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  • Writer's pictureJaime Beth

May Reads

I feel like my taste in books is changing. I was really into the thriller and mystery genres for a while but lately I've just been craving happier, light-hearted reads. This month I struggled to get through The Last Flight and Invisble Girl but flew through the rest. As someone who can be a bit of an empath, feeling too much, I feel like a happier person when I'm reading more joyous stories. I really enjoyed The Authenticity Project and The Switch, which were both feel good books and Finlay Donovan was one I found hilarious.

*This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase through my links I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you*

The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews ****

Loved the dual timelines and getting to know the characters in this book. While Josephine is a bit of a cranky old lady, I enjoyed getting to know the young woman she once was. Mary Kay Andrews does beach reads so well and I find all her books to be fast, easy reads. Any book that incorporates an old home always sucks me in and this one did not disappoint.

When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.

Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.

Invisible Girl by Lisa Jewell **

This one took me a while to get through. I felt most connected to Saffyre and her troubles but really disliked the character of Mrs. Fours who I felt was oblivious and a bit sad. I think the overall theme of doom just brought me down along with it. It just felt like nothing good would happen to any character. The idea that we really don't know people and the evil that lurks beneath the surface was thought provoking.

Young Saffyre Maddox spent three years under the care of renowned child psychologist Roan Fours. When Dr. Fours decides their sessions should end, Saffyre feels abandoned. She begins looking for ways to connect with him, from waiting outside his office to walking through his neighborhood late at night. She soon learns more than she ever wanted to about Roan and his deceptively perfect family life. On a chilly Valentine’s night, Saffyre will disappear, taking any secrets she has learned with her.

Owen Pick’s life is falling apart. In his thirties and living in his aunt’s spare bedroom, he has just been suspended from his job as a teacher after accusations of sexual misconduct—accusations he strongly denies. Searching for professional advice online, he is inadvertently sucked into the dark world of incel forums, where he meets a charismatic and mysterious figure.

Owen lives across the street from the Fours family. The Fours have a bad feeling about their neighbor; Owen is a bit creepy and suspect and their teenaged daughter swears he followed her home from the train station one night. Could Owen be responsible? What happened to the beautiful missing Saffyre, and does her disappearance truly connect them all?

Finlay Donovan is Killing it Elle Cosimano *****

This book was so good! While there was certainly a lot of suspense, it was overall a hilarious book. Finlay is a hot mess in the best way! I loved how she kept getting into strange predicaments that were just crazy. Cosimano has a second book coming in this series and I cannot wait to read it! I never knew comic crime was a genre but I'm here for it!

Finlay Donovan is killing it . . . except, she’s really not. She’s a stressed-out single-mom of two and struggling novelist, Finlay’s life is in chaos: the new book she promised her literary agent isn’t written, her ex-husband fired the nanny without telling her, and this morning she had to send her four-year-old to school with hair duct-taped to her head after an incident with scissors.

When Finlay is overheard discussing the plot of her new suspense novel with her agent over lunch, she’s mistaken for a contract killer, and inadvertently accepts an offer to dispose of a problem husband in order to make ends meet . . . Soon, Finlay discovers that crime in real life is a lot more difficult than its fictional counterpart, as she becomes tangled in a real-life murder investigation.

The Last Flight by Julie Clark **

This book had me tensed, stressed and worried for Claire and Eva. Both characters escaping dreadful situations and being thrown into impossible circumstances. There were definitely some moments of incredulous scenarios, like Claire's abuse never being discovered and Eva having no other options but to delve into the world of drugs. Not a huge fan of this one to be honest.

Claire Cook has a perfect life. Married to the scion of a political dynasty, with a Manhattan townhouse and a staff of ten, her surroundings are elegant, her days flawlessly choreographed, and her future auspicious. But behind closed doors, nothing is quite as it seems. That perfect husband has a temper that burns bright and he's not above using his staff to track Claire's every move.

What he doesn't know is that Claire has worked for months on a plan to vanish. A plan that takes her to the airport, poised to run from it all. But a chance meeting in the airport bar brings her together with a woman whose circumstances seem equally dire. Together they make a last-minute decision.

The two women switch tickets, with Claire taking Eva's flight to Oakland, and Eva traveling to Puerto Rico as Claire. They believe the swap will give each of them the head start they need to begin again somewhere far away. But when the flight to Puerto Rico crashes, Claire realizes it's no longer a head start but a new life. Cut off, out of options, with the news of her death about to explode in the media, Claire will assume Eva's identity, and along with it, the secrets Eva fought so hard to keep hidden.

The Switch by Beth O'Leary

This was such a sweet and clever book that I really enjoyed. The characters were all very lovable. I especially enjoyed the older characters who were charming and just left you feeling like reaching into the book and hugging them. I have yet to read O'Leary's first book, Flatshare, but I have already placed it on hold at the library. Everyone needs a sweet book like this to bring some happiness there way.

