Tuesday, October 15, 2019

Finding Christmas: A Novel by Karen Schaler

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

With all the glittering decorations, twinkling lights, snow angels, gingerbread men and mistletoe, Christmas is Emmie’s first love.

This year, she can’t wait to share her favorite Christmas traditions with her boyfriend, Grant. She thinks he’s “the one.” So when Grant’s hectic work schedule has him more “Bah Humbug” than “Ho, Ho, Ho,” Emmie creates a holiday-themed scavenger hunt to help him find his Christmas spirit. At the end of the journey, Grant will arrive at the charming town of Christmas Point where she’s planned a romantic weekend filled with holiday activities.

But Emmie’s plan backfires when a mix-up has the wrong guy following her clues! Sam, a best-selling mystery writer, thinks Emmie’s clever Christmas riddles are from his agent, who is trying to help him get over his epic writer’s block.

When he arrives at Christmas Point and finds the stunned Emmie, he immediately feels she’s someone special, but she can’t see beyond the fact that the wrong guy has shown up. Inspired by the small, charming town, Sam decides to stay and convinces Emmie to join him in a little holiday fun while she waits for Grant.

When Grant finally shows up, Emmie is disappointed to discover he’s not enjoying the activities she planned and can’t help wonder if he’s really the one for her. She also can’t get Sam out of her mind and all the great times they had together. With Christmas coming fast, Emmie will need the magic of the season to help steer her in the direction of true love…

my thoughts:

Fall is here and you know what that means...Christmas is right around the corner. Woo hoo! I'm so excited for the upcoming holiday season that I'm already jotting down my list of Christmas treats that I plan on baking. And, I've already figured out the Thanksgiving menu. I am ahead of schedule for once and I love it. So, I figured it was time for a bookish treat.  Thankfully, I was given the opportunity to review Karen Schaler's latest novel, Finding Christmas. Talk about a must-read for me. The title alone beckons me to pick up a copy, but that book cover screams at me to "Read me!" ASAP.  I mean seriously, a gazebo lit up with a beautiful Christmas tree smack dab in the center, how could I not want to read a book with that cover? Plus, I absolutely LOVED Schaler's last book, Christmas Camp.  So, I just knew that I was in for a holiday treat with Finding Christmas.  And let me just say, Schaler did not disappoint. Her newest novel is chock full of holiday cheer, romance, and a bit of drama; all of which I happily gobbled up. In fact, it reminded me of Hallmark's Christmas movies (my FAVORITE holiday movies), which I just loved.

So, what's the story about? Well, Emmie LOVES Christmas.  And, she loves Grant, her boyfriend.  She thinks he may just be "the one."  So, she decides to cheer him up (he's bogged down with work) and create a holiday themed scavenger hunt that will lead him to a charming little town named Christmas Point, for a romantic weekend.  Except, things don't exactly work out as Emmie planned. You see, another man winds up following the scavenger hunt and meeting Emmie in Christmas Point.  Yep, Sam thought the hunt was for him and he's pleasantly surprised when he meets Emmie. She's not happy.  So, Sam tries to get Emmie to join in on some holiday fun while they are in town.  Of course, sparks do fly, but Emmie believes her hear to lie with Grant. However, when Grant finally does show up in town, Emmie realizes that he may not be "the one" after all.  And, that is all I will write about this delicious treat of a read.

I would most definitely recommend Finding Christmas to fans of Schaler's work and anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book! The writing is fantastic and the characters are fun, relatable, and unforgettable.  This is one book that will delight you and fill you with some Christmas cheer.  Definitely, check it out.  

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Finding Christmas
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, October 10, 2019

Seven Letters: A Novel by J.P. Monninger

(Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!
about book: (from Goodreads)

J. P. Monninger, author of the international bestseller The Map That Leads to You, the novel Nicholas Sparks called “romantic and unforgettable", tells a poignant love story of the ways the world divides two souls—and the way that love brings them together.

