Tag: Adult Fiction

Rainy Day Kisses by Debbie Macomber

Rainy Day Kisses by Debbie Macomber

Publication Date: August 1, 1990 (Republished May 29, 2014)
Publisher: Harlequin Books

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Rating: ★★★

“She was a woman on the rise. Susannah Simmons had a five-year plan for career success, and it didn’t include falling in love with her next-door neighbor. Nate Townsend was undeniably attractive, and he obviously had money, but he seemed to lack ambition. He stayed home, baking cookies and flying kites, while Susannah struggled up the corporate ladder. She resented the way he questioned her values – – and made her question them, too. Perhaps she had given up too much in pursuit of her career goals: family and fun – – and Nate Townsend’s love.”

Review:

This was my first Debbie Macomber read. I recently downloaded an app that you can connect with your libraries and has so many different selections of ebooks and audiobooks. I saw this and thought that the synopsis sounded great. If I love anything when it comes to books, it’s the “next door neighbor” narrative. The thought of moving into somewhere and having your neighbor be so romantic that you fall for them? Yes. Please. It’s so unlikely, but a girl can dream, right?

The characters were written well. I thought that the characters were really in tune with themselves. There were times that they said something and I cracked up out loud at how funny they were. I think Macomber knows how to write a character to get the reader to feel like they are actually in this story. She knows how to embody their emotions. I liked that the most about this book.

There were parts of this book that fell flat. The narrative is the reason why I picked this book. There were times where I felt like putting this book down because it got pushed off the narrative and I wasn’t sure when it would get back on track. This unfortunately made me drop the rating.

Lastly, this book seemed pretty vanilla. Like I said, this was my first Debbie Macomber, and I’m not sure if that is how her writing style is with all of her books. I felt like everything was good and simple. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, personally, I like to have a little angst or a little sultry factor in a book. I think this book was good, just a little plain for my taste.

Overall, I would definitely would give another Debbie Macomber book a chance. I want to find out if all of her books are simple, easy reads. I work in a library where her books are extremely popular. Therefore, I want to see what all the hype is about.

 

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.

 

 

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!

 

 

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

I Am Watching You by Teresa Driscoll

Publication Date: October 1st, 2017

“When Ella Longfield overhears two attractive young men flirting with teenage girls on a train, she thinks nothing of it—until she realises they are fresh out of prison and her maternal instinct is put on high alert. But just as she’s decided to call for help, something stops her. The next day, she wakes up to the news that one of the girls—beautiful, green-eyed Anna Ballard—has disappeared.

A year later, Anna is still missing. Ella is wracked with guilt over what she failed to do, and she’s not the only one who can’t forget. Someone is sending her threatening letters—letters that make her fear for her life.

Then an anniversary appeal reveals that Anna’s friends and family might have something to hide. Anna’s best friend, Sarah, hasn’t been telling the whole truth about what really happened that night—and her parents have been keeping secrets of their own.

Someone knows where Anna is—and they’re not telling. But they are watching Ella.”

Review:

Thank you to Kindle First for allowing me to read this book before the publication date in exchange for an honest review. 

This book was not for me. I tried and tried to get into it, but I struggled a lot. I finished it and I feel like I didn’t really even read anything. I was pretty disappointed with all of the things that went on through this story.

First, I had a really hard time with the characters. The characters intrigued me in the beginning with the story and how things were progressing, but as I got further and further in, I couldn’t find a character that I liked or related to. There were so many point-of-views that I found myself confused and having to restart.

Next, I didn’t really find this book to be all that grasping or mysterious. By the end, I was a little confused and the last chapter just tried to bring everything together. The writing definitely wasn’t my favorite thing, but it did have it’s moments.

Lastly, I think this book would have worked better if there was a difference in either the choice of main character or the plot. I think that this book had a lot of different promising qualities. There just wasn’t enough mmph in the characters or plot for me to thoroughly enjoy this book.

Rating: ★★

Midnight At the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

Midnight At the Bright Ideas Bookstore by Matthew Sullivan

Publication Date: June 13th, 2017

“When a bookshop patron commits suicide, it’s his favorite store clerk who must unravel the puzzle he left behind in this fiendishly clever debut novel from an award-winning short story writer.

