Sophie Russo has returned to Willow Bay to get her life back on track following the death of her beloved grandfather, who raised her. Henry Dugan, the man who employs her to edit his non-fiction writing and whom she’s never met, is coming for the summer to try his hand at fiction writing in a quiet setting. Well toss that, because despite it’s appearance, Willow Bay has a lot of long buried secrets ready to bubble up. The return of Eva, Sophie’s mother who abandoned her at birth, the vandalism in search of answers and finally the unexpected desire for a man who has been her friend from afar for years, keeps Sophie in a tailspin.
I really liked this story. For me the story just hit it on all cylinders—the characters were real and human and older enough to have some real life behind them. The move toward a relationship was measured, the pace was true without the flash-bam of falling into bed of so much fiction these days. These characters knew each other on a different level before "meeting" and they used that to grow toward one another. There is one scene at the lighthouse with the three girlfriends that should not be missed, no spoilers, but I laughed out loud. I highly recommend it– enjoy!
GIVEAWAY: Ms. Reinhardt is giving away an Ecopy of her book. The TBR Pile is giving away a book from our prize list. TO ENTER: Comment below why you want to read The Summer of Second Chances!
Sex and the Widow Miles
(Women of Willow Bay #2)
Author: Nan Reinhardt
Length : 164 pages
Genres: Contemporary Romance
TBR Reviewer: Victoria
Rating: 4 Stars - Recommended Read
Heat: 3/5 - Blush Worthy
I reviewed the first book in this series a few weeks ago and was delighted to learn that book #2, which features a secondary character from book #1 as the heroine, was available. Thank you, Ms. Reinhardt!
Now, summary: This book takes place a little over a year after the first book, made clear by the fact that Julie's husband (Charlie) was alive in book 1 and he's been dead for a year+ in book 2. Julie hasn't recovered from his death and in fact has gone to Chicago to try to heal by removing herself from all reminders of him. She chickens out and is about to leave to go back to Willow Bay when Will Brody stops by (she'd left the door to the apartment she was staying in open and he was concerned, since it belongs to the couple from book 1 - he's Liam's manager). There's an instant connection there, but not one Julie's willing to face quite yet.
It's not until she gets Charlie's computer up and running, accessing his old email account (she'd never used the laptop while Charlie was alive and Will got it going without realizing it would connect automatically to Charlie's email). That's when Julie discovers her beloved Charlie might not have been so faithful and she is devastated by the fact that there was "another woman" in her perfect Charlie's life.
This book is about healing, from beginning to end. Julie heals from Charlie's death, and later from the discovered betrayal after she actually tracks down the "other woman". That was an interesting little side trip and I definitely agree that it was necessary for purposes of the story. Julie and Will are fully developed, and I can only imagine how deep Julie's grief was over Charlie after having been married to him for 30+ years. Will helps her heal after a one-night "revenge" sex incident where Julie was trying to hurt Charlie's ghost so to speak (I kid you not - it works with the story, just trust me). It's not an instant process, and Julie's life continues on with the delivery of her first grandchild and then she's finally able to go home.
Will was a great man, strong and willing to be patient, waiting for Julie's misery to lift even though he knows he wants her. The sex was good and timed well for when it happened. For such a (relatively) short book, this was very well developed.
The only reason this isn't getting a five-star review is the (I felt) overdone incident right at the end with the women's shelter that Julie's become focused on as part of her self-healing and returning to life process. I just don't think the book needed the momentary stress/problem when it had so richly built the world and the love story between Will and Julie.
Kudos to Ms. Reinhardt for having her heroine be an older (50+) woman getting together with a younger (late 30's/early 40's) man. I really liked how that worked in this story!
Giveaway: Ms. Reinhardt is giving away a copy of her ebook. The TBR Pile is giving away an ebook from our prize list. TO ENTER: COMMENT BELOW WITH - HAVE YOU EVER READ A BOOK BY NAN REINHARDT AND WHY YOU WANT TO READ SEX AND THE WIDOW MILES!
