The Best of Us by Robyn Carr #review #harlequin #romance #fiction

Overview

In Sullivan’s Crossing, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr has created a place where good people, powerful emotions, great humor and a healthy dose of common sense are the key ingredients to a happy life. Sullivan’s Crossing brings out the best in people. It’s a place you’ll want to visit again and again.

Dr. Leigh Culver loves practicing medicine in Timberlake, Colorado. It is a much-needed change of pace from her stressful life in Chicago. The only drawback is she misses her aunt Helen, the woman who raised her. But it’s time that Leigh has her independence, and she hopes the beauty of the Colorado wilderness will entice her aunt to visit often.

Helen Culver is an independent woman who lovingly raised her sister’s orphaned child. Now, with Leigh grown, it’s time for her to live life for herself. The retired teacher has become a successful mystery writer who loves to travel and intends to never experience winter again.

When Helen visits Leigh, she is surprised to find her niece still needs her, especially when it comes to sorting out her love life. But the biggest surprise comes when Leigh takes Helen out to Sullivan’s Crossing and Helen finds herself falling for the place and one special person. Helen and Leigh will each have to decide if they can open themselves up to love neither expected to find and seize the opportunity to live their best lives.

Review

Leigh has moved to Timberlake, Colorado to get away from the rat race of a Chicago ER. She has set up a small town practice and has settled in nicely. When love finally finds her, she is not as ready as she thinks!

Leigh is a hard working doctor and she has no intentions of getting involved in relationship. She has been burned before and she is just NOT INTERESTED. But life has a way of changing on you. She meets Rob. Leigh fights this relationship but their connection is just too strong. And to be honest…he is the perfect guy for her. These two (of course) make it work and make it work well!

I have read some serious books lately. I needed a good “fluff” book, or as some people call them “palate cleanser” books. Robyn Carr is one of my favorite go to authors for “fluff”. I have been a huge fan of Robyn Carr for years. She always creates the best characters inside some of the best towns. My favorite character in this book is Sully. Sully and Leigh’s Aunt Helen end up together. There could not be a more perfect pair on this earth than these two. I hope the next Sullivan’s Crossing book includes these two!

I received this novel from Harlequin-Mira via Netgalley for a honest review.

Robyn Carr at Book Expo 2018. Super nice!

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Light Over London by Julia Kelly #historicalfiction #5starread #review

Overview

Reminiscent of Martha Hall Kelly’s Lilac Girls and Kristin Hannah’s The Nightingale, this sweeping, entrancing story is a must-read for fans of remarkable women rising to challenges they could never have predicted.

It’s always been easier for Cara Hargraves to bury herself in the past than confront the present, which is why working with a gruff but brilliant antiques dealer is perfect. While clearing out an estate, she pries open an old tin that holds the relics of a lost relationship: among the treasures, a World War II-era diary and a photograph of a young woman in uniform. Eager to find the author of the hauntingly beautiful, unfinished diary, Cara digs into this soldier’s life, but soon realizes she may not have been ready for the stark reality of wartime London she finds within the pages.

In 1941, nineteen-year-old Louise Keene’s life had been decided for her—she’ll wait at home in her Cornish village until her wealthy suitor returns from war to ask for her hand. But when Louise unexpectedly meets Flight Lieutenant Paul Bolton, a dashing RAF pilot stationed at a local base, everything changes. And changes again when Paul’s unit is deployed without warning.

Desperate for a larger life, Louise joins the women’s branch of the British Army in the anti-aircraft gun unit as a Gunner Girl. As bombs fall on London, she and the other Gunner Girls relish in their duties to be exact in their calculations, and quick in their identification of enemy planes during air raids. The only thing that gets Louise through those dark, bullet-filled nights is knowing she and Paul will be together when the war is over. But when a bundle of her letters to him are returned unanswered, she learns that wartime romance can have a much darker side.

