Weightless

0

Book review of “Weightless”

WeightlessCoverPic

“Weightless” by Michele Gorman

Book Description:

Annabel’s not surprised when nobody recognizes her at her 10 year reunion. The spotty fat teen nicknamed AnnaBall by the school bullies is long gone. But standing on the edge of the popular crowd, she still feels like that girl. That is, until Jack, her teen crush, starts flirting with her. Much to her amusement, he has mistaken her for Christy Blake, Annabel’s chief tormenter before she moved to France in their last year.

It’s just a bit of fun at first, letting Jack believe she’s Christy. After all, he was nuts about her before she said au revoir to England. And when he asks Annabel out, the fun becomes something even more interesting. The more they date the deeper they fall for each other. So what if Annabel has to fib a little to keep up the façade?

As the lies start compounding, and she realizes that they’re falling in love, she has to tell him who she really is. But she’ll lose the love of her life if she does.

My Review:

“Weightless” by Michele Gorman was a cute and whimsical short story, (64 pages). There were a lot of twists and turns that I didn’t expect and that’s what I liked most. The end surprised me a lot, making it anything but predictable. Annabel’s (Christy’s) character was very well written and I liked her quite a bit. Jack’s character was also very intriguing, up until the very end. (Nope, no spoilers!)

If you’re looking for a quick book that you can read in a few short hours, “Weightless” is the book for you. Michele Gorman is a very talented author and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!

I give this book 5 stars!

*****

“WEIGHTLESS”

CHAPTER ONE

‘Ow.’ My beer bottle clinked against my teeth as I felt a hand gently grasp my shoulder from behind.

‘Oh my god, Christy, is that you? How great to see you!’

‘I’m not-’… Christy, I was about to say. But then I turned and saw whose hand it was. ‘Hi.’

‘Ten years, can you believe it?’ asked Jack as his smile threw me back to our last year in school.  ‘You look… different but I’d still recognize you anywhere. Did you come from France or are you based here now? Wait, we both need another drink and then we can have a proper catch-up.’ He pointed to my bottle. ‘Another beer? I’ll be right back. Don’t go anywhere, okay?’

He loped off to the bar where our former classmates jockeyed for the overworked barman’s attention. And I admit it, dear Reader. I ogled him. I took in his broad shoulders beneath the fitted black jacket, his long jeans-clad legs and wavy blonde mop of hair.

Jack Winslow, my unrequited love, had actually just spoken to me. He was buying my beer! … All right, so he thought he was buying Christy’s beer, but still, beggars shall not be choosy about free drinks.

When the reunion invitation arrived with the school’s annual newsletter I chucked it into the bin. Those newsletters arrived every year in December, as welcome as a urinary tract infection. They’d wheedled my mailing address from my Dad and I didn’t have the guts to ring them to opt out for fear that they’d extort me for a donation for the playing fields or something. I’d been miserable on those fields. I hated every rain-soaked blade of grass that slipped me up and each ankle-twisting rut.

Jack returned with our drinks. He set my empty bottle on a nearby table for me. ‘Cheers. To old times,’ he said.

‘Cheers. Jack Winslow, I can hardly believe it’s you. Here’s to new times, eh?’

His grin faltered, then widened. Great work, Annabel. Two minutes into the conversation is just the right time to suggest a future together.

‘Believe it,’ he said. ‘So tell me what you’ve been doing for the last decade. Are you living in London now?’

I nodded. ‘I live in Notting Hill. Well, according to the real estate agents anyway. My closest Tube is Shepherd’s Bush though. Where are you living?’

‘Well as long as we’re speaking in real estate agent, then I’m in South Hampstead. If we’re being honest then I’m off Finchley Road.’ He stared at me. There were tiny lines around his grey eyes and his lashes were darker than I remembered. ‘I’m really happy you’re here.’

I smiled, surprised that he even knew who I was. Then I remembered that he didn’t. To him I was Christy. Of course he’d be happy to see her. Christy and Jack were our school’s answer to Brangelina, though I don’t think they actually went out together. They just swanned around the school in their own golden glow, the central figures in our teenage romantic fantasies.

Jack and I stood at the edge of the room together watching the crowd. Five minutes ago I was just Annabel Markham, aka AnnaBall, Annabell-end, all-round bully fodder and soft target. Suddenly I was promoted to head of the class.

What a difference short-sightedness makes.

