Review

The Book Haters’ Book Club. Gretchen Anthony.

The Book Haters' Club

Published: Park Row
Date: 13th September 2022
Source: Publicist via NetGalley
All it takes is the right book to turn a Book Hater into a Book Lover…

That was what Elliot—the beloved co-owner of Over the Rainbow Bookshop—believed before his untimely passing. He always had the perfect book suggestion for the self-proclaimed Book Hater. Now his grief-ridden business partner, Irma, has agreed to sell the cozy Over the Rainbow to condo developers.

But others won’t give up the bookshop without a fight. When Irma breaks the news to her daughters, Bree and Laney, and Elliot’s romantic partner, Thom, they are aghast. Over the Rainbow has been Bree and Laney’s sanctuary since childhood, and Thom would do anything to preserve Elliot’s legacy. Together they conspire to save the bookshop, even if it takes some snooping, gossip and minor sabotage.

Under rather suspicious circumstances Irma has sold her bookshop after the death of her bookshop partner, Elliot. Soon her daughters and Thom the partner of Elliot begin to smell a fish. Why on earth would Irma do this before telling the others, just present the deal – signed and sealed.

Or is it? Bree, Laney and Thom think it is smelly and they endeavour to get to the bottom of what is going on. Irma who is cagey is giving nothing away. But its an awful low price so what is going on. So the trio come up with a plan.

After many struggles, secrets, insights and revelations, things begin to work out. A bookshop that seemed to be doomed has a promising new life. And what’s more the characters themselves all too, look forward to that same promise in their own lives.

Buy Links:
HarperCollins.com 
BookShop.org
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Books-A-Million
IndieBound

Social Links:
Author Website 
Twitter: @granthony 
Facebook: Gretchen Anthony
Instagram: @gretchenanthony.writer 
Goodreads

Review

Snowed in for Christmas. Sarah Morgan

book cover

Published: HQN
Date:  20th September 2022
Source:  Publicist via NetGalley

A family gathering
This Christmas the Miller siblings have one goal—to avoid their well-meaning family’s endless stream of prying questions. Ross, Alice and Clemmie have secrets that they don’t intend to share, and they are relying on each other to deflect attention.

An uninvited guest
Lucy Clarke is facing a Christmas alone and the prospect of losing her job. Unless she can win a major piece of business from Ross Miller, the season promises to be anything but festive. She’ll just deliver her proposal to his family home and then leave. After all, she wouldn’t want to intrude on the Miller family’s perfect Christmas.

Snowed in for Christmas by Sarah Morgan may just turn out to be my very favorite Christmas story of 2022.

It just had such a warm, cosy, family feel to it. I felt like I was there in Scotland, with snow and wonderful smells and the chaos of family interactions.

There is a cast of characters. So we have Lucy (the outsider) and  Ross, Alice and Clemmie the three adult children returning home for Christmas. At home there is Glenda the mother and Douglas the dad and the best nana ever. Nana Jean.

Firstly Nanna Jean just made me laugh so many times and her little interlude with a computer had me smiling more than once. Glenda is the heart of the home and is anxious that her children will be happy and that she is has mothered in the right way. Douglas is getting older and with no one in the family to carry on the business – where to next?

There is plenty of drama, finding out mistakes have been made and seeing how things might be set right. There is plenty of emotion and things taking on a life of their own. Of course being snowed in provides the perfect situation for everyone to stay together.

Lucy, the outsider – well if Nana Jean has anything to do with it she won’t be that for long.

I am not going to say more, except if you like a good family snowed in story with romance at Christmas this is definitely for you. It was for me.

photoAuthor Website:

Facebook:
Twitter:
Instagram: 
Goodreads:


Banner

Review

Point Last Seen. Christina Dodd.

book cover

Published:  HQN books
Date: 21st June 2022
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

LIFE LAST SEEN

When you’ve already died, there should be nothing left to fear… When Adam Ramsdell pulls Elle’s half-frozen body from the surf on a lonely California beach, she has no memory of what her full name is and how she got those bruises ringing her throat.

GIRL LAST SEEN

Elle finds refuge in Adam’s home on the edge of Gothic, a remote village located between the steep lonely mountains and the raging Pacific Ocean. As flashes of her memory return, Elle faces a terrible truth—buried in her mind lurks a secret so dark it could get her killed.

POINT LAST SEEN

Everyone in Gothic seems to hide a dark past. Even Adam knows more than he will admit. Until Elle can unravel the truth, she doesn’t know who to trust, when to run and who else might be hurt when the killer who stalks her nightmares appears to finish what he started…

Point Last Seen by Christina Dodd is set in Big Sur in California, in an imaginary town that is close to a wild beach and mountainous terrain. It’s an odd kind of town with a variety of inhabitants with many different quirks.

