Crashing the A-List by Summer Heacock #review @harlequinbooks #mirabooks #romanticcomedy

Overview

Come for the romance, but stay for the hysterical dialogue.” —NPR

After four months of unemployment, former book editor Clara Montgomery is officially stuck—stuck sleeping on her little brother’s ugly couch in Queens, stuck scrolling through job listings in search of a new editorial position…and just desperate enough to take on a temporary gig clearing out abandoned storage units. If nothing else, she’s determined to keep her rapidly dwindling savings account intact.

Unfortunately, she is in no way prepared for stumbling upon dead snakes or dealing with glass jars that she’s convinced are full of pickled eyeballs. And why does everything seem to smell like beets?

Then Clara comes across a unit that was once owned by an escort service and finds the brothel “résumé” of a younger Caspian Tiddleswich, an astonishingly famous British actor. She has no intention of cashing in on her discovery, but her awkward attempts to reassure Caspian that his secret is safe go awry. Now Caspian is convinced that Clara is a blackmailer, the tabloids have her pegged as Caspian’s newest girlfriend…and Clara begins to find the A-lister’s charms more irresistible than she expected.

Review

Clara has lost her job and her apartment. She is sleeping on a sofa at her brother’s apartment. She has taken a crap job cleaning out storage units where she runs across some information about hired escorts and famous people. This opens a whole new can of worms.

I adore many parts of this read. Clara is struggling and your heart goes out to her. Then there is her family. They crack me up…Clara is pretty funny herself, despite her dire situation.

The ONLY problem I had with this book was with Caspian. Caspian is borderline verbally abusive. The first time it occurs is early in the book. He is threatened by Clara and her information so, he fights back to protect himself and his reputation. Things smooth over and Clara and Caspian hit it off. Then Caspian does it again. That was it for me! But, this is how a good author works….creates love and hate in the same character!

This book made me cackle! Don’t read this is public because you will bust out into hysterical laughter. It is uproariously funny, especially where Clara’s mother is involved.

Other than the Caspian issue, I am crazy about this read. I love a book which creates intense laughter and intense anger. Very uniquely done!

I received this novel from Mira Books for a honest review.

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The Golden Hour by Beatriz Williams @WmMorrowBooks #review #historicalfiction

Overview

Beatriz Williams, the New York Times bestselling author of The Summer Wives, is back with another hot summer read; a dazzling epic of World War II in which a beautiful young “society reporter” is sent to the Bahamas, a haven of spies, traitors, and the infamous Duke and Duchess of Windsor. 

The Bahamas, 1941. Newly-widowed Leonora “Lulu” Randolph arrives in the Bahamas to investigate the Governor and his wife for a New York society magazine. After all, American readers have an insatiable appetite for news of the Duke and Duchess of Windsor, that glamorous couple whose love affair nearly brought the British monarchy to its knees five years earlier. What more intriguing backdrop for their romance than a wartime Caribbean paradise, a colonial playground for kingpins of ill-gotten empires?

Or so Lulu imagines. But as she infiltrates the Duke and Duchess’s social circle, and the powerful cabal that controls the islands’ political and financial affairs, she uncovers evidence that beneath the glister of Wallis and Edward’s marriage lies an ugly—and even treasonous—reality. In fact, Windsor-era Nassau seethes with spies, financial swindles, and racial tension, and in the middle of it all stands Benedict Thorpe: a scientist of tremendous charm and murky national loyalties. Inevitably, the willful and wounded Lulu falls in love. 

Then Nassau’s wealthiest man is murdered in one of the most notorious cases of the century, and the resulting coverup reeks of royal privilege. Benedict Thorpe disappears without a trace, and Lulu embarks on a journey to London and beyond to unpick Thorpe’s complicated family history: a fateful love affair, a wartime tragedy, and a mother from whom all joy is stolen.

The stories of two unforgettable women thread together in this extraordinary epic of espionage, sacrifice, human love, and human courage, set against a shocking true crime . . . and the rise and fall of a legendary royal couple.

Review

Lulu is sent to the Bahamas to learn more about Edward and Wallis, the Duke and Duchess of Windsor. Lulu ends up investigating a murder which takes her to London. This leads her down a path of espionage and and crime she never expected.

