Tuesday, June 25, 2019

Summer on Mirror Lake

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis:  Summertime is the best time to lose yourself in the romance of Honeymoon Harbor…
When he lands in the emergency room after collapsing at the funeral of a colleague and friend, Wall Street hotshot Gabriel Mannion initially rejects the diagnosis of an anxiety attack. But when warned that if he doesn’t change his adrenaline-fueled, workaholic lifestyle he could end up like his friend, Gabe reluctantly returns to his hometown of Honeymoon Harbor to regroup.
As he adjusts to the sight of mountains instead of skyscrapers, Gabe discovers advantages to this small Pacific Northwest town he once couldn’t wait to escape. But it’s irresistible librarian Chelsea Prescott who, along with the two foster children she’s taken under her wing, makes slowing down seem like the best prescription ever.
Over the course of their summer romance, Gabe gets a taste of the life he might have had if he’d taken a different path. But with his return to New York City looming on the horizon, he’ll have to choose between the success he’s worked tirelessly for and a ready-made family who offers a very different, richly rewarding future…if he’ll only take the risk.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I loved Summer on Mirror Lake and can't wait to read the other books in the series.  I had no idea (even after turning the last page) that it was part of series.  I finished the book hoping for a sequel and to my surprise there are four other books in the series!  

I absolutely adored the characters.  Chelsea is an amazingly good and kind women.  She has been through a lot herself and yet wants to make a difference in her small harbor town.  Gabe, who grew up in Honeymoon Harbor, comes back for the summer, is someone most of us could fall head over heels for.  He too is good and kind.  He secretly does a lot for his hometown already but after meeting Chelsea wants to do more.

Summer on Mirror Lake is a wonderful, feel good, romantic with some steam type of book. It is also a perfect book to read during the summer!  I read this book in record time too.  I didn't want to put it down or have it end.  I sure hope there is another book in the series.  In the meantime, I will go read the other four!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I would love to read the other books in the Honeymoon Harbor series (can't wait to get them!).  I would also like to her Shelter Bay and Coldwater Cove series too.

Look at what others are saying at the TLC Book Tour:

Monday, June 3rd: Bookmark LitMonday, June 3rd: @nerdybooknurseMonday, June 3rd: @angelareadsbooksTuesday, June 4th: Pacific Northwest Bookworm and @pnwbookwormWednesday, June 5th: Book by BookThursday, June 6th: Reading RealityFriday, June 7th: From the TBR PileMonday, June 10th: Romancing the ReadersMonday, June 10th: @_ebl_inc_Tuesday, June 11th: Patricia’s WisdomWednesday, June 12th: Booked on a FeelingThursday, June 13th; BiblioticaFriday, June 14th: A Chick Who ReadsMonday, June 17th: A Holland ReadsWednesday, June 19th: Amy’s Book-et ListThursday, June 20th: Why Girls Are WeirdFriday, June 21st: The Lit BitchMonday, June 24th: @simplykelinaTuesday, June 25th: Seaside Book NookWednesday, June 26th: Jathan and HeatherThursday, June 27th: Lori’s Reading Corner – excerpt
Friday, June 28th: @cassies_books_reviews

New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author JoAnn Ross has been published in twenty-seven countries. A member of Romance Writers of America’s Honor Roll of bestselling authors, JoAnn lives with her husband and three rescued dogs — who pretty much rule the house — in the Pacific Northwest. 

Connect with JoAnn

Website | Facebook | Instagram

Purchase Links

Amazon | Books-A-Million | Barnes & Noble

Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Friends We Keep

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Evvie, Maggie, and Topher have known one another since college. Their friendship was something they swore would last forever. Now years have passed, the friends have drifted apart, and they never found the lives they wanted—the lives they dreamed of when they were young and everything seemed possible. 

Evvie starved herself to become a supermodel but derailed her career by sleeping with a married man. 

Maggie married Ben, the boy she fell in love with in college, never imagining the heartbreak his drinking would cause. 

Topher became a successful actor, but the shame of a childhood secret shut him off from real intimacy. 

By their thirtieth reunion, these old friends have lost touch with one another and with the people they dreamed of becoming. Together again, they have a second chance at happiness...until a dark secret is revealed that changes everything. 

The Friends We Keep is about how despite disappointments we’ve had or mistakes we’ve made, it’s never too late to find a place to call home.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  The Friends We Keep starts out with Evivie, Maggie and Topher meeting at university and becoming fast friends.  That is were they first meet Evil Ben.  Upon graduation, they all go their separate ways.  As they are all working on their careers and start to lose touch with each other, Evil Ben makes an appearance again.  Maggie ends up marrying Ben and gives up her career.  While in New York, Evvie is a successful model and Topher is a soap opera star.  They all come together again for Maggie's wedding.  Once again, they go their separate ways.  