‘Do you wear glasses?’ I asked before taking a swig of my beer.

His brow furrowed as he hesitated. ‘Ah, well, no. Why?’

‘Oh, well, I guess I remembered you with specs, that’s all. I wasn’t implying that you need them.’ Please shut up, Annabel.

‘Oh, you mean reading glasses. Yes, I did sometimes, for my astigmatism. But that’s been corrected now.’

He kept staring at me like he had more to say. Surely he’d figured out that I wasn’t Christy. Aside from being among the tallest girls in our year, we looked nothing alike. My hair had been much darker, for one thing. And my waistline had been much bigger for another.

But he really did seem to think I was Christy. Which wasn’t at all how I imagined my night would go when I’d first walked in.

I nearly didn’t turn up at all. Who willingly goes back into the bear pit once they’re freed? Someone who’s flippin’ out of her mind, that’s who.

My heart started rattling in my chest before I’d even set foot through the Richmond pub’s door. Upstairs, a table was set up beside the function room’s entrance. Two women waited to label the alumni but I didn’t recognize them and it was easy enough to sidestep their markers and Scotch Tape. I was well-practiced in the art of creeping about.

I should never have let Kate convince me to come. Of course all the feelings I’d packed away over the years wouldn’t stay neatly stowed. They’d wait till I was surrounded by my classmates to spring their locks.

To my relief, at least there was no break in conversation when I stepped in to the room. A few faces turned curiously but, recognizing neither friend nor foe, quickly turned away again. After twenty minutes I was still alone on the fringes of the party. I may as well have been sixteen again.

Actually, that’s not quite true, because I was rarely left alone then. Given the alternative, this was a bit better.

So Jack’s chattiness came as quite the surprise. He’d said about ten words to me during the whole of secondary school.

‘Do you see any of the old crowd yet?’ he asked, scanning the room.

My skin suddenly crawled with dread. What if Christy herself was somewhere in the room? Or her friends? They’d know in a second that I was an imposter. Then they’d single me out in front of the whole room and it’d be eleventh grade all over again.  ‘No, no, I don’t see anyone.’ I started edging toward the door.

‘Me neither. But I might not recognize some of them. People can change a lot in ten years.’ He glanced again at the crowd. ‘Isn’t it odd? When you’re in school you can’t wait to get away from everyone and when you’ve left you’re excited to see them again.’

Speak for yourself. ‘Surely you didn’t hate school though. What’s there to hate when everyone loves you and you’re the teacher’s pet?’

He laughed before catching himself. ‘You’re exaggerating. I was never the teacher’s pet.’

‘But everyone did love you, so there’s no use denying it.’

‘What about you? The school went into mourning when you moved to France. Seriously, they flew the flags at half-mast. Bereavement counsellors were called in.’

I could think of at least one girl who wasn’t in mourning when Christy moved away. ‘No black arm bands?’

‘They changed our uniforms. Head to toe widow’s weeds for the girls and black suits for the boys.’

‘Well that was a long time ago,’ I said. ‘They probably renamed a building or something and went back to the usual uniforms eventually.’

He touched his beer to mine. ‘Immortalized in concrete. That’s my dream. Hey, what do you say we get out of here? No one else is here that we know anyway.’

‘Definitely! Let’s go.’ Before Christy sodding Blake turned up.

I’d tell him later about the confusion.

CHAPTER TWO

To my relief, we left Richmond completely. The last thing I needed was for poor Jack to see Christy sodding Blake and think he was having a doppelganger moment on the sidewalk. Though I still couldn’t believe we actually looked alike.

The Christy I knew had cold blue eyes. Cold-as-a-shark, dead-soul blue eyes. This detail was burned into my memory because she never looked away when she tormented me. That girl had not one ounce of shame in her.

My eyes were green. Dad said they were beautiful, like cat’s eyes, but he had a parental duty of kindness.

People can change a lot in ten years and small details get forgotten or misremembered. So Jack didn’t seem to notice the color change as we chatted all the way into Soho. I was surprised when he pointed to his office on Soho Square. I’d always pegged him as the City type.

‘You really work for Fox?’ I said as we found a tiny corner table in the crowded pub nearby. ‘Oiling the great wheels of Hollywood? Do you get to walk down the red carpet and get papped falling out of nightclubs with your knickers showing?’

