Jun 202019
 

Little Beach Bungalow (The Seaside Saga)
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
9th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Independently published (May 4, 2019)
Paperback: 332 pages
ISBN-10: 1090956851
ISBN-13: 978-1090956859
Kindle ASIN: B07PXT51LK

The cottage is nestled along winding Sea View Road, set back from the sandy street. Surrounded by swaying dune grass, it’s a shabby little beach bungalow with an open back porch overlooking a sparkling Long Island Sound. A sign propped in the front window says: For Rent.

Well, the cottage was For Rent … until one particular lobsterman booked a summer stay there. As Shane Bradford settles into the New England beach town of Stony Point, he unloads more than boxes and duffels. With his arrival, he unpacks secrets, and entwined histories, among his circle of beach friends. Old loves surface. New ones emerge, too.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Seaside Saga continues right where Night Beach leaves off. Kyle and Lauren off by themselves trying to get their relationship back on track after Kyle’s brother took almost everyone by surprise when he showed up for their vow renewal. The rest of the group assumes Shane has gone back to his lobster boat. Instead, he found a little bungalow for rent at the end of Sea View Road and decided to stay a while.

The group finds out basically one by one that the man is still in their midst when he basically releases hurricane strength issues that rocks the lives of many of the group I have come to love over the course of this series. One character seemed to have a breakthrough but my heart broke for all the others. This was a very emotional read. There are touches of humor but not enough to really lift my spirits.

I love the beach setting of this series and the characters. The author’s words take us right there, on the scene of everything that happens. With the use of flashbacks, we get another visit back to the beach friends history that this time makes an upheaval in the current times.

I am going to be frank, I really don’t like Shane. I was on the fence at the end of the last book but this time he really rubbed me the wrong way. I understand he was hurt by things in the past that kept him away for years, but there are better ways to deal with that pain. I have become invested in these characters and they have endured pains of their own. We still haven’t gotten the whole Shane/Kyle story. I hope that comes out soon, so the characters I love can heal.

Ms. DaMaio has a talent of getting her reader to feel deep emotions. She tests us and tempts us. She draws us in and holds us tight. While I don’t always like what is happening in the story I can’t put the book down. I need to know what happens next.

I don’t like that she leaves us with a cliffhanger either, but thankfully we never have to wait too long in between books.  There are some major things that need to be dealt with so I am anxiously awaiting the next book, Every Summer. I also can’t wait to get back to what hopefully will be a more tranquil time at the beach.

Your Escape Into A Good Book Travel Agent

About the Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love, and choices while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Currently, at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

To learn more about the author, visit Joannedemaio.com. She also enjoys hearing from readers on her Facebook Page.

Check out my reviews of the previous books here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

Share

#Review – Night Beach (The Seaside Saga) by Joanne DeMaio

 2019 Reviews, E-Book Challenge, You Read How Many Books Challenge  Comments Off on #Review – Night Beach (The Seaside Saga) by Joanne DeMaio
Apr 162019
 

Night Beach
(The Seaside Saga)
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
8th in Series
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published (February 24, 2019)
Paperback: 273 pages
ISBN-10: 1790577071
ISBN-13: 978-1790577071
Kindle ASIN: B07MGB31QL

From the New York Times bestselling author of Castaway Cottage comes a novel as captivating as the moonlit sea.

Everything was in place for the perfect beachside gathering. Lace-wrapped jars hung from white chairs on the sand. Paper lanterns and tiki torches glimmered in the twilight evening. A rowboat draped with roses and vines waited in the wings. Love floated on the salt air.

Until the arrival of a mysterious guest named Shane Bradford, a lobsterman with a tangled past in this little New England beach town.

Like a sudden sea breeze, the special evening quickly turns. And the residents of Stony Point must tread the darker water Shane brings to their Night Beach.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

This story picks up immediately after the last story, Castaway Cottage ends when an unexpected guest arrives for Kyle and Lauren Bradford vow renewal and stops the event dead in its tracks. Kyle’s brother Shane has not been to Stony Point in years. He and Kyle had a huge fight and Shane left and the rest of the group vowed to have nothing to do with Shane ever again. And they didn’t until Lauren reached out to her brother-in-law and invited him to the upcoming ceremony. His arrival sent the entire group into a tizzy.

