Let’s Get Reading! The Best Books to Read this Spring and Summer




Who doesn’t love beautifully written historical fiction? The Elephant of Belfast by S. Kirk Walsh tells the story of a female zookeeper and an elephant that she takes care of during World War II. I don’t know about you, but I haven’t ever read a book about an elephant during the war.


In October 1940, twenty-year-old zookeeper Hettie Quin meets Violet, a three-year-old elephant arriving at the Belfast docks from Ceylon. Soon, she becomes Violet’s dedicated zookeeper at the Bellevue Zoo. While she is mourning for the recent loss of her sister and the abandonment of her father, she finds contentment in her relationships with Violet and her fellow zookeepers.

Six months later, in April 1941, Belfast is attacked. One evening, over five hours, 674 bombs are dropped and almost a thousand civilians killed. During the bombings, Hettie Quin fights to save her elephant and survive the destruction and escalating sectarian unrest of the city.

Inspired by the life of Denise Austin, S. Kirk Walsh deftly renders the changing relationship between Hettie and her young charge, and their growing dependence on each other for survival and solace. The Elephant of Belfast is a complicated portrait of love, loss, grief, and resilience.

Read it now!



I enjoyed J.R. Adler’s first novel and couldn’t wait to settle in and read Last Day Alive. I typically don’t love series because I feel like the characters and plots tend to be recycled a bit but I didn’t feel that way with this one, the second in a series about Detective Kimberley King.

The writing flows, the story moves quickly which I appreciate. I don’t need long paragraphs of inner dialogue, give me action in a suspense novel!


One hot summer’s evening, ten-year-old Piper Chase went for a bike ride. She never came home…

Piper cycles off one hot Oklahoma evening for a sleepover with her new friend Miley from summer camp. But when she doesn’t come home, her grandparents raise the alarm. Their little angel is missing, last seen on her pink bicycle, heading towards the dark woods on Black Heart Lane.

Detective Kimberley King knows that the first twenty-four hours in a missing child investigation are the most critical, but with no witnesses, and darkness falling in the small town of Dead Woman Crossing, she begins to fear the worst. She longs to find the little girl with wide blue eyes and an infectious smile, but when her team discovers Piper’s body in a woodland clearing, lying on a bed of moss, something inside her dies.

In a town where people leave their doors unlocked, Kimberley is terrified that another little girl might be snatched, and that night she holds her own daughter tighter. Desperate to find the monster who took the life of an innocent child, Kimberley chases down all the leads she has. The summer camp counselor, who got too close to Piper and Miley and lost his job. Piper’s shifty uncle, who arrived back in town the day she disappeared…

Then she gets a call that chills her to the bone. Miley has gone missing. Has the killer who stole one little angel just taken another?

Get this now but don’t forget to read the first book in the series too.



I love nothing more than a locked room thriller like The Invitation by A. M Castle. Put people on an island or in a Swiss chalet or at a resort and I will show up for it! I can see why readers liken this story to something that legendary Agatha Christie might have written!

Check it out:

Thirteen guests. One killer. No escape. On an island on the coast of Cornwall, cut off from the mainland by the tides for most of the day, thirteen old friends meet at Tregowan Castle for a weekend of revelry.

By the next evening, only twelve are still alive. Amongst them is a killer – but who? As a storm traps them on the island and past betrayals and grievances are revealed, nerves fray and friendships begin to fracture. But with no escape and no way of calling for help it’s only a matter of time before the killer strikes again. And when everyone is keeping secrets, anybody could be the next victim…

This is out now, its only 99 cents for the Kindle version which is a fantastic deal!



A  must-read! I was on a road trip recently so didn’t get to read much while I was gone but I did manage to read The Influencer by Miranda Rijks–  a fast-moving, quick story about a famous social media influencer who decides to champion a small charity and ends up trying to enmesh herself into the family. I was glued to the pages, wondering how it was all going to play out. This is fast-moving and intriguing.

She is worshipped by millions. But she has a secret…

Adored by her legions of followers, social media megastar Skye is an inspiration. Once homeless, she is now fantastically wealthy, enormously powerful. A ‘like’ from Skye can literally change your life.

So when she suggests partnering with Nathan’s charity for the homeless, he thinks it’s a match made in heaven. With Skye’s backing, who knows what he can achieve? And no-one is more excited than Nathan’s teenage daughters, both massive fans of the star.

