Monday, July 30, 2018

Josh and Hazel's Guide to Not Dating

Hazey Crazy. Every guy she has dated has so much fun with this vivacious, funny, endearing character until a few weeks in - when they are utterly exhausted by her antics and suddenly feel embarrassed by any unwarranted attention. Hazel is beautiful, sexy with a heart as big as Portland but she definitely beats to her own drum. And she is okay with that. Hazel happily teaches third grade and the kids are her salve to a world where many people just don’t get her. Her mom does. Her new friend Emily does. Emily and her husband Dave have a BBQ and Hazel bumps into Josh Im, the blueprint for Perfect. The guy was her TA in college but had never taken her seriously and seen her in some compromising situations. Seven years later, they are reunited. He is Emily’s brother and down in the dumps after a recent breakup. Hazel cannot resist the challenge to cheer Josh up and become his new best friend. They are complete opposites but somehow really get each other. Her playful personality is exactly what this serious guy needs to turn his life upside down. This adorable love story of friendship reminds us all that the key to real happiness is to always be true to yourself. Highly recommend this easy and enjoyable read, surely another bestseller from the wonderful writing duo Christina Lauren.

Saturday, July 28, 2018

Girls Night Out

Three old friends get together for a few days in Mexico. A paradise vacation to reconnect and hopefully mend some past and present disagreements. Ashley and Natalie run a successful company together but are at odds regarding its future sale. Lauren, recently widowed has been distant for a year. The three women have wonderful memories of their college days but more recently shaky marriages and hidden betrayals have slowly dissolved the trust they once shared. Ashley, always the flirtatious leader of the trio quickly meets a handsome stranger who immerses himself in all of their plans and activities. One morning the girls awaken in a hazy fog most likely from drunken escapades the night before, to find Ashley is missing. Trying to remain calm they admit she may have spent the night with the handsome stranger but as they slowly investigate her whereabouts it becomes quite clear, foul play of some kind has transpired. The authorizes are contacted and everyone is a suspect until the truth and every secret they had each buried comes to light. This was a 3 star read for me. I like these authors but it was predictable and a bit repetitive. Easy read if you like these thriller type stories.

Marriage Vacation

Kate runs away. From her marriage, her girls, her life. She didn’t go to the wedding in California intending to do anything so extreme but as she watched her friends take vows and glanced at Karl’s empty seat, it suddenly didn’t seem like the craziest idea. Kate is invited to a retreat in Thailand, a few weeks will not be the end of the world, she thought. Karl will understand, the girls will be fine. When two weeks turns into a year Kate’s life is turned upside down and her NY world will never be the same again-  if it exists at all. Kate begins to write, a huge part of herself she had regrettably left behind, she spends her time living in the moment, remembering who she is and what kind of life she wants to live. Mid life crisis? Maybe. Another version of Eat Pray Love? Sort of. But here’s the catch; this book is a take off from the hit tv show Younger and Pauline Turner Brooks, the author, is a character on the show. If you watch Younger, it brings this story to life and if you don’t, it’s still a great take on something most of us would never ever imagine doing. I bet many women have fantasized about taking a break, reevaluating, making sure we are living the life we want before its too late. The guilt leaving the children and expectations of our society would never condone such behavior. But guess what? You can reevaluate and change your life right from your own backyard. You don’t have to wait for mid life or a plane ticket to Thailand. You can make changes big or small any day of the week. I thoroughly enjoyed this quick glimpse at pseudo reality, tv show or not. Thanks ghost writer Jo Piazza for bringing it to life.

Tuesday, July 24, 2018

What Kitty Did Next

Because I never ever tire of Jane Austen, it is always a pleasure to read novels starring the infamous Bennet sisters. It is 1813 and in the beautiful countryside we find Kitty left at home feeling sorry for herself and her uneventful foreseeable future, 19 years old, with three of her four sisters recently married. The Bennet family has quite the history and beautiful home but no fortunes to be had. It is imperative that Kitty marry a gentleman with means, and although she is quite aware of her place in the world, Kitty is convinced she will find love as well. When she has the opportunity to spend the season in London at her sister Jane’s home and later at Pemberley with the Darcy clan, Kitty’s world expands beyond her wildest dreams. After finally returning home to Longbourne nearly a year later, Kitty realizes she has suddenly grown up and can be the fearless woman who follows her dreams. Highly recommend this wonderfully written, enjoyable continuation of the sisters we hold dear to our hearts. Thank you author Carrie Kablean for taking me back on this classic journey.

Thursday, July 19, 2018

The Masterpiece

There is no place like Grand Central Station. Its majestic beauty shines through the crowds to reveal decades past. Millions of people quickly coming and going in the heartbeat of the greatest city on earth. Clara Darden is a young artist, struggling to make her way in 1928 as a teacher at the Grand Central School of Art. She is a beautiful, confident illustrator fighting for her place in a man’s world. Finally attaining success, Clara has made a name for herself juggling her wealthy, handsome boyfriend and fellow artists despite the looming Depression. After tragedy strikes, Clara disappears as if she never existed at all. Almost Fifty Years later, in 1974, Virginia is taunted by her chauvinistic lawyer husband who left her with little money and lots of sadness. Having been a homemaker for most of her adult life, Virginia scrambles to find work through a temp agency. She accepts a job in the information booth at Grand Central. Even though the terminal is now covered with dirt and not so shiny, Virginia is immediately enamored by its history. As she begins to explore her future as a single woman once again, she discovers a painting hidden on the upper levels of the terminal that had been abandoned decades ago. The mysterious unsigned painting greatly resembles one that is currently up for auction. With Virginia’s flourishing confidence and new station friends, she is determined to solve this mystery. Author Fiona Davis has done it again. A thoroughly enjoyable work of historical fiction based in NYC capturing the imagination through time and art. Highly recommend The Masterpiece for a fabulous summer read!

Friday, July 13, 2018

You Me Everything

Jess and her son William head off to spend the summer in the charming French countryside of the Dordogne. Her best friends Becky and Natasha are going to join them in the later weeks and William is beside himself with excitement. Jess, on the other hand, is a quiet mess as this quaint chateau is run by none other than the love of her life, Williams father, Adam. It has been 10 years since Jess was forced to accept that she was in this on her own. At 22 and pregnant, she was single, terrified and alone. But the minute William’s beautiful face turned to look at hers, she was in love and with the gracious help of her adoring parents nearby they have managed just fine. Now, her mother, whose illness has turned tragically serious pleads with Jess to try and propel a relationship between William and his biological father. Love, laughter and heart wrenching truths are uncovered as Jess discovers her purpose in life and just how precious every single day can be. Highly recommend this beautifully written story about family, friends and gratitude. Absolutely the most perfect summer read, FIVE STARS!