Maybe for You by Nicole McLaughlin

Overview

She’s never had a no-strings fling. He’s never had anything else. But maybe this time will be an exception?

After a year of mourning her fiancé, Alexis Parker has worked hard to rediscover what she wants out of life. Fresh out of the military and back stateside, her brother offers her a marketing job at the Stag Distillery. Ready for a new challenge, Alexis agrees to accompany her new co-worker Jake Cooperon a Stag cross-country promotional tour. He may have an infamous playboy reputation, but Alexis is surprised to find out that there is more to him than meets the eye. And she likes what she sees. . .

Jake promised Alexis’s brother that he’d be an absolute gentleman. Of course, that was before he and Alexis hit the road, and they both agree that what Alexis’s big brother doesn’t know won’t hurt him. The plan: to keep their fling confined to the RV, and everything will go back to normal once they head home. Things progress in ways neither of them could have imagined, and Jake realizes that he and Alexis make a perfect mix. Can he convince her that he’s ready to shake things up and give true love a shot?

Review

Alexis is slowly recovering from the death of her fiancé. She has recently left the military and is planning on a new job with the CIA. Jake has been there for her during this tragic time. Their friendship has thrived but can it survive through a relationship.

I love that Alexis and Jake are friends first. She relies on his strength and their relationship just grows from there, even though Alexis is not sure she can love again. It terrifies her! But, Jake is there to help her find her way. I adore Jake’s strength. He makes Alexis feel safe and protected. And when they finally get together….the pages SIZZLE!

I found myself smiling through many parts of this story. I love Jake’s kindness and thoughtfulness. You can certainly tell he loves her. It just oozes off the pages. Alexis is smart, but she tends not to see what is right before her eyes. So, she can be a little frustrating in places. Considering she just lost her fiancé, this is warranted.

This is a sweet, kind love story. It hits you in all the right places!

I received this novel from Netgalley for a honest review.

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Second Chance at Two Love Lane by Kieran Kramer

Overview

From USA Today bestselling author Kieran Kramer, comes Second Chance at Two Love Lane, a fast-paced tale about the intoxicating effects of fame and what happens when a past romance is rekindled behind the silver screen.

Sometimes love is waiting in the second act…

In her professional career, Ella Mancini plays matchmaker at Two Love Lane but, in her personal life, she takes the stage at the Dock Street Theatre. Now she has a chance at a new role in a Hollywood movie that happens to be filming in Charleston—one that features a big-name actress, Samantha Drake. Long ago, Ella passed up a major audition while awaiting a marriage proposal. Not only didn’t she get the role; she never got the ring, either. Instead, her boyfriend Hank went on to become a huge film star…leaving her, and all her dreams, behind.

But now Hank’s back in Charleston, cast as the male lead in the same movie Ella’s in. In spite of the dramatic tension off-screen, he and Ella try to stay cool onset. But when their old feelings start to heat up—at the same time leading-lady Samantha tries to play cupid—all bets are off. How can Hank convince Ella, after all this time, that she’s the one he really wants to be with in real life—and that some happy, rom-com endings really can come true?

Review

Ella created a new life for herself after a marriage proposal never developed. She has moved to Charleston. She has started her own match making company and she still acts in local theatre. When Hank arrives in town for a movie, her world turns upside down and inside out.

I enjoyed Ella, and her friends and family are a hoot! These characters add so much spice to this tale. Then there is HANK! Hank is a movie star who cannot forget his first love, ELLA! He is determined to win her back.

This story is just like any other romance. Boy loses girl by his own stupidity, boy tries to get girl back, a few kinks in the road, then success. This pretty much sums up this story. The characters and the wonderful setting of Charleston make this read good. The story just needs a little more originality.

I love the cover of this book! Just looks heavenly! This is a good palate cleanser read or even a travel book. It is entertaining and an easy read.

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Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

Overview

Emma Grace Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes. Brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma Townsend is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.

Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Abandoned by her mother. Kidnapper.

Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal—and when a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her, far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?

Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure she wants her daughter back.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now she’s gone without a trace.

As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But her real mother is at home, waiting for her to return—and the longer the search for Emma continues, Amy is forced to question if she really wants her back.

