TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE BOOKISH LIFE OF NINA HILL”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is The Bookish Life of Nina Hill, by Abbi Waxman.

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Intro:  (In which we meet our heroine and witness a crime of thoughtlessness).

Imagine you’re a bird.  You can be any kind of bird, but those of you who’ve chosen ostrich or chicken are going to struggle to keep up.  Now, imagine you’re coasting through the skies above Los Angeles, coughing occasionally in the smog.Shiny ribbons of traffic spangle below you, and in the distance you see an impossibly verdant patch, like a green darn in a gray sock.

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Teaser:  Nina shook her head at him.  “No, I totally get it.  I think I was supposed to be born in the nineteenth century, or maybe Edwardian England.  I should be wearing empire-waisted tea dresses and sitting in a window seat watching for carriages.” (p. 61).

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Synopsis:The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book.
 
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?
 
Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.)
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee).
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
 
It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

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Would you keep reading?  I can’t wait to dig into this book.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “DEAR WIFE”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is Dear Wife, by Kimberly Belle.

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Intro:  (BETH)

I hit my blinker and merge onto the Muskogee Turnpike, and for the first time in seven long years, I take a breath.  A real, full-body breath that blows up my lungs like a beach ball.  So much breath that it burns.

It tastes like freedom.

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Teaser:  Charlie’s message hits me, and I clench my jaw so hard something pops in my temple.  My “gal” knew what she was doing when she filled in that application.  She knew that as soon as she forked over her license and social security number and whatever else needed for the background check, they would act as beacons, lighting up her location on a map.  An electronic trail leading the police straight to her.

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Synopsis:  Beth Murphy is on the run…

For nearly a year, Beth has been planning for this day. A day some people might call any other Wednesday, but Beth prefers to see it as her new beginning—one with a new look, new name and new city. Beth has given her plan significant thought, because one small slip and her violent husband will find her.

Sabine Hardison is missing…

A couple hundred miles away, Jeffrey returns home from a work trip to find his wife, Sabine, is missing. Wherever she is, she’s taken almost nothing with her. Her abandoned car is the only evidence the police have, and all signs point to foul play.

As the police search for leads, the case becomes more and more convoluted. Sabine’s carefully laid plans for her future indicate trouble at home, and a husband who would be better off with her gone. The detective on the case will stop at nothing to find out what happened and bring this missing woman home. Where is Sabine? And who is Beth? The only thing that’s certain is that someone is lying and the truth won’t stay buried for long.

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I’m excited about this one.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “SUMMER OF ’69”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  Summer of ’69, by Elin Hilderbrand.

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Intro:  (Prologue:  Fortunate Son)

When the Selective Service notice comes for Tiger, Kate’s first instinct is to throw it away.  Surely this is every American mother’s first instinct?  Pretend it got lost in the mail, buy Tiger a few more weeks of freedom before the U.S. Army sends another letter—by which time, this god-awful war in Vietnam might be over.  Nixon has promised to end it.

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Teaser Tuesday:  The expression on Angus’s face wasn’t one she remembered seeing before.  He looked…caught He looked…guilty of something.  And then Blair noticed he was in a state of disarray, his tie askew, his shirt misbuttoned, and his hair mussed.  Blair blinked. (p. 57).

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Synopsis:  Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century. It’s 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother’s historic home in downtown Nantucket. But like so much else in America, nothing is the same: Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests and determined to be independent, takes a summer job on Martha’s Vineyard. Only-son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother and her worried mother, each of them hiding a troubling secret. As the summer heats up, Ted Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, man flies to the moon, and Jessie and her family experience their own dramatic upheavals along with the rest of the country.

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I am excited to dive into this one.  1969 was a pivotal year for me.  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “BEFORE SHE WAS FOUND”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  Before She Was Found, by Heather Gudenkauf,  about three young girlfriends, a dark obsession and a chilling crime that shakes up a quiet Iowa town, from the New York Times bestselling author of The Weight of Silence.

 

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Intro:  (Monday, April 16, 2018, 12:45 a.m.)

