The Matchmaker Bride

Author: Ginny Baird
Publisher: Entangled Publishing, LLC
Genre: Romance
Source: Entangled: Amara ( Netgalley )

Goodreads: A delightful romantic comedy from New York Times bestselling author Ginny Baird…

Successful Boston matchmaker and television personality Meredith Galanes’s reputation is on the line. During a guest appearance on a morning talk show, she’s broadsided by questions about her own romantic attachments, just as she’s trying to secure a syndication deal. Afraid to admit her love life is a total disaster, Meredith blurts out that she’s seriously involved with a very special man—a boatbuilder in Maine. She never expects that small slip to get spun into a story about her supposed engagement.

Or that the paparazzi will track the guy down…

Derrick Albright is laid-back about many things. Being hounded by the press about some imaginary engagement to a woman he’s only met once—and couldn’t stand—isn’t one of them. Then Meredith actually shows up at his cabin in Blue Hill, Maine, with an apology, a pot roast, and a proposal—play along until she secures her TV deal, and she’ll help him win back his ex.

It’s a simple plan, but if they have any chance of pulling it off, they’ll have to survive each other first…

Ope’s Opinion: This is the perfect book to be made into a Hallmark movie. It has everything you would want in a sweet romance. The way the story was written, I was rooting for Meredith and Derrick from the very begin.

You did not have to read the first one to know what was going on in this book, but I sure wish I had. I felt like I missed the beginning of Meredith and Derrick’s relationship – when they met and how they started off with some misunderstandings. I really enjoyed that this was not insta-love. I also liked that it was a sweet love story with no steamy scenes.

This ended the way you want your romance book to end – happy and lead into the next book. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

The Family Across the Street

Author: Nicole Trope
Publisher: Bookouture
Genre: Thriller
Source: Bookouture ( Netgalley )

Goodreads: Sometimes, the most perfect families are hiding the most terrible secrets. How well do you know the people next door…?

Everybody wants to live on Hogarth Street, the pretty, tree-lined avenue with its white houses. The new family, The Wests, are a perfect fit. Katherine and Josh seem so in love and their gorgeous five-year-old twins race screeching around their beautiful emerald-green lawn.

But soon people start to notice: why don’t they join backyard barbecues? Why do they brush away offers to babysit? Why, when you knock at the door, do they shut you out, rather than inviting you in?

Every family has secrets, and on the hottest day of the year, the truth is about to come out. As a tragedy unfolds behind closed doors, the dawn chorus is split by the wail of sirens. And one by one the families who tried so hard to welcome the Wests begin to realise: Hogarth Street will never be the same again.

Ope’s Opinion: This book is very intense. I liked how Nicole Trope gave us back ground on the characters. It made the story move slowly at times. I did not enjoy that children were part of this story, that was really hard to read.

The twist toward the end of the book was really interesting. I didn’t see it coming, which made it even better.

In the Mail…

Came a thriller book!

Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: January 4, 2022

Goodreads: A twisty, whip-smart debut thriller, as electrifying as the #1 New York Times bestseller The Girl on the Train, about impending motherhood, unreliable friendship, and the high price of keeping secrets.

Helen’s idyllic life—handsome architect husband, gorgeous Victorian house, and cherished baby on the way (after years of trying)—begins to change the day she attends her first prenatal class and meets Rachel, an unpredictable single mother-to-be. Rachel doesn’t seem very maternal: she smokes, drinks, and professes little interest in parenthood. Still, Helen is drawn to her. Maybe Rachel just needs a friend. And to be honest, Helen’s a bit lonely herself. At least Rachel is fun to be with. She makes Helen laugh, invites her confidences, and distracts her from her fears.

But her increasingly erratic behavior is unsettling. And Helen’s not the only one who’s noticed. Her friends and family begin to suspect that her strange new friend may be linked to their shared history in unexpected ways. When Rachel threatens to expose a past crime that could destroy all of their lives, it becomes clear that there are more than a few secrets laying beneath the broad-leaved trees and warm lamplight of Greenwich Park.

Thank you Simon & Schuster!

