Monday, January 22, 2018

Book Review: The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton

The Hideaway
Lauren K. Denton

Book Description:

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed The Hideaway to her and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering her grandmother’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.
Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid drywall dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.
Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed her grandmother’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.
When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

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5 Star Book Review:

Sara Jenkins returns home to Sweet Bay after her eccentric grandmother’s death, determined to tie up loose ends and then go back to her life in New Orleans. But two things change her plans: her grandmother has willed her the house—a B&B that has seen better days with permanent senior residents—and she finds a box revealing her grandmother’s past in a way that Sara could never have imagined. Sara stays on, remodeling the house (and meeting a good-looking contractor in the process), and searching out answers to her grandmother’s past. What she finds amazes her.

The Hideaway is a heartfelt story of returning home and learning that you really don’t always know the people in your life as well as you think. Sara begins to understand her grandmother’s odd behavior as she explores her past, and also finds that she is still in love with her childhood home, despite having run away from it years before. It’s a sweet story that will warm your heart.

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

About the Author:

Born and raised in Mobile, Alabama, Lauren now lives with her husband and two daughters in Homewood, just outside Birmingham. In addition to her fiction, she writes a monthly newspaper column about life, faith, and how funny (and hard) it is to be a parent. On any given day, she’d rather be at the beach with her family and a stack of books. The Hideaway is her first novel. Her next novel, Hurricane Season, releases in spring of 2018. 

Find her at:   
Facebook (LaurenKDentonAuthor) 
Instagram (LaurenKDentonBooks) 
Twitter (@laurenkdenton).

Saturday, January 13, 2018

Book Review: Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Do you love funny, heartfelt novels? Then you are sure to love SURPRISE ME by Sophie Kinsella, the author of the bestselling Shopaholic novels. Read on...

Surprise Me

Sophie Kinsella

Book Description:

After ten years together, Sylvie and Dan have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, and beautiful twin girls, and they communicate so seamlessly they finish each other’s sentences. They have a happy marriage and believe they know everything there is to know about each other. Until it’s casually mentioned to them that they could be together for another sixty-eight years . . . and panic sets in. 
They decide to bring surprises into their marriage to keep it fresh and fun. But in their pursuit of Project Surprise Me—from unexpected gifts to restaurant dates to sexy photo shoots—mishaps arise, with disastrous and comical results. Gradually, surprises turn to shocking truths. And when a scandal from the past is uncovered, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other at all.
With a colorful cast of eccentric characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella presents a humorous yet moving portrait of a marriage—its intricacies, comforts, and complications. Surprise Me reveals that hidden layers in a close relationship are often yet to be discovered.

Publish Date: February 13, 2018

Preorder now on Amazon
Or at your favorite online bookstore

My 5-Star Review:

Sophie Kinsella is one of my favorite authors when it comes to a humorous look at life. She once again brings humor to a relationship in her latest novel, SURPRISE ME.

Stunned by the fact that she and her spouse might possibly be married for decades longer than anticipated, they come up with a plan to keep their relationship alive by surprising each other. But the surprises begin to backfire and cause trouble instead. It is a laugh-out-loud novel that is sure to lift your spirits. Highly recommended.

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

About the Author:

Sophie Kinsella is a writer and former financial journalist. She is the number one bestselling author of Can You Keep a Secret?, The Undomestic Goddess, Remember Me?, Twenties Girl, I’ve Got Your Number and Wedding Night, the hugely popular Shopaholic novels and the Young Adult novel Finding Audrey.

She lives in London with her husband and family. She is also the author of several bestselling novels under the name of Madeleine Wickham.

Visit her website at

Book Review: Before the Rain Falls by Camille Di Maio

Before the Rain Falls
Camille Di Maio

Book Description:

After serving seventy years in prison for the murder of her sister, Eula, Della Lee has finally returned home to the Texas town of Puerto Pesar. She’s free from confinement—and ready to tell her secrets before it’s too late.
She finds a willing audience in journalist Mick Anders, who is reeling after his suspension from a Boston newspaper and in town, reluctantly, to investigate a mysterious portrait of Eula that reportedly sheds tears. He crosses paths with Dr. Paloma Vega, who’s visiting Puerto Pesar with her own mission: to take care of her ailing grandmother and to rescue her rebellious younger sister before something terrible happens. Paloma and Mick have their reasons to be in the hot, parched border town whose name translates as “Port of Regret.” But they don’t anticipate how their lives will be changed forever.
Moving and engrossing, this dual story alternates between Della’s dark ordeals of the 1940s and Paloma and Mick’s present-day search for answers―about roots, family, love, and what is truly important in life.

Buy now on Amazon

My 5-Star Review:

Captivating. That is the word I think of when I think of this amazing story by Camille Di Maio.

Della comes home after being incarcerated for seventy years. It is time to tell her story, and a not-so-eager reporter comes along to tell it. Family secrets soon begin to come to light .

If you love books where the story goes between the generations and comes together in the end, you’ll love this one. I highly recommend.

About the Author:

Camille recently left an award-winning real estate career in San Antonio to become a full-time writer. Along with her husband of twenty years, she enjoys raising their four children. She has a bucket list that is never-ending, and uses her adventures to inspire her writing. She's lived in Texas, Colorado, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and California, and spends enough time in Hawai'i to feel like a local. She's traveled to four continents (so far), and met Mother Teresa and Pope John Paul II. She just about fainted when she had a chance to meet her musical idol, Paul McCartney, too. Camille studied political science in college, but found working on actual campaigns much more fun. She overdoses on goodies at farmers markets (justifying them by her support for local bakeries) and belts out Broadway tunes whenever the moment strikes. There's almost nothing she wouldn't try, so long as it doesn't involve heights, roller skates, or anything illegal. "The Memory of Us" is Camille's debut novel and is a finalist for the Holt Medallion Award for Literary Excellence. Her second, "Before the Rain Falls" was released in May 2017. Her third, "The Way of Beauty" will be available on May 1, 2018, but can be preordered now.

She appreciates you stopping by, and welcomes you to reach out and share a love of books!


Look for Camille’s upcoming book, THE WAY OF BEAUTY, now available for preorder on Amazon.