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review 2017-07-31 05:25
The Beach Inn
The Beach Inn - Joanne DeMaio

By: Joanne Demaio

ASIN: B06XRHJCX9

Publisher: Joanne Demaio

Publication Date: 5/16/2017 

Format: Kindle

My Rating:  5 Stars

What another fantastic summer beach read! 

Join me for Blog Tour Stop July 31! 

A longtime favorite New England author, Joanne DeMaio returns following the unforgettable summer beach series (2017) BEACH BREEZE, with her latest THE BEACH INN, as we continue the journey with the memorable characters of charming Stony Point, a beach town on the coast of Connecticut.

Having read ALL of DeMaio’s books, and an avid fan of her work was anxious to catch up with the characters we have come to love and care about, as family and close friends. There has been a lot of tragedy and some of the characters (more than others), are having a very difficult time with their grief and loss. 

“Much of grief and sadness is like the tide here at Stony Point, the way it comes and goes.”

An entire community has been shaken to the core, with the loss of a dear friend, Salvatore Deluca. He came into their lives and brought second chances to many. He made a huge impact (larger than life attitude, touching many), and his presence will not soon be forgotten.

Jason is having a particularly hard time. He had a second chance to live when his brother Neil died nine years earlier in an accident. He was able, to walk away after the wreck with the help of a prosthetic leg, below the knee. 

He also was given a chance at love two years earlier when Maris unexpectedly returned to Stony Point and his life. However, now he feels like Neil is not there to give him inspiration any longer. He can no longer hear his voice. 

Then Sal came into their lives like a breath of fresh air. Someone for Jason to fish with. Someone to talk with about construction, design, his father’s Vietnam war stories, and his brother. It felt as though Neil had returned in the guise of Sal. He had just given the eulogy and left shortly afterward. He feels cheated. Jason feels as though he has lost his brother all over again. 

Picking up from the last book, Jason returns to his wife and home, and attempts to help Sal’s mom Elsa, also making some drastic decisions, since the passing of her son. 

She had planned to renovate the Bed and Breakfast Inn (the old Foley’s cottage) and Jason was the architect. However, now she is putting a stop to the project and putting it up for sale; ready to return to Italy. The town rallies to convince her to stay and move on with her plans. 

Elsa DeLuca is determined to leave; however, it is time for an inn-intervention. Operation "Make Elsa Smile." Will their efforts be enough to change her mind? They will need to come up with something big and momentous. 

Sal wanted this beach inn to be the premier destination on the Connecticut coast. 

Celia was also filled with sadness over the life she and Sal would never have. She has gone back to Addison. Even though his visit to their town this past summer was brief. Will Jason try and convince her to return? She also is full of surprises. 

Maris is also making changes in her life. She had returned to Stony Point from a Chicago fashion career to settle her father’s estate and reunited with her sister Eva. Now Maris has left her job to take care of her loved ones. What is next for her? New beginnings?

Everyone was supposed to make a pack not to make any sudden grief-motivated decision that they would regret in time. Not until at least six months had passed. There were many who wanted to pack up and leave their paradise to escape their loss and pain. 

. . . “Grieving is okay because it comes from love.” 

 



Michael, Sal’s friend from New York has delivered all of Sal’s messages and letters, as well as few surprises for those he left behind. Emotions run high. Jason is out of control and pushing everyone away. 

Cliff and the entire community hold an inn-intervention. The entire family is in crisis. They try and stop the sale of the house. Elsa does not want to think about the business team: Jason, Celia, and Lauren. It was to be the future Ocean Star Inn, and now Sal was gone, Celia has left, and her dream had evaporated into the sea’s midst.

Everyone is out of sorts with the grief. Everyone is concerned about the Inn and their loss. A place that holds all their friend’s history. However, will Jason and Elsa be able to bond and carry on with their dreams in Sal’s loving memory as well as the rest of their friends and community? 

Have they lost themselves when they lost Sal? Is this what he would have wanted?

"A new season of love, adventure, and heart-healing awaits in the quaint seaside village of Stony Point. So pull up a sand chair and book your stay for a page-turning getaway in The Beach Inn." 

