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The Girl Who Came Back: A totally gripping psychological thriller with a twist you won’t see coming - Kerry Wilkinson

This was the second book that I have read by this author, and yes, he definitely remains on my TBR list!

In this book, Olivia was 6 years old when she went missing. It's now thirteen years later and she's back. Upon her return, she finds her mother remarried to TweedleDum, Mack, and his shadow (brother) TweedleDick, Ashley. Whenever you see one brother, you see the other. Ten years in age difference and someone in this pair has not grown up. Ha!! She also finds her father, an alcoholic recluse who the whole village blames for Olivia's disappearance.

I can tell you that there was one person in this book that I could not stand. The author did a great job portraying him as an arse.

The twists are there, but you really don't see them and connect all the dots until the ending. This was a great read that I could not put down. Definitely thrilling and entertaining!

Thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-book in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Fireworks in Paradise (A Tj Jensen Mystery) (Volume 8) - Kathi Daley

This was my first book by Kathi Daley and this was the 8th book in the series. 

The book was a decent read. However, I was not able to really get into the main character, T. J. She seemed pretty flat to me. I'm not sure if that was because the character was more developed in the earlier books or not.

And, for me, she was a little annoying in her attempts to find out what had happened in the accident that almost killed her father, but did kill his friend, the Judge.

I definitely found T. J. too annoying and bland to bother going back and reading the other seven books in the series.

Thanks to Henery Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Bad Girls from History: Wicked or Misunderstood? - Dee Gordon

There were definitely some very cruel and mean women included in this book. A short read that started with mistresses and madams, then onto murderers and then onto outlaws and bank robbers.

Some of these women, I had heard and some I had not. I did spend a lot of time checking out the pictures of these women trying to find out what made them so attractive that they were able to sell their bodies for most of their lives to the wealthy, elite and royalty. I guess attraction was a different thing in some of these eras.

I definitely recognized Georgia Tann although that is only because I had read "Before We Were Yours" by Lisa Wingate which was a fictional tale about a family of children that Ms. Tann had requisitioned through her nefarious ways. A really good book if you get the chance to read it, by the way.

Of course, there was Bonnie Parker, Calamity Jane, Ma Barker, and Lizzie Borden just to name a few.

I do have to say that I had to quit reading about the murderers as it was pretty much grossing me out while reading during lunch.

Interesting and informative.

Thanks to Pen and Sword and Net Galley for a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Divinely Yours - Karin Gillespie

I found this book to be a nice, lighthearted read. I thoroughly enjoyed the author's images of Heaven. It was definitely a unique idea.

A quick read which I really enjoyed.

Thanks to Henery Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Royal Treatment: A Crown Jewels Romantic Comedy, Book 1 - Melanie Summers, MJ Summers

I am seriously NOT a fan of romance books, however I AM a fan of humorous books. Thankfully, while this one was romance (very cheesy at that), it did have humor. A LOT of humor. I found myself laughing out loud several times while reading this book and smiling quite a lot of the time.

In fact, I really enjoyed reading it. It was a definite feel good read. There are a few sex scenes, thankfully, they were short and not that explicit.

A great lighthearted comedy that I truly enjoyed and am now going to read the next in the series. I truthfully can't get enough of Tessa and her Prince.

Purchased through Amazon as advised by the author so I would not miss anything in the second book in the series.

The Royal Wedding: A Crown Jewels Romantic Comedy, Book 2 - Melanie Summers, MJ Summers

I really enjoyed the first book in this series and was very excited to start right into this one as I read them back to back. Unfortunately, the excitement waned pretty early in this book. Gone were the laugh out loud moments and there were a lot fewer smiles this time around.

Also, I felt Tessa was a very strong personality in the first book. Throughout this one, however, she seemed a lot weaker. She did come around in the end, but by that time it was a little too late for me.

And personally, the heir inhibitor bit was not funny at all. I had that happen with the "sponge" years ago and no one was laughing. It was actually downright scary. Although I did like the name used for a condom.

In conclusion, decent read just not as good as the first.

