Friday, July 3, 2015

Her Sister's Shoes
by Ashley Farley

Publisher: Smashwords
Pages: 284
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Set in the South Carolina Lowcountry and packed with Southern charm and memorable characters, Her Sister’s Shoes is the story of three sisters—Samantha, Jackie, and Faith—who struggle to balance the demands of career and family while remaining true to themselves.

Samantha Sweeney has always been the glue that holds her family together, their go-to girl for love and support. When an ATV accident leaves her teenage son in a wheelchair, she loses her carefully constructed self-control.

In the after-gloom of her dreaded fiftieth birthday and the discovery of her husband’s infidelity, Jackie realizes she must reconnect with her former self to find the happiness she needs to move forward.

Faith lacks the courage to stand up to her abusive husband. She turns to her sisters for help, placing all their lives at risk.

In the midst of their individual challenges, the Sweeney sisters must cope with their mother’s mental decline. Is Lovie in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, or is her odd behavior normal for a woman her age? No one, including Lovie, understands her obsession with a rusty key she wears around her neck.

Kritters Thoughts:  Three sisters take turns narrating this book as they each tell their story and their viewpoints on each other.  Jackie has always had it together and with a set of twin boys in high school she is enjoying the good life until things fall apart.  Samantha has always been the sister to show up for the other two and help them through their struggles, yet she hasn't relied on the sisters for help when she has had major life issues - she will have to lean on them when life throws her a curve ball.  Finally Faith, the baby of the family who is trying to handle things on her own eventually needs help escaping from an abusive husband who will reek havoc on the entire family.

When I realized that each sister was going to have their own chapters to both move the entire story along as well as their own individual story, I was even more excited about the book.  I also loved that all three sisters lived in the small town and each had their own set of drama (different drama) but things that were all their own, they each had a story to tell.  Although there were moments that were beyond predictable, I still enjoyed the story.   

If you are anything like me and love family drama then this book will be right up your alley.  Love and romance are parts of the book, but the heart lies in the family relationships that get tried and tested.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from iRead 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.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

The Wolf Border
by Sarah Hall

Publisher: Harper
Pages: 448
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  For almost a decade, zoologist Rachel Caine has lived a solitary existence far from her estranged family in England, monitoring wolves in a remote section of Idaho as part of a wildlife recovery program. But a surprising phone call takes her back to the peat and wet light of the Lake District where she grew up. The eccentric Earl of Annerdale has a controversial scheme to reintroduce the Grey Wolf to the English countryside, and he wants Rachel to spearhead the project. Though she's skeptical, the earl's lands are close to the village where she grew up, and where her aging mother now lives.

While the earl's plan harks back to an ancient idyll of untamed British wilderness, Rachel must contend with modern-day realities--health and safety issues, public anger and fear, cynical political interests. But the return of the Grey unexpectedly sparks her own regeneration.

Kritters Thoughts:  Rachel Caine has been living in the states working with wolves and has always put her career first - her mother unexpectedly dies and she finds herself pregnant and not in a relationship so she runs back home to England to start a new pack of wolves and maybe herself at the same time.  

Rachel Caine was an interesting character, but there were some moments where I wanted to pick her up, dust her off and give her a little confidence!  I didn't think she was gaining self confidence at the rate I think she would as she was the team leader of this interesting project.  I felt as though her team and the Earl had more confidence in her and she wasn't seeing it and it was so frustrating.  Besides this character flaw, I enjoyed reading her and her journey.

I loved her team.  They were eccentric and each added to the story.  

The shining stars of the story were the wolves.  This was my second "wolf" centered book and the more I read about them the more I fall in love with learning about their pack mentality and how they survive as communities.  

This book was good, not great, but definitely enjoyable.  I would recommend it to readers who love a story that has a character come into her own when they are older than the usual coming of age stories.

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.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

June was quite the month!  A few days at the pool made for some good reading time, but with some big things on the work front, work bled into my reading hours a few evenings!  Hopefully July will be a little quieter - but with some crazy packed weekends of activity.  I will definitely have to amp up my photo posting in July!

1.  The Medea Complex by Rachel Florence Roberts
2.  All the Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank
3.  Second Life by SJ Watson
4.  Pieces by Maria Kostaki
5. The Romanov Sisters by Helen Rappaport
6. A New Hope by Robyn Carr
7. The Hummingbird's Cage by Tamara Dietrich
8. The Enchanted April by Elizabeth von Armin
9. Summer's Secret by Jane Green
10. Enchanted August by Brenda Bowen
11. Summer's List by Anita Higman
12. Snow Angel Cove by RaeAnne Thayne
13. Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne
14. A Week at the Lake by Wendy Wax
15. Hotel Moscow by Talia Carner
16. It's You by Jane Porter
17. The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall

Total pages read, clicked, and flipped: 5,942

Where Have I Been Reading?:
Charleston, SC
St. Petersburg, Russia
Portland, Oregon
New Mexico
Houston, TX
Nantucket, MA
Idaho (2)
New York
Napa, CA

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

A New Hope
by Robyn Carr

Publisher: MIRA
Pages: 288
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  After losing her child, Ginger Dysart was lost in grief. But since moving to Thunder Point, a small town on the Oregon coast, and with the help of her cousin Ray Anne, Ginger is finally moving forward. Her job at the flower shop is peaceful and fulfilling, and she's excited to start her first big assignment, assisting with the Lacoumette wedding. 

In spite of her lasting heartache, Ginger finds herself swept up in the pleasure of the occasion. But the beauty of the Lacoumette farm and the joy of the gregarious family are ruined by an unfortunate encounter with the bride's brother, Matt. Struggling with painful memories of his own recent divorce, Matt makes a drunken spectacle of himself and Ginger when he tries to make a pass at her, forcing Ginger to flee the scene in embarrassment. 

