Beth's Book-Nook Blog

Reviews of What I've Been Reading….

THE GOOD WIDOW by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

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Oh, Summer! The days of the thrilling page-turner! I love to read crazy, fast-paced, suspenseful mysteries over the summer (while lying around). This book was no exception. I missed getting it to review so I got it for my kindle through Amazon for a deal. Here’s the description:

Amazon Charts bestselling authors Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke make their suspense debut in this twisty, emotional thriller.

Elementary school teacher Jacqueline “Jacks” Morales’s marriage was far from perfect, but even in its ups and downs it was predictable, familiar. Or at least she thought it was…until two police officers showed up at her door with devastating news. Her husband of eight years, the one who should have been on a business trip to Kansas, had suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. And he wasn’t alone.

For Jacks, laying her husband to rest was hard. But it was even harder to think that his final moments belonged to another woman—one who had left behind her own grieving and bewildered fiancé. Nick, just as blindsided by the affair, wants answers. So he suggests that he and Jacks search for the truth together, retracing the doomed lovers’ last days in paradise.

Now, following the twisting path of that fateful road, Jacks is learning that nothing is ever as it seems. Not her marriage. Not her husband. And most certainly not his death…

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There was definitely some craziness in this story. I mean who wants to ferret out the details of their husband’s death with the help of the fiance of the gal he was having an affair with? Not me! Even if it involved a trip to Hawaii! However, I liked these characters, especially Jacks, and I wanted to find out what happened.

Having two authors often leads to a choppy feel in books (especially when they take turns with chapters, or when it’s the dreaded “famous author sharing writing responsibilities with adult child who wants to be famous author, too”). However, this book did NOT have this feel. It was seamless!

Well-written and fast-paced right up the end, this was a great summer read!

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THE BREAK DOWN by B. A. Paris

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So I really enjoyed BEHIND CLOSED DOORS, and especially liked their marketing of the book (I got creepy postcards asking for help from the protagonist), so I was more than thrilled when the good folks at St. Martin’s Press sent me a review copy of THE BREAK DOWN, the newest thriller from B. A. Paris. I read it in July in two days since I couldn’t put it down!

Here’s the overview via Amazon:

If you can’t trust yourself, who can you trust?

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods, on the winding rural road, in the middle of a downpour, with the woman sitting inside―the woman who was killed. She’s been trying to put the crime out of her mind; what could she have done, really? It’s a dangerous road to be on in the middle of a storm. Her husband would be furious if he knew she’d broken her promise not to take that shortcut home. And she probably would only have been hurt herself if she’d stopped.

But since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby.

The only thing she can’t forget is that woman, the woman she might have saved, and the terrible nagging guilt.

Or the silent calls she’s receiving, or the feeling that someone’s watching her…

You won’t be able to put down B. A. Paris’s The Breakdown, the next chilling, propulsive novel from the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of Behind Closed Doors.

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So — I did really like this novel, but I think I liked BEHIND CLOSED DOORS more. I will admit, I figured this story out by page 24 — unbelievable and maybe just a lucky guess, but it kind of ruined the rest of it for me. It is thrilling, suspenseful, scary, and one that makes you ask, “what would I do?”

If you like this type of suspenseful thriller, don’t miss THE BREAK DOWN by B.A. Paris!

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Every Last Lie by Mary Kubica

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I love all of Mary Kubica’s books and read them in 1-2 days! This one was no exception. It was a nonstop thrill of suspense and mystery. I felt so sorry for the poor guy in this story. Definitely this is one that stays with you!

Highly recommended if you enjoy suspense genre! Thank you for my review copy, which I received through Net Galley.

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THE SECOND MRS. HOCKADAY by Susan Rivers

Wow! I had this book for a while via Net Galley, but only got to it last week. Once I started it, I could not stop and read it in almost one sitting. It was a really intriguing Civil War story, told through various voices and documents – letters, diary entries, court reports – in various voices across years.

Highly recommended for those who enjoy a story of this era, along with some mystery and lots of details that are true to fact!

