Be glad in the Lord and rejoice! Psalm 32:11

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Romances from Robyn Carr - A Summer In Sonoma and The House on Olive Street

Robyn Carr writes great women’s fiction. She taps into the triumphs and tragedies of contemporary women in a way that her readers can relate to, and her warm and heart-tugging books are always eagerly awaited.

This summer Carr has out two books, one brand new (A Summer In Sonoma) and one a reissue (The House On Olive Street). Both are terrific stories of friendship and how important that relationship can be in women’s lives.

“A Summer In Sonoma” finds four women, best friends since they were all high school cheerleaders, grappling with life’s ups and downs as they grow older.

Cassie, an emergency room nurse, has had a bad run of luck with men, and is to the point she is swearing off dating for a good long while. But when a rough and tough biker with a heart of gold enters her life, Cassie finds she has to do some rethinking on the whole relationship thing after all, but she has to wonder if her friends will accept this unusual man that has won her heart.

Cassie’s friends are having problems of their own as well. Her best friend Julie married her high school sweetheart and is now a stay-at-home mom struggling to make ends meet with her large family. Julie finds herself questioning her life decisions as her marriage and family seem to be falling apart.

Marty is frustrated by her marriage as well. Unappreciated by her husband, she finds temptation in the sudden appearance of an old high school boyfriend. She has to decide between love and loyalty or passion, a decision that has her heart torn apart. The most successful of the friends, but the loneliest is Beth, a prominent doctor who doesn’t have time for relationships. But when her health takes a turn for the worse, she realizes that she needs to be able to lean on someone else, but is that someone her own doctor?

All four friends band together to help each other through their crises, creating tighter bonds that will see them all through any storm life brings.

In “The House On Olive Street” another set of friends are mourning the loss of a dear friend. All four women are writers of one genre or another, and they are given the task of going through their late friend’s estate. As they gather at her home, they are surprised to discover that their gentle friend has left some important life lessons for each of them to find.

The oldest of the friends, Elly had known her late friend Gabby the longest, and is determined to have her pal remembered through her writings. As she moves into Gabby’s home and begins to dig through the notes and manuscripts she left behind, Elly finds a love story that so powerful, that it has her reflecting on her own solitary life and longing for a companion and love of her own.

Sable, the “superstar” writer among the friends, has created a solitary life for herself that many find unable to breach, but she finds she must depend on her friends for support when a stalker journalist threatens to expose all her secrets.

With 27 romance novels to her credit, Barbara Ann struggles with her creativity as she wrestles with a hectic and overwhelming family of four boisterous young men and a husband who doesn’t pitch much around the house. Fed up, she joins the other ladies at Gabby’s to regroup and rethink her life. The youngest of the group, Beth, is a successful mystery writer but has a dark family secret that none of her friends know about. She joins the ladies to escape a brutality that would shock them all.

As the friends retreat to the serenity of Gabby’s small home on Olive Street, they find love and support from each other that will see them through their struggles and worries.

Each of these books has Robyn Carr’s special touch that blends sorrow and joy to bring an inspiring and satisfying reading experience that women turn to again and again.

And don’t be surprised if you wonder to yourself, as you are reading along – when did Robyn Carr peek into my life? I know she must have been hidden away somewhere in my house, taking notes on my bunch of rowdy boys! I found myself saying “yep, been there, done that!”

My thanks to Kim Miller and Nancy Berland Public Relations for the review copies of these books. I was not compensated for my opinions.

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