Summer At Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

  • summer at little beach street bakery (3:22)Title:  Summer At Little Beach Street Bakery
  • Author:  Jenny Colgan
  • Series:  Little Beach Street Bakery #2
  • Pages:  416
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  March 2016 – William Morrow Paperbacks
  • Source:  Publisher via LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Description:  A thriving bakery. A lighthouse to call home. A handsome beekeeper. A pet puffin. These are the things that Polly Waterford can call her own. This is the beautiful life she leads on a tiny island off the southern coast of England.

But clouds are gathering on the horizon. A stranger threatens to ruin Polly’s business. Her beloved boyfriend seems to be leading a secret life. And the arrival of a newcomer—a bereft widow desperately searching for a fresh start—forces Polly to reconsider the choices she’s made, even as she tries to help her new friend through grief.

Unpredictable and unforgettable, this delightful novel will make you laugh, cry, and long for a lighthouse of your own. Recipes included.  (publisher)

My take:  Jenny Colgan takes readers back to Mount Polbearne. I loved seeing what was new in the lives of Polly, Huckle and all the rest. We meet a few new characters and yes, Neil the puffin is back.

Colgan’s novel lived up to my expectations. There’s love, loss, humor and drama in the lives of the residents of the tiny seaside village in Cornwall we first visited in Little Beach Street Bakery. It was great to visit and my hope is that we might someday meet up again.

Even though Colgan provides a brief catch-up of the first book I highly recommend reading it before this book because I enjoyed it so much. Fans of small town settings and characters will find a lot to love in these books.

Spotlight/US Giveaway: The Ramblers by Aidan Donnelley Rowley

TheRamblers_BookCover

About:  Set over the course of one life-changing Thanksgiving week, THE RAMBLERS is a sumptuous, accomplished novel about loss, hope, passion and the strength of the human spirit. Native New Yorker Aidan Donnelley Rowley has written a love letter to New York City—its glittering moments and the magic and wonder that are waiting to be discovered in some of its secret corners.

Clio Marsh, an ornithologist at the American Museum of Natural History, has found solace from her broken childhood by studying the ways in which hummingbirds adapt to harsh environments. The Ramble in Central Park is the only place in Manhattan that has truly ever felt like home in the city, and she’s dedicated to introducing other New Yorkers to the beauties of the natural world on her popular bird-watching walks there. But then Clio meets someone and the solitary world she’s carefully constructed threatens to crumble as she struggles to come to terms with her past.

Smith Anderson has been Clio’s best friend since their first days as undergraduates at Yale, when a painful secret bound them together. As a professional organizer to wealthy Manhattanites, Smith’s career is centered on order and peace, but her own life has been falling apart ever since her fiancé mysteriously called off their engagement and quickly married another woman. Now, with her younger sister’s wedding just days away, Smith is spiraling out of control, grasping for answers from her family and from herself.

Tate Pennington, an aspiring photographer, is going through a bitter divorce. Though the iPhone app he created on a whim made him a millionaire nearly overnight, his failed marriage has left him reeling and he’s returned to New York for a fresh start. But Tate finds himself desperate for a real connection and wonders if he’ll have a sense of truly belonging somewhere, with someone, again.

As the emotional chaos of their lives unfolds, Clio, Smith and Tate must learn to let go of the past in order to make room for the future and the uncertainty and promise that it holds.


My take:  I found this story about three thirty-somethings looking for contentment in their messy lives quite addictive. Aidan Donnelley Rowley’s prose is engaging and had me at times sympathizing with the characters despite some of their first world problems.

Clio, Smith and Tate learn to trust themselves and the person(s) most close to them. They also learn what to strive for – what’s truly important going forward. Issues of mental illness, meeting external expectations, and finding independence are all addressed.

I especially appreciated the tone the novel ended on and will look for more from this new-to-me author. Recommended to fans of Contemporary Fiction.


