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Nothing To See Here by Kevin Wilson

Did Madison choose Lillian to be her friend because of the differences in their upbringing?

Did Madison choose Lillian to be her friend because it was convenient for her?

Or did Madison choose Lillian to be her friend because she needed a true friend?

The reason wasn’t clear, but in my opinion what Madison did to Lillian was unforgivable even though they did remain friends.

After many years of still staying in touch, Madison offers Lillian a job as the nanny to the children of her husband and ex-wife since their mother died.

Lillian was skepticaL about the nanny job, but also couldn’t believe the luck of being able to live in a mansion’s guest cottage with domestic help.

The only draw back is that the children have some rare disease where they automatically combust when they get upset.

Yes…they catch on fire.

Lillian decided to take the challenge because there were many perks to this job.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE has an interesting premise, and the characters are even more interesting.

Lillian didn’t have a good experience the first time she met the children, but she remained calm and hoped for the best.

NOTHING TO SEE HERE is comical as well as heartwarming as Lillian learns to take care of Roland and Bessie and fall in love with these strange, needy, difficult children.

Lillian wants them to do well and to find out a way to help with this unusual problem.   The reader will fall in love with Roland and Bessie too.

I never did warm up to or trust Madison…I still felt she was using Lillian and knew she could because Lillian adored her, and Madison had the money to demand what she wanted.

Madison’s husband was even more unlikable.  I would catch on fire if I were Lillian because of the anger I would feel toward Jasper and Madison and how they treat people and their own children.

I recommend NOTHING TO SEE HERE just so readers can experience Mr. Wilson’s marvelous writing and storytelling skills.

This book will hold your interest simply because of the unique topic and because of the care and love Lillian gives the children.

I hope you enjoy it if you read it.  This book is heartwarming as well as heartbreaking.5/5

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

The House of Brides by Jane Cockram

An English estate has been home to generations of the women who married into the Summer family.

When one of the daughters gets a letter from a current, teenage relative addressed to her mother pleading for help, Miranda leaves Australia and heads to Barnsley House.  The funny thing is that her mother has passed away.

Miranda never was reliable, and after her job disaster and her father’s finding her another job she doesn’t want, she thinks this letter from a cousin will save her.

Miranda tricks her father into paying for her flight from Australia to England to find out what the letter meant and finds herself being interviewed for a job as a nanny instead of why she came in the first place. 

Did Miranda go from a bad situation to a worse one?

She can’t reveal why she really arrived, and she doesn’t know what really is waiting for her at Barnsley House, but she soon finds out all isn’t as it should be

What she finds are three children, their father, a housekeeper, an empty, not well-kept inn, an estate in disrepair, odd things happening, and no visible mother.

Ms. Cockram created the story line in a very creative way.  She revealed some of the family’s secrets by using a book Miranda’s mother had written that describes the history of the house and the family. Ms. Cockram also used a diary with background information of the characters written by the infamous, “missing” mother.

Everyone and everything seemed to have a secret at Barnsley House.  The housekeeper was especially secretive, dangerous, and frightening.

If you enjoy odd characters, old mansions, family secrets, supposed ghosts, a stolen book, and Gothic undertones, you will want to have THE HOUSE OF BRIDES added to your TBR.

HOUSE OF BRIDES has an absorbing, captivating story line you won’t want to put down.

Ms. Cockram’s writing style is descriptive and draws you in.  A marvelous debut all around.  5/5


Cilka’s Journey by Heather Morris

From a concentration camp to a prison camp…from one horror to the next.

Even though she had no choice but to do what she was told, Cilka was charged by the Russian government with collaborating with the Nazis and given a sentence of 15 years of hard labor in a prison in Vorkuta Gulag in Siberia.

The conditions and treatment in the prison were no better than in the concentration camp, but Cilka knew how to stay alive since she had learned what you needed to do and that was to just do what you are told.

We follow Cilka as she remembers her lovely childhood and the horrors in the concentration camp as well as learn of her current, unbearable situation in the prison.  We also get to re-visit Lale and Gita as Cilka’s memories revert to the time in the concentration camp.

The reader sees the atrocities women were subjected to in the concentration camp and the prison.

There are some good people that Cilka meets in the prison hospital where she works which is a blessing to be out of the brutal temperatures loading coal into buckets day in and day out.

You will cringe and be horrified at what goes on as Ms. Morris again minces no words and keeps your interest with her marvelous writing style and research.

