Monday, September 3, 2018

Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins



Paperback480 pages
Published August 7th 2018 by Berkley Books


What They Say.....New York Times bestselling author Kristan Higgins is beloved for her heartfelt novels filled with humor and wisdom.  Now, in her newest novel, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT, she tackles an issue every woman deals with: body image and self-acceptance. 
 Emerson, Georgia, and Marley have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults.  
 For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it’s coming to terms with the survivor’s guilt she’s carried around since her twin sister’s death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life.  For Georgia, it’s about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother’s and brother’s ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her.
 But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves.
 A novel of compassion and insight, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT tells the story of two women who learn to embrace themselves just the way they are.


What I Say....I've been MIA lately. I haven't blogged in over a month.  What have I been doing with my time?  Oh, nothing big.  Just examining my life.  NBD.
This has been quite a year.  Many blessings have come my way.  Things that I have prayed for have come to pass.  But all change, even the most exciting, positive change, is change.  And sometimes it makes you re-examine your life and who you thought you were.

So, in this middle of my own soul searching, I began reading Good Luck With That by Kristan Higgins.  Emerson, Georgia and Marley became friends during a yearly fat camp.  Marley and Georgia have stayed close, even becoming roommates,  Emerson has stayed in her family home, even after her mother died.

Emerson has a weigh problem.  A true problem, and she copes by staying in her house, even employing a sour faced cousin that doesn't treat her very well.  But she is excited to suddenly find herself a boyfriend, even if her cousin doesn't approve.

Emerson's physical health becomes impacted by her new boyfriend - I won't give any spoilers.  Marley and Georgia are struggling with the guilt that they may not have made enough time for Emerson, along with worrying about what is missing in their own lives.  Although they have both been professionally successful, they are still struggling with self esteem and the impact that it has on their romantic lives.

I've read several Kristan Higgins books, and they've all been good, but this one was a little more serious than I expected.  But it was eye opening, and made me look closer at my own life.


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Wednesday, July 18, 2018

The Story After Us by Fiona Perrin






What They Say.....If she tries very hard, Ami can remember when she used to have a dynamic and exciting career and a husband who she loved more than life itself, and who was equally smitten with her...

Now she has two children, a terrifyingly large mortgage, and no idea who she has become - or why she and her husband can't even be in the same room anymore.

With life as she knew it in tatters around her, Ami is heartbroken, and in no way pulling off 'consciously uncoupling' like a celeb. But she's starting to wonder if she just might come out the other side and be... happier?


What I Say....I seem to be on a breakup/divorce kick in my reading right now.  But I'm always up for a debut novel, so I grabbed The Story After Us and went down the road of heartbreak again.

Ami has been unhappy for a while.  While she and Lars used to be madly in love, daily life, bills and small children seem to have robbed them of any of the magic they felt in their first years.  Lars is a workaholic, chasing financial security that seems to be more important to him than participating in his family.

Amelia has turned into the stereotypical shrewish wife, nagging when he's gone, then yelling when he's home.  The kids are nervous and unsure of their parents, and Ami's business is struggling.

But she's still shocked and devastated when Lars says he wants a divorce and walks out the door.  Having  a traveling husband is hard enough, having a traveling ex-husband is more than she was ready for.

The thing I liked about this book was that it didn't go for the fairy tale marriage ending.  It was pretty real and a little gritty in the early days of their separation, but then it did go for the fairy tale of work success and new romance.  This would be the dream of every newly divorced woman, but it seldom works that way.  

Ami didn't have a perfect divorce, but parts of it were pretty close.

Sunday, July 15, 2018

The Cottage on Sunshine Beach by Holly Martin




What They Say....The stunning new summer story from the bestselling author of Summer at Buttercup Beach. Step into the delightful seaside village of Sandcastle Bay, where you’ll discover golden sand, welcoming smiles and an unforgettable romance…

Melody Rosewood loves her new home in idyllic Sandcastle Bay. The beautiful little cottage on the edge of Sunshine Beach, with its bright yellow door and view of the sea has captured her heart. And she loves being close by to her family and best friend Tori Graham

Life by the sea is pretty much perfect, there’s just one thing missing…

Gorgeous Jamie Jackson, with his cheeky grin and adorable puppy, works as a sculptor opposite Melody’s jewellery shop. From the moment he and Melody meet sparks fly. But despite their instant attraction, a past heartache is holding Jamie back.

As Melody starts to make a life for herself in the close-knit, quirky seaside community, she realises Jamie could be the one for her. But as the two of them take a chance on romance, it’s one dating disaster after another. Are they destined to always be just good friends? 

Or will Melody finally find her happily-ever-after in Sandcastle Bay?



What I Say.....Just a relaxing, feel good book.  Holly Martin's books are such a great escape.

Melody moves to Sandcastle Bay to be near her sister, who is busy raising her nephew.  Her best friend, Tori lives close by, having found love in the little village.

Melody is crushing hard on Jamie, the sculptor in the shop across from hers, but they are both so shy around each other, it seems like they will never move forward.

I blame Holly Martin and Jill Mansell on my continued single state.  I keep waiting for true love to just appear in front of me.  They make it seem so easy!  But even if it doesn't improve my love life, a Holly Martin book always improves my weekend!