Praise for The Ramblers:

“In this spirited, compulsively-readable, sophisticated tale of entangled urban lives, Aidan Donnelley Rowley has written a love letter to New York, full of sparkling innocence and its ensuing heartache. The Ramblers is a pure delight.” —Dani Shapiro, New York Times bestselling author of Devotion

“A wonderfully woven story of how family can hold us back or set us free. The richly drawn characters in The Ramblers remind the reader that we sometimes fear the things we most want. It’s not often that a book embeds you so deeply with the characters that you feel as if you are in their story. Rowley’s finely drawn story of love, loss, fear and friendship wound me around its little finger…”   —Lee Woodruff, New York Times bestselling author of Those We Love Most

The Ramblers is an engrossing, meticulously observed novel of New York. Aidan Donnelley Rowley explores the lives of characters navigating the challenges of friendship, jealousy, love and the need to confront their past before they can create a future.” —Will Schwalbe, New York Times bestselling author of The End of Your Life Book Club

“Chock full of the crackling wit, irreverent humor and raw honesty that readers have come to expect from Aidan Donnelley Rowley, this is a tale of beautiful people in glamorous places when life is anything but beautiful and glamorous. A whirlwind foray into the New York City that Aidan Donnelley Rowley knows and loves— and writes—so well.” —Allison Pataki, New York Times bestselling author of The Accidental Empress

“Amidst the rich beauty of Central Park in fall and Manhattan in its prime, The Ramblers weaves a bewitching, wise tale of how love’s path may take unexpected twists and turns. Aidan Donnelley Rowley has brought us a deeply moving and elegant book about how we find ourselves and each other. It pulled me in with its first pages, and wouldn’t let go until the last.” —Sophie McManus, author of The Unfortunates

“Witty and engaging, The Ramblers takes us deep into the cloistered world of three New Yorkers, where privilege does not necessarily lead to happiness. Aidan Donnelley Rowley is an expert at revealing her characters with depth and care.” —Mira Jacob, author of The Sleepwalker’s Guide to Dancing


ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

AidanDonnelleyRowley_AuthorPhoto_creditElenaSeibertBorn and raised in New York City, Aidan Donnelley Rowley graduated from Yale University and received her law degree from Columbia University.  She is the author of a previous novel, Life After Yes, and the creator of the Happier Hour Literary Salon.  She lives in Manhattan with her husband and three daughters.

The Ramblers:

  • On Sale: February 9, 2016
  • Hardcover ISBN: 978-0062413314 / Price: $25.99
  • Ebook ISBN: 9780062413338 / Price: $12.99

Author photo credit: Elena Seibert 


US Giveaway

Please click here and fill out the form

Giveaway ends Feb. 18, 2016 at 9am EST

TheRamblers_BookCover


 

 

 

All The Single Ladies by Dorothea Benton Frank

  • all the single ladiesTitle:  All the Single Ladies: A novel
  • Author:  Dorothea Benton Frank
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Published:  June 2015 – William Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  The perennial New York Times bestselling author returns with an emotionally resonant novel that illuminates the power of friendship in women’s lives, and is filled with her trademark wit, poignant and timely themes, sassy, flesh-and-blood characters, and the steamy Southern atmosphere and beauty of her beloved Carolina Lowcountry.

Few writers capture the complexities, pain, and joy of relationships—between friends, family members, husbands and wives, or lovers—as beloved New York Times bestselling author Dorothea Benton Frank. In this charming, evocative, soul-touching novel, she once again takes us deep into the heart of the magical Lowcountry where three amazing middle-aged women are bonded by another amazing woman’s death.

Through their shared loss they forge a deep friendship, asking critical questions. Who was their friend and what did her life mean? Are they living the lives they imagined for themselves? Will they ever be able to afford to retire? How will they maximize their happiness? Security? Health? And ultimately, their own legacies?

A plan is conceived and unfurls with each turn of the tide during one sweltering summer on the Isle of Palms. Without ever fully realizing how close they were to the edge, they finally triumph amid laughter and maybe even newfound love.  (publisher)

My take:  I love how Dorothea Benton Frank tells a story. I’ve read a handful of her books and am so happy there are so many more to read. She makes me laugh as well as sympathize with her characters’ dilemmas.

The ladies of ALL THE SINGLE LADIES are of a certain age (40s and 50s) and seem to be happy (or maybe resigned to) where life has taken them. At any rate, they’re used to being single and fending for themselves. When the friend who brought them all together dies and leaves her estate to one of the women they are faced with a mystery. As they try to figure things out life brings new people into their lives. The supporting characters are, for the most part, completely charming. They add to the warmth, tension, and emotion of the novel.

