In a Holidaze by Christina Lauren

Overview

One Christmas wish, two brothers, and a lifetime of hope are on the line for hapless Maelyn Jones in In a Holidaze, the quintessential holiday romantic novel by Christina Lauren, the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners.

It’s the most wonderful time of the year…but not for Maelyn Jones. She’s living with her parents, hates her going-nowhere job, and has just made a romantic error of epic proportions.

But perhaps worst of all, this is the last Christmas Mae will be at her favorite place in the world—the snowy Utah cabin where she and her family have spent every holiday since she was born, along with two other beloved families. Mentally melting down as she drives away from the cabin for the final time, Mae throws out what she thinks is a simple plea to the universe: Please. Show me what will make me happy.

The next thing she knows, tires screech and metal collides, everything goes black. But when Mae gasps awake…she’s on an airplane bound for Utah, where she begins the same holiday all over again. With one hilarious disaster after another sending her back to the plane, Mae must figure out how to break free of the strange time loop—and finally get her true love under the mistletoe.

Jam-packed with yuletide cheer, an unforgettable cast of characters, and Christina Lauren’s trademark “downright hilarious” (Helen Hoang, author of The Bride Test) hijinks, this swoon-worthy romantic read will make you believe in the power of wishes and the magic of the holidays.

Review

Mae and her family always celebrate Christmas with friends at a cabin in Utah. Mae has made some mistakes and she is hoping this year at the cabin will open up her eyes to what makes her happy. Little does she know the universe has a plan!

Mae is a young lady with plenty of flaws. I enjoy that in a character if the author can pull it off. Christina Lauren does an excellent job with Mae. Mae makes bad decisions. Heck, she makes terrible decisions. But, her sarcastic wit and her loving nature makes it all workout.

This is not my favorite book from these authors. It was a little monotonous is spots. But, it is still a laugh out loud novel. This author team always has some huge comical relationships and their characters crack me up.

Need a good, comic relief book for the holidays. This is it! Grab your copy today.

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The Silent Conspiracy by L.C.Shaw

About The Book: 

It’s been almost two years since investigative reporter Jack Logan and television producer Taylor Parks brought down the Institute—the secret facility responsible for indoctrinating a generation of America’s political and media power players. Their lives are just getting back to normal, and Jack and Taylor have settled into married life with their young son, Evan.

But soon a series of bizarre, seemingly random murder/suicides captures Jack’s attention as a disturbing pattern emerges. Could someone be intentionally causing people to become homicidal? At the same time, Taylor is producing a story about a class action suit against a national insurance company that has reached the Supreme Court.

As Jack and Taylor start to suspect that their stories are connected, they realize there is something far more insidious at play that could not only directly threaten them—but the very future of the country…

Review

Jack is an investigative reporter. His attention has been captured by a series of, what seems to be, random murders. But, jack realizes there is a disturbing pattern forming.

Jack’s wife, Taylor, is also working a story. These two soon realize their stories are linked together. And the evil lurking in their mists may threaten the future of their nation.

Some of these characters are pure evil! I do not want to meet any of them any time soon. Plus, there is a great amount of intrigue and suspense. I was captivated from the start!

This story is action packed! I have not read the first book in this series and I did not feel like I missed much. The author did a great job keeping the reader clued into the backstory.

Do not miss this one! Grab your copy today!

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

About The Author:

L.C. Shaw is the pen name of internationally bestselling author Lynne Constantine who also writes psychological thrillers with her sister as Liv Constantine. Her husband wonders if she is actually a spy, and never knows which name to call her. She loves to procrastinate by spending time on social media and, when stuck on a plot twist, has been known to run ideas by her silver Labrador and golden retriever who wish she would stop typing and play ball with them. Lynne has a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and her work has been translated into twenty-seven foreign languages. https://lcshawauthor.com/

Social Media:

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

Instagram: https://instagram.com/lcshawauthor

Twitter: @LCShawAuthor

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Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger @harlequinbooks @lisaunger #fiction #thriller #5stars

BOOK SUMMARY:


