Book Connections

Five Books Read From My Shelf in June

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Count to Ten by Karen Rose. Another very good addition to this series. The bad guy is so bad and far too many murders. Had to skip some of that. Why do I read them though? The good guys – in this case Mia and Reed and the team are so dedicated to their work of bringing justice and putting themselves on the line. And there is such innate goodness in them. Loved seeing the origin of Faith Buchanan who we meet later on in the series.

4.5 stars

book coverThe Wedding Dress Sewing Circle by Jennifer Ryan. 4.5 stars. A really feel good story set in England during WW2. I love these kinds of stories that tell of women doing things that made a difference in their local community. The three characters – Grace, the vicar’s daughter, Violet daughter at the manor and Cressida – Violet’s aunt and well known dress designer all change and grow as the war goes along and various opportunities come their way. The local community and their support was wonderful and it was good seeing class barriers fall. Well worth reading. 4.5 stars

How Hard Can it Be?How Hard Can it Be sat on my shelf for three years so good to attend to it. It is set in England and tells the story of an almost fifty year old and her life with a husband, and two teens Ben and Emily.

The best part of this book was the relationship between Emily and her mother Kate. So full of the teen issues of today.

It’s not my style of book really. It is sort of Rom Com style of writing although it’s a women’s fiction novel.That said it is very well written and while the style didn’t appeal to me, the general premise and issues explored did.  3.5 stars

book coverIt took me a little while to warm into this story, The Homewreckers by Mary Kay Andrews. I think the Hollywoodish angle put me off a little. I liked Hattie and Cass and I felt they could have had more to say about what went on with the renovation of the house. That said, it was a very good read, I enjoyed the mystery – the unravelling of an old murder. Hattie’s relationship to her father-in-law, her own father and loss of a husband were all low key but provided background. There is a low burn romance and that worked out well in the end. That house would have looked amazing by the end.  4.5 stars

The Library at the Edge of the WorldNot quite sure about this book. I did find part of it overly descriptive and slow. Yet there is a charm and pull in to it. There is the library, Hanna finding her own two feet after divorce. Did I like Hanna and her mother Mary? Well in some ways not really. Who wants a gruff “keep quiet” librarian? My least favourite kind! Yet they grow on me and I was wishing them life and growth. My favourite character was Fury, the builder who obviously has a kind heart but isn’t beholden to anyone and rules can be side stepped. He is rather creative. Will I read any more. I don’t know. Our library doesn’t hold any of these books so I’d need to buy them. Will I? Time will tell.  3.5 stars.

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Review

Summer on the Island. Brenda Novak

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Published: Harlequin
Date:  5th April 2022
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

After the death of her US senator father, Marlow Madsen travels to the small island off the coast of Florida where she spent summers growing up to help her mother settle the family estate. For Marlow, the trip is a chance to reconnect after too long apart. It’s also the perfect escape to help her feel grounded again—one she’s happy to share with friends Aida and Claire, who are hoping to hit reset on their lives, too.

A leisurely beachfront summer promises the trio of women the opportunity to take deep healing breaths and explore new paths. But when her father’s will reveals an earth-shattering secret that tarnishes his impeccable reputation and everything she thought she knew about her family, Marlow finds herself questioning her entire childhood—and aspects of her future. Fortunately, her friends, and the most unlikely love interest she could imagine, prove that happiness can be found no matter what—as long as the right people are by your side.

Three friends arrive on the island of Teach in Florida for three momths of summer. And before the summer is out things will change, some paths will be taken and some won’t. As well for Marlow daughter of the senator the past will catch up and things long kept secret will be revealed.

There are wounds to be explored and lived with, and decisions to be made about how once secrets are revealed what is the best way to go on with life.

I really liked the friendship of the three women, and while things were not easy they were worked through. For two of the women it was a most unusual start to their friendship. For Marlow a new chance is given for love and romance. Each of the women face challenges that stretch them and they grow. For Marlow’s mother, Eileen – perhaps the biggest challenge of all.

