What Are Friends For? "Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights" by Jean C. Joachim
Caroline Davis White is a well-known artist and married to a wealthy, controlling man. She has everything money could buy except one thing: love. Brad refuses to give her a divorce she so desperately wants. With no money, family, or friends, she flees to the Catskill Mountains where she spent her summers as a young adult.
Mike Foster has achieved success and made more money than he could have thought possible, but it destroyed his marriage and cost him his son. he is wary of every woman he meets, knowing his money may be more attractive than his good looks. Caroline reconnects with the life she had and friends from long ago. Mike stepped out of her teenage dreams into her life again, looking more handsome and tempting than ever. Caroline knew Mike back then, but is he still the man she fell in love with?
This is a very provocative love story about two hurting, disillusioned people who reconnect after many years but who now bring a sizeable load of baggage with them. Once they were young and carefree, spending their summers with friends, enjoying the mountains and swimming in the local lake, looking forwarrd to life's many possibilities. Now both have been hurt in significant ways and even though the old feelings seem to be alive in each of them, they both have secrets and along with those secrets come fears that revealing their true selves and the present dimensions of their lives, they could lose far more than they ever have before.
Caroline has been married for a number of years to a man who seemed to care for her in the early days of their marriage. Now, for the past two or three years, he has reverted back to his old ways and has been openly unfaithful to her, even to the point of discussing his affairs openly with her. He refuses her requests for divorce because in his mind, Caroline is a possession--a beautiful asset to his position as a wealthy man and a figure in New York society. Her fame as an artist has also become his "property" and no matter what she says to him, Brad takes delight in controlling every aspect of her life. Somehow she has amassed some funds and she is now walking out on him when he is out of town, hiding her location from him, and beginning divorce proceedings. With the help of a very good attorney who happens to be a good friend, Caroline tries to get her life back.
Her destination is the old summer cabin her family used for years in the Catskills. There she runs into the handyman who looks familiar--turns out he is her long-time friend and buddy Mike Foster. He is still doing odd jobs in the area and on several nights a week he appears at a local establishment with his rock band. Caroline is delighted to find her old friend who happens to be the man who made her heart sing so many years ago. He is now more handsome than ever, and while she is fully aware that she is still married, she knows that down deep she is still in love with him. Their old friendship is re-established and the old feelings re-emerge for them both. But Caroline and Mike are deeply fearful of being blunt honest--he is a multi-millionaire who has returned to his boyhood home, and she is a married lady in the midst of a messy divorce. This does not bode well for either of them or for their future together unless they can get past all these secrets.
This novel really digs into the heart of what it means to build trust between two people whose emotions become entangled. Obviously, withholding such basic facts about their individual situation is not a good foundation for building any semblance of relationship. While they are having fun reconnecting, their are others who are seeking to bring them both down publically. The media is seeking the "missing wife" of the wealthy New Yorker which places her ability to get her life away from Brad in danger, and any dirt they can dig up or manufacture on Mike is going to put his visitation rights with his son in difficulty. Lots of serious consequences for these two if all does not go well. Caroline has her art and Mike has his life and his music. Can they find a way past the fear and distrust and disappointment and find their way back to each other?
Both Caroline & Mike are like so many today who have become caught up in their lives, in their circumstances, and who have been injured deeply by persons in their lives they once loved and trusted. Those are the most painful kinds of wounds. There does come a time when the new and very vulnerable relationship between Mike and Caroline takes a beating--is really in danger of being destroyed, and how they get past that challenge with all its questions and sadness is a large part of the latter half of the novel. Their story reflects the kinds of challenges so many face when somehow they must find a way to rebuild what was once a good and emotionally satisfying love. Sometimes it works out, but for others the relationship cannot every be rebuilt.
I found this novel compelling and as is true in so much fiction, it combines true literary entertainment with some insight on living that can be helpful to many. Certainly it is instructive to think carefully about the values of honesty and open communication no matter what. In Caroline's case, would it have really hurt her chances with Mike if she had been upfront with him from the beginning? I don't think so. Perhaps his experience of going through a painful divorce could have been a helpful resource for her. Is there really any value in "going it alone" if there exists a friend whose judgment is trustworthy? Again, I don't think so. These were two critical errors Caroline made that came back to bite her in the backside. Reading this story was a very good experience and the book is one that I am sure I will be re-reading in the near future. I don't think this is a simplistic story--too many interesting characters and too much at stake for it to be simply a "girl meets boy" kind of romance. The situations in this story are messy because human life and relationships are messy. That is one of the things that makes for good fiction.
So I recommend this to romance fans and believe it will be a book well worth reading. I give it a rating of 4.5 out of 5.
100 ROMANCE REVIEW WEBSITE
Caroline is married to a jerk. That's the short, but not-so-sweet truth. Finally fed up with his antics, she packs her bags and leaves. She heads somewhere with good memories, her family's summer lakeside rental at The Birches, and as part of her new start, adopts the name Sunny, what everyone called her before she married into a life of luxury.
In time, she meets The Birches maintenance man, Mike, who turns out to be her childhood crush. Sunny is understandably surprised, especially when it becomes evident that Mike is becoming interested in her. Naturally, her unfinished business with her jerk of a husband keeps her from being open to a relationship with Mike, and that leads to some misunderstandings.
This was a pleasant read. Oftentimes, when I'm reading romance novels, I'm picturing young twenty-somethings, with an annoying perfectly pretty streak. I appreciated reading a story that seemed to fit my age-group: that don't-you-dare-imply-I'm-pushing-forty demographic. The characters felt like people I could know. Average, intelligent people just looking for a little happiness.
