Hattie Kavanaugh has worked in historic remodeling of homes her entire career and even married the son of the company. However, she has been widowed for years when Mo Lopez from HPTV approaches her about a show restoring homes in Savannah, GA. She agrees, needing money. Mo’s boss, Rebecca sets tight deadlines for the show and crazy expectations - naming the show Homewreckers and casting a hunky designer from CA, Trae, to fall in love with Hattie. Hattie’s buys a condemned house from the city, but it upsets the Creedmore family who owned the house for generations, but family feuds let it go into disarray. While restoring the property, they find the wallet then the body of Hattie’s beloved high school English teacher, Lanier Ragan, who has been missing for 17 years. The mystery is eventually solved - Lanier was having an affair with Holland Creedmore Jr., but another player, Davis, wanted to warn Lanier about how horrible Holland was. In an accident trying to stop Lanier from visiting Holland, Davis killed her. Holland Creedmore Sr. and his wife knew about the affair and when they arrive to try to intervene, they find Lanier’s body and hide it in a shed. Later, Davis goes back and buried the body in the sceptic tank. Hattie finds it as an accident in the re-model process. In the end, they are all convicted and Hattie finds love again with Mo, not Trae, and they are going to start a new show and podcast!
Books | Mary Kay Andrews
The story of Alicia Perez and her eldest daughter Isabel and Alicia’s cousin (through marriage), Rosa Ortega. In the 1930s, Alicia and Isabel (age 2) visit her family (parents & sister) in Barcelona after she caught her husband Emilio having an affair. Her parents left Cuba for Barcelona after Batista became President. Around the same time, Rosa’s husband, Gonzalez joined the International Brigade, Cubans who went to Spain to fight against Franco. Alicia’s sister Consuelo is pregnant and the father is Gonzalez. Back in Cuba, Rosa is a living with her in-laws who don’t accept her when she learns Gonzalez was killed in battle & of his affair. Also, Rosa dated Gonzalez’s older brother, Felipe, first, but when he went to Spain for school she was unsure of his love. Felipe and Rosa head to Spain to help Consuelo and they fall back in love. When the Nazis attacked Guernica, with the permission of Franco, Alicia must flee Spain. With the assistance of her father’s former student & a man she once had a crush on (Nestor), she gets on a boat & returns to Cuba with Isabel & Consuelo. However, she gives her wedding band to help a mom escape Spain for Cuba. In 1960s, Isabel is back in Spain (same places as her mom) to look for her sister, Beatriz who is working for CIA. Isabel is married to an American, Thomas, not for love, but for her family’s security in America. While searching for Beatriz, Isabel meets Diego, a friend of Beatriz’s. Diego brings Isabel painting supplies & she is finding joy in life, but afraid to be falling in love since she is a married woman, Isabel returns to America. Isabel divorces her husband & lives in New York with her Aunt Mirta, painting for a living. When Alicia dies, Diego is there for the funeral, at the encouragement of Beatriz, & the two fall in love. Diego marries Isabel & gives her a family heirloom ring - a ring given to his mother by a kind lady when she was trying to escape to Cuba from Spain after the attack at Guernica. Alicia’s ring!
Our Last Days in Barcelona
Books | Chanel Cleeton
Loosely based on the Kennedy family, Joe Kingsley’s father has died and his mother put a lot of pressure on him to live life a certain way and eventually run for office. Cate Cooper grew up with an abusive stepdad, little money, never graduated high school, and only found success when she became a model. On the beach for a shoot, John notices Cate. A year later he pursues her, and she is reluctant to date him because of her background. They eventually fall in love and as more of Cate’s life is revealed she does not feel worthy of dating Joe. Her mom and stepdad sell a story to National Enquirer of Cate having a Joe Kingsley poster in her room growing up, Joe’s mom being unsure of Cate after reading the article, and Joe meeting Cate’s parents to watch her step dad be rude to both of them and abuse Cate’s mom. Even through all this, Joe loves Cate and proposes. However, once Cate meets a man in a park, who she learns is her dad, she calls off the engagement. Her dad did not die when she was younger, but spent 22 years in jail for drunk driving and killing two people. Joe fights for Cate back, not knowing why she called the wedding off; however, Cate agrees to fly with Joe in his private plane to his cousins wedding that weekend so as not to raise suspicions or ruin the weekend for Joe because he is the best man. The plane starts smoking and Joe lands on the water, but only after hitting his head and going unconscious. Cate is able to swim with Joe to a broken plane wing until help arrives. She saved his life. In the hospital, Joe’s mom begs Cate to not leave Joe and said that she knows about her dad, Cate’s mom got in touch with her! In the end, Cate marries Joe, they have two kids, and he is considering running for President.
