The View from Prince Street

prince street

Author: Mary Ellen Taylor
Publisher: Berkley
Genre: Fiction, Mystery
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  The author of The Union Street Bakery and At the Corner of King Street returns to Alexandria, Virginia, with a heartfelt tale of reconnection.

Rae McDonald was fifteen when a car accident took her sister’s life and threw her own into reckless turmoil. When she got pregnant a year later, she found a loving couple to adopt the child. Since then, she’s buried her grief and guilt under a heart of stone.

Lisa Smyth survived the fateful crash, but never told the truth about what happened. And when a family obligation draws her back to Alexandria, the weight of Lisa’s guilt grows heavier by the day.

As both women confront a past refusing to be forgotten, long-buried artifacts are discovered by the Shire Architectural Salvage Company that point to a shared history between families.  Now, Rae and Lisa must finally ask themselves if denying the past is worth sacrificing the future.

Ope’s Opinion:  If you like history infused with a story – this book is for you.  Living close to Alexandria made this story feel like I was walking the streets that are familiar to me.  

This story showed how the past really effects every part of Rae’s and Lisa’s lives.  Because of one accident a lot of other decisions were made that brought them to the present.  The way Mary Ellen Taylor weaves the past into the present story, it all came together.

I have read several of Taylor’s books and I am ready to read more.   

Rating:  4

At the Corner of King Street

Author: Mary Ellen Taylor               corner of king
Publisher:  Berkley
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Won from Book Fan Mary
                 visit her blog!



Goodreads:  The author of The Union Street Bakery presents a new novel about a woman searching for a fresh start—while unable to forget the past…

Adele “Addie” Morgan grew up in a house filled with pain and loss. Determined to live life on her own terms, Addie moves to the country and finds a job at a vineyard where she discovers stability, happiness, and—best of all—love with the kind owner, Scott.

But an unexpected call abruptly pulls Addie out of her new and improved life. Her sister has just given birth and Addie’s Aunt Grace wants her to return home to help the family—even if it means confronting things she’s tried so hard to forget.

When Addie arrives, she quickly realizes that she hasn’t truly let go of her former life, at least not completely. After making a surprising connection with her sister’s baby—and her sister’s ex-husband, Zeb—Addie must choose between her picture-perfect future with Scott and the family roots she thought she’d left behind for good…

Ope’s Opinion:  This is the third in a series set in Old Town Alexandria, VA.  Since my daughter lives there the setting has a lot of meaning for me and makes me like the books more.

I like the family drama that Taylor writes so well.  The relationships feel real and the characters become like family.  The overall subject was a little on the sad side.  Mental illness effects the whole family and this story brought that to light.

There is one more in the series that is sitting on shelf and will be read really soon!

Rating:  4 – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.

Sweet Expectations

Author:  Mary Ellen Taylor                            sweet expectations
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Pages: 352
Genre:  Women’s Fiction
Source: Joan Schulhafer Publishing



Goodreads:  Daisy McCrae knows that change can be sudden—and devastating. And while it doesn’t have to be a bad thing, change has the power to turn your whole world upside down….

Running the family bakery and living in the store’s attic might not be Daisy’s dream life, but she’s beginning to understand what being content feels like. And then she gets some unexpected news. In one moment, Daisy’s calm existence turns into chaos. Now she’s struggling to keep it together, especially with renovations at the bakery spiraling out of control.

But when a box of recipes and mementos is found hidden behind a wall in the bakery, Daisy suddenly has something to cling to—a mystery that echoes her own troubles and gives her the opportunity to figure out what she really wants out of life…

Ope’s Opinion:  This sequel will not disappoint you!  It is very well written.  I stayed up very late finishing this book.  It was too hard to put down.  You do not have to read the first one in this series to enjoy this book, but it would make it better.

You will be able to relate to at least one of the sisters.  They each have their own story.  I didn’t want to do anything but read.  This book kept my attention from beginning to end.

I will read more of Mary Ellen Taylor.



Rating:  Four Chairs – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.



The Union Street Bakery

Author:  Mary Ellen Taylor                                bakery
Publisher: Berkley Trade
Pages: 352
Genre: Historical Fiction
Source: Joan Schulhafer Publishing



Goodreads:  Life can turn on a dime. It’s a common cliché, and I’d heard it often enough. People die or move away. Investments go south. Affairs end. Loved ones betray us…Stuff happens.

Daisy McCrae’s life is in tatters. She’s lost her job, broken up with her boyfriend, and has been reduced to living in the attic above her family’s store, the Union Street Bakery, while learning the business. Unfortunately, the bakery is in serious hardship. Making things worse is the constant feeling of not being a “real” McCrae since she was adopted as a child and has a less-than-perfect relationship with her two sisters.

Then a long-standing elderly customer passes away, and for some reason bequeaths Daisy a journal dating back to the 1850s, written by a slave girl named Susie. As she reads, Daisy learns more about her family—and her own heritage—than she ever dreamed. Haunted by dreams of the young Susie, who beckons Daisy to “find her,” she is compelled to look further into the past of the town and her family.

What she finds are the answers she has longed for her entire life, and a chance to begin again with the courage and desire she thought she lost for good.

Ope’s Opinions: This story is an amazing read!  I am not a historical reader in general, but I love this one! The history was woven in the contemporary story seamlessly.   I enjoyed the setting.  I go to Alexandria often, so I could see where they were in my mind.  

These sisters are so real! The whole family treats each other like I think most families do.  It isn’t always positive, but you can feel that they honestly love and care about each other.  I would want to be part of this family.

This story just kept me flipping the pages as fast as I could.

I could have lived without the foul language and the ghost.  Neither of those added any enjoyment to the story for me.

I am ready to read the sequel and I am glad there is one.


Rating: Four Chairs – I like this book so much I know several friends to share it with.