June 22, 2017

A Stardance Summer. Emily March

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Published: St Martin's Press
Date: 27th June 2017
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
4 stars                   Add to Goodreads
Brick Callahan enjoys every minute of chaos at his campground, Stardance Ranch, especially after the Tornado Alleycats arrive for an extended summer stay. The members of the all-female glamorous camping club are primarily seniors—active and adventurous, friendly and fun. But when he discovers Liliana Howe frolicking with the glamping grannies in a late night skinny-dipping session, he fears he's in for a summer of trouble. Because his best friend's kid sister has grown up to be drop-dead gorgeous.

Betrayed by those she trusted, Lili decides she's put her career first for too long. She sells her practical sedan, buys a travel trailer, and heads to Eternity Springs for a summer of rest, relaxation, and reassessment as the newest member of the Alleycats. The last person she expects to find running an RV resort is her high school crush. Their undeniable mutual attraction is a reminder that life is full of surprises. But when the past comes calling, will their summer romance stand the test of time?

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As I marked Stardance Summer by Emily March on Goodreads as currently reading, I noticed it was #13 in the series. How did we get that far in this romantic series I love so much. The time has sped by. These books are an auto read for me, and I love every visit to Eternity Springs where the inimitable Celeste, the 'angel' watches over all - especially would be couples, who need a little push and shove to find themselves, heal and reach out to true love.

This time it is Liliana who flees to Eternity Springs because she has struck trouble in her home town and she sure is hurting from it. She joins a feisty group of women out to have a good time, led by Patsy, in a way not dissimilar to the wonderful Celeste in her spirit and ways of life. 

Lilana walks right into the camp of Brick Callahan ( and don't get me going on the Callahan men, omg - I love that gang).  It's a bit of a shock for Lili, she sets eyes on Brick and realises she has known him as the boy next door, many years ago when he was Mark and her brother's best friend. And... her secret love. He was very good to her but well she still wasn't allowed into their tree house.

Along the way as these two meet up and explore their relationship now, we get to reacquaint ourselves with many of the beloved characters in this town. If you are new to the series you don't have to have read previous books, they all stand alone, however every story is such fun.  Many of them join with Celeste to put the screws on Brick when he is following the path all Callahan men seem prone to take, as I said I just love them.

Another heart warming, delightful read and visit to Eternity Springs. One of those small towns you really wish existed and you could visit... or live!
Emily March is the New York Times, Publisher’s Weekly, and USA Today bestselling author of over thirty novels, including the critically acclaimed Eternity Springs series. Publishers Weekly calls March a "master of delightful banter," and her heartwarming, emotionally charged stories have been named to Best of the Year lists by Publishers Weekly, Library Journal, and Romance Writers of America. A graduate of Texas A&M University, Emily is an avid fan of Aggie sports and her recipe for jalapeño relish has made her a tailgating legend.

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June 20, 2017

The Cafe by the Sea Jenny Colgan

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Published: William Morrow
Date: June 27th 2017
Format: e-ARC
Genre: Contemporary Fiction
Source: Publisher via Edelweiss
4.5 stars             Add to Goodreads
Years ago, Flora fled the quiet Scottish island where she grew up -- and she hasn't looked back. What would she have on Mure? It's a place where everyone has known her all her life, where no one will let her forget the past. In bright, bustling London, she can be anonymous, ambitious... and hopelessly in love with her boss.

But when fate brings Flora back to the island, she's suddenly swept once more into life with her brothers -- all strapping, loud, and seemingly incapable of basic housework -- and her father. Yet even amid the chaos of their reunion, Flora discovers a passion for cooking -- and find herself restoring dusty little pink-fronted shop on the harbour: a café by the sea.

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So on the one hand you have hot, muggy, dirty London - squashed into a tiny flat, eating food from a microwave and doing a small paralegal job. Or... you could be back home on a small Scottish island in the far north. That is the dilemma for Flora in The Cafe by the Sea.  She has escaped island life, her mother was always so keen for her to be educated and to go forth and experience the world, not the small world of the island.

However Flora finds herself back on the island when her work calls for someone who knows the local area well and some law as well. There we find her back with her family, in a tough hardworking family farming environment. They are a family who deeply mourn the loss of a wife and mother gone before her time. They've let things slide, and Flora isn't too sure of her welcome back - even for such a short time - because she may have gone too far in what she said at her mother's funeral.

