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on June 1, 2012
I don't know Anne Kemp, although I have exchanged e-mails with her. When I was offered a contract by her e-book publisher for my own novel, I browsed the publisher's web site and selected two writers to contact. Anne graciously responded to my unsolicited e-mail and was friendly and helpful. So I knew that I would read her novel, if just to be polite. Whew!!! RUM PUNCH REGRETS is really, really good. I previously had read some of Anne's blogs and her novella, so I knew that she could write well, but writing well and telling a good story over many pages are different skills. Anne Kemp pulls off both in her first novel. I'm not sure I understand why the Abby George novella is not simply the opening 40 pages of the novel, for knowing the character of Leigh before meeting her late in the novel was helpful. The more important point is that Abby George is a captivating character, as are the islanders - Ziggy, Marie, and Cutty. Having spent a lot of time on an island in Belize, I know that the character of Cutty is dead-on. As for Abby's older sister, Leigh, well, I was hoping for something else ... something like Leigh gets attacked by sharks. And then there is Ben. Apart from Abby, Ben is perhaps the best drawn character in the book. He's complicated, like Abby. The author also does a fine job of capturing the ebb and flow of island life and the way that it changes you when you adapt to island time. With a deft touch Anne also captures the two worlds that exist on islands - the rich and the rest (of the people).

What I've skipped over so far are the characters J.D. and Andrew, the romantic interests. Look, I'm a heterosexual male, so when Abby's tummy starts tumbling and she gets all sweaty and describes Andrew inch by inch - or rather from eyes to biceps to abs - well, okay, I admit, I read a little faster. RUM PUNCH REGRETS is not a guy book, and that's too bad, for the story of Abby on the island of St. Kitts trying to mend a broken life is so well written and so well told that it can captivate even a guy who stops everything each March to watch NCAA basketball endlessly. But I suspect if you're a woman with a flicker of romance alive in her heart that it is this part of the story - the romance - that will have you mixing up tropical drinks with paper umbrellas on top. Whatever your flavor in love, one thing is certain, you'll have no regrets reading RUM PUNCH REGRETS.
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on August 3, 2012
This was a super book to read while I sat in the summer sun. It was fast moving and held me throughout. The book is warm and captivating, something that could be thoroughly enjoyed while relaxing on holiday around a pool. A Story of family secrets, sibling relationships and friendships on a Carribean Island. One can only wonder what Abby will get up to in the next book...
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on December 6, 2012
Anne Kemp's book, Rum Punch Regrets is a fun and intriguing story of two sisters and what happens to them as life throws them a curve. It also is fun to envision oneself on St. Kitts along with Abby George. To me, this book is a page turner as I wanted to find out what was going to happen with each new situation that arose. I can hardly wait for the next volume to be released!!
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on September 9, 2012
Anne Kemp's Rum Punch Regrets takes beach reading to a fun and fast-paced level.

Recovering from an awful break-up (lying cheater) and receiving a pink slip at work (start-up jerks), Abby licks her wounds by going to the Caribbean as a favor to her big sister/mother figure. The favor: Sell her sister's secret island property before her husband finds out she even owns it. The property turns out to be more than a vacation escape. It is La Cantina, a bed and breakfast, which comes complete with visitors, native caretakers and a long-term tenant living in the pool house.

Abby's already complicated life grows more complex with the discovery of a secret relative, appearance of not one, but two romantic interests and the realization that her life's purpose might be waiting on that island.

More than a story about self discovery, Rum Punch Regrets explores the dynamics of family. Families are complicated, and this is true for Abby. As she learns to accept the hidden truths about her blood family, she also builds kin-like relationships with people in her new community.

Abby is a likeable character, who I bonded with almost instantly. Dealt a difficult hand, she attempts to play the cards responsibly and without making matters worse. Though a bit wishy washer and a pushover at first, as evidenced by her agreeing to go to the island in the first place, Abby develops a spin, making her more dynamic and admirable. I was rooting for her by the end and genuinely felt invested in her well-being.

I also realized I will be back to read the next installment of her series, because I need to know what happens next in her life.

The other characters serve their purposes well, adding complication and flavor as needed. I particularly enjoyed Maria and Siggy, the couple who works on site to maintain La Cantina and care for the guest's needs. Their relationship, and the one they build with Abby, was quite lovely. Abby's family members were also enjoyable to read, because they add a blend of complexity and support to her life -- depending on the day.

