The Absence of Evelyn

by Jackie Townsend

 

 

This one was a bit slower read for me, I’m usually a fast reader and love lots of thrills and action. This one took me quite a while to finish. It just wasn’t clicking with me but it wasn’t a bad book. I did like it just felt the story was not as full as I was hoping. I wanted to know more about the characters and about how they all tied into Evelyn. While this might not have been a win for me my friend borrowed it and loved it saying this was a story she got fully vested in. Just goes to show you what one person likes to read might not be another one’s cup of tea as they say.

I was invested enough to see it to the end and wanted to know how it all turned out. This one for me would fall into the woman’s fiction category. If you’re looking for a book mainly about women characters and how their lives are all entwined this is the book for you.

summary: Newly divorced Rhonda, haunted by her sister Evelyn’s ghost, travels to an old palazzo in Rome to confront Marco, the man who stole her sister’s heart–only to find out he’s vanished in the wake of Evelyn’s death. Meanwhile, Rhonda’s nineteen-year-old daughter Olivia, adopted by Rhonda at birth, travels to the mysterious and lush waters of northern Vietnam, where she’s been summoned by the missing Marco–a man she only knows from her parents’ whispers, a man she has never met or seen. Soon, truths are exposed and lives unraveled, and the real journey begins. Four lives in all, spanning three continents, are now bound together in an unfathomable way–and they tell a powerful story about love in all its incarnations, filial and amorous, healing and destructive.

Thank you BookSpark for sending me this in the It’s Raining Books campaign. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

November Book Reviews

Gosh November just flew by, I read lots – did lots and finished ahead of schedule my online class. So now I’m ready to get back into blogging. In November I read quite a few books and here is a recap of them.

Unexpected Love by Kristy Kryszczak

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Unexpected Love was a short fast book to read. It was sweet and predictable and a bit unrealistic but sometimes that isn’t a bad thing. I enjoyed this book and how the story unfolded. I’m happy with the ending even if it was a stretch. The characters were well developed and while a certain one I couldn’t stand I liked most and wish I knew Parkson family (well minus the one son Jason). Jimmy was the best and my favorite character, he reminded me of a friend I had in high school. He was  a sweet guy with a heart of gold. Inez was a good character but not a strong girl. Sometimes I just wish she would have been a stronger lead. She was a bit wishy-washy but OK. Overall I would totally recommend this book to anyone looking for some light reading over a vacation or holiday.

summary: As a young woman living in the wondrous city of New York, Inez Champlain has always aspired to be like Carrie from Sex and the City, sans the tulle skirts and poor financial decisions, of course. Inez has it all: great friends, her dream job as a notable beauty writer, a studio loft on the Upper East Side, and no messy romantic drama to get in the way. But life takes a surprising turn when Inez catches the eye of the charming and handsome Jason Parkson, who fearlessly introduces himself the moment he sees her. Romance is the last thing on Inez’s mind, but there is something about Jason she can’t resist, and before long she’s hooked—that is, until she’s introduced to his brother, Jimmy…

Hindsight by Mindy Tarquini

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I don’t think I’ve ever read a book about reincarnation, or if I did the title is escaping me and I don’t remember. Hindsight  is an interesting book and I enjoyed it. This book had lots of humor mixed in with thought-provoking conversation starting ideas. While I’m not a real believer in reincarnation who am I to say it doesn’t happen. That didn’t make the book a miss for me. I enjoyed the writing style, connected with the characters and really enjoyed this book. I would recommend or loan this one to my friends and hope that they liked it as much as I did.

summary: Eugenia  Panisporchi lives with her Mother – Teaches Chaucer, and remembers all her past lives. She is desperate to change her future… 

 

 

Found by Emily Brett

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Found was a good book just not a favorite from my November reads. While I liked the characters OK the writing style just didn’t click with me.  I liked the idea of Found  but felt it could have had a bit more suspense. I really thought it would be very suspenseful based on the cover. One “accident” OK, two and I’m like well that’s weird but more than that I’m and like come on seriously. How did she have no clue that something wasn’t right? Would I recommend this one? Maybe I think it really depends on the reader on whether or not its a hit or miss. I’m glad I had the chance to read it and would try another book by the author if she writes more.

summary: Twenty-seven-year-old ICU nurse Natalie Ulster has a desire to see the world, in case she dies young like her mother, and a need to heal, which is compensation for her own damaged heart. Armed with an independence and self-reliance that stems from her father’s emotional abandonment—and wanting to separate herself from a deranged nurse whose husband just died under suspicious circumstances on Natalie’s watch…

In the Heart of Texas by Ginger McKnight – Chavers

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In the Heart of Texas was hands down my absolute favorite from November book stack. This book was so good and I’ve already loaned it out so I could share this little gem with friends and family. In the Heart of Texas was pure chick lit enjoyment and entertainment and I was sad to see the end. I will read more by this debut author and hope she continues to write more great stories that really capture the reader. The writing was very easy to read and flowed well. The characters were fully developed and I liked them a lot. The family and situations that she got herself into were the best and I loved her crazy family. This is perfect for some light hearted fun holiday and vacation reading. Grab a copy of this one and sit back and enjoy…

summary: Pitched as a poor man s Halle Berry, forty-one-year-old soap star Jo Randolph, has successfully avoided waiting tables since she left Midland, Texas at eighteen. But then, in the span of twenty-four hours, Jo manages to lose her job, burn her bridges in Hollywood, and accidentally burn down her lover/director s beach house after which she is shipped home to Texas by her agent to stay out of sight while she sorts out her situation. The more Jo reluctantly reconnects with her Texas roots and the family and friends she left behind, the more she regains touch with herself as an artist and with what is meaningful in life beyond the limelight…

