NetGalley Top Reviewer

NetGalley Top Reviewer
NetGalley Top Reviewer

Thursday, February 27, 2014

Drug Wars - Contrails Saga #2 by Robert Anderson

 "More cocaine or more blood? What's it gonna be?"

Pulse-pouding sequel to CONTRAILS...

After FO Sam Claymore's misadventures in Columbia, and being left stranded in the Gulf of Mexico, he's back co-piloting puddle jumper flights for Civil Air. Sam operates in a nearly robotic state after resuming his duties with the airline.
Sam's respite and the resumption of his relationship with flight attendant, Victoria, doesn't last long enough, however, when he's kidnapped and pulled back into a nightmare. Sam has a better attitude about his job, however, after his near-death experience in the lair of the cartel's most wanted drug czar, Pedro Estancia - El Dragon.  It seems that El Dragon has decided that Sam has a large debt to repay him. A ruthless rival organization headed by the bloodthirsty Francisco Cordoba, Los Muertos Vivientes, has its sights on expanding into North America with its drug trafficking and other assorted criminal activities. And El Dragon intends to use Sam, and the resources of the DEA, to stop him.

The action is nonstop and the details of the drug world are, if true, horrifying in scope and truly a force to be feared. Sam is an unlikely hero, and spends way too much time using the merchandise as he and best pal, Nate, try to get their game on without being killed. At times the reader may find it hard to believe that Sam is able to shake himself out of an alcohol or drug-induced stupor long enough to manage all the spectacular feats he pulls off! In any event, the escapades Sam survives bring to mind a vision of a DRUG WAR Rambo. Can Sam and his cohort save North America from the onslaught and bring a semblance of peace to ravaged Mexico, Central America and points beyond?

It's definitely a must to read the first book before opening this one, and to set aside a good block of time as the fast pace grabs hold and never lets go. Suspend your disbelief, reserve judgement on the political statements in the novel regarding legalizing drugs, and enjoy the entertainment value. If there is a book #3, I'll be reading it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Intrepid Press for the e-book ARC to review.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Fallen Women by Sandra Dallas

2.0 out of 5 stars - "We're all fallen women one way or another..A fallen woman is worse than any man."

That quote summarizes the whole tone of this murder mystery with a supposed historical authenticity. The time is 1885 and the place is Denver, Colorado. Beret (?) Osmundsen, a socialite and mission worker from New York, comes to this western town when she gets word that her younger sister, Lillie, has been murdered in a brothel there. Lillie, from whom Beret has been estranged, apparently fled west after the sisters had a terrible falling out, and later on became a prostitute in Denver's tenderloin district.

As soon as Beret arrives in Denver and is installed at the home of her wealthy aunt and uncle there, I was able to predict the whole rest of the outcome of the story. I did not connect with any of the characters nor did I ultimately care about them. Beret has absolutely no qualifications but ends up working with a detective there (himself a member of Denver's society people but slumming working in the police) helping with the investigation into Lillie's murder (and then another) without more than her experience in her mission work providing the credentials. Beret and Mick McCauley joke about her being a "criminologist" and their idea of police investigative technique is certainly superficial and not based on any science or forensic procedure but conjecture. Regardless, the identity of and reasons for the murder are obvious almost immediately. Beret is shallow, snobbish, and not as clever as she thinks she is -- and of course gets herself nearly killed several times from her incredibly stupid sleuthing techniques. The author attempts to throw in many red herrings to try to divert the reader, but it is unsuccessful and more annoying as it drags out the book unnecessarily.

At the conclusion, I was happy to be finished, and was very disappointed in this novel.

Amazon vine ARC.

