After five years with little communication, Emma has invited her once best friends, Serena and Mackenzie, to her lake house in upstate New York with the intention of revealing to them a secret she has been keeping for years. When Emma is suddenly involved in an accident just as they are to leave for the lake, Serena and Mackenzie stay with their friend, and her daughter, Zoe, around the clock until she is well enough to leave the hospital. As Emma continues her recovery up at the lake, the secret she was hoping to confess begins to slowly reveal itself to them on its own until it’s out in the open, leaving the women to wonder what will remain of their friendship. Wendy Wax writes great stories about the friendships among women, sprinkling in a bit of adversity to show just what the women are really made of. A Week at the Lake is true to form and an enjoyable summer read. (LEK)
Maddie, Avery and Nikki have become good friends since they started working on the restoration of houses together. They have managed to turn their love for makeovers into an actual reality show called Do Over and they are ready for their next challenge. At least, they think they are, until they meet ageing rock legend William Hightower, who just got out of rehab and is not in the mood for company as he is busy trying to come to terms with his troubled past. His home, a beach house on a small island called Mermaid Point in the Florida Keys, desperately needs a makeover, which is where Maddie, Avery and Nikki come in. While dealing with their own individual troubles at the same time, the ladies try to take on this new challenge with a positive attitude, but it seems both William Hightower and the producer of the TV show aren't planning on making things easy for them... This book is the third part of a series (with Ocean Beach and Ten Beach Road), but it can definitely be read as a stand-alone. Wendy Wax is a fabulous author with a captivating writing style and a true talent for storytelling. I easily warmed to all three leading female characters and loved that each of them had their own story to tell and their own individual issues to deal with while working on the same project. There's a great group of characters at the core of the novel, mainly consisting of strong and intriguing women. I really liked reading the different storylines and seeing how it was all brought together in the main storyline, namely the makeover of William Hightower's house. The novel had me interested from beginning to end, and I was even quite shocked by some of the things that happened near the end. The House on Mermaid Point is a thoroughly enjoyable and well-written novel, perfect for a day at the beach, and part of a book series that is definitely worth giving a chance! (JoH)
Claire Walker, Brooke MacKenzie, and Samantha Davis couldn't be more different from one another. It seems the only thing they have in common when they first meet is their address, an historic apartment building in Atlanta named the Alexander. When the concierge of their building, Edward Parker, orchestrates weekly screenings of Downton Abbey for the residents of the building, Claire, Brooke and Samantha discover that despite their different lifestyles and backgrounds, their love of the British drama brings them together every week and ignites a surprising friendship for all of them. Wendy Wax again creates likable, strong female characters dealing with everyday issues most of us can relate to. The story of their friendship reminds us just how important it is to have trustworthy, loyal allies in our corner for the times we need them the most. Pairing the story with the popularity of Downton Abbey was nothing short of brilliant. (LEK)
In a Madoff-like Ponzi scheme, Madeline, Avery and Nicole lose everything they and their families have ever worked for when their financial manager, Malcolm, disappears with all of their money. What remains is a one-third ownership in a run-down mansion in Florida, currently only fit for rodents and birds. In an effort to rebuild their nest eggs and their lives, the three women unite to restore the house to its former grandeur, planning to sell the house and split the money three ways. Unfortunately, things are not so cut and dry. Madeline is dealing with myriad family issues, Avery is shocked when her designer-to-the-stars mother, who left the family years ago, shows up in Florida offering her design services, and Nicole is harbouring a huge secret she's terrified will come to light. All of this, in addition to an egotistical contractor who is making their lives miserable, leaves them wondering whether they will ever finish the renovation and get their lives back on track. I love stories where strong, determined women band together to preserve family life and values. Ten Beach Road has that in spades. Bravo to Wendy Wax for continuing to highlight women of character in her books. (LEK)
After a disastrous and humiliating expose leaves her with a bullet wound to her backside, investigative journalist Vivien Armstrong Grey finds herself at a crossroads in her life. She quits her job when she learns she is being pushed aside for a newer, younger version of herself, and soon after, at age 41, discovers she is unexpectedly pregnant. With her boyfriend, Stone, covering the war in Afghanistan, Vivien decides to head home to Atlanta, stay with her widowed sister, Melanie, and take a job reporting on life in suburbia under the pen-name Scarlett Leigh. Using her sister's life, and the friends she makes at the Magnolia Ballroom, as the basis for her column, Vivien finds she has plenty to write about: stay-at-home mums she likens to finely trained triathletes; helicopter parents guiding their children's lives right down to the smallest detail, and prom preparations that rival planning a wedding, all of which she describes with more than a hint of sarcasm. When her column begins to incite rage in the soccer mums she is writing about, and she finds herself growing closer to her sister, niece and nephew, she begins to wonder what keeping secrets will do to her new-found relationships, not to mention her relationship with Stone, whom she has yet to inform of his impending fatherhood. However, before she can figure out a delicate way to let everyone in on her secrets, things go horribly wrong and she is faced with trying to clean up a mess she had hoped to avoid. With a memorable cast of characters, a well-crafted story of friendships and family ties, and a plot twist that I certainly did not see coming, this is a fantastic read that you won't be able to put down and most certainly will not want to end. (LEK)
Author Kendall Aims has a problem - her publisher is dropping her due to lack of sales but her editor still expects the final book of her contract. Kendall, however, has been too busy dealing with the impending demise of her marriage to write that last book. With a looming deadline, and a serious case of writer's block, Kendall retreats to her mountain home. Her three best friends, Mallory St James, Faye Truett, and Tanya Mason, whom she met 10 years earlier at a writers' conference, agree to help Kendall out by collaborating on her book about four best friends who are all writers. Using their own lives as the basis for the characters in the book, they meet the deadline believing no one will discover that what they have each written is actually more autobiographical than fiction. Thanks to ambitious editorial assistant Lacy Samuels, the book becomes an instant bestseller ... and the secrets they have kept, even from one another, are finally revealed in a very public arena. As the women return to their families to face the fallout from their deceptions, they are left to wonder how well they really know each other and what these revelations will mean to the future of their friendship. With an insider's look into the world of publishing, this is an enjoyable read that tests the limits of friendship when secrets are kept and makes you wonder how well we really know those closest to us. (LEK)
After Shelley Schwartz's father has a heart attack, he hands his advertising company over to golden boy Ross Morgan. Shelley is annoyed she was overlooked, even though she hardly ever showed up for work. Determined to prove herself to the new boss and her father, she starts showing an interest in the business and takes on some of the company's worst clients. But she's finding Ross is more than a match for her.