The Newcomer

Secrets, secrets, and more secrets.  How many did Tanya have, and who killed her?

Tanya told her sister Letty if something happened to her to take her child and run and to not forget the stash of cash. Tanya didn’t want Evan to take their daughter.

When Letty found Tanya dead, she did exactly what her sister told her to do, but now she is on the run and is a suspect in her sister’s murder.

Letty drove to The Murmuring Surf Motel and made it her home, but would she be able to hide in this welcoming place forever?

Evan had hired a detective and was determined to find Letty and have her put in jail and take his daughter with him. 

Unknown to Evan, Tanya had hired an attorney to make her will. The attorney was looking for Letty so she could give her the inheritance her sister left her. 

Letty doesn’t want to be found by either the detective or the attorney because she knows neither will turn out well.  Her sister couldn’t have any inheritance or could she?

Letty learns to love being at The Murmuring Surf Motel even with all the grumpy snow birds because her landlady Ava was the best.  Her son Joe wasn’t bad to look at either.

THE NEWCOMER was a delightful and at times comical read even though there was a murder and some unsavory characters. 

If you enjoy being at the beach, finding new friends and a new home, seeing a character blossom, and seeing how things turn out for characters, this book will be for you.

Totally enjoyable….terrific, heartwarming story line and great characters.

You won’t want to stop reading and will be cheering for Letty. 5/5

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

The Woman With The Blue Star by Pam Jenoff

Leaving your beautiful home, having to move to the ghetto, and then forced out of the ghetto into hiding in the city sewer system.

Could this get any worse for Sadie and her family?

Could it really be a hiding place unknown to the Germans and a safe place for two Jewish families?

Sadie and her mother knew it was the best place to be for now, but living there was horrible. No windows, awful smells, floods, and always cold.

One day Sadie notices a girl looking down through a grate. Sadie drew back, but the girl actually became the light in Sadie’s dreary days and brought food.

It was very dangerous for both girls and the others hiding below.  You will feel the terror and desperation the characters felt but also the hope that things will work out.

Ms. Jenoff has brought another heartbreaking situation to light but also showed us the power of friendship, caring, and endurance.

If you are a fan of Ms. Jenoff’s books, this one is an outstanding addition to her marvelous, well-researched gems that you do NOT want to miss.

You will be glued to the pages as you live the lives of the characters.  5/5

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

When I Last Saw You by Bette Lee Crosby

Margaret lost her husband and needed to find at least one of her many siblings to be added as a beneficiary for her estate.​

Finding her siblings was quite difficult because they all were sent to different homes since their father abandoned them and their mother couldn’t take care of them.​​

While cleaning out her husband’s desk drawers, Margaret finds the name of an investigator, Tom Bateman, who did some work for Albert twenty-four years ago.  Little did Margaret know that he had hired Mr. Bateman to look for Margaret’s family.

Tom agrees to continue looking for Margaret’s family after all these years even though it is something Margaret is worried about.​​

Margaret is reluctant to go back to Coal Creek because of her horrible childhood and possible secrets that were never revealed.​​

Tom turned out to be a wonderful companion and investigator.  Margaret had some hope that he would help her find her siblings especially since he found Caldonia who was like a second mother to Margaret and her siblings.​​

I couldn’t stop reading because I wanted to find out what Tom and Margaret would uncover and if they would find any of her siblings.​​

WHEN I LAST SAW YOU is another gem from Bette Lee Crosby.

It is a beautiful read filled with the love of family and hope, but some heartbreaking situations as well.​​

You will not be disappointed in Ms. Crosby’s WHEN I LAST SAW YOU.

If you need something cozy and comforting, make this book your next read.  

The characters and the story stayed with me long after I was done reading.  5/5

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

Social Graces by Renee Rosen

How can you get yourself into the upper crust of society?

We find out, and we find out it isn’t always the best place to be.

Those in the upper social circles must follow all the social rules and proper etiquette.

You can’t marry who you love if they aren’t in the social status deemed appropriate.

You can’t visit unless you have left a calling card.

