Met Her Match by Jude Deveraux

Met Her Match by Jude Deveraux

Expected pub. date:  September 17, 2019 – MIRA

Book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description: Terri Rayburn is a girl with a reputation. She doesn’t deserve it, but having grown up on the outskirts of Summer Hill, Virginia, she knows how small towns work. The only way to deal with vicious gossip is to ignore it. So she keeps to herself as she runs the summer resort on Lake Kissel.

When she returns home from a short trip to find a handsome stranger living in her house, she smells a rat. Someone is trying to fix her up, and she has to admit that Nate Taggert is just her type. However, Nate is engaged to the daughter of the mayor and strictly off-limits.

Nate and Terri form an unlikely friendship while he throws himself into life at the lake. As Nate starts to hear rumors about Terri he’s confused. Knowing how smart, beautiful and strong she is, he’s determined to discover the source of the gossip. Terri doesn’t want to revisit the past, but Nate won’t stop until he discovers the truth—even if the truth might be more than either of them can handle. (publisher)

My take:  Met Her Match is book 2 in the Summer Hill series. I haven’t had a chance to read book one but I didn’t feel lost jumping in with book 2.

As often happens, small towns can have their own version of the truth when it comes to notorious citizens. One of those citizens was Terri Rayburn’s mother. Terri has spent her life minding her own business as she moved through her school years and worked at the lake resort run by her dad. Everything is fine until she meets Nate Taggert, a larger-than-life stranger who shows up unexpectedly in her house. The two have an instant attraction but other circumstances will force them to maintain a distance which will be a challenge.

This is what I like to call a read-by-the-pool contemporary romance. There’s also a mystery thrown in that will keep Nate involved in Terri’s life and perhaps answer some long-held questions. All in all, a fun read that has me wondering where Deveraux will go next with the good people of Summer Hill.


 

Spotlight/US Giveaway: The Passengers by John Marrs

The Passengers by John Marrs

Published August 27, 2019 – Berkley

Content for this post provided by the publisher

Description:

The headlines have made it known:  driverless cars are coming. And soon. As author John Marrs has put it:  “Whether we like it or not, there are arriving soon. Within the next decade, we will be sitting in the front seats of our vehicles with a flat dashboard containing no steering wheel, and below us, no brakes. We will be in the hands of an operating system that we cannot touch and that we cannot see. It will be making life or death decisions for us. But what if that artificial intelligence could be compromised? What if it is hacked and something – or someone – other than the OS is controlling our destiny?”

Marrs takes that idea and hits full speed in THE PASSENGERS. In it, the British government has mandated all cars be automated. Several years into their implementation, on a seemingly average day, eight people get into their self-driving cars. Suddenly on their journey, the doors lock and the pre-determined route changes. The riders have lost all control. A mysterious voice tells them, “You are going to die.” 

These passengers—an aging actress, a pregnant young woman, an abused wife fleeing her husband, an illegal immigrant, a husband and wife, and a suicidal man—are panicked. From cameras hidden in their cars, their frantic pleas for help are broadcast to millions of people around the world. The public will show their true colors when they are asked, “Which of these people should we save? Who should we kill first?”

The passengers desperately plead for the lives and sell themselves to the cameras blasting this onto social media. But it soon becomes apparent most of these passengers haven’t been picked randomly. They are all hiding secrets that, once revealed, could be the difference between life and death for each of them.


About the author:

John Marrs is the author of The One which is being made into a 10 part Netflix series, The Good Samaritan, Her Last Move, When You Disappeared, and Welcome to Wherever You Are. Until recently, he worked for twenty-five years as a freelance journalist based in London, England, where he interviewed celebrities from the world of television, film, and music for national newspapers and magazines. He has written for publications including the Guardian’s Guide and Guardian Online, Total Film, the Huffington Post, Empire, Q, GT, the Independent, S Magazine, and Company. He is now a full-time author.

Praise for THE PASSENGERS:

THE PASSENGERS is a 1970s disaster movie by way of Black Mirror, with an added dash of technology-gone-wrong straight out of Michael Crichton….If you’re looking for a sleek, exhilarating ride, look no further.”— Financial Times

 

“One can almost hear the Hollywood music in the background as the action unfolds; the plot twists are truly gripping….Summer blockbuster entertainment at its best.”— Kirkus Reviews

 

“[THE PASSENGERS’s] strength lies in its well-developed characters and in its exploration of issues such as the growing role of AI, mob psychology, and the ethics of who gets to decide who lives or dies.”— Publishers Weekly

 

“Marrs excels at thrilling readers by creating a real sense of tension and delivering a believable, harsh criticism of modern society through this dark and entertaining story.” —Los Angeles Times

 

“What a ride!”—Booklist


US Giveaway

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The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

The Long Call by Ann Cleeves

Expected publication date:  September 3, 2019 – Minotaur Books

E galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description: In North Devon, where two rivers converge and run into the sea, Detective Matthew Venn stands outside the church as his estranged father’s funeral takes place. On the day Matthew left the strict evangelical community he grew up in, he lost his family too.

Now, as he turns and walks away again, he receives a call from one of his team. A body has been found on the beach nearby: a man with a tattoo of an albatross on his neck, stabbed to death.

The case calls Matthew back to the people and places of his past, as deadly secrets hidden at their hearts are revealed, and his new life is forced into a collision course with the world he thought he’d left behind.

From Ann Cleeves, bestselling author of Vera and Shetland, beloved by readers and TV viewers alike, comes a spectacular new series, told with deep compassion and searing insight. (publisher)

My take:  This is my first time reading Ann Cleeves. If the rest of her books are as character driven as The Long Call I can see why she’s so popular.

