#Review – I’LL SEE YOU IN PARIS by Michelle Gable

I'll See You in Paris

5 Stars

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Review

This was a great story intermixing the past with present then reality with fiction. The story flowed so easy between both that the story seemed true to life. Great concept to mix historical facts with fiction. It was a pleasure to read this book.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review thanks to St. Martin’s Press.

Synopsis

After losing her fiancé in the Vietnam War, nineteen-year-old Laurel Haley takes a job in England, hoping the distance will mend her shattered heart. Laurel expects the pain might lessen but does not foresee the beguiling man she meets or that they’ll go to Paris, where the city’s magic will take over and alter everything Laurel believes about love.

Thirty years later, Laurel’s daughter Annie is newly engaged and an old question resurfaces: who is Annie’s father and what happened to him? Laurel has always been vague about the details and Annie’s told herself it doesn’t matter. But with her impending marriage, Annie has to know everything. Why won’t Laurel tell her the truth?

The key to unlocking Laurel’s secrets starts with a mysterious book about an infamous woman known as the Duchess of Marlborough. Annie’s quest to understand the Duchess, and therefore her own history, takes her from a charming hamlet in the English countryside, to a decaying estate kept behind barbed wire, and ultimately to Paris where answers will be found at last.

MeetTheAuthor

Michelle Gable

Michelle Gable is the international bestselling author of A PARIS APARTMENT. When not dreaming up fiction on the sly, she works in finance, specializing in investor relations. A College of William & Mary graduate, Gable currently resides in Cardiff by the Sea, California with her husband, two daughters, and one lazy cat. Her second book, I’LL SEE YOU IN PARIS, will be published by St. Martin’s Press/Thomas Dunne Books in Spring 2016.

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#Review – THE READERS OF BROKEN WHEEL RECOMMEND by Katarina Bivald

The Readers of Broken Wheel

5 Stars

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Review

How many books do you know of that take place in Iowa? When I saw that this book is set in Iowa, I HAD to read it! I thoroughly enjoyed this book, especially that it was about books and a small book store. What a great premise for a book – sharing your love of books internationally! Reading brings people together, just as this book tells the story about. This would be a great book club choice.

I received a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Synopsis

Once you let a book into your life, the most unexpected things can happen…

Broken Wheel, Iowa, has never seen anyone like Sara, who traveled all the way from Sweden just to meet her book-loving pen pal. When she arrives, however, she finds Amy’s funeral guests just leaving. The residents of Broken Wheel are happy to look after their bewildered visitor — not much else to do in a small town that’s almost beyond repair. They just never imagined that she’d start a bookstore. Or that books could bring them together – and change everything.

There’s a book for every person … and a person for every book.

MeetTheAuthor

katarina bivald

Katarina Bivald grew up working part-time in a bookshop. Today she lives outside of Stockholm, Sweden, with her sister and as many bookshelves she can get by her. She’scurrently trying to persuade her sister that having a shelf for winter jackets and shoes is completely unneccessary. There should be enough space for a book shelf or two instead. Limited success so far. Apparantly, her sister is also stubbornly refusing to even discuss using the bath room to store books.

Katarina Bivald sometimes claims that she still hasn’t decided whether she prefer books or people but, as we all know, people are a non-starter. Even if you do like them, they’re better in books. Only possible problem: reading a great book and having noone to recommend it to.

Läsarna i Broken Wheel rekommenderar/The Readers in Broken Wheel Recommend is her first novel.

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#Review – CENTER OF GRAVITY by Laura McNeill

5 Stars

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Review

Captivating! Attention grabbing and holding! Makes you want to shake your head while you read. I credit Ava for her actions during some trying times. I don’t think I could have done the same if I was in that situation. This book made me mad at life as it kept interrupting my reading time! It was a little heavier than the books I have been reading recently but I truly enjoyed this one; it had just enough suspense in it that I didn’t get frustrated with the characters to the point I wanted to stop reading.

Synopsis

The truth could cost her everything.

Her whole life, Ava Carson has been sure of one thing: she doesn’t measure up to her mother’s expectations. So when Mitchell Carson sweeps into her life with his adorable son, the ready-made family seems like a dream come true. In the blink of an eye, she’s married, has a new baby, and life is wonderful.

Or is it?

