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Category Archives: Chick-lit

Review: Love on Lexington Avenue (Central Park Pact #2) by Lauren Layne

From New York Times bestselling author Lauren Layne comes the second delightfully charming installment in the Central Park Pact series, following a young widow whose newfound cynicism about love is challenged by a sexy, rough-around-the-edges contractor. 

There’s never a bad time to fall in love in the city, right? Wrong. According to the recently-widowed Claire Hayes, it’s very, verywrong. In fact, after finding out her late husband was a liar and a cheat, Claire’s convinced there’s never a good time for romantic notions. Determined to rid her home of anything that reminds her of her philandering husband, Claire sets out to redesign her entire Upper East Side brownstone and make it her own. But when she meets gruff and often-cantankerous contractor Scott Turner and realizes not all men are scumbags, Claire must decide if she’s ready to risk her heart again.

Scott needs a change of pace from the corporate offices and swanky hotels he’s been building lately, and bluntly makes it clear to Claire that he only took on her house for that reason, adding that he has no patience for a pampered, damaged princess on his job site. But when long work days soon turn into even longer nights, their mutual wariness morphs into something more complicated—a grudging respect, and maybe even attraction…? Scott knows he’s not one to settle down, but then why can’t he bring himself to put the finishing touches on Claire’s house and move on to the next job?

Filled with laugh-out-loud scenes that blend perfectly with the touching friendships Layne brings to life on the page, this “hugely entertaining” (USA TODAY) novel is perfect for fans of Lauren Weisberger.

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MY REVIEW

Love on Lexington Avenue is the second book in the Central Park Pact Series and it follows the story of Claire and Scott. Now, if you remember from the first book, Claire is actually the widow of Brayden and it was Brayden’s death that brought this whole story into motion. When Brayden passed away, Claire might have lost her husband, but she gained two amazing friends and has discovered the woman she lost along the way.

When we meet up with Claire in Love on Lexington Aveune, Claire is ready for the next phase of her life. She’s tired of the status quo and is ready to make some colorful changes with her life. And what better way to start this change, then a home renovation. What Claire didn’t plan on was Scott…..Scott is looking for a change of pace from corporate renovation and despite his reservations, working with Claire might just be what the doctor ordered…..

Overall, I found this book to be a really fun and enjoyable read. I loved getting to know Claire and see how things with Brayden truley effected her. I loved that despite everything she had been through, she came out stronger than ever and formed an unbreakable friendship with two women that she should hate. I feel like Claire’s character came a long way since we first met her. She wasn’t just this meek and fraigle thing. She was strong and ready to take on the next phase of her life. She might not have been looking for love, but you know how the saying goes, it hits you when you least expect it.

Speaking of love, I really enjoyed Scott and Claire together. Of course they butted heads in the beginning, but the tension and chemsitry was there. Both Scott and Claire had their own baggage and weren’t ready to put their hearts on the line. Their romance had a nice slow burn to it. I enjoyed watching them try to figure things out and fight for their happily ever after.

Love on Lexington Avenue was a terrific read from beginning to end. I loved getting to catch up with Claire and the girls. I enjoyed getting swept up in all that was Scott and Claire. Claire’s story wasn’t just a romance, but it was also a journey of self discovery and letting go. This story has real, strong characters. It is sweet, yet swoon-worthy all at the same time and has just the right balance of steam and angst. In the end, Love on Lexington Avenue will leave you with a smile on your face and butterflies in your belly. This is the pefect book to spend your summer afternoon getting lost in. And I for one, can not wait to see what lies ahead for us with the next book in this series!

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

Review: Waiting for Tom Hanks by Kerry Winfrey

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Can a romcom-obssessed romantic finally experience the meet-cute she always dreamed of or will reality never compare to fiction, in this charming debut adult novel from Kerry Winfrey.

Annie is twenty-seven years old, single, and obsessed with romantic comedies (she and her mother watched them religiously, before her mom died). Her dating life is limited by the expectations she’s formed from these movies. She is not as open to new experiences as she might be, because she’s waiting for her Tom Hanks–i.e., a guy she’ll find in the perfect, meet-cute romantic comedy way. When Annie does finally meet her perfect match, it’s not quite in the way she expected, and she’s forced to reckon with the walls she’s built around herself over the years.

Purchase on Amazon: https://amzn.to/2MhAUxZ

EXCERPT (Chapter 4)

I blink a few times, staring straight into Drew Danforth’s face. It’s like when you’re a kid and there’s a solar eclipse, and all the teachers are like, “Don’t look directly into the sun! You’ll destroy your retinas!” but there’s always that one kid (Johnny Berger, in our class) who can’t stop staring.

