Review

The Christmas Wedding Guest.

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Published: Harlequin
Date: 28th September 2021
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

The Somerville sisters believe in love, but they’ve lost faith it will happen for them. Reggie hasn’t been home since the end of the world’s shortest engagement. When her parents decide to renew their vows, she buffs up her twinkle to help with the Christmas wedding. Unexpectedly, Toby, her first love, is back too, and the spark between them shines as brightly as ever. In the spirit of the season, will they let go of past hurts and greet the New Year together?

Done waiting for the one, Dena is pregnant and on her own—on purpose. But then a gorgeous, sad-eyed songwriter checks in to a room at her inn. Micah, unable to write since he lost his wife, finds inspiration in Dena’s determination to be a mom. One snowflake-speckled kiss and he’s a goner. But Dena is afraid to believe that a rock star could fall for a cookie-cutter small-town girl like her.

This book is beginning of a series by Susan Mallery in Wishing Tree – a small town in Washington state, that really gets into the Christmas spirit.

Reggie is home to help her mother organise a very special renewal of vows, and brings with her, her Great Dane – Belle, and for me just might be the star of the show.  Reggie is about to discover that maybe love just might be around the corner.  Belle certainly works out early on, where her affection is going.  Harrison a young boy just might be my second star of the show.

Dena is a teacher, single and pregnant, because she wants a family and just hasn’t found the right man. But could he be not that far away after all. If only she could believe.

The characters are interesting, the setting is one of those lovely Christmas settings, and there is a strong sense of family and sisterhood.

For me though I found a lack of tension in the plot, there is a lot of sweet set up, but I had to wait for a long time to get to where it became really page turning.  It finally finished in a satisfying way.

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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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Well just a few days to Christmas. I hope you all have a family Christmas where ever possible. I will join my sister and her family all going well. So far omicron hasn’t made it to where I live and hopefully it won’t before Christmas.

Enjoyed my reading this week, a mix of my own books and review books. I have a bit of a back log on audiobooks, and Audible gave us a credit which was rather nice. Now I need to choose!

What I read last week:

What I am reading now:

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And I am listening to…

Heirs and Graces

Up next:

A review book

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Last Week’s Posts

Sleigh Bells Ring  RaeAnne Thayne

New to Me Authors of 2021

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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 well and out of the track of those tornadoes.  Where I am its rain! and rain! With the odd respite.

This week I was able to go and buy Go Tell The Bees I am Gone. It is #9 in the  Diana Gabaldon Outlander series. I’ve read them since they first began and even listened to her speak when she was here many years ago. I heard a really good interview with her on the radio yesterday and so now I am all geared to read her 800 odd page book. First though I want to get some of my review books read so that I can clear a good long space for reading her book.

What I read last week:

I really enjoyed the audio Love and Lavender, and what a treasure 84 Charing Cross Road was. Mary Kay Andrews Christmas story was delightful and Can’t Go Back I reviewed.

What I am reading now:

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And listening to…

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Up next:

A review book publishing on January 1st. Three novellas from the Shenandoah series.

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Last Week’s Posts

Can’t Go Back.       Debra Webb

Favourite Covers of 2021

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Book Connections

Christmas Reading Plans

These are the Christmas books I have on my shelf and I hope to read some of them at least during December. I have most likely mentioned them in other posts, but now they are grouped as “Christmas”.   Book covers are linked to Goodreads in case you want to check them out.

book coverChristmas in Peachtree Bluff is one. It is #4 in the series. Usually I listen to this series, but as this was a Christmas one and I seem to be getting behind in my listening I opted for the book.

The holiday season, three generations of women from the same family and a hurricane threatening.

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I love the cover on The Christmas Escape.  Two friends, a marriage in crisis and set in Lapland over Christmas. Does sound promising.

book coverAnd another that I would usually choose to listen to. However I decided this time I would buy The Christmas Bookshop by Jenny Colgan.

