In the Mail

This is going in my beach bag!

Author: Hannah McKinnon
Publisher: Atria/ Emily Bestler Books
Publication: Date: June 15, 2021

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 Times bestselling 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…

Thank you Gena at Simon & Schuster for sending this my way!

Bookshop by the Sea

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Margaret at Harper Collins

Goodreads:  Eleven months had not been long enough to prepare Sophie Lawson for the sight of him . . .

After her mother was bedridden and her father bailed on the family, Sophie became a second mother to her twin brother, Seth, and younger sister, Jenna. Sophie supported her siblings through their college years, putting aside her own dream of opening a book shop in Piper’s Cove—the quaint North Carolina beach town they frequented as children.

But now it’s finally time for Sophie to follow her own pursuits. Seth just got a new job, the family house is sold, and Jenna is set to marry her college beau in Piper’s Cove. But the destination wedding reunites Sophie with best man Aiden Maddox, her high school sweetheart who left her without a backward glance to run an extreme sporting business in Florida.

Much to Sophie’s chagrin, seeing Aiden again resurrects familiar feelings—which she promptly tries to bury in the tumult of the day. As soon as the wedding crowd fades, Sophie turns her focus back to establishing her beloved bookstore.

But then an advancing hurricane strands Aiden in Piper’s Cove and with the hotels booked to capacity he asks Sophie to put him up until the storm passes. As the two ride out the weather, old feelings rise to the surface. But can Sophie trust Aiden to stick around? And does daredevil Aiden have the courage to risk his heart?

Ope’s Opinion:  This was the first book I read this year.  I have enjoyed starting my year with a book I was sure I would enjoy.  Denise Hunter wrote another amazing story with characters you can relate to.  

If you are gathering books for your beach bag – this one is a must!  You will enjoy all the time you spend reading this one.

The Path to Sunshine Cove

Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Publisher: Hqn
Genre: Romance
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads: With the emotional pull of Debbie Macomber, Barbara Delinsky and Susan Wiggs, RaeAnne Thayne brings readers an uplifting, brand new story told with her trademark charm and heart.

She knows what’s best for everyone but herself…

With a past like hers, Jessica Clayton feels safer in a life spent on the road. She’s made a career out of helping others downsize–because she’s learned the hard way that the less “stuff,” the better, a policy she applies equally to her relationships. But a new client is taking Jess back to Cape Sanctuary, a town she once called home…and that her little sister, Rachel, still does. The years apart haven’t made a dent in the guilt Jess still carries after a handgun took the lives of both their parents and changed everything between them.

While Jess couldn’t wait to put the miles between her and Cape Sanctuary, Rachel put down roots, content for the world–and her sister–to think she has a picture-perfect life. But with the demands of her youngest child’s disability, Rachel’s marriage has begun to fray at the seams. She needs her sister now more than ever, yet she’s learned from painful experience that Jessica doesn’t do family, and she shouldn’t count on her now.

Against her judgment, Jess finds herself becoming attached–to her sister and her family, even to her client’s interfering son, Nate–and it’s time to put everything on the line. Does she continue running from her painful past, or stay put and make room for the love and joy that come along with it? 

Ope’s Opinion: This book was everything I wanted! It had a wonderful story of two sisters, independent women, friendship and some very clean romance. RaeAnne Thayne has been one of my go to authors for a long time and this book is one of the reasons. The setting of this book – on a beach just made it all that much better. I am looking forward to her next book.

Summertime Guests

Author: Wendy Francis
Publisher: Graydon House
Genre: Fiction
Source: Lia at Harper Collins

Goodreads: The Seafarer is the place to see and be seen in the summer…

With its rich history and famous guests, the glamorous Boston hotel is no stranger to drama. But the bustle at the iconic property reaches new heights one weekend in mid-June when someone falls tragically to her death, the event rippling through the lives of four very different people. 

Bride-to-be Riley is at the hotel to plan her wedding. She would have preferred a smaller, more intimate celebration, but her bossy mother-in-law has taken charge and her fiancé hasn’t seemed to notice. Jean-Paul, the hotel’s manager, is struggling to keep his marriage and new family afloat, but now he must devote all his energy to this latest scandal at work. Claire, recently widowed, comes to town to connect with a long-lost love, but has too much changed in the last thirty years?  And then there’s Jason, whose romantic getaway with his girlfriend has not exactly gone the way he’d hoped and instead has him facing questions he can’t bring himself to answer.

Over three sun-drenched days, as the truth about the woman who died—and the secret she was hiding—is uncovered, these four strangers become linked in the most unexpected of ways. Together, they just might find the strength they need to turn their own lives around.

