Welcome to "Laurie Here - Contemporary Fiction and MORE - Book Reviews"! Join me and let's escape life into the wonderful world of books getting lost between the covers where the lives of the characters live and their amazing stories take place for a little while! Let's learn about the authors, too! I write "honest" book reviews about my experiences and tell you how the trip was! You may want to follow along with me, too! Leave a comment while you're here, too!
From the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Little Bee, a spellbinding novel about three unforgettable individuals thrown together by war, love, and their search for belonging in the ever-changing landscape of WWII London.
It’s 1939 and Mary, a young socialite, is determined to shock her blueblood political family by volunteering for the war effort. She is assigned as a teacher to children who were evacuated from London and have been rejected by the countryside because they are infirm, mentally disabled, or—like Mary’s favorite student, Zachary—have colored skin.
Tom, an education administrator, is distraught when his best friend, Alastair, enlists. Alastair, an art restorer, has always seemed far removed from the violent life to which he has now condemned himself. But Tom finds distraction in Mary, first as her employer and then as their relationship quickly develops in the emotionally charged times. When Mary meets Alastair, the three are drawn into a tragic love triangle and—while war escalates and bombs begin falling around them—further into a new world unlike any they’ve ever known.
A sweeping epic with the kind of unforgettable characters, cultural insights, and indelible scenes that made Little Bee so incredible, Chris Cleave’s latest novel explores the disenfranchised, the bereaved, the elite, the embattled. Everyone Brave Is Forgiven is a heartbreakingly beautiful story of love, loss, and incredible courage.
BRAVO! A masterpiece of a book! Everyone really should read this book and experience what it has to offer each of us as individuals. Bravo to this author, Chris Cleave, for portraying this book about WWII that couldn't have been more real, honest and raw. Please know, though, that this book is far from fun and does not give us, nor is it meant for a happily ever after ending, however, I was still flipping through the pages very quickly because I wanted to know what was going to happen next! War is not pretty, though, not at all. This is NOT a spoiler, but the title of this book is very important, and you'll only know why as you near the end. Please, do NOT read the end first. Experience this book in it's entirety, first. You will understand it much better after you read this in full, first.
This author has succeeded in bringing the reality of WWII into our lives/our homes, even though it's been over for decades now. This IS one war that had so much of an impact to it that I don't think anyone will ever forget all the different things that happened. Some of us have been very lucky to have had relatives and family friends be able to give us a little glimpse into this war, but it is Cleave who shows us how very real this war was, and how it affected every single person at that time, and still even to today when we learn about it in school and later as we watch documentaries, or when we learn they have found new information about this war, and learn even more information as it is uncovered as time goes on. There was a lot of loss which was very sad. I felt as if I were involved in this war as much as Mary, Tom, Hilda and Alistair were, the four close friends in this book who all fought along with everyone else who was involved at the time.
We are lucky enough to get to know these four very real, complex, and unforgettable characters who literally lived through the hell of war. I found myself having to put this book down several times because I felt like I was living in this war. I felt as disturbed as the characters did at times. When you hear discussions about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, it is clearly shown how it can happen. I admit if I had to serve in a war like this, I definitely would be suffering from it. Cleave does a very good job of making us feel how deeply this war affected people with the characters that told us their stories of what they lived through, worked through, and experienced the numerous losses they did of very close friends. This teaches us to appreciate what we truly have now, and what we fought for then. I don't think anyone reading this book will ever feel or think the same way about war again as the author made this so realistic. He truly did an outstanding job of portraying the war for us with two of the main characters, in particular, Alistair and Mary. They were the ones telling us this story in alternating chapters.
Mary stayed in London and worked through most of the war as a teacher. She taught the misfit children, the children who were left behind in the city. The children who other people thought had no future, and it was so bad the way they treated these children that they removed the zoo animals and left these children to fend for themselves. The black children were called negroes at that time. Remember this war took place in the early 40's, so racism was still very present, even in London. The other children were disabled, had problems, were lost in the foster care system, etc., (and no one cared enough to stay behind during the bombings to care for these kids) while the children who had parents and money were swept off to the countryside and were kept far away from the city of London's bombings. This was so wrong. They deserved just as much to be kept safe. I say these children who were left behind were the brave children as they lived through the bombings, buildings falling down all around them, lived in a broken concrete city, and the severe hunger that came with the bombings. These children were the true heroes, and yet through all of this, they still went to school and Mary continued to teach them even through the air raids with the sirens were going off, as long as they were in somewhat of a safe place underground. The children and Mary watched their city turn to rubble all around them as each day went by. Later Mary and Hilda, together, worked as ambulance drivers trying to save the injured and their lives experiencing the war even closer, right in the middle of the action.