The ladies find that true friends will get you through just about anything life throws at you. And a sense of humor and an open heart make the road easier.

I loved the novel and look forward to the author’s next book. I also listened (used an audible credit so I could listen when I walked). The narration by Robin Miles was so enjoyable. Her performance enhanced the book for me.

Whisper Beach by Shelley Noble

  • whisp beach 6:16Title:  Whisper Beach
  • Author:  Shelley Noble
  • Genre:  Women’s  Fiction
  • Published:  June 2015 – William Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  When Vanessa Moran comes home for the funeral of her cousin’s husband she plans to stay for the service and then continue on to the shore for a well-deserved vacation. But things don’t go as planned. 

Van left 15 years earlier and never looked back. She worked hard, studied hard, and found a career organizing and managing other people’s homes and lives in Manhattan. What she left behind was her old life: an alcoholic, unforgiving father; a ruined relationship with her boyfriend; and school friends who seemed to be going nowhere. Now she finds some things have changed and a few haven’t. As her plans change and she starts to get to know people again will she be open to changes in her own life? 

Shelley Noble’s characters might seem a little familiar to anyone who grew up in a small town. I enjoyed them all. My favorite character was Dorie, the owner of the Blue Crab restaurant. More than that, she was a mother figure to more than a few kids in town. Her house was the safe place to go no matter what the circumstances. She was a good sounding board and also the voice of reason. I also liked Van’s friend Suze. Everyone needs a BFF like Suze. 

Themes of forgiveness and second chances run through Whisper Beach. The novel wasn’t tied up neatly at the end which is why I hope Noble will return to Whisper Beach in the not too distant future. Recommended to fans of the author and Women’s Fiction.

Little Beach Street Bakery by Jenny Colgan

  • Little Beach Street Bakery (3:31:15)Title:  Little Beach Street Bakery
  • Author:  Jenny Colgan
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  March 2015 – William Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  When 30-something Polly’s life leads her to the day where the men from the bank take over her (and her boyfriend’s) house, and their business is dissolved, she is forced to start over – without the boyfriend. She finds herself living in a wreck of a flat over a vacant bakery in a tiny seaside village an hour from where her old life went wrong. There’s nowhere to go but up. Polly survives on her optimism and willingness to change. She’s a character you can’t help but cheer on as she takes her hobby of baking bread to the next level and eventually has more takers for her bread than she ever dreamed.

It’s not all easy street for Polly though. Gillian, the woman who used to be the only bakery owner on the tidal island is not pleased with her competition. She uses intimidation on Polly but to no avail. Can the two co-exist? And what about the intriguing fisherman, Tarnie. Polly is surprised by her attraction as he’s so different from her last boyfriend. Can she even look at him in that way? But there’s more – Huckle, the American beekeeper is a bit of a mystery that she would like to solve. Huckle’s friend Reuben and Kerensa, Polly’s best friend, add an over-the-top and highly entertaining aspect to the plot.

I don’t want to spoil by telling more but suffice to say that Little Beach Street Bakery could end up on my 2015 Favorite Books list. It’s the first of Jenny Colgan’s books I’ve read and I can’t wait to read another.

Girl Before a Mirror by Liza Palmer

  • Girl Before a Mirror (Jan27)VineTitle:  Girl Before a Mirror
  • Author:  Liza Palmer
  • Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
  • Published:  January 27, 2015 – William Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  An account executive in a Mad Men world, Anna Wyatt is at a crossroads. Recently divorced, she’s done a lot of emotional housecleaning, including a self-imposed dating sabbatical. But now that she’s turned forty, she’s struggling to figure out what her life needs. Brainstorming to win over an important new client, she discovers a self-help book–Be the Heroine, Find Your Hero–that offers her unexpected insights and leads her to a most unlikely place: a romance writers’ conference. If she can sign the Romance Cover Model of the Year Pageant winner for her campaign–and meet the author who has inspired her to take control of her life–she’ll win the account. 

For Anna, taking control means taking chances, including getting to know Sasha, her pretty young colleague on the project, and indulging in a steamy elevator ride with Lincoln Mallory, a dashing financial consultant she meets in the hotel. When the conference ends, Anna and Lincoln must decide if their intense connection is strong enough to survive outside the romantic fantasy they’ve created. Yet Lincoln is only one of Anna’s dilemmas. Now that her campaign is off the ground, others in the office want to steal her success, and her alcoholic brother, Ferdie, is spiraling out of control. 

