THE UNBREAKABLES by Lisa Barr

June 23, 2019

6/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE UNBREAKABLES by Lisa Barr. Harper Paperbacks (June 4, 2019). ISBN  978-0062895394. 352p.

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THE SUMMER OF SUNSHINE & MARGOT by Susan Mallery

June 19, 2019

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From the publisher:

The Baxter sisters come from a long line of women with disastrous luck in love. But this summer, Sunshine and Margot will turn disasters into destiny…

As an etiquette coach, Margot teaches her clients to fit in. But she’s never faced a client like Bianca, an aging movie star who gained fame—and notoriety—through a campaign of shock and awe. Schooling Bianca on the fine art of behaving like a proper diplomat’s wife requires intensive lessons, forcing Margot to move into the monastery turned mansion owned by the actress’s intensely private son. Like his incredible home, Alec’s stony exterior hides secret depths Margot would love to explore. But will he trust her enough to let her in?

Sunshine has always been the good-time sister, abandoning jobs to chase after guys who used her, then threw her away. No more. She refuses to be “that girl” again. This time, she’ll finish college, dedicate herself to her job as a nanny, and she 100 percent will not screw up her life again by falling for the wrong guy. Especially not the tempting single dad who also happens to be her boss.

Master storyteller Susan Mallery weaves threads of family drama, humor, romance and a wish-you-were-there setting into one of the most satisfying books of the year!


This book falls somewhere between women’s fiction and romance, but whatever you want to call it, it is an engrossing read. The characters are skillfully brought to life and I liked the two storylines, one following each of the sisters. They briefly overlapped now and again as the sisters are not estranged, just living their own lives as most of us do.

Sunshine is determined to turn her life around. She loves working as a nanny, but regrets the kids she left behind to follow after random men who invariably ended up hurting her. This time she is not going anywhere; she loves the young boy she is caring for and she is taking her first college class as well. The problem arises when she realizes she is very attracted to her recently widowed boss.

Margot loves helping people and this job is proving to be the most challenging one of her career. Bianca is living with her son and Margot is completely besotted – with the house. It is an old monastery that has been renovated and turned into a home, leaving much of the original intact. Bianca’s son is an historian who wants nothing more than to be left alone with his ancient documents, so he is surprised to find himself so strongly attracted to Margot. And she is equally surprised to find herself attracted to him.

Once I started this book, I was drawn completely into the lives of these sisters. If you like family stories with some romance, then you will enjoy this. I sure did.

6/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

SUMMER OF SUNSHINE & MARGOT by Susan Mallory. HQN Books; Original edition (June 11, 2019).  ISBN  978-1335659972. 368p.

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THE SUMMER GUESTS by Mary Alice Monroe

June 13, 2019

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BLOG TOUR!

From the publisher:

From the New York Times bestselling author of the Beach House series comes a heartwarming and evocative novel about the bonds and new beginnings that are born from natural disasters and how, even during the worst of circumstances—or perhaps because of them—we discover what is most important in life.Late August is a beautiful time on the Southern coast—the peach trees are ripe, the ocean is warm, and the sweet tea is icy. A perfect time to enjoy the rocking chairs on the porch. But beneath the calm surface bubbles a threat: it’s also peak hurricane season.

When a hurricane threatens the coasts of Florida and South Carolina, an eclectic group of evacuees flees for the farm of their friends Grace and Charles Phillips in North Carolina: the Phillips’s daughter Moira and her rescue dogs, famed equestrian Javier Angel de la Cruz, makeup artist Hannah McLain, horse breeder Gerda Klug and her daughter Elise, and island resident Cara Rutledge. They bring with them only the few treasured possessions they can fit in their vehicles. Strangers to all but the Phillips, they must ride out the storm together.

During the course of one of the most challenging weeks of their lives, relationships are put to the test as the evacuees are forced to confront the unresolved issues they have with themselves and with each other. But as the storm passes, they realize that what really matters isn’t what they brought with them to the mountains. Rather, it’s what they’ll take with them once they leave.

With Mary Alice Monroe’s “usual resplendent storytelling” (Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author), The Summer Guests is a poignant and compelling story of self-discovery, love, and redemption.


This was not my favorite Monroe book. Probably because I have lived through so many hurricanes, and I’ve never been in the financial position to weather the storm like the characters in this book. It also surprised me that I wasn’t more interested in the all the information about horses. I grew up riding (not competing! just for fun) and I live a short (car) ride down the road from Wellington. If you are not familiar, Wellington is the home of extremely wealthy horse people during season. Winter, when it’s warm here. People like Bill & Melinda Gates. They not only bought a house there, (their daughter competes), they bought the whole block. Or are in the process of buying all the homes on the street. I didn’t follow the story closely enough to know if they ever managed to do it. Anyway, you get the idea. The only thing I have in common with these people is that I love animals. Even though there is a lot more to the story, I just wasn’t all that interested in reading about how the 1% deal with hurricanes. f you are, then this is your book!

 

About MARY ALICE MONROE:
Mary Alice Monroe is the New York Times bestselling author of more than twenty books, including the Beach House series: The Beach House, Beach House Memories, Swimming Lessons, Beach House for Rent, and Beach House Reunion. She is a 2018 Inductee into the South Carolina Academy of Authors’ Hall of Fame, and her books have received numerous awards, including the 2008 South Carolina Center for the Book Award for Writing, the 2014 South Carolina Award for Literary Excellence, the 2015 SW Florida Author of Distinction Award, the RT Lifetime Achievement Award, the International Book Award for Green Fiction, and the 2017 Southern Book Prize for Fiction. Her bestselling novel The Beach House is also a Hallmark Hall of Fame movie. An active conservationist, she lives in the lowcountry of South Carolina. Visit her at MaryAliceMonroe.com and at Facebook.com/MaryAliceMonroe.


