My list of recent reads is smaller than I'd like...but I'm always looking for good books!
Summary: Nell McNamara has a happy life: her boyfriend Olly adores her, their four-year-old daughter Petal is the center of their world, and Nell has a steady job in the local chip shop. When the chippy needs a makeover, Nell jumps at the chance to unleash the creativity fizzing inside her. Inspired by what she can achieve—and encouraged by the very best friends a girl can have—Nell is determined to try something new. Waving goodbye to the chip shop, she starts up a new business making her own line of must-have handbags, which are soon flying off the shelves. It seems Nell's dreams are finally coming true, but her success doesn't come without a price. Before too long, Nell has to ask herself if it's really possible to have it all.
What I think... It was a good book. I can't say that it was in my top 10, or even my top 50...but it was a solid book. Most people can identify with Nell wanting to explore her talent and grow - but not lose who she is, her friends or family.
Summary: Inside their picture-perfect homes, the residents of this quiet California suburb are not at all what they seem.
Lance is a former weatherman, now a buff yogi, stay-athome dad, and manager of his daughter’s Girl Scout troop’s cookie distribution. Belle is his precocious and quick-witted daughter. Darlene is a classic Type A work-a-holic, she has little time or patience for the needs of her husband and daughter
And just down the street are Alec and Wren. Alec, a womanizing businessman, is also the financial backer—and sometimes more—behind Darlene’s burgeoning empire. Meanwhile, Wren is a doting mother and talented yogi, ready to lay down the mat for a quick session with Lance.
As looming Santa Ana winds threaten to turn brushfires into catastrophe;Playdate proves that relationships are complicated and the bonds between families, spouses and children are never quite what they seem. What happens next door, beyond the hedges, in the romper room and executive office—it’s all as combustible as a quick brushfire on a windy day.
What I think... While I applaud the author for swapping the gender roles that are stereo-typically seen, I was not a big fan of this book. It's light and fluffy, making for a decent beach read, but I had issues with how disconnected each family was and the author's approach to inter-marital affairs.
Summary: When widow Cass's mother announces she needs to move in with her - along with sexy toyboy Rocco - Cass is horrified. It might be temporary, but the last time she lived with her mother she was a tearaway teen accustomed to illicit trysts with unsuitable boys. Now the tables have turned and mother Nita is the one behaving badly!
What I think... This book got off to a slow start. OK, I had to keep pushing myself through the first 100 pages. I think if the characters had been developed more, it would have been an easier read at the beginning. However, by the end, I was fairly invested and did enjoy the ending.
Summary: Lara Madigan has a gift. She can help you find your soulmate—your canine soulmate, that is. As a dog trainer with a soft spot for strays, she’s found perfect homes for sulky Shih Tzus, broken-down Border collies, and diabolical Dalmatians. But while she’ll always make room for one more rescue mutt, she’s not sure she’s ready to commit to another human being. Especially after her live-in boyfriend drops the bomb: He’s not a dog person.
Horrified and temporarily homeless, Lara and her furry pack move in with her mother, a wealthy fashionista who forbids even a single drop of drool. As word gets around the exclusive gated community, Lara is overwhelmed with demands for her services. A model wants personal training for her overweight “flabrador”; an aging socialite preps her pedigreed puppy for dog show domination… If Lara can survive the breakup, the outrageous requests of her high-maintenance clientele, and her dogs’ systematically destruction of her mother’s McMansion, she might finally find the rescue dog who rescues her in return– leading her straight to the guy who could be her perfect match.
What I think... This isn't my first Beth Kendrick book. I really enjoy her characters and her style of writing. It was fun, a quick read and I'm a sucker for any books that have animals in them! While Beth Kendrick's books do technically fall into the "chic lit" silo, she does a great job exploring relationship and in this case, mother/daughter dynamics.
Summary: 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.
Acclaimed author Liane Moriarty has written a gripping, thought-provoking novel about how well it is really possible to know our spouses—and, ultimately, ourselves.
What I think... I loved this book. It does have quite a few characters to keep straight (it gets easier a few chapters in) as the book is structured to have three main characters. I was shocked at the secret, the stories of how everyone is interconnected and how lives were changed first by the events surrounding the secret and ultimately how their lives progressed because of it.
What should be on my reading list?
Still an Amazon Associate, peeps. But you all know I won't recommend anything I don't believe in...and you can read from my review that I'm only really recommending two of today's five books.