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After last month’s reading drought, I made up for it this month by reading a lot! What did I do differently? I committed to reading for at least an hour every night before going to bed. Not only did it allow me to work my way through a large number of pages, but it also helped my body wind down and prepare for a good night’s sleep.

It was a win-win!

For June I reverted back to my normal genre reading – contemporary fiction – but I threw in a little suspense, romance, and comedy into the mix as well. Check out what I enjoyed adding to my reading log this month and see if there’s anything you might want to pick up for yourself!

What I Read This Month: June

 

Last Letter from Your Lover

Author: Jojo Moyes

Genre: Time Slip/Contemporary Literary Fiction/Historical Literary Fiction

# of pages: 421 pages

Book summary:

It is 1960. When Jennifer Stirling wakes up in the hospital, she can remember nothing-not the tragic car accident that put her there, not her husband, not even who she is. She feels like a stranger in her own life until she stumbles upon an impassioned letter, signed simply “B”, asking her to leave her husband.

Years later, in 2003, a journalist named Ellie discovers the same enigmatic letter in a forgotten file in her newspaper’s archives. She becomes obsessed by the story and hopeful that it can resurrect her faltering career. Perhaps if these lovers had a happy ending she will find one to her own complicated love life, too. Ellie’s search will rewrite history and help her see the truth about her own modern romance.

My thoughts: After I read Moyes’ book, Me Before You, in March I couldn’t wait to read something else by this author. I’m so glad I picked this one up as it did not disappoint! It was a beautiful love story that had me on the edge of my seat the entire time wondering if the doomed lovebirds would ever find their way back to each other. I have to be honest, I enjoyed the “past” part of this story more than the “present” simply because Ellie was a dimwit about love which frustrated me! I highly recommend this book and can’t wait for the movie adaption on Netflix next month. Now off to find my next Moyes favorite!

 

Local Woman Missing

Author: Mary Kubica

Genre: Psychological thriller

# of pages: 290 pages

Book summary:

People don’t just disappear without a trace…

Shelby Tebow is the first to go missing. Not long after, Meredith Dickey and her six-year-old daughter, Delilah, vanish just blocks away from where Shelby was last seen, striking fear into their once-peaceful community. Are these incidents connected? After an elusive search that yields more questions than answers, the case eventually goes cold.

Now, eleven years later, Delilah shockingly returns. Everyone wants to know what happened to her, but no one is prepared for what they’ll find…

My Thoughts: Although this is listed as a psychological thriller, I file it under “mild” in the thriller part. Nothing in here will keep you up at night or give you nightmares. A very well-crafted story that tied all the pieces together beautifully and kept me wondering who the “guilty party” really was! There was a surprise twist at the end I never saw coming which I always think is a mark of good writing. 4 stars for sure!

 

The Newcomer

Author: Mary Kay Andrews

Genre: Contemporary Women’s/Contemporary Romance

# of pages: 448

Book summary:

In trouble and on the run…

After she discovers her sister Tanya dead on the floor of her fashionable New York City townhouse, Letty Carnahan is certain she knows who did it: Tanya’s ex; sleazy real estate entrepreneur Evan Wingfield. Even in the grip of grief and panic Letty heeds her late sister’s warnings: “If anything bad happens to me―it’s Evan. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.”

With a trunkful of emotional baggage…

So Letty grabs her sister’s Mercedes and hits the road with her wailing four-year-old niece Maya. Letty is determined to out-run Evan and the law, but run to where? Tanya, a woman with a past shrouded in secrets, left behind a “go-bag” of cash and a big honking diamond ring―but only one clue: a faded magazine story about a sleepy mom-and-pop motel in a Florida beach town with the improbable name of Treasure Island. She sheds her old life and checks into an uncertain future at The Murmuring Surf Motel.

The No Vacancy sign is flashing & the sharks are circling…

And that’s the good news. Because The Surf, as the regulars call it, is the winter home of a close-knit flock of retirees and snowbirds who regard this odd-duck newcomer with suspicion and downright hostility. As Letty settles into the motel’s former storage room, she tries to heal Maya’s heartache and unravel the key to her sister’s shady past, all while dodging the attention of the owner’s dangerously attractive son Joe, who just happens to be a local police detective. Can Letty find romance as well as a room at the inn―or will Joe betray her secrets and put her behind bars? With danger closing in, it’s a race to find the truth and right the wrongs of the past.

My thoughts: Although I’m a beach girl through and through, I’ve never really read a lot of books that take place at the beach. So when I saw this one while I was passing through an airport recently (probably on my way back from the beach!), I thought I’d sit down and read it (sadly, not at the beach!). I’m glad I took a chance because it was really good! There was a good mix of romance, suspense, and comedy to make it a fun read, despite its length (which is one thing I did dislike about it; it could have been shorter). After reading, I definitely wanted to visit The Murmuring Surf hotel and stay with the other guests as they seemed like a fun-loving crowd (even if they were older!). If you have some time to pass at the beach, this book will be a great read while you’re there!

 

Cake That!

Author: Heather Greer

Genre: Contemporary Christian Romance

# of pages: 187 pages

Book summary:

Ten bakers. Nine days. Only one winner.

Competing on the Cake That baking show is a dream come true for Livvy Miller, but debt on her cupcake truck and an expensive repair make her question if it’s one she should chase. Her best friend, Tabitha, encourages Livvy to trust God to care for The Sugar Cube, win or lose.

Family is everything to Evan Jones. His parents always gave up their dreams so their children could achieve theirs. Winning Cake That would let him give back some of what they’ve sacrificed by allowing him to give them the trip they’ve always talked about but could never afford.

As the contestants live and bake together, more than the competition heats up. Livvy and Evan have a spark from the start, but they’re in it to win. Neither needs the distraction of romance. Unwanted attention from Will, another competitor, complicates matters. Stir in strange occurrences to the daily baking assignments, and everyone wonders if a saboteur is in the mix.

With the distractions inside and outside the Cake That kitchen, will Livvy or Evan rise above the rest and claim the prize? Or does God have more in store for them than they first imagined?

My thoughts: I was fortunate enough to be on the Cake That! launch team and get an advanced copy of this book. If you love baking, TV baking/cooking competitions, and a bit of romance, you’ll love this book! Not only did Heather’s writing make me feel like I was part of the competition, but her vivid descriptions of the tasty sweet treats they were baking also left me hungry! A fun story with an entertaining cast of characters that will keep you turning the pages to find out who wins, not only in the kitchen but in the love arena as well!

 

Dial A for Aunties

Author: Jesse Q. Sutanto

Genre: Asian American Literary Fiction/Comedy

# of pages: 320 pages

Book summary:

What happens when you mix 1 (accidental) murder with 2 thousand wedding guests, and then toss in a possible curse on 3 generations of an immigrant Chinese-Indonesian family? 
 
You get 4 meddling Asian aunties coming to the rescue!

When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It’s the biggest job yet for the family wedding business—”Don’t leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!”—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie’s perfect buttercream flowers.

But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy’s great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?

My thoughts: Okay, this book had me laughing out loud! It was a funny, true-to-form story of life with an Asian family (which I can attest to having lived in China for 2.5 years). I loved the authentic dialogue and the family dynamics that the author weaved throughout the entire book. There were some elements that were a little unbelievable and definitely some language I could have done without, but if you’re looking for an Asian version of Weekend at Bernie’s this is the book for you!

 

Until next month…

Happy reading!

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