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Defending Jacob
by William Landay

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Wow! This book has been recommended to me more than once, but I always just kept pushing it away, cause I didn't feel like I wanted to go on this emotional rollercoaster at that point, but finally decided to take the adventure. Andy (Jacob's Father) has been a district attorney for twenty years. You can tell that he is admired and respected in the courtroom. His wife, Laurie and son, Jacob live in a quiet community and then a brutal crime is committed. A young boy was stabbed to death and left in a park. Sadly, the accused is Andy's son, Jacob. This novel is complex, realistic and disturbing. I am still mulling it all over. At the end, I thought I had it all figured out and then realized very quickly that I did not.

Fiercombe Manor
by Kate Riordan

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I loved this book. This is one of those historical titles that you take your time with, not a fast read. I wanted to let the words soak in and be absorbed. The closer I got to the end, I didn’t want to stop reading but I didn’t want it to end either. The way the author weaves between the decades is amazing! The ending is a bit dark, but this novel was so good. I really could relate to Alice. She was such an innocent character just trying to find her way and stumbled along making mistakes. Also this novel did not have too many characters, but just enough. All the characters were likable, but Alice was my favorite!

The Tourist Attraction
by Sarah Morgenthaler

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This little book was cute! It was an easy listen and I appreciated the little quirky humor in it. The female lead, Zoey, is a waitress on vacation in a swanky hotel in Alaska with her equally swanky friend Lana. They go to a local pub/diner where she meets Graham, the unthrilled owner of "The Tourist Trap" who hates tourists. Of course, they are both angsty and completely available, like any good romance book. Their story is full of fun, silly occurances, and I absolutely loved it.

Mistletoe and Mr. Right
by Sarah Morgenthaler

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Great holiday rom-com that make you feel warm and fuzzy on the inside. This is the second book in the "Moose Springs" series.

The Sun Down Motel
by Simone St James

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I would rate The Sundown Motel by Simone St. James a solid 4 1/2 stars if I had the half-star rating possibility on here! Going into reading this book, I expected it to have a more cheesy or "typical" ghost story element, but the author pulled this book off really well! The story largely takes place in Fell, New York. I love stories set in a small town because it makes the story more relatable for me. Every character is believable, and from early on I think the reader finds themselves entranced with what is going on at this creepy, outdated motel. The story is told from alternate perspectives (Viv Delaney in the 80's and Carly in the 2000's). Carly is the niece of Viv Delaney, who became one of the several missing women from Fell. After Carly's mother dies, she sets out to solve the mystery that haunted her mother. Carly seems to have a knack for putting the pieces of her aunt's puzzle together, and reading as it unfolded definitely held my attention. Oh, and a portion of the clues are found within the local library's archives (who wouldn't love that). I won't put any spoilers in the review, but if you are looking for a suspense-thriller type books with ghosts AND mystery too, look no further!

The Proposal
by Jasmine Gilloury

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The Proposal is a fun Romantic Comedy that turns the classic romance heroin trope on its head. Nikole Paterson is not one for grand gestures of love, so when her boyfriend of 5 months proposes on the jumbotron at Dodgers stadium she has to let him down easy. But public humiliation is hard to take. Enter Dr. Carlos Ibarra. He sweeps Nikole out of the stadium and they begin a friendship that leads to more. Both parties agree a casual relationship is for the best... until Carlos reveals he's fallen in love. But when love has only ever let her down Nikole must decide if he's worth the risk. While the plot line is a bit formulaic and doesn't bring many new elements to the genre the characters are relatable and likeable and leave you crossing your fingers that love will prevail. Overall a quick, fun read.

Blindsighted
by Karin Slaughter

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This book was fast paced with a twisty ending that I didn't see coming. There was some police procedural, along with some interesting interrogation scenes, and the story was set in the south, reminding me of the first season of the show True Detective. It's a small town atmosphere where everyone knows everyone's business, so that was fun. I think the best part of this story though, was the characters. There was a lot of personal relationships with some family drama with these really great flawed characters. They were like real people, and I can't wait to read the next book in the series.

The Bookish Life Of Nina Hill
by Abbi Waxman

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Do you want to select a title out of the norm and roll with it? I sure did with this one and I liked it! I really enjoyed Nina and the bookworm aspect. I rarely pick up a romantic comedy (like never) and actually finish it. This one though, was different in a way that allowed me to connect with the main character through her passion of reading. That alone made this a rather quick read for me and I have to admit that I did enjoy the humor throughout.  Also, I enjoyed that it was based in L.A., so if you’re looking for a bookish rom-com then I recommend Nina Hill to you!

Snow
by John Banville

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This historical mystery is set in a remote Irish village in 1957 in the midst of a heavy snowfall. The crime occurs within the first two pages--and due to the graphic nature of the murder, I was quite glad it was behind me. However, the gory details were replayed throughout the story because...well, if I reveal the reason it will spoil the plot for readers! The author does an excellent job describing the characters and setting in amazingly realistic detail, creating subtle nuances that kept me reading until the crime was solved. The New York Times reviewed "Snow" and says that “Banville sets up and then deftly demolishes the Agatha Christie format…superbly rich and sophisticated.”

Washington Black
by Esi Edugyan

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This book told the story George Washington Black, a young slave who departs life on a sugar plantation aboard a cloud cutter. His story unfolds over the years as he journeys the globe, avoiding a bounty hunter, honing his artistic and scientific knowledge, and falling in love. At every turn, the color of his skin is a barrier to his success or a threat to his life, but his thirst for knowledge and wonder at the world see him through.