This Coming Year…

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

Publication date: April 20, 2021
Publisher: Gallery Books

Publication date: April 13, 2021
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

I am sure there will be many more great books coming out this year.
These are just two that I know I want on my bookshelf to start another
great year of reading.  

 

What is coming this year …. to a bookshelf near you?

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

Favorite Books of 2020

I started the year off with one of my top authors,
Kristy Woodson Harvey.
Her book Feels Like Falling was a great way to start this year.

 

First time author Alison Hammer wrote an amazing story.
You will enjoy every minute you spend with her characters.

If suspense is your genre of choice,
The Last Flight can not be missed!

I hope you have had a great year of reading.

Christmas in Winter Hill

Author: Melody Carlson
Publisher:  Fleming H. Revell Company
Genre: Holiday
Source: Purchased

Goodreads: Krista Galloway is not a fan of Christmas. After her rough childhood in multiple foster homes, the holiday season just brings too many bad memories to the surface. But when she accepts a job as a city manager in the mountain town of Winter Hill, Washington, Christmas is part of the deal. The small town is famous for its Christmasville celebration, something that the city manager . . . well, manages.

As she tries to make her tiny new apartment feel like home for her and her eight-year-old daughter, Emily, Krista begins to wonder if this move was a mistake. She doesn’t always feel welcomed in the close-knit town, and Emily continually wonders, “Where’s the snow?” Can a friendly stranger and his family help restore Krista’s Christmas spirit before the big day?

Bestselling author Melody Carlson invites you to spend this holiday season in a town you’ll never forget–and never want to leave. 

Ope’s Opinion: This was a really cute, sweet, short story – perfect at a busy time of year.  Get your favorite hot drink, find a quiet spot, put your feet up and enjoy this read.  The characters are ones you will really like and the story is full of good feelings.

The ending felt a little rushed, but it was what you expect for a good holiday read.

Christmas at Holiday House

 

Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Publisher: HQN
Genre: Holiday Romance
Source: Purchased

Goodreads: In the town of Silver Bells, there’s always a feeling of Christmas in the air… Let love—and RaeAnne Thayne—melt your heart this holiday season!

This New Year will bring widowed nurse Abigail Powell a fresh start in a different city. Excited about the chance to create an unforgettable Christmas for her young son in picturesque Silver Bells, Colorado, Abby has been hired to take care of her dear friend’s recuperating grandmother. But sprightly senior Winnie insists she doesn’t need looking after. What she does need is help decorating her historic mansion, Holiday House, for a seasonal town fundraiser. Abby warms to the festive task, but she’ll have to contend with her own personal Grinch: Winnie’s prickly grandson, Ethan Lancaster.

Ethan Lancaster is good at a lot of things. Relationships surely aren’t one of them. His ex-fiancée convinced Ethan he was incapable of love, and he believes her…up until the moment he impulsively kisses Abby. What is it about this vibrant woman and her sweet son that knocks his world off-kilter? He knows they’re leaving town after Christmas. He just didn’t expect they’d be taking a little of his heart with them. But as he and Abby work together on the magical Holiday House through the record cold weather, visions of a different future dance in his head…one filled with warmth, love and a new beginning for them both.

Ope’s Opinion: RaeAnne Thayne hit this one out of the park!  From page one until the last page I read, I enjoyed it all.  The characters were wonderful and the story was captivating.  I felt like I was there with the way she described everything. It would make a great movie.

Of course the ending was exactly how a holiday book should end – happily around the tree with people you love.  I highly recommend this one.

The Twelve Dates of Christmas

Author: Jenny Bayliss
Publisher: G.P. Putman’s Sons
Genre: Holiday Romance
Source: Penguin Random House

Goodreads:  ‘Tis the season for finding romance in this hilarious and uplifting holiday read

When it comes to relationships, thirty-four-year-old Kate Turner is ready to say “Bah, humbug.” The sleepy town of Blexford, England, isn’t exactly brimming with prospects, and anyway, Kate’s found fulfillment in her career as a designer, and in her delicious side job baking for her old friend Matt’s neighborhood café. But then her best friend signs her up for a dating agency that promises to help singles find love before the holidays. Twenty-three days until Christmas. Twelve dates with twelve different men. The odds must finally be in her favor . . . right?

Yet with each new date more disastrous than the one before–and the whole town keeping tabs on her misadventures–Kate must remind herself that sometimes love, like mistletoe, shows up where it’s least expected. And maybe, just maybe, it’s been right under her nose all along.

Ope’s Opinion: This is a really cute story, the characters are ones you would enjoy having in your life, and it is a heartwarming read for the holidays.  Each chapter is part getting to know Kate and Matt and their relationship.  The other part of the chapter is about Kate’s twelve dates.  Both parts have humor and warm moments.  

As with most romance books, including this one, you know what the ending is going to be.  The journey to get there is the enjoyable read.

