Wednesday, October 27, 2021

The Gable House
by Ellyn Oaksmith

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 298
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Two old rivals. One dream job. And a summer they’ll never forget.

Freya Johanssen needs a fresh start. A recently heartbroken and newly-qualified veterinarian, she will take any job that gets her away from Seattle—for now. Her plan is to spend two years in the small town of Whisper Falls, and then head back to the city and civilisation.

And then Trent Crossley shows up, and her carefully laid plans are blown to pieces. He’s the last person she expected—or wanted—ever to see again. This is the guy who thinks he’s God’s gift to women; who breezed through vet school without studying and who betrayed her in a way she’ll never forgive. She thinks he’s an arrogant party boy; he thinks she’s an uptight perfectionist. Now he’s in her clinic, and the fluttering in her stomach must mean she’s still mad at him.

It seems they have both been hired for the same job—and now neither is backing down. But as Freya works to outdo Trent at every turn, she starts to see a different side to the man she thought she knew. Falling in love was never part of her plan. And if she wants the new beginning she’s worked so hard for, can she afford to give away her heart?


Kritters Thoughts:  Two recent grads of veterinarian school both head to a small town in Washington state wanting the job that would service the typical range of pets with a side of farms that have horses and sheep and lambs and so on.  Freya graduated first in the class and while she has a reputation of being a great vet, her human bed side manners could be improved!  Trent was second in class and has much more of the charm and a speciality with horses as he was supposed to return to his family's farm to repay his schooling debt and be the family vet. 

This was one of those fun semi enemies to lovers romance book.  I was glad that they weren't complete enemies, so it was more believable that they could go from mild distaste to love in the course of the novel!  I wish we would have had a few more scenes from their veterinarian school days so we could see the foundation of the knowledge of each other and how they orbited each other in those years.  

The characters make this book from Trent to Freya who are great main characters, but the other ones in this book are just fun.  I loved the small town feel with the small town characters and the juxtaposition of the big farms colliding in this book and in this town.  This author built such a fun town that I wouldn't mind visiting in another story.  

This is only my second Ellyn Oaksmith book and I would love to catch up on her backlist and also anticipate her upcoming releases.    


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 136 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  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, October 26, 2021

A Letter From Nana Rose
by Kristin Harper

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 198
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  “My darling girls. You were once so happy in this house. Now I’m gone, all I ask is that you spend one last summer here together on Dune Island. And please forgive me, your Nana, for the secret I’m about to tell you…”

Arriving at the honeysuckle-covered beach house inherited from her beloved grandmother, recently heartbroken Jill hopes to convince her two feuding sisters not to sell a place so full of happy childhood memories. But the envelope waiting on the driftwood table changes everything. In her elegant handwriting, Nana Rose promises a new letter will arrive each day of the summer revealing a family secret she took to her grave.

Shaken, Jill anxiously awaits each letter filled with Nana’s bittersweet memories of her own sister who she loved more than anyone—and lost far too young. But why did Nana never speak of this tragic loss to her grandchildren?

Watching the sunset each night and wondering how well they really knew Nana Rose, Jill feels her family is closer than they’ve been in years. And after a chance encounter with blue-eyed tree surgeon Alex, she wonders if Nana believed being back on Dune Island would help Jill find love, too?

But when Nana’s final letter arrives, the revelation about how her sister died is more shocking than Jill ever imagined. Suddenly, despite the chance of happiness with Alex, selling the house seems the only way forward. Will Jill find a way to forge new bonds of sisterhood and save their inheritance, or will Nana Rose’s secret tear them all apart?


Kritters Thoughts:  Three sisters lose their grandmother, but when she passes she leaves them the vacation home that shaped their childhood.  Each in different ways, these three sisters found solace in this home.  Their grandmother charges them to spend two weeks together and to come to an unanimous decision on the future of the home.  While a plot line that sounds familiar and I may have read more than one set of siblings that inherit a home, they never get old!

Without completely switching between each sister's points of view, this book does allow each sister to give their side of the story and share the personal struggles they are battling while also trying to decide what to do with this beautiful home in a remote vacation location.  I think the author balanced what each sister was dealing with with ease and nothing felt over the top.  I loved the journey that each sister had individually, but also how they had together with each other.  

