Thursday, July 30, 2020

Review: Sunshine on Silver Lake by Annie Rains

Sunshine on Silver Lake (Sweetwater Springs #5) by Annie Rains
Publication Date: July 21st 2020 by Forever
Pages: 432 (including novella)
Source: Publisher

About the book:

Welcome back to Sweetwater Springs, North Carolina for a heartwarming second-chance romance between a quirky café owner and a handsome park ranger.
With summer just around the corner, Emma St. James is eagerly planning a 5K run at Sweetwater Springs National Park. But first she needs the help of one charming, rugged, and handsome park ranger. Her brief high school romance with Jack Hershey may have ended in heartbreak, but Emma can't deny that he still gives her butterflies. So when Jack responds to her request with an all-too-tempting plea to pretend to be his girlfriend for the summer, how can she say no?

Jack would do anything for his sister -- even pretend to give up his bachelor life to care for his nephew. Passing his days with his high school sweetheart guarantees one long, hot summer -- but only because every moment together leaves him wanting a real relationship. He can't imagine spending another season without Emma by his side. Can he convince her to give their love a second chance before the summer draws to a close?

Includes the bonus novella A Fairytale Bride!

My Thoughts:
Emma St. James has just turned thirty, the age she lost her mother to cancer, and it’s brought back the feelings of grief, and fears she might be next. Finding out that her mother wanted to organize a 5K race to benefit a good cause but never got the chance gives Emma a way to honor her memory. Now she just needs to be fit into the busy calendar of their nature park. For that she needs the help of the one man who broke her heart prom night, Jack Hershey. Emma’s in luck though, because Jack needs a favor from her, too. He needs her to be his girlfriend for the Summer. Pretend, of course.  Well, that’s what they tell themselves at first, and you know how the story goes…

Jack did let Emma down prom night, but not because he didn’t care or wasn’t interested. Jack has had his own struggle. One he has control of, but doesn’t like to advertize.

When I figured out Emma’s emotional turmoil was over being the same age as her mother when she died of cancer and was avoiding her medical checkup, I almost stopped reading. My mother died of cancer at the age of forty-two and because of that I’ve had to go in often; for many years I was terrified that I’d have the same fate. So, I was worried it’d be tough reading this, however the author did a wonderful job handling the subject, and while this was a plot point it was presented in a way that didn’t stress me out and didn’t overtake the story. 

Emma’s feelings were so very relatable because I’ve felt exactly like her. I enjoyed how she came to terms with her situation and took control. Fear does nothing, knowledge and a plan of action is empowering and comforting. I just really connected to Emma on a lot of levels. Even got her reactions to her father’s remarriage!

Sunshine on Silver Lake was very much a happy romance, despite dealing with some heavier issues like cancer and alcoholism. I loved seeing Emma and Jack fall for each other instead of longing from afar like they had for years. Jack was such a sweetheart, patient, and kind. He really had no idea Emma still carried a torch for him and got a bit swoony over every chocolate kiss gifted (it’s his thing since Hershey’s his last name) and really who wouldn’t?

This is book five in the series, but it’s not necessary to read the previous books before diving in.

4 Suns

Wednesday, July 29, 2020

New Paperback Release & Giveaway: When You See Me by Lisa Gardner

I'm a big fan of Lisa Gardner to the point that I've re-read many of her mysteries.  Detective D.D. Warren series is one of my favorites, so I'm thrilled to feature the new Paperback version of When You See Me and offer a giveaway! If you're a fan of a well-researched and plotted mystery with imperfect, but interesting and likable characters, I totally recommend these mysteries!