Size Matters by Cathy Novak

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Size Matters is a small little book and very quick book to read. It felt like it was more of a novella than a novel and I think that might have hurt it a bit. I just felt that it was wrapping up just as it was beginning so I never really had a chance to connect with the characters. I really think and wish this had been a bit longer and more in-depth. The chapters jumped from one to another character wise and that isn’t always my favorite type of reading since it can get confusing at times. Overall this was a no for me and while I might recommend it I just not sure who to.

summary: John Frederick is a man of considerable substance, in every sense of the word. Rich, intelligent, reclusive, and very large, John Frederick lives to eat. His everyday needs are tended to by Mrs. Floyd, his house manager, and by a never-ending parade of personal chefs. Enter Lexie Alexander, the latest applicant for that once-again vacant position. A young woman of magical sensibilities, fresh out of culinary school and still recovering from a recent personal tragedy…

So overall it was a hit and miss month but still a good reading month. Here’s to hoping December is all  hits!

Thank you BookSpark Fall Reading Challenge for allowing me to read and review: In the Heart of Texas, Unexpected Love, Hindsight, Found and Size Matters. All thoughts and opinions were my own and not influenced by the free books.

25 Sense

by Lisa Henthorn 




Claire did more at 25 than I’ve done in my 46 years on earth. She is an adventurous, spontaneous girl that leaps first than ask questions. While this book probably wasn’t meant for a 46 year old who lived at home till she was married, has never had a fling with a taken man or lived alone in the big city that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. I was really surprised by this little book. It is a quick read and yes Claire had me shaken my head at times but I still enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to. For many it will be like a trip to the past, for others it will be a look into what it would be like to take more leaps and live life more carefree and in the moment. Truly that just isn’t my personality but I love reading it in a character. Lisa Henthorn did a great job with the character development and describing the life of Claire and gang. One really cool feature was the social media blurb at the beginning of each chapter. I think it was for twitter but that I guess kinda dates the book in a way since I’m not sure if 20 somethings even use twitter? The chapters are numbered in cents and that was fun to figure out, yes sadly it took me to chapter 4 to figure that out. I know I know I was a bit disappointed that it took that long to figure out that fun little tidbit. 25 Sense is great for a day at the pool, beach, or even just lounging on the deck with a iced tea and soaking up some reading time. I would recommend this to my friends and think that it would appeal to a wide reading demographic. 

summary: Claire Malone didn t mean for this to happen when she moved to New York. She just wanted to live the city life and gain experience in television writing, her dream career. It s not like she meant to reciprocate when her married boss, Sean Vared, sent her flirty e-mails. And you can t blame her for coming into the office on the weekend when Sean told her he was going to be there . . . alone. She didn t mean to sleep with him but hey, she wanted to experience the city life, so no big deal, right? Wrong. By the time Claire wakes up on her 25th birthday, she s very much in love with Sean. At work, she struggles to hold it together when he passes her desk the very desk that they used to make love on. Soon Sean has turned his affection to the show s starring actress, and Claire is devastated. Can she break away from Sean without ruining her barely started career? Will someone find out what happened? Will she ever grow up and stop making stupid mistakes? 25 Sense is about the time in a young woman s life when the world starts to view her as a responsible adult but all she feels is lost.”

thank you BookSpark Summer Reading Challenge, Lisa Henthorn and SparkPress for allowing me to read 25 Sense. All thought and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

The House of Bradbury

by Nicole Meier

The House of Bradbury was such a great book. Being a book lover I would love to buy an old house of my favorite author. I mean that would be so cool, and that exactly what Mia does when she buys the late Ray Bradbury’s house. Its a fresh new start since leaving her big wig Hollywood producer fiance. He helps her buy this house and there is a string attached. She isn’t happy about the string “babysitting” hollywood starlet Zoe to make sure she stays clean and sober. The thing is both Mia and Zoe really need each other and just didn’t know it at the time. This was such a fast read and I couldn’t put it down. I can’t believe this is a debut novel. Nicole Meier does an amazing job at really placing you in Mia’s world. You really get to know her thoughts, emotions, and opinions on what is going on in her life as well as all those around her. I liked all the characters in this book, that is so odd since there is usually one character that just doesn’t click with me.  That is not the case in The House of Bradbury. I liked how the story unfolds gradually but her writing style kept my interest and left me wanting the book to continue. The ended really makes me wonder and hope that this great group of characters stories continue with another book. Only the author Nicole Meier knows if that will happen but I do know if it does I’ll be first in line to buy a copy. The House of Bradbury will be in my top 20 of 2016, and I’ve added a new author to my must read all their books list.

summary: Mia Gladwell s life is going nowhere. The media has skewered her debut novel, her fiance Carson, a successful Hollywood producer, has jumped ship, and now she s living in her sister s carriage house unattached, unemployed, and uninspired. Then she learns that the Los Angeles estate of iconic author Ray Bradbury is up for sale, and she feels an immediate urge to buy the wonky old house, convinced that moving into the late author s home will inspire her to create her best work yet. Life in the Bradbury house is not what Mia imagined, however. Soon after moving in, to fulfill a debt she owes to Carson, she agrees to take in a pill-popping young actress as a tenant, and suddenly she finds herself in a balancing act between her needy ex, an unpredictable starlet, and her disapproving sister, who s keeping a close eye on her. Add to this a series of mysterious sketches left at her doorstep by a stranger, and Mia s life is more complicated than ever. As she searches for clues, though, Mia discovers insights into her own life. Maybe moving into Bradbury s house was a big mistake but maybe not.” 

thank you BookSpark Summer Reading Challenge, Spark Press and Nicole Meier for allowing me to read and review The House of Bradbury. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.