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book review, books


Linking up with Jana and Steph for another month of  books! I had a month of enjoyable reads, so let’s just jump right in!

The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand

The Rumor

Madeline King and Grace Pancik are best friends and the envy of Nantucket for their perfect marriages, their beautiful kids, their Sunday night double dates with their devoted husbands. But this summer, something’s changed, and if there’s anything Nantucket likes better than cocktails on the beach at sunset, it’s a good rumor.

So this is my third Hilderbrand book, and I have to say that I liked Here’s to Us and Winter Street better. But that is not to say that this is a bad book. I enjoyed it, I just felt like the characters weren’t as likable. What I love about Hilderbrand is that she must have a map/family tree of fictional characters for Nantucket, because “Fast Eddie” was mentioned in Winter Street, and here he is one of the main male characters in this book. There was another character mentioned in another book, as well as a few of the places around town. So you really feel like you are part of that world while reading. I do love a good story about town drama, but since this book is called “The Rumor” you get an extra amount of gossip. I felt like most of the characters in this book are not all that identifiable. However, I still enjoyed it and finished it in less than a week. So that says something!

Bottom Line: This would make a great beach read.

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks

The Wife Between Us

A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love.

Man, this book!!! It was a really slow build up, but I never saw the twists coming! They were so clever! The tag line says that you will make assumptions about the book and to assume nothing…and it sure delivers! I didn’t super love all of the characters, but that didn’t take away from the book at all. I don’t always love a book with a unreliable narrator, but it works well in this one.

Bottom Line: If you like suspense type books, read it!

Long Way Down by Jason Reynolds

Long Way Down

Will’s brother Shawn was just murdered. Will is on an elevator with a gun in his waistband, revenge on his mind. As the elevator stops on each floor, someone connected to his brother gets on to give Will a piece to a bigger story than the one he thinks he knows. A story that might never know an END…if WILL gets off that elevator.

This is such a powerful read. It took less than two hours to get through, so I highly suggest reading it! I listened to it on audiobook because the author reads it himself and it was written in verse. I love knowing that it was delivered exactly as intended. The ending is really left up for interpretation though. I listened to it about four or five times trying to decide how I thought he meant it to go. If you have read it, I would love to know how you took it.

Bottom Line: Just read it!

The Almost Sisters by Joshilyn Jackson

The Almost Sisters

 One tequila-soaked night at a comics convention, the usually level-headed graphic novelist is swept off her barstool by a handsome and anonymous Batman. It turns out the caped crusader has left her with more than just a nice, fuzzy memory. She’s having a baby boy. But before Leia can break the news of her impending single-motherhood (including the fact that her baby is biracial) to her conventional, Southern family, her step-sister Rachel’s marriage implodes. Worse, she learns her beloved ninety-year-old grandmother, Birchie, is losing her mind, and she’s been hiding her dementia with the help of Wattie, her best friend since girlhood. Leia returns to Alabama to put her grandmother’s affairs in order, clean out the big Victorian that has been in the Birch family for generations, and tell her family that she’s pregnant. Yet just when Leia thinks she’s got it all under control, she learns that illness is not the only thing Birchie’s been hiding.  

I feel like I waited forever for this book at the library. I have really come to love Joshilyn Jackson. She is such an engaging writer and I feel like her books are deeper than just a beach read. She knows how to develop a character. Small town Alabama can feel like you walked right in to the 80’s, and that is how Jackson writes about Birchville in this book. I loved all the drama that was written in to the Birch family history. So many secrets. I also like that there is a story within a story with the graphic novel series that Leia wrote.

Bottom Line: This is a very enjoyable read! You get the good, bad and ugly of the deep south, some family drama, secrets, a super hero and a woman who just wants to solve all the problems and doing the best that she can. Read it!

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

All We Ever Wanted

Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in—and her overprotective father doesn’t help—but in most ways, she’s a typical teenage girl, happy and thriving. One photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame. At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together—all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.

