Tag Archives: Sherryl Woods

Feels Like Family by Sherryl Woods

Overview
Feels Like Family eBook by Sherryl Woods - 9781459247512 | Rakuten Kobo  United States

Title: Feels Like Family
Author: Sherryl Woods
Series: The Sweet Magnolias #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 17th – 18th October 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: What the sundae wasn’t accomplishing, Erick was.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

On the road to success, good friends are never far apart in the world of the Sweet Magnolias. Now a Netflix original series!

Helen Decatur spent a lifetime setting goals – getting through college and law school, opening her own practice, becoming financially secure, and establishing herself as one of the most highly respected divorce attorneys in the state of South Carolina. Achieving those goals was a breeze compared to the one she’s faced with now.

The most driven – and cynical – of the Sweet Magnolias, Helen is forty-two, single and suddenly ready for the family she’s put on the back burner for all these years. Unfortunately, having a child at her age comes with lots of complications, not the least of which is the absence of a serious relationship in her life.

Handling so many divorces has left her sceptical about love, but Helen’s not the type of woman to wait around for fate to step in. Taking charge of her own destiny puts her at odds with her two best friends and sets sparks flying with a man who claims he doesn’t want a family, and nothing turns out like she planned.

Thoughts

So whilst I loved this novel, I do need to point out that I really didn’t like Helen’s decision making and choices throughout this story. It was seriously flawed and just all round not okay. Yet, somehow, even though I was seriously not impressed… I didn’t hate her. Which is surprising. Because the decisions that she made in this were of the sort that I would normally feel pure rage…

All of that aside, this was still kind of a cute little love story. It was filled with the typical lightness (with a dash of serious) that I’m getting used to in Woods’ romances. And it was just… well, pleasant. Plus, I did really adore Eric. I may not have liked some of the decisions in this story… but I still loved the overall reaction and outcome. It was just a cute, easy to read love story that I read while curled up, trying to get over a damn bug.

I really enjoyed the fact that this romance wasn’t just about the lead couple, Helen and Eric. But there was another romance bought into the story. A bit like Virgin River, there are so many layers of beautiful moments throughout this whole story that builds up the whole community, not just the primary characters. In the case of this story, it is Karen’s journey and her romance with Elliot that just helped further the whole world for me. Plus, Karen’s story was a really nice counterpoint to Helen’s. both in personality and occurrences…

Aside from my one point of contention (Helen’s damn dumb ass decisions), this is a really sweet story. It’s about love, family and the importance of friendship. And I loved the fact that although Dana Sue and Maddie get annoyed at Helen, there is still no doubt that they are friends… even when that friendship involves a bit of a butt kicking.

<- A Slice of HeavenWelcome to Serenity ->

Image source: Kobo

A Slice of Heaven by Sherryl Woods

Overview
A Slice of Heaven, Sweet Magnolias by Sherryl Woods ...

Title: A Slice of Heaven
Author: Sherryl Woods
Series: The Sweet Magnolias #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 27th – 28th July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2005
5th sentence, 74th page: “Call him,” Maddie urged.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Return to the world of the Sweet Magnolias, where friends are closer than family, and fun and scandal are always part of the mix. Now a Netflix original series!

Ever since she discovered her ex-husband’s affair, Dana Sue Sullivan decided to put down new roots and create the best restaurant in Serenity, South Carolina. After years of hard labor, her dream has become a reality. Sullivan’s provides more than just Southern comfort food – it’s become a haven for the whole town – and Dana Sue knows better than anyone that relying on friendship can get you through the toughest times.

But when her teenage daughter, Annie, develops an eating disorder that lands her in hospital, Dana Sue’s perfect life comes crumbling down. On top of it all, her own health starts to deteriorate. Dana Sue knows she needs to change habits now to help them both get better – even if that means letting Ronnie Sullivan back into their lives.

