Love Lettering by Kate Clayborn

OIPMeg Mackworth is a famous hand-lettering creator who has designed one-of-a-kind wedding invitations and has now branched out on her own.  Due to the popularity of her craft, the New York Times ran a feature on her which made her even more in demand.

But Meg has a secret, one she thought she only knew.  In her work, she sometimes hides words through her spellings which are known only to her.  They can be her thoughts and feelings about the project she has done.

So when Reid Sutherland comes into the shop she is working at and announces to Meg that he saw what she had written on his and his ex-fiancé’s wedding invitation and he wants to know why and how she knew, Meg is flabbergasted.

For some curious reason Meg is relieved Reid did not marry.  And Meg, who is trying to prepare for what could be a life-changing job interview and is in need of some new inspiration is curious as to how Reid was able to find her secret.  On a whim she asks Reid, a math and numbers man, if he would be interested in playing a game with her and go around and look for hidden words in signs all over New York City.

As Meg and Reid begin to connect through of all things the awkwardness of life in general which they have discovered they have in common, they launch into a once in a lifetime relationship.

But suddenly all the signs and words begin to change as does their relationship… Will they be able to recapture the joy and compatibility they shared? For some people who have a tendency to think outside the box, life can be a very lonely world. To find someone who thinks as you do can be transformative.

Love Lettering is just a beautiful, loving, heart aching story about two lost souls who find each other while accidentally reading into all the signs.

Thank you #NetGalley #KensingtonPress #KateClayborn #LoveLettering for the advanced copy.  Love Lettering come out December 31.


The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman

OIPThe Recipe Box is the tale of the Mullin’s family women who prove that hard work, perseverance, luck, and love of family and baking can conquer any hardship and bring great joy.

The Mullin’s family have owned an apple orchard in Michigan for 100 years.  The Mullin’s women have been creating recipes and baking for the same amount of time, with each generation adding to the substantial recipe collection.  On a daughter’s 13th birthday, she is given a key and a recipe box filled with all the collected recipes.  The cards, stained with flour, oil and chocolate also holds the love which has been passed down over the years.  On that same birthday, they bake with their mother and grandmother as the story of the creation of the recipe is told.

When Sam Mullins suddenly quits her baking job in New York she heads home to the orchard, the place she has always loved, but was never quite sure she wanted to make her permanent residence.  While baking once again alongside her grandmother and her mother, she realizes she too is part of the history of this land. But with a new prestigious job prospect in New York, and a love interest she has tried to ignore for far too long, she must finally decide where her heart really lies.

As a celebration of the orchard’s 100 year anniversary combined with her grandmother Willo’s 75th birthday which will take place over Labor Day weekend comes closer, Sam must decide what her dreams for her future really are and what would make her most happy.

The book, which is filled with mouth watering recipes with an afterward which gives the reader the true stories of how the recipes really came to fruition is itself just another reason to love this story.

Because as Willo says, “There is nothing more important than family and food.  Food represents how we celebrate, how we come together, how we rejoice, how we mourn and how we remain one.”  That, I believe, says it all.

The Wives by Tarryn Fisher

untitled Thursday and Seth are married although Thursday only sees her husband on, well, Thursdays.

That is because Seth is also married to two other women.  Thursday tries to be the best possible wife she can, hopefully “out wifing” the other ones.  She is always waiting for him on Thursdays with a home cooked meal and a romp in bed.  They even have nicknames for the other wives…Monday and Tuesday.  But Thursday is beginning to get curious about Seth’s other relationships.  Is she the best wife?

Then one day Thursday accidentally finds a doctor’s receipt for wife #3 in Seth’s pants.  She now has a name! And she decides to investigate the wife.  But what starts out as inquisitiveness turns into an obsession.

Thursday decides to befriend the wife without Seth’s knowledge, and then everything begins to blow up in her face!

And she learns not everything is as it seems.

This story is as psychologically thrilling as you can get. It will keep you on the edge of your seat and keep your mind twisting in every different direction.  Don’t even try to figure the story out…just wait!

Although this may look like an unfinished book review, trust me, giving anymore information would honestly put you at a disadvantage and genuinely ruin the story.  Just know there are so many surprises and plot twists you won’t want to put it down.

Thank you to #NetGalley #GraydonHouseBooks #TheWives #TarrynFisher for the advanced copy.  The book will be out on December 30.

Husband Material by Emily Belden

OIPCharlotte Rosen is single, has a terrific job as a social media analyst and is in the process of developing a new dating app based on mathematical data.  Every decision Charlotte makes is based on what the math data shows.

Until one day she receives an urn with her late husband’s ashes.  A husband she has told absolutely no one she had. And Charlotte’s world begins to spin so out of control that not even her data can help her.

She must now face his death once again, and all the emotions and feelings she suppressed for so long. Not only must she open up to people about being a widow, but she must deal with the rationale as to why she has kept it a secret.

On top of all the sadness and shame she has to deal with, she also has to revisit her not so pleasant relationship with her ex-mother-in-law in a showdown as to who should keep her late husband’s ashes.  Until that decision, Charlotte just takes him with her wherever she goes.

And to complicate her life even further, her late husband’s best friend whom she has kept at a distance since her husband’s death years ago reappears, along with a secret which it seems everyone has been keeping from her (including her late husband) which has thrown everything she believed about her marriage into question.

Charlette must learn to love and trust others again as well as forgive and let go of all the guilt she has felt and try and move on in her life.  These problems unfortunately cannot be fixed by a math algorithm, but only by the heart.