He looked uncomfortable as he sipped his winter ale. ‘I’m not an actor, or Paris Hilton, despite the tiny dog I like to carry around in my gym bag.’ He saw my face. ‘Joking,’ he said as I laughed. ‘I don’t go to the gym.’

‘You don’t really have a-’

‘Dog? No. And I’m just a lowly marketer. I’m the cog inside the cog inside the cog inside the great wheels of Hollywood.’

‘Do you like it?’

‘I love it! What’s not to love about getting to see new releases before everyone else?’

‘Are you the one who hires the cheesy voiceover man? One man, one banana, one unholy love story,’ I intoned in my best radio announcer voice.

‘I wish I was, but they’re cheesed up before I get my hands on them. We’re the ones who create the marketing for Europe. It’s not glamorous but I work with a lot of nice people. What about you? Did you stay in France after school?’

Uh oh. There was really no way to answer his question without fibbing. A guilty pang made my stomach lurch. Was this where I had to tell Jack the truth, and watch that friendly, open smile fade as he realized we didn’t really have a history together? I knew what would happen then. The easy banter we’d shared all evening would dry up. It wouldn’t matter that it had nothing to do with who we’d been ten years before. Then he’d quickly finish his ale and make some excuse to leave.

I didn’t want that to happen. Not when we were having so much fun.

I could, however, tell him the truth about me. At least then it was just one omission rather than a series of lies that he’d hate me for.

‘I went to university here. In Leeds. I’ve been in England all along. How about you?’

He hesitated. Maybe when he said “school”, he meant university. Christy probably kept in touch after she moved, wrote him long letters that were definitely not postmarked Leeds. I steeled myself for his next response.

‘I took a year out and then went to Edinburgh,’ he said. ‘What a great city. Have you been?’

Relief flooded through me. Then I remembered that it was only a momentary stay of execution. ‘I’ve been up for the Fringe a few times,’ I said. ‘It is a great city. Did you travel the world on your year off, just you and your backpack and your little dog?’

‘Something like that, minus the dog and the backpack. What are you doing now?’

I told him about my dietetics practice. Like Jack, I loved my work. Unlike him, my job was about as far from glamorous as you could get without cleaning motorway lavatories for a living. ‘I’m really glad we ran into each other,’ I said as we sipped our drinks. My tension was easing away with distance from our old classmates. I was having a tremendous time, the kind of time I’d dreamed of all through school. There was no harm in carrying on the charade for a bit longer, just until I found a natural way to introduce the fact that I was another person altogether. No big deal.

‘I nearly didn’t go to the reunion,’ I said. ‘I didn’t-’

‘How could you even think about not going? You were the most popular girl in school!’

I clamped my mouth shut on my next words. I was about to tell him about not wanting to see the girls who’d bullied me. Girls like Christy. Must remember you are Christy. Obviously I’d make an excellent secret agent. Lips as secure as Fort Knox, that’s me.

‘It’s fate,’ he continued. ‘I mean really, what are the chances?’ He was staring into my eyes with a look that I’d begun to recognize in the past few years, since losing seventy pounds and gaining a social life. It wasn’t fate on Jack’s mind.

‘Well, it was a gathering of former classmates,’ I said, not daring to believe what I was seeing. ‘It would have been more fateful if we’d run into each other randomly in London.’

I hadn’t just had a crush on Jack in school. I truly thought I could love him one day, if only he knew I was alive. But I was about three miles below his radar, which was ironic since in those days I was probably visible from space. So I gathered bits of him wherever I could. His every utterance, and the cloying, spicy scent of his AXE Fusion, were committed to memory. I went to all his home football matches, even when it rained, even when I was almost the only one standing there, sodden at the edge of the hated playing field.

‘Well, fate or not, this is fantastic,’ he said.

He was doing it again. Looking at me like I was the last handful of Doritos in the bag. I nodded, not trusting my voice.

‘Could I see you again, do you think?’

Again I nodded. I wondered how he felt about muteness in a date. Wait a minute. Was he asking me on a date?! ‘I’d love that.’

Gently he leaned forward and put his warm lips to mine. It was a deal with the Devil, sealed with a kiss. By the time we traded cell numbers and said good night, I was floating about six inches above the London sidewalk.

