White Hot was irresistible. I have to admit, I loved every word. Now, I know I say that here and there about some books, so let me tell you why this particular read was so yummy.
The set up already intrigued me. Sayer Hoyle is reluctantly going back to her hometown. She had been away for 10 years because of what had happened and only the mysterious death of her brother makes her go back. Her father is the owner of the largest business in town and basically runs the place but Sayer won’t allow him to run her.
The family drama, unravelled deliciously slowly, was amazing. It kept me glued to the book. Believe it or not, that was simply the backstory.
Beck Merchant, the attorney working for her father, is tasked with keeping Sayer in line and they immediately bump heads. How that turns into first friendship and finally something more, was another bonus for this book.
Even more gold, the secondary characters were simply delicious. I loved their personalities, quirky and feisty, and their hilarious eccentricities. The happy ever after was icing on the cake. It was simply a great, great book.
Chill Factor by Sandra Brown
White Hot was, so good, I practically ran to the used book store and bought another Sandra Brown book. This one was Chill Factor and it was as good as I had hoped. It has a set up that has been used in romance books over and over but, Sandra Brown manages to pull it off with dignity and sense.
When Lilly Martin is up in the sleepy town of Clearly to close her cabin, she gets trapped in there by a storm with a stranger, Ben Tierney. The set up has been done before but in Sandra Brown’s expert hands, it’s not only credible but sensible and only adds to the story.
The entire little town is filled with secrets. Its characters slowly reveal their dual lives and hidden obsessions. In their midst is a serial killer, someone who may or may not be Ben Tierney and not knowing kept me glued to the book but the people of Clearly did as well.
From the bossy FBI agents, to the quirky brother and sister team, the town was both funny and captivating. Every chapter ended with me gasping in shock. Sandra Brown is amazing at delivering twists and turns that are not just shocking but delicious.
Under currents was the first book I sank my teeth into and it was delicious. It tells the family story of Zane, who had a rough start in life and comes back home to face and reconnect with family. It’s a lovely, thick book and the thrill of knowing there were pages and pages to read made me delighted to have it.
One of the best things about Nora Roberts is how dependably amazing she is as an author. She simply delivers ace after ace and, knowing that, it’s safe to dive in from the start and get to love the characters. I always know I’m in good hands with her.
And she didn’t disappoint. There was lovely description of places, great character development, humour, a lovely pet dog and a plot that didn’t lag. I loved the setting, a small town by a lake and I loved the quirky characters. Most of all, I love how she took the time to develop the story and give it the gravity it deserved. This one is a book I would recommend to all Nora fans but definitely to those looking for a great read, a romantic book or even simply a great family story.
This one starts off with a bang. Genius Professor, Dr. Jane Darlington decides that she wants a child but, to spare her child the challenges she had as a genius, she wants the father to have a…well a low IQ. So, she picks Cal Bonner, the quarterback of the Chicago Stars.
How Jane tricks Cal into sleeping with her is simply hilarious. One of the most enjoyable things about Susan Elizabeth Phillips is her dialogue. Quirky, fast and really funny, it catches me every time and I simply can’t put the book down. It was really that good.
Of course, her ruse goes awry and Jane ends up stuck with the QB for a while and sparks fly. Add some delightful, funny characters and a funny setting and you’ve got a great story. Definitely a great book for those who are into romance but also great if you like humour or simply a great fictional read. Susan Elizabeth Phillips doesn’t miss the mark.
I chose this one next because I really can’t get enough of this author. Susan Elizabeth Phillips has amazing, simply amazing characters and hilarious dialogue. They are so funny! I can’t get over their come backs. I have always been someone who has no snappy retorts and the lines in these books leave me in awe.
This heart of mine tells the story of Molly who has a long term crush on the quarterback of the Chicago Stars, Kevin Tucker. She has loved him from afar and she’s sure he doesn’t even know she exists. I loved that premise.
Unfortunately for poor Molly, she also has a terrible tendency to get herself in trouble. It’s this particular trait that lands her in a fix with none other than Kevin Tucker. And a fix it is.
I can’t think of someone else who can write two characters who are ready to kill each other and then, somehow, manage to fall in love better than Susan Elizabeth Phillips. I have read the books and I am still not sure where they changed from trying to fight to loving but they do and they do it really convincingly.
Best of all, is the humour. It kept me grinning, laughing and loving the twists and turns of the story. If you’re a fun of quirky, funny characters, this one is for you. And if you like love stories, this one is for the heart. A truly beautiful love story with wonderful characters, I loved every written word.
