Don’t Look for Me | Arc Review

Happy Tuesday friends! We are halfway through the month and I don’t know about y’all, but I am apparently so ready to be done with 2020 that I have mindlessly started dating 2021 on some work documents (*inserts face palm emoji, lol).

Anyway, I wanted to stop by and wish Don’t Look For Me by Wendy Walker HAPPY PUB DAY! I am slowly playing catch up with all my arcs and piles of books at home, but YOU GUYS…. seriously- go get this book (or read the synopsis and review and decide, lol). I will keep it short and sweet, because I want y’all to run to the bookstore!

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Synopsis:

In Wendy Walker’s thrilling novel Don’t Look for Me, the greatest risk isn’t running away. It’s running out of time.

One night, Molly Clarke walked away from her life.

She doesn’t want to be found. Or at least, that’s the story.

The car abandoned miles from home. The note found at a nearby hotel.

The shattered family that couldn’t be put back together.

They called it a “walk away.”It happens all the time.

Women disappear, desperate to leave their lives behind and start over. But is that what really happened to Molly Clarke?

Completely racked with guilt from an accident that killed Annie, her nine year old daughter, Molly feels estranged and alienated from her family. One night while she was on the road, Molly notices a storm is near and is practically out of gas (YIKES!). What happens next is a crazy roller-coaster ride when the police find Molly’s car abandoned.

Told from both the perspectives of Molly and her oldest daughter Nic, Don’t Look For Me is paced extremely well. You are hooked from the first page watching Molly try to live with the guilt of the death of Annie to the very last page. There are a few creep factors and twisty turn of events, so buckle up, buttercups! I generally have to be in a mood for thrillers and even then, there are not many that resonate with me afterward; however, Wendy Walker did such an amazing job with keeping my attention. This book had me so captivated and in awe. It is riveting, well-crafted, and overall jaw-dropping.

Thank you to Wendy Walker, St. Martin’s Press, and Netgalley, who provided me with a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review! It was such a crazy ride, but one that I cannot wait for everyone to read! SO now that you all have read my review, read the book and come back with your thoughts (or if you have read it, what did you think of it?)!

Book Details:
Title: Don’t Look for Me
Author: Wendy Walker
Publication Date: September 15, 2020
Genre: Thriller, Suspense, Psychological thriller

Rating: 4.5 out of 5.

A Rogue of One’s Own by Evie Dunmore |Arc Review|

Happy Monday book friends! I have finally been able to knock out a few arcs and I am here to share with you one of my most anticipated rom-coms for this year!

A lady must have money and an army of her own if she is to win a revolution—but first, she must pit her wits against the wiles of an irresistible rogue bent on wrecking her plans…and her heart.

Lady Lucie is fuming. She and her band of Oxford suffragists have finally scraped together enough capital to control one of London’s major publishing houses, with one purpose: to use it in a coup against Parliament. But who could have predicted that the one person standing between her and success is her old nemesis, Lord Ballentine? Or that he would be willing to hand over the reins for an outrageous price—a night in her bed.

Lucie tempts Tristan like no other woman, burning him up with her fierceness and determination every time they clash. But as their battle of wills and words fans the flames of long-smouldering devotion, the silver-tongued seducer runs the risk of becoming caught in his own snare.

As Lucie tries to out-manoeuvre Tristan in the boardroom and the bedchamber, she soon discovers there’s truth in what the poets say: all is fair in love and war… 

I want to start by saying thank you to Netgalley and Berkley Publishing Group for providing me with the e-ARC in exchange for my honest review!

In case you didn’t know, Bringing Down the Duke was one of my absolute favorite rom-coms last year and when I heard that a sequel was coming out I knew I needed to read it.

This book, like a lot of rom com sequels, can be read as a standalone. However, since I loved the first one so much, I would highly recommend reading it in order!

The story is told from dual POVs, (YAYYYY!!!) Lady Lucie and Lord Ballantine, as they begin as enemies. I am a sucker for the enemies to lovers trope, provided that it is done well and not an insta-love story. This one does an excellent job progressing their relationship at a natural speed and draws you into their story!

Another thing that is done exceptionally well is Dunmore’s ability to write in such a descriptive language that it makes you feel like you’ve stepped straight into 19th century London. This book is so much more than a rom com as the author brings forth the many issues that women during that time faced and really made me feel like I was fighting this fight right alongside Lucie and the suffragists.

