Saturday, April 22, 2017

Review - Plan Cee by Hilary Grossman

Would you abandon your present for a second chance at your past?

Cecelia Reynolds has spent most of her life trying to forget the commitment-phobic man who broke her heart. It wasn’t easy, but eventually she did it, or so she thought…

As Cecelia and her husband gather for a friend’s wedding, her perfect world is thrown into complete turmoil. Even though it’s been twenty years since she last laid eyes on Keith Emerson, all it takes is one glance for her to feel emotions she thought were long gone. When Keith ends up officiating the ceremony, she quickly realizes his message of love is directed at her, not the happy couple. But can she believe him?

We live our entire lives thinking we know ourselves. But do we ever really?

As secrets and lies cause Cecelia’s world to spin completely out of control, she is forced to seek advice from the most unlikely ally. In the process, she must confront the demons of her past and the events that shaped her into the woman she is now. Will she finally learn the real meaning of love, friendship, and family?

While this book is a sequel to Plan Bea, it also reads as a standalone.


My Thoughts 
What a great follow-up read to Plan Bea.  It was great to see a lot of the characters back again - Bea and her cranky (yet supportive) self and Anna who had it touch in Plan Bea but is the steadfast friend to Cee and trying to help her get her life back on track at the end and so many others...
I'm sure many if us have had that one love who has gotten away, no matter the situation, and the thought of seeing that person again years and years later, what would you do?
Cee was left by the love of her life, Keith, and she never really got over it.  She had moved on and married her husband Bryce and they have adorable twin boys together.
One day she attends Bea's wedding to Walter and who walks in the door?  Keith!
Cee starts to panic and doesn't know what to do.  She can't tell anyone, yet she figures out later that Bea and Walter already know, Walter and Keith being long time friends and all.
What is Cee going to do?  Her past comes flooding back to her now and sends her head into a tailspin of emotion.
Can she just forget about Keith and Move on?  Can she and Bryce's marriage last after this sighting?  It will be a long crazy ride but the end is well worth the wait!

Drink Selection
I am going to pair this beauty with a Seaside Sunrise - Delish! Who doesn't love juice and a little bit of rum?! 
Rating 
What a great read to relax with this week!  It was just what I needed!  5 wine glasses all the way!



Thursday, April 20, 2017

Review - Dreaming of Venice by TA Williams

Find love, friendship and prosecco – in the magical city of Venice
Life is tough for Penny. A dead end job in a London café, a boyfriend in Australia (what could go wrong?) and an art career going nowhere. But then Penny is approached with an extraordinary proposition.
It isn’t going to be easy but, if she can pull it off, she will turn her life around and at long last see the fulfilment of her dream – to visit Venice. And, just maybe, find true happiness with the handsome man of her dreams.
But can dreams come true?

My Thoughts 
Oh my goodness!  THIS cover!  Amazing!  The colors are TO DIE FOR!  I can honestly say that if this is what Venice truly looks like I will be visiting very soon!
The concept behind this story is so creative!  I love the mystery and the intrigue!  The dynamic between the characters is at a whole different level.
Penny was basically living life day to day and felt like her life was going no where.  Then one day she was approached with an offer that she couldn't refuse.  The money was amazing and with her bills piling up she really couldn't say anything other than yes!  Would she really be able to pull it all off in the end?
There are so many elements to this piece - love, mystery, art, heartbreak, friendship and so much more.  This story will draw you in from the beginning and the images that TA paints really make you feel are you are right there with the characters in London and Venice.

Drink Selection 
We have to go with the yummy drink selection of the book, Prosecco!   One of mt all time favorites!
Rating 

I really loved this story from beginning to end and it is 5 wine glasses all the way!



 

Monday, April 17, 2017

Book Review - Kim vs. the Mean Girl by Meredith Schorr

High school sophomore, Kim Long, is no stranger to the “mean girl” antics of Queen Bee Hannah Marshak. When Hannah steals Kim’s diary and in front of the entire class reads personal (not to mention humiliating) entries Kim wrote about her crush, Jonathan, Kim vows to enact revenge.

Kim and her loyal best friend, Bridget, come up with the perfect plan to put the evil Hannah in her place once and for all. But will their scheming have the desired effect of getting even, or will Hannah emerge more celebrated by her peers than ever?

Kim vs. The Mean Girl can be read as a young adult standalone novel, but it is also a prequel to the popular Blogger Girl adult romantic comedy series and is set in 2000. Told in the duo perspectives of teenage Kim and Hannah, fans of the series will get an inside look into Kim’s early passion for reading, writing (and Jonathan) and find out why Hannah is so darn mean.

"In Blogger Girl we meet the irrepressible Kim Long and her nemesis Hannah Marshak. Kim Vs. the Mean Girl takes us back to high school with Kim and Hannah 101 in this delightful prequel. I gobbled it up in one byte…er, I mean bite (this is the era before a cell phone was in every backpack). When Kim declares war on Hannah, it takes some unexpected, and at times amusing, turns, and though the enemies don’t emerge as friends, or even frenemies, they each come away the better for it. A fun read for all ages." Eileen Goudge, New York Times best-selling author
.