When her picture-perfect marriage begins unraveling at the seams, Ava convinces herself she can fix it. It’s temporary. It’s the stress. It’s Mitchell’s tragic history of loss.

If only Ava could believe her own excuses.

Mitchell is no longer the charming, thoughtful man she married. He grows more controlling by the day, revealing a violent jealous streak. His behavior is recklessly erratic, and the unanswered questions about his past now hint at something far more sinister than Ava can stomach. Before she can fit the pieces together, Mitchell files for divorce and demands full custody of their boys.

Fueled by fierce love for her children and aided by Graham Thomas, a new attorney in town, Ava takes matters into her own hands, digging deep into the past. But will finding the truth be enough to beat Mitchell at his own game?

Center of Gravity weaves a chilling tale, revealing the unfailing and dangerous truth that things—and people—are not always what they seem.

MeetTheAuthor

52C

After six years behind the anchor desk at two CBS affiliates, Laura moved to the Alabama Gulf Coast to raise her family.

Laura’s debut novel with HarperCollins (Thomas Nelson), Center of Gravity, set in Mobile, Ala., will be published in July of 2015. Her writing awards include those from William Faulkner-Wisdom Creative Writing Competition, Writer’s Digest, RWA, and the Eric Hoffer competition. Her accolades in broadcasting include awards from the Associated Press, including Best News Anchor and Best Specialized Reporter.

She holds a master’s degree in journalism from The Ohio State University and is currently pursuing her MFA in creative writing from New England College.

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#Review – THE MIDDLE OF SOMEWHERE by Sonja Yoerg

Middle of Somewhere

5 Stars

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Review

I received an ARC through NetGalleyWhat an attention grabbing story that keep your interest the entire story! The description made me feel like I was hiking the trail right along with the characters. I didn’t want to put the book down, especially midway through. Even though I’m not a hiking type, I don’t think I’d mind going to see the majestic views described in the book. Highly recommend.

Synopsis

A troubled, young widow hikes from Yosemite Valley deep into the wilderness on the John Muir Trail to elude her shameful past in this emotionally gripping story from the author of House Broken.

With her thirtieth birthday looming, Liz Kroft is heading for the hills—literally. Her emotional baggage weighs her down more than her backpack, but a three-week trek promises the solitude she craves—at least until her boyfriend, Dante, decides to tag along. His broad moral streak makes the prospect of confessing her sins more difficult, but as much as she fears his judgment, she fears losing him more. Maybe.

They set off together alone under blue skies, but it’s not long before storms threaten and two strange brothers appear along the trail. Amid the jagged, towering peaks, Liz must decide whether to admit her mistakes and confront her fears, or face the trail, the brothers and her future alone.

#Review – The Coincidence of Coconut Cake by Amy Reichert

Synopsis

You’ve Got Mail meets How to Eat a Cupcake in this delightful novel about a talented chef and the food critic who brings down her restaurant—whose chance meeting turns into a delectable romance of mistaken identities.

In downtown Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Lou works tirelessly to build her beloved yet struggling French restaurant, Luella’s, into a success. She cheerfully balances her demanding business and even more demanding fiancé…until the morning she discovers him in the buff—with an intern.

Witty yet gruff British transplant Al is keeping himself employed and entertained by writing scathing reviews of local restaurants in the Milwaukee newspaper under a pseudonym. When an anonymous tip sends him to Luella’s, little does he know he’s arrived on the worst day of the chef’s life. The review practically writes itself: underdone fish, scorched sauce, distracted service—he unleashes his worst.

The day that Al’s mean-spirited review of Luella’s runs, the two cross paths in a pub: Lou drowning her sorrows, and Al celebrating his latest publication. As they chat, Al playfully challenges Lou to show him the best of Milwaukee and she’s game—but only if they never discuss work, which Al readily agrees to. As they explore the city’s local delicacies and their mutual attraction, Lou’s restaurant faces closure, while Al’s column gains popularity. It’s only a matter of time before the two fall in love…but when the truth comes out, can Lou overlook the past to chase her future?

Set in the lovely, quirky heart of Wisconsin, The Coincidence of Coconut Cake is a charming love story of misunderstandings, mistaken identity, and the power of food to bring two people together.

Review

5 Stars

I received an ARC through NetGalley.

I loved this book! The storyline was amazing, the writing was amazing, everything about this book was amazing. I could smell the vanilla as I was reading! Author Amy E. Reichert did a fantastic job and even made me cry at the car shop!