I finished this book in just a couple of sittings at the beach. It was actually a heavier topic than most of Giffin’s books. I felt like it was very realistic and now in terms of the issue and what happened. I do feel though that Giffin just touched the surface, and it could have gone a little deeper. I liked the way the book switched between Nina, Tom and Lyla. You got to see the story from each of their points of views and know what they were feeling. I didn’t really get attached to any of the characters the way I like to, but they were likeable enough. The ending sort of wrapped up a little too quickly for me, leaving me wanting something more from the book.

Bottom Line: I think Giffin fans will appreciate this book for its heavier subject matter. This was a quick and enjoyable read.

**I received a copy of All We Ever Wanted from Netgalley in exchange for me honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Currently Reading

All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue

All the Summer Girls

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Surprise Me

book review, books


Cant believe it is the second Tuesday of the month already! Though, I am not sure why I am surprised since last week was a year long. Just me? Anyways, we are here to talk about books now, so let’s jump right in! I cried, I laughed, I was shocked, I had all the feels. Here we go! Linking up with Steph and Jana.

Still Me by Jojo Moyes

Still Me (Me Before You, #3)

Funny, romantic, and poignant, Still Me follows Lou as she navigates how to stay true to herself, while pushing to live boldly in her brave new world.

I just really love Louisa Clark and was excited to dive back in to her life. I was surprised by how much this book really touched me and pulled at my heart strings. I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and highly recommend it! I loved the new characters that we got to meet in this one, and who doesn’t want more of ambulance Sam in their lives?

Bottom Line: I do love this series! I found this one to be just as enjoyable as the first two!

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

The Woman in the Window

Anna Fox lives alone—a recluse in her New York City home, unable to venture outside. The Russells move into the house across the way: a father, a mother, their teenage son. The perfect family. But when Anna, gazing out her window one night, sees something she shouldn’t, her world begins to crumble—and its shocking secrets are laid bare.

This book! Is the main character reliable or is she not??? Is what happened real or made up? I went back and forth as to what I think really  happened. I just love a book that throws me for a loop! I had a suspicion about everything from the very beginning, and I ended up being right. But I had changed my mind a few times along the way.

Bottom Line: If psychological suspense is your thing, read it!

Homemade Sin and Happy Never After by Kathy Hogan Trocheck AKA Mary Kay Andrews

Homemade Sin

Happy Never After

I read books three and four in the Callahan Garrity series and am still loving it! You get all the regular elements of a cozy mystery with these books, but they are a little bit deeper because Callahan isn’t your amateur sleuth. She is a former Atlanta police officer that has real experience. I am constantly guessing “who done it” and usually change my mind a few times before the end of each book.

Bottom Line: This is such a fun cozy mystery series!

Here’s To Us by Elin Hilderbrand

Here's to Us

Celebrity chef Deacon Thorpe passes at his beach house in Nantucket. Now Deacon’s three wives, his children, and his best friend gather on the island he loved to say farewell. Secrets are revealed, confidences are shared, and improbable bonds are formed as this unlikely family says goodbye to the man who brought them all together.

I have been meaning to get around to reading Elin Hilderbrand, and I thought this beachy book would be the perfect start! I enjoyed this book way more than I anticipated. This book was a little bit deeper than I thought it was going to be. You really get to know the characters, as different chapters of the book alternate between them. You also get some back story for each of the characters and their relationship with Deacon as well. I was sad when the book was done, and I have been missing some of these characters. That is the signs of a good read to me. I rated this five stars, I don’t always throw those out for a beach read. Just sayin’.

Bottom Line: If you are looking for the perfect beach read and enjoy a little family drama, this is for you! Also, there are recipes throughout the book that sound divine!

Believe Me by J.P. Delaney

Believe Me

A struggling actor, a Brit in America without a green card, Claire needs work and money to survive. Claire agrees to become a decoy for a firm of divorce lawyers. Hired to entrap straying husbands, she must catch them on tape with their seductive propositions. When the wife of one of Claire’s targets is violently murdered, the cops are sure the husband is to blame. Desperate to catch him before he kills again, they enlist Claire to lure him into a confession.

