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Description: Recently divorced, Merilee Talbot Dunlap moves with her two children to the Atlanta suburb of Sweet Apple, Georgia. It’s not her first time starting over, but her efforts at a new beginning aren’t helped by an anonymous local blog that dishes about the scandalous events that caused her marriage to fail.
Merilee finds some measure of peace in the cottage she is renting from town matriarch Sugar Prescott. Though stubborn and irascible, Sugar sees something of herself in Merilee—something that allows her to open up about her own colorful past.
Sugar’s stories give Merilee a different perspective on the town and its wealthy school moms in their tennis whites and shiny SUVs, and even on her new friendship with Heather Blackford. Merilee is charmed by the glamorous young mother’s seemingly perfect life and finds herself drawn into Heather’s world.
In a town like Sweet Apple, where sins and secrets are as likely to be found behind the walls of gated mansions as in the dark woods surrounding Merilee’s house, appearance is everything. But just how dangerous that deception can be will shock all three women…. (publisher)
My take: The Night the Lights Went Out is the story of two women: Merilee, a divorced mother of two young children, and Sugar, the ninety-three year old woman who rents a cottage on her land to Merilee.
Merilee is recently divorced and has moved to a different area of town so her children are enrolled in a new school – where she is quickly taken under the wing of the queen bee mom. Her new friend will do anything for her in the name of friendship – something Merilee isn’t used to but is grateful. Her life has been in a complete state of upheaval so she’s glad to have a friend.
Sugar comes off as aloof and cranky to most people but Merilee can see through that facade and doesn’t back down when Sugar gives her attitude. The two women form a friendship in spite of themselves. I enjoyed their relationship as it evolved as they discovered how much they had in common. And when things got tough they found they could rely on each other.
The Night the Lights Went Out is a story about love, revenge, and friendship. It’s about realizing who your real friends are and what that means. It made me think about my closest friends and how we would step up for each other – no questions asked. And everyone should be so fortunate to have a Sugar in their life.
Recommended to fans of Karen White and contemporary fiction.
Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty novels, including the Tradd Street series, The Night the Lights Went Out, Flight Patterns, The Sound of Glass, A Long Time Gone, and The Time Between. She is the coauthor of The Forgotton Room with New York Times bestselling authors Beatriz Williams and Lauren Willig. She grew up in London but now lives with her husband and two children near Atlanta, Georgia.
Note: Flight Patterns, Karen White’s 2016 novel is now available in paperback (with a new cover). I linked the title to my review. FLIGHT PATTERNS tells the story of Georgia Chambers, a fine china expert who left her family years before and is forced to return home and repair the relationships she’s carefully avoided. To embrace her own life—mistakes and all—she will have to find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past and the secrets she was forced to keep.
The publisher has made available one copy of FLIGHT PATTERNS to a US reader.
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Giveaway ends on May 3rd, 2017
Description: Georgia Chambers has spent her life sifting through other people’s pasts while trying to forget her own. But then her work as an expert of fine china—especially of Limoges—requires her to return to the one place she swore she’d never revisit…
It’s been thirteen years since Georgia left her family home on the coast of Florida, and nothing much has changed, except that there are fewer oysters and more tourists. She finds solace seeing her grandfather still toiling away in the apiary where she spent much of her childhood, but encountering her estranged mother and sister leaves her rattled.
Seeing them after all this time makes Georgia realize that something has been missing—and unless she finds a way to heal these rifts, she will forever be living vicariously through other people’s remnants. To embrace her own life—mistakes and all—she will have to find the courage to confront the ghosts of her past and the secrets she was forced to keep… (publisher)
My take: Flight Patterns is a novel about a family with secrets, long-held hurts, and an unsolved mystery or two. Two sisters, Georgia and Maisy, have been estranged for over ten years but are brought back together when Georgia is sent by her New Orleans auction gallery to research a china pattern for a man from New York.
I enjoyed all aspects of the Limoges research Georgia did and how it worked into finding her way back home. I also loved the storyline about the beekeeping her grandfather did. Each chapter begins with a short passage from his beekeeping journals and corresponded with what transpired in that chapter.
The setting of Apalachicola, Florida with its humidity and flora and fauna added a lot to the novel. Flight Patterns is full of interesting characters – some quirkier than others, some stranger than others, and some who know just when to impart their quiet wisdom.
Quotes I marked while reading:
“Sometimes all we need to do to forgive our parents is to understand their childhoods.”
“If you want things to change, you have to stop waiting for someone else to make the first move.”
Flight Patterns is a novel about learning to forgive and how that will impact a person’s life. I really liked it.
