Monthly Recommendations: OTP

Only a few hours left in the month?  Must be time for me to finally get around to sharing my list of recommended reads.  This topic, though, has me feeling O.L.D.  I don’t “OTP” or “ship,” but here goes… nothing fancy, just a super quick list (yep, thinking these up as I type) of some of the characters I love as couples in books I would recommend: Continue reading


The Angels’ Share by James Markert (review)


There’s just something about a 1930’s setting, in the depths of the post-prohibition Great Depression, and The Angels’ Share has that something in spades.  It is a coming of age novel and a family drama, filled with secrets, discoveries, prejudice, legacies and first love all in a dying Southern town.

William McFee has yet to make anything of himself, though he works on becoming a reporter while secretly dreaming of re-opening the family distillery that used to be the lifeblood of the town of Twisted Tree, Kentucky.   Continue reading

The Wedding Dress by Rachel Hauck (review)

theweddingdress_hauck_thomasnelsonfrom the book cover:

Four brides. One dress.

A tale of faith, redemption,

and timeless love.

Charlotte owns a chic Birmingham bridal boutique. Dressing brides for their big day is her gift—and her passion. But with her own wedding day approaching, why can’t she find the perfect dress—or feel certain she should marry Tim?

Then Charlotte purchases a vintage dress in a battered trunk at an estate sale. It looks brand-new, shimmering with pearls and satin, hand-stitched and timeless in its design. But where did it come from? Who wore it? Continue reading

We Could Be Beautiful: a novel by Swan Huntley (review)

wecouldbebeautiful_huntley_doubledayFrom the book jacket:

A spellbinding psychological debut, Swan Huntley’s We Could Be Beautiful is the story of a wealth woman who has everything–and yet can trust no one.

Catherine West has spent her entire life surrounded by beautiful things.  She owns an immaculate Manhattan apartment, she collects fine art, she buys exquisite handbags and clothing, and she constantly redecorates her home.  And yet, despite all this, she feels empty.  She sees her personal trainer, gets weekly massages, and occasionally visits her mother and sister on the Upper East Side, but after two broken engagements and boyfriends who wanted only her money, she is haunted by the fear that she’ll never have a family of her own. Continue reading

The Middlepause: On Life After Youth by Marina Benjamin (review)

middlepause_benjamin_catapultPublisher’s Description:

The Middlepause offers a vision of contentment in middle age, without sentiment or delusion. Marina Benjamin weighs the losses and opportunities of our middle years, taking inspiration from literature, science, philosophy, and her own experience. Spurred by her surgical propulsion into a sudden menopause, she finds ways to move forward while maintaining clear-eyed acknowledgment of the challenges of aging. Attending to complicated elderly parents and a teenaged daughter, experiencing bereavement, her own health woes, and a fresh impetus to give, Benjamin emerges into a new definition of herself as daughter, mother, citizen, and woman. Continue reading

Once Upon a Winter’s Heart by Melody Carlson (novella review)

onceuponawintersheart_carlsonFrom the back cover:

Emma Burcelli has suffered over a decade of dating disasters.  But she concedes that love is officially dead when her grandfather Poppi suddenly passes, leaving her grandmother Nona devastated.  To help out, Emma works in the family bookstore, which Nona insists must web decks out in sweetheart decor as Poppi would have done for Valentine’s Day.  Although she feels like a V-Day Scrooge, Emma quickly learns to enjoy the task with the help of a handsome family friend, Lane Forester.  He shows her that hanging hearts is much more fun when done to the tune of dean Martin.  As Emma and Kane share time and memories of Poppi, she reconsiders the notion that romance is alive.

Just as Emma’s heart begins to lift, however, she learned her sister has already staked a claim on Lane.  Emma’s mother and sister insist Lane only sees her as a future sister-in-law, but she can’t help wondering if it could be something more. Continue reading

The Mark of the King by Jocelyn Green (review)

markoftheking_green_bethanyPublisher’s description:

Life in This New World Requires More Strength Than She Ever Imagined

After the death of her client, midwife Julianne Chevalier is imprisoned and branded, marking her as a criminal beyond redemption. Hoping to reunite with her brother, a soldier, she trades her life sentence for exile to the fledgling French colony of Louisiana. The price of her transport, however, is a forced marriage to a fellow convict. Continue reading