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.”

 

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#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.”
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Oct 182018
 

First Flurries
Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Women
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published
Paperback: 264 pages
ISBN-10: 1723467987
ISBN-13: 978-1723467981
Kindle ASIN: B07G23V8VR

From New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio comes a novel snow-dusted with love and possibility.

Lindsey Haynes’ father once gave her a snow globe with the note: “Unsure where to go? Give a little shake … and your heart will always know.” On a whim, those words lead her to the quaint New England town of Addison. It’s a place straight out of a storybook with its twinkling town green, decorated Main Street, and secluded lakeside cabin community.

But an encounter with a dejected doctor named Greg Davis turns Lindsey’s days upside down, much like a snow globe in motion. With a little nudge from endearing townsfolk, and a few chance meetings of their own, a magical flurry of emotions suddenly swirls around them.

First Flurries is an enchanting story about finding love and home when you’re not even looking. So cozy up and settle in with a tale that will simply capture your holiday heart.

Dollycas’s Thoughts

We return to Addison and Snowflake Lake right before the holidays. Lindsey Haynes has just pulled into town with her unique little shop on wheels. Her Uncle Gus manages the cabins on SnowFlake Lake and he has the perfect spot to park her Tiny House/Shop when it isn’t parked on the square for the upcoming Christmas event. She is thrilled her snow globe directed her to this charming little town. The snow globe, a gift from her father came with a note – “Unsure where to go? Give a little shake … and your heart will always know.” It hasn’t steered her wrong yet.

Dr. Greg Davis has had some bad luck in the romance department so this year he has vowed to turn over a new leaf. He doesn’t need to be in a relationship to enjoy the holidays.

Greg and Lindsey happen to meet just when the first flurries start to fall in Addison. Their worlds get all shook up and it may never be the same, especially with a little nudge here and a little push there.

I know when I reach for a book by this author I am in for a delightful story so I plan accordingly. Looking at the cover I knew I was going to need a cup or two of hot cocoa and a blanket to snuggle in. The weather here had just turned chilly so it was cooperating as well.

Lindsey and her tiny house and snow globe grabbed me right away. I love tiny houses and I could easily imagine living in one myself, only stationary, not traveling the country on a trailer. I must say it is a fantastic idea for a person like Lindsay.

We met the Davis family before and this time it is Greg’s story. He decides to reinvent himself, not be so uptight. Changes the way he dresses, quits shaving and trades in his sensible car for a Mustang . . . in the winter . . . in Connecticut.

These two are destined for each other but it isn’t going to be easy.

I adore the way that Ms. DeMaio tells a story. Everything about her characters and their interactions is believable and genuine.  Lindsey’s positive free spirit attitude is refreshing juxtaposed against Greg’s somewhat curmudgeonly take on life. The story unfolds at a comfortable pace and is very well written. She has set this series in a charming locale. The snow globe brings a little magic to the wonderful holiday read. Every scene is described vividly painting delightful images in the mind.

Addison, Connecticut is a truly wondrous place to spend the holidays. Romance and Christmas cheer abound. This story will leave your heart warmed and a huge smile on your face.

While there are recurring characters all of the books in this series can be read on their own, but you will want to read them all! I highly recommend this snowy escape.

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

You can read my review of Cardinal Cabin here.

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.

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.”

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#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.”

 

 

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May 032018
 

Beach Bliss
Women’s Fiction
Continuing Series
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published
Paperback: 370 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1984227119
Kindle ASIN: B079DCBL7X

 

 

Have a seaside seat with the beach friends in this irresistible novel from New York Times bestselling author Joanne DeMaio.

Blue skies and smooth seas return to the coastal community of Stony Point. Until a new arrival in this little New England beach town sets forth a competition like no other. As the temperature rises beneath the summer sun, so do the antics and good-natured fun.

Join Jason Barlow, Maris, Kyle, Elsa and the rest of the gang for another unforgettable season at the shore. The sound of gulls and lapping waves are calling you to the page … for a summer read that’s purely Beach Bliss.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

It is almost time for the tourists to return to Stony Point. Elsa’s Inn is ready to open but she is holding off until September so she can enjoy time with her newly born granddaughter, Aria.  She is so happy that Celia has returned to Stoney Point and agreed to help her with the inn. Jason’s finishing up the last tasks on his list as the debut of his television show documenting the renovation of Elsa’s inn will be premiering soon.  Maris is still working on her deceased brother in law’s novel. Kyle and Lauren are moving into their home on Stony Point. But this story really is all about Aria. Celia has chosen her godmother and before she even has a chance to choose a godfather, the men all decide they want the honored position. So they come up with a competition with the winner becoming the godfather of their friend Sal’s daughter. The whole group is still mourning his death. Everyone wants to be there for Aria in any way that they can.