Overall, this story is a well-written Hallmark worthy rom com. It tackles important issues and really makes me want to demand the third book right this minute! If you have not read Bringing Down the Duke yet, I recommend reading that one ASAP. If you have read that one, be sure to pick up A Rogue of One’s Own (out tomorrow, Sept 1st)

Title: A Rogue of One’s Own
Author: Evie Dunmore
Genre: Romance, Historical Fiction, Adult
Publication Date: September 1, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you again to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing me the opportunity to read this book! And as always, thank you so much for stopping by and supporting our blog!

Hieroglyphics | Blog Tour

We are back with another blog tour and we could not thank Algonquin enough for our copies in exchange for our honest review!

This review and blog highlight is for Hieroglyphics by Jill McCorkle!

Synopsis:

Lil and Frank married young, launched into courtship when they bonded over how they both—suddenly, tragically—lost a parent when they were children. Over time, their marriage grew and strengthened, with each still wishing for so much more understanding of the parents they’d lost prematurely.

Now, after many years in Boston, they have retired in North Carolina. There, Lil, determined to leave a history for their children, sifts through letters and notes and diary entries—perhaps revealing more secrets than Frank wants their children to know. Meanwhile, Frank has become obsessed with what might have been left behind at the house he lived in as a boy on the outskirts of town, where a young single mother, Shelley, is just trying to raise her son with some sense of normalcy. Frank’s repeated visits to Shelley’s house begin to trigger memories of her own family, memories that she’d rather forget. Because, after all, not all parents are ones you wish to remember.

Hieroglyphics reveals the difficulty of ever really knowing the intentions and dreams and secrets of the people who raised you. In her deeply layered and masterful novel, Jill McCorkle deconstructs and reconstructs what it means to be a father or a mother, and what it means to be a child piecing together the world all around us, a child learning to make sense of the hieroglyphics of history and memory.

This book takes place across many decades as we follow Lil and Frank, a married couple that share a tragedy of both losing a parent who died too soon. It follows their journey from being young and having kids, living in Massachusetts, to decades later when they move down to North Carolina.

This story weaves together a tale of family, from the perspective of child and parent as they learn to navigate through relationships and heartbreak.

The writing in this book was quite beautiful and at times you could feel completely immersed into the heartbreak of losing a parent.

While the writing was something that brought this story to life, it also felt that the plot line got a bit repetitive. This sometimes made for a slow building story, as you felt like you were just revisiting the same things over and over.

As we have mentioned many times, we absolutely love books that are written with dual or multiple POVs to provide a deeper look into other character’s perspectives. So it will come as no shock that one of the things that we enjoyed about this book, is that it is told from 4 POVs. We get to follow both Lil and Frank on their journeys, as well as, a single mother Shelley and her son, Harvey who happen to live in the house that Frank grew up in.

All in all, this was a well written story that provides a look into family, relationships, heartbreak, and the legacy people would like to leave behind for their family and loved ones.

Book Details:

Title: Hieroglyphics
Author: Jill McCorkle
Publication Date: July 28, 2020 (TODAY!!)

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Thanks again to the publisher for providing us copies for review. And as always, thank you so much for stopping by our blog, we really appreciate you all!


Boyfriend Material by Alexis Hall [Book Review]

Synopsis

Wanted:
One (fake) boyfriend
Practically perfect in every way

Luc O’Donnell is tangentially–and reluctantly–famous. His rock star parents split when he was young, and the father he’s never met spent the next twenty years cruising in and out of rehab. Now that his dad’s making a comeback, Luc’s back in the public eye, and one compromising photo is enough to ruin everything.

To clean up his image, Luc has to find a nice, normal relationship…and Oliver Blackwood is as nice and normal as they come. He’s a barrister, an ethical vegetarian, and he’s never inspired a moment of scandal in his life. In other words: perfect boyfriend material. Unfortunately apart from being gay, single, and really, really in need of a date for a big event, Luc and Oliver have nothing in common. So they strike a deal to be publicity-friendly (fake) boyfriends until the dust has settled. Then they can go their separate ways and pretend it never happened.

But the thing about fake-dating is that it can feel a lot like real-dating. And that’s when you get used to someone. Start falling for them. Don’t ever want to let them go.

HAPPY PUB DAY!!! First, we would like to thank Netgalley and Sourcebooks Casablanca for providing us with the e-ARC in exchange for our honest review!

If you haven’t learned by now that we are total rom com lovers, let this be us telling you now, WE LOVE ROM COMs!! So when we saw this book on netgalley, you know we had to request it!

