Blog Tour Book Review: The Beach at Painter’s Cove by Shelley Noble

About The Beach at Painter’s Cove

• Paperback: 432 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (June 13, 2017)

From the New York Times bestselling author of Whisper Beach comes another heartwarming story of four generations of women who reunite in their crumbling family mansion by the sea for a dramatic summer filled with love, family, secrets and sisterhood.

The Whitaker family’s Connecticut mansion, Muses by the Sea, has always been a haven for artists, a hotbed of creativity, extravagances, and the occasional scandal. Art patrons for generations, the Whitakers supported strangers but drained the life out of each other. Now, after being estranged for years, four generations of Whitaker women find themselves once again at The Muses.

Leo, the Whitaker matriarch, lives in the rambling mansion crammed with artwork and junk. She plans to stay there until she joins her husband Wes on the knoll overlooking the cove and meadow where they first met. Her sister-in-law Fae, the town eccentric, is desperate to keep a secret she has been hiding for years.

Jillian, is a jet setting actress, down on her luck, and has run out of men to support her. She thinks selling The Muses will make life easier for her mother, Leo, and Fae by moving them into assisted living. The sale will also bring her the funds to get herself back on top.

Issy, Jillian’s daughter, has a successful life as a museum exhibit designer that takes her around the world. But the Muses and her grandmother are the only family she’s known and when her sister leaves her own children with Leo, Issy knows she has to step in to help.

Steph, is only twelve-years-old and desperately needs someone to fire her imagination and bring her out of her shell. What she begins to discover at the Muses could change the course of her future.

As Issy martials the family together to restore the mansion and catalogue the massive art collection, a surprising thing happens. Despite storms and moonlight dancing, diva attacks and cat fights, trips to the beach and flights of fancy, these four generations of erratic, dramatic women may just find a way to save the Muses and reunite their family.

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

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 Happy Thursday and welcome to my stop in the blog tour for The Beach at Painter’s Cove by Shelley Noble. I recover a copy from the publisher through TLC Book Tours in exchange for my honest review of it.

The Beach at Painter’s Cove is a contemporary fiction novel about the Whitaker family. It is very much a family drama centered around the Whitaker women and the estate that has been in their family for generations. Drama and betrayal ensues and the family must figure how to survive and save the home that is so dear to them. 

At first glance this book looks like a perfect beach read and while it was that for me, it definitely was a lot more. It is filled with family drama, healing, self discovery, loss, betrayal, happiness and even some romance. I did not expect all of that to be wrapped up in this book but I was so happy that it was. 

I really loved many of the characters. Our main character Issy was my favorite, I loved her and the way she dealt with things and the way she cared about her family. I loved Fae and her quirkiness and I also really loved Steph’s storyline of self discovery. I also enjoyed exploring the character relationships.

Family dramas are not usually my favorite books to read but I could not put this one down. It was a really fast read, it felt like a light read even though it did deal with a lot of drama and some tough situations/emotions. It’s not a super complicated book but it’s not simple either, it’s a great balance of both and the language and setting make it perfect for a summer read. I think some of it was a little predictable but for me that didn’t take away from my enjoyment of the story at all. My absolute favorite thing about this book was probably the setting, I loved learning about The Muses and it’s history and it was just interesting how this place played such a huge part in the characters lives. 

This is my first Shelley Noble book and since I really enjoyed it I would gladly read another book written by her. This book sort of reminds me of reading a Susan Wiggs book which typically have some sort of drama with family and some romance and self discovery. Really enjoyed this one! 

If you love family drama, beachy settings or self discovery/homecoming themes, this one is for you. Four stars! 

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About Shelley Noble

Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer and has worked on a number of films. She lives at the Jersey shore where she loves to visit lighthouses and vintage carousels. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.

Find out more about Shelley at her website, and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

Blog Tour Book Review: Stepdog by Nicole Galland

Stepdog (430x648)About Stepdog

• Paperback: 416 pages
• Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks (August 4, 2015)

What’s the difference between puppy love and dogged devotion?

When Sara Renault fired Rory O’Connor from his part-time job at a Boston art museum, and in response, Rory—Irishman, actor, musician, reformed party-boy— impulsively leaned over and kissed her . . . she kissed him back. Now, as Rory’s visa runs out on the cusp of his big Hollywood break, Sara insists that he marry her to get a green card. In a matter of weeks they’ve gone from being friendly work colleagues to a live-in couple, and it’s all grand . . . except for Cody, Sara’s beloved dog from her troubled previous relationship. Sara’s overattachment to her dog is the only thing she and Rory fight about.

When Rory scores both his green card and the lead role in an upcoming TV pilot, he and Sara (and Cody) prepare to move to Los Angeles. But just before their departure, Cody is kidnapped—and it is entirely Rory’s fault. Desperate to get back into Sara’s good graces, Rory tracks Cody and the sociopathic dognapper to North Carolina. Can Rory rescue Cody and convince Sara that they belong together—with Cody—as a family? First they’ll need to survive a madcap adventure that takes them through the heart of America.

