerard’s need to escape reaches a fever pitch. He must get out alive to dispel the evil to save his beloved Raelyn… and the rest of us.

Fans of epistolary Gothic horror classics like Dracula, Frankenstein, and The Picture of Dorian Gray will devour The Devil’s Whispers.

Review

Gerard is a British lawyer invited to take a dying man’s last will and testament. When he arrives, he realizes things are not as he expected…then things gets worse. He is locked in his bedroom! Back in London, where his fiancé, Raelyn resides, there is a evil creature mutilating animals while the children vanish.

The story is told through diary entries and letters. So, I was not a huge fan of the format. But, give me a creepy house and I am in!

The novel is a bit predictable. I knew what was coming and when. I did enjoy the intensity created, especially from Gerard. I felt like I was trapped right there with him! I also enjoyed the feel of a classic horror story like Dracula!

Need a good gothic tale with a weird house and terrible creature…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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The Devil’s Whispers: A Gothic Horror Novel

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My Wife is Missing by D.J. Palmer @stmartinspress @macmillanaudio #bookreview #audiobook #suspense

Overview

When a woman disappears with her two children, one husband will do anything to find them—even confront the secrets of his own past—in D. J. Palmer’s My Wife Is Missing, a twisty thriller from the author of The New Husband…

A family vacation turns into a nightmare for Michael Hart when he discovers his wife and two children have disappeared from their New York City hotel room. Horrified, he fears they’ve been kidnapped. Michael’s frantic search to find them takes a shocking turn when he discovers that his wife, Natalie, appears to have left quite willingly, taking their children with her. The police want to know why, and so does Michael. But there may be a reason why Natalie ran, something Michael can’t tell the police—the truth about his past.

While untangling his deceptions might be the key to locating Natalie, Michael knows it could also be his undoing. To find his wife, he must now turn to the one person capable of exposing all that he’s been hiding. Natalie thinks she has Michael all figured out and has hatched a plan to escape from him permanently. One detail, though, threatens to derail her efforts: sleep—or more accurately, the lack of it. Since the moment the shocking revelations about her husband came to light, Natalie’s insomnia has worsened to the point that she now suffers from delusions.

Are her fears about Michael valid—or a symptom of her condition? With her children’s lives at risk, the stakes for Natalie could not be higher. On her own, running low on energy and resources, avoiding increasingly close calls with Michael—who is on the hunt and closing in fast—Natalie needs someone to turn to for help. But who can she trust when she can’t even trust herself?

Review

Natalie is on the run! She has given her husband the slip. She and her two children are running away as fast as they can. But, why? Has Natalie finally lost it? With her chronic insomnia, it is a possibility. But what about Michael? What has Natalie learned, or thought she learned, about his past?

Wow! Talk about a wild ride! This book had me all over the place…is she crazy? Did he do it? Did she do it? I swear! I had no clue. And usually I figure something out. Nope…completely blindsided by the ending!

This is a story which was twisting and turning all over the place. I listened to this over a 2 day period…usually it takes me a good bit longer on an audiobook. But, I was completely captivated and could not get to the end fast enough. Definitely an edge of your seat read!

The narrator, Karissa Vacker, is now one of the top narrators in my book! She did an amazing job, especially on the kids voices. That is something most narrators get wrong.

Need a book which will have you guessing till the end…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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Iconoclast by Laurie Buchanan @gosparkpress @tueswithlaurie #bookreview #fiction

Overview

Burdened by the pressing weight of survivor’s guilt, Sean McPherson, an ex-cop, is desperate for redemption. At Pines & Quill, a writer’s retreat in the Pacific Northwest, he and his fiancée, Emma Benton, are planning their lives together. He wants to go back into law enforcement. She plans to walk again.

Georgio “The Bull” Gambino, head of a Seattle-based crime family, has a long reach. Like cockroaches, his minions infiltrate even the most inaccessible of places to do his bidding. With Seattle to the south, the Canadian border a stone’s throw to the north, and Bellingham Bay—a gateway to the Pacific Ocean—immediately to the west, Bellingham is the ideal location for the Gambino crime family to traffic drugs, weapons, and humans. But McPherson’s in Gambino’s way, which means he must be eliminated.

The writers in residence at Pines & Quill include an Afghanistan War veteran, a professional photographer, a civil rights attorney, and a gourmet chef. But McPherson suspects that there’s more going on than the joy of creating plot twists. Is one of them conspiring murder outside the pages of their manuscript?

Review

Sean McPherson is an ex-cop who is now helping his sister at her writers retreat, Pines & Quill. He and his fiancé are looking forward to their new life together. But, this new batch of writers have an imposter in their midsts. Can Sean figure out what is going on before someone gets hurt?

This story picks up right where the first book, Indelible , stops. However, you can also read this second novel as a stand alone. But, I did enjoy knowing about Sean’s background. He is one of my favorite characters. He is broken in so many ways but his strength comes through in every twist and turn. And believe me…this story has plenty which keep you on your toes!

