Friday, July 8, 2016

Susan Mallery brings us an all new novel about sisters and family and love.

Courtney ~ The Misfit ~

As the awkward one, Courtney Watson may not be as together as her sisters, but she excels at one thing—keeping secrets, including her white-hot affair with a sexy music producer. Planning Mom's wedding exposes her startling hidden life, changing her family's view of her—and how she views herself—forever.

Sienna ~ The Free Spirit ~

When Sienna's boyfriend proposes—in front of her mom and sisters, for crying out loud—he takes her by surprise. She already has two broken engagements under her belt. Should she say "I do" even if she's not sure she does?

Rachel ~ The Cynic ~

Rachel thought love would last forever…right up until her divorce. As Mom's wedding day draws near and her ex begs for a second chance, she's forced to acknowledge some uncomfortable truths about why her marriage failed, and decide if she'll let pride stand in the way of her own happily ever after. 

NetGalley is so fantastic that I can continue to get Ms Mallery's books prepublication, for the last three years or so. I always try to write an honest review, and twice my reviews have been chosen for monthly best book of the month. I am honored. 

The description tells the story fairly well. The sisters father died when they were very young and her mother barely held it together after losing their home. She worked and went to school and finally was able to get them back on their feet, but she spent more time making sure they were on their feet than with her children. 

Courtney, especially, tries not to resent it. She was held back twice in school and it was a long time before anyone realized she had a learning disability. But it seems as if she is never good enough for her mother. Being "just a maid" at the hotel where they grew up grates on her mother and she is constantly harassing her about changing jobs. What her mother or sisters do not know is that she got her GED, AA degree, and is a year from her Bachelor's degree. She has hidden it from them so she can do an "in your face, I can do it without your help" type of moment. Then she meets Quinn, who she can't seem to stay away from.

Rachel, the oldest, always felt more responsible for her sisters and helped with their care. She helped Courtney with school as much as she could, but she married young and had a young son. Now she is divorced and slightly miserable. When her ex-husband, who is a good man who made a mistake, starts showing interest again, she isn't sure what to do.

Sienna is just as lost as her sisters. She has a fantastic job running a thrift shop that supports a battered women's organization. But when her boyfriend suddenly proposes and she says yes, she isn't quite sure she is doing the right thing.

Everything seems to fall apart as the women prepare for their mother's wedding.  Come on, ladies, we know Ms Mallery won't give us a bad ending. Of course its happy ever after!

When her first, what I would call women's fiction, came out I was skeptical. I don't normally read women's fiction. Yes there are love stories inside them, but they are more about the relationship between the characters and watching the characters grow as people. I surprised myself by loving these novels as much as I have loved her contemporary romance. I was devastated that there was only one Fool's Gold book this spring. I, as well as many of her readers, have become accustomed to having three in the spring and possibly one in the fall for Christmas.  I am still devastated, but I enjoyed this novel as much as I enjoyed all of her books.  I will wait on pins and needles for her next book, which is way too far away!

What's new? School's out for the summer and I have been reading like crazy!

Well, I hope everyone's summer is going as well as mine. I'm laid up for awhile, need to have hip surgery I guess, so after moving to a new home, I have been reading like crazy since classes ended in May. I have until the third week in August to read as much as I can before classes start again. So, what have I been reading? Much isn't out yet, so you will just have to hear about them and save the title for later. Many are well worth the wait! I'm looking at Goodreads, so I will just go down the list of what I have read.

Frostblood by Elly Blake: Not out til January 2017 but an amazing new Young Adult fantasy book. It's frostbloods vs firebloods. Ice vs Fire in an all out war. Ice has pretty much decimated Fire. Born a Fireblood is a dangerous thing, something you absolutely have to hide or try to escape the country or the king's soldiers will find you and you will definitely be dead.  I won't go into a big description here, because I plan on actually writing a post about it. But it was awesome, great for fans of Throne of Glass (which y'all know I am obsessed with).

Lunar Chronicles series by Marissa Meyer. Okay, science fiction is not my thing, however my friend Olivia listened to the book on a trip and told me I HAVE to read it. So, I did. What a great series. The series starts with "Cinder". Talk about weird. So the entire series are fairy tale retellings, and book one is a cyborg Cinderella story. Not my typical thing, however I absolutely couldn't put it down. The story continues in "Scarlet" (Little Red Riding Hood), Cress (Rapunzel), and Winter (Snow White). You can also pick up "Fairest" which tells the story of how the evil queen became the evil queen as well as "Stars Above" which is a collection of short stories, the last of which gives us more story after the end of the fourth book.  I read the entire series in about a week, couldn't put it down.

United as One by Pittacus Lore. The Lorien Legacies have finally ended, and it went out in spectacular fashion. Even though I DETEST the real author, I had to finish the series.

Small Great Things by Jodi Picoult. Her books always have some sort of controversy and this one really stands out in today's world. A black nurse is told not to touch a white supremacists baby, but when something  goes wrong and the baby needs help, should she help the baby or not touch it per orders? A heart wrenching story with a completely unexpected ending. Out October 2016.

