Review: The Summer House by Jenny Hale

The idea of buying a beach cottage and renovating it all summer has always appealed to me: Painting the deck rails white, power washing the cedar shingles, planting hydrangea, gutting the tiny kitchen and installing beachy-chic cupboards. How great would it be to paint the walls sea beeeze blue, shop for the right outdoor pillows at HomeGoods and commission a beach scene mural? The great thing about The Summer House is you get to have all the fun of a beach cottage reno… without all the work… and with a handsome guy taking you to lunch all the time… and finding an old diary… and a wonderful artist who just needed to reacquaint himself with his muse. 

See, we might not get all that in real life – not in one summer anyway, but Callie and Olivia do. They share their summer with us, beach cottage, romance, family secrets, happily ever afters, and all. 



Review: Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses by Jenny Hale

This book is EXACTLY WHY I put so much stock in endings. For example, I loved Outlander but hated the ending. In fact, the ending RUINED the whole book for me. 

Christmas Wishes and Mistletoe Kisses, however, had such a lovely ending that it redeemed a book I almost gave 2 stars. That’s me being honest, not mean! 

Christmas Wishes started out slow, but I’m a sucker for a merry Christmas story, so I marched on. The middle was more interesting, but also contrived. I mean, how many “accidental” ways are we going to get Nick and Abbey in the same room? 

And then came the last third of the book. The third where I was so invested I could feel the scarf on Abbey’s neck, I could hear Nick’s mom’s crazy voice, I could see the excitement in Max’s eyes. I cried, people. Cried!!! 

So, ultimately, I’m glad I read Christmas Wishes. Hale wrote a wonderful hero in Nick, and gave him realistic charm. Abbey being a nurse / designer was a fresh take on the young-woman-figuring-out-life trope. Most importantly for me: a happily ever after in the best way possible.