#BookReview: Change of Heart by Judith Keim

Chang of HeartSummary:

Emerson “Em” Jordan always wanted a Valentine’s Day wedding. But after being dumped by her boyfriend, she spends the holiday at Seashell Cottage on the Gulf Coast of Florida with Devin Gerard, a family friend who has no interest in her or any other woman and is instead concentrating on his pediatric medical practice and continuing medical missions in Costa Rica.

Em, who’s always wanted a large family, doesn’t mind his disinterest. At thirty-two, she’s decided she doesn’t need a husband to have a child or to adopt one. First, she’s going to fulfill her dream of setting up her own landscape design business in upstate New York and has promised to continue to help run her grandmother’s flower shop.

It isn’t until Em and Devin become friends that Em realizes she might want more than friendship from him. But with his work in Miami and Costa Rica and her busy life in New York, it’s out of the question until something happens that changes everything, even a couple of hearts.

Review:

I melted. I cannot believe the amount of emotion this story had me feeling. I was literally sitting alone at an airport restaurant and cried!! I cried!! Judith Keim really knows how to tell a story that hits your heart and pulls at its strings. I was really surprised by this story. I did not expect the ending, which was amazing! There is nothing better than that!

I was so in love with Emerson “Em” Jordan and the rest of her family; especially her grandmother, Julia. Their relationship was just so beautiful. This is a multigenerational story that has a lot going on in each person’s life and that makes it very exciting to read. I never wanted to put it down.

Her sister, Elena is a trip!! Sending Em to Seashell Cottage…with a man; none the less…There was no plan there! None! Or was there?

I highly recommend this story and I cannot wait to read the next Seashell Cottage Story/Judith Keim Novel. I am officially a fan!!

I was given a copy of this book by the author in exchange for a fair and honest review.

5 Stars.

#Bookreview: The view from Alameda Island by Robyn Carr

1E3B1D4E-B3AF-46E4-8901-7A8AA58F36B3Summary:

From the outside looking in, Lauren Delaney has a life to envy—a successful career, a solid marriage to a prominent surgeon and two beautiful daughters who are off to good colleges. But on her twenty-fourth wedding anniversary Lauren makes a decision that will change everything.

Lauren won’t pretend things are perfect anymore. She defies the controlling husband who has privately mistreated her throughout their marriage and files for divorce. And as she starts her new life, she meets a kindred spirit—a man who is also struggling with the decision to end his unhappy marriage.

But Lauren’s husband wants his “perfect” life back and his actions are shocking. Facing an uncertain future, Lauren discovers an inner strength she didn’t know she had as she fights for the love and happiness she deserves.

Review:

This story is about the struggle of leaving a marriage behind; no matter how cruel a spouse can be, and no matter how toxic a relationship is.

Lauren meets Beau who is having similar issues and wanting to leave his marriage as well, so they form a friendship that soon starts to lean towards more.

But, can that happen with Lauren’s spouse still lingering so close by?

There is the family dynamic with the children and who they each side with, and the friends along the way.

I found that this story dragged a bit in few places and I got a little bored sometime; I have to be honest. Maybe I just didn’t really feel attached to many other characters. But, my interest in the outcome for Lauren was enough!

3 Stars.

pro_readerI would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this Novel via NetGalley

 

#BookReview: Trophy Life by Lea Geller

Trophy LifeSummary:

A refreshingly honest, laugh-out-loud novel about losing the life you always wanted…and finding the life you were meant to have.

For the last ten years, Agnes Parsons’s biggest challenge has been juggling yoga classes and lunch dates. Her Santa Monica house staff takes care of everything, leaving Agnes to focus on her trophy-wife responsibilities: look perfect, adore her older husband, and wear terribly expensive (if uncomfortable) underwear.

When her husband disappears, leaving Agnes and their infant daughter with no money, no home, and no staff, she is forced to move across the country, where she lands a job teaching at an all-boys boarding school in the Bronx. So long, organic quinoa bowls and sunshine-filled California life. Hello, processed food, pest-infested house, and twelve-year-old-boy humor—all day, every day.

