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June 19, 2022

2 Books to Add to Your Vacation Reading List

by Susan Roberts

Women's fiction is one of the most popular genres for beach reads. Beach reads start hitting shelves in April so by the time you are taking your vacation in June and July, either you list is so long you don't know where to start or you have forgotten the book you so wanted to read when it came out. Today, I have two books that should be on your vacation reading list if they aren't already, and if they are on your list you should move them to the top. 

Amazon affiliate links are used on this site. Free books were provided for an honest review.

The Road to Me by Laura Drake

book cover of small town fiction novel The Road to Me by Laura Drake
April 2022; The Story Plant; 978-1611883251
ebook, print (320 pages); women's fiction

The Road to Me
by Laura Drake is a great book about an uptight perfume developer and her outrageous hippie Grandmother.  Jacqueline (Jack)  had it tough growing up with an alcoholic mother who never took care of her.  She loved it when her grandmother would show up unannounced but always resented her grandmother leaving after a few days and leaving her to take care of her mom. When they end up on a road trip together -on Route 66 - her grandmother is almost a stranger to her.  Will spending time together create an understanding between them?
When Jack first received the call to drive from Seattle to Arizona, she plans to take her grandmother back to the nursing home.  She has many questions to ask her grandmother and along Route 66, they share memories with each other. Will what she finds out about her grandmother bring them closer, or will she drop Nellie off and head back home to her own controlled life as a perfume developer?

I loved the character of Nellie.  She was a feisty grandmother with a streak of wildness.  She made me laugh and made me cry.  When we first meet her, she has been arrested when police busted a charlatan shaman’s sweat lodge. Others scattered, but Nellie was slowed by her walker and the fact that she was wearing nothing but a few Mardi-Gras beads.  She dragged her granddaughter to a nudist colony and other places that Jack would never go on her own.  She claimed that she'd been at Woodstock and had lived on the edge ever since. She is absolutely one of the most fantastic older characters that I've read in a long time.  

Buy The Road to Me at Amazon

Sea Glass Cottage by Irene Hannon 

book cover of contemporary Christian romance novel Sea Glass Cottage by Irene Hannon
April 2022; Revell; 978-0800741044
audio, ebook, print (340 pages); romance

"Asking for help from a man who hated her was hard.
Really hard.
But she was out of options."
(p 11)

Christi has driven from Dallas to Hope Harbor, Oregon, to ask a former friend to help her.  She's almost out of money and needs a loan to help with a situation at home.  She and Jack had dated years ago but their relationship ended on very negative terms.  At the time, she was a spoiled rich girl who had whatever she wanted.

Jack made his home in  Hope Harbor after their breakup.  He's a policeman and has just published his debut novel.  He hasn't seen Christi in years and his bitterness towards her keeps him from being friendly when they first talk to each other.  Even though he has no intention of giving her the loan, he asks her to give him a few days to decide.

After a few wonderful things happen to Christi in Hope Harbor - the offer of a job and a place to live - she decides to stay in this small friendly town.  She and Jack keep running into each other, and every time they do, their bitterness towards each other starts to thaw.  Will they be able to open their hearts to let go of the bitterness and start a new relationship?

I enjoyed the story about Christi and Jack and plan to read some earlier books in this series.  This is a clean, Christian novel of love and loss, forgiveness, and family.  Not only are the two main characters very likable, but there are also some secondary characters who make this novel fun to read.   Overall, this was an easy fun book to read.  You knew how it was going to end way before the ending but the journey to get there was great to read.

NOTE:  This is book 8 in the Hope Harbor series.  It can be read as a standalone 

Buy Sea Glass Cottage at Amazon

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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