Cross Her Heart by Sarah Pinborough #crossherheart @sarahpinborough #williammorrow #thriller #mystery #chesapeakepubliclibrary @absltmom

Cross Her Heart

It’s hard for some people to establish trust, especially when they have been through a harrowing experience. For Lisa, mother to a daughter Ava, it has been a struggle over the years. Lisa hides a secret, a secret that can blow the world that she has so carefully constructed apart. However, now a man has entered her life and she wonders if the time might just be right to once again trust in someone. Encouraged by her best friend, Marilyn, Lisa makes a decision. Will life continue as it has or will her secret be revealed and life as she knows it end in turmoil and ruin?

Unfortunately for me, this book just did not work as well as I had anticipated. It was certainly twisty and devious as we bounced around Lisa’s story. However, many times it become muddled and bogged down by throwing too many elements, too many instances that made little sense, and too much repetition that dragged the book down for me. I found myself often confused and not really knowing who or what the characters were doing.

However, this book did have the elements that those who like thrillers often find. I did like the first half of the book, but the second half just did not work for me sorry to say. I am anxious to read another of this author’s books and certainly will do so in the future.

This was another buddy read with my best friend, Jan. We both had the same reactions to the story. Thanks Jan!

and here’s the author…

Sarah Pinborough

Sarah Pinborough is the NYT bestselling and Sunday Times #1 Bestselling author of ‘Behind Her Eyes’ which has sold in over 25 territories thus far and is in development for television with Left Bank productions. She has also written books across a variety of genres including the YA thriller 13 Minutes (in development with Netflix). Her next novel ‘Cross Her Heart’ comes out from HarperFiction in the UK in May 2018 and from WilliamMorrow in the US in September 2018.

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                        Happy Wednesday Everyone! Hope y’all have a terrific day!


November Road by Lou Berney #novemberroad @Lou_Berney #kennedyassassination #mafia #love #ontherun #williammorrow #chesapeakepublic library @absltmom

November Road

I was a young girl when John Kennedy was assassinated. It was and is one of those times that you will never, forget, always remember where and when you heard of this tragedy, and began to wonder if anything in this country would ever be the same again.

Kennedy’s assassination has often been hinted at as being done by the Mafia. It was well known that he and his brother, Bobby, the attorney general at the time, were despised by the Mafia. Perhaps it is not such a stretch of one’s imagination to believe they had a hand in JFK’s untimely death.

“With every decision we create a new future. We destroy all other futures.”

Frank Guidry, for lack of a better term is a hit man, a man who is controlled by a mob boss named Carlos Marcello, and for Frank, who knows plenty about the assassination of the President, he soon becomes the prey, instead of the predator. Frank knows his days are numbered as he follows his philosophy off don’t stop. Eluding his predator and the tentacles of Carlos Marcello will not be easy. However, Frank, who often quotes the bible and famous books, is smart. He is cunning and when he meets up with a woman, Charlotte, her two daughters, and their dog who are also on the run from an alcoholic husband and a life of dullness, he establishes the perfect cover. Unbeknownst to Charlotte, who Frank is, she accepts his kindness when her car breaks down and she is left with little choice in order to reach California.  Together they set out on an adventure that is both threatening and perilous. Along the way, Frank and Charlotte develop feelings for one another, but can a hit man, a man who has killed when orders came down to do so, be in love and find a relationship with a woman while fleeing from his imminent death?

Told with the backdrop of the assassination, Mr Berney takes us into the underside of organized crime, the wanton killing and a trip through America that could perhaps bring these characters to a place where they will be safe and able to have something they both thought they never would.

and here’s the author…

Lou Berney

Lou Berney is the Edgar Award-winning author of November Road (coming October 2018 from William Morrow), The Long and Faraway Gone (2015), Whiplash River (2012), and Gutshot Straight (2010). His short fiction has appeared in publications such as The New Yorker, Ploughshares, the New England Review, and the Pushcart Prize anthology.