Thanks to Gretz Corp, Indigo Group and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Summer That Made Us - Robyn Carr

I absolutely loved this book. A story of two sisters that married two brothers and each had three kids all of which were girls. The families would spend every summer at the lake house their grandmother and grandfather owned until the weekend that one of the youngest girls died in a boating accident.

That weekend created a decade feud between the sisters that really tore at their kids and caused some of them act out and question themselves for many years.

I loved all the characters especially the main ones - Charley, Meg, and Krista, the daughters. The sisters had such very different lives even though they married two brothers. I was really glad that the character, Hope, had only a small part in this book. I think if I had to listen to her craziness for much longer, I would have had to throw the book, literally. She was cray, cray.

An excellent read about family and forgiveness that really touched a nerve with me.

Thanks to Harlequin and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

All the Wicked Girls - Chris Whitaker

There was a lot of sadness in this book. The character development was excellent. I saw them as real people and felt many emotions for them.

A story that takes place in a very small town where pretty much everyone knows each other or have heard of each other through the gossip that runs rampant in many small towns. And, like many small towns, the local police force usually has a police chief that has seen enough and should be retired, but in this book, the chief just keeps hanging on. Drinking the days away, hating his job, and his self.

When a couple of young girls start disappearing, the police chief figures that they are just runaways itching to get out of a small town and onto the big city. However, when several more young girls start disappearing the chief knows there is a big problem. 

When Summer Ryan disappears, she takes a bag and leaves a note. Her sister, Raine, is determined to find her sister and bring her home. She is a different kind of girl, so unlike her sister. She is quiet and reads a lot and does not really hang with anyone. Although she does go to church. Raine is the total opposite. Raine is promiscuous, wild, carries a knife and knows how to shoot a gun.

Raine is determined that her sister did not run away and she is hellbent to find her. She enlists the help of Noah and Purv. Noah and Purv have their own difficulties and definitely elicited much empathy from me.

I think, for me, overall this book was pretty good. However, I sometimes glazed over during the talk of the "cloud" over Grace and the "wall" that bordered it. That led me to skipping a few pages here and there which did not hold my attention.

Thanks to Bonnier Zaffre and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Pretty, Nasty, Lovely - Rosalind Noonan

This book kept me guessing right from the start. A baby is born and someone disposes of it, however, you don't know who it is. You know that it happens in a sorority house, but not if it's in the past or something that is yet to come.

Little pieces of the puzzle are given to us throughout the book. However, I could not complete it myself until the character spoke up about what happened. And, it's not what you think. Well, maybe not, it certainly wasn't what I thought.

A book that I could put down and did. It has your usual characters in a sorority house. Some friendly, some not and some horrible. However, I think the ending more than made up for some of the extra wording I had to plow through to get to the finale.

I found this book to be a good read, although sometimes some of the unnecessary additions bogged me down a little.

Thanks to Kensington Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Working Fire: A Novel - Emily Bleeker

Wow did this book have a jaw dropping ending! It came out of nowhere! I had my doubts but they were nothing like what really happened in this book.

I'm not going to be able to tell you a lot of specifics without including a spoiler. So I am just going to say that I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Ellie and Amelia are two very likable characters and are sisters. Ellie has been away at college but comes back home to their small town when her father has a stroke. Now Ellie, having given up med school, is a paramedic. She couldn't pass the strenuous tests to be a fireman which include carrying a body, but she would have made a good one. Besides that, she helps take care of her father along with her sister, Amelia.

Amelia is married with two children to an ex-firefighter that now owns his own roofing company. The company is ran out of their house. Amelia is also a concert cellist, doing the odd wedding here and there. There's not a real symphony in their small town, so she takes smaller gigs when she can get them. She also helps out with her husband's company and, of course, runs the household.

The author did a great job with the characters and with the introduction of them and their lives. However, when the plot twists to that final turn, it was a crazy, out of left field turn. Jaw dropping.

A great read that I thoroughly enjoyed!

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Before I Was Yours: An emotional and beautiful story about love, family and parenthood - Virginia MacGregor

I like this story a lot. The story of a couple, Sam and Rosie, who have given up. They can't have children so they are going to adopt. That wasn't working so well for them either. They were positioned to have two different children which fell through both times.

