{If You Liked…Then You Might Like} The Nightingale & From Sand and Ash

I’ve seen different variations of this post on several blogs and have been toying around with the idea to start doing my own post. Although these books share some similarities, they also stand out in their own way, and are ones I highly recommend reading.

If You Liked…. The Nightingale

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Despite their differences, sisters Viann and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Viann finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength is tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

Then you Might Like…. From Sand and Ash

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Italy, 1943—Germany occupies much of the country, placing the Jewish population in grave danger during World War II.

As children, Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were raised like family but divided by circumstance and religion. As the years go by, the two find themselves falling in love. But the church calls to Angelo and, despite his deep feelings for Eva, he chooses the priesthood.

Now, more than a decade later, Angelo is a Catholic priest and Eva is a woman with nowhere to turn. With the Gestapo closing in, Angelo hides Eva within the walls of a convent, where Eva discovers she is just one of many Jews being sheltered by the Catholic Church.

But Eva can’t quietly hide, waiting for deliverance, while Angelo risks everything to keep her safe. With the world at war and so many in need, Angelo and Eva face trial after trial, choice after agonizing choice, until fate and fortune finally collide, leaving them with the most difficult decision of all.

 

I loved these two books equally. They are also equally heartbreaking and if you’re a crier like me, you’ll be sobbing by the end of both. But it’ll be totally worth it!

{Review} Close Enough to Touch

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about the book

One time a boy kissed me and I almost died…

And so begins the story of Jubilee Jenkins, a young woman with a rare and debilitating medical condition: she’s allergic to other humans. After a humiliating near-death experience in high school, Jubilee has become a recluse, living the past nine years in the confines of the small town New Jersey house her unaffectionate mother left to her when she ran off with a Long Island businessman. But now, her mother is dead, and without her financial support, Jubilee is forced to leave home and face the world—and the people in it—that she’s been hiding from.

One of those people is Eric Keegan, a man who just moved into town for work. With a daughter from his failed marriage who is no longer speaking to him, and a brilliant, if psychologically troubled, adopted son, Eric’s struggling to figure out how his life got so off-course, and how to be the dad—and man—he wants so desperately to be. Then, one day, he meets a mysterious woman named Jubilee, with a unique condition…

An evocative, poignant, and heartrending exploration of the power and possibilities of the human heart, Close Enough to Touchis perfect for fans of the emotional novels of Jodi Picoult and Jojo Moyes.

My Thoughts

You know how sometimes a book will come along and be so unexpectedly wonderful that it blows you away?  I read this authors debut novel and really enjoyed it. But this book puts her on my list of authors to watch out for. She outdid herself with this exceptional and unique story.

I adored Eric and Jubilee, and pretty much all the other characters in this book. It was such an interesting concept, with the perfect blend of humor and emotion. The author writes in beautiful prose that had me glued to the pages. Once you pick up this book you will find it incredibly hard to put down.

Bottom Line

A delightfully wonderful surprise – this is a must read book.

5 Stars

Genre: Adult Contemporary, Romance

Standalone

Expected Publication: March 7, 2017 by Gallery Books

Length: 320 pages

ARC kindly provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

{Review} The Hating Game

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about the book

Nemesis (n.)
1) An opponent or rival whom a person cannot best or overcome;
2) A person’s undoing;
3) Joshua Templeman.

Lucy Hutton and Joshua Templeman hate each other. Not dislike. Not begrudgingly tolerate. Hate. And they have no problem displaying their feelings through a series of ritualistic passive aggressive maneuvers as they sit across from each other, executive assistants to co-CEOs of a publishing company. Lucy can’t understand Joshua’s joyless, uptight, meticulous approach to his job. Joshua is clearly baffled by Lucy’s overly bright clothes, quirkiness, and Pollyanna attitude.

Now up for the same promotion, their battle of wills has come to a head and Lucy refuses to back down when their latest game could cost her her dream job…But the tension between Lucy and Joshua has also reached its boiling point, and Lucy is discovering that maybe she doesn’t hate Joshua. And maybe, he doesn’t hate her either. Or maybe this is just another game.

