Review: Roman Crazy by Alice Clayton, Nina Bocci

Title: Roman Crazy
Author: Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci
Publisher/Year: Gallery Books 9/13/16
Length:   336 Pages

Overview

Avery Bardot steps off the plane in Rome, looking for a fresh start. She’s left behind a soon-to-be ex-husband in Boston and plans to spend the summer with her best friend Daisy, licking her wounds—and perhaps a gelato or two. But when her American-expat friend throws her a welcome party on her first night, Avery’s thrown for a loop when she sees a man she never thought she’d see again: Italian architect Marcello Bianchi.

Marcello was the man—the one who got away. And now her past is colliding with her present, a present where she should be mourning the loss of her marriage and—hey, that fettuccine is delicious! And so is Marcello…

Slipping easily into the good life of summertime in Rome, Avery spends her days exploring a city that makes art historians swoon, and her nights swooning over her unexpected what was old is new again romance. It’s heady, it’s fevered, it’s wanton, and it’s crazy. But could this really be her new life? Or is it just a temporary reprieve before returning to the land of twin-set cardigans and crustless sandwiches?

A celebration of great friendship, passionate romance, and wonderful food, Roman Crazy is a lighthearted story of second chances and living life to the fullest.

My Thoughts

You know when you just need a story that reminds you that no matter how bad things seem in life, there’s always something else that can pick you back up?  well that’s what this story is, and it’s so sweet and endearing that you have a renewed sense of love and life.

Avery, our leading lady has the life that a lot of women dream of – married to their college sweetheart, living the country club life, supporting her husband in his profession and making sure that his home life is perfect.  Well, perfect is always that to outsiders, and it’s unfortunately rarely the case on the inside which is what avery learns, when she walks in on her husband having sex with his admin.

That’s where the bulk of our story begins, although we get a sense of the flashback story as well.  Avery goes to Italy as the summary tells us, to spend some time with her best friend and figure out where she should go next in life, and that first night, at a dinner, her world is spun on it’s tail.  There, at the table of friends sits the one man who she’s loved the most and the one that she left behind all those years ago.  What are the odds right?

There’s so much chemistry from the first glance that you know that it’s just a matter of time before something happens, but what we get isn’t just an amazing physical bond (which it is, trust me as you read it is),but it’s a relationship that gives each a chance to grow even more, and to be individuals and live their lives as they should have all those years ago, until one is forced to make a choice that affects the other.

All Avery wants is to be herself, and to find out what makes her happy.  she went to college for art history, and yet had to put that aside to be a perfect wife.  She’s given a chance to live that life now in Rome and it’s perfect.  Top that with the love that was lost and seems to be found now, and well, it’s amazing.

There’s got to be a moment when the other shoe drops right?  It comes in the form of a few things.  Daniel, Avery’s husband makes a surprise appearance in Rome, while also making it a bit challenging to actually finalize the divorce.  Then there’s Simone, the woman that Marcello was with when Avery came back into his life, and boy does she like to stir the pot since she’s a woman scorned.  Then there are the facets of their lives that make it complicated – distance, language, family.

So as you can imagine, what’s perfect again may not be perfect for long and it’s a big question of who will sacrifice this time to make it work and who’s going to keep it from being sunshine and daisies.

I’m such a fan of Ms Clayton since we get stories that have these characters that just want to be happy – with crap getting thrown at them all the time.  There’s so much sweet romance that you have faith once again, and then enough chemistry and heat that if you doubted the perfection of love and romance, you can’t doubt the attraction and passion. All in all, a great stand alone book although i could see it as a series.  (The friends deserve romance too no?).  I hope you guys check it out – enjoy!

Review: The Redhead Plays her Hand (Redhead Series #3) by Alice Clayton

Title: The Redhead Plays her Hand
Author: Alice Clayton
Publisher/Year: Gallery Books 12/17/13
Length:   320 Pages
Series:  Redhead Series #3

Overview

IT’S GETTING HOT (AND HEAVY) IN HOLLYWOOD!

