Sunday, January 1, 2023

Books 57-68

 Hale's Point by Patricia Ryan

While house-sitting at a waterfront estate, sweet, straight-laced Harley is stunned by the arrival of her employer's supposedly dead son, an Alaskan bush pilot with a bad boy rep who's been wounded in an airplane crash. Coming home after years of estrangement--and a stint in prison--to make amends with the old man is difficult for Tucker, but not half as difficult as keeping his distance from the super-sexy but virginal Harley while they share the house, awaiting his father's return.
Having given up on the idea that he'll ever fully heal from his ravaged leg, Tucker balks when Harley urges him to swim as physical therapy--until she adds a unique incentive: "Catch me and you can have me." Her certainty that he'll never be able to swim that fast evaporates when he embarks on a rigorous training regimen, determined to claim her as his prize. But when she unearths the dark secret in his past, will she still be willing to pay up when the time comes?

This book was so predictable but still an interesting, light read.

Keep Her Close by M.J. Ford

It’s six months since DS Josie Masters saved her nephew from the clutches of the killer clown, but she’s still haunted by that terrible night. The Thames Valley police force, however, regard Jo as a hero – much to the jealousy of some of her colleagues.
When a young girl goes missing from Jesus College, Jo is assigned to the case, along with new recruit, the handsome DS Pryce. The city of Oxford goes into turmoil when two more girls disappear from Oriel and Somerville, and Josie soon realises that the killer is spelling out her own initials in a deadly game of cat and mouse. This time, the case is personal – but who is the perpetrator?
In a race against time, Jo hunts for the killer – but soon realises he could be a lot closer to home than she’d realised…

This book is the second in a series.  It was billed as a 'stand alone' but I think it would have helped if I had read the first book first. This story did keep me guessing for about three quarters of the book. 

His Hand in the Storm by Ritu Sethi

A man copes any way he can after killing his only son.
His team believes he’s calm and Zen. His boss finds him obsessive. Suspects think him gorgeous but dangerous. They’re all right.
Chief Inspector Gray James is sculpting the remembered likeness of his small son when he receives the call – a faceless corpse is found hanging by the choppy river, swirls of snow and sand rolling like tumbleweeds.
Montreal glitters: the cobbled streets slippery with ice, and the mighty St. Lawrence jetting eastward past the city. One by one, someone is killing the founders of a booming medical tech startup – propelling Gray into a downward spiral that shatters his hard-earned peace, that risks his very life, that threatens to force him to care and face what he has shunned all along: his hand in the storm.
Another fast read that kept me guessing. The plot is interesting and has enough twists and turns and lots of suspects to keep you guessing till the very end. 

Bad to the Bones by James Harper

Ten years ago, Linda Clayton's son Daniel disappeared. The love and support of her husband Robbie was all that kept her sane—until the day he ran away. Makes you thankful you're not Linda Clayton.
Wise-cracking, street-smart PI Evan Buckley thought his problems were bad enough. When his latest case ends in disaster, he’s at the end of his tether—until fate throws him headlong into Linda Clayton's desperate world and a long-dead investigation that everybody wants to stay that way.
But Evan never does what everybody wants, and he vows to uncover the truth—and in the process kick into touch the demons that come to torment him every night.
As the suspense ratchets up, he’s caught in a desperate fight for his life with a stone cold killer who will go to any lengths to protect his secrets ...
This book is the first in a series.  It was a fast, easy read which I did enjoy.  There is a major fight scene that is particularly gruesome but fits. Of course, the book ends with only some of the story resolved which means you have to keep reading the series to see if there are answers further down the road.

The German Midwife by Mandy Robotham

A prisoner in the camps, Anke Hoff is doing what she can to keep her pregnant campmates and their newborns alive.
But when Anke's work is noticed, she is chosen for a task more dangerous than she could ever have imagined. Eva Braun is pregnant with the Führer's child, and Anke is assigned as her midwife.
Before long, Anke is faced with an impossible choice. Does she serve the Reich she loathes and keep the baby alive? Or does she sacrifice an innocent child for the good of a broken world?
I did enjoy this book for the most part.  It basically dwelled on the pregnancy of Eva Braun and the love interest. There were a few 'hold your breath' moments and wondering what the outcome would be.  I felt the ending was far too condensed and lacking.

Crossed by Death by ACF Bookens
When salvage expert and historian Paisley Sutton crawls into an abandoned store with a house attached, she certainly isn’t expecting to find a body on site. But soon, her discovery sends Paisley on an expedition through history that links this murder to the one that led the previous owners to abandon the building in the first place. And someone doesn’t want her to salvage this story from the wreckage.
Can Paisley preserve herself and her young son while also uncovering the stories that matter most?
Not enough time spent on the mystery and too much time spent on a toddlers behaviour!!

Dangerous Deeds by Beth Prentice

If only she knew buying a house could be so dangerous...
Meet Lizzie. She’s 31 and having a premature mid-life crisis. So, she bought a lonely, run down old house that pulled on her heartstrings.
But with the purchase Lizzie gets more than she bargained for. She didn’t expect the engagement ring and letters of forbidden love hidden under the attic floorboards. She didn’t expect the lazy cat, or the drop dead gorgeous handyman. And she definitely didn’t expect the stalker.
As the renovation begins and the house starts to slowly return to its former glory, the letters dog her dreams. Why was the writer forced to turn away from his love? Why was their love forbidden? And why was this all hidden under the floorboards?
Filled with a drive to reunite the ring with its rightful owner, Lizzie engages the help of her new handyman, her crazy family and her sex crazed Grandma, and sets on a journey of lost love, heartache, and public damnation.
But can Lizzie restore the house to its former glory, and find who it all once belonged to before her stalker catches up with her? Or will she lose everything...including her life?
The Scott, Lizzie, Riley relationships was very easy to predict.  Loved Lizzies crazy family, especially grandma.  The outcome was surprising.  Would read another book in this series.