Contrails by Robert Anderson

Sam Claymore is furloughed from his job as first officer for Civil Air. Broke and with no other immediate options, he accepts an offer from an old friend to come down to Miami and work with him. Nate and Sam were best friends when they were both teenagers in Detroit. Sam's father was a DEA agent and often away from home. Sam's mother had left them both for the west coast and a new life, so Sam was often on his own. Nate was always a bit on the wild side, skirting the law and doing some low level drug dealing. So why is Sam so surprised to find that Nate has moved up in the drug business and is now trafficking cocaine. Sam is hired as a pilot -- initially against his better judgement -- to transport cocaine for a high level cartel out of Miami. Greed gets the best of him and he agrees to make multiple trips for the cartel. He's finally living the lifestyle he always wanted. When Civil Air announces a pilot recall, Sam agrees to one more flying job - with a 1.5 million dollar payoff just for one last trip. This trip changes his life.

I really enjoyed this short and fast-paced adventure novel. The details about the aviation business and about the activities of the captain and first officer during commercial flight were interesting and written by someone obviously knowledgeable about what goes on in the cockpit. Ultimately with a theme of the protagonist achieving possible redemption after making a very bad decision, the reader will be waiting with bated breath to see how Sam fares during his walk on the other side of the law and on the wrong side of good moral choices. Interesting and engrossing, I can't wait to read the next book in the series: Drug Wars (Contrails Saga: Book 2).

Thank you to NetGalley. AuthorBuzz and Intrepid Press for the e-book ARC to review.

Saturday, February 22, 2014

Missing You by Harlan Coben

3.0 out of 5 stars - "You can't change the past. But see, you can shape it with your memories."

NYPD cop Kat Donovan has a lot going on. And, so does this latest stand alone suspense thriller. Multiple plot lines converge into an interrelated set of mysteries with some very coincidental occurrences that require a large measure of suspension of disbelief.

Single and middle-aged, Kat was once in love with her soul mate Jeff Raynes. They were happily engaged when he abruptly broke off their relationship and vanished. She hasn't been able to find out a shred of information about him for the last 18 years. Her well-meaning friend Stacy, who owns a private investigation firm (Stacy is gorgeous of course whereas Kat is "cute and perky") sets up a profile for Kat on a dating website where, lo and behold, she finds Jeff! Now, what does she do? Long story.

In another plot thread, Kat is anguishing over the death of her cop father 18 years ago -- the self-confessed murderer is in prison. But Kat is not sure that Monte Leburne actually killed her father. Then, who did? Her dad was investigating a known mobster when he died but was prone to long absences from the family home for reasons he never explained to his wife and children. Kat's mother doesn't want to talk about any of that.

In yet another narrative line, evil Titus is locking men and women in underground boxes on a remote Amish farm in Pennsylvania. What does he want and how did he get them there?

And one more - Brandon Phelps, a teenage boy from a wealthy Connecticut family, asks Kat to investigate what seems to be his mother's suspicious activity as she went off on a tropical vacation to meet a man she met online.

No spoilers here -- but it all sort of comes together in exactly the way a reader will imagine and predict by the time all the players are introduced. There was actually one surprise, but the rest of this story was a cliche for anyone who reads this genre.

Fast-paced and full of the usual completely stereotypical characters, enjoy this for what it is - escapist entertainment.

I've read every Coben book except for those in the Bolitar series. He's hit and miss for me. I was disappointed with this one.

Thank you to NetGalley and PENGUIN GROUP Dutton for the e-book ARC to review.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

The Winter People by Jennifer McMahon

Have you ever known grief?

Grief so paralyzing, so mind-numbing, and so soul crushing that you can't breathe? The one you cherished and adored has died. And, in the depth of your sorrow did you wish that your beloved could come back to you?

Sara Harrison Shea, living in West Hall, Vermont, in 1908 knows that kind of desperation. Her daughter, 8-year-old Gertie, has been found at the bottom of an abandoned and very deep well on their farm property.

In the present day, Ruthie and Fawn live with their mother, Alice, in the same farmhouse where Sara grieved so long ago. One day, Alice goes missing, and as the girls search for clues, they stumble upon an old diary hidden in the floorboards, along with a strange cache of other mysterious items. Do these things have any relevance to the reason their mother has vanished?

