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Beach Read

Really Good Read: The Good Dream by Donna VanLiere

Written on July 24, 2013 at 12:15 pm , by

This novel, released in early July, is set in a close-knit Tennessee farming community. (Courtesy of Amazon.com)

Book critics, whether professional or casual, sure can be harsh. Everyone is looking for something different in their leisure time reading, right? So when a book earns ★★★★★, you know it’s a keeper. Donna VanLiere’s The Good Dream received that favorable rating from Amazon reviewers—and us!

The novel begins in the 1950s with Ivorie, a small-town Tennessee woman who is on a quest for emotional connections after her mom recently died (don’t worry—we’re not spoiling any big secrets!). Despite only being in her early 30s, Ivorie is known as the lonely town “spinster.” She slowly begins to connect with George, a neighboring farmer who she had previously only looked at as a friend. That is, until a mysterious town visitor and Ivorie’s compassionate nature threatens to put a halt to their romance. Will she go the way of her heart or her head?

The book’s spunky, courageous protagonist makes this beach-friendly read hard to put down. Plus, the retro setting, in an era prior to the invention of the Internet and cell phones, will transport you back to a time when warm summer evenings were spent on the porch with a cold glass of lemonade and a good book. Put your cell phone on silent and follow suit.

More page-turners to peruse:

Really Good Read: Love Me Anyway by Tiffany Hawk

Written on June 28, 2013 at 9:20 am , by

Toss this in your beach bag and watch the hours fly by. (Photo courtesy of St. Martin’s Press)

Have you ever read a novel where you can easily envision a celeb-filled movie adaptation? You know it’s going to be a good one when your imagination jumps to film…or the likes of Leo, Brad and Channing! Whatever comes first.

Love Me Anyway, the debut novel by former flight attendant Tiffany Hawk, was one of those books. Think of a toned down Fifty Shades of Grey with steamy love affairs, funny flight anecdotes and a whole lot more adventure and possibility with each new passport stamp.

After battling turbulent, lonely (even abusive) pasts, twenty-somethings Emily—a recent divorcée from a blue-collar California town—and KC—a promiscuous party girl in search of her estranged father—seek haven in the air. Despite emotional baggage, the girls’ lives take flight as they discover the true definition of freedom in both personal and national security contexts along the way.

The quick beach read weaves an intricate tale of love, friendship, moral conviction and self-discovery. Buckle up, it’s a bumpy but thrilling ride full of scandals and an all access behind-the-scenes look at the airline industry’s emotional side. While I hope one day I’ll see Megan Hilty play the role of the bubbly blonde KC, there’s one thing I know for sure: Love Me Anyway is the perfect accompaniment for the toes-in-the-sand, (low-cal) cocktail-in-hand summer bliss.