Now it's their 30th reunion and they decide to go.  They all realized they have some deep dark secrets and they end up coming out.  Will their friendship be able to survey after such betrayal? The Friends We Keep is a great story about true friendship, the good, bad and ugly.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I actually read The Sunshine Sisters and need to write a review (I really enjoyed it). I would like to read The Beach House and other books by Jane.

Jane Green is the New York Times bestselling author of one cookbook (Good Taste), and nineteen novels, including the huge hits Jemima J., and The Beach House. With over ten million books in print in over twenty five languages, she is credited as being one of the founders of the genre, "chick lit". 

She has had her own show on BBC Radio London, is a current storyteller for The Moth, was a correspondent for ABC News for the royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton, and is a regular guest on radio and television.

She has been featured in People, Newsweek, USA Today, Glamour, The Sunday Times, The Daily Telegraph and Cosmopolitan amongst others, and lives in Connecticut with her husband, six children, 2 dogs, 5 cats, and 6 chickens. 

Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Summer Guests

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Late August is a beautiful time on the Southern coast—the peach trees are ripe, the ocean is warm, and the sweet tea is icy. A perfect time to enjoy the rocking chairs on the porch. But beneath the calm surface bubbles a threat: it’s also peak hurricane season.

When a hurricane threatens the coasts of Florida and South Carolina, an eclectic group of evacuees flees for the farm of their friends Grace and Charles Phillips in North Carolina: the Phillips’s daughter Moira and her rescue dogs, famed equestrian Javier Angel de la Cruz, makeup artist Hannah McLain, horse breeder Gerda Klug and her daughter Elise, and island resident Cara Rutledge. They bring with them only the few treasured possessions they can fit in their vehicles. Strangers to all but the Phillips, they must ride out the storm together.

During the course of one of the most challenging weeks of their lives, relationships are put to the test as the evacuees are forced to confront the unresolved issues they have with themselves and with each other. But as the storm passes, they realize that what really matters isn’t what they brought with them to the mountains. Rather, it’s what they’ll take with them once they leave.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: I can't believe this is another first for me this summer.  I have never read a book by Mary Alice Monroe. Twice this summer I have read books by #1 best selling authors and can't figure out how I have never read one of their books before this summer. 

I connected so much with The Summer Guests, but not because I know anything about horses.  I lived in on the east coast of Florida for nine years and I have family that lives in the mountains of North Carolina!  Mary Alice Monroe does an amazing job capturing what it is like to have to evacuate due to a hurricane as well as the mountains of North Carolina in a storm (no internet for sure!).

All the guests at the farm of the Phillips' are unique individuals whose paths had not crossed.  They all have a few things in common.  They are fleeing the hurricane, love animals and willing to help any way they can with all the rescued animals. 

Good characters and good individual stories that all come together at the farm.  Enjoyable!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I would love to read more of Mary Alice Monroe books.  I really want to start with The Beach House series!  I believe Cara in The Summer Guests is a character from The Beach House series.

Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including the Beach House series: The Beach House, Beach House Memories, Swimming Lessons, Beach House for Rent, and Beach House Reunion. She is a 2018 Inductee into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame, and her books have received numerous awards, including the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing, the 2014 South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the 2015 SW Florida Author of Distinction Award, the RT Lifetime Achievement Award, the International Book Award for Green Fiction, and the 2017 Southern Book Prize for Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Beach House is also a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. An active conservationist, she lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina. Visit her at MaryAliceMonroe.com and at Facebook.com/MaryAliceMonroe.

Thursday, June 20, 2019

The Summer of Sunshine & Margot

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis:  The Baxter sisters come from a long line of women with disastrous luck in love. But this summer, Sunshine and Margot will turn disasters into destiny…
As an etiquette coach, Margot teaches her clients to fit in. But she’s never faced a client like Bianca, an aging movie star who gained fame—and notoriety—through a campaign of shock and awe. Schooling Bianca on the fine art of behaving like a proper diplomat’s wife requires intensive lessons, forcing Margot to move into the monastery turned mansion owned by the actress’s intensely private son. Like his incredible home, Alec’s stony exterior hides secret depths Margot would love to explore. But will he trust her enough to let her in?
Sunshine has always been the good-time sister, abandoning jobs to chase after guys who used her, then threw her away. No more. She refuses to be “that girl” again. This time, she’ll finish college, dedicate herself to her job as a nanny, and she 100 percent will not screw up her life again by falling for the wrong guy. Especially not the tempting single dad who also happens to be her boss.
Master storyteller Susan Mallery weaves threads of family drama, humor, romance and a wish-you-were-there setting into one of the most satisfying books of the year.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: This is my first Susan Mallery book review and I am not sure how that is even possible. I enjoyed The Summer of Sunshine & Margot and can't wait to read more of Susan's books.

