The Divorced Lady’s Companion to Living in Italy by Catherine McNamara

Marilyn Wade is a half-Hungarian divorcee who decides to move to Milan to find herself – and her womanhood – once again. Her two teens and her cheating ex aren’t heartbroken of her departure, so Marilyn takes a deep breath and dives into Milan with eyes wide open. But her experience isn’t seeming to match up to her icon Jean Harper. Rumor had it Jean met her Milanese lover on a singles trip and moved to Italy to start a family with him. Marilyn assumed she would have the same sort of trip, but nothing is going her way. Will her Milan trip be a total bust, or can Marilyn find what she was looking for after all?

There was a lot going on during The Divorced Lady’s Companion to Living in Italy by Catherine McNamara. From love affairs to kinky sex scenes and even a bit of S&M…again, just a lot going on. At times I couldn’t keep everything together. I wasn’t sure where Marilyn was or why or who the characters were and how they came into the story. A lot happening but I will say I enjoyed the writing. McNamara has a way with words and creating scenes. While I may not have been totally invested in the story, I can imagine many other readers would like it.

[Rating: 3]

In My Mailbox: Week of April 8

In Samantha’s Mailbox:

Title: The Divorced Lady’s Companion to Living in Italy

Author: Catherine McNamara

Received: From Catherine McNamara

Synopsis: Marilyn Wade, half-Hungarian divorcée and mother of unflinching teens, moves to Milan to remap her womanhood. Rumour had it that Marilyn s old icon Jean Harper met her Milanese lover on a singles trip to Macchu Pichu and went to Italy to bear their love child. But sexy glamorous Milan is about as unfeeling as a Prada bag. The streets are full of mile-high models, immigrants and remarkable men in suits. Who will she meet as she acquires a taste for grappa-laced espresso in bars and learns Italian in a room with George Clooney? Marilyn s entanglements involve punishing grammar lessons with a virile agronomist, stolen D&G heels and kisses with astonishing views, a kinky Hong Kong benefactor and a stirring love scene set in Venice. All this as she moves towards a dodgy Italian nirvana with lederhosen and a spread in Hello! magazine. Will Marilyn ever find herself and a way to conjugate Italian verbs? A non-cautionary tale for mothers of teenagers, late bloomers and lovers of the cocktail hour.



Title: BaSatai: Outside In

Author: Suzan Battah

Received: Via CLP Blog Tours

Synopsis: Seventeen year old, Armani Radnelaq a full blooded BaSatai is plagued by a curse in her blood. A curse created from hate and designed to break the divide between two parallel worlds of Earth and H-trae when Armani’s blood is spilled in attack and she dies.

S’teuqoubs have been travelling back and forth across the divide for centuries without trouble. The BaSatai and Guardians monitoring activity and enforcing rules to ensure peace and harmony but if the divide splits and opens, a much greater number of supernatural S’teuqoubs will filter into earth destroying equilibrium which the BaSatai and Guardians will be unable to control. Humanity and the BaSatai will suffer and perish. The parallel divide must remain secure at all costs.

Armani has remained hidden on earth with her adopted father Elijah since her birth. She has been raised in the human way and fights her natural instinct to evolve into a BaSatai. The BaSatai in her requires her to evolve and shift, use her powers and strength. Yet Armani is freaked out by the need to shift. She smokes, has a bad attitude, must deal with aggressive bullies and control her natural BaSatai instinct. Her Guardian with BaSatai Warriors are coming for her. She refuses to accept her fate and doesn’t believe any BaSatai should die to protect her.

The blood curse maturing in her veins makes her a target for her enemies. Her Guardian Karhl and an elite BasSatai Warrior Rafael are the first to arrive and prepare her for her crossing over. Her attraction to Rafael complicates her purpose to stay on earth even more. They both insist she fall into line and follow their lead but she is not ready to leave earth just yet…


Title: Cinnamon Roll Murder

Author: Joanne Fluke

Received: Unsolicited, Kensington

Synopsis: When Hannah Swensen hears that the Cinnamon Roll Six jazz band will be playing at a festival in Lake Eden, Minnesota, she bakes up a supply of their namesake confections to welcome them. But tragedy strikes when their tour bus overturns on its way into town. And keyboard player Buddy Neiman’s minor injuries turn deadly serious when someone plunges surgical scissors into his chest…Turns out, Buddy Neiman isn’t the victim’s real name. In fact, no one is really sure who he is. Hannah’s investigation digs up a few local suspects. There is Doctor Bev, who seems to know more about “Buddy” than she’s willing to admit. And Devon, an aspiring keyboard player who may have had a fatal case of jealousy. Hannah isn’t sure how she’ll unravel the mystery, but one thing’s for sure: there’s nothing sweeter than bringing a killer to justice…


Title: The Runaway Actress

Author: Victoria Connelly

Received: Unsolicited, Avon Books

Synopsis: When the stresses of being an A-list actress get too much for her, Connie Gordon decides to escape to a tiny Scottish village. But little does she realise that whilst Lochnabrae might be quiet, it’s far from sleepy…
The latest charming novel from chick-lit’s answer to Richard Curtis.

Beautiful, rich, famous – and seriously stressed, actress Connie Gordon is ready for a change. Deciding to accept an invitation from her fan club in Scotland, Connie kisses goodbye to her ex-boyfriends, stalkers and double-crossing agents, and prepares herself for complete relaxation.

But swapping the Hollywood Hills for the Highlands of Scotland doesn’t make for the easiest of transitions and, when she meets local playwright, Alastair McInnes, who’s sworn he’ll never become involved with another actress again, sparks fly, and the sleepy village of Lochnabrae will never be the same again.

The Runaway Actress is a romantic comedy about friends, fans and family, and finding a place that you can call home.


In Sara’s Mailbox:

Title: + One

Author: Brian Baleno

Received: Brian Baleno

Synopsis: In + One, Brian Baleno has rendered in vivid contours and colors the age-old human struggle between love and work, a conflict made all the more acute when one happens to love one’s work, as well as one’s romantic partner. Jake, our protagonist, finds himself wedged into an impossible predicament, and what endures most within the reader—besides the sheer, smooth skill of the language—is this man’s valiant attempt to navigate between the Scylla and Charybdis of his existence. This novel will stand as an emblem for all those whose life course takes them down the road less traveled, a road not meant only for couples.

Title: Surprise Me

Author: Nancy Goodman

Received: Aaron Goldfarb

Synopsis: “Surprise Me!” is not your typical chick lit.  Though it is a novel about a woman, Genie Burns, who runs a company that plans surprise parties for people even as she struggles to find Mr. Right amongst three suitors, at the crux of the book is the story of Genie’s emotional eating issues and how she overcomes them.