Sunday, August 9, 2020

Preview - The End of the Day

Happy Sunday! I hope everyone is enjoying their weekend so far. Today's Preview is a Fictional Novel by Bill Clegg who is a new to me author. The Publisher notes:

"A retired widow in rural Connecticut wakes to an unexpected visit from her childhood best friend whom she hasn’t seen in forty-nine years.
A man arrives at a Pennsylvania hotel to introduce his estranged father to his newborn daughter and finds him collapsed on the floor of the lobby.

A sixty-seven-year-old taxi driver in Kauai receives a phone call from the mainland that jars her back to a traumatic past.

These seemingly disconnected lives come together as half-century-old secrets begin to surface. It is in this moment that Bill Clegg reminds us how choices—to connect, to betray, to protect—become our legacy.

Deeply observed and beautifully written, this novel is a feat of storytelling, capturing sixty years within the framework of one fateful day".

I'll be reading and reviewing this book closer to its late September publication date. Is this book on your to be read list?

Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

Friday, August 7, 2020

Preview - Home for the Holidays

Happy Friday! We're about to start the our second weekend in August but I'm already looking ahead to Christmas with today's Preview. Many Christmas/Holiday reads are published in September or October and I'm a big fan of this books with this theme.

The publisher notes that fans of Sarah Morgan and RaeAnne Thayne will fall in love with this book. Otherwise, there is limited information about the storyline other then what I've indicated on the photo.

Are you a fan of Christmas/Holiday reads? When do you normally start reading these books?

Have a great weekend!

Thursday, August 6, 2020

The Mother-In-Law by Sally Hepworth

This book has been on my TBR list for quite some time and I took the opportunity between library holds to listen to the audiobook version of this book. It captivated me.

The book is told from a dual time line and the narrative of three women. Diana is the matriarch of the family. She can present as being cold and uncaring, but as her daughter-in-law Lucy learns, there is more to Diana then her tough outer shell. Lucy is married to Diana’s son Oliver. Together they are trying to raise a family and start a new business. Oliver’s sister Nettie is married to Patrick and this couple is desperate to start a family of their own. As is the case in many families, the two younger couples have both gone to their parents to borrow money on occasion. Diana never agrees to do so, but her husband Tom has always secretly passed the money requested without Diana knowing. After all, they have more than enough money to give away. But when Tom passes away quickly, the siblings know that money will be harder than ever to get from their mother.

Then, Diana is found dead. She had recently told the family she had late-stage breast cancer and a suicide note is found nearby. The police initially tell the family that it looks like suicide, but an autopsy is needed to confirm this. When the autopsy shows no evidence of cancer, the whole notion of it being a suicide is questioned. What transpires is a slow reveal of the events leading up to Diana’s death.

I really enjoyed this book which, in my opinion, is part mystery and part women’s fiction. The relationships between the women significantly contribute to the development of the characters. The book is engaging, and kept me wanting to read more. I listened to the audiobook edition of the book and highly enjoyed the narration by Barrie Kreinik who speaks in the Australian accent of the author. She has a clear and articulate tone to her voice and the versatility to capture the two generations of women.

I look forward to reading more from this author. My rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5.

Tuesday, August 4, 2020

The First to Lie by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Happy Publication Day!   The First to Lie is suspenseful thriller written by bestselling author, and investigative reporter Hank Phillippi Ryan. This is the first book I have read from this author and it did not disappoint.

The book tells a provocative story of a pharmaceutical company who has developed a drug said to help couples suffering from infertility to become pregnant more easily. There are physicians who work with the company are seeing patients looking for a miracle. What these physicians aren’t telling their patients before starting treatment is that in some cases patients will have an allergic reaction which causes them to be permanently sterile. There is no opportunity for patients to give informed consent. These patients sign a form, but there is no discussion of this allergic reaction life-changing side effect. Simply put, this is completely unethical practice and certainly not out of the scope of reality.

There are several characters who are undercover in trying to investigate the company about this drug. One is an investigative reporter for a news channel and another her next store neighbour and co-worker. The third character is a lawyer who hopes to sue the pharmaceutical company. Further characters are revealed behind the scenes of the pharmaceutical company, including a couple who lead the company and their children and spouses. But not everything is at it seems in the twisted, suspenseful story. It is obvious that one or more of our characters isn’t who we think they are.

