Friday, August 17, 2018

Blog Break!

So, I had A WEEK.  I planned on sharing much more content with you all this week, but I had a run in with food poisoning/stomach virus and a brief hospital stint. The bug took me down for the count for most of the week.  I apologize for being MIA. I'm just happy to be upright at this point. 

And now, I am leaving you all again for our last family vacation of the summer. So, it will be quiet around here for a week or so, but I'll be back in September sharing more beach reads, because beach reads don't stop in September, right? In fact, the BEST time at the beach is September! I'll probably end the Summer Kickoff Feature in mid-September; meanwhile, I am soaking in every last drop of summer sunshine.  

See you guys in about two weeks! Also, if you want to see where my family is headed (hint: it's the happiest place on Earth) and all our adventures, follow me on Instagram where I'm sure I will share all the chaos, magic, and more chaos. 

Have a great week,

Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Book Review: The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews

Pages: 480
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date: May 8, 2018
Publisher: St. Martin's 
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author:  The Weekenders
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.  Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.  The High Tide Club is Mary Kay Andrews at her Queen of the Beach Reads best, a compelling and witty tale of romance thwarted, friendships renewed, justice delivered, and true love found. "
Lawyer and single mother Brooke Trappnell has left her well-off life in the city to start over with her son in a coastal Georgia town.  She is just trying to get by at this point when she receives a mysterious phone call from an elderly woman named Josephine.  But this isn't any old lady. She is a millionaire! Why is she calling Brooke? Well, Josephine wants Brooke to meet her on Talisa Island to talk about how Brooke, as a lawyer, can help Josephine. The more she learns about Josephine, the more complex and complicated things become.  For starters, Josephine wants Brooke to help her make sure that her house doesn't get torn down and turned into some ridiculous conference center. She also wants to make sure that her money, (and the island!), get left to her three best friends, Millie Ruth and Varina. She calls them members of the High Tide Club. But there's a problem. Josephine hasn't talked to them in ages; in fact, they are estranged.  Josephine, at this point in her life, wants to make things right, but she needs Brooke to help her get the women to Talisa Island.  Plus, there's secrets that Josephine is hiding and lots of them!

Josephine is a complex woman in The High Tide Club. Of course I didn't enjoy her character at first; she's really rather crotchety, but once Andrews explained more about her background and we flashback to Josephine as a younger woman, I really started to enjoy her more. Through the flashbacks, we get to see Josephine and the High Tide Club girls as young ladies enjoying life. I truly loved these flashbacks; they were, for me, the best parts of the book along with the coastal setting of Talisa Island.

But The High Tide Club is so much more than your regular beach read. There's secrets, romance, and......a murder mystery. I have to say a few events in the novel took me by surprise. Andrews does a good job with some plot twists! Also, I loved the setting of Talisa Island. Andrews made me feel like I was down South, on the beach with a good drink and contemplating skinny dipping with the High Tide Club gals. The parties, the beautiful homes, the private beaches and star filled skies were all so vivid and memorable.

I ended up giving The High Tide Club 3.5 stars instead of 4 due to some slow parts as well as the character of Brooke. While I liked her, her romance in the story left me feeling a bit flat and I didn't feel as drawn to her character as much as the other aspects of the story, such as Josephine's secret.

Nonetheless, if you like your beach reads with not just romance and a gorgeous Southern setting, but also historical details and a side of intrigue, then check out The High Tide Club before the summer is over.

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Stacking the Shelves (74)

Can't Wait Wednesday: Daisy Jones & the Six
Book Review: Sailing Lessons by Hannah McKinnon 

I'll be sharing my thoughts on The High Tide Club by Mary Kay Andrews. It was such a great beach read and one that I think many people will enjoy!


House of Gold by Natasha Solomons - Thanks to Putnam and NetGalley
Glass Ocean by Beatriz Williams, Lauren Willig and Karen White - Thanks to Edelweiss and William Morrow

Have you read any of these books? Are they on your TBR list? Let me know your thoughts. Thanks for visiting! This meme is hosted by Kimberly at Caffeinated Book Reviewer.