One Night Only

Author: Catherine Walsh
Publisher: Bookouture
Genre: Romance
Source: Bookouture ( Netgalley )

Goodreads: Who could have predicted this? Being at the same wedding. In Ireland. There’s a reason one-night stands are one-night stands. You’re not supposed to see each other again, especially not when you’re the maid of honor, and he’s the groom’s brother…

Sarah Anderson has never been more excited about anything in her life. She’s going to her best friend’s wedding. And not just any wedding. An Irish wedding. Goodbye New York, hello rolling green hills and men with beautiful accents and twinkling eyes.

But Sarah should have known that not all guests are fairy-tale princes…

There’s the chinless Uncle Trevor, whose idea of small talk is to claim climate change is a conspiracy.

Then there’s Great Aunt Eileen, who doesn’t talk at all (she’s too busy replacing the hotel cutlery with her own set).

Worst of all, there’s Declan Murphy. Best man. Brother of the groom. And the man Sarah last saw naked.

Is there anything more mortifying than bumping into a one-night stand halfway across the world? Especially as Declan seems determined to embarrass Sarah at every turn. At least when the wedding’s over she’ll never have to see him again.

But, back in New York, Sarah finds the more she tries to forget Declan, the more she can’t shake the thought of that infuriatingly charming smile and the way he wears a tux…

Was he really just for one night only, or might Declan Murphy be The One?

Prepare to laugh until you cry with this perfect feel-good romantic comedy about taking a chance on love. Fans of Sophie Ranald, Sophie Kinsella and Marian Keyes won’t be able to put this down!

Ope’s Opinion: This was a solid 3.5 so I rounded up to 4 chairs. I liked Sarah and Declan, but I did get a little frustrated with the together, apart, together thing – it happened too often.

At the beginning it was fun to watch the two of them figure each other out, the middle moved a little slow, and the end had a surprise and a good ending. The last few chapters made the story so complete. Hard to believe this was Catherine Walsh’s debut novel. I would definitely read what she writes next.

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In August I hope to read….

Publication Date: April 27, 2021
Publisher: Red Adept Publishing

Goodreads:

Two friends. One pact. The performance of their lives.

Hannah Abbott is stuck in a dead-end relationship and at a job she loves but that barely pays the bills. The four walls of her tiny New York City apartment have never seemed so small. She’s barely toasted her thirtieth birthday when her old college friend Will knocks on her door with an unexpected proposal.

Will Thorne never forgot the marriage pact he made with Hannah, but he also never imagined he’d be the one to initiate it. One ex-fiancée and an almost-career-ending mistake later, however, he finds himself outside Hannah’s door, on bended knee, to collect on their graduation-night pinky promise.

With both of their futures at stake, Hannah and Will take a leap of faith.

Now, all they have to do is convince their friends and family that they’re madly in love. As long as they follow the list of rules they’ve drafted, everything should go smoothly. Except Will has never been good with rules, and Hannah can’t stop overthinking the sleeping arrangements. Turning thirty has never been so promising.

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

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

In the Mail….

Came a very interesting book.

If you are interested in the Kennedy family, this might be a read you won’t want to miss.
It will be published August 3, 2021.

Goodreads: Acclaimed biographer Susan Ronald reveals the truth about Joseph P. Kennedy’s deeply controversial tenure as Ambassador to Great Britain on the eve of World War II.

On February 18, 1938, Joseph P. Kennedy was sworn in as US Ambassador to the Court of St. James. To say his appointment to the most prestigious and strategic diplomatic post in the world shocked the Establishment was an understatement: known for his profound Irish roots and staunch Catholicism, not to mention his “plain-spoken” opinions and womanizing, he was a curious choice as Europe hurtled toward war.

Initially welcomed by the British, in less than two short years Kennedy was loathed by the White House, the State Department and the British Government. Believing firmly that Fascism was the inevitable wave of the future, he consistently misrepresented official US foreign policy internationally as well as direct instructions from FDR himself. The Americans were the first to disown him and the British and the Nazis used Kennedy to their own ends.

Through meticulous research and many newly available sources, Ronald confirms in impressive detail what has long been believed by many: that Kennedy was a Fascist sympathizer and an anti-Semite whose only loyalty was to his family’s advancement. She also reveals the ambitions of the Kennedy dynasty during this period abroad, as they sought to enter the world of high society London and establish themselves as America’s first family. Thorough and utterly readable, The Ambassador explores a darker side of the Kennedy patriarch in an account sure to generate attention and controversy.

