Book Talk Tuesday: THE UNLIKELY LIFE OF MAISIE MEADOWS

I spotted this book on NetGalley, the website that makes advance copies of books available to reviewers. The title and the description captured me and even though I was drowning in books to read for contests and reviews, I clicked to request it. My request was granted and I’m so glad. Jenni Keer’s second novel, THE UNLIKELY LIFE OF MAISIE MEADOWS is a charmer.

maisieMaisie Meadows, the youngest in her family, is a bit OCD, a bit in love with her boss, and a bit obsessed with reuniting her far-flung and feuding family.

By the end of Chapter Two, Maisie has a new job, new bosses, and no boyfriend. And she’s grateful her two new bosses are a couple so she won’t be tempted to date either of them, in spite of the fact that her pulse seems to ratchet up whenever she sees or touches one of them.

There’s a touch of magic in the story. And it aligns with Maisie’s desire to get her family–if not reunited–at least speaking to each other, and/or in the same room, at the same time.

To say any more about Maisie’s job, the magic that follows her, her relationships with all her co-workers would give away too much of the story.

Keer created fully realized characters who could be my friends. Or my daughters’ friends. 🙂 The story is well crafted, although readers will know well before Maisie figures it out, the truth about her bosses and co-workers. But that’s easily forgiven, given the fun story.

I enjoyed this book a lot and highly recommend it!


I received a free advanced review copy of this book via NetGalley.

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Book Talk Tuesday: A HIGHLANDER WALKS INTO A BAR

I love romantic comedy. I love Scotland. So A Highlander Walks Into A Bar had me at its name. And it did not disappoint.

HighlanderIsabel Buchanan is surprised at the souvenir her mother, Rose, brings home from Scotland: a tall, estate manager with a brogue. Except he’s not really the estate manager, he’s the ninth earl of Cairndow, hiding his true name and identity. Soon, his nephew, slated to become the tenth earl, though hopefully not for a long time, follows him to Highland, Georgia.

Alasdair Blackmoor is concerned about the American woman who convinced his uncle to leave Scotland and Cairndow, so he detours from his business in New York to find out what’s what. Instead of the scheming fortune-hunter ensnaring his uncle whom he expected, he meets Izzy.

Their attraction is immediate. The sparks fly off the page. Their banter is witty and fun.

Alasdair unwittingly sets in motion a complication that he knows and the reader knows will end badly for all. I loved how Trentham resolved that.

A Highlander Walks Into a Bar is a fun and perfect summer rom com and I highly recommend it!

This book will be available July 30, but I suggest you pre-order it now so you can read it ASAP!

–For my friends and readers who prefer their reads to be sweet like their desserts, there is one sex scene.


I received a free advance copy of this book through NetGalley.

 

 

 

Book Talk Tuesday: The Summer of Sunshine and Margot

It’s the beginning of summer so it must be time for a Susan Mallery novel!

Which is one my happy times of the year, along with Christmas, Thanksgiving, and the day the roadside strawberry stands open.

slide-feb2019-coverThe Summer of Sunshine and Margot, is about twin sisters Sunshine and Margot Baxter. Margot is an etiquette expert, hired to help Bianca, a famously outrageous movie star, tame her impulses and become the wife of a diplomat. Sunshine is a nanny, determined to put her impulsive and wild days behind her, to go to college, and make something of her life.

Alec, Bianca’s son, likes his quiet life in his quiet house with his quiet ancient manuscripts. Because he loves his mother, he’s prepared to accommodate her desire that her new etiquette teacher move into the house with them.

Declan is the widowed father of Sunshine’s newest charge. The one thing he doesn’t need or want is this growing attraction to his son’s nanny. They’re just beginning to heal after the loss of his wife. His feelings for Sunshine threaten to undo the lives of all three of them.

One of the things I particularly loved about this book is the way Mallery was able to present each character in so few words in the first pages, but I quickly felt that I knew them intimately. As a writer, that’s a part of the craft  I’m working on and I greatly admire Mallery’s skill.

I loved this book and highly recommend it! I couldn’t put it down!


I received a free copy of this book from the author.

 

Book Talk Tuesday: Sweet Entanglement

Sweet Entanglement is indeed a sweet romance with enough talk about cinnamon buns to make anyone run to their nearest bakery for a dozen of their own.

seLauren Cooper is on her way to partner in her law firm when the man who broke her heart shows up as her newest client in Indigo Bay. No problem, she tells herself. She’ll handle his case and he can be on his way.

Jesse Brewster though has other plans and they don’t include rushing out of town. He’s going to be Indigo Bay’s newest home and business owner, having inherited a beach mansion from his uncle. However, someone in town is determined that Jesse’s restoration project will fail.