When You See Me (Detective D. D. Warren #11, Gardner #20)
Publication Date: January 28th 2020 by Dutton
Pages: 400

About the book:
Bestselling author Lisa Gardner unites three of her most loved characters -Detective D.D. Warren, Flora Dane, and Kimberly Quincy - in a twisty new thriller, as they investigate a mysterious murder from the past that points to a dangerous and chilling present-day crime. 
FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective DD Warren have built a task force to follow the digital bread crumbs left behind by deceased serial kidnapper Jacob Ness. And when a disturbing piece of evidence comes to light, they decide to bring in Flora Dane who has personal experience of being imprisoned by Ness. 
Their investigations take them to a small town deep in the hills of Georgia where something seems to be deeply wrong. 
What at first seems like a Gothic eeriness soon hardens into something much more sinister as they discover that for all the evil Jacob committed while alive, his worst secret is still to be revealed. 
Quincy and DD must summon their considerable skills and experience to crack the most disturbing case of their careers - and Flora must face her own past directly in the hope of saving others.

I read and loved this installment back in January.  When You See Me is book eleven in the series, but you could skip the first two books, (where D.D. is only a side character),  and then dive into The Neighbor if you want to start, but feel like it's a lot of books. 

Connect with Lisa Gardner: 

The lovely people of Penguin Random House have generously offered up one Paperback Copy of When You See Me to one reader.  Giveaway is restricted to US Residents only. Fill out the rafflecopter for a chance to win.

Tuesday, July 28, 2020

Audio Review: A Change in Tide by Freya Barker

A Change in Tide (Northern Lights #1) by Freya Barker
Publication Date: June 2nd 2020 by Spectrum Audio
Narration Length: 9 hrs 17 min
Narrators: Charley Ongel & Tor Thom
Pages: 398

About the book:

What impact would it have when everything suddenly faded to black?

For Mia, a crowded subway ride changes her entire life. Retreating to the wilderness helps her cope with a world that is suddenly too loud, too turbulent. Her existence safely contained to the small cottage on the lake, she is unprepared for the neighbor that moves across the bay.
A career-ending injury has Jared permanently benched. His reputation as The Enforcer won’t survive the unanticipated responsibilities awaiting him. Away from the public eye, he adjusts to his new reality, under the quiet observation of the intriguing hermit on the other side of the water.

My Thoughts:
Mia lives in relative seclusion in a tiny cabin on a peaceful lake. Her choice after an accident on the subway leaves her dealing with fear of being around crowds or away from her cabin.  Everything is pretty much quiet until a new neighbor moves in across the lake. He’s gorgeous, but Mia doesn’t get the greatest first impression after witnessing him in a compromising situation out on the dock, in full view, with one woman, and then escorting another fully pregnant woman home the next week. Things aren’t always what they seem, which Mia soon learns.

Jared’s professional hockey career ends prematurely when an injury makes it impossible to compete, but the situation enables him to be there for his pregnant sister when her loser boyfriend abandons her.  He gets glimpses of his neighbor across the lake, and he’s intrigued, but it isn’t until they need her help as a midwife that they become more acquainted.

I was kind of jealous of Mia’s situation, not the fear part, but I’d love to live out in a cabin on a beautiful, secluded lake. It sang to my hermit tendencies! Mia left her career behind when it became apparent her panic attacks interfered too much to continue. The arrival of Jared and his sister forced Mia to step up, and actually helped Mia quicken the process of healing. 

I really enjoyed the slow build friendship and then romance between Mia and Jared. She can’t help being attracted to him. Who can resist a man with such obvious love of his family? I just loved the bits where Mia uses her skills and knowledge of newborns to help Jordy with her new baby. The baby parts reminded me of that intense time when I just had my kids and when my daughter had her babies. There’s nothing like snuggling a newborn or trying to calm them, which can really take it out of you, lol!

Jared was an intense guy and once he started having feelings for Mia he was pretty focused on her. I did mention in the first scene Mia witnesses him with another woman, but I should say that was it. For those worried about “other woman” drama from that, the woman didn’t have any other part in the story whatsoever. Once Jared and Mia get together, they can’t keep their hands off each other and if I had any complaints it would be that there were maybe too many sex scenes. Still, I really enjoyed their romantic journey and I plan on picking up the next in the series: A Change in View.  Both stories are available on Kindle Unlimited, but I recommend the audio version as well.

