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New Book Tuesday!

Here are two of the books I have received to read via NetGalley that are publishing today!

I am currently reading Because You’re Mine by Rea Frey and I am so excited about it. I have read so many great reviews on Bookstagram and on Goodreads! Thank you to St. Martin’s Griffin for my copy.

About the author: Rea Frey is an award-winning author of four nonfiction books. She lives in Nashville with her husband and daughter. Her debut novel, NOT HER DAUGHTER, was released 8.21.18 and has been optioned for film. Her new novel, BECAUSE YOU’RE MINE, will be published 8.6.19. Read more at reafrey.com.

Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker is also available today. Thank you to Atria Books for my copy. You can read my review on my previous post. While it’s not my favorite by this author, (The Simple Wild owns my heart) it is a wonderful late-summer read that took me back to the nostalgia of summer camp and first love.

About the author:

K.A. Tucker writes captivating stories with an edge. 

She is the USA Today bestselling author of 17 books, including the Causal Enchantment, Ten Tiny Breaths and Burying Water series, He Will Be My Ruin, Until It Fades, Keep Her Safe, and The Simple Wild. 

Her books have been featured in national publications including USA Today, Globe & Mail, Suspense Magazine, First for Women, and Publisher’s Weekly. She has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Romance 2013 for TEN TINY BREATHS and Best Romance 2018 for THE SIMPLE WILD. Her novels have been translated into 16 languages.

K.A. Tucker currently resides in a quaint town outside of Toronto with her family.

Happy Publication Day to both of these books!

Book Review: Say You Still Love Me by K.A. Tucker

Atria Books 384 pages

I feel a slight amount of disappointment in this book.  While it is a sweet story of first love and second chances, I didn’t feel the same immediate pull to the story as I did with The Simple Wild.  I loved that book so much, and unfortunately, and possibly unfairly, I went into Say You Still Love Me with a great deal of expectation. 

I didn’t connect with the main character, Piper.  This took me out of the story a bit.  I do think this is a great late-summer romantic read.  It goes back in time to when the main characters, Piper and Kyle, first meet as camp counselors at a summer camp. And then it alternates between the present and the past. Can Piper and Kyle rekindle their summer romance?  Is that first love still as powerful 13 years later? This is also a lovely reflection of the book cover. I absolutely love book covers and this one is quite inviting.

Say You Still Love Me is a cute story of first love and second chances.  It’s the kind of story that is a bittersweet escape from the world and I believe that is a necessary thing in our society today.  I always enjoy how K. A. Tucker writes and features empowering female characters.  All in all, this is a fine edition to the contemporary romance genre.

Say You Still Love Me is available on August 6th! If you have loved K.A. Tucker’s books, if you love contemporary romance, or if you just want a sweet escape, pick this one up! Thank you to Atria Books and NetGalley for my copy. I also read this one for the @NetGalley #Reviewathon.

Book review: The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

This is a sweet, heartwarming novel that is the first installment in a series about Dove Pond, NC and its townspeople. The book introduces, Sarah Dove, a descendant of the original founders of Dove Pond. Enter the magical realism of this story. Sarah grows up to become the town librarian which is magical enough on its own. On top of that, the books speak to Sarah. Literally. They talk to her. Which might not be a bad thing at this point for me! I can imagine all the wonderful conversations I could have if my favorite books actually talked to me. Maybe this is why I joined Bookstagram. I was tired of all the one-sided conversations I was having.

Okay, enough silliness about my love of books. But that is one of the reasons I was drawn to this one.

Sarah is not the main character of this story. The main character is a woman named Grace. Grace and her sister, Hannah, grew up in one foster home after another until a woman named Mama G took them both into her home. With the love and guidance of Mama G, Grace bloomed from a troubled adolescence into a fiercely independent, financially successful woman. When we meet Grace, she is moving from Charlotte to Dove Pond with Mama G and Grace’s niece, Daisy. Mama G is in the beginning stages of Alzheimer’s disease and Grace is leaving behind her life in Charlotte to care for Mama G in the small town.

