Two Books

Here’s a recap of two contemporary romance books I’ve read that I really enjoyed and hope you will too.

“It was the first time I’d returned to the Gale family cottage in Oak Bluffs for an extended stay – I’d only managed quick weekends here and there around my busy work schedule – in ten years, and I was feeling mostly anxious with a flicker of anticipation.”

Summer Reading
By Jenn McKinlay
Source: Advance review copy
Published: May 2023
Rating: ★★★1/2

Samantha Gale is spending the summer in Martha’s Vineyard chaperoning her teenaged half-brother, Tyler, while her parents go on a much-anticipated vacation. She’s hoping that this time in the one place she used to love will also help her figure out her next move in her career as she finds herself out of a job as a chef.

Before she even gets on the island though, she meets a handsome guy on the ferry but after a memorable encounter which leads to her tossing his book in the water, she hopes she won’t have to see him again. Of course little does she know Ben is the interim library director who she will be seeing quite a bit of as she has to take her brother to summer camp at the library. Well there’s no way he’ll be interested in her because she doesn’t like reading.

Actually, Sam has dyslexia and as she starts to get to know Ben and his own reasons for being on the island, sparks fly and both learn to understand one another. I thought the romance was really charming but it’s not just the romance that made this a strong story. I really thought the way Ben approached helping Sam to learn how to enjoy books was really sweet and genuine. There was a lot of humor and I especially liked the brother-sister bonding between Sam and Tyler as they get to know each other and develop a strong relationship. If you are still looking for the perfect beach read, this one is not to be missed.

“I’ve been so afraid this was coming. For over a year now I’ve been fumbling my way through work, making absent-minded slip-ups and oversights, the sort of stuff I just don’t do. It’s like since Carla died I’ve switched my writing hand, and suddenly I’m doing everything with my left, not my right.”

The Switch
By Beth O’Leary
Source: Audiobook
Published: August 2020
Rating: ★★★1/2

After a disastrous business presentation, Leena is told to take some time off. She feels adrift and escapes to her grandmother’s house in rural Yorkshire. Eileen loves having Leena around but she could really use a change of scenery too now that she’s single and there’s not a lot of potential suitors in her village. Perhaps these two need to shake things up and Leena decides she’ll stay in Yorkshire, give up her smart phone and let her grandmother spend some time in London at her place.

Two months will give these ladies an opportunity to trade places. In London Eileen hopes to find some fun and maybe even give online dating a try but it’s not just romance that she finds but an opportunity to help build a community with the residents at Leena’s apartment building. For her part, Leena plans to manage her grandmother’s projects like the May Day parade, I mean how hard can that be, and also get reacquainted with a friend from the past. A now very handsome friend from the past.

There are some serious moments that both of these ladies have to go through as they are still grieving the loss of Carla, Eileen’s granddaughter and Leena’s sister but there are also good lessons about taking chances. And, some very funny scenes. I have read The Flatshare by Beth O’Leary, which I loved, and although this one didn’t wow me as much as The Flatshare, it was nevertheless very enjoyable.

  1. August 31, 2023
  2. September 6, 2023
  3. September 6, 2023