The Goodbye Café by Mariah Stewart

 

THE GOODBYE CAFÉ

The Hudson Sisters series, Book 3
On sale March 26, 2019
Trade Paperback • Price: $16.00 • ISBN: 9781501145124 eBook • Price: $7.99 • ISBN: 9781501145162

Review copy provided by Gallery Books and NetGalley

Description:

California girl Allie Hudson Monroe can’t wait for the day when the renovations on the Sugarhouse Theater are complete so she can finally collect the inheritance from her father and leave Pennsylvania. After all, her life and her fourteen-year-old daughter are in Los Angeles.

But Allie’s divorce left her tottering on the edge of bankruptcy, so to keep up on payments for her house and her daughter’s private school tuition, Allie packed up and flew out east. But fate has a curve-ball or two to toss in Allie’s direction—she just doesn’t know it yet.

She hadn’t anticipated how her life would change after reuniting with her estranged sister, Des, or meeting her previously unknown half-sister, Cara. And she’d certainly never expected to find small-town living charming. But the biggest surprise was that her long-forgotten artistry would save the day when the theater’s renovation fund dried up.

With opening day upon the sisters, Allie’s free to go. But for the first time in her life, she feels like the woman she was always meant to be. Will she return to the West Coast and resume her previous life, or will the love of “this amazing, endearing family of women” (Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author) be enough to draw her back to the place where the Hudson roots grow so deep? (publisher)

My take: The Goodbye Café is the third book in the Hudson Sisters series. I suppose you could read it as a stand alone but you’d miss out on a lot of context so I recommend reading books one and two first. The Goodbye Café is Allie’s story. She’s been the hard-edged, abrasive sister who seemed determined not to gain sympathy from anyone. She’s a complex character and we finally get to see what’s behind the emotional armor she wears when dealing with almost everyone. I enjoyed her story and seeing her strength of character become apparent to all. If you enjoy novels about family – sisters, specifically – you’ll want to read this book and the rest of the series. I’m hopeful there will be another book!


About the author:

Mariah Stewart is the award-winning New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of numerous novels and several novellas and short stories. A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and two rambunctious rescue dogs amid the rolling hills of Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she savors country life and tends her gardens while she works on her next novel. Visit her website at MariahStewart.com, like her on Facebook at Facebook.com/AuthorMariahStewart, and follow her on Instagram @Mariah_Stewart_Books.


 

The Cliff House by RaeAnne Thayne

The Cliff House by RaeAnne Thayne

Published: March 2019 – HQN

Review book courtesy of HQN, NetGalley and Little Bird Publicity

My take:  RaeAnne Thayne’s new stand-alone novel is about three women on the precipice of change. The events that transpired years earlier will determine their futures unless and until they find the courage to go after the future they desire.

When sisters Daisy and Beatriz were young girls, orphaned after their mother overdosed, they were taken in and cared for by their young aunt, Stella. Stella hadn’t even graduated from college at this point. Daisy and Beatriz were 11 and 9 years old. They all grew up together while their new family unit became strong.

Beatriz became a wife and mother while still in her teens. Her marriage may not have succeeded but she now had a lovely and smart daughter as well as an ex-husband who maintained a presence in his daughter’s life. Lately he seems interested in rekindling their relationship. She’s been there, done that and doesn’t want to move backward. She’d like to explore her feelings for her best friend since fifth grade!

As the novel opens Daisy meets a stranger in the toothpaste aisle of the grocery store and he’s convinced they’ve met before. She’s certain they haven’t. She’d remember meeting him. Daisy is the serious sister and has always taken on responsibility well beyond her years. That habit has proven hard to break – much to her detriment. It’s made her closed-off to expressing her emotions and that has made her life quite lackluster until her unexpected second meeting with ‘the stranger’. Will she open herself up to the possibility of experiencing more in her life?

Stella receives news on her 40th birthday that, while not a surprise, will definitely be life-changing. She also finds out that the only man she ever loved has moved to her town. Their lives become entwined from day one and give her hope for what she once thought an impossibility – a second chance.

