Monday, August 31, 2020

Review: White Out by Danielle Girard


Title: White Out
Author: Danielle Girard
Series: Badlands Thriller, #1
Published: August 2020, Thomas & Mercer
Format: ARC Paperback, 364 pages
Source: Author

Summary: 
After surviving a car accident on an icy road in Hagen, North Dakota, Lily Baker regains consciousness with no idea where or who she is. Scattered Bible verses and the image of a man lying in a pool of blood haunt her memory.

The same night of the accident, a young woman is murdered and tossed in a dumpster. Kylie Milliard, Hagen’s only detective, doesn’t immediately recognize the victim, but Kylie soon discovers that Lily and the dead woman share a dark past…if only Lily could remember what it was.

Lily and Kylie both want answers. But Kylie has to play by the book. Lily has to play it safe. And the more Lily learns about her identity, the more she fears the truth.



My thoughts: This is the first book I've read by Danielle Girard and the first book in her newest series. As you all know I love series and am so glad to not only have found a new one to read but have also discovered a new author on top of it!

I love books that deal with amnesia - there is just something intriguing to me when you have that concept of forgotten memory.  Add in a car accident, a murder, some cultish goings-on and small town politics and I am all in! 

This book starts with a bang and never lets up. There are strong female characters that I felt I wanted to learn more about as well as a host of other intriguing characters. The twists and turns really kept me glued to this book and I had no idea where things were headed - this was one complex, complicated mystery that didn't let up until the very end. 

I liked that not only does Lily seem to have memory issues, but Iver, who owns the bar where a body was found, does too and his memory issues might not be just due to his drinking. There were definitely some sinister things afoot here.

I cannot wait to see where this series goes next...and while I wait, I will definitely be checking out this author's backlist. Have you read any of her other books?


Books in this series: 
  1. White Out
  2. Far Gone - due out July 2021

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Saturday, August 29, 2020

Blog Tour Stop & Excerpt: The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim

Today, I'm so happy to be a tour stop on the blog tour for The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim - I have an excerpt for you to read thanks to Park Row. 



Title: The Last Story of Mina Lee
Author: Nancy Jooyoun Kim
Published: September 2020, Park Row
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages

Summary: 
A poignant mother-daughter story and surprising mystery, The Last Story of Mina Lee is an electrifying debut novel that illustrates the devastating realities of being an immigrant in America.

Margot Lee's mother, Mina, isn't returning her calls. It's a mystery to twenty-six-year-old Margot, until she visits her childhood apartment in Koreatown, LA, and finds that her mother has suspiciously died. The discovery sends Margot digging through the past, unraveling the tenuous strings that held together her single mother's life as a Korean War orphan and an undocumented immigrant, only to realize how little she truly knew about her mother.

Interwoven with Margot's present-day search is Mina's story of her first year in Los Angeles as she navigates the promises and perils of the American myth of reinvention. While she's barely earning a living by stocking shelves at a Korean grocery store, the last thing Mina ever expects is to fall in love. But that love story sets in motion a string of events that have consequences for years to come, leading up to the truth of what happened the night of her death.

Told through the intimate lens of a mother and daughter who have struggled all their lives to understand each other, The Last Story of Mina Lee is both a gripping page-turner and a profound family saga that explores identity, secrets and what it truly means to belong.



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About the author: Born and raised in Los Angeles, Nancy Jooyoun Kim is a graduate of UCLA and the MFA Creative Writing Program at the University of Washington, Seattle. Her work has appeared in the Los Angeles Review of Books, Guernica, The Rumpus, Electric Literature, Asian American Writers’ Workshop’s The Margins, The Offing, the blogs of Prairie Schooner and Kenyon Review, and elsewhere. Her essay, “Love (or Live Cargo),” was performed for NPR/PRI’s Selected Shorts in 2017 with stories by Viet Thanh Nguyen, Phil Klay, and Etgar Keret. THE LAST STORY OF MINA LEE is her first novel.
Author Links:  Website   |   Twitter   |   Instagram |   Goodreads  

Buy Links: 
Powell’s

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Excerpt:

Margot
2014

Margot's final conversation with her mother had seemed so uneventful, so ordinary -- another choppy bilingual plod. Half-understandable.

Business was slow again today. Even all the Korean businesses downtown are closing.

What did you eat for dinner?

Everyone is going to Target now, the big stores. It costs the same and it's cleaner.