A time of healing and rediscovery. The best place to start over . . . by the sea. They each will need plenty of love and magic connections in order to pull off the impossible. 

A true demonstration of how people handle grief differently. Plus some new unexpected adventures are in store and hopefully, Sal is smiling down at all the new events unfolding. 

If you have not read Joanne Demaio’s books, you are missing a rare treat. Full of emotion, heart, and soul, with vivid descriptions and settings, memorable characters and sea breezes which transport you.

Highly recommend reading in order, to enhance your overall reading experience. Still hoping for a Hallmark TV series! 

If you enjoy Debbie Macomber and Sherryl Woods, you will devour Joanne Demaio’s storytelling. Characters which linger long after the book ends.

Join me for Blog Tour July 31 to highlight this special book THE BEACH INN and this special talented author. Always on my best book list! 

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/03/26/The-Beach-Inn
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review 2017-05-10 12:20
The Book of Summer
The Book of Summer: A Novel - Michelle Gable

By: Michelle Gable 

ISBN: 9781250070623

Publisher: St. Martin's Press 

Publication Date: 5/9/2017 

Format: Hardcover 

My Rating: 5 Stars

 

Storyteller, Michelle Gable returns following I’ll See You in Paris and A Paris Apartment with her latest Nantucket summer charmer (her best yet): THE BOOK OF SUMMER — a multi-generational story of family, home, the courage of tenacious women and the special memories of Cliff House.

Rich in history and character, a scandalous, emotional, and witty tale of family and saving a home. The past, loss and loves, and all the lives which connect. A perfect mix of historic and contemporary.

Based on the real-life erosion of the Sankaty Bluff in Siasconset –known as Sconset—the easternmost spot on Nantucket Island, Gable was inspired by an article in Vanity Fair (very intriguing) about the grand homes, passed down between generations now falling into the sea.

Though the Cliff House bears the fictitious address of Baxter Road, it is based on Bluff House, formerly located at 87 Baxter Road.

The quintessential Nantucket manor known as Cliff House is near falling into the ocean.

However, town shaker Cissy Codman, owner of the home is determined to remain in the house, using every trick she has to keep up the fight to save her family home. She plans on going down the ship.

Cissy is a force to be reckoned with and determined to get the local government behind her to either move the house or continue with the erosion prevention efforts.

Her daughter has been sent from San Francisco, California by her father to ensure her mom moves out of the house before she dies left in the house.

Bess Codman, a physician is undergoing a messy divorce from a complete jerk (Brandon), plus she is pregnant (unplanned) and runs into her ex-high school boyfriend, Evan Mahew.

While tasked with the job of packing up her mom, Bess discovers the “Book of Summer.” A guest book filled with recollections of friends' and family's stay at the house. Entries in the book are highlighted throughout the novel, with difficulties and challenges faced by other residents.

From 2013 and the start of World War II, we hear from Ruby Packard, Bess’s grandmother, an idealistic young bride in 1939, just before the United States enters WWII and Bess.

Bess does not understand her mom Cissy’s obsession with this house; however, the more she reads she comes to understand similarities of present and past. The stubborn women who chained themselves to complex men like the house. Bess begins to understand the unspoken expectations placed on Cissy, being the only child in a troubled home.

Loss is a part of life. Giving everything she had. A costly venture, "saving a bluff." The geo-tubes.

From family drama, lies, secrets, scandals, abortions, gays, alcoholism, betrayal, abuse, infidelity, hookers, divorce, marriage, and more – loss and love, mixed with tons of fun and humor and surprises (loved the part about the pecker-hilarious) and commentary and views from blogger— Corbie Tarbox, the Island ACKtion blog.

Loved Cissy! I related to her on some many levels. What a great cast of characters, from past and present. What is not to love about Nantucket? Have had many hotel clients over the years, and almost moved there full time to run a hotel. Always a good excuse to visit.

Michelle transports you to this charming coastal town by the sea, with an engaging story, resonating with the early writings of Erin Hilderbrand and Nancy Thayer (which I loved), before they changed, over the past few years.

