Tell Me Lies

Author: Carola Lovering
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: New Adult Fiction
Source:  Stephanie at Simon & Schuster

 

Goodreads:  A thrilling, sexy coming-of-age story exploring toxic love, ruthless ambition, and shocking betrayal, Tell Me Lies is about that one person who still haunts you—the other one. The wrong one. The one you couldn’t let go of. The one you’ll never forget.

Lucy Albright is far from her Long Island upbringing when she arrives on the campus of her small California college, and happy to be hundreds of miles from her mother, whom she’s never forgiven for an act of betrayal in her early teen years. Quickly grasping at her fresh start, Lucy embraces college life and all it has to offer—new friends, wild parties, stimulating classes. And then she meets Stephen DeMarco. Charming. Attractive. Complicated. Devastating.

Confident and cocksure, Stephen sees something in Lucy that no one else has, and she’s quickly seduced by this vision of herself, and the sense of possibility that his attention brings her. Meanwhile, Stephen is determined to forget an incident buried in his past that, if exposed, could ruin him, and his single-minded drive for success extends to winning, and keeping, Lucy’s heart.

Alternating between Lucy’s and Stephen’s voices, Tell Me Lies follows their connection through college and post-college life in New York City. Deep down, Lucy knows she has to acknowledge the truth about Stephen. But before she can free herself from this addicting entanglement, she must confront and heal her relationship with her mother—or risk losing herself in a delusion about what it truly means to love.

With the psychological insight and biting wit of Luckiest Girl Alive, and the yearning ambitions and desires of Sweetbitter, this keenly intelligent and staggeringly resonant novel chronicles the exhilaration and dilemmas of young adulthood, and the difficulty of letting go, even when you know you should.

Ope’s Opinion: Getting past the constant use of the “f” word was the first stumbling block in this book.  Stephen has no redeeming qualities – he is self centered, abusive and toxic.  Lucy is the definition of insanity – she keeps doing the same thing over and over again, expecting different results. 

This story is told from each of their perspectives.  It hops from present to past and back, but is well marked. They had a train wreck of a relationship.  You wanted to read it to see where it was going,  but it was not enjoyable.

The ending brought this book from a two chair to a three chair.

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Family drama, wonderful writing, real characters – what more could you want?
Buy it today!

 

Goodreads:  On the shores of Cape Cod, the Bailey sisters reunite with their long-lost father for a summer of hope and forgiveness in this heartfelt novel from the author of the “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) Mystic Summer, The Lake Season, and The Summer House, sure to appeal to “fans of Elin Hilderbrand” (Booklist).

Wrenn Bailey has lived all her life on Cape Cod with her mother Lindy, older sister Shannon, and younger sister Piper. Growing up, life was dictated by the seasons with sleepy gray winters where only the locals stayed on, followed by the sharp influx and colorful bustle of summer tourists who swept up the elbow of the Cape and infiltrated their small paradise.

But it wasn’t just the tourists who interrupted Wrenn’s formative years; her father—brilliant but troubled photographer Caleb—has long made a habit of drifting in and out of his girls’ lives. Until the one summer he left the Cape and did not return again.

Now, almost twenty years later, Caleb has come back one last time, suffering from pancreatic cancer and seeking absolution. Wrenn and her sisters each respond differently to their father’s return, determined to find closure. But that means returning to the past and revisiting old wounds—wounds that cause the tightknit Bailey women to confront their own wishes and wants, and admit to their own wrong-doings over the years. In a place that brings both great comfort and great pain, the Bailey sisters experience a summer on the Cape that promises not only hard endings, but perhaps, hopeful new beginnings.

Thank you Rachel from Simon & Schuster!
This was an amazing book!

Sailing Lessons


Author: Hannah McKinnon
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Rachel at Simon & Schuster

Goodreads:  On the shores of Cape Cod, the Bailey sisters reunite with their long-lost father for a summer of hope and forgiveness in this heartfelt novel from the author of the “sharp and evocative” (Kirkus Reviews) Mystic Summer, The Lake Season, and The Summer House, sure to appeal to “fans of Elin Hilderbrand” (Booklist).

Wrenn Bailey has lived all her life on Cape Cod with her mother Lindy, older sister Shannon, and younger sister Piper. Growing up, life was dictated by the seasons with sleepy gray winters where only the locals stayed on, followed by the sharp influx and colorful bustle of summer tourists who swept up the elbow of the Cape and infiltrated their small paradise.

But it wasn’t just the tourists who interrupted Wrenn’s formative years; her father—brilliant but troubled photographer Caleb—has long made a habit of drifting in and out of his girls’ lives. Until the one summer he left the Cape and did not return again.

Now, almost twenty years later, Caleb has come back one last time, suffering from pancreatic cancer and seeking absolution. Wrenn and her sisters each respond differently to their father’s return, determined to find closure. But that means returning to the past and revisiting old wounds—wounds that cause the tight knit Bailey women to confront their own wishes and wants, and admit to their own wrong-doings over the years. In a place that brings both great comfort and great pain, the Bailey sisters experience a summer on the Cape that promises not only hard endings, but perhaps, hopeful new beginnings.

