Saturday, October 31, 2015

Pretending To Dance

Diane Chamberlain

Molly Arnette is very good at keeping secrets. She lives in San Diego with a husband she adores, and they are trying to adopt a baby because they can't have a child on their own. But the process of adoption brings to light many questions about Molly's past and her family-the family she left behind in North Carolina twenty years before. The mother she says is dead but who is very much alive. The father she adored and whose death sent her running from the small community of Morrison's Ridge. Her own birth mother whose mysterious presence in her family raised so many issues that came to a head. The summer of twenty years ago changed everything for Molly and as the past eaves together with the present story, Molly discovers that she learned to lie in the very family that taught her about pretending. If she learns the truth about her beloved father's death, can she find peace in the present to claim the life she really wants? (from Netgalley)

My Thoughts

Molly and her husband Aidan are trying to adopt. There is something in Molly’s past that is preventing her from being able to fully live in the present. Pretending to Dance is the story of what happened to Molly that one fateful summer and why it has impacted her life in such a significant way.
It is not often that I feel compelled to immediately sit down to write a review. But with this story, I have no choice, although first I had to quit crying.
Told in alternating chapters of Molly’s current life and one summer when she was fourteen, eventually the past and present collide. I’m not certain why, but I connected with Molly from the very beginning. I liked her as an adult, but fell in love with her as a fourteen year old. What happened when Molly was fourteen was gut wrenching for me. It is only when she is an adult and discovers the real truth that she is able to put the past behind her and move on.
This wasn’t so much of a roller coaster story, but a slow steady build up to an awesome ending. My goodness, how is it even possible this is my first read by this very talented author? As they say, better late than never. Off I go to pick another book by Ms. Chamberlain. I have a feeling she is going to be one of my go to authors when I want a guaranteed good read.
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press, via Netgalley for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review. Lucky me.......

Sunday, October 11, 2015

The Night Sister

Jennifer McMahon

Once the thriving attraction of rural Vermont, the Tower Motel now stands in disrepair, alive only in the memories of Amy, Piper, and Piper's kid sister, Margot. The three played there as girls until the day that their games uncovered something dark and twisted in the motel's past, something that ruined their friendship forever.
Now adult, Piper and Margot have tried to forget what they found that fateful summer, but their lives are upended when Piper receives a panicked midnight call from Margot, with news of a horrific crime for which Amy stands accused. Suddenly, Margot and Piper are forced to relive the time that they found the suitcase that once belonged to Silvie Slater, the aunt that Amy claimed had run away to Hollywood to live out her dreaof becoming Hitchcock's next blonde bombshell leading lady. As Margot and Piper investigate, a cleverly woven plot unfolds—revealing the story of Sylvie and Rose, two other sisters who lived at the motel during its 1950s heyday. Each believed the other to be something truly monstrous, but only one carries the secret that would haunt the generations to come.(from Netgalley)

My Thoughts
Margot and Piper are sisters. Growing up, they hung out with Amy until one day they made a gruesome discovery that caused the friendship to fall apart. Margot marries a local boy, but Piper ends up moving away. Out of the blue, she gets a phone call that Amy has committed a horrific crime. She returns home to be with Margot and to try and find out what really happened with Amy. What truths will she uncover and who exactly is the night sister?
Hot dog - this was good and creepy. I liked undercurrent of something lurking around the corner - something just not right and off kilter, but you can’t get enough of a glimpse to be able to figure it out. I think Ms. McMahon has a great way of building suspense. Letting the reader in on little pieces of the puzzle that leave you wanting more. A great read from beginning to end. Having read a few of this author’s other books, this was no surprise.
Thank you to Doubleday Books, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this in exchange for an unbiased review.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Pretty Baby

Mary Kubica

A chance encounter sparks an unrelenting web of lies in this stunning new psychological thriller from national bestselling author Mary Kubica.

She sees the teenage girl on the train platform, standing in the pouring rain, clutching an infant in her arms. She boards a train and is whisked away. But she can't get the girl out of her head…

Heidi Wood has always been a charitable woman: she works for a nonprofit, takes in stray cats. Still, her husband and daughter are horrified when Heidi returns home one day with a young woman named Willow and her four-month-old baby in tow. Disheveled and apparently homeless, this girl could be a criminal—or worse. But despite her family's objections, Heidi invites Willow and the baby to take refuge in their home.

Heidi spends the next few days helping Willow get back on her feet, but as clues into Willow's past begin to surface, Heidi is forced to decide how far she's willing to go to help a stranger. What starts as an act of kindness quickly spirals into a story far more twisted than anyone could have anticipated. (from Netgalley).

My Thoughts

Heidi sees a very young girl with a baby on the train platform. It appears that she is homeless, so out of the blue, Heidi invites the girl, Willow, to stay in her home with her baby. Heidi’s husband and daughter are flabbergasted. Who is this young girl and why would Heidi open their home to a stranger?
This story is told in three voices: Heidi’s, her husband Chris’, and Willow’s. Willow’s story starts in the past, how she came to have a baby and ended up being homeless. Chris and Heidi’s part of the story has to do with the present. Chris is trying to figure out what the heck is going on with his wife and who this young girl really is. But the most important piece of the story has to do with Heidi. On the surface she appears to want to help Willow and her baby. But when all is said and done, we get to find out what her real motive is.
This was pretty exciting! Willow’s story is sad and Heidi turns out to be bonkers. The story started out fast paced and never slowed down. There were some interesting twists and turns. This is the first book I’ve read from this author and I sure liked her style. She is definitely an author I will read again.
My thanks to Harlequin/Mira, via Netgalley, for allowing me to read this for an unbiased review