Sunshine and Margot are twins who don't have good luck with men per the family curse.  However, they just maybe able to break that curse this summer.  Margot is the more serious and responsible twin, while Sunshine is more carefree and goes where ever the next boyfriend takes her.

Margot is working with a very unusual client (Bianca) and is requested to move in with her at her son's house (mansion).  Alec, Bianca's son, keeps to himself and likes order, however, he finds himself out of sorts after spending time with Margot.  Let's just say that Alec forgets all about keeping things in order when there is steam sex going on!  I have to say, Bianca is hoot!

Sunshine is working as nanny after being left penniless in London. She is determined to get her in life in order this time.  She starts taking a college class, is a live-in nanny to Connor who lost his mother to cancer, and wants a man to love her "for her" and not her body.  Connor's dad Delcan, falls hard for Sunshine, but she has sworn off men and will not to repeat her past mistakes. 

Will the Baxter sisters finally break the family curse and find decent and worthy men?  

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I am reading California Girls right now and enjoying it. I would like to read all her books.  I think The Secrets of the Tulip Sisters will be up next. 
Check out the other TLC Book Tour reviews:

Monday, June 10th: Book Reviews and More by KathyTuesday, June 11th: Satisfaction for Insatiable ReadsWednesday, June 12th: Palmer’s Page TurnersThursday, June 13th: Reading RealityFriday, June 14th: Kahakai KitchenMonday, June 17th: Pacific Northwest BookwormTuesday, June 18th: Bewitched BookwormsWednesday, June 19th: Booked on a FeelingThursday, June 20th: Seaside Book NookFriday, June 21st: Jathan & HeatherMonday, June 24th: Run WrightTuesday, June 25th: @libraryinprogressWednesday, June 26th: What is That Book AboutThursday, June 27th: Audio Killed the Bookmark and @beritaudiokilledthebookmarkFriday, June 28th: Novel Gossip and @novelgossipMonday, July 1st: Amy’s Book-et ListTuesday, July 2nd: A Chick Who ReadsWednesday, July 3rd: Books & BindingsFriday, July 5th: @booktimisticMonday, July 8th: BiblioticaTuesday, July 9th: Romantic Reads and SuchWednesday, July 10th: Sincerely Karen JoWednesday, July 10th: Broken TeepeeThursday, July 11th: Why Girls are WeirdFriday, July 12th: View from the BirdhouseMonday, July 15th: Diary of a Stay at Home MomTuesday, July 16th: Treestand Book ReviewsWednesday, July 17th: Book FidelityFriday, July 19th: Not in Jersey

#1 NYT bestselling author Susan Mallery writes heartwarming, humorous novels about the relationships that define our lives-family, friendship, romance. She’s known for putting nuanced characters in emotional situations that surprise readers to laughter. Beloved by millions, her books have been translated into 28 languages.Susan lives in Washington with her husband, two cats, and a small poodle with delusions of grandeur. Visit her at SusanMallery.com.

Connect with Susan

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Tuesday, June 18, 2019

In the Swim of Things

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Ocean-loving Kyra Goodwin had to give up her dream of becoming the female Jacques Cousteau in order to take care of her father and brother, but being a mermaid at the Cape Cod Aquarium is pretty fintastic as far as alternative careers go.

Of course, life as a half-fish/half-woman isn’t all sunken treasure and Ariel twirls. Kyra has to deal with perpetually pruney fingers, eyes irritated by saltwater, and bratty kids on the daily, plus her glam alter ego can make dating really weird. (So many men have pervy siren-of-the-sea fantasies!) When she meets hunky surfer Cade, and he’s into her without knowing what she does for a living, Kyra thinks she’s finally won the romance lottery.

Unfortunately, Kyra’s plans for a carefree summer of catching waves with her new boyfriend run aground when Sea Star Beach, a place that holds great sentimental value for her, is taken over by a big-city developer who wants to build an exclusive resort. Kyra’s crusade to save her beloved beach threatens both her job and her relationship with Cade as does her growing closeness with her irresistibly broody merwrangler, Declan, whose precocious daughter is intent on playing matchmaker.