I can only say I adored the setting of the island, the scenery described, the wildlife, the animals. If I were a travelling person its a place I'd love to visit. Joel, Flora's boss sees the beauty of the place and the way Flora handles herself in this environment. Unbeknown to him Flora has been carrying a torch for him for a long time. But Joel has issues of his own and is a little overpowered by the strong family environment he witnesses when he visits to check up on the case in hand.

I loved all the characters, Flora's Dad, her three brothers, her three year old niece and of course the dogs. And all the crusty people that make up the island, along with the wealthy new hotel owner - Colton, who wants to prevent a wind farm being built right in front of the hotel, but must woo these taciturn people to his way of thinking.

I was transported out of my own life into these islanders lives and I loved every moment of it. A very entertaining and delicious read!

page turner well written delish keeper shelf book

June 19, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading 19th June


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
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As a reader I gather all the books I want to read, and as always it takes ages to get to them. The same happens to me with quilting opportunities... I am always seeing fabrics, patterns and quilt alongs I want to try. There are never enough hours in the day!

Sometimes I lose something and never see it again. This week after four years an iPod Touch 4 turned up. I used them for class work when teaching and this went missing about a year or so before I retired. We stored the iPods in a filing cabinet and it turns out someone found it there. Now the school where I taught has since closed and moved to new premises and that filing cabinet moved too. Yet a teacher dropped the iPod Touch into me in pristine condition!  I had a bit of a laugh at the photos and videos on it as it awakened memories. (Yes I bought a couple of iPods, I'd be waiting forever for the school to do it, although they did get an iPad for each room). When I was teaching I loved using such technology in the classroom. I donated the others to a starting out teacher when I retired, but I will keep this one now.

We had a lot of fun making the videos and of course I am sure they were educational!!

Also this week a book I requested on NetGalley over a year ago was also approved. I had given up on it and forgotten about it. How odd is that!

This week I have enjoyed a couple of bloggers who have been sharing about Book Expo. Sheila from Book Journey shared about time with Lisa Jewell and Jane Green  and Kristin from Always With a Book shared each of her days 1-4 of Book Expo. I love to live vicariously!                                         

What I read last week:

Well I didn't accomplish a lot of reading this week as I got caught up in hours of quilting. It was also a people kind of week, which was really nice but meant my reading was limited although rewarding.
I read for review....
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What I am reading at present:

From the very recently bought pile a book from one of my top favourite series. I do read paranormal but I am not a huge paranormal reader, but this series speaks to my reader's heart. I love those changelings.
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Still listening to...
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Really enjoying it, I remember none of it which I guess is not surprising after so many years, and am chuckling away as I listen.

Up next:

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Last Weeks Posts
Come Sundown   Nora Roberts
Beach House for Rent   Mary Alice Monroe
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June 16, 2017

Beach House For Rent. Mary Alice Monroe

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Published:Gallery Books
Date: June 20th 2017
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 384
Genre: Southern Fiction
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
4 stars                     Add to Goodreads
Mary Alice Monroe,bestselling author of the Lowcountry Summer series, returns to her beloved Beach House series with the highly anticipated follow-up to Beach House Memories and The Beach House.

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Beach House for Rent is #4 in Mary Alice Monroe's Beach House series. I hadn't read the previous books so I can say this is a very good stand alone, and I am sure lovers of the series would also relish this beautiful addition to it.

The characters:
Cara is just turning fifty and she is having a life crisis. While happily married to Brett for the last ten years, she feels she is missing out on something, a passion and purpose in life over and beyond what she has now. Once a very successful advertising agent she is now questioning where her life is going. As the story unfolds and as it turns out her whole life is turned upside down in this book and it is a slow crawl out of the deep hole she finds herself in.

Heather is a young woman who lost her mother in a car accident that Heather too was in. Always a shy person she now suffers from panic attacks and social anxiety. However what she does have is a passion for painting and she has just won a commission to paint some southern seabirds for some stamps. When her father arranges for her to spend the summer in the beach house she is really anxious about it - however it turns out to be a very healing and growing time for her.

The setting:
If you love the beach and the sea and the sand and the romance of a beach house then you can indulge in this book - it is alive with the sights and sounds and beauty painted in words for you to envision by Mary Alice Monroe. The beach house - Primrose Cottage is delightful, who wouldn't want to spend a summer in it, no one in their right mind would sell it.

