Sunday, May 30, 2021

Review: The Mix-Up by Elizabeth Neep

The Mix-Up
by Elizabeth Neep

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 350
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  What if you meet the love of your life, but he thinks you’re someone else?

Anna and Marley are best friends. So when Anna rings Marley, panicking because she has to miss a tour of an exclusive wedding venue, Marley agrees to go in her friend’s place.

After being totally ignored by the glamorous receptionist who can tell she doesn’t belong there, Marley meets handsome hotel manager Cameron. He assumes she’s Anna and instead of admitting that she’s not the blushing bride, but the unlucky-in-love single friend, Marley plays along to see what it’s like to be Anna for a day.

After all, Marley is unemployed, single and was woken up that morning by her flatmate playing the bagpipes. Anna has a high-flying career and is planning the perfect wedding. Why wouldn’t Marley want to be her?

Only she wasn’t counting on Cameron being so smart and funny. Or this spark between them that she can’t ignore. She hasn’t felt this way about a guy in forever. But he thinks she’s somebody better.

Marley needs a way out of this mix-up to get her shot at true love. But her fictional fiancĂ© is now standing in her way and it’s harder than she thought to stop living someone else’s life…


Kritters Thoughts:  Marley is a struggling actor and has just gone to another audition that didn't go her way when her best friend called her and asks for help she figures it is something that can eat up some of her time.  So she goes to a hotel and for her friend Anna, a possible wedding venue, is mistaken for Anna and antics ensue!  

This was such a fun read.  It was perfect for a weekend where I was getting ready for a trip and just needed something light to dip in and out of.  Everyone was keeping secrets and it was fun to see them hide their things and then when all the details came out there was still more book to go, so the reader can have a satisfying ending and not be left with a lot of questions.  

Marley was a great character.  It was hilarious to watch her to try to become her friend Anna and act engaged and as if her life was all put together.  And then to see Anna's life as it partially unraveled and although from the outside it looked as though she had it all figured out, it was enjoyable to watch these friends find the truth in each other's lives and their friendship to go deeper.  

I have one Elizabeth Neep backlist book that I need to read - The Spare Bedroom and I could see myself taking this one to the pool this summer for a fun poolside read!


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 64 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, May 28, 2021

Review: The Lost Boys of Montauk by Amanda Fairbanks

The Lost Boys of Montauk
by Amanda Fairbanks

Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 336
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  In March of 1984, the commercial fishing boat Wind Blown left Montauk Harbor on what should have been a routine offshore voyage. Its captain, a married father of three young boys, was the boat’s owner and leader of the four-man crew, which included two locals and the blue-blooded son of a well-to-do summer family. After a week at sea, the weather suddenly turned, and the foursome collided with a nor’easter. They soon found themselves in the fight of their lives. Tragically, it was a fight they lost. Neither the boat nor the bodies of the men were ever recovered.

The fate of the Wind Blown—the second-worst nautical disaster suffered by a Montauk-based fishing vessel in over a hundred years—has become interwoven with the local folklore of the East End’s year-round population. Back then, on the easternmost tip of Long Island, before Wall Street and hedge fund money stormed into town, commercial fishing was the area’s economic lifeblood.

Amanda M. Fairbanks examines the profound shift of Montauk from a working-class village—“a drinking town with a fishing problem”—to a playground for the ultra-wealthy, seeking out the reasons that an event more than three decades old remains so startlingly vivid in people’s minds. She explores the ways in which deep, lasting grief can alter people’s memories. And she shines a light on the powerful and sometimes painful dynamics between fathers and sons, as well as the secrets that can haunt families from beyond the grave.


Kritters Thoughts:  There are so many moments in history that are big when they happen, but maybe don't remain on the public mind and don't get passed down beyond the family members that the moment impacts and this is one of them.  A commercial fishing boat goes down in a horrible storm off the coast of Montauk, NY and with it all four aboard go missing.  This book recounts as many details as possible while also going back in time to share the past of these four men and how they came to be together on this boat and where their family members are now, all still dealing in one way or another with their passing.  

The contents of this book were so good, but I didn't love how it was put together.  I loved how the author started with the tragedy and some details behind the boat and the situation and then dove into each man, but within the sections of the men the stories felt jumbled and confusing.  By the end of the book, I felt as though I knew each of them really well and appreciated all the information in the book, just would have moved some things around to make for an easier reading experience.  

