Thursday, June 23, 2016

Sea Rose Lane: A Hope Harbor Novel

This is Irene Hannon's newest release.  It is the second Hope Harbor novel that she has written. Ms. Hannon is an award winning author of over fifty books.  She is a three time RITA award winner among many other awards and distinctions for her contemporary romantic suspense and women's fiction/romance novels.  Sea Rose Lane is the second book by Ms. Hannon that I have reviewed.
Sea Rose Lane is set in the seaside town of Hope Harbor, Oregon.  There we find BJ Stevens who is the resident architect/construction supervisor.  She left the hectic pace of a large firm and city life to start a business where there is a calm to each day, even in the midst of designing and building businesses and homes.  She is involved in a volunteer program to help senior citizens have access to basic housekeeping needs, a need which is dear to her heart.  She has secrets and regrets.  Enter, Eric Nash who has been handed a disastrous layoff from a large law firm where he was on the "partner track."  He has come to Hope Harbor to spend time with his father and regroup for the job hunt.  His father is remodeling his home into a B&B and BJ is his architect.  They meet, sparks fly; and not good ones!  I will leave the rest to you to read about in this excellent romantic novel.
Sea Rose Lane is not just a boy meets girl novel.  Each character brings their own issues, life experience and perspective to this beautiful sea coast town.  They all have problems that need solutions and emotional scars that need to heal.  Ms. Hannon has written each character with flaws and heartaches that we can relate to. This is what gives a book it's depth and pulls the reader in to find out what will happen and, indeed, if there will be a happy ending for anyone!
The author has done an excellent job of bringing us a very readable, believable story of two people who want to start over.  The secondary characters have their own set of personality quirks and emotional scars as well, adding to the fullness of the story.  An added perk for me is the attention she gave to grammar and sentence structure.  Those are two of my sticking points with every book I read and Ms. Hannon's sentences were well written.  I enjoyed every page of this book and all the details.  Irene states that she likes to do three things with her writing;  entertain, enrich and uplift.  She does all three very well in Sea Rose Lane.
Find out more about Irene's writing and her books at Irene Hannon
Last year, I reviewed Irene Hannon's new release entitled, Buried Secrets.  I did not give it a glowing report.  It just did not strike my fancy and I had a hard time finishing it, but I did (of a sorts) finish it.  Ms. Hannon was very gracious in accepting my three star review and suggested that I try another of her books, Thin Ice, which came out in January of this year as well as suggesting that I may also like Against All Odds, Book I of her Heroes of Quantico series which was published in 2009.   I have not read Thin Ice yet, but I did recently read Against All Odds and I could not put it down!  I know that every book cannot be a hit with every reader and the Men Of Valor series may not be my cup of tea, but I have changed my mind about the writing of Ms. Hannon and I think she has lots more books that I am going to put on my TBR list!  First thing I will do is read Books II and III of Heroes of Quantico.  And now, I am going to have to read the first Hope Harbor book! I know, reviewing can be a subjective thing, try as I might to be objective!
I give Sea Rose Lane five stars and recommend you get a copy and read it, as well as Book I of the Hope Harbor series!  I received a complimentary copy of this book from Revell, a division of Baker Publishing in exchange for an honest review.  These words are my opinion.  Read more at Baker Publishing Group

Thanks so much for being here!

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Summer/Beach Reads 2016

As I write this, I am sitting in my dining room, looking at my next new release book to get started reading.  I think it will be on this list of summer reading that I am giving you, but you will have to wait until I read it, then I will let you know!  There is one book ahead of it and that book will most likely make the list also.  I know, why all the cloak and dagger?!?  I just don’t want to get ahead of myself and toss out names of upcoming reviews until they are closer to being posted.   So, with that out of the way let me get to my summer reading recommendations. 
Of course, as always, this is an excellent time to re-read one or two of your favorite classics.  Maybe you like Wuthering Heights.  Maybe you are an Agatha Christie fan.  It is possible you have a hankering for newer classics, such as Hemingway’s Pulitzer prize-winning novel, The Old Man and The Sea.  These are all good summer reading, anytime reading, actually.
I will confine my list to newer books.  I find that in the summer I am often looking for something not extremely profound, but deep enough to hold my attention.  I also like to explore new authors or new-to-me writers. 
Let me start with a couple of my favorites.  I love Hawaii by James Michener.  It is a most excellent narrative of the beginning of the islands, clear down to the natives of Bora Bora setting out in their double-hulled canoes to find a new home.  I want to read his Caribbean novel too.  I don’t know what it is, but I have a love of tropical settings.  I like to read about them and be in them!
The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews.  She writes with a believable humor that warms up your heart.
Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter.  I have not read any of her writing but this looks intriguing so I include it.
The Patmos Deception by Davis Bunn.  Set in the Greek Isles with intrigue, old secrets and past loves that intertwine.  I may read it again.  Also, all three books of his Mark Royce Series are good too.
The English Spy by Daniel Silva.  This is the sequel to The English Girl which I also reviewed here, if you want an idea of what this is about, check out my review of that.
Lilac Girls by Martha Hall Kelly.  This is a debut novel and it is an excellent read, based on a true story from WWII.  You can also read my review of this one here.
The Quieting by Suzanne Woods Fisher.  This is Book II of The Bishop’s Family series.  Good reading on a warm summer day.
Of course, the list would not be complete without a couple books set near the ocean or on a beach.  I would recommend these;
The Beach House Series by Sally John and Trish Perry.   They are The Beach House, Castles in the Sand and Sunset Beach.  These are good clean fiction with some depth to the story line.  They mainly focus on issues/relationships being resolved on vacation at the beach.   They are good reads if you just want something a little bit lighter.
Under A Maui Moon by Robin Jones Gunn.  This is Book I in the Hideaway Series.  Books II and III are Canary Island Song and Cottage By the Sea.  Good stuff.  God is in there when the characters face temptation and He continues to show His presence.
There are so many good books out there and summer is just a natural season for focusing on reading, with the warm long days and slower pace that encourages.  Translation; burying your head in a good book!! 
I hope I have given you some ideas for your summer reading.  Any of these are good additions to your TBR stack any time of the year.  Hey, you could have a Summer TBR stack and a Winter TBR stack!  Nothing like being organized.
Thanks so much for being here.  I’ll be back soon with another new release for you to take a look at!