– Denise Hunter –
Published 6 September 2022
Welcome back to Riverbend. Home of delightful romances and second chances. Harvest Moon might start with a tragedy but it is love, loyalty and commitment that brings the joy in this story. Continue reading
Love Times Infinity
– Lane Clarke –
Published 26 July 2022
Growing up is hard and it’s harder still when society (and college applications) want you to have a clear sense of your identity. It’s made even harder still for Michie, who questions her very existence. Love Times Infinity is a delightful YA novel about family, love and finding yourself and your voice.
In Honor’s Defense
– Karen Witemeyer –
Hanger’s Horsemen #3
Bethany House Publishers
Published 7 June 2022
Aside from my Australian dictionary not much liking this book’s title, there was a lot I liked about In Honor’s Defense. It is apparently the third and, sadly, final, book of the Hanger’s Horsemen series. What a series it has been. Full of adventure, danger and romance.
When The Meadow Blooms
– Ann H Gabhart –
Published 3 May 2022
Ann Gabhart has crafted a heartwarming story of overcoming loss and grief and finding a place to truly live and love in When The Meadow Blooms.
Calla and her younger sister have been living in the Home for Girls for two years while their mother recovers from Tuberculosis in an sanitarium. For two years they have endured abuse, waiting for the day they can go home. Scared they will be separated, Calla is lead to reach out to her uncle, rumoured to live in isolation on the family farm, Meadowland. When Dirk receives a letter from his niece asking for rescue, he throws caution away and hurries to retrieve the two girls and their mother. Taking them back to Meadowland requires a change in his habits, it might even mean opening his heart to the women, big and small, who have entered his world. But secrets from the past bring up grief and hurt he’s never let go. If he can’t heal, will he risk losing his new family?
What Matters Most
– Courtney Walsh –
Nantucket Love Story #3
Tyndale House Publishers
Published 5 April 2022
In What Matters Most, author Courtney Walsh returns readers to the shores of Nantucket for a story about grief, secrets, and forgiving yourself.
Emma has moved herself and her young son to Nantucket in the hopes it will give them both a fresh start. Five years after her husband’s death, she’s still reeling from grief and guilt. Jameson too carries much guilt over the death of Emma’s husband and in a bid to move on with his life, he arrives in Nantucket to tell Emma the truth about her husband’s death. When Jamie arrives on Emma’s doorstep, she thinks he’s there to answer her ad for someone to clean out and renovate the guesthouse on her property. Jamie agrees but fails to tell Emma the real reason he’s there. Maybe he can help her in other ways. As Jamie works on the house, he and Emma grow closer, sharing their love of art and even rekindling that creative spark. But they both have secrets that could destroy any future they might have.
– Denise Hunter –
Published 19 April 2022
Mulberry Hollow is the second book in Denise Hunter’s Riverbend Romance. As is the way with most of her series, you can read the books as stand alone titles, but reading the series in order gives you a lovely overview of a this family group. We met Avery in the first book in the series and now get a better insight into her life, career and decisions in this second book.
Avery is a doctor and owner of the only clinic in town. It’s a career she followed after watching her mother die. Now the genetic disease that stole her mother’s life hangs over Avery’s. It’s one of the reasons she is so desperate to entice another doctor to the clinic. When a hiker finds his way to Avery’s clinic doorstep and needs medical care, it might also be an answer to prayer. With limited funds, Wes offers to renovate the small carriage house on Avery’s property in exchange for his medical care. It’s easy for Avery to enjoy Wes’s company, despite her vow to avoid a relationship, marriage and a family. But Wes is committed elsewhere, anyway, so it can’t hurt to spend time with him, right?
– Monica Roe –
Farrar, Straus and Giroux
Published 15 March 2022
Air is a powerful and impressive middle grade novel about finding your voice and following your dream, while managing the transition to high school, friendship, adults who think they know best and the ways society limits the potential of all.
Air is a book I’m going to force upon a lot of people. Staff and teachers at my school, my principal, students. It’s a book I think everyone should read. The author so perfectly captures Emmie’s voice. That of a young girl who has just started seventh grade. She loves racing and jumping on ramps in her wheelchair. Chair skating. She’s an athlete and entrepreneur. She and her best friend run a small business selling plants and wheelchair bags. Emmie is saving up for a new wheelchair, one that is made for skating. But when she takes a fall at school – totally not her fault! – her new principal demands that she has a full time aide. Emmie is horrified. When the principal announces that the school plans to raise money to buy Emmie her new chair, she’s super excited, but it seems it might come at a cost and she has to decide what she wants and how to speak up for herself.
Maybe We’re Electric
– Val Emmich –
Published 21 September 2021
Secrets. The secrets we keep to protect ourselves and the secrets we keep for our family. Maybe We’re Electric is a heartbreaking and romantic novel about finding the balance between speaking out and staying silent.
Covering just one night (plus a bit at the end) Maybe We’re Electric brings Tegan and Mac together. They never would have crossed paths – thinking each other in a different world at their school. But Tegan and Mac have far more in common than they think. When a storm hits, they find themselves together in the Thomas Edison museum. Both are running from their family and themselves. Both know they need to speak up about the secrets they are keeping. Both know the fallout from doing so will have far reaching consequences. Over the course of one night they connect and share more than they expected. But can their blossoming relationship survive the night?
Tegan is a compelling – if unreliable – narrator. As she slowly opens up to Mac, we readers also slowly begin to understand the true depth of what she is running from.
– Denise Hunter –
A Riverbend Romance #1
Published 19 October 2021
I so enjoy reading Denise Hunter’s books. I know once I pick one up, I’ll just disappear into the world and characters she has crafted and I know that I will love every word. And that’s exactly what I got in Riverbend Gap. This book is the first in a new series (yay) that follows a family (yay, yay) living in a small rural town along the Appalachian Trail (more yay). Honestly, between the amazing romance, stunning scenery so beautifully described, the drama and tension and the great writing, I just loved this book.
Katelyn Loveland has a new job, new last name, new boyfriend and a new house. Moving to Riverbend Gap was her new start. But she’s also determined to get some closure from her past. The first step is scattering the ashes of her beloved younger brother. Then, she needs to find her biological mother and learn why she and her brother spent most of their lives in foster care. Not part of the plan was avoiding a deer and almost plunging to her death over the side of a mountain on the way to meet her new boyfriend’s family. When Cooper Robinson, Deputy Sheriff, comes to her rescue, she is relieved and grateful. The tense moments they share forge a deep connection. The only problem is that he is the brother of her new boyfriend. As circumstances through Cooper and Katelyn together again, it’s hard to ignore the deepening feelings between them.
If Not Us
– Mark Smith –
Published 28 September 2021
If Not Us is a standalone novel from the author of the Winter series. Mark Smith creates in If Not Us a story of growing up, falling in love and finding your voice to speak up and be heard. With themes of climate change action, grief, and first love, If Not Us is a relatable novel for teens with an authentic male narrator.
Hesse lives to surf. He works in a surf shop and spends his free time in the waves. His goal is to one day surf the reef called Razors, where his father disappeared at sea and died. When Hesse gets involved in his mother’s environmental group campaign to close a local coal mine and power station, Hesse is thrown into the spotlight. It means taking a stand and his voice becoming the key to the campaign. It also means standing against his friends, whose parents might lose their jobs if the mine is shut down. In the midst of it all, Hesse meets Fenna, an exchange student who is dealing with her own anxiety and decisions about whether to stay in Australia or return home. As the campaign heats up and Hesse’s feelings for Fenna deepen, Hesse has to decide what is most important to him.