Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Book Review: Everything We Keep and Everything We Left Behind by Kerry Lonsdale

Goodreads Summaries:
Everything We Keep: A luminous debut with unexpected twists, Everything We Keep explores the devastation of loss, the euphoria of finding love again, and the pulse-racing repercussions of discovering the truth about the ones we hold dear and the lengths they will go to protect us.

Sous chef Aimee Tierney has the perfect recipe for the perfect life: marry her childhood sweetheart, raise a family, and buy out her parents’ restaurant. But when her fiancĂ©, James Donato, vanishes in a boating accident, her well-baked future is swept out to sea. Instead of walking down the aisle on their wedding day, Aimee is at James’s funeral—a funeral that leaves her more unsettled than at peace.

As Aimee struggles to reconstruct her life, she delves deeper into James’s
disappearance. What she uncovers is an ocean of secrets that make her question everything about the life they built together. And just below the surface is a truth that may set Aimee free…or shatter her forever.
Everything We Left Behind: Two months before his wedding, financial executive James Donato chased his trade-laundering brother Phil to Mexico, only to be lost at sea and presumed dead. Six and a half years later, he emerges from a dissociative fugue state to find he’s been living in Oaxaca as artist Carlos Dominguez, widower and father of two sons, with his sister-in-law Natalya Hayes, a retired professional surfer, helping to keep his life afloat. But his fiancĂ©e, Aimee Tierney, the love of his life, has moved on. She’s married and has a child of her own.

Devastated, James and his sons return to California. But Phil is scheduled for release from prison, and he’s determined to find James, who witnessed something in Mexico that could land Phil back in confinement. Under mounting family pressure, James flees with his sons to Kauai, seeking refuge with Natalya. As James begins to unravel the mystery of his fractured identity, danger is never far behind, and Natalya may be the only person he can trust.
My Thoughts:
“On our wedding day, my fiance, James, arrived at the church in a casket.”

When I opened the book and read this very first sentence, I was hooked. What an amazing introduction. Dramatic, mysterious, just enough there to keep you reading to find out more. What happened to James? Who was this woman, what will happen to her now? I had so many questions already, and I had only read one sentence!

This book was an amazing journey, one I didn’t expect, to be honest. Throughout the book, new questions would arise, as old ones found answers. Always, always, I would ask myself, what would I do, if I were Aimee? I absolutely loved this book, and when I got to the end, I was so glad that Lake Union had sent me the second book in the series. I had to know immediately what happened next! I was so happy that I didn’t need to wait longer than it took me to put the first book down, and pull the second out of my nightstand drawer.

Everything We Left Behind didn’t disappoint either. Picking up right where Everything we Keep left off, on a massive cliffhanger, I kept reading about these characters. Rooting for them, sometimes even a little teary eyed. I read the second book a little slower, not as frenzied to get to the end, wanting to understand the characters a little more. It was a little more complex than the first, which was needed. The book grew where it needed to, and I enjoyed the slower pace just as much as I had enjoyed reading the first book as fast as I could.

I really enjoyed these two books, and recommend them to contemporary readers everywhere! It is a beautiful story of loss, renewal, and starting over, with a little crazy thrown into the mix. And of course, there is Ian. He deserves his very own mention, in my opinion. My only suggestion is to have the second book readily available for when you finish the first!

I received these books from Lake Union Publishing in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Sunday, August 27, 2017

The Sunday Post/It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Check out the The Caffeinated Book Review for the Sunday Post
It's Monday! What Are You Reading is hosted by Kathryn at Book Date

Thanks for all the vacation karma everyone! Vacation was amazing, and exactly the recharge I needed, in all areas of my life. Time with family in the beauty of Michigan, then some time to just hang at home with my guys, reading and chilling. I have had some great moments this month - watching the Perseid meteor shower in the deep blackness of the night sky, over the silent expanse of a lake surrounded by family, while my son and niece slumbered. My son’s first visit to Sleeping Bear Dunes. The eclipse, which here just made it a little cloudy, but the fact that we were celebrating the occasion with our friends made it special. My niece’s 2nd birthday - and learning my unicorn name! (Moon Morning ~ Wyatt was Cherry Blossom, ,my husband was Twinkle Glow). We are rounding out the month with a trip to the zoo, and today, a special butterfly garden event. And, I even managed to read great some books in this fun filled month!


Reviews up very soon for these - except Here We Lie, which will be closer to publication date. I just couldn't wait to read it!

Coming Up/Reading Now:

I’ve been trying to get more blog organized, and Jade at Reading with Jade posted recently that she was going to make a list of seasonal reading, and read that way. I am intrigued by this idea, and am giving it a whirl as well! I usually read pretty seasonally, I’m just wired that way. I love a good theme, and it even applies to my reading habits, I think. That being said, for September I plan to start diving into more mystery, thriller, and horror.


Of course, the big one - Game of Thrones. And Midnight, Texas. Just those two right now. Our tv watching slowed down a little but that will change very soon though, as the seasons change and life slows back down. I am so excited for fall, it’s my very favorite time of the year!

Special thoughts and prayers for those of you in the path of the hurricane or affected by it.
My father is a disaster services worker, and will be headed your way soon. Stay safe all!

I am looking forward to catching up with all of you! What have you been up to?

Tuesday, August 1, 2017

Vacation Mode!

It's August, and with just a month left of summer, I am taking a break from the blog world for a bit to soak up the remainder of the summer and to take a family trip. I am looking forward to some relaxation time in the great north of Michigan.

See you all at the end of August! Have a great month!