Book Recommendations: April 2021

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My apologies, my bookish peeps, I’ve fallen behind on writing reviews due to these incessant daily migraine headaches and another bout of bronchitis. Having a migraine every day is bad enough, add in hacking up a lung (at least that’s what it feels like at times), and it just adds to the joy. Of course, it could be so much worse and I’m incredibly grateful it isn’t. To make a long-story shorter, in lieu of reviews, I’ll simply be posting the synopsis of a few of the books I’ve read that I’m recommending you add to your TBR list, if these titles aren’t already there.

Okay, I have two recommendations for you romance lovers. First up is the final book in the Brown Sisters trilogy by Talia Hibbert, Act Your Age, Eve Brown. If you haven’t read the previous two books in this series, Get A Life, Chloe Brown and Take A Hint, Dani Brown, then you’ll want to add those to your list as well. These stories feature flawed, but realistic characters that are trying their best to cope in a world that doesn’t often make room for differently-sized, neurodiverse/neurodivergent, or differently-abled people. What more can I say other than these are great diverse romance reads.

Act Your Age, Eve Brown, The Brown Sisters #3, by Talia Hibbert
ISBN: 9780062941275 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9780062941282 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780062941299 (digital audiobook)
ISBN: 9781799971085 (audiobook on CD)
ASIN: B089WJ184B (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B089SYX5F5 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Avon Romance
Release Date: March 9, 2021

In USA Today bestselling author Talia Hibbert’s newest rom-com, the flightiest Brown sister crashes into the life of an uptight B&B owner and has him falling hard—literally.

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong—so she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It’s time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she’s not entirely sure how.

Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry—and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.

Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help . Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore—and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.

Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: Indiebound.org | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Audible | Audiobooks.com | AudiobooksNow.com | BookDepository.com | Downpour Audiobook | !ndigo | Kobo Audiobook | Kobo eBook

Read an excerpt here.


My next romance recommendation is the first book in a new series by award-winning romance author Sandra Kitt. Winner Takes All kicks off the Millionaires Club series. This is nice, tender, and sometimes emotional diverse romance from an author that has written quite a number of tender, emotional romances.

Winner Takes All, The Millionaires Club #1, by Sandra Kitt
ISBN: 9781728214887 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781728214894 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781662081477 (digital audiobook)
ISBN: 9781662081828 (audiobook on CD)
ASIN: B08SR9CXWF (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B08DHGVN2L (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca
Release Date: April 6, 2021

“Great story-telling of the most romantic kind.”—Brenda Jackson, New York Times bestselling author

“A warm-hearted story and a clever plot reflecting current issues with sensitivity, warmth, and wisdom.”—Susan Wiggs, #1 New York Times bestselling author

Jean Travis has the job of announcing the latest lottery winner on TV and is stunned to find that Patrick Bennett, her teenage crush, is the top mega winner. They haven’t seen each other in years, and Patrick is thrilled to renew their acquaintance. Jean, not so much. After all, a lot has changed since they used to study together and Jean worked so hard to hide her feelings. Now that he’s won so much money, Patrick faces a whole new world of demands from family, friends, coworkers, strangers. The only person he knows for sure he can trust, is Jean…

“Romantic, tender, emotional, and compelling.”—RaeAnne Thayne, New York Times bestselling author

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The previous books have already been released and are available for purchase in multiple print and digital formats. The next book won’t be available for some months, but I highly recommend adding it to your TBR list and pre-ordering it especially if you’ve ever read anything by this author in the past. The book is The Passing Storm by Christine Nolfi and this could be categorized as women’s fiction and/or family fiction. I simply classify it as a darn good read. It is a story about secrets, forgiveness (of others and of self), tragedy, survival, second chances, love, and family being more than DNA. Although this book won’t release until November, it will be worth the wait.

The Passing Storm by Christine Nolfi
ISBN: 9781542029124 (paperback)
ASIN: B08SXRK8M1 (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B08MZPFY3J (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: November 1, 2021

A gripping, openhearted novel about family, reconciliation, and bringing closure to the secrets of the past.

Early into the tempestuous decade of her thirties, Rae Langdon struggles to work through a grief she never anticipated. With her father, Connor, she tends to their Ohio farm, a forty-acre spread that itself has enjoyed better days. As memories sweep through her, some too precious to bear, Rae gives shelter from a brutal winter to a teenager named Quinn Galecki.

Quinn has been thrown out by his parents, a couple too troubled to help steer the misunderstood boy through his own losses. Now Quinn has found a temporary home with the Langdons—and an unexpected kinship, because Rae, Quinn, and Connor share a past and understand one another’s pain. But its depths—and all its revelations and secrets—have yet to come to light. To finally move forward, Rae must confront them and also fight for Quinn, whose parents have other plans in mind for their son.

With forgiveness, love, and the spring thaw, there might be hope for a new season—a second chance Rae believed in her heart was gone forever.

