Goodreads: An emotional and unforgettable tale of a small town irrevocably affected by an unforeseen and shocking event—from the author of the “charming gem of a novel” (Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Timesbestselling author) Mystic Summer.
Wendell Combs is as local as they come. Born and raised in the small town of Saybrook, Connecticut, his venture into the larger world was met with heartbreak. Now, middle-aged and a confirmed bachelor, he seeks solitude from his tour of duty as a soldier back in his hometown, working as head caretaker for wealthy Alan Lancaster’s forty-acre estate, White Pines, a place he has come to love for its beauty, peace, and quiet.
Alan’s eldest daughter, fifteen-year-old Julia, also loves White Pines, but for very different reasons. She and her little sister spend their days riding horses, swimming in the lake, and painting landscapes inspired by the property they adore. While her parents prepare to host their annual summer gala fundraiser, Julia’s eyes are set to the simpler joys of summer: she’s fallen in love with the boy-next-door and longs for their next encounter.
But as the last guests leave on that magical summer night, a tragedy no one could have predicted suddenly occurs, shaking the entire town to its core. Wendell and Julia now face an uncertain future. At the height of their grief, two very different women return to Saybrook: Ginny Feldman, Wendell’s first love, who cannot stay away any longer, and Candace Lancaster, Julia’s estranged aunt who wants nothing to do with the town or the family estate she escaped decades earlier. Now, the only familiar things Julia has to cling to are Wendell and White Pines, but it looks like she’s about to lose both…
What is coming soon …. to a bookshelf near you?
Let me know – I am always looking for a good read!
Author: Flora Harding Publisher:One More Chapter Genre: Historical Fiction Source: One More Chapter ( Netgalley )
Before the crown there was a love story…
’If you’re a fan of The Crown, you’ll love this’ Woman’s Weekly
‘Fascinating…a beautiful love story’ Woman
Windsor Castle, 1943
As war rages across the world, Princess Elizabeth comes face to face with the dashing naval officer she first met in London nine years before.
One of the youngest first lieutenants in the Royal Navy, Philip represents everything she has always been taught to avoid. Instability. Audacity. Adventure.
But when the king learns of their relationship, the suitability of the foreign prince is questioned by all at court.
He is the risk she has never been allowed to take. The risk not even the shadow of the crown will stop her from taking…
Step through the palace gates and discover a captivating historical novel of royal secrets and forbidden love exploring the tempestuous courtship between Princess Elizabeth and Prince Philip in the wake of WWII.
Ope’s Opinion: As I was reading I had to keep reminding myself that this was not a non-fiction book. It was written so well, with so many facts in it that I kept thinking how accurate this story was. I am not your typical historical reader – I only read a few each year. I picked this one and it was a very good choice.
I liked where Flora Harding ended this love story. I hope she chooses to write another fiction for the next part of their story. It would be interesting to see her perspective.
Author: Kasie West Publisher: Delacorte Press Genre: Young Adult Source: Delacorte Press ( Netgalley )
Goodreads:A lighthearted and swoony contemporary YA romance by fan-favorite author Kasie West about a girl who finds that a summer spent at a family resort isn’t as bad as she imagined…and that falling in love is filled with heartache, laughter, and surprises!
After being betrayed by her best friend, Avery is hoping for a picture-perfect summer. Too bad her parents have dragged her and her sister to a remote family camp for the entire summer. And that’s not even the worst part. Avery also has to deal with no internet, a cute but off-limits staff member, and an always-in-her-face sister.
But what starts as a disaster turns into a whirlwind summer romance as Avery embarks on an unexpected journey to figure out what she truly wants and who she wants to be.
Ope’s Opinion: Kasie West reminded me how much I enjoy a YA read. This one had the perfect pace with wonderful characters. I especially enjoyed that the parents were included, but not intrusive. The sisters relationship was realistic. The romance happened at a natural pace of progression.
I enjoy strong woman characters at the center of stories. Avery may not have started out strong, but she grew during her whole summer at camp. It was great to see her figure out who she was, what she wanted and how to get it without stomping on anyone else.
I would recommend this to any teen and the parent would enjoy reading it too.
Author: Becky Wade Publisher: Bethany House Publishsers Genre: Christian Fiction Source: Bethany House Publishers
Goodreads: Having graduated college at 18, Sebastian Grant has continued to leverage his intelligence and determination to become a pediatric heart surgeon. The more accolades he receives, the more he’s driven to pursue. Then he meets high school math teacher Leah Montgomery, and his fast-spinning world comes to a sudden stop.
