Category Archives: Contemporary

Of Literature and Lattes by Katherine Reay

Publication Date: 12 May 2020

Thomas Nelson Publishers

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Thomas Nelson

Rating: 3.5 out 5

 

“She’d read it somewhere—something about the fact that after taking a wrong turn, traveling further down the road doesn’t get you any closer to your destination. You have to go back in order to go on.”

–Alyssa

 Welcome to Winsome, the quaint little town north of Chicago where we first visited The Printed Letter Bookshop in Katherine Reay’s last novel. Step into Andante, the town’s newly upgraded coffee shop with its chic décor and excellent coffee. Jeremy Miller and his partner, Ryan, are the new business owners in town trying to figure their way around town. Meet Alyssa Harrison, daughter of Janet Harrison, one of the owners of The Printed Letter Bookshop.

Alyssa and Janet’s stormy and volatile relationship intensifies as Alyssa’s move back to town brings a great deal of emotional family drama into their life. Peeling away the layers of the past is the only way forward for these two women. Alyssa comes across as a spoiled, unlikable character through a great deal of the story as she struggles with her life choices. Only as she comes to term with owning her issues does she become a person with whom I could empathize.

As Jeremy struggles to understand life and business in a small town, he undergoes a great deal of emotional turmoil and joy in building a relationship with his young daughter. Jeremy and Alyssa cross paths and find common ground as the new people in town each struggling with their own problems.

The story has a great deal of emotional depth and angst. Once again community, family, friendship and love rule the story. Readers of women’s fiction and coffee lovers will be entertained by this book!

This copy was received from Thomas Nelson.  The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#OfLiteratureAndLattes #NetGalley

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The Water Keeper by Charles Martin

Publication Date: 5 May 2020

ARC from Netgalley and Thomas Nelson

Rating: 5 out of 5

 

“Love does that. It erases pain. The darkness. The stuff that wants to hold our head under the water. Love reminds us who we are and who we were always meant to be. And there never has been nor ever will be anything that can kill it.”

                                                                                              —Murph Shepard

Journey deep into the intracoastal waters of Florida and a dark, shadowy world filled with evil in this captivating tale that explores the international world of human trafficking. In spite of the evil and darkness in this multi-layered story, grace, mercy, forgiveness, and love play a prominent role as well.

Murphy Shepard is a blend of Good Samaritan, Rambo, and Charles Martin. A retired priest who lives reclusively on a semi-deserted island crosses paths with a beautiful young girl who doesn’t realize the danger in which she placed herself. As Murphy finds himself drawn into a time sensitive search for the girl, he acquires a disparate crew of assistants that he encounters one-by-one along the way. Each unique person has a story and a purpose.

Emotional, heartbreaking at times, and memorable, this story will stay with you long after that last page turns. Charles Martin continues to refine his extraordinary storytelling skills with each new book. Don’t miss this one! Stunning read!

This ARC copy was received from Thomas Nelson and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

5/5

#TheWaterKeeper #Tnzfiction #NetGalley

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When I Meet You by Olivia Newport

Publication Date: 01 May 2020

Series:  Tree of Life

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

ARC from Shiloh Run Press and Netgalley

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

Once again Olivia Newport weaves a unique dual time line story that intertwines the past with the present in the scenic town of Canyon Mines, Colorado.  Working her magic once again with genealogy and research is Jillian Parisi-Duffy and her attorney father, Nolan. The opening of a mysterious, antique trunk complete with all its contents begins the fascinating historical story filled with cross country train rides, bank fraud, Pinkerton agents, and a multitude of other fascinating adventures in the year 1909.

The usual cast of characters living in Canyon Mines from the previous novels is alive and well and contributing to the central story. Adding interest to the story is a handsome young man named Drew Lawson who happens to have ties back to the mysterious trunk. As Jillian finds herself drawn to Drew, she finds herself pulled in another direction with her own family issues which blurs the lines for her between professional and personal behavior.

The flow between the past and the present stories is smooth and consistent. The theme that resonates through the book for me was how the past reflects on the present. I thoroughly enjoyed this novel. Readers of contemporary and historical fiction alike will enjoy this book. The book can be read as a standalone.

This ARC copy was received from Shiloh Run Press and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#WhenIMeetYou  #NetGalley

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The Moonglow Sisters by Lori Wilde

Publication Date: March 3, 2020

William Morrow

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and William Morrow

Genre: Contemporary Romance, Secular

Rated: 5/5

“Forgive one another. Love one another. That is the lesson of the quilt. ”

                                             -Grammy (Helen Chapman)

 Vivid characters, powerful sister chemistry, and a mystical town named Moonglow Cove weave a spell that will draw you in as you get to know the Chapman sisters. Join this intriguing trio of sisters as they work their way through a difficult summer filled with forgiveness, healing, and second chances. Lori Wilde’s latest book is a story in which to immerse yourself.

