As summer approaches and the weather turns warmer, I love sitting outside and either reading or listening to books. Now that the pool is open, it is great to float around and listen to summery romance stories. Both of these were enjoyable books to listen to and that I recommend.
Summer on a Sunny Island by Sue Moorcroft, Lesley Harcourt (Narrator)
Published April 30, 2020, July 14th 2020 by Avon Audio Fiction
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
This was just the book I needed on a sunny day by the pool. I loved this trip to Malta with Rosa Hammond and her mother Dora. After Rosa and her partner Marcus split up, Dora sees it as the perfect time to get her daughter away. They rent the bottom floor of a home belonging to the mother of a man she went to school with. On the top floor, his son Zach, daughter and granddaughter are staying and renovating the building. Dora thinks that Zach might just be the “summer romance” that Rosa needs.
I really enjoyed this story. There is a lot going on in this story, it is not just a vacation and romance. There are family issues in both families. I will say that this story does not put fathers in a good light at all. Zach is also volunteering at at a youth centre and trying to help a young man who has been caught up in a criminal ring, which is also a large part of this story. Marcus keeps popping in and out of the story as well and I have to say, what a deadbeat and user. I loved the characters of Rosa, Dora, Zach and little Paige. I love when kids are part of a story, especially when they are so cute. There is some angst in this story, things do not go smoothly for the characters, but it does have a Happily Ever After. I loved the descriptions of the area and the activities. Boy, would I love to go snorkeling on the coast. A delightful summer story, especially with travel restricted right now. I loved my visit to this Sunny Island.
The audiobook was narrated by Lesley Harcourt, a new narrator to me. I enjoyed her pleasant voice and British accent. She brought this story to life for me. Her voices of the various characters was nicely done and even her male voices were believable, which is not always the case. This is a narrator that will go on my list as one I have enjoyed.
#3 – 20 Books of Summer
Bayou Baby (Butterfly Bayou #2) by Lexi Blake, Jessica Almasy (Reading)
Published August 25th 2020 by Berkley, December 15th 2020 by Blackstone Publishing
4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐
Although this is the second book in the Butterfly Bayou series, it is definitely a standalone story. I really enjoyed learning about Serafina (Sera) and Harry, their pasts and families as well as how they settle in to Papillon, Louisiana. Sera needs to fix up her aunt’s house that has been left to her. She needs to use all money in the estate to renovate the old house. She then needs to decide if she will sell it, or open a B&B. Harry is a big-hearted ex-army soldier turned handyman. He’s a drifter who’s temporarily in town to help with and attend his cousin’s wedding. He meets Sera and offers to work for her, with the hope of getting to know her better. He is also the nephew of Celeste Beaumont, the grandmother of Sera’s child. Of course, Celeste does not know who the father is and has no idea that Luc is her grandchild. Celeste detests Sera and considers her beneath her which is why she hated it when her son Wes was friends with Sera. She blames Sera for Wes joining the Army, which is where he was killed by an IED. Harry and Sera are attracted to one another and there are definitely sparks. This was not insta-love, it took some time for them to actually act upon those sparks, but they began to feel deeply for one another. What happens when secrets come out?
This story was one of secrets, patience, friendship, love, growth, and forgiveness. I loved the small town feel in this story and getting to know Sera’s family. They have all had problems in the past and carry some baggage, but they are a quirky, loving and caring group. Sera is a great character who comes into her own and doesn’t take anything from anyone. She is a strong woman who has to take a leap of faith when it comes to Harry. Harry is definitely a swoon-worthy character who is willing to do whatever it takes to have a life with Sera. There was some humour, think Otis the alligator who stops traffic, a wonderful dog, Shep who helps bring this couple together, a sweet toddler that everyone loves, and some realizations and self-reflections from a few characters that enable them to move forward and forgive each other. The narration by Jessica Almasy was done well. She gave the various characters their own voices and used her tone, expression and inflection to make the story come alive. She also narrated the first book in this series and I hope you continues to be the voice in the next ones. If you enjoy a small-town, southern romance, especially one where a single parent finds their soulmate, then make sure you pick this one up and enjoy your visit to Papillon, Louisiana.