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Purchase Links

Amazon | IndieBound | Barnes & Noble

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Hello everyone and welcome to my stop on the tour for Stepdog. I’d like to send a BIG thank you to the author Nicole Galland as well as TLC Book Tours for giving me a chance to read this book in exchange for an honest review!

Stepdog is a contemporary novel bout two coworkers Sara and Rory, who upon the very moment Sara fires Rory, take the first leap in a whirlwind romance. Rory soon learns that he is not the only love in Sara’s life when he meets her dog, Cody and his life changes forever. That’s all I really want to reveal about the plot other than the synopsis above because this book is so cute and so good!

When I got the chance to read and review this book, I jumped all over it. I am always down to read a novel with a dog or any animal at it’s core. I’m a dog mother and my dog and I are super close so I loved the dynamic of Cody and Sara’s relationship and Rory’s attitude toward Cody irked me at times throughout the story. I feel like it’s inevitable when you’re around a dog alot, that you fall head over heels in love with them. It’s just inevitable so I enjoyed seeing the moments when Rory would realize how much Cody was starting to mean to him like when he missed her leaning against his legs. So cute! I loved not only the story of how Rory and Sara’s relationship came to be but most of all, how Cody and Rory’s relationship came to be. I nearly died when the events surrounding Cody and Sara’s ex came into play because I am not a stranger to that type of situation. I really love the title of this book “Stepdog”, I think that is SO cute. I call my dog my daughter as I don’t have human kids so that really resonated with a sap like me!

I loved this book. I gave it five stars, I had a really hard time putting it down and therefore, it was a really fast read for me. The writing was great and I loved all the characters we met. It was light, humorous, touching and just lovely. I really needed to read a heartwarming story like this…I definitely got the feels and there was a little laughter and a few tears. I don’t know why I do this to myself but I love a good book that can make me cry and get the feels, especially when it has to do with animals. If you’re an animal lover or just plain looking for a good contemporary novel to read, consider giving Stepdog a try, I’m convinced you won’t be disappointed.

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About Nicole Galland27588

Nicole Galland’s five previous novels are The Fool’s Tale; Revenge of the Rose; Crossed; I, Iago, and Godiva. She writes a cheeky etiquette column for the Martha’s Vineyard Times. She is married to actor Billy Meleady and owns Leuco, a dog of splendid qualities.

Find out more about Nicole at her website and connect with her on Facebook and Twitter.

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Book Review: Where the Stars still Shine by Trish Doller

15826648Title:  Where the Stars still Shine by Trish Doller
Genre:  Young Adult Fiction – Contemporary
Publisher: Bloomsbury USA Children’s
Length: 352 pages
Format: Ebook
Publication Date: September 24, 2013
Rating – 4/5

Stolen as a child from her large and loving family, and on the run with her mom for more than ten years, Callie has only the barest idea of what normal life might be like. She’s never had a home, never gone to school, and has gotten most of her meals from laundromat vending machines. Her dreams are haunted by memories she’d like to forget completely. But when Callie’s mom is finally arrested for kidnapping her, and Callie’s real dad whisks her back to what would have been her life, in a small town in Florida, Callie must find a way to leave the past behind. She must learn to be part of a family. And she must believe that love–even with someone who seems an improbable choice–is more than just a possibility.

Trish Doller writes incredibly real teens, and this searing story of love, betrayal, and how not to lose your mind will resonate with readers who want their stories gritty and utterly true.

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I received a copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review!

Where the Stars Still Shine is a young adult contemporary novel about a young girl named Callie. When Callie’s parent’s divorced, her unstable mother kidnapped her and they have been living on the run for twelve years. Some really crappy things happen to Callie during these years: she is molested by one of her mother’s boyfriends, she isn’t allowed to go to school and she never lives in the same place long enough to make friends. Life is pretty much a mess until her mother has a run in with the law and she is forced to live in Florida with her dad and his family. It’s about her adapting to life with her “new” family, finding peace and acceptance within herself, finding love, and forgiving her mother.

Truthfully this book has been on my TBR for about a year and a half now and I’m glad that I finally got around to reading it this year. I thought it was a really good read. It deals with some tough subjects so it was really difficult for me to read at times because my heart just ached for Callie and all she had to go through in her life but it was really, really good. It was a very real and touching story and I really liked that. I thought the writing was wonderful and overall, I just really enjoyed reading this book. I had a slight problem with the ending…I wish there was a more concrete ending with Callie and Alex, I feel as though that part of the story was just left up in the air and I didn’t feel very satisfied that it was a conclusion but maybe the possibility of “anything” for the future was deliberate. If I’m looking at it from that perspective I understand it, plus I like that she finds peace within herself and her family and not in a guy. That was really great.

What drew me in at first was the beautiful cover and the beautiful title of the book. I highly recommend this book to readers of YA contemporary! Like I said it can be hard to read through because of the sensitive topics but it is so so good! I will be looking at reading other books by this author! Four stars!