Summer Snow's grandmother is dying and has written a bucket list for her! The first item is to locate a childhood friend named Martin, who meant so much to Summer. Summer finds herself in the middle of Martin and his quirky, dysfunctional brothers and their family secrets.
This book was a 'midway' like for me; meaning there were parts of the storyline I really liked, and others not as much; just some odd & quirky things to me. I liked Summer's grandmother out of all the characters, and Martin's brothers the least.
It would've been a quick read had I been more interested in the story, but I actually set it aside for awhile.
I was given this book as an Advanced Reader copy from NetGalley-----Thank You!!!!!
Sophie Anderson has been a supportive wife to her husband Zack for sixteen years. Her husband's life revolves around his work as an architect, while Sophie is focused on raising their two children, fifteen year old Jonah and ten year old Lacey.
Zack doesn't call to tell Sophie he'll be late for dinner so she decides to check his schedule on his computer. What she finds is a memo 'Remember L's bday.' She guesses it's his secretary's birthday. But then she sees the memo for the next day, 'Discuss Div with S.'
When her husband returns home she decides to confront him about the second memo and this is how she finds out her husband wants a divorce. She's shocked and confused and tells her husband that a college friend had phoned the day before checking to see if they'd want to rent her family's summer home in Nantucket in July and August. Sophie is hoping Zack will come with them to work on their marriage. Zack refuses and says he won't pay for it. Sophie decides she will use her inheritance from her Aunt Fancy to take her and the children to the cottage for the summer.
Trevor Black owns his own software company and is a widow with a four year old son named Leo who is having a difficult time coping with his mother's death and showing obsessive behaviors. Trevor consults with a phychologist and the doctor suggests a vacation; somewhere Leo had never been with his mother. Coincidentally, one of Trevor's old college friends calls him with an offer to rent his family's summer home for July and August and he accepts because it is just what the doctor has ordered.
As you may have guessed, Sophie and Trevor both head to Nantucket and need to work out the situation between them both renting the guest cottage for the summer.
Sophie's children grow close with Leo, Sophie finds a beau in one of her daughter's new friends in the area and Trevor fights his attraction to Sophie.
This is a light, flowing read; perfect for summer.
Melissa Dance is turning twenty-five years old. Her mother Eleanore passed away from cancer when Melissa was only eight years old. Elenore started a journal in August 1994 and made plans with her attorney to have the journal given to Melissa on her twenty-fifth birthday. Melissa's father Max does not know this journal exists.
Eleanore's original idea for the journal was to only include recipes that were handed down from her mother and grandmother and to included photos of her and Melissa cooking throughout the book. The journal turned into a way for Eleanore to share her thoughts and wisdom to help her grown-up daughter. She chose age twenty-five because that was the age she gave birth to Melissa.
The chapters throughout this book rotate from Melissa's point of view in present day (2011,) Eleanore's writing of the book and dealings with cancer back in 1994 and Max's issues in the present. This book definitely keeps you interested in wanting to find out what Eleanore has to say next in the journal and what possible secrets she has to tell her daughter.
This book is heartwarming, heart wrenching, nostalgic, full of emotions and extremely realistic. It could very well be a true story. You will also find yourself wanting to make some of the recipes included throughout the journal, so be prepared to save them for later!
***This review does NOT contain any major spoilers***
Main Cast Of Characters:
Theodore MacAfee- Owner of MacAfee Homes, father of Roy MacAfee, grandfather to Jamie MacAfee and ex father-in-law to Caroline MacAfee
Roy MacAfee- Father to Jamie MacAfee, ex-husband to Caroline MacAfee, husband to Jessica MacAfee, father to two year old Tad and marketing manager for MacAfee Homes
Caroline MacAfee- Mother to Jamie MacAfee, host of the public television show 'Gut It!' and master carpenter
Jamie MacAfee- Daughter of Caroline and Roy MacAfee , fiance to Brad Greer, architect for MacAfee Homes and 'Gut It!'
