Arranged

Author: Catherine McKenzie
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Chick Lit
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, good friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share it with, however, she just can’t seem to get it right.

After yet another relationship ends, Anne comes across a business card for what she thinks is a dating service, and she pockets it just in case. When her best friend, Sarah, announces she’s engaged, Anne can’t help feeling envious. On an impulse, she decides to give the service a try because maybe she could use a little assistance in finding the right man. But Anne soon discovers the company isn’t a dating service; it’s an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. She initially rejects the idea, but the more she thinks about it — and the company’s success rate — the more it appeals to her. After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world, so why wouldn’t it work for her?

A few months later, Anne is travelling to a Mexican resort, where in one short weekend she will meet and marry Jack. And against all odds, it seems to be working out — until Anne learns that Jack, and the company that arranged their marriage, are not what they seem at all.

Ope’s Opinion: I was given this book to read from my daughter Kristin of Kritters Ramblings.  She is a huge Catherine McKenzie fan and said “Mom you Have to read this one.”  Although the premise is unlikely ( it is fiction! ) it was a lot of fun to read.

When you choose your relationships based on superficial aspects, you get superficial relationships.  It took Anne a little while to figure that out.  So she decided to go a different route ( arranged marriage ) to start a relationship.

If you think you know where this story is going …. keep reading …. you will be surprised and hopefully enjoy it!  This is just an enjoyable read.

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The Silent Sister

Author: Diane Chamberlain
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Mystery
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  In The Silent Sister, Riley MacPherson has spent her entire life believing that her older sister Lisa committed suicide as a teenager. Now, over twenty years later, her father has passed away and she’s in New Bern, North Carolina cleaning out his house when she finds evidence to the contrary. Lisa is alive. Alive and living under a new identity. But why exactly was she on the run all those years ago, and what secrets are being kept now? As Riley works to uncover the truth, her discoveries will put into question everything she thought she knew about her family. Riley must decide what the past means for her present, and what she will do with her newfound reality, in this engrossing mystery from international bestselling author Diane Chamberlain.

Ope’s Opinion: Although I figured some of the mystery and secrets before they were revealed, I enjoyed the whole story. It was an awesome story with lots of twists.  It read fast because I kept wanting to see if it was going to go where I thought it was going.  There were surprises right up until the end.

Hearing the story from both Riley and Lisa points of view moved the story along really fast.  I kept wanting Riley to know what I already knew!  It was fun to see her discover the secrets.  I thought the way she found out different information seemed realistic.  She had different sources for different secrets.

I enjoy Diane Chamberlain’s writing and I will definitely read another one by her.

Secrets of the Tulip Sisters

Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Romance
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  A wonderful story full of romance, forgiveness and the unavoidable ties that bind, SECRETS OF THE TULIP SISTERS is Susan Mallery at her very best.

The relationship of sisters Kelly and Olivia Van Gilder has been, well… complicated ever since their mother left them as teens, though it’s the secrets they have been keeping from each other as adults that have unwittingly widened the chasm. But one thing they do share is the not-so-secret torch they carry for the Martin brothers.

In the small enclave of New Holland, Washington, Griffith and Ryan Martin were demigods. While Griffith was the object of Kelly’s high school crush and witness to her mortal teenage humiliation, Ryan was for Olivia the boy who got away-something she’s never forgiven Kelly for-and the only person since her mother who appreciated her wild streak.

Now, ten years later, both brothers are newly returned to town. Believing they’re destined to be together, Olivia’s determined to get Ryan back, until she discovers that she’s not the only one keeping secrets…and that perhaps he’s not the handsome prince she remembered. And even though Griffith has grown up to be more irresistible than ever, Kelly’s impulse is to avoid him and the painful memory he represents, despite his resolve to right the wrong he caused her long ago-and her desire to let him.

Ope’s Opinion: When you start reading a Susan Mallery book, you know there are some steamy parts ( not my favorite ), but the story lines is worth buzzing pasted those parts.  The characters are well developed, they are fun to read about and draw you from the beginning.

I love the setting for this story since I lived in Washington.  I was actually back visiting while I read this book.  I also liked that there were three stories going on at the same time – Kelly, her sister Olivia and her friend Helen are all trying to find themselves and love.  I really  liked that yes, they were all looking for love, but they also wanted to be fulfilled in their jobs and friendships.  The characters were well rounded.

Susan Mallery books are easy to pick up, get into and just enjoy.

 

How to Love

Author: Katie Cotungno
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Genre: Young Adult
Source:  Purchased

 

Goodreads:  Before:
Reena Montero has loved Sawyer LeGrande for as long as she can remember: as natural as breathing, as endless as time. But he’s never seemed to notice that Reena even exists until one day, impossibly, he does. Reena and Sawyer fall in messy, complicated love. But then Sawyer disappears from their humid Florida town without a word, leaving a devastated—and pregnant—Reena behind.