Tom and Alistair went off to war, each to their specified locations. We learned a lot about the Island of Malta, where Alistair was located. He lived through constant bombings from the Italians there. They got air raids and since they were on the water, the enemy came by water and planes, both. The sirens warning of the air raids were continuously going off it seemed on the Island of Malta and in London. The problem with the island of Malta was it was pure yellow rock. You could not dig deeper than five or so feet deep. The water you drank had the dirt/sand from the island in it and your eyes always felt scratchy for the same reason. The bombings were so many that Alistair and his men could not even have their own relief planes bring in the supplies of food, water, mail, or the ammunition they needed to try to fight with to survive. They had to start to count how many rounds of ammunition they could use for each air raid, and how many more could they take without being replenished? The hunger set in. Alistair made note of the men's ribs and bones showing through their skin they were all so thin and starving. The death of fellow fighters was numerous, and if one of them were a friend of yours, it stayed with you and haunted you. This was despair.
Alistair often thought about home, wondering if he would ever live through what he was to get off this island and get back home. Who would be left when he did get back there? Mary had been writing letters to him, but then they stopped. Why? At least he had her letters to hold onto, to know that life still existed off of this island even if these letters were old news now.
I have only covered a small amount of this book, and you can clearly see there is so much more to experience from it. After reading this book, I think everyone should read it. It puts us in the middle of everything during WWII, in London and in the war zone on the island of Malta, allowing us to safely experience exactly what war is like whether we want to or not.
Your heart's compassion truly goes out to these characters as they fight and fought at times to stay alive. Perhaps if more people read this book, the people who think war is the answer to problems at times, those very same people who have never experienced war, this book will surely change their minds about it as they read the words that are the reality of war. Perhaps those people may think differently when it comes to deciding whether a war should be fought or not, or one can at least hope.
I truly believe in time this book will become a classic and maybe even required reading in High Schools one day. I would love to see both of these things happen with this book.
This is quite the book! Again, BRAVO!!!
I won this book in a giveaway from Goodreads, and I truly want to thank them for choosing me to read and review this book for them. I received the print version of this book from them which I say thank you so much! This book will hold a special place on my bookshelf. I will be rereading this book again at a later date because I know I will get even more out of it from a second reading.
I also wanted to read this book so bad that I happened to find it at NetGalley (well before I knew I had even won this book from Goodreads), and I would like to thank Simon and Schuster and NetGalley for granting me free access for this title as an ARC in the ebook format in exchange that I read and write a review about this book/what I read/my opinion of what I thought about this book. "Free" means I was provided this book for ZERO MONIES to do so, and to just enjoy the sheer pleasure of reading this book and then writing an honest review of what I thought about this book, regardless if my opinion is positive or negative. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the law set here: http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html
The Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, 16 CFR 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising Federal Acquisition Regulation.
Three months earlier, Jenna Barton was supposed to meet her lifelong best friend Celia. But when Jenna arrived late, she found that Celia had disappeared—and hasn’t been seen again. Jenna has blamed herself for her friend’s disappearance every single day since then.
The only piece of evidence is a lone diamond earring found where Celia and Jenna were planning to meet, leading the national media to dub Celia “The Diamond Mom.” And even though Jenna has obsessively surfed message boards devoted to missing persons cases, she is no closer to finding any answers—or easing her guilt.
But when her son’s new girlfriend—who suddenly arrived in town without a past—disappears, a stricken Jenna begins to unwind the tangled truth behind Celia’s tragedy. And as long-buried secrets finally come to light, she discovers how completely lives can be shattered by a few simple lies.
When Celia didn’t show up to meet Jenna, it’s all Jenna could do but to blame herself for putting Celia into whatever predicament she did that caused her to disappear, and all she felt was pure guilt. She would find herself playing the ‘what if’ card, so often. If Jenna hadn’t been late that night, would Celia still be alive? What if she didn’t insist they go out that night? She put ALL the blame for Celia’s disappearance onto herself. We know Jenna is being irrational, and you can’t help but to feel for her. Here is her best friend since school, and now she’s gone? Jenna misses her severely and lives with what happened every day.