Brad Greer- Attorney for MacAfee Homes and Jamie MacAfee's fiance
Jessica MacAfee- Roy MacAfee's third wife, mother to two year old Tad and stepmother to Jamie MacAfee
Taddy MacAfee- Roy and Jessica MacAfee's son, Jamie MacAfee's step-brother
Dean Brannick- general contractor for 'Gut It!' and friend to Caroline MacAfee
Annie Ahl- Landscape designer for 'Gut It!' and Caroline MacAfee's best friend
Claire Howe- producer of 'Gut It!'
Brian Levitt- General Manager of the television station that hosts 'Gut It!'
Williston, MA, twenty miles west of Boston, is home to a local home improvement television show called Gut It! MacAfee Homes is the main builder in the area but they are fearing another family builder by the name of Barth may be trying to worm their way into the area.
On the morning of Jamie MacAfee's Mom's birthday her father Roy wants to meet with her at the local diner. He tells her that the television station wants to make some changes to the show to improve ratings and they want Jamie to be the new host. Jamie is an architect and appears on Gut It! with her mother Caroline, the host. Jamie decides not to tell her mother because it's her birthday and believes this change is due to her mother being middle aged! Jamie hopes she can convince her father, producer and general manager that this is not the right decision for the show. Unfortunately, Caroline does find out, but not from Jamie, and it causes a huge rift between mother and daughter.
There is an unexpected accident and Jamie's life changes forever, but she's not on speaking terms with her mother so she must handle many of these changes and challenges on her own.
The beginning of this book was a bit slow for me, but once the first major event in the story occurred the book flowed nicely. The main theme in this book is life changes for women of differing ages and how they handle what is thrown their way. Other subjects touched upon are personal growth, ageism, sexism, relationship and family issues.
This is the first book I've read by author Karen White. I wasn't quite expecting a storyline with a serious underlying issue that spans throughout generations of the novel's women characters. With that said, you will not want to put this book down!!!!
Merritt Heyward is a widow who has inherited her mother-in-law Edith's home in Beaufort, South Carolina. Merritt is a northerner from Bangor, Maine but decides this move is just what she need to begin over after being widowed.
She doesn't expect her young step-mother and step-brother, that she's never known. to show up in South Carolina for her fresh start! Merritt also must contact the brother in law she's never met so that he can collect any items from his grandmother's home that he would like to keep.
Little do any of them realize the bonds and friendships that will be formed as they uncover family secrets while also learning about history that has has an affect on them all without any of them knowing it.
I gave this book 4 out of 5 stars only because I was confused for awhile with the cast of characters. This could've been due to me reading this book late at night before bed and then not coming back to the book for a day or so. That said, I read more than half of this book in one day because I really got into it.
I wish I could say more about this novel without giving you any spoilers, but I cannot. I want anyone who decides to read this book to go into it without knowing too much of the backstory because it will be more enjoyable for you this way. Enjoy!
The story continues with Sam and Jeff planning their wedding, getting married and trying to play matchmaker to Sam's friend Max and Friday Harbor's florist, Linda. About a quarter into the book Ms. Grace transitions nicely from focusing on Sam and Jeff's relationship to the blossoming friendship of Max and Linda.
The newlyweds endure a tragedy and rely on Max and Linda to help them through tough times ahead. Linda also uncovers a family secret and begins opening up to Max as their relationship and trust in one another grows.
I enjoyed the storyline of the book, but felt it could've moved along a bit quicker. Also, I don't think I've ever read a book with so much eating involved that it actually made me hungry when I'd read the book! It seemed like they were either getting pies from the coffee shop, pastries from Sweet Treats, pizza from The Big Cheese, eating at restaurants, ordering in or preparing meals at home. Maybe next time the reader would enjoy some recipes thrown in the mix so they could try their hand at some of the coffee shop's famous pies or some of the other recurring meals in the story.
(Tammy does offer a FREE pie recipe for readers who wish to subscribe to her e-mail list and receive her updates here.)
The next installment in this series is A Promise Of Home, which I will be reading around Christmas time this year. This series is a very enjoyable, laid back, light read and I recommend it to anyone looking to escape to the small town of Friday Harbor.
Killer Music is not the usual genre that I read, although I've been trying to get more into mysteries lately instead of the normal women's fiction I tend to gravitate towards.
