Wednesday, November 13, 2019

Love and Ohana Drama

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~





Synopsis (from Amazon):  Love and Ohana Drama is a romantic comedy that explores the challenges of family dynamics and reminds readers that there is always hope for a second chance. Sometimes the most challenging situations bring the most happiness . . .

Twenty-something Cora Fletcher is a book-loving public relations executive who lives with her overly Zen best friend and attention-loving cat. Newly single and focusing on her exciting career, she feels like she’s in a good place. She's even been invited on an all-expenses-paid Hawaiian vacation! The only catch—it’s a family reunion . . . and her family can be a lot to handle.


Cora vows to not let that get in the way, but even before the family has boarded the plane, the ohana drama begins. As usual, there's the sister-in-law who is bent on causing friction, the self-centered cousins, and the aunt who loves to party a bit too much. Her mother has filled the itinerary with endless activities, and she's even invited Cora’s ex-boyfriend in an attempt to get them back together.

Although she feels overwhelmed, Cora gets a blast from her past that could impact her life forever. This is one welcome reunion she did not expect . . .

Will Cora make it through a week of family togetherness? And will she be able to say aloha to someone she thought was out of her life forever?





One (or more) Sentence Summary:  If you want to read a good book with a crazy family, look no further! I am not sure how Cora can be the only sane person (besides her loving grandpa), but she clearly is the "normal" one.  I loved all the crazy people in her family, especially her mother (coconut bras!).  What I really liked about Love and Ohana Drama is Cora becames more vocal as the book progressed and stands up for herself at all the right times. 

I found Love and Ohana Drama to be full of hilarious scenes with a great cast of crazy characters.  Oh course you can't "love" in the title and not have a little steam tossed in too.  If you are looking for a nice, warm, sunny place to retreat to while reading - go on this adventure to Hawaii.  You won't regret it and will have a great laugh while visiting (reading). Don't forget your grass skirt!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I am a fan of Melissa Baldwin's work.  I have read her Love in the City series.  I really want to read Broadway series and Seasons of Summer series.






Melissa Baldwin is a planner-obsessed Disney fan who still watches Beverly Hills 90210 reruns and General Hospital. 
 
She's a wife, mother, and journal keeper, who finally decided to write the book she talked about for years. She took her dream to the next level, and is now an award-winning, bestselling author of seventeen Romantic Comedy and Cozy Mystery novels and novellas. Melissa writes about charming, ambitious, and real women, and she considers these leading ladies to be part of her tribe.
 
When she isn't deep in the writing zone, this multitasking master organizer keeps busy by spending time with her family, chauffeuring her daughter, traveling, attempting yoga poses, and going on rides at Disney World.


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Friday, November 8, 2019

The Suite Life (by one of my favorite authors)

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~






Synopsis (from Amazon):  From best-selling author Melanie Summers comes a seriously romantic, laugh-out-loud tale of a single mum and the man who restores her faith in love…

Handsome, rich, and charming, Leopold Davenport has always been the life of the party. But when he takes things too far, his father banishes the twenty-seven-year-old from his homeland of Avonia for six months. Threatened with disinheritance, Leo must find a job, rent a home, and grow up. With nowhere to turn, Leo moves to Santa Valentina Island, where his sister-in-law helps him find work as a bellboy at the Paradise Bay Resort. Little does he know that dealing with people’s baggage will make him examine his own. Will he check out or find that a long-term reservation is on his itinerary? 

Twenty-six-year-old single mum Brianna Lewis (a.k.a. Bree) doesn’t believe in fairy tales—not after being abandoned by the father of daughter, Isabelle. A law student by day and concierge by night, Bree’s determined to give Isabelle the life she never had. Suddenly finding herself in dire straits, she converts her garden shed into a rental suite in hopes of climbing out of the financial hole she’s in. But when the only person interested in renting the suite turns out to be to Leopold Davenport, the ridiculously good-looking co-worker she loves to hate, she knows she must choose between being happy and being broke. But as she gets to know him, she discovers there may be more to him than flirty smiles and empty charm.

Can Leopold make the leap from ultimate playboy to become the man Bree needs in her life? 
Will Bree allow herself to believe in happily-ever-afters or will she play it safe and hang a do-not-disturb sign on her heart?



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  My favorite is author is back with book #3 in her Paradise Bay Romantic Comedy series, The Suite Life.  I LOVED IT!  I honestly can't get enough of Melanie Summers' writing.  The Suite Life is such an amazingly funny book (beyond Pluto funny), with a touch of steamy romance.  I have no idea how Melanie comes up with her stories.  I wish I had a pinch of her talent.

