Thursday, August 27, 2015

You are Invited to Sit Down and Relax to a Grand Read!



It would not be Beach Read season if I did not include an Elin Hilderbrand novel.  Recently this story was published by St. Martin’s Press in a novel titled One Summer.  For the purposes of this review and at the author’s request I will be reviewing the Love Season separately from the other story in the novel.

Synopsis: 

Renata has asked to see her Godmother Marguerite who she has not seen in fourteen years since the death of her mother Candace.  Marguerite suggests dinner and since she is a chef and ran one of the grandest restaurants on Nantucket the meal must be perfect.  Renata is on the island visiting with her fiancĂ© of Cade Montgomery.  When he leaves her to go sailing with his ailing father what will she do with her time?  How does afternoon impact her evening planned with Marguerite?  What choice will Renata make those impacts everyone?

My Thoughts: 

The Love Season is an earlier novel of Elin’s but still great for the beach season.  I love how she mixes the history of Marguerite, Porter, and Candace’s relationships throughout the novel.   I developed a lot of sympathy for Marguerite and her character.  I also could identify with Renata struggling with her choices.  Who is the person she would eventually choose to be with?

The novel is set on the island of Nantucket.  Another masterfully written novel by Elin Hilderbrand.

Rating: 

4.5/5

Please visit Elin on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.

Thursday, August 13, 2015

A Bride For All Seasons Review



A Bride for All Seasons by Margaret Brownley, Debra Clopton, Robin Lee Hatcher, and Mary Connealy came out last year.  It is an anthology of short stories by each of these authors.  The genre is Inspirational Romance, and Historical Fiction. 

Synopsis:

Mr. Hitchcock runs the Hitching Post Mail Order Bride business.  He needs to help four couples see beyond their rough draft letters of their letters have a little nudge towards love.  Can he help them see the errors of their way?  A little twist of a word or drop a page or two or a rewrite might just make the difference each of their letters.  How would these couples feel about his interference in their plans? 

My Thoughts:

I am not a huge fan of anthologies that being said.  I did like this one.  I thought that the concept for this anthology is great and full of humor.  I wish that all the authors had stuck more to the format of the first story in the anthology.  I loved all the stories but one.  The last anthology I read the authors which were a different set than what I just read had a great plan to keep the reader interested in the entire novel.  They shared information with each other which made for a more enjoyable read all around. 

These stories were set in different states Texas, Kansas, Idaho, and Wyoming.  The best part of this novel is the humor interlaced with these unsuspecting couples. There is also guide listed at the end of the first story to help you understand Mr. Hitchock’s meddling ways.  

Rating:

3.75/5

Please visit: 

Margaret Brownley, DebraClopton, Robin Lee Hatcher,  and Mary Connealy.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

How Would Mrs. Edean Define the Fine Art of Baking Blind?



Thank you to St. Martins Press for sending me a copy of The Art of Baking Blind by Sarah Vaughan. This novel was given to me in exchange for an honest review.  I am a fan of historical fiction no matter the continent it is set on.  This one happens to be set in Great Britain. 

Synopsis: 

Kathleen Eaden is the baking maven and grand supporter of her husband George’s Supermarket business. She is still the talk of the country today.  Her book the Art of Baking is idolized by many.  So when Eadens Supermarket decides to have a competition to find the new Mrs. Eaden who could possibly enter?  Jenny a housewife who has an empty nest with a husband who doesn’t appreciate her.  Karen who loves baking but has a secret that could have great consequences for herself and her family.  Vicki a young housewife who can’t seem to get her mother’s attention when it comes to success or family.  Or would it be Claire the young single mother who also works for Eadens. Finally there is Mike a widower who has a great talent in the kitchen.  Who will win?

My Thoughts: 

I enjoyed this novel!  It was a little different from the last baking contest novel that I read but still entertaining. Since the story is set in Great Britain I did have to keep in mind that biscuit, pies, and puddings are a little different terminology than what we Americans are used to.  There were times when readings about certain characters I either felt for them or wanted to say come on but it made me want to continue to read to find out what might happen.  The novel is a little long but worth the read. 

This novel had a back and forth style that is a little different than what I am used to when reading a historical fiction novel.  Usually the parts that take place in the past are more separated from the other current story line.  I did not find them to be as separate in style.  

Rating: 

4.5/5

Please visit Sarah on her Facebook page, Twitter, and her Website.

Thursday, August 6, 2015

Can I Spin You A Story?



The Stories We Tell is a recent release by the great author Patti Callahan Henry. It has been released in paperback from St. Martin’s Press this summer.  Definitely a must have for 2015 Beach Read.   This story has a little bit of everything!

Synopsis: 

Eve Morrison runs a letter press company the Fine Line Ink.  It is her pet project that has become a successful company.  This company makes letter press cards.  There is one problem it takes away from her family.  She is married to Cooper Morrison and they have a daughter Gwen.  One night Eve receives a phone that an accident has occurred and both Cooper and her sister Willa were in a car together, and it crashed into the tree.  Cooper’s story is that it is all Willa’s fault because she was drunk.  Is that the actual story?  What happens when the evidence does not match Cooper’s story?  Who will Eve believe Cooper or Willa?

My Thoughts: 

Another Patti Callahan Henry novel that I very much enjoyed!  The plot is intriguing, but could have been paced better.  I wanted Eve to figure things out a little sooner.   The story is set in Savannah Georgia. It also has a little bit of mystery when trying to figure out whose story to believe Willa or Cooper.  The research done on traumatic brain injury, for this story is illustrated well in Willa’s symptoms. 

I loved how the author used symbolism in this novel.  The title is The Stories We Tell.  What kind of stories do you tell?  This is the question asked throughout the novel.  Are they truthful?  Or full of deception?   This is something the reader must decipher the story within the story. 

Rating:

4.5/5

Please visit Patti on her Facebook page, Twitter, or her Website.

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Who Would You Trust? A Review and Giveaway



Thank you to Kimberly Belle and Mira for a copy of this novel The Ones We Trust in exchange for an honest review.  Another great read for the summer!  This is Kimberly’s second novel and a delight to share.  I am giving away one copy to a lucky participant! 

Synopsis:

Abigail has worked previously as a reporter but an event in the past has traumatized her.   This story caused a woman to hang herself and the woman she thought she had helped Maria got away.  So now she provides content for a Health website for seniors.  So when a kid shows up at her door related to the last story she wrote will Abigail have the ability to help him?  Will she be able to find the answers he is looking for related to Maria?  Then one day a transcript shows up on her front door in connection to a different case in connected to a past story that Abigail covered on Zach Armstrong.  Who killed him?  What will the answers finally yield?  Will these answers connect to the other story to the Armstrong case? Or will she have to betray someone she loves?

My Thoughts: 

I had the opportunity to meet Kimberly at her event for her previous novel The Last Breath.  I very much enjoyed The Ones We Trust.  I don’t often highly recommend a thriller, but for this one I will.   It is one that you should take to the beach with you this summer.  The plot was intriguing.  I did find the love interest to be a little predictable, but it didn’t change my enjoyment of the story.  I loved how she wound two different cases together to bring about the full scope of the story.  Characters were also complex and full of depth.  You could see a real growth of these characters as the novel progressed. 

I am looking forward to my next novel by Kimberly Belle.

Rating:
5/5
 
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