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#The Last Original Wife by Dorothea Benton Frank–Review 4.5 Stars

The Last Orginal Wife.jpgA Captivating & Entertaining Read!

 

 

Lesley is an unappreciated wife and mother. She lives with a narcissistic husband and two adult children who aren’t the least bit interested in growing up. 

Although this book is a bit over-the-top, I loved it. It’s funny and sad at the same time. I thoroughly enjoyed watching Lesley learn to stand up for herself. It was also very satisfying to witness, Lesley’s husband, and his loser friends receive their comeuppance. And, Lesley’s adult children did finally start to mature, but not before their mother broke out of the role she’d always played. 

A captivating and entertaining read!

~4.5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio  (from author’s page on Amazon)

I am the author of twenty novels placed in and around the Lowcountry of South Carolina and thanking God for my chance to speak. When I’m not writing, I’m reading or gardening or cooking. Love to travel, shoot the breeze with people and most of all, be with my husband, children and their spouses, and especially Teddy Spaghetti. My most recent novel, Queen Bee (William Morrow) goes on sale May 14, 2019. Love to have company so come visit at http://www.dotfrank.com or on Facebook and Instagram. And by the way, serious huge gushing thanks for everything – your kind words, posts and emails. Writing saves me, but without your support it wouldn’t mean as much. Dot xoxo

Follow me:

Website: http://www.dotfrank.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/DorotheaBentonFrank/

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/dorotheabentonfrank/

Twitter: www.twitter.com/DorotheaFrank

 

#The Things I Know by Amanda Prowse–Review-5 Stars-#NetGalley

the things I know::.jpg 850.jpgAn Amazing New Release by Amanda Prowse–Out Now!

 

The Things I know is an emotionally charged character-driven novel; well-written and captivating. I quickly became involved and fell in love with Thomasina and Grayson. The author brings, especially, these two characters to life.

Thomasina has been bullied her entire life. Her disfigurements stood out for all to see. Most people looked away from Thomasina’s facial disfigurement, but others like her cousin took great pleasure in ridiculing her. Although she tried publically to ignore verbal jabs, privately Thomasina cried bitter tears. Thomasina never thought that she’d ever find love. But when a certain gentleman, Grayson Potts came to stay at her farm, everything changed.

Grayson had scars of his own. He had been bullied and taken advantage of, since childhood. When Grayson met Thomasina, Grayson knew that he had met a kindred spirit, and someone he could love. But, the obstacles in his way, kept him from what he wanted, and cemented him to what was familiar, his life of oppression. True happiness he thought was just for normal folk, not for people like him. 

This book brought me to tears several times. It’s a heartwarming, heartbreaking novel, and one you’ll remember for a very long time. Highly recommended. Thank you, Lake Union Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy. I loved it!

~5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Amanda Prowse is an International Bestselling author who has had twenty one novels published in dozens of languages. Her chart topping No.1 titles ‘What Have I Done?’, ‘Perfect Daughter’, ‘My Husband’s Wife’ and ‘The Girl in the Corner’ have sold millions of copies around the world.

Other novels by Amanda Prowse include ‘A Mother’s Story’ which won the coveted Sainsbury’s eBook of the year Award and ‘Perfect Daughter’ that was selected as a World Book Night title in 2016. Amanda’s latest book ‘The Coordinates of Loss’ went straight to No.1 in Literary Fiction when it was launched. She has been described by the Daily Mail as ‘The Queen of Family Drama.’ 

Published by Lake Union, Amanda is the most prolific writer of bestselling contemporary fiction in the UK today; her titles also consistently score the highest online review approval ratings across several genres.

A popular TV and radio personality, Amanda is a regular panellist on Channel 5’s ‘The Jeremy Vine Show’ and numerous daytime ITV programmes. She makes countless guest appearances on BBC national independent Radio stations including LBC and Talk FM, where she is well known for her insightful observations and her infectious humour. 

Amanda’s ambition is to create stories that keep people from turning the bedside lamp off at night, great characters that ensure you take every step with them and tales that fill your head so you can’t possibly read another book until the memory fades…

Praise for Amanda Prowse:

‘A powerful and emotional work of fiction’ – Piers Morgan 

‘Deeply moving and emotional, Amanda Prowse handles her explosive subjects with delicate skill’ – Daily Mail

‘Uplifting and positive, but you will still need a box of tissues’ – Hello! 

‘A gut-wrenching and absolutely brilliant read’ – The Irish Sun 

‘You’ll fall in love with this…’ – Cosmopolitan 

‘Deeply moving and eye opening. Powerful and emotional drama that packs a real punch.’ – Heat

‘Magical’ – Now magazine

#A Family of Strangers by Emilie Richards–Review–4 Stars

family of strangers:.850.jpgNew Captivating Novel by Emilie Richards              Coming 6/25/19!

 

The Family of Strangers is a thought-provoking novel, with complex characters, toxic family dynamics, and a compelling plot.

The Gracey sisters, Ryan and Wendy, were almost like strangers to one another. In fact, Ryan had very few memories of her sister. Wendy had been away most of the time in college when Ryan was a toddler.  And, although Ryan’s parents loved her, Ryan always felt second best to their golden child, Wendy.

