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.

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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!

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.

Coming Soon…..

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In April I hope to read….

slightly-south

Publication Date: April 25, 2017
Publisher:  Gallery Books

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.

any-day

Publication Date: April 18, 2017
Publisher: Mira Books

Goodreads:  Any Day Now is the highly anticipated sequel to #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr’s What We Find. Readers fell in love with Sullivan’s Crossing and the characters who settled there and will be delighted to spend time with their favorite people again. The rustic campground at the crossroads of the Colorado and Continental Divide Trails welcomes everyone—whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a new lease on life.

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

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

This Just In….

just-in

I was on travel last week and indulged myself by buying Jodi Picoult’s book
Small Great Things

Published: October 11, 2016
Publisher:  Ballantine Books

Goodreads:  Ruth Jefferson is a labor and delivery nurse at a Connecticut hospital with more than twenty years’ experience. During her shift, Ruth begins a routine checkup on a newborn, only to be told a few minutes later that she’s been reassigned to another patient. The parents are white supremacists and don’t want Ruth, who is African American, to touch their child. The hospital complies with their request, but the next day, the baby goes into cardiac distress while Ruth is alone in the nursery. Does she obey orders or does she intervene?

Ruth hesitates before performing CPR and, as a result, is charged with a serious crime. Kennedy McQuarrie, a white public defender, takes her case but gives unexpected advice: Kennedy insists that mentioning race in the courtroom is not a winning strategy. Conflicted by Kennedy’s counsel, Ruth tries to keep life as normal as possible for her family—especially her teenage son—as the case becomes a media sensation. As the trial moves forward, Ruth and Kennedy must gain each other’s trust, and come to see that what they’ve been taught their whole lives about others—and themselves—might be wrong.

With incredible empathy, intelligence, and candor, Jodi Picoult tackles race, privilege, prejudice, justice, and compassion—and doesn’t offer easy answers. Small Great Things is a remarkable achievement from a writer at the top of her game.

This looks like another Jodi Picoult that will open my eyes to new points of view.

Claire of Little Bird Publicity kindly sent me Robyn Carr’s book.

Any Day Now

Publication Date:  April 18, 2017
Publisher: Mira Books

Goodreads:  Any Day Now is the highly anticipated sequel to #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr’s What We Find. Readers fell in love with Sullivan’s Crossing and the characters who settled there and will be delighted to spend time with their favorite people again. The rustic campground at the crossroads of the Colorado and Continental Divide Trails welcomes everyone—whether you’re looking for a weekend getaway or a new lease on life.

I always look forward to reading Robyn Carr.

My daughter Kristin of Kritters Ramblings always knows which books I am going to enjoy, so she passed this one to me.

Miracle on 5th Avenue

Published:  July 28, 2016
Publisher: MIRA

Goodreads:  Exciting free extract from Sarah Morgan’s Christmas novel Miracle on 5th Avenue.

Sometimes love needs a Christmas Miracle…

Hopeless romantic Eva Jordan loves everything about Christmas. She might be spending the holidays alone this year, but when she’s given an opportunity to housesit a spectacular penthouse on Fifth Avenue, she leaps at the chance. What better place to celebrate than in snow-kissed Manhattan?

What she didn’t expect was to find the penthouse still occupied by its gorgeous–and mysterious–owner.
Bestselling crime writer Lucas Blade is having the nightmare before Christmas. With a deadline and the anniversary of his wife’s death looming, he’s isolated himself in his penthouse with only his grief for company.

But when the blizzard of the century leaves Eva snowbound in his apartment, Lucas starts to open up to the magic she brings…
This Christmas, is Lucas finally ready to trust that happily-ever-afters do exist?

These all look – so many good books and not enough time to read!!  Especially at the holidays.  I hope I will fit these in between all the other activities. 

The Life She Wants

the-life

Author: Robyn Carr
Publisher: Mira
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source:  BEA 2016 / Claire of Little Bird Publicity

Goodreads:  #1 New York Times bestselling author Robyn Carr creates an emotional and uplifting ensemble of characters in this rags-to-riches-to-rags novel about women, friendship and the complex path to happiness

In the aftermath of her financier husband’s suicide, Emma Shay Compton’s dream life is shattered. Richard Compton stole his clients’ life savings to fund a lavish life in New York City and, although she was never involved in the business, Emma bears the burden of her husband’s crimes. She is left with nothing.

Only one friend stands by her, a friend she’s known since high school, who encourages her to come home to Sonoma County. But starting over isn’t easy, and Sonoma is full of unhappy memories, too. And people she’d rather not face, especially Riley Kerrigan.

