Book Review · Books

Where Hope Begins

Some beautiful book covers are just that. Beautiful. The innards don’t always mirror the outer. Where Hope Begins by Catherine West is a book I asked to review because I thought the cover was gorgeous. The cover didn’t remotely prepare me for the depth of the story waiting for me.

Savannah is a mother still reeling from the untimely passing of her eldest daughter when her husband, Kevin, decides he wants to separate. He had an affair and decides to move out to go live with the other woman. To help herself heal and move forward, Savannah decides to go stay at her parent’s cabin.

She discovers she has nice neighbors to keep her company. One of the neighbors is Maisy, a little girl who looks so much like her late daughter. Savannah is captivated by Maisy’s Dad, Brock, not realizing who he actually is. Through her neighbor’s friendship she begins to heal her broken heart. Brock’s Aunt Clarice keeps Savannah on her toes spiritually, seeming to know so much without Savannah having to say a word.

Savannah feels like her life is finally showing signs of healing when Kevin wants back in. Will Savannah let him? How can you forgive someone you love and trust after betrayal? Is it possible for a family to be repaired? Can a family move forward after the loss of a child?

This novel tackles so many tough topics that are realistically portrayed through Savannah’s story: marriage, betrayal, death, faith, love, hope, family, relationships, friendship and more. This novel will stick with you long after the last page. I wish there was a sequel. Better yet a movie.

I received my free paperback ARC copy of Where Hope Begins by Catherine West for free from TLC Book Tours care of Thomas Nelson in exchange for honest review. To learn more about this talented author check out her website and buy a copy from Amazon.

Book Review · Books

A Sin Such As This

If you love reading novels by Ellen Hopkins then you will love A Sin Such As This. This sequel to Love Lies Beneath finds main character Tara married to doctor Cavin Lattimore. Tara is ready to move beyond her previous home in San Francisco to Lake Tahoe where her husband and stepson, Eli live.

Tara is glad to have a fresh start with Cavin, though she is not used to having a stepson whose quite the charmer. The atmosphere in her new home is a bit rocky with her niece Kayla living with them and dating Eli. Tara doesn’t trust easy, but does her best to trust both her new husband and her stepson. Her niece is a different story.

Life takes a turn when she realizes her husband’s ex fiancé, Sophia lives too, close for comfort for her tastes. Cavin says he’s over her, but when Tara keeps encountering her at Cavin’s office, her concerns rise.

Does Tara have anything to worry about in regards to Sophia? Will Eli keep his libido in check? Why is her sister, Melody acting strange all of a sudden?

This book sheds light on integrating two families, cultures and what happens when people we think we know aren’t all they seem. I received my free ARC copy of A Sin Such As This from TLC Book Tours care of Atria Books. If you haven’t read book one have no fear. I haven’t and was able to follow the storyline along just fine. This book had hot scenes, humerus one’s and nail biting ones. To buy a copy click here for Amazon and to contact Ellen Hopkin’s check out her website. Now I’ll want to go read the first book in this series.

Book Review · Books

Tube 


If you haven’t heard of Ksenia Anske then its high time you have. I discovered Ksenia via Twitter who was searching for beta readers for her first novel, Siren Suicides. Since I loved the idea back in 2012/13 to get to read an ARC I signed up to review. This novel was intense, descriptive and I couldn’t wait to read more novels from her. This lead to reading Ksenia’s other novels (Rosehead and The Badlings) that have been self published. When I was asked recently if I wanted to beta read Tube I jumped on board.

Knowing a bit of Ksenia’s personal background Tube took on an even more vivid picture in my mind. Tube is a fictional novel about Olesya, a Russian ballerina. She is dating her dance partner for Swan Lake, Dima. Olesya wants to be intimate with him, but for some reason every time they go to be intimate she freezes up. They are on their way traveling on a train as a troupe where Olesya encounter’s her five-year old self.

Her little self hands her Tube, the toy locomotive that her father gave her as a gift when she was little. It was from America and considered fancy. She hears a man’s voice calling for her younger self and realizes it’s her papa’s ghost.

Olesya tries to figure out why she was given back this old toy when she’d thought she’d gotten rid of it years before, after her papa unexpectedly died. She doesn’t understand why her mama never grieved her papa’s death. Her mama tried to force her to throw away Tube, but younger Olesya kept the locomotive piece. It was her one thing that reminded her of her papa and her happy memories of playing with the train set.

