A Wedding on Primrose Street by Sheila Roberts

  • A Wedding on Primrose Street (7:28)Title:  A Wedding on Primrose Street
  • Series:  Icicle Falls #7
  • Author:  Sheila Roberts
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  July 2015 – Mira
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  There’s nothing like a wedding! The joy, the fun, the memories—the stress. As a wedding planner, Anne Richardson has seen mothers of the bride turn into Momzillas, and she’s determined not to do that when it’s her daughter’s turn to get married. But once Laney gets engaged, all bets are off. Anne becomes obsessed with giving Laney the perfect wedding she herself never had. And that wedding needs to be held in Icicle Falls at Primrose Haus, the perfect setting. 

Roberta Gilbert, owner of Primrose Haus, has been hosting events at her charming Victorian for thirty years. She’s an expert on weddings, but not on mother-daughter relations. When her daughter, Daphne, comes home and decides to help with the business, the receptions become truly memorable—and not in a good way. Then there’s the added complication of Roberta’s gardener, who seems more interested in Daphne than he is in planting primroses… 

Tying the knot is a business that has everyone tied up in knots!  (publisher)

My take:  Our daughter was married a few months ago so I knew I wanted to read the newest book in the Icicle Falls series: A Wedding on Primrose Street by Sheila Roberts.

I thought Roberts nailed the dynamics that can arise between mothers and daughters, event planners and mothers-of-the-bride, and husbands and wives when planning a wedding. In her typical style Roberts had me alternately laughing and cringing as the events drew near. What I liked most was how, when they stopped to take a breath, the characters tried their hardest to remember what was most important about the happy day and the people involved.

There are several bridal shower and wedding recipes included at the end as well as a fun epilogue of sorts. I enjoyed it and look forward to the next Icicle Falls book.


 

The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy E. Reichert

  • the coincidence of coconut cake (July21)Title:  The Coincidence of Coconut Cake
  • Author:  Amy E. Reichert
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  July 2015 – Gallery Books
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  What happens when the chef of a small restaurant is scathingly reviewed by the local newspaper’s food critic on one of the worst days of her life? And then what happens when the two meet after that but don’t know who the other is?

I found The Coincidence of Coconut Cake to be a charming story that fans of chick lit and foodie fiction will probably enjoy as much as I did. Being from Wisconsin I also enjoyed the Milwaukee spots that Amy E. Reichert described in detail. Yes, I’m a fan of squeaky cheese :)

Reichert’s characters are relatable and I bought the misunderstanding between the two principal characters. Their relationship developed slowly and I was invested in their story. There are interesting and sweet supporting characters that added to the emotional aspect of the novel.

I’m craving all kinds of comfort food after reading this novel. It began with the luscious cake on the cover and progressed from there. Recommended.


 

 

Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

moonlight on butternut lake #3   a window opens (8:25)   silver linings (8:11)

Last week on Bookfan:

a thousand miles to freedom cover   the marriage season

Currently reading:

letters to the lost (may'15)

The Marriage Season by Linda Lael Miller

  • the marriage seasonTitle:  The Marriage Season
  • Series:  The Brides of Bliss County #3
  • Author:  Linda Lael Miller
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  June 2015 – HQN Books
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Will the marriage pact be fulfilled? Return to Mustang Creek, Wyoming, with #1 New York Times bestselling author Linda Lael Miller for more Brides of Bliss County! 

Since Hadleigh, Melody and Bex—the best of best friends—entered into a marriage pact, two of them have found (and married) the men of their hearts. But Bex doesn’t think she’ll be as fortunate as the others. Her own first love died years ago in a faraway war, and Bex has lost hope for a happy marriage of her own. She concentrates on her business, a successful chain of fitness clubs, instead. 

Then, when single father Tate Calder comes to Mustang Creek with his two sons in tow, who befriend Bex’s eight-year-old nephew, she and the handsome, aloof newcomer are constantly thrown together. But is the marriage season over? Or can a man with doubts about love be the right husband for a woman who wants it all?  (publisher)

My take:  This is the story of two people who need to learn to love again. Bex’s fiancé was killed at war years earlier and Tate’s first wife died unexpectedly from an illness leaving him with two young sons.

