REVIEW: THE BEACH CLUB, BY ELIN HILDERBRAND

Mack Petersen, manager of the hotel, has been working at The Beach Club for 12 summers. Only this summer is different. His boss, the owner of the hotel, Bill Elliot, shows up in the spring with a new set of demands. His girlfriend Maribel is pressing Mack to get married and Vance, the African-American bellman, who has hated Mack since the day Mack stole his job 12 years ago, threatens him in a deadly scene. Mack knows something’s got to give.

Love O’Donnell, the new front desk person straight from the slopes of Aspen, is desperately searching for a stranger to father her child. The bellman, Jem Crandall, who posed as Mr. November in his college calendar, is on his way to LA to break into agenting, until he falls in love with Maribel. Emotions are at a peak when a hurricane threatens to wash away The Beach Club and all it stands for.

An engrossing, sexy novel that will sweep you away to the beach any time of the year.

 

an interior journey thoughts

The Beach Club brings a full cast of characters to the hotel, spotlighting the staff and the guests. Mack kept my interest up as he navigated his position while trying to decide whether or not to marry his girlfriend of twelve years. Maribel had one goal in mind: to marry her live-in lover. But would it ever happen?

Other contenders for the role of husband were other staff members, especially young Jem Crandall who is eager to step up.

Meanwhile, Love was in search of a man to impregnate her. Someone who wouldn’t want to stand in as the father…just the “sperm donor.”

Would the competitive staff at the hotel keep everyone on their toes? Would a hurricane change the dynamic as they each struggled to achieve their desires?

By the end, there were happy moments and unexpected ones that kept me turning the pages. 4.5 stars.

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WEEKLY UPDATES: HAPPY DAYS…

 

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post for weekly updates.

Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

This week I read and reviewed two books…and I’m halfway through my current read.  I did write seven blog posts.  I watched a few more old movies and started viewing Dopesick on Hulu.  I recorded an episode of Stephen Colbert (I have a DVR now!), and he interviewed Andie MacDowell.  She talked about the Netflix production Maid, in which she stars with her daughter, among others.

I spent time searching Amazon for things I need…and something I’ve been obsessing over!  A doll that I “lost” in the move two years ago…and is now, hopefully, headed my way.

Now, looking back, I wonder what else I did that I forgot about, as the week slid by so quickly!

For now let’s take a closer look at my week.  My birthday is Monday, and my daughter has arranged a get-together of family and friends.

Tuesday Excerpts:  “All the Colors of Night”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Adding Books to the Shelves…

WWW Reading…

Hump Day Potpourri:  Doll Quest…

Another Backlog Book…

Chasing Away the Blues…

Bookish Friday:  “The Dutch House”

Review:  Last Girl Ghosted, by Lisa Unger

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Review:  All the Colors of Night, by Jayne Ann Krentz

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Crossroads, by Jonathan Franzen

I Know You, by Claire McGowan

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CURRENTLY READING:

I pulled this book off my unread TBR shelf…and I’m halfway finished: Mrs. Saint and the Defectives, by Julie Lawson Timmer.

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That was my week. Buying myself birthday presents and waiting for packages in the mail, LOL. What did yours look like? I’m sharing my special October tidbits from the apartment where I lived two years ago. Centerpiece: the doll that is headed my way again!

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WEEKLY UPDATES: CHANGES…

 

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post for weekly updates.

Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

I only read and reviewed one book this week!  But I loved it, and my six blog posts showed a little bit of my blogging life.  I got my flu shot this week; on Friday, I got my hair styled by Heather…and we had lunch afterwards!

I viewed some old movies:  I found an old favorite, When a Man Loves a Woman, with Meg Ryan and Andy Garcia.  I also continued watching Big Sky, on Hulu.

Now, looking back, I wonder what else I did that I forgot about, as the week slid by so quickly!

For now let’s take a closer look at my week.  Below, my new hair with a glimmer of purple that I haven’t had since before the Pandemic!

