Friday, June 8, 2018

Friday Favorites #61 {May Book Review}.

Happy Friday, y'all!  Today is our first Friday of the summer and we could not be happier!!  It will be a lazy, low-key day for my crew.  I'm assuming they'll spend it in and out of the pool, running around the neighborhood with their buddies and playing Wii Baseball all day.  Because that's how we roll.

Today though, I have a combo of Friday Favorites and my May Book Review.  This month was another good one!


So let's jump right in!

And as always, just click the titles to view them on Amazon.  My summaries probably aren't quite as good as the publishers so you may want to hop over there to feel each book out a little more.



First off, I want to say a big thank you to NetGalley for giving me an advanced copy of this book!  Mary Kay Andrews is one of my absolute favorite authors so getting to read her new book early made me a very happy girl.

The High Tide Club is about Brooke, a young attorney, who is called up out of the blue by 99-year-old Josephine Baker.  Josephine wants Brooke to come out to her island home on Shellhaven, off the Georgia coast, to discuss a legal matter.  Brooke is confused as to why Josephine wants her and not the big Atlanta law firm that Josephine normally works with but goes out to Shellhaven anyway to meet with the elderly woman.

Brooke discovers that Josephine wants to hire her to protect her island from being taken away and sold and to find her long-lost friends (The High Tide Club) and/or their nearest relative.  She wants her to bring them to Shellhaven so she can make amends for things that were done in the past.  And oh was there a past!

What follows is classic Mary Kay.  There is mystery, drama, friendships, romance, buried secrets, betrayal and an unsolved murder.  There were a few twists and turns that were a great addition to the story and I loved the setting.  Her writing is so descriptive that I could easily picture each character in my mind as well as the old house and beautiful island.

This is a great beach read with the perfect mix of chick lit and mystery.  Highly recommend!!

Find it HERE.





The next book I read/listened to was a random choice because I loved the cover.  Please tell me I'm not the only one who chooses a book by its cover sometimes... #dontjudge

Whistling Past the Graveyard was really really good!  The story is set in 1963 and starts with a little 9-year-old girl named Starla.  Starla's father works off-shore, her mother left them when she was a baby to try to make it as a singer and so Starla is left to live with her impossibly strict (and unfair) grandmother in Mississippi.

On the 4th of July, Starla finds herself in quite a mess and ends up deciding to run away to Nashville to find her mom.  Quickly into her journey, she finds herself accepting a ride with Eula, a black woman traveling with a white newborn baby.  And neither of their lives are the same after that.

Everything goes from bad to worse when Starla meets Eula's abusive, alcoholic husband and discovers all that Eula has done.  Starla finds herself locked in a bedroom, fighting for her life multiple times and eventually ends up on a long trip to Nashville with Eula and the baby.  Along the way, Starla and Eula are confronted with so many obstacles...many of which will break your heart.  A lot of them deal with race relations in the 1960s in Mississippi.

There are so many questions that arise.  Where did the baby come from?  Who does he belong to?  Where is Starla's mother?

You will absolutely wonder over and over again how this story can end happily.  I won't spoil it for you but I will say that I was completely happy with the ending.  

I really enjoyed this book and would absolutely recommend it to anyone looking for something besides the stereotypical beach read or psychological thriller.  Because those are the genres I tend to stick to the most, this was a great change of pace.

Find it HERE.  (Kindle readers:  It's only $1.99 for your Kindle!)



The Ladies' Room was a fun little read.  In the ladies' room at her great-aunt's funeral, Trudy overhears a conversation that basically ends her world.  Her snotty cousins are talking about the many affairs that Trudy's husband has had over the years and it comes as a complete shock to her.

Soon, Trudy finds herself moving into the ratty old house that her great-aunt left her in the will.  She has left her cheating husband, has come into some unexpected money and vows to restore the old home with the help of her childhood classmate (who has always had a major crush on her).

In the midst of all of that, Trudy is also dealing with an ailing mother with Alzheimer's and a pregnant daughter who has just eloped with a man that is less than ideal.

This book kept me entertained although at times it seemed a little far-fetched.  But in a good way.

If you're looking for a light, feel-good read, this one's for you!

Find it HERE.



The Secret Shopper's Revenge is a book I read/listened to many many years ago and decided to re-listen to this month.  I was in the mood for something light, funny and fun and this fit the bill.

The book is about a group of women who are all facing financial crisis.  One has just been fired, unjustly.  One is a new widow with no way to support herself.  And one is a new mom who was dumped for another woman by her husband when their baby was just a few months old.  

