Thursday, February 28, 2013

Albert Clipper by Sheena Lambert

3 Star

Christine Grogan is a beautiful 28-year-old meteorologist with a loving family, great friends and an exciting career working for an international investment bank. So why does she spend every January 20th crying like her heart might break? As everyone around her appears to be moving on with their lives, Christine wears her past like a pair of concrete shoes. Can nothing, or nobody help her shake them?

Mark Harrington thought he had all he ever wanted. Head of the bank's Irish operations, he has the career, the house and the relationship any 39-year-old would wish for. But when his seemingly perfectly-planned life suddenly strays totally off course, Mark is confronted with the fact that he isn't actually in control at all…

…and that he is crazy in love with Christine. 

Kaley - 3 Star

I knew going in that Alberta Clipper was going to be a bit of an emotional book – the synopsis tipped me off to a big secret that obviously causes Christine some major heartache – but I don’t think I was anticipating Sheena Lambert’s novel to be all heavy, all the time.

Christine had some serious issues. At the start of the novel, we have no idea what her past has really involved or why January 20th is such an awful day for her. The book seemed to revolve around drawing Christine out and peeling away layers until we finally understood what her problem is. I think this is what I struggled with when reading this novel. Christine is…well…she’s really emotionally messed up. Once you find out what happened to her you can kind of understand why she acts the way she does but at the same time, I couldn’t understand why she hadn’t yet let go after so many years. Granted, I’ve never ever been in a situation anything close to what she went through so I shouldn’t judge too harshly, but I just couldn’t help but wonder why she couldn’t snap out of it. And that’s not a good thing to be thinking about a main character.

There also seemed to be some unnecessary parts to the book that didn’t add a whole lot for me. The insider trading scandal didn’t have much of a purpose other than to put Mark and Christine in another city at the same time. Also, Mark’s new and very attractive assistant, featured a little too prominently for not much reward. The final drama also had me scratching my head. Mark was able to swoop in and be a knight in shining armor but I think there could have been a less dramatic and involved way to have that happen.

All that being said, the romance element to the story was really enjoyable. I liked that I got to see Mark’s revelation that he has strong feelings for Christine. It was also interesting to watch Christine open up to someone, be crushed (only a minor spoiler – you’d figure it out anyway!), and then start to wonder about Mark.

Overall, Alberta Clipper was enjoyable but I just wasn’t as drawn into Christine’s world as I wanted to be. I do think that others would like Sheena Lambert’s novel much more than I did.

Thank you to Sheena Lambert for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Sheena:

Tuesday, February 26, 2013

The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society by Darien Gee

4 Star

At Madeline’s Tea Salon, the cozy hub of the Avalon community, local residents scrapbook their memories and make new ones. But across town, other Avalonians are struggling to free themselves of the past: Isabel Kidd is fixing up her ramshackle house while sorting through the complications of her late husband’s affair. Ava Catalina is mourning the love of her life and helping her young son grow up without his father. Local plumber Yvonne Tate is smart, beautiful, and new to Avalon, but finds that despite a decade of living life on her own terms, the past has a way of catching up—no matter where she goes. And Frances Latham, mother to a boisterous brood of boys, eagerly anticipates the arrival of a little girl from China—unprepared for the emotional roller coaster of foreign adoption.

Enter Bettie Shelton, the irascible founder of the Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society. Under Bettie’s guidance, even the most reluctant of Avalon’s residents come to terms with their past and make bold decisions about their future. But when the group receives unexpected news about their steadfast leader, they must pull together to create something truly memorable.

Kathryn - 4 Star

There are quite a number of wonderful ladies that are all interwoven in The Avalon Ladies Scrapbooking Society and I quickly found it was important for me to get them straight before I could really enjoy how their relationships unfolded.  For this reason it did take me a few chapters before I was hooked.