When a new family drama arises just as Kyra receives an offer that would turn her greatest desire into reality, she’s torn. Will she do what’s expected of her, or dive in and follow her heart?

One (or more) Sentence Summary: What a great summer read!  I loved it.  Who knew you could be a mermaid and get paid for it? I would have never guessed it was such hard work either.  

What makes a great summer read? Here is my list: a beach, hot romance, steamy sex, strong female, and a great ending that leaves me wanting a sequel.  In the Swim of Things had all of the above, plus some unknown gems that eventually comes out.

The story take place on the Cape.  Kyra is a strong female and fights for what is right. She puts her family needs before her own needs and wants.  She sacrificed a lot for her father and brother.  She held rallies, fought the corporate big-wigs when they took over her special beach.  She never gives up.

Kyra meets Cade at a yoga class and they hit it off immediately. He is a hot professional surfer.  He treats Kyra very well and has decided to make the Cape his home now that he is retired.  You know something must be missing - who can have it that good?  Cade works for the corporate big-wigs that bought the beach.  The same beach Kyra is fighting for the town to get access to again.

Declan works with Kyra at the aquarium as her merwrangler (helps her get everywhere) and makes sure she is safe in the water.  Recently divorced (and sexy), Declan keeps to himself and appears to be moody.  However, Kyra and Declan have always had a good relationship.  What kind of good relationship? I won’t tell.

In the end only one guy ends up with Kyra, who could it be; the hot surfer or the sexy merwrangler? I would also love a sequel!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I have read two other books by Tracie Banister.  Twin Piques and Izzy As Is

An avid reader and writer, Tracie Banister has been scribbling stories since she was a child, most of them featuring feisty heroines with complicated love lives like her favorite fictional protagonist Scarlett O'Hara. Her work was first seen on the stage of her elementary school, where her 4th grade class performed an original holiday play she penned. (Like all good divas-in-the-making, she also starred in and tried to direct the production.)

Tracie’s dreams of authorial success were put on the backburner when she reached adulthood and discovered that she needed a "real" job in order to pay her bills. Her career as personal assistant to a local entrepreneur lasted for 12 years. When it ended, she decided to follow her bliss and dedicate herself to writing full-time. She is the proud winner of the 2017 Independent Press Award (Romantic Comedy) and a Bronze Medal in the 2017 Readers’ Favorite Awards (Chick Lit).

Although Tracie swore she’d never write a sequel to any of her books, the character of Izzy Alvarez, who first appeared in In Need of Therapy, would not be denied. Izzy As Is is Tracie’s fifth novel, and she hopes readers enjoy this return trip to Miami.

Tracie blogs about books and other fun stuff at http://traciebanister.blogspot.com/

You can subscribe to her author newsletter, The Banister Buzz, here: http://eepurl.com/by0VAv

Monday, June 17, 2019

Crimes Past + Giveaway

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  It’s a bittersweet reunion for Mac Faraday when members of his former homicide squad arrive at the Spencer Inn. While it is sweet to attend the wedding of a late colleague’s daughter, it is a bitter reminder that the mother of the bride had been the victim of a double homicide.

The brutal slaying weighing heavy on his mind, Mac is anxious to explore every avenue for a break in the cold case—even a suggestion from disgraced former detective Louis Gannon that one of their former friends is the killer. 

When the investigator is brutally slain, Mac Faraday rips open the cold case with a ruthless determination to reveal which of his friends is a cold-blooded murderer.

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I have enjoyed all the Lauren Carr books I have read so far.  Crimes Past, falls right into that category.  Crimes Past is part of the Mac Faraday series.  I recently reviewed the first book in the series, It's Murder, My Son and this is the 13th book in the series.  However, you do not need to read them in order.  They are stand-alone books, for sure. 

Lauren always has lots of characters in her novels.  Even though this was the 13th book, the characters (and animals) that were in the first book are introduced in a way for first time readers of the series to get to know them.  Even as reader of a previous book in the series, it was not over done.  It gave me a refresher of whose who.  I don't care for books that take chapters re-introducing characters (this was not the case here).

As typically of a Lauren Carr book, Crimes Past involved more than one mystery (or murder) that Mac is solving.  The book starts out with a wedding and a murder that took place 16 years ago at the Inn that Mac owns.  Present day, the sister of the murdered bride 16 years ago, is about to get married at the Inn.  Mac and his half brother David are determined to solve the 16 year old case.  However, who can they trust?  There seems to be some bad cops involved in the murder. 

