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Grilled for Murder (Country Store, Bk 2)
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Grilled for Murder by Maddie Day is the second book in the Country Store Mystery series. Robbie, the owner of a country store diner, Pans N Pancakes, has agreed to cater a welcome home party for Erica Shermer, the widow of Robbie's boyfriend's twin brother. We learn that Jim had a twin brother named Jon who committed suicide about a year ago. (This comes out of nowhere, as it was never even hinted at in the first book, and it seems like a plot device to me, but oh well.) Erica does not seem like a very nice person, flirting with married men, accused of stealing, racial slurs, etc. The next morning, Robbie finds Erica's body in the restaurant and the front window of her store has been busted out also. It seemed like no one liked Erica, but who hated her enough to murder her? And why leave her in her restaurant?

I actually liked this book more than the first. It seems like Ms. Day has worked the kinks out and really found a good rhythm with the series. Most of the characters were consistent with the first book, but some made moves that seemed out of character to me. I think the author wanted to go in a different direction with one aspect of the backstory and just made the pieces fit to do it. It seemed odd to me, but I didn't like that direction in the first book. I must not have been the only one! All the townsfolk are still quirky and charming and her business seems to be doing well.

The mystery aspect of this book, was kind of a joke. It was way easy to solve and if Robbie would have acted like any other person who had a crime scene in their business would have acted, it would have been solved way early. Ms. Day made Robbie oblivious to this giant clue, which al out any reader would figure out instantly and know who the murderer was. There were no twists or anything. And the reason behind the murder, was stupid and also didn't make any sense.

That being said, I really liked the book. I am not sure why, after I really think about everything, but I completely enjoyed it. I am definitely going to read the next book in the series!

The Little Girl's Bible Storybook for Mothers and Daughters (Little Girls)
reviewed on

Absolutely love it!

Author: Colleen Hoover
Genre: Romance
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 373 more book reviews

I thought CONFESS had an interesting prologue, but I was bored out of my mind by chapter two.

The narrative moves at a snail's pace with too much Y and not enough A for me. I'd love to meet Owen in like 10-15 years. :) It just wasn't my cuppa story, but I will give the author one more try since she's so highly recommended.

I Remember You: A Ghost Story
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Not one of the Thora Gudmundsdottir series. Two boys go missing decades apart. Their stories unfold in alternating chapters. One boy was the son of an alcoholic father; his mother and brother had drowned when the ice gave way over a fjord. The other boy had disappeared while playing hide and seek with his friends. His psychiatrist father has is drawn into both their stories. The first chapter grabbed me right away, and each succeeding chapter ended with just kept me turning pages. The ending gave me the shivers!

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Despite the cover of the British Library Crime Classics edition, 90% of the "action" takes place in a secluded house, not on a snowbound train. But the location isn't all that crucial in any case. The writing is fine, characters (quickly fleshed out) are serviceable, but the overall feeling I got from it (besides that it seemed to go on forever) was one of indifference. The killings are unconnected, and characters with important pieces of the puzzle enter very late in the story. Not a great example of the classic British murder mystery.

The Sleeping Lady: The Trailside Murders Above the Golden Gate
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I was a little disappointed in this book. While good for the most part, it was slow in parts. Very detailed.

Orphan X (Evan Smoak, Bk 1)
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Orphan X is a solid start to a promising new series. Evan Smoak is a badass like Jack Reacher, with a softer heart. This book had lots of action, bad bad guys, and enough back story to give it heart. Can't wait for the next one!

My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry: A Novel
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Really enjoyed this book. It is one that you cannot put down and yet do not want to end. A great book for book discussions. I was reflecting backon it days after I finished.

Author: Carr
Genre: Nonfiction
Book Type: Paperback
reviewed on + 5 more book reviews

I thoroughly enjoyed this book. Author Jess Carr did some great research on the people involved in this tragedy as well as the Appalachian Trail. He describes the trail and gives really good insight to the world of hikers who take it on each year. I couldn't wait to get back to the book every time i had to put it down. Incredible true story.

