Summer 2014 Reads

July is almost over but there is still plenty of summer left. Whether you are heading to the beach or just swinging in your hammock with a cold glass of lemonade, summer is a great time to catch up on your reading. So today I'm recommending my top 6 picks for Summer 2014 Reads. 

Little Mercies by Heather Gudenkauf (June 24, 2014)  In her latest ripped-from-the-headlines tour de force, New York Times bestselling author Heather Gudenkauf shows how one small mistake can have life-altering consequences… Veteran social worker Ellen Moore has seen the worst side of humanity—the vilest acts one person can commit against another. She is a fiercely dedicated children's advocate and a devoted mother and wife. But one blistering summer day, a simple moment of distraction will have repercussions that Ellen could never have imagined, threatening to shatter everything she holds dear, and trapping her between the gears of the system she works for. 
Meanwhile, ten-year-old Jenny Briard has been living with her well-meaning but irresponsible father since her mother left them, sleeping on friends' couches and moving in and out of cheap motels. When Jenny suddenly finds herself on her own, she is forced to survive with nothing but a few dollars and her street smarts. The last thing she wants is a social worker, but when Ellen's and Jenny's lives collide, little do they know just how much they can help one another. 
A powerful and emotionally charged tale about motherhood and justice, Little Mercies is a searing portrait of the tenuous grasp we have on the things we love the most, and of the ties that unexpectedly bring us together. 

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The Sanctuary by Cassandra R. Siddons   Four friends. Three shocking secrets. Two marriages on the rocks. One special place, The Sanctuary, that they have always been able to count on—until now…
Lydia has spent her life happily taking care of others. But when her husband dies, Lydia is the one who needs help. She learns that her husband  has deceived her for most of their marriage. She will have to deal with the truth about her husband and their marriage once his secret is revealed—and the consequences of his deception.
Liz is beautiful, fearless, and larger than life. She has achieved everything she set out to do—and she is keeping a secret that could cost her everything.
Julia suffered a childhood trauma that has caused numerous neuroses and years of nightmares. Despite her best efforts to suppress the incident, it continues to haunt her. Now she must finally deal with what happened or risk losing her family.
Sonya is a successful business woman but she has never been successful in love. She thinks she may have finally gotten it right with husband #4—until she realizes that she might not live long enough to find out.
These four women, who call themselves Carolina Girls Forever, have shared a lot over the years. But they have also kept a few significant secrets from one another—until now. All the secrets they have safeguarded for so long will soon come to light. Once that happens, their lives will be changed forever. But no matter what the costs, they must save The Sanctuary…

The Stories We Tell by Patti Callahan Henry  The Morrisons are the ideal Savannah family; successful husband Cooper, artistic and loving wife Eve, and beautiful daughter Gwen make up a picturesque trio beloved by their community. But not everything is as it appears after a car accident creates secrets, lies and deeper tension within the Morrison family, culminating in a truth revealed that Eve never expected to find. 

Mating for Life by Marissa Stapley  Former folk singer Helen Sear was a feminist wild child who proudly disdained monogamy, raising three daughters—each by a different father—largely on her own. Now in her sixties, Helen has fallen in love with a traditional man who desperately wants to marry her. And while she fears losing him, she’s equally afraid of abandoning everything she’s ever stood for if she goes through with it.
 Meanwhile, Helen’s youngest daughter, Liane, is in the heady early days of a relationship with her soul mate. But he has an ex-wife and two kids, and her new role as a “step-something” doesn’t come with an instruction manual. Ilsa, an artist, has put her bohemian past behind her and is fervently hoping her second marriage will stick. Yet her world feels like it is slowly shrinking, and her painting is suffering as a result—and she realizes she may need to break free again, even if it means disrupting the lives of her two young children. And then there’s Fiona, the eldest sister, who has worked tirelessly to make her world pristine, yet who still doesn’t feel at peace. When she discovers her husband has been harboring a huge secret, Fiona loses her tenuous grip on happiness and is forced to face some truths about herself that she’d rather keep buried.
 Interweaving the alternating perspectives of Helen, her daughters, and the women surrounding them, “each new chapter brings a wise and tender look at single life, dating rituals, and marital unease” (New York Times bestselling author Jennifer Close). In this “absolute feat of storytelling” (bestselling author Grace O'Connell), Marissa Stapley celebrates the many roles modern women play, and shows that even though happy endings aren’t one-size-fits-all, some loves really can last for life.

Deep Blue by Jennifer Donnelly  The first in a series of four epic tales set in the depths of the ocean, where six mermaids seek to protect and save their hidden world.
Deep in the ocean, in a world not so different from our own, live the merpeople. Their communities are spread throughout the oceans, seas, and freshwaters all over the globe.
When Serafina, a mermaid of the Mediterranean Sea, awakens on the morning of her betrothal, her biggest worry should be winning the love of handsome Prince Mahdi. And yet Sera finds herself haunted by strange dreams that foretell the return of an ancient evil. Her dark premonitions are confirmed when an assassin's arrow poisons Sera's mother. Now, Serafina must embark on a quest to find the assassin's master and prevent a war between the Mer nations. Led only by her shadowy dreams, Sera searches for five other mermaid heroines who are scattered across the six seas. Together, they will form an unbreakable bond of sisterhood and uncover a conspiracy that threatens their world's very existence.

Your Perfect Life by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke With “a delicious, page-turning premise, and sweet and surprising insights” (New York Times bestselling author Jen Lancaster), Your Perfect Life perfectly illustrates that old adage: Sometimes, you to have to walk a mile in someone else’s shoes to see what’s in her heart.
Best friends since childhood, Casey and Rachel couldn’t lead more different lives. While workaholic Casey rubs elbows with celebrities daily as the host of Gossip TV and comes home nightly to an empty apartment, stay-at-home mom Rachel juggles an “oops” baby, two fiery teenagers, and a husband who barely seems the man she fell in love with two decades before. After an argument at their twentieth high school reunion, Casey and Rachel throw back shots to get the night back on track. Instead, they get a life-changing hangover.
Waking up in each other’s bodies the next morning, they must figure out how to navigate their altered realities. Rachel is forced to confront the reason she gave up her broadcasting dreams when she got pregnant in college, and Casey finally steps out of the spotlight to face the truth about why she’s alone. And they soon discover that they don’t know themselves—or their best friend—nearly as well as they thought they did.
Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke bring humor and heart to every page of this novel that is sure to please fans of In Her Shoes and The Opposite of Me. Your Perfect Life is a story about two very different women, what they didn’t know about each other, and how, by switching lives, they each learn to appreciate their own.

****Disclaimer: This post is sponsored by Harlequin*****

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