Author: Lacey's Library

Left to Chance by Amy Sue Nathan

Left to Chance by Amy Sue Nathan

Publication Date: November 21, 2017
Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin

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Rating: ★★★★

“No one knows why Teddi Lerner left her hometown, but everyone knows why she’s back.

Twelve-year-old Shayna― talented, persistent, and adorable―persuaded “Aunt Tee” to return to Chance, Ohio, to photograph her father’s wedding. Even though it’s been six years since Shay’s mother, Celia, died, Teddi can hardly bear the thought of her best friend’s husband marrying someone else. But Teddi’s bond with Shay is stronger than the hurt.

Teddi knows it’s time to face the consequences of her hasty retreat from family, friends, and, her old flame, but when she looks through her viewfinder, nothing in her small town looks the same. That’s when she truly sees the hurt she’s caused and―maybe―how to fix it.

After the man she once loved accuses Teddi of forgetting Celia, Teddi finally admits why she ran away, and the guilt she’s carried with her. As Teddi relinquishes the distance that kept her safe, she’ll discover surprising truths about the people she left behind, and herself. And she’ll finally see what she overlooked all along in Left to Chance by Amy Sue Nathan.”

Review:

Thank you to NetGalley, Amy Sue Nathan, and St. Martin’s Griffin for allowing me to read this book before the publication date in exchange for an honest review. 

Teddi Learner returns to Chance, Ohio after six years to photograph her best friend’s husband’s wedding. Miles is the groom and he’s getting remarried after his first wife, Celia, passed. Teddi is returning as a promise to Miles and Celia’s twelve-year old daughter, Shayna. Now that Teddi has returned, she sees everything that has changed and who she missed.

There were many things about this book that grabbed me right away and there were things that left me hanging. The synopsis intrigued me because I love the forbidden romance and the mystery of why a girl left her old town to find a new life. It was like a Lifetime series and I was very interested.

The characters were awesome. I absolutely adored Teddi and Shay. Shay was probably one of my favorite characters I’ve read. As someone who is extremely close to her mother, Shay’s character resonated with me in a sense of how I would be if I lost her. I could feel the connection and the heartbreak through Shay. Teddi had a lot of great moments too. Her dialogue was probably my favorite thing about this book.

One of my favorite narratives are the “small town” stories. I think the author did a phenomenal job when giving the reader a feel of just how small the town was. There were characters introduced like the childhood best friend and other family members. I felt like I was in the small town of Chance and I was meeting these individuals through the eyes of Teddi.

There were times that this book slowed down for me. I had to push through because I knew it would pick back up. I had to put it down sometimes, and do something else before picking it back up because it just got boring. However, when pushing through, it got much better and I had a good time reading this one. I am very interested in giving another book by Amy Sue Nathan a try.

 

 

First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

First Star I See Tonight by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

Publication Date: August 23rd, 2016
Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers

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Rating: ★★★

“A star quarterback and a feisty detective play for keeps in this sporty, sexy, sassy novel—a long-awaited new entry in the beloved, award-winning, New York Times bestselling author’s fan-favorite Chicago Stars football series.

Piper Dove is a woman with a dream—to become the best detective in the city of Chicago. First job? Trail former Chicago Stars quarterback, Cooper Graham. Problem? Graham’s spotted her, and he’s not happy.

Which is why a good detective needs to think on her feet. “The fact is…I’m your stalker. Not full-out barmy. Just…mildly unhinged.”

Piper soon finds herself working for Graham himself, although not as the bodyguard he refuses to admit he so desperately needs. Instead, he’s hired her to keep an eye on the employees at his exclusive new nightclub. But Coop’s life might be in danger, and Piper’s determined to protect him, whether he wants it or not. (Hint: Not!) If only she weren’t also dealing with a bevy of Middle Eastern princesses, a Pakistani servant girl yearning for freedom, a teenager who just wants to fit in, and an elderly neighbor demanding Piper find her very dead husband.

