September Wrap-up #reviews #wrapup #5starreads

Well September was full of five star reads! CHECK THEM OUT!

29 Seconds by T. M. Logan #mystery #thriller @stmartinspress #review #5stars

Christmas From the Heart by Shelia Roberts @harlequin #review #romance #christmas

Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris #review #historicalfiction @stmartinspress

The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan @ForgeReads @HankPRyan #thriller #review #fiction

Pretty Guilty Women by Gina Lamanna #review #fiction @sourcebooks

All the Flowers in Paris by Sarah Jio #review #historicalfiction @randomhouse @sarahjio

Stay tuned for reviews on these two.

I also read this one for book club and it was fantastic!

There is also one that I did not finish. And it is an author I love and my favorite time period! I do not know if I have read so many WWII Books lately that this one just fell short. Anyway, it got rave reviews so do not judge this book by my shortcomings with it.

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Audible Reads for September #audiobooks #audible #alwaysreading

I had a good audible month. Check out my list!

Behind the Beautiful Forevers is a very unique read. It opened my eyes to a part of this world I know very little about.

Behind the Beautiful Forevers

The Victory Garden is a wonderful read!

The Victory Garden

I was asked by the author to listen to this book and review. I had already read it and you can check out my review here. The narrator did a great job!

Unreasonable Doubts

Thanks for stopping by!

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Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris #review #historicalfiction @stmartinspress

Overview

From the author of the multi-million copy bestseller The Tattooist of Auschwitz comes a new novel based on a riveting true story of love and resilience. 

Her beauty saved her — and condemned her. 

Cilka is just sixteen years old when she is taken to Auschwitz-Birkenau Concentration Camp in 1942, where the commandant immediately notices how beautiful she is. Forcibly separated from the other women prisoners, Cilka learns quickly that power, even unwillingly taken, equals survival.

When the war is over and the camp is liberated, freedom is not granted to Cilka: She is charged as a collaborator for sleeping with the enemy and sent to a Siberian prison camp. But did she really have a choice? And where do the lines of morality lie for Cilka, who was send to Auschwitz when she was still a child? 

In Siberia, Cilka faces challenges both new and horribly familiar, including the unwanted attention of the guards. But when she meets a kind female doctor, Cilka is taken under her wing and begins to tend to the ill in the camp, struggling to care for them under brutal conditions.

Confronting death and terror daily, Cilka discovers a strength she never knew she had. And when she begins to tentatively form bonds and relationships in this harsh, new reality, Cilka finds that despite everything that has happened to her, there is room in her heart for love.

From child to woman, from woman to healer, Cilka’s journey illuminates the resilience of the human spirit—and the will we have to survive.

Review

Cilka was just 16 years of age when she was sent Auschwitz-Birkenau. When the camp was liberated, Cilka was then arrested for being a collaborator. She was then sent to a Siberian gulag where she spent the next 10 years of her life.

Cilka’s life in the gulag is as to be expected. She faces starvation, freezing temperatures and unimaginable hard work. But because of a kind doctor, Cilka begins training as a nurse. This act of kindness guides Cilka to ways to help her fellow prisoners.

Cilka is one of the strongest women I have ever read about. Not only is she tough and resilient. But she is kind and she sacrifices herself to help save others many heartaches.

This book is probably the best of the year for me. I enjoyed The Tatooist of Auschwitz. But, I felt the writing in that story was a little off. You can read my review here. This tale of Cilka and her life is heart wrenching and very well written! I was completely captivated from start to finish!

This is a tale not to be missed!

I received this novel from St. Martin’s Press for a honest review.

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Christmas From the Heart by Shelia Roberts @harlequin #review #romance #christmas

Overview

USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts takes readers to the charming, snowbound town of Pine River in this irresistible holiday romance.

Sometimes you need to look beyond the big picture to see what really matters

Olivia Berg’s charity, Christmas from the Heart, has helped generations of families in need in Pine River, Washington, but this year might be the end of the road. Hightower Enterprises, one of their biggest donors since way back when Olivia’s grandmother ran the charity, has been taken over by Ebenezer Scrooge the Second, aka CFO Guy Hightower, and he’s declared there will be no more money coming to Christmas from the Heart.

