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review 2018-02-14 19:57
A Mother Like Mine: Updated Review!
A Mother Like Mine (A Hartley-by-the-Sea Novel) - Kate Hewitt

Got a kick out of the third book in this series. Kate Hewitt looks at an estranged mother/daughter named Abby and Laura Rhodes. I was more intrigued with the chapters that featured Laura, but Abby was compelling in her own way. I think that Hewitt smartly didn't have everything end up hearts and flowers since her books take a realistic look at things, while still simmering with a bit of romance in the background. The characters/relationships between 6 sets of women through the past 3 books is what is most important. Having a guy in your life is just gravy.

"A Mother Like Mine" has Abby and Laura Rhodes trying their best to have some sort of relationship with each other after Laura has left Abby's care to Laura's mother. Laura had Abby when she was 16 and two years after that moved to Manchester to work in a night club, eventually ending up in America (New York). After being fired from her job for being too old, (she's 42 people) Laura returns to Hartley-by-the-Sea realizing that if she never tries to have a relationship with Abby, all of her sacrifices she did will mean nothing. Abby rightfully so is angry her mother has returned, and her home life has turned upside down. Abby has a young son named Nath that she is trying to raise solo while also running her grandmother's shop. It's not what she dreamed of doing with her her life, but she's content, or so she thinks.

I am not going to lie. I did not care for Laura at all when she swanned in. She demands that Abby sleep with her young son so she gets a bedroom and seems reluctant to even talk to her. If you don't get her side of things via her chapter POV you wouldn't even know how much pain she is in at times. What I loved the most about Laura is she owns the mistakes she made and what she has done. There is no trying to make excuses or anything else. But she's not a saint, she gets frustrated with Abby and seems quite perplexed by children as a whole. 

Abby has some issues with being abandoned by her mother and dealing with a boyfriend who died while she was pregnant with their child. It's not said out right, but the boyfriend's parents just left her to her own devices and wanted to pretend their precious son had nothing to do with her. Abby is reluctant to move forward at times and it's great that Laura is there to push her along the way. When Laura is genuinely happy she is now able to read her daughter at times, it will make you smile.

There's a hint of a romance for Laura in this one which I am curious if it will be discussed in the next book (if there is one). And though Abby has a crush on someone, it's not the most important thing in the world. For both women, the business the run, and Abby's son is important. 

I loved we got to see updated on previous characters and there's a shocking reveal about someone close to one of our characters too. We do get a wedding (no spoilers) that made me happy to see as well.

Hartley-by-the-Sea has grown on me through three books and I can't wait to see what Hewitt has up her sleeves next.

 

Going to count this towards The Mostly Dead Writers Society 52 week challenge: Romance.

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text 2018-02-12 21:14
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
A Mother Like Mine (A Hartley-by-the-Sea Novel) - Kate Hewitt

Great third book in the series. I enjoyed reading about Abby and her mother Laura. Laura had Abby when she was 16 and then left after two years. Abby sees her grandmother as her real mother and Laura as someone that comes around once in a while. When a career setback has Laura coming back to England, she's hopeful she can finally have a relationship with Abby. They both have a lot of pain to work through.

 

I lost the will to live (almost) waiting on the search function to find this book and trying to do edits to the book (added the cover and description of the book, etc.

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review 2018-02-12 20:24
Now and Then Friends
Now and Then Friends: A Hartley-By-The-Sea Novel - Kate Hewitt Ultimately satisfying though I have to say if you are looking for a rah female friendship book, the two main characters have very little do with each other for most of the book which was funny. Instead both of them rely on people they have either just met and or have known for a while before circling back to their friendship. I found it a bit weird, but ultimately liked it. Rachel is still hurting from Claire turning away from their friendship when they were pre-teens and Claire is oblivious to the hurt she caused. This is the second book in the Hartley-by-the-Sea books. We were introduced to one of the characters in the first book, Rachel Campbell. The second character we follow is Claire West. Rachel has had a hard life. She gave up the chance to go to university and get a degree in chemistry. Instead she is forced to drop out after her father runs out on her, her two younger sisters, and her disabled mother. Rachel takes over her mother's cleaning business and cleans the homes of the residents of Hartley-by-the-Sea and wishes for better things for her younger sister who is about to take her O levels. Forgive me if I got that wrong since I did not grow up in England and always mess up the A and O levels in books. Though Rachel is not trying to, she is pressuring her younger sister to do what she didn't do which is to go to university and get a degree in biology. Claire is hiding in Hartley-by-the-Sea. After her fiancee calls her parents and claims she's an alcoholic, Claire goes to rehab and then refuses to follow her parents to London. Instead she goes back to her childhood home where she hopes to find a job. Rachel is surprised to run into Claire when she stops by to clean one day and it brings up all of her anger towards Claire dropping her when they were kids. Claire finds a job at the local store/post office and is doing her best to push her parents and her older brother, Andrew, out of always thinking they know what's best for her. We have a lot of secondary characters in this one. We have Rachel's two sisters, her nephew, and Claire's brother Andrew, as well as the shopkeeper that hires Claire. We also get some nice sightings of Juliet and Lucy from book #1 as well as Abby Rhodes (who is the focus of book #3) and a few other characters as well. Hewitt does a nice job with writing about two girls whose lives did not turn out the way they expected. They both get pushed in different ways which was great. Rachel has to learn to let go, and Claire has to learn to speak up for herself and do what she wants, even if it is hard. We do get some romance in this one, but not a lot honestly. Both of the women are the focus in this book and they have a lot going on from beginning to end. Hartley-by-the-Sea sounds charming though cold and Hewitt does a great job with describing the village and it's inhabitants love of the weekly pub quiz. The ending has both women on a different path and I hope that Hewitt keeps following up on them in future books.
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review 2018-02-12 19:47
Rainy Day Sisters
Rainy Day Sisters: A Hartley-by-the-Sea Novel - Kate Hewitt

