The Summer Retreat by Shelia Roberts #romance #review #fiction

Overview

Join USA TODAY bestselling author Sheila Roberts for a seaside escape to the beaches of Moonlight Harbor

Celeste Jones has plans for a perfect summer with her boyfriend (and hopefully soon-to-be fiancé)—until he dumps her to be with the woman he’s had on the side for months. Heartbroken and furious, Celeste resolves to move on. When the going gets tough, the tough…okay, the not-so-tough go to the beach.

As soon as school lets out for the summer, she waves goodbye to her first-graders, packs up her bikini and heads for Moonlight Harbor, where she knows her big sister, Jenna, will receive her with open arms. Jenna could probably use some help at the Driftwood Inn, and Celeste is happy to do chores around the place in exchange for a relaxing summer escape. She just needs something—or someone—to distract her from her troubles.

Finding The One can be tricky, and Jenna is determined to make sure Celeste gets it right this time around. Not that Jenna’s an expert. She’s still trying to sort out her own love life. But if both sisters listen to their hearts, eventually they’re bound to discover that life—and love—is good at the beach.

Review

Celeste thinks she has found THE ONE! Then she discovers he is cheating on her. She needs a new outlook on life. So what is better than the beach?! She heads off to help her sister at The Driftwood Inn. Celeste is cleaning rooms and doing chores in exchange for a summer retreat.

I found Celeste to be a little sullen and whiny. All she studies is finding a man. This gets a little old. I wanted her to have more self confidence and more vigor. But, the setting makes up for her lack of assurance. I mean…who doesn’t love a story set at a wonderful, little inn right on the beach.

This is part of a series. I have not read the others in this series and had no trouble keeping up. This is a good, clean, fun story. It can be predictable in places but I found it very entertaining. If you are looking for a lite, sweet read…this is it!

I received this novel from Mira Books for a honest review.

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The Scent Keeper by Erica Bauermeister @stmartinspress #review #fiction

Overview

Erica Bauermeister, the national bestselling author of The School of Essential Ingredients, presents a moving and evocative coming-of-age novel about childhood stories, families lost and found, and how a fragrance conjures memories capable of shaping the course of our lives. 
Emmeline lives an enchanted childhood on a remote island with her father, who teaches her about the natural world through her senses. What he won’t explain are the mysterious scents stored in the drawers that line the walls of their cabin, or the origin of the machine that creates them.  As Emmeline grows, however, so too does her curiosity, until one day the unforeseen happens, and Emmeline is vaulted out into the real world–a place of love, betrayal, ambition, and revenge. To understand her past, Emmeline must unlock the clues to her identity, a quest that challenges the limits of her heart and imagination.
Lyrical and immersive, The Scent Keeper explores the provocative beauty of scent, the way it can reveal hidden truths, lead us to the person we seek, and even help us find our way back home.
Review
Emmeline and her father live on a remote island in Canada. Her father teaches her about nature and especially smells. Then the unthinkable happens. Her father dies and she has to become me accustomed to civilization and the mystery surrounding her life.
This story is in three parts. In the first section Emmeline is a little girl living with her father on a remote island. In the second part she is living with a couple and going to school. In the third she meets her real mom.

The beginning of this book is very obscure. As a reader, you really have no idea what is going on. You have no idea why Emmeline is being raised in a remote island. You have no idea who these people are. There is no background. Now, if the whole book had been written like the second section it would have been a 5 star read for me. The part where she is coming of age and growing up is superb. I was captivated. And the last section was just sort of blah. I was not a huge fan of her mother.

Now that all of that is out of the way. As a reader, you need to know not all the parts of this book are equal. It sounds like I did not like this book. Oh but I did! This book is a really good read. Reminds me of Where The Crawdads Sing. Emmeline is someone your heart just breaks for. I woke up this morning still thinking about her. This story takes you on a ride you will not soon forget.

I received this novel from St. Martin’s Press for a honest review.

About the author

Erica Bauermeister is the author of the bestselling novel The School of Essential Ingredients, Joy for Beginners, and The Lost Art of Mixing. She is also the co-author of the non-fiction works, 500 Great Books by Women: A Reader’s Guide and Let’s Hear It For the Girls: 375 Great Books for Readers 2-14. She has a PhD in literature from the University of Washington, and has taught there and at Antioch University. She is a founding member of the Seattle7Writers and currently lives in Port Townsend, Washington.

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The Key to Happily Ever After by Tif Marcelo #review #romance #familydrama @gallerybooks

Overview

One of BuzzFeed’s “Books Coming Out This Summer That You Need to Seriously Read” * One of Bustle’s “New Romance Novels to Make Your Spring Reading Even Dreamier Than You Imagined” 

A charming romantic comedy about three sisters who are struggling to keep the family wedding planning business afloat—all the while trying to write their own happily-ever-afters in the process. 

