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Reviews Written by
Louise Jolly "Bookaholic" (Ontario, Canada)
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Beach Town
Beach Town
Offered by Macmillan CA
Price: CDN$ 13.99

5.0 out of 5 stars When she stumbles upon a place called Cypress Key she thinks she's found the absolute perfect place. But, May 25 2015
This review is from: Beach Town (Kindle Edition)
ISBN: 978-1-250-06593-3
Greer Hennessey is a movie location scout and she needs to find a specific location with palm trees and a beach. When she stumbles upon a place called Cypress Key she thinks she's found the absolute perfect place. But, has she found more than she bargained for?
It seems Eben Thibadeaux is the head of everything in Cypress Key from Mayor right on down to the person who issues building permits and at first, Greer finds him a tad arrogant. However, those feelings soon begin to change although she doesn't want to admit it to herself.
Eb, on the other hand, has his own issues to deal with. He's raising his neice, Allie since her father, Jared is in jail but is soon to be released and Allie can't wait to see him. However, she just might be expecting too much from this man she hasn't seen in a while.
Greer is busy making plans for the movie shoot and trying hard to keep, Kregg, the big star of movie private and away from fans which isn't an easy feat for any one person but she seems accomplish this task with ease and grace.
As time wears on Greer finds out that Eb totally disgrees with their plan to blow up something at Cypress Key for the climactic ending to the movie but with the growing attraction between the two of them perhaps a plan can be hatched? The more Greer works with the people in the town, the more attached she is becoming. What is just around the corner for Greer?
This is a great summer read. It'll be perfect for curling up on the beach with a nice tall glass of homemade lemonade, a floppy hat and a smathering of sunscreen. I totally loved it!!!

Indiscretion: An exotic and romantic epic family saga set in the 1950s riddled with secrets, danger and passion under the Spanish Sun (The Andalucian Nights Trilogy)
Indiscretion: An exotic and romantic epic family saga set in the 1950s riddled with secrets, danger and passion under the Spanish Sun (The Andalucian Nights Trilogy)
Price: CDN$ 2.99

5.0 out of 5 stars she loved him unconditionally, April 28 2015
ISBN: 978-0-9926-7188-4
INDISCRETION is an intense read. From the Spanish landscape to the homes, to the people to the relationships, to the entertainment of the bull fighting ring.
The passion between Salvador and Alexandra runs deep. Although she couldn't understand his intermittent aloofness towards her, she loved him unconditionally. Salvador would go from talking to her, being passionate toward her to totally ignoring her and not even acknowledging her presence at times.
Alexandra leaves her home in London during the Spring of 1950 to reunite with the family she's been estranged from for a long time. What she finds in Spain is not at all what she expected and she finds herself wondering if she's made a mistake by going there. Her only redemption in her visit there is, Salvador whom she falls madly in love with. The love and deep passion between the two of them is like one heartbeat.
I kept finding myself wanting to rush them into their relationship, wanting to push them to the point of no return but it was not to be, I had to be patient. Their love story took my breath away and left me reeling and wanting more. I so didn't want this story to end.
I thought Ms. Fielding had outdone herself with her second novel but she's done it again with this third one. The writing was so clear and descriptive that I could hear the crowds in the bull fighting ring, I could feel the dust in my nose and eyes and feel the scorching Spanish sun on my skin. I loved the gypsies, one of whom actually scared me!
Indiscretion is filled with passion, intrigue, suspense, and a deep intensity that you'll want to read it again. I was taken in from the very first page and could hardly swallow until I reached the end. I'm looking forward to Ms. Fielding's next book with bated breath.

