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review 2017-04-08 21:53
The Hideaway
The Hideaway - Lauren K. Denton

By: Lauren K. Denton 

ISBN: 9780718084226

Publisher: Thomas Nelson--FICTION

Publication Date: 4/11/2017 

Format: Paperback 

My Rating:  5 Stars 


Top Southern Debut 2017! 


“A story both powerful and enchanting: a don’t-miss novel in the greatest southern traditions of storytelling.” —Patti Callahan Henry, New York Times bestselling author



Storyteller Lauren K. Denton, a new voice in Southern fiction delivers a smashing debut, THE HIDEAWAY. Making me want to return to my southern front porch and curl up for a long leisurely nostalgic afternoon while being transported with this beautiful love story.

My vote for Southern Debut of 2017!

Set in Sweet Bay, Alabama in the Deep South, we meet Dot, a friend of Mags (Mrs. Margaret Van Buren), a tenant of The Hideaway. The Hideaway was once a booming Bed and Breakfast; however, over the years it has turned into a home for eccentric seniors (bohemian) style, artists, and the free-spirted looking for an escape; you came and never left.

As the book opens, Dot (husband, Bert) are seniors living at the house. She is admiring the latest Southern Living article featuring Maggie (Mag)’s granddaughter, Sara who owns a highly successful interior design shop in New Orleans.

People tend to arrive at this charming inn and they fall in love and decide to never leave.

Mag’s daughter, Jenny is deceased and she helped raise her granddaughter Sara. Mags was very unconventional and some called eccentric. Sara was embarrassed by her lifestyle growing up. Mags has never told her own story to Sara. By the time she had moved in with her at age twelve, Sara was at that critical age where there were peer pressure and friends’ opinions.

Sara turned out to be a stronger woman because of who Mags turned out to be. If Mags had remained under her parents’ thumb, worrying about how other perceived her, she would have been a wispy shadow of a real woman.

Sara loved the French Quarter in the Big Easy. She was proud of her shop, Bits and Pieces. She has no time for a man, relationship, or anything other than her shop. She has restored an old shotgun house and filled it with restored furniture, and antiques. A bit of everything. Her assistant manager, Allyn was always there to help out (loved him).

Her mind always went back to Sweet Bay to see Mags, her grandmother. However, she was too busy with the shop to visit more often.

However, when Sara receives the news from Mag’s attorney, she knows it is too late to spend time with her eccentric little grandmother. She had left her for greener pastures in New Orleans, but Mags was her only family. Her grandmother has passed always. Now she has regrets for not making the time.

What would happen to the house now that Mags was gone?

"The Hideaway was always full of friends and lovers, mothers and daughters, secret keepers, and secret-spillers, straight talkers and soft shoulders. We had hurt and we had joy, but I wouldn't have it any other way."

It had not been a proper bed-and-breakfast since she was a kid. As she got older, she became more aware of the unusual living arrangements. It might have been a legitimate B&B at one time, but over the years it had become a senior citizen commune with a revolving door. A long layover for people on their way to Florida retirement glory.

The old Victorian which was once a beauty, now in a poor condition. It was formerly in all the travel guides as the Southern Sight to See. They would all be shocked to see it now.

Sara soon learns she has inherited the inn and the resident seniors. She is to bring the inn back to its glory days. However, in the process, Sara soon learns there was much more to her grandmother than she ever knew.

The author takes us back to 1960's to learn about Margaret's parents, family and how she met her husband to be. The man she married. A man her family wanted her to marry. A banker. After he began cheating, over and over, she escapes to The Hideaway. A solace for many.

After meeting the original owner, whose husband died, the inn was not the prestigious Gatsby house it was previously in its hay day. Margaret comes under a false name and soon gives up the rich life, pearls and pillbox hats, for a simpler life. One she adored.

Mags meets William, a man who changes her life. A wood maker, who teaches her the important things in life. The man who held the key to her heart. However, her old life comes back to complicate things. She chooses the bohemian life, so different that the one she had previously. Mag’s past changed her from quiet to bold. Weak to strong.

Sara soon discovers more and more about her grandmother and the mysterious man in her life from the past. However, she may be more like her grandmother than she knows. She decides to remodel The Hideaway per her grandmother’s wishes.

In the process, she meets the handsome contractor which slowly changes her perspective. In addition, she encounters challenges with the residing seniors, now part of the family, and a developer who wants the land, after all the work. Plus she has her life and shop in New Orleans. She never wanted to return to Alabama. Much less run an inn.

However, just when she is about to wrap up the renovation and make plans to return to New Orleans, the old nasty developer is threatening to take away the historic dream, for a condo new project development, until someone intercepts, which changes more than one life. Sweet surprises for many.

Compelling and Inspiring! Rich in history, character, and lots of heart, Denton bridges the gap from past to present with a heartwarming and charming southern tale of family and friendship. The important things in life. A thought-provoking takeaway on a journey to self-discovery.

Do we really know our parents and grandparents? We all need to slow down, listen, and hear the intriguing stories from past generations which will enrich our lives while helping us to understand their struggles and sacrifices. After all, they helped mold us to become the person we are today. I loved Mags!!

For fans of southern, historic, Christian, women’s and contemporary fiction.

Those who enjoy authors: Viola Shipman, Nicholas Sparks, Beth Hoffman, Patti Callahan Henry, Susan Rebecca White, Mary Ellen Taylor, Lisa Wingate, Kristy Woodson Harvey, Mary Kay Andrews, Joanne DeMaio, Donna Ball, Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods, Laura Lane McNeal, Camille de Maio, Wendy Wax and Karen White, will enjoy this newfound author.

Well-written, a must read. Cannot wait to see what’s next from this exciting new talented author!