Purchase Links #CommissionEarned: Indiebound.org | Amazon | Amazon Kindle | Audible | BookDepository.com | !ndigo


Needless to say, I’ve been doing quite a bit of reading and could recommend many more titles, but felt this would be a good start until I get back to normal-for-me. I hope you’ll enjoy reading these books as much as I did. (Psst, if you enjoy reading nonfiction then you might want to grab a copy of The Black Church by Henry Louis Gates Jr. This book is an excellent companion to the recent PBS special and has some fascinating historical tidbits.) Have you read anything lately that you can recommend?

Happy Reading, y’all!

2020 Book 367: A BORROWED LIFE by Kerry Anne King

A Borrowed Life by Kerry Anne King 
ISBN: 9781542019484 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781713518174 (audiobook MP3 on CD)
ISBN: 9781713518167 (audiobook on CD)
ASIN: B08DZZQW7J    (Audible audiobook)
ASIN: B0841XZVL5   (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 22, 2020 
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing


From the Amazon Charts, bestselling author of Whisper Me This comes an emotional and sharply witty novel about how life’s unexpected detours can ultimately bring you home.

For twenty-six years Liz has perfectly played the part of Mrs. Thomas Lightsey, exemplary pastor’s wife and mother. But maintaining appearances for the congregation and catering to her demanding husband takes a toll, and she’s lost herself in meeting the expectations of others. When Thomas suddenly dies, Liz feels shock, grief, and, to her surprise, the siren song of freedom. Dare she dream of a life to call her own?

Despite the resistance of her daughter, Abigail, to even the smallest changes, Liz lands a role at the community theater. Inspired by new friends and the character she plays, she explores life’s possibilities, including an unexpected—and steamy—relationship with her leading man.

Just when Liz thinks she might be winning, life hits her with an unthinkable shock. She’s pregnant at forty-nine. Torn between conflicting loyalties to her daughter, her lover, her unborn baby, and herself, can Liz find a way to rebuild her dream life one more time? 





Purchase Links #CommissionEarned:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Amazon Kindle  |  Audible  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  !ndigo Books  |  !ndigo Audiobook



Elizabeth Lightsey was a good and dutiful wife to her husband as well as a respectful wife to a clergyman. She was also a respectable mother to her daughter Abigail and followed all of the stringent rules set forth by her husband, Rev. Thomas Lightsey. She never disagreed with him. She never offered an opinion. She was never flamboyant. In fact, she was leading a church organized knitting circle in their home when her husband dropped dead of a massive heart attack. And now at age 49, Elizabeth (she prefers Liz, thank you very much) is at a literal and figurative crossroads in her life. Does she continue on the path set forth by her strict and overly rigid husband or does she find her own way in life?

You already know that Liz is going to shake free and try to discover who she really is because it’s never too late to try something new. Sadly, not too many people want Liz to change, including Liz’s daughter or any of the gossiping busybodies from Liz’s church. Fortunately, Liz has a BFF in her next-door neighbor and Val is definitely shaking things up. Liz has new clothes, is wearing her hair differently, and is even wearing makeup. She’s joined a theater group and has stopped going to church. And now, adding insult to perceived injury in her daughter Abigail’s eyes after an almost DUI (you’ll definitely want to read the book to learn more about that one), Liz is pregnant. Will she have an abortion, give the baby up for adoption (as Abigail suggests), or raise the baby as a single parent since she’s quite adamant about not getting married again?

Liz has crammed a lot of life into the few months after her husband’s death. The reader gets a glimpse into her marital life via journal entries, discoveries made whilst Liz is clearing the house, and more. A Borrowed Life isn’t a simple story about a mid-life crisis or a self-discovery. It’s about allowing oneself to become subsumed by a stronger personality in a relationship. It’s about family, both blood family and found family. And it’s a story about self-determination at any age (you’ll have to read the story to understand that a bit more). I found A Borrowed Life to be a fast-paced and enjoyable read. I could relate to all of the characters, the action, and empathized and sympathized with Liz and Abigail. If you enjoy reading stories filled with realistic characters dealing with everyday issues in a funny and unique way, you’ll definitely want to grab a copy of A Borrowed Life to read. After I finished reading this book, I immediately began discussing it with my 85-y.o. mother and had to order a print copy for her to read. (Yes, I liked it that much.) Ms. King is a new-to-me author, but I look forward to reading more of her work in the future. I hope you’ll enjoy reading A Borrowed Life as much as I did.

Happy Reading y’all! 


Disclaimer: I received a free digital copy of this book from the author/publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




Meet the author

Kerry Anne King (who also writes as Kerry Schafer) is a Washington Post and Amazon charts bestselling author who writes compelling and transformational stories about family and personal growth. She loves to add in mystery, humor, and an undercurrent of romance and celebrates when she succeeds in making readers both laugh and cry.

