Book Review: Marrying His Best Friend by Jennifer Gracen
I thoroughly enjoyed this book. There were times when I thought the next scene was obvious and was surprised at a twist with a new character and subplot I didn’t see coming.
Single mom Maura Callahan never anticipated that she’d be living with her mom in the suburbs at age 29, raising her young daughter, Chloe, and working a job that barely pays the bills. At least she still has her best friend Aidan, who makes her laugh, keeps her on her toes, and provides a shoulder to cry on when necessary. She’s never told him her true feelings though, fearing ridicule and rejection.
Aiden McKinnon, an executive at a high-profile social media company in the heart of Dublin, has longed to change his bestie status with Maura for years, but it seems Maura’s relegated him permanently to the friend zone. Still, she and Chloe are his world. But when Chloe’s father shows up out of the blue and demands shared custody when he’s never once met the little girl, Aidan sees a way to finally have what he secretly wants most while ensuring Maura and Chloe’s safety.
Will he be able protect Maura and her precious little girl? Will he ever be able to admit his love for Maura and, if he does, how will she react?
The Five Times I Met Myself is another great novel by James L. Rubart. The struggles of the characters mirrored my own and touched me. Like all his books, it is very well-written. Make sure you have a box of tissue nearby!
Click to tweet: The Five Times I Met Myself by James L. Rubart on Favorite Friday Fiction. Awesome book! #Fridayreads #amreading
The Five Times I Met Myself
“If you think fiction can’t change your life and challenge you to be a better person, you need to read The Five Times I Met Myself.”
—Andy Andrews, New York Times bestselling author of How Do You Kill 11 Million People, The Noticer & The Traveler’s Gift
What if you met your twenty-three-year-old self in a dream? What would you say?
Brock Matthews’ once promising life is unraveling. His coffee company. His marriage.
So when he discovers his vivid dreams—where he encounters his younger self—might let him change his past mistakes, he jumps at the chance. The results are astonishing, but also disturbing.
Because getting what Brock wants most in the world will force him to give up the one thing he doesn’t know how to let go . . . and his greatest fear is that it’s already too late.
The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett is a wonderful classic book I could read again and again. My favorite section is where Colin has a revelation:
“He had known it before in a way, he had hoped it and felt it and thought about it, but just at that minute something had rushed all through him—a sort of rapturous belief and realization and it had been so strong that he could not help calling out. “I shall live forever and ever and ever!” he cried grandly. “I shall find out thousands and thousands of things. I shall find out about people and creatures and everything that grows—like Dickon—and I shall never stop making Magic. I’m well! I’m well! I feel—I feel as if I want to shout out something—something thankful, joyful!”
Click to tweet: The Secret Garden still continues to capture readers of all ages. #Fridayreads #classic
The Secret Garden
The orphaned Mary Lennox is sullen, ill tempered, and unloved when she’s sent to live with her uncle, Archibald Craven. A man consumed by grief over the death of his wife, Archibald has allowed his sprawling estate on the moors to fall into grim disrepair. It’s when Mary begins tending to her late aunt’s mysterious garden—locked up and neglected for years—that she discovers its life-changing secrets and a flowering rejuvenation of the human spirit.
Out of this dark, closed-off world and a child’s innate curiosity about life and death comes one of the most transformative coming-of-age novels ever written.
The Unquiet Bones by Mel Starr is a little different from my normal reads. Yes, it is a mystery but one which takes place in Medieval times. Once I wrapped my mind around the time period, I enjoyed the book very much…
Click to tweet: The Unquiet Bones is a Middle Ages mystery to enjoy. #Fridayreads #mystery
The Unquiet Bones
Uctred thought he had discovered pig bones. He did not know or care why they were in the cesspit at the base of Bampton Castle wall. Then he found the skull. Uctred is a tenant, bound to the land of Lord Gilbert, third Baron Talbot, lord of Bampton Castle, and had slaughtered many pigs. He knew the difference between human and pig skulls. Lord Gilbert called for me to inspect the bones. All knew whose bones they must be.
