Saturday, February 25, 2017

Review: My Not So Perfect Life by Sophia Kinsella

Everywhere Katie Brenner looks, someone else is living the life she longs for, particularly her boss, Demeter Farlowe. Demeter is brilliant and creative, lives with her perfect family in a posh townhouse, and wears the coolest clothes. Katie’s life, meanwhile, is a daily struggle—from her dismal rental to her oddball flatmates to the tense office politics she’s trying to negotiate. No wonder Katie takes refuge in not-quite-true Instagram posts, especially as she's desperate to make her dad proud.

Then, just as she’s finding her feet—not to mention a possible new romance—the worst happens. Demeter fires Katie. Shattered but determined to stay positive, Katie retreats to her family’s farm in Somerset to help them set up a vacation business. London has never seemed so far away—until Demeter unexpectedly turns up as a guest. Secrets are spilled and relationships rejiggered, and as the stakes for Katie’s future get higher, she must question her own assumptions about what makes for a truly meaningful life.

My Thoughts
Sophia really hit this one out of the park. I couldn't make it through a day without reading several chapters either at school or at work on break, I always had this book with me.  Even work friends were asking me to tell them how it was because they had heard so much excitement around this release.
Katie "Cat" Brenner is truly amazing - she is a small town girl who wants to make it big in London.  She will do anything to make that happen from changing her name, losing her accent, recreating a whole new look from clothes to make-up and hair.  But will that truly make Cat happy and all her dreams come true?
She struggles daily with office politics - is this truly the success that she was looking for?  To come to work and be treated like a second class citizen and back stabbing behind each corner?
Then the worst happens, how will Cat make her dream of London a permanent reality with NO JOB?  Yes, you heard me correctly, Cat was fired! 
And back to Somerset she heads with her tale between her legs and a secret a mile long that she is going to keep from her dad and Biddy. 
Craziness ensues from her dad's crazy investment schemes to an appearance from a few of her co-workers down on the farm!
Run, don't walk, and buy this book today!  Trust me!

Drink Selection
I had to go with a fun "Londonesque" drink, with a (few) glass of Robin Hood, Quince of Thieves!
It has a yummy blend of Somerset apple brandy (Somerset!), quince liqueur, honey mead, lemon, and even a mini apple bullseye.  Yum! 

5 wine glasses all the way, there is no other acceptable rating!  You must check this book out!  You will want to book a flight to London tomorrow!  (Now what can I do with my job and kids on short notice, hmmmm, OK it may have to wait a bit but you know what I mean!)

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Review: Deliver Her by Patricia Perry Donovan

On the night of Alex Carmody’s sixteenth birthday, she and her best friend, Cass, are victims of a terrible car accident. Alex survives; Cass doesn’t. Consumed by grief, Alex starts cutting school and partying, growing increasingly detached. The future she’d planned with her friend is now meaningless to her.
Meg Carmody is heartbroken for her daughter, even as she’s desperate to get Alex’s life back on track. The Birches, a boarding school in New Hampshire, promises to do just that, yet Alex refuses to go. But when Meg finds a bag of pills hidden in the house, she makes a fateful call to a transporter whose company specializes in shuttling troubled teens to places like The Birches, under strict supervision. Meg knows Alex will feel betrayed—as will her estranged husband, who knows nothing of Meg’s plans for their daughter.
When the transport goes wrong—and Alex goes missing—Meg must face the consequences of her decision and her deception. But the hunt for Alex reveals that Meg is not the only one keeping secrets.

My Thoughts 
This book grabs you from the very beginning.  Alex was just a normal teenager and the she was involved in accident that turned her whole world upside down.  How will she ever survive this horrible nightmare?  I will be honest and I was reading from the perspective of having a daughter the same age and if this ever happened to me I would be just as confused and lost as Alex's mom Meg.   Will she be able to save her daughter?

Meg has no idea where to turn for help, they have tried everything.  Her last hope is a school in the North East, The Birches, for troubled teens.  But how will she get there?  They've tried to get her in the car for a "trip" before and that didn't go well, obviously.  But the final straw, the prescription pills Meg found in the basement, after a party, sent her overboard.  She hired a transporter that would get Alex from their home to school.

Everything seems to be going smoothly from point A to point B, but they never quite make it to Point B.  Are they alive?  Dead?  What has happened to Alex?  Where is she?  Has she been kidnapped?

Pick up this book today and I guarantee you won't be able to put it down till it's over!  

Drink Selection
I have decided to pair it with a tasty glass (or 3) of Sweet Bliss - sweet red wine.  Delish!

I loved the story from the heart ache in the beginning to the suspense through to the end.  5 wine glasses all the way!

