A Life of Bright Ideas by Sandra Kring (Paperback) - A secret tore best friends Evelyn “Button” Peters and Winnalee Malone apart. Nine years ago Button and Winnalee began recording observations in their Book of Bright Ideas, a tome they believed would solve the mystery of how to live a mistake-free life. Now it’s 1970, a time of peace, love, war, and personal heartbreak. Button’s mother is dead and her grieving father has all but abandoned his children. Quiet, thoughtful Button has traded college for a sewing job in her mother’s bridal shop to help her Aunt Verdella raise her whirlwind six-year-old brother. In Button’s free time, she writes letters to the boy she loved from afar through high school, hoping he will come to love her as more than a friend. Then, like that magical Wisconsin summer of ’61, Button is greeted with the wild, gusty arrival of Winnalee. Now a beautiful flower child, Winnalee is everything Button is not. She’s been to Woodstock and enjoys “free love,” but their steadfast bond of friendship is tested as Button begins to notice the cracks in Winnalee’s carefree façade. And then Winnalee’s mother arrives with a surprise that Button never sees coming, and the fiery determination to put things right in both families once and for all.
Four of a Kind by Valerie Frankel (Paperback) - Besides the fact that their kids all attend the same fashionable Brooklyn Heights private school, Bess, Robin, Carla, and Alicia have little in common. Thrown together on the tony school’s Diversity Committee, the women impulsively turn their awkward first meeting into a boisterous game of poker. Instead of betting with chips or pocket change, however, they play for intimate secrets about their lives. As the Diversity Commitee meetings become a highly anticipated monthly ritual, the new friends reveal more with each game. Picture-perfect housewife Bess struggles to relate to her surly teenage daughter and judgmental mother. Robin, a single mom, grapples with the truth concerning her child’s real father. Carla, an ambitious doctor, attempts to balance the colossal demands of her family with her dream of owning her own private practice. And to distract herself from her troubled marriage, shy copywriter Alicia fantasizes about an attractive younger colleague. Putting all their cards on the table, the four women grow to rely on one another, bracing for one final showdown.
Outside the Lines by Amy Hatvany (Paperback) - When Eden was ten years old she found her father, David, bleeding on the bathroom floor. The suicide attempt led to her parents’ divorce, and David all but vanished from Eden’s life. Twenty years later, Eden runs a successful catering company and dreams of opening a restaurant. Since childhood, she has heard from her father only rarely, just enough to know that he’s been living on the streets and struggling with mental illness. But lately there has been no word at all. After a series of failed romantic relationships and a health scare from her mother, Eden decides it’s time to find her father, to forgive him at last, and move forward with her own life. Her search takes her to a downtown Seattle homeless shelter, and to Jack Baker, its handsome and charming director. Jack convinces Eden to volunteer her skills as a professional chef with the shelter. In return, he helps her in her quest. As the connection between Eden and Jack grows stronger, and their investigation brings them closer to David, Eden must come to terms with her true emotions, the secrets her mother has kept from her, and the painful question of whether her father, after all these years, even wants to be found.
The Lost Daughter by Lucy Ferriss (Paperback) - Brooke O’Connor—elegant, self-possessed, and kind—has a happy marriage and a deeply loved young daughter. So her adamant refusal to have a second child confounds her husband, Sean. When Brooke’s high school boyfriend Alex—now divorced and mourning the death of his young son—unexpectedly resurfaces, Sean begins to suspect an affair. For fifteen years Brooke has kept a shameful secret from everyone she loves. Only Alex knows the truth that drove them apart. His reappearance now threatens the life she has so carefully constructed and fortified by denial. With her marriage—and her emotional equilibrium—at stake, Brooke must confront what she has been unwilling to face for so long. But the truth is not what Brooke believes it to be.