This is a lovely story filled with Grace’s journey to Dove Pond and the reason she has unwillingly come to live in this small town. I could relate to Grace a bit because of her love and care for Mama G. Mama G’s dementia was handled quite well in this story, with care and realism. However, I found this book to be a bit slow for me as a reader and the story itself wasn’t quite as engaging for me as I had hoped. I was drawn to this book because the cover is so beautiful and the story sounded like something I might enjoy. I did enjoy it and it is certainly well-written. I am curious to find out more about Sarah, who plays only a minor role in this installment.

The Book Charmer is available now!

I received a complimentary copy via NetGalley and Gallery Books. All opinions are my own.

About the author:

Karen Hawkins is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of over 26 fun and lively Regency historical romances and two humorous contemporary romances. Like Sabrina Jeffries, Julia Quinn, Victoria Alexander, and Suzanne Enoch, Karen’s books are renown for their sparkling humor, dashing rakes, independent heroines, and often include freshly retold fairy tales (Cinderella, Sleeping Beauty, Snow White, etc), daring rescues, runaway brides, marriages of convenience, Regency balls, and more! With vivid descriptions, strong characters, and captivating plots, Karen takes her readers from London’s Regency ballrooms to the purpled moors of Scotland and beyond. 

When not stalking hot Australian actors, pretending to do ‘research’ while looking up pictures of men in kilts from the Scottish highlands, or teasing her husband (aka Cap’n Hot Cop) about his propensity to idolize chocolate cake over the other food groups, Karen is busy writing her next book while resting her toes on one of her three large rescue dogs. She lives in snowy Massachusetts.

In The BookNook Spotlight

Smokescreen by Iris Johansen

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Smokescreen published on Tuesday, July 30th, and I’m excited to read this one!  Thank you to @grandcentralpub #partner for my copy.  This is book 26 of the Eve Duncan series.  If you’ve read any books in the series, let’s chat!  I would love to hear your thoughts.  This would be a new series to me!

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Here’s the details on this one from the book: A journalist shows up on Eve Duncan’s doorstep with a plea for help. Jill Cassidy has just come from a small African village with a heart wrenching story: half the villagers–many of them children–have been killed in a horrific attack by guerilla soldiers, the bodies burned beyond recognition. Now, the families desperately need Eve’s help to get closure and begin to heal.

But when Eve arrives in the remote jungle, she begins to suspect that Jill’s plea may have been a cover story for a deeper, more sinister plot. Isolated and unsure who she can trust, Eve finds herself stranded in an unstable country where violence threatens to break out again at any moment and with only her own instincts to rely on if she hopes to get home to her family alive.

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Happy Friday, everyone!  We made it through another week!

Book Review: The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

So, I had a day off last Friday, all to myself.  Well, sort of.  Except for the errands I had to run, and an appointment in the afternoon, and taking care of Henry, who decided to projectile vomit all over the rug. He’s okay, BTW.  Our neighbor’s springer spaniel, Bella, came to visit and Henry barked at her relentlessly.  He got himself so upset that he horked all over the carpet and Bella proceeded to pee on the rug.  

But still, a day off is a day off.  I picked up The Escape Room because I wanted to read it since this past winter and @stmartinspress #partner was kind enough to send me a copy.

I couldn’t stop reading this book.  I just had to know what happened to this terrible crowd of awful human beings!  Vincent, Sylvie, Sam, and Jules are all top-tier execs at Stanhope & Sons, a prestigious banking/high finance/hedge fund company in NYC.  It’s like Wall Street on steroids.  These four execs get summoned to what they think is a mandatory meeting for some team bonding.  Vincent, the head of the team tells the rest of them that it won’t take more than an hour.

Turns out, their team building exercise consists of being locked into an elevator in a half-built building.  It’s an escape room.  They need to figure out the clues to get out in time or risk losing their team, their bonuses, maybe even their jobs.

Or maybe their lives.

Reading this book was like being locked inside my favorite candy store with a Visa rewards card.  I couldn’t get enough of it and every time I wanted to stop reading it, I kept wanting more.  It’s just pure fun.  You have to suspend disbelief to read this, and that’s an okay thing for me.    As long as I didn’t think about the horror of being locked in an elevator with a bunch of people with no ethics or morals whose only apparent goal in life is to make millions of dollars.