Well in Time
Well in Time

5.0 out of 5 stars Along with their good friend, Walter Hill, Feb. 26 2015
This review is from: Well in Time (Kindle Edition)
WELL IN TIME is the sequel to Suzan's second novel 'Fiesta of Smoke' but most definitely can be read as a stand-alone.
Javier Cartena and Calypso Searcy return for another exciting, sit-at-the-edge-of-your-seat adventure! An ancient gold locket, which was a gift, has the ability to tell the future; sometimes through a whispered word, sometimes during a dream. Calypso also has the ability to wander through different worlds; the present and a world where she meets a group known as 'The Ghosts'. They are a very dark, scary, mysterious group who mean business.
While searching the locket's past, Calypso and Javier's ranch in Mexico is attacked by a certain drug cartel. Along with their good friend, Walter Hill, Calypso manages to escape unseen. Thus begins her journey through another world where everything she ever knew about herself is tested to the nth degree - her physical strength, her endurance, her emotional and spiritual strengths. WELL IN TIME has such a stong mystical aspect to it that Calypso carefully straddles the line that divides worlds and tests her ability to stand in either.
My favourite part of the book is when Calypso takes us through the caves and into the tunnels. You won't believe what she goes through and will want to keep reading and reading. Some of the tunnels are so constricting we don't know whether she is going to get through or have to turn back again and again to locate an alternate route. Ms. Still's writing is so descriptive and vivid that you'll feel like you literally can't breathe as you transverse the tunnels with Calypso. You almost have to the put the book down to catch your breath and psyche yourself up that you can do this, never mind Calypso! The writing is just phenomenal.
Through their struggles both Calypso and Javier learn that there is more to life than they both thought and that you don't always have to be together to accomplish your goals. You can change, you can be alone and be okay with that, and you can force yourself to be a more positive influence in this world and on the people around you.
Suzan Still has outdone herself with WELL IN TIME. She is a literary queen with the ability to pen the most beautiful prose, creating characters, and plotting her story to get the most bang for the buck.
I whole-heartedly believe WELL IN TIME is going to be a huge success and I wish Ms. Still great success. Thank you for providing me with the best two days of reading I've done in quite some time.

The Organ Takers: A Novel of Surgical Suspense
The Organ Takers: A Novel of Surgical Suspense
Price: CDN$ 2.47

2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars You'll be doing yourself at great disservice if you do, Dec 27 2014
BOOK SYNOPSIS:
Failed surgeon David McBride is in exile from the surgical community after making a costly error in judgment. Down but not out, he perseveres and is given a second chance to establish a career in surgery. But, as McBride stands on the threshold of a new life, the malignant underside of his fellow man intervenes. Under the threat of violence, David is forced to perform illegal organ harvests in a makeshift operating room hidden in a dilapidated meatpacking warehouse in lower Manhattan. Unable to resolve the excruciating moral dilemma faced each time he invades the body of an unwilling victim, David McBride fights to free himself from the situation and in the process, loses everything. When he finally loses the last shred of his humanity, he seeks revenge with surgical precision...and instrumentation.
MY REVIEW:
Oh-my-word!!!! This was THE most suspenseful, sit at the edge of your seat, harrowing, eye popping read I've had in a long while. The action just never stopped in this novel from the very first page until the very last. I don't remember a book ever holding my attention as much as this one did. My mind kept telling my eyes to read faster and faster, I just couldn't get through it quick enough to know what was coming next. The writing is unbelievable, Richard Van Anderson has given an outstanding performance in The Organ Takers.
The ending was so abrupt that it tells me there is definitely a sequel in the works and I sincerely hope it's not too long before that is forthcoming. I just have to know what happens to David McBride and the others involved in aiding him.
Please, DON'T MISS THIS ONE!!! You'll be doing yourself at great disservice if you do. You won't be able to put this down for a second to even make a cup of tea. Totally enthralling and eye glueing!! I will be highly recommending this one to everyone and anyone who will listen.

Undertow
Undertow
Price: CDN$ 1.29

5.0 out of 5 stars Kelly Cozy does a fantastic job of keeping the secret right until the very ..., Dec 26 2014
This review is from: Undertow (Kindle Edition)
Book Synopsis:
"Drew Finley was a crime journalist, until his mind couldn't shut out the images of blood and bodies. Alcohol made the images go away, but also ruined Drew's career and innocents' lives.
Drew's eager to make amends and he's got a story that will help him: a profile of a local celebrity who may have been framed for murder. As he digs deeper, he'll uncover secrets and grudges that will put the people he loves in danger."
My Review:
I couldn't put this book down. It was suspenseful and exhilirating all at the same time. Coach Jones Cavanaugh is in prison for murdering, Marianne, one of the players on his team and one he was rumoured to be having an affair with. Did he do it? Did he belong on death row for this crime?
Drew Finley was obsessive about this case and had more than a reporter's usual curosity to find out the truth once and for all. He just HAD to know the truth about, Marianne. He went to lengths most people wouldn't bother too in order to research the case. What he found out will thrill you and excite you but you'll still be perplexed.
Kelly Cozy does a fantastic job of keeping the secret right until the very end and I'll tell you, I certainly did not see that ending coming. It literally stole my breath away!! The entire novel keep me sitting at the edge of my seat. I kept promising myself to stop reading at the end of each chapter but would begin the first few lines of the next one and off I'd go again, hour after hour until I was done. Don't miss UNDERTOW, I highly recommend it to everyone.

That Night: A Novel
That Night: A Novel
by Chevy Stevens
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 19.37
30 used & new from CDN$ 4.61

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't Put It Down!, Aug. 19 2014
This review is from: That Night: A Novel (Hardcover)
St. Martin's Press|June 17, 2014|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-1-250-05751-8
Story Description:
As a teenager, Toni Murphy had a life full of typical adolescent complications: a boyfriend she adored, a younger sister she couldn't relate to, a strained relationship with her parents, and classmates who seemed hell-bent on making her life miserable. Things weren't easy, but Toni could never have predicted how horrific they would become until her younger sister was brutally murdered one summer night.
Toni and her boyfriend, Ryan, were convicted of the murder and sent to prison.
Now thirty-four, Toni, is out on parole and back in her hometown, struggling to adjust to a new life on the outside. Prison changed her, hardened her, and she's doing everything in her power to avoid violating her parole and going back. This means having absolutely no contact with Ryan, avoiding fellow parolees looking to pick fights, and steering clear of trouble in all its forms. But nothing is making that easy - not Ryan, who is convinced he can figure out the truth; not her mother, who doubts Toni's innocence; and certainly not the group of women who made Toni's life hell in high school and may have darker secrets than anyone realizes. No matter how hard she tries, ignoring her old life to start a new one is impossible. Before Toni can truly move on, she must risk everything to find out what really happened that night.
But in That Night by Chevy Stevens, the truth might be the most terrifying thing of all.
My Review:
That Night was a phenonmenal read that I just couldn't put down. I read it in two days it was that good. I kept telling myselft just "one" more chapter but would read 5 or 6 more, I couldn't stop myself.
The terrible outcomes of bullying ring loud and clear in this novel. People just don't realize the damage that bullying does until it's too late. There are a lot of emotions wrapped up in bullying and the fear is very real and the feelings can and do last a lifetime and often have sad endings as in this story. Bullying leads to all sorts of difficult situations that make it impossible for the one being bullied to get out of.
For eighteen-year-old Toni Murphy, the competition in keeping up with sugar n' spice sweet sister is difficult. Toni has problems with just about every relationship she encounters and finds it hard to cope.
Toni is adamant that she did not kill her sister, Nicole. But if she didn't, who did?
You'll have to read the novel to find out, but if you've been bullied yourself in your life, be prepared because the story will bring back some hard to deal with memories. It's plainly obvious that Ms. Stevens did a great deal of research for this novel and it shines through in her writing. You will be truly frightened in certain chapters as you read along. This would make a great book club pick because there is so much than can be discussed.

Sweet Water: A Novel
Sweet Water: A Novel
by Christina Baker Kline
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 13.76
36 used & new from CDN$ 3.07

2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing!, Aug. 19 2014
This review is from: Sweet Water: A Novel (Paperback)
SWEET WATER (CHRISTINA BAKER KLINE)
William Morrow|July 1, 2014|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-06-236100-4
Story Description:
Cassie Simon is a struggling artist living in New York City. When she receives a call from a magistrate telling her she has inherited sixty acres of land in Sweetwater, Tennessee, from her grandfather, whom she never knew, she takes it as a sign: it's time for a change. She moves to the small Southern town where her mother, Ellen, grew up - and where she died tragically when Cassie was three.
From the moment she arrives in Sweetwater, Cassie is overwhelmed by the indelible mark her mother's memory left behind. As she delves into the thicket of mystery that surrounds her mother's death, Cassie begins to discover the desperate measures of which the human heart is capable.
My Review:
I must say that I was sorely disappointed in Sweet Water. I've read other works by Kline that far exceeded my expectations of the novel before I even began to read. For example: "Orphan Train" was a phenomenal read.
Sweet Water lacked luster and polish and felt as though it had been written by someone other than Kline herself. The most disappointing part was the ending of the story. There I was merrily reading along, turned the page and DONE! Where was the rest of the story?
Overall, Sweet Water wasn't a horrible book by any means, but it certainly fell short of Kline's usual top-notch writing.

