Friday, February 15, 2019

Map of the Heart
by Susan Wiggs

Publisher: William Morrow
Pages: 351
Format: book
Buy the Book: Harper

Goodreads:  An accomplished photographer, widow, and mother, Camille Palmer is content with the blessings she’s enjoyed. When her ageing father asks her to go with him to his native France, she has no idea that shes embarking on an adventure that will shake her complacency and utterly transform her. 

Returning to the place of his youth sparks unexpected memories—recollections that will lead Camille, her father, and her daughter, Julie, who has accompanied them, back to the dark, terrifying days of the Second World War, where they will uncover their family’s surprising history.

While Provence offers answers about her family’s past, it also holds the key to Camille’s future. Along the way, Camille meets a handsome American historian who stirs a passion deep within her she thought she’d never experience again.
 


Kritters Thoughts:  When a traumatic event happens to Camille Palmer it sends her life down a completely different path and affects the way she lives and the way she parents her daughter.  She now lives with fear and it has limited what she is willing to do.  When some interesting artifacts end up in her father's life it sends them down a road that could possibly change her life forever.

This was a women's fiction and a historical fiction all tied up together.  It had just a hint of historical fiction, but it was so perfect.  If you are hesitant to read historical fiction, don't hesitate on this one, it was just the right dash!  For the women's fiction parts, it had great heart and characters with a story that centers around a woman who is stuck and you really watch her grow in this book.  

Susan Wiggs knows just how to write a story that makes you curl up and lose track of time.  I really care about her characters and she sends them on a journey that is so satisfying with a few ups and downs along the way.  If you are looking for that great read that is entertaining and heartwarming, then Map of the Heart is it!


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.

Thursday, February 14, 2019

Lies, Love and Breakfast at Tiffany's
by Julie Wright

Publisher: Shadow Mountain
Pages: 320
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  
The Lie
Women in Hollywood are just pretty faces. But Silvia Bradshaw knows that’s a lie, and she’s ready to be treated as an equal and prove her worth as one of Hollywood’s newest film editors.
 
The Love
She and Ben Mason had worked together as editors before Silvia got her big break, so he’s the perfect person to ask for feedback on her first major film. But even as their friendship begins to blossom into something more, a lawsuit surfaces, jeopardizing both Ben and Silvia’s jobs—as well as their fledgling romance. Audrey Hepburn once said: “The most important thing is to enjoy your life—to be happy—it’s all that matters.” Silvia agrees. Or she used to. It’s one thing to risk her job and her heart, but can she really risk Ben’s, too? Does she have the right to make decisions for her own happiness when they affect so many other people?
 
The Breakfast
With everything to lose, Silvia meets Ben for breakfast at his favorite diner, Tiffany’s, for one last conversation before the credits roll on true love.



Kritters Thoughts:  The perfect sweet romance with a behind the scenes look of Hollywood that is different from most behind the scenes.  Most behind the scenes of Hollywood take you into the actor's point of view, this one takes you behind the scenes into the editing bay.  Silvia Bradshaw loves being a part of the process in editing, she is slowly working her way up the ladder project by project, but her current boss is making life a little difficult.  Ben Mason was her previous boss and helped her get her to where she is now and when looking at things after they have happened, Ben and Silvia begin to see each other with different eyes.

I love romance books and I read a lot of them.  What makes a great romance for me is a good plot and two people who you can root for their love.  I don't tend to love romance books with a lot of sexy times, especially if I feel as though the author is leaning on that instead of putting in a great plot - not the case in this one.  It is all plot and I loved it.  

With most romance books, you know where the story will end, but the journey to that end is the joy of the book.  I loved the plot of this book, it had ups and downs as they all do, but it felt believable and real, yet still sweet and a great escape from life.  Silvia and Ben had just the right story.


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Shadow Mountain Publishing.  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, February 12, 2019

Killer Holiday
by Amy Korman

Publisher: Witness Impulse
Pages: 176
Format: ebook
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Kristin Clark and her offbeat crew of Bryn Mawr pals are ready for a festive holiday—one that involves sipping Blitzen’s Bourbons by a yule log, hot guys beneath the mistletoe, and a holiday cabaret starring ex-Mafia wife Sophie Shields. But this year, Saint Nick has something more dangerous in store.


