BOOKISH FRIDAY: “FIND ME”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday.

Today’s feature is one of my new books:  Find Me, by Alafair Burke.

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Book Beginning:

Hope Miller shifted her gaze from the gas nozzle to the pump.  When the gallon counter hit twelve, she scolded herself for not filling up before her trip into the city.  She couldn’t risk an empty tank.

***

Friday 56:

Once she found out exactly how he had “messed it up,” she couldn’t unknow it.  Lindsay’s reluctance to take even that initial leap had nothing to do with Hope and everything to do with Scott. (p. 56).

***

Synopsis:

Some pasts won’t stay forgotten . . .

She calls herself Hope Miller, but she has no idea who she actually is. Fifteen years ago, she was found in a small New Jersey town thrown from an overturned vehicle, with no clue to her identity. Doctors assumed her amnesia was a temporary side effect of her injuries, but she never regained her memory. Hope eventually started a new life with a new name in a new town that welcomed her, yet always wondered what she may have left behind—or been running from. Now, she’s leaving New Jersey to start over once again.

Manhattan defense lawyer Lindsay Kelly, Hope’s best friend and the one who found her after the accident, understands why Hope wants a new beginning. But she worries how her friend will fare in her new East Hampton home, far away from everything familiar. Lindsay’s worst fears are confirmed when she discovers Hope has vanished without a trace—the only lead a drop of blood found where she was last seen. Even more ominously, the blood matches a DNA sample with a connection to a notorious Kansas murderer.

With nowhere else to turn, Lindsay calls NYPD homicide detective Ellie Hatcher, the daughter of the cop who dedicated his life to hunting the Kansas killer. Ellie has always believed there was more to the story of her father’s death twenty years earlier—and she now fears that Hope’s recent disappearance could be related.

In pursuit of answers, the women search for the truth beneath long-buried secrets. And when their searches converge, what they find will upend everything they’ve ever known. 

***

Would you keep reading?  I love this author, so I’m in.

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REVIEW: MY DARLING HUSBAND, BY KIMBERLY BELLE

Everyone is about to know what her husband isn’t telling her…

Jade and Cam Lasky are by all accounts a happily married couple with two adorable kids, a spacious home and a rapidly growing restaurant business. But their world is tipped upside down when Jade is confronted by a masked home invader. As Cam scrambles to gather the ransom money, Jade starts to wonder if they’re as financially secure as their lifestyle suggests, and what other secrets her husband is keeping from her.

Cam may be a good father, a celebrity chef and a darling husband, but there’s another side he’s kept hidden from Jade that has put their family in danger. Unbeknownst to Cam and Jade, the home invader has been watching them and is about to turn their family secrets into a public scandal.

With riveting twists and a breakneck pace, My Darling Husband is an utterly compelling thriller that once again showcases Kimberly Belle’s exceptional talent for domestic suspense.

 

mythoughts-laurelrainsnow-serendipity

When Jade and her two children are grabbed by someone who has been watching them, the home invasion turns into a frightening countdown to the final moment when Jade’s husband Cam will have gathered the ransom money and arrived in time to save his family.

But Cam is not as financially secure as Jade had believed, and furthermore, the home invader is not a passing stranger. He has a history with Cam…and a vendetta to resolve.  My Darling Husband is not who he seems to be.

As more details are revealed throughout the day, we soon realize that there are so many layers beyond what had initially seemed like a one-off scramble for money. Unexpected motivations stunned me by the very end. 5 stars.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “MY DARLING HUSBAND”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday.

Today’s feature is a current read:  My Darling Husband, by Kimberly Belle.

***

Beginning:

Jade – 2:51 p.m.

I’m pulling into the Westmore Music Academy lot when I spot him, the man leaning against the building’s brick and carved concrete sign.  Pocked skin.  Black-rimmed glasses.  Skinny shoulders hunched against the rain.

***

Friday 56:

First of all, get through the afternoon...what does that even mean?  Cam doesn’t get home until well past midnight.  This situation can’t possibly sustain itself until then.

***

Synopsis:

Everyone is about to know what her husband isn’t telling her…

Jade and Cam Lasky are by all accounts a happily married couple with two adorable kids, a spacious home and a rapidly growing restaurant business. But their world is tipped upside down when Jade is confronted by a masked home invader. As Cam scrambles to gather the ransom money, Jade starts to wonder if they’re as financially secure as their lifestyle suggests, and what other secrets her husband is keeping from her.

Cam may be a good father, a celebrity chef and a darling husband, but there’s another side he’s kept hidden from Jade that has put their family in danger. Unbeknownst to Cam and Jade, the home invader has been watching them and is about to turn their family secrets into a public scandal.

With riveting twists and a breakneck pace, My Darling Husband is an utterly compelling thriller that once again showcases Kimberly Belle’s exceptional talent for domestic suspense.

***

Would you keep reading?  I can’t stop turning the pages.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “LUCY”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday.