Wedding Bell Blues: A Dixie Dew Mystery (A Beth McKenzie Mystery)
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Wedding Bell Blues by Ruth Moose is the second book in A Dixie Dew Mystery series. Beth McKenzie own the Dixie Dew Bed and Breakfast in Littleboro, North Carolina (a unique town). She receives a phone call from Crazy Rena (not sure where she obtained a cell phone) asking for assistance and Beth hops in her "Lady Bug" (her car) to go assist her. Beth arrives to find Rena at a picnic table with a man laying atop it. The man is injured. Beth immediately calls 911 and gives CPR (though she would rather not after seeing the guys mouth). Sheriff Ossie DelGardo (who is getting married soon) quickly arrives in his white cowboy hat and showy white snakeskin boots (he looks ridiculous). Rena keeps rambling that she "killed him" so he carts her off to jail. That is when Beth notices a truck nearby that states Goods on Delivery (GOD) and Beth realizes that maybe Rena is not as crazy as they all think. Rena has been telling everyone in town that she is having a June wedding and that the groom is God (the ladies in town helped her put together a dress, veil, and bows for her flip flops). Maybe she meant the Goods on Delivery guy. Beth decides to look into the matter, but things get dicey after she receives a threatening phone call (also called her a hussy). The town is having its Green Bean Festival. There is a fair, food judging (of items made with green beans), and the crowning of the Green Bean Queen (I am not kidding). The judges are staying at the Dixie Dew B&B. After the green bean food judging, Debbie Booth (one of the judges) turns up dead. Are the two events related (the Goods on Delivery guy and the death of Debbie booth)? Join Beth and friends in Wedding Bell Blues to find out what happens.

I found Wedding Bell Blues to be over-the-top ridiculous (I am being truthful). I like some humor, but this was one nutty thing after another. Rena breaks out of jail and then moves into someone's home while they are in the hospital (they find her in the person's bed eating cake and making a mess). She breaks into people's homes and steals items (like the cell phone, cake, clothes). Tell me in what town this would be allowed to occur? Beth runs around like a loon asking questions and badgering people. It is a good thing that she has Ida Plum to run the inn or Beth would soon be out of business. The mystery was easy to figure out. The novel is a quick and easy read. I give Wedding Bell Blues 3 out of 5 stars (it was okay, just not for me). There are frequent mentions of Mama Alice (about once a chapter) and "Lady Bug". The majority of the book is devoted to silly antics than the mystery (missing rabbit, green bean festival, the mayor's turtle). Personally, I think the whole town should be locked up. Now many people will find the book entertaining, but it is just not for me. Wedding Bell Blues is the second book in the series, but it can be read alone (easily).

I received a complimentary copy of Wedding Bell Blues from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. The comments and opinions expressed are strictly my own.

The Violet Hour
The Violet Hour
Author: Richard Montanari
Genre: Mystery, Thriller & Suspense
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
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Wow. This is such a great little book. It has constant motion, good characters and a great story. Kept me turning the pages until it was finished. I always hate when a good book ends. It is a little on the dark side, which makes it more fun for me. I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys a good, dark mystery.

The Memory Stones
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The Memory Stones by Caroline Brothers leaves quite an emotional impact The emotional impact is all the greater for the story is set in the history of Argentina's Dirty War. Caroline Brother's writing transports the reader to the places she describes, from Buenos Aires to Paris to Mexico City and to Greece. More than that, the writing transmits to the readers the emotions of the characters and puts the reader into the middle of the story. A memorable book.

Read my complete review at

Reviewed based on a publisher's galley received through NetGalley.

