Starlight on Willow Lake

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Author: Susan Wiggs
Publisher: MIRA
Genre:  Romance
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Wiggs sweeps readers away to a sun-drenched summer on the shores of Willow Lake in a stunning tale of the delicate ties that bind a family together… and the secrets that tear them apart…

When caregiver Faith McCallum arrives at the enchanted, lakeside estate of Avalon’s renowned Bellamy family, she’s intent on rebuilding her shattered life and giving her two daughters a chance at a better future. But she faces a formidable challenge in the form of her stubborn and difficult new employer, Alice Bellamy. While Faith proves a worthy match for her sharp-tongued client, she often finds herself at a loss for words in the presence of Mason Bellamy—Alice’s charismatic son, who clearly longs to escape the family mansion and return to his fast-paced, exciting life in Manhattan…and his beautiful, jet-setting fiancée.

The last place Mason wants to be is a remote town in the Catskills, far from his life in the city, and Faith McCallum is supposed to be the key to his escape. Hiring the gentle-hearted yet strong-willed caregiver as a live-in nurse gives his mother companionship and Mason the freedom to return to his no-attachments routine. For Faith, it means stability for her daughters and a much-needed new home. When Faith makes a chilling discovery about Alice’s accident, Mason is forced to reconsider his desire to keep everyone, including his mother, at a distance. Now he finds himself wondering if the supercharged life he’s created for himself is what he truly wants…and whether exploring his past might lead to a new life—and lasting love—on the tranquil shores of Willow Lake.

Ope’s Opinion:  Oh, this book had me from beginning to end.  I enjoyed the whole story, all the characters, even the minor ones.  It was well written and kept a great pace throughout the book.  Even though this is part of a series ( I have not read it all ), it could stand alone.

Parts of the book were predictable ( especially the ending ), but that is part of the charm of the story.  Knowing where it was going didn’t ruin the journey to get there.

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Object of My Affection

objectsAuthor: Jill Smolinski
Publisher: Touchstone
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

 

Goodreads:  In the humorous, heartfelt new novel by the author of The Next Thing on My List, a personal organizer must somehow convince a reclusive artist to give up her hoarding ways and let go of the stuff she’s hung on to for decades.

Lucy Bloom is broke, freshly dumped by her boyfriend, and forced to sell her house to send her nineteen-year-old son to drug rehab. Although she’s lost it all, she’s determined to start over. So when she’s offered a high-paying gig helping clear the clutter from the home of reclusive and eccentric painter Marva Meier Rios, Lucy grabs it. Armed with the organizing expertise she gained while writing her book, Things Are Not People, and fueled by a burning desire to get her life back on track, Lucy rolls up her sleeves to take on the mess that fills every room of Marva’s huge home. Lucy soon learns that the real challenge may be taking on Marva, who seems to love the objects in her home too much to let go of any of them.

While trying to stay on course toward a strict deadline—and with an ex-boyfriend back in the picture, a new romance on the scene, and her son’s rehab not going as planned—Lucy discovers that Marva isn’t just hoarding, she is also hiding a big secret. The two form an unlikely bond, as each learns from the other that there are those things in life we keep, those we need to let go—but it’s not always easy to know the difference.

Ope’s Opinion: This story of two women, their relationships with their sons and their relationships with each other just didn’t draw me in.  I couldn’t really relate all that much to either one of them.   The part I did like is the cleaning up of Marva’s house!  Is it crazy, but that was my favorite part of the book.  I did enjoy the strange and unusual way that Marva and Lucy became friends. 

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A Simple Favor

 

a-simple-favorAuthor: Darcey Bell
Publisher: Harper
Genre: Thriller
Source: HarperCollins

Goodreads:  She’s your best friend.
She knows all your secrets.
That’s why she’s so dangerous.
A single mother’s life is turned upside down when her best friend vanishes in this chilling debut thriller in the vein of Gone Girl and The Girl on the Train.

It starts with a simple favor—an ordinary kindness mothers do for one another. When her best friend, Emily, asks Stephanie to pick up her son Nicky after school, she happily says yes. Nicky and her son, Miles, are classmates and best friends, and the five-year-olds love being together—just like she and Emily. A widow and stay-at-home mommy blogger living in woodsy suburban Connecticut, Stephanie was lonely until she met Emily, a sophisticated PR executive whose job in Manhattan demands so much of her time.

But Emily doesn’t come back. She doesn’t answer calls or return texts. Stephanie knows something is terribly wrong—Emily would never leave Nicky, no matter what the police say. Terrified, she reaches out to her blog readers for help. She also reaches out to Emily’s husband, the handsome, reticent Sean, offering emotional support. It’s the least she can do for her best friend. Then, she and Sean receive shocking news. Emily is dead. The nightmare of her disappearance is over.

Or is it? Because soon, Stephanie will begin to see that nothing—not friendship, love, or even an ordinary favor—is as simple as it seems.