All’s fair in love and business.

The de la Rosa family and their wedding planning business have been creating happily ever afters in the Washington, DC area for years, making even the most difficult bride’s day a fairytale. But when their parents announce their retirement, the sisters—Marisol, Janelyn, and Pearl—are determined to take over the business themselves.

But the sisters quickly discover that the wedding business isn’t all rings and roses. There are brides whose moods can change at the drop of a hat; grooms who want to control every part of the process; and couples who argue until their big day. As emotions run high, the de la Rosa sisters quickly realize one thing: even when disaster strikes—whether it’s a wardrobe malfunction or a snowmageddon in the middle of a spring wedding—they’ll always have each other.

Perfect for fans of the witty and engaging novels of Amy E. Reichert and Susan Mallery, The Key to Happily Ever After is a fresh romantic comedy that celebrates the crucial and profound power of sisterhood.

Review

Marisol, Janelyn and Pearl have taken over their family wedding business. But, it is not all it’s cracked up to be. There is a lot of family dynamics, crazy weather and just stressed out brides to deal with! Not to mention, the money issues they inherited.

Pearl is the younger of the three. She is the most laid back and easy going of her sisters. Janelyn is always the peacemaker. Marisol, the only way to put it is…THE BOSS. These three struggle with each other, as most families do. Pearl wants to expand her responsibilities. And because of her easy going nature, Marisol sees this as a big problem. Tensions ride high and emotions are everywhere. But, when the chips are down, there is nothing like family to save the day! These girls always have each other’s backs regardless of the fights, squabbles and tears. And believe me….there are plenty!

I enjoyed every part of this read. It is just adorable. This is a wonderful palate cleanser. It has everything…drama, romance, love and family messes. You cannot go wrong with this one! Pick this up today!

I received this novel from Gallery Books for a honest review

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The Unhoneymooners by Christina Lauren

Overview

For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling authors of Roomies.

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

With Christina Lauren’s “uniquely hilarious and touching voice” (Entertainment Weekly), The Unhoneymooners is a romance for anyone who has ever felt unlucky in love.

Review

Ethan and Olive inherit a honeymoon. Ethan’s brother, Dane, and Olive’s sister, Ami, get married. And everyone at the wedding came down with food poisoning, except for Ethan and Olive. So, they end up going to Maui. Wonder how well this is going to work out? Ethan and Olive HATE each other!

Y’all! This read is absolutely adorable! I fell in love with all the characters, especially Ethan. Ethan and Olive have such a unique relationship. They start out despising each other. It is so bad…they won’t even speak. They can hardly stand to be in the same room together. Well, of course this leads to a relationship….I mean it is a romantic comedy. And a definite comedy it is! With all the family, quips and innuendos, I busted out laughing more than once! Plus this story does some strange twists and turns!

This would be a fantastic read to take on a trip. This story is completely engrossing and easy to get lost in. Don’t miss this!

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A Mother’s Child by Michael Conant #bookspotlight

Mother’s Child

By Michael Conant

Genre: Women’s Literature

 

About the Book

Told in the voice of June, the story’s protagonist, Mother’s Child is a “slice of life” as it unfolds during a short period in a lifetime; strung together by one intensely charged event after another. It is the humor of life, marriage, and motherhood surrounded by the challenges of fighting the onslaught of an unknown disease, broken societal systems, and the suffering of broken hearts. It is the story of the average woman, finding her extraordinary voice, and having the courage to be heard

In just over two months, June Gallagher’s life has turned upside down; it will take a lifetime to resemble “normal” again. Her son’s life is on the line–she is determined to save him. 

 

About the Author

Michael Conant is the publisher and founder of Incorgnito Publishing Press. 

Before entering the world of book publishing, Michael spent over twenty years in b2b publishing. He served as a circulation, sales, and marketing executive, managing products across several industries, with a concentration in financial publications.

Prior to his foray into publishing, Michael pursued his love of theater as an actor, singer, director, and producer at regional theaters, dinner theaters, and at several Off-Off Broadway theaters. Michael introduced New York audiences to the American premier of Hal Shaper’s musical adaptation of Jane Eyre, which featured Michael as Rochester along with a very young Alyssa Milano as his ward, Adelle. 

Shortly after moving to Pasadena, CA, Mr. Conant was introduced to Cure Mito, an organization of “Mito Moms” dedicated to funding Mitochondrial Disease research in support of Dr. Richard Boles at Los Angeles Children’s Hospital. Michael helped the group secure non-profit status and was elected as the organization’s first president. 