Happily this Christmas

Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Holiday Romance
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  Susan Mallery, the #1 New York Times bestselling author of the Fool’s Gold romances, proves there’s no place like Happily Inc for the holidays…

There’s no place like Happily Inc for the holidays…

Wynn Beauchene has a thriving business, a great kid and a mildly embarrassing crush on the guy next door—local cop Garrick McCabe. She’s a strong, independent woman who can’t help dreaming what-if about a man she barely knows. Until he needs her help…

Garrick’s pregnant daughter will be home for Christmas, and his house needs a woman’s touch. Garrick and his little girl were tight once and he’s hoping a small-town Christmas will bring her back to him. But thawing his daughter’s frosty attitude will take more than a few twinkle lights. Maybe sharing the holiday with Wynn and her son will remind her of the joy of family.

As the season works its magic on these wounded souls, Wynn realizes it’s time to stop punishing herself for a painful secret, while Garrick remains haunted by the ghosts of past mistakes. Will he allow Wynn to open the only gift she truly wants—his heart?

Ope’s Opinion: This could be a Hallmark movie, if you took out the unnecessary detailed steamy parts.  The story itself was a good one.  You know from the beginning where it is going to end, but getting there is fun to read.  

Garrick’s daughter was whinny and spoiled – at 21 married and pregnant, she should have been acting like an adult.  The whole story could have been better without her attitude.

The ending was really rushed.  It was what you would expect and want, but a bit too fast.

The Return

Author: Nicholas Sparks
Publisher: Grand Centeral Publishing
Genre: Romance
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  In the romantic tradition of Dear John and The Lucky One, #1 New York Times bestselling author Nicholas Sparks returns with the story of an injured Navy doctor — and two women whose secrets will change the course of his life.

Trevor Benson never intended to move back to New Bern, NC. But when a mortar blast outside the hospital where he worked as an orthopedic surgeon sent him home from Afghanistan with devastating injuries, the dilapidated cabin he inherited from his grandfather seemed as good a place to regroup as any.
Tending to his grandfather’s beloved bee hives while gearing up for a second stint in medical school, Trevor isn’t prepared to fall in love with a local . . . and yet, from their very first encounter, his connection with Natalie Masterson can’t be ignored. But even as she seems to reciprocate his feelings, she remains frustratingly distant, making Trevor wonder what she’s hiding.

Further complicating his stay in New Bern is the presence of a sullen teenage girl, Callie, who lives in the trailer park down the road from his grandfather’s cabin. Claiming to be 19, she works at the local sundries store and keeps to herself. When he discovers she was once befriended by his grandfather, Trevor hopes Callie can shed light on the mysterious circumstances of his grandfather’s death, but she offers few clues — until a crisis triggers a race that will uncover the true nature of Callie’s past, one more intertwined with the elderly man’s passing than Trevor could ever have anticipated.

In his quest to unravel Natalie and Callie’s secrets, Trevor will learn the true meaning of love and forgiveness . . . and that in life, to move forward, we must often return to the place where it all began.

Ope’s Opinion: If you are a Nicholas Sparks fan, you may want to read this one.  It is his traditional book.  The instant love is not something I enjoy.  The story being told solely from Trevors point of view fell flat for me at times.  

The ending was a Nicholas Sparks ending… exactly what you would expect.

 

What Was Mine

 

                                                               Author: Helen Klein Ross
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre:  Mystery
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  Simply told but deeply affecting, in the bestselling tradition of Alice McDermott and Tom Perrotta, this urgent novel unravels the heartrending yet unsentimental tale of a woman who kidnaps a baby in a superstore—and gets away with it for twenty-one years.

Lucy Wakefield is a seemingly ordinary woman who does something extraordinary in a desperate moment: she takes a baby girl from a shopping cart and raises her as her own. It’s a secret she manages to keep for over two decades—from her daughter, the babysitter who helped raise her, family, coworkers, and friends.

When Lucy’s now-grown daughter Mia discovers the devastating truth of her origins, she is overwhelmed by confusion and anger and determines not to speak again to the mother who raised her. She reaches out to her birth mother for a tearful reunion, and Lucy is forced to flee to China to avoid prosecution. What follows is a ripple effect that alters the lives of many and challenges our understanding of the very meaning of motherhood.

Author Helen Klein Ross, whose work has appeared in The New Yorker, weaves a powerful story of upheaval and resilience told from the alternating perspectives of Lucy, Mia, Mia’s birth mother, and others intimately involved in the kidnapping. What Was Mine is a compelling tale of motherhood and loss, of grief and hope, and the life-shattering effects of a single, irrevocable moment.

Ope’s Opinion:  When you read this you will have to accept the story as is because there are several things that are just not realistic.    It started out very intense, but quickly got into every day mundane life.  Then an unbelievable event and some more intense parts.

The story is told from a lot of different points of view.  It is interesting to hear from the kidnapper as well as the mother, and many more people effected by the kidnapping.

I was back and forth between three and four chairs until the end – it was left wide open – the book felt unfinished.  I don’t want to say too much more, so I don’t spoil it.