Solving advanced math equations by the age of five, Leah has always wanted to pursue a PhD in mathematics. She willingly put that dream on hold to raise her brother. Now that he is of age, she’s set on avoiding any obstacles to her goal–including romance.
When Leah receives surprising news in the process of taking a test for tracking her ancestry, she asks Sebastian to help her comb through aged hospital records to learn more. Soon his presence isn’t so easily ignored. But when Sebastian learns his best friend also has feelings for Leah, he begins to question his resolve to win her. Attaining their deepest desires may require more sacrifices than they ever imagined.
Ope’s Opinion: This story is very God centered ( which it should be – it is Christian fiction ), but not preachy. The romance moves really slowly – almost too slowly. It kept repeating their thoughts of how they liked each other, but the relationship did not advance for some time. I did like how direct Leah was with Ben. I didn’t even realize this book was part of series, so you can read this alone( I did! ).
Leah figuring out her parentage was very interesting. It felt like a mystery thrown in with the romance. It was a nice balance of relationships with Leah’s parents, her brother and Sebastian. All the relationships are the center of the story.
The ending answered the questions Leah had about her history. It also left things open for the next book. I do wish Ben would have his own story.
Inside was a huge poster –
almost the size of the puzzle!
The pieces came in this nice bag.
This is the puzzle finished.
This is a WAPAG puzzle. I would say it is just an average puzzle. The pieces are hard to put together – they are very very glossy, so they reflect the light which makes it hard to see at certain angles. I purchased this puzzle myself off of Amazon. It is a 1000 pieces.
Author: Mariah Stewart Publisher: Montlake Genre: Romance Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings
Goodreads: It was a lifetime ago that recently widowed Maggie Flynn was in Wyndham Beach. Now, on the occasion of her fortieth high school reunion, she returns to her hometown on the Massachusetts coast, picking up right where she left off with dear friends Lydia and Emma. But seeing Brett Crawford again stirs other emotions. Once, they were the town’s golden couple destined for one another. He shared Maggie’s dreams—and eventually, a shattering secret that drove them apart.
Buying her old family home and resettling in Wyndham Beach means a chance to start over for Maggie and her two daughters, but it also means facing her rekindled feelings for her first love and finally confronting—and embracing—the past in ways she never thought possible. Maggie won’t be alone. With her family and friends around her, she can weather this stormy turning point in her life and open her heart to the future. As for that dream shared and lost years ago? If Maggie can forgive herself, it still might come true.
Ope’s Opinion: This book was hard to rate. There were so many details that it slowed the pace of the story down in the beginning. Once the story got going, the pace picked up and I enjoyed it. I have read a few Mariah Stewart books, this was not as good as some of her other ones.
I liked Maggie’s story in so many ways. She had a good relationship with her daughters and she had some great friends. Her romantic life was a big part of the story, but it wasn’t her whole life. There were a cast of characters and they all had their own stories going on. It may seem silly, but there was a bookstore in the story and I wanted to hear more about it.
The ending is exactly what you would expect from a romance genre book. I think it is what pushed me from a three to a four chair book.
Goodreads: Eleanor Sunderland loves living on the Nantucket cliffside, in a charming home that has been in her family for decades. Now widowed, she looks forward to the arrival of her children and grandchildren for an annual family reunion, eager for the life and laughter that will soon fill the air.
But Eleanor’s island idyll is shattered when her money-driven children suggest she sell the house and move to a retirement community. She finds a lone ally in her twenty-two-year-old granddaughter, Ari, who moves in with her for the summer. Ari longs for a change of scenery, to stray from the path her parents have set for her. What she does not expect is an electric romantic spark with a Nantucket local, Cal, whose kind heart and charisma have her absolutely smitten.
With plenty of her signature Nantucket magic, Nancy Thayer brings both Eleanor and Ari on a summer beyond their wildest imaginations, filled with exciting connections, old and new.
Ope’s Opinion: This is a drama filled story, with a beautiful setting ( Nantucket ) and characters that feel like family. There were a few surprises along the way.
Eleanor is my kind of woman – she is strong, independent, and knows her own mind. She does jigsaw puzzles, reads books and walks on the beach ( me too! ). Her granddaughter, Ari, spends the summer with her. Ari takes after her grandmother in all the best ways. Their relationship was enjoyable to read.
The ending was everything I wanted. I am waiting for Nancy Thayer’s next book.