Kerry Anne has been chosen as the 2020 Writer of the Year by the Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Association. Her last novel, Everything You Are, was a finalist in the Nancy Pearl Awards hosted by the Pacific Northwest Writers Association. She is enthusiastic about encouraging and supporting other writers and is the host of Tell Me Your Secrets, a videocast/podcast featuring lively, informal interviews with authors and other people involved in bringing books into the world.

When not absorbed in creative pursuits, you’ll find Kerry Anne hanging out with her real-life Viking on their little piece of heaven in rural northeastern Washington.


Connect with the author via her website, Facebook, Goodreads, Instagram, and Twitter.



Giveaway

The Book Diva’s Reads, in conjunction with TLC Book Tours, is pleased to offer one reader of this blog the opportunity to win a (1) print copy of A Borrowed Life by Kerry Anne King. To enter use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway begins on 10/02/2020 and ends at 11:59 PM ET on 10/09/2020. The winner will be announced by 10:00 AM ET on 10/10/2020. This giveaway is limited to US residents only (apologies to my international followers). All non-US resident entries will be disqualified. Void where prohibited by law. The book will be sent to the winner by TLC Book Tours after the blog tour ends.


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TLC Book Tours Tour Stops



Tuesday, September 22nd: The OC Book Girl and @theocbookgirl

Wednesday, September 23rd: @readsrandiread

Thursday, September 24th: Living My Best Book Life and @livingmybestbooklife

Friday, September 25th: @the_unwined

Monday, September 28th: @the.caffeinated.reader

Wednesday, September 30th: @readswithrosie

Wednesday, September 30th: @iowaamberreads


Friday, October 2nd: The Book Diva’s Reads


Tuesday, October 6th: PhDiva Blog and @thephdivabooks

Wednesday, October 7th: @thereadingroom444

Thursday, October 8th: Amy’s Book-et List and @amysbooketlist

Monday, October 12th: Lesa’s Book Critiques

Wednesday, October 14th: Eliot’s Eats

Thursday, October 15th: The Bookend Diner and @thebookend.diner



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Book Spotlight: PROBLEM CHILD by Victoria Helen Stone



Problem Child: A Jane Doe Thriller

by Victoria Helen Stone



About Problem Child





Problem Child: A Jane Doe Thriller
Thriller
2nd in Series
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (March 24, 2020)
Paperback: 265 pages
ISBN-10: 1542014395
ISBN-13: 978-1542014397
Digital ASIN: B07SDTRJP9



She’s cold, calculating, and can deceive with a smile. Jane Doe is back in the Amazon Charts bestselling series—and this time she’s met her match.

After a brutal childhood, Jane Doe has been permanently wired to look after herself and only herself. Now, looking next to normal, Jane has a lover and a job. But she hasn’t lost her edge. It sharpens when she hears from her estranged family.

Jane’s deeply troubled sixteen-year-old niece, Kayla, has vanished, and no one seems to care. Neither does Jane. Until she sees a picture of Kayla and recognizes herself in the young girl’s eyes. It’s the empty stare of a sociopath.

Jane knows what vengeful and desperate things Kayla is capable of. Only Jane can help her—by being drawn into Kayla’s dark world. And no one’s more aware than Jane just how dangerous that can be.



Purchase Links – AmazonB&N



About Victoria Helen Stone

Victoria Helen Stone, formerly writing as USA Today bestselling novelist Victoria Dahl, is originally from the Midwest but now writes from an upstairs office high in the Wasatch Mountains of Utah. After a career in romance that included the American Library Association’s prestigious Reading List Award, she turned toward the darker side of fiction and has written the critically acclaimed novels, Evelyn, After; Half Past; and False Step. Her Amazon Charts bestselling thriller Jane Doe has been optioned by Sony Television. For more on the author and her work, visit VictoriaHelenStone.com.  And on Twitter @VictoriaDahl


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TOUR PARTICIPANTS

March 17 – fundinmental – REVIEW

March 17 – I’m All About Books – SPOTLIGHT

March 17 – FUONLYKNEW – SPOTLIGHT

March 18 – The Book Decoder – REVIEW 

March 18 – Elizabeth McKenna – Author – SPOTLIGHT

March 19 – I Read What You Write – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 19 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

March 20 – eBook Addicts – REVIEW

March 20 – StoreyBook Reviews – REVIEW

March 21 – Diane Reviews Books – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 21 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – SPOTLIGHT

March 22 – Rosepoint Publishing – REVIEW

March 22 – This Is My Truth Now – SPOTLIGHT

March 23 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW

March 23 – Readeropolis – SPOTLIGHT



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Book Spotlight: IN AN INSTANT by Suzanne Redfearn



In an Instant

by Suzanne Redfearn



About In An Instant




Thriller/Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing (March 1, 2020)
Paperback: 331 pages
ISBN-10: 1542006589
ISBN-13: 978-1542006583
Digital ASIN: B07NVD1276


A deeply moving story of carrying on even when it seems impossible.