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For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt #forbetterandworse @hunterauthor #family #crisis #harlequin-mira #netgalley @absltmom

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Welcome to a new work week! Are you ready?

Have you ever wondered how far you would go when someone you love is irreparably hurt by another? What would you do as your anger and rage grows and you realize that you need and must do something. In the book, For Better And Worse, we are introduced to a set of parents who push the limits to protect their son. 

For Better and Worse

Natalie and Will Clarke are a lawyer couple. They met in law school and as a lark once discussed the fact that it might be possible to get away with murder. Interesting topic of conversation, but one that they never realized they might consider following through with someday. 

Natalie and Will marry and the years go by as Natalie, a criminal defense attorney, and Will, an estate attorney, have married and have a son. They find themselves drawn into a crime that is both heinous and awful, a parent’s nightmare really, and as Natalie well knows the criminal justice system, she is convinced that the system is not always fair to those who have been harmed.

 Natalie, devises a plan and in following this plan to its conclusion, she draws Will into its clutches. Will eventually comes to the realization that he really doesn’t know his wife as well as he thought, but now that his family has been hurt, he finds he doesn’t really know himself either. Then again, Will has a secret and his drinking is starting to take its toll on him. They struggle with knowledge, they struggle with hurt and anger, and then they go ahead and set themselves on a course that will change their lives.

This book make one think of the lengths parents will go to to protect their child. When you know that the one you love, the child of your heart is hurt and probably damaged you might just be the one to go to the furthest ends to seek your revenge.

Thank you to Margot Hunt, Harlequin-Mira Publishing, and NetGalley for a copy of this intriguing book.

and here’s the author…

Margot Hunt

Margot Hunt is the pseudonym of a bestselling writer of twelve previous novels. Her work has been praised by Publisher’s Weekly, Booklist and Kirkus Reviews. BEST FRIENDS FOREVER is her first psychological thriller.

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It’s a new week and here’s what I am hoping to read novemberroad #kingdomoftheblind #crossherheart #brokenground #forbetterandworse @ Lou_Berney @louisepennyauthor @sarahpinborough @valmcdermid @huntauthor #chesapeakememoriallibrary #netgalley

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Are you all ready for Santa? Have all your gifts been bought and your cards written? Mine have….not…… Happy second full week of December. Stay warm, stay well, and stay in the reading mode!

The books I hope to read this week run the gauntlet from mystery thrillers to a book that sets itself up against a moment of history.

November Road

Tons of great reviews on this book. The book explores connections from the mob to the assassination of President Kennedy. Sounds like a super great book and I am ever so anxious to read this one when as a child, I so remember the assassination and to this day its effect on America and the world. A library book find for me!

Kingdom of the Blind (Chief Inspector Armand Gamache, #14)

I have read every one of the book in this series and so liked them all. As always, I am ever so anxious to see where Louise Penny takes Inspector Gamache this outing. I have loved his village Three Pines and all its unusual inhabitants with a special nod to Ruth and her pet duck, and to all the rest. They have filled many hours of my reading time with mystery, adventure, and humor. Another library find for me!

Cross Her Heart

Jan and I have decided to give this one a go. We have had such reading fun together for a few books and want to keep the trend continuing. In this book, by an author I have never read before, there is a handsome man, a woman with a secret, and questions of trust. A library book once again for me!

Broken Ground (Inspector Karen Pirie, #5)

I was trying to get to this book last week, but ran out of time. However, I am determined to get a go on this book. It’s another series, book five in fact, but I will certainly try it as I have heard wonderful things about this author. This is a NetGalley read for me.

For Better and Worse

This is another book I had thought I would read last week but didn’t, so here it is on my list for the week ahead. Danger, thrilling situations and a family in turmoil sounds like a great premise to me! This is another NetGalley book for me.

