I had some great fun reading an eclectic group of books this month!
The opening prologue to this story grabbed me before reading the first chapter. I had to know what happened with the little girl, Marissa. Fast forward fifteen years, and Marissa (now going by Mary) has graduated from college with a teaching degree. She’s studious, hard-working, and has no time for partying as her friends do. But they talked her into a weekend getaway to the beach, and Mary has always loved the water. It’s that weekend that changes her entire life. When catching a football, Jared Hawk knocks Mary over on the beach, and if the saying “love at first sight” ever applied to two people, it does for them. Neither Mary nor Jared do one-night stands, but their attraction is strong, and Mary spends the night with him. What happens after that is a series of misunderstandings and missed opportunities. When Mary lands her first temporary teaching job, the last thing she expects to see is the handsome hunk, Jared Hawk, in her senior English class. Shocked is not a big enough word. Mary is pregnant, and Jared is the father, but she hasn’t seen him since that day and night on the beach. And now their situation is even more complicated by the difference in their ages (three years) and the fact that Mary is now his teacher. The story unfolds one delicious layer at a time as these two fight huge odds to find their way back to each other and create a family. Everything is on the line for both of them. Jared’s dream to play in the NFL league doesn’t fit with sudden family responsibilities at the age of 19. Mary’s teaching career, which just started, is in jeopardy. I rooted for them both throughout the story. The author did a good job of sprinkling in backstory and strong family dynamics throughout. If you are looking for an epic love story, you will no doubt enjoy this one as I did.
Flights of Fancy is a collection of short stories and one novella. I was hooked from the first story to the last. What a shocking twist the first story delivers. What appears to be a cold-blooded murder is really something else entirely. I don’t want to give it away. I’ll just say be prepared to be surprised. Each story through the collection is unique and different because of Sally’s unique perspective and writing style. I think if I had to choose a favorite, it would be the last one in the book, which is actually the novella. What a tragic tale, but as Sally is apt to do, justice is served on a heaping platter.
This is an entertaining read and perfect for a bedtime story or two before lights out. The stories mainly focus on romance, ghosts, the supernatural, sweet justice, or, as you might want to say, revenge. I highly recommend it.
When James Hynde’s world came crashing down around his ears, he did what any weak-minded man would do—commit suicide. End it all. After all, He can’t face prison, which he knows is the only future for him, after stealing millions from the bank where he worked. With a bottle of whiskey in hand, he climbs to the top of a parking garage and throws himself off.
Olivia Benet is rushing to get back to her car before her paid time runs out. How could fate possibly intervene at that exact moment for her to cushion Hynde’s fall? Yet it did.
James only suffers minor injuries, while she is left completely paralyzed and unable to walk. Her career as a ballet dancer is ended, and her dream crushed.
While James goes to prison for his crime of embezzlement, Olivia is faced with trying to rebuild her life again from a wheelchair. The only thing that keeps her going is the desire for revenge, to take from James as much as he took from her on that fateful day.
What happens next is quite the twist, when James falls in love with Olivia. They even marry, once he is out of prison. But her motivation is still revenge, and she finds a way to get her hands on the hidden money that no one knew about except Hynde’s mother.
Over and over again, things come together for James and Olivia, only to fall apart again throughout the story. I don’t want to leave any spoilers here, but as secrets are revealed, and lives are devastated, there only seems to be one way to go from rock bottom, and that is up. Ms. Turner did a great job writing this story, and I ignored chores to finish reading it. She even brought the COVID pandemic into the story in a completely realistic and believable way. If you are a fan of compelling drama with realistic overtones, you will enjoy this story as much as I did.
The Deanne family was suffering financial hardships, and Christmas was just around the corner. I loved how the father was willing to sell off a few possessions to buy meager gifts for his girls. But the biggest gift came in the form of a baby bird in need of a home. The girls eagerly took over the care of the baby bird, and it grew and flourished. When the family had the chance for a vacation to the ocean, they took the bird with them, and just when it appeared he had flown away, he showed back up for the trip home. This book shows how youngsters can care for baby animals and how at some point if it’s a wild animal, it has to be set free. This is a heartwarming family story perfect for young children.