And then there’s Cooper Graham himself, a legendary sports hero who always gets what he wants—even if what he wants is a feisty detective hell bent on proving she’s as tough as he is.

From the bustling streets of Chicago to a windswept lighthouse on Lake Superior to the glistening waters of Biscayne Bay, two people who can’t stand to lose will test themselves and each other to discover what matters most.”

Review:

I have been hearing a lot about Susan Elizabeth Phillips, so I thought I would give her book a try. This book was alright, but it definitely wasn’t my favorite read.

This book definitely grabbed my attention right away. The contemporary romances always seem to have that affect on me, but I really like when one of the main characters plays a sport. After reading the synopsis, I really thought I would like this book.

Once I hit around halfway, it seems that I was losing interest quicker and quicker. The story lost me a little and I just couldn’t get back into it. Everything was a little confusing, and I had to go back and read some parts again. Even when I did that, I still feel like there were parts that completely lost me.

One of the main reasons I finished this book was the woman main character, Piper. She was feisty, and she had a lot of funny one-liners. She created a lot of the chemistry that this book had, and I really enjoyed her.

Overall, I think this book definitely had its moments. There were parts where I laughed, and some parts definitely had me in my feelings! However, there were parts that I just couldn’t get through and fell a little flat. I definitely would be interested in reading more Susan Elizabeth Phillips to see if I like her other ones a little bit more!

 

 

The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

The Blackbird Season by Kate Moretti

Publication Date: September 26th, 2017
Publisher: Atria Books (Simon & Schuster) 

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Rating: ★★★

“Known for novels featuring “great pacing and true surprises” (Kirkus Reviews, starred review) and “nerve-shattering suspense” (Heather Gudenkauf, New York Time bestselling author), New York Times bestselling author Kate Moretti’s latest is the story of a scandal-torn Pennsylvania town and the aftermath of a troubled girl gone missing.

“Where did they come from? Why did they fall? The question would be asked a thousand times…

Until, of course, more important question arose, at which time everyone promptly forgot that a thousand birds fell on the town of Mount Oanoke at all.”

In a quiet Pennsylvania town, a thousand dead starlings fall onto a high school baseball field, unleashing a horrifying and unexpected chain of events that will rock the close-knit community.

Beloved baseball coach and teacher Nate Winters and his wife, Alicia, are well respected throughout town. That is, until one of the many reporters investigating the bizarre bird phenomenon catches Nate embracing a wayward student, Lucia Hamm, in front of a sleazy motel. Lucia soon buoys the scandal by claiming that she and Nate are engaged in an affair, throwing the town into an uproar…and leaving Alicia to wonder if her husband has a second life.

And when Lucia suddenly disappears, the police only to have one suspect: Nate.

Nate’s coworker and sole supporter, Bridget Harris, Lucia’s creative writing teacher, is determined to prove his innocence. She has Lucia’s class journal, and while some of the entries appear particularly damning to Nate’s case, others just don’t add up. Bridget knows the key to Nate’s exoneration and the truth of Lucia’s disappearance lie within the walls of the school and in the pages of that journal.

Told from the alternating points of view of Alicia, Nate, Lucia, and Bridget, The Blackbird Season is a haunting, psychologically nuanced suspense, filled with Kate Moretti’s signature “chillingly satisfying” (Publishers Weekly) twists and turns.”

Review: 

Thank you to NetGalley, Kate Moretti, and Atria Books for allowing to read this before the publication date in exchange for an honest review.

I will be completely honest, I picked this book solely from the cover. The spooky and mysterious cover dragged me to it right away. I had a feeling that this would be a good one.

The beginning of this book will leave you with a sense of “what is going to happen next”. From the last page of the prologue, I was hooked. There was something fishy going on, and there is a wonder of what will go on in the following chapters. Or will you have to wait until the end?