I have read all of Kristin Harper's books up to this point and I have loved each of them, so I have high hopes that she has many more to come!  


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 132 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  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, October 24, 2021

Another quiet week and weekend, so some great reading time!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Nifty: Clean Organized
Fan Club by Erin Mayer
Everything We Didn't Say by Nicole Baart
Wrapped Up in Christmas Hope by Janice Lynn (audio)
The Attic on Queen Street by Karen White
The Gable House by Ellyn Oaksmith

Currently Reading:
The Pilot's Daughter by Meredith Jaeger

Next on the TBR pile:
Holiday Ever After by Jill Shalvis

Saturday, October 23, 2021

Twelve Days to Save Christmas
by Elizabeth Neep

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 297
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  On the first day of Christmas, my true love… dumped me.

Poppy
 loves Christmas and always goes all out to make this magical time of the year extra special for her boyfriend George. But George is strangely not in the Christmas spirit this year. As Poppy wrestles him into her Christmas jumper built for two for a holiday snapshot, she finds out why.

He’s leaving her. With only twelve days to spend together before Christmas.

Poppy is heartbroken. Her perfectly planned Christmas lies in tatters. She knows they are meant to be together and she’s not going to give up on their five-year relationship without a fight. She still has twelve days to get her man back and save Christmas…

But festive surprises aren’t only found under the tree. In her quest to make George see they are destined for each other, Poppy might end up finding out the truth about him. And discover the man she is truly meant to spend this Christmas with…


Kritters Thoughts:  Poppy is ready for her favorite time of the year - the days leading up to Christmas when her boyfriend drops a bomb, after the holiday season he thinks they should part ways and that this relationship isn't working for him anymore.  So Poppy will spend the next twelve days trying to convince George that their relationship is one for the ages and that she is the one for him.  

The second holiday book this season where the female is convincing the guy that she is right for him and while I don't love this kind of romance, there was a little more to this story that I could enjoy the other things beyond this core plot.  Poppy's own self discovery and her confronting her own past were the parts of the story that I loved the most.  I loved that while she was trying to win back George she basically won back herself!  

There were moments where I felt as though the book went off a little, but then it went back to center and I enjoyed it again.  I was a fan of Elizabeth Neep and will continue to be after this one, while this wasn't my favorite of hers, I will wait for the next one to arrive!


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 122 out of 100

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

Friday, October 22, 2021

Sisters of the Great War
by Suzanne Feldman

Publisher: MIRA
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  August 1914. While Europe enters a brutal conflict unlike any waged before, the Duncan household in Baltimore, Maryland, is the setting for a different struggle. Ruth and Elise Duncan long to escape the roles that society, and their controlling father, demand they play. Together, the sisters volunteer for the war effort--Ruth as a nurse, Elise as a driver.

Stationed at a makeshift hospital in Ypres, Belgium, Ruth soon confronts war's harshest lesson: not everyone can be saved. Rising above the appalling conditions, she seizes an opportunity to realize her dream to practice medicine as a doctor. Elise, an accomplished mechanic, finds purpose and an unexpected kinship within the all-female Ambulance Corps. Through bombings, heartache and loss, Ruth and Elise cherish an independence rarely granted to women, unaware that their greatest challenges are still to come.


Kritters Thoughts:  Two sisters head to Belgium to give what they can to the efforts of World War I.  One has an unfinished nursing degree with the hopes of becoming a doctor at a time where female doctors were few and far between.  The younger sister has always tinkered with things from clocks to cars and after looking into the Ambulance Corps, Elise may have found just the right place for herself.  

Switching back and forth between each sister's points of view, this book gave such a perspective on this war that is unlike anything else I have read.  It was easy to know who was narrating the story and I loved that while they were stationed close they had their own lives and the reader received a full perspective from the battlefield to the hospitals near the front lines what life during the Great War would look like.  

Beware there is definitely some romance in this book and while it worked within the context of the story, I know some historical fiction readers like their books to omit most of the romance and sexy times!  I think it worked in this one and fit within the story, but I could see how some readers could be put off by it.  

With only one other book in her backlist, I want to read that one soon and will hope for more to come in the future.


