Thursday, December 30, 2010

The Hating Game by Talli Roland

3.5 Star

Mattie Johns, desperate to save her ailing recruitment company, agrees to star on a dating game show. Confident in her man eating abilities, she knows she’ll win the huge financial prize without suffering heartbreak, even if it means a few bad dates along the way. Then she discovers the twist: her dates are actually with four unhappy ex-boyfriends. Desperate for the reward money, Mattie is determined to proceed at the mercy of the scorned exes, the ambitious TV producer and most of all, herself. Will she make it through to the end to claim the prize?

Lydia - 3.5 Star

I had anticipated reading The Hating Game since being contacted by Talli Roland about reviewing her debut novel. Loving almost anything reality TV related, the premise of this novel intrigued me and I couldn’t wait to sink my teeth into it, and I wasn’t disappointed. This novel was fast paced, easy to read and frequently amusing.  I was eager to discover what was going to happen and was rooting for Mattie to figure everything out. 

At times I loved Mattie’s take no prisoners attitude both professionally and in her personal life, but other times it grated on me, from how she treated her best friend and her exes. I had hoped she would soften a bit earlier in the process, but somehow I still cheered for her and wanted her to want more from her life, to break down the barriers she had and in the end I wasn’t disappointed by her transformation and realizations. 

Mattie’s observations throughout the book made me chuckle frequently and I found even her most insensitive thoughts could be quite amusing at times. I enjoyed the quirky secondary characters and thought the alternating perspectives from character to character provided a solid grasp on their thoughts and motives.

The Hating Game made me wonder about the reality TV process and just how far the shows would go for ratings and I’m wondering if I’ll view them differently now when I leap back into them in the new year. I also wondered throughout the novel about being in Mattie’s position and having to interact with ex boyfriends I had no desire to see again – or who might have some bones to pick with me. The entire premise of this novel was so interesting that I wonder how the scenario would play out on an actual reality TV show!

I look forward to more from Talli Roland!

Kathryn - 3.5 Star

I thought the premise of this storyline was great- I’ve heard that there are perhaps other novels that include the same sort of idea but I haven’t read any of those so to me the dating your exes game show was original and fresh!

I found main character Mattie Johnson a bit dry and a in reality a little bit scary! She was given some warmth when discussing the “one that got away” but as she’s completely in denial about his being the one for most of the novel it made sense that she joins the cast of this bizarre show entirely for the cash prize.   Mattie’s voice was particularly funny at times and I did enjoy her internal ramblings about the cast and show and her perseverance to see it through to the end. 
I also enjoyed the other voices and liked that we were given the perspective of more than one person throughout , it made the plot less about a woman looking for love (or cash prizes) because it included the workings of making a reality TV show with the voices of the producers, hair & makeup artists etc. Wow- hope it’s not quite that bad for the contestants on the ones I watch!

I was a little disappointed occasionally that we were given such brief overviews of the dates which made it harder to warm to her exes and really understand what the audience saw in the aired episodes and I would have liked a few more details in regards to location descriptions sometimes but all in all I enjoyed The Hating Game and am looking forward to another Talli Roland novel!

Thanks to Talli Roland for providing the review copy! All opinions are our own.

Connect with Talli:

Friday, December 24, 2010

Naked in Knightsbridge by Nicky Schmidt

2.5 Star

Jools Grand is struggling with threats from her crazy landlord amidst other mounting debts when her cleaning company suffers a fatal blow: a client’s house was set on fire.  Now jobless, and in serious danger of becoming homeless, a desperate Jools decides to auction herself online in a marriage of convenience. She even starts dreaming of finding romance with her scheme, but as the bidding war between two unavailable men continues, Jools soon discovers that everything has a price. 

Lydia - 3 Star

As the synopsis eludes, Naked in Knightsbridge is quirky, unique and full of unusual characters. I loved the cover of this novel. It intrigued me into finding out what the story was all about and this easy read provided some laughs for me, but unfortunately I did find it a bit frustrating at times. 