Grace Sheridan is flying high. With scorching passion from her gorgeous Brit superstar Jack Hamilton plus the lead role in a new television dramedy, she could just pinch herself. Then a demand from her show’s directors to drop fifteen pounds brings her back down to earth with a thump. Forced to subsist on air, cucumbers, and boot camp, Grace wonders if the body that brings the newly crowned “Sexiest Man Alive” to his knees is just too booty-licious for Hollywood. Jack, meanwhile, seems overly enamored of the celebrity lifestyle. Forbidden by his publicity-conscious manager to reveal his relationship with Grace, he’s hitting the industry party scene way too hard.

As Grace’s bod incites fiery debate about the message of “thin is in,” Jack’s jealous fans are downing the hate-erade, viciously slamming her curves. Grace longs for Jack’s support, but he’s showing up late and disheveled to her most important moments. With tempers between them flaring, Hollywood’s most talked-about redhead might have more to lose than a few stubborn pounds. She and Jack were clearly made for each other—but will the day ever come when they can walk the red carpet together, hand in hand?

My Thoughts

If we thought that the story here was getting good so far, seeing the complexities of two people who have a star on the rise, while also trying to make a relationship work, well that’s nothing compared to what we get to see in this third and final installment of the series.

While we know that Grace’s broadway show wasn’t picked up, we know that it’s becoming a TV series and she’s due to star in it.  What that means though is that there’s a completely different standard that she needs to live up to – that means that first things first, she’s being told that she needs to lose weight.  This of course brings one of the plot lines to a head.  the idea of what the right body shape is both in Hollywood and in America – and it’s opens up conversations both good and bad.  Totally relevant right now actually given that all we hear about these days is body positivity.  Anyhow, we see some less than good habits beginning for her while she’s trying to be smart about how she loses weight.

Then there’s Jack – the guy who’s got it all.  His movie was a huge success and now everyone wants a piece of him.  The fame we see is starting to get to his head a bit and he’s not able to cope with all the attention as well as we’d hope – especially with Grace around.  Enter of course Adam – a young actor who was in Jack’s place a few years ago but who’s star has faded since he parties too much and is a bad boy with ‘hard to work with’ reputation to go along with.  Being teamed up together for a new project shows how quickly things can go from good to bad.

The path of this story is one that takes our favorite characters in completely different directions.  They find that keeping their relationship a secret is too hard and the fact that there’s so much pulling each one of them in a direction of their own also presents a challenge.

We see heart break, we see new relationships form, and we see that life is not at all what we thought it was going to be even six months ago.  The good thing that we have here though is the way that Ms Clayton writes this.  We go from the amazing banter that we’ve always relied on between Grace and Jack to a mature relationship that’s forced to look at life through a different lens and wonder if there’s something good still there or if it’s all jokes.  On top of that though, there’s still so much amazingly strong chemistry that we have no choice but fan ourselves and feel the need for a shower.

I love how we get this story resolved – all with a surprise relationship, a baby and well – lots of folks playing different roles than we previously imagined.  I’m kind of bummed that we have no more of this story to glom onto, although i guess all things must come to an end.  I hope you guys check this one out though – enjoy!

Review: The Redhead Revealed (Redhead Series #2) by Alice Clayton

Title: The Redhead Revealed
Author: Alice Clayton
Publisher/Year: Gallery Books 11/5/13
Length:   32- Pages
Series:  Redhead Series #2

Overview

LONG-DISTANCE LOVE JUST GOT HOTTER!

Life is sweet. Grace Sheridan has just won her dream role in a new off-Broadway play, and the talented hunk flooding her phone with scintillating texts and scandalous photos is Jack Hamilton, the twenty-four-year-old “it” Brit whose Hollywood career is about to climax faster than . . . you know. So what if their steamy relationship is bicoastal and under wraps, or that L.A. fangirls are grabbing Jack’s ass?