They were not. Hugh de Singleton, fourth son of a minor knight in Wyclif’s England, had had some good fortune. Newly trained as a surgeon, he was staring from his Oxford window, hoping for clients, when Lord Gilbert was kicked by his groom’s horse. Hugh’s successful treatment of the suffering Lord led to an invitation to set up his practice in the village of Bampton – and, before long, the request to identify some bones…
The Bargain is an intriguing roller coaster of a book. I loved the characters and setting. The way Gansky builds up suspense is masterful. I’ve read most of his books and enjoyed them all. If you like suspense, read this book…
Click to tweet: The Bargain by Aaron D. Gansky runs over with riveting suspense. #suspense #Fridayreads
One man stands between a destitute town and total destruction.
Ten articles in eight days is a tall order for any journalist, even for Polk Award winner Connor Reedly. But with a dying wife and an empty bank account, the promised payment of $250,000 is hard to turn down. More so, his enigmatic employer, Mason Becker, has insinuated Connor’s acceptance of the job will result in a supernatural healing of his beloved wife.
The people of Hailey, California—the subjects of Connor’s charged articles—are a secretive group, not willing to open up to strangers. When shots are fired and Connor is running for his life, he demands Mason answer his questions: Why are the articles so important? Is anyone going to publish them? Where is the money coming from? How can he be so confident that the completion of the articles will heal his wife?
Nothing in Connor s vast journalistic adventures—not Katrina, not September 11th, not even his first-hand experience in the genocide in Darfur–could prepare him for the answers Mason gives. Now, it seems, the lives of everyone in Hailey—including his wife’s—are in his hands.
The Moon-Spinners. I love, love, love this classic book by Mary Stewart. She is considered one of the pioneers of romantic suspense. The book was made into a Disney movie in 1964 with Hayley Mills. As a kid, I adored the movie but the book is ten times better. Don’t miss reading this one…
Click to tweet: The Moon-Spinners by Mary Stewart. A classic novel and #Disney movie starring Hayley Mills. #FridayReads #FavoriteFridayFiction
The pioneer of romantic suspense Mary Stewart transports her readers to the idyllic hills of mid-century Crete in this tale of peril and intrigue that will keep fans of Agatha Christie and Barbara Pym on the edge of their seats.
‘Mary Stewart is magic’ New York Times
‘One of the great British storytellers of the 20th century’ Independent
While on a walking holiday through the beautiful, deserted hills of Crete, Nicola Ferris stumbles across a critically injured Englishman, guarded by a fierce Greek. Nicola cannot abandon them and so sets off on a perilous search for their lost companion – all the while being pursued by someone who wants to make sure none of them leave the island . . .
“When the big white bird flew suddenly up among the glossy leaves and the lemon flowers, and wheeled into the mountain, I followed it.”
Ready to Fumble by Christy Barritt is book one in her Worst Detective Ever series. The name of the series is actually what caused me to look into buying the book and I’m glad I did. Her books are as humorous as the series name. I love her main character, Joey Darling, and the mysteries she gets tangled up in. I enjoyed this one so much, I’ve read the other five in the series. You won’t go wrong with these cozy mysteries…
Click to tweet: Ready to Fumble by Christy Barritt is a humorous book and fun to read. I loved the whole series. #FridayReads #FavoriteFridayFiction
Ready to Fumble
I’m not really a private detective. I just play one on TV.
Joey Darling, better known to the world as Raven Remington, detective extraordinaire, is trying to separate herself from her invincible alter ego. She played the spunky character for five years on the hit TV show Relentless, which catapulted her to fame and into the role of Hollywood’s sweetheart.
