Book Review: Summer at Firefly Beach, by Jenny Hale

I was fortunate enough to receive a copy of Summer of Firefly Beach, by Jenny Hale! Thank you to Noelle Holten at Bookouture, and a big thank you to author, Jenny Hale.

Isn’t the cover gorgeous?!?

Title: Summer at Firefly Beach

Publication Day: June 17, 2019   

Author:  Jenny Hale

Where to Purchase:


Apple Books:



Synopsis from the publisher:

An emotional and gripping page-turner from the bestselling author of The Summer House about the importance of family, rediscovering who you are, and the magic of finding true love under the summer sun. Perfect for fans of Mary Alice Monroe, Nancy Thayer and Susan Mallery.

Hallie Flynn’s favorite place in the world is her great Aunt Clara’s beautiful beachside house, with its inviting wraparound porch and enchanting views across the sparkling turquoise ocean. For Hallie, going to Firefly Beach, filled with magical memories, feels like coming home, but in one moment Hallie is left broken-hearted when her adored Aunt Clara passes away…

As always, Aunt Clara has thought of everything. In her last letter to Hallie, she included the bucket list Hallie wrote as a child and implored Hallie to complete the list. Leaving her dead-end job and predictable schedule, Hallie returns to Firefly beach and embraces Aunt Clara’s words. Through it all her childhood best friend, Ben Murray, with his golden charm and infuriating ability to be right all the time, is by her side.

Spending the summer with Ben, as they enjoy drinks on the pier and endless talks stretched out in the soft sand, Hallie begins to remember the things that matter most to her. But following the bucket list isn’t an easy journey. It forces her to face the pain of her past as she starts to fall for the person who has been there for her all along…

Just as her heart is healing, an encounter with a newcomer to the beach town, wealthy and talented photographer Gavin Wilson, leaves her questioning her future and shows her she has to make a difficult decision that could mean losing everything.

Will Hallie be able to fulfill Aunt Clara’s last wish? Or will a secret she’s been keeping destroy her new beginning—and the chance to experience true love?

I read Summer at Firefly Beach on an airplane Memorial Day weekend. A perfect read to kick off summer!

My thoughts:

This was such an enjoyable read. Hallie is a thoroughly likable character, and wholly worth rooting for. She has seen her share of grief in the previous few months, and I found myself just wanting her to have her happy ending. There were moments when I wanted to scream at her to JUST SAY IT OUT LOUD…TAKE THE RISK! But that’s not always life, right?We hold back out of fear and past heartaches.

The entire family is warm and cozy, and the atmosphere oozes comfort. Aunt Clara, although she has passed away, is still very much present. Even after her death, she is trying to support her loved ones, encourage them to make amends, repair relationships, and offer grace and forgiveness.

Summer at Firefly Beach was a fun summer read, capturing the feeling of sweet memories of time spent with friends and family on long summer days. It’s the feeling of wrapping myself up with a fuzzy blanket and settling on the couch to watch a Hallmark Christmas movie with my daughter in December. It’s heartwarming and sweet, and I smile when I think about it. What could be better than that?

From the author, about the author:

When I graduated college, one of my friends said, “Look out for this one; she’s going to be an author one day.” Despite being an avid reader and a natural storyteller, it wasn’t until that very moment that the idea of writing novels occurred to me.

Sometimes our friends can see the things that we can’t.

While I didn’t start straight away, that comment sowed a seed and several years, two children, and hundreds of thousands of words later, I completed a novel that I felt was worthy of publication. The result was Coming Home for Christmas, a heart-warming story about the magic of love at Christmas, and 2017 TV movie on The Hallmark Channel. 

The rest is history. 

When I’m not writing, I’m a mother of two boys and a wife to a very supportive husband.

Author Social Media Links:




Follow along on the Book Tour! I’m listed as Sarah’s Book Reviews, but it really is me! 🙂

Happy Publishing Day

The Spies of Shilling Lane

by Jennifer Ryan

Pub Date: June 4, 2019

Crown Publishing

This fun book is out today. It’s a great one to add to your summer reading. Thank you so much to Netgalley, Crown Publishing, and Jennifer Ryan for providing me with a digital copy of this book. I’m well into it, and I’m enjoying the adventures of quirky and headstrong Mrs. Braithwaite as she is determined to find her daughter. After her divorce and subsequent demotion from her local WVS, Mrs. Braithwaite heads to London for an overdue visit with her only daughter. When she arrives, she discovers that Betty has been missing for days. Not even the blitz can keep Mrs. Braithwaite from steamrolling Mr. Norris, the soft-spoken landlord, into joining the adventure. The tone of this WWII novel is light and thoroughly entertaining. It’s more of a romp than a heavy story – perfect for your pool or beach bag!

Book Review: Keeping Lucy, by T. Greenwood

Keeping Lucy, by T. Greenwood

Published by St. Martins Press

Publication date August 6, 2019

Synopsis: In 1969, Ginny Richardson has the perfect life. She is married to a wonderful man, a lawyer, Ab, and they have a son whom they adore. When she gives birth to her baby girl, she is told the baby has Down Syndrome and is whisked away before Ginny even understands what is happening. Ab’s father insists the baby by enrolled immediately in Willowridge, a school for the feeble-minded. Ginny knows she doesn’t have the knowledge of the medical professionals who told her it was for the best; her daughter would be cared for by those who know just what she needs. And, as per the school’s rules, Ginny is not allowed to visit. But Ginny feels the hole left in her heart every day. Two years later, Ginny’s best friend, Marsha, shows her an expose on the horrendous conditions of Willowridge. Ginny decides she must go see for herself. Marsha agrees to drive Ginny and her now six year old son to the school for a visit. Once there, Ginny quickly realizes that she can’t leave her daughter there. She checks her out for a weekend visit, but as she discovers more of the truth of the school, she must make a decision. Follow the rules or risk everything for her daughter.

My thoughts: From the beginning, I was captivated by Ginny. Greenwood’s descriptions were horrifyingly vivid. There were moments in which I felt ill. I felt Ginny’s struggle, and it was heart wrenching. Ginny felt powerless. She was at the mercy of her husband’s family (and their idea of image at the expense of everything) and yet she knew she needed to protect her child. Yet she also needed to think about what was best for her son. Ab, her husband, also had to decide what was most important: his wife and children or the pressures his family and high society were putting on him to uphold the family’s perfect image. Greenwood crafted a beautiful and gut-wrenching story based on true events. Be on the lookout for this one!