Paper Targets #NewRelease @atmospherepress @LoneStarLit

PAPER TARGETS

by Patricia Watts

Suspense / Literary Fiction / Women’s Fiction
Publisher: Atmosphere Press
Pages: 324 pages
Publication Date: May 3, 2022

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Everyone knew that Roanne never got angry­—until the night she killed her ex-husband and herself.

Roanne, a nice, suburban lady in her sixties who works at a Hallmark shop and volunteers at the Food Bank in Round Rock, Texas, calls her lifelong friend, Connie, confesses to murder, then puts the gun to her own head. Connie, spurred by Roanne’s last words about a lifetime of unspoken rage, sets aside her work as a cozy mystery writer and cupcake shop owner to confront the men who have stolen her dignity while she remained silent, including a bully brother, a rapist, and an ex-spouse.

On a journey to reclaim her inner power and to make peace with the loss of her treasured friend, Connie’s mission is to avoid the same tragic path as Roanne, but she takes along a gun, just in case.

With pathos and humor, Paper Targets, by Patricia Watts, calls us to speak our own narratives, even when it is uncomfortable or risky, and shows us the magnificence of a friendship that transcends time.

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Patricia Watts worked as a journalist for more than 20 years for newspapers in Texas, Hawaii, and Alaska. Following her news career, she tried her skill as a paralegal and then spent ten years investigating discrimination cases for the Alaska Human Rights Commission. Her novels include: Ghost Light and The Big Empty, crime mysteries co-written with Alaska author Stan Jones; The Frayer, suspense noir; and Watchdogs, a steamy thriller. Her home base is San Diego. She earned her B.A. in journalism at Humboldt State in California. She is the mother of a son and daughter and has eight grandchildren.

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The Friendship Pact – Jill Shalvis #BookReview #Netgalley @JillShalvis

I received a copy of this book through NetGalley and Avon Publishing in exchange for a fair and honest review. All opinions expressed are solely my own.

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The Friendship Pact is a story about family, friendship, and forgiveness. The characters in this story are deeply flawed and fighting to rise above their limitations, both physical and mental.

I enjoyed many of the tertiary characters in the story, but the story focuses mainly on Tae Holmes and Riggs Copeland, as well as Tae’s relationship with her mother, April, and Riggs’ relationship with his brother, Jake.

Mistakes were made when April discovered she was pregnant after a one-night stand at a party. Lies were told. But can those lies stay buried?

Tae and Riggs essentially grew up together, both coming from hardships and struggles. Riggs’ father was an abusive alcoholic. He and his brother Jake caught the brunt force of his fists too many times. Joining the military was their way out.

Tae’s entire world revolves around her mother. They are all each other has. They’ve always struggled to make ends meet. April sought security and a better way of life for her and her daughter through a continuous flow of men through her door. As a result, Tae has become independent and tough, her heart closed to the idea of any deep relationship with a man. After all, she had no father and none of the men April chose came close to her idea of a father.

So, at age 28, Tae is a successful businesswoman, dedicated to her mother, and consumed by her work. She’s good at her job and good at protecting her heart. But now Riggs is back in town for the summer to help his disabled brother provide summer activities for wounded veterans and other disabled adults and children.

Sparks fly between Tae and Riggs. She’d lost her virginity to him in high school. But then he’d gone into the military and disappeared from her life. And she isn’t ready to let him back in. They have to find a way to work together for the summer, so a friendship pact is formed.

It doesn’t take long for that to grow into something bigger. But both are better at running away than staying. Add in the complication of a father Tae thought to be dead, showing up very much alive and this story takes lots of heart-stopping twists and turns.

The author did a fabulous job at weaving all the characters together. They are complex, multi-dimensional, and believable with relatable struggles. Tae was my favorite character. She fought hard for independence. She needed no one. Riggs’ brother, Jake, is a character I admired. Despite the paralyzed legs, he dared to live life, fall in love, and help others struggling with disabilities. While this is a romance, it is also much more, diving into dysfunctional family struggles and the attempt to forgive and heal. I highly recommend it and give it a solid four stars!