As in all the novels I have read by Mary Alice Monroe the flora and fauna of the southern coast of Carolina is wonderfully brought to life. Through Heather's eyes we see the wonders of the birds and the turtles. We also get a peek into the life of canaries as Heather as three gorgeous birds that bring her so much joy.  And of course there is a strong theme of environmental care running through the story.

The Extras
I liked the small cast of secondary characters, the men in Heather's and Cara's life, the friends they both make or already have. I especially enjoyed having a little mention of a couple of characters from the lowcountry series.   All in all a very enjoyable read.

June 13, 2017

Come Sundown Nora Roberts

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Published: Piatkus
Date: 30th May 2017
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Source: Thank you to Hachette Australia
                 Add to Goodreads
Love. Lies. Murder. A lot can happen... COME SUNDOWN

Bodine Longbow loves to rise with the dawn. As the resort manager of her family's resort in Western Montana, there just aren't enough hours in the day - for life, for work, for loved ones. She certainly doesn't have time for love, not even in the gorgeous shape of her childhood crush Callen Skinner, all grown up and returned to the ranch. Then again, maybe Callen can change her mind, given time...

But when a young woman's body is discovered on resort land, everything changes. Callen falls under the suspicion of a deputy sheriff with a grudge. And for Bodine's family, the murder is a shocking reminder of an old loss. Twenty-five years ago, Bodine's Aunt Alice vanished, never to be heard of again. Could this new tragedy be connected to Alice's mysterious disappearance?

As events take a dramatic and deadly turn, Bodine and Callen must race to uncover the truth - before the sun sets on their future together.

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All I can say is Nora Roberts does it again with Come Sundown. There is mystery and crime, strong women, a beautiful ranch and resort in Montana, family and friends, romance - all of which combine into making a downright good read.

Bodine - the heroine is a strong, feisty woman and boss, she runs the resort side of the family business really well. She comes from a strong line of women - there's Miss Fancy her great grandmother of 89 years, Cora her grandmother and Maureen her mother. And don't think Miss Fancy sits all day in a rocking chair, don't offend her with that. She can still ride out when she wants over the ranch.  One of the laughs I got from this book was a tee shirt she turned out in one time with a really apt and clever slogan on the front. Not going to spoil it for you though, you just need to come across it.

There is darkness in this novel, Bodine's Aunt Alice went missing, she was a little of the black sheep of the family and had left home to do her thing. However she is taken hostage by a very bad guy and lost to the family. Bodine and her two brothers have never met her or seen her. At times we get the viewpoint of this evil, ugly man and for some that could be off putting. But so far one thing I can say is, Nora Roberts never lets the bad guy win - so hang in there.

These dark spots are juxtaposed against family, life on the ranch and resort. Family bonds are so strong and when Callen rides in on his amazing horse life gets even better. He is a long time friend of Bodine's brother Chase, returning to his place of birth after time in Hollywood training horses. Soon he is very much involved in life on the ranch and resort. And dang it. That horse of his, there is something magical about it.

I love the title of this book and how it relates to the story, won't give it away, but its perfect. At times during the reading I shied away from the ugly, caught my breath at the very emotional points and chuckled at some of the humour that sprang out in places.  

June 12, 2017

It's Monday! What Are You Reading. 12th June


It's Monday! What Are You Reading? is a place to meet up and share what you have been, are and about to be reading over the week.  It's a great post to organise yourself. It's an opportunity to visit and comment, and er... add to that ever growing TBR pile! So welcome in everyone. This meme started with J Kaye's Blog   and then was taken up by Sheila from Book Journey. Sheila then passed it on to Kathryn at the Book Date. And here we are!

Jen Vincent, Teach Mentor Texts, and Kellee of Unleashing Readers decided to give It’s Monday! What Are You Reading? a kidlit focus. If you read and review books in children’s literature – picture books, chapter books, middle grade novels, young adult novels, anything in the world of kidlit – join them!
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Well another great week of reading. Thoroughly enjoyed all my books and looking forward to the ones coming up this week.  

The sun has been shining - mostly, and the fires at night keep me warm!                                                         

What I read last week:

From the review shelf
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From the recently bought shelf
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Audiobook finished.
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What I am reading at present:

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Listening to
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Up next:

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Last Weeks Posts
The Swallow's Nest   Emilie Richards
Anne of Green Gables Read Along 2017

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