The Summer Sail

Author: Wendy Francis
Publisher: Touchstone
Genre: Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Source: Free Library Box

Goodreads:  A trio of college friends who reunite aboard a cruise ship experience an unforgettable vacation in this compelling novel from the author of The Summer of Good Intentions, which was hailed as “everything a summer read should be” by Elin Hilderbrand.

Three college roommates are celebrating a twentieth wedding anniversary by taking a cruise to Bermuda. As the ship pulls away from the pier, everyone is looking forward to lounging by the pool, sipping sunset cocktails, and reminiscing. Abby, the mother hen of the group, will be celebrating her wedding anniversary in style, even as she and her husband keep a secret from the group. Ambitious career woman Caroline happily anticipates several stress-free days away from her magazine job with her boyfriend, Javier, who may or may not be finally inspired to propose. And single mom Lee (annoyingly gorgeous and irresistibly popular in college) hopes she’ll win back the affections of her formerly sweet daughter Lacey, who after her first year in college, has inexplicably become a little bit of a monster.

As the balmy pink shores of Bermuda come into view, tensions simmer, and old jealousies flare, sending the temperature from soothing to scorching in this engrossing tale of three best friends on a vacation they won’t soon forget—but not for the reasons they expect.

Ope’s Opinion: Reading this floating on the lazy river in Florida was a perfect match!  The story was centered around a cruise, so their summer vacation and mine lined up perfectly.  Even though the  story was light enough to relax and enjoy, it also  had enough substance to keep my attention.

The characters each had things going on in their lives, which made them feel real. The women all had a history ( in college together ) so the relationships were genuine and deep.  You could feel them caring for each other.

The end of the cruise was the end of the book.  A few things were not quiet closed out (didn’t leave you hanging, but not totally finished) – a where are they now book to come??  It would be fun to read!

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Can You See Us Now?

Author: Cheryl Benton
Publisher: The Three Tomatoes
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source:  Cheryl at The Three Tomatoes

 

Goodreads:  Three best friends rebel against unsolicited AARP cards, hot flashes, bosses, becoming invisible, and the perceptions of what’s old.

Suzy, Trish, and Madge, best friends since their early twenties, seemed to have it all. Beautiful, smart, and successful, they’d made it to the top in the most demanding city of them all, New York. Then they turned 50 and found that the world which once was their oyster started closing up faster than a New York minute. Bartenders ignore them, bosses marginalize them, and they’ve aged out of the prized 25-49-year-old demographic that marketers woo. They had suddenly become invisible.

Inspired by their friendships with a supportive and thriving group of New York City women, who call themselves the “Ripe Tomatoes,” Suzy, Trish, and Madge start to realize the power of saying, “YES,” and that living your dreams has nothing to do with age. And since no one else was celebrating women over 50, Suzy, Trish, and Madge started a business to do just that.

A funny and moving insider’s story about New York City’s not-so-invisible women over 50 and beyond, who are living their lives to the fullest, achieving dreams, dating, having sex, and sometimes even falling in love again. You’ll laugh, you’ll cry, you’ll root them on, and you’ll never think about age the same way again.

Suzy, a top ad agency executive with a wonderful supportive husband and two great kids, had propelled little known brands into household names. Then she looked around one day and realized she was the oldest person in the conference room and her “12-year old” boss dismisses most of her ideas as appealing only to women with “dried up vaginas.”

Trish owns an art gallery, is married to a wealthy hedge fund guy, has a fabulous apartment overlooking Central Park, a summer home in the Hamptons, and a closet full of couture clothes…until her life is turned upside down by those dreaded words, “We have to talk.”

Madge, is a highly regarded TV journalist who has traveled the world on assignments and knows celebrities, presidents and kings by their first names, but has been too busy pursuing a career to have a life – until she’s pushed out of her TV morning show and replaced by a 30-something former beauty queen and Harvard graduate.

Ope’s Opinion:   As I am over 50, I thought I would relate to these women – that is part of the reason I wanted to read this book.  Although, it was a cute, fun story to read, I did not relate to the  privileged life these women were living. 

This story showed the importance of the support these women were for each other.  t Support needed no matter the age – that part of the story was easy to relate to.   I would hope that as women age, they would be appreciated for their knowledge and  experience – I think that is part of what this story was trying to say.

And on my soap box again! – why is the “f” word necessary?  Does it really add anything to the character? Do professional women really use that vocabulary?

 

Out Now

Have you read Everything We Keep?
Have you read Everything We Left Behind?
If you have, read the third one now!
If you haven’t start from the beginning.

Goodreads:  From the author of Everything We Keep comes the final novel in the Amazon Charts and Wall Street Journal bestselling Everything Series. Brimming with suspense, mystery, and romance, Everything We Give brings to a powerful close the gripping series of love, lies, and the secrets families keep.

Award-winning photographer Ian Collins made only one mistake in life, but it cost his mother her freedom and destroyed their family, leaving Ian to practically raise himself. For years he’s been estranged from his father, and his mother has lived off the grid. For just as long, he has searched for her.

Now, Ian seemingly has it all—national recognition for his photographs; his loving wife, Aimee; and their adoring daughter, Caty. Only two things elude him: a feature in National Geographic and finding his mother. When the prized magazine offers him his dream project on the same day that Aimee’s ex-fiancé, James, returns bearing a message for Ian but putting a strain on his marriage, Ian must make a choice: chase after a coveted assignment or reconnect with a mysterious woman who might hold the key to putting his past to rest. But the stakes are high, because Ian could lose the one thing he holds most dear: his family.

Thank you Ashley at Amazon for giving me the opportunity to read this one.

Hurricane Season

Author: Lauren K. Denton
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  Betsy and Ty Franklin, owners of Franklin Dairy Farm in southern Alabama, have decided to put life’s disappointments behind them. At least in theory. Ty manages their herd of dairy cows, while Betsy busies herself with the farm’s day-to-day operations and tries to forget the longing for motherhood set deep in her heart. But when Betsy’s free-spirited younger sister Jenna drops her young daughters off at the farm to attend a two-week art retreat in Florida, Betsy’s carefully constructed wall of self-protection begins to crumble.

As those two weeks stretch much farther into the hot Alabama summer, Betsy and Ty learn to navigate the new additions in their world and revel in a home that’s suddenly filled with the sound of laughter and life. Meanwhile, record heat promises to usher in the most active hurricane season in decades.

Four hundred miles away, Jenna is fighting her own battles. She’d once been free to travel and pursue a career in photography, but all that changed with the appearance of two pink lines on a plastic stick and a boyfriend who hit the road. At Halcyon art retreat, she finally has the time and energy to focus on her photography. As the summer continues, she wonders how her rediscovered passion can fit in with the life she’s made back home with her two children.

When Hurricane Ingrid aims her steady eye at the Alabama coast, Jenna must make a decision that could affect both her and her children’s futures, and Betsy and Ty find themselves protecting their beloved farm as well as their own hearts.

Ope’s Opinion:  The story is told from three perspectives.  Betsy – the older, stable sister; Ty – Betsy’s husband and Jenna – the artistic sister with two children.  The chapters are clearly marked and the voices are distinct.

The characters are well developed, likeable and realistic.  In a small way, I felt like the hurricane was another character in the book.

The story was a constant build to the very end.  All the questions weren’t answered, things were not all wrapped up in a nice bow, but it was a satisfying ending.

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.

Coming Soon…

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In May hope to read….

allie

Publication Date:  May 23, 2017
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Goodreads:  Bea has barely been scraping by since her husband died. After falling for a telephone scam, she loses everything and is forced to abandon her trailer. With only two-thirds of a tank in her old van, she heads toward the Pacific Ocean with her cat—on a mission to reclaim what’s rightfully hers, even if it means making others pay for what she lost.

When fifteen-year-old Allie’s parents are jailed for tax fraud, she’s sent to a group home. But when her life is threatened by another resident, she knows she has to get out. She escapes only to find she has nowhere to go—until fate throws Allie in Bea’s path.

Reluctant to trust each other, much less become friends, the two warily make their way up the Pacific Coast. Yet as their hearts open to friendship and love from the strangers they meet on their journey, they find the courage to forge their own unique family—and begin to see an imperfect world with new eyes.

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

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

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!!