The New Home

The New Home by Chris Merritt

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

Sometimes I wonder, are some mysteries so easy to predict or has my mind been trained to figure out the twists way before the end of the novel?

An author introduces us to a documentary maker Freya, who has recently moved to a new neighborhood with her fiance. She loves the community and the neighbors on each side of her property. And while Freya and her fiance are in a midst of renovating their new home and starting the family their next-door neighbor and her daughter vanish. Based on her previous work-related research, Freya is obsessed with the idea that Emily’s husband has a hand in her disappearance. Frustrated with the fact that the police are doing little to nothing to locate the mother and daughter – she takes the search for the duo into her hands. The task is emotionally overwhelming for Freya, and worse – puts a huge strain on an already shaky relationship with her fiance. But she has a goal – and not even frightening warnings can stop her from achieving it.

Great idea of the plot. hence the reason I was drawn to the book. The story seemed predictable, I found there was nothing gripping or impressive. And the ending… although I predicted the twist at the end, was overdone. Many actions seemed to be implausible and over the top, which dulled the suspense. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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Where the Light Enters

Where the Light Enters by Sara Donati

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

When I requested to read the book, I didn’t realize it was a part of the series. Due to this fact, the novel has covered a lot of information from the previous novel. And for everyone who has read my previous reviews know – I do not like a large list of characters… and this book has presented a handful of them, it was hard to keep up with each character and their storylines. Hence making the book very very long.

Now, I do not often come across the historical novel that covers all the following topics such as females in medicine, working-class females, colored females in medicine, interracial marriage, religion. This novel has covered A LOT. Nonetheless, the main subject of the novel was the mysterious affairs/cases that felt on the detectives’ desks.

Detective-Sergeant Jack Mezzanotte case piles have been growing larger with each week, multiple victims of illegal abortion turning up left and right, missing banker’s wife, and gruesome murder of a young mother. In despair, Jack involves his wife Dr. Anna Savard, and her cousin Dr. Sophie Savard to consult on the cases. Through a rollercoaster of events, present and past, the detectives with the help of Savard’s family and friends, resolve not one – but all three cases.

As mentioned previously, the novel covers multiple subjects at once, which made it super long to read, because I was losing interest. Everything was tied up at the end, and it made a great novel, hence the four stars, but it was very hard to read.

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The Liar Next Door

The Liar Next Door by Nicola Marsh

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Three new neighbors have something in common, and they share more than just an address.

Frankie is an Instagram celebrity. But once the camera lights are off, she struggles with insecurity and marital problems. Her new neighbors are single mom Celeste and a mommy-to-be Saylor. In need of privacy and unwanted attention, Celeste moves into the closed community under the shade of the night. Also, she has an unnatural obsession with Frankie’s daughter. And now Saylor, young mother to be who obsessively throws neighborhood gatherings. At the first glance – it’s a typical community, but our three neighbors are connected by a web of secrets.

The novel has started well, I was into the book, but the more I read, the plot turned into a telenovela. Instead of the mystery, I was met with lots and lots of relationship drama. In addition, there were many loose ends that either didn’t make any sense or were simply overdone at the end. For example, Walter and Ronals, have been portraited as completely opposite characters, they just had no connection. And the reason behind Saylor’s move into the community was, in my opinion – excessive. While this is not my cup of tea, I still would like to give an author a credit for perfectly tying all the strings at the end. It was a pretty remarkable situation all the characters found themselves in. Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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The English Wife

The English Wife by Adrienne Chinn

My rating: 2 of 5 stars

The destiny brought two England-born women together on the other side of the world known as Newfoundland.

Ellie’s post-war life brought her to the beautiful seaside of Tippy’s Tickle at the end of WWII. After reuniting with her war husband, Ellie settled down in her new hometown where together with Thomas they raised their growing family. Times were challenging. And despite the unfair treatment of her mother-in-law, after Thomas’ death – Ellie remained living in her new home country.

The horrors of the Twin Tower attacks on September 11, 2001, played a very major role in Ellie’s life. She reunited with the last remaining relative from her birth country, Sophie. Sophie always knew of her estranged aunt, but per her mother’s insistence – never kept in touch. But everything in life happens for a reason. And Sophie’s plane rerouting to Newfoundland was a universe’s way of giving the two women a chance to get to know one another and finally learn the truth about their past and connection.

