Wednesday, June 30, 2021

THE SHUT AWAY SISTERS

MY THOUGHTS:

This wonderful read is a dual timeline story that takes place between World War I and current day.  Sisters Florrie and Edith are forever changed by the happenings of the War, especially with their father away from home, fighting in the War.  Edith is sneaking out of the house at night while everyone is asleep.  One night Florrie follows Edith to see where she is going and what she is doing.  Once she discovers what is going on, she knows she can’t tell anyone for the safety and protection of her family.  Years later, current day, Kate is going through the house that her aunts Florrie and Edith shared.  She discovers a locked door in the house and wonders what could possibly be hidden in there.  But when she finds the wedding dress wrapped in tissue and tied with a ribbon, solving the mystery of it all is her priority.   And when Kate discovers the truth of her family’s past, her life as well, is forever changed.  

I enjoyed this dual timeline story, I found it to be very captivating.  What a wonderfully written story, this book hits all the emotions and definitely pulls at the heartstrings in a massive way.  

Thank you Suzanne Goldring for such a wonderful story.  This story had all the feels of love, family, friendship, family secrets and forgiveness.  I highly recommend this book.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

Rating: 5 out of 4.
THE SHUT AWAY SISTERS

Author:  Suzanne Goldring 
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: June 29, 2021 
Pages: 324 
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Two ordinary sisters. A long and brutal war. A heroic sacrifice… 

London, 1915. As German bombs rain down on the East End of London and hungry children queue for rations in the blistering cold, fifteen-year-old Florrie is forced to grow up fast. With her father fighting in the muddy trenches, Florrie turns to her older sister Edith for comfort. But the war has changed Edith. She has grown quiet, with dark shadows under her eyes, and has started leaving the house at night in secret. When Florrie follows her sister through the dark and winding streets of London, she is shocked by what she discovers. But she knows she must keep her sister’s secret for the sake of their family, even if she herself must pay the ultimate price… 

Years later Kate, running from her broken relationship, is sorting through her dead aunt Florrie’s house, which she shared with her sister Edith. As she sits on the threadbare carpets, looking at photos of Florrie during the war, she notices the change in her aunt – from carefree young girl with a hopeful smile to a hollow-cheeked young woman, with dark sad eyes. 

Determined to put her family’s ghosts to rest, Kate must unearth the secret past of her two aunts. Why is there a hidden locked room in the little house they shared? What is the story behind the abandoned wedding dress wrapped in tissue and tied up with a ribbon? And when Kate discovers the tragic secrets that have bound her family together, will she ever be able to move on?

ABOUT SUZANNE GOLDRING

Following an eventful career as a public relations consultant, specialising in business and travel, Suzanne Goldring turned to writing the kind of novels she likes to read, about the extraordinary lives of ordinary people. Whether she is working in her thatched cottage in Hampshire or her seaside home in North Cornwall, Suzanne finds inspiration in the secrets hidden by everyday life.

Tuesday, June 29, 2021

GROUNDED IN JULY

MY THOUGHTS:

With the Fourth of July right around the corner, Inn of the Woods is the place to celebrate love and life, or is it.  Ox and Kate Swanson, are happily married and enjoying owning Inn of the Woods.  Ox’s health is getting worse as he is struggling with multiple sclerosis.  He feels that his health condition is holding Kate and him back from having a family.  As they struggle with the possibility of not having a family, they have to find a way to stay strong together. Kate decides to play matchmaker and invite her best friend Ali and a previous guest Matt back to the Inn at the same time, but is Ali ready for a relationship even though she thinks she doesn’t want to be in one?  

I absolutely loved how the author bridges the gap between Grounded in January and this story.  It was so great to reconnect with Maggie and to see her engaged to Richard and wanting to have the wedding at the Inn of the Woods.  But Maggie has many obstacles from her past to overcome before she begins a new life with Richard.  This is a must-read story of family, friends, love, and overcoming obstacles that life throws at you. 