What is up with me and books this month where you are trying to decide if your narrator was reliable or not? Sometimes you have a hard time deciding where the acting ends and the real life begins. I am going to be honest, I had a really  hard time connecting with this book. I really enjoyed The Girl Before, but this one didn’t blow me away. I didn’t care about any of the characters or what happened to them, so it took me awhile to read through this one. The writing wasn’t bad at all, so I am not sure why I couldn’t connect. The premise was really interesting though. I did enjoy the physiological aspects of the book, both in the acting classes and with the therapist who was invested in the case.

Bottom Line: This one had an interesting premise, but fell a little flat for me. I just didn’t care about any of the characters. However, it still held my interest and was well written. If you enjoyed the writing of The Girl Before, I think it is worth the read.

**I received a copy of Believe Me from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Winter Street by Elin Hilderbrand

Winter Street (Winter, #1)

Kelley Quinn is the owner of Nantucket’s Winter Street Inn and the proud father of four, all of them grown and living in varying states of disarray. When he walks in on Mitzi kissing Santa Claus, utter chaos descends. It might be up to Kelley’s ex-wife, nightly news anchor Margaret Quinn, to save Christmas at the Winter Street Inn.

I really enjoyed this book! I loved the family dynamics. There was just enough drama to be realistic, and sometimes funny. The book move along quickly. I didn’t feel like it dragged at all, which is sometimes appreciated. I am all for backstory and getting to know the characters, but I still feel like you get to in this one even though it moves quickly. There is a cliffhanger at the end, so I cant wait to dive in to the next one when it becomes available from the library.

Bottom Line: Great Christmas-y read if you enjoy chick lit and family drama. I did laugh a few times or say oh snap! Which I always like in a book.

Currently Reading

I might be on a Hilderbrand kick. You know me, I love a good binge read of an author!

The Rumor by Elin Hilderbrand

The Rumor

book review, books


Book day is here!!! Normally I don’t like Tuesdays. They are my least favorite day of the week. Book day makes them so much better! I read several really good ones this month, so let’s just jump right in. Linking up with Steph and Jana.

Bring Me Back by B.A. Paris

Bring Me Back

Coming back from holiday, Layla goes missing at a rest stop. Finn moves on many years later, but then an item appears that can only be from Layla. Is she alive? Finn is engaged to be married and is happy now. But he cant help but wonder. Has his first love somehow come back to him after all this time? Or is the person who took her playing games with his mind? 

B.A. Paris really knows how to suck  you in to a book and get you hooked! You can never trust any of her characters for very long, and I love that I am always trying to guess what is really happening and looking for clues. I had figured this one out early on, then ditched everything I believed only to have been right from the start. I love how I (and Finn!!!) kept changing our minds on what was really happening. I liked The Breakdown and Behind Closed Doors a little better than this one, but it was still good!

Bottom Line: This book will be out in June, be sure to get on the wait list at the library now!! If you enjoyed her other two, you are sure to like this as well.

**I received a copy of Bring Me Back from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Smitten by Janet Evanovich

Smitten (Elsie Hawkins #2)

Single mom Lizabeth Kane isn’t exactly carpenter material — she’s never picked up a hammer in her life. But she desperately needs the construction job that builder Matt Hallahan is offering. And even though he knows trouble is ahead, Matt can’t refuse Lizbeth’s irresistible smile.

I actually didn’t realize that this was the second in a series until I grabbed the link to write this post. It totally works as a stand alone novel. I love Janet Evanovich and have read all of the Stephanie Plum series and a  few other of her novels. I am going to be honest and say this was probably my least favorite from her. It is one of her early day novels (from 1990) and is just sort of silly. The relationship between Elizabeth and Matt moves way too fast and is just absurd at times. Elizabeth sort of reminds me of Stephanie Plum with her brown curly hair and her inability to do simple tasks like put a lid back on a can of paint. Then there is Aunt Elsie who is basically Grandma Mazur. I believe I read somewhere that Evanovich actually modeled Grandma Mazur after Elsie. She was actually pretty hilarious and just what you would expect from an Evanovich character. The novel was really short, and so at least there weren’t any dull, unnecessary parts.