Today’s feature is one of my new books:  Lucy, by Ellen Feldman.

Book Beginning:

(1947)

“It is a story which reminds us of the code of another day, of the complexity of human relationships, of the human problems of statesmen bearing the heaviest responsibilities and of the capacity of mature people to accept the frustrations of life and, perhaps, to make of frustrations a sort of triumph.  Eleanor Roosevelt, Franklin Roosevelt, and Lucy Mercer all emerge from the story with honor.

***

Friday 56:

The orchestra started up again in a ragtime beat.  Franklin’s arm went around my waist.  I looked at Eleanor.  Her eyes held mine.

***

Synopsis:

On the eve of World War I, Assistant Secretary of the Navy Franklin Delano Roosevelt, fiercely ambitious and still untouched by polio, falls in love with his wife’s social secretary, Lucy Mercer. Eleanor stumbles on their letters and divorce is discussed, but honor and ambition win out. Franklin promises he will never see Lucy again.

But Franklin and Lucy do meet again, and again they fall in love.

Ellen Feldman brings a novelist’s insight to bear on the connection of these three compelling characters. Franklin and Lucy did finally meet, across the divide of his illness and political ascendancy, her marriage and widowhood. They fell in love again. As he prepared to run for an unprecedented third term and lead America into war, Franklin turned to Lucy for the warmth and unconditional approval Eleanor was unable to give.

Drawing on recently discovered materials to re-create the voice of a woman who played a crucial but silent role in the Roosevelt presidency, Lucy is a remarkably sensitive exploration of the private lives behind a public marriage. Reading group guide included.

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What do you think?  Are you intrigued?

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REVIEW: THE JANES, BY LOUISA LUNA

 

The page-turning follow-up to acclaimed thriller Two Girls Down features the tenacious PI Alice Vega and her electric partnership with Max Caplan, as they follow a shocking murder investigation to it’s even more shocking conclusion.

On the outskirts of San Diego, the bodies of two young women are discovered. They have no names, no IDs, but one of the Jane Does holds a note bearing the name, “Alice Vega.” The police and FBI reach out to Vega, a private investigator known for finding the missing. Fearing the possibility of a human trafficking ring, Vega enlists the help of her one-time partner, former cop Max “Cap” Caplan.

Despite a case with so few leads, Alice Vega is a powerful woman whose determination is matched only by her intellect, and, along with her partner Cap, she will stop at nothing to find the Janes’ killers before it is too late.
 
 
 
 
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The intensity of the search for the missing girls increases as Vega and Cap work together to solve the case. Just as they are closing in on answers, they discover more girls are involved and realize how corruption in the department is at the bottom of these activities.

They carefully keep ahead of those chasing them and connect with others who are dedicated to discovering the truth and finding the rest of the missing girls as well. The Janes was an intricately woven tale that led to answers and freedom for the girls. 4.5 stars.
 
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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “LAYLA”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday.

Today’s feature is a book that has been patiently waiting on my Kindle:  Layla, by Colleen Hoover.

Beginning

(The Interview)

I placed two layers of duct tape over Layla’s mouth before I came downstairs, but I can still hear her muffled screams as the detective takes a seat at the table.

***

Friday 56:

I know she thinks this is probably some fantasy of mine—I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t-–but not right now.  Not after she just came down from a panic attack.  It feels wrong.

***

When Leeds meets Layla, he’s convinced he’ll spend the rest of his life with her—until an unexpected attack leaves Layla fighting for her life. After weeks in the hospital, Layla recovers physically, but the emotional and mental scarring has altered the woman Leeds fell in love with. In order to put their relationship back on track, Leeds whisks Layla away to the bed-and-breakfast where they first met. Once they arrive, Layla’s behavior takes a bizarre turn. And that’s just one of many inexplicable occurrences.

Feeling distant from Layla, Leeds soon finds solace in Willow—another guest of the B&B with whom he forms a connection through their shared concerns. As his curiosity for Willow grows, his decision to help her find answers puts him in direct conflict with Layla’s well-being. Leeds soon realizes he has to make a choice because he can’t help both of them. But if he makes the wrong choice, it could be detrimental for all of them.

***

Would you keep reading?

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REVIEW: CHRISTMAS DESSERT MURDER, BY JOANNE FLUKE

CHRISTMAS CARAMEL MURDER
Hannah and her good pal Lisa have agreed to provide all the goodies for the town’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. But before anyone can say “Bah, humbug!” the actress playing Mrs. Claus exits stage left for good. As murder suspects pile up faster than snowdrifts in a blizzard, it might take a visit from ghosts of Christmas past to wrap up this mystery in time for the holidays . . .

CHRISTMAS CAKE MURDER
Hannah’s life matches the hectic December hustle and bustle of Lake Eden when she agrees to help recreate a spectacular Christmas Ball in honor of Essie Granger, an elderly local in hospice care. But instead of poring over decadent dessert recipes, Hannah’s surprised by Essie’s secret talent for penning crime fiction. She’s even more surprised when the story turns real. It’ll be a true miracle if she can prevent another Yuletide disaster by solving a mystery as dense as a Christmas fruitcake . . .
 