Thank you Savannah Hendricks for this wonderful read, I was swept away.  It was a charming read and a wonderful escape. I loved everything about this book and I highly recommend it.  I look forward to reading more of your amazing stories…keep them coming.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of

DESCRIPTION:

GROUNDED IN JULY
Author:  Savannah Hendricks 
Publisher:  Grand Bayou Press 
Publication Date: June 29, 2021 
Pages: 256 
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This summer, love is in at the inn
From the author of the award-winning novel Grounded in January comes the romantic comedy sequel about love and the obstacles in its way.
With only a few days until the 4th of July, Inn of the Woods is blooming with love and life-changing news. The ever-clumsy, Kate Swanson, works through the reality of her and her husband’s decision not to have children by trying to convince Ox that their English Lab, Bayou, needs a puppy-sibling. But Kate doesn’t stop there. She jumps headfirst into a matchmaking plan between her best friend, Ali, and prior guest, Matt when she invites them for a summer getaway at the inn.

Multiple sclerosis warrior, pilot, and inn owner, Ox Swanson, receives devastating news, forcing him to give up his main joy in life. To accept the change and find a new secondary income source, he’ll need to overcome a long-standing fear with the assistance of Bayou’s therapy skills. But will Ox’s grounding propel him to push Kate out of their marriage?

When the inn’s regular guest, Maggie, who’s now a Crooked River resident, announces her and Richard’s engagement, she rushes to the Swanson’s to inquire about having the wedding at the Inn of the Woods. However, continuing to navigate the emotions attached to being a widow, she’s soon filled with doubt and calls it off.

Will romantic sparks fly at the inn, or will everything fizzle and fade like fireworks?

ABOUT SAVANNAH HENDRICKS

Savannah Hendricks is an award-winning author who writes clean romance, coming of age, and children’s picture books. She specializes in stories with heart and humor.
Savannah has worked as a nanny, with special needs preschoolers, and for the last 8 years, she’s been a medical social worker. She lives in Arizona and holds degrees in early childhood education and a master’s in criminal justice/criminology.

Thursday, June 24, 2021

THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN

MY THOUGHTS:

When Erin looses the man she loves, she leaves London and goes to Cornwall where she takes a job at Hookes End.  Maggie owns the house, is very frail, and has been living a very reclusive life.  She keeps to herself, and is a butterfly enthusiast.  Erin and Maggie quickly become friends, and as they are trading stories of their past, they soon realize the reason they met, to help each other get over past hurts.  Maggie’s son Lucas ran away many years ago after Maggie blamed him for the death of his sister.  Maggie is desperate to see Lucas.  Erin, wants to give Maggie the peace that she deserves, and so she leaves Cornwall and travels to Costa Rica to see if she can find Lucas.  Erin is such a peacemaker, and makes it her mission to help Maggie and Lucas heal as a family.  

The plot twists and turns will keep you flipping through the pages at a rapid pace.  I thoroughly enjoyed this story, the well developed characters and the vivid details of Cornwall and Costa Rica.  I loved learning new facts about butterflies.  What a wonderfully written story, this book hits all the emotions and definitely pulls at the heartstrings in a massive way.  

Thank you Sophie Anderson for such a wonderful story.  This story had all the feels of love, family, friendship, family secrets and forgiveness.  I highly recommend this book.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

Rating: 4 out of 4.
THE BUTTERFLY GARDEN
Author:  Sophie Anderson
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: June 21, 2021 
Pages: 311 
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I blamed my son for the death of my daughter…

When twenty-five-year-old Erin loses the man she loves, she flees London for Cornwall and takes a job at Hookes End, a huge house clinging precariously to the Cornish cliffs. The owner, frail reclusive novelist and butterfly enthusiast Maggie, has kept the curtains of her dusty house drawn for many years. But as she and Erin spend evenings together by the fireside, sharing stories of the past, Erin feels her shattered heart begin to heal. In return, Erin agrees to help Maggie find her long lost family before it is too late.

