The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews

Finding her childhood friends and making amends was one of Josephine Bettendorf Warrick’s dying wishes.  Josephine and her two childhood friends had created THE HIGH TIDE CLUB during one night of fun.

The girls were lifelong friends until Josephine had words with them.   Brooke Trappnell was hired by Josephine to find these women or their descendants because she wanted to leave her island to them since she had no children of her own. 

Josephine is an ornery woman who wants what she wants.  Brooke desperately needs the money so she takes this job. 

Brooke wasn’t sure she would legally be able to take on this assignment because she and her mother surprisingly were named in the inheritance that included twenty acres of land and a pink mansion.

THE  HIGH TIDE CLUB is set in Georgia and has eccentric, fun characters.  We follow Brooke as she goes on her search for these women and/or family members.

We also get the treat of going back to 1941 and seeing first hand all of the antics and mischief THE HIGH TIDE CLUB girls got into along with secrets kept and heartaches.

Ms. Andrews smoothly goes from one time period to another linking both stories and keeping your interest with her marvelous, detailed writing style and story line.

The fun of finding these friends and/or family members made this book delightful.  I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and the story line.

The story line became better every time I turned the page and especially when secrets were revealed about Josephine’s life and those in it.

The characters were the highlight for me as well as the location.

The island, its history, and its description made you want to be there with the characters.

I enjoyed the lives of the characters in 1941 as well as the present-day family members. 

This was my first book by Mary Kay Andrews, and it was a very pleasing, entertaining read.  

If you enjoy family sagas, secrets, and mysteries, you will want to read THE HIGH TIDE CLUB. 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.

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The Way of Beauty by Camille Di Maio

Vera Keller was in love with Angelo since she scraped her knee as a child and fell in front of his newspaper stand.

Vera thought she would one day be his wife, but realized that her station in life most likely would prevent that from happening.  Her father worked as a Sandhog with men that built the underground train tunnels, and her mother worked in a garment factory.  Both jobs ruined her parents’ health and their lives.

Vera grew up, and when she was seventeen, she thought meeting Angelo at their appointed time was going to be it.  He was going to ask her to marry him, right?  Unfortunately, that didn’t happen.  He introduced Vera to his fiancee.

The good news, though, was that Pearl was a Suffragette, and she wanted Vera to help her.  Being able to help Pearl would allow her to be close to Angelo.  It was very difficult, though. Her heart ached every time Angelo smiled at her, but then Vera found out something that changed everything.

THE WAY OF BEAUTY is a beautiful book about love, family, Suffragettes, the building of Penn Station in New York and has characters you will fall in love with.

Vera was my favorite simply because of her innocence, goodness, perseverance with dealing with the trials she had to deal with as a woman at this time in both her personal life and public life.

Ms. Di Maio has written another amazing, warm, heartfelt, well-researched, detailed book, that takes you with the characters on their journey and into their lives.

All of Ms. Di Maio’s books warm your heart and allow you to feel her passion about causes and the human race.

THE WAY OF BEAUTY is a MUST read.  You won’t be able to experience all the emotions that are inside unless you read it.

As for the title, it has the perfect word in it…BEAUTY.  The book is a beautiful tribute to mankind, love, caring, and living a good life.  5/5

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

When Never Comes by Barbara Davis

From rags to riches. From running away as a child to running away as an adult.

Christy-Lynn had her share of bad times as she was growing up and thought when Stephen Ludlow, famed author, married her she was done with struggling and bad times.

But…Stephen Ludlow wasn’t exactly who he appeared to be.  When he was found in an icy river after a crash, details were not something Christy-Lynn wanted to know.  Stephen wasn’t the only person in his car when they pulled him out of the river, and the other person wasn’t his wife.

Christy-Lynn couldn’t handle the press and snuck away in the middle of the night just like she did when she ran away as a child.

Christy-Lynn was better off as an adult running away and found the perfect place to settle.  She stopped and fell in love with Sweetwater, Virginia, and its residents.  Missy and Dar became her friends and helped her through the days.

When Christy-Lynn decides to stay in Sweetwater, she buys a bookstore and is happy again. She is happy again until someone from Stephen’s past appears and “spills the beans” about who she really is.

We follow Christy-Lynn through the good times and the bad as she recovers.

WHEN NEVER COMES touches on healing, friendships, being there for someone, love, and is filled with lovely and not so lovely surprises.

Another beautiful, touching book by Miss Davis. Her writing is warm and welcoming.

Has a NEVER ever come true for you?

Don’t miss reading WHEN NEVER COMES.

LOVED IT. 5/5

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

The Elizas by Sara Shepard

Eliza and Dot – one is a real person, and the other is a character in Eliza’s book.

The similarities are striking and a bit confusing.

We follow both Eliza and Dot as they move through situations both in real life and in Eliza’s book.

The book begins as Eliza was pulled out of a swimming pool, and no one believes that it was an accident since she previously tried to commit suicide.  Doctors and family members also question her story and her memory about many things, but are they just trying to make her think she can’t remember things?

THE ELIZAS was odd, but interesting.  The characters seemed to be trying to put Eliza in a bad light even though Eliza’s publicist met with her and said the stunt with the pool was a brilliant tactic for publicity.

