Disclaimer: I received a copy of When Girlfriends Take Chances by Savannah Page in exchange for an honest review.
A novel about exploring love and life’s path, and taking chances along the way.
Emily Saunders has never thought twice about grabbing her passport, rucksack, and camera and trekking across the globe. If there’s an NGO, a study abroad program, or simply the travel itch, Emily’s on the first plane out. Free-spirited, open-minded, and eager to explore, it’s no wonder Emily’s hardly in one spot (or relationship) for long.
For the past year-and-a-half, though, Emily’s found herself planted in her college hometown of Seattle. She’s surrounded by her best friends, has steady work as a photographer and at her friend Sophie’s café, and is certainly kept busy by the wild antics of her BFF Jackie. Life’s enjoyable, but Emily’s looking for something more. She’s ready for a change, for adventure!
But when Emily tells her girlfriends she’s ready for something new she does not expect Operation Blind Date!
Sure, Emily’s single. Sure, she hopes to some day find true love. But being thrown into an insane challenge like this is not exactly the adventure she had in mind! Couldn’t she just travel and focus on her photography? Or volunteer in Africa? Will a string of eligible bachelors lined up by her friends–a shot at finding a real and lasting love–really be that change she’s searching for?
This is a spirited story about seeking adventure while being true to yourself, wherever you are in life. It’s a story about love, risk, and self-discovery. About what happens when girlfriends take chances.
I received a copy of Grounded by Angela Correll in exchange for an honest review.
New York City flight attendant Annie Taylor is grounded. Turbulence in the airline industry leads to her job loss—putting a halt to her weekends in Rome and independent city life. Just when she needs him the most, she loses her boyfriend and her apartment. Annie flees the city for the family farm in Kentucky. Her arrival is met by a shotgun-wielding grandmother, a suspicious stranger moving into the old stone house, and her attractive childhood friend Jake about to make the biggest mistake of his life. Struggling against her grandmother’s stubborn ways, Annie disagrees with her on the fate of the family farm but stays on to help her grandmother through a knee surgery by tending the garden and learning how to can the vegetables. Through the summer’s trials, Annie is forced to face her own past mistakes and the consequences. When the phone call comes from New York earlier than expected, Annie must choose between coming to terms with her deep roots or leaving it all behind for a return to the city.
When I was first contacted to review this book, I wasn’t sure what to think. I am a big fan of “going back home” types of books, but this one sounded a little different and I was unsure what to think. But, I am pleased to say that I absolutely loved it. Grounded is warm and cozy, like a cup of warm tea. I found Annie’s tale heartwarming and charming and couldn’t really get enough of it. I found parts humorous but mostly, this book just warms the soul. The characters are great and the writing is even better. Overall, Grounded is sure to charm the pants off you as well as teach you a thing or two about good ole’ country living.
I received a copy of Rescue Me, Maybe by Jackie Bouchard in exchange for an honest review.
If you lost both your spouse and your dog to cancer within weeks of each other, but you were sadder about the dog, would you tell anyone? Maybe your closest friends. Unfortunately, Jane Bailey’s closest friends are on the other side of the country. That’s where Jane plans to go now that she’s free to leave Philadelphia, the too cold, beachless, street taco-deficient city her husband dragged her to six years ago. But with no job prospects in her hometown of San Diego, Jane is roped into helping out temporarily at her uncle’s southwestern small-town B&B. En route to her new role as innkeeper and breakfast chef, she finds a stray at a rest stop. With her heart in pieces from the loss of her dog, she’s determined not to let this mutt worm its way into her affections. She’s also determined to have next-to-no interaction with the B&B’s irritating guests, and the even more annoying handyman who lives next door. Can Jane keep her sanity–and her secret that she’s not really a grieving widow–while trying to achieve her dream of getting back to the place she thinks is home?
When Jackie contacted me to read/review her latest book, Rescue Me, Maybe, I was so excited. Ever since I read her debut novel, I have been a huge fan of Jackie and her fido-friendly writing. As a fellow dog lover myself, I always appreciate it when another person is so loving and kind toward them, and Jackie definitely meets that criteria. Despite this book being fairly sad, I found it to be very sweet and heartwarming, really displaying what it means to love another, whether human or not. The book begins on rather rocky territory and things stay that way for a while, but Jackie handles the transitions and the emotions with ease. There are so many things to love about this book but I think mostly, you can feel the heart and the love on each page, and that is what I loved the most. If you are looking for a touching book with a lot of heart, I highly recommend this one.
