2020 Book #58 – Wednesday, Walks & Wags by Melissa Storm

Title: Wednesdays, Walks, & Wags
Author: Melissa Storm
Date finished: 8/19/20
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: August 25, 2020
Pages in book: 272
Stand alone or series: The Sunday Potluck Club series book #2
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Bestselling author Melissa Storm reunites the members of the Sunday Potluck Club—and their canine companions—in a heartwarming story of friendship and second chances.
 
In the rapidly blooming courtyard beneath Bridget Moore’s new Anchorage apartment, the signs are unmissable: spring has come. As she unpacks boxes, Bridget hopes that she too is moving forward. With her tight schedule—college, working as a vet tech, volunteering at the animal shelter, caring for her beloved dogs—Bridget strives to keep too busy to register the pain of losing her mother just months ago.

Bridget’s new neighbor, Wesley, also seems to be running from something—quite literally. He and his two energetic dogs jog by twice a day. It isn’t long before she joins him. Bridget’s fellow members of the Sunday Potluck Club encourage her to enjoy Wesley’s company, though they understand all too well how tricky it can be to navigate life after loss.

But just as nature rebounds after the toughest winter, Bridget’s friendships, both human and canine, are a reminder that love and joy go on. With each outing, Bridget is rediscovering the simple pleasures that mean so much. A warm smile, a sun-drenched evening, a waggy tail—little by little, they may help Bridget find the path to happiness again . . .

My rating:  3.0 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I read the first book in this series earlier this year and enjoyed it – it was sweet and touching. And I enjoyed this one too, it was fine but maybe a little dull. Wesley’s inability to communicate was very frustrating and Bridget’s inability to stand up for herself was confusing. She seemed like a strong overall character but she was pretty young and had some things she needed to work through. This was a quick read and an ok story but it didn’t blow me away or anything. It was sweet and romantic though, and I loved how the four friends really come together to support each other. I would recommend it.

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2020 Book #23 – The Sunday Potluck Club by Melissa Storm

Title: The Sunday Potluck Club
Author: Melissa Storm
Date finished: 5/6/20
Genre: Contemporary romance
Publisher: Kensington
Publication Date: March 31, 2020
Pages in book: 247
Stand alone or series: #1 in Sunday Potluck Club series
Where I got the book from: Publisher
NOTE: I received this book for free from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

A recipe for living . . .
 
New friends can be found in unexpected places. For Bridget and Amy, that place was the cancer ward of an Anchorage hospital. Now, as each struggles to overcome loss, they lean on each other for support—sharing suppers, laughter and tears.

Bridget and Amy aren’t about to let hardship knock them down—Bridget plans to return to her veterinarian school studies, Amy to her position as a second-grade teacher—but neither feels quite ready. And so the Sunday Potluck Club is born, a way for Bridget, Amy, and other women who have lost a loved one to find solace and understanding. Savoring favorite dishes while sharing memories and the comfort of connection, the members of the Sunday Potluck Club nourish body and soul.

As weeks go by and the group grows in unforeseen ways, both Bridget and Amy are inspired to find greater purpose.  Amy reaches out to a student whose father bravely faces his own struggle. Bridget volunteers at the local animal shelter, rehabilitating dogs whose unconditional love will bring others a chance to heal. And with the help of two special men, Bridget and Amy are realizing that there’s always room at the table for love and rekindled joy . . .

My rating:  2.75 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I had read the first couple chapters of this book in last year’s BuzzBooks Romance sampler and was really intrigued. The first couple chapters really captured my interest and even though it was 9 months until the book would be published I was still very interested in being able to read and review it. And while I really enjoyed the book, it didn’t turn out to be quite what I thought it would be from the glimpse I got in the first couple chapters. Amy’s character was a bit too much of a doormat for me. And beyond that the way she kept going back and forth about Trent it got to be a bit too much for me. Overall there were pieces of the plot and the story line I thought could’ve been developed more, and I definitely would’ve liked to see some of the characters fleshed out a little more, especially Trent. That being said, I still did enjoy the book. It was a sweet read and was quick and easy to read. The end of the book got me pretty emotional and I wished there had been more of that emotional work throughout the book. I’d recommend giving this one a try, I think there was a lot to like about this book!

Link to author’s website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

2014 – Book #54

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The fifty-fourth book I read in 2014 was Cowboy Take Me Away by Jane Graves. This is the first book in her Rainbow Valley series, the second book just came out in May 2014. I finished this book on 6/19/14. I rated this book 4.5 stars out of a scale of 5. This book is about Shannon North and Luke Dawson. As teens they fell in love, but Luke was from the wrong side of the tracks and Shannon didn’t yet have the age and confidence to stand up to her mother. Luke decides that he’ll never be good enough for this town and takes off during the night after Shannon breaks his heart.

Fast forward to eleven years later, Shannon left her cushy CPA job in Houston to come home and run Rainbow Valley’s animal shelter. Between a pony that bites and spitting llamas and too many dogs and cats to count, she’s having trouble keeping her head above water at the shelter financially. Meanwhile in the past eleven years Luke has become a very well known bull rider. Through a twist of fate he ends up back in Rainbow Valley with a knee healing from surgery that he needs back at top condition for the championship bull ride competition in 3 months as well as an empty bank account after paying for the surgery out of pocket. When he sees the ad in the paper for a live in caretaker at the animal shelter, he decides to apply for the job.

As Luke becomes more involved in taking care of the animals at the shelter he realizes that they aren’t the only ones who need his care. Shannon cares so deeply for these animals that she’s on the edge of breaking and Luke realizes someone should be watching out for her as well. As their friendship once again develops into something more, Luke can’t seem to get past the town’s stigma that he’s just like his drunk no-good father. And once he reveals to Shannon how horrible his childhood actually was, is there even a chance she could love him then?

This was just such a great book. This book is just so perfectly heart-wrenching, between Luke’s childhood insecurities and all the animals at the shelter, you have to be a cold-hearted son of a gun to avoid tearing up multiple times during this story. I just absolutely loved it. I can’t wait to read the next book in the series.

Link to author website: http://www.janegraves.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Cowboy-Take-Away-Rainbow-Valley/dp/1455515191/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1403270495&sr=8-2&keywords=cowboy+take+me+away

Link to Rainbow Valley, TX (not quite sure if it is a real place or if this is a Jane Graves website): http://www.rainbowvalleytexas.com/

Link to other blog reviews on Jane Graves books: https://rebeccabookreview.wordpress.com/tag/jane-graves/