Charley Ongel and Tor Thom did an excellent job narrating the female and male chapters. Charley Ongel was easy on the ears with a smooth, lilting tone, and Tor Thom had a very masculine voice.

4 Suns

Saturday, July 25, 2020

Sunday Post #83

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week. 

It's been a busy week working and getting ready for my trip. Lots of arranging. 
I've been up north in Sonoma Wine Country doing some social distanced wine tasting. It's a whole process, but I didn't mind because: wine! And of course the beautiful scenery. Everything was done outdoors. It was it was nice to get away. On my way home tomorrow where the temps are over 100 again. I don't mind because I'll be home and I miss my cats.

Click on cover for Goodreads link:

Enjoyed the audio book A Change in Tide. My first time reading Freya Barker and it reminded me a little of Kristen Ashley. I'd like to continue with the series. Read The Hero of Hope Springs in one day.

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:
Click on cover for Goodreads link:


I go back to Heartland when I don't have a lot of time to get into something else. It's comfort watching as we work through the episodes. 

Friday, July 24, 2020

Review: The Hero of Hope Springs by Maisey Yates

The Hero of Hope Springs (Gold Valley #10) by Maisey Yates
Publication Date: July 21st 2020 by HQN
Pages: 384
Source: Publisher

About the book:

Will Gold Valley’s most honorable cowboy finally claim the woman he’s always wanted?

For as long as brooding cowboy Ryder Daniels has known Sammy Marshall, she has been his sunshine. Her free spirit and bright smile saved him after the devastating loss of his parents and gave him the strength to care for his orphaned family. Only Ryder knows how vulnerable Sammy is, so he’s kept his attraction for his best friend under wraps for years. But what Sammy’s asking for now might be a step too far…

Something has been missing from Sammy’s life, and she thinks she knows what it is. Deciding she wants a baby is easy; realizing she wants her best friend to be the father is…complicated. Especially when a new heat between them sparks to life! When Sammy discovers she’s pregnant, Ryder makes it clear he wants it all. But having suffered the fallout of her parents’ disastrous relationship, Sammy is wary of letting Ryder too close. This cowboy will have to prove he’s proposing out of more than just honor…

My Thoughts:
Ryder has loved Samantha since she showed up on his property not long after his parents’ death and suddenly became responsible for all his younger siblings. Dealing with the grief and having to abandon his dream plans was made bearable by Sammy’s presence. Her beauty inside and out was like sunshine in his life, but he always held back from anything but a platonic relationship, because Sammy came from her own terrible situation. Ryder realized she needed a protector and friend, and that was more important than his desires.

Now that Sammy wants a baby and throws it out there that she’d like him to be the father, he can’t hold back any longer. Once this barrier comes down, Ryder is all in and not just about co-parenting. He’s not just some nice guy to hold her hand, he’s a real flesh and blood male who’s been longing for her for years. Loved Ryder!

Sammy has led people to think she’s a free spirit, casual about love and hookups, but in truth she needs control. Any of her romantic partners have been casual because that’s the way she protects herself. Not letting anyone in too close. Sammy’s seen the affects of an all-consuming “love” with her parents, volatile and abusive, and she wants nothing to do with that. However, Sammy would love the chance to have a baby and give it all the love her big heart has to offer. When Ryder unexpectedly agrees to her request, she doesn’t bargain on everything that includes: passion and commitment and it scares her.

I just love a good unrequited love romance. Ryder finally getting the girl he’s wanted after so many years was a pleasure to watch. I love seeing him let go of his reserve and let me tell you these two were hot together! Sammy never let anyone that close, so she finally gets to experience a whole other facet of romance, one where she can trust the person she’s with and let go. She feels wanton and needy for Ryder and I just loved it!

