Slightly South Of Simple: A Novel (Review)

The Peachtree Bluff Series – Book 1

by Kristy Woodson Harvey

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From the next “major voice in Southern fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand) comes the first in an all-new series chronicling the journeys of three sisters and their mother—and a secret from their past that has the potential to tear them apart and reshape their very definition of what it means to be a family.

Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she’d spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.

Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley’s life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open.

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Slightly South of Simple is an emotional and brilliant novel which kept me completely spellbound.

From the beginning, I was really drawn into the story, and the characters and their strong bond are described amazingly by the author.

The storyline alternates Ansley and Caroline’s points of view and follows both the present time and memories of the past in which the reader will find out secrets and strong emotions that will help to better define the strengths and flaws of the characters. Continue reading “Slightly South Of Simple: A Novel (Review)”

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Not Quite Crazy – Review

by Catherine Bybee

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From New York Times bestselling author Catherine Bybee comes the sixth novel in the warm and witty Not Quite series.

No one drives in New York City. Everyone knows that, including California transplant Rachel Price. But that doesn’t stop her from driving into the city. From Connecticut. Every single morning. Rain or shine…or snow.

When she runs the charismatic and good-looking Jason Fairchild off the road, their immediate spark is met with bad timing. There is also one tiny little detail: Jason is her boss. And a woman as intelligent and dedicated to her career as Rachel knows not to date her boss.

As CEO of a private jet company, Jason Fairchild is more used to flying than driving. But if he hadn’t chosen to drive home one night, he wouldn’t have met the slowest—and most irresistible—driver in the entire metro area. Jason has never had time for love. Or dating. Or really anything that doesn’t involve work. But when he finds out that Rachel is the newest superstar in his marketing department, he can’t help wondering if fate has other plans…

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Catherine Bybee has done it again with this funny, surprising and charming story that is difficult to put it down!

Not Quite Crazy is the sixth and last installment in the Not Quite Series.

The novel follows Rachel Price’s new life in NY.  After her best friend’s death, Rachel becomes the legal guardian of her teenage son, Owen, but she has to fulfill an agreement with Owen’s grandparents. Continue reading “Not Quite Crazy – Review”

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Next Year In Havana (Review)

by Chanel Cleeton

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After the death of her beloved grandmother, a Cuban-American woman travels to Havana, where she discovers the roots of her identity–and unearths a family secret hidden since the revolution…

Havana, 1958. The daughter of a sugar baron, nineteen-year-old Elisa Perez is part of Cuba’s high society, where she is largely sheltered from the country’s growing political unrest–until she embarks on a clandestine affair with a passionate revolutionary…

Miami, 2017. Freelance writer Marisol Ferrera grew up hearing romantic stories of Cuba from her late grandmother Elisa, who was forced to flee with her family during the revolution. Elisa’s last wish was for Marisol to scatter her ashes in the country of her birth.

Arriving in Havana, Marisol comes face-to-face with the contrast of Cuba’s tropical, timeless beauty and its perilous political climate. When more family history comes to light and Marisol finds herself attracted to a man with secrets of his own, she’ll need the lessons of her grandmother’s past to help her understand the true meaning of courage.

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Next Year in Havana is an extraordinary and passionate book and a rollercoaster of emotions.

With this book, Chanel Cleeton delivers a poignant, resonant, and unforgettable novel about love, painful losses, sacrifices, and courage at different times of the Cuban history thanks to an engaging narration that alternates memories of Elisa’s past and the present life of her granddaughter, Marisol. Continue reading “Next Year In Havana (Review)”

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Memory House (Review)

by Bette Lee Crosby

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Annie Cross is running from a broken love affair and the only thing she wants is to forget; but once she meets Ophelia Browne she just might discover there are far greater joys in remembering. 

Ophelia remembers everything. She remembers things from her own life and from the lives of those who came before her. She has only to touch her hand to an object and she can feel the special memories clinging to it. But now she is nearing ninety and needs to find a caretaker for these memories. If death comes before she finds someone, the memories will be lost forever. Ophelia prays this won’t happen.

When Annie shows up on the doorstep of the Memory House Bed and Breakfast Ophelia knows she is the one. Seldom has she come across such deep violet eyes, and never with the flecks of green that once could be seen in her own reflection.

The two women forge a friendship and forgotten memories begin to unfold, but before long a thread of violence starts to unravel and Ophelia fears things may have gone too far.

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Memory House has captivated me from the first pages. With her delightful prose, Bette Lee Crosby has created a magic and fascinating storyline with wonderful characters and a very special and gifted bond, which left the reader fascinated and hopeful to discover more about Ophelia and Annie. Continue reading “Memory House (Review)”

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Dear Dwayne, With Love (Review)

by Eliza Gordon

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Wannabe actress Dani Steele’s résumé resembles a cautionary tale on how not to be famous. She’s pushing thirty and stuck in a dead-end insurance job, and her relationship status is holding at uncommitted. With unbearably perfect sisters and a mother who won’t let her forget it, Dani has two go-tos for consolation: maple scones and a blog in which she pours her heart out to her celebrity idol. He’s the man her father never was, no boyfriend will ever be—and not so impossible a dream as one might think. When Dani learns that he’s planning a fund-raising event where the winning amateur athlete gets a walk-on in his new film, she decides to trade pastries and self-doubt for running shoes and a sexy British trainer with adorable knees.

But when Dani’s plot takes an unexpected twist, she realizes that her happy ending might have to be improvised—and that proving herself to her idol isn’t half as important as proving something to herself. Continue reading “Dear Dwayne, With Love (Review)”

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Drawing Lessons (Review)

by Patricia Sands

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The author of the Love in Provence series returns to the South of France with a poignant portrait of a woman who must learn how to create a new life for herself…

Sixty-two-year-old Arianna arrives in the South of France for a two-week artists’ workshop full of anticipation but burdened by guilt. Back home in Toronto, she has been living with the devastating diagnosis of her husband’s dementia and the heartbreak of watching the man she has loved for decades slip away before her eyes. What does her future hold without Ben? Before her is a blank canvas.

Encouraged by her family to take some time for herself, she has traveled to Arles to set up her easel in the same fields of poppies and sunflowers that inspired Van Gogh. Gradually, she rediscovers the inner artist she abandoned long ago. Drawing strength from the warm companionship and gentle wisdom of her fellow artists at the retreat—as well as the vitality of guest lecturer Jacques de Villeneuve, an artist and a cowboy—Arianna searches her heart for permission to embrace the life in front of her and, like the sunflowers, once again face the light. (Synopsis courtesy of Amazon)

Drawing Lessons is a fantastic portrait of a woman in her sixties, who suddenly must face suffering and loss, and fight again for her dreams. Patricia Sands has wonderfully presented all her characters. She has drawn them, like in a painting. While I was reading, I could actually see them, and all her descriptions have such strength and delicacy. Continue reading “Drawing Lessons (Review)”

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