BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE GUILT TRIP”

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 acquisition:  The Guilt Trip, by Sandie Jones.

Book Beginning:

The policeman, with his slicked-back hair, stands at the bottom of my hospital bed, staring at me intently.

“So, can you confirm you knew the deceased?” he says, in heavily accented English.

I nod, but even that hurts.

***

Friday 56

It wasn’t as if she’d been invited to join them, exactly.  It had been made to look like Rachel had just happened to be in the same place they were, so she could check Paige out.

***

Synopsis:

Rachel and Jack. Paige and Noah. And Will. Five friends who’ve known one another for years. Then along came Ali, Will’s new fiancée.

The three couples travel to Portugal for Ali and Will’s destination wedding. The weekend away at the gorgeous cliff-top villa is a chance to relax and get to know Ali an little better. She seems perfectly nice—and Will seems happy after years of bad choices.

But when Rachel discovers a shocking secret about Ali, everything changes. As the wedding weekend unfolds, the secrets each of them holds begin to spill, and friendships and marriages threaten to unravel.

In Sandie Jones’s explosive new suspense novel, jumping to conclusions can become the difference between life and death.

***

What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

 

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE SAFE PLACE”

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 download:  The Safe Place, by Anna Downes.

***

Book Beginning: (Prologue)

When the car bypassed the main terminal building and pulled up next to a sign that said PRIVATE JET CENTER, Emily breathed in so fast she almost choked.

“You’re kidding me,” she said to her driver (her very own driver!), who smiled and opened the door for her like she was Cinderella.

***

Friday 56:  As the personality quiz had suggested, she was a dreamer, a storyteller, a “people person” who lived in the moment.  Adventurous but lacking in confidence, she often looked to others for advice before making a decision.  She was loyal, compassionate, and most importantly, very, very trusting.

***

 

Synopsis:  Emily is a mess.

Emily Proudman just lost her acting agent, her job, and her apartment in one miserable day.

Emily is desperate.

Scott Denny, a successful and charismatic CEO, has a problem that neither his business acumen nor vast wealth can fix. Until he meets Emily.

Emily is perfect.

Scott offers Emily a summer job as a housekeeper on his remote, beautiful French estate. Enchanted by his lovely wife Nina, and his eccentric young daughter, Aurelia, Emily falls headlong into this oasis of wine-soaked days by the pool. But soon Emily realizes that Scott and Nina are hiding dangerous secrets, and if she doesn’t play along, the consequences could be deadly.

***

Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SWAN SONG: AN ODYSSEY”

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 by a favorite author from back in the day:  Swan Song: An Odyssey, by Lisa Alther.

***

Book Beginning:  (The Death Magnet)

It was snowing the afternoon Jessie recycled her sex toys.  A sharp wind from Canada was whipping sheets of white across the parking lot at the household waste dump in Burlington.  It was like being smacked in the face by a line of wet laundry.  Most Vermonters had the good sense to stay home during a blizzard.

***

Friday 56:  Jessie was mystified.  What in the world did Alexandria, Egypt, have to do with Kat Justice from Mink Ridge, North Carolina?  It was unnerving to realize that, although she had caressed every square inch of Kat’s body many hundreds of times, there were evidently levels on which Kat had been a stranger to her. (56%).

***

Synopsis:  Dr. Jessie Drake, in her mid-sixties, following the sudden deaths of her parents and Kat, her partner of twenty years, has fled the Vermont life she has known for decades.

In an effort to escape the oppressive constancy of grief, she accepts a job from an old flame from her residency in New York City’s Roosevelt Hospital, and agrees to assist Ben as the ship’s doctor on a British liner. Jessie boards in Hong Kong, and, as the Amphitrite sails throughout Southeast Asia and the Middle East, cruise ship antics ensue. Jessie is lulled back into a long-ago romance with the ship’s co-doctor, and both she and her new/old beau become enmeshed with the ship’s lead (female) singer/entertainer. Among the passengers who fling socialized behavior aside on the high seas: a former Florida beauty queen (Miss Florida Power and Light) on a second honeymoon with her husband, as she causes high-velocity scandal, while juggling onboard affairs with a suicidal golf pro, and a defrocked priest hired as one of the liner’s gentleman hosts, until she vanishes–poof!–from the ship off the coast of Portugal . . . As the ship sails through the Gulf of Aden and into a possible hijacking by Somali pirates, Jessie retreats into her lover’s journals, written during her final months, journals filled with sketches of potential characters, observations on life and love–as well as drafts of a long new poem in progress, “Swan Song,” that seems to be about being in love with someone else, someone new. As Jessie’s grief turns to suspicion about the woman she thought she knew so well, her illumination of the poem’s meaning begins to lift the constraints of the past and make clear the way toward the future.