My Thoughts
What a fun read!  I loved Kim in Blogger Girl and it is fun to go back in time and see what life was like for Kim going to high school with Hannah.  It really did play out just the way that I thought in would in my mind.
Hannah has always been a bully of sorts and her behavior when she was younger doesn't shock anyone.  Towards the end I really think she started to see Kim in a whole new light.  Could even be a fun second book starting point!
From Hannah stealing her diary and telling the entire class her inner most secrets to Kim getting her back with the perfect revenge plan, the girls both learned a few very important lessons in life. Hannah learned that there is more to life then just money (sort of) and Kim learned that you should just let things go and ignore people who are irritating you because the more attention you give them the more they will pester you.
If you loved Blogger Girl you will love Kim vs. the Mean Girl.

Drink Selection
This was a fun read from beginning to end, and going a long with the theme of younger characters, I will be picking a Shirley Temple.  Delish!

 Rating
Such a fun book, highly anticipated by all of us Blogger Girl fans!  5 wine glasses all the way!  I wish it had been longer!

Saturday, April 15, 2017

Review - The Art of Southern Charm by Patrica Altschul

“Patricia on #SouthernCharm, like lookin’ in the damn mirror. Cheers queen.” —Lady Gaga

Fan-favorite Bravolebrity Patricia Altschul from the primetime show Southern Charm finally brings fans her eagerly anticipated opus on etiquette and living a glamorous Southern lifestyle. Patricia provides advice on every situation, from hosting a memorable cocktail party, to decoding the dress code for any event, to handling a drunken boor at the dinner table, to delivering the perfectly phrased insult—like her now iconic “shameless strumpet.” The Art of Southern Charm takes readers inside the world of Charleston’s most captivating grande dame, who (with Michael the Butler) offers a blueblood’s blueprint for curating and celebrating life at its best.


My Thoughts 
LOVE LOVE LOVE Patricia!  She is laugh out loud funny, her comebacks are simply amazing!
She is one of my favorite people on Southern Charm on Bravo.  I will have to say I am totally addicted to the show - if you haven't seen it you need to check it out now!  The new season just started and the hot messes have already begun!
Not only is Patricia a true southern matriarch, she is the "mother" to all the charmers and that is not an easy task!  She has the best advice in Charleston by far!
Her parties are to die for and I would love to be in attendance.  He butler Michael is adorable and together they have a great time and live great lives!
Throughout this book she gives advice on dressing, parties, and life in general!  She has great guest celebs that give advice and one is Carson Kressley - the amazing man from one of my favorite all time shows, Queer Eye for the Straight Guy!  I miss that show!

I highly recommend this book with its household tips and delicious recipes that will have your mouth watering and planning a trip to your nearest Wegmans (or the Piggly Wiggly if you are down south!).

Drink Selection 
Perfect drink for this book is none other than Patricia's signature drink, Michael's Perfect Martini!  They sound simply amazing and created to perfection by Michael, her butler.

Rating 1
5 wines glasses all the way!  Patricia is amazing, smart and funny as hell!  I would LOVE the meet her one day!  I believe a trip to Charleston is in order!


Review - Everything We Left Behind by Kerry Lonsdale

Two months before his wedding, financial executive James Donato chased his trade-laundering brother Phil to Mexico, only to be lost at sea and presumed dead. Six and a half years later, he emerges from a dissociative fugue state to find he’s been living in Oaxaca as artist Carlos Dominguez, widower and father of two sons, with his sister-in-law Natalya Hayes, a retired professional surfer, helping to keep his life afloat. But his fiancée, Aimee Tierney, the love of his life, has moved on. She’s married and has a child of her own.
Devastated, James and his sons return to California. But Phil is scheduled for release from prison, and he’s determined to find James, who witnessed something in Mexico that could land Phil back in confinement. Under mounting family pressure, James flees with his sons to Kauai, seeking refuge with Natalya. As James begins to unravel the mystery of his fractured identity, danger is never far behind, and Natalya may be the only person he can trust.

My Thoughts 
I couldn't wait to read this sequel!  And Kerry did not disappoint.   I personally hope that this story will continue and there will be a third story sometime soon down the road!
The Donato family is nothing but trouble.  Or so we think.  James was trying to track Phil down after he harmed his fiance Aimee. 
What he didn't bargain for was being lost at sea and losing six years of his life as James and instead becomes Carlos.  This all took place when he suffered from a dissociatic fugue and couldn't remember any of his life pre-Carlos.
He creates a new life as an artist, gets married and has a child.  To then talk to Aimee when she locates him as Carlos and have no idea who she is.  How is that possible?
He goes through a roller coaster of emotions from fear to love to questioning everyone and anyone around him.  Who and what can he believe?
Will Carlos ever become James again and if so will he remember his life in Mexico or fall back into his previous life?
He returns to California and he tries to piece together the life he once had and has to figure out if that's the life he wants again or if he wants to live in Mexico and remain Carlos for as long as possible?
This book will have you questioning what is going to happen till the very end and then you may still not believe it.