Absence does make the heart grow fonder and the libido hotter, but their few weekend visits feel more more like fast food than the five-course dinner they crave. And then—the creator of Grace’s new show is the man who broke her heart back in college, and he seems to have written the play just to make amends with his leading lady.

As rumors spread that Jack and his lovely, leggy ex-girlfriend have gotten back together, Grace starts to wonder about her own feelings. Can lust alone keep our favorite, feisty duo together, or will Grace find herself back in safer, more familiar arms?

My Thoughts

This is such a sweet story and to see where we go in this second installment is a compelling and intriguing space.  We know that things are off to a great start with Grace and Jack, yet we know that their lives are about to take them on a path that’s so far from one another that it’s going to be incredibly hard.

Where we left off, Grace has just moved to New York to start working on an off Broadway show,  ironically being directed by a man from her past where there are unsettled bits and pieces – they never got their closure and we see that there’s something going on there now – even 20 years in the future.  There’s also the fact that Jack’s movie is about to come out and there’s so much press and attention being paid to him that you know there’s going to be jealousy and hurt feelings.

That’s exactly what happens.  While they talk to each other as much as they can, they can’t manage to see each other in person, and that’s putting strain on things.  Jack is being photographed more and more, and often there’s a woman named Marcia on his arm – a girl that he dated in the past and a woman that the press wants to link him to once again.  Holly, both of their agent is in the camp of ‘let them believe that Marcia is the girlfriend’ so that there’s more buzz generated to raise Jack’s star, and while it’s a valid point, it’s hard on both of them.

Then there’s Michael and Grace – there is something between them and we’re not yet sure what.  I think that it’s clear that Michael wants to be with Grace, and while Grace is so in love with Jack, there’s something growing there that’s clearly more than friendship.  The question really becomes who will make a move and what will be the implications to the Grace/Jack story.

Just when we think that things are going well, there’s an implosion, and their world come crashing down.  It’s perhaps too much for them to handle since Grace is in a different place in her life than Jack and perhaps wants to make sure that he’s not sacrificing for her.  We really don’t know if they’re going to be able to make it work, especially when there are so many other people in the mix.

Where we are left off at the end of this second book is a place where there are still so many questions.  Will Jack and Grace make it?  Will they ever be able to live in the same place since we know that Jack still considers London home, and what will all the people around them add to the mess?

Add to that some really steamy scenes – all written in the same fun and hot way that Ms Clayton always does it.  There’s so much sexual chemistry between these two to make the scenening hot, but there’s so much fun banter and humor in it that keeps it real and entertaining.  So…on that note, onto the next book.  Enjoy!

Review: The Unidentified Redhead (Redhead Series #1) by Alice Clayton

Title: The Unidentified Redhead
Author: Alice Clayton
Publisher/Year: Gallery Books 10/15/13
Length:   289 Pages
Series:  Redhead Series #1

Overview

Grace Sheridan is back. Ten years after discovering that looks and talent are a dime a dozen in Los Angeles, she’s wriggling into a pair of badass jeans and ready to show the film industry that there’s way more to her than just a head of gorgeous red curls. And Hollywood’s newest Brit super-hunk Jack Hamilton certainly sees a lot to like. Grace is trying to restrain herself from jumping a man who is nearly a decade her junior, but Jack is making it clear that he personally has zero problems with that idea.

While Grace and Jack are still swapping innuendo-loaded quips and text sex though, the paparazzi have caught up with them, headlining the “unidentified redhead” who’s been photographed trysting at a restaurant with the heartthrob of the year. Now Grace is in stuck in a double bind. She’s head over heels in lust with Jack, but there’s her own career to think of as well. A sizzling romance with the newest “it” boy may garner her industry attention . . . but is it the kind of attention she’s always dreamed of?

My Thoughts

so i clearly should have read this series before i read the Hudson Valley series but such is life right?  In the other series, we met Grace and saw what her life has become, and now we get to see how it all started.  which maybe isn’t such a bad order to do things.