I hope that this author has another one up her sleeve, would love to see her tackle another moment in history and go into a deep dive into another.  


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 63 out of 100

Disclosure of Material Connection:  I received one copy of this book free of charge from Simon and Schuster.  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.


Review: America's Wife by Celeste De Blasis

America's Wife
by Celeste De Blasis

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 524
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  1776. Addie’s world has changed beyond recognition. From her privileged position amongst Boston’s elite, she has embraced a dangerous new life with the American Revolutionary Army. While childhood sweetheart Silas risks all on the front lines, Addie waits anxiously for news. And when Silas does not return from the Battle of Monmouth, her worst fears come true.

Without thinking, Addie takes a horse and scours the now-calm battlefield for Silas, until word arrives that he has been captured by the British. And worse, by the troop of Scottish Highlanders led by the brooding general John Traverne. Addie hasn’t seen the powerfully built Loyalist soldier since she chose the Revolutionary cause over her own heart, and hearing his name sends butterflies to her stomach, even as she is filled with worry for Silas.

Disregarding her own safety, Addie leaves Washington’s camp and travels deep into enemy territory, determined to bring Silas home. But when she comes face to face with John Traverne once more, the feelings she has tried so hard to bury resurface and she must choose between the man she has pledged her life to, and the man whose dark eyes haunt her dreams. When Addie finally returns to her own camp, she carries a secret that could cost her everything she has fought for…


Kritters Thoughts:  Addie is now a married woman, but her and Silas aren't settled down and living that easy married life as they are in the middle of the Revolutionary war and they are trying to get their freedom from the crown.  

Unlike the first book, this one didn't focus so closely on Addie as much as the first and I wished it had.  While it circled around her and her siblings, there were quite a few pages without Addie and instead were focused on the war.  I don't tend to love the books where battles and war are told in detail and this one felt as thought it had quite a few pages without character development and I wanted more of that.  Every time the men came back to camp from war and were reunited with the ladies, I got excited and relished in those pages!

While I didn't love all the battles or at least all the pages devoted to the battles, I did love seeing "characters"/people from history that I knew from other books and of course from my love of the musical, Hamilton.  It was interesting meeting these people from Addie's perspective and seeing them through her eyes as she is married to a general that is close to Washington and who interacts with Lafayette, Hamilton, John Laurens and so on.    

Even after not completely enjoying this book, I am still intrigued to read book three to see where Addie's life ends up.  I am thankful that I was able to give myself a break between this book and the third and get away from this time period and these characters.   


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 62 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.

Thursday, May 27, 2021

Review: A Special Place for Women by Laura Rankin

A Special Place for Women
by Laura Hankin

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  It's a club like no other. Only the most important women receive an invitation. But one daring young reporter is about to infiltrate this female-run secret society, whose beguiling members are caught up in a dark and treacherous business.

For years, rumors have swirled about an exclusive, women-only social club where the elite tastemakers of NYC meet. People in the know whisper all sorts of claims: Membership dues cost $1,000 a month. Last time Rihanna was in town, she stopped by and got her aura read. The women even handpicked the city's first female mayor. But no one knows for sure.

That is, until journalist Jillian Beckley decides she's going to break into the club. With her career in freefall, Jillian needs a juicy scoop, and she has a personal interest in bringing these women down. But the deeper she gets into this new world--where billionaire "girlbosses" mingle with the astrology-obsessed--the more Jillian learns that bad things happen to those who dare to question the club's motives or giggle at its outlandish rituals.

The select group of women who populate the club may be far more powerful than she ever imagined.

And far more dangerous too.


Kritters Thoughts:  An underground club that is solely for women and is even more elite in that it is invite only with a few tests that must be passed before membership is granted.  Jillian Beckley is a journalist and until recently was employed full time, so she needs to find her next big article that could get a spot on the map.  An interesting encounter with some women from this underground club and some rumors that have been swirling set Jillian's life in motion.  

This was mean girls but on a whole other level where careers are ended and lives are in danger.  These women are vindictive and horrible and with each page I was honestly repulsed by them and it reminded me of all the reasons I don't love YA with the unnecessary character drama.  I want to live in a world where its sunshine and rainbows and women uplift others and see the good in all women succeeding, so this book just tore me apart and because of my own thinking I had a hard time enjoying it.  