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Tuesday Excerpts:  “The Last Night in London”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Bookish Treasures…

WWW Reading…

From the Backlog…

Coffee Chat:  Loving My Routines…

Bookish Friday:  “Last Girl Ghosted”

Review:  The Last Night in London, by Karen White

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INCOMING BOOKS:  State of Terror, by Hillary Rodham Clinton and Louise Penny

From the #1 bestselling authors Hillary Clinton and Louise Penny comes a novel of unsurpassed thrills and incomparable insider expertise—State of Terror.

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CURRENTLY READING:

Last Girl Ghosted, by Lisa Unger

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That was my week. What did yours look like? Below, a coffee morning.

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REVIEW: THE LAST NIGHT IN LONDON, BY KAREN WHITE

London, 1939. Beautiful and ambitious Eva Harlow and her American best friend, Precious Dubose, are trying to make their way as fashion models. When Eva falls in love with Graham St. John, an aristocrat and Royal Air Force pilot, she can’t believe her luck—she’s getting everything she ever wanted. Then the Blitz devastates her world, and Eva finds herself slipping into a web of intrigue, spies, and secrets. As Eva struggles to protect her friendship with Precious and everything she holds dear, all it takes is one unwary moment to change their lives forever…

London, 2019. American journalist Maddie Warner, whose life has been marked by the tragic loss of her mother, travels to London to interview Precious about her life in pre-WWII London. Maddie has been careful to close herself off to others, but in Precious she recognizes someone whose grief rivals her own—but unlike Maddie, Precious hasn’t allowed it to crush her. Maddie finds herself drawn to both Precious and to Colin, her enigmatic surrogate nephew. As Maddie gets closer to her, she begins to unravel Precious’s haunting past—a story of friendship, betrayal, and the unremembered acts of kindness and of love.

 

an interior journey thoughts

A story that sweeps between the past and the present, showing the lives of two young women searching for love and careers, The Last Night in London kept me eagerly turning the pages. Along the way, I wondered what had happened during those wartime years to those that seemed to be missing…or dead.

As journalist Maddie Warner delves into the stories told through letters and through the voice of Precious Dubose, she also fills in details discovered in photos and through the clothes the two young women wore during the early 1940s.

What we also learn along the way is how secrets, reinvention, and frightening wartime intrigue kept one young woman hiding the truth of who she was and the various incarnations she created to protect those she loved.

By the end, we learn the whole story and what had become of those who were lost along the way. A five star read.

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COFFEE CHAT: LOVING MY ROUTINES…

  • Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing

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  • This morning was one for hair washing, laundry, and ordinary routines.  Another day that reminds me that I am so grateful for a great new apartment, complete with a washer and dryer.

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  • Tomorrow I have an appointment with my daughter for hair styling!  Finally!  An early birthday present.
  • I am still reading The Last Night in London, by Karen White…and I’m almost finished.  Loving it!
  • I have ordered another Nicci French book, one that will add to my collection of the Frieda Klein novels:  Tuesday’s Gone.
  • I already have Blue Monday.
  • I once had the whole series, but you know what happened…I was moved to that “prison” for two years.  LOL.  Now I will try to add to the series, one book at a time.
  • For those following this journey, I am also bringing the Coca Cola series back, too!

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Here is the shelf where I will be adding the Nicci French books:

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What does your week look like? I got my flu shot on Monday!

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WEEKLY UPDATES: BOOKS, ETC.

 

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post for weekly updates.

Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

A great week with three books read and reviewed, and they were all good ones!  My six blog posts showed a little bit of my blogging life this week.  I also enjoyed some outings and luxuriated in my space with additional Coca Cola trivia (see below).  On Monday, I am finally going to get my flu shot.  Yes, it was scheduled for this week, but then cancelled.  I guess that is something we can expect these days.

I viewed some old movies this week:  I found an old favorite, Write and Wrong, with Kirstie Alley, on Roku.  I also continued watching Big Sky, on Hulu and American Rust on Amazon Prime.