In alternating chapters between Jenna and her teenage son, Jared, we also learn he has a girlfriend, Ursula, and there is mystery surrounding her as well, then she disappears, too. What is it with people who come around Jenna? They seem to disappear.Both of these stories start to intertwine very late into the story, and the answers all start to work themselves out.
This was an enjoyable murder mystery, and it had me flipping the pages, but I was able to put it down unlike others where I just could not, and that is the reason I did not rate this a five star book. I had part of the mystery figured out for once! However, I was off on most all of it, still, and never could have put the details together! This is a shocker, I have to say that! Once we do find out what happened, the book abruptly ends.
I see this author is very accomplished, yet this is the first book I’ve seen by him. I have a new author to follow and read! I’ll take that! I would like to thank the Publisher, New American Library and NetGalley for providing me a copy of this book to read and write a review of my own opinion! From June 24th to July 22nd, 2016, if you go to Goodreads, you can enter to WIN this book! Go to the page this book is on, scroll down a little further, and more on the left side of the page you'll see this listed as a GIVEAWAY! Good luck!
Make sure to scroll down to see the VIDEO explaining what WE, in the US can do to help fight for Net Neutrality with the EU FCC!
I received an email that says we can use this on our blogs, and I want to share this with you! I AM copying and pasting this so you get the correct information instead of me trying to explain this all! I think this is the best move for ALL of us! I just might only end up confusing you!
TUESDAY, JUNE 28th, is the day that is planned for the START to drive hundreds of thousands of comments to the EU's FCC - here is the email that was sent to me from email@example.com! This month's court victory was the final milestone. We won. The net neutrality rules we worked so hard for in the US will stand. 
But Europe is deciding on the same issue right now, and what they decide will affect the open Internet for everyone else. That's why we're raising the cat signal!
Watch and share this video on why net neutrality matters, and how to win it in Europe—just like we did in the US. Or, since our EU Slowdown Action starts tomorrow, help drive hundreds of thousands of comments from all over the world to EU’s FCC.  Click here to submit a comment or join with your site, blog, tumblr, or twitter! I signed up! (It's a form - easy-peasy!)
We won in the US by organizing millions of people to stand up for the open Internet. And, now we have to do the same thing again. The Internet is global, and Europe is the largest economy in the world. How will our favorite sites, news outlets, & apps thrive and grow, if European ISPs can throw them into a slow-lane?
How will we ever challenge the power of tech giants like Google and Facebook, when European ISPs can subsidize them to appear free, while making competing sites cost more than ever?
How will we spread the latest freedom-enhancing tools like VPNs, TOR, p2p video streaming, and blockchain apps, when European ISPs can make them unusably slow for hundreds of millions of people?
Thanks to our Sponsor, Tynga's Reviews! First, let's find out HOW Stacking the Shelves works!
Hello everyone! It's that time of week again, that time to do an awesome "SHOW AND TELL" of the books I have been given, from authors, from publishers, I bought, borrowed, or received somehow, the library, a yard sale, or some way this past week! I LOVE showing books off like this! This is one of MY favorite posts to write!!
I also use THIS POST EACH WEEK to do somewhat of a wrap-up AND to post my NEW REVIEWS, NEW GIVEAWAYS, and whatever else I should bring to your attention!
After you are done reading HERE, click on the Sponsor's name up above and see THEIR post for Stacking the Shelves, too! They have a link-up with OVER 100-200 other blogs that also participate!
I'm also finding OTHER PLACES TO LINK UP TO AS WELL! I'm finding these places from other blogs, and they are GREAT ideas! The following NEW one is Talk of the Town where we can add ALL THINGS BOOKISH! Check it out! I still plan on joining in on other link-ups, too, I just haven't had the chance to do it all yet! I'll get there!!
I will also be linking this post AND my reviews to Saturday Situation as well from now on, too! That is a place to link ALL THINGS BOOKISH! I'm anxious to start posting there!! Check it out, too!
Hello everyone! Last week I did not get any NEW books so I had nothing to write about so I did not do a post last weekend, however, I was busy, busy, busy reading, though! I have 3 NEW reviews from last week and this week, and I'm almost done with ANOTHER book which I have posted below and you can see the cover. I'll be posting that review this coming week!
REVIEWS - 2 weeks worth since I did not have a Stacking the Shelves last weekend! Just click on the name of the book to see it!