I got myself to the local bookstore the other day and got some books and well, my lovely hubby didn’t hear me for a couple of days but I loved every minute of it. And here, in no particular order, are my two cents on these books.
The best man is one of those books I just love to sit and enjoy. It has a love story, funny characters and a family that I love spending time with. It’s a wonderful read and one of the reasons I love Kristan Higgins.
Our heroine is Faith Holland, who was left at the altar and is coming back home a little wiser and older. Home might not be completely ready for her and there are obstacles on Faith’s way as she makes a place for herself. Faith is hardworking, kind and really easy to like. It’s not hard to root for her as we learn about her past and see her help out family and friends.
Our hero is Levi Cooper who is part of Faith’s past and has his own story and reasons for what he did. It’s delightful to not only get to know him but to reveal his personality and see the why’s behind his choices. It makes the final ending so much richer.
This is a book I would recommend to any Kristan Higgins fan, definitely to anyone who likes romance and to those who like family stories with a bit of humour added in. Kristan Higgins is one of the greats. She’s a fantastic writer and she treats the reader with respect. Things happen logically, organically and smoothly so that we travel with the heroine to the end barely noticing the pages turn. This one is a great read.
Always the last to know is a slightly different book for Kristan Higgins. There is, of course, a fantastic family that we get to know and there are amazing characters in the story but this isn’t her usual romantic tale. This is more of a work of fiction.
The book tells the story of a family that has maintained untold and unacknowledged lies for years when suddenly the father, John, has a stroke. The tragedy forces everyone to face aspects of their lives and themselves that they have carefully avoided for years. The two daughters, Sadie and Juliet have to come to terms with who they are and what they are doing with their lives but they are not the only ones who change. Their mother, Barb finally starts doing some changing of her own and faces things she has avoided for years.
There is a love story here and it’s a beautiful love story, but it’s not the central focus of the book. That’s why I said this is a different book for Kristan Higgins. Still, the usual things that make her so amazing are still there. The characters are real, complete and rich. The plot is compelling and engrossing. The ending makes sense and came naturally. And it was a beautiful story.
Though slightly different than her usual books, this one is a definite must read for Kristan Higgins fans. It’s also a great read for any fiction fan and for those who would simply be interested in reading a great book. With Kristan Higgins, you simply can’t go wrong.
After sundown checked a lot of boxes for me. It was written by Linda Howard (one of my absolute favourite authors), it was romance, it had great characters and it had a great premise. It tells the story of what happens to a little town after there is a catastrophic solar storm that wipes out all electricity in the planet. I loved that premise. I was in from the very beginning.
Sela is our heroine and she’s just wonderful. I love that she’s shy and has a lot of trouble speaking up for herself, I love that she ran her own business and I loved how kind she was. Sela ends up being a reluctant leader in the little community where she lives and making sure everyone has food, shelter and the necessities of life, keep her busy and me, engrossed in the tale.
Ben is our hero and he’s tough as nails. I loved him because he was such a loner that he kept everyone at bay with a gruff grunt, until he met a little puppy who won him over. Aw! Puppy. I love stories that involve animals.
This is one that I will definitely read over and over. A delicious story, wonderful characters, a love story and a premise that kept me hooked, it was a great find and a wonderful read. I would highly recommend this book to any romance readers, dystopian readers and Linda Howard fans.
I had eyed this book a while back but then Covid hit and bookstores shut down. So, it’s been on my radar for a while. I finally got my little paws on it this week and read it in under three hours. It was worth every minute I waited for it.
The woman left behind tells the story of Jina who’s a tech person working for a paramilitary organization. All is well with Jina, who loves her job until the forces that be decide she has to change jobs and she’s going to do her tech stuff while on the field. That means that Jina has to go with the elite teams who drop down in unusual places and do remote, dangerous missions.
Suddenly, poor Jina has to do training akin to the Marine Corps one. She has to learn to run for miles, jump out of a plane, shoot guns, or lose her job. I would simply lose my job, let’s be honest. But Jina isn’t a quitter and she sticks it out. Along the way, she impresses herself and the team she’s assigned to.
The early training mishaps and personality conflicts from the tough team guys with Jina are hilarious. I loved every word. She gives as good as she gets, though and is always ready with a smart come back that had me cheering her own from the start.
This book is simply delicious. Filled with fast-paced action and tough as nails guys, this is a fish-out-of-water, funny story that had be riveted to every word. Forget the ‘saggy’ middle, I couldn’t turn the pages fast enough to keep reading. It was that good.
I would highly recommend this book to anyone who likes romance, action, or humour. Definitely one that will show the reader why Linda Howard is one of the greats, this book is not to be missed. I’m so glad I finally got my hands on it.
