How to Walk Away by Katherine Center

how to walk away

“When you don’t know what to do for yourself, do something for somebody else.”

Rating
5/5 stars

Genre

Fiction – Contemporary

Goodreads Summary

Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in one tumultuous moment. 

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect. 

How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best: an utterly charming, hopeful, and romantic novel that will capture reader’s hearts with every page.

“But I knew one thing for sure: The greater our capacity for sorrow becomes, the greater our capacity for joy.”

Review

How to Walk Away has been on my list of books to read for so long! I’ve heard people just rave about how wonderful it is so I kind of knew I would love it.

I started this book without even reading the synopsis so I went in completely blind and it was refreshing to do that. I don’t know what I thought the book would be about but it definitely didn’t end up as I expected in any way. This book evokes basically every emotion you can think of! I felt so much sadness and heartbreak, but I also laughed, felt hopeful, and was inspired.

Just know this story is not a light, fluffy read but deals with some super heavy content. I put myself in Margaret’s shoes and really felt for what she was going through. I love a book that can make me think and feel in such a powerful way.

Katherine Center is a clearly talented writer! After reading this amazing novel, I am highly anticipating her upcoming novel Things You Save in a Fire, which will be available August 13th.

Author Katherine Center’s website

Pub Day Books – 4/30/19

Happy Pub Day to the following books!

park avenue summer

Park Avenue Summer by Renée Rosen

Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada as Renée Rosen draws readers into the glamour of 1965 New York City and Cosmopolitan Magazine, where a brazen new Editor-in-Chief–Helen Gurley Brown–shocks America by daring to talk to women about all things off limits…

New York City is filled with opportunities for single girls like Alice Weiss who leaves her small Midwestern town to chase her big city dreams and unexpectedly lands the job of a lifetime working for Helen Gurley Brown, the first female Editor-in-Chief of a then failing Cosmopolitan Magazine.

Nothing could have prepared Alice for the world she enters as editors and writers resign on the spot, refusing to work for the woman who wrote the scandalous bestseller, Sex and the Single Girl. While confidential memos, article ideas, and cover designs keep finding their way into the wrong hands, someone tries to pull Alice into this scheme to sabotage her boss. But Alice remains loyal and becomes all the more determined to help Helen succeed. As pressure mounts at the magazine and Alice struggles to make her way in New York, she quickly learns that in Helen Gurley Brown’s world, a woman can demand to have it all.

the invited

The Invited by Jennifer McMahon

In a quest for a simpler life, Helen and Nate abandon the comforts of suburbia and their teaching jobs to take up residence on forty-four acres of rural land where they will begin the ultimate, aspirational do-it-yourself project: building the house of their dreams. When they discover that this charming property has a dark and violent past, Helen, a former history teacher, becomes consumed by the legend of Hattie Breckenridge, a woman who lived and died there a century ago. As Helen starts carefully sourcing decorative building materials for her home–wooden beams, mantles, historic bricks–she starts to unearth, and literally conjure, the tragic lives of Hattie’s descendants, three generations of “Breckenridge women,” each of whom died amidst suspicion, and who seem to still be seeking something precious and elusive in the present day.

little darlings

Little Darlings by Melanie Golding

Everyone says Lauren Tranter is exhausted, that she needs rest. And they’re right; with newborn twins, Morgan and Riley, she’s never been more tired in her life. But she knows what she saw: that night, in her hospital room, a woman tried to take her babies and replace them with her own…creatures. Yet when the police arrived, they saw no one. Everyone, from her doctor to her husband, thinks she’s imagining things.

A month passes. And one bright summer morning, the babies disappear from Lauren’s side in a park. But when they’re found, something is different about them. The infants look like Morgan and Riley―to everyone else. But to Lauren, something is off. As everyone around her celebrates their return, Lauren begins to scream, These are not my babies.

Determined to bring her true infant sons home, Lauren will risk the unthinkable. But if she’s wrong about what she saw…she’ll be making the biggest mistake of her life.

Compulsive, creepy, and inspired by some our darkest fairy tales, Little Darlings will have you checking―and rechecking―your own little ones. Just to be sure. Just to be safe.