Emotionally powerful and wire-taut, Not Her Daughter raises the question of what it means to be a mother—and how far someone will go to keep a child safe.

Review

Sarah sees this little girl, Emma, at the airport and falls in love with her. She sees how her mother treats her and this makes a huge impression on Sarah. When Sarah runs across Emma again at a school, she does the unthinkable. She kidnaps her.

This is every mother’s nightmare. To have a kid abducted would be one of the worst tragedies ever. However, Sarah is so good with Emma and Emma’s mother, Amy, is a complete disaster. As a matter of fact, Amy Townsend is down right abusive and neglectful of her daughter. This pulls the reader in a thousand different directions. You knew Emma was better off with Sarah. BUT! To take her away from her family!

Sarah is a smart lady….until. You think, “How can a smart lady like Sarah do something this stupid?” Then, you think, “How can she ever give Emma back?” What a roller coaster of a ride!

OMG! This book if OFF THE CHARTS! I love a book that gives you all the feels and this one does. The quote on the outside of the book by Chevy Stevens is exactly right. It makes you question what you believe!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Rea Frey is an award-winning author of four nonfiction books. She lives in Nashville with her husband and daughter. NOT HER DAUGHTER is her debut novel. Read more at reafrey.com.

Twitter: https://twitter.com/reafrey_author?lang=en

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reafrey/

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Rush by Lisa Patton

Overview

Set in modern day Oxford, Mississippi, on the Ole Miss campus, bestselling author Lisa Patton’s RUSH is a story about women—from both ends of the social ladder—discovering their voices, courage and empowerment.

When Lilith Whitmore, the well-heeled House Corp President of Alpha Delta Beta, one of the premiere sororities on campus, appoints recent empty-nester Wilda to the Rush Advisory Board, Wilda can hardly believe her luck. What’s more, Lilith suggests their daughters, both incoming freshman, room together. What Wilda doesn’t know is that it’s all part of Lilith’s plan to ensure her own daughter receives an Alpha Delt bid—no matter what.

Cali Watkins possesses all the qualities sororities are looking for in a potential new member. She’s kind and intelligent, makes friends easily, even plans to someday run for governor. But her resume lacks a vital ingredient. Pedigree. Without family money Cali’s chances of sorority membership are already thin, but she has an even bigger problem. If anyone discovers the dark family secrets she’s hiding, she’ll be dropped from Rush in an instant.

For twenty-five years, Miss Pearl—as her “babies” like to call her—has been housekeeper and a second mother to the Alpha Delt girls, even though it reminds her of a painful part of her past she’ll never forget. When an opportunity for promotion arises, it seems a natural fit. But Lilith Whitmore slams her Prada heel down fast, crushing Miss Pearl’s hopes of a better future. When Wilda and the girls find out, they devise a plan destined to change Alpha Delta Beta—and maybe the entire Greek system—forever.

Achingly poignant, yet laugh-out-loud funny, RUSH takes a sharp nuanced look at a centuries-old tradition while exploring the complex, intimate relationships between mothers and daughters and female friends. Brimming with heart and hope for a better tomorrow, RUSH is an uplifting novel universal to us all.

Review

Rush at Ole Miss is the event of a life time for some young ladies. Cali is determined to go through Rush. She is from a small, rural town in north Mississippi so, Ole Miss is a bit of a culture shock.

Pearl is a housekeeper at the Alpha Delt house and has been for twenty- five years. All of the young ladies are her children. She gives advice, cleans up their messes and is a second mother to all of them. When the new pledge class finds out Pearl has no benefits with her job, they are determined to create a change in the old traditions.

There is good and there is bad in this novel. First off…The bad…is this the best written book I have ever read..NO! The conversations are stilted and the author states the obvious many times. That being said, I still love this book.

