Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Narrator: Kathleen McInerney
Published: May 3, 2022
Reviewed By: Jessica
Dates Read: May 25- June 2, 2022
Jessica’s Rating: 5 stars
Hattie Kavanaugh went to work helping clean up restored homes for Kavanaugh & Son Restorations at 18; married the boss’s son at 20; and was only 25 when her husband, Hank, was killed in a motorcycle accident.
Broken hearted, but determined to continue the business of their dreams, she takes the life insurance money, buys a small house in a gentrifying neighborhood, flips it, then puts the money into her next project. But that house is a disaster and a money-loser, which rocks her confidence for years to come. Then, Hattie gets a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: star in a beach house renovation reality show called The Homewreckers, cast against a male lead who may be a love interest, or may be the ultimate antagonist. It’s a question of who will flip, and who will flop, and will Hattie ever get her happily-ever-after.
I adore Mary Kay Andrews (MKA) and The Homewreckers is the perfect start to your summer reading! Whether you are looking for that perfect beach read or just a temporary escape, MKA is always a guarantee for an enjoyable read! I have the physical book, but listened to the audiobook because Kathleen McInerney was the narrator like always. MKA and McInerney go together like PB&J, they are a perfect match for me!
The Homewreckers has Hattie who restores homes in Savannah (As MKA also does in her spare time!), and she ends up on a reality show to flip a house. But this house may be more than Hattie can handle as situation after crazy situation keeps happening! The reader also gets to learn along with Hattie about how reality shows are run and that they are not so real in the first place (If you were not already aware). And of course, the behind-the-scenes drama that can lead to over exaggerated headlines!
We have intrigue, mystery, and even a little bit of romance which is perfect for a summer read. This is MKA’s 30th book in 30 years and she proves that she still has ‘it’!
I was fortunate to met Mrs. MKA for the second time during her latest book tour for Homewreckers. She signed books, took pictures, and spoke to us. She is currently fighting CoVID, and I hope she feels better soon! Here are some pictures from the signing:
Instead of ‘Where’s Waldo’, can you find me?:
Today Kim and I bring you a double review of The Santa Suit by Mary Kay Andrews! You guys know we both will read practically anything she writes! We both gave The Santa Suit 5 stars and it also touched me in a personal way, which will be in my review. I listened to the audiobook while Kim read the physical book.
The Santa Suit
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Narrator: Kathleen McInerney
Published: September 28, 2021
When newly-divorced Ivy Perkins buys an old farmhouse sight unseen, she is definitely looking for a change in her life. The Four Roses, as the farmhouse is called, is a labor of love—but Ivy didn’t bargain on just how much labor. The previous family left so much furniture and so much junk, that it’s a full-time job sorting through all of it.
At the top of a closet, Ivy finds an old Santa suit—beautifully made and decades old. In the pocket of a suit she finds a note written in a childish hand: it’s from a little girl who has one Christmas wish, and that is for her father to return home from the war. This discovery sets Ivy off on a mission. Who wrote the note? Did the man ever come home? What mysteries did the Rose family hold?
Ivy’s quest brings her into the community, at a time when all she wanted to do was be left alone and nurse her wounds. But the magic of Christmas makes miracles happen, and Ivy just might find more than she ever thought possible: a welcoming town, a family reunited, a mystery solved, and a second chance at love.
Kim’s Rating: 5 Stars
What a perfect way to start out the holiday season!! This is a Hallmark Christmas movie in book form … except it’s better than the movies! The best way to describe it is “feel good”. It’s not a long book, nor is it complicated with lots of drama or conflict. It’s just a sweet story that probably won’t happen in real life, but stirs up all those warm and fuzzy feelings you want around Christmas time. I wasn’t expecting it, but I was in tears by the end. My heart felt so big and happy that I wanted to tell Ivan that we should buy a fixer upper farm house in the country and keep it decorated all year long! I might just add this book to my annual Christmas reading list!
Jessica’s Rating: 5 Stars
Dates Read: November 9-12, 2021
Format Read: Audiobook
The Santa Suit is a cute novella that will get you all ready for Christmas! As with many of her more recent novels, MKA has characters that deal with houses that are ‘fixer uppers’, this time newly divorced Ivy buys an older farm house called The Four Roses without seeing it. Unaware of how much work needs to be done on the house until she sees it firsthand, Ivy finds herself overwhelmed as the previous owners left their personal possessions. This includes a Santa suit which she just can’t throw away. Inside the suit she finds a very old letter written by a little girl wanting her daddy to come from the war. Ivy then becomes determined to find out what happened to the little girl and her family.