The air is cold, but she barely notices.  It’s the dark that fills her chest with terror, makes her limbs heavy with dread.  But she feels something else, too.  Something that she can’t quite name.  It reminds her of how she feels the night before her birthday or on Christmas Eve but not exactly the same.  Thinking about her birthday and Christmas makes her feel good, warm.  This feels more like slowly climbing the ladder to the high dive at the swimming pool or like when the roller coaster at Adventureland reaches its highest peak just before it plunges straight down and she just knows she is going to die.

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Teaser:  “It looks like this conversation is over,” I say, voice shaky with rage.  “Get out.”  My mind is reeling.

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Synopsis:  For twelve-year-old Cora Landry and her friends Violet and Jordyn, it was supposed to be an ordinary sleepover—movies and Ouija and talking about boys. But when they decide to sneak out to go to the abandoned rail yard on the outskirts of town, little do they know that their innocent games will have dangerous consequences.

Later that night, Cora Landry is discovered on the tracks, bloody and clinging to life, her friends nowhere to be found. Soon their small rural town is thrust into a maelstrom. Who would want to hurt a young girl like Cora—and why? In an investigation that leaves no stone unturned, everyone is a suspect and no one can be trusted—not even those closest to Cora.

Before She Was Found is a timely and gripping thriller about friendship and betrayal, about the power of social pressure and the price of needing to fit in. It is about the great lengths a parent will go to protect their child and keep them safe—even if that means burying the truth, no matter the cost.

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I love this author’s books, so I’m eager to dive right in.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE BETTER SISTER”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  The Better Sister, by Alafair Burke. Keep your enemies close and your sister closer.

 

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Intro:  (Fourteen Years Earlier)

I betrayed my sister while standing on the main stairs of the Metropolitan Museum of Art in a beaded Versace gown (borrowed) and five-inch stiletto heels (never worn again).

At the time, I never could have scored an invitation—or been able to afford a ticket—to the Met Gala in my own right.  I was the guest of my boss, Catherine Lancaster, the editor in chief of City Woman magazine.  She wasn’t even my boss.  She was my boss’s boss’s boss.  And somehow she personally invited me.

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Teaser:  Olivia had told us to expect an objection to the fact that Nicky and I were sitting in the courtroom.  I was expressly on the witness list, and Nicky could still potentially be called as well.  Even though Nunzio could obviously see us as he paced the courtroom, he said nothing to object. (59%).

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Synopsis:  Though Chloe was the younger of the two Taylor sisters, she always seemed to be the one in charge. She was the honor roll student with big dreams and an even bigger work ethic. Nicky—always restless and more than a little reckless—was the opposite of her ambitious little sister. She floated from job to job and man to man, and stayed close to home in Cleveland.

For a while, it seemed that both sisters had found happiness. Chloe earned a scholarship to an Ivy League school and moved to New York City, where she landed a coveted publishing job. Nicky married promising young attorney Adam Macintosh and gave birth to a baby boy they named Ethan. The Taylor sisters became virtual strangers.

Now, more than fifteen years later, their lives are drastically different—and Chloe is married to Adam. When he’s murdered by an intruder at the couple’s East Hampton beach house, Chloe reluctantly allows her teenage stepson’s biological mother—her estranged sister, Nicky—back into her life. But when the police begin to treat Ethan as a suspect in his father’s death, the two sisters are forced to unite . . . and to confront the truth behind family secrets they have tried to bury in the past.

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I have enjoyed several books by this author.  What do you think?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “SUNSET BEACH”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a NetGalley ARC to be released on May 7:  Sunset Beach, by Mary Kay Andrews.  Pull up a lounge chair and have a cocktail at Sunset Beach – it comes with a twist.

 

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Intro:  (Sunset Beach, April 2018)

Drue turned the key in the ignition and the white Bronco’s engine gave a dispirited cough, and then nothing.

“Come on, OJ,” Drue muttered, trying again.  This time the engine turned over.  She gave it some gas and the motor roared to life.

