Monday, September 28, 2020

Two Reasons to Run
by Colleen Coble 

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 352
Format: ARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  A lie changed her world.

Police Chief Jane Hardy is still reeling from the scandal that rocked her small-town department just as she took over for her retired father—the man who wrecked her life with one little lie. Now she’s finally been reunited with her presumed-dead fifteen-year-old son, Will, and his father, documentarian Reid Bechtol. 

A crisis looms. 

When a murder aboard the oil platform Zeus exposes an environmental terrorist’s plot to flood Mobile Bay with crude oil, Jane and Reid must put their feelings for each other behind them and work together to prevent the rig from being sabotaged. 

A killer targets her son. 

Then the terrorist puts her son Will’s life on the line. Protecting him could be the common ground they need . . . but then ghosts from the past threaten to ruin Jane and Reid for good. 

She’s got plenty of reasons to run. But what if she stays? 


Kritters Thoughts:  The second in a series where you should definitely start with book one as there are large character developments that happen from book to book.  The mystery is self contained in this book, but I am so thankful that I started with book one and am reading these books in order.

Police Chief Jane Hardy is back in this small town and is still dealing with the drama that happened to her in book one.  When a young man who works on an oil platform off the coast of Louisiana goes missing and a weird email from him surfaces, a larger mystery may be simmering under the surface and the police chief and maybe even the FBI need to get to the bottom of it and fast.  

For me this book wasn't my favorite from this author.  I like this main character and am glad to follow her from book one to book two and will be waiting on book three to arrive, but my reason for not loving this book was the mystery at the heart of it.  I always hate to spoil especially with mysteries, but to say it as best as possible, I didn't love the "bad people's" reason for doing all the bad things they did.  It felt far fetched and thrown together in the end.  I almost wish they had other motives to do the things they did that would have felt a little more legit for all the stuff they did.  

Thankfully I liked Police Chief Jane Hardy, so I wanted to finish this book to read about her and where she was going and she is the big push that I have to complete the series with book three. 


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 Partner in Crime 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.

Sunday, September 27, 2020

With a very quiet weekend and some rainy days, I had some great reading time curled up with some good books.  

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger
Duty of Care by Dominic Pimenta (audiobook)
The Paper Daughters of Chinatown by Heather B Moore
Autumn Skies by Denise Hunter
Christmas at Fireside Cabins by Jenny Hale

Currently Reading:
Return to Virgin River by Robyn Carr

Next on the TBR pile:
Home at Summer's End by Alys Murray

Friday, September 25, 2020

Warrior Won
by Meryl Davids Landau

Publisher: Alignment Publishing
Pages: 271
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Everything is going great in Lorna Crawford’s life. She is married to a fantastic guy, is mom to an adorable two-year-old with another child on the way, has a posse of girlfriends, and recently landed a new job. The spiritual practices she has made a centerpiece of her life—yoga, mindfulness, meditation—are becoming second nature. But four months into her pregnancy, Lorna learns there may be something wrong with her unborn baby, a prospect that throws her life and her inner peace into turmoil. Over the next few months as a diagnosis awaits, Lorna is helped along by breathwork, family yoga, appreciation exercises, crystal-bowl relaxation, Ayurveda, chanting, spiritual reading, and more. Will all this be enough to get Lorna through the months of not-knowing—and possibly a devastating diagnosis?


Kritters Thoughts:  If ever there was a character that is the most unlike me, it could be Lorna Crawford.  A mother who is pregnant with her second and has recently found a lifestyle that really incorporates a mindfulness with meditation and yoga in order to go through life with an abundance of confidence and positivity.  

Although this character was far from my experience, I appreciated moving through her life through her eyes.  As a woman who isn't a mother, I was glad that Lorna had stressors in her life that were both personal and professional and as a mother and wife, I could relate to her moments in the office as she tried to keep her mindful spirit while also working a corporate job.  I can see myself adopting some of her techniques to get through a stressful moment or see the positivity in a person when I am having a hard time doing so!  

The ending!  Without spoiling anything, I was so frustrated with the ending.  I wanted more story when it ended.  I needed a conclusion and less unknown.  I felt as though the author left too much up to interpretation or is a sequel coming?


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 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.

Thursday, September 24, 2020

She Gets That From Me
by Robin Wells 

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 367
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Quinn never expected that her best friend’s courageous decision to be a single mother by choice would end up transforming her own life in this poignant novel from USA Today bestselling author Robin Wells.

When Quinn Langston’s best friend unexpectedly passes away, Quinn embraces Brooke’s three-year-old daughter Lily and elderly grandmother Margaret as the family she’s always wanted. She’ll do whatever it takes to help them heal, but she didn’t anticipate Lily’s biological father would be part of the plan. Margaret is old-fashioned, though, and she has no compunction about finding a way to reach Lily’s dad, a sperm donor. After all, he's a blood relative, and she believes family should raise family.

Zack Bradley doesn't know what to expect when he finds out he has a child. Sperm donors don't usually get to meet their...well, he's not sure what to call Lily yet, but he’s certain he wants to get to know her. There’s just one of problem: he’s about to move to Seattle with his wife, Jessica, who’s undergone multiple infertility treatments, desperately wants a family of her own and can’t stand the idea of Zack playing daddy to another woman’s child.

Together, they’ll all learn that the human heart is infinitely expandable and there are many different roads to family.


Kritters Thoughts:  What an amazing story!  It challenges the definition of custody of parental rights and of the definition of family and how families are created.  

