Monthly Book Review - June
Between gardening chores and a heap of volunteer activities in June, I don’t know how I read more than usual—but I completed six books and pushed my mid-year tally to 35 books read. Yay! I’m ahead of schedule on my 52-book goal for 2017!
Champion Chocolatier by Amanda Zieba was a sweet read (pun intended.) This is a lovely romance novel set in the uncommon location of Duluth, MN. I loved the twist of the main character having to prove her business acumen to earn her “ownership” of the candy shop.
BOOK DESCRIPTION: Emmy is a thirty year old stuck in a dead-end job she hates, but life takes a pleasantly unexpected turn when she wins a Facebook contest to own and operate a chocolate shop in northern Minnesota. When she leaves the big city for a fresh start (despite knowing nothing about business or candy making) fun, romance and little mystery follow. Will her new business succeed before the December thirty first deadline? Will the cute guy from the store-next-door add to her sweet rewards or will he only be a disaster-level distraction? Two tablespoons of big dreams, a dash of chocolatey goodness, and a pinch of love. Step inside Sweet Shores Chocolate Store and enjoy this winning story recipe.
Sara Dahmen doesn’t disappoint with her latest romance novel Wine & Children! While this author typically writes historical romances, this modern-day story has a unique flair that makes it far from typical. This novel won the Write Touch Award from the Wisconsin Romance Writers' of America and it is a well-deserved honor.
Single and still smarting from her divorce, Charlotte Paggo takes a sabbatical to meander through California's wine country in an attempt to rebuild herself. Her travels lead her to meet Sam, a budding garagiste wine maker and a divorcee himself. Neither of them have any illusions about what it takes to make a relationship work, and romance is complicated by Sam's pre-teen sons.
Issues surface, from ex-spouses, children and medical emergencies. Underlying everything is the battle of Charlie's insecurities that stem from her irrevocable infertility. Like so many real-life couples who hope for second chances, Charlie and Sam need to work together to discover what it might take to find comfort and happiness once more.
Another stellar mystery from Patricia Skalka. Death Stalks Door County is the first of the Dave Cubiak Door County Mysteries. I had to backtrack after reading the 2nd book in the series first. It’s a testament to a good author that you can do that and still enjoy the first book. Skalka pens a wonderful mystery full of human and personal drama mixed in with the unraveling of a great who-done-it. She always keeps you guessing.
BOOK DESCRIPTION: Six deaths mar the holiday mood as summer vacationers enjoy Wisconsin’s beautiful Door County peninsula. Murders, or bizarre accidents? Newly hired park ranger Dave Cubiak, a former Chicago homicide detective, assumes the worst but refuses to get involved. Grief-stricken and guilt-ridden over the loss of his wife and daughter, he’s had enough of death.
I don’t typically read a lot of what can be classified as literary fiction. Where Fish Can Breath, a coming-of-age novelette by Tricia Wagner, definitely falls into this category with a lyrical quality that borders on poetic. I thoroughly enjoyed the author’s mastery of the written word that truly allows you to sink into her story.
DESCRIPTION: Ten-year-old Swift longs to be as grown up as his brothers, but confronting himself in the wilds of the North Atlantic, he must contend with what it means to be a man. Come sail the star-studded North Atlantic Sea with Swift and his family in this poignant coming-of-age novelette.
Where Fish Can Breathe is available in Kindle.
On deck for next month . . . the final book in the Gender Game series (it releases 7/10), Hillbilly Elegy by J.D. Vance, and more! What have you been reading?? I know that Hillbilly Elegy is getting a lot of attention right now. (Here's the link to the hardcover on Amazon.) Let me know if you've read it and I'll include your review along with mine next month!