Bottom Line: Overall, the story line was pretty cute. I just didn’t really love Matt or Elizabeth to be honest. True Evanovich fans would really appreciate Elsie though. And it was worth a read if you are just looking for mindless fluff to pass the time.

In a Dark, Dark Wood by Ruth Ware

In a Dark, Dark Wood

Leonora, a reclusive crime writer, reluctantly agrees to make the trip to a hen weekend with an old friend she has lost contact with. Forty-eight hours later, she wakes up in a hospital bed injured  with the knowledge that someone is dead. She tries to piece together the events of the past weekend, and remember things from the past.

I was hooked from the very beginning of this one! I liked how the book started out in the hospital, and then moves back and forth in time between the present and the past. You aren’t quite sure who you want to trust the deeper you dig. I enjoyed the imperfectness in the relationships with some of these characters as well as their development throughout the book. I had a hard time putting it down.

Bottom Line: This was a really good read!

Every Crooked Nanny by Mary Kay Andrews writing as Kathy Hogan Trocheck

Every Crooked Nanny

Former cop Callahan Garrity trades in her badge for a broom and starts a housekeeping business. She’s on the job when her client announces that her nanny has disappeared—along with jewelry, silver, and some sensitive real-estate documents. Soon Callahan and her crew are involved in a job messier than any they’ve ever encountered. Illicit love triangles, crooked business deals, long-distance scams— it’s going to require some industrial-strength sleuthing on Callahan’s part to solve this one.

I love a cozy mystery. I was drawn to this book because I enjoyed The Weekenders by MKA and saw that this book takes place in Atlanta. It was written in 1992 and I loved that aspect of it. Before social media and all of that. Plus, those of you in the south remember Rich’s department store??? Nostalgia at it’s finest.  I ended up enjoying this book a lot more than I thought I would. I did this on audiobook and the southern accents were perfection. As you can see below, I went and binged on the second in this series directly after, that is how much I loved it.

Bottom Line: This is a super fun cozy mystery series if you enjoy that kind of thing!

To Live and Die in Dixie by Mary Kay Andrews writing as Kathy Hogan Trocheck

To Live and Die in Dixie

Callahan Garrity has no idea what she’s getting into when she agrees to work for infamous antiques dealer Elliot Littlefield. The first day on the job she and her crew discover the bloodied body of a young woman in a bedroom — and are soon on the trail of a priceless Civil War diary stolen by the killer. As if two crimes aren’t enough, deadly serious collectors, right-wing radicals, and impulsive teenagers make the case even more difficult to tidy up … and more dangerous.

I enjoyed the first in this series so much, I decided to jump on the second while it was still available at my library. This one is just as good as the first. I am so invested in Callahan and her mom Edna. This one takes place shortly after the first and we get a whole new cast of characters that are just as quirky. You are never sure who to pin the murder on and have several theories before it is all said and done. I love that.

Bottom Line: This is a super fun cozy mystery series if you enjoy that kind of thing!

Any Dream Will Do by Debbie Macomber

Any Dream Will Do

Shay Benson adored her younger brother, Caden, and that got her into trouble. When he owed money, she realized she would give up everything for him. Now, determined to start fresh, she finds herself in search of a place to stay and wanders into a church to escape from the cold. Pastor Drew Douglas lost his wife. Now, as he too is thinking about a fresh start, he walks through his sanctuary and finds Shay sitting in a pew. The pair strike up a friendship—Drew helps Shay get back on her feet, and she reignites his sense of purpose.When Caden returns to town, it threatens to destroy everything Shay has rebuilt.

I do love a book about second chances. This is much more faith based than the other Debbie Macomber books, but I didn’t mind. In fact, if you are looking for a good love story….but don’t enjoy the sexy talk, this would be for you. There is no graphic scenes in the book.  I really loved the main characters in this book, you get to know them on an emotional level and there is a lot of development. This story is rich with deep emotion and intense feelings. I feel like the ending was perfect as well, it wasn’t rushed at all.

