Only Summer – Rachel Cullen

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I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

This is a sweet story about four women whose summer breaks end up happening far differently than they had each imagined.

Sabrina, newly engaged, is ambivalent about planning the wedding to her physician boyfriend and his wealthy family. While happy in her relationship, settling down makes her nervous – and then she re-connects with the boy who broke her heart in high school…

Heather, recovering after a bout of cancer and chemotherapy, is restless and wants to begin living again, while her doting husband wants her to rest and ‘take it easy’. While summering on Cape Cod, she meets a man who helps her recover her strength and her spirit, but at what cost to her marriage?

Molly has recently moved from Colorado to Rye, NY, and meets her first friend, Jeannie, on a local playground. It quickly becomes apparent that Jeannie and her friends come with wealth, and Molly tries hard to fit into that lifestyle. Will she risk everything to ‘keep up with the Joneses’?

Megan is a teenager who will soon be a senior in high school, and she’s looking forward to spending the summer with her boyfriend Ryan before he heads off to college in the fall. But at the last minute, Ryan is sent to London to work for his father’s company, leaving Megan with an empty summer stretching before her. With no plans in sight, Megan reluctantly accepts a summer job on Cape Cod as a companion to Heather and her family, and it will change her life.

This book gets off to a quick start, as each chapter spotlights one of the four women and it is a bit confusing, but once you have them sorted out, it rapidly becomes a great read, with characters you’ll start to love, and want to step right in and give advice to! A great, mellow read, perfect for vacation, or a day at the beach!

Publication date of 8 Nov 2018!

Malice – Jennifer Jaynes

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I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com and Thomas & Mercer as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Dr. Daniel Winters seems to have it all. A gorgeous home in the Hollywood Hills, a beautiful new wife, and a part in a thriving pediatric medical practice that caters to the Hollywood elite. Fresh from a honeymoon to the Cayman Islands, he returns to work and learns of an astounding new medication that the practice has been supporting, called Respira. Respira is being touted as a wonder drug, expected to cure the common cold and boost children’s immune systems in the process. Dr. Winters is a bit reserved about the drug but is advised by his boss and mentor that it is safe.

Rachel Jacobs is a young single mother, whose daughter Suzie receives a dose of Respira, and has a seizure a few days later. But she recovers quickly, and her mother reluctantly consents to a second dose of the vaccine, with devastating results…

Mia Winters is Daniel’s new wife. Still enchanted by their fairy-tale courtship and wedding, she seems to be the perfect companion. But Daniel sees her texting someone, when she thinks he’s not watching. And he soon learns that she’s not at work when she tells him she will be. Plagued with self-doubt, Daniel assumes the worst, and a chasm develops between husband and wife. He hires a private investigator to follow her. And he begins to drink steadily as a result of his suspicions about Mia – and about Respira.

Attempts to discuss concerns about the new drug with his boss are met first with reassurance, then condescension, and finally outright anger, threats, and insistence that he continue to administer the drug. But Daniel fears for his patients and attends a clandestine meeting with a reporter – and soon finds that nothing is as it seems – and danger is everywhere…

Wow – this book grabs you by the hand right off the bat, takes you on a wild ride, and doesn’t let go until the very last page!! I LOVED it and I couldn’t put it down! A fortunately fictional (for the most part) novel about big pharma, money and greed, filled with non-stop action, crazy twists, and some surprises too. A great read!!

Forget You Know Me – Jessica Strawser

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I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Liza and Molly were best friends all through childhood, and well into adulthood. But marriage, children and a move all have a way of creating distance, so the girls have arranged a girl’s night out via computer. When Molly goes to check on a crying child, Liza, through her webcam, sees a masked assailant enter Molly’s home. Frightened, she yells at him to stop, and he closes the computer.

Liza, terrified for her friend’s safety, drives several hours to check on Molly personally. When she arrives at her home, she finds Molly, cold and aloof, and denying that anything took place. Hurt, and puzzled, Liza returns home only to find her apartment building has been destroyed by fire, throwing her into a mental debate about fate and chance.

This novel, told in the third person, chronicles the friendship of the girls, as well as the ups and downs of Molly’s marriage to her husband Daniel. As each relationship has grown apart, and each individual has developed what seem like insurmountable personal obstacles, they find hope and strength in the bonds of friendship and love to overcome, flourish, and re-discover the true meaning of love, commitment and second chances.

This is my second read by author Jessica Strawser, and it will not be my last. Filled with love, regrets, a touch of drama and second chances, this a book that women readers can take to heart. A sweet, heart-warming story!!

Due out Feb 5th, 2019

In Dog We Trust – Beth Kendrick

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I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Jocelyn Hillier is a year-round resident of Black Dog Bay, Delaware, and is out for a jog on Shoreline Rd (where the rich summer people come to stay) when she chances upon dogs in the road, in danger of being struck by a speeding car. Without thinking twice, she rushes the dogs to safety, and immediately receives a job offer to care for and exercise some prized black labs. Despite her polite protests, Mr. Allardyce won’t take no for an answer, and Jocelyn finds herself the caretaker of three purebred Labradors, one who’s due to deliver pups any day.

