Tag Archives: contemporary fiction

Jane of Austin by Hilary Manton Lodge

Publication Date: June 13, 2017

Bethany House Publishers

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Waterbrook Multnomah



“It’s good to have dreams. But sometimes dreams change, or take different forms, or you go down a path and realize that while it’s not the beach, you really like the forest.”


 A delightful read for the summer! This unique variation of Sense and Sensibility set in modern day Austin, Texas is a fun, light read. The lives of three sisters, Celia, Jane, and Margo, takes another intriguing turn when necessity forces a change of residence from their native San Francisco to Austin. The city of Austin, lights years different in terms of culture and lifestyle, offers the girls an opportunity for a new start.

Join this intriguing trio of sisters as they set out for Austin and try to move their tea business, plants and all, along with them. The older two, Celia and Jane, each have their own love issues with which to contend, in addition to raising their teenage sister. The girls have character, charisma, and charm.

The book is a poignant story full of family, romance, and the meaning of sisters. If you’ve read Sense and Sensibility, you’ll see the similarities. As a bonus, some wonderful recipes for the amazing baked goods discussed in the story are sprinkled throughout the book. Don’t miss this fun summer read!

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


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Filed under Book Reviews, Clean, Contemporary, Contemporary, Realistic Fiction, Romance

Leave Me by Gayle Forman



Publication Date: Sept 2016

Algonquin Books

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Algonquin Books




Excerpt from back cover: For every woman who has ever fantasized about driving right past her exit on the highway instead of going home to make dinner, for every woman who has ever dreamed of boarding a train to a place where no one needs constant attention—meet Maribeth Klein. A harried working mother who’s so busy taking care of her husband and twins, she doesn’t even realize she’s had a heart attack.

How does a woman of forty-four get so wrapped up in life that she doesn’t even realize she has had a heart attack? When a woman is chasing twin four year olds, editing a high profile magazine, and trying to accommodate a needy husband, it is easy to simply get bogged down in the details. Personal time and a personal life seize to exist. Maribeth Klein does not even realize she has had a heart attack. She fails to acknowledge the symptoms for a couple of days as she continues running on the hamster wheel of her life.

After a hospital stay that is entirely too short, Maribeth comes home to the twins, still needy husband, and a mother that has given up cooking and doing anything stressful in life.  While trying to recover from emergency bypass surgery, Maribeth finds that she gets nominal help and little sympathy from the people from whom she needs it the most.

Minimal rest and a multitude of stress cause Maribeth to walk away from the kids, the husband, and the job. Underlying Maribeth’s stress is a hidden layer of questions contributing to her inability to heal both mentally and physically. By leaving the life she knows behind, Maribeth goes in search of answers and peace and quiet in which to heal.

The story takes some interesting twists as layers are exposed and situations arise that require difficult choices. I enjoyed the story and the characters. An appealing read! Not a light story, but a book to make you think!

This ARC copy was received from Algonquin Books and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

Gayle Forman Website

Gayle Forman on Goodreads.com




Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary

All the Winters After by Seré Prince Halverson

Halverson, Sere Prince  All the Winters AfterPublication Date: February 2016

Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark

ARC Copy from Sourcebooks Landmark


All the Winters After is a truly compelling novel that begins chapter one in 2005; however, the real beginning of the story is two decades earlier in Caboose, Alaska. The title of the book left me wondering right away “All the winters after what?”.  As the reader delves in to the book, they will still be wondering whether the title applies to the beginning of the story or the end.

The book centers around Kache Winkel, a thirty-eight year old man originally from Alaska who struggles to free himself from his past; Nadia, a young woman in her late twenties who has hidden away from the world for the past ten years; Snag, Kache’s aunt who has spent her life hiding secrets of her own; and Lettie, Kache’s grandmother who homesteaded and built the cabin owned by Kache and inhabited by Nadia. Their stories are intertwined and weave a fascinating tale as they come together and try to find ways to live in the present while dealing with the past.

The personality of each character is complex and varied. They are all hiding secrets from each other and gradually the layers are peeled away as the tale unfolds. The characters are very dynamic, changing and growing as the novel progresses. The depth and emotions in the writing are very compelling. I did not want to put this book down.

The setting of Caboose, Alaska is based on the real Alaskan city of Homer, which if you have been to Alaska you will surely recognize. I had the pleasure of visiting Homer this summer and easily recognize the Spit and a few other local scenes. The author did an excellent job of detail on the area.

The clues, the suspense, and the secrets keep the reader completely engaged. A fascinating book! Outstanding novel for readers of contemporary fiction!

This ARC copy was received from Sourcebooks Landmark, an imprint of Sourcebooks, Inc. in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.




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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense