Return to Virgin River

Author: Robyn Carr
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Romance
Source: Katie at Little Bird Publicity

Goodreads:  #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr returns to the beloved town of Virgin River with a brand-new story about fresh starts, new friends and the magic of Christmas.

Kaylee Sloan’s home in Southern California is full of wonderful memories of the woman who raised her. But the memories are prolonging her grief over her mother’s recent death. A successful author, Kaylee hoped she could pour herself into her work. Instead she has terrible writer’s block and a looming deadline.

Determined to escape distractions and avoid the holiday season, Kaylee borrows a cabin in Virgin River. She knows the isolation will help her writing, and as she drives north through the mountains and the majestic redwoods, she immediately feels inspired. Until she arrives at a building that has just gone up in flames. Devastated, she heads to Jack’s Bar to plan her next steps. The local watering hole is the heart of the town, and once she crosses the threshold, she’s surprised to be embraced by people who are more than willing to help a friend—or a stranger—in need.

Kaylee’s world is expanding in ways she never dreamed possible. And when she rescues a kitten followed by a dog with a litter of puppies, she finds her heart opening up to the animals who need her. And then there’s the dog trainer who knows exactly how to help her. As the holidays approach, Kaylee’s dread turns to wonder. Because there’s no better place to spend Christmas than Virgin River. 

Ope’s Opinion: What an awesome story.  It is the beginning of my Christmas reading and this is the perfect one to start off the season.  The mother / daughter relationship feels close to mine.  Although it had sad parts, it was a positive uplifting story.

This is part of a long series I have been reading since it started, it was great to see where all the characters are now.  You certainly could read this one alone.   This book is more romance than some of her books.  I enjoyed that the romance was slow and sweet.  The ending was what you wanted and expected.

The Lost Husband

Author: Katherine Center
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

 

Goodreads:  “Dear Libby, It occurs to me that you and your two children have been living with your mother for — Dear Lord! — two whole years, and I’m writing to see if you’d like to be rescued.” The letter comes out of the blue, and just in time for Libby Moran, who, after the sudden death of her husband, Danny, went to stay with her hypercritical mother. Now her crazy Aunt Jean has offered Libby an escape, a job and a place to live on her farm in the Texas Hill Country. Before she can talk herself out of it, Libby is packing the minivan, grabbing the kids, and hitting the road.

Life on Aunt Jean’s goat farm is both more wonderful and more mysterious than Libby could have imagined. Beyond the animals and the strenuous work, there is quiet, deep, country quiet. But there is also a shaggy, gruff (though purportedly handsome, under all that hair) farm manager with a tragic home life, a formerly famous feed-store clerk who claims she can contact Danny “on the other side,” and the eccentric aunt Libby never really knew but who turns out to be exactly what she’s been looking for. And despite everything she’s lost, Libby soon realizes how much more she’s found. Libby hasn’t just traded one kind of crazy for another; she may actually have found the place to bring her little family, and herself, back to life. 

Ope’s Opinion:  Let me just state upfront that I am a Katherine Center fan, which lead me to read her back list – this being one of them.  I had such high expectations that this one just couldn’t live up to.  If it had been my first Katherine Center book, I may have liked it more ( that is kind of sad ).

I thought the whole story was slow moving and meandered down a path, where it got lost once in a while.  The characters were likable, her aunt was quirky, and O’Connor was a bit strange, but all were interesting to read about.

All that being said, I will continue to read Katherine Centers books.

The Last Flight

Author: Julie Clark
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Genre: Thriller
Source: Krstin at Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  THE INSTANT NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER!
                    THE INSTANT USA TODAY BESTSELLER!

Two women. Two Flights. One last chance to disappear.

Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to the scion of a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse and a staff of ten, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns as bright as his promising political career, and he’s not above using his staff to track Claire’s every move, making sure she’s living up to his impossible standards. But what he doesn’t know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish.

A chance meeting in an airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision to switch tickets ― Claire taking Eva’s flight to Oakland, and Eva traveling to Puerto Rico as Claire. They believe the swap will give each of them the head start they need to begin again somewhere far away. But when the flight to Puerto Rico goes down, Claire realizes it’s no longer a head start but a new life. Cut off, out of options, with the news of her death about to explode in the media, Claire will assume Eva’s identity, and along with it, the secrets Eva fought so hard to keep hidden.

