Thursday, April 30, 2020

Head Over Heels by Hannah Orenstein

Title:  Head Over Heels
Author: Hannah Orenstein
Publisher: Atria Books
Release Date: June 23, 2020

The past seven years have been hard on Avery Abrams: After training her entire life to make the Olympic gymnastics team, a disastrous performance ended her athletic career for good. Her best friend and teammate, Jasmine, went on to become an Olympic champion, then committed the ultimate betrayal by marrying their emotionally abusive coach, Dimitri.

Now, reeling from a breakup with her football star boyfriend, Avery returns to her Massachusetts hometown, where new coach Ryan asks her to help him train a promising young gymnast with Olympic aspirations. Despite her misgivings and worries about the memories it will evoke, Avery agrees. Back in the gym, she’s surprised to find sparks flying with Ryan. But when a shocking scandal in the gymnastics world breaks, it has shattering effects not only for the sport but also for Avery and her old friend Jasmine.

I was excited to read about this gymnastics' romance. I've always liked watching gymnastics during the Olympics. 

I remember when I was a kid, listening to the name Nadia Comăneci so many times. She was a true treasure. I remember watching her routines and to me, they felt flawless. I did gymnastics as a kid but don't remember much now about it. If I tried it now, I probably break something. 

The Olympics has always been something I enjoy and look forward to. I also enjoy movies about it, Hockey anyone? And I love The Cutting Edge (toe pick, haha). Anyway, I was ready to start Head Over Heels. 

Avery Abrams is ready for a new beginning. Her career as an aspiring gymnast in the Olympic team came crashing after she suffered an accident during the Trials. For Avery, this event is devastating. As a kid, teenager, and adult, she never had a desire to do anything else but this sport. So when this avenue closes, she feels uncertain, demoralized, and depressed. To makes matters worse, she never finished college and never trained to do anything else in life. 

When her current boyfriend's career as a football player catapults him to stardom, she is left behind. With her heartbroken and nowhere else to turn to, she travels back home, to live with her parents and dwell on her sorrow.

Then, Ryan, an ex-Olympic athlete approaches her. He's currently training Hallie, a teenager with an amazing future in the field if only with the right guidance. Ryan knows he needs help coaching Hallie on the floor routine and he knows Avery is the person to do it.

I enjoyed most of the story. It was nice to learn more about the terms in gymnastics and how incredibly demanding this sport is. What didn't click for me was the actual romance. I never felt like Ryan was invested. The exchanges were cold and short. To me, Avery's relationship with Hallie, Jasmine and Sara was better developed than hers with Ryan. 

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Atria Books via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Dear Emmie Blue by Lia Louis

Title: Dear Emmie Blue 
Author: Lia Louis 
Publisher: Atria/Emily Bestler Books
Release Date: July 14, 2020

In this charming and poignant novel, teenager Emmie Blue releases a balloon with her email address and a big secret into the sky, only to fall head-over-heels for the boy who finds it; now, fourteen years later, the one thing Emmie has been counting on is gone for good, and everything she planned is up in the air.

At sixteen, Emmie Blue stood in the fields of her school and released a red balloon into the sky. Attached was her name, her email address…and a secret she desperately wanted to be free of. Weeks later, on a beach in France, Lucas Moreau discovered the balloon and immediately emailed the attached addressed, sparking an intense friendship between the two teens.

Now, fourteen years later, Emmie is hiding the fact that she’s desperately in love with Lucas. She has pinned all her hopes on him and waits patiently for him to finally admit that she’s the one for him. So dedicated to her love for Lucas, Emmie has all but neglected her life outside of this relationship—she’s given up the search for her absentee father, no longer tries to build bridges with her distant mother, and lives as a lodger to an old lady she barely knows after being laid off from her job. And when Lucas tells Emmie he has a big question to ask her, she’s convinced this is the moment he’ll reveal his feelings for her. But nothing in life ever quite goes as planned, does it?

Emmie Blue is about to learn everything she thinks she knows about life (and love) is just that: what she thinks she knows. Is there such thing as meant to be? Or is it true when they say that life is what happens when you are busy making other plans? A story filled with heart and humor, Dear Emmie Blue is perfect for fans of Eleanor Oliphant Is Completely Fine and Evvie Drake Starts Over

Amazon | Barnes & Noble

Guys, This is my favorite book so far this year!

Oh, the feels! So many feels. It was everything I wanted it to be. 

There were tears, sad moments, happy moments, don't-leave types of moments, and ecstatic moments. 

