Stone Bridges (A Swift River Valley #9) by Carla Neggers

stone

Pages: 384

Publisher: Harlequin/MIRA

Published: March 26, 2019

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

NetGalley: Adrienne Portale has never settled in one place for long, but takes a job as innkeeper in tiny Knights Bridge, Massachusetts, to spend some time getting to know the father she only recently found. When three small boys get lost in the wilderness that borders the inn, Adam Sloan leads the search. His family ties to the town go back generations. Adrienne sees the bond that people in a small town have as they band together to find the missing children. Adam is impressed with her calm strength, but he’s sure she won’t find what she’s looking for in his quiet hometown.

Despite their differences, Adam and Adrienne discover they have more in common than they’d expected. They love to explore old stone walls and bridges, and she adores his dog. As summer bleeds into the gorgeous New England fall, the attraction between them grows, and they must decide where—and who—makes a place home.

My Review: A spectacular addition to the Swift River Valley series. Even if you’ve never read any books in the series you will be fine delving right in. In fact you will probably be tempted to read the first eight books immediately following this one as you will fall in love with Knights Bridge and not want to leave.

I enjoyed being back at the inn with Adrienne and Adam’s story. The inn is magical when it comes to love. The inn makes me want to start an herb garden in my backyard.

Stone Bridges is the perfect romance to read on the first pool weekend of the season. It just may help heat up the water!

I received a complimentary copy from Harlequin/MIRA through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

 

Take a Chance (Bridgeport Social Club #1) by Shelley Shepard Gray

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Pages: 288

Publisher: Blackstone Publishing

Published: September 18, 2018

Rating: 3 out of 5 stars

NetGalley: Kurt Holland wants the best for his younger brother, which is why he moves Sam to Bridgeport, Ohio. It’s a bigger town with a well-known high school. Just the place to give his little brother more opportunities-maybe even a scholarship to college. Kurt hopes his gamble pays off since Sam’s future isn’t the only thing riding on it. Kurt’s put most of his savings into a new landscaping business there, too. But when Sam gets in trouble for fighting at school, Kurt isn’t so sure it was the right decision … until he meets Sam’s English teacher. Emily Springer is passionate about helping all of her students succeed, but there’s something about Sam Holland that makes her want to go the extra mile. When he’s caught in a fight at school, she goes to bat in his defense, and during a conference with the principal, she meets Sam’s rugged older brother-and guardian. Emily has a strict no-dating policy when it comes to her students’ parents, but Kurt isn’t technically Sam’s parent. It’s OK to bend the rules a little bit, right? In an effort to make some friends and find a place in the Bridgeport community, Kurt starts up a weekly poker game in his garage. It’s not long before everyone wants in, and they all soon discover that these Friday night poker gatherings are about more than just the game. Shelley Shepard Gray’s new Bridgeport Social Club series is about men who need a place to call home, a community in need of hope, and a group of women who are special enough to help both things happen. This first installment is genuine and heartfelt. It’s filled with hope, warmth, and the belief that love and acceptance can overcome any tough situation.

My Review: Let me start with the saying I am a huge fan of Gray’s Amish romances. I was not a fan of Take a Chance.

This was marketed as a clean romance but I would not say it was completely clean. It does discuss wanting to have sex outside of marriage and there are a lot of curse words.

My biggest problem was it felt like it was written geared to a young adult or new adult reader. I have a feeling I would have really loved this book when I was in my late teens/early twenties (not so much in my forties).

I did enjoy the fact Gray incorporated so much of Cincinnati in the book. It was nice to see a town I spent four years in represented nicely.

If you are looking for a romance that will let you read the afternoon away, Take a Chance is for you.

I received a complimentary copy from Blackstone Publishing through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

On a Summer Tide (Three Sisters Island #1) by Suzanne Woods Fisher

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Pages: 308

Publisher: Revell

Published: April 30, 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

NetGalley: Sometimes love hurts–and sometimes it can heal in the most unexpected way.

Camden Grayson loves her challenging career, but the rest of her life could use some improvement. “Moving on” is Cam’s mantra. But there’s a difference, her two sisters insist, between one who moves on . . . and one who keeps moving.

Cam’s full-throttle life skids to a stop when her father buys a remote island off the coast of Maine. Paul Grayson has a dream to breathe new life into the island–a dream that includes reuniting his estranged daughters. Certain Dad has lost his mind, the three sisters rush to the island. To Cam’s surprise, the slow pace of island life appeals to her, along with the locals–and one in particular. Seth Walker, the scruffy island schoolteacher harbors more than a few surprises.

My review: I am a huge fan of the Amish books by Suzanne Woods Fisher and now I’m a huge fan of her contemporary works. On a Summer Tide blew me away.