But Skye’s influence comes at a price. Yes, funds are pouring into Nathan’s charity, but she is a smothering presence, seemingly determined to insert herself into every nook and cranny of his family life.

Nathan’s daughters are thrilled to have so much up close and personal contact with a superstar. But he worries about Skye’s growing influence on them… And is it just a coincidence that ever since she’s been around, his personal life is disintegrating?

As things spiral out of control, Nathan begins to wonder what Skye really wants from him and his daughters. The answer is more terrifying than he could ever imagine…

If you love suspense or mysteries then you will want to read this. Miranda Rijks is definitely an author I’ll be keeping my eye on for future books.





The Girl in His Shadow by Audrey Blake transports the reader to mid-1800s London, into a doctor’s surgical office described in such detail, you can almost smell the blood! This is a terrific novel that is both atmospheric and full of suspense.

Take a look at the plot:

Raised by the eccentric surgeon Dr. Horace Croft after losing her parents to a deadly pandemic, the orphan Nora Beady knows little about conventional life. While other young ladies were raised to busy themselves with needlework and watercolors, Nora was trained to perfect her suturing and anatomical illustrations of dissections.

Women face dire consequences if caught practicing medicine, but in Croft’s private clinic Nora is his most trusted—and secret—assistant. That is until the new surgical resident Dr. Daniel Gibson arrives. Dr. Gibson has no idea that Horace’s bright and quiet young ward is a surgeon more qualified and ingenuitive than even himself. In order to protect Dr. Croft and his practice from scandal and collapse Nora must learn to play a new and uncomfortable role—that of a proper young lady.

But pretense has its limits. Nora cannot turn away and ignore the suffering of patients even if it means giving Gibson the power to ruin everything she’s worked for. And when she makes a discovery that could change the field forever, Nora faces an impossible choice. Remain invisible and let the men around her take credit for her work, or let the world see her for what she is—even if it means being destroyed by her own legacy.

A must-read for those who love historic novels or want an immersive read. Its really, really good and keeps you fully intrigued. I LOVED IT.

Out on May 4.


I knew I had to get my hands on The Photographer by Mary Dixie Carter from seeing the cover which instantly made me wonder what was going on? I had to know. And you will too once you dive into this book.

Check it out:

As a photographer, Delta Dawn observes the seemingly perfect lives of New York City’s elite: snapping photos of their children’s birthday parties, transforming images of stiff hugs and tearstained faces into visions of pure joy, and creating moments these parents long for.

But when Delta is hired for Natalie Straub’s eleventh birthday, she finds herself wishing she wasn’t behind the lens but a part of the scene—in the Straub family’s gorgeous home and elegant life.

That’s when Delta puts her plan in place, by babysitting for Natalie; befriending her mother, Amelia; finding chances to listen to her father, Fritz. Soon she’s bathing in the master bathtub, drinking their expensive wine, and eyeing the beautifully finished garden apartment in their townhouse. It seems she can never get close enough, until she discovers that photos aren’t all she can manipulate.

This is a quick but disturbing read. It’s not super fast-paced suspense but it pulls you in and you keeps you wondering WTF is going to happen next.

Out on May 25.


My eyes were drawn to the Bridesmaid by Nina Manning right away. I just love the cover design!

The characters in this story meet as kids and become close friends even though the two aren’t on an equal playing field. Sasha’s parents work for Caitlin’s grandparents. Despite that, the two become close in what I think was a very toxic friendship.

Sasha always takes the backseat to Caitlin and she puts up with Caitlin’s narcissistic personality until…  she decides she’s had enough.

Here’s the full synopsis:

From the moment they met as children, Sasha knew that beautiful, wealthy, and confident Caitlin would always be her absolute best friend. Sasha would do anything to make Caitlin happy. Even keep her darkest secrets…

The years have passed, but their friendship remains. And when Caitlin announces she’s getting married there is only one choice for the role of bridesmaid. Sasha will make sure Caitlin’s wedding is as beautiful and perfect as she is. Won’t she?

But as the big day approaches, cracks begin to appear. Because no matter what Sasha does, she never seems to make Caitlin happy.

And the secrets that once bound these two friends, now threaten to rip them apart for good.

This is the second book I’ve read by Nina Manning and I really enjoyed it! The Bridesmaid will be out on May 27.