Such a Perfect Wife by Kate White

such a perfect wife

Rating
5/5 stars

Genre

Fiction – Mystery

Goodreads Summary

Must be blonde, beautiful, and a good Catholic girl…

On a sunny morning in late September, Shannon Blaine, a blonde, green-eyed 34-year old wife and mother of two, sets off on a jog along the rural roads near her home in Lake George, New York.  It’s her usual a.m. routine, her “me time” after dropping the kids off at school…except on this day she never returns. The residents in the idyllic lakeside town—which is popular with summer tourists—are stunned. Would Shannon have just taken off, overwhelmed with the pressures of being the perfect wife and mother? Did a stranger snatch her? Or could her husband be responsible for her disappearance?

The hot new online magazine Crime Beat wants to cover the case and they hand the assignment to noted true crime writer Bailey Weggins. It doesn’t take long for Bailey to see that the story has far more facets than she initially realized:  a bitter sister, an unfaithful brother-in-law, an evasive deacon, and a creepy motel owner who watched Shannon run every morning. When an anonymous caller reaches out to Bailey and gives her the cryptic clue that Shannon was a “good Catholic girl,” the tip eventually leads Bailey to the grisly discovery of Shannon’s body. And suddenly, based on what else Bailey finds, everything about the case shifts, suggesting that Shannon’s murder isn’t an isolated incident but rather the work of a serial killer with a very specific calling card. Bailey sets out to expose the killer before another woman has to die, including herself.

Review

I have only read one Kate White book before and that was probably a good five, or more, years ago. I remember loving it and had completely forgotten about this author until winning an early copy of her newest book Such a Perfect Wife.

This book had me hooked from the onset! I haven’t read a mystery like this in so long and was quickly reminded of how much I love them. The story begins with the immediate disappearance of a beautiful and seemingly happy wife and mom. The unfolding of the story is filled with questionable characters and many different possibilities as to what happened to her.

Kate White’s writing was exceptional! One thing I really loved was how she told the story in just enough detail without going overboard. I enjoyed that it was an “easy” read—nothing too overly complicated or theories that were completely out of leftfield. Every chapter left me hanging and immediately moving on to the next to see what was going to happen!

I cannot recommend this book highly enough! It was a little scary and creepy, but no more than any other book of this genre, in my opinion. Get this one on your TBR list and let me know what you think once you’ve read it!


Side note: Kate White has many books involving the character Bailey Weggins. You do not need to have read any of the others in order to read Such a Perfect Wife, as it can be read as a stand alone.

Available May 7th!

Thank you to Kate White & Harper Books for my Advance Reader Copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

Author Kate White’s website

The Friend Zone by Abby Jimenez

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Rating
4.5/5 stars

Genre

Fiction – Romance

Goodreads Summary

Kristen Petersen doesn’t do drama, will fight to the death for her friends, and has no room in her life for guys who just don’t get her. She’s also keeping a big secret: facing a medically necessary procedure that will make it impossible for her to have children.

Planning her best friend’s wedding is bittersweet for Kristen–especially when she meets the best man, Josh Copeland. He’s funny, sexy, never offended by her mile-wide streak of sarcasm, and always one chicken enchilada ahead of her hangry. Even her dog, Stuntman Mike, adores him. The only catch: Josh wants a big family someday. Kristen knows he’d be better off with someone else, but as their attraction grows, it’s harder and harder to keep him at arm’s length.

The Friend Zone will have you laughing one moment and grabbing for tissues the next as it tackles the realities of infertility and loss with wit, heart, and a lot of sass.

Review

Okay, I’m going to give you all a little background first. I heard about this book from the lovely Kailey (@kmc_reads on Instagram) and thought it sounded really cute. She raved about how much she loved it so I decided I obviously needed to get my hands on it ASAP! I reached out to the author about getting an Advance Reader Copy only to discover that she is the owner of my absolute favorite cupcake bakery in Minnesota! What a small world! This definitely amped up my excitement for this book even more. Now onto the book itself!

