December weekly kindle haul #1

Happy Sunday! It’s the last month of the year which is honestly kind of hard to wrap my mind around. But before we jump into what Kindle books I got this week, let’s wrap up November. I totally blew past my self imposed 13 book limit and ended up purchasing a total of 25. Which is almost double my limit! However, I got quite a few books that have been on my radar so I’m pleased with my collective haul. This month I am going to try to get back to my 13 book goal at which I have bought four so far this month. Which doesn’t bode well but fingers crossed!

FREE

At eighteen, I walked away from Willow Creek Valley for good.
I was young, scared, and stupid, and it cost me the love of my life—Grayson Parkerson.

Fourteen years later, a crash sends me back home to recover.

Back to where we met, fell in love, and planned a future.
The one he’s now living as a single dad to his daughter.
Working at The Park Inn together gives us a chance to reconnect, and seeing him with his little girl makes me long for the days when he was mine. One look in his gorgeous blue-green eyes, and it’s like I never left. One kiss, and my world is upside down. One night together, and I know without a doubt, in his arms is where I belong.

I’m not the girl I was—intimidated by his wealthy family and desperate to escape our small town. I can imagine a new life for us here.

But he’s learned to guard his heart, and trust won’t come easily.

How can I convince him to give first love a second chance?

AN ORDINARY LIFE

Leigh Coulton has worked hard to build what looks like a normal life. She has a good job as a defence attorney, a daughter doing well in school, and even her divorce is relatively civilised – her life is just as unremarkable as she’d always hoped it would be.

HIDES A DEVASTATING PAST

But Leigh’s ordinary life masks a childhood which was far from average… a childhood tarnished by secrets, broken by betrayal, and finally torn apart by a devastating act of violence.

BUT NOW THE PAST IS CATCHING UP

Then a case lands on her desk – defending a wealthy man accused of rape. It’s the highest profile case she’s ever been given – a case which could transform her career, if she wins. But when she meets the accused, she realises that it’s no coincidence that he’s chosen her as his attorney. She knows him. And he knows her. More to the point, he knows what happened twenty years ago, and why Leigh has spent two decades running.

AND TIME IS RUNNING OUT

If she can’t get him acquitted, she’ll lose much more than the case. The only person who can help her is her younger, estranged sister Calli, the last person Leigh would ever want to ask for help. But suddenly she has no choice…

Yuval Noah Harari, author of the critically-acclaimed New York Times bestseller and international phenomenon Sapiens, returns with an equally original, compelling, and provocative book, turning his focus toward humanity’s future, and our quest to upgrade humans into gods.

Over the past century humankind has managed to do the impossible and rein in famine, plague, and war. This may seem hard to accept, but, as Harari explains in his trademark style—thorough, yet riveting—famine, plague and war have been transformed from incomprehensible and uncontrollable forces of nature into manageable challenges. For the first time ever, more people die from eating too much than from eating too little; more people die from old age than from infectious diseases; and more people commit suicide than are killed by soldiers, terrorists and criminals put together. The average American is a thousand times more likely to die from binging at McDonalds than from being blown up by Al Qaeda.

What then will replace famine, plague, and war at the top of the human agenda? As the self-made gods of planet earth, what destinies will we set ourselves, and which quests will we undertake? Homo Deus explores the projects, dreams and nightmares that will shape the twenty-first century—from overcoming death to creating artificial life. It asks the fundamental questions: Where do we go from here? And how will we protect this fragile world from our own destructive powers? This is the next stage of evolution. This is Homo Deus.

With the same insight and clarity that made Sapiens an international hit and a New York Timesbestseller, Harari maps out our future.

You can save hundreds of lives. Or the one that matters most.

A claustrophobic thriller set over twenty hours on one airplane flight, with the heart-stopping tension of The Last Flight and the wrenching emotional intensity of RoomHostage takes us on board the inaugural nonstop flight from London to Sydney.

Mina is trying to focus on her job as a flight attendant, not the problems of her five-year-old daughter back home, or the fissures in her marriage. But the plane has barely taken off when Mina receives a chilling note from an anonymous passenger, someone intent on ensuring the plane never reaches its destination. Someone who needs Mina’s assistance and who knows exactly how to make her comply. 

It’s twenty hours to landing. A lot can happen in twenty hours.

The author of Recipe for Persuasion—“not only one of the best but one of the bravest romance novelists working today” (Shelf Awareness)—adds an Indian American twist to Jane Austen’s classic Sense and Sensibility in this delightful retelling that is a feast for the senses.

