All Summer Long by Melody Carlson

All Summer Long book cover

Tia D’Amico is excited to move from her job as chef in the family’s Italian restaurant to join her aunt in San Francisco and start a new business as head chef of a restaurant on an old boat. But a health condition puts her uncle in the hospital and forces her to work with Leo Parker, the captain of the new restaurant, and a man that Tia met at sailing club ten years ago. Tia is disappointed, however, to learn that her long-ago crush is engaged to someone else, putting another damper on her summer. As Tia and Leo work together to create a beautiful boat to fulfill her aunt’s dream, romance may yet fill the sea air.

Melody Carlson usually writes sweet stories with great spiritual truths. This book deviates a bit from her usual pattern and focuses more on the romance between the characters and the love triangle than the growth and development of the spiritual lives of the individuals. I thought the characters acted a little immature for their age; however, I did like them. Tia was loyal to her family and willing to help out with nearly anything for them and Leo had a big heart as well, although he was a little harder to connect with during the story. The romance is quite shallow and moves along at an alarming rate but the overall the story is a nice light summer read.

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

Sea Rose Lane by Irene Hannon

Sea Rose Lane book cover

Eric Nash returns home to Hope Harbor to see his father and consider his career options after his position at a prestigious law firm is terminated. Upon arriving home, however, he discovers his beloved childhood home is being converted to a bed and breakfast. Seeking some consistency among the turmoil in his life, he attempts to relax by the sea and take time to rejuvenate. Meanwhile, dedicated and ambitious BJ Stevens is excited to renovate the bed and breakfast for Eric’s dad, but her ideas and methods may cause some tension in the house. As Eric and BJ end up joining forces to help the older residents of Hope Harbor, opinions clash and sparks fly, forcing each of them to face feelings of the past and examine their own hearts.

I enjoyed the writing of this novel and the hope and spiritual aspects interspersed with the plot. The characters are imperfect and easy to connect with and the scenery is picturesque and beautifully told. I liked the story and the way the author connected several plot lines. The romance is tastefully written and not rushed or unbelievable. It was great to read about some past characters from the first novel in this series but reading this first book is not required in order to understand and appreciate this story. I recommend this book to those who like contemporary romance!

I received a copy of this book from Revell Publishing in exchange for an honest review.

From This Moment by Elizabeth Camden

From This Moment book cover

Stella West, a popular and talented artist in London, moves to Boston to investigate the suspicious death of her dear sister. She disguises herself by substituting her usual flamboyant clothing for drab plain outfits and accepting a role as a stenographer in order to get close to the small circle of individuals with whom her sister associated. She pursues her goal wholeheartedly, setting aside her own dreams and aspirations to prove her sister’s murder. Meanwhile, Romulus White, a self-made publisher, chases after Stella, surprised to discover the elusive artist he has been hoping to design for his magazine is working not far from his office. But the emotions and passions of Romulus and Stella often clash as they both attempt to complete their own goals, costing both of them more than they bargained for by the time the truth is revealed.

If I had one word to describe this book it would be passion. From the rich colors described in the scenes to the heated words exchanged by the main characters to the desperate love intermixed with danger throughout the plot, the novel creates a vivid story with which the reader can easily connect. I loved the characters from the very first page and I grew to like them even more as I read about their realistic struggles and their imperfections. Elizabeth Camden crafts such unique characters and I enjoyed getting to know them through her well-written words. Once again this author wrote a truly remarkable book and I loved every page of the story, hardly able to put it down as I eagerly wished to know the answers to the secrets and the romance. It certainly helps that this book has one of the most beautiful covers I have seen; you really can judge the inner pages by its gorgeous cover! I highly recommend this novel!

I received a copy of this book from Bethany House Publishers in exchange for an honest review.