Tell Me Lies

Author: Carola Lovering
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: New Adult Fiction
Source:  Stephanie at Simon & Schuster

 

Goodreads:  A thrilling, sexy coming-of-age story exploring toxic love, ruthless ambition, and shocking betrayal, Tell Me Lies is about that one person who still haunts you—the other one. The wrong one. The one you couldn’t let go of. The one you’ll never forget.

Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college, and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother, whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer—new friends, wild parties, stimulating classes. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.

Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart.

Alternating between Lucy’s and Stephen’s voices, Tell Me Lies follows their connection through college and post-college life in New York City. Deep down, Lucy knows she has to acknowledge the truth about Stephen. But before she can free herself from this addicting entanglement, she must confront and heal her relationship with her mother—or risk losing herself in a delusion about what it truly means to love.

With the psychological insight and biting wit of Luckiest Girl Alive, and the yearning ambitions and desires of Sweetbitter, this keenly intelligent and staggeringly resonant novel chronicles the exhilaration and dilemmas of young adulthood, and the difficulty of letting go, even when you know you should.

Ope’s Opinion: Getting past the constant use of the “f” word was the first stumbling block in this book.  Stephen has no redeeming qualities – he is self centered, abusive and toxic.  Lucy is the definition of insanity – she keeps doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. 

This story is told from each of their perspectives.  It hops from present to past and back, but is well marked. They had a train wreck of a relationship.  You wanted to read it to see where it was going,  but it was not enjoyable.

The ending brought this book from a two chair to a three chair.

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Finding Jake

 

Author: Bryan Reardon
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Mystery
Source:  William Morrow

Goodreads:  A heart-wrenching yet ultimately uplifting story of psychological suspense in which a parent is forced to confront what he does—and does not—know about his teenage son, in the vein of Reconstructing Amelia, Defending Jacob, and We Need to Talk about Kevin.

While his successful wife goes off to her law office each day, Simon Connolly takes care of their kids, Jake and Laney. Now that they are in high school, the angst-ridden father should feel more relaxed, but he doesn’t. He’s seen the statistics, read the headlines. And now, his darkest fear is coming true. There has been a shooting at school.

Simon races to the rendezvous point, where he’s forced to wait. Do they know who did it? How many victims were there? Why did this happen? One by one, parents are led out of the room to reunite with their children. Their numbers dwindle, until Simon is alone.

As his worst nightmare unfolds, and Jake is the only child missing, Simon begins to obsess over the past, searching for answers, for hope, for the memory of the boy he raised, for mistakes he must have made, for the reason everything came to this. Where is Jake? What happened in those final moments? Is it possible he doesn’t really know his son? Or he knows him better than he thought?

Brilliantly paced, Finding Jake explores these questions in a tense and emotionally wrenching narrative. Harrowing and heartbreaking, surprisingly healing and redemptive, Finding Jake is a story of faith and conviction, strength, courage, and love that will leave readers questioning their own lives, and those they think they know.

Ope’s Opinion: Start this book with plenty of time and no interruptions.  Once you start reading you will not want to put it down.  It is a very intense story.  You know from reading the synopsis that there is a school shooting, but this is told from a completely different perspective.  Each chapter is labeled – they flip from Jake’s childhood to the day of the shooting.  It is mostly told from Jake’s father’s point of view.

There are some twists in the story that I didn’t see coming – as a matter of fact I thought I had it all figured out early in the book – I was wrong and loved where it went.

The ending was wonderful.  It answered a lot of questions, but still felt realistic.

Vacation Food

This vacation started with good food!

On our way to the Outer Banks of North Carolina, we stopped at an old favorite restaurant called Surf Rider.  The crab cakes and broccoli with hollandaise sauce are one of my favorites.  It is a great way to start vacation!

A rainy Monday at the beach took my daughters and I to FatCrabs in Corolla for lunch!  Awesome place for peel and eat shrimp with good spices on them, crab legs and hush puppies.  Yummm!!

Nothing like finishing the day off with some warm donuts that have amazing choices of toppings – keylime with graham cracker topping, blueberry topping, peanut butter with chocolate and many more options.

We enjoy eating at the beach!

Out Now

Do you want to look at a family in a different way?
Do you enjoy reading about relationships?
Pick up this Susan Mallery book today.

Goodreads:  Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Still, Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister–Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old.

Callie doesn’t love being alone, but at least it’s safe. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.

But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. He was clever enough to turn a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, yet he can’t figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love.

But love isn’t Malcolm’s strong suit… until a beautiful barista teaches him that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.

In this emotional, funny and heartfelt story, Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family–blended by surprise, not by choice–and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.

Thank you Emer at Harper Collins for sending
some of the best books I have read – this
was one of them!

When We Found Home

Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Romance
Source:  Emer at HarperCollins

 

Goodreads:  Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Still, Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister–Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old.

Callie doesn’t love being alone, but at least it’s safe. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.

But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. He was clever enough to turn a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, yet he can’t figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love.

But love isn’t Malcolm’s strong suit… until a beautiful barista teaches him that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.

In this emotional, funny and heartfelt story, Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family–blended by surprise, not by choice–and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.

Ope’s Opinion:  The story line was interesting and unique. The family relationships felt real and moved at a good pace. The steamy parts will make romance readers happy ( were unnecessary for me ).  The romantic relationships moved a little too fast into the intimate parts.  It made me look at “family” in a different way.

The ending came a little too abrupt and it was tied into a perfect bow.

It would have been a five in my book, but I am not crazy about the steamy parts and it did repeat itself.

Out Now

Have you read Everything We Keep?
Have you read Everything We Left Behind?
If you have, read the third one now!
If you haven’t start from the beginning.

Goodreads:  From the author of Everything We Keep comes the final novel in the Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling Everything Series. Brimming with suspense, mystery, and romance, Everything We Give brings to a powerful close the gripping series of love, lies, and the secrets families keep.

Award-winning photographer Ian Collins made only one mistake in life, but it cost his mother her freedom and destroyed their family, leaving Ian to practically raise himself. For years he’s been estranged from his father, and his mother has lived off the grid. For just as long, he has searched for her.

Now, Ian seemingly has it all—national recognition for his photographs; his loving wife, Aimee; and their adoring daughter, Caty. Only two things elude him: a feature in National Geographic and finding his mother. When the prized magazine offers him his dream project on the same day that Aimee’s ex-fiancé, James, returns bearing a message for Ian but putting a strain on his marriage, Ian must make a choice: chase after a coveted assignment or reconnect with a mysterious woman who might hold the key to putting his past to rest. But the stakes are high, because Ian could lose the one thing he holds most dear: his family.

Thank you Ashley at Amazon for giving me the opportunity to read this one.