Favorite Quotes on Books and Reading

"A book is a gift you can open again and again." Garrison Keillor

Literature is a textually transmitted disease, normally contracted in childhood.” Jane Yolen

"It is what you read when you don't have to that determines what you will be when you can't help it." Oscar Wilde

"Books have furnished, burnished, and enabled my life." Julia Keller

Monday, December 10, 2018

2019 Book 474: FOR BETTER AND WORSE by Margot Hunt

For Better and Worse by Margot Hunt
ISBN: 9780778307907 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781488088544 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488205477 (audiobook)
ASIN: B077ZW32RW (Kindle edition)
Publication date: December 11, 2018 
Publisher: MIRA 


On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they'll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.
Shocked to discover Nat's taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He's just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat's always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage?


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Nathalie and Will met in law school. Nathalie had specific goals, work for the public defender's office before opening her own firm and Will just wanted to work in a law firm and never see a courtroom. Fast forward and Nathalie and Will are married and living in Florida. Nathalie has her own life firm and works as a criminal defense attorney. Will is working as a paper-pusher doing contract law. They have a good marriage (not a great one but decent), a nice home, a ten-year-old son that they both adore, and a dog. Life hasn't exactly gone the way they planned, but it isn't all bad until their son's school principal is taken in for questioning regarding molesting a student. At first, both Nathalie and Will think this is much ado about nothing as the student in question is classified as a "troubled youth," but then they learn that their son was also molested by this principal, a man they thought of as a friend. Nathalie refuses to report the instance with their son simply because she knows how traumatic the questioning and trial can be. Will feels that justice must be served and their son might be the voice needed to ensure this man doesn't get off scot-free. Just when it seems like their lives have changed for the worse and it couldn't possibly get any worse, Nathalie decides that the principal must die. She's willing to do whatever it takes to protect her son and family, but can she count on Will especially after she learns he's been keeping secrets from her? Secrets that just might tear their family apart more than her plans? How far is too far when it comes to protecting your children? How far is too far when it comes to keeping the wedding vows "for better or worse?"

I found For Better and Worse to be a fast-paced read. There is intrigue and, yes, murder, but the reader knows who the murderers are from the very beginning. The burning question becomes can they get away it and then should they be able to get away with it? Ms. Hunt presents this story in such a way that it was almost impossible to not feel empathetic towards Nathalie and Will no matter what they decide to do to protect their son. The bigger question that looms for Nathalie and Will (as well as for the reader) is if their choices are actually justifiable or not, morally and ethically. This is a not a black-and-white issue for Nathalie or Will, nor was it one for this reader. I can't say if I agreed with their choices or condoned their actions, but I understood where they were coming from as parents. Nathalie comes across as a strong woman that is often rigid in her thinking. Will comes across as more laidback and flexible except when it comes to keeping his secrets. There were parts of the story that seemed a bit farfetched, but hey it's fiction and therefore allowed. I enjoyed most of the characters and although I empathized with Nathalie throughout most of the story, by the end she was not my favorite person (read the book to learn why for yourself). If you enjoy reading fast-paced psychological thrillers, then you may want to grab a copy of For Better and Worse to read, just don't let it give you any criminal ideas!

Disclaimer:  I received a free digital copy of this book from the publisher via Edelweiss+ for review purposes. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


Read an excerpt from the book here.



Thursday, December 6, 2018

2018 Book 471: ONCE A MIDWIFE by Patricia Harman

Once A Midwife Hope River #3 by Patricia Harman
ISBN: 9780062869333 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780062825575 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9780062825582 (ebook)
ISBN: 9780062867711 (audiobook)
ASIN: B0756DR699 (Kindle edition)
Publication date: November 6, 2018 
Publisher: William Morrow 



Welcome back to Hope River in New York Times bestselling author Patricia Harman's newest novel as midwife Patience Hester, along with her family and friends, face the challenges of the home front during World War II.
The women of Hope River trust midwife Patience Hester, whose skill in delivering babies is known for miles around. But though the Great Depression is behind them, troubles are not, for Europe is at war…and it can only be a matter of time before the U.S. enters the fray.
And while some are eager to join the fight, Patience's husband, Daniel, is not. Daniel is a patriot—but he saw too much bloodshed during the First World War, and has vowed never to take up arms again.
His stance leaves Patience and their four children vulnerable—to the neighbors who might judge them, and to the government, who imprison Daniel for his beliefs.
Patience must support their family and fight for her husband's release despite her own misgivings. And with need greater than ever, she must also keep her practice running during this tumultuous time…relying on generous friends, like Bitsy, who has returned to Hope River, stalwart neighbors, and her own indomitable strength to see them all through.