As a lover of romance, Dear Emmie Blue melted my heart. My kindle is full of highlights. So many favorite one-liners <3.

So what's the book about?

I almost don't want to tell you. I want you to experience it yourself.

But in case you're wondering......

Emmie Blue is turning thirty. Her life is not where she envisioned it. Far from it. She is living in Louise's house. An older lady, who rents a room and is as quiet as Emmie. She's working at a hotel instead of working at a high school. She never met her father and her mother is as warm as a cactus (please forgive me cactuses for the comparison). Emmie's mother has been in and out of Emmie's life as far as she can remember.

Emmie's best friend is Lucas. The boy who found her balloon all those years back. The boy who knows her secret. The boy who is now a man and whom Emmie has fallen in love with without telling him. The man who shares her own birthday. The man she's waiting for him to notice he loves her back.

When Lucas asks Emmie to meet him in France (he lives there, she lives in the UK) for a special dinner, Emmie thinks this is it. He's finally going to pop the question. Yet, this is not what happens. Instead, her heart is broken. With the news he gives her, she knows things will change between them. 

Dear Emmie Blue was a charming, endearing story with lovable characters. Ballon Boy stole my heart. At the 53% mark, I hit my forehead when I finally realized what my heart was telling me to be true.

The secondary characters were so well done. Rosie was the best girlfriend someone could have. Her sincerity, no-nonsense personality and her humor made her stellar. Fox's company complimented the trio well. Louise also found a place in my heart. She was a quiet presence until she wasn't anymore. 

Dear Emmie Blue is a road to self-discovery for our main character, Emmie... A time to grow and do some needed soul-searching. To stand up and become stronger. To learn that despite adversity and a lousy past, you can be better. You can be happy ❤️❤️❤️

Thank you, thank you, Atria for sending me this book!

Cliffhanger: No

5/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Atria via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Saturday, April 25, 2020

The Girl from Widow Hills by Megan Miranda

Title: The Girl from Widow Hills
Author: Megan Miranda
Publisher: Simon & Schuster
Release Date: June 23, 2020

A suspense novel about a young woman plagued by night terrors after a childhood trauma who wakes one evening to find a corpse at her feet.

Everyone knows the story of “the girl from Widow Hills.”

Arden Maynor was just a child when she was swept away while sleepwalking during a terrifying rainstorm and went missing for days. Strangers and friends, neighbors and rescue workers, set up search parties and held vigils, praying for her safe return. Against all odds, she was found, alive, clinging to a storm drain. The girl from Widow Hills was a living miracle. Arden’s mother wrote a book. Fame followed. Fans and fan letters, creeps, and stalkers. And every year, the anniversary. It all became too much. As soon as she was old enough, Arden changed her name and disappeared from the public eye.

Now a young woman living hundreds of miles away, Arden goes by Olivia. She’s managed to stay off the radar for the last few years. But with the twentieth anniversary of her rescue approaching, the media will inevitably renew its interest in Arden. Where is she now? Soon Olivia feels like she’s being watched and begins sleepwalking again, like she did long ago, even waking outside her home. Until late one night she jolts awake in her yard. At her feet is the corpse of a man she knows—from her previous life, as Arden Maynor.

And now, the girl from Widow Hills is about to become the center of the story, once again.

Olivia (Arden Maynor) suffered a traumatic event when she was only six years of age. She was trapped during a rainstorm for three days before she was found and rescued.

Since those days, everyone has wanted a piece of Liv's story through her childhood, teenage years and young adulthood. To start over, after college, she changed her name. She moved and currently she works in the administration office of a hospital. 

Her childhood marked her. She doesn't like closed-in spaces. She remains leery of giving any details from her past to anyone, including her friend Bennett and lately, her new friend Elyse. Liv broke up her relationship with Jonah, her ex, who was a professor at the school but she never told him about her past. Every year during the anniversary of her rescue, she feels her body tensing and waiting for something to happen. For someone from her past to find her. For her life to become one more nightmare.

Liv's disappearance as a child was thought to be due to her sleepwalking. Then, it starts happening again. One night, Liv wakes up outside her new house without recollection of how she got there. She's terrified her sleepwalking is back. She's so scared when her neighbor, an older man, finds her. Rick used to be the owner of the house she's currently occupying. The next night she sleepwalks is not her neighbor who wakes her up, but it's her tripping over a dead body outside her property line.

Who is the man dead outside her property? Who killed him? Did she do it? Did her neighbor do it? Or is someone else out there lurking and trying to harm her?