The feel of the novel for me was reminiscent of a Cathy Kelly or even a Maeve Binchy in that Gee put together strong characters and individual stories and wove them together into one novel set in a small town. The difference was of course the theme of scrapbooking which I really know next to nothing about. As a child we were given the task of creating a scrapbook of our holidays (to keep us busy during said holiday!) but the scrapbooking business of today is apparently a whole other matter. I was a bit lost when Bettie was explaining to her group about different types of kits for their books but it was still interesting to me and I loved that this brought people from all over the town to one common hobby- especially a hobby that focused on creating memories of the good things in their lives.  It was so touching to see how they rallied around Bettie when she needed it and gave me a feel good vibe that the whole novel encompassed.

There are actually so many women it’s hard to pin point one I liked the most- for some reason the one thing sticking out for me is the silly goat Serena that Connie is determined to love above everything else.  A goat in itself is lighthearted where quite a few of the other storylines made me teary so there’s something for everyone and I’m sure everyone can relate to one of the Avalon Ladies.  I even read all the Friendship Bread recipes!

Thank you to Random House for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Darien Gee:

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Dolls Behaving Badly by Cinthia Ritchie

4.5 Star

Carla Richards is a lot of things. She's a waitress at Anchorage's premier dining establishment, Mexico in an Igloo; an artist who secretly makes erotic dolls for extra income; a divorcee who can't quite detach from her ex-husband; and a single mom trying to support her gifted eight-year-old son, her pregnant sister, and her babysitter-turned-resident-teenager.

She's one overdue bill away from completely losing control-when inspiration strikes in the form of a TV personality. Now she's scribbling away in a diary, flirting with an anthropologist, and making appointments with a credit counselor.

Still, getting her life and dreams back on track is difficult. Is perfection really within reach? Or will she wind up with something even better?

Jen - 4.5 Star

I can’t wait for more readers to discover the charming story, Dolls Bahaving Badly by Cinthia Ritchie. When they do, I think they will all agree with me when I say that though rough around the edges, this book is surprisingly endearing, hard to put down and easy to relate to. It didn’t take me long to decide this book was worth of a 4.5 rating.

The main character, a down on her luck, divorced waitress, Carla, can’t catch a break. In between her down trodden diary entries and letters from collection services, I fell in love with Cinthia Ritchie’s  writing because the story was funny without trying.

The beginning of the book is slow, although still alarming. It took awhile to identify a plot, but once I did, I was able to read along is a fast paced way that I found truly enjoyable.

Carla’s dream to be an artist is thwarted by her situation as a divorced waitress in isolated Alaska. The only guidance she has comes from flashbacks of her beloved grandmother and from her incredibly smart and lovable son, Jay-Jay. She’s stuck in a rut of poverty, which may seem like a story told too many times, but Ritchie weaves a hilariously funny story with tiny anecdotes about Carla’s fellow waitress friend, Sandee, who has a date with a man who likes to hear moose calls while making love, and the endearing poetry written by a teenaged daughter of a drug dealer who lives a couple trailers down.

Slowly, Carla comes alive, thanks to emails from a self help guru, a finance advisor and a few, colorful, random friends.. Her secret art, sculpting dolls for an adult website, takes shape in a way Carla never imagined. Her talents, her relationships and most surprising to Carla, her love life, all change and she’s left at the end of a book a new woman.

My favorite part of the book happened when Carla was getting ready for an interview and has nothing to wear. The people around her, the ones who love her and are always there for her, literally give her the clothes off their backs and she’s “clothed in my friends’ best intentions.” There are many more endearing moments in Dolls Behaving Badly, but you’ll have to find them for yourself.

Thank you to Grand Central Publishing for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

Connect with Cinthia Ritchie:

Saturday, February 23, 2013

The List by Karin Tanabe

4.5 Star

Meet Adrienne Brown, a twenty-eight-year-old Wellesley College grad who recently left her glamorous job at Town & Country for a spot at the Capitolist. Known simply as the List to Beltway insiders, it’s the only media outlet in D.C. that’s actually on the rise. Taking the job means accepting a painful pay cut, giving up perks like free Louboutins, and moving back in with her parents, but Adrienne is certain that her new position will be the making of her career.

And it is—but not at all in the way that she expects. The Capitolist runs at an insane pace: Adrienne’s up before five in the morning, writing ten stories a day (sometimes on her BlackBerry, often during her commute), and answering every email within three minutes. Just when it seems like the frenetic workload is going to break her, she stumbles upon a juicy political affair, involving a very public senator—and her most competitive colleague. Discovering that there’s much more to the relationship than meets the eye, Adrienne realizes she’s got the scoop of a lifetime. But should she go public with the story? 