And who knows, his return might end up being a recipe for a new beginning…

Thoughts

Oh. I just absolutely adore Dana Sue. Not only from the first Sweet Magnolias book, Stealing Home, but also from the TV show. There is this great feeling of strength and independence to her that I just fell completely in love with. Partnered with the fact that she’s a chef and I love food… it worked perfectly in my happy little brain. Then there’s Annie… she’s got such amazing spunk for a teenage character.

This novel deals with some very serious issues surrounding body image, women and food. Not only in Annie’s anorexia (which is hinted at at the end of Stealing Home). But also in the ways in which Dana Sue requires food for comfort. And the fact that she is at risk for diabetes. Both issues with food and body image, but both at different ends of the scale. Partner that with the usage of the gym and the deal which the Sweet Magnolias make… I loved how Woods was able to focus on such big issues that are frequently around in our daily lives.

One of the major themes I’m picking up so far in this series is the whole idea of cheating – first it’s Maddie’s husband and then it’s Dana Sue’s. In this story, cheating is eventually forgiven, or at least moved on from. I don’t think that it’s something that I could ever do. Yet, it shows this admirable love and commitment. And a great reminder that we all make mistakes in relationships, so there always needs to be some level of forgiveness…

Not only was this novel a great romance. One that I absolutely adored. It was also a great way to highlight some of the physical, and body image issues that many women face. As someone who is currently on her own health kick, it was nice to read about other women having the exact same issues. Definitely one of those books that I’m going to read again and again and again.

<- Stealing HomeFeels Like Family ->

Image source: Booktopia

Stealing Home by Sherryl Woods

Overview
Stealing Home (Sweet Magnolias, book 1) by Sherryl Woods

Title: Stealing Home
Author: Sherryl Woods
Series: The Sweet Magnolias #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 23rd – 26th July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2007
5th sentence, 74th page: Now all of that was at risk.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

For the Sweet Magnolias, now a Netflix original series, friendship lasts a lifetime…

Maddie Townsend might live in a town called Serenity and have the best friends a woman could ask for, but her life is overturned when her husband leaves her for a younger woman. With her three children heartbroken from the change, Maddie has a lot to contend with. On top of it all, after years outside the workforce, she must dust off her business skills to take charge of her best friends’ newest project – planning the town’s only fitness spa for women.

When her son’s developing anger issues begin to affect his passion for baseball, Maddie knows she must step in to help. She didn’t expect to develop feelings for her son’s coach, the handsome Cal Maddox, and to learn he has feelings for her, too. But gossip travels quickly in a small town, and Maddie and Cal’s relationship may threaten both their reputations and careers.

Then again, he could be the one man in all of South Carolina who can help her find serenity after all.

Thoughts

I managed to start two Sherryl Woods series pretty close to one another. Mainly because more of the Chesapeake Shores books aren’t yet on my shelves. And although I love the Sweet Magnolias, I did find that I didn’t find it as much of a great beginning to a series as The Inn at Eagle Point. Having said that. This still gets five stars from me. It’s still fun, cute, amazing and a great way to spend an evening.

This novel perfectly encapsulates the way it feels to live in a small town. It highlights the gossip-tree that spreads throughout. And the ways in which gossip can cause havoc in a person’s life. It actually reminded me a little of the ways in which I hate small towns, even as I love them. Poor Cal and Maddie have to deal with such nonsense throughout this novel. Nonsense that makes you want to smack around the silly people who thought that they could be involved in somebody else’s love life.

The gossip, and the difference in the communities’ reactions to Bill and Maddie were great at highlighting the double standards that women face every day. Maddie is actually innocent in the creation of her relationship (where Bill certainly isn’t). Yet, it is Maddie that has a constant threat hanging over her head due to social pressure. I love that Woods not only highlights this in her story – but it is something that is actually discussed amongst the characters in this novel as well. We definitely need more stories which shine a light on this issue.