Does being in a relationship make you a hot commodity in the eyes of would-be suitors?
Chloe Lane is about to find out. When her childhood pal, Ethan Webster, asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test this theory, she reluctantly agrees. As a work-crazed fashion designer, boutique owner and soon-to-be reality show judge, Chloe has no time for a real boyfriend, but being part of a faux pair will do just fine. Not that she has any intention of trying to attract someone else.
Opportunity unexpectedly knocks when Chloe meets fellow reality judge, William Shannon. Super successful and super sexy, this high-powered entrepreneur inspires Chloe to test Ethan’s theory herself. Now, on top of keeping her fashion business productive, carving out a new role as a television personality, maintaining a fake relationship and attempting to lay the groundwork for a future relationship, she’s lying to William, lying to her friends, lying to her family and quite possibly lying to herself. Will Chloe be able to keep it all together, or are things about to explode?
I have been a really big fan of author Anna Garner’s other two novels, Fashioning a Romance and Unmasking Maya, although they were written under her pen name, Libby Mercer. Lying To Meet You really brings her talents front and center as we this fantastic love story. True to fashion, this book is witty and sweet and the characters were very well written. Overall, I enjoyed this story so very much and cannot wait to see what Garner comes out with next. My favorite part without a doubt is the ending–I had such a hard time putting the book down during the last 40 pages or so and it seemed as though I couldn’t flip the pages quick enough. Overall, a fantastic story by a wonderful author.
Rating: 4.5 stars
Every family has its secrets… Behind the clouds of dementia, Lillian holds memories of a life that her granddaughter Lisa could never imagine. From her childhood in 1920s and 30s Toronto, to a young World War II society bride, through scandal and unthinkable tragedies, Lillian kept her extraordinary life a secret, retreating into a lonely, bitter existence. Curious about her grandmother’s mysterious past, Lisa unearths a long-buried secret that may finally bring the truth to light.
I very much enjoyed this book and found myself thinking about it late after finishing the book. Cynthia Hill is a great writer and she writes very compelling characters. Lillian is a tragic character who hasn’t lived quite the life that she envisioned. I found myself frustrated with her at times but overall, I found myself rooting for her character. I also enjoyed Lisa, although her character was not developed as Lillian. Overall, this story was very enjoyable and I think Cynthia did such a great job at telling their story. There is a lot going on but Cynthia handles it with ease and the story flows effortlessly. If you are looking for a mystery with a lot of heart, this book is for you!
Rating: 4 stars
The Story…Dionne is 36, and still hooked on the imaginary twin she invented to get you through her desolate childhood. With such an odd companion, long-term relationships are impossible and she is doomed to live her life as a serial monogamist, until the Go Along Guy shows up. Greg has denial on intravenous, so Dionne’s quirks simply pass him by and, pretty soon, shallow love blossoms. Unfortunately, however, what are also blossoming are Greg’s teenage daughters. They don’t like Dionne and their hormones are raging.
I thoroughly enjoyed reading this book and thought Evans did such an amazing job at crafting such a fun story. At first, I was a little hesitant given the name and the cover, but once I flipped open the book, I was instantly taken aback by the fresh writing and the overall feel of the story. The characters are charming and I enjoyed most of them and I think that definitely added to my enjoyment. Often times authors will write characters but give them no depth, Evans definitely gives the characters depth. Overall, this story is refreshing and funny and the writing is crisp. I would highly recommend it.
For the past year, twenty-something radio producer Trina Gray has been focusing
on her career and trying to forget that her once idyllic marriage is soon
coming to a heartbreaking end. Almost a year ago to the day, Trina caught her
husband, Walt, kissing her sister in her mother’s kitchen under the mistletoe.
But it’s Christmas time again, and Trina feels the familial pressure to
return to the nest for the annual holiday celebrations. It’s only for a week.
Surely she can tolerate being in the same house with her sister for that long.
What she doesn’t bargain for, though, is that her mother has invited Walt to
stay with the family for the holiday season, as well.
Walt’s presence sends Trina running to her old friend, Mim’s, bed and
breakfast, where she runs into her high school boyfriend, Kurt. Trina quickly
realizes the attraction is still strong between them, and the temptation to be
with him is stronger still, even if he is only looking for a one-night stand.
But, as Trina discovers, Walt’s not willing to give up without a fight this
Will Trina and Kurt rekindle their juvenile romance? Or will she repair her
relationship with Walt? Who can she believe in?