Sabrina-Kate - 4.5 Star

The List was a surprisingly enjoyable book that I wasn't expecting. Let me explain why: it was based in the Washington, D.C. area and I am the person who knows the least about politics, particularly American politics and also cares the least about them. I wasn't very hopeful starting this book that I would enjoy it due to the premise behind it and also the first few pages, to be honest. But I was pleased that I did read this book as by the end, I was really into the story and wanted to find out the ending.

The main characters in The List are so well developed with distinctly strong personalities that really help to bring the story to life and in a really human way. I always pictured a story of this type being somewhat stale due to the political factor involved but fortunately it was not the case and every new twist and complication just made it more and more interesting.

I went from groaning over having to read this one to really being quite pleased by a great story that was well thought out and executed. In the end, The List is not just about politics although it has a very interesting base in them and it just goes to show that you can't and shouldn't judge a book by its cover.

Thank you to Washington Square Press for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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Thursday, February 21, 2013

Why Can't I Be You by Allie Larkin

4 Star

At one time or another, everyone has wished they could be someone else. Exploring this universal longing, Allie Larkin follows up the success of her debut novel, Stay, with a moving portrait of friendship and identity.

When Jenny Shaw hears someone shout “Jessie!” across a hotel lobby, she impulsively answers. All her life, Jenny has toed the line, but something propels her to seize the opportunity to become Jessie Morgan, a woman to whom she bears an uncanny resemblance. Lonely in her own life, Jenny is embraced by Jessie’s warm circle of friends—and finds unexpected romance. But when she delves into Jessie’s past, Jenny discovers a secret that spurs her to take another leap into the unknown.

Lydia - 4 Star

I adored Allie Larkin’s first novel, Stay, and when an advance review copy for her next novel appeared, I might have skipped around with glee. Why Can’t I Be You is a fast paced, quick read with a cast of fantastic characters, a unique premise, and a main character you can’t help but root for. A novel of friendship, identity and loss, Why Can’t I Be You kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering how Jenny’s situation will play out.

Larkin has a gift for creating complex characters, rich with internal dialogue and solid histories, both of which she manages to thread through the story masterfully. I never felt like I was being beaten over the head with an information bat as I do with some novels and during the gradual trickle of information, Jenny's motivation and drive surfaces, leading to a deep understanding of her character regardless of whether you can relate at all. Nothing would have ever landed me in Jenny’s shoes (I should have ‘The World’s Worst Liar’ branded on my forehead), but I sympathized and wanted her to make it right – both her life and with those whose lives she had intruded upon. I vacillated between wanting Jenny to tell her new friendly clan she wasn't who they thought she was and to wishing she could to stay and bask in their glow to keep growing and rediscovering herself outside of her mother’s shadow. I loved the unwavering friendship the group had and really enjoyed all of their characters and how, for the most part, they willingly accepting their ‘old friend’ back into their lives.

The one thing I did have difficulty with was suspending my belief at times, particularly because the woman Jenny was impersonating had such a drastically different personality and I constantly wondered how they didn’t figure it out. I kept waiting for her secret to be revealed, and to be honest, my favourite part of the novel happened after that occurred and I found this part slightly shorter than I would have liked.

Although I may not have loved Why Can’t I Be You as much as I loved Stay (and it would be hard to top one of my Top Reads of 2010), but I will definitely devour anything Larkin writes.

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

Connect with Allie Larkin:

Wednesday, February 20, 2013

For Internal Use Only by Cari Kamm

5 Star

Chloe Kassidy has just been accepted into one of Manhattan’s most exclusive art exhibits, Love Through Light. However, with her singular dedication to her career, she soon realizes that in sacrificing her personal life, she has never been in love. A hopeless romantic who is terrified of heartbreak, Chloe begins to enlist the help of her circle of friends to learn about love through their very different stories and experiences.