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Author Patricia Harman returns to Hope River, West Virginia and the Hester family in the early 1940s with her latest addition to the Hope River Series Once A Midwife. Adolph Hitler and the Nazis are overtaking most of Europe, the United States is initially practicing isolationism from the European conflict until the bombing of Pearl Harbor, and the country is still reeling from the Great Depression. Patience Hester is still a practicing midwife and her husband, Daniel, is still working as a veterinarian. Their family consists of their two biological children, Danny and Mira, along with their adopted twin daughters Sunny and Sue. Bitsy Proudfoot, Patience's friend, trainee and former roommate, returns to Hope River to with her ward, Willie. Bitsy and Willie, along with the Hesters are making the best of their situations and hoping and praying that war will not come to West Virginia. Their hopes are dashed with the bombing of Pearl Harbor and men from their community and surrounding communities are eager to do their part, signing up to fight, except for Daniel Hester. Daniel refuses to sign up for the draft and isn't eager to return to war after the Great War or World War I. He witnessed first hand the atrocities man commits against man and animal alike and he doesn't want to have a part in perpetuating those acts of inhumanity and insanity. Needless to say, this causes problems for Daniel in the community as well as with Patience and his own son. Patience has a hard time understanding Daniel's pacifism but is determined to stand by his side. Their son, Danny, initially feels that his father is being cowardly until Daniel tries to explain to the children the reason for his actions. The looming question on everyone's mind is will Daniel be sent to prison for his actions and if so, for how long and where will he go? For Patience, the question becomes can she continue to stand by her husband if she doesn't agree with his decision when she's the one that will bear the brunt of the work and fallout afterward? Does she have the strength to do what needs to be done to keep her family going forward? As the men of Hope River and beyond go off to war, the women are left to tend the farms and families while worrying about loved ones far, far away. Can they stay strong in the midst of these trying times?

Once a Midwife is the third book in the Hope River series by Patricia Harman and this book packed quite an emotional punch. Mr. Harman touches on a number of topics and themes throughout the story, such as pacifism in times of war, family solidarity, local prisoner of war camps, and even interracial relationships and marriage. This wasn't an easy read partially due to the subject matter presented (and due to a bout with vertigo that caused a brief hospitalization, chronic daily migraine headaches, and a sinus infection -- hey, if you're going to get sick, do it right!), but it was one that I found to be touching, emotional, and even enjoyable. I'm always eager to read books featuring West Virginia, even if it is with a fictional town and fictional characters. I've read and re-read the Hope River series by Ms. Harman and was looking forward to reading Once a Midwife and it did not disappoint me. I enjoyed the historical tidbits, the characters, and even the mountain settings (West Virginia is a gorgeous state...come by for a visit sometime). Ms. Harman has an adept way of pulling the reader into the day-to-day lives of her characters and investing the reader into the characters and story's final outcome. If you've read any of the books in the Hope River series then I highly recommend you grab a copy of Once a Midwife to read. If you haven't read any of the previous books in this series, start with The Midwife of Hope River and The Reluctant Midwife before reading Once A Midwife. This historical fiction series is one that I consider a #mustreadseries and I hope you'll agree.

Disclaimer:  I received a free digital copy of this book from TLC Book Tours for review purposes. I was not paid, required, or otherwise obligated to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission's 16 CFR, Part 255: "Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising."


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About Patricia Harman




Photo by Callie Lindsey Photography


Patricia Harman, CNM, got her start as a lay midwife on rural communes and went on to become a nurse-midwife on the faculties of Ohio State University, Case Western Reserve University, and West Virginia University. She is the author of two acclaimed memoirs and three novels: the bestselling The Midwife of Hope River, The Reluctant Midwife, and The Runaway Midwife. She has three sons and lives near Morgantown, West Virginia.

Find out more about Patricia at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.