In this first installment of the series, we see the beginning of the career for Grace Sheriden, the Unidentified Redhead herself.  She’s always known that she’s wanted to be an actress and when she tried her hand at it 10 years ago, she failed, and after some soul searching and life lessons, she’s come back to LA in the hopes of making it again.  She’s putting down roots in town, living with her best friend and new agent Holly and starting to get back into the auditioning circuit.  It’s at a party one night that Holly is hosting that her life changes forever.

and in walks Jack Hamilton – the new ‘IT’ actor in Hollywood with a new movie slated to come out shortly that’s going to be the move of the year.  He’s about to hit it really big, and yet we find that he and Grace gravitate towards one another – something that shocks her to the core.

Their banter is something that’s to entertaining to read – it keeps things light when you know that there’s such a high chance that it’ll get deep fast, and when you want to see things continue on a path that’s unlikely, the banter keeps on in line.  The chemistry that we see from the onset here with them is so strong – yet they take their time with really getting to know each other first.  Probably something that’s unlikely in Hollywood but who knows.

Alice Clayton gives us yet again another great start to a romance that’s going to go somewhere amazing.  She’s given us these characters who are both at the beginning of something great professionally and figuring out how to make it work and if it can work long term is always the question.  It gets more complicated as Jake starts to do even more press for the movie which takes over his time and we see Grace land her first major gig on broadway – therefore taking her across the country to NYC.

Throw in a guy who’s come back from college who seems to make everyone uncomfortable – Jake especially and we’re left at a point in the story of whether this new relationship can last even with the strong feelings between them.  Fame, other people and distance really make it hard and we’ll have to keep reading i guess to see how it breaks and or not and what will happen.  Enjoy!

Review: Buns (Hudson Valley #3) by Alice Clayton

Title: Buns
Author: Alice Clayton
Publisher/Year: Gallery Books 5/23/17
Length:   336 Pages
Series:  Hudson Valley #3

Overview

Clara Morgan is living the dream, if you can call rebranding hotels that are desperate for a new life and running any kind of marathon a dream. Which she does. But the career she loves and the endurance races that keep her adrenaline pumping have kept her too busy to put down any roots. Growing up in foster care, she’s never been able to establish traditions of her own, which may be why she’s fascinated by the rituals that generations-old family resorts are known for. She’s especially interested in the Bryant Mountain House, and not just for their secret recipe for the yummy, gooey, can’t-get-enough-of Hot Cross Buns….

Archie Bryant, the man with the Buns, is fifth generation and one-day-owner of the charming yet run-down Bryant Mountain House in Bailey Falls, New York. He’s determined to save his family’s legacy from the wrecking ball the old-fashioned way—by gritting his teeth and doing what needs to be done. There’s no way Archie will be influenced by the new hotel branding expert his father brought in to turn one hundred and fifty years of tradition on its head just to attract a faster, younger, slicker crowd. But when some of Clara’s ideas start bringing in new, paying customers, Archie can’t deny that she may have just given him a shot at keeping his resort open.

It’s sticky, it’s messy, it’s sweet, it’s Buns.

My Thoughts

What am i going to do now that i’m finished with this series?  I absolutely love all that’s come along with Roxie and Natalie so far and Clara’s story is even better.  Can’t we get something more with Chad and Logan maybe? what about Missy?  there’s got to be more!!!!

Anyway there are so many reasons why this last book is one of my favorites.  Let’s start with the fact that Ms Clayton calls out in the beginning that she’s based it off of Mohonk Mountain House – a place that i’ve been to with my boyfriend recently and everything that she’s describing takes me back there exactly how i remember it.  So having that imagine in my head makes it real and then the characters are so charming that you know that you’re going to get a great story out of it all.

