For me, reading Dogwood Hill by Sherryl Woods was a great escape from the hustle and bustle of everyday life. The twelfth in her Chesapeake Shores series, it is a continuation of the O'Brien family saga in a small town on the Chesapeake Bay. Those O'Brien's are a meddlesome and loveable family, full of matchmakers known for lots of well-intentioned hijinks. Dogwood Hill is a simple story that is just plain pleasant and enjoyable and filled with family love and subtle humor – a perfect reading getaway.
Summer is winding down and beach season is almost over. In a feeble attempt to hold on to those last days of summer I grabbed On the Rocks by Erin Duffy off of the new fiction shelves. The cover picture displays what looks like a tranquil afternoon spent on the beach, but this book was anything but tranquil. On the Rocks is a well written and highly amusing look at one woman's attempt to put her life back together after a very public breakup - via Facebook.
Being a true Southerner means keeping up appearances at all costs. As a result, many Southern couples put on pretenses and sometimes lead double lives. In The Stories We Tell by Patti Callahan Henry, Eve and Cooper Morrison are that golden couple, seemingly leading the ideal life as the cream of Savannah society. But, things are not always as they seem. This powerful novel about the value of truth focuses on the Morrison family and the one night that changed the dynamics of their family forever.
The family saga first introduced in The Apple Orchard by Susan Wiggs continues in The Beekeeper's Ball, the second installment of the Bella Vista Chronicles. Former celebrated chef Isabel Johansen is opening a destination cooking school focusing on local produce and products at Bella Vista, her family estate in the sleepy Sonoma town of Archangel. Isabel is a reserved, organized woman and seems so together, but when renowned journalist Cormac "Mac" O'Neill arrives on the scene he certainly shakes things up.
The life of business and power is not all it seems and Danielle Steel's latest novel gives an excellent example of the good and bad. Power Play runs two stories at the same time about powerful CEO's and the way they conduct their lives - one involving a hardworking devoted mother who sacrifices any type of personal life for her success, and the other a philandering, scheming man with no conscience who always seems to land on top. The way the two stories come together is excellently written.
Bestselling chick-lit author Jennifer Weiner goes a bit darker with her newest book All Fall Down, a compelling story about the price some people pay in the pursuit of having it all. Weiner tackles the growing epidemic in our society of middle and upper-class suburban parents who abuse prescription medication to cope with their overworked and overstressed lifestyles, yet writes this story beautifully and in a way that doesn't make you hate the addict or necessarily feel sorry for her either.
If you like reading romantic suspense with a western setting try the Beartooth Mountain series by B. J. Daniels. Having just finished Forsaken, third in the series, I have to say I am hooked on this genre. Not your typical western story, it has elements of murder, mystery, horses and handsome cowboys - what more could you ask for? Written with intertwining story lines and the beautiful details of the Montana landscape, you can almost smell the pine trees, the frost on the air, the smell of the horses, and the smoke from the campfires.
The Mega-Monday series of free, professional summer entertainment for all ages gets underway at the Fond du Lac Public Library on Monday, June 16, when Steve Russell will perform twice – at 10 a.m. and repeated at 1 p.m. – with his show of juggling, magic, comedy and good, clean fun.
What a fun book! Unleashing Mr. Darcy by Teri Wilson is a humorous contemporary retelling of the classic Jane Austen novel Pride and Prejudice set (of all places) in the world of dog shows. Fans of Austen won't be disappointed; Wilson has very cleverly weaved in references to the original tale and does an excellent job bringing back to life Mr. Darcy and Elizabeth while adding a fun modern twist.