As usual, the small ranching town of Gold Valley is vividly described, making it come to life so I can almost smell the pines, and feel the breeze. Maisey Yates writes the most delicious cowboys, but more than that she writes beautifully emotional stories that make you care for each and every character. The Hero of Hope Springs is part of a series, but each book can easily be read and enjoyed as a standalone.

4 Suns

Wednesday, July 22, 2020

Review: Settling An Old Score by Delores Fossen

Settling an Old Score (Longview Ridge Ranch #3) by Delores Fossen
Publication Date: July 21st 2020 by Harlequin Intrigue
Pages: 256
Source: Publisher
Rating: ½
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo 

About the book: 

From USA TODAY bestselling author Delores Fossen, comes the next instalment of the Longview Ridge Ranch series featuring no-nonsense cowboy brothers in law enforcement.
A past tragedy destroyed their love. A vulnerable newborn brings them back together.
Within moments of discovering a baby on his doorstep, Texas Ranger Eli Slater finds himself being held at gunpoint by his ex, Ashlyn Darrow. She claims she was tipped off that the still-gorgeous cowboy kidnapped her newly adopted daughter because of the bad blood that defines their past. They quickly realize Eli’s been set up and now Eli is determined to protect Ashlyn and her daughter. But regaining her trust will be as easy as ignoring the attraction even a lifetime apart can’t erase…
From Harlequin Intrigue: Seek thrills. Solve crimes. Justice served.

My Thoughts:
Texas Ranger Eli has a shock when his old flame, Ashlyn, shows up in the middle of the night accusing him of kidnapping her infant daughter. That accusation is quickly thrown aside when shots are fired, and they realize they must band together to ferret out their mutual threat.  There are several suspects on their list but is seems likely that it’s someone involved with the murder of Ashlyn’s best friend, Marta, three years earlier.

Ashlyn and Eli have a troubled history. Once young and in love, but life separated them, and they went their separate ways. However, they meet again under tragic circumstances ending with Ashlyn being shot and her friend murdered. Ashlyn blames Eli for that night, but since spending time together again she realizes it was unfair to hold him responsible.

Old feelings of attraction resurface as they fight off every new assault. Eli had a protective streak a mile long, and he was determined to protect Ashlyn and her newly adopted daughter, Cora. As their feelings spark again, he’s also determined to not let their second chance at happiness get away.

Settling an Old Score was packed full of action and danger from the get-go and hardly let up! It was a fun combination of danger, thrills, and romance, and I was pulled into the story right away. There were several suspects, and I wasn’t sure which was the real culprit until the end. I will say I did feel like I was missing some of the story, the whole night of Marta’s death and Ashlyn’s injury is alluded to, but not fully explained. Like it was maybe some of it took place in a previous book? Still, the story was a quick and entertaining escape from reality!

3.5 Suns

Tuesday, July 21, 2020

Review: Secrets From a Happy Marriage by Maisey Yates

Secrets From a Happy Marriage by Maisey Yates
Publication Date: May 12th 2020 by HQN
Pages: 384
Audio Length: 11 hrs 28 min by Harlequin Audio
Narrator: Samantha Cook
Source: Publisher & Purchased Audio Book
Rating: ½
Links: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | Audible | Goodreads

About the book:

New York Times bestselling author Maisey Yates’s new novel introduces the women of the Lighthouse Inn B&B. They might not have it all together, but this summer they’ll discover that together, they might still have it all…

Rachel Henderson’s family is falling apart. Becoming a widow—especially at this age—is heartbreaking. With her teenage daughter, Emma, leaving soon for college, Rachel needs a friend—but local diner owner Adam is the last person she ever thought she’d lean on.

From the outside, her little sister, Anna, has a picture-perfect marriage. But the weight of it is suffocating her. The only way for her to breathe again comes at a high price, one she’s not so sure she can pay.

