Book Review: Three Last First Dates – Kate O’Keefe

Synopsis

When it comes to men, Marissa Jones is totally committed to not being committed. One major heartbreak is enough for her.

Against her better judgment, Marissa agrees to a pact with her friends to marry the next Three Last First Dates (Cozy Cottage Café #3)guy she dates. But she isn’t going to take any chances. For her, it’s a numbers game, and one last first date just isn’t enough. So, she ups the ante–three first dates with three very different guys, all in one day.

But can any of these men live up to her high standards?

Despite a few bumps in the road, from the three, she chooses The One. That is until the motorcycle-riding ex she never got over turns up, changing everything.

In the end, do you choose love or does love choose you?

Three Last First Dates is the third book in the Cozy Cottage Café series, but can be read as a standalone. It features laughter, a total hottie you will fall for, and, of course, a lot of cake! As with all my stories, I guarantee a feel-good, happy ending!

Escape to New Zealand in this fun, feel-good chick lit story.

 

Review

Image result for 2 out of five stars

Thank You to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

DNF at 34%

I was rather excited to go into this book with it being set in New Zealand at all, but within the first few pages I was already struggling. I loved the premise of the book and kind of expected the dates to be a lot bigger deal than they were, instead they seemed to be a mild inconvenience achieved throughout the course of one day. Which ultimately left a whole lot of book left. After that there just seemed to be a lot of discussion regarding the dates and what on earth to do next.

Now the writing itself was good and I found out afterwards it is actually the third book in a series, however it supposedly could be read as a standalone. I’m starting to think I have problems if I read any book in a series out of order as I haven’t particularly liked any that I have read recently. I’m not sure if I would of liked this book if I had enjoyed the first two in the series but as I hadn’t I found myself not really invested in any of the characters. The main problem I had with the book though was with Marissa. I could not get behind her as a character to the point she was seriously irritating me. Not the book for me but I still love the idea behind it.

Rating: 2/5

Would I read again: No

Would I Recommend: No

Would I read another book from this author: No

 

 

 

 

Advertisements

Book Review: Before I Let You Go by Kelly Rimmer

Synopsis

The 2:00 a.m. call is the first time Lexie Vidler has heard her sister’s voice in years. AnnieBefore I Let You Go is a drug addict, a thief, a liar—and in trouble, again. Lexie has always bailed Annie out, given her money, a place to sleep, sent her to every kind of rehab. But this time, she’s not just strung out—she’s pregnant and in premature labor. If she goes to the hospital, she’ll lose custody of her baby—maybe even go to prison. But the alternative is unthinkable.

As weeks unfold, Lexie finds herself caring for her fragile newborn niece while her carefully ordered life is collapsing around her. She’s in danger of losing her job, and her fiancé only has so much patience for Annie’s drama. In court-ordered rehab, Annie attempts to halt her downward spiral by confronting long-buried secrets from the sisters’ childhood, ghosts that Lexie doesn’t want to face. But will the journey heal Annie, or lead her down a darker path?

Both candid and compassionate, Before I Let You Go explores a hotly divisive topic and asks how far the ties of family love can be stretched before they finally break

Review

Image result for 4 and a half stars

Thank You to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is another one of those stories which left me breathless, it is such a powerful story that it’s taken me more than a few days to just really process everything that was going on!

Now this does have the potential for a number of trigger warnings as it deals with drug addiction, sexual abuse and drug related pregnancies, however I felt that it dealt with these in the best possible way. One of the many things that I did love was how well researched the book seems to be, the author writes in such a way that really allows you to feel what it’s like to be in the mind of an addict as well as those closest to them. It gives you the differing perspectives which adds a whole other level of understanding and why characters are reacting in the way that they do.

However that didn’t stop me flipping between rage and understanding at incredible rates, while Lexie may be a doctor, a medical professional she really had no idea on how to help her sister, no matter how hard she tried she tended to end up being an enabler more than anything, which was really difficult to read. Same with Annie, just when I think she is making progress and I want to give her a hug and tell her she’s got this, she makes another decision that makes me want to cry out in disbelief. The emotional roller-coaster was real and as much as I complain it makes for a really great read.

