The Key to Happily Ever After

Author: Tif Marcelo
Publisher: Galley Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Purchased

Goodreads:  One of BuzzFeed’s “Books Coming Out This Summer That You Need to Seriously Read” * One of Bustle’s “New Romance Novels to Make Your Spring Reading Even Dreamier Than You Imagined”

A charming romantic comedy about three sisters who are struggling to keep the family wedding planning business afloat—all the while trying to write their own happily-ever-afters in the process.

All’s fair in love and business.

The de la Rosa family and their wedding planning business have been creating happily ever afters in the Washington, DC area for years, making even the most difficult bride’s day a fairytale. But when their parents announce their retirement, the sisters—Marisol, Janelyn, and Pearl—are determined to take over the business themselves.

But the sisters quickly discover that the wedding business isn’t all rings and roses. There are brides whose moods can change at the drop of a hat; grooms who want to control every part of the process; and couples who argue until their big day. As emotions run high, the de la Rosa sisters quickly realize one thing: even when disaster strikes—whether it’s a wardrobe malfunction or a snowmageddon in the middle of a spring wedding—they’ll always have each other.

Perfect for fans of the witty and engaging novels of Amy E. Reichert and Susan Mallery, The Key to Happily Ever After is a fresh romantic comedy that celebrates the crucial and profound power of sisterhood.

Ope’s Opinion:  This was a fast, easy read.  The sisters and the weddings  were the center of the story.  Their personal romances were important and affected their other relationships, but the sisterhood was most important.  The setting ( Old Town Alexandria ) is near me, so I enjoyed reading about places I have been.

The cover ( which I love ) gave me the impression that it would be a rom-com.  It is a light romance, no comedy.  The Filipino family influence is obvious, including a couple of words I had to look up the meaning to understand.  The family drama was a little over the top between Mari and Pearl at times, but believable.

If you enjoy reading sister stories, this definitely is one you should pick up.  The ending was satisfying, but I wouldn’t mind a sequel to see where everyone is now!

Meet Me on Love Lane

Author: Nina Bocci
Publisher: Galley Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Kristin of Kritters Rambligns

Goodreads:  From the USA TODAY bestselling author of On the Corner of Love and Hate comes a romantic comedy about a woman who grudgingly returns home to small-town Pennsylvania, only to find herself falling in love—not only with the town, but with two of its citizens.

Charlotte Bishop is out of options in New York City. Fired, broke, and blacklisted by her former boss, she’s forced to return to her hometown of Hope Lake, PA to lick her wounds. Although she’s expecting to find a miserable place with nothing to do, she is pleasantly surprised to discover it is bustling and thriving.

She’s only supposed to be in Hope Lake temporarily until she can earn enough money to move back to New York. She’s not supposed to reconnect with her childhood friends or her beloved grandmother. She’s not supposed to find her dream job running the local florist shop. And she’s definitely not supposed to fall for not one but two of Hope Lake’s golden boys: one the beloved high school English teacher, the other the charming town doctor.

With a heart torn between two men and two cities, what’s a girl to do?

A perfect blend of humor and heart, Meet Me on Love Lane is the second in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci that is sure to charm fans of Josie Silver and Sally Thorne.

Ope’s Opinion:  Another really good read from Nina Bocci.  Her writing just flows, the story is believable, easy to read and the characters are people you know or want to know. I had a wonderful grandma, but I would have loved to have had Gigi too.  It was great to see Emma and Cooper again.  

Although this can be read alone, I highly suggest you go back and read book one.  It is worth your time and gives you insight to those in the town.

Some times life gives you enough – so you look for an easy escape.  This book is one of the best escapes I have read recently.  Just take me away to a place that is happy, relaxing and funny ( at times ).

She ( Nina Bocci ) makes me feel close to the characters, she makes me laugh and at the end she makes me want the next book!

The Country Guesthouse

Author: Robyn Carr
Publisher: MIRA
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source:  Harper Collins

 

Goodreads:  A summer rental, a new beginning…

Hannah Russell’s carefully crafted plans for her life have been upended without warning. When her best friend died suddenly, Hannah became guardian to a five-year-old named Noah. With no experience at motherhood, she’s terrified she’s not up to the challenge. She and Noah need time to get to know each other, so she decides to rent a country house with stunning views on a lake in rural Colorado.

When they arrive at the house, they are greeted by the owner, a handsome man who promises to stay out of their way. But his clumsy Great Dane, Romeo, has other ideas and Noah immediately bonds with the lovable dog. As Hannah learns to become a mother, Owen Abrams, who is recovering from his own grief, can’t help but be drawn out of his solitude by his guests.

