Summer on Mirror Lake

Author: JoAnn Ross
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Lisa Wray at HarperCollins

 

Goodreads:  Summertime is the best time to lose yourself in the romance of Honeymoon Harbor…

When he lands in the emergency room after collapsing at the funeral of a colleague and friend, Wall Street hotshot Gabriel Mannion initially rejects the diagnosis of an anxiety attack. But when warned that if he doesn’t change his adrenaline-fueled, workaholic lifestyle he could end up like his friend, Gabe reluctantly returns to his hometown of Honeymoon Harbor to regroup.

As he adjusts to the sight of mountains instead of skyscrapers, Gabe discovers advantages to this small Pacific Northwest town he once couldn’t wait to escape. But it’s irresistible librarian Chelsea Prescott who, along with the two foster children she’s taken under her wing, makes slowing down seem like the best prescription ever.

Over the course of their summer romance, Gabe gets a taste of the life he might have had if he’d taken a different path. But with his return to New York City looming on the horizon, he’ll have to choose between the success he’s worked tirelessly for and a ready-made family who offers a very different, richly rewarding future…if he’ll only take the risk.

Ope’s Opinion: Chelsea and Gabes story was an enjoyable read.  Even though this is the third in the Honeymoon Harbor series, this could be a stand alone read.  JoAnn Ross does a good job of letting you know who everyone is and how they are related, so you don’t feel lost.

The descriptions in the book got too long for me.  My mind wandered and I lost track of where I was in the story.  Some of the details felt like they were added for word count, not to enhance the story.

The children were my favorite part of the story.  The ending was abrupt, but what you would expect from a romance book.

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The Hideaway

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

Goodreads:  “A story both powerful and enchanting: a don’t-miss novel in the greatest southern traditions of storytelling.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author

When her grandmother’s will wrenches Sara back home, she learns more about Margaret Van Buren in the wake of her death than she ever knew in life.

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed The Hideaway to her and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering her grandmother’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there.

Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid drywall dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected.

Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed her grandmother’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways.

When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

“Two endearing heroines and their poignant storylines of love lost and found make this the perfect book for an afternoon on the back porch with a glass of sweet tea.” —Karen White, New York Times bestselling author.

Ope’s Opinion: My review will not do justice to this wonderful book.  It had everything I wanted in it – amazing characters, an awesome story with a few twists, and an ending that was very satisfying. 

I liked the dual narrative that let you see the past ( Mags ) and the present ( Sara ).  Each of them had a story that centered around family.  Part of the story is about fixing up an old house – I really enjoyed that part as well.

This was the kind of book that I curled up with and didn’t want to leave until the last word was read.  I enjoyed each moment with these characters.  I have another Lauren K. Denton book on my shelf and I will read it as soon as possible.

 

Breathe In, Cash Out

Author: Madeleine Henry
Publisher: Atria Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Megan at Simon & Schuster

 

Goodreads:  In this sizzling debut for fans of The Devil Wears Prada, Wall Street banking analyst Allegra Cobb plans to quit the minute her year-end bonus hits her account, finally pursuing her yoga career full-time. But when she forms an intense relationship with the #InstaFamous guru who may hold the ticket to the life Allegra’s always wanted—she’s not sure if she’ll be able to keep her sanity intact (and her chakras aligned) until bonus day.

Allegra Cobb’s resume: Straight-A Princeton grad, second-year analyst at a top-tier bank, one-time USA Yoga National Champion. Allegra Cobb’s reality: Spends twenty-four hours a day changing the colors on bar charts, overusing the word “team,” and daydreaming about quitting the minute her year-end bonus hits her account. She has no interest in the cutthroat banking world—she’s going to launch her very own yoga practice.

But her plan isn’t quite as perfect as the beachfront yoga pictures she double-taps on Instagram. On top of the 100 emails an hour and coworkers already suspicious of her escape plan, Allegra’s hard-driving single father has always expected fiercely high achievement above all else. That his daughter works on Wall Street means everything to him. Still, she marches on, taking it day by extremely caffeinated day.

But after (1) unknowingly sleeping with the man now leading her banking cohort on one of their biggest deals to date and (2) meeting the #blessed yoga guru who might just be her ticket to the life she’s always wanted, it really hits her: her happy-ever-after will be harder to manifest than she thought.

Fast-paced, laugh-out-loud funny, and totally irresistible, this is the story of a fearless young woman determined to center herself in the life she truly wants.

Ope’s Opinion: The synopsis really caught my attention, making me want to read this book.  I enjoy women who are focused on their careers and know where they want to go.  Allegra is one of those women.  I also enjoy a little humor to lighten the story line – I didn’t see much of that.

It took a long time and a lot of obstacles along the way for Allegra to get her bonus.  I thought it was going to happen at the beginning of the book and you were going to see her struggle to make it in the yoga world – I was wrong.

If you read this blog much, you know I get frustrated with the constant use of the “f” word, which was used repetitively throughout this book.