I will admit, my nose got a little out of joint when the men took the choice of godfather out of Celia’s hands. I am sure she had put a lot of thought into her decision. But, by the end of the goofy competition, I think Celia was appreciative of their efforts and I do think her choice was also the winner. I know the group was not trying to disrespect her in any way and the contests were very interesting. I was surprised though at one of the guys participating in one of the contests that would have been super painful after hurting his back earlier in the story. I get it, it’s fiction 🙂

I really identify with Elsa the most. We have both lost adult sons and that it something you never get over. We just keep putting one foot in front of the other and a smile on our faces even when you don’t feel like smiling. Like Elsa my son left a daughter behind, mine was almost 3 when she lost her daddy. Sadly, Sal never got to meet his daughter. But it is these young little ladies that keep us going. The light shines from within them and we have so many memories to share to keep their fathers alive in their hearts. It also helps when you have the wonderful support system both Elsa and Celia have.

Joanne DeMaio has created such true characters. I feel like I am visiting old friends every time I pick up one of her books. I am engaged by them and interested in their lives. Their friendship is a true bond. I am jealous of the way they see each other every day and are totally involved in each other’s lives. True friendships like this are hard to have these days when the world is pulling everyone in so many different directions.

The author’s words take us to a place where friends, ocean waters and the rich salt air can soothe all your troubles. Our visits there always end much too soon. This was a perfect escape!!

Until next time . . . The Castaway Cottage releases soon, May 15!!

Your Great Escapes 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.


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.”

 

 

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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.”

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Jul 132017
 

The Beach Inn by Joanne DeMaio
Women’s Fiction
Continuing Series
Setting – Connecticut
Paperback: 304 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1544762814
Kindle ASIN: B06XRHJCX9

It was going to be exquisite: a rambling, shingled New England cottage converted into a grand beach inn. Nestled among hydrangeas and swaying dune grasses, this seaside haven would welcome guests on the Connecticut shore. Except the little beach town of Stony Point is no longer feeling like a haven to its residents. Residents including a brooding Jason Barlow, the esteemed architect in charge of the inn’s renovation–until a stubborn, grief-induced For Sale sign puts an end to that.

But with a little help from the beach friends, anything is possible. In an effort to save the inn and convince its cherished owner to stay, the friends band together to stage an inn-tervention, shaking up their own lives in the process.

 

Dollycas’s Thoughts

…grieving comes from love… It’s the love that gives us the strength to go on without somebody.
~The Beach Inn by Joanne DeMaio

As soon as I read that line, a line I have learned to live by, I knew I was going to love this story.

We arrive at Stony Point to continue our visit. Elsa still grieving the lost of her son has put the Inn up for sale, taking a huge chunk of work out of Jason’s schedule. He is also grieving not for just Sal but his brother Neil as well. He has been able to hear Neil’s voice from heaven and feel him nudging things a certain way in his construction plans. Neil has been oddly quiet since Sal died. All of the characters are dealing with their grief and trying not to make any rash decisions. They all agree that getting Elsa to stay in Stony Point and to have her keep renovating the inn is their #1 priority. Then many other things will fall into place.

This story like the one before hits me on all emotional levels but things are getting a little easier for me and they can for Elsa. I am coming up on 28 months since my son’s death and I just take it one day at a time.  In fact, I have taken on my own Operation Smile to help me through my loss.

I have enjoyed all the books in this series, the journeys we take with these characters are powerful. They share memories, take on new things, and together have such true friendships that keep them afloat when times get tough and when there are joys to share. The last book in this series just crushed my heart but this installment things start to turn around. The realistic ebb and flow of life continues making this another heart warming and heart healing story. I am glad it followed quickly after Beach Breeze.

These stories need to be read in order. Load them all up on your Kindles for some wonderful summer reading. I can’t wait for the next one!!

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.

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.”

