Look what I picked up!

 Things You Save in a Fire was my first
Katherine Center book.  I enjoyed it so much I
stared looking for more books by Katherine and
look what I found!  I am really looking forward
to reading this one.

Twice in a Blue Moon

Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Romance
Source: Book Expo 2019

 

Goodreads:  As an adventurous send-off to her childhood, eighteen-year-old Tate Jones travels with her grandmother from their small town in Northern California to London. But the vacation of a lifetime is wonderfully derailed by the appearance of two charming Vermont farmers: grandfather Luther and his handsome grandson Sam.

Sam and Tate fall hard and fast. For two glorious weeks, the couple share their hopes, dreams, and secrets. Sam admits he suspects his grandfather is dying and that this could be the last trip they take together, and Tate reveals that she is the hidden daughter of one of the biggest film stars in the world—a secret she’s never told anyone before.

But when Tate is exposed by a crush of cameras and reporters, she knows she’s been betrayed by the one person she thought she could trust. She is forced to decide whether she will return to her quiet life or embrace being in the public eye. So when Sam reappears in her world more than a decade later, can Tate forgive the past and rekindle the passion they shared on their magical trip abroad? And does she even want to?

Ope’s Opinion: This was a disappointment for me.  I had heard such great things about Christina and Lauren’s writing, I guess I was expecting too much.  It wasn’t bad, just okay.  The love story started out as a teen quick romance and ended as they were adults.  The youth of their story felt sort of real and exciting, but the adult felt forced and unnatural.

For me, the constant use of the “f” word, took away from the story.  Also, the detailed sex scenes that I skimmed just didn’t add anything.

The end just left me thinking – okay it is done… not that feeling of I wish I could keep reading.

If Only I Could Tell You

Author: Hannah Beckerman
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Fiction
Source: Book Expo 2019

 

Goodreads:  Hannah Beckerman pens a life-affirming novel that tells the story of a family divided and the secret that  can possibly unite them—a must for fans of This Is Us.

Audrey knows that life is filled with ups and downs, but she can’t help feeling like she’s been dealt more than her fair share as she’s watched her family come undone over the years. Her dream as a mother had been for her daughters, Jess and Lily, to be as close as only sisters can be. But now as adults, they no longer speak to each other, and Audrey’s two teenage granddaughters have never met. Even more upsetting is the fact that Audrey has no idea how to fix her family as she wonders if they will ever be whole again.

If only Audrey had known three decades ago that a secret could have the power to split her family in two, but ironically, also keep them linked. And when hostilities threaten to spiral out of control, a devastating choice that was made so many years ago is about to be revealed, testing once and for all Audrey and those she loves.

Is it too late for one broken family to heal and find their way back to each other…?

A beautiful novel of mothers and daughters, the bonds of family, and the secrets that can sometimes divide us yet also bring us together, If Only I Could Tell You will remain on your mind long after the last page is turned.

Ope’s Opinion:  I got tired of the “if only I could tell” until almost the end.  I would have enjoyed the whole book more if I were in on the secret from the start and see the fall out from there.  Instead, it just frustrated me – it made me skim parts with hopes to figure out what couldn’t be told.

If you are the kind of reader that likes being strung along until the very end, you will enjoy this book.  I just like being in the know, so I had a hard time waiting until the end for the reveal.

Honeysuckle Dreams

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Kristin at Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  Brady Collins is juggling full-time fatherhood with the booming auto repair business he runs out of his barn. His ex-wife’s sudden death has shaken him, but the devastating news that follows leaves him reeling: Sam is not his biological son.

When Sam’s wealthy maternal grandparents decide they want custody of the child, Brady knows he’s in for the fight of his life. Brady’s attorney tips him off that one major life change would virtually assure him of winning guardianship of baby Sam at the final hearing: the stability of an impending marriage. And his friend Hope is willing to step in as the loving and devoted fiancée.
But regardless of what any blood test says, Sam is his son, and Brady will go to any lengths to keep him.

Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has been driven by a solitary goal her entire life, and she’s finally been offered her dream job–in Atlanta. Unfortunately, her arrangement with Brady requires her presence in Copper Creek, and she is faced with missing the chance of a lifetime or standing in the way of a dear friend’s dreams.