Margot imagined her brain like a fishing net with the loosest of weaves as she watched the Korean words swim through. She had tried to tighten the next before, but learning another language, especially her mother's tongue, frustrated her. Why didn't her mother learn to speak English?

But that last conversation was two weeks ago. And for the past few days, Margot had only one question on her mind: Why didn't her mother pick up the phone?

***

Since Margot and Miguel had left Portland, the rain had been relentless and wild. Through the windshield wipers and fogged glass, they only caught glimpses of fast food and gas stations, motels and billboards, premium outlets, and "family fun centers." Margot's hands were stiff from clenching the steering wheel. The rain had started an hour ago, right after they had made a pit stop in north Portland to see the famous 31-foot-tall Paul Bunyan sculture with his cartoonish smile, red-and-white checkered shirt on his barrel chest, his hands resting on top of an upright axe.

Earlier that morning, Margot had stuffed a backpack and a duffel with a week's worth of clothes, picked up Miguel from his apartment with two large suitcases and three houseplants, and merged onto the freeway way from Seattle, driving Miguel down for his big move to Los Angeles. They'd stop in Daly City to spend the night at Miguel's family's house, which would take about ten hours to get to. At the start of the drive, Miguel had been lively, singing along to "Don't Stop Believing," and joking about all the men he would meet in LA. But now, almost four hours into the road trip, Miguel was silent with his forehead in his palm, taking deep breaths as if trying hard not to think about anything at all.

"Everything okay?" Margot asked.

"I'm just thinking about my parents."

"What about your parents?" Margot lowered her foot on the gas.

"Lying to them," he said.

"About why you're really moving down to LA?" The rain splashed down like a waterfall. Miguel had taken a job offer at an accounting firm in a location more conducive to his dreams of working in theatre. For the last two years, they had worked together at a nonprofit for people with disabilities. She was as an administrative assistant; he crunched numbers in finance. She would miss him, but she was happy for him, too. He would finally finish writing his play while honing his acting skills with classes at night. "This theatre classes? The plays that you write? The Grindr account?"

"About it all."

"Do you ever thing about telling them?" 

"All the time." He sighed. "But it's easier this way."

"Do you think they know."

"Of course, they do. But..." He brushed his hand through his hair. "Sometimes, agreeing to the same lie is what makes a family family, Margot."

"Ha. Then what do you call people who agree to the same truth.?"

"Uh, scientists?"

She laughed, having expected him to say friends. Gripping the wheel, she caught the sign for Salem.

"Do you need to use the bathroom?" she asked.

"I'm okay. We're gonna stop in Eugene, right?"

"Yeah, should be another hour or so."

"I'm kinda hungry." Rustling in his pack on the floor of the backseat, he found an apple, which he rubbed clean with the edge of his shirt. "Want a bite?"

"Not now, thanks." 

His teeth crunched into the flesh, the scent cracking through the odor of wet floor mats and warm vents. Margot was struck by a memory of her mother's serene face -- the downcast eyes about the high cheekbones, the relaxed mouth -- as she peeled an apple with a paring knife, conjuring a continuous ribbon of skin. The resulting spiral held the shape of its former life. As a child, Margot would delicately hold this peel like a small animal in the palm of her hand, this proof that her mother could be a kind of magician, an artist who told an origin story through scraps -- this is the skin of a fruit, this is its smell, this is its color.

"I hope the weather clears up soon," Miguel said, interrupting the memory. "It gets pretty narrow and windy for a while. There's a scary point right at the top of California where the road is just zigzagging while you're looking down cliffs. It's like a test to see if you can stay on the road."

"Oh, God," Margot said. "Let's not talk about it anymore."

As she refocused on the rain-slicked road, the blurred lights, the yellow and white lines like yarn unspooling, Margot thought about her mother who hated driving on the freeway, her mother who no longer answered the phone. Where was her mother?

The windshield wipers squeaked, clearing sheets of rain.

"What about you?" Miguel asked. "Looking forward to seeing your mom? When did you see her last?"

Margot's stomach dropped. "Last Christmas," she said. "Actually, I've been trying to call her for the past few days to let her know, to let her know that we would be coming down." Gripping the wheel, she sighed. "I didn't really want to tell her because I wanted this to be a fun trip, but then I felt bad, so..."

"Is everything okay?"

"She hasn't been answering the phone."

"Hmm." He shifted in his seat. "Maybe her phone battery died?"

