Monday, August 3, 2020

July Confessions

This is how it always is, right? The summer just flies by. I can't quite believe it's already August. My son heads back to school August 31st.  I haven't been enjoying much reading outside this year as in past years (it's been really hot here in PA), but I did manage to read six books this month, which I am pretty happy about.  I am hoping to squeeze in as many beach reads as possible this coming month.


Books Read in July:
1.  Her Last Flight by Beatriz Williams (Adult Historical Fiction) -  3.5 out of 5 stars
2.  The Last Train to Key West by Chanel Cleeton (Adult Historical Fiction) - 4.5 out of 5 stars
3.  Cashelmara by Susan Howatch (Audio Book/Adult Historical Fiction) - 4 out of 5 stars
4.  The Heir Affair (The Royal We #2) by Jessica Morgan and Heather Cocks (Adult Fiction) - 4 out of 5 stars
5.  Girls of Summer by Nancy Thayer (Adult Fiction) - 3.5 out of 5 stars
6.  A Week at the Shore by Barbara Delinsky (Adult Fiction) - 3.5 out of 5 stars - Review to come





1. Favorite Book:  The Last Train to Key West is such a good read. I've read quite a few books about the Labor Day Hurricane, but Cleeton brought something new to the story. If you like historical fiction focusing on strong women, you'll appreciate this novel the most.

2.  Biggest Surprise:  Cashelmara took me by surprise. I was definitely hooked on this audio book that spans generations.  

3.  Biggest Disappointment: A Week at the Shore was a bit disappointing to me in that it involved a lot of family drama and got a little depressing at times. I prefer my beach reads to be a bit more lighter and to focus on the coastal setting a little more.

4.  Favorite Post:  Books For Little Beach Bums

5.  Favorite Part of July: We celebrated my son's birthday with extended family this month. It was a socially distanced party and we wore masks. It was so nice to see family members that I haven't seen since Christmas and socialize like normal people (even though we were wearing masks, etc). 

How about you guys? What was your favorite book of the month? Let me know in the comments below. 


Sunday, August 2, 2020

Stacking the Shelves (128)


Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Monster Twins
Book Review: Girls of Summer by Nancy Thayer  
Can't Wait Wednesday: The Ravens 
Audio Book Review: Cashelmara by Susan Howatch





Coming up this week, I am part of blog tours for two fantastic summertime reads: The Friendship List and The Switch. I am very excited to share excerpts from both novels! I'll also be sharing my thoughts on Barbara Delinsky's A Week at the Shore. It wasn't my favorite beach read, but I still enjoyed all the family drama...and there's a lot.  I'll also be sharing my August TBR list, too! 






It's been awhile since I shared the new books to my review shelf.  Here's are some books from the past few weeks.







Love & Olives by Jenna Evans Welch - Thanks to Simon Pulse and NetGalley
Cobble Hill by Cecily von Ziegesar - Thanks to NetGalley and Atria




 

The Switch by Beth O'Leary - Thanks to NetGalley and Flatiron
The Exiles by Christina Baker Kline - Thanks to LibraryThing




  

You Have a Match by Emma Lord - Thanks to Wednesday Books and NetGalley
The Good Sister by Sally Hepworth - Thanks to St. Martin's and NetGalley





Troubles in Paradise (Paradise #3) by Elin Hilderbrand - Thanks to Little, Brown and Co and NetGalley



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

Friday, July 31, 2020

Blog Tour and Giveaway: The Monster Twins



Don't you love sharing picture books with little ones that share important messages and values? I know I do, so The Monster Twins by Robert and Karen Hanvik caught my eye.  The book highlights important issues in today's society, such as adoption as well as discrimination, but it's done in a child friendly way. 

Today I have partnered with The Children's Book Review and The Monster Twins to offer you guys a great giveaway to celebrate its publication.



About the Book:



Publisher’s Synopsis: "Bella and Bertie are twins, but they don’t know that, or each other. Separated while babies by bad law, they grew up 6000 miles apart, in Singapore and London. Follow the twins as they discover their shared past and do their best to make a better future for themselves, their families, and others like them."

To learn more about The Monster Twins and purchase your own copy, visit the book's website.  You can also learn more about the book by visiting its Facebook page, Twitter or find it on Instagram.   




The Giveaway:




One lucky winner will receive a physical copy of The Monster Twins, a ebook of The Monster Twins, and a $25 Visa gift card to stock up on more books from your favorite bookstore. Also, five winners will receive a choice of a physical copy of The Monster Twins or an ebook of The Monster Twins.  The giveaway begins July 20, 2020 at 12:01 AM MT and ends August 20, 2020, at 11:59PM MT. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Good luck and Happy Friday,

Thursday, July 30, 2020

Book Review: Girls of Summer by Nancy Thayer



Pages: 320
Genre: Adult Fiction
Pub. Date:  May 26, 2020
Publisher: Ballantine
Source: Publisher for review
Other Books By Author:  Nantucket Sisters 
My Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars


Goodreads says, "Lisa Hudson feels more alive than she has in a long time after hiring hunky carpenter Mack Whitney to renovate her old Nantucket home. There's no denying the spark growing between them--despite the fact that Mack is ten years her junior. But her twentysomething children, Juliet and Theo, on the island for the summer, worry that the new relationship will only lead to Lisa's heartbreak.   Yet Juliet and Theo are in for tangled love stories all their own. When dreamy Cooper Hastings moves to the island to pursue a new environmental venture, Juliet feels an unwelcome attraction, her rocky romantic history pushing her to steer clear of love. Theo only has eyes for Mack's daughter, Bethany, with whom he was bound by an unspeakable tragedy in high school--but can they overcome their past? By August, when an impending storm threatens to shatter the peace of the golden island, everyone discovers what they can and cannot control. Nancy Thayer dazzles again with this new tale of a magical summer."




Lisa thought she married her Prince Charming until their marriage fell apart and she found herself raising her children, Juliet and Theo, on her own on the gorgeous island of Nantucket.  She slowly built her life back up and opened her own boutique on the island.  For years, she focused on her children, her parents, and her shop, but now that her kids have moved out and are grown, she is finding time to get back to what makes her happy.  Except there's some issues. Aren't there always?  Her historic home is falling apart. Literally. Part of her ceiling fell down, so she needs a carpenter stat. There's where Mack comes in.  He is known for repairing historic homes on the island and while they know of each other, because their kids were friends, she hasn't really gotten to know him mostly because he is ten years younger.  What could they possibly have in common? Once they start to hangout, they realize that there's some undeniable chemistry between the two of them despite the age difference.  Just when things start heating up between the two, Lisa's daughter, Juliet, comes home and has plans to stay there for awhile.  Naturally Juliet wants her mom to date, but she is worried she will get her heart broken by the much younger Mack.  Plus, Juliet is escaping her own problems and hopes some time at home will fix them.  Then there's Theo, who also returns home after injuring his shoulder surfing in California.  Both of Lisa's children find love this summer on the island of Nantucket and quite possibly Lisa herself if she allows it.  Girls of Summer by Nancy Thayer is pure summer escapism.  

I could connect with Lisa at once in Girls of Summer. She always put her children first and her work first; so, she has put her needs and her historic home's needs on the back burner for years.  She promises to finally work on her old house and in doing so, she meets someone who knocks her socks off.  Once she gets past the age gap, she starts to allow herself to be happy; however, things get a bit bumpy when both of her children return home for the summer.  Juliet brings major problems of her own, not to mention a broken heart, and Theo is a bit of a lost puppy. Not only does has a major shoulder injury, he is also without a job.  He is trying to find his way and his old high school crush, Beth, catches his eye.  Beth is Mack's son, so cue the drama.  Juliet also has an opportunity for love this summer if she can allow herself to open up after her broken heart.  Each chapter is told from a different character's perspective and I loved that aspect of the story. It was a great way to delve deeper into the character's thoughts and feelings all while moving the story along.

The setting of Nantucket is well done in Girls of Summer. I loved the descriptions of the quaint town, the shops, the restaurants, the historic homes, and the beautiful landscapes. Juliet's love interest, Cooper, is on the island for environmental purposes regarding his work, so this was a nice touch as well as readers learn more details about the island and its wildlife.  

Girls of Summer is a dreamy sort of beach read and one that is a bit predictable. You go into it knowing everyone is going to be happy by the end and things always work out.  It seemed too good to be true and too many coincidences, but that's what I love about Thayer's novels. They are overly saccharine and a great summer escape to get your mind off things. I don't know about you, but that is just what I needed.  You can count on Thayer to insert you into a world of rainbows, true love, and a never-ending summer night.  So, if you don't like insta-love in your beach reads and a bit more angst, look further; otherwise, this is beach read gold right here.  

Are you a fan of Nancy Thayer's novels? Is Girls of Summer on your summer TBR list? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below. 



Wednesday, July 29, 2020

Can't Wait Wednesday: The Ravens

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


The Ravens by Kass Morgan and Danielle Paige
Pub. Date: January 5, 2021



Goodreads says, "Kappa Rho Nu isn’t your average sorority. Their parties are notorious. Their fundraisers are known for being Westerly College’s most elaborate affairs. But beneath the veil of Greek life and prestige, the sisters of Kappu Rho Nu share a secret: they’re a coven of witches. For Vivi Deveraux, being one of Kappa Rho Nu’s Ravens means getting a chance to redefine herself. For Scarlett Winters, a bonafide Raven and daughter of a legacy Raven, pledge this year means living up to her mother’s impossible expectations of becoming Kappa Rho Nu’s next president. Scarlett knows she’d be the perfect candidate — that is, if she didn’t have one human-sized skeleton in her closet…. When Vivi and Scarlett are paired as big and little for initiation, they find themselves sinking into the sinister world of blood oaths and betrayals."

I love that Kass Morgan (of The 100 fame) and Danielle Pagie (Dorothy Must Die series) have teamed up to write this contemporary fantasy. A sorority of witches? Yes, please! What do you guys think?


 
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