Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Published: May 8, 2018
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 15 – August 7, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
When ninety-nine-year-old heiress Josephine Bettendorf Warrick summons Brooke Trappnell to Talisa Island, her 20,000 acre remote barrier island home, Brooke is puzzled. Everybody in the South has heard about the eccentric millionaire mistress of Talisa, but Brooke has never met her. Josephine’s cryptic note says she wants to discuss an important legal matter with Brooke, who is an attorney, but Brooke knows that Mrs. Warrick has long been a client of a prestigious Atlanta law firm.
Over a few meetings, the ailing Josephine spins a tale of old friendships, secrets, betrayal and a long-unsolved murder. She tells Brooke she is hiring her for two reasons: to protect her island and legacy from those who would despoil her land, and secondly, to help her make amends with the heirs of the long dead women who were her closest friends, the girls of The High Tide Club—so named because of their youthful skinny dipping escapades—Millie, Ruth and Varina. When Josephine dies with her secrets intact, Brooke is charged with contacting Josephine’s friends’ descendants and bringing them together on Talisa for a reunion of women who’ve actually never met.
The High Tide Club features Brooke Trappnell who is introduced in Save the Date. You do not need to have read Save the Date first, but I would recommend it as you will know Brooke’s backstory. Save the Date was the first Mary Kay Andrews’ (MKA) book I read and she has since become an author who I will read anything she writes! The High Tide Club has become my favorite of MKA’s that I have read!
The High Tide Club has a little bit of everything that keeps you reading: A little romance, a murder mystery that spans decades, a group of girlfriends, secrets and lies, making amends, and family: the biological one and the ones you choose.
There are two timelines that connect: One starts in the 1940s, and the other is in present day. I never lost interest in both timeline stories and I never figured the twists out. Everything fits and flows together well. Though it is a fun and intriguing read, there are also some serious situations that occur in the novel including rape and abandoned babies. MKA may be starting to turn a little ‘dark’ in her novels, but they are still enjoyable and definitely easy beach reads.
The High Tide Club is a longer novel, coming in at 470 pages, but I couldn’t really see any of it being discarded. I do have the book, but listened to the audiobook which is narrated by Kathleen McInerney. I have listened to most of MKA’s books on audiobook and McInerney narrates them all. Both of those ladies just go together like peas and carrots!
If you have not given MKA a try you really need to!
Author: Katherine Center
To Be Published: August 13, 2019
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: July 8-12, 2019
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Cassie Hanwell was born for emergencies. As one of the only female firefighters in her Texas firehouse, she’s seen her fair share of them, and she’s excellent at dealing with other people’s tragedies. But when her estranged and ailing mother asks her to uproot her life and move to Boston, it’s an emergency of a kind Cassie never anticipated.
The tough, old-school Boston firehouse is as different from Cassie’s old job as it could possibly be. Hazing, a lack of funding, and poor facilities mean that the firemen aren’t exactly thrilled to have a “lady” on the crew, even one as competent and smart as Cassie. Except for the handsome rookie, who doesn’t seem to mind having Cassie around. But she can’t think about that. Because she doesn’t fall in love. And because of the advice her old captain gave her: don’t date firefighters. Cassie can feel her resolve slipping…but will she jeopardize her place in a career where she’s worked so hard to be taken seriously?
Katherine Center’s Things You Save in a Fire is a heartfelt, affecting novel about life, love, and the true meaning of courage.
I introduced myself to Katherine Center last year with How to Walk Away (HTWA) (my review is here) and loved it , so I eagerly anticipated her next novel which was Things You Save in a Fire (to be called Things for the rest of this review) and was not disappointed in the least. And Things is about a female firefighter: Go girl empowerment!
Center wrote the novel through examples of real life situations her volunteer fire fighter husband told her about the job and living in the fire house. I’ve spent a little time in firehouses and even put the turnout gear on and based on what I experienced, the novel is spot on!
Our protagonist Cassie made a brief appearance in HTWA which was referenced in Things. You won’t miss anything if you have not read HTWA, but it adds to Cassie’s story if you have already read it. I personally loved how the books were connected. I really liked Cassie and identified with her in several ways. Firefighting really is a ‘boys club’ and Cassie totally kicks male butt! You can’t help but cheer for her. She is also a conflicted character and feels like a real person. Center does a great job capturing real life struggles and putting them on the page. There are moments that will have you laughing and then moments that touch you in a personal way.
This novel has a bit of everything: romance, mystery, action, and yes, we do get a fire! With the fire situation the reader gets the experience of working that fire and going inside with the fire fighters.
I alluded to it earlier, and want to talk about my experience in a fire house: Back in 2004 I took part in a Citizen’s Fire Academy where I learned about my local fire department, did some training, and spent time at two fire stations with the men on shift. I got to go on the calls they received, and yes, one was a fire call! It ended up being a kitchen fire that was out by the time we arrived on the scene. It was a great experience and if the opportunity arises, everyone should do this! You really get a new appreciation and respect for what they do.
Bravo Katherine Center for an enjoyable novel that accurately portrays life in a fire house base on what I experienced myself. When you read this novel, you will get to see what life as a fire fighter is like in a 24 hour shift: from the silliness to seriousness.
Things You Save in a Fire is very highly recommended. Special thanks to St. Martin’s Press for granting me an e-arc that I received via NetGalley.
Some pictures from when I went through the Citizen’s Fire Academy:
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Published: June 5, 2012
Reviewed By: Kim
Kim’s Rating: 5 stars
Annajane truly believes she is over her ex-husband, Mason. They’ve been divorced for four years, she’s engaged to a terrific new guy, and she’s ready to leave the small North Carolina town where she and Mason had so much history. She is so over Mason that she has absolutely no problem attending his wedding. But when fate intervenes and the wedding is called to a halt as the bride is walking down the aisle, Annajane begins to realize that maybe this happened for a reason. And maybe, just maybe, she wants Mason back…
But there are secrets afoot in this small Southern town, and soon Annajane discovers that change can bring out the worst in people-even her own friends and neighbors-and uncover family scandals. Happiness could be hers for the taking…and the life she once had with Mason could be in her future. But first Annajane must find out what she’s really made of, and what really matters most.
One of my very favorite MKA books EVER! It’s so summery and fun! I grew up drinking Cheerwine with the rest of the Carolinas so Quixie played into all my nostalgic feelings. I even tried Cheerwine and Rum and Cheerwine and Vodka during our beach vacation and now I’m addicted. Every single character is amazing. Even the ones you’re supposed to hate. I just love hating them. It’s a classic MKA love story with lots of romance and conflict, sarcasm and stealth, plot twists and surprises. It’s an easy, happy read that is perfect for summer and the beach!