American Blonde: A Novel
American Blonde: A Novel
by Jennifer Niven
Edition: Paperback
Price: CDN$ 15.56
41 used & new from CDN$ 0.30

5.0 out of 5 stars I LOVED IT!, Aug. 18 2014
AMERICAN BLONDE (JENNIFER NIVEN)
Plume/July 30, 2014/Trade Paperback|ISBN # 978-0-452-29821-7
Story Description:
A fearless and spirited pilot conquers Hollywood. Now can she survive movie stardom?
In 1945, Velva Jean Hart is a bona fide war heroine. After a newsreel films her triumphant return to America, Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer promises to make her a star. They give her a new life story and a brand new name. As "Kit Rogers," she navigates the movie sets, recording sessions, parties, staged romances, and occasional backstabbing that accompany her newfound fame. She also navigates real-life romance, finding herself caught between a charismatic young writer and a sexy and enigmatic musician from her past. But when one of her best friends dies mysteriously and the most powerful studio in the world launches a cover-up, Velva Jean goes in search of the truth - risking her own life, as well as her heart, in the process.
Set during Hollywood's Golden Age and peopled with a cast of unforgettable characters, American Blonde will mesmerize readers of The Chaperone as well as fans of the Velva Jean series.
My Review:
Velva Jean Hart was considered a war hero in 1945 when she returned to American and was caught on the newsreels that very day.
Once home in her mountain cabin, a man from MGM shows up asking her if she'd like to enter into a movie contract. Velva Jean has always been a singer and nothing pleased her more than belting out a song. One of the big draws at MGM was singing lessons so Velva Jean jubilantly takes up his offer and off she goes to Hollywood.
Hollywood didn't think Velva Jean Hart was a very fitting actresses name and thus changed it to Kit Rogers. When Hollywood gets wind of the fact that Velva Jean was a WASP and war heroine who saved her own brother from the enemies and that she herself had suffered harsh treatment, the newsreels never stopped rolling which catapulted her to stardom in the eys of the American people.
Kit's first role as an actress is portraying a woman named Betsy Ross in a war movie that MGM hopes will become a box office hit slamming their profit up into the millions. As part of her contract with MGM, Kit receives singing lessons and acting lessons and meets everyone from stage hands to script writers to directors to fellow actors and actresses. One actress she becomes deeply friendly with is Mudge, a.k.a. Barbara Fanning.
One night at party her best friend, Barbara turns up dead! Although MGM doesn't want their name tarnished and try to clear up some details about the death they don't want the police to know, Kit is not going to allow that to happen. Kit knows she will lose everything she has worked for if she continues snooping around trying to get to the truth but she doesn't care. Barbara was too good a friend to have died in a supposed lie and Kit is just not going to allow that to happen. Although she is trhreatned, underwent suspicious accidents and other dangerous things, her own honesty and commitment to her friend, Velva Jean is stronger. She will soon find out just how tough she really is when she is pushed too far.
American Blonde was fast-paced and one of those books where you keep telling yourself "just one more chapter" before stopping for the day. I couldn't put the book down and one night I even got back out of bed to return to my reading room as I had been at an integral part of the story when I stopped for the night that I couldn't sleep for thinking about it.
There is no doubt whatsoever in my mind that American Blonde is yet another hit and bestseller for Ms. Niven. Way to go!