To have the life she wants-to be happy without guilt, to be accepted for herself, to love and to be loved, to just be–she has to put herself first, accept her imperfections, embrace her passions, and finally be the heroine of her own story.  (publisher)

My take:  I so enjoyed this novel about a woman’s journey to accepting herself for who she really is – not the person she thought she should strive to be in order to be accepted by others (her parents, professors, boss, etc.). Liza Palmer’s story is funny, heartbreaking, poignant, and ultimately uplifting. I think many women will relate to some aspect of Anna’s personal life or career issues. I found her likable and sympathized with her struggles.

I love the way Palmer tells a story and she didn’t disappoint with Girl Before a Mirror. I liked it all. From Anna’s cheerful colleague, Sasha, to Lincoln, the dashing hero, to Helen, the encouraging and inspiring mentor – they all combined to help Anna figure things out. It’s an entertaining novel that I’ll recommend to friends.

Butternut Summer by Mary McNear

  • butternut summer (Aug12)Title:  Butternut Summer
  • Series:  The Butternut Lake trilogy #2
  • Author:  Mary McNear
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  August 2014 – William Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Every summer on Butternut Lake the tourists arrive, the shops open, and the waves lap its tree-lined shores, just as they have for years. But this season everything changes for one mother and daughter who’ve always called the lake home. . . .

 

Caroline’s life is turned upside down the moment her ex-husband, Jack, strides through the door of her coffee shop. He seems changed—stronger, steadier, and determined to make amends with Caroline and their daughter, Daisy. Is he really different, or is he the same irresistibly charming but irresponsible man he was when he left Butternut Lake eighteen years ago? Caroline, whose life is stuck on pause as her finances are going down the tubes, is tempted to let him back into her life . . . but would it be wise?

For Caroline’s daughter, Daisy, the summer is filled with surprises. Home from college, she’s reunited with the father she adores—but hardly knows—and swept away by her first true love. But Will isn’t what her mother wants for her—all Caroline can see is that he’s the kind of sexy “bad boy” Daisy should stay away from.

As the long, lazy days of summer pass, Daisy and Caroline come to realize that even if Butternut Lake doesn’t change, life does. . . .    (publisher)

My take:  The synopsis tells you all you need to know so be sure to read it. This second book in the trilogy picks up three years after the end of the first book, Up at Butternut Lake.

I can tell you that I liked Butternut Summer very much. I liked the characters and the plot and I found McNear’s writing quite enjoyable. The flow of the novel was good. So good that if I had to stop reading, I did so reluctantly.

This is a story of second chances, hope, and first love. And it ends with a cliff-hanger. I can’t wait to read the third book in the Butternut Lake trilogy. I hope I don’t have to wait too long!


 

McNear Mary ap1Mary McNear is a New York Times and USA Today bestselling author living in San Francisco with her husband, two teenage children, and a high-strung, miniscule white dog named Macaroon. She bases her novels on a lifetime of summers spent in a small town on a lake in the Northern Midwest.


The publisher sent a finished copy

so I’ll share it with one of my US readers 🙂

Please click here and fill out the form

Good luck!

An Unwilling Accomplice by Charles Todd

  • An Unwilling AccompliceTitle:  An Unwilling Accomplice
  • Series:  Bess Crawford #6
  • Author:  Charles Todd
  • Published:  August 2014 – William Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  World War I Battlefield nurse Bess Crawford’s career is in jeopardy when a murder is committed on her watch, in this absorbing and atmospheric historical mystery from New York Times bestselling author Charles Todd.

Home on leave, Bess Crawford is asked to accompany a wounded soldier confined to a wheelchair to Buckingham Palace, where he’s to be decorated by the King. The next morning when Bess goes to collect Wilkins, he has vanished. Both the Army and the nursing service hold Bess negligent for losing the war hero, and there will be an inquiry. 