I have to say, that I never have read a lot from the point of view of a Southern woman trying to keep her farm going doing the War. Every day was a battle of survival, and while this is understandable, the way this novel is written, the facts are so bare and gritty that it shed a new light for me on women’s experience.

Thank you for my e-copy to review!

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MAKING MARRIAGE BEAUTIFUL by Dorothy Greco

I recently received an ePub copy of this book as part of the Litfuse Blog Tour of MAKING MARRIAGE BEAUTIFUL by Dorothy Greco.

Now if there’s one thing I know, it is that marriage takes work. This book goes over some of the basic tenets of marriage — things that often get overlooked or are difficult to work on: expressing anger, being a good listener, gender roles and stereotypes. Greco peppers her chapters with personal anecdotes and stories of couples with whom she has worked. I have to say that her husband was a good sport for contributing so honestly to this work as well! Each chapter ends with thoughtful discussion questions and it is all set into a framework of Biblical guidance. It would make a nice wedding gift for a Christian couple!

Thank you for my review e-copy!

Book info
What makes a marriage beautiful? Honesty? Compatibility? Physical and emotional intimacy?
All of these are important, but there’s one component that determines the quality and longevity of a marriage more than anything else: a willingness to grow.
Because a wedding joins together two imperfect people, all couples experience disappointment, conflict, and pain. How husbands and wives respond to these challenges determines the kind of people they will become and the kind of marriage they will have.
Making Marriage Beautiful
 reveals how the pursuit of Christ results in profound transformation for both the individual and the marriage. Rather than offering clichés and formulas, Greco relies on candor, humor, and real life stories to bring encouragement and wisdom to all couples, regardless of whether they have been married four weeks or forty years.
Dorothy Greco and her husband, Christopher, have spent their entire twenty-five-year marriage helping men and women create and sustain healthy marriages. They have served numerous churches in the Greater Boston area for thirty years. Dorothy’s writing has been featured in “Relevant Magazine,” “Christianity Today,” “Sojourners,” and “Her.meneutics.” She is a regular contributor for “Gifted for Leadership,” “Today’s Christian Woman,” and “Start Marriage Right.” The Grecos have three sons and live near Boston.
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Blog Tour Schedule: Follow Along and Discover a New Blog!

(Dates may have been changed from those originally listed)
1/24
Sara | SK Bell
Jalynn | A Simple Life, really?!
Tami | This Mom’s Delight
Stacey | Books,Dreams,Life1/25
Shannon | Mrsreadsbooks
Jennifer | Jen Around the World

1/27
Dawn | Dawn Crandall’s Passion for Pages

1/28
Krystal | Live To Read ~Krystal
Lisa | Little Writer Momma
Amanda | The Talbert Report

1/30
Crystal | Our Perfectly Imperfect Life

1/31
Sherry | My Journey Back
Tima | Book Reviews by Tima
Amber | Seasons of Humility

2/1
Amanda | Inklings and Notions
Kristie | Moments
Erin | Connected2Christ
Beth | Beth’s Book-Nook Blog

2/2
Dominique | Mama Bear Outpost
Denise | Ramblings of a California Couponer

2/4
Terra | Heck Of A Bunch
Jennifer | A Peace of Mind
LeAnne | Rockin’ My Mom Jeans
Beth | For The Love of Books

2/5
Theresa | Thoughts on books
Sara | Embracing Destiny
Carrie | Reading Is My SuperPower

2/6
Mindy | A Room Without Books is Empty

2/7
Stacey | WORD Up!
Bethany | The Perfect beginnings
Jill | I am believing God
Chardae | Lioness Dae
Carol | Carol Cooney
Christy | Welcome to Our World

Megan | Crazy Bananas
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The Twilight Wife by AJ Banner

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If you read me regularly, you know that I love suspenseful books, especially those where someone has to ask themselves: am I crazy??

This was a great read. I read it in one day when we were on our cruise in the Bahamas. It’s one of those “I just can’t stop reading!” novels. I had not read this author before but I will look for other titles by her. Someone needs to turn this one into a movie!