Illuminating the story of these two women separated by generations and experience, Julia Kelly transports us to World War II London in this heartbreakingly beautiful novel through forgotten antique treasures, remembered triumphs, and fierce family ties.

Review

Cara is an antiques dealer just learning the ropes. She finds some old love letters and this leads her to investigate the past. She discovers Louise. Louise is bound and determined to change her stars. Her mother wants her to wait for her rich boyfriend to come home from the war. Louise wants more out of life than that! Enter Paul Bolton, a larger than life Fight Lieutenant. He sweeps her off her feet. She decides to join the British Army where she is trained as a gunner girl. Their love letters keep her going, until they just stop.

If you follow my reviews, you know I love strong women characters. Both Cara and Louise fit this to a “T”. Louise is unstoppable in her quest to help in the war effort. She does not intend to mend socks for the service men. She wants to be in the middle of the action. Cara is just as tenacious. Her grandmother is keeping a secret about her time in the war. And Cara is determined to find out more.

This story has a little bit of everything. Family drama, love, mystery, action, just to name a few. Parts of this tale are purely magical. When Paul takes Louise into smugglers cave, I could just feel their connection. I fell in love with Paul …glad it was not in real life…I would have been hoodwinked. (Sorry spoiler alert).

Well, well, well, this author taught me something. I knew women were nurses, ambulance drivers, spies and more in WWII. But, I have never heard of gunner girls or ‘ack ack’ girls. These ladies helped with the anti aircraft guns. How have I missed this! These ladies were so brave.

To say I loved this read is an understatement. This is a fantastic, awesome novel. I ended 2018 with a bang! I would rate this one in my top five of 2018. Read this TODAY!

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The Only Woman in the Room by Marie Benedict #historicalfiction #5starread #review

Overview

She possessed a stunning beauty. She also possessed a stunning mind. Could the world handle both?

Her beauty almost certainly saved her from the rising Nazi party and led to marriage with an Austrian arms dealer. Underestimated in everything else, she overheard the Third Reich’s plans while at her husband’s side, understanding more than anyone would guess. She devised a plan to flee in disguise from their castle, and the whirlwind escape landed her in Hollywood. She became Hedy Lamarr, screen star.

But she kept a secret more shocking than her heritage or her marriage: she was a scientist. And she knew a few secrets about the enemy. She had an idea that might help the country fight the Nazis…if anyone would listen to her.

A powerful novel based on the incredible true story of the glamour icon and scientist whose groundbreaking invention revolutionized modern communication, The Only Woman in the Room is a masterpiece.

Review

Hedy Lamarr was a lady with many faces. She was raised in Austria. She became a well-known actress with a risqué movie to her credit. Then she was wooed by an arms dealer. To help protect her family, she marries him. She literally became a prisoner in her own home. She overhears many discussions and secrets. At this time in her life, she has no idea what to do with these secrets. Then, she finally escapes! It took a few failed attempts with severe consequences.

Marie Benedict did a fantastic job with Hedy Lamarr. I knew a little about her but, apparently, not enough. What a strong, amazing woman. She escapes an abusive husband, takes on Hollywood, and creates a communications marvel to help take on the Nazis. How did I not know this! I love strong women. Hedy Lamarr just topped the list.

I love Marie Benedict! She always teaches me something. I have read all her books and this is her best. And I have given her other books 5 stars! But this one….oh boy!

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

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An Anonymous Girl by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen #psychologicalsuspense #suspense #review #5starread

Overview

The next novel of psychological suspense and obsession from the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us

Seeking women ages 18–32 to participate in a study on ethics and morality. Generous compensation. Anonymity guaranteed.

When Jessica Farris signs up for a psychology study conducted by the mysterious Dr. Shields, she thinks all she’ll have to do is answer a few questions, collect her money, and leave.

Question #1: Could you tell a lie without feeling guilt?

But as the questions grow more and more intense and invasive and the sessions become outings where Jess is told what to wear and how to act, she begins to feel as though Dr. Shields may know what she’s thinking…and what she’s hiding.

