Golden Girl by Elin Hilderbrand

Golden Girl

Is it even summer if we don’t have a beach read from Hilderbrand?

Ah, but this one broke my heart. And the main character reminds me of the author!

Vivian Howe is the author of 13 books, she lives in Nantucket, has three children, all young adults and in a second she is killed in a hit and run. She is taken by a woman named Martha to the Beyond. She will be Vivi’s person. She lets Vivi have the summer to watch her kids and she allows her three nudges.

She watches her friends and children deal with her death. She watches the investigation. She longs to go back.

The nudges are for influencing the outcome of things in real time. She worries about her children hurting and her secrets coming out.

This had all the charm of Nantucket and all of the emotions you could imagine yourself feeling if you were in her shoes. I cried so hard during this book and I will do it all over again!

NetGalley/June 1st, 2021 by Little, Brown and Company



the summer of lost and found by Mary Alice Monroe

The Summer of Lost and Found

From the Queen of the Beach Reads comes Ms. Monroe’s latest.

I love this Beach series. Maybe because Charleston is my ancestral home as well. All the names and places are familiar to me and I feel like I’m reading a letter from home.

The Rutledge family has always been a part of Charleston. The family has seen hard times and wonderful times. They have found love and lost it. But the one place they have always come to heal is the beach house from Grandma Lovie. It’s the one sure thing. So when Linnea needs a place to stay after Covid forces layoffs at the marine center, it’s to the cottage she goes.

Across the street Cara waits for David to return from London with little Hope by her side. When he returns he is already sick and must quarantine himself in his room while Hope goes to stay with Linnea. And who should also be in quarantine but John right next door.

Everyone is worried and afraid for their loved ones. Linnea’s boyfriend Gorden finally arrives from London and again goes into quarantine. Now both men she cares for are right next door. What’s a girl to do?

This book was written during Covid. We can all sympathize with the family as we are living it along with them.

But never fear, the ending had me in a puddle on the floor and yet feeling hopeful.

NetGalley Review/ May 11th, 2021 by Gallery Books

The Sweet Taste of Muscadines by Pamela Terry

The Sweet Taste of Muscadines: A Novel

In this intimate debut novel, a woman returns to her small Southern hometown in the wake of her mother’s sudden death–only to find the past upended by stunning family secrets.

Lila Bruce Breedlove is going home. Home to Wesleyan, Georgia, having left as soon as she could, she isn’t looking forward to going back. While she and her brother, Henry, left and went on to make their own way up north, Abigail, their younger sister stayed. Which makes sense to Lila as Abigail was more like her mother.

Geneva, their overbearing mother has been found dead. Feet up in the muscadine arbor. The same arbor that Lila used as a hiding place as a child. But what in the world was she doing in there? Lila and Henry know they need to go home and find out what happened as well as deal with their past.

In a small southern town appearances are more important than the facts. And the facts that come out as they go about closing out their mother’s life are going to turn everything they ever thought they knew upside down.

Being from a small Georgia town, this could have been any number of people I knew. My own mother just died and good grief the things we found out! Ms. Terry understands this side of southern culture well. I was moved and I laughed as well.

Very well done!

NetGalley/  April 20th, 2021





LADIES of the HOUSE by LAUREN EDMONDSON

Ladies of the House: A Modern Retelling of Sense and Sensibility

A very modern spin on Sense and Sensibility that I adored. Daisy, Wallis, and their mother Cricket never expected the sudden death of father and husband Senator Gregory Richardson. And they certainly never imagined it would be in such a salacious way. The media is all over this juicy headliner and Daisy just wants to disappear.

What they know is bad. What they don’t know is worse. They can’t afford their Georgetown home now and they must sell it and move into much smaller accommodations. While Cricket clings to her former life, and Wallis finds a man and is ready to move on that, Daisy is just trying to support them and protect them. Yes, the journalists are camped out on their doorstep but the worst part is the journalist writing the expose’ on her father.