After raising two daughters on her own, their mother, Wendy, knows just how hard life can be. She’s done things she’s not proud of, things she desperately wants to keep from her girls—until keeping quiet is no longer an option.

As long-held secrets bubble up and their old lives unravel, this family will need all their strength to start again and open their hearts up to the possibility of more. But most of all, they’ll need each other…

My Thoughts:
Secrets From a Happy Marriage is a multigenerational story: Wendy the single mom who took her two daughters to the coast of Oregon after winning a bid to run a bed and breakfast at a historic lighthouse property. Now years later her daughters are grown and married, and mostly they’ve had a wonderful life, but things are changing. Rachel, Wendy’s oldest, is coping with the loss of her husband, a widow at just thirty-eight years old, Anna, Wendy’s younger daughter, is stuck in a loveless marriage, and Emma, Rachel’s daughter is feeling guilty leaving her grieving mother to go away to college. Plus, Wendy the “blameless” matriarch has some secrets of her own.

I felt for each of these women, was struck by each of their stories, and could really relate to one! Living in a small town their actions are scrutinized, and judged by some, and even by each other. At first, Rachel is so judgy with Anna, having grown apart over the years the sisters only see the surface and not really what each are struggling with. Rachel, realizing on an unconscious level she was jealous of Anna having a healthy husband. Anna for her part envied the real love and obvious connection Rachel had with her husband.  I enjoyed seeing them open up, understand and become close. Each providing solace and support instead of judgment. Each had their own romantic story, but I really loved Rachel’s.

Emma, Rachel’s daughter is very much finding her own way. After living with her father’s illness for several years, and now finally losing him she feels like was grieving for a long time, even before his death. Emma’s feels moving across the country, leaving her mother to cope with the loss when she receives an acceptance to her dream college to study marine biology. Then there’s also Luke, her longtime crush from afar who finally notices her.

Wendy’s story was a bit of a twist, upsetting her daughters view of her and the life they’ve had. Wendy had to come to terms with her past and forgive herself. I also enjoyed her romance.

I love lighthouses! My husband and I took a three-week road trip a couple of years ago and visited lighthouses all along the Pacific Northwest.  We were able to stay at one in Oregon: Heceta Lighthouse Bed & Breakfast and when I started reading this story, I was struck by how familiar the setting sounded. Come to find out Ms. Yates stayed there and based Cape Hope Lighthouse B & B after it! The place was gorgeous and magical, and I was so excited to find out it was featured in such a lovely story! It felt more personal to me. I included a few pictures below.

Secrets From a Happy Marriage was a heartfelt story about being yourself, accepting past mistakes, forgiving yourself and moving on; trying not to be hindered by what others think of you, and ignoring those determined to pass judgment. But it was also about supporting family and drawing strength from their love.  I loved every minute of it!

I alternately listened and read Secrets From a Happy Marriage. Samantha Cook does a wonderful job performing both male and female voices, and I listened at 1.3x-1.5x normal speed.

Heceta Head Lighthouse

Bed and Breakfast below Heceta Head lighthouse
The B & B

Heceta Head Lighthouse
Lighthouse & B & B

Saturday, July 18, 2020

Sunday Post #82

The Sunday Post is hosted by Kimberly @ Caffeinated reviewer book blog, and is a post to recap my bookish and non-bookish things from the last week. 

The heat is here with temps in the upper 90s low 100s. Not a fan.

I'm excited that Netgalley added audio books since nearly 50% of my reading is now by audio book. The book I'm currently listening to sounds a little tinny on the app. though. Has anyone else noticed that?

Click on cover for Goodreads link:

I'm having a great reading week and I enjoyed all three books here. Carolyn Brown never fails to make me smile. I started Secrets From a Happy Marriage a while back and I couldn't get into it because of my mood, so I set it aside. I finally picked it up again and I'm so happy because I ended up loving it. Instacrush was so good! Loved Theo to bits!