Bottom Line: I enjoyed this one. If you are looking for a story about hope, faith, second chances…this is for you.

**I received a copy of Any Dream Will Do from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Arrogant Devil by RS Grey

Arrogant Devil

Everyone in Cedar Creek, Texas, knows Jack McNight is an arrogant devil. When Meredith shows up on his door step at the Blue Stone Ranch needing a job and a place to stay, she has no idea what she is getting in to. 

Every time I think of RS Grey and her books, I cant help but smile. I fall in love with her characters so quickly!! She is hilarious and these are true romantic comedy books that I have read so far by her. I couldn’t get enough of Jack and Meredith’s banter. I loved all Meredith’s thoughts and inner dialogue that we get. Total perfection. This is a good, slow burn. You have the love/hate relationship, some cute side characters, a wonderful farm/ranch setting in the heat of Texas. Love love love! This is a story of second chances, restarting your life. The way this one progressed is so believable and not forced.

Bottom Line: Read it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! This is on pre-sale right now for 99 cents!!!!!

**I received an ARC copy of Arrogant Devil from the author in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**


book review, books


Another month of books! Linking up with Steph and Jana and jumping right on in!

The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green

The Sunshine Sisters

The Sunshine Girls are together again, called home by their mother Ronni, who has learned that she has a serious disease and needs her daughters to fulfill her final wishes.

Jane Green is always a solid read for me, and this one was no different. I actually really enjoyed this book!!! You get to know all the characters so well and watch them grow. In the beginning, I felt like none of the characters were particularly likeable, but I did end up liking all of them in the end. There were a few things about the ending that sort of made me scratch my head, but I liked how it all came together. If you like books about dysfunctional families, this would be right up your alley.

Bottom Line: Another solid read from Jane Green.

The Breakdown by B.A. Paris

The Breakdown

Cass is having a hard time since the night she saw the car in the woods. She learned the next day that the woman died. Since then, she’s been forgetting every little thing: where she left the car, if she took her pills, the alarm code, why she ordered a pram when she doesn’t have a baby. And then there is the silent caller. 

I am coming to love B. A. Paris. Man, can she write a good book! I sort of guessed early on a little of what was really going on, but there were a few twists I didn’t see coming. I really enjoyed the development of characters in this book. There was a point in the book where I hardly trusted any of the characters. That is how you know you are sucked in and must continue on!

Bottom Line: Read it!!!

The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth

The Family Next Door

The small suburb of Pleasant Court lives up to its name. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbours, and children play in the street. Isabelle Heatherington doesn’t fit into this picture of family paradise. Husbandless and childless, she soon catches the attention of three Pleasant Court mothers. But Ange, Fran and Essie have their own secrets to hide. As their obsession with their new neighbour grows, the secrets of these three women begin to spread – and they’ll soon find out that when you look at something too closely, you see things you never wanted to see.

This is my second book by Sally Hepworth, I really enjoy her writing. I got in to this one right away. It moves at a fast pace, but it is easy to keep up with the different POV. It sort of reminded me a little of Big Little Lies, following the lives of five separate women who all have their own secrets. I was actually surprised at the depth of some issues it touched on and it really shows how complicated marriage, relationships, and parenthood can be. I felt like anyone could relate to each of the characters in some way, and they were well developed without the author dragging on.

Bottom Line: If you liked Big Little Lies and reading about drama with a little bit of suspense and imperfect lives…I think you would enjoy this one!

**I received a copy of The Family Next Door from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

The Hating Game by Sally Throne

The Hating Game

I request that my library purchase books all the time. Nothing makes me sadder than when I really get excited about one and find they don’t even have it. I got an email that a book I requested for purchase was now available and squealed in delight when I realized it was The Hating Game!!! Kristen speaks so highly of it, so I knew I had to read it. I am going to go ahead and say it. I LOVED this book. I think this is my favorite read so far this year. It was so light, romantic, funny. I absolutely adored it and cant recommend it enough! I had such a horrible week last week, and this book is really what go me through. It was just what I needed. I loved the build up of the characters and all the witty banter. I had such fun reading it!