I have to apologize for not posting a review for a while.  Work is always busy with year end and audit from July - mid October.  However, this year I had to toss in implementing a new expense system and a second audit.  Needless to say I haven't had two minutes to even open book and barely found time to brush my teeth.  I received The Suite Life and it was killing me that I couldn't find time to read it for weeks.  I loved it so much I read it in two days (unheard of for a slow reader like me).  I couldn't get enough of Leo and Bree (Dolores and Isabella, too)!  

Bree is another very strong female character and Leo is the fun loving play boy male character.  Bree is the sensible one and Leo is the one who hasn't grown up yet. Bree struggles to make ends meet and Leo has never had to worry about money.  Leo's father has made him sign an agreement that prohibits him from women, requires him to get a job and live on his own for six months.  If he fails, he will lose his inheritance.  Bree and Leo end up meeting a work.  Bree is in need of some quick cash and Leo is in need of a place to stay, so Bree rents him her shed.  Bree has sworn off men since her last boyfriend left her pregnant and she  became a single mom.  She finished law school and is working on passing the bar exam leaving her no time for a man.  

My friends from The Honeymooner (book #1) and Whisked Away (book #2) also make appearances throughout The Suite Life.  All three books are stand alone books, but the characters continue to pop up for a visit as the series progresses.  I think all three are MUST read books, so why not read them in order? 

No spoiler alert here....but will Leo able to hold up his end of the agreement with his father? Can a playboy really change his life? Will Bree find love? Will she continue to say no to men or let her hair down? 

Would I Read Other Books by the Author: Duh....I can't wait for Melanie's next book, The After Wife.  There is a sneak peak of it at the end of The Suite Life.  Darn it, just leaves me wanting more!




TWO TIME BRONZE MEDAL WINNER OF THE READERS' FAVORITE CHICK LIT AWARD FOR THE ROYAL TREATMENT (2017) AND WHISKED AWAY (2019).

Melanie made a name for herself with her debut novel, Break in Two, a contemporary romance that cracked the Top 10 Paid on Amazon in both the UK and Canada, and the top 50 Paid in the USA. Her highly acclaimed Full Hearts Series was picked up by both Piatkus Entice (a division of Hachette UK) and HarperCollins Canada. Her first three books have been translated into Czech and Slovak by EuroMedia. Since 2013, she has written and published eleven novels and three novellas. She has sold over a quarter of a million books around the globe.

In her previous life (i.e. before having children), Melanie got her Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, then went on to work in the soul-sucking customer service industry for a large cellular network provider that shall remain nameless (unless you write her personally - then she'll dish). On her days off, she took courses and studied to become a Chartered Mediator. That designation landed her a job at the R.C.M.P. as the Alternative Dispute Resolution Coordinator for ‘K’ Division. Having had enough of mediating arguments between gun-toting police officers, she decided it was much safer to have children so she could continue her study of conflict in a weapon-free environment (and one which doesn’t require makeup and/or nylons).

Melanie resides in Edmonton with her husband, three sporty nerd children, their adorable but neurotic one-eyed dog, Lucy, and a small furry dictator named Nelson. When she's not writing novels, Melanie loves reading (obviously), snuggling up on the couch with her family for movie night (which would not be complete without lots of popcorn and milkshakes), and long walks in the woods near her house. She also spends a lot more time thinking about doing yoga than actually doing yoga, which is why most of her photos are taken ‘from above’. She also loves shutting down restaurants with her girlfriends. Well, not literally shutting them down, like calling the health inspector or something—more like just staying until they turn the lights off.

She is represented by Suzanne Brandreth of The Cooke Agency International. Melanie Summers also writes steamy romance as MJ Summers.

Website: www.mjsummersbooks.com

Email: mjsummersbooks@gmail.com



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Saturday, August 31, 2019

One of Us is Lying

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~


Synopsis (from Amazon):  Pay close attention and you might solve this.

On Monday afternoon, five students at Bayview High walk into detention.
    Bronwyn, the brain, is Yale-bound and never breaks a rule. 
    Addy, the beauty, is the picture-perfect homecoming princess. 
    Nate, the criminal, is already on probation for dealing.
    Cooper, the athlete, is the all-star baseball pitcher.
    And Simon, the outcast, is the creator of Bayview High’s notorious gossip app.
 
Only, Simon never makes it out of that classroom. Before the end of detention Simon's dead. And according to investigators, his death wasn’t an accident. On Monday, he died. But on Tuesday, he’d planned to post juicy reveals about all four of his high-profile classmates, which makes all four of them suspects in his murder. Or are they the perfect patsies for a killer who’s still on the loose? 