Another author whose books I have enjoyed is K.L. SlaterThe Marriage is coming out soon, and WOW look at this synopsis:

Ten years ago he killed my son. Today I married him.

Ten years ago my darling son Jesse was murdered and our perfect family was destroyed. My strong, handsome boy, so full of life, became a memory, a photo I carried with me everywhere.

But today I’m finally close to finding happiness again. My ash-blonde hair has been curled into ringlets. Carefully placed white flowers frame my delicate features. The small, drab chapel has been prettied up with white satin, and there are tiny red hearts scattered on the small table where I will soon sign the register with my new husband.

The man who killed my son.

My friends and family can’t understand it. My neighbors whisper in the street whenever I walk past. How can I love a man like Tom?

They don’t really know me at all…

There’s a lot to unpack with even just this plot. WHY would this woman marry the man who killed her son? Obviously, there has to be an ulterior motive… right? I don’t want to spoil it for you so you will have to go into this blind but don’t miss this book! 

Out on May 20.



I read Ellen Meister’s novel, The Rooftop Party quickly- it was just so good. There are times when I want a book that’s light and fun but maintains an element of suspense and this book was perfect.

I haven’t read too many suspense novels where the main character is the host of a shopping channel so immediately I was drawn in. Unfortunately, Dana, our heroine, blacks out on the night of a rooftop party and she isn’t sure exactly what happened. All she knows is that her boss, a man she didn’t like, is dead. He fell from the rooftop but no one knows the details. Dana certainly had reasons to not want him around so she immediately worries that in a drugged, drunken stupor, she may have pushed him.

Here the official synopsis:

In this witty and engaging novel, Dana Barry, the Shopping Channel’s star host, stops by the company’s rooftop party to pitch the new CEO her brilliant idea that just might save the flagging business, her job and possibly her love life.

As she chats with the smarmy executive, he backs her into a dark corner. For Dana, it’s a quid pro oh-hell-no. She escapes his lecherous grasp and grabs her drink on her way to the dance floor. Woozy, she blacks out.

When she comes to, the CEO is dead, fallen from the roof. Or was he pushed? And if so, by whom? It’s hard to know, but one thing is certain: Dana was close enough to be suspect.

Sure, she loathed how the creep moved in on her, but she’s no killer. Or is she? Truth is, Dana can’t remember much about those minutes. Now she has to use all her skills to prove her innocence to everyone, including her police detective boyfriend—and herself.

I’ll be eagerly anticipating Ellen’s next book after reading this one!

Out on May 25.



I will read anything that Kaira Rouda writes. Before even reading the synopsis or settling in with her books, I know the story will be a little creepy, very suspenseful, and will keep me guessing until some major twist happens. In The Next Wife, she didn’t disappoint.

Check it out:

Kate Nelson had it all. A flourishing company founded with her husband, John; a happy marriage; and a daughter, Ashlyn. The picture-perfect family. Until John left for another woman. Tish is half his age. Ambitious. She’s cultivated a friendship with Ashlyn. Tish believes she’s won.

She’s wrong.

Tish Nelson has it all. Youth, influence, a life of luxury, and a new husband. But the truth is, there’s a lot of baggage. Namely, his first wife—and suspicions of his infidelity. After all, that’s how she got John. Maybe it’s time for a romantic getaway, far from his vindictive ex. If Kate plans on getting John back, Tish is one step ahead of her.

She thinks.

But what happens next is something neither Kate nor Tish saw coming. As best-laid plans come undone, there’s no telling what a woman will do in the name of love—and revenge.

I LOVED Best Day Ever and really liked The Favorite Daughter, The Next Wife was just as good and clever as Kaira’s previous novels. You never know what is going to happen next and that is the fun of her books.

Coming out on May 1 but if you have Kindle Unlimited, you can get this book as your April pick. Hurry and grab it!



Ruby Falls by Deborah Goodrich Joyce centers around young Ruby who, as a little girl, was left behind in a cave. Yes, her father just walked out on his child in the middle of a dark cave and she never saw him again.  Years later, Ruby is left behind and Eleanor is a soap opera actress who runs to Europe and marries a man named Orlando. She doesn’t talk about her past. Eleanor and Orlando move to Los Angeles and Eleanor is excited to star in a film adaptation of Rebecca.

She is thrilled with this new role but can’t help wonder why Orlando is acting so strange. Her life is suddenly a mirror of the movie she is making.  What is going on?


