Nowhere but Home

Author: Liza Palmer
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings 

 

Goodreads:  Queenie Wake, a country girl from North Star, Texas, has just been fired from her job as a chef for not allowing a customer to use ketchup. Again. Now the only place she has to go is home to North Star. She can hope, maybe things will be different. Maybe her family’s reputation as those Wake women will have been forgotten. It’s been years since her mother-notorious for stealing your man, your car, and your rent money-was killed. And her sister, who as a teenager was branded as a gold-digging harlot after having a baby with local golden boy Wes McKay, is now the mother of the captain of the high school football team. It can’t be that bad…

Who knew that people in small town Texas had such long memories? And of course Queenie wishes that her memory were a little spottier when feelings for her high school love, Everett Coburn, resurface. He broke her heart and made her leave town-can she risk her heart again?

At least she has a new job-sure it’s cooking last meals for death row inmates but at least they don’t complain!

But when secrets from the past emerge, will Queenie be able to stick by her family or will she leave home again? A fun-filled, touching story of food, football, and fooling around.

Ope’s Opinion:  This is a cute, predictable story.  I liked that Queenie tried all the different cities and jobs – she was independent and trying to make it on her own.  Life brought her back home – not where she wanted to be, but she made the best of that too.  I enjoyed Queenie and Merry Carol’s relationship.  It is a good book, but not a stand out one.  

The Antidote for Everything

Author: Kimmery Martin
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  In this whip-smart and timely novel from acclaimed author Kimmery Martin, two doctors travel a surprising path when they must choose between treating their patients and keeping their jobs.

Georgia Brown’s profession as a urologist requires her to interact with plenty of naked men, but her romantic prospects have fizzled. The most important person in her life is her friend Jonah Tsukada, a funny, empathetic family medicine doctor who works at the same hospital in Charleston, South Carolina and who has become as close as family to her.

Just after Georgia leaves the country for a medical conference, Jonah shares startling news. The hospital is instructing doctors to stop providing medical care for transgender patients. Jonah, a gay man, is the first to be fired when he refuses to abandon his patients. Stunned by the predicament of her closest friend, Georgia’s natural instinct is to fight alongside him. But when her attempts to address the situation result in incalculable harm, both Georgia and Jonah find themselves facing the loss of much more than their careers.

Ope’s Opinion: This was an interesting read.  This is my second Kimmery Martin book.  She definitely has a different perspective when she writes stories.  There were parts of this story that I felt went off on a tangent I never did figure out why they were included.  

I really did enjoy Georgia and Jonah’s relationship and support of each other.  This relationship was what saved this book for me.

Put a Ring on It

Author: Beth Kendrick
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Chic Lit
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads: The author of New Uses for Old Boyfriends returns to the Delaware seashore town of Black Dog Bay, where one woman learns to put passion before practicality…

Brighton Smith doesn’t do outrageous. As an insurance actuary, it’s her job to assess risk and avoid bad investments. But when her fiancé calls to confess he’s married someone else on a whim (“I looked at her and I just knew!”), she snaps…

That night, at a local bar, Jake Sorensen—hot, rich, and way out of her league—buys Brighton a cocktail. At midnight, she kisses him. And by dawn, they’re exchanging vows at a drive-through chapel.

Brighton knows Jake is a bad bet, but she doesn’t care. After a lifetime of playing it safe, she’s finally having fun. Until the whirlwind romance gives way to painful reality…and Brighton finds out the truth about why a guy like Jake married a girl like her. With her heart on the line and the odds stacked against them, Brighton must decide whether to cut her losses or take a leap of faith that this love affair is one in a million.

Ope’s Opinion: This is the third in the Black Dog Bay series.  Although it could be read alone, it is so much more fun to start at the beginning.  I enjoyed this read, but not as much as the first two.

I really like the small town setting.  It was great to see some “old friends” from the previous books – that is kind of how they feel – like seeing someone you haven’t seen in a while.  This story line was a bit different from the first two, but I like that she ( Beth Kendrick ) isn’t using a formula to write each book.

I liked how the story was wrapped the up.  Thanks to my daughter, I have the next one on my shelf – I will be reading it soon.

A Place For Us

Author: Liza Gyllenhaal
Publisher: NAL
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Purchased

 

 

Goodreads:  Brook Bostock has led a privileged life. The daughter of an extremely wealthy and prominent family, she married the man of her dreams and is raising two deeply loved children. But her happy home is shattered when a neighborhood teenager is assaulted during a night of drinking with the Bostocks’ son and his prep school friends.

The scandal receives national attention—not only because of Brook’s family name, but because of the lawsuit looming against Brook and her husband, Michael, that alleges they are responsible for what went on in their house. Suddenly the small Massachusetts town they call home seems to be turning against them, revealing the simmering jealousies and resentments that have been lurking under the surface all along.

