Chick Lit

Finding the Dream (Dream Trilogy #3)

Finding the Dream

Summary:

In the final novel of Nora Roberts’s Dream Trilogy, Laura struggles to mend a broken heart and broken family—until someone from her past makes all of her dreams come true … 

Laura Templeton found out the hard way that nothing in life is guaranteed. The daughter of a wealthy hotelier, she had always known comfort, privilege, and security. But by the age of thirty, her storybook marriage had been destroyed by her husband’s infidelity. Laura’s divorce left her both emotionally and financially devastated—but determined to rebuild her life without the Templeton fortune. 

Laura had always defined herself as a wife, a daughter, or a mother. Now, she must finally discover Laura the woman ...(Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

At first, I thought this was the weakest book in the series, but the finale of the book pulls it through into being just as good.  Laura can come across almost like a pushover simply because she lets her strength shine through in a subtler way.  With the fallout of all the chaos of her marriage she’s forced to face some unfortunate decisions and Mick doesn’t see that right away.

Mick drove me nuts before he was able to see a little more clearly and, in fact, I really dislike some of his internal dialogue around Laura.  That being said, he’s forgiven as he gets quite a few shoves in the right direction from everyone around him.  The Templeton family up in the house has their eye on Laura and Mick, for better or for worse, and in that way this book reminded me of the “In the Garden” series by Roberts as well.  I think Roberts wraps up the series in a somewhat predictable, but very satisfying way that left me content with the way things turned out.

Warning: contains repeated sexual content.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Fans of the previous two books, if you don’t start with those the ending of this book isn’t going to fit very well!

Want to read the whole series?

Holding the Dream (Dream Trilogy #2)

Holding the Dream

Summary:

On the fast track to a partnership with her accountancy firm, Kate is stunned when she is fired for suspected embezzlement.  Forced to cope with the sudden reversal of fortune, Kate returns to Pretenses, the exquisite boutique run by her friend Margo and sister Laura.  But when persistent, persuasive Byron de Witt enters her life, the flames of passion he ignites begin to burn as brightly as her all-consuming career ambitions... (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

Kate is someone I could easily relate to as I know I’ve been known to organize too much and be a bit too focused on “what are the next steps” for the master plan.  In this book, Roberts explores what happens when you’re forced to slow down and assess what’s really important in life.  I think that Kate is someone that no one wants to become, but can easily slide into with the crazy pace of modern life.  It’s important to make time for yourself.

I do love Byron’s heavy handed good intentions and even more when Kate calls him on it.  He accepts that life can be messy and that sometimes it’s for the better because of it.  The setup with the house it even all the more perfect.

Warning: contains repeated sexual content.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Romance fans looking for something with a strong female friendship.  The context will make more sense if you’ve started with the first in the series,.

Want to read the whole series?

Daring to Dream (Dream Trilogy #1)

Daring to Dream

Summary:

Margo, Kate and Laura were brought up like sisters amidst the peerless grandeur of Templeton House. But it was Margo whose dreams first took her far away . . . 

Margo Sullivan had everything a young woman could ask for. But while growing up along the rocky cliffs of Monterey, she couldn't help but dream of bigger things. The daughter of the Templeton's stern Irish housekeeper, Margo had been treated like a member of the family. Deep down, she knew that money could not buy the thing she craved most -- her mother's acceptance. 

Maybe things would be different if she could be sweet like Laura -- or had Kate's shrewd head for business. But all Margo knew how to do was be Margo, and that meant doing things her own way -- no matter what the consequences…(Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

Margo can be so annoying and so lovable at the same time.  The reason this book gets such a high ranking for me is because Margo also has so much successful growth and is able to constantly come back to the things that are the most important in life.

The characters in the book wouldn’t be themselves if they didn’t have their friendship among the three of them.  I like that each of them has to defend on each other at different times and that the three of them are stronger together.  As Margo has to learn to navigate the new approach in life “like anyone else” it’s fantastic to see how it all comes together.

I’d definitely recommend this series who wants a great book about changing the direction of your life, a strong friendship and a strong dose of romance.

Warning: contains repeated sexual content.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Romance fans that need a book with strong female friendship in their life.

Want to read the whole series?

Whispering in French

Whispering in French

Summary:

Award-winning romance author Sophia Nash makes her women’s fiction debut with a beautifully crafted, funny, and life-affirming story set in the Atlantic seaside region of France, as one woman returns to France to sell her family home and finds an unexpected chance to start over—perfect for fans of “Le Divorce” and “The Little Paris Bookshop”.

Home is the last place Kate expected to find herself…

As a child, Kate Hamilton was packed off each summer to her grandfather’s ivy-covered villa in southern France. That ancestral home, named Marthe Marie, is now crumbling, and it falls to Kate—regarded as the most responsible and practical member of her family—to return to the rugged, beautiful seaside region to confront her grandfather’s debts and convince him to sell.

Kate makes her living as a psychologist and life coach, but her own life is in as much disarray as Marthe Marie. Her marriage has ended, and she’s convinced that she has failed her teenaged daughter, Lily, in unforgiveable ways. While delving into colorful family history and the consequences of her own choices, Kate reluctantly agrees to provide coaching to Major Edward Soames, a British military officer suffering with post-traumatic stress. Breaking through his shell, and dealing with idiosyncratic locals intent on viewing her as an Americanized outsider, will give Kate new insight into who—and where—she wants to be. The answers will prove as surprising as the secrets that reside in the centuries-old villa.

Witty and sophisticated, rich in history and culture, Sophia Nash’s novel vividly evokes both its idyllic French setting and the universal themes of self-forgiveness and rebuilding in a story as touching as it is wise.  (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Please note: I received a free copy of this book courtesy of TLC Book Tours and I voluntarily chose to write a review.

Review:

I really enjoy books where the character goes through a transformational change for the better and identifies ways to have a little contentment in their lives.  Kate is a mess, no way around that, and is holding things together by a thread.  As the sole voice of reason trying to get her family back on track, she finds it’s her family is who gets her back on track.

This book was evocative of the culture, region and weather of the area, which made the book deeper than a superficial book on a chick who become a better person.  Some of my favorite moments are between Kate and Edward where it’s a fight for the truth, and nothing but the truth, no matter how painful that may be.  I found the book had me thinking deeper than expected and would recommend this one to anyone.

Rating: 5 stars!

Who should read it? Folks who like books with characters who go through transformational changes and find contentment in the process.