Safe House

Safe House by Jo Jakeman

Published:  March 10, 2020 – Berkley

E-galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

One day, a woman turns up in a remote coastal village. She’s bought a crumbling, long-vacant cottage and calls herself Charlie Miller. Charlie keeps to herself, reluctant to integrate with the locals. If they ever find out who she really is, and what she’s done, she’ll lose what little she has left.

Charlie served two years in prison for providing a false alibi for a murderer. It was the mistake of a woman in love, a woman who couldn’t believe her boyfriend was guilty–or lying to her. All she desperately wants now is a fresh start.

As Charlie slowly lets down her guard and becomes friendly with her neighbors, she can’t shake the feeling that someone is watching her, someone who knows what she did. When one of her new friends suddenly disappears, Charlie’s worst fears are confirmed. She must confront her past head-on, but as she knows all too well, everything is far more dangerous than how it appears. (publisher)

My take:  Charlie (formerly Steffi) wanted to think the best of her perfect boyfriend but little by little their relationship had changed and she worried things wouldn’t work out. So, when detectives came to her workplace one day she provided a false alibi for him. After all, he couldn’t possibly be a murderer, could he? Charlie ended up serving a prison sentence for her part. When she was released she relocated to a little town on the Cornwall coast. She bought a fixer-upper and started to adjust to her new name and a fresh start. As she started to get her bearings she had a feeling that someone was watching her. Was it possible someone knew her true identity? And what did they want with her?

This book kept me on the edge of my seat and quickly turning the pages. I enjoyed the setting, the slow build in the drama, and the tense scenes near the end. It was a twisty, fast read that I enjoyed. I wonder what Jo Jakeman will dream up next.


 

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 Darkness We Hide

The Darkness We Hide by Debra Webb

Published:  March 31, 2020 – MIRA

E-galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

For months, Doctor Rowan Dupont has been staring death in the face. It followed her back to her hometown of Winchester, Tennessee, ten months ago, cloaking the walls of her family’s Victorian funeral home like a shroud. In investigating the mysterious deaths of her loved ones, Rowan has unearthed enough family secrets to bury everything she’d previously thought true. But each shocking discovery has only led to more bodies and more questions; the rabbit hole is deeper than she ever imagined.

Despite settling in to a comfortable life with Police Chief Billy Brannigan, Rowan knows dangerous serial killer Julian Addington is still out there. She can’t let her guard down now. Not when she’s this close to ending his torment once and for all. But with a storm brewing on the horizon, she’ll get only one shot before the impending darkness takes hold, threatening to wipe away every truth she’s uncovered—and everything she holds dear. (publisher)

My take:  I jumped into The Undertaker’s Daughter series (trilogy?) with The Darkness We Hide – Book 3. Author Debra Webb did a good job catching me up with the main points of what had transpired in the previous books but I may circle back to those at some point.

This book left me breathless as Rowan, Billy and others pursued the serial killer, Julian Addington. Debra Webb’s novel is fast-paced with action and clues and red herrings. As you’d expect with a thriller involving a serial killer there are super creepy things happening right up to the last pages which made me really appreciate the epilogue.

I discovered Debra Webb’s books a couple of months ago and I’m a fan. I can’t wait to read more from this prolific (thank goodness!) author.


About the author:

Debra Webb is the award-winning, USA Today bestselling author of more than 130 novels, including reader favorites the Faces of Evil, theColby Agency, and the Shades of Death series. With more than four million books sold in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood on a farm in Alabama.


 

The Red Lotus

The Red Lotus by Chris Bohjalian

Published:  March 2020 – Doubleday

Digital galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

From the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Midwives and The Flight Attendant comes a twisting story of love and deceit: an American man vanishes on a rural road in Vietnam, and his girlfriend, an emergency room doctor trained to ask questions, follows a path that leads her home to the very hospital where they met.

The first time Alexis saw Austin, it was a Saturday night. Not in a bar, but in the emergency room where Alexis sutured a bullet wound in Austin’s arm. Six months later, on the brink of falling in love, they travel to Vietnam on a bike tour so that Austin can show her his passion for cycling and he can pay his respects to the place where his father and uncle fought in the war. But as Alexis sips white wine and waits at the hotel for him to return from his solo ride, two men emerge from the tall grass and Austin vanishes into thin air. The only clue he leaves behind is a bright yellow energy gel dropped on the road. As Alexis grapples with this bewildering loss, and deals with the FBI, Austin’s prickly family, and her colleagues at the hospital, Alexis uncovers a series of strange lies that force her to wonder: Where did Austin go? Why did he really bring her to Vietnam? And how much danger has he left her in? Set amidst the adrenaline-fueled world of the emergency room, The Red Lotus is a global thriller about those who dedicate their lives to saving people, and those who peddle death to the highest bidder. (publisher)

My take:  So, this novel will either turn you off within the first 25% or it will grab you and take you on a roller coaster ride of fast moving and growing viruses and how easy it would be to quickly affect the entire world population.  It’s about drug resistant pathogens, rats (lab and dumpster types), the researchers trying to stay ahead of the next pandemic, and good vs. evil. In these days of a coronavirus pandemic it was very easy to imagine all of Chris Bohjalian’s novel as nonfiction. This is a scary and anxiety producing story. Be warned.


 

Before He Vanished

Before He Vanished by Debra Webb

Published:  February 18, 2020 – Harlequin Intrigue

Review Galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

His disappearance changed her life forever.

