I was super excited to get my hands on an ARC of Another Kind of Eden by James Lee Burke (the latest installment of the Holland family saga). It didn’t disappoint!
In this installment, set in the 1960’s Aaron Holland Broussard heads west trying to outrun his demons from Vietnam, get his writing career off the ground, and in Denver he begins working on a farm where he meets Joanne- the girl who may just be his soulmate. Only Joanne is mixed up with a professor who is mixed up with some shady cult-type people who don’t want to let her go and focus on in Aaron. Now Aaron must fight for both of their lives.
Mr. Burke was my introduction into adult reading/literature when I was 11-12 years old and read Black Cherry Blues (still my favorite book of his!). I’ve since read everything he’s written. He was even kind enough to email with me and assist when I used A Tin Roof Blowdown as a basis for a literature project in college.
I’ve learned over the years of reading his novels (we won’t discuss how many years that’s been😉) that his writing is dependable. It’s consistently great! The characters are always well developed, the plot always moves along at a decent pace (sometimes slower than others, but there’s always “that moment” and it picks up), the stories are character driven, and you feel something. The Robicheaux novels will always have my heart, but the Holland family is fantastic!
Clete here (yes, he’s named after THAT Clete- my husband thought of that. He’s also a huge fan!) thinks that you should pick it up and give it a try when it releases August 17!
*This can be read as a stand-alone, but as always, is better if read as part of the series so as not to miss small details.
The Lady Janies are back, y’all!! This time they’ve brought us the story of Mary Queen of Scots…if she were a shapeshifter…who turned into a mouse. Her beloved betrothed King Francis is the only one who knows her secret, but he’ll keep her confidence. That is until he meets his end. When Mary is placed on the throne how long will her secret remain a secret? What will happen if her secret becomes known?
I was so excited to get the galley for this book! I wanted it in whatever way that I could get it, and it happened to be the voice galley, which meant that the narration wasn’t amazing but that that’s no fault of the authors.
As expected, the book was delightful! I adored the “Janes” books, but I was so looking forward to the first “Mary” book, as I love Mary Queen of Scots. They didn’t disappoint! Told in shifting POVs, the Janies give us the trademark wit and humor that we’ve come to expect from them. The third person narrators are really where it’s at in this book, though, because they have all the tea! It’s like getting the juicy gossip from your best girlfriends at wine-down Wednesday. I’ll definitely be buying the hardcover to read over and over again, just like they’re previous books, and I can’t wait for more.
Catherine is a neuroscientist involved in a research project that someone wants her to stop. They’ve been sending threats and she’s been determined to continue her research anyway. Angelo is a SEAL having trouble recovering from losing a friend that he was unable to save. They both travel to the wedding of a mutual friend, looking to celebrate and get away from their stress for a bit. They never intended to run into an old flame. Angelo is set on making sure that Catherine is safe from whomever is threatening her, even if Catherine doesn’t want his protection. Can she protect herself from losing her heart?
I have been looking forward to another Lisa Carlisle book, and here it is!! I loved this book so much! As always, Carlisle’s characters were very well developed. I felt like I knew the main characters well enough to be friends with them and feel their pains and joys. There was enough heat to make this the romance that I was looking for and that always wonderful suspense that I love her for to keep me on my toes and glued to the book. I’m excited to see what happens in the next installment in this series!
Ses is back on her mission to keep the gods imprisoned, but the gods have learned a new trick: they can now inhabit humans from their prisons. Their latest human to inhabit? Ses’ own father. Ses has learned of an artifact that may be able to save her father and keep the gods in their prisons, but it could do the opposite if the wrong person were to have it and it’s already been stolen. Ses now faces a choice that could prove devastating. What will she choose? Will she be able to save her father and humankind from these murderous gods?