The Bay of Sighs, The Guardians Trilogy by Nora Roberts released June 14th! I LOVE this trilogy! A group of immortals are looking for three stars, and they have dark forces to conquer while finding them. In this book a mermaid becomes human, and it's delightful to listen to the mermaid describing her life as a human! She has legs and is quite fond of them! I LOVE ALL of Nora Roberts writing, and in fact, Nora Roberts is responsible for my NEW fondness of some Fantasy in books!
What We Find, Sullivan's Crossing #1 by Robyn CarrOh! I LOVED this book! First off, the beginning lags at first, but hang in there because it does pick up. Sullivan's Crossing is a campground/convenience store for campers and especially hikers on the Colorado Divide and another trail (the name is not coming to mind, sorry!) and post office where these hikers mail packages of supplies they need on their hikes at different places! It's also a the place that our main character, Maggie, has spent a good portion of her life growing up and as an adult and also where her father lives and runs all of this, his name being Sully. You'll adore him! Maggie also meets a NEW man who comes to stay, and his name is Cal. Oh! You're going to want to read this NEW series!
Gridley Girls by Meredith FirstIf anyone wants to revisit the 1970's, you are going to fall in LOVE with this book! It will bring back memories you won't believe when you're reading it! You are going to crack up it's SO comical in places! It brought back so MUCH for me! It's about a group of 4 lifelong girlfriends starting in Junior High (back when it was called JUNIOR and not Middle School!) and High School who called themselves, "The Group". This book takes us from their childhood all through life, into their 40's when one of them are going to get married, this brings them back together, especially Meg and Anne as they reminisce about everything, even their own relationship that had some moments. HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!
Again, click on the book's NAME and it will take you to the review!
I AM CURRENTLY READING:
Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave - author of Little Bee - a book about WWII. This is VERY descriptive, very sad, and I've always understood about Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, but I FEEL it when I read the horrible war scenes. One part keeps playing over and over in my head, so I truly DO understand how soldiers have a hard time when they get back home. Due to the descriptive war scenes, this book is a little at a time. At least this is all I can manage. I'll tell you more as I'm almost done! ALSO CURRENTLY READING:
Since She Went Away by David Bell - review date "THIS" Tuesday, June 28th! BOOKS I RECEIVED THIS WEEK! Wow!!! "SIX" NEW BOOKS in ONE WEEK! That is called when it rains, it's pouring TIME for AMAZING BOOKS!!!! LOL! I LOVE ALLLLLLL OF THESE!!! I can't WAIT to share the reviews with you!
The French War Bride by Robin Wells - Release Date: August 2nd
(I LOVE this cover!)
Falling by Jane Green - Releases July 19th - Review on July 20th!
This book is being compared to Jojo Moyes', 'Me Before You' AND the CLASSIC from Erich Segal, 'Love Story'! Only 148 pages, this book will turn you into a crying baby! Although originally published in 1970, this classic love story stands the test of TIME! I read Love Story several times, a few times as a teenager, and again as an adult. A movie was even made about this book the SAME YEAR the book was published! I have seen that movie over and over and every time I see it I BALL MY EYES OUT!!! If you have not read the book (which the book is ALWAYS the BEST!!!) or seen the movie, you do NOT KNOW WHAT YOU ARE MISSING!! (You NEED MAJOR KLEENEX for either the movie OR the book!!!) Now comes this book, Falling, which is based loosely upon this author's OWN love story and is also being compared to the two books above, but it has to live up to a LOT to be compared to Love Story! We'll see! I really can't wait to read this one and see how good it is, or isn't??? That fact remains to be found out!
Although, this DOES give you "THREE" books that come HIGHLY recommended!
Letters From Paris by Juliet Blackwell - Releases September 6th
This is SO pretty! I am REALLY looking forward to this one, too!
Twelve Days of Christmas by Debbie Macomber - Releases Oct 4th!
I LOVE Debbie Macomber and I LOVE Christmas!!! I think Debbie Macomber is the BEST author of Christmas stories out there! (There ARE some other authors who do write WONDERFUL Christmas stories, too! I cannot exclude everyone!) What really impresses me about Debbie Macomber is the variety of all the characters this author pens is just AMAZING to me! I'll HIGHLY RECOMMEND "ANY" of her books, even the non-christmas books!
The Bourbon Thief by Tiffany Reisz - Releases June 28th and my review will be sometime in July!