This was a book that was recommended to me by a friend. I wanted a book about family and she recommended this one. She said, with a little wink, that it was about family and had a ‘mystery’ to it.
I loved the premise of the book. Just as she is about to get married, Clare Hobbes meets someone who gives her the courage to follow her heart and not get married. Her name is Edith and the book is told from the perspective of both women.
Marisa de los Santos is definitely a story teller. I could see it in the way she caught my eye at the start and refused to let me close the book. But there is more than just compelling writing to her talent. She’s almost poetic. The descriptions of places, things and people blend and combine to add to the overall plot. Homes, people and colours become almost characters in the book and contribute to the overall story.
Clare does have a very difficult decision to make and, like all difficult decisions, it has consequences for the people in her life. For her, it means an almost start-over. She slowly starts to search for who she is. The search takes a bit of a life of its own and she ends up making discoveries about Edith along the way.
Edith not only helps Clare make a very difficult decision, she also leaves her a house when she dies. It’s in this house that Clare starts to discover a story that takes her back to Edith’s past and what happened years ago.
Along the way, we get to know Zack, and understand why Clare loves and fears him. We also get to know Dev and understand why he’s Clare’s best friend. We also get to know Edith and why she did what she did for Clare.
I’ll be your blue sky is a story about a family and the secrets and choices that make people who they are. It’s told one little piece at a time, like crumbs leading to a treasure. Ms de los Santos does a great job of weaving the past and present together so that they create a beautiful tapestry of the story.
I would highly recommend this book for readers who, like me, would like to enjoy a lovely story on a summer afternoon. It’s a great read about a great set of characters. I would also recommend it for those who do love a mystery because there is one here, like my friend promised.
I love Kristan Higgins. She’s so easy to like because she’s a really great author but let me tell you why. First, her writing is easy and flowing; never heavy or hard to follow. Second, her characters are quirky and really easy to like and finally, she’s funny. I love an author that can make me laugh.
‘Now that you mention it‘ is one of those books I picked up completely on a whim and couldn’t put down. Three hours later, I was done and sad that it was over. It was that good.
The book tells the story of Nora Stuart. She’s a doctor specialist whose life suddenly changes in the blink of an eye and she finds herself back home facing a hilarious list of quirky characters. For Nora, home is a place full of memories, people who remember the worst of her and weather that wrecks her wild hair. It’s a tiny island that lives off its tourist season and gossip the rest of the year. It’s a tough place to return to when you have a past. And Nora has a past.
It was so easy to like Nora because she was just so nice. People are mean to her but she just turns on the charm and gives them a smile. She does that over and over, almost to the point that it was annoying because some of those people were pretty nasty to her. But Norah doesn’t get angry or gets upset and there is a reason why.
Nora is afraid of confrontation. And, without revealing too much of her story so not to destroy the book, there’s a reason for her fear. A very good reason. So, though I wanted her to kick someone where the sun doesn’t shine, I could understand very well why she, of all people, would choose to turn the ‘other cheek’ and smile instead.
Nora’s story is funny, quirky and full of characters that I wanted to get to know better. She befriends her niece, finds a piece of herself in the island home she had avoided for years and discovers the story of her family. Along the way, she kindly heals people. Plus, did I forget to mention the fact that she has a dog? Boomer, her adorable doggie is another huge reason in my book for liking Nora.
Though technically it might be considered romance, ‘Now that you mention it’ is the story of a grown woman discovering where she belongs. It is an easy read, giving the reader more than a few laughs along the way. And it’s one I would highly recommend for mostly any reader that enjoys either fiction, romance, women lit or a funny story.
I picked up Beartown on a recommendation at the bookstore. The woman at the store said it was a book ‘about hockey, a tiny town and what happens when a tragedy hits’ and I immediately wanted to read it. I don’t know what it is about the smell of coffee and books that gets me all excited. In this case, however, I’m glad I trusted her comment. I read Beartown in a matter of hours.
The book is definitely about hockey. Being Canadian, that didn’t bother me. We’re pretty hockey obsessed. But I should explain that you don’t need to be a hockey fanatic or fan to read and understand the book. More than about hockey, this book is about people who love the sport–and some who don’t.
The tiny town of Beartown is set in a forest and has a small scattering of people. I love tiny towns. There’s something about the intimacy of them that appeals to me. Beartown, with it’s small set of quirky inhabitants was delicious. The book explained their stories, their backgrounds and why they acted like they did. It did so without breaking pace with the story, something that’s really hard to do. And, by the end, I felt like I was one of them, like I knew them.