The Girl from Widow Hills is the third book I read by Megan Miranda. I have liked her other two and I find myself enjoying this one too. The narrative starts slow but the pace changes by the last third of the book. I was invested in learning about both mysteries. What really happened to the six-year-old Arden and who was trying to hurt her now. I do wish the ending was more detailed and I felt that an epilogue was missing. Anyway, I still enjoyed the hours of distraction Megan Miranda gave me.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Simon and Schuster via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

For Reasons Unknown by Michael Wood

Title: For Reasons Unknown 
Series: DCI Matilda Darke #1
Author: Michael Wood 
Publisher: HarperCollins, Killer Reads
Release Date: October 1, 2015

Two murders. Twenty years. Now the killer is back for more…

DCI Matilda Darke has returned to work after a nine month absence. A shadow of her former self, she is tasked with re-opening a cold case: the terrifyingly brutal murders of Miranda and Stefan Harkness. The only witness was their eleven-year-old son, Jonathan, who was too deeply traumatized to speak a word.

Then a dead body is discovered, and the investigation leads back to Matilda's case. Suddenly the past and present converge, and it seems a killer may have come back for more…

A darkly compelling debut crime novel. The start of a brilliant series, perfect for fans of Stuart MacBride, Val McDermid, and James Oswald.

A really good beginning to the series!

A cop down on her luck, a cold case, and a new murder. This particular mix was enough to keep my attention throughout the book.

Matilda Darke is coming back to work after a long absence and having had the most difficult time in her life. She has lost her husband and a prominent case she was working on went south. This has left her suffering from panic attacks and she has lost her self-confidence. Coming back to work after nine months only makes her anxiety less manageable. She questions herself. She's not sure she can still do her job. When her superior assigns her a twenty-year-old cold case, the Harkness murders, as her next investigation, her uncertainty about keeping her position as DCI doubles.

The Harkness case is well-known to the community. Miranda and Stefan Harkness were murdered around Christmastime. The only witness to the crime, a then eleven-year-old, Jonathan. Jonathan was so affected by what happened that night, that he stopped speaking. He was sent to live with his aunt.

In the present, Jonathan is now an adult. He has learned his childhood home is being demolished. He knows reporters will come back knocking and by Matilda investigating the case, he knows his anonymity is about to end. 

Then a new murder occurs and the connection to the Harkness case is undeniable. The past and the present collide and it's up to Matilda to unearth the truth.

I was pleased by the start of the series. It was was a good storyline with interesting characters.
Matilda was such a broken character at the beginning. Her imperfections only make me like her more and I was rooting for her to succeed. 

The rest of the team complemented her well. The doc was a true friend to Matilda. She was there for her. The drama inside the police station helped with the narrative instead of becoming a distraction.

I'm glad that there are more books already out. I can see my self reading the next one soon.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Sunday, April 19, 2020

The Birthday by Carol Wyer

Title: The Birthday
Series: Detective Natalie Ward #1
Author: Carol Wyer 
Publisher: Bookouture
Release Date: September 27th 2018

One hot summer's afternoon, five-year-old Ava Sawyer went to a party. She never came home ...

When five-year-old Ava Sawyer goes missing from a birthday party at a local garden centre, the police are bewildered by the lack of leads. That is until two years later, when Ava's body is found and another little girl, Audrey Briggs, goes missing. Audrey also attended that party ...

Leading the investigation is Detective Natalie Ward. A mother of two teenagers, this case chills her to the bone, and is a disturbing reminder of the last job she worked on. One that ended very badly.

Natalie soon discovers that Ava's mother has some worrying gaps in her alibi and as she digs deeper, she's sure Ava's father is not telling the full story. And what did the owner of the garden centre Elsa see that day? Something that she's not telling Natalie ...

Just as Natalie is facing up to the grim possibility that Ava and Audrey were killed by someone close to home, another little girl from the party doesn't come home from her ballet lesson. Can Natalie find a way to stop this killer before more innocent lives are taken?

A girl, Ava Sawyer, has been taken during a birthday party at Uptown Craft Centre and Farm. The last time someone saw her, she was going to the restroom. After an exhausting search and without new leads, her disappearance becomes a cold case. Two years later, her body is found buried in the same place where she vanished.