There is something about the setting of Serenity that is completely beautiful, peaceful and loving. Gossip crazy members aside, I would love to live in such a beautiful and peaceful town. One in which you can open a Corner Spa with your friends and start a new life surrounded by people who love you. It’s everything that you imagine a small town to be, and I loved that Serenity was almost its own character. One that I look forward to meeting again and again throughout this series.

<- More Sherryl WoodsA Slice of Heaven ->

Image source: Fantastic Fiction

Harbor Lights by Sherryl Woods

Overview
Harbor Lights, Chesapeake Shores Novel, 3 by Sherryl Woods ...

Title: Harbor Lights
Author: Sherryl Woods
Series: Chesapeake Shores #3
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 20th – 21st July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: His father’s belated transformation was hard to buy, but there was at least some evidence to support it.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Struggling in his role as a newly single father, former army medic Kevin O’Brien moves home to Chesapeake Shores. He wants a haven for himself and his toddler son, surrounded by the family he knows he can count on, and a future that’s nothing like his past. But Kevin is suddenly facing a risk he hadn’t anticipated, in the form of Main Street bookseller Shanna Carlyle.

Shanna immediately recognizes Kevin as a wounded soul – she’s had way too much experience with the type. Still, this charming O’Brien man and his son are almost impossible to resist.

Then, just when the barriers are toppling, someone from Shanna’s past appears. Confronted with a threat to their hard-won serenity, Kevin and Shanna face their toughest challenge – learning to trust again.

Thoughts

From the very outset of this novel, and from her introduction in Flowers on Main, I knew that Kevin’s wife was going to die. And it was kind of tragic. But also something that I was gleefully anticipating… there’s not enough of her to become attached to. And I mostly just really wanted to get started on Kevin’s life and journey. Some of the extra complications of their relationship were not foreseen though. Which made the whole story all that much more intriguing.

As much as the loss of his wife makes Kevin’s backstory and the complications he brings to the relationship is a little sad. It is Shanna’s backstory which was really heart breaking. No wonder she had so many hang ups. But she was also one of the sweetest, kindest characters that I’ve read in a while. I love all of that softness and tenderness that she brings to the story line.

Most love stories which are of this calibre are all about finding a second chance and moving on from the past. This is partly what happens in this novel. But, mostly, it is about hope and finding a way to have their own happily ever after. It’s about moving on and carving out a life for yourself after your heart and life has been shattered.

This was a more complex romance than what I’ve been reading lately. But it was what I seriously enjoyed about this. I love that there were many, many moments of difficulties and emotions. Not something that I always find in a good romance. It was a story that made you hope / think that no matter what horrible things happen… there is always the chance of creating a new happily ever after for yourself. In spite of everything that may go wrong.

<- Flowers on MainA Chesapeake Shores Christmas ->

Image source: Booktopia

Flowers on Main by Sherryl Woods

Overview
Flowers On Main :HarperCollins Australia

Title: Flowers on Main
Author: Sherryl Woods
Series: Chesapeake Shores #2
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 19th – 20th July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Nell said, sounding vaguely wary, but definitely not surprised.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

When her last two plays are dismal failures and her relationship with her temperamental mentor falls apart, writer Bree O’Brien abandons Chicago and the regional theater where she hoped to make a name for herself to return home. Opening Flowers on Main promises to bring her a new challenge and a new kind of fulfillment.

But not all is peaceful and serene in Chesapeake Shores, with her estranged mother on the scene and her ex-lover on the warpath. Jake Collins has plenty of reasons to want Bree out of his life, but none of those are a match for the one reason he wants her to stay: he’s still in love with her.

Jake might be able to get past that old hurt if he knew Bree was home to stay, but is she? The only way to know for sure is to take a dangerous leap of faith.

Thoughts

Bree is the quiet, lovely O’Brien sister. So I seriously looked forward to reading her story. After all, she’s the quiet sane sister. And sometimes they’re the ones that are the most ridiculously fun. Particularly when you begin to find out about the things in her past which made her run. And the lead man in this story? Jake… he’s just gorgeous. And underhanded. And wonderful.

