No One Need to Know by Lindsay Cameron

No One Needs to Know is a psychological thriller with a creative plot line which has a juicy, gossipy yet cringy story full of jealousy, wealth, revenge, sabotage, affairs and even murder. What more could one book give?

The story targets the rich, I mean the really rich, and those who want to be richer, live more like the really rich because, well, it’s never enough. Who’s jealous of who, which of their children will get into the better school and what they need to do make that happen. But most of all it’s about the entitled and who they look down on, the less rich.

And the only time it really matters is when they bet busted. And unfortunately for them, the social media site Urban Myth which prides itself on anonymity and which they all use to air their grievances from affairs to wanting to kill someone may not be as secure as they all thought.

Heather is a follower. She wants to be the Queen Bee but is not wealthy enough. She slaves for the Queen in hopes of getting approval and moving up on the food chain. She has a daughter, Violet who she expects to go to an exclusive school. Violet is only 13. She has learned to be creative in her ways to help her family succeed. But when she accidently finds out there is a compromising picture of her daughter at a posh dance in which an administrator from an elite school was supposed to attend online, she goes crazy. Perhaps even obsessed with finding out who’s to blame.

Norah comes from wealth. She also works very hard to sustain the lifestyle she, her husband and daughter enjoy. All she wants is for her daughter Caroline to get into the top exclusive school. Nora is not into the politics of schmoozing with other parents. But when she accidentally finds out something about Caroline, she realizes it’s time to take a stand.

Poppy IS The Queen Bee, and she knows it. She rules in a very demeaning way. Poppy enjoys the attention. She lives for attention. From everyone, except her husband who gives her none. They know where their son Henry will end up, even though he is a bit difficult. Poppy has many secrets, most of which would ruin her if they came out.

Suddenly no one is safe and confidential information begins to leak out in which all the women can’t control. Affairs, bribes blackmail, and one missing person oh my! And then the explosion heard around the world when it is discovered that Urban Myth has been hacked. And everybody must run for cover and protect themselves.

Who will come out of this unscathed? Is there enough money to go around to make sure the children are protected. Rich people problems, I guess… but enjoyable anyway!

No One Needs to Know is a jaw-dropping look at the caste system which even exists with the uber wealthy and the only way in which they know how to make it go away. Throw money at the problem. Such a great read!

Thank you #NetGalley #Bantam/RandomHouse #NoOneNeedstoKnow #LindsayCameron for the advanced copy.

Late Bloomers by Deepa Varadarajan

Late Bloomers is a wonderful love story about…divorce and family dysfunction! It’s humorous and touching, filled with rites of passages which can occur at any age. But even though the relationships are tumultuous, the main feeling you get is there is always love.

Suresh and Lata were married over 30 years ag0. It was an arranged marriage. They spent their first day as man and wife at the movies. But, through the years, they have learned to accept each other, even though they both see the flaws in the other. They have raised two children who are now adults, Priya a teacher and Nikesh, a lawyer.

At some point, Lata decides she needs her space form Suresh and wants to live a life she never had. Suresh does not understand Lata’s decision but accepts his wife’s wishes. They divorce and Lata moves into an apartment and Suresh keeps the house.

Lata begins a job at a college library where a professor begins to show her attention. She has never even had a boyfriend, so she is confused and guilty as to what to do. It does not help that the person giving her advice is a young girl she works with. Suresh on the other hand has begun dating at the aga of 60. He is on a dating app and is not very savvy at reading cues the women give him.

Along with these changes, what they have yet to discover, and possibly would freak out about if they do, Priya is in an unorthodox relationship and smokes, both of which they absolutely would not approve, and Nikesh who lives with Denise and their son Alok are not married although his parents think they are. Nikesh can’t seem to make the commitment as he pines for an old girlfriend.

