Same Beach, Next Year by Dorothea Benton Frank #BlogTour #Review @williammorrowbooks @tlcbooktours

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(Author Photo by Debbie Zammit)

While vacationing on the Isle of Palms, Adam and Eliza Stanley strike up a friendship with Carl and Eve Landers—something Eliza didn’t expect to happen, given that Adam and Eve were once childhood sweethearts. Despite an awkward beginning marked by Adam acting like a besotted school boy with Eve, as well as Carl’s shameless flirting with Eliza, the unlikely friends spent the next two decades vacationing together with their families. But when two of them are found in a compromising situation, the bonds of couples’ long friendship—not to mention their marriages—are tested as never before.

I greatly enjoyed reading Same Beach, Next Year. Frank has long been one of my favorite Southern writers, and I am always equally entertained by the characters as well as the location(s) the story takes place in. This novel proved to be a double delight concerning the latter—much of the story takes place in the familiar Lowcountry setting, while  other portions are featured in Greece. (Corfu, to be exact… and it’s putting it mildly to say I was completely enchanted by it.)

The story is told from both Adam and Eliza’s viewpoints, and it has a kind of he said/she said vibe at certain points in the story. This is a good thing, in my view, particularly when it came to things that were an issue between them.

There is a fairly large cast of characters included in the book. Most of them have a minor role, however, so there’s no risk of forgetting who they are. (Although, there were certain characters that I wished had played a bigger role in the story if only to learn a bit more about them. They didn’t need to have a larger part in the story, I was simply curious to know more.)

There were a few instances where I read about something that happened, or was said, that felt unnecessary to the overall story—for me, at least. This is probably down to my personal preferences, rather than any actual issues with the story itself, though. In any case, when something felt off, it wasn’t to the detriment of the story, and it didn’t lessen my enjoyment of it.

Final Thoughts

This was a fun read that kept me engaged throughout, with characters I was fully invested in. The plot was interesting, with a central conflict that was believable. The resolution wasn’t quite what I expected, but it was effective and tied up all the remaining loose ends in a satisfying manner.

Recommended for fans of women’s fiction.

I received an advance reading copy of this book courtesy of William Morrow Paperbacks via TLC Book Tours.

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Author: Dorothea Benton Frank
Title: Same Beach, Next Year
Series: Lowcountry Tales #11
Genre: Women’s Fiction, Southern Fiction
Published: April 24, 2018 by William Morrow Paperbacks
Rating: 4 stars

Purchase Links

HarperCollins | Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Book

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank returns to her magical Lowcountry of South Carolina in this bewitching story of marriage, love, family, and friendship that is infused with her warm and engaging earthy humor and generous heart.
One enchanted summer, two couples begin a friendship that will last more than twenty years and transform their lives.

A chance meeting on the Isle of Palms, one of Charleston’s most stunning barrier islands, brings former sweethearts, Adam Stanley and Eve Landers together again. Their respective spouses, Eliza and Carl, fight sparks of jealousy flaring from their imagined rekindling of old flames. As Adam and Eve get caught up on their lives, their partners strike up a deep friendship—and flirt with an unexpected attraction—of their own.

Year after year, Adam, Eliza, Eve, and Carl eagerly await their reunion at Wild Dunes, a condominium complex at the island’s tip end, where they grow closer with each passing day, building a friendship that will withstand financial catastrophe, family tragedy, and devastating heartbreak. The devotion and love they share will help them weather the vagaries of time and enrich their lives as circumstances change, their children grow up and leave home, and their twilight years approach.

Bursting with the intoxicating richness of Dorothea Benton Frank’s beloved Lowcountry—the sultry sunshine, cool ocean breezes, icy cocktails, and starry velvet skies—Same Beach, Next Year is a dazzling celebration of the infrangible power of friendship, the enduring promise of summer, and the indelible bonds of love.

About Dorothea Benton Frank

New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank was born and raised on Sullivans Island, South Carolina. She resides in the New York area with her husband.