"It's a landline. Both landlines -- at work and at home."

"Maybe she's on vacation?"

"She never goes on vacation." The windshield fogged, revealing smudges and streaks, past attempts to wipe it clean. She cranked up the air inside.

"Hasn't she ever wanted to go somewhere?"

"Yosemite and the Grand Canyon. I don't know why, but she's always wanted to go there."

"It's a big ol' crack in the ground, Margot. Why wouldn't she want to see it? It's God's crack?"

"It's some kind of Korean immigrant rite of passage. National Parks, reasons to wears hats and khaki, stuff like that. It's like America America."

"I bet she's okay," Miguel said. "Maybe she's just been busier than usual, right? We'll be there soon enough." 

"You're probably right. I'll call her again when we stop."

A heaviness expanded inside her chest. She fidgeted with the radio dial but caught only static with an occasional glimpse of a commercial or radio announcer's voice.

Her mother was fine. They would all be fine. 

With Miguel in LA, she'd have more reasons to visit now.

The road lay before them like a peel of fruit. The windshield wipers hacked away the rivers that fell from the sky.


Excerpted from The Last Story of Mina Lee by Nancy Jooyoun Kim, Copyright © 2020 by Nancy Jooyoun Kim 
Published by Park Row Books

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Hope I've enticed you to pick this book up with this excerpt...that it gives you a flavor of the book.


 

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Friday, August 28, 2020

Review: The Lions of Fifth Avenue by Fiona Davis


Title: The Lions of Fifth Avenue
Author: Fiona Davis
Published: August 2020, Dutton Books
Format: ARC E-copy, 368 pages
Source: Netgalley via Publisher

Summary: 
A Good Morning America Book Club Pick!

“A page-turner for booklovers everywhere! . . . A story of family ties, their lost dreams, and the redemption that comes from discovering truth.”—Adriana Trigiani, bestselling author of The Shoemaker's Wife


In nationally bestselling author Fiona Davis's latest historical novel, a series of book thefts roils the iconic New York Public Library, leaving two generations of strong-willed women to pick up the pieces.

It's 1913, and on the surface, Laura Lyons couldn't ask for more out of life--her husband is the superintendent of the New York Public Library, allowing their family to live in an apartment within the grand building, and they are blessed with two children. But headstrong, passionate Laura wants more, and when she takes a leap of faith and applies to the Columbia Journalism School, her world is cracked wide open. As her studies take her all over the city, she finds herself drawn to Greenwich Village's new bohemia, where she discovers the Heterodoxy Club--a radical, all-female group in which women are encouraged to loudly share their opinions on suffrage, birth control, and women's rights. Soon, Laura finds herself questioning her traditional role as wife and mother. But when valuable books are stolen back at the library, threatening the home and institution she loves, she's forced to confront her shifting priorities head on . . . and may just lose everything in the process.

Eighty years later, in 1993, Sadie Donovan struggles with the legacy of her grandmother, the famous essayist Laura Lyons, especially after she's wrangled her dream job as a curator at the New York Public Library. But the job quickly becomes a nightmare when rare manuscripts, notes, and books for the exhibit Sadie's running begin disappearing from the library's famous Berg Collection. Determined to save both the exhibit and her career, the typically risk-adverse Sadie teams up with a private security expert to uncover the culprit. However, things unexpectedly become personal when the investigation leads Sadie to some unwelcome truths about her own family heritage--truths that shed new light on the biggest tragedy in the library's history.



My thoughts: I simply adore reading Fiona Davis's books - I love the way she takes an iconic building in one of my favorite cities in the world, NYC - and brings it to life, giving us the history in such an engaging story that you can't help but feel part of. This time, The New York Public Library is her inspiration.

While I usually do not know anything about the buildings that Fiona writes about in her books, this time not only did I know the building, I have been to it many times. I love going to the New York Public Library whenever I have the chance when I am in NYC, and have made a point of checking out the exhibits that they have on display. I did not, however know that there was at one point a residence in the library...this is why I love reading not only Fiona's books, but historical fiction in general. I always learn something new!

The dual narrative works so well with this story, moving effortlessly back and forth, slowly drawing you in. It's easy to get wrapped up into both Laura and Sadie's stories and with the mystery of the missing books, which is the connection between the two timelines...and I was often frustrated when it came time to switch between the two timelines...there were times, I just wanted to stay in one part or the other a bit longer! I was equally invested in both timelines and I found myself rooting for both women, both of which I found to be strong-willed and smart.

