Category Archives: Contemporary

The Oysterville Sewing Circle by Susan Wiggs

Publication Date: 13 August 2019

Publisher: William Morrow

ARC copy from William Morrow and Netgalley.com

 

 

 

The Oysterville Sewing Circle is a story with depth and emotion that depicts the quote “life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans” perfectly.  Caroline Shelby, a young up and coming New York fashion designer, wakes up one day to find herself with a destroyed career and her best friend’s two children whom she unexpectedly has to raise. With few options left, Caroline heads for home in Oysterville, Washington, a small town perched on the edge of the ocean.

Caroline is not a quitter. With inspiration and drive she begins to put her life back together with the help of family and friends. Not only does she begin to rebuild her new life, she reaches out to help other women who have been victims of harassment, abuse, and violence. Part of the rebuilding process involves dealing with Will Jensen, a close friend from her younger years. Complex and problematical, they work to find what the future will hold for them.

 This novel depicts the themes of courage, survival, and trust. The story also highlights the bonds women build when they stand up and support each other during difficult times, as well as the strength of familial bonds.  The characters are real and dynamic. The book is an excellent read and one of the better books I have read this summer. Don’t miss it!

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

#TheOystervilleSewingCircle  #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction

The Book Charmer by Karen Hawkins

Series: Dove Pond, #1Preview (opens in a new tab)

Publication Date: 30 Jul 2019

Publisher: Gallery Books

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Gallery Books

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“Life is made up on moments, good and bad. But while you don’t get to pick all the moments, you do get to pick which ones you cling to.”

–Mama G.

 The Book Charmer must be embraced with light-heartedness and a suspension of reality. The story weaves its magic through the pages of everyday life in Dove Pond, N.C. Sarah Dove, the town librarian, has a gift for hearing books when they talk to her. While many of us feel like our books talk to us through themes and messages, Sarah’s books talk to her.

When Grace Wheeler rolls into town with her niece, Daisy, and her beloved Mama G, Sarah feels certain life is about to change for the entire town. Grace, a strong but emotionally wounded young woman, takes on the task of raising her grieving niece and caring for her much-loved foster mother who is fading away with the onset of Alzheimer’s. As if Grace doesn’t have enough on her plate, Travis Parker, a wild looking, motorcycle riding veteran lives right next door and unsettles her life in a multitude of other ways and Sarah gives her books that she doesn’t really want.

As Sarah and Grace navigate the path to friendship, they each learn some valuable lessons. Grace learns that being independent and successful deals with much more than careers and finances. She learns the true value of family, friends, and community in this heartwarming tale. The quirky secondary characters in the book further enrich the novel making it a fun and enticing read for the summer.

I thoroughly enjoyed this delightful story. Readers of Sarah Allen Addison will absolutely love this book! I personally can’t wait for book two of the series to be published.

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

#TheBookCharmer  #NetGalley  #GalleryBooks

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Romance

Window on the Bay by Debbie Macomber

Publication Date: July 2019

Ballantine Books

ARC from Ballantine Books and Netgalley.com

Excerpt:  “No matter what the weather, my window on the bay never failed to soothe me.”

 

When best friends and single moms, Jenna, an emergency room nurse, and Maureen, a librarian, find themselves with empty nests, the reality of a trip to Paris finally seems like it is on the horizon. As they plot and plan for their trip, life interferes in the most unexpected ways. As the women work their way through the unforeseen events, they each meet a man along the way.

The novel tells the story in alternating chapters of each woman’s struggle with her challenges and the men they meet. Jenna, who has sworn off doctors as a result of her ex-husband, meets a kind, decent man who happens to be a surgeon, and Maureen, a quiet and rather staid librarian at the local library, becomes acquainted with a good looking construction worker who is a bit rough around the edges but has a definite interest in books and life.  Have the two women finally met compatible men after all these years? Can they juggle elderly parents, grown children, and new relationships?

The story is pretty predictable and a bit slow in places. The book makes a nice, easy paced read for those who enjoy a clean story without a lot of excess drama.

This copy was received from Ballantine Books and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

 #NetGalley #WindowOnTheBay

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The Inn at Hidden Run by Olivia Newport

Publication Date: 01 May 2019

Publisher: Shiloh Run Press

ARC from Shiloh Run Press and Netgalley

 

The author uses a unique premise in this first book of a series called the Tree of Life. She incorporates genealogy as a means of introducing a second timeline to the novel. The time shifts between current day in Canyon Mines, Colorado and the year 1878 in Memphis.  The connection is not initially clear as to how the two storylines will blend and it created a bit of a disconnect for me when reading, particularly early in the story.

