Coming Soon…

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In August I hope to read…

Publication Date: August 11, 202
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

Goodreads:  In Until I Find You, celebrated author Rea Frey brings you her most explosive, emotional, taut domestic drama yet about the powerful bond between mothers and children…and how far one woman will go to bring her son home.

The Set-Up

Soon, Rebecca Gray won’t be able to see. Diagnosed in her twenties with a degenerative eye disease, each day her world grows a little darker. She’s moved to the suburbs to raise her son, Jackson. In the wake of her husband’s death, it should be a quieter, easier way of life.

It won’t be.

The Moment That Changes Everything

When Bec awakes after fainting in the park, she makes promises to start taking better care of herself. When her son begins to cry, she approaches the crib.

Reaches in.

Picks him up.

But he’s not her son.

The Search

There’s nothing Bec won’t do to find Jackson. But she’s a blind woman in a world where seeing is believing. The police think she’s confused. Her friends don’t see any differences. Relying on the conviction of her instinct and the power of a mother’s love, Bec must push the limits of her world to uncover what happened to her baby boy…and bring him home for good.

 

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

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

Dune Drive

Author: Mariah Stewart
Publisher: Pocket Books
Genre: Romance
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  Always believing she was an ugly duckling, Chrissy Jenkins thought she had finally turned into a swan when her real-life Prince Charming swept her off her feet. But as his true character began to crack his perfect facade, Chrissy realized that not only was she better off without him, but that she was the only one who had the power to transform her life.

Returning to her ancestral home on Cannonball Island for a family wedding, Chrissy is reintroduced to a legacy she’d all but forgotten. In choosing to stay on the island, she reboots her life, successfully reinventing herself as a sous chef at the Inn at Sinclair’s Point just over the bridge in St. Dennis. But despite her newfound self-confidence, she still doesn’t trust her taste in men. So when she meets Jared Chandler, a handsome ship salvager staying at the inn while he conducts a nearby recovery operation, Chrissy’s certain she can keep him as a friend—even though he’s everything any woman would want in a man. As fellow newcomers, together they discover the charm of the historic bayside town and explore the idyllic island.

But when Chrissy agrees to be Jared’s date for his father’s wedding, they embark on a weekend that will find them each seeing the other in a completely different light, one that will change their lives forever.

Ope’s Opinion: Mariah Stewart writes my kind of romance.  It is a slow moving relationship, the steamy part is small and not until they really know each other and it feels real.  This is the 12th book in the series, the only one I have read – I could tell I missed some details or back ground that happened in a previous book, but it did not effect my reading of Chrissy’s story.  It can be read alone.

Towards the end of the book, it gave you some hints of who the next story might be about.  It reminds me of Robyn Carr’s series, which I really do enjoy reading.  The ending was what you would expect and want from  a romance book.

Things I Never Told You

Author: Beth K. Vogt
Publisher: Tyndale House Publishers
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  “With tenderness and skill, Beth Vogt examines the price of secrets, the weight of tragic loss, and the soul-deep poison of things left unsaid.” –Lisa Wingate, NYT bestselling author of Before We Were Yours

It’s been ten years since Payton Thatcher’s twin sister died in an accident, leaving the entire family to cope in whatever ways they could. No longer half of a pair, Payton reinvents herself as a partner in a successful party-planning business and is doing just fine–as long as she manages to hold her memories and her family at arm’s length.

But with her middle sister Jillian’s engagement, Payton’s party-planning skills are called into action. Which means working alongside her opinionated oldest sister, Johanna, who always seems ready for a fight. They can only hope that a wedding might be just the occasion to heal the resentment and jealousy that divides them . . . until a frightening diagnosis threatens Jillian’s plans and her future. As old wounds are reopened and the family faces the possibility of another tragedy, the Thatchers must decide if they will pull together or be driven further apart.

Ope’s Opinion:  I think it is really 3.5 – I just don’t have a half of a chair.  If you are a Christian fiction reader, have a church library, or just love a good family story, this book is for you.  It is the first of three books about sisters.  Each sister gets her story, but no ones story is ever in a bubble, so you see all three sisters throughout the book. 

I did get a little tired of Johanna’s pushy personality and the other sisters not standing up to her, but it was also very real.  I think most of us can find ourselves in one of these sisters.  Or maybe you have a sister like one of them!  

This is a relatable story that like life isn’t always easy or pleasant.

 

Musical Chairs

Author:  Amy Poeppel
Publisher: Atria / Emily Bestler Books
Genre: Romance
Source : Megan at Atria Books

 

Goodreads:  Bridget and Will have the kind of relationship that people envy: they’re loving, compatible, and completely devoted to each other. The fact that they’re strictly friends seems to get lost on nearly everyone; after all, they’re as good as married in (almost) every way. For three decades, they’ve nurtured their baby, the Forsyth Trio—a chamber group they created as students with their Juilliard classmate Gavin Glantz. In the intervening years, Gavin has gone on to become one of the classical music world’s reigning stars, while Bridget and Will have learned to embrace the warm reviews and smaller venues that accompany modest success.