Just a Kiss (A Summer Harbor Novel)
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Riley Callahan has been in love with Paige Warren for years. Although they are best friends, he's never even hinted at his real feelings. When it seemed like Paige was falling for his brother Beau, he decides to join the military to get away from the whole situation. He soon learns however, that Paige and Beau are no longer a couple. After his tour in Afghanistan is over, he plans to tell Paige exactly how he feels. But all that changes when he loses part of his leg. Paige deserves so much more than the broken man he's become. His plan to put some space between them quickly derails when he finds out he'll be recovering at Paige's house. Paige is a born caregiver and loves the Callahan family. She's looking forward to caring for her best friend and helping him get back on his feet. For all that's happened, it seems like Riley is doing really well but as time passes Paige begins noticing that it's more of an act than anything else. She's also noticing that her best friend' feelings toward Riley are not so best friend' anymore. Both want more than friendship but will they have the courage to reveal their true feelings and the faith and strength to see where it takes them?

Just a Kiss was a wonderful conclusion to the Summer Harbor Series. Don't get me wrong though, this was not easy read. My emotions were in turmoil watching Paige and Riley deal with all the things happening in each of their lives. The story touched of several subjects like PTSD, losing a limb, secrets, anger, rejection and hurt, just to name a few. I appreciated seeing how Paige, Riley and the rest of the family dealt with all these things and as in real life, it's messy. I loved watching too, how they grew from their experiences. I admit there were times during the story when I wanted to smack both Riley and Paige but that's good writing when the characters seem so real you want to do that! You'll find out what finally happens with Aunt Trudy and the Sheriff. I really liked that each book had all the familiar characters. The ending was very well done but I found myself wanting an epilogue; just a glimpse of a few years down the road, but other than that, everything was just as I would have expected from a Denise Hunter book. I truly hated to see it come to an end! I am going to miss the Callahan's. You can always count on this author to bring you books that are full of life-like characters, great romantic tension and good life lessons. This book can be read as a stand alone but I would highly recommend you read the whole Summer Harbor Series. I'd like to say too, that the book covers were beautifully done!

*This complimentary copy was provided by Thomas Nelson through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review*

A Couple Favorite Moments:

Their breath mingled between them. His heart kicked against his ribs, his good judgment evaporating in a flood of want. He lowered his mouth to hers one more time. Her lips were soft and yielding. Responsive. A thrill shot through him and he brushed her lips again.

"Don't you think it's about time you told her?" His eyes flew to Aunt Trudy. She was giving him one of those looks. Her lips tight, one of her sparse brows cocked at an angle. He made himself settle casually back in his seat. "Told her what?" "I may be old, but I'm not blind." "I don't know what you're talking about." "Don't you give me that. I've watched you pine away for her for years. Watched you die a thousands while she was with your brother. Now's your chance, young man, and you're wasting it. You know you Callahan men only love once. It's proven true for generations."

For more information about his book or other books by Denise Hunter I encourage you to visit her website at

I'm Working on That : A Trek From Science Fiction to Science Fact
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Fun review of which (or whether) technologies seen in Star Trek might (or might not) come to pass in the real world in the forseeable future.

The book was written in 2002, so parts of it are already superceded by reality. While some of the predictions appear to be spot-on, others -- particularly the meteoric rise of the smart phone -- completely slipped uner the radar.

reviewed on + 22 more book reviews

Excellent book for all ages! My children loved when we read it out loud for the younger ones. The children loved the adventure and humorous actions throughout the story. I liked this book for my children because the mouse chooses bravery and courage in times of peril. A good wholesome book.

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This review is from: Dr. Mutter's Marvels: A True Tale of Intrigue and Innovation at the Dawn of Modern Medicine (Paperback)

What more can I add to what has already been said about this amazing biography? I had been to the Mutter Museum in Philadelphia long before the book was published, and I left with more questions than answers. Now I have many of the answers, although there are just a few questions lingering that are probably never going to be resolved. For example, what was the terrible illness that Dr.Mutter died from at the not-exactly-old age of 47? Why, with all of his top notch physician friends both in this country and in Europe, could no one diagnose it and treat him? What a terrible shame.
He was a genius, and far ahead of his time, there's no question about that! And yet why is there not more written about all of his discoveries, and his revolutionary methods of practicing the science of medicine? He is a historical figure, the story of his life and his work should be taught to our children in school. What a terrific example of a great American and a great scientist he was!
Thank goodness we now have this writer, who researched for 12 long years, in order to make sure her facts were straight before working on this wonderful, and very readable biography of a man who devoted his entire life to healing, while most of that life was spent in suffering with his own serious illness. I absolutely devoured this great book. I can wholeheartedly recommend it.