Author Links: Website|Facebook|Twitter|Instagram

TLC Book Tours The Sky's The Limit
Tour Schedule

Instagram Stops

Sunday, April 22nd: Instagram: @girlsinbooks
Monday, April 23rd: Instagram: @writersdream
Tuesday, April 24th: Instagram: @prose_and_palate
Wednesday, April 25th: Instagram: @booenetics
Thursday, April 26th: Instagram: @jackiereadsbooks
Friday, April 27th: Instagram: @the_need_to_read

Review Stops

Tuesday, April 24th: A Soccer Mom’s Book Blog
Wednesday, April 25th: The Book Date
Thursday, April 26th: The Geeky Bibliophile
Friday, April 27th: Books and Bindings
Monday, April 30th: Instagram: @prose_and_palate
Tuesday, May 1st: Instagram: @booenetics
Wednesday, May 2nd: Staircase Wit
Thursday, May 3rd: Time 2 Read
Monday, May 7th: Wining Wife
Tuesday, May 8: Jessicamap Reviews
Wednesday, May 9th: Bibliotica
Thursday, May 10th: A Bookish Affair
Monday, May 14th: bookchickdi
Tuesday, May 15th: Instagram: @Novelmombooks
Wednesday, May 16th: Broken Teepee
Thursday, May 17th: Always With a Book

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The Family Next Door by Sally Hepworth #Review @sallyhepworth @StMartinsPress

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Pleasant Court is a nice suburb where everyone knows everyone else, but it would be a stretch to say close friendships were formed. Essie, Fran, and Ange are all mothers of young children who take an interest in their new neighbor, Isabelle Heatherington, a woman who has neither husband nor children in a neighborhood full of families. It seemed a strange choice of residence to the trio of women, and they tried to learn more about Isabelle even as they concealed secrets of their own from everyone. One of the moms feels particularly drawn to Isabelle before the truth of her arrival is revealed, shattering someone’s entire world when their child is put in danger as a result of the revelation.

What I Liked:

The story is told through the perspectives of five women—Essie, Essie’s mother Barbara, Ange, Fran, and Isabelle—and this is something I’ve become a fan of over the last couple of years. With this format, you get a deeper sense of each of their personalities, and a better understanding about why they react the way they do much quicker than you would otherwise.

I really appreciated that motherhood was presented realistically, with all the sleep deprivation and frustrations that go along with it. I’ve read so many books where motherhood is presented as something that’s constantly rosy and wonderful, so it’s always nice to read something that mirrors reality, instead.

The mystery surrounding Isabelle was very well done. I had so many theories about her, but none were anywhere close to being correct. When all was revealed, it shocked the heck out of me, and the events that took place afterward had me on the edge of my seat, worried about what was going to happen next.

What I Didn’t Like:

I can’t recall anything that annoyed me.

Final Thoughts:

The Family Next Door is a compulsive page-turner with finely crafted characters and scenarios that will keep you reading ‘just one more chapter’ for hours. Hepworth is fast becoming a go-to author for me when I’m in the mood to read some high quality women’s fiction.

I’m highly recommending this book, and I hope that everyone who reads it will enjoy it as much as I did.

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of St. Martin’s Press via Netgalley.

 

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Author: Sally Hepworth

Title: The Family Next Door

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Published: March 13th, 2018 by St. Martin’s Press

Rating: 4 stars

About the Book

A gripping domestic page-turner full of shocking reveals, perfect for fans of Liane Moriarty, Amanda Prowse and Kerry Fisher.

The small suburb of Pleasant Court lives up to its name. It’s the kind of place where everyone knows their neighbours, and children play in the street.

Isabelle Heatherington doesn’t fit into this picture of family paradise. Husbandless and childless, she soon catches the attention of three Pleasant Court mothers.

But Ange, Fran and Essie have their own secrets to hide. Like the reason behind Ange’s compulsion to control every aspect of her life. Or why Fran won’t let her sweet, gentle husband near her new baby. Or why, three years ago, Essie took her daughter to the park – and returned home without her.

As their obsession with their new neighbour grows, the secrets of these three women begin to spread – and they’ll soon find out that when you look at something too closely, you see things you never wanted to see.

#ThePromiseBetweenUs by Barbara Claypole White #TLCBookTours @bclaypolewhite

The Promise Between Us cover

The Promise Between Us graphic

Sometimes the most selfless thing you can do for the people you love most… is to leave.

Katie Mack had a family once—her husband Cal and a beautiful baby daughter named Maisie whom she loved more than anything in this world. Katie was terrified she would somehow harm Maisie, and her mind plagued her with horrifying images of the many ways it could happen. When she finally admitted these frightening thoughts to her husband, he turned away from her. Distraught, Katie did the only thing she could to keep her beloved daughter safe… she left, and later gave up her parental rights to Maisie.