In Chloe’s emotional rollercoaster to having the greatest love story ever told, she’ll learn that like her photography she must use the negatives in life to develop and prove that she’s a strong woman who found her way to love through light. 

Sabrina-Kate - 5 Star

I loved this book from the first page as it spoke with such a love and familiarity about one of my favorite places in the world, New York City. For Internal Use Only warmed my heart to again see the obvious affection someone else has for this one of a kind city.

The descriptions started off very rich and remained so throughout the entire reading experience and oh what a wonderful experience it was. I truly feel like this author described the city so realistically that I could almost feel like I was there.

The main character is so hilarious from the get go with her somewhat odd and self deprecating yet assured inner monologue that I wanted to devour the book in one sitting and I tried my best to! Her dialogue is neurotic yet ambitious and so completely like the space in my own head at times that I really loved how the character was conceived.

The unexpected love story in For Internal Use Only was utterly gripping and had me smiling, reliving moments in my own past that I felt were similar in their serendipitous ways. But there was also the dark side to the twisted sort of infatuation/obsession going on that I also unfortunately have experienced in my life which frustrated me but was so realistically written that again I didn't want to put down this book.

From Cari Kamm's descriptions of photography, which I know nothing about, to the explanations of mundane activity, she shows herself to be a master of the written word and is truly someone I am very pleased to have discovered. For Internal Use Only was a rollercoaster ride of emotions and descriptions, quickly paced and unforgettable from every nuance and turn to the surprising end. Definitely will be one of my year's picks!

Thank you to Cari Kamm for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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Monday, February 18, 2013

Calling Me Home by Julie Kibler

5 Star

Eighty-nine-year-old Isabelle McAllister has a favor to ask her hairdresser Dorrie Curtis. It's a big one. Isabelle wants Dorrie, a black single mom in her thirties, to drop everything to drive her from her home in Arlington, Texas, to a funeral in Cincinnati. With no clear explanation why. Tomorrow.

Dorrie, fleeing problems of her own and curious whether she can unlock the secrets of Isabelle's guarded past, scarcely hesitates before agreeing, not knowing it will be a journey that changes both their lives.

Over the years, Dorrie and Isabelle have developed more than just a business relationship. They are friends. But Dorrie, fretting over the new man in her life and her teenage son’s irresponsible choices, still wonders why Isabelle chose her.

Isabelle confesses that, as a willful teen in 1930s Kentucky, she fell deeply in love with Robert Prewitt, a would-be doctor and the black son of her family's housekeeper—in a town where blacks weren’t allowed after dark. The tale of their forbidden relationship and its tragic consequences makes it clear Dorrie and Isabelle are headed for a gathering of the utmost importance and that the history of Isabelle's first and greatest love just might help Dorrie find her own way.

Lydia - 5 Star

I loved this book. A novel about friendship, love and acceptance, Calling Me Home is a riveting read that took me just a few sittings to devour. Interweaving a present day road trip between an unlikely pair, and a love story that from decades ago, Calling Me Home blends a forbidden love story, social commentary and unique friendships during an unusual and intriguing road trip.

Calling Me Home tugged at my heart strings. I loved the relationship between Isabelle and her hairdresser, now friend, Dorrie. I appreciated how much Dorrie learns from Isabelle on the sudden and unusual road trip Isabelle requested. I loved that their relationship was so unique and thought it made for a fabulous read. Friendship, like love, can transcend boundaries and limits imposed by society. We all have commonalities and can learn something from one another regardless of race, gender, or generation gaps, and Calling Me Home portrays this magnificently.

I loved how Isabelle gradually opens up and confides her story of love, heartbreak and tragedy during their road trip in bits and pieces. I thought the weaving of Isabelle’s story and the present day was executed perfectly and the gradual reveal over the course of the novel kept me on the edge of my seat, wondering what exactly had happened to Isabelle.  At no time could I figure it out. The ending even took me by surprise.  Dorrie’s present day story also had me wondering the entire time. I loved the relationship Dorrie had with her kids, particularly her son and how she handles a crisis came across as real and relatable to me. As did the entire story. I felt like I was sitting in the backseat of the Cadillac as these two women barreled down the highway and memory lane.