So we’ve met Clara briefly in the others stories, so we know that she’s this expert hotel rebranding professional and she’s been wood to Bailey Falls by her friends which means that the saga continues.  Clara’s clearly lived a different life than her friends – and while she’s really successful, we learn that her methods are all a coping mechanism of sorts based on her childhood of being sent from foster home to foster home.  She’s now got these thick walls up where she won’t let anyone in, even her friends and we see how that plays out in this story.

then there’s Archie – the son of the current owner of Bryant Mountain House and the one who will take over likely at the end of the year when his father retires.  We met him a few times in the previous book, where Natalie talked to him at some of the local meetings when she was building her advertising campaign, and while he’s been called out for being attractive, we always knew there was something a bit ‘off’ about him, standoffish and cold and we finally get to the bottom of it.  We learn that his wife, his only love passed away a few years back and of course that damages a person.

So when these two come together, you know that it’ll be sparks (and not the good kind) at first and then once they get to know each other a bit more, things change and they realize that there’s chemistry there and maybe they shouldn’t hide from it.  Granted there’s the added threat of the boss/employee thing here, along with the fact that Clara needs to do an amazing job in order to get a promotion – and well that makes fora great story.

It’s a sweet story – we get to see how both are terrified of the idea of a relationship yet how that same relationship has the ability to change them in a good way. there’s so much pain between them that once they let go, it’s so hot that they can’t manage to find enough secret locations to be together.

It’s sweet to see things come about.  how they think that they’re being so sly – but they’re caught by the interior designer, and the women who are motherly and all who run the place – we see that they are in on it too.  The other sweet aspect is that we see how being in Bailey Falls helps Clara open up and have a ‘family’ of sorts and we see that Archie gets to have the friendships that he seems to be lacking.  Leo and Oscar are so good for him that we see that maybe there’s something great growing.

It’s not until Clara’s company goes through some stuff and she and Archie have it out via sassing one another that we see things start to truly change – and where the story takes us is a place that seems like the perfect place it was always meant to be.  I love how the story closes and how i think that the series itself seems to close too.  Enjoy!

Review: Sydney (Entangle Me #1) by Maggie Way

no-brainer

Title: Sydney
Author: Maggie Way
Publisher/Year: Lucky Red Press 5/13/16
Length:   93 Pages
Series:  Entangle Me #1

Overview

A jilted girl…
A wicked boy…
A forbidden kiss…
A happily ever after?

Lacey Ryan’s perfect life was well underway, until her fiancé blindsides her with a betrayal so deep it changes everything. Now her life’s gone to hell, and the only way out may be at the hands of the last person she’d have expected to come to her rescue, Tristan Keys—the deliciously sexy player she’s fantasized about her entire life.

Sure he’s arrogant, cocksure, and frustratingly handsome, but he’s also offering exactly what she needs, a fresh start planning destination weddings. First class flights, the chance to see the world, and maybe a little harmless flirtation while she’s at it. Yes, it’s just what she needs.

Only there’s one glaring problem: Tristan happens to be her brother’s best friend. Which means he is completely off-limits. She knows it, he knows it. It’s completely forbidden. Even though she’s always followed all the rules, suddenly Lacey find herself wanting to break them all. Is he worth the risk? Or will he only break her heart—and possibly her bed springs? There’s only one way to find out, and it’s going to involve a lot of suitcase packing, merlot and chocolate.

My Thoughts

Well, first off i should thank the folks at Instafreebie who gave me access to this sweet story.  I don’t know that i would have crossed paths with it so this was a nice trip off my usual.  What we have here is a really sweet semi chick lit type story about a girl who’s been forced to find herself and her own love now that she’s found out that her fiance (and bf of 6 years) has cheated on her, the day before her wedding.

Where we go from there though, you have to keep in mind we really only see a span of less than 24 hours in the actual story (although there are jumps in the prologue and epilogue) but at least for those few hours, we see our leading lady Lacey go through stages of grief rather quickly, and make a determined decision to get back on her feet and sort herself out instead of wallowing.

The nice thing here is that while she does the drunken wallow well that first night, she also happens to come across the path of her brother’s best friend from childhood and of course drunkenness and hot guys means that we’re going to see complications come up in the story as it progresses.