In this situation, I’m Johnny Berger. And I guess Drew Danforth is the sun.

“Are you okay?” he asks again, enunciating his words even more as if me understanding him is the problem. His brown eyes, I notice, are flecked with tiny bits of gold, which is something you can’t see when you watch him on TV. His hair is just as voluminous as it seems in pictures, but in person, I have the almost overwhelming urge to touch it, to reach out and pull on that one lock of hair that hangs over his forehead.

“She’s not responding.” He turns to Chloe. “Is something wrong?”

“She’s French,” Chloe says without missing a beat. “She only speaks French.”

“I’m not French,” I say, breaking my silence. Chloe and Drew’s heads swivel to look at me.

“I’m sorry about your coat,” I whisper, then I run toward Nick’s.

Chloe bursts in the door behind me, the bell jingling in her wake. “I’m not French?” she screeches. “Those are the first words you spoke to Drew Danforth? Really?”

“Well then, why did you tell him I was French?” I shout, ignoring the curious stares of everyone working on their laptops and the calming melody of whatever Nick put on to replace the Doobies.

“I don’t know!” She throws her hands in the air. “You weren’t talking, so I thought I’d give you an interesting backstory!”

I put my hands over my face. “This is ridiculous.”

“No,” Chloe says, grabbing me by the shoulders. “This is your meet-cute, and now you need to go back out there and find him and say something that isn’t a negation of your Frenchness or an apology for destroying his probably very expensive coat.”

“Meet what?”

Nick stares at us from behind the counter, a dishtowel in his hand.

“A meet-cute,” Chloe stands up straight, shoulders back, as if she’s delivering a Romantic Comedy 101 lecture to Nick and his patrons, “is the quirky, adorable, cute way the hero and heroine of a romantic comedy meet.”

Everyone stares at her blankly.

“Or hero and hero. Or heroine and heroine. Not to be heteronormative,” she clarifies.

“Like how me and Martha met at her wedding,” Gary says.

Chloe thinks about it. “I don’t know that I would necessarily call that one a meet-cute, but sure, Gary.”

“Did you just make that up?” Nick asks, arms crossed.

I shake my head. “No. It’s a thing.”

“Watch a romantic comedy, dude,” Tobin says.

Nick rolls his eyes.

“Anyway,” Chloe continues, “Annie straight up ran into Drew Danforth and spilled a cup of coffee all over his coat, which is, like, the cutest of meets.”

“That doesn’t sound very cute,” Nick says skeptically, rubbing the scruff on his chin. “Was it still hot?”

“Scalding,” I say, sinking into my chair and resting my head on the table.

“Sounds like a meet painful,” says Gary, and a few people laugh.

“Thanks,” I mutter. “I’m so glad you all find my embarrassment entertaining.”

“Annie!” Chloe sits down across from me as a customer walks in and the rest of the shop stops paying attention to us. “This isn’t embarrassing. This is merely a story I’ll tell in my toast at your wedding to Drew.”

I lift my head to look at her. “I hate to break this to you, but I don’t think he’s my Tom Hanks. I think he’s just a famous guy with a possible third-degree burn on his chest. And now my first day on set is going to be super awkward because I accidentally assaulted the lead actor with a beverage.”

Chloe’s about to say something, but then a song starts and she closes her mouth, looking up toward the speakers. “I swear to God, I told Nick not to play any more Bon Iver. It makes people look up their exes on Instagram, not buy coffee. I’m gonna go put on some Hall and Oates.”

As she walks away, I rest my head on the table again. As if it wasn’t embarrassing enough to have my uncle get me a job on set, now I have to deal with this.

MY REVIEW

If you are a fan of romantic comedies or obsessed with 90’s romantic comedies featuring Tom Hanks, than look no further, Waiting for Tom Hanks is the book that you’ve been waiting for.

Waiting for Tom Hanks follows the story of Annie and Drew. Annie wants what ever girl wants. She wants the perfect man that she just happens upon and they fall instantly in love. And the rest as they say is history…..Only that perfect guy doesn’t exist. This isn’t a movie, this is real life. And while Annie dreams of finding a man who is just like Tom Hanks, she needs to keep her eyes open or she might not see that Mr. Perfect is right under her nose….