The past and present were nicely done with many connections with highly charged topics. A perfect beach read and an ideal choice for book clubs and further discussion. Can you imagine losing your house to facts beyond your control?

Gable keeps getting better and better. I enjoyed reading the book; however when I discovered Cassandra Campbell was narrating the audiobook, had to pre-order. Love Cassandra Campbell (my favorite narrator).

She was exceptional and a perfect fit for THE BOOK OF SUMMER. Engaging, absorbing, and entertaining! The audio experience, actually bumped up my review another star, making this a 5-star reading experience.

Highly recommend the book and the audio. Love the subject material with the erosion problem which I am very familiar with highly relatable issues— residing in a coastal area.

Here in Palm Beach, (Breakers Hotel), as well as the Southern area of Palm Beach (Phipps Ocean Park and Beach), the continued erosion along the project area threatens upland structures & recreational beaches. The sand placement and groin & mitigation construction cost millions and designed to last only three years. Very costly, temporary and ongoing environmental issues.

Fans of Mary Alice Monroe, Dorothea Benton Frank, Joanne DeMaio, and Hazel Gaynor will enjoy THE BOOK OF SUMMER.

A special thank you to St Martin's Press and NetGalley for an early reading copy.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/02/01/The-Book-of-Summer
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review 2017-04-22 03:21
One Good Thing
One Good Thing (Ten Beach Road Novel) - Wendy Wax
Ten Beach Road Novel #5
ISBN:  978-0451488619
Publisher: Berkley 
Publication Date:  4/25/2017
Format: Other
My Rating:  4.5 Stars 

 

Southern storyteller, Wendy Wax returns following Sunshine Beach #4 Top Book of 2016 with my favorite summer series ONE GOOD THING (#5 Ten Beach Road). We continue the journey with the gals, each at a crossroad both personally and professionally, with critical decisions to be made.

A tale of four women trying to rebuild more than their lives. Before you can fix it up, you might have to tear it down…

From friendships, humor, loyalty, and self-discovery — each of the characters is looking for “one good thing” to be thankful for their nightly gathering discussion. However, with everything going on and so many unsettled issues, often they find it hard to think of the good, versus the bad happenings.

This time around, Maddie, Kyra, Avery, and Niki receive a surprise visit from their former investor/sponsor and friend, Bitsy Baynard (Palm Beach matron).

Unfortunately, her husband decides to take all his wealthy wife’s money and makes off with a younger woman, leaving her penniless and homeless. Bitsy is too proud to tell the gals what is going on in her perfect life and shows up looking for a place to stay with her dog.

Bitsy assumes she can have the money back she invested in the project, which of course is still tied up. Her pampered rich lifestyle is no longer and she is forced to move into the small one bedroom Sunshine Hotel cottage, which is quite small since meant to be a vacation cottage, not for year-round living, especially someone like Bitsy.

 




She had an Ivy League education and has volunteered to coordinate galas and events over the years and she knew how to hire help. However, she has no marketable job skills. At her age, was going to be hard to start over with nothing.

All the characters’ lives are up in the air. They are unsure what is going on with the TV show, and at the same time, they need to sell off the last real estate design project/real estate to pay their debts and not risk losing Bella Flora.

Madeline Singer and William Hightower (age 62) are back. William is on the road with his music career and wants Madeline to come along as they continue their relationship. However, she has her own life even though it is difficult to spend time apart.

However, she worries about him out of the road without her and all the women and his addiction; and having to communicate with his new assistant. They are trying to grab any time they can to be together. (love this couple)

They all had suffered from the Malcolm Dyer’s Ponzi scheme; however, they had become stronger and bonded when they started over with their TV show, Do Over. Rebuilding their lives. However, life has its ups and down.

The ladies had recently renovated the Sunshine Hotel and hoped would be their own version of Do Over. They had quit the network publicly and they were being sued for breach of contract and claiming that the name Do Over does not belong to them.

 



Kyra has put up the house as collateral to have money for their projects until the cottages sold/and the show they had filmed. Daniel, her celebrity husband gave her the house to live in with her mom and dad and son, Dustin. She has kept this as a secret until things worked out. Plus he wants to turn Dustin into a Hollywood star.