I especially liked Mike. I like Mike. Sorry, can't ignore a fun rhyme, there. I'm always a sucker for a guy who is beautiful to the woman who loves him. I don't need a hero who looks like he just stepped off the cover of GQ. I imagined him as attractive, but not necessarily perfect. When an author gives me that imaginative freedom, the hook is set.
Angst-whore that I am, it often surprises me when I'm given what qualifies as a mellow read, and find myself enjoying it. And I definitely enjoyed this one. The romance in this story isn't about getting to the smutty smut, it's about what's going on in our couple's hearts and minds. And that's something I was definitely on board for in this book. Mike and Sunny made sense. And I'd definitely recommend this story.
From Bennet Pommerantz, Amazon reviewer, April 28,2011:
5.0 out of 5 stars Suuny Days is romantic and warm, April 28, 2011
This review is from: Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights by Jean C. Joachim (Kindle Edition)
If have have been slightly amiss lately in reviewing books. I have been bogged down in reading this book and Love Tattoo. Both are excellence novels. I must thank Both authors for give me PDF files of their books. I have truly been entertained
What does amaze me about this romantic novel is ..This is a simple romance (the kind I used to read in 1980s) with enough twists and turns to keep any reader interested.
There is old billboard with a picture of chinese man with slogan, "You dont have to be Jewish to Enjoy Jewish rye bread" I would say, you do not have to enjoy romance to enjoy this book.
Ms Joachim uses her writing talents to paint vivid characters that are real to anyone. Nothing about this romance seem false in the story's delivery or characters. It has a bit of spicy, but just enough to keep the reader interested.
The ending is tied up so nice and well. I find this book so charming and good. I cant rave enough about this novel
Now, Would I read this again? Yes, you better believe it..If my mother or aunt would read PDF files (or a kindle), I would have them read this book. In saying that, they both are not computer savy. PLUS they are not young anymore. (sorry Mom!--but its the truth!)
I would wish some of these audio romance publishers like Brillance or Harper Collins) would record this piece to CD or download. It is made for spoken word. It sings off the pages as you read it!
From THE PEN & MUSE:
Review: Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights by Jean Joachim
Joachim provides us with a sweet romance with a tale of powerful love that is once again found. Sunny Days, Moonlit Night follows the story of Caroline who leaves her controlling husband. Caroline finds herself with a Mike, a childhood crush. Together they have a wonderful tension. Together they rekindle something that they had a long time ago. Will that be enough to get rid of Caroline’s controlling husband, Brad who won’t let go? A man who is used to getting what he wants. Unfortunately he thinks he can step out on Caroline and have her sit and take it. Caroline leaves for this very reason although Brad’s trouble seems to find her again. Joachim enchants us with these lovable characters and bonds us to them. We will root for both Caroline and Mike. As an author she has a wonderful talent to put you right in the characters mind and their world. Be enchanted and enjoy the ride that Caroline takes on where love actually conquers all.
Friday, April 15, 2011
Book Review of 'Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights' by Jean C. Joachim
Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights, was written by Jean C. Joachim and published by Astraea Press in February, 2011. You may purchase this book at http://www.amazon.com/
Carolina Davis White is a talented artist in a loveless marriage. For two years, she has put up with this life and she can no longer stand it. Running away from her husband Brad, who cheats on her and uses his riches to get what he wants, seems to be her only option. So she flees to her family's cabin in the Catskill Mountains, a place she loves and in which she found peace in earlier times. There, she begins divorce proceedings.
Enter Mike Foster, a successful man who has lost his wife and child due to his driven work attitude. As Caroline connects once again with old friends, Mike reappears and reminds Caroline how it used to be when they were younger and in love.
This is book is an awesome love story. I started reading and couldn't stop...my favorite kind of romance. It has all the makings of a good love story; a friendship/crush/love that is re-kindled after several years and then goes thru some drama to finally end in a 'forever' scenario. There are some twist and turns that will keep you turning pages and the characters seem real and not 'too' perfect.
I'm giving this book a 5 spider rating and recommending it to anyone who is interested in a good love story. Don't miss this wonderful read!!
This review is from: Sunny Days, Moonlit Nights by Jean C. Joachim (Kindle Edition)
Reviewed at: [...]
Reviewed by: Dawne
Artist Carolina Davis White is stuck in a loveless marriage. After years of feeling trapped and stuck, she runs away from her cheating husband and his money, which he uses to benefit himself. She finds herself at the family cabin in the solitude of the Catskills and reconnects with old friends including Mike Foster. Finding peace, obtaining her divorce and falling for Mike are in Carolina's future. But alas, watch out for that selfish husband, Brad. If ever a man needed to be knocked down a notch, he is a prime suspect.
Mike is dealing with his own loss, his son years ago and all the money he's made over the years mean nothing to him without true love. Add in that he's wary of all women, who may be after his money.
If you're looking for a sweet, sensual side to romance, this is the book for you. Take the beautiful and charming Catskills, add in love, friendship and romance and this book will grab you in. I was drawn into the storyline immediately and Joachim's dynamic writing style, dialogue between Carolina and Mike is so remarkable. The love grows with each scene creating the love all women cherish and desire in life.
This is one of those "What-if" novels that many women will relate to. I highly recommend this novel and challenge anyone who reads not to find a little of his or herself in the characters experiencing love lost returning from the past.
Barnes & Noble
Astraea Press (all formats)