• Ashleigh

Author Spotlight: Brenda Novak

During this quarantine I started noticing how severely lacking my book shelves were, so I headed to Amazon and loaded up my cart. I have this dream of a having a huge library someday. Like I have it planned down to colors and design.My hope is that 10 years from now I’m sitting in my overstuffed chair admiring the books around me as I write my blog! There's something about just being surrounded by books, it makes me feel so happy! And writing has become the most therapeutic outlet I could have ever found. On the rare case I can hide myself away from my children to write a sentence! Anyhoo I like to search for new books and authors on Goodreads and my Book of the Month Club app.

****If you aren’t part of Book of the Month I highly suggest it. I love the variety of genres that you get a choice of and you can add-on up to two books! Their selection of books is huge and you get early access to books that haven’t even been released!!! www.bookofthemonth.com****



In my Amazon/Goodreads/ Book of the Month Club searching I came across

One Perfect Summer by Brenda Novak. I read the summary, headed to Goodreads for reviews on the book and author, then bought the book. I read it in two days. I was immediately hooked.

The book centers around Serenity, Reagan and Lorelei. Serenity is a writer so of course I loved her and reading from her perspective. (This book was actually what got me thinking about finally writing this blog. My dream job would be to be an editor. Can you imagine getting to read a manuscript for the first time?? To be privy to private meeting about new book ideas from some of the biggest authors!!! Ugh! A girl can dream right?) My favorite parts of the book were the mornings Reagan and Serenity spent time writing together. Besides finding out about her two new sisters Serenity is facing love/relationship drama. Her ex-husband Sean and his brother Sawyer. Team Sawyer for sure!!!

Reagan is a New York City Advertising Executive with some pretty big revelations herself! I found Reagan to be the most outgoing of the three and most protective. Lorelei is a stay at home mom facing a marriage that could be ending after her husband has an affair with her best friend. That’s not even the worst part yet! Then comes the hot neighbor who takes a liking to her. I’m really hoping that her and Finn find each other down the road, hes perfect for her!! As each sister starts her journey she finds out more about herself and that depending on someone else isn’t always bad. This was the best part, the easy way the book flowed. There were secrets but they were well placed and always showed the trust building between the three. The camaraderie was real from the very start. They started out strangers but for sure became family. I’m an only child. Don’t let anyone fool you, it’s not that great. You’re always lonely and you have no one to blame things on!! lol I always wished for siblings and these are the exact girls I would want to find. I’m actually really hoping for a second book or a spin off for each sister!!!!! Fingers crossed!!!

So after devouring One Perfect Summer I went on a Brenda Novak shopping spree lol. I chose to start My Darkest Nightmare first which also starts the Evelyn Talbot Series. Thus begins our thriller journey! I think thrillers will always be my true love when it comes to books. I’m seriously obsessed with crime shows, Dexter will forever have my heart and I will keep holding out hope for a reboot!

This book follows Psychologist Dr. Evelyn Talbot founder of Hanover House in Alaska, on her journey of trying to learn more about psychopaths. Evelyn has more reason than most to want to learn why psychopaths do what they do. I’m honestly hoping that the next books delve more into her past with Jasper, what happened in the cabin when she was 16, then again in Boston years later. I enjoy when books give you different viewpoints from different characters, it brings much more depth to the story line. This book gives you several different takes throughout the story from all angles. Alaska isn’t a huge place and only has one Trooper, the delicious Sergeant Amarok. Evelyn and Amarok have a lukewarm romance in the beginning that finally halfway through heats up and grabs you. I’m not a huge fan of romance books (I’ve read my share of them though) but this romance built beautifully for me. Perhaps its the fact that Evelyn is 7 years older than Amarok and I myself am 6 years older than my husband!

I like when I feel a personal connection with a book its what makes a great book experience.

The whole story has a strong theme of trust and how easily it can be earned and lost. Evelyn has quite the captivating and heartbreaking story (NO SPOILERS!!!) many times she brings up the age difference and things moving too fast. Amarok is the ultimate understanding, patient and persistent man. It sounds so corny but it kept reminding me of my husband.Evelyn continuously asks herself how she could be enough for this wonderful man.I get it sister I ask myself that at least once a day. I think the glaring reason I fell out of love with romance novels was because I fell in love with my real life ultimate partner.

My husband and I worked together for a year before we ever really spoke, maybe a hello here or there but that was about it. I accidentally drank his blue monster one day and we had a laugh about it.That night I had a crazy dream about him, I of course flirtatiously told him about it the next day at work.We laughed and made a plan to see a movie. Our first date arrived and I made sure I looked as nice as possible; the girl gene that makes you good at hair and makeup for real skipped me, but I tried!! He showed up in cut off jean shorts, a ratty DC shirt and DC slipper shoes, he never tried to be something he wasn't, I will always give him that.And to be real honest, any other guy I would have probably turned back around, but something about this one said throw caution to the wind. So, for the first time I didn’t feel like I had to hide who I was. He was the realest guy I ever met, and to this day he still is. He moved in with me a week later and about a month after that I found out I was pregnant! Yea little bit of a surprise to have a kid with someone you’ve only known a month! It was pretty rocky and almost fell apart a few times in those early days. We persevered though and five years later we are happily married and the envy of many couples! Lol hell yes I will brag about that. I had a lot of shitty relationships, I deserve it.

Evelyn and Amarok gave me all the feels for a hopeful future. I love them together. When I wasn’t reading this book I was counting the time until I could finish it! It kept me guessing and never lost momentum. It sucks you in! Brenda’s character building is absolutely stellar. The two main serial killers we meet at Hanover House are Hugo Evanski (I loved his character and truly felt for him) and Anthony Garza. Hes one you will love to hate for sure! You actually get some perspectives from them though out the book, I would have loved more! Next up we have fellow doctor, Tim Fitzpatrick. I disliked him more than the serial killers and that’s saying something. He’s slimy and shady and I just can’t get on bored with him.

This book wasn’t action packed per say, it was informative. You learn lots of information about the characters and some back story. The end delivers in a big way though, you won’t be disappointed!!! It was perfectly written as an introduction novel.

Now on to Hello Again, Book 2!

Stay Tuned!


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