Who Rescued Who

Who Rescued Who by Victoria Schade

Published:  March 2020 – Berkley

E-galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

The plan was simple: Elizabeth would ignore the fact that she was unjustly fired from her dream job, fly across the pond to settle an unexpected inheritance in her father’s home country and quickly return to reclaim her position among the Silicon Valley elite.

But when Elizabeth stumbles upon an abandoned puppy, she’s shocked to realize that her brief trip to England might turn into an extended stay. Her strict itinerary is upended completely by the pup’s dogged devotion, and soon the loveable puppy helps her to connect with a tight-knit community of new friends on two legs and four, from the aunt and uncle she didn’t know existed, to a grumpy coffee shop owner to two very opinionated sheep. Along the way Elizabeth is confronted by long-kept family secrets, hard truths about her former life and a new romance that might lead her to question everything she knows about love. Because sometimes rescue magic happens on both ends of the leash. (publisher)

My take:  I loved it! At first I wasn’t sure I would because it opened with a scene that had me doing an eye roll but I kept thinking of the dog on the cover and hoped it would be worth sticking with it. I’m so glad I did.

It’s about finding family, friends, a new life when you least expect it. It’s about realizing what’s important, becoming the person you were meant to be. And it’s about becoming a dog’s person. I loved it all.


 

The Sea Glass Cottage

The Sea Glass Cottage by RaeAnne Thayne

Published:  March 2020 – HQN Books

Digital galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

The life Olivia Harper always dreamed of isn’t so dreamy these days. The 16-hour work days are unfulfilling and so are things with her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when she hears that her estranged mother, Juliet, has been seriously injured in a work accident, Liv has no choice but to pack up her life and head home to beautiful Cape Sanctuary on the Northern California coast.

It’s just for a few months—that’s what Liv keeps telling herself. But the closer she gets to Cape Sanctuary, the painful memories start flooding back: Natalie, her vibrant, passionate older sister who downward-spiraled into addiction. The fights with her mother who enabled her sister at every turn. The overdose that took Natalie, leaving her now-teenaged daughter, Caitlin, an orphan.

As Liv tries to balance her own needs with those of her injured mother and an obstinate, resentful fifteen-year-old, it becomes clear that all three Harper women have been keeping heartbreaking secrets from one another. And as those secrets are revealed, Liv, Juliet, and Caitlin will see that it’s never too late—or too early—to heal family wounds and find forgiveness. (publisher)

My take:  The Sea Glass Cottage is where Olivia Harper grew up and its where her mother and teen aged niece live still. When Olivia’s mother Juliet winds up in the hospital with a broken hip she comes home to help with the family business. What she finds is a niece who suddenly resents her, a mother who has a few secrets, and the new fire chief who makes her feel emotionally off-balance. But she can handle it all because she’s only there for a few weeks and then will go back to her life and job in Seattle. Olivia’s mom and niece have worries of their own and navigate the feelings and actions that may or may not give the desired results. This is a story about strong, proud people learning to ask for and accept help, learning that “the greatest risk carries the greatest reward”. No spoiler here but I can say I enjoyed how RaeAnne Thayne brought her characters through their drama. Recommended to fans of the author and women’s fiction.


About the author:

New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne finds inspiration in the beautiful northern Utah mountains where she lives with her family. Her books have won numerous honors, including six RITA Award nominations from Romance Writers of America and Career Achievement and Romance Pioneer awards from RT Book Reviews.

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The Antidote For Everything by Kimmery Martin

The Antidote For Everything by Kimmery Martin

Published:  February 18, 2020 – Berkley

Digital review copy courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:  Georgia Brown’s profession as a urologist requires her to interact with plenty of naked men, but her romantic prospects have fizzled. The most important person in her life is her friend Jonah Tsukada, a funny, empathetic family medicine doctor who works at the same hospital in Charleston, South Carolina and who has become as close as family to her.

Just after Georgia leaves the country for a medical conference, Jonah shares startling news. The hospital is instructing doctors to stop providing medical care for transgender patients. Jonah, a gay man, is the first to be fired when he refuses to abandon his patients. Stunned by the predicament of her closest friend, Georgia’s natural instinct is to fight alongside him. But when her attempts to address the situation result in incalculable harm, both Georgia and Jonah find themselves facing the loss of much more than their careers. (publisher)

My take:  Georgia and Jonah are best friends and physicians at a for-profit hospital that has decided to no longer treat transgender patients. Jonah is devastated and Georgia is beyond offended and angry for their patients, for Jonah, and herself.  Kimmery Martin takes her characters on an often convoluted path as they seek to right the wrong decision. I loved Jonah and Georgia and their determination. I cheered them on but found the story kind of clumsy in a few areas. I was unsure why some scenes (in Amsterdam, for example) were included at the time I read them and even more after finishing. They seemed unnecessary. That could be on me because there are a lot of high ratings on various sites so if the publisher’s description sounds good to you I suggest you give it a try. I enjoyed Martin’s first novel (The Queen of Hearts) and will be interested in what she writes next.