Y’all! Y’all!!! I’ve been waiting for this book since I finished reading Ungrateful God in 2017, and it’s finally here!! It was worth the long wait and definitely worth coming off of hiatus to tell you about! The world building and character development just keeps getting better in this series. This world is so imaginative and beautiful. The writing is absolutely immersive. I was so drawn into this book that I lost track of time. I believe that this is the best book of this series, so far. I was excited to find out that there is going to be one more book in this series, and I cannot wait to see how this series is going to wrap up! If you haven’t read this series, and you are a fantasy fan, definitely give this a look!
Daphne spent her life being the wife and mother that she was expected to be. Now that her daughter is grown and she has divorced her husband, she’s living the life that she wants: one with a successful career and a younger man…who happens to be her daughter’s ex. Ellery, Daphne’s daughter, has graduated from college and done something that was never part of her life plan: moved home and taken a job as her mother’s assistant to support her fiancé who’s in med school. While working this new job, she begins an online flirtations with someone who thinks he’s flirting with Daphne, and things go a bit too far. Daphne, Ellery, and their lives entangle, secrets come to light, and things get inevitably messy. Mother and daughter have a lot to learn and a long road to redemption.
I first decided to pick up this book, because it was recommended by a favorite author, who I also think is just a fabulous person, Darynda Jones. Then I found out that Liz Talley, like me, is from North Louisiana. Now I don’t know exactly where, as I don’t go stalking authors, but North LA is not that big, so it can’t be far from my hometown. That sealed the deal, I had to read it! I’m so glad that I did! Guys, I laughed out loud so many times while I was reading this. These characters are well fleshed out and developed. They are all so real and flawed, but none of them are particularly unlikable. I was rooting for them to have a redemption arc! It’s always great to see people find their way in the end. I was engaged and entertained throughout the book, and it read really quickly. It really didn’t feel like it was over 300 pages.
Warning!!! If you’re looking for a Hallmark type romance without the alcohol, cursing, and sex, this will not be your jam! If you’re good with all of those things, highly recommend!
Kate Darby has returned to the Peculiar PD. Last year she was shot in the line of duty, and she has been on leave for a year while she was in rehab and was recovering. When she returns, she is faced with some new faces, a rough couple of days that involves her partner being forced to shoot a man that leads to an IA investigation, and facing her own (very real) demons. When the ghost of Payoso comes back to haunt her, will Kate be able to hold herself together long enough to prove to herself and everyone else that she is really ready to be back, or will she fall apart and let him win this round?
This is the third installment in the Kate Darby series by Jamie Lee Scott, and I am enjoying this series more as it progresses. This book picked up a year after the second book ended, so some time has passed for the MC. As she makes her return to the department and the field, the reader can feel the bit of trepidation that she has. When all of the events begin to unfold and the “hauntings” begin, the reader can once again feel just the slightest bit of fear and panic in Kate as she tries to solve the mysteries surrounding her before it is too late. Scott did an amazing job at conveying all of Kate’s emotions through her words, and she really made me go through them with her. The action, mystery, and realness were definitely there, as they have been in the rest of the series. This is quickly becoming one of my favorite series to read, and I am already anticipating the fourth book!
This is a full story, so you could read it as a standalone if you wish. I highly recommend starting at the beginning, however, since the stories do build on one another and you’ll get a much clearer picture that way. There’s only three, so go ahead and dive in!
Jenna Snyder spends her days caring for an elderly man and her free time relaxing by making pottery. She seems to have finally put her life and her heart back together after it was completely shattered. Those painful memories are the only thing keeping her from moving forward and finding someone new. Tristan, the man who broke her heart, is in Crystal Cove running his catering business in partnership with the small winery there. He had no idea that this would mean his running in to Jenna. He will do anything in his power to make things right with her. He has to make sure that she doesn’t find out the truth behind what really tore them apart…
Welcome back to Crystal Cove! This is the fifth installment in the Well Paired series by Marianne Rice. This may be the most emotionally heavy book in the series, yet. The Jenna and Tristan story was a roller coaster of heartbreak and healing, and I am here for it! It was a bit of a slow burn, but the payoff was worth the wait. As with the other books in this series, the characters were well developed and fleshed out. This could be my favorite book in this series (I may have said this before, though?). If you want a book to pull at your heartstrings, I recommend this one! I also recommend pairing this with a glass (bottle?) of your favorite red or white.
