Book Talk Thursday: SUNDOWN

Sundown is the final installment in Susan May Warren’s Sky King Ranch trilogy. I’ve been eagerly waiting for Colt and Tae’s story since Colt was introduced to us with the Kingston triplets in the first book, Sunrise. We got a bit more of Colt and Tae in book 2, Sunburst, but their story comes to a full and satisfactory conclusion in Sundown.

Colt Kingston is determined to get to the bottom of Taylor–Tae–Price’s story. His brother Dodge and Dodge’s fiancee, Echo, found Tae in a blizzard in book 1, Sunrise. She suffered amnesia and wasn’t speaking for a long time. Once Tae remembered some things, she was too terrified to speak. When she does tell her story, it’s almost too preposterous to be believed.

Tae knows her tale sounds crazy, but it’s true, every word. When her past follows her and endangers the whole Kingston family, she has to leave to keep them safe. Too bad Colt can’t let her go alone.

Adventure, suspense, and intrigue follow to the nail-biting conclusion. Another worthy addition to the Warren tradition of romantic adventure stories with strong and determined heroines and the wounded but willing men who love them.

I love Warren’s stories and Sundown was worth waiting for. I love the twists and turns. I love the interconnecting stories and cross-over characters. I love how a story thread that Warren started stitching in book 1 will complete a lovely pattern in the final book. Although each book can be read as a stand alone, I think they’re enjoyed more if read in order. And since all 3 are available, why not? I highly recommend this book and the whole series!


I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley, but that did not induce me to leave a review, favorable or not.

Book Talk: A PLACE TO LAND

I was introduced to Lauren K. Denton a couple of years ago when someone mentioned her covers as being especially lovely and I agreed. I bought and read and enjoyed her novels HURRICANE SEASON and THE HIDEAWAY. I heard her talk about her new release, A PLACE TO LAND, and managed to snag an advance reader’s copy.

Trudy and Violet Figg are sisters living in Sugar Bend, Alabama, a small town along the banks of Little River. A traumatic night 40 years ago robbed Trudy’s voice and cost Violet love and happiness, but they’ve built a life and they’re content with their lives. Trudy creates art from found objects and Violet runs their small gift shop and counts birds.

Maya, a young adult fresh from the foster care system, lands in Sugar Bend and in the Figg sisters’ lives. As the river reveals secrets Violet would rather it keep, Maya blossoms under Trudy’s attention and care.

A PLACE TO LAND is full of secrets (I used it to meet a reader challenge I’m doing for 2022. October’s book is a “Family Secret” story.) It’s also a very Southern book. I could feel the humidity of the summer and taste the brackish air. There’s a little bit of magical realism woven throughout, with the recurring pelicans and another element I don’t want to give away.

Denton did a great job doling out the details of that night so long ago and threading together the various sub-plots. I enjoyed this one a lot, and I’ll continue to read both her backlist and new releases.


I received an advance copy of this book via NetGalley, but it did not induce me to review it, favorably or not.

Book Talk: HOME SWEET CHRISTMAS

Wow, have I neglected my blog! Time has flown since the last time I posted. I’ll do much better. Or at least I’ll try, from here on out. I read so many great books, I should be posting here all the time about them, not just the ones I get free copies of. But that’s the rut I’ve fallen into. Sigh.

HOME SWEET CHRISTMAS is the newest offering from Susan Mallery in her Wishing Tree, Washington series. We haven’t been to Wishing Tree since last year’s The Christmas Wedding Guest. (Reggie and Dena are doing great, by the way!)

Camryn Neff left her life in Chicago to come back to Wishing Tree to take care of her dying mother and twin teenage sisters. Her mom has been gone a year now, and the three Neff ladies are healing and finding happiness again. Camryn is just marking time though until the twins start college and she can resume her old life in Chicago. Until her plans are derailed by a local woman’s plan to marry off her son and get some grandchildren.

River Best is new to Wishing Tree and while she’d like less snow and warmer temps, she’s enjoying her new home and new friends. She resolves to get more involved in the community so her friends nominate her for Snow Queen. She’s alternately terrified and gratified to be chosen. The one thing that helps is her Snow King. Dylan Tucker is kind and considerate and she could see herself falling for him. Until she discovers his secret.

