The Basque Book by Alexandra Raij. Published by Ten Speed

To be honest, I knew little to nothing about Basque cooking, but I was captivated by the cover of this book. What I found inside were simple, easy to prepare  recipes calling for fewer ingredients than most American recipes call for. The food may sound simple, but it’s delicious and the accompanying photographs are simply gorgeous.  This is a welcome surprise addition to my cookbook collection

The Fall Guy by James Lasdun. Published by W.W. Norton

The rich ARE different. Charlie is a very wealthy banker with some time on his hands so he invites his admittedly strange cousin Mathew to stay with Charlie and his wife in their beautiful, secluded home. It’s not long before the relationship between the three becomes strained and when a fourth guest arrives, summer’s heat turns combustible. Passions will flare and so will anger, hatred and jealousy. Not everyone will make it through the summer alive and one person will be the fall guy. A juicy summer beach read

The Things We Wish Were True by Marybeth Whalen. Published by Lake Union

Sycamore Glen, North Carolina is a lovely little town filled with lovely little homes and lovely little families, just like anywhere else. And just like anywhere else there are secrets behind the doors of those little homes. Sometimes it’s just easier to pretend that everything is fine and just go with the flow. That’s pretty much what happens in Sycamore grove until that day  at the local community pool, when a small accident has far reaching repercussions . That day everything changes, secrets will be out, lives destroyed and rebuilt. Is it better to forgive, forget and move on or just pretend none of it ever even happened. Whalen is a formidable writer who knows the human psyche so well it’s almost scary. This is a book that will resonate with readers for a long time

Everything We Keep by Kerry Lonsdale. Published by Lake Unionublished

Chef Aimee Tierney has her future all planned out. She’s going to marry her childhood sweetheart, have a family and buy her parent’s restaurant. That’s what she planned, but instead of holding a wedding, she’s attending a funeral. Her fiance, James Donato has vanished after a boating accident. Trying to find any way to distract herself, Aimee looks into James’s accident and what she discovers is that James was not the man she thought he was, not by a long shot. Now she just has to decide if she will let this tragedy define the rest of her life or if she can find the strength to begin life anew. An exciting story that’s partly a thriller,  and partly a story about learning to believe in yourself again

The Last Woman Standing by Thelma Adams. Published by Lake Union

Twenty years after the Civil War and Josephine Marcus has no prospects in San Francisco. The teenage daughter of immigrants is tempted into a courtship with Arizona lawman Johnny Behan. Once in Tombstone, it becomes obvious that Behan is not the man Josie thought he was; instead she is drawn to Wyatt Earp. Sparks fly between the two and a romance blooms, but Behan is jealous and his rage erupts into one of the most famous battles in American history. What a story! I felt like Josie was my best friend and I could totally relate to her and the difficult choices she had to make. Adams does a wonderful job of putting her readers smack dab in the middle of the old west

The Girl With No Name by Diney Costeloe. Published by Head of Zeus

Lisa is only 13 when she flees Nazi Germany on Kindertransport to England. She is brokenhearted, carrying only one small suitcase and a photo of the family she had to leave behind in Germany. Taken in by a couple who have no children of their own, Lisa worries everyday that she will never see her real family again, while she is mercilessly bullied at school for being German. Then her existence is blown apart again, literally, in the Blitz. Her new home destroyed and her memory gone, she is sent to live in a children’s home for the remainder of the war. Will she ever remember who she is, get home, or see her family again? This is a terribly sad story that was all to common during the war; the translation falters a bit at times, but the story stands on its own very well

Hold My Heart by Esther M. Soto. Published by Dueling Squirrels

FBI agents Ileana Harper and Tommy Colton have been best friends and partners for years. Now, in the midst of a hunt for a brutal serial killer, Ileana disappears and Tommy, unable to cope without her falls apart. But Ileana is not dead, she fallen through a crack in time where she is able to finally understand many of her family’s secrets and problems. She reluctantly trusts the man who comes to her rescue, but what she wants most is to get back to her own time and Tommy. Or does she? There is a chance she can stop a killer now and save many lives, but to do so will mean never going home and never seeing Tommy again. This is a unique and very well done time slip/murder mystery. I look forward to what Soto comes up with next