Author's last name starts with S

Feared by Lisa Scottoline

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Lisa Scottoline has a new book in the Rosato and DiNunzio series (book six) called Feared.  The title is perfect as three men have decided to sue Rosato and DiNunzio Law Firm. They alleged that the firm has discriminated against them as men, because they are an all woman law firm.  This law suit seems to be suspicious until they speak with John, their only male member and then it strikes them Machevillis is behind all of this.

Mary and her family are just devastated by the claims and the scope of the suit.  Not only could they lose their law firm, but also their houses and all that they personally own.  Machevillis is playing for keeps. Mary is pregnant and feeling overwhelmed by all this. They are shocked again when John is killed by an unarmed intruder.  Suddenly everything at stake is not as important as the murder, but is it all twisted together?

I enjoyed Feared.  It was a fun read by Lisa Scottoline.  I like how the law firm members treat each other.  I love the family feeling of the characters. Lisa Scottoline does not disappoint in her newest book.  It comes out in August - so be prepared.

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline

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After Anna is Lisa Scottoline’s newest book.  It comes out the week after next and WOW. The story is a kick!  It is an oxymoronic situation for me - I so want to find out what is happening, but I so do not want to read more and hear more of descent into the bad happenings. You know it is coming!!!   You start reading just before what you know has to be a climax and then each chapter is back further in time, until you are back to the climax, which really … well enough said. You need to read it!   

The book is awesome!!! The story is based on a daughter moving in with her mother, her mother’s new husband and stepson.  Somehow in all the hoopla, the family seems to be struggling with the new addition. Anna had been used to making her own decisions for so long and she is not liking the loss of control. She also seems to be acting in such a way as to drive the mother and father apart - which is most curious. Then it gets even weirder.  

I loved how the story was told.  I love how the twisted pieces work together and are woven into a the story.  I loved the creepy feeling I got from the story as more pieces did not line up.  I even loved how I had to put the book down to worry about the new husband.

After Anna by Lisa Scottoline is a fabulously twisted read that held me from the beginning to the end!


Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis

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Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis is the second book in the Wildstone Series. I think I start every review of a Jill Shalvis book, but stating how much I enjoy her books.  They are full of characters that you want to love, quirky humor and all. I always feel like it is going to be alright, no matter what happens. I am not sure how I missed a prior book, but it is now in the library queue waiting for me.   

Lanie Jacob’s life is full of drama, something she is ill-equipped for. She always tries to keep a distance from people and not allow them too close.  Her husband of five years recently died and the bottom of her life fell out when she found out he was a serial groom. So far she knows of three other wives.  In order to get away, she takes a temporary job with Capriotti Winery run by the Capriotti Family.  With this move, nothing is ever going to be the same.  They are loud, always in each other’s business, no personal space and just wonderful people.  This is enough to make Lanie’s head spin. Then she meets Mark Capriotti and her world starts to tilt. He is a deputy sheriff and is HOT.  Another new arrival, River Brown seems to have her own demons to deal with and Lanie is in her sights.

I enjoyed the Capriotti family with all their family members and the twists and turns by the family.  I think Lanie might have been too forgiving at one point, but I love how they embrace her with acceptance…even after the car scene.  LOL

Rainy Day Friends by Jill Shalvis was a great read.

The Summer Cottage by Viola shipman

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The Summer Cottage by Viola Shipman was one of the best books I have read this spring - perhaps for even longer.  Each Viola Shipman novel, I have read has been wonderful. What blows my mind about them is Viola Shipman is a pen name for a man!  Each of the three books ( I have previously read The Recipe Box and The Hope Chest.) were beautifully written from a woman’s point of view with such feeling and understanding.


Adie Lou Kruger every summer was at the Summer Cottage with her parents and grandparents.  They were very important times for her and the fun rules they cottage had were part of the fun.  However Adie is all grown up, has a job and a son and her life is about to take a huge turn. She is divorcing her husband (his choice) and has decided to start all over at the Summer Cottage making it a bed and breakfast.  There are many challenges ahead of her, especially to get everything done before the season is open. She is determined to succeed, but there is so much to do and it takes so much money.


I loved how the cottage rules are chapter headings.  I loved how her son and best friend were such a help to her.  I loved her determination and positiveness. I loved how empowered I felt when I finished the novel.  I loved how the lake was woven into the tale. The Summer Cottage is definitely one of the best novels I have read.  It is a great read.