Romantic Times: Vegas: Book 2
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Ex-Sighting by Pamela Morsi
Current day

Second chances. Jake and Regi had been high school and college sweethearts. But on the day they were to be married, Regi took one look down the aisle and realized that it wasn't what she wanted. She left him standing there in order to pursue her dreams of travel and international business. Ten years later, she's in Las Vegas and has been for two months, with her dreams taking a different path. She's sitting in the bar at the Excelsior Hotel, realizing that her nomadic lifestyle has actually left her pretty lonely. Then she looks up to see Jake and a woman walk into the bar.

Jake can't believe his eyes. Regi is the last person he ever expected to run into. He's never forgotten her, and seeing her again brings it all back. But to protect himself a little, he doesn't correct her when she thinks he's married to the woman with him.

I loved seeing Regi and Jake sitting there, catching up on each other's lives. With ten years of maturity, both realize that though they'd been in love, they had never actually talked about their future together. I liked the way that they both realized that they had made mistakes. Then Jake kisses her and they get lost in it, before Regi realizes she kissing (she thinks) a married man. I loved seeing Jake chase her down to explain. The scene in the elevator was great. I also love the tag about the historic first for the hotel that resulted from it.

The Promise by Linda J. Parisi

Mac and Sarah are in Las Vegas to get married. He is an Air Force helicopter pilot who is being shipped out to Vietnam in a couple days. I loved seeing the two of them as they crammed as much as they could into those two days. Their love for each other is strong and will have to carry them through the next year while he is gone.

It was really sweet to see how sensitive Mac was to Sarah's nervousness. He was so full of fun that he was able to hold off most of her worry. I loved the scene in the casino as his "honeymoon chips" brought him good luck. I also loved the next day, as they made friends with Gil and Lenore. They were a very interesting couple and I loved seeing the fun they all had together. When it was time for them to leave, Sarah made Mac promise that they would spend their first anniversary back at the Excelsior. Mac didn't want to promise because he knew how many things could go wrong, but he did.

A year later, Sarah is back there, along with Gil and Lenore. They had maintained their friendship while Mac was gone, and they were there to support her. Mac had been reported missing four months earlier, but she was determined to keep the promise. I ached for her as she relived their honeymoon memories. I loved the surprise that the desk clerk had for her, and the effect it had on her.

Same Time, Next Year by Jeff DePew

The story begins with a couple in the hotel room. They've just made love and are talking. He wants to know when she's finally going to leave her husband so that they can be together. She's wary, afraid of her husband. He has said that he will never let her go. There's a pounding at the door, and when the man opens it the man on the other side starts shooting. The lady is shot and the scene fades to darkness.

Thirty years later a new desk clerk is faced with an unexpected problem. A woman has arrived, claiming she has a reservation for room 732. But that room is blocked and there is no key code for it. The clerk is rescued by the manager, who knows the deal with the room, finds the regular key, and checks the lady in. He explains the history of the room to the clerk.

Next we see the woman as she prepares to enter the room. She thinks back to the year after the shooting and everything she'd been through, her first visit to the room since the shooting, and what she found there. Thirty years later and she visits that room every year, with a love that never dies.

Interesting story with an ending I did not expect.

What the Hell Happened in Vegas! By Lori Avocato
Current day

Good little mystery story that reminded me a little of Stephanie Plum books. Pauline and Jagger are in Vegas to investigate a case of medical insurance fraud. Jagger is tall, hot, and always in control. He dresses in black. Pauline is more at home in comfortable clothes, has a huge crush on Jagger, and tends to lose focus when she's around him.

They are assigned to act the part of a high roller and his girlfriend and investigate a chiropractor who works out of the casino. Jagger, of course, needs no help. A drag queen associate arrives to prep Pauline for her part, and the description of that process is pretty amusing. Pauline's new look doesn't appear to get much of a reaction from Jagger, but she's certainly noticed when they arrive in the casino.