Meet Madison, the eldest and a high power television celebrity; Shelley, the middle child and more adventuresome of the trio; and Gia, the youngest and most easygoing of the three. Their grandmother, Helen, raised the girls and continues to run the family inn even as she struggles with changes in her life. When a health crisis brings the girls back to Moonglow, their sisterly split of five years requires work on all of their parts to do the best thing for Grammy and themselves.

A delightful spring read to get you thinking about summer! As each sister works her way through the summer dealing with her own personal issues, each finds new possibilities for the future. The ending is perfect. A delightful contemporary romance!

This copy was received from William Morrow in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#MoonglowSisters #NetGalley

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The Solid Grounds Coffee Company by Carla Laureano

Series: Supper Club Series, Book Three

Publication Date: 04 February 2020

Publisher: Tyndale House

ARC copy from NetGalley and Tyndale House

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

 

Coffee, friendship, and romance blend to create a delectable read. Carla Laureano takes us back to Denver and the trio of young women who are the best of friends; Ana, Rachel, and Melody. This third and final novel in the series wraps up their story quite neatly, centering on Ana Sanchez, the high powered executive of the group.

Bryan Shaw, the bad boy climber and close friend of Rachel’s fiancé, is back in town. Desperate to turn his life around, Bryan purchased a coffee farm in Columbia and plans to start a roasting business in Denver. With coffee beans on the way, a plan to buy a used roaster, and a fair amount of knowledge on roasting, he begins to try and put together a plan. Ana, marketing executive genius, unexpectedly finds time on her hands and pitches in to help Bryan achieve a chance at success. Can these two very different people work together to come up with a viable plan?

This book is a delightful story filled with witty dialogue, heartfelt moments of friendship, and second chances. Don’t miss this great read. This book works well as a standalone.

 This ARC copy was received from Tyndale House and the author.  The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own

#NetGalley #TheSolidGroundsCoffeeCompany

 

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You Were There Too by Colleen Oakley

Publication Date:  7 January 2020

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Berkley

Secular Fiction

Rating: 4 out of 5

 

This emotional, unpredictable story requires the reader to suspend disbelief for a while as it delves into the world of dreams and premonitions. Delving in to the world of dream interpretation, shared dreams, and the metaphysical, the novel explores the shared world of Mia, a young woman suffering from multiple miscarriages and some mental instability and Oliver, a free-spirited soul who works on organic farms around the world. Mia’s everyday life at home with her husband, Dr. Harrison Graydon, changes significantly after their recent move from the city to a much smaller town. As she struggles to adjust to the changes and the miscarriages, she fails to see the reality of her husband’s struggles as well.

The tale takes some complex turns at times and keeps the reader guessing as to where these compound paths will lead. Read this interesting book to find out the how and why of Mia and Oliver’s shared dreams and the shattering aftermath when their premonitions begin to unfold. Share their dark dreams and enticing dreams as they work through this strange phenomenon. I thoroughly enjoyed the book. This is my first novel by Colleen Oakley and definitely will not be my last.

This ARC copy was received from Berkley and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#YouWereThereToo  #NetGalley

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In the Cradle Lies by Olivia Newport

Series:  The Tree of Life, book 2

Publication Date: 01 November 2019

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

ARC from Shiloh Run Press and Netgalley

 

The second book in the series The Tree of Life brings Jillian Parisi-Duffy and her father, Nolan, a new friend that will challenge their genealogy and legal skills once again. Jillian, a professional genealogist, and her father, the attorney, utilize their skills to help their new found friend, Tucker Kintzler, resolve some very personal and perplexing issues he is undergoing. Set once again in Canyon Mines, Colorado, the story introduces a dual storyline from the mid-1930’s incorporating Tucker’s family history.

This second novel definitely held my attention with the introduction of the second storyline. A captivating story that gets peeled back layer by layer as it unfolds with the exploration of Tucker’s family history.  Once again I enjoyed the secondary story much more than I did the actual main storyline. The secondary story works through a family mystery of locked doors, walled off rooms, and old family secrets.

The book brings back all the eccentric characters we met in the first story and gives them a bit more depth and growth in this novel. Enclosed in the pages is a bit of mystery, greed, romance, and of course, genealogy.  An enjoyable read with a great winter setting!

This ARC copy was received from Shiloh Run Press and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

4 out of 5

#InTheCradleLies  #NetGalley

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