The characters were interesting to say the least. My favorite character had to be Alecia. My mother is a special education teacher so I see the struggles that an autistic child and their mother has to go through. I feel like the author did a phenomenal job with making both characters real and relatable. All of the characters really developed, especially Bridget. Bridget was another character that I really felt that connected well with the reader. There were times where I feel like I would have to go back and read because there are four different characters going on at the same time, but that’s okay sometimes. Each character gave more to this story.

There was a lot of book that was answered, but there was a lot also left unanswered. There were interesting things about this because I liked the fact that I could think about what could’ve happened. This is where Kate Moretti did a great job making this not only a mystery, but a psychological thriller as well.

Overall, this book was very good. Kate Moretti’s writing style is absolutely something I can get into with other stories of hers. I think I will take the time to pick another one of hers up!

 

 

Confess by Colleen Hoover

Confess by Colleen Hoover

Publication Date: March 10th, 2015
Publisher: Atria Books

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Rating: ★★★★★

“Auburn Reed has her entire life mapped out. Her goals are in sight and there’s no room for mistakes. But when she walks into a Dallas art studio in search of a job, she doesn’t expect to find a deep attraction to the enigmatic artist who works there, Owen Gentry.

For once, Auburn takes a risk and puts her heart in control, only to discover Owen is keeping major secrets from coming out. The magnitude of his past threatens to destroy everything important to Auburn, and the only way to get her life back on track is to cut Owen out of it.

The last thing Owen wants is to lose Auburn, but he can’t seem to convince her that truth is sometimes as subjective as art. All he would have to do to save their relationship is confess. But in this case, the confession could be much more destructive than the actual sin…”

Review: 

Colleen Hoover knows exactly how to reach her audience. Her books take me into the story right from the beginning. This is my third Colleen Hoover novel, and I’ve felt the same way about each one. She knows how to write angst perfectly and the romance is out of this world.

Auburn might be one of my favorite characters from a book ever. She is strong for going through the heartache she did when she was 15. Owen Gentry might also be one of my favorite characters from a book. He is so romantic and interesting, especially with his art. Owen is so sweet and gentle, but also has this hidden dark side that I adored.

The developments in this book were insane. There were surprises that had me shocked, gasping for the characters involved. The developments between the characters and the story made this book so wonderful for me.

If you are an emotional reader, please have tissues. I think I cried for the first time with this book maybe 10-15 pages in. Colleen Hoover has a way with words when it comes to heartbreak and angst, and I have yet to not cry with one of her books.

I’d recommend this book to anyone. Colleen Hoover has to continue writing books because she is becoming one of my all time favorite authors. I’m so in love with how each book is written and has it’s own individual flavor. I can’t choose a favorite.

 

St. Luke’s Docuseries by Max Monroe (Dr. OB, Dr. ER, & Dr. Neuro)

OB

Dr. OB (#1)
Publication Date: April 25th, 2017

It’s just a docuseries about your career as an OB/GYN, they said.
It won’t interrupt your life during or after filming, they said.
It is a great opportunity for the hospital and your practice, they said.

Well, they—the television executives who seem intent on ruining my career and personal life with a fair number of creative liberties—lied.
Now I’m stuck dealing with the consequences of believing them.

Instead of being known as Dr. Will Cummings, Head of Obstetrics and Gynecology at St. Luke’s Hospital, I’m now being called Dr. Obscene.

What devotion I’d hoped to earn in respect, I’ve instead received in patients flashing me seductive smiles and flirtatious winks during their exams.

How’s a guy supposed to convince the most perfect woman he’s ever met that he’s not as much of an idiot in real life as he appears to be on camera?

With all of the show’s side effects taking root like parasites, it’s going to take a lot to persuade Melody Marco to be anything more than my new nurse.
But I can’t get her out of my head.

want her.

Good thing I’ve never been one to back away from a challenge…

Get ready, Melody.

The doctor is in.”

Review:

This book was definitely the best out of the series.

