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review 2017-12-11 12:45
The Listener by Robert McCammon
The Listener - Robert R. McCammon

What a great story this is! Set in the American south during the Great Depression, The Listener is a unique story. Starting with a man we'll call Pearly and ending with the opening of a free clinic, Robert McCammon sucked me in as he always does and now I have another book to add to my All Time Favorites shelf!

 

With a young black man as the protagonist and a few visits to characters we've met in the past, (I want to say so much more about them, but I can't spoil the surprise for you!),

I wasn't sure for the longest time where this story was going. But when Pearly meets Ginger LaFrance, and joins her cold quest for riches, I knew I was in for the long haul.

 

Not since the book MINE, has Robert McCammon created such a cunning female villain. Crafty and OH SO cold, Ginger is capable of anything. When she concocts her evil plan with Pearly as her back up, you just know it's not going to go well. And when another of her family members joins their crew, you cannot help but feel that it was a mistake on  Ginger's part. You also hope that Ginger doesn't succeed. 

 

At a certain point in The Listener, you just have to hold on for dear life because this tale races to the denouement and you HAVE to know what happens. I recommend shutting yourself in a room for the last 50 pages so you can read it without being bothered. Trust me on this! You will be rewarded with an ending so poignant, yet so perfect and totally satisfying that you might find yourself with a tear in your eye. Not saying that happened to me, (it TOTALLY happened to me), but you know, prepare yourself. Perfection in an ending is so rare, but I think McCammon achieved it here. 

 

The only bad thing about getting an ARC, (and in this case it's a REAL ARC, that I can hold and hug tight to my chest, not that I did that), is that there isn't anyone to talk to about this story. I can't wait for you to read it so we can talk about Curtis and Pearly and good old Nilla. 

 

In February when it's released, I hope you will remember my words here today and hop on the opportunity to read The Listener. Please come and share your thoughts with me when you're done. I hope that Curtis invades your mind space as he has invaded mine, and we can talk about how much we both love him. Or perhaps we can talk about THAT character that was such a memorable part of another GREAT, (maybe the best?) Robert McCammon book, and how much we loved seeing them again? I sure do hope that we can, my fellow readers. I sure do hope we can.

 

The Listener has earned my highest recommendation!

 

*Thanks to Cemetery Dance for the ARC of this book in exchange for my honest review. This is it!*

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review 2017-12-10 16:45
great story, great characters
The Billionaire's Forever Family - Cate Cameron

Cassidy was making a sandwich when she saw the men in the doorway and she knew she had made a mistake. But Cassady had learned from her sister Penny the power of self delusion and talked to Mr’ Emerson who she had just made the sandwich for. Then one of the gentlemen came up to Cassady and he said he represented William-Will- Connelly and he believed  she knew why they were there. The man introduced himself as Trevor and asked when he could expect Cassady’s call and handed her a card when his name and cell number on it. Cassady had sent an email to Will that her thirteen year old  niece Emily may ne his daughter it had taken Will awhile but all he did was send this cold lawyer. Cassady didn’t want Trevor looking at  Emily- her niece- with that cold stare. Cassady was all Emily had left in this world. Cassady had to tell Emily what had happened and the lawyer showing up. Cassady had used her own DNA for the cheek swab once she had talked to Emily but Trevor had taken a straw Emily had been chewing on. Emily was will’s daughter and he showed up at the diner very angry but then Cassady acted just as angry that he had sent a cold lawyer instead of showing up himself in the first place. Trevor had been Will’s good friend long before he had became his lawyer. Will thought maybe he had come across to harsh to Cassady. Cassady had left to pick Emily up at school before she found out through gossip that Will was her father and there in town. Trevor pointed out to Will that Cassady was more mother to Emily then aunt. Cassady admitted to Will the roof was leaking at her and Emily’s home and agreed to let him fix it so his daughter would be living in a dry home. But then the roofers found mold in the attic and it could take several weeks to clear it all out. Cassady agreed to stay with Emily at Will’s rental house until their house was cleared of the mold. Also the diners roof was leaking and the landlord had already told Cassady he wasn’t putting any more money in the building. The landlord wanted to find someone who would pay more rent for the building or raise the rent on Cassady and she just didn't have the money to pay more rent. Will had been seeing Victoria but it was more a convenience thing then true feelings . Victoria wasn’t one he could go to with his failures or worries. But Will knew he had to end it with Victoria and when he went to the city again about work that is what he did. That was the right thing to do but Will didn’t want to think about why that was the right thing to do.

I loved this book. I loved how Emily was so open to meeting her father and getting to know him but still loved her aunt deeply no matter how much Will could give her or provide her with. I loved how everything was about Emily with Cassady. I also loved how Will was so good with Emily after the big surprise of her existence and learning as he went along. This was a short enjoyable fun read. I loved the romance in the book also but that wasn’t all the book was about. I also loved how neither Will or Emily were willing to let Cassady go no matter they had to do. I loved everything about this book. I could find nothing to complain about and that was great. I loved the characters and the ins and outs of this book and I highly recommend it.

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review 2017-12-09 05:12
Review: Romancing the Scot (The Pennington Family #1) by May McGoldrick
Romancing the Scot (The Pennington Family) - May McGoldrick

The story wasn’t bad but I had a few issues that didn’t let me fully enjoy this story.
It was a good romance story, not to mention the suspense sub-plot indeed kept me turning the pages. The thing is, I think there were too many things this book could have done without and it still would have been a good story. 
It all started with lots of heart-pumping action. Someone murdered Grace’s father and now she’s trying to escape the same fate. Miraculously, she ends up in the land of a well-placed family that takes her as one of their own. After that initial encounter and Grace’s convalescence, the pace starts slowing down. 