Now, they have a chance with Jonah. An seven year old boy from Kenya who has a special, very different background from the rest of the children at the foster home. He was found at the airport alone and he won't tell anyone anything about where is from.

I loved Jonah in this book. I felt so sorry for him. Rosie was constantly getting on my nerves, but that was just her character. A woman who wanted a child so bad that she would overcome all obstacles including her husband. 

A great read that I thoroughly enjoyed and sped right through. I had to know what happened to Jonah, Rosie & Sam. Poignant and emotional.

Thanks to Little, Brown Book Group and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Luster of Lost Things - Sophie Chen Keller

I loved a lot about this book. Walter who could hardly talk, but has a knack for finding lost things. His mother has a very unusual bake shop that seems to have an energy of it's own when a certain book is in the shop.

When one day the book is missing, Walter takes an imaginative, fairy tale like trip to find the book and save his mother's shop.

A book that is truly whimsical and fantasy like that I thought was good, but my eyes did glaze over several times during the search for this book. I think that had it been a little shorter, I would have enjoyed it more.

Thanks to Penguin Group Putnam and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Memory of Butterflies: A Novel - Grace Greene

I absolutely enjoyed reading this story of Hannah, the mother, and her daughter, Ellen. A poignant story that had me mesmerized. 

Hannah is hiding a secret, and it's a big one, from her daughter. Actually, she's hiding it from the whole town. The only ones who know the truth are herself, her grandmother and a neighbor. The secret is going to tear her and her daughter apart, but it's one that she's going to have to tell.

A wonderful, moving story that I would definitely recommend!

Thanks to Lake Union Publishing and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Sourdough: A Novel - Robin Sloan

This was a really good read. Yes, it was somewhat cheesy, but cheese goes good with bread. Ha!

A story of a woman, Lois, whose life makes a big change when she moves from Michigan to San Francisco to work at a tech company coding programs for robots. The new company sounds like a Google workplace with free food and beds which keep the employees there way after hours.

Lois has no friends other than those few at work and spends most of her time at the company. She finds a menu for a new restaurant, a whole in the wall, and starts ordering from them. It ends up that she orders from them so much that the brother who own it call her "Number one Eater".

Then the brothers Visa expires and they give Lois a going away present. Their starter for the Sourdough bread that they made.

This makes a big change in Lois' life and all for the better. A little sappy towards the end - yes, this is the cheesy part - but a very enjoyable read.

And yes, I looked it up, there is a "Lois Club". I didn't find any Debbie clubs, however. Ha!

Thanks to Farrar, Straus and Giroux and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Sing, Unburied, Sing: A Novel - Jesmyn Ward

4.5 Stars

This was the second book this week I've read that took place in a backward town that hasn't quite caught up to the 21st Century. And, like the other one, I loved this one.

Jojo is a great character who does a lot of the narrating of his story in this book. He's such a sweet child and the responsibilities placed on him at such a young age are horrendous!

Leonie is Jojo's mother, when she wants to be. She's a very selfish person, loves meth and will let her kids go days without eating.

During the trip to the prison to pick up Jojo's dad I wanted to crawl into this book and just squeeze the crap out of Leonie's neck. Well, maybe just slap her around a few times and show her some sense. Ha!

A sad, beautiful story that I thoroughly enjoyed reading.

Thanks to Scribner and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

The Surrogate: A gripping psychological thriller with an incredible twist - Louise Jensen

Wow what a page turner! I could not put this book down. 

Kat and Nick have been trying to have a baby for years. Nothing is working for them. Into Kat's life reappears Lisa, a friend, her best friend from 10 years ago.

Lisa learns of Kat's problem and offers to be a surrogate stating that she's done it before. That's when all the suspicions start.

This was super crazy with the plot twists. I blamed everyone and came up with the worst scenarios throughout this whole book. Of course, I was wrong. Yay! And yes, the ending was jaw dropping! I totally did not see it coming!

The first thing I did when I finished reading this book was tell my friends. This one fits right up their alley as a unputdownable thriller!

An absolutely entertaining book that I thoroughly enjoyed!

Thanks to Bookouture and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.