Bestselling and award-winning author Lisa Unger returns with her best novel yet. Reminiscent of the classic Strangers on a Train, Confessions on the 7:45 is a riveting psychological thriller that begins with a chance encounter on a commuter train and shows why you should never, ever make conversation with strangers.
Be careful who you tell your darkest secrets…
Selena Murphy is commuting home from her job in the city when the train stalls out on the tracks. She strikes up a conversation with a beautiful stranger in the next seat, and their connection is fast and easy. The woman introduces herself as Martha and confesses that she’s been stuck in an affair with her boss. Selena, in turn, confesses that she suspects her husband is sleeping with the nanny. When the train arrives at Selena’s station, the two women part ways, presumably never to meet again.
But days later, Selena’s nanny disappears.
Soon Selena finds her once-perfect life upended. As she is pulled into the mystery of the missing nanny, and as the fractures in her marriage grow deeper, Selena begins to wonder, who was Martha really? But she is hardly prepared for what she’ll discover.
Expertly plotted and reminiscent of the timeless classic Strangers on a Train, Confessions on the 7:45 is a stunning web of lies and deceit, and a gripping thriller about the delicate facades we create around our lives.

Review

Selena has just caught her husband having an affair with the nanny. She watched it all on the nanny cam and she has no idea how to handle it. Selena is so torn. She has two young boys and she is terrified to rip their lives apart. She ends up spilling her problems to a stranger on the train on her commute home. Then the stranger texts her…how did she get her number. And then the nanny disappears! And Selena’s life completely falls apart.

I am going to have be really careful or I will give something away. Let’s just say…no one is who they seem to be. This story begins one way and ends in a complete tail spin. You talk about wicked and twisted! This novel takes you on a ride you will not soon forget. I have not read a Lisa Unger book in quite sometime. Boy! Have I missed out!

You do not want to miss this one! Grab it today! It is a must read!

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

About the author


Lisa Unger is the New York Times and internationally bestselling author of eighteen novels, including CONFESSIONS ON THE 7:45 (Oct. 2020). With millions of readers worldwide and books published in twenty-six languages, Unger is widely regarded as a master of suspense. Her critically acclaimed books have been voted “Best of the Year” or top picks by the Today show, Good Morning
America, Entertainment Weekly, Amazon, IndieBound and others. Her essays have appeared in The New York Times, Wall Street Journal, NPR, and Travel+Leisure. She lives on the west coast of Florida with her family.

SOCIAL:
Author Website: https://lisaunger.com/
TWITTER: @lisaunger
FB: @authorlisaunger
Insta: @launger
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/18445.Lisa_Unger


BUY LINKS:

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A Highlander is Coming to Town by Laura Trentham @stmartinspress @lauratrentham #christmasromance #fiction #review

Overview

The third book in the Highland, Georgia romantic comedy series from Laura Trentham, A Highlander is Coming to Town, full of love, laughs…and highlanders!

You better watch out. . .  

Holt Pierson is dreading Christmas. His parents absconded to Florida for the season and left him to handle the family farm which will be his one day—whether he wants it or not. Driven by duty, Holt has always followed the path expected of him. But lately, he’s been questioning what he wants and where he belongs. Will assuming the responsibility of the Pierson farm make him happy or is there something—or someone—else out in the wider world calling to him?

To Claire Smythe, the Scottish lead singer of a touring band, Highland, Georgia, is the perfect place to hide . . .until a very handsome and deeply curious Holt begins to ask all the questions Claire doesn’t want to answer. As Holt draws Claire out from under and into the fabric of small-town life, can Claire put the past behind her and embrace the unexpected gifts of the season—including the new and lasting love?  

“Laura Trentham creates a romance that is both extremely sensual and phenomenal.”
Fresh Fiction

Review

Claire is hiding from her family. She does not want to go back to Scotland. She has made her a little spot in Georgia taking care of a sweet, older lady. But, life has a way of showing you who is boss!

I was not the least bit in the mood for a romance when I started this book. But, these characters had me hooked from the start. Claire is a character I adored. I related to her quirkiness. She truly wants to hide and stay hidden but she loves with all her heart.

Then there is Holt. Holt is down to earth and just wants to get through the holidays as quickly as possible. But, when he runs into Claire…his mind changes and he wants to make the best of the holiday season while he can.

This is a perfect Christmas romance to get you in the mood for the season. Grab your copy today.

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

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The Lakehouse by Joe Clifford @joecliffor23 @polisbooks #review #psychologicalthriller #fiction

Overview

After being cleared of his wife’s murder, Todd Norman returns to her small Connecticut hometown in order to finish building their dream house by the lake. He is eager to restart his life and cast aside any remaining suspicious…but all of that is dashed when a young woman’s body washes up on the beach next door.