On a brilliantly sunny July day, six-year-old Ruby is abandoned by her father in the suffocating dark of a Tennessee cave. Twenty years later, transformed into soap opera star Eleanor Russell, she is fired under dubious circumstances. Fleeing to Europe, she marries a glamorous stranger named Orlando Montague and keeps her past closely hidden.

Together, Eleanor and Orlando start afresh in LA. Setting up house in a storybook cottage in the Hollywood Hills, Eleanor is cast in a dream role—the lead in a remake of Rebecca. As she immerses herself in that eerie gothic tale, Orlando’s personality changes, ghosts of her past re-emerge, and Eleanor fears she is not the only person in her marriage with a secret.

In this thrilling and twisty homage to Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca, the story ricochets through the streets of Los Angeles, a dangerous marriage to an exotic stranger, and the mind of a young woman whose past may not release her.

I was engaged from start to finish, wondering what was going to happen to Eleanor. This comes out on May 4, definitely get a copy!



This isn’t the usual book I review but I love the topics of health and healing naturally and since health starts in the gut, I was happy to read Restoring Your Intestinal Flora by Christopher Vasey. I found this book incredibly easy to read and the information was presented clearly. I think it’s so important to build your immunity and learn how to properly take care of yourself and this book is a great place to start.

Here’s what you will learn:

Easy techniques for rebuilding good gut health, strengthening the immune system, and reducing inflammation

• Examines the many functions of your intestinal flora and their role in a healthy immune system, including their anti-inflammatory effects

• Explores the major causes of weakened flora, especially the overuse of antibiotics and the over consumption of refined, low-fiber foods in the modern diet

• Details how to restore your flora after taking antibiotics and how to strengthen your flora with prebiotics, probiotics, and simple changes in eating and drinking habits

Our intestinal flora performs a large number of duties–far more than just aiding digestion. Recent research has revealed that our intestinal flora help fight off infections by killing microbes and viruses, increase our resistance to allergens and inflammation, cleanse our internal systems by neutralizing toxins, and even support our moods and energy levels by interacting with hormones and neurotransmitters.

In this easy-to-follow guide, Christopher Vasey explains how to restore balance to your microbiome. He examines the many functions of intestinal flora and their role in a healthy immune system, including their anti-inflammatory effects and role in the creation of lymphocytes. He explores the major causes of weakened flora, especially the overuse of antibiotics and the overconsumption of refined, low-fiber foods, and he outlines the ailments and diseases that can result, such as bloating, food intolerance, mood swings, fungal infections, and greater susceptibility to colds and flu.

Offering step-by-step methods, Vasey explains how to restore the flora after taking medications such as antibiotics, how to support your flora with the ingestion of prebiotics: high-fiber foods that provide essential nutrients for good gut health, and how to strengthen your flora with probiotics: foods or supplements that facilitate the regeneration of healthy intestinal flora. The author explores simple changes you can make in your eating and drinking habits to support your microbiome as well as practices to keep the flora of the colon out of the intestinal environment where they can wreak havoc. He also details the steps of the healing process, including the cleansing reactions you may experience as your intestinal flora rebalances.

Providing everything you need to know for optimum digestive wellness, Vasey shows that repairing the balance of your intestinal flora is simple and accessible to anyone.

Excellent! Get this on May 11.



I was so excited to read The Maidens by Alex Michaelides after reading and liking The Silent Patient. Alex is a fantastic writer, there is no doubt. I liked a lot about this book but wasn’t as into the Greek mythology that he often delved into. It wasn’t as fast-paced as I wanted it to be but I was curious about what was going to happen next and the twist in the book did surprise me.

Here’s the official synopsis:

Edward Fosca is a murderer. Of this Mariana is certain. But Fosca is untouchable. A handsome and charismatic Greek tragedy professor at Cambridge University, Fosca is adored by staff and students alike—particularly by the members of a secret society of female students known as The Maidens.

Mariana Andros is a brilliant but troubled group therapist who becomes fixated on The Maidens when one member, a friend of Mariana’s niece Zoe, is found murdered in Cambridge.

Mariana, who was once herself a student at the university, quickly suspects that behind the idyllic beauty of the spires and turrets, and beneath the ancient traditions, lies something sinister. And she becomes convinced that, despite his alibi, Edward Fosca is guilty of the murder. But why would the professor target one of his students? And why does he keep returning to the rites of Persephone, the maiden, and her journey to the underworld?