Received/Purchased/Library Lend:
Click on cover for Goodreads link:

I'm excited for The Ghost Tree the newest by Christina Henry since I loved The Girl in Red. A Change in Tide and What You Wish For are both audio books from Netgalley. I'm loving A Change in Tide. World War Z is a library lend I requested after enjoyed Devolution. I'm a big fan of the film adaptation so we'll see how the book compares.

Nothing but glimpses of Sponge Bob Square Pants in the background (grandson watching).

 How was your week?

Wednesday, July 15, 2020

Review: Cowboy Strong by Carolyn Brown

Cowboy Strong (Longhorn Canyon #7) by Carolyn Brown
Publication Date: June 30th 2020 by Forever
Pages: 400
Source: Publisher

A rugged Texas cowboy and the girl next door find a fake engagement feeling all too real in this heartwarming romance from a USA Today bestseller.

Alana Carey can out-rope, out-ride, and challenge even the best Texas cowboy. But she does have one soft spot -- and his name is Paxton Callahan. With Pax back in town, Alana's old feelings have returned with a vengeance. But she barely has time to process her attraction for the hunky cowboy before her father falls ill. All he wants is for her to marry and settle down before he passes away, and Alana isn't about to break a dying man's heart.

Paxton Callahan has been in love with Alana since...forever. Now that he's living right next door, the electricity between them is about to set the whole Texas panhandle on fire. When Alana presents him with a crazy proposal -- to pretend to be her fiancé so her father can die in peace -- Paxton can't refuse. But as the faux-wedding day draws near, Alana and Paxton must decide whether to come clean about their charade or finally admit their love is the real deal.

Includes the bonus novella Sunrise Ranch for the first time in print! 

My Thoughts:
I’ve been looking forward to Paxton and Alana’s as I could feel the attraction brewing between them in the previous books. Come to find out they’ve danced around their feelings for each other since they were teenagers. However, now that Alana finds out her father doesn’t have long to live and that his greatest wish is to walk her down the aisle, she goes to Pax to strike up a deal. Pretend they’ve been dating secretly and are coincidently engaged.  They’ll move up the wedding date to fulfill her dad’s wishes. Yep, it’s the good ole fake relationship/marriage scenario and you just know what happens next!

My heart broke over the news of Alana’s father since she lost her mother early, too, and they basically only had each other as family since.  Pax was the first one she thought of confiding in and the only one she’d trust to go along with her scheme of marrying and then divorcing later on. Alana figures that Pax would be eager to end things after her father passes, not wanting to settle down yet, and Pax figures Alana wouldn’t want a cowboy with little to his name. But as time goes on, they realize their feelings for each other are anything but fake, and they begin to wonder and long for a real future together.

Alana and Pax’s romance was sweet, spicy and fun! I enjoyed their journey toward a HEA. There were some sad bits because of the situation with Matt, but as usual Carolyn Brown manages to weave in humor and keep things uplifting even in the face of loss. I always enjoy her good old country wisdom interspersed throughout the pages, too.

Cowboy Strong may be the seventh book in the Longhorn Canyon series, but each book can be read as a standalone. However, if you start at the beginning you can enjoy the previous couples’ cameo appearances in the later books.

4 Suns

Monday, July 13, 2020

Top Ten Tuesday: Books That Make Me Laugh

Top Ten Tuesday is a meme hosted by The Artsy Reader where each week they post a new top ten list and ask fellow bookish folk to share their lists on that topic.

This weeks topic is Books That Make Me Smile, and I'm taking that a step further and making it Books That Made Me Laugh:

(Click on covers for Goodreads link)

A Heap of Texas Trouble by Carolyn Brown (previously published as The Red-Hot Chili Cookoff)

Carolyn Brown's books always make me laugh, but this was the funniest to date for me. Aunt Tansy with her "psychic powers" and her "inspirational bird", Dakshani had me in stitches! 

Sustained by Emma Chase:

Oh, Jake and the six McQuaid kids were priceless!

