Book Review: The Girl I Used to Be by Heidi Hostetter

Synopsis:

In her years of acting the perfect wife to Marc, Jill had built walls around herself so high that nobody could reach her. Now she has no money, nowhere to live and a future as uncertain as it was the day Marc first asked her—the shy, trusting new assistant—to lunch. Jill hadn’t known then what sort of man he really was…

When Jill Goodman’s picture-perfect marriage implodes, she’s heartbroken. Still reeling from the shock, the only thing she receives in the hasty divorce settlement is the deed to her husband’s sprawling beach house on the New Jersey shore. Overpriced, with a dark history and a crippling mortgage far outside her means to pay—the house is a symbol of everything Jill’s lost. She hates the sight of it, but knows she must face it if she’s to move on.

With no other choice, Jill travels to Dewberry Beach intending to sell the house quickly—but the task is not as easy as she expects. Still, she can’t help but be charmed by the little town’s leafy streets, sweetly old-fashioned ways and even the unexpected attentions of a handsome local with dark eyes and a teasing smile. For the first time, she can see a path back to the girl she was before she met her husband…

Then Jill dives deeper into the house’s dark past and Marc’s part in it, and she stumbles across a terrible secret that changes everything. Torn between the right choice and the easy one, Jill realizes the key lies with her ex-husband. But he would do anything to keep the truth from coming to light…

An emotionally gripping read that will keep you turning the pages late into the night, perfect for fans of Amanda Prowse, Elin Hilderbrand and Diane Chamberlain.

Purchase links:

Amazon: https://bit.ly/3aWKrUe 

Apple: http://apple.co/2NbAdqV 

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2ZjYuy1 

Google: http://bit.ly/3b9TSjx

Author bio:

Heidi Hostetter is a proud Jersey Girl, born and raised. Growing up, she spent summers at her grandparents’ house on the shore, in a town much like the one she writes about in her novels, and it was idyllic. The New Jersey shore has a culture all its own, where every magical thing can be found: sparklers on the beach, fireflies at night, and whole days swimming in the ocean. 

She went to college in South Carolina and found inspiration for her Lowcountry Novels. After graduation, she moved to the Pacific Northwest where she developed an appreciate the rain. Trips to the Oregon coast inspired her award-winning Inlet Beach novels. She and her family have recently moved back across the country, to the DC-area, where history is everywhere. They live in a one-hundred-year-old house that’s definitely haunted and feels like inspiration for a really good story.

When she’s not writing, you can probably find her digging in her garden or poking around old houses for inspiration. She loves the beach, a good podcast, and is always up for a trip to a bookstore, no matter how far away.

Heidi is currently at work on her new novel. She shares office space with a labradoodle named Emmett who keeps are careful watch for errant squirrels foolish enough to wander into his yard. She loves to hear from readers and answers all her own mail. You can find her here:

Author Links:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorHeidiHostetter/

Facebook Reading Group: facebook.com/groups/636728933179573

Goodreads: Goodreads.com/HeidiHostetter

Instagram @LoveTheShore_

Twitter: @HeidiHostetter

Website: HeidiHostetter.com

My Thoughts:

This review is a part of the Book Release Blog Tour by Bookouture.

The Girl I Used to be is the first book by the author that I have read and I must admit that I am absolutely blown away! At first while reading the book, the first few chapters made me form certain assumptions about how the story would progress. When we reach midway through the book, the author throws out everything with a few twists forcing the reader to rethink their assumptions! This was amazing!

The story follows Jill who we think is happily married to Marc, almost twenty years her senior. She changed her life, her style and everything for him until one day when everything shatters. From there on, we see the strength and resolve Jill has as she deals with a divorce and mortgage on a house she demanded for in a calculated move. However, going to Dewberry Beach is perhaps the best thing she does. With the intention to sell the house as soon as possible, she immerses herself in the town and falls in love with it. Once she hears what people think of the house and she realizes what Marc did to obtain the land, she sets out to try and make things right. In addition, she gets a chance to explore her passion for photography.