I really wanted Jools to be able to figure it all out, to get away from all the crazies and not to be quite so ditzy and ignorant about everything. There were times I wanted to scream at her bumbling and found I wasn’t really able to relate to her character because of it. If she hadn’t been quite so ditzy about everything, I might have become more attached.  She was likeable enough and I was rooting for her to sort herself out, but I couldn’t quite understand how she’d made such a mess of her life and how she was going about fixing it.

I had difficulty with a few characters that I wasn’t fond of, including Jools’ father and both of her ‘suitors’. I realize we weren’t supposed to like them, but it made reading about them difficult because I really grew to hate them and couldn’t see any redeeming qualities in any of them and wanted to find some in a few of them at least. The only exceptions really were Jools’ best friend and my favourite character, who was the homeless man, Skuttle, that Jools befriends.  

The letters at the beginning of each chapter, similar to those in the Shopaholic series, were amusing and gave me some chuckles, but Schmidt has her own unique voice and her story, along with this cast of quirky characters, was just as easy to read and held some deeper issues than the Shopaholic series. Jooles is headed for disaster financially to the point of losing the roof over her head, issues we never saw in Shopaholic, and I loved that Schmidt tackled these.

Naked in Knightsbridge did make me laugh and I was curious to see what was going to happen and found myself grinning at the end. Although not my favourite read of the year, I would definitely read another Nicky Schmidt novel.

Kathryn - 2 Star

At first I thought I was going to really like this book because the writing style appealed to me- I found it well written and edited, easy to read and get engrossed in the story.  Unfortunately though, I lost faith in the main character rather early on in the novel and struggled to maintain my interest level.

From the outset Jools is down on her luck financially and her voice is self-deprecating and made me giggle a few times but I soon found myself wanting to kick her behind into gear and to start getting it together.  While there are several fictional characters in chick lit today who have a hard time getting their spending in hand I didn’t find much about Jools that was appealing beyond the initial first few chapters.  She concocts a bizarre plan to sell herself off as a wife to the highest bidder online (which I actually thought was hilarious- if a little scary!) but as soon as the money is in her hands she reverts back to complete irresponsibility and this turned me off entirely.  The appealing part of the spendthrift wanting to go straight was absent for me.  And although I can also appreciate wanting to eat several cupcakes at once I found her obsessive cupcake munching sickening and wondered if she was ever going to start to value herself in any aspect of her life. 

In desperation I tried to relate to other people in the novel and the closest I could come to was the man she marries (at least he was clear about his motives towards her) and his mother (who accepted her whole-heartedly until she really hit rock bottom!)- not exactly ideal as they did nothing to really help Jools find her way!  

All in all I think my feelings about this novel went from high hopes to ugh and I was really disappointed in my end rating.  Hopefully my next read from the same author will draw me into more sympathy for the characters.
Connect with Nicky Schmidt:

Friday, December 10, 2010

A Year in Review

Season's Greetings everyone!

We can hardly believe our first full year of blogging is coming to a close!  What a year it's been with review after review, a redesigned site, discovering twitter, starting giveaways and author interviews and more!

We thought we'd wrap up the year with revealing our favourite reads of 2010 including three chick lit and two non-chick lit novels (Lydia cheated and picked four top chick lit novels in case anyone was counting). They're listed below in no particular order...

We hope you all have a fabulous Holiday Season and wish you all the best in the New Year!
Happy Reading!

Lydia and Kathryn
Stay by Allie Larkin

If I could recommend only one book to read this summer, it might very well be Stay.  There’s some stiff competition, but I adored this book from Joe’s doggie antics, to Van’s journey.  This book captured my heart – so much so that I wanted to reach out and wrap my arms around Van at every turn.  Stay is about unrequited love, finding oneself and starting over and was wrapped in warmth and humour. It’s touching, charming and full of laugh out loud moments along the way. It can’t get much better than that with chick lit in my opinion....   

Lydia and Kathryn:
I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk

I Heart New York was fun and fantastic!  Read it while on a canoe trip and was very glad this was the book I chose to take with me.  It’s fast paced with lots of detail and has a little bit of something other chick lit self-discovery novels don’t always have- a woman who’s completely able to admit she doesn’t know what she’s doing!

