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Sunday, June 23, 2019

The Summer We Lost Her by Tish Cohen

Release Date - June 4, 2019

Much of her life has been spent being the very best. With a chance to compete in the Olympics, Elise Sorenson knows her husband won't be as delighted as she is. It's made worse when she must leave her scheduled flight to go calm her agitated horse, which makes her break a promise to her eight-year-old daughter.

Matt Sorenson is once again let down that his wife has let them down. He's both mom and dad to their daughter Gracie, and now he has the chance to become a partner in the law firm where he works. It's a chance he doesn't want to miss, but money is tight. The only way to afford his dream is to sell his late grandfather's lakefront property.

The couple head to Lake Placid, New York, to fix up and clean up the lakefront home and prepare it to sell. Two things happen that can change their relationship and their lives. Matt reunites with his former girlfriend and starts to wonder "what if?" This throws Elise for a loop as Matt's attraction to his old girlfriend is still very apparent. Before they can even talk about whether or not they have a future together, Gracie disappears.

I both loved and hated The Summer We Lost Her. Elise is not a great mom most of the time. Her horse and career clearly come first. Matt is better for Gracie, but he's also a very dislikable man. I suppose given his grandfather, it's not surprising that he grew up to be a jerk. When Gracie goes missing, I had my guess and I was right. It was too predictable for me.

Saturday, June 22, 2019

The Woman in Our House by Andrew Hart

Release Date - June 18, 2019

Anna Klein thinks she's ready to return to work. To do so, she and her husband Josh opt to hire a nanny. Hiring a live-in nanny is a little worrisome, but they've talked to others who say the arrangement works beautifully. They're recommended a Mormon agency based in Utah.

When Oaklynn Durst arrives, she's better than Anna and Josh could have imagined. Not only is she delightfully warm and caring, but she's eager to show the family just how hard she's willing to work. She's soon cooking their meals, catering their parties, and doing far more than imagined.

When their girls start ending up with unexplained illnesses and experiencing "accidents" that require hospitalizations, Anna begins to worry that Oaklynn is not the Mary Poppins-like nanny they've imagined. She starts to fear that Oaklynn has a very dark side that is putting her family in danger.

The Woman in Our House started out strong. As the story progressed, there were things I couldn't decide why they were included. Anna's a bit hard to like. I get wanting to jump back into her career, but I also wondered why a live-in nanny was really necessary given the time she spent out of her home office checking on the girls or joining the nanny and girls in activities. A babysitter a few days a week would have sufficed.

I had real issues with the neighbor. She's not likable, and honestly, her role in the story was minimally important at best. I could have done without her. Certain parts of the story were never explained. I don't want to give away any plot, but there were things that happen that when everything came to the climax, I still found myself asking "why did that part back there happen, then?"

In the end, I liked this story. It had great potential, but some of it fell flat and then the ending was easy to predict. For that reason, it wouldn't make my keeper list.

Tuesday, June 18, 2019

Sisters of Summer's End by Lori Foster

Release Date - June 11, 2019

Joy Lee left her family behind after her husband made it clear he wanted nothing to do with becoming a dad. Joy's family also turned their backs on her. She moved to an RV resort where she has a great job, a home, plenty of friends, and is a great mom to her precocious son.

Maris Kennedy is the closest thing to a sister that Joy's ever had. When Maris urges Joy to live it up a bit and accept the advances of the new owner of the area drive-in, Joy decides to take Maris's advice. Meanwhile, she also convinces Maris to let loose a bit and accept the advances of the summer resort's maintenance guy.

These two women are forging a new friendship and leaning heavily on each other as they navigate the world of dating. Trusting in each other seems to be far easier than trusting in men, but it's getting harder to deny that having someone in their lives may be exactly what they need.

If you are looking for a warm, cozy romance, you get a two-for-one in Sisters of Summer's End. While there are two romances, Joy's takes center stage. I loved that it was so uplifting and romantic. I also loved having the very tough, tomboy-ish Maris realize she needed a man just as much as her friend did.

I am hoping this is a new series in the making. I really loved the setting and would like to see what Maris and Joy are up to in the future.