Meant to Be
Books | Emily Giffin
This book takes place in one day, revolving around the party of Nina Riva. Nina, Jay, Hud, and Katherine are the children of Mick and June Riva. Also going back in the past, we learn that Mick ‘ran around’ on June and eventually left her for good, which caused June to become an alcoholic and barely survive raising her kids. June died and Nina takes over the family, never hearing a word from their dad. Nina ‘hits it big’ in modeling and marries a tennis pro, Brandon, who leaves her for another woman. Jay is a pro surfer who just found out he has a heart condition and should not surf anymore. Hudson is a photographer who is in love and having a child with Jay’s ex-girlfriend. And Cat is a good surfer, but doesn’t feel as if she fits in with the family. Everyone arrives for Nina’s party, the party of the year, including an unknown daughter of Mick’s, Cassie, and Mick! Nina does not take Brandon back when he shows up at the party! Jay fights Hudson and forgives him later in the night! And Kat believes she is a lesbian who wants to be a pro surfer. The children accept Cassie and are shocked to see their father. They agree to try to communicate with him, but as he is leaving, he flicks his cigarette in the dry grass, which ignited a fire on the coast of Malibu! Everyone must rebuild, including Nina who leaves for a quiet life in Portugal the day after the craziest party of the year!
Books | Taylor Jenkins Reid
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Logan is a former convict who has turned his life around, gotten married, and delivers packages for his brother in law. Gladys is a know it all neighbor. And Katherine is a neighbor of Gladys. Logan is delivering packages in their neighborhood when Katherine refuses to open her front door to receive and sign for her computer. Based on his past, Logan feels as if something is wrong. Gladys hasn’t seen Katherine or her children all day and her husband, John, sped off to work that morning. Logan returns a second time to deliver the package and the son, George, says “a gun.” Around this time, Logan receives news that his sister, Maddy, is in a medical coma after being attacked by her boyfriend, Patrick, who Logan never liked. Gladys makes muffins for Katherine and her children and they still won’t open the door. She is suspicious something is wrong. Logan tries a third time to deliver the package when he meets Gladys out front. They share their shares suspicions and Logan enters the house. Katherine and her children are being held at gunpoint by Patrick, Maddy’s boyfriend and Katherine’s estranged son from her first marriage! He has been in a rage since Maddy, Logan’s sister, tried to break up with him and he blamed his mom. Patrick’s past was tumultuous because his parents divorced and his dad, an alcoholic, manipulated him to hate his mom who always loved him. Logan is able to get the children to safety, but he and Katherine were shot, but survive. The police finally arrive, after Gladys called. Logan finds out in the hospital that he will be a dad soon and Gladys becomes a “grandmother” to him. Logan and his wife become friends with Katherine and her husband and family.
The Family Across the Street
Books | Nicole Trope
Hyacinth Bridgerton has been on the marriage mart for 3 seasons with no luck. She reads every week to Lady Danbury who is the maternal grandmother of Gareth St. Clair. Gareth was never liked by his father and was cut off by his baron father for refusing an arranged marriage to salvage the family finances. It is later told to Gareth that he was a bastard child, but his ‘father’ claimed him unbeknownst until later in his life. Upon the death of his older brother, Gareth is set to inherit the title. His brother’s wife brings over a diary, written in Italian, from their paternal grandmother, Isabella. Hyacinth volunteers to translate it and falls into the set up trap of Lady Danbury to court her grandson. Hyacinth discovers that Gareth’s real father was his ‘father’s’ brother or his uncle, so he is a true member of the ton and that Isabella hid jewels in the family house. Gareth and Hyacinth try to find the jewels and also find love. Upon the death of his father, Gareth claims the title and with the Bridgerton dowry restores the family finances. Their daughter, also named Isabella, finds the jewels first, but puts them back and eventually Hyacinth finds them. She never gave up.
It's In His Kiss
Books | Julia Quinn
Good, but heavy - Lily watched her father abuse her mother. She spent her life hating both of her parents - her dad for the abuse, her mom for not leaving. While in high school she provided shelter, water and food to a homeless boy, Atlas, who she fell in love with. Atlas joined the marines and moved to Boston to live with his uncle, but promised Lily he would come back for her when the time was right. After her father’s death, Lily moved to Boston for a clean start. She fell in love with a man, Ryle, who never wanted to get married, but he fell in love with her too. His sister, Allysa, works at Lily’s flower shop. Early in the marriage, Ryle becomes abusive and while at dinner with Ryle and her mom, Lily sees Atlas again. They are at Atlas’ restaurant. Atlas can tell that Lily is being abused and offers help, but Lily denies it. Lily flees to Atlas after an abusive episode and he takes her to the hospital, where Lily discovers she is pregnant. Lily decides to divorce Ryle for the sake of her child, but co-parents well with Ryle. In the very end, Atlas ‘comes back’ for Lily and is ready for her.
