Review

One Perfect Summer Brenda Novak

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Publisher: Harlequin
Date: April 2020
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

After taking a DNA test three women find out they are half sisters. But how? Serenity sees herself as coming from a happily parented family, with a brother and two sisters. Reagan has just her mother, but there is a no hint of anything odd. Lorelei has spent many years in foster care, after being found wandering the streets.

They come together over one perfect summer, where they get to know each other. Each in there own way are grappling with crisis life situations. Serenity’s husband is in prison and it was she who ensured he went there. Now her writing has dried up and she can’t get to write the book that is overdue. Reagan had an office affair that has left her anxious and Lorelei has found that her husband slept with her best friend. What a hotpot of challenges.

The story is told in turn by the three sisters and occasionally by their neighbor Finn – he and his two brothers are staying next door. It helped me the reader to really empathise with each woman and see exactly how they felt and what they were struggling with.

There is a little touch of romance, but essentially it is the story of each woman and the challenges she must accept and grow through. I thoroughly enjoyed it. And… I wouldn’t mind seeing more of 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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Just a little reading this week, still such good weather for being outside and of course quilting!

This week we went down a level and all shops are open and most things are back, although only groups of 10 allowed so no church and no bars yet. Schools went back today. We can travel anywhere within New Zealand. We are only getting 0 – 1 cases a day so feels pretty safe. However I disliked coming out of lockdown and don’t want to move too quickly. And I am totally sick of radio talk back hosts stirring up negativity and doom and gloom. Off my Christmas list they go!

Hope you are all doing well and staying clear of the virus.

What I read last week:

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What I am reading now:

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And still listening to Feels Like Falling.

Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Books I am Most Likely to Read from the Modern Mrs Darcy Summer Reading Guide

Best Behavior. Wendy Francis

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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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One advantage for me of lockdown is that I have got out walking more. And because of that I’ve got back into my audiobook listening again. Alleluia!  Our weather has been very mild, unusually warm temps for us for Autumn over the last number of weeks, which means we’ve all been able to get outside. Some of us too much if you can judge my beach photos!

What I read last week:

I enjoyed my first taste of an Anne Tyler book. I finished listening to Becoming. Great on audio. I respected Michelle Obama before I listened. I am in awe of her now and highly respect her now and am inspired by her.

What I am reading now:

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And I’ve begun listening to

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Stories We Never Told. Sonja Yoerg

Books Recommended to me by Others

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Book Connections, Review

Books Recommended by Others

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When I read a book review by someone and I know that my reading taste intersects with theirs in some ways I wonder if I should try it and I sometimes do, depending on whether of course there is space on my reading calendar. Here are five books that I did pick up. Links go back to the reader’s original review.

book cover I read a book review of this on Mary’s blog Book Fan and while she didn’t say a lot about this debut  novel she did capture my attention about it. So I requested it from the library and it was a very happy match up. So much so I even ended up making it a 5 star read. What a wonderful story. I loved Dan and Ellie and Phineas (the pheasant) and Ed. Beautifully written, quirky, delightful. This is a love story about nature and people who see the world slightly differently. Often I chuckled out loud. I loved much of the imagery – like rock and limpet! It’s about doing what really matters and being what really matters. This is a book I’ll long remember. Thanks Mary because I have not seen it mentioned anywhere else. I will want to read Hazel Prior again.

book coverMy niece Amanda recommended this book to me as it was one of Jojo Moyes books she really liked. It is historical fiction and tells the story of a group of women travelling from Australia to England to join the men they had married from Britain during the war years. All I can say is they were very courageous and the trip was not easy. Some got telegrams mid sail saying they were not wanted and they were put off the ship to be returned home at the next port. At times I found It dragged for me, but on the whole I found it insightful and well worth the read.  I am already a Jojo Moyes fan but only picked this book up because Amanda had enjoyed it.

book cover This book was first recommended by Elizabeth at Silver Reviews and then Debbie from The Reading Frenzy backed that up. When I needed a book for a reading challenge for a book that included food I decided now was the time to read it. It was perfect. Full of delicious smells, scenery, baking. Yum. Wonderful characters, a great sense of family and tradition and lots of little pieces of wisdom thrown in.  I have since read another of Viola Shipman’s books and have another sitting on my TBR.

 

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It is no secret that Laurel Rain enjoys reading Anne Tyler and I’ve seen her reading and reviewing her books. Last year after reading her review for Clock Dance I went out and bought it. And just this week I read it. It’s a slow moving wending way of a book through the life of one woman Willa and the people who surround her. After the rather hopeless husbands and sons she has encountered she finds a very different group of people, who I think prove to her family is not necessarily about blood. I really liked her vision for going forward. I will certainly read Anne Tyler again.

book cover At first I passed this by on NetGalley but then I read Katherine’s review over at I Wish I Lived in a Library and I saw her ” I really liked it”, I knew I had to take notice.  So I headed back to NG and downloaded it. I am just a little ways in but I can tell that I am going to enjoy it. How much? I am not that sure yet, but it is a very positive start. I’ve also seen others since saying it is a good read, so stepping out in faith and hope!!

