Remember: The Science of Memory and the Art of Forgetting (by Lisa Genova) … informational read about the brain

To be honest, I was looking forward to another book in typical Lisa Genova style … a novel with a story line.  So I was a little sad when I started reading Remember.  Having worked for 38½ years in a Psychology department in a University, and specifically with neuroscience faculty and memory experts, the information provided was very interesting.

The brain is an amazing thing and all of the ways it works … remembering, forgetting, tasting, seeing, hearing, touching, the sense of pain, pleasure, stress, joy, etc.  What an awesome job our brains do and the ability it has is unbelievable.  The recommendations for how to keep your brain active and decrease the likelihood of dementia are very useful.

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

The Bounty ~ Fox and O’Hare #7 (by Janet Evanovich) … fun and exciting adventure

The seventh book in the Fox and O’Hare series is a good addition. I love Kate and her tough exterior. Adding Fox and O’Hare’s fathers to the “team” was fun. I liked the way the story line progressed so that it was like working a puzzle. Following the clues and figuring out where the next step would be was entertaining and kept me intrigued.

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

Picture Perfect Frame ~ Tourist Trap #12 (by Lynn Cahoon) … great mystery with delightful characters

I’ve read several books in other series by this author and really enjoyed them. So when I saw the opportunity to read this book, I jumped on it! It would have been better to have started at the beginning of the series, but I still enjoyed the book. The characters are well developed and I enjoyed the interactions between them. The mystery was set up early in the book and kept you invested in the book.

I have to say that Amy’s wedding plans would have driven me nuts if she were my friend. Though the fact that her fiancé disappeared so close to the wedding day may have pushed me over the edge.

I will definitely go back and read the earlier books in this series. I am a huge Lynn Cahoon fan and look forward to any new book she releases!

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

Triple Chocolate Cheesecake Murder ~ Hannah Swenson #27 (by Joanne Fluke) … good mystery but choppy and shallow conversations

I have enjoyed this series through the years, but the writing has definitely gone downhill.  The conversations between the characters was so lightweight and choppy.  And Hannah’s internal debate conversation is right irritating.

While those are the negatives, I did at least enjoy the mystery.  And it was a nice change of pace for who was guilty.  Even though the recipes take up a good number of the pages in the book, I do enjoy having those and the ability to bake the delicious creations.  I hope the series improves back to the delightful books that were written earlier.  It would make me sad to miss out on Hannah’s adventures.

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

A Bone to Pick ~ Widow’s Island #2 (by Melinda Leigh) … well developed murder mystery

From the first page, you are sucked into the murder mystery and Deputy Tessa Black is pulling you along for the ride.  The book is full of well developed characters, an intense mystery, a sense of violence.  Tessa’s mother is suffering from Alzheimer’s and this only adds to the many things on her plate.  There is the chance of a romantic relationship developing, but that’s just a blip on the radar and does not take away from the mystery that needs to be solved.

I am looking forward to the next book in the series!

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

Long Island Iced Tina ~ Catering Hall #2 (by Maria DiRico) … delightful cozy mystery

I had so much fun reading this book!  The characters are delightful and the story line was engaging.  Mia is a wonderful main character and her view of life as a mob princess, an Italian, and an amateur sleuth have you laughing.  She is surrounded by quirky family members and complicated relationships.  I am anxiously waiting for the next book in this series.  I am definitely a fan and look forward to what happens next at the Bell View Banquet Manor.

Kudos to the author for entertaining us with a complicated mystery, edge of your seat drama, and hysterics that will have you chuckling.

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

Dreidel to the Grave (by Yoel Bereket)

The major premise of the book was very appealing.  To hunt down the officers who played a primary role in the atrocities that occurred during Nazi regime.  And hunting for Hitler was the cherry on top!  The book is action packed and leaves you breathless in the constant action.

Enzo, his young cohort, was one of my favorite characters.  His interactions with David Gal, the main character of the story, was delightful.  I enjoyed the excitement and the efforts made to avenge the horrific acts perpetrated by Hitler and his army of killers. Thank you to the author for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Paris Dressmaker (by Kristy Cambron) … amazing trip back to WWII

There are two main characters whose lives are woven throughout the pages of this amazing trip back to WWII and the Nazi invasion of France.  One thread is with the seamstress Lila, who you are introduced to as she is escaping capture.  You are frantic as you experience her fear.  The second thread is with Sandrine, a mother and the wife whose husband has left to fight against Hitler’s atrocities.

What you don’t realize at the time is how the lives will be affected by their willingness to sacrifice their lives on behalf of the Resistance.  The women who work behind the scenes in unbelievable and simple ways are truly brave.  The stories of these two women go back and forth in time.  It was difficult to keep up with whether you were at the present time (1943/1944) or the past (1939) as you flipped through the pages.  I wish there was a way to help me navigate the time periods a little easier.  The story was still wonderful, but it often took me a while to realize “where” I was in relation to the time period.

There are so many times you heart will stop as you wait in anticipation for what will happen next.  The author does a wonderful job of keeping you on the edge of your seat, making the reader invested in the lives of the characters, and allowing you to experience the Nazi invasion through multiple viewpoints.

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

The Painted Castle ~ The Lost Castle #3 (by Kristy Cambron) … beautiful portrait of love, loss, trust, pain, and healing

This third book in the “lost castle” series has been my favorite.  I love the triple timeline story that weaves itself into a beautiful portrait of love, loss, trust, pain, and healing.  The author has such a gift of drawing the reader into the pages and making you care about the characters.

I am going to miss the people I’ve met as I explored various periods in history through this series.  The characters were well developed and the depth of emotions the reader is exposed to makes these books a must read.

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

The Final Wish of Mr. Murray McBride (by Joe Siple) … moving and touching story

This sequel to The Five Wishes of Mr. Murray McBride, is equally as moving and touching.  I loved catching up with Jason Cashman from the first Murray McBride book and discover what he has been up to through the years since receiving the heart transplant from his best friend, Tiegan.

The emotional trip with Jason as he faces a serious health issue and his interactions with people who need to receive a heart transplant has it keeping your interest and cheering on the various characters.  Alexandra is a wonderful addition to the story and I fell in love with her from the beginning.  She gives Jason a purpose and he needs to resolve his obligations with his hope for the future.

The beginning of each chapter features words of wisdom from Mr. Murray McBride’s journal.  If you have not had the pleasure of reading that book, it gives you a glimpse into the history of Murray and Jason’s relationship.  I strongly encourage you to read that book!

Thank you to NetGalley and Black Rose Writing for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.  This is one of those books that I enjoyed so much that I will purchase a paper copy once it is released so that I can share it with my bookloving friends!