This book had me yearning to get back to the city, to visit the New York Public Library. I don't know when I will be able to get back there next, but I know that I will certainly look at it in a different light.


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Thursday, August 27, 2020

Review: Hidden Bones by Vivian Barz (audio)


Title: Hidden Bones
Author: Vivian Barz
Series: Dead Remaining, #2
Narrator: Julie McKay
Published: August 2020, Brilliance Audio
Length: 7 hours 33 minutes
Source: Publisher

Summary:
Amazon Charts bestselling author Vivian Barz pits Susan Marlan and Eric Evans against a new menacing adversary in this suspenseful sequel to her acclaimed debut, Forgotten Bones.
 
Two months have passed, and the horrors of Death Farm still torment police officer Susan Marlan and college professor Eric Evans. Susan struggles to regain her zeal for fighting crime, while Eric is slowly coming to terms with his newfound “gift” of seeing the dead.

Seeking much-needed rest, Susan and Eric follow their musician friend Jake and his band to Washington State. But once they reach the cheerless town of Clancy, Eric’s murderous visions start again. Something seems wrong about the town and its aloof citizens—and suspicions turn to dread when members of Jake’s band go missing.

Eric, Susan, and Jake search deep in the dark forest of the Olympic Peninsula, where many have disappeared. But the harder they search, the less cooperative the locals become. As the case begins looking more like a murder investigation, the trio must work together to locate the lost and uncover chilling town secrets buried in the darkest of places.


My thoughts: This is the second book in Vivian Barz' Dead Remaining series and I really like this series. It's atmospheric, creepy and a great installment to what is becoming a favorite series.

While this book does work on it's own, I really suggest you read the first book in this series, Forgotten Bones, before picking this one up. It will help you to get a better feel for the main characters and the dynamics of their relationships. Of course, Vivian Barz does give a little backstory here in this second book so that if you have read the prior one you won't be totally lost, but there were enough times that events were mentioned from the first book that I'm glad I had already read it. 

This second book picks up about two months after the first one leaves off and Eric and Susan are still struggling with all the have happened. Susan has attempted to go back to work, but she might not have it in her anymore or at least not right now. Eric is still trying to get used to his new gift. As timing goes, Jake, an old student of Eric's reaches out and they head out of town with him and his band but unfortunately, rest and relaxation is not exactly in the cards.

One of the reasons I love this series is because it's such a good mix of thriller, mystery, police procedural with a little bit of paranormal thrown in. I also loved the small-town setting. It seemed odd right from the get-go, which added to the overall creepiness of the book and the townsfolk that Eric, Susan and Jake and their friends meet just seem off, which only heightened my suspicions, especially when their friends go missing. These townsfolk are hiding something and are either part of the problem or too scared to say what the problem is.

I loved all the twists and turns this book took. It moves along at a fairly good pace and I loved seeing how Eric and Susan handled things, especially after the last time. There has definitely been some growth in our characters and this is why I love reading series - seeing how our characters change over time. 

I cannot wait to see what book three, Campus Bones, brings for our characters. I do hope that Jake continues to be part of this series as he is such a fun character and brings a little comedic break to the heaviness that tend to follow Eric and Susan.


Audio thoughts: I was so glad to see that Julie McKay was narrating this second book. I am such a fan of consistency when it comes to narrators of series, whenever possible, and loved that she was back for book 2! I thought she did a great job with this second book, bringing the same voices back again as she had from the first book, which makes it so easy to jump right back in. Her intonation and pacing was spot on and she really does bring this book to life. I do hope she is back for book three!



Books in this series: 
  1. Forgotten Bones
  2. Hidden Bones
  3. Campus Bones - due out August 2021 

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Tuesday, August 25, 2020

Blog Tour & Review: When I Was You by Amber Garza

Today, I'm so happy to be a tour stop on the blog tour for the When I Was You by Amber Garza. Thank you MIRA for inviting me to participate. 



Title: When I Was You
Author: Amber Garza
Published: August 2020, MIRA
Format: ARC E-copy, 384 pages
Source:
Netgalley via Publisher

Summary: 
You meets Fatal Attraction in this up-all-night story of suspicion, obsession and motherhood.

