A Matter of Happiness by Tori Whitaker

Two women, two different eras, but basically the same.

Both Violet and Melanie want to be independent women. 

Violet is Melanie’s great, great, great aunt.

Upon her death, Violet leaves Melanie a car with a hidden journal inside.

Melanie learns a lot about her aunt from the journal and also about herself.  Were they actually similar in their thoughts and desires?

A MATTER OF HAPPINESS is a lovely, lovely read that takes us from the 1920’s to 2018 as we see the similarities both women faced in their personal and professional lives in each time period.

You will fall in love with both Violet and Melanie, love their strengths, and cheer for the success in their endeavors.

Historical fiction fans, women’s fiction fans, and fans of vintage cars will adore this book.

Marvelous research – do not miss!!  5/5

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

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The Girls Who Disappeared by Claire Douglas

Twenty years after a car accident has all but been forgotten, the case is reopened by the police force, and a journalist arrives in town to make a podcast about what happened.

Four friends were heading home from a night of drinking on a rainy night on The Devil’s Corridor when a person appeared in the road, and they crashed.

The only one who survived was Olivia.  The strange thing, though, is that the other three friends were not in the car, all their belongings were gone, and they have never been heard from for twenty years.

Why is the case being re-opened after all this time?

People don’t want the case re-opened nor do they want Jenna, the journalist, to be digging up the past that most likely holds clues.

THE GIRLS WHO DISAPPEARED kept my interest and had some interesting characters.

The only puzzling thing was the chapters interspersed with something I wasn’t really sure had to do with the murder, but oh you will find out why they are there.

This book will appeal to fans of Ms. Douglas, fans of suspense, and characters with secrets. 

Lots of secrets kept and many lies.  4/5

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

Just The Nicest Couple by Mary Kubica

Just what constitutes a “nice” couple.

Christian and Lily are the nicest couple until something happens and they turn into a couple who would do anything to save themselves no matter who they hurt.

We meet Christian and Lily both happily married and friends of Jake and Nina whose marriage isn’t all that happy.

Lily and Nina met at the school where they teach, and both couples became close.

One day Jake never returned home, and Nina thinks it’s because of the fight they had, but Jake doesn’t answer his phone and doesn’t come home.

Where could he be?  Lily might know since she was the last one to see him alive, but no one knows that.

JUST THE NICEST COUPLE had me completely engaged, and I couldn’t wait to get back to the book.

Secrets are kept, lies abound, and lots of twists and turns in Ms. Kubica’s newest thriller that you won’t want to miss if you are a fan.

It’s a good one!!  5/5

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

The Night Travelers by Armando Lucas Correa

Four women, four stories, four different time periods.

Three of them – Ally, Lilith, Nadine – mothers who find themselves in similar situations – they had to send their daughters away to protect them because of war and prejudice.  The fourth is Luna who never married.

Ally was born in Germany and had to give up Lilith because she was a mixed race child that Germany classified unfit because of the “racial hygiene” laws .

She sent Lilith to Cuba with a German couple where they never heard from each other again, where Lilth married Martin, had a child Nadine, and a child that had to be sent out of the country when the Cuban Revolution happened.

Nadine wants to know about her heritage and goes to Berlin.  Nadine has a daughter Luna.  Luna wants to help her mother find peace with their pasts, and they both go back to Cuba.

It took a bit to get into the book, but historical fiction fans will devour this very beautifully written, complex read that pulls at your heart strings and shows the power of motherly love and a cruel world. 

The alluring, gorgeous cover adds to the captivating storyline. 4/5

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

ALL THE DANGEROUS THINGS by Stacy Willingham

A parents’ worst nightmare…your child is kidnapped.

The guilt, the horror, the longing never stops.

And to top it off people think Isabelle staged the kidnapping and killed her son.

Isabelle hasn’t slept more than a few hours since her son was taken from his room in the middle of the night while she slept through it all.

She feels she can’t sleep in case he comes back…she can’t believe she didn’t hear anything that night.

Isabelle has been on a speaking tour about her nightmare in hopes that the kidnapper will show up in the audience.

On the anniversary of the kidnapping, her husband who left six months after their son was gone showed up.

She thought it hadn’t affected him, but it did.

He also had something else to tell her, though. He has moved on and was seeing someone.

As Isabelle continues her sleepless nights and traveling for her speaking engagements, she meets a pod caster on the plane who poses a question in hopes that Isabelle will agree to doing a podcast about the crime.

This podcast brings up Isabelle’s childhood and her life now. As she invites him into her home she thinks…just who is this pod caster who came out of nowhere to hunt her down and badger her until she said yes?

Something happened in her childhood that was traumatic.

Could the kidnapping be as traumatic as the childhood incident?

Could she really be responsible for her child’s disappearance as everyone thinks?

Even though there were surprises, secrets, revelations, and ending pages definitely worth the wait, ALL THE DANGEROUS THINGS dragged.

BUT…if you are willing to wait for the fabulous ending and wrap up, this book will be a VERY satisfying read

I had it slated as a 3/5, but the ending was so brilliant and different, I brought it up to a 4/5.

Don’t Miss It!!