Magic Breaks by Ilona Andrews:

Ilona Andrews never fails to inject some humor in their reads. Ascanio provides many a laugh with his take on the "bunnycats" (sooo cute) and his commentary ("a mutant equine of unknown origin") on Kate's mammoth donkey, Cuddles. Desandra made me laugh a lot, too!

Clean Sweep by Ilona Andrews:

Sean's comments about Dina Shih Tzu, Beast, were hilarious, but there was so much more!

Beard Science by Penny Reid:

Joy Nash's narration, which made a funny story even funnier! Jennifer and Cletus' romance had me laughing out loud in so many parts!

Graffiti Moon by Cath Crowley:

Beautiful writing and story, but that bicycle scene had me in tears I laughed soooo hard!

Saving Francesca by Melina Marchetta:

Melina Marchetta's writing is so gorgeous, and Saving Francesca dealt with heavier issues such as depression, but it was not a depressing book, and was actually hilarious in parts! Tara's list of demands, too funny!

The Wall of Winnipeg and Me by Mariana Zapata:

This was my first Mariana Zapata and still my favorite. Sooo sooo good and so funny!

Kulti by Mariana Zapata:

A close 2nd to my favorite. I laughed at Sal's nicknames for Kulti, especially since he was such an ass at first! 

The Wallflower Wager by Tessa Dare:

My favorite of the Girl Meets Duke series! Penelope and her brood of animals had me dying! Delilah the talking parrot: "Fancy a f*ck love?" said at the worst times ever, had me laughing my head off! Marigold the "non-breeding goat" and of course Penelope's attempts at vegetarian cooking: Sham!!

What's books made you smile/laugh?

Audio Review: The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner

The Jane Austen Society by Natalie Jenner
Publication Date: May 26th by MacMillan Audio
Audio Book Length: 9 hrs 55 min
Narrator: Richard Armitage
Source: Publisher &
Pages: 320

About the book:

Just after the Second World War, in the small English village of Chawton, an unusual but like-minded group of people band together to attempt something remarkable.

One hundred and fifty years ago, Chawton was the final home of Jane Austen, one of England's finest novelists. Now it's home to a few distant relatives and their diminishing estate. With the last bit of Austen's legacy threatened, a group of disparate individuals come together to preserve both Jane Austen's home and her legacy. These people—a laborer, a young widow, the local doctor, and a movie star, among others—could not be more different and yet they are united in their love for the works and words of Austen. As each of them endures their own quiet struggle with loss and trauma, some from the recent war, others from more distant tragedies, they rally together to create the Jane Austen Society.

A powerful and moving novel that explores the tragedies and triumphs of life, both large and small, and the universal humanity in us all, Natalie Jenner's The Jane Austen Society is destined to resonate with listeners for years to come.

My Thoughts:
The story takes place in Chawton, England, the final home of Jane Austen where several of the residents deal with grief and loss while taking some comfort in reading Jane Austen’s work. The characters come from very different backgrounds, social and economic: a farmer, widow, movie star, doctor, student, an antiquity agent, but they’re united by their affection of Austen’s work.  When they find out the Jane Austen’s home and library are threatened, they band together to preserve her history. 

While this is taking place there are side stories: Adeline and Ben’s story was my favorite, but all were captivating.  The young widow Adeline and Dr. Ben Gray, several years older, are friends, but you sense the longing they feel underneath. Ben and Adeline comfort each other through tragedy and I was on pins and needles waiting for them to admit how much they loved each other.

There were some parallels to the romances in Ms. Austen’s stories and I enjoyed how the characters pointed out favorite passages and the deeper thoughts and motivations behind them.

The Jane Austen Society was a heartwarming, lovely story that I’d recommend to any reader, Austen fan or not. I’m a huge fan of Richard Armitage as an actor so to have narrate this story was a treat! He did a fabulous job with both the male and female voices.

4 Suns