#BookReview: She Regrets Nothing by Andrea Dunlop

she regrets nothingAbout the Book

In the tradition of The Emperor’s Children and The House of Mirth, the forgotten granddaughter of one of New York’s wealthiest men is reunited with her family just as she comes of age—and once she’s had a glimpse of their glittering world, she refuses to let it go without a fight.

When Laila Lawrence becomes an orphan at twenty-three, the sudden loss unexpectedly introduces her to three glamorous cousins from New York who show up unannounced at her mother’s funeral. The three siblings are scions of the wealthy family from which Laila’s father had been estranged long before his own untimely demise ten years before.

Two years later, Laila has left behind her quiet life in Grosse Point, Michigan to move to New York City, landing her smack in the middle of her cousins’ decadent world. As the truth about why Laila’s parents became estranged from the family patriarch becomes clear, Laila grows ever more resolved to claim what’s rightfully hers. Caught between longing for the love of her family and her relentless pursuit of the lifestyle she feels she was unfairly denied, Laila finds herself reawakening a long dead family scandal—not to mention setting off several new ones—as she becomes further enmeshed in the lives and love affairs of her cousins. But will Laila ever, truly, belong in their world? Sly and sexy, She Regrets Nothing is a sharply observed and utterly seductive tale about family, fortune, and fate—and the dark side of wealth.

My Review

She Regrets Nothing started off very strong for me. I was immediately interested in the Lawrence family and their very complicated dynamics. Laila seemed like a lost little bird, and I was wishing her the best when her cousins showed up at her mother’s funeral, and she quickly moved out to New York. Liberty, Nora and Leo were all very unique in their own ways, and it was fun seeing Laila start to adapt to her new life. But probably before the halfway point, my interest started to wane. Laila quickly became extremely unlikeable, and it seemed every few chapters she would undergo a major personality change, and it made it hard to keep up with her. The ending definitely took a very dark twist that I actually did not see coming, and somewhat redeemed the book for me after it became a bit stale. Not a favorite, but one that was thought-provoking.

3 stars

I received a review copy in exchange for a review

#BookReview: In the Event the Flower Girl Explodes by Abby Rosmarin

in the event the flower girl explodesAbout the Book

It’s the wedding of the century. Her big brother – the man who was a second father to her after their dad passed – is the groom. And Nicole is fighting just to keep her head above water.

She’s surrounded by an aloof bride-to-be, a psychotic mother of the bride, ridiculous bridesmaids, and a town that feels like a parody of Americana. Her own family is perfectly fine with everything – with the exception of her wise-cracking cousin Ella, whose antics only serve to get Nicole even further into trouble. The wedding stress is invading all aspects of her life, including her own relationship. Nicole only wants what’s best for her brother – but what if that involves her brother leaving his fiancée at the altar?

As the wedding day approaches and tensions continue to rise, Nicole is forced to figure out what love, loyalty, and honesty mean – before it’s too late and she loses everyone she loves.

My Review

In the Event the Flower Girl Explodes by Abby Rosmarin sure caught my attention from the get go. Interesting title, a catchy cover, and I’m a sucker for a book about weddings. We follow Nicole, whose big brother Andrew is getting married. Nicole doesn’t mesh with Andrew’s fiancée Cora from the first meeting, and things only get more awkward and strained from there. It was difficult for me to understand from the get why Andrew was so secretive about his relationship with Cora. We get flashbacks of Nicole and Andrew and they seemed incredibly close, so I was confused why she didn’t know he proposed until she got the engagement party announcement. And that was really the theme for me throughout the story – I felt like I was always missing a chunk of information. And Nicole was hard to like for most of the story. She treated almost everyone around her quite poorly, and I was waiting for her to do something to redeem herself, but when she acted the way she did at the wedding rehearsal to her own brother, I knew then she wasn’t going to get the redemption I was really hoping for. I actually liked Rosmarin’s writing style – it was fast-paced and there were funny scenes and it kept my attention, but I felt like I was constantly questioning what I was reading. I kept going until the end because I figured it would all come together or finally make sense for me, and it really didn’t. I closed the book feeling more confused as ever.

2.5 stars

#BookReview: Queen of Hearts by Kathryn R Biel

queen of heartsAbout the Book

And then they lived happily ever after …

That’s how all the fairy tales end, right? And certainly Maryn Medrovovich’s life is a fairy tale. It was love at first sight between her and Crown Prince Stephan. He didn’t care that she was a commoner, working multiple jobs to make ends meet after her father left the family in dire straits. He only knew he loved her and wanted to make her a princess.

But that’s where the fairy tale ends and real life begins. Being a member of the royal family isn’t everything it’s cracked up to be, especially when your father-in-law, the king, only has interest in your ability to produce an heir. The mounting pressure to maintain a royal image and perform her royal duties become too much as Maryn realizes Stephan is not the white knight she once thought him to be.

Seeking solace in her childhood home, Maryn’s path again crosses with that of George Panagogus, her childhood best friend and first love. He really is a good guy. Too bad she shattered and stomped on his heart all those years ago. It’s time for Maryn to step up and start being her own hero. Will she finally get her storybook ending?

My Review

I have been having a great time reading the New Beginnings series from Kathryn R Biel, and was really looking forward to getting more of a peek into Princess Maryn’s life. I was actually a little disappointed that Maryn wasn’t quite as likeable as I thought she would be. She has some redeeming moments though that I was happy to read, and I did appreciate her love for Stephen, even through all their unique struggles. I actually wish this one would have been a little bit longer, as there were so many interesting plot twists and information I wanted to know on some of the supporting characters, but overall it was fun to read with an unexpected ending. On a whole I would recommend reading the series, but I did enjoy the first two books over this one.

4 stars