It Ends with Us
Books | Colleen Hoover
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Just okay - Molly the Maid has quirks, but she is good at her job. She lived with her grandma who passed away and there is no one to look out for her. She is getting ready to clean the room of Mr. Black when she finds him dead in the bed. The money in the safe is gone, too. Thinking he loves her, Molly tells the bartender, Rodney all she knows about the room and the relationship between Mr. and Mrs. Black. Giselle Black, who she considers a friend, even shows up at Molly’s apartment and asks her to remove her gun from the ceiling vent of the hotel room. Very soon after, Molly is arrested for the murder of Mr. Black. Fortunately, the bellman, Mr. Preston, has a daughter for a lawyer, Charlotte, who helps Molly. It is discovered that Mr. Black and Rodney ran a drug operation through the hotel and used the kitchen cook, Juan Manual, to do their dirty work. Juan Manual confesses to Charlotte and they are able to get Rodney arrested. While Rodney did not murder Mr. Black, Molly saw that his first wife was holding the pillow that caused his death, but since she fainted right after she did not reveal that in court. She decided that the first Mrs. Black did the right thing because Mr. Black was such a bad person.
Books | Nita Prose
Jess goes to Paris to be with her brother, Ben; however, when she arrives Ben does not answer his phone. She sneaks into his apartment to find he is not there. Ben lives in an apartment with Sophie, her husband Jacques, and their three kids - Antoine, Nick (his friend), and Mimi, and Mimi’s roommate, Camille. Once Ben, a young journalist, discovers the family dynamics, he becomes perplexed that wine can be so lucrative, only to further discover high priced wine is a cover for sex. Other twists include, Sophie having an affair with Ben; Mimi being obsessed with Ben; and Antoine blackmailing his mom for money. The biggest twist is the end - once Ben had discovered that their profits were from sex trafficking of illegal Albanian immigrants into Paris, he also learns that their daughter Mimi is not a biological daughter, but adopted. Mimi’s mother was a sex worker (who has passed away) and her biological grandmother is The Concierge of the apartments. In the final plot twist, once Jacques knew what Ben had discovered the truth, he attempted to kill him, but Mimi, hiding in Ben’s room uses a knife to kill her father to protect Ben. Sophie, also in Ben’s apartment, cleans up the mess, puts her husband in a body bag for Nick and Antoine to bury telling them it is Ben’s body. Meanwhile, she is hiding Ben and giving him food and water. With the help of Ben’s editor, Theo, Jess puts the clues together and finds Ben. In the end, Jess only publishes the article after Sophie has freed the sex workers and Ben is going to be okay. Sophie leaves France and travels to Italy, maybe with Theo.
The Paris Apartment
Books | Lucy Foley
Lexie returns to Loch Ewe from London after a failed relationship that ended in a pregnancy and a singing career that ended in broken vocal cords. She came back also after the death of her mom. Now that she has a daughter, she wants to know more of her family history. Going back and forth, Lexie’s mom, Flora, was a volunteer in the Bristish army during WWII. She helped, on land, with the dangerous Arctic mission of getting ships and supplies to Russia from Loch Ewe. During the war, Flora fell in love with landlord’s son, Alec. Alec’s father, Sir Charles, refused to let his son marry a lower class. Alec’s mom was abused and wanting her son to be happy, approved of the relationship. Unfortunately, Alec dies when his boat is attacked by German U-boats on the final Arctic mission, but not before Flora is pregnant. While Flora’s father was leading a hunting group for Sir Charles, Flora came along, and Charles lifted his gun to shoot Flora and her father. However, Flora fired first. Charles is dead, but Lady Helen does not press charges, just returns to her life, but in London. Flora’s father takes blame for the ‘accident.’ Flora raised Lexie. Once Lexie learns her family history from her moms dear friends, she also discovers that she is the heir to the fortunes from Lady Helen. Also, while home Lexie falls ins love with Davy, a Scottish child evacuee during the war who never returned him, but knew her mom.
The Skylark's Secret
Books | Fiona Valpy
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