Then comes disturbing word from the Shropshire police, complicating the already difficult situation: Wilkins has been spotted, and he’s killed a man. If Bess is to save her own reputation, she must find Wilkins and uncover the truth. But the elusive soldier has disappeared again and even the Shropshire police have lost him. Suddenly, the moral implications of what has happened—that a patient in her charge has committed murder—become more important to Bess than her own future. She’s going to solve this mysterious puzzle, but righting an injustice and saving her honor may just cost Bess her life.  (publisher)

My take:  I found the newest addition to the Bess Crawford series different from the other books. It takes place almost entirely in England. She’s been put on leave while an inquiry occurs to determine her part in the disappearance of Wilkins, the war hero she’d been assigned to accompany to Buckingham Palace to receive a medal from the King.

It doesn’t take long until Bess’s family friend Sergeant-Major Simon Brandon is by her side intent on proving her innocence as well as finding Wilkins. The two travel the countryside trying to solve the mystery.

I enjoyed the setting and the interactions between Bess and Simon but I didn’t see their friendship progress much in this book. I’d been hoping :). I guess I’ll have to wait for the next book. That aside, I thought the mystery was engaging for a while but I grew a bit bored by the time the actual solution was revealed. So, I liked it but didn’t love it as much as I’d hoped to. I recommend An Unwilling Accomplice to fans of the series, historical mysteries, and Charles Todd.

Up At Butternut Lake by Mary McNear

up at butternut lake

  • Title:  Up at Butternut Lake
  • Series:  The Butternut Lake Trilogy, #1
  • Author:  Mary McNear
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance; Small town fiction
  • Published:  April 2014 – William Morrow
  • Source:  Purchased

Synopsis:  It’s been ten years since Allie Beckett crossed the threshold of her family cabin at Butternut Lake, Minnesota. Now, newly widowed after the death of her husband in Afghanistan, she’s returned with her five-year-old son. There, she reconnects with the friends she had in childhood – best girlfriend Jax, now married with three kids and one on the way, and Caroline, owner of the local coffee shop. What Allie doesn’t count on is a newcomer to Butternut Lake, Walker Ford. Up at Butternut Lake follows these four unforgettable characters across a single summer as they struggle with love, loss, and what it means to take risks, confront fears, and embrace life, in all of its excitement and unpredictability. Allie Beckett could never have imagined, when she ran away from her old life, that she was running into a whole new life, up at the lake….  (publisher)

My brief take:  I bought Up at Butternut Lake after I accepted a review copy of the second book in the Butternut Lake trilogy. I wanted to get the background on the setting and original characters. I enjoyed reading about the small northern Minnesota town and found the main characters just as enjoyable. Each woman (Allie, Caroline and Jax) as well as Walker (Allie’s love interest) are in need of a fresh start, a second chance, but first they must make peace with the past. Mary McNear gave them emotional stories and wrote with a lot of heart. I look forward to reading the second book Butternut Summer which will be out in August.

Breakwater Bay by Shelley Noble

breakwater bay July8

  • Title:  Breakwater Bay
  • Author:  Shelley Noble
  • Genre:  Women’s Fiction
  • Published:  July 2014 – Wm. Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

Synopsis:  Preservationist Meri Hollis loves her latest project, restoring one of Newport’s forgotten Gilded Age mansions. And with summer approaching, she’ll be able to spend more time with her Gran on the Rhode Island shore. She has a great job, a loving family, and she’s pretty sure her boyfriend is going to propose on her thirtieth birthday.

But everything Meri believes about family, happiness, truth, and love is shattered when her family’s darkest secret is exposed.

Thirty years before, Meri’s neighbor and friend, Alden Corrigan, took his father’s dinghy out to fish. In a sudden storm, he rushed to help a woman stranded on the breakwater. She was just a girl . . . a very pregnant girl who disappeared soon after they reached safety—But not before she left behind a very special gift.

Now that the truth it out, life will change for everyone in Breakwater Bay, and Meri and Alden will have to make decisions that could ensure their future together . . . or separate them for good.   (publisher)

My take:  I loved the atmospheric feel to this novel. Very gothic – although not really dark –  with the huge, drafty house on the shore; the almost reclusive, handsome man (Alden) who owns the house; and the young woman (Meri) who suddenly needs him more than she ever realized. It’s a tale of honor, responsibility, and what exactly constitutes a family. In the end, family is not determined solely by blood but, more than that, the people who will do anything for you – the people who want to be a part of your life.