Natalie Ward, a detective with the Samford Police Force is the leading detective assigned to Ava's case. Natalie is still dealing with the disappearance of another girl. One that was found too late. She still blames herself for not being able to get to her on time. Seeing another young girl's body is bringing all those memories back. She wants to find the person who took Ava. Natalie with the help of her team, Lucy, Ian, Murray and detective Mike would do anything in their power to seek justice for Ava.

I can say I'm invested in this team. Natalie is an interesting character. She's dealing with a demanding job and also personal issues. Her marriage is on the rocks. Her husband, David has lost his job. Her kids are teenagers and her son is having issues adjusting in school. She is also keeping a secret from her husband.

I also liked Mike Sullivan who's in charge of the forensic unit. He seems to understand Natalie and support her. I also liked the rest of the characters. Lucy's girlfriend wants to get pregnant. PC Ian's girlfriend is having a baby. Murray is a good friend to Lucy but is not always pleasant to Ian.

Cliffhanger: No

3/5 Fangs

Summer on Honeysuckle Ridge by Debbie Mason

Title: Summer on Honeysuckle Ridge
Series: Highland Falls #1
Author: Debbie Mason
Publisher:  Forever 
Release Date:  May 26, 2020

Sparks fly between an L.A. career woman and a former Army Ranger in this delightful enemies-to-lovers romance from the USA Today bestselling queen of small-town love stories.
Welcome to Highland Falls, a small town where love is always in the air.

In just a few months Abby Everhart has gone from being a top LA media influencer to an unemployed divorcée living out of her car. So inheriting her great-aunt's homestead comes at the perfect time. Abby heads to Highland Falls, North Carolina, to spruce up Honeysuckle Farm before putting it on the market for some much-needed cash. But instead of finding a charming getaway, she discovers a serious fixer-upper, complete with a leaky roof, overgrown yard, and a reclusive -- albeit sexy -- man living on the property.

Ex-Delta Force soldier Hunter MacKenzie has faced war and loss, but nothing has quite prepared him for an outgoing redhead who's determined to turn his life upside down. Hunter doesn't want to get involved with anyone, especially a city girl who plans to sell the only place he's ever felt at home. But the sparks between them are undeniable. Spending time with Abby is easy. Convincing her to stay for good is another matter entirely.

I loved this one. It was sweet and heartwarming!

Down on her luck, Abby Everhart is moving to a small town in North Carolina to start over. In her great aunt's will, Abby has inherited the Honeysuckle Farm. Beggars can't be choosers and after living in her car in L.A. for the last six months, she's ready for a change. In tow with her dog, Bella and her luggage, she takes an uber ride to her aunt's property. When she arrives, she realizes this is more than she bargained for. Still, her idea is to find help remodeling the house and then to sell it. Afterward, she will return to L.A. with her head held high and show her ex-husband, Chandler and his new girlfriend, Juliette, that their actions didn't break her. There is only one problem, part of her aunt's property is not hers. 

Hunter MacKenzie enjoys the peace the farm gives him. His only company is his dog, Wolf. Hunter is a former soldier and when he came back two years ago after losing his best friend, he couldn't be the same person he was before he enlisted. The town believes him to be a recluse and his family is worried about the distance he has placed between them. Liz, Abby's great aunt, had been his only friend in the last couple of years. Before passing, she had always said she was leaving the property to him. He was shocked to learn that it was not so, Abby has inherited the house and part of the land. 

When Hunter and Abby meet with the help of Bella and Wolf, his solitude is threatened. His priorities start shifting. Parts of his old self starts making an appearance. He grudgingly has to admit that having Abby around is not awful and he actually enjoys spending time with her. The question is, Is she going to stay?

A really adorable love story. I love Abby. She was a quirky heroine who had had it rough most of her life. She was a trooper and tried her best. Learning about her past, made me like her even more. Hunter was the perfect opposite of Abby, yet little by little, he opened up and started living again. Of course, I can forget Bella and Wolf. Their interactions made me laugh at loud.

Highland Falls is my favorite new place. I can't wait for the next romance in this series. Please hurry up, Mrs. Mason.

A complimentary copy was provided by Forever via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Sunday, April 12, 2020

Beach Read by Emily Henry

Title: Beach Read
Author: Emily Henry
Publisher: Berkley
Release Date: May 19, 2020

A romance writer who no longer believes in love and a literary writer stuck in a rut engage in a summer-long challenge that may just upend everything they believe about happily ever afters.

Augustus Everett is an acclaimed author of literary fiction. January Andrews writes bestselling romance. When she pens a happily ever after, he kills off his entire cast.

They're polar opposites.

