This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Published by Montlake Romance
Released on August 20, 2019
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.
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.
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