People make mistakes, some deal with them and grow, some don’t. The story invites compassion and understanding for those who are in need of it and deserve it.  Readers who are triggered by unfaithfulness may find this story not for them. On the other hand it could be just right for them.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Welcome to another Monday. I had a quiet week really, not a lot going on! As I am in winter here it is sort of a time to hunker down. Hope its not too hot where you are.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

A review book and first in the series.

The Tuesday Night Survivor's Club

And still listening to the Bloomsbury Girls.

Up next:

From the library…

The Cartogrophers 

Last Week’s Posts

Riverbend Reunion Carolyn Brown

More 2022 Books on my WTR List

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Book Connections

More 2022 Books on my WTR List

Busy time of the year for books! These books have either already been published in 2022 or soon will be. They are ones I have organised in my online shopping in various places. If they are books I really like the author, I generally get a print book as I prefer reading in that format when possible. The first three will be print books, Viola Shipman’s will be a digital egalley and the last one will definitely go best on audio.

These all show my liking for women’s fiction with a bit of a mix of romance !

book coverFlying Solo Linda Holmes. I really enjoyed Linda Holmes previous book – Evvie Drake Starts Over so this is an automatic buy for me. “Smarting from her recently cancelled wedding and about to turn forty, Laurie Sassalyn returns to her Maine hometown of Calcasset to handle the estate of her great-aunt Dot, a spirited adventurer who lived to be ninety”

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The Emma Project.  This book is part of a series I’ve been reading. This one gives and Indian/American twist to Emma by Jane Austen. It’s a Rom Com and while that is not my favourite genre these books are well written and make a pretty  good read. So another buy book.

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Kristan Higgins latest book Out of the Clear Blue Sky is another buy. I have found her last few books a little issue oriented but still can’t resist giving this one a read. Some readers I follow have loved it and some are not so warm about it. So I’ll have to read it and see where I sit. Perhaps knowing that I haven’t been so keen on her recent books might make me read this one slowly and patiently.

book coverThe Edge of Summer publishes on the 12th of July. I am fortunate to have a NetGalley copy of this one but if I totally fall in love with it I know I’ll want to buy it as well. It’s about a woman seeking out the mystery of her mother who has just died and secrets that have as yet to be revealed. Viola Shipman is a pen name for Wade Rouse. He has recently written a memoir I’d like to read too at some point.

book coverAn Island Wedding by Jenny Colgan. Well anyone who loves visiting the island of Mure will be waiting for this one. Looks like there are a few relationships happening and Flora and Joel are finding the going and hard and I can’t wait to see how Lorna and Saif are getting on. I love to listen to this series and so looking forward to it.

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Review

Carolyn Brown Riverbend Reunion

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“Riverbend, Texas, doesn’t look like the crossroads of anywhere. But for four high school besties reuniting after twenty years, it’s a place to unpack a lot of baggage.

Risa’s for divorce, Mary Nell’s been kicked to the curb by her leech of a boyfriend, and Haley was just blindsided by a shocking family secret. But restless army veteran Jessica Callaway, looking to plant roots, has an idea: corral her fellow former cheerleaders and renovate an abandoned church smack-dab in the middle of three dry counties into a bar. Throw in a grill and Wade Granger—a onetime nerd turned surprisingly crush-worthy investor—and their lives are on tap for a turnaround.

My Thoughts

Riverbend Reunion by Carolyn Brown is l about a group of friends all coming back together after leaving school twenty or more years ago.  Along with them come the delightful sixteen year old twins belonging to Risa one of the women. Each of the women have had challenges to face and now they are ready to take on a new life.

As it happens Jessica’s being left an old church gives them the opportunity to do something entirely new. Plus Wade another ex military person is along for the ride as well.

This story is about found family, friendship and good will. It also has something to say about religion when it goes completely daft and ridiculous.

It does lack some tension and the plot tdid not  make me want to pick it up at every moment. and perhaps could have been more finely edited.

It’s a low-key, warm hearted read with of course everything working out well and hearts that were hurt are now mending and moving on.

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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Hello all. Well I am over weather this week. Wet, extremely windy with small twisters and rain and hail, thunder and lightning and we have another few days of it. I had a visitor yesterday and we decided it was better staying over night and travel this morning. Which we did. Just yucky. Fortunately so far I haven’t been in the path of the twisters or flooding but many others have. One of sisters was having problems with a flooding street.