Shelley Noble included a good amount of detail of Meri’s preservation work in the story. I loved reading about it and could envision the beauty of the Newport mansion her team was restoring.

I would have liked the end of the novel fleshed out a bit more than it was but I was nonetheless pleased with the conclusion. Breakwater Bay is a good summer read – take it to the beach or read it at home and imagine yourself reading at the Rhode Island shore.

_____

Shelley Noble is a former professional dancer and choreographer. She most recently worked on the films, Mona Lisa Smile and The Game Plan. She is a member of Sisters in Crime, Mystery Writers of America, and Romance Writers of America.

_____

One more thing . . .

The publisher sent a finished copy so I decided to share it with one of my US readers.

Please click here to fill out the form.

Giveaway is closed

Blog tour/Giveaway: The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson

Idea-of-Him-199x300

Publisher: William Morrow  (April 1, 2014)
Category: Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction
ISBN: 978-0062283108
Tour Dates: April/May, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 384 Pages

Book description:  In the fabulous and intrigue-packed new novel from Holly Peterson, the New York Times bestselling author of THE MANNYTHE IDEA OF HIM explores the dangers of falling for the idea of a person, and why facing reality is more liberating than we ever dreamed it could be. For anyone who’s let the fear of being alone keep them from seeing who someone really is, THE IDEA OF HIM is an inspiring, action-packed story of what happens when we embrace our own power and allow the truth to finally set us free.

Allie Crawford has the life she always dreamed of—she’s number two at a high-profile P.R. firm; she has two kids she adores; and her husband is a blend of handsome and heroic. Wade is everything she thought a man was supposed to be—he’s running a successful newsmagazine and, best of all, he provides the stable yet exciting New York City life Allie believes she needs in order to feel secure and happy.

But when Allie finds Wade locked in their laundry room with a stunning blonde in snakeskin sandals, a scandal ensues that flips her life on its head. And when the woman wants to befriend Allie, an old flame calls, and a new guy gets a little too close for comfort, she starts to think her marriage is more of a facade than something real. Maybe she’s fallen in love not with Wade—but with the idea of him.

Captivating and seductive, told in the whip-smart voice of a woman who is working hard to keep her parenting and career on track, The Idea of Him is a novel of conspiracy, intrigue, and intense passion—and discovering your greatest strength through your deepest fears.

My take:  Since the tragic loss of her father Allie had been trying to find a replacement – maybe she wasn’t aware of that but the reader can see it. She thought Wade was the guy to love her, keep her safe, and create a family. When she slowly realizes all is not what it seemed Allie starts figuring out what Wade is involved in and considering her own options.

I was slow to warm to this story but when I did the pages almost turned themselves. Like Allie, I wasn’t sure who to trust most of the time. One thing I knew for sure early on – she needed to get herself and her children out of her marriage. On the surface it seemed Wade was a family man and loved Allie but, in reality, the only one Wade loved was Wade. She now finds herself on shaky ground at best and the future is not looking good. Will Allie be able to create a new future? Will she figure out that she doesn’t have to rely on the likes of Wade for her own happiness – that she’s responsible for it herself? I’m telling you, I wanted to give her a good shake and yell “Snap out of it!” more than once!

I ended up liking  The Idea of Him. It is filled with interesting characters (some larger than life) and has an intriguing plot that grew on me. I look forward to seeing what Holly Peterson comes up with in her next book. Keep reading – there’s a giveaway!

You can see what others are saying about THE IDEA OF HIM here.

_____

Holly Peterson is the author of the New York Timesand international best seller, The Manny. She was a Contributing EditorHolly-Peterson-213x300 for Newsweek and editor-at-large for Tina Brown’s Talk magazine. She was also an Emmy Award–winning producer for ABC News for more than a decade, where she cov­ered global politics. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, Talk, the Daily Beast, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and other publications.

Website: www.HollyPeterson.com

Facebook:https://m.facebook.com/HollyPetersonny?id=275564372549939&_rdr
Twitter: https://mobile.twitter.com/hollypetersonny
Instagram-http://instagram.com/hollypetersonny
Pinterest-http://www.pinterest.com/hollypetersonny/pins/

Buy The Idea of Him:

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Book Depository

Tour schedule is here.