But, I loved Jillian Beckley and her constant struggle to be an honest true person and the pull of the group.  I was giving her a pass as she was in a hard place mentally with the recent passing of her mother and the way these women used that against her.  She was the reason I was able to continue reading and could waffle between enjoying it and getting frustrated by it.  

I sat on the fence on this book and even delayed writing my review for a few days to see if my thoughts would settle on whether I could recommend it to other readers.  And to be honest, I am still on the fence because I know my thoughts about this book (more so than most) are very personal in that my own worldview and thinking really played into my reading of this book.  Yes, I know we bring our own world view to every book, but for me it felt more so in this one.  I am intrigued to see where Laura Hankin goes from here.  


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 61 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.

Wednesday, May 26, 2021

Review: Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley

Talk Bookish to Me
by Kate Bromley

Publisher: Graydon House
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Inspiration can come from the most unlikely—and inconvenient—sources.

Kara Sullivan’s life is full of love—albeit fictional. As a bestselling romance novelist and influential bookstagrammer, she’s fine with getting her happily-ever-after fix between the covers of a book.

But right now? Not only is Kara’s best friend getting married next week—which means big wedding stress—but the deadline for her next novel is looming, and she hasn’t written a single word. The last thing she needs is for her infuriating first love, Ryan Thompson, to suddenly appear in the wedding party. But Ryan’s unexpected arrival sparks a creative awakening in Kara that inspires the steamy historical romance she desperately needs to deliver.

With her wedding duties intensifying, her deadline getting closer by the second and her bills not paying themselves, Kara knows there’s only one way for her to finish her book and to give her characters the ever-after they deserve. But can she embrace the unlikely, ruggedly handsome muse—who pushes every one of her buttons—to save the wedding, her career and, just maybe, write her own happy ending?


Kritters Thoughts:  A romance author and bookstagrammer is working on her next novel, but is just a little hung up on what to do next and while she is maid of honor for her best friend, a former fling returns to her life and may spark a little writing creativity.  

What reader doesn't love a book about things to do with books!  I loved that this romance book had a romance author at its core and there were a few conversations about the art of writing and specifically about the world of romance.  I appreciated that this book didn't sway from the typical romance set up with the highs and lows and conflicts and resolutions while also including excerpts from the characters work in progress.  

If you are a reader who appreciates all things books then you will love this romance and these characters will warm your heart and remind you why romance is the most read genre.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 60 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.

Tuesday, May 25, 2021

Review: The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island
by Colleen Oakley

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 368
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Sometimes all you need is one person to really see you.

Piper Parrish's life on Frick Island—a tiny, remote town smack in the middle of the Chesapeake Bay—is nearly perfect. Well, aside from one pesky detail: Her darling husband, Tom, is dead. When Tom's crab boat capsized and his body wasn't recovered, Piper, rocked to the core, did a most peculiar thing: carried on as if her husband was not only still alive, but right there beside her, cooking him breakfast, walking him to the docks each morning, meeting him for their standard Friday night dinner date at the One-Eyed Crab. And what were the townspeople to do but go along with their beloved widowed Piper?

Anders Caldwell’s career is not going well. A young ambitious journalist, he’d rather hoped he’d be a national award-winning podcaster by now, rather than writing fluff pieces for a small town newspaper. But when he gets an assignment to travel to the remote Frick Island and cover their boring annual Cake Walk fundraiser, he stumbles upon a much more fascinating tale: an entire town pretending to see and interact with a man who does not actually exist. Determined it’s the career-making story he’s been needing for his podcast, Anders returns to the island to begin covert research and spend more time with the enigmatic Piper—but he has no idea out of all the lives he’s about to upend, it’s his that will change the most.


Kritters Thoughts:  Colleen Oakley is an author that I read without reading a synopsis and just dive in.  So, a book set on an island not far from where I live and a woman who is grieving the early loss of her husband and a journalist who is in need of that story to lift his career.  I wasn't so sure when I started, but I fell in love with the people on this island and the journalist who is waffling between his career and his personal life.  