With Alok’s first birthday coming and a party being planned at the house, what should be a happy event inevitably turns into a disaster with secrets coming out of the woodwork. And it is at this time the whole family must choose a new path, both together and separately as they all must make choices which will change futures. They must create a new version of their family, for the sake of all of them. They must find it in their hearts to love each other and those who love them.

Late Bloomers is adorably funny and heartwarming even though it might take this old-fashioned family a bit of time to step into a new wonderful future together.

Thank you #NetGalley #RandomHouse #DeepaVaradarajan #LateBloomers for the advanced copy.

The Perfect Ones by Nicole Hackett

When social media influencers get together for a work trip in Iceland it can be back stabbingly devastating with one of them ending up missing and other’s lives exploding in their faces. These women who seemingly innocently promote wellness and products to those desperately looking for miracle cures unfortunately can eat each other alive! The Perfect Ones is by far perfect and throughout this incredibly thrilling story the discoveries of their imperfections are shocking and juicy. The best type of an exciting plot.

Celeste Reed has a bit of a following, but nothing compared to the rest of the women. She is much more plain and other responsibilities take precedent over posting. She reluctantly decides at the last minute to go on this trip, even though she and her husband have been arguing about whether their young daughter needs some sort of intervention. She has been acting out recently. Celeste’s intuition says yes, her husband is not on board.

Alabama Wood is all about her Instagram number of followers and other influencers. She is Celeste’s best friend and has been for many years. Alabama cannot believe her luck! Not only is she excited about this trip, but she can’t believe icon influencer Hollie Goodwin will be on this trip! In her mind, she knows once she meets Hollie, they will become fast best friends. She knows her life will change after this trip with Hollie in her corner. But what no one knows is Alabama has been having some mental issues and has been on medication. She seemed to settle down, but unbeknownst to her husband and doctor, has stopped taking her medication.

Hollie Goodwin is a very famous fitness influencer. Although this year has been pretty tough on her. She has been through a tremendous amount of turmoil. Hollie’s weight has increased a bit this year. She has been able to hide it so no one can tell, and she is happy at least the weather is cold in Iceland so hopefully she can continue to mask her weight gain. Hollie realizes Alabama is a bit obsessed with her, something at this stage in her life she certainly does not need.

So, when Alabama suddenly goes missing and the police are unable to find any clues as to her disappearance, the women are shocked. Or are they really?

As the story moves from the day of the disappearance to the next day, and three months prior to and three months after the disappearance, we continuously begin to learn the buried secrets of these high profiled women. With one shocking revelation after another, not even the reader can fully decide who was involved. Or why.

The Perfect Ones is a heart pounding story you won’t want to put down until you find out what really happened. It makes you think that the next time you perhaps flip to Instragram and envy someone’s perfect story, know that it perhaps may not be the full truth. No one is truly as flawless as you think. Some perhaps could possibly hold deadly secrets.

Thank you #NetGalley #CrookedLandBooks #NicoleHackett #ThePerfectOnes for the advanced copy.

No Two Persons by Erica Bauermeister

No Two Persons is a wonderfully imaginative story about a group of people who don’t know each other who are going through a rough patch and read the same book. Each sees a different meaning in the story which changes their life forever.

The story begins with the author, Alice and her life. She had love and loss and had been told she could be a great writer. She begins with writer’s block and then gets this incredible idea, and then she can’t stop writing. With the help of her college professor, she completes the story, and it becomes published.

The book, whose title is Theo, is about a boy who loves to swim. He has had a difficult life. His journey seems to be everyone’s life journey in one way or another.

But some of its readers find so much more meaning in the narrative.

The readers are:

Lara who is an assistant at a publishing company who has just had a baby. She is working from home, exhausted and seems to be in the throws of post partum. She is tired of her life and scared for her future. Then she receives a manuscript to read.

Rowan, a movie superstar whose stardom is dimming because of a health issue. He knows he needs to find something, or he will just disappear. Then, his agent gives him a book to read.