Calling Me Home will definitely stay with me. I laughed, I cried, I thought how fortunate I have been in my life, and wondered what I would do in both Izzie and Dorrie’s circumstances. Pick this one up if you’re looking for a fantastic read about friendship and love. This would make a fantastic book club pick!

Thank you to St Martin's Press for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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Sunday, February 17, 2013

Eleanor and Park by Rainbow Rowell

4 Star

Bono met his wife in high school, Park says.
So did Jerry Lee Lewis, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be, she says, we’re 16.
What about Romeo and Juliet?
Shallow, confused, then dead.
I love you, Park says.
Wherefore art thou, Eleanor answers.
I’m not kidding, he says.
You should be.

Set over the course of one school year in 1986, this is the story of two star-crossed misfits—smart enough to know that first love almost never lasts, but brave and desperate enough to try. When Eleanor meets Park, you’ll remember your own first love—and just how hard it pulled you under.

Kaley - 4 Star

I have to admit something: I had no idea what Eleanor and Park was about when I started reading it. And you know what? I think that worked out for the best. Rainbow Rowell’s novel features teenagers and, as it’s been a few years since I’ve been one myself, I don’t normally read about teens. If I had known that the protagonists were only sixteen I’m not sure I would have picked up this book and then I would have missed out on a really good novel.

I was immediately drawn into the world of Eleanor and Park. Do you remember when you were sixteen and all that mattered were who you had a crush on and making it through the school day unscathed? I’m pretty happy to say that I had a normal and, dare I say it, enjoyable high school experience. I’m glad to be out of there, of course, but I never had the issues Eleanor has. She is constantly picked on because she doesn’t wear the right clothes, because she’s a little bigger than the other girls, and because she’s just kind of…weird. I really felt for her and I wanted to be her big sister so I could take care of her and get her out of a hellish family situation. Park is a kid who isn’t exactly “cool” but he tolerates the popular kids and, in return, they never give him any trouble. Then Eleanor comes along and he has to make a choice – be with the girl he likes or deal with teasing from his classmates?

The other thing I really enjoyed about this novel, other than the engaging story between the teens, was the time it was set it. The book took place in 1986 and it is peppered with many references to eighties music. It was really neat to read about how Eleanor and Park bonded over certain artists and how she couldn’t stand the screaming punk that he became interested in. As someone who didn’t come into the world until the following year (go ahead, do the math and decide if I’m old or just a kid), I really liked the fact that the book was set in the past. I think it makes this novel stand out among others and adds a certain flavor to it that was really enjoyable. 

For me, Eleanor & Park falls into the category “Young Adult books that everyone should read.” Rainbow Rowell did a wonderful job of capturing the emotions of the title teens and wrote a really enjoyable novel. I think everyone, no matter their age, can connect with both Eleanor and Park. I definitely recommend this one. 

Thank you to St Martin Press for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

Connect with Rainbow Rowell here:

Saturday, February 16, 2013

Love Is In The Air!

Love is in the air . . . and it can be on your Kindle, too!

Do you want to fall in love with a good book this Valentine's Day weekend? How about 9? Then don't miss this special promotion. For four days only (February 14th - February 17th), 9 popular Chick Lit authors will be lowering the prices on their favorite rom-coms to 99 cents on! At that price (A bottle of wine costs more!), why not sample them all? Some delicious literary treats await you, and unlike chocolates these goodies are calorie-free!

And guys: If your sweetie is a book-lover, you'll make her Valentine's Day by gifting her with one (or more) of our fun, romantic stories!

Finding Lucas by Samantha Stroh Bailey - Daytime talk show producer Jamie Ross is beyond fed up with her toxic bad boy turned metrosexual boyfriend. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, she goes on a hilarious, at-times disastrous, and totally life-changing hunt to track down the ”one who got away.” But are some loves best left behind?

In Need of Therapy by Tracie Banister – Handling the problems of hysterical hypochondriacs, lovelorn neurotics, and compulsive man whores is all in a day’s work for super-shrink Pilar Alvarez. But can she deal with her crazy Cuban family, a trio of unsuitable suitors, and a threat to her practice without ending up on the couch herself?

