Thursday, July 12, 2018

Something in the Water

Something in the Water by Catherine Steadman

A couple makes an astonishing discovery beneath the
calm, undisturbed waters of the South Pacific Ocean......

Breathtaking coral gardens, sandy white beaches
glistening in the sun, a velvety, emerald green sea, and lush,
fragrant hibiscus surrounding a peaceful lagoon. This is the
Polynesian island of Bora Bora, said to be the most magical
place in the world. The perfect spot for newlyweds Erin Locke
and Mark Roberts to relax and unwind.

As a filmmaker of documentaries, Erin is on the verge of making a
name for herself. She's all set to interview three individuals about
their recent release from prison, one of whom is a notorious kingpin
of  British crime. A real coup for Erin to land personal time with a known
murderer and money launderer. This could send her career soaring.

Mark is reeling from his recent job loss as an investment banker and
struggling to pay the bills. Jetting to Bora Bora may be impractical, but it's
something he and his new wife deserve. And there's no better place on Earth
for scuba diving than this island paradise to bask in the incredible beauty
of the ocean's treasures. Erin's hesitancy and fear of diving quickly fades.
After all, she'll do anything to make Mark happy.

But it's what they come across while diving in the gloriously quiet
solitude, that turns this trip into a dangerous nightmare of terror. Can
a secret remain between just the two of them, or is someone watching
as they carefully retrieve their find from the depths of darkness?

This fabulous debut novel opens with Erin digging the grave for her
beloved Mark, which will undoubtedly hook readers from the start.
All the dirty details leading up to the grizzly scene are unveiled from
that point on, and it's an action-packed adventure to the end.

Domestic bliss is in jeopardy in this cloak-and-dagger thriller
that Reese Witherspoon's production company has already
acquired for film adaptation.

A must-read for those who love tantalizing suspense.

Friday, June 29, 2018

The Perfect Couple

The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand

There's nothing like finding a dead body to ruin
a girl's wedding day....

Celeste Otis and Benji Winbury are getting married.
She's the only child of a couple who epitomize devotion
and love. He's the son of a famous, British mystery
writer and a hedge fund owner who rubs elbows
with the elite. Fabulous festivities are underway, when the bride
discovers her deceased maid of honor floating in the tranquil
waters of Nantucket Harbor the morning of the nuptials.
Suddenly, the celebration ends before it begins, with
every family member and guest under suspicion of murder.

Readers are now privy to every juicy detail in the lives
of rich, well-developed characters in the months and days
prior to this tragic event. It's easy to vividly picture them in your mind.
There's Greer, the cool, sophisticated mother of the groom, who watches
her once successful literary career waning away. And Tag, father of the groom,
intent on resurrecting his youth in the shadow of his wealthy wife.
Karen, Celeste's mother, valiantly fights her battle with cancer
while learning a few startling surprises about her seemingly ideal
union. These are just a few of the many people gathered
on the island, replete with flaws and fears, hiding
salacious secrets, telling devious lies, protecting one another,
and praying the past doesn't come back to haunt them.

Elin Hilderbrand fans will enjoy reconnecting with popular
characters from her previous novels in this latest release. References
to succulent foods and tourist attractions will find you
wishing for a trip of your own to the dreamy, magical island of

Romance meets mystery, and the result is the best beach read
of the summer season.

"Perfect", indeed.......

Saturday, June 9, 2018

The Death of Mrs. Westaway

The Death of Mrs. Westaway by Ruth Ware

Hal (Harriet) Westaway has nowhere to turn. Frightened and alone, she looks over her shoulder
every minute of every day, fearful that it's just a matter of time before that slimy loan shark
returns with his menacing threats. And there is simply no one left to help her.

When her mother was killed tragically three years ago by a hit-and-run driver, Hal's
life changed dramatically. Survival now falls squarely on her shoulders. She opens her kiosk on the pier every morning to a parade of people who watch intently as she slowly turns over the tarot cards, and interprets their meaning. Nervous customers hang on her every word, believing the cards have the power to shape their lives. It's a skill Hal learned as a child from her mother, and she's quite the expert in the tricks of the trade.