 

Spotlight/US Giveaway: More Than Words

More Than Words by Jill Santopolo

Paperback published:  February 2020 – G.P. Putnam’s Sons

Giveaway book provided by the publisher

Description:  Nina has always known who she’s supposed to be. But is that who she truly is? Nina Gregory has always been a good daughter. Raised by her father, owner of New York City’s glamorous Gregory Hotels, Nina was taught that family, reputation, and legacy are what matter most. And Tim–her devoted boyfriend and best friend since childhood–feels the same. But when Nina’s father dies, he leaves behind a secret that shocks Nina to her core. Soon, Nina begins to see the men in her life–her father, her boyfriend, and unexpectedly, her boss, Rafael–in a new light, finding herself caught between the world she loves, and a passion that could upend everything. MORE THAN WORDS is a heartbreaking and romantic novel about grief, loss, love, and self-discovery, and how we choose which life we are meant to live. (publisher)

Praise for More Than Words

“A smart, sexy, delicious novel.”

People

 

“Santopolo returns with the tender More Than Words.” 

Marie Claire

“Another gorgeously heart-breaking and romantic read. . . . This one is certainly going to sweep you up in feelings.” 

Bustle

 

“A heartfelt story about life, love, and taking chances in the aftermath of loss. . . . This is a charming and sexy crowd-pleaser.”

Publishers Weekly

 

“Nina’s struggle to decide between two men, one of whom represents her old life and the other who represents what she could be if she took a chance, is propulsive and compelling. The depiction of Nina’s grief for her father is vividly raw, made more real by her eventual understanding that he was an imperfect human being. Full of drama, scandal, and romance, [More Than Words] is sure to delight fans of Santopolo’s The Light We Lost.”

Kirkus Reviews

 

“The latest from best-selling author Santopolo is a bittersweet and reflective novel of grief, loss, and coming into one’s own. Fans of leisurely paced and character-driven novels will appreciate the time she spends developing Nina’s voice and ensuring that it’s heard.”

Booklist

 

More Than Words is an outstandingly poignant and honest novel. Jill Santopolo is a true master of matters of the heart. This is a tender and wise story about family, love, and self. I couldn’t put it down.”

Taylor Jenkins Reid, author of The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

 

“The perfect combination of romantic and real. I dare you to put this book down.”

Leslie Cohen, author of This Love Story Will Self-Destruct

US Giveaway

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An Everyday Hero by Laura Trentham

An Everyday Hero by Laura Trentham

Published:  February 2020 – St. Martin’s Griffin

Book courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:  At thirty, Greer Hadley never expected to be forced home to Madison, Tennessee with her life and dreams of being a songwriter up in flames. To make matters worse, a series of bad decisions and even crappier luck lands her community service hours at a nonprofit organization that aids veterans and their families. Greer cannot fathom how she’s supposed to use music to help anyone deal with their trauma and loss when the one thing that brought her joy has failed her.

When Greer meets fifteen-year-old Ally Martinez, her plans to stay detached and do as little as possible get thrown away. New to town and dealing with the death of her father in action, she hides her emotions behind a mask of bitterness and sarcasm, but Greer is able to see past it and recognizes pieces of who she once was in Ally. The raw and obvious talent she possesses could take her to the top and Greer vows to make sure life’s negativities don’t derail Ally’s potential.

After Greer is assigned a veteran to help, she’s not surprised Emmett Lawson, the town’s golden boy, followed his family’s legacy. What leaves her shocked is the shell of a man who believes he doesn’t deserve anyone’s help. A breakthrough with Ally reminds Greer that no one is worth giving up on. So she shows up one day with his old guitar, and meets Emmett’s rage head on with her stubbornness. When a situation with Ally becomes dire, the two of them must become a team to save her—and along the way they might just save themselves too. (publisher)

My take:  Thirty year old Greer Hadley tried to make it as a singer/songwriter in Nashville but when her dream didn’t take hold she came home to Madison, TN. To make matters worse she gets in a bar fight which gets her arrested. She ends up doing community service at a non-profit that uses songwriting and music as therapy for veterans or family members of vets.

