I’ll Have Who She’s Having by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Title:  I’ll Have Who She’s Having

Authors:  Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

Genre:  Chick Lit

My thoughts:  I’ll Have Who She’s Having is a fast-paced and entertaining tale of two sisters who are not happy with the way things are. The story is told alternately by the sisters with the occasional added perspective of a few others – this worked to flesh out more than the two main characters.

About to turn thirty-three, Kate is single and tired of listening to her friends talk about their perfect lives with their husbands and babies. Kelly, two years younger than Kate, is married with one toddler and hasn’t felt remotely attractive for a long time. She loves her husband and little girl but misses her job and interaction with adults. In other words, Kate wants what Kelly has and Kelly would love a little bit of Kate’s life.
Kelly gets Kate to take a volleyball class and then a singing class with her. That’s where the novel takes off. Without giving spoilers I’ll just say sibling rivalry, moral conflicts, and issues of insecurity are major themes that Fenton and Steinke explore as Kate and Kelly struggle to move forward in their lives.
There were times when I laughed out loud but also times when I thought “oh for pete’s sake” in disbelief of the sisters’ actions. That said, the authors did a great job giving each sister her distinct voice. I think fans of Chick Lit will enjoy I’ll Have Who She’s Having.
Source:  BookSparksPR
♦  ♦  ♦

Stop back next week for my review of The D Word by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

At Witt’s End (Sadie Witt Mystery, #1) by Beth Solheim

Title:  At Witt’s End (Sadie Witt Mystery, #1)

Author:  Beth Solheim

Genre:  Cozy Mystery

About:  (Goodreads synopsis) Things are really bustling at the Witt’s End resort in Northern Minnesota. Clients are vying for one of the few remaining rentals, except Cabin 14 – thing is no one gets out of Cabin 14 alive.

Sadie isn’t your typical sixty-four year old senior citizen. She has things she wants to do and shouldn’t be expected to solve a murder while trying to prevent an unscrupulous sheriff’s deputy from shutting down the lakeside resort she owns with her straight arrow sister. But that’s exactly what Sadie Witt must do.

When five guests with hidden agendas arrive at Cabin 14, they’re stunned to learn that the flamboyant Sadie is their conduit to the hereafter. Clad in the latest fashion trends – fads typically reserved for those without sagging body parts – and sporting hairdos that make bystanders want to look away but can’t, Sadie realizes one of the guests has been murdered and must work against the clock to untangle the web and prevent further mayhem

My thoughts:  I don’t read many cozy mysteries or novels with paranormal themes but At Witt’s End was the June selection for one of my book groups so I gave it a try. It sounded like it could be a light,fun read and it was!

Sadie quickly reminded me of a slightly younger version of Janet Evanovich’s Grandma Mazur (Stephanie Plum series) – except in At Witt’s End Sadie is a principal character, not a minor one used simply for comic relief.

The characters are quirky, the pace is good, and I enjoyed the setting. If you’re a fan of cozies I think you might like the Sadie Witt Mystery Series. I look forward to reading more about the happenings at Witt’s End. The next book in the series is Outwitted.

Source:  I bought it.

Best Staged Plans by Claire Cook

Title:  Best Staged Plans

Author:  Claire Cook

Genre:  Women’s Fiction

My take:   Home stager Sandy Sullivan is ready for the next chapter in her life. Her daughter is married, her son is out of college (but still lives at home), and her husband took early retirement. Sandy wants to sell their big Victorian and downsize – maybe move to a 55+ community. Hubby and son say they’re going to help get the house ready to sell but one seems more interested in his tennis games with his buddies and the other would rather hide out in the basement and play video games. Sandy’s tired of nagging so when her best friend’s boyfriend calls with a job offer to stage his next venture she decides to take it. She’ll move to Atlanta, live at her daughter’s home, and get the boutique hotel ready for business. She tells her husband not to call her until their house is sold.

In Atlanta Sandy works on her relationship with her son-in-law, works on the hotel staging, and finds the ultimate staging opportunity in a complete stranger. With a little guidance from her GPS and some personal reflection Sandy begins to appreciate a few important aspects of her life she may have previously taken for granted.

Claire Cook is in top form as she uses her typical humor and spot on truth of the human condition to tell the story of one woman that will have many readers saying “Has she been recording my life?”  I loved it!

Source:  I bought the book.

How To Bake A Perfect Life: A Novel by Barbara O’Neal

Title:  How To Bake A Perfect Life: A Novel

Author:  Barbara O’Neal

Genre:  Women’s Fiction/Contemporary Romance

About:  (from Goodreads) Professional baker Ramona Gallagher is a master of an art that has sustained her through the most turbulent times, including a baby at fifteen and an endless family feud. But now Ramona’s bakery threatens to crumble around her. Literally. She’s one water-heater disaster away from losing her grandmother’s rambling Victorian and everything she’s worked so hard to build.

When Ramona’s soldier son-in-law is wounded in Afghanistan, her daughter, Sophia, races overseas to be at his side, leaving Ramona as the only suitable guardian for Sophia’s thirteen-year-old stepdaughter, Katie. Heartbroken, Katie feels that she’s being dumped again—this time on the doorstep of a woman out of practice with mothering.

My thoughts:  This is a touching story by a wonderful author about people who are either physically or emotionally wounded and the people who take care of them. O’Neal’s characters are realistic and so is the story. I enjoyed it all. Bonus points for an extraordinary dog.

Recommend?  Yes. I love Barbara O’Neal’s novels. She writes the kind I want to read straight through to the end and then smile and give it a hug. Fans of novels with recipes included will not be disappointed 🙂

Source:  I bought it.

Mailbox Monday – June 20



Mailbox Monday is a gathering place for readers to share the books that came into their house last week and explore great book blogs. Warning: Mailbox Monday can lead to envy, toppling TBR piles and humongous wish lists.

Hosted in June at The Bluestocking Guide

♦  ♦  ♦


I bought:

Life’s A Beach: A Novella by Malena Lott

Free Kindle books:

Cotillion by Georgette Heyer

The Grand Sophy by Georgette Heyer

For review/blog tour:

I’ll Have Who She’s Having by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

The D Word by Liz Fenton and Lisa Steinke

What was in your mailbox?

Rescue by Anita Shreve

Title:  Rescue

Author: Anita Shreve

Narrator:  Dennis Holland

Genre:  Fiction

Peter Webster rescues people for a living. One night he helps to save a woman involved in a car crash. Later he can’t stop thinking about her so,despite all obvious signs that she is trouble, he pursues a relationship with her. When Sheila tells him she’s pregnant with his baby he marries her. For a while it seems he really has saved her but then Sheila starts to fall back to old habits and becomes a danger to herself and their child. Flash forward several years: Rowan is seventeen and acting out. History seems to be repeating itself. Webster is afraid his daughter is becoming just like her mother. Will he be able to rescue Rowan?

Rescue would make a good book club selection because of  the discussion possibilities: Can people who don’t ask for help be saved when it seems they desperately need it? What might the ramifications be? Shreve works through those questions with her characters. While it’s not my favorite by the author I found it thought-provoking. I listened to the audiobook ably narrated by Dennis Holland.

Source:  My local library