Sunday, July 3, 2022

Sunday Skim

 

Week of 6/26/2022:

Finished:






Currently Reading:





Looking Forward To:






I enjoyed American Royalty much more than I thought. I'm not big into the British Monarchy and was hoping it wouldn't be just a cookie cutter of Meghan and Harry; it wasn't. It is pretty steamy as well. The Book of Cold Cases was a great audiobook which is how I've done all of her novels and probably will continue that way as well. Her stories just seem to translate well to audio for me. 

I'm hoping this holiday weekend allows me some time to read and relax. I also want to finish Pieces of Her and The Lincoln Lawyer on Netflix which are both based on books. 


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Saturday, July 2, 2022

Julie's Review: Gilt

Author: Jamie Brenner
Series: None
Publication Date: June 21, 2022
Publisher: Putnam
Pages: 328
Obtained: publisher via NetGalley
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: I love me some family drama and this delivers
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab

Summary: The Pavlin family built an empire on love. As the first jewelers to sell diamond rings exclusively for proposals, they started a tradition that has defined engagements ever since. But when an ill-fated publicity stunt pits the three Pavlin sisters against one another for a famous family jewel, their bond is broken. No ordinary diamond ring, the Electric Rose splinters the sisters, leaving one unlucky in love, one escaping to the shores of Cape Cod, and the other, ultimately, dead. Now, over a decade later, Gemma Maybrook is still reconciling the reality of her mother's death. Left orphaned and cast out by her family after the tragic accident, Gemma is ready to reclaim what should have been hers: the Electric Rose. And, as a budding jewelry designer in her own right, Gemma isn't just planning on recovering her mother's lost memento, she's coming back for everything. From Manhattan’s tony Fifth Avenue to the vibrant sands of Provincetown, Gilt follows the Pavlin women as they are forced to confront the mistakes of the past if they have any hope of finding love and happiness of their own. ~amazon.com 

Review: Jamie Brenner has never let me down with one of her novels and Gilt isn't any different. Its the story of a family that is dealing with a legacy that means different things to the 3 Generations of women to inherit it.  Celeste, the oldest, escapes her family to carve out her own life. Elodie, the middle sister who can’t let go of the hurt and pain of the past; and Gemma, who doesn’t know these women but is connected to them by blood. 

Each of them has to find away to reconcile the past and move toward the future with each other. Celeste has to let go of the guilt she has carried with her and her superstitions about marriage. If she doesn't, she'll lose everything she loves and worked hard for. Elodie, is bitter from something that happened decades ago and can't seem to let go, but if she doesn't she'll lose the family business. Then there is Gemma, the niece was was blackballed by the family for reasons she's never understood but has made her independent in a way she wouldn't know otherwise. 

The family business brings them together to get over the past and plan for the future. They have to learn how to be a family and relate to each other. There are love stories for all 3 of the women in the book but it just stresses the importance of family. 

This book harkened back to some of my favorite novels of the 80s by Danielle Steele. Which then inspired me to buy 4 of my favorites with their classic covers. 

If you've never read Jamie, then I highly suggest picking up her novels and she has quite the awesome backlist as well. 



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Friday, July 1, 2022

Monthly Rewind - June 2022



* Denotes Audiobooks

Home Run (You should run and get this): 






*




Triple (You really don't want to miss it):


*

*




Double (You could get on the waiting list at the library and be ok):





Single (Wait it out): N/A





Strike Outs (Don't bother):  N/A



Another great month for books. Jamie Brenner's writing and novels just keeps getting better with each novel, so I can't wait to see what she has for me in 2023. Again, audiobooks have been my saving grace this month due to a busy June. July doesn't slow down either but I'm hoping some long weekends will help me get some good reading in. 

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Sunday, June 26, 2022

Sunday Skim

 

Week of 6/19/2022:

Finished:





Currently Reading:






Looking Forward To:







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Friday, June 24, 2022

Julie's Review: The Beach Trap

Author: Ali Brady
Series: None
Publication Date:  June 14, 2022
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 384
Obtained: publisher via Netgalley
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction
Rating: 4.5/5
Bottom Line: Families are complex
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab
Summary: When twelve-year-olds Kat Steiner and Blake O’Neill meet at Camp Chickawah, they have an instant connection. But everything falls apart when they learn they’re not just best friends—they’re also half sisters. Confused and betrayed, the girls break off all contact. Fifteen years later, when their father dies suddenly, Kat and Blake discover he’s left them a joint inheritance: the family beach house in Destin, Florida. The two sisters are immediately at odds. Blake, who has recently been demoted from regular nanny to dog nanny, wants to sell the house, while social media influencer Kat is desperate to hold on to the place where she lived so many happy memories. Kat and Blake reluctantly join forces to renovate the dilapidated house, with the understanding that Kat will try to buy Blake out at the end of the summer. The women clash as Blake’s renovation plans conflict with Kat’s creative vision; meanwhile, each sister finds herself drawn into a summer romance. As the weeks pass, the two women realize the most difficult project they face this summer will be coming to grips with their shared past—and learning how to become sisters. ~amazon.com 

