Saturday, July 4, 2015

Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

Driving toward Sonoma County in her unhemmed, unfinished wedding dress, Georgia Ford has only one goal in mind: home.  Because for Georgia, her perfect life and perfect fiance now seem to be anything but.  And in a moment, the only logical decision is to return to the comfort of family.

But her place of solace turns out to be a misnomer of monumental proportions.  Because her parents have separated without telling her.  Her brothers are avoiding each other.  And, worst yet, her father has decided to sell his beloved vineyard to a rival company.  Suddenly, it’s not just the future of her wedding that’s uncertain. 

Told with an intoxicating blend of wit, emotion, and heart, Eight Hundred Grapes will transport you.  Scenic descriptions of Sebastopol open up for the reader - you can practically smell the soil and feel the sun on your face.  But as beautiful as the setting is, it’s the interplay of characters that will draw you in most.  Family dynamics play at the forefront of this book, at times endlessly frustrating and thoroughly relatable.  Characters are interesting and flawed in the best way.  This is the perfect book for summer (or really any season), with a glass of wine by your side (naturally) and several uninterrupted hours of reading ahead of you.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Never Have I Ever: My Life (So Far) Without a Date by Katie Heaney

Through a series of essays written during grad school, Katie Heaney details her romantic conquests (or lack thereof) over the years.

Starting with her first crush in kindergarten all the way through her online dating adventure at 25, we are with Katie as she swoons over boys, and then men, that she never even has a single conversation with.

Katie’s misadventures in the land of love were very entertaining to read, and this could have easily turned into a list of complaints about leading her solitary life.

Instead she embraces her singledom and acknowledges that for the most part it has been her choice to remain relationship free as she is not willing to negotiate on her standards and beliefs.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015

New Fiction 6/30/2015

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

Long Tall Christmas by Janet Dailey
The Silenced by Heather Graham
Untamed by Diana Palmer
The English Spy by Daniel Silva
The Bone Labyrinth by James Rollins
A New Hope by Robyn Carr
The Mask by Taylor Stevens
The Assassins by Gayle Lynds
Death By Tiara by Laura Levine

Saturday, June 27, 2015

Bachelorette for Sale by Gial Chianese

Trying to stay out of the limelight since her recent stint on the dating show Finding Mr. Right, Cherry Ryan is working with her best friend to raise money for their Providence rec center that will be demolished if they can’t come up with the funds.

When one of the local women participating in the auction bails, Cherry is forced into her spot and is bid on by Jason Valentine’s friend/business partner. The hairbrained scheme is to win Jason a date so that they can get into Cherry’s good graces before they submit their bid for the center’s rehab project. Despite the motive, Cherry and Jason really hit it off, and his bid happens to be the best for the center, even though not everyone on the committee agrees.

When repeated vandalism stops any progress dead in its tracks, Cherry considers appearing on another dating show to obtain the funding to save the center, but this plan coupled with Jason’s uncompromising views on marriage could ultimately leave her heart broken in pieces.

Chianese’s debut and series starter smoothly balances convincing characters, hot love scenes, and emotional depth; plus secondary plot threads about Cherry’s family, her grandparents failing relationship, and the question of what really happened on that dating show keep the pages turning at a fast clip.

Thursday, June 25, 2015

The Royal We by Heather Cocks and Jessica Morgan

When Rebecca “Bex” Porter left Iowa for the chance to study at Oxford the last thing she was looking for was love. And she didn’t expect to meet a prince either.

But sure enough it doesn’t take long for her to fall for Prince Nicholas. Their romance is not without its ups and downs, and even as the novel opens on the eve of their royal wedding it is still not clear if they will actually make it to the altar.

Set over the course of eight years the reader sees how Bex, Nick, and friends survive their college years and beyond while under the scrutiny that comes with being in the royal family’s inner circle.

One of the latest books to fall under the new adult genre heading, this book would appeal to many anglophiles and royal watchers of any age.

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

New Fiction 6/23/2015

Here is a sampling of new fiction released this week. If you see something you like, simply click on the title to place a copy on hold through the Library's catalog.

The Time of the Wolves by Don Winslow
The Festival of Insignificance by Milan Kundera
Ever After by Jude Deveraux
Summer Secrets by Jane Green
Vixen by Bill Pronzini
Wicked Charms by Janet Evanovich
Killing Monica by Candace Bushnell

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Reconstructing Amelia by Kimberly McCreight

Attorney and single mom Kate Barron receives a call at work that she needs to pick up her daughter, Amelia immediately since she has been suspended. Amelia is a model student at Brooklyn's private Grave Hall, so this is completely out of character. When Kate arrives at the school, there are no cops and she learns that Amelia has jumped from the roof of the school to her death.

Shortly after Amelia's death, Kate receives a text from a blocked number saying that her daughter didn't jump. In her heart, Kate never believed Amelia committed suicide, so this is the push she needs to get to the bottom of what really happened that day.

The book alternates chapters between Kate and Amelia's narration and the timeline goes back and forth between what happened before Amelia's death and Kate desperate to find the truth. Amelia tell us about the "club" she was tapped to join and the student there that she fell in love with that was the start of her downfall. Kate is also forced to confront her daughter's parentage.

I have read both of McCreight's (Where They Found Her) novels now, and I couldn't put them down. I am a huge fan of Chevy Stevens psychological suspense stories, so these were equally as good, if not better. I am eager for her to write and publish her next book. With ample plot twists and surprises, I would recommend this to anyone looking for a page-turner.

Thursday, June 18, 2015

Atonement by Winter Austin

Former Marine sniper Nicolette Rivers moved to sleepy Eider, Iowa to hide from her family and a muddy past, but she is called back into duty when the Sheriff uses her to take down an armed resident ranting religious nonsense while holding his family captive. Nic has no choice but to shoot to kill, and his death triggers memories of her tours overseas and the man she lost.

Despite her PTSD, Nic wants to help Detective Con O’Hanlon from the Eider PD help investigate the death of a man whose suicide note has the ringings of the same religious jargon spouted by the guy Nic’s was compelled to take out. Working with Con will force Nic into trusting another person, one that she finds attractive. Everything from the past and present may come to a head in order to capture a killer, but Nic isn’t one to go down without a fight, even with death knocking at the door.

Typically the role of a man in most romance suspense featuring military veterans, a lead character who is a female offers a refreshing take and paints a picture of a strong, fearless woman with a sympathetic plight.

With the mild romantic moments of Catherine Coulter’s FBI thrillers and the religious angle as a motive for murder reminiscent of Lisa Jackson’s New Orleans series, readers will find much to entertain in Winter’s (Degrees of Darkness series) series opener.

Originally published in Xpress Reviews: E-Originals | May 22 , 2015