Switch Hitter by Cheyenne Meadows
Series: Shifter Hardball, Book 3
Published by: Dreamspinner Press on June 5, 2017
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)
Tucker Wilde is one of the best second basemen in the all-shifter professional baseball league. Or at least he thought he was until a rookie showed up and claimed his spot in the starting lineup. And things with his girlfriend seem to have run their course. But he also spent the previous night in the throes of passion with one of his teammates–something completely out of character for a straight man like Tucker. Dixon Foxx must admit he enjoyed his night with Tucker Wilde; he’d wanted the man ever since he first met him. But he is less pleased that Tucker views it as a drunken mistake that will never happen again. And although Dixon is a star player himself, his heart’s never really been in it, a heart that he risks being broken if he can’t either get through to Tucker or find a way to move on. But moving on is hard for both of them since they still have to see each other every day…
Being someone you’re not can be dissatisfying and challenging. But so many times we force ourselves to meet what we believe to be the expectations of others in our life, all the while robbing ourselves of chances at true happiness. And sometimes those expectations can become so internalized that we don’t even consider that we may want or need something different out of life. These are issues that both Tucker and Dixon must face, albeit in different ways and for different reasons. But if they’re wise, they may be able to help each other go through it together…
The Confusion of Languages by Siobhan Fallon
Published by: G.P. Putnam’s Sons on June 27, 2017
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)
Cassie Hugo and Margaret Brickshaw both find themselves living in Jordan after their soldier husbands were stationed at the U.S. embassy there. As Cassie has been there for two years already, she becomes a reluctant mentor to Margaret, who has just arrived. And much to Cassie’s chagrin, Margaret is not as interested in making sure she follows all of the rules as she is allowing her restlessness and desire to explore to get the better of her. After Margaret is in a minor car accident, Cassie agrees to watch her infant son while she goes down to the police station to pay her fine and clear up the matter. But as more time begins to creep by, Cassie’s concern grows. And when she finds Margaret’s journal and begins to read it, the insights she gains into her neighbor’s life not only helps her to better understand Margaret–it also helps her to understand herself and feeds her concern about Margaret’s current whereabouts.
This is an interesting story that touches on a number of issues including friendship, cultural differences, marital relationships, motherhood/parenthood, jealousy, honesty, and so much more. The complexity of the relationships that comes through, by seeing things from Cassie’s perspective and from Margaret’s words in her journal, is fascinating as it comes together. My only complaint is that with jumping between Cassie’s flashbacks, Margaret’s journal entries, and the present moment, it wasn’t always clear where we were at any moment. Sometimes this was a little confusing, but it was easy to recover within the first few paragraphs of each chapter.
[Disclaimer: This review is based on an advance review copy provided by the publisher via the First to Read program.]
The Lost Letter by Jillian Cantor
Published by: Riverhead Books on June 13, 2017
Rating: 3 stars (★★★☆☆)
When Katie Nelson takes her father’s stamp collection to an expert to see if there’s anything of value, she doesn’t expect anything will come of it. But when the appraiser, Benjamin, expresses interest in what may be not only a rare find but also an anomaly, a mystery is laid before her that she can’t help but try to answer. And the journey takes her down a path that spans back over fifty years and exposes secrets and identities that have been long-buried and thought lost forever. Along the way, Katie also just might find some things she thought she had lost forever as well…
When this book first started jumping back and forth between the 1989 “present” and the 1938 “past”, I found myself wondering if there was any real connection or if it was just two stories being told side-by-side because of a single point of connection: a stamp. And the reality is that while that stamp is the key to much of the story and the connection, there is so much more here that reveals itself as you go. This is a story of love, of perseverance, of exploration, and of never giving up hope.
[Disclaimer: This review is based on an advance review copy received from the publisher as part of the First to Read program.]