Monthly Book Review - August
Reading Goal Update: After failing to reach my ambitious goal of reading 80 books last year (while writing and publishing two books--what was I thinking?), I set a much more reasonable goal of 52 books for 2017. I’m now only eight books away from reaching this goal. How are you doing on your reading goals this year? I track my reading through Goodreads. I love this because I also get notifications when an author I've previously read has a new release. You know how hard it is to keep track of these things!!
The best part of reading more books than anticipated so far this year?? I’m finding even more excellent books that I think you would enjoy!
Beth Flynn’s Nine Minutes Trilogy was recommended to me ages ago and, in December, I finally read it (and reviewed it here.) In the Iron Tiara, Beth Flynn continues with characters we met in her Minutes Trilogy. This is an excellent return to the world where dangerous bikers show a softer side in a story that weaves together past and present in a fast-paced, suspenseful plot. There are two more books to come in this series. Write faster Beth, pleeeeease!
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Anthony Bear and Christy Chapman are from two completely different worlds.
Anthony's the leader of a motorcycle gang that terrorizes Florida's West Coast. As a child, he ran away from his family and the Cherokee Indian Reservation to enter a life of crime. As an adult, he leads a multifaceted life managing his two businesses--his legitimate landscaping venture, and his loan shark and underworld dealings.
Driven by anger and betrayal, Anthony begins the hunt for Christy's father, Van Chapman, after he runs out on a loan.
Christy's privileged life is not as it seems. She has kept painful family secrets and hidden some of her own. She's determined to find out the truth and expose Van, but her search delivers her right into Anthony Bear's hands, adding kidnapping to his list of crimes. Their worlds are as contrasting as the color of their skin. The only thing they seem to have in common is their mutual disdain for Van Chapman...and each other. They couldn't be more wrong.
I also devoured the Irish Heart series by Juliet Gauvin, which begins with book one The Irish Cottage, and continues with The London Flat, and The Paris Apartment. (I didn’t even really need the book description at this point, knowing that those titles were enough to get me to read the stories.)
ABOUT THE IRISH COTTAGE:
(Free on Kindle currently or purchase paperback here.)
A story about losing your way and finding your life. Book 1 of 3. Elizabeth Lara built a perfect life as San Francisco’s top divorce attorney, but when she loses her great-aunt Mags, the woman who raised her, she boards a plane and leaves it all behind.
The Irish shores welcome her as she learns a shocking truth, kept secret for thirty-five years. Devastated and now alone in the world, Beth tries to find peace in a beautiful cottage by Lough Rhiannon, but peace isn't what fate had in mind. Almost as soon as she arrives, Beth's solitary retreat into the magic wilds of Ireland is interrupted by Connor Bannon. A man with light brown hair, ice blue eyes and a secret of his own. He's gorgeous, grieving, and completely unexpected.
With the help of Mags' letters, the colorful townspeople of Dingle, and Connor, Elizabeth might just find a way back to the girl she lost long ago and become the woman she always wanted to be.
I began another series, this time by a Wisconsin author, Christine Keleny. The Rose series is a set of four books, beginning with Rosebloom. I was intrigued by the historical setting of this novel aboard one of the many Mississippi riverboats that went from town to town in the early decades of the last century. This is a well-research novel and gives us a lovely glimpse into the past through the eyes of a naïve Wisconsin farm girl who runs away for adventure, fleeing the sedate life of school, marriage, motherhood that she sees before her. (And if you are in the Columbus, WI area, Christine will be our guest author at the Books & Beer Book Club on September 28. Learn more here.) I'm so glad this series is complete, so I can now zip on to book two (and three and four!)
Step into the life of Rose, a precocious young girl in 1930s Wisconsin, who runs away from home to avoid what she sees as a certain path to marriage and motherhood. What she seeks is adventure. What she finds is much more. Rose is thrown into the lives of the varied people and towns of the Mississippi while working on river boats, going to a prep school in St. Louis where she lives with a black family in the Ville, and working in a bordello in New Orleans (not as a call girl, of course. She is a Catholic girl form the Midwest after all).
What she doesn't anticipate are the close relationships that develop with many of the women she encounters. She also discovers the harshness of the world far away from the security of home. Ultimately, Rose realizes what is most important in her life: her family and her friends.
Rosebloom takes place at a time in history that buffets Rose between the great depression and the coming wave of World War II. She gets herself into situations through her naivete and also just by chance that test her resolve and teach her not only about herself but about the world of others which she would never have known if she hadn't left her small farm in Southwest Wisconsin.
Watch for the upcoming review and interview with Liz Czukas aka Ellie Chahill author of I Temporarily Do--another August read that I couldn't put down!