A special thank you to Thomas Nelson and NetGalley for an early reading copy.



Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/01/01/The-Hideaway
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review 2016-01-10 00:00
Aliens on Vacation (Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast)
Aliens on Vacation (Intergalactic Bed and Breakfast) - Clete Smith Scrub is at his grandmothers house for the summer, but he also has to keep a secret... Grandma runs a vacation home for Aliens. While he attempts to help his grandmother and keep her business secret, he also begins to make friends with Amy. It is harder than he thought trying to keep his secret, and he almost ruins it, but he does his best.

His attempt to keep Grandma's secret about ruins everything, including his friendship with Amy.

Cute little story, and a quick read. My boys enjoyed it
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review 2015-08-11 22:27
Silver Linings
Silver Linings: A Rose Harbor Novel - Debbie Macomber
Series:  Rose Harbor #4
ISBN: 9780553391794
Publisher: Random House
Publication Date: 8/11/2015 
Format: Hardcover
My Rating:  4 Stars  


A special thank you to Random House/Ballantine and LibraryThing Early Reviewers for an ARC in exchange for an honest review.

Award-Winning author, Debbie Macomber returns with her much awaited charming Cedar Cove Rose Harbor Inn series, with the fourth installment, SILVER LININGS—a heartwarming story of second chances in this idyllic town of special unforgettable characters.

Having read all the previous books in the Rose Harbor Series,a delight to catch up with familiar characters. Recommend reading all!

When First They Met (Rose Harbor #0.5)
The Inn at Rose Harbor (Rose Harbor #1)
Lost and Found in Cedar Cove (Rose Harbor, #1.5)
Rose Harbor in Bloom (Rose Harbor, #2)
Love Letters (Rose Harbor #3)

Jo Marie is settling in with her bed and breakfast inn business, she purchased after her husband, Paul was killed in action, serving his country. We met mysterious handyman Mark Taylor who seems to intrigue Jo, and also a comfort to her, at the same time. They have become good friends, even though he is not forthcoming about his past, very rough around the edges.

Now, he has shared his feelings for her and she is starting to care, when he abruptly decides he is selling his house and leaving town with no reason. Mark does not think he is good enough for Jo Marie and she deserves better. Jo Marie is shocked by his behavior. Her mom tells her she needs to move on and get back out there and live again and forget him.

In the meantime, two guests, who are friends, visit Rose Harbor Inn for their upcoming high school reunion. Both women are living in the past regarding past loves and hurts. Things are not as simple as they had anticipated.

Best friends Kellie (Coco) Crenshaw and Katie Gilroy are back in town for their ten-year high school reunion. Angry, and ready to face this guy from the past. They both have expectations, while nervous about reconnecting with their past loves. Coco wants to confront a guy who broke her heart. Katie, on the other hand wants to reconnect with James, who seems to be running from her. From letting go, accepting, rediscovery and unexpected surprises. In addition, we visit with Peggy, Bob and some familiar characters who drop in.

Fans will enjoy learning about Mark’s mysterious past, at last. As always, enjoy returning to the stunning waterfront town, of Cedar Cove. So excited about the Hallmark series returning and the cast of characters in this charming idyllic town- drawing you back time and time again. I love the Puget Sound area- the last time I was in the area, stayed at a charming inn overlooking the water; what beautiful scenery!

Debbie always brings life to her well-developed characters; hope, renewal and lives which connect. Appears with the cliffhanger ending, there will be another installment, so looking forward to seeing what is next in store for Jo Marie! I enjoyed Jo and Mark’s story more so than the high school crushes.

In addition to the paperback book, I also purchased the audiobook, which I thoroughly enjoyed narrated by Lorelei King(one of my favorite performers), and the author, Debbie Macomber— for an engaging experience.

On a personal side note: Most of my followers of my blog and Goodreads’ friends are aware, I seldom read women’s fiction, and chick-lit, as lean towards thrillers, mysteries, and psychological suspense. There are a few authors, I have read for years, and remain a faithful fan-- Debbie is one of them--she never disappoints.

I devour books about bed and breakfast inns, since I have been a consultant for inns and hotels, traveling nationwide for the last 20 years. Set in beautiful spots, I have worked with investors, and private owners, before purchasing the properties, with city review, business planning, marketing, interior design, websites, staging, and photography. An array of clients, from small to large properties (so much fun).

Having been an onsite innkeeper for many boutique historic properties— B&B inns, cottages, suites, and cafes. (A lot of work; however, rewarding). There is always plenty of juicy stories, drama, and lots of unique special people, you meet along the way. When traveling, I prefer to stay at quaint charming inns, and still have a few inn clients, facilitating their online marketing and websites with about fifteen properties, which keep me connected!

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/#!Silver-Linings/cmoa/55ac04e90cf25b8bf7ed1e97
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review 2015-06-16 00:00
Bed, Breakfast, and Bondage
Bed, Breakfast, and Bondage - Riley Shane I just couldn't get into this book and gave up at around 68%. I was just so bored with the characters and the storyline, which is too bad, because it’s not a bad book. In this case, it’s me. It's so obvious what’s going to happen in the end anyway, so I just couldn’t bring myself to care. I couldn't connect with the characters either, and in the end I just gave up.
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review 2015-06-16 00:00
Bed, Breakfast, and Bondage (Emerald Valley)
Bed, Breakfast, and Bondage (Emerald Valley) - Riley Shane I just couldn't get into this book and gave up at around 68%. I was just so bored with the characters and the storyline, which is too bad, because it’s not a bad book. In this case, it’s me. It's so obvious what’s going to happen in the end anyway, so I just couldn’t bring myself to care. I couldn't connect with the characters either, and in the end I just gave up.
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