Everyone has secrets, right? What really matters is how far you would go to protect them. 



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  One of Us is Lying is a modern day Breakfast Club with a twist.  I loved the characters and could not solve "who did it."  Can't wait to read One of Us is Next, due out in January!


Karen M. McManus is the author of the New York Times and international bestselling young adult novels One of Us Is Lying and Two Can Keep a Secret. Her work has been translated into 40 languages worldwide. Karen lives in Massachusetts and holds a master's degree in Journalism from Northeastern University, which she mostly uses to draft fake news stories for her novels. For more information, visit www.karenmcmanus.com or @writerkmc on Twitter and Instagram.



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Thursday, August 29, 2019

Love at First Like

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~

Synopsis (from Amazon):  Named a Best Book of Summer by GlamourBuzzFeedCosmopolitan, and many more!

From the author of Playing with Matches, the rollicking tale of a young jewelry shop owner who accidentally leads her Instagram followers to believe that she’s engaged—and then decides to keep up the ruse.

Eliza Roth and her sister Sophie co-own a jewelry shop in Brooklyn. One night, after learning of an ex’s engagement, Eliza accidentally posts a photo of herself wearing a diamond ring on that finger to her Instagram account beloved by 100,000 followers. Sales skyrocket, press rolls in, and Eliza learns that her personal life is good for business. So she has a choice: continue the ruse or clear up the misunderstanding. With mounting financial pressure, Eliza sets off to find a fake fiancĂ©.

Fellow entrepreneur Blake seems like the perfect match on paper. And in real life he shows promise, too. He would be perfect, if only Eliza didn’t feel also drawn to someone else. But Blake doesn’t know Eliza is “engaged”; Sophie asks Eliza for an impossible sum of money; and Eliza’s lies start to spiral out of control. She can either stay engaged online or fall in love in real life.

Written with singular charm and style, Love at First Like is for anyone growing up and settling down in the digital age.

One (or more) Sentence Summary: Love at First Like is a perfect book for the dating world  and social media of today. Eliza and her sister Sophie are co-owners of a jewelry store in New York.  They get by, but their lease is up and the rent is going to go up significantly.  While Eliza is trying to figure out their options, she accidentally posts an "engagement ring" on her instant gram account stating she is engaged.  Given she is an influencer, congratulations and offers for free wedding items appear over night.  There is only one problem, she has no finance (or boyfriend).  I won't give away the ending, but Eliza does end up falling in love. Funny and quick read.




Hannah Orenstein is the author of Playing with Matches and Love at First Like, as well as the senior dating editor at Elite Daily. Previously, she was a writer and editor at Seventeen.com. She lives in Brooklyn.

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Tuesday, August 27, 2019

The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~


Synopsis:  Brit Kitridge’s plan was just to get her high school diploma and head to college and med school, but nobody can escape from fate, or is it history? The Beginner’s Guide To Winning an Election reveals our main character’s love for history, and after a summer reading books that fuel her passion for politics, Brit decides to join TM (Team Mathew), a fourteen-member group that has helped Mathew Boltanski win every election he’s ever entered. Now he’s going for the big one—student body president. By orchestrating brilliant campaigns one after the other, TM has made Matthew a national young star and promising politician who could even run for higher office in Washington. When Brit is accused of sabotaging the team, she realizes that Hawthorn High has its secrets, and someone needs to shed some light on them. The story is set in a world six years ahead of our time. Security is a constant issue. Politics isn’t black-and-white, it’s not even gray anymore. Inflation is out of control and the educational system is in crisis. But what happens when you find out what’s really going on? What do you do with secrets no one but you wants to hold up to the light?



One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I have no doubt that The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election is how campaigns are run, but in high school, that is is just down right frightening.  The story takes place in the future, 2025, in a small town of Indiana. I really liked the main character, Brit.  I found her to be extremely smart, kind, and a go getter. She never backed down even when she was told she had to drop out of the race by the principal.  She had every odd against her through out the whole campaign.  Brit continued to  stand up for what is right for her student body, for her school and for her town. 

The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election  is an interesting story with a great introduction to politics.  I would recommend this book for young readers 7-9th grade.  It would be a great additional read for a history class. 

TLC Book Tours: Check out what others are saying about The Beginner's Guide to Winning an Election by click here.




National best selling author Michael French is a graduate of Stanford University and Northwestern University. He is a businessman and author who divides his time between Santa Barbara, California, and Santa Fe, New Mexico. He is an avid mountain trekker, likes to visit developing countries, and with his wife, Patricia, started a 501(c) 3, Dollars4Schools, to support public school teachers in Santa Fe.  