This is a story of rebuilding and of finding oneself. It is a story of strength and determination as well as community who come together. I thoroughly enjoyed reading about the characters and their lives which the author has brought out very well. The description of the beach and it’s view from the house, the lives of people there is amazing and will make the reader want to visit the place!

This is a wonderful summer beach read that can be finished in one sitting. It is an emotional rollercoaster with some kind of a happy ending that will ensure the reader falls in love with the book and the places!

Book Review: Long Walk Home by Ellyn Oaksmith

About the Book:

Lola was struck by just how quickly she recognized him. It had been ten long years since she’d seen him; ten years of thinking that maybe she hadn’t really loved him. But there he was. And he still took her breath away.

Lola has turned her life around since her wild teenage years, but one thing hasn’t changed: how her sister sees her. Her sister Carmen only remembers the mistakes she’s made and can’t see the potential of Lola’s plans to expand the family vineyard business at Blue Hills. But Lola is determined to win Carmen round—and gain her respect once and for all.

Then Lola’s high school sweetheart Gus arrives back in town, and everything changes. He was her first love, the bad boy she used to climb out of windows to see. But he’d broken her heart when he left town suddenly, without so much as a goodbye. And after that, she’d never seen him again. Until now.

Gus isn’t that same rebel anymore. It’s taken everything he has to come back to this town full of bittersweet memories, but he owes it to himself, and to Lola, to make amends. But she’s not that lovesick girl anymore and she knows she can’t let him turn her head again. So why can’t she stop thinking about how his strong arms would feel wrapped around her?

Then fate intervenes, and they’re forced to work together on Lola’s biggest project—and the sparks begin to fly once more…

As the sun sets over the mountains and meadows of Blue Hills, can two people who’d thought they could never be together find their way home to each other?

An utterly romantic feel-good read about being true to yourself and becoming the person you were always meant to be, Long Walk Home will make you laugh, make you cry and show you that true love always finds a way. For fans of Robyn Carr, Carolyn Brown and Mary Ellen Taylor.

About the Author:


Ellyn Oaksmith is the USA Today and Kindle bestselling author of addictively fun love stories. She has never run a winery, been attacked by drones or nearly drowned someone but she loves putting her characters in challenging situations. Ellyn also enjoys chatting with readers on social media. Especially when she should be writing.

Ellyn began her writing life as a screenwriter in Los Angeles which, outside of writing hours, is exactly as crazy as it seems in the movies. After hightailing it back to her native Seattle, Ellyn began writing comedic romances and never looked back.

Ellyn lives in Seattle with her husband. She’s part of a competitive rowing team. You can often find her on Lake Sammamish rowing in the dark.

Author website: www.EllynOaksmith.com
Facebook: @EllynOaksmith
Instagram: @EllynOaksmith

My Thoughts:

Note: Read and reviewed this book as a part of the blog tour by Bookouture.

Long Walk Home by Ellyn Oaksmith is a feel good romance that will tug at your heartstrings. The story is simple and well-written as it follows Lola and Gus, the main protagonists.

Lola is the youngest of three and is always treated like the baby of the family. She feels that her opinions and ideas are not considered and she sets out to build tiny cabins in a bid to expand their family business. Having been separated from Gus for more than ten years, Lola doesn’t expect to still be in love with him. As the two main characters deal with their personal issues, they also start to rediscover their bonds as they end up spending more time around one another due to Lola’s project.

The characters are interesting and well thought out. The author has brought out the interactions between the siblings very well and it is honestly quite relatable. This is a story of second chances, standing up for oneself and making amends. This is a story of finding love and being true to family. I thoroughly enjoyed this read and am sure that you all will too! It is a wonderful choice for a light read that ensures the reader is hooked until the very end. A happy and simple read, this book is full of hope and positive vibes.

Book Review – 7 SIMPLE RULES: How to live peacefully despite everything else by Sam Sadar

About the Book:

GET A GRIP ON YOUR LIFE BY FOLLOWING 7 SIMPLE RULES

What if you had the power to stay calm and peaceful even in the midst of emotional storms? What if you could stop worrying and build a new life where you are the master of your mind?

