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    Memories are food for the soul

    The Loft by Bette Lee Crosby is a second book in the Memory House series and continues the story of Annie and Ophelia. Annie, heartbroken and alone, found herself at 90-year-old Ophelia's B & B. In a house full of magical memories they found a connection and formed a bond. A bond that would carry them through the events that unfold in The Loft. Events that will tip the Scale of Life from happiness to sorrow. Ophelia and her husband had made many happy memories in the Loft, in Memory House. Can she leave that enchanting place to live in another place without memories? Annie and her new husband are just beginning to make their together memories when tragedy invades their lives. Can she find the connection in memories that will bring healing? Can she learn to focus on what is left and not what has been lost? The Loft is a beautiful story of a constant love and of friendship and a faith that will bring balance to life. I received a complimentary copy of this book from the author. A favorable review was not required and the opinions are mine alone.
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    Where will Annie's memories take her?

    The Loft picks up where Memory House ended, and we are once again in the company of Annie Cross, Ophelia Browne, and Oliver Doyle. As Annie and Oliver are starting their honeymoon, Ophelia, who is 90 years of age, has a heart attack while driving and goes off the road. Annie and Oliver return to take care of Ophelia. Realizing she will not be able to climb to her loft bedroom that her deceased husband Edward built, Oliver decides to hire architect Max Martinelli to recreate the loft in a wing on the first floor. He and Annie plan to surprise her with the plans when she comes home. However, while at the rehab center, Ophelia makes new friends who all live in Baylor Towers, and begins to see that returning to the Memory House to live with Oliver and Annie would stifle their relationship. She remembers what it was like when she and Edward were newlyweds. Ophelia wants Oliver and Annie to experience love the way she and Edward did so many years before. Max (Maxine) is so much like Annie they become close friends immediately; they both can detect the memories left behind. Max is trying to get over her love affair with Julien Marceau. They met in Paris when Max was in college, and when Max returned to the U.S., Julien was supposed to follow, but Max never heard from him again. Annie understands and tries to help her move on. Annie’s life is perfect, but then the unthinkable happens. Is she strong enough to face this new challenge on her own? Will she be able to find the right memory for Oliver? There is much more to the story than the hints I’ve given here, but I wouldn’t want to give away any spoilers. The Loft without having read Memory House, but you will better understand the relationships if you do read it first.
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    Second Book Better Than the First!

    “Happy is when you can laugh out loud, dance as if there is no tomorrow. Happy is when you have your lover lying next to you and the only sound you hear is that of his heartbeat.” (From The Loft) Bette Lee Crosby carries Memory House to the next level, where Annie and Oliver are newly married. I’d like to say that Betty Lee’s character development is where her strength lies, but that would be doing a disservice to her talent in plot development, setting, dialogue and tension in the story. At times, the story moves nicely, and the reader can curl up with a cuppa pseudo dandelion tea and feel like you’re right there. But with all books that are well-written, you know something is coming. And something does. This is a story about family and friendship and the need for both. It’s about the heartbreak that comes with letting go and the joy that follows when those individuals find freedom in where they should be. That is love. This quote from Max, Annie’s new friend says it so well: “It’s like having an ice cream cone with two scoops. If the top ball falls off, you feel so bad about it you forget you’ve still got the cone with another scoop of ice cream inside...nothing is all good or all bad; that’s how you’ve got to look at life.” Bette Lee Crosby’s got looking at life down pretty well. Her stories reflect that and offer nuggets of wisdom in every chapter. Her works of fiction transcend just telling a story. She crafts the story, and tells life. My only suggestion is that you read Memory House first. While The Loft can be read on its own, you’ll miss a lot of the backstory, which is so rich.
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    Back At The Memory House

    The Loft takes place in the Memory House and we are about to continue our journey with Ophelia and Annie, and now Oliver. As the story opens we are at the wedding of these two sweet people that we met previously with the old bicycle. We continue here at the House and deal with new problems that lead to new lives. Some very harsh sadness here, and you heart will be in your throat, but the house serves it purpose. Can you imagine a room with a huge skylight as the focus, so that while you lie in bed you are covered in stars? Now decisions have to be made about this beautiful room and who will use it? Get ready from some delightful new characters that you know will become lifelong friends with our family, and are really there for them in their darkest hours. Get your tissues handy, but be ready from some real life chuckles, and your pages will be flying as you turn for your answers. Enjoy! I received this book through the author and was not required to give a positive review.
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    Amazing Book

    This is book 2 in Bette Lee Crosby's Memory House Collection and if you like great books with believable characters, this is the book for you! The book begins with the wedding of Annie and Oliver but it is as much about the growth and changes in Ophelia's life as it is Annie and Oliver's. Max, a new character who is an architect, is introduced and it looks like she will be the main focus of book 3, which I am anxious to read. The characters are well done and the reader wants to find out what happens to everyone because they feel like they know them. There is a some drama and nail biting in this book but that makes it even more real-life. The other thing that I really liked about the series is that it made me remember some of the memories in my life. I highly recommend this series.
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