Yash Raje, California’s first serious Indian gubernatorial candidate, has always known exactly what he wants—and how to use his privileged background to get it. He attributes his success to a simple mantra: control your feelings and you can control the world.

But when a hate-fueled incident at a rally critically injures his friend, Yash’s easy life suddenly feels like a lie, his control an illusion. When he tries to get back on the campaign trail, he blacks out with panic.

Desperate to keep Yash’s condition from leaking to the media, his family turns to the one person they trust—his sister’s best friend, India Dashwood, California’s foremost stress management coach. Raised by a family of yoga teachers, India has helped San Francisco’s high strung overachievers for a decade without so much as altering her breath. But this man—with his boundless ambition, simmering intensity, and absolute faith in his political beliefs—is like no other. Yash has spent a lifetime repressing everything to succeed.

Including their one magical night ten years ago—a too brief, too bright passion that if rekindled threatens the life he’s crafted for himself. Exposing the secrets might be the only way to save him but it’s also guaranteed to destroy the dream he’s willingly shouldered for his family and community . . . until now.

From the author of the “full-throttle thriller” (A. J. Finn) No Exit—a riveting new psychological page-turner featuring a fierce and unforgettable heroine.

Three months ago, Lena Nguyen’s estranged twin sister, Cambry, drove to a remote bridge sixty miles outside of Missoula, Montana, and jumped two hundred feet to her death. At least, that is the official police version.

But Lena isn’t buying it.

Now she’s come to that very bridge, driving her dead twin’s car and armed with a cassette recorder, determined to find out what really happened by interviewing the highway patrolman who allegedly discovered her sister’s body.

Corporal Raymond Raycevic has agreed to meet Lena at the scene. He is sympathetic, forthright, and professional. But his story doesn’t seem to add up. For one thing, he stopped Cambry for speeding a full hour before she supposedly leapt to her death. Then there are the sixteen attempted 911 calls from her cell phone, made in what was unfortunately a dead zone.

But perhaps most troubling of all, the state trooper is referred to by name in Cambry’s final enigmatic text to her sister: Please Forgive Me. I couldn’t live with it. Hopefully you can, Officer Raycevic.

Lena will do anything to uncover the truth. But as her twin’s final hours come into focus, Lena’s search turns into a harrowing, tooth-and-nail fight for her own survival—one that will test everything she thought she knew about her sister and herself…

A young Swedish boy finds himself penniless and alone in California. He travels east in search of his brother, moving on foot against the great push to the west. Driven back over and over again on his journey through vast expanses, Håkan meets naturalists, criminals, religious fanatics, Indians, and lawmen, and his exploits turn him into a legend. Díaz defies the conventions of historical fiction and genre (travel narratives, the bildungsroman, nature writing, the Western), offering a probing look at the stereotypes that populate our past and a portrait of radical foreignness.

At first, it was a contest, but in time the beasts understood that, with an embrace and the slightest push, they had to lie down on their side and stay until Håkan got up. He did this each time he thought he spied someone on the circular horizon. Had Håkan and his animals ever been spotted, the distant travelers would have taken the vanishing silhouettes for a mirage. But there were no such travelers—the moving shadows he saw almost every day in the distance were illusions. With the double intention of getting away from the trail and the cold, he had traveled south for days.

Sienna Hensley loves everything about the Christmas season, from hanging decorations to the cozy get-togethers with her family. Despite being part of the well-known Bennett family, Sienna is determined to first gather experience before joining their business. Her job at Statham department store is perfect for that. But her new boss, Winston, is going to be a slight problem. He is broody, dictatorial, and sexy as all get out. 

For Winston Statham, Christmas is just a reminder of the deadline looming ahead this year. Saving the store his parents built is his top priority. At least until he finds his branding manager singing and dancing to carols while hanging twinkling lights in his favorite meeting room. 

He can’t get the sexy sway of her hips out of his mind…or her determination to make him smile. When he asks her to stay overtime, work isn’t the only thing on his mind. Before long, he’s willing to do anything for one more kiss, one more night together. Winston falls so hard for Sienna, that he can’t imagine ever letting her go. 

But with his future up in the air, can he promise her anything more than an unforgettable Christmas season? 

The first book in a new series by Denise Grover Swank and A.R. Casella, authors of the USA Today bestselling Asheville Brewing series.

