Thursday, April 28, 2016

Book Review: Leaving Blythe River by Catherine Ryan Hyde

Hi all,

I’m already a big fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde and this novel solidified it. Here we go…

 
Leaving Blythe River
Catherine Ryan Hyde

 

Book Description:

Seventeen-year-old Ethan Underwood is totally unprepared to search for his father in the Blythe River National Wilderness. Not only is he small, scrawny, and skittish but he’s barely speaking to the man after a traumatic betrayal. Yet when his father vanishes from their remote cabin and rangers abandon the rescue mission, suddenly it’s up to Ethan to keep looking. Angry or not, he’s his father’s only hope.

With the help of three locals—a fearless seventy-year-old widow, a pack guide, and a former actor with limited outdoor skills—he heads into the wild. The days that follow transform Ethan’s world. Hail, punishing sun, swollen rapids, and exhausting pain leave him wondering if he’s been fooled yet again: Is his father out here at all? As the situation grows increasingly dire, Ethan realizes this quest has become about more than finding his dad.

From the bestselling author of Pay It Forward comes a story of nature revealing human nature—the trickiest terrain. Navigating an unforgiving landscape, Ethan searches himself for the ability to forgive his father—if he finds him alive.

 

Publish Date: May 24, 2016

Lake Union Publishing

 
Preorder now on:



 

My Five Star Review:

 
Leaving Blythe River is the third book I’ve read by author Catherine Ryan Hyde, and I have to say, I enjoyed it as much as I have her others. She writes strong stories that delve into the hearts and minds of her realistic characters. These characters aren’t perfect people—as none of us are—and that makes her stories even more intriguing.

Seventeen-year-old Ethan is not a smooth-talking, overly confident teen. Unlike his good looking, athletic father, Ethan is small in stature and not very brave. The night he discovers his father’s betrayal, he has an incident that causes him to become even more timid. But when his mother, now separated from his father, needs Ethan to stay with his father for the summer in the wilderness—far from the city life Ethan is used to—Ethan is even more anxious. He doesn’t want to spend time alone with his father or be anywhere near the bear-infested wilderness. And then his dad disappears.

Ethan musters all his courage to go into the mountains with three very colorful characters and search for his father. Along the way, he finds that he is braver and stronger than he thought.

Leaving Blythe River is an unforgettable story of courage, strength, and mending broken relationships. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and I believe that readers of compelling women’s fiction will love it, too. If you aren’t already of fan of Catherine Ryan Hyde’s novels, then this book will make you one.

(I received a complimentary copy of this novel from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.)

 

 
About the Author:

 
Catherine Ryan Hyde is the author of thirty published and forthcoming books. Her bestselling 1999 novel Pay It Forward, adapted into a major Warner Bros. motion picture starring Kevin Spacey and Helen Hunt, made the American Library Association’s Best Books for Young Adults list and was translated into more than two dozen languages for distribution in more than thirty countries. Her novels Becoming Chloe and Jumpstart the World were included on the ALA’s Rainbow List; Jumpstart the World was also a finalist for two Lambda Literary Awards and won Rainbow Awards in two categories. More than fifty of her short stories have been published in many journals, including the Antioch Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, the Virginia Quarterly Review, Ploughshares, Glimmer Train, and the Sun, and in the anthologies Santa Barbara Stories and California Shorts and the bestselling anthology Dog Is My Co-Pilot. Her short fiction received honorable mention in the Raymond Carver Short Story Contest, a second-place win for the Tobias Wolff Award, and nominations for Best American Short Stories, the O. Henry Award, and the Pushcart Prize. Three have also been cited in Best American Short Stories.

Ryan Hyde is also founder and former president of the Pay It Forward Foundation. As a professional public speaker, she has addressed the National Conference on Education, twice spoken at Cornell University, met with AmeriCorps members at the White House, and shared a dais with Bill Clinton.

 

More reviews of books by Catherine Ryan Hyde:

 
Ask Him Why

 
Worthy



Cheers,

Deanna

Saturday, April 2, 2016

Book Review: Before The Fall by Noah Hawley

Hi all,

I don’t read the suspense/thriller genre often, but when I read the description of this novel, I had to read it. I’m so glad I did, too. Before The Fall by Noah Hawley was definitely a page-turner. Here is more about the book and my five-star review.

 

Before the Fall

Noah Hawley

 
Book Description:

On a foggy summer night, eleven people-ten privileged, one down-on-his-luck painter-depart Martha's Vineyard on a private jet headed for New York. Sixteen minutes later, the unthinkable happens: the plane plunges into the ocean. The only survivors are Scott Burroughs-the painter-and a four-year-old boy, who is now the last remaining member of an immensely wealthy and powerful media mogul's family.

