Things You Won’t Say

Author: Sarah Pekkanen
Publisher: Washington Square Press
Genre: Fiction
Source: Purchased

Goodreads:  In this timely and provocative novel, internationally bestselling author Sarah Pekkanen takes us inside a family in crisis and a marriage on the brink after a tragic shooting.

How far would you go to save your family?

Every morning, as her husband Mike straps on his SIG Sauer and pulls on his heavy Magnum boots, Jamie Anderson tenses up. Then comes the call she has always dreaded: There’s been a shooting at police headquarters. Mike isn’t hurt, but his long-time partner is grievously injured. As weeks pass and her husband’s insomnia and disconnectedness mount, Jamie realizes he is an invisible casualty of the attack. Then the phone rings again. Another shooting but this time Mike has pulled the trigger.

But the shooting does more than just alter Jamie’s world. It’s about to change everything for two other women. Christie Simmons, Mike’s flamboyant ex, sees the tragedy as an opportunity for a second chance with Mike. And Jamie’s younger sister, Lou, must face her own losses to help the big sister who raised her. As the press descends and public cries of police brutality swell, Jamie tries desperately to hold together her family, no matter what it takes.

In her characteristic exploration of true-to-life relationships, Sarah Pekkanen has written a complex, compelling, and openhearted novel her best yet.

Ope’s Opinion:  OOH, this story was sooo good!  There are so many things about this book I liked – the sister relationship was so real and deep, the husband / wife relationship had it’s ups and downs ( again real ) and the secondary characters were fully developed and important to the rest of the story.

The only thing I didn’t really get into was Lou’s relationship with the animals at the zoo.  I wasn’t sure what that had to do with all the other things that were going on.  It was a side story that didn’t tie back into the main story.

The ending felt like what would have really happened to a family in this situation.  It was positive, but not sugar sweet and all was not perfect.

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Always Something There to Remind Me

Author: Beth Harbison
Publisher: St. Martin Press
Genre: Fiction
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  Can you ever really know if love is true? And if it is, should you stop at anything to get it?

Two decades ago, Erin Edwards was sure she’d already found the love of her life: Nate Lawson. Her first love. The one with whom she shared everything–dreams of the future, of children, plans for forever. The one she thought she would spend the rest of her life with. Until one terrible night when Erin made a mistake Nate could not forgive and left her to mourn the relationship she could never forget or get over.

Today, Erin is contentedly involved with a phenomenal guy, maneuvering a successful and exciting career, and raising a great daughter all on her own. So why would the name “Nate Lawson” be the first thing to enter her mind when her boyfriend asks her to marry him?

In the wake of the proposal, Erin finds herself coming unraveled over the past, and the love she never forgot. The more she tries to ignore it and move on, the more it haunts her.

Always Something There to Remind Me is a story that will resonate with any woman who has ever thought of that one first love and wondered, “Where is he?” and “What if…?” Filled with Beth Harbison’s trademark nostalgia humor and heart, it will transport you, and inspire you to believe in the power of first love.

Ope’s Opinion:  There was a lot I really liked about this book.  I love the story, the characters were realistic and I like the setting – since we live near DC, I found it fun to picture places I know.  I also liked that we saw Erin’s perspective as a teen and as an adult.

There were something that I did not really like – the repetitive details of sex was not necessary to get the feeling of the relationship between Nate and Erin.  There relationship was intense, I feel like that evident and could have come across without the explicit details over and over again.

The ending was good, but not realistic at all, but I liked it.

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In August I hope to read….

Publication Date: August 29, 2017
Publisher: Kensington Publishing Corporation

Goodreads:  Sisterhood has a price . . .
Pledging to Theta Pi at Merriwether University seemed to offer Emma Danelski a passport to friendship, fun, and popularity. But the excitement of pledge training quickly fades, as does the warmth of her so-called sisters. What’s left is a stifling society filled with petty rules, bullying, and manipulation. Most haunting are the choices Emma makes in the wake of another sorority sister’s suicide . . .
It doesn’t matter that no one else needs to know what Emma did, or how vastly different life at Theta House is from the glossy image it projects. Emma knows. And now, with her loyalties tested, she must decide which secrets are worth keeping and how far she’ll go to protect them–and herself . . .

