Friday, May 18, 2018

Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison

What They Say.....In New York Times bestselling author Beth Harbison's most emotional novel ever, a fractured family must come together at a beach house haunted by the past.
Willa has never fully recovered from the sudden death of her husband, Ben. She became an absent mother to her young son, Jamie, unable to comfort him while reeling from her own grief. 
Now, years after Ben’s death, Willa finally decides to return to the beach house where he passed. It’s time to move on and put the Ocean City, Maryland house on the market. 
When Willa arrives, the house is in worse shape than she could have imagined, and the memories of her time with Ben are overwhelming. They met at this house and she sees him around every corner. Literally. Ben’s ghost keeps reappearing, trying to start conversations with Willa. And she can’t help talking back. 
To protect her sanity, Willa enlists Jamie, her best friend Kristin, and Kristin’s daughter Kelsey to join her for one last summer at the beach. As they explore their old haunts, buried feelings come to the surface, Jamie and Kelsey rekindle their childhood friendship, and Willa searches for the chance to finally say goodbye to her husband and to reconnect with her son. 
Every Time You Go Away is a heartfelt, emotional story about healing a tragic loss, letting go, and coming together as a family.

What I Say.....Ahhh, Beth Harbison, I love you so.  Every Time You Go Away was the perfect book for the weekend.  

Willa is ready to put her beach house on the market after her husband died in it.  She just needs to do some fixing up and stick the For Sale sign in the front yard.  

But when she arrives at the house by herself, she finds an unexpected surprise.  Her husband.  She's not sure if she's seeing a real ghost or if she is just finally going completely crazy, but she isn't going to miss a chance to connect with Ben again.

Her best friend and her son soon join her, but Ben doesn't go away and she's trying to keep their conversations a secret so that she doesn't look like a complete nutter butter.

This is the book you need to read if you want to snuggle under blankets and have a nice cleansing cry.  I loved it.

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Wednesday, May 16, 2018

When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger


Welcome to Greenwich, Connecticut, where the lawns and the women are perfectly manicured, the Tito’s and sodas are extra strong, and everyone has something to say about the infamous new neighbor.

Let’s be clear: Emily Charlton does not do the suburbs. After leaving Miranda Priestly, she’s been working in Hollywood as an image consultant to the stars, but recently, Emily’s lost a few clients. She’s hopeless with social media. The new guard is nipping at her heels. She needs a big opportunity, and she needs it now.

When Karolina Hartwell, a gorgeous former supermodel, is arrested for a DUI, her fall from grace is merciless. Her senator-husband leaves her, her Beltway friends disappear, and the tabloids pounce.

In Karolina, Emily finds her comeback opportunity. But she quickly learns Greenwich is a world apart and that this comeback needs a team approach.

So it is that Emily, the scorned Karolina, and their mutual friend Miriam, a powerful attorney turned stay-at-home suburban mom, band together to not only navigate the social land mines of suburban Greenwich but win back the hearts of the American public. Along the way, an indispensable ally emerges in one Miranda Priestly.

What I Say....Who wouldn't want to return to the world of Miranda Priestly?  I was so happy to get a copy of Lauren Weisberger's new book.  Emily is back, but she's growing older and has a new career as an image consultant and is finding out how it feels to have the younger, hotter woman nipping up  her heels to steal clients.

Emily has a hot husband, but he's starting to make rumblings about having a baby - which is NOT on Emily's to do list.  So she jumps at the chance to go visit her old friend, Miriam - a former hot shot lawyer turned schlumpy stay at home mom.

Miriam has a supermodel friend who has been arrested for DUI, and she and Emily team up to help Karolina regain her reputation and her stepson.   What a scumbag her husband was.   But the only part of the story that bugged me was that Miranda had to step in to save the day - like a lawyer and a professional image consultant couldn't do the jobs - you know, the ones they make a living at!  But it wouldn't be right if Miranda didn't have all the answers, that's why we all loved her so much in the original.  

This was a fun read - so nice to catch up with some favorite characters.

Current Goodreads Rating 3.91

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Tuesday, May 15, 2018

With or Without Me by Shari Low

What They Say.....Have you ever made a life-changing decision and then wondered if you made the right one...?
When Liv and Nate walked up the aisle, Liv knew she was marrying the one, her soul mate and her best friend. 
Six years later, it feels like routine and friendship is all they have left in common. What happened to the fun, the excitement, the lust, the love? 
In the closing moments of 1999, Liv and Nate decide to go their separate ways, but at the last minute, Liv wavers. Should she stay or should she go? 
Over the next twenty years we follow the parallel stories to discover if Liv's life, heart and future have been better with Nate... Or without him?
A clever, captivating and bitterweet story of what might have been. Perfect for the fans of Jojo Moyes and Marian Keyes.

