Posted in Book Reviews

Book Review: The Summer of New Beginnings


The Summer of New Beginnings by Bette Lee Crosby ~ 284 pages ~ to be published 3/27/18 by Lake Union Publishing



Aspiring journalist Meghan Briggs has always been the responsible one in the family. So when her father passes away unexpectedly, leaving behind his at-risk business, she steps up to save his legacy—even if that means putting her own dreams on hold.

Tracy couldn’t be more different from her sister. She’s always been the rebellious type, without much direction in life. But in the wake of her latest romantic disaster, she finds herself moving back home as a single mother.

As Tracy experiences the difficulties of new motherhood, Meghan faces her own struggle: trying not to fall for the stray puppy she rescued. This is no time for attachments—not to the adorable “Sox,” whose owner is bound to turn up any day, and certainly not to the handsome new vet in town. But as the summer unfolds, she discovers that, like Sox, she may need rescuing, too.

As both sisters navigate unexpected challenges and exciting new relationships, they’ll find that putting the past to rest can make way for beautiful new beginnings.


What I Thought:

At it’s core, this is a novel about family – the good times, hard times, triumphant times and sorrowful times. At the beginning of the book, the father, George, dies of a heart attack. His wife and two daughters seem to fall into a downward spiral in their own unique ways in the aftermath of his death.

Meghan becomes ultra-responsible, setting aside her long held dream of going to journalism school in order to run her father’s business (which she thinks he would want her to do, but likely he would have rather had her go to college.) Lila loses all control of her oldest daughter, Tracy, and doesn’t seem to know how to reclaim it…so she doesn’t. Tracy goes super rebellious, runs off with her boyfriend and is gone for years, until she shows back up with a baby that her mom and sister have never met.

The rest of this book is about how these three women try to pick up the pieces of their broken lives. There is a sweet dog that comes into the picture, a cute vet, the awful ex shows back up periodically, and a major medical problem for Tracy’s son, Lucas. All of this is thrown into the pot, and for me, it felt like it dragged…a lot. Every time it seemed like one of the storylines was picking up steam, the narrator would switch to one of the other characters. The pacing was way off, and it took me much longer than I would have liked for me to finish it.

It was just lacking in several ways. The pacing was the worst offender, with character arcs taking forever to come to fruition. I did enjoy all of the characters, and the basic idea behind how everything tied together, it was just in execution that it fell a bit short. All in all, I thought that the premise of the story was really great. I liked moments of the book very much, but as a whole, it was not all that I was hoping it would be.




Overall, I give The Summer of New Beginnings 2.5 STARS. It’s right on the cusp of 3 stars, but just not quite there for me.

*A big thank you to NetGalley for sending me a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review!*

Are you interested in learning more about this book? Check out the links below!

Bette Lee Crosby’s Website

The Summer of New Beginnings Goodreads Page

Pre-order The Summer of New Beginnings on


Love and happy reading,

IMG_1344 (1)


Posted in books

8 Book Series That I Love


8 Book Series That I Love

I don’t think I’m alone in saying that it’s hard not to love a good series. There is such a great feeling of getting done with a wonderful book and knowing that you don’t have to say goodbye to these characters and this world yet, because there is another book to follow it! I know I love when people give me recommendations, so I thought I would share my 8 favorite book series with you!


Harry Potter Series

7 books (as well as companion volumes) ~ Children’s, Fantasy ~ written by J.K. Rowling

First on any list of favorite series will always be Harry Potter! I have loved this series since the beginning. I identify with so many of the characters, and I love getting immersed in the fantastic world that J.K. Rowling created. I would talk about what happens in this series…but I’m pretty sure everyone knows haha. I will just leave you with this: Hufflepuffs Unite! If you love fantasy, magic and adventure, as well as beautiful friendships, what are you waiting for?! 

Here is a list of the books in this series:

Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone

Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets

Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban

Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

Harry Potter and the Order of Phoenix

Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince

Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows

Image via The Book Addict’s Guide blog

The Mara Dyer Series

3 books ~ YA, Fantasy, Romance ~ written by Michelle Hodkin

I’ll be honest, I first picked up this series because I loved the cover! Guilty! But I kept reading because of the interesting premise, and the characters. I have said in a previous post, that Noah Shaw is one of my book boyfriends! I love the world in this series, which is our world with some fantastical things happening. It kept me nervously and jumpily (is that a word? oh well…) on the edge of my seat, but I was still able to read it (me being a huge baby, this was a feat!). If you like contemporary fiction with some magic and suspense/mystery tossed in, as well as a good romance, this will be right up your ally!

