First Book of 2019

The book I’ll be reading as the new year begins is:
First Book of 2019
THE BEST OF US by Robyn Carr

What is your first read of the year?

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The Wake Up by Catherine Ryan Hyde

  • Title:  The Wake Up
  • Author:  Catherine Ryan Hyde
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Pages:  322
  • Published:  December 2017 – Lake Union Publishing
  • Source:  Publisher

Description:  Something has been asleep in forty-year-old cattle rancher Aiden Delacorte for a long time. It all comes back in a rush during a hunting trip, when he’s suddenly attuned to the animals around him, feeling their pain and fear as if it were his own. But the newfound sensitivity of Aiden’s “wake up” has its price. He can no longer sleepwalk through life, holding everyone at arm’s length. As he struggles to cope with a trait he’s buried since childhood, Aiden falls in love with Gwen, a single mother whose young son bears a burden of his own.

Sullen and broken from his experiences with an abusive father, Milo has turned to acting out in violent and rebellious ways. Aiden can feel the boy’s pain, as well as that of his victims. Now he and Milo must sift through their pasts to find empathy with the innocent as well as the guilty, to come to terms with their deepest fears, and to finally discover the compassionate heart of a family. (publisher)

My take:   The Wake Up is a lovely story about family – mostly about a boy and a man both damaged by circumstances out of their control. The setting is a small California cattle ranch where horses are also raised. This novel is full of emotions and people learning how to give others and themselves room to grow. It’s about forgiveness – of oneself and others. The theme of empathy runs through it all. As I turned the last page I felt hopeful and very glad to have started the year with such a good novel.


 

First Book of 2018

Happy New Year!

My first book of the year is:

I started reading The Wake Up a couple of days ago and will finish soon. Watch for a review next week.

Thanks to Sheila for hosting First Book again this year. It’s my annual try at taking a selfie 😀 I think I need more practice! At any rate, I wish you all a wonderful year of reading!


Here’s the back cover description of The Wake Up:

From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Ryan Hyde comes a hauntingly emotional novel of how one man’s life changes forever when he rediscovers his ability to feel the pain of others.

Something has been asleep in forty-year-old cattle rancher Aiden Delacorte for a long time. It all comes back in a rush during a hunting trip, when he’s suddenly attuned to the animals around him, feeling their pain and fear as if it were his own. But the newfound sensitivity of Aiden’s “wake up” has its price. He can no longer sleepwalk through life, holding everyone at arm’s length. As he struggles to cope with a trait he’s buried since childhood, Aiden falls in love with Gwen, a single mother whose young son bears a burden of his own.

Sullen and broken from his experiences with an abusive father, Milo has turned to acting out in violent and rebellious ways. Aiden can feel the boy’s pain, as well as that of his victims. Now he and Milo must sift through their pasts to find empathy with the innocent as well as the guilty, to come to terms with their deepest fears, and to finally discover the compassionate heart of a family.


 

First Book of 2017

first-book-of-the-year

Happy New Year! I think this is the third year I’ve joined in with Sheila’s First Book of the Year meme. My first book of 2017 is The Echo of Twilight by Judith Kinghorn.

 

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In 1914, despite the clouds of war threatening Europe, Pearl Gibson’s future is bright. She has secured a position as a lady’s maid to a wealthy Northumberland aristocrat, a job that will win her not only respect but an opportunity to travel and live in luxury. Her new life at Lady Ottoline Campbell’s Scottish summer estate is a whirlwind of intrigue and glamour, scandals and confidences—and surprisingly, a strange but intimate friendship with her employer. 
 
But when violence erupts in Europe, Pearl and Ottoline’s world is irrevocably changed. As the men in their lives are called to the front lines, leaving them behind to anxiously brace for bad news, Pearl realizes she must share one final secret with her mistress—a secret that will bind them together forever…

the-echo-of-twilight

Watch for a US Giveaway in a few days. 

I’ll post a review in a couple of weeks.

Rustler’s Moon by Jodi Thomas

  • Rustler's Moon (1:26:16)Title:  Rustler’s Moon
  • Series:  Ransom Canyon #2
  • Author:  Jodi Thomas
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Pages:  384
  • Published:  January 2016 – HQN Books
  • Source:  Publisher/NetGalley