Hannah O’Rourke and Abigail Murphy are fleeing Ireland for the colony of Rhode Island. They know that it is a dangerous journey, and that it may not being them much safety, but they are both willing to take the risk. Hannah is fleeing an arranged marriage to a pirate whom she has no intention of marrying. Abigail, her now closest friend, is carrying the bastard of a sea captain whom she loved but did not want to marry her. When Abigail dies giving birth, she leaves the baby to Hannah to raise. Unfortunately, Hannah soon learns that not only is the baby’s father more than willing to take and raise him, he is the same pirate to whom she was betrothed and ran from. Righteous anger, rum, and a fiery temper mix together to formulate a plan that doesn’t quite go as planned.
Look y’all, I’m branching out! This was a really entertaining, short historical romance! I really enjoyed it, and read it super quickly. If I didn’t know better, I honestly wouldn’t have guessed that this is Kimberley’s debut historical romance. The plot was paced well, so it didn’t feel that it was lacking anything in the novella length. The characters were great! Hannah was great, and her temper and emotions were a mood! I loved her! The engaging characters and well paced plot will keep you reading straight through to the surprise at the end! If you enjoy clean historical romances, or just want to dip your toe in and see if you enjoy them, try this one out!
Four old college roommates, all who’ve grown apart, reunite as Whitney is to become the new Mrs. Banks at a posh resort wedding. They each have their own reasons for attending, aside from seeing Whitney wed. If nothing, it should be a relaxing weekend at the fancy resort.
Lulu is on her latest rich husband, a Banks relative, and they are coming up on their five year mark. She is sure that her husband is hiding something, and she plans to use this trip to find out what is going on and save her marriage. Something, however, goes terribly wrong at the Banks wedding. Someone’s dead. Four separate women confess to committing the murder alone. Why would the all confess? Who is telling the truth?
I’ve read several of Gina LaManna’s Magic & Mixology series books, so I was very excited to receive the ARC to this book. For some reason, I always enjoy reading a great thriller in the summer, and this one didn’t disappoint. I loved that, like her previous series, this is full of strong female characters. All of these characters have a great story and are well developed. Even if you don’t love them right away, you come to root for them in the end. By the end of the book, I wanted to hang out and have some wine with these ladies! The author used descriptions freely, but not so much that they got in the way of the story. The plot moved along at a steady pace, with no very slow places. This book felt very much in the same arena as Big Little Lies, Not That I Could Tell, etc, with that great blend of women’s fiction and thriller. If you are a fan of those, I feel that you would really enjoy this. I look forward to reading more from this author! (P.S. If you’re a fan of books with a lot of fun and magic- check out her Magic & Mixology series! I love it!)
Seventeen years after their last summer together, the one that drove them apart, the McAvoy sisters have moved on. Lindy has a new life in the city and never returned home. Delia, on the other hand, never left and raises her daughters in their hometown. Now, with their mother’s health going downhill and her daughter rebelling, Delia must welcome Lindy and her helping hands home. This may give them both a chance to get back something that they’ve both been missing. When old secrets surface, will it drive them further apart or finally bring the McAvoy sisters back together?
This is the first book that I have ready by this author. It is a very well written and poignant family drama. The characters were well written, well developed, and thoroughly fleshed out. The main characters really give you someone to root for, which is always nice! The plot was well paced and didn’t feel like slowed in many places, as can happen sometimes in family dramas. The book finished well, and it didn’t feel like the author rushed the ending to tie things up. Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I’m happy to have read it!
This book releases on July 16, so if this sounds like something you’d like there’s plenty of time to pre-order!
Many thanks to the publisher for the review copy!!