The Rescue by Nicholas Sparks: This novel revolves around Denise, a thirty-something single mom of a five year old boy with delayed language, and Taylor, a contractor and volunteer fireman who is working hard to rescue as many people as he can. The two meet when Denise is in a car accident during a huge storm and her son wanders away in the swamp. Taylor rescues both her and her son. It's a love story that has some touching moments, some insight into parenting a special needs child, and a few parts that made me angry (why did THAT have to happen?). I didn't love it, but thought it had some good moments and I was happy with the ending. Definitely different from the chick lit romances that I tend to favor--more serious, down to earth. Overall, a decent read. Nicholas Sparks also wrote The Notebook which I really loved when I read it years ago.
Cursed by Carol Higgins Clark: This is apparently the 12th Reagan Reilly Mystery by Carol Higgins Clark, but it's the first book of hers that I have read. Growing up, I used to LOVE to read my mom's Mary Higgins Clark books. Carol is her daughter. This was another decent read. A fun mystery with some good twists. Like her mother, Carol writes with multiple narrators and lots of twists and intermingling of storylines. Although this novel was much less sinister (and suspenseful) than I remember her mom's books being. My main complaint about this book is that I never really got sucked in--I didn't care enough about the particular crime/characters. I'd give Carol Higgins Clark another try although this book left me wishing that I had reread one of her mom's books instead.
The Shack by William P. Young: This is a book I heard about a while ago, but wasn't sure if I wanted to read. My sister brought it to me when she came to visit. My aunt loved it and gave it to my mom who read it and gave it to my sister. I guess it's one of those "read it and pass it on" kind of books. My sister didn't think it was all it was cracked up to be, but passed it on all the same. This novel tells the story of Mack, a father who looses his young daughter to a serial killer. He then gets a note, supposedly from God, inviting him back to the scene of the crime for a weekend. Needless to say, this is a religious text. A lot of the book involves Mack's conversations with God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit. There are lots of interesting things that make you rethink the way you see faith and religion. An interesting read that definitely made me think a lot--sometimes a little too much. I felt I had to read it really slowly to try to take it all in. Life changing? Maybe. Maybe not. But a lot of food for thought. Worth the read.
The Secret's in the Sauce (Potluck Catering Club Book #1) by Linda Evans Shepherd and Eva Marie Everson: The first in the Potluck Catering Club series, this novel is preceded by the three Potluck Club books. I have not read that series, but reading this one made me want to--if nothing else to find out the details related to the crazy prior happenings mentioned in this book. This novel is narrated by the six members of a church potluck club who have decided to start their own catering business. Filled with characters, plot twists and funny "only in a small town" relationships, this book tells the story of these wonderful women and their secrets. This was a fun easy read that came complete with some yummy looking recipes. Not a deep read, although there is a little Christian message built in, I enjoyed this book--especially after the intensity of The Shack. I will definitely keep an eye out for the other books in these series.