I Owe You One by Sophie Kinsella

Let me first say although I had heard of author Sophie Kinsella, I had never read one of her books. But I am here to tell you better late than never!

I Owe You One is the charming, funny story of Fixie Farr the “fixer” of all her family’s problems. Family is very important to Fixie and more so since her dad died. She is everyone’s caretaker.

The book begins as Fixie is in a coffee shop and saves the computer of Sebastian, the very handsome owner of an investment firm from serious damage. He is so appreciative that he writes her out an IOU to be used if she ever needs anything.

On the family front, Fixie’s family owns a cooking store named Farrs. After their dad’s passing their mom took over the store, but due to a health scare she decides to go on an extended vacation and leaves the three children Fixie, Jake and Nicole, along with their Uncle to run things. They all seem to have different ideas as to the future of the store. And their personalities are oil and vinegar…and Nicole…oh my goodness…the dialogue had me laughing out loud!

To add to the confusion, Fixie’s old crush Ryan returns from the United States, jobless and fixing to fix his sights on Fixie…

Add the IOU and the very dashing Sebastian and chaos ensues. Lessons are learned, especially by Fixie whose main purpose in life had always been just to make her family proud.

I Owe You One is a sweet story with snappy dialogue. I didn’t want the book to end! It was such a happy, very humorous story!

And rest assured I have already ordered a few more Sophie Kinsella books!

Thank you to #NetGalley #Random House #The Dial Press #Sophie Kinsella for the advanced copy. I Owe You One will be out On February 5.

The Witch Elm by Tana French

The Witch Elm is about a man named Toby who lives in Ireland. He is a carefree, lucky in life man who has never really had a care in the world. He has a great job, beautiful girlfriend, terrific friends and a loving family and extended family.

Until one night when he is awoken by a robbery and is almost beaten to death. While recuperating, he finds out his beloved Uncle Hugo who lives in the house where he had spent every summer as a child, is dying. Toby goes back to Ivy House to both take care of his uncle during his last days, as well as to try and recuperate from his own injuries.

While there a skull is unearthed in the garden of Ivy House and thus begins Toby’s quest to remember his past and all that could entail. He begins to question if his life had really been so carefree and lucky, if people in his life are trying to protect or hurt him and now due to his injuries what is he and what could he really be capable of.

Although The Witch Elm (in book form) is quite daunting at over 500 pages, more like a tome than a book, it was well worth the cumbersome read.

 

Adele by Leila Slimani

Adele: A Novel is the story of a woman who seems to have it all. She is a working journalist, she’s married to a doctor, she has a son and she has more money than she needs. But Adele is not happy. She has a problem. A big problem. A problem which could tear the life she has built apart. Adele loves sex, but not so much with her husband. Adele is obsessed with extra marital sex and affairs. All unbeknownst to her husband.

But as you continue to read you start to wonder if it is really about the sex or are there underlying issues which like an addiction, makes her crave with need, but afterwards feel guilty and dead.

The story follows her journey as she begins to feel tremendous guilt for what she has been doing, yet unable to stop herself begins to make mistakes…perhaps unconsciously? in the hopes of getting caught? One wonders.

The book is both sexually charged and extremely sad as your heart races and you feel Adele’s confusion and guilt and anxiety. There is a bit of embarrassment as you, the reader, are a fly on the wall and can almost feel and see the choices and sometimes mistake she makes.

Leila Slimani is also the author of The Perfect Nanny which was a New York Times Bestseller in 2018.

Thank you #NetGalley #Penguin Books for the advanced copy. Adele will be out on January 15.

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge

She Lies in Wait by Gytha Lodge is a novel about 6 teenagers who go on an overnight camping trip on a hot July night in the 1980’s. They are carefree and enjoying a night of fun and drinking and hooking up. As the night turns into early morning they discover the youngest of their party, Aurora has gone missing. Police are notified and a search ensues without any results.

Some 30years later bones are uncovered at the same camp sight. The friends are once again brought together to relive that horrible night. Detective Chief Inspector Jonah Sheens is assigned the case. Not new to the specifics, as he was a young police officer back when the disappearance occurred, he knew the group friends including the missing Aurora,

As the group once again begins to retell their stories from years ago, secrets begin to come to light between the friends and soon it looks as if they are turning on each other. But why? And the Investigator himself has a dark hidden secret he has kept all these years.