There seems to be a bit of a recurring theme in the Chesapeake Shores books so far… that of reigniting love; second chances; and getting rid of naysayers. I love the idea that even though there have been bad moments in the past, there is always a chance for redemption. For Abbey it was walking back to the life that she said goodbye to. But, for Bree, it was so much more intense and complicated. The fact that Bree and Jake were able to get over their own past… it gives you hope for the future. Or at least, it gives me hope.

I love that one of the obstacles to the relationship in this novel were due to, in part, needing to just grow the hell up. And, you know, get over the past and find a way into the future. It’s something that I think we all sometimes need to keep in mind. And, as someone, who has been in a relationship since I was in my teens… I can completely understand both sides of the conflict in this… which is probably what I enjoyed so much about Woods’ writing in this novel – it was realistic in its approach to emotions and feelings.

After finishing this novel, I weirdly really want a flower shop. I have no idea why. As much as I enjoy flowers – I’m not great at growing them, and I’ve never tried to arrange them. This is another one of those stories that act as a fantastic reminder that having an insanely high-powered career isn’t necessarily going to make you happy. And that giving up such a thing can sometimes lead to never-ending happiness.

<- The Inn at Eagle PointHarbor Lights ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

The Inn at Eagle Point by Sherryl Woods

Overview
The Inn At Eagle Point :HarperCollins Australia

Title: The Inn at Eagle Point
Author: Sherryl Woods
Series: Chesapeake Shores #1
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 15th – 17th July 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novel
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: If she had, Abby would have stayed far, far away from the bank.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

It’s been years since Abby O’Brien Winters set foot in Chesapeake Shores. The Maryland town her father built has too many sad memories and Abby too few spare moments, thanks to her demanding Wall Street career, the crumbling of her marriage and energetic daughters. Then one panicked phone call from her youngest sister brings her racing back home to protect Jess’s dream of renovating the charming Inn at Eagle Point.

But saving the inn from foreclosure means dealing not only with her own fractured family, but also with Trace Riley, the man Abby left ten years ago. Trace can be a roadblock to her plans… or proof that second chances happen in the most unexpected ways.

Thoughts

What a beautiful start to a beautiful series. It’s cute, it’s quaint and it’s everything that I love in a good contemporary romance series. Particularly since I seem to be drawn to the series which feature older adults now. And second chance love stories. And people with a ridiculous amount of history that makes you go yup… we all have a bit of a tough time in life… but there’s hope!

I really liked that there was this slow realisation in Abby throughout this story that divorce is a two-way street and that it’s not all her own fault. That even though Wes doesn’t seem like a totally terrible guy… he’s still kind of a dick all the way throughout. He was one of those villains that I really didn’t like… but I also didn’t completely hate. I just thought he was a bit of a petulant child. And I loved that Abby also came to this same realisation… it highlighted the idea of second chances and understanding not only other people again, but yourself.

The driver for the beginning of this series is all about sisterly love. It’s strong, it’s annoying and it’s complex. I know. I have an annoying little sister. One that I love dearly, don’t get me wrong… but still annoying at times. I loved how Woods was realistic about the annoyance of siblings and how intertwined we all are in each others’ lives. It just made the whole story more fun and, honestly, cute. Again, Wes’ silliness also highlighted that you should really never get between sisters… you’ll always loose.

This isn’t just a romance. It’s a great tale about family, children, and second chances. Not only is it about Abby and Trace finding a second chance and a life and love that suits them. But it’s also about healing wounds in family and taking a second chance on them. Even as the next generation grows to make their own bull headed mistakes…

<- More Sherryl WoodsFlowers on Main ->

Image source: HarperCollins Australia

That Holiday Feeling by Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods & Robyn Carr

Overview
Image result for that holiday feeling book cover

Title: That Holiday Feeling
Author: Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods & Robyn Carr
In: That Holiday Feeling (Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods & Robyn Carr)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romanceShort story collections
Dates read: 1st – 13th June 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Anthology
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: “What are you doing tomorrow?” Philip asked unexpectedly.