As Ruthie and Fawn try to find their mother, they also connect with two other women who are drawn to their farmhouse and the surrounding woods.

West Hall has long been filled with rumors of the "Winter People" -- the "sleepers" or the ones that died but now are sighted in the woods near a rock formation called the Devil's Hand. Is there any truth to the stories that claim that Sara's old Auntie had the power to bring the dead back to life? And that others knew the secret -- and could have used it??

As Ruthie and Fawn delve deeper into the mystery, they realize that they are connected to Sara and have a legacy rooted in what might be dark magic -- or is it just superstition and old silly folk tales passed on through the generations who might be trying to explain the unexplainable.

Fast-paced, creepy, and chilling -- I raced through the pages as the story is told in alternating points of view and shifts backward and forward in time from 1908 to present day.

Recommended for anyone who enjoys a little supernatural horror ghost story!   3 stars

Thank you to NetGalley and Doubleday Books for the e-book ARC to review.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Safe with Me by Amy Hatvany

3.0 out of 5 stars - "There is a difference between knowing the path and walking the path."

Fans of women's fiction and authors Jodi Picoult, Diane Chamberlain and Kristin Hannah will most likely find this book compelling and heartbreaking.

It's a story of loss and of search for "who am I now?" when two very different women meet and subsequently change each others' lives as a result.

Hannah Scott is grieving the death of her beloved daughter, Emily. The little girl was hit by a car and Hannah chose to donate her organs so that others might live.

Olivia Bell comes from the wealthy part of town and has taken care of her daughter, Maddie, who needs a liver transplant. When fate and timing give Maddie the donation that saves her life, Olivia helps her daughter reenter normal teen life and school.

But some twist (one of those incredible coincidences), Olivia and Maddie come to the hair salon that Hannah operates. In the course of conversation, Hannah suspects that Emily was Maddie's donor and tentatively, secretly, begins a friendship with Olivia without telling her those suspicious. Olivia has a secret of her own, however -- she's the victim of an abusive husband.

Can the women find strength in each other -- enough to make the necessary changes in order to survive? And can they save Maddie?

Many topics for discussion in this novel: death, grief, friendship, abuse, social media and more. A book group could definitely enjoy this.

Thank you NetGalley and Atria Books for the e-book ARC to review.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

The Collector of Dying Breaths by M.J. Rose

4.0 out of 5 stars - Compelling, fascinating, historical fiction with a supernatural element and a theme centering on the subject of reincarnation.

This conclusion to the trilogy featuring mythbuster and perfumer Jac L’Etoile brings closure to a very entertaining series, but I must say that I'm sad to see it end. I especially enjoyed the descriptions of life and times in the 1500s from the point of view of RenĂ© le Florentine and learning about the machinations of Catherine de Medici and her court in France. In addition, I learned quite a bit about the art of perfumery (and poisoning) then and now.

Though I do not believe in reincarnation or ghosts, I do firmly believe in the concept of the soul -- however I have not yet decided what I personally feel happens to it when a person dies. This novel provides so much for discussion and I think book groups would love talking about all three of the novels because of the many controversial and thought-provoking philosophies. Each reader might think, if only for a moment...what if?  And, how much of the supernatural could be real? Do we really understand all that IS in the world and space we occupy?

I'll be recommending it. I loved the whole 3-book series. Would love seeing this as a movie! I would suggest that the series be read in order as the character of Jac develops over the course of her exploits and that is what makes the apparent end to her story all the more satisfying.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria books for the ARC ebook! I'd love to own a set of hardcovers as the artwork is beautiful on the dust jackets -- evokes the whole mood of each book! I have no clue which was my favorite of the three!

#1 The Book of Lost Fragrances
#2 Seduction: A Novel of Suspense
#3 The Collector of Dying Breaths

Before I Wake C.L. Taylor

3.0 out of 5 stars -- A coma, a secret, an unreliable and perhaps unstable narrator...