My new Kindle is serving me well, as I can go back and forth between them.  I must admit that I’m still adjusting to the page turning aspects of the Paperwhite…but I’ll get there.

For now let’s take a closer look at my week.

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Tuesday Excerpts:  “The Stranger Behind You”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Books!

WWW Reading…

Another Rediscovered Book…

Coffee Chat:  Savoring Books & Decor…

Bookish Friday:  “Always the Last to Know”

Review:  The Stranger Behind You, by Carol Goodman

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Review:  Peril, by Bob Woodward & Robert Costa

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Review:  Always the Last to Know, by Kristan Higgins

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INCOMING BOOKS:

Last Girl Ghosted, by Lisa Unger

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CURRENTLY READING:

Elevator Pitch, by Linwood Barclay

The New York Times bestselling author of A Noise Downstairs and No Time for Goodbye returns with an edge-of-your-seat thriller that does for elevators what Psycho did for showers and Jaws did for the beach—a heart-pounding tale in which a series of disasters paralyzes New York City with fear.

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That was my week.  What did yours look like?  I enjoyed reading, decorating, and a little bit of cooking!  My Instacart app regularly brings goodies to my kitchen.  Below, a little snack with wine.

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COFFEE CHAT: SAVORING BOOKS & DECOR…

  • Good morning!  Let’s gather around with our caffeinated beverages to chat about our weeks, our books, and our perspectives.  Join our host at Bookishly Boisterous to see what others are sharing
  • What a week!  I’ve been reading some good books, and finished The Stranger Behind You, by Carole Goodman and Peril, by Bob Woodward and Robert Costa.
  • Then I started reading Always the Last to Know, by Kristan Higgins. I have had this one on my Kindle since June 2020!  So far, I’m loving it.
  • Before I sat down to read, though, I made some potato salad for lunch…and changed up the dining room to add a Coca Cola tablecloth to my drop-leaf table parked against the wall; this addition touches on the theme of the little vintage Coca Cola dining set.
  • Now…am I done with the decor?  Well, time will tell.
  • On Monday, I had lunch at Mimi’s with an old friend and former colleague who lives and works in Northern California.  She has taken off from the job for a month to visit friends in the state, and will head on over to Colorado to catch up with family there.

mimi's

  • I was scheduled to get my flu shot yesterday, but then Kaiser called to cancel and rescheduled me for Monday.  Sigh.
  • Below is a photo of the last time I made potato salad…and the drop leaf table was then in the middle of the room…prior to the recent additions.

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What does your week look like so far? Enjoy…and take care.

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REVIEW: PERIL, BY BOB WOODWARD & ROBERT COSTA

The transition from President Donald J. Trump to President Joseph R. Biden Jr. stands as one of the most dangerous periods in American history. But as # 1 internationally bestselling author Bob Woodward and acclaimed reporter Robert Costa reveal for the first time, it was far more than just a domestic political crisis. Woodward and Costa interviewed more than 200 people at the center of the turmoil, resulting in more than 6,000 pages of transcripts—and a spellbinding and definitive portrait of a nation on the brink. This classic study of Washington takes readers deep inside the Trump White House, the Biden White House, the 2020 campaign, and the Pentagon and Congress, with vivid, eyewitness accounts of what really happened.  It is supplemented throughout with never-before-seen material from secret orders, transcripts of confidential calls, diaries, emails, meeting notes and other personal and government records, making for an unparalleled history. It is also the first inside look at Biden’s presidency as he faces the challenges of a lifetime: the continuing deadly pandemic and millions of Americans facing soul-crushing economic pain, all the while navigating a bitter and disabling partisan divide, a world rife with threats, and the hovering, dark shadow of the former president. “We have much to do in this winter of peril,” Biden declared at his inauguration, an event marked by a nerve-wracking security alert and the threat of domestic terrorism. It is the extraordinary story of the end of one presidency and the beginning of another, and represents the culmination of Bob Woodward’s news-making trilogy on the Trump presidency, along with the beginning of a collaboration with fellow reporter Robert Costa that will remind readers of Woodward’s coverage, with Carl Bernstein, of President Richard M. Nixon’s final days.

an interior journey thoughts

As I dipped into the pages of Peril, I was eager to read more from Woodward in this collaboration with Costa.  But had we already seen more than enough of Trump World?

