When Jocelyn (Joss) Murphy learns of her husband’s infidelity, her life as she knows it is over. Not only is she losing the only man she’s ever loved, but even worse is finding out who his mistress is. Crushed from the betrayal, Joss’s instinct is to leave Tennessee and run back to the place where she feels safe, her grandparents’ farm in Banjo Bend, Kentucky. She longs for the happiness she enjoyed there spending time with her numerous cousins growing up. But when she arrives she finds that the farm is now a lackluster campground. The new owner, Ezra McIntyre, is a brooding, reticent man who’s kind enough to allow Joss to stay on the premises where she’ll do work that nobody else is much interested in taking on. She excels at it and Ezra is impressed. Before long Joss notices how handsome Ezra is and she could see herself falling for him. The feeling is mutual. But will Ezra’s past prevent him from making a commitment that could threaten the peace he’s so determined to protect?
I enjoyed this book. Liz Flaherty’s books are often laced with mature words of wisdom pertaining to life’s situations and relationships. In life’s Too Short for White Walls we meet two people who are trying to find peace after suffering from traumatic events in their lives. Joss seems more resolved to forgive and move forward with her life, whereas Ezra struggles to make amends where he can, and prefers to keep his more difficult challenges to himself with the help of more drinks than he cares to admit. I liked seeing how their characters developed over the course of the story. I also enjoyed many of the secondary characters including Margaret, Ezra’s right-hand, knowledgeable employee who was once in love with Joss’s dad before he married Joss’s mother. And a few of Joss’s cousins that had unique personalities and professions.
Life’s Too Short for White Walls is a comforting read that brought about a range of emotions before culminating in a satisfying happily-ever-after that left me with a warm heart and happy smile.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review which I have given.
Libby Worth and Tucker Llewelyn have known each other since they can remember. In fact, they’re only 27 minutes apart. As handsome as Tuck is, Libby sees him as her forever friend, not imagining that they could ever be anything more. Tuck is closer to her than her own brother, and he’s seen her through the most difficult times of her life. (Or so he thinks. He doesn’t know about “the viper.”) Now the two have turned thirty-four, and each wants something different to happen in their life. Tuck realizes he wants a nuclear family, and Libby wants to add some adventure to her rather ordinary life. So they make a pact to help fulfill each other’s desires. Since each knows everything there is to know about the other it should be a rather easy task. But what’s that odd feeling Libby gets when trying to pair Tuck up with other women? And why does Tuck feel compelled to do whatever it takes to add adventure to Libby’s life in order to make her happy? Tucker senses that Libby is hiding something, something that’s weighing her down. Is her secret the obstacle that restrains her heart from committing to a loving relationship?
This sweet story pulled me in within the first few pages. Tragedies have affected both of the main characters, but Libby has had a more difficult time coping, unbeknownst to her best friend, Tuck. The Happiness Pact touches on the effects that tragedy can have on ones mind and body, and how trying to tackle our own fears is not always the best route to take. But mostly it shows how the love of friends, family and a close-knit community can help us to overcome our challenges so that we can feel free to love, and to enjoy living. And, of course, since this is a sweet romance book, there’s an endearing love story.
The Happiness Pact is a testament to how love can triumph despite hardships in life. Liz Flaherty has an inventive imagination. The scenes in her books envelop you in warmth and comfort. Recommended for those who enjoy light, sweet romance stories with a smidgen of more complex themes.
Liz Flaherty has kindly supplied me with a prize pack to give away. To enter, LIKE this post, and then tell me if you enjoy sweet romance stories, and if you do, what do you appreciate about them? Contest open to U.S. residents only. 😔 Winner will be announced on 7/7/2018.
💚💚💚💚💚 Back to McGuffey’s isn’t your typical romance novel. There’s a maturity about it that greatly appealed to me. The main characters, Kate Rafael and Ben McGuffey are 37 and 39 respectively, and by this time in their lives they’ve already experienced many of life’s major challenges, including divorce, loss of a beloved home and long-held job, a terminally ill parent, and the painstaking realization that with the ticking of the proverbial biological clock, the dream of starting a family may not become a reality for Kate. The characters are dealing with real adult situations, and I like how the author undertook to have them handle life’s difficulties in a dignified and civilized way. For instance, Ben McGuffey was married to a very beautiful woman, Nerissa, who is by this time happily remarried with children. She’s present off and on throughout the book with her husband and kids, but there’s no jealousy or bitterness when she’s in the presence of the woman that Ben truly loves, Kate. Nerissa honestly admits that what she had with Ben could never compare to what he could have with the true love of his life, the one he let get away, Katy. No cat-fights or petty jealousies. The two women can co-exist amicably without the childish caterwauling that could have ensued. This was refreshing. Ben and Kate had broken up 13 years prior when Ben left to pursue his career in medicine. Now he’s back to spend time with his ailing father during his final days and realizes he made a mistake when he let Katy go. The love is there, but it’s not the giddy, young, silly kind. It’s a love of substance that’s achieved by people who have endured in life, and I appreciated how the two came together in a gradual way.
There are so many beautiful facets to Back to McGuffeys, but you’ll have to read it to find out more about Ben and Kate, Dirty Sally the cat and her best friend Lucy, an old dog; Jayson, the lovable young man with Down’s Syndrome and Maggie Hylton-Wise, a presumed curmudgeon with her own story to tell. These and so many others will make you want to invest time in this book.
With chatacters you’ll want to applaud and root for, Back to McGuffeys is a highly enjoyable story that will warm your heart long after you’ve read it. Highly recommended. View all my reviews