After years of study on concepts of spirituality, and closely observing and examining the psychology of the mind, Sam Sadar shares remarkable insights into the inner workings of our minds. By interviewing people like you and me–the real common folks, and through their life stories, Sam answers the question: how do I lead a calm, peaceful, happy life every day, despite all my problems?

In this book, you’ll learn:

1. The formula to think productively and reduce stress

2. The AAA principle to navigate through your problems

3. How to live more fully each day

4. What smart people do to make more money

5. A simple secret to overcome your mental struggles and anxieties

6. How to remove the roadblocks to your potential and success

7. A 3-point strategy for financial security

Read this book now to earn yourself a life of peace, power and potential!

My Thoughts:

I would like to thank Saumita Banerjee, founder of LetsAuthor, for reaching out to me with the opportunity to read and review this book. Normally I do not read a lot of non-fiction, but the premise of this book had me intrigued and seemed quite relevant in today’s context of the worldwide pandemic.

In a nutshell, I really like how this book has come together. It is relevant and brings out the reality of how the pandemic has affected our day to day lives. Through this book, the author seeks to bring some lessons derived from the different experiences that could help us handle the situation better on a personal front. The introduction of the book deserves special mention, being quite matter of fact, apt and well written.

This book summarizes the last year, mixing both general facts and people’s experiences to weave together a narrative and derive lessons to be learnt. I think this entire book is relatable to almost everyone in India and perhaps even the world! This book comes at a time when we are all going through so much and have dealt with one year of staying home and are looking at more of the same! With everything that has changed around us, our lives as we knew it has changed and I think that this book and it’s rules would be helpful for many people who open up to the idea of it.

The book is not preaching to us and does not compel anyone with the rules defined. It is more of a suggestion to live better and approach life in a way that we can deal with the current situation and any situation in general better!

I do recommend this book to all. Look out for it’s release on 12th May 2021!

Book Review: Cuban Heel by Leopold Borstinski

Book Blurb:

Would you work with the devil to build a paradise on Earth?

Jewish gangster, Alex Cohen joins long-time friend and business partner, Meyer Lansky to recreate Las Vegas in 1950s Havana. When dictator President Batista gives them the opportunity to build their dream casino complexes, Alex must choose between dancing with this devil or being in debt to the Italian mob.

If he takes the mafia money then he will be tied to the men who planned his earlier downfall and removed his mentor, Lucky Luciano from the syndicate. If he refuses their investment then he will be beholden to the tinpot generalissimo and his bloated ego. But Alex knows that there is more at stake than mere gelt–now he has his family surrounding him and they will suffer the ultimate price if he makes a bad decision.

The fifth book in the Alex Cohen series is an historical thriller novel, which tears at the heart of the Jewish mob’s role in pre-revolution Cuba. Leopold Borstinski’s piercing crime fiction gives each reader the shocking skinny into the building of modern America.

About Leopold Borstinski:

Leopold Borstinski is an independent author whose past careers have included financial journalism, business management of financial software companies, consulting and product sales and marketing, as well as teaching.

There is nothing he likes better so he does as much nothing as he possibly can. He has travelled extensively in Europe and the US and has visited Asia on several occasions. Leopold holds a Philosophy degree and tries not to drop it too often.

He lives near London and is married with one wife, one child and no pets.

Social Media:

Twitter: https://twitter.com/borstinski @borstinski

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/LeoBorstinski/

Website: https://www.leopoldborstinski.com/

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/borstinski/

Purchase Links:

Amazon UK: https://amzn.to/2PLrtt2

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/3dkwzEp

Leopold Borstinski’s website: https://www.leopoldborstinski.com/books/cuban-heel/

Publishing Information:

Published by Sobriety Press on 30th April 2021

My Thoughts:

This is the fifth book in the Alex Cohen series. Having read only the first one, I was a little skeptical to read this one. However, I am very happy that I enjoyed this book just as much. Even though there were some events that I missed, the overall story made sense and was easy to follow.