After a pretty successful evening of gambling, Jagger and Pauline are escorted to the doctor's office for his appointment. Pauline isn't too thrilled that the bombshell doctor is going to have her hands all over Jagger, but once they're out of sight she gets to work. I loved seeing her work and her coolness when Jagger and the doctor returned to the waiting room. The best part was her surprise when they got back to their room and Jagger did not do what she expected.

Kiss Me and Kill Me with Love by Connie Concoran Wilson
May 1960

Phyllis and her sisters are entertainers at the Excelsior. She is the youngest and a bit on the wild side. She likes the guys and is quite a flirt. She is also in a relationship of sorts with Sam, a known mobster, who is very possessive. At the same time she is more than flirting with an up and coming entertainer at another hotel, even though she knows that Sam wouldn't like it.

We also see Sam in negotiations with the CIA, who want him to assassinate Fidel Castro. Sam is willing, but he wants them to bug Phyllis's dressing room so he can check up on her. They agree, but one of the agents starts to have second thoughts. He goes to the oldest sister, Dorothy, and tells her what is going on. Dorothy, being the protective sister that she is, decides to go to Sam on her sister's behalf. The conversation is interesting, but the result isn't what I expected.

Not my favorite of the stories, as I prefer the romances.

There Will Always Be Vegas by Mathew Kaufman
Current day

Arthur is an older gentleman, CEO of a pharmaceutical business. He is also gay, but has had very bad luck with relationships. He is awkward around other people and has given up trying to find someone to love. He visits the Excelsior several times a year as it holds pleasant memories for him. This time, he meets a bellhop who he is very drawn to.

Hunter started working at the Excelsior just a few months earlier. His life hasn't been so good. His father died when he was young, leaving his mother to raise Hunter and his brother. When he was sixteen, she had a stroke and was unable to work. He tried to earn enough to support them, but it wasn't easy. Then he was attacked one night and then forced into prostitution for a couple years. Some of it he didn't mind, but others he did. When his pimp was imprisoned, Hunter was able to escape that life.

Even though this sort of story isn't what I usually read, I liked seeing the relationship develop between Arthur and Hunter. For Arthur it was love at first sight. He is still awkward in his advances, and was afraid that he had scared Hunter off. Hunter couldn't believe that Arthur was interested in him, and felt that he wouldn't be once he knew more about him. I thought Arthur's dinner invitation was sweet and liked seeing the way they connected.

I really liked the ending, with the surprises that were in store for Hunter and his family. It was great to see Arthur finally find someone to make him happy.

Love at the Las Vegas Bake-Off by C.H. Admirand
Current day

One of my favorite stories in the book. Peggy is in Las Vegas to participate in a bake-off. Ben, his brother and two cousins are there to provide security for her, as she has been receiving threats. Peggy doesn't believe the threats are real and isn't at all happy about their presence. She's especially angry at Ben, as she had previously made him one of her special pies and he hadn't even acknowledged it.

It's obvious there are sparks between Ben and Peggy right from the beginning. He is really interested in her, but his relationship skills are really terrible. I loved his determination to protect her, even though she insisted she didn't need it. Peggy is just as attracted to him, but is hurt and angry over the lack of response from him. She also seems to have some self image issues, believing that she's too tall to appeal to him. I loved their interactions as he tries to concentrate on protection while wanting to pursue her, and she stands up against him in spite of the way she feels about him.

I liked how Ben was so certain that the threats were real. I could easily feel his frustration with her refusal to believe. As he and his partners worked through the information they had, the origins of the threats became more obvious. The final confrontation at the bake-off was really intense with a bit of a surprise twist. When it was all over, there was a great scene at the hospital and right after, as Ben finally makes his feelings known. Peggy doesn't make it easy, and Ben's brother Matt adds his own two cents to the process.