Here is a list of the books in this series:

The Unbecoming of Mara Dyer

The Evolution of Mara Dyer

The Retribution of Mara Dyer


The Hunger Games Series

3 books ~ YA, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Dystopian ~ written by Suzanne Collins

I took a little while to jump on this bandwagon, but I’m so glad I did! I didn’t read the first one until the first movie was announced. I figured I would read the first book and then compare it to the movie, and so on as each movie came out. However, I read the first book, found out that it was amazing and incredibly addicting, and then ran to the store to buy the second and third so I could finish the series! I have always been a fan of Katniss, even when she makes stupid decisions and shows less emotion than a toothbrush. And I am Team Peeta all the way! Ooh…I should have made him one of my book boyfriends… If you like YA dystopian fantasy novels, grab this series now! 

Here is a list of the books in this series:

The Hunger Games

Catching Fire


Image via

Lady Emily Mystery Series

12 books (so far, plus novellas) ~ Mystery, Historical Fiction ~ written by Tasha Alexander

As a general rule, I’m not a huge mystery fan. My mom absolutely loves them (hey Mom!!), but I just never really got into them. This series changed that for me! If you have been following my blog, you will know that I love historical fiction, especially if it is set in England. This series is about Lady Emily, a lady high-born in Victorian society who chooses to use her incredible intellect and spunky, can-do attitude to solve mysteries. I want to be her when I grow up 🙂 Each book is set in a different area of the globe, as she travels solving murder mysteries for the Crown. I have learned so much about various countries’ histories since I started reading this series! If you like mysteries, historical fiction, and suspense, you will love this series! 

Here is a list of the books in this series:

And Only to Deceive

A Poisoned Season

A Fatal Waltz

Tears of Pearl

Dangerous to Know

A Crimson Warning

Death in the Floating City

Behind the Shattered Glass

The Counterfeit Heiress 

The Adventuress

A Terrible Beauty

Death in St. Petersburg

Images via This Is My Write blog

An Unfortunate Fairy Tale Series

5 books (plus a novella) ~ YA, Fairy tale, Fantasy ~ written by Chanda Hahn

I LOVE fairy tales!! Again, if you follow this blog, you know this already. When I first stumbled upon the Unfortunate Fairy Tale series, I was immediately intrigued by the premise of Mina Grime being a descendant of the Brothers Grimm, and that the Story is chasing her, trying to claim her as its victim if she cannot finish the fairy tales! Such a cool story arc!! I totally recommend this if you, like me, love a good fairy tale retelling! 

Here is a list of the books in this series:






Images via A Backwards Story blog

White Rabbit Chronicles

4 books (plus novellas) ~ YA, Fantasy, Romance, Zombies 🙂 ~ written by Gena Showalter

This series always seemed weird to me, and I really had no interest in picking it up. Then we were returning books at the store one day, and all of the books in this series came up as strips (books that have their covers stripped and are recycled rather than sent back to the publisher…) which the employees have dibs on before they head off to the recycling plant. So, I figured why not give them a try. So. Glad. I. Did!

Now, let me tell you, zombies are not generally my thing. I cannot watch The Walking Dead because it would give me nightmares. But, this series has enough teen romance and angst thrown in, as well as fun Alice in Wonderland references, to keep me completely hooked without also completely having nightmares 😉 Such a fun series. I recommend this if you like fantasy, romance and paranormal books. 

Here is a list of the books in this series:

Alice In Zombieland

Through the Zombie Glass

The Queen of Zombie Hearts

A Mad Zombie Party


Mark of the Lion Series

3 books ~ Christian Fiction, Historical Fiction ~ written by Francine Rivers

I discovered Francine Rivers through her amazing novel Redeeming Love. So, when I saw that she had a series on the beginnings of Christianity, and the earliest followers of Jesus, I snapped it up. Y’all. This series is soooooo good! Hadassah, a slave girl in ancient Rome, falls for a handsome, wealthy aristocrat who doesn’t believe in God. Simplified, she has to decide between her love for him, and her love for God. She is such an inspiration to me. If you love Christian fiction, with some romance and history thrown in, you will adore this series. 

Here is a list of the books in this series:

A Voice in the Wind

An Echo in the Darkness

As Sure as the Dawn


All Souls Trilogy

3 books ~ Fantasy, Romance, Paranormal ~ written by Deborah Harkness

This series was recommended to me by my dear friend, and fellow book nerd, Jessica, and I am so happy she did!! I talked about the time that Jessica and I both met Deborah Harkness in this post. Diana Bishop, the main character, comes from a long line of witchcraft, but wants nothing to do with it. Of course, magic and madness ensues, throwing her into a world filled with witches, vampires and daemons. The romance between Diana and Matthew is one of my favorites. I also love that this book includes fantasy, science, paranormal creatures, history…it is just so rich with detail. If you like books with a little bit of everything, get this series now!! 

Here is a list of the books in this series:

A Discovery of Witches

Shadow of Night

The Book of Life


What are your favorite series? Have you read any of the series I talked about here? What are your thoughts? Let me know down in the comments! 

Love and happy reading,

IMG_1344 (1)