Atlas has always been her best friend and to be honest she wants more. The question is can she trust him? Is this story only going to bring more pain to her family?

Those Richardson women. My grandmother would say they come from strong stock. And they do. They may have been gobsmacked in the most public and sordid way possible, but they get right out there and figure out who they are and make a new path in the world for themselves.

A very engaging book that I loved. It is so refreshing to not see simpering females in a story like this. Well Done!

NetGalley/Harlequin-Graydon Trade February 09, 2021






The Love Scam by MaryJanice Davidson

The Love Scam

 

A rich playboy wakes up in Venice with the worst hangover of his life! And all of a sudden he has a daughter too.

This one had a lot of inconsistencies and I was confused and not amused during the entire book.

This one just needed a lot of pulling together of facts and plots.

NetGalley/August 4th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Griffin

 

 

What You Wish For by KATHERINE CENTER

What You Wish For

Remember Things You Lose in a Fire last year? Well, Katherine Center is back and has once again knocked it out of the park.

There are many people who can tell a story well. There are not many people who can tell a story so well you feel as if you know the characters personally and are rooting for them all. One thing I love about her stories is they are everyday people living lives full of problems, insecurities, losses, and joy. You will cry, you will laugh and you will come away having learned more than one valuable lesson!

So let’s talk about who is who and what is what!

Sam Casey has had a hard road to travel. With help from the kind family who own the school where she is a Librarian, she is learning to embrace joy and kindness where she can.ย  She loves the school and the children and with Max as her boss and her landlord, she feels she has a sort of family.

But life has a funny way of reminding us we aren’t really in control of anything when Max drops dead at his 60th birthday party. Leaving his wife and friends devastated.

Obviously, they have to have a new principal, but never in any part of Sam’s mind did she think she would know him. Her crush from her former school. He was the fun teacher and she was not his type. Assumptions there!

The Duncan who shows up, however, is not her Duncan. This guy is in a three-piece suit instead of the flamingo pants Sam remembers. And he doesn’t seem to know who she is.

His main goal seems to be to turn her beloved school into a drab, gray prison for children. No fun, no joy, no field trips!! But Sam isn’t the mousey teacher she was before. Now she is actively seeking to take this guy out. But in doing so, she lets him in. And she finds out she has judged him too quickly and too harshly.

Will we find out who the bad guy really is? Will Duncan finally notice her? And more importantly, will he run when he finds out her secrets? Or will she run when she discovers his?

Very Well Done! Highly Recommend!

NetGalley/ July 14th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

BREAKFAST AT THE HONEY CREEK CAFE’ by JODI THOMAS

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Cafรฉ

From New York Times and the USA Today bestselling author Jodi Thomas, a romantic, heartwarming contemporary novel set in Honey Creek, Texas–a little town nestled in the rolling hills bordering the Brazos River, where family bonds and legends run deep, and friendship and love are always close to hand . . .

A Romance and a Mystery? Why yes, please! Jodi Thomas has us in Wayward Bend, Texas. A very small town founded after the fall of the Alamo. The bonds of friendship, family, and those pesky feuds are all here. These are good people.ย 

Meet the Mayor, Piper McKenzie, carrying on the family tradition. While she is the main character we hear the voices of Colby, Sam, and Pecos Smith, who all tell their side of the story and are all hoping for a happy ending.

I think Mr. Winston was my favorite character. All of the characters were well done and fully developed. I laughed, I cried, and it was a book I needed to read in this time of uncertainty.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ May 26th 2020 by Zebra Books Kensington

 

 

 

On Ocean Boulevard by Mary Alice Monroe

On Ocean Boulevard

We are back with Cara and the Rutledge family in Charleston, South Carolina.

Cara returned to her roots sixteen years ago. Since then she’s married, been widowed and has a baby! She has been through some of life’s cruelest situations. Now, she is still working at the aquarium and turtle rescue as well as planning her own wedding! Yes, Cara is getting married again.

