The Goodbye Cafe

Author: Mariah Stewart
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Romance
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  California girl Allie Hudson Monroe can’t wait for the day when the renovations on the Sugarhouse Theater are complete so she can finally collect the inheritance from her father and leave Pennsylvania. After all, her life and her fourteen-year-old daughter are in Los Angeles.

But Allie’s divorce left her tottering on the edge of bankruptcy, so to keep up on payments for her house and her daughter’s private school tuition, Allie packed up and flew out east. But fate has a curve-ball or two to toss in Allie’s direction—she just doesn’t know it yet.

She hadn’t anticipated how her life would change after reuniting with her estranged sister, Des, or meeting her previously unknown half-sister, Cara. And she’d certainly never expected to find small-town living charming. But the biggest surprise was that her long-forgotten artistry would save the day when the theater’s renovation fund dried up.

With opening day upon the sisters, Allie’s free to go. But for the first time in her life, she feels like the woman she was always meant to be. Will she return to the West Coast and resume her previous life, or will the love of her family be enough to draw her back to the place where the Hudson roots grow so deep?

Ope’s Opinion: This is the third in A Hudson Sisters series.  It is not necessary to read the first two, but it is definitely recommended.  Each sister has her story, this is Allie’s.  

The slow romance was very enjoyable, but having the sisters and family relationships at the center of the story made it even better for me.  I liked watching Allie  slowly change and enjoy where she was.

The ending answered many questions, but left many more unanswered.  It would be fun to read about more of the Hudson family.

The Ingredients of You and Me

Author: Nina Bocci
Publisher:  Gallery Books
Genre: Romance
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  From the USA TODAY bestselling author of the “heartwarming and refreshingly sweet” (Lauren Layne, New York Times bestselling author) On the Corner of Love and Hate comes a story about a baker who takes her chances on a new town…and an old love.

After selling her famous bakery back in New York, Parker Adams visits Hope Lake, Pennsylvania, to figure out her next steps. And soon she’s wondering why she ever loved city life in the first place. Between the Golden Girls—the senior women who hold court—and Nick Arthur, her equally infuriating and charming former flame, Parker finds a community eager to help her get her mojo back.

But even though Hope Lake gives her the fresh start she’s been looking for, Parker discovers that it’s not so easy to start over again with Nick. Their chemistry is undeniable, but since Nick is a freshly taken man, Parker is determined to keep things platonic. With a recipe for disaster looming, Parker must cook up a new scheme, figuring out how to keep everything she’s come to love before she loses it all.

Perfect for fans of Amy E. Reichert and Jenny Colgan, The Ingredients of You and Me is a scrumptious romantic comedy that lets you have your cake and eat it too.

Ope’s Opinion: This was the third book in the Hopeless Romantics series.  Each one could be read alone, but following the group of friends from the beginning was really a lot of fun!

Being back in Hope Lake with all the friends made Nick’s and Parker’s story enjoyable.  Their miscommunication made for a lot of difficulties that could have been avoided, but that would have taken the fun out of the story!  Watching them figure out their relationship kept me reading.

The “Golden Girls” in this series really gave it another depth and a little more humor along the way.

I will be looking for Nina Bocci’s next book.  They are perfect escapes for me.

The Sugarhouse Blues

Author: Mariah Stewart
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Romance
Source:  Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  Mariah Stewart’s second novel in the Hudson Sisters series…

Allie, Des, and Cara, each having her own reasons for wanting a share of their father’s estate, meet in the grand Victorian home in which he grew up, only to be greeted by another secret he purposely hid from them: his sister Bonnie. The women reluctantly band together to take on Fritz’s challenge, working with a local contractor to begin the renovations financed by an account Fritz had set up for the task. While the restoration appears to go smoothly at first, it soon becomes apparent that the work will be more extensive than originally thought, and Des, elected to handle the money, needs to find ways to stretch out the remaining savings while searching for new sources of funding.

As strangers linked only by their DNA try to become a family, the Hudson sisters also try to come to terms with the father they only thought they knew. In the process, each woman discovers her own capacity for understanding, forgiveness, love, and the true meaning of family.

Ope’s Opinion: I enjoyed this second book in the series even more then the first one.  This book picked up right where the first one left off.  Since the first one set up the series it had a lot of detail and back story.  This one moved faster since you already know everyone.  It has more about the relationships and less renovating.  

This was a nice escape from life for me.  The sisters were enjoyable to follow through the next part of their lives.

Reading the first book is not necessary, but very helpful.  And now I can’t wait to read the third one!

