What is it about summer reading. It’s always been such a special time for me to read, going back to my early teens when I would spend hours and hours in the Carmi public library every chance I got, so it’s no surprise that I’ve had my nose stuck in books all summer. I’ve got some really good ones to share with you, starting with Danielle Steel’s Country. I was such a fan of hers back in the day, and then she started grinding them out and the quality just wasn’t there. I never gave up on her, and I’ve often been disappointed, but not with her latest book. She’s got a winner with Country, it’s her best novel in years.
Don’t expect anything heavy on my list, I’m strictly a light, airy romance novel kinda girl. Mysteries aren’t my thing, bodice rippers I detest, I just like contemporary novels by familiar authors and if it’s a series, even better. Don’t you just love series, aren’t they wonderful? You get to know the characters and the town, and it just keeps on going, book after book after book. For me, the best books are the ones set in a small village, or a seaside or mountain town. My favorites are never in a city, they’re always in quaint settings. And I know I keep saying that all of these books are excellent, and they are! I’m not going to put the duds on my favorites list, even though I’ve had my share. But back to the synopsis of Country...
Stephanie Adams is a devoted stay-at-home mother, married to a successful lawyer in northern California, in a dead marriage she’s stayed in for years for the sake of her children. Then, on a ski trip in Squaw Valley, her fifty-two-year-old husband dies suddenly and all bets are off. Despite her children’s grief, and her own conflicting emotions and loneliness, Stephanie tries to move on, but struggles to find herself as an independent individual after years of giving up her life for everyone else.
A spur-of-the-moment road trip and fork in the road lead her to Las Vegas, the Grand Canyon, and a chance meeting—and her whole life changes forever. She meets country music megastar Chase Taylor, who opens his whole world to her. Stephanie is no longer the same woman, and can’t be anymore. A new man. A new life. The excitement of Nashville. She discovers not only Chase, but herself. The music is bittersweet and the lyrics true in his dazzling, exotic, and honest world. As it deftly explores the complex ties between spouses, children, lovers, and friends, and dances between the past and the future, Danielle Steel’s moving novel brilliantly captures the shock of sudden loss, and the freedom it can bring. Here America’s most beloved novelist shares the enduring power of seizing the day. Carpe diem.
Robyn Carr is my very favorite author. In the 90’s it was LaVyrle Spencer, then she retired much too early and it took years for me to find an author I liked as much, and then I found Robyn Carr. I was a huge, huge fan of her Virgin River Series, all twenty of them, they are so good. If you aren’t familiar with her Virgin River Series, start with Book 1 and keep on reading. You won’t be disappointed.
Book 20 - My Kind of Christmas
Book 19 - Sunrise Point
Book 18 - Redwood Bend
Book 17 - Hidden Summit
Book 16 - Bring Me Home for Christmas
Book 15 - Harvest Moon
Book 14 - Wild Man Creek
Book 13 - Promise Canyon
Book 12 - "Midnight Confessions" (novella)
Book 11 - Moonlight Road
Book 10 - Angel's Peak
Book 9 - Forbidden Falls
Book 8 - "Under the Christmas Tree" (novella)
Book 7 - Paradise Valley
Book 6 - Temptation Ridge
Book 5 - Second Chance Pass
Book 4 - A Virgin River Christmas
Book 3 - Whispering Rock
Book 2 - Shelter Mountain
Book 1 - Virgin River
Her latest series is Thunder Point. I’ve read all of this series so far, they’re page turners, but still not quite up to Virgin River standards, in my opinion. Nevertheless, I really enjoyed this book.
After losing her child, Ginger Dysart was lost in grief. But since moving to Thunder Point, a small town on the Oregon coast, Ginger is finally moving forward. Her job at the flower shop is peaceful and fulfilling, and she's excited to be assisting with the Lacoumette wedding.
In spite of her lasting heartache, Ginger is swept up in the pleasure of the occasion. But the beauty of the Lacoumette farm and the joy of the gregarious family are ruined by an unfortunate encounter with the bride's brother, Matt. Struggling with painful memories of his own, Matt makes a drunken spectacle of himself when he tries to make a pass at Ginger, forcing her to flee the scene in embarrassment.
But when Matt shows up at the flower shop determined to make amends, what started out as a humiliating first meeting blossoms into something much deeper than either of them expected. Everyone around them worries that Ginger will end up with a broken heart yet again. But if Ginger has the courage to embrace the future, and if Matt can finally learn to let go of the past, there may still be hope for a happy ending.
If you’ve never read Mary Kay Andrews, you’re missing out! All of her books, Savannah Blues, Savannah Breeze, Summer Rental, The Fixer Upper, and Hissy Fit, just to name a few, are hilarious. Her latest, Beach Town, is another winner, I really enjoyed it.
Greer Hennessy is a struggling movie location scout. Her last location shoot ended in disaster when a film crew destroyed property on an avocado grove. And Greer ended up with the blame.
Now Greer has been given one more chance--a shot at finding the perfect undiscovered beach town for a big budget movie. She zeroes in on a sleepy Florida panhandle town. There's one motel, a marina, a long stretch of pristine beach and an old fishing pier with a community casino--which will be perfect for the film's climax--when the bad guys blow it up in an all-out assault on the townspeople.
Greer slips into town and is ecstatic to find the last unspoilt patch of the Florida gulf coast. She takes a room at the only motel in town, and starts working her charm. However, she finds a formidable obstacle in the town mayor, Eben Thinadeaux. Eben is a born-again environmentalist who's seen huge damage done to the town by a huge paper company. The bay has only recently been re-born, a fishing industry has sprung up, and Eben has no intention of letting anybody screw with his town again. The only problem is that he finds Greer way too attractive for his own good, and knows that her motivation is in direct conflict with his.