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 131 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from HarperCollins.  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, October 21, 2021

When the Nightingale Sings
by Suzanne Kelman

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 446
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  1937, England: When an impossibly shy young woman named Judy Morgan finishes her studies at Cambridge University, she dreams of becoming a scientist, and changing the world for the better.

Meanwhile, a beautiful, young Jewish actress named Hedy Kiesler decides to flee her beloved Austria. The two women meet in London and—as they discover a shared passion for invention—an instant friendship is forged. But no sooner than it is, Hedy risks everything to get across the Atlantic to America, as far away from the Nazi threat as possible, hoping wildly to find fame and fortune, as well as safety.

Letters fly across the ocean between the two women, as they both find themselves falling in love with men who will change their futures forever, whilst trying to find the strength to make their voices heard, and their ideas come alive. But when the world is gripped by a war that nobody could have imagined in their worst nightmares, both Hedy and Judy know they must act now.

Then Judy experiences an impossibly cruel loss. Devastated by grief, and fueled by a fire of rage against the Nazis and their allies, she finds herself on the darkest of paths. As bombs rain down from Europe to the Far East, Pearl Harbor and beyond, Judy’s fate collides once more with Hedy’s. Because Judy holds a secret that could destroy not only their friendship but threaten the fate of the world forever…


Kritters Thoughts:  In 1937, a young woman, Judy Morgan, graduates from university and while she earned a degree, she wasn't granted one at that time.  Through a happenstance moment, she ends up meeting Hedy Kiesler who also has an interest in innovation and science and a lifetime friendship begins.  While both women go separate ways, they will keep in contact and come in and out of each other's lives, all while World War II begins and makes an impact on each of them. 

With each women getting the chance to tell their side of the friendship and story, Judy and Hedy are two women trying to make a name for themselves while men were writing the narratives.  Judy was trying to work in science and innovation while her boss barely acknowledged her.  Hedy made her way over to America and reinvented herself as Hedy Lamarr and while she dabbled on the side in science and innovation she became quite the actress.  I loved reading the back and forth of these women and how the events of the time affected them each in different ways.  

While yes, another book that takes place during World War II - this one was so different as it didn't go near the persecution of the Jewish population or even really close to the Nazi regime and their happenings.  This book remained in England and California and while it was going on in the background, this book was more about the women and how they were contributing to the war efforts in their own ways.  

A book to read alongside this one is Marie Benedict's The Only Woman in the Room.  I would say you can read both of them, as they are very different accounts of this one woman's life.   


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 130 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Bookouture.  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, October 19, 2021

The Mother's Fault
by Nicole Trope 

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 372
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  I am cooking spaghetti, his favourite, while he plays in the garden. But when I look up, he’s gone. I call the police, my hands shaking so much that I hit the wrong digits twice. ‘My son is missing.’

When the police turn up, I’m trapped in the web of my lies.

I have hidden the truth from eight-year-old Riley, my little boy who loves climbing trees and always has scraped knees. I have hidden my secret from everyone.

Riley knows his father is dead but he has no idea why. He doesn’t know his dad’s real name, and there are no pictures in the house. Not a single person knows what happened eight years ago.

I love my son more than anything but the truth is, I have always feared for him. When the first gift arrived in our mailbox, wrapped in blue paper with silver stars, I realised I was right to be afraid.

Now, I can see the question in the detectives’ eyes. Am I a mother with a missing child or a mother with a lot to hide? I need them to save my son – but how much can I tell them without losing him forever?
 


Kritters Thoughts: A boy goes missing but that is just the tip of the iceberg for this story.  Beverley is a single mom and she has devoted her life to raising her son and providing him with everything that he would need or want.  His biological father is gone and Beverley doesn't have any other family, so her son Riley is everything until one night while making supper he is gone.  

Told through three points of view, this story moved so quickly I read it in one day.  The author unfolded the story in just the right way that I literally couldn't put the book down because I wanted to know more and more.  I felt for Beverley as she had put all her eggs in this basket and had devoted everything she had to her son Riley and for him to disappear and for her to not have an explanation was heartbreaking.  When the conclusion came with each point of view giving an epilogue, I loved that the author gave all three the opportunity to tell their ending to the story.  

My first Nicole Trope book, but will definitely not be my last.  


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 129 out of 100

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