Monday, September 26, 2016

Review: Pink Lies by Haley Todd Kitts

Scarlett Hanes, recent graduate of College of Charleston, is not your typical S.O.B(South of Broad)who grew up near Rainbow Row. Growing up privileged with the well-known Riley name, Scarlett denies herself any favors that could land her an interview because of “who” her family knows. She’s discouraged and ready to throw in the towel after many failed attempts to land a career as a writer. It only takes one night out with her best friend, Addison, too many tequila shots, and a slightly fabricated resume to land a prestigious job interview with a magazine conglomerate in the Big Apple. Scarlett finds herself in a web of destruction hurting everyone she cares about along the way. She's constantly battling the fine line of "is it deception?" white lies? …or should I say “Pink Lies” because what could be wrong with a lie if it’s pink? From the Ravenel Bridge to Brooklyn Bridge, Scarlett must find peace with her decisions.
My Thoughts 
Let me begin by saying how much I LOVE Charleston SC!  I have been saying for years that this is where I will move one day.  When I met Haley and I found out a portion was set there I had no choice but to start reading that night and I was not disappointed.  I loved this story from beginning to end and I CAN'T WAIT for the next in the series (there is one right Haley?)
When I first saw the cover, I knew it couldn't be any more fitting.  It is pink (my favorite color) and it screams Charleston as well as another favorite of mine Lilly Pulitzer!

Scar is a recent graduate of the College at Charleston and she is having the worst time finding a job!  She would love to work in NYC one day but she would settle for a good job at this point.
She had the luck of growing up near that amazing site to see - Rainbow Row:
What more can a girl ask for? She also grew up with the Riley name which did help quite frequently.  But that name is NOT helping her start her writing career.
Then one night Scar and Addison were drinking (Tequila of all things) and Addison MAY have sent a slightly fabricated resume to Cosmo in NYC.  Who would ever know the wiser, it's not like they would ever call her for a job interview...and then they did.
She is asked to be in the city in a few short days and while there she MAY have allowed the fabrication to continue, who would ever find out?

This story will have you laughing, crying and just plain smiling from beginning to end.  From her move to the big city, to dating two amazing men and writing in her dream city, you won't want to put it down.   Lies are always better in Pink, right?

Drink Selection 
I would have to go with a tasty White Haven Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand! You will want to enjoy a few glasses or even a whole bottle from begging to end!  Why not?
I LOVED every part of this book and I can't wait to read more in the series! 5 glasses it is!  Get your copy today!  You won't be disappointed!

Thursday, September 22, 2016

Giveaway Time! Arc of The Regulars by Georgia Clark US ONLY

A fierce, feisty, and “wonderfully entertaining” (Scott Westerfeld, author of Uglies) debut with a magical twist about three ordinary, regular girls who suddenly have their fantasies come true…or do they?

Best friends Evie, Krista, and Willow are just trying to make it through their mid-twenties in New York. They’re regular girls, with average looks and typical quarter-life crises: making it up the corporate ladder, making sense of online dating, and making rent.

Until they come across Pretty, a magic tincture that makes them, well...gorgeous. Like, supermodel gorgeous. And it’s certainly not their fault if the sudden gift of beauty causes unexpected doors to open for them.

But there’s a dark side to Pretty, too, and as the gloss fades for these modern-day Cinderellas, there’s just one question left:

What would you sacrifice to be Pretty?

Wildly irreverent, blatantly sexy, and observed with pitch-perfect wit, The Regulars is fresh “compulsive reading from a bright new voice” (Brenda Bowen, author of Enchanted August) in fiction, perfect for fans of Jennifer Close and Kevin Kwan.

Giveaway US ONLY 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Review - Friends ForNever by Melissa Baldwin