The author uses flashback moments to give us some history of these beloved characters and introduces us to Shane and his story. The story also shows the current times as Kyle and Lauren try to move forward after the turmoil left after their vow renewal falls apart. Their friends, especially Jason, do everything they can to get the couple back on track.

I have enjoyed every book by this author. These characters are like old friends and I am invested in seeing their journeys.

Ms. Demaio paints wonderful pictures with her words and they draw her readers in. I always feel like I am right there in Stony Point, on the beach getting a bird’s eye view of all the happenings. This time I could really feel Kyle’s pain but I see Shane’s side as well, I hope we get to know him better. It was heartwarming to see the lengths that Jason went to in trying to get Lauren and Kyle together. He exhaustion resonated with me at the end.

Readers again are left with a cliffhanger, so I am assuming The Little Beach Bungalow, out May 14 will start right where this one leaves off. I can’t wait for my next trip to the beach!

These books should be read in order for maximum enjoyment.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

joanne demaio

About the Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love, and choices while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Currently, at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

To learn more about the author, visit Joannedemaio.com. She also enjoys hearing from readers on her Facebook Page.

Check out my reviews of the previous books here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
Share
Mar 222019
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you
the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.


Lighthouse Beach: A Novel
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Setting – Maine
William Morrow Paperbacks (May 29, 2018)
Paperback: 400 pages
ISBN-10: 0062675966
ISBN-13: 978-0062675965
Kindle ASIN: B0719PCC87

What was supposed to be an idyllic wedding leads to an unexpected journey of self-discovery…

When Lillo Gray pulls up to Kennebunkport’s most exclusive hotel wearing a borrowed dress and driving a borrowed VW van, she knows she’s made a big mistake. She’s not even sure why Jessica Parker invited her to her posh wedding. They haven’t seen each other since they were unhappy fourteen-year-old girls at fat camp. And now they’re from two completely different worlds. There’s no way Lillo fits in the rarefied circles Jessica travels in.

Jess isn’t sure she’s ready to go through with this wedding, but she’s been too busy making everyone else happy to think about what she wants. But when she and her two closest friends, Allie and Diana, along with Lillo, discover her fiancé with his pants down in the hotel parking lot, she’s humiliated…and slightly relieved. In a rush to escape her crumbling life, Jess, Allie, and Diana pile into Lillo’s beat-up old van and head up the coast to Lighthouse Island. Once there, she hopes to figure out the next chapter in her life.

Nursing broken hearts and broken dreams, four lost women embark on a journey to find their way back into happiness with new love, friendship, and the healing power of Lighthouse Beach.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Lillo Gray arrives at the fancy wedding of a childhood friend Jess in a borrowed old VW van and a dress she borrowed from another friend. She knows she shouldn’t have come, she is never going to fit in with these people. She is totally surprised when the bride welcomes her with open arms and drags her off to meet 2 more friends avoiding the festivities planned by her parents.

When they meet Allie and Diana for a few drinks Lillo learns that Jess really doesn’t want to get married and that she is just doing it to make her parents happy. When the group returns to the hotel they see the groom in the parking lot in a very comprising position. Broken and humiliated Jess has had enough. The girls quickly hatch a plan to save their friend. A girl’s road trip! The pack a few things and climb into the VW and take off up the coast. Back to the place where Lillo and Jess met, somewhere they hope no one will find them, Lighthouse Beach.

Books like this one give me a  glorious “Calgon take me away” escape.

This story is about four women and Lighthouse Beach and those that inhabit or visit it. They thought taking Jess there she would rediscover the strong woman she was in college but it did so much more. The discovered something about themselves and their visit changed the lives of others too.

Lighthouse Beach is a small coastal town that has basically been forgotten since the lighthouse was retired. The former tourist town is just hanging on. People have to travel to larger towns and work two or three jobs just to survive. This leaves some children mostly unsupervised and free to cause trouble. The residents try to help each other out but the needed resources just aren’t available. There is a visiting group of doctor’s and handyman that comes to town periodically. This group becomes part of the fabric of Lighthouse Beach. A fabric that stretches to welcome Allie and Diana and welcome back Jess almost effortlessly.

