A Place Like Home [Book Review]

July 26, 2021

A Place Like Home by Rosamunde Pilcher

A Place Like Home by Rosamunde Pilcher (cover) white text on a dark blue background, a group of large light colored blossoms fill the center right

Genre/Categories: Fiction, Short Story Collection, Women’s Fiction, Up-Lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @MacmillanAudio for a complimentary ALC (audio) of #APlaceLikeHome upon my request. All opinions are my own.

A Place Like Home is a collection of fifteen short stories by popular author, Rosamunde Pilcher (most likely your mother’s favorite author!). These stories were published in magazines and are now in book form for the first time. Each one explores different romantic stories (chaste) between couples that are married or courting or meeting for the first time (insta-love).  All are poignant and quietly told with Pilcher’s trademark skill for describing time and place.

My Thoughts:


A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife [Book Review]

June 29, 2021

A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett

A Summer Wedding For the Cornish Midwife by Jo Bartlett (cover) Image: a young woman stands on a bluff holding a bouquet of flowers and overlooking a small coastal village

Genre/Categories/Setting: Light contemporary women’s fiction, Romance, Small town/Cornish coast, Midwifery, Up-lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

#2 in the Cornish Midwives series. The highly anticipated wedding of Anna and Brae needs to be postponed due to a fire at the venue. However, close friends and community pull together to save the wedding.

My Thoughts:


The Kitchen Front [Book Review]

June 22, 2021

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan

The Kitchen Front by Jennifer Ryan (cover) A woman dressed in a red bouse and white apron holds a cookbook to her chest

Genre/Categories: Light historical fiction (WW11), Cooking, Friendship, Up-Lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

A cooking competition meets WW11. Facing bombings, food shortages, and rationing, morale is low among the housewives of Britain. The BBC launches a cooking contest for a show called Kitchen Front. Although the first prize is a coveted chance to be the first female co-host of the show, four very different women discover a more valuable prize to be gained: friendship.

My Thoughts:


Very Sincerely Yours [Book Review]

June 11, 2021

 Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey

Very Sincerely Yours by Kerry Winfrey (cover) a graphic image of a young man and young soman sitting on either side of a large red typewriter

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Romance, Friendship, Chick-Lit

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkelyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary eARC of #VerySincerelyYours upon my request. All opinions are my own.

A new release from the author of Waiting For Tom Hanks, Kerry Winfrey. Thirty-something Teddy Phillips works at a vintage toy store. She has just been unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend and her guilty pleasures are Taco Bell takeout, Bath and Body Works pumpkin pecan waffle scented candles, couch pillows, and watching a children’s (muppet) TV show hosted by Everett St. James, a hot and irresistible Mr. Rogers. Everett often reads letters from children who write to him with questions, so one day Teddy decides to email  Everett with her own questions. Everett is charmed by her emails and Teddy appreciates his sensible and wise advice. They develop a lovely online friendship, and Everett suggests they meet. Before they can arrange it, their worlds accidentally collide (meet-cute gone wrong). Of course only one of them knows the truth. As this story is inspired by You’ve Got Mail, we can predict that their identities will be fully revealed and then they will need to navigate a new IRL relationship.

Bath and Body Works pumpkin pecan waffles scented 3 wick candle

My Thoughts:


The Invisible Husband of Frick Island [Book Review]

May 18, 2021

Are you looking for an engaging and lighthearted summer read?

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley

The Invisible Husband of Frick Island by Colleen Oakley (cover) coral and blue text.....random blue waves wrap around the text

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, Romance, Quirky Characters

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

On a tiny remote (fictional) island in the middle of Chesapeake Bay, Piper Parrish is grieving the loss of her husband in the most unusual of ways. She appears to think he’s invisible and goes about her daily routine of walking to the docks to meet him and Friday night dinner dates. The townsfolk love her so much that they go along with it and understand that people grieve in many ways. One day, Anders, a young ambitious journalist, comes to town and stumbles upon this story. Anders befriends Piper and spends more and more time with her. Even though he’s a “Come Here” and not a “From Here,” he makes some friends and begins to enjoy the small community…..until everyone finds out about the secret he’s been keeping.

