Discussion Forums - Hidden Gems Hidden Gems

Topic: It's July 2017 - What Are You Reading?

Club rule - Please, if you cannot be courteous and respectful, do not post in this forum.
  Unlock Forum posting with Annual Membership.
Subject: It's July 2017 - What Are You Reading?
Date Posted: 7/2/2017 6:41 PM ET
Member Since: 8/22/2007
Posts: 525
Back To Top

FINISHED -

  1. "THREE CHRISTMAS WISHES" by Sheila Roberts (A+++++) Three friends, three wishes - one Christmas! Riley Erickson, her pregnant sister, Jo, and their friend Noel are all wishing for the same thing: the perfect man. Or at least men who are perfect for them. Riley's hasn't turned out to be too impressive, dumping her for her bridesmaid three weeks before the wedding. Jo's husband is being perfectly stubborn. And Noel has given up completely. When the three women visit a shopping-mall Santa on a lark, the guy is full of predictions. Riley's going to meet her perfect man in a memorable way. Noel is going to get a good man to go with that house she's trying desperately to buy. And Jo, well, a new man is about to come into her life. What on earth does that mean? She already has her hands full with the one she's got. As for Riley and Noel, they have some holiday challenges to meet. But Christmas wishes can come true, as these three women are about to discover. Because in spite of romantic setbacks and derailed dreams, this truly is the most wonderful time of the year!
  2. "SECRET DAUGHTER" by Shilpi Somaya Gowda (new author for me) (A++++++) Somer's life is everything she imagined it would be - she's newly married and has started her career as a physician in San Francisco - until she makes the devastating discovery she will never be able to have children. The same year in India, a poor mother makes the heartbreaking choice to save her newborn daughter's life by givig her away. It is a decision that will haunt Kavita for the rest of her life and cause a ripple effect that travels across the world and back again. Asha, adopted out of a Mumbai orphanage, is the child that binds the destinies of these two women. We follow both families, invisibly connected until Asha's journey of self discovery leads her back to India.
  3. "WHISKEY & CHARLIE" by Annabel Smith (new author for me) (A+++++++) Whiskey & Charlie is a captivating debut novel of brothers who have drifted apart and the accident that will determine their future, by an unforgettable new voice exploring the struggles and strengths of the sibling bond. Some twins communicate in a secret language all their own. For Whiskey and Charlie Ferns, the two-way alphabet (alpha, bravo, charlie, delta) whispered back and forth over their crackly walkie-talkies is the best they can do. But as the brothers grow up, they grow apart. Whiskey is everything Charlie is not - bold, daring, carefree - and Charlie blames his brother for always stealing the limelight, always striving ahead while seeming to push Charlie back. By the time the twins reach adulthood, they are barely even speaking to each other. When Charlie hears that Whiskey has been in a terrible accident and has slipped into a coma, he is shocked...although perhaps not devastated. But as days and weeks slip by and the chances of Whiskey recovering grow ever more slim, Charlie is forced to look back on their lives and examine whether or not Whiskey's actions were truly as unforgivable as Charlie believed them to be.
  4. "WALKING DISASTER" by Jamie McGuire (Beautiful #2) (A+++++) Can you love someone too much? Travis Maddox learned two things from his mother before she died: Love hard. Fight harder. The life of Travis is full of fast women, underground gambling and violence. But just when he thinks he is invincible, Abby Abernathy brings him to his knees. Every story has two sides. In Beautiful Disaster, Abby had her say. Now it’s time to see the story through Travis’s eyes.
  5. "CHRISTMAS IN ETERNITY SPRINGS" by Emily March (Eternity Springs #12) (A+++++) Can Miss Christmas find her spirit again? After a devastating betrayal, Claire Branham packs up the pieces of her life, along with a twenty-million-dollar secret, and moves to Eternity Springs. She opens a specialty shop - Forever Christmas - and, with the help of a surprise romance with the town’s sexy new handyman, Claire’s heart begins to heal. Until her past comes knocking. Jax Lancaster never questioned the need to abandon his career as a Navy submariner in order to care for his young son in the wake of his ex-wife’s death. Desperate to help with this loss, Jax straps on a tool belt to give Nicholas the one thing he wants: A life in Eternity Springs. What Jax never expected to find a second chance at love with a fascinating woman for whom Christmas has become a business. But when the truth about Claire threatens their newfound happiness, can Jax prove to her that in Eternity Springs, the spirit of Christmas is real...and will last a lifetime?
