Monday, June 25, 2018

Dreams of Falling
by Karen White

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 416
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  It's been nine years since Larkin fled Georgetown, South Carolina, vowing never to go back. But when she finds out that her mother has disappeared, she knows she has no choice but to return to the place that she both loves and dreads--and to the family and friends who never stopped wishing for her to come home. Ivy, Larkin's mother, is discovered in the burned out wreckage of her family's ancestral rice plantation, badly injured and unconscious. No one knows why Ivy was there, but as Larkin digs for answers, she uncovers secrets kept for nearly 50 years. Secrets that lead back to the past, to the friendship between three girls on the brink of womanhood who swore that they would be friends forever, but who found that vow tested in heartbreaking ways.


Kritters Thoughts:  Karen White is one of those authors for me where I either love or just ehh her books.  This was the first time that I didn't enjoy a certain storyline, but adored others, it was a different kind of read for me.  

Let me start with the storyline that I would have cut.  Ivy is the middle generation in this story and she is in a coma after a fall.  While in her coma she is still able to narrate in the present and that was interesting.  The part that didn't add to the main storyline and instead just added pages was her storyline with Ellis.  It was just another character to add to the large cast and just didn't mean much to me throughout the book.

Now for what I loved.  I loved the Ceecee, Margaret, Bitty storyline in the 1950s.  It was so fun to go back to that time period and relive it.  The structure that women had to adhere to and the limitations on things, I loved taking it back to that moment in time.  I also loved the story that centered around Larkin in 2010.  I love when a character has to go back home after awhile and face things from the past and also learns something about themselves or their relatives.  I would love to come up with a catchy term, but these books are my jam!  The #prodigalson/daughter books!

So in all, I liked the book.  I would say it was quite a chunky read, so be prepared and there were some moments where the pacing was a bit slow, but in all it was a good read.


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Berkley.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, June 24, 2018

I got some reading time in this week, but the books were just ok.  
A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Missing Pieces by Laura Pearson
In a Jam by Cindy Dorminy
The Cottages on Silver Beach by RaeAnne Thayne
Dreams of Falling by Karen White

Currently Reading:
The Summer List by Amy Mason Doan


Next on the TBR pile:
The Ever After by Sarah Pekkanen

Friday, June 22, 2018

Missing Pieces
by Laura Pearson

Publisher: Ipso Books
Pages: 277
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  What if the one thing that kept you together was breaking you apart?

All Linda wants to do is sleep. She won’t look at her husband. She can’t stand her daughter. And she doesn’t want to have this baby. Having this baby means moving on, and she just wants to go back to before. Before their family was torn apart, before the blame was placed.

Alienated by their own guilt and struggling to cope, the Sadler family unravels. They grow up, grow apart, never talking about their terrible secret.

That is until Linda’s daughter finds out she’s pregnant. Before she brings another Sadler into the world, Bea needs to know what happened twenty-five years ago. What did they keep from her? What happened that couldn’t be fixed?

A devastating mistake, a lifetime of consequences. How can you repair something broken if pieces are missing?


Kritters Thoughts:  A story told in two parts and I didn't realize how much I was glad to make the jump to the second half to see how this story really evolved.  In the first half, we have a family that has endured a tragedy and are living not just day to day but moment to moment and at any second things could really fall apart.  The reader doesn't find out what truly happened until the second half, but you don't need to know the details to know that this family is falling apart.  The second half makes a huge time jump and you see the family and how each member has evolved and even how they are still stuck in things.

What a fantastic story and what a great way to tell it.  I was surprised by the time jump, but it was so worth it to make the story to feel full and complete.  I loved these characters and was hoping for their best from the very beginning, so it was satisfying to see them years later and see how their worlds were after many years had passed from the tragedy.  The way the reader finds out the details was genius and worked so well. 

I was excited to learn after reading it that this book was a debut.  I love finding a new author with their first work and it adds to the excitement to see what may come next.  I will be on the lookout for the next Laura Pearson, I hope it is another family drama with a lot of heart in the middle just like this one!  

Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Ipso Books.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.



Thursday, June 21, 2018

The Widow's Watcher
by Eliza Maxwell

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 283
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Living in the shadow of a decades-old crime that stole his children from him, reclusive Lars Jorgensen is an unlikely savior. But when a stranger walks onto the ice of a frozen Minnesota lake, her intentions are brutally clear, and the old man isn’t about to let her follow through.
Jenna Shaw didn’t ask for Lars’s help, nor does she want it. After he pulls her from the brink, however, Jenna finds her desire to give up challenged by their unlikely friendship. In Jenna, Lars recognizes his last chance for redemption. And in her quest to solve the mysteries of Lars’s past and bring him closure, Jenna may find the way out of her own darkness.
But the truth that waits threatens to shatter it all. When secrets are surrendered and lies are laid bare, Jenna and Lars may find that accepting the past isn’t their greatest challenge. Can they afford the heartbreaking price of forgiveness?

Kritters Thoughts:  Jenna Shaw feels like she has lost everything and because of that feels as though there is no reason for her to go on.  She picks a place to end it all, but is interrupted by the person who lives on the land and from there her life takes a wild turn.  Lars, the man who finds her, has a past of his own and when his past becomes a part of the present and Jenna gets involved wheels start spinning and this book is such a great ride.