Erin Taylor is a hard-working journalist with a serious TV addiction and lack of a social life. She’s focused on her career and determined to leave her tiny cubicle behind for a fabulous corner office! But when a new co-worker, a friendship drama, and a hot workplace crush collide, Erin finds it harder and harder to focus. Especially when that crush on the oh-so-yummy Aiden Thomas starts to materialize into what feels like a magical relationship. Erin's life seems to finally be heading in the right direction...until suddenly friends aren't such great friends after all, her magical relationship hits a bumpy road, and her career could be derailed by it all. Erin learns a lesson the hard way: Sometimes people aren’t who they seem to be. With her happiness on the line, can Erin rise above her disappointments and create the life she's always dreamed of or will she be stuck being Friends ForNever?
My Thoughts 
What a fun end of summer read!  I read it in a few days and LOVED every page!  I couldn't put it down!
Erin Taylor has the job she has always dreamed up - a journalist!  She's also like me and LOVES TV and doesn't get out much.  LOL
She is determined to get her own office and won't stop till she gets there!
But then an amazing work trip presents herself and Erin can't back away from the chance to go abroad!
This new position has pit everyone in the company against each other and it's almost become survival of the fittest!
And then there is Aiden...He truly sounds delicious and Erin has been smitten for months.
Between the job backstabbing, friends who aren't really her friends, new nightmare co-workers and her new found romance, her life has gotten extremely complicated and messy!
Sit back and enjoy the ride at the end you will still be wanting more!

Drink Selection
I want to pair this fun story with a drink with a little Persian flare - Persian Rose Cocktail!  Delish!
I loved this story from beginning to end!  5 wine glasses all the way!

Friday, September 16, 2016

Review - I Liked My Life by Abby Fabiaschi

An engrossing debut about a devoted mother who commits suicide, leaving her husband and teenage daughter to redefine their understanding of family, while she meddles from beyond the grave.

Maddy was a loving, devoted stay-at-home mother...until she committed suicide, which left her husband Brady and her teenage daughter Eve heartbroken and reeling, wondering how they can possibly continue without her. Maddy, however, isn’t quite done with them. In an attempt to fulfill her family’s needs, Maddy watches and meddles from beyond the grave, determined to find the perfect wife and mother to replace herself and heal her family. That’s when she finds Rory: a free-spirited schoolteacher, who Maddy maneuvers into Eve’s confidences, but who turns out to be harboring a tragedy of her own.

In a story both deeply moving and charming, with the domestic insight of Jodi Picoult, I Liked My Life is a mother’s final blessing for a family learning to live again.

My Thoughts 
Where do I begin?  I Liked My Life is truly a page turner.  It grips you in a way that you don't see when you first pick it up.
You are brought into a world that has been torn apart by tragedy.  Maddy seemed to have to perfect life, maybe not the life she had dreamed for herself, but it was still great.  She had a great husband, a daughter who loves her and she has perfected the art of being a stay at home mom.  She thought she would have been a CEO one day, but her life took a different path.
The she committed the unthinkable...suicide.
Eve's life is turned upside down.  She is constantly asking herself what could bring her mother to do this and was it her fault?  Had she driven her mother to leave this world?
Brady has been thrown into a life he didn't expect.  He has always been the breadwinner and Maddy took care of their daughter and their home.  He's not only lost Maddy but is now in charge of their home and teenage daughter without a clue as to what to do, still blaming himself for his wife taking her own life.  He should have been there for her more, he should have seen the signs, these are all things he feels he could have changed.
Maddy is behind the scenes, in their minds, telling them things she needs to hear from the other side.  She is determined to help them through this time of grief and make sure they are OK before she leaves this world completely.
Day by day Maddy brings Eve and Brady back together, family members back into the mix and even tries to work a little magic in the love department.
Little by little this family becomes whole again and believes they will make it through this dark time.
I couldn't recommend this book more if I tried.  It is amazing.  Add it to your TBR for January 2017.

Drink Selection
I would pair I Liked My Life with a nice glass (or two) of Fall White Sangria with a little bit of spice. Yum!
This book is amazing and I can't recommend it enough, 5 wine glasses for sure!

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Review - Me Before You by Jojo Moyes

Lou Clark knows lots of things. She knows how many footsteps there are between the bus stop and home. She knows she likes working in The Buttered Bun tea shop and she knows she might not love her boyfriend Patrick.

What Lou doesn't know is she's about to lose her job or that knowing what's coming is what keeps her sane.

Will Traynor knows his motorcycle accident took away his desire to live. He knows everything feels very small and rather joyless now and he knows exactly how he's going to put a stop to that.

What Will doesn't know is that Lou is about to burst into his world in a riot of colour. And neither of them knows they're going to change the other for all time.