Lydia: Spin by Catherine McKenzie

Catherine McKenzie’s engaging debut novel has proven her as one to watch.  Her voice is fresh, new and compelling. SPIN is a witty, fun, laugh out loud novel, yet had a grittier subject matter and I absolutely could not put it down.

I found the heavier subject of addiction offset nicely by Kate’s highly entertaining thoughts and antics along the way, so it didn’t come across as too heavy, nor did it feel too light...  

Kathryn: Divas Don't Knit by Gil McNeil

I LOVED this book- would definitely read it again and am very excited to read the sequel! I don’t knit but throughout I kept thinking I should learn. I even got quite excited about shopping for different wools- colours, textures etc. We’ll see if that actually happens but I figure that the book had to be good for me to be so inspired. Have I mentioned I loved this book?

Lydia and Kathryn:
A Spring Affair by Milly Johnson
Move over Jane Green, Jill Mansell and Madeleine Wickham, there’s a new queen in town! I absolutely LOVED this novel and think it deserves more than 5 stars!  After reading it, I thought Milly Johnson could easily become my new favourite chick lit author and when I read another one of her books (review of The Yorkshire Pudding Club coming soon) I awarded her this title and will read anything and everything she writes now.  I absolutely LOVE finding fabulous new authors and can’t wait to sink my teeth into the rest of her books and those she writes in the future...

Lydia and Kathryn:  Secret Daughter by Shilpi Somaya Gowda
Every once in a while I want to read something other than chick lit and am always thrilled when I randomly pick up something wonderful. Secret Daughter wasn’t recommended to us by anyone, rather, I liked the premise of the story, loved the cover and discovered while reading it that I loved the book as well! This beautiful story hooked me from the beginning and I’ve thought about long since finishing.  It would make a wonderful Mother’s Day gift for any of you stumped on what to get your book-loving moms...

Lydia and Kathryn: 
Juliet by Anne Fortier
Juliet is an extraordinary debut! Its intensity, intrigue, scope, history, and detail captivated my attention from the first few pages and didn't disappear once as I devoured the pages. Having been compared to a romantic Da Vinci Code, Juliet crosses so many genres it makes my head spin.  Part mystery, thriller, romance, historical fiction, women's fiction, with humorous contemporary women's fiction or chick lit moments gleaning through, this novel will appeal to fans of any of these genres and anyone just looking for a fantastic read...

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

The Day the Falls Stood Still by Cathy Marie Buchanan

5 Star

In 1915, with her eighteenth birthday looming, Bess Heath returns home from school to find her family's circumstances drastically changed with her father's recent unemployment. Bess works alongside her mother as a dressmaker struggling to support the family when she bumps into the mysterious Tom Cole who becomes a beacon of light in her dismal days. From a completely different class and world, living off the river and listening to it's whims, Bess becomes intrigued by the rough-hewn riverman. When her family objects, Bess finds herself having to make a choice between her family and the man she has fallen in love with.

Lydia - 5 Star

The Day the Falls Stood Still is a hypnotizing read with depth and detail that astounds. Bubbling with an understated emotion, this delightful debut delves into love, family, duty and the choices that divide.

Although centered around a love story, many other themes swim beneath the surface of this novel including war time strife, economics, politics, theology, and environmental issues just to name a few and that doesn't even delve into the personal issues many characters in this novel face. They are all woven together in a rich tapestry and along with the delightful details of the era and Buchanan's elegant prose, it is not difficult to see why this novel was chosen as a finalist for Canada Reads 2010.   

From the first sentence, I was immediately immersed into the story and the setting. The smallest details were the most powerful and I have such a vivid picture of every location in this novel, yet I never felt bogged down in detail. At times I wasn't even sure if what I was reading was fiction, which is a testament to how skillfully woven this tale is between fiction and the historical events that took place in Niagara Falls at that time.

I really enjoyed Bess's character. A strong female protagonist, she picks herself up and moves forward with each challenge that's thrown at her. She holds herself together for her family and never becomes whiny, needy or hard. She simply carries on. Bess supports her husband, stands by her decision to marry him when others question it, and even when she does herself on rare occasion. At no time did I ever question her love for Tom and it was such a wonderful love story to read, and with the other interwoven themes, this novel stood out for me as a complex story. 