Bex is the third of three friends who made a pact to find their true loves. One of the friends, a jewelry maker, made them each a bracelet with a charm that would bring luck to the woman who wears it. Two of the friends have found their love and now it’s time for Bex.

I thought The Marriage Season was a sweet story. I liked the family theme and selflessness of the two principal characters. All in all, a very satisfying addition to the Brides of Bliss County series. Recommended to fans of the author and contemporary, small town romance.


 

Spotlight/US Giveaway: A Thousand Miles to Freedom by Eunsun Kim

a thousand miles to freedom cover

About the book:

Eunsun Kim was born in North Korea, one of the most secretive and oppressive countries in the modern world. As a child Eunsun loved her country…despite her school field trips to public executions, daily self-criticism sessions, and the increasing gnaw of hunger as the country-wide famine escalated.

By the time she was eleven years old, Eunsun’s father and grandparents had died of starvation, and Eunsun was in danger of the same. Finally, her mother decided to escape North Korea with Eunsun and her sister, not knowing that they were embarking on a journey that would take them nine long years to complete. Before finally reaching South Korea and freedom, Eunsun and her family would live homeless, fall into the hands of Chinese human traffickers, survive a North Korean labor camp, and cross the deserts of Mongolia on foot.

Now, Eunsun is sharing her remarkable story to give voice to the tens of millions of North Koreans still suffering in silence. Told with grace and courage, her memoir is a riveting exposé of North Korea’s totalitarian regime and, ultimately, a testament to the strength and resilience of the human spirit.


Eunsun Kim author photo master credit Jeong YiAbout the author:

EUNSUN KIM grew up in North Korea, the most secretive country in the modern world. At the age of eleven, she fled the country with her mother and sister, and they began the harrowing nine-year journey that would ultimately lead them to South Korea and to freedom. Today, Eunsun works at an NGO promoting human rights in North Korea. She lives in Seoul, South Korea.


US GIVEAWAY (3 copies)

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

Please click here and fill out the form

a thousand miles to freedom cover


Blog Tour: Maybe in Another Life by Taylor Jenkins Reid

  • maybe in another life (7:16 blogtour)Title:  Maybe in Another Life
  • Author:  Taylor Jenkins Reid
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Published:  July 2015 – Washington Square Press
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  When twenty-nine year old Hannah Martin moves back to Los Angeles she finds the comfort of long-time friends who are like family to her. Her best friend Gabby and her husband take her out to meet up with old school friends. Hannah is excited to see the boyfriend who got away (or broke up with her when he went to college). When the night out ends Hannah decides to go home with Gabby and tells Ethan (the old boyfriend) they’ll get together again soon. With that decision, and on their way home, life changes for Hannah.

I don’t want to chance a spoiler so I’ll stop there. As I found with Taylor Jenkins Reid’s previous novels, Maybe in Another Life was difficult to stop reading once I read the first page. Her writing style is so engaging that I didn’t want to do anything but keep turning the pages. I love when that happens.

Maybe in Another Life is about destiny. Or coincidences. Do we all have a person we’re meant to be with or is it just dumb luck that we find the right person? The story is romantic, emotional, and even throws quantum mechanics into the mix. That got your attention, didn’t it? A good read any time of year but it’s also on my Summer Book recommendations list.


taylor-jenkins-reid-author-writer (1)ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Taylor Jenkins Reid is an author and essayist from Acton, Massachusetts. She is the author of Forever, Interrupted and After I Do. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Alex, and her dog, Rabbit.

