Wednesday, June 6, 2018

Just Let Go By: Courtney Walsh

Back of the book

For Quinn Collins, buying the flower shop in downtown Harbor Pointe fulfills a childhood dream, but also gives her the chance to stick it to her mom, who owned the store before skipping town twenty years ago and never looking back. Completing much-needed renovations, however, while also competing for a prestigious flower competition with her mother as the head judge, soon has Quinn in over her head. Not that she’d ever ask for help.

Luckily, she may not need to. Quinn’s father and his meddling friends find the perfect solution in notorious Olympic skier Grady Benson, who had only planned on passing through the old-fashioned lakeside town. But when a heated confrontation leads to property damage, helping Quinn as a community-service sentence seems like the quickest way out—and the best way to avoid more negative press.

Quinn finds Grady reckless and entitled; he thinks she’s uptight and too regimented. Yet as the two begin to hammer and saw, Quinn sees glimpses of the vulnerability behind the bravado, and Grady learns from her passion and determination, qualities he seems to have lost along the way. But when a well-intentioned omission has devastating consequences, Grady finds himself cast out of town—and Quinn’s life—possibly forever. Forced to face the hurt holding her back, Quinn must finally let go or risk missing out on the adventure of a lifetime.

My Thoughts

An absolute must read!!  Grady is passionate and self absorbed, yet Walsh has written him in such amazing fashion that I found myself rooting for him to succeed.  Quinn seems so simple on the surface but has layers of self doubt that she must deal with.  True to Courtney Walsh form, Just Let Go is entertaining with amazing dialog and wonderful side characters.  Walsh finds a way to entertain and make you evaluate your life.  As I turned the last page on Quinn and Grady's story I thought of ways to improve my own life and Just Let Go.  

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

Storm Front By: Susan May Warren

Back of the Book

A tornado has destroyed a small Minnesota community and among the missing are not only a group of students but PEAK Rescue team leader Chet King. Ty Remington will stop at nothing to rescue his mentor, not even when the girl he loved--and lost--walks back into his life. But Brette needs his help more than he knows, despite her stubborn determination to push him away. And when he gets a second chance, loving her just might cost him more than he can imagine.

A blogger for Vortex Storm Chasers, Brette Arnold didn't expect her adventures to land her in the same place as Ty, the guy who she walked--no, ran--from over a year ago. She had her reasons--good ones. The kind that tell her that falling for him again would only lead to heartache. But Ty isn't the kind of man to give up--not on the missing students, or on her.

Life and love hang in the balance in Susan May Warren's breathless story of holding on to hope during a deadly summer of storms.

My Thoughts

To say Susan May Warren has written the perfect novel might seem a bit too much, but this was as close to perfection as I think you can get!  Ty has always been such a thought out, kind and easy to relate to character so to have him in the lime light made this book flow.  Brette was the perfect opposite with deep physical and emotional wounds she hasn't dealt with.  This is the 5th novel in the Montana Rescue series and is NOT a stand alone.  Do yourself, and this book, a favor and go back and at least refresh yourself on what has been happening with the PEAK Rescue  team.  It will not only make the novel more enjoyable but you will not be confused as characters weave in and out through the novel.  

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

A Chance At Forever By: Melissa Jagears

Back of the Book

In early 1900s Kansas, Mercy McClain, determined to protect Teaville's children from the bullying she experienced as a child, finds fulfillment working at the local orphanage and serving on the school board. When Aaron Firebrook, the classmate who bothered her more than any other, petitions the board for a teaching position, she's dead set against him getting the job.

Aaron knows he deserves every bit of Mercy's mistrust, but he's returned to his hometown a changed man and is seeking to earn forgiveness of those he wronged. He doesn't expect Mercy to like him, but surely he can prove he now has the best interests of the children at heart.

Will resentment and old wounds hold them back, or can Mercy and Aaron put the past behind them in time to face the unexpected threats to everything they're working for?

My Thoughts

A Chance At Forever is an entertaining novel with a smooth plot filled with loved, forgiveness and self reflection.  Mercy McClain was not one of my favorite characters due to her grudge holding and overall immaturity, yet if she had been any different the story would not have had the same effect.  Aaron on the other hand is outstanding, his character has depth and really helped pull me into the story and kept me reading.  If you are a fan of Melissa Jagears, this book should be on your reading list.

Tuesday, March 13, 2018

The Heart Between Us By: Lindsay Harrel

Back of the Book

Megan Jacobs always wished for a different heart. Her entire childhood was spent in and out of hospitals, sitting on the sidelines while her twin sister Crystal played all the sports, got all the guys, and had all the fun. But even a heart transplant three years ago wasn’t enough to propel Megan’s life forward. She’s still working as a library aide in her small Minnesota hometown and living with her parents, dreaming of the adventure she plans to take “once she’s well enough.” Meanwhile, her sister is a successful architect with a handsome husband and the perfect life—or so Megan thinks.
When her heart donor’s parents give Megan their teenage daughter’s journal—complete with an unfulfilled bucket list—Megan connects with the girl she meets between the pages and is inspired to venture out and check off each item. Caleb—a friend from her years in and out of the hospital—reenters her life and pushes her to find the courage to take the leap and begin her journey. She’s thrown for a loop when Crystal offers to join her for reasons of her own, but she welcomes the company and the opportunity to mend their tenuous relationship.
As Megan and Crystal check items off the bucket list, Megan fights the fears that have been instilled in her after a lifetime of illness. She must choose between safety and adventure and learn to embrace the heart she’s been given so that she can finally share it with the people she loves most.

My Thoughts
If you are expecting a simple heart warming novel about a bucket list and a heart transplant patient then you will be pleasantly surprised.  While those two simple themes do exist in The Heart Between Us, this novel is so much more than that.  I LOVED this book, Megan is so well written and Crystal equally so.  What got me the most was some of the underlying struggles the twins had, as one was healthy and the other not.  By far one of the best researched, developed and written novels I have read.

Wednesday, February 14, 2018

The Saturday Night Supper Club By: Carla Laureano

Back of the Book

Denver chef Rachel Bishop has accomplished everything she’s dreamed and some things she never dared hope, like winning a James Beard Award and heading up her own fine-dining restaurant. But when a targeted smear campaign causes her to be pushed out of the business by her partners, she vows to do whatever it takes to get her life back . . . even if that means joining forces with the man who inadvertently set the disaster in motion.

Essayist Alex Kanin never imagined his pointed editorial would go viral. Ironically, his attempt to highlight the pitfalls of online criticism has the opposite effect: it revives his own flagging career by destroying that of a perfect stranger. Plagued by guilt-fueled writer’s block, Alex vows to do whatever he can to repair the damage. He just doesn’t expect his interest in the beautiful chef to turn personal.

Alex agrees to help rebuild Rachel’s tarnished image by offering his connections and his home to host an exclusive pop-up dinner party targeted to Denver’s most influential citizens: the Saturday Night Supper Club. As they work together to make the project a success, Rachel begins to realize Alex is not the unfeeling opportunist she once thought he was, and that perhaps there’s life―and love―outside the pressure-cooker of her chosen career. But can she give up her lifelong goals without losing her identity as well?

My Thought

The Saturday night Supper Club is a fascinating novel showing the snowball effect of peoples words and actions when social media gets involved.  What I found most interesting about the novel is that the editorial that ultimately ended Rachel's career had nothing really to do with her as a chief or otherwise.  Nither Alex or Rachel could imagine what his simple editorial could do to both of their careers and how quickly things can spin out of our control.  I loved how Laureano addresses issues we have in our fast passed, social media frenzied society in an entertaining and thought provoking way.  Definitely a book worth reading!

Thursday, February 8, 2018

High Treason By: Diann Mills

Back of the Book

When Saudi Prince Omar bin Talal visits Houston to seek cancer treatment for his mother, an attempt on his life puts all agencies on high alert. FBI Special Agent Kord Davidson is the lead on the prince’s protective detail because of their long-standing friendship, but he’s surprised—and none too happy—when the CIA brings one of their operatives, Monica Alden, in on the task force after the assassination attempt.

Kord and Monica must quickly put aside interagency squabbles, however, when they learn the prince has additional motives for his visit—plans to promote stronger ties with the US and encourage economic growth and westernization in his own country. Plans that could easily incite a number of suspects both in the US and in countries hostile to Saudi Arabia. Worse yet, the would-be assassin always seems to be one step ahead of them, implicating someone close to the prince—or the investigation. But who would be willing to commit high treason, and can Kord and Monica stop them in time?

My Thoughts

I am always impressed with Mills ability to not only shock me with her unique plots full of great twist, but also with the amount of detail she puts into her books.  High Treason is full of such detail as Kord and Monica deal with a Saudi Prince, his family, and all their beliefs about women and the rules around them.  Not once did the book ignore the complexity of the Saudi culture to make the investigation esier.  An amazing novel that is definitely worth reading.

Thursday, February 1, 2018

Out of the Ashes By: Tracie Peterson and Kimberley Wiidhouse

Back of the book

After the death of their father, Collette and Jean-Michel Langelier are no longer tied to post-war France. While his sister dreams of adventure, Jean-Michel is hoping to finally escape reminders of the horrors he faced in the war. When Jean-Michel receives an unexpected invitation for them to visit Alaska and the Curry Hotel, it seems an opportunity for a change he needs. 

Katherine Demarchis is a young widow who does not grieve the dangerous husband she was forced to marry. Now she just wants to retreat to a quiet life, content to be alone. First, though, she's agreed to accompany her grandmother on a final trip, but never expects to see a man from her past. 

Katherine and Jean-Michel once shared a deep love that was torn apart by forces beyond their control. Reunited now, have the years changed them too deeply to rediscover what they had? And when Jean-Michel's nightmares return with terrifying consequences, will faith be enough to heal what's been broken for so long?

My thoughts

I have been a long time fan of Peterson's writing and after reading the first novel in the series have been looking forward to Out of the Ashes.  True to Peterson style, this novel has amazing writing, wonderful dialog and great knowledge of the area and the struggles of the times.  I enjoyed the love story between Jean-Michel and Katherine, it showed the kind of lasting love two people can share.  I must admit I did hope for a little more depth like the first novel has, but Out of the Ashes is a wonderful clean love story.