Olesya meets a man who works on the train named Yuri. This man has talent to see through people’s facade and notices when they are hurting emotionally. At one point Yuri mentions to Olesya that he can see she has a hole in her. Yuri wonders what or who has caused her so much pain. She hasn’t told him about the pain of her past, so she wonders how he knows. When Olesya confinds in Yuri that her papa’s ghost is on the train Yuri is very concerned. He’s heard rumors there is a ghost living on the train.

At first Olesya thinks somehow Tube can open the locked compartments, but of course the toy locomotive won’t fit in the key hole. She is able to see the invisible hole in her that Yuri can see. Olesya wonders if maybe putting Tube in the hole will open the door. It hurts very much, but the compartments open.
Olesya is brought back to relieve what occurred between her and her father, a different memory for each compartment. The only challenge is that her papa’s ghost doesn’t want her finding out. Little Olesya tries to keep her papa’s ghost from stopping grown up Olesya from visiting all 8 compartments. She only has so much time before they arrive at their destination. Will Olesya discover the reason in time?

Ksenia covers topics that aren’t for the faint of heart. Parent child relationships can be challenging. We hope our parents have our best interests in mind, but unfortunately that’s not always the case. If you were raised in the 80’s stranger danger was taught. What do you do if it’s a parent you are supposed to trust? What if you love your parent and want to think the best of them?

If you are interested to learn more Ksenia click here to visit her lovely website. She is the most down to earth author I know and have had the pleasure of meeting in person. Ksenia cares about her readers and their feedback. You can download her novels for free, or if you want to help support by paying for a paperback copy. Either way Ksenia wants you to be able to get to read her wildly unique novels. Tube is truly a testament to the powerful of the human spirit and love.

Book Review · Books

The Forgotten Family Of Liverpool

I love WWII whether it’s novels, or memoirs. The  Forgotten Family Of Liverpool is set in England where Dora dealing with the fall out of her marriage to Joe due to him being unfaithful with a coworker named Ivy. Dora and Joe have two daughters. Their daughters Jackie and Carol have their preferred parent. Jackie, the youngest likes her mom best and Carol, the eldest prefers her dad. When an unknown person reports that Carol isn’t safe to live with Dora her eldest is made to go live with Joe. Dora has postpartum depression she struggled with in the past, but with a new start she’s determined to get custody back. The challenge is that Joe wants her back. He’s asked forgiveness countless times, but Dora is too, burnt by his betrayal. When Dora’s mom is injured one day by an unknown individual, Dora wonders if there’s someone out to get her and her family. Thankfully Dora lands a job as a seamstress for a sweet elderly couple who become like second parents to her and surrogate grandparents to Jackie and Carol. This family drama has many twists and turns.

If you enjoy this era and anything British this might be a great book for you. There are so many British expressions and words I had to bust out my dictionary. Not knowing lots of British expressions it was quite an educational read. It felt a tad slow-paced till then. I would like to read the next book in the series, not to mention the first book. I received this ARC for free as a courtesy from NetGalley for my honest review. If you would like a copy of this book it comes out this Wednesday, July 26, 2017.

Book Review · Books

Come Home

Lisa Scottoline hooked me with her hilarious memoirs written with her daughter Francesca. It wasn’t till this year when I borrowed a copy of, Every Fifteen Minutes, that I discovered her magic at writing fiction.

Lisa’s fiction is realistic, intense, colorful, emotional and hard to put down.  This novel is about the life of pediatrician, Jill Farrow, whose rebuilding her life after an ugly divorce with her ex-husband  William. She has a new relationship with a loving man named Sam. Her daughter Megan feels love and protected by her mom’s fiancé. Life takes an ugly turn when Jill’s ex-step daughter Abby shows up  drunk with the news that her dad, William is dead. Jill can’t stand her ex, but still cares about his daughters Abby and Victoria. Abby is sure her dad was murdered due to how died. Jill doesn’t want to believe the worst, but when Abby goes missing she wonders if there is something to Abby’s suspicions.

This book deals with the topics of divorce, what makes up a family and can ex family members still be considered family after the divorce is finalized? What would you do for loved ones even when society tells you it shouldn’t matter now that you are divorced and out of their lives? This book is fast paced. I read it in 2 days. 410 pages of nonstop, action, guessing where Lisa was taking the storyline and rooting for Lisa.