The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman

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The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman is a very special book.  So special that I would consider it a 5 star read (something I do rarely).  The book highlights what is truly important in life; love and family. Viola Shipman has written a book that is universal in its message.

The main character,  Sam was trying to find herself and how she fit in life. She comes home to her family orchid after losing a job.  Her connections with her mother and grandmother are shared when they bake together and discuss life while baking.  Stories unfold from the different recipes from the Recipe Box (full of family recipes from the past). Each recipe brings warmth and love and stories that help illuminate the family, love, life and the strength of that.  

I loved the book.  Viola Shipman’s book is one I wholeheartedly suggest as a read for everyone. Bakers will love the old family recipes that are shared. Readers will connect with the characters as they show how they love and laugh.   The Recipe Box by Viola Shipman is a fantastic read.




The Hope Chest by Viola Shipman

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Viola Shipman’s book, The Hope Chest is one of the most wonderful stories I have read.  It is a story that ties three people together, people who are struggling with hope.  Mattie has ALS and is nearing the end.  Don, her husband is floundering and overwhelmed.  Rose is hired as a home health aide and with her comes her precious and precocious daughter, Jeri.  Together, they find love and hope and family even in the midst of Mattie’s battle with ALS.  The story pulls on your heartstrings and reminds you of how each of us not only depend on each other, but grow and thrive with the comfort of family and friends.  

My mere words cannot possibly give this book the depth and passion it so deserves.  I can only tell you that to me The Hope Chest is a must read, however I would suggest that a cuppa tea and a box of tissues be your guide to enjoying the book.  Viola Shipman and The Hope Chest gives us a truly marvelous story that reminds us that home and hope are only a letter apart.

Counting by 7s by Holly Goldburg Sloan

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Counting by Sevens by Holly Goldberg Sloan is a book written for Middle School aged students. The book looks at a highly intelligent student who is obsessive by nature. Willow is very intelligent, adopted as a baby, she struggles with people, but not with her gardens, plants and learning about medical conditions.  

Willow life takes a huge turn when her parents die in a car accident.  With no other family and few friends, Willow is left alone and so distraught.  An acquaintance and her family take her in and through a series of interesting moves begin to help Willow start again with a new life.

I found this book, touching without being overdone.  I liked the characters and how they figured out how to work together to help Willow and eventually each other. This book highlights how family isn’t always the people you share a genetic heritage with. Sometimes family are people who care and work together and love each other.  

Counting by Sevens by Holly Goldberg Sloan is a good read.  


The Lost Rider by Harper Sloan

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The Lost Rider by Harper Sloan is a new series about family ranch in Texas called Coming Home. The father recently died and the brother who has been gone for so long returns.  Maverick Austin Davis is home from the rodeo.  He has been told to give up riding or give up living. Unfortunately it is the only thing that has given him any pleasure these last years.

Leighton Elizabeth James runs a shop called the Piehole.  It is famous for its wide range of pies. Leighton has put all her love and hard work to the shop since her parents died.  She is feeling alone, but glad for the shop.  She has always been in love with Maverick, but once he is home, she is pretty sure she hates him!

There are secrets to be uncovered and lies to be challenged.  There are two lonely people who have only loved each other suddenly put together.  The character of Maverick is not an easy character to like.  He is rude, crude, and brash.  Leighton smooths him out, but he still has stories to tell.

The Lost Rider by Harper Sloan is a good read.

The Ancient Nine by Ian K. Smith

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The Ancient Nine by Ian K.Smith was a very interesting read.  I was unprepared for the curiousness of the “club” atmosphere in Harvard. I did not know about the “punch” entertainments and the various “secretive measures’ the clubs took. However, having said all that, I am hopeful that the book embellished parts of the story to make the story better. (Call me a Pollyanna.)

Spencer Collins, a kid from the wrong side of Chicago was going to Harvard to play basketball and to study pre-med.  He knew he was different than many of the other students there, but he worked hard to earn his spot and planned to keep it.  He is friends with Dalton Winthrop, a student, whose family members had gone there before him.  

Spencer and Dalton hung out together and Spencer was often invited with Dalton to his home for dinners.   Spencer was asked to join one one of the clubs and while Dalton did not want anything to do with the clubs he supported him and wanted to help him.  The boys were curious about several rumors about the clubs and the secrets that seemed to abound. Dalton’s great uncle was even a legacy member of Delphi and had spoken highly about it to Dalton.  There were strange happenings and Spencer and Dalton found themselves digging deeper and deeper into the club as Spencer was going through the “punch” time.