This review and blog tour brought to you by TLC Book Tours

Monday, December 3, 2018

Book Spotlight and Extras: NC-17 by Larissa Reinhart



NC-17 (Maizie Albright Star Detective)

by Larissa Reinhart


About the Book



NC-17 (Maizie Albright Star Detective)
Cozy Mystery/Women's Detective Fiction
3rd in Series
Past Perfect Press (December 4, 2018)
Paperback, 370 pages
ISBN13 - 9781732351660
Digital ASIN: B07HFVV7V7


#StillDetectiveing

As an ex-star of a hit teen detective show, Maizie Albright gets the youth demographic. Or so she thought. Now that she's adulting, today's kids make Maizie feel out of date. At least the youth she meets while doing community service at Black Pine's exclusive healing resort, the Wellspring Center. When these teens aren't vlogging their attempts to track down Big Foot, they're trying to prove the Center is up to no good. Starting with the disappearance and possible murder of their not-as-young commander. A murder the police find as likely as Big Foot.

Maizie has her own suspicions about the new celebrity retreat. Particularly when she learns her ex-fiancé has been hired to run the Center. Kind of an issue when she thought Oliver was in prison. Kind of an issue when Nash, the man of her dreams, is out of commission.

Wait, not man of her dreams. 
Boss of her fantasies. Professionally speaking, of course.

While Maizie's helping adolescent Youtubers detect a disappearance, she's wrangling her mother's wedding, assuaging an overzealous probation officer, and struggling to keep Nash Security Solutions solvent. Conspiracy theories collide with real-life catastrophes beginning with murder and possibly ending with Maizie's life.


Bookish Extras:

"Southern-Style Slow Cooker Mac-n-Cheese" 
with Maizie Albright and Larissa Reinhart


My characters don't cook, but they eat. Usually Southern food. Fortunately for them (and for me), they live in Georgia.

This is a family favorite any time of the year, but it's especially great during the holidays when you've got guests or need to tote a side dish to a gathering. Plus, it's wonderful for all that leftover turkey or ham or whatever. And it's a slow cooker meal, which I love. I don't know about you, but when dinner rolls around, I want to eat and not cook! And this recipe is perfect for the holidays because you only slow cook it for 3 HOURS on low. You may sleep in and still relax at dinner time!

This would be a recipe that Carol Lynn, Maizie's wonderful step-mother, would make. The woman can cook anything (even whatever her husband hunts and fishes on his property). She cooks like butter can't kill you and from Maizie's point of view, she really hopes that's true. Maizie's living with her father, Carol Lynn, and six-year-old half-sister, Remi, while she starts her new non-celebrity, private detective life in Black Pine, Georgia. While training to become an investigator, she's really enjoying Southern food since she left her trainer and nutritionists back in California. Unfortunately, her stage-monster/manager mother, Vicki, followed her home and likes to remind Maizie that the delightful food passing her lips still falls on her hips. 

But none of us like Vicki, so we'll just ignore that message. Because this may be the best mac-and-cheese you'll try. I'm not bragging, just passing on information I've been told by the many who have tried this recipe that was passed on to me!


I Can't Eat Another Turkey Sandwich: Southern-Style Slow Cooker Mac-n-Cheese

Something you need to know about Southern-style mac and cheese. It'll look a bit curdled, but It's still got a creamy taste. If you want to add leftover meat, make sure it's cooked and cubed, chopped, or shredded. 


12 ounces uncooked elbow macaroni noodles
1 12-oz can evaporated milk
1 1/2 c. milk
1/2 c sour cream
2 eggs, beaten
1 t. salt
1/2 t dry mustard
1/2 t pepper
1/4 cayenne/red pepper
4 T butter, melted
16 oz. shredded cheddar cheese, divided 
(I like shredded mild cheddar for a mellower taste, but if you're a real cheddar fan, get yourself some shredded sharp cheddar. Just a word of warning, the sharper the cheddar the less creamier the end product.)

Parboil noodles in salted water for 5 minutes and no more. Don't overcook them. They should be firm. You don't want mushy macaroni! 

While noodles are cooking, mix together the evaporated milk, milk, sour cream, beaten eggs, salt, mustard, pepper, and cayenne pepper in a large bowl.

Add the parboiled macaroni, melted butter, and 3/4 of the cheese to the sauce and combine. Pour everything into the slow cooker. (I'd advise spraying the pot with cooking spray or using one of those liners to make clean up easier.) If adding leftover (pre-cooked and chopped) meat, mix it in with the macaroni.

Top the mixture with the rest of the cheese. Cover and cook on LOW for 3 hours. 




The center will be creamy and the edges, golden brown (I love that crunch edge cheese). 