In fact, the only thing they have in common is that for the next three months, they're living in neighboring beach houses, broke, and bogged down with writer's block.

Until, one hazy evening, one thing leads to another and they strike a deal designed to force them out of their creative ruts: Augustus will spend the summer writing something happy, and January will pen the next Great American Novel. She'll take him on field trips worthy of any rom-com montage, and he'll take her to interview surviving members of a backwoods death cult (obviously). Everyone will finish a book and no one will fall in love. Really.

"Oh, damn. I was a bunny."

Beach Read is a must-read!

What do a disillusion romance novel and a literary fiction author have in common? Not much at first glance but as the story progresses, it's clear why they are meant for each other.

January Andrews is licking her wounds. At twenty-eight, she had everything she wanted. She believed in romance. She believed in love. Her parent's marriage was an example to her. She had a wonderful boyfriend of many years and she was accomplishing everything she wanted in her professional life too. As a romance writer, she had successfully published several novels.

Then twenty-nine hit her in the worst possible way. She losses everything she has cared for including her writing. She is on a deadline but unable to write a single word. Without anywhere else to go, she decides to go to the lakehouse to start over.

On the first night, she is there, her new neighbor has a party with loud music playing and January wants to be able to sleep. When the music persists, she makes the decision to confront the neighbor. She makes an impression despite meeting in the dark but the next morning, they meet again. This time in full daylight and January realizes that she knows who he is. She has known him since college!! They had a rivalry but also one memory of a time where there could have been something more.

"Because you're the bright light."

August "Gus" Everett didn't have a happy childhood or adolescence. The only thing that gave him any type of satisfaction was his writing. His books are well-known and successful. He, however, is reserved and distant. While January was a happy person who wrote about happy endings, he was all about the dark truth about the ugly world out there. Yet, this new January who's living next to him, it's not the same woman he remembers. When January offers a change in their genres, he accepts the challenge. The rest is history.

I loved this one so much. The banter with intelligent dialogue and the slow-building romance was very creative. Their chemistry was through the roof and the attraction to each other smoking!

"When I watch you sleep," ...
I feel overwhelmed that you exist."

Kudos to Emily Henry for writing Beach Read. Definitely a much deeper story than what the title offers.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

A complimentary copy was provided by Berkley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Cruel and Beautiful
by A.M. Hargrove & Terri E. Laine

Title: Cruel and Beautiful 
Series: Cruel & Beautiful #1 
Author: A.M. Hargrove & Terri E. Laine 

A USA Today Bestseller, this book is based on a true story.

This is a New Adult Contemporary Romance standalone, full-length novel that includes mature content, not suitable for younger readers. (Rated R)

Cate Forbes , a dedicated college student with a carefully plotted future, doesn’t know the first thing about love. When she accepts a blind date with a rumored tasty piece of eye candy, she thinks she can get by with a night of fun. Cate’s plans quickly unravel when she gets one look at the sexy…

Drew McKnight.

The relentless hockey-playing medical resident knows what he wants— a career in Oncology and Cate. Although he’s heard the gorgeous brunette is a little relationship skittish, a single night out isn’t what he has in mind. Determined to have her — in every way possible— he shows her just what a future with him would hold.

Only life has other plans. The unthinkable happens and everything begins to shatter. Both in too deep, they will have to fight the cruel and hang onto the beautiful.

“Everything I have is yours. My love, my heart, my soul, and my life, for however short or long it may be.”

Cruel and Beautiful's prologue makes it clear that this particular story is not your usual romance.

When Drew McKnight meets Cate Forbes, he's pursuing a residency in oncology while Cate is still in college trying to make ends meet. Cate doesn't date. She knows she needs to keep good scores to graduate and find a decent job. She doesn't need a distraction. Drew makes it impossible for Cate to continue her life as before. Drew knows that she is the one he wants to spend his life with. He begins a courtship and then a friendship which is swoon-worthy. I absolutely loved Drew. He was charming and romantic. He was also sweet and funny. I heart him so much.

I really don't want to tell you anything else. I want you to be surprised. Just remember this is not a typical story. There is a twist in the last part of the book which took me by surprise but made complete sense looking back. 

I believe when you start this book, it's better if you go in blind. Don't read the blurb, just start reading. Like I mentioned earlier, after the prologue, you know more about what you're getting yourself into. 

The narrative alternates between the present and the past. This usually is not my favorite but it works for this novel.

The story is heartbreaking. There's sadness but there also humor intertwined with hope, healing, and love. 

