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.

The Lies that Bind

Author: Emily Giffin
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Fiction
Source: Purchased

Goodreads:  n the irresistible new novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of All We Ever Wanted and Something Borrowed, a young woman falls hard for an impossibly perfect man before he disappears without a trace. . . .

It’s 2 A.M. on a Saturday night in the spring of 2001, and twenty-eight-year-old Cecily Gardner sits alone in a dive bar in New York’s East Village, questioning her life. Feeling lonesome and homesick for the Midwest, she wonders if she’ll ever make it as a reporter in the big city–and whether she made a terrible mistake in breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, Matthew.

As Cecily reaches for the phone to call him, she hears a guy on the barstool next to her say, “Don’t do it–you’ll regret it.” Something tells her to listen, and over the next several hours–and shots of tequila–the two forge an unlikely connection. That should be it, they both decide the next morning, as Cecily reminds herself of the perils of a rebound relationship. Moreover, their timing couldn’t be worse–Grant is preparing to quit his job and move overseas. Yet despite all their obstacles, they can’t seem to say goodbye, and for the first time in her carefully constructed life, Cecily follows her heart instead of her head.

Then Grant disappears in the chaos of 9/11. Fearing the worst, Cecily spots his face on a missing-person poster, and realizes she is not the only one searching for him. Her investigative reporting instincts kick into action as she vows to discover the truth. But the questions pile up fast: How well did she really know Grant? Did he ever really love her? And is it possible to love a man who wasn’t who he seemed to be?

The Lies That Bind is a mesmerizing and emotionally resonant exploration of the never-ending search for love and truth–in our relationships, our careers, and deep within our own hearts.

Ope’s Opinion: This story has characters I really cared about, a story line that grabbed me and kept me intrigued.  You think all  twists and turns are done – nope, there is another one!  The pacing of the story was perfect!  

This would have been a five chair until…

The ending was anticlimactic.  It felt like it was written for a different book.  For me, it felt like Emily Giffin was trying to make the ending like a typical romance novel, when the rest of the book was not typical.  It was being wrapped up in a perfect bow, when it should have been left unraveled.

Let It Snow

Author: Nancy Thayer
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Holiday Book
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  A Nantucket shopkeeper discovers that Christmas is the perfect occasion to make unexpected friendships . . . to warm the coldest of hearts–and maybe even find love.

Christina Antonioni is preparing for the holidays at her Nantucket toy shop, unpacking last-minute shipments and decorating for her loyal Christmas shoppers. But when her Scrooge of a landlord, Oscar Bittlesman, raises her rent, it seems nearly impossible for Christina to continue business on the wharf.

Even so, Christina hopes there is a warm heart underneath Oscar’s steely exterior. When she bonds with Wink, his sweet, young granddaughter who frequents the shop, it becomes clear that perhaps he isn’t so cold after all. And with the help of Wink’s uncle, who happens to be a charming and very handsome bachelor, this may be the best Christmas any of them could have ever imagined. Nancy Thayer’s enchanting Nantucket setting provides the perfect backdrop for this holiday love story.

Ope’s Opinion: The setting and the story was perfect for this time of year.  It made me want to take a trip to Nantucket and walk around the wharf – it sounds wonderful!

Christina is the main character – I really liked her, but I didn’t care for the part where she talked to herself and called herself IC ( Inner Christina ).  I would have rather she talked to her cat, then herself.  It was not constantly through the whole book, so I enjoyed the most of it.

The ending was predictable – exactly what you want and expect for a holiday story.

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In July I hope to read….

Surfside Sisters

Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Goodreads: A woman from Nantucket returns home to find that reunions aren’t always so simple in this heartwarming novel from the New York Times bestselling author of A Nantucket Wedding and Secrets in Summer .

Growing up, Lara always dreamed of leaving Nantucket to become a writer. Now that she’s a bestselling novelist living in New York City, she realizes that success isn’t what she thought it would be. Confused, and with a harrowing case of writer’s block, Lara misses the island way of life more than ever. But going back to Nantucket out of the blue isn’t so easy, as a deep rift with her childhood best friend, Isabelle, has kept the two from speaking for years.

When her mother is laid off from her job and becomes depressed, Lara reluctantly comes home, leaving a failed relationship and hopefully her other troubles behind. But facing her estranged best friend is harder than she expects. And falling for Isabelle’s brother, Sebastian–who was also Lara’s teenage crush–only complicates things. Lara soon realizes that she must remedy the mistakes of her past in order to find true happiness.

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

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

The Last One Home

Author: Debbie Macomber
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Romance
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  Growing up, Cassie Carter and her sisters, Karen and Nichole, were incredibly close — until one fateful event drove them apart. After high school, Cassie ran away from home to marry the wrong man, throwing away a college scholarship and breaking her parents’ hearts. To make matters worse, Cassie had always been their father’s favorite — a sentiment that weighed heavily on her sisters and made Cassie’s actions even harder to bear.

Now thirty-one, Cassie is back in Washington, living in Seattle with her daughter and hoping to leave her past behind. After ending a difficult marriage, Cassie is back on her own two feet, the pieces of her life slowly but surely coming together. Despite the strides Cassie’s made, she hasn’t been able to make peace with her sisters. Karen, the oldest, is a busy wife and mother, balancing her career with raising her two children. And Nichole, the youngest, is a stay-at-home mom whose husband indulges her every whim. Then one day, Cassie receives a letter from Karen, offering what Cassie thinks may be a chance to reconcile. And as Cassie opens herself up to new possibilities — making amends with her sisters, finding love once more — she realizes the power of compassion, and the promise of a fresh start.

Ope’s Opinion:  This was probably a 3.5.  I loved the part of the story that centered around the sisters and their relationships.  The romance was predictable and okay, but not really all that exciting.

I really liked the cover and the title of this book.  It fit the story line so well.  I liked that Cassie picked herself up and figured things out on her own before the rest of her life came together.

I would read another Debbie Macomber book, if I was looking for something quick and easy to read.

All We Ever Wanted

Author: Emily Giffin
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenaged girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.

Ope’s Opinion: This is not the typical Emily Giffin book ( certainly not what I was expecting to read on the airplane ).  She attempted to tackle too many issues and tiptoed around all of them.  I don’t think she wanted to offend anyone, so she didn’t really face the issues head on.

While I was reading, the story kept my attention, but after I was done, I was disappointed.
** Trying to state my opinion without giving away any spoilers.  The characters were not made accountable for their actions – what kind of message does that send?   The ending just glossed over what happened as if no one was hurt in the process.  There wasn’t any justice.

I will think twice next time about spending the money on a Giffin book.

Coming Soon…

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In November I hope to read….

Publication Date: November 16, 2017
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Goodreads:  Christmas is the season of the heart, and #1 New York Times bestselling author Debbie Macomber is here to warm yours with a delightful holiday novel of first impressions and second chances.

Merry Knight is pretty busy these days. She’s taking care of her family, baking cookies, decorating for the holidays, and hoping to stay out of the crosshairs of her stressed and by-the-book boss at the consulting firm where she temps. Her own social life is the last thing she has in mind, much less a man. Without her knowledge, Merry’s well-meaning mom and brother create an online dating profile for her–minus her photo–and the matches start rolling in. Initially, Merry is incredulous, but she reluctantly decides to give it a whirl.

Soon Merry finds herself chatting with a charming stranger, a man with similar interests and an unmistakably kind soul. Their online exchanges become the brightest part of her day. But meeting face-to-face is altogether different, and her special friend is the last person Merry expects–or desires. Still, sometimes hearts can see what our eyes cannot. In this satisfying seasonal tale, unanticipated love is only a click away.

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

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

Secrets in Summer

Author: Nancy Thayer
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source:  Random House

 

 

Goodreads:  The queen of beach books (The Star-Ledger) returns to the shores of Nantucket in a novel about one memorable summer when flirtations flourish, family dramas play out, and scandalous secrets surface.

Memorial Day weekend means that seasonal visitors have descended on the glamorous island of Nantucket. For year-round resident Darcy Cotterill, it means late-night stargazing in the backyard of the beautiful house she grew up in and inherited from her beloved grandmother. It s also Darcy s chance to hit the beach and meet her new summertime neighbors. But the last person the thirty-year-old librarian expects to see staying next door is her ex-husband, Boyz, along with his wife, Autumn, and stepdaughter, Willow.

Darcy must also navigate the highs and lows of a new romantic relationship with local carpenter Nash Forester even as she becomes smitten with handsome vacationer Clive Rush, a musicologist in town to write a book and visit family. And she finds herself pulled into the concerns of Boyz, Autumn, a charming elderly neighbor, and an at-risk teen.

As the season nears its end, Darcy must decide her next move: retreating to the comforts of her steady and secure island life, or risking it all for a chance at true happiness.

Ope’s Opinion:  If you are a romance reader you will definitely love this story.  There is plenty of steamy scenes for you – too many for me.  I felt like sex was casual for Darcy.

This is one for your beach bag this summer.  It will take you to the beach, it is a very light read and repeats itself enough you can be interrupted and still follow the whole story.

The ending is exactly what you expected and want when you read Nancy Thayer.