I really liked this story and thought that unlike most contemporary stories, this one was written really well and definitely warmed my heart. I really enjoyed Mishael’s writing style and thought she did a good job creating wonderful and endearing characters, full of real feelings and emotions. Believe In Me is quick paced and well written and Mishael did a great job at keeping with the flow of the story. Overall, this book is very enjoyable and I would highly recommend it.
Rating: 4 stars
Sunspots follows the healing journey of a young woman thrown into the horror of losing a spouse. It is a love story of loss and redemption and the ghosts that haunt our lives and our houses. Skirting the genres of magical realism and romance, Sunspots, explores the existence of the afterlife and the paranormal. The story takes the reader on a path of high emotion as the narrator, Aurora, uncovers her husband Jake’s secret life and her own internal conflicts as she matures to self-awareness. The novel’s tone vacillates from irreverent humor to solemnity as Aurora relates her previous life with Jake and her present challenges. The title refers to the solar maximum which became the backdrop for Aurora’s conception when her hippy parents went to Canada to observe the Aurora Borealis. In name and in spirit, Aurora is connected to the observable and unobservable energy around us. With the help of friends, family, and the ghost of Viola Parker (her home’s original owner), Aurora accepts her fate and the secrets revealed about Jake’s true character. She realizes that in this life she will finally break the cycle of pain caused by her love for this man, Jake Stein, through the centuries.
Sunspots by Karen Bell is beautifully written and very moving. The kind of book that is intriguing from the get go, this book will grab a hold of you from the beginning, especially if you’ve ever dealt with loss. I loved the magical realism and most especially the romance aspect of this book. The characters were written with much care and their emotions are felt on the page. I also loved the beautiful scenery and the way Karen so beautifully describes everything on the page. Overall, this book really is a great read, although sometimes sad, it is also very heartfelt and moving.
Claire Linley is finally a bride! After nearly ten years with her college freshman sweetheart, Claire is going to become Mrs. Conner Whitley. She’s got her bridal magazines, is the biggest Martha Stewart fan, and subscribes to all the major wedding blogs. She’s been dreaming of this moment for years! How could planning her dream wedding be anything but perfect?
The easy-going and bubbly type, Claire will obviously have a blast planning, and with her fantastic group of girlfriends-made-bridesmaids she just can’t go wrong. Whether it’s wedding gown shopping, makeup trials, or cake-tasting, Claire’s friends are there in a pinch.
But how big does the pinch get? All Claire wants to do is get married, but at every turn something seems to go awry and she’s starting to lose it. How is a girl supposed to remain cool and collected when the pricey dream wedding planner isn’t turning out to be so dreamy? When DIY projects and the perfect venue are going up in smoke? How is Claire supposed to marry Conner when the special day that’s supposed to join them together, forever, is slowly tearing them apart?
This is the charming story about how sometimes the biggest events in life are defined by the smallest acts of kindness and love. It’s a love story about dreaming large, loving deeply, and, in the end, truly having the happiest day of your life, no matter what happens (or doesn’t). About what happens when girlfriends chase dreams.
I’ve been a big fan of Savannah Page and her lovely books for quite sometime and am so honored that she allowed me to read and review her latest, When Girlfriends Chase Dreams. Needless to say, I had pretty big expectations with this book given how much I loved her previous ones, and I am glad to say that it doesn’t disappoint. This book is about what it takes to follow your dreams and finally settle down and live your love story, instead of always imagining what it will be like. I think Savannah paints a realistic picture about love and what it means to be a wife and as a happily married woman, I couldn’t have appreciated her honesty any more. Overall, this book is a great read and might actually be my favorite of the series!
Family weddings can be hell.
…and, marooned in Italy for her cousin’s nuptials, Ailsa can be forgiven for thinking that this one is worse than most. With the bride and groom at loggerheads and the guests in uproar, it is a million miles away from the rest and relaxation she’d been hoping for.
And then suddenly, in the middle of the mayhem, she comes face-to-face with Nick, the man she walked out on just a few months earlier.
How can Ailsa help get the wedding back on track when she and Nick can’t stop arguing? But if they do, she might remember why she fell in love with him in the first place – and then there really would be trouble.
This is the second book that I have read by Allie Spencer and found it to be absolutely darling. Newly divorced, Ailsa is invited to the wedding of the year in Tuscany. I absolutely loved the descriptions and was easily able to picture the scenery due to the immense amount of detail. That being said, not only is this book full of rich imagery, but it also flows really easily and allows the reader to take stock in the characters and what is going on. I really enjoyed all of the characters and found them all written very well. This book would easily make a great read for the beach.