Release Date: May 29, 2012
Buying Links: Amazon The Book Depository
Book Blurb (from goodreads):
"The Brass Ring" by Lisa Jackson - It's a beautiful June day, perfect for a wedding - until Shawna learns that her fiancé, Parker, has been involved in a car crash. Though his injuries heal, his memories of her are gone. Yet Shawna won't stop reaching to reclaim the love they once shared..."June's Lace" by Cathy Lamb - June MacKenna is done - with her high-pressure legal career, her cheating soon-to-be-ex, and the stress of city living. In her studio on the Oregon coast, she creates beautiful lace wedding dresses, with no intention of ever wearing one again herself. Then songwriter Reece rents the house next door, and sets out to change her mind..."Second Chance Sweethearts" by Holly Chamberlin - Thea Foss is putting a bad marriage behind her in the pretty vacation town of Ogunquit, Maine. What's past is past...Until her first love wanders into the local diner, reminding Thea of the person she once was, and the life it's not too late to claim..."Carolina Summer" by Rosalind Noonan - Jane Doyle needs to get out of New York - the farther the better. She's headed toward Florida, but thanks to a storm along North Carolina's Outer Banks, she finds herself stranded in a beautiful, remote town that soon feels a lot like home. And thanks to the local sheriff, she finds herself staying longer than she planned - and feeling less lost at sea than ever...
Reviewed By: Bea
The book had four stories so I have a brief review of each one. They follow the same order as in the book. In addition to the beach and summer theme common to the stories, three of the four also have exes who are stalkers, abusive or both. That is not my idea of a little light summer reading and I had to readjust my expectations while reading.
JUNE'S LACE by Cathy Lamb
A light sweet frothy confection, complete with eccentric family members.The ex in this one is emotionally and verbally abusive. It's a sweet love story, and I liked that June was honest about her relationship with her ex with her new guy; both she and Reece had some careful balancing to do before they could be together completely.
SECOND CHANCE SWEETHEARTS by Holly Chamberlin
I just could not get into this one. It's over 90 pages and I read 30 before giving up. I couldn't relate to Thea (though I do like that name) and the author was taking too long to get things moving. Plus, I felt like she was giving us information in dribs and drabs; instead of an info dump, it was an info drought. The story was too short for that technique to be effective. I moved on to the next story and when I finished the book, I went back to this one and tried again, and gave up again. Although it didn't work for me, you may enjoy it. Before I gave trying to read it, I got the impression that Thea's ex was abusive but since I didn't finish it, I could be completely wrong.
CAROLINA SUMMER by Rosalind Noonan
Again, a story where the author, albeit a different one, took too long to tell us why the lead female, Jane, was running and hiding. No abusive ex this time, but a stalker. This one gave a more realistic portrayal of small town living, including the inevitable gossip that happens. I liked Jane though towards the end of the story when she thinks someone may be in her apartment, she goes all stupid. I also wondered how she was able to hold on to her job while she was down South (I can't say more without spoiling the story). Still, it was a good story and I enjoyed it.
THE BRASS RING by Lisa Jackson
This is a reprint, though I only knew that from reading the author's note at the end of the anthology. I liked the premise; I don't know how realistic it is, but it's a thought provoking one. It brings up questions of personality, character, innate traits vs. learned traits, the malleability of a person's emotional make up, and so on. Parker has difficulty believing that Shawna could still love him as he's no longer the man she fell in love with. He believes, and I agreed, that Shawna that she doesn't properly appreciate that he's a different man; she still sees the Parker who existed before his accident and not the man he's become. There's also a secondary plot line that I thought was unnecessary; the basic premise provided more than enough dramatic and romantic tension. Still, I liked Shawna, I liked her brother and I liked both of the Parkers, though the second one is a harsher man.
Overall, a good anthology; it's not quite as light as the title and cover imply it has some good stories.
I received this book from Meryl Moss Media for review.
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