Friday, June 30, 2017

The Child by Fiona Barton

Kindle Edition, 336 pages
Expected publication: June 27th 2017 by Berkley
The author of the stunning New York Times bestseller The Widow returns with a brand-new novel of twisting psychological suspense.

As an old house is demolished in a gentrifying section of London, a workman discovers a tiny skeleton, buried for years. For journalist Kate Waters, it’s a story that deserves attention. She cobbles together a piece for her newspaper, but at a loss for answers, she can only pose a question: Who is the Building Site Baby?

As Kate investigates, she unearths connections to a crime that rocked the city decades earlier: A newborn baby was stolen from the maternity ward in a local hospital and was never found. Her heartbroken parents were left devastated by the loss.

But there is more to the story, and Kate is drawn—house by house—into the pasts of the people who once lived in this neighborhood that has given up its greatest mystery. And she soon finds herself the keeper of unexpected secrets that erupt in the lives of three women—and torn between what she can and cannot tell…

My Thoughts…

The main characters of The Child are all intriguing.    There is Kate the reporter following up on a story of a baby’s remains found buried during a construction dig.    Angela is the mother of a baby that was kidnapped from the hospital just hours after her birth and has never had closure.   Emma is a surprise POV; she lived at the location that the baby remains were found.     I found it interesting how different their lives were yet together the stories all came together perfectly.

There were secrets, intrigue, and surprises that I never saw coming.   The mystery was not hard to solve but with each different twist and turn I learned more about the various characters.    I was invested in Kate getting her story, Angela getting her closure, and Emma coming to terms with her teenage years.   There is so much more to this story than meets the eyes.  

The ending was the surprise.    The Child is certainly a psychological thriller that kept me on my toes.    I could not put the book down.  

Thank you Loren Jaggers, Assistant Director of Publicity at Berkley Publishing Group/New American Library and NetGalley for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. 

Book Links
Goodreads   |   Amazon   |   Barnes and Noble  |   Kobo


·         One of Publishers Weekly and Bustle’s Most Anticipated Books of 2017

·         Readers “will be rewarded with startling twists—and a stunning, emotionally satisfying conclusion.”—STARRED Publishers Weekly review

·         “Barton’s second well-plotted outing, with its sustained tension and believable characters, is an excellent addition to thepopular psychological thriller genre.”STARRED Library Journal review

·         *“Immersive, heartbreaking, and addictive”Crime By the Book

·         “Tense, tantalizing, and ultimately very satisfying … definitely one of the year’s must-reads.”      —Lee Child, #1 New York Times bestselling author

·         “Fiona Barton has outdone herself with THE CHILD. An engrossing, irresistible story about the coming to light of a long-buried secret and an absolutely fabulous read—I loved it!”—Shari LapenaNew York Times bestselling author of The Couple Next Door


·         An NPR “2016’s Great Reads” and PUBLISHERS WEEKLY “Best Books of 2016” Selection
·         One of the WALL STREET JOURNAL’s “Five Killer Books for 2016”
·          “[A] twisty tale…that will blow your mind.”OPRAH.COM
·         Barton skillfully weaves a tale that reminds us that yes, we can be deceived by others, but we can just as easily deceive ourselves.”—USA TODAY
·         “Compelling and top-notch.”THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
·         “Richly character-driven in a way that is both satisfying and engrossing.”THE WASHINGTON POST

·         “[Barton’s] journalistic eye is what makes this debut novel so assured and compelling.”—

·          “A twisted psychological thriller you’ll have trouble putting down.”—PEOPLE

·         “A taut reconstruction of a crime and a ruthless examination of marriage”ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY

·         “For all its twists, The Widow never loses sight of the dark secrets that define ordinary lives”—CHICAGO TRIBUNE

·         “Will keep you in suspense”GOOD HOUSEKEEPING

·         Gone Girl fans will relish this taut psychological thriller” US WEEKLY

·         THE WIDOW is being compared to Gone GirlBefore I Go To Sleep, and The Girl on the Train. It's actually better than them all.”—FORT WORTH STAR-TELEGRAM

Thursday, June 29, 2017

The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable

Hardcover, 432 pages
Published May 9th 2017 by Thomas Dunne Books
The Book of Summer by Michelle Gable  is part of the SheReads Summer book selections.     SheReads is a community of bloggers that as a group help promote specific books.   We share reviews, thoughts, and our feelings after reading books suggested to us by the wonderful people who run the SheReadsOrganization.  

Physician Bess Codman has returned to her family's Nantucket compound, Cliff House, for the first time in four years. Her great-grandparents built Cliff House almost a century before, but due to erosion, the once-grand home will soon fall into the sea. Though she s purposefully avoided the island, Bess must now pack up the house and deal with her mother, a notorious town rabble-rouser, who refuses to leave.