Once More From The Top
Author: Nan Reinhardt
Length : 164 pages
Genres: Contemporary Romance
TBR Reviewer: Victoria
Rating: 5 stars - A Must Read
Heat: 3 - Blush Worthy
She got pregnant after sleeping with rapidly rising star, conductor Liam Reilly. Carrie Halligan decided to vanish from his life and retreat to Willow Bay to raise their son alone, not sure she would ever find a way or decide to tell Liam about their child. Sixteen years later, mutual friend Elliot decides to put an end to that nonsense once and for all by contacting Liam and asking him to conduct a benefit orchestra performance in Willow Bay, just to bring the two back into each others' orbits.
Of course there's a lot more to it than that, including a jerk of a manager and a great cast of secondary characters including son Jack, but overall I found this book really fun to read. I absolutely adore music, having played many instruments in my life, so I was happy to see a conductor as a hero in this book. There was a definite sense of growth on Carrie's part as she learned to look beyond the safe boundaries of Willow Bay and consider the possibility of living a life with Liam in the "outside" world.
I want to read more from Ms. Reinhardt, especially Sex and the Widow Miles, as I loved the character of Julie as introduced in this book and considering how crazy-faithful she was, I'm interested to see how she moves beyond that love of her husband.
GIVEAWAY: Ms. Reinhardt is giving away an Ecopy of her book. The TBR Pile is giving away an ebook from our prize list. TO ENTER: Comment below on WHY you want to read ONCE MORE FROM THE TOP!
Contemporary, Romance - Novel
TBR Reviewer: Daniella
After two bad marriages, Katy Gilligan has no trust left in men. Katy works as an interior decorator and when she gets the chance to decorate the offices of Walsh Publishing she knows it will be her big break in the business. When Katy first meets the newly appointed CEO of the publishing house, Jack Walsh, the attraction between them is immediate. A, to Katy, humiliating misunderstanding between them, gets them off to a bad start. It also makes Katy certain that she needs to stick to “Rule Number One”.The rule says to not get
involved with clients, as the last time she did, she married a no-good, cheating weasel. Now Jack has to convince Katy that he is different and that the third time is a charm.
This is a fun and light read. The story is very well written and the characters are good, fun people. It is a pretty standard romance story, but the main characters and all the people that surround them are interesting, engaging and easy to like. I like that the relationship between Katy and Jack develops slowly and how Katy thaws, realizing that not all guys are bastards. There is also a great little side romance, which in itself makes the book worth
This story does not really need a deeper analysis than that. This is a great book to pick up for a sweet, romantic, no angst and no big complications read, with a guaranteed happy ever after for a charming couple.
“You really are a Renaissance woman, aren’t you, Katy Gilligan?”
“That’s me, Jack,” Katy replied, trying to ignore the little flicker of heat low in her belly. “Stage a house. Refurbish an historic building. And then serve up the beer. What can I get you to drink?”
“I’d love a Guinness.” As she turned toward the bar, he added, “But only if I can watch you pull it.” The look in his eyes said plainly that he was interested in more than just filling a glass, but as he followed her to the bar, he said innocently enough, “I’ve heard that pulling a
Guinness is an art. Is that true?”
Katy’s heart pounded in her chest, but she walked calmly to the bar, too aware of Jack following a few feet behind her. Just be cool, Katy, she reminded herself in spite of the deluge of heat his presence created.
Jack watched her move in front of him, fighting the urge to simply grab her and pull that lovely behind up against him. He could feel every muscle tighten, some more than others, as he imagined putting his arms around her. Letting his hands wander over her warm, flat belly, maybe tug that T-shirt out of her jeans and allow his fingers to explore her soft
“Jack! Watch out!” Katy’s voice brought him up short.
Damn! He’d almost run into the bar. Very smooth, Walsh, smash your face into the brass pole, that’ll impress her. After all, you’ve already damn near dumped a beer in Jeff’s lap. What a putz! He forced himself to look composed and smiled at her. “Okay, so what’s this mysterious process?” he asked as he stepped behind the bar with her.
“Aye, well, ’tis an art, pullin’ a pint o’Guinness.” Katy’s brogue was a perfect replica of Doyle’s. Jack was immediately enchanted. “It takes years o’ practice to perfect it. I’ve been workin’ at it since I was a wee lass.” She shook her auburn curls off her forehead and grinned at him.