Sunday, September 27, 2015


Sandra Brown

Crawford Hunt wants his daughter back. Following the death of his wife four years ago, Crawford, a Texas Ranger, fell into a downward spiral that left him relegated to deskwork and with his five-year-old daughter Georgia in the custody of her grandparents. But Crawford has cleaned up his act, met all the court imposed requirements, and now the fate of his family lies with Judge Holly Spencer.

Holly, ambitious and confident, temporarily occupies the bench of her recently deceased mentor. With an election upcoming, she must prove herself worthy of making her judgeship permanent. Every decision is high-stakes. Despite Crawford's obvious love for his child and his commitment to being an ideal parent, Holly is wary of his checkered past. Her opinion of him is radically changed when a masked gunman barges into the courtroom during the custody hearing. Crawford reacts instinctually, saving Holly from a bullet.

But his heroism soon takes on the taint of recklessness. The cloud over him grows even darker after he uncovers a horrifying truth about the courtroom gunman and realizes that the unknown person behind the shooting remains at large . . .and a threat.

Catching the real culprit becomes a personal fight for Crawford. But pursuing the killer in his customary diehard fashion will jeopardize his chances of gaining custody of his daughter, and further compromise Judge Holly Spencer, who needs protection not only from an assassin, but from Crawford himself and the forbidden attraction between them.

FRICTION will keep you on the edge of your seat with breathtaking plot twists and the unforgettable characters that make Sandra Brown one of the world's best-loved authors. It is an extraordinary novel about the powerful ties that bind us to the ones we love and the secrets we keep to protect them. (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

Crawford Hayes has done everything the court ordered in preparation for getting back custody of his daughter. On the day he is to hear the judge’s ruling on the matter, a lone gunman breaks into the courtroom. One man is killed and Crawford saves Judge Holly Spencer from being another victim. But was the killer really after Holly?

You just can’t go wrong reading a Sandra Brown novel. Always a page turner filled with mystery, interesting characters and just enough romance. Her stories may be a bit predictable, but I still find myself looking forward to reading them. This was a good book to get lost in.

My thanks to Grand Central Publishing, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Friday, September 25, 2015

Circling the Sun

Paula McLain

Paula McLain, author of the phenomenal New York Times bestseller The Paris Wife, takes readers into the glamorous and decadent circle of British expats living in Kenya in the 1920s. Circling the Sun tells the story of the beautiful young horse trainer, adventurer, and aviator Beryl Markham, from her childhood in British East Africa to her relationship with hunter Denys Finch Hatton and rivalry with Out of Africa author Karen Blixen—a notorious love triangle that changed the course of Beryl's life. (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

The first thing that drew my attention to this book was the setting - lush and untamed Africa during the 1920‘s. I fell in love with this time and place after watching the movie Out of Africa.

Beryl Clutterbuck was only eight when her family moved to Africa. It did not take long for her mother to head back to England with Beryl’s brother. This left Beryl to be raised by often absent father and some of the local tribes people. She grew up foot loose and fancy free, which was atypical for young girls with an English background. This upbringing left her wanting a free and independent life. She became the first female licensed horse trainer in Kenya, which was an unheard of accomplishment.

Head strong and smart, she was unlucky in love. Two failed marriages and an affair with Denys Finch Hatton, who was also romantically involved with Karen Blixen, the author of Out of Africa.

Ms McLain weaves all of this together into a very entertaining story. I grew attached to Beryl from the very beginning - cheered for her success and was sadden by her losses. The author paints such a descriptive picture of Africa, the people living there and the time period. This book had me from page one!

My thanks to Random House - Ballantine Books, via Netgally, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

My Grandmother Asked Me To Tell You She’s Sorry

Fredrik Backman

From the author of the internationally bestselling A Man Called Ove, a charming, warmhearted novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother’s fairy tales.

Elsa is seven years old and different. Her grandmother is seventy-seven years old and crazy, standing-on-the-balcony-firing-paintball-guns-at-men-who-want-to-talk-about-Jesus-crazy. She is also Elsa’s best, and only, friend. At night Elsa takes refuge in her grandmother’s stories, in the Land of Almost-Awake and the Kingdom of Miamas where everybody is different and nobody needs to be normal.

When Elsa’s grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters apologizing to people she has wronged, Elsa’s greatest adventure begins. Her grandmother’s letters lead her to an apartment building full of drunks, monsters, attack dogs, and totally ordinary old crones, but also to the truth about fairytales and kingdoms and a grandmother like no other.

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She’s Sorry is told with the same comic accuracy and beating heart as Fredrik Backman’s internationally bestselling debut novel, A Man Called Ove. It is a story about life and death and an ode to one of the most important human rights: the right to be different.

My Thoughts

“Having a grandmother is like having an army. This is a grandchild’s ultimate privelage: knowing that someone is on your side, always, whatever the details. Even when you are wrong. Especially then, in fact.”
And so it is between Elsa and her Granny. Elsa grew up having her grandmother tell her fairy tales about the kingdom in the Land-of-Almost-Awake. When Granny dies, Elsa feels as though she has lost her best friend. Little did she know that her Granny had plans for her to deliver letters to different people in their apartment building and who those people would really turn out to be. Was the Land-of-Almost-Awake really just a fairy tale?

Oh how Mr. Backman has a way with making a reader fall in love with his characters. Elsa has such a brave heart and she is determined to follow through with her Granny’s wishes to deliver each letter. Along the way, she meets some amazing people and learns many lessons about love, community and family.

This story was magical. Not just because of the premise, but because of it’s message. What a delight!

My thanks to Atria, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.