Forever Hold Your Peace
Narrator: Nan McNamara
Published: July 11, 2023
Audiobook: 9 hours 15 minutes
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Listened To: June 30- July 6, 2023
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
Father of the Bride meets Bride Wars in Forever Hold Your Peace, in which two ex-best friends find themselves shockingly entangled after more than two decades apart, for fans of Good Company.
When their newly engaged kids ask all four divorced parents to meet each other over brunch, everyone RSVPs yes–secretly hoping someone at the table will get to the bottom of the bottomless mimosas fast enough to say what they’re all thinking: that this engagement, coming after a whirlwind romance between two people barely out of college, is too much too soon.
But at that brunch, it’s not the impulsive couple’s decisions that end up under the microscope, as it turns out June, mother of the bride, and Amy, mother of the groom, certainly do know each other–they’re ex-best-friends who haven’t spoken since their explosive falling out more than twenty-five years ago. Reeling from their unwanted reunion and eager to shift the spotlight off their past as decades-old secrets and rivalries come to light, the two moms battle it out for the prize of Most Enthusiastic About This Wedding.
But when their history—and their present-day shenanigans—threaten to crack the foundations of the happy couple’s future, June and Amy find themselves becoming unexpected allies in an all-hands-on-deck effort to get their kids (and themselves) a happily-ever-after two generations in the making.
This is the second book I have read from BFFs Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke and I have more of theirs on my TBR just waiting to be read! This is also their first book they have written in several years. If you follow them on social media you will know the story and their journey with that and their dedication of the novel to other authors.
It was a fun yet predictable beach read, but that’s how rom coms work. Yes, it was a mesh of Father of the Bride and Bride Wars! If you like wedding rom com movies such as the previously mentioned Father of the Bride, My Big Fat Greek Wedding, (insert your favorite here, it WILL fit in with the others) then you will enjoy this book. I can even see it becoming a beloved wedding rom com movie.
The bride and groom are not the main focus of the novel but three of the parents and what happened in their past to destroy their friendship. The novel is about letting go, forgiveness, second chances and more! It is also done with humor, so the book is enjoyable. I will say this: Those mothers, OMG, they drove me crazy! I really thought ‘how old are we and how old are we acting’ several times.
The narration was very well done! I will look for more audiobooks narrated by Nan McNamara.
Fenton and Steinke tend to write thrillers, so you know they are on my list to read more of! This is far from a thriller and I also enjoyed it! I’m off to go see how many of their books I actually own now!
Many thanks to the publisher for granting me an copy to listen to and review! I enjoyed it!
After Happily Ever After
Author: Leslie A Rasmussen
Published: April 6, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: April 24-27, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 2 stars
Maggie Dolan finds herself at forty-five at a crossroads in her life. Once a high-level executive, she’s chosen to be a stay-at-home mom for the last seventeen years. But now with her daughter, Gia, soon leaving for college, and her husband, disconnected and with secrets he hasn’t shared, Maggie decides it’s time to figure out what she wants for the rest of her life. As she begins her journey, she has to deal with a narcissistic mother, a brother who doesn’t like her and most damaging of all, the news that her father, her rock, has medical issues that may take him from her. Overwhelmed by all these issues, she’s led in a direction that could destroy what she’s built and make her question the choices she’s made. She’s torn between the life she’s always known and something more exciting that she never expected.
This is one I was interested in, as I am close in age to the protagonist Maggie, but it just didn’t deliver. Maggie is at a crossroads in her life with her daughter getting closer to leaving the nest for college and issues with her parents and brother. Maggie has a sort of mid life crisis with the ‘hot guy’ from the gym she befriends. This is where I had all my issues: OMG stop it! You are having an affair! It may not be a physical one, but it was definitely a mental affair. What made it worse is that she knew it, but just kept going on with it.
Her husband isn’t really around for her and her daughter is having her own issues with school life. Maggie also has mom issues and loves her dad, but is slowly losing him to dementia. The dementia story line is what kept me going with this novel. There is a twist that happens that you are not expecting.
The audiobook was almost 8 hours long and I also had some issues with the narrator. She didn’t change her voice any when the narrated pov switched characters: So if you are not paying close attention at the beginning of the chapter you could get confused as to which character was narrating. This could also get complicated since one character has dementia.