I love the setting of Pines & Quills. I can just picture the area and these wonderful cabins. And these writers with all of their quirks, really add to the story. Plus…the intensity of this tale will keep you coming back for more!

Need a good mystery you can’t put down…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the author for a honest review.

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The Lioness by Chris Bohjalian @doubledaybooks #historicalfiction #bookreview

Overview

A luxurious African safari turns deadly for a Hollywood starlet and her entourage in this riveting historical thriller from the New York Times bestselling author of The Flight Attendant.

“The best possible combination of Hemingway and Agatha Christie — a gorgeously written story about the landscape and risks of Africa, whose edge-of-your-seat plot makes it impossible to put down.”
—Jodi Picoult, #1 New York Times bestselling author of Wish You Were Here

Tanzania, 1964. When Katie Barstow, A-list actress, and her new husband, David Hill, decide to bring their Hollywood friends to the Serengeti for their honeymoon, they envision giraffes gently eating leaves from the tall acacia trees, great swarms of wildebeests crossing the Mara River, and herds of zebras storming the sandy plains. Their glamorous guests—including Katie’s best friend, Carmen Tedesco, and Terrance Dutton, the celebrated Black actor who stars alongside Katie in the highly controversial film Tender Madness—will spend their days taking photos, and their evenings drinking chilled gin and tonics back at camp, as the local Tanzanian guides warm water for their baths. The wealthy Americans expect civilized adventure: fresh ice from the kerosene-powered ice maker, dinners of cooked gazelle meat, and plenty of stories to tell over lunch back on Rodeo Drive.

What Katie and her glittering entourage do not expect is this: a kidnapping gone wrong, their guides bleeding out in the dirt, and a team of Russian mercenaries herding their hostages into Land Rovers, guns to their heads. As the powerful sun gives way to night, the gunmen shove them into abandoned huts and Katie Barstow, Hollywood royalty, prays for a simple thing: to see the sun rise one more time. A blistering story of fame, race, love, and death set in a world on the cusp of great change, The Lioness is a vibrant masterpiece from one of our finest storytellers.

Review

Katie Barstow is a superstar actress. She has just recently wed her new husband, David Hill. Instead of a normal honeymoon, they decide to spend their honeymoon with many of their friends on a safari in the Serengeti. The trip begins with some unique experiences but then it turns deadly!

I love the setting and the time period of this novel. This tale encompasses many issues of race and sexuality. I also found Carmen, Kate’s best friend, to be one of the best characters in the whole book. Talk about the unexpected…she is not a woman whom I expected to be the strength of the whole safari.

However, I enjoyed this story but I did not like the format. First off, there are tons of characters and a lot of these characters tell their own point of view. So, you have quite a few different narrators. But the thing I hated most was the time jumping. There are tons of flashbacks per person. Some of these flashbacks start before the safari and some are early life. It just seems a bit scattered and hard to follow.

I am a huge fan of this author and while I found this story to not be one of my favorites, it is still one that has stayed with me. I can see this making a wonderful movie.

Need a good story with a an unusual setting…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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Don’t Get Close by Matt Miksa #audiobook #audiblebook #supernaturalthriller @dreamscapeaudio

Overview

Special Agent Vera Taggart walked away from a promising career as an artist to join the FBI, and she impresses her new colleagues with her eerie ability to divine conclusions from the grisliest crime scenes. Taggart’s first assignment is a decades-old cold case centered on a cult of suicide bombers known as the Sons of Elijah who believe they’ve been reborn hundreds of times. It seems like a low-risk assignment until a bomb tears apart a crowded restaurant. 

The Sons of Elijah have returned – and now it’s up to Taggart to stop their modern-day reign of terror. Taggart’s investigation begins with Dr. Seth Jacobson, a renowned psychiatrist who claims to help people remember past lives through hypnotherapy. Jacobson had treated two of the Sons of Elijah’s founders before they’d gone on to commit a series of horrific murders. Desperate to understand how these ordinary patients could have taken such a violent path, Taggart agrees to undergo similar treatment with Jacobson. Through her hypnosis sessions, Taggart comes to suspect the Sons of Elijah are targeting a high-tech government laboratory that could expose the group’s greatest secret with a controversial experiment. To save millions of innocent lives, she must come to grips with the shocking truth about the cult and her own puzzling role in its timeless mission. 

The fate of humanity rests on her ability to determine which threats are real and which exist only in her mind – and to decide whose side she’s really fighting for.

Review

FBI Agent Vera Taggert is on the trail of a domestic terrorist group called the Sons of Elijah. The investigation leads her to a famous psychiatrist, Seth Jacobson. She is intrigued in more ways than one. She decides to let him hypnotize her. What she discovers is not exactly what she expected.