Wishing Tree is the town we all want to visit at Christmas time and this book got me ready for hot chocolate and cookies and snuggling by the fire. After not loving Mallery’s last book, I’m so glad I truly loved this one. All the characters could be my friends. I’d shop at Wishing Tree’s charming stores and eat at the restaurants. There’s also a cute dog sub-plot. If you’re looking for a sweet Christmas read, I highly recommend HOME SWEET CHRISTMAS!

As a bonus, Susan Mallery is giving away a Christmas Cookie Cookbook on the Wishing Tree website. I downloaded it and it’s full of scrumptious looking recipes.


I received a free copy of the book, but it did not induce me to review it, favorably or not.

Book Talk Tuesday: THE BOARDWALK BOOKSHOP

School’s ending, the temps are climbing, and readers are talking about their beach books. So Susan Mallery must have a new book ready for the tote bag, right?

She absolutely does! Two, if you count The Summer Getaway that released earlier this year.

The Boardwalk Bookshop is one of three stores sharing space on a southern California beach boardwalk. Bree owns the book store, Mikki has a gift shop, and Ashley owns the bakery in between. The women began as business partners but ended up friends, meeting on the beach after work every Friday for champagne and sharing.

Bree is widowed from a man who didn’t love her and who betrayed her. She’s resolved to never love again and will do anything to protect her heart. When Ashley’s brother moves to town, she warns both Harding and Bree that he’s headed for a broken heart if they get involved. Mikki is divorced and, after a few years, finally ready to start dating again and move on. If only her ex and his parents would get on board with her plans. Ashley is in love with the perfect man. And Seth loves her, too. The only problem is he doesn’t want to get married. Live together, happily ever after? Sure. Buy a home and have kids? Absolutely. But the paper and being legal. Not so much.

Each woman sees her friends’ issues clearly, but struggles with her own.

I’m a huge Susan Mallery fan and I’ve loved nearly everything she’s written. This book though, is not a favorite. I found Bree brittle and unlikeable. She deliberately set out to hurt Harding, a man who was nothing but kind and patient with her. She’s smart enough to realize that she was angry with a dead man and hurting only herself by holding onto the anger. But she didn’t get it and preferred to stew in her bitterness.

Mikki seemed a bit dim about her ex-husband’s intentions and even dimmer about what her friendship with him would mean to her new relationship. Ashley stewed for. EVER about what to do about Seth, but when she did make her decision, I was really proud of her for how she handled herself and him.

There’s also open door sex and a lot of talk about sex, masturbation, and vibrators, to the point where I said, “All right, I get it, you like orgasms. Sheesh.” If you’re okay with that, THE BOARDWALK BOOKSHOP is an excellent beach read for your summer vacation. But if you prefer something with a little more depth, I recommend THE SUMMER GETAWAY.


I received a free advance copy of this book from the publisher, but it did not induce me to review the book, favorably or not.

Book Talk Tuesday: WHAT YOU WISH FOR

I discovered Katherine Center about a year ago and have been eagerly reading her books ever since. They are filled with emotion and love and laughter and tears. WHAT YOU WISH FOR has all of the above in abundance.

It also features a minor character from one of Center’s other books in a more prominent role this time. I read that book after this one and I think I recommend that order, if you have a choice. The other book is HAPPINESS FOR BEGINNERS. There’s also a short story, a “bridge” included in WHAT YOU WISH FOR that connects the two books.

In the author’s acknowledgements, she references another book, JOYFUL: THE SURPRISING POWER OF ORDINARY THINGS TO CREATE EXTRAORDINARY HAPPINESS. That was the second time that particular book had crossed my radar, so I bought it. Look for a review of that one in the near future.

In WHAT YOU WISH FOR, private school librarian Samantha Casey is dealing with a lot. When the school gets a new principal, she’s surprised to learn that she’s worked with him before. Duncan Carpenter was the most beloved, most inspiring, most fun teacher at Sam’s previous school. And the reason she left California for Galveston, Texas.

But Duncan is different from the fun and funny man Sam remembers. The man who rented a cotton candy machine and put it in the school cafeteria. He’s turned into a stiff, by-the-book, stern enforcer principal. As the changes he makes affect the school’s morale, Sam resolves to get Duncan to loosen up and become more of the exciting and happy guy she remembers.

I loved this book so much! As Sam and Duncan spend time together, they’re each impacted by the other and by their experiences, both shared and unique. I don’t want to give away any spoilers, but this is a special book. I highly recommend it!