Find You First

Find You First by Linwood Barclay -- I couldn't read quick enough. This fast-paced story had me on the edge of my seat.

Book Review

Find You First by Linwood Barclay

Rating: 4 out of 5.

About Find You First:

(From the publisher) Tech millionaire Miles Cookson has more money than he can ever spend, and everything he could dream of—except time. He has recently been diagnosed with a terminal illness, and there is a fifty percent chance that it can be passed on to the next generation. For Miles, this means taking a long hard look at his past . . .

Two decades ago, a young, struggling Miles was a sperm donor. Somewhere out there, he has kids—nine of them. And they might be about to inherit both the good and the bad from him—maybe his fortune, or maybe something much worse.

As Miles begins to search for the children he’s never known, aspiring film documentarian Chloe Swanson embarks on a quest to find her biological father, armed with the knowledge that twenty-two years ago, her mother used a New York sperm bank to become pregnant.

When Miles and Chloe eventually connect, their excitement at finding each other is overshadowed by a series of mysterious and terrifying events. One by one, Miles’s other potential heirs are vanishing—every trace of them wiped, like they never existed at all.

Who is the vicious killer—another heir methodically erasing rivals? Or is something even more sinister going on?

It’s a deadly race against time . . .

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A Gambling Man

A Gambling Man -- "Well set, and with interesting and likable characters, A Gambling Man was 400 pages of entertainment."

Book Review

A Gambling Man by David Baldacci

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Easy to read and packed with adventure, I always enjoy Baldacci’s stories. And A Gambling Man was no exception!

About A Gambling Man:

A Gambling Man book cover

(From the publisher): Aloysius Archer, the straight-talking World War II veteran fresh out of prison, returns in this riveting new thriller from #1 New York Times bestselling author David Baldacci.

The 1950s are on the horizon. Aloysius Archer is in dire need of a fresh start after a nearly fatal detour in Poca City. So Archer hops on a bus and begins the long journey out west to California, where rumor has it there is money to be made if you’re hard-working, lucky, criminal—or all three.

Along the way, Archer stops in Reno. A stroke of fortune delivers him a wad of cash and an eye-popping blood-red 1939 Delahaye convertible—plus a companion for the final leg of the journey, an aspiring actress named Liberty Callahan who is planning to try her luck in Hollywood. But when the two arrive in Bay Town, California, Archer quickly discovers that the hordes of people who flocked there seeking fame and fortune landed in a false paradise that instead caters to their worst addictions and fears.

Archer’s first stop is a P.I. office where he is hoping to apprentice with a legendary private eye and former FBI agent named Willie Dash. He lands the job and immediately finds himself in the thick of a potential scandal: a blackmail case involving a wealthy well-connected politician running for mayor that soon spins into something even more sinister. As bodies begin falling, Archer and Dash must infiltrate the world of brothels, gambling dens, drug operations, and long-hidden secrets, descending into the rotten bones of a corrupt town that is selling itself as the promised land—but might actually be the road to perdition, and Archer’s final resting place.

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The Venice Sketchbook

The Venice Sketchbook book against white pillows and background

Book Review

The Venice Sketchbook by Rhys Bowen

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The city of Venice — could there be a more romantic setting? Bestselling author, Rhys Bowen, truly captures the charm of this ancient, Italian port. Her writing is vivid, inviting readers to experience the sights, smells, and tastes of a city built along the canals in this romantic, historical fiction. The Venice Sketchbook was first and foremost, very well set.

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The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

An intensely original and beautifully researched story full of heart, resilience and empathy -- The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek

Book Review

The Book Woman of Troublesome Creek by Kim Michele Richardson

Rating: 4 out of 5.

When I think about characters with blue skin, I immediately assume that I must be reading some sort of fantasy novel. But this book explores the inspired-by-real-life story of the blue-skinned people of Troublesome Creek and Kentucky’s incredibly courageous pack-horse librarians.

An intensely original and beautifully researched story full of heart, resilience, and empathy. (Don’t forget to scroll down for my full review!)

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The Women of Chateau Lafayette

Photo of book cover The Women of Chateau Lafayette on an e-reader in front of a bookshelf

Book Review

The Women of Chateau Lafayette by Stephanie Dray

Rating: 4 out of 5.

An epic saga from bestselling author, Stephanie Dray, this novel is based on the true story of Chateau Lafayette and the three, fierce-hearted women who protect its legacy.

About the book:

Most castles are protected by powerful men. This one by women…

A founding mother…
1774. Gently-bred noblewoman Adrienne Lafayette becomes her husband’s political partner in the fight for American independence. But when their idealism sparks revolution in France and the guillotine threatens everything she holds dear, Adrienne must choose to renounce the complicated man she loves, or risk her life for a legacy that will inspire generations to come.