For me, one of the really fun aspects of this book was that while Anders is a traditional journalist working in print, he also does podcasts and I loved reading some of his scripts and watching his subscriptions/downloads go up.  It was fun to incorporate that medium in a book and I wonder how it could be done uniquely in the audiobook.  Anders was also just a great character himself.  The internal struggle of putting your career or your personal life first and how often people have to make decisions on what comes first was enjoyable to read.  

Piper Parrish was interesting.  I waffled back and forth throughout the book how I felt about her and am still waffling as I write this review a few days later.  I wasn't so sure how to react to her response to her tragedy and then was even questioning if she was being real and authentic, so I really debated about her!  Thankfully I adored Anders, so he stole the show or book for me!

Maybe not one of my favorite Colleen Oakley books, but I still enjoyed it as she had some fun characters in an interesting premise.


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 59 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.


Review: Beth and Amy by Virginia Kantra

Beth and Amy
by Virginia Kantra

Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Amy March is more like her older sister Jo than she'd like to admit. An up-and-coming designer in New York's competitive fashion industry, ambitious Amy is determined to get out of her sisters' shadow and keep her distance from their North Carolina hometown. But when Jo's wedding forces her home, she must face what she really wants...and confront the One Big Mistake that could upend her life and forever change her relationship with Jo.

Gentle, unassuming Beth grew up as the good girl of the family. A talented singer-songwriter, she's overcome her painful anxiety to tour with country superstar Colt Henderson. But life on the road has taken its toll on her health and their relationship. Maybe a break to attend her sister's wedding will get her out of her funk. But Beth realizes that what she's looking for and what she needs are two very different things....

With the March women reunited, this time with growing careers and families, they must once again learn to lean on one another as they juggle the changes coming their way.


Kritters Thoughts:  The second in a series and this is one of those series while it may focus on different characters, you would miss a lot if you didn't start at book one.  

A modern reimagining of the characters of Little Women as they have modern jobs and are encountering modern things.  With this book focusing on Beth and Amy, Beth is nervous to go home and be around her sisters as she is hiding a very large secret and while this secret doesn't kill her, it comes close.  Amy is the baby of the family and she has a secret of her own and wonders if she can keep it while they are home for Jo's wedding.  

As a true fan of Little Women, I love the little easter eggs that are in this story, but more so with this one, I felt as though it didn't completely align with the original work like the first book did.  I still loved seeing the sister dynamics and the supporting characters in this book and comparing them to the original book, but there was one thing that I was waiting on that didn't occur (not spoiling) and felt as though it made the book veer far from Little Women.  

I wonder if there will be a third book in the series and if possibly it will go where I thought this one should/would go.  I wouldn't mind if this author took another piece of classical work and reimagined it because I love how she keeps the heart but brings it up to our current world.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 58 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, May 24, 2021

Review: The Secretary by Catherine Hokin

The Secretary
by Catherine Hokin

Publisher: Bookouture
Pages: 354
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  The Tower House. Down a secluded path, hidden by overgrown vines, the crumbling villa echoes with memories. Of the family who laughed and sang there, until the Nazis tore them from their home. And of the next woman to walk its empty rooms, whose courage in the face of evil could alter the course of history…

Germany 1940. As secretary to the leader of the SS, Magda spends her days sending party invitations to high-ranking Nazis, and her evenings distributing pamphlets for the resistance. But Magda is leading a dangerous double life, smuggling secrets out of the office. It’s a deadly game, and eventual exposure is a certainty, but Magda is driven by a need to keep the man she secretly loves safe as he fights against the Nazis…

Forty years later. Nina’s heart pounds as she steps into an uncertain future carrying a forged passport, a few bank notes, and a scribbled address for The Tower House taken from an intricate drawing she found hidden in her grandmother’s wardrobe. Separated from her family and betrayed by her country, Nina’s last hope is to trace her family’s history in the ruins of the past her grandmother ran from. But, when she finally finds the abandoned house, she opens the door to a forgotten story, and to secrets which will change everything: past, present, and future…


Kritters Thoughts:  Two storylines in this book.  A woman in 1940s Germany ends up working for a high level Nazi operative and uses her position to smuggle out reports and secrets to the opposition in order to save lives and maybe turn the tide of the war.  Her granddaughter is living in 1980s Berlin and is dealing with a a divided country that is having what felt like the same issues within its country of infighting and sides and neighbors turning in neighbors for "despicable" behavior.