In between his publishing duties and new writing efforts, Michael plays a lot of tennis with his South Pasadena, Arroyo Secco teammates. He also spends free time visiting with family and getting “puppy” kisses from his niece’s lovable, crazy Bernedoodle, Bentley. (b3ntley_zefluff on Instagram)

Mr. Conant is also the co-author of David Margrave: The plumber who outwitted the IRS. He may be contacted at mconant@incorgnitobooks.com

Website: https://www.incorgnitobooks.com

Facebook https://www.facebook.com/incorgnito/

Twitter https://twitter.com/IncorgnitoBooks

Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/43710823-mother-s-child

Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Mothers-Child-Michael-Conant/dp/194458966X/ref=tmm_hrd_swatch_0?_encoding=UTF8&qid=1551809422&sr=8-1-fkmrnull-spons

B&N https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/mothers-child-michael-conant/1128373136?ean=9781944589660

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Southern Side of Paradise by Kristy Woodson Harvey #review #fiction

Overview

From internationally bestselling author and “rising star of Southern fiction” (Mary Alice Monroe, New York Times bestselling author) Kristy Woodson Harvey comes the third novel in her Peachtree Bluff series, in which a secret threatens the tight-knit bond between a trio of sisters and their mother.

With the man of her dreams back in her life and all three of her daughters happy, Ansley Murphy should be content. But she can’t help but feel like it’s all a little too good to be true.

Meanwhile, youngest daughter and actress Emerson, who is recently engaged and has just landed the role of a lifetime, seemingly has the world by the tail. Only, something she can’t quite put her finger on is worrying her—and it has nothing to do with her recent health scare.

When two new women arrive in Peachtree Bluff—one who has the potential to wreck Ansley’s happiness and one who could tear Emerson’s world apart—everything is put in perspective. And after secrets that were never meant to be told come to light, the powerful bond between the Murphy sisters and their mother comes crumbling down, testing their devotion to each other and forcing them to evaluate the meaning of family.

With Kristy Woodson Harvey’s signature charm, wit, and heart, The Southern Side of Paradise is another masterful Peachtree Bluff novel that proves she is a “Southern writer with staying power” (Booklist).

Review

Emerson has just landed her dream role as an actress. Not only that…she is engaged! But, somethings are just not right. Her health is not where it needs to be. She is tired and rundown. Plus, her Fiancé, Mark, wants her to give up her career and stay in Peachtree Bluff. She loves Peachtree Bluff, but she has worked so hard to get where she is in her acting and she is not ready to let that go.

I just adore this family. It is not your usual family. The Murphy girls are funny, strong, and definitely have each other’s backs. And when the secret (of course there is a secret!) comes out they must lean on each other to help forgive.

This is a story full of strength, love and family. It is about overcoming obstacles and accepting people for who they are and understanding their decisions and the circumstances under which those decisions were made. This is a fabulous, southern beach read. This whole series is fabulous. Grab this book, your beach hat…and enjoy!

I received this novel from the author for a honest review.

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For Signed Copies Call South Main Book Co:  (704) 630-9788
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Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews #review #fiction

Overview

Pull up a lounge chair and have a cocktail at Sunset Beach – it comes with a twist.

Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job. 

It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance – her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach, a charming but storm-damaged eyesore now surrounded by waterfront McMansions. 

With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spending her days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. Working with Wendy is no picnic either. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may – or may not – involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon. 

Sunset Beach is a compelling ride, full of Mary Kay Andrews’ signature wit, heart, and charm.

Review

Drue has had to accept a job at her father’s law firm. To make matters worse, her direct supervisor is her “frenemy”, Wendy, who happens to be married to her father. Needless to say, this is not ideal working conditions. Luckily, Drue inherited her grandparents beach house.(if she hadn’t, she would be homeless!) While she is cleaning the house up, she runs across a police file. It is a missing persons file. Well, this just opens a can of worms. On top of all of this, there is a case at her dad’s law office which just doesn’t sit right. Well, Drue being Drue, just can’t leave well enough alone.

I love Drue. She has a bad attitude and she does not conform well to what is expected of her. She and Wendy have a rough go. Especially at the first. Her dad struggles to make up for time lost and to try and see Drue succeed. When Drue goes rogue and starts investigating on her own, this leads to a world of supposition and who did it!

The cover of this book is misleading. This is really not a beach read. It is a murder mystery. Actually two completely different mysteries in one book. These mysteries really had me guessing. And no it was not who I thought it was. It was completely twisted.

This is not my favorite MKA novel. I enjoy her light hearted with a little bit of funny thrown in stories. But, this is a good change of pace. Don’t miss this one!

I received this novel from Tandem Literary for a honest review.

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