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.


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.


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!


Me Before You

me before you

Publication Date: December 31, 2012
Publisher: Pamela Dorman Books/ Viking

Goodreads: Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn’t know is she’s about to lose her job or that knowing what’s coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he’s going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn’t know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they’re going to change the other for all time.

Ope’s Opinion:  I just finished this book!  Yes, I cried.   It was very intense. I want to see the movie. 

Some people are saying this is just a tear jerker book, but it is so much more then that.  It makes you think about the quality of life and do you have the right to choose to end a life.

I think this would make a good book club book.  The characters all have flaws worth discussing.  Their decisions could be up for debate also.

More Jojo Moyes books are in my future.

Rating: 5 – This book is so good it will be passed on and on and on…..

The Things We Keep

Author: Sally Hepworth                       things
Publisher:  St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: William Morrow


Publication Date:  January 19, 2015


Goodreads:  Anna Forster, in the early stages of Alzheimer’s disease at only thirty-eight years old, knows that her family is doing what they believe to be best when they take her to Rosalind House, an assisted living facility. She also knows there’s just one another resident her age, Luke. What she does not expect is the love that blossoms between her and Luke even as she resists her new life at Rosalind House. As her disease steals more and more of her memory, Anna fights to hold on to what she knows, including her relationship with Luke.

When Eve Bennett is suddenly thrust into the role of single mother she finds herself putting her culinary training to use at Rosalind house. When she meets Anna and Luke she is moved by the bond the pair has forged. But when a tragic incident leads Anna’s and Luke’s families to separate them, Eve finds herself questioning what she is willing to risk to help them. 

Ope’s Opinion:  This book captured my attention from the very beginning.  The writing just made the story flow.  Although the subject was a difficult one to read, the author made the story keep moving.  

I felt like I was really inside Anna’s head – that is how good the writing was!  Life has dealt Anna and Eve some hard blows.  Both woman were strong and handled things with a head on approach.  They are admirable woman.

I want to read another Sally Hepworth book.


Rating: 4 – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.

It’s You

Author:  Jane Porter                  it's you
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source:  BookSparks



Goodreads:  From the USA Today bestselling author of the Brennan Sisters novels comes a heartwarming story about finding love and strength, even in the darkest moments…

In the wake of a tragedy that tore her life down to the foundations, Dr. Alison McAdams has lost her way. So when she’s summoned to Napa to care for her ailing father, she’s not sure she has anything to offer him—or anyone else.

What Ali finds in Northern California wine country is a gift—an opportunity to rest, and distance from her painful memories. Most unexpectedly, she finds people who aren’t afraid of her grief or desperate for her to hurry up and move on.

As Ali becomes part of her father’s community, makes new friends of her own, and hears the stories of a generation who survived the Second World War, she begins to find hope again. In a quest to discover the truth about another woman’s lost love, she sets off on a journey across oceans and deep into history. And in making sense of that long-ago tragedy, Ali is able to put together the broken pieces of her heart and make new choices that are right for her.

Ope’s Opinion:  I really think for me this book is a 3.5 – not because it wasn’t good, but because it has  a lot of history in it.  I am giving it a 4 since most people will love the history.  The story itself is very good.

I felt like Alison’s life and journey paralleled Edie’s.  It was interesting to see somethings don’t change with time – may the details are different, but the out comes are similar.  I think Alison learned a lot from Edie in a short period of time.

If you are interested in Germany or Nazi history you would probably really enjoy reading this book.  It was a different perspective.

Rating: 4 – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.

Come Away with Me

Author:  Karma Brown
Publisher: Mira                        come away with me
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: BEA


Goodreads:  One minute, Tegan Lawson has everything she could hope for: an adoring husband, Gabe, and a baby on the way. The next, a patch of black ice causes a devastating accident that will change her life in ways she never could have imagined.

Tegan is consumed by grief, not to mention her anger toward Gabe, who was driving on the night of the crash. But just when she thinks she’s hit rock bottom, Gabe reminds her of their Jar of Spontaneity, a collection of their dream destinations and experiences, and so begins an adventure of a lifetime.

From the bustling markets of Thailand to the flavors of Italy to the ocean waves in Hawaii, Tegan and Gabe embark on a journey to escape the tragedy and search for forgiveness. But they soon learn that grief follows you no matter how far away you run, and that acceptance comes when you least expect it.

Heartbreaking, hopeful and utterly transporting, Come Away with Me is an unforgettable debut and a luminous celebration of the strength of the human spirit.

Ope’s Opinion:  This book will definitely surprise you!  It has a major twist to it that brought me to tears.  The characters are so well developed I was totally invested in what would happen next to them.

