A Summer Reunion by Kasey Michaels, Sarah Mayberry, Teresa Southwick

Title:  A Summer Reunion: All Our Yesterdays/All Our Todays/All Our Tomorrows

Authors:  Kasey Michaels, Sarah Mayberry, Teresa Southwick

Genre:  Contemporary Romance Anthology

My summary:  Just over fifty years ago a couple went out to celebrate their tenth anniversary but never made it home. A truck broadsided their car killing them and leaving their three small children orphans. Peggy, Tory and Stephen were adopted separately but now, so many years later, two of the siblings have found each other again and plan a family reunion and 60th birthday party for Peggy. The party will be at Peggy’s Cape May beachfront house. Peggy is recovering from a broken foot and has a more serious health condition so this party means a lot to her.

The first story in the anthology is about the second child. Tory, a successful graphic artist/author, raised a daughter on her own who is now married and the mother of three. Tory’s daughter was curious about her father’s identity and found him through searching the internet. Tory wasn’t sure this was a good thing. After all, she’d never told him he had a daughter, much less three grandchildren. What will happen when they meet again three decades after Tory left Sam without a word.

In the second story the family discovers that Stephen died a few years earlier in a tragic accident in Australia. Stephen was a mentor to Adam and left his construction company in Adam’s capable hands. When contacted by Stephen’s sisters Adam agreed to come to the party. He planned to share photos and memories of their brother but he didn’t plan to meet Peggy’s daughter. They live on different continents so getting involved is out of the question. Or is it?

The third story is about Peggy’s son David. A serious and  buttoned-down lawyer, he has carried the guilt of a friend’s accident since they were teenagers. Kinsie is Peggy’s physical therapist and a family friend. She’s always had a crush on David but was afraid to let him know. Circumstances put them together in preparation for the big party – will she get him to loosen up and take some chances, will he get her to feel secure enough to admit her feelings?

My thoughts:  I haven’t had much luck with the few anthologies I’ve read but I was intrigued when I read about A Summer Reunion. I’m glad I gave it a try because I really enjoyed the characters, the plot, and the setting. It’s the first I’ve read by the three authors and I’ll look for more of their books.

I liked the way each short story is connected and then tied together in a satisfying epilogue. I think fans of Contemporary Romance will enjoy A Summer Reunion. It’s a heart-warming anthology and perfect for a day at the beach.

Source:  Harlequin via NetGalley

All I Ever Wanted by Kristan Higgins

All I Ever Wanted (Hqn) by Kristan Higgins

Calliope Grey just wants everyone to be happy.  And to like her – because why wouldn’t everyone like her?  Ever since her parents’ messy divorce when she was only eight years old Callie has tried to make everything and everyone ok.  Where has that gotten her?  It’s her 30th birthday and probably the most unhappy day of her life.  She finds herself without a boyfriend,  living with her grandfather, trying to keep the peace with her crazy family, and wondering if she’ll ever find her happily-ever-after.

As usual, Kristan Higgins had me laughing out loud through much of the novel. There was also a scene that had me reaching for a tissue.  Her main character has a big heart and only wants to share it with someone who’ll love her back as much.

Callie’s quirky co-workers add a comedic tone as well as some drama to the story. There’s a rocking chair on the cover for a reason.  It symbolizes what true happiness could mean in her life.  The enjoyment of this book is finding out if and how Callie finds what she’s looking for.

I recommend  All I Ever Wanted to fans of Contemporary Romance.

Review copy from Julie Harabedian at FSB Associates

Show Me 5 Saturday – Shut Up And Kiss Me by Christie Craig

1 Book title: Shut Up and Kiss Me by Christie Craig

2 Words that describe the book: Romance/Suspense

3 Settings or characters:
*  Shala Winters, hired to make Precious, TX (pop. 893)  a tourist destination
*  Sky Gomez, police chief of Precious, needs to find out who’s trying to kill Shala Winters
*  Jose Darkwater, foster brother to Sky.  He left Precious years ago for NYC .  When he returns to see his injured father nothing goes right

4 Things I liked/disliked about the book:
I liked the quirky minor characters
I enjoyed  Christie Craig’s humor, had me laughing out loud a lot.
I think Jose needs his own book, it would be hilarious (if this book is any indication)
I liked the small-town aspect – where everyone knows everyone.  That usually makes things interesting.

5 Stars or less: 4/5


Back of the book:



Shut Up and Kiss MePhotojournalist Shala Winters already had her hands full bringing tourism to this backward, podunk town, but her job just got tougher.  Pictures can say a thousand words, and one of Shala’s is screaming bloody murder.  Now she has to entrust a macho, infuriating lawman with her life – but she’ll never trust him with her heart.
Trusted or not, Sky Gomez isn’t about to let a killer get his hands on Shala’s Nikon – or any of her more comely assets, for that matter.  Her mouth might move faster than a Piney Woods roadrunner, but all he can think about is how good it must taste…and how she’ll never escape true love.

Show Me 5 Saturday – Can’t Stand The Heat by Louisa Edwards

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now hosted by Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here


1. Book title:
Can’t Stand The Heat by Louisa Edwards

2. Words that describe the book:
Contemporary; Romance

3. Settings or characters:
Miranda Wake – a food critic known for her ‘take no prisoners’ reviews
Adam Temple – talented chef and owner of a new restaurant
Market (Adam’s restaurant)

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book:
I liked the descriptions of the restaurant kitchen. Louisa Edwards’ detailed narrative makes me think she has worked in a restaurant.
I liked all of the supporting characters
I liked Adam – a good character
I couldn’t warm up to Miranda – she was annoying most of the time

5. Stars or less: 3.5 – 4 stars

Can't Stand The Heat

Goodreads: For sharp-tongued food critic Miranda Wake, the chance to spend a month in Adam Temple’s kitchen to write an exposé is a journalistic dream come true. Surely Miranda can find a way to cut the hotshot chef down to size once she learns what really goes on at his trendy Manhattan restaurant. But she never expected Adam to find out her most embarrassing secret: she has no idea how to cook.