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I loved all the Tom Hanks movie references and the nods to You’ve Got Mail & Sleepless in Seattle. Both of those movies I’ve seen over a million times and still find myself swooning over. I adored Annie. I think she was a little clueless when it came to men and that she did have some rather unrealistic expectations, but you’ve got to give props to the girl for knowing what she wants and not being embarrassed about what she’s looking for.  And in Annie’s case, I love that her match was the total opposite of her. He was everything that she was looking for, just wrapped in a different package.

I have to say, I enjoyed Annie and Drew together. I love that Drew just got Annie. Drew was the kind of guy that didn’t show attraction or affection in the most traditional ways. He’s the grown up version of the boy at the playground who can’t help but pull a little girls hair. So, when it came to Annie, Drew’s flirting skills might not have always hit the mark, but I found it to be funny and when he really did pull out all of the stops, it made those moments that much sweeter.

Waiting for Tom Hanks was a cute and fun read. I loved the idea of the story and was drawn into Annie’s story instantly. I enjoyed watching Annie live out her own romantic comedy and couldn’t wait to see how it would all unfold. I really enjoyed all the almost moments and the tension between the characters. This story was easy to read and light on the drama. In the end, I was hooked on Annie and couldn’t help but root for her to find her happily ever after.

Waiting for Tom Hanks is a terrific debut novel and I’m excited to check out more from this author in the future.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, in exchange for an honest review*

~~~~~February New Releases~~~~~

February 1st

Treating Her Right/In the Doctor’s Bed by Lori Foster

February 4th

For Emery by J. Nathan

February 5th

The Tiger Catcher by Paullina Simmons

February 9th

February 11th

February 12th

February 14th

February 18th

February 19th

February 21st

Finding the Fight by Brittney Sahin

February 22nd

February 25th

February 26th

Violent Delights by Jessica Hawkins

Sweet Liar by Laurelin Paige

February 27th

****PLEASE NOTE: ALL RELEASE DATES ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE****

Review: IN DOG WE TRUST by Beth Kendrick

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From the author of Once Upon a Wine, a new novel set in the charming seashore town of Black Dog Bay, Delaware.

When everything has gone to the dogs . . .

When Jocelyn Hillier is named legal guardian for the late Mr. Allardyce’s pack of pedigreed Labrador retrievers, her world is flipped upside down. She’s spent her entire life toiling in the tourism industry in Black Dog Bay and never expected to be living the pampered life of a seasonal resident in an ocean side mansion, complete with a generous stipend. But her new role isn’t without its challenges: The dogs (although lovable) are more high-maintenance than any Hollywood diva, the man she wants to marry breaks her heart, and she’s confronted at every turn by her late benefactor’s estranged son, Liam, who thinks he’s entitled to the inheritance left to the dogs.

Jocelyn has worked too hard to back down without a fight, and she’s determined to keep her new fur family together. As she strives to uphold the “Best in Show” standards her pack requires, Jocelyn finds love, family, and forgiveness in the most unexpected places.


My Review

Overall, I thought this book was an ok read. When I first read the synopsis for this book, I was totally intrigued. The story-line sounded really unique and refreshing. I loved the idea of the eccentric, rich pet owner leaving his fortune to his pets and was intrigued by how much this situation would change Jocelyn’s life.

For the most part, I liked the story. I thought it started out really well and had a great pace to it. I loved the friendship between Jocelyn & Bree. Their bond was very sister like and I couldn’t wait to see what kind of trouble they would get in to. I loved the addition of Liam to the story-line. He added some great drama to the story and really challenged Jocelyn. I thought their relationship had a lot of potential in the beginning. Jocelyn & Liam had some great chemistry and I enjoyed their banter. They definitely had the whole hate to love vibe going on. However, I felt like even though their relationship was supposed to progress and be romantic, it never got there for me. As the story progressed, I never really felt the romance between them. Honestly, it felt more platonic to me. Don’t get me wrong. I did enjoy them and thought they had a great friendship, but their romance just didn’t work for me.

I did have a few issues with this book. I loved the pacing in the beginning, but somewhere along the 60% mark, the story started to drag. It felt like the story was taking forever to move on, and not a whole lot was happening. Also, I felt like there was a lot and I mean a lot going on in this book. So much that there still feels like a lot of the book was left unresolved. And the lawsuits….there was just too many of them. It just felt very over the top to me.

In Dog We Trust was a cute and lighthearted read. The characters were fun and the story-line was unique. There were some parts of the book that left me wanting more, but I still had a good time getting lost in Jocelyn’s story. Even though this book wasn’t a 100% hit for me, I’m still glad to have checked it out.

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book via NetGalley and the publisher in exchange for an honest review*

Release Blitz: Genealogy by Mae Wood

Title: Genealogy
Author: Mae Wood
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Release Date: October 25, 2018
Blurb
Inspired by real, hundred-year-old love letters.

My great-grandmother’s name is bold across the cream envelope, now golden at the seams with age. I can’t remember the last time I’ve seen graceful, purposeful handwriting with a fountain pen and not the hasty scrawl of ballpoint.

Alice Hirshhorn, Astoria Hotel, Seattle Washington.

“Letters to Great-grandma Alice,” I say with wonder, tracing my fingers over the faded postmark and foreign stamps.

December 1915. Philippine Islands.

I turn the thick envelope in my palm, slide out the tightly folded pages, and unfold the thin paper, taking care not to tear the letters that were important enough to keep for a century.

My dearest Alice

“Great-grandpa was in the Philippines?” I ask.

“Oh no. Not your great-grandfather,” answers Grammie, her eyes twinkling with her mother’s secrets. “Elliott.”

​~~~

At thirty-three and with her future unclear, Ali Waller finds her way home again. A box of long-forgotten love letters written to her great-grandmother holds the unlikely key to Ali finding her new path.

As she tracks down the letter writer and his descendants, Ali learns the magic of love, hope, and resilience.

Told by three characters, and across century and an ocean, Genealogy is an enchanting story about love and loss, taking chances, and embracing the surprises that life brings.

Purchase Links
AMAZON US / UK / CA / AU
Author Bio

Mae Wood is a mommy, bookworm, and lawyer (in that order).

A while ago Mae decided that she needed to give up the fear that she couldn’t write “great literature” and write what she wants to read.

And she wants romance. And laughter.

She wants heroines who are brave. Brave enough to be themselves and brave enough to fall in love.

She wants men who are strong and kind.

Mae lives in the Southeastern United States and sets her books in hot and steamy Memphis, Tennessee.

Author Links
FACEBOOK
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January New Releases

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January 1st

January 2nd

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January 3rd 

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January 5th

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January 8th

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Cocksure by KI Lynn

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January 9th

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January 10th

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January 11th

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January 12th 

Dirt by Cassia Leo

January 14th

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January 15th

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January 16th

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January 22nd

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January 26th

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January 29th

Combust by K. Bromberg

January 30th

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**Release Dates are always subject to chance**

Review: Cream of the Crop (Hudson Valley #2) by Alice Clayton

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creamofthecrop

Manhattan’s It Girl, Natalie Grayson, has it all: she’s a hot exec at a leading advertising firm, known industry-wide for her challenging and edgy campaigns. She’s got a large circle of friends, a family that loves her dearly, and her dance card is always full with handsome eligible bachelors. What else could a modern gal-about-town wish for? The answer, of course, is…cheese.

Natalie’s favorite part of each week is spending Saturday morning at the Union Square Farmer’s Market, where she indulges her love of all things triple cream. Her favorite booth also indulges her love of all things handsome. Oscar Mendoza, owner of the Bailey Falls Creamery and purveyor of the finest artisanal cheeses the Hudson Valley has to offer, is tall, dark, mysterious, and a bit oblivious. Or so she thinks. But that doesn’t stop Natalie from fantasizing about the size of his, ahem, milk can.

Romance is churning, passion is burning, and something incredible is rising to the top. Could it be…love?


My Review

Told from dual points of view, Cream of the Crop follows the story of Oscar and Natalie. It is the second book in the Hudson Valley series, but can be read as a stand-alone.

Cream of the Crop was exactly what I expected from Alice Clayton. It was fun, and entertaining. It made me laugh and fall in love all at the same time. I adored Natalie from the very beginning. She was confident and strong. She loved life and wasn’t afraid to indulge in the things that made her happy….especially when it comes to cheese. Oscar is the sexy cheese man. He’s noticed Natalie from her weekly visits and looks forward to their encounters. These two couldn’t be more different, but you know the saying: opposites attract, and in this case it totally does.

Cream of the Crop is smart, funny and entertaining. It’s full of laughs, romance and swoon-worthy moments. The chemistry between Natalie and Oscar is instant and it was a joy watching these two try to figure things out. And, I loved that it was light on the drama and just a good old fashioned enjoyable read. I think Cream of the Crop would be perfect for summer reading!

*I was provided an ARC copy of this book, via NetGalley, in exchange for an honest review*