Though this is mostly the story of one family, there were no outstanding heroes or heroines. Rather, this is the story of characters, with flaws and gifts, who acted in ways that caused a terrible incident to happen and then had to face the consequences. While I won’t destroy the story by saying what happens, I will say that the entire town has to react to it because Beartown is that small. Good or bad, everyone is changed by the end.
I loved that the characters weren’t perfect. I loved that they interacted with each other in good ways and in ways that drove the others mad. I loved how their past and stories were sprinkled throughout the book, like little gems to highlight their personalities and help the reader understand why it is that they acted the way they did.
Mostly, though. it is the writing that was addictive in the best sense of the word. Fredik Backman does an incredible job of creating interest. Just the way he presents what happens, the order in which he presents things, made me turn those pages. I will give you a snippet of what I mean by the very introduction. It’s very short but I think it will convey just how addictive the book is.
“Late one evening towards the end of March, a teenager picked up a double-barrelled shogun, walked into the forest, put the gun to someone else’s forehead, and pulled the trigger.
“This is the story of how we got there.”
Doesn’t that just make you want to read more? It certainly did me. I read that little bit and had to buy the book right then and there.
I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys reading fiction, family fiction and those who enjoy a good mystery. It’s not a mystery, but it has enough suspense and action to satisfy the pickiest mystery fan. I would also recommend it to those who enjoy sports, because it is a lovely sports story. If you do pick it up, let me know what you think. I’d love to hear your thoughts on it.
Just finished a couple of books and I thought I’d share my thoughts here. The first was a recommendation from the lovely lady at the used book store. She said, and she was completely right, ‘this is a read for the beach’. I didn’t quite understand that she meant by that then, I do now.
The book is My Very Best Friend by Cathy Lamb. It’s a tale of two women who were close friends as children and who have grown up and moved apart; they are actually in different continents when the story stats. Years have passed but their friendship has endured.
The first friend, and heroine of the book, is Charlotte Mackintosh who describes herself as a cat-loving hermit. The reality is kinder than that. Charlotte is a quirky author who tends to see the best in people and who loves animals. When her mother’s home in Scotland needs tending to, she hops on a plane and gets busy.
It’s in Scotland that Charlotte starts to bloom. She finds her old friend Toran who falls for her quickly and who she doesn’t believe she deserves. It’s through Toran that Charlotte hears about her best friend, Bridget and what has happened to her.
Cathy Lamb’s book is a great read for the beach, like the wise lady claimed because it’s not a thriller or scary book filled with twists and bends. It’s a slow read, with quirky characters and humour that brings the reader gently to a happy ending. The fact that we could tell what the ending was from the start doesn’t take away from its endearing qualities. This is a great book for a summer read.
My second book is completely different from the first. I picked this one up completely on a whim and the fact that I liked another book by the same author. Margaret Atwood is a definite genius of the written word and Alias Grace does not disappoint.
This book is certainly not a gentle read or a book without twists or turns. It’s like a great giant magnifying lens into the human mind. It starts without a rush (something I absolutely loved) and takes its time introducing us to Grace Marks.
Grace is in jail when we meet her and she was in an insane asylum before that. Dr. Jordan a young psychologist has an interest in finding out just what is going on inside Grace’s head and he tries, day after day, to unravel her secrets. And secrets she has.
This is a book to be savoured. There isn’t an extra word or line. Margaret Atwood knows what she’s doing and she sharpened her pencil when she wrote this book. But it’s certainly not an easy, light read. It’s heavy with content, hints, subtle nudges and symbols. There are layers in the conversations that one can unravel and relish. The characters are intricately created and have real depth and personality.
I would definitely recommend this read to just about anyone who likes reading. It has received the Giller Prize, is a national bestseller and was finalist for many other awards. Margaret Atwood is a master of the writing craft and this is a fine example of why.
Just finished it last night and the scary after taste is still with me. Vox is one of those books that I picked up, read a paragraph and couldn’t put down. It gripped me and refused to let go in the best sense.
It’s written by Christina Dalcher who holds a PhD in theoretical linguistics and that knowledge becomes evident as the book carries on. The author understands just how important language is and what it does to the human mind if it is forbidden. The consequences are dire and terrifying.
Vox is a dystopic story set some time in the near future in the USA. The main character is Jean, a wife and mother who, like all women can’t say more than 100 words a day. Well, she can but the consequences are horrific. Each woman and female child has a device on their wrist that counts those words and administers an increasing level of electric shock when they pass their limit. That limit does get reset each and every night but they only get 100 and that’s it.
