Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

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Polly Waterford is back again. Her first appearance was in Little Beach Street Bakery, by Jenny Colgan, and the author put out a second novel, continuing the story of a tiny fishing village in Cornwall where the characters are rich and the community is warm and full of strength and support when it is most important.

Polly moved into town following the dissolution of her marriage, and found herself baking bread for the village. It wasn’t easy being the new girl in town and she had a rocky start…Her apartment was drafty and lonely and the locals were a little…skeptical of her at first. But she won them over and became part of the community finally, and Summer at Beach Street Bakery starts out as a continuation of her story, as she finds her bakery under new management and finds her livelihood threatened.

Polly has a lovely boyfriend (who carried over from the first novel) and has bought a lighthouse to live in. She was happy in her newly founded life until she found herself running into some new challenges and realized she would have to fight for her dream job, her relationship, and even release her tamed Puffin into the wild (heartbreakingly).

Life isn’t always roses, and Polly has her work cut out for her from the beginning. Summer at Little Beach Street Bakery is a pretty typical summer read, great for the weekend or your spring break. You can get through it in a couple of relaxing days if you have the time, and it’s a light, easy choice if that’s what you like.

Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

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Polly’s life has fallen apart. Her shared dreams with her husband have come to a disastrous end, they’ve decided to separate and Polly is looking for a new home and a new life altogether. Fate sends her to a small fishing town where she knows no one but the rent is cheap and the view is priceless. Things get off to a rocky start when she realizes the employment prospects are nearly non-existent, her landlady seems to despise her, and the whole idea, once in effect, seems fairly absurd.

But things aren’t as dire as they initially seem. The locals seem to be warming up to her, she’s adopted a wounded puffin to keep her company, and she’s re-discovered her love for baking. Perhaps the most exciting new development is that not one, but two local men seem to be interested in her.

Will Polly be able to make a life for herself in isolated Cornwall? Will she find love again? What will she say when her ex-husband Chris creeps back into her life?

Little Beach Street Bakery, by Jenny Colgan, is a novel about new beginnings and following your own path to happiness. The breakup recovery novel is a favorite genre of mine, because inevitably the heroine discovers a new passion for life and a talent that she never knew existed, and without the help of her failed relationship she would have never discovered her full potential-which is empowering in itself (and the new romance doesn’t hurt a bit either). If you enjoy novels that fit this description, Little Beach Street Bakery is a great choice to start off your summer.

Read Bottom Up by Neel Shah and Skye Chatham

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What is it like to fall in love in current times? Is there any mystery left when you can simply look up someone on Facebook before deciding to call them? Are there any secrets left? How is communication affected when people rarely talk to one another on the phone anymore, and so much communication can be lost in a text message?

Read Bottom Up is a novel written entirely in the form of email and imessages, a novel of romance, friendship, and popular culture. Eliot and Madeleine are two normal people struggling to find love in a digital world, facing the hurdles of communication challenges in a text-message kind of world where one can stalk a romantic interest online and find out more about them than may be productive. Do they have what it takes to make it? With the support of their best friends, Emily and David, they are about to take readers on a journey of love.

Read Bottom up is provocative and amusing, a quick, fun, light read that is perfect for your summer vacation or your next rainy weekend.

Christmas at Tiffany’s by Karen Swan

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21920687Cassie thought she had her life all figured out. She married her first love ten years ago, ruled the estate for him, kept his life in perfect order. On the night of her ten year wedding anniversary she suddenly learns that her life has been a lie. Her husband has a second family and she has been in the dark about it for years. Her best friends swoop in and make her an offer to help get her life back in order. She will spend 4 months with each friend, living like they do in New York, Paris, and London-experimenting with jobs, lifestyles, and whatever else comes along. At the end of the year she will decide what she wants to do with her life now that she’s starting over.

This novel is a great option for anyone who has ever been faced with the possibility that they will need to “start over” in life, or anyone who has been betrayed in love. The characters are rich and deep, the main character is very lovable, and there is something for everyone-fashion, cultural differences, lifestyle extremes, sexy men, new friendships and new dreams. If you are looking for your next “chick-lit” book, you will want to grab Christmas at Tiffany’s.

Dog Crazy, by Meg Donohue

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Meg Donohue, author of How to Eat a Cupcake and All the Summer Girls, has once again touched the hearts of readers with her new novel, Dog Crazy.

Pet Bereavement Counselor Maggie Brennan sees people daily who have experienced the terrible loss of a pet, and she helps them to process their grief and find a new normal. But Maggie has a very intense secret of her own. Maggie hasn’t left her apartment for nearly 3 months because of debilitating agoraphobia. When an intense young girl comes into her office, she finds herself pulled into her life, and pulled out of hiding.

Can Maggie learn to live out in the world, or will she continue to hide and keep her secret from the world? Can she reach out to others when she can barely take care of herself? This is a novel about reaching out, and getting over our fears and out of our comfort zone for the greater good.

If you liked the other novels by Meg Donohue, Dog Crazy will not disappoint. Add this one to your amazon wish list, it comes out in March!

On the Rocks by Erin Duffy

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Abby’s life was right on track. She had finished school, established a career, and was in a long-term relationship with her college boyfriend, Ben, who had recently proposed. She was happily flitting about, choosing flowers, decorations, cake…While wearing the dress she has decided is “the one”, out shopping with her best friend, her worst nightmare ensues. Her fiancé Ben has just announced on Facebook that he is single…Without letting Abby know they were breaking up….

