Sunday Post

I’ll be away this week on a winter escape. See you in a week or so.

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

The Ones Who Matter Most (NAL Tour)  The Matchmakers of Minnow Bay (Aug 9)

Last week on Bookfan:

  • Review: The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery
  • Review: The Promise of Forgiveness by Marin Thomas

the friends we keep (2:23)   The Promise of Forgiveness (3:2)

Reading plan for this week:

best of my love (4:26)  Eligible (4:19:16 RH)  after you (audiobook:library)


The Promise of Forgiveness by Marin Thomas

  • The Promise of Forgiveness (3:2)Title:  The Promise of Forgiveness
  • Author:  Marin Thomas
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Pages:  352
  • Pub. Date:  March 1, 2016 – NAL
  • Source:  Publisher; NetGalley

Synopsis:  When it comes to family, Ruby Baxter hasn’t had much luck. The important men in her early life abandoned her, and any time a decent boyfriend came along, she ran away. But now Ruby is thirty-one and convinced she is failing her teenage daughter. Mia is the one good thing in her life, and Ruby hopes a move to Kansas will fix what’s broken between them.
But the road to redemption takes a detour. Hank McArthur, the biological father Ruby never knew existed, would like her to claim her inheritance: a dusty oil ranch just outside of Unforgiven, Oklahoma. 
As far as first impressions go, the gruff, emotionally distant rancher isn’t what Ruby has hoped for in a father. Yet Hank seems to have a gift for rehabilitating abused horses—and for reaching Mia. And if Ruby wants to entertain the possibility of a relationship with Joe Dawson, the ranch foreman, she must find a way to open her heart to the very first man who left her behind. (publisher)

My take:  Ruby Baxter is at the point in life where she’s going to be the one to cut out before anyone else will leave her again. So when she received a letter from her birth father asking her to see him she decided to give him two minutes and then would move on with her life. What she didn’t expect was that her fourteen year old daughter would want to get to know her grandfather.

With their visit extended indefinitely Ruby is forced to consider a relationship with the man who gave her away just days after her birth. More than a couple of characters have to learn to forgive in order to move forward – and sometimes that means to forgive themselves first. Marin Thomas made me care about her characters and cheer them on their journey of understanding, acceptance and forgiveness.

The novel is filled with colorful secondary characters (the sheriff, the bar owner, and the proprietor of the general store – to name a few) who added a good deal to the plot. There was also a mystery to solve – who was sabotaging the ranch and why?

The Promise of Forgiveness is the author’s first women’s fiction novel after publishing more than two dozen romance novels. I enjoyed it and recommend it to fans of Marin Thomas and women’s fiction.


The Friends We Keep by Susan Mallery

  • the friends we keep (2:23)Title:  The Friends We Keep
  • Author:  Susan Mallery
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Pages:  400
  • Published:  February 2016 – Mira
  • Source:  Publisher/NetGalley

Description: After five years as a stay-at-home mom, Gabby Schaefer can’t wait to return to work. Oh, to use the bathroom in peace! No twins clamoring at the door, no husband barging in, no stepdaughter throwing a tantrum. But when her plans are derailed by some shocking news and her husband’s crushing expectations, Gabby must fight for the right to have a life of her own. 

Getting pregnant is easy for Hayley Batchelor. Staying pregnant is the hard part. Her husband is worried about the expensive fertility treatments and frantic about the threat to her health. But to Hayley, a woman who was born to be a mom should risk everything to fulfill her destiny—no matter how high the cost. 

Nicole Lord is still shell-shocked by a divorce that wasn’t as painful as it should’ve been. Other than the son they share, her ex-husband left barely a ripple in her life. A great new guy tempts her to believe maybe the second time’s the charm…but how can she trust herself to recognize true love?  (publisher)

My take:  So we have Gaby who looks forward to going back to work when her twins start school, Hayley who wants nothing more than to have a baby no matter what the cost, and Nicole who doesn’t want to trust her heart to anyone.

I think my favorite character was Hayley because of her emotional dilemma. I really felt sympathy for her. That said, she really needed some therapy to work through her issues. I imagine a book group would have a lot to discuss about her and the other two main characters – especially groups whose members are raising young families. I’m past that stage so when I got a little frustrated with the characters I chalked it up to where I am in life.

Recommended to fans of the author and women’s fiction.

Sunday Post

Last week I marked eight years of blogging about books. When I began Bookfan back in 2008 I wasn’t sure how long I would keep this blog thing going 🙂  Now, starting my ninth year, I’m amazed by all the wonderful people I’ve met and all the good books I’ve read. Thanks for visiting, commenting, and making this such a great experience!

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

summer at little beach street bakery (3:22)

Last week on Bookfan:

  • Review:  Everything’s Relative by Jenna McCarthy


Reading plan for this week:

What We Find (4:5:16)   Lies and Other Acts of Love (4:5:16)

Everything’s Relative by Jenna McCarthy

  • image003Title:  Everything’s Relative: A Novel
  • Author:  Jenna McCarthy
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Pages:  352
  • Published:  February 2016 – Berkley
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  Jules, Brooke and Lexi were young girls (12, 8 and 6 respectively) when their father died suddenly leaving them and their mother devastated. Jules took on family responsibilities well above her age level doing what her mother could no longer do. Brooke became the family peace-maker/fixer. Lexi thumbed her nose at everyone. The three girls took these characteristics with them into adulthood. When their mom died twenty years after their dad she left an unexpected inheritance for the three sisters. In order to collect the inheritance they would have to meet specific conditions and they all had to do so or none of them would receive their due.

Jenna McCarthy’s story of sisters drew me in from page one and had me turning the pages quickly. The chapters are short and each is from a different sister’s perspective. I loved seeing the changes in each character and pulled for all three as they tried to accomplish their assignments.

Everything’s Relative is a thoroughly entertaining novel that by turn tugged a few heartstrings and made me laugh out loud. Recommended to fans of contemporary humorous fiction about dysfunctional families.