I received a review copy
Riley Griggs has spent summers on Belle Isle, located off the coast of North Carolina, her whole life. Her family dates back on the island over hundred years ago – her grandfather was one of the original settlers. Riley usually looks forward to each summer, however this year the season is marked by tragedy and the revelation of some family secrets. Despite the bad events that open the book, this really is a fun read. The Weekenders was written by a talented writer who has a clever way of solving mysteries, with some humor and romance thrown in.
Riley’s marriage is falling apart and her twelve year-old daughter, Maggie, was recently diagnosed with juvenile diabetes. Her brother has a drinking problem and her mother doesn’t know how to mind her own business. And for the first time in her life, Riley Griggs has money problems. Riley discovers that some of the “Belle Isle Barbies” know more about what’s going on with her family’s problems than she does. So she teams up with her best friend, Parrish, to find out the cause of her family’s dwindling fortune. While they’re at it, Riley decides to solve another crime that was committed on the island that I cannot divulge. No spoilers! Of course this wouldn’t be a summer read without romance. Enter sexy ferry captain Nate Milas, who also happens to be a newly minted internet mogul. Suddenly things are looking up for Riley – except that her daughter and mother do not approve.
Full disclosure, I’m a loyal and devoted fan of this author. I’ve loved every novel she’s written – and have met her at few book signings. She’s a hoot! Fan-girl feelings aside, this book is a wonderful and a perfect way to kick-off the beach reading season.
As with most MKA stories, this story has a mystery, romanc, family drama, and a strong dynamic heroine you can truly route for. The setting is beautiful – my imagination was full of Lily Pulitzer prints as I read. The story is full of quirky and well-developed characters. There’s someone for everyone. Billy (Riley’s brother) was one of my faves, bless his heart. The plot moves quickly and has a few surprises. After reading so many of this author’s book, I’m amazed that she’s still able to come up with new twists and turns. Each of her stories is unique, except of course for the happy ending. Although, not happy for all! I suggest you kick off your summer with this Belle Isle adventure.
A Low Country Wedding by Mary Alice Monroe- May 3, 2016. This book is the last in a series about the fictional Muir family. Set on Sullivan Island, off the coast of Charleston, SC, the Muir family has all gathered to celebrate the weddings of sisters, Harper and Carson. Their weddings are planned one day apart, which seems like a crazy idea to me. Grandmother Dora is insisting on an Emily Post-style wedding, even though one of the sisters wants something more modern. Family drama and weddings are fertile ground for trouble. After the minister arrives with a deep dark family secret, tensions explode. Suddenly no one’s sure if anyone’s going to get married!
The Wedding Girl by Stacy Ballis – May 3, 2016. Sophie has the dream life as a well-known Chicago pastry chef who’s engaged to the man of her dreams. Her fiancé is a local celebrity sommelier, making them the golden couple of the Chicago culinary industry. After Sophie’s fiancé elopes with someone else, her life begins to fall apart. Her heartbreak is front-page fodder for Chicago newspapers and she ends up losing her job. And then her home. Sophie has to move in with her grandmother and gets a job at a small “hometown” bakery. Just when she thinks her life can’t get any worse, wedding customers from the bakery start asking for advice that goes beyond the perfect cake. Before she knows it, Sophie becomes an on-line wedding planner. Perhaps not the best career for a jilted bride…
The Goodbye Year by Kiara Rouda – May 3, 2016. The novel is about three sets of parents who are approaching the high school graduation of their youngest child. Each parent begins to experience anxiety and sadness as they face “the empty nest”. Melanie has been living life vicariously through her slacker son. Sarah has relied on her daughter to the extent she doesn’t know what she’ll do without her companionship. Will doesn’t know what will happen to his marriage without a child in the house. I’m very curious about this book – I’m so tired from running my children around all the time that an empty nest sounds pretty good.
The Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews – May 17, 2016. Ms. Andrews in the queen of the beach read. In her latest novel, Riley Griggs is a woman whose life is falling apart due to her husband Wendell’s scheming business practices. Riley and Wendell agree to a divorce and plan to tell their daughter Maggie over Memorial Day weekend on Belle Island. Belle Island is the place Riley’s family has summered for almost a century. Riley’s grandfather was the original settler of the island and her family is well respected by the residents. After Wendell’s doublehanded deals become public, Riley and her family are faced with losing everything they have. After Wendell is found murdered, Riley decides to put her investigative journalism skills to work. Can she save her family’s home and their reputation?
The Assistants: A Novel by Camille Perri May 3, 2016. Tina Fontana is the executive assistant to Robert Blaine – the COE of a multinational media conglomerate. When Tina first started working for Robert, she loved her job, especially the perks. But after a few years, she’s grown bored and is looking for a way to advance in her career. Unfortunately her boss is unwilling to help. Tina’s also broke, and wondering if she has what it takes to make it in New York City. After accounting makes a clerical error on her expense report, she gets an unexpected and much needed windfall – one that could drastically change her life. Tina struggles with what to do. Of course she knows it would be wrong to keep the money – but the money is pocket change for the company and Robert. What if the only way to get ahead is to break the rules?