The characters were charismatic and complex. Hugh was smart and charming; stern when needed yet wicked when he wanted to be. Grace was also smart with the gift of a super memory, although it took forever to get to why it was so important she had such a gift. Jo, Hugh’s sister had a tragic past, something that I also think we spend too much time on. I think they were setting ground for future books but again, I think it was not needed. The writing was impeccable and the historical accuracy was on point. The problem with that was that we spent too much time reading about history and not enough time with the main characters as people. Even the suspense that was so good at the start ends up being kind of a let down because I felt some things about Grace’s father were more guesswork than actual answers. 

** I received this book at no cost to me via Netgalley and I volunteered to read it; this is my honest opinion and given without any influence by the author or publisher.***

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review 2017-12-07 20:01
Review: The Christmas Blessing
The Christmas Blessing - Melody Carlson

The Christmas Blessing is a really good book. It had me emotional throughout the book. This shows the sad and the happy. It deals with a young woman with her son. The young woman thinks here soon to be husband has died and so do his parents.

 

Will the Bentley accept Amelia and her son? Amelia does something to help her son Jimmy? She cares about her son. Amelia sees Jimmy family putting together a Nativity the day after Thanksgiving. She worries about her son and that he is sick. She does something and the family finds him.

 

We meet James Bentley and what happened to him for sure. There a sweet ending and I do not want to give it away. Carlson does a good job writing the plot and it was done nicely. There some sweet moments and some teary moments.

 

It a great Christmas story and it is sweet. I loved it.

Source: nrcbooks.blogspot.com/2017/12/the-christmas-blessing.html
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review 2017-12-06 03:05
The Done Thing
The Done Thing: A Novel - Tracy Manaster

By:  Tracy Manaster 

ISBN: 9781507204894

Publisher: Gallery Books 

Publication Date:  12/5/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  3 Stars 

 

A violent crime from years ago becomes front and center for Tracy Manaster’s characters in THE DONE THING – a tragic event changes the course of lives and nothing will ever be the same. How far will one woman go?

Highly-charged, emotional, and frustrating at times. From obsession, hatred, and revenge to an attempt at forgiveness and acceptance. One life-altering event catapults a family into turmoil, revealing secrets and feeling that may leave them fractured forever.

For eighteen years and four appeals, Lida had waited. Each April she had petitioned. She despised the man, Clarence who had been responsible for putting her sister, Barbra in the ground. Clarence was the husband of Barbra and father of Pamela. 

Barbra had left her daughter Pamela behind. Lida had raised Pam. Childless, she and Frank could not have children, and about the time their adoption came through, they had Pam to raise. Before they took custody he girl had spent exactly one weekend in her care. 

Prior to her retirement at sixty, Lida was a successful orthodontist. Now Frank was gone, dead . . . and Pam was grown with a life of her own. Married and expecting. 

Lida now has more time on her hands to obsess and scheme. She is bitter. She is angry. She wants Clarence to die. To suffer. “Clarence lingered, unshakable as the phantom weight a watch leaves on a naked wrist.”

She knew that once he died she could find new thoughts. She would love to serve him his last meal. 

Barbra’s lover. Lawrence Richard Ring. Next Barbra fell, split apart by four bullets. Clarence had picked up Pamela and lied about a dentist appointment. Pamela was in the car. Clarence had been granted three letters to Pamela a year. 

Presently, Lida has turned sixty-three and Pamela has purchased her a new computer. She comes up with a plan. She wants revenge. She discovers Clarence Lusk. Be a Penfriend. It’s the Write Thing. Be a Candle to Those in Darkness. 

The Prison in Arizona. Inmate 58344. He wants a pen pal. She would change her name and set up a post office. She would be Maisie. Lida crosses a line and begins to write to Clarence. Pretending to be a flirty twenty-three-year-old, in an effort to attain retribution.

Will Clarence open up to her if he thinks she is someone else? Or will he be smart enough to catch her deception? Will she lose control of the situation?

What is Pam thinking or feeling? Does Lida consider her actionsLida thinks she is always rushing to get married, hoping the baby would be born—before the needle. The death of her father. 

The author captures every evil thought of this angry, manipulative, and lonely woman. The strained relationship between aunt and niece. Lida is so consumed by revenge has she forgotten the family in front of her. She dwells on everything bad in her life and chooses to believe this one man is at fault and to blame. 

The letters between Clarence and Lida delve deep into the human emotions, and how deep the scars run after a tragedy that will forever change lives. How after years it begins to consume her. 

Scene (Chapter 35) was well done and quite comical. The phone call and banter between the two. The claws come out. 

The description summary from the publisher was right on – fans of Elizabeth Strout’s, Olive Kitteridge — complex; quite similar to the heavy mood of darkness, pain, and gloom. The internal war waging within. Human imperfections and family dynamics. Learning to let go and free oneself of anger. 

However, the writing is well-crafted as the author explores the complex minds of humans in the midst of tragedy and the overwhelming need for justice. The consequences of this obsession are at the heart of THE DONE THING. 

After reading three books in a row back to back, The Last Suppers(also death row), What Remains True ( the aftermath of a boy dying), and now THE DONE THING. Something a bit lighter with humor is in order. 

All three family dramas are well-written books which teeter on literary fiction; however, they are deep, dark, and sad. This is the type of book you may want to mix in among a few upbeat ones.

A special thank you to Gallery Books and NetGalley for an advanced reading copy. 

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/10/08/The-Done-Thing
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