Tag Archives: contemporary fiction

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 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

The Secret of Clouds by Alyson Richman

Publication Date: 19 Feb 2019

Publisher: Berkley Publishing Group

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and Berkley Publishing Group/Random House

“The thing about my job, Bill…it forces you to change the way you see things. And with a student like Yuri … I see life differently because of him, and that’s a good thing.”

                                                –Maggie Topper, teacher

This emotional story goes straight to the heart of why teachers teach and what they take away from the classroom and their students at the end of the day. Set in fall of 1999, Maggie Topper, a second year sixth grade language arts teacher, takes on an extra duty teaching assignment for Yuri, a young boy in need of tutoring outside of the traditional classroom. Unsure of herself with the new assignment, Maggie begins her journey with Yuri, who actually loves learning and hungers for companionship. Maggie works to bring both to this young boy by combining his love of baseball with education.

The story also follows Maggie’s personal life as she learns from her student and grows and expands her own life. The book touches on many important themes; a parent’s love for their child, a teacher’s dedication and growth, and a child’s recognition of his own truth and reality. Heartbreaking, endearing, and at the same time motivating, read this beautiful story of how one individual can change a person’s life. A terrific contemporary read with depth and complexity!

This ARC copy was received from Berkley Publishing Group/Random House and Netgalley.com. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own. 

#TheSecretOfClouds #NetGalley #BerkleyPub  #RandomHouse

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Clean, Contemporary, Contemporary

Feared by Lisa Scottoline

Series: Rosato & DiNunzio Series, book 6

Publication Date: August 14, 2018

ARC copy from Netgalley.com and St. Martin’s Press

 

Book six in the Rosato and DiNunzio series finds Mary DiNunzio and her partner, Benny Rosato, being sued for reverse discrimination by a group of three unfamiliar men. As Mary digs deeper into the case, Nick Machiavelli’s name begins to appear in the background.

The case gets complex quickly when Rosato and DiNunzio’s lone male employee turns up dead. To complicate matters, Judy, the quieter partner of the firm, has been secretly dating him. The twists and turns begin.

The South Philly gang is all back to help Mary and Benny out particularly now that Mary is about to give birth.  An interesting read–fast paced and filled with suspense, mystery, and drama! Perfect summer read!

This ARC copy was received from St. Martin’s Press and Netgalley.com in exchange for an honest review. The above thoughts and opinions are wholly my own.

#Feared #NetGalley

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary, Mystery/Suspense

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.”

-Jane

 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

foreman-gayle-leave-me

 

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

 

 

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Filed under Book Reviews, Contemporary