This story takes place over the course of a week. It seems longer because so much happens. The pacing is perfect. It is a very hard book to put down. The characters lives unfold comfortably allowing the readers to become completely engaged and feel for them. While there is a romantic undertone this story is so much more. Friendship, support, understanding, bring these characters together. Little by little secrets are revealed, wounds are opened and soothed. A true community spirit can be felt.

Ms. Noble has written a story I won’t soon forget. She hasn’t tied things up all nicely with a bow at the end either leaving the reader to wonder a bit about the future at Lighthouse Beach and the people we met there. A breath of fresh air, energizing, hopeful story that I really and truly enjoyed. It was most certainly a Perfect Escape!

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

ShelleyNoble FinalV3 copyAbout The Author

SHELLEY NOBLE is the NEW YORK TIMES Bestselling Author of the women’s fiction novel BEACH COLORS, a #1 Nook bestseller, STARGAZEY POINT three novellas, Holidays at Crescent Cove, Stargazey Nights, BREAKWATER BAY and WHISPER BEACH.

As SHELLEY FREYDONT she is the author of the CELEBRATION BAY FESTIVAL MYSTERIES (Berkley Prime Crime) as well and two other mystery series, and the upcoming Gilded Age Newport Mystery series. Her mysteries have been translated into ten languages.

A former professional dancer and choreographer, she most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. Shelley lives near the New Jersey shore where she loves to discover new beaches and indulge her passion for lighthouses and vintage carousels.

 

Writing as Shelley Noble


Coming June 25, 2019

Also by Shelley Noble

Coming November 5, 2019

Writing as Shelley Freydont

Find more books by Shelley Freydont Here.

I am giving away my review copy of Lighthouse Beach!

The contest is open to anyone over 18 years old.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End April 5, 2019, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Share

#Review – Castaway Cottage by Joanne DeMaio

 2018 Reviews, E-Book Challenge, You Read How Many Books Challenge  Comments Off on #Review – Castaway Cottage by Joanne DeMaio
Jul 132018
 

Castaway Cottage
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Continuing Series
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published (May 12, 2018)
Paperback: 408 pages
ISBN-10: 1717066216
ISBN-13: 978-1717066213
Kindle ASIN: B07C726YJC

Every cottage tells a story. It’s a saying Jason Barlow returns to as an architect designing New England beach homes. The latest cottage story he hopes to tell rises from the Stony Point sand: the last-standing cottage on the beach. It’s the sole survivor–something Jason can relate to–as surrounding cottages washed out to sea in long-ago hurricanes.

The owners aren’t budging, though, keeping Jason’s proposed renovation at bay. But with some help from the beach friends, the tide turns for Jason’s new venture. Problem is, that weathered cottage on the beach? It holds secrets darker than its gray seaworn shingles. And secrets don’t stay buried in this little Connecticut beach town; they wash ashore or get dug up from the sand.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We are back in Stony Point and Jason Barlow is trying to nail down his next project for his new cable show. The cottage he has picked out has quite a history, much more than he knew about the place. Now he just needs to get the owners to agree to his plans. Also, a typo on a marriage certificate turns one marriage topsy-turvy. Would a vow renewal ceremony get things back to normal?

This saga continues to draw me in with each new installment. We follow these characters through good times and bad. Through laughter and tears, their lives continue, at times jarring their friendships, and sometimes strengthening them. So much has happened over the course of these stories.

Again Elsa shines as she tries to mother the whole crew through everything. With her inn not yet open she has time to take on another event all while doing her best to help everyone and keep their lives on an even keel. I am anxious for the inn to open, but I don’t know how she is going to be able to handle it all even with Celia’s help.

This cast of characters has to live in one of the most beautiful locations I could ever imagine. I am so envious of the view they see each and every day when they wake up, go through their days and then settle in for the night. Joanne DeMaio’s words have painted every part of this place so clearly, my imagination doesn’t even have to work to virtually take me there.  The sea, the sky, the cottages, the diner, the flowers, just everything is crystal clear.