It all begins on an ordinary fall morning, when Kelly Medina gets a call from her son’s pediatrician to confirm her upcoming “well-baby” appointment. It’s a cruel mistake; her son left for college a year ago, and Kelly’s never felt so alone. The receptionist quickly apologizes: there’s another mother in town named Kelly Medina, and she must have gotten their numbers switched.

For days, Kelly can’t stop thinking about the woman who shares her name. Lives in her same town. Has a son she can still hold, and her whole life ahead of her. She can’t help looking for her: at the grocery store, at the gym, on social media. When Kelly just happens to bump into the single mother outside that pediatrician’s office, it’s simple curiosity getting the better of her.

Their unlikely friendship brings Kelly a renewed sense of purpose—taking care of this young woman and her adorable baby boy. But that friendship quickly turns to obsession, and when one Kelly disappears, well, the other one may know why.



My thoughts: As soon as I read the synopsis for this book, with it comparing it to You, I knew I had to read this book. And I loved it...this psychological thriller was just the popcorn read I needed this past weekend and I hope Amber Garza creates more of these types of books soon!

These are the types of psychological thrillers I love. The type where you just cannot put them down. I was pulled into this one right from the start and as the book progresses, I loved that we got hints that something was amiss. Something had happened in Kelly Medina's past that we keep getting hints about that kept me glued to the pages. Then a second Kelly Medina shows up and I knew right away, something sinister was going on...just what I never guessed.

This book had such great twists and turns, and the theme of obsession and stalking are used so well here. It really keeps you on your toes as you try to put all the pieces together. Do we have an unreliable narrator here or is something more sinister going on?

I am so glad I read this and will definitely be keeping an eye out for what comes next from this talented author. I totally read this in less than 24 hours - and probably would have read it in one sitting if we didn't have plans for the day...it's that kind of read. Definitely add this to your reading list if it is not already on it!





About the author: Amber Garza has had a passion for the written word since she was a child making books out of notebook paper and staples. Her hobbies include reading and singing. Coffee and wine are her drinks of choice (not necessarily in that order). She writes while blaring music, and talks about her characters like they're real people. She lives with her husband and two kids in Folsom, California, which is—no joke—home to another Amber Garza.

Authors Links:  Website   |   Twitter   |   Facebook  |   Instagram |   Goodreads 


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Monday, August 24, 2020

Review: The Friendship List by Susan Mallery


Title: The Friendship List
Author: Susan Mallery
Published: August 2020, HQN
Format: Hardcover, 384 pages
Source: Publisher

Summary: 
[ ] Dance till dawn

[ ] Go skydiving

[ ] Wear a bikini in public

[ ] Start living
 


Two best friends jump-start their lives in a summer that will change them forever…

Single mom Ellen Fox couldn’t be more content—until she overhears her son saying he can’t go to his dream college because she needs him too much. If she wants him to live his best life, she has to convince him she’s living hers.

So Unity Leandre, her best friend since forever, creates a list of challenges to push Ellen out of her comfort zone. Unity will complete the list, too, but not because she needs to change. What’s wrong with a thirtysomething widow still sleeping in her late husband’s childhood bed?

The Friendship List begins as a way to make others believe they’re just fine. But somewhere between “wear three-inch heels” and “have sex with a gorgeous guy,” Ellen and Unity discover that life is meant to be lived with joy and abandon, in a story filled with humor, heartache and regrettable tattoos.



My thoughts: It's been a while since I've read anything by Susan Mallery, but when I saw this book, I just knew I wanted to read it. I've read a lot of her series, which I quite enjoyed - her Fool's Gold series, her Blackberry Island series and her Marcelli series to name a few. But I haven't read many of her stand-alones and I definitely need to change that because I really do enjoy her writing.

This book is the perfect balance of romance and friendship and I loved that as much as it was fun and lighthearted, it also had its moments of depth. There is so much to relate to in this book and I so appreciated that. It reminds us all to never stop living. I loved all the relationships that were explored here, especially the importance of female friendship, and just as compelling was the exploration of the father-daughter relationship and mother-son relationship. 


All the characters are so well-drawn and each had their own quirks or unique personalities that made them stand out. I loved getting to know them and enjoyed following them on their journeys in this story, as each had their own issues they needed to confront throughout the course of the book. There are such realistic issues and situations that our characters deal with and I feel that is what makes this story so much more realistic and relatable. And while some of the romance scenes are a bit steamy, they are done with taste so that this doesn't become a cheesy romance story.

This story is a great one to add to your summer reading list and has just the right amount of heartache, humor and romance to round it all out. It's the perfect summer escape read and I cannot recommend it enough.