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Apr 252017
 


Beach Breeze
Women’s Fiction
Continuing Series
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published (March 8, 2017)
Paperback: 346 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1543115277
Kindle ASIN: B06WD4QFZ2

 
 
 
 
 

After a heartbreaking summer on the Connecticut shore, a group of beach friends is as adrift as an unmoored rowboat. When a dismayed Jason Barlow drives as far away from the sea as he can, leaving behind his wife, Maris, as well as their stately cottage on the bluff, that news hits like a sudden wave. Gathering over an intimate meal in a coastal diner, the friends make a solemn pact to lean on each other and not make any more rash decisions.

Which is all well and good, until each friend wavers–testing relationships, commitments, and especially love in the little beach community of Stony Point. But can the magic of the weathered boardwalk, whispering lagoon grasses, and sweet salt air cure what ails them?

Dollycas’s Thoughts

I have loved this series, in fact I have loved all Joanne’s books. I knew this book would pick up right where the last one left off from the synopsis but I never imagined how difficult it was going for me to read. As Beach Blues ends Sal DeLuca had just died and left the gang at Stony Point reeling. Elsa lost her son, Celia lost her true love, Jason lost a man that he had grown as close to as a brother and the rest lost their friend.

I clearly identified with Elsa, she has just lost her son. I know that raw pain and her grief brought mine careening back. I was shaken and found myself sobbing. At first I thought I need to just put the book away, I just wasn’t ready to read something so vivid that was making my responses so raw. But I kept on thinking just maybe Elsa would help me see a way through my own pain. We didn’t make it there yet but maybe as her story continues we will both continue to heal.

I was also moved by how each character dealt with their grief differently, just like in real life. My husband, my children, his child, his nephews, our extended family, and my son’s friends. Everyone of us is still grieving all in our own ways. By dealing with this close death so recently I can say the author has written this story so truthfully. People try to move forward, some making huge decisions that shouldn’t be made quickly or at a stressful time like this. Others want to just hide away and be alone, they is where I started my journey too. Others seem perfectly fine until something triggers a memory that can take you right back to the beginning all over again. These characters show how necessary it is to be there to support each other. It doesn’t have to be a major undertaking, sometimes a hug, a little joke that can bring a smile. You may not always get it right but it is important to keep trying.

Joanne DeMaio has taken us on a journey with these characters that is far from complete. She takes us through the good times, this group has had many good times. But she also takes us through the bad. They have had their share of those too. This is the first book though that was dealing with a really bad time for the entire book. Yes, there is just a little bit of uplifting at the end. Like real life though the death of someone special sticks with you forever. You hear all about the stages of grief but I now know they do not stay true to any order and you do not work through them and get over it. I know this author will remember that as the series moves forward.

A moving, heartfelt story. Have the tissues ready.

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.

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.”

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Dec 292016
 

TOP NON-COZY READS OF 2016

Looking back at the books I read in 2016 I was surprised that almost all the books I read were cozy mystery. I only read about 1 or 2 non-cozy books a month. These are the 3 that I enjoyed so much they received my Paradise Rating.

The first one should be no surprise because Harlen Coben is one of my all time favorite authors.



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Myron Bolitar Book 11
Crime/Suspense/Thriller
Dutton (September 20, 2016) TODAY!
An Imprint of Penguin Random House LLC
Hardcover: 400 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0525955108
E-Book ASIN: B01COJUGOE
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My Review Here

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This one is by one of my favorite cozy authors Shelley Noble, also know at Shelley Freydont.

Forever Beach: A Novel
Release Date – June 7, 2016
Contemporary/Women’s Fiction
Setting – New Jersey
William Morrow Paperbacks
An Imprint of Harper Collins Publishers
Trade Paperback: 416 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0062439062
E-Book ASIN: B015WXQEMC
goodreads-badge-add-plusMy Review Here

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I look forward to books from this author each year and she always writes a story I can escape right into.

Beach Blues
Women’s Fiction – Contemporary
Setting – Connecticut
Self Published (May 17, 2016)
Paperback: 420 pages
ISBN-13: 978-1532874697
E-Book ASIN: B01ELQDXAM
goodreads-badge-add-plusMy Review Here

Is it just a coincidence the last 2 books have a beach theme? I know I want to escape to a warm beach several times throughout the year. 

They do match my blog nicely and give a double meaning to paradise. 

I am looking forward to books by all 3 authors in 2017. The nice thing is they are all books that can be read on their own. 

Dollycas

Your Escape With A Good Book Travel Agent

 

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Dec 032016
 

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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
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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

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