When a mysterious letter arrives informing Hal that she is one of the recipients of her late grandmother's estate, she is puzzled and confused. Surely this is a case of mistaken
identity because her grandparents died over twenty years ago. But there is a flutter of hope
in Hal's heart when she reads the official words on paper; this could be the chance to
escape from her problems and along the way, deceive people she doesn't even know. Just a little white lie, you see, only claiming enough money to get through this incredibly rough patch in her life.

So she sets out on her journey to Trepassen, the massive estate of her "grandmother" to
answer the summons requesting her presence at the reading of the will.  All the while, her mother's words echo in her ears. "Don't fall into the trap of believing your own lies..."

As the story continues, the reader is drawn into Ruth Ware's lair of mystery, a feat she accomplishes
so well. Her impeccably written words describe the doom and gloom behind the crumbling
walls of Trepassen, the baffling questions about her peculiar "relatives", the uneasy feelings
about the old, decrepit housekeeper who whispers dire words of warning, the desperate words
etched into glass long ago in her attic room, and the unsettling feeling that someone is always watching her. The fact is, nothing here is what it appears to be. These ancient grounds hold some very disturbing secrets, indeed.

Immerse yourself in this eerie tale that is reminiscent of the renowned Agatha Christie.
Ghostly, addictive, and thoroughly entertaining, this may be the author's best work yet.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Then She Was Gone

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

Everyone loved fifteen-year-old Ellie Mack. Vibrant and beautiful, with a promising future ahead of
her, she couldn't wait to begin a stress-free summer with her handsome boyfriend. But then
Ellie vanished after a routine visit to the library, and all those hopes and dreams slipped away. Life for the Mack family ended that fateful day.

Ten years after Ellie's mysterious disappearance, police find her discarded remains, along with a faded rucksack and various personal items scattered carelessly near the bones. Somehow, the sad news doesn't surprise Ellie's mother, Laurel. She's been waiting for this day to arrive after her
marriage disintegrated and her two remaining children drifted away, unable to bear seeing the grief in their mother's eyes after losing her favorite child. The dull ache in Laurel's heart will never go away until she knows what happened to her darling Ellie.

Just when she needs to lift her spirits, Laurel meets Floyd, a charming, intriguing stranger in a local cafe. Suddenly, her life takes on new meaning as their relationship grows to the next level. Amazing
how much Floyd reminds Laurel of ex-husband, Paul, in his mannerisms and the way he dresses.
And even more unsettling is how much his precocious daughter, Poppy, looks like her deceased daughter. When Laurel learns of a strange connection between Poppy's mother and Ellie, there's a feeling of dread which incessantly preys on her mind. Coincidence or something far more ominous?

This wickedly good, psychological thriller has all the elements for an addictive, tantalizing
read. A missing teenager, her traumatized, heartbroken mother, the suave gentleman who charms his way into her pathetic life, and the creepy innuendos that something dark and evil is about to be unveiled.

Just wait until you find out what that something is.

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Beach House Reunion

Beach House Reunion by Mary Alice Monroe

Nostalgic, warm, and wonderful....just in time for Mother's Day.

Cara Rutledge is home. After years away, it suddenly feels right to return to The Isle of
Palms, where bittersweet memories fill each and every room of the Beach House. It's the place where Cara fell in love with Brett, where she learned to love the sea turtles, where she found peace and solitude after searching for the missing pieces of her life.

Her beloved mother, Lovie, is gone now, but Cara feels her presence when the familiar scent of jasmine fills the salty air.  And Brett's gone, too. The love of her life, taken from her just when the promise of a new tomorrow was on the horizon. Now she's a fifty-some-year old woman with a much-wanted child, feeling frightened and exhilarated at the thought of starting over.

Cara's niece, Linnea, arrives just in time to help her with the overwhelming challenge of raising a child and trying to make a living. But, like her aunt, Linnea must make decisions of her own when it comes to finding that perfect job, now that college days are behind her. There's constant pressure from her controlling father to choose the path he's picked for her rather than the career of her dreams.
And to complicate things, she falls hopelessly in love at a most inopportune time.

