Review: The Empty Nesters by Carolyn Brown

Posted August 20, 2019 by Sophia Rose in Reviews / 36 Comments

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I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Review: The Empty Nesters by Carolyn Brown
The Empty Nesters

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three-flames


Genres: Contemporary Romance
Published by Montlake Romance
Released on August 20, 2019
Pages: 312
Format: eARC
Source: NetGalley
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The Delight

When the going gets tough, the tough go on a road trip!  I loved that this story focused on the lives of three middle aged women and one even older still when it comes to life, loss, friendship, and even a bit of romance.  This author is a fav and it is largely do to the down home country charm, sassy dialogue, and genuine characters that all blend to make up a story I can get comfy with from page one.

Review

A standalone, The Empty Nesters introduces three middle-aged women, two are army wives and the third was one until her husband divorced her for a younger woman.  They’ve been through thick and thin together, but now, while their husbands are away, they must send their three girls off to boot camp together leaving the women at a loss.  Carmen gets another nasty surprise right after seeing her daughter off so Tootsie, their neighbor of many years, proposes taking the three women on a road trip she meant to take with her husband.

The three friends, Carmen, Joanie, and Diana don’t hesitate to join the recently widowed Tootsie and her nephew Luke in the big RV headed for Tootsie’s old home in small town Texas.  Tootsie and their friendship, the stops along the way, and a charming Luke help the women work through their separate troubles and missing their girls.

Diana gets a second chance at finding love if she can get past the trust issues that her ex husband left her with and Joanie wonders if her own husband’s recent distance and distracted phone calls from his current assignment are a warning that he plans to leave her or is cheating.  Carmen has faced much growing up poor and then keeping things going while her husband is always away, but this latest cruel life twist is only survivable with Tootsie’s country-style wisdom and the support of her friends.  Luke didn’t want to go on this trip  and drive the big RV with a bunch of women from his aunt’s neighborhood, but he soon discovers that it was the best chance that has come his way in a long time.

The Empty Nesters is more women’s fic than romance, but it is definitely something of both.  I enjoyed the friendship that developed between the four women and how childless Tootsie adopted the younger women and made their children her grandchildren.  She is suffering the loss of her husband and is on this journey as a memorial to him while helping the women to fill the ache that their now empty nests and other trials of life have come.

The author’s focus on military waves and the toll the long missions and assignments can take on families and marriages was well done and a nice tribute to their sacrifice.  She didn’t hold back on what can and does happen, but she didn’t let it wallow in sadness.  The focus was on finding inner strength, falling and picking one’s self up, and also embracing new opportunities.

For Diana, the new opportunity is to try romance again with Luke.  Luke was sweet and gentle, he gave her time and space, and he was upfront and honest with her even when he thought it might blow his chances with Diana.  His generous heart and simple caring ways do what suave romance couldn’t have accomplished.

It was a gently-paced, heartwarming story that left me well-satisfied and not in the least anxious for it to end.  There was laughter and a few tears, fun times and some heartache, but a fab story when all was said and done.  Those who enjoy country charm and a contemporary romance/women’s fiction crossover should give this one a go.

I rec’d this book from Net Galley to read in exchange for an honest review.

Challenges Met

New Release #110
COYER Summer #43 car on cover
Romance-opoly #50 Women’s Ave
Books N Tunes #40 Brad Paisley’s My Next Broken Heart

 

About Carolyn Brown

Hi! I’m twenty five years old and movie star gorgeous. The camera added thirty plus years and a few wrinkles. Can’t trust those cameras or mirrors either. Along with bathroom scales they are notorious liars! Honestly, I am the mother of three fantastic grown children who’ve made me laugh and given me more story ideas than I could ever write. My husband, Charles, is my strongest supporter and my best friend. He’s even willing to eat fast food and help with the laundry while I finish one more chapter! Life is good and I am blessed!

Reading has been a passion since I was five years old and figured out those were words on book pages. As soon as my chubby little fingers found they could put words on a Big Chief tablet with a fat pencil, I was on my way. Writing joined reading in my list of passions. I will read anything from the back of the Cheerio’s box to Faulkner and love every bit of it. In addition to reading I enjoy cooking, my family and the ocean. I love the Florida beaches. Listening to the ocean waves puts my writing brain into high gear.

I love writing romance because it’s about emotions and relationships. Human nature hasn’t changed a bit since Eve coveted the fruit in the Garden of Eden. Settings change. Plots change. Names change. Times change. But love is love and men and women have been falling in and out of it forever. Romance is about emotions: love, hate, anger, laughter… all of it. If I can make you laugh until your sides ache or grab a tissue then I’ve touched your emotions and accomplished what every writer sets out to do.

I got serious about writing when my third child was born and had her days and nights mixed up. I had to stay up all night anyway and it was very quiet so I invested in a spiral back notebook and sharpened a few pencils. The story that emerged has never sold but it’s brought in enough rejection slips to put the Redwood Forest on the endangered list. In 1997 Kensington bought two books for their Precious Gems line. Two years and six books later the line died with only four of those books seeing publication. But by then Avalon had bought a book and another, and another. Ten years later the list has grown to thirty nine. Last year Sourcebooks bought the Lucky Series which is in the bookstores now. They’ve also bought The Honky Tonk Series which will debut with I LOVE THIS BAR in June and will be followed by HELL, YEAH, MY GIVE A DAMN’S BUSTED, and HONKY TONK CHRISTMAS.

