The Sweeney Sisters

Author: Lian Dolan
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Fiction
Source: William Morrow 

 

Goodreads:  An accomplished storyteller returns with her biggest, boldest, most entertaining novel yet—a hilarious, heartfelt story about books, love, sisterhood, and the surprises we discover in our DNA that combines the wit of Jonathan Tropper with the heart of Susan Wiggs.

Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.

But as guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger, emboldened by whiskey, has crashed the party. It turns out that she too is a Sweeney sister.

When Washington, DC based journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested on a whim a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a 50% genetic match with a childhood neighbor—Maggie Sweeney of Southport, Connecticut. It seems Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill Sweeney—one that has remained totally secret until now.

Once the shock wears off, questions abound. What does this mean for William’s literary legacy? Where is the unfinished memoir he’s stashed away, and what will it reveal? And how will a fourth Sweeney sister—a blond among redheads—fit into their story?

By turns revealing, insightful, and uproarious, The Sweeney Sisters is equal parts cautionary tale and celebration—a festive and heartfelt look at what truly makes a family.

Ope’s Opinion:  The first few chapters introduced us to the sisters.  I like the way you learned about where they were in life when they found out their dad died ( not a spoiler – it was in the synopsis ).  From the beginning I felt like I was sitting outside watching a story take place – I wasn’t drawn in to feel like I was part of it.  

Finding a fourth sister ( also not a spoiler ) was a surprise to them.  Then they had to figure out how they were going to be a family with a new member.  There was a lot of drama in the process.

The end seemed to happened too fast.  I didn’t feel like the story  was ready to end.

On My Doorstep

This was on my doorstep today!

Couldn’t be better timing… We are going
to try some of the recipes while we
doing so much cooking at home.

Goodreads:  Following the launch of her #1 New York Times bestselling cookbook, Magnolia Table, and seeing her family’s own sacred dishes being served at other families’ tables across the country, Joanna Gaines gained a deeper commitment to the value of food being shared. This insight inspired Joanna to get back in the kitchen and start from scratch, pushing herself beyond her comfort zone to develop new recipes for her family, and yours, to gather around. Magnolia Table, Volume 2 is filled with 145 new recipes from her own home that she shares with husband Chip and their five kids, and from the couple’s restaurant, Magnolia Table; Silos Baking Co; and new coffee shop, Magnolia Press. From breakfast to dinner, plus breads, soups, and sides, Magnolia Table, Volume 2 gives readers abundant reasons to gather together. The book is beautifully photographed and filled with dishes you’ll want to bring into your own home, including:

Mushroom-Gruyére Quiche
Pumpkin Cream Cheese Bread
Grilled Bruschetta Chicken
Zucchini-Squash Strata
Chicken-Pecan-Asparagus Casserole
Stuffed Pork Loin
Lemon-Lavender Tart
Magnolia Press Chocolate Cake

Thank you William Morrow Cookbooks for sharing this with me!

 

My Father’s Wives

Author: Mike Greenberg
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  Jonathan Sweetwater has been blessed with money, a fulfilling career, great kids and Claire, his smart, gorgeous, sophisticated wife. But there is one thing Jonathan never had: a relationship with his father.

Percival Sweetwater III has been absent from his son’s life since Jonathan was nine years old. A five-term U.S. senator, now dead, Percy was beloved by presidents, his constituents, and women alike, especially the five women who married him after Jonathan’s mother.

Jonathan hasn’t thought about Percy or the hole he left in his life for years. Dedicated to Claire and his family, he’s nothing like his serial monogamist father. But then Jonathan discovers evidence that everything in his marriage may not be as perfect as he thought. Hurt and uncertain what to do, he knows that the only way to move forward is to go back.

On this quest for understanding—about himself, about manhood, about marriage—Jonathan decides to track down his father’s five ex-wives. His journey will take him from cosmopolitan cities to the mile-high mountains to a tropical island—and ultimately back to confront the one thing Jonathan has that his father never did: home.

Ope’s Opinion: I found it interesting that Jonathan tried to “find himself” by searching out his father’s wives.  I think he thought, like father like son, so he wanted to see who his estranged father was.

Thinking from a woman’s perspective, I think it would have been a better choice to just confront his own wife and figure out their relationship, rather then go in search of his father’s life.

The ending was predictable.

Out Now

Are you looking for a thriller?
This one is out today!

Goodreads:  They are Phoenix’s First Family: handsome Philip Martin, son of the sitting Senator, an ex-football player who carries himself with an easy grace and appears destined to step into his father’s seat when the time is right; his wife Marina, the stylish and elegant director of Phoenix’s fine arts museum; and their four-year-old daughter Amabel, beautiful and precocious and beloved.

Finn Hunt is working a dull office job to pay off her college debt when she meets Philip and charms Amabel. She eagerly agrees to nanny, thinking she’s lucked into the job of a lifetime. Though the glamour of the Martins’ lifestyle undeniably dazzles Finn, her real pleasure comes from being part of the family: sharing quick jokes with Philip in the kitchen before he leaves for work; staying late when Marina needs a last-minute sitter; and spending long days with Amabel, who is often treated more like a photo op than a child.

But behind every façade lurks a less attractive truth. When a young woman approaches Finn, claiming a connection with Philip and asking Finn to pass on a message, Finn becomes caught up in a web of deceit with the senate seat at its center. And Finn isn’t exactly innocent herself: she too has a background she has kept hidden, and under the hot Phoenix sun, everything is about to be laid bare. . . .

Thank you William Morrow for this book.

Finding Jake

 

Author: Bryan Reardon
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Mystery
Source:  William Morrow

Goodreads:  A heart-wrenching yet ultimately uplifting story of psychological suspense in which a parent is forced to confront what he does—and does not—know about his teenage son, in the vein of Reconstructing Amelia, Defending Jacob, and We Need to Talk about Kevin.

While his successful wife goes off to her law office each day, Simon Connolly takes care of their kids, Jake and Laney. Now that they are in high school, the angst-ridden father should feel more relaxed, but he doesn’t. He’s seen the statistics, read the headlines. And now, his darkest fear is coming true. There has been a shooting at school.

Simon races to the rendezvous point, where he’s forced to wait. Do they know who did it? How many victims were there? Why did this happen? One by one, parents are led out of the room to reunite with their children. Their numbers dwindle, until Simon is alone.

As his worst nightmare unfolds, and Jake is the only child missing, Simon begins to obsess over the past, searching for answers, for hope, for the memory of the boy he raised, for mistakes he must have made, for the reason everything came to this. Where is Jake? What happened in those final moments? Is it possible he doesn’t really know his son? Or he knows him better than he thought?

Brilliantly paced, Finding Jake explores these questions in a tense and emotionally wrenching narrative. Harrowing and heartbreaking, surprisingly healing and redemptive, Finding Jake is a story of faith and conviction, strength, courage, and love that will leave readers questioning their own lives, and those they think they know.

Ope’s Opinion: Start this book with plenty of time and no interruptions.  Once you start reading you will not want to put it down.  It is a very intense story.  You know from reading the synopsis that there is a school shooting, but this is told from a completely different perspective.  Each chapter is labeled – they flip from Jake’s childhood to the day of the shooting.  It is mostly told from Jake’s father’s point of view.

There are some twists in the story that I didn’t see coming – as a matter of fact I thought I had it all figured out early in the book – I was wrong and loved where it went.

The ending was wonderful.  It answered a lot of questions, but still felt realistic.

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.