A Curious Beginning, Veronica Speedwell Mystery #1, by Deanna Raybourn - re-releasing July 12th in PAPERBACK! I will be re-releasing my review, too, (this originally released in December 2015) and now we are lucky enough for MORE! We'll might possibly get an Author Interview AND A GIVEAWAY, too!!! I am waiting to hear back from the publisher! Book #2 is coming out in January 2017 - A Perilous Undertaking!
REVIEWS COMING THIS WEEK:
The Secret Language of Stones, The Daughters of LaLune #2 by M J Rose - Releasing July 19th! I DID get to read Book #1, and if this is ANYTHING like the first book in this series, we are in for a TREAT!!! I've been DYING to read this one, and it is NEXT on my list! I can't wait!
AND - this one below which I talk about up above. I believe this book's review will be posted on Thursday, June 30th!
ALL of these book's reviews ALL post ON their Release Dates EXCEPT FOR . . . "Falling" which will be the day after, July 20th, because there is another book I am in a blog tour for, and both of these books release on the same day, the 19th. I like to post ONE book per day, as long as I can, so Falling's review will be the day after it's release which is the 20th. HERE is the book which will be reviewed on July 19th:
Sometimes you have to go back before you can move forward. Meg Monahan was born to be a secret keeper. From the moment she became a peer counselor in high school, Meg has been keeping her friends secrets from sordid family drama to their sex lives that she never wanted to know. Flash forward to adulthood when Meg is a recruiter for the world’s hippest (and most paranoid) high-tech company and now Meg is a professional secret keeper. When sudden tragedy strikes before Meg hosts the wedding of her childhood BFF, Anne Calzaretta, the women are forced to face their past and their secrets in order to move on to their future. In 1978, Meg, Anne, Jennifer, and Tonya were such close friends, they were known as The Group in their hometown of Gridley, California. But in ninth grade, their lives were changed forever. Loss, lies, and secrets separated them, but could not break their bonds of friendship. Thirty years later, Meg and Anne reminisce about those days dealing with parents, school, boys, sex, love, and betrayal. Anne remembers their freshman year as an easier time, but Meg, still feeling guilty about a betrayal of Anne s trust, is haunted. Even now, Meg is keeping a secret she’s not prepared to face, let alone share. In her debut novel, based on true events, Meredith First tells a timeless story about the bonds of friendship, loss, and betrayal and the forgiveness that is within everyone. Can anyone really keep a secret forever?"
Engrossing! This book grabbed me and didn’t let me go until it was over! This author’s writing was outstanding! It was so much fun to read about these four friends, Meg, who is the main character, and her three other friends Anne, Jennifer, and Tonya, who all made these four girls also known as, ‘The Group’. This started to take place during 1978, and it also happened that I was the same ages as these friends during that same time! It was ‘my era’, too, and I think this is one of the reasons why I had so much FUN while reading this! Being the same age also brought with it references to the same things I loved as much as these characters loved! There were references to people like Shaun Cassidy, Tiger Beat Magazine, going places in station wagons crammed in all together just like I did with my friends at that age! This debut author had this timeframe perfect! It was a trip down memory lane for the characters and myself! Oh, when Meg mentioned Shaun Cassidy (a star I was in LOVE with at that same time, I just about died!) He was featured so often in Tiger Beat magazine that they had so many of the center picture the full length of the magazine, and yes, those were hung on my walls! Oh! I could so relate! I believe Shaun Cassidy was my first kiss on a poster! LOL!!! I LOVED the references in this book! There were so MANY references to the late 70’s and other things, too, as these girls grew up and into women that I could relate so well to them. I just loved this! It was a trip down memory lane for me! If any of you out there grew up during this time, you are going to love this book, too! As I was reading this book, there were many times I thought it read like a memoir, so much so it made me look around to see if this truly was fiction or a memoir. I found in the description about the book that it is based on actual events. That is true of the mentions about things during that time, but I don’t know how much of the story was based on fact, and that may only truly be known by the author. I just continued to enjoy this book as it was written. So much of this story took place when the girls were in school, and again I could relate so well! I had some really good laughs, good memories of my own days back then, too, and then there were some serious issues that went on between friends, too.
This book takes us all the way into their adulthood, and it is when Meg finds her diary from that time that brings them together again as they reminisce what I just told you about. There is a lot more than what I have listed, but I can’t tell you everything because you need some things to read to make this just as enjoyable for yourself as it was for me to read, regardless of how much I want to share with you! For those of you who would enjoy this, by all means grab a copy! It was a nice revisit to my younger years as well as learning about these characters and reading this story.