Rita Hayworth’s Shoes by Francine LaSala – Jilted bride Amy's down on everything until she convinces herself to purchase a cute, ridiculously expensive pair of second-hand shoes. Once she does, life starts looking up, and she falls into an unexpected new romance with the last man she'd ever expect to love. But can a pair of shoes really be magic? And is her new prince really just a frog?

Breaking the Rules by Cat Lavoie – When Roxy Rule shares a passionate kiss with her lifelong best friend, she must come to terms with her feelings for him while dealing with two sisters in full crisis mode, a boss who makes her want to stab herself with a letter opener and a fiancĂ© who can’t wait to walk down the aisle. Can she keep it together–or will she break under the pressure?

The Green Ticket by Samantha March – College junior Alex Abrams scores her dream job at the ripe age of twenty, but her good fortune quickly turns disastrous when she realizes her job is filled with lies, betrayal, and cover-ups. Keeping up with classes, her girlfriends and a budding romance, Alex feels the pressure – but will she overcome the challenges?

Unmasking Maya by Libby Mercer - Disgraced New York fashionista Maya is fashioning herself a new life as an artist in San Francisco when she's hired to do an installation of her work by dorky yet dashing dotcom executive Derek. The sparks soon start to fly... But is this a good thing?

A State of Jane by Meredith Schorr - Jane Frank is newly single after nine years and looking for a second chance at love. But when she dives head first into the NYC dating scene and finds it infested with flakes who are interested today and gone tomorrow, it may be time for Jane to turn the tables!

True Love Way by Nancy Scrofano - When her high school sweetheart, Josh, suddenly returns after twelve years in Paris, Marlo Spencer travels to her hometown to try to rekindle their relationship. But when dreams of a blissful reunion are shattered as old secrets and betrayals are revealed, can she forgive and forget, or will true love find a different path to her heart?

Picture Perfect by Lucie Simone - Lauren Tate’s perfectly planned life quickly unravels at the seams when a smear campaign threatens her career as a top TV executive, but she learns just how cutthroat showbiz can truly be when the hottest scandal in Tinsel Town turns deadly and the Hollywood hunk who’s stolen her heart goes missing.

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Confessions of an Alli Cat by Courtney Cole

5 Star

Thirty-five year-old Allison “Alli” Lancaster has it all—a fabulous job, a beautiful 15 year-old daughter, a hilarious BFF and a gorgeous house with a pool and Jacuzzi in an exclusive Las Vegas neighborhood. What she doesn’t have is a husband, because she kicked her lousy, cheating ex to the curb nine months ago.  Since then, Alli has paid her dues with seemingly endless self-improvement and seemingly endless mourning.  Now she’s ready to move on and try new things.

Alli’s idea of “trying new things” is nothing like that devil-of-a-best-friend of hers. Somehow, Sara, the devil of a best friend, talks Alli into trying out a sex toy, sleeping with a younger man and letting a stranger in a lab jacket put hot wax on a place that should never, ever, ever see wax.  And that’s only the beginning.

Alli never saw her life going quite like this. She also never thought she’d meet someone else who had the very real potential to change her life forever. But she did.

Enter the new guy.  He’s gorgeous, refined and mature.  He’s also marriage material.  But that poses a problem for Alli, who renounced the institution of marriage when she renounced her ex. What’s a girl to do?

They say that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. But what the heck happens when you can’t leave Vegas?  Well, you spin the wheel, of course. You play the game and let the chips fall where they may.

Alli just hopes she can find them all.

Lydia - 5 Star

I loved this book and haven’t laughed so hard while reading in ages! I actually wept with laughter and I sculpted my abs while reading Confessions of an Alli Cat. It was that funny. This novel showcases moving on after marital infidelity along the help of a crazy BFF and discovering long ago forgotten passion via the most unconventional means - but they do live in Las Vegas after all, so it shouldn’t be so shocking. Funny, witty, sexy and smart, there is nothing not to like about Confessions of an Alli Cat.

Unless you’re not into this sort of thing. So, first off, a little warning if you’re easily offended. There is mature material here and some explicit scenes, so if this kind of thing perturbs you, do not read this book. Apparently, I am not and almost read this novel in one sitting.