When overachiever Leena Cotton is ordered to take a two-month sabbatical after blowing a big presentation at work, she escapes to her grandmother Eileen's house for some long-overdue rest.

Eileen is newly single and about to turn eighty. She'd like a second chance at love, but her tiny Yorkshire village doesn't offer many eligible gentlemen.

So they decide to try a two-month swap.

Eileen will live in London and look for love. She’ll take Leena’s flat, and learn all about casual dating, swiping right, and city neighbors. Meanwhile Leena will look after everything in rural Yorkshire: Eileen’s sweet cottage and garden, her idyllic, quiet village, and her little neighborhood projects.

But stepping into one another's shoes proves more difficult than either of them expected. Will swapping lives help Eileen and Leena find themselves…and maybe even find true love? In Beth O'Leary's The Switch, it's never too late to change everything....or to find yourself.

If I Disappear Eliza Jane Brazier

Another book that just left me feeling down. There was so much sadness, doom and despair. Even the ending left me feeling like, "what is going to go wrong now..." Sera is clearly suffering from depression and obsessive behaviors. Rather than running after something, I wish she had sought help. This just wasn't for me.

When her favorite true crime podcast host goes missing, an adrift young woman sets out to investigate and plunges headfirst into the wild backcountry of Northern California and her own dangerous obsession.

Sera loves true crime podcasts. They give her a sense of control in a world where women just like her disappear daily. She's sure they are preparing her for something. So when Rachel, her favorite podcast host, goes missing, Sera knows it's time to act. Rachel has always taught her to trust her instincts.

Sera follows the clues hidden in the episodes to an isolated ranch outside Rachel's small hometown to begin her search. She's convinced her investigation will make Rachel so proud. But the more Sera digs into this unfamiliar world, the more off things start to feel. Because Rachel is not the first woman to vanish from the ranch, and she won't be the last...

Rachel did try to warn her.

The Authenticity Project by Clare Pooley

Another really sweet heart felt story that left me wanting to be a better person. I fell in love with the characters, flaws and all. This is a feel good book you should read!

The story of a solitary green notebook that brings together six strangers and leads to unexpected friendship, and even love.

Julian Jessop, an eccentric, lonely artist and septuagenarian believes that most people aren't really honest with each other. But what if they were? And so he writes--in a plain, green journal--the truth about his own life and leaves it in his local café. It's run by the incredibly tidy and efficient Monica, who furtively adds her own entry and leaves the book in the wine bar across the street. Before long, the others who find the green notebook add the truths about their own deepest selves--and soon find each other In Real Life at Monica's Café.

The Authenticity Project's cast of characters--including Hazard, the charming addict who makes a vow to get sober; Alice, the fabulous mommy Instagrammer whose real life is a lot less perfect than it looks online; and their other new friends--is by turns quirky and funny, heartbreakingly sad and painfully true-to-life. It's a story about being brave and putting your real self forward--and finding out that it's not as scary as it seems. In fact, it looks a lot like happiness.

Act Your Age Eve Brown by Talia Hibbert

Last month I read the first book in this 3 part series and it was a fun and sexy read. This one just felt a bit too predictable after reading the first. It's the same formula with a few changes. I do appreciate how Hibbert works to showcase people of differing abilities and promotes acceptance. This book focused on autism while the first focused on chronic pain. The sex scenes in this book felt forced and the book really would have stood alone fine without them.

Eve Brown is a certified hot mess. No matter how hard she strives to do right, her life always goes horribly wrong. So she’s given up trying. But when her personal brand of chaos ruins an expensive wedding (someone had to liberate those poor doves), her parents draw the line. It's time for Eve to grow up and prove herself—even though she's not entirely sure how…

Jacob Wayne is in control. Always. The bed and breakfast owner’s on a mission to dominate the hospitality industry and he expects nothing less than perfection. So when a purple-haired tornado of a woman turns up out of the blue to interview for his open chef position, he tells her the brutal truth: not a chance in hell. Then she hits him with her car—supposedly by accident. Yeah, right.

Now his arm is broken, his B&B is understaffed, and the dangerously unpredictable Eve is fluttering around, trying to help. Before long, she’s infiltrated his work, his kitchen—and his spare bedroom. Jacob hates everything about it. Or rather, he should. Sunny, chaotic Eve is his natural-born nemesis, but the longer these two enemies spend in close quarters, the more their animosity turns into something else. Like Eve, the heat between them is impossible to ignore... and it’s melting Jacob’s frosty exterior.

*This post contains affiliate links. When you make a purchase through my links I may earn a small commission at no additional cost to you*

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