REVIEW: SEVEN LETTERS, BY J. P MONNINGER

 

Kate Moreton is in Ireland on sabbatical from her teaching position at Dartmouth College when she meets Ozzie Ferriter, a fisherman and a veteran of the American war in Afghanistan. The Ferriter family history dates back centuries on the remote Blasket Islands, and Ozzie—a dual citizen of Ireland and the United States—has retreated to the one place that might offer him peace from a war he cannot seem to leave behind.

Beside the sea, with Ireland’s beauty as a backdrop, the two fall deeply in love and attempt to live on an island of their own making, away from the pressures of the outside world. Ireland writes its own love stories, the legends claim, and the limits of Kate and Ozzie’s love and faith in each other will be tested. When his demons lead Ozzie to become reckless with his life—and Kate’s—she flees for America rather than watch the man she loves self-destruct. But soon a letter arrives informing Kate that her heroic husband has been lost at sea, and Kate must decide whether it is an act of love to follow him or an act of mercy to forget.

My Thoughts: As I followed along with Kate’s journey in Ireland, I was soon caught up in her unexpected love connection with Ozzie. The two of them were captivating, frustrating, and soon they were broken.

Seven Letters showed us the path to their love, their loss of each other, and how Kate tried to move on.

The story was one that revealed the beauty of Ireland, followed by the lovely cabin Kate bought in New Hampshire after she and Ozzie separated. At times, there were quick leaps between events, and I sometimes felt lost. But overall, I couldn’t stop reading and wondering what would eventually happen to the two of them. In the end, I was pleased by the culmination of events. 4 stars.

***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley.

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REVIEW: THE LAST WIDOW, BY KARIN SLAUGHTER

 

A mysterious kidnapping

On a hot summer night, a scientist from the Centers for Disease Control is grabbed by unknown assailants in a shopping center parking lot. The authorities are desperate to save the doctor who’s been vanished into thin air.

A devastating explosion

One month later, the serenity of a sunny Sunday afternoon is shattered by the boom of a ground-shaking blast—followed by another seconds later. One of Atlanta’s busiest and most important neighborhoods has been bombed—the location of Emory University, two major hospitals, the FBI headquarters, and the CDC.

A diabolical enemy

Medical examiner Sara Linton and her partner Will Trent, an investigator with the Georgia Bu-reau of Investigation, rush to the scene—and into the heart of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to destroy thousands of innocent lives. When the assailants abduct Sara, Will goes undercover to save her and prevent a massacre—putting his own life on the line for the woman and the country he loves.

My Thoughts: The Last Widow is another timely story that brings out familiar themes of the current day: domestic terrorism, white supremacy, and the hate-filled groups that show up daily on our TV screens, reminding us of the battles still to be won.

What will our characters do to fight for what they love and prevent the mass destruction that lurks behind every corner? What must Will Trent and Sara Linton do to save each other?

An intense story that kept me rapidly turning pages even as I hated the cult leaders and their methods and eschewed their belief systems. 4.5 stars.

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AUGUST BITES THE DUST! HELLO, SEPTEMBER….

Another month bites the dust!  August was a good one for me with favorites in all genres.  Here are my Top Favorites:

 

 

 

 

 

 

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GENRES:

Mystery/Thriller/Suspense:

      9

Contemporary Fiction:

      1  

Literary Fiction:

      2

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Now check out my book titles, and click for my reviews.

AUGUST 2019:

1.29 Seconds (e-book), by T. M. Logan – (356 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 8/29/19 – (NG- 9/10/19)

2.Best Beach Ever (e-book, Ten Beach Road), by Wendy Wax – (400 pages) – (contemporary fiction) -8/24/19

3.Careful What You Wish For (e-book), by Hallie Ephron – (304 pages) – (Domestic thriller) – 8/9/19

4.Comforts of Home, The (e-book), by Susan Hill – (336 pages) – (Police Procedural) – 8/12/19

5.Dear Wife (e-book), by Kimberly Belle – (336 pages) – (Domestic thriller) – 8/6/19

6.My Ex-Life (e-book), by Stephen McCauley – (323 pages) – (literary fiction) – 8/14/19

7.Long Call, The (e-book), by Ann Cleeves – (324 pages) – (mystery/suspense) – 8/26/19 (NG-9/3/19)

8.Object of My Affection (e-book), by Stephen McCauley – (325 pages) – (literary fiction) – 8/18/19

9.Our Little Lies (e-book), by Sue Watson – (317 pages) – (Domestic thriller) – 8/1/19

10.Perfect Son, The (e-book), by Lauren North – (367 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 8/28/19

11.Someone We Know (e-book), by Shari Lapena – (292 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 8/6/19

12.Telephone Line (e-book), by Julie Mulhern – (220 pages) – (Murder Mystery) – 8/16/19

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN AUGUST 2019:    12

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN AUGUST:  3,900

BOOKS READ YTD:  79

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What did your month look like?  Enjoy September.