About the Author




Wall Street Journal bestselling and award-winning author, Larissa Reinhart writes humorous mysteries and romantic comedies including the critically acclaimed Maizie Albright Star Detective, Cherry Tucker Mystery, and Finley Goodhart Crime Caper series. Her works have been chosen as book club picks by Woman's World Magazine and Hot Mystery Reviews.

Larissa's family and dog, Biscuit, had been living in Japan, but once again call Georgia home. See them on HGTV's House Hunters International "Living for the Weekend in Nagoya" episode. Visit her website, LarissaReinhart.com, and join her newsletter for a free short story.

Author Links

Website: http://larissareinhart.com/

Newsletter: http://smarturl.it/larissanewsletter

Official Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorLarissaReinhart/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/larissareinhartwriter

Facebook fan/reader group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/mysteryminions/

Instagram: http://instagram.com/larissareinhart

Amazon page: http://smarturl.it/LarissaReinhart

Bookbub page: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/larissa-reinhart

Goodreads page: http://smarturl.it/LarissaGoodreads

Purchase Links



Kindle: http://smarturl.it/17Amazon


Nook: http://smarturl.it/17Nook


Kobo:http://smarturl.it/17Kobo


iBooks: http://smarturl.it/17iBooks



Other stores:  books2read.com/NC17



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December 3 – The Book Diva's Reads – RECIPE, SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

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December 5 – Island Confidential – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – The Pulp and Mystery Shelf – GUEST POST

December 6 – Jane Reads – REVIEW

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December 8 – Escape With Dollycas Into A Good Book – AUTHOR INTERVIEW*

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Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Book Excerpt: FATAL INVASION by Marie Force

Fatal Invasion The Fatal Series #13 by Marie Force
ISBN: 9781335000439 (paperback)
ISBN: 9781488032844 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488205453 (audiobook)
ASIN: B077ZZ212L (Kindle edition)
Publisher: HQN
Release Date: February 5, 2019


First the fire, then the heat…
A brutal home invasion. Two small traumatized survivors who may have witnessed the horror. Lieutenant Sam Holland has never worked a case quite like this one, in which her eyewitnesses are five-year-old twins. But when Sam steps up in a big way for them, she risks her heart as much as her career.
While Sam and her husband, Vice President Nick Cappuano, go to battle in more ways than one for her tiny witnesses, her colleague Sergeant Tommy "Gonzo" Gonzales battles his own demons. Months of unbearable grief and despair come to a head in an unimaginable way that threatens Gonzo's status with the department and his relationship with his fiancée, Christina.
With trouble both at the precinct and on the case, Sam struggles to keep her priorities straight at home and at work while trying not to lose her heart to her latest crime victims.



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Sam was the first of her team to arrive on the scene of the smoldering fire that had demolished half a mansion in one of the District's most exclusive neighborhoods.
"What've we got?" Sam asked the fire marshal when he met her at the tapeline.
"Two bodies found on the first floor of the house, both bound with zip ties at the hands and feet."
And that, right there, made their deaths her problem. "Do we know who they are?"
He consulted his notes. "The ME will need to make positive IDs, but the house is owned by Jameson and Cleo Beauclair. I haven't had time to dig any deeper on who they are."
"Are we certain they were the only people in the house?" Sam asked.
"Not yet. When we arrived just after four a.m., the west side of the house, where the bodies were found, was fully engulfed. That was our immediate focus. We've got firefighters searching the rest of what was once a ten-thousand-square-foot home."
"Any sign of accelerants?"
"Nothing so far, but we're an hour into the investigation stage. Early days."
"Has the ME been here?"
"Not yet."
"Could I take a look inside?"
"It's still hot in there, but I can show you the highlights—or the lowlights, such as they are."
Sam followed him up the sidewalk to what had once been the front door. Inside the smoldering ruins of the house, she could make out the basic structure from the burned-out husk that remained. The putrid scents of smoke and death hung heavily in the air.
"That's them there," the fire marshal said, pointing to a space on the floor by a blackened stone fireplace where two charred bodies lay next to one another.
Sam swallowed the bile that surged to her throat. Nothing was worse, at least not in her line of work, than fire victims. Though it was the last thing she wanted to do, she moved in for a closer look, took photos of the bodies and the scene around them, then turned to face the fire marshal. "Anything else you think I ought to see?"
"Not yet."
"Keep me posted."
"Will do."
He walked away to continue his investigation while Sam went outside, carrying the horrifying images with her as she took greedy breaths of fresh air. As she reached the curb, the medical examiner's truck arrived. She waited for a word with Dr. Lindsey McNamara.
The tall, pretty medical examiner gathered her long red hair into a ponytail as she walked over to Sam.
"Fire victims," Sam said, shuddering.
"Good morning to you too."
"Hands and feet bound with zip ties."
"Here we go again," Lindsey said with a sigh. "Looks like it was quite a house."
"Ten thousand square feet, according to the fire marshal."
"I'll get you an ID and report as soon as I can."
"Appreciate it." Sam opened her phone and placed a call to Malone.
"I'm at the scene of the fire in Chevy Chase."
"What've you got?"
"Two DOA, bound at the hands and feet, leading me to believe this was a home invasion gone bad. I need Crime Scene here ASAP."
"I'll call Haggerty and get them over there."
"I want them to comb through anything and everything that wasn't touched by the fire, and they need to do it soon before the scene is further compromised. We've got firefighters all over the place."
"Got it. What's your plan?"
"I'm going to talk to the neighbors and find out what I can about the people who lived here while I wait for Lindsey to confirm their identity."
"Keep me posted."