I have read quite a many books set during World War II, but surprisingly few actually take place in Germany.  So the time of that storyline wasn't unique, but the setting did and it was interesting to put the storyline of that time and place and put it next to 1980s Berlin as they were dealing with same and different issues.  I had never thought about history repeating itself in an odd way in this country.  

For me this book was good, but for some reason the pacing felt very slow and it took me a lot longer to read this one than my typical reading pace.  It could have been the crazy of the times that I read it, but it didn't capture my attention and suck me in like most historical fiction reads do.  

I would be interesting in trying another Catherine Hokin book, have you read any of hers?  Where should I go next with her backlist?


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 57 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, May 23, 2021

It's Monday, What are you Reading?

No weekend plans, so just reading and small to do list things!

A
 meme hosted by Kathryn at The Book Date. 

Finished this past week:
Aftermath by Terri Blackstock
The Secretary by Catherine Hokin
Beth and Amy by Virginia Kantra
The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley
Talk Bookish to Me by Kate Bromley
A Special Place for Women by Laura Hankin

Currently Reading:
America's Wife by Celeste De Blasis

Next on the TBR pile:
The Lost Boys of Montauk by Amanda Fairbanks

Friday, May 21, 2021

Review: Aftermath by Terri Blackstock

Aftermath
by Terri Blackstock

Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Pages: 336
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Criminal attorney Jamie Powell will accept the consequences for defending her lifelong friend, Dustin, when he’s accused of setting the bombs that killed dozens at a local political rally. But she hasn’t seen him since he aged out of foster care, and he’s always lived on the edge. Can she still trust him?

As Jamie investigates his case and the people in his life, she realizes the facts coming to light could be devastating. Someone is setting him up . . . but proving it might destroy Dustin more than the accusation itself. Dustin overcame his childhood, but how can he overcome this?


Kritters Thoughts:  Jamie Powell is a renowned criminal attorney fighting to help the wrongly accused get justice, but she never thought someone from her past would call needing her professional advice.  Dustin is that guy from the past who didn't have the best childhood, but has risen above it all, but is accused of causing a bombing at a political rally.  

I will always love the reuniting with someone from the past trope.  For me it allows the characters to jump to a more familiar ground fast because there is a history that the reader may not see, but knows that it is there.  

I have said this a few times (maybe a lot) on my blog, but I judge a mystery book based on the culprit and while I won't divulge the outcome here, I will say I was satisfied completely.  The person didn't come out of left field, but I know there were clues that I missed that could have lead me to them and I loved how it all unraveled.  I am thankful I didn't guess this one too early.  The pacing was just right as from chapter to chapter I was hoping for a clue or the reveal - I loved it.  

While the book is Christian fiction and it was evident in a few parts, the author didn't sacrifice plot to check the Christian fiction box.  I love when an author can hold up their values while also writing a great story that all readers can enjoy.  


Rating: absolutely loved it and want a sequel

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.



Thursday, May 20, 2021

Review: If She Dies by Erik Therme

If She Dies
by Erik Therme

Publisher: Thecker Books
Pages: 352
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Nine months ago, Tess’s five-year-old daughter was killed in a car accident. The driver, Brady Becker, was sentenced to two years in prison. It didn't make Tess’s pain go away.

Brady also has a daughter: A twelve-year-old named Eve who walks to Chandler Middle School every day. Tess knows this because she's been watching Eve for the last three weeks. It isn’t fair that Brady’s daughter gets to live, while Tess’s daughter does not.

When Eve goes missing, all eyes turn to Tess, who doesn’t have an alibi. But Tess isn’t guilty.

Or so she believes.


Kritters Thoughts:  Tess lost her five year old daughter in a car accident and she is still in the thick of the grieving process.  She is making ill choices and ends up stalking the family of the man who was involved in her child's death until things go really south and their daughter goes missing.

This was one of those books that the synopsis sold me on, but I am not sure if the book lived up to the expectations.  I really loved the premise and idea of a woman so affected by her own tragedy that she may make some bad choices, but the final outcome of the book just didn't completely work for me.  Without spoiling the ending, I will say that it felt as though it came together too fast in the end and I wasn't completely in love with all of the final details.  

I did love the characters and the writing, so I would read this author again.  I would be intrigued to try one from his backlist while also looking out for something in the future.  