I found myself enjoying the intrigue and twists of the novel The boys were quite dogged in their pursuit of the truth, which I admired, but felt concerned for them. I felt the fear that began to surface as more information became available. I was a bit disappointed in the ending as it could have had more zing to it, but it ended in a way that did satisfy my curiosity.  The Ancient Nine by Ian K. Smith was a good read.


By the Book by Julia Sonneborn

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By the Book by Julia Sonneborn brings us to the hallowed halls of a college.  Anne Corey is an English professor who is on her last legs.  She works hard, struggles to pay for her student loans and does not have tenure.  All that adds up to an insecure future and job.  She has the worries of publish or perish that many college professors have.  Anne has written her book, but no one has accepted it for publication.  

Meanwhile, the new college president is none other than her first love Adam Martinez.  He seems to not remember what they meant to each other.  He has new responsibilities and is surrounded by beautiful women who hang on his every word.  Meanwhile, her father is having medical issues, her sister is not being helpful, and her best friend is having an affair with a friend’s husband.   While she is hopeful and has some strong, caring friends life is sometimes quite hard.  Adam seems to be around, but is not showing her any special attention. She doesn’t know where she stands.  

Julia Sonneborn reminds of us of the greatness of the first love.  The academic world with all the rules and expectations is almost another character in the story, which adds to the atmosphere of the story.  By the Book by Julia Sonneborn was a good read.  

Rescuing Sadie by Susan Stoker

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Rescuing Sadie by Susan Stoker is a novella that mixes the Delta Team Group and the MacKay Taggart Group.  Two groups of men who work hard to make the world a safer place. Sadie witnessed too much helping her friend out.  She discovered a group of pediphiles who were stockpiling weapons. While most of the group had been taken out, Sadie is still in danger from the leader’s son.  Chase Jackson knew as soon as he saw her that she was the one. He would do anything to save her. Hopefully she feels the same way.

Rescuing Sadie is a novella with lots of action.  It is a book that can be read as a stand alone, but might read better as part of the series.  Susan Stoker’s writes in great characters and quick action stories. Rescuing Sadie is a good read.


Rescuing Emily by Susan Stoker

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Rescuing Emily by Susan Stoker is the second book in her series called Delta Force Heroes.  The books are all about armed services men and how they meet their significant others. There is always an element of rescuing the girl by a group of hot alpha males….sigh…

Emily is looking for a place for herself and her daughter to live.  She is uncomfortable where they live now and is looking for a place that will keep them safe and near everything.  Cormac Fletcher has a small apartment over his garage and once he meets Emily, he immediately drops the rent and offers it to her.  Emily is so relieved, especially when she finds out how cheap the rent is! Emily and Annie move right in and thing seem good for a while. Until Fletch leaves for a mission.  Suddenly, her new dream place becomes a nightmare and she begins to struggle to take care of both of them. Both Fletch and Emily are confused by the reaction of the other to what is going on and since neither of them directly ask questions, the misunderstanding gets bigger and bigger…

Rescuing Emily is all about big strong alpha men coming in and saving the day.  It is not meant to be real (especially since --- well I don’t really want to share my one reservation with the storyline as it gives too much away.) but it is meant to be hot and STEAMY.  Susan Stoker’s book Rescuing Emily is a hot, fast read.

Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone

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Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone is a great read!  I found myself enjoying the characters as they realized what was really important.  I found myself mesmerized by the weaving of Our Town by Thornton Wilder within the story line. The main characters of Emory, Hannah and Luke struggled to make sense of the wider world during their last year of High School even as they plan their future. Hannah and Emory were best friends. They lived next door to each other and were each other’s confidant and support, until they had a horrible fight. Emory and Luke were a couple.  Knowing their time was limited as they were going in different directions after High School made their love even more poignant. They all had questions about who they were but until that night when their lives changed.

Tamara Ireland Stone write books for young adults.  The book because of its deeper meanings and sexual content is appropriate for young adults who are ready to grapple with life’s endearing mysteries and conflicts.  I chose to read the book because of the author and I am glad I did. I liked the multiple character narrative and how the chapters switched between the points of view. The story was compelling and nuanced.  The characters flawed and realistic. Little Do We Know by Tamara Ireland Stone was a great read!


Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser

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Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser is an interesting read.  The story rotates around two best friends and an incident that shakes them badly, severing their friendship.  Molly and Liza are friends and have been friends forever. Molly has married to Daniel and still Molly and Liza are besties.  Later, Liza moved Chicago to get a grander job and Liza and Molly’s friendship became more distant. But they tried to keep the relationship alive and decided to video chat one day. Their conversation started rather stilted, but began to get freer, when Molly had to go deal with a child. That’s when it happened - the incident…


Sometimes all it takes is one incident and their whole world implodes.  Everyone has secrets and everyone has fears. Jessica Strawser has written a story that twists and turns, slowly letting out information about the characters and their daily struggles and secrets.  I liked how the story was written. At times I found myself wanting the story to move along, but mostly because I wanted to know what was going to happen. The events with the twists build upon each other.  The interesting part was despite the thriller building of the events, there was not really thrilling climax of an event, but more of an wrapping up ending.


Forget You Know Me by Jessica Strawser is an interesting read about friends, families and the secrets.

Not That I Could Tell By Jessica Strawser

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Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser was a gripping psychological thriller that sent chills up my spine during the climax.  The story focused around a neighborhood and a group of woman in the neighborhood who were sitting around a fire pit one night swapping stories and the next day one of them was gone.  Gone, with her children, without any clues and a confused ex husband looking for her and the children. The rest of the woman were questioned again and again. Various theories were spouted but without evidence...there was no closure for the women.

The book is written in various voices mostly Clara and Izzy, although some of the thoughts are from Kristen (the missing mother).  The story goes back and forth opening up various avenues for the reader to ponder. What I found most remarkable is that I was glad I was along for the ride.  I was enjoying the story so much and was wondering so much about what was going to happen, that I really didn’t want the book to end and I read it very slowly (for me).  It is a rare occurrence in my world to have that happen. I liked the slow reveal and the main characters. I

Not That I Could Tell by Jessica Strawser was a great read, with good writing, characters and a plotline that built suspense as the book moved along!  

Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser

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Almost Missed You by Jessica Strawser was a story that brought the reader on a journey of self discovery.  I felt compelled to keep on reading and found myself emotionally attached to the main characters for various reasons. The book is written in the three viewpoints of Violet, Finn and Caitlin going back and forth in time drawing us a picture of the events that led up the the first scene and then the end.

Violet and Finn are married with a young child.  They were on vacation at the ocean when Finn and the baby disappear.  Caitlin and Finn have been friends for a long, long time.  They know so much about each other, enough that Finn blackmaled Caitlin to help him hide.  Violet and Caitlin are friends and had their babies together, but Caitlin doesn’t share everything - and then there is her husband in the mix.  The story of couples and marriages with secrets that some know and others do not, but they know others and no one seems to know them all.

Jessica Strawser’s first book, Almost Missed You was a great read. I enjoyed the story, the characters, the secrets and the writing.  I am looking forward to her next book!!!!

Willow's Way by Sharon Struth

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Willow’s Way by Sharon Struth was a charming second chance at love read.  The story takes Willow, who has always believed that she was unlovable because she was not skinny, to a place who realizes she is good the way she is! I love that in a story, especially when the cause of the self disgust is a person, I love to hate!  

Willow started her own company, Pound Busters with a philosophy about how to get and stay thin.  She was a prime member and proud of her self control. Then her husband of many years leaves her, her financial advisor steals all of the company’s and her personal money and her life spirals out of control.  The final straw, she was caught eating pizza - reallys shoveling it in her face by a photograph gone viral. The company’s board of directors want to fire her and she needs money. That is when she discovers she owns land and a home in the Cotswold in England, a very picturesque location.

Willow leaves to go there thinking of selling it and staging a comeback.  However what she finds is Owen Hughes and his daughter, a family history and a chance to find her way.   Willow’s Way by Sharon Struth was a good read.


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Latest comments

30.03 | 21:07

📚🌻📚🌻❤️... GREAT REVIEW

24.12 | 00:28

Always look forward to your weekly blog, Marti ... safe travels this week. Merry Christmas!

01.10 | 16:20

Happy Birthday! I remember when book club started when you turned 50. OMG! 100% agree with political status. So disappointing. Happy Foliage!

27.05 | 23:23

Outraged, too! It is just getting coverage. This government is shameful under this leadership.

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