Monday, January 21, 2019

The Inbetween Days

About the Book:

Rosie Cooke is “in between.” In between consciousness and oblivion. Life and death. And though some say that when you’re near death your entire life flashes before your eyes, Rosie can’t remember anything at all—not even how she ended up in a coma. At least not at first.

Then something strange starts to happen. Rosie finds herself revisiting scattered moments from her past: a beach vacation, a play rehearsal, the day her brother was born. But why these memories? And what do they mean?

As each piece of the puzzle comes into focus, Rosie struggles to face the picture of her life that forms. But with every look backward comes a glimpse of what might be: A relationship with her sister. The opportunity to pursue her passion. A second chance at love. And Rosie just might discover that she has much to live for.

My Comments:

We've heard it said that someone is their own worst enemy.  In this book Rosie comes to see that yes, things in her life have not always gone well, but she has had plenty of joy and plenty of chance to make something of herself.  It has been her choices that have held her back.

The book begins with Rosie being hit by a bus.  Was it suicide or an accident or...?  As Rosie lies in her hospital bed, the doctors give her three days.  After that, they tell her family, it will be time to make some decisions.  She will need a tracheotomy and a feeding tube, and will be moved to a long term care facility, unless, of course, she wakes up.  Rosie is in a coma; while she can hear those around her, she cannot communicate with them. 

During those three days Rosie is visited by people who have been in her life but are now deceased.  As the ghosts in A Christmas Carol do, they show her episodes from her past.  But why these episodes?  

At the same time, Rosie's sister, Daisy, is trying to figure out if this was a suicide attempt, or not.  She gets Rosie's phone, searches her apartment and follows the clues to people who meant something to Rosie, the same people Rosie is visiting.  

While this book did not grab me emotionally the way Woods' Something Like Happy did, I enjoyed it and give it a B+.    

Friday, January 11, 2019

The Best of Us: My Review

About the Book:

Dr. Leigh Culver loves practicing medicine in Timberlake, Colorado. It is a much-needed change of pace from her stressful life in Chicago. The only drawback is she misses her aunt Helen, the woman who raised her. But it’s time that Leigh has her independence, and she hopes the beauty of the Colorado wilderness will entice her aunt to visit often.

Helen Culver is an independent woman who lovingly raised her sister’s orphaned child. Now, with Leigh grown, it’s time for her to live life for herself. The retired teacher has become a successful mystery writer who loves to travel and intends to never experience winter again.

When Helen visits Leigh, she is surprised to find her niece still needs her, especially when it comes to sorting out her love life. But the biggest surprise comes when Leigh takes Helen out to Sullivan’s Crossing and Helen finds herself falling for the place and one special person. Helen and Leigh will each have to decide if they can open themselves up to love neither expected to find and seize the opportunity to live their best lives.

My Comments:

I've read that one sign of growing up is realizing that your parents have a sex life.  Leigh has her man, and yes, Robyn Carr makes it very clear that the two of them are having sex regularly.  Leigh's mom is long gone, but she was raised by Aunt Helen and now it is Helen's turn to have a romantic (yes, that's code for "sex") life.  

It's funny, I read a lot of romance novels and in my mind, these heroines aren't that much younger than I am--but of course they are.  It's finally starting to sink in that the average character in the average romance novel is now the age of my kids, which pretty much puts me in Aunt Helen's age group, and it is interesting to read about a woman whose life experience is more baby boomer than millennial.  

Like most of Carr's other books, this one features a beautiful rural setting, a community of characters who make appearances in other books in the series and, of course, love.  While clearly part of a series the book can be read as a stand-alone.

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade:  B. 

Saturday, January 05, 2019

Book Review: A Soldier's Return

About the Book:

Returning home to Cannon Beach and living in Brambleberry House, a place where good things seemed destined to happen, had brought Melissa Fielding and her young daughter such joy. Perhaps it was no accident when the single mom “bumped” into Eli Sanderson, and discovered the handsome doctor was also back in town. The ex-soldier was still so captivating, but also more guarded. Was now the time to put old ghosts to rest?

My Comments:

A young mother, recently divorced from a man who now has another woman in his life.  A soldier who returned home to help his father, but also because he needs to heal.  A cute kid who just wants everyone to be happy and loved.  Can we guess where this story is going?  

This is a charming book of hope and healing and love; just what you expect from RaeAnne Thayne.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade:  B

Wednesday, January 02, 2019

Old AF and Annoyed Too

I guess it is official; I'm too old for mommy blogs, or at least too old for one that is all over my Facebook feed.  Why?  Because it seems to me that the majority of the posts include "AF".  Now, back in the stone ages of the internet when I was a young mom, "AF" on the internet was a euphemism for your menstrual period "Auntie Flo" came to visit.  I rolled my eyes; I thought it was dumb, but whatever, it wasn't offensive.  

Today's "AF" on the other hand, is a crude term for sexual intercourse.  I'm mad AF.  My boss is mean AF.  My children are annoying AF.  

People, you are writing for a blog that reaches millions, do you mean to tell me that you have no other suitable words in your vocabulary?  Has no one every told you that overuse of words makes them less powerful?  Because those expletives aren't used in polite company under usual circumstances, they either peg the user as impolite if used frequently, or powerfully call attention to something when used infrequently.  

Yes, I know your generation is different--just like every generation is different from their parents (and yes, most young moms today are young enough to be my children) and you aren't going to be bound by old norms and restrictions and you are going to be as non-phobic of everything but traditional morality as possible, but why must every story contain at least one AF?  

Yes, despite the fact that I have a teen, I'm old, old as dust.  

Tuesday, January 01, 2019

Review: The Christmas Star

About the Book:

Thirty-two-year-old Amy Denison volunteers at Glory’s Place, an after school program where she meets seven-year-old Maddie, a precocious young girl who has spent her childhood in foster care. Unbeknownst to Amy, Maddie is a mini-matchmaker, with her eye on just the right man for Amy at Grandon Elementary School, where she is a student. Amy is hesitant – she’s been hurt before, and isn’t sure she’s ready to lose her heart again – but an unexpected surprise makes her reconsider her lonely lifestyle.

As Christmas nears and the town is blanketed in snow and beautiful decorations, Maddie and the charming staff at Glory’s Place help Amy to see that romance can be more than heartache and broken promises.

In The Christmas Star, Donna VanLiere delivers yet another sweet, joyous story that is sure to capture readers' hearts.

My Comments:

I'd like to apologize to the author and the publisher for not putting this review up sooner as the season for Christmas romances is over.  However, if you are in the market for one, this is typical of the genre--very heartwarming and sweet, with the love and joy of Christmas in abundance.  

If you've read VanLiere's other Christmas books, you'll enjoy catching up with prior characters but you don't need to have read the other books to enjoy this one.  Grade:  B

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