Sweet Tea and Sympathy ( A Southern Eclectic Novel) by Molly Harper

Gallery Books Release on November 21st.

Sweet Tea and Sympathy (Southern Eclectic, #1)

Beloved author Molly Harper launches a brand-new contemporary romance series, Southern Eclectic, with this story of a big-city party planner who finds true love in a small Georgia town.

Nestled on the shore of Lake Sackett, Georgia is the McCready Family Funeral Home and Bait Shop. (What, you have a problem with one-stop shopping?) Two McCready brothers started two separate businesses in the same building back in 1928, and now it’s become one big family affair. And true to form in small Southern towns, family business becomes everybody’s business.

Margot Cary has spent her life immersed in everything Lake Sackett is not. As an elite event planner, Margot’s rubbed elbows with the cream of Chicago society, and made elegance and glamour her business. She’s riding high until one event goes tragically, spectacularly wrong. Now she’s blackballed by the gala set and in dire need of a fresh start—and apparently the McCreadys are in need of an event planner with a tarnished reputation.

As Margot finds her footing in a town where everybody knows not only your name, but what you had for dinner last Saturday night and what you’ll wear to church on Sunday morning, she grudgingly has to admit that there are some things Lake Sackett does better than Chicago—including the dating prospects. Elementary school principal Kyle Archer is a fellow fish-out-of-water who volunteers to show Margot the picture-postcard side of Southern living. The two of them hit it off, but not everybody is happy to see an outsider snapping up one of the town’s most eligible gentleman. Will Margot reel in her handsome fish, or will she have to release her latest catch?

Molly Harper is well known for her Half-Moon Hollow books. Paranormal romance in a small Kentucky town.

Her titles never fail to crack me up! And since she is a former humor columnist that is no surprise. This new Southern Eclectic is definitely something I can get behind.

Being a Georgia girl myself, the title kind of jumped right out at me and I just knew this was going to be good. And it is.

Chicago and small town Georgia are about as far apart as you can get in a lot of ways.

I don’t think anywhere in Chicago you would find the bait store next to the funeral home, but it works.

The McCready family is full of loveable characters. Even though Margot comes to town at the behest of a family she doesn’t remember, she quickly falls in love with her cousins and aunts and uncles and maybe even the hot new principal.

She may even find out why her father never followed her mother when his wife just up and left with Margot. Could they get another chance to be family? Or will she hightail it out of there as soon as a better opportunity comes along?

These are smart, witty and downright hilarious characters and I laughed right along with everyone else!

A good read about family, assumptions, and the love of family!

This book will be out November 21st.

Netgalley/Gallery

 

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The Story of Arthur Truluv by Elizabeth Berg (Random House)

The Story of Arthur Truluv

A beautiful, life-affirming novel about a remarkably loving man who creates for himself and others second chances at happiness.

A moving novel about three people who find their way back from loss and loneliness to a different kind of happiness. Arthur, a widower, meets Maddy, a troubled teenage girl who is avoiding school by hiding out at the cemetery, where Arthur goes every day for lunch to have imaginary conversations with his late wife, and think about the lives of others. The two strike up a friendship that draws them out of isolation. Maddy gives Arthur the name Truluv, for his loving and positive responses to every outrageous thing she says or does. With Arthur’s nosy neighbor Lucille, they create a loving and unconventional family, proving that life’s most precious moments are sweeter when shared.

This was a charming and moving story of Arthur, a recent widower in his 80’s who meets a 17/18-year-old Maddy. A girl without a mother and a distant father. Maddy is a smart young lady but falls for an unsavory young man. When she turns up pregnant her fathers reaction leads to a fracture in their already strained relationship.

Maddy finds solace at the cemetery. Sitting peacefully in the tree line watching and listening. When Arthur, who visits his wife’s grave every day to lunch with her, sees Maddy he strikes up a conversation that leads to an unlikely friendship.

Arthur has never been an outgoing person. But he tries to be neighborly to Lucille, his elderly neighbor.

Three people feeling alone in the world. Three people who change each others worlds just by being there. By filling holes left by the ones they loved. Proving that a family is not necessarily the people you are related to but the people you relate to.

This was a charming story of hope, love, and family. I enjoyed it immensely.

Netgalley/Random House    November 21, 2017

The Secret Mother by Shalini Boland

The Secret Mother

‘Are you my mummy?’ 

Tessa Markham comes home to find a little boy in her kitchen. He thinks she’s his mother. But Tessa doesn’t have any children.

Not anymore.

She doesn’t know who the child is or how he got there.

After contacting the police, Tessa comes under suspicion for snatching the boy. She must fight to prove her innocence. But how can she convince everyone she’s not guilty when even those closest to her are questioning the truth? And when Tessa doesn’t even trust herself…

I’m not sure this is a thriller. Maybe a mystery, but from the first few chapters I figured out what had probably happened here.

Adding to the blurb was the tag if you liked Girl on a Train. I did not care for that book or the movie. So I probably should have left this one alone.

It just wasn’t for me. But give it a try! I loved another one of her books. Just not this one.

November 9, 2017 Release     Netgalley/Bookouture

Hello Monday, What’s Everyone Reading This Week?

Surprise Me Coming in February!