Were they really worried about Eliza or their book sales? Was anyone really worried about Eliza or just themselves?

Eliza couldn’t let everyone think she had purposely jumped in the pool and was more interested in clearing up the story the police are telling everyone about the pool incident than worrying about publicity for her book.

Each chapter was titled Eliza or Dot, and the ending of the chapters about Eliza seemed to have someone questioning her memory. When Eliza asks a question about a situation since she can’t remember, the other characters confirm that it is someone she knew or a situation that had happened.  Each chapter parallels each other with a similar situation for each character.

THE ELIZAS was a psychological fest.  Did I or didn’t I do that?  Did I or didn’t I remember that situation?  Is the character in my book really me?

THE ELIZAS was a bit confusing at first and kept me guessing. Once a few things were revealed, the tension mounted and things came together, but the oddness continued.

More than one story seemed to be going on at once throughout the book.

Be patient and read carefully when you read THE ELIZAS. You never know who may be lurking.  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.

The Waters & The Wild by DeSales Harrison


A patient, a poem, a death, a post office box, and Father Spurlock.  What do all of these have to do with Dr. Daniel Abend and his patient, Jessica Burke? Father Spurlock wants to know too.

Jessica had been a patient of Daniel’s, committed suicide, and with careful planning somehow had mailed letters to Daniel after her death and then three years later.

The puzzling thing was how that letter could have been mailed by Jessica when she had been dead for three years?  Another thing that confused Daniel is that from these papers, he now knew that everything in the investigation was not revealed or seen by the police.

Daniel continued to receive letters about the death. These papers also brought back memories of what happened long ago in Paris.

When Daniel’s daughter, Clementine, disappears after she finds something about long-ago Paris, and then shows up at Father Spurlock’s telling him that her father mailed him something, Father Spurlock became more confused because he had received nothing.

Then all of a sudden letters and clues begin showing up, and Father Spurlock was extremely bothered by them because his only connection to Jessica Burke was when he did the service for her funeral, and he had no idea why he would be involved in whatever was going on.  He is also bothered because Daniel was the one directing all this correspondence to him, telling Father Spurlock the story, and putting the responsibility on him.

THE WATERS & THE WILD has a gorgeous cover that rivals with the gothic, troubled, complicated story inside.

THE WATERS & THE WILD has beautiful writing – detailed and elegant.  The author’s style itself seems like a poem. 

There are a lot of powerful and sometimes very deep, thought-provoking passages.  I would call this book very scholarly in the writing aspect.

I enjoyed the book because of the writing and the SLOW march to the revelations.  It did drag on a bit at times along with confusion, but all in all it turned out to have a very interesting, brilliant ending.

THE WATERS & THE WILD is a story of love, regret, revenge, and secrets.

If you like slow, steady, odd, and addictive, you will like this book. 4/5

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

 

 

The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner

 A hero, a widow, a filmmaker.  They all had something in common and that was Rory Kincaid.

Rory is a former star hockey player and a war hero killed in the line of duty.  Lauren is his widow who is hiding from the world. Matt is a filmmaker who wants a story and confirmation about Rory’s life from Lauren, and Lauren wants nothing to do with talking.

We also get to share time at the family’s beach home and see the interaction or lack of interaction between everyone.

THE HUSBAND HOUR had me reading quickly because I wanted to see if Lauren would really break down and be interviewed for the documentary on her deceased husband, but the book was slow for me and could have been shorter.

THE HUSBAND HOUR had a lot of family drama and decision making on the parts of the characters. Each family member had an issue, and Beth, the mother, tried to manage it all without success and with grumbling and resentment from the family members.

I enjoyed the present day interactions more than when we were hearing the story of Rory.  

If you enjoy the beach and characters that don’t interact well with each other but do carry the story line, THE HUSBAND HOUR will be for you.  

You will also find out the meaning of the book’s title as well as become educated about traumatic brain injuries that athletes incur.  

THE HUSBAND HOUR will appeal to many, but I just couldn’t connect with the characters or the story line.

There is a surprise at the end. 3/5

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

Then She Was Gone by Lisa Jewell

A very odd set of characters awaits the reader in THEN SHE WAS GONE.

Two families are the main focus and somehow they become blended by a chance meeting.

Laurel’s family has been mourning their daughter Ellie’s death for ten years, and then her body is found. Meanwhile the family has fallen apart – a divorce for Paul and Laurel and sort of an estrangement between their children. Floyd’s family has a precocious daughter, Poppy, who looks like Ellie and a sister that is quite different.

The more time Laurel spends with Poppy, the more confused she becomes about her personality, her outlook on life, and how Laurel sees her dead daughter in Poppy.
Laurel finds clues that seem to connect Floyd and Poppy to Ellie.

THEN SHE WAS GONE had an undercurrent of doom and sinister things lurking. The sinister thing seemed to be the tie to all of the heartache the characters were experiencing both present and past.

THEN SHE WAS GONE kept my interest, but I can’t say it was a thriller until the past was coming into the picture and the book went back in time to tell us the story of how Ellie went missing. It was more of a study of personalities and families as well as lies.

If you enjoy a turn-around, revealing ending with a few creepy characters, you will enjoy THEN SHE WAS GONE. 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.