Review: Blake and Kat meet when they are 12 and develop a strong bond but only to be ripped about by discovering they have the same father. Kat viewed it as a betrayal from Blake and Blake was too stunned to understand what was going on, only that she came face to face with the man who deserted her when her mom died.

Fast-forward to 15 years, when their dad has died and left both of them the family beach house in Florida. For Kat, there's more surprises when her dad dies and things she has to reconcile. They each have grand plans for the house and for very different reasons. Kat is upset because she has to figure out what to do with the house with Blake.

Blake and Kat couldn't be more different but with this dilapidated beach house they have no choice but to figure out how to communicate. How are they going to do the renovations with little money? How will they live under the same roof as each other? They come up with a plan where they alternate weeks at the house and Blake wants to do most of the work.

There's a lot of emotion in this novel for both Blake and Kat but for different reasons. At first I found Kat vapid (I think that was the point) but realized that she had a good heart and was working her way through her own issues. It was easier for her to blame Blake and not the father she had tried so hard to please. 

For Blake, she loved growing up with her grandparents but still deals with abandonment issues and needs to come to terms with the fact that part of Kat's family is hers as well. She has just as much of a right to the beach house as Kat does. It is part of her legacy. 

As someone who watches HGtv but has no clue how to do anything, I was super impressed with Blake's now-how for renovating a house. Kat had some great design/color ideas as well. So, their skill sets did compliment each other. 

I highly recommend The Beach Trap as a summer read but beware you might want to buy your own and fix it up. 







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Wednesday, June 22, 2022

Julie's Review: As Seen on Tv

Author: Meredith Schorr
Series: None
Publication Date:  June 7, 2022
Publisher: Forever
Pages: 352
Obtained: publisher via Netgalley
Genre:  Contemporary Fiction; Contemporary Romance
Rating: 5/5
Bottom Line: Nothing is what it is on tv
Grab, Just get it at the library, or Remove from your TBR list? Grab

Summary: Emerging journalist Adina Gellar is done with dating in New York City. If she's learned anything from made-for-TV romance movies, it's that she'll find love in a small town - the kind with harvest festivals, delightful but quirky characters, and scores of delectable single dudes. So when a big-city real estate magnate targets tiny Pleasant Hollow for development, Adi knows she's found the perfect story - one that will earn her a position at a coveted online magazine, so she can finally start adulting for real...and maybe even find her dream man in the process. Only Pleasant Hollow isn't exactly "pleasant." There's no charming bakery, no quaint seasonal festivals, and the residents are more ambivalent than welcoming. The only upside is Finn Adams, who's more mouthwatering than the homemade cherry pie Adi can't seem to find - even if he does work for the company she'd hoped to bring down. Suddenly Adi has to wonder if maybe TV got it all wrong after all. But will following her heart mean losing her chance to break into the big time? ~amazon.com

Review: I admit I am not a Hallmark movie watcher but I do love my rom-coms, so when I read the summary of As Seen on Tv, I knew it would be in my wheelhouse. I can tell you that it definitely didn't disappoint. Adi is determined to start her career as a reporter by coming up with a great story about finding community and love in a small town because isn't that what happens in the tv movies or shows? So when the opportunity comes up for her to go to a small town where a big development is going in; she can't resist and promises her editor a great story. 

Except of course Pleasant Hollow isn't pleasant and no one is really against the development going in. They haven't banded together to take down the evil developer and worst of all, there is no pie. Doesn't every small town have a bakery/diner with pie?! What about the cute handyman, the perky bed and breakfast owner? None of those exist but what does is a lot of glares at Adi and unfriendly local folk;  except one bright spot in Finn Adams.

What I loved about the book is how Adi had to change her view of things to get to the real story she needed to write. How she had to get rid of the fantasy and live in the real world when it came to love, romance and life. Her best friends and mom are excellent characters as well and help Adi come to understand the path she's on. 

This is definitely a novel to pick up if you are in the mood for a fun and meaningful romance. 



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