What Matters Most and Float Plan are both stories that deal with grief, forgiveness, and love/romance. Being a widow, I understand the emotions these women are feeling and I loved the honesty and reality of their lives as they deal with them. Both of these audiobooks were so well done, I definitely recommend them.
What Matters Most (Nantucket Love Story #3) by Courtney Walsh, Melie Williams (Narrator )
Published April 5th 2022 by One Audiobooks, Tyndale House Publishers
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
What Matters Most is the third book in a series, but the first I read and I had not trouble enjoying this beautiful story. Emma Woodson’s husband was killed in action and she is hoping the the charming Nantucket community where her late husband’s family cottage is located will be the fresh start she and her young son, CJ, need. She knows she will need more than her salary from her dream job at an art gallery, so she wants to be able to rent out the apartment over the garage. It needs work, so she hires a rather handsome. Jameson Shaw, to do the renovations. When she finds out he has nowhere to stay, she lets him stay in the apartment while he is working on it. As they work together, get to know one another and CJ becomes close to Jameson, the secrets they are both keeping become harder and harder to share and let go of. Can they move forward, be honest with one another, and forgive themselves in order to have a life that will make everyone happy.
I liked both Jameson and Emma, but I loved little CJ. He stole the show and showed everyone how easy it is to love and move forward. Emma was struggling with why she was never enough for her husband, Jamie was dealing with the guilt that it was his fault that she was now a widow. This is an emotional story. Guilt, feelings of inadequacy, shame and fear are all feelings that can keep people apart, but those feelings will eat away at a person if they don’t do what they need to do to forgive others and themselves. Courtney Walsh does a wonderful job developing the characters and their relationship. My first book by Courtney Walsh grabbed me right from the first, and held on to the end. I know I will be reading more from this author. All the characters were so well developed. I loved how accepting her in-laws were and how close they all were. An emotional read about forgiveness, loving yourself and others, moving forward, new beginnings and family. I definitely recommend this book if you like a clean, romance with some angst, but uplifting. Melie Williams narrates this audiobook with skill, emotion and expression. An enjoyable listening experience.
Float Plan (Beck Sisters #1) by Trish Doller, Sarah Naughton (Narrator)
Published March 2nd 2021 by Macmillan Audio
5 Stars: ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐
I read The Suite Spot, the second book in the Suite Spot first, but that did not spoil my enjoyment of this book at all. anna Beck has not gotten over the loss of her fiancé, and has spent the last year dealing with her grief. Tired of people telling her she needs to move on, when the reminder alarm goes off about their sailing trip they had planned to take around the Caribbean, she decides to go on her own. With Ben’s map in hand, she sets off without telling anyone until she is well on her way. It doesn’t take long before she realizes that she can’t do this alone. She hires Keane, a professional sailor to help her get to Puerto Rico. Much like her, Keane is struggling with a very different future than the one he had planned out. He accepts her offer and together they face dangerous storms, both on the sea and when dealing with their own issues. Together they find a way to rebuild their lives and the possibility of new love.
I enjoyed this book about dealing with grief, mental health issues, moving on after tragedy, new beginnings, challenging yourself and more. Beck was not only reeling over the loss of her husband, but the fact that she wasn’t able to save him when he chose to take his own life. Everyone deals with grief differently and it never completely ends, just changes and becomes part of a person and her family didn’t understand that. She was running away when she left on the boat, but it was exactly what she needed to let herself deal with her grief and finally accept that Ben was gone and she couldn’t have done anything. She changes so much and becomes a much stronger person after her trip. Keane was a great character. He didn’t encroach on her feelings, but listened, accepted and shared his knowledge of the area, friends and family with her. Yes, there is a romance that develops, but that is not what this book was all about. I loved the writing, the flow, and the descriptions. Being a character driven story, all the characters, including the secondary ones they meet along the way, were wonderful. I loved how generous people could be with one another. This will not be a book for everyone, but I really enjoyed it and wanted to be on that boat (except during the huge storm) enjoying the time with them. If you enjoy women’s contemporary fiction, books dealing with mental health, uplifting books, then I recommend this one to you. The audiobook was narrated by Sarah Naughton and she does a great job. With all the accents, genders, and ages of the characters, you would have thought there was more than one narrator. It definitely added to my enjoyment of this story.