Book Review: Condemn Me Not by Dianne Venetta

Condemn Me NotI received a copy of Condemn Me Not by Dianne Venetta in exchange for an honest review.

Two women, who have been friends since college, Simone and Claire, have lived very different lives. Upon graduation from college, they both chose different paths. Now, years later, the two find themselves at a common crossroads where they must look into their past and their present and examine what really matters when their daughters issue opposing proclamations with regard to college. As the two long time friends battle the news differently, they soon come to the realization that some decisions are not easy and it may complicate each of their respective relationships with their daughters. In turn, that leads both of them to wander where they went wrong.

Oh man, I really, really enjoyed this book. For years I have sat back and watched people around me with kids make decisions and I will be honest, I sometimes judged them based on what those decisions were. But, as a new mom myself, I’ve learned the hard way that sometimes things aren’t as easy as they appear and everything always looks different from an outside perspective. Well, the same thing applies here. These two women are faced with a tough decision and the way that they react could really  have repercussions with their daughters. So, whats a parent to do? I think Dianne examines that question and really presents the characters in a very raw and real portrayal of what that might look like in real life. This book is really good and I am so glad that I had the privilege to read it.

4.5 stars

Book Review: Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee by Carolyn Brown

blue ribbonI received a copy of BLUE-RIBBON JALAPENO SOCIETY JUBILEE by Carolyn Brown in exchange for an honest review.

Summary:

Miss Clawdy’s Café has won the Jubilee blue ribbon every year since the dawn of time. This year, town matron Violet Prescott is going after that ribbon with an iron-clad determination only thinly disguised by her perfect coiffure and flawless manners, bless her heart.

It’s time for café owners Cathy and Marty and their best friend Trixie to pull out their secret weapon. And this is where a lifetime of friendship, combined with just the right recipe at just the right time, might carry the day—or blow everything to smithereens.

Welcome to Cadillac, Texas, where the jalapeños are hot, the gossip is hotter, and at the end of the day, it’s the priceless friendships that are left standing…

Review:

I was instantly smitten with the title, description and cover for this book and knew I would love it from the get go. Author Carolyn Brown pleases from the get go with trademark southern char, twang and hilarious wit. The Blue-Ribbon Jalapeno Society Jubilee is a fun southern tale that delivers a very fun and authentic tale that could and would definitely take place in a small southern town. I loved the adventures of the women and I loved all of the gossip that went on. Friendship and family are key themes in this book and you can easily see how important they are to the main characters. I don’t really have any complaints because I enjoyed it so much. Full of sass and southern comfort, this book is a winner.

 4.5 stars

Book Review: Prior Engagements by Sarah Goodwin

Prior EngagementsI received a copy of PRIOR ENGAGEMENTS by Sarah Goodwin in exchange for an honest review.

Prior Engagements begins with Annie, who isn’t really enjoying her time in the twenties as much as she expected. She was left at the alter by Stephen and is currently in the process of paying down the gargantuan mountain of debt leftover from the wedding that never happened. Then one day, she meets a man who is in need of a favor – to accompany him to the wedding of his ex. She decides on a whim to accompany him and then next thing she knows, she is getting married in Vegas to Dorian. But, that makes things complicated as she returns home and realizes that her best friend, who also happens to be her boss, has been working up the courage to pop the question himself. Will is not happy at all about the new discovery and wants nothing more than to get Dorian out of the way. Like I said, things are complicated and it gets worse as we are introduced to Dorian’s sister, his ex-bride and Annie’s dear old mother. Fun times ensue as some Annie tries to figure out just how her life ended up so complicated.

I really enjoyed PRIOR ENGAGEMENTS and thought that it was a really good read. At first I wasn’t quite too sure what to think about Annie but after a little hesitation on my part, I soon fell in love with her character. Sarah does an amazing job at crafting flawed characters who are also very realistic. On numerous occasions I felt that Annie and I would make great friends. I knew instantly that Stephen was a douche bag and ironically, am glad that she got left at the alter because she was so much better off without him. I must also admit that I was quite surprised when she married Dorian in Vegas … I definitely didn’t see that one coming. Overall though, this book is a really great read from a debut author. I think that if you are looking for a hilarious book with a lot of wit and heart, then this book is for you.

 4 stars