Tuesday, December 25, 2018

Book Review: The Summer of New Beginnings (Magnolia Grove #1) by Bette Lee Crosby

One family learns that love is the greatest miracle of all.

Aspiring journalist Meghan Briggs has always been the responsible one in the family. So when her father passes away unexpectedly, leaving behind his at-risk business, she steps up to save his legacy—even if that means putting her own dreams on hold.

Tracy couldn’t be more different from her sister. She’s always been the rebellious type, without much direction in life. But in the wake of her latest romantic disaster, she finds herself moving back home as a single mother.

As Tracy experiences the difficulties of new motherhood, Meghan faces her own struggle: trying not to fall for the stray puppy she rescued. This is no time for attachments—not to the adorable “Sox,” whose owner is bound to turn up any day, and certainly not to the handsome new vet in town. But as the summer unfolds, she discovers that, like Sox, she may need rescuing, too.

As both sisters navigate unexpected challenges and exciting new relationships, they’ll find that putting the past to rest can make way for beautiful new beginnings.

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My Review:
I had heard of the author Bette Lee Crosby before, and I had been meaning to read her books. Many people had actually recommended her books to me. After a Facebook live party, I finally decided to read her women's fiction novel The Summer of New Beginnings. I'm glad I did because it was so good!

The pacing moved at a very relaxing, consistent style. Not once did I grow bored wishing the pacing, nor did I find myself too lost because it was too fast. The pacing was just perfect.

I enjoyed the plot and world building of The Summer of New Beginnings very much. It felt very true to life and very believable. I won't rehash the book synopsis because it describes what happens so beautifully. I loved watching the sisters grow and seeing how they dealt with the hardships the life threw at them. Although this book is mostly focuses on Meghan, the younger sister, The Summer of New Beginnings gives us glimpses into how older sister Tracy is dealing with her problems (and boy, does she have a big one in the form of Dominic) as well as the girls' mother Lila having to deal with her husband's death and looking after her girls. Miss Crosby had me hanging on every word she had written in this book. The way she writes is magical! I was instantly transported to the world of Magnolia Grove every time I would start reading The Summer of New Beginnings.

Every single character in The Summer of New Beginnings, whether they were minor or major, felt like a very real person. I would even dare to say that characters in this book felt more alive than any other book I have read! I loved every character in The Summer of New Beginnings, except for Dominic, but only because he was a jerk, not due to how he was written! Meghan was definitely my favorite. I loved her caring attitude and how she always made sure everyone was taken care of. She was so loving and selfless. I also loved Sox. He sounded so adorable and sweet. I wanted to just snuggle with him myself. I loved reading about Tracy finally taking some responsibility although it's a shame she had to put up with what she did. Lila was such a lovely mother doting on her girls no matter how old they were or what they had done wrong. Tom was such a nice guy. It was hard to find fault with him, and I never did! Gabriel had overcome something major, and it was nice to see him give back to his community to help out. Lucas was so sweet. I fell in love with that little boy right away. It probably helps that I have a little boy of my own too, ha! As I've said before, all of the characters in The Summer of New Beginnings were fantastic!

The Summer of New Beginnings is a pretty clean read. Nothing was too graphic or drawn out. Trigger warnings include kissing (not steamy), mild swearing (only a couple of minor swear words that I noticed), drinking (only a glass of wine here and there and Dominic being drunk a few times), and the death of Meghan's father in the beginning of the book.

Overall, The Summer of New Beginnings is just a feel good read. It's just super sweet, and the whole book is written beautifully. I would definitely recommend The Summer of New Beginnings by Bette Lee Crosby to everyone aged 15+. I know it is considered Women's Fiction, but I think a lot of men who read would like this one too.

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