This is a very interesting and sometimes sad novel of love lost, of unfulfilling lives and of the past meeting the present. An incident of life altering proportions couples with a mother who chooses to rewrite history changes the course of life for John Tate and Ava Marchette. Thirty years later, Ava returns to John’s home seeking reassurance that after the incident he led a live filled, abundant life. She learns of his mother’s deception and through an unraveling of hidden memories, tries to jump start John’s lost memories of her and of their love.
Upon learning about her mother’s lost love, Ava’s daughter, Nina, travels to the B & B run by John’s family to figure out her mother’s and John’s past. In the process, she meets John’s son, Blair, and a possible new and true life for her begins. If only the clouds from the past and her omission of her relationship to Ava does not complicate things for no good.
Bitter Truth is the second in the Bitter Root Mysteries. In this novel, Zak Waller is on the case again. Even though he is not a deputy and is the dispatcher, Zak has intuitive detective skills and deep insight into finding the truth to crimes, often brushed off by the lazy Sheriff. Bitter Truth has two mysteries running parallel and crossing each other at several turns. At the core is the death of Lacy Stillman, matriarch to the Stillman family and very much involved at ninety in the family ranch. Her death comes at a time when her sons have asked her to sell off some property and she has given a definite no to the prospect. Threaded through this story is the health problems of Justin Pittman and his need for a bone marrow donor for his Hodgkin’s Lymphoma and the person of Cora Christensen, former teacher/ruler of the Dewbury Academy and a force to be reckoned with.
The methodical steps Zak takes to solve the mysteries and come to some conclusions about his own life draws you in and keeps you until the end.
Little Woodford is a tad slow going at first because there is a long list of characters that live in the small town who will have influence on the story that unfolds. Each character plays a part in the grander story about thievery, gossip, trials and tribulations. Once the meat of the story gets going, it is a smoother path as the elements of the lives of the characters dovetail and combine to life in a small town as it happens.
This is a terrific book in my humble opinion. I was up late reading it and at it first thing in the morning. I could not get enough of Mace and Eliot and of their past and present relationships. Even though eleven years separated their lives, their deep love for each other never ever lessens or departs. Their binding together began at early teens and is woven together through the love of books and “favorite word.” A series of horrible, heart-wrenching events unfold over a few hours and Mace leaves Eliot without a word-no contact, no replies to texts or emails or voice mail. It is not until a very random encounter that they begin to realize the depth of their love and find a way to face the past in order to progress into the future together.
Ironically funny is my best way to describe Café at Seashell Cove. There are misdirected parents who have caused the same for their daughter, complicating her being honest and baring one’s soul. This misdirection causes her parents to maintain a completely false, albeit lovingly, and misguided fronts. Cassie has returned home to Seashell Cove fired from her event coordinator job in London. Because of wanting to appear successful to her parents, she has embellished her work to appear more glamorous than reality. Her parents on their part have made a habit of pronouncing her successes to everyone and anyone that comes into their café. Knowing this and unable to disappoint them, Cassie carries on a ruse of trying to establish her own event coordinator business in Seashell Cove. Event coordination is not her forte-not even close. Her strength has always been in art which she forewent for, as her parents felt, a more lucrative career.
Finding and fighting here true path brings antics, angst and, ultimately, peace.
Beyond the Garden is a follow up novel to Magnolia Nights and takes place in Charleston, SC. The novel is filled with circumstances and emotional passages that deeply affect the life of the main character, Ellie, and are caused by her erratic and unstable twin, Lia. At stake are Lia’s twin daughters that she voluntarily left with Ellie and now want to use as pawns to get money from Ellie. Throw in murder and things become even more complicated. Ellie is devastated by the turn of events and more than fearful of what Lia will do. External and internal struggles play out until the very end.
There are so many elements to this novel that I enjoyed. First, there are the characters-consistent, quirky at times, complicated at others. Second, there is the plot of a young woman (Rosie) thrown for a complete loop by her long time boyfriend who dumps her and she has to reinvent her life completely. Lastly, there are the relationships that support and encourage Rosie all along her journey over the course of the summer.
These elements all come together to form an enjoyable read for everyone.
This is an absolutely fabulous book! The characters come completely alive on the pages-full of so much believable emotions. The writing is beyond superb; one can actually feel the descriptions of the music, of the settings, of the creation of a relationship. I am very much anticipating reading other offerings by Ms. Lauren.
Holland Bakker lives in Manhattan supported by her doting uncles. Her Uncle Robert has a very successful play on Broadway and she works as one of the lowly stage assistants. Holland stumbled upon a street musician, a guitarist, who plays movingly at a subway. Unable to get away from his lilting and beautiful music, she detours by him everyday just to hear him play. She finally gathers the nerve to speak to him after six months. He is Calvin, form Ireland and more handsome that she had imagined.
When her uncle’s play desperately needs a new musical talent to accompany the new lead, Holland mentions Calvin and takes Robert to hear him. Robert offers Calvin the job but Calvin has a huge problem: expired visa. From this point, the story weaves a tale of a relationship based on need woven with a growing, hidden love complicating things at every turn.
There is honestly so much to this book that I really hope to do it justice. It really, for me, boils down to a book on physical and mental survival. On the one hand, there is survival in a beautifully described, desolate terrain and survival of the body against not only the
This is an interesting read constructed with rotating perspectives coupled with personal revelations relating the story of a wife and her twins that disappear one day. Each character has her own take on the husband and his possible guilt or innocence. None truly realize the struggles of the wife or the inner turmoil of the family.
There are interesting characters in the book, each with their own stories which definitely add to the plot.