The pace of the novel was slow but it picked up close to the middle of the book. I was hooked to the story for the most part of it – till I got to the last few chapters. The build-up of the plot was so good, unfortunately, the ending in my opinion was very predictable and mushy. The “secret” twists were foreseeable. And while Ellie seemed to have her closure, what happened to Emmett’s? I wish his story didn’t end in such a wasted way. I also feel there was so much potential in Dottie’s character, however, she was poorly portrayed in the novel. In the end, the novel felt like a Hallmark movie.

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Nanny Needed

Nanny Needed by Georgina Cross

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

This story has everything needed for a perfect plot: poor, drowning in debt young girl desperate for an extra income. Rich family with a dirty little secret.

From the beginning of the book, I was very confused why the family has hired some random girl with no experience to care for neither a child nor an unstable adult. This fact bothered me so much throughout the book. I was hoping an author will have a good explanation at the end of the book… and she did. Everything made sense as the end. And even more… Just when I almost gave up on the story and thought – here we go, yet another sappy unrealistic happy ending. And BAM, Georgine Cross surprised me again. I literally applauded at the end of the last chapter. Way to go! In my reading experience – it’s hard to come across a good, strong, not-so-happy but satisfying closure at the end of the novel.

I read a lot of books, and ofter find myself reading similar plots written by different authors. It was very refreshing to find a book with a different type of ending. This is my first book by Georgina Cross, and I am impressed by her style of writing. I am considering reading her previous novels as well. This was a super-fast, intriguing, and thrilling read. Thank you NetGalley and Bantam Publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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All The Light We Cannot See

All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

All The Lights We Cannot See is not a war love story. This is a story of a war between good and bad, entitlement, abomination, and obedience.

Blindness caught a young girl at a very young age. At the beginning of the great war, Marie-Laure and her father leave their beloved Paris behind in hopes to escape the brutality of the war and spend time in the scenic Saint-Malo, the hometown of her father. However, history repeats itself, and the war separates young Marie-Laure and her father. But her sight condition and her great uncle’s fear of the outside world do not stop the duo from joining the resistance.

The love of the radio and any form of wireless equipment has lands a young orphan boy in the Hitler youth program, and eventually into tracing, locating, and destroying the resistance. Although the lessons of racism that young boys were taught in the program didn’t change Werner’s human nature. In a mist of war, it helps him see the difference between the human race and the true enemy.

A Nazi party official Reinhold von Rumpel finds himself at the end of his life sentence. An illness, that cant be cured. But as a gemologist, he learns of the gemstone, located at the Museum of Natural History in Paris that can not only cure his illness but give him a chance to live forever. A myth or a fact? The only way to find out is to locate the gemstone.

The three characters meet at the highest point of the highest house in a beautiful yet half-ruined Saint-Malo.

I’ve waited for a long time to read this novel. Unfortunately, it didn’t stand up to the hype. Great story that shed light on so many characters that lived thru the horrific times, their resistance against bigotry, and their stand for human rights.

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Pretty Little Wife

Pretty Little Wife by Darby Kane

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

A domestic suspense novel “Pretty Little Wife” is an appealing and fast read.

When Lila’s husband goes missing – the only thing she worries about is his revenge on her. Overwhelmed and terrified Lila calls for a backup – her good friend to stand by her side. As time goes on and threatening notes continue to arrive at the house she finally decides to take the matter into her own hands and expose her husband for who he really… was.

I wanted to love the story, but it left me with many unanswered questions and not all ends of the story were tight at the end. Characters were very misleading as well. Overall – it was entertaining.

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The Dare

The Dare by Lesley Kara

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

If you ever read Colleen Hoover’s “This Is Us” and enjoyed the ending – this is a book for you!

Now, please meet our main character – Lizzie. It seems that Lizzie, who had a rough teenagehood that followed after the tragic accident that involved her best friend, has finally found her happily ever after. A new home and loving fiance were a new start to the life she never imagined would happen… And suddenly, like a domino effect, the memories, people, and secrets from the past began to appear at a rapid pace and made Lizzie question not only her future… but also her painful past.

The pages of the novel are full of hatred, anger, remorse, loss, happiness, and a little bit of hope. The reader goes thru multiple ranges of emotions before heading for the final chapter. Thank you NetGalley and Bantam Press Publisher for an advanced copy of the novel.

