Let It Be Me

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.

Spring Flower Puzzle

The flowers in this puzzle are beautiful.

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.

An Invincible Summer

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.

Family Reunion

Author: Nancy Thayer
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source: Ballantine Books

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.


Coming Soon…

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In May I hope to read….

Publication Date: May 1, 2021
Publisher: Montlake

Goodreads: An endearing novel of friendship, forgiveness, and second chances by New York Times bestselling author Mariah Stewart.

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.

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

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

In a Book Club Far Away

Author: Tif Marcelo
Publisher:
Gallery Books
Genre:
Contemporary Fiction
Source:
Sydney at Simon & Schuster

Goodreads:

From the author of Once Upon a Sunset and The Key to Happily Ever After comes a heartwarming and moving novel following three Army wives—estranged friends—who must overcome their differences when one of them is desperate for help.

Regina Castro, Adelaide Wilson-Chang, and Sophie Walden usedto be best friends. As Army wives at Fort East, they bonded during their book club and soon became inseparable. But when an unimaginable betrayal happened amongst the group, the friendship abruptly ended, and they haven’t spoken since.

That’s why, eight years later, Regina and Sophie are shocked when they get a call for help from Adelaide. Adelaide’s husband is stationed abroad, and without any friends or family near her new home of Alexandria, Virginia, she has no one to help take care of her young daughter when she has to undergo emergency surgery. For the sake of an innocent child, Regina and Sophie reluctantly put their differences aside to help an old friend.

As the three women reunite, they must overcome past hurts and see if there’s any future for their friendship. Featuring Tif Marcelo’s signature “enchanting prose” (Amy E. Reichert, author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cake) and the books that brought them together in the first place, In a Book Club Far Away honors the immense power of female friendship and how love can defy time, distance, and all old wounds.

Ope’s Opinion: I always enjoy stories of strong females and their friendships. This book had all of that and so much more. These three woman had strong personalities and realistic relationships. Each of them had struggles.

The story went from present day, back in time to what brought them where they currently are. Friendships are not always easy, but as this book shows – well worth the time and effort.

This is my second Tif Marcelo book – I liked them both and will be looking to see what she writes next. Definitely suggest you put this one on your TBR list.

Book Club Puzzle

This Book Club Puzzle
combined my love of books and puzzles!

This is the poster that came inside.

Part way through the puzzle.

The puzzle finished.
The shadow is me ( my photography )
not the puzzle!

This is a Galison puzzle – I did several from this company and they have all been nice.
The pieces are a great size, easy to handle and fit together well.
1000 pieces.

Thank you Kristi for giving this puzzle to me.
It gave me hours of fun!

 

 

 

OUT NOW!!!

Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Fiction
Source: Kristy Woodson Harvey

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.

Ope’s Opinion: Oh, My! Get yourself some chocolate, a nice cup of tea and get comfortable – you are not going to want to move when you start reading this wonderful story. This book had everything you want in Southern fiction.

There are a cast of amazing characters in this book. The two main characters you will root for from the beginning. The supporting characters all have their own strong personalities and are enjoyable to read about.

The ending was exactly what I wanted it to be!


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!