If that weren’t enough, there’s a lot looming on the horizon for Lacey professionally both with her own company and an opportunity that said drunk brother’s friend offers, so i think that where we go with this series will be a place where we can see how she comes into her own and then figures out how to make herself happy without her cheating ex.

All in all a sweet story – quite a quick read but that’s kind of what i needed last night – so if you’re able to get your hands on it, i’d say do it, and enjoy!

Review: Sweet Nothing by Jamie McGuire and Teresa Mummert

No-Brainer

Title:  Sweet Nothing
Author: Jamie McGuire and Teresa Mummert
Publisher/Year: Jamie McGuire 11/1/15
Length:  251 Pages

Overview

It is enough to break any man: watching what could have been my future slip away before it was ever in my grasp. The possibility of losing someone I loved before she was even mine is something I never would have imagined—certainly nothing I’d ever wish on anyone. I went to her every day and waited. Waited for the impossible, for a sign, for her to look at me … hoping sinners are granted miracles, too.

Just one glimpse of him was all it took. In the next lane, at a stop light, was the man I would fall in love with and marry. People talk about love that takes time—the kind you fall in to. We were more like a crash and burn. When our lives intertwined, I knew I would never be the same. He was the man I would cherish the rest of my life, who would father my children. In an instant our life together began, and in an instant it would end. The late nights; the excuses; the lies. And in the blink of an eye, it was like we never were.

For the first time, experience a heartfelt, jaw-dropping novel by New York Times bestsellers Jamie McGuire and Teresa Mummert.

When you think you know what’s happening, you’re only half way there.

My Thoughts

I’m a HUGE fan of Ms Mcguires so i was really excited that i was going to get another book from her mind.  What we have here though takes us to a place that is so unexpected and quite confusing.

We have our leads, Avery and Josh – who are both working in similar situations to one another and that’s what in essence brings them together.  Josh is a paramedic and Avery is an ER nurse so their paths cross, but they are so different that it’s inevitable that they are going to come together.

Josh has a bit of a reputation in the hospital that he’ll seduce and sleep with any nurse, and we know that Avery has been rather stand-offish.  with that in mind, you KNOW that when and if they get together, it’ll be explosive!

It takes an accident to bring them together, and it’s how the saying goes, you don’t know what you have until you lose it, and that’s really where our story takes shape.  it almost goes too smoothly throughout their romance, finding that they have their own haunted pasts that get them to where they are in life, and then coming together with such honesty and passion that it gets better and better.  Throw in a few issues w/ Trust from Avery and well, you get the typically lovely romance story.

It’s not until the last few chapters that you really get thrown for a loop.  Honestly, i had a lot of trouble really understanding what was happening, we see Avery waking up from an accident and we learn that there’s so much that she’s confused about which makes us even more confused.  Then there’s the whole issue with Josh and what his role is during these final chapters as well.

I had to check out a spoiler forum from one of the authors to really understand where the direction came from for this finale and i think that i get it now, but it wasn’t at all what i was expecting although i should have been.  The other sad bit is that i was hoping that this was an intro to a story since we learned so much about Deb and Quinn throughout but it doesn’t sound like that’s in the works.  I hope they change their minds.

On that note – it’s really a sweet story and one that really falls into place in Jamie McGuires library.  I’m def interested in seeing what else the other author has to read as well – Teresa Mummert is someone worth paying some attention to.  On that note, have a great rest of your sunday and GO JETS! (sorry – couldn’t help it!)

ARC Review: Life’s a Beach (Hawaii Heat #1) by Jamie K Schmidt

No-Brainer

Title:  Life’s a Beach
Author: Jamie K Schmidt
Publisher/Year: Random House 1/5/16
Length:  223 Pages
Series:  Hawaii Heat #1

Overview

Sex on the beach has never been so much fun! USA Today bestselling author Jamie K. Schmidt kicks off a series set in paradise with an irresistible tale of second chances, secret identities—and a connection that’s too sweet to miss.
 