Charlotte Jackson, 15-year-old daughter of Susan and Brian Jackson, lies unresponsive and comatose in a hospital bed after stepping in front of a bus. Though her physical injuries are resolving and though CT scans and MRIs show her brain function as normal -- Charlotte has not woken up after 6 weeks. At first, Brian comes up with many possible causes of Charlotte's accident but Susan becomes convinced it was a suicide attempt after finding Charlotte's diary with the chilling entry; "This secret is killing me."

Desperate to find out what drove Charlotte to want to kill herself, and realizing that she has become estranged from her teenaged daughter, Susan throws herself into trying to uncover this secret. As Susan tries to contact Charlotte's friends and reconstruct her activities in the days leading up to the event, she is confronted with her own past and memories of a monster she had thought she'd left far behind. Susan, victim of an old boyfriend named James, suffered the kinds of abuse that left her with post traumatic stress and she's had episodes of instability and a "nervous breakdown" in her history to the point of needing medication and long term therapy. When Susan's behavior becomes increasingly disturbing and she reports that James has sent subtle messages to her, no one takes her seriously. Has James found her at last and how can Susan protect her daughter before he destroys them both.

Interspersed with Susan's diary entries from 20 years in the past, the narrative weaves a tale that makes the reader both sympathetic to and suspicious of Susan. As she delves deeper into Charlotte's life, she's met with resistance and scorn as she tries to find out the secret that made Charlotte feel her life was not worth living. Throughout all, Susan seems to be determined but often a bit off the rails. As she becomes increasingly erratic, Brian tries to be supportive but believes she needs to go back on her medication and return to therapy. Susan is convinced, however, that Charlotte is in extreme danger from the man that Susan had herself escaped -- the obsessive sadist, James.

I enjoyed this psychological thriller, reading it over the course of a couple of hours. It was predictable in the way that novels involving unreliable narrators tend to be but having the glimpses into Susan's backstory did provide the tension and the motive for what follows. It begs the question, just what would a mother do to protect her daughter and how far would she go to find out those secrets?

Thank you to NetGalley and SOURCEBOOKS Landmark for the e-book ARC to review.

Under Your Skin by Sabine Durrant

Psychological thriller with a first person stream of consciousness point of view.

Gaby Mortimer, a well-known daytime television program co-host, finds a dead body on a morning run. Soon she's hauled in for questioning by the police who consider her a suspect in the murder. The dead woman, Ania Dudek, has been strangled and it seems that she has ties to the Mortimer household.

Is Gaby being framed for this crime? And, if so, who really killed Ania? Was it Philip Mortimer, Gaby's husband, who seems to have an airtight alibi but who has to go to Singapore on business just as the police haul Gaby in for interrogation and then keep her until she makes bail. Their marriage seems to be floundering. Is it Marta, nanny to Gaby's daughter, Millie? She's a bit brusque and secretive. Or perhaps it is Gaby's stalker who's been leaving odd gifts for awhile now. There are many possible other suspects, but DI Perivale and his partner PC Morrow seem convinced that they have Gaby pegged.

After Gaby is let go from her job due to all the negative publicity, and her life starts to fall apart, she meets a sympathetic journalist, Jack Hayward, who wants to help her clear her name and get a great exclusive story. The two begin their own investigation and start to uncover the secrets and the motive.

I enjoyed this novel though I found Gaby to be a somewhat unsympathetic character -- she seems so passive and unreliable that I wanted to shake her into opening her eyes. The pacing was well done, the reveal slow enough to keep me turning the pages so quickly that I read this novel in a single sitting. The conclusion hits just the right note.

Comparisons aside, it stands alone on its own merits, and anyone who likes a good psychological suspense thriller will enjoy it.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atria Books for the e-book ARC to review.

Wolf (#7) by Mo Hayder

"I know because you and I? We are the same person."

This is so close to being a full 5 stars for me -- but that is a rating I only give books that live on in my mind long after I've turned the final pages. Wolf may end up being one of those, and if so, I'll adjust that later. This novel is the 7th in the Detective Jack Caffery series and it's a winner!  Do not read this unless you have read the previous 6 books so that you get the full impact of the character of Jack and what all he has gone through to this point.

