The Summer House

Author: Lauren K. Denton
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Fiction
Source:  Margaret at Harper Collins

Goodreads:  Sometimes it takes losing everything to find yourself again.

Lily Bishop wakes up one morning to find a good-bye note and divorce papers from her husband on the kitchen counter. Having moved to Alabama for his job only weeks before, Lily is devastated, but a flyer at the grocery store for a hair stylist position in a local retirement community provides a refuge while she contemplates her next steps.

Rose Carrigan built the small retirement village of Safe Harbor years ago—just before her husband ran off with his assistant. Now she runs a tight ship, making sure the residents follow her strict rules. Rose keeps everyone at arm’s length, including her own family. But when Lily shows up asking for a job and a place to live, Rose’s cold exterior begins to thaw.

Lily and Rose form an unlikely friendship, and Lily’s salon soon becomes the place where residents share town gossip, as well as a few secrets. Lily soon finds herself drawn to Rose’s nephew, Rawlins—a single dad and shrimper who’s had some practice at starting over—and one of the residents may be carrying a torch for Rose as well.

Neither Lily nor Rose is where she expected to be, but the summer makes them both wonder if there’s more to life and love than what they’ve experienced so far. The Summer House weaves Lauren K. Denton’s inviting Southern charm around a woman’s journey to find herself.

“The perfect summer read! You’ll feel the sun, taste the salt, and linger with new friends—you won’t want to leave.” —Katherine Reay, bestselling author of The Printed Letter Bookshop and Dear Mr. Knightley 

Ope’s Opinion:  The beautiful cover caught my attention, the author ( Lauren K. Denton ) assures you of a good story and the synopsis makes you want to sit down and read immediately.  What more could you ask for from a book?

This book has it all, great characters that you are attached to from the beginning, a southern story to soak into and a setting that takes you away to a place you want to be.  I want to move to Safe Harbor and hang out with these ladies, drive my golf cart around and eat at the cafe.  This is such a wonderful escape any time, but right now I really needed this.

I was a bit sad to have the read come to an end.  I wanted to stay in their world.  I would love a sequel – where are they now?

Carolina Breeze

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Romance
Source:  Margaret at Harper Collins

Goodreads:  A jilted bride. A struggling innkeeper. And a romantic mountain getaway that changes everything.

Rising Hollywood star Mia Emerson is looking for a safe place to land in the wake of a public breakup and scandal, and she finds it in the lake town of Bluebell, North Carolina—the location of her canceled honeymoon. She wants nothing more than to hide and wait for the tabloids to die down.

Soon after her arrival at the Bluebell Inn, Mia meets Levi Bennett, who runs the inn along with his two younger sisters. Drawn to one another from the start, Mia trusts Levi to keep her location from the press, and Levi confides in Mia about the financial state of the inn—a secret he’s been keeping from his sisters.

When Mia and Levi discover an old journal that hints at a rare diamond necklace hidden in the inn, they set off on a treasure hunt to find the long-lost heirloom. What they don’t expect to surface are feelings they thought were safely locked away. Mia and Levi must decide if falling in love again is too big a risk—or if it will uncover a treasure of its own instead.

This Bluebell Inn romance takes us to a quiet North Carolina retreat that holds more secrets than it shares.

Ope’s Opinion: This is the second in the Bluebell Inn Romance series.  It could be read alone, but the first one is just as good, so you shouldn’t miss it.  You do see some of the characters from the first book and their stories have been moved along.

Levi’s story was perfect for him.  He needs to take care of people and Mia needs to be taken care of, so they are a good match.  It was great to read the slow burn of their attraction to each other.  They had some stumbling blocks along the way.

The ending is what you expect and want, it just seemed a bit rushed.

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In May I hope to read….

Publication Date: May 19, 2020
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Goodreads:   A jilted bride. A struggling innkeeper. And a romantic mountain getaway that changes everything.

Rising Hollywood star Mia Emerson is looking for a safe place to land in the wake of a public breakup and scandal, and she finds it in the lake town of Bluebell, North Carolina—,the location of her canceled honeymoon. She wants nothing more than to hide and wait for the tabloids to die down.

Soon after her arrival at the Bluebell Inn, Mia meets Levi Bennett, who runs the inn along with his two younger sisters. Drawn to one another from the start, Mia trusts Levi to keep her location from the press, and Levi confides in Mia about the financial state of the inn—a secret he’s been keeping from his sisters.