What I Say.....How many times have you wondered how different your life could be if you had made one decision differently?  I try not to dwell on this too much because it stresses me out.  I don't feel like I have a ton of regrets, but the thought that my life could have been somehow better if I hadn't done this or it could have been worse if I had done that is almost too overwhelming.  

Liv and Nate have been married for years, college sweethearts.  On New Year's Eve, they are trying to decide whether to put their friendly marriage to bed or keep trying to rekindle their romance.  

This definitely started the story off with a bang.  I didn't read the description before starting it, which is super unusual for me because I like to know what's going to happen.  But because I've loved all of Shari Low's books (they are a fave for vacation), I skipped it.

So reading the story of Nate and Liv, and their college friends over the next 20 years was thoroughly enjoyable, but it seemed like it was going quickly - probably didn't help that I was floating in the pool, completely relaxed in the sun.  Then I realized that the second half told the story as if they had made a different life altering decision.

It was a great technique because it seemed like it would be the same story, but it was crazy how one decision had such a ripple effect on everyone's lives.  These are just relaxing books for lazing in the summer sun.  Perfect.

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Monday, May 14, 2018

Baby Teeth by Zoje Stage

What They Say......Sweetness can be deceptive. 

Meet Hanna.

She’s the sweet-but-silent angel in the adoring eyes of her Daddy. He’s the only person who understands her, and all Hanna wants is to live happily ever after with him. But Mommy stands in her way, and she’ll try any trick she can think of to get rid of her. Ideally for good.

Meet Suzette.

She loves her daughter, really, but after years of expulsions and strained home schooling, her precarious health and sanity are weakening day by day. As Hanna’s tricks become increasingly sophisticated, and Suzette's husband remains blind to the failing family dynamics, Suzette starts to fear that there’s something seriously wrong, and that maybe home isn’t the best place for their baby girl after all.

What I Say.....Oh my God.  As I was reading this book, all I could think was that someone needed to pick this kid up and throw her down a well.  Because seriously, what the what??????

Hanna's mom, Suzette, is at her breaking point.  She feels like she is going crazy since she quit her job to stay home with her new baby.  The only problem is her baby hates her.  Has hated her since birth.  And now seems to be intent on hurting her.

The added wrinkle is that Hanna doesn't speak.  Although she can read and communicate in other ways, she refuses to speak.

Even though Hanna hasn't been successful in any type of school, her Daddy thinks everyone is being too rough on Hanna, because she behaves completely different in front of him.  He loves his wife, but he thinks she is becoming a little unhinges (she is).

As Hanna steps up her game, she finally starts to show her father what she is really made of and then things get even more interesting.

It definitely made me think, what do you do if you give birth to a true sociopath?  And one that wants to hurt you?  You would still feel some love and connection to the child, even though you would be terrified.  I don't know what I would do, but it was a truly scary idea.

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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Weekly Book Haul and Happy Mother's Day....May 13, 2018

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, The Sunday Post is another great site hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  The Sunday Salon is a Facebook page where great readers share what they've read this week and Mailbox Monday is a weekly roundup of the new books people have received.

I've been on an extended blog break while I dealt with some family issues that completely consumed me.  The addiction crisis in this country is no joke. But I'm finally starting to feel like myself and I want to show my appreciation to the authors and publishers that allow me to read their books and give my unprofessional opinion. 

But I'm so excited about the new books on my shelf and I am doing some back blogging on some great books that I read during my season of gray.

From Netgalley

Do This For Me by Eliza Kennedy....A high-powered attorney dives into the politics of sex, the perils
of desire, and why men and women treat each other the way they do. 

Raney Moore has it all figured out. An ambitious young partner at a prestigious Manhattan law firm, she’s got a dream job, a loving (and famous) husband, and amazing twin daughters. Her world is full, busy, perfectly scripted. Or so she thinks.

One sunny fall day, a bombshell phone call throws Raney’s well-ordered existence into chaos, and in a fit of rage, she diabolically, hilariously burns everything down. Once the flames subside, she finds herself asking some difficult questions: Who am I? What just happened? Am I ever going to find my way back to normal?  Assisted by enterprising paralegals, flirtatious clientele, one dear friend and an unforgettable therapist, Raney thinks the answers are close at hand, only to find life spiraling utterly out of control.

Uproarious, incisive and poignant, Do This For Me introduces a brilliant, off-kilter heroine on a quest to understand sex, fight workplace inequality, and solve the mystery of herself.