Excerpt from Fatal Invasion by Marie Force. Copyright © 2018 by Marie Force. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission from Harlequin/MIRA.



Meet the Author



Marie Force is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance, including the indie-published Gansett Island Series and the Fatal Series from Harlequin Books. In addition, she is the author of the Butler, Vermont Series, the Green Mountain Series, and the erotic romance Quantum Series. In 2019, her new historical Gilded series from Kensington Books will debut with Duchess By Deception.

Altogether, her books have sold 7 million copies worldwide, have been translated into more than a dozen languages and have appeared on the New York Times bestseller list 29 times. She is also a USA Today and Wall Street Journal bestseller, a Speigel bestseller in Germany, a frequent speaker and publishing workshop presenter as well as a publisher through her Jack's House Publishing romance imprint. She is a two-time nominee for the Romance Writers of America's RITA® award for romance fiction.

Her goals in life are simple–to finish raising two happy, healthy, productive young adults, to keep writing books for as long as she possibly can and to never be on a flight that makes the news.

Join Marie's mailing list on her website at marieforce.com for news about new books and upcoming appearances in your area.


Connect with the author via Facebook, her WebsiteTwitter, and Instagram.



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Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Book Excerpt: I INVITED HER IN by Adele Parks

I Invited Her In by Adele Parks
ISBN: 9780778308850 (hardcover)
ISBN: 9780778369219 (trade paperback)
ISBN: 9781488035050 (ebook)
ISBN: 9781488205682 (audiobook)
ASIN: B07BMVYG12 (Kindle edition)
Publisher: MIRA
Release Date: February 5, 2019


Imagine the worst thing a friend could ever do.
This is worse.
When Mel receives an unexpected email from her oldest friend Abi, it brings back memories she thought she had buried forever. Their friendship belonged in the past. To those carefree days at university.
But Abi is in trouble and needs Mel's help, and she wants a place to stay. Just for a few days, while she sorts things out. It's the least Mel can do.
After all, friends look out for each other, don't they?
I Invited Her In is a blistering tale of wanting what you can't have, jealousy and revenge from Sunday Times bestseller Adele Parks.