When another body is found, Mariana’s obsession with proving Fosca’s guilt spirals out of control, threatening to destroy her credibility as well as her closest relationships. But Mariana is determined to stop this killer, even if it costs her everything—including her own life.

The beginning part of the book is mainly about Mariana and by the time Edward Fosca enters the story, I was a little bored with Mariana’s inner thoughts and her issues. I would have loved to have met Edward and his band of female students who follow him around (The Maidens), sooner and also skip the deep mythology stuff. I did note the cross-over between this and one of the characters from The Silent Patient, watch out for that!

While this wasn’t as dazzling as The Silent Patient, there were parts I enjoyed and others are raving about this book so you will have to read it and see for yourself!

Coming out on June 15.



If you read Radium Girls by Kate Moore then you know the author can do her research and write a compelling book. In The Woman They Could Not Silence, she delves into the life of Elizabeth Packard, a woman who fought for women’s rights in the 1800s. Her husband is angry that she dare question his teaching in the church where he is a pastor. He then has her committed. What a dire situation. How can she fight for herself when she has been placed in an insane asylum?

Take a look:

1860: As the clash between the states rolls slowly to a boil, Elizabeth Packard, housewife and mother of six, is facing her own battle. The enemy sits across the table and sleeps in the next room. Her husband of twenty-one years is plotting against her because he feels increasingly threatened—by Elizabeth’s intellect, independence, and unwillingness to stifle her own thoughts. So Theophilus makes a plan to put his wife back in her place. One summer morning, he has her committed to an insane asylum.

The horrific conditions inside the Illinois State Hospital in Jacksonville, Illinois, are overseen by Dr. Andrew McFarland, a man who will prove to be even more dangerous to Elizabeth than her traitorous husband. But most disturbing is that Elizabeth is not the only sane woman confined to the institution. There are many rational women on her ward who tell the same story: they’ve been committed not because they need medical treatment, but to keep them in line—conveniently labeled “crazy” so their voices are ignored.

No one is willing to fight for their freedom and, disenfranchised both by gender and the stigma of their supposed madness, they cannot possibly fight for themselves. But Elizabeth is about to discover that the merit of losing everything is that you then have nothing to lose…

I love books like this that introduce me to people in history who I wasn’t aware of and much like Radium Girls, Kate does another wonderful job of detailing this time in history. This book is NOT to be missed.

Out on June 21.


In This Shining Life by Harriet Kline, we meet Ollie an eleven-year-old who has autism. Ollie’s father had cancer and before he died, he helped Ollie with specific gifts for each person in his family that will help Ollie. But of course, things go wrong and the gifts do not get to the intended recipient. This is distressing for Ollie, as it would be for anyone but especially this boy.

Ollie needs to work out this problem and figure out which object goes to each person. Within this quest might be the answer to the question, “what is the meaning of life?”

Here’s the synopsis:

Meet Ollie. He’s eleven years old. He hasn’t yet met a Killer Sudoku he can’t solve, but he finds the world around him difficult. People don’t say what they mean, and he hates being wrong. And now, a sudden tragedy teaches him there is no easy answer to the problem of grief.

When Ollie’s happy-go-lucky father, Rich, dies of brain cancer, his mother, Ruth, has no idea how to keep living, and the entire family is thrown into disarray. The only thing that makes sense to Ollie is the puzzle he’s convinced his father left behind: one gift for each member of the family. If Ollie can find the connection between a pink vase and an old pair of binoculars, then somehow he’ll discover the secret he believes Rich wanted to share with them all: what it means to be alive.

Interweaving the voices of each character in turn, this deeply felt novel paints a portrait of a family learning to come together through the darkest times, and it is a poignant yet ultimately uplifting meditation on grief, healing, and love.

This book was sad and a little depressing at times! Still, well written and worth your time to read.

Out on July 1.


One day, actress Mia Eliot is auditioning for a role when an actress named Emily asks her to hold her purse while she runs out for a second. Mia agrees but the woman never returns. She is left with this purse and no one she can return it to. Finally, she is able to track down the woman who agrees to retrieve her belongings but when she shows up at Mia’s door, its not the same woman. Where is the real Emily?