Troubles continue to mount upon Cara's return. She's dismayed by her brother's uncontrolled drinking, and the fact that her nephew seems to be headed down the same road of self-destruction. Through it all, Cara draws upon her inner strength to face a whirlwind of problems, just as Lovie did when life seemed insurmountable. She finally acknowledges feelings for a new love, letting go of the treasured memories of the past. There's a blossoming future within Cara's reach when she discovers loss can bring new beginnings.

Those readers who read Monroe's original book, The Beach House (and viewed the movie
recently on Hallmark Channel) will thoroughly enjoy spending time once again with the strong women of the Rutledge family. If you are a new reader, indulge yourself by meeting this memorable cast of characters in the earlier books of this series. By the time you finish, you'll look upon them as good friends.

How lucky her fans will be if Mary Alice Monroe chooses to continue the story about what happens next at The Beach House in sweet, sultry South Carolina.

Thursday, May 3, 2018

The Home for Unwanted Girls

The Home for Unwanted Girls by Joanna Goodman

Quebec, 1950. Sixteen-year-old Maggie is pregnant by Gabriel, a poor, French farm boy. Her
English-speaking father and judgmental, uncouth mother, send her away to toil on the farm of a jovial aunt and lecherous uncle until the baby is born. Adoption plans go awry, and the sickly, little girl, called Elodie, is sent to an orphanage. She knows little of the outside world beyond these walls, always surrounded by nuns who watch her every move. Little does she know that these are the good days, unaware of the torture that awaits her.

Heartbroken and naive, Maggie goes on with life, diligently working in her father's successful seed  store and eventually finding contentment with a successful businessman. She dreams of a reunion with the child she was forced to abandon years ago. Elodie's life takes a dramatic turn for the worse when the Canadian government turns Catholic orphanages into homes for the mentally ill, all in the name of making money. Overnight, children are put into psychiatric facilities, with no one caring  about their rights. Socially awkward, with visible scars of inhumane treatment, resilient Elodie learns to fend for herself. She has dreams of her own; reuniting with the mother she's never known.

This novel, based on the author's own mother's recollections of dark times, tells a story of  the sharp divide between the English and French cultures in 1950s Quebec and Montreal. Children born out of sin were cast aside and subjected to abhorrent conditions in the very institutions that were meant to protect them. It's a captivating tale full of disturbing images, but one that will ultimately make you believe that anything's possible, as long as you have hope.

Friday, April 13, 2018

A Nantucket Wedding

A Nantucket Wedding by Nancy Thayer

Blended families unite on this tranquil island for their parents'
upcoming nuptials, but soon discover there's a whole lot of chaos
and surprises waiting for them in paradise.

Alison never thought she'd find love again after her husband died.
All that changes when she meets charismatic David at a cocktail
party, sparking an attraction and passion she hasn't felt since she
was young. With this handsome, successful man by her side, she
begins to plan their spectacular wedding at his idyllic summer
home on Nantucket. But their grown children have to meet one
another before wedded bliss has a chance, and that's where the
drama begins.

When sisters Jane and Felicity arrive to help plan their mother's
wedding, their stormy relationship slowly dissolves as they share their innermost insecurities about marriage and children. Perhaps it's time for lovely Felicity to stand up to a husband who chides her for not understanding his needs. Maybe Jane has the right to change her mind about a decision she and her obstinate husband
made long ago. And how does a vulnerable woman resist
the flirtations of her soon-to-be step brother? David's determined
daughter questions a will that leaves her newfound siblings some serious
money, while struggling to find a place in her father's empire. It's anyone's
guess as to how they will survive the tumultuous ride ahead.

Usher in the season of beach reads and romance with this fun, delectable story
about forgiveness, second chances, and starting over. A great choice to kick-off
sunny days ahead, cool ocean breezes, and cobalt blue skies, if only
in your dreams.