Bottom Line: Read it if romantic comedy is your thing. So good!

The Healing Powers of Essential Oils by Eric Zielinski


I have dabbled in essential oils in the past. Mainly tea tree oil for acne and argan oil for dry skin. I have never really diffused any or used them to make cleaning products around the house or anything. I would like to get more in to them, and I thought this would be the perfect book for that. This book has a lot of information and is a great place to start. I really like that there are recipes for many things and suggestions to help with conditions like inflammation, anxiety, and skin disorders. I have been looking at diffusers on Amazon and am about to pull the plug on one and get started!

Bottom Line: Great book full of basics and more to get started with essential oils.

**I received a copy of The Healing Power of Essential Oils from Blogging for Books in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**


book review, books


Does anyone start their next book post the same day the current one goes live? I do! Just about every month I have already started another book that I go ahead and get the Goodreads link for it and picture of the cover so I can keep up with my post as I read the books. If I didn’t do this, I would probably forget of half of what I read. Truth. Linking up with all the cool kids, Steph, and Jana.

The First Wife by Erica Spindler

The First Wife

An idealistic young woman marries a man she barely knows only to discover his first wife disappeared under mysterious circumstances.

So I don’t even know where to begin with this one. First of all, some of the names (Raine, Roane, True) sort of bothered me. I dont know why. What kind of name is True? Anyways. I wanted to smack Bailey a few times. She kept second guessing her husband and she would think he did all the things people accused him of but  then she would be like no, he is my husband, I have to trust him. Girlfriend knew her husband all of two minutes before she married him. She didn’t know him at all. And he kept lying to her and hiding things from her. Hello! Red flag! Honestly, I found myself not trusting hardly any of the characters. Any of them could have been the one who killed these girls. And I went back and forth on who I thought it was several times.

Bottom Line: This was a decent who done it. There were things about the book that annoyed me, but I was also hooked and had to know!!!

When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen

Image result for when we were worthy

In a small Georgia town, three cheerleaders die in a car crash. At the center of the whirlwind are four women, each grappling with loss, regret, shame, and lies: Marglyn, a grieving mother; Darcy, whose son had been behind the wheel; Ava, a substitute teacher with a scandalous secret; and Leah, a cheerleader who should have been in the car with her friends, but wasn’t. 

So this book took me forever to read. I am not quite sure why? It was definitely a heavy subject and I found myself asking what I would do if I were these characters. The book sort of reads like Beartown in that it takes place in a small, gossip filled town and you get a lot of character development of many situations. This one passed the time just fine. I think I wanted it to be a little more of something, just not sure what? The premise of the book was really good.

Bottom Line: If you like to read small town drama, you would probably enjoy this one just fine.

**I received a copy of When We Were Worthy from Netgalley in exchange for my honest review. All opinions are of my own.**

Eleven by Sandra Cisneros


This is just one short story. Dani shared a link on it on her blog and I really liked what she said about it. The fact that the author says when  you are eleven, you are still ten, nine, eight, etc is how I feel about a birthday. I always say that I don’t actually feel like I am a grown up most of the time. And the anxiety that Rachel feels about not speaking up was totally me when I was younger, and still is today in some cases.

Bottom Line: This story literally only takes a few minutes to read and I feel would be enjoyed by anyone.

Eligible by Curtis Sittenfeld

Eligible (The Austen Project, #4)

I still have yet to read the original Pride and Prejudice, but I seem to enjoy retellings  of it. This book was so so cute! I found myself thinking about it when I wasn’t reading it, a sign of a good book. You get to know every last character in the book pretty well. Some of them you love, others you want to slap. It made all the side stories much more enjoyable. This book also touches on homophobia, racism, sexism, eating disorders, sperm donation. I wasn’t expecting the depth that it had! I didn’t even realize this was the forth in a series, it is very much a read alone book. The chapters in the book were very short, so it was easy for me to find breaks and good stopping places.

Bottom Line: Read it! I found this book witty and charming, and the characters are developed so well! Such a cute read!

Currently Reading

The Sunshine Sisters by Jane Green

The Sunshine Sisters