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April 8, 2022

3 New Books You Might Have Missed

by Susan Roberts

There are some great new books in women's fiction and romance coming out this year. Here are a few that you don't want to miss.

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Come As You Are by Jennifer Haupt 

book cover of historical romance Come As You Are by Jennifer Haupt
March 2022; Central Avenue Publishing; 978-1771682251
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); romance

Can we alter our dreams and stories from the past to create a better future for our children?

This beautifully written novel takes place in several locations during the years 1987 to 2002.  It's about two teenagers who are basically outcasts at school becoming best friends and ultimately parents.  They plan to move from Seattle to LA  so that Zane can get discovered as a musician while Skye works on her art.  They are best friends until Skye's sister dies in an accident and they make love on the evening of her funeral and Skye becomes pregnant. Life becomes uncomfortable at home when her parents find out about the pregnancy.  They are still grieving their daughter's death and don't want Skye burdened with a child at her young age.  Skye decides that she's had enough and runs away to Montana.  Zane follows her but by then he's too hooked on drugs to be any help to her or to himself.  After he leaves, Skye moves to New Mexico with her infant named Montana.  She meets Aaron and his mother and they make Skye and Montana part of their family and eventually Aaron and Skye fall in love.  When Zane re-enters her life after 10 years, his goal is to be a real father to Montana and both Zane and Aaron want her to make a choice between them.  Skye is still in love with Zane - or maybe she's really in love with the person she wants him to be.  She has to make a decision to go back to her past and try to make a life with Zane or move forward into the future with Aaron.  

This is a fantastic book - Skye and Zone are well written and very believable as characters, the references to the Seattle grunge scene are right on and the ending of the book is absolutely perfect.  This novel is about family and love, acceptance, and forgiveness and asks the question of how much parents need to alter their lives for the good of their children. 

Buy Come As You Are at Amazon

The Way From Here by Jane Cockram

book cover of women's fiction novel The Way From Here by Jane Cockram
March 2022; Harper; 978-0062939326
audio, ebook, print (320 pages); women's fiction

Three generations of women. Three generations worth of secrets. Will a cache of letters from beyond the grave hold the key to unraveling them all? The answer to that question lies at the heart of this addictive and atmospheric novel.

This beautiful novel about sisters is set in the harsh environment of a farm in Australia versus lush and beautiful places in London and France.  It's about two sisters who are totally different.  Even though they grew up close to each other, their lives and attitudes took them in different directions.  Camilla still lives in Australia, teaches school, and is married with two children.  Susie has traveled all over and is always looking for the next big thing to follow.

When Camilla finds out that her sister has died, she is very upset even though they haven't been close in years.  Soon after she receives a package from Susie mailed from a friend.  In the package are six different letters that her sister has written to her.  She wants Susie to go to several locations in Europe and read the letters when she gets to the location in an attempt for Camilla to understand her better.  Susie also requests her sister spread her ashes in each of the locations.  

The first letter sends her to the British Museum in London to view a particular painting. The next letter sends her to the Ile de Clair, a small isolated island off the coast of France.  After she reads the letter there, she meets many of her sister's friends from her time on the island years earlier.  The people Camilla meets, don't want to share stories about Susie but they finally break down and tell her about the time that Susie spent there that changed her life forever.  Camilla also finds out secrets about her mother and grandmother that had been kept from the sisters.  She realizes then how little she knew about not only her sister but also her mother and her grandmother.

This was a wonderful story about the love and forgiveness between three generations of a family.  The scenery is beautifully described and I'm ready to book a trip to Ile de Clair.  The story is told in several different timelines - Susie and Camilla in 1998 and in present day. It wasn't difficult to follow the timelines and it really enhanced the story to get input from both characters in different timelines.  This is a debut novel for this author and I  can't wait to read her future books.
Buy The Way From Here at Amazon

Starlight and the Single Dad by Michelle Major 

book cover of romance novel Starlight and the Single Dad by Michelle Major
January 2022; Harlequin; 978-1335408358
ebook, print (288 pages); romance

Tessa and Carson were new neighbors and had both moved to Starlight to make major changes in their lives.  Tess had a kidney problem when she was younger and was now several years beyond her kidney transplant.  Her family had always tried to keep her safe and she wanted to become independent and live her life trying to do things that she'd been denied in her earlier years.  She moved away from her family to the Cascade Mountains and tried her best to be independent and no one -- not even her neighbor Carson --was going to divert her from her plans for the future.

Carson is an ex-Navy pilot who left the navy to care for his young daughter because he didn't want to continue his life as an uninvolved father.  He and his daughter, Lauren,  moved to Starlight so he could provide her a normal healthy lifestyle.

Carson didn't want Tess to have anything to do with his daughter but when they met, she and Lauren got along beautifully and she began to ask  Tess about hair and clothes and things that her Dad couldn't help her with.   Neither Tess nor Carson are interested in romance - they both want to be independent with no ties.  However, their minds and bodies didn't follow their rules and they ended up more than friends.

Can these two people move to the future as a couple or will their stubbornness keep them apart??

I don't read a lot of romance but I always enjoy Michelle Major's books.  Her characters have more depth than the characters in many romance novels so you find yourself caring for them and wanting the best happily ever after for them.  I especially enjoyed Tess in this novel.  She was so anxious to change and finally found out that a 'bad girl' wasn't the person she really wanted to be.  This is a wonderful story about love -- boyfriend and girlfriend, parent and child, female friendships, and most of all learning to love yourself.

NOTE:  This is book #5 in the Welcome to Starlight series but can be read out of order with no confusion. I've read them out of order and now I plan to get the books that I've missed because it's a fun series to read.

Susan Roberts lives in North Carolina with her husband of over 50 years.  She grew up in Michigan but now calls North Carolina home. She enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family. She reads almost anything (and the piles of books in her house prove that) but her favorite genres are Southern fiction, women's fiction, and historical fiction. Susan is a top 1% Goodreads Reviewer. You can connect with Susan on Facebook.

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