After skipping last month, I only managed to finish two books during the month, and I saved the second for the June list. I’m finally finding my reading/work rhythm and I even exceeded my goal this month. My idea of a perfect way to end the day is curling up in bed with my cat Gracie (or on my writing studio couch) and reading myself to sleep.
First I have to say I LOVED this book. It’s one of my favorites of the year and one that I know I’ll reach for repeatedly throughout the years. The vivid details of Paris, and the insights into the lives of the women in the book, really brings them to life right before your eyes.
The horrors of war and the devastating losses that came along with it are present throughout the book, and ‘seeing’ how it’s affected the lives of the women who survived is at times hard to read, but seeing how everything ends is definitely worth reading through the women’s hardships and how they changed because of them.
“From the bestselling author of the “heart-stopping tale of survival and heroism” (People) The Book of Lost Names comes a gripping historical novel about two mothers who must make unthinkable choices in the face of the Nazi occupation.
Paris, 1939: Young mothers Elise and Juliette become fast friends the day they meet in the beautiful Bois de Boulogne. Though there is a shadow of war creeping across Europe, neither woman suspects that their lives are about to irrevocably change.
When Elise becomes a target of the German occupation, she entrusts Juliette with the most precious thing in her life—her young daughter, playmate to Juliette’s own little girl. But nowhere is safe in war, not even a quiet little bookshop like Juliette’s Librairie des Rêves, and, when a bomb falls on their neighborhood, Juliette’s world is destroyed along with it.
More than a year later, with the war finally ending, Elise returns to reunite with her daughter, only to find her friend’s bookstore reduced to rubble—and Juliette nowhere to be found. What happened to her daughter in those last, terrible moments? Juliette has seemingly vanished without a trace, taking all the answers with her. Elise’s desperate search leads her to New York—and to Juliette—one final, fateful time.
An “exquisite and gut-wrenching novel” (Lisa Barr, New York Times bestselling author) you won’t soon forget, The Paris Daughter is also a sweeping celebration of resilience, motherhood, and love.”
The setting and storyline were promising for the latest novel by New York Times Bestselling Author Tessa Bailey. Even the main characters who had a love/hate relationship for the majority of the novel were relatable, the only thing I think could have been left out where the sexual innuendos which were peppered throughout the book from the very first page. While Tessa is known as the ‘Michelangelo of Dirty Talk’ I would have enjoyed the book more if there was a little less dirty talk and more heartfelt dialogue between the two main characters as they grew into their feelings for one another.
After losing her job and her fiancé in one fell swoop, Natalie Vos returned home to lick her wounds. A few months later, she’s sufficiently drowned her sorrows in cabernet and she’s ready to get back on her feet. She just needs her trust fund to finance her new business venture. Unfortunately, the terms require she marry before she can have the money. And well, dumped, remember?
But Natalie is desperate enough to propose to a man who makes her want to kill him—and kiss him, in equal measure.
August Cates may own a vineyard, but he doesn’t know jack about making wine. He’s determined to do his late best friend proud, no matter what it takes. Except his tasting room is empty, his wine is disgusting (seriously, he once saw someone gag), and his buddy’s legacy is circling the drain. No bank will give him the loan he needs to turn the business around… and then the gorgeous, feisty heiress knocks on his door.
Natalie has haunted August’s dreams since the moment they met, but their sizzling chemistry immediately morphed into simmering insults. Now, a quickie marriage could help them both. A sham wedding, a few weeks living under the same roof, and then they can go their separate ways—assuming they make it out alive. How hard could it be?
There’s just one thing they didn’t account for: their unfortunate, unbearable, undeniable attraction.
This book had quite a twist. Darcy Evans hasn’t talked to her mom in three years (not by choice), but when her future in-laws invite her mother to the wedding, she finds herself agreeing to go on a road trip with her mother in a 1969 Mustang along with her mother’s ‘evangelical’ dog, Helen. When the road trip starts off with Darcy’s biggest problem trying to find out why her mother ghosted her three years ago and ends in a way that neither Darcy nor her mother could ever have expected.
This book is definitely a page-turner and a story that will keep you hanging onto the edge of your seat until the final page.
“A mother, a daughter, and a road trip that’s about to take a hard left turn in this heartfelt and witty story about the sacrifices we make for love…”
Darcy Evans is getting married. In a week. To a man who is her childhood dream come true. But a late-night confession from her best friend changes everything and before she even has time to unpack it, she must endure a road trip to the ceremony with her estranged mother, Marja. It was always the two of them against the world…until Marja ghosted Darcy three years ago. No car in the world has enough room for all of their baggage.