Miranda lives a solitary life in the wilderness. She is an artist. She finds a dog and begins to explore. Her mother whom she barely tolerates sends her a care package. In it is a book. Her mother is constantly asking if she has read the story. Finally, Miranda reluctantly picks up the book.

Tyler is a young boy who loves the water even before he knows how to swim which caused his parents embarrassment and anxiety. He understands he is different but doesn’t understand why. When a tragedy occurs, he is given a book to read.

Nola is in high school and wants to go to college. But she has been keeping secrets from the administration because she knows if they find out about her tragic life they will send her on a different path. The book, Theo is on her to be read for class.

Kit is a bookseller in Maine. He loves his life. He loves books, and his lifestyle. He meets an ambitious woman and falls in love, and they marry. They are very different personalities. But one day he picks up a book from an author who has come into the bookstore he works at.

William is an elderly man who has just lost the love of his life, his wife Abigail. He is having a hard time living without her. He decides he needs a change of scenery, so he applies for a job as a caretaker of a town. During a blizzard he notices in a box a book his wife and daughter had been reading together before Abigail’s death.

Juliet spends most of her time on movie sets making sure love scenes are appropriately shot. She travels a great deal and is married. But her marriage is beginning to not fulfill her. On a plane on the way home she opens an e-book a friend had sent her awhile back. She begins to listen to the book.

Madeline is the number one book agent. She has made so many careers she has lost count, including Alice’s. Her work and her books are her life. And she is proud of what she has accomplished.

This inspiring cast of characters will begin new journeys all because of a simple story. In No Two Persons you will fall in love with each individual and feel great pleasure as they begin to see their life change. Amazing read!

Thank you #NetGalley #St.Martin’sPress #NoTwoPersons #EricaBauermeister for the advanced copy.

Swamp Story by Dave Barry

In this imaginative, funny story, filled with bumbling characters, who all accidentally collide with each other Barry shows he has certainly not lost his touch on the crazy! With good versus evil and not very smart versus wise, his characters morph into different personalities with a feel-good ending.

Jesse Braddock has lost everything to her boyfriend Slater. She’s embarrassed at how he was able to smooth talk her into her money and quitting her job. Now, her parents will not speak to her, she has an infant daughter and is living in a dilapidated cabin in the Everglades no less. All she can think of is how to get away from this situation.

Ken Bortle and his brother Brad of Bortle Brothers Bait & Beer have a once thriving shop. Now they barely get any tourists who are visiting the Everglades. Ken knows if something doesn’t happen quickly they will lose everything.

Phil is a down on his luck guy who left his wife and daughter when he found out his wife had cancer. He can barely make ends meet. He has no job and basically drinks Moscow Mules for a living. So, when a friend of his offers him a job to put a Dora the Explorer costume on for a child’s birthday party for some cash, he says ok. But unfortunately, things go very wrong at the party and Phil is humiliated.

Even more embarrassing, someone took a video of the incident and posted it online which then got reposted to Tik Tok which then made Phil a mortifying celebrity. Not exactly what he wanted!

Enter Ken Bortle who sees the video and gets this terrific idea on how they can drum up business for their store. They can use someone dressed as a monster and post the video and everyone will flock to the business. They can sell t-shirts and other products. And just like that Ken accidentally finds Phil drinking in a bar and strikes up a deal. Now all they have to do is find people to film the video.

In the meantime, Jesse is spending all her time with her daughter and taking care of her alone. Slater is off doing some video. As she takes a walk around the swamp, she sees something gold and shiny in the mud. She pulls it out and lo and behold it is a gold bar. She digs further and finds more, much more! This is her way out. Now all she has to do is make sure she can keep the gold and that her boyfriend never finds out!

But unbeknownst to Jesse, two men did see her. Duck and Billy Campbell. They knew the history of the missing gold bars, folklore, but now they know it was really true. They need this woman to lead them to the motherload! And then get rid of her.