  6. "YOU'RE THE ONE" by Robin Kaye (Bad Boys of Red Hood #2) (A+++++) Logan Blaise expected to be taking a quick break from his successful vineyard in Napa to visit his hometown of Brooklyn. But what he finds is a complete mess: His father is sicker than he'd imagined and Logan is responsible for keeping the family restaurant running smoothly. When the chef quits, he's forced to hire the first person who applies for the job Skye Maxwell, a beautiful enigma with great skills and gaps in her résumé. Skye is determined to make it on her own, without trading on her famous family name. Working in the community of Red Hook offers the perfect opportunity to stay out of the limelight while pursuing her dreams. At first glance, charismatic Logan seems exactly like all the shallow men she knew back home. But as she notices his small-town roots and strong family ties, the Brooklyn bad boy and his restaurant start to feel exactly like where she really belongs.
  7. "A FAMILY OF HER OWN" by Brenda Novak (Dundee, Idaho #3) (A+++++) Pregnant...and alone? When Katie Rogers returns to her home town, it's not because she wants to. It's because she's disillusioned, broke - and pregnant. She was going to make something of her life in the big city. Instead, she's paying a high price for trusting the wrong man. Booker Robinson is the man she didn't trust, the man she left behind. He's also spent two years getting over Katie. But when her parents refuse to take her in, she doesn't have anywhere else to go, and Booker soon finds himself with a lodger - one who needs a father to her baby. Katie's vowed she'll never trust the wrong man again. But sometimes a man isn't everything he seems. And sometimes he's more.
  8. "THE GOLDEN SON" by Shilpi Somaya Gowda (A++++++) The first of his family to go to college, Anil Patel, the golden son, carries the weight of tradition and his family’s expectations when he leaves his tiny Indian village to begin a medical residency in Dallas, Texas, at one of the busiest and most competitive hospitals in America. When his father dies, Anil becomes the de facto head of the Patel household and inherits the mantle of arbiter for all of the village’s disputes. But he is uneasy with the custom, uncertain that he has the wisdom and courage demonstrated by his father and grandfather. His doubts are compounded by the difficulties he discovers in adjusting to a new culture and a new job, challenges that will shake his confidence in himself and his abilities. Back home in India, Anil’s closest childhood friend, Leena, struggles to adapt to her demanding new husband and relatives. Arranged by her parents, the marriage shatters Leena’s romantic hopes and eventually forces her to make a desperate choice that will hold drastic repercussions for herself and her family. Though Anil and Leena struggle to come to terms with their identities thousands of miles apart, their lives eventually intersect once more - changing them both and the people they love forever.
  9. "THE MARRIAGE LIE" by Kimberly Belle (new author for me) (A++++++) Iris and Will's marriage is as close to perfect as it can be: a large house in a nice Atlanta neighborhood, rewarding careers and the excitement of trying for their first baby. But on the morning Will leaves for a business trip to Orlando, Iris's happy world comes to an abrupt halt. Another plane headed for Seattle has crashed into a field, killing everyone on board, and according to the airline, Will was one of the passengers on this plane. Grief-stricken and confused, Iris is convinced it all must be a huge misunderstanding. But as time passes and there is still no sign of Will, she reluctantly accepts that he is gone. Still, Iris needs answers. Why did Will lie about where he was going? What is in Seattle? And what else has he lied about? As Iris sets off on a desperate quest to find out what her husband was keeping from her, the answers she receives will shock her to her very core.
  10. "THE ORPHAN TRAIN" by Christina Baker Kline (new author for me) (A+++++++) Captivating story of two very different women who build an unexpected friendship: a 91-year-old woman with a hidden past as an orphan-train rider and the teenage girl whose own troubled adolescence leads her to seek answers to questions no one has ever thought to ask. Nearly eighteen, Molly Ayer knows she has one last chance. Just months from "aging out" of the child welfare system, and close to being kicked out of her foster home, a community service position helping an elderly woman clean out her home is the only thing keeping her out of juvie and worse. Vivian Daly has lived a quiet life on the coast of Maine. But in her attic, hidden in trunks, are vestiges of a turbulent past. As she helps Vivian sort through her possessions and memories, Molly discovers that she and Vivian aren't as different as they seem to be. A young Irish immigrant orphaned in New York City, Vivian was put on a train to the Midwest with hundreds of other children whose destinies would be determined by luck and chance. The closer Molly grows to Vivian, the more she discovers parallels to her own life. A Penobscot Indian, she, too, is an outsider being raised by strangers, and she, too, has unanswered questions about the past. As her emotional barriers begin to crumble, Molly discovers that she has the power to help Vivian find answers to mysteries that have haunted her for her entire life - answers that will ultimately free them both. Rich in detail and epic in scope, Orphan Train is a powerful novel of upheaval and resilience, of second chances, of unexpected friendship, and of the secrets we carry that keep us from finding out who we are.
