Friday, December 25, 2020

2020 in Reviews... Books I've Reviewed in June 2020

 Sometimes you have to break a family to fix it.

From New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins, a new novel examining a family at the breaking point in all its messy, difficult, wonderful complexity.

The Frosts are a typical American family. Barb and John, married almost fifty years, are testy and bored with each other...who could blame them after all this time? At least they have their daughters-- Barb's favorite, the perfect, brilliant Juliet; and John's darling, the free-spirited Sadie. The girls themselves couldn't be more different, but at least they got along, more or less. It was fine. It was enough.

Until the day John had a stroke, and their house of cards came tumbling down.

Now Sadie has to put her career as a teacher and struggling artist in New York on hold to come back and care for her beloved dad--and face the love of her life, whose heart she broke, and who broke hers. Now Juliet has to wonder if people will notice that despite her perfect career as a successful architect, her perfect marriage to a charming Brit, and her two perfect daughters, she's spending an increasing amount of time in the closet having panic attacks.

And now Barb and John will finally have to face what's been going on in their marriage all along.

My Thoughts...

Kristan Higgins is at her best writing family dramas.   While the family has drama, the characters learn a lot about themselves, their dreams, and how what they perceive to be is not always the whole truth.    The two daughters, Sadie and Juliet, are as different as can be.   Sadie is the youngest, free-spirited, and a daddy’s girl.   Juliet is the oldest, always perfect, and mommy’s girl.   As they both come home after their father has a stroke, they start to see that all is not what they thought.   Their parent’s perfect marriage is not so perfect, their own lives are not quite as wonderful as they let the other think, and that as different as they are families stick together.   


Noah and Sadie are wonderful.  I love second-chance romances and they so deserve their second chance.  They’ve both grown up, they’ve both had life experiences, yet from the minute they see each other again there is no denying that the love that was between them when they were younger is still there and just as strong.    Juliet’s husband Oliver is so patient, so kind, and so loving to Juliet that I never questioned his love for her.   I enjoyed getting to know both couples and seeing how their relationships played into their family dynamics.


Add Always the Last to Know to your Goodreads MUST-READ list

Purchase your own copy on Amazon or Barnes and Noble


BREAKING NEWS: The Bad Boy of Baseball, Maddox Paige, is totally and utterly whipped. Okay, that might not be the headlines in the newspaper this morning, but it's the reality of my current situation. It all started a month ago when I received a call from my best friend, Kinsley. She got a new job in Chicago and needed a place to stay. I've known the girl since I was five, what harm would it be to have her stay at my place for a while? Ha! Total disaster. Now instead of going out every night with my teammates, I'm couch surfing and sketching endless photos of my best friend . . . but that's the least of my concerns. The disaster, you ask? I'm rapidly falling head over cleats in love with my best friend, my roommate, and my number one fan. And she has no idea . . .

My Thoughts…

I was looking for a steamy, hot book.   Meghan Quinn gave my just that.    She gave me two main characters that I enjoyed getting to know, I enjoyed learning about their lives, and I enjoyed seeing where life would take them.    Best friends to lovers is their story is but the emphasis is on best friends in this book. 

Maddox and Kinsley have been best friends since they were 5 years old.   They are now adults, making their own ways in the world but have never let that friendship waver.   They have stayed friends through relationships with others, moving away from each other, and their successes and losses.    I love that Maddox opens his house to Kinsley knowing that his life will never be the same.   With her save the Earth attitude, her vegan eating habit, and her love of animals, she is his total opposite.    He plays professional baseball, loves a good steak, and has no interest in having a pet.   Not to mention he is a total neat freak and she is sure to make his life messy.    Maddox and Kinsley are meant to be.  I knew from the minute he said yes that his world was about to get so much more interesting and love was coming his way. 

I really enjoyed how Meghan Quinn did not make their relationship easy.   She made her characters stay true to themselves, she made them decide what was important to them, and she made them work for the HEA.      The Change Up is a fun and quick story but there are life lessons, true love, and amazing friendships throughout the entire story.  

**Thank you to Meghan Quinn’s PA, Jen Bidwell, for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.

Add to your MUST-READ list on your Goodreads

Purchase your own copy on Amazon

When Eve Duncan's daughter, Jane MacGuire, becomes a killer's target, Jane must team up with longtime love interest Seth Caleb in this thrilling novel from the
#1 bestselling author of Smokescreen.

Forensic sculptor Eve Duncan and ex-Navy Seal Joe Quinn are about to give Seth Caleb their trust for the most important duty of his life: keeping their daughter, Jane, safe at any cost. Her talent as an artist has caught the attention of a brilliant psychopath with a violent past.

Seth, Jane's strongest ally and fiercest protector, is determined to keep her out of danger, but that becomes nearly impossible when Jane is forced to take matters into her own hands and confronts the madman who wants her for himself...and wants Seth Caleb dead.

As Jane and Seth chase down their blood-thirsty adversary, they also have to reckon with their own epic love story. Can they finally commit to a life together, no matter how uncertain? As the two come face to face with danger, one thing is made clear: it will take both of them to confront and defeat this evil.