Bridget has been dreaming of spending the summer at her well-worn Connecticut country home with her boyfriend Sterling. But her plans are upended when Sterling, dutifully following his ex-wife’s advice, breaks up with her over email and her twin twenty-somethings arrive unannounced, filling her empty nest with their big dogs, dirty laundry, and respective crises.

Bridget has problems of her own: her elderly father announces he’s getting married, and the Forsyth Trio is once again missing its violinist. She concocts a plan to host her dad’s wedding on her ramshackle property, while putting the Forsyth Trio back into the spotlight. But to catch the attention of the music world, she and Will place their bets on luring back Gavin, whom they’ve both avoided ever since their stormy parting.

With her trademark humor, pitch-perfect voice, and sly perspective on the human heart, Amy Poeppel crafts a love letter to modern family life with all of its discord and harmony. In the tradition of novels by Maria Semple and Stephen McCauley, Musical Chairs is an irresistibly romantic story of role reversals, reinvention, and sweet synchronicity. 

Ope’s Opinion: The title of this book fits it perfectly on many levels.  Beside the musical chairs of the trio, there are many partners for many characters.  This is very much a character driven story.  The pace was a little bit slow at times for me.  

This would have grabbed my attention a bit more if I had more musical knowledge.  Some of the references got lost on me.  Overall, an average read.

Dear Emmie Blue

Author: Lia Louis
Publisher: Atria / Emily Bestler Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Imani at Simon & Schuster

 

 

Goodreads:  In this charming and poignant novel, teenager Emmie Blue releases a balloon with her email address and a big secret into the sky, only to fall head-over-heels for the boy who finds it; now, fourteen years later, the one thing Emmie has been counting on is gone for good, and everything she planned is up in the air.

At sixteen, Emmie Blue stood in the fields of her school and released a red balloon into the sky. Attached was her name, her email address…and a secret she desperately wanted to be free of. Weeks later, on a beach in France, Lucas Moreau discovered the balloon and immediately emailed the attached addressed, sparking an intense friendship between the two teens.

Now, fourteen years later, Emmie is hiding the fact that she’s desperately in love with Lucas. She has pinned all her hopes on him and waits patiently for him to finally admit that she’s the one for him. So dedicated to her love for Lucas, Emmie has all but neglected her life outside of this relationship—she’s given up the search for her absentee father, no longer tries to build bridges with her distant mother, and lives as a lodger to an old lady she barely knows after being laid off from her job. And when Lucas tells Emmie he has a big question to ask her, she’s convinced this is the moment he’ll reveal his feelings for her. But nothing in life ever quite goes as planned, does it?

Emmie Blue is about to learn everything she thinks she knows about life (and love) is just that: what she thinks she knows. Is there such thing as meant to be? Or is it true when they say that life is what happens when you are busy making other plans? A story filled with heart and humor, Dear Emmie Blue is perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Evvie Drake Starts Over.

Ope’s Opinion: This story started out slow and kind of depressing.  It took too long for Emmie to get out of her funk and open her eyes to see who and what was right in front of her.  No one seems to say what they are really thinking or feeling.  Luke can’t even tell anyone the color of suit he wants to wear.  I got a little frustrated with the characters. Her mother was a mess and very hurtful.

As I read, it did get somewhat better.  I am glad I finished it, but not sure I would  be able to pass it on.  Read the other reviews – I am in the minority on this one.

What You Wish For

Author: Katherine Center
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Romance
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  From Katherine Center, the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel full of heart and hope.

Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas—the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building, the butterfly garden. But when the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, it turns out his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter—a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s from many years before.

When Duncan shows up as her new boss, though, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s become stiff, and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now, with Duncan determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security—and turn it into nothing short of a prison—Sam has to stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.

Ope’s Opinion: This is in the romance genre, but it is so much more then that. It is about a whole community and their relationships.  It is about letting your guard down and letting other people into your life.  

I am a huge fan of Katherine Center and her writing.  I think my expectations were too high for this book.  This story was good, but not my favorite of hers.  It took a large part of the book for the story to really get going for me.  Once I was into it, I really did enjoy it.  Having said that, I will still look for her next book to read.   The ending is what you expect.

 

Daughters of the Bride

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

Goodreads:  With Joy, Love and a Little Trepidation, Courtney, Sienna and Rachel Invite You to the Most Emotional Wedding of the Year… Their Mother’s

Courtney

~ The Misfit ~

As the awkward one, Courtney Watson may not be as together as her sisters, but she excels at one thing—keeping secrets, including her white-hot affair with a sexy music producer. Planning Mom’s wedding exposes her startling hidden life, changing her family’s view of her—and how she views herself—forever.

