Tuesday, December 12, 2017

First Comes Love by Emily Giffin

Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing; Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes their family, their different responses to the event splinter their delicate bond.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter ends up in her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately, Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired.

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them, but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover they need each other more than they knew . . . and that in the recipe for true happiness, love always comes first.

My Thoughts
Such a great read!  I loved the depth of the characters, the multiple story lines that have me hoping that there will be a sequel one day!
Two sisters who seemed to be close at one time couldn't be further apart then they are since tragedy struck.  Will their lives were never the same again.
Fast forward to current day - Mere is in a career that she hates, what she thinks is a loveless marriage and can't stand her sister Josie.
Josie has the career but she doesn't have the man or the child that she desires and wishes she had a closer relationship with her sister.
This story has so many ups and down from love to family to bestfriends and regret.  You will feel very close to this family in the end and become attached to their story.  Will they survive and become close again or will their family be torn apart forever?


Drink Selection
I am going to go with a yummy Gingerbread Hot Chocolate! 
(Ginger, cinnamon and allspice bring a gingerbread flavor to this hot chocolate. Intense Dutch-process cocoa powder balances the spices, and chopped milk chocolate is mixed in at the end for a creamy, rich texture)

Rating
Loved this book from beginning to end, 5 wine glasses for sure!

About the Author
Emily Giffin is a graduate of Wake Forest University and the University of Virginia School of Law. After practicing litigation at a Manhattan firm for several years, she moved to London to write full time. The author of seven New York Times bestselling novels, The One & Only, Something Borrowed, Something Blue, Baby Proof, Love The One You're With, Heart of the Matter, and Where We Belong, she lives in Atlanta with her husband and three children.

Her eighth novel, FIRST COMES LOVE, will be released on June 28th, 2016.

Website: www.emilygiffin.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/EmilyGiffinFans

Twitter: https://twitter.com/emilygiffin

Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/emilygiffina...

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Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes

Isabel Lawson is standing on the balcony of her suite at the Hotel Crillon as she gazes at the twinkling lights of the Champs Elysee and wonders if she’s made a terrible mistake. She was supposed to be visiting the Christmas tree in the Place de la Concorde, and eating escargots and macaroons with her new husband on their honeymoon. But a week before the wedding, she called it off. Isabel is an ambitious Philadelphia finance woman, and Neil suddenly decided to take over his grandparents’ farm. Isabel wasn’t ready to trade her briefcase for a pair of rubber boots and a saddle.

When Neil suggested she use their honeymoon tickets for herself, she thought it would give her a chance to clear her head. That is until she locks herself out on the balcony in the middle of winter. Thankfully her neighbor Alec, a French children’s illustrator, comes to her rescue. He too is nursing a broken heart at the Crillon for the holidays. With a new friend by her side, Isabel is determined to use her time in the city of lights wisely. After a chance encounter with a fortune teller and a close call with a taxi, she starts to question everything she thought was important.



My Thoughts 
I was ready to get in the holiday spirit and Christmas in Paris did just that.  I loved the attention to detail when describing Paris and the sites and the smells.  I really felt like I was there and it will now be added to my bucket list!  I have all the respect in the world for Isabel not letting her trip (or honeymoon ) go to waste.  After she broke off her and Neil's wedding she really needed a little time to regroup.  What better place to regroup then the city of love.  Her suite was TO DIE FOR and the view was amazing UNTIL...she was locked out on her balcony in the COLD!  What's a girl to do?  Well throw her shoes at the door next store, duh!  And could she get any luckier to have a handsome man next store?  And as luck would have it they are in a similar predicament. 
I highly recommend this great holiday story, you totally will be in the spirit!




Drink Selection
I couldn't resist this drink, Rudolph Punch!  The ingredients are delish AND it's by the pitcher!


Rating
LOVED this story!  It has gotten me in the Christmas spirit!  5 wine glasses for sure!



About the Author


Anita Hughes was born in Sydney, Australia. She attended UC Berkeley's Masters in Creative Writing program. She is the author of MONARCH BEACH, MARKET STREET, LAKE COMO, FRENCH COAST, ROME IN LOVE, ISLAND IN THE SEA, SANTORINI SUNSETS, CHRISTMAS IN PARIS, WHITE SAND, BLUE SEA, EMERALD COAST and CHRISTMAS IN LONDON published by St. Martin's Press.


