Monday, May 16, 2016

"The Weekenders" by Mary Kay Andrews is a hit!

Some people stay all summer long on the idyllic island of Belle Isle, North Carolina. Some people come only for the weekends-and it's something they look forward to all week long. When Riley Griggs is waiting for her husband to arrive at the ferry one Friday afternoon, she is instead served with papers informing her that her island home is being foreclosed. To make matters worse, her husband is nowhere to be found. She turns to her island friends for help and support, but each of them has their own secrets and the clock is ticking as the mystery deepens. Cocktail parties and crab boil aside, Riley must find a way to investigate the secrets of Belle Island, the husband she might not really know, and the summer that could change everything.

Riley Griggs grew up going to Belle Island every summer. She loves the island and her family, but having to put up with them this summer will probably grate on her last nerve. Riley and her husband have decided to divorce and this weekend, the first weekend of summer, they are going to tell their twelve year old daughter Maggie. Maggie has become increasingly sullen, as if she knows what is going to happen. Riley is ticked when Wendell doesn't show up to take the last ferry of the day, feeling as if he has blown her off so she can deliver the bad news to Maggie on her own. Then Riley is the bad guy, not Wendell. But the next day, the sheriff shows up and informs Riley that Wendell is dead, his body has been found in the water.
Of course, immediate suspicion falls on Riley. What Riley didn't know was that Wendell had gone into bankruptcy. He was going to make Belle Island into some crazy tourist trap, taking away the small town feel that the island had. Riley had been against it, but behind her back Wendell was buying up land and making plans. Now her husband is dead, Riley is destitute, as Wendell had drained their bank accounts and her trust fund without her knowledge, and Maggie is doing everything she can to rebel. 
Riley decides she has to figure out what happened to Wendell, before she loses her daughter and her piece of mind. The suspects keep cropping up when Riley finds out Wendell had swindled not only her money, but also her brothers and her mothers.

I have never read a Mary Kay Andrews book with this amount of intrigue and mystery. I really enjoyed it, and I enjoyed that Riley found someone who accepts her and Maggie as they are even with her dysfunctional family. I loved Riley's character, and Maggie reminds me so much of my twelve year old son with the attitude problems. This was a a great story and I am excited that I was given the opportunity to read it!

Allison Brennan brings Max Revere back with an all new story

Teen-aged Internet bully Ivy Lake fell off a cliff and few people cared ... except her mentally-challenged eighteen-year-old step-brother, Tommy. He loved her in spite of her cruelty. He's distraught and doesn't understand why his blended family is falling apart. After a year, the police still have no answers: Ivy could have jumped, could have been pushed, or it could have been an accident. With too many suspects and not enough evidence, the investigation has grown cold.
Tommy thinks that if someone can figure out what happened to his step-sister, everything will go back to normal, so he writes to investigative reporter Maxine Revere. This isn’t the type of case Max normally takes on, but the heartbreak and simple honesty in Tommy's letter pulls her in. She travels to Corte Madera, California, with her assistant David Kane and is at first pleased that the police are cooperative. But the more Max learns about Tommy and his dysfunctional family, the more she thinks she’s taken on an impossible task: this may be the one case she can’t solve.
If Ivy was murdered, it was exceptionally well-planned and that kind of killer could be hiding in plain sight ... planning the next act of violence. Max believes the truth is always better than lies, that the truth is the only thing that matters to gain justice for victims and their families. But for the first time, she wonders if this time, the truth will kill.

Max Revere is back and WOW is this is a fantastic story.  

All Tommy wants is to be able to spend time with his stepbrother and half sister, but his stepmom thinks that he killed his stepsister Ivy. Austin and his friend Emma help him write a letter to Max to come investigate and prove it wasn't him, so that he can see his siblings again. 

Max is intrigued by the story and by Tommy himself, so she returns to California and looks into the Ivy's death. What she finds is that Ivy was a horrible, vicious, mean young woman who caused another teenager to commit suicide with her internet bullying. As much as she comes to immensely dislike this young woman, she was still murdered and Max wants to know why.

Okay, I have always liked Ms Brennan but the Max Revere series is my absolute favorite mystery series. I think it has been extremely well done. I love Max, she tells it like she sees it but recognizes her faults as well. I think this book really brings to the forefront the problem with cyber bullying and how it affects young lives. Just loved it! 

