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September 2, 2023

Oak Harbor Series by Kimberly Thomas ~ a Review

by Susan Roberts

Kimberly Thomas has become on of my favorite new authors of women's fiction series.  Her new series is about an estranged family who are learning to trust and love each other again

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The Willberry Inn

book cover of women's fiction novel The Willberry Inn by Kimberly Thomas
July 2022; Indie; 979-8394110559
audio, ebook, print (216 pages); women's fiction

I love starting a new series and getting my first look at the characters and locations that I will read about in future books.  After getting to know the three estranged sisters and the history of their years growing up, I'm anxious to read more about each of them.  Book one gives us a introduction to all of the main stories but is mostly Cora's story.

"Cora had it all, a doting husband, two wonderful daughters, an amazing career, and a beautiful home. She was living the dream; until…it all came crashing down like a stack of cards." 

Cora had what she thought was the perfect life.  She had a good job, two wonderful daughters and more importantly a husband she loved and planned to grow old with.  Until she found out that her husband wasn't really the loving man that she thought he was.  The hurt was so painful that she ended her marriage.  She was at a loss on how to start over when she received a call from her mother that her father had died.  Her father that she's been estranged from since she left for college...the father who quit talking to her when she didn't follow his plans for the rest of her life.  She decided to go back to her family home for his funeral.  Her two sister would also be there.  The two women who meant the most to her in her childhood years but had become estranged from after she left her family home to go to college.  Cora's two adult daughters supported her decision and went to the funeral with her.  What would Cora find when she got back to her childhood home?  Would her family accept her back or would she remain estranged from the family who had meant so much to her in her younger years?  Life for Cora gets even more difficult when her father's will is read and he leaves the inn to the three sisters to run together.  Can the sisters learn to trust each other again?

This is a fantastic book about love and loss, acceptance and trust within a  family

Buy The Willberry Inn at Amazon

Healing Hearts

book cover of women's fiction novel Healing Hearts by Kimberly Thomas
August 2022; Indie; 978-1393354208
ebook, print (190 pages); women's fiction

Healing Hearts
is book 2 in the new Oak harbor Series.  The series is about three sisters who left home as soon as they could and have remained estranged from their parents and from each other for years.  They all return home for their father's funeral.  In his will, he promised The Willberry Inn to his daughters but first they had to live there and take care of their mother who had a serious illness that she'd never told them about.  Book 1 was Cora's Story and book 2 belongs to Andrea.

Andrea is at the top of her game as a social media guru. Dubbed the Queen of Facebook Ads, she’s never been better. But then an unexpected tragedy strikes, and she’s called back to the one place she vowed never to return to.

Andrea was reluctant to return to Oak Harbor.  Her life as a media influencer was very successful and her beloved daughter was planning to get married to someone that she knew would be a fantastic husband.  But Cora had been taking care of her mom by herself and Andrea knew that she could run her business from anywhere, she packed up to go home for the summer.  She bumps into Donnie - well actually he bumped into her car at an intersection and they immediately began to argue over who was at fault.  She met him later while she was out running.  The more she sees him, the more interested she is in him.  Can she let down her walls that keep men out of her life and find a relationship with him?  Will they have their happily ever after?  I can't wait to read book 3 and find out the other sister's story along with what happens to Cora and Andrea.

This is a fantastic book series about love and loss, acceptance and trust within a  family.   

Buy Healing Hearts at Amazon

Summertime Forgiveness

book cover of women's fiction novel Summertime Forgiveness by Kimberly Thomas
August 2022; Indie; 979-8394111501
ebook, print (220 pages); women's fiction

Summertime Forgiveness
is Book 3 in the Oak Harbor series about three sisters who have been estranged from their parents and from each other for years.  After their father's funeral, Cora and Andrea have decided to stay at their family home to help run the inn and to take care of their mother who has a terminal illness.  In this book we learn Jo's story and follow her decision whether to stay at her family home or return to her old life.

Losing a loved one is hard— losing three is heart shattering. Within less than a year, Josephine has lost the three most important men in her life in two separate accidents. How does one come back from a hurt that grips you so tightly that it’s hard to even breathe?  

A year earlier, Jo lost her beloved husband and son in an auto accident soon followed by her estranged father's death.  She decides that there are too many memories in her home so she sells her house and moves to Oak Harbor to live with her mother and sisters.  She hasn't decided how long to stay but once she reconnects with her sisters, she is beginning to think that she'll stay.  She's extremely fragile emotionally and it doesn't take much to make her think about returning to the city but when she begins to realize how sick her mom really is, she is inclined to stay at her family home.  She was a sous chef in her past life and when she's asked to help out Chef Daniel in the restaurant, she's thrilled to help out.  As Jo ad Daniel begin to spend time together, the sparks begin to fly between them.  Jo feels like it's too soon for her to fall in love after the death of her husband so she wants to keep the relationship as just friends.  As Jo is starting to become part of her family again, she has to decide if it's ok to start living her life again and getting rid of her grief.  Will Jo and Daniel let themselves enjoy life again and have their happily ever after?