This book is told from the perspective of Luc, who is thrust into the public eye due to a famous, absentee father. With all the to unwanted publicity, Luc has many insecurities and plenty of trust issues. After one too many bad pictures in the press, he is now in search of a fake boyfriend to change the narrative!

Enter Oliver, the polar opposite of Luc. He is a put together barrister, healthy eating vegetarian, who wouldn’t ever stir up a scandal in the press. So, basically perfect fake boyfriend material!

This book provided so many laugh out loud moments that it is hard to track them all. The witty banter and sarcastic undertones made for quite the pleasant read. And while this book was a bit longer than most rom coms we have read, we think the fun dialogue made it a quick read.

Throughout the first part of the book it was a bit heart breaking to read about Luc’s insecurities and that fact that he genuinely didn’t tend to think very highly of himself. Oliver provided the support he needed and it was a pleasure to watch Luc grow throughout this book.

The only thing that would have made this book better, is a dual POVs. We were dyingggg to know Oliver’s thoughts!

All in all, this was a fun, LGBTQ+, laugh out loud rom com that we would definitely recommend to all rom com lovers!

Title: Boyfriend Material
Author: Alexis Hall
Genre: LGBT Contemporary Romance
Publication Date: July 7, 2020

Rating: 4 out of 5.

Thank you again to Netgalley and the publisher for allowing us the opportunity to read this book! As always, thank you so much for supporting our blog and stopping by!

In The Neighborhood of True | Blog Tour Review

We are so excited to be taking part in our very first blog tour! Today is the paperback release of In the Neighborhood of True by Susan Kaplan Carlton and we are happy to provide our thoughts on this story!

A powerful story of love, identity, and the price of fitting in or speaking out.

“The story may be set in the past, but it couldn’t be a more timely reminder that true courage comes not from fitting in, but from purposefully standing out . . . and that to find out who you really are, you have to first figure out what you’re not.” —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of A Spark of Light and Small Great Things

After her father’s death, Ruth Robb and her family transplant themselves in the summer of 1958 from New York City to Atlanta—the land of debutantes, sweet tea, and the Ku Klux Klan. In her new hometown, Ruth quickly figures out she can be Jewish or she can be popular, but she can’t be both. Eager to fit in with the blond girls in the “pastel posse,” Ruth decides to hide her religion. Before she knows it, she is falling for the handsome and charming Davis and sipping Cokes with him and his friends at the all-white, all-Christian Club.

Does it matter that Ruth’s mother makes her attend services at the local synagogue every week? Not as long as nobody outside her family knows the truth. At temple Ruth meets Max, who is serious and intense about the fight for social justice, and now she is caught between two worlds, two religions, and two boys. But when a violent hate crime brings the different parts of Ruth’s life into sharp conflict, she will have to choose between all she’s come to love about her new life and standing up for what she believes.

Book Details:

First things first, we want to say thank you to Algonquin Young Readers for our copies in exchange for our honest review! The paperback release for this book is TODAY!

This book takes place during the 1950s in and around Atlanta, GA. To say racism was prevalent would be an understatement. The Klan was in full force during this time period and brought forth a very divided community.

Ruth (who is Jewish), with her mother and younger sister have recently moved to Atlanta from NYC after the unexpected passing of her father.

Ruth’s mother was born and raised in the debutante society of Atlanta, where who you know, how much of a Christian you are, and what crowns you obtain justify your place in society. Ruth wants so badly to fit into this new society she has been thrust into, thanks to the friends she has made, as well as, having a grandmother that craves those things for her.

This story is one of Ruth trying to find her way in a place that does not welcome people being different than a white, God fearing Christian. She struggles with her identity of being Jewish, while also wanting to fit in.

This book tackles many important issues, that are still clearly and sadly prevalent in today society. It started out a bit slow, but once it grabs your attention and you can grasp the true importance of this novel, we think it brings forth many discussions that still need to be had.

The story is told from the perspective of Ruth, who is 16, but sometimes felt like it read like someone much younger than that. While this didn’t detract too much from the story, it did read a little less like a YA and at times more of a middle grade.

Overall, this book tackled the hard issues of identity and accountability, and Ruth as a character finding herself and telling her truth during this difficult time was extremely powerful.

Book Details:

Title: In the Neighborhood of True
Author: Susan Kaplan Carlton
Paperback Release Date: July 7, 2020

Rating: 3.5 out of 5.