So I ended up enjoying this first book so much I went and bought books #2 and #3 and finished them this weekend. I love books that go back to either the same character over time and or the same community and you get to follow up with characters. "Rainy Day Sisters" is the first book in the Hartley-by-the-Sea series by Kate Hewitt. 

 

"Rainy Day Sisters" follows two main characters, half sisters Juliet and Lucy. Juliet is older than Lucy by about 10 years I think. Juliet and Lucy are not close. Their famous artist mother, Fiona, moved to Boston more than two decades ago with Lucy and left Juliet behind to fend for herself. Lucy is going through a terrible time after a horrible review (written by her own mother) comes out in the press before her first gallery showing. Juliet offers her a place to stay in Hartley where she can lick her wounds and hide for a bit. Problem is that Juliet almost wishes Lucy gone as soon as she arrives. Both sisters definitely have a lot to learn about each other.


I honestly loved both characters so much while reading this. Juliet is reluctant to let anyone in. When your mother tells you she never wanted you and does her best to not acknowledge your existence it's hard. And Juliet is resentful from all of the love she sees that Fiona gave Lucy when she was a child that she never got. Juliet is running a bed and breakfast and has her two shelter dogs and she thinks that may be enough. When Lucy comes to stay a lot of old wounds for her open up.

 

Lucy is reeling from her mother's betrayal as well as the ultimatum she gave her boyfriend blowing up in her face. Getting a temporary job at the local school should help Lucy keep things together, however, she finds herself crushing on the head of the school who makes Mr. Darcy look downright pleasant. 

 

I loved the conversations that Juliet and Lucy eventually have. It takes a while for them to open up to each other though so don't expect things to just be fantastic a few chapters in. I think Hewitt did a good job showing how hard it would be to connect to someone you don't really know, but are expected to be close to due to blood ties. 

 

The secondary characters were great. We are introduced to Rachel Campbell (she's one of the characters in book #2) in this one along with the love interests that I really did enjoy. We get introduced to many people in this one that are followed up in books #2 and #3. 

 

I really enjoyed the writing and the flow of the book. Each chapter alternates between Juliet and Lucy. We also get some of the characters using Cumbrian words/dialect like areet for are you all right? I wish that we had more of that in this book with maybe a dictionary in the back, but for the most part you definitely got the gist of what people were saying. 

 

Hartley-by-the-Sea is a pretty cool setting. It's a lake district in Northern England. Most of the townspeople have known each other for years and you get to read about the prior history of some of the residents that gets followed up in subsequent books. 

 

I really loved this ending. Hewitt could have made it schmaltzy, but refrained. She was quite realistic that both sisters relationship was not going to magically get better. If you have a terrible mother through your childhood, chances are she's still going to be terrible when you're an adult as well.  

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text 2018-01-02 18:27
A Yorkshire Christmas by Kate Hewitt
A Yorkshire Christmas (Christmas Around the World Book 2) - Kate Hewitt

***copy provided by publisher through NetGalley***

Dejected after a near-brush with disaster in her personal life, Claire Lindell has flown to England to spend a solo Christmas in her godmother's cottage in Ledstow, Yorshire...But her car slides off the road in a snowstorm, and there's no one around to help, but Noah Bradford, who also needs Claire's help to save one of his ewes from a ditch...And then some.


The only thing I liked about this book was the setting; the sleepy, snow-covered Yorkshire village. That's it.

The rest was utter rubbish. The heroine was a pathetic and needy idiot that needed someone to slap her silly, the hero was a bland copy of almost every single-dad hero in Romancelandia, the kid was annoying, and the romance was so far removed from any possibility of reality I couldn't even begin to describe it.
It didn't even come across as a romance, but more of a compromise for the needy idiot of a heroine (who had a perfectly functional family, but was all about the greener grass on the other side of the fence) and something to placate the hero's daughter so she wouldn't be so cross at her deadbeat father.

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