Go into it for the fun.  Outrageous fun at that. The story alternated between the Elevator and a woman named Sara Hall, who tells of her experiences working at Stanhope.  Thankfully, Sara Hall saved this book.  Without her insight, I don’t think I would have been able to stomach the other four main characters. Also, her chapters were much more relatable.  The writing in the Elevator chapters was a bit more stilted as it alternated between the POVs of this Fearsome Foursome.

I think this book makes a great beach read or vacation read, or if you’re like me, a day-off-from-work read.  You can enter The Escape Room today! Happy Pub Day! Thank you so much again to https://us.macmillan.com/ #Partner for my complimentary copy.

About the author: Megan Goldin is a best-selling Australian author whose novel The Escape Room will be published in the U.S. and UK in 2019. Megan’s domestic noir thriller The Girl in Kellers Way was published in Australia in 2017. Megan was a reporter based in the Middle East for the Reuters news agency, The Australian Broadcasting Corporation and The Associated Press.

Monday Spotlight: The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

Today’s featured book is one that I’m currently reading for the NetGalley #Reviewathon. I’m loving this book.  It ticks all the boxes for me.  A great story with wonderful characters that I can’t wait to get to know better.  It takes place in a small Southern town of Dove Pond and books are central to the story.  Plus, it’s got a beautiful cover! How couldn’t I be drawn to a cover featuring a pile of books with a bookworm as its central character?

What it’s about: (from the book). Sarah Dove is no ordinary bookworm. To her, books have always been more than just objects: they live, they breathe, and sometimes they even speak. When Sarah grows up to become the librarian in her quaint Southern town of Dove Pond, her gift helps place every book in the hands of the perfect reader. Recently, however, the books have been whispering about something out of the ordinary: the arrival of a displaced city girl named Grace Wheeler.

If the books are right, Grace could be the savior that Dove Pond desperately needs. The problem is, Grace wants little to do with the town or its quirky residents—Sarah chief among them. It takes a bit of urging, and the help of an especially wise book, but Grace ultimately embraces the challenge to rescue her charmed new community. In her quest, she discovers the tantalizing promise of new love, the deep strength that comes from having a true friend, and the power of finding just the right book.

The Book Charmer is available tomorrow, July 30th! Thank you to @GalleryBooks and @NetGalley for my copy.

About the author: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Karen Hawkins writes novels that have been praised as touching, witty, charming, and heartwarming. A native Southerner who grew up in the mountains of East Tennessee where storytelling is a way of life, Karen recently moved to frosty New England with her beloved husband and multiple foster dogs. The Dove Pond series is a nod to the thousands of books that opened doors for her to more adventures, places, and discoveries than she ever imagined possible. To find out more about Karen, check in with her at Facebook.com/KarenHawkinsWriter, @KarenHawkinsAuthor on Instagram, and at her website, KarenHawkins.com

Book Review: The Two Lila Bennetts by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Lila Bennett is having the best day of her life.  Or the worst.  She just won a not-guilty verdict for a man who was charged with the brutal murder of his wife.  Lila is a celebrated criminal defense attorney.  She is an ace at her job.  The partners at her law firm toast her with expensive champagne.  But something is amiss in Lila’s world.  Suddenly it all splits apart.

Literally.

This unique thriller is told in two different realities.  And I love books with alternate realities.  Lila is such a strong character that I raced along with her in both realities to find out where this story was headed.  Lots of twists and turns abound as the reader peels back the layers of the The Two Lila Bennetts.

This is just an all-around fantastic read.  I know you might be thinking–alternate realities?  Is this sci-fi?  I don’t read that genre.   Don’t do that.  Trust me. Give this book a chance.  If I had been lounging at the beach, I would’ve read this in one sitting.  I don’t want to give anything else away.  Just go #readthisbook!  If you’re an Amazon Prime member, you can read for free right now! Just in time for the weekend!

Thank you so much to @kccpr @lisaandliz and Lake Union Publishing for my complimentary copy! All opinions are my own.