Review: The Girl on the Beach



Synopsis:

Who is Harry Dixon?

When Ellie Golden meets Harry Dixon, she can’t help but feel she recognises him from somewhere. But when she finally realises who he is, she can’t believe it – because the man she met on the beach all those years before wasn’t called Harry Dixon. And, what’s more, that man is dead.

For a woman trying to outrun her troubled past and protect her son, Harry’s presence is deeply unsettling – and even more disconcerting than coming face to face with a dead man, is the fact that Harry seems to have no recollection of ever having met Ellie before. At least that’s what he says …

But perhaps Harry isn’t the person Ellie should be worried about. Because there’s a far more dangerous figure from the past lurking just outside of the new life she has built for herself, biding his time, just waiting to strike.

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Girl on the Beach by Morton S. Gray is amazing. The novel lures readers deep into a mysterious past and an even more mysterious present life. The future is shrouded in darkness and the unknown. If only the danger could be put behind them, life would be wonderful. A woman thought she lost her husband only to see him at an art exhibit. He is going by a different name and his appearance has been altered. He can’t remember exactly who she is…but when he does, it will be hard to let her go again. Especially, when he finds out that he’s been a father all this time…

Morton S. Gray has masterfully created a stunning plot. The tale weaves through an emotional rollercoaster and one of a mystery. Lives are once tangled up again…and it’s only a matter of time to see where it all will go. I found it interesting. The attraction and detail Ellie felt towards Harry was a hook for me. It even made me curious. Who was Harry and whay did he make Ellie feel like she knew him…puzzling, enticing, and fun. The attraction from both Ellie and Harry is strong. Both want each other. Danger soon comes. Details from the past come spilling out and their lives are up in the air. The Girl on the Beach is a page turner. I couldn’t stop reading it. Overall, I highly recommend this suspenseful novel to all. 

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Review: My Darling Dorothy

 

Synopsis:

Based on authentic letters from the era, My Darling Dorothy is a timeless love story that transcends both hard times and the brutal impact of war. The tumult of the Great Depression and World War II provides the background for a novel about three young people; Tommie, Jack and Dorothy and their challenges, struggles, defeats, and triumphs.

Tommie struggles to survive the Bataan Death March in the fall of 1941, clinging to his dream of a gratifying future with Dorothy as his bride. On the front-lines, of the European Theatre, Jack experiences the horrors of endless battle. Dorothy, caught between the two, works to maintain her dream of a life beyond small-town Nebraska. The hopes and hardships they share are reflected in the letters that they exchange. Are they remnants of lost dreams, or the foundation for a joyful future?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

My Darling Dorothy by Jo Virden is a fascinating fictional journey. One that takes readers back and forth during WWII and  to the present moment. A young woman finds letters within odd things her parents have collected over the years. Something in her gut says there has to be something special hidden in the junk stuff…and her instincts paid off. She finds old letters. A man named Tommie wrote to her mother…why? And what happened to him? The historical novel explores the past lives of Tommie who fell in love with Dorothy. Then there’s another man who has captured Dorothy’s attention. The handsome devilish guy named Jack. Dorothy writes back and forth to both men. The tale takes us through the hardships each young person struggled and lived through during their lives. Intriguing, highly entertaining, and well-written. There is an emotional toll that kept on tugging on my heart as the scenes flew by me. A fast-paced story that somehow wraps itself around me, causing me to fall deeper into the characters’ lives. Beautifully told. My Darling Dorothy is about love, adventure, loss, and war. This was my first novel that I have read by Jo Virden.  She has created a masterfully woven tale that I won’t ever forget. Memorable. Satisfying. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers everywhere.

 

Review: At the Edge of Summer

 

Synopsis:

The acclaimed author of Letters from Skye returns with an extraordinary story of a friendship born of proximity but boundless in the face of separation and war.
 
Luc Crépet is accustomed to his mother’s bringing wounded creatures to their idyllic château in the French countryside, where healing comes naturally amid the lush wildflowers and crumbling stone walls. Yet his maman’s newest project is the most surprising: a fifteen-year-old Scottish girl grieving over her parents’ fate. A curious child with an artistic soul, Clare Ross finds solace in her connection to Luc, and she in turn inspires him in ways he never thought possible. Then, just as suddenly as Clare arrives, she is gone, whisked away by her grandfather to the farthest reaches of the globe. Devastated by her departure, Luc begins to write letters to Clare—and, even as she moves from Portugal to Africa and beyond, the memory of the summer they shared keeps her grounded.

Years later, in the wake of World War I, Clare, now an artist, returns to France to help create facial prostheses for wounded soldiers. One of the war veterans who comes to the studio seems familiar, and as his mask takes shape beneath her fingers, she recognizes Luc. But is this soldier, made bitter by battle and betrayal, the same boy who once wrote her wistful letters from Paris? After the war and so many years apart, can Clare and Luc recapture how they felt at the edge of that long-ago summer?