When Tracy Somerset, divorced mother from the small town of Covenant, CT, meets a handsome stranger in a midnight Wal-Mart, she has no idea she is speaking with Todd Norman, the former Wall Street financier dubbed “The Banker Butcher” by the New York tabloids. The following morning, on the beach by Norman’s back-under-construction lakehouse, another young woman’s body is discovered. Sheriff Duane Sobczak’s investigation leads him to town psychiatrist Dr. Meshulum Bakshir, whose position at a troubled girls’ group home a decade ago yields disturbing ties to several local, prominent players, including a radical preacher, a disgraced politician, a down-and-out PI—and Sobczak’s own daughter.

Unfolding over the course of New England’s distinct four seasons, The Lakehouse is a domestic psychological thriller about the wayward and marginalized, the lies we tell those closest to us, and the price of forbidden love in an insular community where it seems everyone has a story to tell—and a past they prefer stay buried.

Review

Todd Norman has been cleared of his wife’s murder. He is building a lake house in the small town of Covenant, CT. Another girl has been found dead not far from his new house. And of course, Tom is the prime suspect. But, things are not as neat and tidy in Covenant as everyone seems to think.

Todd and Tracy meet one night, well, actually 2AM, in Walmart. Tracy is a divorced mother with a young child. She and Todd make a quick connection. Little does she know, she is now Todd’s alibi. But, this does not stop her and everyone in the town believing Todd did it.

Enter Dr. Bashir. He is a therapist in this small town. Plus, he was the therapist at a school for wayward girls. He also had an affair with one of these young ladies. When he finds out about the death of this young lady, he decides to come clean.

When I first started this novel I was a little unsure if I would finish it. The story starts slow. But, the longer I read the more I realized this is a “slow burn”. And boy…when you get to the end…you want to take Joe Clifford and shake him till his eyeballs fall out! (sorry Joe!). The ending of this novel will frustrate you as much as trying to figure out who the killer is! Brilliant…just bloody brilliant! I would love to see this made into a movie.

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

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September Escapes and Escapades #wrapup #septemberwrapup #escapesandescapades

Happy October! I love this time of year…well except for my job. This is the time of year we are beyond busy. Flu shots, flu season, cough and cold…oh my word! However…I have two reading escapes coming up, one to the mountains and one to the beach. I hope to knock out several books this month.

September was kind of boring as far as escapades went. My husband and I did make a trip to Memphis where we actually ate out and took lunch to a wonderful friend’s mother.

I also received an excellent gift from my hubby. He knows I LOVE to read outside. It is starting to get a little chilly here so he bought me an outdoor heater…that and the fire pit…I am set for a while.

Now on to my escapes!

The Forger’s Daughter
Before She Was Helen
Don’t Look For Me
The Orphan of Cemetery Hill
The Book of Two Ways
Rag and Bone
A Heartfelt Christmas Promise
Etiquette For Runaways
These two will have reviews up soon!

What books made an impression on you in September? Inquiring minds want to know!

Thank you for stopping by!

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Audible Reads for September #wrapup #audiobooks #audible #audiblebooksm

Well! September has come his gone…wow! Can’t believe we have gotten this far through 2020…it has been an experience for sure!

I have only read two audible books this month, but both were super good.

First up…

Overview

In 1977, pregnant Genevieve Russell disappeared. Twenty years later, her remains are discovered and Timothy Gleason is charged with murder. But there is no sign of the unborn child. CeeCee Wilkes knows how Genevieve Russell died, because she was there. And she also knows what happened to the missing infant, because two decades ago she made the devastating choice to raise the baby as her own. Now Timothy Gleason is facing the death penalty, and she has another choice to make: tell the truth, and destroy her family, or let an innocent man die in order to protect a lifetime of lies….

Review

This was on sale this month. I am a huge fan of Diane Chamberlain. I am trying to get through her books that I have missed.

When this story started, I was not a fan of CeeCee. She was way too dumb for my tastes. I don’t care if she was 16. And yes that makes it excusable. But, I just thought she came off as stupid instead of gullible. But, as the story unfolded…I became a huge fan. No one does a story quite like Diane Chamberlain.

The narrator is fabulous in this read as well. This novel is narrated by Cris Dukehart. Excellent job!

Purchase the audible version here

Audible

Next up…

Overview

After her grandmother Arlette’s death, Betty is finally ready to begin her life. She had forfeited university, parties, boyfriends, summer jobs – all the usual preoccupations of a woman her age – in order to care for Arlette. Now she’s ready for whatever life throws at her, and, since the will included a beneficiary unknown to her who lives in the city, she heads there to find the mysterious woman….

In 1920s London, Arlette is starting her new life in a time of postwar change. Beautiful and charismatic, she’s drawn into a hedonistic world, but then tragedy strikes, and she flees back to her childhood home….

When Betty’s search leads her to a man – someone who meant the world to her grandmother – the secrets of Arlette’s past may help Betty find her own way to happiness in the present….

A rich detective story and a captivating look at London then and now, Before I Met You is an unforgettable novel about two very different women, separated by 70 years but united by big hearts and even bigger dreams.

Review

Lisa Jewell is another author which I have discovered in the past few years. I am also backtracking to catch up. I love her books. Before I Met You did not disappoint!

I loved the intricate secrets and the mystery unfolding in this read. The characters are unforgettable and I could relate to their plight.

The narrator of this book is Helen Duff. She is excellent!

Purchase the audible version here

Audible

Thanks for stopping by!

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Etiquette for Runaways by Liza Nash Taylor @lizanashtaylor @suzyapbooktours #review #historicalfiction

Overview

1924. May Marshall is determined to spend the dog days of summer in self-imposed exile at her father’s farm in Keswick, Virginia. Following a naive dalliance that led to heartbreak and her expulsion from Mary Baldwin College, May returns home with a shameful secret only to find her father’s orchard is now the site of a lucrative moonshining enterprise. Despite warnings from the one man she trusts—her childhood friend Byrd—she joins her father’s illegal business. When authorities close in and her father, Henry, is arrested, May goes on the run.

May arrives in New York City, determined to reinvent herself as May Valentine and succeed on her own terms, following her mother’s footsteps as a costume designer. The Jazz Age city glitters with both opportunity and the darker temptations of cocaine and nightlife. From a start mending sheets at the famed Biltmore Hotel, May falls into a position designing costumes for a newly formed troupe of African American entertainers bound for Paris. Reveling in her good fortune, May will do anything for the chance to go abroad, and the lines between right and wrong begin to blur. When Byrd shows up in New York, intent upon taking May back home, she pushes him, and her past, away.

In Paris, May’s run of luck comes to a screeching halt, spiraling her into darkness as she unravels a painful secret about her past. May must make a choice: surrender to failure and addiction, or face the truth and make amends to those she has wronged. But first, she must find self-forgiveness before she can try to reclaim what her heart craves most.

Review

May is a young lady from a farm in Virginia. She has been expelled from college and comes back home. She ends up helping her father run moonshine. But, the authorities close in and she high tails it to NYC. Well…this is just the beginning a new chapter in her life.

This story is intriguing all the way through! However, there are places where it is a little mundane with some details. But, this is minor. May is such a great character. She starts out as timid and follows MOST of the rules. Then she falls into the wrong crowd and makes some huge mistakes. I enjoy a character which grows up in front of your eyes. And May truly does. She takes ownership of her mistakes and does everything she can to rectify them.

Then…the setting of the Jazz Age in NYC and Paris…OH MY! Plus, May has a mystery in her background. This is what leads her to Paris.

Now, let me say, this cover is misleading. This is not how I pictured May or someone in the Jazz age. So, never judge a book by its cover!

This is a wonderful novel! Grab your copy today!

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

About the Author

The farmhouse where Liza Nash Taylor lives in Keswick, Virginia, with her family and dogs was built in 1825, and it is the opening setting of ETIQUETTE FOR RUNAWAYS. She writes in the old bunkhouse, with the occasional black snake and a view of the Southwest Mountains. In 2018, Liza completed the MFA program at Vermont College of Fine Art and was named a Hawthornden International Fellow.  She was the 2016 winner of the San Miguel Writer’s Conference Fiction Prize. Her short stories have appeared in Microchondria II,(an anthology by the Harvard Bookstore), Gargoyle Magazine, and others.

ETIQUETTE FOR RUNAWAYS is her first novel. Look for her second, stand-alone sequel, in 2021, also from Blackstone Publishing. For more visit, www.lizanashtaylor.com .