  11. "A CHRISTMAS BRIDE" by Hope Ramsay (Chapel of Love #1) (A+++++) A season of hope...'Tis the season in Shenandoah Falls and the first time Willow Peterson has been home in years. But she's determined to fulfill the wishes of her recently deceased best friend and restore Eagle Hill Manor to its former glory-all in time to host the perfect holiday wedding. She just has to get the owner of the historic inn to hire her. Unfortunately, that means dealing with Scrooge himself. After the death of his wife, David Lyndon has a bah-humbug approach to Christmas. But as December counts down and the wedding planning is in full swing, it's harder and harder to stay immune to the charms of Willow, especially when he sees how much joy she brings his eight-year-old daughter. After a simple kiss under the mistletoe turns into something more, David is hoping he can turn the magic of the holiday season into the love of a lifetime. 
  12. "GOING DOWN HARD" by Carly Phillips (Billioniare Bad Boys #3) (A+++) (book I won from the author on Facebook) (reading on a Kindle app on my computer) Billionaire Bad Boys: Rich, Powerful and sexy as hell. Derek West rose from poverty to take the tech world by storm. He's sexy, confident and gets any woman he wants. And who he wants is Cassie Storm, the rich girl he’s never been good enough for. She’s desperate to save her family company and there’s only one man who can help. But Derek isn’t interested in helping. He wants to possess both the company and the woman he’s never been able to forget. His plan? To screw her out of his head. Except once he’s had a taste of Cassie, he doesn’t want to let her go. Her family remembers where he came from, and they won’t allow it. When the truth about their pasts comes to light, though, it may be Cassie who’s going down hard.
  13. "TRUE BLUE" by David Baldacci (unabridged audio CD) (A+++++) Mason "Mace" Perry was a firebrand cop on the D.C. police force until she was kidnapped and framed for a crime. She lost everything-her badge, her career, her freedom-and spent two years in prison. Now she's back on the outside and focused on one mission: to be a cop once more. Her only shot to be a true blue again is to solve a major case on her own, and prove she has the right to wear the uniform. But even with her police chief sister on her side, she has to work in the shadows: A vindictive U.S. attorney is looking for any reason to send Mace back behind bars. Then Roy Kingman enters her life. Roy is a young lawyer who aided the poor until he took a high-paying job at a law firm in Washington. Mace and Roy meet after he discovers the dead body of a female partner at the firm. As they investigate the death, they start uncovering surprising secrets from both the private and public world of the nation's capital. Soon, what began as a fairly routine homicide takes a terrifying and unexpected turn-into something complex, diabolical, and possibly lethal.
  14. "COLDWATER WARM HEARTS CLUB" by Lexis Eddings (new author for me) (Coldwater Cove, Oklahoma #1) (A+++++) The lake is crystal blue, the hills roll for miles, and breaking news travels via the Methodist prayer chain. But don’t let the postcard fool you. Coldwater Cove, Oklahoma, leavens its small-town charm with plenty of Ozark snark. For Lacy Evans, returning to flyover country is the definition of failure. She had everything she wanted - an award-winning design firm, a chic city condo, a handsome, aristocratic almost-fiancé. Then her boyfriend ran off with her receptionist and her clients' money. Now she’s out of business and crashing on her parents’ couch. When she slides into a booth at the Green Apple Grill, she's feeling lower than a worm's belly. But Lacy’s old classmate Jacob Tyler is happy to see her. Coldwater’s football hero came back from Afghanistan short part of a leg and some peace of mind, but he’s counting his blessings, and Lacy could be one of them. Then there’s her ex, Daniel, wearing a sheriff’s badge and a wedding ring, but looking like young summer love. And a host of unlikely serendipities: the selfless do-gooders who sneak around taming curmudgeons and constructing second chances. The Fighting Marmots. The sprawling, take-no-prisoners Bugtussle clan. Lacy thought she knew her hometown, and herself. She just wanted to get on her feet and keep running. But the longer she stays, the more she finds to change her mind.
  15. "BULLS ISLAND" by Dorothea Benton Frank (Lowcountry Tales #9) (A+++++) After twenty years, Elizabeth "Betts" McGee has finally managed to put her past behind her. She hasn't been home to beautiful South Carolina and untouched Bulls Island since the tragic night that ended her engagement to Charleston's golden boy, J. D. Langley. And why is that? Really, this is the story of two old Southern families. The Langley family has more money than the Morgan Stanley Bank. And they think they have more class. The Barrett family made their nineteenth-century fortune in a less distinguished manner - corner grocery stores and liquor stores. It's no surprise that when J.D. and Betts fall in love and decide to marry their parents are none too pleased. And when the love affair comes to an end, everyone is ready to place blame. Now twenty years have gone by and Betts, a top investment bank executive, must leave her comfortable life in New York City to return to the home she thought she'd left behind forever. But spearheading the most important project of her career puts her back in contact with everything she's tried so hard to forget: her estranged sister, her father, J.D., and her past. Once she's home, can Betts keep the secret that threatens all she holds dear? Or will her fear of the past wreck her future happiness? And what about that crazy gator? All will be revealed on Bulls Island.
