Emily Donovan seems to have it all. She's got an amazing job in Manhattan, she has a boyfriend, and two very good girlfriends. This all changes thoughEmily Donovan seems to have it all. She's got an amazing job in Manhattan, she has a boyfriend, and two very good girlfriends. This all changes though when she finds out her estranged half sister, who happens to be a movie star, died in a tragic accident. She has left her six-year old daughter, Juliet, to her, which absolutely doesn't make sense since they haven't spoken in years. But there's nothing Emily can do about it now. The paparazzi are ruthless and Emily realizes she needs to take Juliet somewhere off the beaten path and with the help of her best friend, Brittany, she stays at her inherited house on Puffin Island, where they used to summer as college friends. This sounds like a perfect solution, except for the fact that Emily has a serious fear of the water. To make matters worse, everyone on Puffin Island is curious as to why she is staying at Castaway Cottage and who exactly they are. Brittany sends over her friend, Ryan, to check on them, but it's unsettling to Emily as he is asking too many questions; plus, there's the fact that she is attracted to him. One thing is for sure, Emily and Juliet's stay on Puffin Island will change them both for the better. First Time in Forever by Sarah Morgan is a happy romance with a gorgeous beachside setting; this book is essential spring break reading.
Emmy Nelson, an eighteen year old girl from Minnesota, has her life planned out by her parents and she has no say in her own life. It's 1958, and herEmmy Nelson, an eighteen year old girl from Minnesota, has her life planned out by her parents and she has no say in her own life. It's 1958, and her parents rule her world; in fact, they have plans to marry her off to Ambrose Brann, a family friend, whom she has known her whole life. This would be all well and good, except Emmy's family has recently moved to a town and she realizes there is so much more to life than being a farmer's wife. One teacher in particular has inspired her to reach higher and she realizes that not everyone lives the way she does with smothering parents and oppressive rules. As Emmy's horizons expand, she is able to go on her first date, go to a party and even get her first job at the switchboard for her local newspaper. Also, as Emmy's learns more about herself and life, she then remembers at the end of this she is to marry Ambrose. Ambrose was an ok guy when they were kids, but now he is a much older man that has strange notions. Not only is he extremely conservative, he is sexist, racist, and violent at times. Emmy wants more for her life, more than Ambrose and his farm, but what can she do? How will she get out of this cage her parents created? A Fireproof Home for the Bride by Amy Scheibe is an entertaining glimpse into rural conservative life in the late 1950s as well as a captivating coming of age tale. I was on the edge of my seat with worry for Emmy and was desperate for her to spread her wings and fly far away from it all.
Kate McDaid lives a seemingly normal life in Dublin. She works at an advertisement agency and like any normal twenty-six year old, she spends a lot ofKate McDaid lives a seemingly normal life in Dublin. She works at an advertisement agency and like any normal twenty-six year old, she spends a lot of time with her girlfriends as they all try to tread the waters of dating in the big city. One day she receives a letter from a lawyer saying that she has inherited something from one of her ancestors. Surpsingly enough, her parents have no clue who this ancestor is and to make matters even weirder, the ancestor shares her name and lived in the 1800s. But this isn't any normal ancestor. Kate McDaid from the 1800s was known for her "second sight" and leaves Kate a series of poems that deal with the faeries. If Kate publishes a poem a week, she will then earn whatever it is that she has inherited. Kate thinks this is some bizarre joke, but as more people find out about Kate's inheritance and the faeries' poems, she becomes a bit of a celebrity in the media. Reluctantly Charmed by Ellie O'Neill is a whimsical debut that's a fun read for St. Patrick's Day or fans of Irish folklore.
Abigail Foster has always been in the shadow of her younger sister who captivates many suitors with her charm and good looks. At this point in her lifAbigail Foster has always been in the shadow of her younger sister who captivates many suitors with her charm and good looks. At this point in her life, Abigail should be married, but she has never found the right man; in fact, she has been holding out for her childhood and family friend, Gilbert. On the night before Gilbert is leaving England to study abroad in Italy, she finds him sharing what appears to be a romantic moment with her sister, Louisa. This breaks Abigail's heart as she always thought they shared something special. To make matters worse, her father is suffering from financial ruin, thanks to a bad investment; however, the family receives an offer to move to an abandoned manor house, Pembrooke Park, which is owned by a distant relative. Of course they take this serendipitous offer and move into the grand estate, except that the estate has been left abruptly by the previous owners many, many years ago. The table is eerily still set for dinner, tea still pools in the tea cups, furniture and clothing is still in the house just as it was eighteen years ago. It's all very strange and Abigail was hoping to find answers from her neighbors, including the town curate, but everyone is evasive and no one seems to explain Pembrooke Park's strange past. There are rumors of murder, secret rooms and even treasure hidden within the house. One thing is for sure: this is very different than Abigail's life in London. Julie Klassen's The Secret of Pembrooke Park is a charming read. Fans of Jane Austen and Regency novels will savor this book.