My Thoughts:


Is Summer Reading Season a Thing?

May 14, 2021

Is Summer Reading Season a Thing?

Is Summer Reading Season a Thing text over a photo background of a woman reading next to water

Image Source: Canva

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

Is Summer the Super Bowl of Your Reading Life?

Do you read more in the summer?

Do you have a preferred genre for summer reading?

Do you have a favorite reading season?

Do you like to read

By the Pool?

At the beach?

On your porch swing?

Snuggled on a cozy couch?

Hunkered down in the AC?

On a park bench?

Gif: Summer Reading is here! a large cat holds a book with a shining sun over its shoulder

When my children were young, I could only read late at night (and paid for it the next day). When I was earning my degrees, I didn’t read for pleasure at all. When I taught, summer was definitely my reading season. During the school year, I was preoccupied with lesson plans and grading papers and I was afraid to start a book because I’d get lost in the book and neglect my other responsibilities.

Now that I’m retired, I read every day….I read late at night….I read in bed in the morning. Summer is no longer my main reading season because every day is summer for me now!

An online book club I’m a member of puts out a Summer Reading Guide and it’s a big deal as members seriously plan their summer reading. (a shout out to MMD book club members who are reading this!)

Do you plan your summer reading? Do you consider summer your main reading season or are you more of a winter reader? Or do you read evenly all year and perhaps a bit more on vacation? Or maybe you only read while on vacation?

If you’re a summer reader, what type of books do you like to read in the summer? Do you continue reading your preferred genres or are you looking for something different for summer? Do you pack more books than clothes for a summer vacation? Oh, just me?!

beach reads cartoon

In the summer I continue reading what I usually read for the most part. However, I think that when I take a book to the pool or beach, I like to take a lighter read. That way if I’m interrupted by children or conversation or people watching, I’m able to look up and easily take a break. In other words I probably wouldn’t grab my next intense and heavy histfic. I’m looking for light (but thoughtful) women’s fiction, light memoirs, or essay collections.

With the qualification that ANY book you read at the beach is a BEACH read, here are 20 LIGHTER titles that I’ve read and would recommend for beach (or vacation or backyard) reading this summer. I hope some of these newer and older titles might appeal to you (titles are links to my reviews or Amazon affiliate links):

I could go on! I hope you found an idea here!

Happy Summer Reading Book Friends!

smiling stick figure girl holding an open book (caption: Summer Reading)


Is Summer a big reading season for you?

Happy Reading Book Buddies!

“Ah, how good it is to be among people who are reading.”
~Rainer Maria Rilke

“I love the world of words, where life and literature connect.”
~Denise J Hughes

“Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad ones.”
~Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society

“I read because books are a form of transportation, of teaching, and of connection! Books take us to places we’ve never been, they teach us about our world, and they help us to understand human experience.”
~Madeleine Riley, Top Shelf Text

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***Blogs posts may contain affiliate links. This means that at no extra cost to you, I can earn a small percentage of your purchase price.

Unless explicitly stated that they are free, all books that I review have been purchased by me or borrowed from the library.

Book Cover and author photos are credited to Amazon or an author’s (or publisher’s) website.

© ReadingLadies.com

People We Meet On Vacation [Book Review]

May 11, 2021

People We Meet On Vacation by Emily Henry

People We Meet on Vacation by Emily Henry (cover) Image: graphic of a man and woman relaxing on chaise lounges against an orange background

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Women’s Fiction, RomCom, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thanks #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads for a complimentary eARC of #PeopleWeMeetOnVacation upon my request. All opinions are my own.

Do you have a best friend of the opposite sex? Would you take an annual vacation with this best friend? Would you include spouses in the relationship?