***

I first read books by Lisa Alther in the 1980s, and still have one of her books on my shelves:  Other Women.

When I discovered this new book on Kindle, I knew I had to give it a whirl.  What do you think?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “CRIME SCENE”

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 I purchased a while ago, one that I shared today on my Backlog post at my Curl up and Read site:  Crime Scene, by Jonathan and Jesse Kellerman.

***

Book Beginning:  Don’t make assumptions.

Every now and then, I remind myself of that.

Every now and then, the universe does the reminding for me.

When I meet new people, they’re usually dead.

***

Friday 56:  The anniversary code failed, as did the two additional codes she sent me the next day.  With three attempts left, I’d had my fill of living dangerously.  I went upstairs to Forensics.

***

Synopsis:  Natural causes or foul play? That’s the question Clay Edison must answer each time he examines a body. Figuring out motives and chasing down suspects aren’t part of his beat—not until a seemingly open-and-shut case proves to be more than meets his highly trained eye.

Eccentric, reclusive Walter Rennert lies cold at the bottom of his stairs. At first glance the scene looks straightforward: a once-respected psychology professor, done in by booze and a bad heart. But his daughter Tatiana insists that her father has been murdered, and she persuades Clay to take a closer look at the grim facts of Rennert’s life.

What emerges is a history of scandal and violence, and an experiment gone horribly wrong that ended in the brutal murder of a coed. Walter Rennert, it appears, was a broken man—and maybe a marked one. And when Clay learns that a colleague of Rennert’s died in a nearly identical manner, he begins to question everything in the official record.

All the while, his relationship with Tatiana is evolving into something forbidden. The closer they grow, the more determined he becomes to catch her father’s killer—even if he has to overstep his bounds to do it.

The twisting trail Clay follows will lead him into the darkest corners of the human soul. It’s his job to listen to the tales the dead tell. But this time, he’s part of a story that makes his blood run cold.

***

What do you think?  Even though this book has been languishing on my Kindle for three years, I love this author and his books, so now I have moved it forward on my stack.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE NEW 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 recent acquisition:  The New Husband, by D.J. Palmer.

***

Beginning:  It was a chilly predawn morning when Anthony Strauss eased Sweet Caroline, his seventeen-foot Boston Whaler, from the trailer into water so dark it was indistinguishable from the sky.  To the east, the rising sun raced along the riverbank, igniting the shoreline of Lake Winnipesaukee in a buttery glow.  Anthony cast his lure about twenty feet out and was beginning to slowly reel in his line when he noticed a fellow boater some forty yards off his starboard.

***

Friday 56:  Laura didn’t care one tiny bit about Justin’s motives.  She cared about competition and nothing more.  I wasn’t as pretty or as well dressed as Laura Abel, but I was a heck of a lot better lacrosse player.

***

Synopsis:  What makes Simon Fitch so perfect?

-He knows all her favorite foods, music, and movies.
-Her son adores him. He was there when she needed him most.
-He anticipates her every need.
-He would never betray her like her first husband.

The perfect husband. He checks all the boxes.

The question is, why?

Nina Garrity learned the hard way that her missing husband, Glen, had been leading a double life with another woman. But with Glen gone—presumably drowned while fishing on his boat—she couldn’t confront him about the affair or find closure to the life he blew apart.

Now, a year and a half later, Nina has found love again and hopes she can put her shattered world back together. Simon, a widower still grieving the death of his first wife, thinks he has found his dream girl in Nina, and his charm and affections help break through to a heart hardened by betrayal. Nina’s teenage son, Connor, embraces Simon as the father he wishes his dad could have been, while her friends see a different side to him, and they aren’t afraid to use the word obsession.

