Book Reviews: The Summer Place, Partners in Crime & Flying Solo

The Summer Place by Jennifer Weiner

Goodreads blurb: When her twenty-two-year-old stepdaughter announces her engagement to her pandemic boyfriend, Sarah Danhauser is shocked. But the wheels are in motion. Headstrong Ruby has already set a date (just three months away!) and spoken to her beloved safta, Sarah’s mother Veronica, about having the wedding at the family’s beach house on Cape Cod. Sarah might be worried, but Veronica is thrilled to be bringing the family together one last time before putting the big house on the market. But the road to a wedding day usually comes with a few bumps. Ruby has always known exactly what she wants, but as the wedding date approaches, she finds herself grappling with the wounds left by the mother who walked out when she was a baby. Veronica ends up facing unexpected news, thanks to her meddling sister, and must revisit the choices she made long ago, when she was a bestselling novelist with a different life. Sarah’s twin brother, Sam, is recovering from a terrible loss, and confronting big questions about who he is—questions he hopes to resolve during his stay on the Cape. Sarah’s husband, Eli, who’s been inexplicably distant during the pandemic, confronts the consequences of a long ago lapse from his typical good-guy behavior. And Sarah, frustrated by her husband, concerned about her stepdaughter, and worn out by challenges of life during quarantine, faces the alluring reappearance of someone from her past and a life that could have been. When the wedding day arrives, lovers are revealed as their true selves, misunderstandings take on a life of their own, and secrets come to light. There are confrontations and revelations that will touch each member of the extended family, ensuring that nothing will ever be the same. From “the undisputed boss of the beach read” (The New York Times), The Summer Place is a testament to family in all its messy glory; a story about what we sacrifice and how we forgive. Enthralling, witty, big-hearted, and sharply observed, this is Jennifer Weiner’s love letter to the Outer Cape and the power of home, the way our lives are enriched by the people we call family, and the endless ways love can surprise us.

my take: 4 out of 5. A tad convoluted (and a little too coincidental) but I still quite enjoyed it! Her recent books are funny because although they all have summer in the title they are a bit quite removed from her lighter books of the past. These are less light beach read and more convoluted family drama with a hint of mystery. At first

My issue with the too coincidental (And i dont want to spoil anything here so I will keep it quite broad) is that although all the interconnectedness makes for a great story – there is one that goes one step too far (you will know at the end of the book which one I meant — text me and well discuss).

Partners in Crime by Alisha Rai

Goodreads blurb: Indian Matchmaking meets Date Night in this fun, romantic adventure in which a match-made couple about to be engaged gets caught up in a caper that puts their future—and lives—in danger. At thirty-five, with a stable job as an accountant, Mira Chaudhary wants nothing more than to find a boring man to spend the rest of her life with. Having had enough excitement in her younger days and desperately trying to escape her dysfunctional past, she turns to a matching app specializing in Indian American singles to help her find someone to settle down with. Enter Naveen Desai. An English professor with an uneventful, normal, and—dare she say it, boring—life, Naveen is perfect.

But just when things are going well, Mira receives news that her aunt has died. Suddenly a trip to Las Vegas to settle her aunt’s affairs turns into a mad dash to escape kidnappers, evade art thieves, and consorting with hackers who can decipher just what it was Mira’s aunt was involved with. Mira just hopes that Naveen isn’t chased away by the very same life of “excitement” that she’s been trying to get away from. But maybe, over the course of one wild night, Mira and Naveen will find the love connection that neither expected.

This is an ARC review thanks to a gift from the publisher, the book comes out October 18th, 2022

my take: 3.5 out of 5 . Don’t be deceived by the absolutely terrible cover (I’m sorry its a tad tacky) but the book is quite good. A thrilling romance is how I would describe it. This is an absolutely absurd book, but I devoured it in one sitting so the absurdity definitely got me going. Also the characters and their back stories are surprisingly well developed. This is my second book by Alisha Rai, and I’m definitely keeping her in my radar.

Flying Solo by Linda Holmes

Goodreads blurb: Smarting from her recently cancelled wedding and about to turn forty, Laurie Sassalyn returns to her Maine hometown of Calcasset to handle the estate of her great-aunt Dot, a spirited adventurer who lived to be ninety. Along with boxes of Polaroids and pottery, a mysterious wooden duck shows up at the bottom of a cedar chest. Laurie’s curiosity is piqued, especially after she finds a love letter to the never-married Dot that ends with the line, “And anyway, if you’re ever desperate, there are always ducks, darling.”

Laurie is told that the duck has no financial value. But after it disappears under suspicious circumstances, she feels compelled to figure out why anyone would steal a wooden duck–and why Dot kept it hidden away in the first place. Suddenly Laurie finds herself swept up in a righteous caper that has her negotiating with antiques dealers and con artists, going on after-hours dates at the local library, and reconnecting with her oldest friend and first love. Desperate to uncover her great-aunt’s secrets, Laurie must reckon with her past, her future, and ultimately embrace her own vision of flying solo.

This is an ARC review thanks to a gift from the publisher, the book came out June 14th, 2022

My take: 3.75 out of 5. If you didn’t know this was from the same author as Evie Drake starts Over, you would know by the end of the book. It has the same feel and the same scenery. I liked this book. I didn’t love it but I really enjoyed it. I would describe it as a peaceful book, a soothing balm of an afternoon is what you get curled up with this one. I love that they see that relationships are messy and that sometimes things have to be settled in the middle. It is a bit scary however than a month to turning 40, I’m ending up reading all this books about characters turning 40 that I had no idea before starting reading. This one was enlightening in the mid life crisis sense!

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