 

Daughters of the Storm (Blood and Gold, #1) Coming March 6, 2018

The Undertaker's Daughter (Untitled #1)  Coming February 6, 2018

No Time to Spare: Thinking About What Matters Coming December 5, 2018

Two Girls Down Coming January of 2018

These are my books for the week. What have you got on your TBR list today? I really need some suggestions on series for 13-year-old girls. Preferably a series. She’s going to be grounded a long time with no phone.

xx  Patricia    Enjoy this Clean Slate Monday!

 

A Christmas Return by Anne Perry

A Christmas Return

‘Tis the season of giving–and with this wonderful book, New York Times bestselling author Anne Perry shares a brand-new holiday mystery filled with bygone relationships and hidden secrets.

As Charlotte Pitt’s grandmother Mariah Ellison finds herself investigating a long-unsolved slaying, it becomes clear that grappling with intrigue and foul play runs in the family. A festive Christmas package left on Mariah’s doorstep contains an ominous present, sparking memories of a twenty-year-old murder that shattered her friendship with the victim’s widow. Though the gift is a bitter reminder of that tragic time, in the spirit of the season Mariah travels to Surrey in hopes of reconciling with her estranged friend and solving the crime that drove them apart.

On arrival, Mariah joins forces with the murdered man’s grandson, a sleuth in his own right who’s discovered promising evidence as well as a suspect. But Surrey’s picturesque hills conceal dark doings and shocking revelations that could make the holiday anything but calm and bright.

Decked with intrigue and trimmed with Yuletide spirit, A Christmas Return is a holiday treat wrapped in the glorious storytelling talents of the reigning master of Victorian mystery.

A bit related to the Charlotte and Thomas Pitt series, this is Ms. Perry’s Christmas novella for this year. A Historical Fiction murder mystery, one that happened many years ago.

When a mysterious package arrives for Mariah, with a letter that an old friend needs her assistance, Mariah must go back to the past and relive some not so pleasant times.

Mariah has never been the most pleasant person on the block, and here we find out why. A lot of secrets and the power of standing up and telling the truth no matter the consequences.

It was a delightful and short read!

Netgalley/Ballentine  Nov. 7,2017

The Boyfriend Swap by Meredith Schorr

The Boyfriend Swap

Is Christmas really the most wonderful time of the year? New Yorker’s Robyn Lane and Sidney Bellows aren’t so sure.

Robyn has always dated struggling creative types. For once, her parents would love her to bring someone with health insurance and a 401(k) to their Chrismukkah celebration. Her actor boyfriend doesn’t qualify. While across town, Sidney’s professional life already belongs to her parents. She’s an attorney at her father’s law firm and she works tirelessly to keep her love life private. If she brings her lawyer boyfriend to their annual Christmas extravaganza, her parents will have the wedding planned by New Year’s Eve.

A mutual friend playfully suggests they trade boyfriends for the holidays. The women share a laugh, but after copious amounts of wine, decide The Boyfriend Swap could be the perfect solution. This way, Robyn can show off her stable attorney boyfriend and Sidney’s high-society family will take no interest in her flakey actor beau.

It’s a brilliant plan—in theory. In practice—not so much. When Will turns out to be the boy-next-door Robyn crushed on hard throughout her teenage years, and Sidney’s family fawns all over Perry like he’s an Oscar-winner rather than a D-list wannabe, one thing is certain: The Boyfriend Swap might just change their lives forever.

I could definitely see this as a Hallmark Channel Movie! Especially at Christmas.

Sidney and Will haven’t been dating long and she is not looking forward to tossing him to the wolves at her family’s Christmas! Especially in a house already full of lawyers. She just wants something for herself. Agreeing to the swap Sidney gets more than she bargained for. Her entire family is charmed by Perry and Sidney may be getting a little hot under the collar for him as well.

While Robyn is bringing home the boy next door who she still has a crush on and her family thinks he is just the perfect man for her. And Robyn is beginning to think so too.

A lovely romp of a Christmas story and the stories we tell ourselves about who we are and what the people we love want for us.

Netgalley/Henery Press  November 07, 2017

 

THE HOSTAGE HEART by Cynthia Harrod-Eagles (Severn House)

The Hostage Heart

Emotionally hurt in the past, a job in a large country house seems to be Emma’s best option for staying single and safe… 

When Emma Ruskin becomes governess to 10-year-old Poppy Ackroyd, the haughty Ackroyd family all treat her with contempt – particularly Gavin, the effortlessly superior eldest son.

Yet Emma realises that Gavin alone genuinely cares for Poppy and their unexpected rapport flatters and alarms her – surely he is out of her league?

But then disaster strikes when Emma and Poppy are snatched by kidnappers. Imprisoned and terrified, Emma knows they will be killed if the ransom isn’t paid – unless Gavin can get to them first…

First published as Dangerous Love, and originally under a pseudonym, this is a new edition with a new introduction from the author.

As the author states, this is a very early work. I think I will keep that in mind.

The story moves along nicely, but we aren’t really given any insight to the family until the end. They are all such different characters but very shallow from the little we know about them and their motivations.

The kidnapping was believable but the ending just was not. The story was moving along nicely and then it was suddenly all tied up and left me scratching my head.

I have heard that her later books are good so I’ll definitely give her another read.

Netgalley/Severn House  Nov.1,2017