Up at Butternut Lake

Author: Mary McNear
Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks
Genre: Romance
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

 

Goodreads:  It’s been ten years since Allie Beckett crossed the threshold of her family cabin at Butternut Lake, Minnesota. Now, newly widowed after the death of her husband in Afghanistan, she’s returned with her five-year-old son.

There, she reconnects with the friends she had in childhood-best girlfriend Jax, now married with three kids and one on the way, and Caroline, owner of the local coffee shop. What Allie doesn’t count on is a newcomer to Butternut Lake, Walker Ford.

Up at Butternut Lake follows these four unforgettable characters across a single summer as they struggle with love, loss, and what it means to take risks, confront fears, and embrace life, in all of its excitement and unpredictability.

Allie Beckett could never have imagined, when she ran away from her old life, that she was running into a whole new life, up at the lake…. 

Ope’s Opinion:  If you enjoy Robyn Carr’s series or RaeAnne Thayne’s series, you’ll enjoy this series.  I suggest you start with the first one,  you will miss some background information if you start in the middle.  

This is the first in the series.  As you can see I am behind on this series, number six is about to come out.  It is an easy read, enjoyable story.  You know where it is going to end, but there are a few twists along the way.  Allie is at the center of this book, but you are introduced to several other people in the town and their stories move along at the same time as Allie’s.  

For me, the steamy parts are unnecessary, but you know they are always there in the romance genre.  I just slide right by them and keep reading because the story is good.  

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Cooper’s Charm

Author: Lori Foster
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Romance
Source:  Anna Robinson

 

 

Goodreads:  One summer, two sisters and a chance to start over…

Before the burglary that shattered her confidence, Phoenix Rose had a fiancé, a successful store and a busy, happy existence. After months spent adrift, she takes a job at the lakeside resort of Cooper’s Charm. Surrounded by beautiful scenery, friendly colleagues and a charismatic, widowed boss, Phoenix is slowly inching her way back into the world.

Visiting Cooper’s Charm to check up on her little sister, Ridley Rose impulsively agrees to fill in as housekeeper. Still reeling from an ego-bruising divorce, she finds satisfaction in a job well done—and in the attention of the resort’s handsome scuba instructor.

For Phoenix and Ridley, Cooper’s Charm is supposed to be merely temporary. But this detour may lead to the place they most need to be, where the future is as satisfying as it is surprising…

Ope’s Opinion: For me this was just barely a three chair book.  The cover is amazing!  The story is good.  The steamy parts were too much too fast for me.  I guess for the true romance reader this is a perfect book! 

I like sister stories and this was a good one.  Lori Foster set up the book for the series to continue.  Being at an RV park makes it easy to bring new people in for each book.

 

Out Now

Do you want to look at a family in a different way?
Do you enjoy reading about relationships?
Pick up this Susan Mallery book today.

Goodreads:  Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Still, Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister–Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old.

Callie doesn’t love being alone, but at least it’s safe. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.

But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. He was clever enough to turn a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, yet he can’t figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love.

But love isn’t Malcolm’s strong suit… until a beautiful barista teaches him that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.

In this emotional, funny and heartfelt story, Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family–blended by surprise, not by choice–and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.

Thank you Emer at Harper Collins for sending
some of the best books I have read – this
was one of them!

When We Found Home

Author: Susan Mallery
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Romance
Source:  Emer at HarperCollins

 

Goodreads:  Life is meant to be savored, but that’s not easy with no family, limited prospects and a past you’d rather not talk about. Still, Callie Smith doesn’t know how to feel when she discovers she has a brother and a sister–Malcolm, who grew up with affection, wealth and privilege, and Keira, a streetwise twelve-year-old.

Callie doesn’t love being alone, but at least it’s safe. Despite her trepidation, she moves into the grand family home with her siblings and grandfather on the shores of Lake Washington, hoping just maybe this will be the start of a whole new life.

But starting over can be messy. Callie and Keira fit in with each other, but not with their posh new lifestyle, leaving Malcolm feeling like the odd man out in his own home. He was clever enough to turn a sleepy Seattle mail-order food catalog into an online gourmet powerhouse, yet he can’t figure out how to help his new sisters feel secure. Becoming a family will take patience, humor, a little bit of wine and a whole lot of love.

But love isn’t Malcolm’s strong suit… until a beautiful barista teaches him that an open heart, like the family table, can always make room for more.

In this emotional, funny and heartfelt story, Susan Mallery masterfully explores the definition of a modern family–blended by surprise, not by choice–and how those complicated relationships can add unexpected richness to life.

Ope’s Opinion:  The story line was interesting and unique. The family relationships felt real and moved at a good pace. The steamy parts will make romance readers happy ( were unnecessary for me ).  The romantic relationships moved a little too fast into the intimate parts.  It made me look at “family” in a different way.

The ending came a little too abrupt and it was tied into a perfect bow.

It would have been a five in my book, but I am not crazy about the steamy parts and it did repeat itself.

The Cottages on Silver Beach

Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Romance
Source:  Claire at Little Bird Publicity

 

Goodreads:  Years after betraying her, he’s back in Haven Point…and ready to learn the truth.

Megan Hamilton never really liked Elliot Bailey. He turned his back on her family when they needed him the most and it almost tore them all apart. So she’s shocked when Elliot arrives at her family’s inn, needing a place to stay and asking questions that dredge up the past. Megan will rent him a cottage, but that’s where it ends—no matter how gorgeous Elliot has become.

Coming back home to Haven Point was the last thing bestselling writer Elliot Bailey thought he’d ever do. But the book he’s writing now is his most personal one yet and it’s drawn him back to the woman he can’t get out of his mind. Seeing Megan again is harder than he expected and it brings up feelings he’d thought were long buried. Could this be his chance to win over his first love?

Ope’s Opinion:  This book read like a soap opera – it kept repeating facts, like you weren’t really paying attention.  The romance was slow and building – I liked that part.  Megan and Elliott really seemed to be friends before the relationship became more.

If you have been reading RaeAnne Thayne’s Haven Point books, you will enjoy this one, but it is not my favorite one of hers.  The ending was not as conclusive as I am used to with her books.  It just seemed to end – I think it is leading into Luke’s story in her next book.

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.

Out Now

If you like southern charm, wonderful characters, and
Kristy Woodson Harvey,
you need to pick this book up today!

Goodreads:  Leaving fans “practically [begging] for a sequel” (Bookpage), critically acclaimed author Kristy Woodson Harvey returns with the second novel in her beloved Peachtree Bluff series, featuring a trio of sisters and their mother who discover a truth that will change not only the way they see themselves, but also how they fit together as a family.

After finding out her military husband is missing in action, middle sister Sloane’s world crumbles as her worst nightmare comes true. She can barely climb out of bed, much less summon the strength to be the parent her children deserve.

Her mother, Ansley, provides a much-needed respite as she puts her personal life on hold to help Sloane and her grandchildren wade through their new grief-stricken lives. But between caring for her own aging mother, her daughters, and her grandchildren, Ansley’s private worry is that secrets from her past will come to light.

But when Sloane’s sisters, Caroline and Emerson, remind Sloane that no matter what, she promised her husband she would carry on for their young sons, Sloane finds the support and courage she needs to chase her biggest dreams—and face her deepest fears. Taking a cue from her middle daughter, Ansley takes her own leap of faith and realizes that, after all this time, she might finally be able to have it all.

Harvey’s signature warmth and wit make this a charming and poignant story of first loves, missed opportunities, and second chances and proves that she is “the next major voice in Southern fiction”

Thank you Kristy Woodson Harvey for this one!
Can’t wait for the next one!