 
 
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Each section of Christmas Dessert Murder brings delicious goodies and a murder mystery to the residents of Lake Eden.

I am a fan of Hannah and her Cookie Jar bakery, and in this particular set of stories, we spotlight both the present and the past.

In the story from the past, we meet Hannah at a younger age and follow her adventure of launching the Cookie Jar. Other characters are also trying out new experiences and adding to what we already know about them.

As with all the books, there are recipes appearing regularly and titillating us with deliciousness.

An enjoyable read, although I liked the present-day story more. 4.5 stars.
 
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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “CHRISTMAS DESSERT MURDER”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday.

Today’s feature is a new book: Christmas Dessert Murder, by Joanne Fluke.

***

Book Beginning:

(Prologue)

The dining room at the Lake Eden Inn was festive with corn shocks, hay bales, pumpkins, and giant beer steins made of paper mache.  It was clear that the owners, Sally and Dick Laughlin, were getting ready for their Oktoberfest celebration over the weekend.

***

Friday 56:

Lisa slid onto the stool and ordered a hot lemonade.  It had just arrived when the waitress tapped Hannah on the shoulder to say that their table was ready.

***

Synopsis:

CHRISTMAS CARAMEL MURDER
Hannah and her good pal Lisa have agreed to provide all the goodies for the town’s annual production of A Christmas Carol. But before anyone can say “Bah, humbug!” the actress playing Mrs. Claus exits stage left for good. As murder suspects pile up faster than snowdrifts in a blizzard, it might take a visit from ghosts of Christmas past to wrap up this mystery in time for the holidays . . .
 
CHRISTMAS CAKE MURDER
Hannah’s life matches the hectic December hustle and bustle of Lake Eden when she agrees to help recreate a spectacular Christmas Ball in honor of Essie Granger, an elderly local in hospice care. But instead of poring over decadent dessert recipes, Hannah’s surprised by Essie’s secret talent for penning crime fiction. She’s even more surprised when the story turns real. It’ll be a true miracle if she can prevent another Yuletide disaster by solving a mystery as dense as a Christmas fruitcake . . .

***

What do you think?  I am eager to enjoy the goodies and the Christmas events.

***

REVIEW: THE SUMMER THAT MADE US, BY ROBYN CARR

That was then…

For the Hempsteads, two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, summers were idyllic. The women would escape the city the moment school was out to gather at the family house on Lake Waseka. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything.

This is now…

After an accidental drowning turned the lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. For good. Torn apart, none of the Hempstead women speak of what happened that summer, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth.
 
 
 
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The Summer That Made Us was a multilayered treat filled with family history and drama.

As we dig into the stories, we learn about a lifetime of family pranks and mistakes. Along the way, we get to watch the family enjoying one last summer in the place where so many of their childhood adventures took place. It was also where some bad things happened, but in the final summer, they get to put some old issues to rest, too.

The animosity between some of the family members was sorted…and there were answers to some of the questions of their lives as well.

A delightful story that wrapped up nicely, even though there were sad parts. A 4.5 star read.
 
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BOOKISH FRIDAY: “WHAT HAPPENS IN PARADISE”

Welcome to another Bookish Friday, in which we  share excerpts from books…and connect with other bloggers who do the same.

Let’s begin the celebration by sharing Book Beginnings, hosted by Rose City Reader; and let’s showcase The Friday 56 with Freda’s Voice.

To join in, just grab a book and share the opening lines…along with any thoughts you wish to give us; then turn to page 56 and excerpt anything on the page.

Then give us the title of the book, so others can add it to their lists! What a great way to spend a Friday.

Today’s feature is a book that has been on my Kindle since 2019, the second in a trilogy:  What Happens in Paradise, by Elin Hilderbrand.

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Beginning:

(Irene)

She wakes up facedown on a beach.  Someone is calling her name.

Irene!”

She lifts her head and feels her cheek and lips dusted with sand so white and fine, it might be powdered sugar.

***

Friday 56:

He’s almost more nervous about calling her than about calling the FBI.  He is more nervous about calling her because he has no idea how the conversation will go.

***

Synopsis:  A year ago, Irene Steele had the shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and successful businessman, was killed in a helicopter crash. But that wasn’t Irene’s only shattering news: he’d also been leading a double life on the island of St. John, where another woman loved him, too.

Now Irene and her sons are back on St. John, determined to learn the truth about the mysterious life—and death—of a man they thought they knew. Along the way, they’re about to learn some surprising truths about their own lives, and their futures.

Lush with the tropical details, romance, and drama that made Winter in Paradise a national bestseller, What Happens in Paradise is another immensely satisfying page-turner from one of America’s most beloved and engaging storytellers.

***

I have read the first book in this trilogy, and the second and third are still waiting.  Should I keep reading?  Would you?

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