Category Archives: Contemporary

Exposed by Lisa Scottoline

Scottoline, Lisa Exposed

 

 

Publication Date: August 15, 2017

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and St. Martin’s Press

 

 

In this latest book from the Rosato and DiNunzio series, Mary DiNunzio is once again embroiled in neighborhood/family business. Mary gets embroiled in what appears to be a relatively straightforward discriminatory firing of a young man from the neighborhood who has a very sick child.

As the investigation begins DiNunzio soon realizes the complexities with which she is dealing. The actual case is complicated by the fact that the parent firm she intends to sue is owned by a large corporate conglomerate represented frequently by her partner Bennie Rosato. Before she can begin, internal legal and ethical issues must be resolved.

The characters from the South Philadelphia neighborhood are amusing as usual, and the new characters play their roles well. The storyline twists and turns with murder and danger lurking throughout the pages. The story is entertaining with its suspense, intrigue, and drama. A good light read!

This ARC copy was received from St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense

Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber

Macomber, Debbie Any Dream Will Do.htm

Publication Date: August 8, 2017

Ballantine Books

ARC from Ballantine Books and Netgalley.com

 

“I decided I could either live my life in fear or I could—simply put—live my life. I refused to look over my shoulder or stop before turning every corner to make sure I was safe. I chose instead to breathe easy, and to put my trust in God. It was either that, or I would soon be afraid of my own shadow.

                                                                                     -Shay

 Debbie Macomber’s latest novel is all about second chances and what we do with them. In this very detailed story of one woman’s opportunity after a lot of bad mistakes, Shay, a quiet young woman, leaves the Washington Correction Center for Women and begins her search for a place to stay. Shay’s life is turned around because of her encounter with Drew Douglas, a pastor who finds a program for women in her circumstance.

The story follows Shay’s path through the Hope Center program and after her release in to civilian life with all its ups and downs. Her opportunities and choices reflect the difficulties involved in making a life for oneself again. The book highlights the attitudes and prejudices ex-convicts are up against once they leave prison, as well as offering some important perspectives on redemption and forgiveness.

The story is a little bit difficult to believe if you try to accept it as a realistic incidence. However, if you take the book as a fictional story as intended, the story is enjoyable and has a nicely tied up ending.

I received this book free from Ballantine Books and Netgalley. I was not required to write a positive review. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Clean, Contemporary, Contemporary

Jane of Austin by Hilary Manton Lodge

Publication Date: June 13, 2017

Bethany House Publishers

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Waterbrook Multnomah

 

 

“It’s good to have dreams. But sometimes dreams change, or take different forms, or you go down a path and realize that while it’s not the beach, you really like the forest.”

-Jane

 A delightful read for the summer! This unique variation of Sense and Sensibility set in modern day Austin, Texas is a fun, light read. The lives of three sisters, Celia, Jane, and Margo, takes another intriguing turn when necessity forces a change of residence from their native San Francisco to Austin. The city of Austin, lights years different in terms of culture and lifestyle, offers the girls an opportunity for a new start.

Join this intriguing trio of sisters as they set out for Austin and try to move their tea business, plants and all, along with them. The older two, Celia and Jane, each have their own love issues with which to contend, in addition to raising their teenage sister. The girls have character, charisma, and charm.

The book is a poignant story full of family, romance, and the meaning of sisters. If you’ve read Sense and Sensibility, you’ll see the similarities. As a bonus, some wonderful recipes for the amazing baked goods discussed in the story are sprinkled throughout the book. Don’t miss this fun summer read!

This copy was received from Waterbrook Multnomah in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, Clean, Contemporary, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance

The Writing Desk by Rachel Hauck

Hauck, Rachel The Writing Desk
Publication Date: July 10, 2017
Publisher: Zondervan Publications

 

 

 

“Her old typewriter perched on its well-worn grooves, waiting for her to type again. But her story had been told.”

And what a story Birdie Shehorn had lived and told! The book weaves the stories of Birdie Shehorn and Tenley Roth together in an intriguing read that covers two distinctly different periods in history. Tenley, a young promising author, lives in present day New York engaged to a pretentious young man from a well to do family, the Van Cliffs. Birdie Shehorn, a struggling young want-to-be author, lives in New York in the year 1902 and becomes engaged to Alfonse Van Cliff, a flirtatious charming young man. The similarities begin.

Both young women find their lives changed as a result of their writing and the men to whom they are engaged. They each take their destiny into their own hands after many difficult trials and choices. Their path toward finding themselves and fulfilling their writing careers is a complex one.