Thank you, Michelle at St. Martin Press.

Time to Grow

Author: Claudia Shelton
Publisher: CCS Writings, LLC
Genre: Fiction
Source: CCS Writings ( Netgalley )

Goodreads: Welcome back to Nature’s Crossing as the small community starts to expand… Where the new subdivision, Peaceful Lake Acres, is bringing jobs for the area, new friendships and chances to embrace the future.

Thirty-four-year-old widow Rylie Crawford is struggling to get Crawford Enterprises out of the red since discovering company funds have been embezzled. She’s determined to hold onto the company she and her deceased husband started years ago. When the TRED Corporation hires her to take over commercial sales in their new subdivision development, one stipulation is that she live in Nature’s Crossing for the duration of the contract. She hadn’t counted on the only accommodation left in town being the first floor of the house the TRED CEO owns. Neither had he.

After his father’s heart attack, Taylor Randolph was named CEO of TRED, the family’s nationally renowned land development company. Focused on expanding the environment-nature-friendly brand of the company, he’s spending most of his time at their newest development, Peaceful Lake Acres. He’s also hoping the small-town atmosphere of Nature’s Crossing brings him some peace. But when he’s forced to share his house with Rylie, he has more to keep under control than the recurring flashbacks from his time in the military.

Ope’s Opinion: This was an easy, enjoyable read. The characters were realistic, the story fun, and the setting felt like a little get away for me. I especially enjoyed the sisters relationship. This was the second in the series, but I did not feel like I was missing anything. It felt like a stand alone book.

As you know my take on romance books – I could have enjoyed this more if the explicit scenes were left out of this book. I felt like the story could have been complete without this part of the book, but I also know this part of some romance books.

There was a small twist at the end of the book that added to the story. I would like to read another book by Claudia Shelton.

Summer Reads

These are the books that I purchased and hope to read this summer.

These were purchased on our beach trip.
Now I hope to have some quiet time and get to reading.

What are you reading this summer? I am always looking for a good read.

Surf Puzzle

This is the box that this Master Pieces puzzle came in.

This is the poster that came with this puzzle.

The Surf Puzzle finished. It is 750 pieces. It is a little below average puzzle – the pieces are a bit thick. The colors are great! I might try Mater Pieces puzzle again.

Willow

Author: Grace Parks
Publisher: Author Collective 20
Genre: Romance
Source: Author Collective 20 ( Netgalley )

Goodreads: Willow Lawson is a fun loving social media expert, who helps companies stand out from their competitors. Yet, despite her bubbly personality, her social life is mostly work-related, and her love life is non-existent. That’s when she starts The Pepper Lane Club, a chance to get away once a month from her maddening life and reconnect with her friends. It’s at this very first meeting that she meets Thomas Greer, who owns the café. He’s everything she’s not. He’s serious, unsociable, unfashionable, and dead set against social media. She decides to take him on as a client despite his refusals. She wants the challenge, and she wants to prove to him that he needs her help. He frustrates her, but there’s something about his old fashioned ways that also intrigues her.

Six women. Six stories. Six chances of love. One café.
The Pepper Lane series tells the stories of six women, who agree to meet once a month at their local café. They promise to meet no matter what life throws their way, and, as we soon find out, life throws a lot more than any of them expected. Friendships are forged, and deepened, as the women get to know each other. It’s only once a month, but they soon realize how important this little club has become to each of them. They might be an unlikely group of friends, but it takes all types to form a tribe.

Ope’s Opinion: This is in the romance genre and there was some romance in this book, but the female friendship is really at the center of the story. The females are strong, independent woman with other things in their lives along with the romance. This is the first book of the series.

It was a very good read that engaged me from the beginning and made me want to carve out more time to get back to reading it. I liked being introduced to all six woman and getting to know a little about their personalities. This book focused on Willow. She was a bit all over the place – that is just her personality, I enjoyed her.

I am looking forward to getting to know the other woman. I hope in the next book ( about Riley ) will include some about where Willow is too. I felt like her story wasn’t quite done.