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LOOKING AT MY READING PROGRESS FOR 2019…

We are almost at the end of August, eight months into 2019, and it is time to view my purchases and books read throughout the year.

JANUARY 2019:

     14 Purchased: 

               9 Books Read, 5 Unread

FEBRUARY 2019:

     6 Purchased: 

                6 Books Read, 0 Unread

MARCH 2019:

     10 Purchased:  

               6 Books Read, 4 Unread

APRIL 2019:

12 Purchased: 

               12 Books Read, 0 Unread

MAY 2019:

1 Purchased: 

          1 Unread

JUNE 2019:

     4 Purchased: 

               4 Read, 0 Unread

JULY 2019:

     3  Purchased: 

               2 Read, 1 Unread

AUGUST 2019:

     9 Purchased: 

               4 Read, 5 Unread

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I still have books unread from previous years, but I am pleased that 2019 shows that I’ve made more progress in reading the books I’ve bought.

How has the year been for you?

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REVIEW: THE LONG CALL, BY ANN CLEEVES

 

In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his estranged father’s funeral takes place. On the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.

Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

The case calls Matthew back to the people and places of his past, as deadly secrets hidden at their hearts are revealed, and his new life is forced into a collision course with the world he thought he’d left behind.

 

My Thoughts: The Long Call reeled me in from the first page, showing the characters, the settings, and the intensity of the interactions between them all. The sea, the village, and the inhabitants felt like additional players in the story.

A murder brings Matthew Venn into his own past and the people who cast him away due to his rejection of their beliefs. Would he be able to stay objective when their paths collided?

His investigation takes him more deeply into the Woodyard, a day care facility where his partner Jonathan works, and where the victim also spent time as a chef.

As he probes the activities of the various administrators, volunteers, and employees, we start to see how so many things are connected. It is a challenge to sort through the clues and the people involved, and for a while, I was suspicious of almost everyone. In the end, I was stunned…and then not so much. The conspiracy ran deep, its tentacles reaching out to engulf so many. A five star read for me.***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley

RENOVATING MY BLOGS…AND MY SHELVES…

Since I have started blogging again, hoping to find my mojo, I’ve been making some changes on my blogs.  Like headers or sidebar changes.  Today I resurrected this blog header, a reminder of my old place where I enjoyed celebrating my reading.

I’ve also added to my book collections, entering the new purchased and review books on the appropriate pages here.

On Potpourri, I did add a couple of the new ones…one purchase and one review book.

The Last Widow, by Karin Slaughter

New York Times bestselling author Karin Slaughter brings back Will Trent and Sara Linton in this superb and timely thriller full of devious twists, disturbing secrets, and shocking surprises you won’t see coming

***

Then I got an e-mail offering a new NetGalley ARC that will be released on 1/28/20:

The Look-Alike, by Erica Spindler

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Other Girl and Justice for Sara comes a thrilling psychological drama about a woman who believes she escaped a brutal murder years ago—but does anyone else believe her?

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And now I am adding two more purchases:

My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding, by Wendy Wax

A wedding dress passed down through generations unravels the tangled threads of three women’s lives in a novel of friendship, family, and forgiveness from the USA Today bestselling author of Ten Beach Road.

***

And a paperback version of a coveted book arrived in my mailbox:

Old Baggage, by Lissa Evans

Old Baggage is a funny and bittersweet portrait of a woman who has never given up the fight and the young women who are just discovering it.

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What changes have you made on your blogs and/or you shelves?

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MONTHLY WRAP-UP

July sped by, and while I didn’t manage a lot of reading, I did read and review ten books.  Here is how things broke down:

 

FAVORITE:

GENRES:

Mysteries/Suspense Thrillers

     3

Contemporary/Historical Fiction

7

 

Click on the titles to read my reviews:

JULY 2019:

1.Because You’re Mine (e-book), by Rea Frey – (400 pages) – (domestic thriller) – 7/14/19 – (NG-8/6/19)

2.Better Sister, The (e-book), by Alafair Burke (336 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 7/3/19

3.Bookish Life of Nina Hill, The (e-book), by Abbi Waxman – (351 pages) – (contemporary fiction), 7/21/19

4.Escape Room, The (e-book), by Megan Goldin – (352 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 7/13/19 – (NG-8/6/19)

5.Friends We Keep, The (e-book), by Jane Green – (384 pages) – (historical fiction) – 7/6/19

6.Keeping Lucy (e-book), by T. Greenwood – (304 pages) – (historical fiction) – 7/11/19 – (NG-8/6/19)

7.Missing Years, The (e-book), by Lexie Elliott – (382 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 7/30/19

8.Perfect Wife, The (e-book), by J P Delaney – (432 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 7/9/19 – (NG-8/6/19)

9.Things You Save in a Fire (e-book), by Katherine Center – (320 pages) – (contemporary fiction) – 7/24/19 – (NG-8/13/19)

10.We Are All Good People Here (e-book), by Susan Rebecca White – (304 pages) – (historical fiction) – 7/17/19 – (NG-8/6/19)

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN JULY 2019:    10

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN JULY:  3565

BOOKS READ YTD:   67

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How did your month unfold?