Adam Ramsdell lives there, he has come to hide, to recoup from wounds inflicted by others. He seems to be a loner but… many in the town like him and would most likely call him friend. He is now an artist working with metal.

Elle is rescued one day by Adam, from the sea. When she regains consciousness she has lost her memory. While she is healing Adam takes her in and watches over her. Rune the local psychic (with a back story of course) starts to work with her to help her recover her memory.

The book is very readable, I found myself chuckling and thinking well… what next! There are some shoot outs, fighting and really much skulduggery. The townsfolk are entertaining and provide a great cast of characters. At times as a reader I had to suspend belief, but with appreciation of the story.

There is action and romance with a satisfying conclusion with all the ins and outs neatly wrapped up. I’d almost call it cozy romantic suspense.

banner

 

Buy Links:

BookShop.org
Harlequin
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Books-A-Million
Powell’s
 

Social Links:

photo of author

Author Website
Twitter: @ChristinaDodd
Facebook: Christina Dodd
Instagram: @christinadoddbooks
Goodreads


Review

The Edge of Summer. Viola Shipman

book cover

Published:  Harlequin: Graydon House
Date: 12th July 2022
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

Devastated by the sudden death of her mother—a quiet, loving and intensely private Southern seamstress called Miss Mabel, who overflowed with pearls of Ozarks wisdom but never spoke of her own family—Sutton Douglas makes the impulsive decision to pack up and head north to the Michigan resort town where she believes she’ll find answers to the lifelong questions she’s had about not only her mother’s past but also her own place in the world.

Recalling Miss Mabel’s sewing notions that were her childhood toys, Sutton buys a collection of buttons at an estate sale from Bonnie Lyons, the imposing matriarch of the lakeside community.  As Sutton cautiously befriends Bonnie and is taken into her confidence, she begins to uncover the secrets about her family that Miss Mabel so carefully hid, and about the role that Sutton herself unwittingly played in it all.

As always Viola Shipman has written an engaging and at times heart touching story of a woman grieving the loss of her mother, and alongside that she is wondering about the past. Her mother has been a lone woman with no family other than Sutton. Now Sutton wants to unravel the secrets and mystery. Will she like what she finds – no not all of it, but in the search she will find truth and integrity and will be able to name the values that truly matter. And the people who truly matter.

Parenthood is  examined in this novel. Sutton wonders did her mother really love her, as she journeys I think she finds the answer to that, and sees for herself where a mothers lack of love has gone awry big time.

In Saugatuck / Douglas, Sutton meets up with Tug and a friendship is soon formed. He is a loyal, kind, challenging friend.  As well he sees the opportunity for new life and hope for family way before Sutton does.

The setting itself in Saugatuck / Douglas is a character in itself. The way the author describes life there makes me the reader very much fall in love with the place and itch to visit.

Throughout the book as Sutton examines her past and present and future, names her values and chooses life and happiness, we are presented with thought provoking ideas relevant to our lives today. Lots of wisdom.

I really liked the town, Sutton and Tug, I felt sorry for one lonely woman who made her own bed and even though its uncomfortable, refuses any other. For another, when she made her move I applauded and was delighted.

For me The Edge of Summer is a keeper.

Buy Links:
BookShop.org
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Books-A-Million
Forever Books
Powell’s

Social Links:
Author Website 
Twitter: @Viola_Shipman
Facebook: Author Viola Shipman
Instagram: @Viola_Shipman
Goodreads

author photoAuthor Bio: VIOLA SHIPMAN is the pen name for internationally bestselling author Wade Rouse. Wade is the author of fourteen books, which have been translated into 21 languages and sold over a million copies around the world. Wade chose his grandmother’s name, Viola Shipman as a pen name to honor the woman whose heirlooms and family stories inspire his fiction. The last Viola Shipman novel, The Secret of Snow (October 2021), was named a Best Book of Fall by Country Living Magazine and a Best Holiday Book by Good Housekeeping. 

Wade hosts the popular Facebook Live literary happy hour, “Wine & Words with Wade,” every Thursday at 6:30 p.m. EST on the Viola Shipman author page where he talks writing, inspiration and welcomes bestselling authors and publishing insiders.