Direct quote “Planning doesn’t make the wedding. And the wedding doesn’t make the marriage. The marriage is what we live with, day in and day out.” Oh, how I wish engaged couples would read this book just for that quote. It is so true! Look beyond the glitz and glam of the ceremony and reception and look toward your future. Where do you want your marriage to be in ten, twenty years?

There is religion in this beautiful work of art but it is expressed serenely and at the most appropriate moments. It makes the reader sit back and reflect before moving on.

At the end of the book is a recipe for chocolate chip cookies using rice crispy cereal that I plan on making this weekend and a discussion guide. This book has just about everything in it.

I am looking forward to reading the next installment of The Three Sisters series.

I received a complimentary copy from Revell through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

mother law

Pages: 347

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: April 23, 2019

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

NetGalley: From the moment Lucy met her husband’s mother, she knew she wasn’t the wife Diana had envisioned for her perfect son. Exquisitely polite, friendly, and always generous, Diana nonetheless kept Lucy at arm’s length despite her desperate attempts to win her over. And as a pillar in the community, an advocate for female refugees, and a woman happily married for decades, no one had a bad word to say about Diana…except Lucy.

That was five years ago.

Now, Diana is dead, a suicide note found near her body claiming that she longer wanted to live because of the cancer wreaking havoc inside her body.
But the autopsy finds no cancer.
It does find traces of poison, and evidence of suffocation.

Who could possibly want Diana dead? Why was her will changed at the eleventh hour to disinherit both of her children, and their spouses? And what does it mean that Lucy isn’t exactly sad she’s gone?

My Review: This is my second Sally Hepworth book and both have been amazing reads. It was a close 5-star read.

A perfect book to show how money can ruin lives.

Would I recommend this book for a teenage reader? No, as it has many adult situations (not sexual) that might be too much. This would make a perfect book club book. I wish I was in one just to have some animated discussions in the plot.

I received a complimentary copy from St. Martins Press through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Every Time You Go Away by Beth Harbison

every time

Pages: 304 (eBook)

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Published: July 24, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

This is the first Beth Harbison book I have read and I was pleased with the book. I am not a huge fan of ghosts or spirits but she did it very tastefully. By the end of the book I was almost wishing my Papaw would come visit me so I could tell him I love him one more time.

Willa’s husband died three years ago of a heart attack while working at their Ocean City, Maryland beach house. This summer she has decided it is time to put the beach house up for sale. She gets there and realizes a lot of work needs to be done on the inside and outside before she can put it up for sale. Not long after she arrives her husband’s spirit visits her. At first she thinks she is cracking up but the more she visits the more she realizes he is there for a reason. As the summer progresses her son, best friend and best friend’s daughter come to help her get the house in order and help her finally deal with her husband’s death. It is a summer of change for everyone.

I am not 100% sure that Willa’s husband’s spirit actually came to visit or her. I think in her grief she wished for a connection to him and conjured him up in her subconscious when she needed the connection to him. I believe there is a bit of Willa in all of us when we lose someone close to us. We want that person to be here with us and look for any sign to show is that they are here with us.

They relationship between Willa and her son Jamie is very believable. I was impressed with how much he grew in a few weeks at the shore with his mom especially when he got rid of the psycho girlfriend. The scary idea is the psycho girlfriend was so real. Sad to say my own son had one of those for a while. I was glad to read a story where the someone was strong enough to break it off and not keep dragging the relationship out continuously.

Every Time You Go Away is a tender, heart wrenching book that will make you think about how short life is and how quickly it can change.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from the publisher, St. Martin’s Press, through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Cottage by the Sea by Debbie MaComber

cottage

Pages: 352 (eBook)

Publisher: Random House Publishing

Published: July 17, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Annie is learning to adjust to life without her entire family. After eighteen months she has decided to go to one the place that she remembers from her childhood as a time of love and happiness. Will this place be the healing Annie needs?

A beautiful story or healing and love. You not only have healing from a personal tragedy, you have healing of a past that has frozen one to life of agoraphobia, and healing of animals that bring comfort and joy to all they touch.

I appreciate how Debbie Macomber can write about love without smutting it up. She keeps it clean and respectful. Her characters can argue nd get their point across without throwing out curse words every other word. You can rest assured that an impressionable young woman can read this book and walk away without being shocked.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House Publishing through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the above review are entirely my own.

Christmas in Evergreen by Nancy Naigle

evergreen

Pages: 189 (eBook)

Publisher: Hallmark Publishing

Published: July 10, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

You cannot go wrong with a Hallmark Publishing book especially a Christmas book. You will find yourself full of smiles and happiness. Currently this is probably my second favorite Christmas book/movie from Hallmark (the first being Journey Back to Christmas).