The 30-year-old is going to have to start fresh, and do some serious thinking. After months of feeling sorry for herself and eating ice cream alone, Abby is going to spend the summer at a beach house, dragged there by her best friend, who thinks the cure for Abby’s problems is cocktails and sun-tanned surfer dudes. But Abby isn’t quite so sure she’s ready to be on the market again…And her misadventures as she figures out what she really wants will make readers chuckle aloud and shake heads in disbelief…In a world where you can get dumped on Facebook, how is one supposed to get a good boyfriend?

On the Rocks, by Erin Duffy,  is a great beach read, especially for someone who has recently been through a breakup. If you’re looking for something fun to read on your long weekend, reading by the pool or feeling a coastal breeze, this a is a great ChickLit novel that won’t disappoint.

The Surfing Lesson by Elin Hilderbrand

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A teaser short story for Elin Hilderbrand’s new novel, Beautiful Day, The Surfing Lesson gives you a taste for the characters in the upcoming novel and lays out the background of Margot, a working mother who is seriously questioning her marriage to handsome Drum, once known as the best surfer on the Nantucket beaches. Margot decides to test her marriage for once and for all by setting up Drum in an intimate situation with his ex-girfriend Hadley. The plan: have Drum teach Hadley’s son how to surf, and see if Drum will be tempted by Hadley’s obvious attraction and flirtation…And to watch from where no one can see her and see if she can bring back the old passion and possessiveness that was once her relationship with Drum.

This is not a full-length novel, but a short story. If you are an Elin Hilderbrand superfan, however, you will definitely want to add it to your collection. Those of you who haven’t read Elin Hilderbrand should know that she writes women’s fiction bordering on chicklit, and the stories take place in Nantucket and often involve romance and challenging  family relationships. The audiobook by Hachette Audio is excellent, so if you like to listen to your stories, put this one on your list. A warning, however, if you like the short story, chances are you will want to read Beautiful Day immediately. So be prepared.

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All the Summer Girls by Meg Donohue

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Three  women grew up together spending summers on the Jersey Shore and went their separate ways upon adulthood. Kate moved to Philadelphia and became a very serious lawyer, Dani moved to San Francisco and is still thinking someday she will write a novel, but in the meantime she can’t seem to hold a job, and Vanessa is a very active stay-at-home mother in New York City. When they decide to come together at the beach for a stay that will bring the secrets of the past out into the open, challenging their friendships and perceptions of their own lives, and forcing them to decide whether they will move forward or hold onto the events of the past, letting it weigh them down.

All the Summer Girls, by Meg Donohue, is a good beach read and a good example of chicklit. There is some sadness and heartbreak, but the ending is satisfying. Meg Donohue also wrote How to Eat a Cupcake, which a was another great chicklit pick.

Nowhere but Home by Liza Palmer

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Queenie Wake (birth name Queen Elizabeth Wake, much to her chagrin) was born into a family with a slight reputation. Her mother was murdered when she was found in bed with another woman’s husband, and the reputation for low-class and promiscuity has haunted Queenie and her sister, Merry Carole, for their entire lives in North Star, Texas.  Queenie escaped as soon as possible, heading to get a culinary education and explore the world, never to look back on the town that whispered rude comments behind her back and never bothered to take her in as one of their own. When Queenie finds herself out of work after bouncing from city to city for years, and she has nowhere to go but back home to stay with her sister and face the demons she has been running from for a very long time…The love of her life, the truth about her own mother, family, and the dirty little secrets of North Star… When the chef is offered a job cooking the “last meals” for the local prison, she is forced to test her limits and decide what she really wants to do with her life.

Nowhere but Home, by Liza Palmer,  is a novel about southwestern cuisine, small town politics, forgiveness, family, and, more importantly, finding where you belong- in the least likely of places. If you haven’t read other books by this author,  be sure to pick up More Like Her, which is also an excellent example of women’s fiction that addresses deeper heartache and real-life horrors that happen to everyday people. Readers who love Joshilyn Jackson (A Grown Up Kind of Pretty) will also adore this novel.

The Rock Star in Seat 3A by Jill Kargman

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Most couples have had the “free pass” discussion about which celebrity dream girl/guy they are allowed to sleep with in the unlikely event that they are given the opportunity. When Hazel finds herself in a first-class seat on an airplane, right next to the celebrity dream man she has lusted over for years, she finds the temptation to use her “free pass” irresistible. Sexy rock star Finn Schiller has the hots for Hazel and he invites her into his life, but Hazel is torn…Her longtime boyfriend Will is practically her family…But she has the chance with her dream man…The seductiveness of the rock star world pulls Hazel into the haze of celebrities, music, travel, and even drugs…Will Hazel find happiness there?

An average woman must decide what she really needs in life, to find true happiness. Is it the comfort of home or the excitement of constant motion and thrills? Is it passion or warm contentment? What will Hazel learn about herself?

This novel is very humorous, very ChickLit. If you don’t mind some vulgar language and serious sarcasm, you will enjoy this novel very much. If you like humorous women’s fiction like Heather McElhatton (Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Married, Jennifer Johnson is Sick of Being Single), don’t miss The Rock Star in Seat 3A, by Jill Kargman.