REVIEW: UGLY LOVE, BY COLLEEN HOOVER

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Tate Collins is busy with her career as a nurse, as well as her graduate school classes. Moving in with her brother Corbin, a pilot, will be a way of saving money for a while.

On her first night there, she literally stumbles over Miles Archer, drunk, on Corbin’s doorstep. Miles lives across the hall, and is also a pilot.

From that moment on, the mutual attraction between Tate and Miles seems electric. As they begin a steamy, sexual relationship, there are some hard and fast rules. Rules that Miles has created. No talk about the past. And no hope for the future. Sex will be all that exists between them.

Almost immediately, we see that Tate is struggling with these rules, wanting more. And sometimes we sense that Miles is, too.

What is the story of Miles’s relationship with Rachel, the woman he was with six years before? What happened between them to cause him to put up barriers? Ugly Love: A Novel alternates between Tate’s story in the present and Miles’s story in the past, and we slowly come to learn why he fears love.

The setting for the the novel is San Francisco, so I was immediately drawn to it, if for no other reason. And then I found myself caught up in the push and pull between Tate and Miles, knowing that somehow they would overcome whatever made love “ugly” for Miles.

A riveting tale that will lead to adding more books from this author to my stacks. I enjoyed the writing style and the characters. The dialogue felt real and true, and I was soon rooting for Tate and Miles. Definitely 5 stars for me.

REVIEW: SOMEONE IS WATCHING, BY JOY FIELDING

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Bailey Carpenter believes that she is happy in her job as an investigator for a law firm in Miami. Surveillance is something she does well, and she especially loves testifying in court on the cases she has worked.

But one night, while watching an apartment for her target, she is attacked and raped. Her attacker was wearing a mask, and she has been unable to identify him.

Used to feeling in control, Bailey is ill equipped to deal with the aftermath, unable to leave her apartment, and most days, unable to leave her bed.

Meanwhile, after their father’s death four months before, a battle ensues between the half-siblings, as the older five, who were disinherited, file a lawsuit against Bailey and Heath.

So when her oldest half-sister, Claire, starts stopping by to lend moral support, Bailey has to wonder. Is Claire hoping to develop a sisterhood bond, or is there a hidden agenda?

Heath sinks lower and lower into a lifestyle of drugs, being no support to Bailey at all, as she deteriorates. She develops more signs of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder, feeling as if someone is stalking her, calling in the night and hanging up, and everywhere she looks, she sees men who might be her rapist.

Is Bailey really seeing and hearing the things she believes she sees and hears, or is she hallucinating? Is she imagining the phone calls in the night, or is she dreaming? A surreal sense of unreality surrounds her days and nights, as she wanders sleeplessly through her world.

Bailey and Jade, Claire’s daughter, were the most interesting characters, while Heath was annoying and entitled. And the oldest half-brother, Gene, was pompous and bitter. As Someone Is Watching: A Novel unfolded, I was surprised by the inevitable reveals, even as I knew that something more nefarious than just the rape was going on. Definitely a 4 star read.

FROM THE INTERIOR: TEDIOUS TASKS & LOVELY REWARDS

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My interior world has been mostly confined to my laptop this week.  Yes, it is Bloggiesta time, and while I have been diligently working on my blogs—mostly Curl up and Read, but also some others—I have been hustling to correct some inadvertent errors.  Yes, sadly, I deleted some image files, thinking that was a good thing, an effort to organize the media files on the blog….but the images disappeared from the posts, too.  Sigh.

Some of you may have also read my rant about how I detest the new WP posting/editing system, so I had to find my way around it by going through the old dashboard and working from the “all posts” screen. 

Can we say TEDIOUS?

 

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Then I discovered a new way.  I would deal with the new system, since I was only adding images, which did not require scrolling down on the “no scroll” posting screen. And I could go through the archives.

But first, of course, I had to go to Amazon and grab the images.

I have finished the book review images back through 2013….and I think that’s enough for now.  But will it bug me in the middle of the night, forcing me to finish the task?  I started the blog in 2009….so the thought of it makes me very tired!  After such a day, I need one of these!

 

 

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And a good book.  I am so enjoying Cathy Lamb’s What I Remember Most, but I am also eager to start the next book on my list.

 

 

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Our main character suffered a horrendous childhood…and then, just when she thought she had discovered happiness, her husband betrays her in a horrific way.  A way that threatens everything she loves.  She runs.  She changes her name.  And she finds happiness…but will it all go away?