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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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Hope you are all hanging in there. I had to smile this week when I heard one person on a podcast saying they were eating off paper plates some days because they were tired of doing the dishes. What!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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And still listening to Michelle Obama’s book. Enjoying it.

Up next:

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Review

Right Where We Belong by Brenda Novak

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Published: Harlequin – MIRA
Date: 31st October 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 384
Genre: Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Rating
Goodreads callout

Savanna Gray needs a do-over. Her “perfect” life unraveled when, to her absolute shock, her husband was arrested for attacking three women. With her divorce settled, she takes her two children home to Silver Springs to seek refuge between the walls of the farmhouse where she was born. It needs a little TLC, but she’s eager to take control of something.

Gavin Turner understands the struggle of starting over. Abandoned at a gas station when he was five, it wasn’t until he landed at New Horizons Boys Ranch as a teen that he finally found some peace. He steps up when Savanna needs help fixing things—even when those things go beyond the farmhouse.

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Right Where We Belong is another book in Brenda Novak’s Silver Springs series. However it is perfect as a stand alone. Like the previous book I read in this series there is some romance, some crime, a little mystery – all in all, a good mix.

Savannah has had the misfortune to find herself married to someone who has been attacking women. He is in prison awaiting trial and she is suffering trial by public opinion so she decides to leave the small town and travel to California where there is a dilapidated home belonging to herself and her brother. She has two delightful but bewildered children and as well she has a whole lot of gumption.

Gavin is one of the past pupils of New Horizons Boys Ranch, he now works there and is a musician as well. He takes an immediate liking and attraction to Savannah when she arrives, and really helps her out where he can.

This does not please his prior girlfriend who is hoping to wheedle her way back into his life with a bit of blackmail and putting the screws into him where she knows it will count. Will she succeed?

When it looks like the police might not be able to close the case against Savannah’s husband – soon to be divorced, Savannah after weighing up things decides to get a little more involved and takes some big risks. I found it a little scary as she did her own investigation!

A fun read, nice and relaxing on the whole, that mixture of romance and sizzle, a heroine making a stand for herself and a hero there to support her while she does it.

Review

Until You Loved Me. Brenda Novak

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Published: MIRA
Date: 25th July 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 384
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source:Publisher via NetGalley
Rating:
4 stars                      Add to Goodreads

After catching her fiancé cheating—with another man–usually straight-laced, workaholic scientist Ellie Fisher liberates her wild side just long enough to indulge in a passionate one-night-stand with a tall, dark stranger she meets at a trendy Miami bar. Embarrassed by her recklessness, she ducks out the following morning without learning the guy’s full name, something that shouldn’t have been a problem…until a pregnancy test turns positive.

Being a professional football player, Hudson King has always been cautious around women. But this one had been different—so disinterested in his celebrity, so convincingly into him. When Ellie tracks him down, claiming she’s carrying his baby, he’s stunned. And more than a little betrayed.

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Until You Loved Me by Brenda Novak is #3 in the Silver Springs series. However it is perfect also as a stand alone as I hadn’t read the previous two, yet didn’t need to, to fully get involved in this story.
And get involved I did. I read through it speedily, picking it up every spare moment as I became engrossed in the story of Ellie and Hudson King. 
Ellie is a delight, she is a very bright clever young woman, somewhat serious, involved in important work as a scientist. However she is just off the end of a broken engagement, I mean you would if you came home and found your significant other in bed with another man.  While her heart is somewhat broken, her head is in the right place and when after a one night stand she finds she is pregnant, she isn’t easily pushed around.
Hudson King is a big football player, has made millions and every football fan in the country would know and recognise him.  (Not Ellie, she has no interest whatsoever in game and wouldn’t know a player if she fell over him!) Oh that’s right she did fall over him!
Hudson was found under a bush as a child and he has no family, even though he has some great friends and has over the last ten years or so endeared himself to a group of difficult boys whom he delights in mentoring. Hudson has huge trust issues – do people really see him or do they see big, famous and rich?  He’d like to know his parentage and has hired a PI to see what he can find. And believe me that’s when the “fun” starts.  Those causing the “fun” though don’t reckon on a very smart Ellie.
I enjoy this kind of romance trope and it worked beautifully in Until You Loved Me.  Loved the two main characters, the mystery and suspense and the final outcome. 
romanticpage turnerwell writtenfull of intrigue