Their only real hope of income was finishing and selling the documentary of their renovation of the midcentury Sunshine Hotel, featuring the reopened investigation into the mysterious death and disappearance that had taken place there. They were all under a lot of pressure, which did not make for a whole lot of creative thinking.

Nikki is pregnant with twins and is miserable with her hormones, weight gain, and the summer heat. Joe (FBI) and Nikki have moved in together in one of the new cottages at the Sunshine Hotel. However, he and his family are pressuring her to get married before the babies are born. After the problems with her brother, she is unsure of her capability of being the perfect wife and mother.

Avery is dealing with her boyfriend, Chase’s teenage son’s drinking problems, and his erratic behavior. Maddie’s ex-husband Steve is still hanging around; however, has his real estate license now, and trying to help sell the cottages.

However, the gals will need to pull together and utilize all their creative skills in order to survive the storms and surprises of life. They each must be strong and be able to always come up with a least One Good Thing!

PS This series reminds me a little of Schitt's Creek which I love, and cannot wait for Season 4! (watched every episode). Both are about having it all, losing it, and starting over in an entirely different direction. Humorous and heartwarming.

Love these ladies. This time around the gals have more challenges than usual and have not moved on to a new exciting project yet, dealing with things left over from the last book.

Even though this installment did not offer the same excitement as the others, I enjoyed it and again found Maddie to be my favorite character. However, also nice to see Bitsy realize her worth when having to do without money. A good example of the resilience of women when faced with challenges of life, mixed with humor.

My #OneGoodThing is being able to live in South Florida overlooking the water; work from home office in a T-shirt, leggings, and flip flops!

Highly recommend this talented Atlanta Southern Author and all the books in the series. A perfect beach read. As always love the Florida coastal setting and familiar places. Looking forward to seeing what is coming next for these four ladies!

 



Ten Beach Road #1
Ocean Beach #2
Christmas at the Beach #2.5
The House on Mermaid Point #3
Sunshine Beach #4

A special thank you to Berkley and NetGalley for an early reading copy. (cover love)!

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2016/09/02/One-Good-Thing
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review 2017-03-28 05:18
Beach Breeze
Beach Breeze - Joanne DeMaio

By: Joanne Demaio 

ASIN: B06WD4QFZ2

Publisher: Joanne Demaio 

Publication Date:  3/7/2017 

Format: Kindle 

My Rating: 5 Stars 

 

Blog Tour, Coming March 28.

A long time favorite New England author, Joanne DeMaio returns following Wishing on Snowflakes and Beach Blues (2016) 2016 Best New England Summer & Holiday Reads with her latest BEACH BREEZE, as we continue the journey with the memorable characters of charming Stony Point, a beach town on the coast of Connecticut.

Having read all DeMaio’s books, was anxious to catch up with the characters we have come to love and care about, as family and close friends. There has been a lot of tragedy and some of the characters (more than others), are having a very difficult time with their grief and loss.

An entire community has been shaken to the core, with the loss of a dear friend, Salvatore Deluca. He came into their lives and brought second chances to many. He made a huge impact (larger than life attitude, touching many), and his presence will not soon be forgotten.

Jason is having a particularly hard time. He had a second chance to live when his brother Neil died nine years earlier in an accident. He was able, to walk away after the wreck with the help of a prosthetic leg, below the knee. He also was given a chance at love two years earlier when Maris unexpectedly returned to Stony Point and his life. They married a year earlier.

Then Sal came into their lives like a breath of fresh air. Someone for Jason to fish with. Someone to talk with about construction, design, his father’s Vietnam war stories, and his brother. It felt as though Neil had returned in the guise of Sal. He had just given the eulogy and left shortly afterward.

 

He was asking himself if he had run out of chances. Everyone was concerned about him but he was not ready to face everyone and his grief. He is not sure he will be anytime soon. He did not get to say good-bye to his friend. He feels cheated. Jason feels as though he has lost his brother all over again.