Nina works hard to bridge the divide that’s come between her daughter and Simon. She wants so badly to believe her life is finally getting back on track, but she’ll soon discover that the greatest danger to herself and her children are the lies people tell themselves.

***

I have heard great things about this book.  What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “BIG SUMMER”

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 an upcoming book release, a NetGalley ARC:   Big Summer, by Jennifer Weiner, will be released on 5/19/20.

***

Book Beginning:  (1994)

By the second week of September, the outer Cape was practically deserted.  The tourists had packed up and gone home.  The roads were empty; the glorious beaches were abandoned.  It was a shame:  by September, the ocean was finally warm enough for swimming, especially if it had been a hot August, and the paths that wound through the dunes and cranberry bogs and secret blueberry bushes, the ones that were pickup spots for men in summer’s high season, were deserted, and the bushes were full of ripe berries.

***

Friday 56:  Grandma shook her head.  Her expression was grim.  “I don’t know how she found out.  I wouldn’t put it past that fool to have told her himself.  Miss?”  She raised her voice.  I straightened up and froze when I felt her gaze on me.

***

Synopsis:  Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely and successful as ever, with a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken one word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.

Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in high school. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs and pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.

***

I can’t wait to read this one.  What do you think?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “SOMETHING SHE’S NOT TELLING US”

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 I’ve been ogling and recently downloaded:  Something She’s Not Telling Us, by Darcey Bell.

***

Book Beginning:  (The Purple Jacket)

(Charlotte)

The one thing they need to remember is the one thing they can’t recall.

What was Daisy wearing when she left for school this morning?

It had been one of those mornings.  An underwatery wake-up after a very late night.

***

Friday 56:  “How’s business, Charlotte?  Flowers for the One Percent.”  Rocco has never hidden his feelings about the fact that most of Charlotte’s clients are rich, or trying to raise money from the rich.

***

 

Synopsis:  She’s on the verge of having it all…

But one woman stands in her way.

Charlotte has everything in life that she ever could have hoped for: a doting, artistic husband, a small-but-thriving flower shop, and her sweet, smart five-year-old daughter, Daisy. Her relationship with her mother might be strained, but the distance between them helps. And her younger brother Rocco may have horrible taste in women, but when he introduces his new girlfriend to Charlotte and her family, they are cautiously optimistic that she could be The One. Daisy seems to love Ruth, and she can’t be any worse than the klepto Rocco brought home the last time. At least, that’s what Charlotte keeps telling herself. But as Rocco and Ruth’s relationship becomes more serious, Ruth’s apparent obsession with Daisy grows more obvious. Then Daisy is kidnapped, and Charlotte is convinced there’s only one person who could have taken her.

Ruth has never had much, but now she’s finally on the verge of having everything she’s ever dreamed of. A stable job at a start-up company, a rakish, handsome boyfriend with whom she falls more in love with every day—and a chance at the happy family she’s always wanted, adorable niece included. The only obstacle standing in her way is her boyfriend’s sister Charlotte, whose attitude swerves between politely cold and outright hostile. Rebuffing Ruth’s every attempt to build a friendship with her and Daisy, Charlotte watches over her daughter with a desperate protectiveness that sends chills down Ruth’s spine. Ruth knows that Charlotte has a deeply-buried secret, the only question is: what? A surprise outing with Daisy could be the key to finding out, and Ruth knows she must take the chance while she has it—for everyone’s sake.

As the two women follow each other down a chilling rabbit hole, unearthing winding paths of deceit, lies, and trauma, a family and a future will be completely—and irrevocably—shattered.

***

I’ve had my eye on this one and just downloaded it.  What do you think?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE SEA OF LOST GIRLS”

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 download:  The Sea of Lost Girls, by Carol Goodman.

***

Book Beginning:  The phone wakes me as if it were sounding an alarm inside my chest.  What now, it rings, what now what now what now.