The drive from Austin to Chicago is nostalgic, claustrophobic, incredibly messy, and exactly what both women need. As they each find themselves at a crossroads in their lives, long-held secrets are revealed—ones that reshape Darcy’s memories of the past and forever alter the future she’d recently been so certain of. She hadn’t known what a reunion with her mother might bring, but sometimes following your heart means taking a path you never planned…and finding a love you never imagined.
I finished Susan Wiggs’ latest novel set in a California beach town over the course of three days. The book begins when a local, Nikki Graziola whose dad owns the local airstream park inhabited by surfers, gives her valedictorian speech at the prestigious Thornton Academy. At the last moment, Nikki decides to go off script and share what she knows caused her best friend’s death and in doing so exposes the academy’s not-so-secret club, The Buccaneers. At that moment, Nikki’s life changes forever.
The story then moves forward fifteen years, after Nikki has lost her husband and must return home from Australia to the place she never thought she’d see again, Alara Cove, where she has to learn to pick up the pieces of her life and start again.
Welcome to Beach Town is the perfect vacation read.
Every town has its secrets…
In idyllic Alara Cove, a California beach town known for its sunny charm and chill surfer vibe, it’s graduation day at the elite Thornton Academy. At Thornton, the students are the worldly and overindulged children who live in gated enclaves with spectacular views. But the class valedictorian is Nikki Graziola, a surfer’s daughter who is there on scholarship. To the shock of everyone in the audience, Nikki veers off script while giving her commencement address and reveals a secret that breaks open the whole community. As her truth explodes into the light, Alara Cove will face a reckoning.
Nikki Graziola’s accusation shakes the foundation of Alara Cove, pitting her against the wealthy family whose money runs the town. Her new notoriety sends Nikki into exile for years, where she finds fame—but not fortune—overseas as a competition surfer…until a personal tragedy compels her to return to Alara Cove.
As Nikki struggles to rebuild her future, she finds that the people of the town have not forgotten her. But time has changed Alara Cove, and old friendships, rivalries, and an unexpected romance draw her back into the life of the beach town she’s never quite forgotten, and where joy and redemption may be possible after all.
Seraphina Nova Glass
This is an intense read and could be triggering for some. That being said, Seraphina Nova Glass unfurled this tale masterfully. In a small town, Grace Holloway runs the local bed and breakfast while doing everything she can to stay invisible. The terrors of her past have never left her, and every shadow brings a threat with it.
However, when girls that closely resemble her at the age she was taken start going missing, and two end up dead, Grace finds herself caught in the middle. She becomes determined to step out of the shadows and bring the man who took her to justice and hopefully save the life of the most recently kidnapped girl before it’s too late.
From the Edgar Award–nominated author of On a Quiet Street comes a shocking thriller about secrets…and the lengths some people will go to keep them.
Grace Holloway keeps to herself. Since narrowly escaping death at the hands of the man who kidnapped her, she’s thrown herself into the small inn she runs in Rock Harbor, Maine. It’s quiet, quaint and, in the off-season, completely isolated—the perfect place for Grace to keep her own secrets.
But Grace isn’t the only one with something to hide, and Rock Harbor isn’t just a sleepy vacation town. Someone is taking young women—girls who look an awful lot like Grace did when she was kidnapped so many years ago.
When a surge of disappearances brings the investigation to her door, Grace finds herself unwillingly at the center of it all and doing everything she can to keep her distance. Because Grace knows something…something that could change everything. And when the truth comes to light, getting justice for the vanished might be more than Grace can handle alone…
This book was absolutely AMAZING. A must-read, if you enjoy reading psychological thrillers. There’s a jaw-dropping twist that you will never see coming, and you’ll be hooked from beginning to end. It was such a thrilling read, and I highly recommend it. Keep your eyes out for a Q&A with this debut author coming to the blog soon!
Finding the truth seems impossible when her own dark past has her seeing lies everywhere she looks…
From the outside, criminal psychiatrist Dr. Madeline Pine’s life appears picture-perfect—she has a beautiful family, a successful mental health practice, and a growing reputation as an expert in female violence. But when she’s called to help investigate a mysterious death at a boarding school for troubled teenage girls, Madeline hesitates. She’s been through tragic cases before, and the one she was entangled in last year nearly destroyed her…
Yet she can’t turn away when she hears about Charley Ridley. After Charley was found barefoot and in pajamas at the bottom of an icy ravine on campus, the police ruled her death a tragic accident. But the private investigator hired by her mother has his doubts. If it were Madeline’s daughter who died, she’d want to know why.
Arriving at the secluded campus in upstate New York, Madeline’s met by an unhelpful skeleton staff and the four other students staying on campus during winter break. Each seems to hold a piece of the puzzle. And everyone has secrets—Madeline included. But who would kill to protect them?