New Book Releases: May 2016

Contributor: Allie

A Low Country Wedding by Mary Alice MonroeA Low Country Wedding by Mary Alice Monroe- May 3, 2016. This book is the last in a series about the fictional Muir family. Set on Sullivan Island, off the coast of Charleston, SC, the Muir family has all gathered to celebrate the weddings of sisters, Harper and Carson. Their weddings are planned one day apart, which seems like a crazy idea to me. Grandmother Dora is insisting on an Emily Post-style wedding, even though one of the sisters wants something more modern. Family drama and weddings are fertile ground for trouble. After the minister arrives with a deep dark family secret, tensions explode. Suddenly no one’s sure if anyone’s going to get married!

wedding girlThe Wedding Girl by Stacy Ballis – May 3, 2016. Sophie has the dream life as a well-known Chicago pastry chef who’s engaged to the man of her dreams. Her fiancé is a local celebrity sommelier, making them the golden couple of the Chicago culinary industry. After Sophie’s fiancé elopes with someone else, her life begins to fall apart. Her heartbreak is front-page fodder for Chicago newspapers and she ends up losing her job. And then her home. Sophie has to move in with her grandmother and gets a job at a small “hometown” bakery. Just when she thinks her life can’t get any worse, wedding customers from the bakery start asking for advice that goes beyond the perfect cake. Before she knows it, Sophie becomes an on-line wedding planner. Perhaps not the best career for a jilted bride…

The Goodbye Year by Kiara RoudaThe Goodbye Year by Kiara Rouda – May 3, 2016. The novel is about three sets of parents who are approaching the high school graduation of their youngest child. Each parent begins to experience anxiety and sadness as they face “the empty nest”. Melanie has been living life vicariously through her slacker son. Sarah has relied on her daughter to the extent she doesn’t know what she’ll do without her companionship. Will doesn’t know what will happen to his marriage without a child in the house. I’m very curious about this book – I’m so tired from running my children around all the time that an empty nest sounds pretty good.

The Weekenders by Mary Kay AndrewsThe Weekenders by Mary Kay Andrews – May 17, 2016. Ms. Andrews in the queen of the beach read. In her latest novel, Riley Griggs is a woman whose life is falling apart due to her husband Wendell’s scheming business practices. Riley and Wendell agree to a divorce and plan to tell their daughter Maggie over Memorial Day weekend on Belle Island. Belle Island is the place Riley’s family has summered for almost a century. Riley’s grandfather was the original settler of the island and her family is well respected by the residents. After Wendell’s doublehanded deals become public, Riley and her family are faced with losing everything they have. After Wendell is found murdered, Riley decides to put her investigative journalism skills to work. Can she save her family’s home and their reputation?

The AssistantsThe Assistants: A Novel by Camille Perri May 3, 2016. Tina Fontana is the executive assistant to Robert Blaine – the COE of a multinational media conglomerate. When Tina first started working for Robert, she loved her job, especially the perks. But after a few years, she’s grown bored and is looking for a way to advance in her career. Unfortunately her boss is unwilling to help. Tina’s also broke, and wondering if she has what it takes to make it in New York City. After accounting makes a clerical error on her expense report, she gets an unexpected and much needed windfall – one that could drastically change her life. Tina struggles with what to do. Of course she knows it would be wrong to keep the money – but the money is pocket change for the company and Robert. What if the only way to get ahead is to break the rules?

#BookReview: Wedding Girl by Stacey Ballis

Reviewer: Samantha

I received a review copy

wedding girlSummary:

You’ve Got Mail meets Julie & Julia in the new foodie fiction from the author of Recipe for Disaster.

Top pastry chef Sophie Bernstein and her sommelier fiancé were set to have Chicago’s culinary wedding of the year…until the groom eloped with someone else in a very public debacle, leaving Sophie splashed across the tabloids—fifty grand in debt on her dream wedding and one-hundred percent screwed on her dream life. The icing on the cake was when she lost her job and her home…

Laying low, Sophie moves in with her grandmother, Bubbles. That way, she can keep Bubbles and her sweater-wearing pug company and nurse her broken heart. But when Sophie gets a part-time job at the old-fashioned neighborhood bakery, she finds herself up to her elbows in dough and reluctantly giving a wedding cake customer advice on everything from gift bags to guest accommodations. Before she knows it, she’s an online wedding planner. It’s not mousse and macarons, but it pays the bills. But with the arrival of unexpected personal and professional twists, Sophie wonders if she’s really moving forward—or starting over from scratch…

Review:

Weddings and food are two of my favorite topics to read about, so I figured Wedding Girl would be a good choice for me. While it ended up not being a favorite, it was still an interesting read, with plenty of plot twists along the way. The first chapter was a little so-so for me. The run-on sentences, especially when describing food, was a little much for me, and it was pretty clear right in the beginning that Sophie was not in a good relationship and I wasn’t sure how she didn’t quite put the pieces together. The way Sophie wallowed after her wedding was called off didn’t speak too highly of our main character either and how she treated those around her, but I was happy to see once she finally started to take charge of her life again, even though she appeared to think her new job was beneath her.

Like I mentioned, there were plenty of plot twists, including a big one revealed at the end, and secrets that several characters are holding. It’s sure to keep you on your toes. For the most part I did enjoy the baking scenes except sometimes they were a little drawn out, and the cast of secondary characters were fun to read about – especially Bubbles and Snatch. Sophie I found hard to connect with at times, but overall I found Wedding Girl to be an interesting read and plenty of light-hearted humor throughout.

3.5 stars