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Teaser Tuesday:  Drue sat in the car for a few minutes, trying to decide on her next move.  She was now only a few blocks from the Silver Sands motel, where Jazmin’s boyfriend worked.  She called the motel and asked for Jorge Morales, but was told his shift didn’t start until 8:00 P.M. (52%).

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Synopsis:  Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job.

It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance – her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach, a charming but storm-damaged eyesore now surrounded by waterfront McMansions.

With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spending her days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. Working with Wendy is no picnic either. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may – or may not – involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon.

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What do you think?  Would you keep reading?

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “HERE’S TO US”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a book that has been languishing on my Kindle for almost three years:  Here’s to Us, by Elin Hilderbrand. Three romantic rivals in one crowded house equals plenty of room for jealousy in this surprising and heartwarming story from New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand.

 

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Intro:  (Prologue:  One Perfect Day)

Deacon Thorpe is thirteen years old and still more a boy than a man when his father, Jack, tells Deacon they’re taking a day trip out of the city, just the two of them.

Deacon is intrigued by the idea of a day trip out of the city.  They rarely have money for anything other than minute-to-minute survival.  Jack works as a line chef at Sardi’s in Times Square, and he gets only three days off per month.

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Teaser:  As she climbed the stairs to her apartment, her vision started to splotch.  She was roasting in her jeans.  When she attacked the fifth flight of stairs, she thought she saw a man’s feet in flip-flops sticking out in front of her apartment door. (p. 60).

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Synopsis:  Laurel Thorpe, Belinda Rowe, and Scarlett Oliver share only two things; a love for the man they all married, Deacon Thorpe–a celebrity chef with an insatiable appetite for life–and a passionate dislike of one another. All three are remarkable, spirited women, but they couldn’t be more different. Laurel: Deacon’s high school sweetheart and an effortlessly beautiful social worker; Belinda: a high-maintenance Hollywood diva; and Scarlett: a sexy southern belle floating by on her family money and her fabulous looks. They’ve established a delicate understanding over the years–they avoid each other at all costs.

But their fragile detente threatens to come crashing down after Deacon’s tragic death on his favorite place on earth: a ramshackle Nantucket summer cottage. Deacon’s final wish was for his makeshift family to assemble on his beloved Nantucket to say good-bye. Begrudgingly, Laurel, Belinda, and Scarlett gather on the island as once again, as in each of their marriages, they’re left to pick up Deacon’s mess. Now they’re trapped in the crowded cottage where they all made their own memories–a house that they now share in more ways than one–along with the children they raised with Deacon, and his best friend. Laurel, Belinda, and Scarlett each had an unbreakable bond with Deacon–and they all have secrets to hide.

Before the weekend is over, there are enough accusations, lies, tears, and drama to turn even the best of friends–let alone three women who married the same man–into adversaries. As his unlikely family says good-bye to the man who brought them together–for better or worse–will they be able to put aside their differences long enough to raise a glass in Deacon’s honor?

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What do you think?  I can’t believe I have waited so long to read this one.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE PERFECT GIRLFRIEND”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  The Perfect Girlfriend, by Karen Hamilton, is a “twisted page-turner that should appeal to fans of You”.—Entertainment Weekly.com

 

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Intro:  (Prologue, July 2000)

Looking down, there are two pairs of feet dangling.  My shoes are daisy-edged, white-and-yellow sandals.  His are a muddy brown with Velcro straps and a navy tractor on each side.  His socks don’t match; I can never find two the same.  One is crimson and the other one is black.  And they’re too tight—a ridged pattern has already formed a ring of little marks on his calves, just above the elastic.  He kicks the edge of the wall.  Thud, thud.  Thud, thud.  The noise bounces off the four walls….

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Teaser: His breathing is heavy, his face is flushed.  His eyes are bright.  I’ve only ever seen Nate properly drunk a few times and it’s usually been after nights out with his uni mates.  He stares at me as though ready to listen. (52%).

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Synopsis:  YOU’VE NEVER READ A LOVE STORY AS TWISTED AS THIS.

Juliette loves Nate.

She will follow him anywhere. She’s even become a flight attendant for his airline, so she can keep a closer eye on him.