Greer gets the most challenging clients. First is Ally, a surly teenager who has no interest in a stranger teaching her how to write songs. Second is Emmett, a newly discharged vet who is dealing with the loss of a leg and the reasons behind it. He’s also a former classmate of Greer’s. She has her hands full with these two but is determined to put her time in and then move on with her life.

An Everyday Hero is about learning to live a new normal after you think life is through with you. I liked the realistic and upbeat tone of the book. This is the second of Laura Trentham’s books I’ve read and I look forward to reading more.


About the author:

An award-winning author, Laura Trentham was born and raised in a small town in Tennessee. Although, she loved English and reading in high school, she was convinced an English degree equated to starvation. She chose the next most logical major—Chemical Engineering—and worked in a hard hat and steel toed boots for several years.

She writes sexy, small town contemporaries and smoking hot Regency historicals. The first two books of her Falcon Football series were named Top Picks by RT Book Reviews magazine. Then He Kissed Me, a Cottonbloom novel, was named as one of Amazon’s best romances of 2016. When not lost in a cozy Southern town or Regency England, she’s shuttling kids to soccer, helping with homework, and avoiding the Mt. Everest-sized pile of laundry that is almost as big as the to-be-read pile of books on her nightstand.


 

Promises of the Heart by Nan Rossiter plus a US Giveaway

Promises of the Heart by Nan Rossiter

Publication date:  February 4, 2020 – Harper Paperbacks

ARC courtesy of the author

Description:  Macey and Ben Samuelson have much to be thankful for: great friends, a beautiful—if high-maintenance—Victorian house on idyllic Tybee Island, and a rock-solid marriage. The only thing missing is what they want the most. After her fifth miscarriage in six years, Macey worries that the family they’ve always dreamed of might be out of reach. Her sister suggests adoption, but Macey and Ben aren’t interested in pursuing that path…until a three-legged Golden Retriever named Keeper wags his way into their home and their hearts.

Harper Wheaton just got kicked out of another foster home and it won’t be the last if she keeps losing her temper. She’s not sure why she gets mad; maybe because no family seems to want a nine-year-old girl with a heart condition. She loves her social worker, Cora, but knows that staying with her forever isn’t an option. Will she ever find a family to call her own?

As a physician’s assistant, Macey meets lots of kids. Harper Wheaton’s a tough one, but Macey knows the little girl has already struggled more than most. It gets Macey and Ben to thinking about all the children who need homes. Then Harper goes missing, and one thing is suddenly crystal clear: life is complicated—but love doesn’t have to be. (publisher)

My take:  Promises of the Heart is one of those novels that surprised me by how quickly it worked itself into my heart. I grew to love the characters and worried how life would go for them all.

Nine-year-old Harper’s mother died years ago. She’s never met her father and she’s had heart-breaking foster situations. Ben and Macey have just suffered another miscarriage. All they’ve wanted is a family to fill their big Victorian fixer-upper on Tybee Island. Is it possible that dream will ever come true? Reading Nan Rossiter’s story about people longing to be part of a family felt like being wrapped in a warm hug. The more time I spent with Macey, Ben and Harper the longer I wanted that hug to continue.

This is a story of keeping faith, putting oneself out there when it would be easier to shut the world out to lessen the chance for more emotional pain. I loved Promises of the Heart and recommend it to anyone who loves an emotional, heartwarming and uplifting story about family.


US Giveaway

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The Sweeney Sisters

The Sweeney Sisters by Lian Dolan

Expected publication:  April 28, 2020 – William Morrow

E-Galley courtesy of the publisher and Edelweiss

Description:

Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.

But as guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger, emboldened by whiskey, has crashed the party. It turns out that she too is a Sweeney sister.

When Washington, DC based journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested on a whim a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a 50% genetic match with a childhood neighbor—Maggie Sweeney of Southport, Connecticut. It seems Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill Sweeney—one that has remained totally secret until now.

Once the shock wears off, questions abound. What does this mean for William’s literary legacy? Where is the unfinished memoir he’s stashed away, and what will it reveal? And how will a fourth Sweeney sister—a blond among redheads—fit into their story? (publisher)

My take: The Sweeney Sisters is the story of three siblings mourning the death of their father, a famous author whose estate is in disarray and it would appear he had some monumental secrets. As they sort through the fallout they are faced with welcoming another sister into their fold. This is just one of the challenges they must deal with as each sister grapples with personal upheaval at the same time. Set in a tony Connecticut town, with the expected well-heeled characters, The Sweeney Sisters is an enjoyable novel that I recommend to fans of messy stories about family, sisters and secrets.