Heat. Jamie K. Schmidt. 2014. 239 pages. Loveswept. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] When Mallory woke up from a drug-induced stupor that was forced upon her by an abusive fiancee, she went on the run. Two months later, she found herself in seeking refuge in her sister Colleen’s massive compound – part fashion school, part sex den. What Mallory thought would be a chance for her to hide out from a drug-addicted ex ends up turning into a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her to explore her own identity , motivations, and sexuality. In the process, she’s introduced to Max who doubles as an instructor and her bodyguard, much to her chagrin.
Delectable. Adrianne Lee. 2014. 273 pages. Forever. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] You ever read a book so descriptive that you can taste what the characters are eating? This is definitely a book that makes you wish you actually could taste what they’re eating. “Delectable” is a story loosely about the opening of a pie shop, Big Sky Pie, but really focuses on the seemingly failed marriage of Callee and Quint McCoy. It’s full of small-town charm that makes the book both endearing and entertaining at once. Quint and Callee were (not quite) happily married until his father Jimmy died of a massive heart attack. Quint’s way of dealing with his father’s death was to run away from the comfort of his mother and wife. When he returns from a month-long fishing trip, he has only an empty house, divorce papers, and a failed real-estate business to welcome him. His mother, Molly, however, has taken it upon herself to follow her dream of opening a pie shop … in the same space he once called his business office. When Callee shows up out of the blue for one last bit of closure before leaving for Seattle, they’re both present…
A January Bride. Deborah Raney. 2013. 99 pages. Zondervan. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of NetGalley.] As part of a “A Year of Weddings,” I read A January Bride. The second book in the series, this novella tells the story of author Madeline and widower Arthur as their friend, a spry octogenarian affectionately known as Ginny, plays matchmaker. Madeline’s house is being renovated, which doesn’t suit her need for peace and quiet while she’s writing. Arthur has a bed & breakfast that sits largely empty while he works as an English professor. When Ginny calls on Arthur to let Madeline use his house while she recuperates from a sprained ankle and tries to beat a publishing deadline. Competing schedules keep the two from meeting, but they exchange almost daily notes, getting to know one another from afar. The only catch is they’re both greatly misinformed about the other – they both think they’re talking to someone Ginny’s age, when the reality is that they’re both barely middle-aged. Even more complicated is that they’ve actually met one another and didn’t even realize it.
Outbreak: The Zombie Apolocalypse. 2015. 236 pages. Pants on Fire Press. [Source: ARC provided courtesy of Library Thing Early Reviewers Program.] I’ll cut to the chase – I really enjoyed this book. I wouldn’t consider myself a fan of “doomsday” literature, but this one grabbed me and had me on the edge of my seat for the entire time. I was admittedly wary of reading this because it’s about a zombie apocalypse. They’re kind of all the same, whether in film or book, right? Not so much. I appreciated this one because you get a first-person perspective about how someone copes with being in the midst of such a terrifying situation. You see first-hand the fear, the contemplation, the desperation … the entire range of emotions one must feel while staring at what could be the end of days.
The Good Enough Husband. Sylvie Fox. [ARC provided courtesy of LibraryThing Member Giveaway.] Sometimes you just have get away. Pack some things, get in your car, and drive. That’s exactly what Hannah Keesling does when she finds herself contemplating whether to walk away from her marriage to her husband Michael. She’s trapped in what she considers a passionless marriage with someone who doesn’t understand her. Her getaway is supposed to give her a chance to really think about what she wants, not just with her marriage, but also with her life, with solitude. However, a carsick dog puts her squarely in the path of veterinarian Ben Cooper in a small town in Oregon – just a pit stop on her path. For her dog’s benefit, she’s forced to spend her down time in the coastal town and has an unlikely opportunity to get closer to the doctor.