In My Mailbox: Week of December 29

milked lisa doyleTitle: Milked

Author: Lisa Doyle

Received: CLP Blog Tours

Synopsis: By and large, Amanda Keane makes pretty good decisions. Okay, she might not have the best taste in men, but she’s got great friends, a good job, and an independent spirit. That is, until her 30th birthday ushers in a whirlwind romance with a sexy Irish musician who leaves her, not at the altar as she imagined, but accidentally pregnant. And when he disappears, she’s downsized out of a job, her apartment is robbed, and lapsed health insurance coverage leaves her with a C-section to pay for, Amanda is launched headfirst into the life of a broke single mom. But her friend and uber successful ob-gyn, Joy, clues her in to an unlikely temp position with one of Chicago’s celebrity elite that just may be the answer to all her woes. Or could it be just the beginning?

It’s with serious trepidation that Amanda embarks on her surprisingly lucrative new career: underground wet nurse to the offspring of Chi-town’s rich and famous. Amanda must quickly understand how to live at the whims and mercy of the one percent as she deals with the irony of nursing – and loving – someone else’s child, while still making ends meet for her own daughter. And then there’s Cute Daycare Dad (aka Dan), who’s obviously interested in her. But can she afford to tell him what she really does for a living? Is her new job (something she thought went out with the 19th century) a shameful thing? Just another way of selling her body? Or does it have something to teach her after all?

A novel of motherhood, its many demands, and all the little triumphs along the way, MILKED is a warm and witty debut about making tough choices and traveling the roundabout road to happiness.

 

vacation in naplesTitle: Vacation in Naples

Author: Eva Fejos

Received: CLP Blog Tours

Synopsis: Niki Ladányi, the young investigative journalist has a cold-blooded criminal to thank for the biggest story of her life. She might have managed to put him behind bars, but Verbovszky hasn’t forgotten her: after he escapes from jail, he heads out to get his revenge. Meanwhile, Niki is hot on a new trail, investigating a story in Naples about dogs smuggled out of Hungary, for possibly something other than their pedigree. Niki takes along her mother, who reunites with an old flame from her youth, Alessandro. The unfinished business between Niki’s mother and the former tailor – who has since become a successful name of Italian Haute Couture – sparks more than just a yearning for the past. Alessandro’s son, Giacomo, also feels increasingly attached to Niki, but the criminal on her trail and Niki’s complicated love affair with Andras, a detective back in Budapest, combined with the intricacies of her grandmother’s dangerous new job, all come together, causing a twist in Niki’s vacation in Naples… perhaps changing the lives of two families forever.

Is it possible to rekindle a relationship after thirty years? Can love be passed down from mother to daughter? Can a son make a decision for his father when a business and a family are at stake? Can a detective still insist on doing the right thing if his actions endanger himself and the people he loves?
Love and career, revenge and forgiveness, tradition and renewal; three generations, two families, a decision for life: all this in Eva Fejos’s best novel yet. Come along on her Vacation in Naples.

 

new uses for old boyfriendsTitle: New Uses for Old Boyfriends

Author: Beth Kendrick

Received: Penguin

Synopsis: After growing up in privilege and marrying into money, Lila Alders has gotten used to the good life. But when her happily-ever-after implodes, Lila must return to Black Dog Bay, the tiny seaside town where she grew up. She’s desperate for a safe haven, but everything has changed over the past ten years. Her family’s fortune is gone—and her mother is in total denial. It’s up to Lila to take care of everything…but she can barely take care of herself.

The former golden girl of Black Dog Bay struggles to reinvent herself by opening a vintage clothing boutique. But even as Lila finds new purpose for outdated dresses and tries to reunite with her ex, she realizes that sometimes it’s too late for old dreams. She’s lost everything she thought she needed but found something—someone—she desperately wants. A boy she hardly noticed has grown up into a man she can’t forget…and a second chance has never felt so much like first love.

 

murder at the book groupTitle: Murder at the Book Group

Author: Maggie King

Received: Simon and Schuster

Synopsis: For fans of Anne Canadeo comes a fun and sassy cozy mystery in which one woman must solve the murder of a book group member and untangle a web of secrets hidden by her bookish cohorts.

Hazel Rose never dreamed that the murder mystery book group she and her friend Carlene started would stage a real murder.

Nevertheless, the normally composed Carlene is unusually angry and rattled one night during a book group discussion and dies after drinking cyanide-spiked tea. Despite a suicide note, Hazel is skeptical; Carlene never seemed suicidal—she was busy making plans for her future. Incidentally, Carlene was married to Hazel’s ex-husband, and Hazel has always suspected there might be something more to her past than she let on.

How much does anyone really know about Carlene Arness? And did she die by her own hand or someone else’s? Hazel begins a search for the truth that produces no shortage of motives, as she unearths the past that Carlene took great pains to hide. And most of those motives belong to the members of her very own book group…

Featuring memorable characters and a wicked sense of humor, Murder at the Book Group shows the darker side of a book club where reading isn’t about pleasure—it’s about payback.

 

EnlightenedTitle: Enlightened

Author: AL Waddington

Received: CLP Blog Tours

Synopsis: Continuing where Essence, Book 1, EVE series ended, the barrier between Jocelyn Timmons consciousness continues to dissolve as she better understands the two lives she lives and enormity of her newly discovered inherited gift of EVE (Essence Voyager Era) which allows her to fall asleep on one plane of existence and awaken on another as her soul travels nightly.

In Enlightened, Book 2, present-day Jocelyn uncovers the vast wonderment of the Victorian era but soon learns that life then was not as grand for women as she has read in the classics. Still, she finds comfort in the support of family and friends; a bolstering contrast to her overly hectic, career-oriented family in the twenty-first century. Her love for Jackson Chandler strengthens across time and becomes the light she so desperately needs as the world she has always known no longer makes sense. Yet, the closer she is drawn to Jackson by their mutual ability, the more strain develops amongst those she loves in 2009.

On the other side of Jocelyn’s consciousness in 1878, she remains ignorant of EVE. Her life is crumbling around her, yet she finds herself anxiously awaiting the images that invade her dreams. Jocelyn longs to be the woman she portrays in that world yet her jealousy is unbearable. Miscommunication, betrayal and hidden agendas make trust near impossible. The clearer the visions become the more she questions motives of her closest confidants and foregoes revealing the images that plague her perception. As her life seems to unravel, Jocelyn’s two worlds collide, and she is enlightened as the pieces start to fall into place. But is she strong enough to survive the truth? Is Jackson really her destiny? And can their love transcend time?

 

house brokenTitle: House Broken

Author: Sonja Yoerg

Received: Penguin

Synopsis: For veterinarian Geneva Novak, animals can be easier to understand than people. They’re also easier to forgive. But when her mother, Helen, is injured in a vodka-fueled accident, it’s up to Geneva to give her the care she needs.

Since her teens, Geneva has kept her self-destructive mother at arm’s length. Now, with two slippery teenagers of her own at home, the last thing she wants is to add Helen to the mix. But Geneva’s husband convinces her that letting Helen live with them could be her golden chance to repair their relationship.

Geneva isn’t expecting her mother to change anytime soon, but she may finally get answers to the questions she’s been asking for so long. As the truth about her family unfolds, however, Geneva may find secrets too painful to bear and too terrible to forgive.

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