My Thoughts 
I was just in Target the other day and I was buying the movie - Me Before You - for my daughter and I to watch. The more I thought about it though, I had a copy of the novel at home and I really wanted to read it before I watched it. (I have yet to watch the movie yet, but I can't wait now!)
I loved every page of this book! I couldn't put it down!
The characterizations were amazing, the landscapes and backdrops as I've pictured them are breathtaking and I can't wait to watch Lou and Will come to life on the screen!
Lou has lived a pretty normal, yet somewhat sheltered, life up until she meets the Traynor family. She has worked several years at a cafe in town, she lives with her family and she really hasn't traveled much outside of her bubble. That was by choice, after an event early on in her teens that changed her forever. She never socialized with the same crowd, she never dressed the same, and she changed her identity as a whole. Some may see it as peculiar but there is a meaning behind it that is sad and somewhat haunting in a way.
Then one day the cafe closes and Lou is left without the job she has known for quite some time. She goes to the Job Center to get a job which isn't easy when you do not have any real skills or higher education so to speak. She tries many jobs to no avail and then one day she gets the call that will change her life, even though she may not know it yet.
She becomes a caregiver to Will Traynor, he was in a horrible accident which has left him permanently in a wheel chair and unable to take care of himself.
The family has hired her for 6 months, which seems odd for a person bound to a wheel chair, wouldn't she be brought on for an undefined amount of time?
She has a bumpy start when she begins, after all she has never done this type of work before. But she becomes tough and doesn't let Will boss her around.
Little by little she breaks away at his tough stubborn exterior. She is determined to make him believe that his life is worth living even if he has to re-evaluate the way in which he goes about that.
Their love story is truly magical, yet sad at times. Everyone will want the love that these two share at least once in your life if even for a brief moment in time.
Pick up your copy today, I promise you that it is worth every page turn! (Must have a box of tissues handy)

Drink Selection
I would live to celebrate this amazing book in same fashion the characters celebrated - with a bottle of bubbly!  
This is one of my favorite reads of the year by far, and it is well deserving of 5 wine glasses!  Cheers!


Friday, September 9, 2016

Book Review: Root, Petal, Thorn by Ella Joy Olsen

In this beautifully written and powerful debut novel, Ella Joy Olsen traces the stories of five fascinating women who inhabit the same  historic home over the course of a century—braided stories of love, heartbreak and courage connect the women, even across generations.

Ivy Baygren has two great loves in her life: her husband, Adam, and the bungalow they buy together in one of the oldest neighborhoods in Salt Lake City, Utah. From the moment she and Adam lay eyes on the  home, Ivy is captivated by its quaint details—the old porch swing, ornate tiles, and especially  an heirloom rose bush bursting with snowy white blossoms.  Called the Emmeline Rose for the home’s original owner, it seems yet another sign that this place will be Ivy’s happily-ever-after…Until her dreams are shattered by Adam’s unexpected death.

Striving to be strong for her two children, Ivy decides to tackle the home-improvement projects she and Adam once planned. Day by day, as she attempts to rebuild her house and her resolve, she uncovers clues about previous inhabitants, from a half-embroidered sampler to buried wine bottles. And as Ivy learns about the women who came before her—the young Mormon torn between her heart and anti-polygamist beliefs, the Greek immigrant during World War II, a troubled single mother in the 1960s—she begins to uncover the lessons of her own journey. For every story has its sadness, but there is also the possibility of blooming again, even stronger and more resilient than before…

My Thoughts 
I fell in love with this book from the very beginning - from the intricate web of characters Ella presents to the story lines that take you in directions you don't see coming and can't help but smile when they happen.
This tale travels from one emotion to the next and some that you are least expecting!  There is loss, love, sadness, heart break, heart ache,  and courage to move on.
Ivy had it all - the husband and the house (with history).  But then her world is turned upside down - he husband Adam dies...She was blindsided.
What is she going to do?  He was her rock, her safe place, her one true love...
How will she move on?  Start over?
Her brother showed up one day, a few days later, and told her to make a list - she needed something to look forward to, something to accomplish.
Her kids needed her and she needed to get her old self back.
She came up with project after project to get her through each day.  Each day seemed to bring a new surprise, a new story of the previous owners and Ivy felt like her life had purpose as she embarked on this journey of discovery.  Not only was she learning about the previous women she shared this home with but she also learned more about herself and who she needed to be going forward.
There are so many intricate webs to read and inhale, you need to experience it for yourself to grasp the depth of Ella's beautiful debut novel.

This book goes perfect with a glass (or two) of a deep red Merlot.  Perfect for this intricate story of love, loss and life.
This book was truly amazing, I could not put it down.  I will be recommending this book to everyone I know!  Must read for Fall 2016!