Wednesday, July 15, 2020

The Swap By Robyn Harding

Low Morrison is not your average teen. You could blame her hippie parents or her looming height or her dreary, isolated hometown on an island in the Pacific Northwest. But whatever the reason, Low just doesn’t fit in—and neither does Freya, an ethereal beauty and once-famous social media influencer who now owns the local pottery studio.

After signing up for a class, Low quickly falls under Freya’s spell. And Freya, buoyed by Low’s adoration, is compelled to share her darkest secrets and deepest desires. Finally, both feel a sense of belonging...that is, until Jamie walks through the studio door. Desperate for a baby, she and her husband have moved to the island hoping that the healthy environment will result in a pregnancy. Freya and Jamie become fast friends, as do their husbands, leaving Low alone once again.

Then one night, after a boozy dinner party, Freya suggests swapping partners. It should have been a harmless fling between consenting adults, one night of debauchery that they would put behind them, but instead, it upends their lives. And provides Low the perfect opportunity to unleash her growing resentment.

Robyn Harding brings her acclaimed storytelling, lauded as “fast-paced, thrilling, gut-wrenching” by Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six, to this dark and suspenseful thriller for fans of Megan Miranda and Lisa Jewell.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Swap-Robyn-Harding/dp/198214176X/ref=sr_1_1?crid=X8FCX7DITY8W&dchild=1&keywords=the+swap+robyn+harding&qid=1594407489&sprefix=The+Swap%2Caps%2C163&sr=8-1

I am the internationally bestselling author of The ArrangementHer Pretty Face. and The Party which was a finalist for the Arthur Ellis Award for best crime novel. I have also written four novels of contemporary women’s fiction, a young adult novel, and a comedic memoir with an environmental focus. I am the screenwriter and executive producer of the independent film, The Steps, which premiered at TIFF and was the closing gala film at the Miami International Film Festival. I live in Vancouver, BC with my family.

My Thoughts...
I have read a few of Harding's books and I must say this one was a real treat. I could not put it down.  I would define it as scandalous, entertaining and a must read. You will not see the end coming which makes it all the better.
5 stars by this reviewer and I HIGHLY recommend it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Tuesday, July 14, 2020

An Appalachian Summer By Ann Gabhart

In 1933 Louisville, Kentucky, even the ongoing economic depression cannot keep Piper Danson's parents from insisting on a debut party. After all, their fortune came through the market crash intact, and they've picked out the perfect suitor for their daughter. Braxton Crandall can give her the kind of life she's used to. The only problem? This is not the man--or the life--she really wants.

When Piper gets the opportunity to volunteer as a horseback Frontier Nursing courier in the Appalachian Mountains for the summer, she jumps at the chance to be something other than a dutiful daughter or a kept wife in a loveless marriage. The work is taxing, the scenery jaw-droppingly gorgeous, and the people she meets along the way open up a whole new world to her. The longer she stays, the more an advantageous marriage slips from her grasp. But something much more precious--true love--is drawing ever closer.

Bestselling author Ann H. Gabhart invites you into the storied hills of Eastern Kentucky to discover what happens when one intrepid young woman steps away from the restrictive past into a beautiful, wide-open future.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Appalachian-Summer-Ann-H-Gabhart/dp/0800729285/ref=sr_1_1?crid=1WWKEFKHGR03&dchild=1&keywords=an+appalachian+summer+gabhart&qid=1594412457&s=books&sprefix=An+App%2Cstripbooks%2C160&sr=1-1

Ann H. Gabhart caught the writing bug at the age of ten and has been writing ever since. An award winning author, she's published many books for both adults and young adults. Her books cover several genres from historical to small town family stories to cozy mysteries (mysteries published with author name A.H. Gabhart). Her ideas are sparked by events in Kentucky history and by experiences in her own family. Her first Shaker novel, The Outsider, was a finalist for the ECPA Christian Fiction Book of the Year. Love Comes Home won the Selah Book of the Year award, and These Healing Hills was the Faith, Hope & Love Readers' Choice Women's Fiction Book of the Year.

Ann lives on a Kentucky farm not far from where she was born. She and her husband have three children and nine grandchildren. Ann enjoys hiking on her farm with her grandkids and her dogs, Frankie and Marley. See more about her books at www.annhgabhart.com or join the conversation on her Facebook page, www.facebook.com/anngabhart.