Finding a Hero by Christina Skye
Current day

Maddie is in Vegas as part of a secret government agency on a security mission for a senator. She returns to her room and discovers an unknown man in it. She overhears him in the bathroom, where he is speaking Russian. Even though she hides while she figures out what she's going to do, he discovers her and knocks her out. She recovers quickly and holds him off with her own weapon while waiting for her backup.

Gabe is also in Vegas for the same reason, part of the same agency. Someone messed with the hotel reservations which is why he was in the same room. He's taken surprise by Maddie, and intrigued by her at the same time.

The story takes place over just a few hours. I loved the initial meeting between the two. Maddie is tough and doesn't hold back, Gabe is puzzled but determined. Once they discover that they are on the same side, the attitude changes a little. Maddie is an amazing computer genius and uses her skills to find out who is behind the current threats. Gabe is good also, but in different ways, and watches over her as she works.

Both are attracted, but try to resist. Maddie has had man issues and is avoiding them, Gabe feels that she is way too young for him. When the confrontation with the bad guy comes, Gabe rescues her. There's a brief interlude with a kiss before they are separated. As she and her boss leave Vegas, she's bummed that she hasn't heard from him again. Then her boss delivers something from Gabe, with a note about the future. We're left hanging a bit, so I'd like to know what happens.

There's also a touch of paranormal, dealing with a blue light that makes her hands glow. There isn't really any explanation of it. I'd like to know more.

Big Little Lies
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I have enjoyed every book by Liane Moriarty that I have read, and this one is no exception. It was funny, dramatic, and a bit mysterious. The story line was interesting and kept you wanting to read more.

California: A Novel
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I started off thinking that the main character was perhaps mentally or emotionally disabled, and that intrigued me. Not many novels in this genre have that character type as a lead character. But it turned out she was just poorly drawn -- a 27-year-old reacting to things the way a 13-year-old might.

The characters had swings of opinion and emotion that were not backed by an internal logic, nor the logic of events.

There were interesting elements: the "forms", the pirates, the color red, but I was left dissatisfied, yet not yearning to read a sequel.

Triple Witch (Home Repair is Homicide, Bk 2)
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This is the one with the llamas. Though they are not involved with the murders. Number 2 in the "Home Repair is Homicide" mysteries, there is always a repair going one, this one having to do with the shutters and radiators in Jacobia Tiptree's old house in Eastport, Maine. But who knew Eastport is rife with drugs, large amounts of money, and convicted financial felons. Jacobia is a former Wall Street trader, living with her son, Sam. With her neighbor, Ellie, she sets out to solve the murder of the local ne'er-do-well, his father, and a couple others who shall remain nameless. Lots of excitement amid the bucolic scenery, good characters and a plot puzzle.
Oh, and there is that episode with two corpses and a moose...

Touch of a Scoundrel
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A historical romance with a few too many contemporary references that felt out of place and time. Lots of steamy sex scenes but not a lot of depth to the characters. It was fairly entertaining but not a keeper.

Every Bride Has Her Day: A Novel (Brides with Style)
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I love this author and her Bella books, etc., so I feel bad that I just didn't like this book at all. It's a little too goody-goody (for lack of a better word) for me. Too may engagements. Katie constantly worried she won't get her dream wedding. It just didn't keep my attention and I couldn't wait to finish it. Literally put me to sleep more than once. Very disappointing. Read her other books though, because they are awesome!!

The Nine Lives of Christmas
The Nine Lives of Christmas
Author: Sheila Roberts
Genres: Literature & Fiction, Romance
Book Type: Mass Market Paperback
reviewed on

Enjoyed reading this book.

Ice Cold (Rizzoli & Isles, Bk 8) (Audio CD) (Unabridged)
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I listened to this story as an audiobook on a trip. When I got out of the car I had to bring the CDs into the house so I could find out what was going to happen next. I can see why some readers would stay up half the night to finish the story. The drama is full of twists and turns that I didn't see coming. The narrator does a good job of telling the story.

What We Find (Sullivan's Crossing, Bk 1)
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Enjoy reading books by this author! Liked the story between Maggie & Cal with their many adventures.

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