Lucky Streak

Author: Tif Marcelo
Publisher: Montlake
Genre: Romance
Source: Montlake ( Netgalley )

Goodreads: From the USA Today bestselling author of Know You by Heart comes a spirited romance set in the Heart Resort universe—a love story about fate, family, and second chances.

I never thought I’d see her again. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right? But five years later, my casino fling is my new next-door neighbor.

A lot’s happened since we got acquainted in that hotel room. I finished out my military career, took a job with my estranged father, moved to the beach…the only thing that hasn’t changed is that Beatrice has always been on my mind. I can’t let her get away again. Lucky for me, she feels the same way.

Not so lucky, though, is our families’ business rivalry—and our resorts’ competition for the same property.

As much as I want to ride off into the sunset with Beatrice on the back of my bike, we want to make this work. And that means smoothing things out between our families.

If we thought finding each other after our night in Vegas was a long shot, this feud is about to give impossible a whole new meaning.

Ope’s Opinion: I have read several of Tif Marcelo books. I do enjoy her writing and I do enjoy that she writes about her culture.

The beginning of the story almost made me stop reading it. It started out with too much drama for me. The story did improve and I did like the main characters. The pace was a little on the slow side. I did like that Beatrice and Jackson had a bit of a history before their love story began. Second meetings are one of my favorite genres.

Where the Grass is Green and the Girls are Pretty

Author: Lauren Weisberger
Publisher: Random House
Genre: Fiction
Source: Purchased

Goodreads: A seat at the anchor desk of the most-watched morning show. Recognized by millions across the country, thanks in part to her flawless blond highlights and Botox-smoothed skin. An adoring husband and a Princeton-bound daughter. Peyton is that woman. She has it all.

Until . . .

Skye, her sister, is a stay-at-home mom living in a glitzy suburb of New York. She has degrees from all the right schools and can helicopter-parent with the best of them. But Skye is different from the rest. She’s looking for something real and dreams of a life beyond the PTA and pickup.

Until . . .

Max, Peyton’s bright and quirky seventeen-year-old daughter, is poised to kiss her fancy private school goodbye and head off to pursue her dreams in film. She’s waited her entire life for this opportunity.

Until . . .

One little lie. That’s all it takes. For the illusions to crack. For resentments to surface. Suddenly the grass doesn’t look so green. And they’re left wondering: will they have what it takes to survive the truth? 

Ope’s Opinion: It was interesting to read a fictionalize story about the college scams. The story had a lot of realistic aspects to it. The two sisters were opposites, but both lead privileged lives that are a little hard to relate to. Being in the public eye, as Peyton is, makes dealing with the fall out of the scandal more difficult.

I wish the author had made Peyton a little sympathetic. I found it very hard to feel sorry that she got caught, she wasn’t willing to own up to, and acted above most people. The end is the only thing that saved it from a two chair to a three chair for me.

Our Stolen Child

Author: Melissa Wiesner
Publisher: Bookouture
Genre: Fiction
Source: Bookouture ( Netgalley )

Goodreads: I grip my husband’s hand tight. The doctor is frowning. “Mr and Mrs Marcello… I’m so sorry.” She tells us there’s been a terrible mistake. Our last embryo—our last chance—was accidentally given to someone else. The child we made four years ago calls another woman “Mommy.”

Quinn cries silent tears as she folds a tiny knitted cardigan, bought in a moment of hope, and packs it away. All she’s ever wanted is to be a mother. Although her husband James brings her comfort, the knowledge they have no embryos left, and that their child is out there being raised by another family, is tearing them both apart.

When the lawyers tell them there’s a chance to get custody, James is unsure. But Quinn knows she has to take it: if only to look her little girl in the eyes, just once. Meeting Emily and the woman who raised her, Quinn’s heart cracks wide open. Emily looks just like Quinn, right down to her curly hair. And when the little girl flings her arms around Quinn’s waist, she can’t shake the feeling this is where Emily is meant to be.

As the two families reckon with an unimaginable decision, a secret from James’ past surfaces… one that forces Quinn to question everything she thought she wanted. But how will they decide what’s right for the little girl they all love so dearly? And where does Emily truly belong?

An absolutely unputdownable, heart-wrenching read about two families torn apart by one terrible mistake. Anyone who loves Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Diane Chamberlain and Catherine Ryan Hyde won’t be able to put this down.