Super fantastic suspense thriller chiller -- this was so creepy and good that I could not bear to put the book down even to watch the Olympics last evening. I read it cover to cover, sitting down with it after dinner, and then finishing the last few words at nearly midnight.

The narrative is told from alternating points of view and involves several plot lines, some continuing from the beginning of the series as Jack wrestles with his personal demons while also trying to solve what, at first, seems to be the pointless exercise of finding the owners of a little dog that the Walking Man has been entrusted with. Jack only agrees to do this so that the Walking Man will tell him what happened to Jack's brother Ewan who disappeared from his London home when he was just a boy -- taken by a pedophile and never found.

Meanwhile, a wealthy family is battling terror as they are held hostage and tortured in their large secluded hilltop mansion - The Turrets. Oliver and Matilda  Anchor-Ferrers, in their sixties, are spending a holiday in Somerset Mendips, down from their man residence in London, as he is recovering from valve replacement surgery. They've brought their daughter, Lucia, with them as she is back living with her parents after her latest failure in work and relationships. She's completely broken and has been in and out of therapy because of a horrible event that occurred 15 years prior -- the murder of a young couple in the woods nearby. The perpetrator, Minnet Kable, was found, confessed and is behind bars in a secure facility but Lucia will never recover from the trauma -- for the young murdered man had once been her boyfriend. Who are these men that have invaded their home and taken them prisoner -- what do they want?

The writing is fabulous and the reader feels the threat mounting. Trying, in vain, to figure out where this is going and why -- pointed first one way and then another. Impatient to get the answers, but relishing the way the author draws out the emotions as events spiral toward their eventual very perfect conclusion. What a great novel and I highly recommend it to anyone who has been following this series and to any reader wanting a suspense thriller that gives them shivers and just might interfere with a good night's sleep and give a haunting dream or two.

Thank you to NetGalley and Atlantic Grove for the e-book ARC to review.

Poppet (#6) by Mo Hayder

This 6th novel in the thriller series doesn't fail to provide suspense as it takes us even deeper into the character of Detective Jack Caffery.

Someone or something is stalking the patients who reside on the Beechway High Secure mental health unit. After several unexplained deaths that might have been suicide, the residents there are twitchy and the staff often too scared to come into work for the night shifts. AJ LeGrande, newly promoted head nursing coordinator, is worried about them all but especially about a patient, Isaac Handel, who had been held there since he committed a heinous crime as a juvenile. Issac, through the intervention of clinical director Melanie Arrow, has just been released back into the community. Is he behind the strange goings on? A murderer once again at-large with perhaps a vendetta to settle? He has a fetish -- little dolls referred to as "poppets" and a deep interest in voodoo.

Meanwhile, Flea Marley and Jack continue their dance around for a solution to the missing Misty Kitson case from a previous book.

This is nice and dark and delightfully suspenseful as multiple plot lines and points of view converge. I really enjoy this series and any new reader really should read the other previous books before tackling this one!
I'm getting ready to start the next one right away!

Series titles, in order:
The Treatment

Monday, February 10, 2014

Don't Talk to Strangers by Amanda Kyle Williams

Fast-paced and engrossing, this third book in the Keye Street series is one any lover of suspense thrillers must read! 

Keye Street, disgraced and fired former FBI profiler, has her own private firm dealing with assorted investigations as well as tracking down bail jumpers and serving subpoenas. This time, she's asked to consult on a possible serial murder case in the small town of Whisper, Georgia. The body of a 13-year-old girl has been found deep in the woods in a National Park -- right next to another body of a girl approximately the same age who had been reported missing 11 years previously. With no obvious connection between the victims who did not know each other, Keye and Sheriff Ken Meltzer see some clear evidence that these murders are related and that it might be the work of the same killer.  As they pursue their investigation, the secrets of this small town are given up one by one. When they finally seem to be closing in, another young female victim is abducted. Can they find this sadistic psychopath before she too is murdered?

