Secrets in Summer

Author: Nancy Thayer
Publisher: Ballantine Books
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source:  Random House

 

 

Goodreads:  The queen of beach books (The Star-Ledger) returns to the shores of Nantucket in a novel about one memorable summer when flirtations flourish, family dramas play out, and scandalous secrets surface.

Memorial Day weekend means that seasonal visitors have descended on the glamorous island of Nantucket. For year-round resident Darcy Cotterill, it means late-night stargazing in the backyard of the beautiful house she grew up in and inherited from her beloved grandmother. It s also Darcy s chance to hit the beach and meet her new summertime neighbors. But the last person the thirty-year-old librarian expects to see staying next door is her ex-husband, Boyz, along with his wife, Autumn, and stepdaughter, Willow.

Darcy must also navigate the highs and lows of a new romantic relationship with local carpenter Nash Forester even as she becomes smitten with handsome vacationer Clive Rush, a musicologist in town to write a book and visit family. And she finds herself pulled into the concerns of Boyz, Autumn, a charming elderly neighbor, and an at-risk teen.

As the season nears its end, Darcy must decide her next move: retreating to the comforts of her steady and secure island life, or risking it all for a chance at true happiness.

Ope’s Opinion:  If you are a romance reader you will definitely love this story.  There is plenty of steamy scenes for you – too many for me.  I felt like sex was casual for Darcy.

This is one for your beach bag this summer.  It will take you to the beach, it is a very light read and repeats itself enough you can be interrupted and still follow the whole story.

The ending is exactly what you expected and want when you read Nancy Thayer.

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The Unexpected Everything

Author: Morgan Matson
Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers
Genre: Contemporary Young Adult
Source:  Purchased

Goodreads:  Andie had it all planned out. When you are a politician’s daughter who’s pretty much raised yourself, you learn everything can be planned or spun, or both. Especially your future. Important internship? Check. Amazing friends? Check. Guys? Check (as long as we’re talking no more than three weeks).

But that was before the scandal. Before having to be in the same house with her dad. Before walking an insane number of dogs. That was before Clark and those few months that might change her whole life. Because here’s the thing—if everything’s planned out, you can never find the unexpected. And where’s the fun in that?

Ope’s Opinion:  All the details in the beginning of the book made the story move very slowly.  It began to pick up the pace in the middle of the book.  The ending wrapped everything up. 

This book had a very good story to it, but I felt like it was too long for a young adult reader.  I enjoyed it, but only thought only an avid reader would enjoy it.

I really like Morgan Matson and I would read her again.

Cold Feet

Author: Amy Fitzhenry
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  Pre-wedding jitters turn into serious doubts in this fresh and funny debut about tying the knot and untethering from the past…

Everyone’s expecting her to walk down the aisle.
But something is telling her to run.

Emma Moon’s mother thinks it’s acceptable to miss her only daughter’s wedding rehearsal dinner for a work obligation. Her father left when she was six months old. Emma hasn’t exactly been raised to be a happily-ever-after kind of girl.

So when her anxieties get out of hand, Emma and her best friend, Liv, decide to take a road trip to San Francisco, find her long-lost father, and put her family issues to rest.

But her quest for the truth stirs up events and emotions she didn’t expect. The urge to run away may just be a part of Emma’s genetic makeup, because she’s growing more and more tempted to do just that…

Ope’s Opinion:  This was a light, easy, fast read.  It was a very surface book with a common story – girl is about to get married and wants to find her dad and she has an adventure along the way. The adventure part was a bit long and drawn out.   The out come was unique and the ending was satisfying.

Slightly South of Simple

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

Goodreads:  Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she’d spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.

Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley’s life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open.

Exploring the powerful bonds between sisters and mothers and daughters, this engaging novel is filled with Southern charm, emotional drama, and plenty of heart.

Ope’s Opinion:  I enjoyed this book from the beginning to the end!  The story was set in the present, but the characters memories of the past were woven into it.  Seeing their memories helped to deepen the characters and made you understand why they reacted to circumstances the way they did.

The relationships in this book are amazingly written.  You can feel the angst, the love, and the struggles each of them going through.  It was such a good read!