He has published twenty four books, including fiction, young adult fiction, biographies, and art criticism. His novel, Abingdon's, was a bestseller and a Literary Guild Alternate Selection. His young adult novel, Pursuit, was awarded the California Young Reader Medal.

Connect with Michael

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram




Purchase Links

Amazon



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Thursday, August 8, 2019

Breathe In, Cash Out

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~




Synopsis (from Amazon):  In this sizzling debut for fans of The Devil Wears Prada, Wall Street banking analyst Allegra Cobb plans to quit the minute her year-end bonus hits her account, finally pursuing her yoga career full-time. But when she forms an intense relationship with the #InstaFamous guru who may hold the ticket to the life Allegra's always wanted—she's not sure if she'll be able to keep her sanity intact (and her chakras aligned) until bonus day. 

Allegra Cobb’s resume: Straight-A Princeton grad, second-year analyst at a top-tier bank, one-time American Yoga National Competition Champion. Allegra Cobb’s reality: Spends twenty-four hours a day changing the colors on bar charts, overusing the word “team,” and daydreaming about quitting the minute her year-end bonus hits her account. She has no interest in the cutthroat banking world—she’s going to launch her very own yoga practice.

But her plan isn’t quite as perfect as the beachfront yoga pictures she double-taps on Instagram. On top of the 100 emails an hour and coworkers already suspicious of her escape plan, Allegra's hard-driving single father has always expected fiercely high achievement above all else. That his daughter works on Wall Street means everything to him. Still, she marches on, taking it day by extremely caffeinated day.

But after (1) unknowingly sleeping with the man now leading her banking cohort on one of their biggest deals to date and (2) meeting the #blessed yoga guru who might just be her ticket to the life she’s always wanted, it really hits her: her happy-ever-after will be harder to manifest than she thought.

Fast-paced, laugh-out-loud funny, and totally irresistible, this is the story of a fearless young woman determined to center herself in the life she truly wants.




One (or more) Sentence Summary: Breathe In, Cash Out reminded me of a modern day (updated significantly) Working Girl movie with a little bit of Flash Dance toss in!  By the way I loved both of those movies!  This was a fun and different combination of characters that made me want to keep reading instead of going to the pool!

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I would love to read her next book!




Madeleine Henry worked at Goldman Sachs and in investment management in New York City. She graduated from Yale in 2014 where she wrote comedy for The Yale Record, America’s oldest college humor magazine. Now working on her second novel, she shares more information about her life, writing, and yoga practice on @MadeleineHenryYoga. Breathe In, Cash Out is her debut.

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Wednesday, August 7, 2019

Life and Other Inconveniences

~ I received no compensation and opinions are 100% my own or my family. ~



Synopsis (from Amazon):  From the New York Times bestselling author of Good Luck with That comes a new novel about a blue-blood grandmother and her black-sheep granddaughter who discover they are truly two sides of the same coin.

Emma London never thought she had anything in common with her grandmother Genevieve London. The regal old woman came from wealthy and bluest-blood New England stock, but that didn't protect her from life's cruelest blows: the disappearance of Genevieve's young son, followed by the premature death of her husband. But Genevieve rose from those ashes of grief and built a fashion empire that was respected the world over, even when it meant neglecting her other son.

When Emma's own mother died, her father abandoned her on his mother's doorstep. Genevieve took Emma in and reluctantly raised her--until Emma got pregnant her senior year of high school. Genevieve kicked her out with nothing but the clothes on her back...but Emma took with her the most important London possession: the strength not just to survive but to thrive. And indeed, Emma has built a wonderful life for herself and her teenage daughter, Riley. 

So what is Emma to do when Genevieve does the one thing Emma never expected of her and, after not speaking to her for nearly two decades, calls and asks for help?

One (or more) Sentence Summary:  I have not read a book by Kristan Higgins and I am not sure why.  I absolutely loved the characters Emma, Riley and Genevieve.  Emma and Genevieve are extremely strong women. While Emma is also very caring and always puts her family first, Genevieve appears to put money and her career first.  As the story unfolds, we (and Emma) realize that there is another side of Genevieve that she doesn't let others see....ever. Life and Other Inconveniences is a great book about family, loyalty and amazing women. 

Would I Read Other Books by the Author:  I can't wait to read all of Kristan Higgin's books.  I want to read Good Luck With That first.

Excerpt:  When I called Genevieve back and told her we were coming—including Pop, who would be staying elsewhere—there’d been a long pause. “Thank you,” she finally said.
“On one condition, Genevieve,” I said. “You do not mention money or inheritance to Riley. Not a whisper, not a hint. I don’t want you dangling your bank accounts in front of my daughter and snatching them away if she uses the wrong fork.”

