"The Haunting of Brynn Wilder" by Wendy Webb




After a devastating loss, Brynn Wilder escapes to Wharton, a tourist town on Lake Superior, to reset. Checking into a quaint boardinghouse for the summer, she hopes to put her life into perspective. In her fellow lodgers, she finds a friendly company of strangers: the frail Alice, cared for by a married couple with a heartbreaking story of their own; LuAnn, the eccentric and lovable owner of the inn; and Dominic, an unsettlingly handsome man inked from head to toe in mesmerizing tattoos.


But in this inviting refuge, where a century of souls has passed, a mystery begins to swirl. Alice knows things about Brynn, about all of them, that she shouldn’t. Bad dreams and night whispers lure Brynn to a shuttered room at the end of the hall, a room still heavy with a recent death. And now she’s become irresistibly drawn to Dominic—even in the shadow of rumors that wherever he goes, suspicious death follows.


In this chilling season of love, transformation, and fear, something is calling for Brynn. To settle her past, she may have no choice but to answer.




After reading it, I don't know what I initially expected from this book. I downloaded it as a free read many months ago and finally got to it recently. It turned out Brynn was haunted, or rather, her vacation place was haunted. The setting is lovely; the author did a good job making me believe I was there. There were some quirky characters. It left a lot of questions. The local authority's suspicion of Dominic never came to fruition. Many questions about Dominic were left hazy. Why did he save Alice if she was doomed to die anyway? Why Did he dive into the water that final fateful time? The ending filled in some details about Brynn and Jane Doe found dead in the beginning. That was the fascinating element of the book. When I finished and thought about it, I got a nice feeling. I want to believe in life after death, love that transcends time and space, and a commitment that lasts for eternity. 



 

"All The Right Things" by Stephanie Renee

 



The sexual content consumes this story. If you prefer that, you may like this book. After probably their fifth round, I started skimming these sections. Andi's life growing up in foster care, marrying the wrong guy, and then finding her knight in shining armor played out from within Andi's thoughts and dialogue. Most of this novel happened inside the characters' heads, switching between Andi and Jonas. Repetition of her self-deprecating thoughts and talk and his continually "saying the right things" had me waiting for a moment of conflict, something that would test their relationship. Although they had a fight at one point, and Andi left to handle some past business, it didn't seem that explosive. Even with Andi's past sad circumstances, I didn't grow invested in the story or the couple. Jonas and his family were the best part of the book, although most of their relationship was also explained through talk.




"Follow You Home" by Mark Edwards

 


AMAZON DESCRIPTION:

It was supposed to be the trip of a lifetime, a final adventure before settling down. But after a perfect start, an encounter with a young couple on a night train forces Daniel and Laura to cut their dream trip short and flee home.

Back in London, Daniel and Laura vow never to talk about what happened that night. But as they try to fit into their old lives again, they realise they are in terrible danger—and that their nightmare is just beginning…



Mark Edwards has a knack for psychological thrillers. "Follow You Home" lived up to its name. When Danny and Laura returned from a vacation that turned nightmare, the sense of evil waiting in the wings to reach out and snatch them made me believe it had followed them home from Romania. This book caused a rollercoaster of emotions, and when I couldn't believe how bad one person was, another came into frame that made the previous one look mild. I intended to read for thirty minutes or so when I got into bed, but I couldn't stop. Two hours later, I had to force myself to put the book down and try to sleep, although it wasn't easy after the chilling subject matter. Twists shocked me, and the final one left me questioning if the author took it too far; could he pull that off? Did he get away with it? I think he did!






"Cupcakes and Kisses" (Hot in Magnolia Book 1) by Minette Lauren

 


AMAZON DESCRIPTION:

What does it take to make it Hot in Magnolia?

* One cup of sexy

* Two tablespoons of sizzle

* And a whole lot of heart


Magnolia, Texas, might be booming with single men, but as far as Melvina Banks is concerned, it’s a bust. Between her volunteer work with the Magnolia Blossoms, tutoring at the local library, whipping up cupcakes for the local firefighters, and working at her dad’s diner, she has no time for blind dates let alone finding “the one”. Melvina would much rather spend her precious downtime fine-tuning her plan to open a bakery. When celebrity chef, Riley Nash comes to town for a Blossoms fundraiser, Melvina hopes for a chance to pick Riley’s business-savvy brain. With Riley’s nationally acclaimed talents and his successful new restaurant, Braised, he just might be the one who can help Melvina whip her blossoming idea into a recipe for success. Trouble is, she can’t seem to keep her mind on business when it comes to Riley’s devilish good looks and sizzling charm. The heat is turned up when Magnolia’s handsome fire chief, Manny Owens, sparks an interest in Melvina. Torn between two of Magnolia’s hottest bachelors, she can’t help but feel the burn. Can Melvina separate her rising affections for both men, or will she end up with egg on her face?

Cupcakes and Kisses is the first book in the delicious new romantic comedy series, Hot in Magnolia, by award-winning author Minette Lauren. Set in the burgeoning town of Magnolia, Texas, this hot new series is brimming with laugh-out-loud moments and chock-full of endearing characters who will have you rooting for love and cheering for happy endings.




CUPCAKES AND KISSES charmed me. It was both comical and sometimes serious. Melvina's search for love had me rooting for her happiness. She had the attention of two good men; she had to choose one of them and remain true to her dreams. I liked that Melvina was a mature character that knew what she wanted and had real-life issues she'd dealt with such as maintaining a huge weight loss. Her best friend and her Pez dispenser were a little iffy. The Magnolia Blossom president was someone you could love to hate. Riley and Manny were each dreamy in their own way - a bonus. The happily-ever-after was sigh-worthy. I will definitely read more books by Minette Lauren.

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