After:
Almost three years have passed, and there’s a new love in Reena’s life: her daughter, Hannah. Reena’s gotten used to being without Sawyer, and she’s finally getting the hang of this strange, unexpected life. But just as swiftly and suddenly as he disappeared, Sawyer turns up again. Reena doesn’t want anything to do with him, though she’d be lying if she said Sawyer’s being back wasn’t stirring something in her. After everything that’s happened, can Reena really let herself love Sawyer LeGrande again?

In this breathtaking debut, Katie Cotugno weaves together the story of one couple falling in love—twice.

Ope’s Opinion:  The Before and After telling of this story didn’t really work for me.  Even though the chapters are clearly marked, at times, I couldn’t figure out where we were in the story.  I think I would have enjoyed it more had it been told in chronological order. 

Sawyer was not my favorite character.  I thought he was self centered and egotistical.  I didn’t really find him charming as I was suppose to.  I like strong female characters, and I did find Reena strong as a mom, but not strong for herself.

I do enjoy Katie Cotugno’s writing, so I will probably try another one of her books.

One Good Thing

Author: Wendy Wax
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  From the USA Today bestselling author of Sunshine Beach, a story of four women trying to rebuild more than their lives…

Before you can fix it up, you might have to tear it down…

Embroiled in a battle to regain control of their renovation-turned-reality TV show, Do Over, Maddie, Avery, Nikki, and Kyra find themselves holding tight to the frayed ends of their friendship and relationships.

Maddie must face the realities of dating a rock star once again topping the charts and dealing with her hapless ex-husband, while Avery is caught up in family drama even as she attempts to transform a tiny cottage into a home for the newly impoverished heiress who helped bankroll their last renovation. Put on bedrest, a hugely pregnant Nikki can’t quite believe love can last, or trust in her own maternal instinct. And Kyra, who has secretly put Bella Flora at risk in an attempt to salvage Do Over, must decide whether to accept a desperately needed bail out from her son’s famous father that comes with far too many strings attached…

But friendship is made for times like these, to keep each other—and their dreams—from crumbling.

Ope’s Opinion: This is number five in the Ten Beach Series by Wendy Wax.  Although I enjoyed this one, it did feel a little redundant. This series does need to be read from the first book.  There is too much background you just won’t get if you don’t start from the beginning.   I will read another Wendy Wax, but probably not the  Ten Beach series.

It was interesting to see all the women again and see their relationships move forward.  They really count on each other to help through the struggles.  It is nice to see women who support each other.

As in the past books, the ending was left open, for the next in the series.

Coming Soon…

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In November I hope to read….

Publication Date: November 16, 2017
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Goodreads:  Christmas is the season of the heart, and #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber is here to warm yours with a delightful holiday novel of first impressions and second chances.

Merry Knight is pretty busy these days. She’s taking care of her family, baking cookies, decorating for the holidays, and hoping to stay out of the crosshairs of her stressed and by-the-book boss at the consulting firm where she temps. Her own social life is the last thing she has in mind, much less a man. Without her knowledge, Merry’s well-meaning mom and brother create an online dating profile for her–minus her photo–and the matches start rolling in. Initially, Merry is incredulous, but she reluctantly decides to give it a whirl.

Soon Merry finds herself chatting with a charming stranger, a man with similar interests and an unmistakably kind soul. Their online exchanges become the brightest part of her day. But meeting face-to-face is altogether different, and her special friend is the last person Merry expects–or desires. Still, sometimes hearts can see what our eyes cannot. In this satisfying seasonal tale, unanticipated love is only a click away.

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

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

The Hope Chest

Author: Viola Shipman
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Genre: Fiction
Source: St. Martin’s Press

Goodreads:  From the beloved author of Indie Next Pick The Charm Bracelet, a story about an heirloom hope chest and the connection it inspires among three people in need of hope.

The discovery of one woman’s heirloom hope chest unveils precious memories and helps three people who have each lost a part of themselves find joy once again.

Ever since she was diagnosed with ALS, fiercely independent Mattie doesn’t feel like herself. She can’t navigate her beloved home, she can’t go for a boat ride, and she can barely even feed herself. Her devoted husband, Don, doesn’t want to imagine life without his wife of nearly fifty years, but Mattie isn’t likely to make it past their anniversary.

But when Rose, Mattie’s new caretaker, and her young daughter, Jeri, enter the couple’s life, happiness and the possibility for new memories return. Together they form a family, and Mattie is finally able to pass on her memories from the hope chest she received from her mother.

With each item—including a favorite doll, family dishes, an embroidered apron, and an antique Christmas ornament—the hope chest connects Mattie, Don and Rose to each other and helps them find hope again in the face of overwhelming life challenges.

A beautiful story about the unconditional love and support of family, The Hope Chest will remind you that hope can be found where and when you least expect it.

Ope’s Opinion: This was such a sweet story of unconditional love and family.  This was told in the present and the past.  Although I am not much of a historical reader, the history in this book was a family history and was such an important part of the wonderful story.  

The characters in this book were loving and really cared for each other.   Their struggles seemed to bring them closer together.  Rose is such an important person to them, she became family. 

Viola Shipman knows how to write a heart felt story with relatable characters.