We meet Caroline Astor and Alva Vanderbilt – one woman who has control of society, and  the other trying to get invited into society.

Both women went to great lengths to be on top and in the right circles. They also suffer personal tragedies along the way.

All the properness wasn’t for me and the societal competition was intense as they tried to outdo each other with lavish homes and parties.

I couldn’t imagine following all those social protocols or those arranged marriages.

I actually chuckled at some of the “rules” they had to follow.

I did love the talk of fashions and gowns.  I looked up Worth gowns…gorgeous. 

I also looked up the Petite Chateau that was built by Alva Vanderbilt on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan to outdo Caroline Astor…wow!!

Ms. Rosen once again brought the characters and how things were during this time to life.

Ms. Rosen’s as-always wonderful writing style and marvelous research will keep your interest as you read of the antics of these women and these times.  

If you enjoy the Guilded age and seeing how the mega wealthy lived, you will enjoy SOCIAL GRACES.  4/5

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

The Perfect Daughter by D. J. Palmer

Penny, Eve, Chloe, or Ruby….which person was she today and which personality murdered her birth mother?

Penny was abandoned by her mother when she was five, and Grace and her husband adopted her.

She was the sweetest child, but she did suffer from the trauma of her years with her birth mother. This caused mental issues called DID (dissociative identity disorder) which caused Penny to have multiple personalities.  What a devastating illness.

We follow the attorney Grace hired and the doctor from the hospital where Penny was until the trial as they try to put a case together.

While awaiting the trial, Grace tried to carry on, but things happened and the cost of the attorney was quite expensive.

As the trial approaches, everyone is doing his/her best to find anything that could help Penny.

As the trial gets even closer, dangerous men tried to keep Grace quiet.

Will these men get charged with intimidation? 

What will happen next?

Will Penny be acquitted?

We find out the answer to all these questions in the surprise ending.
 
Mr. Palmer did extensive research on this mental health topic and will keep you on your toes.

I have to say THE PERFECT DAUGHTER could have been shorter, but it is very enlightening. 4/5

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

The Kew Gardens Girls by Posy Lovell

All the men are gone and no one is left except women to tend to the Kew Gardens in London during WWI.

Can women really do this job?  Of course!!

Louisa and Ivy certainly can.  They form a wonderful friendship that neither ever had, but then something happens that pulls them apart.

We also meet adorable, helpful Lady Winifred and Bernie who is a Quaker and trying to avoid conscription.

Ivy is an endearing character and my favorite. She and her boyfriend, Jim, were the sweetest couple.

Louisa had troubles of her own and caused trouble for Bernie which upset me because Bernie was another wonderful, caring character.

You will love the friendships that develop and the support and forgiveness everyone eventually gave each other.

This book is a very enjoyable read telling of real-life events that happened at the Kew Gardens.

It also touches on a suffragette event that got pay equality for the women working in the Kew Gardens, but most importantly it addresses the beauty of friendship and love.

If you need a book that is going to lift your spirits, a book that will teach you the meaning flowers have, and a book that will have you take a look at the wonderful friendships these characters have and that you hopefully have, you won’t want to miss THE KEW GARDENS GIRLS.  

It is the most heartwarming book I have read in a while. 5/5

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

The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth

Which sister is the good sister? 

You will ask yourself this question as you read. 

They both seem to be good and good for each other especially after surviving their horrible childhood with a sociopath for a mother.  
 
But is one better than the other?  Is one actually more conniving than the other?  You will find out.

We follow Rose and Fern’s life and see that Rose protects Fern at all costs and that Fern listens to everything Rose tells her to do.

The alternating chapters of each sister’s life as adults was described in detail and gave us insight into how they really lived and the secrets they kept from each other and one they kept for years.

This book was more character driven than plot driven for me, but that is great because the characters are likable.

You will like both Rose and Fern and especially Wally. Wally is a man Fern met when he came to the library. They have much in common and are a good pair and good for each other.

There is something happening in both stories, but something you can’t pin down or can’t figure out.

