She Regrets Nothing

By Andrea Dunlop

She Regrets Nothing: A Novel by [Dunlop, Andrea]

4 out of 5 stars

When Laila Lawrence’s mother dies, she is surprised at the funeral by her three cousins. Three cousins she did not know she had. Laila grew up in Michigan whereas her cousins live in New York City, raised as the grandchildren of one of the wealthiest men. Laila’s father had a falling out with his father and brother and Laila did not live the same kind of life. The reason for the split is quite a whopper!  A life lived on trust funds with partying and spending money like water, not the way she was raised and she asks herself the question, why not her? Laila wants everything she feels is owed to her. She does not seem to care who she hurts or steps over to get it. Her cousins welcome her into their lives. Liberty, the oldest and probably the kindest person in the whole story, lives her life differently than her twin siblings. Nora and Leo live vicariously off their trust funds. That is what Laila wants and what Laila wants…..

This is juicy deliciousness! I felt like I did in those days when Dallas and Dynasty were on the air. (Showing my age) There is treachery, seduction, social climbing and so much more. I could see Laila’s point in thinking she should have a piece of the pie but part of me wanted to see her downfall. It is a fun look into the lives of the rich and infamous in New York from the parties to the charities to the shopping to those deep dark secrets. It takes a turn towards the end that I was not expecting. This was the perfect escape from the craziness that is this world lately. You won’t be disappointed.

Thanks to Netgalley and Atria for a copy of this wonderful book.

Here We Lie

By Paula Treick DeBoard

Here We Lie by [DeBoard, Paula Treick]

4 out of 5 stars

Megan Mazeros and Lauren Mabrey become roommates in their private college and become fast friends. They are from two different worlds. Megan grew up in Kansas with her parents. Her father suffered a long and painful illness. An illness that holds a big secret for Megan. Lauren grew up the daughter of a Senator in a well-to-do family. She is what you would call the “black sheep”. Her mother is always sweeping in to sweep everything under the rug.  As we go back and forth in time, we learn about the lies that both women have told each other and others and the biggest lie that changes everything.

This book is so on topic right now. It describes the courage it takes to come forward with a story of abuse so perfectly. I felt every fear, every sadness, every triumph. It was also about becoming the person you are meant to be and shedding the things we have held onto for so long. Both characters are flawed, they are human, but you want so much for both of them. The writer writes in such a way as if you are actually there, a fly on the wall, watching everything transpire. It is timely. It is hard at times. It is a very good read.

Thanks to Netgalley and Harlequin for this wonderful book.

The Great Alone

By Kristin Hannah

The Great Alone: A Novel by [Hannah, Kristin]

5 out of 5 stars

Thanks to The Girlfriend for this beautifully exquisite novel. My heart is still on my sleeve hours later.

Ernt Allbright has struggled since his return from being a POW in Vietnam. He is abusive to his wife Cora but she loves him and feels she is the only one who can keep him calm. Their 13-year-old daughter Lenora (Leni) loves her parents very much, especially her mother. When he uproots them to Alaska, their lives change in all kinds of ways. They find a community. They work hard. But those long days of night are too much for Ernt. He gets more abusive. Leni is scared that one day, it will go too far. And young Leni falls in love with the boy of a man that Ernt just despises and things take a really bad turn.

Kristin Hannah has placed the reader into those confined spaces and you feel the dread. In fact, I knew something was going to happen and it hung over me the whole time I was reading. But she also describes the beauty of Alaska in a way that you want to hop on a plane and take it all in. There is so much emotion in every word, in every phrase. You will get to love this little town and it’s inhabitants.  (I was partial to Large Marge.) You will pray that these brave women can escape this violence and abuse. You will cry ugly tears. Oh yes, you will. I don’t think I can express enough just how superb this book is. Kristin Hannah is never a disappointment.

How To Stop Time

By Matt Haig

How to Stop Time by [Haig, Matt]

3.5 out of 5 stars

Tom Hazard looks like your average 41-year-old but he is anything but. Tom doesn’t age like you and I do and he has been alive for centuries. He belongs to the Albatross Society where everyone is like he is. They have a few rules. You can only stay in the same place for 8 years because people will notice after awhile if you have not aged.  Don’t fall in love. But Tom was in love once and he has a daughter who has the same affliction. He wants to find her and his, I guess you would call it, boss has supposedly been looking for her.

