BREAKFAST AT THE HONEY CREEK CAFE’ by JODI THOMAS

Breakfast at the Honey Creek Café

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. 

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 a USA Today 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/  May 5th, 2020 by St. Martin’s Press

 

 

 

 

 

THE WEDDING DRESS CHRISTMAS by RACHEL HAUCK

The Wedding Dress Christmas (The Wedding Collection)

It’s December in my favorite town of Heart’s Bend, Tennessee. Snow, twinkling Christmas lights.

Jojo Castle is back home vowing never to leave again after her life of adventure in the big city did not work as planned.

Buck Mathews has taken the country music scene with some great music and a megawatt smile. He’s riding high. Until he receives news of his mother’s illness and once again Buck is back home as well.

Although JoJo works with her cousin Haley in The Wedding Shop, she herself has no plans for love.  Until Buck shows up. Her high school crush arrives in town and she starts having feelings.

Buck is a successful and busy man who left his friends and family for fortune and fame. And he thought that was enough. Until he sees JoJo and is thinking there may be more important things. Such as love.

Will they be able to meet in the middle? Maybe with a little help from Christmas, a special wedding dress and maybe a nudge from above.

Rachel Hauck’s books are not a genre I am known to read. She is my guilty pleasure. From the second I begin to read I’m transported to a place where love exists, people are kind and miracles do happen. If you haven’t read one, well, why not?

This one is out now and I highly recommend it!

NetGalley/ October 18th, 2019 by Rachel Hauck Inc

 

 

 

 

 

Home Sweet Home by Fern Michaels, Donna Kauffman, and Melissa Storm

Home Sweet Home

Three great stories in one book! With my favorite writers.

Fern Michaels: THREE’S A CROWD  has Samantha Stewart coming home with more than she left with. An overseas reporter who hasn’t been home in years is bringing with her a huge surprise for her mom and dad. A grandchild! But the how and the when and the why are complicated. A nice story of what home is and who it is.

Donna Kauffman: NEW BEGINNINGS IN BLUE HOLLOW FALLS has our Katie MacMillan back in Blue Hollow Falls to help her sister get ready to have her baby. What no one knows is she is staying. Or she was until she found out her biggest crush is in town and it looks like she may get a second chance at love while Declan finds a home. Beautiful. I am a big fan of Blue Hollow Falls and all the folks who live there!

Melissa Storm: BRING ME HOME  Hazel Long is spending time with her father. He is bedridden and the time they spend is sad and happy. The people at the hospital are kind and friendly. Especially one of the male nurses. Hazel’s dad begins telling her about her mother. A mother Hazel didn’t really know. As they grow closer she finds hope and a bond. And maybe a bit about making every day count.

I enjoy it when my favorite authors get together and tell a few short stories for us while we linger pitifully awaiting their next full-length book.

February 25th, 2020 by Zebra/ NetGalley Review

Under a Firefly Moon by Donna Kauffman

Under a Firefly Moon

Blue Hollow Falls may be a small Blue Ridge Mountain town, but it’s big on love—and second chances . . .

We are back at Lavender Blue Farm! A place for healing, hope and as many chances as you need to find your way home.

This is number four in the series. The women who own the farm are like family to each other and they have all suffered in their lives. But here they have found safety and their own inner strength and are all following their dreams.

This is Chey’s turn. The former barrel racer has worked hard to forget the pain of her past and what she lost. She has found healing at Lavender Blue and is perfectly content. She let her shot at love go willingly and regretted it instantly. She misses her two besties from her life growing up on the rodeo circuit. Wyatt Reed left the rodeo after she put him in the friend zone. Her other BFF, Tory, did as well.

This is the story of what happens when Tory pokes her little nose into the lives of her friends. She finds Wyatt’s horse in very bad shape and who does she know that rehabs horses? Yes! Chey. Chey is happy to take Buttercup but when Tory shows up to stay, she brings Wyatt Reed right smack into Chey’s life. But not the same Wyatt. A different, calmer and gentler Wyatt.

Will, she let him walk away again? Or will they fall in love under the firefly moon?

What did I like about this one? All of it. This series is a powerful look at what women can do when they support each other. These are stories of hope and a reminder to all of us that we can get back up and change our reality.

Kauffman is the Queen of all the Feels!