The beginning has you wondering where it is going, but…oh does it get better and better.

Sister and family drama can be good or bad. 

THE GOOD SISTER will let you know which way it goes for Rose and Fern. 4/5

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

The Last Bookshop in London by Madeline Martin

Grace and Viv left their small home town of Dayton and moved to London to get away from an uncle and overbearing parents.  They had no idea things would get as bad as they did.

Grace found a job in a bookstore….how fun to arrive in London and to work in a bookshop. Viv worked as a sales clerk at Harrod’s.

The funny thing was that Grace had no love of books, but that was the only job she could find since war was about to break out.  She had to deal with the grumpy shop owner, but she made the best of the situation.

A handsome, helpful customer, George, that visited the book shop and smiled at Grace made the shop more bearable.  He was also helpful and gave Grace ideas about getting the shop organized after all these years.

Grace brought new life and more business to Primrose Hill Books.  Her organization had customers buying more and staying longer. She was a success and knew she would get a wonderful letter of recommendation if she could last for her required six months.

All things weren’t great, though.  The children in London were taken from their parents and sent to the country, and George and Colin, their landlady’s son, were sent off to war leaving Grace, Viv, and Mrs. Weatherford alone.

As the women are alone, Grace learns the beauty of books and how they can take you to another place and keep the story with you. 

Viv learns that she can’t work at Harrod’s when she knows other women are doing things for their country.

Mrs. Weatherford learns to cope with her son being gone and with helping others while continuing to take care of Grace.

Readers will hear of the London bombings which I didn’t know were so often and so devastating, but for the most part bookworms will not want to miss THE LAST BOOKSHOP IN LONDON. 

It is a must read because of the bookshop setting, London, and the endearing characters. The characters are just so heartwarming and genuine.

This book would definitely be good for a reluctant reader because Grace shares how she turned from a non-reader to one who can’t stop reading and recommending and turning others into readers and book lovers.

THE LAST BOOKSHOP IN LONDON is a lovely, lovely read and a tribute to mankind in times of need.

You will need some tissues and many ways to tell everyone how wonderful this book is. 5/5

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

Mother May I by Joshilyn Jackson

Bree turned her back for one minute, and her son was gone.

What could have happened? She found out soon enough. It was the woman who had been lurking in her yard and in the parking lot of the school that had taken him.

The woman who had her son had Bree doing things she never would have done, but she had to do them to get her son back.

She found out that even though she did everything the woman said including murder, her son was still with this woman and in danger.

Talk about tension…this book will have you biting your nails and wondering if someone else was involved in the plot or did it have something to do with a case her husband had been on?  How could an old woman carry out this devious plan?

The terror Bree felt came through the pages. Just think how you would feel if your baby had been taken.  Wouldn’t you do anything to get your baby back?

MOTHER MAY I will pull you in and not let you go.

All the secrets everyone had and that were being revealed will have you not being able to put the book down.

So good – don’t miss it is my final comment.

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

The Sweet Taste of Muscadines by Pamela Terry

Why would Geneva be out in the muscadine grove with a spoon in her hand when they found her.  What even possessed her to go there in the night?

Geneva’s three grown children were puzzled about why, but did one of them have an idea?

Lila and Henry hadn’t been back to their Southern hometown in Wesleyan, Georgia, for ten years. 

Abigail  had never left Wesleyan and was the one who found their mother the morning she stopped to pick her up for their breakfast outing.

Abigail was the one who was most out of sorts especially since her mother didn’t want a formal funeral.  Abigail couldn’t understand why because that was just what you did.

We follow the children as they unravel the lives of their parents and try to make sense of it all.

The writing in THE SWEET TASTE OF MUSCADINES is absolutely marvelous, beautifully detailed, and pulls you in just like the taste of sweet tea and Southern charm.

If you grew up in the South, you will love this entertaining book that has life-changing, heartbreaking secrets revealed after many years. It is truly an enjoyable, thoughtful read.

If you have ever been to Scotland, this book will also take you back to its magic and beauty.

A do-not-miss, heartwarming read.  5/5

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