But life throws more challenges at this unlikely trio and they are tested in ways they never thought possible. All three will discover their strengths and, despite their differences, they will fight to become a family. And the people of Sullivan’s Crossing will rally around them to offer all of the support they need.

#1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr delivers an emotional and triumphant novel about the fierce power of a mother’s love.

Ope’s Opinion: This is part of the Sullivan’s Crossing series.  As most of Robyn Carr’s books, you can read this one alone.  Many of the previous characters are in this book, but you didn’t need to know the back story to enjoy this one.  

This is a sweet story of a child needing a mother and adults in his life stepping up to do their job. Some of the subplot that was suppose to be suspenseful, but just didn’t fit in.   Although you could see where the story was going to go long before it went, it was good to know where it was going to end.

 

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.

The Cliff House

Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Publisher: Hqn
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source:  Claire and Sarah at Little Bird Publicity

Goodreads:  New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne invites readers to Cape Sanctuary, where she weaves together the stories of three women–two sisters and the young aunt who raised them–each facing her own crossroads. Can they let go of past mistakes and welcome joy and love into their lives?

Ope’s Opinion:  I really enjoyed reading about three strong women, who had careers that were important to them.  These women each had a man they were interested in, but not at the cost of their independence.

This story just flowed from one character to the next, how they were intertwined felt real and made it more interesting.  I liked the twists and secrets – I liked when they came out and how they came out.

I have read a lot of RaeAnne Thayne books – this is one of the best ones.

The Best of Us

Author: Robyn Carr
Publisher: MIRA

Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source:  Sarah of LIttle Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  In Sullivan’s Crossing, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr has created a place where good people, powerful emotions, great humor and a healthy dose of common sense are the key ingredients to a happy life. Sullivan’s Crossing brings out the best in people. It’s a place you’ll want to visit again and again.

Dr. Leigh Culver loves practicing medicine in Timberlake, Colorado. It is a much-needed change of pace from her stressful life in Chicago. The only drawback is she misses her aunt Helen, the woman who raised her. But it’s time that Leigh has her independence, and she hopes the beauty of the Colorado wilderness will entice her aunt to visit often.

Helen Culver is an independent woman who lovingly raised her sister’s orphaned child. Now, with Leigh grown, it’s time for her to live life for herself. The retired teacher has become a successful mystery writer who loves to travel and intends to never experience winter again.

When Helen visits Leigh, she is surprised to find her niece still needs her, especially when it comes to sorting out her love life. But the biggest surprise comes when Leigh takes Helen out to Sullivan’s Crossing and Helen finds herself falling for the place and one special person. Helen and Leigh will each have to decide if they can open themselves up to love neither expected to find and seize the opportunity to live their best lives.

Ope’s Opinion: Oh, I enjoy reading Robyn Carr books!  You know where they are going to end ( this is a good thing ), the journey is fun with some twists along the way, and the characters are people you want to know.  This all adds up to a good read for me.

This book can be read alone, Carr is really good at filling you in on who belongs together, but this series is worth starting from the beginning.

If I had a half of a chair – I would give this book 3.5 chairs!

Out Now!

Do you like Robyn Carr?
Do you like Sullivan’s Crossing?
Then pick this one up today!

Goodreads:  In Sullivan’s Crossing, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr has created a place where good people, powerful emotions, great humor and a healthy dose of common sense are the key ingredients to a happy life. Sullivan’s Crossing brings out the best in people. It’s a place you’ll want to visit again and again.

Dr. Leigh Culver loves practicing medicine in Timberlake, Colorado. It is a much-needed change of pace from her stressful life in Chicago. The only drawback is she misses her aunt Helen, the woman who raised her. But it’s time that Leigh has her independence, and she hopes the beauty of the Colorado wilderness will entice her aunt to visit often.

Helen Culver is an independent woman who lovingly raised her sister’s orphaned child. Now, with Leigh grown, it’s time for her to live life for herself. The retired teacher has become a successful mystery writer who loves to travel and intends to never experience winter again.

When Helen visits Leigh, she is surprised to find her niece still needs her, especially when it comes to sorting out her love life. But the biggest surprise comes when Leigh takes Helen out to Sullivan’s Crossing and Helen finds herself falling for the place and one special person. Helen and Leigh will each have to decide if they can open themselves up to love neither expected to find and seize the opportunity to live their best lives.

