Sometimes treasure can be found where you least expect it.
In the decade since high school graduation, Christine Sawyer has realized her dream of opening Treasure Hunting Antique Mall, the place where shoppers find gems that are new to them. Between her store, her house, and her role as a doting aunt, she’s happy with her life—if a bit lonely. But she’s used to being less lucky in love than her fraternal twin sister. Britney was always the popular one, the head cheerleader who dated the homecoming king and quarterback, while Christine stayed in the shadows.
Brent Nicholson is still trying to come to grips with the shambles his life has become. After leading his football team to a state championship, he suffered a career-ending injury. Now he’s lost his construction business thanks to his so-called best friend. So when his great-aunt Midge asks for his help readying her home to put it on the market, the opportunity to spend time with his biggest fan is a balm to his bruised soul.
But the antiques Brent finds in his aunt’s house lead him to an unexpected partnership with Christine. After being blind to her for so many years, is it too late for the former high school jock to win the heart of the self-proclaimed “nerdy twin”?
As they sift through items of the past, Christine and Brent learn to let go of the pieces they don’t want to bring into the future—and realize the value of what’s in front of them today.
Amy Clipston’s newest novel, Something Old, Something New, is an endearingly heartwarming contemporary romance. Christine Sawyer and Brent Nicholson are the main protagonists in the storyline.
Christine lives her life in the shadow of her twin sister, Britney, while Brent continues to live in the shadow of his glory days as a teenage football hero. Neither feel they are truly worthy of love or second chances.
This story was enjoyable to read. Everyone, I believe, has had the feeling that they were not “good enough” at some point. While these feelings may not have been as severe as Christine or Brent’s, they are relatable.
Brent’s Aunt Midge was my favorite character. I love when authors create someone with moxie and gumption. Both real and imagined worlds are made more lively by them.
The message of optimism, second chances, forgiveness and love in Clipston’s novel makes it the ideal book to read at any time.
I received a copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own and I am voluntarily leaving this review.
What’ll it take for the prodigal daughter to share her deepest secrets… and her heart?
Josephine Green returns to the islands in an attempt to reconcile with her family, but with a cloud over the family business, and little in the way of gardening skills, Josie’s painful past and flaky ways prove less than endearing for Greener Gardens’ hardworking crew.
Stuck without any other options, Josie is forced to accept her sister’s offer of a job that takes her to Breakers Head where she encounters Aussie teacher, Lachlan Jones.
A long-lost relative might’ve brought Lachie to a tiny music recording studio on the Independence Islands, but it’s also brought questions about how to care for someone he barely knows, especially considering he’s the last family she has. Questions regarding his future soon pale when he encounters the vibrant-haired Josie, whose sass and attitude takes some getting used to.
Neither imagined more until they began to bond over music and environmental causes. Both discover that first impressions need not be lasting ones.
But with the future of Greener Gardens looking shaky, and Josie’s faith and self-worth just as tenuous, can deepening a friendship into something more ever work? And what happens when Lachlan’s work means he has to return to Australia after Christmas? What’ll it take for two hearts to heal and make a future possible?
This Breakers Head novel is Carolyn Miller’s final book in the Independence Islands Series featuring five islands, six authors, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
The Independence Islands Series: beach reads aren’t just for summer anymore.
Carolyn Miller creates a sensitive, sympathetic tale about a somewhat bruised and semi-bitter woman named Josie in Refining Josie.
As you come to know Josephine “Josie” Green, you understand that she must have a reason for her attitude and manner, which you eventually learn. As you come to know Josie well, your heart starts to ache for her.
Fortunately, she connects with Australian-born Lachlan “Lachie” Jones, who has moved to Breakers Island. Both Lachlan and Josie are a little bit like fish out of water because of unforeseen events.
Miller tells a true-to-life tale about a woman who struggles with her faith, other people, and life in general. The story is wonderful in how it deals with all the circumstances of Josie’s life and how she embraces love, forgiveness and faith.
Breakers Island was an offshoot series of books from the Independence Island series, of which Refining Josie is the last. The series will be much missed.
I received this book from Celebrate Lit. However, my review is voluntary, and all opinions are my own.