The traveling to Thailand, Italy and Hawaii was so well described that I could see it.  I felt like I was there.  The traveling symbolized the traveling Tegan was going through in her life.

Although this book toggled between past and present, you were never confused.  The chapters were clearly marked if you went into the past.

At the end, I felt like I wanted to read it again.  The ending made me want to start at the beginning again.

Rating: 5 – This book is so good it will be passed on and on and on….

The Ones We Trust

Author: Kimberly Belle                      the ones
Publisher: MIRA
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Source: Emer Flounders


Goodreads:  A moving and evocative exploration of grief and guilt in the wake of one family’s devastating loss.

When former DC journalist Abigail Wolff attempts to rehabilitate her career, she finds herself at the heart of a US army cover-up involving the death of a soldier in Afghanistan — with unspeakable emotional consequences for one family. As the story of what happened comes to light, Abigail will do anything to write it.

The more evidence she stumbles upon in the case, the fewer people it seems she can trust, including her own father, a retired army general. And she certainly never expected to fall in love with the slain soldier’s brother, Gabe, a bitter man struggling to hold his family together. The investigation eventually leads her to an impossible choice, one of unrelenting sacrifice to protect those she loves.

Beyond the buried truths and betrayals, questions of family loyalty and redemption, Abigail’s search is, most of all, a desperate grasp at carrying on and coping — and seeking hope in the impossible.

Ope’s Opinion:  From the very beginning this book had my attention.  I really liked reading a first person perspective in this book.  It was fun to see things from Abigail’s point of view. It let me figure things out as she did.  

I live near DC, so the setting was familiar and made the story more fun to read.  I always enjoy reading a story set where I can see the places they are writing about.

I think the title is very appropriate.  At times Abigail did not know who she could trust.

Side Note:  The foul language was over the top, not needed, and did not add anything to this story.  Other then the language, I would recommend this book.

Rating: 4 – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.

Still Alice

Author:  Lisa Genova
Publisher: Simon & Schuster           still alice
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Purchased



Goodreads:  Alice Howland is proud of the life she worked so hard to build. At fifty years old, she’s a cognitive psychology professor at Harvard and a world-renowned expert in linguistics with a successful husband and three grown children. When she becomes increasingly disoriented and forgetful, a tragic diagnosis changes her life–and her relationship with her family and the world–forever.

At once beautiful and terrifying, Still Alice is a moving and vivid depiction of life with early-onset Alzheimer’s disease that is as compelling as A Beautiful Mind and as unforgettable as Judith Guest’s Ordinary People.

Ope’s Opinion:  I usually like to read a book before I see a movie.  In this case, I was on a  plane where the movie was being shown and thought – oh, well…  It actually turned out good to see the movie first.  I could see Alice’s small reactions in my mind while I was reading – I may not have caught some of that had I not watched the movie first. The book gave some more details the movie didn’t incorporate. 

It was scary to think how young Alice was when alzheimers started to effect her life.  Each member of her family reacted differently – very realistically too.

A big question is – if you could find out you had this or any other disease – would you want to find out ahead of time.  Science has come such a long way – we can now know more about our DNA.  Now you have to decide is it beneficial for you to know.

Overall, this was a hard but very good read.

Rating:  4 – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.

The Beach House

Author:  Georgia Bockoven
Publisher: William Morrow                  beach house
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Purchase


Goodreads:  The beach house is a peaceful haven, a place to escape everyday problems. Here, three families find their feelings intensified and their lives transformed each summer.

When thirty-year-old Julia, mourning the death of her husband, decides to sell the Santa Cruz beach house they owned together, she sets in motion a final summer that will change the lives of all the families who rent it year after year. Teenaged Chris discovers the bittersweet joy of first love. Maggie and Joe, married sixty-five years, courageously face a separation that even their devotion cannot prevent. The married woman Peter yearns for suddenly comes within his reach. And Julia ultimately finds the strength to rebuild her life—something she once thought impossible.

With equal measures of heartbreak and happiness, bestselling author Georgia Bockoven’s unforgettable novel tells of the beauty of life and the power of love, and speaks to every woman who has ever clung to a child or loved a man.

Ope’s Opinion:  Georgia Bockoven wrote such deep, compelling characters in this book it brought me to tears.  When you pick up this book to read  ( and you should pick it up to read ) be sure to bring a couple of tissues with you.

I really liked how the book was layed out in months – with chapters in each month.  It made the story flow.  Each month brought new people to the house and kept you up with the other people in the stories.

I am looking forward to reading the second book in this series.  I am sure Georgia Bockoven will bring more interesting characters to the beach house.

Rating: 5 – This book is so good it will be passed on and on and on…..