Review

Sarah Morgan. Beach House Summer

Beach House Summer

Published: Harlequin Books
Date: 17th May 2022
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

When Joanna Whitman’s famous ex-husband dies in a car accident, she doesn’t know what to feel. Their dysfunctional marriage held more painful secrets than she cares to remember. But when she discovers that the young woman with him in the crash is pregnant, Joanna feels compelled to act, knowing exactly how brutal the media spotlight will be on celebrity chef Cliff Whitman’s ex-wife and his mysterious female friend.

Ashley Blake can’t believe it when Joanna shows up in her hospital room and suggests they hide away at her beach house on a sleepy stretch of California coast. Joanna should be hating her, not helping her. But alone and pregnant, Ashley can’t turn down Joanna’s offer. Yet she knows that if Joanna ever found out the real reason Ashley was in that car, their tentative bond would shatter instantly.

Joanna’s only goal for the summer is privacy, but her return causes major waves in the local community, especially for the man she left behind years ago. All Ashley wants is space to plan for her and her baby’s future, and to avoid causing any trouble for Joanna. But as secrets spill out under the hot summer sun, this unlikely friendship is about to be put to the test.

Beach House Summer by Sarah Morgan is a delightful summer read. It draws the reader in with a bit of a small mystery at the beginning about Ashley and Cliff. 

Joanna begins out as a person in hiding – mostly from the press. She has had a few bad experiences in her earlier life and that plus the present pressure of the press hounding her has made her want to curl up into herself. But… her personal assistant and later Ashley have things to say about that.

Ashley is pregnant and alone, or so she thinks. She has fled from an unsure situation into the fire. When Joanna takes an interest in her, things look up for her. Together both of them support each other and help build each other up into stronger women.

This is a story about small community, second chances, growing up, friendship, sibling relationship, parenting and of course some romance. The characters had me on their side and I loved the setting of the house, and the way things all get sorted out, mainly by talking things out and finding what is important in each person’s heart.

photoAuthor Bio:

Sarah Morgan is a USA Today and Sunday Times bestselling author of contemporary romance and women’s fiction. She has sold more than 21 million copies of her books and her trademark humour and warmth have gained her fans across the globe. Sarah lives with her family near London, England, where the rain frequently keeps her trapped in her office. Visit her at http://www.sarahmorgan.com

Social Links:
Author Website
Twitter: @SarahMorgan_
Facebook: Sarah Morgan
Instagram: @sarahmorganwrites
Goodreads

Buy Links: 
BookShop.org
Harlequin 
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Books-A-Million
Powell’s 



Review

A Family Affair. Robyn Carr. Blog Tour

book cover

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

“Anna McNichol knows how to take charge. Raised by a single mother, she’s worked to ensure her three children have every advantage she didn’t. And while her marriage has its problems, she values commitment and believes in “till death do us part.” Now an empty nester, she’s at the peak of her career and ready to seize the opportunity to focus on her future.

But life can change in an instant, and when her husband dies suddenly, Anna’s carefully constructed world falls apart. The mysterious young woman at the memorial service confirms her husband had been keeping secrets, and Anna is determined to get to the truth.

For once, she doesn’t have the answers. Her kids are struggling with their grief, her mother’s health is in decline and Anna needs closure. Faced with one challenge after another, she finds support from an unexpected source. And as she puts her life back together, Anna realizes the McNichols may not be perfect but they’ll always be family, and family is forever.”

In the aftermath of Chad McNicol’s death, his wife and three adult children go into free fall. It’s a difficult time as they all try to make sense of what is happening in their lives. It’s a shake up time, how will they all deal with it and come through it?

Anna is sorting through her life, what was good and not so good. Most of the story centres on her and the way she gradually comes to terms with all that has happened. Especially as she unearths some secrets.

Jess the eldest daughter, a doctor, is in a relationship crisis, as she expects certain things from others. Are those expectations realistic or do they stem from somewhere else?

Michael has a lovely girlfriend who wants more, but is he capable of meeting her in that good place. Seems not, at least to begin with.

Bess, who needs everything to be in order and seems to be coping until she isn’t.

It explores the whole aftermath of a family in grief at the loss of someone they have loved. What kept this book from being a winner for me, was  that I felt it could have benefited from some tighter editing. Also I felt many of the characters were not developed enough for my taste.

The way the family deals with the loss of Chad comes to a satisfactory conclusion at the end of the year and each person has made sense of where they are at and are ready to be a family.

photoAuthor Bio:

Robyn Carr is an award-winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author of more than sixty novels, including highly praised women’s fiction such as Four Friends, The Summer That Made Us and The View from Alameda Island, as well as the critically acclaimed Virgin River, Thunder Point and Sullivan’s Crossing series. Virgin River is now a Netflix original series. Robyn lives in Las Vegas, Nevada. You can visit her website at robyncarr.com.