About the Author
Carolyn Miller lives in the beautiful Southern Highlands of New South Wales, Australia, with her husband and four children. Together with her husband she has pastored a church for ten years, and worked as a public high school English and Learning and Support teacher. She loves reading, music, films, gardens, art, travel and international food, and really enjoy creating worlds where flawed people can grow in faith, hope and love. A longtime lover of romance, especially that of Jane Austen and Georgette Heyer’s Regency era, Carolyn holds a BA in English Literature, and loves drawing readers into fictional worlds that show the truth of God’s grace in our lives.
Her novels include The Elusive Miss Ellison, The Captivating Lady Charlotte, The Dishonorable Miss DeLancey, Winning Miss Winthrop, Miss Serena’s Secret, The Making of Mrs. Hale, A Hero for Miss Hatherleigh, and Underestimating Miss Cecilia, all available from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Book Depository, Koorong, etc
More from Carolyn
Wow! Well, here we are celebrating the release of Refining Josie, my final book and THE final book in the Independence Islands series. It’s been a journey, hasn’t it? Six authors, five islands, and a boatload of happily-ever-afters.
As a long-time lover of gardens, plants, flowers and trees, it’s been so fun showcasing various parts of what life could be like as someone working in the gardening industry on these islands. I’m married to a horticulturalist, who once upon a time worked at Lyme Park, which was showcased in the 1995 production of Pride and Prejudice. He has also worked at Kew Gardens in England, and it was fun to use some of his experience in these books. (You can see some of my pics on Instagram and on my website)
For Refining Josie I was glad to finally round out some of the family challenges Samantha Green and her family’s ‘Greener Gardens’ business have had to deal with along the way, and to give Josie Green her own voice. This is a story about a prodigal daughter, and some of the ‘why’ behind the behavior, factors I think readers will relate and respond to well.
As an Aussie, I was also happy to include an Aussie hero, someone with some challenges of his own, so I hope you enjoy getting a tiny taste of a Hugh Jackman-esque hero.
Come visit the Independence Islands once more, and enjoy Refining Josie, a story of heart, hope, humor and a dash of Christmas romance.
A Girl Scout Troop Joins the Battle of the Atlantic
Full of intrigue, adventure, and romance, this new series celebrates the unsung heroes—the heroines of WWII.
Ginny Mathis was finished with nursing school and had no intention of staying rooted in the Outer Banks—then war broke out. With her father away, she feels duty-bound to stay and help her mother and younger sister. While working as a clerk for the Oregon Inlet ferry, naval officers ask Ginny and others to be watchful for German U-boats reportedly spotted in the area. So to help occupy her teenage sister, Ginny enlists the Girl Scout troop she leads to help watch for suspicious activity along the coast.
Timothy Elliott is no stranger to death. As a British reporter working with the M-6, he’s numb to the losses of war after two years of fighting the Germans. Maybe that’s why he volunteered for this mission—to connect with an ex-German naval officer who stole the Furor’s battle plan for the Atlantic war. When the boat giving him passage to New York is bombed near the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse, Tim is thrown from the boat and wakes up in the care of a group of young girls.
Ginny follows her sneaky sister on a clandestine mission and discovers the shipwreck victim. Ginny knows she must take charge, but is this man the enemy, or does he hold secrets that could turn the tide of the Battle of the Atlantic in the allies’ favor?
On My Honor, by Patty Smith Hall, is one of the “Heroines of WWII” series; however, it can easily be read as a standalone.
This fascinating, intriguing work of historical fiction centers on a Girl Scout troop located in the Outer Banks of North Carolina (a place near and dear to my own heart).
Ginny Mathis, the Girl Scout leader for her sister Ginny’s troop, is working three jobs in addition to assisting in the war effort. Though her war work is more serious, she teaches her Scouts to map coordinates, keep a lookout for strangers in the area and perform other tasks inherent to the war effort. Her ambitious pace is arduous as she and her sister grapple with how to get along.
A small slice of World War II has been vividly brought to life by Patty Smith Hall. I could feel the Outer Banks sand between my toes and its seaside breezes. I felt agony and horror as well at imagining the smell and sight of oil smeared all over the beach in the aftermath of deadly submarine attacks.
A riveting and gripping tale, On My Honor, is a story you won’t want to miss, especially if you enjoy unique and engrossing stories of WWII.
I received a review copy of this book from NetGalley. All opinions are my own, and I am voluntarily leaving this review.