The story follows Alex Cohen as he sets out to help his long-time friend and business partner, Meyer Lansky set up an entertainment industry in Havana through Casinos. The story centers on the unrest in Cuba around the time of the pre-revolution. The story was an eye opener and written in the authors signature fast-paced style. The atmosphere is rife with politics, corruption, money-making plans and Alex’s attempt to keep his sons out of the illegitimate part of his dealings.

The author has done a great job in portraying the various relationships and in building the characters to where they are in this current book. It was wonderful to see how Alex has grown and evolved in spite of his ruthlessness. There are so many layers to the characters and the historical significance of the events are enough to keep the readers hooked until the very end!

I definitely recommend this series by Leopold Borstinski and am sure that fans of historical fiction, crime fiction and and the mafia will devour these books!

Note: Read and reviewed this book as part of the Book Tour organized by damppebbles blog tours

Book Review: Twinfluence by Grace Costello

About the Book:

Twinfluence

One last twin swap. What could go wrong?

Twenty-six-year-old Dani’s identical twin sister calls her out of the blue with a colossal problem. Sophie needs to jet off to Mexico to save her friend from a botched tummy tuck but her boss won’t let her take any PTO. Dani, eager to repair their strained relationship, leaves her glamorous LA life behind as a top social media influencer to save the day. Dani’s dang good at pretending to be her sister, but good enough to teach high school kids in rural Oklahoma?

When Sophie gets stuck in Mexico for an entire month, Dani not only has to teach Economics and Life Skills, but she has to direct the school musical. And that boss Sophie hates so much? Yeah, it turns out Principal Beck is entirely too good-looking and single for Dani to ignore.

Rushed high school musicals, fiery school board politics, and cozying up to Sophie’s boss, definitely weren’t on her sister’s pre-approved syllabus, but Dani never was one for sticking to the plan.

From USA Today Bestseller of YA Fantasy Nina Walker and YA Contemporary Romance Bestseller M.F. Lorson, comes a brand new Romantic Comedy pen name––Grace Costello. This dynamic duo combines laugh-out-loud comedy with emotional feel-good romance that will keep you flying through the pages.

My Thoughts:

This book is written together by Nina Walker and M.F. Lorson. This is a feel good romance that can be read in one sitting and enjoyed thoroughly.

Think of the movie The Parent Trap, and then dive into this story. What sets this story apart are it’s twists. Twins Dani and Sophie have drifted apart but when Sophie asks for one last twin swap, Dani thinks of this as a way to mend bridges. Sophie is a teacher in a high school while Dani is a social media influencer. As Dani steps into her sister’s shoes, she finds herself out of depth and taking decisions that might cause problems for Sophie later on. Honestly, what can go wrong when you suddenly take over another person’s life (without knowing the current situation) and start to work on it. This is a recipe for disaster that may be good or bad in the end (I hope! I cannot reveal this)

As the story develops, there is a budding romance, sibling rivalry and bonds to be mended, and finally, kids to be taught. There are misunderstandings, a musical, teenagers and finally sisters who really need to talk to one another. This last part is the most important and acts as the guiding force in changing Dani’s direction in life. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and even found some parts of it to be quite funny. This is a light and pleasant read that will ensure that the readers have a great time connecting with these delightful characters and learning a lesson or two along the way! This is indeed a must read!

Book Review: Rea and the Blood of the Nectar (The Chronicles of Astranthia, #1) by Payal Doshi

About the Book:

Perfect for fans of the Aru Shah books and The Chronicles of Narnia.

A middle-grade fantasy about twelve-year-old Rea Chettri, who portals into an otherworldly realm to go on a secret quest to find her missing twin brother Rohan. The clock is ticking in this fast-paced, thrilling, and exciting adventure rife with evil creatures, a ruthless villain, and unforgettable friendships.

It all begins on the night Rea turns twelve. After a big fight with her twin brother Rohan on their birthday, Rea’s life in the small village of Darjeeling, India, gets turned on its head. It’s four in the morning and Rohan is nowhere to be found.