I enjoyed this sweet romance. Sweet Entanglement’s characters are well-written, their chemistry felt genuine, and the setting is a place I’d love to visit.


I received a free copy of this book via NetGalley.

Book Talk Tuesday: CALIFORNIA GIRLS

Since I am one, it could be argued that I’m predisposed to like Susan Mallery’s newest women’s fiction book, CALIFORNIA GIRLS. Since I’m already a Mallery fan, that wouldn’t be far from the truth.

This one just may be my favorite of her women’s fiction books. It’s the story of three sisters who are all dumped by the men in their lives the same week.

cover-california-girlsFinola is a local morning television host in Southern California who finds out her husband has been cheating on her with a pop star. On live television.

Ali’s fiance’ calls off the wedding, but he doesn’t have the guts to do it himself. His brother has to break the news to her.

Zennie’s not heart-broken when her casual boyfriend bows out of their nascent relationship, but still it’s not nothing to her. And she’s surprised to find out just how much she misses Clark in the following days and weeks.

The three women travel somewhat parallel journeys of self-awareness and growth. Finola learns to accept her own part in the breakdown of her marriage. Ali learns to stand up for herself in her job as well as in relationships and her life. Zennie’s gift to her best friend also teaches Zennie what matters in life.

The women’s mother, Mary Jo, is a secondary character, as are the men in their lives.

The women, and Mary Jo, are distinctly different characters with different character arcs and paths, that all end with a “happily ever after,” that each earns her own way and that may not be what you expected at the beginning.

I loved this book and highly recommend it!


I received a free copy of this book, but was not required to post a positive review. That was my choice, because I positively did love it!

Book Talk Tuesday: A POPPY IN REMEMBRANCE

Yesterday’s topic was a World War I documentary, Peter Jackson’s They Shall Not Grow Old. Today’s book review is a novel, A POPPY IN REMEMBRANCE, by Michelle Ule. The title is taken from the fact that poppies flourish in battlefields. The documentary showed more than a few poppies.

I loved both the documentary and the novel, for very different reasons.

poppy

Claire Meacham was born into a newspaper family. She has printing ink in her blood and a nose for news. It’s not her fault she was born at a time when women could be teachers and stenographers, but not reporters. Nellie Bly, excepted.

World War I has broken out in Europe and Claire accompanies her parents to London, Egypt, and Paris, assisting her father in his quest for war news to wire back to the States. While in London, Claire crosses paths with renowned Bible teacher Oswald Chambers, his wife Biddy, and daughter Kathleen. Her life is changed by loss, by love, and by the Chambers family. In many ways.

Michelle Ule has crafted a rare work combining historical detail, emotional and spiritual depth, and compelling story.
I highly recommend it!
——–
I received an advance copy of the manuscript in exchange for an honest review.

Book Talk Tuesday: THE HANDSOME MAN’S DELUXE CAFE

In 2018 I worked to catch up on several series I’d fallen behind on. It’s odd how authors kept churning out books, even though I wasn’t reading!

9780804169905_handsomemansdeluxecafe-350x540One of the most prolific writers working today is Alexander McCall Smith. He’s perhaps best known for his No. 1 Ladies’ Detective Agency books, but he has several other series as well. Isabel Dalhousie and The Sunday Philosophy Club is the other series I enjoy as well. It’s set in Scotland, and having been there once, I love revisiting Edinburgh and its environs.

Anyway, back to Botswana, Precious Ramotswe, and Grace Makutsi in THE HANDSOME MAN’S DELUXE CAFE. I felt an earlier book in this series, THE SATURDAY BIG TENT WEDDING PARTY, which was the story of Grace Makutsi and Phuti Radiphuti’s wedding felt rushed and not edited and disjointed.

I’m happy to say that one was an anomaly, and the following books were back to his usual high standard, including THE HANDSOME MAN’S DELUXE CAFE.

Grace and Phuti have married, built their new home and have their son. Grace has decided she wants to own her own business, like her husband and her business associate, Mma Ramotswe. Grace opens a restaurant.

Mma Ramotswe takes on a case of a woman who doesn’t know who she is. And Mr. JLB Matekoni is forced to let one of the apprentices go from the garage.

As usual, Grace’s shoes have a bit of wisdom for her, that she ignores. Grace and Charlie disagree about … well, nearly everything. Precious and Mma Potokwane share some fruitcake and discuss a case and human nature.

I love this series and THE HANDSOME MAN’S DELUXE CAFE is a worthy addition. I’m continuing in my quest to catch up. There are 4 more and I’ll be current. They are fairly quick reads, so I’m confident 2019 will see me all caught up. I’m still behind on my several of my other favorite series, but I’m working on it.

Stay tuned!