Guy is simply being practical. Hightower Enterprises needs to tighten its belt, and when you don’t have money to spare, you don’t have money to share. You’d think even the pushy Olivia Berg could understand that.

With charitable donations dwindling, Olivia’s Christmas budget depends on Hightower’s contribution. She’s focused her whole life on helping this small town, even putting her love life on hold to support her mission.

When Guy’s Maserati breaks down at the edge of the Cascade foothills, he’s relieved to be rescued by a pretty young woman who drives him to the nearby town of Pine River. Until he realizes his rescuer is none other than Olivia Berg. What’s a Scrooge to do? Plug his nose and eat fruitcake and hope she doesn’t learn his true identity before he can get out of town. What could go wrong?

Review

Well, it’s that time of year again. Christmas romances are on the loose.

I love Olivia’s tenacity. She needs something…she goes and gets it. But, she goes and gets it to help others. Olivia is in charge of a non profit organization which helps people in need. She has lost one of her major contributors (all Guy’s fault!) and she is struggling to meet all the demands. Olivia has a huge heart. She is really an admirable character.

Guy starts out as someone you kind of despise. But as the story unfolds, he grows into someone the reader loves. AND you cannot wait for Olivia and Guy to realize they need each other.

This is your typical romance. Olivia and Guy start out hating each other. But then circumstances draw them together and sparks fly. What makes this story different is how sweet, kind and true all the characters are. It is a wonderful Christmas story. It made a great palate cleanser.

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The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan @ForgeReads @HankPRyan #thriller #review #fiction

Overview

An exhilarating thrill ride that keeps you turning pages.. Ryan deftly delivers a denouement as shocking as it is satisfying.”–Liv Constantine, bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish and The Last Time I Saw You

Law student Rachel North will tell you, without hesitation, what she knows to be true. She’s smart, she’s a hard worker, she does the right thing, she’s successfully married to a faithful and devoted husband, a lion of Boston’s defense bar, and her internship with the Boston DA’s office is her ticket to a successful future. 

Problem is–she’s wrong. 

And in this cat and mouse game–the battle for justice becomes a battle for survival. 

The Murder List is a new standalone suspense novel in the tradition of Lisa Scottoline and B. A. Paris from award-winning author and reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan.

Review

Rachel has a new job as an intern with the DA’s office. This puts a huge strain on her marriage. Rachel is working for her husband’s nemesis. She is determined to make her marriage and her job work out.

As you are reading this story, you think it is about Rachel and her husband. And in a way, it is. But, not to the extent the reader thinks. I have to be careful what I say. I do not want to give anything away. All the way through this book I was giving it four stars. Then the huge twist came…sent it over the top!

Well! This book is not what you expect! You think it is…but then it’s not. I know I have already said it…I am trying to be careful with my words. Just understand this book is COMPLETELY TWISTED!

I received this novel from the publisher for a honest review

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Pretty Guilty Women by Gina Lamanna #review #fiction @sourcebooks

Overview

Four Women. Four Confessions. One Murder.

Something has gone terribly wrong at the Banks wedding. A man is dead. Four different women rush to offer confessions, each insisting that they committed the crime — alone. 

Ginger is holding her family together by a thread, and this wedding weekend is not the fabulous getaway she anticipated. 

Kate has enough money to buy her way out of anything. Well, almost anything.

Emily can’t shake her reputation or her memories, and she’s planning to drown this whole vacation in a bottle. 

Lulu’s got ex-husbands to spare, and another on the way — as soon as she figures out what the devil the current husband is up to behind her back. 

Why would they confess to the same murder? Only they know — and they’re not telling. This page-turning novel explores the depths of friendship and the truths we love to ignore.

Review

Well! There has been a murder at a wedding. What is really odd…is four women have confessed to the murder. Why? Only they know the truth!

These four women each have their own issues and problems. So why add to their long list of complications? You will have to read this to find out. I did not figure this out until the author wanted me to. That is unusual for me. I am very good at solving the mysteries! You know there is a cover up….but you don’t know the ins and outs or the whys and what fors.

This is an unusual premise for a book. Very unique. I just thought there were too many characters and too much nonsense which did not relate to the story.

I received this novel from Sourcebooks for a honest review.