After leaving the house to live on her own, Ryan rarely heard from her sister. She was content, though, even without close family connections. Ryan was more than surprised when Wendy contacted her, asking for help. And, although, the sisters had never been close, Ryan packed up her things, moved into Wendy’s home, and cared for her two nieces. But when days turned into weeks without Wendy’s return, Ryan became suspicious. Ryan was sure that her sister was lying to her.  So Ryan, along with two friends, began an investigation.

A Family of Strangers is an enjoyable read. There are several surprises in this mystery. The pace, however, slows the story down at times. 

Thank you, Mira Publishing and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio

Emilie Richards is the USA Today bestselling author of seventy plus novels in several different genres including romance, mystery and women’s fiction. Published in more than twenty-one countries and sixteen languages, her most recent novel is The Swallow’s Nest, a June 2017 trade paperback and hardcover release from Mira Books. She’s won the RITA from Romance Writers of America and multiple awards from RT Book Reviews, including one for career achievement. Ten of her books have been made into television movies in Germany. 

Emilie finds relationships of all kinds intriguing and perplexing, and exploring that great diversity of possibilities is her passion. Having lived in nine states and briefly in Australia, she’s also determined to discover how the places we live help make us the people we are.

Right now Emilie divides her time between Sarasota, Florida and Chautauqua, New York, when she and her husband aren’t visiting their four children and grandchildren

 

 

 

 

 

#Mrs. Everything by Jennifer Weiner–Review–4 Stars–#NetGalley

Mrs. Everything::.jpg 850.jpgJennifer Weiner’s Newest Release–Coming 6/11/19!

 

Mrs. Everything tells the story of two sisters, with very different personalities and struggles. Jo, the oldest sister, was a tomboy, and at odds with her mother most of the time.  Bethie, on the other hand, was the princess of the family, and their mother’s favorite daughter. The girl’s father showered the two sisters with love. But, he took Jo under his wing, and protected her, when her mother was being exceptionally unreasonable and wrathful.

Jo and Bethie both made it to adulthood, but not before life’s hardships and trials battered and bruised them. After being weighted down with dark secrets, emotional scars and baggage, acceptance and healing for the sisters were within reach. 

Mrs. Everything would make a great book-club choice. There are several areas of interest in this book, growing up in the 1950s, complex family relationships, homosexuality, dark secrets, and self-acceptance. Although the book covers serious subjects and brings the reader through a gamut of emotions, it’s not a depressing read. The author sprinkles humor throughout the book. Mrs. Everything is an enjoyable and thoughtful read.

Thank you, Atria Books and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of fourteen books, including Good in Bed, The Littlest Bigfoot, and her memoir Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com

#Mistress of the Ritz by Melanie Benjamin–Review–4 stars–#NetGalley

Mistress of the Ritz::.jpg 850.jpgMelanie Benjamin’s Newest Novel–Coming 5/21/19!

 

Mistress of the Ritz is an engrossing historical fiction novel. It tells the story of Blanche and Claude Auzello during WWII, in occupied France. After a quick, whirlwind romance in Paris, Claude and Blanche married. Claude never considered the possibility that his new American wife would have difficulty in accepting her role as a French wife. He should have. Claude expected Blanche to cook, clean, satisfy his needs, and then look the other way when he took a mistress. Blanche assumed that her husband would be faithful to her. She realized too late that she’d made a big mistake. Although their marriage was turbulent, bitter, and hurtful, they stayed together.

Blanche enjoyed her role as mistress of the Ritz until the Nazis stormed in, took over, and used the Ritz as their headquarters. During the German Occupation, the Auzello’s marriage difficulties rose to a new destructive level. Blanche looked upon her husband with disgust whenever he bowed to the Nazis and fretted over them. She was also fed up with him leaving in the middle of the night to be with another woman. So, Blanche changed, made friends, drank, and worked on a new purpose for her life. And, Claude didn’t like it one bit. Claude really wanted to tell Blanche his secret. He wasn’t convinced though, that she was trustworthy enough. What Claude didn’t realize was, that Blanche was hiding something as well. A secret, that was as dangerous, and risky as his own.

Although the pace of the book slows down at times, it is still captivating and enjoyable. If you love reading WWII historical fiction books, this may be just the read for you.  

Thank you, Random House Publishing Group – Ballantine and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Melanie Benjamin was born in Indianapolis, Indiana. An avid reader all her life–as a child, she was the proud winner, several years running, of the summer reading program at her local library–she still firmly believes that a lifetime of reading is the best education a writer can have.

While attending Indiana University–Purdue University at Indianapolis, Melanie performed in many community theater productions before meeting her husband, moving to the Chicago area and raising two sons. Writing was always beckoning, however, and soon she began writing for local magazines and newspapers before venturing into her first love, fiction.

