The Whole Way Home

Author: Sarah Creech
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: William Morrow

 

Goodreads:  A ferocious talent on the brink of making it big in Nashville must confront her small town past and an old love she’s never forgotten in this engaging novel—a soulful ballad filled with romance, heartbreak, secrets, and scandal from the author of Season of the Dragonflies.

Playing to packed houses while her hit song rushes up the charts, country singer and fiddler Jo Lover is poised to become a big Nashville star like her idols, Loretta, Reba, and Sheryl. To ensure her success, Jo has carefully crafted her image: a pretty, sassy, down-to-earth girl from small-town Virginia who pours her heart into her songs.

But the stage persona she’s built is threatened when her independent label merges with big-time Capitol Records, bringing Nashville heartthrob JD McCoy—her first love—back into her life. Long ago Jo played with JD’s band. Then something went wrong, they parted ways and took their own crooked roads to stardom. Now, Jo’s excited—and terrified—to see him again.

When the label reunites them for a show, the old sparks fly, the duet they sing goes viral, and fans begin clamoring for more—igniting the media’s interest in the compelling singer. Why is a small-town girl like Jo so quiet about her past? When did she and JD first meet? What split them apart? All too soon, the painful secret she’s been hiding is uncovered; a shocking revelation that threatens to destroy her reputation and her dreams. To salvage her life and her career, Jo must finally face the past—and her feelings for JD—to become the true Nashville diva she was meant to be.

Ope’s Opinion:  Recently my daughter and I were in Nashville and I went to the Ryman Auditorium.  It really helped me picture Jo on stage, which made this story more enjoyable. Reading about the behind scenes of country music was interesting.

Jo, like most people, has things in her past that she doesn’t care to share with the world.  Being famous makes it harder to keep secrets, being famous also makes it harder to know who to trust with those secrets.

This was a predictable story that had a nice even flow to it.  I enjoyed the relaxed read and actually wanted the ending just the way it is.

This Just In…

From Claire, at Little Bird Publicity

Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Mira Books

Goodreads:  Mothers and daughters, sisters and cousins–they lived for summers at the lake house until a tragic accident changed everything. The Summer That Made Us is an unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again.

That was then…

For the Hempsteads, two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, summers were idyllic. The women would escape the city the moment school was out to gather at the family house on Lake Waseka. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything.

This is now…

After an accidental drowning turned the lake house to a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. For good. Torn apart, none of the Hempstead women speak of what happened that summer, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth.

Robyn Carr has crafted a beautifully woven story about the complexities of family dynamics and the value of strong female relationships.

Thank you Little Bird Publicity ( Claire ) for sending this one!

This Just In….

Publication Date:  September 12, 2017
Publisher:  Penguin Press

Goodreads:  In Shaker Heights, a placid, progressive suburb of Cleveland, everything is planned – from the layout of the winding roads, to the colors of the houses, to the successful lives its residents will go on to lead. And no one embodies this spirit more than Elena Richardson, whose guiding principle is playing by the rules.
Enter Mia Warren – an enigmatic artist and single mother – who arrives in this idyllic bubble with her teenaged daughter Pearl, and rents a house from the Richardsons. Soon Mia and Pearl become more than tenants: all four Richardson children are drawn to the mother-daughter pair. But Mia carries with her a mysterious past and a disregard for the status quo that threatens to upend this carefully ordered community.
When old family friends of the Richardsons attempt to adopt a Chinese-American baby, a custody battle erupts that dramatically divides the town–and puts Mia and Elena on opposing sides. Suspicious of Mia and her motives, Elena is determined to uncover the secrets in Mia’s past. But her obsession will come at unexpected and devastating costs.

Thank you Penguin Press!

Published: June 1, 2017
Publisher: Thomas & Mercer

Goodreads:  Ella Broden is living a double life.

By day, Ella works as a buttoned-up attorney on some of the city’s most grueling cases. By night, she pursues her passion for singing in the darkest clubs of Manhattan.

