BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Review, Excerpt & Giveaway: The Sometimes Sisters by Carolyn Brown

Publisher: Montlake Romance
Source: the publisher in exchange for an honest review
Release Date: February 27th, 2018 
Buying Links: Amazon* | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository*  |
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Blurb from goodreads:


A bittersweet inheritance reunites three estranged sisters in a novel of family, trust, and forgiveness from New York Times bestselling author Carolyn Brown.

When they were growing up, Dana, Harper, and Tawny thought of themselves as “sometimes sisters.” They connected only during the summer month they’d all spend at their grandmother’s rustic lakeside resort in north Texas. But secrets started building, and ten years have passed since they’ve all been together—in fact, they’ve rarely spoken, and it broke their grandmother’s heart.

Now she’s gone, leaving Annie’s Place to her granddaughters—twelve cabins, a small house, a café, a convenience store, and a lot of family memories. It’s where Dana, Harper, and Tawny once shared so many good times. They’ve returned, sharing only hidden regrets, a guarded mistrust, and haunting guilt. But now, in this healing summer place, the secrets that once drove them apart could bring them back together—especially when they discover that their grandmother may have been hiding something, too…

To overcome the past and find future happiness, these “sometimes sisters” have one more chance to realize they are always family.

My Thoughts:

"The Sometimes Sisters" is the story of three sisters who have grown part over the years. When their father's mother dies, they all come to gather. They find she's left them her property, divided up amongst the three of them but they will have to work together. Her hope is they will rediscover and rebuild their familial bonds.

All three women, Dana, Harper, and Tawny, are having hard times and their grief over their grandmother's death at first pushes them further apart. They sniped at each other and harassed each other and kept secrets from each other. To be honest, they were initially unlikable. Slowly, they start to open up, and to become more tolerable for the reader and to each other. Small town living, hard work, and homilies from their uncle Zed all help them find their way back. Along the way, they all find romance and learn a secret about their Grandma Annie. The romances could have been developed more, or even left out all together. They were sweet and tender romances, which I liked, but I would have preferred to see the women form their bonds and deal with their individual problems before getting romantically involved. One of the romances felt shoehorned in as if Brown realized she'd given romances to everyone and forgotten one sister. There were some quotes I seriously disagreed with and a factual error about a current show on TV, and the emphasis on the beauties of small town life got to be a bit much. Like many authors, Brown has a tendency to put small town life on a pedestal. I've lived in small towns most of my life so I know full well the downsides to them.

"The Sometimes Sisters" was a slow-moving, sweet story that had its share of tragedy and bitterness but ultimately it was hopeful and and had a happy ending. Although the story frustrated me at times, I did get pulled in and rooted for the sisters to make peace with each other. If you want a character driven, sweet story that's a mix of family drama and romance, then pick up "The Sometimes Sisters".

Message From Author Carolyn Brown

Good mornin’ to everyone! And thank you for letting me stop by and talk about my new book, The Sometimes Sisters. Dana, Harper and Tawny are sisters but they only saw each other once a year when they were growing up. Dana, ten years older than Harper and twelve years older than Tawny, shares a father with her two half-sisters but has a different mother. Until Harper was sixteen they spent time every summer at their Granny Annie’s lakeside resort, hence the name sometimes sisters—since they weren’t sisters all the time. But now, Granny Annie, has died and left the tiny resort to them. So they come back to the lake, each with a load of emotional baggage, and not really trusting these strangers with whom they share DNA.

Dana has been harboring a secret about her daughter, Brook, for years. Harper has been on her own since she ran away from the boarding school where her mother sent her when she was sixteen, and Tawny has just been kicked out of college. They have to work together but nothing in Granny Annie’s will says that they have to like it or each other.

Zed, the cook at the small café attached to the resort, and Annie’s best friend, has made a promise to Annie on her dying bed, that he will take care of her girls, and that he’ll do his best to make them a family like they should have been all along. But he wonders if maybe he’s never going to be able to fulfill his promise when the girls all arrive. Prickly as porcupines with each other, it takes him threatening to leave before they even start to change their attitude. It’s a rocky road for Zed, but being more than sometimes sisters was important to his sweet Annie, so he vows to keep his promise even if it takes a miracle.


“Promise me,” Annie whispered.

“I promise.” Zedekiah nodded with tears in his eyes.

“You’ll bring them all home where they belong.” She reached up and touched his cheek. “They need to heal.”

“I’ll get them here. You rest now.” Zed cradled her frail body in his arms.

She’d been in and out of consciousness for two days, and each time she awoke she made him promise all over again that he’d bring her granddaughters home to the lake resort. Suddenly her eyes opened wide, and she cupped his cheeks in her hands.

“You . . .” Tears flowed down her face.

“I know, Annie.” His salty tears mingled with hers when their cheeks touched.

“I’ve loved you since we were kids.” She inhaled deeply and let it out slowly.

“Oh, Annie—” he started to say, but then he realized that she’d taken her last breath.

Time stopped as he hugged her closer to his chest. One heart beat steadily as it silently shattered. The other heart that had kept perfect time with his for decades had entered into eternity without him.

“Why, God!” he moaned. “I was supposed to go before her.”

Stop it! Annie’s voice was so real in his head that he watched her lips to see if she might start breathing again. I told you that there would be no mourning. We’ll be together again before long—remember when we were separated while you were in the military. You’ve got work to do now. So suck it up, Zedekiah, and call the girls.

They’d talked about this moment for three months and gotten all the pieces in order. Even though they’d argue about things sometimes, the plan was in place for the next step, as she called it. And now it was up to him to make sure that her wishes were carried out. But dear sweet Jesus, he’d never thought about the pain when he’d have to let her go for good.

He laid her gently on the pillow, laced his darker fingers with her paler ones, and bent to kiss each knuckle. “Oh, Annie, life without you isn’t life at all.”

The girls will help, the voice in his head said sweetly. Now let me go, Zed. You’ve got things to do.

“I can’t,” he groaned.

He sat with her for half an hour before he made the call to the doctor, who was also the coroner for the county. When they came to get her, he accompanied the gurney to the van with his hand on hers.

“I understand that she made arrangements beforehand. Do you want to come to the funeral home and see her once more before . . .” The doctor hesitated.

Zed shook his head slowly. “She said that I wasn’t to do that, and I’ll abide by her wishes. I can’t say goodbye. Never could say that word to her and still can’t, but we’ve come to terms while I waited on you to get here. Call me when her ashes are ready.” He choked on the last words.

The doctor patted him on the shoulder. “I’m so sorry. She was a great lady and a good friend to you, Zed.”

“My best friend.” He wiped his eyes. “We made a lot of memories.”

“If you need anything, call me.”

“Thank you. Right now I have to go call the girls, and I’m sure not lookin’ forward to that job.”

*** 

Carolyn Brown is a New York Times, USA Today, and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and a RITA finalist. Her books include romantic women’s fiction, historical romance, contemporary romance, cowboy romance, and country music mass-market paperbacks. She and her husband live in the small town of Davis, Oklahoma, where everyone knows what everyone else is doing—and reads the local newspaper on Wednesdays to see who got caught. They have three grown children and enough grandchildren to keep them young. When she’s not writing, Carolyn likes to sit in her gorgeous backyard with her two cats, Chester Fat Boy and Boots Randolph Terminator Outlaw, and watch them protect their territory from all kinds of wicked varmints like crickets, locusts, and spiders. Visit her online at www.carolynbrownbooks.com.

Find Carolyn Online ~

Website: http://www.carolynbrownbooks.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Carolyn-Brown-198727816879253/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13554.Carolyn_Brown
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