Instead of sinking into boredom, however, I enjoyed the short chapters and the anecdotal style that reflected numerous interviews that filled out a picture of not only Trump and his rages but the very human side of Biden, too.

I liked reading how he loved living in the Vice Presidential residence during his eight years serving with Obama…a home up a hill that was comfortable, more akin to his own home in Delaware.  We also saw him during some of his frustrations, giving us a glimpse of his human side.

These forays into the Biden presidency in its early months helped me feel a sense of optimism about the future despite the ongoing peril we all must accept and face, too.

What will become of our democracy, now that we have teetered on the edge of its destruction?  Will we rebuild and go on, like we did after the Nixon years?  Or is it too late?

A book that kept me turning pages, going back and forth between my two Kindles, until I reached the end.  5 stars.#2021ReadNonFic

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WEEKLY UPDATES: MORE GOOD THINGS…

 

Good morning! Today’s post will link up to The Sunday Salon and The Sunday Post for weekly updates.

Mailbox Monday is hosted at the home site: Mailbox Monday.

And let’s join Kathryn, our leader in It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?, at Book Date.

Another week with only two books read and reviewed.  But again, they were great!  How long can I keep reading 5 star books?  My blogging suffered, though, with only five posts. 

I viewed some old movies this week, and also started watching Maid, on Netflix.

No outings this week, but my youngest son and his wife are in town, and I’ve been having great visits.  I also hope to enjoy some birthday events, since October is my month.  LOL.

Another great thing:  I bought another Kindle, a Paperwhite, and I’ve just set it up.  I’m still trying to adjust to how different it is from my Oasis.

For now let’s take a closer look at my week.

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Tuesday Excerpts:  “The Night She Disappeared”

Tuesday Potpourri:  Filling the Shelves…

Searching the Backlog…

Monthly Wrap-Up:  Hello, October!

Bookish Friday:  “Brave Girl, Quiet Girl”

Review:  Apples Never Fall, by Liane Moriarty

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Review:  The Night She Disappeared, by Lisa Jewell

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INCOMING BOOKS:The Stranger Behind You, by Carol Goodman

A chilling story set in a former Magdalen Laundry in Manhattan that explores today’s #MeToo complexities.

“In a twisting, mesmerizing story that is as beautifully written as it is utterly propulsive,

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CURRENTLY READING:

Peril, by Bob Woodward/Robert Costa

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That was my week.  I hope to have another great one.  What did yours look like?  Here is last night’s dinner at my Coca Cola table.

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REVIEW: THE NIGHT SHE DISAPPEARED, BY LISA JEWELL

On a beautiful summer night in a charming English suburb, a young woman and her boyfriend disappear after partying at the massive country estate of a new college friend.

One year later, a writer moves into a cottage on the edge of the woods that border the same estate. Known locally as the Dark Place, the dense forest is the writer’s favorite area for long walks and it’s on one such walk that she stumbles upon a mysterious note that simply reads, “DIG HERE.”

Could this be a clue towards what has happened to the missing young couple? And what exactly is buried in this haunted ground?

 

an interior journey thoughts

From the very first page of The Night She Disappeared, I was caught up in the mysterious events, narrated from the past and the present, offering bits and pieces of information with each step forward and backward. I especially liked learning how Kim and Sophie teamed up to find clues from social media sites.

What really happened on that summer evening when Talullah and Zach went missing? Did a group of friends who partied that night know more than they were sharing?

As I kept turning the pages, I had some thoughts about what might have happened, but in the end, I found the resolution to be unexpected.

I enjoyed figuring out the characters and their behavior, and definitely had mixed feelings about some of them. I loved the conclusion, which satisfactorily brought good things for some of them. 5 stars.

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