She wants his story. He wants his secrecy. Too bad he can’t stay away from her.

Molly

Blogging about bad dates used to be fun, but a girl can only take so much foolishness. So I broke up with my job.

Okay, full disclosure, I was fired. It’s a long, sordid tale, involving my sourdough starter—RIP, Fred!—and my ex-boss’s serious lack of humor.

Newly funemployed and in need of a break, I go to Asheville to dogsit for my sister…and stumble onto a scoop big enough to put my fake-dating days behind me forever.

Augusta Glower, local success story, wrote a bestseller about the self-help group she started. People think her system works, and copycat Bad Luck Clubs have sprung up nationwide. Something feels off, though, and a little poking around by yours truly suggests she stole the idea.

There’s one problem. I have to prove it, and the guy she ripped off—super-hot house flipper Caleb Reynolds—seems to…well, hate me. Which is too bad since his secrets aren’t the only thing I’d like to peel away.

* * *

Cal

Molly O’Shea is my worst nightmare.

Is she sexy as sin? Well…yeah. Does she smell like honeysuckle and trouble? No doubt. Is she determined to dig up my secrets with a backhoe? I’m pretty sure she got a two-week rental. But I’ll never talk. If the reason I started the club gets out, my whole life will implode.

So why is she so damn irresistible?

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Charlee Burke is stuck on a deserted country road the day before Christmas Eve, just as a dangerous winter snowstorm begins to churn above her. The only person she knows who isn’t with family or has a sweetheart is the all-too-sexy-for-his-own-good Ace McBride—the last person on earth she wants to call. 

When Charlee’s name pops up on his phone, Ace is pleased, but surprised. As much as he teases her, and as mad as she gets at him, he figures she’s got to be pretty desperate. Sure enough, she’s in need of rescuing, and he’s happy to be her white knight. He’s always had a thing for Charlee, but he knows her history. He plans to show her he’s a man who can be trusted, and she can count on him. But her heart’s been shielded a long time, and it may be too hard for her to go down that path again. 

Charlee’s been afraid of relationships since a man ran a con on her to get to her inheritance. It’s been six years since he ripped apart her life, and she doesn’t believe she’ll ever be able to trust a man again. 

With the storm coming in fast and hard, Charlee’s cabin is the closest shelter, but the weather report says the storm will last for several days. She’s not sure she can survive being trapped in such close quarters with Ace for that long. Alone. 

Ace is determined to win her heart. Charlee is determined to never go down that path again.

A family returns to their hometown—and to the dark past that haunts them still—in this masterpiece of literary horror by the New York Times bestselling author of Wanderers

Long ago, Nathan lived in a house in the country with his abusive father—and has never told his family what happened there.

Long ago, Maddie was a little girl making dolls in her bedroom when she saw something she shouldn’t have—and is trying to remember that lost trauma by making haunting sculptures.

Long ago, something sinister, something hungry, walked in the tunnels and the mountains and the coal mines of their hometown in rural Pennsylvania.

Now, Nate and Maddie Graves are married, and they have moved back to their hometown with their son, Oliver.

And now what happened long ago is happening again . . . and it is happening to Oliver. He meets a strange boy who becomes his best friend, a boy with secrets of his own and a taste for dark magic.

This dark magic puts them at the heart of a battle of good versus evil and a fight for the soul of the family—and perhaps for all of the world. But the Graves family has a secret weapon in this battle: their love for one another.

Framed for the murder of her best friend, a young girl joins a super-secret society of teenage assassins to avoid a lifetime behind bars–and discovers her own true self–in this mesmerizing debut novel. 

Seventeen-year-old Signal Deere has raised eyebrows for years as an unhappy Goth misfit from the trailer park. When she’s convicted of her best friend Rose’s brutal murder, she’s designated a Class A–the most dangerous and manipulative criminal profile. To avoid prison, Signal signs on for a secret program for 18-and-under Class As and is whisked off to an abandoned sleep-away camp, where she and seven bunkmates will train as assassins. Yet even in the Teen Killers Club, Signal doesn’t fit in. She’s squeamish around blood. She’s kind and empathetic. And her optimistic attitude is threatening to turn a group of ragtag maniacs into a team of close-knit friends. Maybe that’s because Signal’s not really a killer. She was framed for Rose’s murder and only joined the program to escape, track down Rose’s real killer, and clear her name. But Signal never planned on the sinister technologies that keep the campers confined. She never planned on the mysterious man in the woods determined to pick them off one by one. And she certainly never planned on falling in love. Signal’s strategy is coming apart at the seams as the true killer prepares to strike again in Teen Killers Club.

