The Total Package

Author: Stephanie Evanovich
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Romance
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  The New York Times bestselling author of Big Girl Panties and The Sweet Spot is back with a funny, sweet, and sizzling novel about the game of love, in which a hot quarterback must figure out how to score big with a beautiful and talented media analyst after a heartbreaking fumble.

Star quarterback, first-round draft-pick, and heartthrob Tyson Palmer has made a name for himself with his spectacular moves. When the head coach of the Austin Mavericks refuses to let him waste his million-dollar arm, Tyson makes a Hail Mary pass at redemption and succeeds with everyone . . . except Dani, whose negative comments about his performance draw high ratings and spectacular notices of her own.

Dani can’t forgive Tyson’s transgressions or forget the sizzling history the two of them shared in college, a passionate love Tyson casually threw away. And even more infuriating, he doesn’t realize that the bombshell with huge ratings is the cute girl whose heart he once broke.

But can a woman trying to claw her way to the top and a quarterback who knows all about rock bottom make it to the Super Bowl without destroying each other? And what will happen when Tyson—riding high now that he’s revived his career—realizes he needs to make an even more important comeback with Dani? Can he make some spectacular moves to get past her defenses—or will she sideline him for good?

Ope’s Opinion: If you are a romance read, you will love all the steamy scenes in this book.  The first chapter just one big steamy scene.  After that the story begins – which is a really good story with interesting characters.

I liked the second chance, come back part of the book – it didn’t happen over night and it wasn’t easy.  I also liked it taking awhile for Tyson and Dani to find each other again.

I didn’t like all the steamy parts or the sudden on and off of the relationship.  it was like they were together and in love – they weren’t talking and one or both were mad, then they were back together.  It was all abrupt.

The ending was what you would expect.

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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.

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.

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In July I hope to read….

almost

Publication Date: July 11, 2017
Publisher:  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.

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

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

Same Beach, Next Year

Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Fiction
Source: William Morrow

 

Goodreads:  New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank returns to her magical Lowcountry of South Carolina in this bewitching story of marriage, love, family, and friendship that is infused with her warm and engaging earthy humor and generous heart.

One enchanted summer, two couples begin a friendship that will last more than twenty years and transform their lives.

A chance meeting on the Isle of Palms, one of Charleston’s most stunning barrier islands, brings former sweethearts, Adam Stanley and Eve Landers together again. Their respective spouses, Eliza and Carl, fight sparks of jealousy flaring from their imagined rekindling of old flames. As Adam and Eve get caught up on their lives, their partners strike up a deep friendship—and flirt with an unexpected attraction—of their own.

Year after year, Adam, Eliza, Eve, and Carl eagerly await their reunion at Wild Dunes, a condominium complex at the island’s tip end, where they grow closer with each passing day, building a friendship that will withstand financial catastrophe, family tragedy, and devastating heartbreak. The devotion and love they share will help them weather the vagaries of time and enrich their lives as circumstances change, their children grow up and leave home, and their twilight years approach.

Bursting with the intoxicating richness of Dorothea Benton Frank’s beloved Lowcountry—the sultry sunshine, cool ocean breezes, icy cocktails, and starry velvet skies—Same Beach, Next Year is a dazzling celebration of the infrangible power of friendship, the enduring promise of summer, and the indelible bonds of love.

Ope’s Opinion: I have read many of Dorothea Benton Franks books, this one seemed to move slower then most of her stories.  I did like the format of the book.  Hearing Eliza’s and Adam’s perspective gave you the whole story.  It was an enjoyable way to read this story.

The setting was wonderful as usual.  The beach is always my favorite place for a story to take place.  Just recently I had the opportunity to visit the Isle of Palms and it made the story even more real to me.

The ending was fun!  It was a nice way to bring everyone together and finish the story.

 

This Just In….

From William Morrow

Publication Date:  June 6, 2017
Publisher:  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.

From Little Bird Publicity

Publication Date:  September 5, 2017
Publisher:  Graydon House

Goodreads:  This joyful, poignant and deeply uplifting novel celebrates the importance of living each day to the fullest through the tale of two very different women—one at a crossroads in life, one given three months to live—who team up to participate in the “100 happy days” challenge and embark on an unforgettable journey that brings each of them redemption, love, and happiness.

With her marriage over and her career stalled out, thirty-something Annie’s life is at a standstill. Then she meets colorful, upbeat Polly, whose recent cancer diagnosis has left her determined to make the most of every moment. Polly sets a challenge: learn to be happy in just 100 days. From dancing in fountains to riding rollercoasters, Annie is drawn into Polly’s world, discovering friends, hope and even love. But what happens when time runs out and she’s tested to her limits once again?

Let me know what you are reading!