Dr. Nora returns home to Scupper Island, Maine for a while for some rest and recuperation. She decided to leave behind her old life in Boston for a while – well, her old “reinvented in medical school” life, the one where she lost weight and gained confidence.
Higgins wrote a fascinating mother daughter relationship between Nora and her mom, and then put icing on the cake adding Nora’s wayward sister into the mix. Very well done. The family dynamics sucked me in without being too over the top. And Nora’s niece … aw, man, I was endeared to her from the start!
Best thing ever: The houseboat Nora rents. Second best thing ever: reading Nora’s emotions when she hears a certain someone walking up the dock. Oh and don’t miss the dinner party of all dinner parties – thank goodness for supportive friends, slightly eligible bachelors, and a mom who doesn’t stand for any nonsense.
Kristan Higgins knows how to write the sweet women’s fiction/chick lit/romance. It’s not my usual type of book, but I love Kristan’s books so I had to read this. And I’m so glad I did.
This story is about family and friendship. While there is romance, that’s not what the story is about. From the first page, I was sucked in. I stayed up late and woke up early, because I needed to see how Nora was going to handle everything that life has thrown at her.
Nora finds herself back at her hometown, trying to move forward, but every day she’s reminded of the past. I liked her attitude. She has this spunk about her. I want to be her friend. She is determined to live the life she wants and if she has to beat in a few heads along the way, she will. She doesn’t give up on the ones she loves.
While she plans on only staying for the summer, before she goes back to Boston for work, the more time she spends on the island, the more time these people get their hooks into her. Sometimes she gets hurt by those hooks, but she’s strong enough to take it.
Like I said, this was more about friendship and family. She struggled with making her family open up to her, but she wasn’t giving up. She loved them and wanted it in return. My heart felt for her. Especially with her niece. With a mom in jail, she is very bitter and doesn’t open up. But I appreciated how much Nora worked at her. But honestly, Nora was easy to love. She has a good heart and has plenty of room in it for those around her. Since the romance was more of a side story, it wasn’t overpowering and very smooth.
If you’re looking for a sweet standalone that will make your heart happy, then this book is for you.
Loved this rom com with Harriet the dog-walker and Ethan the guy with the sterile, modern bachelor pad. They crossed paths more than once – and in totally meet-cute ways. I liked that Harriet could be a bit self deprecating without being annoying about it, and that she was well aware of both her strengths and her shortcomings. It was refreshing to get to know a character who made no apologies for herself while still recognizing she could be happier if she changed a few things here and there.
Ethan made a great foil for Harriet. He ostensibly had it all together, but underneath he knew he really needed to make some adjustments in life, too.
I had fun watching Harriet and Ethan together, figuring out themselves and each other … and one another together.
Some people might rate this book 4 or 5 stars for the authentic southern characters that Kilpatrick introduces with such aplomb you feel like you’ve known these people forever. Some readers might fall in love with “fun Posey” who uses the 7 deadly sins as a guide to make up for 10 sucky years married to a controlling, manipulative jerkhead. And some readers might call this book a winner for its excellent writing – and easy dialogue among a hippie mom, sisters named after natural elements, and a best friend who literally saves more than one day.
I’m giving Bless Her Heart a bunch of fat stars because it made me so sufficiently mad at Chad Love, so ticked off that he thought it was okay to treat any human being the way that he treated his wife, and so angered with a patriarchy that thinks “Wives, submit to your husbands” isn’t part of a speech that says “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her … Love your wives like your own bodies,” that now I am taking steps to help some people who are in situations like Posey’s. Sally Kilpatrick, any gratitude that comes my way from women who are tired of being controlled and interrogated and mentally beaten down – that gratitude is due to you.
Anita Hughes writes for the reader who wants to escape. No matter if you’re reading Hughes’ beach vacation novels or her holiday books, you’ll remove yourself from reality, suspend your disbelief, and enjoy a ride through luxury.
In Christmas in London, baker Louisa gets whisked away to London by television show producer Noah. She and her cinnamon rolls are needed for filming a Christmas special with a handsome, charming, world-famous chef and cookbook writer.