But when Matt shows up at the flower shop determined to make amends, what started out as a humiliating first meeting blossoms into something much deeper than either of them expected. Discovering they have a lot in common, they form a solid friendship, though everyone around them worries that Ginger will end up with a broken heart yet again. But if Ginger has the courage to embrace the future, and if Matt can finally learn to let go of the past, there may still be hope for a happy ending.

Kritters Thoughts:  The latest Thunder Point book and as I always say they keep getting better and better.  Ginger the main character in this book, made a brief appearance in the previous book, but she takes center stage in this one.  Matt our other main character also made an appearance in the previous book, but you hear more from him in this one.  

Matt and Ginger come across each other in the first chapter at a wedding that Ginger is helping with the flowers and Matt is brother to the bride, but still reeling from the break up of his own marriage and a wedding isn't the place for him to be at the moment.  

As with all Robyn Carr books you know there will be a small town and romance, so although the ending can be predicted from page one, Robyn Carr still writes a great plot.  I love the ups and downs in the book, it created depth and interest - and of course a great story!  

As I keep reading and reviewing books from this series it is getting harder and harder to tell you to start at the beginning, but it is worth it.  You don't have to read the books back to back, but I would absolutely suggest starting at the beginning of this series in this small town.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

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 29, 2015

It's You
by Jane Porter

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 336
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In the wake of a tragedy that tore her life down to the foundations, Dr. Alison McAdams has lost her way. So when she’s summoned to Napa to care for her ailing father, she’s not sure she has anything to offer him—or anyone else.
What Ali finds in Northern California wine country is a gift—an opportunity to rest, and distance from her painful memories. Most unexpectedly, she finds people who aren’t afraid of her grief or desperate for her to hurry up and move on.
As Ali becomes part of her father’s community, makes new friends of her own, and hears the stories of a generation who survived the Second World War, she begins to find hope again. In a quest to discover the truth about another woman’s lost love, she sets off on a journey across oceans and deep into history. And in making sense of that long-ago tragedy, Ali is able to put together the broken pieces of her heart and make new choices that are right for her.

Kritters Thoughts:  Alison McAdams is a dentist and always thought she wanted to be one.  She found her match at dental school and just before they are to wed tragedy struck - won't spoil this one for you.  She escapes to Napa to visit her father and hopefully re center herself.  

I loved that this was an interesting twist on dual narrative with a contemporary storyline and a historical storyline.  Alison is the contemporary storyline while a "neighbor" of her father provides the historical storyline.  Although Edie is contemporary she lived through an interesting time in Berlin and it was so interesting to see their storylines cross and intersect.  

If you have read Jane Porter she definitely can be on the cusp of the romance genre.  This one romance took a back burner and I was glad.  I enjoyed reading Ali's journey where she took it all on her own and she needed to find herself before she could even think about a new relationship.

I have been a Jane Porter fan for awhile and this one completely met my expectation!  This is such a great and entertaining read.

Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Booksparks PR.  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 28, 2015

What was one of the craziest weeks at work I have had in my 5.5 years - the company I have been working for went public on Friday and as I am the EA to the CEO its been a long crazy time.  I don't talk about my work life here often other than the hours and I won't talk about it much, but I am tired, proud and excited for our future!

 meme hosted by Sheila at BookJourney. 

Finished this past week:
Redemption Bay by RaeAnne Thayne
A Week at the Lake by Wendy Wax
Hotel Moscow by Talia Carner
It's You by Jane Porter

Currently Reading:
The Wolf Border by Sarah Hall

Next on the TBR pile:
Her Sister's Shoes by Ashley Farley

Friday, June 26, 2015

Hotel Moscow
by Talia Carner

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 448
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Brooke Fielding, a thirty-eight year old New York investment manager and daughter of Jewish Holocaust survivors, finds her life suddenly upended in late September 1993 when her job is unexpectedly put in jeopardy. Brooke accepts an invitation to join a friend on a mission to Moscow to teach entrepreneurial skills to Russian business women, which will also give her a chance to gain expertise in the new, vast emerging Russian market. Though excited by the opportunity to save her job and be one of the first Americans to visit Russia after the fall of communism, she also wonders what awaits her in the country that persecuted her mother just a generation ago.

Inspired by the women she meets, Brooke becomes committed to helping them investigate the crime that threatens their businesses. But as the uprising of the Russian parliament against President Boris Yeltsin turns Moscow into a volatile war zone, Brooke will find that her involvement comes at a high cost. For in a city where "capitalism" is still a dirty word, where neighbors spy on neighbors and the new economy is in the hands of a few dangerous men, nothing Brooke does goes unnoticed--and a mistake in her past may now compromise her future.

Kritters Thoughts:  I am not sure if I would classify this as historical fiction as it takes place in 1993, but at times I had to remind myself that this was taking place just 22 years ago.  Brooke Fielding, is on a forced vacation due to her job, so instead of going to relax on a beach she goes to Russia to help women gain some business knowledge as Russia is opening the market and leaving communism behind.

Brooke has entered Russia and is only there for 7 days, but from day 1 to day 7 it was a huge journey for the country.  I enjoyed seeing Brooke rebuild herself and "come of age" while Russia falls apart - I don't usually talk about themes, but this one really worked for me.  There were still many moments that I had to look up 1993 in Russia and kept reminding myself that this was fiction but could really be non-fiction.

I can't pinpoint what I didn't love about this book, it just seemed ok.  I am usually a fan of books that take place in Russia, but maybe I am more of a much older Russia instead of the more current one.  

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

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.

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