Lydia Smith lives her life hiding in plain sight. A clerk at the Bright Ideas bookstore, she keeps a meticulously crafted existence among her beloved books, eccentric colleagues, and the ‘BookFrogs’—the lost and lonely regulars who spend every day marauding the store’s overwhelmed shelves.
But when youngest BookFrog Joey Molina kills himself in the bookstore’s upper level, Lydia’s life comes unglued. Always Joey’s favorite bookseller, Lydia has been bequeathed his meager worldly possessions: Trinkets and books, the detritus of a lonely, uncared-for man. But when Lydia pages through his books, she finds them defaced in ways both disturbing and inexplicable. They reveal the psyche of a young man on the verge of an emotional reckoning. And they seem to contain a hidden message. What did Joey know? And what does it have to do with Lydia?
As Lydia untangles the mystery of Joey’s suicide, she unearths a long buried memory from her own violent childhood. Details from that one bloody night begin to circle back. Her distant father returns to the fold, along with an obsessive local cop and the Hammerman, a murderer who came into Lydia’s life long ago—and never completely left, as she discovers.” 

Review: 

Midnight at the Bright Ideas Bookstore was good! I enjoyed this spooky story since Halloween time is coming up! 

Lydia was so awesome. Her character went through so many things in her life and showed that she could be smart and powerful when it came to using her brain! She figured things out that I would never be able to. 

There are a lot of surprises in this book, especially towards the end. Some might say it was predictable, but I didn’t think so at all! It took me until it was right under my nose to understand what happened. 

I really enjoyed this story. It was something that I had never heard of or read before. I love the setting. Bookstores and libraries are my absolute favorite settings! Matthew Sullivan did a great job writing about the details of the bookstore. He wrote things that really grabbed my attention like “The sound of books hitting the floor from the second floor.” 

Overall, this book was spooky and suspenseful. I’d really recommend it to anyone especially those who like mysteries. 

Rating: ★★★★

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Ugly Love by Colleen Hoover

Publication Date: August 5th, 2014

“When Tate Collins meets airline pilot, Miles Archer, she knows it isn’t love at first sight. They wouldn’t even go so far as to consider themselves friends. The only thing Tate and Miles have in common is an undeniable mutual attraction. Once their desires are our out in the open, they realize they have the perfect set-up. He doesn’t want love, she doesn’t have time for love, so that just leaves the sex. Their arrangement could be surprisingly seamless, as long as Tate can stick to the only two rules Miles has for her. Never ask about the past. Don’t expect a future. They think they can handle it, but realize almost immediately they can’t handle it all. Hearts get infiltrated. Promises get broken. Rules get shattered. Love gets ugly.”

Review: 

Wow. This book broke my heart, mended it back together, and repeated this cycle throughout the entire book.

I’ve read Colleen Hoover before, and she just gets it. She gets feelings and emotions, and she makes the reader feel along right with each character. In every Colleen Hoover book I’ve read, I’ve cried on more than one occasion. I’m a very emotional person when it comes to books and movies, but if her books don’t make you feel anything, I think there might just be something wrong.

This story is something unlike anything I’ve ever read. It was raw and emotional. The originality of this story is why I liked it so much. It felt real because of the reactions and demons that each person held onto. I’ve read stories with angst and heartbreak, but this was enough to make my chest hurt for a few hours.

Miles, Miles, Miles. I want to bring him up because he was my favorite character in this book. He went through so much in his life and learns how to deal with it. Even though in life, it’s hard to figure out what to do and when, but it was great to see that he could try and figure things out. I’m glad I got to read something like this. It was pretty motivational.

There were so many things that I loved about this book. If I had to list them all, this review would easily be over the necessary amount of words. I would give this book higher than 5 stars if I could.

Rating: ★★★★★

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

The Hating Game by Sally Thorne

Publication Date: August 9th, 2016

“Nemesis (n.) 1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome; 2) A person’s undoing; 3) Joshua Templeman. Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgedly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assisstants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude. Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached a boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.” 

Review: 

Josh and Lucy are one of my favorite book couples of all time. There were so, so many things with this book that made me absolutely swoon. 

Josh and Lucy are co-CEOs of a publishing company. Everyone loves Lucy and everyone is afraid of Josh. She is lovely and bubbly, and he is quiet and stern. The only thing in common that Lucy and Josh have is the fact that they’re gunning for the same job as Official CEO. Since everyone knows that their friendship is anything but sunshine and rainbows, Josh and Lucy agree to spend some time together in order to be professional. Things aren’t always as they seem. 

Lucy is one of my favorite characters from a book. She grew up in a small town where her parents own a strawberry farm, but she needed to leave in order to fulfill her dreams of working at a publishing company. She met Josh on her first day, and they didn’t like each other ever since then. This was so realistic to me. Small town, big dream, and an annoying coworker. This seems like a very possible scenario for the average person. I think that made me like this book even more.

The Hating Game was full of chemistry. Sally Thorne has this specific writing style that really makes you feel their chemistry and how well Lucy and Josh actually work together. Their friendship was angsty, and I am a sucker for some harsh love. 

This was such a great debut novel. I can’t wait for her next one. There were really great things this story has to offer. If you haven’t yet, read this book!

Rating: ★★★★★