This new series is about friendship, love and loss.  It's about finding yourself as you learn to love your family again.  The relationship between the sisters is well written and believable.  

Buy Summertime Fiction at Amazon


book cover of women's fiction novel Absolution by Kimberly Thomas
September 2022; Indie; 979-8394113536
ebook, print (208 pages); women's fiction

In Book 4 of the Oak Harbor series, we spend time with Marg who is the manager of the Oak Harbor Inn and a good friend to all three of the sisters.  She has a complicated past and has to decide if she'll share it with the sisters or keep living under the constraints of her past.

Marg’s life has always been filled with disappointment and failure. A failed marriage, a mother who always compared her to her perfect sister, then having unfulfilled desires that has her packing up and leaving everything and everyone behind.   

After Marg leaves her cheating husband and returns to her family home, she realizes that she can't stay there.  Her mother constantly criticizes her and compares her unfavorably to her older sister - something that she'd done for Marg's entire life.  Marg decides to move to Oak Harbor to live with her grandmother.  After ten years of love and acceptance from her grandmother, Marg is distraught when her grandmother dies of kidney disease.  During her ten years in Oak Harbor, Marg worked as a receptionist and front desk clerk at the Oak Harbor Inn.  She loved her job and had become friends with the three sisters who had returned home to run the Inn.  But now her life has gone from comfortable to a constant fight with her mother who stayed until the will was read.  She continues to act totally negative towards her daughter and when they find out that her grandmother's house has been left to her mother, her sister and herself, she's distraught when her mother and sister decide that the house should be sold.  When she decides to share her secrets with the three Hamilton sisters they are understanding and work with her to discover the true meaning of friendship, love and forgiveness.  There is also a potential love interest for her but she doesn't feel that she can ever truly trust another man again after her husband's betrayal,  Will Marg be able to let go of past pain and reconcile with her family and more importantly find her happily ever after??

Buy Absolution at Amazon

Fall is in the Air

book cover of women's fiction novel Fall is in the Air by Kimberly Thomas
October 2022; Indie; 979-8394113116
ebook, print (226 pages); womne's fiction

This is book 5 in the Oak Harbor series and it's Kerry's story.  Kerry is a cousin to the three sisters that own the Oak Harbor Inn.  She is 41 years old, divorced with two daughters and owns a bakery in Oak Harbor.

Twenty-three years and counting… that’s how long Kerry has been holding on to a secret that changed her life forever. Now, after a seventeen-year marriage, two grown daughters and toeing the line, it’s time to do things differently, on her own terms, even if that means disappointing her father… again.

Kerry loves Oak Harbor and is working hard to make a success of her bakery and be part of the small shops that make up the downtown area.  A huge conglomerate  is trying to buy all of the small shops and open a large mall and parking center.  The small business owners know that this will totally change their town and work together to stop the building.  Kerry decided to show one of the lawyers around Oak Harbor and show him what will change if his company wins.   There are sparks between Kerry and Ethan but she knows that they are on opposite sides and that he'll be leaving town soon and doesn't want to get involved.  Will she decide that she can give up her independence and fall in love?  Can she survive on the support of her sister and cousins and can she forgive her father for something that happened years ago that she hasn't forgiven him for?  Kerry was a complex character with a lot of sadness and anger.  It was great to see her make hard decisions that had the possibility of making her happy again

Buy Fall is in the Air at Amazon

A Spectacular Event

book cover of women's fiction novel A Spectacular Event by Kimberly Thomas
December 2022; Indie; 979-8215814659
ebook, print (248 pages); women's fiction

Book 6 in the Oak Harbor series is Rory's story.  She has the total support of her mother and her  aunts for her upcoming marriage but will her snobby mother-in-law to be and her excessive demands end the wedding plans?

In the coastal town of Oak Harbor there is a wedding for every season, and this is one that promises to be a spectacular event— a winter wonderland extravaganza. As long as there are no cold feet, that is.

James and Rory are deeply in love and planning a Christmas wedding.  Rory wants the wedding in Oak Harbor so that her ailing grandmother can attend.  Her mother in law to be has no love for Rory and wants the wedding to be held in Seattle so that she can invite her society friends.  She is appalled that Rory plans to hold it in Oak Harbor.  After several run-ins with her and no support from James, Rory returns home to her family to decide if she even wants to go ahead with the marriage if her mother in law keeps creating problems.  While she's with her family and spending time with her mother and grandmother, she realizes that family is way more important than society and cancels the wedding.  Will James be able to win Rory back and stand up to his controlling mother?  Will Rory get her happily ever after marriage??

Buy A Spectacular Event at Amazon 

Bittersweet Moments

book cover of women's fiction novel Bittersweet Moments by Kimberly Thomas
February 2023; Indie; 979-8394114632
ebook, print (268 pages); women's fiction

Bittersweet Moments
is book 7 in the series and it is Jules story.  She is Cora's daughter and even though they've always been close, the secrets that Jules is keeping about her unwanted pregnancy is keeping them at odds with each other.

Returning home, an unexpected pregnancy  and an end-of-life circumstance bring plenty of bittersweet moments for the Hamilton family.