A daring visionary…
1914. Glittering New York socialite Beatrice Astor Chanler is a force of nature, daunted by nothing–not her humble beginnings, her crumbling marriage, or the outbreak of war. But after witnessing the devastation in France and delivering war-relief over dangerous seas, Beatrice takes on the challenge of a lifetime: convincing America to fight for what’s right.

A reluctant resistor…
1940. French school-teacher and aspiring artist Marthe Simone has an orphan’s self-reliance and wants nothing to do with war. But as the realities of Nazi occupation transform her life in the isolated castle where she came of age, she makes a discovery that calls into question who she is, and more importantly, who she is willing to become.

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Giveaway: WIN by Harlan Coben

Win by Harlan Coben -- a fast-paced and entertaining read with a vigilante, antihero that you can't help but be intrigued by.

Review + Giveaway

WIN by Harlan Coben

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Any giveaway day is a good day, and I am super excited to share this one with you all! I have teamed up with Grand Central Publishing to give away TWO copies of WIN by Harlan Coben. (Open to US or Canadian residents only.)

One winner will be chosen from this blog giveaway (see below to enter) and our second winner will be chosen from our Instagram giveaway! (Click here to enter!)

This was an entertaining and fast-paced read, perfect for those who love thrilling, action-based reads like James Patterson or David Baldacci. Read for a chance to WIN?!?

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Before She Disappeared

Book Review

Before She Disappeared by Lisa Gardner

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Before She Disappeared is Lisa Gardner’s first standalone novel in twenty years. (!!!) Readers new to her work will find this an easy book to jump into, while still holding the feel of a classic Gardner read for those long-term fans too.

About the book:

(From the publisher) Frankie Elkin is an average middle-aged woman, a recovering alcoholic with more regrets than belongings. But she spends her life doing what no one else will–searching for missing people the world has stopped looking for. When the police have given up, when the public no longer remembers, when the media has never paid attention, Frankie starts looking.

A new case brings her to Mattapan, a Boston neighborhood with a rough reputation. She is searching for Angelique Badeau, a Haitian teenager who vanished from her high school months earlier. Resistance from the Boston PD and the victim’s wary family tells Frankie she’s on her own–and she soon learns she’s asking questions someone doesn’t want answered. But Frankie will stop at nothing to discover the truth, even if it means the next person to go missing could be her.

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The Passing Bells

Book Review

The Passing Bells by Phillip Rock

(From the publisher) Before Downton Abbey, there was Abingdon Pryory, the elegant country home of the Grevilles—a titled English family who, along with their servants, see their world turned upside down when England goes to war. Once their well-kept lawns and whirling social seasons give way to the horrors of World War I, no one, upstairs or downstairs, is left untouched. For fans of sweeping historical fiction, the reissue of Phillip Rock’s New York Times bestseller The Passing Bells is a breathtaking family saga not to be missed.

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The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus

The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus book cover in front of white bookshelf filled with books

Book Review

The Haunting at Bonaventure Circus by Jaime Jo Wright

(From the Publisher: ) 1928 — The Bonaventure Circus is a refuge for many, but Pippa Ripley was rejected from its inner circle as a baby. When she receives mysterious messages from someone called the “Watchman,” she is determined to find him and the connection to her birth. As Pippa’s search leads her to a man seeking justice for his murdered sister and evidence that a serial killer has been haunting the circus train, she must decide if uncovering her roots is worth putting herself directly in the path of the killer.

Present Day — The old circus train depot will either be torn down or preserved for historical importance, and its future rests on real estate project manager Chandler Faulk’s shoulders. As she dives deep into the depot’s history, she’s also balancing a newly diagnosed autoimmune disease and the pressures of single motherhood. When she discovers clues to the unsolved murders of the past, Chandler is pulled into a story far darker and more haunting than she could have ever imagined.

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My Very First Cookbook

Book Review

My Very First Cookbook
by Danielle Kartes

From the Publisher: Family time in the kitchen is special. Celebrate all the joyful moments in the kitchen with your little chef with this adorable keepsake cookbook!

Learning to cook is sure to boost kids’ confidence in the kitchen, but most importantly, it helps create special memories of your time together! Whether your little chef has never ventured into the kitchen or they’re ready to have their own cooking show, these delightful and delicious recipes can be shared with the whole family for generations.

Includes:

  • More than 45 fun and simple kid-friendly recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, desserts, and more!
  • Tips to personalize each recipe to make your time in the kitchen special.
  • Conversation starters, ideas for making joyful memories together, and even some silly jokes!
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