Nonstop action with a very believable and flawed female protagonist! Even though the reader might make the obvious jump to the identity of the serial killer, the path to the exposure is well-paced and it is impossible to put this book down until the unmasking.

I think it's very important to have read the previous books before opening this one as the character of Keye Street develops over the course of the narratives in each. She's a recovering alcoholic and totally self-destructive, but her mistakes and her relentless pursuit of insight make her a heroine to root for despite some of her missteps. More than a little insecure and afraid of commitment, she is slowly finding her way.  I look forward to the next installment in this series!

Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group - Bantam Dell for the ARC ebook to review!

Previous titles in this series:

The Stranger You Seek: A Novel by Williams, Amanda Kyle (Aug 30, 2011)

Stranger in the Room: A Novel by Williams, Amanda Kyle (Aug 2, 2012)

Above by Isla Morley

"Freedom...Its other name is Choosing."

Abduction and Apocalypse - a story of "survival, resilience, and hope."

First off, this novel has little to no similarity to either ROOM or to THE LOVELY BONES. To compare them is to do all of the very different stories an injustice. Start with an open mind.

Blythe is just 16 years old when she is kidnapped and taken down below ground into an abandoned missile silo in Kansas by a disaster survivalist who has created an impenetrable bunker deep in the bowels of the earth. Dobbs Hordin met Blythe when he was working in the Eudora high school library and abducts her while she is walking home from a town celebration. He's completely convinced that armegedon is imminent and has made complex and complicated plans for survival and for propagating the species afterwards. The first part of the book deals with Blythe's life while imprisoned in the silo. Every day and each event that Blythe endures in the dark and stale compartments below the Kansas plain is one of self-sacrifice and infused with desperation for freedom and return to the family and life she knew before. Dobbs makes frequent missions outside of their compound and returns with supplies and news -- but he is not to be trusted so Blythe has no way to know what is really going on in the world above. Blythe struggles as she is first required to be Dobbs's mate and then to raise a child. She tries to stay alive and mentally intact through her memories but all she can think of is getting OUT.

That day of emancipation comes after 17 years in captivity and what she finds when she and Adam open the doors of the silo is not at all what she had prayed for, hoped for, or imagined it would be. The last parts of the book deal with Blythe and Adam as they come face to face with a changed world and try to reconcile all that happened and forge a new existence. To discover that to live might just take more than to survive the worst.

The book is set in current day but sometimes the character of Blythe didn't ring true when compared to teenagers I know -- she seemed much more old-fashioned -- which was sort of off putting. There are serious religious overtones at times in the writing, though the apocalypse isn't suggested to be a punishment, but definitely it is has heavy social commentary. Sometimes the internal dialog that Blythe has with herself seems a stream of consciousness blathering that occasionally went on too long and the reader indeed gets the message that this is not the world whose memories kept Blythe  going and to which she wanted to return. Yes, there were deaths and changes. Many stereotypical characters that will be recognized by anyone who reads post-apocalyptic fiction -- the good guys and the bad guys.

Overall, I enjoyed the story. I think it's one that all ages will devour -- it would make a great movie!  Lots of good points for discussion in a book club and I'm definitely going to recommend it to young adult readers as well.

Thank you to NetGalley and Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books for the ARC e-book to review.

When the Cypress Whispers by Yvette Manessis Corporon

3.0 out of 5 stars - Greek mythology come to life in this romantic tale set on the magical island of Erikousa, off the coast of Greece.

Daphne, a young widow with a little daughter, was raised in the Greek ways by her parents and beloved Yia-yia. She alternated between time in New York wit her hard-working parents and summers on the island with her grandmother.  Now after years of struggle away in America setting up her famous restaurant, and with her parents also dead, Daphne feels the call to return to Erikousa to be married there. She's found a new man and she's ready to share the memories and the island with her daughter and fiance. She returns to the idyllic place to relive some of the happy moments she experienced there and to spend time with her aging Yia-yia. Though they've remained in contact through the intervening years, Daphne senses that there are still things that her grandmother has to tell her. Even though it seems that Daphne has achieved her dreams, is it possible that her soul is centered on the island and that it's time to find out if she is ready again for love.