When Mia and Levi discover an old journal that hints at a rare diamond necklace hidden in the inn, they set off on a treasure hunt to find the long-lost heirloom. What they don’t expect to surface are feelings they thought were safely locked away. Mia and Levi must decide if falling in love again is too big a risk—or if it will uncover a treasure of its own instead.

This Bluebell Inn romance takes us to a quiet North Carolina retreat that holds more secrets than it shares.

 

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

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

Lake Season

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Purchased

Goodreads:  From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom  and  A December Bride  (now beloved Hallmark Original movies) comes the first novel in a brand-new series!­

When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream: turning their historic home back into an inn.

Adam Bradford (a.k.a. bestselling author Nathanial Grey) is a reclusive author with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to a North Carolina lake town, the setting of his next novel. There he immediately meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.

When Molly finds an old letter in the walls of her inn she embarks on a mission with Adam to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But the guest she invites along has secrets of his own. Past and present collide as truths are revealed, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.

Ope’s Opinion:  Denise Hunter writes the best stories!  She weaves God into the lives of her characters.  The story is wholesome ( not steamy ), the language is creative ( not foul ), and the characters are relatable and real.  

The North Carolina setting was perfect for this story.  The perfect backdrop for an author to find his muse and fall in love.  This easy, breezy story had depth and a few twists along the way.

This is the first of a series, so I am really looking forward to the next one.  The ending was everything you would want from this romantic story.

Summer by the Tides

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Purchased

 

Goodreads:  From the bestselling author of The Convenient Groom (now a beloved Hallmark Original movie) comes a heartfelt story of family secrets, forgiveness, and unexpected romance.

Following a painful betrayal, Maddy Monroe’s love life is a wreck, and her restaurant career is in shambles. When her grandmother goes missing, she and her estranged sisters converge at the family beach house in Sea Haven, North Carolina. Being with uptight Nora and free-spirited Emma at the place where their family broke apart is a struggle, and undercurrents of jealousy and resentment threaten to pull the sisters under. In the midst of the storm, sparks begin to fly between Maddy and Gram’s maddening neighbor, Connor Murphy.

As the sisters pack up the family belongings, memories of idyllic, slow-paced summers are resurrected. But long-buried secrets also come to light as Maddy discovers that all was not as it appeared that last summer in Sea Haven–nor today in the seemingly perfect lives of her sisters.

As family tensions rise and Connor causes tumult in Maddy’s heart, the sisters must find a way to accept each other for the women they’ve become before the bitterness of the past destroys their hope for a future.

Ope’s Opinion: I am a fan of Denise Hunter and I liked this book, but it was not my favorite.  There was a little too much drama and too many cheating men.  I did like the strong women, who did not settle for less then what they should expect from a relationship with the men in the their lives.  

The female relationships are the center of this story, but the romance is definitely there as well.  Everyone has their own set of secrets and reasons why coming to Gram’s house was a good get away.

The ending was what I wanted and would expect from Hunter’s books, but it came on too fast.

On Magnolia Lane

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Contemporary Christian Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  Falling in love with Daisy was easy for Jack. But finding the courage to tell her becomes problematic when his secret feelings lead to even bigger complications.

After two years of counseling sessions with Daisy Pendleton, Pastor Jack McReady has earned a permanent spot in her life as a spiritual leader—and nothing more. Jack would never risk losing her trust by exposing the depths of his heart, but he’s hopelessly in love with her.

Daisy loves her southern small-town life and her job at her family-run flower shop, but she doesn’t have the thing she longs for most: someone to share it with. Her recent foray into online dating has been a disaster—until she meets TJ.

Jack could kill his friend Noah for using his initials and some indistinct photos to set up a profile on the dating app Daisy is using. But when he’s finally afforded the opportunity to show her a different side of himself, he’s sucked into the plan before he has time for second thoughts.

Online, Daisy shares some of her greatest fears with TJ, but in person, Jack and Daisy are spending more time together. When a devastating family secret surfaces, Daisy knows that only her trusted friend and counselor can bring her comfort. Jack wants nothing more than to be both men for Daisy, but revealing his secret will prove to be the ultimate test of Daisy’s grace

Ope’s Opinion: I can always count on Denise Hunter for an awesome, wholesome read.  She is my go-to author that always satisfies all my need for good in the world.  It isn’t a perfect world, not everything goes right, but it is a great read.

This is the third book in the Blue Ridge series.  Some of the people in the first two books are in the third one, but you could read just the third one – but why? when they are all so good!

The ending was what you expect and want – very satisfying.

Coming Soon….

…. On a Bookshelf near you!

In November I hope to read….

