Heroes Are My Weakness by Susan Elizabeth Phillips

September 11, 2014

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Annie Hewitt is down on her luck. Her mother passed away, leaving her a secluded island house in Maine, and since Annie is broke and jobless she has no choice but to sort through her mother’s things and decide what to do next with her life. Unfortunately, the island has many bad memories for Annie, mostly attached to the house next door, a giant mansion where her mother was briefly the lady of the house.

Is the current man of the house responsible for her near death as a teen? Is he a sadistic murderer, waiting for his next victim? Or is he just a dark, brooding, reclusive writer with serious sex appeal? The line is getting blurry for Annie, especially when she is very limited on social company…with the exception of her 3 larger-than-life puppets, of course.

I didn’t know what to make of this book at first-I truly thought I was stepping into a serious “unreliable narrator” situation, which is great because I have a penchant for that type of literature. But as the story unfolds, there are others on the island who might not have pure intentions, and evil is lurking in the corners. Annie has to use her humor and wits to shake down the community and figure out just what is going on there on Peregrine Island..And where is the legacy her mother claimed to have left her at the cottage? Does someone else want it, too?

I highly recommend this book for anyone who has a darker sense of humor and a taste for sarcasm. It is a combination of romance, comedy, suspense and drama, all tied together. I plan to read whatever else Susan Elizabeth Phillips has to offer the world, after reading Heroes Are My Weakness. Highly recommended!


Sharp Objects by Gillian Flynn

July 9, 2014

This book will creep you out. I mean seriously. I read Gone Girl a couple years back and when I saw that the movie was coming out this year, I decided to check out what else Gillian Flynn has been up to. Sharp Objects came onto my radar since it was available in audiobook from my library and I was in need of some new listening. So here it is:

Camille Preaker is a journalist who grew up in a small southern town. She is mostly estranged from her family, but her boss sends her home to cover story-girls keep going missing and when the bodies appear, they are missing teeth. Camille will stay with her overbearing, narcissistic mother and horribly spoiled half sister while she talks to community members and the police about the missing/dead girls.

Going home is never as simple as it seems to be, however. Things aren’t quite right in the small town, there are secrets and somehow Camille can’t help but feel they are somehow tied into her own past. And Camille may not be what she originally seemed, either. What is true and what is warped out of focus? Who is telling the truth and who is hiding something? Who would kill a young girl? Multiple young girls?

I like mysteries, and I LOVE unreliable narrators. If you liked The Lace Reader, by Brunonia Barry, or if you enjoyed Gone Girl as much as I did, let this book leave you sleepless and horrified. I’m pretty tough and I have to say, Gillian Flynn, you really know how to leave readers looking for psychopathic killers around every corner. If you think you can handle it, pick up Sharp Objects, by Gillian Flynn today.


It Takes a Scandal, by Caroline Linden

July 9, 2014

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Abigail Weston has a life of promise in front of her. Her family is “new money” and she has a very promising dowry to make up for her lacking aristocratic background, she hopes to find a suitable (and hopefully devilishly handsome) husband when her father buys a country estate. She is immediately attracted to the brooding, serious neighbor, Sebastian Vane. But she learns that he has a dark past, and much of the town steers clear of him.

Sebastian Vane cannot pretend the lovely new neighbor exists, nor can he deny that he finds her irresistible. But what can he offer a woman who has everything, when he has nearly lost everything in his life?

These two love birds will fight against all odds to make their way to one another…But is their love strong enough to bring them together in the end? It Takes a Scandal is (obviously) a bodice-ripper of the first order. If you like smutty romance novels (you know who you are), then don’t miss Caroline Linden’s latest release.


Mrs. Hemingway, by Naomi Wood

June 12, 2014

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Anyone who knows me well AT ALL knows that I will never turn down a book if I hear the word “Hemingway”. I’m not sure why this is, because as far as I can tell he was a moody, morose alcoholic most of the time. But my interest started when I was very young, and I watched In Love and War, with Sandra Bullock, and I thought he seemed so tortured and passionate (even portrayed by Chris O’Donnell). I think, in real life, he was very charismatic and even magnetic…And he hurt everyone around him when he fell into the darkness that consumed him more and more throughout his life, leading  up to the moment when he took his own life in his later years.

Hemingway was married to four different women-each of them remarkable in her own way. When I was asked if I would be interested in covering Mrs. Hemingway, by Naomi Wood, I was ecstatic. A novel that describes Hemingway’s relationships with his four wives, based on letters and anecdotes from his life? I couldn’t resist.

When Mrs. Hemingway begins, Ernest is married to Hadley, his first wife and the mother to his first born son. She has been traveling with Ernest and living in Europe, and she recalls the moment when she met Ernest and how they fell in love, then the terrible events leading up to her divorce and the entrance of Pauline, the spunky young fashion journalist with family money and not a care in the world for anything…Except the charismatic Ernest Hemingway, of course.