Wacky neighbors are another thing that does not add up and Mac knows something is off.  Gnarly, Mac's trained MWD dog and the town mayor (yes the dog), is the cause of a neighbors dislike. In trying to figure out the neighbor and her dislike of Gnarly (come on, he is the Mayor), Mac stumbles into another murder.   

In the end, Mac solves both murders, but I never figured it out.  There are a lot of twists and turns and just when I thought I had the answers, I didn't.  Great books with great characters (and animals), lots of things going on (more than one murder to solve) and will keep you guessing.

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: I really enjoyed It's Murder, My SonWinter Frost,  Ice and Murder by Perfection.  I am looking forward to reading other books by Lauren. 

Check out what others are saying on the iRead Book Tour

Lauren Carr is the international best-selling author of the Mac Faraday, Lovers in Crime, and Thorny Rose Mysteries—over twenty titles across three fast-paced mystery series filled with twists and turns! Now, Lauren has added one more hit series to her list with the Chris Matheson Cold Case Mysteries. Set in the quaint West Virginia town of Harpers Ferry, Ice introduces Chris Matheson, a retired FBI agent, who joins forces with other law enforcement retirees to heat up those cold cases that keep them up at night. Book reviewers and readers alike rave about how Lauren Carr’s seamlessly crosses genres to include mystery, suspense, crime fiction, police procedurals, romance, and humor. Lauren is a popular speaker who has made appearances at schools, youth groups, and on author panels at conventions. She lives with her husband, and three dogs, including the real Sterling, on a mountain in Harpers Ferry, WV.

Connect with the author: Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Instagram
Buy Crimes Past:    Amazon ~ Audible     Add to Goodreads

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Monday, June 10, 2019

This Is Home

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  From the author of book club favorite The Salt House comes a deeply affecting novel about a teenage girl finding her voice and the military wife who moves in downstairs, united in their search for the true meaning of home. 

Sixteen-year-old Libby Winters lives in Paradise, a seaside town north of Boston that rarely lives up to its name. After the death of her mother, she lives with her father, Bent, in the middle apartment of their triple decker home—Bent’s two sisters, Lucy and Desiree, live on the top floor. A former soldier turned policeman, Bent often works nights, leaving Libby under her aunts’ care. Shuffling back and forth between apartments—and the wildly different natures of her family—has Libby wishing for nothing more than a home of her very own.

Quinn Ellis is at a crossroads. When her husband John, who has served two tours in Iraq, goes missing back at home, suffering from PTSD he refuses to address, Quinn finds herself living in the first-floor apartment of the Winters house. Bent had served as her husband’s former platoon leader, a man John refers to as his brother, and despite Bent’s efforts to make her feel welcome, Quinn has yet to unpack a single box.

For Libby, the new tenant downstairs is an unwelcome guest, another body filling up her already crowded house. But soon enough, an unlikely friendship begins to blossom, when Libby and Quinn stretch and redefine their definition of family and home.

With gorgeous prose and a cast of characters that feel wholly real and lovably flawed, This Is Home is a nuanced and moving novel of finding where we belong.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: What a really unusual (in a good way) story.  I really liked all the characters and how their stories were all inter-related. My favorite character was Libby who is connected to every person in the book.  She is young, smart, strong, kind, concerned for others, and independent.  That is a lot for a young teen to take on and she does it so well.  She has a lot of role models too that are all part of the story.

Her dad, Bent - ex-military and current day police officer, is over-protective, but rightfully so. Libby's mom left them when Libby was very young to "find herself."  She returned with cancer and soon died leaving Bent with medical bills.  They moved into a 3 apartment house owned by Bent's sister, Lucy house.  Lucy and Desiree (Bent's other sister) live in the top apartment, Libby and her dad live in the middle apartment and a new tenant has moved into the bottom apartment.

As everyone's own story unfolds, we get to know the new tenant and realize that her and Bent already know each other.  Everyone in the story is dealing with their own personal battle and I loved how they are all there for each other when it counts the most.  

I really enjoyed This is Home.  Just like the title, it made me feel right at home!  

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  After reading This Is Home, I listened to The Salt House and really enjoyed it too! 

Lisa Duffy is the author of This is Home and The Salt House. The Salt House was named by Real Simple as a Best Book of the Month, one of Bustle’s Best Debut Novels by Women, a She Reads Book Club selection, and Refinery 29’s Best Beach Reads. She lives in the Boston area with her husband and three children.