Lake Season (Bluebell Inn Romance #1)

Publication Date:  November 12, 2019
Publisher: Thomas Nelson

Goodreads:  From the bestselling author of  The Convenient Groom  and  A December Bride  (now beloved Hallmark Original movies) comes the first novel in a brand-new series!­

When their parents die in a tragic accident, Molly Bennett and her siblings pull together to fulfill their parents’ dream: turning their historic home back into an inn.

Adam Bradford (a.k.a. bestselling author Nathanial Grey) is a reclusive author with a bad case of writer’s block. Desperate for inspiration as his deadline approaches, he travels to a North Carolina lake town, the setting of his next novel. There he immediately meets his muse, a young innkeeper who fancies herself in love with his alter ego.

When Molly finds an old letter in the walls of her inn she embarks on a mission with Adam to find the star-crossed lovers and bring them the closure they deserve. But the guest she invites along has secrets of his own. Past and present collide as truths are revealed, and Molly and Adam will have to decide if love is worth trusting.

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

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

Honeysuckle Dreams

Author: Denise Hunter
Publisher: Thomas Nelson
Genre: Christian Fiction
Source: Kristin at Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  Brady Collins is juggling full-time fatherhood with the booming auto repair business he runs out of his barn. His ex-wife’s sudden death has shaken him, but the devastating news that follows leaves him reeling: Sam is not his biological son.

When Sam’s wealthy maternal grandparents decide they want custody of the child, Brady knows he’s in for the fight of his life. Brady’s attorney tips him off that one major life change would virtually assure him of winning guardianship of baby Sam at the final hearing: the stability of an impending marriage. And his friend Hope is willing to step in as the loving and devoted fiancée.
But regardless of what any blood test says, Sam is his son, and Brady will go to any lengths to keep him.

Local radio celebrity Hope Daniels has been driven by a solitary goal her entire life, and she’s finally been offered her dream job–in Atlanta. Unfortunately, her arrangement with Brady requires her presence in Copper Creek, and she is faced with missing the chance of a lifetime or standing in the way of a dear friend’s dreams.

Both Hope and Brady would give their lives for beautiful Sam. But can they give their trust to one another? With this new novel in the Blue Ridge Romance series, Honeysuckle Dreams shines light on the complicated and beautiful angles of love.

Ope’s Opinion:  As I started reading this book, I thought I knew where it was going.  Some of it did go where I thought, but there were a few twists along the way.  This was the second in the Blue Ridge series.  You did not have to read the first one to enjoy this one.  It has been a while since I read the first one, but I quickly knew what was going on. 

Hope and Brady’s story was different from most love stories and lot of fun to read.  I enjoyed seeing them find their way from friendship to a loving marriage.  Denise Hunter makes her characters endearing to her readers.

The third book in the series is on my book shelf and will be read soon.

Glory Road

Author: Lauren K. Denton
Publisher:  Thomas Nelson
Genre: Fiction
Source: Kristin of Kritters Ramblings

Goodreads:  Written in Lauren Denton’s signature Southern style, Glory Road tells the story of three generations of women navigating the uncertain pathways of their hearts during a summer that promises to bring change–whether they’re ready for it or not.

At thirty-eight, garden shop owner Jessie McBride thinks her chances for romance are years behind her and, after her failed marriage, she’s fine with that. She lives contentedly with her fiery mother and her quiet, headstrong daughter. But the unexpected arrival of two men on Glory Road make her question if she’s really happy with the status quo. Handsome, wealthy Sumner Tate asks her to arrange flowers for his daughter’s wedding, and Jessie finds herself drawn to his continued attention. And Ben Bradley, her lingering what-could-have-been from high school days who’s known her better than anyone and whom she hasn’t seen in years, moves back to the red dirt road. Jessie finds her heart being pulled in directions she never expected.

Meanwhile, Jessie’s fourteen-year-old daughter, Evan, is approaching the start of high school and trying to navigate a new world of identity and emotions–particularly as they relate to the cute new guy who’s moved in just down the road. At the same time, Jessie’s mother, Gus, increasingly finds herself forgetful and faces a potentially frightening future.

As all three women navigate the uncertain paths of their hearts and futures, one summer promises to bring change–whether they’re ready for it or not.

Ope’s Opinion:  Oh, Lauren Denton writes the best stories!  From beginning to the very end, every part of it is wonderful.  This clean, deep, emotional story was a pleasure to read. 

This story is told from three generations of the McBride family.  All three of these women are strong and independent – good examples for women of every age.  They are great  characters that are very relatable.

The ending was what you expected and was very satisfying.  I am counting down until I can read another Lauren K. Denton book.