My Thoughts...
I have read Gabharts books for years her shaker series is the best. But being from the mountains of West Virginia and Kentucky. I devoured this book. I loved every word.
Having a sister in law that is a nurse made this read even better.
I will say this if you have not read a book by Gabhart this is the book to start with. You will fall in love with her writing style and southern charm she writes about.
I gave this book 4 stars and I recommend it.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Monday, July 13, 2020

Under Scottish Stars By Carla Laureano

Recently widowed Serena MacDonald Stewart focuses on her children to the exclusion of her career, her art, and her sanity. When her brothers ask her to oversee the family guest house on the Isle of Skye, it’s a chance to dust off her long-ignored business skills and make a new start. But her hopes for a smooth transition are dashed when the hotel manager, Malcolm Blake, turns out to be irritating, condescending . . . and incredibly attractive.

Malcolm Blake gave up everything―his home, his girlfriend, and his career―to return to Skye and raise his late sister’s teenage daughter. With few job opportunities available on the island, he signs on as the manager of the MacDonald family hotel, which he’s soon running successfully without interference from the owners. That is, until Serena shows up, challenging his authority and his conviction that there’s nothing missing from his new life on Skye.

Before long, Serena and Malcolm have to admit the spark between them is more than mere irritation. But as single parents, there’s more on the line than their own hearts. Will their commitment to family be the thing that draws them together or the only thing that could keep them apart?

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Under-Scottish-MacDonald-Family-Trilogy/dp/1496426290/ref=tmm_pap_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1594408594&sr=1-1

Carla Laureano is the RITA® Award-winning author of contemporary inspirational romance and Celtic fantasy (as C.E. Laureano). A graduate of Pepperdine University, she worked as a sales and marketing executive for nearly a decade before leaving corporate life behind to write fiction full-time. She currently lives in Denver with her husband and two sons, where she writes during the day and cooks things at night.

Connect with Carla online at her website (www.carlalaureano.com) or on any of these social media platforms:

Facebook.com/CarlaLaureanoAuthor
Twitter.com/carlalaureano
Instagram.com/carlalaureanoauthor
Pinterest.com/laureano_carla

My Thoughts...
I was so sad to start this final book in The MacDonald Family. I have really enjoyed this series so much. I hated to see it come to an end. If you love contemporary romances this series is for you, This book can be read as a stand alone but why would you miss the whole series.
5 stars and I highly recommend this series.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Friday, July 10, 2020

From Double- Minded to Destiny By Tyrelle Smith

Do you battle with doubts, unbelief, and confusion? Do fear and hesitancy inhibit your steps of faith? Do you feel tossed to and fro or struggle to make decisions and then keep them? Do your thoughts race like a hamster on a wheel but leave you exhausted and no further ahead? These are symptoms of double-mindedness and you are not alone. All Christians wrestle with times of double-mindedness, but God has a roadmap; a how-to guide for standing firm in your faith with an undivided heart and singleness of mind. Through each chapter, you will engage keys for your journey that will enable you to know His unfailing love and character, remove doubt and wavering in decision making and cut off the second head of double-mindedness. You will learn to confidently use your undefeatable spiritual weapons and fight from victory to win the battle for your faith and follow God’s promptings with new confidence and singleness of mind. Stop struggling and start stepping into your God-given destiny today.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Double-Minded-Destiny-stand-undivided-singleness/dp/1999225104/ref=sr_1_1?dchild=1&keywords=From+Double+minded+to+Destiny&qid=1593817226&sr=8-1

Tyrelle Smith is a fired up evangelist with a teaching and prophetic edge. She lights churches, communities, and regions on fire with the soul-saving, signs-following gospel of Jesus Christ. She preaches to the unsaved and teaches and equips the church. Tyrelle has taught and ministered internationally and co-leads Gospel Fire for All Nations with her husband Bill Smith.

Her book From Double-Minded to Destiny has been endorsed by Evangelist Daniel Kolenda, President of Christ for All Nations, Jeri Hill, President of Together in the Harvest Ministries and wife of Evangelist Steve Hill, a couple foundational to the Brownsville Revival, and Dr. Mark Virkler President of Communion with God Ministries.

After serving as the Outreach Director for Hope Restored Canada, Tyrelle also founded TraffickJam and its School of Freedom: a live online, anti-sex traffick school that trains abolitionists, professionals, and everyday people for justice missions, complete with international field practicum. Destiny Rescue, Rapha House, and Why Not Now Ministries have endorsed TraffickJam after receiving upskilling and encouragement by Tyrelle Smith and her teams. She has also spoken at Bible schools and Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women’s events, educating attendees on sex trafficking and sharing the gospel of Jesus Christ.

Tyrelle and Bill have been happily married for 23 years and have 3 sons. Both are graduates of Christ for All Nations School of Evangelism and have traveled with the ministry and Daniel Kolenda to learn and experience the power of the Gospel of Jesus Christ to crowds in the hundreds of thousands, see tens of thousands of salvations with follow up by the local church, with Jesus doing innumerable miraculous healings, filling the crusade field with praise and the presence of the Lord. The culture of honor for the local church and the saving power of the Lord Jesus Christ has forever been branded into the heart of Tyrelle Smith, even as she ministers under the fire of the Holy Spirit.