Now it’s time for her niece to come home. Linnea went to California with big dreams of a career and hopefully a husband. Neither has happened and now she is back on Sullivan’s Island living with her parents and feeling discombobulated. Her parents are holding up well after they lost everything and moved to the island. Palmer seems to be doing well building a house on Cara’s lot and Julia is finding herself as well.

Just when it seems as if they all may come out all right, a major illness strikes and everything comes to an abrupt halt. But we know these people. Together they can move mountains. And just like the turtles that return every year to their beach, they too will find strength in their love for one another and their family.

I adore this series. My momma is a Charleston girl and when I read Monroe’s books I actually know most of these names! Personally, we are Pinckney’s. There is so much family love and tradition in these stories that now is the perfect time to read this!

Thanks so much Ms. Monroe!

NetGalley/ May 19th, 2020 by Gallery Books

 

 

Summer Longing by Jamie Brenner

Summer Longing

When a baby is left on the doorstep of a Cape Cod beach house, an unlikely group of women risks all they hold dear to harbor and protect her in this page-turning story from aย USA Todayย bestselling author.

Ruth Cooperman has worked hard for what she has. A successful cosmetics company and plenty of money. But it has come at a high cost. Her daughter, Olivia, and her ex-husband Ben.

Now she is ready to begin a new chapter in her life. And what better place than Provincetown? Where she and Ben met and fell in love. Unable to find a home to purchase, she is renting Fern and Elise’s home for the summer. They are happy to rent it our for the summer and live over their new Tea Shop.

When Ruth opens the door one morning she finds a baby. A very new baby in a carrier on the front porch!

When Elise and Fern take the baby no one could have expected how a group of women would bond over such a small thing.

This is a beautiful story of love, loss, redemption, and women raising up and caring for each other.

This is your summer read. But make sure you wear sunglasses because trust me, you are going to sob more than once. And laugh as well. I am so in love with this group of women and Provincetown. Oh, yes, this one touched my heart.

NetGalley/ May 5th, 2020 by Little, Brown, and Company

 

Hello, Summer by Mary Kay Andrews

Hello, Summer

Always a pleasure to read Mary Kay Andrews. And this should definitely be in your beach bag this summer. Also, it comes out on my birthday, May 5th, so it must be magical!

Sarah Conley Hawkins got out of her hometown before the ink was dry on her diploma. Ambitious, talented, and on the path to journalism greatness. Working for the Atlanta Journal-Constitution has been great, but when offered a job in D.C., she packs her meager belongings and is headed out the door when her sister sends her a message letting her know that the paper in D.C. has just shut its doors.

Conley, she dropped Sarah long ago, now has no job, no apartment, and finds herself back home living with her grandmother who is determined to put her to work at the family’s weekly newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, currently being run by her sister, the lawyer.

There is a lot of tension between the two. Running a newspaper wasn’t her sister’s dream. But she has had to step in and take over, so yes, she resents Conley for leaving and never returning.

Her first assignment will be working with the town gossip columnist. Who may be a few crayons short of a full box. She knows everything going on in the little town but has no idea how to write. So, for now, Conley is stuck making sense out of Rowena’s long-winded descriptions and over the top gushing.

Until she and her former bestie, Skelley, happen upon a horrible car crash. Unable to get the man behind the wheel out before the car explodes in flames, Conley has herself a story. The man was a U.S. Representative with a sterling reputation and a war hero to boot. Or so they say.

But Conley is suspicious. And soon is knee-deep in the investigation. The police may have written it off as an accident, but Conley knows it is not. Something is not right and she is going to get the truth even if it kills her. And it just may.

No one does the complications of family like Ms. Andrews. The secrets we keep thinking we are protecting the ones we love. The misunderstandings between sisters. And always, the hope, the love, and the redemption we all need.

Well Done!

NetGalley/ ย May 5th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press