It hasn’t even been a day and Amma acts like Rohan’s gone forever. Her grandmother, too, is behaving strangely. Unwilling to give up on her brother, Rea and her friend Leela meet Mishti Daadi, a wrinkly old fortune-teller whose powers of divination set them off on a thrilling and secret quest. In the shade of night, they portal into an otherworldly realm and travel to Astranthia, a land full of magic and whimsy. There with the help of Xeranther, an Astranthian barrow boy, and Flula, a pari, Rea battles serpent-lilies and blood-sucking banshees, encounters a butterfly-faced woman and blue lizard-men, and learns that Rohan has been captured. Rea also discovers that she is a princess with magic. Only she has no idea how to use it.

Struggling with the truth her Amma has kept hidden from her, Rea must solve clues that lead to Rohan, find a way to rescue him and save Astranthia from a potentially deadly fate. But the clock is ticking. Can she rescue Rohan, save Astranthia, and live to see it all?

Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is Payal Doshi’s stunning #ownvoices middle-grade fantasy debut about understanding complex family dynamics, fighting for what is right, discovering oneself, and learning to make friends.

My Thoughts:

Rea and the Blood of the Nectar is an amazing adventure filled story that follows Rea as she embarks on a journey to find her kidnapped twin brother. The author brings out the differences in characters between Rea and Rohan as we start of the book observing their sibling rivalry. Almost twelve years old, the two are more alike than they care to admit, but have drifted apart with Rohan developing new interests. When Rohan disappears and their mother and grandmother go into a worried frenzy, Rea takes it upon herself to find her brother.

The book gives us a glimpse into the tea gardens of Darjeeling and then takes us into flower filled Astranthia, making this a delightful read for both the young and old! There are portals, magic, secrets, mystical creatures and so much more that add to this captivating read! Rea makes friends along the way and slowly learns to trust people as well as let go of jealousy. She also learns the importance of thinking about other people and not just how things affect her. All these messages and lessons are brought out very well through their experiences and I am sure that they will serve as a learning for our young readers!

Set against the backdrop of India, the author also brings out some of the culture and food which are for me quite relatable. However, the best parts of the story are in the magic filled adventure that the children and fairy embark on. The plan to save Rohan turns into one of revelations and truths which serve to help everyone in Astranthia.

I loved reading this book and am looking forward to more adventures for Rea. She is strong for a twelve year old and quite determined. I also enjoyed how she opens herself up to new experiences and learns to form bonds of friendship. A thoroughly enjoyable tale, Payal Doshi has brought to us a page turner as her debut novel!

Book Review: The Little Orchard on the Lane by Tilly Tennant

About the Book:

Feel the sun on your face on a Somerset terrace overlooking golden fields and wild meadowland, and watch as romance beckons and long-hidden secrets are revealed…

When twenty-seven-year-old Posy arrives at picture-perfect Oleander House in the Somerset village of Astercombe, she is enchanted. Adopted when she was just a baby, Posy is excited to re-connect with her birth family and help out on the family cider farm with its old stone walls and bees buzzing in the hedgerows.

There’s just one tiny problem – her new next-door neighbour, haughty, handsome vineyard-owner Lachlan. Lachlan has taken an instant dislike to Posy, and after a furious argument when she ventures on his land, she’s pretty certain there’s not a heart of gold beneath his frosty exterior.

Yet as she falls in love with the flower-filled hedgerows and apple-green fields of her new life, she discovers more about her grumpy neighbour. Even though he acts like the world is out to get him, she can’t ignore the sad expression in his dark eyes.

And when Posy discovers the heartbreaking secret that is tearing Lachlan apart, she understands why he has shut the door on the world and vows to help him, as well as the vineyard, which has fallen on hard times. Yet just as Lachlan lets Posy in, a terrible night threatens to destroy everything she has begun to care about and puts someone she loves at risk. Will her dream life in the country come at an awful price?

If you love Nicola May, Debbie Macomber and Milly Johnson, then you will adore The Little Orchard on the Lane. An enchanting summer romance about new beginnings, second chances and trusting your heart.

