A heartfelt, endearing story of self-discovery. When I began this book, I was looking for something light and enjoyable to read. And fromMy Thoughts:
A heartfelt, endearing story of self-discovery. When I began this book, I was looking for something light and enjoyable to read. And from reading the synopsis, I was pretty sure this book would meet that criteria. It was light and enjoyable, but it also had some hidden depth to it that I was very pleased to find. Oh, and I was a bit amused by some of the similarities I saw between this book and the movie, Hope Floats with Sandra Bullock. There were a lot of differences, but at times while I was reading, that movie would pop into my head.
Abby is a character that I believe most everyone can relate to. She’s a bit down on her luck, having lost her column in the newspaper, but she has a wedding to look forward to and a new house to move into. Or so she thinks. The house has extreme termite damage and her fiancé has skipped off to Paris, France without any explanation as to why. So, against her wishes, she has to move in with her family temporarily – her June Cleaver mother, her cab driving father, her eccentric grandmother, her gothic teenage sister, and her amusingly dramatic 5-year-old sister.
I think what really made the novel work so well for me was how realistic it really felt and how each character had some small part in helping Abby figure out what she wanted her life to be. After having carefully planned everything in her life and then seeing those plans unravel, she needed to reevaluate herself and what life really meant for her before she could move on and face the issues that needed facing. And the various quirky and wonderful inhabitants of Paris, New Jersey really helped her bring things into focus.
There was a love interest in this novel (outside of skipping-off-to-Paris Fred). Mick had been a really close friend of hers in high school but had up and left without saying goodbye during their senior year. As their friendship began to re-form, I found myself wondering what could have happened to make him leave so abruptly all those years ago and why he hadn’t said anything to Abby since it was very apparent how close they had been. Learning about Mick along the way was a wonderful but bittersweet experience and even though it was obvious that there was an attraction on both sides, the romance really took a backseat to the main story. I was actually glad to see this as it was Abby’s journey of self-discovery here that was most important, not her feelings for her next door neighbor and friend.
I believe one of the only things I didn’t care for much was the fact that Abby was trying to deal with everything by herself instead of reaching out to her close friends, Destiny and Jessica. I think it would have felt even more realistic if she’d really spent time talking with these two ladies as she tried to work through things. I recognize that ultimately, the choice has to be hers in which path she wants to take in life, but close friends, I feel, are essential to helping in that process. So, I would have loved to have seen more interaction between these three specifically.
Overall, this was a wonderful novel of self-discovery and the realization that you don’t have to stay in the same lane for the rest of your life. If that lane isn’t working out, change to a new one and see if it’s any better. Maybe it is or maybe it isn’t, but the real point is that at least you tried. And I believe that is what Abby slowly came to discover as she got a handle on things. So, if you like contemporary women’s fiction with emphasis on self-discovery, then definitely check this book out! ...more
This is an amazing contemporary romance/family drama from a very talented debut author. I loved following Iris and her familiar Stranger as they got tThis is an amazing contemporary romance/family drama from a very talented debut author. I loved following Iris and her familiar Stranger as they got to know one another. And it's a beautiful but heart-wrenching journey for Iris as she slowly allows herself to love again.
An interesting tid-bit: the author is also a singer and songwriter and wrote the lyrics and poetry in Awakening Iris. This is definitely a novel worth reading if you enjoy romance!...more
This is an adult contemporary romance written by a man from a man's perspective. Sparky is such a great character and is so easy to relate to. I loveThis is an adult contemporary romance written by a man from a man's perspective. Sparky is such a great character and is so easy to relate to. I love his interactions with the various women in his life, especially his interactions with Ann...talk about spicy and playful!! And Sparky's relationship with his young daughter was so sweet and loving. It was interesting to get a realistic behind the scenes look at the typical daily life of a Drill Sergeant in the Army. And I was really pleased with how the book ended. Definitely a great read to warm up the chilly winter evenings!
*Sidenote: I have to brag a little...this is my hubby's first novel and I really do think it's 5-Star material. I'm so proud of him! But, don't take my word for it...check the book out for yourself and let me know what you think!...more
I just couldn't finish this. I know, it's only like 60 pages, but it just was too unrealistic and uninteresting to hold my attention for even that lonI just couldn't finish this. I know, it's only like 60 pages, but it just was too unrealistic and uninteresting to hold my attention for even that long. The couple of sex scenes that I got to were steamy but too superficial and bordered on the almost impossible for me to enjoy them too much. Just wasn't my cup of tea....more
I’ve actually had this book for a while and from the synopsis, I thought it would be an interesting read. I could imagine all the crazinesMy Thoughts:
I’ve actually had this book for a while and from the synopsis, I thought it would be an interesting read. I could imagine all the craziness that could come from attempting the online dating scene and figured there would be a lot of humor. Unfortunately, the way the book is written, I found myself completely detached and uninterested in how the story was unfolding. I thought it was a unique idea to tell the story through a series of e-mails between friends. But this medium did not work for me. I have to feel a connection with the characters and I just couldn’t feel it with this one.
Overall, it fell flat for me, couldn’t hold my interest, and I could care less if the main character ever did find true love through online dating or if she gave up altogether or whatever. This medium might work for other readers but didn’t for me. So, if you have this on your reader, at least give it a peek because it was an interest concept for telling a story. Maybe it will work better for you. ...more
I'd like to thank Crystal at Reading Between the Wines blog and the publisher (Hatchett Book Group) for having a great giveaway in which I won a copyI'd like to thank Crystal at Reading Between the Wines blog and the publisher (Hatchett Book Group) for having a great giveaway in which I won a copy of this book!
Barefoot in the Sand is a wonderful contemporary romance that shows what can happen when a person tries to make a dream come true after a devastating and life-changing event. Lacey Armstrong is a wonderful main character that I was able to relate to and found myself cheering her on as the book progressed and she went from an excuse-making dreamer to a confident woman determined to make her dreams come true. And Clay Walker...yum! He was a great love interest for Lacey, bringing out her strengths and always encouraging her, even when she was convinced that his plans were far to grandiose and unachievable. If you're looking for a great beach read, definitely check this book out! But make sure you've got plenty of sun-block and maybe even an umbrella to keep from getting severely burned because you won't want to put this book down. :)...more
This was good, but I think the conflict piece that separated Melissa and Brody was drug out way too long before there was a final dramatic resolution.This was good, but I think the conflict piece that separated Melissa and Brody was drug out way too long before there was a final dramatic resolution. Stubborness was taken to a drastic stretch, too drastic to be realistic, and actually had me annoyed with both characters. I liked the story line and will check out the next book in this series to see which bachelor fireman is next to get his shot at love, but I hope conflict/resolution pieces of the plot are handled better in the next book....more