By combining her passion for history and biography, she has found her niche writing historical fiction, concentrating on the “stories behind the stories.” Her most recent novel, THE GIRLS IN THE PICTURE, tells the fascinating and timely story of the first true female partnership – and enduring friendship – in Hollywood, between the silent film star Mary Pickford and her collaborator (and first woman to win an Academy Award for Best Screenplay), Frances Marion. 

Her previous novels, THE SWANS OF FIFTH AVENUE, and THE AVIATOR’S WIFE, were New York Times, USA Today and IndieBound best sellers. Her first novel, ALICE I HAVE BEEN, was a national bestseller; this was followed by the critically acclaimed THE AUTOBIOGRAPHY OF MRS. TOM THUMB. Her next novel will be out in May, 2019. 

She and her family still live in the Chicago area; when she’s not writing, she’s gardening, taking long walks, rooting for the Cubs–

And reading, of course.

 

#Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews–Review–4.5 Stars–#NetGalley

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A well-written, romantic, and captivating cozy mystery.

Coming 5/7/19

 

Drue hadn’t seen her father for over twenty years. Her parents divorced when she was very young, and her dad had never been part of her life. So when he showed up at her mom’s funeral, Drue was taken back. She was especially suspicious when he offered her a job. Drue accepted the offer, however. Because how bad could working be in a legal office? But when Drue started at her position, she was blown away. Not only was her high school frenemy her superior, but she was also married to Drue’s father. That, however, would only be the first of many surprises.

While Drue was working, she noticed how rude and unfair some of her dad’s clients were being treated. But after becoming emotionally involved with one of the clients, Drue started her own investigation. She discovered a missing person’s file in a place it should never have been. Her research was bringing up more questions than answers. And, in some way, Dru knew her father was involved. But to what degree? Drue was determined to find out.

Sunset Beach has a bit of everything in it, intrigue, humor, and romance. Very well done.

Thank you, St. Martin’s Press and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4.5 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Mary Kay Andrews is the New York Times bestselling author of The High Tide Club, The Beach House Cookbook, The Weekenders, Beach Town, Save the Date, Christmas Bliss, Ladies’ Night, Spring Fever, and Summer Rental, all from St. Martin’s Press, as well as Savannah Breeze, Blue Christmas Hissy Fit, Little Bitty Lies and Savannah Blues, all Harper Collins. On May 7, 2019, St. Martin’s Press will release her 26th novel, SUNSET BEACH

A former reporter for The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, she wrote ten critically acclaimed mysteries, including the Callahan Garrity mystery series, originally under her real name, Kathy Hogan Trocheck. The Callahan mysteries were recently re-released by Harper Collins, as Mary Kay Andrews writing as Kathy Hogan Trocheck. 

A native of St. Petersburg, FL (and a diplomate of the Maas Bros. Department Store School of Charm), she started her professional journalism career in Savannah, GA, where she covered the real-life murder trials which were the basis of Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil. 

As a lifelong “junker” the author claims to know the location of every promising thrift store, flea market and junkpile in the southeastern United States, plus many parts of Ohio. 

She has a B.A. in newspaper journalism from The University of Georgia (go Dawgs!), and is a frequent writing teacher and lecturer at workshops and book festivals.

Married to her high school sweetheart, she is the mother of two grown children and a proud grandmother. When not on book tour, she divides her time between Atlanta and Tybee Island, GA.

 

#The Abolitionist’s Daughter by Diane C. McPhail–#NetGalley–Review-4 Stars

the abolitionists daughter::.jpg 850.jpgA Story of Forgiveness, Redemption, and Love–  

Coming 4/30/19

 

The Abolitionist’s Daughter takes place in Greensboro, Mississippi, during the Civil War. Judge Matthews despised slavery, with a passion, yet he owned an abundance of slaves. Some might think that he was a hypocrite, but he wasn’t. The judge would buy slaves who were severely abused by their owners or about to be separated from their families. He would educate the slaves and care for their needs. And, even though it was illegal to grant slaves their freedom, the judge prepared freedom papers for each one. He wanted to be ready, for whenever their liberation day came. His daughter, Emily, was his best advocate. The judge worried, however, that his controversial anti-slavery practices lessened the number of suitors for his daughter. He was right. So when a young doctor, Charles Slate, asked to marry Emily, the judge readily gave his consent. He feared, however, that he might have made a mistake. 

Ms. McPhail crafts The Abolitionist’s Daughter with enough authentic details, and local dialect, that the characters came to life. She also depicts the ugliness and horrors of slavery in this story, as well as the kind and understanding way some owners cared for their slaves. This book is about love, loyalty, forgiveness, abuse, and redemption. I found the pacing slow at times, but the story captivating. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed this historical fiction novel.  

Thank you, Kensington Books and NetGalley, for my advanced review copy.

~4 out of 5 stars~

 

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Bio (from author’s page on Amazon)

Diane C. McPhail is an artist, writer, and minister. In addition to holding an M.F.A., an M.A., and D.Min., she has studied at the University of Iowa distance learning and the Yale Writers’ Workshop, among others. Diane is a member of North Carolina Writers’ Network and the Historical Novel Society. She lives in Highlands, North Carolina, with her husband, and her dog, Pepper.