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Good Morning Bellingham by Marina Raydun – BOOK SPOTLIGHT

Good Morning, Bellingham

By Marina Raydun

Genre: Literary Fiction

When Peta goes missing, a two-decade old secret threatens to rip at the seams and come out in the open. Relationships are tested as one dysfunctional family comes together in search of their daughter, sister, and wife. What they find instead will change each one of them forever.

 

About the Author 

 

Marina Raydun’s published works of fiction include a compilation of novellas One Year in Berlin/Foreign Bride, a suspense novel entitled Joe After Maya, and a two-part series, Effortless. Born in the former Soviet Union, Marina grew up in Brooklyn, NY. She holds a J.D. from New York Law School and a B.A. in history from Pace University. She is an avid music fan, a cat lover, and an enthusiastic learner of American Sign Language. Whenever she is not writing, Marina enjoys spending time with her family, catching up on Netflix, and baking.

Links:

 

Website: www.marinaraydun.com

 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorMarinaRaydun

 

Twitter & Instagram: @Author_MRaydun

 

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Marina-Raydun/e/B00DL7F2CU?ref=sr_ntt_srch_lnk_1&qid=1565979080&sr=8-1

 

Goodreads:  https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7150584.Marina_Raydun

 

 

Good Morning, Bellingham excerpt:

 

Peta’s Journal Entry

I want to fall asleep. Rather, to fall asleep and not wake up. Ever. I just want the wheel to stop turning. Correction— it should feel free to continue turning, but I want off it.

It’s ungrateful of me. I don’t need you to remind me of that, Dr. Burgos. I know all about second chances and how precious they are, and how my daughter needs me despite her full-time nanny. I know, I know. And yet, here I am at half past midnight, eyes open and on the monitor showing a grainy black and white image of Gwenny sleeping with her arms thrown up in the surrender position, wishing to just fall asleep and call it a day. Kind of permanently. Peter, I feel for but don’t dare look, is on the other side of the bed, curled up in the fetal position. I don’t need to look to know this. I’m half expecting to see him sucking his thumb if I actually turn in his direction. And I sit up and write this all down, instead. I’m beginning to resent you, Doc—you really could be helping me with this. Sometimes a crutch is necessary; I’d give it back when I’m good and ready, I promise. I’m fully aware of how happy I should be. I should at least be happier than I am, right? Something tragic happened, but, hey, look, something good is here, instead. Take it! Let’s make the best of it, no? I’m trying, I’ll tell you that much. I am trying. Some pharmaceutical magic would surely go a long way here, but I can’t be expected to beg. I’m just saying, my mind would be quieter, and a quiet mind is a mind I’d kill for at the moment.

It wasn’t easy bringing Gwenny into this world. Harry took a couple of enthusiastic fifteen-minute amorous nights, whereas Gwenny took almost three exhausting years. They’d become mechanical, our attempts. There was some light, some humor to it when it was just us trying to become three, but, after Harry, we no longer bothered to even look at each as we did it, there were no big productions made, no words (loving, dirty, or otherwise) uttered. Forget that, I’m not sure if we even knew why we kept going. There was a goal and we were set on accomplishing it like the professionals that we are. So, every other night, like clockwork, we each did the bare minimum we knew would get the other off before curling up on our respective sides, our backs barely touching to get our requisite six hours of sleep before having to wake up at 3:30am to make it to the studio on time and wake up the rest of Bellingham Bay. Once there, makeup would be stippled on and everyone would proceed to pretend to forget that we were the couple who’d buried their son not a year ago, not two years ago, and so on. Obviously, eventually the right sperm found the right egg and ta da— Gwenny. No, not Gwen! Never Gwen! Gwenny. This pink and translucent newborn lay in my shaking arms and all I could do was blink. She looked like Harry, but blonder. Something in my throat constricted and the rest became route. I think I’d stopped looking at Peter some time around then, too. But I can’t help but wonder—what if having to fight for something this hard means you weren’t meant to have it to begin with? When does determination become arrogance?

I’m so tired, Doctor. I am not making sense. I want to fall asleep. And not wake up. Ever. Do you have anything for that? Oh, that’s right—you’d rather not medicate and mask the symptoms because you would much rather heal. Well, good luck with that. If not medication, can you at least give me a distraction? Anything to make the wheel stop.

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