Years ago, Maggie’s son Lucas ran away to the other side of the world after the death of her daughter ripped the family apart. Maggie is desperate to see Lucas again – there is something she needs him to know.

Erin wants to help Maggie find peace so she vows to track down her lost son. But when at last she finds Lucas, in a far- away place of searing heat and pearly sands, it becomes clear that he is hiding something too.

As Erin grows closer to Lucas and unravels the webs of deceit entangling mother and son, she learns about the terrible tragedy that changed their lives forever: the night when a little girl in a fairy nightdress went missing. But with Maggie’s time fast running out, is it too late for them to find the forgiveness they need to move on?

ABOUT SOPHIE ANDERSON

Sophie Anderson enjoyed a career in TV production in London before working with her husband to set up an online software business where she wrote the marketing content. But neither scratched that creative itch to tell a story, so she enrolled on a writing course and wrote her first novel The Butterfly Garden. She lives in Sussex with her husband, four children, a cocker spaniel and two cats.

Monday, June 21, 2021

THE ENGLISH GIRL

MY THOUGHTS:

It’s 1989 in Berlin and the Wall is coming down, Tiffany can now freely cross from East Berlin into West Berlin.  She has a letter in her hand is trying to find the address written on the envelope.  She wants to deliver this letter to the rightful owner, a letter from the past.  That will provide some much needed closure.

It’s 1946 in Norfolk, England, World War II has just ended but the remnants of the war is still very much alive in everyone’s heart and mind.  Fran’s brother is killed during the war while on the front lines.   The government creates a camp for the German prisoners of war, they have the prisoners remove the barbed wire and mines from the beach.  Fran lived at home with her sister June and her parents.  June doesn’t like the the Germans and wants nothing to do with them.  Fran, however, is more forgiving and goes to work at the camp in the office as a secretary.  She meets one of the prisoners name Thomas.  But it is completely against the rules to fraternize with the prisoners, and so Fran and Thomas keep their love a secret.  Will their forbidden love stand the test of time?   

This time slip novel was so amazing to read.  I loved how the author told the story from just after the war had ended, and brought to light things that happened to the survivors and the families of the ones that didn’t survive.   The effects of the war are still so much apparent even today.   This true story is a must read.  What a phenomenal story, it will truly resonate with me for many, many years.

Thank you Sarah Mitchell for such a fabulous, unputdownable historical fiction.  This story had all the feels of love, family, friendship and the endurance to make it through the hardest times of life.  I highly recommend this book.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

DESCRIPTION:

Rating: 5 out
THE ENGLISH GIR
L
Author:  Sarah Mitchell
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: June 18, 2021 
Pages: 340 
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He is German. She is English. Their countries are enemies. Can love bring them together? Inspired by an incredible true story, this is a sweeping tale about the power of hope in the face of war and the legacy of an impossible choice.

1946, Norfolk, England: Grief and fear spill over in Fran’s small village when German prisoners of war are sent to the nearby camp. After the death of her beloved brother on the front lines, Fran cannot see the new arrivals as anything but his killers.

When one of the mines the Germans are clearing from the beach explodes, Fran is thrown into the path of prisoner Thomas as they rush to help the wounded. Thomas’s kind, artistic nature and his bravery, putting himself in danger to save others, changes everything for Fran. She realises he is a boy just like her brother and was forced to fight in a war he never believed in.