With chapters weaving between the aftermath of the crash and the backstories of the passengers and crew members-including a Wall Street titan and his wife, a Texan-born party boy just in from London, a young woman questioning her path in life, and a career pilot-the mystery surrounding the tragedy heightens. As the passengers' intrigues unravel, odd coincidences point to a conspiracy. Was it merely by dumb chance that so many influential people perished? Or was something far more sinister at work? Events soon threaten to spiral out of control in an escalating storm of media outrage and accusations. And while Scott struggles to cope with fame that borders on notoriety, the authorities scramble to salvage the truth from the wreckage.

Amid pulse-quickening suspense, the fragile relationship between Scott and the young boy glows at the heart of this stunning novel, raising questions of fate, human nature, and the inextricable ties that bind us together.

 

Pre-order on Amazon Kindle or Hardcover

Also available at your favorite bookstore after the publication date

Publication Date: May 31, 2016

Grand Central Publishing

 

My 5 Star Review:

Eleven people board a private plane on a foggy night heading for New York City. Sixteen minutes later, the plane crashes into the ocean and there are only two survivors. Suspicion, speculation, and accusations follow as the media questions why these two are the only ones to survive such a tragic crash.

In Before The Fall by Noah Hawley, the author brings up the question of fate and destiny. Why did fate place the one starving artist on a plane otherwise filled with people of wealth and privilege? How can one simple choice cause your entire world to collapse? This suspenseful thriller will have you questioning if you control your own destiny – or is it a matter of fate?

In the aftermath of the crash, we follow each passenger’s life in a separate chapter to learn more about them as we try to find out why the plane crashed. We learn a little more about the last minutes of the flight through each character, as each one is a piece of the puzzle. In-between, we also follow the survivors who are being scrutinized by the press. Their lives change drastically, all because they happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time.

I was deeply enthralled by this story and had a hard time putting it down. It's an excellent suspense/thriller novel that is sure to be a bestseller! If you love a good suspense novel – this is the book for you.

(I received an advance copy of this novel from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.)

 

Buy on:


Or at your favorite book retailer

 

About the Author:

Noah Hawley is an Emmy, Golden Globe, Critics' Choice, and Peabody Award-winning author, screenwriter and producer. He has published four novels and penned the script for the feature film Lies and Alibis. He created, executive produced and served as showrunner for ABC's My Generation and The Unusuals and was a writer and producer on the hit series Bones. Hawley is currently executive producer, writer, and showrunner on FX's award-winning series, Fargo.
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Cheers,
Deanna

Tuesday, March 15, 2016

Book Review: Wish Me Luck as You Wave Me Goodbye by Marius Gabriel


Hi all,

I’ve been on a roll, reading all the great books that I didn’t have time for last year. This is one that sat on my Kindle way too long, and I’m so happy I finally got to it. It’s a wonderful story set in the WWII time period about three very different sisters and their journeys throughout the war. Here is more about the book and my review.

 

Wish Me Luck as You Wave Me Goodbye
Marius Gabriel

 

Book Description:

 
In a period of irreversible change, the Redcliffe sisters face monumental love and loss that will stretch the bounds of sisterhood to their limits…

As the perils of World War II loom ever closer, Chiara is more interested in the joyful whirl of the season than matters of faith or ideology. But even her breezy innocence cannot survive the harsh lessons of heartbreak and war. Meanwhile older sister Isobel is forced to face her misguided Fascist political beliefs in Nazi Germany as the shocking realities of the regime hit home. And then there’s Felicity, the youngest and most introverted of the Redcliffe sisters, who is about to take her vows and enter the convent against her sisters’ wishes. But a chance meeting with an American soldier threatens the very foundations of her decision.

As each sister follows her own path, will their differences force them apart and take them beyond the realms of forgiveness?

Wish Me Luck as You Wave Me Goodbye is the first book in the Redcliffe Sisters series, but can also be enjoyed as a stand-alone novel.


Buy now on:

Amazon Kindle

Paperback

 

My Five Star Review:

I love reading novels set in the 1920s, 30s, and 40s, so the cover and description of Wish Me Luck as You Wave Me Goodbye by Marius Gabriel drew me in. When I first started reading, I felt like I had started in the middle of a story instead of the beginning. The author drops you into the story and you learn the backstory along the way. I loved it. It kept me reading.

The story is filled with an array of interesting characters, all connected, in one way or another, to the RedCliffe sisters, the main characters in the story. We follow each sister as she pursues her own unique path in life before and during WWII. They struggle through hardship, danger, and heartache as the world crumbles all around them. I was so engrossed in the story; I was sad when it ended. I wanted to know more. (And luckily there will be a second book!)

I recommend this novel to anyone who loves a historical fiction novel filled with interesting characters, intrigue, and romance. This book has it all – you won’t be disappointed.

 
(I received an advance copy of this novel from NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for my honest review.)

 

About the Author:

 
Marius Gabriel served his author apprenticeship as a student at Newcastle University, where, to finance his postgraduate research, he wrote thirty-three Mills & Boon romances under a pseudonym. His identity as a man had to be kept secret until he turned to longer fiction under his own name. Gabriel is the author of eight sagas and historical novels, including the bestsellers The Mask Of Time, The Original Sin and The Seventh Moon, and was once accused by Cosmopolitan magazine of ‘keeping you reading while your dinner burns’. He very seldom burns his own, however, being an enthusiastic cook, as well as an artist and a musician. Born in South Africa in 1954, he has lived and worked in many countries, and now divides his time between London and Cairo. He has three grown-up children.