With or Without You by Shari Low....Have you ever made a life-changing decision and then wondered
if you made the right one...?
When Liv and Nate walked up the aisle, Liv knew she was marrying the one, her soul mate and her best friend. 
Six years later, it feels like routine and friendship is all they have left in common. What happened to the fun, the excitement, the lust, the love? 
In the closing moments of 1999, Liv and Nate decide to go their separate ways, but at the last minute, Liv wavers. Should she stay or should she go? 
Over the next twenty years we follow the parallel stories to discover if Liv's life, heart and future have been better with Nate... Or without him?
A clever, captivating and bitterweet story of what might have been. Perfect for the fans of Jojo Moyes and Marian Keyes.

One Summer by Jenny Hale....This summer will change everything…

Alice Emerson is in need of a new beginning. Broken-hearted after her beloved grandfather passes away
and her relationship falls apart, she makes a pact with her 
best friend Sasha. Swapping city living for the beautiful sun-bleached beaches of the Outer Banks, they launch an ice cream shop together in the crumbling house by the sea where Alice spent blissful childhood holidays.

As Alice and Sasha settle into the close-knit community, making friends with the locals and tempting them with their delicious recipes, Alice finds herself falling for the warm charm and golden smile of mysterious doctor Jack Barnes. Spending time together during sunshine-filled days and long romantic evenings, Alice starts to wonder if he could be the one for her?

But just when Alice’s summer couldn’t be more perfect, she discovers an old letter tucked away in the beach house. It contains a family secret that turns Alice’s world upside down and makes her question everything she’s ever known. And then Jack complicates their summer romance with an unexpected offer…

Faced with a difficult decision, will Alice and Jack follow their hearts and find true happiness this summer?

Providence by Caroline Kepnes.....Best friends in small-town New Hampshire, Jon and Chloe share a
bond so intense that it borders on the mystical. But before Jon can declare his love for his soul mate, he is kidnapped, his plans for a normal life permanently dashed.

Four years later, Chloe has finally given up hope of ever seeing Jon again. Then, a few months before graduation, Jon reappears. But he is different now: bigger, stronger, and with no memory of the time he was gone. Jon wants to pick up where he and Chloe left off . . . until the horrifying instant he realizes that he possesses strange powers that pose a grave threat to everyone he cares for. Afraid of hurting Chloe, Jon runs away, embarking on a journey for answers.

Meanwhile, in Providence, Rhode Island, healthy college students and townies with no connection to one another are suddenly, inexplicably dropping dead. A troubled detective prone to unexplainable hunches, Charles “Eggs” DeBenedictus suspects there’s a serial killer at work. But when he starts asking questions, Eggs is plunged into a whodunit worthy of his most outlandish obsessions.

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris.....She went missing. He moved on. A whole world of secrets remained—until now.

Finn and Layla are young, in love, and on vacation. They’re driving along the highway when Finn decides
to stop at a service station to use the restroom. He hops out of the car, locks the doors behind him, and goes inside. When he returns Layla is gone—never to be seen again. That is the story Finn told to the police. But it is not the whole story.
Ten years later Finn is engaged to Layla’s sister, Ellen. Their shared grief over what happened to Layla drew them close and now they intend to remain together. Still, there’s something about Ellen that Finn has never fully understood. His heart wants to believe that she is the one for him...even though a sixth sense tells him not to trust her.
Then, not long before he and Ellen are to be married, Finn gets a phone call. Someone from his past has seen Layla—hiding in plain sight. There are other odd occurrences: Long-lost items from Layla’s past that keep turning up around Finn and Ellen’s house. Emails from strangers who seem to know too much. Secret messages, clues, warnings. If Layla is alive—and on Finn’s trail—what does she want? And how much does she know?
A tour de force of psychological suspense, Bring Me Back will have you questioning everything and everyone until its stunning climax.

The Dream Daughter by Diane Chamberlain.....When Caroline Sears receives the news that her
unborn baby girl has a heart defect, she is devastated. It is 1970 and there seems to be little that can be done. But her brother-in-law, a physicist, tells her that perhaps there is. Hunter appeared in their lives just a few years before—and his appearance was as mysterious as his past. With no family, no friends, and a background shrouded in secrets, Hunter embraced the Sears family and never looked back.  

Now, Hunter is telling her that something can be done about her baby's heart. Something that will shatter every preconceived notion that Caroline has. Something that will require a kind of strength and courage that Caroline never knew existed. Something that will mean a mind-bending leap of faith on Caroline's part.

And all for the love of her unborn child.

A rich, genre-spanning, breathtaking novel about one mother's quest to save her child, unite her family, and believe in the unbelievable. Diane Chamberlain pushes the boundaries of faith and science to deliver a novel that you will never forget.

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin....Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into
Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton. Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenaged girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.

Happy, happy Mother's Day to everyone!  Hope your day is filled with books and love!

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