The set up is pretty reminiscent of ‘The Handmaid’s Tale’ in that women are suppressed and men have all the power. It also suggests that this has happened because of a mix of politics and religion so the US is now a theocracy. There are innumerable police and enforcers, all men, who suppress the women and there are new versions of schools for girls where they get rewards for being quiet and are taught how to be dutiful, housewives while the boys are brainwashed by courses on ‘theology’ that teach that God created man above woman and the ignorance of that rule caused all the world’s problems.
I loved this book. Jean’s arc from naive witness to heroine is believable and terrifying. I liked her from the get go and the story only endeared her further to me.
But the book was terrifying. I guess reading about a dystopia while Covid-19 is shutting schools, businesses and normalcy is out the window wasn’t the smartest thing. But I couldn’t help it; this book was incredibly addictive.
The reaction of her children from silly, lovable little ones to brainwashed pawns and the transformation of her little girl were devastating to read. If there had been a dog hurt in the book, I would have been able to put it down but that wasn’t the case. It was terrifying because it was something that I could see happening very soon.
Still, the book ends well. There is a happy ending and sanity returns. Still, it is most definitely a page-turner. There was no way I was putting this thing down until I knew what happened.
Of course I would recommend this book. It is an incredible read and really well written but I would recommend it because of some very specific reasons. One, it is so easy to get into it, I defy anyone to read two pages and be able to put it down. It’s that yummy. Two, It’s a topic that needs to be read and understood. We can’t let something like that future happen to us or our children. And three, it was simply a great, enjoyable read. The characters are awesome, the story is really great and fun.
If you are a fan of the Handmaid’s Tale, or like dystopic stories, this one is for you. I would also recommend it to anyone who likes thrillers and suspense because it was definitely that as well.
I loved On Second Thought. It caught me since the beginning and I simply couldn’t put it down; in fact, I stayed up late into the night to find out what happened, cried and laughed until the end. It’s one of those reads that you’re glad you bought because you know you’re going to read it again and again.
On Second Thought is technically a romance but it’s more the story of two sisters and how they cope with tragedy. They’re pretty different duo but still very likeable. I could relate to both and it was a joy to read how they got through difficulties and coped.
Ainsley is a happy-go-lucky, full of energy and always ready to help those around her. She has a huge heart and won’t take a minute to feel sorry for herself. Instead, she throws herself into helping others, including her old Grandmother and those around her. She has a job she’s not enjoying and still manages to have a smile on for everyone. More than that, she’s hilarious and I laughed out loud at what she thinks and does.
Kate is more intense but gentle. She’s hit with a devastating blow and is determined to not have things fall around her. She won’t collapse, determined to keep things together even in the face of pretty overwhelming tragedy. Kate keeps trying and I cried at her determined selflessness.
Both sisters need each other. It’s actually quite beautiful how the story weaves their personalities into a cohesive common story. They lean on each other and come out the better for it. Their relationship actually brings out the best in each of them.
There is romance in this book but it’s definitely in the background. The story focuses on these two women and how they grow to accept the harder cards that life has given them. Their interactions and reactions to things are what make the book move. There are really quirky and funny secondary characters but I loved the sisters from the start.
This is a book I would recommend to a variety of readers. It’s a definite read for those who enjoy romance but it’s also a very good read for those who like fiction, women’s lit or simply a good story. I really like Kristan Higgins and this is a great example of why she’s a New York Times Bestselling Author.
I got this book as a recommendation…again. It’s a book about a family and what happens to them when tragedy strikes. I didn’t know the author or the book or anything about the story. I just picked it up and read the first chapter and was hooked.
More than anyone else in the family, I related to Karina, the daughter who struggles to find find herself and discover who she is. I loved how determined she was and how hard she worked at her studies. Having always been a type-A personality, that part of her, caught my interest right away.
The book is not just Karina’s story, however. We learn about the father and mother and her brother, Prem. They too grow through the book and I found their stories interesting to say the least. It was nice to see that adults too struggle to cope and are also growing themselves.
More than anything else, the book is a tale about how a family, that encounters a huge tragedy and has to learn to reinvent itself. People have to live in different ways, connect in different ways and redefine who they are. That sort of adjustment is huge and not easy. It takes years and lots of trial and error to figure oneself out. I loved that The Shape of Family gave that growth an authentic, serious portrayal.
I would definitely recommend this book. It’s not only written by a bestselling author but it’s a wonderful story. I loved the writing and the rhythm of the book, stealing me away and keeping me hooked until I turned the last page. If you like stories about families, about growing up and stories about trying to belong, this one is a great book to try.