Angels in the Architecture by Annie M. Ballard

Emelie and Liam have a happy life with their five-year-old son Ben, until a car accident changes everything, sending Emelie into a spiral of declining mental health. Struggling with a deep desire for another baby, pretending she is fine, Emelie desperately tries to hold things together until her search for a baby makes her do the unthinkable.
Liam is determined to keep things “normal.” He barely notices his own struggle, until he makes a decision that shatters Emelie’s newly reordered world and separates their family.
Out of sync, each must grapple with the meaning of family and their deepest desires.
Can Emelie and Liam find their way back together?

I understand the mental health issues that this story revolves around but some of the characters, to my mind, were not very helpful when she needed help the most.

Wrong Alibi by Christina Dodd

Eighteen-year-old Evelyn Jones lands a job in small-town Alaska, working for a man in his isolated mountain home. But her bright hopes for the future are shattered when Donald White disappears, leaving her to face charges of theft, embezzlement—and a brutal double murder. Her protestations of innocence count for nothing. Convicted, she faces life in prison…until fate sends her on the run.
Evelyn’s escape leaves her scarred and in hiding, isolated from her family, working under an alias at a wilderness camp. Bent on vengeance, intent on recovering her life, she bides her time, patiently searching for the man who took everything from her.
At last, the day comes. Donald White has returned. Evelyn emerges from hiding; the fugitive becomes the hunter. But in her mind, she hears the whisper of other forces at work. Now Evelyn must untangle the threads of evidence before she’s once again found with blood on her hands: the blood of her own family…
Its a bit difficult to follow this story at first as it jump all over the place, the sequences don't make much sense and Evelyn/Evie/Petie was kind of confusing. But things pick up.
I found parts of it pretty unrealistic but there were parts that really kept you reading to see what would happen.  The romance part was pretty unbelievable.  Tthe ending was a surprise but I thought it was quite rushed.  Maybe this is because this is book 1 in a series and some of the characters will be more fleshed out in following books.

We'll Have a Wonderful Cornish Christmas by C.P.Ward

Unlucky-in-love and long-term loner Lucy Drake can find no excuse not to join her parents on a Christmas trip to the Cornish coastal town of Tintagel, not when her father's company is sponsoring the inaugural Christmas Extravaganza.
Hoping to hide an embarrassing secret and generally keep out of sight, Lucy finds herself attracted to local surfing dentist, Dan. But when his ex-girlfriend and social media starlet Elizabeth Trevellian shows up to expose all of Lucy's insecurities, Lucy will need all of the magic of Christmas to help her untangle the ensuing mess.
Against a backdrop of fudge, Christmas beach parties, Brussels sprouts obsessions, reindeer rides and terrible Christmas karaoke, We'll have a Wonderful Cornish Christmas is certain to delight fans of CP Ward's Christmas debut, I'm glad I found you this Christmas, and even features a cameo from a familiar face.
I really enjoyed this book.  Maybe because I was reading it iver Christmas, I don't know.  It was really corny, silly, unrealistic and unbelievable in partss but it was a good feel good read.

Stationmaster's Cottage by Phillipa Nefri Clark

Christie is happy in her life... or so she tells herself. Despite a tragic childhood, she has built a satisfying career and loves her city apartment. But deep down she yearns for a simpler life. Family. A garden. And a place to heal her heart.
The decision to attend a funeral in a town she's never heard of throws her safe world into disarray, exposing the cracks in her life. As she deals with the fallout, Christie moves into a rundown cottage she's inherited and there, makes a discovery.
Fifty years ago, a heartbroken young artist waited each dawn on a jetty for his true love to return. And each night, he wrote her a love letter.
What Christie uncovers will change her life forever.
The love angle in this story was very predictable, regarding Christie.  What happens with the grandparents is a little more surprising!!

The Clockmaker's Wife by Daisy Wood

The world is at war. And time is running out…
London, 1940. Britain is gripped by the terror of the Blitz, forcing Nell Spelman to flee the capital with
her young daughter – leaving behind her husband, Arthur, the clockmaker who keeps Big Ben chiming. 
When Arthur disappears,Nell is desperate to find him. But her search will lead her into far darker places than she ever imagined… 
New York, Present Day. When Ellie discovers a beautiful watch that had once belonged to a grandmother she never knew, she becomes determined to find out what happened to her. But as she pieces together the fragments of her grandmother’s life, she begins to wonder if the past is better left forgotten… 
Overall it was a good story that kept me reading. The author did a lot of research on Big Ben and the running of the clock. London and the surrounding landmarks were described very well. Past and present. The descriptions really set the mood and tone. Lots of mystery and intrgue. unfortunately there was a lot that was just too unbelievable, especially the last part in the clock tower, although it did make it very exciting.

Finally finished this post and the last post today.  I read a lot more books this year than in previous years.  I must make a new years resolution to do my reviews of books read each time after about every 5 books.  I do add the books to the draft copy I have set up but I leave doing the review for far too long and end up having to go to somewhere like 'Good Reads' to refresh my memory.


  1. Another great list of books. Thanks for the reviews.

  2. Great list and some I will need to add to my reading list.

    God bless.