So much is left up in the air as this installment concludes I can hardly wait for the next book to be released. It will be pure joy to return to Stony Point. My virtual bags are already packed.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

joanne demaio

About the Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love, and choices while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Currently, at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

To learn more about the author, visit Joannedemaio.com. She also enjoys hearing from readers on her Facebook Page.


Check out my reviews of the previous books here.

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

 

 

Share
Feb 152018
 

The Queen of Hearts
Women’s Fiction/Friendship/Medical
Setting – Kentucky/North Carolina
Berkley (February 13, 2018)
Hardcover: 352 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399585050
Kindle ASIN: B071NYSR9W

 

 

A debut novel set against a background of hospital rounds and life-or-death decisions that pulses with humor and empathy and explores the heart’s capacity for forgiveness…

Zadie Anson and Emma Colley have been best friends since their early twenties when they first began navigating serious romantic relationships amid the intensity of medical school. Now they’re happily married wives and mothers with successful careers–Zadie as a pediatric cardiologist and Emma as a trauma surgeon. Their lives in Charlotte, North Carolina are chaotic but fulfilling until the return of a former colleague unearths a secret one of them has been harboring for years.

As chief resident, Nick Xenokostas was the center of Zadie’s life–both professionally and personally–throughout a tragic chain of events in her third year of medical school that she has long since put behind her. Nick’s unexpected reappearance during a time of new professional crisis shocks both women into a deeper look at the difficult choices they made at the beginning of their careers. As it becomes evident that Emma must have known more than she revealed about circumstances that nearly derailed both their lives, Zadie starts to question everything she thought she knew about her closest friend.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Kimmery Martin takes us into the lives of best friends Zadie Anson and Emma Colley. She alternates between their points of view and the present and the past. Emma, a trauma surgeon, and Zadie, a pediatric cardiologist, have faced grueling schedules to get to where they are in their lives, married with families and successful careers. Then Nick Xenokostas, Dr. X,  transfers to North Carolina and turns their lives upside down. That third year of medical school comes back to haunt them and when secrets are revealed it could rip these two best friends apart.

I dove right into this story thinking it would be a combination of Grey’s Anatomy and other medical television dramas, but it was so much more. You know immediately the author is a physician by all the details she brings to this story. From medical terms to the struggle medical school, residency and beyond can be. I drank it all in and was riveted by Zadie and Emma’s stories. These characters were very realistic in both the bond they have and the lives they have created for themselves.

The underlying drama and tension runs throughout the story with little humorous breaks usually by Zadie’s 3-year-old Delaney. Her “Hi, beloved dear!” always broke through and made me smile. I was following along closely knowing something major had taken place in these women’s lives. Something they had tried to forget about. But when the event was revealed I became totally overwhelmed. Not exactly the same as an event that rocked my life but close enough that I had to stop reading for some time before I could pick it back up again. I still had to skip or just skim a few pages but I had to see how the story ended. I am so glad I did because there was yet another shocking twist that I didn’t see coming.

I was moved by this novel. I can’t believe it is the author’s debut. She is an excellent writer, she carries off the switching points of view and times, along with all the medical jargon so well. Her descriptive style puts readers right into each moment. Except for the one point I mentioned above I totally enjoyed the story, and that is on me. If you haven’t dealt with a similar traumatic event, you will absolutely love this story.

I am excited by this author and can’t wait to see what she writes next.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

About the Author

Kimmery Martin is a doctor, book reviewer, author interviewer, traveler, and obsessive reader. Her debut novel, The Queen of Hearts, was a huge hit among three of her friends before being picked up by Penguin Random House. Kimmery lives in North Carolina with her husband, three children, and the world’s most obstinate dog. You can read more of her writing, including travelogues, book reviews, and social commentary at www.kimmerymartin.com.

 


Thanks to the publisher I have 1 copy to give away!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End March 1, 2018, at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Share
Nov 032017
 

Cardinal Cabin
Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Women
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published
Paperback: 268 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1548161712
Kindle ASIN: B074DZSDFS

 

 

Frank Lombardo’s never been spontaneous. The closest he’s come was accepting a side job chopping firewood for a lakeside community of rustic cabins. But with another lonely holiday season imminent, Frank’s sister urges him to be spontaneous because, seriously, who does he ever expect to meet out in the woods?