My Thoughts...
Looking for a great message. You might want to stop looking and grab this book. Dive into it and chew this meat slowly. It was a good message that you  will want to share with everyone.
I hope that you will grab a copy and please be sure to let me know what your thoughts are.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Thursday, July 9, 2020

Always the Last to Know By Kristan Higgins

The Frosts are a typical American family. Barb and John, married almost fifty years, are testy and bored with each other...who could blame them after all this time? At least they have their daughters-- Barb's favorite, the perfect, brilliant Juliet; and John's darling, the free-spirited Sadie. The girls themselves couldn't be more different, but at least they got along, more or less. It was fine. It was enough.

Until the day John had a stroke, and their house of cards came tumbling down.

Now Sadie has to put her career as a teacher and struggling artist in New York on hold to come back and care for her beloved dad--and face the love of her life, whose heart she broke, and who broke hers. Now Juliet has to wonder if people will notice that despite her perfect career as a successful architect, her perfect marriage to a charming Brit, and her two perfect daughters, she's spending an increasing amount of time in the closet having panic attacks.

And now Barb and John will finally have to face what's been going on in their marriage all along.

From the author of Good Luck with That and Life and Other Inconveniences comes a new novel of heartbreaking truths and hilarious honesty about what family really means.

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Always-Last-Know-Kristan-Higgins/dp/0451489454/ref=sr_1_1?crid=53YK1FUAMFQ6&dchild=1&keywords=always+the+last+to+know+kristan+higgins&qid=1591370510&sprefix=Always+the+last+to+know%2Caps%2C149&sr=8-1


Kristan Higgins is the New York Times, USA TODAY, Wall Street Journal and Publishers Weekly bestselling author of 19 novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and sold millions of copies worldwide. Her books have received dozens of awards and accolades, including starred reviews from Kirkus, The New York Journal of Books, Publishers Weekly, Library Journal , People and Booklist. If you want to keep up with Kristan's new releases and get a free short story, sign up for her mailing list at www.kristanhiggins.com.

Her books regularly appear on the lists for best novels of the year. Kristan is also a cohost of the Crappy Friends podcast, which discusses the often complex dynamics of female friendships, with her friend and fellow writer, Joss Dey.

The proud descendant of a butcher and a laundress, Kristan lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband. They own several badly behaved pets and are often visited by their entertaining and long-lashed children.

My Thoughts...
I loved Good Luck With That. I have read several other of Higgins books and none have compared to  Good Luck With That. Always the last to know seemed to drag on it was slow going. I had to push through to the end to find out about Noah and Sadie.
I gave this book 3 stars. The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Wednesday, July 8, 2020

The Wife Who Knew Too Much By Michele Campbell

From Michele Campbell, the bestselling author of It's Always the Husband comes a new blockbuster thriller in The Wife Who Knew Too Much.

Meet the first Mrs. Ford
Beautiful. Accomplished.
Wealthy beyond imagination.
Married to a much younger man.
And now, she’s dead.

Meet the second Mrs. Ford.
Waitress. Small-town girl.
Married to a man she never forgot,
From a summer romance ten years before.
And now, she’s wealthy beyond imagination.

Who is Connor Ford?
Two women loved him. And knew him as only wives can know.
Set amongst the glittering mansions of the Hamptons,
The Wife Who Knew Too Much is a decadent summer thriller about the lives of those who will do anything for love and money. Who is the victim? Who is the villain? And who will be next to die?

Pick up your copy here...
https://www.amazon.com/Wife-Who-Knew-Too-Much/dp/1250202558/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1593805268&sr=8-1

Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases.

A while back, she said goodbye to her big-city legal career and moved with her husband and two children to an idyllic New England college town a lot like Belle River in IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND. Since then, she has spent her time teaching criminal and constitutional law and writing novels.

She has had many close female friends, a few frenemies, and only one husband, who – to the best of her knowledge – has never tried to kill her.

My Thoughts...

Sometimes you read a thriller and you know what is going to happen before it happens. Then you sometimes you read a thriller that knocks your socks off. You never see what's in front of you. The Wife  Who Know To Much was one of those. I was so surprised by the ending. I did not see it coming. I was wrong the whole time.
I gave this book 4 stars and I can't recommend it enough.
The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.