With their once-perfect family in danger of falling apart, Brook and Michael must find a way to get through this together—or risk losing everything they love… 

Ope’s Opinion: This is a solid three chair read.  The characters feel real, the situation the family is in is hard and the reactions are normal.  I don’t want to talk specifics because I don’t want to give the story away.  

One thing that kept it from being a four was Brook is from a family that has money and they kept talking about it as if it were a bad or negative thing.  It just didn’t fit in with the rest of the story.  I just didn’t see why it was brought up so often or even mattered. Also, the use of the “f” word added nothing to this story – actually felt out of place.

There were secrets and they came out naturally and slowly.  I like that they didn’t save all the secrets to the end of the book.  The ending was what you would expect.  There weren’t too many surprises.

Layover

Author: David Bell
Publisher: Berkley Books
Genre: Mystery
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  In this high concept psychological suspense novel from the USA Today bestselling author of Somebody’s Daughter, a chance meeting with a woman in an airport sends a man on a
pulse-pounding quest for the truth…

Joshua Fields takes the same flights every week for work. His life is a series of departures and arrivals, hotels and airports. During yet another layover, Joshua meets Morgan, a beautiful stranger with whom he feels an immediate connection. When it’s time for their flights, Morgan gets up to leave, leans over and passionately kisses Joshua, lamenting that they’ll never see each other again.

As Morgan slips away, Joshua is left feeling confused by what just happened between them. That’s when he looks up and is shocked to see Morgan’s face flashing on a nearby TV screen. He’s even more shocked when he learns the reason why–Morgan is a missing person.

What follows is a whirlwind, fast-paced journey filled with lies, deceit, and secrets to discover the truth about why Morgan is on the run. But when he finally thinks every mystery is solved, another rears its head, and Joshua’s worst enemy may be his own assumptions about those around him… 

Ope’s Opinion:  I bought this book while I was on vacation at the beach thinking I would read it when I got home to savor it.  I really like David Bells writing and his short chapters keep a book moving.  This one was a bit of a disappointment.  I do understand that this book is fiction, but you really have to suspend your reality in this one.  

What kept me reading was wanting to know how it would end, but I wasn’t anxious to get back to the book when I put it down.  The ending answered your questions, but it was not very satisfying.

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.

The Daughters Join the Party

                                                               Author: Joanna Philbin
Publisher: Poppy Books
Genre: Young Adult
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  They didn’t ask for fame. They were born with it.

In the third Daughters novel, The Daughters Take the Stage, Hudson found her own place in “the family business,” aka: show business. Now, for the first time, readers will meet Emma Conway, daughter of a powerful New York State Senator.

Emma has never fit into the sweater-set-wearing world of her political family, opting for purple hair and Chuck Taylors to keep herself out of countless photo ops, but when she accidentally lets her father’s presidential plans slip on national television, Emma finds herself thrown into the spotlight. Facing pressure to be the perfect First Daughter-in-training, Emma must learn to speak up for herself and for what she believes in. Thankfully, she has her new friends and fellow daughters – Lizzie, Carina, and Hudson – to help her along the way.

Ope’s Opinion: I read the second one of this series and wasn’t thrilled with it, but already owned the fourth, so I thought I would read it.  It is much better then the second one.  It is part of the series, but you can read it alone.

This one was focused on Emma and her becoming friends with Lizzie, Carina and Hudson.  It was also about her father running for office.  It was still a little too woe is me for people with a lot of money.

It reads fast and easy.  If you need something to just pass the time, you could pick this one up.  All the problems are there, then quickly solved with not very many consequences, so I would not want my teen to read this.

Keeper by Surprise

Author: Laurie Larsen
Publisher: Random Moon Books
Genre: Romance
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  College life provides the reprieve Keith Hanson dreamed of while growing up in his father’s strict household. Now, he concentrates on keeping his grades up (just enough to get Dad off his back), and loving his girlfriend Carly. He never knew life could be this good. Until a terrible accident leaves his parents killed, and Keith named as guardian over his three siblings. Although only 20, he’s the one now who has to earn money to support the family and take care of the kids. Including the discipline, something his teenage sister Dana is totally lacking.

Brand new social worker Lisa Carle has a lot to prove to her boss about her ability to do a good job. But it’s hard to focus on professionalism when she’s falling in love with the client. Can the two of them help each other? And will their budding relationship survive screaming twins, a teenage runaway and an unethical boss?

Ope’s Opinion:  I enjoyed this book.  It showed the struggle that Keith had stepping up to be a parent before he was prepared to be.  The reason and the way the social services were called into this family situation did not seem very realistic to me.  

Just a bit too descriptive of sexual thoughts and activity.  I didn’t enjoy reading that part – some was at the beginning of the book – which made me almost stop reading it all together.  It also ended up not being all the important in the story.

It was a predictable romance with the ending you would expect. 

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.