Publisher’s description: Choose the one guy you can’t have….
As captain of a San Francisco Bay tour boat, Pru can handle rough seas – the hard part is life on dry land. Pru loves her new apartment and her neighbors; problem is, she’s in danger of stumbling into love with Mr. Right for Anybody but Her.
Fall for him – hard…
Pub owner Finn O’Riley is six-foot-plus of hardworking hottie who always makes time for his friends. When Pru becomes one of them, she discovers how amazing it feels to be on the receiving end of that deep green gaze. But when a freak accident involving darts (don’t ask) leads to shirtless first aid, things rush way past the friend zone. Fast.
And then tell him the truth.
Pru only wants Finn to be happy; it’s what she wishes for at the historic fountain that’s supposed to grant her heart’s desire. But wanting him for herself is a different story – because Pru’s been keeping a secret that could change everything….
My take: Sweet Little Lies is book one in the Heartbreaker Bay series by Jill Shalvis. It is set in San Francisco, more specifically an apartment building (a renovated warehouse) with a ground floor pub and a courtyard fountain that just might grant wishes. We’re introduced to several characters who live in the building or frequent the pub so it’s easy to imagine possible future books in the series. This book is about Pru, a tour boat captain, and Finn, owner of the pub.
Pru and Finn strike up an instant friendship that escalates quickly. The reader discovers that Pru has a secret – a big one – and the longer she waits, the harder it will be to tell Finn.
Finn gave up a lot several years ago when he was left to raise his little brother. Now the two of them own the pub but it seems Finn does most of the work. Pru is a welcome distraction for Finn.
I enjoyed the story even though the “big secret” trope is not a favorite. Jill Shalvis used humor and her usual fun dialogue along with a dose of drama to form a good start to her new series. It’s a sweet, sexy (you might want to use ear buds for some scenes) and funny novel. I look forward to the next book in the series.
Karen White did a fine job with the narration. I liked how she voiced each character and I had no trouble determining who was speaking. One particular scene involving a character who experienced possible food-poisoning had me laughing – all thanks to White’s delivery and Shalvis’s words, of course.
Recommended to fans of Jill Shalvis, contemporary romance and Karen White.
About THE FORGOTTEN ROOM:
Set in New York City in alternating time periods, THE FORGOTTEN ROOM is a compelling web of secrets waiting to be untangled. This beautifully wrought story is told from the perspectives of three generations of women—Olive Van Alan (1892), Lucy Young (1920), and Dr. Kate Schuyler (1944)—connected to one extraordinary room in a Gilded Age mansion on Manhattan’s 69th Street.
As the stunning connections between the women unfold, readers will race through the pages to discover the threads that tie them together. Why does the woman in Captain Ravenel’s portrait miniature from the 1890s look so much like Kate? And why is she wearing the ruby pendant handed down to Kate by her mother? In her search for answers, Kate finds herself drawn into the turbulent stories of Gilded Age Olive Van Alan, driven from riches to rags, working as a servant in the very house her father designed; and Jazz Age Lucy Young, who came from Brooklyn to Manhattan in pursuit of the father she never knew.
About the Authors:
Karen White is the New York Times bestselling author of The Sound of Glass, A Long Time Gone, and The Time Between, among other novels.
Beatriz Williams is the New York Times bestselling author of The Secret Life of Violet Grant, A Hundred Summers, and Overseas.
Lauren Willig is the New York Times bestselling author of The Lure of the Moonflower, That Summer, and The Other Daughter, among other novels.
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This view is on my neighborhood walk – it was quite foggy a couple of days last week
Read on the treadmill:
Description: Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it’s the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there’s an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . .
The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance . . . (publisher)
My take: In her new series Jill Shalvis introduces the Kincaid family of siblings. Second Chance Summer focuses on Aidan and his chance at reconnecting with Lily Danville – a girl from his past.
Lily is back in town and working at a local hair salon while waiting for a better job opportunity (preferably out-of-town). She left Cedar Ridge with heartbreak several years ago and wants to keep a low profile for the short time she expects to be in town. Not possible in a small Colorado mountain town. She runs into the one guy she wanted to avoid – Aidan. He has his own issues not the least being that he feels completely responsible for his family (mother and siblings). And now he hopes for a second chance with Lily.
I’ve come to expect humor, drama and, of course, romance in a Jill Shalvis novel and they are present throughout Second Chance Summer culminating in an exciting last chapter and enjoyable epilogue.
As always, Karen White’s narration is perfect for this genre and especially books by Jill Shalvis.