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Review: Blogger Girl by Meredith Schorr

What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved? Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out. A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all. Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving-challenged) associate down the hall is another story. Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most-hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads—and pages—across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox - for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

I can't believe that I haven't read this book sooner! 
MUST READ Chick Lit  book for everyone!
Let me first state that this book, in some ways, is close to my life!  I am a paralegal in a law firm and I have my own up and coming book blog!  
Kimberly Long is obsessed with Chick Lit, so much so that a few years back she created an amazing blog dedicated to it, Pastel is the New Black!  She is constantly in contact with authors and publishers who are dying to work with her and have their book be the next that she reviews.
She has an amazing boss, Rob, who allows her to review, read and write book reviews while on the job as long as her work is taken care of! (I do the same as well, I am currently half way done with my Monday at work and blogging away).
Then he joins the firm...
She can't get him out of her mind and hopes that each and every day they have some reason to converse.  Does he have a girlfriend? Would he ever be interested in dating her?
As if her life wasn't crazy enough, then her high school reunion rolls around. And so does - Hannah Marshak, the evil girl who used to torment her in high school.
And if that was bad enough, Hannah is releasing a chick lit novel and wants Kimberly to review it!  
So many twists and turns and ups and downs, Blogger Girl will have you wanting to read until the early hours of each morning till you are done!

I would pair this amazing book with Girly Girl Merlot!
MY RATINGI give Blogger Girl a five wine glasses rating!  It had me coming back for more around each and every twist and turn.




Review - Slightly South of Simple by Kristy Woodson Harvey

From the next “major voice in Southern fiction” (New York Times bestselling author Elin Hilderbrand) comes the first in an all-new series chronicling the journeys of three sisters and their mother—and a secret from their past that has the potential to tear them apart and reshape their very definition of what it means to be a family.

Caroline Murphy swore she’d never set foot back in the small Southern town of Peachtree Bluff; she was a New York girl born and bred and the worst day of her life was when, in the wake of her father’s death, her mother selfishly forced her to move—during her senior year of high school, no less—back to that hick-infested rat trap where she'd spent her childhood summers. But now that her marriage to a New York high society heir has fallen apart in a very public, very embarrassing fashion, a pregnant Caroline decides to escape the gossipmongers with her nine-year-old daughter and head home to her mother, Ansley.

Ansley has always put her three daughters first, especially when she found out that her late husband, despite what he had always promised, left her with next to nothing. Now the proud owner of a charming waterfront design business and finally standing on her own two feet, Ansley welcomes Caroline and her brood back with open arms. But when her second daughter Sloane, whose military husband is overseas, and youngest daughter and successful actress Emerson join the fray, Ansley begins to feel like the piece of herself she had finally found might be slipping from her grasp. Even more discomfiting, when someone from her past reappears in Ansley's life, the secret she’s harbored from her daughters their entire lives might finally be forced into the open.

My Thoughts 
I think that I have always been a southern girl at heart who just happens to live in the north.  I LOVE all things southern.  The laid back living, the strong sense of family, the lifestyle, the food  - don't get me started!  I could go on for DAYS!  I have plans to retire in the south once I get all these crazy kids of mine graduated in the next few years.
Kristy is truly the best southern writer I have read to date.  No matter the topic she draws you in - you want more and when the story ends you hope and pray that she has the next story written and you can get your hands on a copy!
Slightly South of Simple does not disappoint!  It tugs at your heart strings, it makes you fall in love with each and every character, even grumpy ole Mr. Solomon.  The trials and struggles each sister goes through will feel like your own and have you question yourself - "What would I do in their shoes?".
Ansley thought she would live her years alone in this quaint town till she gets the call that all of her daughters are on their way for an extended visit - along with all of their children!  Terror first enters her mind and then she realizes that she wouldn't want them to be any place else then with her to take care of them.
I won't ruin all of the intricacies (love, honor, past loves, heartbreak) of the story but I will tell you that by the end you will want nothing more than to begin the next book in the series!

Drink Selection
We are going to go with the deliciousness of the south, the Southern Pomegranate Sparkler! Yum!  (I don't think you will be able to have just one!)
This book is truly one of a kind, 5 wine glasses all the way!


Friday, February 3, 2017

Review: Talking As Fast As I Can by Lauren Graham

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

My Thoughts

Can I just say...I want Lauren Graham to be my best friend!  She is amazing!  I couldn't get enough of Gilmore Girls and I have been buying the whole to collection of episodes to have forever and ever!  LOL.
From the very first page you feel as if Lauren is actually speaking to you!  Her writing voice as I call it is amazing!  It's like I am back in Stars Hollow all over again, and boy do I hope there are more and more episodes! 
Lauren talks about everything from her early days of acting when she wasn't sure if she was destined for Broadway or destined to be on the big screen!  She refers to exes that she has dated (and the act of being single in Hollywood, which is rare!) and her bright future as an author and screenwriter (she is really going places!)
Her experience on Project Runaway will have you dying of laughter and her bonding experience with Ellen to too funny for word!
I won't give away every little detail, even though I could go on and on...LOL I will say that she talks about the reboot of Gilmore Girls and you will want to buy a copy and read it for yourself!  Run and get a copy TODAY!

Drink Selection
I am going to go with a fun and flirty glass (or 3!) of Prosecco!  Can we say yum?!?!?

It doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out how much I LOVED this book!  Five wine glasses all the way!