Life is over in an instant for sixteen-year-old Finn Miller when a devastating car accident tumbles her and ten others over the side of a mountain. Suspended between worlds, she watches helplessly as those she loves struggle to survive.

Impossible choices are made, decisions that leave the survivors tormented with grief and regret. Unable to let go, Finn keeps vigil as they struggle to reclaim their shattered lives. Jack, her father, who seeks vengeance against the one person he can blame other than himself; her best friend, Mo, who bravely searches for the truth as the story of their survival is rewritten; her sister Chloe, who knows Finn lingers and yearns to join her; and her mother, Ann, who saved them all but is haunted by her decisions. Finn needs to move on, but how can she with her family still in pieces?

Heartrending yet ultimately redemptive, In an Instant is a story about the power of love, the meaning of family, and carrying on…even when it seems impossible.



Purchase LinksAmazon  B&N


About Suzanne Redfearn


Suzanne Redfearn

Suzanne Redfearn is the award-winning author of three novels: Hush Little Baby, No Ordinary Life, and In an Instant. In addition to being an author, she’s also an architect specializing in residential and commercial design. She lives in Laguna Beach, California, where she and her husband own two restaurants: Lumberyard and Slice Pizza and Beer. You can find her at her website, SuzanneRedfearn.com, on Facebook at SuzanneRedfearnAuthor, or on Twitter @SuzanneRedfearn.



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February 26 – Laura’s interests – SPOTLIGHT

February 27 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – REVIEW 

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February 29 – Gimme The Scoop Reviews – REVIEW

March 1 – A Wytch’s Book Review Blog – SPOTLIGHT

March 2 – eBook addicts – REVIEW

March 3 – This Is My Truth Now – AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 4 – A Chick Who Reads  REVIEW

March 5 – Ruff Drafts – SPOTLIGHT

March 6 – Hearts & Scribbles – SPOTLIGHT

March 6 – MJB Reviewers – REVIEW, AUTHOR INTERVIEW

March 7 – The Book Diva’s Reads – SPOTLIGHT

March 7 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

March 8 – Brooke Blogs – REVIEW

March 9 – That’s What She’s Reading – REVIEW 

March 10 – Christy’s Cozy Corners – SPOTLIGHT




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2019 Book 164: THE ROAD SHE LEFT BEHIND by Christine Nolfi

The Road She Left Behind by Christine Nolfi
ISBN: 9781542004213 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781721388073 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07KYGDZRW (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: June 11, 2019


Three women. Two families torn apart by secrets.

Crushed by guilt over the car accident that killed her father and sister, and torn apart by her mother’s resentment, Darcy Goodridge fled her family estate eight years ago and hasn’t looked back. Now an unexpected phone call threatens to upend what little serenity she’s found. Her nephew, Emerson, who was just a baby when his mother died, has gone missing. Darcy must return home and face her past in order to save him.

Once back in Ohio, Darcy realizes there’s more to Emerson’s disappearance—and to the sudden retirement of her mother, Rosalind—than meets the eye. As she works to make inroads with Rosalind, Darcy begins to unravel a decades-old secret that devastated her family and forced a wedge between her and Michael Varano, the man she left heartbroken when she vanished after the funeral. After carrying the scars of that fateful night for almost a decade, Darcy is determined to find closure, healing, and maybe even love where she lost them all in the first place—right back home where she belongs.







Purchase Links:  IndieBound  |  Amazon  |  Kindle  |  Barnes & Noble  |  B&N Audiobook  |  BookDepository  |  Books-A-Million  |  Books-A-Million Audiobook  |  Downpour Audiobook    



Darcy Goodridge has spent the past eight years of her life running away from her family and life. She doesn’t spend more than one year in any job or town. She has no close friends. She doesn’t keep in contact with her family. When she left Ohio after the tragic accident that claimed her younger sister and father’s lives, she cut off all ties. Yes, she had promised her sister that she would take care of her nephew if anything happened, but she knew her mother — a well-respected judge, would never allow that to happen. Darcy is packed and ready to leave South Carolina in her rear view mirror and head to New Jersey for a new job placement, when she receives a phone call from her mother’s housekeeper and her surrogate mother, Latrice, telling her that her eight-year-old nephew Emerson has run away from home. Darcy is prepared to ignore this call for help until the one friend she’s made in eight years, an eighteen-year-old former foster child, talks her into returning home with him in tow. Needless to say, the last thing Darcy’s mother expects to see on her doorstep is Darcy, much less Darcy accompanied by an eighteen-year-old, Black male, dread wearing former foster child. Fortunately, Samson has a way about him and is able to worm his way into Latrice’s good graces and even strikes up a tentative relationship with Darcy’s mother Rosalind. Emerson is found safe and without harm, but his return home leads to a bombshell that will rock the Goodridge family. For someone that has spent years running away from the past, Darcy now must confront it and deal with all of the fallout. That fallout includes her mother’s declining health, revelations about her father and adored sister, and facing the love she left behind all those years ago. Is it possible to return home and mend the bridges we thought we burnt down?