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GOODBYE TO JUNE…

As July descends, it is a good time to look back at our June Reading.  I had several engaging books, but finally decided to pick this one for my favorite:

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Click on the titles to visit my reviews:

JUNE 2019:

1.After the End (e-book), by Clare Mackintosh (400 pages) – (literary fiction) – 6/14/19 – (NG-6/25/19)

2.A Good Enough Mother (e-book), by Bev Thomas – (352 pages) – (literary fiction) – 6/30/19

3.Before She Was Found (e-book), by Heather Gudenkauf – (368 pages) – (thriller) – 6/24/19

4.Emily, Gone, by Bette Lee Crosby – (380 pages) – (literary fiction) – 6/7/19 – (Author Review)

5.I’ll Never Tell (e-book), by Catherine McKenzie – (357 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 6/20/19

6.Little Beach Bungalow, by Joanne DeMaio – (320 pages)- (contemporary fiction) – 6/11/19 (Author Review Book)

7.Little Darlings (e-book), by Melanie Golding – (315 pages) – (suspense thriller, horror) – 6/17/19

8.Mrs. Everything (e-book), by Jennifer Weiner – (480 pages) – (historical fiction) – NG-6/11/19

9.Stone Mothers (e-book), by Erin Kelly- (356 pages) – (historical/contemporary fiction) – 6/22/19

10.Summer of ’69 (e-book), by Elin Hilderbrand (433 pages) – (historic fiction) – 6/27/19

11.Those People (e-book), by Louise Candlisch – (370 pages)- (domestic thriller) – NG – 6/11/19

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN JUNE 2019:    11

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN JUNE:  4,131

BOOKS READ YTD:   57

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REVIEW: AFTER THE END, BY CLARE MACKINTOSH

 

Max and Pip are the strongest couple you know. They’re best friends, lovers—unshakable. But then their son gets sick and the doctors put the question of his survival into their hands. For the first time, Max and Pip can’t agree. They each want a different future for their son.

What if they could have both?

A gripping and propulsive exploration of love, marriage, parenthood, and the road not taken, After the End brings one unforgettable family from unimaginable loss to a surprising, satisfying, and redemptive ending and the life they are fated to find. With the emotional power of Jodi Picoult’s My Sister’s Keeper, Mackintosh helps us to see that sometimes the end is just another beginning.

 

My Thoughts: After the End is an emotional story that spotlights a family in crisis. Alternating between the perspectives of Pip, Max, and even Leila, the doctor in the middle of it all, we follow the before and after moments of Dylan’s life.

We are thrust into a legal battle, a media circus, and an emotional tug of war that heightens the intensity of the crisis and the family pain.

I couldn’t stop reading the story of Pip, Max, and Dylan, although the leaps on the timeline were a little confusing. We went back and then forward so often that I felt a little lost…until I decided to just flow with the events and immerse myself in the moments.

As the story came to its conclusion, I did feel connected to the characters and will not forget them. 4.5 stars.***My e-ARC came from the publisher via NetGalley.

MONTHLY WRAP-UP: WELCOME TO MAY!

Where did April go?  Great books kept me engaged throughout, however.  My top favorites:

 

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Genres:

     Mysteries/Thrillers:  9

     Contemporary/Historical Fiction: 1

     Literary Fiction:  1

 

Looks like I really immersed myself in thrillers/mysteries this month.  I still read only 11 books, though, just like last month.  Hmm, what’s that about?

Books Read and Reviewed – Click links for my review:

APRIL 2019:

1.All the Wrong Places (e-book), by Joy Fielding – (358 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 4/4/19

2.Before She Knew Him (e-book), by Peter Swanson – (320 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 4/6/19

3.Editor, The (e-book), by Steven Rowley – (300 pages) – (literary fiction) – 4/10/19

4.Girl He Used to Know, The (e-book), by Tracey Garvis Graves – (291 pages) – (contemporary/historical fiction) – 4/27/19

5.My Lovely Wife (e-book), by Samantha Downing – (378)- (domestic thriller) – 4/25/19

6.Never Tell (e-book), by Lisa Gardner – (414 pages) – (murder mystery) – 4/17/19

7.Night Visitors, The (e-book), by Carol Goodman – (320 pages) – (suspense) – 4/7/19

8.Perfect Girlfriend, The (e-book), by Karen Hamilton – (352 pages) – (domestic thriller) – 4/13/19

9.Someone Knows (e-book), by Lisa Scottoline – (387 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 4/29/19

10.Stillhouse Lake (e-book), by Rachel Caine – (302 pages) – (suspense thriller) – 4/19/19

11.Sunset Beach (e-book), by Mary Kay Andrews – (432 pages) – (suspense) – (NG-5/7/19)

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NUMBER OF BOOKS READ IN APRIL 2019:    11

NUMBER OF PAGES READ IN APRIL:  3,854

BOOKS READ YTD:   42

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What did your month look like?  Enjoy May!

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