There were many things that this book had going on, and I loved all of them. The characters were great and developed very nicely. It had the right amount of angst and different topics through out the entire book. I liked the fact that it was a TV show being filmed as well. It was like I was watching a reality show.

However, like some reality shows, there are times where it just slows down. This book also had that effect on me. When I hit about halfway through, I noticed that it slowed down considerably. It was unfortunate because I really wanted to get through it, but not for a good reason.

The characters started to get a little bit too much for me towards the end. Everything had slowed down and I think that the characters were slowed as well.

The second half of this book is the reason why I dropped it down to four stars. Otherwise, I think that this book was very good and I would try and read the next in the series!

Rating: 4/5 stars. 

er

Dr. ER (#2)
Publication Date: June 27th, 2017

Dr. Erotic.
That’s what they’ve decided to call me, Scott Shepard, the head of St. Luke’s Hospital Emergency Department.
Just thinking about it makes me smile.
As the new face of the reality docuseries, The Doctor Is In, I plan to take his power and recognition right to the streets of New York City and into the pants of willing women.

Well, that was my plan.

Until her—feisty, beautiful, and addictively sexy Harlow Paige.
A gossip columnist that just loves writing about yours truly, she’s everything I thought I never wanted and then some.
She drives me crazy.
Problem is, she doesn’t want to be anything when it comes to me—not friends, not lovers, not even adversaries.
God, I love a good challenge.
Get ready, Harlow. Love is contagious. “

Review:

This one didn’t really do as much for me as the first one. I did like the premise, and the characters, just like the first. However, this one took me a while to read because it was slow and pretty much exactly like the first one.

There should’ve been differences from the first book. I really liked how they tied some of the first book into the second book, but there were too many similarities for me to thoroughly enjoy it. It felt like I was reading the exact same book as the first, just with different characters.

I think I had a hard time enjoying the characters as well. For some reason, I couldn’t get into this one. Scott wasn’t one of my favorites. There was something about Scott and Harlow that seemed a little off to me.

This book would’ve been a 4 or 5 star rating if the book was different. I liked the fact that they brought some of the characters from the first book and made it into a series. However, there are too many similarities for me to enjoy it. Overall, I’d give this one a chance, but don’t expect too much.

Rating: 3/5 stars. 

neuro

Dr. Neuro (#3)
Publication Date: August 29th, 2017

“I’m Dr. Nick Raines.
Brain surgeon and notorious over-thinker, I take the analytical approach with everything, until I can determine the best, carefully calculated plan of action. It’s no shock the producers of the popular reality series The Doctor Is In have decided to call me Dr. Neurotic.

Besides my more than full-time job as Chief of Neurosurgery at St. Luke’s Hospital, I’m a single dad and my number one priority is my daughter.

But life had plans to add another priority to my list.
Charlotte Hollis. Outspoken, impulsive, and beautiful, she’s everything I didn’t know I was craving.

She makes me wonder What if?

What if I don’t have to be alone for the rest of my life to give my little girl the father she deserves?

It’s a battle—my battle: Head vs. Heart. “

Review:

I think this one was much better than Dr. ER. There were some key differences that made this book into an entirely different thing. I liked the fact there were differences, but some things still tied in from Dr. OB, and Dr. ER. You should read these one right after the other because if you don’t, you might forget these previous things.

These characters might be my favorite. The chemistry between Nick and Charlotte really takes off in this book. The chemistry in Dr. OB was great, but I think this couple takes the cake.

I liked a lot about this book, but I feel like Max Monroe had the same problem in all three. The interest was lost after halfway through. Each book was great, then hit a wall.

I think if you are a steamy romance lover, these books would be fantastic. I am a lover of steamy romances, and I would recommend this series!

Rating: 4/5 stars. 

 

Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Lucky in Love by Kasie West

Publication Date: July 25th, 2017
Publisher: Scholastic

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Rating: ★★★

Can’t buy me love…

Maddie’s not impulsive. She’s all about hard work and planning ahead. But one night, on a whim, she buys a lottery ticket. And then, to her astonishment—

She wins!