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Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old

Twelve Hours’ Sleep by Twelve Weeks Old: A Step-By-Step Plan for Baby Sleep Success by Suzy Giordano

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Received this book as a gift when my baby girl was born.

The good part – it’s a fast read since a new mom does not have time to sit down and read any book. My advice for new mommies is to read this book before your baby is born. Or you will end up like me stretching the read throughout five weeks.

The bad part – there is not a lot of useful information. Basically, 90% of the book is about baby sleep whisperer and how good she is at her job (I’m sure she is very good as she has built her career on this great skill), and only 10% of actually useful info.

Well, by the time I was able to finish the book, my baby girl was already sleeping thru most of the night. An author, the baby coach as she likes to call herself, lists many good tips in the book that should help with training your baby to sleep twelve hours per night. I’ve used my own methods (combined pieces of advice from other baby books and family and friends) for my daughter’s sleep training, however, I’ve applied a few tips from the book to my daily and nightly nap/sleep routines and I can tell that 90% of the time it did work. Hence not a total waste of time reading the book.

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The Therapist

The Therapist by B.A. Paris

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I’ve been B.A.Paris’ fan for many years and always looking forwards to her new novels. When I received an advanced copy of “The Therapist” – I read it right away. B.A.Paris always intrigues me with her unique twists, and this novel was not an exception.

“Do you know what Henry David Thoreau believed? Happiness is like a butterfly, the more you chase it, the more it will elude you. But if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder.” said The Therapist. A famous quote to live by, and in the case of The Therapist – to lure new clients into their web.

The novel was nothing that I expected of it. The main character Alice who has struggled with her past and an obsession over the death of her family, and mostly her sister finds an interesting fact about the new house she and the boyfriend recently moved into. The obsession with the woman who lived and died in the house grew over Alice’s desire to make new friends from the gated neighborhood. It blinded her to the point when she overlooked a very important detail that almost cost her the relationship and most importantly – her own life.

The novel is full of million and one plot twists and secrets. I loved the story and mystery that surrounded the gated community. It was hard to put the book down. Thank you St. Martin’s Publishing Group for a free and advanced copy of this novel and B.A.Paris for yet another great novel.

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Bringing Up Bebe

Bringing Up Bébé: One American Mother Discovers the Wisdom of French Parenting by Pamela Druckerman

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I came upon this book by multiple recommendations and it was way better than I expected it to be.

First of all, the book is created in two parts. In the first part, the author describes her life as a mother in France and her parental shock on the difference of bringing up the baby in a completely different baby culture. As she outlines french baby care and compares it to the American one that she has experienced herself, we see a drastic difference. When American parents are pushing their kids into the educating world and trying to raise their IQ at an early age, french parents taking a step back, letting their kids “discover” the world, and take their time to simply be a child.

The book concentrates not only on how to raise the child but also on how to keep the relationship between the parents.

The author does not praise one set of cultural parenting, but simply compares the two. Lists explanations and examples. While there are multiple differences not only in the culture between the two countries, the author also sheds the light on the French government and the help it offers for the parents and kids, which must have been taken into consideration while comparing the parenting techniques and styles between the countries.

I’ve read a few books on parenting and must admit that this book was the best. It’s easy to read, very simply explained and I love the examples. And cant wait to use many of the listed tips when the time comes.

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Too Good To Be True

Too Good to Be True by Carola Lovering

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I was glued to the book from the very first page. Enjoyed the style of the novel was written – the three timelines narrated by three main characters.

After many years of suffering from OCD (obsessive-compulsive disorder), Sky finally found a man who did not only accepted her quirky behavior, but loved and shared her passion, future goals, and showered her with his attention. After a short six months, Burke proposed, and another six months later they exchanged their vows in a lavish ceremony in front of family and friends.

However, the happiness was short-lived. After the spectacular honeymoon, Sky returned home to a devastating discovery. Burke, the man that vowed to love and protect her for the rest of her life turned out to be an imposter. More than that, Sky and Burke’s history was way more complicated… it began more than twenty years earlier and involved her mother and… Burke’s real wife.

I must say, I could not put the novel down till probably 2/3 of the book. It turned into a sappy love triangle afterward. Unfortunately, I was disappointed with the ending, and in my opinion, it didn’t stand up to a strong begging of the novel. Thank you, NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press publisher for a free and advanced copy of the novel.

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