Would Like to Meet… by Polly James

27265415  I received a free ebook copy of Would Like to Meet….by Polly James from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.

The cover first drew me to Would Like to Meet..., but what is inside hooked me on this “new to me” author, Polly James.  Hannah and Dan have been married a long time, long enough to have an adult son and long enough to not really remember why they were together in the first place.  It is one those moments that seem small, a flippant comment over a TV show, and then by the time it is over, so is a marriage.

The book follows Hannah as she tries to figure out what went wrong, who she is now, who Dan is now, what she is supposed to do next, how to navigate the treacherous currents of online dating, how to make friends when you’re a grown up and how to row a boat.  The book has both laugh out loud and tissue box moments.  The emotional tone of the story rings true even through some of the more outrageous adventures that Hannah embarks on.

I really enjoyed reading this and will keep an eye out for more books by Polly James.

Summer of Love by Katie Fforde

10022673  I received a free ebook of this title, Summer of Love, by Katie Fforde from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.

This is another great summer read from Katie Fforde including a charming cottage, quaint village, summer romance, gardens, and picnics.  Now throw in a long lost dad and a young mum trying to do what is best for child, a grandma eager to love her grandchild, and a romantic interloper (or two) and you have the makings of a lovely summer romantic story.  Sian moves to lovely, but damp, little cottage trying to make a go of single parenthood with her son Rory.  Richard wants to step in and be the father figure he thinks Rory needs.  Fiona is welcoming a long gone son back to her nest, while also trying to dip her toe in the dating pool.  Angus is coming home to some surprises and isn’t quite sure what to do about them.

Sian’s love story is the central plot here, but I really enjoyed the humor and affection in Fiona’s search for, if not love, then companionship.  Engaging and fun read, giving the reader just what they expect and want in a summer romance story.

Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly

26243853  I received an ebook copy of this title, Between Sisters by Cathy Kelly from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.

I requested this book from NetGalley because I have read other Cathy Kelly books and found them well written, even when the characters are frustrating at times!  It is so easy to immerse yourself in the world created here that you get caught up in the characters lives.  I felt that the  story line involving each of the sisters, Cassie’s and CoCo’s, lives was the most fleshed out and the others were hovering around the periphery.  In the end the character’s stories converged and after much angst,  we had a happily ever after.

The major themes explored here are abandonment (by a mother), mental illness, and addiction (including alcoholism).  The sisters were abandoned by their mother as children and it skewed the lens they view the world through.  Although they have different lives, one is a “perfect” wife, mother and employee and the other is a single entrepeneur, the effect of their mother’s addiction and subsequent abandonment comes shining through in their interactions with others and their life choices.  I felt this was very well done and was the shining star of the book.  The behaviors exhibited by Adult Children of Alcoholics were very true to form, especially in Cassie.  My only issue with this is that I felt that Shay was given a free pass, just based on the fact that Cassie, his wife, exhibited these behaviors.  Don’t want to spoil it, so I won’t say more!

I was not as connected to the other stories, Phoebe’s, Pearl’s, Ella’s or even Jo’s, except as in how they intersected with the sisters’.  The plot does tie all the threads together to make for a  good ending.  Nicely done women’s fiction, not my favorite Cathy Kelly book, but still a good read!