In a flash, Maddie’s life is unrecognizable. No more stressing about college scholarships. Suddenly, she’s talking about renting a yacht. And being in the spotlight at school is fun…until rumors start flying, and random people ask her for loans. Now Maddie isn’t sure who she can trust.

Except for Seth Nguyen, her funny, charming coworker at the local zoo. Seth doesn’t seem aware of Maddie’s big news. And, for some reason, she doesn’t want to tell him. But what will happen if he learns her secret?”

Review:

Lucky in Love starts out with a girl Maddie who wins the lottery by buying her first ticket on her 18th birthday. What is a teen supposed to do with $50 million dollars? After she wins, everyone changes. They all want money and Maddie doesn’t know who she is, who her friends are, and who she can trust. Family included.

This book really flew by for me. I read it in a day. Half of me thinks the fact that I read it so quickly is a good thing and the other half wasn’t really impressed. I wanted to find out what was going to happen in the end, but I felt like the reason was because I wanted to get to the end.

The story was pretty typical. I feel like when reading the synopsis, I had a vision of what this story was going to be like. Teen wins lottery, people try to use her for money, she meets a boy, everything is fine, the rest is history. Unfortunately, I was pretty spot on. I was hoping for some twist. This book seemed pretty vanilla.

I think that this book was neutral for me. Everything seemed flat-lined. It wasn’t terrible, but there wasn’t a stand out moment that made this book phenomenal. This is my third Kasie West novel that I read, so I enjoy her as an author.

 

Words In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Words In Deep Blue by Cath Crowley

Publication Date: June 6th, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Publishing

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Rating: ★★★★

Love lives between the lines.

Years ago, Rachel had a crush on Henry Jones. The day before she moved away, she tucked a love letter into his favorite book in his family’s bookshop. She waited. But Henry never came.

Now Rachel has returned to the city—and to the bookshop—to work alongside the boy she’d rather not see, if at all possible, for the rest of her life. But Rachel needs the distraction, and the escape. Her brother drowned months ago, and she can’t feel anything anymore. She can’t see her future.

Henry’s future isn’t looking too promising, either. His girlfriend dumped him. The bookstore is slipping away. And his family is breaking apart.

As Henry and Rachel work side by side—surrounded by books, watching love stories unfold, exchanging letters between the pages—they find hope in each other. Because life may be uncontrollable, even unbearable sometimes. But it’s possible that words, and love, and second chances are enough.”

Review:

There were many things about this book that stood out to me, and one of them kept me from giving this book a 5 star rating. The characters were very well established, and the story was great. On the other hand, one major subject about this book, romance, should have been more prevalent. It seemed almost desperate, and sometimes I think that makes a book. In this case, I didn’t seem to like it as much.

As a library assistant, books about book stores or libraries always seem to get a five star rating from me. I think it’s a personal preference and a hope that a romance like that will happen to me one day. However, the romance in this book threw me for a loop. In this book, there are two main characters, Rachel and Henry. Rachel is in love with Henry. Henry is in love with a girl named Amy. When Rachel leaves, she leaves a note in a book for Henry to read. This is where it kind of shut off for me. Amy is a cold-hearted girl. I would see Henry being so in love with Amy if she was a nice girl, but the way the author wrote about her, I couldn’t like her. Because Henry was so in love with this girl that was terrible, I had a hard time liking Henry.

When Rachel comes back, the story picks up from there. She lost her brother while she was gone, and becomes this cold, distant girl who could use a friend. I sympathized with her and liked her character. The death of her brother had such an impact on her, however, she kept it a secret for a lot of the book. I feel like that should have been a massive part of the story, it kind of was, but keeping a secret until the end was hard as well.

The thing that kept this book at a higher star rating for me was the setting. The author did a phenomenal job with the setting. I felt like I was there with all of the details. Howling Books was the perfect bookstore and I would love to go there and see the books that were described!