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review 2017-07-07 22:08
Fantastic!!
A Night of Southern Comfort - Robin Covington

A Night Of Southern Comfort by Robin Covington is a fantastic read.  Ms Covington has delivered a well-written book loaded with amazing, lovable characters.  Michaela and Jackson's story is loaded with action, suspense, humor and sizzle.  I loved reading this fun book and look forward to reading more from Robin Covington in the future.  A Night Of Southern Comfort is book 1 of The Boys Are Back In Town Series but can be read as a standalone.  This is a complete book, not a cliff-hanger.

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review SPOILER ALERT! 2017-06-28 09:06
The Hideaway by Lauren K. Denton
The Hideaway - Lauren K. Denton

After her last remaining family member dies, Sara Jenkins goes home to The Hideaway, her grandmother Mags’s ramshackle B&B in Sweet Bay, Alabama. She intends to quickly tie up loose ends then return to her busy life and thriving antique shop in New Orleans. Instead, she learns Mags has willed The Hideaway to her and charged her with renovating it—no small task considering her grandmother’s best friends, a motley crew of senior citizens, still live there. Rather than hurrying back to New Orleans, Sara stays in Sweet Bay and begins the biggest house-rehabbing project of her career. Amid drywall dust, old memories, and a charming contractor, she discovers that slipping back into life at The Hideaway is easier than she expected. Then she discovers a box Mags left in the attic with clues to a life Sara never imagined for her grandmother. With help from Mags’s friends, Sara begins to piece together the mysterious life of bravery, passion, and choices that changed her grandmother’s destiny in both marvelous and devastating ways. When an opportunistic land developer threatens to seize The Hideaway, Sara is forced to make a choice—stay in Sweet Bay and fight for the house and the people she’s grown to love or leave again and return to her successful but solitary life in New Orleans.

Amazon.com

 

 

 

 

Sara Jenkins is an antiques dealer living in New Orleans, Louisiana when she gets word that her 72 year old grandmother, "Mags", (the last of Sara's immediate family, after being orphaned at the age of twelve) in Sweet Bay, Alabama has passed away. In addition to this news, Sara is told that she has been left her grandmother's home / business of sorts, The Hideaway Bed & Breakfast. Sara visits the property with the idea to immediately get the house listed so she can make a quick sale and truck it back to New Orleans to carry on with her life. Once on site however, Sara sees that what was affectionately being referred to as a bed & breakfast is actually more of a seniors' community made up of Mags' friends taking up residence in all the rooms. Quickly falling under the charms of these senior citizens, Sara decides to take on all the intensive, desperately needed renovations.

 

Whether she'll sell or stay, she's struggling to decide.... the choice becoming even more complicated once she meets the attractive contractor hired onto the job. While elbows deep in the work, Sara comes upon a box of letters & mementos belonging to Mags, items that tell of an entirely different woman than the one Sara thought she knew. The Mags in the letters is bold and wildly in love, far from the sweet, subdued nature of Sara's grandmother. As Sara tries to make sense of all this, she is simultaneously forced to fend of a greedy land developer interested in snatching up the property for a shopping area / apartment plan in the works. 

 

Told in alternating POVs -- between the story of Mags and that of her granddaughter, Sara -- this novel opens in modern times and spans back to the 1960s, when Mags' letters introduce the reader to her 22 year old newlywed self (albeit then known as Margaret Van Buren), already in a struggling marriage to a wealthy, respected, but emotionally neglectful (not to mention philandering!) man. It's largely through the letters that the reader is given insights into how the woman of status, "Margaret", became the artsy, go-with-the-flow, B & B owning- gypsy soul known as "Mags".

 

 

 

Well, I'll start off by saying that this is absolutely the perfect, easy-breezy, poolside kind of read. Perfect for fans of The Notebook! Not saying the plot is necessarily super-similar, just that the tone / feel one gets from this is similar to that Sparks novel. The Hideaway definitely has Hallmark summertime movie (adaptation, that is) all over it. While the plot itself is not terribly original --- person inheriting property, deciding what to do with it, going on a literal / emotional journey that leads to revelatory information about benefactor being brought to light in the process -- the characters themselves are what make this particular novel a solid good time. Each resident at The Hideaway is endearingly unique and heartwarming in character. 