But it’s in this place of second chances (and giant bugs), where Agnes is unexpectedly forced to take care of herself and her daughter, where she finds out the kind of woman she can be. Ultimately, she has to decide if she prefers the woman and mother she has become…or the trophy life she left behind.

Authentic and sharply witty, Trophy Life is proof that granny panties and mom coats might not be the answer to everything; they’re simply comfortable (if slightly unattractive) reminders of what happens when one life ends…and real life begins.

Review:

Lea Geller’s debut novel is aces! I have no doubt that women everywhere are going to love this book. The heroine Agnes “Aggie” Parsons is 110% one of my favorite fictional characters to come along in a long time. She was beyond likable for so many reasons. She is presented with losing it all and having to fight back and you cannot help but cheer for her the whole way through.

Agnes’s husband Jack disappears one day and his closest friend, “Don” tells her not to call the police. Her husband is in real trouble and he just needs time to fix it, and there is a plan she just needs to stay away from him for the time being.

The next day she is told to move to New York; all the way from the comforts of her plush home in sunny Santa Monica, to go teach English at a boarding school for boys. Mind you, it has housing and day care for their 6-month-old daughter, Grace. She is to get across the country by driving a used beat up car, because her fancy car is now gone. There will be no nanny, no housekeeper, no lovely home on the cliffs overlooking the Pacific anymore for Agnes. Most importantly, there will be no husband to look out for her. Agnes will only have herself to count on.

Will she be able to fend for herself in this whole new world in the Bronx, New York?
This is a fantastically written tale! I went in to this story thinking I was reading a chick lit book, but there is a deeper story going on at the boarding school that I found so intriguing.

I wasn’t just rooting for Agnes; I was rooting for her students, as well.
For a read that you will absolutely fall in love with, I highly recommend “Trophy Life”!
I know that Lea Geller made it on to my favorite author hot list! I’m anxiously awaiting her next novel!

5 Stars. (too bad I cannot give more)

pro_readerI would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this Novel via NetGalley.

#BookReview: I Owe you One by Sophie Kinsella

I owe you one

Summary:

Fixie Farr has always lived by her father’s motto: “Family first.” And since her dad passed away, leaving his charming housewares store in the hands of his wife and children, Fixie spends all her time picking up the slack from her siblings instead of striking out on her own. The way Fixie sees it, if she doesn’t take care of her father’s legacy, who will?

It’s simply not in Fixie’s nature to say no to people. So when a handsome stranger in a coffee shop asks her to watch his laptop for a moment, she not only agrees—she ends up saving it from certain disaster. To thank Fixie for her quick thinking, the computer’s owner, Sebastian, an investment manager, scribbles an IOU on a coffee sleeve and attaches his business card. Fixie laughs it off—she’d never actually claim an IOU from a stranger. Would she?

But then Fixie’s childhood crush, Ryan, comes back into her life, and his lack of a profession pushes all of Fixie’s buttons. As always, she wants nothing for herself—but she’d love Seb to give Ryan a job. No sooner has Seb agreed than the tables are turned once more and a new series of IOUs between Seb and Fixie—from small favors to life-changing moments—ensues. Soon Fixie, Ms. Fixit for everyone else, is torn between her family and the life she really wants. Does she have the courage to take a stand? Will she finally grab the life, and love, she really wants?

Review:

I fell in love with this story right away! Fixie Farr is such an endearing character that you cannot help but fall in love with. I mean she is literally a hero from the beginning of the story saving Sebastian’s laptop from water damage, hence the beginning of the “I Owe you One” story!

This was the story of Fixie becoming the woman she was meant to be. She was working at her family business, living at home with her Mother, Single; in love with her first crush and shy to speak up around her own brother. As this story unfolds, Fixies learns that she must believe in her own strengths to find her own destiny. The question is what is that destiny?

I often could not put the book down.

I had never read a Sophie Kinsella story until this one and I am very excited for my next!

5 Stars.

pro_readerI would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this novel via Netgalley.