Being a person who very seldom reads a blurb, I am a judge a book by it’s cover girl, this story took me by surprise. I expected more of an FBI thriller/mystery tale. And, it is that…but, it is a bit more complicated. This novel delves into the supernatural/reincarnation arena. So…SURPRISE! At first, I was like…hmmm, what have I gotten myself into. But, the story continued to capture my imagination and attention, especially the historical flashbacks. I loved the Montségur sections. Very well researched!

Now, it did get a little “out there” toward the end, especially the part about the way the FBI recruited Vera But, that is the genre. So, I was pleasantly surprised by this novel. It is definitely unique and entertaining.

Kristin Price is the narrator and she is perfect for this book!

Need a good, unique thriller…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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The Best of Me by Sharon Sala @sourcebookscasa #bookreview #fiction

Overview

Sharon Sala is a consummate storyteller. If you can stop reading then you’re a better woman than me.”—DEBBIE MACOMBER, #1 New York Times bestselling author

There’s never a dull moment in Blessings, Georgia:

  • An orphaned little girl desperately needs a new home
  • An eager couple is ready to welcome her with open arms
  • Friendly neighbors are always there for each other
  • In this southern small town, good things happen to good people

Ruby Butterman and her husband, Peanut, cannot have children, but they’re given a second chance at a family when eight-year-old orphan Carlie is left in their care. It’s a challenge for Carlie to adapt to a new town, a new school, and a new family, and when she gets bullied at school, Ruby and Peanut discover how to step up as parents, and how to make a forever family for their beloved little girl.

No summer reading list is complete without a deep, hopeful, and exciting small town romance by Sharon Sala!

“Sharon Sala’s Blessings, Georgia series is filled with unforgettable charm and delight!”—ROBYN CARR, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Review

Carlie and her mom show up at the police station in Blessings, GA just moments before Carlie’s mom, Shirley, dies. Shirley had a heart condition and she knew she had to get Carlie taken care of. So, she heads to the best person she knows, Ruby. She knows Ruby will take care of her little girl.

There are quite a few stories happening in this novel. But, I enjoyed Ruby and Carlie the best. Basically because Carlie is so dang cute. Sometimes it is difficult to get the children right in a novel. But Sharon Sala did an excellent job.

I fluctuated between 3 and 4 stars on this one. Basically because it is almost too sweet for me and it is very predictable. But, I gave it 4 stars because it did keep me reading and I enjoyed the characters. Sometimes you just need a sweet story in your life!

This novel is part of a series. I have only read one in this series and it was ages ago. I did not feel lost or anything. So, you can read this as a stand alone.

Need a sweet read…this is it! Grab your copy today.

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews @stmartinspress @mkayandrews #bookreview #5starread #smpinfluencer

Overview

Summer begins with Mary Kay Andrews, in this delightful summer read about flipping houses, and finding true love.

Hattie Kavanaugh went to work restoring homes for Kavanaugh & Son Restorations at eighteen, married the boss’s son at twenty, and became a widow at twenty-five. Now, she’s passionate about her work, but that’s the only passion in her life. “Never love something that can’t love you back,” is advice her father-in-law gives her, but Hattie doesn’t follow it and falls head-over-heels for a money pit of a house. She’s determined to make it work, but disaster after disaster occurs, and Hattie’s dream might cost Kavanaugh & Son their livelihood. Hattie needs money, and fast.

When a slick Hollywood producer shows up in her hometown of Savannah, Georgia, she gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: star in a beach house renovation reality show called The Homewreckers, cast against a male lead who may be a love interest, or may be the ultimate antagonist. Soon, there’s more at stake than bad pipes and dry rot: during the demolition, evidence comes to light that points to the mysterious disappearance of a young wife and mother years before.

With a burned out detective investigating the case, an arsonist on the loose, two men playing with her emotions, and layers upon layers of vintage wallpaper causing havoc, it’s a question of who will flip, who will flop, and if Hattie will ever get her happily-ever-after.

Review

Hattie restores old homes in the Savannah, GA area. She failed miserably on her last one. She is determined to make a huge go with the next. Because of her loss on her last home, she is about broke. So, she agrees to a reality tv show about fixing up homes. This should help her overcome some losses. But, things do not go as planned. A wallet is found. It turns out to be the wallet of a young wife and mother who disappeared years ago. This could derail the whole project.

I am a HUGE MKA fan! And so, as you guessed…I LOVE THIS BOOK! It has bit of everything..romance, humor, great setting, sabotage and murder…yep…murder. No one does a better escape read than MKA!

The characters are fabulous. I adore Hattie! She makes mistakes and she goes a bit overboard to fix them. She gives it her all, even when she is backed against a wall…literally!

Add in the setting of Tybee..y’all…I love Tybee. I so want to go back. I could just picture the house and the river.

Need a good read to just escape…THIS IS IT! Grab your copy today!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review.

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