On June 1st, 20 Books of Summer began. My goal is to try and read 2 books a week that I have listed in my tentative group of books containing the word “Summer” in the title. Here are my reviews for #1 and #2. June 6 – 2/20

The Summer Sisters (Juniper Springs #2) by Sara Richardson, Narrated by Erin Bennett, Devon Sorvari, and Christine Kiphart

Published August 17th 2021 by Dreamscape Media, LLC

5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

After reading my first Sara Richardson book, the first Juniper Springs book, earlier this year. I knew I wanted to continue the series and The Summer Sisters did not disappoint. The series features the Buchanan sisters, Dahlia, Rose and Magnolia. All were dealing with personal problems, and there was some closure at the end of Home For the Holidays, but still a lot going on in their lives. I do recommend you read this series in order to get the full story of this trio and their extended family. The Summer Sisters gives us Rose’s romance and a whole lot more. She is overseeing the renovations at the Juniper Inn with support from Dahlia. They are also planning a 70th birthday party for Aunt Sassy, so have a lot going on, and didn’t need the unexpected arrival of their mother. Sassy and her sister have still not reconciled, so you know there is going to be some angst there. Throw in some medical issues for Aunt Sassy, some problems between Dahlia and the doc as well as Rose’s romantic interest selling the hardware store and planning to move away and there are a lot of issues to sort out and angst to deal with.

Once again, Sara Richardson grabbed hold of me and held on right to the end. This book is told from the POV of Rose, Dahlia and Aunt Sassy. I loved hearing from Sassy, she has secrets and things she needs to reconcile with to move forward. In this book she is appointed mayor and I loved her attitude. She wasn’t going to let anyone use her as a puppet, and was going to do what was best for the town, Go Sassy! We also learn what came between Sassy and her sister and I loved how realistic it was. Dahlia’s daughter is not a happy camper and wants her mom and dad to get back together, so causes some issues with her mom’s relationship. All the drama in this book is completely relatable and I love how Sara Richardson does that. The Summer Sisters is a well written and plotted book. It has great characters and wonderful relationships, as well as romance, family angst, a great community and setting. I definitely recommend this book and series and look forward to the next book set in Juniper Springs. I loved that the audiobook was narrated by three wonderful performers, Erin Bennett, Devon Sorvari, and Christine Kiphart, thus giving each of the three POVs their own voice. I enjoyed listening to this one and felt the audiobook added to my enjoyment of the story.

Summer by the River by Debbie Burns, Laura Jennings (Narrator)

Published May 4th 2021 by Dreamscape Media, LLC

4 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐

Josie Waterhill and her six-year-old daughter, Zoe have fled LA and ended up in a cozy Midwestern town right on the river. Josie can raise Zoe away from the violence of the life she once knew, and make a new home in the historic tea house where they’ve been invited to stay. Josie’s elderly landlord, Myra has grown to love them and treat them like family. Josie finally feels safe and Zoe had begun school when a stranger shows up at the Tea Room. Myra welcomes him and allows him to say while he is searching for his past. Carter O’Brien is a journalist, so his curiosity and research skills can put Josie in danger. Shortly after he arrives, he and Josie find a Bernese Mountain Dog that has been injured and dumped, and they rescue him. When he is brought to the house, Zoe names him Buttercup and instantly falls in love. Zoe is also looking for one thing to make her life complete, a father and in her eyes, Carter is perfect. As Carter’s interest in Josie deepens, he inadvertently stirs up trouble when he uncovers things that Josie has kept hidden. Ready or not, Josie has to face her painful past so she can create a new future for herself and Zoe.

I have read many of Debbie Burns Rescue Me series, all stories centered around rescue dogs, so I was not surprised to see a rescue show up in this book. I loved the main characters in this story. Josie is a great mom and friend. She spends time with Zoe and gives her everything she needs, except a father. She is also so great with Myrna, doing whatever she can to help with the Tea Room and the guests when they open their home as a Bed & Breakfast. The story has a lot of secrets as well. Josie’s past is shared through flashback chapters and she is definitely a strong person. As we learn more about what she has lived through, my heart broke for her. I love how Myrna has helped her and kept her secrets. As we learn more about her past, her future begins to look brighter and her present finds her moving forward to make things right. I have to say, I loved Zoe. She is only 6, but is adorable. She is a bit precocious, but that only makes me love her more. This is a story about family, love, protecting those you care about, new beginnings and the need to stop hiding. I really liked this story and recommend it to those who like romance, and women’s fiction. The audiobook was narrated by Laura Jennings and I felt she did a great job giving voice to the various characters who are different ages and genders. She added tension and emotion to the story to make it an enjoyable listening experience.