He is now back in London, teaching History, which is perfect because he has lived it. He also finds himself attracted to Camille, another teacher at the school. Will he let himself fall for her and will he find his daughter and some peace in his life?

I love a time travel story. I enjoyed how when Tom was teaching his class, we would be taken back to the time Tom was actually there. I think his time with Shakespeare was my favorite. Throughout the book, I felt so sorry for him. I think my biggest problem with this book was that at times, it just felt like it was dragging for me. I wanted it to move along a little more but then again, time moves slowly and that would be the theme of the book, time. I was very satisfied with the ending and all in all, it was a good read.

This review is my own humble opinion but I thank Netgalley for the copy.

Ginny Moon

By Benjamin Ludwig

4 out of 5 stars

Ginny Moon, a 14-year-old autistic child, is in her fourth forever home. She likes her new forever mom and forever dad. They are even having a baby but she needs to get back to Gloria, her mother. Ginny left her Baby Doll in a suitcase under the bed and she knows that Gloria is not taking care of her. Ginny always took care of Baby Doll. Ginny herself was abused badly by Gloria. She was underfed and hurt and she is worried the same will happen to her Baby Doll. No one understands why she keeps trying to run back to Gloria. She plans and plans, all the while trying to deal with all her emotions. Will she get back to her Baby Doll?

I just loved Ginny. She is such a wonderfully written character with such depth. I loved how the author let us into her head and understand the ways she was figuring things out.  The story plays out in Ginny’s voice. There is no other narrator and I loved how it took us through her struggles and her final realization. I do have to say that I did figure out pretty early on what the truth was but that in no way took away from reading the whole story. You will fall in love with the wonderful Ginny Moon.

Thanks to Netgalley for my copy of this lovely book.

The Fifth Letter

By Nicola Moriarty

The Fifth Letter by [Moriarty, Nicola]

4 out of 5 stars

Four friends meet up for a getaway. They have been friends since high school.  Such good friends…..Joni, the only one with no children, has set up the vacation, as she always does. Things don’t go perfectly and one night, it is suggested that they all write a letter, telling a secret that the others don’t know about. They each type it up on the computer so as not to give it away. But as they pick one letter each day, they seem to figure out just who is who. Their secrets lead to more secrets being revealed and a lot of anger coming out. But, it’s a letter that Joni finds half burnt in the fireplace, that changes everything. It seems as if one of the ladies  is harboring a deep hate and resentment for one of the other women. Enough that she writes about killing her. Can they figure this all out in time to save each other?

This is one of those books that you pick up and right away, know you are going to enjoy it. There are enough juicy little tidbits about each character to keep you intrigued by all of them. Trying to figure out just who hates the other one is the best part! I was wrong but the answer made so much sense when all was revealed. And I loved Father O’Reilly, Joni’s confessional conspirator. The ending made me smile. This is a very enjoyable read and one that made for a perfect ending to my year of reading.

 

Left To Chance

By Amy Sue Nathan

Left to Chance: A Novel by [Nathan, Amy Sue]

4 out of 5 stars

Teddi Lerner is back home in Chance, Ohio after running away from her best friend Celia’s  funeral service. She is coming back for Shay, Celia’s 12-year-old daughter. Her dad is getting remarried and have asked Teddi to take their photos. She is a world known wedding photographer. Teddi has made quite the life for herself away from Chance. She is sought after, travels everywhere, and is dating her boss. What Teddi didn’t count on were the emotions and feeling of home that Chance would return to her.

They say you can’t go back home again but like Bon Jovi sings “Who says?” Everything is different but the people all seem the same. I loved this little town and how Ms. Nathan described it. I want to sit in Perk and have my coffee, or sit in the town square and people watch. Your heart goes out to Teddi. Your heart goes out to Shay and to Beck. It takes a turn that I didn’t expect but I ended up really wanting to happen. The characters were all so rich with emotion. You felt for everyone of them. I really enjoyed the book and will keep these characters with me for some time to come.

I received a copy of this book from Netgalley and St. Martin’s and this opinion is humbly my own.