War is looming in France and the year is 1940. Viann has to say goodbye to her husband as he is off to fight against the invading German army. She hopWar is looming in France and the year is 1940. Viann has to say goodbye to her husband as he is off to fight against the invading German army. She hopes that he will return soon to their provincial life on a small farm in the Loire Valley. They have one daughter together, Sophie, and Viann leads a rather average life as a schoolteacher. This all changes when her estranged sister, Isabelle, shows up from Paris, along with many other people fleeing from the Germans. Their father has sent Isabelle to live with Viann as Paris is no longer safe, but Isabelle isn't your usual girl. She has been thrown out of many prestigious schools, is feisty, opinionated, restless and not easily controlled. This becomes a problem as Viann's town has been taken over by the Germans. In fact, a German officer has to stay in their house, which makes things rather dangerous for the two women. Isabelle realizes that she can't sit by and watch horrible things happen to her country and her people, so she becomes a part of the Resistance. This puts her sister and niece in a precarious situation, so she knows it is time to leave them and head back to Paris in order to play a stronger role in the Resistance. Although Viann doesn't play a very active role in the Resistance as Isabelle, she too has many important decisions and sacrifices to make during wartime. The two women's journeys stayed with me long after I finished the novel. Weeks later, I am still thinking about this book. Kristin Hannah has hit a home run with The Nightingale. It's a powerful and important read about what life was like during World War II and how many women played important roles in the war, but often their stories go untold.
Dara and Nick are two sisters that couldn't be more different. Things change for them when both girls are involved in a car accident leaving beautifulDara and Nick are two sisters that couldn't be more different. Things change for them when both girls are involved in a car accident leaving beautiful Dara scarred. Nick has always been the sensible sister and Dara has always been the kind of girl who throws caution to the wind and even though both girls are very different, they are sisters and can never escape that. Nick tries to smooth things over with Dara, but she has distanced herself since the accident. Things get serious when Dara ends up missing (is she just playing a prank on Nick?) and to top it off, a nine year old girl in the neighborhood goes missing as well. Lauren Oliver's Vanishing Girls is a well-written and entertaining psychological thriller. I loved how the story was told, but in the end, it felt too familiar for me to completely fall in love with it.
3.5 stars...a light indulgent read perfect for vacation. Fans of fashion will love all the details and description of clothes. A gorgeous setting. Rev3.5 stars...a light indulgent read perfect for vacation. Fans of fashion will love all the details and description of clothes. A gorgeous setting. Review to come. ...more
Sisters Ally and Sydney don't have much in common; in fact, they are opposites in every way except when it comes to their new neighbor, Graham CopelanSisters Ally and Sydney don't have much in common; in fact, they are opposites in every way except when it comes to their new neighbor, Graham Copeland. They are both interested in him, but for different reasons. Ally has a crush on Graham and wants to get to know him better, but Sydney doesn't like the bad vibe she gets from him. She doesn't trust him, but is also intrigued by him as well. Graham is hiding many secrets and is hoping to start fresh in this new town. He also is obsessed with his video camera and claims he wants to be a filmmaker as he constantly is filming the people and the world around him. Things aren't what they seem with either teenager in this psychological thriller. Norah Olson's debut, Twisted Fate, is a suspenseful novel that did keep me entertained, but ultimately left me wanting more.
Ravencliffe picks up where Blythewood left off; readers know that Ava is a half-breed Darkling, which means she is dealing with the fact that not onlyRavencliffe picks up where Blythewood left off; readers know that Ava is a half-breed Darkling, which means she is dealing with the fact that not only is her unknown father a Darkling, but the huge problem that the school she attends would never approve if they found out the truth. On top of it, her wings are starting to be a problem to hide. Just when she thinks that's her only problem, more issues arise at Blythewood. Young girls are mysteriously disappearing and they think that van Drood is behind it. Ava and her friends realize they have to stop him, but what if they find out the truth about her? Ravencliffe is another action packed fantasy by Carol Goodman. If you love fantasy, you should definitely check out this series.
A married couple, Ellis and Maddie, live a very privileged life in Philadelphia during the year of 1942. Basically they are socialites and a whole lotA married couple, Ellis and Maddie, live a very privileged life in Philadelphia during the year of 1942. Basically they are socialites and a whole lot of nothing other than spend nights attending parties, drinking too much, and hanging out with their best friend, Hank, and his flavor of the month. On New Year's Eve at a high society Philadelphia party, they embarrasses themselves by drinking too much and causing a scene. Of course, this gets back to Ellis' father who has had enough with his son and uses this as the catalyst to throw him out along with his wife, Maddie. Hank and Ellis should be serving in WWII; however, both, conveniently have been exempt for medical reasons. Ellis is color blind and Hank is flat footed. This, again, embarrasses Ellis' father, a former Colonel, to no end. Ellis realizes that in order to gain back his father's trust, he has to do the one thing that his father failed at years ago: capture a picture of the infamous Loch Ness monster. He feels this will restore his family's honor as well. Hank, Ellis and Maddie travel to Scotland in the middle of WWII and what occurs will change all three of their lives forever. Sara Gruen's At the Water's Edge is an atmospheric historical tale that examines love, friendship, and the sacrifices people make during wartime.