Now I don’t want to write too much for this one as I’m struggling to not just leave a whole lot of spoilers and a whole lot of ranting, but this is definitely a book that will make you think and stay with you long after it’s finished.

 

 

 

Rating: 4.5/5

Would I read again: Yes

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes

 

Book Review: The Last Laugh by Tracy Bloom

 

Synopsis

‘I’ve googled it, how to die,’ Jenny says to Maureen. ‘It was full of climbing this mountain, 36986900swimming that sea, becoming a marathon runner and raising millions for charity.’

‘Sounds like bloody hard work. You can make it more fun than that surely?’

Jenny discovers her days are numbered at the same time she discovers her husband is having an affair…

Frankly, her life was tough enough already. Two tricky teenagers, her mother’s constant complaints, friends who aren’t up to the job and a career which has been spiralling downwards since she won ‘Sunseeker Tour Rep of the Season’ twenty years ago.

And now this: a cheating husband and a death sentence.

Enough is enough. Jenny vows to keep both catastrophes a secret. She takes her life – and death – into her own hands and decides to live as she did when she was happiest… in 1996. She plans a spectacular 1990’s themed party in place of a wake that she herself will attend. But will she be able to keep her secrets for long enough to have the party of a lifetime?

 

Review

Image result for three and a half out of five stars

Thank You to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

Now this is a story that right of the bat tells you it’s probably not gonna have a super happy ending, our main character is diagnosed with terminal cancer right at the start, and this is her story on how she is able to take a good hard look at her life and make the changes she wants to make while she still can. This is of course exacerbated by the fact that she finds our her husband is having an affair. All in all not a good week.

Now it did take me a little while to warm up to Jenny, she was just a little to passive about pretty much everything going on around her and she spends an awful lot of time thinking about how much better everything was in the past. This is something that starts from before her cancer diagnosis and remains a staple-point throughout the story. While I think it was a very understandable reaction to everything that was going on in her life, it did start to get a bit tedious.

What I did like about the book was how the author was able to approach a rather difficult subject and inject it with a whole lot of humor, not only does it lighten what had the potential to be a pretty dark book but it provides a coping mechanism for the character. I really did like the writing throughout the book as I felt I was really able to follow Jenny’s train of thought as she goes through all sorts of different situations, and while I didn’t necessarily agree with everything she was doing/thinking, it was great to have such a clear and concise narrative as to the why. It also gives a clear message of how everyone deals with things differently as well as to not always sweat the small things, as they don’t always matter in the grand scheme of things. The main thing I did love about the book though was the way the author was able to not make everything about the cancer diagnosis, something in which Jenny was adamant about as well!

Rating: 3.5/5

Would I read again: No

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Probably

 

Book Review: The Would-Be Mommy – Jacqueline Diamond

Synopsis

From the moment he arrives at Safe Harbor Medical, Ian Martin is on infant overload.The Would-Be Mommy (Safe Harbor Medical #1) But the story he’s covering gets a lot more interesting when the adventure-seeking reporter meets Jennifer Serra, an intriguing PR director who has created a stir by taking home one of the center’s unwanted newborns!Jennifer has always wanted a child of her own. Her dream becomes thrilling reality when she agrees to temporarily–permanently?–be a mother to a sweet baby girl. Ian could complete the picture–Jennifer sees how easily he bonds with little Rosalie.

But just when she begins to look at Ian as potential father material, the dashing journalist dredges up a scandal from Jennifer’s past that could jeopardize her plans for adoption…and for a future with Ian…

Review

Image result for four and half stars

Thank You to the Author for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

I started reading this book in the mood for a short and sweet romance, and that’s exactly what I got! It was the kind of book that sucked you in straight away and you immediately wanted to find out more. I think one of the main reasons for this was the likability of the characters, I found them easy to like and to rally behind from the beginning. Jennifer especially as she was more often then not just trying to make the best out of every situation.