As Jesse turns to a former boyfriend/lawyer for help, the Bortle brothers succeed in making the monster video and everything seems to be going just fine. Until it begins not to. And that’s when all these worlds begin to collide in an incredibly hysterical ending in which a fight between good versus evil begins and then ends.

Swamp Story is the tale of misfits, who find each other and through a lot of accidents find their way to who they really were meant to be and somehow become the luckiest people on earth!

Thank you #NetGalley #Simon&Schuster #DaveBarry #SwampStory for the advanced copy.

Mastering the Art of French Murder by Colleen Cambridge

Mastering the Art of French Murder is a deliciously good, Agatha Christie like who-done-it with the added and I must say most enjoyable addition of Julia Child as the sidekick! It mixes a wonderful murder mystery with a few good food mysteries as well as delicacies from Child’s own book, Mastering the Art of French Cooking.

Tabitha Knight has come to Paris via Detroit to take care of her grandfather and adopted “uncle”. There she accidently meets Julia Child who lives across the street and the two become very close friends. Julia in fact is trying to get the skittish cook, Tabitha, to start preparing more difficult foods.

So, when Tabitha is invited to Julia’s to a dinner party with a group of Theater people who work with Julia’s sister Dort whom Paul and Julia live with, she jumps at the chance. As the party begins to wind down, Tabitha decides to leave and takes the elevator to the ground floor with another female guest. They said their goodbyes and Tabitha went home while the woman waited for a cab.

The next day as she’s going to see Julia, she discovers there had been a murder right outside Julia’s building and to her shock, the dead woman is the same one she left the building with! They soon find out the murder weapon was one of Julia’s own kitchen knives. No one can believe this has happened, but Tabitha and Julia seem to be sure it must have been one of the guests who attended the party.

Tabitha soon decides she must try and figure out what happened. As she develops clues, much to the angst of the Inspector in charge of the investigation, she becomes a suspect! There was a piece of paper in the dead woman’s pocket with Tabitha’s name and phone number. And it was in Tabitha’s own handwriting.

Most of her suspects seem to be the workers from the Theater. Dort asks her and she accepts the position of coat checker, the same job the woman held. Unfortunately for Tabitha the agreement could possibly be a deadly mistake. Her own!

Then as Tabitha is biking, she is suddenly almost hit and killed by a car who seemed intent on hitting her. She must be getting close!

At the same time, Julia herself has quite the culinary mystery on her hands. Her mayonnaise has gone bad. To say, she can’t seem to make the recipe anymore without it failing. As you can imagine, Julia is beside herself.

As Tabitha begins to put the pieces of the puzzle together, she truly could be the next dead body. The ending is quite the surprise.

Mastering the Art of French Murder is a brilliant idea! It’s filled with suspense, wit and Julia Child’s famous voice in your head. As you read this enchanting story, you will continuously smile and eat up the mystery! Hopefully Tabitha and Julia will be back for more. Bon appetite!

Thank you #NetGalley #KensingtonBooks #ColleenCambridge #MasteringtheArtofFrench Murder for the advanced copy.

Paper Cuts by Ellery Adams

In the sixth installment of Adams’ Secret, Book, and Scone Society series, we get a glimpse into our main character, Nora Pennington’s life prior to her relocating to Miracle Springs, North Carolina and opening up a bookshop/coffee shop. And it truly is eye opening!

Presently, some of the group has each gone through personal changes in their lives. Nora is now dating the sheriff, Grant McCabe, Estrella’s father, Gus is getting out of prison and looking for a job and Hester is trying to figure out her personal life.

So, when Nora meets a woman, Kelly and her son Tucker who has Aspergers Syndrome at the newly opened shop, Tea Flowers, she feels quite uncomfortable. The slight woman cannot take her eyes of her. What she soon discovers is Kelly is dying and she was the mistress who broke up Nora’s marriage. Even more shocking, it looks as if Tucker is her ex’s son! Kelly wants to make amends with Nora. Nora does not and pushes her away.