A stranger dressed as Santa has Kristin’s friends on his naughty list. First, Sophie’s favorite handbag is blasted by a bullet. Then, Father Christmas shatters local golf-shop owner Chip Delaney’s car window with a 5-iron and leaves a threatening note demanding $50,000. When Chip goes missing, the stakes become deadly.
Much-hated Powerball winner Eula Morris is also back from a luxury cruise, more boastful than ever and toting a handsome new boyfriend (who looks oddly familiar), as well as a Samsonite filled with gold bars. When the suitcase is snatched, Eula implores Kristin and the gang to track it down.
Is Chip on the run, or was he kidnapped? And who stole Eula’s gold? The Killer WASPs and Kristin’s basset hound, Waffles, are on the case—before this white Christmas turns dark . . .

Kritters Thoughts:  Just over novella length, this short book is the final in this series for now.  Kristin Clark owns an antique store that isn't doing well, so she ends up spending her time solving mysteries in this Pennsylvania town.  Along with her large cast of characters they end up embroiled in one another's messes and antics.

As I mentioned yesterday it was some time between reading book one and two and then reading three and four.  I had the same feeling when I read this book as the previous.  They felt less edited and finessed than the previous two.  I don't that it is particularly the book's fault or more my reading tastes have changed.  

I did seem to like the mysteries that were needing solving more in this book compared to the previous and felt as though the adventure was just a bit more fun.  

I am glad to have finished the series and I am not sure if I would revisit if there are more to come.


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

Ebook 2018 Challenge: 100 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author.  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, February 11, 2019

Killer Punch
by Amy Korman

Publisher: Witness Impulse
Pages: 224
Format: ebook
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Antiques dealer Kristin Clark is ready for summer: Her friends—Holly, Sophie, and Bootsie—have been busy party-planning for the annual Tomato Show at the country club, and plotting to beat long-time nemesis, Eula, in the tennis tournament. Plus, Kristin’s now serving a famously potent Peach Punch every Thursday at her store, which will definitely lure in customers!

But when a prominent pastoral painting, a key piece of d├ęcor for the big event, disappears from the Club, everyone’s a suspect, and Kristin and her friends start sleuthing. Could the annoying Eula have stolen the pricey painting? And, is Eula violating Tomato Show rules by growing her Early Girls in the unbeatable New Jersey soil?

Meanwhile, their village is in an uproar about an unsightly new Mega Wine Mart slotted to go up in a local forest (though everyone’s excited about the cheap booze). And will July be the month their decorator buddy Joe finally proposes to Sophie—if she can get her Guccis back from her shoe-stealing ex, and finish her divorce? The Killer Wasps are on the case!


Kritters Thoughts:  Killer Punch is book 3 of a mystery series.  I had read book one and two a very long time ago and reading book 3 and 4 were on my to do list that I wanted to complete in 2018 and I just barely did at the end of the year.

I think the reasons why I didn't love this book as much as book one and two is because I read those so long ago and I wasn't connected with the characters and felt as though reading this book I was jumping on a ship midstream.  I have also read a lot of mystery books since reading the previous two books and after reading all of those, this book felt amateurish.  I felt as though this story jumped around and I had a hard time keeping my attention to the story.  

I think I liked Kristin Clark more in the previous books and felt as though I enjoyed her investigating in the previous mysteries.  This one had two mysteries going on and they seemed disjointed and maybe I would have liked it more if there had been more focus on one other the other.  

Tomorrow I am reviewing the final in the series, Killer Holiday and will be glad to check an unfinished series off my list.


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

Ebook 2018 Challenge: 99 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from the author.  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, February 10, 2019

It was another busy week, but I completely enjoyed the books I did finish!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman
The Hunting Party by Lucy Foley
The Quintland Sisters by Shelley Wood
Dark Blossom by Neel Mullick

Currently Reading:
A Criminal's Defense by William Meyers Jr.

Next on the TBR pile:
An Engineered Injustice by William Meyers Jr.

