Beautifully crafted, and a splendid illumination of the human spirit as it rises in the most despairing of times, "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir" is a woBeautifully crafted, and a splendid illumination of the human spirit as it rises in the most despairing of times, "The Chilbury Ladies' Choir" is a wonderful read from author Jennifer Ryan. The small English village of Chilbury is trying its best to adjust to the departure of its menfolk for service in the early days of WWII. Even the church choir suffers, as the vicar orders the closing of the choir due to the absence of the men's voices. However, the women will not comply, and thus the "Chilbury Ladies' Choir" is born, and an extraordinary collaboration spreads its reach beyond the church and into the hearts and homes of the village and beyond. As the story unfolds and the war progresses, the tale is enhanced with letters and excerpts from diaries and journals, giving deeper personal insight into the characters and their lives. The specter of loss is ever present, and the heaviness of grief cannot be avoided in time of war. Yet, there is comfort to be found in the simplest of everyday pleasures and the shared experience of those who wait for the inevitable aftermath of global conflict. Splinters of hope peak through here and there like the early morning sun through closed curtains. Women are awesome in their everyday lives as wives, mothers, workers, friends, and lovers, but they are never more majestic than when they refuse to be daunted, no matter how large and fierce the dragons they must slay.
Author Meredith Jaeger’s debut work, “The Dressmaker’s Dowry”, is a compelling mystery which connects San Francisco of the Victorian Era to its celebrAuthor Meredith Jaeger’s debut work, “The Dressmaker’s Dowry”, is a compelling mystery which connects San Francisco of the Victorian Era to its celebrated status as a world-renowned city of our modern times. As the storyline weaves together events and characters from past to present and back again, the author’s wonderfully descriptive writing shapes the city into a character itself. In contemporary San Francisco, former journalist Sarah Havensworth is struggling to meet the societal expectations of her husband’s prominent family while still achieving her own personal and career goals. Haunted by an unsolved crime case more than a century old, Sarah is determined to find out what really happened to the two young dressmakers who disappeared so long ago. In 1876, San Francisco is a turbulent blend of wealthy citizens and multicultural immigrants. As dressmakers Hannelore and Margaret cater their seamstress skills to the wants and whims of the wealthy, they do not remain untouched by the atmosphere and elements of the wharves of the notorious Barbary Coast. When Margaret vanishes, Hannelore turns to Lucas, a wealthy client from the tailor shop where the women work, to help her find her friend. Despite the differences in their social status, Hannelore and Lucas find themselves becoming friends, and the promise of something more glimmers in dreams. As Sarah researches the past lives and events involved in the disappearance, she discovers a sinister link to her own husband’s well-to-do family, but is it a secret that can remain hidden? If Sarah reveals the total truth, will she lose all that she holds dear? A richly atmospheric setting and an involving storyline make for a very worthwhile read.
Book Copy Gratis William Morrow via Goodreads First Reads...more
Author Meg Donohue's "Every Wild Heart" is an entertaining view of the ever-evolving relationship between a mother who is still a work in progress andAuthor Meg Donohue's "Every Wild Heart" is an entertaining view of the ever-evolving relationship between a mother who is still a work in progress and a daughter whose surprising recovery from an accident changes both of their lives forever. On-air personality Gail Gideon shot to fame when her live broadcast of her ranting response to her husband's request for a divorce hit home with many of her listeners. Her rise to national success leaves her vulnerable to freaky fandom, and it leaves her daughter behind in her wake. Young teen Nic has long found refuge in her visits to a stable, but one day a riding accident leaves her hospitalized and in a coma. Once she awakens from the coma, however, it's a brand new, emboldened Nic who has her mother in a tizzy. Coping with Nic's sudden change of persona and dealing an increasingly discomfiting stalker-fan, Gail is even further challenged when unexpected love comes calling. Moving forward will take a great leap of faith and great deal of gumption--can this working mother really have it all?
An unexpected encounter that leads to a convenient business arrangement becomes a sweetly charming holiday romance in author Kandy Shepherd's "Greek TAn unexpected encounter that leads to a convenient business arrangement becomes a sweetly charming holiday romance in author Kandy Shepherd's "Greek Tycoon's Mistletoe Proposal". Ashleigh Murphy leaves behind her home in Australia to distance herself from her recently ended engagement and to avoid family pressures to reunite with her former fiance. Traveling to London, Ashleigh joins her longtime friend, Sophie, in working for "Maids in Chelsea", house-care and maid service agency catering to high-end clientele. When circumstances force Ashleigh to find a temporary place to stay, she chooses to make use of her access to the home of the very wealthy Lukas Christophedes, who is not expected to return over the Christmas holiday. However, he does return--and he catches Ashleigh enjoying a leisurely soak in his luxury bath! Ashleigh couldn't be more surprised when Lukas turns the situation to his own advantage and offers not to cause trouble for her if she will pose as his girlfriend to help him win over an important business client and seal the deal. Ashleigh agrees to his terms, but as things become more complicated than expected, she longs to know more about Lukas--a gorgeous "Mr. Scrooge". Lukas is intrigued by the lovely Ashleigh, who is intelligent and caring, but he learned long ago to harden his heart to emotional attachment. Will her beauty and spirit, along with the magic of the holiday season, unlock his emotions and bring them tidings of great joy and a love to last a lifetime? Author Kandy Shepherd has a wonderful way with layered characterizations, adding a depth to the storyline and allowing her readers to anticipate enjoyable twists and turns along the way. "Greek Tycoon's Mistletoe Proposal" is Book Two in the "Maids Under the Mistletoe" series from Harlequin Romance.