The Last Book Party

Author: Karen Dukess
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co.
Genre: Fiction
Source: Book Expo 2019

 

Goodreads:  A propulsive tale of ambition and romance, set in the publishing world of 1980’s New York and the timeless beaches of Cape Cod.

In the summer of 1987, 25-year-old Eve Rosen is an aspiring writer languishing in a low-level assistant job, unable to shake the shadow of growing up with her brilliant brother. With her professional ambitions floundering, Eve jumps at the chance to attend an early summer gathering at the Cape Cod home of famed New Yorker writer Henry Grey and his poet wife, Tillie. Dazzled by the guests and her burgeoning crush on the hosts’ artistic son, Eve lands a new job as Henry Grey’s research assistant and an invitation to Henry and Tillie’s exclusive and famed “Book Party”— where attendees dress as literary characters. But by the night of the party, Eve discovers uncomfortable truths about her summer entanglements and understands that the literary world she so desperately wanted to be a part of is not at all what it seems.

A page-turning, coming-of-age story, written with a lyrical sense of place and a profound appreciation for the sustaining power of books, The Last Book Party shows what happens when youth and experience collide and what it takes to find your own voice.

Ope’s Opinion: I wanted to read this book because the synopsis talked about books and the writing world.  In my opinion, there wasn’t enough about books and too much about who was sleeping with whom.  I am not, nor will I ever be a writer, so maybe coming from that perspective I missed something.

I am also a bit frustrated that “the coming of age” had to have an affair to happen.  Can’t a young woman come of age without having an affair with an older married man?

All the secrets came out at the last book party – which is why it was the last one!

Last Summer

Author: Kerry Lonsdale
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: 
Claire/ Sarah at Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  From the Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling author of the Everything series comes a new novel of love, lies, and deceit.

Lifestyle journalist Ella Skye remembers every celebrity she interviewed, every politician she charmed between the sheets, and every socialite who eyed her with envy. The chance meeting with her husband, Damien; their rapid free fall into love; and their low-key, intimate wedding are all locked in her memory. But what she can’t remember is the tragic car accident that ripped her unborn child from her. Ella can’t even recall being pregnant.

Hoping to find the memories of a lost pregnancy that’s left her husband devastated and their home empty, Ella begins delving into her past when she’s assigned an exclusive story about Nathan Donovan, a retired celebrity adventurer who seems to know more about her than she does him. To unravel the mystery of her selective memory loss, Ella follows Nathan from the snow capped Sierra Nevada to the frozen slopes of southeast Alaska. There she discovers the people she trusts most aren’t the only ones keeping secrets from her—she’s hiding them from herself. Ella quickly learns that some truths are best left forgotten.

Ope’s Opinion:  You should know I am a Kerry Lonsdale fan,  but this is not my favorite of her books.  I like intense books and she writes them very well, this one just didn’t hit the mark for me.

This one was very intense, but the intensity drug on too long before there was any clue as to what Ella could not remember.  It was repeated that Damien knew something, but the reader was not clued in to what it was.  Then Ella went to see Nathan and he knew something, but did not reveal anything for a while.  It got frustrating and old after a while.

The ending was left open – not sure what Ella did, not sure who was being honest with her.  It left me wanting more – a little too abrupt for me  without answers.

The Printed Letter Bookshop

Author: Katherine Reay
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a captivating story of good books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings, and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship.

Ope’s Opinion: What a wonderful and satisfying read!  I enjoyed every minute I spent with this book.  I will look for more of Katherine Reay.   Her characters were relatable, real, and I rooted for them all the way.  Hearing the story from Madeline, Janet, and Claire’s perspective moved the story along and gave you insights to each of them. 

I really liked the story taking place mostly in the bookshop.  I also liked that the story was about the relationship between the three woman first, their other relationships second and their romance was only a small part of it all.  It is nice to read about women with full lives.

I heard someone say this book is charming – I think that is a wonderful way to describe it.  It is a good book to just curl up with and enjoy it.

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In July I hope to read….

Surfside Sisters

Publication Date: July 2, 2019
Publisher: Ballantine Books

Goodreads: A woman from Nantucket returns home to find that reunions aren’t always so simple in this heartwarming novel from the New York Times bestselling author of A Nantucket Wedding and Secrets in Summer .

Growing up, Lara always dreamed of leaving Nantucket to become a writer. Now that she’s a bestselling novelist living in New York City, she realizes that success isn’t what she thought it would be. Confused, and with a harrowing case of writer’s block, Lara misses the island way of life more than ever. But going back to Nantucket out of the blue isn’t so easy, as a deep rift with her childhood best friend, Isabelle, has kept the two from speaking for years.

When her mother is laid off from her job and becomes depressed, Lara reluctantly comes home, leaving a failed relationship and hopefully her other troubles behind. But facing her estranged best friend is harder than she expects. And falling for Isabelle’s brother, Sebastian–who was also Lara’s teenage crush–only complicates things. Lara soon realizes that she must remedy the mistakes of her past in order to find true happiness.

What is coming soon …. to a bookshelf near you?

Let me know – I am always looking for a good read!