Having been to Niagara Falls multiple times over the years, I've always had enjoyedd the falls, but this novel's portrayal of their beauty, majesty, power and force will have me viewing them differently next time I visit. I will also have much more of an appreciation for the environmental challenges surrounding the falls and how the tourist industry now overshadows them.

I don't often quote from novels, but thought this was lovely and poignant, and it was far from the first or last snippets of prose that I savoured:  "It seems a cruel trick that time contracts when you want to savor it and expands insatiably when you do not."

I am certain I will reread The Day the Falls Stood Still at some point and definitely look forward to reading more from Cathy Marie Buchanan.

Kathryn - 5 Star

Sitting down to write my review of this novel I realize that I enjoyed my history lesson and will never go to Niagara Falls with the same eyes again!  Though the story and characters are fictional there seems to be a little bit of truth and legend woven in to give us a great novel.
I found myself getting involved in the story of Bess and her family from the very first pages.  Bess is an incredibly strong and determined woman and I couldn’t put the book down. I did find that a lot of time was covered in the last half of the novel though and lost a little of my link to the characters.  Though I appreciate that there was a lot of story to cover in relation to the emerging hydroelectric power stations being built- the love story was lost for me because of this. I wish I had had a better grasp of Bess and Tom’s life before he had to leave for war as this might have grounded their love for each other during the second half for me. 
The story of Tom’s love for the river entirely took over the plot and although I felt I’d lost a bit of Bess during this period it does nothing to change the fact that the novel itself is passionate.  There is a great intensity felt throughout which is backed up by the fact that I could visualize the intensity of the actual water of the falls and I felt I could hear the rumble of the water falling.  Tom had been raised to almost worship the river and it’s almost impossible to imagine any other outcome.
Thank you to Harper Collins for providing the review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Cathy Marie Buchanan:

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Talli Roland Stuck on a Desert Island

If Talli Roland, author of The Hating Game, was stuck on a desert island, how would she fare...

1. If you could only have one book with you, what would it be?
The Time Traveller’s Wife. It’s such a great story plus it’s quite long, so it would take me a while to get through it.

2. What one luxury item would you want to be stranded with?
A fuzzy flannel blanket. I have the unique ability to be cold in any temperature, and a nice warm blanket makes everything right in the world.

3. What is the one practical item you would want to have with you to use?
The SheWee, so I could relieve myself while I’m standing. Sounds foul, I know, but I just can’t pee crouching down.

4. Would you enjoy the solitude, even briefly, or would it drive you crazy?
I’d love being alone. I could sing to my heart’s content without anyone telling me to stop my caterwauling, and no-one would ridicule my love of Bon Jovi.

5. If you could be stranded with one other person, who would you want it to be?
I think we might eventually kill each other, but I’m going to say my husband. He’s from the desert (well, Egypt) so he knows how to deal with sand and such, although he’s rubbish at building sand castles!

6. What modern technology would you miss the most?
The television! How would I get my reality TV fix? Disaster.

7. What food or beverage would you miss the most?
Wine, wine and wine. I can’t imagine a world without wine o’clock.

8. How many days do you think you would cope without rescue?
I think I could cope for quite a few days. I’m good at lolling around, wasting time and doing nothing.

9. What is the first thing you would do when rescued?
Drink wine, watch television and show off my sunburn (I don’t tan).

10. What would be your first Tweet or Facebook update upon your return?
Who knew sand could get so many places?

Help Talli take on Amazon December 1st by ordering her debut novel, The Hating Game today!  Check out our blog post about her efforts to make a splash with Amazon and my mini review here.... 

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Talli Roland's The Hating Game - Help her take on Amazon!

When we were approached several months ago by Talli Roland to review her debut novel, The Hating Game, the premise grabbed me and I jumped at the chance. Now that I've sunk my teeth into it, I'm thrilled she contacted us. I'm thoroughly enjoying the book, although unfortunately have not finished it before her online splash! Halfway through this novel though, I can say that I'm eager to read more and can't wait to see how it ends and I'm enjoying Mattie John's take no prisoner attitude!  Let's help Talli out and make her debut novel top the Kindle charts!  