The novel is replete with details about Greek island life, customs and food. The reader can taste the meals, smell the herbs and flowers, and see the beauty  of the isolated island where not much has changed to modern times. Yia-yia has more than nourishment for the body to give her beloved granddaughter -- she has a last lesson to teach and a very big secret to share.

Women looking for a predictable romance set in Greece will enjoy this book.

Amazon Vine ARC.

Saturday, February 1, 2014

The Possibilities by Kaui Hart Hemmings

4.5 out of 5 stars - "You can't compare pain and rank heartache. Pain is pain is pain. There is no precise measurement. No quarter cup."

What a marvelous book - an exploration of grief and stream of consciousness beauty of a story with prose that resonates for anyone who has suffered a loss!

Sarah St. John had a son, Cully, who recently died in an avalanche. She's paralyzed by so many conflicting emotions as she forces herself to get up each morning and deal with the devastation Cully left behind. Knowing and not knowing so many things about him, she's searching for any explanation or reason to still be alive -- for how can you be a mother if you have no child? If motherhood didn't define her, what did? Sarah reluctantly returns to her job and tries to live amiably with her dad who had moved in with her and Cully years ago. It doesn't seem that either will reach any sort of equilibrium as each is still reeling from everything that happened that brought them to this place and time. Breckenridge is a lovely, historical place that is home to both of them, but neither can reconnect with their joy of being a part of it anymore. Lyle tries to meet his needs by buying stuff he doesn't need off the home shopping channel and Sarah spends a lot of time enjoying her wine and arguing with her best friend, Suzanne. As time goes by, Sarah must face the fact that Cully had a hidden life of his own -- it wasn't intentional, it was just that he was growing up, moving into adulthood, and becoming the man he would become. Except he didn't "become" -- he died.

Sarah never married Cully's father, Billy, but discovers that the two had been seeing each other. In fact, there's even more incredible shock when a girl she's never met appears on her doorstep claiming that she's pregnant with Cully's child. The interactions that follow between them all and pregnant Kit are totally heartwarming, funny, and poignant. Decisions must be made and none are easy. Reading this novel is a journey in self-discovery.

This book will be a hit with book clubs for many reasons -- and there is so much here to love, to quote, and to discuss. I'll be recommending it highly.

Thank you to NetGalley and Simon & Schuster for the e-book ARC to review.

Doing Harm by Kelly Parsons

4.5 out of 5 stars - Fast-paced and exciting medical thriller!

Dr. Steve Mitchell is chief resident in surgery at University Hospital in Boston. He's in line for consideration of an appointment to the faculty of this institution after graduation if he just stays on course and works hard. He's flying high until he has a VERY BAD week and things start to spiral downhill rapidly. He makes some serious errors in judgment and is investigated by the safety committee of the hospital. He may even get fired as things go from bad to worse. It seems that someone is killing his patients and has issued a challenge to Steve: stop me if you can!

Loved this novel -- one of the best medical suspense stories that I've read in ages! It was original and quite a roller coaster ride. I simply could NOT put it down and stayed up way late into the night because I had to know what happened. I'm sure I might be in the minority, but I enjoyed every single minute detail about the surgical procedures, medical treatment and care, and the diseases and problems the patients had.

The flawed and all-too-human protagonist vs a completely unusual foe -- bravo for a fresh medically focused thriller by an author whose work I'm going to seek out again! I can tell you that the author not only knew medicine, but also wrote very well.

POSSIBLE SPOILER(The psychopath reminded me of Gretchen Lowe in the series by Chelsea Cain.)

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin's Press for the opportunity to read and review this ARC ebook.