I can also understand Abby's feelings of confusion when it comes to her two love interests. Both guys are crush-worthy, and even though I have my preference, I could see that changing in the future. It all depends.

Rum Punch Regrets was a satisfying and entertaining read, and I look forward to finding out what happens next in Abby's world.

Rating: 4 of 5

Originally appeared at [...]
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on October 11, 2012
This was an interesting story. I think Abby may be a tad more easy going than I am to just flow with all the things that happen to her in this book, like ending up on an air mattress in an alcove of a strange man's house, next to a stinky cat litter box. The characters were well written, not all likeable, but certainly entertaining. The description of island life on island time had me daydreaming, and I could picture it in my mind. The dynamic of Abby and Leigh's relationship was difficult, since I don't have those issues with my own sister. I felt bad for her, but was glad she finally stood up for herself and asserted what she wanted and stated her confidence in her abilities to get it done. The end of the book wasn't really an ending. It was left hanging for the next installment, I am sure. I wouldn't mind reading the next book to find out where her love interests end up because even though she is beginning a relationship with Andrew, the real heat is being put on by J.D. as the book winds down. Even if she doesn't end up with him, J.D. is certainly going to stir up some trouble for her and Andrew.
I would recommend this read. I was given this book for free in exchange for an honest review.
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on October 5, 2012
In a time of need, Abby is in for a few surprises of her life....Rum Punch Regrets is a story about no regrets, making the best of things, and just trying to get by.

Anne Kemp's book is filled with intrigue, mishap, laugh out loud fun, and so much more. Some of the characters that you will meet in this story are so full of life! They have their quirks, and totally stand out. I love the way these characters have been developed. And they do have a way to stick in your mind even when not reading this story.

I like Abby. She's a great lead character and can easily be related to. Her sister- Leigh, not so much. But the secrets revolving around Leigh had me interested. Every time Abby learned something different about this trip that she took for Leigh, I was thrown by a curve even more. This story is full of little surprises!

I loved the unique characters such as Ziggy, Maria, and a few others. They sure bring a lot to this book. All the cast of characters has an important and interesting role.

Bottom line- Rum Punch Regrets has me hooked. I can't wait to find out more about Abby's future stories. Bravo to Ms. Kemp for penning a story to remember!
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on August 2, 2012
I really enjoyed this book and was into it pretty quick which is good because I will sometimes put a book down and not return to it! Finished the book inless then 2 days and was dreaming of a tropical vacation........ I really hope there's going to be a sequel to this.
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on August 31, 2012
Rum Punch Regrets by Anne Kemp
ISBN: 9781937957704
I wanted to read this book for a few reasons. One is my brother Al loved the island there on some of his travels for work. The other reason is I wanted to 'travel' there for the scenery.
Abby has agreed to travel to St. Kitts and manage and sell her sisters house as she no longer has a job in LA.
Problem is she's not telling her husband and Abby has a terrible 3 flights to get there. It's not actually a house once she arrives but an Inn where others pay to stay. She's to stay in the other house where there is a paying tenant also.
Things just were not upfront with her sister Leigh about the house, nor anything else that is happening.
Abby recalls her father and how he had given each of them a book-The Great Gatsby with an inscription for them. She knows where hers is located by why is Leigh's here mixed in with Ben's things. He is the resident studying to be a vet that is the paying tenant.
She meets many local people and starts to hang out with some of them.
Ah island time! Lots of alcohol and weed.
Mishaps happen and things occur to put people on edge through the process of getting the inn ready to be sold, as clients stop by with interest in buying it.
So many misunderstandings between a lot of people, they just don't want to listen to what is the truth.
The woman, Maria who is in charge of the inn helps them to reason things out, not to get upset and to realize maybe there is no blame.
Like how there are a few major characters and the locals come into the picture from time to time. It's easy to keep track of everybody and what they do on the islands.
Just when things are smoothed out a bit all hell breaks loose, Leigh is coming to the island to finalize a deal and she informs Abby about Ben. But Ben and Abby were to confront Leigh on Monday, hmmm.
So many deep dark secrets, hidden secrets and hidden loves...
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Author Anne Kemp introduces The Abby George Series with the short prequel novella, All Fruits Ripe, where the reader is introduced to main character Abby George and her sister Leigh. This fun little novella provides the reader with background information into the family dynamic and lives of Abby and Leigh, that whets the reader's appetite and interest into following Abby's Caribbean island adventure on St Kitts in the second book of the series, Rum Punch Regrets. With that being said, the reader can follow the series by reading the books in sequence, or they can just start by reading Rum Punch Regrets, as it is also a book that can stand alone. I personally like to read the books that are a part of a series in sequence, as I want as much background information as possible, and I prefer the flow and continuation of the story from book to book.

Rum Punch Regrets picks up the story where All Fruits Ripe left off: Abby George is a thirty-something LA girl who hasn't had a very good year. She lost her fiance to another woman, her mother passed away from cancer, she was laid off from her job, and she's basically penniless. Abby turned to her older sister Leigh for a sympathetic ear and for moral support, but instead she receives a "chance of a lifetime" proposal. Leigh asks Abby to fly to the Caribbean for a few months to oversee the repairs and sale of her island home. Surprise! Abby didn't know Leigh had a house in the Caribbean, it was a well hidden secret, as Leigh's second hubby, Daryl, doesn't even know the house exists. While Abby relishes a chance to have her own island fantasy adventure, she can't shake her gut feeling that there is a hidden agenda behind her sister's offer. Abby accepts her sister's proposal and embarks on a Caribbean island adventure on the island of St Kitts, only to find out that the Leigh's island "house" is really a Bed and Breakfast! And that's just the beginning of what Abby discovers on her island adventure: family dynamic with drama and secrets, new friendships, reasserting sibling relationships, romance, and a journey of self-discovery all waits her on the beautiful Caribbean island of St. Kitts!

Rum Punch Regrets is an entertaining fast-paced story that has enough drama, mystery and a touch of romance to captivate your interest. Written in a witty third person narrative, the reader is transported to beautiful Caribbean island setting of St Kitts, where they follow Abby on her island adventure full of drama, mystery, and romance. Rich in vivid details and descriptions, the reader can feel the warm island breeze sway through the palm trees as they lay on the sandy beach and sip a cool island rum punch! Abby's adventure will reveal more family secrets and drama, while also leading her on a journey of self-discovery that will change the way she lives her life.

With an engaging cast of characters that are realistic and fun, their antics, dialogues and interactions will keep you in stitches. Abby, Leigh and Ben (who is a renter at the B&B) are all complex individuals, the author does a really fine job of developing the characters, I found them to be intriguing and loved their different personalities. The supporting cast of characters: Maria, Ziggy, Tracey, Cutty and Buddy are bunch of fun people whose crazy antics and interactions makes the story that much more of an entertaining read.

I loved how the author weaves a captivating tale of mystery, drama and romance, she builds the story up to a cliff-hanger where she leaves the reader wanting more, knowing that she has once again whets their appetite for the next book in the series!

Rum Punch Regrets and The Abby George Series is a fun series that will captivate you from the beginning and leave you wanting more just like the refreshing island drink of rum punch does, knowing that you just can't have one!

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.
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on August 23, 2012
Did I enjoy this book: I did enjoy Rum Punch Regrets. I read it every free chance I had. I thought it was a good story and I loved the twists that were unexpected.

All of the characters were well-written. Abby was a bit childish in the beginning but watching her character develop and change throughout the story was fantastic. I wanted her to take charge of herself and stop letting her sister, Leigh, boss her around. I wanted her to find happiness and find the strength within her to do what needed to be done.

I didn't really like Leigh. I thought she was too bossy and on her high horse with her "I know what's best for everyone" attitude. She was a great character but I didn't like her that much. There were times when I really felt for Ben and times that I really wanted to smack him. He and Abby were great together. Their early roommate relationship really set up the rest of the story. (I would explain more but I don't want to spoil anything!)

The secondary characters were fantastic. Maria, Ziggy, Cutty, Tracey, and Buddy were great and provided enough fun, antics, and support for Abby and Ben. They didn't steal the show but they were necessary and great additions.

I can't wait to find out what else lies in store for Abby George!

Would I recommend it: I would recommend this book. It is a great chick lit read and it would be a great book to read at the beach or while wishing you were at the beach.

Will I read it again: I probably will not unless there is another Abby George book that will be coming out...then I may read again to refresh the story.

[...]
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