Link to Purchase
Amazon
 

Saturday, November 18, 2017

The Husband Hour by Jamie Brenner

When a young widow's reclusive life in a charming beach town is interrupted by a surprise visitor, she is forced to reckon with dark secrets about her family, her late husband, and the past she tried to leave behind.

Lauren Adelman and her high school sweetheart, Rory Kincaid, are a golden couple. They marry just out of college as Rory, a star hockey player, earns a spot in the NHL. Their future could not look brighter when Rory shocks everyone-Lauren most of all-by enlisting in the U.S. Army. When Rory dies in combat, Lauren is left devastated, alone, and under unbearable public scrutiny.

Seeking peace and solitude, Lauren retreats to her family's old beach house on the Jersey Shore. But this summer she's forced to share the house with her overbearing mother and competitive sister. Worse, a stranger making a documentary about Rory tracks her down and persuades her to give him just an hour of her time.

One hour with filmmaker Matt Brio turns into a summer of revelations, surprises, and upheaval. As the days grow shorter and her grief changes shape, Lauren begins to understand the past-and to welcome the future.

My Thoughts 
I honestly wasn't sure what to expect when I began reading, but certainly grab your Kleenex and be prepared to stay up for hours on end with a book hangover!
This subject has always been close to my heart with my father in the military and knowing others.  It can change you for better and for worse.  I think that Jamie did an amazing portraying the reality of the subject in a very real way.  She really hits the heart of this topic and does it justice.  
I feel for Lauren and what she is going though.  I have not personally been in this situation but can relate in different ways.  It's lonely and heartbreaking and with the right family and friends Lauren has become a survivor.  
She experiences many ups and downs throughout the story but becomes a better, stronger person by the end because of it all.
This story will grab you and you will not want to put it down till your done.  It portrays family, honestly, heartbreak, loss, love and so much more. 


Drink Selection 
Continuing with my fall theme, I am going with Apple Pie Sparklers!  OMG!  Good!

Rating
I can't say enough amazing things about this book!  5 wine glasses at least!
 
About the Author 
Jamie Brenner is the author of the bestselling novel THE FOREVER SUMMER (Little, Brown). Her previous books include THE WEDDING SISTERS (St. Martin's Press).
Her forthcoming novel, THE HUSBAND HOUR, will publish in April 2018. She lives in New York City with her husband and two daughters. For contact info and book clubs please visit www.jamiebrenner.com

Link to Purchase

London, Can you Wait? by Jacquelyn Middleton

Alex loves Mark. Mark loves Alex. But is love enough?

Since moving to London from the US, twenty-four-year-old Alex Sinclair seems to have it all: a coveted job writing for the theatre, supportive friends, and the man of her dreams—gorgeous Irish actor, Mark Keegan. But in the year since the acclaimed debut of her play, Alex and Mark’s lives have been turned upside down.

Thanks to his role on a smash-hit British TV show, Mark is catapulted to stardom. Alex couldn’t be happier—until her boyfriend’s popularity and insatiable drive to succeed means they’re apart more than they’re together. Forced to share Mark with showbiz heavy-hitters, intrusive press, and unrelenting fangirls, Alex’s hopes for a stable and committed life with him start to fade. Her struggles with panic attacks, career uncertainty, and Mark’s increasingly worrisome behaviour make her wonder: how much more can she bend before she breaks?

My Thoughts 
This is the long awaited sequel to London Belongs to Me.  Alex and Mark make the most adorable couple.  And they are madly in love, what more could they ask for?  Their life should be a fairy tale right?  WRONG!
Mark is an actor and Alex is a playwright.  With Mark's crazy hours and being gone for weeks on end, Alex begins to wonder if this is the relationship she signed on for?  With no talks of marriage, is it really going anywhere?
Personally I think Mark takes Alex always being there for granted.  He needs to put her first at times - take time off, say no every so often, whatever it takes.
She's not one to want to always share Mark with the world and his crazy fans!  And how is this all helping her panic attacks?  Lets just say they are getting worse but she has decided to hide it from Mark and try to cope on her own.
Will their fairy tale survive or will their relationship go down the dumps instead of into history? 