. . . “In his happiness, he’d been foolish enough to forget one important lesson: On any given day, hour, or minute, life can spin out from under you. It happened nine years ago, when he lost his brother, and Jason nearly didn’t survive the day. So it’s important to be wary and not trust happiness, not too much.”

In addition, Sal’s mom Elsa is also making some drastic decisions, since the passing of her son. She had planned to renovate the Bed and Breakfast Inn (the old Foley’s cottage) and Jason was the architect. However, now she is putting a stop to the project and putting it up for sale; ready to return to Italy.

Celia is also filled with sadness over the life she and Sal will never have. She is also considering going back to Addison. Their engagement only last two days before Sal’s heart surgery. Sal, age 36, would be dearly missed by everyone. Even though his visit to their town this past summer was brief.

Maris is also making changes in her life. She had returned to Stony Point from a Chicago fashion career to settle her father’s estate and reunited with her sister Eva. Now Maris is considering quitting her job since it appears the people in town need her more now than ever.

Everyone was supposed to make a pack not to make any sudden grief-motivated decision that they would regret in time. Not until at least six months had passed. There were many who wanted to pack up and leave their paradise to escape their loss and pain.

Michael, Sal’s friend from New York is back in town to deliver all of Sal’s messages and letters, as well as few surprises for those he left behind. Emotions run high. Jason is out of control and pushing everyone away.

Cliff and the entire community hold an inn-intervention. The entire family is in crisis. They try and stop the tag sale. Elsa does not want to think about the business team: Jason, Celia, and Lauren. It was to be the future Ocean Star Inn, and now Sal was gone, Celia has left, and her dream had evaporated into the sea’s midst.

Jason is also upset thinking he no longer hears his brother for inspiration. Now Elsa DeLuca no longer needs his service. He had been so excited about the plans.

Everyone is concerned about the Inn and their loss. A place that holds all their friend’s history. However, will Jason and Elsa be able to bond and carry on with their dreams in Sal’s loving memory as well as the rest of their friends and community?

“It’s never the end, even when we really believe it is.”

Just when Jason thinks he has reached his lowest, Sal has a surprise for him to honor his brother. He had written special notes for everyone. Where second chances happen in the most unexpected ways. New beginnings.

From sadness, love, loss, friends, and special memories of the sea, we get a sneak peak (excerpt) from Joanne’s upcoming book, THE BEACH INN, coming May 16. Where we continue with the special friends of this charming seaside community. Coming up is "Operation, Heal Jason’s heart."

 



Appears there are some big changes coming. The toughest challenge―learning to heal, love and trust again. Looking forward to seeing what lies ahead.

"A new season of love, adventure, and heart-healing awaits in the quaint seaside village of Stony Point. So pull up a sand chair and book your stay for a page-turning getaway in The Beach Inn."

If you have not read Joanne Demaio’s books, you are missing a rare treat. Full of emotion, heart, and soul, with vivid descriptions and settings, memorable characters and sea breezes which transport you.

Highly recommend reading in order, to enhance your overall reading experience. Still hoping for a Hallmark TV series.

JDCMustReadBooks

Source: www.judithdcollinsconsulting.com/single-post/2017/02/01/Beach-Breeze
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review 2016-08-02 23:14
An OK beach read
The Couple Next Door - Shari Lapena

Anne and Marco Conti are the blessed parents of a beautiful little 6-month-old baby, Cora. But Cora is a fussy baby and Anne is having problems with post-mortem depression and Marco’s business is on the skids.  There’s a party next door one night but the babysitter cancels.  The baby is left home alone, being checked on every half hour by alternating parents.  Oh, did I mention the grandparents are filthy rich?  Without too much imagination, I’m sure you can figure out what happens next to Cora.

 

The blurb of this book said it would leave me breathless. It didn’t but it did keep my interest and yes, there were plenty of twists and turns and some surprises as lies and secrets were disclosed.  But there wasn’t much depth to the story or characters.  I didn’t have much sympathy for any of them except baby Cora and the ending seemed a bit unrealistic to me.  It was a light summer read that kept me occupied and interested to see how it all turned out.

 

This book was given to me by the publisher through First to Read in return for an honest review.

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