October 7, 2015

Home For Christmas. Lily Everett

Home for Christmas
Home for Christmas (#4 Sanctuary Island)
Lily Everett
Published: St Martin's Press
Date: 6th October 2015
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 320
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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My thoughts banner
Libby Leeds writes for a magazine, all about her wonderful life on Sanctuary Island where she is an exemplary cook, wife and possibly mother!  All is well with the world except... Libby doesn't actually live where she says she does and her editor has said she must provide a wonderful Christmas for a returned soldier/hero (Owen) and his daughter.  Libby has to agree, because she needs to pay for the care of her Uncle Ray who is ill.

Libby does have a grandfather and cousin on Sanctuary Island so she has that going for her, but will that be enough to get her through. As for Owen he wants to connect with the 9 year old daughter Caitlin. He has never met her before. It's somewhat unsettling for Caitlin because for the first time in forever she has found security with his sister  Andi and Sam her partner. (Heartbreak Cove #3). Now she is frightened that Owen will whisk her away or leave her and Sam and Andi won't want her.

As December begins they all find themselves settling in, taking risky steps towards and away from each other.  At times all seems lost and that past hurts and family dissonance from the past will win.

I really liked all the characters, I enjoyed seeing Libby finding her feet, finding her place once more and winning through. I liked the struggle that Owen goes through, overcoming injury and then ultimately making the choice that a soldier/hero must make.

Another character we get to see a little beneath the veneer is Dabney Leeds.  A somewhat grumpy old man, who has wrapped himself up in himself and harbored the hurts of the past. But... he has some surprises coming to him as well as a few of his own.

This story of forgiveness, second chances, love and family is a perfect Christmas story. While it is #4 in the Sanctuary Island series it could be read as a stand alone. If you don't like your stories heavily sexy then this will suit you. For me, it brought alive the perfections and imperfections of the magical season of Christmas.

4 stars

Full House Challenge - Completed. Link Up

Full House Challenge badge 2015

I've decided to post this somewhat earlier than I said, so that if you have finished your 'house' you can link it up and forget it.

It will be open until January 2nd and then there will be the draw for $50 U.S. Amazon book voucher or books to that value. (International)

October 6, 2015

A Window Opens. Elisabeth Egan

book cover
A Window Opens
Elisabeth Egan
Published: Simon and Shuster
Date: 25th August 2015
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 384
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
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My thoughts banner
Alice is the main character in a Window Opens by Elisabeth Egan. The story is told in the 1st person.  She is a mother of three, a wife to Nicholas. Her parents live nearby and her Dad has  an illness that has robbed him of his voice, but not his fun with texting.

When Nicholas decides to begin out on his own and hang up his lawyer's shingle for himself, Alice is worried about the finances and decides to seek a job of her own.

She lands a job at Scroll - a place that wants to be cutting edge in book sharing with the public. It seems after jumping through the hoops Alice is the one they want on board.  As time goes by Alice begins to ask herself is this what she really wants? Her hours are long and she is losing touch with her children. Also Nicholas has difficulties of his own.

While Scroll sounds like 'the place to be', all I could think of was the story of The Emperor's New Clothes. It also reminded me of some work places today, it was eerily accurate and captures what is happening in more than one work place. It was worth reading the book for its ironic viewpoint.

When Alice's father takes a turn for the worse the exploration of sickness and what follows is very real.  That's what I liked about this book, it is so exactly what happens in life. It is also thought provoking and perceptive.

I also liked the small windows of insight that Alice gains and the ultimate choices she makes. Book lovers will enjoy this book, as it is somewhat set in the world of books and Alice's love of reading and bed time stories are honoured.

This is a debut novel, one very worth reading. I will definitely be reading the next book by this author. I trust there will be one!
4 stars
Meet Elisabeth Egan in this short video.

October 4, 2015

Weekly Wrap and Fitreaders

badge for Sunday PostIt's Monday! What Are You Reading?
I will be linking up as well to the Sunday Post at Caffeinated Book Reviewer and Sheila at Book Journey runs It's Monday! What Are You Reading? 
I achieved just slightly above my goal for the week. I've signed up again for the month of October.

Oh my gosh, October - 2015 slow down! We went into Daylight saving last Sunday morning, however it hasn't affected me as much as it sometimes does, might be my time clock was a little unsettled anyway with my trip last week to Melbourne.

What I read last week:

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What I am reading at present:

Still listening to:
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Up next:

Home for Christmas by Lily Everett
The Good Neighbor Amy Sue Nathan

Posts from the last week:

October 2, 2015

The Bollywood Bride. Sonali Dev

The Bollywood Bride
Sonali Dev
Published: Kensington Books
Date: 29th September 2015
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Add to Goodreads
Ria Parkar is Bollywood's favorite Ice Princess--beautiful, poised, and scandal-proof--until one impulsive act threatens to expose her destructive past. Traveling home to Chicago for her cousin's wedding offers a chance to diffuse the coming media storm and find solace in family, food, and outsized celebrations that are like one of her vibrant movies come to life. But it also means confronting Vikram Jathar.

Ria and Vikram spent childhood summers together, a world away from Ria's exclusive boarding school in Mumbai. Their friendship grew seamlessly into love--until Ria made a shattering decision. As far as Vikram is concerned, Ria sold her soul for stardom and it's taken him years to rebuild his life. But beneath his pent-up anger, their bond remains unchanged. And now, among those who know her best, Ria may find the courage to face the secrets she's been guarding for everyone else's benefit--and a chance to stop acting and start living.