Then there is a knock at Nora’s door. She is the prime suspect for the MURDER of Kelly! She is taken in and the sheriff must stay out of the interviewing process due to their relationship. Unfortunately, there is a new officer in town who has made it known to Nora that she does not particularly like her and is making her life miserable. She has no idea why.

It becomes Nora’s job to try and get herself out of this mess with very little help from those she has always trusted. But unfortunately, someone is trying to frame her. She begins to relive her twisted past and her not so healthy relationship with her ex-husband, who seems to still be the jerk he was all those years ago.

But there is more than just one mystery in this riveting story. Nora’s ex-mother-in-law seems to have left a set of books to her grandson, Tucker. Why would she do that? Are the two mysteries tied together in some way?

And with all this going on there is discussion going on to open a casino. One hopefully to be open by the Cherokee and the other privately. There is never a dull moment in this small town!

Paper Cuts is another wonderful Ellery Adams cozy, with characters who we seem to know so well, and the reader is quite vested in. And as usual, Nora is always giving her clients of the bookstore recommendations of what books to read next, which means we get a wonderful list of books to read! Note: Always have a pencil and paper handy for those gems!

Thank you #NetGalley #KensingtonCozies #ElleryAdams #PaperCuts for the advanced copy.

The Audrey Hepburn Estate by Brenda Janowitz

The Audrey Hepburn Estate is a wonderful homage to the talented movie star who herself. Janowitz effortlessly incorporates snippets of Hepburn’s movies into the story making this not only a wonderful read, but also a wink to Hepburn’s brilliance as an actor and philanthropist.

When Emma, owner and chef of a catering company returns to the estate in which she grew up and fell in love with as well as where she fell in love with the owner’s son, Henry because she recently found out it had been sold and was being torn down by none other than her best friend, Leo who had lived there as well, she takes it upon herself to try and save the only home she ever really loved.

As Emma relives scenes from her history at the infamous named Audrey Hepburn Estate, she begins to remember the good times and also the bad. Her mother was a maid at the mansion and worked her way up to house manager, while her father whom Emma adored, tragically died when she was a young. She remembers the chef who cooked and taught her everything she knows, she and her best friend Leo running all around the land and sneaking into unknown hideaways, and lastly, Henry, whose family owned the infamous house who was her first and only love.

Emma tries to plead with Leo to stop the destruction of the mansion. But Leo, now a business owner refuses. Emma’s heart is broken. She inevitably calls on her once love, Henry to help her convince Leo to stop the demolition. But Henry is on Leo’s side. As the three friends are reunited, memories of them as children surface and are seen quite differently by each.

She discovers secrets which had been kept from her when she was a child, about her own family and is not only devastated by the information, but that it had been kept from her by someone she implicitly trusted. How does she recover?

Blindsided, she tries to come to grips with what happened all those years ago. But in the end, what she discovers is that sometimes a house, is just a house where you live and have memories, but a home is really who your heart truly belongs to and who you love, no matter where you live. That is the real joy of being home.

The Audrey Hepburn Estate is not only a mysterious page turner filled with historical references as well as Hepburn easter eggs, but also a coming-of-age love story and a beautiful love letter to the great actress herself. My only advice would be watching the movie Sabrina first, if not you will excitedly feel the need to do so after you finish the incredible book!

Thank you #NetGalley #GraydonHouse #TheAudreyHepburnEstate #BrendaJanowitz for the advanced copy.

Three Nights in Italy by Olivia Beirne

Three Nights in Italy is a wonderful, humorously, comical, uplifting story about a group of women, different ages and at very different stages in their lives. When the matriarch of the family dies, mother and daughter deal with the death in very different ways. But, with the help of old and new friends, they begin the healing process, and each begin a new chapter.

When Angie’s mother, Zoe’s grandmother, an artist who lived in Italy passes away, the two women are devastated. Although she was in her 90’s the thought of her not being in their lives never seemed possible. But both are devastated.