Now the good! The good definitely out weighs the bad. The setting is outstanding. Who does not love Oxford and Ole Miss. Yes, I am an Ole Miss grad, so of course I am going to say that. But the author really nails the location. Plus, one of the main characters in this book is Cali. Cali is from Blue Mountain, MS. Blue Mountain is in my county. It is just down the road from me. With all of this, I was on the look out for mistakes. And there are a few, but not even enough to mention. The characters fit so well together and really build a story about strength of character and love for others. There are several story lines running throughout this read, Cali and her adjustments, Pearl and her life-struggles, Lilith and her “traditions”. All of these combine to create a unique tale of overcoming obstacles and old customs.

I read some reviews about this book. I think a lot of people got it wrong. They focused on racism. That is not really what this book is about. Well it is and it isn’t. It is focusing on changing a system which should have been changed years ago and caring for others regardless of race, creed, or color! I think the author nailed it!

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

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Abandoned by Allison Brennan

Overview

Investigative reporter Max Revere has cracked many cases, but the one investigation she’s never attempted is the mystery from her own past. Her mother abandoned her when she was nine, sending her periodic postcards, but never returning to reclaim her daughter. Seven years after the postcards stop coming, Martha Revere is declared legally dead, with no sign of what may have happened to her. Until now.

With a single clue―that her mother’s car disappeared sixteen years ago in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay―Max drops everything to finally seek the truth. As Max investigates, and her mother’s story unfolds, she realizes that Martha teamed up with a con man. They traveled the world living off Martha’s trust and money they conned from others.

Though no one claims to know anything about Martha or her disappearance, Max suspects more than one person is lying. When she learns the FBI has an active investigation into the con man, Max knows she’s on the right path. But as Max digs into the dark secrets of this idyllic community, the only thing she might find is the same violent end as her mother.

New York Times bestselling author Allison Brennan weaves the intimate, unputdownable story of an investigator confronting the most important–and most dangerous–mystery of her career.

Review

Max is an investigative reporter and she is on the biggest case of her life….finding out what happened to her mother, Martha Revere. Max’s mother left her with her grandmother when she was just a small girl. Max received several postcards from her through out her life. Then the postcards just stopped. Max wants to know why!

Max is a no nonsense, get the job done, lady! When she sets her mind to something she is going to see it through. Martha Revere is the complete opposite of her daughter. She is a fly by night, could care less kind of person. Martha is a con artist…a rich con artist. She is living off her trust fun money and traveling the world. And where this lands her? Try art theft!

I love this tangled web of deceit created by Martha. She is no dummy. She cons a con and that is hard to do. This puts her in hot water. Max is slowly unraveling Martha’s exploits. This puts Max in more danger than she cares to admit! Plus, it leads her to find out something she never expected.

This is a lightening fast read with great characters and a great mystery. Allison Brennan has written tons of books. I cannot believe I have missed her! How?!? She is now on my list!

I received this novel from Minotaur Books via Netgalley for a honest review.

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Tiffany Blues by M.J. Rose

Overview

New York, 1924. Twenty‑four‑year‑old Jenny Bell is one of a dozen burgeoning artists invited to Louis Comfort Tiffany’s prestigious artists’ colony. Gifted and determined, Jenny vows to avoid distractions and romantic entanglements and take full advantage of the many wonders to be found at Laurelton Hall.

But Jenny’s past has followed her to Long Island. Images of her beloved mother, her hard-hearted stepfather, waterfalls, and murder, and the dank hallways of Canada’s notorious Andrew Mercer Reformatory for Women overwhelm Jenny’s thoughts, even as she is inextricably drawn to Oliver, Tiffany’s charismatic grandson.

As the summer shimmers on, and the competition between the artists grows fierce as they vie for a spot at Tiffany’s New York gallery, a series of suspicious and disturbing occurrences suggest someone knows enough about Jenny’s childhood trauma to expose her.

Supported by her closest friend Minx Deering, a seemingly carefree socialite yet dedicated sculptor, and Oliver, Jenny pushes her demons aside. Between stolen kisses and stolen jewels, the champagne flows and the jazz plays on until one moonless night when Jenny’s past and present are thrown together in a desperate moment, that will threaten her.

Review

Jenny is a talented artist with a huge secret. She moves to NYC to escape her past. But as you can imagine, her past comes back to haunt her in very unusual ways. Jenny is a complex character. She only paints in monochromatic. She refuses to paint in color. When she is chosen to be an studying artist at the Louis Comfort Tiffany’s artist colony, she opens her mind and her heart to color and to love.