My thoughts banner
The Bollywood Bride by Sonali Dev is a second chance romance, with a ten year gap in between. Ria has pushed Vikram away from her, for very good reasons from her viewpoint, and has then pursued a career in the movie world of Bollywood.  Although it would seem her career is built more on one kind of movie only and her beauty. Her roles are all those of the bride. She is the darling of the Bollywood movie going world. However like all movie stars she has the paparazzi out to make their money from her movements. Up until now she has managed to stay apart, but now one has caught her doing something that could be twisted and bring her into disfavour.

Ria is a little bit of a mystery, she has had a dark past and that dark past preys on her, so much so she is unable to choose happiness for herself and thinks she is protecting those she loves by keeping her secrets close to herself. 

Vikram has been hurt by Ria's rejection of him and has spent many years travelling around, although in that absent time he has learned many skills he now has gathered together to make him a force to be reckoned with in the business world. He has a love for children and has set up a Khan Academy type website.  His love for children really worries Ria, because she believes she may never have children, and carries a deep dark secret in relation to this.

As in her previous book I loved the richness of the Indian culture and the closeness of family in this book.  Ria's aunt and uncle and their families were a lot of fun and full of care and kindness.  They have been a rock for Ria nearly all her life. 

The connection between Ria and Vikram is real and believable. I thought the scars that Ria carried and the exploration of her family's darkness was a great idea, although I was not always hooked in by the way Ria dealt with it. Perhaps I wanted too much. I loved how Vikram  helped her take the final step that enabled her to move forward.  I thought his support was heart warming.

I enjoyed this novel and really look forward to reading whatever Sonali Dev has in store for us in her next book.  

3.5 stars

An interesting interview with Sonali Dev over at All About Romance.

October - December link up for Full House Challenge.

badge Full House reading challenge
Into the last quarter of the year, can you believe it!  Hope your challenge is going well. I still haven't finished off mine, but not far to go. 
winner badge

The winner for the third quarter : Jessica at Ramblings on Reading. Congratulations. 

Here is the link up for the last quarter.  You will still be able to access the link up for the first, second and third quarters in the main challenge post in case you need to check what you have already linked.

There is a $12 Amazon gift voucher or a book to that value from the Book Depository if you are in their free posting zone, for the third quarter. This link will close at the end of December. 

Reminder: There is now  a link up Challenge Completed for those who have completed their card and remember to share it! This will close in early January. There is a $50 (U.S value)  Amazon voucher or books to that amount from the Book Depository.

September 30, 2015

Month in Review


Welcome in, do join me by sharing your link to your look back at this month. I'm looking forward to visiting and seeing what everyone has been up to.  The link will be open for you to share your post whenever you post over the next few days.  Do visit each others' posts.

Wow, we are into the last quarter of the year tomorrow. 2015 has gone so fast. This month I enjoyed a week in Melbourne, it was wonderful to go away, and just as nice to return home. 

Total books read this month: 18

Audio Books Read:
The Lost Night    Jayne Ann Krentz
Origin in Death   J. D. Robb

Ebooks Read
All I Want for Christmas is You     Jessica Scott
Still the One   Jill Shalvis
A Window Opens    Elisabeth Egan
The Escape  Mary Balogh
Homefront   Jessica Scott
Fatal Frenzy   Marie Force
After the War  Jessica Scott
The Secret Sister  Brenda Novak
Suddenly One Summer   Julie James
Pretending to Dance   Diane Chamberlain

Paperbacks Read
Daughters-in-Law    Joanna Trollope
The Perfect Summer    Luanne Rice
Archangel's Enigma    Nalini Singh
Wild at Heart     Patricia Gaffney
Such a Pretty Face  Cathy Lamb
The Hollow              Nora Roberts

Genres Read
Paranormal Romantic Suspense (2)   Women's Fiction (6)  Military Romance (3) Contemporary romance (2) Urban Fantasy (1) Historical Romance (2) Romantic Suspense (2)

Places Where I Read.
Off Planet. Maine, Connecticut (2), Idaho, NY (2), Chicago (2), Oregon, New Jersey, Maryland (2), New Haven (2),  San Diego/North Carolina, USA. Suffolk, England, Wales,

New to me authors.
Elisabeth Egan

Challenges Completed.
The NetGalley Challenge
Goodreads Challenge
Audiobook Challenge

Top Books for September

Two entirely different books but both grabbed and engaged me totally.
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Incoming Books.
Paperback Books Purchased:
The Gilded Hour   Sara Donati   gift voucher
We Never Asked For Wings  Vanessa Diffenbaugh $35 NZ
Archangel's Enigma  Nalini Singh - gift voucher
The Coincidence of Coconut Cake - Amy E Reichert  $23 NZ

E Books Purchased:
Fatal Frenzy Marie Force   $4.07 US

Library Books: 

Books coming from NetGalley 
After You  - Jojo Moyes
Home For Christmas - Lily Everett
Hot Toy - Jennifer Crusie
Heartsong Cottage  - Emily March (been watching on NetGalley for this one, so delighted when I was invited to read and review - no waiting!!)

Audio Books 
The Precious One  Maria Santos  - 1 credit at Audible


Book Spending Total for Month:  $64 NZ  = $40.50 US


So how did your reading month pan out?
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