Meet the Sorenson Family. They are a handsome happy couple with four well-adjusted daughters, at least to the outside world. Each daughter has their own hangups but most center on their desire to replicate their parent's perfect marriage and that is the problem - no marriage is perfect. Claire Lombardo dissects the great American family in a very warm and human way so that we all see ourselves from the kid's point of view or that of the parents. This is such a satisfying read that after the last page and a contented sigh I didn't know who I wanted to call first, my daughters or my mom. There is much to discuss in these complex relationships making it a solid choice for book clubs. Most of all, there is such perfection in all their imperfections.
Coco Chanel and her rival Elsa Schiaparelli are at war as their beloved Paris steels itself for war and German occupation. They will do just about anything to capture the couture crown as well as survive in this deadly game. With the war on their doorstep, they, as well as their friends, clients, and employees, must choose sides and that choice may determine their survival. This is an intimate look at pre-war Paris and all the glitter and the reality for some. The clothes, the parties and of course in its center the glamorous Ritz. Jeanne Macklin expertly blends fact with the persona of the times - false gaiety and the tough bravado of these women who were seemingly in control of their lives yet in reality always one step away from disaster. This is the perfect companion to Melanie Benjamin's MISTRESS OF THE RITZ with the crossover characters. I guarantee that after reading this you will look up their designs - breathtaking.
This legal thriller from Sweden will take you from one end of the spectrum to the other and leave you twisting on the line like a newly caught salmon. You will form opinions about the participants in this murder investigation and then with whiplash speed, form new opinions. A teenage girl with anger issues and a habit of getting into trouble is hauled into police custody after a businessman is found stabbed to death in a park. Stella is 18 and has a solid alibi putting her at home thanks to her pastor father. Her mother, an attorney, finds her an old colleague to represent her. They are in shock, Stella's best friend since childhood is in shock but they all have nagging doubts. How far will you go to protect your child? How long can you last before the doubts begin? A first-rate pulse-pounding legal battle that asks questions we hope we never have to think about. It starts off with a bang, ends with a shocker, and keeps your heart rate up the whole time. Fans of DEFENDING JACOB will want to read this.
This is the author's follow-up to her first book about the Salem witches meshed with their modern-day ancestors. College professor Connie Goodwin has learned much from her healer mother and years of research in old healing arts and recipes aka white witchcraft. She finds herself in a dilemma however when an old family curse threatens the life of the father of her unborn child. The story line goes back and forth between today and back to Connie's female ancestors in Salem. The hunt to solve the mystery and the research that goes into it is interesting and there is a nice pairing of how misunderstood the art was and still is as well as the fear we have always had of what we don't understand. This works as a standalone and will appeal to Colonial history buffs as well as those who like a light paranormal story with a romantic twist.
Dear Wife by Kimberly Belle
Super-charged thriller of a missing supposedly abused wife and her husband's search for her. We follow the wife and make assumptions as to her past. We follow the husband and make assumptions about his part is all this. We even follow the wife's lover and make assumptions. Every time you follow a new character you see a new side to the story until the line is fuzzy between who is the victim and who is the victimizer. You know what they say about assuming things. For fans of thrillers that leave you breathless and off- balance, this is one full adrenaline ride with a twisted ending.
Toby Fleishman is newly separated and on the prowl. His job keeps him busy but not too busy to have sex with any female and see his two kids who he adores. While re-discovering himself sexually, which seems like he is doing with half of Manhatten, his ex-wife drops the kids off at his place and disappears. While she has never been the mother of the year, she is still taking care of the kids half the time and now has left Toby to shoulder all their needs 24/7. Summer camp helps as does a few days off of work but he still can't locate her so hence the book's title- he is in trouble. When he doesn't find her he must come to the realization that he has to make this work for his kids. All of this just makes him still ponder what exactly went wrong with his marriage, his work and his life. Sometimes you have to be thrown into chaos to find the important things.
The Perfect Plan by Bryan Reardon
A twisty tale of two brothers, bound by blood and divided by hate. Liam is the younger, the screw-up, the out of control violent one as opposed to Drew who is calm, friendly and knows how to manage a situation. A tough childhood with an alcoholic mother and domineering father leaves both brothers changed and relying on each other. Drew is running for Governor and one of them has a plan for boosting his appeal. You think you like one and not the other, you think one is out of control and the other always in control and you think you know how the plan is going to work - you know nothing. Gut-wrenching psychological manipulation and an ending you won't see coming, this is a solid thriller.
FKA USA by Reed King
Teenage Truckee is an unsuspecting pawn in a powerful, chaotic race to deliver a goat with a human brain safely across a fractured futuristic USA. Not only will you barely recognize the landscape but this new world is filled with robots who long to be human, humans who act like robots as well as food and slang that sounds like Saturday cartoon commercials. It is Oz, Narnia, Planet of the Apes and Star Wars but on Earth. The appendix in the back and footnotes throughout help once you get used to the unusual jargon. This is a roller coaster of a book that will leave you feeling like you have just been on a 24-hour roller coaster. This will appeal to adults and young adults alike and is impossible to fit tidily into any one genre.
This is one of those books that is hard to define. It has a charming wit, a brilliant Victorian sleuth complete with a stoic sidekick. This is not your typical Sherlock Holmes read-a-like however because it takes place not in London but in a fantasy world with an indistinct timeline, the sleuth is not a detective but a sorceress and they are solving a case of blackmail against the sorceress's ex-lover. It is a well thought-out world, the characters are perfectly matched and the witty banter abundant. If you like a bit of Alice in Wonderland with your Sherlock Holmes, this is for you.
The Lesson by Cadwell Turnbull
Imagine an island in the Virgin Islands where life seems peaceful and the ocean breezes sway the palm trees. Now imagine the Ambassador who lives on the island and rules it fairly even if she seems odd from time to time. The reason for this is simple - she is an alien and along with the other Ynaa on the island or out on the ship in the ocean are on a research mission. Life is good as long as everyone stays calm and does as they are told but, as soon as a young boy is killed and the hint of rebellion is in the air it does not stay that way. This debut combines the thread of colonialism with a classic tale of an alien invasion. It starts off soft as a warm island breeze and finishes as a hurricane.
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