I was captivated by author Gail Cleare’s storytelling in “The Taste of Air”, and much of it resonated strongly with me as a reader. While I lived withI was captivated by author Gail Cleare’s storytelling in “The Taste of Air”, and much of it resonated strongly with me as a reader. While I lived with my own mother for almost fifty years, and I knew her better than anyone else possibly could, there was still much about her life that I will never know. We often forget that our parents are people, that they are human and make human mistakes, and none of us are perfect. “The Taste of Air” is a compelling reminder that none of us know how we would react when faced with some of the choices our parents had to make. The comfort of Nell Williams’s neatly-organized life is left behind when a phone call changes her reality forever. Not only is her mother, Mary, not in a care facility in Massachusetts as expected, she is hospitalized in Hartland, Vermont, a town unknown to Nell and her sister, Bridget. Upon their arrival in Vermont, they discover their mother’s “other life”, complete with a cottage home and a set of local friends. As more and more secrets about their mother and family are revealed, the sisters are forced to examine their own lives. While nothing will ever be the same, will long-held hopes and dreams find a way to come true? Author Gail Cleare has created a compelling portrait of three memorable women and the unique bond that exists between mothers and daughters—and the varied emotions in the relationships of sisters with each other.
Book Copy Received Gratis Via Author—Opinions Are Strictly My Own Observances...more
Author Annie England Noblin begins her "Cold River Series" with "Just Fine with Caroline". Set in a quirky small town in the Ozark Mountains of MissouAuthor Annie England Noblin begins her "Cold River Series" with "Just Fine with Caroline". Set in a quirky small town in the Ozark Mountains of Missouri, this is a contemporary romance that will please lovers of the engaging characters and humor and closeness of such communities. Even the animals themselves are characters. When Caroline O'Connor returns to Cold River to help care for her ailing mother, she finds that some things never change, but Fate always has the upper hand. Many surprises await Caroline, including an unexpected romance. She just may have to rethink her outlook on life in her hometown and let her heart help her with the thinking. What she tried so hard to leave behind may turn out to be "Just Fine with Caroline".
The "Sydney Brides" contemporary romance series from author Kandy Shepherd comes to a wonderful conclusion with Book 3, "The Bridesmaid's Baby Bump".The "Sydney Brides" contemporary romance series from author Kandy Shepherd comes to a wonderful conclusion with Book 3, "The Bridesmaid's Baby Bump". I have really enjoyed getting to know the three friends and business partners known as "The Party Queens". While they are most definitely modern career women whose unique skills made their business a success, they are still very much women whose hearts have yearned for that special, once-in-lifetime, forever kind of love. "The Bridesmaid's Baby Bump" is the story of Eliza Dunne, the "smarts" of the party-planning business, and Jake Marlowe, a self-made billionaire entrepreneur. Eliza has been the bridesmaid, and Jake has been the best man, at the other two party-planners weddings to friends of Jake. While the attraction between Eliza and Jake has been sizzling for some time, it remained unfulfilled due to the long-drawn-out end to Jake's unhappy marriage. When they are finally able to act upon their fantasies of each other during a brief interlude, they try to tell themselves, and one another, that their time together is just a one-time thing. However, hearts will have their own way, and so will the hand of Fate. When Eliza finds out she is pregnant, she doesn't want Jake to know--but a baby is a growing secret that can only be hidden for so long. Both Eliza and Jake have some serious issues of trust from their childhood experiences and also their adult romantic relationships. Both of them are career-driven and hadn't planned on the "baby bump", but maybe that new little life is just what both of them need to bring them each the happiness they deserve. They just have to figure themselves out first, and then, just maybe, a bright new future is shining for the three of them together. This is a very well-written romantic story which will involve the reader and have them rooting for the happily-ever-after. Author Kandy Shepherd is always a great storyteller, and she excels here at showing both sides of the relationship and makes the concerns of both characters equal and very real. I highly recommend the "Sydney Brides" series for lovers of heartfelt, engaging contemporary romance.