The Disappearing Act by Catherine Steadman was a mystery that keeps you guessing and turning the pages.  Catherine does a great job with this story, I really didn’t know who was going on with Emily and why Mia was pulled into this woman’s life? Things were sinister and creepy and if I had been in Mia’s shoes, I would have left on a red-eye back to London ASAP!

Here’s the official synopsis:

Once a year, actors from across the globe descend on the smog and sunshine of Los Angeles for pilot season. Every cable network and studio is looking to fill the rosters of their new shows, enticing a fresh batch of young hopefuls—anxious, desperate, and willing to do whatever it takes to make it. Careers will be made, dreams will be realized, stars will be born. And some will be snuffed out.

British star Mia Eliot has landed leading roles in costume dramas in her native country, but now it’s time for Hollywood to take her to the next level. Mia flies across the Atlantic to join the horde of talent scrambling for their big breaks. She’s a fish out of water in the ruthlessly competitive arena of back-to-back auditioning. Then one day she meets Emily, another actress from out of town and a kindred spirit. Emily is friendly and genuine and reassuringly doesn’t seem to be taking any of it too seriously. She stands out in a conveyor-belt world of fellow auditionees. But a simple favor takes a dark twist when Emily disappears and Mia realizes she was the last person to see her. And when a woman knocks on Mia’s door the following day claiming to be Emily and isn’t the woman Mia remembers at all, Mia is deeply troubled.

All Mia has to go on is the memory of a girl she met only once . . . and the suffocating feeling that something terrible has happened. Worse still, the police don’t believe her when she claims the real Emily has gone missing. So Mia is forced to risk the role of a lifetime to try to uncover the truth about Emily, a gamble that will force her to question her own sanity as the truth goes beyond anything she could ever have imagined.

Another book to add to your TO READ list! This one comes out on June 8.



The Gossip by Nancy Bush was a quick, fun read! I was interested right away when I read the synopsis. Check it out:

Every word you whisper
In high school, rumors can make or destroy a reputation. A thoughtless nickname can turn each day into a living hell. Gossip is irresistible–and contagious. But sometimes, gossip can kill…

Every secret you share
Mackenzie Laughlin, formerly with Oregon’s River Glen police department, has reluctantly agreed to investigate a local woman’s disappearance. The case reconnects her with Jesse James Taft, a P.I. gifted at getting under Mac’s skin. But when the body is found tangled in river weeds, Mac and Taft realize that the case has changed, from one missing woman to a hunt for a terrifying and relentless killer…

Could be your last
In his old school yearbooks, they were the pretty, popular ones, confident and callous. Back then, they held the power. But now, it’s all his. He’s been waiting to teach them the lessons they should have learned long ago: that gossip and popularity have a price, and it’s time to pay…

Coming on June 29.



The Perfect Ruin by Shanora Williams features Ivy, a rather unlikeable, strong-willed type of character. She seemed so real! I don’t actually mind these types of characters because in life, there are people like her and sometimes, characters like her are more interesting to read about.


A brutal tragedy ended Ivy Hill’s happy family and childhood. Now in her twenties and severely troubled, she barely has a life–or much to live for. Until the day she discovers the name of the woman who destroyed her world: Lola Maxwell–the mega-wealthy socialite with a heart, Miami’s beloved “first lady” of charity. Accomplished, gorgeous, and oh-so-caring, Lola has the best of everything–and doesn’t deserve any of it. So it’s only right that Ivy take it all away…

Little by little, Ivy infiltrates Lola’s elite circle, becomes her new best friend–and plays Lola’s envious acquaintances and hangers-on against her. But seducing Lola’s handsome, devoted surgeon husband turns into a passionate dream Ivy suddenly can’t control. And soon, an insidious someone will twist Ivy’s revenge into a nightmare of deception, secrets, and betrayal that Ivy may not wake up from…

This book will have you taking sharp turns and there are twists and it’s evil and fun! Dont miss this one, due out on July 27.



Another good book you don’t want to miss! The Sinful Lives of Trophy Wives by Kristin Miller was a fun read, much like a dramatic soap opera or even better, The Real Housewives. In fact, it’s not hard to imagine this as a tv series.

The story centers around three very wealthy women: Georgia St. Claire, Erin King and Brooke Davies. The book is told from the point of view of each woman.

