Mariah Stewart has created a wonderful group of characters, and intermingled their lives in wonderful ways. Emma, Maggie and Lydia grew up together and are still best friends. Although Maggie married and moved away, after the death of her husband she is back. Each book is from the POV of one of the women and although they can be read as standalone stories, I recommend you read them in order so as to get the full story.

An Invincible Summer (Wyndham Beach #1) by Mariah Stewart, Kate Marcin (Narrator)

Published May 1st 2021 by Brilliance Audio, Montlake

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This is the first book in the Wyndham Beach series. Maggie Flynn is a recent widow (2 years) who is finally ready to face the world again. She has two adult daughters and a granddaughter who encourage her to get out and about again. With her fortieth high school reunion comin up, she returns to her hometown on the Massachusetts coast to spend time with her two BFFs, Lydia and Emma. She knew there was a chance she would run into Brett Crawford, her high school boyfriend, but she didn’t realize it would stir emotions like the ones she had. They had planned on getting married, but something happened to drive them apart. Once in Wyndham Beach, Maggie realizes that she wants to stay, and with her family home up for sale, should she move back.

I really enjoyed this story and meeting these great characters. Maggie, Lydia and Emma were great friends. They supported one another, shared stories and secrets (although not all of them), laughed together and grew up together. I loved their conversations, they were so realistic. Each of them is also dealing with something in their own lives, and in each subsequent book, we will learn their stories and see their new beginning. Grace and Natalie were also great kids, sisters an friends. They were dealing with their own life issues and challenges and they were realistically added to the story. Being a woman of a certain age and a widow, I really identified with this story. We do get to know what Maggie’s secret is, right at the end of the story, which leads us into the next book in this series. I loved the various themes of friendship, forgiveness, family ties, and new beginnings. This is a story about life, and there is probably something in this story that everyone will be able to identify with. An Invincible Summer is the first book I have read by Mariah Stewart, but I know it won’t be my last. The audiobook was narrated by Kate Marcin and she does a great job with this story. I really enjoyed the book itself, but the audiobook brought it to life for me. If you enjoy Women’s Fiction and relatable characters, then I recommend you pick this book up.

Goodbye Again (Wyndham Beach #2) by Mariah Stewart, Amanda Collins (Narrator)

Published February 8th 2022 by Brilliance Audio, Montlake

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

This second book in the Wyndham Beach series brings us Liddy’s story. You don’t have to read the first book to enjoy this one, but the story of these three friends; Lydia, Maggie and Emma, starts in An Invincible Summer and continues with this book. Liddy is still dealing with the suicide of her daughter and her husband leaving her within the same year, but trying to start a new life. She buys the local bookstore that was closed, renovates it and opens to wonderful fanfair. Mariah Stewart creates wonderful family and friends, so is not just content to tell Liddy’s story. Maggie’s family are also an integral part of the story. Maggie’s daughters are both dealing with changes in their own lives, with Grace moving to Wyndham Beach to figure out what she wants in life. Natalie’s life has revolved around her daughter Daisy, but when Emma’s son, Chris comes back into her life, she suddenly finds herself involved with someone for the first time since Daisy’s father walked out. There is more as well. Romance, family drama, secrets revealed and decisions to make all bring us on another wonderful visit to Wyndham Beach.

I can’t say enough about this cast of characters. They all have issues, situations and tough decisions to make that are extremely realistic and relatable. Almost all of them are wonderful, likable characters. The story flows so well, and all the various situations and storylines mesh into a great story. There are some serious themes in this story including teen pregnancy, adoption, grooming, sexual assault (not described but a court case is ongoing), suicide, infidelity, addiction and more. Having said that, this is not a depressing story. The characters lift each other up, support and care for one another, are extremely generous and empathetic and love one another. I think I enjoyed this book more than the first one. Once again, I loved the set up for Emma’s story and look forward to meeting up with these characters in the next Wyndham Beach book. I did a read/listen with this book narrated by Amanda Collins. I find it interesting that as the POV changed from the first book, so did the narrator. I enjoyed Amanda Collins’ narration with her voices, expression, tone, accents and pacing. I definitely recommend this story in whatever format you enjoy.