I do wonder one thing, though. Since this is this author’s debut book which is fact based, I found myself wondering if this author has more great books in her to write? Will this book only be a one-hit wonder, or does she have more in her to write complete fictional books about? I only say this because it’s a LOT of fun to reminisce about our younger years, such as first kisses, groping, and more, but what does the future hold for this author besides that? This will remain to be seen! GREAT job on this book!
I received this book for FREE from the Publisher, Sparkpress, and NetGalley in exchange that I read and write a review about this book/what I read. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to do so, but to just enjoy the sheer pleasure of reading this book and writing an honest review about what I thought about this book, regardless if my opinion is positive or negative. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the law set here:http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html
The Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, 16 CFR 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising Federal Acquisition Regulation. NEW INFO!! A few days after I posted this on Goodreads, the author contacted me to let me know Book 2 will be coming out in 2017 and is called Gridley Girls Book 2! MORE fun to come!!! I HIGHLY recommend reading THIS book now so when Book 2 comes out you can pick it right up! I truly is a GREAT joy to have such a wonderful laugh this author is so talented at writing! I can't wait!
Join Robyn Carr, #1 New York Times bestselling author of theVirgin River and Thunder Point series, as she explores the healing powers of rural Colorado in a brand-new story of fresh starts, budding relationships and one woman’s journey to finding the happiness she’s long been missing
Between the urban bustle of Denver and the high-stress environment of a career in neurosurgery, Maggie Sullivan has hit a wall. When an emergency, high-risk procedure results in the death of a teenager, Maggie finds herself in the middle of a malpractice lawsuit—and experiencing levels of anxiety she’s never faced before. It’s in this desperate moment that Maggie’s boyfriend decides he can’t handle her emotional baggage, and she’s left alone, exhausted and unsure of what her future holds. One thing is certain, though: she needs to slow down before she burns out completely, and the best place she can think to do that is Sullivan’s Crossing.
Named for Maggie’s great-grandfather, the land and charming general store at the crossroads of the Colorado and the Continental Divide trails have been passed down through the generations and now belong to Maggie’s estranged father, Sully. Though raised by her mother and stepfather after her parents divorced, Maggie has always adored Sully—despite his hands-off approach to fatherhood. When she shows up unannounced in Sullivan’s Crossing, he welcomes her with opens arms, and she relishes the opportunity to rebuild their relationship.
But when Sully has a sudden heart attack, Maggie’s world is rocked once again. Consumed with his care, she’s relieved to find that Cal Jones, a quiet and serious-looking camper, has been taking over many of Sully’s responsibilities as he recuperates. Still, Maggie is suspicious of this mysterious man’s eagerness to help—until she finds out the true reason for his deliberate isolation.
Though Cal and Maggie each struggle with loss and loneliness, the time they spend together gives Maggie hope for something brighter just on the horizon…if only they can learn to find peace and healing—and perhaps love—with each other. MY TAKE: 4 STARS!!
Let’s face it, this book has a GORGEOUS dust cover jacket! Inside the cover, instead of plain white paper that holds the printed pages together, this book has an extremely bright yellow paper, so it was like reading with sunshine peeking through! This story does take place during the late spring and all through summer, so it is a nice time of year to read this right now because it’s currently summer (as I write read this and am writing this!) so we can relate to it right now. I had a really good laugh when the author wrote into the story that the state of Michigan ‘invented’ winter! LOL! That IS where I am from! I guess I need to find out from her why she feels that way! I would think that Colorado, where this book takes place along the huge hiking trail would be ‘the’ place that invented winter being they had avalanches in the mountains near the crossing, etc.! Perhaps the author knows this area, and she does know it well! The character, Cal, during a period in his life is working in Detroit and living in Grosse Pointe, truly a very affluent area to live, giving people a very easy and close commute to work in Detroit, but a completely different city. The same thing would apply for his wife when she was alive, giving her easy access to her profession.
