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On the Way to Casa Lotus

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ It’s hard to remember a memoir read recently that I enjoyed as much as this one - this book had me totally engrossed; scribbling and highlighting notes and phrases I wanted to remember; my heart vacillating between horror at what the author endured, rage at the flaws in a…

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A Fiery End

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ ( Backstory: I have to confess - I love mysteries. Particularly British detective series. So I saved this book for a day I knew I would need a treat - and it’s fair to say I was not disappointed. So much so that I read this one straight through,…

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Where Are We Tomorrow

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 “Oddballs, each of them, unusual females employed in an industry that encouraged them to be neutral, even neutered, to not cultivate their feminine sides. The road had no room for babies, or for husbands, or for personal relationships.” Meet Alex, Lily, Kat and Brooke. Four women, intimately drawn…

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Falling in Florence

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 Sofia is a young Italian woman, recently graduated from college, who comes from a large Sicilian family that runs an Italian restaurant in Galveston, Texas. With five protective brothers and a deep and close relationship with her loving family, Sofia is eager to make her own mark on…

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Home of the Floating Lily

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ The eight stories in this wonderful collection will sneak up on you - so perfectly curated are they that you will find yourself carried away to a time and a place as evocative and immersive as if you were lost in the pages of a full-length novel. Very reminiscent…

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The Heart of Bakers and Artists

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “Baking bread is a serious business”. When the year is 911 and you are Lily, nine years old, the child of Sicilian immigrant parents, eking out an existence in the tenements of NYC, life itself is a serious business. Everyone is expected to contribute - from assistance with the…

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The Guilt Trip

⭐️⭐️⭐️ 1/2 What happens when four friends take a trip that most would consider delightful, - and in this creepy and disturbingly-multi-layered case, find instead it exceeds their very worst fears. Rachel Hunter, forty-two years old, is a compassionate and non-confrontational kind of woman - a good wife and a…

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The Golden Couple

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ Avery Chambers has lost her license to practice as a therapist, and that’s fine with her. Operating now as a “consultant”, Avery’s clients receive her own brand of tough-love healing: an intensive ten-session extremely hands-on program, with Avery serving her clients by owning as many hats as she sees…

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Falling For a French Dream

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “They ate lunch outside, sitting in the enclosed small garden area at the back of the farmhouse. Weathered painted furniture, pots of lavender and rosemary, sweet-smelling old fashioned roses, trailing geraniums tumbling down the stone wall, bougainvillea climbing the pillars that the rusty hinges of the ancient wrought-iron gates…

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Rat Island

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ A near-perfect heart-stoppingly intense NY crime story - I read this almost straight through, hovering between intense interest in the events unfolding and an equally intense sickly anxiety for what I feared was going to happen next. Callum Burke, our main protagonist, is a Hong Kong cop with a…

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