Coming Soon…

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In February I hope to read….

Publication Date: February 21, 2023
Publisher: Graydon House

Goodreads: Despite its beauty, Newport is a place Cass Coventry would prefer to forget. But after an extended absence, she’s back in her hometown to celebrate her sister’s engagement—even if she’s marrying into the family that famously stole the Gilded Age Coventry mansion out from under them a decade ago.

The moment Cass pulls up to the estate, she’s in for one surprise after another. The bride-to-be is hiding a big secret. Her mother has royal-wedding aspirations. And, when the date is set for only three months away, a local gossip blog makes the two families its new favorite subject.

It’s not long before Cass’s weekend in town becomes a full summer of frenzied wedding planning and society drama—but also idyllic sails, starry nights, and a former love. As the grand affair arrives, along with new truths about her family, Cass must finally face her own thorny past in Newport and decide how to honor the Coventry legacy in all its chaotic glory.

What is coming soon …. to a bookshelf near you?

Let me know – I am always looking for a good read!

That Night at the Beach

Author: Kate Hewitt
Publisher: Bookouture
Genre: Mystery
Source: Bookouture ( Netgalley )

Goodreads: As mothers we never dare to delve into our worst-nightmare scenarios. What if… we might murmur to each other, and then shake our heads, telling ourselves it’ll never happen to us if we’re just good enough mothers. Yet here we are. And the steady beep of the heart monitor is the only evidence the child in front of us is alive…

It’s Labor Day weekend, so of course we went to the beach. Like we do every year. For a barbecue picnic with my best friend Rose. It’s the perfect tradition—drinks, games, burgers, music, laughter. Together with our husbands, my two teenage sons and her two daughters, we all arrived as the sun was still shimmering over the water, the whole evening ahead of us.

But nothing goes to plan. Old secrets emerge, tempers flare. And so we parents decide to leave the beach, telling the teenagers to enjoy themselves, reassuring them someone will be back to collect them in an hour or two.

But when I return a little while later, I know something is really wrong. Our teens are slurring their words, stumbling to the car. It’s clear they have been drinking and I’m shocked. I never expected our kids to behave this way. I’m bracing myself to have firm words with them in the morning, but the next day my concerns fade to nothing, when seventeen-year-old Bella claims my son Finn assaulted her.

Finn insists he would never do that. And I so want to believe him. Because I brought my son up right. Because a mother would know, wouldn’t she?

What I don’t know is that the answer to what happened that night on the beach may be a matter of life and death for one of our beloved children…

Ope’s Opinion: Oh, My! Kate Hewitt has done it again! She wrote a story that makes you hold your breath to see what will happen next. Then she surprises you where she takes it. Just when you think you know what you believe, she makes you question your perspective.

Switching between Rose’s and Cara’s point of view often left me at a pivotal point I couldn’t wait to get back to. It made me wish I could read faster. These two strong women show you two perspectives that will have you wanting to support both of them.

This is one of the best of Kate Hewitt’s books.

The Social Climber

Author: Amanda Pellegrino
Publisher: Park Row
Genre: Mystery/ Thriller
Source: Park Row ( Emer & Sophie )

Goodreads: ELIZA BENNETT IS NOT YOUR NORMAL BRIDE…

For Eliza Bennett, all her planning and scheming for her dream wedding is about to pay off. She’s girlbossed her way into an elite Manhattan lifestyle, including a high-powered job in PR and an engagement to Graham Walker, a high-society Yale graduate from a prominent blue-blooded family.

But as the big day approaches, secrets from Eliza’s past attendance at an Evangelical college start to throw her true motives into question. Who exactly is Eliza Bennett and what does she really want?

Written with a breakneck pace and capturing the glittering, privileged world of the one-percenters, The Night We Met is a gripping novel that shows how you can never truly outrun your past—nor the people from it.

Ope’s Opinion: This was an interesting read that took a long time to figure out where the story was going. Eliza’s past was not always enjoyable to read about, but it made her who she was.

Going back and forth between the present and the past showed you who Eliza was and how she got where she was, but it did not explain where she was going. I knew Eliza was working toward something and was hiding something, but it was not clear through most of the book.

The ending brought everything together, it explained the whole story. I almost wish I had read the last chapter, then read the rest of the story – I might have actually enjoyed it that way.

The steamy scenes and the constant use of the “f” word took away from the story for me.

Destined to Be

Author: Dionne Grace
Publisher: BooksGoSocial
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: BooksGoSoical ( Netgalley )

Goodreads: They were meant to be, but for how long?

Daisia Findlay has a crush on her boss, though she’s never had the courage to tell him. Not that Blake would be interested; his type of women were ones who looked nothing like her. Daisia doesn’t dare hope that she will be the one he will fall in love with.
But when a resentful team member seeks revenge on his co-workers and places them in a dilemma that neither has any control over, Blake finally declares the truth of his feelings.
And just when she thinks they can finally be together, circumstances take a turn for the worse, and the love that she thought she’d found seems to be somewhat short-lived.
Are his feelings true? Or is this just a psychological reaction to a traumatic situation?

Ope’s Opinion: This very short story was packed full, maybe too full. There was back and forth between past ( memories ) and present – it wasn’t always obvious when this was happening. The main character ( Daisia ) talked to God a lot and quoted scripture.

Being such a short story, the romance moved from a glance to in love very quickly ( too quickly? ). There was a bit of a twist part way through. The ending was what you want with a romance book.

Courtiers

Author: Valentine Low
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Non-fiction
Source: Kristi ( borrowed )

Goodreads: The gripping account of how the Royal family really operates from the man who has spent years studying them in his role as Royal correspondent for The Times. Valentine Low asks the important questions: who really runs the show and, as Charles III begins his reign, what will happen next?

Throughout history, the British monarchy has relied on its courtiers – the trusted advisers in the King or Queen’s inner circle – to ensure its survival as a family, an ancient institution, and a pillar of the constitution. Today, as ever, a vast team of people hidden from view steers the royal family’s path between public duty and private life. Queen Elizabeth II, after a remarkable 70 years of service, saw the final seasons of her reign without her husband Philip to guide her. Meanwhile, newly ascended Charles seeks to define what his future as King, and that of his court, will be.

The question of who is entrusted to guide the royals has never been more vital, and yet the task those courtiers face has never been more challenging. With a cloud hanging over Prince Andrew as well as Harry and Meghan’s departure from royal life, the complex relationship between modern courtiers and royal principals has been exposed to global scrutiny. As the new Prince and Princess of Wales, William and Kate – equipped with a very 21st century approach to press and public relations – now hold the responsibility of making an ancient institution relevant for the decades to come.

Courtiers reveals an ever-changing system of complex characters, shifting values and ideas over what the future of the institution should be. This is the story of how the monarchy really works, at a pivotal moment in its history.

Ope’s Opinion: If you are a huge royal watcher, you will definitely enjoy this book. If you are just a casual royal watcher, you can probably skip this one. It has a lot of history about the family, but mostly it is about the staff behind the family. It is very interesting to read the staff’s perspective on the family members.

It is hard to know where the truth lies between what the staff says and what the royals say. This was definitely bias towards the staff not having a role in Meghan’s and Harry departure. As usual, the “truth” is probably somewhere in-between.

If you are looking for history this is a good book, if you are looking for new, exciting information, this is not the book to pick up.

In the Mail

Publication Date: January 3, 2023
Publisher: Park Row

Goodreads: ELIZA BENNETT IS NOT YOUR NORMAL BRIDE…

For Eliza Bennett, all her planning and scheming for her dream wedding is about to pay off. She’s girlbossed her way into an elite Manhattan lifestyle, including a high-powered job in PR and an engagement to Graham Walker, a high-society Yale graduate from a prominent blue-blooded family.

But as the big day approaches, secrets from Eliza’s past attendance at an Evangelical college start to throw her true motives into question. Who exactly is Eliza Bennett and what does she really want?

Written with a breakneck pace and capturing the glittering, privileged world of the one-percenters, The Night We Met is a gripping novel that shows how you can never truly outrun your past—nor the people from it.

Thank you Emer and Sophie for passing along this book.
I am really excited about reading it.

Something Old, Something New

Author: Amy Clipston
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Thomas Nelson
Source: Thomas Nelson ( Netgalley )

Goodreads: Sometimes treasure can be found where you least expect it.

In the decade since high school graduation, Christine Sawyer has realized her dream of opening Treasure Hunting Antique Mall, the place where shoppers find gems that are new to them. Between her store, her house, and her role as a doting aunt, she’s happy with her life—if a bit lonely. But she’s used to being less lucky in love than her fraternal twin sister. Britney was always the popular one, the head cheerleader who dated the homecoming king and quarterback, while Christine stayed in the shadows.

Brent Nicholson is still trying to come to grips with the shambles his life has become. After leading his football team to a state championship, he suffered a career-ending injury. Now he’s lost his construction business thanks to his so-called best friend. So when his great-aunt Midge asks for his help readying her home to put it on the market, the opportunity to spend time with his biggest fan is a balm to his bruised soul.

But the antiques Brent finds in his aunt’s house lead him to an unexpected partnership with Christine. After being blind to her for so many years, is it too late for the former high school jock to win the heart of the self-proclaimed “nerdy twin”?

