I think that “Cicada Summer” by Maureen Leurck is a novel about hope, love, perseverance, starting over, and second chances at life. In more ways than one, Ms. Leurck gives the reader a glimpse at obstacles that can be overcome and the endurance to find other ways to succeed.
Alex Proctor is a single mom, sharing her daughter with the father, Matt on every other weekend and designated custody days. She is providing for her daughter by renovating old houses into homes anyone would love to live in. This last home that she purchased has no limit on problems and unseen structural disintegration. I love to watch the reno shows that are so prevalent now and found that this book capitalized on this popular theme of these shows. This house comes alive as we find out more and more about past inhabitants. Can she use this same stubbornness to make her life right again? Can she begin to start a new life without constantly thinking of her ex-husband?
Of course, the title has something to do with the theme of the novel. Cicadas lives are in a seventeen year cycle. Every seventeen years cicadas come out of their hibernating grounds, cover the area with their sounds and bodies until they mate, lay the eggs and die. The eggs hatch and the nymphs burrow underground to feed on plant roots. They re-emerge after another seventeen year to start the cycle all over again. I would say that the comparison to Alex’s life is the stubbornness, hope and renewal that the cicada experience brings to the dedication to starting over again.
I thought the characters were very real and that Ms. Leurck did a wonderful job of tying up all the threads that ran through the novel. I would recommend this book highly. I received an advanced proof of this novel from NightOwlReviews.com for my honest review.
I’m not usually one that likes to read contemporary romance novels because the plots seem to follow certain patterns and I get bored with them. However, “Sweetbriar Cottage” by Denise Hunter was a surprise exception. Noah Mitchell has given up his job to move to a horse ranch outside of town after a particularly painful divorce. It has been three years and he has not gotten over his ex-wife’s deception, but is still trying. Enter the IRS. Noah receives a letter regarding his tax return and upon delving into the matter finds that the divorce was never finalized. He blames his ex, Josephine, for not following through and making sure all the “t’s” were crossed and the “i’s” dotted.
He confronts her in her place of business and she promises to take care of it. He is not happy about the delay. He wants it done with. Josephine decides to help him out by delivering the court papers to his cottage in the mountains, not realizing that the weather is closing in. She becomes stranded there for the duration of the storm, while Noah keeps his distance and his attitude surly. Circumstances occur which cause them to venture out in the storm, where they become stranded in the freezing weather. Their unwanted togetherness causes them to reconnect and they find that their attraction for one another has not diminished. Josephine is on the verge of death from hypothermia and opens her heart to Noah.
Ms. Hunter does not sugar-coat the character or personality of either Noah or Josie. She gives the reader a great insight to what can be solved if each party just listens to each other.
I received a Kindle copy of this book from NetGalley.com but no review was required.
“Lawyer for the Dog” by Lee Robinson is written with an interesting premise. A judge appoints his ex-wife, a lawyer, to be the court representative for a dog being fought over in a divorce case. As interesting as I think this plot is, I was mildly interested in the book itself. I think that more drama or humor could have been a part of this novel. There were so many things going on with the characters that could have been expanded, but weren’t. I felt that the story was mediocre at best.
I received a print copy of this book from NightOwlReviews.com in return for my honest review.