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September 3, 2016

Hold on to Summer a Little Longer with These 4 Books

 by Susan Roberts

summer reading

Summer is drawing to a close, and it's time to send the kids back to school and light a fire in the fireplace.  But you can hold on to summer a little longer. Here are 4 books that you need to read before summer is over.

cover of Forever Beach
Forever Beach by Shelley Noble

WARNING: This is not a light, fluffy beach read despite the cover unless you want to sit on the hot beach, totally immersed in a book and crying your eyes out.

What this is, is a fantastic book about love and family and friendship. Sarah grew up in the foster care system and stayed there until she aged out at 18. She is in the process of adopting 4-year-old Leila until the girl's biological mother decides that she wants her back. Sarah tries to work within the system, despite the fact that Leila was returned to her mom twice in the past with disastrous results. Sarah gets through this with the help of her friend Karen, who understands the foster care system and her former case worker Reesa, who is close to burnout from all of the unimaginable things that she has seen on her job. There is also a light romance with a man who wants to be more to Sarah than she will allow him to be. Along with this, there is a dual story line about Sarah's best friend from her days in foster care who comes back into her life and causes lots of emotional pain.

From my brief description above, you can see that this isn't a light read, but it's a book that will make you think a lot about what it takes to make a family - more than blood - family is the people that you love and that you want in your life. Fantastic book!

Buy Forever Beach at Amazon
(A free book was provided by the publisher for this review)

cover The City Baker's Guide to Country Living
The City Baker's Guide to Country Living by Louise Miller

Olivia (Livy) is a pastry chef and works in an elegant club in Boston. When she accidentally sets the club on fire with her baked Alaska, she does what she's done many times in the past - she runs away. This time, she runs to her best friend in Guthrie, Vermont, a small town where everyone knows their neighbor's business. Her friend convinces her to stay and to take a job at Maple Hill Inn. Once she starts the job, lots of fantastic characters become part of her life, and for the first time in her life, she begins to feel settled and happy. Will she remain feeling part of the community or will she run when the next crisis happens?

Along with some wonderful sounding food, the author throws music and dancing into the mix to make the story even more fun and enjoyable.

I really enjoyed this novel and I liked Livy and the other characters. I could almost smell the apple pie baking and the author rewards us with a great apple pie recipe.

Buy A City Baker's Guide to Country Living at Amazon
(A free galley was provided by NetGalley for a review)

cover of The Legacy of Us
The Legacy of Us by Kristin Contino

The Legacy of Us is a multigenerational novel about 4 women and their connection to each other through a cameo necklace. Two of the women - Liz and Gabriella are the main characters and their stories are told in the most detail.

Liz is a 20 something jewelry designer who spends her time hanging out with her friends and looking for love (sometimes in the wrong places). When her grandmother Ella dies, Liz finds a cameo necklace and a diary in the desk that her grandmother left her. In the diary, Liz learns about her great-grandmother Gabriella and the man she was engaged to who gave her the cameo necklace. The book moves seamlessly through the stories from different generations.

I enjoyed this novel and the multigenerational stories. Even though the women lived vastly different lives, they were all strong willed women who were trying to find love and happiness in their lives. I also enjoyed the parts of the story that were set in Italy. The author did a fantastic job of describing the clothes and the Italian scenery.

Buy The Legacy of Us at Amazon

cover of Since She Went Away
Since She Went Away by David J. Bell

This was the first book that I've ready by David Bell and after reading it, I've ordered some of his earlier books. Since she Went Away is a suspense story that keeps the reader guessing until the end. The author has a lot of false clues that looked like they might lead to the answer and when they didn't the reader is back to trying to figure out the mystery. And the best part, the ending was a total surprise and was also very believable. I love reading a mystery/suspense book that keeps me guessing until the end.

Jenna is a single working mom with a 15-year-old son, Jared. Three months earlier, she decided to try to re-connect with her best friend who had drifted away. They planned to meet at the park at midnight where they used to hang out in high school. Jenna was 15 minutes late and Celia never showed up and hadn't been seen since. What happened to her and why all that was found was one expensive diamond earring becomes the main focus in Jenna's life. There is also a duel story line about her son and his first love who appears to be hiding secrets.

This is an exciting suspense novel that keeps you reading until the end.

Buy Since She Went Away at Amazon
(A free book was provided by GoodReads for this review)

Susan Roberts, Reviewer, lives in NC when she isn't away on a trip.  She and her husband enjoy travelling the world, gardening and helping take care of their grandson.  Susan reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction and thrillers. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.

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