September 1, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sheila at Book Journey runs It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

Well the week that went past was quite an ordinary week, and I am grateful for that.  

What I read:
Really enjoyed it.
My first by this author.

Review book
Released 1st September

A novella
Loved it.

#2 in the Magnolia set.
Going to enjoy this series for sure.

At present I am reading:
Heaven and Hell by Kristen Ashley
My first by this author.

Up next:
At this point in time I am just not so sure!
Possibly First Grave on the Right by Darynda Jones

August 31, 2014

Until You. Judith McNaught

Until You Book Cover
Until You
Judith McNaught
Publisher:Pocket Books
Date: 1994
Format: Paperback
Genre: Historical romance
Source: Own book

A teacher in a school for wealthy young ladies, Sheridan, Bromleigh is hired to accompany one of her students, heiress Charise Lancaster, to England to meet her fiance. When her charge elopes with a stranger, Sheridan wonders how she will ever explain it to Charise's intended, Lord Burleton.

Standing on the pier, Stephen Westmoreland, the Earl of Langford, assumes the young woman coming toward him is Charise Lancaster -- and informs her of his inadvertent role in a fatal accident involving Lord Burleton the night before. And just as Sheridan is about to speak, she steps into the path of a cargo net loaded with crates!

Sheridan awakens in Westmoreland's mansion with no memory of who she is; the only hint of her past is the puzzling fact that everyone calls her Miss Lancaster. All she truly knows is that she is falling in love with a handsome English earl, and that the life unfolding before her seems full of wondrous possibilities...
My thoughts
Until You is #3 in  Judith McNaught's Westmoreland saga.  This is my first reread of a book for this year - it is so long ago since I read this book that I had forgotten much of the story.  This fact has made me hopeful that many other favourites that sit on my shelf could do with a rereading and will be like reading an unread book.  Shock! Horror!

Sheridan - the heroine has had rather an unusual upbringing - a father who enjoys roaming the countryside going where the spirit moves him, also Rafe a gambler and an old Indian, Dog Lies Sleeping.  She is a spirited lass, who can ride the wildest horse and entertain the local camp sites with her singing.  That all ends when her father drops her off at his sister's place, where she is educated in the more usual way of women of the time.  Later in England, while she has lost her memory, she hasn't lost her spirit or her innate kindness and thoughtfulness.  

When she arrives in England she comes under the care of the Earl of Langford - who starts out as a very caring, compassionate type of man, even if he is at first driven by a little guilt.  However mainly he has a great sense of responsibility.  As the story twists and turns he becomes somewhat obtuse and unbending. I am not sure that I really like that ploy in a story!  He believes that Sheridan has been leading him along with a supposed memory loss and that he can't forgive.  It takes all the wiles of his extended family to bring him to his knees.

I enjoyed my revisit with this book, it has encouraged me to reread the remainder of the Westmoreland saga, although I have to say the contemporary books of Judith McNaught are ones I have on my 'keepers' shelf as well.

How many of you when you reread a book after many years find you have forgotten a good deal of the book - and if I'm honest in this case I had forgotten most of it!
4 stars

August 29, 2014

The House on Mermaid Point. Wendy Wax

The House on Mermaid Point
The House on Mermaid Point
Wendy Wax
Publisher: Berkley
Date: July 2014
Format: Paperback
Pages: 388
Genre: Women's Fiction
Source: Own book
Add to Goodreads
Maddie, Avery, and Nikki first got to know one another—perhaps all too well—while desperately restoring a beachfront mansion to its former grandeur. Now they’re putting that experience to professional use. But their latest project has presented some challenges they couldn’t have dreamed up in their wildest fantasies—although the house does belong to a man who actually was Maddie’s wildest fantasy once . . .

Rock-and-roll legend “William the Wild” Hightower may be past his prime, estranged from his family, and creatively blocked, but he’s still worshiped by fans—which is why he guards his privacy on his own island in the Florida Keys. He’s not thrilled about letting this crew turn his piece of paradise into a bed-and-breakfast for a reality show . . though he is intrigued by Maddie. Hard as that is for her to believe as a newly single woman who can barely manage a dog paddle in the dating pool.

