The Orphan of India by Sharon Maas. Published by Bookouture

It seems like a wonderful chance at a new life. Jyothi has been living on the streets of Bombay after her mother was taken in a terrible accident. Monika and Jack Kingsley, who want a child, fall in love with the little orphaned girl and bring her back to England with them. But the transition is not easy for Jyothi and she once again finds solace in the music she loved in India. It is soon obvious she has a natural talent for music, but even that does not soothe her troubled heart. Maas makes India come alive, from the beautiful to the profane, she makes her readers see the country. And she also touches a chord with the truth that we as Westerners often forget – a new home may mean more opportunities, but it will never replace the home left behind

Butterfly Island by Corina Bomann. Published by AmazonCrossing

Diana answers the death-bed plea from her great-aunt to restore their family’s honor by righting a decades old wrong. The quest give Diana a chance to leave her cheating husband behind in Germany as she ventures from England to a tea plantation is Sri Lanka. With the help of local writer, Jonathan Singh, Diana uncovers the story of her great, great grandmother Grace Tremayne and her sad and tragic past in colonial Ceylon.  I loved this story, the best part was about Grace and the beautiful, savage life she lived in Ceylon

Guiltless by Viveca Stein. Published by AmazonCrossing

Lawyer Nora Linda finds peace and comfort on the Swedish island of Sandhamn, but that all changes when her sons find a severed arm in the water there. The arm turns out to belong to a missing twenty year old woman who has been missing for months and reunites Nora with childhood friend turned police detective, Thomas Andreasson. Both Nora and Thomas look into the missing girls past, trying to understand why and how she was killed, and in doing so, expose the secrets of the not so peaceful Sandhamn Island. Nordic Noir at its best

Madness Treads Lightly by Polina Daskova. Published by AmazonCrossing

Lena is busy caring for her young daughter, taking care of her husband, who has a high-ranking military job and editing a magazine. The last thins she has time to do is play Nancy Drew, but when a good friend’s death is marked as  suicide, Lena knows she must intervene. She knows her friend would never have killed himself, and her research proves her right; pointing her back to a decades old serial killer. The case should be ice-cold, but then someone else Lena knows is murdered and it becomes clear that the murders are a warning. Is Lena willing to risk the lives of her family to uncover a Soviet era mystery?

House of Secrets by Lynda Stacey. Published by Choc Lit

Sadly, it’s not a unique story, Madeleine Frost has a partner that has become so controlling and demanding that she fears for her life and the life of her little girl. Poppy. Maddie decides to leave Liam and she’s desperate enough to turn to her estranged father and the magnificent old hotel he owns in Yorkshire. Once there, she begins the painful process of reacquainting herself with her father and also meets the game keeper, an ex-marine with a pastoast named “Bandit”. The marine and battered woman unite over an old journal they find that details the history of the Hall and its residents. But even as Maddie and Bandit grow closer, Liam is planning his revenge. If he can’t have Maddie, no one will. While domestic abuse is not the sole topic of this story, it does bring to light the tremendous problem that women face the world over. A sobering look (with a hopeful outcome) at an all too frequent problem

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse. Published by Lake Union

Nina McCarrick’s picture perfect life collages after her husband, Finn is killed in a car accident. With Finn’s death, secrets are revealed and Nina and her two sons are faced with a huge pile of debt and no way to maintain the lifestyle they had been enjoying. With no other choice, she and the boys return to her home in Southampton. Nina will have to learn to stand on her own to feet and take care of herself and her children, something her husband never wanted her to do. Now, with no choice, she must find the inner strength to become the mother, a woman she wants to be. While it’s hard to believe that a woman in this day and age would be so cloistered, I’m sure it does happen. It was good to see Nina finally take the rains of her own life

When We Were Worthy by Marybeth Mayhew Whalen. Published by Lake Union

In a small Southern town, high school football is everything. Locals gather every weekend to cheer on their boys. One night after an awe-inspiring victory, a car crash kills three of the teams cheerleaders. The boy in the other car is immediately blamed in the court of public opinion. The town becomes a battleground as friends become enemies and people take sides about who is to blame. Four people, the mother of on of the dead girls, a cheerleader who should have been in the car, the mother of the boy behind the wheel and a substitute teacher with a shocking secret are at the center of this tumultuous tale. For fans of Jodi Piccoult