Kate Moreton is in Ireland on sabbatical from her teaching position at Dartmouth College when she meets Ozzie Ferriter, a fisherman and a veteran of the American war in Afghanistan. The Ferriter family history dates back centuries on the remote Blasket Islands, and Ozzie – a dual citizen of Ireland and the United States – has retreated to the one place that might offer him peace from a war he cannot seem to leave behind.

Beside the sea, with Ireland’s beauty as a backdrop, the two fall deeply in love and attempt to live on an island of their own making, away from the pressures of the outside world. Ireland writes its own love stories, the legends claim, and the limits of Kate and Ozzie’s love and faith in each other will be tested. When his demons lead Ozzie to become reckless with his life—and Kate’s—she flees for America rather than watch the man she loves self-destruct. But soon a letter arrives informing Kate that her heroic husband has been lost at sea, and Kate must decide whether it is an act of love to follow him or an act of mercy to forget.

my thoughts:

Seven Letters by J.P. Monninger is romance at its very best. This book will make you swoon, cry, cheer, and fall madly in love with its two main characters, Kate and Ozzie.  You will find yourself settling in for the long haul with this book, because you will not be able to put it down for anything. I'm serious! My cuppa turned cold and the cookies I set on a plate remained untouched. Once I started reading, I just didn't want to stop.  Monninger's writing kept me captive with her delicious details, fascinating characters, and a love story that touched my heart.

Kate heads to Ireland and promptly falls in love with Ozzie.  He's trying to escape memories from the war, but finding it hard to do.  The two rush into marriage and Kate finds herself wondering about the man she married.  Realizing that they don't know each other or their secrets, they decide to separate.  Kate goes home to the US and begins again.  And then she hears some news about Ozzie and her world is shaken upside down. Kate must decide to continue on the new path she's created for herself or journey back to a past she was trying to move on from.  Talk about heart-wrenching!

I absolutely LOVED Seven Letters!! I fell in love with this book and the author's writing. I can't wait to read more of Monninger's works. And, I would happily recommend Seven Letters to anyone and everyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book to bits!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for providing me with a copy of this book!

Tuesday, October 8, 2019

The Lying Room: A Novel by Nicci French

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)

about book:

In this thrilling standalone from the internationally bestselling author of the Frieda Klein series, a married woman’s affair with her boss spirals into a dangerous game of chess with the police when she discovers he’s been murdered and she clears the crime scene of all evidence.

One little secret between a married woman, her lover, and a killer.

It should have been just a mid-life fling. A guilty indiscretion that Neve Connolly could have weathered. An escape from twenty years of routine marriage to her overworked husband, and from her increasingly distant children. But when Neve pays a morning-after visit to her lover, Saul, and finds him brutally murdered, their pied-à-terre still heady with her perfume, all the lies she has so painstakingly stitched together threaten to unravel.

After scrubbing clean every trace of her existence from Saul’s life—and death—Neve believes she can return to normal, shaken but intact. But she can’t get out of her head the one tormenting question: what was she forgetting?

An investigation into the slaying could provide the answer. It’s brought Detective Chief Inspector Alastair Hitching, and Neve’s worst fears, to her door. But with every new lie, every new misdirection to save herself, Neve descends further into the darkness of her betrayal—and into more danger than she ever imagined. Because Hitching isn’t the only one watching Neve. So is a determined killer who’s about to make the next terrifying move in a deadly affair….

my thoughts:

As a huge fan of French's Freida Klein series, I was super excited to dive into their newest book, The Lying Room.  A standalone novel, this story focuses on a woman, her affair, her lover's death, and a web of lies she can't seem to keep control of.  Chock full of twists and turns, this book had me turning pages faster and faster just to get to the end - I had to find out what happened! I was hooked and I was in deep.  This book had me on the edge of my seat and I loved every minute of it.