What a rollercoaster ride! Kenna Rowan is broken, so broken that she is barely functioning. After spending five years in prison for involuntary manslaughter, she’s returned to the town where it all started. Why? Because she has a five-year-old daughter, she gave birth to while in prison, whom she’s never seen. This story is complex and deeply layered.
Kenna loved Scotty. Scotty died because of a car crash that, if Kenna had been rational and thinking, could have prevented. Everyone hates her for killing Scotty. So, how will she ever be able to see her daughter, Diem, who is being raised by Scotty’s parents?
Enter Ledger, Scotty’s best friend. What happens after that kept me up late at night reading page after page. I had to get to a hopefully happy ending for Kenna. This book will twist you up inside. It will tug at your heartstrings and make you ball your fists in anger. It has it all. I highly recommend this to anyone who just devours a good story. Colleen Hoover never disappoints!
This collection of poetry and flash fiction could not be more aptly named. I love that the author dedicates her latest to the online writing community, which supports and inspires.
The book starts with different forms of poetry, which Ms. Cronin writes with exquisite artistry. I loved them all, but of course, some stood out personally to me. “Rejection” tore at my heart. We’ve all experienced that emotion at some point in life, and this poem expresses it visually through words. “Dress Rehearsal” is another favorite, perfect for Halloween or masquerade balls. I also love that Ms. Cronin took the time to share her exploration of her ancestors through DNA. Therefore, “Origins” tops the list of fabulous poetry.
Under the Short Story category, I had a few favorites as well. Topping the list is “The Healer.” A woman with the gift of healing fears for her life. But as in all of Ms. Cronin’s stories, it has a wonderful ending. “The Home Help” is another that resonated with me. It carries a warning to be careful of your words and actions, as they most always come back to roost.
This is an eclectic collection of emotive writing that I can highly recommend to everyone, as there is something to please every reading palate.
I quite literally closed this book after finishing it, looked up at the ceiling, and said out loud, “Wow! What a story!”
Josie Dean wanted family more than anything. An orphan child, she grew up in the foster care system, never knowing the feeling of security, of being wanted.
Then she met Shane. In a very short time, they marry, and she is convinced she’s finally found what she craved. They will start a family, and Josie will make sure their children are always loved and secure. But then Shane disappears.
Josie is left to pick up the pieces and create a life for herself. The one foster parent she’d had who showed caring and kindness was an accountant, so that is the career she chose to pursue. Two years later, Josie gets a call to come to the hospital, that her husband is being treated for a head injury. She wants nothing more than to serve him divorce papers. But Shane has other ideas, as he walks back into her life with no explanation of where he’s been. And to complicate matters more, he has amnesia and has left behind three dead bodies near the river.
Shane and his three brothers were raised in a military camp and trained to be killing machines. Not only that, they were created in test tubes by a mad scientist. Each brother has superhuman abilities. Shane can hear a whisper from a block away. And his body is big, muscled, and immune to pain.
But he loves Josie, his angel. And he’ll do anything to keep her safe as her life is in grave danger.
Their relationship is volatile at times, the sex rough and passionate, and the commitment unwavering. So many unanswered questions. I wasn’t sure Josie would have the inner strength to stick it out. I hope this review is making sense. This story is so complex and has so many different layers, I’m still sorting it all out in my mind. And I don’t want to leave any spoilers. Rebecca Zanetti is fast becoming an automatic go-to author for me, as her stories never disappoint. If you love a story filled with thrilling action, a complex plot, and unforgettable characters, you will devour this book, as I did!
That’s it from me this month. I hope you saw something that grabbed your interest. These were all fantastic books!