FIND TAYLOR ONLINE:


MAYBE IN ANOTHER LIFE by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Atria Books/Washington Square Press Paperback | 352 pages | ISBN:  9781476776880 | July 7, 2015 | $16.00

eBook: Atria Books/Washington Square Press | 352 pages | ISBN: 9781476776897 | July 7, 2015 | $11.99


maybe in another life (7:16 blogtour)

ORDER:

Spotlight/US Giveaway: Naked: A Novel of Lady Godiva by Eliza Redgold

naked - a novel of lady godiva (7:14) St. Martin’s Griffin   Trade Paperback Original   July 14, 2015

From the logo of a popular chocolate brand to the origin of the expression “peeping Tom,” the legend of Lady Godiva has influences throughout modern culture. So the story goes, Godiva begged her husband Lord Leofric of Mercia to life a high tax on her starving people. Lord Leofric demanded a forfeit: that Godiva ride naked on horseback through the town. Lady Godiva took her husband at his word and famously rode naked through the streets of Coventry, covered only by her long, flowing hair. Her husband, in remorse, lifted the tax.

Throughout history, Lord Leofric is always portrayed as the villain, but in NAKED, Eliza Redgold boldly reimagines this famous legend as a true love story. She says, “History has been hard on Lord Leofric. In most of the Godiva stories, Leofric of Mercia is definitely the villain of the piece, ready to impose heavy taxes and to ignobly allow his wife to carry out her daring ride. Yet by the end of his life, historical documents reveal Lord Leofric was a changed man. My explanation: he fell in love… I became determined to clear Leofric’s name.”

In NAKED, Lady Godiva grows up living the easy life of a noble woman, learning from her parents the importance of staying close to her people. Her family’s rule is known in Coventry as being kind and generous, her mother and father even adopt a homeless boy named Edmund and raise him as one of their own. Now Godiva is grown up and on her own, happily preparing to marry Edmund as her parents wish. But when her parents are killed, Godiva’s life veers off course. She must step up to keep Coventry safe and must consider marrying Lord Leofric for his lands and manpower. Despite Leofric’s actions and reputation, Godiva cannot deny her attraction and is pulled into a web of conflicting loyalties.


About the author:  The pseudonym ELIZA REDGOLD is based upon the old, Gaelic meaning of the author’s given name, Dr. Elizabeth Reid Boyd. As both an academic in gender studies and a novelist who has written romances, she is passionate about women’s writing in every genre being respected. She has presented academic papers on women and romance and is a contributor to the forthcoming Encyclopedia of Romance Fiction. She was born in Irvine, Scotland on Marymass Day and currently lives in Australia.


US Giveaway

GIVEAWAY HAS ENDED

Please click here and fill out the form

naked - a novel of lady godiva (7:14)


Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

daydreams in dixie IMG_4506 all the single ladies a thousand miles to freedom rome in love (8:4)

 

Last week on Bookfan:

a new hope (6:30)  Lawyer for the Dog (7:7)  that chesapeake summer (6:23 Pocket)

Currently reading:

last one home (LTER)

Blog Tour: That Chesapeake Summer by Mariah Stewart

  • that chesapeake summer (6:23 Pocket)Title:  That Chesapeake Summer
  • Series:  Chesapeake Diaries #9
  • Author:  Mariah Stewart
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  June 2015 – Pocket Books
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Jamie Valentine is the wildly successful author of self-help books advocating transparency in every relationship. But when her widowed mother passes away unexpectedly, Jamie discovers her own life has been based on a lie. Angry and deeply betrayed, she sets out to find the truth—which may be in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay. Cutting her most recent book tour short, Jamie books a room at the Inn at Sinclair’s Point, just outside St. Dennis.

The death of Daniel Sinclair’s father forced him to take over the family inn, and his wife’s death left him a single parent of two children, so there’s little room for anything else in his life. His lovely new guest is intriguing, though, and he’s curious about the secret she’s clearly hiding. But in the end, Jamie and Dan could discover the greatest truth of all: that the search for one thing just might lead to the find of a lifetime—if you keep your heart open.  (publisher)

My take:  I read and enjoyed the first book in the Chesapeake Diaries series almost five years ago. For one reason or another I didn’t make it back to the series until the latest – That Chesapeake Summer. Read the synopsis – it tells you all you need to know. I liked this ninth installment a lot.

It was easy to sympathize with Jamie. How shocking it must have been to find out that your life is not what you thought on the most basic level. She set out to learn the truth and ended up at Dan Sinclair’s inn.