Ope’s Opinion: The setting of the hotel was perfect for this mystery that involved the owner and the guest. The book went back and forth between the day of the incident and the back ground of each of the characters. You were able to see how they ended up at the hotel and where their lives were at the present time.

Most of it I enjoyed. All the characters were believable. The middle part of the book was a little slow for me. The ending answered your questions and was satisfying.

Baltimore Blues

Author: Laura Lippman
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Mystery
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  In a city where someone is murdered almost every day, attorney Michael Abramowitz’s death should be just another statistic. But the slain lawyer’s notoriety—and his taste for illicit midday trysts—makes the case front-page news in every local paper except the Star, which crashed and burned before Abramowitz did.

A former Star reporter who knows every inch of this town—from historic Fort McHenry to the crumbling projects of Cherry Hill—now-unemployed journalist Tess Monaghan also knows the primary suspect: cuckolded fiancé Darryl “Rock” Paxton. The time is ripe for a career move, so when rowing buddy Rock wants to hire her to do some unorthodox snooping to help clear his name, Tess agrees. But there are lethal secrets hiding in the Charm City shadows. And Tess’s own name could end up on the ever-expanding list of Baltimore dead.

Ope’s Opinion:  This was a great balance of who done it and meeting Tess and the people around her.  Knowing this is the first in the series, made me keep track of who is her life, who might show up in her next books.

If you care about the people in Tess’s life, it is best to read these books in order.  if you just want to read a good who done it – you can read them in any order.

Coming Soon……

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In April I hope to read….

 

Publication Date: April 20, 2021
Publisher: Gallery Books

Goodreads: Two childhood friends discover that love—and family—can be found in unconventional ways in this timely, moving novel from the USA TODAY bestselling author of the “beautifully Southern, evocative Peachtree Bluff series” (Kristin Harmel, internationally bestselling author of The Winemaker’s Wife).

Recently separated Amelia Buxton, a dedicated journalist, never expected that uncovering the biggest story of her career would become deeply personal. But when she discovers that a cluster of embryos belonging to her childhood friend Parker and his late wife Greer have been deemed “abandoned,” she’s put in the unenviable position of telling Parker—and dredging up old wounds in the process.

Parker has been unable to move forward since the loss of his beloved wife three years ago. He has all but forgotten about the frozen embryos, but once Amelia reveals her discovery, he knows that if he ever wants to get a part of Greer back, he’ll need to accept his fate as a single father and find a surrogate.

Each dealing with their own private griefs, Parker and Amelia slowly begin to find solace in one another as they navigate an uncertain future against the backdrop of the pristine waters of their childhood home, Buxton Beach. The journey of self-discovery leads them to an unforgettable and life-changing lesson: Family—the one you’re born into and the one you choose—is always closer than you think.

From “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand, #1 New York Times bestselling author), Under the Southern Sky is a fresh and unforgettable exploration of love, friendship, and the unbreakable ties that bind.

 

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

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

Nowhere but Home

Author: Liza Palmer
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings 

 

Goodreads:  Queenie Wake, a country girl from North Star, Texas, has just been fired from her job as a chef for not allowing a customer to use ketchup. Again. Now the only place she has to go is home to North Star. She can hope, maybe things will be different. Maybe her family’s reputation as those Wake women will have been forgotten. It’s been years since her mother-notorious for stealing your man, your car, and your rent money-was killed. And her sister, who as a teenager was branded as a gold-digging harlot after having a baby with local golden boy Wes McKay, is now the mother of the captain of the high school football team. It can’t be that bad…

Who knew that people in small town Texas had such long memories? And of course Queenie wishes that her memory were a little spottier when feelings for her high school love, Everett Coburn, resurface. He broke her heart and made her leave town-can she risk her heart again?

At least she has a new job-sure it’s cooking last meals for death row inmates but at least they don’t complain!

But when secrets from the past emerge, will Queenie be able to stick by her family or will she leave home again? A fun-filled, touching story of food, football, and fooling around.

Ope’s Opinion:  This is a cute, predictable story.  I liked that Queenie tried all the different cities and jobs – she was independent and trying to make it on her own.  Life brought her back home – not where she wanted to be, but she made the best of that too.  I enjoyed Queenie and Merry Carol’s relationship.  It is a good book, but not a stand out one.  

The Speed of Light

Author: Elissa Grossell Dickey
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  A compelling and provocative debut novel told in intersecting timelines over a tumultuous, defining year in one woman’s life.