Lou is a talented chef whose restaurant suffers the unimaginable – a scathing review from the toughest critic. Due to the review, the restaurant suffers and Lou has to decide what the future holds. Lou only has herself as she lost her parents when she was young. In the midst of everything seeming to fall apart, she happens upon Al, who little does she know who he is. The friendship between Al and Lou is genuine but can it withstand the greatest betrayal possible?

Gertrude and Otto are an example of true love and what I hope to have one day. They really pulled my heart strings and I fell in love with them. Lou was very lucky to have had them in her life and she will soon find out what their secret is.

This is a great summer read with great writing. Highly recommend! Let them eat cake! 

#REVIEW – The Yellow Rose Beauty Shop by Carolyn Brown

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Synopsis

Stella’s mama never should’ve put Stella on the church prayer list. With Stella’s twenty-seventh birthday coming up fast, Nancy desperately wants to see her daughter married and giving her grandbabies. Petitioning heaven seems like a surefire way to get it done. But in Cadillac, Texas, where the gossip’s hotter than the city’s famous jalapeño peppers, it isn’t long before all hell breaks loose.

Heather, the bossy leader of the church’s Prayer Angels, thinks a summer ball will get Stella and the town’s other single gals paired off. But nobody can tell redheaded spitfire Stella what to do—not her mama, not Heather, and not even the sexy beau Stella’s been seeing in secret. Together, Stella, her best friends Charlotte and Piper, and the loyal customers of the Yellow Rose Beauty Shop hatch a good old-fashioned scheme to sabotage the ball. But will it wreck Stella’s relationship with her mama forever? And what will the church folk think when Stella reveals the identity of her mystery man?

Review

3.5 Stars

This book had a great storyline and concept but I struggled to read it. I am not sure where the author went wrong but I didn’t really enjoy the book until I got midway through the book. It seemed to drag on and on but I did enjoy the book overall. Maybe it is because it is a part of a series and I didn’t read the first two books? I am not sure. I think it could still be read as a stand alone book though as it didn’t have a lot of references to events in the past.

I was born in a small town (in Iowa) so I can understand Stella and her complex of keeping a secret because everyone in the town knowing everything about what everyone is doing and the gossip mill can get a little annoying. Poor Stella though – her mom only wants the best for her but ends up putting her foot in her mouth by her actions in their church’s prayer group, requesting prayers for a husband for her daughter. But little did Stella’s mom know that her daughter doesn’t need any help finding a relationship.   

I was provided a copy of this book through NetGalley

#REVIEW – Who Do You Love by Jennifer Weiner

5 Stars

Synopsis

From the “hilarious, heartbreaking, and insightful” (The Miami Herald) bestselling author Jennifer Weiner comes a sweeping, modern day fairy tale about first romance and lasting love.

When the love you love is the one who got away…

Rachel Blum and Andy Landis are just eight years old when they meet late one night in an ER waiting room. Born with a congenital heart defect, Rachel is a veteran of hospitals, and she’s intrigued by the boy who shows up all alone with a broken arm. He tells her his name. She tells him a story. After Andy’s taken back to a doctor and Rachel’s sent back to her bed, they think they’ll never see each other again.

Rachel grows up wanting for nothing in a fancy Florida suburb, the popular and protected daughter of two doting parents. Andy grows up poor in Philadelphia with a single mom and a rare talent that will let him become one of the best runners of his generation.

Over the next three decades, their paths cross in magical and ordinary ways. They make grand plans and dream big dreams as they grow together and apart in starts and stops. Through it all, Andy and Rachel never stop thinking about that night in the hospital waiting room all of those years ago, a chance encounter that changed the course of both of their lives.

In this captivating, often witty tale about the bonds between women and men, love and fate, and the truth about happy endings, Jennifer Weiner delivers two of her most memorable characters and a love story you’ll never forget.

Review

I received an advanced copy of this book through NetGalley.

This was a great book that I didn’t want to put it down once I started it. It isn’t until someone is older that you realize what has been under your nose your entire life. For Rachel and Andy, it was a love they didn’t realize was deserving until they took that step. Both had to overcome different obstacles growing up – mentally, physically, emotionally – in order to become the people they are today. This story is a modern day love story. The cover ties in perfectly with the story. I really enjoyed this book and would highly recommend it.

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