Folks ask me where I get my ideas. Three kids, fifteen grandchildren, two great grandchildren. Note: I was a very young grandmother! Life is a zoo around here when they all come home. In one Sunday afternoon there’s enough ideas to keep me writing for years and years. Seriously, ideas pop up at the craziest times. When one sinks its roots into my mind, I have no choice but to write the story. And while I’m writing the characters peek over my shoulder and make sure I’m telling it right and not exaggerating too much. Pesky little devils, they are!

I have a wonderful agent, Erin Niumata, who continues to work magic and sell my work. I’m very lucky to have her and my editors who continue to believe in me.

Happy reading!

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I was born and raised near Sacramento, CA. I have read since I was four years old and developed tastes that run the gamut of literature. I went away to college and have a degree in education, a certificate in family history research, and a certificate in social work. I worked for a non-profit agency with low income families for 20 years which included being responsible for the children’s library and promoting/teaching adult literacy. I have lived in Southeast Michigan for the last 18 years and I am currently a book addicted homemaker with a cat and husband who keep me grounded. Recently, I made it a challenge to review each book that I have read as a favor to author friends who said reviews are important. I have done reviews for Good Reads, Amazon, eBay, and Smashwords, but mostly at Goodreads and Amazon.
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Lorna
Lorna
9 months ago

I’ve never read her, but of course see her books around all the time. Sounds actually pretty great! I’m glad she’s still a favorite of yours. I also read her bio and she’s sounds like a fun lady.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Lorna

Yes, she is a very prolific author. I do adore her books. LOL, she cracks me up with her Facebook posts, too.

Carole Rae
9 months ago

Woah. I didn’t hear about this one yet!

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Carole Rae

Yep! It’s a winner, Carole. 🙂

Carolyn Brown
9 months ago

Thank you for the awesome review! This brought out my emotions as I wrote it, so I’m so glad to hear that it did yours, also!!

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Carolyn Brown

You betcha! I adored this story so much, Carolyn. Thanks!

Melliane
9 months ago

Oh this one is completely new to me I confess

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Melliane

Another one to try. 🙂

Mary Kirkland
9 months ago

Glad to hear that you liked this one. It’s sounds good.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Mary Kirkland

It really was a nice feel-good one with the friends together on that trip. 🙂

Lindy@ A Bookishescape.com

I enjoy stories about second chances at love, and Luke sounds like a wonderful male lead! I like that this story includes a road trip, and these girlfriends being there for one another. Wonderful Review Sophia!

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

Me, too, Lindy! It was definitely all the good things. 🙂

Carole @ Carole's Random Life in Books

I still need to read Carolyn Brown. I have several of her books so I really have no excuses for not reading her yet. I do like the sound of this book.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

Her books are fun and sassy. LOL, I have so many books that I could say the same about. 🙂

Romance Reader
9 months ago

This sounds such a good book.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Romance Reader

It sure was for me. 🙂

Angie Elle
9 months ago

Oh wow. This sounds so good! And the change in her cover style immediately gives this story a different feel before it’s even picked up.

Great review! I am going to have to check this one out. Not to mention, there is something I love about the name Luke.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Angie Elle

Yeah, she started having these covers when she dipped into women’s fic and wrote for the Montlake Pub (though Sourcebooks Casablanca has picked up the Cadillac TX series and given them new covers and titles).

Luke was a sweetheart.

Rachel @Waves of Fiction

Oh, I need to start this soon! You know I love Carolyn Brown and this one sounds especially wonderful! Lovely review, Sophia Rose! 🙂

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

I think it will give you the warm fuzzies, Rachel. 🙂

Nadene
9 months ago

This sounds so good. I have never read her books, but I have heard great things about the stories she writes. I am glad you enjoyed this one.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Nadene

I love these. Hope you get the chance soon, Nadene!

Debbie Haupt
9 months ago

I am just now listening to The Sometime Sisters by this fab author. I love how she writes
Thanks Sophia Rose this just went on my wish list

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  Debbie Haupt

I adored the Sometimes Sisters. Several of her books have really touched me and that was one of them. This was another. 🙂

Kimberly @ Caffeinated Reviewer

I like women’s fiction so this appeals to me, plus the focus on military wives. Nice review. I keep meaning to add this author to my list and this looks like a good standalone to try. Thanks Sophia.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

I’ve come to really enjoy what she does with a women’s fic story. So much heart in them. Hope you like it if you get the chance, Kimberly.

sherry funfdin
9 months ago

sounds like one of those books that leave you with a warm cozy feeling. enjoyed the music video
sherry @ fundinmental

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  sherry funfdin

It really did. A sweet charmer. 🙂 Glad you liked the music, Sherry. 🙂

Sarah @ All The Book Blog Names Are Taken

Great review, thanks for sharing!

Sophia Rose
9 months ago

Sure thing! Thanks for dropping by, Sarah!

vvb
vvb
9 months ago

Nice 🙂 like a cozy country romance.

Sophia Rose
9 months ago
Reply to  vvb

It was fun to be along on the RV trip and see the women get past their troubles. 🙂

Naomi Hop
8 months ago

This sounded like a sweet read, Sophie, getting to know these four women and going on their journey with them. Glad you enjoyed it!

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  Naomi Hop

It was really sweet after all they had been through to see them together and enjoying the journey.

ROP
ROP
8 months ago

This sounds like a fantastic read, and I love, love, love Carolyn Brown. She has a fabulous sense of humor and her writing makes you feel like you’re with friends. I definitely need to grab this one! Hugs, RO

Sophia Rose
8 months ago
Reply to  ROP

The friendly feel is a great way to describe her books, Ro. 🙂 I loved this one and hope its a hit with you, too.