Help Talli Roland's debut novel THE HATING GAME hit the Kindle bestseller list at and by spreading the word today. Even a few sales in a short period of time on Amazon helps push the book up the rankings, making it more visible to other readers.

No Kindle? Download a free app at Amazon for Mac, iPhone, PC, Android and more.

Coming soon in paperback

Keep up with the latest at


When man-eater Mattie Johns agrees to star on a dating game show to save her ailing
recruitment business, she's confident she'll sail through to the end without letting
down the perma-guard she's perfected from years of her love 'em and leave 'em dating
strategy. After all, what can go wrong with dating a few losers and hanging out
long enough to pick up a juicy £2000,000 prize? Plenty, Mattie discovers, when it's
revealed that the contestants are four of her very unhappy exes. Can Mattie confront
her past to get the prize money she so desperately needs, or will her exes finally
wreak their long-awaited revenge? And what about the ambitious TV producer whose
 career depends on stopping her from making it to the end?

Saturday, November 20, 2010

With Her Boots On by Lisa Dow

4 Star

Mel Melrose is preparing to be a bridesmaid in her brother's wedding, but the over-the-top, construction cone coloured dresses and drunken bridal showers aren't the only stressors in her life. Worrying about her boyfriend's lack of commitment as the wedding looms, Mel's career is suddenly turned upside down but when she turns to her boyfriend for comfort she finds him interested in all things modern dance instead of her. With her life spiraling out of control, will the control freak in Mel manage to pull herself from the edge where she's teetering in her four-inch Prada boots?

Lydia - 4 Star

With Her Boots On has some hilarious moments and I laughed out loud frequently right from the first page. This is the story of Mel finding herself, discovering aspects of her personality she didn't necessarily want to accept, and finally learning and moving on.  I loved that she didn't shove her relationship issues under the rug, but dealt with an learned from them.

I found out half way through this novel that it`s a sequel and I had no idea, so it obviously stands well on it's own. Although somewhat predictable, this novel was still a satisfying read and I quite enjoyed the later part of the novel during Mel's journey of self discovery.  

Unfortunately there were a few inconsistencies that threw me including Mel's fear of sea creatures and then a mention of her having fish. There was also a mention of a Wrangler Cowboy commercial in the early 1980's which was such a tiny spot in the book, but it threw me right out trying to figure out when exactly this novel took place and whether the characters would remember (I don't). I'm just being really nit picky I know, but they really did throw me.

This novel moved along at a rapid pace, was frequently funny and I enjoyed how Mel manages to get out of her shell and seeing her self-discovery journey. I loved the relationship between Mel and her best friend, Kit, and their two families. I thought all the characters were well drawn and this novel had some quirky and unusual elements including Mel's personal translator at work, and the lawn ornament loving neighbours. There were definitely some unforgettable aspects to this novel.  

Overall, I really enjoyed reading With Her Boots On and will look out for Lisa Dow novels in the future.

Kathryn- 4 Star

I found this novel hilarious and would definitely like to read the prequel- I agree with Lydia though that With Her Boots On stands very well on its own and I never had a notion that I was missing any important information.

For me there were some writing style issues in the first few chapters - it seemed a little clumsy and not very well edited but all of a sudden though the writing tightened up and the story just started to flow off the pages and I was hooked!   Although there were a storyline things that were a little predictable I found Lisa Dow had a great way of making a funny situation extremely visual and so intense sometimes that I laughed out loud (at least twice- probably more!). 

I loved Mel and Kit and their siblings and their parents so much that I wanted to drive downtown and figure out where they lived so I could meet them.  The parents in particular were too funny and if they show up Dow’s prequel I will be very happy!  Mel and Kit are very close but their relationship didn’t feel forced at all- they seemed to have an easy respect for each other and I loved that they were even close with each other’s siblings.  It’s really nice to have a friendship be so long-standing and close that they families are intertwined.  I also liked that we were introduced to Mel through her career as well as her friendship with Kit and although the novel centered around Mel becoming single again I was never under the impression that she wouldn’t bounce back.