So, there you have it my goal books for the week. Hoping you have a beautiful week ahead, that it’s not too cold where you are, and that your holidays are staring to fill up with things that will create lovely memories.

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My Lovely Wife by Samantha Downing #mylovelywife @smariedowning #berkleypublishing #psycologicalthriller #serialkiller #edelweiss @absltmom

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Today, I am bringing you a review of a thriller that went beyond thrilling. It was a story so bizarre, so out there that you had to utter “Phew” or “Wow! that was so twisted” when the last paragraph was read. So, here it is, the book that will set your expectations ablaze.

My Lovely Wife

Prepare yourself if you plan on reading this one. You have been warned…..

Finding the right person, falling in love, having a family, it all sounds like a dream scenario. It’s perfect in every way, all except one and that one is a totally horrifying.

It’s hard to write of this one without taking deep breaths and wondering what the heck did I just read. Oh, don’t get me wrong. This book was deliciously full of malice, of wickedly stunning images, and of twists and turns that would make your head spin.

Millicent and her husband are totally devoted to one another. They do everything together, and I do mean everything. They have kids, a home, careers, and a hobby to beat all hobbies. …and that’s all I am going to say about this book. Can’t reveal more or else the thrill of discovery would be shattered.

This is Ms Downing’s first outing, a brand new author making her debut with a book that will blow you away. I definitely recommend it for its totally macabre telling, its unbelievable reality, and the fact that once in you are not going to want to put this one down. Addictive …yes, totally devious…yes, and a must read for those who enjoy the gruesome, grisly, and frightful tale of people gone wrong. Fess up…you know who you are….

This book is due to be published on March 29, 2019

and here’s the author…

Samantha  Downing

Samantha Downing lives and works in New Orleans, where she is trying to stay cool in this southern heat and write my next novel.

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My Favorite Half-Night Stand by Christina Lauren #myfavoritehalfnightstand @christinalauren #gallerybooks #friendship #love #relationships #netgalley @absltmom

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Did you ever have a song flip through your mind as you are reading a book…a song that fit so well to what you were reading, what instances you were reading of, and what lives were being led? Well…that was me reading this adorable light hearted but somewhat sad My Favorite Half-Night Stand. 

My Favorite Half-Night Stand

It’s hard these days establishing a relationship. Sure you can have best friends, and sure they can share most things with you. However, what about those times when you need someone to be something special for you, when you need someone’s love and affection, when you hunger for tenderness, for understanding, for love?

In the adorable tale, we meet the indomitable Millie Morris, a professor who specializes in the research and teaching about female serial killers. You could say she is different especially given her educational specialty, but Millie does posses wit, intelligence and four best friends all of them male. They all like one another, they get the fact that they are nerds, and yet they find good company in each other’s presence. All seems well until a black tie social event is to take place and they all decide to find a date. So, knowing what the social scene is these days, the five of them sign onto a dating site and the hilarity starts. Things turn to the not so funny side when Millie realizes that she is and has fallen for one of her besties, Reid Campbell. Life becomes difficult for Millie as their platonic relationship turns sexual. Reid also recognizes his feelings for Millie and what turns out to be a dating dilemma becomes a backdrop for how difficult it seems for some to relate to another even if that person is one you love.

There is lots to love about this book as the author deftly takes us into the world of online dating and the obstacles that one faces in today’s world in finding a soul mate. Will Millie and Reid come to understand that “love”just might conquer all, or are they both destined to give a pass to what could make them ever so happy?

Thank you to Christina Lauren, Gallery Books and NetGalley for making this delightful available to me.

This was another book that my best friend, Jan and I shared. We both had fun discussing this book and somewhat glad that we had pretty well passed the online dating scene 🙂

Oh and the song……..