 The end left a lot opened because this is the first in a trilogy.  I am excited to follow these characters into the next part of their lives.

Pick up any Kristy Woodson Harvey book and you will not be disappointed!!

The Dance

Author: Dan Walsh / Gary Smalley
Publisher: Revell
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Purchased

 

 

Goodreads:  Jim Anderson is a successful businessman, and his wife, Marilyn, is the perfect wife. And why wouldn’t she be? He gives her everything she needs. That’s why Jim never expected to come home one day and find Marilyn gone.
After 27 years of marriage, Marilyn has had enough of feeling unloved and neglected. She wants to experience some measure of happiness before she’s too old to enjoy it, even signing up for dance lessons, something Jim would never do. What will it take for Jim to finally become the man Marilyn needs him to be?

Combining the literary talents of bestselling author Dan Walsh and the relationship expertise of bestselling author Gary Smalley, The Dance is the first novel in The Restoration Series. Readers will get caught up in these flawed but sincere members of the Anderson family as they rediscover genuine love and start a transformation that ultimately affects all of them.

Ope’s Opinion: Let me just say first that I really do enjoy Christian Fiction.  This one was not very positive and a little bit too preachy for my taste.  It was kind of sad too.

The ending came a little too easy, too fast and wrapped up too neatly.  It didn’t really show the work that I think would be needed to repair this marriage.  Since this is the first in a series, it will be interesting to see where the next book goes.

 

Any Day Now

 

Author: Robyn Carr
Publisher: Mira Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  The highly anticipated sequel to #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr’s What We Find transports readers back to Sullivan’s Crossing. The rustic campground at the crossroads of the Colorado and Continental Divide trails welcomes everyone—whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend getaway or a whole new lease on life. It’s a wonderful place where good people face their challenges with humor, strength and love.

For Sierra Jones, Sullivan’s Crossing is meant to be a brief stopover. She’s put her troubled past behind her but the path forward isn’t yet clear. A visit with her big brother Cal and his new bride, Maggie, seems to be the best option to help her get back on her feet.

Not wanting to burden or depend on anyone, Sierra is surprised to find the Crossing offers so much more than a place to rest her head. Cal and Maggie welcome her into their busy lives and she quickly finds herself bonding with Sully, the quirky campground owner who is the father figure she’s always wanted. But when her past catches up with her, it’s a special man and an adorable puppy who give her the strength to face the truth and fight for a brighter future. In Sullivan’s Crossing Sierra learns to cherish the family you are given and the family you choose.

Ope’s Opinion:   Even though Sierra is the main focus of this story, you read about Cal, Maggie, Sully and the other cast of characters in Sullivan’s Crossing. If you have not read What We Found – go get that one first.  You certainly can read Any Day Now as a stand alone, but it is so much better with all the back story from the first one.

Since Sierra is a little protective of herself in her relationships, I like how it took her a  while for her to open up to Conrad.  It was a natural build of their relationship  – it did not feel rushed.

The ending was one you expected and were happy for it.  It brought everything to a nice finish.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series.

Don’t Let Go

Author: Sharla Lovelace
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source:  Jennifer Otey

Goodreads:  Noah Ryan and Jules Doucette had spent every moment of their lives together, first as childhood best friends and later as young lovers. The two had their future all planned out—until one unspeakable decision tore them apart.

Twenty-six years later, Jules is living her life by someone else’s plan. She’s running her mother’s store, living in her mother’s house, following her mother’s rules, and keeping the secrets her mother made her bury.

Then Noah comes home, and any sense of order and structure flies out the window. Noah’s return does more than just stir up old memories—it also forces Jules to see her life in a whole new way and uncover secrets even she didn’t know were hidden. But can the power of first love triumph over years of pain and lies?

Ope’s Opinion:   Oh, this book is excellent!!  Even if Romance isn’t your genre, but you like family drama, mother / daughter relationships and characters that will pull at your heart – then you need to read this one.  

Every time you think you know where the story is going, it takes a turn.  When you think that is all the unexpected events, Sharla throws in another one.  It kept me reading and took my breath away a few times.

For the romance lovers – there are a few scenes you will like – that I could have lived without.  There was also some language that could offend some people.  Even with that said, I thought this book was an awesome read.