Maggie, the main character in this series, comes back home to a place called Sullivan’s Crossing, a place her grandfather’s and father made for hikers, campers, anyone who wanted to stay, to recharge, shower, shop, stay in a cabin for a day, or a week! Many people use this place to get on and start to hike on the Colorado Trail, or to continue their hike. This place can be used for so many things, it’s an ideal place for some rest and relaxation, and this is why Maggie came back home here, to be with her father, Sully, for a while. Maggie needs a change of pace and time to reflect on her life at the moment, and perhaps even escape it a little bit. She is being sued at work for no reason as the surgery she performed was textbook, however, the patient did not make it, so the family filed a lawsuit against her as she is a Neurosurgeon. She has lost her surgical practice, and a human life - her own pregnancy through miscarriage, and this, perhaps, is most likely why she needs some time to herself. This was devastating to her, at age 37 she feels this accident was meant to be because she keeps getting older and the chance for her current relationship is only a dead-end in her opinion because who wants to be with a complete Mommy’s boy? I have to agree with her there. Maggie needs time to reflect on her own life and not others but she doesn’t quite get that chance. As it turns out, it happened to be the perfect time to come home because her father, whom she calls by his first name of Sully like everyone else does, suffers a heart attack. Thankfully, Maggie is right there with Sully throughout his recovery and is a huge help for him. She most likely has extended his life as well by changing everything about him, such as his complete diet! He’s not so cheery about that but he is listening and proving he will stick to this healthier diet! This is a major positive step for Sully, for once. While there, she also meets a new man she finds herself very attracted to, and he is just as attracted to her. He goes by the name of Cal and is expecting to hike out onto the trail once the weather conditions turn warmer so he doesn’t end up dying in an avalanche of snow, so while waiting he starts to help Sully with work that needs to be done around the camp. Maggie and Cal have a fun, flirty relationship at first, and they do end up getting closer. It’s all those late night campfires! All things come to an end, and Cal does go on his planned hike. Maggie doesn’t think she’ll ever see him again. The matter of the lawsuit/trial rears it’s ugly head, she gets deposed and more. I didn’t like that part, but who does unless you love the law?
At first I had a very difficult time getting started reading this book. I felt like I could not get into it, and I was not looking forward to reading it, either. It was work. However, at around page 45, 47, 50, that I noticed the pace started to pick up quicker. I started to get much more invested into the story, and I really was looking forward to picking the book back up again after having to put it down! After that, I was hooked into the story! I do believe this author can have a good series here. This book focused mostly on Maggie, Cal and her father Sully, in addition to the lay of the land and how Sullivan’s Crossing works, the hiking trails, etc. The interesting thing is the secondary characters got as much attention as did Maggie, the main character, but I believe that may just be the set-up for this new series, and I do believe this author has several volumes planned, or else I don’t think she would have spent so much time setting the stage as she did. We would need all of the information she gave us to set this up. This book was a little refreshing to read about a good relationship such as was Maggie and Cal’s, but Maggie at times was often worried that Cal was going to leave despite his attempts at trying to convince her enough he was not going anywhere, but they did have some things to iron out in the end. I hope the next book brings more for this couple! I enjoyed their relationship very much, and I enjoyed what Cal felt for Maggie. He seems like such a wonderful man, an honest man with nothing to hide, and the things probably most people would want to hide about themselves, he was more than willing to open up and tell her about. That, is GOLD! I couldn’t help but to feel as if something was missing from Maggie. Her fire? Or maybe because of everything she is going through at this time is just so much she is having a very difficult time getting through it all. She was pretty quiet for the most part, she just didn’t feel like a good, solid character . . . yet when she is supposed to be one of the main ones. I wanted more strength from her, and at times we sure did get it! It just took time and the right circumstances to make her strength come out, and when it does, watch out! It did take almost the entire book for some situations to come up where we could see just how much strength this woman has, and again, once she shows us her true colors and her strength, we know there is no stopping her and she also surprises herself that she can be as strong as she is. When she doubted herself, the funny thing was her own father told her she definitely had strength, she just needed to go to work and leave the campground to see it come out. Cal even told her in the end she needed to find her fire, to choose something that she ‘had’ to do. I hope in the next book her fire works out. We’ll see! One of the neatest things the author did with this book was at the beginning of each chapter she had a quote. You could read the quote and somewhat guess what that chapter was going to address, or not, but it would be about the feelings, a topic, an event, something that that quote would apply to in that chapter. I have never come across anything like that in the past, and I loved that a lot! When I first realized that was what this author was doing, I did have to go back a few times and reread the quotes because when I first read them I did not catch what she was doing at first, and I wanted to figure out how that quote applied to the chapter, and they ALL apply to each chapter! I enjoyed a little laugh with that! Thanks to the author for providing that extra thought! Now I want to read Book 2 in this series NOW! I am VERY MUCH looking forward to it.