Must Love Wieners by Casey Griffin. Okay, I really do not like this title because it totally gives the wrong impression. This is not a 50 Shades of Grey read alike! It is a very sweet contemporary romance about a Dachshund Rescue Center, with a touch of mystery thrown in. I thought it was fantastic, but do not like the title. The sequel will be Beauty and the Wiener.... Oye.  Out August 2016.

Saving Jake by Sharon Sala. The next title in the Blessings, Georgia series. I absolutely love Sharon Sala's work. Usually romantic suspense, however this series is more contemporary and I just love it. i anxiously await the next title. This one is out October 2016.

 The Pursuit by Janet Evanovich. I absolutely love the Fox and O'Hare series by Evanovich. This one is just as good. Nick is kidnapped by a ring of thieves and Kate must save him. Haha. So, this doesn't need a descrption, just go read it!

Extreme Honor by Piper Drake. Military dog training facility. A great new series, I really enjoyed this one and it's soon to be sequel Ultimate Courage. I am looking for similar series, so if you have a suggestion, let me know!

What We Find by Robyn Carr. I am a little torqued that we didn't have a Thunder Point book this year. I don't know if the series has ended or what. I didn't like the first two or three but came to enjoy them alot. I guess this book was good. Not what I wanted so took me forever to pick it up. It was an interesting story.

Shadow Rider by Christine Feehan. I haven't mentioned how disappointed I have been in Feehan's last few.. several.. books. Oh, I have? Well, this one I actually did like. It's a new story she has given us about people who can control and ride shadows. It still is very heavy on the alpha male weak female thing that I absolutely can't stand, but I did like the story.

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

John Flanagan brings us an all new Brotherband Chronicles

When the Brotherband crew are caught in a massive storm at sea, they’re blown far off course - so far that they wash up on the shores of a land to the west that Hal can’t recognize from any of his maps. Eerily the locals are nowhere in sight, yet the Herons have a creeping feeling they are being watched.

Suddenly the silence is broken when a massive, marauding bear appears, advancing on two native children. The crew springs into action and rescues the children from the bear’s clutches, which earns them the gratitude and friendship of the local Mawagansett tribe, who finally reveal themselves. But the peace is short-lived. The Ghostfaces, a ruthless, warlike tribe who shave their heads and paint their faces white, are on the warpath once more. It’s been ten years since they raided the Mawagansett village, but they’re coming back to pillage and reap destruction. As the enemy approaches, the Herons gear up to help their new friends repel an invasion.

In this sixth book in the action-packed Brotherband Chronicles, the Herons find themselves in unfamiliar lands and prepare for battle with a ruthless, unknown enemy.

John Flanagan is an excellent storyteller, and I have absolutely enjoyed the entire Ranger's Apprentice and Brotherband Chronicles series. What is even better is my son also reads them, so we have something to talk about. Trying to get a twelve year old to talk to his mom is usually like pulling teeth, so it's been great!

Hal and his friends take us on another journey, where they get blown out to sea and across the unknown ocean. They land on a land that is different than their own. They are wary of the natives but end up befriending them when they save two children from a very large bear. But another tribe of natives could cause them a lot of problems.

I love how Flanagan brings in elements of the real world to this series. We see Scandanavia in the Skandians, and now we see native North Americans in this book! It is so incredibly cool. The book was well written, well thought out, I enjoyed each of the characters, and I even cried a little. This is such an amazing series. 

The Guardians trilogy returns with Bay of Sighs by Nora Roberts

Mermaid Annika is from the sea, and it is there she must return after her quest to find the stars. New to this world, her purity and beauty are nothing less than breathtaking, along with her graceful athleticism, as her five new friends discovered when they retrieved the fire star. 
Now, through space and time, traveler Sawyer King has brought the guardians to the island of Capri, where the water star is hidden. And as he watches Annika in her element, he finds himself drawn to her joyful spirit. But Sawyer knows that if he allows her into his heart, no compass could ever guide him back to solid ground...
And in the darkness, their enemy broods. She lost one star to the guardians, but there is still time for blood to be spilled—the mermaid’s in the water and the traveler’s on the land. For she has forged a dangerous new weapon. Something deadly and unpredictable. Something human

Does Ms Roberts books ever actually need an introduction? I adore her books and really adore her paranormal books! This one was no exception and I think I will die waiting til December for the story to finish!

Annika and Sawyer have a connection that neither of them can much understand. At the end of this journey, Annika will have to return to the sea and Sawyer will be stuck on land. Their relationship can't go anywhere yet they are drawn to each other. Their desire for each other matches their desire to find the stars and return them to the Island of Glass. 

Evil stalks them, this time the evil goddess recruits a human male, one known to some of the group as extremely ruthless and dangerous. But he is not as he seems, as the goddess has made him.. more. It will take everything they have to defeat him and continue their journey to save the Stars of Fortune.