Thank you Sarah at Little Bird Publicity for this one!
Review will come out Friday…

Seasons of Wonder

Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Holiday Romance
Source: Claire at Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  He’s giving her children a season of wonder…

Dani Capelli seized a chance to start over in a small town with her daughters. Now, facing her first Christmas in Haven Point, she wonders if leaving New York was a mistake. Dani loves working alongside veterinarian Dr. Morales, but her two children aren’t adjusting to small-town life. And then there’s Dr. Morales’s son, Ruben—Dani’s next-door neighbor. Gorgeous, muscled and dependable, the deputy sheriff is everything she secretly craves and can’t bear to risk loving…and losing.

Ruben never pictured himself falling for a big-city woman like Dani. But beneath her prickly facade, she’s caring and softhearted and she needs all the love and protection he can give. When Dani’s teenage daughter starts acting out, Ruben draws on family traditions to show the girls just how magical a Haven Point Christmas can be. But can he convince Dani that she’s found a home for the holidays—and forever—in his arm.

Ope’s Opinion:  This is a perfect read to get you in the holiday mood.  It is a  wonderfully predictable romance.  It is easy to pick up when you have to put it down during the holiday interruptions.  You will want to get right back to it. Being in Haven Point during the holidays is a wonderful place to escape to for a little while.  

You can read this one without having read the other Haven Point books.  You will not feel lost or like you are missing something.  If you really enjoy this one, go back and read the others, it is worth your time.

 

How to Keep a Secret

                                                               Author: Sarah Morgan
Publisher: HQ
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Anna Robinson at ARO Publicity

 

Goodreads:  When three generations of women are brought together by crisis, they learn over the course of one hot summer the power of family to support, nourish and surprise

Lauren has the perfect life…if she ignores the fact it’s a fragile house of cards, and that her daughter Mack has just had a teenage personality transplant.

Jenna is desperate to start a family with her husband, but it’s… Just. Not. Happening. Her heart is breaking, but she’s determined to keep her trademark smile on her face.

Nancy knows she hasn’t been the best mother, but how can she ever tell Lauren and Jenna the reason why?

Then life changes in an instant, and Lauren, Mack, Jenna and Nancy are thrown together for a summer on Martha’s Vineyard. Somehow, these very different women must relearn how to be a family. And while unraveling their secrets might be their biggest challege, the rewards could be infinite…

Heartwarming and fresh, Sarah Morgan’s brilliant new novel is a witty and deeply uplifting look at the power of a family of women.

Ope’s Opinion:  Any book surrounded by women’s relationships makes me want to read.  This is a good one.  I enjoyed seeing how the two sisters reacted to each others secrets and how the mother handled it all.  The teenage daughter was a bit whiny ( but aren’t teenagers ) – it did get in my nerves at times.

I did like the Martha Vineyard setting.  I also liked that this was more of a women’s fiction rather then a romance, even though it is the romance genre.  

Making It Right

Author: Catherine Bybee
Publisher: Montlake Romance
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source:  Gift from Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  In the final book in bestselling author Catherine Bybee’s Most Likely To trilogy, River Bend’s rebel follows in her father’s footsteps to become sheriff. But it might be time to forge her own path…

Some kids inherit a family business; Jo Ward inherited a badge. Once voted Most Likely to End Up in Jail, the town wild child has become sheriff—hell-bent on uncovering the truth about her father’s mysterious death. Life is quiet in rustic River Bend, but Jo longs for something beyond her small hometown and the painful memories it holds. All that keeps her sane is the support of her best friends, Melanie and Zoe.

But when Jo signs up for an expert law enforcement training seminar, she meets Gill Clausen, whose haunting eyes and dangerously sexy vibe just may challenge her single-minded focus. Commitment-phobic Jo can’t deny her attraction to the arrogant federal agent, and when odd things start happening around River Bend and danger surrounds her, she realizes she’ll need his help to discover who’s out to remove her from River Bend…permanently.

As Jo and Gill work together, it’s clear they make a great team. But can Jo loosen her grip on the past enough to let love in and reach for the future?

Ope’s Opinion:  This book is put in the romance genre and it does have some steamy parts to it, but it is so much more then the those parts.  It has a wonderful story line, great characters and a mystery to be solved.  This is the third book in the A Most Likely To series.  You do not need to read book one and two to enjoy this one, but it is worth your reading time to start at the beginning. 

Jo is the focus of this book, but Mel and Zoe are in the middle of what is going on.  It was interesting to see Jo’s whole story slowly revealed and to hear where Mel and Zoe are now.  Catherine’s writing kept me wanting to ignore the rest of my life and just read!

The ending let the reader know where everyone ended up and was very satisfying.  The mystery was solved with some twists that added to the story line.