How to Walk Away

Author: Katherine Center
Publisher: St. Martin’s Press
Genre: Fiction
Source: Purchased

Goodreads:  From the author of Happiness for Beginners comes an unforgettable love story about finding joy even in the darkest of circumstances.

Margaret Jacobsen has a bright future ahead of her: a fiancé she adores, her dream job, and the promise of a picture-perfect life just around the corner. Then, suddenly, on what should have been one of the happiest days of her life, everything she worked for is taken away in one tumultuous moment.

In the hospital and forced to face the possibility that nothing will ever be the same again, Margaret must figure out how to move forward on her own terms while facing long-held family secrets, devastating heartbreak, and the idea that love might find her in the last place she would ever expect.

How to Walk Away is Katherine Center at her very best: an utterly charming, hopeful, and romantic novel that will capture reader’s hearts with every page.

Ope’s Opinion:  Although this is a hard subject to deal with and a bit sad, Katherine Center handled it with the perfect amount of struggle and encouragement.  I was rooting for Margaret from the beginning.  

Margaret’s whole family were very involved in her life.  It was interesting to read about those dynamics and how each member reacted to Margaret’s struggle.  It all felt real and frustrating some times.

The ending not sugar coated. It was satisfying.  Now I can’t wait for her next book – coming out in July!

Hello Summer

Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Publisher: St. Martin Press
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Erica at St. Martin Publishing Group

Goodreads:  New York Times bestselling author and Queen of the Beach Reads Mary Kay Andrews delivers her next blockbuster, Hello Summer.

It’s a new season…

Conley Hawkins left her family’s small town newspaper, The Silver Bay Beacon, in the rearview mirror years ago. Now a star reporter for a big-city paper, Conley is exactly where she wants to be and is about to take a fancy new position in Washington, D.C. Or so she thinks.

For small town scandals…

When the new job goes up in smoke, Conley finds herself right back where she started, working for her sister, who is trying to keep The Silver Bay Beacon afloat—and she doesn’t exactly have warm feelings for Conley. Soon she is given the unenviable task of overseeing the local gossip column, “Hello, Summer.”

And big-time secrets.

Then Conley witnesses an accident that ends in the death of a local congressman—a beloved war hero with a shady past. The more she digs into the story, the more dangerous it gets. As an old heartbreaker causes trouble and a new flame ignites, it soon looks like their sleepy beach town is the most scandalous hotspot of the summer.

Ope’s Opinion: Wow!  This was a really good story!  I would recommend if you have not read MKA before, this would be a great one start with.  I did think with the title Hello Summer that this was going to be a romantic, light beach read.  It had a little romance in it, but that was a very small part of this wonderful book.  

The pace of this book was perfect.  I loved that it didn’t drag things out – it didn’t all come out in the end.  It kept giving you small bits of secrets and information about who was who in this small town.  It made it so much fun to keep reading.

The end was wonderful in every way.  It told you where everyone was now, it did it a newspaper way, and it was very satisfying.  Exactly what I wanted!

Look What was on My Doorstep

Publication Date: August 4, 2020
Publisher:  Atria / Emily Bestler Books

Goodreads:  From the critically acclaimed author of The Young Wives Club, a “heartwarming story about friendship, heartache, and self-discovery” (Karen White, New York Times bestselling author), comes a charming novel reminiscent of the works of Mary Alice Monroe and Kristy Woodson Harvey, about three sisters who win a huge lottery prize and learn what it truly means to be lucky.

Lexi, Callie, and Hanna Breaux grew up in small-town Louisiana, and have always struggled to make ends meet. For years, they’ve been playing the lottery, fantasizing about how much better life would be if they had the money.

For Lexi, it means the perfect wedding; for Callie, it means having the courage to go after her career dreams; and for Hanna, it means buying a house that isn’t falling apart and sending her bullied son to private school. When the incredible happens and the Breaux sisters hit it big—$204 million dollars big—all their dreams come true. Or so they think. Because it’s actually not a cliché—money isn’t the answer to everything, and it often comes with problems of its own.

Heartfelt, engaging, and featuring characters you’ll root for from the first moment you meet them, Louisiana Lucky is a satisfying page-turner from a rising star in women’s fiction.

Thank you Megan at Simon and Schuster for sending this book my way!

The Sweeney Sisters

Author: Lian Dolan
Publisher: William Morrow
Genre: Fiction
Source: William Morrow 

 

Goodreads:  An accomplished storyteller returns with her biggest, boldest, most entertaining novel yet—a hilarious, heartfelt story about books, love, sisterhood, and the surprises we discover in our DNA that combines the wit of Jonathan Tropper with the heart of Susan Wiggs.

Maggie, Eliza, and Tricia Sweeney grew up as a happy threesome in the idyllic seaside town of Southport, Connecticut. But their mother’s death from cancer fifteen years ago tarnished their golden-hued memories, and the sisters drifted apart. Their one touchstone is their father, Bill Sweeney, an internationally famous literary lion and college professor universally adored by critics, publishers, and book lovers. When Bill dies unexpectedly one cool June night, his shell-shocked daughters return to their childhood home. They aren’t quite sure what the future holds without their larger-than-life father, but they do know how to throw an Irish wake to honor a man of his stature.

But as guests pay their respects and reminisce, one stranger, emboldened by whiskey, has crashed the party. It turns out that she too is a Sweeney sister.

When Washington, DC based journalist Serena Tucker had her DNA tested on a whim a few weeks earlier, she learned she had a 50% genetic match with a childhood neighbor—Maggie Sweeney of Southport, Connecticut. It seems Serena’s chilly WASP mother, Birdie, had a history with Bill Sweeney—one that has remained totally secret until now.