I can’t stop reading it!

 

But next, this one awaits:

Someone Is Watching, by Joy Fielding, promises thrills…and more.

 

 

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Someone Is Watching is a gripping, fast-paced psychological thriller reminiscent of Rear Window and the works of Lisa Gardner. Fielding has crafted a flawed yet likable heroine in Bailey by allowing her to experience the varied emotions of recovery instead of pigeonholing her as a helpless victim or bloodthirsty vigilante. Not geared to the faint of heart, Fielding’s story of one woman’s search for justice, understanding, and internal peace is nothing short of arresting.”Booklist (starred review)

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The icing on my cake appeared as a download in Sparky this morning.  A book I have been craving:  Night Night, Sleep Tight, by Hallie Ephron may not have to wait until I read all the others on my list.  I cannot delay gratification very long.

 

 

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From the award-winning author of There Was an Old Woman comes a riveting tale of domestic noir, infused with old Hollywood folklore and glamour, set in a town rife with egotism and backstabbing and where fame and infamy are often interchangeable.

Los Angeles 1986: When Deirdre Unger arrived in Beverly Hills to help her bitter, disappointed father sell his dilapidated house, she discovers his lifeless body floating face down in the swimming pool. At first, Deirdre assumes her father’s death was a tragic accident. But the longer she stays in town, the more she suspects that it is merely the third act in a story that has long been in the making.

The sudden re-surfacing of Deirdre’s childhood best friend Joelen Nichol—daughter of the legendary star Elenor “Bunny” Nichol—seems like more than a coincidence. Back in 1958, Joelen confessed to killing her movie star mother’s boyfriend. Deirdre happened to be at the Nichols house the night of the murder—which was also the night she suffered a personal tragedy of her own. Could all of these events be connected?

Her search to find answers forces Deirdre to confront a truth she has long refused to believe: beneath the slick veneer of Beverly Hills lie secrets that someone will kill to keep buried.

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My reward for tedious hours of filling in image files…LOL.  Bliss!  What do you do to reward yourself for hard work?

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FROM THE INTERIOR: PURGING & RECLAIMING SPACE

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Welcome to my Interior World, a journey into my interiors…as well as a place where I share my thoughts.

Today my muscles are sore and a little achy….but that’s understandable, since yesterday—and into the night—I was on a mission.

I was tired of looking at the bookshelves in my hallway and finding them an obstacle course when I wanted to traverse the space.

What to do?  Well, purging was the first thing that came to mind…and while the books in the hallway were newer ones, I knew that one of my shelves in my bedroom had older ones.  In fact, most of those books were from the 60s. 

First I took all the books off the bedroom shelf…and lugged them to the garage.  I filled trash bags with them…and I admit that I over-filled them, hence the aching back.

But, voila!  Here are the empty shelves!

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Next….moving the books from the hallway shelves onto this one, while tossing the books to donate into trash bags…again.

Hooray!  It took the better part of the day, since it is warming up here, and I had to take numerous breaks.  Here is the finished bedroom shelf.

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And here is the now empty hallway…except for the movie shelves on the left.  They are thin and don’t impede my progress through the hallway.

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I need to stomp and squish the carpet for a while, as the obviously darker area was beneath the shelves for years!  My daughter has a trick with a credit card…and I worked it for a while.

Should I show you my garage?  Empty shelves stacked against the wall…and two large trash bags and two boxes filled with books to donate.  No…that would just make us all feel depressed.

I am still trying to figure out how I am getting everything into my car for the trip to the library.  I am visualizing mini-trips to the car…and at the library, they bring a cart to the car to be loaded.

Yes, that will work.

Here are those hallway shelves…before.  When I first started purging.

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What do your interiors tell us about you?

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REVIEW: THE FIRST WIFE, BY ERICA SPINDLER

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Bailey Browne and Logan Abbott met in the Grand Cayman Islands, and after a whirlwind romance, returned to Wholesome, Louisiana, to the Abbott Farms, the family compound, with staff and family residents living in cabins and cottages on the property.

Three months later, Bailey is lying in a hospital bed after some kind of accident she cannot recall, and a diagnosis of Traumatic Brain Injury, with retrograde amnesia.

What happened to her, and why is she so afraid? Why does everything about her life and her new family make her feel vulnerable? And why is Logan’s sister Raine so hostile?