Will true love find a foothold in this small beach town before it's too late and disaster strikes? Told with Mary Kay Andrews inimitable wit and charm, Beach Town is this year's summer beach read!
Another favorite author, Barbara Delinsky, never fails to spin a good story. This one was excellent, and I’m loving the fact that these books are written for older women.
Blueprints, the new novel from bestselling author Barbara Delinsky, is the story of two strong women, Caroline MacAfee, a skilled carpenter, and her daughter Jamie, a talented architect. The day after her 56th birthday, Caroline is told the network wants Jamie to replace her as the host on Gut It!, their family-based home construction TV show. The resulting rift couldn't come at a worse time.
For Jamie, life changes overnight when, soon after learning of the host shift, her father and his new wife die in a car accident that orphans their two-year-old son. Accustomed to organization and planning, she is now grappling with a toddler who misses his parents, a fiancé who doesn't want the child, a staggering new attraction, and a work challenge that, if botched, could undermine the future of both MacAfee Homes and Gut It!
For Caroline, hosting Gut It! is part of her identity. Facing its loss, she feels betrayed by her daughter and old in the eyes of the world. When her ex-husband dies, she is thrust into the role of caregiver to his aging father. And then there's Dean, a long-time friend, whose efforts to seduce her awaken desires that have been dormant for so long that she feels foreign to herself.Who am I? Both women ask, as the blueprints they've built their lives around suddenly need revising. While loyalties shift, decisions hover, and new relationships tempt, their challenge comes not only in remaking themselves, but in rebuilding their relationship with each other.
Yep, Christmas in July. I read this last week, it was a quick, easy read and it was so good!
New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne welcomes you to Haven Point, a small town full of big surprises that are both merry and bright.
Nothing short of a miracle can restore Eliza Hayward's Christmas cheer. The job she pinned her dreams on has gone up in smoke—literally—and now she's stuck in an unfamiliar, if breathtaking, small town. Precariously close to being destitute, Eliza needs a hero, but she's not expecting one who almost runs her down with his car!
Rescuing Eliza is pure instinct for tech genius Aidan Caine. At first, putting the renovation of his lakeside guest lodge in Eliza's hands assuages his guilt—until he sees how quickly he could fall for her. Having focused solely on his business for years, he never knew what his life was missing before Eliza, but now he's willing to risk his heart on a yuletide romance that could lead to forever.
And the following I haven’t read yet, but I’m going to, I read every evening, it’s just what I do.
Jill Shalvis, another favorite author, I have a lot, don’t I? Here’s a synopsis of her first book of the Cedar Ridge Series:
Cedar Ridge, Colorado, is famous for crisp mountain air, clear blue skies, and pine-scented breezes. And it's the last place Lily Danville wants to be. But she needs a job, and there's an opening at the hottest resort in her hometown. What has her concerned is the other hot property in Cedar Ridge: Aidan Kincaid-firefighter, rescue worker, and heartbreaker. She never could resist that devastating smile . . .
The Kincaid brothers are as rough and rugged as the Rocky Mountains they call home. Aidan has always done things his own way, by his own rules. And never has he regretted anything more than letting Lily walk out of his life ten years ago. If anyone has ever been in need of rescuing, she has. What she needs more than anything are long hikes, slow dances, and sizzling kisses. But that can only happen if he can get her to give Cedar Ridge-and this bad boy-a second chance . . .
Mariah Stewart, she’s fairly new to me, but she’s endorsed by Robyn Carr, so that’s good enough for me. The synopsis sounds like this is going to be a winner...
Jamie Valentine is the wildly successful author of self-help books advocating transparency in every relationship. But when her widowed mother passes away unexpectedly, Jamie discovers her own life has been based on a lie. Angry and deeply betrayed, she sets out to find the truth—which may be in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay. Cutting her most recent book tour short, Jamie books a room at the Inn at Sinclair’s Point, just outside St. Dennis.
The death of Daniel Sinclair’s father forced him to take over the family inn, and his wife’s death left him a single parent of two children, so there’s little room for anything else in his life. His lovely new guest is intriguing, though, and he’s curious about the secret she’s clearly hiding. But in the end, Jamie and Dan could discover the greatest truth of all: that the search for one thing just might lead to the find of a lifetime—if you keep your heart open.
This is the second book in a new series by RaeAnne Thane, the first was Snow Cove Angel, the book I just read.
New York Times bestselling author RaeAnne Thayne brings you back to Haven Point—a place made for second chances…
McKenzie Shaw would do anything for her hometown of Haven Point. It may be small, but it's never let her down…unlike gorgeous, infuriating Ben Kilpatrick. He was her childhood hero until he closed his family's factory, leaving the town's economy in shambles. Now his tech firm is considering opening a local facility. For Haven Point's sake, McKenzie has to grit her teeth and play nice.
What could a town filled with painful memories ever offer Ben? Yet seeing the town through the eyes of McKenzie—its fiery young mayor—he suddenly has his answer. If only he can resolve the animosity crackling between them, Ben may have found the place where he can build ties and find healing…a place where love arrives when it's least expected.
And this is some of what I’m reading this summer. You can find me every evening, curled up in my comfy chair with Mags on my lap and my nose stuck in an e-book. It just doesn’t get any better than this… ~ Jan