A Simple Favor is a remarkable tale of psychological suspense—a clever and twisting free-fall of a ride filled with betrayals and reversals, twists and turns, secrets and revelations, love and loyalty, murder and revenge. Darcey Bell masterfully ratchets up the tension in a taut, unsettling, and completely absorbing story that holds you in its grip until the final page.

Ope’s Opinion:  Instead of being drawn into this story, I felt like I was standing outside of it watching it all happen, which made it much less intense then I expected this book to be.

I am not sure I liked the characters in this story – of course I am not sure I was suppose to!  So in that way maybe the author achieved her goal.

The ending left me…. yea, that is kind of how I feel…

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Coast Road

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Author: Barbara Delinsky
Genre: Romance
Source: Purchased

Goodreads:  Hailed as “a heartwarming story” (Star Tribune, Minneapolis), a celebration of what matters most in life, Barbara Delinsky’s profoundly moving New York Times bestseller is as richly textured and captivating as the Northern California landscape in which it is set.

Jack McGill chose his architectural career over his family, and returned home from yet another business trip to find that his wife, Rachel, had left him. Now, six years later, a car accident has left Rachel clinging to life, and she and their two daughters desperately need him. Putting work on hold for the first time in his life, Jack decides to sit by his ex-wife’s bedside. As he meets Rachel’s many new friends, and tries to cope with two teenage daughters and their problems, he learns more about a woman he never really knew, her expressive art, and the secret that made her leave. Much to his astonishment, Jack begins to see Rachel, his daughters, and the story of his marriage with new eyes.

Ope’s Opinion: The beginning of the book was interesting and got my attention.  I was invested in the story and the characters and wanted to keep reading.  Then it drug on and on in the middle.  I think part of that was to show how slow time was moving for the characters, but I got bored after a while.  Randomly, she threw in things about sex that were not inappropriate,but also did not add any dimension to the story or characters. The ending was cute and predictable. 

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Never Let You Go

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Author: Chevy Stevens
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Thriller
Source:  Won from Shelf Awareness

Goodreads:  Eleven years ago, Lindsey Nash escaped into the night with her young daughter and left an abusive relationship.Her ex-husband was sent to jail and she started over with a new life. Now, Lindsey is older and wiser, with a teenage daughter who needs her more than ever. When her ex-husband is finally released, Lindsey believes she’s cut all ties. But she gets the sense that someone is watching her. Her new boyfriend is threatened. Her home is invaded, and her daughter is shadowed. Lindsey is convinced it’s her ex-husband, even though he claims he’s a different person. But can he really change? Is the one who wants her dead closer to home than she thought?

Chevy Stevens targets her readership with a novel that hits all the notes they come to expect from her—and ratchets up the stakes even more in a novel that explores the darkest heart of love and obsession.

Ope’s Opinion:  WARNING: Do not start this book unless you have ample time to continue reading one more chapter, one more, one more…..  It is amazingly intense!!!  On page one you be absorbed in the story.  During certain portions ( no spoilers ) you may need to remind yourself to breathe.  When you think the story is done, hold on… it isn’t – no details – just read to the end!  My only negative thought of this book is that it wrapped up a little too fast, a little too neatly, a little too easily. I would still recommend this book. 

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Invincible Summer

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Author: Alice Adams
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: BEA 2016

 

Goodreads:  Four friends. Twenty years. One unexpected journey. Inseparable throughout college, Eva, Benedict, Sylvie, and Lucien graduate in 1997, into an exhilarating world on the brink of a new millennium. Hopelessly in love with playboy Lucien and eager to shrug off the socialist politics of her upbringing, Eva breaks away to work for a big bank. Benedict, a budding scientist who’s pined for Eva for years, stays on to complete his PhD in physics, devoting his life to chasing particles as elusive as the object of his affection. Siblings Sylvie and Lucien, never much inclined toward mortgages or monogamy, pursue more bohemian existences-she as an aspiring artist and he as a club promoter and professional partyer. But as their twenties give way to their thirties, the group struggles to navigate their thwarted dreams. Scattered across Europe and no longer convinced they are truly the masters of their fates, the once close-knit friends find themselves filled with longing for their youth- and for one another. Broken hearts and broken careers draw the foursome together again, but in ways they never could have imagined.

A dazzling depiction of the highs and lows of adulthood, Invincible Summer is a story about finding the courage to carry on in the wake of disappointment, and a powerful testament to love and friendship as the constants in an ever-changing world.

Ope’s Opinion: Do you like books set in London with British flare to it?  Then you might want to read this book.  The characters and situations were predictable.  For the most part, you get the surface facts of their lives, but not really the deeper meaning of it, so it was hard to get invested in how it was going to turn out in the end.  It was an easy, sort of summer read, not deep or leave you with lasting memories. 

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