I will definitely remember this novel initially for a couple of key moments but in fact there are a lot of things that were appealing and I wouldn’t hesitate to pick up another Lisa Dow novel. 
Thank you to McArthur and Company for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Lisa Dow:

Monday, November 15, 2010

Lydia and Kathryn Stuck on a Desert Island.

We only thought it fair that we should answer the same questions we're asking authors and thought it might give you a chance to get to know us a bit better too!


1. If you could only have one book with you, what would it be?
Pillars of the Earth by Ken Follett

2. What one luxury item would you want to be stranded with?
My first reaction was my Burt's Bees lip balm. I'm not sure I could live without it, having had a lip balm addiction since discovering The Body Shop's strawberry tubs in high school, but I'm thinking a pillow would last much longer (yes, lip balm doesn't last long with me) and provide much needed comfort. I'm going with a pillow.  Final answer.

3. What is the one practical item you would want to have with you to use? 
A knife of some sort. I'm thinking machete.

4. Would you enjoy the solitude, even briefly, or would it drive you crazy? 
I enjoy being alone, so it might not bother me for a while, although the nights would probably scare the bejeepers out of me. Hopefully #5 would help with that and keep me amused for longer.

5. If you could be stranded with one other person, who would you want it to be?
I guess I can get dreamy without a significant other: Johnny Depp – because he would have no choice but to fall for me with no one else around and my twenty year crush will finally be realized.

6. What modern technology would you miss the most?
Without a second thought:  my iphone.

7. What food or beverage would you miss the most?
Greasy Carbs if I have to pick something. In reality, I'd probably miss having a variety of food. I tend to get bored easily and swilling coconut juice and munching fish for days might make me insane.

8. How many days do you think you would cope without rescue?
A week.  Maybe longer with Johnny.

9. What is the first thing you would do when rescued?
Shower. Twice.

10. What would be your first Tweet or Facebook update upon your return?
Stuck on Desert Island with Johnny Depp. No longer need to resort to stalking.


1. If you could only have one book with you, what would it be?
The Shell Seekers- Rosamunde Pilcher. 

2. What one luxury item would you want to be stranded with? 
Can I ask for running water?    If not then I'd like some soap please. 

3. What is the one practical item you would want to have with you to use? 
My pillow.

4. Would you enjoy the solitude, even briefly, or would it drive you crazy?
Would definitely enjoy it briefly but knowing it was permanent I would start to go nuts pretty quickly I think!

5. If you could be stranded with one other person, who would you want it to be?
My husband.

6. What modern technology would you miss the most?
Internet for sure.

7. What food or beverage would you miss the most?
Chocolate or tea...

8. How many days do you think you would cope without rescue?

9. What is the first thing you would do when rescued?
Shower and then have a family dinner.

10. What would be your first Tweet or Facebook update upon your return?
THAT was interesting!  Remind me to never use that tour group/airline again!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Isabelle Lafleche Stuck on a Desert Island

If Isabelle Lafleche, author of J'adore New York, was stuck on a Desert Island, how would she fare...

1. If you could only have one book with you, what would it be?
The Great Gatsby. I can never get enough of that story.

2. What one luxury item would you want to be stranded with?
My Nespresso coffee machine. ( For further details, see answer below about food + beverage.)

3. What is the one practical item you would want to have with you to use?
A tent, I have trouble sleeping anywhere without having something over my head.

4. Would you enjoy the solitude, even briefly, or would it drive you crazy?
Yes, I would as I do enjoy being on my own. Especially if I have a good book and a computer.

5. If you could be stranded with one other person, who would you want it to be?
Candace Bushnell. I'm sure we'd have fun writing something together, especially with an exotic cocktail on the beach.

6. What modern technology would you miss the most?
My computer. I love receiving comments from the readers of my blog, it's totally addictive!

