Sunday, September 14, 2014

REVIEW: The Wedding Date by Elizabeth Young

Title: The Wedding Date
Author: Elizabeth Young
Publisher: Avon
Publication Date: December, 2004
Genre: Chick-Lit

Description: One wedding. No funeral.

One unqualified catastrophe.

"Dominic" was the little white lie thirty-and-still-unwed Sophy Metcalfe told to soothe her nagging mother. But now her perfect sister Belinda is tying the knot, and Sophy's going to have to produce the charming, successful, ideal boyfriend she invented -- since the genuine article vanished after a single, resoundingly unsuccessful evening. Desperate, she hires a male escort sight unseen to get her through the Nuptials from Hell. But the trouble with white lies is they tend to multiply -- especially at a gala disaster filled with new intrigues and old flames. And the trouble with Josh, her hired date, is he's kind of cute, in a rugged, too-sexy-for-his-own-good way. And then there's the biggest trouble of all -- because every wedding day is followed by a night. And, of course, a morning after ...

My Thoughts: A very cute and enjoyable story by a new to me author that I wish I had read sooner. I thought Sophy and her mates were very likable characters and with Josh, she finds the perfect match. Though I fully understood why Sophy found it necessary to invent a fictional boyfriend, this story is the result of what happens when all of her lies come full circle. On the upside is if she hadn’t lied about her love life, she would never have met Josh.

Things start to unravel after her sister’s wedding that make for some very surprising twists and interesting outcomes. This book had many laugh out loud moments and was a fast read for me. The characters kept me interested in the plot, anticipating what would happen next.

My Final Verdict: This book is a must read for all fans of the chick-lit or contemporary romance genres. If you aren’t a fan of romance, this book will appeal to readers who enjoy humorous fiction. Kudos to Ms. Young for penning a book that was a fun read filled with entertaining characters in awkward but funny situations.

Tuesday, September 09, 2014

REVIEW: Guilty by Karen Robards

Title: Guilty
Author: Karen Robards
Publisher: Putnam
Publication Date: April, 2008
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Description: One cold November night when Kat Kominski was fifteen years old, she and some friends held up a convenience store. In the heat of the moment, one of the others shot and killed an off-duty cop moonlighting as a security guard. Kat and her pals fled the scene in a panic, and no one was caught.

Sixteen years later, Kat --- now Kate White --- has built a new life for herself. Now a single mom with an eight-year-old son, she works as a prosecutor in the Philadelphia DA's office. But her dark past rears its head when she walks into court one day and has a devastating encounter with a prisoner, Mario Castellanos, one of her companions from that terrible night.

Hardcore criminal Mario is facing a possible sentence of twenty years. He lets Kate know that he is counting on her, his old friend turned prosecutor, to make sure he goes free instead. If Kate doesn't do what he wants, he'll claim she was the one who killed the off-duty cop.

Kate is in a bind: If the truth about her past gets out, she stands to lose everything, including her son. But she can't do what Mario wants, either. As Mario ups his demands, blackmailing and terrorizing her, she is forced to turn for protection to a sexy homicide detective, Tom Braga, who suspects her of ... something. The two clash repeatedly as Tom keeps digging into her past, trying to learn the truth.

Then another, far more menacing, threat rears its head, and Kate realizes that her life --- and her son's --- are in terrible danger. Frantic, she sees that she has nowhere to turn. Except, maybe, to Tom ...

My Thoughts: I had a hard time connecting with the main character of this story. The story begins with Kat as a teenager who gets caught up with a bad crowd and bad choices that result in the death of an off-duty police officer. Kat pulls her life together and in spite of being a single parent, she puts herself through law school and is a new prosecutor. Ordinarily, this would be a success story, but when her past catches up to her, Kat begins telling lie after lie, even when she is blatantly confronted, she continues to lie. I quickly became annoyed with her and had a hard time feeling much sympathy for her. The story improved when Kat’s son, Ben, is in mortal danger from some very bad people and Kat finally comes clean to Tom.