Here’s what you need to know:

Mystery writer Brooke Davies is the new wife on the block. Her tech-billionaire husband, Jack, twenty-two years her senior, whisked her to the Bay Area via private jet and purchased a modest mansion on the same day. He demands perfection, and before now, Brooke has had no problem playing the role of a doting housewife. But as she befriends other wives on the street and spends considerable time away from Jack, he worries if he doesn’t control Brooke’s every move, she will reveal the truth behind their “perfect” marriage.

Erin King, famed news anchor and chair of the community board, is no stranger to maintaining an image—though being married to a plastic surgeon helps. But the skyrocketing success of her career has worn her love life thin, and her professional ambitions have pushed Mason away. Quitting her job is a Hail Mary attempt at keeping him interested, to steer him away from finding a young trophy wife. But is it enough, and is Mason truly the man she thought he was?

Georgia St. Claire allegedly cashed in on the deaths of her first two husbands, earning her the nickname “Black Widow”—and the stares and whispers of her curious neighbors. Rumored to have murdered both men for their fortunes, she claims to have found true love in her third marriage, yet her mysterious, captivating allure keeps everyone guessing. Then a tragic accident forces the residents of Presidio Terrace to ask: Has Georgia struck again? And what is she really capable of doing to protect her secrets?

This is a fun, wild ride of a story and I think just jumping in without knowing a lot before you read is best. It comes out on July 20!



When I read the synopsis for The Second Life of Mirielle West by Amanda Skenandore, I knew I had to read it. This book contains the ingredients I like in historical fiction: based on a true story, a setting of the 1920s, well researched and well written. Plus, that cover is just beautiful!

Here’s what drew me in:

1920s Los Angeles: Socialite Mirielle West’s days are crowded with shopping, luncheons, and prepping for the myriad glittering parties she attends with her actor husband, Charlie. She’s been too busy to even notice the small patch of pale skin on the back of her hand. Other than an occasional over-indulgence in gin and champagne, which helps to numb the pain of recent tragedy, Mirielle is the picture of health. But her doctor insists on more tests, and Mirielle reluctantly agrees.

The diagnosis–leprosy–is devastating and unthinkable. Changing her name to shield Charlie and their two young children, Mirielle is exiled to rural Louisiana for what she hopes will be a swift cure. But the hospital at Carville turns out to be as much a prison as a place of healing. Deaths far outnumber the discharges, and many patients have languished for years. Some are badly afflicted, others relatively unscathed. For all, the disease’s stigma is just as insidious as its physical progress.

At first, Mirielle keeps her distance from other residents, unwilling to accept her new reality. Gradually she begins to find both a community and a purpose at Carville, helping the nurses and doctors while eagerly anticipating her return home. But even that wish is tinged with uncertainty. How can she bridge the divide between the woman, wife, and mother she was, and the stranger she has become? And what price is she willing to pay to protect the ones she loves?

I felt so much compassion and empathy for Mirielle as she is in the hospital for much longer than she first thought for a disease that society scorned. Though this book made me sad at times, I really enjoyed the experience of reading it.

This comes out on July 27.



This book was fantastic and I loved it! I knew from the very beginning that I had to read it and my instincts were on point. Just One Look by Lindsay Cameron was a fast-paced, paged turning story of a lonely woman named Cassie. She gets caught up in reading emails from people in her company, specifically one man. She is supposed to be scanning the emails for information regarding a case at the law office but most of Cassies time is spent searching for personal emails that give her a glimpse into one of the lawyers at the firm, Forest.

Check it out:

Cassie Woodson is adrift. After suffering an epic tumble down the corporate ladder, Cassie finds the only way she can pay her bills is to take a thankless temp job reviewing correspondence for a large-scale fraud suit. The daily drudgery amplifies all that her life is lacking—love, friends, stability—and leaves her with too much time on her hands, which she spends fixating on the mistakes that brought her to this point.

While sorting through a relentless deluge of emails, something catches her eye: the tender (and totally private) exchanges between a partner at the firm, Forest Watts, and his enchanting wife, Annabelle. Cassie knows she shouldn’t read them. But it’s just one look. And once that door opens, she finds she can’t look away.

Every day, twenty floors below Forest’s corner office, Cassie dissects their emails from her dingy workstation. A few clicks of her mouse and she can see every adoring word they write to each other. By peeking into their apparently perfect life, Cassie finds renewed purpose and happiness, reveling in their penchant for vintage wines, morning juice presses, and lavish dinner parties thrown in their stately Westchester home. There are no secrets from her. Or so she thinks.