A special thank you, MIRA publishers, for sending me this beautiful hardcover edition of this book that showed up in my mailbox! I was SO happy! I now had a beautiful book from this author I have been wanting to read for quite a while now!
The new Guardians Trilogy novel from the #1 New York Times bestselling author of Stars of Fortune.
To celebrate the rise of their new queen, three goddesses of the moon created three stars, one of fire, one of ice, one of water. But then they fell from the sky, putting the fate of all worlds in danger. And now three women and three men join forces to pick up the pieces…
Mermaid Annika is from the sea, and it is there she must return after her quest to find the stars. New to this world, her purity and beauty are nothing less than breathtaking, along with her graceful athleticism, as her five new friends discovered when they retrieved the fire star.
Now, through space and time, traveler Sawyer King has brought the guardians to the island of Capri, where the water star is hidden. And as he watches Annika in her element, he finds himself drawn to her joyful spirit. But Sawyer knows that if he allows her into his heart, no compass could ever guide him back to solid ground...
And in the darkness, their enemy broods. She lost one star to the guardians, but there is still time for blood to be spilled—the mermaid’s in the water and the traveler’s on the land. For she has forged a dangerous new weapon. Something deadly and unpredictable. Something human.
I LOVE this Guardians Trilogy! This is Book Two of the trilogy, and yes, I would suggest to read this trilogy in order so you can keep up with the way the stars are or are not found, but there are other things to read you will want to keep in order.
With the first book in this series, Stars of Fortune, it was my FIRST venture into the Fantasy realm and I fell in love reading it! The same thing is true with this second book in this trilogy, Book of Sighs! You can completely lose yourself into another world and enjoy the Fantasy world even if it is dangerous at times. I LOVED reading the most about the Mermaid who had been turned into a human being, but only for three turns of the moon before her human legs would no longer be her own and she would have to go back to sea. She was here to find a new star, the star of water. As it states in the description, traveler Sawyer King, an immortal, cannot fall in love with anyone, but it is proving to be a bit difficult with the Mermaid, Annika, if he hasn’t already done so! She loves him, but Mermaids cannot tell men they are in love with them. She’ll have to rely on someone to make sure he knows she loves him! He does truly enjoy watching her swim and move around outside of the water, too, with her weapons of beauty, speed and agility. He must stay level headed as they have the star of water to find. They have a job to do. Who better than to have a mermaid to find this? I loved how the author wrote her as a human with legs, and how much she loved her legs, even if for a little while. It was beautiful the way she wrote it. Even though this was true, she still could not resist being back in the water, even if it is in the pool where she would turn back into the mermaid and swim as she always had and while in the water she was in her element! I had to laugh when she had to be taught to wear clothing both while swimming (neighbors!) and also after getting out of the water as she thought nothing of walking around topless, after all, she never had to worry about covering up out in the sea. Her hair was long enough it somewhat covered her chest, but her immortal Sawyer King was feeling very human, more than ever when he was around her! He could not allow anything ‘human’ to happen, though, and I was bummed about that because he is pretty darn strong when it comes to matters of the heart! I hope there is or are some weak moments for this couple in the last book! LOL! There was one part in the beginning that gave me a really good laugh, and it was when Annika explained to Sawyer King that even the mermaids would wear shells that looked like bras even though they didn’t have to, but even mermaids loved their bling! Off they go on their journey to find the water star in the Bay of Sighs. I loved this!
I love how Nora Roberts writes! She really grabs your attention and makes you want to read what her characters are doing! As I said above, it is so easy to get lost in this story of finding these three stars. It is a genuine escape from everyday life as we know it! The enjoyment of escaping everyday life is what got me to fall in love with both of these books so far! I know I am going to fall in love with the last book in this series, too, and we can expect, “The Island of Glass”, the final book in the Guardian series this December 2016!
I received this book for FREE from the Publisher, Berkley, (and I thank them very much!) in exchange that I read then write a review about this book/what I read. "Free" means I was provided with ZERO MONIES to do so, but to just enjoy the sheer pleasure of reading this book and then writing an honest review about what I thought about this book, regardless if my opinion is positive or negative. I am disclosing this information in accordance with the law set here:http://www.access.gpo.gov/nara/cfr/waisidx_03/16cfr255_03.html The Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255, 16 CFR 255, Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising Federal Acquisition Regulation.