The Last Flight is the story of two women―both alone, both scared―and one agonizing decision that will change the trajectory of both of their lives. 

Ope’s Opinion:  I am not sure I have the words to explain how great this book is.  It made me hold my breath and feel the tension these characters were feeling.  Just start reading…. you won’t want to stop.

Thrillers always have twists, some times you can see them coming – not this one!  Just when you think you know where the story is going, Clark throws in a curve.  So you keep reading to see what is next!

This amazing story, was written really well and had an ending that just made the book perfect! I will be looking for her next book.

Autumn Skies

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Margaret at Harper Collins

 

 

Goodreads:  From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom and A December Bride (now beloved Hallmark Original movies) comes the third and final novel in the Bluebell Inn series!

When a mysterious man turns up at Grace’s family-run inn, it’s instant attraction. But she’s already got a lot on her plate: running the Bluebell Inn, getting Blue Ridge Outfitters off the ground, and coping with a childhood event she’d thought was long past.

A gunshot wound has resurrected the past for secret service agent Wyatt Jennings, and a mandatory leave of absence lands him in Bluebell, North Carolina. There he must try and come to grips with the crisis that altered his life forever.

Grace needs experience for her new outfitters business, so when Wyatt needs a mountain guide, she’s more than happy to step up to the plate. As their journey progresses, Grace soon has an elusive Wyatt opening up, and Wyatt is unwittingly drawn to Grace’s fresh outlook and sense of humor.

There’s no doubt the two have formed a special bond, but will Wyatt’s secrets bring Grace’s world crashing down? Or will those secrets end up healing them both?

Ope’s Opinion:   This is the third of the Bluebell Inn series.  As usual Denise Hunter writes amazing characters, who are easy to care about.  At the start of the story, I was having a little bit of a struggle with Grace and Wyatt’s first hike – for me parts of it just didn’t feel natural.  

After they came home from the hike, the rest of the story and their relationship picked up and was fun to read and follow.  I always enjoy how Denise brings her characters together, how they respect each other and how the romance is slow and clean.

The end is amazing – some of which you expect and some little surprises.  Such a good read!

Don’t Overthink It

Author: Anne Bogel
Publisher: Baker Books
Genre: Nonfiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  We’ve all been there: stuck in a cycle of what-ifs, plagued by indecision, paralyzed by the fear of getting it wrong. Nobody wants to live a life of constant overthinking, but it doesn’t feel like something we can choose to stop doing. It feels like something we’re wired to do, something we just can’t escape. But is it?

Anne Bogel’s answer is no. Not only can you overcome negative thought patterns that are repetitive, unhealthy, and unhelpful, you can replace them with positive thought patterns that will bring more peace, joy, and love into your life. In Don’t Overthink It, you’ll find actionable strategies that can make an immediate and lasting difference in how you deal with questions both small–Should I buy these flowers?–and large–What am I doing with my life? More than a book about making good decisions, Don’t Overthink It offers you a framework for making choices you’ll be comfortable with, using an appropriate amount of energy, freeing you to focus on all the other stuff that matters in life.

Ope’s Opinion: I have the physical book on my shelf, but I ended up listening to this one.  Anne’s voice was great for this book.  She had examples and thoughts to go along with her ideas of making life easier.  Her examples helped plant the ideas in my head.

I will go back to this book again, I am sure.  I will ask myself the questions at the end of the chapters again and see how far I have come and what still needs to be worked on along the way.  It is a work in progress, so it will be fun to see what comes easy and what I will be going back to again and again.

Thank you, Kristin of Kritters Ramblings for buying this book for me.  We share  many different books, it is always fun to have my book world opened a little wider.

Out Now

Out today!!  Robyn Carr’s
Return to Virgin River!!

Goodreads:  Kaylee Sloan’s home in Southern California is full of wonderful memories of the woman who raised her. But the memories are prolonging her grief over her mother’s recent death. A successful author, Kaylee hoped she could pour herself into her work. Instead she has terrible writer’s block and a looming deadline.