“By which I assume you’re referring to the fact that I didn’t fund your teenage folly.”

“Teenage folly? You mean your great-granddaughter? Yes. This summer isn’t about the money. It’s us giving you a chance to make amends, and you making me Hope’s guardian.”
“How very gracious you are, my dear,” she said, and I heard a slurp. Five o’clock somewhere.

But she agreed, and here we were.

My clients, the ones I saw in person, were fine with me leaving for two months. I’d TheraTalk with most of them; two were about done anyway, and said they’d call me if they needed me. I’d had to give up my office space, though; luckily, a classmate from my PhD program had sublet it. Once I got back, I’d have to find another space, but I’d deal with that later.
Pop had found himself a little apartment over an antiques shop on Water Street. I was unspeakably grateful that he’d be nearby. He’d always hated Genevieve, who had viewed my mother as insufficient wife material for her wretched son.

Then again, she had a point. My mother had taken her own life. Maybe Genevieve had sensed something, even back then. She was many things, but she wasn’t stupid.

We crossed the Connecticut River, then the Thames. “There’s the Coast Guard Academy, Pop,” I said, pointing. He was an Air Force man himself, but he nodded. We went through Mystic, and I remembered going to the aquarium with Jason on a date. Or a field trip, maybe, but we’d held hands. Kissed in the dim light of the myriad fish tanks, and it had felt like the most romantic thing in the world.

He knew we were coming, of course. He was excited, he’d said on the phone. Talked about being separated, wasn’t sure where things were headed there. The boys couldn’t wait to meet Riley in person, though they knew her from Skype and phone calls.

My heart leaped into overdrive when, just before we hit Rhode Island, Charles exited the highway and entered the land of stone walls and gracious houses, tall oaks and two-hundred-year-old farms. The woods and fields gave way to narrower streets, and we went over the bridge that led to the borough.

Welcome to Stoningham, the sign said.

I found that I was holding my grandfather’s thumb, same as I had when I was little, back before my mother died, when seeing my grandparents was the happiest thing ever. He gave my hand a squeeze.

“Oh, my gosh, this town is so cute!” Riley said.

And it was. The sky was Maxfield Parrish blue, the lights of the Colonials that lined the streets glowing in what seemed to be a welcome. People were out, walking their dogs. At the library green, some kids tossed a football. As we came onto Water Street, Riley exclaimed over the little shops and restaurants. “There’s a cafĂ©, Mom! Hooray! Oh, and an ice cream place! Even better!”

I smiled, but my stomach cramped again. It felt like I had never left.

The town hadn’t changed much. Still adorable with its colorful buildings and crooked streets. I caught glimpses of Long Island Sound as we drove, smelled garlic and seafood. Would Genevieve have dinner for us? Would she hug me? I swore if she made Riley feel one iota of shame, we’d be out of Connecticut forever.

Charles turned onto Bleak Point Road, where the most expensive houses in town sat like grand old ladies, weathered and gracious. All had names, which Riley read aloud as we passed.

“Thrush Hill. Summerly. Wisteria Cottage. Cliff View. Pop, we have to name our house when we get back!”

“Name it what? Crabgrass?” Pop asked.

“That’s kind of perfect, actually,” I murmured, having gone to war many times with weeds in our small yard.

“Oh, Sheerwater! We’re here!”

The iron gates (yes, gates) opened, and we turned onto the crushed shell drive. Sheerwater had ten acres of land, the very tip of Bleak Point, and it looked like a park, with beautifully gnarled dogwood trees on either side of the driveway, their intertwined branches making a tunnel of white blossoms. Spring was late this year.

We rounded the gentle curve, and my hands were sweating now.

“Holy guacamole,” my daughter breathed. “It’s even prettier than the pictures!” In the rearview mirror, I saw Charles smile. Beside me, Pop stiffened. He’d never been here, of course.

There it was—my grandmother’s twenty-room cottage, pristine and gracious and lit up like the fires of hell.


Kristan Higgins is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of nearly twenty novels, which have been translated into more than two dozen languages and have sold millions of copies worldwide. The mother of two lives in Connecticut with her heroic firefighter husband and several badly behaved pets. 

If you want to know when Kristan’s next book will be out and hear news of her appearances, subscribe to her mailing list at kristanhiggins.com. You can also find her online at facebook.com/kristanhigginsbooks, twitter.com/Kristan_Higgins and instagram.com/kristan.higgins.

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