The Hard Ink series may be over but Laura Kaye is back with the MC gang in an all new series

Brotherhood. Club. Family.
They live and ride by their own rules.
These are the Raven Riders . . .
Raven Riders Motorcycle Club President Dare Kenyon rides hard and values loyalty above all else. He’ll do anything to protect the brotherhood of bikers—the only family he’s got—as well as those who can’t defend themselves. So when mistrustful Haven Randall lands on the club’s doorstep scared that she’s being hunted, Dare takes her in, swears to keep her safe, and pushes to learn the secrets overshadowing her pretty smile.
Haven fled from years of abuse at the hands of her criminal father and is suspicious of any man’s promises, including those of the darkly sexy and overwhelmingly intense Ravens’ leader. But as the powerful attraction between them flares to life, Dare pushes her boundaries and tempts her to want things she never thought she could.
The past never dies without a fight, but Dare Kenyon’s never backed down before . . .

I loved the Hard Ink series and I am so glad that Ms Kaye decided to go ahead and write about the Raven Riders, whom we met in the Hard Ink series. Not to worry, our friends from Hard Ink make an appearance!
Haven has spent her life under the brutal thumb of her father, so when she and her friend manage to escape, life seems to look up. Until they were captured by the Church gang. Hard Ink and the Raven Riders saved the girls when they took down the Church gang and now the girls are staying at the Raven Riders compound, until the Riders figure out what to do with them. Haven is at a loss as to what to do. The Raven Riders make a habit out of rescuing women in need and getting them new identities and a new life, but Haven has an irresistible attraction to the president Dare, and she is completely unsure of what to do with it. 
Dare's life revolves around running the Raven Riders. His past haunts him and he doesn't think he is good enough for anyone, especially not young Haven. But when he finds out exactly what kind of trouble she is in, he knows he has to help her, no matter what. When her father comes pounding at the door, he has to figure out how to save her from a return to a brutal life without ruining his club at the same time.
Phenomenal. simply put. Ms Kaye brings us fantastic story after fantastic story, and I absolutely adore these books. The year long wait for the next book could kill me.  

Kylie Scott is back with an all new, fantastic story!

The last thing Vaughan Hewson expects to find when he returns to his childhood home is a broken hearted bride in his shower, let alone the drama and chaos that come with her.
Lydia Green doesn't know whether to scream or cry in a corner. Discovering the love of your life is having an affair on your wedding day is bad enough. Finding out it's with his best man is another thing all together.
Just when this runaway bride has nowhere left to turn, a handsome stranger offers her a broad, muscular shoulder to cry on. Vaughan is the exact opposite of the picture perfect, respected businessmen she's normally drawn to. This former musician-turned-bartender is rough around the edges and is facing his own crossroads. But Lydia's already tried Mr. Right and discovered he's all wrong--maybe it's time to give Mr. Right Now a chance.
After all, what's wrong with getting dirty?

The last thing Lydia thought would happen is that on her wedding day, someone would send her a video of her husband to be.. with another man. She takes off and ends up hiding out in the bathroom of a house next door. She didn't realize anyone lived there til Vaughan turned the shower on and found her.
Vaughan isn't quite sure what to make of his life at the moment. His band has separated and he needs to sell the house to help his sister out, so he comes home to think about things, not expecting to find a woman in his bathtub.
Vaughan helps Lydia out, not sure why he is drawn to her but knowing he has to help her.  They help out at his sister's bar. She enjoys helping out, even if one of the owners, Eric, is a bit of a jerk. She makes new friends and realizes she likes it here and maybe wants to stay, but is unsure of where to proceed. 
We met Vaughan in the Stage Dive series, and I am excited that he stars in his own novel. I enjoyed reading this very much, as I have absolutely enjoyed the Stage Dive series and this one. New Adult genre really is not my thing, but Ms Scott tells a fabulous story!