Social Links:
Author Website
Twitter: @RCarrWriter
Facebook: Robyn Carr
Instagram: @robyncarrwriter
Goodreads

Buy Links: 
BookShop.org
Harlequin 
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Books-A-Million
Powell’s 

Review

The Summer Getaway. Susan Mallery

book cover

Published: Harlequin
Date: 15th March 2022
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

Single mom Robyn Caldwell needs a new plan for her future. She has always put her family first. Now, with her kids grown, she yearns for a change. But what can she do when her daughter has become the most demanding bride ever, her son won’t even consider college, her best friend is on the brink of marital disaster and her ex is making a monumentally bad decision that could ruin everything?

Take a vacation, of course. Press reset. When her great-aunt Lillian invites her to Santa Barbara for the summer, Robyn hops on the first plane to sunny California.

But it’s hard to get away when you’re the heart of the family. One by one, everyone she loves follows her across the country. Somehow, their baggage doesn’t feel as heavy in the sun-drenched, mishmash mansion. The more time Robyn spends with free-spirited Lillian, the more possibilities she sees—for dreams, love, family. She can have everything she ever wanted, if only she can muster the courage to take a chance on herself.

Robyn is at a crossroads, she is beginning to grow in awareness of what her life is like now and a desire for something more. She visits her Aunt Lillian across country. There she meets Mason who will inherit Lillian’s house when she dies. There is immediate attraction between the pair.

The only problem is Robyn attracts all those in need of her love and support. And there is a long line of them. Eventually the house is full.

I enjoyed the family atmosphere, the way Harlow and Austin, Robyn’s children made choices about their futures. Aunt Lillian was a delight and Mason someone special.  I did feel by the time the last person arrived at the house it had become a little farcical.

Eventually everything is all worked out, I was surprised by the change in one character and the outcome of the relationship, possibly it needed to end, but I thought the way in which it happened was somewhat over the top.

I enjoyed the epilogue and the way everything worked out.

banner

Review

Sleigh Bells Ring. RaeAnne Thayne

Sleigh Bells Ring

Published: Harlequin
Date: 26th October 2021
Source: Publicist via NetGalley – Blog Tour

Angel’s View Ranch has always been special to Annelise McCade. Once upon a time, it was her family’s land, until her grandfather sold it to billionaire Wallace Sheridan. Now employed as the live-in caretaker, Annie is just trying to make it through the holidays with both her sanity and her niece’s and nephew’s faith in the magic of Christmas intact.

The six-year-old twins recently lost their mother, so Annie tells herself it wouldn’t be a problem to bring them to Angel’s View. Why should it be? The Sheridans haven’t visited in years, not since Wallace died. They would never know the twins were there…until Tate Sheridan shows up out of the blue two weeks before Christmas.

Crushed to learn that Tate is there to sell his grandfather’s property—and mortified that her secret guests have been discovered—Annie offers her resignation. But Tate asks them to stay and help him get the house ready for one last family Christmas before it’s put on the market.

Annie and Tate have three days to work their magic before the Sheridan clan arrives—and to work through the growing attraction between them. But Annie simply can’t fall for the man who will put her out of a job and a home. Still, the sparkle of the season is impossible to deny…and this Christmas has surprises in store for everyone.

Sleigh Bells Ring by RaeAnne Thayne was a marvellous Christmas read. It warmed my heart, made me tear up a little with a mix of sadness and joy.

It has a cast of characters who all crept in turn into my heart. Those six year old twins Alice and Henry. Oh my. They have so much to deal with, yet their Auntie – Annaliese or Annie for short, may not have had children of her own, but she is just wonderful with them.

Then enter the Sheridan family. Returning to the ranch for one last time before Irene the grandmother intends to sell it now her dear Wallace has died, they fill the house and bring both joy and heartbreak with them. Wallace was someone who wasn’t there, but was! What a big heart and great foresight.

The ranch and town and sleigh rides all embodied the Christmas spirit. I loved seeing how they reached out and supported.

There is a facing up to tragedies of the past, and facing into the challenges of the now. And of course relationships develop in the romance way, but in all kinds of ways.

This is a Christmas book you won’t regret reading. Although you might regret having to close the book after the last page.

Buy Links: 
BookShop.org
Harlequin 
Barnes & Noble
Amazon
Books-A-Million
Powell’s 

Social Links:
Author Website
Facebook: @AuthorRaeAnneThayne
Instagram: @raeannethayne
Twitter: @raeannethayne
Goodreads