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Sunday, August 23, 2020

Book Club Picks/Mini Reviews: Paradise Books 1 & 2 by Elin Hilderbrand

I was excited when I heard my book club had selected Winter in Paradise and What Happens in Paradise, the first two book in Elin Hilderbrand's Paradise trilogy. Yes, I had already read (or actually listened to) these books when they first came out, but I figured this was the perfect opportunity for me to reread them and be ready for when the third book came out later this year. 

I don't often have the chance to reread books - there are just so many books out there that I want to read and so little time, right? But, I really enjoyed having this excuse to delve back into these books, and because I did audio, I actually took notes this time around so that I would remember things when it came time for book club. I really do love Elin's writing and I am so excited to see how things play out in the final book. And it was really fun to get other's opinions on where they see it going. 

I also found that I picked up on certain things that I probably missed the first time around. Knowing where things ended up, I knew what to look for, and it probably led me to be more aware of certain things that would happen, but it also allowed me to focus more on the characters' behaviors where I might not have done so the first time around.

Do you reread books? There are definitely a few others I'd love to get to again, and as this experience has taught me, it's quite enjoyable when I do get to, so maybe I'll make it more of a priority. 

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Title: Winter in Paradise
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Series: Paradise, #1
Narrator: Erin Bennett
Published: October 2018, Hachette Audio
Length: 10 hours 11 minutes
Source: Publisher
My Original Review

Summary: 
Spend the coldest days of winter on a Caribbean beach with New York Times Bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand.  

Join New York Times Bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand on the stunning beaches of St. John's for the beginning of her thrilling new winter series-The Paradise. Winter Paradise, the first book in the Paradise series, has everything that readers have come to know and love about an Elin Hilderbrand novel, plus a healthy dose of intrigue. 

Irene Steele's idyllic life-house, husband, family-is shattered when she is woken up by a late-night phone call. Her beloved husband has been found dead, but before Irene can process this tragic news, she must confront the perplexing details of her husband's death. He was found on St. John's island, a tropical paradise far removed from their suburban life. Leaving the cold winter behind, Irene flies down to the beautiful Caribbean beaches of St. John's only to make another shocking discovery: her husband had a secret second family. 

As Irene investigates the mysterious circumstances of her husband's death, she is plunged into a web of intrigue and deceit belied by the pristine white sand beaches of St. John's. 

This exciting first book in the Paradise series will transport readers to a new beach locale-another world that Elin knows as well as her beloved Nantucket-and have them longing for winter.



My thoughts: I forgot how crazy that ending is...if you don't know that this book is part of a trilogy, you are going to be so upset! I loved that we get to meet all the main players here, each so interesting in their own right and can see that there will be some interesting pairings happening in this series.


Audio thoughts: I love listening to Erin Bennett narrate these books. She just gets the nuances of Elin Hilderbrand's writing and brings her characters to life.




Title: What Happens in Paradise
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Series: Paradise, #2
Narrator: Erin Bennett
Published: October 2019, Hachette Audio
Length: 9 hours 47 minutes
Source: Publisher via Libro.fm
My Original Review

Summary:
Secret lives and new loves emerge in the bright Caribbean sunlight, in the
follow-up to national bestseller Winter in Paradise

A year ago, Irene Steele had the shock of her life: her loving husband, father to their grown sons and successful businessman, was killed in a helicopter crash. But that wasn't Irene's

only shattering news: he'd also been leading a double life on the island of St. John, where another woman loved him, too.

Now Irene and her sons are back on St. John, determined to learn the truth about the mysterious life -and death - of a man they thought they knew. Along the way, they're about to learn some surprising truths about their own lives, and their futures.

Lush with the tropical details, romance, and drama that made Winter in Paradise a national bestseller, What Happens in Paradise is another immensely satisfying page-turner from one of American's most beloved and engaging storytellers.




My thoughts: I really think you need to read this series in order, and even Elin states that in the beginning of this book in her author's note. I love how deep we get to know the characters in this second book. I feel some growth happening and cannot wait to see just where it all ends up. The sense of intrigue surrounding Irene's husband has been building sense book 1 and I have so many ideas and cannot wait to see if any come to fruition.


Audio thoughts: So glad Erin Bennett was the narrator again - I'm a big fan of consistency with narrators for series and Erin Bennett does it so well. She brings the same voices to the characters time and again.

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