Little Mercies
Little Mercies
Price: CDN$ 9.99

6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Spellbinding!!, July 5 2014
This review is from: Little Mercies (Kindle Edition)
MY REVIEW:
Harlequin|June 24, 2014|Trade Paperback|ISBN: 978-0-7783-1633-6
Ellen Moore, a seasoned social worker has seen the best and the worst in what one human being can do to another. She has seen things people should never see in their lives but this is her daily reality. Dealing with dysfunctional families, drug addicted parents who beat or neglect their children, alcoholics who leave their children unsupervised and a whole host of other horrible scenarios. The decision to remove a child(ren) from their family home is never an easy one but she takes her job seriously and does what needs to be done. Ellen is lucky as she has the support of her family.
Ellen's husband, Adam is madly in love with his wife and supports her in her work and all her decisions. After a long hard day at work, Ellen looks forward to coming home and holding and hugging her own three children: Lucas, Leah, and Avery.
One particularly busy morning and late for an important meeting, Ellen is rushing around the house trying to get dressed and out the door within five minutes. Being late for this meeting will not be seen in a favourable light as far as her boss is concerned. Finally ready, Ellen dashes out the door and hops into her van and takes off. While on her way, she receives a call about a family in distress and makes a detour to the home to see what assistance she can be and to perform the very job she is hired to do as a social worker. The temperature is stiffling hot and humid and she feels like a washed-out dish rag.
As Ellen is watching the first body bag being carried out of the home, she hears some commotion and breaking glass down the street. When she turns to look down she realizes that people are breaking into her van in broad daylight. Using crowbars and other tools they are smashing the windows out of her van. Ellen takes off on foot and just as she arrives at her vehicle she sees baby Avery, her own child, unconscious, being dragged out of her car and layed on the ground. She'd been locked up in a hot van in the sweltering heat for a goodly amount of time and Ellen wasn't even aware that Avery was in the vehicle with her that morning. She certainly didn't put her in and she didn't notice her in the vehicle as she drove because Avery still sat in a rear-facing car seat.
A neighbour, whom Ellen had had dealings with before through her job began performing CPR while someone called 911. Thus began a nightmare that Ellen wasn't prepared for.
Meanwhile, ten-year-old, Jenny Briard has been living with her father who was well meaning but often irresponsible. Not being able to keep a job nor provide an ongoing home for Jenny to live in but he was good to her. One evening Jenny finds herself totally alone and is forced to live on nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen's and Jenny's world's collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another.
While Ellen is charged for leaving Avery in the sweltering car, Jenny is trying to get back to her father. Each of them is living with a great deal of stress and there are some very tense moments in the story.
LITTLE MERCIES is a poignant, powerful, and emotionally charged novel about motherhood and justice. I couldn't put this book down and read it in one sitting, it was just too good to stop for any reason. I even passed up the opportunity to stop for a cup of tea which is something I would never normally do.
Heather Gudenkauf has written a truly spellbinding story that will hold your attention from the first page to the very last.

A Long Way Home
A Long Way Home
by Saroo Brierley
Edition: Hardcover
Price: CDN$ 30.00
5 used & new from CDN$ 12.89

1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars MUST BE READ IN ON SITTING...FANTASTIC!!, July 3 2014
This review is from: A Long Way Home (Hardcover)
MY REVIEW:
Penguin Group Canada|June 17, 2014|Hardcover|ISBN: 978-0-670-06820-3
Five-year-old, Saroo wanted to be with his big brother and decided to tag along to his job working the trains one day foraging for food and selling the toothpaste packs he had. Getting tired, Saroo sat down on a bench to wait for his brother to come back from somewhere but became restless and hopped on a train sitting in front of him on the tracks. Next thing you know he falls alseep and the train is moving! Saroo gets lost and remains lost for the next twenty-five years!
After being placed with a couple of orphanages, Saroo was finally adopted by the Brierley family who lived in Hobart, Australia. He had a wonderful life with the Brierley family and bonded wtih them quickly. They shared many fun times over the years but, Saroo felt he was still missing something and made the decision to try and find his birthmother in India.
Using 'Google Earth' of all things, Saroo spent many, many months searching through Google Earth using the "B" name of the town he could remember living by. Finally recognizing something he thought looked familiar, he got on Facebook where he'd met a guy who was supplying him with information and he was able to confirm the place, Saroo had found what he thought was his hometown.
Soon, Saroo was on a plane flying off to India to reunite with the mother whom he hadn't seen in twenty-five years. This was a beautifully written memoir and I read it one sitting. It's impossible not to read this book in one sitting, you just have to keep turning the pages, the story just flows so well and is so interesting. Well-done, Saroo and congratulations on finding your family, may you enjoy many happy years together.

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