Beach Bag Books

These are my top three books that need to go in your beach bag this summer.

My first pick  for your bag is Kristy Woodson Harvey’s book
The Secrets to Southern Charm.

Goodreads:  Leaving fans “practically [begging] for a sequel” (Bookpage), critically acclaimed author Kristy Woodson Harvey returns with the second novel in her beloved Peachtree Bluff series, featuring a trio of sisters and their mother who discover a truth that will change not only the way they see themselves, but also how they fit together as a family.

After finding out her military husband is missing in action, middle sister Sloane’s world crumbles as her worst nightmare comes true. She can barely climb out of bed, much less summon the strength to be the parent her children deserve.

Her mother, Ansley, provides a much-needed respite as she puts her personal life on hold to help Sloane and her grandchildren wade through their new grief-stricken lives. But between caring for her own aging mother, her daughters, and her grandchildren, Ansley’s private worry is that secrets from her past will come to light.

But when Sloane’s sisters, Caroline and Emerson, remind Sloane that no matter what, she promised her husband she would carry on for their young sons, Sloane finds the support and courage she needs to chase her biggest dreams—and face her deepest fears. Taking a cue from her middle daughter, Ansley takes her own leap of faith and realizes that, after all this time, she might finally be able to have it all.

Harvey’s signature warmth and wit make this a charming and poignant story of first loves, missed opportunities, and second chances and proves that she is “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, New York Times bestselling author.

My second pick for your bag is Mary Kay Andrew’s book
The High Tide Club.

Goodreads:  When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.

Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.

The High Tide Club is Mary Kay Andrews at her Queen of the Beach Reads best, a compelling and witty tale of romance thwarted, friendships renewed, justice delivered, and true love found.

My third pick for your bag is Susan Mallery’s
Sisters Like Us.

Goodreads:  The grass is always greener on your sister’s side of the fence…

Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgeling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies.

Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge—motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad…assuming Stacey can first find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant.

Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything—their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor.

Enjoy your summer reading!
I hope these are on your list.

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Hurricane Season

Author: Lauren K. Denton
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  Betsy and Ty Franklin, owners of Franklin Dairy Farm in southern Alabama, have decided to put life’s disappointments behind them. At least in theory. Ty manages their herd of dairy cows, while Betsy busies herself with the farm’s day-to-day operations and tries to forget the longing for motherhood set deep in her heart. But when Betsy’s free-spirited younger sister Jenna drops her young daughters off at the farm to attend a two-week art retreat in Florida, Betsy’s carefully constructed wall of self-protection begins to crumble.

As those two weeks stretch much farther into the hot Alabama summer, Betsy and Ty learn to navigate the new additions in their world and revel in a home that’s suddenly filled with the sound of laughter and life. Meanwhile, record heat promises to usher in the most active hurricane season in decades.

Four hundred miles away, Jenna is fighting her own battles. She’d once been free to travel and pursue a career in photography, but all that changed with the appearance of two pink lines on a plastic stick and a boyfriend who hit the road. At Halcyon art retreat, she finally has the time and energy to focus on her photography. As the summer continues, she wonders how her rediscovered passion can fit in with the life she’s made back home with her two children.

When Hurricane Ingrid aims her steady eye at the Alabama coast, Jenna must make a decision that could affect both her and her children’s futures, and Betsy and Ty find themselves protecting their beloved farm as well as their own hearts.

Ope’s Opinion:  The story is told from three perspectives.  Betsy – the older, stable sister; Ty – Betsy’s husband and Jenna – the artistic sister with two children.  The chapters are clearly marked and the voices are distinct.

The characters are well developed, likeable and realistic.  In a small way, I felt like the hurricane was another character in the book.

The story was a constant build to the very end.  All the questions weren’t answered, things were not all wrapped up in a nice bow, but it was a satisfying ending.

Making It Right

Author: Catherine Bybee
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source:  Gift from Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  In the final book in bestselling author Catherine Bybee’s Most Likely To trilogy, River Bend’s rebel follows in her father’s footsteps to become sheriff. But it might be time to forge her own path…

Some kids inherit a family business; Jo Ward inherited a badge. Once voted Most Likely to End Up in Jail, the town wild child has become sheriff—hell-bent on uncovering the truth about her father’s mysterious death. Life is quiet in rustic River Bend, but Jo longs for something beyond her small hometown and the painful memories it holds. All that keeps her sane is the support of her best friends, Melanie and Zoe.