7. What food or beverage would you miss the most?
A strong cup of coffee. I would never have written a novel without it. (or done much else, for that matter!) I absolutely need one in the morning otherwise, you don't want to be around me.

8. How many days do you think you would cope without rescue?
It would really depend on the weather. Being from Montreal, if it's warm and sunny and happens to be in the middle of the Canadian winter, I could definitely stay a while.

9. What is the first thing you would do when rescued?
Call my mother. I'm sure we would have lots to gossip about...

10. What would be your first Tweet or Facebook update upon your return?
I’ve gone out for cappuccino! Ciao!

Thanks Isabelle for answering our Desert Island questions!  

Don't miss our review of J'adore New York and signed copy giveaway!  Click here....


Tuesday, November 9, 2010

J'adore New York by Isabelle LaFleche

4 Star

When Catherine Lambert, a fashionable Parisian lawyer, receives a transfer offer from her New York office, she jumps at the chance to move to the land of fashion and love. Initially thrilled, Catherine soon discovers a world of office politics, lecherous clients, billable hours, malicious secretaries and impossible ambition and finds herself swimming in work rather than the glamour she was expecting.  When Jeffrey Richardson, a rich and powerful client, takes an interest in her, Catherine finds all the glamour she was expecting, but soon it all comes crashing down with an unexpected request that forces her to question the career she worked so hard to build.

Lydia - 4 Star

J'adore New York is a fast paced, entertaining debut about moving to New York, not to escape, but as a career move and is full of office politics, ambition, fashion and love. This novel provides a glimpse into the harsh realities New York lawyers face and this novel had enough substance to transform it into a notch above typical chick lit surrounding a move to New York.

The short scenes made this novel fly and I felt gave it an authentic feel of the fast paced life of a lawyer. I loved that this story focused on Catherine's work instead of her searching for love and fashion, although the both were still prominent in the novel. I found the twist on moving to a new city as a career move refreshing and loved that the heroine was French which was also a nice change of pace.

I loved Catherine, and although couldn't completely relate to her, I could understand her motivations and confusion surrounding her new life and desire to remain true to herself throughout the turmoil.  I adored her assistant, Rikash, who brought a flamboyant and humourous element to this novel and laughed at every scene he was in. I felt all the characters were well drawn and couldn't wait to see how Catherine's trials and tribulations at the office would turn out.

This novel didn't go overboard on detail to the point that I got bogged down and bored. It was just the opposite and LaFleche's ability to make legalese readable with technical terms turned into easy to understand English made this novel much more interesting to read. 

I found J'adore New York a highly entertaining debut and can't wait to see what Isabelle Lafleche has in store for us next!

Kathryn -4 Star

I loved the detail and focus around Catherine’s job in this novel- there were many different faces to portray to the reader by having the novel set so heavily in the law office and Lafleche made sure we knew who everyone was so that the story flowed without any confusion.   I found myself very glad I wasn’t trying to climb any corporate law ladders to partnership in this lifetime- I think I would have found it a lot less satisfying that Catherine to be working so many long hours and I found a new respect for my lawyer friends!
 I liked though that Catherine, despite trying to become partner, still found herself interested in a relationship with a client as well as trying to have a social life with girlfriends.  It was a struggle to find any time for socialising but it made her human to me that the desire was there to get out of the office.  It’s also interesting to note that we are given the impression that Catherine is a well-dressed, chic lawyer from Paris which would lead the reader to believe that she would be quite a lot more confident than most- in reality the author creates a real vulnerability sometimes to contrast this well dressed exterior.  Her assistant was a great addition and I liked that she had to decide whose side he was really on, hers or the bosses (which added to her vulnerability as she didn’t know if she could trust anyone at all) - he helped to add some laughs to the story too.  
Throughout the novel there are random injections of French phrases or single words- I thought I would find them irritating and pretentious but they actually did add to the story for me.  It reminded me that Catherine was French (although she was actually working in English in New York) and newly deposited in a new city and I appreciated the refresher on some forgotten French swear words.
I liked J’adore New York and while the basic story was perhaps a bit predictable Lafleche made her characters unique enough that it is a memorable novel.

Thank you to HarperCollins Canada for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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