The Family Gathering

Author: Robyn Carr
Publisher: Mira Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source:  Claire at Little Bird Publicity

Goodreads:  An exceptional storyteller, #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr beautifully captures the emotionally charged, complex dynamics that come with being part of any family. Readers will laugh and shed a few tears as they discover what it means to be loved, supported and accepted by the people who mean the most.

Having left the military, Dakota Jones is at a crossroads in his life. With his elder brother and youngest sister happily settled in Sullivan’s Crossing, he shows up hoping to clear his head before moving on to his next adventure. But, like every visitor to the Crossing, he’s immediately drawn to the down-to-earth people and the seemingly simple way of life.

Dakota is unprepared for how quickly things get complicated. As a newcomer, he is on everyone’s radar—especially the single women in town. While he enjoys the attention at first, he’s really only attracted to the one woman who isn’t interested. And spending quality time with his siblings is eye-opening. As he gets to know them, he also gets to know himself and what he truly wants.

When all the Jones siblings gather for a family wedding, the four adults are drawn together for the first time in a way they never were as children. As they struggle to accept each other, warts and all, the true nature and strength of their bond is tested. But all of them come to realize that your family are the people who see you for who you really are and love you anyway. And for Dakota, that truth allows him to find the home and family he’s always wanted.

Ope’s Opinion: If you have not started reading the Sullivan’s Crossing series, this would be a good time to start.  You do not have to read them from the beginning to enjoy this story, but it is such a great series, it is worth your reading time.  Although this book is in the romance genre, it is so much more then that!

This book centers around Dakota, one of the Jones brothers, but it updates you on the whole family and some other people in the community.  There are some very intense parts of the book that will have you turning the pages quickly to find what happens.

The ending is very satisfying and wraps up some story lines, but leaves some things for the next book – which I will be looking for when it comes out.

Thank you Claire ( Little Bird Publicity ) for sending this one my way.

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Sisters Like Us

Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: Mira Books
Genre: Romance
Source:  Emer at Harper Collins

Goodreads:  The grass is always greener on your sister’s side of the fence…

Divorce left Harper Szymanski with a name no one can spell, a house she can’t afford and a teenage daughter who’s pulling away. With her fledgeling virtual-assistant business, she’s scrambling to maintain her overbearing mother’s ridiculous Susie Homemaker standards and still pay the bills, thanks to clients like Lucas, the annoying playboy cop who claims he hangs around for Harper’s fresh-baked cookies.

Spending half her life in school hasn’t prepared Dr. Stacey Bloom for her most daunting challenge—motherhood. She didn’t inherit the nurturing gene like Harper and is in deep denial that a baby is coming. Worse, her mother will be horrified to learn that Stacey’s husband plans to be a stay-at-home dad…assuming Stacey can first find the courage to tell Mom she’s already six months pregnant.

Separately they may be a mess, but together Harper and Stacey can survive anything—their indomitable mother, overwhelming maternity stores and ex’s weddings. Sisters Like Us is a delightful look at sisters, mothers and daughters in today’s fast-paced world, told with Susan Mallery’s trademark warmth and humor.

Ope’s Opinion:  Overall, this book was worth the read.  The characters were well developed and had flaws you could relate to.

What I liked – the relationships, the story lines and the characters.  I loved that the romances moved slow and they had real relationships with each other before the physical aspects started.  The mother – daughter ( Harper / Becca ) was very realistic.  I liked the sister relationships too.

What I didn’t like – the repetitive writing of how inadequate Stacy felt about being a mother and Bunny ( worst mother of the year ).  I don’t think it was necessary to have her be such an unlikable character.  The story could have been wonderful without that aspect.

If you like Susan Mallery’s other books, you will like this one.

The Summer that Made Us

Author: Robyn Carr
Publisher: Mira Books
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Source:  Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  Mothers and daughters, sisters and cousins–they lived for summers at the lake house until a tragic accident changed everything. The Summer That Made Us is an unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again.

That was then…

For the Hempsteads, two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, summers were idyllic. The women would escape the city the moment school was out to gather at the family house on Lake Waseka. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything.

This is now…

After an accidental drowning turned the lake house into a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. For good. Torn apart, none of the Hempstead women speak of what happened that summer, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth.

Robyn Carr has crafted a beautifully woven story about the complexities of family dynamics and the value of strong female relationships.

Ope’s Opinion:  This did not feel like most of Robyn Carr’s books.  It was a deeper, heavier read then she usually writes.  There were a lot of issues addressed in this book.  It was a little on the depressing side.

The story was told from several peoples point of views, so that help to see the whole picture and understand the relationships.  There were a lot of “flashbacks” – views into things that brought the characters were they are now.  I enjoyed the present story of sisters coming back to the lake house better then the past story line.

The ending brought everything to a satisfying conclusion.

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In September hope to read….