From that day on, there is something powerful and unspoken connecting Fran and Thomas. But as battle lines are drawn across Europe and tensions within the village reach breaking point, they could be about to unleash something neither of them can control…

1989, Berlin: Tiffany arrives in Berlin from London, just as the wall that divided a nation finally falls. With only a few words of German, she celebrates with strangers in the streets, and crosses the border between West and East. In her pocket is a crumpled letter addressed to her grandmother, yellowed with age, that has led her in search of a wartime secret with the power to change her future…

ABOUT SARAH MITCHELL

Sarah grew up in Norfolk and studied law at Cambridge University which led to a career as a barrister, working mainly in the field of human rights. After nearly twenty years she was tempted off-track by a creative writing course at the Open University and fell in love with making up stories instead of constructing arguments. Three years later she completed, with distinction, an MA in Creative Writing – Prose Fiction at the UEA.

Now she lives in Norfolk again, this time with her husband and three almost-grown-up children, where she combines writing with some legal work – and thanking her enormous number of lucky stars.

Sunday, June 20, 2021

THE HOTEL AT HONEYMOON STATION

MY THOUGHTS:

When Emma’s no good fiancé tells her a lie that she cannot forgive, she leaves him.  She is in much need of a clean, fresh start and the quaint little village of Honeymoon in Dorset is exactly the place she needs to be.  She leaves her job in London and everything else behind.  She travels hundreds of miles away, to Dorset where Emma’s friend Tia wants her to help her turn an old rundown building into a hotel.  Tia gives Emma most of the details, but Emma arrives in Dorset and sees the old dilapidated building, she realizes her life in Dorset falls short of her expectations.  But when Emma meets Aiden the builder she feels like she is right where she is supposed to be.  Aiden and Emma grow closer and while on their moonlit walks, Aiden tells Emma many of the secrets of the villagers.  But some of the villagers wish that Emma had never arrived in Honeymoon, and when she had an accident at the worksite, she wonders if this was all a huge mistake in moving there, especially when she discovers the secret Aiden has been keeping from her.  

I really enjoyed the mix of different characters, and I was both enthralled and entertained by the relationships old and new.  This story of love and loss, friendship and family, intertwined with new beginnings and fresh starts in life, was so refreshing to read.  This light hearted story will have you flying through the pages, not wanting to stop reading until the very end.

Thank you Tilly Tennant for such a fabulous escape to Dorset.  Your detailed description of Honeymoon Village made me feel as if it was walking through the town.  This was a great read, it was exactly what I needed.  I highly recommend this book.

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5.

DESCRIPTION:

THE HOTEL AT HONEYMOON STATION

Author:  Tilly Tennant 
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: June 18, 2021 
Pages: 354 
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Run away to the Dorset countryside, to the sleepy village of Honeymoon, where rose-adorned thatched cottages soak up the sunlight and Emma is risking everything for a brave new start on life and love… 

When Emma’s useless fiancé tells her a lie she cannot forgive, she decides enough is enough. She leaves him, quits her dead-end job and travels hundreds of miles away to the ancient village of Honeymoon in the Dorset countryside, to help her friend Tia turn the old train station into a boutique hotel. 

Tia has told Emma that it will be a project, but when Emma arrives in Honeymoon and sees a weed-choked crumbling ruin, her vision of an idyllic life in Dorset begins to disintegrate. But when she meets twinkly-eyed builder Aiden in the village shop, and sparks fly between them, she can’t help but feel that the stars have for once aligned. 

As work begins on the hotel, Emma and Aiden grow closer, and on sun-dappled evening walks, he tells her the secrets of the village. But there are some villagers who wish that Emma had never arrived in Honeymoon… And when Emma is involved in a terrible accident on site, and then discovers what Aiden has been keeping from her, it feels like the universe is telling her to leave Honeymoon for good. What if she was wrong to say goodbye to all that was safe and familiar? Will she ever be able to find her happy-ever-after in Honeymoon? 

ABOUT TILLY TENNANT

Tilly Tennant was born in Dorset, the oldest of four children, but now lives in Staffordshire with a family of her own. After years of dismal and disastrous jobs, including paper plate stacking, shop assistant, newspaper promotions and waitressing (she never could carry a bowl of soup without spilling a bit), she decided to indulge her passion for the written word by embarking on a degree in English and creative writing. She wrote a novel in 2007 during her first summer break at university and hasn’t stopped writing since. She also works as a freelance fiction editor and part-time lecturer.