The Obsession by Nora Roberts

Naomi Bowes lost her innocence the night she followed her father into the woods. In freeing the girl trapped in the root cellar, Naomi revealed the horrible extent of her father's crimes and made him infamous. No matter how close she gets to happiness, she can't outrun the sins of Thomas David Bowes.
Now a successful photographer living under the name Naomi Carson, she has found a place that calls to her, a rambling old house in need of repair, thousands of miles away from everything she's ever known. Naomi wants to embrace the solitude, but the kindly residents of Sunrise Cove keep forcing her to open up—especially the determined Xander Keaton. 
Naomi can feel her defenses failing, and knows that the connection her new life offers is something she's always secretly craved. But the sins of her father can become an obsession, and, as she's learned time and again, her past is never more than a nightmare away.

When Naomi was eleven years old, she followed her father into the woods, thinking she would catch him putting together a new bicycle for her birthday. She was devastated to find a young woman, beaten and raped, instead. She helped the girl escape and they turned her father in. Naomi's mother couldn't handle it, and denied it, and her uncle came and Naomi and her mother and brother to live with him.

When Naomi was sixteen, she and a friend from school come home to grab some camera equipment and Naomi finds her mother dead. She had committed suicide. Her friend realizes who she is, the daughter of Thomas Bowes, and wants her story. He heads the school newspaper and wants to be a journalist. He thinks Naomi's story will push him to the front. Naomi refuses and writes the story herself. Then her uncles move them to New York, away from D.C. and the media circus there. Someone has written a book and there is also now a movie about Thomas Bowes and Naomi's rescue of Ashley, the young woman she found bound in the cellar. 

Fast forward a few years. Naomi is a successful photographer and has just purchased a big house on the west coast. Its the first time she has settled down since finishing college and she is renovating the big house with the help of a local contractor. She stumbles upon a stray dog in rough shape on the side of the road and at the same time meets Xander, a mechanic from town. Xander helps her get the dog home and brings her supplies to help her out until the owners are found. However, she never finds the owner and ends up keeping the dog she names Tag. She also starts to fall for Xander. 

Then one day, out taking pictures, she stumbles upon the body of a woman that she had a disagreement with a few nights earlier. A week later, another woman goes missing. Naomi's brother, now a special agent with the FBI comes in to help the sheriff investigate. Together they realize that the women going missing have eerie similarities to Thomas Bowes' victims. Mason starts looking back and finds out that many women have gone missing in locations where Naomi has photographed or spent time in, all the way back to when she was in college.

Xander and Mason are determined to keep Naomi safe, but Naomi feels guilty for the women's murders and starts closing herself back off from the world. Will they be able to keep Naomi safe and find out who has been after her for so many years?

Okay, I loved this book. I loved Naomi, I thought she was awesome. I want to jump Xander's bones something awful! I loved the secondary characters of Kevin and Jenny and Loo. I want awesome gay uncles like Naomi had. I did, unfortunately, figure who the bad guy was long before any murders actually happened, however, I think the story was meant to be that way. I thought it was simply fantastic. I had a very hard time going to sleep the evening I finished this book! 

Welcome back to Fool's Gold!

To overcome her painful past, baker Shelby Gilmore goes on the hunt for a friend—a male friend—to convince her stubborn psyche that men can be trusted. But where in a town as small as Fool's Gold will the petite blonde find a guy willing to not date her? 

Dark, charming Aidan Mitchell puts the "adventure" in Mitchell Adventure Tours…and into the beds of his many willing female tourists. Until he realizes he's inadvertently become that guy—the one-night Casanova—and worse, everyone in town knows it. Maybe Shelby's boy/girl experiment will help him see women as more than just conquests so he can change his ways and win back his self-respect. 

As Aidan and Shelby explore the secret lives of men and women, the heat between them fires up the Fool's Gold rumor mill. If no one will believe they're just friends, maybe they should give the gossips something to really talk about!

Shelby comes up with a plan to help herself overcome her relationship issues by asking Aiden to be her friend. They would hang out and do friend things. Aiden agrees simply because he realizes that he does not treat women very well and wants to learn how to treat them right. He does not want to be in a relationship and get married, feeling that his parents' marriage showed him that he never, ever wanted to be in love. The situation seems to work well for both Aiden and Shelby, until they realize they feel much more than friendship for each other. 

Susan Mallery never fails to deliver a great story full of love and friendship. Everything about this series has been fantastic from the start. When I sit down with the Fool's Gold series I know I will walk away happy. Thanks so very much for another fantastic read :)