Set in Edinburgh and in an old dark bookshop. A woman who needs to sort out her life, and heal the rift with her family. And a bookshop that needs to be given new life.

book coverAn old house, an old Santa suit and in that suit a letter with a Christmas wish. Ivy sets out to find out about the writer and family. And no doubt discovers something that will make her happy.  The Santa Suit.

book cover I don’t have The Christmas Wedding Guest. But it went on my list after reading a lovely review for it over on Nise’s blog.  Another family themed book. Two sisters and their parents. The parents want to renew their wedding vows at Christmas. The sisters of course help make this happen. And while doing so, perhaps they will find love of their own.

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Review

The Stepsisters. Susan Mallery

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Published: Harlequin – Mira
Date: 8th June 2021
Source: Publicist via NetGalley

Once upon a time, when her dad married Sage’s mom, Daisy was thrilled to get a bright and shiny new sister. But Sage was beautiful and popular, everything Daisy was not, and she made sure Daisy knew it.

Sage didn’t have Daisy’s smarts—she had to go back a grade to enroll in the fancy rich-kid school. So she used her popularity as a weapon, putting Daisy down to elevate herself. After the divorce, the stepsisters’ rivalry continued until the final, improbable straw: Daisy married Sage’s first love, and Sage fled California.

Eighteen years, two kids and one troubled marriage later, Daisy never expects—or wants—to see Sage again. But when the little sister they have in common needs them both, they put aside their differences to care for Cassidy. As long-buried truths are revealed, no one is more surprised than they when friendship blossoms.

The Stepsisters by Susan Mallery is a book about sisters. Daisy and Sage are stepsisters, Daisy and Cassidy are half sisters as are Cassidy and Sage. A little complicated but not really. Their relationships with each other didn’t get off to the best of starts.  All thanks really to a mother figure who wasn’t that great at being a mother.

When Cassidy ends up at Daisy’s house after a bad accident, the three sisters have a second chance to discover what being sisters could mean. It is a rather pitted path, fraught with hiccups, very poor decisions and the need to stretch and grow on all their parts.

Daisy’s marriage has hit a rough spot and I have to say I really had no sympathy for the inept, complaining husband who projected all his feelings onto Daisy. He was one of two unlikeable characters in this story.

Each of the women grows considerably in the course of the story, and each finds a satisfying way forward. They change because they communicate with each other, they hang in there and recognise where they got things wrong.  They discover a friendship and a supportive base that would I imagine sustain them for the rest of their lives.

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Susan Mallery  Social Links:

Website:        Facebook:              Twitter:

 Instagram:                 Pinterest: 
Goodreads:  
Bookbub:
Mailing List: 

Buy Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/0778331806

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-stepsisters-susan-mallery/1137495093?ean=9780778331803  

Bookshop: https://bookshop.org/books/the-stepsisters-9780778312031/9780778331803 

IndieBound: https://www.indiebound.org/book/9780778331803 

Libro.fm: https://libro.fm/audiobooks/9781488211577-the-stepsisters 

Books-A-Million: https://www.booksamillion.com/p/Stepsisters/Susan-Mallery/9780778331803?id=7843731390040 

Target: https://www.target.com/p/the-stepsisters-by-susan-mallery-paperback/-/A-81262171# 

Walmart: https://www.walmart.com/ip/The-Stepsisters-Paperback-9780778331803/194267274 

Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/the-stepsisters/9780778331803-item.html 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/the-stepsisters 

AppleBooks: https://books.apple.com/us/book/the-stepsisters/id1527864349 

Google Play: https://play.google.com/store/books/details/Susan_Mallery_The_Stepsisters?id=8bn3DwAAQBAJ 

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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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A week of much the same as other weeks! I watched the moon eclipse here between 10:30 pm and 11:30pm with a clear starlit sky, its always good when there is no cloud cover for something that only comes around every so often.

What I read last week:

Enjoyed all these. The Queen of Hearts was a audiobook. Review for The Stepsisters this week and now I want to read more of Georgette Heyer.

What I am reading now:

One off my print TBR shelf.

The Possibilities

And I have started listening to The Missing Sister by Lucinda Riley. (23 hrs plus) I nearly returned it to Audible because a bit of it is set in New Zealand and the narrator does a terrible NZ accent that is like a parody. I managed to calm down and talk myself into staying with it. I was going to head out and buy the book instead!!

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Up next:

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Last Week’s Posts

Challenging Reads

How to Mend a Broken Heart.  Rachael Johns

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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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Thanks everyone for joining in. I love reading how you are all doing and what you are reading. I learn so much about various parts of the world.