Next we travel through Pauline, who was always a little naïve, and who swore she would never let Ernest go…But when the driven, intelligent, recklessly brave war correspondent Martha Gellhorn enters the scene she doesn’t stand a chance.

Martha and Ernest were passionate and explosive, feeding off one another for energy, for inspiration, and eventually draining one another until Martha finally had enough…But Ernest had the sweet, lovely Mary waiting in the shadows to swoop in and give him the affection and care he craved.

Ernest’s wives were very different, but they all saw something in Hemingway that made them risk everything to have him. Perhaps this is one of the things I find so fascinating about him. So many women, smart, decent women, fell into the storm of his life and fell back out again.

Mrs. Hemingway only takes a surface-level approach to the relationships of these women with Hemingway, but I believe Naomi Wood’s most remarkable accomplishment with this novel is her painfully accurate portrayal of life with a talented, charismatic man who said and did despicable things, hurt people around him, and who was so afraid to be alone that he didn’t have space for a single gap between women in his life…who drowned himself in liquor until he finally lost his mind.


Wallflower Gone Wild by Maya Rodale

June 12, 2014

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Maya Rodale’s Bad Boys and Wallflowers series, which started out with The Wicked Wallflower, has now introduced Wallflower Gone Wild. These lusty bodice-rippers are exactly what you might expect, full of fiery heroines and dark, brooding heroes who have no choice but to fall madly in love with one another (while, of course, breaking all rules of propriety along the way).

Novel #2, Wallflower Gone Wild, is about Lady Olivia Archer. Voted London’s Least Likely to Cause a Scandal, and hen-pecked miserably by her marriage-minded mother, Olivia is at her wit’s end. Especially when she realizes that her less than desirable financial situation has limited her options when it comes to suitors. Not to worry, however, Olivia’s parents have the perfect gentleman lined up for her- Phinneas Cole, otherwise known as The Mad Baron, who is widely known in the rumor mills as a mad inventor who murdered his previous wife.

Olivia will do whatever it takes to avoid marrying this frightening (but devilishly handsome) gentleman. She sets out to make sure that The Mad Baron would never find her attractive. Her plan seems flawless…But what if she doesn’t have the resolve to hold him off?

These novels are for the smutty novel-reading, bodice ripper crowd, so if you are looking for something easy to read and full of scandalous passion, pick up Wallflower Gone Wild today.


Don’t Try to Find Me by Holly Brown

June 2, 2014

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When a 14-year-old girl disappears, her mother’s worst nightmare is realized. Rachel’s daughter, Marley, left her phone and computer sitting at home, but packed a backpack full of clothing and left a note for her mother which read “Don’t Try to Find Me”. At first, Rachel believes her daughter must have been kidnapped by someone who made her write the note, but the evidence piles high and she is forced to accept that her sweet, average, non-rebellious daughter is a runaway.

Marley is tired of being ignored, tired of being cast aside, tired of being unremarkable to everyone. She wants to start fresh, away from her neurotic mother, her domineering and detached father, her psychiatrist who rejected her when she asked for help, her cruel, self absorbed friends…She wants to be with someone who truly appreciates her. And she thinks she may have found that. Online.

Take a journey through the lives of a family torn apart by social media in every way…This novel is what I would call “Suspense” but it also has a lot of emotional depth as you get deeper and deeper into the very personal thoughts of very ordinary people, when things get very out-of-the-ordinary without any warning whatsoever. I would say that readers of Emily Arsenault and other similar novelists will enjoy Don’t Try to Find Me, by Holly Brown.

Find out if Marley will ever come home…Will she even have an option?


On the Rocks by Erin Duffy

May 23, 2014

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Abby’s life was right on track. She had finished school, established a career, and was in a long-term relationship with her college boyfriend, Ben, who had recently proposed. She was happily flitting about, choosing flowers, decorations, cake…While wearing the dress she has decided is “the one”, out shopping with her best friend, her worst nightmare ensues. Her fiancé Ben has just announced on Facebook that he is single…Without letting Abby know they were breaking up….

The 30-year-old is going to have to start fresh, and do some serious thinking. After months of feeling sorry for herself and eating ice cream alone, Abby is going to spend the summer at a beach house, dragged there by her best friend, who thinks the cure for Abby’s problems is cocktails and sun-tanned surfer dudes. But Abby isn’t quite so sure she’s ready to be on the market again…And her misadventures as she figures out what she really wants will make readers chuckle aloud and shake heads in disbelief…In a world where you can get dumped on Facebook, how is one supposed to get a good boyfriend?

On the Rocks, by Erin Duffy,  is a great beach read, especially for someone who has recently been through a breakup. If you’re looking for something fun to read on your long weekend, reading by the pool or feeling a coastal breeze, this a is a great ChickLit novel that won’t disappoint.


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