 

Feels Like Falling

Author: Kristy Woodson Harvey
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source:  Kristy Woodson Harvey

Goodreads:  From “the next major voice in Southern fiction” (Elin Hilderbrand) and the bestselling author of the Peachtree Bluff series comes an odd couple tale of friendship that asks just how much our past choices define our happiness.

It’s summertime on the North Carolina coast and the livin’ is easy.

Unless, that is, you’ve just lost your mother to cancer, your sister to her evangelical husband, and your husband to his executive assistant. Meet Gray Howard. Right when Gray could use a serious infusion of good karma in her life, she inadvertently gets a stranger fired from her job at the local pharmacy.

Diana Harrington’s summer isn’t off to the greatest start either: Hours before losing her job, she broke up with her boyfriend and moved out of their shared house with only a busted Impala for a bed. Lucky for her, Gray has an empty guest house and a very guilty conscience.

With Gray’s kindness, Diana’s tide begins to turn, but when the one that got away comes back, every secret from her past seems to resurface all at once. And, as Gray begins to blaze a new trail, she discovers, with Diana’s help, that what she envisioned as her perfect life may not be what she wants at all.

In her warmest, wittiest, and wisest novel yet, Kristy Woodson Harvey delivers a discerning portrait of modern womanhood through two vastly different lenses. Feels Like Falling is a beach bag essential for Harvey fans—and for a new generation of readers.

Ope’s Opinion:  This was my first read of 2020 and it was a wonderful way to start my reading this year.  Kristy does not disappoint.  She wrote wonderful characters – two women, who were the main characters.  They did not seem to be likely friends, but she wove their lives together wonderfully and believably.  

Watching these women gain their own confidence, along with their friendship and making a family from the people around them was a great story.  They are strong women, who I wanted to be like, and be friends with.

As usual, Kristy gave us the ending we wanted, they are happy, but it is not perfect.  She had a quote in the book  – ” It doesn’t have to look perfect to be perfect for you. ”  And that is how she ended it!

 

Coming Soon…

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In April I hope to read….

 

Publication Date: April 28, 2020
Publisher: Gallery Books

Goodreads:  From the USA TODAY bestselling author of the “heartwarming and refreshingly sweet” (Lauren Layne, New York Times bestselling author) On the Corner of Love and Hate comes a story about a baker who takes her chances on a new town…and an old love.

After selling her famous bakery back in New York, Parker Adams visits Hope Lake, Pennsylvania, to figure out her next steps. And soon she’s wondering why she ever loved city life in the first place. Between the Golden Girls—the senior women who hold court—and Nick Arthur, her equally infuriating and charming former flame, Parker finds a community eager to help her get her mojo back.

But even though Hope Lake gives her the fresh start she’s been looking for, Parker discovers that it’s not so easy to start over again with Nick. Their chemistry is undeniable, but since Nick is a freshly taken man, Parker is determined to keep things platonic. With a recipe for disaster looming, Parker must cook up a new scheme, figuring out how to keep everything she’s come to love before she loses it all.

Perfect for fans of Amy E. Reichert and Jenny Colgan, The Ingredients of You and Me is a scrumptious romantic comedy that lets you have your cake and eat it too.

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

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

On the Corner of Love and Hate

Author: Nina Bocci
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Romance
Source: Purchased

Goodreads:  For fans of Christina Lauren and Lauren Layne comes a delightfully sassy and sexy romance about a campaign manager who reluctantly works with the local Lothario to help revamp his image for the upcoming mayoral elections, only to discover that he’s hiding something that can turn both their lives upside down.

What’s a campaign manager’s worst nightmare? A smooth-talking charmer who’s never met a scandal that he didn’t like.

When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and mayor of her town—asks her to help rehab Cooper Endicott’s image, she’s horrified. Cooper drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, and she can’t say no to him without him finding out the reason why: Cooper and her have a messy past. So Emmanuelle reluctantly launches her father’s grand plan to get this Casanova someone to settle down with and help him lose his lothario reputation.

Cooper Endicott wanted to run for Mayor, but he never wanted the drama that went with it. Now that he’s on the political hamster wheel, the other candidates are digging up everything from his past. Even though he’s doing all the right things, his colorful love life is the sticking point for many of the conservative voters. He wants to win, badly, and he knows that if he wants any chance of getting a vote from the female population, he needs to change his image. The only problem? He might just be falling in love with the one person he promised not to pursue: the Mayor’s off-limits daughter.

A perfect blend of humor and heart, On the Corner of Love and Hate is the first in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci.

Ope’s Opinion: This had everything I ever wanted in a romance – great characters, an awesome story, some humor and very little explicit sex scenes. 

I love romances where the characters know each other before they fall in love and fall into bed.  I also like that Emma had a job, friends and other interests beside Cooper.  The slow build of them getting together might have been a little slow, but I prefer that to the insta love that doesn’t feel real to me.