When Amelia Parker arrives in Maui, newly single and unemployed, she’s shocked to discover the resort she booked is actually a ramshackle little beachside hotel. At least the scenery is easy on the eyes—as is the toned, laid-back snorkel instructor, “Dude.” After two weeks of sun, serenity, and mind-blowing sex, she even accepts a job as the hotel’s concierge. But what Amelia really wants is to relaunch the place completely. And that means convincing the absentee Wall Street billionaire owner, Samuel Kincaide, to take a chance on her.

Samuel has a plan, too: selling off every last reminder of his former life and chilling all day, every day as his slacker altar ego . . . Dude. He loves his romps in the ocean, and under the sheets, with the feisty Amelia. If she discovers his true identity, her boundless enthusiasm and innovative business plan will seriously diminish his hammock time. But when Amelia runs into real trouble on the island, he’ll put everything on the line to keep her safe. He just hopes that the woman who’s falling for Dude will feel the same about Samuel.

My Thoughts

I have to thank the folks at NetGalley per usual for getting me a pre-read of this first installment of the Hawaii Heat series.  What we have here is an entertaining intro of a romance / chick lit type story which starts as expected and takes a few different interesting turns.

We meet our leading lady, Amelia the night before she’s set to leave on a 2 week surprise vacation to Hawaii that she’s planned for her boyfriend.  Little does she know that things are going to go  completely awry – in the sense that she finds herself being fired from her job, walking in on her boyfriend being quite intimate with a girl that she knows, and well, she just takes off on the vacation anyway because she’s got nothing to lose.  She takes her aunt with her who’s a fortune teller and who keeps giving Amelia insights into what’s to come for her, so off they go to Hawaii.

Of course things can’t ever be that easy.  The picturesque hotel that was featured in the brochure isn’t exactly what it appears, it’s a bit more rundown and less enticing.  especially given that Amelia worked as a concierge in an NYC hotel.  Then she learns that the hotel is being sold – and then on top of that, she finds herself almost drowning on day one.

So all that of course means that there HAS to be something good coming her way, and that it does.  in the form of Dude – a beach bum who works at the resort.  OF course he’s got another identity, that of which he keeps from her knowing how she feels about rich guys (remember that her boyfriend who cheated was a lazy trust fund kid).  So, the journey that we go on from here is one of a vacation romance, and that of Amelia trying to find her footing now that she’s left in a mess from her life in NYC.

There’s really nothing overly unexpected in this story – we get what we hope for – a bit of romance, a bit of confusion, and a growth journey for Amelia to find out what she’s able to handle and what she wants to do.  I think that there are bits that are a bit too easy coming to her, but again, it’s fiction so who cares.  On that note – i’m intrigued enough to want to check out the 2nd installment when it comes out – so if you’re looking for something light and entertaining, check it out.   Happy friday everyone!

Review: Preschooled by Anna Lefler

No-Brainer

Title:  Preschooled
Author: Anna Lefler
Publisher/Year: Full Fathom Five Digital 10i/1/15
Length:  336 pages

Overview

Behind the toddler-proof gate of Santa Monica’s exclusive Garden of Happiness, it’s the grown-ups who are getting schooled.

When new preschool parent Justine discovers that the man who broke her heart back in grad school is a dad in her daughter’s class, she tells herself she’s immune to the superficial charms of the ex she calls “the crapwizard.” But when his presence opens a time tunnel of potent memories from her life before motherhood, she must find a way to defuse her old attraction to him before it undermines her marriage.

Then there’s Ruben, rookie stay-at-home dad and standup comic who quits his day job to pursue his TV-writing dream on his wife’s condition that he take her place among the “power mommies” on the school committees.

And ruling the sand box with an iron fist is Margaret, whose ongoing divorce from her dentist-turned-New Age-surfer husband forces her to rely on her dubious people skills in order to keep the school that has become the cornerstone of her identity.

