Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Best Beach Ever: A Novel by Wendy Wax

Best Beach Ever: A Novel (Ten Beach Road #6). Wendy Wax.  Penguin Publishing Group. Copyright 2018. pb. 400 pp.; ISBN: 9780399584411. 

The gals are back again!!! (However, this can be read as a stand alone novel.) They’ve got new challenges to enthrall us! 

Bella Flora has been rented out to a former nemesis of Kyra, Troy, who now is claiming that he has always loved her.  But Kyra is definitely not buying it and we will have to see where this goes – but don’t be so sure you can predict everything.

Kyra meanwhile has agreed to let her son, Dustin, be in his father Daniel’s new movie.  Daniel is now trying to be a director and not just an actor.  Kyra has huge reservations about Dustin being with Daniel and his new wife, troubling fears that turn out to be a mother’s gut feelings that are spot on and trustworthy.

Then we have Nicki who has had twins and is trying to get back to her svelte, former form.  She’s also finding the care of twins to be overwhelming and her husband Joe advises her to hire some help while he’s away on business.  The woman they hire is endearing to the twins and readers as well, perhaps too much so for Nicki’s liking.  Niki will change because of this experience as well, in a frustrating but heart-warming series of events.

Bitsy has been cheated out of a fortune but is about to serve her own brand of justice on her lying, cheating husband!

Maddie as always is the imparter of hard-earned wisdom, learned after her own trials and divorce.  Still she learns that she’s entitled to her own life with its pleasures with her new romance.  But she also learns that she doesn’t have to anyone’s “first” but instead be her own person first.  Let the chips fall where they may!

This is the conclusion of this series and readers will want to read the previous five novels.  Wendy Wax is a seasoned author who knows how to craft a realistic story with ups and downs that leave the reader challenged and entertained!!!  Highly recommended contemporary fiction!

Elton's Case: The Tug Wyler Mystery Series by Andy Siegel

Elton’s Case: The Tug Wyler Mystery Series. Andy Siegel. Rockwell Press. Copyright 2018. pb. 244 pp. ISBN # 9781981553327. 

Elton Cribbs was arrested and was brutally injured while being transported to jail.  He was paralyzed from the waist down.  A smart man, he researched everything legal about his case and the end result was that he was freed due to the real criminal confessing to the crime. But now Elton is suing the City of New York for causing his physical disability. Tug  Wyler becomes the plaintiff attorney, representing Elton Cribbs, facing a powerful defendant who has numerous witnesses who will testify that Cribbs was faking his disability and at the same time had participated in several scenes that caused his own injury. 

What confuses the issue is that the City of NY first offers $1 million to settle the case.  Why would one settle the case if there was no fault involved, if the evidence was so set in stone to exonerate the defendant?

So the lies parade before Tug: A guard swears that while so-called paralyzed she saw Elton actually stand up from his wheelchair and attack another prison.  A examining physician, in a legal test called an independent medical examination, yields a report that says the plaintiff is faking, even though Tug was present for the entire exam and saw no movement or faking behavior. On and on the farcical “proofs” continue and yet the settlement figure from the City of New York keeps increasing substantially.

The end of this riveting mystery, full of problems and opposition that confuse and upset Tug, is such a stunner that the reader will have to read it twice.  What has Tug learned from this memorable and notorious process?  What is justice and how can it fully cover years lost for imprisonment and a questionable and permanent injury?

The reader also gets a good view of the personal injury field of the law where one learns that plaintiffs and defendants have a job, to win their case, whether that involves truth or lies on both sides.  You won’t forget this case for a long time.  Well-crafted and a good read!!!

Sunday, May 20, 2018

How to Walk Away: A Novel by Katherine Center

How to Walk Away: A Novel. Katherine Center. Creativia – St. Martin’s Press. Copyright May 2018, hb.. 320 pp.; ISBN #: 9781250149060. 

Margaret Jacobson is living a charmed life.  She works hard in school, is highly athletic and is soon to be engaged to the perfect guy, Chip.  Chip is confident and passionate about flying and one night before he takes his final exam to be licensed, he insists on Margaret flying with him.  That turns out to be the turning point in Margaret’s perfect life.  After an accidental flight, Margaret is severely injured and debilitated with an inability to move her legs, walk or anything else she had dreamed of doing in her now non-existent future!

One can see where this narrative is going but it doesn’t erase the reader’s total engagement with how Margaret’s world changes and the dynamic people around her who enable her survival.  First there is the enigmatic physical therapist, Ian, who is a tough piece of metal perfect for Margaret.  Then there is her estranged sister, Kit, who returns and turns out to be just the right amount of jokes, food, commiseration, and inspiration for Margaret to get back into life and new dreams and visions for the future. It also turns out that Kit had disappeared out of love and not hate and lies.

Chip, the perfect guy, doesn’t cope well with what has happened to his fiancĂ©.  In fact, he is so riddled with guilt and shame that he falls apart.  How will that complicate issues? 

Trauma is a life-changer! How easy to write these words because most of us can’t possibly and fully imagine such changes in our life story?  Katherine Center has got it right – so right that the plot and how these people’s lives intertwine in this initial nightmare is credible and endearing. 

How to Walk Away is a more than apt title for readers to grasp by the end of this remarkable, realistic and engaging story of truly heroic growth and change!  So nicely done, Katherine Center!