 

The good news is there will be a second book in this series coming in July 2016.

 
Coming in July 2016

 

Take Me to Your Heart Again
Marius Gabriel

 

Book Description:

Tensions between three sisters, divided by life and love, are about to spill over into all-out conflict.

It is 1942 and the world is at war. The eldest of the Redcliffe sisters, Isobel, impulsive and ideological, strives to make herself heard in a world distracted by violence. But her ambitious new path is strewn with obstacles, not least a private scandal that threatens to become public. Optimist Chiara has had to grow up fast, to set aside teenage dreams and make way for the unexpected realities of adulthood—but who can she count on for help? Meanwhile Felicity has challenges of a more spiritual nature: will her journey of self-discovery lead her away from the convent she thought was her calling?

Separated by distance and war, Isobel, Chiara and Felicity must learn to confront life’s challenges with passion, strength—and unity. Because family is the tie that binds tightest of all.

This is the second title in the Redcliffe Sisters series and follows on from Wish Me Luck As You Wave Me Goodbye.


 
 
Cheers,
 
Deanna

Book Review: I’d Rather Be Growing Grapes by Jan Romes


Hi all,

If you love sweet, witty, and fun romances then you should be reading novels by Jan Romes. I’ve read nearly every novel she has ever written, and I’ve enjoyed them all. The stories are sharp, entertaining, laugh-out-loud funny, plus sexy and heartwarming. What more could you want? Jan’s latest novel, I’d Rather Be Growing Grapes is, I have to say, my favorite one of hers so far. You’re going to love it! Here is more about the novel and my review.

 
I'd Rather Be Growing Grapes
Cover by Tugboat Design

Jan Romes
 

Book Description:

Sabrina Kerrigan is a sassy, independent woman whose fiancĂ© ditched her a week before they were to be married. Since then, she gives all her attention to a backyard filled with flowers and a spindly grape arbor. Her meddling twin, Lilith, thinks Sabrina’s had enough time to grieve the relationship that wasn’t meant to be. Lil registers her to be one of twenty-one bachelorettes who will vie for one guy’s heart in an event called Pick Me. Sabrina is furious at Lil for immersing her in what is sure to be three weeks of nonstop chaos. The only reason she agreed to take part is because the entry fee goes to charity. The minute Sabrina arrives at the hotel a case of mistaken identity sets the chaos in motion.

Millionaire winery owner, Beau Reinholt has had the worst luck with women. He seems to pick those interested in his money not him. His best friend, Marco Santaguida, the director for Pick Me, cons Beau into being this year’s bachelor. Beau agrees on one condition - the women aren’t to know his true identity until he either falls in love or finds extreme-like with one of the candidates. Everything goes smoothly until he meets Sabrina Kerrigan. She ticks him off right away. She also turns him on. The more Beau tries to focus on the twenty other women the more he’s drawn to the one who says she doesn’t want any part of him.

Can two wounded people tune out the noise going on around them to listen to their hearts?

 

 

Buy now on:



Read for FREE with Kindle Unlimited!

 

My 5 Star Review:

Sabrina Kerrigan’s twin sister, Lilith, decides to take it upon herself to find her a mate. So she signs her up for a local fundraiser based on The Bachelor called Pick Me. Sassy Sabrina wants nothing to do with it, but when she finds out how much money her sister paid for the event, she agrees. Her hope is to hide in the background and be one of the first women to leave.

 
Enter bachelor Beau Reinholt. Sexy, handsome, and oh, so delicious. Even when Sabrina fights with him, she can’t help but find herself falling for him. But Beau, who was also conned into doing this gig, only wants to get through the three weeks and get out of there. He doesn’t believe he’ll find his soul mate among the twenty-one women who paid to be there. But as the days go by, he begins to find his thoughts are constantly on Sabrina. Can he really find true love amidst all the chaos?

 
I’d Rather Be Growing Grapes is packed with wit, humor, and charm. Jan puts together a wonderful cast of characters that fills this story with all kinds of crazy scenarios so you don’t want to put the book down. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel and I’m sure anyone who loves a good romantic comedy will love it too. Thank you, Jan, for another entertaining novel! Can’t wait for the next one.

 

About the Author:

Jan Romes is a hopeless romantic who grew up in northwest Ohio with eight zany siblings. Married to her high school sweetheart for more years than seems possible, she is also a proud mom, mother-in-law, and grandmother. She likes to read all genres, writes witty contemporary romance and women's fiction, enjoys finding new ways to stay fit and likes to grow pumpkins and sunflowers.

Connect with Jan:





I hope you'll try this latest by Jan Romes. Her books are all delightful!

Cheers,
Deanna

The Romance Reviews

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