I honestly wasn’t sure how I would feel about this one. The cougar out on the prowl stereotype grates on me and what Alli's BFF's suggests for her to get over your ex probably doesn’t cross many women’s minds after a divorce as a means to move on, so I had reservations. I mean, who does that? How could I relate? But despite this, I loved this book. Confessions is unique, fresh and freaking funny!!! Have I said this book is funny yet? Oh, I have. Right. It is. The waxing and hot tub scene? I had tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard. Thank God I wasn't reading this on public transportation for this, and a few, uh, other reasons.

I loved every character from Alli Cat herself to her ex-husband Rick the Dick. Allie’s daughter and BFF were so perfect and complimentary. Alli felt so real, like I could reach out and touch her, that I was right beside her as I read. She’s so relatable with her insecurities and the angst with her ex, even with the unusual circumstances in the novel. Everyone needs a Sara in their life as a crazy BFF. I think what I loved most about this novel was that even though Alli gets herself into some sticky situations, she never once comes across as ditzy, which unfortunately occurs in many chick lit novels. She just lands in unusual circumstances, and it’s not because she’s did something silly.

And as much as I thought I would never say this, I loved Shade. He was nothing like I thought he would be when I started reading, and I loved that. Their ‘relationship’ was so different from anything I had ever read. I applaud Cole for tackling the unique, taboo, and the somehow very, very sexy subject, how she manages to make the novel relatable, and the gazillion laughs. My only comment would be that the end seemed rushed, in both plot and proofreading as multiple errors popped up. There were also some very convenient coincidences. Alas, it’s fiction, and I’ve had some bizarre coincidences in life, so choose to overlook them. Others may not.

Pick up Confessions of an Alli Cat if you’re looking for an easy, sexy, sassy and absolutely hilarious read. I can’t wait for the next novel in the series!

And please, someone, make this into a movie.

Thank you to CLP Blog Tours for our review copy. All opinions are our own. 

Connect with Courtney Cole:

Monday, February 11, 2013

E loves Me, E loves Me Not by L A Johannesson

3.5 Star

Still single at 39, Kayte Wexford has everything but Mr. Right. With keyboard at the ready, she turns to technology for help.

Kayte dives fingers first into a sea of online dating, instant messaging and email exchanges where she connects with some charming, hilarious, bizarre and downright frightening characters. Each encounter teaches her something and tests her optimism, intuition and commitment, while advancing her that next necessary step in her quest for love.

With so many fish in this cyber-sea, Kayte must decide which ones to toss back, which to reel in and which, if any, should be proudly mounted. Thankfully she doesn’t have to make the journey alone. Her dog Dylan is not only a good listener but a great judge of character, her best friend Chloe is Kayte’s consummate cheerleader, while her friend and cyber coach Roman provides dating tips and hints as he schools Kayte in the lessons required for online dating success.

Sabrina-Kate - 3.5 Star

e loves me e loves me not started off philosophizing about wanting to find love. Something most women can identify with. I know I have put myself in many a questionable circumstance or gone on a date just with the hopes of finding exactly that. The book started off strongly discussing the different ways that women search for love, from singles events, to blind dates to anything and everything in between.

This story focuses on online dating which is definitely a very timely and popular way to meet people and something I have personally tried (and mostly failed at) so I found it entertaining to relive my past experiences through the main characters, which ended up being quite similar in a lot of ways.

It was refreshing to see how Kathleen gets so wrapped up in the online dating world and how her experiences were in line with a lot I experienced. The descriptions of the dates and relationships that she made along the way were so bang on that I am pretty sure the author herself has had some first hand experience as well.

e loves me e loves me not also appealed a lot as it was a sort of coming of age or rediscovering oneself type of story that was well developed and very down to earth. Life can definitely throw us some curve balls but Kathleen handled things with aplomb and was inspiring in her drive to keep things positive. However, at some times the story became a little bit too graphically sexual for what I like to read and I don't think it was necessary for the story and I even feel that it might have taken away from the overall strength of the story.

Thank you to L.A. Johannesson for our review copy. All opinions are our own.

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