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Saturday, April 11, 2020

Summer of '79: A Summer of '69 Story
by Elin Hilderbrand

Title: Summer of '79: A Summer of '69 Story
Author: Elin Hilderbrand

Catch up with Blair, Jessie, and Kirby ten years after the summer everything changed. This "Summer of '69 story" by Elin Hilderbrand will be published in print in spring 2021 as part of a Dorothea Benton Frank tribute anthology. Get it now in digital form, for a limited time!

This is a short story featuring the Foley-Levans.

The family is united in saying their goodbyes to Exalta who has passed away after battling pneumonia and a stroke.

Blair is now divorced from Angus. Her twins are ten now.
Kirby is writing for Cosmo and smoking pot and snorting cocaine.
Tiger is a war hero and a successful businessman. He’s happily married to Magee but dealing with infertility issues.
Lastly, Jessie is in her second year of law school but alone after she found out her boyfriend, Theo cheated.

For all of them and Kate and David going back to Nantucket, it’s in a way a new beginning.

Enjoyable and delightful is to have one more glance at this family and their memorable characters. Summer of ‘79 left this reader with a smile on her face and a true desire to have another book with them in it.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs

Sunday, April 5, 2020

Summer of '69 by Elin Hilderbrand

Title: Summer of '69
Author: Elin Hilderbrand 
Publisher: Little, Brown and Company
Release Date: June 18, 2019

Follow New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand back in time and join a Nantucket family as they experience the drama, intrigue, and upheaval of a 1960s summer.

Welcome to the most tumultuous summer of the twentieth century! It's 1969, and for the Levin family, the times they are a-changing. Every year the children have looked forward to spending the summer at their grandmother's historic home in downtown Nantucket: but this year Blair, the oldest sister, is marooned in Boston, pregnant with twins and unable to travel. Middle sister Kirby, a nursing student, is caught up in the thrilling vortex of civil rights protests, a passion which takes her to Martha's Vineyard with her best friend, Mary Jo Kopechne. Only son Tiger is an infantry soldier, recently deployed to Vietnam. Thirteen-year-old Jessie suddenly feels like an only child, marooned in the house with her out-of-touch grandmother who is hiding some secrets of her own. As the summer heats up, Teddy Kennedy sinks a car in Chappaquiddick, a man flies to the moon, and Jessie experiences some sinking and flying herself, as she grows into her own body and mind.

In her first "historical novel," rich with the details of an era that shaped both a country and an island thirty miles out to sea, Elin Hilderbrand once again proves her title as queen of the summer novel.

Summer of '69 was a good way to forget what is going on around the world.

The story centers in one family: The Levins/Nichols (Although, Kate was a Foley at some point. She was married to Wilder Foley).

Kate Levin is the mother. Kate is devastated that her only son, Tiger has been drafted to Vietnam. She's terrified he is going to die during this terrible war. She believes this is life paying her back for a secret she has been carrying for a long time. Kate knows she's drinking too much while her marriage and her relationship with her daughters are deteriorating.

The oldest daughter, Blair is married and pregnant. She is unhappy with her husband, Angus who's a physicist who doesn't want her to pursue her career. Instead, he wants her to stay at home barefoot and pregnant which is terribly lonely since he doesn't get home until very late every day. Furthermore, her husband also has some spells were he doesn't want to go out of the house at all and wants to seclude himself instead.

Kirby is the middle sister. She is all about fighting for civil rights, love not war, getting high and living free. Although, recently after she got in trouble with a man, she wants to heal and spend the summer at Martha's Vineyard. She's offered a job working the graveyard shift which she takes. She wants to prove she can be self-sufficient. In regards to her heart, She's not ready to date again until she meets Darren.

Lastly, there is Jessie, the half-sister. She just turned thirteen and the last thing she wants to do is to stay with her mother Kate and her grandmother, Exalta in Nantucket for the summer. It's implicit that she would need to start taking tennis lessons even though it is not a sport she wants to learn. It doesn't help that her first class in nothing but a nightmare.


Going back to Nantucket through Elin Hilderbrand's vision is always fun.  But this time, it was not only Nantucket that was relevant but instead she decided to transport us to 1969. A year which was important for America and the world for so many reasons. Some awe-inspiring moments but also some terrible tragedies occurred during this time.

Summer of '69 had relatable characters. I liked them all except maybe I never really warm up to the Exalta.

I can't wait for Mrs. Hilderbrand's next Nantucket beach read.

Cliffhanger: No

4/5 Fangs