 

That being said, there were just a few things that bothered me leading me to knock my rating down a bit:

 

*

Mags basically vilifies her philandering husband but kinda walks into a kettle-pot situation when she SO easily takes up with William. 

(spoiler show)

 

* And also this quote by Mags: "At 33, I'm long past the age of letting myself get swept up by a man, no matter how charming or handsome he may be." I just found that line depressing. One needs a lovely moment of getting "swept up" from time to time, regardless of age! 

 

* Sara's assistant in New Orleans, Allyn: I knew going in that this book was published through a Christian publishing house, so I don't know if that plays a role in this, but it bugged me that author Lauren Denton hinted at Allyn being gay in such a heavy-handed way but never actually uses the word. In an age where LGBTQ+ representation in fiction is so strongly requested and sought out, I thought Denton dropped the ball in this respect. 

 

Near the end of this novel, some of the "reveal" bits of the story, where issues are magically explained into sense, reminded me somewhat of some of the big plot reveals used in Captain Corelli's Mandolin by Louis De Bernieres. Personally, I wasn't entirely happy with the fate Denton wrote for The Hideaway property, as far as the specifics of how things were resolved. Still, I quite enjoyed the underlying inspiring theme of people finding a true sense of family and community with people who accept them just as they are... oh my, went a bit Bridget Jones' Diary there for a moment! 

 

Also, bonus points for throwing my own town into the mix of places used in this book! 

 

For those who might want to use this for a possible book group selection, a discussion questions guide is included in the back of the paperback edition. 

 

FTC Disclaimer: BookLookBloggers.com and Thomas Nelson Publishers kindly provided me with a complimentary copy of this book & requested that I check it out and share my thoughts. The opinions above are entirely my own.

 

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review 2017-06-22 18:13
Stars in the Southern Sky by AmyPond45
Stars in the Southern Sky - AmyPond45 Stars in the Southern Sky - AmyPond45

3.5 stars. This is 'Jane Eyre' set in Texas with brooding millionaire rancher Jared and new tutor Jensen. I enjoyed the first half but skimmed some towards the end.

Source: archiveofourown.org/works/4083454
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review 2017-06-15 17:12
good story and characters
Secrets of Southern Girls: A Novel - Haley Harrigan

Julie tells herself it’s not your fault she is dead. She had told herself this same thing for ten years. But it’s a lie and Julie knows it. Julie had just been in a scene in a workshop for actors and screenwriters that had hit close to home. Julia is a tour guide on a bus in NYC.  Julie has a daughter named Rebecca/Beck. Evan is Beck’s father who is an actor. Is in a private kindergarten paid for by her father. Julia feels Beck is poised and smart even at her young age. Julie’s best friend was Brighton. How long had Julie told herself acting would change her life. No more part time jobs ? Julie also teaches Yoga classes . Brighton is the only one of Julie’s college friends who chose her over her ex husband -Evan- after their divorce. Brighton used to be an actor but was a double major in college and had degrees in both drama and finance. He really seems to like the financial job he chose. Julia is thinking of Ruby again as she does most every day. Julia is with Brighton at a jazz club where Brighton’s boyfriend is in the band. Julie realizes that August is at the bar. This is the third time August has found her although he would have no way of knowing it. The most recent contact was the letter from six months ago. The email was the first attempt to contact Julie three months before the letter, Julie and August finally meet up and he asks for Ruby’s diary. Julie hadn’t even known Ruby kept a diary and then August convinces Julie to go back to Mississippi to see if they can find the diary.

I liked the story but I did get a little confused at times. It dragged some at times for me also. But I did enjoy reading the pages of Ruby’s diary. I like the plot and couldn’t wait to find out what really happened to Ruby. It did keep my attention all the way through the book. I liked the characters a lot and the ins and outs of this story and I recommend.

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review 2017-06-11 01:35
Secrets of Southern Girls: A Novel - Haley Harrigan

he author’s writing was beautiful,  but the book took me a while to read because the story was slow and it doesn’t pulled me in. I was hoping for more suspense that’ll keep me turning the pages, but there were hardly any and I had already figured out what happened about halfway through the book. Also, I didn’t feel any chemistry between the characters.

 

I received this copy from NetGalley in exchange for a honest review.

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