At the beginning of this novel Grayson Taylor is introduced to the reader and I really was intrigued by all the entanglements going on in his life. I hadn't read the book description so little did I know that the story would be centered around this man's death!
Grayson Taylor is an executive who runs the Los Angeles office of Global Records, a recording company. He travels to Global's Nashville office every six weeks and is planning on starting his own independent label; he just needs to work up the nerve to tell Mel Lewis, the CEO of Global. Grayson is staying at a hotel in Nashville and receives an unexpected visit from his high school sweetheart's brother Andy, who informs Grayson he has a seventeen year old son named Taylor. Andy wants Gray to contribute to Taylor's expenses for college, although his sister has been against telling Gray he had a son for all these years. Andy informs Gray that Taylor works at Silverwood, which is where a record industry party is taking place that evening.
Cooper Harrington is a local private detective who works closely with Nashville's Chief of Detectives, Ben Mason and his office manager Annabelle, who is also a friend from college. Cooper has been invited by the woman he is dating to a country music party taking place at Silverwood. Coop is briefly introduced to Grayson Taylor at the event along with many legislators looking to gain supporters for their upcoming campaigns. Coop is a natural observer and watches many interactions between people while his date Shelby goes off to meet some of the well-known country stars.
Detective Harrington is called the day after the party to begin the investigation into Grayson Taylor's death which took place during the party at Silverwood. Coop works closely with Ben's department and his assistant Annabelle in interviewing guests from the party as they try to piece together who would've killed Mr. Taylor and why.
There are many characters in this story and I honestly had no idea who was the killer. The story is very enjoyable and I found myself not wanting to put the book down. Ms. Grace definitely keeps you guessing throughout the book!
Killer Music is Tammy L. Grace's first book in the Cooper Harrington Detective series and is her first mystery novel. She has also written three books in the Hometown Harbor series in the women's fiction genre.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review from NetGalley.
This is a great book for engaged or married couples and for anyone who thinks they may want to get married some day. Ashleigh adds anecdotes from her marriage as well as some of her friends marriages throughout the book. She blends humor and wisdom very nicely which makes this book an enjoyable reading experience. Her husband Ted's views are also dispersed here and there throughout each chapter so you get a feel for his view on the topic at hand as well. At the end of each chapter there are sets of questions to ponder about your own marriage that pertain to the topic covered in that chapter. It is also worth noting that the author quotes from the Bible and relates them to marital and relationship situations.
The main focus of the book is teamwork. Marriage is a union and requires give and take. It also requires work. Working on romance, shared interests and communication skills. Ashleigh states in the book, "Perhaps marriage is a continual learning process."
"A happy marriage is the union of two good forgivers." -Ruth Bell Graham
Below are some of my favorite quotes from the book that I feel are sound advice for any relationship.
"Not only have I spoken well of him, pointing out the ways I recognize and appreciate him, but I've also made it about me. I've focused on a "this is how I feel," rather than a "you did this" approach."
"I've realized that marriage doesn't require us to have all the same interests. In fact, I think it might get a bit boring if we did."
"Rather than fear disagreements he viewed them as an opportunity to improve our communication and deepen our trust in one another. How very mature of him."
"Like a squeeze of a sponge brings to the surface stuff that's soaked deep within, sometimes conflict brings to light stuff in our hearts---stuff that we might not otherwise see. For the sake of my heart, I want to keep my eyes wide open during these uncomfortable opportunities rather than avoid them." (Ted, Ashleigh's husband)
"An unburdened heart is one that's not weighed down by grudges."
"Often the best way to prevent grudges and unforgiveness is by stopping conflict before it even starts."
"Verbal affirmation. Truth is, Ted can't read my mind. While my actions may demonstrate that I support and appreciate him, he needs my words too."
"Words paired with action are simple yet powerful---especially when the going is a bit tough. And when you add dreaming to them, sometimes that's when mountains are moving."
"It's important that I'm purposeful in whom I bring into my confidence; that I'm intentional when I determine the friends I go to for counsel, advice, and prayer."
"You and your spouse need to decide what you are both comfortable with when it comes to confiding about your marriage to others."