Riley and Emma were like sisters—until Riley betrayed Emma, ending their friendship. Emma left town, planning to never look back. Now, trying to stand on her own two feet, Emma can’t escape her husband’s reputation and is forced to turn to the last person she thought she’d ever ask for help—her former best friend. It’s an uneasy reunion as both women face the mistakes they’ve made over the years. Only if they find a way to forgive each other—and themselves—can each of them find the life she wants.

Ope’s Opinion:  Let me just be honest upfront – I am a huge Robyn Carr fan, so I maybe a little prejudice when I review her books. She writes such wonderful characters and great stories.  This book is no exception.

I liked how all the characters lives twist and turn around each other in this story. This story was different from her series stories.  I like those, but this was also a really good read.  I feel like her characters in this book were developed a little deeper then some of her other books.

This definitely is one of her best books.  I am looking forward to her next one.

705de-5chairs

Little Bird Publicity sent me the following Q & A from Robyn Carr about The Life She Wants.  Thank you Claire!

Q&A w/ Robyn Carr — THE LIFE SHE WANTS

(Ope’s Opinions)

 

Q: The damaged friendship between Emma and Riley is one of the central relationships in this novel. After having written so many successful romantic love stories, what was different or challenging about building your story around a fraught, deeply complicated female friendship?

A: I’m accustomed to writing “girlfriend books” that, from the beginning, have a very strong bond between the women, that the friends get each other through the tough times. I wanted to know how it’s different when the bond has been broken but the tough times are present.

You’ll find out what you’re made of when you go through a relationship crisis, when you feel scared and alone.

Q: Although this book focuses a great deal on the relationships between various female characters, there’s still plenty of romance to be had. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the leading men in this book? Riley’s brother Adam comes into play in Emma’s life…

A: Adam enters the story early on and we learn right away that he has always cared for Emma, but he was the older brother in the equation and when he was 18, 19, 20 – Emma was just a young girl and he kept his safe distance. When they were both finally old enough, he was too late – Emma was gone. To Adam it is miraculous that she’s back, that he has a second chance. And he’s determined to make good use of it.

There are other heroes, some of them hiding in plain sight. There’s Jock, the high school boyfriend that Emma and Riley lost their friendship over and the father of Riley’s teenage daughter. He was an irresponsible boy when he betrayed Emma with her best friend but he’s not a boy any longer, nor is he foolish and irresponsible.

And there’s Logan, a police detective who seems to keep running into Riley by chance. Or is it chance? He’s a very good guy who wants to be involved with Riley but given his role in her life, might be fighting a conflict of interest with his job.

Q: Emma and Riley are both people who have suffered betrayals and trauma in their romantic relationships. What makes Emma so open to finding love again, and what makes Riley so wary of it? Was it fun to write the two different sides of that coin?

A: I think Emma is surprised to find love and with, of all people, an old friend who she feels safe with. She was so alone in her marriage, so unloved and neglected. Riley, on the other hand, sees falling in love as a danger – the one and only time she fell for someone it destroyed her cherished friendship and left her adrift in a very difficult world as a single mother.

It was much more fun to write about a lost friendship than it is to live it! Everyone has had the experience of being dumped by a best friend and it’s horribly painful. And there’s always two sides to every story but we’re usually so determined to be right, we never try to understand the other side of the story. In this book I get to look at both of their perspectives without prejudice and it’s something to learn from. And I think the reader, like the writer in this case, will wonder to the very last page if they can resume their friendship.

Q: The concept of forgiveness is important throughout the book, and several of the characters struggle to find ways to forgive each other and themselves for past mistakes. Why do you think forgiveness is so crucial to happiness, and why do you think it sometimes takes people such a long time to forgive?

A: I think the idea of forgiving is not only crucial, asking for forgiveness is even more so! Who among us won’t forgive if someone makes sincere amends? Most of what has to happen to patch up a tattered relationship is admitting you’re wrong and asking to be forgiven. Forgiving in a vacuum doesn’t change much but what everyone wants to hear from someone we think wronged us is a real apology. We can say we forgive a hateful person, we can say that gives us peace of mind, but if that person goes on being hateful, we’ll keep experiencing the pain of it.

In the case of Emma and Riley, they both made serious mistakes. I knew what it was going to take for them to get each other back. What I didn’t know until the whole story played out was whether they would do it.

Q: We have to ask, what’s next for you? What are you working on right now?

A: I’m at work on the second Sullivan’s Crossing novel, no title yet. It should be ready soon and out the beginning of April 2017.