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Celebrate Christmas with three store is from your favorite authors

Silver Bells by Debbie Macomber
In this classic story, Debbie brings those Manning men and Manning sisters home for a mistletoe marriage when a single dad finally says “I do.” this story was also published in the anthology Christmas Kisses

The Perfect Holiday by Sherryl Woods
Will bachelor Trace Franklin become a groom-to-be by Christmastime? He sure will … if Savannah Holiday’s aunt Mae as anything to do with it.

Under the Christmas Tree by Robyn Carr
When the folks of Virgin River discover a box of adorable puppies under the town’s Christmas tree they call on local vet Nathaniel Jensen for help. But it’s his budding romance with Annie McCarty that really has tongues — and tails — wagging!

Thoughts

This is a great collection. I probably should have read it closer to Christmas. But, in the midst of all of the insanity, it was nice to read something so uplifting. A collection that is all about family, love and spending a holiday together. Actually, I very rarely even concentrated on the Christmas aspect of these three novellas – I just liked the family and love themes that ran throughout and left me feeling all warm and fuzzy inside.

I bought this collection because the last novella is part of the Virgin River series. So I knew that I was going to love the final story in this collection. I figured I’d probably just enjoy the first two. I was wrong. I loved all three novellas ridiculously. They made me very happy and content. And left me with that after-glow you get when you read a seriously phenomenal story. They also just left me generally happy since they were romances that featured family. Both the creation of a new one and the honouring of an old one.

If I were to imagine my ideal holiday season or Christmas… this would be it. It would be about love and family. Being grateful for the people in your life and just filling the world with love. It’s not something that I necessarily feel every year and all the time, but this is a great little reminder of the power of love and how things can be comfortably sweet and happy even in the darkest moments.

<- Under the Christmas TreeSilver Bells ->

Image source: Goodreads

The Perfect Holiday by Sherryl Woods

Overview
Image result for that holiday feeling book cover

Title: The Perfect Holiday
Author: Sherryl Woods
In: That Holiday Feeling (Debbie Macomber, Sherryl Woods & Robyn Carr)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Christmas, Contemporary, Contemporary romance
Dates read: 3rd June 2020
Pace: Medium
Format: Novella
Publisher: Mira
Year: 2009
5th sentence, 74th page: Trace grinned at her

Buy The Book Now at The Book Depository, Free Delivery World Wide

Synopsis

Will bachelor Trace Franklin become a groom-to-be by Christmastime? He sure will … if Savannah Holiday’s aunt Mae as anything to do with it.

Thoughts

This is a beautiful, gorgeous and sweet novella. It is fun and light. And one that I thoroughly enjoyed reading. It’s all about finding family and love in the middle of the Christmas time. It’s an incredibly light and generous story. One that transported me to a beautiful, snow-covered fantasy world and all of the things that you imagine a White Christmas to be.

I’m not all that knowledgeable on children or being a single mother. But, honestly, Hannah is one of my favourite child-characters in the recent stories I’ve been reading. She’s such a little fire cracker and is constantly adding in a needed dose of humour and entertainment to this storyline that would otherwise be a little more serious, and very romantic and lovey. It was nice to have this humorous little girl running around lightening everything.

Unlike a lot of the romances I read, there are no dark spots throughout this novella. It is all light and cheery. There are no arguments, and really no moments of doubt. Just one or two of confusion (because otherwise it would be TOO perfect). I had actually expected quite a few hangups from past relationships in both Trace and Savannah. And they do have this a little, at least, it’s mentioned, but it’s not informing their current relationship. If only we could all be this healthy.

Lastly, I love that this whole story is orchestrated by a dead great-aunt. Her personality and drives sing through the pages of the story, even if you never once meet the character. It’s kind of beautiful. And really, really fun.

<- Silver BellsUnder the Christmas Tree ->

Image source: Goodreads