Sunday, February 28, 2021

Review: The Path to Sunshine Cove


About the Book:

She knows what’s best for everyone but herself…

With a past like hers, Jessica Clayton feels safer in a life spent on the road. She’s made a career out of helping others downsize—because she’s learned the hard way that the less “stuff,” the better, a policy she applies equally to her relationships. But a new client is taking Jess back to Cape Sanctuary, a town she once called home…and that her little sister, Rachel, still does. The years apart haven’t made a dent in the guilt Jess still carries after a handgun took the lives of both their parents and changed everything between them.

While Jess couldn’t wait to put the miles between her and Cape Sanctuary, Rachel put down roots, content for the world—and her sister—to think she has a picture-perfect life. But with the demands of her youngest child’s disability, Rachel’s marriage has begun to fray at the seams. She needs her sister now more than ever, yet she’s learned from painful experience that Jessica doesn’t do family, and she shouldn’t count on her now.

Against her judgment, Jess finds herself becoming attached—to her sister and her family, even to her client’s interfering son, Nate—and it’s time to put everything on the line. Does she continue running from her painful past, or stay put and make room for the love and joy that come along with it?

My Comments:

According to NetGalley, this is part of the same series as The Sea Glass Cottage. , however, unlike many of Thayne's series romances, this one does not come with a huge cast of characters who seem to have little connection to the story at hand. 

Jessica is in town partly because she was hired to help a widow clean out her house and partly because she wanted an excuse to be close to her sister for a while.  The widow has a son who becomes the romantic interest in the story.

Its funny the pictures you get in your mind about characters.  This story starts as Jess pulls her Airstream onto her client's property.  For some reason, I pictured a short-haired frumpy but pleasant woman about my age.  As the story developed I realized that like most romance heroines, Jess was much younger than me.  

Rachel is an interesting character.  She's a stay-at-home mom, a young woman who married her high school sweetheart.  She has an autistic son.  She's also a blogger and posts regularly to other social media.  She has crafted an image and trying to live up to it is crushing her.  

Back when I started this blog my big kids were beyond the uber-cute stage and I never felt comfortable telling stories of their foibles here because though I've never hit the big time as a blogger, I'm well aware that erasing a digital footprint is difficult to impossible and what teen wants to find stories his/her mom wrote about him/her shared on social media?  While paying attention to what I write over time will probably tell  you a lot about me, if you choose to put it all together, you'll have to at least run a Google search to find my name and you'd really have to hunt for my kids' names.  I've always kind of wondered how much of what we read from professional mommy bloggers is real, how much is made up, and to what extent the authors are able to tell the difference.  

I enjoyed the book and the fact that other relationships were as important to the story as the Jess/Nate relationship.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade:  B.

Wednesday, February 24, 2021

After the Crash: My Review


About the Book:

Since the sudden death of her husband in a car accident, writer Louisa Adams has done her best to hold herself together. But every morning that she wakes to find his side of the bed cold is more painful than the last, and she’s struggling to make ends meet. She must admit defeat and move into the crumbling seaside hotel her daughter just bought. Perhaps it might help put what’s left of their broken family back together…

Her career falling apart around her, Louisa is offered a final chance – to write an article on a local sand artist, Isaac. Except, when he turns to greet her – tall, handsome, weather-worn and wearing the same dusty pink shirt her husband once owned – her heart skips a beat. Why, when he looks into her eyes, does she feel like he knows exactly who she is and everything she’s been through?

As they explore the rugged coastline’s hidden coves together – laughing and living like she never thought she could again – Louisa finds herself drawn to the way Isaac celebrates the little moments in life. Why create beautiful sculptures in the sand every day only to see them washed away with the tide the next morning?

But with her deadline fast approaching, the discovery of a charcoal scribble in one of Isaac’s sketchbooks linking him to the crash that killed her husband exposes a secret that could tear her family and her heart apart all over again…

My Comments:

I enjoyed reading this story about a woman more or less my own age, as so many of the books I read are about women my daughter's age.  

The story is set in an English coastal town where Louisa is a newcomer.  We follow her through the streets and onto the beach, and we meet other people in the town as she does.  Of course one of those people is Isaac and through her interactions with him, Louisa starts to come back to life.  I think Emma Davies did a good job painting a word picture of the town.  