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

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

 

Ocean Beach

Author: Wendy Wax
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  Wendy Wax, author of the “warm [and] wry” (St. Petersburg TimesTen Beach Road, returns with a novel of three women in need of a second chance…or is it a third?

Unlikely friends Madeline, Avery and Nicole have hit some speed bumps in their lives, but when they arrive in Miami’s South Beach neighborhood, they are all hoping for a do-over. Literally. They’ve been hired to bring a once-grand historic house back to its former glory on a new television show called Do-Over. If they can just get this show off the ground, Nikki would get back on her feet financially, Avery could restart her ruined career, and Maddie would have a shot at keeping her family together.

At least, that’s the plan – until the women realize that having their work broadcast is one thing, having their personal lives play out on TV is another thing entirely. Soon they are struggling to hold themselves, and the project, together. With a decades-old mystery—and the hurricane season—looming, the women are forced to figure out just how they’ll weather life’s storms…

Ope’s Opinion: The story continues from the first book.  The three women start another renovation, this time as a show. Their personal lives have progressed.  If you enjoyed Ten Beach road, you will enjoy this one.

Max was a nice addition to round out this group of women.  His story was a sweet read among all the crazy drama that was happening.

The ending left enough open ended questions to make me want to read the next one to know how things play out.

The Almost Sisters

Author: Joshilyn Jackson
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Fiction
Source: William Morrow

 

 

Goodreads:  With empathy, grace, humor, and piercing insight, the author of gods in Alabama pens a powerful, emotionally resonant novel of the South that confronts the truth about privilege, family, and the distinctions between perception and reality—the stories we tell ourselves about our origins and who we really are.

Superheroes have always been Leia Birch Briggs’ weakness. One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman.

It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She’s having a baby boy–an unexpected but not unhappy development in the thirty-eight year-old’s life. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel’s marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she’s been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood.

Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother’s affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she’s pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she’s got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie’s been hiding. Tucked in the attic is a dangerous secret with roots that reach all the way back to the Civil War. Its exposure threatens the family’s freedom and future, and it will change everything about how Leia sees herself and her sister, her son and his missing father, and the world she thinks she knows.

Ope’s Opinion:  I liked the Southern woman in this book and their relationships.  As usual, Joshilyn Jackson makes the characters come alive.  She makes me feel like these are women I know or wish I knew.  They kept me reading.

The “sister” relationship is shown between Leia and Rachel and Birchie and Wattie.  They are of different generations, but the relationships are similar, easy to relate to.

A little mystery, along with all the southern charm and the heartache of being a care taker of an elderly relative, make this a very well rounded story.  The ending left me wanting a little more.

The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Author: Taylor Jenkins Reid
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Stephanie at Atria Books

Goodreads:  From Taylor Jenkins Reid comes an unforgettable and sweeping novel about one classic film actress’s relentless rise to the top—the risks she took, the loves she lost, and the long-held secrets the public could never imagine.

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.

Ope’s Opinion: If you are a historical / Hollywood reader, you would probably give this book a five!  As I am not usually a historical reader nor old Hollywood reader, but I am a Taylor Jenkins Reid reader, this book intrigued me.

I did not like or enjoy Evelyn Hugo.  She was self centered and egotistical from the beginning to the very end.  All of her decisions, even having her book written, and who was to write it, was all about her and how she wanted to be portrayed to the public.

Taylor Jenkins Reid brought this story to life for me, she is such an awesome writer.  To me each of Reid’s books are unique.  She weaves wonderful story lines and her characters become real people. – she did it again this time.  Although this one did not hit a home run for me, I will read another TJR without reading the synopsis, I like her so much.

 

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!