*****

**From February 11th to February, get “Weightless” for FREE on Smashwords, using the coupon code: ZH34Q (not case-sensetive)**

**Buy “Weightless”: Amazon – US   Amazon – UK   Barnes & Noble

MicheleGormanPic**About author, Michele Gorman:

Michele Gorman is the #1 best-selling author of Bella Summer Takes a Chance and the Single in the City series. She also writes upmarket commercial fiction under the pen name Jamie Scott. Born and raised in the US, Michele has lived in London for 16 years.

Michele is represented by the Hardman & Swainson Literary Agency (www.hardmanswainson.com).

Michele can sign eBooks for yourself or as gifts through http://www.authorgraph.com/authors/expatdiaries. The personal inscription goes straight to the email or kindle of your choice.

**Contact Michele: Website   Blog   Facebook   Twitter

**For enquiries please contact michelegormanPR@nottinghillpress.co.uk**

Storm in a B Cup

4

Book review of “Storm in a B Cup”

StormInABCup

“Storm in a B Cup” by Lindy Dale

Book Description:

“It’s my funeral. If I want you to play Bon Jovi as they wheel my body away to be cremated you’ll do it.”

The horrified look on Brendan’s face says he’ll do anything but. “People will laugh.”

“I want them to. I want a funeral where everyone stands around and remembers the funny things I did, and then they get really pissed.”

Sophie Molloy has Breast Cancer. She didn’t think it was cancer to begin with, she thought it was another cyst. She also didn’t think it would be the catalyst for a series of life changing events, none of which involved chemotherapy. Within months of her diagnosis, Sophie loses not only her right breast but her boyfriend of three years, her house and her best friend. Her life spirals from great to bad, then ugly. Nothing can make it better, not even the crazy care packages her mother keeps sending from Melbourne.

To make matters worse, Sophie fears she’s developing a crush on the plastic surgeon that will be reconstructing her breast. Dr. Hanson has the bedside manner of an angel and the looks to match. He’s so caring and compassionate, Sophie begins to believe he cares about her in a most non-doctor-patient kind of way. But he doesn’t, of course. He’s merely her doctor. Or does he?

A fictional tale, based on the author’s medical journey with the disease, Storm in a B Cup is a warm-hearted glimpse into the world of a Breast Cancer sufferer that will have you laughing out loud.

My Review:

I was hesitant about reading this book because breast cancer is such a serious topic that I didn’t think an author could write so comically about, but Lindy Dale proved me wrong. I started it on a lazy Saturday and finished it the next day. I didn’t want to put it down. From the beginning, I really enjoyed Sophie’s journey with breast cancer. It was interesting to see how people treated her (a boyfriend, her son, parents, and coworkers), how relationships change, and that just because one man might not be strong enough to handle it, another can.

While I loved all the characters that Lindy created (even Sophie’s ex boyfriend), Sophie was my favorite. One minute she was a wreck (understandably so), the next she was positive and level-headed, and not ready to give up on her battle. That was one thing that I loved about her, she seemed real. From the medical descriptions to the discussions that Sophie has with her doctors were written in layman’s terms and easy to understand, so I wasn’t intimidated by any kind of doctor talk.

I’ve never read anything by Lindy Dale before, but I can say that I’m now a huge fan of hers. Whether you or a friend has or had breast cancer, I highly recommend this “Storm in a B Cup”. For dealing with such a serious topic, “Storm in a B Cup” will make you laugh and cry. It was a wonderful book that I won’t forget.

I give this book 5 stars!

LindyDale**About author, Lindy Dale:

Lindy lives on acreage in country Western Australia where she spends her days teaching, writing, walking and looking after orphan lambs. (See Daisy Darling)

She’s a hopeless U2 and Bon Jovi fan – as judged by her collection of tour t-shirts. She’s also rugby union fanatic, coffee and champagne lover, chocoholic, over-exaggerator, trashy TV, music and iPhone addict.

Lindy has been writing in the genre of Chick Lit & Women’s Fiction for the past ten years but has also tried her hand at a paranormal romance in the book, Angel’s Bend. Chick Lit remains her main love.

**Contact Lindy: Website   Facebook   Goodreads   Twitter

**Click HERE to buy “Storm in a B Cup” on Amazon!

**Click HERE to see other stops on Lindy’s Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours!

**GIVEAWAY**

Click HERE to enter to win a $35.00 Amazon Gift Card!

Hard Hats and Doormats

2

Book review of “Hard Hats and Doormats”

Hard Hats and Doormats

“Hard Hats and Doormats” by Laura Chapman

Book Description:

Lexi Burke has always been a stickler for following rules and procedures. As a human resources manager for a leading Gulf Coast chemical company, it’s her job to make sure everyone else falls in line, too.

But after losing out on a big promotion–-because her boss sees her as too much of a yes-woman––Lexi adopts a new policy of following her heart instead of the fine print. And her heart knows what it wants: Jason Beaumont, a workplace crush who is off limits based on her previous protocol.

While navigating a new romance and interoffice politics, Lexi must find the confidence to stand on her own or face a lifetime of following someone else’s orders.

Who says nice girls have to finish last?

My Review:

Being an online friend of Laura Chapman’s, I’ve eagerly been waiting to read her much-anticipated debut novel, “Hard Hats and Doormats.” As some might remember, Chick Lit Goddess did a post sharing her cover reveal, (see that HERE). The cover had me highly intrigued!

From the beginning, I really liked Lexi’s character. She seemed like a fun girl, had good friends, a job she enjoyed and was good at, but the one thing she seemed to lack was having confidence. At times, I wish she would’ve stop thinking about her job so much or feel obligated to what her boss wanted her to do, but that’s what made Lexi’s transformation through the book a fun read. I did find it interesting that when Jason was around her, he always seemed to give her the confidence she needed, and helped push her in the right direction. As a reader, I felt the chemistry between them — even the night he helped her home after drinking. Jason’s character played the classic hero!

“Hard Hats and Doormats” was very entertaining. Being from Texas, and having family in Houston, I was familiar with some of the small towns along the way, and I loved the country music references, too. Like I said above, I liked Lexi and Jason, the storyline moved at a fast pace, and I especially enjoyed how it ended–thank goodness Lexi made a decision that made herself happy. While Lexi and Jason both traveled a lot, when they were home together, the only thing I wish I could’ve seen more of was more of them together, in their homes — the more day-to-day aspects of a relationship.

It is obvious that Laura Chapman is a very talented author, and I cannot wait to see what she comes up with next!

I give this book 4 stars!

Rita Hayworth’s Shoes

1

Book review of “Rita Hayworth’s Shoes”

RitaHayworth'sShoesPic

“Rita Hayworth’s Shoes” by Francine LaSala

Book Description:

Amy Miller gets dumped on her wedding day and everyone knows it’s for the best. Except for Amy. When her best friend treats Amy to a little retail therapy and convinces her to treat herself to an extravagantly priced but adorable pair of shoes that purportedly once belonged to a siren of the silver screen, she balks at first, but their allure soon wears her down. Once they are hers, everything in her life starts to change. A new romance blossoms, but things may not be what they seem.

As sparkly and witty as a 1940s screwball comedy, and filled with quirky characters and lots of delightful surprises, Rita Hayworth’s Shoes is a delightful roller coaster ride of romance and intrigue.

My Review:

This morning I finished reading a book that’s been on my TBR list for a long time. Yesterday, the first day of 2014, I started reading “Rita Hayworth’s Shoes”. Once I did, I literally couldn’t put it down–not even to take down our Christmas tree. Right away, I got sucked into Amy’s life. From her wedding day disaster, the highs and lows she experiences with her work and personal life along the way, and of course, that big moment when she tries on the magical shoes, I was not disappointed.

At the beginning, I felt really sorry for Amy for being left at the altar, which made me really dislike her fiancé, David. He was a very well-written jerk who only brought Amy down. While I understood her logic in dealing with him, I was proud of her when she finally saw his true colors. I also think that she knew it wasn’t right being with him–no matter how much how often she defended him, or how much they “compromised” with each other.

I loved Amy’s best friend, Jane, and her daughter, Zoe. They brought out a side of Any that made her relax a bit. The quick one-liners from them, especially Zoe, had me cracking up.

Now, let’s talk about the magical shoes: Wow! It’s embarrassing for me to say, but I can’t walk in heels. After reading “Rita Hayworth’s Shoes”, I want to learn how, just so I can find and wear a pair like Amy’s. I love how she finds them, Zoe’s “story” about them, and how they really do play a huge role in Amy’s life and how she lives.

As for how the book ended, I’m not going to spoil anything for you, but I love how it ended. I love who Any ended up with. I’d love to meet a man like him.

“Rita Hayworth’s Shoes” was a great book for me to kick off my year in 2014 reviews, and I highly recommend it to anyone who loves to read, watch old movies, and who believes that a great pair of shoes can change anything, (even if you wear flats).

I give this book 5 stars!

The Champagne Diet

1

Book review of “The Champagne Diet”

TheChampagneDietPic“The Champagne Diet” by Cara Alwill Leyba

Book Description:

This book is for the woman who wants to feel good about herself and her body, and learn how to start incorporating healthy habits into her life. It’s for the woman who doesn’t want to trade in her champagne for skinny jeans. It’s for the woman who is done with dieting, and ready to start paying attention to her health before that number on the scale. It’s for the woman who is ready to stop letting her weight define her, and is ready to understand why it always did. This is not a diet book. This is a lifestyle guide. This book will change the way you view your weight and yourself forever. You will walk away feeling empowered, inspired, and downright sexy (and probably craving a glass of bubbly). You will learn how to celebrate yourself and your body. You will learn to make your health a priority, always. And most importantly – you will learn to love yourself, exactly as you are. So get ready to embark on a complete dieting and lifestyle overhaul, sister. You are now on The Champagne Diet!

My Review:

As a champagne lover, I loved the title of Cara’s book! To have the words champagne and diet in the same sentence was music to my ears, so I was very eager to read it. The healthy tips are a lifestyle change that any type of woman could use — especially if they’re wanting to start off the new year the right way. The Champagne Diet emphasizes on choosing the right foods and living happy life, without feeling bad about yourself. Not only does it give tips on showing how sexy you can be, but also gives you tips on feeling sexy, too.

While this book was a good read and it did motivate me to be healthy while feeling sexy (with a glass of bubbly, of course), the only negative thing I can say about The Champagne Diet was that there was a lot of repetition.

I would recommend this book to anyone who loves champagne, and wants a fancy and fun lifestyle change.

I give this book 3 stars!

CaraAlwillLeybaPic**About Cara Alwill Leyba:

Cara Alwill Leyba is a best selling author and life coach from New York City who encourages women to live their most effervescent lives and celebrate themselves. She runs an international private coaching practice where she works with women who are ready to make their happiness a priority. Through loving guidance, support and an expert perspective, Cara empowers women to be the change agent in their lives.

Her blog, TheChampagneDiet.com has been featured in Glamour, Shape, Marie Claire UK, Cosmopolitan South Africa, and a host of other publications worldwide. Cara’s writing has been featured in The Huffington Post, Marie Claire, xoJane, Mind Body Green, and many other sites.

Cara is the author of two books: Sparkle: The Girl’s Guide to Living a Deliciously Dazzling, Wildly Effervescent, Kick-Ass Life, which was a #1 Amazon best seller in the Happiness and Self-Esteem categories, and The Champagne Diet: Eat, Drink, and Celebrate Your Way to a Healthy Mind and Body, which was a #2 Amazon best seller in Self-Esteem.

When she’s not popping bubbly and blogging, Cara spends her days leading a digital advertising team at MTV Networks. She lives in Brooklyn, New York with her husband and dog.

**Contact Cara: Facebook   Instagram   Pinterest   Twitter

**Buy “The Champagne Diet”: Amazon – Kindle   Amazon – Paperback

**Click HERE to see other stops on Cara’s Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours!

In Need of Therapy

2

Book Review of “In Need of Therapy”InNeedOfTherapyCover

“In Need of Therapy” by Tracie Banister

Book Description:

Lending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she’s everything a good therapist should be: warm, compassionate, supportive. She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how’s the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart?

While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can’t stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who’s equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it’s “too late.” Although she’d like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar’s romantic prospects look grim. Her cheating ex, who swears that he’s reformed, is stalking her. A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes. And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger.

When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she’s left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt. With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart.

My Review:

“In Need of Therapy” has been on my TBR list for quite a long time, so as book reviews dwindled down, I finally found time to start it. When I finished it, I finally knew what all the hype was about this charming and delightful read, by the lovely author, Tracie Banister.

At first, I wasn’t too sure about the main character, Pilar, because she was a little too nice, but I quickly learned to adore her. She was a hardworking woman who was just trying to do the best she could to help anyone out, no matter who, or what the situation was, and I liked her for that. Whether it was dealing with her family (I loved her sometimes-overbearing mother, and care-free sister, Izzy), Pilar’s up and down relationship troubles were a constant saga, especially with her ex. So, between him, the handsome man who can talk to her about his troubles, and of course, the delightful man across the hall from her (who was my favorite), there was constant wonder who she would end up with. But, when all was said in done, I was a little surprised by the ending, but was satisfied with it.  (No, I’m not going to spoil it for you).

If you’re looking for a light-hearted, lazy weekend read, you’ll fly right through “In Need of Therapy,” you won’t be disappointed. This was my first book by Tracie Banister, and it won’t be my last!

I give this book 4 stars!

Always Something There to Remind Me

1

Book review of “Always Something There to Remind Me”AlwaysSomethingThereToRemindMeCover

“Always Something There to Remind Me” by Beth Harbison

Book Description:

Can you ever really know if love is true? And if it is, should you stop at anything to get it?

Two decades ago, Erin Edwards was sure she’d already found the love of her life: Nate Lawson. Her first love. The one with whom she shared everything–dreams of the future, of children, plans for forever. The one she thought she would spend the rest of her life with. Until one terrible night when Erin made a mistake Nate could not forgive and left her to mourn the relationship she could never forget or get over.

Today, Erin is contentedly involved with a phenomenal guy, maneuvering a successful and exciting career, and raising a great daughter all on her own. So why would the name “Nate Lawson” be the first thing to enter her mind when her boyfriend asks her to marry him?

In the wake of the proposal, Erin finds herself coming unraveled over the past, and the love she never forgot. The more she tries to ignore it and move on, the more it haunts her.

Always Something There to Remind Me is a story that will resonate with any woman who has ever thought of that one first love and wondered, “Where is he?” and “What if…?” Filled with Beth Harbison’s trademark nostalgia humor and heart, it will transport you, and inspire you to believe in the power of first love.

My Review:

I rarely buy books at bookstores anymore, but when I was at my local B&N a few weekends ago, I saw this book, read what it was about (I’m a huge sucker for when Heroines wonder about their first love), and bought it.

“Always Something There to Remind Me” was easy to get into, and I found the characters to be likable most of the time, no matter what their ages were. I liked how the reader got a picture of what Erin and Nate were like as teens and as adults. Though, at times, I found Erin to be a little absorbed with herself, but by the time the book ends, she seems to have changed, which was good. I took it as a sign that she’d finally grown up.

This was my first time reading anything by Beth Harbison, and it won’t be my last. She’s a gifted writer who makes you fall in love with the characters and story. With twists and turns, and a shocking revelation, I laughed and cried, and loved how it ended! (Without any spoilers, I loved Erin’s daughter). I recommend this book to anyone who still wonders about their first love, especially if you’re considering marrying someone else, but can’t seem to get him out of your mind…

I give this book 5 stars!

Dangerous Flames

0

Book Review of “Dangerous Flames”

DangerousFlamesCover

“Dangerous Flames” by Wendy Ely

Book Description:

Back from spending her teen years in Italy, Gabrielle Medini wants answer to the hard questions. She quickly learns that the Mafia still has a hand in controlling society and her father is the Don of the largest mob organization in the area. When a hit order is taken out on her father and one of his members will be doing the killing, Gabi’s mother demands Gabi’s disappearance. For good. This time she refuses to go alone.

The Mafia doesn’t seem so glamorous any more. Not sure what Mik’s role in her father’s crime family is but sure he is involved, Gabrielle has reason to believe that her secret love’s safety is in jeopardy too.

Mikolas Russo is one hit away from becoming part of the Medini crime family. But is this what he really wants? Killing people for money is what he has been trained to do even though he’d give anything to trade the nightmares for sweet dreams of the forbidden Gabrielle. Thinking he has the chance to reveal his feelings to her, he arrives at her house to find her brandishing a loaded gun, ready to take control.

Will the truth fulfill her desires, or will Mikolas be the one to shatter everything?

My Review:

This is my second book I’ve read by Wendy Ely, so I was excited to read “Dangerous Flames”. It began quickly and almost immediately, the story had me in suspense. Whether I was hoping for Gabrielle’s safe escape to her father’s cabin (along with the person she brings with her…no spoilers ;)), and for her and Mikolas to get together, I was on the edge of my seat.

I liked all the characters, especially Gabi, and thought the book ended as it should have. My only concern was that I would have liked to have seen more of who Gabrielle and Mikolas were before she left the country. However, the passion between them since she’s been back, and even when they’re disagreeing, is very obvious.

Wendy Ely is an amazing author who has written a steamy love story between Gabriella and Mikolas, one I really enjoyed, and I can’t wait to read more of her books! If you’re looking for a steamy and mysterious weekend read, I highly recommend “Dangerous Flames”.

I give this book 4 stars!

His Fantasy Maid

5

Book review of “His Fantasy Maid”HisFantasyMaid

“His Fantasy Maid” by Susan Blexrud

Book Description:

On the eve of Jake Sinclair’s bachelor party, his best man surprises him with a fantasy maid named Amy. Clad in a bikini, she cleans his house and jump starts his heart. She’s beautiful, smart, and compassionate. Why is a woman like this working as a fantasy maid? A few days later, with thoughts still distracted by the enigmatic Amy, Jake crashes his car and wakes in the hospital emergency room where his fantasy maid is now wearing scrubs and wielding a stethoscope. Is she a hallucination, or is his fantasy maid a doctor?

My Review:

Every once in a while I need something spicy to read, so the cover is what drew me to”His Fantasy Maid”. It was an easy book to get into and I liked the characters, especially Jake who was a stand up guy throughout the book. I liked how he was with his friends and of course, with Amy as well. While Amy was okay in the beginning (I liked her better when she was a doctor than a maid), I came to like her even more in the end, and it was easy to see there was something between her and Jake from the start. Through the ups and downs, I thought the ending was a little predictable and some dialogue I didn’t think was necessary. Also, I wanted more of an ending because I wanted to know they would stay together — maybe not forever, but just enough for a reader to be satisfied.

While this book was considered “spicy,” I didn’t think the scenes were all that hot. There were very little parts that made me blush, but there was nothing that I really considered to be as sexy as the cover leaves you to believe. However, I liked the book a lot, and if you’re looking for a short weekend read that will make you blush ever so slightly, I recommend “His Fantasy Maid”.

I give this book 4 stars!

SusanBlexrud**About Susan Blexrud:  Susan Blexrud grew up in Orlando, Florida, and now lives in Asheville, North Carolina, with her husband of 27 years, John, who proposed to her on New Year’s Eve 1985 on the Venice-Simplon Orient Express, halfway between Paris and Vienna.  Their son Chris lives and works in Manhattan, and daughter Allison is a college junior. Susan has a Chihuahua named Baby and a cockatiel named Romeo. She is an avid reader, and she leads two monthly book clubs in Asheville.  She is a walker and Yoga enthusiast. She enjoys quilting and bird watching (loves hummingbirds), and most of all, writing her next story.

**Contact Susan: Website   Blog   Facebook   Publisher

**Buy “His Fantasy Maid”: Amazon

**Click HERE for a chance win a $50 Amazon gift card!

**Click HERE to check out other stops on Susan’s Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours!

Blogger Girl

4

Book review of “Blogger Girl”

BloggerGirlCover

“Blogger Girl” by Meredith Schorr

Book Description:

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—a cross 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.

My Review:

Around the chick lit world, there has been a lot of praise for Meredith Shorr and her first two books. So, when I was offered to read her third book “Blogger Girl,” I jumped at the chance. This would be my first time reading anything by her and I was excited to start.

…and once I did, I couldn’t put it down. From the first sentence to the last word, I was hooked. Seriously, for a day and a half, this book was all I thought about it. If I wasn’t reading, I was thinking about this book!

Not only did Kimberly’s story intrigue me, so did her struggles — working her day job on her reading/blogging time, practically being forced to read her a book by her high school enemy, and in the end, realizing that you want more out of life and that it’s time make your dreams come true. I loved how her friends and family (yes, even including her sister) were there for her and encouraged her. I cheered for “Kimmy” and knew that she could succeed in not just her work life, but in her personal life too, which I must say that I loved the ending! (Nope, no spoilers — read the book). :) There were several laugh out-loud moments, and yes, I cried at the end because I saw myself in her.

Meredith’s writing style is so easy and it’s easy to see she’s a gifted author. As a blogger and lover of chick lit, Meredith couldn’t have painted a more clear picture of someone like us.

Like I said before, this was my first time reading anything by Meredith Schorr, and definitely not my last! This book was truly amazing and is going down as one of my top 5 reads for 2013! (I would love to see this turned into a movie!)

I give “Blogger Girl” 5 stars!