Ope’s Opinion: This book was amazing!  It had the right amount of family drama, wonderfully deep characters and a story that wander down a road I would like to go down again.  I enjoyed it from the beginning to the end.  McKinnon’s writing is creative and draws a picture you can see as you read it.

The story has an amazing pace to it.  I couldn’t wait to get back to it each time life interrupted my reading.  I wanted to see what was going to happen next.

The ending let the reader know where everyone was headed next.  I enjoyed this book so much I am ready to go buy Hannah McKinnon’s other books.  I want her to keep writing.

Coming Soon…..

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In May I hope to read….

Publication Date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Goodreads: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Weekenders comes a delightful new novel about new love, old secrets, and the kind of friendship that transcends generations.

When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.

Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.

The High Tide Club is Mary Kay Andrews at her Queen of the Beach Reads best, a compelling and witty tale of romance thwarted, friendships renewed, justice delivered, and true love found.

 

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

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

Sing You Home

Author: Jodi Picoult
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Fiction
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  One miscarriage too many spelled the end of Max and Zoe Baxter’s marriage. Though the former couple went quite separate ways, their fates remained entangled: After veering into alcoholism, Max is saved in multiple senses by his fundamentalist conversion; Zoe, for her part, finds healing relief in music therapy and the friendship, then romantic love with Vanessa, her counselor. After Zoe and Vanessa, now married, decide to have a baby, they realize that they must join battle with Max, who objects on both religious and financial grounds. Like her House Rules and several other previous Jodi Picoult novels, Sing You Home grapples with hot button issues. The novel also includes a CD of songs, each matched with a chapter in the book. Perfect for book clubs.

Ope’s Opinion: Very predictable.  A court case ensues as usual with Jodi Picoult. 

I wish Picoult had be more objective in her writing the Christian characters.  It may have made me more sympathetic with the story.  I do like my thoughts and views being challenged by seeing things from another perspective, but lets represent all views accurately.

I did enjoy the struggle of who has custody of an embryo – having nothing to do with sexual orientation.  Would Max have fought just as hard if Zoe’s partner were male?  What makes a family has been changed over the years, I think it will continue to change.

Overall the book was a bit long and the ending tied up into a bow.  Not sure it was what really happens in todays world.

Sisters Like Us

Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: Mira Books
Genre: Romance
Source:  Emer at Harper Collins

Goodreads:  The grass is always greener on your sister’s side of the fence…

Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgeling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies.

Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge—motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad…assuming Stacey can first find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant.

Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything—their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor.

Ope’s Opinion:  Overall, this book was worth the read.  The characters were well developed and had flaws you could relate to.

What I liked – the relationships, the story lines and the characters.  I loved that the romances moved slow and they had real relationships with each other before the physical aspects started.  The mother – daughter ( Harper / Becca ) was very realistic.  I liked the sister relationships too.

What I didn’t like – the repetitive writing of how inadequate Stacy felt about being a mother and Bunny ( worst mother of the year ).  I don’t think it was necessary to have her be such an unlikable character.  The story could have been wonderful without that aspect.

If you like Susan Mallery’s other books, you will like this one.

The Secret to Southern Charm

Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Kristy Woodson Harvey

Goodreads:  Leaving fans “practically [begging] for a sequel” (Bookpage), critically acclaimed author Kristy Woodson Harvey returns with the second novel in her beloved Peachtree Bluff series, featuring a trio of sisters and their mother who discover a truth that will change not only the way they see themselves, but also how they fit together as a family.

After finding out her military husband is missing in action, middle sister Sloane’s world crumbles as her worst nightmare comes true. She can barely climb out of bed, much less summon the strength to be the parent her children deserve.

Her mother, Ansley, provides a much-needed respite as she puts her personal life on hold to help Sloane and her grandchildren wade through their new grief-stricken lives. But between caring for her own aging mother, her daughters, and her grandchildren, Ansley’s private worry is that secrets from her past will come to light.

But when Sloane’s sisters, Caroline and Emerson, remind Sloane that no matter what, she promised her husband she would carry on for their young sons, Sloane finds the support and courage she needs to chase her biggest dreams—and face her deepest fears. Taking a cue from her middle daughter, Ansley takes her own leap of faith and realizes that, after all this time, she might finally be able to have it all.

Harvey’s signature warmth and wit make this a charming and poignant story of first loves, missed opportunities, and second chances and proves that she is “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author).

Ope’s Opinion:  My suggestion is that you read Slightly South of Simple before you start this one, but it is not necessary. KWH books are so wonderful, you don’t want to miss the first one.  She has an excellent way of writing this story so you won’t feel lost if you haven’t read the first one, but you really don’t want to miss the start of all their lives.

There was a lot of drama in this book and it moves fast.    All three daughters, Mom           ( Ansley ) and Grammy ( Ansley’s Mom ) are living in Peachtree Bluff.  The book is written from Sloane’s ( the second daughter ) and Mom’s ( Ansley ) perspectives, but you actually hear everyone’s voices.

This was an amazing book, that just took me away.  I am ready for book three from Peachtree Bluff.