Thank you, Net Galley and Touchstone Books, for my review e-copy!

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DUTY TO THE CROWN by Aimie Runyan

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Via GoodReads:
Set amid the promise and challenge of the first Canadian colonies, Aimie K. Runyan’s vividly rendered novel provides a fascinating portrait of the women who would become the founding mothers of New France.

In 1667, an invisible wall separates settlers in New France from their Huron neighbors. Yet whether in the fledgling city of Quebec or within one of the native tribes, every woman’s fate depends on the man she chooses—or is obligated—to marry.

Although Claudine Deschamps and Gabrielle Giroux both live within the settlement, their prospects are very different. French-born Claudine has followed her older sister across the Atlantic hoping to attract a wealthy husband through her beauty and connections. Gabrielle, orphan daughter of the town drunkard, is forced into a loveless union by a cruel law that requires her to marry by her sixteenth birthday. And Manon Lefebvre, born in the Huron village and later adopted by settlers, has faced the prejudices of both societies and is convinced she can no longer be accepted in either. Drawn into unexpected friendship through their loves, losses, and dreams of home and family, all three women will have to call on their bravery and resilience to succeed in this new world…

Praise for Promised to the Crown
 
“A heart-wrenching and timeless tale of friendship, love and hope that skillfully blends history and romance to educate, entertain and inspire.” –Pam Jenoff, author of The Last Summer at Chelsea Beach (less)

ebook, 352 pages
Published October 25th 2016 by Kensington
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I absolutely love this historical fiction series about the young women who were “Daughters of the King” – sent to Canada as the “New Land” to marry and populate for the good of France in the 1600’s. This was Book 2 in the series, and it continues the story of the characters introduced in Book 1, with individuals growing older as the books go along. Three young girls from Book 1 are now young women, and they have many trials and tribulations to face as they tackle pioneer life in the 1600’s. I love how these books encompass the highs and lows of life — births, deaths, joys, and sorrows.
I can’t wait for Book 3!
Thank you to the author who sent me this copy as she knew how much I enjoyed Book 1!
BBC – what are you waiting for? Make a miniseries from these novels!!
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Susan Schild’s SWEET SOUTHERN HEARTS

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I received this novel from the author via Net Galley, and it was the perfect read for my recent relaxing vacation! This is one of those “slice of life” novels, where realistic characters deal with real world problems, but with an uplifting and positive feel to it.

Here’s the overview:

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Audible Find: THE COUPLE NEXT DOOR by Shari Lapena ~ Read by Kirsten Potter

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What??

This was one of those “can’t stop listening to this roller coaster ride of a story” experiences for me last week. I had purchased this audiobook with my monthly credit.

Read it! Listen to it! Get it!

If you like those suspenseful books like “Girl on a Train” or “Gone Girl” or “Behind Closed Doors” -things like that, this is one for you!

Overview via Amazon:

How well do you know the couple next door? Or your husband? Or even yourself?

People are capable of almost anything….

A domestic suspense debut about a young couple and their apparently friendly neighbors – a twisty roller-coaster ride of lies, betrayal, and the secrets between husbands and wives.

Anne and Marco Conti seem to have it all – a loving relationship, a wonderful home, and their beautiful baby, Cora. But one night when they are at a dinner party next door, a terrible crime is committed. Suspicion immediately focuses on the parents. But the truth is a much more complicated story.

Inside the curtained house, an unsettling account of what actually happened unfolds. Detective Rasbach knows that the panicked couple is hiding something. Both Anne and Marco soon discover that the other is keeping secrets – secrets they’ve kept for years.

What follows is the nerve-racking unraveling of a family, a chilling tale of decepti

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MONSOON SUMMER by Julia Gregson

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I just loved this wonderful historical fiction novel about a young British woman and her Indian doctor husband, post WWII, as they return to India for her to work as a midwife.

There were so many different layers in this story, about culture, family, traditions. Beautifully written, with evocative descriptions of an amazing country, it is one to keep!

Thank you for my review e-copy, Net Galley!

Here’s the overview:

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