Husband Material is a sensitive yet humorous story of death and the way one woman tries to process it without quite processing it.  It’s about trying to compartmentalize a part of your life only to find out you can’t really have a life until you open that door to truly become free.

Thank you #NetGalley #GraydonHouse #HusbandMaterial #EmilyBelden for the advanced copy.  The book comes out December 30.

Mrs. P’s Book of Secrets by Lorna Gray

{D3E6AE4E-BE2A-45A4-ADE7-3905C45BE0E6}Img400 Mrs. P’s Book of Secrets is a story which has a little bit of everything…mystery, romance, history and ghosts…which all add up to an intriguing adventure.

Mrs. Lucy Peuse, or Mrs. P. is a war widow in 1946 who has begun to work in her uncle’s publishing business.  She is hired to make coffee and answer phones, but soon is put to work to edit a book.

Robert Underhill is a former doctor, and prisoner of war who was hired by the company.  What exactly he was hired to do is the first mystery.  Lucy is wary of him, at first…

But when Lucy is given the opportunity to assist with edits of a book about a family named Ashbrook, which in the galley seems to be always misspelled, she soon discovers an Ashbrok family mystery.  See what I did there?

Lucy and Robert try to find out what happened the Ashbroke family member thought to have died as a young child, but with no grave or obituary they are at a loss. No one seems to even remember the child, which is strange for such a well-known family.

As the two grow closer, Lucy must wrestle with her own ghosts.  Due to the loss of her husband she is afraid to love again first because she does not want to betray him but also because she fears her new love will be taken away.

This tale is a love story in so many ways…the love between family members, people we have lost, or people we feel we have disappointed, or the love between family who are not blood, but are still bonded as family, and what they will do for each other no matter what.

As a long ago mystery is put to rest, so are Lucy and Richard’s questions as to who and how we love and that sometimes ghosts can give the permission we need to love again.

Thank you #NetGalley #HarperCollins #LornaGray #Mrs.P’sBookofSecrets for the advanced copy.  The book will be available in the United States on January 23, 2020.

Born A Crime by Trevor Noah

th Trevor Noah should be dead or in jail, period. The South African comedian and host of The Daily Show chronicles an incredibly abusive, unconventional childhood growing up in South Africa during Apartheid.

Born to a black mother and a white father, Noah documents his adolescence which begins with a powerful story of his mother having to push him out of a moving car on the way home from church for fear his light skin and her dark skin would get him kidnapped. And the book ends with an incredibly dramatic narration of receiving a call from his younger brother telling him his mother had been shot by his step-father.

But although this book is filled with tales anyone would look upon as horribly sad, Noah writes with a wit and humor that was the insanity of his life. He relates these incredible stories with a sort of…can you believe this happened? I can’t! and I was there! attitude.

In between are stories of a young boy who grew up with a very strict mother in poverty and always in fear of being taken away from her because of his skin color.  Noah would spend all day Sunday going to three different churches with his very religious mother never understanding where her faith came from. He would endure abuse from his step-father, as well as witnessing the abuse his mother endured from her husband, while calling the police to no avail.

At their lowest he ate caterpillars for dinner and slept in different cars at night while the family lived at their father’s auto garage.  His friends were members of gangs.  Hearing gunshots and watching police cars speed by were nightly occurrences. He was sent to jail for borrowing his step-father’s car.

But there are also funny stories woven into the book.  Stories of his first three girl crushes. His unique high school job.  His first (and last) prom that he somehow never attended even though he was there!

But as much as his life was crazy, filled with confusion as to who he really was and crammed with chaos, there was always a sense of unconditional love between a mother and her son, a sense of determination to break the previous patterns of life as his mother tried to do, and to do better.  And he did.



Magpie by Sophie Draper

th The Magpie is the twisted, dark, haunting story of a couple whose marriage and world is falling apart around them.  I had already known that a Magpie was a bird, but after I finished the book, my curiosity as to other meanings got the best of me.  I looked the word up in the dictionary and was intrigued to find a few other explanations; someone with mischievous habits, a collector of things.  I had an aha moment!

Claire and Duncan have been married for over 20 years.  Having met in veterinary school they fell in love and immediately married.  While both did graduate, Duncan was the one to pursue the career.  Claire stayed home and took care of their son Joe.  Over time, Duncan was able to open his own practice. To make a good living.

The resentment they have for each other is palpable.  The bitterness in their marriage awful.  The routine of their lives bitter.

Joe was a difficult child from the beginning, always the odd child, prone to tantrums and with not too many friends, and Claire had been the protective parent.  Now that Joe was 18 and not in school any longer his one aspiration was to spend time with his metal detector scouring the ponds and highlands surrounding their secluded house.

Claire knows that Duncan is cheating on her.  This has been the pattern of their marriage. She just can’t figure out who it is this time.  Until she does.  And she decides now is the time to take Joe and their dog and move into a cottage across the pond.

Then Joe goes missing and Claire is beside herself living in the cottage alone with their dog and trying to find her son.  What has happened to her? What has happened to Joe? And what will happen if people find out the secret she and Duncan share?

This is a heartbreaking story of lies, infidelity and sorrow.  But it is also haunting in so many ways. Draper’s scenic writing skills are both breathtaking and grand, perfectly woven into this shocking tale.

Thank you to #NetGalley #Avon #Magpie #SophieDraper for the advanced copy.