After Happily Ever After has been out for just over a year and was just recently released in audiobook form, which I was given a copy from the publisher via NetGalley. Many thanks for the copy, I just wish I had enjoyed it more.
I can’t recommend this novel, but would give the author another try in a future novel.[Top]
Today I am helping to end the blog tour for My Secret Sister by Lauren Westwood. I enjoyed this one. There is also an international giveaway going on for e-copies of the novel!
Two DNA tests, one big lie…
“As I speed off in the ambulance holding my daughter’s hand, I wonder how I could have been so stupid. I should have made the bargain, paid the price – anything to avoid being right here, right now.
A voice whispers in my head that I can’t silence. This is all your fault. You killed her. It’s her voice, the one I hear in my nightmares. The woman who stole my memories, the woman who stole my life. And, this time, I know she’s right.”
How far would you go to save your child?
Claire is living every mother’s worst nightmare. Her daughter, Jess, has been diagnosed with a rare illness and desperately needs a bone marrow transplant. With no match on the registry, Claire turns to a charismatic geneticist for help and embarks on a Genetic Journey to seek a familial match for her daughter.
On the other side of the country, Marianne suffers her eighth miscarriage. Her perfect life is rotting underneath, but she is determined to do whatever it takes to have a baby.
When DNA test results reveal that Claire and Marianne are half-sisters, Claire must face the dark lies of the past and make impossible choices about the future. Is her secret sister the answer to her prayers, or will she cost her everything?
My Secret Sister is a tense and emotional family drama with a moral dilemma at its heart. Fans of Liane Moriarty, Jodi Picoult, and John Marrs’ The One will be gripped.
My Secret Sister
Author: Lauren Westwood
Published: August 31, 2021
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: October 24- November 11, 2021
Jessica’s Rating: 4 stars
My Secret Sister shows how at home DNA testing can be like opening Pandora’s Box: Are you sure you actually want to take the test as you never know what family secrets you may bee revealing. This is the kind of book that book clubs are made for: Covering many topics ranging from IVF, parental issues, medical issues, deceit, and at home DNA testing, this one will have many discussions!
The author started writing this novel before Covid-19 and chose to keep it out of the story. I am glad she chose this as it would have muddied the waters of an already complicated situation. As Covid-19 will most likely always be with us, it doesn’t have to be present in novels that deal with medical situations.
We have three narrators throughout the novel with Claire, Marianne, and Becky and see each of their sides with a variety of emotions. I was pulled in the most with Becky’s chapters. I am not a parent, but have a sister with a physical disability, so I identified with Becky. I can see mothers identifying with Claire and women who have experienced fertility issues identifying with Marianne. Needless to say I think every reader will identify with one of our narrators.
I was intrigued and also unsure with what was going to happen and we get some twists and turns as well. Are we going to have a happy ending or not? My Secret Sister really starts moving around the last third of the novel, but the final twists just did not work for me, as they really came out of left field.
Otherwise, I did enjoy this novel and look forward to what else Westwood has written!
My Secret Sister is recommended.
Buy My Secret Sister: http://mybook.to/MySecretSister
About the Author:
My books explore the darkness and the light of the human spirit, and take you on an emotional journey. My Sister’s Secret is a tense and emotional drama about a mother’s race against time to save her daughter’s life. My Mother’s Silence is a gripping and romantic drama about homecoming and family secrets set in the wild Scottish highlands. It was shortlisted for the Jackie Collins Romantic Thriller Award 2020. The Daughter She Lost is a dark journey of self-discovery and overcoming the secrets of the past. My holiday romance Moonlight on the Thames is a love story to classical music and the healing power of love. It was a bestseller in urban fiction and top 100 Kindle book. My first three novels: Finding Home, Finding Secrets and Finding Dreams all feature mysterious old houses and intelligent, feisty contemporary heroines who set out to unravel the mysteries of the past. I also write award winning children’s books as Laurel Remington. I am originally from California, and now live in Surrey, UK with my partner and three daughters.
Win one of 5 e-copies of My Secret Sister
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