  16. "LOVE UNSCRIPTED" by Tina Reber (new author for me) (A++++++) An A-List Movie Star…Ryan Christensen just wanted to be an actor. Never in his wildest dreams did he imagine a life where fans would chase him, paparazzi would stalk him, and Hollywood studios would want to own him. While filming in Seaport, Rhode Island, Ryan ducks into a neighborhood bar for a quick escape from legions of screaming fans…and finds much more than he expected. A Small Town Girl…Nursing a recent heartbreak, Taryn Mitchell believes men are best kept at a safe distance. But when Ryan Christensen unexpectedly bursts through the front door of her pub, she can’t help but be drawn in by his humor, charm, and undeniable good looks. At six foot two, with dirty blond hair, blue eyes, and an incredible body, Ryan has every girl in Seaport swooning. But Taryn isn’t every other girl. A Relationship that Doesn’t Follow the Script…Despite her better judgment, Taryn soon finds herself falling hard for Ryan. But is their bond strong enough to survive the tabloid headlines, the relentless paparazzi, and the jealous fans who seem determined to tear them apart?
  17. "SLOW RIDE" by Erin McCarthy (Fast Track #5) (A+++++) Her heart is going,gone, gone...As a tribute to her late father, a legendary sports journalist, Tuesday Jones is planning a cancer benefit, with racing memorabilia and a drivers' meet and greet begin auctioned off. Donating a vintage stock car is ex-racing star Diesel Lange. When Tuesday looks into his piercing blue eyes, she feels like it would be so easy to lose herself - but can she trust him with her fragile heart? ...and he's about to make the greatest bid of his life. Diesel Lange has had his own brush with death. After his accident, he knows he's lucky to be alive, and he's determined not to waste another minute of his life. Even though he's retired, he still loves a thrill - and no one has set his heart racing like Tuesday Jones. He wants nothing more than to shift their romance into high gear, but he knows her heart is still aching with grief. Can Diesel do the one thing he could never do on the track - take it slow?
  18. "A WEDDING FOR CHRISTMAS" by Lori Wilde (Twilight Texas #7) (A+++++) The whole town is ready for the holidays: The Cookie Club is baking, Main Street glitters with lights, the carolers sing...There’s even a Christmas wedding. When bodyguard Ryder Southerland sees his best friend’s sister Katie at an L.A. Christmas party, he mistakes the slinky blonde for a celebrity stalker and tackles her. Then they tackle each other...at his place. The next morning, Katie’s gone, and Ryder tells himself it’s for the best. It isn’t. Now, one Christmas later, Ryder’s falling for the woman he’s been missing in the town he hasn’t missed at all. Katie Cheek’s outgrown the romantic fantasies she had about Ryder when she was fifteen. Katie’s packed their hot night away in a box labeled “fling” - or tried to. But Twilight’s bad boy is the best man in her brother’s wedding. And up-close and personal, Ryder’s impossible to ignore. So Katie can either go into hiding - or surrender to Christmas magic.
  19. "A LOWCOUNTRY CHRISTMAS" by Mary Alice Monroe (Lowcountry Summer #5) (A+++++) A wounded warrior and his younger brother discover the true meaning of Christmas in this timeless story of family bonds. As far as ten-year-old Miller McClellan is concerned, it’s the worst Christmas ever. His father’s shrimp boat is docked, his mother is working two jobs, and with finances strained, Miller is told they can’t afford the dog he desperately wants. “Your brother’s return from war is our family’s gift,” his parents tell him. But when Taylor returns with PTSD, family strains darken the holidays. Then Taylor’s service dog arrives - a large black Labrador/Great Dane named Thor. His brother even got the dog! When Miller goes out on Christmas Eve with his father’s axe, determined to get his family the tree they can't afford, he takes the dog for company - but accidentally winds up lost in the wild forest. The splintered family must come together to rediscover their strengths, family bond, and the true meaning of Christmas.
  20. "WORST CASE" by James Patterson and Michael Ledwidge (Michael Bennett #3) (unabridged audio CD) (A+++++) One by one, children of New York's wealthiest are taken hostage. But the criminal doesn't crave money or power - he only wants to ask the elite if they know the price others pay for their luxurious lifestyles. And, if they don't, he corrects their ignorance - by killing them. To Detective Michael Bennett, it becomes clear that these murders are linked and must be part of a greater, more public demonstration. With the city thrown into chaos, he is forced to team up with FBI agent Emily Parker, and the two set out to capture the killer before he begins his most public lesson yet - a deadly message for the entire city to witness.