Ivy becomes friends with a local girl who is engaged to a man she has never actually met, and she isn’t exactly how she described herself to him. There is also a potential romance and starting over for Ivy.
This is an enjoyable Christmas tale without a complex story to it and everything wraps up nicely in a sweet and cute novella that we need after the last couple of years. If you are a fan of MKA, do yourself a favor and read The Santa Suit this Christmas season!
The Santa Suit touched me personally, from when I was in middle school on, my own dad played Santa every Christmas. It was something he loved doing. Listening to the audiobook brought back those memories.
The Santa Suit is recommended!
Here are some pictures of my dad in action as Santa:
Today Kim and I bring you a double review of Sunset Beach by Mary Kay Andrews (MKA)! We just love her at Jessica’s Reading Room and both of us awarded Sunset Beach 4 stars. Kim was also lucky enough to attend a signing and meet Mrs. MKA again!
Author: Mary Kay Andrews
Published: May 7, 2019
Pull up a lounge chair and have a cocktail at Sunset Beach – it comes with a twist.
Drue Campbell’s life is adrift. Out of a job and down on her luck, life doesn’t seem to be getting any better when her estranged father, Brice Campbell, a flamboyant personal injury attorney, shows up at her mother’s funeral after a twenty-year absence. Worse, he’s remarried – to Drue’s eighth grade frenemy, Wendy, now his office manager. And they’re offering her a job.
It seems like the job from hell, but the offer is sweetened by the news of her inheritance – her grandparents’ beach bungalow in the sleepy town of Sunset Beach, a charming but storm-damaged eyesore now surrounded by waterfront McMansions.
With no other prospects, Drue begrudgingly joins the firm, spending her days screening out the grifters whose phone calls flood the law office. Working with Wendy is no picnic either. But when a suspicious death at an exclusive beach resort nearby exposes possible corruption at her father’s firm, she goes from unwilling cubicle rat to unwitting investigator, and is drawn into a case that may – or may not – involve her father. With an office romance building, a decades-old missing persons case re-opened, and a cottage in rehab, one thing is for sure at Sunset Beach: there’s a storm on the horizon.
Sunset Beach is a compelling ride, full of Mary Kay Andrews’ signature wit, heart, and charm.
Jessica’s Rating: 4 Stars
Dates Read: August 26- September 13, 2019
Here I am reviewing another MKA book! She is a ‘go- to’ author for me! MKA’s books are always enjoyable. This one has a double dose of mystery to it: present day and back in 1976, and the two stories are connected.
I really liked Drue and I identified with her as she is close to my age. She has had a hard run of life and then finds herself working for her father in a dead-end type job. He has also remarried, and what makes that situation worse is that she is an old classroom frenemy of Drue’s.
Drue finds herself looking more into a recently closed case that she personally connected with and also finds some old newspapers/file in her grandparents attic that also catches her attention. It says something about the professionals of this town that Drue, who in essence becomes an amateur sleuth figures things out that they couldn’t! I guess a pair of fresh eyes helps? Though I did like detective Rae Hernandez.
This is definitely a beach read with the mysteries involved and to find out how they are connected! And just look at the cover! It is meant to be read while relaxing. I look forward to seeing what MKA brings us next year!
Many thanks to St. Martin’s Press for sending me an arc copy via Goodreads.
Kim’s Rating: 4 stars
Mary Kay Andrews is one of our absolute favorite authors here at Jessica’s Reading Room. She consistently writes wonderful novels and creates memorable and likable characters. I really enjoyed Sunset Beach, but I’ll also admit that it’s not my favorite of all her novels. It kept my attention, I was emotionally invested, and the ending surprised me. However, it just felt slightly shallower as compared to her other books. I love the romance component to each of her stories and this one seemed to be lacking that. There was some romance and I really liked Jonah a lot, I just needed more.
My other issue was all the racial stuff she decided to throw in. Thankfully, she was very balanced, showing the problems on both sides of the “color spectrum”; I guess I just don’t understand why it had to be included at all. I really don’t think anything would have suffered had she not included such a focus on race. Other than that, the story was interesting, the mystery was solid, the characters were relatable and likable. And the cover of Sunset Beach is definitely one of my favorites of all the MKA books. It’s beautiful and totally appeals to a summer lover and beach bum like me! Definitely a good book that I would recommend for a great summer read!