Question #2: Have you ever deeply hurt someone you care about?

As Jess’s paranoia grows, it becomes clear that she can no longer trust what in her life is real, and what is one of Dr. Shields’ manipulative experiments. Caught in a web of deceit and jealousy, Jess quickly learns that some obsessions can be deadly.

Question #3: Should a punishment always fit the crime?

From the authors of the blockbuster bestseller The Wife Between Us comes an electrifying new novel about doubt, passion, and just how much you can trust someone.

Review

Jess is a struggling make-up artist in New York City. She jumps at the extra money offered to be a part of a psychology study. Dr. Shields asks some very invasive questions. Not only that, it is almost as if Dr. Shields knows what Jess is thinking. The deeper Jess gets, the more scared she becomes.

Well! This book just reels you in and just keeps you twisting and turning. Dr. Shields is not someone I ever want to meet. She is ruthless and most of all, she is cunning. When she wants to punish someone, it is not done in the usual way. Oh no….she is out to keep you guessing where she is going to hit next.

I did think the ending was a little too tidy. I expected different reaction from Dr. Shields. No! I am not trying to give away a spoiler. Read it your self and see if you think the same. She is a “force to be reckoned with” all through this book. Her reaction at the end does not fit her profile.

My picture at the top of this post makes you think this book is a great, cozy read…NOT! It is completely twisted! Not sure I would want to read this home alone. These two authors have some fantastic chemistry going on. I don’t know what their secret is but this book is off the charts wicked!

I received an advance copy from St. Martin’s Press for a honest review.

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2018 STAND OUTS! #5starreads #reviews

I hope everyone is ready for a fantastic New Years!  I will be working so, I plan to spend mine like this…

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I am sure my pug Peanut will not mind…that is if I can get her to move off the couch.

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This is Peanut’s happy place!

What about New Years resolutions? Are you going to make any?

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Here are the standouts for 2018. It was an awesome reading year!

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Have y’all read any of these?  Which ones did you enjoy?

 

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My December Reads Wrap-Up #Decemberreads #5starreads #reviews

I hope everyone’s had  fantastic holiday.  Me….I am glad it is over. All the socializing….UGH!  Now on to the important stuff…

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Actually bought some broccoli yesterday….insert eye roll

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My December reads were pretty great.

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Josephine Baker’s Last Dance by Sherry Jones #historicalfiction #pubday #releaseday

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Spider’s Web by Shannon Condon #review #excerpt #suspense #thriller

 

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The Collector by Fiona Cummins #review #suspense #crimefiction #fiction

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Into the Night by Sarah Bailey #review #crimefiction

img_3840-1The Chateau by the River by Chloé Duval #romance #fiction

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These three right here…now they are the best of the month! Reviews are coming up so stay tuned!

I also participated in several buddy reads on Litsy. (If you are a book lover and are not a part of Litsy…you are missing out!) We enjoyed these Christmas reads

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I hope your December reads were as great as mine!

Let me know what you read.  Have you read any of these?

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December Audible Reads #audible #audiobooks

Here are my December Audible reads and I enjoyed all of these. The best out of this bunch is Night Road. This was a reread for me. There was a buddy read over on Litsy and I wanted to participate. Boy, I forgot what a tear jerker it is.

Dead Wake is a book recommend to me by my friend Elizabeth over at Silversreviews. It is about the sinking of the Lusitania. Very informative and great read. I loved it.

I cannot believe I have never read In Cold Blood. I have finally knocked it out. I did not enjoy it as much as I expected. It was good but, I am glad I listened to it and didn’t hold the book in my hand. I probably would have bailed on it.

Now, what to say about Unraveling Oliver.…hmmmm. This book received a lot of hype at Book Expo 2017. It is a little slow. But, it is worth it to get to the ending.

HAPPY READING!

Dead Wake

Unraveling Oliver

In Cold Blood

Night Road

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