Friday Book Reviews by Robyn Daniels: Bond, Pappano and Morsi

Our Husband

STEPHANIE BOND

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 Stephanie Bond’s first book has long been a favorite which holds up well over time. This wild romp came from the author of the successful Body Movers series. Bond’s hook is a traveling salesman has three wives scattered along his route. His three wives vary in age, education, and backgrounds. His first wife, Beatrix he married for money. His second wife, Natalie could be his daughter. His third wife, Ruby could be his granddaughter with Beatrix. Their personalities are different but they share the common thread of accepting superficial marriages without much communication because his force of personality gives each woman the feeling that she is special.

 The women each give him a gift. Beatrix provides status. Natalie allows him access to her medical earnings. Ruby renews his passion and builds an aging man’s ego.

When these women become the prime suspects in his murder they unite to solve the mystery. Their road trip is the stuff of family legends.

Because Bond is such a good writer, by the last page you will come to see all three as quite likeable.

Copper Lake Secrets

Marilyn Pappano

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Marilyn Pappano takes her readers along the reading experience like the consummate professional she is. Her books engage you. Believable and well-crafted characters become your friends, neighbors, or people you have heard about—Irish travelers.

The way the suspense grows with her main characters is refreshing as they are not at odds like the often written pair who instantly hate each other and then fall in love. Both seek answers to personal demons finding the answer in Copper Lake. They work together and grow to love one another while the suspense builds through more deadly threats.

The descriptive is rich, encompassing the reader in things as simple as childhood swims and as complicated as survival of our main characters. With Marilyn Pappano layering the plot, it is just so fascinating to read beyond the first layer. An awesome romantic suspense. I loved the Copper Lake estate where the action takes place. I enjoyed touching base with a familiar character or two. Pappano’s storytelling in this book is among some of her best. She had an earlier work turned into a movie for Hallmark. This one would translate easily to the big screen and is scary enough to draw in a wide audience of both sexes. Undoubtedly one of the best reads over over 360 books for me last year. Pick up your copy and feast on the work of a gifted writer.

Red’s Hot Honky-Tonk Bar

Pamela Morsi

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One of the best books I read last year is Morsi’s tale of Emmaline (Red) Cullens who has worked from homeless unwed teenage mother to proprietress of her own bar in a little locals’ hangout beyond the upscale River Walk of San Antonio, TX. While both are bound by the river, her piece of Heaven is definitely low rent.

Red is proud of her adult daughter serving in Afghanistan. Currently as a cougar to fiddler, Cam, she has good lovin’ and is not yet ready to kick him to the curb. One call from Bridge, her daughter, endangers this good life. Bridge’s ex-husband is deployed in S. Korea and out of the picture. His mother providing care for the grandchildren suffered a stroke. Red must take care of two grandchildren she barely knows.

I’m sure readers will enjoy Cam’s skills with children and helping Red grow. The two grandchildren are just incredible. Cam’s aunt adds another dimension to the story, enhancing the reader’s experience. Red learns to navigate PTA, its dragon lady, and a no show cupcake booth worker who ensnarls her in working the politically correct cupcake booth from hell. If ever a booth needed two workers it’s this one. Poignant and at times funny beyond belief, savor the read.

The quotable dialogue is laugh out loud funny. Once you meet Red you will understand the phrase: “A heart as big as Texas.”

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Remember: If you want a particular book reviewed, please contact me. If you wish to review a book, we ask that it not be your own work. Make reviews between 20 and 300 words. Scale between 1-5 hearts with one being the worst book you ever read. Five is for a best ever read. We reserve the right to edit reviews for length and content. The reviews are based on recent reads, NOT NECESSARILY NEW RELEASES.

Reviewed by Robyn Daniels

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Friday Book Reviews by Robyn Daniels: Bond, Bond and Shaffer and Barrows

Baby, Drive South
Stephanie Bond

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Ten years ago a tornado leveled Sweetness, Georgia. Three native sons decide to rebuild the town, using grants for a Green Town development. They return to the abandoned town, fighting the kudzu, and build a new road, bunkhouse, and mess hall. The rebuilding schedule requires at least fifty men onsite. Men leave on weekends or go AWOL.

The Armstrong brothers need women to anchor the men to the jobsite. Kendall, middle brother, places an advertisement in a recession-ravaged northern town where his true love lives.

The characters move the story nicely for a pleasant light read while provoking interest in the North meets South mix of romance between youngest son, Porter, and Dr. Nikki Salinger. Nikki is not well accepted by the workers and decides to go back North. She is delayed at every turn so the couple can work toward happily ever after.

The next book in the series is Baby, Come Home.

Baby, Come Home
Stephanie Bond

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The second book in the series revisits Kendall’s old love, the woman he left behind twelve years ago when he entered the Air Force. Amy Bradshaw, now a civil engineer, returns for sentimental reasons: to redesign a romantic bridge in Sweetness.

The pair ooze chemistry. If their world could just stay between the sheets, the reader knows they would never part. But in daylight their problems grow. It is unlikely they will work through their differences to reach true understanding.

When Kendall joined the Air Force, Amy wanted to join his adventure. He expected her to wait patiently at home until he had his fun. They share a failure to communicate.

The characters grow more interesting in this book. The third book, Baby, Don’t Go, comes out in November.

The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Society
Mary Ann Shaffer and Annie Barrows

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The book title comes from an after-curfew encounter between the islanders and the Gestapo. The islanders, coming from a rare feast of roasted pig, get cornered. Elizabeth explains they have just ended a rousing literary discussion and are on their way to their homes. Elizabeth is a young woman with a small daughter, Kit. She and all the island inhabitants display that uniquely British quality of getting on during tough times.

After the Second World War, an islander writes Juliet Ashton to ask help in locating books by a particular author. She has finished her own book. Her publisher encourages her to get along with a second book. Her fiancé wants marriage.

Soon she is corresponding with most the islanders. Her publisher encourages her to travel to Guernsey Island and write her book.

This wonderful story emerges. Elizabeth, a bright and brave young mother finds love. Unlike Yanks, the story does not end quite the way our writers would end with happily ever after (HEA).

Readers, this is a hard book for most to put down.

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Remember: If you want a particular book reviewed, please contact me. If you wish to review a book, we ask that it not be your own work. Make reviews between 20 and 300 words. Scale between 1-5 hearts with one being the worst book you ever read. Five is for a best ever read. We reserve the right to edit reviews for length and content. The reviews are based on recent reads, NOT NECESSARILY NEW RELEASES.

Reviewed by Robyn Daniels