We meet Detective Venn on the day of his estranged father’s funeral. When he gets the call that a body has been discovered on a local beach he knows he could be led down an uncomfortable road with people from his past. He’ll have that and much more.

Cleeves sets the tone for the new series and gives us glimpses of the personal lives of the rest of Venn’s team as they investigate a murder that will shock many town citizens. I could imagine this as a future television series and will definitely read the next book in the Two Rivers series.


 

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior

Ellie and the Harpmaker by Hazel Prior

Published August 2019 – Berkley

Book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description: Dan Hollis lives a happy, solitary life carving exquisite Celtic harps in his barn in the countryside of the English moors. Here he can be himself, away from social situations that he doesn’t always get right or completely understand.

On the anniversary of her beloved father’s death, Ellie Jacobs takes a walk in the woods and comes across Dan’s barn. She is enchanted by his collection. Dan gives her a harp made of cherrywood to match her cherry socks. He stores it for her, ready for whenever she’d like to take lessons.

Ellie begins visiting Dan almost daily and quickly learns that he isn’t like other people. He makes her sandwiches precisely cut into triangles and repeatedly counts the (seventeen) steps of the wooden staircase to the upstairs practice room. Ellie soon realizes Dan isn’t just different; in many ways, his world is better, and he gives her a fresh perspective on her own life. (publisher)

My take:  I think its best going into Ellie and the Harpmaker without knowing more than the book description. I loved learning about Dan and his world. Some would describe him as being somewhere on the spectrum. He doesn’t pick up on most social cues and is quite comfortable counting things and observing nature when he isn’t making beautiful harps. He meets people because of his harps and that serves him well or sometimes not so much. Ellie grew up being told by her mother she was never enough. Her husband eventually took over the job of reminding her but Ellie always looks for the best and keeps trying to be a good wife. When she discovers the harp maker’s barn Ellie’s life, and Dan’s, begins to change. The novel alternates chapters between the point of view of Ellie and Dan which kept the pace good – I never felt it lag. If you’re looking for something a bit different and ultimately uplifting I think Ellie and the Harpmaker is just the right book and I can’t wait to see what Hazel Prior dreams up next.


 

Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

Last week on Bookfan:

 

Reading plan for this week:


In Real Life…

My daughter and her kiddos invited me to visit Bookworm Gardens with them on Friday. It’s a magical place with a focus on classic children’s books and beautiful gardens. There are a few dozen displays featuring individual titles. Here are a few highlights:

 

 

“Degas and the Little Dancer”

 

“Jack and the Beanstalk”

 

“Magic Treehouse”

 


The Perfect Son by Lauren North

The Perfect Son by Lauren North

Published: August 2019 – Berkley Trade Paperback Original

Book courtesy of the publisher

Description: When Tess Clarke wakes up in the hospital the day after her son Jamie’s eighth birthday, she’s sure of these things: She’s been stabbed, her son is missing, her brother-in-law and her grief counselor are involved. But no one is listening to her. 

After her husband, Mark, died suddenly in a terrible accident a few months earlier, the only thing keeping Tess together is Jamie. As they struggle to make sense of their new life without Mark, they find joy in brief moments of normalcy like walking to school and watching television together. Life is hard without Mark, but Tess has Jamie, and that’s what matters.

But there in the hospital, confused and surrounded by people who won’t listen, Tess’s world falls apart. To save her son, she must piece together what happened between Mark’s death and Jamie’s birthday, but the truth might just be too much for her to bear. (publisher)

My take:  Tess Clarke’s husband died recently and she’s grateful to have their 8 year old son Jamie as she deals with grief and the accompanying depression. She makes a new friend in the grief counselor who soon takes on the role of running interference for Tess from people who don’t seem to have her best interest in mind. And then mysterious phone calls and people begin to make Tess wonder if she can trust anyone. I felt the same way and read with my jaw clenched most of the time. Despite my sore jaw I found the story addictive in a ‘just one more chapter’ way. I liked The Perfect Son but was looking for a little more from the ending. I realize that’s just personal preference so check out other reviews. Still, I’m glad I read it and would definitely read the author’s next book. The Perfect Son is Lauren North’s debut novel.


About the author:

Lauren North studied psychology before moving to London, where she lived and worked for many years. She now lives with her family in the Suffolk countryside. The Perfect Son is her first novel, and she’s working on her second.


Praise for The Perfect Son:

“North offers an intimate, unbalancing mix of grief, paranoia, gaslighting, maternal protectiveness, and profound compassion.” – STARRED review from Publishers Weekly

“A powerful, unpredictable debut thriller about a mother’s attempt to reassemble her life from the shards of tragedy. Lauren North’s skillful narrative casts everyone as a suspect and keeps the reader guessing until the final, emotion-packed pages.” – David Bell, USA Today bestselling author of Layover

“A heart-rending evocation of grief that packs a devious punch. It left me reeling.” – Lesley Kara, author of the international bestseller The Rumor

“As satisfyingly intriguing and page-turning as you could possibly want. An emotional read – the end is a shocker!” – Emma Curtis, author of When I Find You

“Beautifully written psychological suspense about the power of love after a life-changing loss. A sense of impending doom and foreboding gripped me from the first page….The ending is stunning and powerful.” – Mary Torjussen, author of The Girl I Used to Be

“A captivating, suspenseful thriller that draws you in – with a twist that will take your breath away.” – T.M. Logan, author of Lies