Monday, December 21, 2020

2020 in Review's... Books I've reviewed in January 2020...

 From USA Today bestselling author Rochelle B. Weinstein comes a moving novel of hearts lost and found, and of one woman torn between two love stories.

When Charlotte and Philip meet, the pair form a deep and instant connection. Soon they’re settled in the Florida Keys with plans to marry. But just as they should be getting closer, Charlotte feels Philip slipping away.
Second-guessing their love is something Charlotte never imagined, but with Philip’s excessive absences, she finds herself yearning for more. When she meets Ben, she ignores the pull, but the supportive single dad is there for her in ways she never knew she desired. Soon Charlotte finds herself torn between the love she thought she wanted and the one she knows she needs.
As a hurricane passes through Islamorada, stunning revelations challenge Charlotte’s loyalties and upend her life. Forced to reexamine the choices she’s made, and has yet to make, Charlotte embarks on an emotional journey of friendship, love, and sacrifice—knowing that forgiveness is a gift, and the best-laid plans can change in a heartbeat.
This Is Not How It Ends is a tender, moving story of heartbreak and healing that asks the question: Which takes more courage—holding on or letting go?
My Thoughts…
Charlotte is a character that has had many losses in her life, yet she manages to keep going, keep loving, and keep living.   As the story goes on, I couldn’t help but wonder how much one person can take and then I figure it out.    She can take all that she is given because she is strong, and she surrounds herself with people who lift her up when life gets tough. 
Phillip starts as a jerk but quickly redeems himself when he asks Charlotte real questions and really listens to what she has to say.   He woos her and wins her heart, all while helping her with her mother.     Their relationship wasn’t easy with him being gone so much but he makes the most out of the time they are together and shows her how much he loves her with every call and touch.   As the story goes on I worry about him and about their relationship.  I wonder if he is aware of Charlotte’s feelings and how he will make things okay between them.    
The third main character is Ben.   He has an adorable son but he has also had a tough loss.    He is a master chef, a wonderful father, but he is so lonely.     I love how he was woven into the lives of Phillip, his best friend, and Charlotte.    He loves them both as family and will do anything he can to make them happy.    
I had tears, fears, and love all while reading this amazing story.   The characters are all relatable, the storyline is unique and wonderful, and the setting of the Florida Keys breathtaking.    Rochelle B. Weinstein is such a talented author.   I’d recommend any of her books to anyone looking for a book that will pull at your heartstrings. 
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Acclaimed author Colleen Oakley delivers a heart-wrenching and unforgettable love story about a woman
who must choose between the man she loves and the man fate has chosen for her in a novel that reminds us that the best life is one led by the heart.

Mia Graydon's life looks picket-fence perfect; she has the house, her loving husband, and dreams of starting a family. But she has other dreams too — unexplained, recurring ones starring the same man. Still, she doesn’t think much of them, until a relocation to small-town Pennsylvania brings her face to face with the stranger she has been dreaming about for years. And this man harbors a jaw-dropping secret of his own—he's been dreaming of her too.

Determined to understand, Mia and this not-so-stranger search for answers. But when diving into their pasts begins to unravel her life in the present, Mia emerges with a single question—what if?

My Thoughts…

I devoured this book.    I picked started reading as soon as I received the book and I couldn’t stop.   I was invested in Mia.    Harrison and Oliver were important to me also, but I focused on Mia and needed to be sure that she would find happiness and love.    I went back and forth on what I wished would happen and I love how it ended.   

Dreams, I never remember mine, but I know that many do and am intrigued by what they could mean.     Mia has been having dreams and then she meets the man from her dreams.    Harrison being a doctor had a little more trouble understanding how important this became to Mia.  I love his reactions and they were all true to life.    While they don’t entirely understand what each other are going through, they never disrespect each other.  There are words said in love, anger, and frustration but that is true to most relationships.      

Colleen Oakley shared a magnificent story that brought characters that were lovable and relatable.   I look forward to more from her and am excited to talk about You Were There Too with other book lovers.

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A summer rental, a new beginning…

Hannah Russell’s carefully crafted plans for her life have been upended without warning. When her best friend died suddenly, Hannah became guardian to a five-year-old named Noah. With no experience at motherhood, she’s terrified she’s not up to the challenge. She and Noah need time to get to know each other, so she decides to rent a country house with stunning views on a lake in rural Colorado.

When they arrive at the house, they are greeted by the owner, a handsome man who promises to stay out of their way. But his clumsy Great Dane, Romeo, has other ideas and Noah immediately bonds with the lovable dog. As Hannah learns to become a mother, Owen Abrams, who is recovering from his own grief, can’t help but be drawn out of his solitude by his guests.

But life throws more challenges at this unlikely trio and they are tested in ways they never thought possible. All three will discover their strengths and, despite their differences, they will fight to become a family. And the people of Sullivan’s Crossing will rally around them to offer all of the support they need.

My Thoughts…
I have read many Robyn Carr books but this one is my favorite so far.   I loved the characters, the setting, and most of all the story.    A mother dies leaving her son with her best friend.   The best friend has very little experience with children, but she opens her heart, loves, and protects the little boy.    There was never any doubt that Hannah would become an amazing mother to Noah.   
When Owen comes into the story, I knew where it was headed.    He was amazing with Noah and sweet with Hannah.   The attraction between them was there from the beginning but it was more slow burn.   They took their time, got to know each other, and always kept Noah in the front of the minds.    Everything they did revolved around the happiness and safety of Noah.    The love blossomed and got tested but there was never any real doubt on where it was headed.
While Hannah, Owen, and Noah were the main characters, the townspeople and their friends were just as important to the story and added to the happenings.   Robyn Carr did an amazing job of giving backstories while not making it so winded that you forgot what was important.     I loved seeing how everyone came together to keep this family safe and happy.
The twists and turns in the story were wonderful.   There were many things that I didn’t see coming and I loved how it all came together perfectly.     The Country Guesthouse is a sweet and easy read.   It is the perfect book for someone looking to lose themselves in a cute town, with a sweet boy, and amazing townspeople.   
Add  to your MUST-READ list on Goodreads
Purchase your own copy on Amazon

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