In regards to the story itself it was a lot more in-depth then I had initially thought it would be, as I mentioned above I went into this expecting a short but sweet romance story with a few obstacles in the way before they got their happily ever after, however the book provided more than a few surprises along the way with a far more in depth character development and background than I was expecting which I really enjoyed. It also provided at credible twist to the story which really brought everything together while still being something I hadn’t expected.

Something else which I hadn’t been expecting was the way it managed to bring up a lot of important issues throughout the novel, motherhood and providing the best life for babies I think was the core issue, however it also puts an interesting light on the influence of not only social media but how news articles and so on can effect public opinion. In regards to the romance part of the story their is a bit of instalove but not to the extent of head of heels first meeting but instead I felt it worked really well within the story. The only thing I would of liked to of seen more of was some more story and development of other characters, however as this is part of a series (#17 so far!) I’m guessing they may have a story of their own! Definitely a series I want to check out more of and a great Beach and Wine kinda read.

Rating: 4.5/5

Would I read again: Yes

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes

 

 

 

Married to a Cave Man – Damien Owens

Synopsis

Married to a Cave Man

Three young couples doing their best to keep the magic alive amid the nappies, bills and dirty dishes in recession-hit Dublin. When each of these husbands decides that he deserves a man cave simmering tensions come to the boil. A heartfelt comic novel about the trials of modern marriage.

Review

Image result for three out of five stars image

 

Thank You to NetGalley and the publishers for providing me with a free copy in exchange for an honest review.

This is a story of three married couples as they try to deal with various different aspects in their married life. What ends up tying them all together is ‘the man cave’, that little area for the men to relax, unwind, whatever they may need.

What I liked at the very start was how the author introduced the couples, which was of course their first meeting, I loved this because although a short introductory chapter it gives you a vital piece of history as well as letting you know what everyone thought of each other at first glance. For me that really drew me into the story, most likely as I’m incredible nosy and love to find out how things turn out.

After we did get past the initial meetings and onto the real nitty gritty parts, I did find it hard at times to keep up with who was who, now there are six characters main characters to follow and just for the first few chapters at least I did struggle a tad to remember who was married to who. Once I did figure all that out, it was easy to see the different dynamics, different struggles and different personalities which were all fairly fleshed out. It did also lead to a lot more internal screaming towards every single character as no one was able to see any of the problems their spouses were facing. Now this might just be because as a reader it can be pretty easy to tell what’s going on, especially with all that internal dialogue, but my goodness I was definitely getting more than a little irritated at times.

It did however give a pretty good and pretty honest depiction of what a relationship can really be like, without all the romance and when life really decides to kick you while your down. It also gives a valid depiction of what can happen in a relationship when both partners let pride get in the way and stubbornness of course. Now even though this was a well written book, I just couldn’t really lose myself in it and I can’t really pinpoint why, I feel as if the points the author was going for were well received, as mentioned it gives an accurate depiction of struggles people face, but it didn’t have the certain factor that allowed me to completely lose myself in the book. This may just be me though. I was really hoping that the ending would knock my socks of and all would be forgiven but I only kind of liked how one couple was able to resolve their problems. If anything I wouldn’t of minded an epilogue to find out how the characters were doing down the road, but once again that may just be my overall nosiness!

 

Rating: 3/5

Would I read again: No

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Probably

 

 

 

Book Review: Life After Joe by Ann Benjamin

Synopsis

When the love of your life leaves, where do you go?

When thirty-something Liz McNeil is unexpectedly widowed, she has no idea what to do

Life After Joe

with her life. After the initial shock of her husband’s death wears off, she packs up her car and sets off on a tour of the country with Joe’s urn in the passenger seat. Using social media to connect with a variety of friends and family, Liz works through her grief in a number of unpredictable methods. As she shares her experience via blog posts, on a road trip full of surprises, Liz takes what life has given her and makes the best of her situation.

Will Liz ever be able to experience love again? Readers of P.S. I Love You will definitely be interested in the journey of this courageous young woman and her struggle for a new normal.

Review

Image result for four out of five stars

Life after Joe is a bittersweet story about an unexpected widow and her efforts to regain control of her life after the absolute worst thing could possibly happen. Now at this point in my life, I haven’t lost someone I am truly close too, this is something I am incredibly grateful for, especially after reading through the roller-coaster of emotions that poor Liz has to work through.

As the synopsis states, Liz begins to try and find some sense in her new life by starting a blog, which is the format for how the book was written. This is something I really enjoyed reading through especially with how well the blog posts were written. It really gave it a sense that we were following someone on a journey as they wrote down their ‘raw’ thoughts and emotions. (It also might have something to do with how much I like writing and reading blogs!)

It also wasn’t a book that just focused on the sadness and turmoil Liz was feeling but there was points of happiness, hope and understanding. It was a story where it was just as easy to laugh as it was to cry. I didn’t feel that everything that happened to Liz was completely believable, but her emotions and how she reacted to her surroundings definitely were. In regards to the characters, I did sometimes get a tad confused just because as Liz travels around we are introduced to a lot of them, and because of this not many got a great deal of character development, but I think in a book like this the development and journey of the main character was much more important, which kind of let everyone else get away with it.

Overall it was a very enjoyable read, and as the synopsis mentioned anyone that was a fan of P.S I Love You will most likely adore this book as well!

Rating: 4/5

Would I read again: No

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes

About the Author:

A little about me? So glad you asked. I am an author and ex-pat living in Dubai, UAE. I enjoy travel, am obsessed with Pinterest, love the musical Newsies, support UGA football, and recently embarked on a career as a freelance writer. You may recognize me from my other writing persona, Courtney Brandt, author of six young adult marching novels.

If you are interested you can buy the book here or download it for free if you have Kindle Unlimited.

The Husband’s Secret – Liane Moriarty

“None of us ever know all the possible courses our lives could have and maybe should have taken. It’s probably just as well. Some secrets are meant to stay secret forever. Just ask Pandora.”

Goodreads Synopsis:

At the heart of The Husband’s Secret is a letter that’s not meant to be readThe Husband's Secret

My darling Cecilia, if you’re reading this, then I’ve died…

Imagine that your husband wrote you a letter, to be opened after his death. Imagine, too, that the letter contains his deepest, darkest secret—something with the potential to destroy not just the life you built together, but the lives of others as well. Imagine, then, that you stumble across that letter while your husband is still very much alive. . . .

Cecilia Fitzpatrick has achieved it all—she’s an incredibly successful businesswoman, a pillar of her small community, and a devoted wife and mother. Her life is as orderly and spotless as her home. But that letter is about to change everything, and not just for her: Rachel and Tess barely know Cecilia—or each other—but they too are about to feel the earth-shattering repercussions of her husband’s secret.

Review:

Image result for five out of five stars

This was one of those books that I found I was completely sucked in from the first page, it was interesting, easy to read and while it took a bit to introduce all three characters, I didn’t find myself bored or my attention wavering. In regards to the plot not gonna lie the beginning did start of a bit slow however I found that I did enjoy the pace as I liked getting to know the characters, this might be a bit of a turn of for others though as it kind of drip feeds you the information and once I knew the backgrounds and what not I could guess what ‘secret’ was in the letter. What I couldn’t guess was the reactions and repercussions of those reactions throughout the rest of the book. The ending is not something that I remotely saw coming and it showed the author was willing to not let things go to a happy ending just cos.

As I mentioned above the pace isn’t the fastest so there is quite a bit of character development, I wasn’t sure how I felt about Cecilia at first she was a bit too perfect and above the others, which was shown more clearly through the others reactions to her. I did feel a little bit mean at the satisfaction I got when things started to full apart for her. The other two I felt where stronger characters but they did have their moments where they annoyed me, but hey we’re all flawed I guess. One of the most unique aspects of the book though (and probably the reason I enjoyed it so much) was it’s exploration of the ‘what if’ concept. It’s the only book I have read which has gone into what would of happened it things had just gone another path, how everyone’s lives would be different. More to the point I’m really nosy so having that laid out as opposed to using my imagination was a nice change haha. Overall a great immersive read.

Rating: 5/5

Would I read again: Yes

Would I Recommend: Yes

Would I read another book from this author: Yes