Neve is unhappy, so she has an affair.  It's a midlife fling, so what could go wrong? Well, her lover could be murdered.  Yep, Neve goes to see him and finds him dead.  So, what's a mistress to do? Well, clean up.  Neve doesn't want anyone to find out about her connection to her lover, so she scrubs their little love nest clean - getting rid of anything she may have left behind, along with any clues the murderer may have left.  Of course, she can't help but think she forgot something - a thought that plagues her to no end.  And then, the investigation into the murder leads the police to her.  Yikes! What's Neve to do? Lie, and lie a lot.  Soon, she is caught up in a HUGE web of lies that seem to keep spiraling out of her control. Plus, the murderer is watching Neve...uh, oh...looks like Neve may be in danger.  And, that is all I will write.  I don't want to give away the ending.  Nope, this is one book you have to experience for your self.  Definitely check it out!

The writing is top notch, the characters are unlikeable (but that is what makes them so interesting in this story), and the story is unputdownable.  What more could you want? I absolutely LOVED The Lying Room! I found myself easily caught up in Neve's drama and couldn't help but try and figure out what was going on. I just loved the mystery, the thrills, and all of the lies - so much DRAMA.  Such a great book by a terrific pair of writers. I can't wait to read more of their work.

I would happily recommend The Lying Room to fans of Nicci French and anyone looking for their next great read - you will LOVE this book!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Lying Room
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Tuesday, October 1, 2019

The Nanny: A Novel by Gilly Macmillan

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

The Nanny kept me in white-knuckled suspense until the very last page. Gilly Macmillan’s breakout thriller is a dark and twisted version of Downton Abbey gone very, very wrong.” — Tess Gerritsen, New York Times bestselling author

The New York Times bestselling author of What She Knew conjures a dark and unpredictable tale of family secrets that explores the lengths people will go to hurt one another.

When her beloved nanny, Hannah, left without a trace in the summer of 1988, seven-year-old Jocelyn Holt was devastated. Haunted by the loss, Jo grew up bitter and distant, and eventually left her parents and Lake Hall, their faded aristocratic home, behind.

Thirty years later, Jo returns to the house and is forced to confront her troubled relationship with her mother. But when human remains are accidentally uncovered in a lake on the estate, Jo begins to question everything she thought she knew.

Then an unexpected visitor knocks on the door and Jo’s world is destroyed again. Desperate to piece together the gaping holes in her memory, Jo must uncover who her nanny really was, why she left, and if she can trust her own mother…

In this compulsively readable tale of secrets, lies, and deception, Gilly Macmillan explores the darkest impulses and desires of the human heart. Diabolically clever, The Nanny reminds us that sometimes the truth hurts so much you’d rather hear the lie.

my thoughts:

Suspense-filled thrillers with a bit mystery are my jam. Especially, ones that have a Gothic bent to them. I love anything with a touch of the Gothic atmosphere - it makes for a fun and thrilling read! Luckily for me, I just read Gilly Macmillan's latest novel, The Nanny - an awesome story chock full of mystery, suspense, and Gothic touches. I just LOVED it to bits!!

So, what's the story about? A little girl growing up on a estate has a nanny she loves. The nanny disappears and the little girl is devastated. Fast forward thirty years, the little girl is all grown up and she returns to the estate she left behind and the mother she's grown distant from.  Human remains are discovered on the grounds and questions begin to build.  Who was the nanny? Why did she leave? What really happened? What did her mother do?You can't help but get caught up in all the drama, which I just loved.

Macmillan has written a superb story that will captivate from the start. The details, the history, the family dysfunction, and all the secrets and lies make for such a gripping read. Plus, the multiple POV really help to create the tension between the characters and their relationships. Characters that are so unlikeable that you can't help but be fascinated by them.  And, we also get alternating timelines from the past and present, which slowly reveals what happened. Its a slow burn and it is so good. I really enjoyed reading The Nanny by Gilly Macmillan.

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: The Nanny
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!