Dan is a single father of two teenagers and he runs the Inn. He’s had his guard up since his wife died 8 years earlier. His defensiveness wore on me but as the novel went on Mariah Stewart brought me up to speed on what had made him that way. Will he be able to trust Jamie enough to invite her into his life?

In Jamie’s search for the truth she meets many of St. Dennis’s citizens. She likes them and begins to feel that she could fit in. Will the truth change that? What will the facts do to her reputation as a self-help author whose books deal with honesty in relationships?

That Chesapeake Summer is #9 in the series but it can stand on its own. I didn’t feel I’d missed key information by not reading since the first book. I liked the setting and the characters and was happy with how Stewart brought the novel to a close.  This would be a good book to read this summer – at home or the beach.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: MARIAH STEWART is the award-winning New York Times and USA Todaybestselling author of numerous novels and several novellas and short stories.  A native of Hightstown, New Jersey, she lives with her husband and two rambunctious rescue dogs amid the rolling hills of Chester County, Pennsylvania, where she savors country life and tends her gardens.  Visit her website at www.mariahstewart.com, and like her on Facebook at www.facebook.com/AuthorMariahStewart.


“[THAT CHESAPEAKE SUMMER] deftly uses the tools of the genre to explore issues of identity, truth,and small town kinship… Stewart offers a strong statement on the power of love and trust, a fitting theme for this big-hearted small town romance.” —Publishers Weekly

 “A touching story of self-discovery and homecoming that is sure to warm readers’ hearts…fans are sure to feel right at home in Stewart’s idyllic seaside setting and follow this emotional journey with avid interest.” RT Reviews

Cover.Final

  • The Chesapeake Diaries #9
  • Mariah Stewart
  • Pocket Books
  • June 23, 2015
  • $7.99

 

Blog Tour:


 

Review/US Giveaway: Lawyer For The Dog by Lee Robinson

  • Lawyer for the Dog (7:7)Title:  Lawyer For The Dog: A Novel
  • Author:  Lee Robinson
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  July 2015 – Thomas Dunne Books
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  One of the sharpest attorneys in Charleston, S.C., Sally Baynard isn’t your typical southern belle. She’s certainly not what her mother hoped she’d grow up to be, especially since she divorced her husband, Family Court Judge Joe Baynard, and his historic family with their historic wealth and historic houses. Maybe Sally was never going to be a proper society lady, but her success as a public defender and family lawyer have been enough for her. She’s represented murderers, burglars, drug dealers and lately has taken on some of the thorniest divorces, all cases closed with her Sally Bright Baynard wit, charm and brains.

Or have they? One case she’s never successfully closed is her marriage. And when Judge Joe assigns her to one of his divorce cases by appointing her as the Lawyer for the Dog — Sherman, a miniature schnauzer– she’s forced into close quarters with him again. Juggling the needs of the dog, the angry owners, her amorous but uncommunicative ex-husband, her aging, Alzheimer’s-ridden mother, and the expectations of the court is more than Sally could have imagined. And as rascally Sherman digs his way into Sally’s heart, he brings along his charming vet Tony, a man who makes Sally question her views on love and marriage.  (publisher)

My take:  Lawyer Sally Baynard is up to her ears in life: her mother has Alzheimer’s and lives with her; the clients she represents lately are trying her patience; and her ex-husband/Family Court judge has just made her ad litem for a dog.

This was such an enjoyable book. I mean, sure there are the serious issues of Alzheimer’s, divorce, and family dynamics, but Lee Robinson handled them all in such a way that it was easy to relate to most of the characters. She inserted humor and empathy in just the right places. I loved being in Sally’s head while she navigated through her days. It was difficult not to laugh much of the time.

I recommend Lawyer For The Dog to fans of contemporary/women’s fiction and anyone looking for a delightful novel. I hope Robinson continues to write novels in this genre because I think she got it just right.