When the new school year kicks off with a flight-risk rabbit named Ozone, a school secretary in desperate need of a social filter, and some double-barreled committee recruiting tactics, it’s not all juice and cookies for Justine, Ruben, and Margaret as they struggle to play nice.

My Thoughts

First off i should thank the kind folks at Netgalley for getting me a copy of this book to read.  Granted it took me far longer to finish it than i expected (not for the books reasons i have to say) but at least i finally found some time to get through it.  I’ll thank the LIRR for that since commuting definitely gives me an hour each way to read.

So in this story, we get a nice dose of chick lit – it’s a story that’s based on a rotation of characters’ chapters, showing us how everything is intertwined.  You don’t ever know who’s really the focal point here, if it’s Margaret, the owner of Garden of Happiness, Justine, a new mom to the school who’s going through her own stuff at home, or if it’s Reuben, a dad of twins at the same school who’s trying to deal with his stuff.  Note that they all have stuff going on.

Where this story takes us is a path to see how resilient you are when you’re forced into situations that you didn’t expect.  Margaret is going through a divorce which may result in her having to sell her school.  Along that same path, her daughter’s a freshman in college and is caught in the middle of said divorce.

Then there’s Justine, her daughter is new to the school and is forcing her to really become one of the mom set.  If that weren’t bad enough, the family assigned to show her the ropes is none other than the guy who broke her heart in grad school.  so things of course get more complicated.  and if that still weren’t enough, she thinks that her husband is having an affair with the office trollup.

Then there’s the final story line of Reuben – he’s a dad of twins, and a comedian who’s lost his mojo.  His wife works in a job that she hates, meaning that he has to make something work in the comedy realm, and participate in school stuff and well, at least there’s a silver lining there for him.  He’s found his groove a bit.

Anyhow, the course of this story shows us that not everyone is perfect – assuming the impression that you got of them in life was perfect.  Everyone’s got their stuff going on, and i think that there’s a lot of growth that can be done and is done.  where we net out with the story and the journeys of all these folks is a nice place and i think that you see that all is resolved, even if there are several surprises.  On that note, i hope you guys enjoy this book – it gave me a sense of hope when i’m stressed, without being too preachy.  Enjoy!

Review: Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancee (Shopping for a Billionaire #6) by Julia Kent

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Title:  Shopping for a Billionaire’s Fiancee
Author: Julia Kent
Publisher/Year: ProsaicPublishing 2/26/15
Length: 171 Pages
Series: Shopping for a Billionaire #6

Overview

All of our best dates end up in the emergency room….

I planned the perfect proposal. Plenty of lobster, caviar, champagne and–her favorite–tiramisu. The perfect setting. The perfect woman. The perfect everything.

Dad gave me my late mother’s engagement ring, platinum and diamonds galore. Shannon wouldn’t care if I slid a giant hard-candy ring on her finger instead of a three-carat diamond designed to impress. But my future mother-in-law, Marie, will pass out when she sets eyes on that rock, which will give us two minutes of blessed silence. That woman talks more than Kim Kardashian flashes her naked backside on the internet.

I was going to make it perfect, from the color of the tablecloth to the freshness of the roses. And it was perfect.

Until Shannon swallowed the ring.

My Thoughts

It’s kind of funny how over the top our author makes this story and i think that while there’s a chance that it could easily be ‘too much’ – it works here.  We have a sweet story about how a couple is so perfect but their family and friends are insane.

We know that Shannon and Declan are destined to be together and we know that they WANT to be together, but of course that’s never easy.  Declan’s father is determined to make him rethink things over and over again, and Shannon’s mom continues to make Dec so uncomfortable that he second guesses things.

If that weren’t enough, the stress of planning a proposal makes Dec even more nuts.  Add to that some drama with his brother Andrew and Shannon’s friend Amanda, and you can only guess how dramatic things will go.

We get a revisiting of ‘Toilet Girl’ here – appropriate as always, and i think that’s the consistency that we love.  Aside from that, it’s really just a sweet and enjoyable next installment to the series.