This book has two main plots -- the unexpected beginning of a new life and the grief over losing an old life.

Cora and her sisters have all moved to Oak Harbor to help take care of their mother, Becky, who has a terminal illness.  Their mother has gotten worse and the sisters are doing whatever they can to make their mother's last days happy while they create memories to help them through their life without her.  

Jules was excited to go to Seoul for a semester of college.  She loved the freedom that she now had and enjoyed spending time with her new friends.  She didn't expect to find her Prince Charming but when she met Noah, she knew he was the one.  Their relationship was exciting and she was in tears when he was deployed for a year. When she finds out that she's pregnant and that Noah is not the man she thought he was, she returns to her family in Oak Harbor. She's unhappy and heartbroken and takes her feeling out on her mother who is also upset over the impending loss of her mother,  When Noah shows up at Oak Harbor, Jules is shocked to find out that she may have made a big mistake.  Will they be able to resolve their differences and get their happily ever after ending or will past mistakes keep them apart?

Buy Bittersweet Moments at Amazon

Always & Forever

book cover of women's fiction novel Always & Forever by Kimberly Thomas
April 2023; Indie; 979-8223737117
ebook, print (214 pages); women's fiction

Erin and Marg both find their plans for the future changed and have to decide if they can accept the changes.  It's great to be back at Oak Harbor with the large extended family.

Erin had a plan… Go to college, become an advertising exec, marry her boyfriend of five years, and start a family— all in that order. 

Erin had the perfect job and a wonderful boyfriend.  A medical diagnosis upsets her greatly and after a panic attack, she decides to go home to Oak Harbor and be with her mother and family.  But even with her family she's surrounded by situations that hurt her -- she misses her grandmother and doesn't understand why her mother and sister have accepted her father back into the family after he betrayed them.  She refuses to even talk to him and makes sure that he know she'll never accept him back into her life.  When her boyfriend shows up, she refuses to explain why she left and asks him to leave.  Is Erin going to remain bitter and estranged from important people in her life or will her family and the memory of her loving grandmother help her accept the people who love her?

Marg has been looking for love and acceptance for her whole life and is very happy with her new relationship with Ben.  They are happy together until Ben proposes and she realizes that there is something she wants in her life that he refuses to do.  Will they be able to reconcile their differences and live happily ever after?

Buy Always & Forever at Amazon 

A Mother's Love

book cover of women's fiction novel A Mother's Love by Kimberly Thomas
June 2023; Indie; 979-8397397353
ebook, print (222 pages); women's fiction

Book 9 brings us the story of a mother who is trying to win back the love of her children after the death of her husband.  This book is Tess's story.

How do you bounce back from losing the love of your life?

Tess has been a widow for two years and is still having trouble coping with life without  her husband.  She's still working long hours at her job as head nurse at a major hospital and is always exhausted by the time she gets home.  She has two children but is basically estranged from both of them -- her son has moved away and they only share brief telephone calls.  Her daughter Diane feels very unloved by her mother who is still angry that she dropped out of medical school.  Diane is very happy running a small bistro and would like to make her business larger but her mother refuses to give her the money that her dad had left for her.  To make Diane's life even more difficult is that she is engaged to a man who spends all of his time working and she begins to wonder if she even wants to marry him.  Can this  mother and daughter put the past behind and begin a healthy relationship with each other after all of the pain?  

The relationship between mother and daughter was very broken but grief can do strange things to people's perspectives.  There were several times that I just wanted to tell both of them to just grow up! but overall, they were both very interesting characters.  

Buy A Mother's Love at Amazon

Coming Full Circle

book cover of women's fiction novel Coming Full Circle by Kimberly Thomas
August 2023; Indie; 979-8858882725
ebook, print (218 pages); women's fiction

Three years ago, Nikki was on top of the world. But when she’s in a devastating car accident that claimed the life of her best friend and left her scarred for life, she’s left feeling defeated in every way possible.

Nikki and her best friend both had dreams of becoming models and on their way to a possible break, they are in a horrific accident.  Nikki's best friend was killed and she suffered survivor's guilt that kept her from functioning in her day to day life.  She moved back home and lived with her parents.  She spent most of her time either angry with the world for not understanding how she felt or in tears over the loss of her friend.  When her parents finally tell her that it's time for her to move out of their home and start her life, she is angry that they are so uncaring so she leaves in anger.  Will she be able to find happiness and maybe love when she begins to live again?

Cora is busy planning her wedding when her daughter's husband disappears in battle.  Will Cora be able to find happiness amidst all of the sorrow in her family?

It was wonderful to go back to Oak Harbor and become part of the lives of the Hamilton family.  This story showed their struggles, their successes and most importantly, their love for each other as they all face life head on.  This book is shown to be the final book of the series but I can only hope that the author will take us back to Oak Harbor in the future.

Buy Coming Full Circle at Amazon

Susan Roberts grew up in Michigan but loves the laid-back life at her home in the Piedmont area of North Carolina where she is two hours from the beach to the east and the mountains in the west.  She reads almost anything but her favorite genres are Southern Fiction and Historical Fiction.  You can connect with her on Facebook.

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