Thank you so much again to the publisher for providing us the opportunity to read this timely novel. And as always, thank you for stopping by our blog and supporting us, we truly appreciate it!

Book of Longings by Sue Monk Kidd |book review|

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Synopsis

“I am Ana. I was the wife of Jesus.” So begins the new novel from the number one New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Bees and The Invention of Wings, an extraordinary story set in the first century about a woman who finds her voice and her destiny in a time of great despair and great hope.

In her fourth work of fiction, Sue Monk Kidd brings her acclaimed narrative gifts to imagine the story of a young woman named Ana. Raised in a wealthy family in Sepphoris with ties to the ruler of Galilee, she is rebellious and ambitious, a relentless seeker with a brilliant, curious mind and a daring spirit. She yearns for a pursuit worthy of her life, but finds no outlet for her considerable talents. Defying the expectations placed on women, she engages in furtive scholarly pursuits and writes secret narratives about neglected and silenced women. When she meets the eighteen-year-old Jesus, each is drawn to and enriched by the other’s spiritual and philosophical ideas. He becomes a floodgate for her intellect, but also the awakener of her heart.

Their marriage unfolds with love and conflict, humor and pathos in Nazareth, where Ana makes a home with Jesus, his brothers, James and Simon, and their mother, Mary. Here, Ana’s pent-up longings intensify amid the turbulent resistance to the Roman occupation of Israel, partially led by her charismatic adopted brother, Judas. She is sustained by her indomitable aunt Yaltha, who is searching for her long-lost daughter, as well as by other women, including her friend Tabitha, who is sold into slavery after she was raped, and Phasaelis, the shrewd wife of Herod Antipas. Ana’s impetuous streak occasionally invites danger. When one such foray forces her to flee Nazareth for her safety shortly before Jesus’s public ministry begins, she makes her way with Yaltha to Alexandria, where she eventually finds refuge and purpose in unexpected surroundings.

Grounded in meticulous historical research and written with a reverential approach to Jesus’s life that focuses on his humanity, The Book of Longings is an inspiring account of one woman’s bold struggle to realize the passion and potential inside her, while living in a time, place, and culture devised to silence her.

Have you ever read a book that leaves you completely inarticulate? Because I just did. I read a lot of books that leaves me at a lost for words, but the Book of Longings has left me not only speechless, but also breathless.

I’m going to be frank with you guys- I’m agnostic, so the Book of Longings was originally no where near being in my pile. I was scrolling through Goodreads one day, and someone gave this book a one-star without even reading it because it didn’t follow their religious view, so it peaked my curiosity.

I was skeptical going into this book, worrying it would be more focused on the religion aspect than the synopsis leads you to believe. It came through on Libby three days ago, and you guys- I practically inhaled the book. WOW! I’ve been working on this review the last three days, and yet- I find myself continuously rambling because I still cannot articulate my thoughts.

It is a poignant story that is character-driven and may not be for devout Christians unless you are willing to keep an open mind, reminding yourself it is a work of fiction because it is traditionally believed that Jesus did not marry. While obvious mentions of God, prayers, and biblical stories are present throughout the book, the story primarily focuses on Ana, the wife of human Jesus, an amiable husband who is in the background. Ana is fierce and strong. She speaks her mind and writes her words in a time period that tries to silence women.

What I loved about this book are the women, their resilience, and their friendship. There are definite note of feminism, courage, and perseverance. Ana’s voice is strong and she uses that to make sure other’s stories get told and are heard.

All in all, Kidd did a terrific job balancing the book between biblical stories and weaving in a woman’s voice and determination to stand up for herself and others as well as maintaining equality in her marriage with human- Jesus. It is very clear that Kidd put a lot of research into this novel, and while I am not familiar with all biblical stories, I know they are sprinkled throughout the book.

This is a book I’d highly recommend for anyone willing to step out their comfort zone, regardless of which side you stand on, because you have to have an open mind in order to see all the beauty this book has to offer. It is a book that’ll sit with you for a long time if you’re willing to look at the big picture instead of dissecting every phrase of paragraph, or page.

Title: The Book of Longings
Author: Sue Monk Kidd
Genre: Historical Fiction
Publication Date: April 21, 2020

Rating: 5 out of 5.

If you are a BOTM member, do you have any books in mind that might be a contender for the year, because I can see Book of Longings being one! I’d love to hear your thoughts and chit-chat 🙂