What starts out as a simple story quickly unfolds and becomes so much more! I really enjoyed this book and particularly loved the historical portion of the story. Readers of contemporary and historical fiction will enjoy this book. Read the story and find out how these young women turn their lives around and find happiness each in her own way.

This ARC copy was received from Zondervan in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Contemporary, Contemporary, Historical Fiction, Romance

Life After by Katie Ganshert

Publication Date: April 2017

Waterbrook Multnomah

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Waterbrook Multnomah

 

“Bad things happen all the time, all over the world. And we believe in God’s goodness. We believe He is good. We say He is good. Until the bad things turn personal. That’s when we start to question.”

-Grandma Ally, the Sunday after 9/11, on our way home from church         

Autumn Manning lives in a world of her own since the accident. She struggles perpetually with the question of why. Why did she get on that particular train? Why did she survive? Why did her life get intertwined with that of Vivian Elliott? Even a year later the whys are endless in Autumn’s mind.

This deeply emotional and poignant tale shares the story of Autumn’s recovery and her involvement with the Elliott family. As Reese Elliott, the twelve-year-old daughter of Vivian and Paul Elliott, struggles to find a way to grieve the death of her mother. Her path to recovery from the traumatic loss of her mom leads her to inadvertently draw Autumn into the family’s personal turmoil.

A haunting and emotional story! The characters have depth and personality, each unique and slightly broken in their own way. The book draws the reader in from the beginning and it’s hard to put down. This is a serious read that deals with deep subjects such as why bad things happen to some people and not others and how God comforts us in different ways and in his own time. I very much enjoyed the book. The ending leaves the reader with a feeling of possibility and hopefulness. I would definitely recommend the book to readers of Christian fiction and contemporary fiction.

I received this book free from Netgalley and Waterbrook Multnomah. I was not required to write a positive review. The above thoughts and opinions I have expressed are wholly my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Clean, Contemporary, Contemporary

Peace in the Valley by Ruth Logan Herne

Series: Double S Ranch Series

Publication Date: May 2016

Waterbrook Multnomah Publishers

ARC from Waterbrook Multnomah and Netgalley.com

 

 

Once again Ruth Logan Herne takes us back to the Double S Ranch owned by the Stafford family in a lush green valley of Washington. The last of the Stafford brothers, Trey Walker Stafford, takes a break from his flourishing career as a country and western star and comes home for an extended stay. Trey doesn’t even make it to the ranch before creating turmoil with the nearest neighbor, Lucy Carlton, a struggling single mom raising four children.

The story includes the entire family from the first two novels. The large, all encompassing family is busy shifting with the changes that are underway in their lives. Weddings are being planned; houses are being built; and illness is being dealt with. All around them, the cycle of ranch life continues as they work to rebuild their town as well.

As change swirls all around them, they must remember to trust in the Lord for the answer to each of their prayers. The real story revolves around Trey and Lucy and whether two people from such diverse walks of life can find a place to meet in the middle. Once again the author does a great job of incorporating faith and the balance of life into the book.  Readers of contemporary inspirational fiction will enjoy this family saga.

This ARC copy was received from Waterbrook Multnomah and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

Ruth Logan Herne Author Page

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Clean, Contemporary, Contemporary, Inspirational Fiction

A Royal Christmas Wedding by Rachel Hauck

hauck-rachel-a-royal-christmas-wedding

 

Series:  The Royal Wedding Series

Publication Date: 2016

Publisher: Zondervan and the Fiction Guild

 

 

“You’re redeeming the curse of Prince Michael, bringing the tradition back to life.”

                                                                        -Edward Tattersall

There is nothing like a good Christmas book filled with a real live prince, a beautiful young American woman, and a bell ringing tradition to spice up one’s holiday season. An entertaining read sprinkled with fairy tale romance, Christmas balls, and a Royal family!

After being dumped by Prince Colin of Brighton Kingdom five years previously, Avery Truitt is hesitant to encounter the young man again. However, in order to see her favorite sister, Avery must endure the company of Prince Colin during the holidays.

The story follows Prince Colin as he learns to stand up for himself and act on the wishes of a power higher than himself and his rather overbearing father.  Avery reaches deep to find the faith and trust she will need to change her world and to truly believe in Colin again.  Will Avery show up on Christmas morning after the bell rings?

A fun and engaging story! Perfect holiday reading!

This ARC copy was received from Zondervan and the Fiction Guild in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

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Filed under Christmas, Clean, Contemporary, Romance