NetGalley/January 28th, 2020 by Zebra

 

 

The GIRLS with NO NAMES by SERENA BURDICK

The Girls with No Names: A Novel

The Girls with No Names pulls readers into the gilded age of New York City in the 1910s when suffragettes marched in the street, unions fought for better work conditions—and girls were confined to the House of Mercy for daring to break the rules.

Life in the early 1900s was very confining for women and girls. Even the wealthy families who live in their mansions just down the road from the mysterious House of Mercy.

Luella and Effie belong to one of those families. Their father is charming but away a lot and their mother comes off as cold and a bit distant. Effie was born with a heart defect that will eventually kill her. Her older sister Luella has always looked after her. They are good girls with very little to do.

One day playing by the forest they hear beautiful music playing and their curiosity gets the better of them. What they find is a gypsy camp. Luella, a dancer is amazed and never wants to leave, but Effie needs her. All summer they hang out with the gypsy camp and it is here Luella runs after she and Effie find out a secret their father is keeping.

Feeling betrayed and angry Luella has no intention of obeying her father or ending up like one of the girls at school being sent to the Mercy House. She just needs a plan.

And just like that, she disappears. Effie is devastated and believes her father has finally had enough of his rebellious daughter and parked her in the Mercy House.

Effie is determined to find her sister and the way she gets into the house is brazen and fearless. But once behind that door, the house is anything but merciful. This is just another workhouse for girls who won’t knuckle under to society’s rules. How will she get out of this place where no one and nothing is what it seems. Not even their names.

Effie meets a girl named Mabel and we hear her story as well. With all the lies everyone is telling it will take a miracle for her to find her way home. If she doesn’t die in the process.

Historical Fiction with a lot of facts. These places existed everywhere. Magdalene Laundries, all more of the same. If a girl has an opinion she could easily never see the light of day again.  Everyone in this book was suffering in some way. Secrets and lies told to protect reputations and instead simply end up making things so much worse.

NetGalley/January 7th, 2020 by Park Row

 

 

RAINY DAYS AND BOOKS AND TEA EQUALS BLISS!

It was raining when I went to bed and it just now stopped. More is forecasted and we do really need some rain. And it’s Friday the 13th so it’s a mood setter.

This morning I’m sipping on this lovely new tea I found at Barnes and Noble when I was picking up my copy of The Testaments by Margaret Atwood. This Harney & Sons tea is so delicate and full of ginger and lemon flavor. Great for the tummy and the book, well, we’ve waited a long time for this one!

  

So I’m all set for the weekend. What will you be doing? Or reading?

Miss Charli Ava is coming over today to try on a dress and see her new bedroom. I’m so excited. I’ve been working hard on this room and it all came together last night. Charli and I are going to buy scrapbook supplies to make her a book of her life. As most of you know, we didn’t get her until she was two, so no baby pictures at all. But never fear, I found someone to send me those and I can’t wait for her to see them. This is on her second birthday. The day we met her.

One of the loves of my life! It’s going to be a fun day! I hope yours is as well. Enjoy your weekend and be kind today. It’s free.

xx P

Met Her Match by Jude Deveraux

Met Her Match

In small towns, no one lets the facts get in the way of juicy gossip…

In the small town of Summer Hill, Virginia, Terri Rayburn has a reputation that hangs over her like a black cloud. 

Summer Hill is a town divided. The lake people and the town people. The lake property is mainly Terri’s fathers and she lives on the lake in her family home. She works hard at everything from repairing a boat motor to dragging tourists out of the water. She knows her place and it is the lake.

When she returns home to find a man in her house, she smells a rat. Are her father and uncle trying to fix her up with a man? A man who is engaged to the Mayor’s daughter?

Nate is a good man. He gets along with everyone and is very good at what he does. But now he’s out of that business and looking to settle down. But with who? As Terri and Nate settle into a friendship that sizzles, Nate is hearing some nasty rumors about Terri and her mother, who disappeared long ago. Nasty rumors have always circulated about what happened.

With the help of a lot of good people, Nate discovers the truth about Terri’s mother and it will change everything. But will he find out who he is and who he wants?

A great summer read with a strong female lead. The characters were great and I hope we hear more from them all!

NetGalley/ September 17th, 2019 by MIRA