Ah, one my favorite indie authors, Heather Wardell, has done it again. I have been enthralled with her books since number one, and I’m super happy to say I’ve reviewed them all here on ChickLitPlus. Finding My Happy Pace features thirty year old Megan, a teacher with absolutely no backbone. Megan has been letting people such as her brother and “best friend” Amanda take advantage of her for years, thanks to her mother’s “don’t count beans” philosophy. Megan struggles to stand up for herself in any situation, but things begin to change when she meets Andrew, and MMA fighter and marathon runner. Megan begins training for a marathon herself, and during her time with Andrew and fellow runner Jeanine, Megan begins to understand that being assertive doesn’t automatically mean being selfish. Can Megan change her outlook on life for good after so many years of being a doormat?
Loved! One of my favorite things about Wardell’s books is that she brings back previous characters, or at least hints about some. While others were featured, the dominance was Andrew – the boyfriend from Planning to Live. I loved hearing his story and catching back up with him, and seeing a romance between him and Megan blossom. Sometimes it got difficult to read about Megan constantly being treated like nothing by her friend Amanda (and James –ugh – what a character!) and it could almost cross the line into her being too whiny. But this is where Wardell’s superb writing skills come in, and she helps readers understand why Megan lets herself be treated bad. I highly enjoyed watching Megan grow as a person, and this is another 5 star referral for Heather Wardell from me!
More Heather Wardell Reviews!
Life, Love and a Polar Bear Tattoo – 5 stars
Go Small or Go Home – 4.5 stars
Planning to Live -4.5 stars
Stir Until Thoroughly Confused-4 stars
Blank Slate Kate- 5 stars
A Life That Fits -5 stars
Live Out Loud- 4 stars
Seven Exes are Eight Too Many – 4 stars
I have been a fan of Heather Wardell’s since her first book, and have happily read and reviewed each and every one on Chick Lit Plus. When she contacted me about doing a tour for Blank Slate Kate, I was thrilled. Mainly because I got to read another book. I was super curious about this one, where the main character wakes up in her thirties – but her last memories are from when she is seventeen. Kate – or is her real name Kate? – has lost all her memories from the past fifteen years. She has to try to figure out who she really is, and things really get complicated when her husband appears. Kate doesn’t have any recollection of this man, her wedding, her corporate life. How can she piece the puzzle together?
Again, another five star review for a Wardell book. Once I started this book, I just could not put it down. I loved figuring out Kate’s life with the little clues that would come to us throughout the chapters. It was such a mystery, and a very well thought-out and written one at that. Twists and turns surfaced at so many points, but instead of being overwhelming, it just kept making the book better and better. The aspect I think I loved the most was the ending. Wardell gives her books the best endings – they never end the way you think they will or is the “norm.” (Check out Planning to Live and you’ll see what I mean). I really enjoyed the ending to this book as well, and again – if you haven’t checked out Heather Wardell yet – do it! You’ll thank me!
October Challenge Reviews
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Only signed up challengers are eligible to win
Prize for October: Three (3) winners will win a complete eBook collection from Heather Wardell. Titles included are: Life, Love, and a Polar Bear Tattoo, Go Small or Go Home, Planning to Live, Stir Until Thoroughly Confused, A Life That Fits, Live Out Loud, and Seven Exes Are Eight Too Many. You must post the link to your review in the Mister Linky below. This can be to your blog, GoodReads page, or other sources such as Amazon.
Special Note: For every review that is posted during the month of October, I will be donating $1 to the Susan G. Komen Organization in conjunction with breast cancer awareness month. If you would like to make a donation, please see the PayPal Donate button on the right hand side of this page, or email me directly at Samantha (at) ChickLitPlus (dot) com. Thank you!
**The October review pages is now closed.**
The winners are: Nancy- Chick Lit Bee, Jill S, and Sarah- Today I’m Reading.
I have been a big fan of Heather Wardell since her first book, and her latest novel cements my place as an admirer as both a reader and a writer. Planning to Live has a simple plot structure: Rhiannon, a thirty year old overweight perfectionist flees from her parent’s house on Christmas Day simply to avoid the temptations of food. But while driving on the icy roads, Rhiannon loses control of her car and slams into a tree. Trapped in her car, bleeding, and with no way to reach her phone to call for help, Rhiannon reflects on her life up until that moment. She thinks about her obsession with food, her relationship with her parents, the death of her first love. When hours go by and she is still not found, Rhiannon faces the reality that she may not get out of the accident alive. Her laptop is her last source of possible communication with her family and friends, and Rhiannon writes out her thoughts, hopes, and goals. While she thinks about her life, she realizes that it is the journey, not the destination that is so important. A motto for everyone to live by.
Even with a simple plot, girl stuck in car, this novel is powerful. While Rhiannon thinks about her life and the decisions she has made, I thought about my life and the decisions I had made. When Rhiannon realized it is the journey, not the destination, I thought of how true that statement is. And while the entire novel takes place in one night, with a few flashbacks along the way, I felt that I knew Rhiannon for years. I won’t give away the ending, and I won’t because I really want everyone to read this book. I know it will be just as rewarding for you as it was for me. Thank you Heather for another great read!
