Sunburn by Laura Lippman

Two men, more added on, one woman, many lies and a lot of deceit.

SUNBURN has your brain burning to find out what is really going on.

Polly has just left her husband, Gregg, and her daughter, Jani, while they were at the beach.  She had it planned, but we don’t know why.

Gregg was ready to leave the marriage, but Polly took off first.

Adam is also mysterious because we don’t know what he is up to since he showed up at the same time Polly did and decided to hang around and work at the same place Polly found a job.

The suspense continues non-stop as secrets come out and Polly keeps manipulating and planning.  She has a secret she won’t tell and things she needs to take care of.  

Surprises continue to pop up, and the intrigue intensifies as Polly continues to secretly and mysteriously do what she does best.

Wow…Ms. Lippman has outdone herself with this book.
Absolutely loved it…the entire storyline and ending were great!!
Ms. Lippman has written another psychological page turner which is going to be a favorite.
SUNBURN is truly a masterpiece of suspense!! One of her best. 5/5
This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher, Bookperk, PageTurners, and Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

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Next Year In Havana by Chanel Cleeton

The Perez girls were the talk of the town for many reasons.

The day they had to leave Cuba was not pleasant but a necessary event.

We meet the girls when their family was prosperous and in power, and then we move to when the granddaughter of Elisa Perez, Marisol, comes back to Havana as a grown woman and a journalist to find a place to spread her grandmother’s ashes in her beloved Cuba.

What her granddaughter finds is a box that her grandmother had buried and was told to keep for Marisol.  What Marisol finds inside the box is upsetting and reveals something no one ever knew or perhaps something Elisa never told anyone.

Marisol is determined to find out more, but is warned about the danger of looking into someone’s past.

Ms. Chantell has a mesmerizing effect on you as you read about the adventures and lives of the Perez girls and of living in Cuba then and now.

Her descriptions of the scenery, the kitchens, the food, and simply everything is detailed, beautiful, and exquisite.

Let’s not forget that absolutely gorgeous cover, and remember that no book can be complete without a little bit of love and romance.

The book was a lesson in the history of Cuba and its people. If you have an interest in the history of Cuba, NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA will be a book you won’t want to miss.

The secret that Marisol finds out about her grandmother is sweet but heartbreaking.

ENJOY if you read NEXT YEAR IN HAVANA.  4/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.

Where The Wild Cherries Grow by Laura Madeleine

A lost woman, an estate in shambles, a diary, and the South of France.  Who doesn’t love all of these things…especially a diary.

Bill Perch was left to the task of finding Emeline Vane by searching the run down family estate for clues about what happened to her. When he arrived, he found trees growing out of the roof and a total mess.  Where is Emeline after all of these years, and why has Hallerton House been left in such a state?

When Bill entered the house, he did find a room of boxes and papers and began his search there. When he dug into a floor board and found a diary with Emeline’s name on it, he knew his search was most likely over, and that he hit the jackpot. Bill was happy but also sad because he truly and unfortunately had become attached to Hallerton House and Emeline.

I was very curious to see what Bill would find in those musty papers and diary, and if he could find out where Emeline went.  For me, looking through old papers would be such fun.

I always enjoy books that move back and forth in time and have treasures to search through as the pieces of an earlier age are put together to get to the truth or mystery.

WHERE THE WILD CHERRIES GROW was an incredible read for me.  I became engaged with the characters and the setting.

Oh to be there on Bill’s journey and to be with Emeline, Clemence, and Aaro to smell the delicious aromas, taste the food, and see the beautiful landscape.  The description of the food will have your mouth watering.

Ms. Madeleine has a smooth, beautiful writing style that pulled me in and kept me intrigued with the story line.

The ending was marvelous.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Review and Giveaway of As Bright As Heaven by Susan Meissner


From a small town in Pennsylvania as a family rolling tobacco leaves for a living to Philadelphia as a family living and working in a funeral home.

The Brights made a big change from their quiet life in Quakertown to the noisy, big city of Philadelphia.  Both the city and the job Thomas Bright had were quite different from what they were used to.

The girls had to leave their friends and make new ones, but most folks weren’t interested in being friends with a funeral director’s daughter.  Pauline Bright was always solemn and quiet since the death of her infant son, but she seemed a bit better but different in Philadelphia.

Along with the change in their lives comes Thomas going off to war and then the Spanish flu arriving full force and killing thousands.

AS BRIGHT AS HEAVEN has the reader following and becoming immersed in the lives of the Bright family.  They were a sweet, unassuming family that you will want to be a part of and to get to know better.

The reader will also learn about The Spanish Flu and its devastation of the population around the world.  If you are like me, you will do research of your own about the Spanish Flu.

Ms. Meissner has written another touching book that teaches us some history as well as teaches us about the goodness of mankind and its generosity in times of a crisis.