Simone is trying her best not to think of what she’s lost. Diagnosed with MS, she awaits the results of another anxiety-inducing MRI. She’s just walked away from Connor, “a fixer” but possibly the love of her life. And nearing the holidays, the sights and sounds of winter in South Dakota only prick memories of better years gone by. Then, on a December morning at the university where she works, jarring gunshots pierce the halls. In a temporary safe place and terrified, Simone listens and pretends this will all be over soon.

As she waits for silence, her mind racing, Simone’s past year comes into focus. Falling in love and missing it. Finding strength in family and enduring friendships. Planning for the future, fearing it, and hoping against hope in dark places. Her life has been changing at the speed of light, and each crossroad brought Simone here, to this day, to endure the things she can’t control and to confront those that she can.

Ope’s Opinion: This was a wonderful story of love, mystery and multiple sclerosis.  The author flipped from present ( a mystery about a shooting ) to the past ( Simone learning she has MS ).  It really worked and kept me turning the pages to see how it was all going to turn out. I did not want to put the book down.

The main characters met in a natural way.  Their relationship happened in a realistic and enjoyable way.  They just seem to belong together.

The ending was what you wanted.  It answered all your questions.  I am going to look at Elissa Grossell Dickey’s other books now.

Girls of Summer

Author: Nancy Thayer
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Fiction
Source: Gift from Kristi ( Daughter )

Goodreads:  One life-changing summer on Nantucket brings about exhilarating revelations for a single mother and her two grown children in this sensational novel from New York Times bestselling author Nancy Thayer.

Lisa Hawley is perfectly satisfied living on her own. Having fully recovered from a brutal divorce nearly two decades earlier, she has successfully raised her kids, Juliet and Theo, seeing them off to college and beyond. As the owner of a popular boutique on Nantucket, she’s built a fulfilling life for herself on the island where she grew up. With her beloved house in desperate need of repair, Lisa calls on Mack Whitney, a friendly–and very handsome–local contractor and fellow single parent, to do the work. The two begin to grow close, and Lisa is stunned to realize that she might be willing to open up again after all . . . despite the fact that Mack is ten years her junior.

Juliet and Theo worry that Mack will only break their mother’s heart–and they can’t bear to see her hurt again. Both stuck in ruts of their own, they each hope that a summer on Nantucket will provide them with the clarity they’ve been searching for. When handsome entrepreneur Ryder Hastings moves to the island to expand his environmental nonprofit, Juliet, an MIT-educated web designer, feels an immediate attraction, one her rocky love life history pushes her to deny at first. Meanwhile, free spirit Theo finds his California bliss comes to a brutal halt when a surfing injury forces him back to the East Coast. Upon his return, he has eyes only for Mack’s daughter, Beth, to whom he is bound by an unspeakable tragedy from high school. Can they overcome their past?

As the season unfolds, a storm threatens to shatter the peace of the golden island, forcing Lisa, Juliet, and Theo to decide whether their summer romances are destined for something more profound. Nancy Thayer dazzles again in this delightful tale of family, a reminder that sometimes, finding our way back home can bring us unexpected gifts.

Ope’s Opinion:  I read this during the winter snows of February.  It took me away to summer with sun and beach – what a great get away!  I liked the characters in this book, except Juliet – her personality seemed to be all over the place – independent, insecure – I couldn’t keep up with her.    

The romances were a bit quick and predictable, but some times that makes a good read for me.  The ending is exactly what you would expect – no surprises here.

If you haven’t picked this book up yet, you should put it on your beach bag.  You will enjoy reading this one.

In the Mail

Can’t wait to read this one!

Author:  Wendy Francis
Publisher: Graydon House
Publication Date: April 6, 2021

Goodreads:  The Seafarer is the place to see and be seen in the summer…

With its rich history and famous guests, the glamorous Boston hotel is no stranger to drama. But the bustle at the iconic property reaches new heights one weekend in mid-June when someone falls tragically to her death, the event rippling through the lives of four very different people.

Bride-to-be Riley is at the hotel to plan her wedding. She would have preferred a smaller, more intimate celebration, but her bossy mother-in-law has taken charge and her fiancé hasn’t seemed to notice. Jean-Paul, the hotel’s manager, is struggling to keep his marriage and new family afloat, but now he must devote all his energy to this latest scandal at work. Claire, recently widowed, comes to town to connect with a long-lost love, but has too much changed in the last thirty years?  And then there’s Jason, whose romantic getaway with his girlfriend has not exactly gone the way he’d hoped and instead has him facing questions he can’t bring himself to answer.

Over three sun-drenched days, as the truth about the woman who died—and the secret she was hiding—is uncovered, these four strangers become linked in the most unexpected of ways. Together, they just might find the strength they need to turn their own lives around.

Thank you Lia for passing this on to me.