But when Jo signs up for an expert law enforcement training seminar, she meets Gill Clausen, whose haunting eyes and dangerously sexy vibe just may challenge her single-minded focus. Commitment-phobic Jo can’t deny her attraction to the arrogant federal agent, and when odd things start happening around River Bend and danger surrounds her, she realizes she’ll need his help to discover who’s out to remove her from River Bend…permanently.

As Jo and Gill work together, it’s clear they make a great team. But can Jo loosen her grip on the past enough to let love in and reach for the future?

Ope’s Opinion:  This book is put in the romance genre and it does have some steamy parts to it, but it is so much more then the those parts.  It has a wonderful story line, great characters and a mystery to be solved.  This is the third book in the A Most Likely To series.  You do not need to read book one and two to enjoy this one, but it is worth your reading time to start at the beginning. 

Jo is the focus of this book, but Mel and Zoe are in the middle of what is going on.  It was interesting to see Jo’s whole story slowly revealed and to hear where Mel and Zoe are now.  Catherine’s writing kept me wanting to ignore the rest of my life and just read!

The ending let the reader know where everyone ended up and was very satisfying.  The mystery was solved with some twists that added to the story line.

Carly’s Gift

Author: Georgia Bockoven
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  From the author of Things Remembered and The Year Everything Changed comes a moving novel about love that lasts forever

What’s in the past is over and done with . . . or is it?

Sixteen years ago Carly Hargrove made a decision that would irrevocably alter her life. With little comprehension of the life-long consequences of her actions, she trades her own future happiness to protect the man she’s loved since kindergarten, David Montgomery.

With an ocean separating them, Carly builds a life for herself without David. She’s the mother of three, lives in a beautiful house, and is married to a man who comes home every night—even if most of those nights he drinks too much. What more could she want?

Her answer arrives on a cold fall day when David shows up at her door. In town for his father’s funeral, he has come to see Carly one last time, hoping to rid himself of the anger that still consumes him.

Instead, he is drawn into a web of secrets that rekindles the fierce need he once felt to protect Carly. He becomes caught up in her life in a way he never could have imagined—a way that will bind him to her forever.

Ope’s Opinion:   This is one of Georgia Bockoven’s older books.  I liked her other books I read so much, I went back to find other things she wrote – this one did not disappoint!

At the beginning, I thought I knew where the story was going – wrong – absolutely wrong.  It was an amazing twist.  Then there were several other twist I did not see coming.  This is a book that you just don’t know what is going to happen until you read the very last sentence.

I think I have at least one more Bockoven on my shelf – I can’t wait to read it!

Out Now

If you are a Mary Kay Andrews fan, this is a must read!
Pick it up today!

Goodreads:  From the New York Times bestselling author of The Weekenders comes a delightful new novel about new love, old secrets, and the kind of friendship that transcends generations.

When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.

Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.

The High Tide Club is Mary Kay Andrews at her Queen of the Beach Reads best, a compelling and witty tale of romance thwarted, friendships renewed, justice delivered, and true love found.

Thank you Erica Martirano at St. Martin’s Press.
Can’t miss with Mary Kay Andrews.

The Goodbye Bride

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source:  Purchased

Goodreads:  She only remembers loving him. But he can’t forget the way she left.

Following a concussion, Lucy Lovett can’t remember the last seven months of her life. She doesn’t remember leaving her fiancé Zac Callahan weeks before their wedding or moving to Portland, Maine. And she sure doesn’t remember getting engaged to another man. All she remembers is loving Zac more than life itself.

It’s taken Zac months to move on after Lucy left him with no explanation. He’s thrown himself into his family’s farm and his restaurant business in Summer Harbor. Now Lucy’s back, vulnerable, homeless, and still in love with him. She needs his help putting the pieces together, but letting her back into his life is a risk—and the stakes are high. If he follows his heart he’ll win back the love of his life. But if her memory returns he’ll lose her all over again.

Ope’s Opinion: This is the second book in the Summer Harbor series.  You do not need to read the first one to enjoy this one.  It actually brings you up to date on everyone as you read it. If you are part of a church library – this book should be on the shelf.  It is a good example of how God works things out even when we aren’t paying attention.

The characters are wonderful, you care about them right away.  God is a part of the story, but it isn’t preachy or in your face. The story keeps moving from beginning to end.

There is a Summer Harbor #3 ( Just a Kiss ).  I am looking forward to making time to read that one too.