Good Enough To Eat by Stacey Ballis

TItle:  Good Enough To Eat

Author:  Stacey Ballis

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  September 2010 – Berkley

My take:  Melanie lost half her body weight and then lost her husband – to her best friend who is twice Mel’s new size.  Mel already had a new business in the works so when the divorce was final she used her settlement to buy a condo and moved on with her life. She’d been a lawyer but now used her new healthy lifestyle as the basis for her business – Dining By Design – a healthy food take-away store.

The employees of Dining By Design are more than coworkers to Melanie. They’ve all had their own struggles in life and offer  each other unconditional support. I truly enjoyed each character and the depth they added to the novel.

Melanie knew she needed to work through her trust issues – especially with men. She found a chance to do that with a handsome filmmaker.  She also had Carey, a diet/nutrition coach who guided her along the way. Everyone should have a Carey – she really helped Melanie maintain balance in her life .

I really liked this novel. I could relate to Mel’s food issues and I liked the Chicago setting. I think fans of chick lit will enjoy Good Enough to Eat. A treat for readers: recipes!

Source:  Giveaway win.

Mailbox Monday



May host:  Reviews by Martha’s Bookshelf

♦  ♦  ♦

A few more books than usual because I missed a couple of Mailbox Mondays.

I think they all look good!



The House At Tyneford by Natasha Solomons (giveaway win from Kaye)

Goodbye For Now by Laurie Frankel (Doubleday)

The Queen’s Vow by C.W. Gortner (Ballantine)

Beach Colors by Shelley Noble (HarperCollins/LibraryThing)

Beautiful Ruins by Jess Walter (Harper)

Objects of My Affection by Jill Smolinski (Blackstone Audio)

What was in your mailbox?

For Love and Honor by Cathy Maxwell, Lynne Hinton, Candis Terry

Title:  For Love and Honor

Authors: Cathy Maxwell, Lynne Hinton, Candis Terry

Genre: Romance anthology

Published: June 2012 – Avon

My take:  For Love and Honor contains three separate novellas with the common theme of soldiers. The first, The Bookish Miss Nelson, is a historical romance. A soldier gets into a fight and his punishment is to accompany the daughter of a superior officer home through enemy lines. This is not the type of mission he signed up for but he accepts his assignment.

The second novella is Letters From Pie Town by Lynne Hinton. One of Pie Town’s own has been wounded in Afghanistan and is recovering in Germany. The novella is made up of letters of encouragement from the small New Mexico town’s citizens.  Even though I haven’t read the original book I was brought up to speed on several characters through the letters.

The third novella, Home Sweet Home, is about a soldier feeling guilt for being the only member of his team to come home. He doesn’t feel he deserves any happiness and wants to cut himself off from his girlfriend and others. His hometown takes matters into their own hands and find a way to start him on the road to his future.

Of the three, I’d say my favorite was Letters from Pie Town. I liked the quiet, cozy feel of the small town people and their letters. I will definitely seek out other books by Lynne Hinton. If you’re a contemporary romance fan you may like Home Sweet Home for the usual reasons but I liked it because it included information about reuniting soldiers with their dogs (and other animals). There’s an actual group that brings the animals to the States from wherever the soldier served!

Source:  Avon

Disclosure:  See sidebar. I was not compensated for my review.

I Never Promised You A Goodie Bag by Jennifer Gilbert

  • Title:  I Never Promised You A Goodie Bag: A Memoir of a Life Through Events – the Ones You Plan and the Ones You Don’t
  • Author:  Jennifer Gilbert
  • Genre:  Memoir
  • Published:  May 2012 – HarperCollins
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  I Never Promised You A Goodie Bag is a compelling memoir that begins with a young woman just starting out in life. College is behind her and she’s ready to get out in the world and make her way. But before she can even start, a horrible event changes everything.

In May of 1991 Jennifer went into Manhattan to visit a friend and got off the subway at the wrong stop. She didn’t know someone was following her as she walked to her friend’s apartment. She was followed into the apartment building and then brutally attacked.

Jennifer Gilbert tells her story of how she climbed out of the depths of despair following the attack. It’s a journey that moved back and forth in terms of progress until she finally realized she needed to get her life going again – to not let the attacker win. She interviewed for jobs and was hired by an event-planning company. She threw herself into her job and found that not only was she good at it, she loved it. Jennifer eventually started her own company Save the Date. Over the years she dealt with trust, control issues, an eating disorder – all related to the attack.

I was glad that Gilbert’s story is not a perfect plan for surviving a horrific event. It’s a very personal account of how she made it through with determination and a lot of help from loved ones and professionals. I appreciated her honesty of how she continues to deal with life’s unplanned events. I Never Promised You A Goodie Bag is a truly inspirational memoir.

Sunday Post #14

Things have been quiet at Bookfan lately because my husband and I are in Maine visiting our new grandson. Jack was born May 10th – a few weeks earlier than expected. Although he’s tiny he’s also perfectly healthy. We’ll be here for a few more days. I’m so glad we were able to spend this time with Jack and his parents.


Jack and his mom (our daughter)

Jack and his parents