But whether it’s an unexpected flirtation with a bona fide rock star, a strained mother-daughter relationship, or a sudden tragedy, these women are in it together. The only thing that might drive them apart is being trapped on a houseboat with one bathroom . .
My thoughts
The women we met first in Ten Beach Road and then in Ocean Beach are back.  It was every bit as enthralling reading about them in The House on Mermaid Point as it was the previous two times.

How things are changing since that first time we met them.  Maddie was having difficulties in her marriage back then, now she is single woman again, and growing in stature all the time.  She still has that wise, caring way about her, and she is also a woman to be reckoned with.  Don't expect her to pick up what you drop anytime soon, those days are gone. Loved the growing relationship with William Hightower.

Deirdre and her daughter Avery are furthering their reconciliation - with many surprising developments along the way.  Kyra and Dustin are delightful as they have always been, Kyra is proving she is a good mother - and Dustin is charming.  Their story too develops with a surprising and wonderful revelation towards the end.  

The Do Over boss is as difficult as always and again is not out to make life easy for the women. However change is on the way! There are many challenges along the way - as a group and individually.  What will Nicole do - she has someone who loves her, but she is just so not willing to trust the idea of marriage again. 

Rich descriptive details bring the setting alive, the character development was deeply satisfying, and while every little detail was not tidied up and made into 'happily ever after', each woman was on a satisfying journey and the place they found themselves in was perfect for now.
5 stars

Book Blog Walkers Check in. 29th August

This challenge is organised by Felicia over at the Geeky Blogger's Book Blog. And this week Jen at That's What I'm Talking About is hosting it for August.

Oh my, we are at the end of August - that sped by fast!

This week:
Saturday: 30 min walking
Sunday: 30 min  walking 
Monday: 30 min  walking
Tuesday: 30 min  walking
Wednesday: 40 min walking
Thursday: rest
Friday: rest

I am still listening to River Road by Jayne Ann Krentz as I walk - enjoying the listen.  Thinking about buying a fitbit to check how many steps I am walking in a day. We'll see.

August 26, 2014

The Homecoming. Robyn Carr

the Homecoming
The Homecoming
Robyn Carr
Publisher: Harlequin Mira
Date: 26th August 2014
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 400
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Publisher via NetGalley
Add to Goodreads
At the age of nineteen, Seth Sileski had everything. A superb athlete and scholar, handsome and popular, he was the pride of Thunder Point. Destined for greatness, he lost it all in a terrible accident that put an end to his professional football career when it had barely begun. The people in his hometown have never forgotten what might have been.

Seth has come to terms with the turns his life has taken. But now he's been presented with an opportunity to return home and show his father—and the people of Thunder Point—he's become a better, humbler version of his former self.

Winning over his father isn't the only challenge. Seth must also find a way to convince his childhood neighbor and best friend, Iris McKinley, to forgive him for breaking her heart. With his homecoming, will Seth be able to convince the town, his family and especially Iris that he's finally ready to be the man who will make them all proud?
My thoughts
The Homecoming is #6 in Robyn Carr's Thunder Point series.  I love the title of this book, it so aptly fits the story, with Seth returning home, and as well there is a history that he has with Iris around the Homecoming week when they were still at high school. This significant event changed their relationship, one that had a big impact on Iris.  Seth himself - not so much, but an event further along in his road has shaped and changed him.  Now the two - Iris and Seth, friends since they were youngsters, meet again as Seth returns to his home town.

While Seth was always a good guy, in his youth he was pretty much driven by hormones and heady thoughts of the big time in sport.  Now he has changed, life has dealt him a pretty hefty blow, and his values have realigned.  He has arrived home to take up a new job as the local deputy in the sheriff's office.  He also wants to renew his friendship with Iris - and soon is hoping for more.  I loved the way Seth has grown into the man he is today, and I really loved his friendship with Oscar. I don't want to give any part of the story away, so I won't say how they met.  