This is not my favorite Beatriz Williams book. This story starts slow and I stayed confused during most of it. It is told in two voices, Lulu and Elfriede. And Elfriede’s tale is the one that kept me reading this book. Her part of this novel is a better story than Lulu’s. I found the characters a little flat and I felt like I didn’t know enough about them. They sort of do things “out of character”. And as I was reading, I was questioning. “What the devil did I miss!?”

I did enjoy the historical aspect. It is very well researched. All of her novels are! This story just left me confused and a little bored. But, if you have not read Beatriz, I would start with one of her other books and pick this one up later.

I received this from the publisher for a honest review.

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The Bookish Life of Nina Hill by Abbi Waxman #review @berkleypub

Overview

Abbi Waxman is both irreverent and thoughtful.”—#1 New York Times bestselling author Emily Giffin

The author of Other People’s Houses and The Garden of Small Beginnings delivers a quirky and charming novel chronicling the life of confirmed introvert Nina Hill as she does her best to fly under everyone’s radar.
 
Meet Nina Hill: A young woman supremely confident in her own…shell.
 
The only child of a single mother, Nina has her life just as she wants it: a job in a bookstore, a kick-butt trivia team, a world-class planner and a cat named Phil. If she sometimes suspects there might be more to life than reading, she just shrugs and picks up a new book. 
 
When the father Nina never knew existed suddenly dies, leaving behind innumerable sisters, brothers, nieces, and nephews, Nina is horrified. They all live close by! They’re all—or mostly all—excited to meet her! She’ll have to Speak. To. Strangers. It’s a disaster! And as if that wasn’t enough, Tom, her trivia nemesis, has turned out to be cute, funny, and deeply interested in getting to know her. Doesn’t he realize what a terrible idea that is?
 
Nina considers her options.
1. Completely change her name and appearance. (Too drastic, plus she likes her hair.) 
2. Flee to a deserted island. (Hard pass, see: coffee). 
3. Hide in a corner of her apartment and rock back and forth. (Already doing it.)
 
It’s time for Nina to come out of her comfortable shell, but she isn’t convinced real life could ever live up to fiction. It’s going to take a brand-new family, a persistent suitor, and the combined effects of ice cream and trivia to make her turn her own fresh page.

Review

Nina just found out her dad has died. She never knew she had a dad, let alone bothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, nieces and nephews. This throws her whole world out of kilter. On top of this….she has met a new, potential boyfriend. Her anxiety level is through the roof.

Well! I completely related to Nina! She is an introvert after my own heart. She works in a book store (my dream job!). She is completely nerdy, especially with her planner. I actually laughed out loud and some of her entries. So wonderfully realistic! She also has the best reactions to people. I caught myself laughing out loud at many of her antics.

This story is full of humor, fantastic characters and wonderful book references. What is not to enjoy? This is a perfect read for an introverted bibliophile!

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Rouge A Novel of Beauty and Rivalry by Richard Kirshenbaum @stmartinspress #review #historicalfiction

Overview

Like Swans of Fifth Avenue and Truman Capote’s Answered Prayers, Richard Kirshenbaum’s Rouge gives readers a rare front row seat into the world of high society and business through the rivalry of two beauty industry icons, by the master marketer and chronicler of the over-moneyed.

Rouge is a sexy, glamorous journey into the rivalry of the pioneers of powder, mascara and rouge.

This fast-paced novel examines the lives, loves, and sacrifices of the visionaries who invented the modern cosmetics industry: Josiah Herzenstein, born in a Polish Jewish Shtlel, the entrepreneur who transforms herself into a global style icon and the richest woman in the world, Josephine Herz; Constance Gardiner, her rival, the ultimate society woman who invents the door-to-door business and its female workforce but whose deepest secret threatens everything; CeeCee Lopez, the bi-racial beauty and founder of the first African American woman’s hair relaxer business, who overcomes prejudice and heartbreak to become her community’s first female millionaire. The cast of characters is rounded out by Mickey Heron, a dashing, sexy ladies’ man whose cosmetics business is founded in a Hollywood brothel. All are bound in a struggle to be number one, doing anything to get there…including murder.

