Today’s picks for What I’m Reading Wednesday have one thing in common – they both center around a young woman who has just broken off her engagement – one the dumper, one the dumpee – and what direction their lives take afterwards.
They are two very different characters in personality (one independent and driven, one dependent and searching for purpose) and life circumstance (one scraping by, one a reluctant socialite) but both women are surrounded by colorful supporting characters and find their strengths and happiness in the end (of course!)
So let’s get started with What I’m Reading Wednesday!
First on my list is Creature Comforts
by Trisha Ashley. This book is filled with utterly colorful and quirky people living in the small, sleepy village of Halfhidden (and happily reminded me of the small village in mid-Wales where I lived for a time). Izzy has just returned to her childhood home after working for a charity in India. She discovers her fiancé, Kieran, has his own selfish plans for her inheritance and has mapped out a future together entirely different from what she thought they had planned. An unfortunate incident with his father triggers memories of a fatal car accident she was involved in as a teen and shows Kieran not to be the man she thought, so she breaks off their engagement.
Izzy settles back into life in Halfhidden where she must help save her colorful aunt Deb’s “Desperate Dog” rescue as well as help her hold on to the home when the property gets a new landlord, Rufus, and help her good friends Lulu and Cameron with a regeneration project for the village. As memories from that long ago accident start to emerge she begins to think that she doesn’t have the whole truth about the incident and begins to investigate; meanwhile something starts to spring up between her and Rufus.
Will a relationship develop with Rufus, or will her fiancé try to get her back? Does she save the Rescue? Does she discover what really happened in that accident for which most of the town holds her to blame?
Did I say quirky? Creature Comforts is filled with fabulously quirky characters, all the sort that make a small village interesting. There are several storylines winding through the book, and the mystery of the accident had me racing to the end all while I wanted more of Izzy’s story – including more of Babybelle, the Newfoundland from Deb’s rescue that adopted a rather unwilling Izzy. This would make a lovely read for the beach (or another rainy weekend as we’ve been having).
I’m looking forward to reading more books by Trisha Ashley. Creature Comforts was released on February 26, 2015 by Avon. You can find Trisha on Twitter at @TrishaAshley.
Southern Solstice by Sarah Sadler also starts as a breakup, but that is where the resemblance ends, aside from a driven main character.
When Larken Devereaux is abruptly dumped by her fiancé shortly before their wedding, her very blue-blooded Southern mama Bunny and family friend Priss swoop into Seattle and move her back to Charleston, South Carolina to start over (or, to pick up where she left off). However, Larken, who has taken to her hoodie shirts and yoga pants in misery (much to her mama’s horror and disgust), feels smothered by Bunny’s dilettante lifestyle and longs to finally figure out some purpose to her life. Meanwhile, childhood sweetheart Jackson drops back into the picture, hoping to pick up where they left off years before, and she finds herself searching for the mysterious Dr. Miles who patched her up when she dropped a knife on her designer shoe clad toe.
Oh, yes she did.
Along with Larken’s search for a job and a purpose there is a mystery or two that is revealed which I never saw coming. Sadler has created a book full of characters so charming that you just want to pull up a chair and pour a glass of sweet tea and chat. While I couldn’t quite relate to Larken’s newly refreshed closet of designer clothes or lifestyle, I found myself longing for a shiny red Vespa (and a jar of Priss’s legendary moonshine.)
Southern Solstice is a book laden with strong, sassy Southern women, their individual ideas of love, some interesting plot twists and a wonderful romance. I can’t wait to see what Sadler will bring to us next!
Southern Solstice was released on June 21, 2015 by Blue French Press and is available in paperback and eBook formats (I’m partial to Amazon and if you click on the link, you’ll straight there, lol.)
Sarah Sadler can be found on Twitter at @sarahsadler.
This post contains affiliate links which, if used, help a teeny bit offset my web hosting expenses but won’t cost you anything. Advanced reader copies were provided to me by NetGalley from both Avon UK and French Blue Press in exchange for reviews, but all opinions found here are mine alone.