My Thoughts:

The Little Orchard on the Lane is a heart-warming story of finding oneself, family and love. This is a feel-good book that ensures the reader will experience every single emotion along with the characters. The story introduces us to Posy, a well mannered girl who has everything she could ever hope for. She has wonderful parents, a great friend and a job that she enjoys for the moment. When she suddenly finds out that she has two uncles who live in Somerset and own a farm, her world as she knows it is turned upside down.

Posy sets out to meet them along with her adoptive mother who supports her throughout this. What ensues is an amazing journey for everyone. I loved how Posy handles her meeting with her relatives and then forms bonds with each one of them. Her mother is wonderful and I adored her character. The author has done a wonderful job with the setting and the plot line, giving us a glimpse into everyone’s thought process, fears and then the love that develops only with family even if you’ve known them for a short time only.

One of my favorite characters apart from Posy is Asa, her fun loving uncle who is dealing with his own demons. Brought together, this uncle-niece duo is unstoppable and share an enviable bond. Posy also starts to form feelings for Lachlan, who owns the neighboring vineyard and who is not very amenable to company. As Posy works to break down barriers not just with her family but with Lachlan, we are treated to a wonderful story filled with so much love and togetherness. I adored this story and enjoyed it so much! This is a pleasant read and is perfect for a summer getaway!

Book Review: The Wraith’s Memory (Between Gods and Mortals Book II) by Whitney Rines

About the Book:

The Wraith's Memory (Between Gods and Mortals Book II)

The massacre of a village by a mysterious group of conspirators spreads division and war across Liansea and chases survivors to the last strongholds standing, Terimah and Nismyth.
When Terimah’s strict entry rules cost more refugee lives-Mortal and Amaranthine alike, refugees turn to Nismyth and their open-gate policy. Unaware of the corruption being cultivated in the ruling family, infecting everyone from the upper echelon down to the lowest villagers.
    When a mysterious illness brings tragedy to the village of Aritehn, wounding both the population and trust in their rulers, many villagers including a young man named Chiron, seek ways to save Aritehn themselves. An interview with Nismyth’s military recruiter sets his course when he is sponsored for education instead, and exposed to more of the corruption than before. Choosing to defy his sponsor costs him more than he could ever fathom and sets a dark path ahead of him.

The Wraith’s Memory follows Chiron’s beginnings and walks the path leading him to his future, and the one who might hold the path to his redemption.

My Thoughts:

This book is a fast-paced dark fantasy that will keep the reader engaged. The story follows Chiron as he seeks a way to save the village of Aritehn while finding his way to his destiny. The story is well-written and the author brings to us characters who are worth reading about and knowing. There are many unexpected twists and turns in this fantasy adventure that brings to us a world with wraiths, wyverns and many other creatures.

It took me some time to get into the book, but on pursuing ahead, I found the book to be quite enjoyable. The story will make you love some characters, hate some and then again re-think your opinions of them. This book is a good fit for those who love a good fantasy fiction novel! The author has done a good job with the descriptions and world setting. It is complex and well developed. I am grateful to the author and Booktasters for the opportunity to read and review this wonderful book!

Book Review: The Sigil: A Novel – Part I by Shakeil Kanish

About the Book:

The Sigil: A Novel - Part I

A tragic death.
A dangerous obsession.
A desperate mission.

Lake’s brother Devlin was murdered right in front of him. Simply because he was in the wrong place at the wrong time.

Why, then, does Lake think Devlin knew he was going to die before they ever set foot in the gas station that night? As he obsesses over his brother’s death, Lake begins to uncover a hidden world full of forbidden magic and growing danger. Now he’s stuck, caught between the world that his brother was meant for and his own. Lake is beginning to realize that no one and nowhere is safe.

Nova Rathers may not be especially powerful in the Mage world but she makes up for it with a magical bag of snacks and a body constructed by the Gods to slay. Desperate to be more than her lineage, she finds herself teamed up with a group of misfits and, in her mind, the weakest creature of all – a gida…a powerless human. Together, they start to unravel the lies that built their world and continue to hold it hostage. Nova’s last year at Breyburn Academe was never going to be easy but she had no idea that it could ever get this bad.

