Sunday, June 25, 2017

The Identicals

The Identicals by Elin Hilderbrand

It's Nantucket versus Martha's Vineyard in this refreshing, truly entertaining story about estranged identical twins and the deep bond they share.

Tabitha and Harper Frost are separated as teenagers when their parents divorce and take each girl to a different island to live.

 The unlucky draw has Tabitha growing up on Nantucket with her famous, fashion designer mother. Polished and refined, she curses the everyday headache of running the financially strapped, stuffy boutique that caters to her mother's sophisticated, but somewhat passe designs. And then there's her rebellious daughter, Ainsley, who engages in self-destructive behavior, when all she really longs for is attention and a home-cooked meal.

Harper spends her life on Martha's Vineyard with their likable, easygoing father, finding that being carefree and irresponsible has dire consequences. People tend to gossip when you sleep with an admired married doctor and get caught delivering illegal drugs.

A series of circumstances force the now grown women to switch islands, essentially trading lives. Preconceptions they have of one another has taken a toll on the friendship they once shared. The root of their animosity dates back to a tragedy that occurred many years ago. Maybe it's time to shed the blame and become sisters once again.

What a delight this novel is...Hilderbrand cleverly meshes the twin islands with twin sisters for a thoroughly engaging story. Told with warmth and humor, readers will enjoy meeting memorable characters whose lives effortlessly intertwine. It's fun just anticipating what the next chapter will bring. Scandal, teenage angst, heartache, forgiveness..this one has it all.

 For those of you looking for the ever-popular beach read, put this selection on your summer list.
Outrageously good.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

He Said/She Said

He Said/She Said by Erin Kelly

Kit and Laura are eclipse chasers; that rare breed of people who travel to the far ends of the Earth to witness the magic of astronomy.

Their love is still new when they travel to a festival in Cornwall to see a total eclipse of the sun. It's here that Laura stumbles across what appears to be a brutal assault on a young woman. Horrified, she describes the scene to Kit who arrives moments later. He unsuccessfully pursues the assailant, who eventually turns himself into the police, fervently professing his innocence. But Laura knows what she saw and is determined to vindicate the girl who was violated, even if it means telling a little white lie at the trial.

What Kit and Laura don't expect, is to find the victim at their doorstep, months later. Her neediness becomes obsessive until one dangerous night that makes Laura question if she's trusted the wrong person all along.

Fifteen years later, Laura and Kit have changed their identities, making sure they leave no digital footprints behind. Kit leaves to view another eclipse, while Laura remains at home, awaiting the birth of twins. It's become a way of life to always look over their shoulders for the appearance of a familiar face from the past. And when that face finally surfaces, truth and fiction collide, revealing a long trail of calculated deception.

Tormented characters, intent on survival, do whatever it takes to win. Author Erin Kelly takes the reader on a wild ride of emotions in this one, and the result is thoroughly intoxicating.

Friday, June 2, 2017

Secrets in Summer

Secrets in Summer by Nancy Thayer

 Thirty-year old divorcee, Darcy Cotterill, finds that true friendship comes in all shapes and sizes during one memorable summer on the tranquil island of Nantucket.

Darcy leads a fulfilling life. Rescued many years ago from a dysfunctional family, she inherits her late grandmother's home, allowing her to live year-round on this little piece of paradise. Having a dream job as the assistant director of the children's library and spending time with a good-looking, mysterious carpenter, only adds to her contentment.

 The summer months bring in the usual onslaught of tourists, but she never imagined that her ex-husband and his new gorgeous wife and vulnerable, teenage stepdaughter would move in next door. Living on the other side, is a feisty, wise, elderly woman and her suave grandson. Darcy grows fond of them all, including a stressed out young mother with three rambunctious boys and a husband with a roving eye. Somehow, these new acquaintances become far more than just neighbors. In three short months, this motley crew of mismatched women share secrets and dreams, finding they are surprisingly alike in many ways.

If visiting Nantucket is on your bucket list (it's on mine), then close your eyes and travel there vicariously without spending a penny. Walk down the cobblestone streets and envision the sandy beaches. Author Nancy Thayer introduces the reader to a place she knows so well. As in any good beach read, there's desire and passion, but ultimately, this engaging plot speaks of lasting friendship, long after the season ends.

A smooth, savory slice of summer.