The Book of Summer
 unravels the power and secrets of Cliff House as told through the voices of Ruby Packard, a bright-eyed and idealistic newlywed on the eve of WWII, the home's definitive guestbook, and Bess herself. Bess's grandmother always said it was a house of women, and by the very last day of the very last summer at Cliff House, Bess will understand the truth of her grandmother s words in ways she never contemplated.

My Thoughts…

I have never read a book with characters as crazy, fun, and outlandish as those in The Book of Summer.    This should be a book about families during WWII, saving their beloved house in Nantucket, and love… it is about all that, but it was the actual characters that stuck with me.   

The present day story revolves around Bessie and Cissy.  I loved Bessie and Cissy’s relationship.   A mother and daughter that fight, love, and protect each other with everything they have.    Imagine a mother doing everything in her power to save the family house from falling off a cliff, literally falling off a cliff.    Cissy, the mother, is crazy about saving it.    I loved her.   She brought tears to my eyes, love to my heart, and giggling out loud while reading her story.      Bessie, my heart ached for her, going through a divorce from a man who verbally abused her, trying to talk her mother into moving out of their family home, and trying to figure out her life in general was a lot of for her to deal with.  

The 1940’s story, during WWII, is focused on Ruby, Cissy’s mother.   There are so many family secrets shared during her storyline.     The family ties were once again wonderful.    

The additions to the story with the Book of Summer, a guest book of type for the visitors of the Cliff House, and the newspaper articles from the current time were wonderful glimpses into what the people outside of the family thought of what was happening within the family.     I really enjoyed them.  I felt like it was a sneak peek into the lives of the wonderful characters.   

The Book of Summer is a fun read.   The family drama, the secrets, and the wonderful characters all make it a must read.

Thank you Katie Bassel of St. Martin’s Press and the She Reads Organization for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review. 

Purchase Your Copy
Amazon   |   Barnes and Noble   |   Goodreads


Wednesday, June 28, 2017

Cocoa Beach by Beatriz Williams

 Expected publication: June 27th 2017 by William Morrow

The New York Times bestselling author of A Certain Age transports readers to sunny Florida in this lush and enthralling historical novel—an enchanting blend of love, suspense, betrayal, and redemption set among the rumrunners and scoundrels of Prohibition-era Cocoa Beach.

Burdened by a dark family secret, Virginia Fortescue flees her oppressive home in New York City for the battlefields of World War I France. While an ambulance driver for the Red Cross, she meets a charismatic British army surgeon whose persistent charm opens her heart to the possibility of love. As the war rages, Virginia falls into a passionate affair with the dashing Captain Simon Fitzwilliam, only to discover that his past has its own dark secrets—secrets that will damage their eventual marriage and propel her back across the Atlantic to the sister and father she left behind.

Five years later, in the early days of Prohibition, the newly widowed Virginia Fitzwilliam arrives in the tropical boomtown of Cocoa Beach, Florida, to settle her husband’s estate. Despite the evidence, Virginia does not believe Simon perished in the fire that destroyed the seaside home he built for her and their young daughter. Separated from her husband since the early days of their marriage, the headstrong Virginia plans to uncover the truth, for the sake of the daughter Simon never met.

Simon’s brother and sister welcome her with open arms and introduce her to a dazzling new world of citrus groves, white beaches, bootleggers, and Prohibition agents. But Virginia senses a predatory presence lurking beneath the irresistible, hedonistic surface of this coastal oasis. The more she learns about Simon and his mysterious business interests, the more she fears that the dangers that surrounded Simon now threaten her and their daughter’s life as well.

My Thoughts…

In true Beatriz William’s style this book had everything that I look for in a good book.    There was a historical event with WWI, romance, family, and a strong female character.     Virginia is the main female character.   She was strong in keeping herself safe while she was driving an ambulance during WWI yet feminine enough to trust a man (Simon) to take care of her.      Simon was a different type of character.   I felt like he was shady.    From the first meeting he seemed suave, too smooth, and up to something.    As I learned more about him, when I could decipher truth from the lies, I just never learned if I could trust him.   While I didn’t trust him, as a character I liked him.  He had charisma,  he had a plan, and he did love Virginia.   

The book went back and forth between 1920’s in Florida  and 1917’s and WWI.    The era’s were portrayed wonderfully.    The wartime story wasn’t graphic but it was easy to picture the roads, the rain, the pop-up hospitals, and the soldiers of the time.     I was able to understand what Virginia and Simon were living through during this time.   The 1920’s story was not quite as interesting to me.    There was a lot going on with the plantation, the shipping company, Aunt Clara, Simon, and Samuel.   I wasn’t sure who was the good guy and who was the bad guy.   

Beatriz William is a go-to author for me.    I  would recommend picking up your own copy of Cocoa Beach and falling back in time. 

Thank you Tavia Kowalchuk at William Morrow for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Book Links
Goodreads   |   Barnes and Noble   |   Amazon   

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Breathe In by Michelle Bellon RELEASE BLITZ

Title: Breathe In
Author: Michelle Bellon
Genre: Thriller/Suspense
Release Date: June 27, 2017 Publisher: Limitless Publishing
Breathe in, breathe out. This mantra gets Tessa Benson through the day.
The man she loves walks all over her, and she just wants to get by without her heart shattering to pieces. If she could find her voice, she’d scream.
Everything changes in one night, when she’s snatched from the streets and tied to a bed, a camera set up to capture her dying moment. And the person who paid to watch her still out there somewhere.
Tessa prowls dark neighborhoods in a quest for justice, but she doesn’t find the killer. Not until they strike again…in the place Tessa is least expecting, and where it hurts worst.

Standing closer than I want to be, I can’t stop my muscles from trembling. He sneers down at me. His teeth are crooked. His jaw is wide. His skin is covered in acne, and I’m sure he takes steroids on a regular basis to gain his bulk. His scent is heavy with sweat. It mixes inextricably with the smell of frying pork. 
He holds a finger in front of his face in warning. “Do not play with me, little girl.” He gives the rope another jerk. “Do you understand me?”
“Y-y-yes,” I whimper. 
“Good. Now let me explain a few things. You see that camera over there?”
When I don’t take my gaze from his to look toward the camera, he moves faster than I can react and clutches my chin in his large hand, his thumb and forefinger digging into the flesh of my jaw. My lips pucker out. He jerks my head to the right so that I’m facing the camera. He points to it with his other hand. “There. Do you see it now?”
Face still in his grasp, I nod adamantly to show I’m listening now. This man is frightening beyond measure.
His thumb and fingers squeeze harder. “Good. That camera will watch you day and night. You hear me?”
I nod, unable to suppress the incessant whimpering that bubbles from my core.
“You will not go near it. You will do as you’re told. Or I will hurt you. You got it?”
I nod.
He releases my chin and slaps me across the face. My head snaps hard to the left and my right cheek flashes hot where his palm connected. Instant tears stream down my face. He grabs my chin again and hauls me upright. 
“Answer me when I ask you a question. Understand?”
“Yes, yes.” 
“You and that camera right there are going to make me a lot of money. Do you understand?”
I don’t understand at all. I’m afraid to. “Yes.” I nod over and over again.
“Good. Now sit your ass down.”
Before I can do as I’m told, he gives me a shove. I topple onto the bed. Unable to catch myself with my hands behind my back, I fall to my side, then scramble to sit upright. 
He gives me a look of disgust before walking out the door and slamming it behind him. 
Defeated and scared beyond words, I’m paralyzed. I need to escape, but I fear this man’s wrath if he catches me. I bite my lip and earnestly try to fight back the tears. But they are relentless and gush forth anyway. I give in and let them come. Racking sobs engulf my body. I look toward the camera, no longer innocuous. It stares at me menacingly, my only witness.
What will it see?
Michelle Bellon lives in the Pacific Northwest with her four quirky and beautiful children. She loves coffee, Superman, rollercoasters, and has an addiction to chapstick.
She works as a registered nurse and in her spare time writes novels. As a multi-genre author, she has written in the categories of romance suspense, young adult, women’s fiction, and literary fiction. She has won four literary awards. You can visit Michelle’s website at

Monday, June 26, 2017

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson is part of the SheReads Summer book selections.     SheReads is a community of bloggers that as a group help promote specific books.   We share reviews, thoughts, and our feelings after reading books suggested to us by the wonderful people who run the SheReadsOrganization.  

Hardcover, 352 pages
Expected publication: July 11th 2017 by William Morrow
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.

My Thoughts…

WOW!    We start with Leia finding out she got pregnant after one night with Batman.    Yeah, Batman.   That is just the first part of The Almost Sisters.     There are a few different storylines intertwined, yet it all comes together perfectly.      

Leia returns to Alabama to help her Grandmother, who has been hiding her Alzheimer’s, get her life in order and be sure she is safe.     When she arrives at her Grandmother’s house she finds more than what she expected.    She finds her grandmother and her best friend have been keeping secrets for years from her.    Add to this that her step-sister, Rachel, is having problems with her husband.   Oh, and don’t forget she is still pregnant by Batman.      

I should mention that Batman is black and Leia is white.     One of Leia’s fears is raising a mixed race baby in the south.   While in this small town she sees how big the racial divide really is and it brings her fear of raising her baby in the south.  

Joshilyn Jackson is a go-to author for me.   With The Almost Sisters I was not disappointed.   I cannot wait for more from her.   

Book Links

New York Times Bestselling novelist Joshilyn Jackson is the author of seven novels and a novella: The Opposite of EveryoneSomeone Else’s Love Storygods in AlabamaBetween, GeorgiaThe Girl Who Stopped SwimmingBackseat SaintsA Grown-Up Kind of Pretty, and the novella My Own Miraculous. Her books have been translated into a dozen languages, won SIBA’s novel of the year, three times been a #1 Book Sense Pick, twice won Georgia Author of the Year, and three times been shortlisted for the Townsend prize.