Louisa is a freelance writer who almost exclusively writes for one magazine and the editor has heard about Isaac's sand sculptures and wants an article.  Isaac does not want people to know about him.  For the first time Louisa is forced to think about how her articles affect those she writes about--she's mostly an investigative journalist.  I enjoyed reading about her writing process and difficulties.  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade: B 

Monday, February 22, 2021

It's Monday, What Are You Reading?

I'm joining the other folks over at Kathryn's for Its Monday, What are You Reading.
Luckily we only lost power for a few hours and that was last Monday while I was still at work.  Between the weather and Tuesday's holiday, they let us leave early but my office was warm and had lights so I sat at my desk and visited book blogs.

NetGalley has been good to me this week. I got:

I enjoyed other books in the series so I thought I'd read this one too. 

Not my usual, but something grabbed me.  We'll see.

Loved it.  Here is my review.  I talk a lot about the title and if you read it, I'd love to hear your thoughts.

I also used my Kindle Unlimited subscription. 

This week on the blog, besides my post about The Nature of Fragile Things, I posted a review of 

I'm participating in the the 2021 Discussion Challenge and had my first entry this week and it includes author interviews.


Thursday, February 18, 2021

Why This Title: Review and Discussion on The Nature of Fragile Things


About the Book:

Sophie Whalen is a young Irish immigrant so desperate to get out of a New York tenement that she answers a mail-order bride ad and agrees to marry a man she knows nothing about. San Francisco widower Martin Hocking proves to be as aloof as he is mesmerizingly handsome. Sophie quickly develops deep affection for Kat, Martin's silent five-year-old daughter, but Martin's odd behavior leaves her with the uneasy feeling that something about her newfound situation isn't right.

Then one early-spring evening, a stranger at the door sets in motion a transforming chain of events. Sophie discovers hidden ties to two other women. The first, pretty and pregnant, is standing on her doorstep. The second is hundreds of miles away in the American Southwest, grieving the loss of everything she once loved.

The fates of these three women intertwine on the eve of the devastating earthquake, thrusting them onto a perilous journey that will test their resiliency and resolve and, ultimately, their belief that love can overcome fear.

My Comments:

It's been a long time since I sat down after work and read a book cover-to-cover in one night (and early morning) but that's exactly what I did last night, and it was time well spent.  
Set in San Francisco in the early 1900's, just prior to and just after the great earthquake and fire, the book follows Sophie through the days of her marriage to Martin and through her relationship with Martin's daughter "Kat".  One of my secret vices is trashy Kindle Unlimited romances and a bunch of them are "mail order bride" books--the spunky (or fearful) woman from back east travels across the country to marry a man almost sight unseen and of course before the end of the book they fall in love.  This book is a reminder that the reason many of these women answered those ads was lack of other viable options.  While I'm sure many of those relationships were at least somewhat satisfactory to both parties, I'm also rather sure that some of the men weren't completely honest about their circumstances and that others were abusive in one way or another.  
I find the title of the book to be interesting:  The Nature of Fragile Things.  With most books I'm pretty sure how the title relates to the story before I start reading, or, if not then, by the time I'm done.  With this one, I'm pondering.  

What is the nature of fragile things?  Well, they break, that's practically the definition.  Usually if I think of something "fragile" I think of something with some value, even though it is easy to break.  I just googled "fragile" and it means easily broken or damaged, flimsy or unsubstantial, easily destroyed or (of a person) not strong or sturdy, delicate and vulnerable.  So how does the title relate to the book?  

While I'd never call Sophie "fragile", her marriage to Martin certainly was.  We don't consider buildings to be fragile, but the earthquake broke many of them.  Sophie develops a relationship with Kat that is anything but fragile.  Kat's mother has tuberculosis and is very fragile--but also very strong.  Sophie also develops a strong relationship with the woman mentioned above.  
Is this a book about being broken?  I don't think so.  Actually I found the women in the book to be strong, despite their circumstances.  The three main adult female characters were all fooled by Martin, so in some ways I suppose he broke all of them, though he didn't end up getting what he wanted from any of these three.  
If you read the book, why do you think it has the title it does?  

I'd like to thank the publisher for making a review copy available via NetGalley.  Grade: A


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