This well written novel will keep the reader interested from the very first page, Easily readable and with fast paced dialogue it will keep you guessing until the end. I completely enjoyed Lodge’s first novel and so will you.

She Lies in Wait arrives in bookstores on January 8. Thank you #NetGalley and #Random House for the advanced copy.

Last Woman Standing by Amy Gentry

Last Woman Standing by Amy Gentry has so many twists and turns it will keep your head spinning until the very last page.

Donna Diaz is a stand-up comedian trying to break into a business which is mostly male dominated. Moving back to Texas after an unsuccessful run living in LA with her childhood friend Jason, another comic who is still in LA, Donna starts to begin stand-up again from scratch. After one of her shows she meets Amanda Dorn, a very sophisticated computer programmer. They begin to bond over their problems with men who dominate in their careers and how women are not taken as seriously. They start to relay stories of sexual harassment and abuse they have encountered while trying to reach success in their businesses.

Amanda comes up with an idea on how to get back at their harassers. At first hesitant, Donna agrees and what starts out as a way to get revenge and feel empowered turns into a sick game of betrayal, paranoia and blackmail.

This is a fast paces story which shows the struggles of women and the men who hold all their power. It is also very relevant in the Me Too movement which is going on. What would some women do to get revenge on men who have harmed them both physically and emotionally? As Dana gets drawn into Amanda’s sick game she must use her wits to outsmart her. But is Amanda as crazy as she seems or just crazy like a fox?

Who will be the last woman standing?

Last Woman Standing comes out January 15. Thank you #NetGalley #Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for the advanced copy.

The Light Over London by Julia Kelly

The Light Over London by Julia Kelly follows two very strong willed and determined women who never knew one another but whose lives interconnect on so many levels. One lived during WWII and the other today. Both have had heartbreak and survived, and come through their sadness stronger afraid of their futures but willing to take a leap of faith.

Louise Keen lived in a small English village in the 1940’s. At the young age of 19 Louise feels trapped in her ordinary life. Afraid she will never experience life outside her village she takes a leap of faith and goes to a dance. There she meets a young Flight Lieutenant, Paul Barton. When his unit is deployed, Louise makes a decision which will forever change her life.

Cara Hargroves has just come out of a horrible marriage and lost both her parents in a terrible car accident. She and her grandmother Iris are the only family left. Still unable to truly deal with her parent’s deaths, Cara decides she needs to start over and she too takes a leap of faith and moves closer to her grandmother and begins work at an antique shop. While sorting through a client’s house, Cara finds the diary of a woman who lived in the 1940’s. As Cara begins to read the diary she begins to realize that no matter what generation you have lived heartache, heartbreak and survival are all the same.

It becomes Cara’s mission to find out who the diary belongs to and return it to its proper family. In the process by reading the diary she begins to heal herself as she takes the life lessons from the diary to heart. What happened to the woman after the last diary entry? Will Cara ever find out?

Secrets play an important role in the story. Some which should be taken to the grave and others which are buried in a different place…deep in the mind and the past.

The Light Over London is a love story, but its more than that. It’s also a story of women’s empowerment and not listening to people who say you can’t succeed. A terrific read!

Thank you #NetGalley #Simon & Schuster #The Light Over London #Julia Kelly for the advanced copy. The book comes out January 8. Don’t miss it!

Looker by Laura Sims

Looker by Laura Sims is the story of a woman whose life becomes shattered and she begins to spiral out of control after she separates from her husband after years of being unable to conceive a child. Her mind slowly dissolves as she begins to obsess and emulate a famous actress who lives across the street.

The woman whose name we never learn. narrates the story. Through her eyes we see her begin to lose her mind as she tries to rationalize the anger at her soon to be ex-husband and his cat which she will not return, her poor choices as a Humanities professor and especially her sickening obsession toward the actress known in the story only as “The Actress”. As she watches the actress and her family relentlessly from the stoop in front of her house she creates envious imaginary scenarios about them and she begins to sink deeper into madness.

We watch, as the reader, as this troubled woman finally breaks from reality at the annual neighborhood block party where the actress has finally noticed her, only to have her soon to be ex-husband appear and humiliate her in front of everybody. And then we watch, trying in our own mind, to look away, embarrassed for her, as we feel her desperation as she begins to succumb to the madness.

Looker will give your heart palpitations from beginning to end. I highly recommend this book. It will be out January 8. Thank you for the advanced copy #NetGalley #Simon&Schuster #Looker