GIVEAWAY

Idea-of-Him-199x300

One copy to a reader from the US or Canada

Please click here and fill out the form

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vabt-highresolution

Cover reveal: The Idea of Him by Holly Peterson

Idea-of-Him-199x300Publisher: William Morrow  (April 1, 2014)
Category: Contemporary Fiction/ Women’s Fiction
ISBN: 978-0062283108
Tour Date: April/May, 2014
Available in: Print & ebook, 384 Pages

In the fabulous and intrigue-packed new novel from Holly Peterson, the New York Times bestselling author of THE MANNYTHE IDEA OF HIM explores the dangers of falling for the idea of a person, and why facing reality is more liberating than we ever dreamed it could be. For anyone who’s let the fear of being alone keep them from seeing who someone really is, THE IDEA OF HIM is an inspiring, action-packed story of what happens when we embrace our own power and allow the truth to finally set us free.

Allie Crawford has the life she always dreamed of—she’s number two at a high-profile P.R. firm; she has two kids she adores; and her husband is a blend of handsome and heroic. Wade is everything she thought a man was supposed to be—he’s running a successful newsmagazine and, best of all, he provides the stable yet exciting New York City life Allie believes she needs in order to feel secure and happy.

But when Allie finds Wade locked in their laundry room with a stunning blonde in snakeskin sandals, a scandal ensues that flips her life on its head. And when the woman wants to befriend Allie, an old flame calls, and a new guy gets a little too close for comfort, she starts to think her marriage is more of a facade than something real. Maybe she’s fallen in love not with Wade—but with the idea of him.

Captivating and seductive, told in the whip-smart voice of a woman who is working hard to keep her parenting and career on track, The Idea of Him is a novel of conspiracy, intrigue, and intense passion—and discovering your greatest strength through your deepest fears.

_____

About Holly Peterson:

Holly Peterson is the author of the New York Timesand international best seller, The Manny. She was a Holly-Peterson-213x300Contributing Editor for Newsweek and editor-at-large for Tina Brown’s Talk magazine. She was also an Emmy Award–winning producer for ABC News for more than a decade, where she cov­ered global politics. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, Newsweek, Talk, the Daily Beast, Vogue, Harper’s Bazaar, and other publications.

Website: www.HollyPeterson.com

Facebook:https://m.facebook.com/HollyPetersonny?id=275564372549939&_rdr
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A Question of Honor by Charles Todd

a question of honor

  • Title:  A Question of Honor: A Bess Crawford Mystery
  • Author:  Charles Todd
  • Genre:  Mystery
  • Published:  August 2013 – Wm Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  I want to begin by saying the Bess Crawford series has become one of my favorites. I like the WWI era, the (mostly) British characters, and the mysteries that Bess seems obligated to solve. I recommend reading the series in order because bits and pieces of Bess’s past are added with each book.

In the newest book, A Question of Honor, we go back to 1908 India when her father, a colonel in the British army, was stationed there. Something occurs back in England  involving one of his regiment that could ultimately hurt the colonel’s reputation as well as leave a black mark on the entire regiment. At that time Bess was fifteen and not privy to any details of what had happened.

Fast-forward to 1918 and we find 25-year-old Bess working as a Sister (British nurse) on the front in France.  One day a dying Indian Sergeant frantically tells Bess something that leads to reopening the unsolved case from 1908. One thing leads to another and Bess is once again working to solve a mystery during her time off back in England.

Bess gets help tracking clues from her father’s assistant Major Simon Brandon as well as her parents. I’ve enjoyed these characters throughout the series. Major Brandon remains a man of mystery with just enough information revealed in this story to make me want to know still more about him. I also hope that he and Bess will realize at some point how perfect they are for one another. I liked the supporting characters, one being Rudyard Kipling, and how they factored into the mystery. The settings of India, France and England were easy to visualize from the detailed descriptions. The case is solved, of course, and I thought it interesting and believable.

If you enjoy British mysteries and this particular era you’ll want to read A Question of Honor.

