Thirty-one-year old Charlie isn’t having the best year. She’s just broken up with her cheating boyfriend, and her upstairs neighbor had an accidental explosion, making her apartment uninhabitable and giving her several injuries from which to recover. Her only option is to go and stay with her cousin Jez, out in the English countryside where she runs a dog resort called the Cozy Canine Cottages.
Charlie is determined to get back to her apartment as soon as possible, but in the meantime she’ll be pitching in around the dog resort, helping to care for several very unique pups and their eccentric owners, to boot. When Jez decides to take an impromptu trip to meet her cyber love interest in the Arctic, Charlie is suddenly left to hold down the fort on her own.
This city girl is about to learn a few lessons about her own happiness, and maybe even involuntarily get involved in a love triangle with a sexy, rich dog owner and the super-cute-but-mostly-surly local veterinarian. Maybe she’ll even learn to appreciate her canine companions…
If you’re looking for a light read, and you love dogs, Mutts and Mistletoe, by Natalie Cox, is a great choice for you.
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.
Minerva Todd wants answers about what happened to her brother, and she will stop at nothing until she gets them–including breaking and entering into the home of a dashing Earl. Dalton MacIain has returned home from fighting in the American Civil War, blinded by a terrible wound.
Two unlikely individuals join forces to find out just what happened to Minerva’s brother, and who might be interested in harming the Earl…Now if only they can fight their mutual attraction, pride and independence long enough to complete the task at hand and find the truth…
Scotsman of My Dreams, by Karen Ranney is the second in The MacIain series, which is humorous and light hearted, and great for readers who love Tessa Dare or Maya Rodale.
Addie Andrews is chasing answers, but she isn’t quite sure what the question may be. She is hoping that Eunice, Arkansas, will provide some answers…Or at the very least, give her a reprieve from her sad story. Recovering from heartbreak and tragedy, Addie decided to take solace in the home of her deceased Aunt, fixing it up to sell so she can get her life back in order.
Out for a walk one day she stumbles upon a poor, sad little Pit Bull puppy, left for dead. She rushes to the local veterinarian’s office and sets into a motion a whole new life for herself–but not everyone is happy that Addie has fallen into life in Eunice. Some local characters are decidedly less than welcoming, and some are downright unsavory… One local man seems to turn up wherever she goes, and he wakes up feelings in her she thought she had lost forever…But why does he keep running away from her whenever they start to get close?
A town mystery, local politics, romance, friendship in the oddest places, and the love of a sweet, innocent puppy make this story unique and fresh. Sit! Stay! Speak!, by Annie England Noblin, is an interesting read if you want to read something a little outside the box this summer….And who can resist a story about a puppy?
Hazel Renner was raised by German-American parents in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. When she came of age, she learned that her parents were not her true birth parents, that her early memories of a grand house with servants and fancy dinners is actually a memory from her childhood, and not a lingering dream. She leaves the home of her adoptive parents to be a teacher in a rural town called Galway and she hopes to find her own identity. Strange events ensue that will haunt her for a lifetime. Stunned by tragedy and injustice, she tries to trace her roots back to her mother, hoping to break the cycle that her birth mother started, causing destruction in her wake and possibly passing it to her daughter.
Her past leads her to a castle owned by a German Baron, a gardener who may be the love of her life, and a discovery of what she really wants in life…But with World War I in effect, she stands to lose everything and everyone dear to her.
Under the Same Sky, by Pamela Schoenewaldt, is a novel with a touch of magic, a lot of heart, and the deep emotion associated with loss and love. Readers may remember a previous novel by Pamela Schoenewaldt, Swimming in the Moon, which I covered when it first came out. Pamela Shoenewaldt has a gift for the deepest uncertainty which comes with blind love for someone, or many “someones” in your life-and the possibility that they are broken, damaged, or capable of harming themselves or others.
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.
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.
Maya Rodale is one of my favorite smutty romance novelists. Her heroines are always plucky little things, very spirited and cheeky, and her tales are full of comedy and warmth. The “Bad Boys and Wallflowers” series has been a fun collection to sprinkle among my more intense reading choices in the last year or so. What a Wallflower Wants is no exception.
Miss Prudence Merryweather is approaching her 4th year as a debutante, and she is the only graduate of her finishing school to be unwed after so many seasons, much to her mortification…But Prudence has a complicated past and a dark secret that keeps her away from eligible bachelors, until she finds a gentleman who is willing to offer her a marriage of convenience that will solve both of their marriage woes without compromising their mutual secrets. Unfortunately while they are on their way to finally be wed, a highwayman stops their carriage and her deplorable fiancé throws her out of the carriage in offering to the blackguard-and she decides that he is no man she could possibly spend her life with…And she is alone on a country road, with no idea where she is, walking for hours before a handsome gentleman pulls up beside her in his carriage…But can she trust this man? What are his intentions? Is he who he claims to be?
This story is full of fun, the bad guys always get what they have coming, and love always wins….So if you haven’t tried Maya Rodale and you love bodice rippers, pick up her Bad Boys and Wallflower series and you won’t regret the purchase.
Annie Hewitt is down on her luck. Her mother passed away, leaving her a secluded island house in Maine, and since Annie is broke and jobless she has no choice but to sort through her mother’s things and decide what to do next with her life. Unfortunately, the island has many bad memories for Annie, mostly attached to the house next door, a giant mansion where her mother was briefly the lady of the house.
Is the current man of the house responsible for her near death as a teen? Is he a sadistic murderer, waiting for his next victim? Or is he just a dark, brooding, reclusive writer with serious sex appeal? The line is getting blurry for Annie, especially when she is very limited on social company…with the exception of her 3 larger-than-life puppets, of course.
I didn’t know what to make of this book at first-I truly thought I was stepping into a serious “unreliable narrator” situation, which is great because I have a penchant for that type of literature. But as the story unfolds, there are others on the island who might not have pure intentions, and evil is lurking in the corners. Annie has to use her humor and wits to shake down the community and figure out just what is going on there on Peregrine Island..And where is the legacy her mother claimed to have left her at the cottage? Does someone else want it, too?
I highly recommend this book for anyone who has a darker sense of humor and a taste for sarcasm. It is a combination of romance, comedy, suspense and drama, all tied together. I plan to read whatever else Susan Elizabeth Phillips has to offer the world, after reading Heroes Are My Weakness. Highly recommended!
Up at Butternut Lake, by Mary McNear, is a great read to start off your summer vacation. Widowed single mother Allie Beckett decides to pick up everything and leave her old life, full of painful memories, behind for good… She heads for a cabin that she remembers from her childhood, on Butternut lake in Minnesota…But when she arrives, she starts to wonder if she has bitten off more than she can chew. Raising a young son on a remote lake is not without its challenges, and small town life isn’t as anonymous as she originally thought… Not to mention, the only neighbor for miles is an arrogant, annoying male who seems to find her irresistible.
Will Allie find peace at Butternut lake? Will she find the strength to move on with her life? Will she find love again?
Up at Butternut Lake is a novel about second chances, healing and learning to appreciate the simple things in life. If you like reading romantic trilogies, there are two more books set to come out following Up at Butternut Lake, so keep an eye out for Mary McNear on the bookshelves (and maybe here on my site).