It doesn’t help that the Police Chief, Billy Ray Williams, has been hammering away at her, as if her husband has done something to her. He has an obsessive theory that Logan is a serial killer, and alludes to a host of missing women, including Logan’s first wife True.

What, if anything, does the death of Henry Rodriguez have to do with what has happened? And why does Bailey see herself covered in blood?

The First Wife reveals multi-layered subplots and possible perpetrators, and while Bailey is even suspicious of Logan for a while, too many other possibilities occur to her…and then, just as I thought I had it figured out, there was a final surprise reveal. Definitely a page turner and full of characters with secrets, making most of them suspect. 4.5 stars.

FROM THE INTERIOR: INTROS/TEASERS – “GOLDBERG VARIATIONS”

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Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, from Tuesday/First Chapter/Intros, hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by A Daily Rhythm.

Today’s featured book has been on my TBR stacks for just a short time, which is an encouraging sign, right?  A sign that the stacks are gradually dwindling.

Goldberg Variations, by Susan Isaacs, is one I’m looking forward to, as I have been a fan of this author for many years, and the author of the thriller Shining Through.

 

 

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Intro:  (Gloria)

I am not one of those tedious people who feel compelled to speak in smiley faces.  Like:  Whenever a door closes, a window opens.   Of course they can never leave it at a lone, bubbly sentence.  No, gush must follow:  Gloria, truthfully, deep down, aren’t you thrilled it turned out this way?  You know, it’s always darkest before dawn.  But this…Oh, God, this is your moment!  You get to choose which of these three darling young people is worthiest to inherit your kingdom!  Isn’t it like some fairy tale come to life?

Don’t ask.

Okay, ask.  Here I am, pacing from room to room to room—and I am a woman of many rooms—trying to prepare myself for the onslaught.  A limo will be here any minute bringing three virtual strangers to invade my house.  All right, they are my grandchildren, but I barely know them.  Goldberg, Goldberg, and Goldberg.  Sounds like some shtick in a Marx Brothers movie.

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Teaser:  So you don’t have to waste time reading between the lines, let me be up front about what my Tragic Flaw is.  It is losing control and saying what I truly think.  And the worst part of it is, I know how dangerous and potentially destructive honesty can be for me.  (p. 10).

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Blurb:  At seventy-nine, Gloria Garrison must plan for the future of Glory, Inc., the beauty-makeover business that she has grown from zilch into an eleven-million-dollar-per-year bonanza. Gloria’s never been big on family, but she’s forced to contemplate her three grandkids as objects of her largesse.

There’s Daisy, a story editor for a movie studio; her brother, Matt, who does PR for a New York baseball team; and cousin Raquel, laboring away as a Legal Aid lawyer.

When Gloria sends plane tickets and a weekend invitation to Santa Fe, the cousins couldn’t be more surprised. But the visit holds an unexpected twist for Gloria, too. Always sassy, smart, and wickedly witty, Susan Isaacs is at her formidable best in a novel that is both hilariously funny and a deeply moving tale of family, faith, and discovery.

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What do you think?  Does it pique your interest?  Make you want to read more?

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FROM THE INTERIOR: WAITING ON “A WEEK AT THE LAKE”

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Welcome to another Waiting on Wednesday, our special day for sharing upcoming book releases.  Hop on over to Breaking the Spine to find out what everyone else is excited about.

Today I am thrilled to share my anticipation for Wendy Wax’s upcoming release, A Week at the Lake, to be released on June 23, 2015.

 

 

 

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Twenty years ago, Emma Michaels, Mackenzie Hayes, and Serena Stockton bonded over their New York City dreams. Then, each summer, they solidified their friendship by spending one week at the lake together, solving their problems over bottles of wine and gallons of ice cream. They kept the tradition for years, until jealousy, lies, and life’s disappointments made them drift apart.

It’s been five years since Emma has seen her friends, an absence designed to keep them from discovering a long-ago betrayal. Now she’s in desperate need of their support. The time has come to reveal her secrets—and hopefully rekindle their connection.

But when a terrible accident keeps Emma from saying her piece, Serena and Mackenzie begin to learn about the past on their own. Now, to heal their friendship and their broken lives, the three women will have to return to the lake that once united them, and discover which relationships are worth holding on to . . .

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I love this author’s work, and I can’t wait to find out about a new series of friends with their secrets and betrayals.  What are you sharing today?

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