When her marriage falls apart, her finances dwindle to nothing, and her father disappears, Joey finds herself on the Outer Banks of North Carolina, trying to piece her life back together away from the limelight. A woman finds Raven—er, Joey—and insists on hiring her fictional counterpart to find a missing boyfriend. When someone begins staging crime scenes to match an episode of Relentless, Joey has no choice but to get involved.
Joey’s bumbling sleuthing abilities have her butting heads with Detective Jackson Sullivan and kindling sparks with thrill-seeking neighbor Zane Oakley. Can Joey channel her inner Raven and unearth whodunit before she ends up totally done in? And where is her father anyway? Can she handle fame, or is disappearing into obscurity the wiser option?
Storms in Serenity is a complex, engaging story by Fay Lamb. The way she weaves her characters brings them to life and makes you want to know what happens to them. The suspense is terrific and I didn’t want to put it down until I could see how it would end. Another great novel by Fay.
Click to tweet: Favorite Friday Fiction: Storms in Serenity by Fay Lamb. A tempest has been brewing for thirty years, with only one island town in its path. #FridayReads #suspense
Storms in Serenity
How can one man save the town he loves when he’s the reason for the destruction?
Serenity Key, Florida, has seen its share of hurricanes, but this time, one foul weather system is about to collide with another storm, and this one has nothing to do with atmospheric pressure.
David New has guarded his secrets for years, but when two brothers, John and Andy Ryan, arrive in town and he gets news that the daughter he’s never told anyone about has disappeared, possibly the victim of a heinous crime, and the lives of many of the town residents begin to unravel in the gale force consequences of Jake’s past, he has nowhere else to turn.
God is the only one Who can calm the storms, but can David and the good folks of Serenity Key survive until He does?
A tempest has been brewing for thirty years, with only one island town in its path.
By Ellen Andersen
The first paragraph drew me in immediately.
“Orlando Holt had never killed a woman before. He’d assassinated a bear tamer, a viscount, three French noblemen and two Spanish ones, a knight, a painter, a physician, an acrobat in Cathay, and five apothecaries . . . but Lady Lynden would be his first woman.”
She’s supposed to be a vicious murderess, but when Orlando begins to have doubts, he sets out to discover the identity of the person who hired him to kill her. What he learns will turn his world upside down, and propel him headlong into love with a woman who’s immune to his charms.
Twice widowed by the age of twenty-four, Lady Susanna Lynden has had enough of charming men. Her last husband knew all the right things to say to get her to yes to him, then made her life miserable. Money may be scarce and her house falling down around her, but the exotic fruit from her orange trees will keep poverty away. Except someone is thwarting her at every turn. Someone who may even want her dead.
Relationships between the characters develop well as the story unfolds and there are twists and turns that make the reader keep guessing as to what comes next. I enjoyed ride.
A word of warning, though. Many scenes in the book are sexually graphic. If that bothers you, you may want to skip this one.
Still Life in Shadows is another great book by Alice J. Wisler. Amish isn’t my favorite genre, normally, but I read anything Alice writes. I love how she combines both worlds with a wonderful plot and realistic characters. You’ll enjoy all her books…
Click to tweet: Amish fiction with a twist. Love it! #amreading #FridayReads
Still Life in Shadows
It’s been fifteen years since Gideon Miller ran away from his Amish community in Carlisle, Pennsylvania as a boy of fifteen. Gideon arrives in the Smoky Mountains town of Twin Branches and settles in at the local auto mechanic’s garage. He meets a host of interesting characters –the most recent acquaintances are Kiki, an autistic teen, and her sister Mari. Known as the “Getaway Savior” he helps other Amish boys and girls relocate to life in modern America.
One day the phone rings. On the other end is his brother Moriah calling from Florida. Of course Gideon welcomes his brother to stay with him and offers him a job. But Moriah is caught in a web which ends in his death and forces Gideon to return to the town of his youth, with his brother’s body in the back of a hearse and Mari and Kiki at his side. He must face not only the community he ran away from years ago but also his own web of bitterness. Will he be able to give his anger over to God and forgive his father?