“Escape (The Piña Colada Song)”

I was tired of my lady, we’d been together too long
Like a worn out recording of a favorite song
So while she lay there sleepin’ I read the paper in bed
And in the personal columns, there was this letter I read

If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight in the dunes of the cape
Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for, write to me and escape

I didn’t think about my lady, I know that sounds kind of mean
But me and my old lady had fallen into the same old dull routine
So I wrote to the paper, took out a personal ad
And though I’m nobody’s poet, I thought it wasn’t half bad

Yes, I like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain
I’m not much into health food, I am into champagne
I’ve got to meet you by tomorrow noon and cut through all this red tape
At a bar called O’Malley’s where we’ll plan our escape

So I waited with high hopes and she walked in the place
I knew her smile in an instant, I knew the curve of her face
It was my own lovely lady and she said, “oh, it’s you.”
Then we laughed for a moment and I said, “I never knew.”

That you like piña coladas and gettin’ caught in the rain
And the feel of the ocean and the taste of champagne
If you like making love at midnight in the dunes on the cape
You’re the lady I’ve looked for, come with me and escape

If you like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain
If you’re not into yoga, if you have half a brain
If you like making love at midnight in the dunes on the cape
Then I’m the love that you’ve looked for, write to me and escape

Yes I like piña coladas and getting caught in the rain
I’m not much into health food, I am into champagne
I’ve got to meet you by tomorrow noon and cut through all this red tape
At a bar called O’Malley’s where we’ll plan our escape

and here’s the authors…..

Christina Lauren

Christina Lauren is the combined pen name of long-time writing partners/besties/soulmates/brain-twins Christina Hobbs and Lauren Billings. The coauthor duo writes both Young Adult and Adult Fiction, and together has produced fourteen New York Times bestselling novels. Their books have been translated into 30+ languages. (Some of these books have kissing. Some of these books have A LOT of kissing.)

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The Winters by Lisa Gabriele #thewinters @lisagabriele #romance #mystery #allusion #longisland #penguingroupviking @absltmom

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It’s here once again, the best day of the work week has arrived and none too soon. Today, I am happy to bring you a review of a book one of my best book friends, Jan and I read together. It’s entitled The Winters and both of us enjoyed this retelling, with modern images, of Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca.

The Winters

Life has been pretty sad for our unnamed protagonist. She is alone, working a dead end job, and employed by a termagant boss in the Cayman Islands. She seems to be at a virtual dead end and then someone wonderful happens. Max, a senator from New York, enters her life and a bit of a whirlwind romance takes place. It is the stuff of fairy tales really. This young woman, only twenty six, meets this charismatic man and he whisks her off her feet and “carries” her back to his beloved mansion Asherly on Long Island. There is only one problem…his teenage daughter, Dani. She is destined to make Max’s young girlfriend, soon to be wife, miserable with an attitude and a manner that is both caustic and possibly deadly. For Dani so misses her mother, Rebekah, killed in a horrific car accident two years prior, that she takes it upon herself to see that our young woman feels the brunt of that longing for a dead mother.

There are things going on at Asherly. Strange things and as Max, Dani, and Max’s new wife descend into the mystery surrounding Dani and her mother’s death, there are things that come to the surface that are unnerving and dangerous. Why has Max been so secretive and what is it about that green house that makes it an off limits part of the Asherley estate? Will this new wife find out what has happened before fate steps in and finds her at the mercy of Rebekah’s ghost and Dani’s irrational behavior?

Reading this book and discussing it made it was such a great experience. Both Jan and I really liked it and felt it was able to establish a clear line of mystery, suspense and wrapped everything up quite well at the end. So, thank you, Jan for sharing this book with me.

I do recommend it to those who so like a book that while giving a nod to a past book, while setting itself up as quite a wonderful story on its own.

Thank you to Lisa Gabrielle, Penguin Group Viking, and NetGalley for a copy of this intriguing story.

Have to say also that the setting of Long Island did sit quite well with me being a former Long Islander.

“You may tell the greatest lies and wear a brilliant disguise, but you can’t escape the eyes of the one who sees right through you.”   (Tom Robbins)

Quotes tagged under Lies