Lake, Nova, and their newfound friends are about to find the truth behind what has been hunting them. But knowing is only half the battle. Even if they survive, will the rest of the world remain standing?

 

My Thoughts:

The Sigil is an interesting fast-paced novel that throws the reader right into the story. We are introduced to Dev and Lake, brothers, who share a unique bond. The story focuses on Lake and initially his insecurities especially when compared to his brother. Little did he know how much his brother sacrificed and how much he loved him. The story picks up once Dev is murdered with Lake trying to find the reason behind all this. This leads him to discover a hidden academy where everyone had some form of magic.

The author introduces us to some very interesting characters and I enjoyed how each one of them interacted with the other. They are strong together and this is shown as the plot progresses. With a single minded focus on the plot, the author ploughs ahead, taking Lake and us readers along for the ride. With a threat to the human world looming, Lake being threatened to be removed from the academy as he does not have any magic, there is a lot going on. In the midst of it, he forms a bond with Stone. I love how the author delicately handles Lake’s love life and how accepting his parents are of his choices.

The beauty is in the writing and the character emotions and the unexpected twists and turns. I truly enjoyed this book and found it to be quite unique even in the world of magic. I do recommend this book and look forward to reading more in this series!

Book Review: Dreaming Under An Island Skye by Lisa Hobman

About the Book:

Dreaming Under An Island Skye

Is there really such a thing as a second shot at true love?

After three wonderful years of marriage, librarian Juliette Fairhurst’s heart is shattered when her husband, Laurie, is taken from her much too soon.

Devasted, Juliette decides to take a sabbatical and reconnect with her mother’s birthplace, the village of Glentorrin on the picturesque Isle of Skye.

Welcomed by most of the villagers, Juliette throws herself into an idyllic community life, taking on the role of temporary summer guardian at The Lifeboat House Museum; a role that offers her the perfect escape from the tragedy of her real life.

During her time on the island, Juliette clashes with brooding single dad and artist, Reid Mackinnon and is befriended by his son Evin and dog Chewie. It’s clear that divorced Reid is struggling and scarred by his own painful experiences.

Can these two lost souls find a lifeline to rescue each other?

Or will their pasts scupper their second chance at real happiness?

My Thoughts:

This is a delightful story of love, loss and second chances. The story follows Jules as she struggles to deal with the loss of her husband, the love of her life. Having a wonderful support system in her best friend Millie and brother, Dex, she copes pretty well, but there is always something missing. When a first date post her husband’s passing ends up in disaster, Jules decides to take a holiday and visit the Isle of Skye. This is where her mother grew up for some part of her childhood and for some reason Jules feels a pull to visit and explore.

Taking the scenic route, Jules drives down over two days, reaching her destination in awe of the beauty of the place. It doesn’t take long for Jules to find friendship and kinship among the people of Skye as she makes a small space for herself in the community. We are also introduced to Reid Mackinnon, father to the adorable Evin. Evin and his dog Chewie slowly endear themselves to Jules while Reid struggles to deal with his life. All the various characters in the story are amazing and well thought out. Everyone has a story to tell, but in the end they come together as one.

I love how the author has delicately handled the different forms of loss a person feels, introducing us to Mr Hamish, grieving for his wife for more than thirty years, Jules, grieving the loss of her husband but with the determination to try to move on and Reid, dealing with an ex-wife who cheated on him and then left him. There is also beauty in the way people come together to help one another and it is not a community but one very big family.

As the story progress, Jules immerses herself in the history of the place while volunteering to run The Lifeboat House Museum. The experience is cleansing and everything she needs to relax and refresh and find herself once again. This is a heart-warming tale filled with some sad and a lot of bright moments that will light up the reader’s day! I thoroughly enjoyed this story and loved being a part of Jules and Reid’s journey! In the end everyone needs support from their loved ones in different forms and this is well portrayed in this book. I recommend this light but emotional read to all those who love a good story, especially ones about healing and second chances.