Bringing to life two unforgettable characters and the rich historical period they inhabit, Jessica Brockmole shows how love and forgiveness can redeem us.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

At the Summer Edge by Jessica Brockmole is a historical getaway where I was deeply enchanted by the beauty and emotional journey of this stunning tale. Imagine a gorgeous place where you can go to relax and heal. No worries at all. The fields surrounding you with a calm peacefulness. This is where two individuals will find both happiness and love only to be separated from one another. However, fate has plans for these individuals to meet once more. War, family, and distance have separated both man and woman and under chance, they met again. Hearts grow fonder through time or will tragedy and war take away what was meant to be?

Jessica Brockmole’s writing is marvelous. I felt like I was sucked into her world of fiction and planted into the main characters body…everything she saw, felt, or did became my own thoughts or actions. The love, tenderness, and emotions swept me off my feet. There’s something deep between both of the main characters, Luc, and Clare. Clare is helping the soldiers and Luc happens to be one of the ones she’s helping…the only question is wonders is if he’s still the Luc she got to know and knew. The intriguing plotline hooked me as I followed each character’s journey through life as they meet, then separated and finally brought together. With all wars there are scars that run deep both outside and inside of us…sometimes it takes a familiar face to help us through our struggles and to let go of the past. I was mesmerized by the inner struggles of both Luc and Clare. Their wounds go deep but their love is deeper yet. Overall, I loved reading this novel. I highly recommend At the Edge of Summer to all.

Review: June (A Novel)

 

Synopsis:

Twenty-five-year-old Cassie Danvers is holed up in her family’s crumbling mansion in rural St. Jude, Ohio, mourning the loss of the woman who raised her—her grandmother, June. But a knock on the door forces her out of isolation. Cassie has been named the sole heir to legendary matinee idol Jack Montgomery’s vast fortune. How did Jack Montgomery know her name? Could he have crossed paths with her grandmother all those years ago? What other shocking secrets could June’s once-stately mansion hold?

Soon Jack’s famous daughters come knocking, determined to wrestle Cassie away from the inheritance they feel is their due. Together, they all come to discover the true reasons for June’s silence about that long-ago summer, when Hollywood came to town, and June and Jack’s lives were forever altered by murder, blackmail, and betrayal. As this page-turner shifts deftly between the past and present, Cassie and her guests will be forced to reexamine their legacies, their definition of family, and what it truly means to love someone, steadfastly, across the ages.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review:

June by Miranda Beverly-Whittemore is an intriguing read for all. The novel itself fluctuates between events from the 1950’s to the present moment. Events from the past have an enormous effect on the characters and how their lives will play out in the end. Three women’s lives are brought together inside this juicy drama filled novel. Readers will be piqued as to how each character handles the new information they have been given and what will become of them. A grandmother has passed away and left an inheritance to one woman and then a grandfather that she never knew about left her an inheritance as well.  Hollywood star from the past brings all the secrets, lies, and betrayals to the women presented in the present moment within this title. It’s funny how one knows their life and then suddenly it all changes with a death of two people. Two people who have held secrets for a long time.

Miranda Beverly-Whittemore’s writing is well-written. The characters will become living beings that pop off the pages as the events that haunted the past come bubbling up to the present. Nothing like family drama to stir things up…as a reader I didn’t really click with any one character. The characters had news they were not expecting and dealt with it on a day to day basis. I didn’t feel sympathy for the women…but I could relate to their issues. June is an intimate yet suspenseful tale that will lure readers into its plot. Each woman has her own struggles as well as the ones they all share. This gives the story depth and a realistic feeling to it. I was curious with each page as to how the ending would turn out…and I have to say the tension builds into an explosively stunning piece. Overall, I recommend this novel to readers everywhere.

Review: The Year We Turned Forty

 

Synopsis:

If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life features three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also, get the opportunity to change their future.

Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he’s getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.

Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.

Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two-year-old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she’s recently gotten engaged, with the two-carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.

But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Year We Turned Forty by both Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke is an intriguing and highly entertaining read. Readers will instantly connect with each of the three women inside this novel. Their journeys are realistic, quirky, and heart melting. Family, friendships, and love are the important themes inside this delightful new title. Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke have beautifully created a women’s novel that will have readers looking at their lives a little bit differently than before. We may never be able to change our pasts, but we should count our blessings for what we have and where we have come…

This is the first novel that I have read by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke. Their writing creates an imagery that sets readers straight into the plot. It feels like we, the readers, have become each of the leading female characters. Everything they have done said,  felt or even thought becomes our own. Amazing in how the emotional journey of fictional women pops off the pages and completely surrounds us. Lives have been lived and created…going back can have drastic changes on our future and they may not come out exactly they way we thought they would…even the best-laid plans fail. The tight knit of the friends and how they support one another brilliant way of luring readers deeper into the story of three strong independent women. I loved reading this masterpiece and I look forward to reading more by these two talented writers. A novel that will move readers…is definitely worth picking up to read. Overall, I highly recommend The Year We Turned Forty to readers everywhere.