Friday, August 10, 2018

Friday Five (47)

Happy Friday! We made it to the end of the week. Finally! I'm sharing what I have been up to/thinking about/enjoying lately. 

1.  Grove Collaborative - I have been on the hunt for a website that has alllllll my favorite natural products and this one seems to be it.  My local supermarket doesn't carry all this, so I am pumped to have access to natural cleaning products, vitamins, etc, instead of always ordering them from 500 different companies online or stopping by my local Whole Foods and spending all my money.  Have you guys heard about this website? The prices are great! If interested, you can check it out here. Right now they are doing an awesome promotion (free Mrs. Meyer's products and cleaning caddy!) for new members, so go check it out! 

2.  Banished on BBC - I have been in a TV slump this summer; however, I am really liking this show on Amazon Video. I really enjoy most of the shows on the BBC and I love the historical context of this show. It take place on Australia when it was a penal colony. It reminds me a bit of Jamestown on PBS.

3.  Bug Spray - What's your favorite all-natural bug spray? The Honest Company had this fantastic bug spray that actually worked for me, but they have discontinued it. Since then, I have tried 1,000 different natural bug sprays that haven't worked in the least bit.  I am still getting destroyed outside with my kids. I really don't want to resort to anything with DEET. Do you guys have a good recommendation for me? 

4.  Disney's The Nutcracker and the Four Realms - I love all things The Nutcracker, so I am so excited for this movie. Did you guys see the trailer yet? It looks awesome! Let me know what you think.


5.  Beach Reads - Which book is your favorite beach read of the summer? I am still reading beach reads and probably will straight through September, but if I had to choose at this moment I would save Save the Date by Morgan Matson as my YA pick and The Summer Wives by Beatriz Williams or The Secret to Southern Charm by Kristy Woodson Harvey as my Adult Fiction pick.  What would you guys pick?

Happy Friday,

Wednesday, August 8, 2018

Can't Wait Wednesday: Daisy Jones & the Six

Can't Wait Wednesday is hosted by Wishful Endings and helps us spotlight upcoming releases we're eagerly anticipating!

Daisy Jones & the Six by Taylor Jenkins Reid
Pub. Date: March 5, 2019

Goodreads says, "Everyone knows Daisy Jones & The Six, but nobody knows the real reason why they split at the absolute height of their popularity...until now.  Daisy is a girl coming of age in L.A. in the late sixties, sneaking into clubs on the Sunset Strip, sleeping with rock stars, and dreaming of singing at the Whisky a Go-Go. The sex and drugs are thrilling, but it's the rock and roll she loves most. By the time she's twenty, her voice is getting noticed, and she has the kind of heedless beauty that makes people do crazy things.  Another band getting noticed is The Six, led by the brooding Billy Dunne. On the eve of their first tour, his girlfriend Camila finds out she's pregnant, and with the pressure of impending fatherhood and fame, Billy goes a little wild on the road.  Daisy and Billy cross paths when a producer realizes the key to supercharged success is to put the two together. What happens next will become the stuff of legend.  The making of that legend is chronicled in this riveting and unforgettable novel, written as an oral history of one of the biggest bands of the seventies. Taylor Jenkins Reid is a talented writer who takes her work to a new level with Daisy Jones & The Six, brilliantly capturing a place and time in an utterly distinctive voice." 

A new Taylor Jenkins Reid novel? Yes, please! Reese Witherspoon has already signed up to produce the TV show coming to Amazon. What do you guys think? 

Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Book Review: Sailing Lessons by Hannah McKinnon

Pages: 384
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date:  June 5, 2018
Publisher: Atria
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author: The Summer House
The Lake Season and Mystic Summer
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Goodreads says, "Wrenn Bailey has lived all her life on Cape Cod with her mother Lindy, older sister Shannon, and younger sister Piper. Growing up, life was dictated by the seasons with sleepy gray winters where only the locals stayed on, followed by the sharp influx and colorful bustle of summer tourists who swept up the elbow of the Cape and infiltrated their small paradise.  But it wasn’t just the tourists who interrupted Wrenn’s formative years; her father—brilliant but troubled photographer Caleb—has long made a habit of drifting in and out of his girls’ lives. Until the one summer he left the Cape and did not return again.  Now, almost twenty years later, Caleb has come back one last time, suffering from pancreatic cancer and seeking absolution. Wrenn and her sisters each respond differently to their father’s return, determined to find closure. But that means returning to the past and revisiting old wounds—wounds that cause the tightknit Bailey women to confront their own wishes and wants, and admit to their own wrong-doings over the years. In a place that brings both great comfort and great pain, the Bailey sisters experience a summer on the Cape that promises not only hard endings, but perhaps, hopeful new beginnings."
The Bailey sisters, Wrenn, Shannon, and Piper, grew up on Cape Cod and although this sounds like an idyllic childhood, it wasn't always. For starters, the girls' father left them after an upsetting incident on the island and this has always haunted them.  It's now twenty years later and the three women have families of their own as well as issues of their own.  But one fateful summer, Caleb, their father, reenters their life without any warning.  The girls aren't sure why he wants to reconnect with them and each woman deals with this differently.  With Caleb's re-entrance into their life, each sister must face their own issues and come to terms with the past.  Sailing Lessons is a novel about family, forgiveness, and sisterhood all set in beautiful Cape Cod, which makes it an entertaining beach read for fans of family dramas.

McKinnon switches from each sister's point of view in Sailing Lessons, so we can get to know each woman better.  Shannon is the oldest and "most responsible" sister as she has always felt like someone that has to protect the younger girls.  She still has issues with her father and doesn't want to deal with him at all.  Then there's Wrenn, who is opening an eclectic store on Cape Cod, and is a single mother. She has issues of her own and her father re-entering her life only complicates matters further. Then there's the youngest Bailey sister, Piper, who is a perpetual student and has really put her life on hold. Her love life is pretty messy as well, but she is the sister who is most excited about reconnecting with their father. It could be because she is the only sister who doesn't remember exactly what happened that fateful day when there was an accident involving the sisters and their father.  Lindy, the girls' mother, is also an interesting character as she is the one that had to raise the girls on her own and pick herself up after Caleb's departure. How could you not root for Lindy?

To be honest, I was a bit let down in that Sailing Lessons was a little depressing at times, but I will say that in the end, it was an uplifting tale about the power of forgiveness.  I had adored McKinnon's The Summer House so much that Sailing Lessons let me down a bit, but nonetheless, it made for a charming beach read filled that is filled with hope. So, if you love novels that involve family issues, secrets, and lots of drama, give Sailing Lessons a try this summer.

Friday, August 3, 2018

What I'm Reading Next (13)

I only read one of the books that I set out to read last month, so the books that are on July's TBR list are still on my list.  You can check them out here.  Too many books not enough time, right?  I also have my eye on these books for the month of August:

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekkanen - Everyone keeps raving about this thriller and I just received a copy. Hopefully I can make time to read it this month. Have you read it? Is it as good as everyone says?

The Secret of the Irish Castle by Santa Montefiore  - This is one of my most anticipated novels of the year.  I can't wait to crack it open. I adore this series and can't wait to check out book three of the Deverill Chronicles.

The Address by Fiona Davis - The new paperback edition just came out, so hopefully I'll be throwing this into my beach bag. I love a good historical read. Have you read this one?

Bellewether by Susanna Kearsley - A new Susanna Kearsley novel! Woo hoo! The synopsis says that it's part history, part romance and part magic. Yes, please!

Let Me List the Ways by Sarah White - I like to have at least one YA novel that I read each month and I have my eye on this one about the summer before college and falling in love with your best friend.

The Perfect Couple by Elin Hilderbrand - It's the beach read queen, so I need to make time for this book, right? I planned on reading it in June, but never got around to it. Have you read it? I hear this one is more of a mystery.

What do you plan to read this month? Let me know in the comments below.

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