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Have you ever wanted to press the escape button on your life?

Ruth Davenport writes about romance and happily ever after. But not from experience. After a heartbreaking rejection, she decides a change of scenery is needed. On a whim, she thinks Ireland is the place to go to write her next book. But when she arrives, everything that can go wrong, does. In the middle of the night, she lands on the doorstep of an Irish pub in the middle of nowhere belonging to an enigmatic Irishman.

Sean Hughes needs a woman under his roof like he needs a hole in the head. His policy is to steer clear of all women in general. Besides, he’s too busy running a pub and getting his dream business up off the ground. He has no time to be helping pretty tourists. But he needs some quick cash and she needs accommodation and a driver. 

A deal is struck that suits them both. As they spend more time together, they begin to see the other in a different light. Can they overcome their fears and take a chance on happiness? 

Each book in the Escape to Ireland series is a standalone novel and can be read in any order.

A brilliantly researched reinvestigation into the nearly forgotten century-old murder that inspired one of the most seductive mysteries in the history of television and film.

In 1908, Hazel Drew was found floating in a pond in Sand Lake, New York, beaten to death. The unsolved murder inspired rumors, speculation, ghost stories, and, almost a century later, the phenomenon of Twin Peaks. Who killed Hazel Drew? Like Laura Palmer, she was a paradox of personalities—a young, beautiful puzzle with secrets. Perhaps the even trickier question is, Who was Hazel Drew?

Seeking escape from her poor country roots, Hazel found work as a domestic servant in the notoriously corrupt metropolis of Troy, New York. Fate derailed her plans for reinvention. But the investigation that followed her brutal murder was fraught with red herrings, wild-goose chases, and unreliable witnesses. Did officials really follow the leads? Or did they bury them to protect the guilty?

The likely answer is revealed in an absorbing true mystery that’s ingeniously reconstructed and every bit as haunting as the cultural obsession it inspired.

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Headstrong cowgirl Peta Dixon has put her life on hold this Christmas to prove she can run her ranch as well as any man. There isn’t anything she can’t ride, fix, or stare down, and the only things to scare her are long hemlines and sky-high heels. 

Self-made rancher Garrett Ross normally doesn’t take orders – he gives them. But when asked to step in to act as a temporary foreman on a Montana ranch over the holidays, he can’t refuse. 

Yet when Garrett meets the beautiful and stubborn ranch owner, he realizes he’s signed on for a whole lot of trouble. Cynical and jaded, he has no time for feelings. And when Peta meets the man she’s to share her life with until Christmas, she discovers she no longer wants to be the person others expect her to be… 

Will the rancher finally listen to his heart and admit he can’t live without a certain straight-talking cowgirl? 

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We come from different sides of the tracks.

But we have one thing in common—we both work hard for what we want.

Even though I try my damnedest to keep my heart closed up, there’s something about her that commands me to snatch her up and steal her breath.

To let her fully into my life, no matter how different our backgrounds are.

Her rich father is helping her open a restaurant and she’s hoping to serve some of the lobster I’ve caught to her new customers. I’m all for it.

The electricity between us has me taking one step back and three forward.

This is the woman I want beside and beneath me for the rest of my life.

But her father thinks I’m riffraff. And he just might be right.

Maybe if I just keep things professional, which is almost impossible.

Heat blazes in and out of the kitchen as we try to work together, and I’ve got one thing on my mind.

Owning every part of her.

No matter what her family or anyone else thinks about it.

This woman is my uptown girl.

This is still $1.99!

*No synopsis since this is the second book in the series

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The tie that binds them together may tear them apart…

College senior Kate Camden has learned to adapt – to her last year of school, to the promise of motherhood, to the fact that she’s doing it all alone. But just when she’s learned to adjust, heartache threatens to break her apart.
Pro hockey player Jason “Ryke” Ryker has it all: adoring fans, a promising career, and a beautiful wife. But when his seemingly perfect life is shaken by tragedy, he’s left questioning whether having it all is ever more than an illusion.
When circumstance brings Kate and Ryke together, they discover they don’t have to hurt alone. Bound by a grief that haunts them both, they must rely on one another to survive heartbreak. But that grief is more powerful than they realize, and the tie that binds them together may ultimately tear them apart.

~Cassie

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