The Stories We Tell

Author: Patti Callahan Henry
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Fiction
Source: Karen’s Korner

Goodreads:  Bestselling author Patti Callahan Henry is back with a powerful novel about the stories we tell and the people we trust.

Eve and Cooper Morrison are Savannah’s power couple. They’re on every artistic board and deeply involved in the community. She owns and operates a letterpress studio specializing in the handmade; he runs a digital magazine featuring all things southern gentlemen. The perfect juxtaposition of the old and the new, Eve and Cooper are the beautiful people. The lucky ones. And they have the wealth and name that comes from being part of an old Georgia family. But things may not be as good as they seem.

Eve’s sister, Willa, is staying with the family until she gets “back on her feet.” Their daughter, Gwen, is all adolescent rebellion. And Cooper thinks Eve works too much. Still, the Morrison marriage is strong. After twenty-one years together, Eve and Cooper know each other. They count on each other. They know what to expect. But when Cooper and Willa are involved in a car accident, the questions surrounding the event bring the family close to breaking point. Sifting between the stories—what Cooper says, what Willa remembers, what the evidence indicates—Eve has to find out what really happened. And what she’s going to do about it.

A riveting story about the power of truth, The Stories we Tell will open your eyes and rearrange your heart.

Ope’s Opinion: When you start reading this book, put away any preconceived ideas of where this story is going.  The path is winding, at times frustrating, and isn’t what I expected.  The tension in the story starts from the beginning – it is what kept me reading. 

I do wish Eve ( the main character ) had been a stronger person.  She was a bit naive.  It took her a long time to look truth in the face.  I think she knew it long before she accepted it.

The ending is a little too neat after the unexpected story – just a little disappointing.

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Welcome to our family Max!

This is our newest reader.This  is our grandson Maxwell Conrad Otey.
He was born Tuesday, February 13.
He is 6 pounds 11 ounces, 19.5 inches long.

This is his oldest sister Emma.

This is his other sister Payton.

This is our first grandson after two daughters
and two granddaughters.

All are home and well now.

Merry and Bright

Author: Debbie Macomber
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Fiction / Holiday
Source:  Library

 

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 Smith 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.

Ope’s Opinion:  I liked the story.  It was a nice, light read.  I think it should be made into a Hallmark movie. 

This was the first book I have listened to.  The reader did a good female voices, but the male voices were very fake and kind of gruff when the character wasn’t.  I did like being able to do laundry or cook while listening to a book.  I will probably try listening to books again.

Save this one for next Christmas – it will be a wonderful escape!

After Anna

Author: Alex Lake
Publisher: Harper Collins
Genre: Mystery / Thriller
Source: Harper Collins

 

Goodreads:  The real nightmare starts when her daughter is returned…

A bone-chilling psychological thriller that will suit fans of Gone Girl by Gillian Flynn, Daughter by Jane Shemilt, and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins.

A girl is missing. Five years old, taken from outside her school. She has vanished, traceless. The police are at a loss; her parents are beyond grief. Their daughter is lost forever, perhaps dead, perhaps enslaved. But the biggest mystery is yet to come: one week after she was abducted, their daughter is returned. She has no memory of where she has been. And this, for her mother, is just the beginning of the nightmare.

Ope’s Opinion:  Although you know from the synopsis that Anna is kidnapped and returned, the reading was very intense and scary.  The story is moved along from the point of view of the mother and the kidnapper. 

The middle part of the book lagged.  I feel like the author was trying to keep the reader intrigued and make it tense.  Instead, it just made the story drag out longer then necessary.

The end was good, I guess for a mystery thriller.  It was bit over the top for me.  A little too unbelievable.  Not sure how to explain it without ruining the outcome.  Figured it out, but not too far in advance.

Only You

Author: Denise Grover Swank
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Romance
Source: Library

 

Goodreads:  Romance isn’t an option for Holly Greenwood. With her wedding planner career on the line she needs to stay focused, and that means pleasing her demanding boss, not getting distracted by her mind-alteringly hot neighbor . . .

Ex-Marine Kevin Vandemeer craves normalcy. Instead, he has a broken-down old house in need of a match and some gasoline, a meddling family, and the uncanny ability to attract the world’s craziest women. At least that last one he can fix: he and his buddies have made a pact to swear off women, and this includes his sweetly sexy new neighbor.

After one hot night that looks a whole lot like a disaster in the light of day, Kevin and Holly are about to learn that true love doesn’t play by the rules . . .

Ope’s Opinion:  This was the second book by Denise Grover Swank that I have read.  The first one ( One Paris Summer ) was amazing!  It made me search out another book by her.  This one was disappointing.

Realizing this is in the Romance genre, I expected some steamy parts.  But there wasn’t enough story to go along with the steam for me.  I didn’t see what Holly and Kevin had in common other then physical attraction.  Add to that, the foul language was over used in place of some descriptive words that would have helped me see what DGS was wanting me to visualize ( telling me that Kevin’s house looked like “shit”  didn’t help me see it ).

If DGS writes another Young Adult book, I might pick it up.

Out Now

If you like to read a mystery with a dark, twisted tale,
pick up this book today!

Goodreads:  When family secrets are unearthed, a woman’s past can become a dangerous place to hide…

After the death of her adoptive mother, Ava Saunders comes upon a peculiar photograph, sealed and hidden away in a crawl space. The photo shows a shuttered, ramshackle house on top of a steep hill. On the back, a puzzling inscription: Destiny calls us.

Ava is certain that it’s a clue to her elusive past. Twenty-three years ago, she’d been found wrapped in a yellow blanket in the narthex of the Holy Saviour Catholic Church—and rescued—or so she’d been told. Her mother claimed there was no more to the story, so the questions of her abandonment were left unanswered. For Ava, now is the time to find the roots of her mother’s lies. It begins with the house itself—once the scene of a brutal double murder.

When Ava enlists the help of the two people closest to her, a police detective and her best friend, she fears that investigating her past could be a fatal mistake. Someone is following them there. And what’s been buried in Ava’s nightmares isn’t just a crime. It’s a holy conspiracy.

Thank you Ashley at Thomas & Mercer!