CURRENTLY READING -

  1. "Gastien: From Dream to Destiny" by Caddy Rowland (Gastien #2) (reading on a Kindle app on my computer) 
  2. "The Old Drive-In" by Howard Reiss (new author for me) (book I won in a Goodreads giveaway)  
  3. "Counting on a Cowboy" by Debra Clopton (Four of Hearts Ranch #2) 

CURRENTLY LISTENING TO - 

  1.  


Last Edited on: 7/24/17 5:40 PM ET - Total times edited: 34
Date Posted: 7/2/2017 7:42 PM ET
Member Since: 7/2/2009
Posts: 83
Back To Top

Just started Inside The O'Briens by. Lisa Genova. She is one of my favorite authors.

Next up will be Night Life, a mystery by David Taylor.

Date Posted: 7/3/2017 12:55 AM ET
Member Since: 1/14/2009
Posts: 401
Back To Top

Reading:

Faith and Betrayal: A Pioneer Woman's Passage in the American West by Sally Denton

Room For Improvement:  Notes on a Dozen Lifelong Sports by John Casey

The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer

All My Puny Sorrows by Miriam Toews

 

Finished:

The Eternity Cure by Julie Kagawa

How the States Got Their Shapes by Mark Stein

The Basque History of the World by Mark Kurlansky

Big Law by Ron Liebman

Whiteout by Ken Follett

How I Became a Famous Novelist by Steve Hely



Last Edited on: 7/23/17 6:24 PM ET - Total times edited: 7
Date Posted: 7/3/2017 9:37 AM ET
Member Since: 3/25/2007
Posts: 1,567
Back To Top

Finished this month:  O'Hurley Born by Nora Roberts --- I had read the books about Chantel [Skin Deep] and Trace [Without A Trace] and finally found this one that wraps up the story about the 4 O'Hurleys.  This one is about Abby ---once married to a famous race car driver, now raising her 2 sons and working her small farm when she's offered a deal by Dylan Crosby to write a bio of her late husband, Maddy is an actress on Broadway rehearsing for a new play when she meets the son of the backer of the play, Reed Valentine. Roberts really has a way with developing her characters.