Hopelessly Devoted to Holden Finn was her debut novel; published in 2014 it was an Amazon bestseller in both the UK and Australia. In 2016 she signed to the hugely successful Bookouture and is currently working on her fifteenth Tilly Tennant novel. Christmas bestseller A Very Vintage Christmas has just been made into a movie for Lifetime Channel.

Tilly also writes young adult fiction as Sharon Sant.

Saturday, June 19, 2021

SECRETS OF MAGPIE COVE

MY THOUGHTS:

I was so looking forward to this continuation story and retuning to Magpie Cove in Cornwall.  Lila Bridges leaves London for pastry school in Magpie Cove.  Lila also leaves a broken relationship behind, and is in much need of emotional and physical healing.  The coastal town residents completely embraced Lila, welcoming her into the town family.  Serafina owns the Café in town and not only gives Lila a job but also a place to live until she can get on her feet.  But when Serafina suddenly passes away, Lila is completely lost and feels like she doesn’t know what to do next.  When Nathan, Serafina’s estranged son arrives in Magpie Cove to take over the café, he causes such upheaval in the town, but Lila stands her ground with him and does everything she can to keep the peace.  This lovely summer read will have you feeling like you want to move to Magpie Cove, it is such a wonderful place and the township will make you feel like family.  This story has all the feels, it was a wonderful escape and a charming read.

I absolutely loved this series.  The well developed characters made me feel like old friends, while plot twists and turns kept me completely engrossed in the book.  Thank you Kennedy Kerr for such a wonderful story. I loved it!

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: DESCRIPTION DESCRIPTION

DESCRIPTION:

SECRETS OF MAGPIE COVE

Author:  Kennedy Kerr 
Publisher:  Bookouture 
Publication Date: June 16, 2021 
Pages: 224 
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Lila had a favourite rock to sit on towards the back of the cove, where she often ate her breakfast, gazing out at the tumbling Cornish sea. As the sun rose that morning, Lila wished with all her heart that the grey-green waves could wash away her old life. That Magpie Cove would help her move on, and to forget…

When aspiring pastry chef Lila Bridges flees her life in the city after a heartbreaking tragedy, she finds herself working behind the counter at Magpie Cove’s most beloved local establishment – Serafina’s Café. The sweet, buttery aroma of freshly baked chocolate croissants, the cheerful gossip of the regulars and the elderly owner Serafina’s feisty humour are a much-needed balm to Lila’s broken heart. For the first time since it happened, Lila is beginning to laugh again…

But when Serafina unexpectedly passes away, the future of the café looks bleak. Nathan Da Costa, Serafina’s estranged son, inherits, and returns to Magpie Cove determined to inject some big-city glamour into the place. To Lila, it seems impossible that dour, money-obsessed Nathan could be related to dear Serafina. He may have his mother’s mop of curly dark hair and deep brown eyes, but he has none of her warmth or heart.

Lila needs this job and the sense of peace the town has brought her, so she’s determined to make it work with Nathan as her new boss. But her resolution is tested when the secret Lila has been keeping about what brought her to the cove begins to unravel, just as she discovers an unexpected, sweeter side to Nathan. Will trusting Nathan Da Costa with her long-held secret be Lila’s new beginning in Magpie Cove, or her emotional undoing? 

ABOUT KENNEDY KERR

Kennedy Kerr is a British fiction author. She adores beaches, lochs and stone circles, and loves writing about small communities, mysteries and family secrets. She has a very cuddly cat called Twinkle who spends her days sleeping: Kennedy aspires to having Twinkle’s nap schedule one day.

Kennedy also loves cooking and baking all types of food, which is almost as much fun as eating it. Her favourite foods include (but are not limited to) Indian food, Victoria sponge, breakfast pastries with coffee and sushi. The only thing she’s not particularly keen on is artichoke, and she’d eat it, anyway.