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

The Call Of The Wrens by Jenni L. Walsh

Two women, two wars…one an orphan, one a privileged woman.

What do they have in common? 

They both wanted to join the WRENS – Women’s Royal Navy Service.

We meet Marion in 1914 as she enters an orphanage, and finally feels at home because she made a friend – Eddie. 

We meet Evelyn in 1940 who has been sheltered all her life because of a health issue.

We learn of the lives of both women as they struggle through their youth, and make the decision that they want to serve their country.

I really enjoyed Marion and Eddie’s friendship and the strength of both Marion and Evelyn.

THE CALL OF THE WRENS is an emotional, thoughtful, educational read that pulls you in with Ms. Walsh’s wonderful writing style and story line.

The book flows nicely from one time period to the next.

Historical fiction fans as well as women’s fiction fans will thoroughly enjoy this marvelous book about loyalty and friendships. 

Add it to your TBR…you will love it too.  5/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via a win from a TLC Book Tour Giveaway for an honest review.

The Secret Society of Salzburg by Renee Ryan

FANTASTIC READ!!

Why are there Nazis at our wedding? 

Why would her husband invite them during this perilous time?
 
Elsa and Wilhelm were connected by the opera…she is a famous singer and he is a famous, powerful orchestra director.

He made her famous, married her, and somehow started to scare her.

We then meet Hattie and Vera who were secretaries at the Board of Education in England, but Hattie was also an artist and Vera an author. 

Elsa met Hattie and Vera when they were on their way to one of her operas, and all three women with their talents became entangled in what was going on in Germany.

Art and opera were highly regarded, got the women safely together, and made a perfect cover for their friendship and what they were doing.

Elsa became fast and devoted friends with both Hattie and Vera once Elsa saw Hattie’s emotional drawings of herself and after the sisters met Elsa’s Aunt Malvina.

A problem…Malvina was Jewish and in danger – could Elsa be in danger too since they shared the same blood?

You will find the answer to everything when you read this gripping, heartbreaking tale of women trying to save as many Jewish citizens as possible while endangering themselves and their dream careers.

Another marvelous, marvelous, unable-to-put-down read by Renee Ryan based on the lives of Ida and Louise Cook…do not miss this book.  5/5

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

A Mother Would Know by Amber Garza

How will your adult son coming home to live with you at your request work out?

Valerie’s husband passed away a few years ago, and she is now suffering with memory loss.

She hopes having her son with her will give her some peace of mind, but the opposite happens.

Her son Hudson isn’t the best person to have around. He has a history in the town. He was accused of murdering his girlfriend.

The murdered girl’s mother lives next door and hasn’t forgotten about Hudson especially since he was found not guilty of the crime.

What is going to happen now that Hudson is back home? 

Plenty…including one girl and then another murdered.

We keep getting a hint about something that Valerie did in the past, and she does things in the present that are a bit unbelievable.

Which character is hiding things?  I was thinking all of them.

A MOTHER WOULD KNOW has no likable characters in it, and the story line is very confusing.

One minute it’s in the present day and in almost the next sentence it’s in the past, and it takes a minute to figure out where you are in time.

Even though there are some surprises and a great ending, I was a bit disappointed because the book was all over the place, and I have enjoyed other books by Ms. Garza. 3/5

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

The Opportunist by Elyse Friedman

Which one of the Shropshires is the biggest opportunist and liar?

The choices are Kelly, Martin, Alana, Teddy, and Ed – the father.

What will they do to keep their father’s fortune when Kelly the 28-year-old nurse to their father is going to marry him.  They know she only wants his money.

We meet all these characters on Ed Shropshire’s West Coast Island retreat and ponder about which character is more devious than the other.

THE OPPORTUNIST is a bit confusing as it goes back and forth in time, but the wicked characters don’t change in either time frame.

There unfortunately are some disturbing, shocking things revealed about a few of the characters that I never saw coming but are the “meat” and reason for what happens.

Could we say the worst “character” is money- the root of all evil?

I say yes, but I also picked out a character that I thought was the worst.

They all are despicable, but there was one in particular for me.

As the book came to a close, another surprise popped up, and I had to change my mind.

I will be curious which character you will choose as the most devious and cunning when you read this book.  4/5

This book was given to me by the publisher via Net Galley for an honest review.

The Dressmakers of Prospect Heights

Bea, Alice, and Catherine.

What is their connection?

What are their stories?

Bea had come from Russia, moved to New Orleans, and had met Alice there.  Bea found something out from her past that was in New York so she and Alice moved there.

Bea and Alice opened a dress shop and met Catherine the day she stopped in.

Bea was acting very odd when Catherine paid for her purchase. 

Catherine never came back into the shop because Bea had frightened her.

Catherine found out what caused Bea to act so oddly the day they met by accident.

THE DRESSMAKERS OF PROSPECT HEIGHTS takes us from Russia to New Orleans and then to New York and is a beautiful read about family and forgiveness.

Find out the stories and the secrets of these three women in this lovely read that will have you turning the pages and joining in their sorrows and joys.

There are some agonizing moments, but many beautiful, endearing ones.

Seamstresses will adore this book as well as historical fiction fans and women’s fiction fans.  5/5

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