Iris was deeply hurt by Seth, and she is now very guarded with her heart when it comes to Seth.  She is doing a great job as a local counsellor in the high school.  She is a kind, caring person and very good at her job.  Her mother is dead and she never knew who her father was.  She has a good friend in Troy - another teacher at the school, who was hoping to be more than that.  She also has a friend in Grace who bought the flower shop that Iris' mother owned before she died.  

Seth sets out to woo Iris and overcome her resistance to him.  Along the way their work brings them together and they find themselves caught up in a family's issues where there is a possibility of bullying and/or abuse.    This part of the story was very well done, and the crisis towards the end had me reading on.  The final unravelling of this aspect of the story did not leave me surprised.  

Another engaging and warm love story, a story that also explores a wealth of relationships, and is full of hope and promise. Robyn Carr is the Queen of small town stories.
4 stars
Thunder Point
The Homecoming 

August 25, 2014

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's Monday! What Are You Reading?
Sheila at Book Journey runs It's Monday! What Are You Reading?

It's all been a rather ordinary week - that's good right!  I did celebrate a milestone birthday that went over three days at least!  Eyes on retirement at the end of the year now!

What I read during the week:
Another in her Blueberry Cove series.

Beginning of new series.
Way too hot for my taste.

What I am reading at present.
Keeper of the Light by Diane Chamberlain
Keeper of the Light is the first book I have ever read by this author, I picked this book up from a book fair last year, after noticing many bloggers seem to enjoy her writing.  Halfway through and know I will want to read more of her books.

Up Next:
Country at Heart by Mandy Magro
(first time reading this author too)

The Biscuit Witch by Deborah Smith

August 23, 2014

Sandpiper Island. Donna Kauffman

Sandpiper Island book cover
Sandpiper Island
Donna Kauffman
Publisher: Kensington
Date: 26th August 2014
Format: e-ARC
Pages: 336
Genre: Contemporary
Source: Publisher via NetGalley

Ford Maddox was running from his past when he came back to Blueberry Cove, Maine, where he'd tasted both heartache and comfort. With feisty Delia O'Reilly there to cheer him on, he couldn't have picked a better place to start over—even if he's determined to do it alone in his island tree house, working to save endangered seabirds . . . and himself.

But when he finds Delia fighting to hold on to her local diner, and all that's best about their little seaside town, Ford has to lend a hand. Suddenly two fiercely independent people are building something sweeter than they ever imagined . . . together. DIY is so much better with two...
My thoughts
Sandpiper Island is #3 in the Bachelors of Blueberry Cove series by Donna Kauffman.  While it is part of a series, this book is easily read as a stand alone.

Ford is a recluse, he lives on Sandpiper Island where he does research on the bird population and generally keeps an eye out for their welfare.  He has pretty much closed himself off from people, he has been a soldier and carries within him the horrors of war, plus his good friend Tommy - also Delia's brother, died in his arms on the battlefield.  

Delia has nurtured her small town restaurant, her Gran then Delia have always cooked there, it is a part of the small town life.  Delia has experienced the loss of her Gran and brother, and her first husband walked out on her because he wanted to do his thing, and she wanted to keep the restaurant.

Now Brooks Winstock wants the site her restaurant is on so that he can build his yacht club.  He has bent the ear of the local mayor and it looks like Delia is about to lose the restaurant.  Up until now she has a lease agreement with the local body, but now that lease agreement is finished.  Is Delia's restaurant finished too?  Does she want to combat the ideas of the few rich people in the area, so that she can carry on doing what she has always done, and allow Blueberry Cove keep its small town, local feel. The problem is Delia feels unsettled, she hankers after something more in her life - what is it?

Ford hears about the trouble and comes into town, with the purpose of helping Delia out, although Delia isn't that easy to help out, at first she is not quite ready to let Ford in.  However she is having pretty sexy dreams about him!

I found it a little difficult to fully engage with the characters of Ford and Delia, I wanted to love them and the story itself, but it left me a little disappointed.  The book is well written, the setting is wonderful, I just wanted the plot to zing a little more.

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