Ope’s Opinion: I thought this was going to be a long drawn out court case, similar to a Jodi Picoult book. It did have a court case and it did pull at my heart strings, but the actually court time was short – this made me like the story even more.

This is the age old question, what makes a someone a mother, the DNA or time spent raising a child. In this story I was pulled back and forth as to who the “mother” should be. There were some other relationships that were involved in the struggle too. I am being vague because I do not want to spoil the story.

The ending was satisfying, but the epilogue was tied up in a neat bow that was a little too neat!

Magnolia Library Puzzle

This is the box of the Magnolia Library puzzle.

This puzzle was one of the hardest puzzles I have ever done. All the book colors are similar, so it was hard to see where the pieces belong. All the gray shelves were close to some of the book colors too. If you are in for a very hard challenge – buy it from Target.

Out Now!

Goodreads: I grip my husband’s hand tight. The doctor is frowning. “Mr and Mrs Marcello… I’m so sorry.” She tells us there’s been a terrible mistake. Our last embryo—our last chance—was accidentally given to someone else. The child we made four years ago calls another woman “Mommy.”

Quinn cries silent tears as she folds a tiny knitted cardigan, bought in a moment of hope, and packs it away. All she’s ever wanted is to be a mother. Although her husband James brings her comfort, the knowledge they have no embryos left, and that their child is out there being raised by another family, is tearing them both apart.

When the lawyers tell them there’s a chance to get custody, James is unsure. But Quinn knows she has to take it: if only to look her little girl in the eyes, just once. Meeting Emily and the woman who raised her, Quinn’s heart cracks wide open. Emily looks just like Quinn, right down to her curly hair. And when the little girl flings her arms around Quinn’s waist, she can’t shake the feeling this is where Emily is meant to be.

As the two families reckon with an unimaginable decision, a secret from James’ past surfaces… one that forces Quinn to question everything she thought she wanted. But how will they decide what’s right for the little girl they all love so dearly? And where does Emily truly belong?

An absolutely unputdownable, heart-wrenching read about two families torn apart by one terrible mistake. Anyone who loves Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Diane Chamberlain and Catherine Ryan Hyde won’t be able to put this down.

I am reading this now – review to come soon.
Pick this one up today!

The Wedding Promise

Author: Susan Hatler
Publisher: Hatco Publishing
Genre: Fiction
Source: Purchased

Goodreads: When Carrie is reunited with her childhood neighbor Lucas at a friend’s engagement party, it’s obvious why she—and every other girl in school—had a crush on him growing up. In fact, he’s even more handsome and charming than ever.

With her thirtieth birthday approaching, she recalls their teenage promise to marry if they are both still single—a promise she doesn’t know if he remembers and she still dreams might come true.

From a New York Times bestselling author, don’t miss this sweet reunion of soulmates in THE WEDDING PROMISE. 

Ope’s Opinion: This is the fifth in a series, but it read like a stand alone. It was a short book in page count only. It has deep characters that you root for and can relate to. This quick, easy read makes me want to go back and read the series from the beginning.

I have not read Susan Hatler before, but I will be looking for her next book.

Harvest Moon

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Thomas Nelson ( Netgalley )

Goodreads: When a tragedy leaves a divorced couple with guardianship of their friends’ little girl, Laurel and Gavin drop everything for the sake of the child. Meanwhile, a case worker begins searching for a more suitable arrangement, and the estranged couple move into their friends’ home to provide temporary care for Emma and manage the on-property apple orchard. As they work together to comfort the grieving child and manage the busy harvest, tempers flare—as does the passion they both remember so well. But will the seeds of love, still growing inside them, thrive and flourish? Or will grief and regret strangle the feelings before they can fully blossom?

Ope’s Opinion: I love that Denise Hunter is so predictably good. I just know when I open one of her books, it will be a good, clean, heartfelt story. She writes relatable characters that are easy to care about.

This is the third in the series. I have read them all, but I do not think you need to start from the beginning. Each book is focus on different characters, so you don’t feel like you have missed any history.

The second chance at a relationship is one of the sub-genres that I enjoy and she wrote it so well.


Summer on Blackberry Beach

Author: Belle Calhoune
Publisher: Forever
Genre: Romance
Source: Forever ( Netgalley )

Goodreads: A faux summer fling seemed like the perfect solution . . .  until they start falling in love for real.