Robinson,Lee_ (c) Jeffrey TruittAbout the author:  LEE ROBINSON practiced law for over 20 years in Charleston, S.C., where she served as executive director of a legal services agency and later worked in private practice, concentrating on family law. She was elected the first female president of the Charleston Bar Association and received the Bar Association’s award for her work in public interest law. She lives on a small ranch in the Texas hill country.


US Giveaway

Please click here and fill out the form

Giveaway has ended

Lawyer for the Dog (7:7)


A New Hope by Robyn Carr

  • a new hope (6:30)Title:  A New Hope
  • Series:  Thunder Point #8
  • Author:  Robyn Carr
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Small town fiction
  • Published:  June 2015 – Mira
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  After losing her child, Ginger Dysart was lost in grief. But since moving to Thunder Point, a small town on the Oregon coast, Ginger is finally moving forward. Her job at the flower shop is peaceful and fulfilling, and she’s excited to be assisting with the Lacoumette wedding. 

In spite of her lasting heartache, Ginger is swept up in the pleasure of the occasion. But the beauty of the Lacoumette farm and the joy of the gregarious family are ruined by an unfortunate encounter with the bride’s brother, Matt. Struggling with painful memories of his own, Matt makes a drunken spectacle of himself when he tries to make a pass at Ginger, forcing her to flee the scene in embarrassment. 

But when Matt shows up at the flower shop determined to make amends, what started out as a humiliating first meeting blossoms into something much deeper than either of them expected. Everyone around them worries that Ginger will end up with a broken heart yet again. But if Ginger has the courage to embrace the future, and if Matt can finally learn to let go of the past, there may still be hope for a happy ending.  (publisher)

My take:  I’m beginning to think Robyn Carr’s Thunder Point series would make a good cable series. All of the books in the series could stand alone but I’m glad I got in with the first and kept up. It’s always nice to see past characters make an appearance in a supporting role. For those keeping up with the series, book 8 picks up where book 7 left off.

I loved Ginger. She’d been through so much and had learned from her past experiences. The scene where she met Matt made me laugh out loud. Their story picked up from there and on the last page of the book I was very happy with their progress. Matt was all about getting over his first marriage but he had never truly faced why that marriage failed – that perhaps he shared some of the responsibility. He had a lot of anger to let go. I appreciate how Carr wove the theme of forgiveness through the novel.

There are a couple of related subplots that will arc into the next book (or two). I can’t wait to see how they progress. I really enjoyed A New Hope and recommend it to fans of the series and Robyn Carr.


 

Carr_Robyn_11_ColAbout the author:  Originally from Minnesota, Robyn Carr and her family have seen much of the country thanks to her husband, Jim, and his career in aviation. After the two high school sweethearts married, Jim joined the Air Force. They’ve lived in Texas – all four corners – Alabama, Florida, California, Utah, Arizona and Nevada. The couple moved to Henderson, Nevada, so Jim could explore a new business opportunity. “At first, being a Midwest girl at heart, I said, ‘Oh, no, not another desert!’ It didn’t take me long to fall in love with the beauty of Nevada – and the unrivaled spectacle of Las Vegas!”

Now that Robyn’s two children are grown – and finally out of the house – she has the luxury of a little free time. “Until my kids grew up, I didn’t realize that a person could have hobbies other than laundry,” she jokes. But it turns out not to be hobbies that keep Robyn busy when she isn’t writing – she has found her niche in community service. She has mentored a seniors’ memoir-writing group, attends book club chats in and out-of-state whenever possible and is working with her local library on the Carr Chat Series, a program centered on fund-raising and visiting author events that bring writers, their books and the community together. “It is the people in my life that fill the well,” she says. “Especially the people who share my love for books and writing.”

Sunday Post

Book arrivals:  (linked to Mailbox Monday)

naked - a novel of lady godiva (7:14)  pretty much screwed (7:7)  blueprints (giveaway win)  the kind worth killing (audio:kindle)

Last week on Bookfan:

eight hundred grapes  A Week at the Lake (Berkley - Schulhafer) 6:23  my grandmother asked me...  RedemptionBay_Cover

Currently reading:

the coincidence of coconut cake (July21)