The Best People by Marc Grossberg #review @greenleafbooks @marcgrossberg @suzyapprovedbooktours



Think a super-sized, red-haired My Cousin Vinny meets The Bonfire of the Vanities in Houston, where you can’t always tell who the best people are.”

In a stunning debut novel, Marc Grossberg portrays post-millennium Houston as it is, a glitzy place full of larger-than-life characters where anyone can make it. It is the landscape where the country-club and café-society sets clash amidst clever legal maneuvering, big law firm politics, a Ponzi scheme and judicial corruption. Only someone with the experience of being a lifelong Houstonian and a veteran of fifty years of practicing law could have pulled it off.

THE BEST PEOPLE: A Tale of Trials and Errors is a legal drama and social satire set in Houston which offers a glimpse into a world in which you can’t always tell who the best people are.

Patrick “Paddy” Moran, age 36, fresh from being sworn into the Texas bar, begins a wild and rocky journey fueled by his fierce desire for recognition and respect. In a county where some 40,000 civil cases are filed every year, Paddy is sure he’ll get his share of the good ones, sooner or later. After sputtering through mindless uncontested cop divorces and a spate of questionable cases of cops getting rear-ended by luxury cars—and surviving one near career wreck—his luck changes. Paddy Moran’s first victory—a $500,000 settlement from a hospital—comes with a sweet bonus: the genuine friendship of his well-connected, classy dame client. Dressed for success and driving a Mercedes, Paddy finally begins to stand out for more than his imposing physical size, red hair, and New York moxie. He’s become one of Houston’s celebrated Best People. After a second big win—against one of Houston’s biggest law firms—Paddy gets another valuable asset: a young law partner, Will Marshall, a life-long Houstonian with social cred who’s just as hungry to succeed as Paddy. Dubbed the “M&M boys” by Texas Monthly, Moran and Marshall keep attracting media attention and rich clients in juicy divorce cases.

And Paddy’s still a good guy, but visions of winning a high-profile trial with a huge fee lure him into making a very bad judgment call. Then, one dirty deed leads to another…

The Best People is also the story of Pilar Galt, a sensuous, intelligent single mother from the Houston barrios, for whom a temp assignment evolves into a relationship with the richest man in town. Her path intersects with Paddy’s and eventually converges during a pivotal time in her life when she must overcome self-destructive tendencies to survive.

What follows is a cautionary tale for anyone who thinks power, money, and a winning outcome justifies unethical means.


Paddy is just starting out as a lawyer in Houston. He is struggling to make ends meet. Then he lucks up on his first case, which just so happens, leads to his second case. And so on and so forth. As things start to change for the better so does Paddy’s attitude. He tends to get more greedy and more competitive. 

Paddy is such a great character. He is hardworking and has a strong ambition. He starts out as the underdog. As a reader, you want him to succeed and keep it that way. But when things start going great for Paddy, he changes. His greed gets out of hand. He makes terrible and tragic decisions.

It has been a while since I have read a legal thriller. So, this book hit the spot. I enjoyed the way the author tied all the different legal problems into one common denominator…Paddy. Paddy is an enjoyable character all the way through, even when his decision making skills fall apart! 

Need a quick, good thriller. This is it! 

I received this novel from for a honest review.



About The Author

Grossberg’s writing, referred to by some as the new unofficial voice of Houston, acts as an outlet for us, his readers, who are both curious and outraged by the mores, privileges and escapades of the jet-setting elite and those who aspire to join its ranks.


MARC GROSSBERG has practiced law in his native Houston for more than 50 years. A product of Houston public schools, the University of Houston, and the University of Texas School of Law, he has a passion for books that entertain and provoke him.

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Twitter: @marcgrossberg


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The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae by Stephanie Butland #review @stmartinspress


For fans of Josie Silver’s One Day in December, The Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae is a wholly original, charismatic, and uplifting novel that no reader will soon forget.

Ailsa Rae is learning how to live. She’s only a few months past the heart transplant that—just in time—saved her life. Now, finally, she can be a normal twenty-eight-year-old. She can climb a mountain. Dance. Wait in line all day for tickets to Wimbledon.

But first, she has to put one foot in front of the other. So far, things are as bloody complicated as ever. Her relationship with her mother is at a breaking point and she wants to find her father. Then there’s Lennox, whom Ailsa loved and lost. Will she ever find love again?

Her new heart is a bold heart. She just needs to learn to listen to it. From the hospital to her childhood home, on social media and IRL, Ailsa will embark on a journey about what it means to be, and feel, alive. How do we learn to be brave, to accept defeat, to dare to dream?

From Stephanie Butland, author of The Lost for Words BookshopThe Curious Heart of Ailsa Rae will warm you from the inside out.


Ailsa is struggling. She has had multiple surgeries throughout her short life. And now, with a heart transplant, she can start living. But, can she do it? She has been sheltered and kept at home. Can she actually start living the life she has always hoped for?

Ailsa is a blogger. She has blogged about her multiple surgeries and her heart transplant. She is asked to do an interview about the importance of the transplant list. This leads her to Sebastian. She and Sebastian become good friends. And then they become more. But, because her medication, Ailsa has put on some pounds. The internet and journalists bully her on line because for her weight. No one can believe Sebastian would be dating her.

There are multiple story lines in this novel…The mystery of Ailsa father, her life as a transplant patient, and her life as a “sort of” celebrity. Her strength and resilience are astounding. Her ability to overcome and keep going through ALL her issues really amazed me.

A heartwarming novel of courage and tenacity. Do not miss this one!

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


Author Bio:

STEPHANIE BUTLAND lives with her family near the sea in the North East of England. She writes in a studio at the bottom of her garden, and when she’s not writing, she trains people to think more creatively. For fun, she reads, knits, sews, bakes, and spins. She is an occasional performance poet and the author of The Lost for Words Bookshop.


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The Family Upstairs by Lisa Jewell #review #suspense @AtriaMysteryBus @AtriaBooks @lisajewelluk


Rich, dark, and intricately twisted, this enthralling whodunit mixes family saga with domestic noir to brilliantly chilling effect.” —Ruth Ware, New York Times bestselling author

“A haunting, atmospheric, stay-up-way-too-late read.” —Megan Miranda, New York Times bestselling author 

From the New York Times bestselling author of Then She Was Gone comes another page-turning look inside one family’s past as buried secrets threaten to come to light.

Be careful who you let in.

Soon after her twenty-fifth birthday, Libby Jones returns home from work to find the letter she’s been waiting for her entire life. She rips it open with one driving thought: I am finally going to know who I am.

She soon learns not only the identity of her birth parents, but also that she is the sole inheritor of their abandoned mansion on the banks of the Thames in London’s fashionable Chelsea neighborhood, worth millions. Everything in Libby’s life is about to change. But what she can’t possibly know is that others have been waiting for this day as well—and she is on a collision course to meet them.

Twenty-five years ago, police were called to 16 Cheyne Walk with reports of a baby crying. When they arrived, they found a healthy ten-month-old happily cooing in her crib in the bedroom. Downstairs in the kitchen lay three dead bodies, all dressed in black, next to a hastily scrawled note. And the four other children reported to live at Cheyne Walk were gone.

In The Family Upstairs, the master of “bone-chilling suspense” (People) brings us the can’t-look-away story of three entangled families living in a house with the darkest of secrets.


Libby finally receives a letter about her inheritance. She is hoping to get some answers to several questions about her life. Why she was left alone as a baby? What happened to her parents? Her brother and sister?

This novel is told in three voices. Libby, Lucy and Henry. Libby is searching to find out who she is. Then, there is Lucy. I don’t even know where to begin with her. Her life is just messed up. And finally, Henry. Henry is more of an enigma. The experiences these kids had growing up really changes their course in life.

Well! This book is insane! It is insanely good! Let me tell you! There are so many twists and turns and manipulations. As a reader, you don’t know who is who or what is what! I fell right into the spell of Libby and her situation. I did not want to put this book down. I was completely captivated, mesmerized, enthralled by this story! DO NOT MISS THIS ONE Y’ALL!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review. I also received a copy at Book Expo 2019.

Purchase here

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You’ve Been Volunteered by Laurie Gelman #review @Henryholt


In the eagerly anticipated follow-up to Laurie Gelman’s “irreverent and hilarious” (The New York Post) hit Class Mom, brash, lovable Jen Dixon is back with a new class and her work cut out for her

If you’ve ever been a room parent or school volunteer, Jen Dixon is your hero. She says what every class mom is really thinking, whether in her notoriously frank emails or standup-worthy interactions with the micromanaging PTA President and the gamut of difficult parents. Luckily, she has the charm and wit to get away with it—most of the time. Jen is sassier than ever but dealing with a whole new set of challenges, in the world of parental politics and at home.

She’s been roped into room-parenting yet again, for her son Max’s third grade class, but as her husband buries himself in work, her older daughters navigate adulthood, and Jen’s own aging parents start to need some parenting themselves, Jen gets pulled in more directions than any one mom, or superhero, can handle. 

Refreshingly down-to-earth and brimming with warmth, Dixon’s next chapter will keep you turning the pages to find out what’s really going on under the veneer of polite parent interactions, and have you laughing along with her the whole way.


Jen is class mom AGAIN. She is on top of things until the inevitable…parental politics, bad parents and bad children get in the way. Then things start to fall apart at home. Jen has so many responsibilities she starts to wonder if her super mom attitude can handle everything.

This book started off with a bang. I laughed so hard I almost snorted my coffee out my nose. Jen is the mom everyone secretly aspires to be. And we admire the moms which have this “seemingly” no care attitude and the snarkiness to go along with it. But, they also care enough to have their stuff together. Everything runs smoothly, well, most of the time.

If you need a good laugh this is the book for you. I laughed all the way through this novel. However, the story and the snarkiness did get a little old the further I moved through the book. Yes it is hilarious, but there were places seriousness was needed. It is an enjoyable read for any mom!

I received this novel from Henry Holt for a honest review.

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Olive, Again by Elizabeth Strout @randomhouse #review


NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • Pulitzer Prize winner Elizabeth Strout continues the life of her beloved Olive Kitteridge, a character who has captured the imaginations of millions.

“Strout managed to make me love this strange woman I’d never met, who I knew nothing about. What a terrific writer she is.”—Zadie Smith, The Guardian

“Just as wonderful as the original . . . Olive, Again poignantly reminds us that empathy, a requirement for love, helps make life ‘not unhappy.’”—NPR 

NAMED ONE OF FALL’S MOST ANTICIPATED BOOKS BY People  Time  Entertainment Weekly  Vanity Fair  BuzzFeed  Vogue  USA Today • The Seattle Times  HuffPost  Newsday  Vulture  Bustle  Vox  PopSugar  Good Housekeeping  LitHub  Book Riot
Prickly, wry, resistant to change yet ruthlessly honest and deeply empathetic, Olive Kitteridge is “a compelling life force” (San Francisco Chronicle). The New Yorker has said that Elizabeth Strout “animates the ordinary with an astonishing force,” and she has never done so more clearly than in these pages, where the iconic Olive struggles to understand not only herself and her own life but the lives of those around her in the town of Crosby, Maine. Whether with a teenager coming to terms with the loss of her father, a young woman about to give birth during a hilariously inopportune moment, a nurse who confesses a secret high school crush, or a lawyer who struggles with an inheritance she does not want to accept, the unforgettable Olive will continue to startle us, to move us, and to inspire us—in Strout’s words—“to bear the burden of the mystery with as much grace as we can.”


I was lucky enough years ago to win an ARC of Olive Kitteridge. I have the same feelings about that book which I have about this book. I just feel depressed when I read them. Did I enjoy both books? ABSOLUTELY! But, there is just something about Olive which depresses me. And to be honest, I think it is the way she loves people…she cannot find the joy in that love. And lots of people do not like Olive for this very reason. She is prickly, ornery and cantankerous.

However, this has not stopped me from reading all the Olive books. There is just something about that woman that draws me in. She is tough, independent and a hard worker. And then, there is her kindness. It is so out of the ordinary. It is not a side she shows often and when she does, it completely surprises the reader and you see a totally different side of this wonderful character.

This story has fantastic characters and it is amazingly well written. This whole series is not to be missed! Olive is…just Olive.

Purchase Here

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My October Reads #wrapup #octoberreads

Well! I hope everyone had their fill of Halloween candy and SPOOOOKS!

I spent my Halloween at the BEACH….BE JEALOUS!

Now on to the important stuff! I had very good month of reading!


Twice in a Blue Moon by Christina Lauren @gallerybooks #romance #review #fiction


The Perfect Love Song by Patti Callahan Henry #christmasromance #review #fiction @pcalhenry @thomasnelson


Meant To Be Yours by Susan Mallery


The Shape of Night by Tess Gerritsen @tessgerritsen @randomhouse #ghoststory #thriller



Christmas Angels by Nancy Naigle @stmartinspress @nancynaigle #christmasromance #christmas #fiction #review


Seven Letters by J.P. Monninger #review #fiction #romance @stmartinspress

These books below will have reviews coming up soon. So stay tuned!

Thanks for stopping by! How was your reading month? Inquiring minds want to know!

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Audible books for October #audible #audiobooks

I was really slow in my audible books this month. I have no idea why…I must do better…I own waaaay too many!

Lies and Other Acts of Love this book typical Kristy Woodson Harvey, very southern, very family oriented and just plain GOOD!

The Silent Patient this story is OVER THE TOP! Do not miss this one. I am late to the party and most people have probably already read it. But….THAT ENDING!

Thanks for stopping by…what are you reading?

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