Sunday, July 8, 2018

Weekly Book Haul....July 8, 2018






Stacking the Shelves is a weekly book meme hosted by Tynga's Reviews, The Sunday Post is another great site hosted by The Caffeinated Book Reviewer.  The Sunday Salon is a Facebook page where great readers share what they've read this week and Mailbox Monday is a weekly roundup of the new books people have received.

I haven't blogged for a while because I swear I've been so busy reading.  There have been so many great books and I need to do my reviews of them because so many are great reads that I want to share.

And then I just keep adding more.  But this week i'm going to concentrate on getting caught up on my reviews just as soon as I finish Rush by Lisa Patton.  It's so good, reminds me in a way of The Help.

But here are the books that will keep me from blogging this month.....

The Other Woman by Sandie Jones....HE LOVES YOUAdam adores Emily.
Emily thinks Adam’s perfect, the man she thought she’d never meet.

BUT SHE LOVES YOU NOT: Lurking in the shadows is a rival, a woman who shares a deep bond with the man she loves.

AND SHE'LL STOP AT NOTHING: Emily chose Adam, but she didn’t choose his mother Pammie. There’s nothing a mother wouldn’t do for her son, and now Emily is about to find out just how far Pammie will go to get what she wants: Emily gone forever.

Good Luck With That by Kristin Higgins.......Emerson, Georgia, and Marley
have been best friends ever since they met at a weight-loss camp as teens. When Emerson tragically passes away, she leaves one final wish for her best friends: to conquer the fears they still carry as adults.  
 For each of them, that means something different. For Marley, it’s coming to terms with the survivor’s guilt she’s carried around since her twin sister’s death, which has left her blind to the real chance for romance in her life.  For Georgia, it’s about learning to stop trying to live up to her mother’s and brother’s ridiculous standards, and learning to accept the love her ex-husband has tried to give her.
 But as Marley and Georgia grow stronger, the real meaning of Emerson’s dying wish becomes truly clear: more than anything, she wanted her friends to love themselves.
 A novel of compassion and insight, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT tells the story of two women who learn to embrace themselves just the way they are.

This Could Change Everything....All it takes is one email to end her
relationship, get her kicked out of her apartment, and just about ruin her life. Essie Phillips never meant for her private rant about her boss to be sent to everyone in her address book, but as soon as it goes viral, her life as she knows it is over. Solution: move to a new town, find a new job, make new friends. If only it were as simple as that…






Sold On a Monday by Kristina McMorris.....Philadelphia, 1931. A young,
ambitious reporter named Ellis Reed photographs a pair of young siblings on the front porch of a farmhouse next to a sign: “2 children for sale.” 

With the help of newspaper secretary Lily Palmer, Ellis writes an article to accompany the photo. Capturing the hardships of American families during the Great Depression, the feature story generates national attention and Ellis’s career skyrockets. 

But the photograph also leads to consequences more devastating than ever imagined—and it will take jeopardizing everything Ellis and Lily value to unravel the mystery and set things right.

The Story After Us by Fiona Perrin....If she tries very hard, Ami can
remember when she used to have a dynamic and exciting career and a husband who she loved more than life itself, and who was equally smitten with her...
 
Now she has two children, a terrifyingly large mortgage, and no idea who she has become - or why she and her husband can't even be in the same room anymore. 
With life as she knew it in tatters around her, Ami is heartbroken, and in no way pulling off 'consciously uncoupling' like a celeb. But she's starting to wonder if she just might come out the other side and be... happier?


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Monday, July 2, 2018

Do This For Me by Eliza Kennedy




What They Say.....A high-powered attorney dives into the politics of sex, the perils of desire, and why men and women treat each other the way they do. 

Raney Moore has it all figured out. An ambitious young partner at a prestigious Manhattan law firm, she’s got a dream job, a loving (and famous) husband, and amazing twin daughters. Her world is full, busy, perfectly scripted. Or so she thinks.

One sunny fall day, a bombshell phone call throws Raney’s well-ordered existence into chaos, and in a fit of rage, she diabolically, hilariously burns everything down. Once the flames subside, she finds herself asking some difficult questions: Who am I? What just happened? Am I ever going to find my way back to normal?  Assisted by enterprising paralegals, flirtatious clientele, one dear friend and an unforgettable therapist, Raney thinks the answers are close at hand, only to find life spiraling utterly out of control.

Uproarious, incisive and poignant, Do This For Me introduces a brilliant, off-kilter heroine on a quest to understand sex, fight workplace inequality, and solve the mystery of herself.

What I Say....Sometimes you just read a book at the right time.  And for me this was the right time to read, Do This For Me.  I had read Eliza Kennedy's previous novel, I Take You, and remembered enjoying it, so I picked this one up without really reading the description.

Raney is a busy, high achieving lawyer with twin teenaged daughters that she dotes on and a successful husband that she loves.  Her life is very orderly and she is content.  Until a phone call from a stranger turns her life upside down.

What I liked was the portrait of a career woman who has never stopped to ask herself if being content is enough?  According to Raney, having sex with your husband twice a week means you have a good marriage.  Even if you don't particularly enjoy it.  Just crossing it off your list of things to do is enough.

I laughed a lot, but I was still sad for Raney at the same time as she totally destructs and reconstructs her life.  She suddenly realizes that she isn't even sure what she feels or what she likes in any part of her life.  I think it was a great read, and I was enjoying myself right up to the last page.  Then I didn't love the last page.  No spoilers, but I think the point is that there are no tidy endings if you are living just for contentment anymore.