Over time, Katie learned how to cope with the obsessive-compulsive disorder that destroyed her family. Many years later, a chance meeting allowed Katie to spend time with Maisie. Her joy turned to heartache when she recognized Maisie displaying signs of obsessive-compulsive behaviors. She knows she’s the best person to help Maisie… if her ex-husband will allow her to do so.

I was completely blown away by The Promise Between Us. Not only is it an emotional story with characters you can’t help but become deeply invested in, it also imparts knowledge about an illness that is far more complex than I ever realized it could be, with several different types of the disorder, most of which I knew nothing about. One of Katie’s methods for dealing with her intrusive thoughts is to remind herself that thoughts are only thoughts, and can’t hurt her. She faced her fears head-on when possible—for example, she had a fear of fire when Maisie was a baby, so she learned how to weld, and she has a calming mantra she repeated to herself throughout the book: “I control fire. I am strong.” Katie is definitely a character with tremendous strength of will, and I found her to be quite admirable.

Simply put, this is a beautiful story. Told through several points of view—Katie, Maisie, Cal (Maisie’s father), Lilah (Maisie’s stepmother), and Jake (Cal’s best friend and Maisie’s honorary Uncle)—you get a complete picture of the most important people in Maisie’s life and what motivates their actions. Cal, Jake, and Lilah’s portions add layers of depth to an already complex story and making it even more poignant.

This is the first time I’ve read Barbara Claypole White, but it certainly won’t be the last.

Highly recommend this book… this is one you definitely will want to read!

I received an advance review copy of this book courtesy of Lake Union Publishing via TLC Book Tours and Netgalley.

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Author: Barbara Claypole White

Title: The Promise Between Us

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Published: January 16th, 2018 by Lake Union Publishing

Rating: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Purchase Links

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

About the Book

“This is an eye-opening and realistic exploration of mental illness—a topic that greatly deserves to be front and center.” —Jodi Picoult, New York Times bestselling author of Small Great Things

Metal artist Katie Mack is living a lie. Nine years ago she ran away from her family in Raleigh, North Carolina, consumed by the irrational fear that she would harm Maisie, her newborn daughter. Over time she’s come to grips with the mental illness that nearly destroyed her, and now funnels her pain into her art. Despite longing for Maisie, Katie honors an agreement with the husband she left behind—to change her name and never return.

But when she and Maisie accidentally reunite, Katie can’t ignore the familiarity of her child’s compulsive behavior. Worse, Maisie worries obsessively about bad things happening to her pregnant stepmom. Katie has the power to help, but can she reconnect with the family she abandoned?

To protect Maisie, Katie must face the fears that drove her from home, accept the possibility of love, and risk exposing her heart-wrenching secret.

About the Author

Barbara Claypole White
Barbara Claypole White

Bestselling author Barbara Claypole White creates hopeful family drama with a healthy dose of mental illness. Originally from England, she writes and gardens in the forests of North Carolina where she lives with her beloved OCD family. Her novels include The Unfinished Garden, The In-Between Hour, The Perfect Son, and Echoes of Family. The Promise Between Us, a story of redemption, sacrifice, and OCD, has a publication date of January 16th, 2018. She is also an OCD Advocate for the A2A Alliance, a nonprofit group that promotes advocacy over adversity. To connect with Barbara, please visit www.barbaraclaypolewhite.com, or follow her on Facebook. She’s always on Facebook.

TLC Book Tours The Sky's The LimitTour Schedule

Tuesday, January 16th: Doing Dewey

Thursday, January 18th: Books and Bindings

Friday, January 19th: Readaholic Zone

Monday, January 22nd: Kritters Ramblings

Thursday, January 25th: Leah DeCesare

Friday, January 26th: What Is That Book About

Monday, January 29th: Just One More Chapter

Tuesday, January 30th: Book by Book

Wednesday, February 7th: A Chick Who Reads

Thursday, February 8th: Novel Gossip

Monday, February 12th: SJ2B House Of Books

Monday, February 19th: Instagram: @writersdream

Thursday, February 22nd: The Geeky Bibliophile

Friday, February 23rd: Cerebral Girl in a Redneck World

Wednesday, February 28th: Comfy Reading

TBD: Wining Wife

TBD: Thoughts On This ‘n That