I love everything about this story. The history surrounding Tiffany, his mansion and his glass company is captivating and unique. I love a book that has me googling! I also enjoy the way M.J. Rose always weaves mysticism in her stories. This time it is with Ouija boards and Thomas Edison’s spirit phone and yes…I googled that too and it did exist!

Toward the end of this book, I just kept reading faster and faster. Some jewelry came up missing. Well, of course they blamed Jenny, because of her past. She was in a reform school for a crime she did not commit. See! You have got to read this book to find out! So, I could not let her suffer again…I had to read faster to get her out of this mess. I so enjoy books that keep you moving and gasping for air.

M.J Rose has out done herself with this book. I never thought she would come close to The Book Of Lost Fragrances . She is very skillful in her storytelling. She weaves history, mystery, love and family into a tangled web of intrigue and complete enthrallment!

She is one author I would love to sit down and have a cup of coffee and pick her brain. No telling what stories she can tell.

I received this novel from Atria Books via Netgalley for a honest review.

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The Masterpiece by Fiona Davis

Overview

In her latest captivating novel, nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis takes readers into the glamorous lost art school within Grand Central Terminal, where two very different women, fifty years apart, strive to make their mark on a world set against them.

For the nearly nine million people who live in New York City, Grand Central Terminal is a crown jewel, a masterpiece of design. But for Clara Darden and Virginia Clay, it represents something quite different.

For Clara, the terminal is the stepping stone to her future, which she is certain will shine as the brightly as the constellations on the main concourse ceiling. It is 1928, and twenty-five-year-old Clara is teaching at the lauded Grand Central School of Art. A talented illustrator, she has dreams of creating cover art for Vogue, but not even the prestige of the school can override the public’s disdain for a “woman artist.” Brash, fiery, confident, and single-minded–even while juggling the affections of two men, a wealthy would-be poet and a brilliant experimental painter–Clara is determined to achieve every creative success. But she and her bohemian friends have no idea that they’ll soon be blindsided by the looming Great Depression, an insatiable monster with the power to destroy the entire art scene. And even poverty and hunger will do little to prepare Clara for the greater tragedy yet to come.

Nearly fifty years later, in 1974, the terminal has declined almost as sharply as Virginia Clay’s life. Full of grime and danger, from the smoke-blackened ceiling to the pickpockets and drug dealers who roam the floor, Grand Central is at the center of a fierce lawsuit: Is the once-grand building a landmark to be preserved, or a cancer to be demolished? For Virginia, it is simply her last resort. Recently divorced, she has just accepted a job in the information booth in order to support herself and her college-age daughter, Ruby. But when Virginia stumbles upon an abandoned art school within the terminal and discovers a striking watercolor hidden under the dust, her eyes are opened to the elegance beneath the decay. She embarks on a quest to find the artist of the unsigned masterpiece–an impassioned chase that draws Virginia not only into the battle to save Grand Central but deep into the mystery of Clara Darden, the famed 1920s illustrator who disappeared from history in 1931.

Review

This novel follows two women, Virginia and Clara. Both are amazing! Clara is a young woman in the 1920’s. She becomes a famous illustrator…in the 1920’s, an awesome feat! Virginia is learning to be a divorced, single mom in the 1970’s. When Virginia discovers the abandoned art school in Grand Central Terminal, it leads her on a path unlike any other.

Clara and Virginia both are unique women determined to make their way in this world. They both struggle to make a go at it. Clara trying to be an artist/illustrator. And Virginia is just trying to survive after her marriage has fallen apart. I loved both of these characters, especially Clara. Or maybe I just enjoyed her time period better.

Y’all! This book!!! This book is super! It grabs you from the first word and never lets you go! The history is abundant and the mystery surrounding Clara is completely captivating.

This novel is inundated with rich details of the Grand Central Terminal. Makes me want to go back and explore. This story is superbly written and well researched. I fell in love with the characters and the setting. I could go on and on…riveting, captivating…but you get the idea!

I received this novel from the publisher via Netgalley.

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