In My Mailbox: Week of September 26th
Title: Haunted Honeymoon
Author: Marta Acosta
Received: From Marta Acosta
Synopsis: THERE’S MORE THAN HER HEART AT STAKE. . . .As the only human to survive vampire infection, Milagro de Los Santos has become quite a celebrity among the blood-drinking elite. Too bad the perks of her condition—increased strength, super-fast healing—don’t pay her condo fees. There are other complications too. She’s feeling guilty about her fling with enigmatic Vampire Council member Ian Ducharme, and pining for her ex-fiancé, Dr. Oswald Grant . . . the fabulous man whose kiss changed her life. It’s when Milagro—irked by Ian’s attentions to his neighbor—travels to London and enjoys a sexy flirtation of her own, that the blood really hits the fan. Suddenly, those around her are dying gruesome deaths and Milagro’s being interrogated. Who would kill to set her up as a murder suspect? Milagro just wants to turn back the clock and have another chance to make things right, but no sooner has she escaped to Oswald’s ranch than an accident obliterates her memory. Will the murderer come after her now? And will amnesia spark a romantic do-over with Oswald—or will she make all the same mistakes before she ever gets to say “I do”?
Title: Anyone for Me?
Author: Fiona Cassidy
Received: From Fiona Cassidy
Synopsis: Meet feisty fun-loving Ruby Ross – thirty four, mad red hair, mad (in general) adopted and searching for answers (most pressingly being precisely whose genes are responsible for the most unmanageable bonce in the country?). She’s impulsive, compulsive and unaware of what she’s about to unleash in her quest for the truth. Her journey will take her from the Tyrone village of Swiftstown to Belfast to the rolling hills of Donegal (where the scenery is lovely but the roads are bad and burst tyres are plenty.)
Isobel Ross is larger than life, living in a picturesque cottage in Donegal in the grounds of an old manor house which has been turned into a hotel – but why are the new owners so keen to get rid of her? She’s harbouring secrets from the past and fiercely protective of her adopted daughter. Can she stop the wilful Ruby from opening a nasty can of worms or will the hand of fate intervene and give Ruby the answers she doesn’t expect or might not want.
Throw in Ruby’s forthcoming nuptials to the lovely Luke, Frankie, her best friend and bling loving bridesmaid, a wedding planner called Gabriel who wears more make-up than the bride-to-be and a dusty box found in an attic which leaves many questions unanswered and you have a bewildered and rather ferocious Ruby asking is there….Anyone For Me?
Title: The Tapestry of Love
Author: Rosy Thornton
Received: From Rosy Thornton
Synopsis: A rural idyll: that’s what Catherine is seeking when she sells her house in England and moves to a tiny hamlet in the Cévennes mountains. With her divorce in the past and her children grown, she is free to make a new start, and her dream is to set up in business as a seamstress. But this is a harsh and lonely place when you’re no longer just here on holiday. There is French bureaucracy to contend with, not to mention the mountain weather, and the reserve of her neighbors, including the intriguing Patrick Castagnol. And that’s before the arrival of Catherine’s sister, Bryony.
Title: Blind Faith
Author: CJ Lyons
Received: From CJ Lyons
Synopsis: When her husband and son are murdered, she thought she’d lost it all. But for Sarah Durandt the nightmare is just beginning… Her search for truth leads her to a trail of lies and unearths a killer. In a race to save everything she holds dear, Sarah is forced to place her faith in the man who betrayed her…her husband.
Title: The Kiss Test
Author: Shannon McKelden
Received: From Shannon McKelden
Synopsis: Margo Gentry’s life is perfect. She loves her job as a country music DJ, and she has a great boyfriend who accepts her need to avoid marriage and tolerates her Elvis obsession – even the velvet Elvis painting in their bedroom. But then it all falls apart. The radio station changes formats and fires all the DJs. Margo’s boyfriend decides he wants kids and a house in the suburbs and kicks her to the curb. And to top it all off, her Mom is getting married — for the 11th time! — and expects Margo to be there as maid of honor. With no job and no place to live, Margo has to bunk on the couch of her best friend Chris, whose revolving bedroom door has played host to half the women in New York – at least, the ones that pass his “kiss test.” Worse, he’s insisting she attend her mother’s wedding, and is personally driving her cross-country to ensure she shows up. Forget about surviving the road trip – can their friendship survive The Kiss Test?
Title: Planning to Live
Author: Heather Wardell
Received: From Heather Wardell
Synopsis: Thirty-something Rhiannon is an obsessive planner and goal-setter, but somehow nothing she achieves ever seems good enough to her. Determined to lose forty pounds for her best friend’s August wedding, Rhiannon flees her parents’ house in a Christmas-day blizzard to avoid the temptation of all her favorite foods, but her car skids off the deserted road into a tree.
Unable to escape the car, with her leg trapped and bleeding and her cell phone out of reach, Rhiannon is at first certain she’ll be rescued and writes notes to her friends and family to pass the time. As the weather cools and her condition deteriorates, though, she recognizes the possibility that her life might be over. Interspersed with increasingly desperate escape attempts, her letters become deeper and more heart-felt as she comes to see what really matters in life.