I’m always excited when I hear about a new Christine Nolfi story. Her stories incorporate lots of realistic family drama often dealing with highly dysfunctional contemporary situations (some resolved, some not), multigenerational friendships, secrets, and romance. Needless to say, I jumped for joy (figuratively) when I received notice that I was going to be able to read and review The Road She Left Behind. I was eager to read this book in one sitting, but had to deal with a weather-induced migraine and then taking my mother out for her weekly grocery shopping. I liked all of the characters in The Road She Left Behind including the curmudgeonly and strict Rosalind Goodridge, Darcy’s mother. The eight-year-old Emerson and eighteen-year-old Samson provided some great comic relief at times, but I could emotionally relate to both of these guys. Emerson was struggling to be mature because that’s what his grandmother expected, whereas Samson was rather immature and naive for his age, but could come out with these amazingly prescient statements due to his observational skills. Samson had never been in a true family setting and expected a wealthy family to be happy. He was quite shocked to learn that Darcy’s family was anything but happy despite their wealth and privilege. Darcy and Michael’s friendship is gradually rebuilt as well as their romance. Yes, there’s a lot going on in The Road She Left Behind, but if I told you everything you wouldn’t need to read the book. If you’ve ever read anything by Ms. Nolfi, then I don’t have to tell you to get a copy of this book as soon as possible but I will anyway. If you’ve never read anything by Ms. Nolfi, then The Road She Left Behind might be a good book to start with, especially if you enjoy stories with family angst, drama, and romance. For now, I’m eagerly awaiting my purchased copy of The Road She Left Behind to download on the release day and I plan on spending the very next weekend leisurely rereading this book, hopefully without interruptions.



Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the author via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

2018 Book 290: JANE DOE by Victoria Helen Stone

Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone
ISBN: 9781503900899 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9781503901032 (paperback)
ISBN: 9780062676719 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781543682236 (digital audiobook)
ASIN: B076V125RV (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: August 1, 2018 


A double life with a single purpose: revenge.

Jane’s days at a Midwest insurance company are perfectly ordinary. She blends in well, unremarkably pretty in her floral-print dresses and extra efficient at her low-level job. She’s just the kind of woman middle manager Steven Hepsworth likes—meek, insecure, and willing to defer to a man. No one has any idea who Jane really is. Least of all Steven.

But plain Jane is hiding something. And Steven’s bringing out the worst in her.

Nothing can distract Jane from going straight for his heart: allowing herself to be seduced into Steven’s bed, to insinuate herself into his career and his family, and to expose all his dirty secrets. It’s time for Jane to dig out everything that matters to Steven. So she can take it all away.

Just as he did to her. 


Purchase Links

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When we’re first introduced to Jane, all we know is that she’s working doing data entry at a company in the Midwest. She’s taken a sabbatical from her job as a high-powered lawyer in Malaysia to come back to the States. She’s toned down her appearance in terms of high-profile clothing, changed the color of her hair, and is doing everything possible to appear demure and weak. We later learn that she’s grieving the death of her best friend Meg. Meg has killed herself over a relationship gone bad and it quickly becomes apparent that Jane is out to seek revenge against the man from Meg’s past, Steven Hepsworth. The more Jane learns about Steven and his family, the more she desires revenge for her friend and is willing to do almost anything to get it. The only snag in Jane’s plan is a chance meeting with an old college boyfriend, Luke. The more she begins to despise Steven, the more she gravitates toward Luke. Will Jane allow her quest for vengeance to override the desire for a relationship with a good man?

Jane Doe is a fast-paced and engaging read. From the very beginning, it is impossible to not know what Jane’s intentions are because she verbalizes them quite well and often emphasizes the fact that she is a high-functioning sociopath. Does this make her a bad person when she’s only out to get what she deems as justice for her friend? Is it ever right to take the law into your own hands? Is there anything you wouldn’t do to right the wrongs of a loved one? Jane may not kill anyone (and that’s the only hint I’ll provide), but she does hold fast and firm to her intention to seek vengeance no matter the cost. Amazingly enough, Jane doesn’t come across as a crazy person and she is somewhat likable in the end. Does she ever get her revenge against Steven Hepsworth? All I can say is read the book and find out for yourself, you won’t be disappointed.


Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the author/publisher. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the




About Victoria Helen Stone

Victoria Helen Stone is the nom de plume for USA Today bestselling author Victoria Dahl. After publishing more than twenty-five novels, she is now taking a turn toward the darker side of genre fiction. Born and educated in the Midwest, she finished her first manuscript just after college. In 2016, the American Library Association awarded her the prestigious Reading List Award for outstanding genre fiction. Having escaped the plains of her youth, she now resides with her family in a small town high in the Rocky Mountains, where she enjoys hiking, snowshoeing, and not skiing (too dangerous).