Friends Like Us by Lauren Fox (Hardcover) - Best friends Willa and Jane are often mistaken for sisters, a comparison Willa secretly enjoys. They share a small apartment, paying the rent with freelance jobs while waiting for something better to come along. Willa sells flowers and writes advertising copy for a tea company (“The path to enlightenment is steep” and “Oolong! Farewell!”); Jane cleans houses and writes bad poetry about it, rhyming “clog of hair” with “fog of despair.” Together they are a fortress of private jokes and shared opinions, so close that there’s hardly room for anyone else. Until Willa’s closest cohort and confidant from high school—dorky then, handsome and confident now—falls in love with Jane.
I've Got Your Number by Sophie Kinsella (Hardcover) - Poppy Wyatt has never felt luckier. She is about to marry the ideal man, Magnus Tavish, but in one afternoon her 'happy ever after' begins to fall apart. Not only has she lost her engagement ring but in the panic that followed, she has now lost her phone. As she paces shakily round the hotel foyer she spots an abandoned phone in a bin. Finders keepers! Now she can leave a number for the hotel to contact her when they find her ring. Perfect! Well, perfect except the phone's owner, businessman Sam Roxton doesn't agree. He wants his phone back and doesn't appreciate Poppy reading all his messages and wading into his personal life. What ensues is a hilarious and unpredictable turn of events as Poppy and Sam increasingly upend each other's lives through emails and text messages. As Poppy juggles wedding preparations, mysterious phone calls and hiding her left hand from Magnus and his parents... she soon realises that she is in for the biggest surprise of her life.
Other Waters by Eleni N. Gage (Hardcover) - Maya is an accomplished psychiatry resident with a terrific boyfriend, loving family, and bustling New York social life. When her grandmother dies in India, a family squabble over property results in a curse that drifts across continents and threatens Maya's life. Or so her father says-- Maya (being a modern woman, an American, and a doctor) doesn't believe in curses, Brahman, or otherwise. But when her father suffers a heart attack, her sister miscarries, and her career and relationship both start to falter, Maya starts to worry. A trip back to India with her best friend Heidi, Maya reasons, will be just what's needed to remove the curse, save her family, and to put her own life back in order. Thus begins a journey into Maya's parallel world-- an India filled with loving and annoying relatives, vivid colors, and superstitious customs--a cross-cultural, transcontinental search for a chance to find real love.
The House I Loved by Tatiana de Rosnay (Hardcover) - Paris, France: 1860’s. Hundreds of houses are being razed, whole neighborhoods reduced to ashes. By order of Emperor Napoleon III, Baron Haussman has set into motion a series of large-scale renovations that will permanently alter the face of old Paris, moulding it into a “modern city.” The reforms will erase generations of history—but in the midst of the tumult, one woman will take a stand. Rose Bazelet is determined to fight against the destruction of her family home until the very end; as others flee, she stakes her claim in the basement of the old house on rue Childebert, ignoring the sounds of change that come closer and closer each day. Attempting to overcome the loneliness of her daily life, she begins to write letters to Armand, her beloved late husband. And as she delves into the ritual of remembering, Rose is forced to come to terms with a secret that has been buried deep in her heart for thirty years. The House I Loved is both a poignant story of one woman’s indelible strength, and an ode to Paris, where houses harbor the joys and sorrows of their inhabitants, and secrets endure in the very walls...
The Second Time We Met by Leila Cobo (Paperback) - Adored and nurtured by his adoptive parents in California, Asher Stone has moved effortlessly through a nearly perfect life. He is on the verge of a professional soccer career-when a car accident throws his future into doubt. Suddenly, Asher begins to wonder about his past, and about the girl who gave him up for adoption in Colombia two decades ago. And so begins his search for a woman named Rita Ortiz. From the teeming streets of Bogata to a tiny orphanage tucked into a hillside, Asher untangles the mystery of Rita's identity, her abrupt disappearance from her home, and the winding journey that followed. But as Asher comes closer to finding Rita, his own parents are faced with fears and doubts. And Rita must soon make her own momentous choice: stay hidden in her hard-earned new life, or meet the secret son who will bring painful memories-or the promise of a new beginning.
Are you going to read any of the books listed? Do you know of any other February new releases to add to the list?