Check out my hopeful reads this week. Be sure to leave a comment and let me know what you’re reading.
Connie Kuykendall’s Love Ain’t No Soap Opera
The Blurb: “A Christian Contemporary Romance seasoned with humor and Southern charm.
It’s Mayberry meets Daytime Drama…
Selah Morgan, Southern screw-up, is having a hard time facing the plus-sized woman in the mirror or believing that God cares about her or her life. The thirty-something computer consultant longs for the passion and excitement enjoyed by the young, rich, and skinny on her favorite daytime drama, The Winds of Change.
Selah is stuck in her hick hometown, Shadybrook, Virginia, working out of a closet in her parents’ dilapidated house, losing clients, and trying to avoid her childhood bullies and her gambling father’s bill collectors. Rather than risk a tempestuous marriage like her parents’ or date the scary rednecks who troll their family diner, Good Company, she vows to spend her life single, showering her love on her dog and daydreaming about soap bad boy, Cane Ashton.
At the soap’s fan club weekend in New York City, Selah stumbles into her dream job as SoaperFan, a stunt to save the soon-to-be-canceled show. Selah takes the job despite her guilt about leaving her ailing momma at home to clean up her father’s messes. Momma warns her that real life and real love ain’t no soap opera where a billionaire tycoon whisks you away in his private jet and makes your dreams come true. But, when she meets Cane, those soulful eyes, that six-pack, and that smile melt her defenses like Hershey’s ice cream under a molten flow of hot fudge in the diner.
Cane is being eaten alive by guilt. Years ago, he shattered his family and his burgeoning NFL career, collateral damage from his deadly mistakes. He’s reinvented himself as a soap star on a daytime drama and, at thirty-five, is ready to leave his playboy past behind and start a family with someone real. Selah Morgan, all curves and laughter, is a breath of fresh air. In fifteen years in show business, he has never met anyone like the klutzy SoaperFan, whose sweetness and Southern drawl are as big as her hair.
In an industry that idealizes physical beauty, Selah is out of her league. She must draw on her Southern charm and hometown values to turn the head of the brooding heartthrob and win over his catty co-star and Selah’s cranky head writer boss. As her confidence in herself and God’s love for her grows, she discovers that true beauty isn’t found in the mirror. But will her lingering insecurities, her meddling Momma, and Cane’s dark secrets threaten their chance at love in the afternoon? When this soap fan gets her fantasy soap hunk, will he live up to her fantasies or is he the kind of man Momma warned her about?
Love Ain’t No Soap Opera will appeal to women of all ages, especially those from their teens to their thirties who struggle with their self-worth and body image and wonder if they’ll ever be good enough or hot enough for Prince Charming.“
Kay Dew Shostack’s Next Stop, Chancey
The Blurb: “Looking in your teenage daughters’ purse is never a good idea.
After all, it ended up with Carolina Jessup opening a Bed & Breakfast for railroad fanatics in a tiny Georgia Mountain town. Carolina knows all about, and hates, small towns. How did she end up leaving her wonderful Atlanta suburbs behind while making her husband’s dreams come true?
The town bully (who wears a lavender skirt and white gloves), an endless parade of teenagers through her house, and everybody’s talk about a ghost have Carolina looking for an escape, or at least a way to move back home. Instead, she”s front and center for all of Chancey’s small town gossip.
Unlike back home in the suburbs with privacy fences and automatic garage doors, everybody in Chancey thinks your business is their business and they all love the newest Chancey business. The B&B hosts a Senate candidate, a tea for the County Fair Beauty contestants, and railroad nuts who sit out by the tracks and record the sound of a train going by. Yet, nobody believes Carolina prefers the ‘burbs.
Oh, yeah, and if you just ignore a ghost, will it go away? “
Hillary Manton Lodge’s Together at the Table
The Blurb: “Three months ago, Juliette D’Alisa’s world changed.
In a bittersweet series of events, her mother’s health took a turn for the worse. Juliette and her brother opened their restaurant together to rave reviews, but her romance with Memphis immunologist Neil McLaren ended in anger and tears.
As autumn sweeps into the Pacific Northwest, Juliette feels that she’s finally on the cusp of equilibrium. The restaurant continues to thrive, and her family is closer than ever. She and sous-chef Adrien are seeing each other, both in and out of the kitchen. Just when she thinks her world might stop spinning, a trip to the waterfront lands a familiar face into her path.
Rather than dwell on her personal life, Juliette throws herself into work and research. After reading her grandmother’s letters from war-torn Paris, she still wants to know the full story – and she’ll travel across countries and oceans to find it.
But even Juliette can’t outrun the man who stole her heart. As she finally uncovers the truth about her family history, what will it mean for her own chances at lasting love?“
Jennifer Peel’s Taylor Lynne
The Blurb: “Determined not to repeat the same mistakes as her mother, Taylor Cole left her husband with their toddler in tow fourteen years ago and vowed never to return to Merryton. Now she is finally ready to face her demons and put the past and her ex-husband behind her, but to do that she and her daughter must return to the place that haunts her memories. A place where she lost not only the love of her life, but her childhood hopes and dreams.
When they move back, Taylor can’t seem to remain apathetic toward her ex-husband or his nine-year-old daughter. She discovers that maybe all wasn’t as it seemed so many years ago. And maybe—just maybe—she and her ex-husband need each other more now than they ever have before. But can the exes put the past behind them and find a way to forgive each other? Or will they let past mistakes and misunderstandings keep them from future happiness?
Return to Merryton and join Taylor and Easton on their journey, and catch up with old friends you grew to love in Jessie Belle.“