Author: Bette Lee Crosby
Due for Publication on 27th March by Lake Union Publishing
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Family, Romance, Book Review
Aspiring journalist Meghan Briggs has always been the responsible one in the family. So when her father passes away unexpectedly, leaving behind his at-risk business, she steps up to save his legacy—even if that means putting her own dreams on hold.
Tracy couldn’t be more different from her sister. She’s always been the rebellious type, without much direction in life. But in the wake of her latest romantic disaster, she finds herself moving back home as a single mother.
The Summer of New Beginnings is a sweet, touching story of the sometimes difficult situations that beset the Briggs family. Sisters Tracy and Meghan Briggs are totally different from each other. When their father dies suddenly Megan, the responsible and sensible sister, and gives up her dream of going to the Grady College at the University of Georgia, with a view to a career in journalism, to continue the little business George Briggs set up after his first heart attack. He resigned from his job as a stockbroker and bought a small local magazine, seeing it as a less stressful option to make a living. George couldn’t help himself, though, and the magazine was expanded to a point when he needed extra help.
Grady was my dream, but seeing the Snip ’N’ Save flourish was Daddy’s, and I’m not going to let it die along with him. He’d want me to keep it alive, and that’s exactly what I’m go to do.
Meghan’s saviour and comfort is a little pup that she rescues from drowning, but it also brings back the heartbreaking memories of losing her childhood dog. Until she knows for certain whether or not she will be able to keep the pup, she lives in dread of someone coming forward to claim him.
Tracy is more of a wild child, and Lila, her mother, was never the disciplinarian. She loves her daughters but it was George that kept them in line. Tracy becomes increasingly independent and her decision to move away with her less than reliable boyfriend, Dominic, causes Lila and Meghan ongoing concern, which is realised when Tracy moves back home with her young son, Lucas. Now that Tracy is a mother herself, she appreciates her own mother only wanted the best for her.
Even though they’re a family again, life doesn’t run smoothly for the Briggs ladies. But through all the highs and lows, the bond between Lila, Tracy and Meghan grows stronger as characters develop. Baby Lucas’ problems were dealt with sympathetically and thoughtfully. As always with Bette Lee Crosby’s books, the author manages to convey warmth and love with empathetic characters that highlight the things that are most important in life. I enjoy Ms Crosby’s approach of writing mostly in the third person with sections from the first person perspective of specific individuals, which gives a real insight into the characters. The Summer of New Beginnings hasn’t quite got the punch of the author’s earlier novels but is, nevertheless, a charming read.
I chose to read and review The Summer of New Beginnings based on an advance reader copy supplied by Liane Worthington and NetGalley.
It is the wit and wisdom of that Southern Mama Crosby brings to her works of fiction; the result is a delightful blend of humor, mystery and romance along with a cast of quirky charters who will steal your heart away. Her work was first recognized in 2006 when she received The National League of American Pen Women Award for a then unpublished manuscript. She has since gone on to win twenty awards for her work; these include: The Royal Palm Literary Award, the FPA President’s Book Award Gold Medal, Reader’s Favorite Award Gold Medal, and the Reviewer’s Choice Award.
Author: Adrienne Vaughan
Published: January 2018 by The Paris Press
Category: Contemporary, Fiction, Romance, Book Review
Mia Flanagan has never been told who her father is and aged ten, stopped asking.
Haunted by this, she remains a dutiful daughter who would never do anything to bring scandal or shame on her beautiful and famously single mother.
So when Archie Fitzgerald, one of Hollywood’s favourite actors, decides to leave Mia his Irish estate, she asks herself – is he her father after all?
With a cast of wonderfully realised characters, this story transported me to Ireland and Galty House, set in the beautifully described coastal location of Rosshaven. Archie Fitzgerald, legendary actor, is dying, but determined to depart on his own terms. He wants Mia, the daughter of his close friend and fellow actor, Fenella Flanagan, to come home to Galty House for what will be their last summer together.
Author: Susan Lewis
Published: January 2018 by Cornerstone Digital
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Relationships, Book Review
Leanne and her teenage daughter Abby have recently been forced to move from London back to Kesterley-on-Sea, to Ash Morley Farm where Leanne grew up. Leanne’s husband Jack, Abby’s father, killed himself over a year ago, and the pair are still reeling from the shock waves caused by the tragedy.
Leanne Delaney finds herself and daughter Abby back at Ash Morley Farm, Leanne’s childhood home, following the suicide of her husband and the death of her Aunt Glory. She is the main beneficiary of Glory’s will and, along with Glory’s home, also inherited her vintage shop, Glory Days. Abby is not coping well with recent events and the corresponding adjustments in her life, making her relationship with her mother a volatile one at best. She is angry, feeling guilty and confused, unable to get to grips with, much less articulate especially to her mother, her destructive underlying feelings and lashes out, with her mother bearing the brunt of her angst.
Author: H.A. Leuschel
Published: December 2017 by Helene Leuschel
A stand-alone novella from the author of Manipulated Lives
A perfect friend … or a perfect impostor?
Alexa is an energetic and charismatic professional and the new member of a Parisian PR company where she quickly befriends her colleagues Rosie and Jack. She brings a much-needed breath of fresh air into the office and ambitiously throws herself into her new job and friendships.
Following in a similar vein to Manipulated Lives, My Sweet Friend explores how much first impressions and appearances sometimes count in someone’s favour and the devastation that can be caused by deliberate manipulation of other people. Told from the alternating perspectives of Alexa and Rosie, we see how quickly their friendship develops when Alexa joins the PR firm Rosie works for. It’s mostly down to Alexa’s persuasiveness and outgoing nature that they quickly become best friends. Rosie is more reserved. Aways ready to help and easy to get along with, Rosie is quickly swept up by Alexa’s enthusiasm and friendliness.
Author: Ivy Pembroke
Published: October 2017 by Sphere
Category: Contemporary Fiction, Christmas, Romance, Book Review
On a little street in a big city, everything is changing
Bill has lived on Christmas Street since he was a young man. He’s seen families come and go, watched children grow up… Now he wants to be left alone.
Everything seven-year-old Teddy loves is in America. But his widowed father, Sam, has brought them both back to England to be closer to their family. Sam’s one wish is for Teddy to be happy again.
Bill Hammersley has lived on Christmas Street for ever. Bill remembers fondly when it was a friendly street and people knew and understood each other and he doesn’t like the way things have changed. But things have changed and now there’s little to no interaction or sense of community between the neighbours. Bill has become more and more stubborn and solitary, with no visitors apart from Jack.