Mystic Summer by Hannah McKinnon

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★★★ 1/2 (3.5/5) – Mystic Summer by Hannah McKinnon is a fun, fast summer read with a predictable ending. I really enjoyed the descriptions of various familiar locations in Mystic, CT. However, the characters spend too much time eating at Mystic Pizza! There are so many great restaurants in and around Mystic (The Engine Room, The Captain Daniel Packer Inn, The Pita Spot, Kitchen Little, Somewhere in Time, etc.). Why would locals constantly be eating at the most touristy spot in town?!?!

From Amazon: A chance run-in with a college boyfriend puts a young woman’s picture-perfect life in perspective in this warm-hearted and lyrical novel—from the author of The Lake Season.

Since finishing graduate school, Maggie Griffin has worked hard to build an enviable life in Boston. She’s an elementary school teacher in a tony Boston suburb, a devoted sister, and a loving aunt. With her childhood best friend’s wedding quickly approaching and her own relationship blossoming, this is the summer she has been waiting for.

But when Maggie’s career is suddenly in jeopardy, her life begins to unravel. Stricken, Maggie returns home to seaside Mystic, Connecticut, where she expects to find comfort in family and familiarity. Instead, she runs into Cameron Wilder, a young man from her past who has also returned home, and whose life has taken a turn that puts Maggie’s city struggles in harsh perspective. When tragedy strikes for Cameron, Maggie is faced with big decisions as she weighs what matters most and strives to stay true to the person she’s become.

Set against the gorgeous backdrop of a New England summer when past and present collide, Mystic Summer is a gorgeous novel about looking back, moving forward, and the beauty that blooms when fate intervenes.

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Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart

61iygvfubxl-_sx330_bo1204203200_★★★1/2 (3.5/5) – Girl Waits with Gun by Amy Stewart is a very simple, straightforward, clean story about three women who are harassed by a jerk from a wealthy family and how they struggle to build a court case against him. Very few amusing moments. The author based much of the story on real historical events, except for a mystery about a factory worker’s child who is kidnapped. This book seemed like it should have been shorter and marketed to younger readers (maybe young adult). If I weren’t from New Jersey, I think I would have rated this a bit lower (2.5-3 stars).

From Amazon: From the New York Times best-selling author of The Drunken Botanist comes an enthralling novel based on the forgotten true story of one of the nation’s first female deputy sheriffs.

Constance Kopp doesn’t quite fit the mold. She towers over most men, has no interest in marriage or domestic affairs, and has been isolated from the world since a family secret sent her and her sisters into hiding fifteen years ago. One day a belligerent and powerful silk factory owner runs down their buggy, and a dispute over damages turns into a war of bricks, bullets, and threats as he unleashes his gang on their family farm. When the sheriff enlists her help in convicting the men, Constance is forced to confront her past and defend her family — and she does it in a way that few women of 1914 would have dared.