Historical fiction fans and those who have read THE TATTOOIST OF AUSCHWITZ will not want to miss this book.  5/5

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

The Light Over London by Julia Kelly

Antiques, a tin box with a diary, a mystery about who wrote the diary, WWII, and a secret kept by Cara’s grandmother,  is how we begin THE LIGHT OVER LONDON.

We meet Louise who lives with her parents during the war and is kept under close watch because her mother thinks a local boy who is fighting will come back and marry her daughter.

Louise feels suffocated.  Her cousin Kate is totally opposite…always out and doing what she wants.

Present day has us meeting Cara who has just ended her marriage and works for Jock who is an antique dealer.

When Cara finds a diary as she is cleaning out an estate, her quest is to find out who the box that contains the diary, other memorabilia, and photos belongs to.

I always enjoy a book that goes back and forth in time and learning about life in previous eras and especially when there is a secret or some object is found that has a story of its own.

Learning about the Gunner Girls and the dangerous work they did during World War II was very interesting, but my favorite part of the book was unraveling the mystery of which Gunner Girl’s diary Cara found and what the secret was that her grandmother was keeping from her.

Historical fiction fans and women’s fiction fans will enjoy LIGHT OVER LONDON.

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

Tahoe Deep by Todd Borg

What could have happened on that ship or what could be on the sunken ship from 40 years ago that would cause someone to kill for it?

Daniel Callahan and anyone close to him including his neighbor, Mae, were the people someone targeted for this information.

Daniel was beaten, but didn’t answer any questions the intruder was asking.

Since Daniel wouldn’t go to the hospital to get checked out after he was beaten, Mae called Owen McKenna to help with the investigation.

McKenna and Spot arrived on the scene and McKenna did his usual investigative magic that always includes tension and quick thinking.

Besides being treated to another mystery, when you read Mr. Borg’s books, you will learn obscure facts about bugs as well as learning about some sport which in this case was free diving.

There is never a dull moment in Mr. Borg’s books, and his characters and story line are very well developed along with his  outstanding and pull-you-in descriptions.

TAHOE DEEP is filled with secrets, love, and murder.

All of Mr. Borg’s books are excellent, but this book is one of his best.

If you haven’t fallen in love with McKenna, Spot, and Street yet, what are you waiting for? 5/5

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.

Elevator Pitch by Linwood Barclay

Malfunctioning, crashing-to-the-ground elevators two days in a row, a third elevator crash the following day, and then a dead man who is an elevator-repair person with finger tips sawed off and his face mutilated is what the New York police have to deal with.

What is the connection between the dead elevator repair person and the elevator malfunctions? Is there a connection or is this just a coincidence?

You can’t go into any buildings in New York City without needing an elevator, and these incidents along with the mayor’s order to shut down every elevator in New York City crippled the city and had everyone in a panic.

Along with all these tragedies, there are numerous side stories going on with the mayor’s office being investigated by a journalist and bombs being set off in New York City and other parts of the country.

ELEVATOR PITCH had a lot of characters’ stories that randomly fit into the story line, and all these incidents put together increased the book’s suspense.

And…just when you thought it was all over, it wasn’t.  The ending is edge-of-your-seat.

ELEVATOR PITCH will not be for anyone who already has a fear of being in an elevator or even a New York City cab, but the book will be for those readers who enjoy intrigue, suspense, twists, surprises, revealed secrets, and shady characters. 4/5

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

The Murder List by Hank Phillippi Ryan

Three attorneys…a District Attorney, Martha, a defense attorney, Jack, and a law student, Rachel, are the main characters in THE MURDER LIST.

What is their connection and why does the defense attorney hate the District Attorney?  Was there something in their past?  Was it a former court case?  Did the defense attorney want the District Attorney job? What is Rachel’s connection?

As the story unravels, the reader gets a glimpse into the life of Rachel before she met Jack and currently when she is married to Jack, but the clues about her life and situations are kept secret.  The hatred between Jack and Martha is evident, but the reason is also kept a secret.

I liked Rachel, but I didn’t like Jack, Martha, or Clea – a reporter.

Rachel always seemed to be in the middle of some drama, and they were not just normal dramas…they were murders.

Jack seemed sneaky.

Martha definitely was power hungry and sneaky.

It took a few chapters before I connected with the story line and the characters, but once everything got going, the intrigue was ramped up. The ending was great!!

THE MURDER LIST is for those suspense readers who like to be surprised and those who like to learn about what it is like in a courtroom and the legal profession.

There are twists and surprises along with jealousy, deceit, lies, revenge, and trickery….all good elements of a crime book.  4/5

This book was given to me by the author in exchange for an honest review.