Twenty-five years ago, Halle Lane’s best friend vanished from their Tennessee town. When a childhood photo brings Liam Hart to Winchester, Halle is certain the man is the same child who vanished. Now Liam seeks out Halle to help him investigate the circumstances of his mysterious past. Can Liam and Halle uncover the truth before a killer buries all traces of the boy Halle loved—and the man he may have become—forever? (publisher)

My take: Halle Lane has been haunted by the disappearance of her best friend when they were seven years old. Now, twenty-five years later, Halle is an investigative reporter. She writes an article about the unsolved case and that is the beginning of a new round of crimes connected to the story. Liam Hart, a California winemaker, receives a mysterious letter that contains a copy of Halle’s article. He’s intrigued enough to fly to Tennessee to look into the case. He didn’t expect to find out that his life has possibly been a lie. Can Halle convince him to help her solve the case before more people are hurt? This is a fast-paced mystery seasoned lightly with romance (closed door). A quick read that I enjoyed and recommend to fans of Debra Webb and the Harlequin Intrigue imprint.


About the author:

DEBRA WEBB is the USA Today and Publisher’s Weekly bestselling author of more than 160 novels, including reader favorites the Shades of Death, the Faces of Evil, and the Colby Agency. She is the recipient of the prestigious Romantic Times Career Achievement Award for Romantic Suspense as well as numerous Reviewers Choice Awards. In 2012 Debra was honored as the first recipient of the esteemed L. A. Banks Warrior Woman Award for her courage, strength, and grace in the face of adversity. Recently Debra was awarded the distinguished Centennial Award for having achieved publication of her 100th novel. With this award Debra joined the ranks of a handful of authors like Nora Roberts and Carole Mortimer.

With more than four million books in print in numerous languages and countries, Debra’s love of storytelling goes back to her childhood when, at the age of nine, her mother bought her an old typewriter in a tag sale. Born in Alabama, Debra grew up on a farm. She spent every available hour exploring the world around her and creating her stories. She wrote her first story at age nine and her first romance at thirteen. It wasn’t until she spent three years working for the Commanding General of the US Army in Berlin behind the Iron Curtain and a five-year stint in NASA’s Shuttle Program that she realized her true calling. A collision course between suspense and romance was set. Since then she has expanded her work into some of the darkest places the human psyche dares to go. Visit Debra at http://www.debrawebb.com.



 

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.


 

Blog Tour: Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas – Tucker

Eternity Springs: The McBrides of Texas – Tucker by Emily March

Published:  February 25, 2020 – St. Martin’s Paperbacks

E-galley courtesy of the publisher and NetGalley

Description:

Meet Gillian Thacker. Her business: Bliss Bridal Salon. Her passion: Weddings. Her own wedding: It’s complicated. Life isn’t turning out like she’d planned. The last thing she wants is for a real-life hero to ride to her rescue, but an unexpected event puts her entire future in Redemption, Texas, at risk. So what’s a broken-hearted bridal expert to do? Maybe a new set of survival skills is exactly what she needs…

Tucker McBride has been proud to call himself a U.S. Army Ranger. But now that his days of service are over, he’s decided to put his expertise to use by founding a wilderness skills training school. He sets up shop in Redemption, next to Bliss Bridal, and so begins life: Part Two. Marriage has been pretty low on his agenda, but as soon as he meets Gillian, Tucker can’t help but contemplate the ultimate challenge: Convincing the reluctant bride to take his hand and leap into the adventure of a lifetime . . . until death do them part. (publisher)

My take:  This is the second book in The McBrides of Texas series. Tucker’s story is one of figuring out what the next chapter in his life will be after the army. He comes home to the small Texas town of  Redemption and meets Gillian, a beautiful, smart, and (sad to say) engaged woman. When life hands Gillian a major upset she and Tucker find they might have a lot to teach each other. It will take a while for these headstrong people to realize what it takes to survive and move forward, possibly together. The McBrides of Texas – Tucker is filled with fun repartee between Gillian and Tucker. I enjoyed the laugh-out-loud scenes that played out in Las Vegas as well as on the Texas hiking trails. A fun novel all the way around. I’m looking forward to Boon’s story that was hinted at near the end.


About the author:

Emily March is the New York Times, Publishers Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a “master of delightful banter,” and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America.

A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.

Twitter: @emilymarchbooks (https://twitter.com/emilymarchbooks?lang=en)

Facebook: @emilymarchbooks (https://www.facebook.com/emilymarchbooks/)

Instagram: @emilymarchbooks (https://www.instagram.com/emilymarchbooks/?hl=en

Author Website: https://emilymarch.com/

Macmillan Author Page: https://us.macmillan.com/author/emilymarch


 

Buy links:

Macmillan: https://us.macmillan.com/books/9781250314932

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1250314933?tag=macmillan-20

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/eternity-springs-emily-march/1132730238;jsessionid=9CB8E792D66DAE517D48FA46AF244A7C.prodny_store01-atgap02?ean=9781250314932#/

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/product/9781250314932?AID=42121&PID=7992675&cjevent=0a0b322d393511ea828c00f10a24060e

Indie Bound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9781250314932?aff=macmillan

Powell’s: https://www.powells.com/book/eternity-springs-the-mcbrides-of-texas-tucker-9781250314932?partnerid=33241