I am going to be watching out for all Nina Bocci books.  I already have the next one Meet Me on Love Lane on my shelf – I will be ready that very soon.

In the Mailbox

Goodreads:  For fans of Christina Lauren and Lauren Layne comes a delightfully sassy and sexy romance about a campaign manager who reluctantly works with the local Lothario to help revamp his image for the upcoming mayoral elections, only to discover that he’s hiding something that can turn both their lives upside down.

What’s a campaign manager’s worst nightmare? A smooth-talking charmer who’s never met a scandal that he didn’t like.

When Emmanuelle Peroni’s father—and mayor of her town—asks her to help rehab Cooper Endicott’s image, she’s horrified. Cooper drives her crazy in every way possible. But he’s also her father’s protégé, and she can’t say no to him without him finding out the reason why: Cooper and her have a messy past. So Emmanuelle reluctantly launches her father’s grand plan to get this Casanova someone to settle down with and help him lose his lothario reputation.

Cooper Endicott wanted to run for Mayor, but he never wanted the drama that went with it. Now that he’s on the political hamster wheel, the other candidates are digging up everything from his past. Even though he’s doing all the right things, his colorful love life is the sticking point for many of the conservative voters. He wants to win, badly, and he knows that if he wants any chance of getting a vote from the female population, he needs to change his image. The only problem? He might just be falling in love with the one person he promised not to pursue: the Mayor’s off-limits daughter.

A perfect blend of humor and heart, On the Corner of Love and Hate is the first in a new series from USA TODAY bestselling author Nina Bocci.

This is the first in the series.  The second is on my shelf.
The third one is coming out April 28, 2020.

Twice in a Blue Moon

Author: Christina Lauren
Publisher: Gallery Books
Genre: Romance
Source: Book Expo 2019

 

Goodreads:  As an adventurous send-off to her childhood, eighteen-year-old Tate Jones travels with her grandmother from their small town in Northern California to London. But the vacation of a lifetime is wonderfully derailed by the appearance of two charming Vermont farmers: grandfather Luther and his handsome grandson Sam.

Sam and Tate fall hard and fast. For two glorious weeks, the couple share their hopes, dreams, and secrets. Sam admits he suspects his grandfather is dying and that this could be the last trip they take together, and Tate reveals that she is the hidden daughter of one of the biggest film stars in the world—a secret she’s never told anyone before.

But when Tate is exposed by a crush of cameras and reporters, she knows she’s been betrayed by the one person she thought she could trust. She is forced to decide whether she will return to her quiet life or embrace being in the public eye. So when Sam reappears in her world more than a decade later, can Tate forgive the past and rekindle the passion they shared on their magical trip abroad? And does she even want to?

Ope’s Opinion: This was a disappointment for me.  I had heard such great things about Christina and Lauren’s writing, I guess I was expecting too much.  It wasn’t bad, just okay.  The love story started out as a teen quick romance and ended as they were adults.  The youth of their story felt sort of real and exciting, but the adult felt forced and unnatural.

For me, the constant use of the “f” word, took away from the story.  Also, the detailed sex scenes that I skimmed just didn’t add anything.

The end just left me thinking – okay it is done… not that feeling of I wish I could keep reading.

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In October I hope to read….

Publication Date: October 22, 2019
Publisher: Gallery Books

Goodreads: From the New York Times bestselling author of The Unhoneymooners and the “delectable, moving” (Entertainment Weekly) My Favorite Half-Night Stand comes a modern love story about what happens when your first love reenters your life when you least expect it…

Sam Brandis was Tate Jones’s first: Her first love. Her first everything. Including her first heartbreak.

During a whirlwind two-week vacation abroad, Sam and Tate fell for each other in only the way that first loves do: sharing all of their hopes, dreams, and deepest secrets along the way. Sam was the first, and only, person that Tate—the long-lost daughter of one of the world’s biggest film stars—ever revealed her identity to. So when it became clear her trust was misplaced, her world shattered for good.

Fourteen years later, Tate, now an up-and-coming actress, only thinks about her first love every once in a blue moon. When she steps onto the set of her first big break, he’s the last person she expects to see. Yet here Sam is, the same charming, confident man she knew, but even more alluring than she remembered. Forced to confront the man who betrayed her, Tate must ask herself if it’s possible to do the wrong thing for the right reason… and whether “once in a lifetime” can come around twice.

With Christina Lauren’s signature “beautifully written and remarkably compelling” (Sarah J. Maas, New York Times bestselling author) prose and perfect for fans of Emily Giffin and Jennifer Weiner, Twice in a Blue Moon is an unforgettable and moving novel of young love and second chances.

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

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