Another marvelous, heartfelt read by Ms. Meissner you won’t want to miss. You will fall in love with the characters and won’t want the book to end.

AS BRIGHT AS HEAVEN has a beautiful story line, beautiful research, and beautiful characters.

You will also need a few tissues.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher, NetGalley, and BookishFirst.  I received an ARC.  All opinions are my own.

Giveaway:

I am partnering with Penguin Random House for This Giveaway.

USA ONLY

FEBRUARY 1 – 8

ENTER HERE

Sisters Like Us by Susan Mallery

Two sisters, two different life styles, but the same mother that always was perfect and critical.

Harper was the sister who made everything from scratch and owned a virtual assistant business that she tried to do all alone.  She struggled with her finances since her husband left her for a younger woman, left her with a teenage daughter, and left her with no financial help.

Stacey was the sister who was a brilliant, successful scientist who never thought she would be pregnant and keeps denying the fact that she is to be a mother soon.  The worst thing was that she still hadn’t told her overbearing mother she is expecting…..that definitely won’t go well.

SISTERS LIKE US was a light read that addressed everyday situations with spouses and teenagers and some actual family situations that could happen even though they were stretched to the limit a bit.

I enjoyed SISTERS LIKE US and enjoyed most of the characters including Bunny the overbearing, critical mother.   There were some laugh-out-loud moments as well as some what-are-you doing moments.  Some parenting advice as well as some romance was included. A book always needs a little romance.

If you need a fun, but heartfelt read, give SISTERS LIKE US a try.  5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review.

Dangerous Crossing by Rachel Rhys


A voyage of a life time for Lily?  Did it turn out that way?

Lily was leaving England and heading to Australia in order to secure work as a domestic, which she vowed she never wanted to do again.

The ship was huge, exciting, filled with many classes of passengers, and always danger in the air.  There were a lot of festivities Lily enjoyed. She also enjoyed a handful of the passengers but some were not pleasant.  There always has to be someone to ruin the day or event, right?

Lily never knew who she could really befriend, but she gave it a try.  She kept thinking are people always who they seem to be?

She knew Ida wasn’t going to be someone she would want to be friends with.  Ida was too negative and critical.

Eliza and Max were a bit on the sneaky side if you ask me even though they were very friendly.

George was always grumpy and mean and only wanted to talk about the war that was imminent.

Edward was attentive, but was he really sincere? Helena seemed to be a good person.

Maria seemed sincere, and shared the love of books with Lily.  Her comment seemed to sum up most of the passengers on the ship…everyone seems to be running away from something.

Running away did seem a common theme for the passengers, but Lily couldn’t figure out what they were running from, but she knew what she was running from.

DANGEROUS CROSSING had me hooked from the opening sentence.  Knowing something was going to happen on the ship that had someone arrested when they docked, kept the mystery and intrigue high as you waited for the event to happen.

There seemed to be a hint of something not right even though the ship was filled with seemingly happy passengers.

DANGEROUS CROSSING was a study of people, their secrets, their lives, and their observations.

I love this era, the clothes, and the must-be-proper etiquette.

Ms. Rhys’ marvelous writing and the pull-you-in story line made the book difficult to put down. 

Historical fiction fans as well as mystery lovers definitely will want to read DANGEROUS CROSSING.

I completely enjoyed this book from the opening sentence to the last. The story behind how the book became this book is marvelous. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher in return for an honest review. All opinions are my own

Carnegie’s Maid by Marie Benedict

Clara Kelley needed to help her family financially since their 20-acre farm in Ireland was slowly being sold to pay their bills.

The best place her father thought she could be of help was in America.  Since she was educated and not really suited to be a farmer’s wife, off to America she went in search of work, but she was not sure why it was to be in servitude.

Clara made it across the ocean and into the household of the Carnegie family in Pittsburgh.  She became the lady’s maid for Mrs. Carnegie.

While there, Mrs. Carnegie’s son, Andrew, became enamored with Clara because of her intelligence and love of reading.  They always talked about books and having a library that is free to the public and the working man.

CARNEGIE’S MAID takes us through the everyday life of Andrew Carnegie, his brother, Tom, and their mother as they build their fortune.  Andrew Carnegie was very philanthropic in his latter years.

This was the first book I have read by Ms. Benedict.  Ms. Benedict has a beautiful, pull-you-in writing style.   I enjoyed her prologue explaining why she wanted to write about the Carnegies.

CARNEGIE’S MAID flowed smoothly and had perfect detail.  I live in Pittsburgh and enjoyed hearing the names of towns and streets.

CARNEGIE’S MAID kept me interested and engaged in the story line.   It was an excellent read even though the maid Andrew fell in love with and the woman who influenced him is fictitious.

A thoroughly enjoyable book for historical fiction fans and those who want to learn about Andrew Carnegie. 5/5

This book was given to me free of charge and without compensation by the publisher and NetGalley in return for an honest review.  All opinions are my own.