No one knows her secret, not even Charlotte, the younger sister she practically raised. But it seems she’s not the only one in the family with something to hide. When Charlotte announces she’s sold her first novel, Ella couldn’t be more thrilled…until she gets a call that her sister’s gone missing.

Ella starts investigating with the help of Detective Gabriel Velasquez, an old flame in the NYPD, and what she finds is shocking. If art imitates life, then her sister’s novel may contain details of her real-life affairs. And any one of her lovers could be involved in her disappearance.

Desperate to bring Charlotte home, Ella works through her list of suspects, matching fictitious characters with flesh-and-blood men. But will it be too late to save the sister she only thought she knew?

Thank you Thomas & Mercer for this book.

Everything We Keep is the first of this series.  It was published August 1, 2016.
Everything We Left Behind will be published:  July 4, 2017
Publisher:  Lake Union Publishing

Goodreads:  From the Wall Street Journal bestselling author of Everything We Keep comes the highly anticipated sequel. Told from one man’s two perspectives, Everything We Left Behind effortlessly blends suspense, mystery, and romance in an exploration of loss, resilience, and the compelling need to protect the ones we love at all cost.

Two months before his wedding, financial executive James Donato chased his trade-laundering brother Phil to Mexico, only to be lost at sea and presumed dead. Six and a half years later, he emerges from a dissociative fugue state to find he’s been living in Oaxaca as artist Carlos Dominguez, widower and father of two sons, with his sister-in-law Natalya Hayes, a retired professional surfer, helping to keep his life afloat. But his fiancée, Aimee Tierney, the love of his life, has moved on. She’s married and has a child of her own.

Devastated, James and his sons return to California. But Phil is scheduled for release from prison, and he’s determined to find James, who witnessed something in Mexico that could land Phil back in confinement. Under mounting family pressure, James flees with his sons to Kauai, seeking refuge with Natalya. As James begins to unravel the mystery of his fractured identity, danger is never far behind, and Natalya may be the only person he can trust.

Thank you Ashley for passing this book on to me.  Looks awesome!

 

Coming Soon…

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In November I hope to read….

emily-price

Publication Date:  November 1, 2016
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Goodreads:  Art restorer Emily Price has never encountered anything she can’t fix—until she meets Ben, an Italian chef, who seems just right. But when Emily follows Ben home to Italy, she learns that his family is another matter . . .

Emily Price—fix-it girl extraordinaire and would-be artist—dreams of having a gallery show of her own. There is no time for distractions, especially not the ultimate distraction of falling in love.

But Chef Benito Vassallo’s relentless pursuit proves hard to resist. Visiting from Italy, Ben works to breathe new life into his aunt and uncle’s faded restaurant, Piccollo. Soon after their first meeting, he works to win Emily as well—inviting her into his world and into his heart.

Emily astonishes everyone when she accepts Ben’s proposal and follows him home. But instead of allowing the land, culture, and people of Monterello to transform her, Emily interferes with everyone and everything around her, alienating Ben’s tightly knit family. Only Ben’s father, Lucio, gives Emily the understanding she needs to lay down her guard. Soon, Emily’s life and art begin to blossom, and Italy’s beauty and rhythm take hold of her spirit.

Yet when she unearths long-buried family secrets, Emily wonders if she really fits into Ben’s world. Will the joys of Italy become just a memory, or will Emily share in the freedom and grace that her life with Ben has shown her are possible?

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

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

Swept Away

swept away

Author: Robyn Carr
Publisher: Mira
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source:  Lisa Wray of HarperCollins

Goodreads:  The emotional story of a young woman’s journey as she leaves behind all the things she thought she wanted only to discover who she really is. #1 New York Times bestselling author ROBYN CARR explores the challenges facing women today as they are valued for what’s on the outside rather than the inside.

Jennifer Chaise is proud of her life. Coming from nothing, she’s used her beauty to her advantage and is swept up in a glamorous world of wealth and privilege as the mistress of a high-flying businessman. But when she walks in on a violent scene in their Las Vegas hotel room, Jennifer knows she can no longer ignore the truth about her boyfriend and she flees. Desperate to escape the men searching for her, she invents a whole new persona—with a new look and a new name—as she hides out in a small Nevada town.