Determined to escape distractions and avoid the holiday season, Kaylee borrows a cabin in Virgin River. She knows the isolation will help her writing, and as she drives north through the mountains and the majestic redwoods, she immediately feels inspired. Until she arrives at a building that has just gone up in flames. Devastated, she heads to Jack’s Bar to plan her next steps. The local watering hole is the heart of the town, and once she crosses the threshold, she’s surprised to be embraced by people who are more than willing to help a friend—or a stranger—in need.

Kaylee’s world is expanding in ways she never dreamed possible. And when she rescues a kitten followed by a dog with a litter of puppies, she finds her heart opening up to the animals who need her. And then there’s the dog trainer who knows exactly how to help her. As the holidays approach, Kaylee’s dread turns to wonder. Because there’s no better place to spend Christmas than Virgin River.

If you are a Virgin River reader you need to put this on your TBR list now!

The Queen of Hearts

Author: Kimmery Martin
Publisher: Brekley
Genre: Fiction
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  A debut novel set against a background of hospital rounds and life-or-death decisions that pulses with humor and empathy and explores the heart’s capacity for forgiveness…

Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties, when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they’re happily married wives and mothers with successful careers–Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling, until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years.

As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie’s life–both professionally and personally–throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick’s unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend.

Ope’s Opinion: There are two things I love about this book – friendship and Charlotte, NC.  It was interesting to watching Zadie and Emma really get to know each other after being friends for many years.  

A lot of the medical talk went over my head.  It took away from the story for me.  I found myself skimming those parts to get to the friendship and the secrets in the story.

I have her second book The Antidote For Everything, on my shelf.  I will try it.  I hope there is more story and less medical jargon.

 

Two Truths and a Lie

Author: Meg Mitchell Moore
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Mystery
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  From the author of The Islanders comes a warm, witty and suspenseful novel filled with small-town secrets, summer romance, big time lies and spiked seltzer, in the vein of Liane Moriarty.

Truth: Sherri Griffin and her daughter, Katie, have recently moved to the idyllic beach town of Newburyport, Massachusetts. Rebecca Coleman, widely acknowledged former leader of the Newburyport Mom Squad (having taken a step back since her husband’s shocking and tragic death eighteen months ago), has made a surprising effort to include these newcomers in typically closed-group activities. Rebecca’s teenage daughter Alexa has even been spotted babysitting Katie.

Truth: Alexa has time on her hands because of a recent falling-out with her longtime best friends for reasons no one knows—but everyone suspects have to do with Alexa’s highly popular and increasingly successful YouTube channel. Katie Griffin, who at age 11 probably doesn’t need a babysitter anymore, can’t be left alone because she has terrifying nightmares that don’t seem to jibe with the vague story Sherri has floated about the “bad divorce” she left behind in Ohio. Rebecca Coleman has been spending a lot of time with Sherri, it’s true, but she’s also been spending time with someone else she doesn’t want the Mom Squad to know about just yet.

Lie: Rebecca Coleman doesn’t have a new man in her life, and definitely not someone connected to the Mom Squad. Alexa is not seeing anyone new herself and is planning on shutting down her YouTube channel in advance of attending college in the fall. Sherri Griffin’s real name is Sherri Griffin, and a bad divorce is all she’s running from.

A blend of propulsive thriller and gorgeous summer read, Two Truths and a Lie reminds us that happiness isn’t always a day at the beach, some secrets aren’t meant to be shared, and the most precious things are the people we love.

Ope’s Opinion: There are a lot of people with a lot going on in this book.  It is not hard to keep it straight because each chapter is labeled.  One of the things I really liked about this story was that the secrets came out throughout the whole book, little by little.  There were some things that were held to the end, but it didn’t all come out at once.

The Mom Squad was a bit over the top for me, but I am sure they exist some where.  They were a bit too catty for my liking.  I was glad I was not the move-in of their group, actually I was glad I was not a part of their group at all!

Although this book is the mystery category, I think it more women’s fiction with a little mystery on the edges of it.

Book News!

I went on vacation ( the beach ) last week.
It was a great week to be away, but….
Look what I missed –

The cover of Kristy’s book was revealed!
Isn’t it beautiful!  Can’t wait to read this one.
For me she is a go-to author – I read all of her stories.

When I got home, this is what was on my door step…

This is what I picked up at The Island Book Store.

I am excited about the reading I have ahead of me!