Adam’s not about to have his reputation burned by a critic who doesn’t even know the difference between poaching and paring. He’ll just have to give the tempting redhead a few private lessons of his own—teaching her what it means to cook with passion…

How To Knit A Love Song by Rachael Herron

How to Knit a Love Song by Rachael Herron: Book Cover

Back of the review copy:
When Abigail inherits a cottage from her beloved mentor, knitting guru Eliza Carpenter, it’s the perfect chance for a new start, a safe haven. She’s ready to leave the city for the country, ready to trade in her worn-out designer heels for brand-new cowboy boots. But Abigail doesn’t bargain on the wrath of a gorgeous rancher: Eliza’s nephew.
Cade inherited the rest of the ranch Abigail’s new cottage is on. He isn’t happy with the loss of what he thought would be his, and is even less pleased that she’s going to turn it into a knitting shop. While Cade struggles to accept this change in plan, and as Abigail fights a terror she thought she left behind, they both find themselves battling an undeniable attraction for the other. But as the knitter and the rancher fall in love, they’ll need more than infatuation: From seeds of doubt and suspicion, can trust ever bloom?

* * * * * * *

I’m fairly new to knitting so I don’t possess the expertise needed to knit much more than a scarf but I love to read about knitting. How To Knit A Love Song is a romance about Abigail Durant, an accomplished knitter, and Cade MacArthur who owns a sheep ranch. She inherits a cottage (from her mentor Eliza) that happens to be in the middle of the sheep ranch run by the handsome Cade (nephew of Eliza). It’s the set-up of all set-ups and you can almost hear Eliza laughing as Cade and Abigail begin to realize what she did.

The two are very confident and headstrong characters which makes for a lot of tension throughout the novel. Will Cade ever come to terms with a knitting store on his ranch? Will Abigail be able to leave her past behind and feel safe in her new surroundings? There is a lot more to the novel but you’ll want to read it to find out.

Rachael Herron’s novel has drama, romance, humor and a great setting. It’s about new starts, learning to trust, and taking a chance on love. I enjoyed it and look forward to the next book in the Cypress Hollow series.

Rachael Herron will be the featured author on Book Club Girl’s show (on Blog Talk Radio) – Wednesday, March 17 – 7pm Eastern. You can click here to listen.

Review copy from Avon A

Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani


Brava, Valentine by Adriana Trigiani: Book Cover


Brava, Valentine begins on a day filled with happiness in Tuscany. The sparkling snow that falls reflects the spirit of the Roncalli/Angelini family. Their beloved matriarch Teodora is marrying Dominic Vechiarelli. The octogenarians kept their relationship a secret for many years but finally decided to marry. Adriana Trigiani had me laughing at the family antics as they prepare for the wedding. Dominic’s son is at the wedding. Gianluca Vechiarelli made quite an impression on Valentine on her last trip to Italy (Very Valentine). She definitely feels something for him when she sees him at the church but things don’t go as she would hope. From the reception on, surprises seem to come at her full force. Life is changing.

Teodora will live with her new husband in Italy while Valentine takes the reins at the Angelini Shoe Company back in Greenwich Village. There are challenges to be faced: a new business partner; a long-time employee who hints at retiring; the need for a business loan to launch a new shoe line; a possible new branch on the family tree to check out; and a long-distance romance. Valentine is full of energy and up to the challenges at work but something is missing in her life. Gianluca (17 years her senior) is very interested in her as she is in him yet how can they make it work? He is in Italy and she is across the Atlantic. He sends romantic letters that get her attention but can she possibly be the woman he seems to idolize?

Trigiani takes the reader to Italy, New York, and Buenos Aires. I loved the descriptions of the different locations. It was also fun to read about Valentine’s friend and new roomie Gabriel as he redecorated the living space above the shoe company. The rooftop garden never looked so good! I also enjoyed the descriptions of shoe design and manufacturing.

This is a very romantic book – I loved it. I can’t wait for the next book in this wonderful series.

Brava, Adriana Trigiani.


Review copy from HarperCollins

 

Show Me 5 Saturday – All That You Are


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now hosted by Jenners at Find Your Next Book Here


1. Book title: All That You Are by Stef Ann Holm

2. Words that describe the book: Contemporary Romance

3. Settings or characters: Alaska, Boise, The Blue Note jazz club/bar

4. Things I liked/disliked about the book: I liked the descriptions of the various locations; I liked the main characters; I wished for more character depth – there were a lot of details about construction and code violations but I wanted to know more about the characters (who spent a lot of time trying to avoid each other); I wished for more story – it seemed to wrap up too quickly.

5. Stars or less: 2.5/5 . This is the last book in a series. I enjoyed the two previous books.


All That You Are
Single mom Danalee Jackson owns the Blue Note—an Alaskan bar offering nightly jazz and a cocktail of regulars who have an opinion about everything. Between dealing with her son’s dad, a failing float-plane business and her bar’s code violations, Dana has no time for romance.

Mark Moretti is burned-out after finishing his father’s legacy project, the multimillion-dollar Grove Marketplace in downtown Boise. He’s ready for a break from the family construction business—maybe for good. And a summerlong fishing trip looks like just the ticket.

When a canceled flight leaves Mark stranded in Ketchikan, he finds himself at the Blue Note. One look at the exotically beautiful Dana and he decides to stay in town. But her fierce independence not only could jeopardize Mark’s help with renovations—it could also bring their mutual attraction to a screeching halt. (Goodreads synopsis)