I know it’s Rudy. The phone is set to ring for only two people—Harmon and Rudy (At least I made the short list, Harmon once joked)—and Harmon is next to me in bed.  Besides, what has Harmon ever brought me but comfort and safety?  But Rudy…

***

Friday 56:  His poker face falters; he’s surprised that I remember his middle name.  I am too.  A teacher must have used it in class; for a moment I see not Officer Kevin Bantree standing in front of me but his younger, teenage self.

***

Synopsis:  Tess has worked hard to keep her past buried, where it belongs. Now she’s the wife to a respected professor at an elite boarding school, where she also teaches. Her seventeen-year-old son, Rudy, whose dark moods and complicated behavior she’s long worried about, seems to be thriving: he has a lead role in the school play and a smart and ambitious girlfriend. Tess tries not to think about the mistakes she made eighteen years ago, and mostly, she succeeds.

And then one more morning she gets a text at 2:50 AM: it’s Rudy, asking for help. When Tess picks him up she finds him drenched and shivering, with a dark stain on his sweatshirt. Four hours later, Tess gets a phone call from the Haywood school headmistress: Lila Zeller, Rudy’s girlfriend, has been found dead on the beach, not far from where Tess found Rudy just hours before.

As the investigation into Lila’s death escalates, Tess finds her family attacked on all sides. What first seemed like a tragic accidental death is turning into something far more sinister, and not only is Tess’s son a suspect but her husband is a person of interest too. But Lila’s death isn’t the first blemish on Haywood’s record, and the more Tess learns about Haywood’s fabled history, the more she realizes that not all skeletons will stay safely locked in the closet.

***

What do you think?  Do the excerpts tempt you to keep reading?

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “DEAD TO HER”

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, Dead to Her, by Sarah Pinborough.

***

Book Beginning:  The candle burns.

Crisp paper.  A pen.

WHAT HAPPENED TO JONNY?

Envelope.

Seal.

Whisper.

Wait.

***

Friday 56:  A long day sorting shit out at the office.  That’s what he’d said.  Not out at meetings or at the club or wherever else he schmoozed clients.  At the office. He’d lied to her and if he thought she was stupid enough to buy that explanation, then he didn’t know her at all. (56%).

***

Synopsis:  Marriage can be murder…

SOMETHING OLD

Marcie’s affair with Jason Maddox catapulted her into the world of the elite.

Old money, old ties, old secrets. Marcie may have married into this world—

but she’ll never be part of it.

SOMETHING NEW

Then Jason’s boss brings back a new wife from his trip to London.

Young, attractive, reckless—nobody can take their eyes off Keisha.

Including Marcie’s husband.

SOMETHING YOU CAN NEVER, EVER UNDO…

Some people would kill for the life Marcie has—what will she do to keep it?

***

Would you keep reading?  I love this author’s books.

***

BOOKISH FRIDAY: “THE JANES”

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 on my shelves:  The Janes, by Louisa Luna.

***

Beginning:  meet our girl:  seventeen, arrived here a year ago from a rough and dusty town in Chiapas, considered pretty by most standards because she is young, her face unmarked by scars or wrinkles, her body boasting the tender snap of fresh muscle.  Our girl’s brain, on the other hand, is at war with itself and others:  with memories of her mother’s worry and her father’s pain, subtle with her own simmering meditations on sex and violence, with fear of all the men that come through the door with their eyes so stark and full of want it’s like they’ve eaten her up before they’ve even selected her from underneath the butcher’s glass.

(What a lengthy and somewhat rambling opening.  I’m not sure about it!)

***

56:  There was a photo.  It appeared to be a box or a bag ripped open with a bunch of money inside.  Cap chuckled to himself.

***

Synopsis:  On the outskirts of San Diego, the bodies of two young women are discovered. They have no names, no IDs, and no family looking for them. Fearing the possibility of a human trafficking ring, the police and FBI reach out to Alice Vega, a private investigator known for finding the missing, for help in finding out who the Janes were–and finding the others who are missing.
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 before it is too late.
Louisa Luna is writing new classics of crime fiction, and her partnership of Vega and Cap is rightfully joining the pantheon of the most memorable in crime fiction.

***

What do you think?  I enjoyed the first book; I’m not yet sure about this one.

***