Connect with Victoria on her Website or on Twitter.



Giveaway

Enter to win one (1) print copy of Jane Doe by Victoria Helen Stone courtesy of TLC Book Tours. To enter, use the Rafflecopter form below. This giveaway runs through 11:59 PM ET on 08/12/2018 and the winner will be announced by 10:00 AM ET on 08/13/2018. This giveaway is open to residents of the United States and Canada only. Void where prohibited by law.


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2018 Book 238: THE SEASON OF SILVER LININGS by Christine Nolfi

The Season of Silver Linings A Sweet Lake Novel by Christine Nolfi
ISBN: 9781503903395 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781978605916 (audiobook)
ASIN: B0799LYXWB (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: July 17, 2018 (paperback)


She can’t change what’s come before. But letting go could bring healing—and the rare love that comes once in a lifetime.

When Ohio pastry chef Jada Brooks and her two best friends restored the glorious Wayfair Inn, it was a boon to Sweet Lake—and to their own lives. Now Linnie and Cat are focused on private matters: one engaged, the other swept up in newlywed bliss. Jada has also begun looking to the future by dating widower Philip Kettering and forging a sudden, sweet bond with his six-year-old daughter.

But the past isn’t finished with Jada. When a curious guest checks into the Wayfair, her delving questions stir Jada’s guilt about the heartbreaking events that scarred the town seven years ago. The risks Jada must take by revealing the truth will test every assumption she’s made about the meaning of family and the magic of enduring love. 



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Welcome back to Sweet Lake, Ohio and the Wayfair Inn. Since we originally were introduced to this inn and town, the inn’s majority owner and manager, Linnie Wayfair, has gotten engaged and is in the final planning stages for her wedding. A wedding that is only weeks away. The inn’s marketing manager, Cat Mendoza, is a newlywed and finds every minute she can to sneak away to grab time with her husband. As a result, the primary management of the inn is now on Jada Brooks’ shoulders, along with being the pastry chef for the inn. She is now tasked with hiring, ensuring proper training, overseeing all departments, accounts receivable, as well as being the maid of honor for her best friend and putting a host of emotional fires as Linnie prepares for her wedding. Jada doesn’t seem to have time for herself much less romance, but she always finds time for six-year-old Fancy Kettering and her dad, Phillip. She often brings them food in the evenings, helps with bath time for Fancy, and is a sounding board for both Fancy and Phillip when needed. When a stranger calls the inn and makes a special request to spend time with Jada, Jada fears the worst, especially since the Sweet Lake Sirens (the towns matriarchs and sage women) have issued her a warning of sorts and made her a talisman of rosemary to keep as a protection. Protection from what? The visitor is a retired college professor! But before you know, this visitor is asking all kinds of questions about Phillip’s deceased wife and Fancy’s mother and Jada is torn between trying to help this woman receive the answers she desires and protecting the people she loves. Can she do the right thing without alienating them all?

The Season of Silver Linings by Christine Nolfi is the third book in the Sweet Lake series. The first book, Sweet Lake, dealt with sibling issues and attempts to rejuvenate the inn in a dying town. The second book, The Comfort of Secrets, dealt with spousal and child abuse issues. The Season of Silver Linings touches on a variety of subjects including mental health problems, suicide, the guilt of those left behind when dealing with a suicide, and even gay marriage. Yes, there are lighthearted moments especially the parts dealing with Fancy and, of course, romance, but there are some heavy topics introduced as well, including the always timely issues of mental health and suicide. I have yet to read a story by Ms. Nolfi that I didn’t enjoy, and The Season of Silver Linings is no different. I enjoyed the opportunity to get to know Jada and Phillip a bit better and Fancy is my favorite character in this series. (Come on, what’s not to like about a 6-year-old that loves to dress up and has her own opinions about fashion. Can you say fashion diva?) If you enjoy reading stories that deal with real-world issues but have an HEA, then you’ll definitely want to read the Sweet Lake series. There’s humor, family drama, friendship, romance, timely societal issues, romance, and more. If you’ve already read Sweet Lake and The Comfort of Secrets, I encourage you to grab a copy of The Season of Silver Linings as soon as possible. 


Disclaimer: I received a free print review copy of this book from the author/publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”




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The Season of Silver Linings

The Season of Silver Linings

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2017 Book 370: THE WELCOME HOME DINER by Peggy Lampman

The Welcome Home Diner by Peggy Lampman
ISBN: 9781542047821 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781543617795 (audiobook – MP3)
ISBN: 9781543617788 (audiobook – CD)
ASIN: B06Y11Q9JX (Kindle edition)
Publication date: October 10, 2017 
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing


Betting on the city of Detroit’s eventual comeback, cousins Addie and Samantha decide to risk it all on an affordable new house and a culinary career that starts with renovating a vintage diner in a depressed area of town. There’s just one little snag in their vision.