Thirty something and opposite in almost every way, Poppy and Alex have been best friends since college when they shared a ride home from college for summer break. They decided then that they should vacation together every summer. Even though they don’t live in the same town, this annual vacation has been a tradition and a highlight of the last decade. Until the year that something happened and now they have missed their vacation for two years. Poppy is miserable without her best friend fix and realizes that these times with Alex have been her happiest memories, so she decides to plan a vacation this year to fix what’s broken between them. He agrees to the vacation but Poppy is desperate and nervous that they won’t be able to restore their friendship.

My Thoughts:


The Beautiful Strangers [Book Review] #ThrowBackThursday

April 15, 2021

The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio

The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio (cover) Image: a beautiful girl in a green one piece swimming suit lies on the sand under a colorful umbrella

Genre/Categories/Settings: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction, San Diego, Romance

In 2020, I decided to systematically revisit my older review posts and update them. On Thursdays, I’ll be re-sharing a few of these great reads. Today, I’m re-sharing a review of The Beautiful Strangers by Camille Di Maio

I’m linking up today with Davida @ The Chocolate Lady’s Book Review Blog for #throwbackthursday.

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

The legendary Hotel Del Coronado off the coast of San Diego, California is the picturesque and glamorous setting for this story of a ghost, movie stars, mystery, chasing a dream, and romance.

Hotel Del Coronado

Picture of the Hotel Del Coronado from their website

In 1958, Kate Morton, a teenager living in San Francisco, seizes her chance to escape from the demands of working in her family’s struggling restaurant to impulsively travel alone to Coronado in response to her ailing grandfather’s plea to find “the beautiful stranger” and to also search for a job at the hotel which will enable her to dream of a new life. A few surprises await her: the true identity of the beautiful stranger, a family mystery, celebrity encounters, and romance.

Continue here for my full review of The Beautiful Strangers ….


Have you read The Beautiful Strangers or is it on your TBR?

The Windsor Knot [Book Review]

April 2, 2021

The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett

The Windsor Knot by S.J. Bennett (cover) yellow text on a blue background...a small sihlouette of the Queen's head above the text

Genre/Categories: Contemporary Fiction, Cozy Mystery, Royal Family, British

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

“Her Majesty the Queen Investigates…”

The Windsor Knot is the first book in a cozy crime series in which Queen Elizabeth secretly solves crimes. In this story, a young Russian pianist appears to have committed suicide during a “dine and sleep” event at Windsor Castle. MI5 suspects foul play. Frustrated with their investigation, Queen Elizabeth with the help of her competent British Nigerian assistant private secretary begins to make discrete inquiries. The Queen is an excellent observer, an insightful problem solver, and a good judge of character. Soon, she has gathered critical information to tip off one of the investigators. No one suspects that it’s actually the Queen herself who has found the critical evidence and solved the mystery.

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth (Image Source: Wikipedia)

My Thoughts:


Lost, Found, and Forever [Book Review]

 March 19, 2021

Lost, Found, and Forever by Victoria Schade

Lost, Found, & Forever by Victoria Schade (cover) Image: a cute white dog with gray markings peeks around a corner

Genre/Categories: Women’s Contemporary Fiction, Romance

*This post contains Amazon affiliate links.

My Summary:

Thank you, #NetGalley @BerkleyPub #BerkleyWritesStrongWomen #BerkleyBuddyReads @BeritTalksBooks @ThePHDivaBooks for a commplimentary e arc of #LostFoundAndForever upon my request. All opinions are my own. Pub Date: 3.30.2021.

Finders, Keepers?

In addition to romance, we have a custody battle over a beloved rescue dog, Spencer. Justine is Spencer’s current owner, and she loves to train him and he’s also her loyal companion at her dog supply store in upstate New York. Spencer loves performing tricks and has landed a role as a dog actor. On day, Justine comes across a social media post that pleads for the return of a dog that sounds suspiciously like her beloved Spencer. Justine contacts the guy, Griffin, and agrees to meet up with him at a park in Brooklyn. Griffin has the paperwork to prove he’s the original owner but Justine refuses to let Spencer go without a fight. What would you do?

My Thoughts: