Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Monday, December 23, 2013

(102)Ten Tiny Breaths by K.A. Tucker

Ten Tiny Breaths

Publication Date: February 12, 2013
Pages: 256 


Kacey Cleary is a mess.  She knows it, her younger sister, Livie,  knows it and anyone who meets Kacey knows it.  Four years ago a drunk driver ruined her life.  She was in the car with her parents, her boyfriend, and her best friend when there was a tragic accident.  Kacey was the only survivor from their car.  She may have survived the accident, she may have survived rehab, she may have survived her uncle squandering away their inheritance,  but she is not living.   Rather than leave Livie in questionable surroundings she takes her younger sister and moves to Miami.  Even with the walls Kacey has built around herself it is not long before Livie and Kacey are part of a "family".    Their neighbor Storm and her daughter Mia have welcomed them with open arms.  Their co-works at Penny's have also taken Kacey under their wings.  And then their neighbor, Trent.  The hot guy who lives in 1D has sparked a fire in Kacey that she has kept buried ever since the accident. As things heat up between Kacey and Trent  she realizes that her past is the only thing preventing her from a happy future.  Will she face her past head on?  And what happens when she realizes that Trent is keeping something from her about his past?

Ten Tiny Breaths was a really quick read for me.  I had pretty much figured out the "twist" early on, but it didn't keep me from devouring the book.  Kacey is pretty hard core in a lot of ways and her "edge" reminded me a little bit of Lisbeth Salander.  Not the techy aspect of it, but the hard core aspect.  The "broken" quality that both characters possess.  And you know I can't say that I blame Kacey either. If I had to endure what she did I am pretty sure that I would be broken, too.  I really enjoyed the dynamics that Kacey and Livie had with Storm and Mia.  It was sweet and just goes to show you that "family" can be found anywhere.

Bottom line, while Ten Tiny Breaths is a bit predictable it is still a book worth reading.  The characters are multi-layered and interesting characters to get to know.   This book is considered a YA novel, but I caution parents of younger teens that some of the the scenes are not appropriate for younger readers, at least in my house.  Maybe read it for yourself first and let me know what you think!

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Happy Tuesday? -



There is a serious lack of "quality" titles being released today.  I am sure a lot of the books are decent and well respected, but not anything that I or most of my readers really enjoy.   So I thought I would take this time to remind you of some of my favorite books this year.


First up, Night Film the dark and gritty mystery that is takes you to the edge of your seat and at times pushes you over the edge.  This book stayed with me for so long that I even gave a digital copy as a gift to a lover of all things dark and gritty.



Me Before You - I think this was my most favorite book of the year.  Even though I read it clear back in February I still think of it often.  In fact a friend and I were talking about the sensitive subject matter the other day and I mentioned this book.  If you have not read this book, why not?  Really, I am serious, WHY have you not read this book?

The Fault in Our Stars  - I admit that I was late to the game with this one because it was on a lot of "Best of 2012" lists.  But after listening to it in audio form I understand why so many teens and adults fell in love with Gus and Hazel.  Soon to be on the big screen, this is one of those books that if not done correctly, fans will be on the doorsteps of the producers burning pitchforks.

Looking for Me - Beautiful.  This book was beautiful and lyrical in a way that I had been missing in books this year.  The characters, the scenery, the setting, the antiques all had a way of just blending together in a way that made it tough to stop reading.

You may or may not agree with me on what constitutes a "best of " moniker and these are just a few of mine, but I am curious what books made your "Best of 2013" list this year?

Monday, December 16, 2013

(101)Big Brother by Lionel Shriver

Big Brother

Pages: 373
Publication Date: June 4, 2013




When Pandora hears that her jazz musician of a brother has fallen on hard times, she doesn't even think twice before sending him a plane ticket and money to come visit.   It has been four years since she has seen her big brother, Edison and a lot has happened since then.   For one thing, Pandora stumbled into a multi-million dollar business. And when Edison approaches her in the airport she is shocked to discover he has put on several hundred pounds.  Inviting Edison to her home  has disrupted the scheduled order that her husband demands and now having Edison there not only has put a strain on their furniture, but their marriage as well.  Pandora decides that she cannot let her brother continue on and offers him a chance to lose the weight.  Together they move into a small apartment with the sole purpose losing weight.   Is the love of a little sister enough to help a big brother change his life?

In my homesick state of mind, I was ecstatic to find that Big Brother is set in Iowa.  It was a unique middle ground as Edison is a "big dog" in the New York City jazz scene and they both grew up in the shadow of their television star father in Hollywood.  Iowa was the "normal" they visited when sent to spend summers with their Grandparents.  Pandora is the middle child of her family and as a middle child, I could see some qualities that I recognize in myself.  Like the way she was continuously trying to make peace between her husband and Edison. It was a tense situation, but she just wanted both of the men in her life to get along.  I could see both her side and her husband's side as Edison wasn't exactly easy to love at times.   Pandora's effort to help her brother went beyond the norm, she put her marriage at risk to try and save her brother.  I understand why she did it, but I also was fearful for her and felt sorry for her husband the way he was kind of cast aside during the process.   Ultimately, it was fascinating to watch the entire process in the story.   And while the outcome was not exactly what I expected (in fact it was a  bit shocking) it was much more realistic than what I first thought.


Bottom line, Lionel Shriver has been a fan favorite for book clubs all over the world for many years now.   Big Brother is just next in the line to capture the minds of readers and stimulate conversations.  Big Brother is a novel that focuses on family, struggle, hope and love.  Have you read Big Brother?  What did you think?




Sunday, December 15, 2013

Monday, December 9, 2013

(100)Comfort and Joy by Kristin Hannah

Comfort and Joy

Pages: 272
Publication Date: October 31, 2006


Joy Candellaro is struggling to make it through each day as it is, but the holidays adds a whole new level of pain,  Her world was shattered when she discovered her sister was having an affair with her husband.  With divorce looming Joy would rather just hide away from the world and all things holiday related.  And then she arrives home from work to find her sister waiting for her only to shatter her heart further.  She is pregnant and will soon be marrying Joy's husband.  She decides to run away and catches a last minute flight to a destination far away from her heartache.  But when the flight crashes, Joy finds herself a guest of a young boy and his father also recovering from a broken heart.  Will the magic of Christmas mend broken hearts or will the reality of the situation further break Joy's heart?

I am so thrilled for Christmas season that my house has been a non-stop source of Christmas music, Christmas movies, and this weekend I did some Christmas reading.  During the commercials of cheesy Christmas movies on the Hallmark Channel. I have had Comfort & Joy for sometime and this year I decided to dust it off and give it a read. As always with Kristin Hannah novels, I really enjoyed Comfort and Joy. I felt so bad for Joy when she has her encounter with her sister, I found myself angry on her behalf.  I wanted her to stand there and yell, but instead she ran away.   When Joy stumbles upon Daniel and Bobby I thought I figured out how the rest of the book would play out, but I was wrong.  I don't want to say too much and spoil it for anyone who hasn't read the book, but let's just say it takes an interesting twist.

Bottom line, I know I am about seven years late with Comfort & Joy, but it was well worth the wait. As always, Kristin Hannah has written a beautiful novel with characters full of heart and love.   If you are looking a good read to put you in the holiday mood, you will enjoy Comfort and Joy!

Sunday, December 8, 2013

(99)Once Upon A Lie by Magie Barbieri

Once Upon A Lie

Pages: 304
Publication Date: December 10,2013


Maeve Conlon is barely holding her life together.  One of her two teen daughters is determined to be a "wild child", her ex-husband is proving to be a better husband and father to his second wife then he ever was to her, her father is battling early onset Alzheimers and now her cousin, Sean has been murdered.  There is no love lost between Maeve and her cousin, but her large extended Irish family expects Maeve to keep up appearances, so she does. But it is not long before the NYPD are knocking on Maeve's door and questioning where her father was the night of the murder.  As their investigation continues more of Maeve's history with her cousin is revealed and you have to wonder, did her father kill Sean or was it someone else?

Once Upon A Lie was one of those books that I just could not put down. I can very easily say that it was one of the better books I have recently read. The characters are so well written and multi-dimensional it was very easy to connect with them.  I loved Maeve and the way she tried to stay on top of everything from her wayward father to her sneaky daughter.  I found myself laughing when she busted her daughter at the party and how she did so.  Her friend and employee, Jo is another character who really added some depth, and often comic relief,  to the story. She has had such a horrible time recently that when Maeve tells her story, you can see how much love she has for her friend.  Then there is Maeve's relationship with her ex, Cal. It is unique because while Cal destroyed their marriage by having an affair with her friend, he still has a fondness for Maeve that shows itself by his kisses on her forehead, stopping by her shop, and many other ways. It was just another facet of the book that kept you interested and hooked.

Bottom line, if you are looking for good mystery - a good suspense novel you will not go wrong with Once Upon A Lie. There are some pretty important underlying themes that would even make this novel a great selection for your next book club meeting. Give it a read and let me know what you think.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

(98)Cover of Snow by Jenny Milchman

Cover of Snow

Pages: 336
Publication Date: January 5, 2013


When Nora Hamilton woke up that morning she had no idea that her life was going to be forever changed.  The night before with her husband, Brendan,  had been practically magical.  But her world is shattered when she discovers that Brendan committed suicide sometime in the night. After Nora starts to come out of the daze she starts questioning why Brendan would do such a horrible thing. What was so bad that he didn't see any other way? Well it isn't long before Nora's questions start stirring up problems, especially with his colleagues at the police department.  When her questions start hitting a little too close to home, a lot of things start happening.  Like unexplained fires.  Will Nora ever find out why Brendan killed himself and if she does, at what cost ?

I gotta be honest, I was a little disappointed.  The blurb compared the author to Gillian Flynn and other bestselling suspense novelists so I went into this book with really high expectations.  Cover of Snow had it's moments of suspense, but generally I kept thinking "isn't it over yet?"  There were a few plot twists that were predictable and some that were surprising, but nothing as jaw-dropping as what I was expecting or hoping for.  There were a few moments when Nora was dealing with her grief that I got a bit emotional. My husband has been out of town for just over two weeks and I am losing my mind. I can only imagine the feelings of lonliness and loss that a survivor of suicide goes through. The people of Nora's community have a pretty big role in this novel, even the eccentric ones, but keep your eyes on Brendan's mother.  She is an odd one.


Bottom line, I need to be clear that Cover of Snow was not a BAD book, the author painted a great picture of winter in the Adirondacks, but  it just didn't live up to my high expectations once compared to Gillian Flynn.   If you are looking for a mystery that isn't too dark or twisty, then Cover of Snow might be for you.

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

(97)The Living by Matt De La Pena

The Living

Pages: 320
Publication Date: November 12, 2013


In order to help his mom pay the bills, Shy took a summer job with a cruise line.  He is planning on spending the summer racking up the tips while getting some sun and meeting some ladies.  He did not expect the hard work, the man who jumped overboard or the man in the black suit who won't seem to leave him alone.  He also did not expect a tsunami to hit the cruise ship after "the big one" destroyed the entire west coast.   His dream summer of fun quickly turns to a nightmare when the ship is destroyed and he finds himself adrift at sea on a lifeboat with a dying man and a snooty girl.  Will Shy and Addie be rescued before they run out of water?  And what does all of this have to do with the man who jumped overboard? 

First of all let me say that The Living just reinforced my firm belief that I do not belong on a cruise ship. Ever.  The book started out a little slow and the build-up to the "event" went on for nearly 100 pages and then things started moving so fast I almost got whiplash.  Once I got to the end and realized that The Living is part of a series and I suspect that if read all at once, the build-up doesn't seem quite so long.  Shy is quite a resourceful young man and I enjoyed to seeing him springing into action to help those on the ship and also when they are on the lifeboat.   Even though he played a hero role he was still very much afraid and at the mercy of nature as the rest of the characters.  It made the story even seem more real.  And terrifying. 

Bottom line, Young Adult apocalyptic novels are one of my favorite means of escape from reality.  The Living was a quick and entertaining read.  I will likely read the following books in the series, but I may try to seek them out at the library instead of purchasing.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Friday, November 29, 2013

(96)The Whole Golden World by Kristin Riggle

The Whole Golden World

Pages: 448
Publication Date: November 5, 2013


Morgan Monetti is a seventeen-year-old high school senior on the verge of womanhood.  She is a mixed bag of emotions, as are many seventeen year old girls.  She gets frustrated at the extra responsibilities her parents give her with her little brothers, but she likes being called mature for the way she helps.  She dreads the thought of going to her calculus class because her ex-boyfriend is in the same class, yet she loves the hot teacher, Mr. Hill.  It starts when Mr.Hill took away her phone for texting in class.  She goes back after school to pick it up and there is an undeniable spark between them.  It continues with a few meaningful conversations and goes to the next level when he sneaks into her practice room when she is supposed to be practicing her cello solo. Their affair continues for many months and comes to a screeching halt when a police officer discovers them in his car during a make-out session.  What happens to Morgan when their affair is made public?  Will she survive the ridicule being hurled her way at school and on the internet?  Will Mr. Hill's marriage survive the revelation and does he want it to?  And then there is the whole legal aspect of their affair, what will happen when the court gets involved?

The Whole Golden World is a riveting look at a topic that is becoming all too common in the headlines these days. Here is Morgan, a child determined to be treated like an adult, but finds herself drowning when adult situations invade her life.  She tries so hard to be mature and appear mature, but when things get tough all she wants to do is curl into a ball and ignore the whole world.  The dynamics between Morgan and her mother often reminded me of my relationship with my own mother when I was seventeen. That age where Mom wants to keep you a kid, but daughter wants to be treated like a grown-up. It is a tough place to be for both women.   Then there is Rain, Mr. Hill's wife.  This poor woman is battling infertility, which is pretty devastating in it's own right and then there is the accusations against her husband.   At first her loyalty was admirable, but then even I wanted to shake her and say "wake up, woman!"   From the perspective of all the main characters, the end of the book was very satisfying for me to read.  It wasn't an easy conclusion, but it was satisfying.

Bottom line, if you are looking for an engrossing read to distract you from the leftover pie, you must rush to your favorite bookseller and get The Whole Golden World.  You will find yourself swept up into the drama surrounding Morgan Monetti and forget all about the leftovers!

Thursday, November 28, 2013

(95)Six Years by Harlen Coben

Six Years 

Pages: 368
Publication Date: March 19, 2013


It has been six years since Jake Fisher met and lost the love of his life, Natalie.  There might be a bit of a chance of Jake moving on if Natalie had passed away, but no, Natalie didn't die.  She married someone else.   Jake has done okay at living life without Natalie.  Even though he is doing okay with his career as a college professor he is just existing, not living.   That all changes one day when he notices an obituary on the college's website.  The man Natalie married is dead and Jake is curious enough to fly to the funeral only to discover that this man has been married for far longer than six years and has two grown children.  So what happened to Natalie? What happened six years ago that made her fake a marriage to a man who was just murdered? Did their "marriage" have anything to do with his death?  And again, where is Natalie now?

I have been working on this audio book for way too long, mostly because I took a "break" from the treadmill for a while.   Even though it took me so long to finish, Harlan Coben still kept me hooked.   Jake Fisher was a great character and I really felt his heartache.  He was so sure that Natalie was the "one" for him and he was not about to abide by her wishes to never contact her again.  I also liked the friendship between  Jake and Benedict.  They seemed so different from each other, yet Benedict was the one person that Jake could depend on.  And even that was called into question in true Harlan Coben fashion.

Bottom line, Harlan Coben is one of the best mystery novelists to ever have written a book.  His books are captivating, exciting, and full of surprises.  Six Years was no different.  If you are looking for a good mystery, as always, Harlan Coben is the way to go.



Wednesday, November 27, 2013

(94)Adulting by Kelly Williams Brown

Adulting

Pages: 272
Publication Date: May 7, 2013



You are going to thank me!!  I have just found your go-to gift for Christmas, graduations, and birthdays!

Adulting: How to Become A Grown-Up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps is a comprehensive, "how-to" manual for anyone that is new to adulthood or just needs to grow up!  There are fun, detailed, easy to read pieces of advice for anyone who is in the need of acting like an adult.  Advice on everything from keeping house (dishes and cleaning schedules) to vehicle maintenance (really, you should name your car!), office ethics, making friends in your new neighborhoods and so much more. There are even helpful hints as to how to assert yourself both at the office and in your private life. Oh and wise  financial advice such as savings accounts and investing.    As a thirty-eight year old, a lot of the information shared wasn't really new to me, but I still found myself riveted and eager to continue reading.  And I can really see how it would be very useful to recent college graduates and even others just venturing out on their own for the first time. Or even the second time.

Bottom line, like I said at the very beginning,  Adulting will a great gift to give this year.  In fact it is one of those gifts that will keep on giving throughout the whole year!  If you are looking for a great stocking stuffer, then look for Adulting in your local bookstore!

Monday, November 25, 2013

(93)Morning Glory by Sarah Jio

Morning Glory 

Pages: 304
Publication Date: November 25, 2013


There was a little movie back in the nineties, you may have heard of it, Sleepless in Seattle? That one movie caused an entire country to fall in love with the idea of living on a houseboat.  Author, Sarah Jio, was so enamored by the thought of living on a houseboat that she decided to set her next book on a houseboat in the Lake Union in the Seattle area.

Ada has left her life in New York City and arrived in Seattle to try and finally heal from the death of her husband and daughter. She finds herself renting the housboat in slip number seven on Boat Street.  It almost feels like a whole different world to Ada.  The neighbors on Boat Street are close and have a history that goes back decades. Ada isn't there long before she discovers that there is a mystery surrounding her houseboat and Boat Street.  In 1959 a young woman, Penny, went missing without a trace.  Ada's curiosity is piqued even further when she discovers a trunk of memorabilia that once belonged to Penny.  Is the mystery surrounding Penny's  disappearance enough to help Ada heal or will the very handsome neighbor, Alex, also help Ada move on with her life?

Morning Glory is a beautiful novel that just renewed the longing I had in the nineties to go live on a house boat.  The story is told in both present and past tense. And whether it be Ada's story or Penny's the character and charm surrounding Boat Street remains the same.   The one thing that was consistent with both Penny and Ada were their sense of sadness.  In a way they both suffered losses, Ada losing her family the way she did and Penny losing her youth to a bad marriage. The sense of longing in both of them is almost palpable. The difference between the two women though is noticeable with Ada.  You can see the diminishing of her sadness as the book progresses and that is mostly due to Alex.  There is a bit of a twist at the end of the book that I kind of guessed was coming, but it really did bring a necessary conclusion to the story.

Bottom line, Morning Glory is a wonderful little novel that takes you to another place and another time.  The story will tug at your heart strings as you find yourself being swept away with Ada and Penny's heartache.   If you are looking for something quick and lovely to read you will not be disappointed by Morning Glory, that I promise you.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

(92)Christmas at the Beach by Wendy Wax

Christmas at the Beach

Publication Date: October 15, 2013
Pages: 52

Buy it Here!

The ladies from Ten Beach Road are back and it is Christmastime at the beach.  The ladies are anticipating the next project for their hit reality show, but the news that Ten Beach Road has sold has left them all a little down in the dumps.  Even though we get to catch up with all of the girls, Christmas at the Beach is told from the perspective of Kyra, Madeline's daughter. Kyra is a young, single mother trying to avoid the paparazzi that follow her every mood.   Will the ladies be able to enjoy Christmas at the beach before they have to be gone for good?  Or will the paparazzi ruin it for all of them?

Christmas at the Beach was just a quick little novella to help get yo in the holiday mood.   Even though it was so short, these characters are familiar to me and many of you, so there wasn't a lot of character development needed.

Bottom line, Christmas at the Beach was quick, festive, and set up a sequel for coming books in the series.  If you are looking for a read to put you in the holiday mood, give it a shot.  At $2.99 you can't go wrong, right?


Monday, November 18, 2013

(91)The Theory of Opposites by Allison Winn Scotch

The Theory of Opposites

Pages: 312
Publication Date:  November 12, 2013


In the chaos that is Willa Chandler-Golden's family she knew the one thing she could depend upon was her husband, Shawn.  In the five years they have been married they have settled into a reliable routine that includes eggs on Sunday and never fighting.  They do everything together and are so predictable in their actions that Willa's family have given them nickname "Shilla" because it is hard to tell where one separates and the other begins. In a very short amount of  Willa's world is rocked and it starts with her father, the famous self-help guru loses the Nobel prize, she loses her job, and Shawn tells her that he wants a "break".  Oh, and her ex-boyfriend sends her a long overdue apology via Facebook message.

Willa's best friend, Vanessa, decides to help Willa gain clarity with everything by writing their own book that will basically be the exact opposite of her famous father's theory.   The project challenges Willa to step way out of her comfort zone and do things she never would have dreamed doing prior to Shawn's request for a "break".  Like jumping off the Brooklyn Bridge, going to a baseball game and catching a home-run ball - barehanded and then there is Theo, the ex-boyfriend.  Will the break bring Willa and Shawn closer together or will it break them apart forever?

The Theory of Opposites was laugh out loud funny in so many parts, but I also found my eyes leaking a few times, too.   Willa handed the first few days of the "break" much, much better than I would have done.  I would have definitely lost my shit.  A married man wants a "break" and writes out a list of "rules" for the break that includes sleeping with other people?  I DON'T THINK SO!  I really liked Willa and ultimately I just wanted her to be happy, so I wavered between wanting her to end up with Shawn or Theo.  In the end, I was pleased with the way it ended, but it did shock me the way it came about and truly was surprised with her decision.   I must also comment on the utter train-wreck that is Willa's family, starting with her parents who were on their own "break" and the way they announced their "break" really gave me the first clue that her family was nuts.  And nuts in a way that makes your family look normal.  Did I mention that Willa has a yoga guru brother who is indicted because of a pyramid scheme?  Nuts I tell you. It is no wonder that Willa clings to the routine of her marriage.


Bottom line, The Theory of Opposites is a fun book. It has it's moments of both joy and sorrow and is full of "what if's" and "life is short" moments.  And even more "girl power" moments.  Which for that reason alone would make this book a great selection for a book club.



Sunday, November 17, 2013

Saturday, November 16, 2013

(90)Don't Want to Miss A Thing by Jill Mansell

Don't Want to Miss A Thing

Pages: 432
Publication Date: November 5, 2013


Playboy Dexter Yates is thrilled when his sister makes him an uncle.  He never thought he could be so enamored with a baby, but young Delphi certainly has him wrapped around her little finger.  Tragedy strikes and leaves Delphi all alone after some consideration Dex decides to take on the role of her guardian.  To say it is life changing is a great understatement.   When Dex decides to take Delphi and move to the quaint little village of Briarwood he discovers that it really does "take a village" and it starts with his beautiful next door neighbor, Molly.

Artist Molly Hayes loves living in Briarwood.  It is the kind of village where everyone knows everyone and they are there for their neighbors when there is a need.  Molly can spot the "playboy" in Dex the very first time she meets him.  She has her doubts that he can really make a go of it with Delphi, but soon she is enamored with both Dex and Delphi.   Molly is not willing to let herself fall for a playboy, but what happens when the "playboy" part of Dex starts disappearing?  Will Dex ever see her for more than just a free babysitter?  Will she ever admit her feelings?

One of the things I love about Jill Mansell novels is all of the subplots that are going on in the background.  They truly paint a whole picture of the main characters and those that surround them in the story.  In Don't Want to Miss A Thing we get to know several of the villagers.  Frankie, Lois, Joe, and Stephen to just name a few. They all have secrets, desires, and dreams.   The way they connect with each other and Dex and Molly really make this novel so charming.  There are so many different stories I could tell about the residents of Briarwood, but  I won't.  Just know that they all could stand alone as the stars in their own stories.

Bottom line, I have been enjoying Jill Mansell novels for many years and I always look forward to her next book.  They are fresh and funny and heartwarming and always so full of charm.  If you are looking for a little "feel good" type of novel then you must pick up Don't Want to Miss A Thing.

Sunday, November 10, 2013

Saturday, November 9, 2013

(89)Entwined With You by Sylvia Day

Entwined With You 

Pages:432
Publication Date: October 23, 2012


Recently a friend and I were recently talking about the Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon and everything that came out of this series.  So when I was looking for a mindless read I remembered that I had  Reflected In You  buried in my nook library.

Reflected in You is the second book in the Crossfire trilogy.  Eva and Gideon continue their utterly dysfunctional relationship.  They are trying to make things work and are doing things such as attending weekly therapy sessions to try and make their relationship work. Both of them are trying to put their past in the past and only look forward, but it is hard to do when their past keeps invading their present.  Will they be able to work past the new issues or is their relationship destined to fail?

Okay, I will admit that there was more than once in this novel where I just wanted to chuck it across the room and say "grow up".  To both of the main characters. It was almost ridiculous how horrible their relationship skills are, I mean Gideon doesn't call Eva and she obviously believes he hates her and has moved on.  He does call and she rants about how controlling and smothering he is to her.  Argh.  It was horrible.  But no matter how horrible it was, I couldn't put the book down.  I finished it in rather quick form and just found myself rolling my eyes at the part.  And the thing Gideon DOES to prove his love, really?

Bottom line, do not go into these books expecting anything literary or even grammatically correct in some cases. If you are looking for mindless and keep your expectations low, you will probably get through it just fine.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

(88)The Perfect Match by Kristin Higgans

The Perfect Match

Pages: 384
Publication date: October 29, 2013


After her yearly visit to her gyno, thirty-five year old Honor Holland decides that her biological clock is ticking rather loudly. There is a problem though, in reality Honor is "married" to her job at the family winery.  There is a man in her life though, her old school friend, Brogan. She has been in love with him for longer than she can remember, but for Brogan it has been more of a "friends with benefits" kind of relationship.   Honor is desperate to start a family and decides that it is time for them to take their relationship to the next level.  Unfortunately her heart is shattered when she finds out that her best friend has been dating Brogan behind her back.   Honor has about had it with love and men in general after that, but when she hears that the extremely handsome professor, Tom Barlow, is in need of a green card she decides that a marriage of convenience just may be the way to go.  What she doesn't expect is to fall in love with his stepson, too.  Or her family to fall in love with Tom.   Is this match truly "The Perfect Match" or is Honor rushing into something that will ruin her life?

I just love Kristan Higgins and her books.  If you like her Facebook page you will find that she is funny, current, relevant, and has a great eye for men.  All of which translates to her characters.  Honor Holland may be a bit stuffy at first,  but as the book goes on you will find that Tom's British influence on her is a good one.  The chemistry between Tom and Honor is unmistakable and even I found myself melting during a certain scene with Tom and Spike, the dog. Many a time I found myself laughing out loud and I even found myself cheering during certain scene between Honor and her alleged best friend.  The end was perfect without being too cutesy, it wasn't forced and felt real.

Bottom line, if you are looking for a fun and fluffy ready, you have GOT to grab a Kristan Higgins book.  I know I have told you before, so I am curious, have any of you read a Kristan Higgins novel yet?

Sunday, November 3, 2013

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

(87)A Nantucket Christmas by Nancy Thayer

A Nantucket Christmas

Pages: 224
Publication Date: October 29, 2013


Can you believe that Christmas books are already hitting the bookstore shelves? It is hard to believe that it is that time of year again, but here it is upon us!

In A Nantucket Christmas Nancy Thayer takes us back to the beautiful island of Nantucket.  We meet Nicole and her new husband, Sebastian.  Both have been married before, but Sebastian is the only one of the two to have had children with his first wife.  Even though Nicole has only met Sebastian's daughter once, she is both excited and apprehensive about having the high-maintenance  Kennedy and her young family for Christmas. When Kennedy arrives and starts making incredible demands (even for a pregnant woman), Nicole finds it hard to hold on to her "good will towards man."  And then the ex-wife shows up making it an even more awkward situation.  Will Nicole make it through the holidays?  And will her marriage survive the stress of it all?

A Nantucket Christmas was a really cute book and a super fast read.  And I predict that in the not too distant future it will be a really cute holiday movie, too.  I have always enjoyed Nancy Thayer's picturesque world of Nantucket  and I was beyond excited when I heard that she was writing a Christmas novel.  Trust me, she did not disappoint, from her words I imagine Nantucket just as perfect in winter as in summer. Nicole is a great character and her warmth and genuine spirit radiates off of the pages.  She is the kind of person that I want to be my friend.    I want to warn you though, there is an abandoned puppy dog featured in the book and his story can be a bit tough to read, especially if you have a soft spot for critters.

Bottom line, if you are looking for a book to get you ready for the upcoming holiday season, then A Nantucket Christmas is definitely a must read for you.  Nancy Thayer is guaranteed to put you in the Christmas spirit like no other!

Monday, October 28, 2013

(86)Hush Little Baby by Suzanne Redfern

Hush Little Baby 

Pages: 368
Publication Date: October 8, 2013


By anyone's standards it appears as if Jillian Kane has it all.  A very successful career as an architect, two beautiful children, and a handsome husband who apparently dotes on his wife and children.  The reality is really quite different, because every time Gordon Kane walks in the door Jillian is in fear of her life. He is usually careful to not leave bruises that are visible, but the one time he nearly strangled her to death Jillian was ready to leave.  She ran to her parents house and the shock of those bruises caused her father to have a nearly fatal stroke.   Another time she planned to leave she discovered she was pregnant and she believed Gordon when he said he wouldn't do it again.  This time is different.  Gordon killed her lover and Jillian knows that she is next so she takes the kids and runs as far away as she can get. When Jillian is forced to emerge from hiding in order to save her daughter, she knows that she likely just sacrificed her life for her daughters.  Will her fears come true?  Will anyone believe her when she tries to explain that her husband is the monster, not her?

Hush Little Baby is a very compelling read that will have you riding an emotional roller coaster from start to finish.  Jillian is a very sympathetic character who has a lot of crap piled on her plate.  Any one of the things she deals with in this book would be enough to send someone over the edge, but the abuse, the weird family dynamics with her mother, her father's illness, the death of her lover, heck the affair itself, not to mention what happens to her daughter, Addie - all of it is just too much.  But never did it seem "over the top" in the story, it worked.   At the beginning of the book I found myself almost angry with Jillian for staying with Gordon, but the more I saw how Gordon used his position as a police officer as a weapon, the more I understood how difficult it was for her to leave.   I also really liked all of the supporting characters in this novel, from Jillian's lawyer, Conner to Goat and the others in Washington, they all added an element of realness to this novel.

Bottom line,  Hush Little Baby has all of the makings of a being a great book club selection.  There is even a wonderful reader's guide at the end of the book to guide discussion. While some of the subject matter may be tough to read, Hush Little Baby is a great read that will engage you from the very first page.  Looking for a great read?   Grab Hush Little Baby and get ready for one heck of a ride.























Why I Read...

I remember the carefree summer days when I used to ride my bike to the public library to pick out new books. I would go almost daily to find books to read. I read to learn. I read to explore the world. I read to escape. I read because not reading is not an option.

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