#BookReview: Wildflower Heart by Grace Greene

Wildflower Heart

Summary:

Kara Hart was scarred by loss—first the loss of her mother and now her husband. She feels broken, with no will to move forward, until her father does the unexpected: he moves to the Virginia countryside to restore an old Victorian mansion. Kara decides to go with him, telling herself that it will only be temporary.
The huge house is neglected and derelict, but Kara discovers its breathtaking field of wildflowers and is stunned by their beauty. The house, the grounds, and the quirky neighbors—including a handsome one—are almost as fascinating as her father’s sudden willingness to discuss her mother and his own secret past.
Kara is finding her new normal when tragedy strikes again, forcing her to make difficult choices. Will she go back to her old life and risk losing all she has gained? Or will she face her fears and give herself the opportunity to grow?

Review:

I had to read this book because two of my favorite authors, Patricia Sands and Bette Lee Crosby were recommending it. I have to say that their recommendation was fabulous!! I am grateful I read it and look forward to the next in this series, as this is just book 1 in “The Wildflower House Book” Series. I also want to read her other novels. This is very exciting! I love being introduced to an author that I will be following.

We meet Kara who enters wildly into the story, there is no slow lead up; which I loved! Grace Greene uses the wildflower both literally and figuratively throughout the story until the very end. Her writing is very poetic, so you really feel as though are where Kara is during each scene. It is truly beautiful.

This is the story of Kara’s journey of recovery from a tragic event that occurred when she heard heartbreaking news from her husband, Niles on their anniversary. She was able to depend on her Father, even though he may have been the “king of Understatements”; he was still the one that she could count on when it really mattered. Loss. Regret. Forgiveness. Grief. Family. Love. Are all intermixed in this story, like the seeds of wildflowers. Characters you don’t want to say goodbye to; which always makes the best stories!

The way she describes the wildflower garden. Let’s just say, my 12-degree day was definitely warmer!

Well Done!

This is a great cup of tea, warm blanket or sitting by the seaside read.

4 Stars.

pro_readerI would like to thank the publishers for sending me an ARC of this novel via Netgalley.

#BookReview: “Jay Walking” by Tracy Krimmer

Jay WalkingSummary:

Chelsea Wyatt, a single mom trying to build a life for her and her son, is sick of the body she sees in the mirror. A daily diet of Cookie Crisp cereal is not doing wonders for her mood or her figure, and it’s time for a change. Setting out to get fit, she commits herself to a daily walking plan, forcing herself to give up her all-sugar and carb diet, a difficult task at her donut obsessed job.

But her plan goes sideways when a stumble on the ice puts her in the arms of Jay, an attractive young man out on a run. They grab coffee together, and Chelsea finds herself thinking about him long after their short meeting. The thought of dating again hadn’t crossed her mind in years, and she doesn’t even know if Jay is available, or if he would be interested in her despite her unfit body.

Just when she has a handle on her new routine, her past catches up with her, throwing her blossoming relationship with Jay and the rest of her life into chaos. Can Chelsea hold onto the people she loves most, or will a wrong turn set her up for failure?

This is book 2 of the Pastime Pursuits series, and can be read as a stand-alone novel.

Review:

I recently read/reviewed Tracy Krimmer’s novel, “Caching In”. So, I was very excited to be able to move on quickly to the next story in her “Pastime Pursuits” Series. I am sure you will feel the same way.

In “Caching In”, we are introduced to Chelsea Wyatt. She is not the most likable character, as she was dating a man in another relationship…and, she was the other woman. But, I LOVED HER! She was very real. In “Caching In”, we find out that Chelsea is pregnant.  Although, “Jay Walking” could definitely be a standalone novel.

This story is all about Chelsea. She is raising her son James on her own. When the story begins, Chelsea decides that she is not happy with her body, and she is going to walk off the pounds.

While out for a walk, she literally falls in to the arms of Jay. Hence the wonderfully appropriate name for this novel. (I love Tracy’s covers and titles)

Jay is a doctor and has a ton of awesome qualities, so it was hard for Chelsea not to fall for him. But, is there even the possibility of a relationship there?

Tracy Krimmer can certainly deliver great chick lit stories. I highly recommend her books.

(Tracy also inspires you to want to get up an exercise…great “side effect” LOL)

4 Stars.