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!

 

Look What was on My Doorstep

Publication Date: July 21, 2020
Publisher:  Atria / Emily Bestler Books

Goodreads: The “quick-witted and razor-sharp” (Taylor Jenkins Reid, New York Times bestselling author of Daisy Jones & The Six) author of Limelight and Small Admissions returns with a hilarious and heartfelt new novel about a perfectly imperfect summer of love, secrets, and second chances.

Bridget and Will have the kind of relationship that people envy: they’re loving, compatible, and completely devoted to each other. The fact that they’re strictly friends seems to get lost on nearly everyone; after all, they’re as good as married in (almost) every way. For three decades, they’ve nurtured their baby, the Forsyth Trio—a chamber group they created as students with their Juilliard classmate Gavin Glantz. In the intervening years, Gavin has gone on to become one of the classical music world’s reigning stars, while Bridget and Will have learned to embrace the warm reviews and smaller venues that accompany modest success.

Bridget has been dreaming of spending the summer at her well-worn Connecticut country home with her boyfriend Sterling. But her plans are upended when Sterling, dutifully following his ex-wife’s advice, breaks up with her over email and her twin twenty-somethings arrive unannounced, filling her empty nest with their big dogs, dirty laundry, and respective crises.

Bridget has problems of her own: her elderly father announces he’s getting married, and the Forsyth Trio is once again missing its violinist. She concocts a plan to host her dad’s wedding on her ramshackle property, while putting the Forsyth Trio back into the spotlight. But to catch the attention of the music world, she and Will place their bets on luring back Gavin, whom they’ve both avoided ever since their stormy parting.

With her trademark humor, pitch-perfect voice, and sly perspective on the human heart, Amy Poeppel crafts a love letter to modern family life with all of its discord and harmony. In the tradition of novels by Maria Semple and Stephen McCauley, Musical Chairs is an irresistibly romantic story of role reversals, reinvention, and sweet synchronicity. 

Thank you Megan at Simon and Schuster for sharing this book with me!

Waiting at Hayden

Author: Riley Costello
Publisher: Sullivan & Shea Publishing
Genre:  Romance
Source:  Purchased

Goodreads:  From a fresh new voice in women’s fiction comes a page-turning, relatable love story about the complicated nature of timing in modern-day relationships.

Childhood best friends Charli Anderson and Jack Logan fall madly in love during college and can’t imagine a life apart. But when they land dream opportunities on opposite ends of the country following graduation, they are forced to make a heart-wrenching pact. In the hope of one day restarting their love story, they set a date to reunite in five years at their favorite restaurant.

Restaurant owner Gianna Hayden is thirty-seven, single, and one bad date away from giving up on finding the right guy when she meets Peter Clark on a dating website. Attractive, kind, and driven, he is exactly what she thought she was looking for. But as the day of Charli and Jack’s reservation approaches, Gianna finds herself reflecting on the kind of passionate love her former customers once had and begins to question her bond with Peter.

These two riveting stories converge on the night of the fateful reunion. Gianna, Charli, and Jack are all forced to make difficult choices as they struggle to follow their hearts, and ultimately each must decide where their true feelings lie before time runs out.

Waiting at Hayden’s is the first book to be published in the new reading experience format shopfiction™, which Costello coined and branded. The digital version of this book contains links to watch key scenes unfold and to shop the characters’ clothes. The print versions contain web addresses to do the same.

Ope’s Opinion: There were two love stories going on at the same time in this book.  Charli and Jack’s story is amazing, and breath taking.  Gianna’s story is a nice background story  that tied into Charli and Jack’s story.  

This easy to read, light romance should be put on your TBR list.  Once you start reading, you will want your world to stop so you can keep reading until the end.  When you get to the end you’ll be sad it is over.  It was even better then I had hoped.

 

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!

Out Now

This is the new Christina Lauren.
Available today!

Goodreads:  Carey Douglas has worked for home remodeling and design gurus Melissa and Rusty Tripp for nearly a decade. A country girl at heart, Carey started in their first store at sixteen, and—more than anyone would suspect—has helped them build an empire. With a new show and a book about to launch, the Tripps are on the verge of superstardom. There’s only one problem: America’s favorite couple can’t stand each other.

James McCann, MIT graduate and engineering genius, was originally hired as a structural engineer, but the job isn’t all he thought it’d be. The last straw? Both he and Carey must go on book tour with the Tripps and keep the wheels from falling off the proverbial bus.

Unfortunately, neither of them is in any position to quit. Carey needs health insurance, and James has been promised the role of a lifetime if he can just keep the couple on track for a few more weeks. While road-tripping with the Tripps up the West Coast, Carey and James vow to work together to keep their bosses’ secrets hidden, and their own jobs secure. But if they stop playing along—and start playing for keeps—they may have the chance to build something beautiful together…

From the “hilariously zany and heartfelt” (Booklist) Christina Lauren comes a romantic comedy that proves if it’s broke, you might as well fix it.

 

The Sea Glass Cottage

Author: RaeAnne Thayne
Publisher: HQN Books
Genre: Romance
Source: Samantha at Harper Collins

Goodreads:  The life Olivia Harper always dreamed of isn’t so dreamy these days. The 16-hour work days are unfulfilling and so are things with her on-again, off-again boyfriend. But when she hears that her estranged mother, Juliet, has been seriously injured in a car accident, Liv has no choice but to pack up her life and head home to beautiful Cape Sanctuary on the Northern California coast.

It’s just for a few months—that’s what Liv keeps telling herself. But the closer she gets to Cape Sanctuary, the painful memories start flooding back: Natalie, her vibrant, passionate older sister who downward-spiraled into addiction. The fights with her mother who enabled her sister at every turn. The overdose that took Natalie, leaving her now-teenaged daughter, Caitlin, an orphan.

As Liv tries to balance her own needs with those of her injured mother and an obstinate, resentful fifteen-year-old, it becomes clear that all three Harper women have been keeping heartbreaking secrets from one another. And as those secrets are revealed, Liv, Juliet, and Caitlin will see that it’s never too late—or too early—to heal family wounds and find forgiveness.

Ope’s Opinion:  When you start reading this story, you may want a small post-it note just in the beginning.  There are a lot of wonderful characters to remember.  It only takes a little while before you realize who is connected, but a little note could be helpful.  

RaeAnne Thayne made me want to move to Cape Sanctuary to be friends with these people!  The town and the people seemed so real, with normal issues to deal with and with friends who were willing to help.

The romances ( there were a few ) were  perfectly slow moving ( as I like them ).  The ending is what you want and what you expect from a romance.

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.