Both Hope and Brady would give their lives for beautiful Sam. But can they give their trust to one another? With this new novel in the Blue Ridge Romance series, Honeysuckle Dreams shines light on the complicated and beautiful angles of love.

Ope’s Opinion:  As I started reading this book, I thought I knew where it was going.  Some of it did go where I thought, but there were a few twists along the way.  This was the second in the Blue Ridge series.  You did not have to read the first one to enjoy this one.  It has been a while since I read the first one, but I quickly knew what was going on. 

Hope and Brady’s story was different from most love stories and lot of fun to read.  I enjoyed seeing them find their way from friendship to a loving marriage.  Denise Hunter makes her characters endearing to her readers.

The third book in the series is on my book shelf and will be read soon.

The Library of Lost Things

Author: Laura Taylor Namey
Publisher: Inkyard Press
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Justine at Harper Collins

Goodreads:  From the moment she first learned to read, literary genius Darcy Wells has spent most of her time living in the worlds of her books. There, she can avoid the crushing reality of her mother’s hoarding and pretend her life is simply ordinary. But when a new property manager becomes more active in the upkeep of their apartment complex, the only home Darcy has ever known outside of her books suddenly hangs in the balance.

While Darcy is struggling to survive beneath the weight of her mother’s compulsive shopping, Asher Fleet, a former teen pilot with an unexpectedly shattered future, walks into the bookstore where she works…and straight into her heart. For the first time in her life, Darcy can’t seem to find the right words. Fairy tales are one thing, but real love makes her want to hide inside her carefully constructed ink-and-paper bomb shelter.

Still, after spending her whole life keeping people out, something about Asher makes Darcy want to open up. But securing her own happily-ever-after will mean she’ll need to stop hiding and start living her own truth—even if it’s messy.

Ope’s Opinion: If you are a book lover who likes to read about books and other book lovers, you will probably really enjoy this book.  Although it is a YA book, it deals with adult issues that impact Darcy ( MC ) who is a young adult. 

The relationships are all well developed, realistic and left an impression on me.  I enjoyed watching these relationships grow and mature as Darcy matures.  She has friends that are supportive and understanding, she has a grandmother who is there for her and she has a mother who loves her, but has issues.

The story began a bit slow for me and a little on the sad side, but it improved as it moved along.  Some of the flowery, descriptive writing made me loose track of where the story was going.  But I would still recommend this book to YA book lovers.

 

First Degree From Med School to Murder

Author: Kayla Hounsell
Publisher: Nimbus Publishing
Genre: Nonfiction, Crime
Source: Book Expo 2019

 

Goodreads:  A murder, a missing body, and a sensational trial that shocked the community.

Will Sandeson seemed like a model son. A member of the Dalhousie University track and field team, he was about to start classes at Dalhousie’s medical school. He had attended a medical school in the Caribbean; he worked at a group home for adults with disabilities. “There’s times for whatever reason that things don’t go quite as planned,” a Halifax police officer told Sandeson shortly after he was arrested for the first-degree murder of Taylor Samson, who also, on the surface, seemed like a model son. Samson lived in a fraternity house near Dalhousie, and when the six-foot-five physics student disappeared without a trace, the focus eventually turned to Sandeson.

Sandeson’s trial, with surprising testimony and the unanswered question of what happened to Samson’s body, gripped the university city for months. Through interviews with friends and relatives, as well as transcripts of the trial and Sandeson’s police interrogation, award-winning journalist Kayla Hounsell paints a complex portrait of both the victim and killer, two young men who seemed destined for bright futures. First Degree includes previously unpublished photos and details never made public until now.

Ope’s Opinion: First you need to know, this is not my usual read.  I am a fiction reader most of the time.  This book caught my attention when we were getting ready to go to Book Expo this year.  I couldn’t imagine how a med student got caught up in a murder, so I wanted to read about it.

For me, there were too many details that didn’t seem important to the case or helping me understand what happened and why it happened.  I got lost a few times in the legal system – I do think this book should be a required read for a law student.

The epilogue had more to do with how the university was going to change their way of selecting students, then where everyone was at the present time. I wanted to know how the families were of both Will and Taylor, I wanted to know where their girlfriends are now and how Will’s brothers are doing.