Social Media:

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

Instagram: https://instagram.com/lizanashtaylor

Twitter: @LizaNashTaylor

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Book Blurbs:

‘Exquisitely written, Liza Nash Taylor’s Etiquette for Runaways is a powerful tale of seeking absolution and pursuing dreams. It’s a magnificent, special novel that I didn’t want to end.” –Alan Hlad, international bestselling author of The Long Flight Home

‘Fasten your seatbelts, for Etiquette for Runaways is an effervescent and completely unpredictable ride from Virginia to New York to Paris with brave and complicated May Marshall. Trust me, this is one fabulous book that will keep you turning pages.” –Nancy Thayer, New York Times bestselling author of Girls of Summer

‘This is a great coming-of-age novel about life lessons, loyalty, and forgiveness in a fast-spinning, glittering world full of temptation and opportunity. Beautifully done!” — Kathleen Grissom, New York Times bestselling author of The Kitchen House and Glory Over Everything

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A Heartfelt Christmas Promise by Nancy Naigle @nancynaigle @stmartinspress #fiction #romance #christmasromance

Overview

Vanessa Larkin was supposed to be spending Christmas in Paris, France on a business trip she hoped to enjoy as a working vacation. Instead, she’s been assigned to Fraser Hills, North Carolina—home of the Best Fruitcake in the USA—to convert her company’s property into warehouse space and shut down Porter’s, the fruitcake factory. Offering retirement packages and selling locals on new job opportunities may not spread holiday cheer, but Vanessa believes she’s helping secure the town’s future.

Mike Marshall’s family founded Porter’s. For decades, the factory served as the lifeblood of the community until his grandfather sold the business to a Chicago corporation. The sale cost the town its independence—and the Marshalls their family ties. A horse farmer, Mike was never involved with his grandfather’s company, but still felt Fraser Hills lost part of its identity. And as a widower raising a teenage daughter, he’s suffered enough losses in one lifetime. News of the factory’s closing means losing another piece of the town’s legacy.

Far from the skyscrapers and rapid pace of the city, Vanessa finds herself enjoying the easygoing rhythms of rural living. With Mike as her guide, she learns to appreciate the simple pleasures found in shared holiday festivities among friends. Fraser Hills is a town she is growing to love—and Mike is someone she is falling in love with. Now all Vanessa needs is a Christmas miracle to give her newfound friends and home a gift they’ll cherish for many New Years to come.

Review

Vanessa was hoping to spend a “working” Christmas in Paris this year. But, she has been bypassed and sent to a small town in North Carolina. She is to close down the main employer in Fraser Hills, Porter’s Fruitcake Factory. And, as you can guess, this does not go as planned!

Well, it’s that time of year again. All the new Christmas novels are about to hit the stores. I am not a huge fan of Christmas (GASP!). But, I do love a good Christmas romance. And Nancy Naigle hit the nail on the head this year! I adored this story. With the dang cute, escape artist puppy and the down to earth Mike, this is an ideal Christmas romance.

This is a heartwarming, enjoyable Christmas story. It is predictable, as most Christmas romances are. But, it is perfect to get anyone in the mood for Christmas. Grab your copy today. You won’t be sorry…the escapades of the puppy are worth every minute!

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

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Megge of Bury Down by Rebecca Kightlinger #review #audiblebook #audible #fiction

Overview

In 13th century Cornwall, young Megge has just come of age to be apprenticed to her mother, the healer of Bury Down. But first, she must accept and vow to protect The Book of Seasons, an ancient tome that holds life-sustaining power harnessed centuries earlier by Murga, the first seer Bury Down.

At her vow taking ceremony, yearning to accept her inheritance and take her place in her family’s long line of healers and seers, Megge reaches for the book. When she touches it, she feels something writhe within it and becomes convinced that the book is cursed and that she too will be cursed if she accepts it.

Despite her mother’s pleas to protect the book from the one who would usurp its power, Megge refuses to even look at it. But when a Blackfriar abbot arrives in the village claiming to be under orders to root out heretics and imprisons the healer for refusing to turn over her “demon’s book”, will Megge finally summon the courage to take that vow?

Review

This is my first audible book from NetGalley. It had the makings to be a pretty good read. From the blurb…right up my reading alley. But, it fell short, basically because of the narrator.

I can usually listen to just about any book. But this narrator was just not for me. If she was reading an exciting part, she speeded up and got louder and louder. She was overly dramatic and just not my style.

I hate to leave a two star review for any author…they work hard for their craft. But, this is about the audible book. Just did not meet the cut.

I received this audible book from NetGalley for a honest review.

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