Tuesday, July 7, 2020

A Happy Catastrophe By Maddie Dawson

From the bestselling author of Matchmaking for Beginners comes a novel about love, loss, and the beautiful mess of family.
Marnie MacGraw and Patrick Delaney have been in love for a few years now, enough to realize that they are imperfectly perfect together. Still, there are some things that maybe need a little attention. Marnie’s ebullient; he’s brooding. She thrives on change; he prefers stability. She sees marriage and parenthood in their future, but he can’t see beyond the shadow of an earlier tragedy.
Then an eight-year-old surprise from Patrick’s past shows up on their doorstep, cartwheeling into their lives and spinning things in all directions. While it’s not exactly the change she envisioned, it looks like instant family to Marnie. But Patrick, afraid of being hurt again, retreats further into himself. Suddenly, two very different pieces of a beautiful puzzle find it harder and harder to fit. How can Marnie trust in the magic of the universe when it seems to be doing its best to knock her off her feet?
But some love stories are worth waiting for. And what’s love without a little chaos anyway?

Pick up your copy here...



I grew up in the South, born into a family of outrageous storytellers—the kind of storytellers who would sit on the dock by the lake in the evening and claim that everything they say is THE absolute truth, like, stack-of-Bibles true. The more outlandish the story, the more it likely it was to be true. Or so they said.

You want examples? There was the story of my great great aunt who shot her husband dead, thinking he was a burglar; the alligator that almost ate Uncle Jake while he was waterskiing; the gay cousin who took his aunt to the prom, disguised in a bouffant French wig. (The aunt, not the cousin.) And then there was my mama, a blond-haired siren who, when I was seven, drove a married man so insane that he actually stole an Air Force plane one day and buzzed our house. (I think there might have been a court-martial ending to that story.)

And in between all these stories of crazy, over-the-top events, there was the hum of just daily, routine crazy: shotgun weddings, drunken funerals, stories of people’s affairs and love lives, their job losses, the things that made them laugh, the way they’d drink Jack Daniels and get drunk and foretell the future. There were ghosts and miracles and dead people coming back to life. You know, everyday stuff.

How could I turn into anything else but a writer? My various careers as a substitute English teacher, department store clerk, medical records typist, waitress, cat-sitter, wedding invitation company receptionist, nanny, daycare worker, electrocardiogram technician, and Taco Bell taco-maker were only bearable if I could think up stories as I worked. In fact, the best job I ever had was a part-time gig typing up case notes for a psychiatrist. Everything the man dictated bloomed as a possible novel in my head.

Still, I was born with an appreciation for food and shelter, and it didn’t take me long to realize that coupling a minor in journalism to my English degree might be a wise move, even though I had never for one moment felt that passion for news that my newspaper colleagues claimed beat in their breasts. I am famous for raising my hand in Journalism 101 and saying, incredulously, to the professor, “You don’t mean to tell me that every single detail in the story has to be true? Every one? Really?”

Learning to write only truth was a tough discipline, and as soon as I could, I left the world of house fires and political scandals and planning and zoning commission meetings and escaped into a world of column-writing, and then, magazine writing. (Way, way better to be assigned to think of 99 ways of getting him to declare his love, than to have to write about the bond proposal for the sewer lines.) But all along the way, in between deadlines and raising three children and driving them to their sports games and tucking them in at night and doing the laundry and telling them stories, I was really writing a novel about marriage and relationships and the way regret has of just showing up alongside your life, just when you think things are as rosy as they could be.

Today I live in Connecticut, and spend part of every day on my screened-in back porch with my trusty laptop, writing and writing and writing, looking out at the willow tree and the rosebush and the rhododendron that has a nice nest of cardinals, who I imagine to be yelling at me to get back to work whenever I wait too long to write the next sentence.

The lakehouse is gone now, and many of my more outrageous story-telling relatives are telling stories to the angels now. But even though I’m far from home, and far from the stories that nourished me in the beginning, I can still hear their voices on the breeze, still recall the buzz of the Air Force jet that had come to take my mother away until my father stepped in and said: “No. No. She’s mine.”

Wait. Is that what he said? Or was he not home that day? You know, now that I think of it, it might have been just my mother and me at home just then, running outside in our excitement, my mother’s cheeks burning red, her eyes frightened and dancing, as the wings dipped and did a little salute to her and to love and to unrequited passion…and probably to hope that she would leave my father and run away. I do remember being scared and exhilarated both, seeing that my mother had this power and this whole other life besides the one I spent with her.

And I remember the wide Florida sky and the heavy, humid air and the loudness drowning out everything but the thought that we never ever know what’s going to happen. And knowing, even at seven, that that was probably a good thing.

Keeps it interesting, you know.

My Thoughts...

I did not read the first book in this sweet series. But I would say this can be read as a stand alone. I will go back and read the first book now. I really hope that everyone reads this series.
You are going to be pleasantly surprised by this one.
I gave this book 4 stars.
 The Mary Reader received this book from the publisher for review. A favorable review was not required and all views expressed are our own.