Allie is leaving Evergreen, VT, her hometown, to try and make her relationship with her boyfriend in Washington, DC. When it comes time to leave to spend Christmas with him in DC anything and everything that can go wrong does. In the process of trying to leave she meets Ryan and Zoe, a father and daughter on their way to Florida to spend Christmas. Sparks are flying. Is it just the Christmas spirit or something more?

A clean romance with no foul language and no steamy sex scenes ( a chaste kiss or two). I would feel very comfortable giving this to a 13 year old reader who is wanting to move up to grown up books.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Hallmark Publishing through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed above are entirely my own.

The Perfect Catch by Cassidy Carter

perfect catch

Pages: 270 (eBook)

Publisher: Hallmark Publishing

Published: March 27, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

After high school Jessica Parker stayed in Parker Falls to run her family’s diner and raise her son, Wesley. Lately both have been harder than she expected. Business has fallen off at the diner and her son is missing not having a dad to teach him baseball. Her high school love and MLB player, Chase Taynor has come back home as he awaits his new MLB home after a bad play that causes his team to lose the World Series. Jessica and Chase fall right back into the friendship they have always had but will Chase decide to stay in Parker Falls or will the call of fame and fortune lure him away?

This book is based on the Hallmark movie of the same name which I have not watched. It is a sweet story with a predictable ending but that is what you want and expect when it comes to Hallmark. You know you will finish the book with a smile.

A clean romance for all ages from a young teenager say 14 to my 90 year old grandma. No sex, no foul language and no violence.

I received a complimentary copy from Hallmark Publishing through NetGalley. Any and all opinions expressed in the review are my own.

The Good Liar by Catherine McKenzie

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Pages: 380 (eBook)

Publisher: Lake Union Publishing

Published: April 3, 2018

Rating: 5 out of 5 stars

A year ago a explosion topples a Chicago high rise and the lives of Cecily, Kate and Franny change in more ways than the obvious. Cecily lost her husband and best friend. Kate takes the opportunity to run away. Franny loses her chance to get to know her birth mother better. As the year anniversary takes over all forms of media, the secrets each woman has kept starts unraveling. Can they successfully keep their own secrets or will the secrets prove too much for each?

My initial reaction to this book when I finished was WHOA! what just happened? I could not put this book down. The dates show two days to finish but I read this book in under 24 hours. I was reading it every second I had free and even the ones I really did not have free. The twists and turns the book took at every chapter had me thinking I knew what was going on and then BAM! another twist would occur. If you are a fan of suspense and thrillers you have to run and get this book from your favorite bookseller or library. Just beware that once you open and read the first page you are not going to want to put it down.

Catherine McKenzie has blown my socks off once again. I would love to see this made into a movie as it has the greatest potential to be a hit.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Lake Union Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.

A Nantucket Wedding by Nancy Thayer

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Pages: 305 (eBook)

Publisher: Random House Publishing

Published: April 3, 2018

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

In September Alison and David are going to start the rest of their life together by getting married on Nantucket but first they must get their respective grown kids and their families together. Alison plans on doing this by inviting all the families to David’s Nantucket house every weekend over the summer.

Alison has two daughters. Her oldest is Jane who has always been her rule following, corporate world daughter who is married with no children. Her other daughter Felicity has always marched to her own drummer and is married with two kids of her own. By visiting the island of Nantucket the girls have found a friendship in each other that they didn’t know was there but is everything as it seems in their married lives?

David has a son and daughter. His oldest is his daughter, Poppy. She is married with two kids and one on the way. Her goal is to take over the family business as soon as she can and it doesn’t matter who or what is in her way she will succeed. His youngest is Ethan. Ethan is happy living on his farm in Vermont growing flowers for this business and living life how he wants even though he has a daughter who lives with him except for summer break. Are they ready to share their dad, the business and their lives with new family?

I needed a pick-me-up book and this fit the bill. You have romance, family, and beautiful scenery. I would not classify this as a romance book but as a fiction book that anyone, male or female, would be interested to read. Thayer focus’ more on how families meld as older generations marry. You have plenty of generations covered from babies to what I call mid-life 50s and 60s. Thayer takes the time to develop each of life her characters are in and lets is follow them as they develop into the next of stage of life.

The scenery of Nantucket is breathtaking and inspiring. You can understand why Alison chose the Nantucket beach house as the place to bring the families together.

It is that time of year to start sitting outside in your favorite rocker with a glass of sweet tea and losing yourself in the world of books and this is the perfect start to spring/summer reading.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Random House Publishing through NetGalley. Opinions expressed in this review are completely my own.