Friday, February 8, 2019

How the Light Gets In
by Jolina Petersheim

Publisher: Tyndale House
Pages: 400
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  When Ruth Neufeld's husband and father-in-law are killed working for a relief organization overseas, she travels to Wisconsin with her young daughters and mother-in-law Mabel to bury her husband. She hopes the Mennonite community will be a quiet place to grieve and piece together next steps.

Ruth and her family are welcomed by Elam, her husband's cousin, who invites them to stay at his cranberry farm through the harvest. Sifting through fields of berries and memories of a marriage that was broken long before her husband died, Ruth finds solace in the beauty of the land and healing through hard work and budding friendship. She also encounters the possibility of new love with Elam, whose gentle encouragement awakens hopes and dreams she thought she'd lost forever.

But an unexpected twist threatens to unseat the happy ending Ruth is about to write for herself. On the precipice of a fresh start and a new marriage, Ruth must make an impossible decision: which path to choose if her husband isn't dead after all.
 


Kritters Thoughts: Ruth Neufeld is in the midst of grief as her husband has been killed while working as a physician in Afghanistan.  As her family life in Ireland is less than ideal she has decided to go back to where her husband is from in Wisconsin and bury him there and then regroup with her two daughters and decide what is next for them.  Ruth ends up making a great life for her and her daughters in Wisconsin and a future starts to look bright and clear when she is thrown a curveball and has to make a major decision.  

There were times in this book where I loved it.  I loved the internal battle that Ruth had and the really tough decisions that she was making that not only impacted herself but also her daughters.  I loved the struggle for happiness but also safety and security.  It all worked for me until the end.

Now I pride myself on keeping this blog mostly spoiler free so I will dance around the ending and my thoughts hopefully without giving too much away.  The ending took a twist that I wasn't prepared for and for me destroyed the book.  I would have preferred the last chapter be left out and for me the story would have been amazing right then and there!  I just couldn't with it and I was so upset as to where it took the story.  

My reading of this book will not keep me from reading this author again, I liked her characters, setting and storytelling, it was just the ending that blew it for me.


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.

Thursday, February 7, 2019

The Military Wife
by Lauren Trentham

Publisher: St Martin's Press
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Harper Lee Wilcox has been marking time in her hometown of Kitty Hawk, North Carolina since her husband, Noah Wilcox’s death, nearly five years earlier. With her son Ben turning five and living at home with her mother, Harper fights a growing restlessness, worried that moving on means leaving the memory of her husband behind.

Her best friend, Allison Teague, is dealing with struggles of her own. Her husband, a former SEAL that served with Noah, was injured while deployed and has come home physically healed but fighting PTSD. With three children under foot and unable to help her husband, Allison is at her wit’s end.

In an effort to reenergize her own life, Harper sees an opportunity to help not only Allison but a network of other military wives eager to support her idea of starting a string of coffee houses close to military bases around the country.

In her pursuit of her dream, Harper crosses paths with Bennett Caldwell, Noah’s best friend and SEAL brother. A man who has a promise to keep, entangling their lives in ways neither of them can foresee. As her business grows so does an unexpected relationship with Bennett. Can Harper let go of her grief and build a future with Bennett even as the man they both loved haunts their pasts?


Kritters Thoughts:  A book that intrigued me from the minute I was pitched it to review.  I am a wife of a police officer and I always wonder how close and far apart the life of a wife of a military personnel was compared to a police officer.  I am not sure that I have had my eyes open and looking, but I was unaware of any other book that solely looks at life through the lens of a military wife.  

The main narrator is Harper Lee Wilcox and her husband died serving in Afghanistan and she is still trying to put her life in order after his death.  The story has two time lines, the current moment where she is doing the single mom life and then the past where it tells of the story of her meeting her future husband and their relationship.  I liked getting that viewpoint of the past coming to meet the present.

The thing that I loved most about this book was the honesty.  This book gave a few viewpoints of different military wives with husbands with different reactions to the war and the honesty of each of these women just felt so real and raw.  I loved getting to know each of them and it felt as though I could be friends in the trenches with these ladies.  

I loved this book and would love to read more books like this that expand my worldview and giving me a honest perspective of a life of another person.


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

Ebook 2019 Challenge: 6 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.

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