My Thoughts

I was so hesitant to try this book at first because of all the hype surrounding it. My expectations were high, and I didn’t want to be disappointed. Well, this book is worth every penny, and I can hardly believe it’s the author’s debut novel! I loved this book so much. I happened to be in a book slump when I picked it up, and it brought me right out of it. I didn’t want to put it down! The characters, the banter, the tension, the slow build romance. It was all fantastic, and I can’t wait to see what the author writes next!

Bottom Line

The perfect enemies-to-lovers book that will make you laugh out loud one minute and swoon the next. Worth every bit of the hype.

5 Stars

Genre: Adult Contemporary, Romance

Standalone

Published August 9, 2016 by William Morrow

Length: 384 pages

{Review} Results May Vary & The One That Got Away

It makes me so happy to discover a new author to love. I was fortunate enough to receive both of these books on Netgalley, but as is always the case, I put off reading them. When I saw the buzz around Results May Vary, I finally picked it up and was delighted by how much I LOVED it. I then went back and read her debut novel, The One That Got Away, and loved it, too. Bethany Chase is now an auto-buy author for me, and I won’t be putting off any of her future releases!

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about the book

Can you ever really know the person you love?

She never saw it coming. Without even a shiver of suspicion to warn her, art curator Caroline Hammond discovers that her husband is having an affair with a man—a revelation that forces her to question their entire history together, from their early days as high school sweethearts through their ten years as a happily married couple. In her now upside-down world, Caroline begins envisioning her life without the relationship that has defined it: the loneliness of being an “I” instead of a “we”; the rekindled yet tenuous closeness with her younger sister; and the unexpected—and potentially disastrous—attraction she can’t get off her mind. Caroline always thought she knew her own love story, but as her husband’s other secrets emerge, she must decide whether that story’s ending will mean forgiving the man she’s loved for half her life, or facing her future without him.

Compassionate and uplifting, Results May Vary is a bittersweet celebration of the heart’s ability to turn unexpected troubles into extraordinary strength.

My Thoughts

I was pleasantly surprised by this book! It was so realistic and captivating that I was immediately pulled in by her beautiful writing. Caroline’s whole world implodes once she finds out her husband is cheating. Having to move on and imagine a life where everything isn’t as perfect as you thought it was for so many years is not easy, and Caroline did it with class. She was so endearing, and I rooted for her the entire book, hoping she would find her happiness again.

Bottom Line

 I absolutely loved this story and can’t wait for more from this author in the future!

5 Stars

Genre: Adult Contemporary, Romance

Standalone

Published August 9, 2016 by Ballantine Books

Length: 352 pages

ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.


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ABOUT THE BOOK

Sarina Mahler thinks she has her life all nailed down: a growing architecture practice in Austin, Texas, and an any-day-now proposal from her loving boyfriend, Noah. She’s well on her way to having the family she’s hoped for since her mother’s death ten years ago. But with Noah on a temporary assignment abroad and retired Olympic swimmer — and former flame — Eamon Roy back in town asking her to renovate his new fixer-upper, Sarina’s life takes an unexpected turn.

Eamon proves to be Sarina’s dream client, someone who instinctively trusts every one of her choices — and Sarina is reminded of all the reasons she was first drawn to him back in the day. Suddenly her carefully planned future with Noah seems a little less than perfect. And when tragedy strikes, Sarina is left reeling. With her world completely upended, she is forced to question what she truly wants in life — and in love.

Full of both humor and heartbreak, The One That Got Away is the story of one woman’s discovery that, sometimes, life is what happens when you leave the blueprints behind.

MY THOUGHTS

I loved this one, but it got frustrating for me towards the end. Around 3/4 the way into the book, there was some major miscommunication that I felt was unnecessary for the story, and just served the purpose of dragging out the book. I can handle a little angst and back and forth between the H and h, but this pushed me over the edge into rage territory. I was invested, though, so I pushed through and was glad I did.

BOTTOM LINE

Some minor complaints, but overall a really wonderful story and definitely worth a read.

4 STARS

Genre: Adult Contemporary, Romance

Standalone

Published March 31, 2015 by Ballantine Books

Length: 352 pages

ARC provided via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.