I was totally expecting The Friend Zone to be a fluffy, cute romance, which I have absolutely no problem with. However, I was in for way more than I bargained! This book has it all, honestly. I’m talking feisty main girl character, adorably charming main guy character, sarcasm, humor, love, loss, family dynamics, and SO much more. I absolutely loved this book!

I was invested in these characters big time. My heart broke a few times throughout the story and was pieced back together in some ways. I don’t want to give anything away so I’m just going to leave it at: READ THIS! It deserves all the hype it’s been getting, and Abby Jimenez has proven that she’s not only a baker but also an incredibly talented writer.

Trigger warning (as mentioned in synopsis): infertility

Available June 11th!

Thank you to Abby Jimenez & Forever Romance for my Advance Reader Copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

Author Abby Jimenez’s website

Pub Day Books – 4/23/19

Happy Pub Day Tuesday! 

the mother-in-law

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

From the moment Lucy met Diana, she was kept at arm’s length. Diana is exquisitely polite, but Lucy knows, even after marrying Oliver, that they’ll never have the closeness she’d been hoping for.

But who could fault Diana? She was a pillar of the community, an advocate for social justice, the matriarch of a loving family. Lucy had wanted so much to please her new mother-in-law.

That was ten years ago. Now, Diana has been found dead, leaving a suicide note. But the autopsy reveals evidence of suffocation. And everyone in the family is hiding something…

Read my review here.

Enter to win a copy of The Mother-in-Law here.


i know who you are

I Know Who You Are by Alice Feeney

I Know Who You Are is the brilliant tale of two stories. One is about Aimee Sinclair—well-known actress on the verge of being full-on famous. If you saw her, you’d think you knew her. One day towards the near-end of her shoot on her latest film, Aimee comes home from filming to find her husband’s cell phone and wallet on the dining room table. He never goes anywhere without them. But he’s nowhere to be found. She’s not too concerned—they had a huge fight the night before. They both said things they didn’t mean. He might have done things he didn’t mean, things she can’t forget. Even though she has a history of supposedly forgetting. After all, she’s a very good actress.

The next morning she goes for her morning run and then goes to her favorite coffee shop. But her card is denied. When she calls the bank they say her account has been emptied of $10,000. She immediately suspects her husband. But they say no, it was Aimee herself who closed out the account. And thus begins a bizarre rabbit hole into which Aimee finds herself falling where nothing is at it seems.

Alternating with Aimee’s story is that of a little girl who wandered away from home. We always tell our kids not to talk to strangers or bad things will happen. Well, bad things happen.

In I Know Who You Are, Alice Feeney proves that she is a master at brilliantly complicated plots and twists after twists.

Read my review here.


the missing years

The Missing Years by Lexie Elliott

An eerie, old Scottish manor in the middle of nowhere that’s now hers.

Ailsa Calder has inherited half of a house. The other half belongs to a man who disappeared without a trace twenty-seven years ago—her father.

Leaving London behind to settle the inheritance from her mother’s estate, Ailsa returns to her childhood home, nestled amongst the craggy peaks of the Scottish Highlands, joined by the half-sister who’s almost a stranger to her.

Ailsa can’t escape the claustrophobic feeling that the house itself is watching her—as if her past hungers to consume her. She also can’t ignore how the neighbourhood animals refuse to set one foot within the gates of the garden.

When the first nighttime intruder shows up, Ailsa fears that the manor’s careless rugged beauty could cost her everything.


stone mothers

Stone Mothers by Erin Kelly

You can’t keep the secret.
You can’t tell the truth.
You can’t escape the past

Marianne was seventeen when she fled her home in Nusstead – leaving behind her family, her boyfriend, Jesse, and the body they buried. Now, thirty years later, forced to return to in order to help care for her sick mother, she can feel the past closing around her. And Jesse, who never forgave her for leaving in the first place, is finally threatening to expose the truth.