Liam Sheridan is Mr. Allardyce’s son but is estranged from his father. As he forces a meet at a restaurant, his father unexpectedly collapses and dies, and upon the reading of the will, he is stunned to learn that Mr. Allardyce has left the bulk of his estate to his dogs – with Jocelyn as caretaker and trustee. Determined to gain his fair share of the inheritance, he files a lawsuit challenging the will.

And so begins a sweet, funny novel about love, trust, forgiveness, family and, of course, dogs! With familiar places to Black Dog Bay readers like The Whinery, The Naked Finger and the Eat Your Heart Out Bakery, this book will have you laughing all through it’s pages! Another fabulous read by Beth Kendrick!!

Publication date: 8 Jan 2019

Just After Midnight – Catherine Ryan Hyde

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I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Faith has fled to her family’s California beach house in efforts to flee a controlling and borderline abusive marriage. Enjoying the solitude of the quiet shore, she is taking the time she needs to heal. Then she spots a young girl sitting on the beach in the dark in a lotus position – and an unusual friendship is born.

Sarah is a young teenaged girl who flees to her grandmother after her mother’s sudden death, and her father’s apparent betrayal – he sold Sarah’s prized horse without even telling her. Sarah also has a secret – a suspicion that her mother’s death didn’t quite happen they way she was told it did.

As Faith and Sarah bond over their unusual circumstances, Sarah’s Dad is discovered to be close by, prompting Faith and Sarah to flee, while her grandmother attempts to gain custody. Sarah requests that they head to Paso Robles – where Midnight is presently boarded. As they arrive and walk towards the ring where Midnight is being ridden, she throws her rider, jumps the fence, and runs to Sarah.

As Sarah bonds again with her horse and faces anew the probability of loss, she shares her suspicious about her father’s role in her mother’s death – and Faith comes to terms with her shattered marriage and her own uncertain future.

A sweet novel about love, loss, trust, pain, growth, self-determination and perseverance…just a beautiful story!!

Available on 4 December 2018

Unspeakable – Elisabeth Naughton

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I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Russell ‘Rusty’ McClane considers himself to be a black sheep of sorts – adopted into his family as a teenager, he has ties to the past that will not let him go, and they continue to impact him now. Owner and proprietor of The Black Sheep Winery by day, by night he’s undertaking much more dangerous activities in hopes of making amends. Then the police show up at the door, investigating the disappearance of a young woman, that was last seen with Rusty.

Harper Blake is a disgraced cop. Wrongly accused of sexual harassment by a trusted partner, she now works as a private investigator for defense attorney Andrew Renwick. She is asked to assess the missing woman case and Rusty McClane’s possible involvement in her disappearance, in preparation for his arrest. But when she meets Rusty, the attraction is undeniable, even though she senses that he knows more than he’s sharing. As she investigates further, she learns of the Plague, and Rusty’s involvement in something big…but what?

This book combines complex, likable characters, along with edge of your seat suspense, and very steamy sex to create an un-put-downable story! Easily read as a standalone, the fact that it is the fourth in a series is a huge bonus for me! I WILL be reading them all. I am amazed that I haven’t discovered Elisabeth Naughton before this! If I could give it 6 stars, I would! Fantastic!!

Available November 20th, 2018

An Anonymous Girl – Greer Hendricks & Sarah Pekkanen

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I was fortunate to receive this novel from Netgalley.com as an Advance Reader Copy, in exchange for an objective review.

Would you share your innermost secrets, if it was anonymous??

Jessica Farris is a young cosmetician who visits individual homes to assist with make up for special occasions. On one such visit, a college girl mentions an ethics and morality study she’s signed up for, and decides she’ll likely blow off the meet. Jess is intrigued, as she needs some extra pocket cash, and the study reportedly pays a good amount. She secretly copies the info off her client’s phone and takes her place in the study the next morning.

Almost immediately, she is disconcerted by the questions, and the way the interviewer interacts with her between questions. But, comforted by the apparent anonymity, she answers the questions posed to her with honesty, revealing things that she has never shared with others. Seemingly satisfied with Jess’s responses, Dr. Shields invites her back for more questions, and eventually, to participate in scenarios. But what is Dr. Shields after and why? What do these seemingly random exercises mean? Soon, Jess finds herself caught in a web of paranoia and deception that seems to be beyond her control…

Told from the perspectives of the mysterious Dr. Shields and Jess herself, this story grabs you from the first page and keeps you enthralled until well after the very last page is turned. This one kept me up late into the night and had me at it again early in the morning! I couldn’t put it down!!

Due out 8 Jan 2019! Don’t miss it!!