Drink Selection
With it being fall and all, we are going to go with Boozy Apple Cider.  I mean, YUM!

Rating
I loved this sequel just as much as the first, if not more!  5 wine glasses for sure!

About the Author 
Jacquelyn Middleton is an award-winning freelance writer with articles published by several of the most popular magazines, newspapers, and websites in North America including USA Today, Canadian Living, Best Health, Psychology Today, National Geographic Travel, the Toronto Star, Reader's Digest, Chatelaine, Today's Parent, and Flare. She is also the creator of AUTHORS CELEBRATING AUTHORS, a column on her website featuring Q&As with her favourite authors about their books and writing practices. K.A. Tucker, Jill Santopolo, and Penelope Douglas have been among her esteemed guests.

Jacquelyn previously worked in television broadcasting, and lives in Toronto with her husband and Schipperke. She's addicted to Bookstagram, loves London far too much, and has a thing for red Vespas. LONDON BELONGS TO ME, her debut novel, was published by Kirkwall Books in October 2016. LONDON, CAN YOU WAIT? was released on October 26, 2017.
  

Links to Buy


 


 



The Dollhouse by Fiona Davis

Fiona Davis's stunning debut novel pulls readers into the lush world of New York City's glamorous Barbizon Hotel for Women, where in the 1950s a generation of aspiring models, secretaries, and editors lived side by side while attempting to claw their way to fairy-tale success, and where a present-day journalist becomes consumed with uncovering a dark secret buried deep within the Barbizon's glitzy past.

When she arrives at the famed Barbizon Hotel in 1952, secretarial school enrollment in hand, Darby McLaughlin is everything her modeling agency hall mates aren't: plain, self-conscious, homesick, and utterly convinced she doesn't belong—a notion the models do nothing to disabuse. Yet when Darby befriends Esme, a Barbizon maid, she's introduced to an entirely new side of New York City: seedy downtown jazz clubs where the music is as addictive as the heroin that's used there, the startling sounds of bebop, and even the possibility of romance.

Over half a century later, the Barbizon's gone condo and most of its long-ago guests are forgotten. But rumors of Darby's involvement in a deadly skirmish with a hotel maid back in 1952 haunt the halls of the building as surely as the melancholy music that floats from the elderly woman's rent-controlled apartment. It's a combination too intoxicating for journalist Rose Lewin, Darby's upstairs neighbor, to resist—not to mention the perfect distraction from her own imploding personal life. Yet as Rose's obsession deepens, the ethics of her investigation become increasingly murky, and neither woman will remain unchanged when the shocking truth is finally revealed.

My Thoughts 
Fiona's books capture the past event in such amazing detail.  I feel like I can picture it perfectly through her words and descriptions.  I fell in love with historical fiction through The Address and I couldn't believe that I had never read The Dollhouse!
Learning about Darby's journey you couldn't help but admire what she went through.  Coming from a small town without many chances and landing in New York City to go to school.  She went from knowing nothing to going to night clubs at night and learning to take care of herself.
She may not have made the best of friends or the best choices but she learned tough lessons and she made the most of what she had to work with.
Then a century later, Rose hits a road block with her boyfriend and doesn't know where to go and happens to fall upon the story of the Barbizon and learns that some of its previous tenants still lived on the 4th floor!  What a story they have to tell, if only Rose can get them to let her in and share the details.
An amazing story of loss, love and resilience from beginning to end.  I can't wait to read Fiona's next book!  Perfection!


Drink Selection 
I'm taking it back to the 1950's - rum runner's were quite the hit back then!  Yum!

Rating
I LOVED this selection from beginning to end!  Amazing!  5 wine glasses all the way!
 
About the Author
Fiona Davis is the author of THE DOLLHOUSE and THE ADDRESS. She began her career in New York City as an actress, where she worked on Broadway, off-Broadway, and in regional theater. After getting a masters at Columbia Journalism School, she fell in love with writing, leapfrogging from editor to freelance journalist before finally settling down as an author of historical fiction. Visit her at www.fionadavis.net, facebook.com/FionaDavisAuthor/ and on Instagram and Twitter @fionajdavis.