With a suitcase in hand and a bit of reluctance, too, Penny Hart arrives at Cardinal Cabin on Snowflake Lake. It’s only for a brief stay, though nobody knows where she is. Not her boss, not her friends…

Only Frank Lombardo. As the two unexpectedly meet at Addison’s hidden hideaway, a spontaneous kiss sets everything amiss. But can the magic of this quaint New England town keep these snowy sweethearts together?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Every time I hear a new book is being released by Joanne I scramble to find room in my reading schedule as soon as possible. All her books have been a complete joy to read, they have tugged at my heartstrings and made me shed a few tears but most have happy heartwarming endings that leave me with a huge smile on my face.

In Cardinal Cabin Penny Hart arrives at Snowflake Lake on a special assignment for her job at the travel agency. It is part of promotion that entails her sending a photo clue each day to be posted in the travel agency’s window for people to submit guesses about where she may be staying.

Frank Lombardo is responsible for chopping wood for the cabins on the lake. He is surprised to find Penny has fallen in a snowbank soon after her arrival. Helping her up he hears his sister’s words in his head “be more spontaneous” and he does something very spontaneous after he gets Penny back on her feet. Something that could change both their lives…

Staying in the Cardinal Cabin on Snowflake Lake as Christmas draws near sounds perfect to me. Penny Hart finds it absolutely delightful, but she can’t venture far from the cabin because someone could see her and the contest would be ruined. The people staying in the other cabins are sworn to secrecy. Frank too must keep their meeting a secret even though his sister and his friends know he is hiding something. The whole premise is absolutely charming.

This story is well written, poignant, and is a perfect holiday read. It is filled with wonderful true to life characters that are fun and engaging. The setting is positively idyllic. I loved the way Penny and Frank’s romance unfolds very quickly, almost love at first sight.

The cardinals have extra meaning for me as a cardinal sighting is said to mean that a loved one who has passed away is nearby. Cardinals have always been a favorite of mine and I have collected many pictures, plates and figurines over the years, but they have a greater meaning for me since my son passed away. Penny has an experience with one in the book that had me laughing and I thought that is a passed loved one clearly trying to tell her something.

This is an excellent addition to Joanne DeMaio’s Addison Cove series. They can all be read as stand alone but I encourage you to read them all. This one should be a the top of your Christmas Reading List!

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

joanne demaio

About The Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love and choices, while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Currently at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

To learn more about the author, visit Joannedemaio.com. She also enjoys hearing from readers on her Facebook Page.


Also by Joanne DeMaio

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Share
Aug 182017
 


On Flashback Fridays I will share with you the books I was not able to review
when they were first released that have been screaming at me
from my To-Be-Read bookshelf.

I was looking for something different this week so I grabbed a book from my PaperbackSwap To Be Read shelves. I didn’t realize it was an ARC (A no no for PaperbackSwap) until I was almost halfway through the book.


Seven Year Switch
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Setting – Massachusetts
Voice Publishing
Release Date June 1, 2010
Hardcover: 256 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1401341169
Paperback: 272 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1401341640
Kindle ASIN: B00WT7TP1W

 

 

Just when Jill Murray’s finally figured out how to manage on her own, her ex-husband proves that he can’t even run away reliably. After seven long years missing in action, he’s back—crashing into the man-free existence Jill and her ten-year-old daughter have built so carefully. And what’s a good mother to do To a child, even a deadbeat dad is better than no dad at all.

Jill’s life just hasn’t turned out quite the way she planned. By now, she’d hoped to be jetting around the world as a high-end cultural coach. Instead, she’s answering phones for a local travel agency and teaching cooking classes at the community center.

Enter free-spirited entrepreneur Billy, who hires Jill as a consultant for an upcoming business trip. Is their relationship veering off in a new direction And what about her ex Jill couldn’t possibly still have feelings for him . . . could she? Suddenly, her no-boys-allowed life is anything but.