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     I wonder, does she? How much contact has she had? Other than the people who turn up on her chat-show sofa, does she have any interaction with kids? Is she a godmother to anyone? She must be, right? She's perfect godparent material.
     At that moment, I hear the front door bang against the hall wall and a rucksack being dropped. I look out of the kitchen window and notice that the street lamps are on, the sky has turned a deep indigo; it will be black as a bruise in another hour. "Liam's home," I announce. "He's been at football practice."
     Liam lopes into the room and I am, as always, so very pleased to see him. Liam has an easy, cheerful manner, besides which he manages his two younger sisters with flair and effective ease; he'll probably be able to retrieve the lippy and scent. I know Abi will be impressed by his height and his manners—all my friends always are.
     "Liam, come and meet a friend of mine." I jump up and rush to him. I thread my arm through his, just resisting presenting him with a ta-da. "This is Abi—we went to university together."
     He was expecting her, or at least he should have been; the house has been turned upside down by her imminent arrival and yet he looks surprised. Typical boy. It's possible that he's forgotten we've a house guest staying for a few days. Still, his manners are as perfect as ever. He leans forward and extends his hand for her to shake. She reaches for it and at the same time gracefully pulls herself up to standing.
     "Oh my God. I wouldn't have known him."
     "Well, you haven't seen him since he was about two months old," I point out, laughing.
     "He's—" She pauses, remembering that he's in the room. "You're all grown up," she murmurs, obviously shocked that in a blink of an eye my baby has turned into this. Looking at Liam no doubt makes Abi feel old in a way that even birthdays can't. I totally understand. Kids are like egg timers. Time slips through your fingers like sand, as you stand back and watch them grow.
     "A-levels this year," I say proudly.
     "Really? What subjects?"
     "Maths, philosophy and politics," Liam reels off his subject choices.
     "Wow, clever as well." I'm grateful that she hasn't spelt out exactly what he is, besides clever.
     He's handsome.
     There's no doubt about it. Quite particularly so. But he's young and absolutely hates it when my friends say as much, even though they are only trying to pay him a compliment. Even now, under her gaze, he blushes a little bit. He keeps his head down, his blond, sleek, straight fringe falling over his eyes. His eyes are arguably his best feature. Deep, dark blue pools. Framed with long, thick lashes. I already pity the girls who are going to feel the heat of his gaze once he fully understands the power of it.
     I suppose there will be quite a few. He has been seeing Tanya for eight months now; it's serious but it can't be it. He's too young. There were girls before her, and there will be others after.
     "Yeah, he's smart," I say, not being able to hide my pride. "Wants to change the world, does our Liam. Don't you, love?"
     Liam shrugs. He thinks I'm being flip about his ambitions to become a politician, to champion the rights of those without voices, to find a way of doing the right thing in a world where doing the wrong thing seems to pay, but I'm not. I'm proud of him. A little daunted, to be honest. His ambitions seem so big.
     Liam turns to his sisters, engaging with genuine interest. "What have you got on your face?"
     "Lipstick," they chorus, giggling proudly. They fling themselves at him and cling like limpets. Although he is too old to comfortably accept a hug from his mum, I'm pleased to say he still cuddles his younger sisters with genuine zeal. Well, really, they don't give him any choice.
     "Have you two had your tea?" he asks.
     I glance at the clock guiltily. It's past six. I normally feed the girls by quarter to five. I've been distracted by Abi's arrival. "Wow, no, no they haven't. You must be starving, girls." Although probably not—Abi hasn't touched the brownies and yet there's only one left on the plate. "What do you want?" I ask.
     Liam sees my panic and somehow senses my desire to stay put and chat with Abi some more. He waves his hand. "I'll do it. No problem. What's it to be, girls? Scrambled egg or beans on toast?" 
     "No, honestly love, I'll do their tea but if you could just go and see they wash their hands. Perhaps listen to them reading for school, while I put something on for us all."
     Liam leads them out of the room. Abi and I smile at one another as we listen to their chatter and laughter trail upstairs.
     "He's quite something."
     "Thank you."
     "You did a fine job, Mel." She looks me in the eye and nods.
     "Thank you. I didn't do it on my own. Ben is a brilliant dad and my parents have been such a help."
     "Yup, I don't doubt it, but it's mostly you."
     I nod and accept her compliment because it's what I like to believe. Not that I mostly did the bringing up. But that he is mostly me. He's a fine boy and he is mostly mine. Nothing to do with the boy I had a one-night stand with, someone I hardly knew; he is irrelevant.

Excerpt from I Invited Her In by Adele Parks. Copyright © 2018 by Adele Parks. All Rights Reserved. Reprinted with permission from Harlequin/MIRA.



Meet the Author

Adele Parks one of the most-loved and biggest-selling women's fiction writers in the UK. She has sold over 3 million books and her work has been translated into 25 different languages.

1500+ 5 star reviews have kindly been written by her fans on Amazon.co.uk 🙂

She has published 15 novels in the past 15 years, all of which have been London Times Top Ten Bestsellers.

Adele was born in the North East of England, in 1969. She enjoyed a traditional 1970's childhood, watching too much TV and eating convenience food because nobody minded if kids did that in those days. Since graduating from university, where she studied English Language and Literature, she worked in advertising and as a management consultant. In 2010 Adele was proud to be awarded an honorary doctorate of Letters from Teesside University. 

Connect with the author via Facebook, her WebsiteTwitter, and Instagram.



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