About:  On a dirt road marked by haunting secrets, three strangers caught at life’s crossroads must decide what to sacrifice to protect their own agendas…and what they’re each willing to risk for love. 
If there’s any place that can convince Angela Harold to stop running, it’s Ransom Canyon. And if there’s any man who can reveal desires more deeply hidden than her every fear, it’s Wilkes Wagner. Beneath the rancher’s honorable exterior is something that just might keep her safe…or unwittingly put her in danger’s path. 
With his dreams of leaving this small Texas town swallowed up by hard, dusty reality, all Wilkes has to show for his life is the Devil’s Fork Ranch. Though not one to let false hope seduce him, he can’t deny the quiet and cautious beauty who slips into his world and changes everything. 
Lauren Brigman finally has freedom at her fingertips. All she needs is Lucas Reyes’s attention—a look, a touch, some sign that she’s more to him than a girl he rescued one dangerous night. But now it’s her turn to rescue someone, and the life-altering decision may cost her more than a chance with Lucas.  (publisher)

My take:  Angela, Wilkes and Lauren may find themselves at a crossroads but so do a few other characters in Rustler’s Moon.

As usual, Jodi Thomas’ newest Ransom Canyon book is filled with drama, mystery and romance. Will Angela be able to escape her past and build a future she never dreamed would be hers? If so, how will Wilkes figure into it? Lauren is finally at college but why doesn’t freedom feel as good as she thought it would? And what’s the deal with: A) her roomie; B) her best friend; and C)Lucas, her love?

One of the things I love about a Jodi Thomas novel is the multi-generational aspect. In this book a man is trying to find a place in the canyon that has haunted him most of his 70+ years. A few friends join him in his search which had me laughing or feeling sad for him at different times.

I enjoyed all the storylines and look forward to seeing arcs continue in future books. I recommend Rustler’s Moon to fans of Jodi Thomas and contemporary/small town romance.

First Book of 2016

2016 First Book

I decided to make Jodi Thomas’ new Ransom Canyon series book my First Book of the year. She’s one of my favorite authors and I knew I couldn’t go wrong starting 2016 with her book. Thanks to Sheila for hosting this meme. Click the link and check out other readers’ first books.

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Description: On a dirt road marked by haunting secrets, three strangers caught at life’s crossroads must decide what to sacrifice to protect their own agendas…and what they’re each willing to risk for love.

If there’s any place that can convince Angela Harold to stop running, it’s Ransom Canyon. And if there’s any man who can reveal desires more deeply hidden than her every fear, it’s Wilkes Wagner. Beneath the rancher’s honorable exterior is something that just might keep her safe…or unwittingly put her in danger’s path.

With his dreams of leaving this small Texas town swallowed up by hard, dusty reality, all Wilkes has to show for his life is the Devil’s Fork Ranch. Though not one to let false hope seduce him, he can’t deny the quiet and cautious beauty who slips into his world and changes everything.

Lauren Brigman finally has freedom at her fingertips. All she needs is Lucas Reyes’s attention—a look, a touch, some sign that she’s more to him than a girl he rescued one dangerous night. But now it’s her turn to rescue someone, and the life-altering decision may cost her more than a chance with Lucas.

Rustler's Moon (1:26:16)

I plan to finish reading Rustler’s Moon later today and look forward to author Jodi Thomas’ guest post early next month. Happy New Year!

First Frost by Sarah Addison Allen

  • First Frost (1:20:15)Title:  First Frost
  • Series:  Waverly family #2
  • Author:  Sarah Addison Allen
  • Genre:  Magical Realism; Contemporary Fiction
  • Pub. Date:  Jan. 20, 2015 – St. Martin’s Press
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  From the New York Times bestselling author of GARDEN SPELLS comes a story of the Waverley family, in a novel as sparkling as the first dusting of frost on new-fallen leaves…

It’s October in Bascom, North Carolina, and autumn will not go quietly.  As temperatures drop and leaves begin to turn, the Waverley women are made restless by the whims of their mischievous apple tree… and all the magic that swirls around it. But this year, first frost has much more in store.  (partial synopsis from the publisher)

My take:  First Frost picks up ten years after we left the Waverly family in Garden Spells. Once again Sarah Addison Allen enchanted me with her characters, setting, and story.

Claire has a successful candy business but longs for something more. She’s just not sure what that might be.

Sydney also has a longing. She wants to have a baby with her husband. All attempts have failed and she’s not sure what to do. Also on her mind is daughter Bay, now a high school student. Sydney worries that Bay will repeat mistakes from her own past and wonders if she can prevent that from happening.

One day a stranger arrives in town bringing with him the goal of changing things for a certain Waverly. Will he be successful? No spoilers here!

As usual, I was charmed by Sarah Addison Allen’s storytelling. It’s a tale about allowing yourself to be who you know you are and not what others say you should be. I loved it all and hope for another Waverly story someday soon.

Note:  If you haven’t had the pleasure of reading Garden Spells I recommend you do so before First Frost. You’ll meet the Waverlys and discover their secrets and gifts from the beginning.