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Friday, July 17, 2020

Book Review: Beloved Lives by Marilyn J. Evans




Beloved Lives: A Paranormal Romantic Suspense Novel by Marilyn J. Evans
Genre: Young Adult (Paranormal/Fantasy Romance)
Date Published: January 26, 2018
Publisher: TCK Publishing

She Must Choose Between Living Her Past and Creating a New Life
April Robins is a mess. Her diet and wardrobe are disastrous, she's stopped exercising, and the nightmares are back—nightmares that started at puberty and didn't stop until she married. Now that she's divorced, the dreams are worse than ever, and April's malaise has her cat and her best friend, Trish, worried.

April decides it's time to get her life back in order by running and eating better. She also agrees to attend a class Trish thinks will introduce them to new guys. When April meets the class instructor, Mitch van der Waals, an expert in the paranormal, she discovers they have a lot in common including a mutual attraction. When she and Mitch start dating, both cat and best friend approve.

But when the hospital where April works as a medical technologist hires Dr. Weston, a handsome, new cardiologist, things get complicated. At her first meeting with Dr. Weston, April faints. As he shows more and more interest in her, she finds herself unaccountably affected by Weston, sometimes irritated, other times literally falling into a trance in his presence.

April realizes Weston was a key player in her past lives as she struggles to find the root cause of her nightmares through past life regressions, sessions in the sleep lab, and strangely spontaneous trances.

Does she have a choice between being who she is now and who she seems to have been over and over again?

Solving the mysterious origins of the nightmares that have echoed down through April's many lives could be a matter of life and death, in this life and beyond.

Readers of romance books about past lives like Angelfall by Susan Ee, The Immortal Rules by Julia Kagawa, and The Steward by Christopher Shields will love this paranormal romance and suspense book.

Beloved Lives: A Paranormal Romantic Suspense Novel by Marilyn J. Evans had a different and interesting premise. I really enjoyed seeing the histories between April and Weston. I wish we could have gotten a bit more relationship building through the glimpses of their histories as I never truly felt their chemistry, and I didn't understand why they were drawn to each other to begin with. I felt even less chemistry with Mitch. The cat was fun, but he didn't at like a cat at all. I kept expecting him to be some kind of paranormal creature. He would have made a better dog. I like the twist the ending took. That was unexpected. I'm 50/50 on this one. I feel like there was so much good stuff to work with when it came to their past lives and the characters themselves... I just needed a little more meat on the bones.

Beloved Lives by Marilyn J. Evans was kindly provided to me by the author for review. The opinions are my own.

author
Marilyn J. Evans was born in Chillicothe, Missouri. She has lived in Kansas City, Missouri, since 1972 except for two years (2003-2005) when she lived in southern England. For twenty years she worked in research laboratories studying human autoimmune diseases. For the next twenty years she was a regulatory auditor for the pharmaceutical and biologics industries. Her first book, "Beloved Lives", a paranormal romantic thriller, was published in 2018. Her novella, "Wasting Water", appears in the anthology, "Undeniable: Writers Respond to Climate Change", available from Amazon or from Alternating Current Press.

To learn more about Marilyn J. Evans and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on Goodreads, Facebook, and Twitter.

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Tuesday, July 14, 2020

Release Day Review! What You Wish For by Katherine Center




What You Wish For by Katherine Center
Genre: Adult Fiction (Contemporary Romance)
Date Published: July 14, 2020
Publisher: St. Martin's Press

From Katherine Center, the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away comes a stunning new novel full of heart and hope.

Samantha Casey loves everything about her job as an elementary school librarian on the sunny, historic island of Galveston, Texas—the goofy kids, the stately Victorian building, the butterfly garden. But when the school suddenly loses its beloved principal, it turns out his replacement will be none other than Duncan Carpenter—a former, unrequited crush of Sam’s from many years before.

When Duncan shows up as her new boss, though, he’s nothing like the sweet teacher she once swooned over. He’s become stiff, and humorless, and obsessed with school safety. Now, with Duncan determined to destroy everything Sam loves about her school in the name of security—and turn it into nothing short of a prison—Sam has to stand up for everyone she cares about before the school that’s become her home is gone for good.

What You Wish For by Katherine Center was a cute crush to enemies to more story. I love this community that Samantha lives in. Do these places exist? I need to live there. Duncan was a fun loving guy when she knew him previously, but something has changed. He's a totally different person.. the kind of guy no one likes now. I have to say, I get his point about the school. Maybe not to the extreme jail like situation he wanted to turn it into, but it definitely needed some safety measures in place. So, I get both sides here. There needs to be some compromise. 

This was one of those cutesie stories that make is easy to escape from reality a bit, which is just what I was wanting!

he ARC of What You Wish For by Katherine Center was kindly provided to me by the publisher through NetGalley for review. The opinions are my own.

author
Katherine Center is the New York Times bestselling author of How to Walk Away, the upcoming Things You Save in a Fire (August 2019), and five other bittersweet comic novels. Six Foot Pictures is currently adapting her fourth novel, The Lost Husband, into a feature film starring Josh Duhamel, Leslie Bibb, and Nora Dunn. Katherine has been compared to both Nora Ephron and Jane Austen, and the Dallas Morning News calls her stories, “satisfying in the most soul-nourishing way.” Katherine recently gave a TEDx talk on how stories teach us empathy, and her work has appeared in USA Today, InStyle, Redbook, People, Vanity Fair, The Atlantic, Real Simple, Southern Living, and InTouch, among others. Katherine lives in her hometown of Houston, Texas, with her fun husband, two sweet kids, and fluffy-but-fierce dog.

To learn more about Katherine Center and her books, visit her website.You can also find her on GoodreadsInstagram, and Twitter.

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