They say that every seven years you become a completely new person, but Jill isn’t sure she’s ready for the big change. It takes a Costa Rican getaway to help her make a choice—not so much between the two men in her life, but between the woman she is and the one she wants to be.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

Jill Murray’s life was finally going in the right direction then her ex-husband returns after being gone for 7 years wanting to see his daughter. Jill is not ready for him to be back in their life, how does she know he just won’t disappear again? When she tells her daughter he has come back she demands to see him as soon as possible and Jill watches the life she has created for herself and her daughter the past seven years implode. While all this is happening Jill meets Billy. He hires her to help him plan for a trip to Japan to pitch a business idea. Almost immediately she feels drawn to him and not in a business way. Is she ready for another man in her life? Should she try to get back with her husband for her daughter? She has no idea what to do so she signs on to a Costa Rican Girls Getaway to get away from both of them and the pressure in hopes she can figure out what direction her life should take.

This author has been recommended to me my several friends and this book was sitting on my To-Be-Read shelves for too long. Wanting a literary escape to the beach this cover called out to me so I grabbed it to read last weekend. Within a few minutes I was engaged by the characters. Jill working for a travel company from home with a phone headset attached to head as she travels her home taking care of her daughter, making supper, doing laundry, helping with homework, normal mom things. Her daughter, Anastasia, understands her mom needs to work but doesn’t appreciate the way it interrupts their time together. When her dad enters back into the picture she starts to turn to him for everything. He also makes the huge error of giving her things she wants without discussing it first with Jill. Billy adds the triangle-ish- ness to the story. The next door neighbor fits well into the picture too. All the characters are realistically written and the dialogues are excellent. The characters are the true strength to this story.

The plot starts out really well and because of the synopsis I knew a trip to Costa Rica is coming and as I got past halfway into the story I wondered how the author was going to tie up everything and thrown in a trip within the remaining pages. Well she does wrap things up but to me it was just too rushed, almost abrupt. All the depth and detail that I loved in the beginning was gone. I appreciated the message of self-worth, change and growth the author was trying to get across. The idea that every seven years you become a completely new person,as a theme was heartwarming but the decisions made at the end just happened too fast for me.

I really enjoyed the first 3/4 of this story so I still want to read more of Claire Cook’s novels. I am hoping this speedy end was just a fluke.

 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Find out more about Claire Cook and her books here.



I am giving away my Advanced Reader Copy!
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End September 1, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

*This book was from my private collection.

Share
Jun 132017
 

The Sunshine Sisters
Contemporary Women’s Fiction > Sisters
Setting – Connecticut
Berkley (June 6, 2017)
An Imprint of Penguin Random House
Hardcover: 384 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0399583315
Kindle ASIN: B01LWRVCS1

 

As soon as possible, tomboy Nell fled her mother’s overbearing presence to work on a farm and find her own way in the world as a single mother. The target of her mother’s criticism, Meredith never felt good enough, thin enough, pretty enough. Her life took her to London—and into the arms of a man whom she may not even love. And Lizzy, the youngest, more like Ronni than any of them, seemed to have it easy, using her drive and ambition to build a culinary career to rival her mother’s fame, while her marriage crumbled around her.

But now the Sunshine sisters are together again, called home by Ronni, who has learned that she has a serious disease and needs her daughters to fulfill her final wishes. And though Nell, Meredith, and Lizzy have never been close, their mother’s illness draws them together to confront the old jealousies and secret fears that have threatened to tear these sisters apart. As they face the loss of their mother, they will discover if blood might be thicker than water after all…

Dollycas’s Thoughts

The Sunshine Sisters is about a DYSFUNCTIONAL FAMILY. (Yes, all caps). Ronni is concerned about herself and her career. Her daughters learned at an early age how to read her moods and when to “duck and cover”. As soon as they were old enough they got out of her house, rarely visited, and didn’t really stay in touch with each other. Nell still lives nearby with her son and has the most contact with Ronni. Meredith is in London pretending to be happy. Lizzy landed in New York as a chef. She is married with a son but her marriage is rocky. When their mother calls them all home they assume it is for one of her big dramatic displays but are shocked by her appearance and they know there is something really wrong with her this time. This pulls the girls together until they learn her final wishes.