Chopping Spree by Diane Mott Davidson--- Goldy has a big catering job for high dollar shoppers at a new mall, but as usual things don't go as planned. Then when she tries to find the mall manager to get her check, things get even worse. Fun series and the recipes sound delicious, but I'd never try one that was three pages long!

A Cat in Wolf's Clothing by Lydia Adamson --- Alice Nestleton,some-time actress and cat sitter, is hired by a special task force for the NYPD to act as a consultant to help solve a series of murders that seem to center around missing cats.  When she's fired from that same task force for having unconventional ideas, she decides to investigate on her own with the help of her friend, Tony Basillio.

Almost Dead by Lisa Jackson --- Lots of twists and turns in this book. The reader is kept in suspense about several aspects of the plot; who's really talking, who is guilty and who is being framed.  A real page-turner!

The Emperor's Tomb by Steve Barry --- I love Steve Berry's books!  Cotton Malone and Cassiopeia Vitt are in China, trying to find a 4-year-old boy who has been kidnapped to force his father to reveal a formula he has for extracting oil from the ground where none is suppose to be. Lots of history about China, the tomb of the First Emperor and the terra-cotta figures that guard it, the Communist party under Mao and other interesting facts. Besides all that, a page-turning plot and lots of intrigue. I highly recommend all Berry's books!!

Prayers for the Dead by Faye Kellerman --- A leading heart surgeon has been brutally murdered and homicide detective Peter Decker and his squad have lots of suspects but no proof on any of them. The doctor's family all seem to have motives, but there are other suspects as well, namely a drug company that's testing a new drug the doctor had developed. I read this in one day, couldn't put it down! Great series!!

Reading now: A Coral Kiss by Jayne Ann Krentz



Last Edited on: 7/19/17 3:43 PM ET - Total times edited: 3
Date Posted: 7/3/2017 2:07 PM ET
Member Since: 5/16/2007
Posts: 886
Back To Top

Bear in the Backseat: Adventures of a Wildlife Ranger    Kim DeLozier & Carolyn Jourdan

Grace Around the Clock   Julie Hyzy

Chinese Whiskers   Pallavi Aiyar

Now You See It Cokesville, Pa    Bathsheba Monk

Beartown   Frederick Bachman 

Girl and the Golden Coin     Marci Jefferson



Last Edited on: 7/22/17 3:15 PM ET - Total times edited: 4
Date Posted: 7/3/2017 4:18 PM ET
Member Since: 4/1/2014
Posts: 371
Back To Top

Finished:  Hill Country  by: Janice Woods Windle

               Will's War  by: Janice Woods Windle

               A View From the River  by: Jay Pridmore & Hedrich Blessing

              The Postmistress  by: Sarah Blake    for book club

              This Time Together - Laughter and Reflection  by: Carol Burnett

               The Onion Lady  by: Kim Edwards

Currently Reading:  The Lake of Dreams  by: Kim Edwards

Hope to get to:  Education of a Wandering Man  by Louis L'Amour  for book club

                       Dark Places  by: Gillian Flynn

                       Inside the O'Briens  by: Lisa Genova

                       Band of Angels  by: Julia Gregson

                       

Date Posted: 7/8/2017 12:37 PM ET
Member Since: 10/20/2012
Posts: 746
Back To Top

Finished The Soprano Soceress and moved on to the sequel, The Spellsong War (on audio).  Still trudging through When We Fell.  Comment:  I normally dislike this type of book (college romance), but with 1 billion reads, I have to see what happens.

Judye