#BookReview: The Year We Turned Forty by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke

Reviewer: Samantha


the year we turned fortySummary:

If you could repeat one year of your life, what would you do differently? This heartwarming and hilarious novel from the authors of The Status of All Things and Your Perfect Life features three best friends who get the chance to return to the year they turned forty—the year that altered all of their lives, in ways big and small—and also get the opportunity to change their future.

Jessie loves her son Lucas more than anything, but it tears her up inside that he was conceived in an affair that ended her marriage to a man she still loves, a man who just told her he’s getting remarried. This time around, she’s determined to bury the secret of Lucas’ paternity, and to repair the fissures that sent her wandering the first time.

Gabriela regrets that she wasted her most fertile years in hot pursuit of a publishing career. Yes, she’s one of the biggest authors in the world, but maybe what she really wanted to create was a family. With a chance to do it again, she’s focused on convincing her husband, Colin, to give her the baby she desires.

Claire is the only one who has made peace with her past: her twenty-two year old daughter, Emily, is finally on track after the turmoil of adolescence, and she’s recently gotten engaged, with the two carat diamond on her finger to prove it. But if she’s being honest, Claire still fantasizes about her own missed opportunities: a chance to bond with her mother before it was too late, and the possibility of preventing her daughter from years of anguish. Plus, there’s the man who got away—the man who may have been her one true love.

But it doesn’t take long for all three women to learn that re-living a life and making different decisions only leads to new problems and consequences—and that the mistakes they made may, in fact, have been the best choices of all…


This was another audiobook that I enjoyed on my (now very hot) walks with my dog. Liz Fenton and Liz Steinke are fabulous authors and I love that they co-write their books. I would never know by reading that two different authors are penning the words, as their creations flow along beautifully. While I maybe had a small fear of will I be able to connect with characters older than myself, that fear was quickly shot down from chapter one. Three friends, deep regrets, and the chance to go back in time and try to make better decisions. Would you go back? That is the exact question I was asking my group of girlfriends. Would you go back? What would you want to try to do over? I love novels that make me talk to other people, and this definitely was one of them. I found myself holding my breath several times while listening to this enjoyable narration, wondering if the decision to redo the year they turned forty would give the women a better outcome – or destroy them. The strong thread of friendship, family and the magical realism sprinkled throughout made me one satisfied reader from beginning to end.

5 stars

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#BookReview: The Total Package by Stephanie Evanovich

Reviewer: Samantha

the total packageSummary:

The New York Times bestselling author of Big Girl Panties is back with a funny, sweet, and sizzling novel about love, redemption, and second chances.

Heartthrob star quarterback Tyson Palmer has it all: a million-dollar arm, a winning season and the promise of a Superbowl ring. But more importantly, football’s biggest star is the ultimate comeback kid. After an addiction to painkillers nearly derailed his career, Tyson got sober and went from zero to hero in the eyes of the public.

But one person remains unconvinced: Dani Carr, a sports commentator with high ratings and following of her own.

Dani can’t forgive Tyson’s transgressions or forget a single passionate night with him back in college. To make things worse, Tyson doesn’t realize that the bombshell with huge ratings is the cute co-ed whose heart he once broke.

But can a sports journalist trying to claw her way to the top and a quarterback who knows all about rock bottom make it to the Super Bowl without destroying each other? And what will happen when Tyson—riding high now that he’s revived his career—realizes he needs to make an even more important comeback with Dani? Can he use his million-dollar moves to get past her defenses—or will she sideline him for good?


I downloaded this book from Audible to enjoy listening to while on walks with my dog. I chose this one because I have not read much from Stephanie Evanovich and also because I am a big football fan, and since one of the main characters plays in the NFL and the other is a sports commentator, I thought this would be a good ft. I wasn’t totally correct there. The beginning started off pretty slow for me and the pacing seemed to drag at points. I would find my mind wandering often while listening and then have to rewind the audio to make sure I wasn’t missing any key points to the story. I didn’t quite understand the connection Tyson and Dani had – from the beginning to when they met again. They never seemed quite compatible and Dani was a little mundane to me. Tyson was an interesting character but toward the end was almost portrayed as just the perfect man, which I didn’t love.

There are plenty of sweet plot points along the way and I did enjoy the secondary characters, though the manipulative football coach was a little overboard for me. The ending was nice and I did enjoy listening to the narration. While not a favorite of mine, light romance fans might enjoy this one. For me, it was just okay.

3 stars

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