Angus, a weary, beloved local, is strongly opposed to his neighborhood’s gentrification—and his concerns reflect the suspicion of the community. Shocked by their reception, Addie and Samantha begin to have second thoughts.

As the long hours, problematic love interests, and underhanded pressures mount, the two women find themselves increasingly at odds, and soon their problems threaten everything they’ve worked for. If they are going to realize their dreams, Addie and Samantha must focus on rebuilding their relationship. But will the neighborhood open their hearts to welcome them home?  



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Sam and Addie Jaworski are just two people struggling to make their diner a success. They were raised with the idea that those who can do and those who have give. And that’s exactly what they’re trying to do in The Welcome Home Diner by Peggy Lampman.

Sam and Addie Jaworski are cousins. Sam studied to be a chef and helps manage their restaurant’s kitchen. Addie manages the restaurant and the staff. Both Sam and Addie have issues from their past that they are working through, but they are happy to be in Detroit and struggling to make a go at their business. Success seems to be difficult to attain for the cousins for a while, but they gradually begin to make a name for themselves and their business. Just when it seems as if all is bright and wonderful, Sam and Addie begin to deal with blow after blow. Their diner is trolled on the internet and an employee’s daughter is part of an attempted kidnapping scheme. How much should they have to suffer in their efforts to give to a city they’ve come to love? When will the city begin to show them some love in return for their efforts?

I struggled to read The Welcome Home Diner, not because it wasn’t a good read, it is, but because I’ve been dealing with severe migraine headaches and other family medical emergencies over the past few days. Being able to escape into a good book was my respite from these issues, and yes, The Welcome Home Diner was a good book to read. It was easy to become invested in Sam and Addie’s lives and the lives of their friends and coworkers. I wanted them all to have success and was wishing I could sample one of their lamb burgers and Heartbreaker cookies last night. The Welcome Home Diner incorporates the basic angst of any small business owner along with the desire to give back in a meaningful way to a city that’s on the edge of rising like a phoenix. The story also has family drama, interpersonal and intrapersonal drama, envy, enmity, revenge, and more. At its heart, this is a story of a hope and love. Sam and Addie love what they do and just want to share that love and joy via food. Ms. Lampman has crafted a great feel-good story with colorful characters, amazing settings, and believable action. I strongly encourage you to grab a copy of The Welcome Home Diner to read for a variety of reasons but primarily because it is a delightful feel-good story about family, friends, food, and love.
Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the author/publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



Meet the Author:

Peggy Lampman was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After earning a bachelor’s degree in communications—summa cum laude—from the University of Michigan, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter and photographer for a public-relations firm. When she returned to Ann Arbor, her college town, she opened a specialty foods store, the Back Alley Gourmet. Years later, she sold the store and started writing a weekly food column for the Ann Arbor News and MLive. Lampman’s first novel, The Promise Kitchen, published in 2016, garnered several awards and accolades. She is married and has two children. She also writes the popular blog www.dinnerfeed.com.


Connect with the author at her websiteFacebook, and Twitter


Giveaway:

This giveaway is for one print copy of The Welcome Home Diner by Peggy Lampman courtesy of TLC Book Tours. The giveaway is open to residents of the US and Canada only (sorry to all of my other international followers). Please note that although my giveaway ends in one week, books may not be distributed until the tour has ended. To enter, please use the Rafflecopter form below. 


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The Welcome Home Diner: A Novel

The Welcome Home Diner

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The Welcome Home Diner : A Novel

2017 Book 365: SOMETHING LIKE FAMILY by Heather Burch

Something Like Family by Heather Burch
ISBN: 9781542045780 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781536690262 (audiobook – MP3)
ISBN: 9781536690255 (audiobook – CD)
ASIN: B01N9SD05I (Kindle edition)
Publication date: September 12, 2017 
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing


Abandoned by his mother when he was young, twenty-two-year-old Rave Wayne knows all about loss. That doesn’t mean he’s used to it. After he’s dumped by the girlfriend he assumed he’d spend his life with, Rave is longing more than ever to connect.

Then, as if by miracle, he receives an invitation from his grandfather, a man he thought was long gone, to come for a visit in rural Tennessee. Loyal, honest, and loving, dear old Tuck is everything Rave could have hoped for. He’s family. Soon, Rave finds himself falling for a down-to-earth local girl, and he thinks his life is finally coming together.

But the past isn’t through with Rave. When his mother returns after many long years, looking to reconcile the terrible mistakes that once defined her, Rave struggles to put together the unsettled pieces of his heart. Will this once-estranged family be able to come together to understand the meaning of unconditional love, the fragile bonds of family, and the healing power of letting go?  