Marianne will do anything to protect the life she’s built, the husband and daughter who must never know what happened all those years ago. Even if it means turning to her worst enemy for help… But Marianne may not know the whole story – and she isn’t the only one with secrets they’d kill to keep.


fumbled

Fumbled by Alexa Martin

Single-mother Poppy Patterson moved across the country when she was sixteen and pregnant to find a new normal. After years of hard work, she’s built a life she loves. It may include a job at a nightclub, weekend soccer games, and more stretch marks than she anticipated, but it’s all hers, and nobody can take that away. Well, except for one person.

TK Moore, the starting wide receiver for the Denver Mustangs, dreamt his entire life about being in the NFL. His world is football, parties, and women. Maybe at one point he thought his future would play out with his high school sweetheart by his side, but Poppy is long gone and he’s moved on.  

When Poppy and TK cross paths in the most unlikely of places, emotions they’ve suppressed for years come rushing back. But with all the secrets they never told each other lying between them, they’ll need more than a dating playbook to help them navigate their relationship.


Have a great day!

♥ The Oxford Comma Momma

The Last Time I Saw You by Liv Constantine

the last time i saw you

Rating
4/5 stars

Genre

Fiction – Mystery

Goodreads Summary

The internationally bestselling author of The Last Mrs. Parrish follows that success with an addictive novel filled with shocking twists about the aftermath of a brutal high-society murder.

Dr. Kate English has it all. Not only is she the heiress to a large fortune; she has a gorgeous husband and daughter, a high-flying career, and a beautiful home anyone would envy.

But all that changes the night Kate’s mother, Lily, is found dead, brutally murdered in her own home. Heartbroken and distraught, Kate reaches out to her estranged best friend, Blaire Barrington, who rushes to her side for the funeral, where the years of distance between them are forgotten in a moment.

That evening, Kate’s grief turns to horror when she receives an anonymous text: You think you’re sad now, just wait. By the time I’m finished with you, you’ll wish you had been buried today. More than ever, Kate needs her old friend’s help.

Once Blaire decides to take the investigation into her own hands, it becomes clear that all is not as it seems in Baltimore high society. As infidelity, lies, and betrayals come to light, and tensions rise to a boiling point, she begins to alienate Kate’s friends and relatives with her relentless, accusatory questions, as she tries to find Lily’s killer. The murderer could be anyone—friend, neighbor, loved one. But whoever it is, it’s clear that Kate is next on their list. . .

In The Last Time I Saw You, Liv Constantine takes the lightning pace of The Last Mrs. Parrish and raises the stakes, creating an exquisitely tension-filled and absorbing tale of psychological suspense in which innocent lives—and one woman’s sanity—hang in the balance.

Review

If you read The Last Mrs. Parrish, you are probably really looking forward to the newest by Liv Constantine. The Last Mrs. Parrish was one of the best books I read in 2018! You can find my review of it here.

I loved the commonalities this book shares with Mrs. Parrish—wealthy people and secrets. The murder in this story happened early on so the majority of the book is about the mystery of who the killer could be. I felt so bad for the main character, Kate, as she tried to get a grip on if she was completely losing her mind or not. For most of the book, the reader is in the dark and trying to figure out the same thing!

This was a great book that kept me reading, but it isn’t one that I would consider to be overly memorable for me. (It takes a lot for a book stick with me for months and years to come!) However, I think the authors did a fantastic job of keeping me guessing, and the ending was definitely a complete surprise!

Available May 7th!

Thank you to Liv Constantine & Harper Books for my Advance Reader Copy. All opinions expressed are my own.

Author Liv Constantine’s website

Pub Day Books – 4/16/19

HAPPY PUB DAY TUESDAY!


normal people

Normal People by Sally Rooney

At school Connell and Marianne pretend not to know each other. He’s popular and well-adjusted, star of the school soccer team while she is lonely, proud, and intensely private. But when Connell comes to pick his mother up from her housekeeping job at Marianne’s house, a strange and indelible connection grows between the two teenagers—one they are determined to conceal.