First I have to say the cover of the book is very misleading. Reading the synopsis I thought this would be a story about a family coming back together after a dysfunctional upbringing with a happy ending but it took a dark turn with a trigger theme for me – suicide.  While different than what my family experienced it still gave me pause.

The characters were all so different, each had their own ways of dealing with things. The sisters fit the stereotype many believe of children. The eldest being the strongest, steady, independent, but in Nell’s case she closes herself off from so much, happy on her farm, alone. The middle child, Meredith, is the people pleaser with low self esteem, thinking she needs to settle for what is offered. Lizzy is the baby of the family and most like her mother. She got everything she ever wanted and she inherited a drive from her mother to pursue her dreams while following in her footsteps of putting her family last.

The pace of the book was a little slow in the beginning. It didn’t really grab me until about halfway through. It picked up near the end but that was where the theme became problematic for me. The saving grace for me was that that the sisters were starting to evolve and look at themselves and their relationships differently. When they were together they were more engaging than the parts of the story when they were on their own.

This is the first Jane Green novel I have read and while it was not an off the charts read for me it was still a good story. There are some heavy topics so for me this is not the summer beach read I expected from the cover. It ended the exact way I thought it would which made me a little sad. I do want to read more by this author because I think the subject matter just weighted me down this time.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

About The Author

Jane Green is a bestselling author of popular novels. She has been featured in People, Newsweek, USA Today, Glamour, and Cosmopolitan. She lives in Connecticut with her family.

Find more books by Jane Green at Amazon here.

I am giving away my review copy.
Contest is open to anyone over 18 years old
with a US or Canadian mailing address.

Duplicate entries will be deleted. Void where prohibited.

You do not have to be a follower to enter but I hope you will find
something you like here and become a follower.

Followers Will Receive 2 Bonus Entries For Each Way They Follow.
Plus 2 Bonus Entries For Liking My Facebook Fan Page.

Click the Like Button at the top of this post for a Bonus Entry.

Add this book to your WANT TO READ shelf on GoodReads for 3 Bonus Entries.

Pin this giveaway to Pinterest for 3 Bonus Entries.

If you publicize the giveaway on Twitter or Facebook or anywhere you will receive
5 Bonus Entries For Each Link.

Contest Will End June 27, 2017 at 11:59 PM CST
Winner Will Be Chosen By Random.org
Winner Will Be Notified By Email
and Will Be Posted Here In The Sidebar.

Click Here For Entry Form

Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. Receiving a complimentary copy in no way reflected my review of this book. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”

Share
Dec 032016
 

spotlight

wishing-on-snowflakes
Wishing on Snowflakes
by Joanne DeMaio
Contemporary Women’s Fiction
Self-Published
Release Date – (October 4, 2016)
Paperback: 460 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1533343741
E-Book ASIN: B01KKDAU24
goodreads-badge-add-plus

From New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio comes a special keepsake collection of her Christmas novels–two snowy love stories set in a cozy New England town.

Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes: Vera Sterling, while restoring a historical house and old Christmas barn in her cherished Connecticut hometown, finds herself falling for tragedy-scarred Derek Cooper. When a blizzard strikes, will all be made right on a stormy winter’s night? An enchanting novel about love, family, and the delicate power of snowflakes.

Snow Deer and Cocoa Cheer: Along the snow-dusted streets of quaint Addison, Jane March and Wes Davis open their hearts to the magic and possibility of the season. A charming tale about a greeting card designer who’s lost her jingle, and a jilted mailman whose cold winter heart is about to thaw.

The stories in this book were originally published as separate books. Together now in one book they would make an excellent Christmas gift. You can read my review of Snow Deer and Coca Cheer here and Snowflakes and Coffee Cakes here.

joanne demaio

About The Author

Joanne DeMaio is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary fiction. She enjoys writing about friendship, family, love and choices, while setting her stories in New England towns or by the sea. Beach Blues is her seventh novel. Currently at work on her next book, Joanne lives with her family in Connecticut.

To learn more about the author, visit Joannedemaio.com. She also enjoys hearing from readers on her Facebook Page.

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

Share
Gore in the Garden (A Washington Whodunnit) by Colleen ShoganGet Your Copy Today!
+ +
%d bloggers like this: