First Comes Love

by Emily Giffin

I’m a big fan of Emily Giffin and have enjoyed her books so much. First Comes Love is told in alternating views and lives of the characters Josie and Meredith. You will see someone you know or know of in these characters. At times you will get frustrated and think come on girls let it go, move forward. The girls have a love/hate relationship like so many sister’s have. They are as different as night and day so that makes it hard to have a common ground they can build on. Instead they have drifted so far apart I’m not sure they will ever get back together and have a strong sister bond.  Theirs is a bit more strained since their brother died tragically 15 years earlier and I just don’t think they can get past it and be there for each other. Over all the characters were very well developed and the story was very easy to read. I enjoyed this sweet chick lit book and it is perfect for light summer reading. The ending is slightly predictable, but that’s OK sometimes. This book while wasn’t my favorite Emily Giffin it is still a great book that I’m so happy I got to read and have on my bookshelf. If you haven’t read any Emily Giffin this would be a great first book, my first book by her I read was gifted to my by a friend: Something Blue. I’ve read all her books now and my hand’s down favorite is the Darcy and Rachel series books. I gift her books a lot and First Comes Love would be a wonderful gift to your bookworm friends.

summary: Growing up, Josie and Meredith Garland shared a loving, if sometimes contentious, relationship. Josie was impulsive, spirited, and outgoing, Meredith hardworking, thoughtful, and reserved. When tragedy strikes, their delicate bond splinters.

Fifteen years later, Josie and Meredith are in their late thirties, following very different paths. Josie, a first grade teacher, is single—and this close to swearing off dating for good. What she wants more than the right guy, however, is to become a mother—a feeling that is heightened when her ex-boyfriend’s daughter is assigned to her class. Determined to have the future she’s always wanted, Josie decides to take matters into her own hands.

On the outside, Meredith is the model daughter with the perfect life. A successful attorney, she’s married to a wonderful man, and together they’re raising a beautiful four-year-old daughter. Yet lately Meredith feels dissatisfied and restless, secretly wondering if she chose the life that was expected of her rather than the one she truly desired. 

As the anniversary of their tragedy looms, and painful secrets from the past begin to surface, Josie and Meredith must not only confront the issues that divide them but also come to terms with their own choices. In their journey toward understanding and forgiveness, both sisters discover that they need each other more than they knew—and that in the search for true happiness, love always comes first.

thank you BookSpark Summer Reading Challenge, Ballatine Books for allowing me to read and review First Comes Love. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book. 

The Sweetheart Deal

by Polly Dugan

The Sweetheart Deal is a predictable story that I picked up after reading 2 very heavy twisty thrillers. The characters just didn’t seem to be very dimensional. While every griefs different so this book shows how the author had her characters all dealing with the very sudden and unexpected death of Leo. I just didn’t click with the characters and thought the story was so-so. The first person writing style is not a favorite of mine it just does go well for really developing the characters, story line and world for me anyway. The only character who I felt had any dimension was Garrett. He gave up so much of his own life to step in and follow through with his promise. I really wish the story was told more through his perspective than the widow Audrey’s. The summary about finding unexpected love was totally expected and the reader will see it coming instantly and very early on in the book. While I know many will really like this book for me it was a decent book to read after some very heavy themed books but not one I would pick up on my own. I’m glad I got the read it through the BookSpark Summer Reading challenge since I’m not sure I would have otherwise.

summary: Leo has long joked that, in the event of his death, he wants his best friend Garrett, a lifelong bachelor, to marry his wife, Audrey. One drunken night, he goes so far as to make Garrett promise to do so. Then, twelve years later, Leo, a veteran firefighter, dies in a skiing accident. 

As Audrey navigates her new role as widow and single parent, Garrett quits his job in Boston and buys a one-way ticket out west. Before long, Audrey’s feelings for Garrett become more than platonic, and Garrett finds himself falling for Audrey, her boys, and their life together in Portland. When Audrey finds out about the drunken pact from years ago, though, the harmless promise that brought Garrett into her world becomes the obstacle to his remaining in it.

thank you BookSpark Summer Reading Challenge and Little Brown and Company for allowing me to read and review The Sweetheart Deal. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

Saving Abby

by Steena Holmes

Oh my gosh have a box of tissues ready this book is a major tear jerker. I was balling like a baby by the end and I loved this book! This book really captured me and held me till the very last page. I loved the couple Claire and Josh I mean what’s not to love about a husband/wife children’s book author and illustrator team. Add the fact that they were just so sweet and going through so much. I mean when you hear the saying they just can’t catch a break this couple couldn’t. It was one heartbreaking moment after another. The heartbreak was broken up with happy moments but man pass the tissues please moments were through out the whole book. Both tears of joy and heartbreak, Steena Holmes out did herself with Saving Abby! While this isn’t a light hearted book most want to read through out their summer reading I really think you must  add this one to the list, move it to the top of the list! Claire, Josh, and Abby will capture your heart and I can’t say it enough I loved this book! The writing was great and easy to read and believable. The characters were great, although I will say I was a little mad at Claire’s best friend and doctor but I still liked her. I know this is not based on any true stories or anything but I’ve read stories very similar to this happening to pregnant moms and having to make the decisions that they had to make is just to unimaginable it’s a no win situation. Run out to your local bookstore or library, make a pit stop at the store to grab some tissues and comfort ice cream and read Saving Abby. I hope it touches your heart as much as it touched mine.

summary: All children’s book illustrator Claire Turner ever wanted was to be a mother. After six years of trying to conceive, she and her husband, Josh, have finally accepted that she will never be pregnant with a child of their own.

Yet once they give up hope, the couple gets the miracle they’ve been waiting for. For the first few months of her pregnancy, Claire and Josh are living on cloud nine. But when she begins to experience debilitating headaches, blurred vision, and even fainting spells, the soon-to-be mother goes to the doctor and receives a terrifying diagnosis. Since any treatment could put their unborn baby’s life at risk, the Turners must carefully weigh their limited options. And as her symptoms worsen, Claire will have to make an impossible decision: Save her own life, or save her child’s?

thank you so very much BookSpark Summer Reading Challenge, Lake Union Publishing and Steena Holmes for allowing me to read and review Saving Abby. All thoughts and opinions are mine and not influenced by the free book.

Everybody Rise

by Stephanie Clifford

So I was ready for some chick lit summer reading and thought Everybody Rise sounded like it fit. Evelyn has tried to distance herself from her social climbing parents and forge a path for herself. However she finds herself right back in the social climbing every person for them self society where money talks and she is trying hard to pretend to be old money. Maybe it was just the reading mood I was in since my friend read it when it first came out and loved it. I think it would be a pretty good movie but the characters on the paper just didn’t click for me. It is a cautionary tale and has all the:  be careful who your friends are, keep your enemies close and be careful what you wish for moments. Some parts were pretty funny and while for me I couldn’t click with the characters I wish Evelyn had stayed true to who she really was. Everybody Rise like any book isn’t for every reader while I liked it OK many love this. I hear it is going to become a movie and I would go see it on the big screen I really think that would make it come to life more for me than it did in book format. All and all I’d say this was a decent chick lit summer read.

summary: It’s 2006 in the Manhattan of the young and privileged, and a new generation of heirs and strivers are jockeying for social power and discovering that class, especially on the Upper East Side, still holds sway. At 26, Evelyn Beegan is the product of new money, propelled by her social-climbing mother through an elite prep school, a posh college, and into Manhattan. Evelyn has always managed to stay just on the periphery of this world her mother so desperately wants her to become a part of. But when she takes a job at a new social networking site aimed at her very elite peers, she’s forced to leverage her few connections to work her way to the front of the pack.

thank you BookSparks Summer Reading Challenge, St Martins Press and Stephanie Clifford for allowing me to read and review Everybody Rise. All thoughts and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

25 Sense

by Lisa Henthorn 

Claire did more at 25 than I’ve done in my 46 years on earth. She is an adventurous, spontaneous girl that leaps first than ask questions. While this book probably wasn’t meant for a 46 year old who lived at home till she was married, has never had a fling with a taken man or lived alone in the big city that doesn’t mean I didn’t like it. I was really surprised by this little book. It is a quick read and yes Claire had me shaken my head at times but I still enjoyed it a lot more than I expected to. For many it will be like a trip to the past, for others it will be a look into what it would be like to take more leaps and live life more carefree and in the moment. Truly that just isn’t my personality but I love reading it in a character. Lisa Henthorn did a great job with the character development and describing the life of Claire and gang. One really cool feature was the social media blurb at the beginning of each chapter. I think it was for twitter but that I guess kinda dates the book in a way since I’m not sure if 20 somethings even use twitter? The chapters are numbered in cents and that was fun to figure out, yes sadly it took me to chapter 4 to figure that out. I know I know I was a bit disappointed that it took that long to figure out that fun little tidbit. 25 Sense is great for a day at the pool, beach, or even just lounging on the deck with a iced tea and soaking up some reading time. I would recommend this to my friends and think that it would appeal to a wide reading demographic. 

summary: Claire Malone didn t mean for this to happen when she moved to New York. She just wanted to live the city life and gain experience in television writing, her dream career. It s not like she meant to reciprocate when her married boss, Sean Vared, sent her flirty e-mails. And you can t blame her for coming into the office on the weekend when Sean told her he was going to be there . . . alone. She didn t mean to sleep with him but hey, she wanted to experience the city life, so no big deal, right? Wrong. By the time Claire wakes up on her 25th birthday, she s very much in love with Sean. At work, she struggles to hold it together when he passes her desk the very desk that they used to make love on. Soon Sean has turned his affection to the show s starring actress, and Claire is devastated. Can she break away from Sean without ruining her barely started career? Will someone find out what happened? Will she ever grow up and stop making stupid mistakes? 25 Sense is about the time in a young woman s life when the world starts to view her as a responsible adult but all she feels is lost.”

thank you BookSpark Summer Reading Challenge, Lisa Henthorn and SparkPress for allowing me to read 25 Sense. All thought and opinions are my own and not influenced by the free book.

One True Loves

by Taylor Jenkins Reid

Wow, I mean just wow! I finished this book in under 24 hours and no it wasn’t a book reading binge that you read so fast you don’t remember anything really. This was a honest to goodness can’t put it down read every second I can book binge. I love Taylor Jenkins Reid books they are just superbly written and have such amazing likable characters so I was happy to read this one. I believe this one goes to the top of my list for favorite by her and for 2016. I enjoyed the story in all it’s ups and downs, through good times and bad. Emma Blair was someone I’d love to have as a friend, her whole family actually. I loved that she was a strong character and she ran a family bookstore, how awesome is that! She has some really tough decisions to make ones that will not only affect her but all those she loves as well. She has a great support system but they can’t help her all of it is on her shoulders and I wouldn’t want to be in her shoes. I agree with the ending and think it was the best and most realistic. While I don’t really agree with some of the things she did in Maine while coming to her decision I didn’t really give it much thought – to each his own and if she can live with it so can I. This is a Summer. 2016. Must. Read, so run out and grab a copy from your local book store or library. I know this is one I’ll re-read many times and while I’ll be nice and loan it out I will have my name in the cover so I can get it back.

Taylor Jenkins Reid is having a baby and a new book which many authors call them book babies. So BookSpark thought it would be fun to have a little book shower for her. I’m going to play along so here we go:

  1. The first book I ever read by Taylor Jenkins Reid was…  Forever, Interrupted
  2. My Wish for Taylor Jenkins Reid as a Mom… Cherish each and every moment they are fast and in a blink of an eye they are teens. Capture the moments but also be in the moment. I have lots of pictures but sometimes it’s great to just be in the moment. You might miss that photo opportunity but you’ll still have that memory.  
  3. My Wish for Taylor Jenkins Reid as an author… Keep writing wonderful book that I can read, and tell all my readers and friends about. You have a real talent and I can’t wait to read more by you. If it’s got your name on it I will buy and read it. 
  4. My Favorite book by Taylor Jenkins Reid… One True Loves hands down.
  5. Who is your One True Love? I guess I don’t have just one I would say: My kids, family, husband… If I can only use 1 word maybe I’d say family and put them all in that category. 

summary: In her twenties, Emma Blair marries her high school sweetheart, Jesse. They build a life for themselves, far away from the expectations of their parents and the people of their hometown in Massachusetts. They travel the world together, living life to the fullest and seizing every opportunity for adventure.

On their first wedding anniversary, Jesse is on a helicopter over the Pacific when it goes missing. Just like that, Jesse is gone forever.

Emma quits her job and moves home in an effort to put her life back together. Years later, now in her thirties, Emma runs into an old friend, Sam, and finds herself falling in love again. When Emma and Sam get engaged, it feels like Emma’s second chance at happiness.

That is, until Jesse is found. He’s alive, and he’s been trying all these years to come home to her. With a husband and a fiancé, Emma has to now figure out who she is and what she wants, while trying to protect the ones she loves.

Who is her one true love? What does it mean to love truly?

Emma knows she has to listen to her heart. She’s just not sure what it’s saying.

thank you so very much BookSpark Summer Reading Challenge and Taylor Jenkins Reid for sending me a copy of One True Loves. All thoughts and opinions are my own and were not influenced by the free book.