Five Summer Reads - Fabulous Fiction
You won't want to miss these summer reads!
The Last Camellia by Sarah Jio
Sarah Jio has yet again written another fabulous piece of fiction. The Last Camellia pulled me out of a very large and gloomy reading slump – and I’m not surprised, if anyone can write the novel that will pull me out of a rare reading slump it would be Ms. Jio. In The Last Camellia, Jio weaves a story of intrigue and mystery as two main characters are paralleled in alternating chapters. Their stories are intrinsically weaved together as both women find themselves entangled in the mystery of a rare and enchanted camellia hidden deep within the garden of an English country estate. Complete with flower thieves, ghastly crimes and love, this novel centers around the Middlebury Pink, a highly sought after flower, worth more than imagined as it is the last surviving of its species.
Full of wonderful, engaging characters, Jio keeps the reader on the edge of their seat as she tells the tale of Flora and Addison, two beautiful young women whose fates are entwined in the danger surrounding the English estate and its garden. It is an engrossing tale that will keep you glued to the pages. You simply can’t go wrong by picking up this novel for your next beach read. Sarah Jio never disappoints her readers. This amazing story will remain with you long after the last page is finished.
And Then I Found You by Patti Callahan Henry
Another favorite author of mine has impressed me again with her recent novel, And Then I Found You. Patti Callahan Henry pens a story of love lost and re-found within the pages of her recent novel. In this story, Kate, an upscale boutique owner, is getting on with her life after years of grief and mourning. The boutique she owns is thriving, her relationship with her family is strong and she has a steady, handsome boyfriend who loves her with all his heart. On the brink of his proposal Kate discovers her heart is not where she wants it to be. She wants to love her boyfriend more than she does and her past is holding her back from doing so. Faced with the brutal truth, Kate heads to Birmingham Alabama to face her past in hopes of moving on with her life.
The secrets and heartbreaks of Kate’s past are touching in many ways. As a reader, I deeply mourned for Kate and wished her only the best. Kate is a character you want to see happy and at peace. This story is “inspired by a true story” within the authors own family. It weaves heartbreak and courage together with selflessness and the importance of family. It’s a story that will sweep you off your feet and stay deep within you to the end. I loved reading this novel, and I have no doubt others will too.
The Best of Us by Sarah Pekkanen
Imagine the trip of your dreams being offered to you for free! Of course, you’d go right? Now imagine your best friends will be there with you, what could be better? The Best of Us centers around four women, their husbands and an all-expense paid trip to Jamaica. The trip is a once in a lifetime opportunity for these college friends, who will discover not everything is what it seems. Each of the women is looking for an escape. Tina is a mother drowning in the demands of her four young children. Allie is a mother devastated by the recent news that a genetic illness runs in her family. Savannah is harboring secrets about her marriage and her husband’s infidelity and Pauline has planned the entire vacation in honor of her husband’s 35th birthday, hoping it will heal the cracks splitting their new marriage apart.
On a private beach, in a luxury villa amidst gourmet dinners and late nights full of drinking, this idyllic week proves to be more than the women bargained for as a powerful hurricane hits the island and throws the weather and the villa into turmoil. Each woman is forced to face the turmoil within and re-evaluate herself, her friends and her life.
The Best of Us takes a deep look at the lives of these four women as Sarah Pekkanen writes what she does best, honesty and self-assessment within normal everyday characters. It was a wonderful read, true to Pekkanen’s style and fitting of four best friends in the middle of life. I highly suggest it for your summer reading list.
Sweet Salt Air by Barbara Delinsky
Sweet Salt Air blends heartbreaking drama with complicated secrets and an enchanting love story. Once best friends, Charlotte and Nicole spent summers together in Nicole’s island home off the coast of Maine. However, the women have been kept apart by the years and secrets between them. Charlotte now lives life on the road as a successful writer. Nicole, a food blogger lives with her husband, a surgeon, in Pennsylvania. When Nicole is asked to write a book about island food, she invites Charlotte back to the island home to help. Both women have secrets that may change their lives forever. Nicole’s secret could destroy her marriage yet save her husband. Charlotte’s secret could cost her Nicole’s friendship but free her to love again, something she hasn’t done in a long time. In the midst of the women’s secrets are wonderful characters with secrets of their own and a beautiful setting that inspires love, friendship and truth. Sweet Salt Air is the essence of a summer rolled into a beach read. You won’t want to miss it.
Ladd Springs by Dianne Venetta
If a small town, mountain estate is more your ideal summer setting, Ladd Springs is the book for you. Set in the mountains of Tennessee, Ladd Springs tells the tale of a family land dispute, with a deathbed promise and others out to gain the land for their own. In Ladd Springs, Delaney Wilkins finds herself at odds with hotel developer Nick Harris over Ladd Land, they both aim to own. Her uncle Ernie Ladd is opposed to both of them and is not holding his end of a promise to Delaney’s mother, on her death bed. Clem Sweeney, a sly, no good neighbor is charming his way into Ernie’s favor, determined to gain the land for himself. Mixed within are secrets that threaten everything they know about the land, the rights and the future of the Ladd property. Who will walk away with the land? Only time will tell.
If you’re not intrigued yet, you should be. This book is full of danger, secrets, intrigue, a bit of romance and some serious drama. It’s all worth it in the end, especially if you love series, because this is book one and after reading it, you won’t want to wait for book two! Add Ladd Springs to your list of summer must-reads.
Columnist Tiffany Schlarman: Tiffany is an avid reader, reviewer and marketing specialist. You can connect with her via the following outlets. Website- http://www.acozyreaderscorner.com - Twitter - @cozyreadersnook – Facebook http://www.facebook.com/groups/#!/page