Drink Selection
The is the perfect story to pair with a yummy Casa Blanca, perfection!

Rating 
What a great sequel from beginning to end, and can't wait to see if there is a third book to find out more!  4 wines all the way!

 

Friday, April 14, 2017

Review - The Cornish Escape by Lily Graham

Victoria Langley’s world crumbles when her husband leaves, but she knows exactly where to go to mend her broken heart. The rugged shores of Cornwall will be her perfect sanctuary.

In the quaint, little village of Tregollan, nestled in the sea cliffs, Victoria is drawn to Seafall Cottage, covered in vines and gracefully falling apart. Inside she finds a diary full of secrets, from 1905.

Victoria is determined to unravel the diary’s mystery, but the residents of Tregollan are tight-lipped about Tilly Asprey, the cottage’s last owner. Just as she reaches a dead end, Victoria meets Adam Waters, the lawyer handling the cottage’s sale. He’s handsome, charming, and has a missing piece of the puzzle.

Tilly’s diary tells a devastating love story that mirrors Victoria’s own. Can Victoria learn from Tilly’s mistakes, and give herself a second chance at love? Or is history doomed to repeat itself?



My Thoughts
What do you do when your life falls apart at the seams?  Well if you are Victoria you take a road trip and getaway to Cornwall to clear your head!  I'm game, I can truthfully think of many times I would have loved to do this but alas I have children and it's not possible.  Darn!
As Victoria is visiting the town, she takes a walk and is drawn to a hidden cottage known as Seafall Cottage.  The feelings that she gets when she is there are hard to describe, she feels as if she was meant to find it, hidden in the cliff.
Then one day she hears that it is about to be demolished and what does she do?  She buys it!  What has she just gotten herself into?
As she is walking around her new home, she comes across a diary with a mystical coded language and then she locates letters here and there and she begins to research the past of this mystical place.
Victoria learns how to live life, smile, breathe and possibly finds love again?
What more could a broken hearted woman ask for?
Curl up with a copy today!  You will fall in love with Cornwall!


Drink Selection
Sit back and relax and enjoy a glass of 2013 Camel Valley Sparkling Demi-Sec from the Camel Valley Vineyard in Cornwall!
Rating
Well, I couldn't put it down and I LOVED every minute, 5 wine glasses all the way!













Sunday, April 2, 2017

Review - The Good Widow by Liz Fenton & Lisa Steinke


Elementary school teacher Jacqueline “Jacks” Morales’s marriage was far from perfect, but even in its ups and downs it was predictable, familiar. Or at least she thought it was…until two police officers showed up at her door with devastating news. Her husband of eight years, the one who should have been on a business trip to Kansas, had suffered a fatal car accident in Hawaii. And he wasn’t alone.
For Jacks, laying her husband to rest was hard. But it was even harder to think that his final moments belonged to another woman—one who had left behind her own grieving and bewildered fiancé. Nick, just as blindsided by the affair, wants answers. So he suggests that he and Jacks search for the truth together, retracing the doomed lovers’ last days in paradise.
Now, following the twisting path of that fateful road, Jacks is learning that nothing is ever as it seems. Not her marriage. Not her husband. And most certainly not his death…

My Thoughts 
What just happened?  Wow, I can't even process how good Liz and Lisa's first suspense book is!  The lies, the cheating, this story has it all and more!
Jacks truly believes that her marriage is OK, there are a few ups and downs but every marriage has its moments right?  She's then blindsided and doesn't know how to process what her life has become.  She just received news that her husband died in a car accident in Maui, wait! Maui?  How is that possible?  He's on a business trip in Kansas?  They must have the wrong person.  There has to be another explanation.
Then Nick shows up one day at her door, Dylan's Fiance, and Jacks is thrown another curve ball.
Nick not only wants to find out the truth but he wants Jacks to accompany him to Maui to find out what REALLY happened with their exes.  Did they truly love each other or were they just having a fling that didn't mean anything?  Did that really matter?  I mean cheating is cheating right?  Would you be able to take the same trip that your husband took with his mistress?
This story will have you questioning all aspects from love to cheating to the accident.  Just when you thought you knew what happens, then you are sent into left field.  You won't be able to put this book down - I literally read it in a couple of days time! 

Drink Selection
This story will have your head spinning, not knowing what is going to happen next!  Enjoy a Mai Tai!  I could enjoy these all day!  Delish!
Rating 
5 wine glasses all the way!  You won't be able to put it down till you get to the end!  Forget about sleep, it's totally overrated!