Publication Date:  September 5, 2017
Publisher: Mira Books

Goodreads:  Mothers and daughters, sisters and cousins–they lived for summers at the lake house until a tragic accident changed everything. The Summer That Made Us is an unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again.

That was then…

For the Hempsteads, two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, summers were idyllic. The women would escape the city the moment school was out to gather at the family house on Lake Waseka. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything.

This is now…

After an accidental drowning turned the lake house to a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. For good. Torn apart, none of the Hempstead women speak of what happened that summer, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth.

Robyn Carr has crafted a beautifully woven story about the complexities of family dynamics and the value of strong female relationships.

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

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

This Just In…

From Claire, at Little Bird Publicity

Publication Date: September 5, 2017
Publisher: Mira Books

Goodreads:  Mothers and daughters, sisters and cousins–they lived for summers at the lake house until a tragic accident changed everything. The Summer That Made Us is an unforgettable story about a family learning to accept the past, to forgive and to love each other again.

That was then…

For the Hempsteads, two sisters who married two brothers and had three daughters each, summers were idyllic. The women would escape the city the moment school was out to gather at the family house on Lake Waseka. The lake was a magical place, a haven where they were happy and carefree. All of their problems drifted away as the days passed in sun-dappled contentment. Until the summer that changed everything.

This is now…

After an accidental drowning turned the lake house to a site of tragedy and grief, it was closed up. For good. Torn apart, none of the Hempstead women speak of what happened that summer, and relationships between them are uneasy at best to hurtful at worst. But in the face of new challenges, one woman is determined to draw her family together again, and the only way that can happen is to return to the lake and face the truth.

Robyn Carr has crafted a beautifully woven story about the complexities of family dynamics and the value of strong female relationships.

Thank you Little Bird Publicity ( Claire ) for sending this one!

No Darker Place

Author: Debra Webb
Publisher: Mira Books
Genre: Mystery
Source:  Won From Shelf Awareness

 

 

Goodreads:  They want revenge. They need each other.

Detective Bobbie Gentry has one objective: to stop the serial killer who robbed her of her husband, her child and her life. Nick Shade understands Bobbie’s painand her desire for vengeance. He’s on a mission of his own, and the murderer known as the Storyteller is next on his list. Nick knows that the best way to find his target is to stick close to Bobbie. But as she becomes more and more reckless in her attempts to lure the Storyteller out of hiding, he has to make a choice. Will he protect her from herself even if it means passing up the chance to take out one more monster? As for Bobbie, she’s forced to decide just how much she can trust this stranger who knows so much about her. And both of them are about to learn whether or not two broken people can save each other.

Ope’s Opinion:  I think for most mystery readers this may be a 4 or 5 chair.  I am more of a who-done-it reader, so this had a bit more graphic details of what happened at the murder scene to the victims then I prefer.  The intensity was there through the whole book, the story felt realistic and the characters were ones you really cared about.

The beginning was a little hard to understand – I felt like I walked into a part two of a series, but this was part one -( I should have read the prequel ).  From page one the relationships were already developed and it was written as if I already knew the relationships between people.  After a couple of chapters I understood who was who.

Although this is a series, I felt it ended well and wrapped things up for this book.  Some of the relationships were left open, but I felt satisfied with the ending.

Any Day Now

 

Author: Robyn Carr
Publisher: Mira Books
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  The highly anticipated sequel to #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr’s What We Find transports readers back to Sullivan’s Crossing. The rustic campground at the crossroads of the Colorado and Continental Divide trails welcomes everyone—whether you’re looking for a relaxing weekend getaway or a whole new lease on life. It’s a wonderful place where good people face their challenges with humor, strength and love.

For Sierra Jones, Sullivan’s Crossing is meant to be a brief stopover. She’s put her troubled past behind her but the path forward isn’t yet clear. A visit with her big brother Cal and his new bride, Maggie, seems to be the best option to help her get back on her feet.

Not wanting to burden or depend on anyone, Sierra is surprised to find the Crossing offers so much more than a place to rest her head. Cal and Maggie welcome her into their busy lives and she quickly finds herself bonding with Sully, the quirky campground owner who is the father figure she’s always wanted. But when her past catches up with her, it’s a special man and an adorable puppy who give her the strength to face the truth and fight for a brighter future. In Sullivan’s Crossing Sierra learns to cherish the family you are given and the family you choose.

Ope’s Opinion:   Even though Sierra is the main focus of this story, you read about Cal, Maggie, Sully and the other cast of characters in Sullivan’s Crossing. If you have not read What We Found – go get that one first.  You certainly can read Any Day Now as a stand alone, but it is so much better with all the back story from the first one.

Since Sierra is a little protective of herself in her relationships, I like how it took her a  while for her to open up to Conrad.  It was a natural build of their relationship  – it did not feel rushed.

The ending was one you expected and were happy for it.  It brought everything to a nice finish.  I am looking forward to the next book in the series.