When I read Hughes, I just latch on to the main character and forget my real life. In London, I got to wake up to the smell of coffee and pastry, buy fancy new clothes, take walks with the cutie pie producer, take cooking classes with the famous chef (and hang out in a mansion with him), and live the tv star life for a week… not to mention get a happily ever after (and watch a new friend get one too).
This reminded me of Beaches. Yep, the movie. The plot wasn’t the same, but it just had that same kind of feel.
Sister and cousins all return to a beach house one summer to share memories from their childhood summers, and to spend time with Megan who has cancer.
The beginning of the book pretty much focuses on Megan and her needs. Then we hear about Charley and her current life problems as they relate to her childhood problems… but Megan kind of fades away in the background. I was like Hey! Don’t forget about that Megan character!
Sadly, it happened again when we are introduced to Krista, the ex con. Megan is barely mentioned, and Krista totally overshadows the Charley character. I had just gotten invested in Megan and Charley… and they were dropped like a hot potato.
Carr’s Virgin River series illustrated how to have a developed protagonist as well as an ensemble cast. I was hoping for the same in The Summer That Made Us. Had the character development been more balanced, and had the characters not been such stereotypes, this novel would have an extra star!
I enjoyed the somewhat predictable plot, I appreciated the well-written dialogue, and I was impressed that Robyn Carr still comes up with fresh ideas for new novels. This one just wasn’t for me.
Happily Inc sounds like a pretty cute place to live – especially if you’re Pallas, the owner of a wedding planning company. Brides from all over go to Happy Inc to get married – and I bet some of them will want to stay. Even Nick the sculptor, son of a famous artist, walked into town, got a job, and felt the pull… or maybe it was the pull of Pallas and her love for her work.
I liked Nick’s touchy family dynamics, especially because Mallery referenced Fool’s Gold characters I was familiar with. Pallas had some strong family interactions as well – that tends to happen with an overbearing mother and a strong willed daughter.
In the end, everyone figured out what was best for themselves. For some, that meant some sacrifice. For others, it meant swallowing some pride. Either way, I got a view of real love in all its messy forms.
Caleb White, tennis player extraordinaire, needs a distraction from his recent decision to retire. When he visits Cloud Bay he meets the perfect distraction — Faith. Faith runs a huge music festival, mostly because she’s the daughter of a famous (and deceased) rock star, but also because she’s really really good at it.
I was hooked on Caleb and Faith, separately and together. But I wasn’t hooked on the music festival because music festivals just aren’t my bag. I kind of wished for more island-ish happenings – like catching rays, boat rides, and digging toes in the sand. But that’s just me. I have no idea how I thought this book was going to be about coastal living, but I was definitely wrong! I was right about one thing however – that Emma Douglas would give me a happily ever after.
So there’s rockers and romance… and family dynamics, a little bit of dysfunction, some nice architecture (hello million dollar coastal homes), and a good look at ambition, which I loved. If you also appreciate outdoor festivals, rock band life, and all things musical, this book is for you.
Sometimes predictable is just the thing you need, especially when it’s painted with the brush of faith and hope. Macomber is an expert in helping her characters gain faith in humanity and hope for themselves – even when it seems impossible.
Any Dream Will Do is the motto of Shay’s new friend — the one who will help Shay save herself from the pit of despair she needs to step out of. But Shay hasn’t believed in dreams in so long, that’s a tough order to fill.
I enjoyed this quick read centered around redemption and loving others. I’m not sure the story was quite realistic – there were some hokey parts where I suspended my disbelief – but it certainly was hopeful. And although only a small part of the book focused on romance, Macomber wrote a lovely happily ever after.
Love the luxuriousness and glamour that this book exudes – like Hughes’ others. Lily and Oliver were a cute couple, even divorced, so I enjoyed their banter and rapport.
Unfortunately, Emerald Coast was a little too predictable even for me, and I wasn’t a fan of the cliched reasons why Angela and Ricky were looking for a mate. I’ll always love Anita Hughes for her rich descriptions, beautiful writing, and memorable scenery. I just wasn’t cut out for the plot of this particular story.