My Thoughts…

I am a huge Eve Duncan fan, but this book is her daughter, Jane’s, story.    It is a story that I’ve been waiting for.  I have been craving more about this amazing girl, who had a rough start in life until she found an amazing family to love and protect her.     Her talents as an artist have been bragged about in past books, her love of Michael (her brother) has never been in doubt, and her attraction to Seth has been intriguing.    Persuasion is THE book that I have been waiting for. 

Jane has no idea that she has been being watched from afar by a mad man for quite some time.  In The Persuasion she finds out and that mad man decides that it is time to take steps towards making Jane his.     Of course, Seth must come riding in to keep her safe.   The relationship between Seth and Jane is so intense.   With their unique histories, their tough lives, and their fears of being hurt it cannot be easy.      All of that makes their relationship their own.   They know how much they can let each other in and how much they can allow themselves to love.   Their relationship is so strong, so true, and so real that it is one of my favorites throughout this series.   

 The fact that there is a mad man in this story brings in Eve and Joe, who are characters that must appear in each book in this series.  In true Eve and Joe style they come to show their love for both Michael and Jane.   They know that their children are unique and must not be taken for granted.   They let their children shine in their own talents and nurture them in ways that are special for each of them.    Eve and Joe are amazing parents, wonderful protectors, and shining examples of what a family should be.  

Persuasion is part of the Eve Duncan series, which is a wonderful series.   The wonderful part is that you can pick up any book in the series and start reading.   Each book has its own story, it's own ending, and is not contingent on stories that were told before it.    Some of the storylines carry over but Iris Johansen does an amazing job of giving enough back story to keep new and old readers up to date on what is happening.  

**Thanks to Grand Central Publishing and Staci Burt for a copy of the book in exchange for an honest review.   

Add Persuasion to your MUST-READ list on Goodreads

Purchase your own copy on Amazon  or Barnes and Noble

Publisher's Summary

Fall in love at Bayside, where sandy beaches, good friends, and true love come together in the sweet small towns of Cape Cod. Bayside Summers is a series of standalone steamy romance novels featuring alpha male heroes and sexy, empowered women. They're fun, flirty, flawed, deeply emotional, always passionate, and easy to relate to.

Gavin is about to find out that Harper really does exist-and she's going to knock his socks off! Find out for yourself in Bayside Romance!

When screenwriter Harper Garner got a shot at the big-time in LA, she celebrated her brave cross-country move with her first and only one-night stand - connecting so deeply with the sexy, brilliant man, she broke the number-one rule of one-night stands and left her phone number. Not hearing from him was only the first in a long line of hope-shattering, confidence-busting blows. Ten months later, Harper is done with men and done with LA. She pulls up her big-girl panties and heads home to Cape Cod to start over.

On the surface, interior designer Gavin Wheeler has it all: a successful business, a loving family, and a close-knit group of friends. But Gavin once endured a heartbreak so painful, he was sure he'd never feel anything for a woman again. A chance encounter at a music festival with a gorgeous, down-to-earth blonde proved him wrong, but when morning came, the woman who made him crave more was gone.

A serendipitous evening reunites Harper with her devastatingly delicious one-night stand, and the connection is just as intense as she remembered. Harper's life is too unsettled for a relationship, but Gavin is determined to help her find her way, especially if it leads straight to his heart. Moonlight conversations lead to steamy kisses, and as romance blooms, it stirs a love too real to deny. But when Gavin's past collides with the life they're building, it has the power to ruin everything. 

My Thoughts…

Audiobook Review… Dual talented narrators, an amazing story, and wonderful characters.   Put all these together and you are listening to a perfect audiobook.   Melissa Foster wrote the perfect story, Savannah Peachwood and Jacob Morgan used their amazing voices to tell the perfect story, and Harper and Gavin are the characters that needed their story told.  

The narrators took turns telling Harper and Gavin’s stories.   Savannah would tell Harper’s part of the story bringing alive the fear of being seen as a failure, the love she has for her friends and Gavin, and the uncertainty at what her future will hold.  Jacob used his wonderful voice for the strong and self-assured Gavin telling how he was afraid to open his heart again, how he loved Harper completely, and how important his friends and family are to him.   Together the narrators brought Melissa Foster’s story to live with their voices.   They shared the love, the emotion, and the truths that make up the couple of Gavin and Harper.  

eBook Review…Have you ever met someone and knew instantly that they would make a difference in your life? You then had to go your separate ways and you think you’ll never see them again but are not able to stop thinking of them. That is the story of Harper and Gavin.

They meet, they have a one-night stand, and Harper goes sneaking off to avoid saying goodbye. Amazingly they meet again. The attraction is still there, the heat is still there but Harper is cautious at starting any relationship. Gavin refuses to give her up but knows that he must tread carefully and teach her to trust not only him but herself first. I love love love how patient he was. He taught her that she knew what was right and to trust herself, but he still let her know how much he wanted her without putting pressure on her to take their relationship to the next level. Gavin not only earn her trust and her love, but he helps her accept that things happen, good and bad, for a reason and they can help you come out a better person.

Pick up this amazing book immediately. Fall into Gavin and Harper’s story, meet the amazing characters in Bayside, and learn what real love is. 




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