It’s time to link up with Show Us Your Books. I love discovering new books to read, so I hope you find some treasures among my reviews. I try to read a variety of fiction and some non-fiction for self-improvement or learning every month. I read some crime thrillers, romance and contemporary fiction during April.
Stealing Home (Sweet Magnolias #1) by Sherryl Woods- I read parts on Kindle Unlimited and listened to parts via Scribd. Maddie Townsend lives in a small town and has two best friends who are determined to help her move past her husband’s affair and their divorce. The three of them decide to open a spa/health club for women in their small town. In the meantime, Maddie’s children are struggling with the divorce because their father is having another child with his mistress. The oldest son, who is a star baseball player, begins to have some issues and necessary meetings between Maddie and the coach lead to more than a parent/coach relationship. Jealous and small town rumors threaten to ruin the new spa and the coach’s career. The characters were all adorable and likable. I will read more of this series. 4 stars.
American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins I read on Kindle and listened to parts on Scribd. I read most of this book in March and finished it up in early April. A lot of great authors give accolades to this book, but parts of it drug on for me. It got a little slow at times. Lydia is a bookstore owner in Acapulco and her husband is a journalist. Javier befriends her at her bookstore, but he turns out to be the jefe of a drug cartel. Lydia’s husband exposes him in an article, and in the aftermath, Lydia and her son Luca are forced to flee to the United States to outrun Javier’s reach. The majority of the story is their journey, along with other immigrants who are fleeing for various reasons, the story of the people they meet and the struggles they endure. It’s well written and worth the read, but in my opinion should not be taken as “face to migrants everywhere who flee violence and near-certain death in search of only one thing: a chance at life” as one author described it. At least not face to all immigrants. Some are not fleeing violence, but are part of it and bring it here. I see a different side of the issue in my work with illegals so I have some issue with this book being a campaign for sympathy for all illegal immigrants. It’s still a good story and enlightening but what it attempts to expose is only one part of the issue. 4 stars
Slightly South of Simple/ Peachtree Bluff series Kristy Woodson Harvey/ The Secret to Southern Charm/ The Southern Side of Paradise
I’ve put all three books into one paragraph because I read the whole series back to back (or read and listened via Scribd). Book one left me hanging and addicted. The ending left me saying ” Oh no she didn’t” because of the cliff hanger ending so I started book two the same day I finished book one. You are not going to leave me hanging like that, lol! Ansley is a southern mother with three unique daughters that she reared in New York until her husband died in the 911 attacks. She then moved them all to Georgia to a house she inherited from her grandmother. And Ansley has secrets. It takes all three books for the secret to fully come out, but worth the wait. Each book focuses on one of the sisters and their emotional drama that brings them all back to Georgia and to their mother- one facing divorce, one with a husband missing in war and finally the youngest one trying to determine her future and true love. Lots of drama, love, family, and Southern charm in this series. I rate them all between 4 and 5 stars.
The Silence by Kendra Elliot- I started this book on Kindle and then left it and came back to it later. I liked the first book in this series but could not get into this one as easily. One I got into it, it was a decent read. There are three stories in one here. A radical conspiracist is murdered. He happens to be an informant of FBI agent Ava McLane and information about her is found in the crime scene. Ava and Mason are trying to plan a wedding but fear that Ava’s drug addicted sister is interfering, at least until the sister turns up missing. Mason and his unit are working a law enforcement targeted shooting in which his partner is injured and his survival is touch and go at times. The shooting may be related to the other murder but no one knows for sure. 3 stars Read and listened on Kindle Unlimited
Drown Her Sorrows (Bree Taggert) by Melinda Leigh Read and listened via Kindle Unlimited. I love Melinda Leighs books and have become fond of the Bree Taggert character. This is a new release and it did not disappoint. ” Sheriff Bree Taggert discovers the body of a young woman floating near the bank of the Scarlet River, a note in her abandoned car suggests suicide. The autopsy reveals a different story. Holly Thorpe was dead long before she dropped off the bridge and hit the water. As Bree and her investigator Matt Flynn delve into the case, secrets in Holly’s personal life complicate their efforts to solve the murder. Holly left behind a volatile marriage, an equally divisive relationship with her sister, and an employer whose intimate involvement with Holly was no secret. Each one has a motive for murder. When Holly’s sister is terrorized by a stalker’s sick prank, and the prime suspect turns up dead, everything Bree was sure of is upended and her case goes off the rails.” There is a plot twist I didn’t see coming. As usual with these books, there is lots of action, a little romance and a good balance of family life issues to be resolved. 4 stars
The Subtle Art of Not Giving a F*** by Mark Manson I read and listened via Scribd. Manson says we care about too many things and that the positive mentality that gets shoved at us all the time is flawed. We sometimes just have to learn to deal with the negative. Everyone isn’t as special as they think they are. This is a snarky take on a self-help book. It has some good points, but it didn’t meet my expectations due to the hype it’s received over the years. 3 stars
Off the Clock: Feel Less Busy While Getting More Done by Laura Vandrkam- I constantly struggle with “having enough time” for all the things I want and need to do, so I picked this up via Kindle on a whim. The book does not tell you how to get more done. It explores the psychology behind why some people feel like and perceive that they have plenty of time and others don’t. It’s a pretty dry read at some points. 3 stars