The characters in the novel are a bit on the interesting and quirky side, and they seem to add personality to the story. Nolan Duffy, an attorney and professional mediator, lives in Canyon Mines with his daughter the genealogist, Jillian Parisi-Duffy. A great deal of the story centers around Meri Davies, a young college graduate who wanders in to town and accepts a job at Jillian’s friend, Nia’s bed and breakfast. Jillian, Nolan, and Nia take on Meri and her life and personal troubles as their next project to solve. Jillian utilizes her best genealogical skills to uncover Meri’s family tree and in doing so hopes to answer some of the girl’s unresolved issues.

The historical portion of the novel is based on actual historic notes, and real historic characters are incorporated in to the storyline. I actually enjoyed the historic portion much more than I did the contemporary part of the story The central themes in the book dwell on independence, forgiveness, and family. Readers of contemporary and historical fiction may enjoy this book.

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

#TheInnAtHiddenRun  #NetGalley  #amreviewing  #amreading

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Clean, Contemporary, Historical Fiction

Sweet On You by Becky Wade

Series: A Bradford Sisters Romance, #3

Publication Date: April 30, 2019

Bethany House Publishers

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Bethany House Publishers

 

“Loving her was his greatest blessing. But it was also his greatest curse…”

                                                         -thoughts from Zander Ford

Two of the three Bradford sisters are now married and residing close to home. This third book centers on Britt, the youngest of the three sisters. Her life revolves around her chocolate shop, Sweet Art and Britt is all about chocolate. Up until a year and half ago, Zander Ford had been her most reliable and best friend in the world. However, becoming a bestselling author changed Zander’s life and he departed to broaden his horizon and give himself some space.

When an unexpected death in the family brings Zander home early, he finds that he cannot go back to his old way of life with Britt. As the two struggle with their own personal concerns, can they find their way back to what they had or move forward to a different life? As they explore their options, Britt and Zander work to solve a unexpected mystery that comes to light while balancing family and relationship issues.

I enjoyed the characters very much because they are all so familiar from the previous novels in the series.  A very good contemporary read filled with drama, romance, mystery and faith!

This copy was received from Bethany House Publishers and Netgalley. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#SweetOnYou #Netgalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Contemporary, Romance

Release Day!! Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

Whose Waves These Are by Amanda Dykes

Publication Date: 30 April 2019

Publisher: Bethany House Publishers

“A thing redeemed from a place of brokenness is a humbling honor. And priceless.”
                                                                             –Annie

What a story Amanda Dykes has chosen to tell for her debut novel! Love, loss, fear, forgiveness, redemption and healing are woven together in a beautiful, emotionally charged story that is actually many stories woven together into one multi-layered tale.

Set in the small town of Ansel-By-The-Sea, Maine in 1944, this time shifting story begins here with the Bliss brothers, Robert and Roy and their best friend, Jenny. The shift from past to present is seamless as Annie Bliss tries to uncover the mysteries that lay buried in her family relationships and those of the small town. Community and family play a significant role in Annie’s unraveling of the story of the Bliss brothers and the mysterious rocks.

What started out as a simple story set by the sea draws us deep into its pages and becomes an intriguing book you will not want to miss! Readers of contemporary and historical fiction will enjoy this book. Read the story to uncover the story of the Bliss brothers, Annie, and the mysterious rocks.

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

#WhoseWavesTheseAre   #NetGalley

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Contemporary, Historical Fiction

The Memory House by Rachel Hauck

Publication Date: 02 April 2019

Publisher: Thomas Nelson and NetGalley

“Take a chance Be surprised See what life, even God, might have in store for you. Try a little faith.”
                                                          –Hogan’s advice to Beck

 

Beck Holiday, a tough New York cop, really isn’t interested in being surprised.  She lost her faith and a good deal of her memory somewhere along the way since 9/11 and the tragedy of losing a loved one. Her life strangely parallels that of Everleigh Applegate, an older woman from Florida who lived through her own share of tragedy and grief during the 1950’s. As their lives intertwine over a house located at 7 Memory Lane, each woman must deal with love and loss and all the difficulties they bring with them.

This beautiful dual timeline story narrates back and forth with each woman’s story from her unique perspective. Each woman has a journey on the road of life to find love, to offer and accept forgiveness, and to learn that family is “whoever fits into your heart.” Both women find love in unexpected places when they least expect it.

The story is complex in some ways and very compelling. I did not want to put it down once I started the book. Read this captivating story of two women both searching for their identities and happiness in their lives.

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

#TheMemoryHouse #NetGalley #RachelHauck

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Filed under Book Reviews, christian fiction, Contemporary