Louisiana Lucky by Julie Pennell


 

The Breaux sisters played the lottery every month.  They let the computer pick two tickets, and the third ticket always had their special numbers.

Years went by using the same numbers and the same routine, but they never won until one evening all the numbers came up.  They were instant millionaires.

They couldn’t contain their excitement because now they could have whatever they wanted, help their parents, and give some to charity.

I enjoyed this lighthearted read and enjoyed hearing about the life of each sister both before and after winning the lottery.

Having that much money has its good points and its bad, but the characters were delightful, and you were able to share in their joy and their lives.

LOUISIANA LUCKY is for those readers who need a change of pace and some wishing and hoping that they might be the next lottery winner.

A charming, sweet read.  5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


The First To Lie by Hank Phillippi Ryan

What a tangled web of characters in this book.

You won’t know who to trust or who is who in this twisty book that takes us into what power and money can do and what being an undercover reporter involves.

Nora/Ellie is pretending to be two people, but will it backfire on her as she is working to expose a drug company as a sales rep and her real job as a reporter?

We get a glimpse into the nuances of both jobs and what people will do to save themselves, make money, reveal the truth, and keep the truth a secret.

I enjoyed Nora/Ellie just because of her gumption and risk taking. She played both roles very well even though she got herself into some hot water at times.

A few of the characters were quite unlikable….well quite a few were.

Ms. Ryan did another marvelous job of keeping you guessing and wondering what is going to happen next.

Be prepared to stay up late as you near the end…it is GOOD is all I can say, and VERY clever.

Great story line once you have all the characters and their names straightened out.  🙂

Be sure to make THE FIRST TO LIE part of your summer reading plans. 4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis

A library is a home for everyone, and the New York Public Library was home to the superintendent and his wife.

Jack and Laura Lyons lived in the library in 1913.  How fun would that be?

The library in 1993 is the workplace of Sadie who is the granddaughter of Laura and Jack.

When rare books go missing, Sadie is accused simply because she was in the wrong place at the wrong time, and because her grandfather was accused of stealing rare books back in 1913.

We go back and forth in time and find out family secrets as well as get treated to the hidden rooms and fun facts about the New York Public Library.

Ms. Davis did marvelous research and weaved interesting facts into the book.

Historical fiction fans and those who have visited the New York public library will be fascinated with this book and again get to enjoy the pull-in writing style of Fiona Davis.

THE LIONS OF FIFTH AVENUE is another fabulous read that you do not want to miss. 5/5
This book was given to me by the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

 

Someone’s Listening by Seraphina Nova Glass


Finally successful and happy, but then Faith’s life fell apart.
One of her teenage clients accused her of sexual assault, her husband disappears, but then is found dead with a gunshot to the head. 


She knows she is a suspect because she was the last one to see him alive.


But…what about all the things Liam did like taking out a large sum of cash, taking his passport, and leaving a cryptic email that was to go to no one in particular but could have been for any number of people. 


Many things happen that have Faith questioning what really happened and how it happened.


Then one day Faith opened her mailbox and found something unexpected – actually shocking.  It was a page torn out of the book she wrote giving advice about safety.  


These pages keep showing up in random places. 
Just what is going on? 


The only good thing is that the things that are happening should take the focus off of Faith as a suspect in her husband’s death.


SOMEONE’S LISTENING is filled with twists and pretty much unlikable characters that have bad habits.


You will be confused about everything happening just like the main character, but that is what makes SOMEONE’S LISTENING a good read.


The book has a slow buildup, but an edge-of-your-seat ending as it all comes together and the stalker/murderer gets his plan to completion. 4/5


This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Last Of The Moon Girls by Barbara Davis

What is it like to be the last of the Moon girls?

Lizzy ​wasn’t sure, but she was the last of the Moon girls.

When her grandmother passed away and Lizzy found a journal from her, she knew she had to go home to settle the estate.

It turns out that along with the estate, she is going to try to settle the rumors that her grandmother had something to do with the deaths of two teenage girls eight years ago.

The farm Lizzy lived on with her grandmother when she was a child brought back so many memories when she returned. 

It also gave us a glimpse into the life Lizzy lived and the love that was there. 

There was a love from way back but not the love of her family. It was a love that Lizzy had always resisted, and his name was Andrew. 

We follow Lizzy as she tries to solve the mystery of who really did kill the Gilmore sisters. 

Ms. Davis outdid herself with THE LAST OF THE MOON GIRLS. 

We are treated to her beautiful pull-you-in story telling skills and storyline, a strong female character, a mystery, family ties, and love. 

THE LAST OF THE MOON GIRLS is a sweet read that includes suspense and a little bit of magic.

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

He Started It by Samantha Downing

Why would their grandfather require his grandchildren to re-live a trip they took with him when they were young in order to inherit his fortune?

They were doing it by the book because the attorney was adamant that it was the only way he would release the money.

The trip was not fun, but they did remember some of the places they went. 