They are meant to be.

The fact that Nate broke up with her six months ago means nothing. Because Juliette has a plan to win him back.

She is the perfect girlfriend. And she’ll make sure no one stops her from getting exactly what she wants.

True love hurts, but Juliette knows it’s worth all the pain…

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What do you think?  I’ve heard good things about this book.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “AS YOU WISH”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a book I purchased a year ago:  As You Wish (A Summerhouse Novel #3), by Jude Deveraux.  Three women have the coveted opportunity to answer the age-old question: What would you do differently if you could do it all again?

 

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Intro:  (Langley, Virginia 1970)

“Get strong.  Get tan.  Think you’re smart enough to do those two things, kid?”

The man was as tall as Kit, a couple of inches over six feet, but he was very wide.  Kit wondered if three of himself, glued side by side, would be as wide as this officer.  With his short black hair, he looked like a cartoon bear.

“Yes, sir.”  Kit’s back was so straight it was like steel.

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Teaser:  She let out a scream and pushed so hard that Olivia fell backward onto the ground.

In the next minute, the children were clutching Uncle Freddy’s hand and laughing, crying, hiccuping. (51%).

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Synopsis:  One fateful summer, three very different women find themselves together in Summer Hill, Virginia, where they find they have much more in common than they realized…

Sixty-year-old Olivia’s first marriage was long and unhappy, but now she is a newlywed, thrilled to finally be starting her life with the man she’s always truly loved—even if they are getting a late start. Kathy is in her forties and married to a handsome, successful businessman. Theirs would be a fairy-tale romance if it weren’t for one problem: He’s passionately in love with someone else! Twenty-something Elise is also in a troubled marriage, stuck with the man her wealthy parents chose for her. Now that he has a pregnant mistress, he seems willing to go to drastic lengths to take Elise out of the picture.

Though each of them wound up at the Summerhouse for separate reason, it’s not long before they begin to open up about their regrets, their wishes and their dreams. And when they’re presented with the opportunity of a lifetime—a chance to right the wrongs of their past—all three discover what can happen when dreams really do come true.

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Would you keep reading?  It has been a while since I read this author.

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TUESDAY EXCERPTS: “THE LIAR’S CHILD”

Welcome to another Tuesday celebrating bookish events, First Chapter/Intros, originally hosted by Bibliophile by the Sea and now hosted by I’d Rather Be at the Beach; and Teaser Tuesdays hosted by The Purple Booker.

Today’s feature is a recent download:  The Liar’s Child, by Carla Buckley, in which a troubled woman faces a gripping moral dilemma after rescuing two abandoned children from a hurricane.

 

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Intro:  (Hank)

It wasn’t as though anyone came right out and said it in so many words.  That wasn’t how small towns worked.  No, it was mostly raised eyebrows, grunted half sentences.  People knocked on Hank’s door, shuffled on his porch.  They waylaid him at the post office.  They tried to be reassuring.  Not your fault, Hank, they’d say.  Could have happened to anyone.  They cleared their throats, squinted into the distance.  It was right under our noses, they murmured.  What they really meant was, Right under your nose.

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Teaser:  He looked around the deserted woods.  It was growing dark.  The ocean glimmered.  Finally, his eyes came back to her.  “I think people do what they have to do.” (p. 60).

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Synopsis:  On the outskirts of North Carolina’s Outer Banks sits the Paradise, an apartment complex where renters never stay long enough to call the place “home”—and neighbors are seldom neighborly. It’s ideal for Sara Lennox, who moved there to escape a complicated past—and even her name—and rebuild a new life for herself under the radar. But Sara cannot help but notice the family next door, especially twelve-year-old Cassie and five-year-old Boon. She hears rumors and whispers of a recent tragedy slowly tearing them apart.

When a raging storm threatens then slams the coastal community, Sara makes a quick, bold decision: Rescue Cassie and Boon from the storm and their broken home—without telling a soul. But this seemingly noble act is not without consequences. Some lethal.

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What do you think?  Would you go on reading?

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