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.

Christmas at Tiffany’s by Karen Swan

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.

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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Vanity Fare : a novel of lattes, literature and love by Megan Caldwell

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Molly Hagan is a single mother in Brooklyn with a passion for coffee, books, and handsome men…Her husband left her for a hot young blond and she has been hiding behind romance novels and a steaming mug ever since. But the bad news keeps coming-her husband has lost his job and will no longer be paying for her son’s insurance or much else by way of child support, either. Molly will have to get a job and become entirely independent, and find a way to take care of her son alone…And she’s very, very worried about it.

Can she go back to work after being a stay-at-home-mom for so many years? Will her literature degree mean anything to ANYONE out there in New York City? Luckily, a family friend may have a temporary solution for her, helping out his company to do writing copy for a new bakery that’s going to be the next big thing-owned by a very sexy pastry chef from the UK who seems to think that Molly is, actually, kind of tasty herself.  Just to shake things up, a few other men are trying to tickle her fancy, too. The very serious and somber Nick actually seems to have a heart hidden under that sexy brooding facade…

This novel is about new beginnings, the importance of family and good friends, and power to women, especially those who are forced to re-examine their entire existence when things don’t go exactly as planned. If you like Chicklit or Women’s fiction with a touch of humor, like Heather McElhatton or Liane Moriarty, you won’t want to miss Megan Caldwell’s Vanity Fare: a novel of lattes, literature and love.