R@R Picks: New Releases Week of June 16

Wondering what to add to your TBR? This week we have new releases from Tina Wainscott, Shelley Noble, Johanna Lindsey, Laura Drewry, Lauren Dane, Theodora Taylor, Elin Hilderbrand, Jackie Collins, and Danielle Steel. Enjoy!

Talking WINTER STREET with Elin Hilderbrand

I’m excited to share a conversation with one of my absolute favorite authors, Elin Hilderbrand. She is the bestselling writer Kirkus calls “The queen of the summer novel,” and this week she publishes her first holiday book, WINTER STREET. I asked what inspired her to leave the summertime shores behind, if she plays favorites with her books, and what we can look forward to next. JB: After publishing over a dozen novels set in the summertime on Nantucket, you have written a Winter Street. What made you decide to explore a new season for your story telling? EH: My publisher, Hachette, asked for a Christmas novel, and I thought it would be fun.  I am happy to say, the novel basically wrote itself.  I found it exciting to write a novel that didn’t have… Continue

Weekend Reading: THE MATCHMAKER by Elin Hilderbrand

It’s no secret that today, author Elin Hilderbrand’s life is unfortunately imitating her art. After writing over a dozen heart-warming, page-turning beach reads, including The Island, Barefoot, and The Castaways – many of which deal with the issue of mortality as well as love and romance – Hilderbrand herself is now battling breast cancer. Our thoughts are with her, especially as this week brings the publication of her new novel The Matchmaker – in which a forty-something woman finds herself diagnosed with cancer just as she is faced with the return of “the one who got away” — at the same time that her daughter becomes engaged to the wrong man. The Matchmaker has all of the elements that make Elin Hilderbrand novels so compulsively readable. Dabney Kimball Beech is a warm, lovable,… Continue

THE TAILGATE by Elin Hilderbrand

The Tailgate is a short story set in the 1980s as a prequel to Hilderbrand’s upcoming present-day novel, The Matchmaker (June 24, Little, Brown). In the beginning, a few things slowed my enthusiasm: Hilderbrand is so skilled at capturing the nuances of marriage and adulthood, of playing with the complications that come with a mature life, it feels like her hands are tied writing such young characters. Dabney is incredibly fragile, and it’s irritating. But  just when I’m thinking this story doesn’t have any teeth – bam! It got me. Dabney Kimball and Clendenin Hughes have been inseparable since freshman year of high school “the same person in two different bodies.”  Now they are at Harvard and Yale respectively, and their different bodies are 140 miles apart. Visits have been few and far between:  Dabney… Continue

A Day At the Beach: The Love Stories of Elin Hilderbrand

I was excited to read this week that one of my favorite authors, Elin Hilderbrand, has five new novels planned, including her first “fall/winter offering” WINTER STREET coming this October, and then a summer novel every year until 2018. There’s something about Elin Hilderbrand’s books that make them impossible to put down. The characters pull you in, and each novel (every one set on the island of Nantucket) has an exquisite sense of place and offers perfect escapism. I’ve loved them all, but my top three are: The Island (2010, Little Brown) – My favorite of the bunch, this novel starts with a wedding – a cancelled wedding. And it just gets better from there.  Birdie Cousins has thrown herself into the details of her daughter Chess’s lavish wedding, from the floating dance floor Continue