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Two men, one young living in Florida and the other elderly living in Tennessee, are longing for family. One knows nothing about the other or their short history together. But their blood ties bring them together in Something Like Family by Heather Burch.

Rave Wayne is only twenty-two years old and has been on his on for more than five years. His mother left him as a teenager and he has struggled to make it, but he’s surviving or so he thinks. Around his twenty-second birthday, his girlfriend Ashley dumps him and refuses to allow him to see her son, Daniel, any longer. A child that Rave has thought of as his own since his birth. It was difficult when Rave’s mother walked out, but this blow is devastating. When Rave is approached by a lawyer informing him he has a grandfather in Tennessee, Rave sees no need to stay in Florida. Tuck Wayne has survived the loss of his daughter, grandson, and death of his wife. He knows that life is too short for regrets so he makes arrangements with his friend and attorney to find his grandson, Rave. Neither is quite sure what to make of the other when Rave finally comes to Tennessee, but they slowly build a relationship built on mutual trust and respect. Rave even begins a relationship with a local woman, Becca Johnson. Then his ex-girlfriend shows up and before you know it, she’s gone again leaving Rave with her son. To make things even more complicated, Tuck’s illness rears its ugly head and his demise seems imminent without immediate medical intervention and then Rave’s mother comes back. Both Rave and Tuck had presumed she was dead. Tuck may be able to forgive and forget, but Rave isn’t quite sure if he can. 

I found Something like Family to be a fast-paced and engaging read. This is more than a story about family angst and drama, it’s a story about connections and what makes us family. Is it possible to be a parent to a child that isn’t yours biologically? (Yes, in my not so humble opinion.) Families are more than just blood ties, although those ties can be strong. Families can be the communities we live in, our friends, and all those we bring into our lives. This idea is just a small part of what I enjoyed about Something Like Family. This story also broaches the idea of memorialization, and this small rural town comes together to build a unique memorial for the town’s military heroes. Like I said, there’s a lot more than family drama and angst in this story but it all works beautifully together. I enjoyed the characters, the setting, and the action, but especially enjoyed watching the growing relationship between Rave and Tuck. If you’re looking for a feel-good read then I strongly encourage you to grab a copy of Something Like Family to read. I look forward to reading more from Ms. Burch in the future.

Disclaimer: I received a free digital review copy of this book from the author/publisher via NetGalley. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”



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Something Like Family

Book Spotlight: THE WELCOME HOME DINER by Peggy Lampman

The Welcome Home Diner by Peggy Lampman
ISBN: 9781542047821 (paperback)
ASIN: B06Y11Q9JX (Kindle edition)
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Release Date: October 10, 2017


Betting on the city of Detroit’s eventual comeback, cousins Addie and Samantha decide to risk it all on an affordable new house and a culinary career that starts with renovating a vintage diner in a depressed area of town. There’s just one little snag in their vision.

Angus, a weary, beloved local, is strongly opposed to his neighborhood’s gentrification—and his concerns reflect the suspicion of the community. Shocked by their reception, Addie and Samantha begin to have second thoughts.

As the long hours, problematic love interests, and underhanded pressures mount, the two women find themselves increasingly at odds, and soon their problems threaten everything they’ve worked for. If they are going to realize their dreams, Addie and Samantha must focus on rebuilding their relationship. But will the neighborhood open their hearts to welcome them home?


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Praise

“Readers who like stories of activism, community change, and close but changing bonds will relish the depth in The Welcome Home Diner, which is far more than a culinary, small-business, or family relationship saga, but blossoms to embrace the entire microcosm of life representative in one struggling community’s choices. Recipes included.” —Diane Donovan, Senior Reviewer, Midwest Book Review

“This book is cast with a colorful and diverse group of characters led by two cousins, both strong women, who decide to open a wholesome diner in a neglected part of Detroit. With a rich and descriptive flair, Peggy Lampman gracefully tackles the contentious issues the cousins face including prejudice, the community’s resistance to change, and their own personal clashes.” —Alison Ragsdale, author of Finding Heather, The Father-Daughter Club, and Tuesday’s Socks



Meet the Author


Peggy Lampman was born and raised in Birmingham, Alabama. After earning a bachelor’s degree in communications—summa cum laude—from the University of Michigan, she moved to New York City, where she worked as a copywriter and photographer for a public-relations firm. When she returned to Ann Arbor, her college town, she opened a specialty foods store, the Back Alley Gourmet. Years later, she sold the store and started writing a weekly food column for the Ann Arbor News and MLive. Lampman’s first novel, The Promise Kitchen, published in 2016, garnered several awards and accolades. She is married and has two children. She also writes the popular blog www.dinnerfeed.com.



Connect with the author at her websiteFacebook, and Twitter 



Buy the book


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Support Independent Bookstores - Visit IndieBound.org 



   



   



The Welcome Home Diner: A Novel

The Welcome Home Diner