Girls of Summer (by Nancy Thayer) … light and easy beach read

This is definitely a summer beach read.  It is light and easy to read, but felt more like a YA book.  A little too much romance and new relationships developing easily!  I am not a romance fan, but had enjoyed previous books by Nancy Thayer and had hopes for this one.  I was looking for something light and hoped this would appeal to me.

I did not feel like the story developed fast enough and it just left me wanting more.  But if you are a Hallmark movie fan, you will probably enjoy this one.

Thank you to NetGalley and Ballantine Books for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

East Coast Girls (by Kerry Kletter) … story of friendships

A story about friendships and the need to move on and forgive.  The one aspect I disliked most was that the characters had not moved on past the one traumatic incident…though they cared and supported each other.  I enjoyed that the secrets were revealed as you read through the pages.

There are some heavy issues covered in the book.  As part of a group of college girlfriends that remain close 36 years after graduation, I could identify that each character came into the relationship with their own baggage.  So this book reminded me of the precious relationship I share with my girlfriends.

I do think the ending came about too quickly and should have been developed better to make it a more pleasurable read.

Thank you to NetGalley and MIRA for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Jane Austen Society (by Natalie Jenner) … wonderful tribute to Jane Austen’s ability to deliver a story

If you’re a Jane Austen fan, then you will really enjoy this book.  The characters are not that well developed, but you will cheer them on as they work together to save a home in which Jane Austen had lived and written some of her novels.  This is a book of fiction, yet is a wonderful tribute to Austen’s amazing ability to deliver a story.

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Revenge is Sweet (by Kaye George) … small town cozy story

I enjoy books that are set in small cozy towns.  And the small touristy shops are a plus.  I love those types of towns and the people who live there.  The mystery was handled well by the author.  However, the dual POV was confusing.  The main characters, Tally and Yolanda, were not that well developed.  That prevented me from connecting well with them.

I really enjoyed the delicious items from Tally’s shop.  Yum!  Yum!

Thank you to NetGalley and Lyrical Press for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Summer Longing (by Jamie Brenner) … family-based drama at Cape Cod

I love books that are set in Cape Cod!  Such a wonderful environment and one of my favorite vacation memories.  But this book was missing something.  I felt like it was a little too lightweight and needed more oomph to make me invested in the story.

This is truly a family-based drama that would make a good summer read.  Not deep, not a great plot, and too many coincidences that I couldn’t believe.  But others may enjoy a book that ties everything up with a big red bow at the end!

Thank you to NetGalley and Little, Brown and Company for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The New Husband (by D. J. Palmer) … domestic drama

This book started out slowly and it took a lot for me to stick with it.  However, it did pick up later in the book.  My biggest complaint is that chapters are narrated from the POV of two characters…Nina and Maggie…but there was no indication at the beginning of each chapter to let you know whose view was being expressed.  You would be part of the way through each chapter before you figured out who was “talking.”

This is a true domestic drama and I imagine there will be plenty of readers who will enjoy the book immensely.  That just wasn’t me.  I was so irritated at Nina at the end of the book when she continues making bad decisions.  And she knows that she’s doing it!  That’s kind of a negative aspect of a book to me.

But I loved Daisy!  I cheered for her!

Thank you to NetGalley and St. Martin’s Press for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Socialite (by J’nell Ciesielski) … historical romance

The Socialite is a historical romance.  So that lets you know that I am split on whether I enjoyed this book.  I love historical fiction!  But I do not like romance books at all!  So let’s focus on the things I enjoyed about the book.  The dialogue was good and enjoyable.  I loved the historical time period of Nazi occupation of France.  Though it is a romance, there is no steamy sex scenes…just some heavy kissing.

As for what I did not enjoy is that this book is about a spoiled socialite who is living the “high life” in France during WWII.  The fact that she is willing to ignore the atrocities going on around her to be with her Nazi boyfriend.  Though I know there were people who turned their heads and took advantage of the “privileges” of being in a relationship with the Nazi occupiers, it just disgusted me to read about it.

The plot will have you sitting on the edge of your seat.  This book will appeal to historical romance fans.

Thank you to NetGalley and Thomas Nelson Publishers for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Aria’s Travelling Book Shop (by Rebecca Raisin) … I love books about books and bookshops, but…

Once again I should have realized this was a romance book.  So I apologize to the author that my review will only be 3 stars.  Romance is not my preferred genre.  However…

I love books about books or book shops.  So I had to give this one a try!  You will appreciate that the characters are human.  They make mistakes and have secrets they keep hidden.  But they aren’t that well developed.  That would have helped the book tremendously.  While this is a light “everything is coming up roses” book, the author does deal with issues such as grief and loss.

This is a good beach read.  Or if you’re sitting around with nothing to do during the pandemic, this is a “feel good” book that might appeal to you.

Thank you to NetGalley and HQ Digital for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

The Engineer’s Wife (by Tracey Emerson Wood) … interesting book about the wife of the engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge

I looked forward to reading the book about Emily Warren Roebling who was the wife of the chief engineer of the Brooklyn Bridge.  Emily was an amazing woman and her determination to accomplish things despite the fact that she was a woman…who were not respected in that day and time.

The author obviously did a lot of research.  I also appreciated all of the efforts Emily put into the suffrage movement.  She was a strong woman and, despite the lack of affection from her husband, was willing to accomplish awesome feats.

Thank you to NetGalley and Sourcebooks Landmark for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.

Mrs. Boots (by Deborah Carr ) … interesting historical fiction

This book was based on a true story.  I had never heard of Florence Boot, so this was an interesting read for me.  However, you don’t really learn anything about the Boots chemical empire.  Though hopefully the author will provide more details as the books in this series are written.

As I’ve said many times recently, I love historical fiction, but am not a romance fan.  So the historical fiction of this book was very appealing, but I did not care for the romance aspect.  The characters were well developed and the author does a wonderful job in taking you back in time and experiencing life in a simpler time.

Thank you to NetGalley and One More Chapter for my advanced review copy.  All opinions and thoughts are my own.