Link to Purchase
   

Live Fast Die Hot by Jenny Mollen

Jenny Mollen is a writer and actress living in New York. Until recently, her life was exciting, sexy, a little eccentric, and one hundred percent impulsive. She had a husband who embraced her crazy--who understood her need to occasionally stalk around the house in his ex-girlfriend's old beach caftans and to invite their drug dealer to Passover seder (so he wouldn't feel like they were using him only for drugs). Then they had their son, Sid, and overnight, Jenny was forced to grow up: to be responsible, to brush her hair, to listen to her voicemail. Searingly funny and surprisingly affecting, Live Fast Die Hot is a collection of stories about what happens when you realize that some things are more important than crafting the perfect tweet--and a reminder that even if you never thought you were cut out for parenting, at least you can be better at it than your mother.

My Thoughts 
She is freakin' hilarious!  I follow her Instagram and I can't get enough! 
She makes everything funny - from talking about her husband (Jason Biggs) to her child and everything in between.
Little eccentric - no I would say ALOT - in a good way!
She may speak of wearing his Ex's caftans (truth) and ghosts in her house, oh and she may drop a few choice words along the way at PERFECT times!
AND then she had a kid...her world has changed and her child rearing skills are something to read about!
I refuse to give away too much - just go order a copy now!


Drink Selection
With some of the crazy predicaments she got into, I would say a little jack and coke would hit the spot.

Rating
Hilarious from beginning to end, 5 wine glasses all the way!

About the Author 
Jenny Mollen is an actress and writer, called one of the funniest women on Twitter by The Huffington Post. She writes for Playboy Online, has appeared in "Wilfred," "Suits," "CSI NY," "Crash", the WB series "Angel", and plays a recurring character in the third season of HBO's "GIRLS."

She is also a wife and mother, married to a famous guy (which is annoying only because he gets free shit and she doesn't).

Link to Purchase
 





Sunday, November 5, 2017

Every Other Saturday by M.J.Pullen

Struggling store owner Julia Mendel and sports blogger Dave "from the Man Cave" Bernstein have never gotten along, even though their daughters have been in the same preschool class for three years. She sees him as the arrogant, misogynist symbol of everything that's wrong with the men in her life. He sees her as the odd, short-tempered PTA president, out to make his life more difficult at every opportunity. When Dave and Julia find themselves in competition for the same babysitter, a confrontation in the carpool lane leads to an uneasy compromise: pool their resources to share nanny services every-other Saturday night. After a while, Dave finds himself sharing his dating stories across Julia's kitchen table. On behalf of her special needs son, Julia reluctantly turns to Dave for the masculine perspective she's been missing since her divorce. As the Saturdays wear on, however, they may discover they have more in common than car seats and custody schedules. Will there be a second chance at love?

My Thoughts
A sweet and sassy romance all wrapped up into a fun chick lit read!
Divorced mom of 2, Julia, is trying to run a store that her father had left her and her
family  and she isn't doing well.  She she keep going or throw in the towel?  Then there is Dave "from the Man Cave" who gives all sorts of manly opinions from football to dating.  He was recently challenged to go on several dates and blog about them.  He has booked Elizabeth, his go to sitter for several weeks in advance for every Saturday.
Julia needs to earn some extra cash and calls Elizabeth to book her for Saturdays so she can work weddings with her sister.  There is only one problem, Dave booked them all!  She begs and pleads for him to get a new sitter.  They settle on sharing Elizabeth and helping each other out.
Along the way they develop a slight crush on each other - Julia more so than Dave.  How will this all end?  Will Julia capture Dave's heart?  Will Dave fall in love with one of his challenge dates?
Get your copy today and enjoy this sassy read!


Drink Selection
While enjoying this romantic find, enjoy an Apple Cider Mule!  Delish!

Rating
Fun read from beginning to end.  4 wines glasses for this sassy find.
 About the Author 
M.J. Pullen
MANDA (M.J.) PULLEN is the author of complex, funny, contemporary romances including The Marriage Pact trilogy. She was raised in the suburbs of Atlanta by a physicist and a flower child, who taught her that life is tragic and funny, and real love is anything but simple. After traveling around Europe and living in cities like Austin and Portland, she returned to Atlanta where she lives with her husband and two sons. 

Link to Purchase