Tuesday, July 30, 2019

The Gifted School

Four families in the fictional town of Crystal, Colorado find themselves fighting for a few precious spots in the new “gifted school” being built. They have been friends for years but there is not as much competition in baby wipes compared to travel soccer (best in the state) and IQ tests required for this new program. As the competition to read younger, speak foreign languages and perform on and off the field increases each year, so do the buried secrets and escalating lies. Through painful divorce, untimely death and the financial strains of keeping up with the Jones’s - these families desperately struggle to maintain the close friendship they once treasured. Well written and with uncanny humor, this fictionalized reality is filled with our absurd race to nowhere and the reminder that it is vitally important to re-examine ones parenting behavior on and offline. Enjoyable read and filled with scary truth, I highly recommend this clever summer novel!

The Arrangement

Natalie is an art student in NYC, chasing her dreams and escaping the small town life she grew up in. She barely scrapes by and has little support from her remarried mother and dad who disappeared when she was ten. Waiting tables at a bar and harassed daily for her late rent payments, Nat has become desperate. When Ava, a beautiful, well dressed, seemingly well-off fellow art student quietly whispers her magical secret Nat may finally have the solution. There is a web site where wealthy older men want companionship and offer a monthly allowance in return. Sex is not required and love is not an option. Breaking all the rules, Nat meets Gabe. She falls in love and while this may or may not be fantasy world for others, she is mesmerized by his every move and the family he is hiding. Nat drinks too much, wallowing in her self pity and deep desire to be taken care of and supported by someone. She entwines herself deeper in his life and unintentionally sets off a string of events that will turn their worlds upside down. Sex, intrigue and murder fill the pages of this latest summer thriller. I read it in one sitting.

Wednesday, July 24, 2019

We Came Here To Forget

Katie Cleary has been skiing since she learned to walk. Raised in Couer d’Alene, a city in North Idaho, Katie is plucked out early as a champion and trains with her two best friends, Luke and Blair - two local brothers. They are VERY good and have what it takes to win. As they grow, Luke and Katie become an inseparable power skiing couple, deluged with sponsors, world travel and their eyes on the prize, the Olympics. Everything is about skiing until Katie’s sister Penny begins to unravel. A dark history of lies and manipulations comes to light and Katie, heavy with guilt that her parents favored the superstar, feels she must be there for Penny, even if it means sacrificing everything. Katie escapes to Buenos Aires. She creates an alternate life as Liz, surrounding herself with a hodgepodge group of expats and the world of tango. No matter how hard she tries Katie cannot escape her past or the black cloud that now follows her tracks. Narrated by both Katie and Liz, this stunning, fast paced novel will have you on the edge of your seat. Immerse yourself into the worlds of competitive skiing and tango and the complicated strains of family - you will not put down this fabulous summer read. Loved this author and can't wait to check out her other books!

Tuesday, July 16, 2019

Breathe In, Cash Out

Allegra Cobb always strived for the top tier. Princeton for college, exceptional internship and now the fast track as an analyst at an esteemed bank in Manhattan. The days and nights are long as Allegra pastes on a fake smile and creates useless material for ungrateful bosses. The high of attaining any goals she once had disappear from sustained exhaustion, fear and repeating the word team as many times as possible. The only rainbow in sight is the pot of gold on bonus day and as Allegra enters the last phase before her pod mates are handed their fate she decides it is time to follow her heart and wake to a job she has long coveted; to become a yoga instructor. As she secretly prepares with a wily coach named Skylar, Allegra learns more about the pursuit of real happiness than any follow on instagram could possibly reveal. Fall in love with Allegra and this laugh out loud glimpse into the fast paced world of Wall Street with just a sprinkle of romance and a lot of heart. Perfect for a day at the beach! This debut author is most certainly one to watch.

Saturday, July 6, 2019

By the Book

Anne Corey is an attractive English professor at a small prestigious college in California. Goal #1 is to get tenure and enjoy her literature teachings endlessly. On track and determined to get published, Anne’s plan begins to unravel when her ex and first love Adam Martinez shows up as the new college president. Preoccupied with her ailing father, obnoxious sister and the new (very sexy) writer in residence, Anne has to work even harder to stay focused and out of trouble. This ode to the Austen classic Persuasion will have you infatuated with books and romance all the day long. Once again, I am a sucker and completely enthralled with any books about books!

Evvie Drake Starts Over

Evvie (rhymes with Chevy) Drake lives in a small town in Maine. Her mother skipped off to Florida years ago and her father, a lobsterman, struggled to raise her on his own. After marrying her high school sweetheart, the “doctor,” Evvie’s world is tragically turned upside down when a horrific accident throws her life plans completely off course. She takes in a handsome tenant named Dean to offset expenses and embarks on the most unexpected friendship with this baseball superstar that mysteriously lost his pitching powers. As the truth about friendship, marriage and self acceptance slowly come into focus, so do second chances. A breezy page turner filled with delicious characters that will surely be a home run this summer.

Magic For Liars

Ivy and Tabitha Gamble may be twins but they could not be more different. Ivy, a private Investigator, has been hired by Osthorne Academy of Mages where Tabitha is an established professor of Theoretical Magic. Resenting Tabitha for her troubles and the early loss of their mother, Ivy has kept her distance for many years. While Tabitha flourished in the world of charms and potions, Ivy struggled with her career and loneliness. A hideous murder has taken place at the academy and it is Ivy’s job to solve the case and see clearly through the very magic that has cast a spell over her entire life. With a little bit of Hogwart’s wizardry and whodunit mystery, this beach read is a magical ride.

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

The Overdue Life of Amy Byler

What mom wouldn’t love a “Momspringa?!” When cardigan toting librarian Amy Byler is offered a ticket to attend a reading conference in NYC, she jumps at the chance to have a desperately needed break. Three years ago her husband went on a business trip to Hong Kong and never returned. Too busy raising her children and working full time, Amy has become an expert at hiding her pain and denying herself any private life at all. When the “hot librarian” at the conference not only loves her ideas but invites her to coffee, Amy quickly reinvents herself via her bf Talia who runs a woman’s magazine. Enter #Momspringa and you’ve got the full makeover including highlights, spin classes and twitter dates. Her 3 days turns into weeks and this librarian is ready to start a brand new chapter. Absolutely unputdownable, laugh-out-loud beach read for any mom, booklover and believer of second chances.