Teacher Stella Marshall’s summer break has just began, but the gossip is already sizzling: Luke Keegan’s back in town! Stella’s high school crush is all grown up and smolderingly sexy. She might even consider a fling with the former Navy SEAL, if she hadn’t already sworn off all romantic entanglements. But there isn’t a single thing she can do to stop the rumor mill whispering about her and Luke being together—unless . . .

showmance! Luke never thought he’d propose a fake relationship, but it’s the only way to stop the runaway speculation about their love lives. Pretending to date a woman as stunning as Stella is easy. Not actually falling for her is the hard part. Luke isn’t sure he deserves a hometown happy ending, when members of his SEAL team never made it back at all. But there’s real attraction buzzing between him and Stella . . . and he knows she feels it too. Could their faux summer romance lead to true love?

Ope’s Opinion: This story would be perfect as a Hallmark movie. It was very predictable, but that is part of the charm of the book. It was a quick and easy read. The characters were fun and the small town setting was a great part of the story.

I think my only real frustration was some of the repetitiveness. I believe we were told that Luke was a Navy SEAL at least a dozen times each chapter.

On the positive side – it was very wholesome ( which I really enjoy ) and very cute! I do like the sub-genre of faking the relationship until it becomes real.

Coming Soon…

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In September I hope to read….

Publication Date: September 13, 2022
Publisher: Bookouture

Goodreads: I grip my husband’s hand tight. The doctor is frowning. “Mr and Mrs Marcello… I’m so sorry.” She tells us there’s been a terrible mistake. Our last embryo—our last chance—was accidentally given to someone else. The child we made four years ago calls another woman “Mommy.”

Quinn cries silent tears as she folds a tiny knitted cardigan, bought in a moment of hope, and packs it away. All she’s ever wanted is to be a mother. Although her husband James brings her comfort, the knowledge they have no embryos left, and that their child is out there being raised by another family, is tearing them both apart.

When the lawyers tell them there’s a chance to get custody, James is unsure. But Quinn knows she has to take it: if only to look her little girl in the eyes, just once. Meeting Emily and the woman who raised her, Quinn’s heart cracks wide open. Emily looks just like Quinn, right down to her curly hair. And when the little girl flings her arms around Quinn’s waist, she can’t shake the feeling this is where Emily is meant to be.

As the two families reckon with an unimaginable decision, a secret from James’ past surfaces… one that forces Quinn to question everything she thought she wanted. But how will they decide what’s right for the little girl they all love so dearly? And where does Emily truly belong?

An absolutely unputdownable, heart-wrenching read about two families torn apart by one terrible mistake. Anyone who loves Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Diane Chamberlain and Catherine Ryan Hyde won’t be able to put this down.

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

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

Would You Rather

Author: Allison Ashley
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Romance
Source: MIRA ( Netgalley )

Goodreads: Would you rather play it safe in the friend zone, or risk it all with a modern marriage of convenience?

Noah and Mia have always been best friends, and their friendship is the most important thing to them. Life is going great for Noah and he’s up for a promotion in a job he loves. But Mia’s life is on hold as she awaits a kidney transplant. She’s stuck in a dead-end job and, never wanting to be a burden, has sworn off all romance. So when the chance of a lifetime comes to go back to school and pursue her dream, it’s especially painful to pass up. She can’t quit her job or she’ll lose the medical insurance she so desperately needs.

To support her, Noah suggests they get married—in name only—so she can study full-time and still keep the insurance. It’s a risk to both of them, with jobs, health and hearts on the line, and they’ll need to convince suspicious coworkers and nosy roommates that they’re the real deal. But if they can let go of all the baggage holding them back, they might realize that they would rather be together forever.

Ope’s Opinion: The story was a five chair, but the unnecessary use of the “f” word and a few too many steamy scenes brought it down to a four. On the positive side – this is my favorite sub-genre of a fake relationship that turns into a real one. On top of that Noah and Mia have known each other for a long time – I like that too.

The characters in this book drew me in from the first page. I wanted them to admit their feelings for each other to themselves as well as the other person. There were several turns along the way that I did not see coming which added so much to the story.

The ending was exactly what I wanted and expected, but came in a way that I didn’t expect. I would like to read Allison Ashley again.