As they shift through items of the past, Christine and Brent learn to let go of the pieces they don’t want to bring into the future—and realize the value of what’s in front of them today.

Ope’s Opinion: When reading this I felt like I was in a Hallmark movie. The characters knew each other before the story began, which made it more realistic and able to move the relationships along. This clean romance of friends to lovers was drawn out a little too long, but overall it was enjoyable.

The over sharing of details and repetition of facts a little distracting.

This was a simple, easy read. It is perfect for an “get away”.

Out Now!

Goodreads: Sometimes treasure can be found where you least expect it.

In the decade since high school graduation, Christine Sawyer has realized her dream of opening Treasure Hunting Antique Mall, the place where shoppers find gems that are new to them. Between her store, her house, and her role as a doting aunt, she’s happy with her life—if a bit lonely. But she’s used to being less lucky in love than her fraternal twin sister. Britney was always the popular one, the head cheerleader who dated the homecoming king and quarterback, while Christine stayed in the shadows.

Brent Nicholson is still trying to come to grips with the shambles his life has become. After leading his football team to a state championship, he suffered a career-ending injury. Now he’s lost his construction business thanks to his so-called best friend. So when his great-aunt Midge asks for his help readying her home to put it on the market, the opportunity to spend time with his biggest fan is a balm to his bruised soul.

But the antiques Brent finds in his aunt’s house lead him to an unexpected partnership with Christine. After being blind to her for so many years, is it too late for the former high school jock to win the heart of the self-proclaimed “nerdy twin”?

As they shift through items of the past, Christine and Brent learn to let go of the pieces they don’t want to bring into the future—and realize the value of what’s in front of them today.

My review coming soon.

Coming Soon…

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In January I hope to read….

Publication Date: January 19, 2023
Publisher: Bookouture

Goodreads: As mothers we never dare to delve into our worst-nightmare scenarios. What if… we might murmur to each other, and then shake our heads, telling ourselves it’ll never happen to us if we’re just good enough mothers. Yet here we are. And the steady beep of the heart monitor is the only evidence the child in front of us is alive…

It’s Labor Day weekend, so of course we went to the beach. Like we do every year. For a barbecue picnic with my best friend Rose. It’s the perfect tradition—drinks, games, burgers, music, laughter. Together with our husbands, my two teenage sons and her two daughters, we all arrived as the sun was still shimmering over the water, the whole evening ahead of us.

But nothing goes to plan. Old secrets emerge, tempers flare. And so we parents decide to leave the beach, telling the teenagers to enjoy themselves, reassuring them someone will be back to collect them in an hour or two.

But when I return a little while later, I know something is really wrong. Our teens are slurring their words, stumbling to the car. It’s clear they have been drinking and I’m shocked. I never expected our kids to behave this way. I’m bracing myself to have firm words with them in the morning, but the next day my concerns fade to nothing, when seventeen-year-old Bella claims my son Finn assaulted her.

Finn insists he would never do that. And I so want to believe him. Because I brought my son up right. Because a mother would know, wouldn’t she?

What I don’t know is that the answer to what happened that night on the beach may be a matter of life and death for one of our beloved children…

As mothers we never dare to delve into our worst-nightmare scenarios. What if… we might murmur to each other, and then shake our heads, telling ourselves it’ll never happen to us if we’re just good enough mothers. Yet here we are. And the steady beep of the heart monitor is the only evidence the child in front of us is alive…

It’s Labor Day weekend, so of course we went to the beach. Like we do every year. For a barbecue picnic with my best friend Rose. It’s the perfect tradition—drinks, games, burgers, music, laughter. Together with our husbands, my two teenage sons and her two daughters, we all arrived as the sun was still shimmering over the water, the whole evening ahead of us.

But nothing goes to plan. Old secrets emerge, tempers flare. And so we parents decide to leave the beach, telling the teenagers to enjoy themselves, reassuring them someone will be back to collect them in an hour or two.

But when I return a little while later, I know something is really wrong. Our teens are slurring their words, stumbling to the car. It’s clear they have been drinking and I’m shocked. I never expected our kids to behave this way. I’m bracing myself to have firm words with them in the morning, but the next day my concerns fade to nothing, when seventeen-year-old Bella claims my son Finn assaulted her.

Finn insists he would never do that. And I so want to believe him. Because I brought my son up right. Because a mother would know, wouldn’t she?

What I don’t know is that the answer to what happened that night on the beach may be a matter of life and death for one of our beloved children…

What is coming soon …. to a bookshelf near you?

Let me know – I am always looking for a good read!