Quinn Langston may not be Brooke's biological sister but she has always seen herself as an aunt to her child that she had via a sperm donor and has always promised to look after her if something happened to Brooke and when something does she must uphold that promise.  What she doesn't expect is the sperm donor to walk through the door and possibly interrupt the plans she had for Lily and herself.  

Although motherhood isn't in the plans for me, I can appreciate a story where a woman finds motherhood the way she wants to and decides to define family the way she cares to.  Even though I hated how the sperm donor was brought into the book, I loved the journey that Zack and Quinn have and all the ups and downs they had to figure out what would eventually work for them and for Lily.

If you like true women's fiction with great plot and relatable characters then this is just the right book for you.    


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 97 out of 100

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.

Monday, September 21, 2020

Eli's Promise
by Ronald Balson 

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

Goodreads:  1939: Eli Rosen lives with his wife Esther and their young son in the Polish town of Lublin, where his family owns a construction company. As a consequence of the Nazi occupation, Eli’s company is Aryanized, appropriated and transferred to Maximilian Poleski—an unprincipled profiteer who peddles favors to Lublin’s subjugated residents, and who knows nothing at all of construction. An uneasy alliance is formed; Poleski will keep the Rosen family safe if Eli will manage the business. Will Poleski honor his promise or will their relationship end in betrayal and tragedy?

1946: Eli resides with his son in a displaced persons camp in Allied occupied Germany hoping for a visa to America. His wife has been missing since the war. One man may know what has happened to her. Is he the same man who is now sneaking around the camps selling illegal visas?

1965: Eli Rosen rents a room in Albany Park, Chicago. He is on a mission. With patience, cunning, and relentless focus, Eli navigates Chicago's unfamiliar streets and dangerous political backrooms, searching for the truth. Powerful and emotional, Eli’s Promise is a rich, rewarding novel of World War II and a husband’s quest for justice.


Kritters Thoughts:  Before diving into this book, I was already a Ronald Balson fan.  I was intrigued to read a book that was not a part of his series and for it to stand alone.  I was excited to see him tackle a different character's story and see what he would do.  

Told through one mans eyes in basically three time frames - The first, Eli Rosen was a Jewish businessman in Poland when Hitler and his cohorts were invading Europe and he was in a lucky spot with a Nazi sympathizer finding favor in him.  Maximillian Poleski was able to him stay safe much longer than most Jewish people could as Hitler and his followers started exterminating an entire race.  The second is Eli after he has been rescued from a concentration camp and has become a leader in a DP camp and someone from his past may make another appearance.  The final glimpse into Eli's life is in 1965, and he is in Chicago and in pursuit of some real bad guys and he is hoping to finally make sure that those get what they deserve.  

What a book!  Between the three timelines, I enjoyed reading the times he was in the DP camp and in Chicago much more than 1946 as Europe is falling into Nazi hands and not because of the obvious, but goodness gracious, I wanted to hit Eli up the head for his repeated actions!  I don't want to give too much away, but in those pages he was a character that greatly frustrated me and I wanted so much more for him and his family.  

The stories at the DP camp had a glimmer of hope which I appreciated in a story that could seem very dismal and negative.  I loved that the plot in Chicago wasn't present day and still felt historical and perfectly placed in its time.  

I wouldn't not read this book because I didn't love one of the three plots because those pages laid the groundwork for the other two, but I possibly wouldn't have edited them down and would have given the Chicago storyline a few more pages.

If you haven't Ronald Balson this would be a great introduction and if you have read his Liam and Catherine series, then pick this one up and enjoy!      


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

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 99 out of 100


Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Netgalley.  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, September 20, 2020

A busy week and weekend, with fall weather coming in, there will be more curl up with books kind of days!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Eli's Promise by Ronald Balson
Hum If You Don't Know the Words by Bianca Marais

Currently Reading:
Duty of Care by Dominic Pimenta (audiobook)
Confessions on the 7:45 by Lisa Unger

Next on the TBR pile:
Return to Virgin River by Robyn Carr

Friday, September 18, 2020

Before the Crown
by Flora Harding

Publisher: One More Chapter
Pages: 400
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Before the crown there was a love story…

Windsor Castle, 1943

As war rages across the world, Princess Elizabeth comes face to face with the dashing naval officer she first met in London nine years before.

One of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy, Philip represents everything she has always been taught to avoid. Instability. Audacity. Adventure.

But when the king learns of their relationship, the suitability of the foreign prince is questioned by all at court.

He is the risk she has never been allowed to take. The risk not even the shadow of the crown will stop her from taking…


Kritters Thoughts:  Before I proceed, I was pretty sure before I even started this book that I would like it since I am an American who is obsessed with the British royal family and this did not disappoint!

Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip had quite the interesting courtship story and I have seen tv shows and movies and seen all the things, but a fictional story that gets really behind the scenes felt like something completely new.  From their introduction to the wait after being engaged, this story hit all the high points and my hope is that some of the details are possibly spot on and closer to fact than fiction!

It is awkward to talk about the characters or plot in this book as they are true people and the events are based in fact.  I can say the author wrote a story that was addicting and hard to put down and I couldn't wait to see where she would go next and where she would place the ending.  I was completely satisfied with where she chose to conclude the book.

If you are already a royal fan, this is a great book to add to your collection.  And with my recent read of The Royal Governess by Wendy Holden it was interesting to see Crawfie show up in this book and to know her role in Elizabeth's life.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2020 Challenge: 95 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.

 

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