I really liked Ben and Tom. I thought Ben was very precocious and adorable. Tom was a great character who is carrying some very painful baggage, but manages to keep his heart open to the possibility of a new relationship. In spite of the lies and deception Kat throws at his feet, he continues to be there for her.

My Final Verdict: Overall, this story was just OK for me. The ending fell flat with little closure and a lot of gaps. Fans of romantic suspense may be able to overlook the lack of character development and enjoy the story but if you are a reader who needs the characters in their stories to be realistic, then this may not be the book for you.

Saturday, September 06, 2014

REVIEW: Totlandia: The Onesies, Book 1 (Fall)

Title: Totlandia: The Onesies, Book 1 (Fall)
Author: Josie Brown
Publisher: Coliloquy, LLC
Publication Date: September, 2012
Genre: Chick-Lit

Description: The Pacific Heights Moms & Tots Club is the most exclusive children’s playgroup in all of San Francisco. For the city’s ultra-competitive elite, the club’s ten annual spots are the ultimate parenting prize.

But not everyone is PHM&TC material. The club's founder, Bettina Connaught Cross, adheres to strict membership rules: Moms only. No single parents or working mothers allowed. Membership is an arduous commitment. And there’s no room in the club for scandal, bad behavior, or imperfection...from tots or their moms.

In a world of power and prestige, no one has more than Bettina. And as every mom in Pacific Heights knows, you simply cannot cross her. But this year’s admissions process is more rigorous than ever, pitting prospective members against each other to prove their mettle.

But four of the six candidates vying for the remaining four slots have a secret that would knock them out of the running. Jade is a former stripper and porn actress, who has been absent for most of her son’s life. Jillian’s husband cleaned out their joint accounts and left her for his pregnant assistant. Ally never even had a husband—just a sperm donor—and she’s hiding a high-ranking corporate job. And Lorna fears that her son may have special needs... just the excuse her sister-in-law, Bettina, needs to deny her entry to the club.

Can these hopeful moms keep up appearances long enough to outlast the competition? Or will their chances—and their private lives—go up in flames?

This is the first of four books that follow our heroines during "the Onesies," their inaugural year in the club. Upcoming books—to be released in four episodes each year—will follow subsequent years: the Twosies, Threesies, Foursies, and Fivesies.

Friendship. Lies. Seduction. Betrayal. Welcome to Totlandia.

My Thoughts: With the first book in this very delightful series, new to me author Josie Brown introduces us to four women who will do anything to ensure their children have the best possible start in life. For these ladies, that means applying to and being accepted for membership in the very exclusive Pacific Heights Moms and Tots Club. A club that is for Moms only who are married and do not work outside the home. The women are part of a group of six who made the final cut and now have to compete for one of the four open slots. What makes this story so interesting is that these women are hiding at least one secret that would disqualify them.

Totlandia: The Onesies was my first book by this very talented author, but will definitely not be my last. I really enjoyed meeting Lorna, Ally, Jade and Jillian. Each character brings an interesting backstory and likable personality to the mix and I thoroughly enjoyed how quickly they all connected and began forming a bond. I have a feeling this club can get pretty cutthroat with backstabbing and betrayal, so strong and loyal friends are definitely needed here. The story moves at a very good pace with many laugh out loud moments. Initially, I was worried that I wouldn’t be able to keep everyone straight, but that fear quickly passed as the main characters are quickly revealed.

My Final Verdict: Overall, this was a very good start to a series that promises a lot of laughter and snarky sarcasm. I feel so much anticipation about what will happen next, you’d think I had submitted an application to the club, too. I highly recommend this book and think your anticipation will be just as high as mine. Kudos to Josie Brown for a very good book and giving me several hours of reading enjoyment.


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I am not a professional reviewer, but I love to read and share my opinions on my reading with others who are interested. I work full time but my ideal perfect day would be to curl up with a good book. The majority of the books I review here are from my private collection and my reviews are provided purely for entertainment purposes. I receive no compensation whatsoever for sharing my thoughts and review on any book. If you would like me to review your book, please email me at Happy Reading! :o)