Angie’s solution is to continue on as if nothing has happened. She continues to run her life as always, doing errands, baking and cooking. Zoe’s solution is to mourn the loss. A wedding planner, she dives into work, but can’t help but feel she needs something from her grandmother to remember her by. She had always been promised her grandmother’s engagement ring which she never took off.

So, when Angie’s brother, Zoe’s uncle, Reggie makes the decision to go over to Italy to sell everything, Zoe doesn’t trust him to take the ring back with him. She decides she needs to go to her grandmother’s house in Italy and find the ring before Uncle Reggie sells it. But her mother refuses to go.

Enter Zoe’s best friend Harriet who is having her own life crisis. She hates her job. Her mother, an older woman remarried and has a new infant. She hardly pays any attention to Harriet anymore, barely remembering she even has an older daughter. Harriet feels as if her mother has a new family, and she is not included.

So, when Zoe asks Harriet to go to Italy with her, she knows she’s half-way there. And finally, they convince Angie to come, with the help of an old friend. Off they go! But nothing goes right to say the least! It’s a scene out of planes, trains and automobiles!

As their journey progresses, the women begin to learn quite a bit about themselves and each other and although they all can’t seem to get out of each other’s way, they become a united front in getting to the house and finding the ring for Zoe.

With so many hilarious plot twists, all you can do is root for these women as they begin to grow stronger with the help, it seems, from the strongest woman they all ever knew.

Three Nights in Italy is a romantic, funny, and empowering story with characters you will fall in love with and begin to miss even before the ending!

Thank you #NetGalley #Headline/HatchettPublishing #OliviaBeirne # ThreeNightsinItaly for the advanced copy. Please note that the Kindle version will be released on April 13 and the Paperback will be released on July 4.

Live Wire by Kelly Ripa

I have been a fan of Kelly Ripa since her days on All My Children, and also when she was on Live with Regis and Kelly. But then life took over and I lost touch with the morning show and with the goings on of Ripa. After reading her very funny memoir, Live Wire, I must tell you I am once again smitten with her.

In this book which she proudly admits to having no ghostwriter assist, she has done an incredible job writing witty, heartwarming and relatable essays. Throughout the book, she wonderfully addresses the reader continuously which makes the read even more personal. Her honesty is admirable, from problems on the set of Regis and Kelly, difficulties in her marriage, raising three children and even plastic surgery stories.

There are many themes throughout the book, but the most important are her love of her family and husband, trying desperately to maintain the family/work balance and her failures and clumsiness which she regards as badges of honor. As she and her husband, Mark Consuelos were married at a very young age and had a child early on while still working together, the toll it took not only on her but on their marriage is written with true honesty.

One essay she writes of her and her husband Mark dropping their daughter off at college and then driving to their summer home only to find hours later their Ring going off at their New York apartment where their daughter Lola, knowing they were not going to be there decided to have a rooftop party. What was more insulting was as they watched her from their phone and tried to call her, they see her look at her phone and ignore the call!

She tells the story of when she first met Regis Philbin, who always seemed to speak of himself in the third person seemed not to be able to remember her name. How when she got the coveted job, she was not even given a dressing room as if perhaps this was not going to work out. She was not even allowed to take her makeup crew from All My Children where she was still working so she would have to take her makeup off, only to put it all back on when she got to her other job.

She spends a great deal of time explaining how she has social anxiety disorder and the many ways it sometimes affects what she says and does. She also gives tips on how to overcome some of the anxiety.

A very funny story is about her openness to plastic surgery. She admits to her love of Botox for a few reasons but tells of how excited she got when she found out there was a surgery to enlarge your breast where fat is taken from a part of your body and injected in the chest. Ripa, an A cup on a good day could not wait to have it done only to find out she did not have enough fat on her body for the surgery!

Live Wire is a generous look at someone who seems to have it all, and really does, but appreciates everything she has and loves her friends, family, job and life voraciously!