Her admiration quickly escalates into all-out mimicry, because she wants this life more than anything. Maybe if she plays make-believe long enough, it will become real for her. But when Cassie orchestrates a “chance” meeting with Forest in the real world and sees something that throws the state of his marriage into question, the fantasy she’s been carefully cultivating shatters. Suddenly, she doesn’t simply admire Annabelle—she wants to take her place. And she’s armed with the tools to make that happen.

This comes out on July 27.





Sandie Jones is one of my favorite authors. I was almost jumping out of my skin in anticipation of her newest book, The Guilt Trip. This centers around two couples, each have their own issues and dynamics. Then there is the way they relate to each other as couples.  It thought Sandie did a great job of creating these characters and intertwining them.

The story takes place at a villa where there is to be a wedding. Ali is, what Rachel and her friend Paige think,  a vacuous bimbo who is marrying Rachels’s brother-in-law Will and as far as they are concerned, he could do way better.

Rachel starts to suspect her husband is having an affair with Ali, certain things arent adding up and Ali is always flirting with him. Why was she coming out of their bedroom, why did she insist on going for a jog soon after he did? Rachel knows something is up.

As the wedding weekend progresses, so do Rachels’s suspicions. And when Ali’s friends and family show up, certain things she has told Rachel just don’t add up and Paige agrees. But everyone has secrets and this weekend they might just be coming out…


Rachel and Noah have been friends since they met at university. While they once thought that they might be something more, now, twenty years later, they are each happily married to other people, Jack and Paige respectively. Jack’s brother Will is getting married, to the dazzling, impulsive Ali, and the group of six travel to Portugal for their destination weekend.

As they arrive at a gorgeous villa perched on a cliff edge, overlooking towering waves that crash on the famous surfing beaches below at Nazaré, they try to settle into a weekend of fun. While Rachel is looking forward to getting to know her future sister-in-law Ali better, Ali can’t help but rub many of the group up the wrong way: Rachel’s best friend Paige thinks Ali is attention-seeking and childish, and while Jack is trying to support his brother Will’s choice of wife, he is also finding plenty to disagree with Noah about.

But when Rachel discovers something about Ali that she can hardly believe everything changes. As the wedding weekend unfolds, the secrets each of them hold begin to spill, and friendships and marriages threaten to unravel. Soon, jumping to conclusions becomes the difference between life and death.

Don’t miss this or any of Sandie’s other fantastic books!

Out on August 17.



I read this in the hotel at night when I was on a recent road trip, looking forward during the day to this book at night. I absolutely love old glamour and stories that take place in New York City in the early and mid-1900s.

The Second Mrs. Astor by Shana Abe takes us back to the early 1900s and introduces us to divorced New York billionaire John Astor IV, and his young bride (29 years younger!) Madeleine Talmage Force. What a scandal!

Here’s the synopsis: 

Madeleine Talmage Force is just seventeen when she attracts the attention of John Jacob “Jack” Astor. Madeleine is beautiful, intelligent, and solidly upper-class, but the Astors are in a league apart. Jack’s mother was the Mrs. Astor, American royalty and New York’s most formidable socialite. Jack is dashing and industrious—a hero of the Spanish-American war, an inventor, and a canny businessman. Despite their twenty-nine-year age difference and the scandal of Jack’s recent divorce, Madeleine falls headlong into love—and becomes the press’s favorite target.

On their extended honeymoon in Egypt, the newlyweds finally find a measure of peace away from photographers and journalists. Madeleine feels truly alive for the first time—and is happily pregnant. The couple plans to return home in the spring of 1912, aboard an opulent new ocean liner. When the ship hits an iceberg close to midnight on April 14th, there is no immediate panic. The swift, state-of-the-art RMS Titanic seems unsinkable. As Jack helps Madeleine into a lifeboat, he assures her that he’ll see her soon in New York…

Four months later, at the Astors’ Fifth Avenue mansion, a widowed Madeleine gives birth to their son. In the wake of the disaster, the press has elevated her to the status of virtuous, tragic heroine. But Madeleine’s most important decision still lies ahead: whether to accept the role assigned to her or carve out her own remarkable path…


Another wonderful historical fiction novel that fans of historical fiction will want to read immediately! The Second Mrs. Astor will be published on August 31, be sure to pre-order now.