Posted in Books and Shows

February: What I’ve Been Reading

Hello! How’s it going?

Today I’m sharing the three books I read this month. They were all very different, and I enjoyed them all.

Friendly reminder that I’m using the Good Reads summaries of the books as well as a few of my thoughts and a rating!

This month I read…

The Lies that Bind:

The Lies that Bind


It’s 2 A.M. on a Saturday night in the spring of 2001, and twenty-eight-year-old Cecily Gardner sits alone in a dive bar in New York’s East Village, questioning her life. Feeling lonesome and homesick for the Midwest, she wonders if she’ll ever make it as a reporter in the big city–and whether she made a terrible mistake in breaking up with her longtime boyfriend, Matthew.

As Cecily reaches for the phone to call him, she hears a guy on the barstool next to her say, “Don’t do it–you’ll regret it.” Something tells her to listen, and over the next several hours–and shots of tequila–the two forge an unlikely connection. That should be it, they both decide the next morning, as Cecily reminds herself of the perils of a rebound relationship. Moreover, their timing couldn’t be worse–Grant is preparing to quit his job and move overseas. Yet despite all their obstacles, they can’t seem to say goodbye, and for the first time in her carefully constructed life, Cecily follows her heart instead of her head.

Then Grant disappears in the chaos of 9/11. Fearing the worst, Cecily spots his face on a missing-person poster, and realizes she is not the only one searching for him. Her investigative reporting instincts kick into action as she vows to discover the truth. But the questions pile up fast: How well did she really know Grant? Did he ever really love her? And is it possible to love a man who wasn’t who heseemed to be?

The Lies That Bind is a mesmerizing and emotionally resonant exploration of the never-ending search for love and truth–in our relationships, our careers, and deep within our own hearts.

Quick Thoughts:

This book takes place during 9/11 which kept me thinking about what I was doing on that day. 9/11 seems like yesterday when reading the description of events from the book. Overall, I thought this book was good, but the ending felt odd/unrealistic. I did read it quickly and thought the characters were interesting.


A Hope More Powerful than the Sea:

A Hope More Powerful than the Sea


Doaa and her family leave war-torn Syria for Egypt where the climate is becoming politically unstable and increasingly dangerous. She meets and falls in love with Bassem, a former Free Syrian Army fighter and together they decide to leave behind the hardship and harassment they face in Egypt to flee for Europe, joining the ranks of the thousands of refugees who make the dangerous journey across the Mediterranean on overcrowded and run-down ships to seek asylum overseas and begin a new life.

After four days at sea, their boat is sunk by another boat filled with angry men shouting threats and insults. With no land in sight and surrounded by bloated, floating corpses, Doaa is adrift with a child’s inflatable water ring around her waist, while two little girls cling to her neck. Doaa must stay alive for them. She must not lose strength. She must not lose hope.

Quick Thoughts:

I can’t remember who shared this book, but after hearing about it, I moved it to the top of my reading list. Much like when I read American Dirt, I was overcome with emotions thinking about what Doaa and her family went through to flee their country. I caught myself tensing up and reading quickly through the chapters where she was at sea. This book definitely provided such a vivid and gripping perspective on the determination and heartbreak so many go through to leave their homeland in search of a better life.


4.5 rating

Troubles in Paradise:

Troubles in Paradise


After uprooting her life in the States, Irene Steele has just settled in at the villa on St. John where her husband Russ had been living a double life. But a visit from the FBI shakes her foundations, and Irene once again learns just how little she knew about the man she loved.

With help from their friends, Irene and her sons set up their lives while evidence mounts that the helicopter crash that killed Russ may not have been an accident. Meanwhile, the island watches this drama unfold — including the driver of a Jeep with tinted windows who seems to be shadowing the Steele family.

As a storm gathers strength in the Atlantic, surprises are in store for the Steeles: help from a mysterious source, and a new beginning in the paradise that has become their home. At last all will be revealed about the secrets and lies that brought Irene and her sons to St. John — and the truth that transformed them all.

Quick Thoughts:

This is the third and final book in the Paradise series. Like with the other two books, I really enjoyed this one. I love the characters, the setting, the family connections, and the plot. I did think there was a little bit of a forced connection near the end with Mitzi Quinn from Hilderbrand’s Winter Street series making an appearance, but otherwise I enjoyed this book. I feel like the series was wrapped up quite nicely!


Currently Reading:

I’m currently reading We Were the Lucky Ones by Georgia Hunter. While I don’t typically turn to historical fiction, this book has definitely captured my attention. I’m about 75% finished, so I will tell you more about it next month. That being said, I already think it may be one of my Top 2021 reads this year.

What are you currently reading? As always, I love book suggestions, so let me know!

Happy Reading,

{this post contained Amazon affiliate links…}

4 thoughts on “February: What I’ve Been Reading

  1. I had a hard time with The Lies. I still get really emotional about 9/11 and I was looking for a lighter fun book. It was book, but I really struggled with it. And I agree that the end seemed a little unrealistic. I loved seeing Mitzi again!!

    Liked by 1 person

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