I do not want to give any more of the story away. It is a great discussion on the importance of health care consumers having the right and ability to be informed. All I want to say is “Wow”! If you love a suspenseful, twisted novel which will have you guessing all the way through, this book is for you. You will want to devour this book in one sitting, but I highly suggest you don’t. Read it slowly and digest it in all its magnificence. You may want to take notes. To say this is a highly engaging read is an understatement. This may be my first book by this author, but it won’t be my last.

Thanks to Netgalley and Forge Books for the ARC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here.

My rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️⭐️/5

Sunday, August 2, 2020

Preview - Don't Look for Me by Wendy Walker

Today's Preview is a thriller by a new author to me, Wendy Walker.  This book has great reviews on Goodreads who provides the following synopsis:

"The greatest risk isn’t running away.

It’s running out of time.

The car abandoned miles from home.

The note found at a nearby hotel.

The shattered family that couldn’t be put back together.

They called it a “walk away.”

It happens all the time.

Women disappear, desperate to leave their lives behind and start over.

But is that what really happened to Molly Clarke?"

That was enough to grab my attention!  I'll be reviewing this book closer to its September 15 publication date.

Have a great day!

Thursday, July 30, 2020

The Friendship List by Susan Mallery

I love to read a book about strong female friendships and this is certainly the case in The Friendship List.

Ellen is a thirty-something single Mom whose son is about to enter his last year of high school. She is quite happy with her life - she enjoys her work, her friends and her son who has turned out to be an amazing kid. She overhears her son remark to his friend that he won’t be applying to colleges away from home. He explains that his Mom would be lost without him, that he’s all she has. This conversations forces Ellen to re-examine her current life- is she as happy as she could be? She knows she doesn’t want her son to miss the experience of living in a college residence because of her.

Unity is a thirty-something widow having lost her husband three years ago. She has built a successful business as a handyman, and enjoys socializing with the seniors she meets while working for them. But she just can’t move past the loss of her husband. In fact, she has inherited her husband’s childhood home and chooses to sleep in his childhood bed.

The women decide that in order to challenge each other to move outside of their comfort zone they will develop a list of tasks to be completed by the end of summer. What transpires guarantees changes in each women that extend far beyond the list.

I enjoyed reading this humorous look at friendships and relationships that enhance and push us in life. These women, in my opinion, initially act much older than their stated ages. Having said that, each has experienced tremendous challenges in their lives created by circumstances beyond their control. The characters are well developed and the story engaging and show insecurities that many women also experience.

I recommend this story to fans of women’s fiction and humour.

Thanks to Edelweiss and Harlequin for the ARC of this book in exchange for the honest review provided here.

The Friendship List publishes August 4.

My rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️/5.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

His & Hers by Alice Feeney

 Happy Publication Day to His & Hers!  If you’re looking for a Thriller that will keep you on the edge of your seat, this book is for you. As the title implies, it is told from two points of view - His being Detective Chief Inspector Jack Harper, and Hers being his ex-wife Anna Andrews a TV journalist. The story is also told from a Then and Now time frames.

Jack and Anna are each investigating the murder of a woman in a muddy, forested location in Blackdown - a town in which both grew up in. The town is a quiet one and one not familiar with murder cases. The woman murdered is known to both Jack and Anna. Anna was befriended by Rachel in school, while Jack has very recently had a sexual relationship with her - a piece of information he isn’t about to disclose to anyone. As the investigation progresses, both Anna and Jack begin to experience unusual events in their day to day lives. Anna sees things appearing in her bedroom that weren’t there when she went to sleep. Jack notices mud on his boots in his car which had been clean. In flashes from the past, Anna’s life as a teenager in a new school is slowly revealed. The result is a twisty, tale of horror which has the reader unable to decipher what, if anything, is the truth.

This book is absolutely engaging and I could not put it down. As with many thrillers, the plot kept me guessing whodunnit, but as each chapter unfolded the list of suspects only increased. The book flowed well, and the climax and conclusion were satisfying. I did, however, find the addition of animal cruelty in the book to be unnecessary, and unpleasant.

I listened to the audiobook edition of the book, and the narrators, Richard Armitage and Stephanie Racine give stellar performances. In my opinion, the voices of the narrators added a personal element to this story and made the characters more relatable. Their speech was articulate and pleasant to listen to. The addition of the voice modulator increased the creepy factor ten-fold and was an excellent addition to this book.

I highly recommend this audiobook for those readers who love a great thriller.

Thanks to Netgalley and Macmillan audio for the ALC of this audiobook in exchange for the honest review provided here.

My rating: ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️ ⭐️💫/5