6/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE SUMMER GUESTS by Mary Alice Monroe. Gallery Books (June 11, 2019). ISBN: 978-1501193620. 368p.

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THE FRIENDS WE KEEP by Jane Green

June 4, 2019

6/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE FRIENDS WE KEEP by Jane Green. Berkley (June 4, 2019). ISBN  978-0399583346. 384p.

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THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF SAM HELL by Robert Dugoni

June 3, 2019

6/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE EXTRAORDINARY LIFE OF SAM HELL by Robert Dugoni. Lake Union Publishing (April 24, 2018). ISBN  978-1503948976. 447p.

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THE BOOK WOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK by Kim Michele Richardson

May 24, 2019

5/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

THE BOOK WOMAN OF TROUBLESOME CREEK by Kim Michele Richardson. Sarah Crichton Books (April 16, 2019). ISBN  978-0374156022. 368p.

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MIRACLE CREEK by Angie Kim

May 8, 2019

5/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

MIRACLE CREEK by Angie Kim. Sarah Crichton Books (April 16, 2019). ISBN  978-0374156022. 368p.

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DAISY JONES & THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid

March 30, 2019

3/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch

DAISY JONES & THE SIX by Taylor Jenkins Reid. Ballantine Books (March 5, 2019). ISBN  978-1524798628. 368p.

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TOMORROW THERE WILL BE SUN by Dana Reinhardt

March 14, 2019

Reinhardt (Tell Us Something True) brings two families together on a vacation at a luxurious villa in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico in this marital farce.

Jenna plans the trip for her husband Peter’s 50th birthday and invites his best friend/business partner, Solly, along with his family – his second, much younger wife, their young son and Solly’s disreputable teenage son from his first marriage. Jenna’s sullen teenage daughter is attracted to the troubled teen which makes Jenna uncomfortable, but her real problem is Peter’s beautiful, young assistant that he’s left in charge of the business, and their secretive phone conversations.

Meanwhile, Solly is the life of the party while Peter is acting the sycophant, and both of them are getting on Jenna’s last nerve. Things come to a head when political unrest in the town forces everyone to stay inside, causing feelings that have been brewing beneath the surface to explode.

Verdict: The interaction of all these characters makes for compelling reading and is often amusing, while book groups should find lots to discuss. Should appeal to fans of Jane Green and Emma Straub.

©Library Journal, 2019

3/19 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

TOMORROW THERE WILL BE SUN by Dana Reinhardt. Pamela Dorman Books (March 12, 2019). ISBN: 978-0525557968. 288p.

From Paul Lane:

Jenna and her husband Peter have been married for 20 years, have a 16 year old daughter. They are comfortable; not rich, with Peter in business with his lifelong best friend Solly. Jenna is a planner and makes the decision to plan an extraordinary vacation to best celebrate Peter becoming 50 years of age, with Solly to reach that age a few months later. After much research and deliberation Jenna sets up a dream seven day trip to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico. She rents a private villa with all the trimmings right next to the ocean.

Both couples, Jenna’s daughter and Solly’s two boys are with them, all primed to have the vacation of a lifetime. Upon arrival at the villa they are greeted by their maid and butler who will do all the cooking, serve drinks, clean up the quarters and leave the vacationers nothing to do but enjoy themselves. it does start out that way, but begins to go downhill slowly but surely. Using Jenna as the first person narrator, Reinhardt keeps the reader following the changes in situation and in the thinking and feeling of the group. She shows herself to be a master in painting the personalities and characters of the adults, teenage children and a young, quite spoiled little boy.

This is indicated as being Reinhardt’s first adult novel after writing many children’s books. After spending all night panting to finish the book I certainly am hoping she follows up with more adult fiction which I’m sure will give me additional sleepless, but pleasant evenings. A very well done book with a very surprising ending becoming the capstone of an excellent read.


A VERY MERRY PRINCESS by Susan Mallery

December 21, 2018

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A Happily, Inc. Novella

From the publisher:

Celebrate the season with this warmhearted charmer from #1 New York Times bestselling author Susan Mallery

When Princess Bethany’s father, the king, sells one of his best stallions, she insists the animal get the royal treatment. Disguised as Beth Archer, a mere stable hand, she takes him to Happily Inc, California, a quaint wedding destination that’s especially sparkly over the holidays.

Rich women have no place on Cade Saunders’s ranch. He wants a down-to-earth girl-next-door type—like Beth Archer. After a few cocoa-flavored kisses by the Christmas tree, Bethany begins to fall for her irresistibly handsome host. But will Cade still want her when he discovers she’s more familiar with a crown than a cowboy hat?


I love this series and I just happened to stumble upon this Kindle Single. I love Christmas romances but while there were tons of new ones this year, I didn’t love any of them. Authors that I loved last year fell into the “just ok” this year column. Actually, so have the Hallmark movies this year, I haven’t loved any of them. Maybe it’s me??? Bah!

Anyway, I went to my library’s ebook collection and did a search for “Christmas” – this was one of the first titles that popped up. And I am so glad it did.

I knew that there was a Princess living in Happily, Inc. but I didn’t know how she got there. And now I do. While I don’t always love novellas, I generally want more story in my stories, this one was perfect. It filled in a gap in the series that I was vaguely aware of, and it was a fast, fun read. A Christmas miracle, if you will! I loved it.

12/18 Stacy Alesi, AKA the BookBitch™

A VERY MERRY PRINCESS by Susan Mallery. HQN Books (November 1, 2017).  HQN Books (November 1, 2017).  101p.