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 56 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.

Wednesday, May 19, 2021

Review: The Summer Seekers by Sarah Morgan

The Summer Seekers
by Sarah Morgan

Publisher: HQN
Pages: 432
Format: eARC
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Kathleen is eighty years old. After she has a run-in with an intruder, her daughter wants her to move into a residential home. But she's not having any of it. What she craves--what she needs--is adventure.

Liza is drowning in the daily stress of family life. The last thing she needs is her mother jetting off on a wild holiday, making Liza long for a solo summer of her own.

Martha is having a quarter-life crisis. Unemployed, unloved and uninspired, she just can't get her life together. But she knows something has to change.

When Martha sees Kathleen's advertisement for a driver and companion to share an epic road trip across America with, she decides this job might be the answer to her prayers. She's not the world's best driver, but anything has to be better than living with her parents. And traveling with a stranger? No problem. Anyway, how much trouble can one eighty-year-old woman be?

As these women embark on the journey of a lifetime, they all discover it's never too late to start over...


Kritters Thoughts:  A mother/daughter duo split this book and both take center stage at times.  Kathleen the mother is eighty years old and after an intrusion in her home she is pushed to go on one more adventure before she may have to settle down for the final years.  Liza, her daughter, has always been the responsible one - a dependable wife, mother, co worker and friend, she always answers the call and helps whomever is in need.  A third character is just below these two for air time and that is Martha who is unemployed and out of a relationship and feels as though she is floundering and doesn't know what she wants to do with her life.  

Part road trip, part self discovery, part romance/relationship book - this one had it all.  I love that in all of the parts, women took the center stage and it was a wide range of ages and life circumstances, any woman could find themselves in this book and enjoy it.  Martha and Kathleen, the youngest and oldest in the book, go on the road trip of a lifetime down Route 66 and along the way find the strengths in each other and challenge each other to make some hard decisions.  Liza escapes to her mother's empty home and defies her typical steadfastness and instead puts herself and her needs first and this challenges her family and friends, but in the end is good for all.  

Sarah Morgan is easily one of my favorite authors as she puts a focus on women, but doesn't leave out all the interesting things that make women unique from men and even from each other.  Although they appear light and breezy, her books have some great lessons to learn under the fun!


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

Ebook 2021 Challenge: 55 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.

Tuesday, May 18, 2021

Review: Del Rio by Jane Rosenthal

Del Rio
by Jane Rosenthal

Publisher: She Writes Press
Pages: 245
Format: book
Buy the Book: Amazon

Goodreads:  Del Rio, California, a once-thriving Central Valley farm town, is now filled with run-down Dollar Stores, llanterias, carnicerias, and shabby mini-marts that sell one-way bus tickets straight to Tijuana on the Flecha Amarilla line. It’s a place you drive through with windows up and doors locked, especially at night—a place the locals call Cartel Country. While it’s no longer the California of postcards, for local District Attorney Callie McCall, her dying hometown is the perfect place to launch a political career and try to make a difference.

But when the dismembered body of a migrant teen is found in one of Del Rio’s surrounding citrus groves, Callie faces a career make-or-break case that takes her on a dangerous journey down the violent west coast of Mexico, to a tropical paradise hiding a terrible secret, and finally back home again, where her determination to find the killer pits her against the wealthiest, most politically connected, most ruthless farming family in California: her own.


Kritters Thoughts:  District Attorney Callie McCall has quite the past before this book even begins, but with the discovery of a body part of a young teen found in citrus groves, this story quickly moves to Mexico and an investigation begins as Callie gets to the bottom of things.  

For me the most interesting part was how involved Callie's family and friends were on the wrong side of the law in this book.  This felt unique to this book as rarely does the family of the person investigating end up fully entrenched into the misdeeds.  

I don't know if I am unfamiliar with the area or with the crisis at the border, but there were many times where I felt disconnected to the book and was confused and lost.  I blame myself and my own lack of knowledge on the immigrant population and the issues that are happening and I think that affected my reading of the book.  I was having a hard time putting all the pieces together and because of this the book didn't read as smoothly as I think it should have.

Jane Rosenthal has another book in her backlist and it seems to take place in the same location and I would like to try it out and see if I could enjoy it more after getting myself up to speed.  


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

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