"We don't live a fake Christian life in front of others and something else at home."
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A Taste Of Sauvignon is the third book in Heather Heyford's debut series, the Napa Wine Heiresses. This book follows the eldest sister, Sauvignon 'Savvy' St Pierre.
Savvy decided at the age of thirteen that she would become a lawyer. She's working for a small law firm in her hometown in Napa Valley and is being assigned her very first case. On her way to her firm's weekly meeting she accidentally hits the neighboring farmer's chicken with her car when it runs out into the street. She doesn't know much about the neighbors since she and her sisters were sent away to boarding schools on the East Coast when they were young and then they attended college thereafter. The St. Pierre's cook Jeanne is friends with the neighbors since she's been buying vegetables from their farm stand for years. Savvy knows that her father, famous vintner Xavier St. Pierre, does not see eye to eye with them, but she doesn't know why.
Savvy meets the neighbors when Mrs. Morales and her son Esteban come out to her car to retrieve the chicken she hit. Savvy is awestruck by Esteban the "agrilicious, king-sized man in faded jeans." Mrs. Morales invites Savvy into the house for some tea and Esteban is perturbed that his mother is treating Savvy like the victim instead of the chicken.
Savvy finally goes off to her meeting and is assigned a case with a group called NTI who would like to acquire a piece of property in the Napa area. The NTI group is making a million dollar offer for the land, but it isn't until Savvy sees the address of the land that she realizes she will be seeing Esteban again because it is the Morales' land the group wants to purchase.
I thoroughly enjoyed this book and am quite sad that I have to wait until Fall 2015 for the 4th installment of this series.
A Taste Of Sauvignon is available to Pre-Order now
and will be available to purchase on April 14. 2015.
This was the first book I've read by Amanda Eyre Ward
and I cannot wait to read more of her books!
The Same Sky was a very quick read for me because
I couldn't wait to find out what happened to the characters.
Each chapter in the book alternates between Clara and Alice's lives.
The book begins by Clara telling how her mother left her and her twin baby brothers with their grandmother in Tegucigalpa, Honduras when she was just five years old, while her mother went off to America (Austin, TX.) Clara describes what it is like to live in Honduras; her daily living conditions, struggles, friends and fears. As her story-telling progresses she realizes at the age of twelve that she needs to leave the poor conditions in Honduras for America. It is extremely dangerous and she needs to figure out how she will make this happen.
The alternating story is in Alice's voice. Alice Conroe is a forty-one year old co-owner of a famous Texas Barbeque restaurant with her husband Jake. She is unable to conceive a child, so they decide on surrogacy only to have the mother change her mind a day after the baby was given to them. The mother had forty-eight hours to change her mind and unfortunately for the Conroe's she takes the baby back the next day, leaving them heartbroken. Alice is depressed, empty, consumed by wanting a baby. Her husband Jake is also upset about the situation, but has a business to run and seems to want to make his marriage the priority since they aren't succeeding with starting a family.
Throughout the book you will hope for the best for both of these women; one who wants to reunite with her mother and the other who longs to be a mother. You will also wonder how Clara and Alice's stories coincide with one another. I will not give away spoilers, but will say the ending will grab your heart for both of them.
A Taste Of Merlot is the second book in Heather Heyford's debut series, the Napa Wine Heiresses. This book follows the youngest sister Merlot 'Meri' St Pierre.
The story opens with Meri accepting the Purchase Prize at Gates College Of Art And Designs art exhibit. After her speech she heads to the ladies room. Shortly after she's in the stall she hears two classmates enter the room as they begin bashing her; saying things like she doesn't deserve to win because she doesn't have to work for a living since she's a wine princess, that she only won because her father donated money to the college and that art is only a hobby to her and she'll never be a real jeweler. Meri recognizes the voices as Rainn, a graduating senior and Chelsey, a junior like herself.
Meanwhile, Mark Newman is at Gates' at exhibit scouting new talent for Harrington's, his family's high-end jewelry conglomerate. He comes across Meri's purchase prize and is intrigued. He's disappointed that only the name 'Gilty' appears on the prize-winning piece. He decides to ask two girls passing by (Rainn and Chelsey) if they know whose work it is. of course they lie and tell him they have no idea. Mark gives Rainn his card and she is amused to find out he is from the well-known Harrington jewelers.