Working as a waitress in the local diner, she finds a mentor in Louise, a retired professor who takes her in. As Jennifer begins to embrace a new life, she realizes how much was missing from her old one: a sense of community and purpose… But it’s not easy to simply disappear. Her neighbor Alex is a cop, and while he’s friendly enough, he may also suspect that Jennifer is not what she seems.

Although she is under constant threat of being discovered, Jennifer is surprised to realize that, for the first time, she’s genuinely happy. Suddenly this real world is all she wants. But will it be enough when her past catches up with her?

Ope’s Opinion:  If you like Robyn Carr’s books you will definitely like this one.  This is a very different one then I am used to her writing, but done just as well.

It took me a little while to really like and understand Jennifer.  Her choice of life style ( dating married men ) made it hard to relate to her at first.  Seeing her struggles when she was young helped me to understand her more.

There was one intimate scene, I could have lived without.  If you took it out, the rest of the book would have been fine.  I understand that was put in there for the romance readers that enjoy it – just not necessary for me.

The ending was predictable – which is part of Robyn Carr’s charm in her books.

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Under a Summer Sky

under a summer sky

Author: Nan Rossiter
Publisher: Kensington
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: BEA 2015

Goodreads:  New York Times bestselling author Nan Rossiter transports readers to Cape Cod with a warm, compelling story of family, new beginnings, and finding the courage to love honestly and well…The old Cape Cod house that Laney Coleman shares with her minister husband Noah and their five boys is usually brimming with cheerful chaos. There’s nothing fancy about the ancient kitchen or the wooden floors scuffed by the constant parade of activity and the clicking claws of their two Labrador retrievers. It’s a place to savor the sea breeze wafting through the windows, or sip coffee on the porch before another hectic day begins. This summer, life promises to be even busier than usual, because Noah’s younger brother, Micah, wants to hold his upcoming wedding on their property.
Though thrilled that Micah has found happiness after past heartache, Laney is apprehensive about having her home turned upside down. She has other concerns too–her youngest son is being bullied at school, and Noah’s father is not the robust patriarch he once was, in mind or body. As the bride and groom’s large, close-knit families gather, there will be joyful celebration but also unexpected sorrows and revelations, and a chance to store up a lifetime of memories during the fleeting, precious days of summer…

Ope’s Opinion:  Even though this book is about a family who is centered on God, it was not preachy.  There were several sermons in the book, but it felt like Noah was telling a story about his family, not preaching at me.  

Most of the book was about this family and their every day issues, relationships and situations they were dealing with.  I felt for each of them, I could relate to them and I wanted them to be happy.  I also loved how they all had dogs and those dogs were a large part of the story.

I love how BEA introduces me to authors ( new to me ) that I then want to go find more books by them to read.  This is one of those books.

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Saving Abby

saving abby

Author: Steena Holmes
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Publication Date:  May 31, 2016

Goodreads:  All children’s book illustrator Claire Turner ever wanted was to be a mother. After six years of trying to conceive, she and her husband, Josh, have finally accepted that she will never be pregnant with a child of their own.

Yet once they give up hope, the couple gets the miracle they’ve been waiting for. For the first few months of her pregnancy, Claire and Josh are living on cloud nine. But when she begins to experience debilitating headaches, blurred vision, and even fainting spells, the soon-to-be mother goes to the doctor and receives a terrifying diagnosis. Since any treatment could put their unborn baby’s life at risk, the Turners must carefully weigh their limited options. And as her symptoms worsen, Claire will have to make an impossible decision: Save her own life, or save her child’s?

USA Today and New York Times bestselling author Steena Holmes brings us an unforgettable story of one woman’s courage and love.

Ope’s Opinion:  When you start this book be sure to bring a tissue or two.  It will not be a pretty cry.  Steena Holmes makes you love her characters so much they feel like family.  You take them into your heart and you don’t want to let them go.

I don’t want to say much about the story – you just need to read it.

I may have read all of Steena Holmes books and they are all worth reading again.  I will pick up one of her books without even reading the synopsis – she is that good!

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