Monday, June 14, 2021

THE BEACH HOUSE

MY THOUGHTS:

Melanie Simpson feels completely lost and unsure of what life holds for her after her Gram passes away.  After the reading of her Grandmother’s will, her life’s purpose is revealed to her.  Melanie and her Gram used to visit Rosemary Bay every year, sit on the beach, and dream about turning Ellis House into a bed and breakfast.  When her Gram leaves her an inheritance, she gives Melanie explicit instructions to buy the Ellis House in Rosemary Bay and fix it up.  Melanie finds herself heartbroken to go back there by herself without her Gram, but finds strength from within to return to Rosemary Bay and carry out her gram’s final wishes.  Ellis House is a disaster and needs a tremendous amount of work.  When Melanie meets local carpenter Josh Claiborne, he is the perfect person to help her renovate the beach house.  During the renovation, they find a stack of old yellowing letters in a closet, some written in her gram’s handwriting.  The letters affect all the residents of Rosemary Bay in one way or another, as well as revealing the true history of the old house.  Will the secrets in the letters bring Josh and Melanie closer together?  

The mystery of the letters and secrets they tell, will have you devouring this amazing story.   If you are heading to the beach this summer, this is the one and only book you’ll need in your bag.  But if you can’t make it to the beach, this story is sure to make you feel like you had a beach vacation.  The portrayal of the characters will have you including them in your circle of friends, and the detailed description of Rosemary Bay will have you packing your bags ready to move there.  What a fantastic escape.

This unputdownable must read is one that will pull at your heartstrings.  Hale’s books just keep getting better and better, with each one better than the last. This author needs to be on your auto-buy list, with this must read, first on your list.  Thank you Jenny Hale for such a wonderful, wonderful book.  This extraordinary and engaging story is sure to resinate in my heart and soul for years to come. 

⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

Rating: 5 out of 5

DESCRIPTION:

THE BEACH HOUSE
Author:  Jenny Hale 
Publisher: Bookouture
Publication Date: June 9, 2021 
Pages: 322 
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When her gram passes away, Melanie Simpson feels utterly lost. But her grandmother’s will gives her a purpose: an inheritance to buy a crumbling house in Rosemary Bay. They used to visit the village every summer, sit by the sparkling water on a beach the color of pearl, and daydream about turning the place on the corner into a bed and breakfast.

On her first night in her new hometown, Melanie meets local contractor and landowner Josh Claiborne, whose eyes match the dazzling sea. Melanie plans to restore the beach house to its original glory, and Josh is the perfect person to help renovate the wrap-around porch weathered by the coastal breeze and the peeling white paint faded by the sun.

But hiding in a closet is a yellowing stack of letters that could change everything. The looping handwriting reveals the mystery of the rickety house—a buried history that touches everyone in Rosemary Bay. Will its secrets bring Melanie and Josh together or tear them apart?

ABOUT JENNY HALE

Jenny Hale is a USA Today, Amazon, and international bestselling author of romantic contemporary fiction. Her books have sold worldwide, have been translated into multiple languages, and adapted for television. Her novels Coming Home for Christmas and Movie Guide Epiphany Award winner Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses are Hallmark Channel original movies. She was included in Oprah Magazine’s “19 Dreamy Summer Romances to Whisk You Away” and both Southern Living’s “30 Christmas Novels to Start Reading Now” as well as “Beach Reads Perfect for Summer 2020.” Her stories are chock-full of feel-good romance and overflowing with warm settings, great friends, and family. Jenny is at work on her next novel, delighted to be bringing even more heartwarming stories to her readers. When she isn’t writing, or heading up her romantic fiction imprint Harpeth Road, she can be found running around her hometown of Nashville with her husband, two boys, and their labradoodle, taking pictures—her favorite pastime.