My sister posted this, this morning on Facebook. So funny – we have an ongoing joke because one of our sisters got mad with us all for awhile and called us witches. My brother thought this was hugely funny and built a block for us all ( 5) to park our broomsticks at mad sister’s place.  My sister  says “Weather conditions are so bad here I was only going to get some milk from the dairy. got blown off course .”

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Miss 6 year old came home from school very bouncy and excited. She said there had been thunder, lightning, heavy rain, hail and strong wind. It was so awesome! I can remember my teaching days when if you got extreme weather, lessons “were out the window” as the class just massed at the windows to watch!

I had a good reading week, read and discussed volcanoes as we read Max’s reading book. (Helping him with reading), we have lots of volcanoes in NZ so quite relevant with one huffing and puffing at the moment. I wrote 6 postcards I am ready to send off to USA and Canada as part of a Facebook quilting group who are mailing out postcards to people in the group. Thought it would be fun. Hope they get there, my pen has smudged a bit on the card so need to look into what kind of writing tool is better! So going to brave the weather after preparing this post to get a few more stamps and post them. Who knows when they’ll arrive. Postage is pretty erratic these days.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

The wedding dress sewing circle

And still listening to Bloomsbury Girls which I am enjoying but just seem not to be getting to it.

Up next:

Catching up on a back log review book I chose by accident but hope its enjoyable.

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Last Week’s Posts

Twilight Shadows.  Emilie Richards

Five books I had read from the Modern Mrs Darcy SRG 2022

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Book Connections

Five I’d Read from MMD SRG 2022.

Summer RG

This year the MMD Summer Reading Guide had books from past years guides and so I had read some of them. Here are five I particularly was very happy they were recommended on MMD reading guide.

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I really like this one for a number of reasons. FireKeeper’s Daughter  is YA and a debut novel that depicts life in the far north of the USA. It informed of so much about the Objibwe people today. I loved their spirituality and respect for nature, and the knowledge of the elders. Daunis was an amazing lead character. The story deals with not only the good but the downside of life in an Objiwe contemporary setting. Sad but no doubt very real. It is part mystery, with some tough issues. This is one I have in hardback and when I reread it I’ll choose the audiobook version.

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I listened to this one on audiobook and really liked it. In fact I am reading another book now by Natalie Jenner via audiobook, and it has one of the characters from this book.  It is historical fiction from just after WW11 and another debut novel.  Excellent narration by Richard Armitage.

“Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England’s finest novelists. Now it’s home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen’s legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen’s home and her legacy. “

To Night Owl from Dogfish

A middle grade novel about a couple of twelve year olds, who are being raised by their gay dads. Their dads eventually meet and fall in love and the girls have to get to know each other and hopefully blend into a family.

What a delightful read. Both humorous and touching. Loved the two girls and their personalities. The friendship they formed and the family they were seeking. Loved the plot turns that kept the story moving along.

Much of the story is told through emails the girls send each other. I still have this book on my shelf, its not going anywhere. Anne Bogel says her whole family loved this book.

Garden Spells

I had read this book every before it appeared in a reading guide. I still have my paperback copy sitting on my shelf. I didn’t record my thoughts at the time but I do remember the Waverleys and the magical apple tree. And I have read First Frost which is another Waverley family novel.

This one would certainly be worth my rereading it.

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I did read this after it appeared in a summer reading guide and have it on my print bookshelf. It is a memoir really.

Well worth reading and reflecting upon. Very moving in places and filled with humanity and compassion. 

“One day, Lori Gottlieb is a therapist who helps patients in her Los Angeles practice. The next, a crisis causes her world to come crashing down. Enter Wendell, the quirky but seasoned therapist in whose office she suddenly lands. With his balding head, cardigan, and khakis, he seems to have come straight from Therapist Central Casting. Yet he will turn out to be anything but. “

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Review

Twilight Shadows

Twilight Shadows

Republished: by Emilie Richards
Date: 1st June 2022
Source: from the author

When private investigator Kelley Samuels’s best friend and partner asks her to be the maid of honor at her wedding, she can’t refuse. After all, wearing a frilly dress and dealing with the bride’s mother are minor irritations.