My week has been of  course reading and quilting and a little time with a friend. Oh and of course a little exercise with this Japanese American 80 year old mother and daughter. Yes2Next.

Great for when I don’t want to go out into the weather when its too windy or cold.  How did I ever do without You Tube.

What I read last week:

Both very enjoyable books.

What I am reading now:

These Old Shades

And still listening to The Queen of Hearts.

Up next:

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Book Connections

Picking Through NetGalley

While I might not be eligible for many books on NetGalley, I do like to keep an eye on what is publishing that I want to read.  Next week though I’ll be sharing five of the books from NetGalley that I do have to read and review and I am very excited to do so. Authors I love to enjoy.

book clubPublishes 18th May.

Wendy Wax pretty much an automatic read any book by this author. Will most likely buy it.

On paper, Jazmine, Judith, Erin and Sara have little in common – they’re very different people leading very different lives. And yet at book club meetings in an historic carriage house turned bookstore, they bond over a shared love of reading (and more than a little wine) as well as the growing realization that their lives are not turning out like they expected.

book cover Publishes 25th May

It’s about step sisters years on and putting aside differences. I usually enjoy Susan Mallery’s women’s fiction books so will be watching out for this one, maybe at the library.

book cover Publishes in July.

RecentlyI read Heather Webber for the first time and now I want to read more!

Sadie Way Scott has been avoiding her family and hometown of Sugarberry Cove, Alabama, since she nearly drowned in the lake just outside her mother’s B&B. Eight years later, Sadie is the host of a much-loved show about southern cooking and family, but despite her success, she wonders why she was saved. What is she supposed to do?

book cover Publishes in May.  Another romantic suspense from Nora Roberts. I like to keep up with them! Maybe an audiobook listen for this one. I did mention this in another post, but keeping it in view!

book coverPublishes in June. Kristan Higgins is an automatic read and buy. Her most recent books have been delving into some tough issues.

Every month, a letter. That’s what Lauren decides to leave her husband when she finds out she’s dying. Each month, she gives Josh a letter containing a task to help him face this first year without her, leading him on a heartrending, beautiful, often humorous journey to find happiness again in this new novel from the New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins.

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Review

The Vineyard at Painted Moon. Susan Mallery

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Set in the vineyards of the north west part of the USA, The Vineyard of Painted Moon introduces us to the important roles of wine producing. Chief among them is the winemaker and in this case this would be Mackenzie Dienes and she works for her husband’s family business. And… she is really good at her job, passionate to be precise.

The family? Well there is Rhys her husband, and his sisters Lori, Stephanie and Four! At the centre of all the action is the matriarch Barbara. Some of these characters are likeable and some not so much. The story is set off by a lovely man proposing to Barbara and giving her a beautiful ring. They look so in love. It sets in play for some of the characters the realisation that they are not living either truthful or satisfying lives. Some way through the book it clicked with me that Bruno who first appears at the vineyards Summer Solstice party, we have met before in another story.

I loved the choices Mackenzie made along the way. She had a lot to deal with. The family is the only one she knows, she has no family of her own. Stephanie is her best friend, she is divorced and struggling rather in life to find passion and meaning.  

Barbara is something else, its a wonder all her children are even as sane as they are. She is a controlling woman, and doesn’t seem to know much about unconditional love. Her son Rhys I couldn’t make sense of. We didn’t see into his mind but could only judge him by what he says and does. I was left feeling sad for him.

I don’t want to give the plot away. Don’t read the blurb before you start this, go straight in, which as it happens I did, so even the beginning spoilers I didn’t have. I picked this book up when I was just not finding reading engaging. 

The Vineyard at Painted Moon soon picked me up out of that slump and I loved every minute of the book, I kept wanting more and more.  The challenges the characters faced, the plot the final epilogue all my kind of read.

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Rating: 5 out of 5.
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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 all had a good Christmas – I did. The weather was reasonably good but since then  it has turned quite chilly – coming into mid Summer! Oh well!

What I read last week:

Really liked this one, its a review book, I think it publishes in February.

What I am reading now:

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Up next:

Most likely…

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