I loved every minute I spent with the women in the gorgeous coastal setting of Cape Sanctuary, California. It’s a story of learning to trust and being open to new and second chances. Recommended to fans of Women’s Fiction and RaeAnne Thayne.


About the author:

RaeAnne Thayne is the author of more than 60 novels, including her beloved Haven Point series. Her books have won numerous honors, including four RITA® Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and a Career Achievement Award from RT Book Reviews. THE CLIFF HOUSE is her first-ever standalone hardcover novel, marking an exciting new chapter in her career.


 

Murder Once Removed by S.C. Perkins

Murder Once Removed by S.C. Perkins

Published: March 2019 – Minotaur Books

Review copy courtesy of Minotaur Books

Description:  S.C. Perkins’ Murder Once Removed is the captivating first mystery in the Ancestry Detective series, in which Texas genealogist Lucy Lancaster uses her skills to solve murders in both the past and present.

Except for a good taco, genealogist Lucy Lancaster loves nothing more than tracking down her clients’ long-dead ancestors, and her job has never been so exciting as when she discovers a daguerreotype photograph and a journal proving Austin, Texas, billionaire Gus Halloran’s great-great-grandfather was murdered back in 1849. What’s more, Lucy is able to tell Gus who was responsible for his ancestor’s death.

Partly, at least. Using clues from the journal, Lucy narrows the suspects down to two nineteenth-century Texans, one of whom is the ancestor of present-day U.S. senator Daniel Applewhite. But when Gus publicly outs the senator as the descendant of a murderer—with the accidental help of Lucy herself—and her former co-worker is murdered protecting the daguerreotype, Lucy will find that shaking the branches of some family trees proves them to be more twisted and dangerous than she ever thought possible.  (publisher)

My take:  Genealogy is a popular pastime for many people these days. My father researched the family trees of both his and my mother’s family – both back to Ireland. But he didn’t find a murder in either background. That’s just what Lucy Lancaster discovers when tasked to find out about Gus Halloran’s ancestor. After a three martini lunch with her client she unwittingly finds herself in the middle of a dangerous situation filled with political intrigue and shenanigans. Who knew genealogy could be so dangerous! Along the way Lucy meets a certain FBI agent and, of course, he’s handsome and single. The question is will they help or hinder each other in their investigation. I believe that relationship will continue to develop as the series progresses. Murder Once Removed should appeal to fans of Murder, She Wrote and other light mysteries. It will be interesting to see what predicament Lucy finds herself in next.


About the author:

S.C. Perkins is a fifth-generation Texan who grew up hearing fascinating stories of her ancestry and eating lots of great Tex-Mex, both of which inspired the plot of her debut mystery novel. Murder Once Removed was the winner of the 2017 Malice Domestic Best First Traditional Mystery competition. She resides in Houston and, when she’s not writing or working at her day job, she’s likely outside in the sun, on the beach, or riding horses.

Visit her website at scperkins.com or follow her on Twitter, Instagram, and Facebook  @SCPerkinsWriter


 

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The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

The French Girl by Lexie Elliott

Trade Paperback published March 2019 – Berkley

Review copy provided by the publisher

My take: A group of university friends spend a holiday at a French farm-house that ends with the disappearance of a beautiful young woman from the house next door. Ten years later the cold case is re-opened when her body is found. The group of friends are at various stages of their careers and have scattered a bit. They’re brought back together now that the case is being investigated by fresh eyes. Told from the perspective of one of the friends, who also occasionally “sees” the dead girl, we get a feel of how everyone has changed over the years. My guess of who was responsible for the crime changed a few times. The pace was good and the closing chapters had me on the edge of my seat and looking forward to Lexie Elliott’s next book.


About the author:

Lexie Elliott grew up in Scotland, at the foot of the Highlands. She graduated from Oxford University, where she obtained a doctorate in theoretical physics. A keen sportswoman, she works in fund management in London, where she lives with her husband and two sons. The rest of her time is spent writing, or thinking about writing, and juggling family life and sport.

lexieelliott.com

instagram.com/lexieelliottwrites