It takes a bit for this book to really pick up and for the reader to find out what all we are dealing with, but once the reader is up to speed this book doesn't let up.  There are just a few glimpses into the past into Lars' back story and I almost wish there was more of that and maybe even a glimpse back into time into Jenna's story.  She tells about her past, but I would have loved to have been taken there.  

I will warn that it was weird to read this one during the summer at the pool.  With a Minnesota setting and snow and ice, it felt a little weird to be reading at this time of year!  I would suggest getting this one and holding it for a cold wintry weekend!

After finishing this book, like I do with most authors that I have read for the first time, I go on Goodreads and check out their backlist and I was so excited to read that Eliza Maxwell has three other books for me to check out.  I will have to add those books to my ever growing TBR pile!


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from TLC Book Tours.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Tuesday, June 19, 2018

Heaven Adjacent
by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Pages: 316
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads:  Roseanna Chaldecott spent her life as a high-powered lawyer in Manhattan. But when her best friend and law partner dies suddenly, something snaps. Unsure of her future, Roseanna heads upstate on one tank of gas and with no plans to return.
In the foothills of the Adirondacks, Roseanna discovers the perfect hideout in a ramshackle farm. Its seventy-six acres are rich with possibilities and full of surprises, including a mother and daughter squatting on the property. Although company is the last thing Roseanna wants, she reluctantly lets them stay.
Roseanna and the young girl begin sculpting junk found around the farm into zoo animals, drawing more newcomers—including her estranged son, Lance. He pleads with Roseanna to return to the city, but she’s finally discovered where she belongs. It may not provide the solitude she originally sought, but her heart has found room for much more.

Kritters Thoughts:  Do you ever want to just run away?  As an adult the idea of running away seems more difficult than exhilarating!  With all of the responsibilities and such it doesn't seem as freeing of an idea.  Roseanna has recently endured a life tragedy and decides that the only solution is to pick up life and start over with a little less daily commitments, she leaves her partner at a law firm job and ends up in the country on a farm and that is mostly where this book begins.

This was one of those stories where I often asked myself, "Could I do this?"  I wondered if I could push the reset button and leave it all behind.  I love books that make me think about life and wonder what if.  Catherine Ryan Hyde showed the full picture with positives and negatives to a life reset and what you gain and what you miss.  The way she writes the book is easy to read but it in no ways would be considered fluff in my mind.  Her books have full characters who are struggling with something and have full stories in their books.  Like most of her books, I feel as though the secondary characters almost feel as full and realized as the main character out front.  

I love her writing, plain and simple.  I don't have to read the synopsis when pitched a book by Catherine Ryan Hyde, I am 90% sure I will love it no matter what her characters are up to!


Rating: definitely a good read, but can't read two in a row


Ebook 2018 Challenge: 53 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Little Bird Publicity.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Monday, June 18, 2018

California Summer
by Anita Hughes

Publisher: St Martin's
Pages: 304
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon


Goodreads:  Ben and Rosie are Hollywood’s newest director/producer dream team. After hitting it big at Sundance, it seems that their ten years of love and hard work are finally paying off. Rosie is happy making independent films, but Ben wants the A-List celebrity package: a house in Beverly Hills, fancy cars in the driveway, and his name on the biggest blockbusters. He’s willing to do anything, even sleep with the most famous producer in town, to get them.

Rosie is devastated by Ben’s affair, and she decides to take a break from show business. She accepts her best friend's invitation to spend the summer at her parents' estate in Montecito. It's far away from L.A., the perfect place to start over.

In Montecito, Rosie meets a colorful cast of characters including Rachel, who owns a chocolate store, and Josh, a handsome local who splits his time between surfing and classic cars. Suddenly Rosie has new friends and a new purpose. She starts a business in the village, and her luck seems to be turning around. But Rosie knows all too well that success comes with a price, and the price might be losing love...again.


Kritters Thoughts:  To start let me say that I have a history with Anita Hughes books.  I either absolutely love them or really dislike them, there is no middle with me and her books.  I read the synopsis really close before I accept a Anita Hughes book for review and this synopsis sounded so so good.  I was so excited to read this, but my experience went downhill with each page.  

I loved the premise of Rosie escaping Hollywood and the fallout of a relationship for a small California town and trying to rebuild herself.  And the bits of the book that centered around Rosie working on herself and rebuilding her life were so fantastic.

It is the bits that were around Rosie and Josh that were beyond frustrating.  Maybe it is my own personal preference in men, but reading a man that runs after ever disagreement bothered the heck out of me.  I just couldn't see him as this manly man that Rosie could fall in love with AND with that they went from chatting and getting to know each other to in love and Rosie talking marriage WAY too fast for me.  The term instalove is used in YA fiction and I would have used it with this book, it was like relationship whiplash!  

But even after not loving this Anita Hughes, I still have hope for the next book with this author.    


Rating: enjoyable, but didn't leave me wanting more


Ebook 2018 Challenge: 51 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from St Martin's Press.  I was not required to write a positive review in exchange for receipt of the book; rather, the opinions expressed in this review are my own.

Sunday, June 17, 2018

It was a busy week all around, so not as much reading happened.

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
The Last Ballad by Wiley Cash
Heaven Adjacent by Catherine Ryan Hyde
The Widow's Watcher by Eliza Maxwell

Currently Reading:
Missing Pieces by Laura Pearson

Next on the TBR pile:
In a Jam by Cindy Dorminy

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