Big Girl Panties by Stephanie Evanovich

big girl panties

  • Title:  Big Girl Panties
  • Author:  Stephanie Evanovich
  • Genre:  Contemporary Romance
  • Published:  July 2013  – William Morrow
  • Source:  Publisher

My take:  Holly meets Logan on a flight from Montreal to Newark. She’s an overweight 32 year old widow and he’s an adonis-like trainer. To be sure, they are not each other’s type but they strike up a conversation that ends with Logan putting Holly on his training schedule. She puts her all into new habits of healthy eating and working out and reaps the rewards. Working so closely together forms an unlikely friendship that eventually moves into a relationship.

Holly finds it difficult to get past her self esteem issues to believe that Logan truly wants to be with her. Logan really likes her but is bothered by the fact he may care too much what people think when they see him with someone who isn’t a willowy, gorgeous blond model – his usual type.

Holly was as likable as she was relatable (if you’ve ever had weight issues). Big Girl Panties has some very sweet moments that I enjoyed but its spicy scenes may leave some readers blushing so be forewarned. All in all, Stephanie Evanovich’s sexy take on the Ugly Duckling story makes for an entertaining novel.

Vanity Fare: A Novel of Lattes, Literature, and Love by Megan Caldwell

Vanity Fare

Synopsis: Molly Hagan is overwhelmed. Her husband left her for a younger, blonder woman, her six year-old son is questioning her authority, and now, so is she. In order to pay her Brooklyn rent and keep her son supplied with Pokemon and Legos – not to mention food and clothing – she has to get a job. Fast.

So when an old friend offers Molly a copywriting position at a new bakery, finding romance is just about the last thing on her mind. But the sexy British pastry chef who’s heading up the bakery has other thoughts. And so does Molly when she meets the chef’s intimidating business partner – who also happens to have a secret that might prevent Molly from getting her own Happily Ever After.

My brief take: I was thoroughly entertained by Megan Caldwell’s modern day take on a historical romance. It was filled with a few possible heroes and a heroine who is coping with the end of her marriage and the need to make a new life for herself and her young son.

Molly, our heroine, has serious self-esteem issues to work through – which she does with the help of her therapist. That’s a good thing because Molly soon finds herself dealing with two rather intimidating ‘heroes’ as well as her newly penniless mother. Oh my!

Caldwell kept me turning the pages and I finished Vanity Fare in a few hours. I really liked it and will be watching for her next book. Recommended.

PS There are recipes 🙂

Title: Vanity Fare: A Novel of Lattes, Literature, and Love

Author: Megan Caldwell

Genre: Contemporary Fiction

Published: December 2012 – Wm. Morrow  Paperback: 416 pages

Source: I received an arc from the publisher via the Library Thing Early Reviewers program. I was not compensated for my review.

In the Bag by Kate Klise

In The Bag

Synopsis:  (back of the book) – A European vacation. A luggage mix-up. A note from a secret admirer.

Meet two single parents who think they’re too busy to date. 
And two teenagers who can’t stop writing flirty emails. 
This is a tale of connections–missed and made–in a universe that seems to have its heart set on reuniting Ms. 6B and Mr. 13C.

Webb
I can’t believe I picked up the wrong bag at the airport. My dad is never going to let me hear the end of it.

Coco
I don’t understand why Mom told me to pack my worst underwear. And now I’ve lost my bag? Ack!

Andrew
I cannot stop thinking about that woman in seat 6B on the flight to Paris.

Daisy
I don’t have time to worry about the creep sitting in 13C who slipped a note in my purse. I have to find my daughter’s missing bag before this ruins our vacation.

“In the Bag” is a smart and stylish story that explores the old-fashioned art of romance in a modern world, where falling in love can be as risky as checking a bag on an international flight. Buckle your seat belt–it’s going to be a bumpy vacation!

My take:  The back of the book synopsis gives a good sense of what to expect in this entertaining and, some might say, predictable novel. I enjoyed it for the fun plot, the interesting characters, and the snappy dialogue.

I was taken by surprise, in a good way, by the discussions of songwriter Jimmy Webb and his songs – especially Wichita Lineman, a song that always makes me stop whatever I’m doing and listen. There’s just something about that song. Anyway, Andrew was such a fan that he named Webb after him.

All in all, this novel reminded me of those Disney teen movies that always leave an audience smiling. It was a welcome diversion during a busy week.

Title:  In the Bag

Author:  Kate Klise

Genre:  Fiction

Published:  May 2012 – William Morrow – PB: 306 pages

Source:  I bought my copy