#BookReview: How To Change a Life by Stacey Ballis

how to change a lifeAbout the Book

A dare between friends leads to startling revelations and simmering tensions in the latest novel from the author of Wedding Girl.

Eloise is happy with her life as a successful private chef. She has her clients, her corgi, and a recipe for the world’s most perfect chocolate cream pie. What more could she need? But when her long-lost trio of high school friends reunites, Eloise realizes how lonely she really is.

Eloise, Lynne, and Teresa revamp their senior-class assignment and dare one another to create a list of things to accomplish by the time they each turn forty in a few months. Control freak Lynne has to get a dog, Teresa has to spice up her marriage, and Eloise has to start dating again.

Enter Shawn, a hunky ex-athlete and the first man Eloise could see herself falling for. Suddenly forty doesn’t seem so lonely—until a chance encounter threatens the budding romance and reveals the true colors of her friends. Will the bucket listers make it to forty still speaking to one another? Or do some friendships come with an expiration date?

My Review

Stacey Ballis is on my list of favorite writers, and I always know I will enjoy her novels. How To Change a Life was the same absorbing read as her past books. I loved the idea of Eloise and her two friends making a little bucket list of sorts, items they want to complete before their fortieth birthdays. While Eloise is our main character, I still felt like I really got to know Teresa and Lynn, and enjoyed both of their stories. I’m such a fan of foodie fiction as well, and the combination of Eloise being a chef and the cute storyline of helping her client’s son compete for a food reality show, I was basically salivating my way through the book. Another must read from Stacey Ballis, and one for my favorite’s list.

5 stars

#BookReview: Nine Women, One Dress by Jane L Rosen

nine women one dressAbout the Book

A charming, hilarious, irresistible romp of a novel that brings together nine unrelated women, each touched by the same little black dress that weaves through their lives, bringing a little magic with it.

Natalie is a Bloomingdale’s salesgirl mooning over her lawyer ex-boyfriend who’s engaged to someone else after just two months. Felicia has been quietly in love with her boss for seventeen years and has one night to finally make the feeling mutual. Andie is a private detective who specializes in gathering evidence on cheating husbands—a skill she unfortunately learned from her own life—and lands a case that may restore her faith in true love. For these three women, as well as half a dozen others in sparkling supporting roles—a young model fresh from rural Alabama, a diva Hollywood star making her Broadway debut, an overachieving, unemployed Brown grad who starts faking a fabulous life on social media, to name just a few—everything is about to change, thanks to the dress of the season, the perfect little black number everyone wants to get their hands on . . .

My Review

I got on really well with this book, right from the beginning. There are so many different characters and plot points, yet somehow they all seem to connect and intersect in one way or the other. And all because of one little black dress. About halfway through the book though I had to stop and think: where was all this going? What was the actual point of this book? Typically I prefer reads with a bit more depth, a lesson to be learned, and I didn’t quite get that with this one. Entertaining, charming and easy to read – yes. But when I got the final page, it left me wanting just a bit more. Light and breezy and didn’t take me too many sittings to get it read, I would still recommend Nine Women, One Dress. I just couldn’t call it a favorite.

4 stars

#BookReview: Little Gray Dress by Aimee Brown

little gray dressAbout the Book

Emi Harrison has avoided her ex-fiance, Jack Cabot, for nearly two years. Her twin brother Evan’s wedding is about to end that streak.

From bad bridesmaid’s dresses, a hyperactive sister-in-law, a mean girl with even meaner secrets, and too much to drink, nothing seems to go right for Emi, except when she’s wearing her little gray dress.

When she speed-walks into Liam Jaxon’s bar, things get more complicated. He’s gorgeous, southern, and has no past with Emi. He may be exactly what she needs to prove for the last time that she doesn’t need or want Jack!

Her favorite little gray dress has made an appearance at nearly every major event in Emi’s adult life. Will it make another grand appearance when she least expects it?

My Review

What a pure joy to read, from beginning to end. I would have never guessed this was Aimee Brown’s debut novel, from the strong writing, laugh out loud and cringe worthy moments, and a beyond satisfying ending. I enjoyed the structure of the story, switching seamlessly from present to past, and the secondary cast of characters added comedic value and plenty of touching moments. I particularly enjoyed Jack’s mother! This would be a great addition to any TBR list for chick lit and romantic comedy fans.

5 stars