Then on the trip down the aisle, all hell breaks loose. Between barrages of gunfire and a lunatic seemingly intent on wiping out the wedding party, Kelley has to protect guest and film action hero Griff Bryant. While neither Griff, intent on playing a real life hero, nor Kelly herself can capture the shooter, when the smoke clears, no one is really sure who the gunfire was meant for.

Kelley, a former child star, has a clear-eyed view of the film industry, and when she’s cornered into becoming Griff’s pretend lover and real-life bodyguard, she can’t wait for the assignment to end. But as she and Griff encounter more violence, and his pre-teen daughter is endangered, too, Kelley finds herself deeply involved with the man she’s supposed to protect.

Kelley knows she can protect Griff from harm, but how can she protect her own heart?

Emilie Richards now republishes the second book in her Palm Springs Confidential books. We get up close and personal with Kelley, the partner of Felice, the heroine of the first book.

I was hooked into this story straight away, I loved the characters, the Hollywood setting grabbed me, the mystery, the action, the suspense and the tension between Kelley and Griff. I did like Tara – Griff’s twelve year old daughter and Kelley’s dog too, I just wanted more of them!

I liked that we caught up with Felice and Josiah, and that we first renew our acquaintance at their action filled wedding. It’s not the only time we meet them as they play small but important roles later on. Twilight Shadows and Desert Shadows are named so, because private investigators are sometimes referred to as shadows. I rather liked that little nugget of information. Kelley and Felice are private investigators.

This story really engaged my emotions and I was left feeling very satisfied and happy as the book ended. Well as happy as a reader can be when a book you love ends!

#IMWAYR

It’s Monday! What Are You Reading?

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It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a place to meet up and share what you have been, and are about to be reading over the week. It’s a great post to organise yourself. It’s an opportunity to visit and comment and er… add to your groaning TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started on J Kaye’s blog and then was hosted by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn here at The Book Date.
Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels or anything in those genres – join them.

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I had a good week. I finished watching Season 2 of All Creatures Great and Small. Now I see at least they are making a season 3 and 4 so something to wait for.

I listened to a podcast that interviewed an interior book designer. Who knew that was something that had to be thought through. Now I am examining the book I am reading more carefully to see what she was talking about!

We’ve had lots of rain and in for more. We have been blessed with lots of sun over summer but now the wet weather is here!

It’s a long weekend here – we celebrate the Queen’s Birthday in June and of course its her bitg 70 year celebration. I watched a little of it on You Tube. I only stream so don’t have any channels that might have shown more.

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

Almost finished and will do so today no doubt.

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And still listening to Bloomsbury Girls.

Up next:

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Review

My Pick from the Modern Mrs Darcy Summer Reading Guide.

Summer RG

Each year Anne Bogel and her team come out with the summer reading guide. (You can get your own copy). This year some are back list books, and I have read some of them. This week I am looking at the five I want to read. Next week I’ll mention five I have read and liked.

The Cartographers by Peng Shepherd. One I have already mentioned as one I want to read. Even since then I have seen great reviews for this book, so even more decided to read it.  Library request in.

Book Lovers by Emily Henry.  Yes had already marked this as one I’d read. I am on the request list at the library for this one.

Lessons in Chemistry by Bonnie Gramus. I hadn’t thought of reading this one but have seen a few good reviews for it and I would certainly like to try it. I have put a request in at the library and am number 68! So must be popular. There are 10 copies.

The BodyGuard  by Katherine Centre. I already had this one in mind and as I have read Katherine Center before, I know I will want to buy this is some format.

What We Were Promised by Lucy Tan. This is a bit of a wild card book for me. It is set in Shangai and is about a particular family and deals with things like rich v poor, urban v rural and old v new values.  It’s a back list book It’s available at the library and I will put in a request when I see I have a space for reading it. There are no reserves on the book as it is a 2018 book.

So any top book worm the guide you’d be drawn to reading?

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