Weekend Update — August, or Autumn Eve

This week I’m linking up with Sunday Post, Sunday Salon, and It’s Monday! What are you reading? Thank you for hosting, Kimberly, Deb, and Kathryn!

• We’ve been in August for nearly a week. What!?! Sorry I’ve been missing from the blog lately. I’ve had a bout of the blues and haven’t been motivated to do much of anything. It happens from time to time.

• During my down time, I decided that I’m not posting book reviews on Instagram anymore. The algorithm has totally tanked my engagement as a Bookstagrammer, so I’m just going to keep that account for hodgepodge — a few bookish things, a lot of my dog Ginger, and who knows what else! I switched my account to private, but I’d still love to connect (or stay connected) with my book blogger acquaintances there.

Summer Fitness Plan Update: It was a success! My goal was to complete Jessica Smith’s 6 Week Total Transformation System twice, and that finally wrapped up this week. During the first six weeks, I exercised only and lost ZERO pounds! During the second six weeks, I exercised AND counted calories with the Lose It app, and I lost TEN pounds!

What I love about Jessica’s workouts is that she focuses on functional fitness, doing exercises that will help you with daily activities. I do feel somewhat stronger and more flexible. A few aches and pains I had have greatly improved. Now, onto the next 6 week plan…


Read Since Last Time:

THE LAST TO VANISH by Megan Miranda

A SUMMER TO REMEMBER by Erika Montgomery

SUMMER FEVER by Kate Riordan


Posts Since Last Time:

THE SAFE PLACE by Anna Downes [Review]

SUN DAMAGE by Sabine Durrant [Review]

A SUMMER TO REMEMBER by Erika Montgomery [Review]


Reviewed on Goodreads Only:

THE LAST TO VANISH by Megan Miranda

SUMMER FEVER by Kate Riordan


Currently Reading:

STAY AWAKE by Megan Goldin

A murder she doesn’t remember committing. A killer she doesn’t remember meeting. Megan Goldin’s Stay Awake is an electrifying novel that proves memory can be deadly.

THE PLOT by Jean Hanff Korelitz

Hailed as “breathtakingly suspenseful,” Jean Hanff Korelitz’s The Plot is a propulsive read about a story too good not to steal, and the writer who steals it.

THE HOTEL NANTUCKET by Elin Hilderbrand

“The queen of beach reads” (New York Magazine) delivers an immensely satisfying page-turner in this tale about a summer of scandal at a storied Nantucket hotel… Filled with the emotional depth and multiple points of view that characterize Hilderbrand’s novels as well as an added dash of Roaring Twenties history, The Hotel Nantucket offers something for everyone in this compelling summer drama.

Thanks for stopping by & have a wonderful week! — 𝓓𝓲𝓪𝓷𝓪

A SUMMER TO REMEMBER by Erika Montgomery

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Publication Date: May 11, 2021
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Rating: ½


A SUMMER TO REMEMBER blends elements of family drama, mystery, and romance into a bittersweet story. Frankie is grieving the loss of her mother while trying to keep their Hollywood memorabilia store afloat. She comes across a couple of sealed letters, and a photograph of her mother with a pair of married movie stars taken a year before Frankie’s birth. Always curious about who her father was, Frankie heads across the country to Cape Cod where the photo was taken in hopes of finding clues to his identity.

I have mixed feelings about this book. I enjoyed the sense of place and the Hollywood nostalgia, and I was very curious about the family secrets surrounding Frankie’s father. The romance was lovely — two lost souls coming together. However, the pacing was slow, and I found the big reveal rather frustrating. It was unnecessary to keep this particular thing a secret for 30 years. If you can get past that hurdle, A SUMMER TO REMEMBER makes a great beach read that will leave you craving margaritas and fried clams, and wanting to dust off those old VHS movies.

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

SUN DAMAGE by Sabine Durrant

Publisher: Hodder & Stoughton
Publication Date: June 2, 2022
Source: Purchased from The Book Depository
Rating: ★★★★¼


The heat is intense.
The secrets are stifling.
She just needs to escape…

Nine guests arrive at a remote villa in the south of France.

They know each other well. Or think they do.

But at least one of them has plenty to hide — and nowhere to run.

Under the relentless sun, loyalties will be tested, secrets revealed, and tensions pushed to the point of no return.

I think the blurb for SUN DAMAGE is purposely vague, so I’m not going to say much about the plot. It’s set in the south of France, my favorite new thriller setting. Two con artists are working the beach resorts there, until things get a bit out of hand. And then…

Is summer gothic suspense a thing? Because that’s how I would describe this book. It’s an absorbing slow-burner with just the right amount of tension. I was really taken in by the rich descriptions of this place, like the yummy food, gorgeous scenery, and the stifling heat. The big twists at the end were brilliant.

THE SAFE PLACE by Anna Downes

Publisher: Minotaur Books
Publication Date: July 14, 2020
Source: Review copy from NetGalley
Rating: ★★★¾


In THE SAFE PLACE, main character Emily’s life is a wreck. She’s broke, unemployed, and days away from being kicked out of her apartment. So when Scott, her former boss, offers her a position as caretaker at his estate in the South of France, she simply can’t say no.

In theory, the job sounds like paradise, but in reality, Emily finds things a bit off. Scott’s odd wife and child live there permanently, isolated, and with strange rules for Emily to follow. No internet! Emily is soon convinced that something isn’t right with this seemingly perfect family…

This was a fast-paced and suspenseful thriller, set in a gorgeous, summery location. Poor Emily! She was so naïve, but I suppose she had to be for the set up of the story to happen. Her gullibility did frustrate me though, especially towards the end. The author created a good amount of tension as the story progressed, and I was surprised when the final big twist was revealed. I was convinced things were going in a different direction!

Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.