Unfinished Business ~ Ali Reynolds #16 (by J. A. Jance) … be prepared for a wild and frenetic ride

I am a huge fan of the Ali Reynolds series by J. A. Jance. The characters are well developed, there is always a great m ystery, and you are sitting on the edge of your seat. This book was a little more personally emotionally for Ali as she has to deal with an issue involving her parents. This is definitely a series to add to your list to read. Just be prepared to hold on tight for a wild and frenetic roller coaster ride.

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery Books for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Have a Holly, Haunted Christmas ~ Kitchen Witch #2.5 (by Lynn Cahoon) … intriguing mystery

I love Lynn Cahoon’s books and am enjoying the Kitchen Witch series. The characters are well developed and I love the various relationships among them. This quick read mystery will have you looking forward to Christmas … the decorations and delicious food. The mystery was intriguing and has you guessing until the very end. I can’t wait for the next installment.

Thank you to Book Funnel and the author for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Living and the Lost (by Ellen Feldman) … a story of healing

I love books set during WWII. This book was different in that it focused on the time period after the war. It was interesting to see how individuals dealt with the aftermath of the holocaust. There was a rampant use of the black market. The main characters, siblings Millie and David, fled Germany for the U.S. during the war. The author does an amazing job of taking you back in time and their new life in America. And yet, as they’ve escaped Germany, they still experience anti-Semitism. The brother and sister end up together in Berlin to assist in America’s efforts for denazification. But the healing that has to happen in Germany, their lives, as well as so many people you meet throughout the pages of this story will move you.

This is a tale of guilt, escape, bravery. compassion, loss, and love. As you walk through Millie’s past and present, you begin to unravel the mystery of why she is struggling and suffering. The effect Major Harry Sutton has on Millie’s process of acceptance and healing is admirable. I really like his character.

I highly recommend this book. What an emotional story that will touch you deeply.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Griffin for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Secrets Never Die ~ Morgan Dane #5 (by Melinda Leigh) … rollercoaster ride of twists and turns

I LOVE the Morgan Dane series by Melinda Leigh. Each book gets better and better as you grow to know Morgan, Lance, and Sharp and their families. While there is some romance as Morgan and Lance’s relationship develops, it’s clean and not over the top. The murder mystery has you guessing until the end. And you are in for a rollercoaster ride of twists and turns. I am anxiously waiting for the next installment.

Thank you to NetGalley and Montlake Romance for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Brothers of Auschwitz (by Malka Adler) … this book will stay with you long after you’ve read the last page

This book is nothing short of gut-wrenching. You are exposed to the true horrors experienced during the holocaust. But you also are given a view of the life the brothers had after the war. You are given a warning at the beginning of the book and you should not take it lightly. What sets this book apart is not only the atrocities experienced at Auschwitz, but how this affected them after the war was over. I don’t believe people realized how much the survivors of the camps continued to be affected. Indeed, every aspect of their livers were touched by their traumatic ordeals. Imagine have to change how you respond to everyday activities … not gulping down your food, not hiding food because you never know whether you’ll have any, washing your hands before meals, learning to say thank you, feeling comfortable going to a doctor or riding on a train or going to a BBQ. And then to be judged by people in Israel who could not understand how they “allowed” themselves to be led like “sheep to the slaughter.” This book will be one that will stay with you long after you’ve read the last word and slowly close it.

Thank you to NetGalley and One More Chapter for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

One Lucky Day (by Bill Whiting) … you’ll laugh with tears running down your cheeks

This book was a different read for me. It is part coming of age and exposes you to heartache, loss, a variety of relationships, a first love, discovering self worth, and dedication. While my heart ached for Robert, it was also nice to watch him grow, develop, and mature. Frank and Lillian helped make this story … along with the pig, “My Maisie.” There are moments when you laugh out loud and others when a tear will trickle down your cheek. Overall a really good story that I encourage you to put on your to-be-read list.

Thank you to NetGalley and Troubador Publishing Ltd. for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Bone Code ~ Temperance Brennan #20 (by Kathy Reichs) … the author has done it again!

I love the Temperance Brennan series by Kathy Reichs. One trick the author uses is to leave a cliff hanger at the end of each chapter. That makes it difficult to put the book aside. You just have to know what happens next. This is a great mystery with great medical and forensic anthropological information. There are relationships … tension … and, of course, lots of twists and turns. This particular book in the series is a little scarier, simply because vaccines and “big pharma” play a part in the story line. Kathy Reichs has done it again!

Thank you to NetGalley and Scribner Books for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

A Killer Christmas Wish ~ Cat Latimer #7 (by Lynn Cahoon) … you’re left guessing until the very end

This is the first book I’ve read in the Cat Latimer series, but I will definitely go back and read the first 6 books. A book about a writer’s meeting for a retreat intrigued me and then you factor in well-developed characters and a murder mystery and I’m hooked. There are lots of twists and turns as you learn more about the individuals at the retreat. As clues are revealed, you will continue to try to solve the mystery. But in Lynn Cahoon typical fashion, you are left guessing until the bitter end. Can’t wait for the next book in this series!

Thank you to Book Funnel and the author for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Here Comes the Fudge ~ Candy Coated #9 (by Nancy Coco) … fun cozy mystery

This is the first book I’ve read in the Candy Coated series. However, I enjoyed it so much that I will go back and read the earlier books. The characters are well developed and the mystery keeps you guessing. In fact, the author does a wonderful job of holding your attention through all the twists and turns until the very end. I loved the relationships between the characters as well as the setting. I want to go to Mackinac Island and stay in Allie’s inn … and definitely try her fudge! My mouth was watering as I flipped quickly through the pages. A fun cozy mystery that is one to add to your to-be-read list.

Thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Publishing Corporation for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Reunion Beach (by multiple authors) … great tribute to Dorothea Benton Frank

This book is a wonderful tribute to Dorothea Benton Frank. Each of the contributions are unique and appealing. Reading this made me wish that Dottie and were good friends … or that I had been blessed with the opportunity to meet her. The letter to readers section written by Dorothea Benton Frank was a nice touch as well as the personal gift of thoughts from her children. If you are a fan of Dorothea Benton Frank, then this is definitely one to put on your to-be-read list … and to have a personal paper copy to cherish.

Thank you to William Morrow and Goodreads for my advanced review copy. All opinions and thoughts are my own.