A year later, they’re both studying at Trinity College in Dublin. Marianne has found her feet in a new social world while Connell hangs at the sidelines, shy and uncertain. Throughout their years in college, Marianne and Connell circle one another, straying toward other people and possibilities but always magnetically, irresistibly drawn back together. Then, as she veers into self-destruction and he begins to search for meaning elsewhere, each must confront how far they are willing to go to save the other.

Sally Rooney brings her brilliant psychological acuity and perfectly spare prose to a story that explores the subtleties of class, the electricity of first love, and the complex entanglements of family and friendship.

before she was found

Before She Was Found by Heather Gudenkauf

For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover–movies and Ouija and talking about boys. But when they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of town, little do they know that their innocent games will have dangerous consequences.

Later that night, Cora Landry is discovered on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. Soon their small rural town is thrust into a maelstrom. Who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora–and why? In an investigation that leaves no stone unturned, everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted–not even those closest to Cora.

Before She Was Found is a timely and gripping thriller about friendship and betrayal, about the power of social pressure and the price of needing to fit in. It is about the great lengths a parent will go to protect their child and keep them safe–even if that means burying the truth, no matter the cost.

the better sister

The Better Sister by Alafair Burke

From Alafair Burke—New York Times bestselling author of the runaway hit, The Wife—comes another twisty tale of domestic noir. When a prominent Manhattan lawyer is murdered, two estranged sisters—one the dead man’s widow, the other his ex—must set aside mistrust and old resentments . . . but can they escape their past?

Though Chloe was the younger of the two Taylor sisters, she always seemed to be in charge. She was the honor roll student with big dreams and an even bigger work ethic. Nicky was always restless . . . and more than a little reckless—the opposite of her ambitious little sister. She floated from job to job and man to man, and stayed close to home in Cleveland.

For a while, it seemed like both sisters had found happiness. Chloe earned a scholarship to an Ivy League school and moved to New York City, where she landed a coveted publishing job. Nicky married promising young attorney Adam Macintosh, and gave birth to a baby boy they named Ethan. The Taylor sisters became virtual strangers.

Now, more than fifteen years later, their lives are drastically different—and Chloe is married to Adam. When he’s murdered by an intruder at the couple’s East Hampton beach house, Chloe reluctantly allows her teenaged stepson’s biological mother—her estranged sister, Nicky—back into her life. But when the police begin to treat Ethan as a suspect in his father’s death, the two sisters are forced to unite . . . and to confront the truth behind family secrets they have tried to bury in the past.

under the table

Under the Table by Stephanie Evanovich

The New York Times bestselling author of Big Girl Panties puts a modern twist on My Fair Lady in this funny, romantic confection in which a canny young woman makes over her awkward millionaire client . . . with some hot, sexy, and surprising results.

Suffocating in a dead-end marriage, Midwesterner Zoey Sullivan fled to New York and moved in with her little sister Ruth, a carefree, vivacious beauty with a string of eligible bachelors at her beck and call. Giving herself three months in the city to clear her head and find a direction, Zoey dodges calls from her ex Derek, and distracts herself by cooking and catering a few private dinners and parties. Pursuing her passion for cooking was never an option when she was with Derek, and now Zoey relishes her independence.

When Zoey’s meets reclusive millionaire Tristan Malloy, she’s blown away by his kitchen—a marble and stainless steel temple worthy of the culinary gods—and charmed by his impeccable gentlemanly manners. But despite his firm body, handsome looks, and piles of cash, Tristan—a computer programmer—is shy and more than a little socially awkward. Zoey is sure that Tristan has all the right raw ingredients—and she’s the right person to spice them up turn him into a delectable dish.

But Zoey’s unprepared for just how well her makeover works. Tristan turns out to be even sexier once he’s gained a little confidence and the right wardrobe. Beneath the gorgeous package, Tristan is a great guy who deserves a woman who really appreciates him. Slowly but surely, Zoey realizes she may have found her perfect match—but does Tristan even know how her feelings have changed? Is that warm look in his eyes gratitude for the new and exciting world she’s ushered him into, or something more? And what will happen when Zoey’s ex comes to town, looking to win her back?


Hope you found something you’re looking forward to!

Have a great day!  ♥ The Oxford Comma Momma