Sienna

~ The Free Spirit ~

When Sienna’s boyfriend proposes—in front of her mom and sisters, for crying out loud—he takes her by surprise. She already has two broken engagements under her belt. Should she say “I do” even if she’s not sure she does?

Rachel

~ The Cynic ~

Rachel thought love would last forever…right up until her divorce. As Mom’s wedding day draws near and her ex begs for a second chance, she’s forced to acknowledge some uncomfortable truths about why her marriage failed, and decide if she’ll let pride stand in the way of her own happily-ever-after.

Ope’s Opinion: This is definitely a romance book – so if you like the steamy part of a story, you will love this one.  For me, I could have used a lot less details about the steamy part of the relationships ( it’s just me ).

The rest of the story was wonderful!  Lots of family relationships, each with a little drama – an appropriate amount! I love a good sister story and this was one.  All the relationships have their bumps along the way, that are worked out.

This is a light, enjoyable read that will leave you smiling with a happily ever after ending.  I will read another Susan Mallery any time.

I Was Told It Would Get Easier

Author: Abbi Waxman
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  Squashed among a bus full of strangers, mother-daughter duo Jessica and Emily Burnstein watch their carefully mapped-out college tour devolve into a series of off-roading misadventures, from the USA Today bestselling author of The Bookish Life of Nina Hill.

Jessica and Emily Burnstein have very different ideas of how this college tour should go.

For Emily, it’s a preview of freedom, exploring the possibility of her new and more exciting future. Not that she’s sure she even wants to go to college, but let’s ignore that for now. And maybe the other kids on the tour will like her more than the ones at school. . . . They have to, right?

For Jessica, it’s a chance to bond with the daughter she seems to have lost. They used to be so close, but then Goldfish crackers and Play-Doh were no longer enough of a draw. She isn’t even sure if Emily likes her anymore. To be honest, Jessica isn’t sure she likes herself.

Together with a dozen strangers–and two familiar enemies–Jessica and Emily travel the East Coast, meeting up with family and old friends along the way. Surprises and secrets threaten their relationship and, in the end, change it forever. 

Ope’s Opinion: My daughter liked this book so much, she pre-ordered a copy for me!  We are both fans of Abbi Waxman.  She really knows how to bring characters alive and make you feel like you are there.

This mother / daughter story reminded me of the days my girls were looking at colleges. Seems we all have our own agendas and aren’t sure we should share what we think and feel.  Those growing pains are difficult.

The ending wrapped things up.  I am ready for another Abbi Waxman book!

The Lies that Bind

Author: Emily Giffin
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Fiction
Source: Purchased

Goodreads:  n the irresistible new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted and Something Borrowed, a young woman falls hard for an impossibly perfect man before he disappears without a trace. . . .

It’s 2 A.M. on a Saturday night in the spring of 2001, and twenty-eight-year-old Cecily Gardner sits alone in a dive bar in New York’s East Village, questioning her life. Feeling lonesome and homesick for the Midwest, she wonders if she’ll ever make it as a reporter in the big city–and whether she made a terrible mistake in breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, Matthew.

As Cecily reaches for the phone to call him, she hears a guy on the barstool next to her say, “Don’t do it–you’ll regret it.” Something tells her to listen, and over the next several hours–and shots of tequila–the two forge an unlikely connection. That should be it, they both decide the next morning, as Cecily reminds herself of the perils of a rebound relationship. Moreover, their timing couldn’t be worse–Grant is preparing to quit his job and move overseas. Yet despite all their obstacles, they can’t seem to say goodbye, and for the first time in her carefully constructed life, Cecily follows her heart instead of her head.

Then Grant disappears in the chaos of 9/11. Fearing the worst, Cecily spots his face on a missing-person poster, and realizes she is not the only one searching for him. Her investigative reporting instincts kick into action as she vows to discover the truth. But the questions pile up fast: How well did she really know Grant? Did he ever really love her? And is it possible to love a man who wasn’t who he seemed to be?

The Lies That Bind is a mesmerizing and emotionally resonant exploration of the never-ending search for love and truth–in our relationships, our careers, and deep within our own hearts.

Ope’s Opinion: This story has characters I really cared about, a story line that grabbed me and kept me intrigued.  You think all  twists and turns are done – nope, there is another one!  The pacing of the story was perfect!  

This would have been a five chair until…

The ending was anticlimactic.  It felt like it was written for a different book.  For me, it felt like Emily Giffin was trying to make the ending like a typical romance novel, when the rest of the book was not typical.  It was being wrapped up in a perfect bow, when it should have been left unraveled.