Category Archives: Laura Dave

Review: The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave

Title: The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Contemporary, Suspense, Mystery
Length: 320 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through Edelweiss


A gripping mystery about a woman who thinks she’s found the love of her life—until he disappears.

Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers—Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, as a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they’re also building a new future—one neither of them could have anticipated.

With its breakneck pacing, dizzying plot twists, and evocative family drama, The Last Thing He Told Me is a riveting mystery, certain to shock you with its final, heartbreaking turn.


The Last Thing He Told Me by Laura Dave is an engrossing mystery.

Hannah Hall and her husband Owen Michaels live with his sixteen-year-old daughter Bailey on a floating house in Sausalito. Their marriage is happy but her relationship with her step-daughter is fraught. One day while Owen is at work, Hannah receives an unnerving note from Owen in which he says nothing more than “protect her”. She immediately knows he is referring to Bailey, but she has no clue what she needs protecting from.  Her fear continues to increase after US Marshall Gray Bradford and later, two FBI agents show up asking her where Owen is. That is a question she has been frantically trying to answer as her phone calls to him go to voicemail.  Unable to understand what is going on, Hannah deduces the one place she might learn the truth about her husband. With Bailey in tow, they hope to get a head start in unearthing the secrets Owen has been keeping.

Hannah and Owen met by chance and immediately begin to fall for one another. The initial obstacle to overcome is distance: she lives in New York while Owen and Baily live in California. Luckily, Hannah’s furniture making business is easy to relocate, so she readily moves across the country and marries the man of her dreams. Despite her inability to break through Bailey’s defenses, Hannah and Owen are blissfully happy and looking forward to a long marriage together.  But that all changes once Hannah realizes everything she knows about her husband might be nothing but a lie.

In order to understand what is going on, she and Bailey travel to the place Hannah believes might provide answers about her husband’s past. They try to fly below the radar as they track down the slimmest of leads in order to try to find out his true identity. With Bailey’s hazy memories guiding them, Hannah thinks they are on the right track. But is she prepared for what they might unearth? And will she figure out a way to honor Owen’s wishes to keep Bailey safe once Hannah knows what she is protecting her stepdaughter from?

The Last Thing He Told Me is an incredibly fast-paced and engaging mystery. The storyline is completely captivating with clever twists and turns. Hannah and Bailey are at first uneasy partners in their quest for answers. Flashbacks provide fascinating glimpses of Hannah and Owen’s courtship and marriage.  With a great deal of tension, Laura Dave brings this suspense-laden mystery to a bittersweet conclusion.


Filed under Contemporary, Laura Dave, Mystery, Rated B+, Review, Simon & Schuster Inc, Suspense, The Last Thing He Told Me

Review: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave

grapesTitle: Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 272 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher Through NetGalley


A breakout novel from an author who “positively shines with wisdom and intelligence” (Jonathan Tropper, This Is Where I leave You). “Laura Dave writes with humor and insight about relationships in all their complexity, whether she’s describing siblings or fiancés or a couple long-married. Eight Hundred Grapes is a captivating story about the power of family, the limitations of love, and what becomes of a life’s work” (J. Courtney Sullivan, Maine).

There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide…

Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.

But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.

Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets…


Eight Hundred Grapes by Laura Dave is a delightfully charming contemporary novel. Set against the backdrop of a Sonoma vineyard, it is a lovely story about family and love, but most importantly, it is a journey of self-discovery for the main protagonist.

Georgia Ford’s wedding is less than a week away when, at the final fitting for her gown, she discovers her fiancé Ben has been keeping a HUGE secret from her. She instinctively runs home to her family’s vineyard where she is further stunned to learn that her parents and brothers have been keeping some very important news from her as well. With her entire world turned upside down, Georgia has a lot of decisions to make about her future while at the same trying to come to terms with the upcoming changes for her family.

Georgia loves the family vineyard but after a few rocky years while she was growing up, she chose a different path for herself. She is a successful lawyer on the verge of marrying and moving to Britain when everything falls apart around her. She hopes that returning home will give her the distance she needs from Ben to figure out what comes next for them, but instead of being able to fully concentrate on her own problems, she is swept up in her family’s drama as well.

Initially, Georgia’s solution to her problems with Ben is avoidance, but after he grows weary of being ignored, he unexpectedly shows up at the vineyard in an effort to fix their relationship. Ben’s explanation for keeping his secret is reasonable, but Georgia still harbors a few misgivings that he is being completely honest with her. A delicate dance ensues between them as they tentatively agree to move forward with their nuptials, but as their wedding date approaches, Georgia is still uncertain about whether she is making the right decision.

Eight Hundred Grapes is a very heartwarming novel that is quite captivating. The characters are multi-faceted with believable issues to overcome. The various relationships are realistically depicted and although the family bonds are a little strained, their love and support for one another is unwavering. The setting is absolutely perfect and Laura Dave brings the vineyard and surrounding countryside vibrantly to life. All in all, it is light-hearted read with serious undertones that fans of contemporary fiction are going to love.

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Filed under Contemporary, Eight Hundred Grapes, Laura Dave, Rated B+, Review, Simon & Schuster Inc, Women's Fiction