Review

As most of you know if you follow my reviews, I LOVE a strong female character. This novel if FULL of them. Josephine, Constance and CeeCee are unstoppable. They are determined to overcome anything and everything to be on the top!

There are so many parts to this novel! This history of the cosmetics industry, the millionaires, the rivalries….which can lead to murder. Everyone is striving to be number one…makes no difference who gets in the way!

Intriguing….all the way through. I enjoy a book which has me researching. I was looking up all the characters in this book! This a fast paced novel not to be missed! Grab yours today!

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The Flight Girls by Noelle Salazar #bookexpo2019 #historicalfiction #review @harlequinbooks

Overview

A stunning story about the Women Airforce Service Pilots whose courage during World War II turned ordinary women into extraordinary heroes 

1941. Audrey Coltrane has always wanted to fly. It’s why she implored her father to teach her at the little airfield back home in Texas. It’s why she signed up to train military pilots in Hawaii when the war in Europe began. And it’s why she insists she is not interested in any dream-derailing romantic involvements, even with the disarming Lieutenant James Hart, who fast becomes a friend as treasured as the women she flies with. Then one fateful day, she gets caught in the air over Pearl Harbor just as the bombs begin to fall, and suddenly, nowhere feels safe. 

To make everything she’s lost count for something, Audrey joins the Women Airforce Service Pilots program. The bonds she forms with her fellow pilots reignite a spark of hope in the face war, and—when James goes missing in action—give Audrey the strength to cross the front lines and fight not only for her country, but for the love she holds so dear. 

Shining a light on a little-known piece of history, The Flight Girlsis a sweeping portrayal of women’s fearlessness, love, and the power of friendship to make us soar.

Review

Audrey has always wanted to fly! Her dad taught her when she was very young and this led her to train military pilots. She meets a young Lieutenant and their romance is just beginning. Then the bombs rain down on Pearl Harbor. This changes the course of their lives for several years.

Audrey is a great female character. She does not follow the norm of society, due to her mother’s great dear distress. She becomes a flight trainer for the army and meets Lieutenant Hart. But, they are JUST FRIENDS! He is a great guy…heck I partially fell in love with him. They do not realize the extent of their love for each other until Lieutenant Hart is missing in action.

I enjoyed the rich history of this story. I knew a little about the flight girls but Noelle Salazar really expanded my knowledge. I did feel like the conversations were a little stilted and spoke the obvious. But, it is still a good read with LOTS of action and anticipation. It basically has a little bit of everything…war, romance and adventure.

I met this sweet lady at Book Expo. She is over the top nice!

I received this novel from Harlequin-Mira books for a honest review.

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My June Reads Wrap-up #reviews #5starreads

June was an awesome reading month. My work schedule has changed and I now have a 4 day weekend every other week. (I also have to work a 4 day weekend every other week 🙄). But, this really helps me get through more books! Who doesn’t LOVE that!

Without further ado….HERE WE GO!

The Summer Guests by Mary Alice Monroe @gallerybooks #fiction #review

The Perfect Date by Evelyn Lozada @stmartinspress #review #romance

Montauk by Nicola Harrison @stmartinspress #review #fiction

The Summer Country by Laura Willig

The Burning Chambers by Kate Mosse @minotaurbooks #review #historicalfiction

The Last Collection by Jeanne Mackin @berkleypub #review #historicalfiction #5star

Jackson by Emily March #review #romance @stmartinspress #giveaway

The Last Book Party by Karen Dukess @henryholt #bookwhisperer #review #5star

The Little Teashop on Main by Jodi Thomas @harlequinbooks @jodithomas #review #fiction

These books below have reviews coming soon.

Thanks for stopping by!

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My Audible reads for June #audiobooks #audible #reviews

I had a fantastic audible book month for June.

The Huntress is a great read! No one writes stories like Kate Quinn.

Suspect is a wonderful crime novel. I really enjoyed the dog in this story.

The Last Letter from your Lover this is so well done! I loved, loved, loved the narrator

How was your Audible Reads for the month of June? Tell me what I need to listen to next!

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