They all find their way into an unusual business of Secret Shopping Angels.  They pretend to be normal customers at businesses and restaurants and then report back with hidden camera footage and notes on the service.  They 3 women are all completely different but end up building amazing, supportive friendships while each one works to get her life back on track.

The book is cute, sweet, funny and light.  There's romance and friendship but there is also quite a few parts where I wanted to scream at new mom, Emily, for letting her controlling, jerk of a husband run her life.  The author was definitely pushing my buttons with her storyline with her ex.

I won't give anything away but if you're a fan of books like The Shopaholic Series, you might love this.  :)

Find it HERE.



Ok, remember when I said I chose an earlier book based on it's cover??  Well, I may have done the same thing here but based on the cover AND title.  They just nailed it.

Sweet Tea and Sympathy is Book 1 in the Southern Eclectic Series from Molly Harper.  And it was so good!

Margot is a high society social events planner.  And she is at the top of her game.  Until she's not.  It all goes terribly, terribly wrong at one event and she finds herself unemployed and blackballed from working in the event planning business ever again.  

Out of the blue, she gets a call from a long-lost relative of her father's.  She hasn't seen her biological father since she was a toddler but her aunt is calling to offer her a job at the family's funeral home/bait shop.  Yes, they are one in the same.  The family lives in a compound in a small lake town in Georgia.  She couldn't be further from her comfort zone but she accepts the position because she is out of options.

In Georgia, she is surrounded by all of her extended family that she never knew as well as her father.  As she works to figure this all out and settle into her new life, she finds herself falling for the local elementary school principal, learning to love her new family, and discovering who she really wants to be.

This is a very sweet book and I absolutely loved it.  It was a nice change of pace from all the beach books set by the ocean and instead I was able to picture small houses set in the woods by a gorgeous lake.

You will fall hard for the love story, cheer them on as they all work together to figure out this new family dynamic and laugh out loud at the McCready Funeral Home and Bait Shop.

I've already added books 2 and 3 to my reading list.

(Funny note:  On Goodreads, they had half books listed in between Books 1, 2 and 3.  I didn't pay much attention to the titles of these books and just saw they were part of the series so I hit "Want to Read" on each of them.  A few days ago, someone who follows me on Goodreads saw that I had selected one of them as a "Want to Read" and pointed out that she wasn't so sure she could get on board with a book with a title like that.  I was confused until I looked at it.   Apparently, the prequel (Book .5) is called Save a Truck, Ride a Redneck.  Hahahahahaha!  I had no idea but I kind of have to agree that it's not the classiest title she could have come up with!)

So that's it for May!  Right now, I'm halfway through Reese Witherspoon's June pick, Something in the Water.  It just came out a few days ago and so far, it's really good.  I'll let you go to Amazon to read all about it because I can't give a good summary yet.


What are you currently reading?? Or what have you read lately that I need to check out?  Let me know in the comments!

Linking up with my Friday Favorites girls, Erika, Narci and Andrea.


Find all of my other book reviews in the menu at the top of my blog under the Bookworm tab!

And be sure to check out Thursday's post which includes another favorite of ours that helps keep us organized all week!  (And it's under $10!)  So simple!  


Have a safe and happy weekend!


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8 comments

  1. I love that white board!
    I was just trying to come up with a way to post lunch to ask for the week... what a great find:). Thanks for sharing! Visiting from Friday favorites!
    Cassidy

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  2. Amanda, you’ve got me wanting to cancel all my plans and just read today!!

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  3. You had me at Friday Favorites AND BOOK REVIEW. I love love love books. Thanks for good suggestions. I just read: November 9 (Coleen Hoover....SO GOOD) By Invitation Only (Dorothea Benton Frank- FANTASTIC...loved it so much) Educated (5 stars!) and Love Lives Here (fantastic again!!!! by Maria Goff) (and last month I read and LOVED Before We Were Yours, The Widowers Wife and The Stolen Marriage (Diane Chamberland) I suggest every one of them.

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  4. And now, I need all of these books. xo

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  5. Yay! I've now added a bunch of books to my TBR list!

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  6. I can't wait to read a book about Starla. It is the name that was NEVER on the license plates at the souvenir shop. I feel sort of famous with all the current Starla characters! Finally, my time has come! LOL!

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  7. I love thrillers and I totally judge books by their covers too! I think I might look into Whistling by the Graveyard. For $2 bucks that's not bad! Thank you for the book recommendations! =)

    Have a great weekend! Melanie | Toots + Dill Blog

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  8. Great book recommendations and summaries! Some of these are definitely going to go on my 'to read' list!

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