Once the shock wears off, questions abound. What does this mean for William’s literary legacy? Where is the unfinished memoir he’s stashed away, and what will it reveal? And how will a fourth Sweeney sister—a blond among redheads—fit into their story?

By turns revealing, insightful, and uproarious, The Sweeney Sisters is equal parts cautionary tale and celebration—a festive and heartfelt look at what truly makes a family.

Ope’s Opinion:  The first few chapters introduced us to the sisters.  I like the way you learned about where they were in life when they found out their dad died ( not a spoiler – it was in the synopsis ).  From the beginning I felt like I was sitting outside watching a story take place – I wasn’t drawn in to feel like I was part of it.  

Finding a fourth sister ( also not a spoiler ) was a surprise to them.  Then they had to figure out how they were going to be a family with a new member.  There was a lot of drama in the process.

The end seemed to happened too fast.  I didn’t feel like the story  was ready to end.

Out Now

Robyn Carr’s new book is out today!

Goodreads:  Sometimes the happiness we’re looking for has been there all along…

Adele and Justine have never been close. Born twenty years apart, Justine was already an adult when Addie was born. The sisters love each other but they don’t really know each other.

When Addie dropped out of university to care for their ailing parents, Justine, a successful lawyer, covered the expenses. It was the best arrangement at the time but now that their parents are gone, the future has changed dramatically for both women.

Addie had great plans for her life but has been worn down by the pressures of being a caregiver and doesn’t know how to live for herself. And Justine’s success has come at a price. Her marriage is falling apart despite her best efforts.

Neither woman knows how to start life over but both realize they can and must support each other the way only sisters can. Together they find the strength to accept their failures and overcome their challenges. Happiness is within reach, if only they have the courage to fight for it.

Set in the stunning coastal town of Half Moon Bay, California, Robyn Carr’s new novel examines the joys of sisterhood and the importance of embracing change.

You and Me and Us

Author: Alison Hammer
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  The heartbreaking, yet hopeful, story of a mother and daughter struggling to be a family without the one person who holds them together—a perfect summer read for fans of JoJo Moyes and Marisa de los Santos.

Alexis Gold knows how to put the “work” in working mom. It’s the “mom” part that she’s been struggling with lately. Since opening her own advertising agency three years ago, Alexis has all but given up on finding a good work/life balance. Instead, she’s handed over the household reins to her supportive, loving partner, Tommy. While he’s quick to say they divide and conquer, Alexis knows that Tommy does most of the heavy lifting—especially when it comes to their teenage daughter, CeCe.

Their world changes in an instant when Tommy receives a terminal cancer diagnosis, and Alexis realizes everything she’s worked relentlessly for doesn’t matter without him. So Alexis does what Tommy has done for her almost every day since they were twelve-year-old kids in Destin, Florida—she puts him first. And when the only thing Tommy wants is to spend one last summer together at “their” beach, she puts her career on hold to make it happen…even if it means putting her family within striking distance of Tommy’s ex, an actress CeCe idolizes.

But Alexis and Tommy aren’t the only ones whose lives have been turned inside out. In addition to dealing with the normal ups and downs that come with being a teenager, CeCe is also forced to confront her feelings about Tommy’s illness—and what will happen when the one person who’s always been there for her is gone. When the magic of first love brings a bright spot to her summer, CeCe is determined not to let her mother ruin that for her, too.

As CeCe’s behavior becomes more rebellious, Alexis realizes the only thing harder for her than losing Tommy will be convincing CeCe to give her one more chance.

You and Me and Us is a beautifully written novel that examines the unexpected ways loss teaches us how to love.

Ope’s Opinion:  Have a tissue, for one of the best books of the year!  It is so much more then a sad cancer story.  It is about the relationship between a man, woman, their child and their friends.  It is a wonderfully deep story.

The characters are well developed, believable, and people you either know or want to know.  Their relationships are real.  The ending is all you want and a little bit more…

Alison Hammer is an amazing author.  This is her first novel ( hard to believe )- she needs to keep writing!

 

Lawyer for the Dog

Author: Lee Robinson
Publisher: Thomas Dunne Books
Genre: Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  One of the sharpest attorneys in Charleston, S.C., Sally Baynard isn’t your typical southern belle. She’s certainly not what her mother hoped she’d grow up to be, especially since she divorced her husband, Family Court Judge Joe Baynard, and his historic family with their historic wealth and historic houses. Maybe Sally was never going to be a proper society lady, but her success as a public defender and family lawyer have been enough for her. She’s represented murderers, burglars, drug dealers and lately has taken on some of the thorniest divorces, all cases closed with her Sally Bright Baynard wit, charm and brains.

Or have they? One case she’s never successfully closed is her marriage. And when Judge Joe assigns her to one of his divorce cases by appointing her as the Lawyer for the Dog — Sherman, a miniature schnauzer– she’s forced into close quarters with him again. Juggling the needs of the dog, the angry owners, her amorous but uncommunicative ex-husband, her aging, Alzheimer’s-ridden mother, and the expectations of the court is more than Sally could have imagined. And as rascally Sherman digs his way into Sally’s heart, he brings along his charming vet Tony, a man who makes Sally question her views on love and marriage. 

Ope’s Opinion: This was a delightful read.  If you like to read about dogs and their relationship to people, you will definitely enjoy this book.  You can read this book on two levels.  It is a fun read about the custody of a dog and it also has all the underlying relationships that are so much deeper.   It is a quick, enjoyable read.