Meri decides not to return to Gates to finish her degree because she is humiliated by what she overheard her classmates say. Instead she decides to open an online boutique and find a place to work on her jewelry. Months go by and Mark still cannot locate who Gilty is, but once Meri gets her website up and running he finally gets in touch with her.
This is where the deceptions begin. Meri does not tell Mark her real last name because she doesn't want him knowing she's a famous wine heiress. Mark doesn't reveal he's an heir to the Harrington business. Rainn continues to intervene between Mark and Meri because she rents a space at the same co-op where their jewelry workshops are located. Without giving too much of the story away, Meri and Mark are attracted to one another and there's a lot of secrecy and mistrust between them because they are both wealthy, but don't want one another to know this.
I enjoyed this book except for the character trait of Meri being portrayed as promiscuous. The author tied this in to Meri being lonely when she was sent away at a very young age to boarding school. I just felt this wasn't a trait I necessarily wanted to see in Meri's character.
Here is Heather Heyford reading an excerpt from Book 1 in the Wine Heiress series:
The third book in this series,
A Taste Of Sauvignon, will be available on April 14, 2015
This is Heather Heyford's debut novel and I'm already looking forward to follow-up books in the Napa Wine Heiress series!
This book focuses on Chardonnay "Char" St. Pierre, the middle child of the famous French vintner Xavier St. Pierre and the late actress, Lily d'Amboise. Char's sisters are Sauvignon (aka "Savvy") and Merlot (aka "Meri'.) My first impression when I realized the sisters were named after wines was that these women were going to be uptight, snooty brats. I was pleasantly surprised that they all seem to be likable characters.
Char is a charitable person who helps out in local soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and collects donated clothing for the less fortunate. She has a degree in public service from the University of Connecticut and has a plan to get a charity organization up and running. Her plan involves winning the McDaniel Foundation's Napa Charity Challenge so that she can start up her charity without the help of her father's money. The challenge involves running a half-marathon, raising funds from local businesses and a charity auction. Char is determined to win. What Char doesn't foresee is another competitor by the name of Ryder McBride. He's a famous actor who has come back to the area to participate in the Napa Charity Challenge for his own cause. Although they don't see eye-to-eye when they first meet, they both admit to themselves there's an attraction there.
There are family secrets intertwined in the story line and the shining of light on some great charitable causes. Neither character comes off self-centered, which was a breath of fresh air. I would've liked to see more relationship development between Char and Ryder, as it felt like it happened quickly. All in all though this was a quick read and I'm looking forward to reading Char's sister's stories in the forthcoming books.
A Taste Of Sauvignon will be available on April 14, 2015
I wanted to learn about co-dependency because I wasn't completely sure what was meant by being co-dependent. This book is wonderfully written and is extremely informative.
I wish I had read this book as a young woman so I could have been more aware of relationships with friends and others during that time of my life who may have been codependents. I believe reading this book as a young adult would help aide in figuring out personal issues (and relationships with others) sooner in life rather than later.
Although the book also focuses on alcoholism, substance abuse and 12-step programs, there are many more topics in this book that relate to general life issues. Learning to love and accept yourself (and others), expressing yourself, setting goals and learning how to communicate properly are just some of the helpful topics covered.
This book is actually a 2 in 1 book with 'Codependent No More' being published in 1987 and 'Beyond Codependency' being published in 1989. Melody Beattie, the author, is a recovered addict, alcoholic and codependent. The reason this book is so insightful is because Ms. Beattie wrote from the heart. She shares her experiences and those she has connected with vividly in this book.
I must tell you that I started this book on February 11, 2014 and to my surprise I finished it exactly a year later. The reason I spread this book out over such a long period of time was because it is not 'light & fluffy' reading. It is intense and thought provoking. This was a borrowed book, but if I owned a copy I would go through the book again and highlight many insightful and smart advice that I could pass onto my daughters.
Note: I received this book from A GoodReads GiveAway.
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