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Sunday, May 13, 2018

Book Binge Review Round-Up #5

All copies were provided by Netgalley. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

When a group of neighborhood women gathers, wine in hand, around a fire pit where their backyards meet one Saturday night, most of them are just ecstatic to have discovered that their baby monitors reach that far. It’s a rare kid-free night, and they’re giddy with it. They drink too much, and the conversation turns personal.

By Monday morning, one of them is gone.

Everyone knows something about everyone else in the quirky small Ohio town of Yellow Springs, but no one can make sense of the disappearance. Kristin was a sociable twin mom, college administrator, and doctor’s wife who didn’t seem all that bothered by her impending divorce—and the investigation turns up more questions than answers, with her husband, Paul, at the center. For her closest neighbor, Clara, the incident triggers memories she thought she’d put behind her—and when she’s unable to extract herself from the widening circle of scrutiny, her own suspicions quickly grow. But the neighborhood’s newest addition, Izzy, is determined not to jump to any conclusions—especially since she’s dealing with a crisis of her own.

As the police investigation goes from a media circus to a cold case, the neighbors are forced to reexamine what’s going on behind their own closed doors—and to ask how well anyone really knows anyone else.

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2K9vnUZ

My Review:
5 Stars!

I have been sucked into the Stepford Wives, suburban mom books lately. This book was great. And would you look at that cover? It's absolutely gorgeous. 

Enter the tight knit circle of suburban moms and with that all of their secrets. Izzy is the newest member to this society. Being the only single person on the block, she befriends the wives that stay home raising their little ones. Already running from heartache, she is thrust into a world of secrets, deep friendship and lies.

Jessica Strawser does a tremendous job of creating a thought provoking and engaging story. Can't wait to read more from this author in the future.

Venus Black is a straitlaced A student fascinated by the study of astronomy—until the night she commits a shocking crime that tears her family apart and ignites a media firestorm. Venus refuses to talk about what happened or why, except to blame her mother. Adding to the mystery, Venus’s developmentally challenged younger brother, Leo, goes missing.

More than five years later, Venus is released from prison with a suitcase of used clothes, a fake identity, and a determination to escape her painful past. Estranged from her mother, and with her beloved brother still missing, she sets out to make a fresh start in Seattle, skittish and alone. But as new people enter her orbit—including a romantic interest and a young girl who seems like a mirror image of her former lost self—old wounds resurface, and Venus realizes that she can’t find a future while she’s running from her past.

Amazon Link: https://amzn.to/2FhEC1T



My Review:
5 Stars!

This was an amazing story. It shows what happens when a girl feels like she has been failed by one of her parents. What happens when she tries to unveil the truth, but does it in a way that is perceived as a horrible act. 

One night is all it takes for Venus' dreams to come to a crashing halt. All she was doing was trying to shed some light on unspeakable acts, but instead is found guilty of a crime that will stay with her forever. 

Once she is release from prison, all Venus wants is to find a quiet life. She wants away from the media that has followed her and her story for years, away from all the prying faces of home and just somewhere to belong. 

She achieves that at first, but then is found out in a way that she hadn't counted on. Suddenly forced into the spotlight again, she had to decide if she still wants to run or if facing the past and claiming her future is a better idea. 

A great story of pain, love, growth and the reality of family dynamics. One of the best books I have read this year. 

A powerful novel about a gutsy showgirl who tries to conquer her past amongst the glamour of 1960s Las Vegas--and finds unexpected fortune, friendship, and love.

It was unimaginable. When she was eight years old, Lily Decker somehow survived the auto accident that killed her parents and sister, but neither her emotionally distant aunt nor her all-too-attentive uncle could ease her grief. Dancing proves to be Lily's only solace, and eventually, she receives a "scholarship" to a local dance academy--courtesy of a mysterious benefactor.

Grown and ready to leave home for good, Lily changes her name to Ruby Wilde and heads to Las Vegas to be a troupe dancer, but her sensual beauty and voluptuous figure land her work instead as a showgirl performing everywhere from Les Folies Bergere at the Tropicana to the Stardust's Lido de Paris. Wearing costumes dripping with feathers and rhinestones, five-inch heels, and sky-high headdresses, Ruby may have all the looks of a Sin City success story, but she still must learn to navigate the world of men--and figure out what real love looks like.

With her uncanny knack for understanding the hidden lives of women, Elizabeth J. Church captures both the iconic extravagance of an era and the bravery of a young woman who dances through her sadness to find connection, freedom, and, most important, herself.
 


My Review: 
4 Stars 

This book was more heart wrenching than I originally thought it would be. Lily is really put through the wringer, both emotionally and physically. 

Having lost her parents at a young age doesn't stop Lily. With the help of a mysterious individual she pursues her dream of dance. Leaving the home she was raised in once she's of age, she embarks on the life she knows she's meant to lead. What she doesn't count on is how hard it is going to be to obtain that life. 

While on her journey she's offered a different option. She'll still be able to do what she loves, but not in the environment that she has imagined for all her life. While she views it as a form of selling out, those who have become part of her life assure her that its a great opportunity. 

A wonderful story that follows each of Lily's decisions and the consequences of those decisions. Beautifully written and thoroughly engrossing. 


Bestselling, beloved author of The Charm Bracelet spins a tale about a lost young woman and the family recipe box that changes her life.

Growing up in northern Michigan, Samantha "Sam" Mullins felt trapped on her family's orchard and in their pie shop, so she left with dreams of making her own mark in the world. But life as an overworked, undervalued sous chef at a reality star's New York bakery is not what Sam dreamed.

When the chef embarrasses Sam, she quits and returns home. Unemployed, single, and defeated, she spends a summer working on her family's orchard cooking and baking alongside the women in her life--including her mother, Deana, and grandmother, Willo. One beloved, flour-flecked, ink-smeared recipe at a time, Sam begins to learn about and understand the women in her life, her family's history, and her passion for food through their treasured recipe box.

As Sam discovers what matters most she opens her heart to a man she left behind, but who now might be the key to her happiness.
 


My Review:
5 Stars

This book was such a lovely surprise. I really enjoyed the story-line and I cannot wait to test out some of the recipes that were included in the book. A lot of them sound too good to pass up. 

Sam is struggling with finding her place in life. She loved where she was raised, but can't help but feel that she is bigger than that life. Wanting to make her own mark on the world she embarks on her own adventure away from home, leaving behind the ones she loves the most. 

When an unexpected decision is made, Same returns home. Not ready to relay the news to her family she muddles through the days, slowly remembering why she loves this place she calls home so much. Those emerging feelings confuse her even more, making the upcoming decisions her hardest yet. 

Through family drama and life decisions, Sam navigates this story with determination. Knowing that everything she has worked for will reveal itself in due time.  



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