It was ok for the first day, but then everyone was getting on each other’s nerves, someone crashed into them and seemed to be following them, they had to stay in cheap motels, and had a flat tire.

There is also a diary one of the children shares with us that reveals secrets that everyone doesn’t know about.

The book had chapters that left you hanging, but I was getting tired of this trip too. 

HE STARTED IT dragged on and on with flashbacks of the original trip and the current trip.

I kept reading because I wanted to know where this was going. 

This was not a favorite book nor one that I couldn’t wait to get back to.

The ending was nothing outstanding, but since the story flowed, my rating is 3/5.

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Orphan Collector by Ellen Marie Wiseman

It’s 1918, and the Spanish flu is running rampant. Family members are passing away right in front of their loved ones’ eyes, food is scarce, and the living conditions in the tenement and slums are deplorable.

The flu took Pia’s mother, and then Pia is left with the care of her twin infant brothers since her father was fighting in the war. Pia was doing well until she needed to leave the house to find food. She didn’t take her brothers because they would be too much to carry, but she wouldn’t be gone long.

We then meet Bernice. Bernice is a distraught mother in another building whose baby had passed away from the flu and who saw Pia leaving without her twin brothers and decided she would take them for her own.

We follow Pia as she struggles with her life and the guilt about leaving her brothers. You will feel sorry for Pia.

You will not feel sorry for Bernice because of her deceitful, unethical, uncaring ways.

Ms. Wiseman’s description of the plight of the people of Philadelphia during the pandemic is exceptional.  You will feel every emotion the characters are feeling.

THE ORPHAN COLLECTOR is an outstanding novel that touches on human empathy as well as people taking advantage of others. 

You will see the similarities to the pandemic of 2020 but hope something good happens to Pia.  

THE ORPHAN COLLECTOR is heart wrenching but will have you glued to the pages as well as have you wondering what evil deed Bernice will do next.

A highly recommended book for book historical fiction and suspense fans. 5/5 

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

 

The Wife Who Knew Too Much by Michele Campbell

Money and power seemed to be the only thing that mattered to Connor Ford.

He took what he wanted with his charm and wealth, and broke Tabitha’s heart many years ago.

Connor is now married to wealthy Nina, but cheats with Tabitha.

Where can this lead?  It leads to deceit, murder, lies, and another fantastic Michele Campbell book.

You don’t know who to trust or want to trust.

Every character has something to hide or some trait that doesn’t seem above board.

The suspicions about who the murderer is keep you on the edge of your seat, and have you worried about Tabatha‘s safety in all of this.

Was she brought on the scene to conveniently be accused of or complicit in the murder or blamed for anything else Connor had done so he wouldn’t be blamed?

THE WIFE WHO KNEW TOO MUCH had everything a thriller promises.

You will not be able to stop reading.

Make this book a must on your summer reading list.  5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.


The Book of Lost Names by Kristin Harmel

Was Eva seeing correctly?  Did this newspaper article actually show the book she had used during the war to put children’s names in that they had to change to protect their identity?

Eva had to go to Berlin immediately to claim it.

We now move from present day to 1942 where Eva and her Mother escape from Paris with documents she forged the morning after her father was arrested and taken to a prison camp.

Eva and her mother travel to Aurignon, France, on the advice of a friend where they found lodging and an observant owner that realizes their papers aren’t real.

That turned out well, though, because the owner was part of the French Resistance. Eva was asked to help forge travel documents and birth certificates for Jewish children.

Eva didn’t want to allow the children to be lost forever to their real names so she and Rémy invented a code that would keep the children anonymous but be able to know their real names some day.

The code they used was brilliant, and Eva saved many children.

Now that it is 65 years later she hopes to help find the children and let them know their real names.

THE BOOK OF LOST NAMES is another impressive Kristin Harmel gem.

It will grab your heart and pull you in.

Words cannot express the beauty of this book.

All I can say is you must read this book to appreciate it.

This book was given to me by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Vacation by T. M. Logan

We meet four good friends and their families vacationing together in France after many years of not seeing each other.

What could go wrong in a quaint, beautiful villa in Southern France??

Well…quite a few things.

To begin with one of the friends found some texts that indicated that her husband was having an affair.

Another couple has a lot of tension between them and a very spoiled child.

Surprisingly one of the friends who is single and they never thought would join them showed up for this vacation.

As the week of vacation continued, the adults were realizing that this vacation was a bad idea for many reasons.

To add to their concern, a fire starts in the villa with disastrous results.

THE VACATION was a bit slow and had a lot of domestic drama and characters with secrets – adults and children alike.

Cliffhangers were placed at the end of each chapter that definitely were intriguing, but I wasn’t “dying” to get back to reading the book until around 50% in.

There was a slow build up with hints at things not being right, but the last chapters definitely made up for it all.

The ending was typical, amazing Mr. Logan that was oh so good and satisfying because most of the characters were not likeable. 4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via Netgally in exchange for an honest review.