Chick Lit

Loving Mr. Darcy: Journeys Beyond Pemperly (Darcy Saga #2)

Loving Mr. Darcy

Summary:

Beyond Pride and Prejudice…Beyond 'I Do'…

Darcy and Lizzy venture away from Pemberley to journey through England, finding friends, relatives, fun, love, and an even deeper and more sacred bond along the way.

Having embarked on the greatest adventure of all, marriage and the start of a new life together, now the Darcys take the reader on a journey through a time of prosperity, enjoyment, and security. They experience all the adventures of travel, with friends and relatives providing both 

companionship and complications, and with fun as their focus.

The sights and sounds, tastes and flavors of Regency England come alive. Through it all, Darcy and Lizzy continue to build a marriage filled with romance, sensuality, and the beauty of a deep, abiding love. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

While many would find this book complete blasphemy, it eventually won me over with time.  Initially I was a bit taken aback as there are some significant departures from regency England (particularly intimate references), yet somehow it works.  It’s lovely to see Darcy and Elizabeth making a life for themselves and having a sneak peak to their “happy ever after” as it were.

I can’t say that there’s a specific plot that the book follows so I’d almost say it’s a meandering storyline of the Darcy’s lives and how they settle into new responsibilities and changes.  There is some minor conflict, but nothing major.  If you are an Austen devotee I’m not sure this book would be for you, but if you’re a romance fan who also enjoys Austen I think this will be more up your alley.

Warning: Contains repeated sexual content.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it? Romance fans who also love Jane Austen.

Want to read the whole series?

  • Darcy & Elizabeth: A Season of Courtship (Darcy Saga #0.5)
  • Mr. & Mrs. Fitzwilliam Darcy: Two Shall Become One (Darcy Saga #1)
  • My Dearest Mr. Darcy (Darcy Saga #3)
  • In the Arms of Mr. Darcy (Darcy Saga #4)
  • The Trouble with Mr. Darcy (Darcy Saga #5)
  • Miss Darcy Falls in Love
  • The Passions of Dr. Darcy

Simply from Scratch

Simply from Scratch

Summary:

Alicia Bessette writes with compassion and tenderness to illuminate the many unexpected ways people save each others' lives every day-often without even knowing it. Poignant, bittersweet, and strikingly honest, “Simply from Scratch” is a radiant celebration of friendship and the strength of the human spirit.

Rose-Ellen ("Zell") Carmichael Roy wears her late husband Nick's camouflage apron even when she's not in the kitchen. That's her widow style.

It's been over a year since Nick died tragically during a post-Katrina relief mission in New Orleans. Long enough, according to the grief pamphlets, to have begun to move on with her life. But Zell is still unable to enter her attic, which is full of Nick memories. She hasn't even turned on her oven because cooking was Nick's chore. That is, until she decides to enter the first annual “Desserts that Warm the Soul” baking contest, hoping to donate the grand prize to Katrina survivors in Nick's memory.

Meanwhile, Zell's nine-year-old neighbor, Ingrid Knox, is learning to cope with the loneliness of growing up without a mother. With an imagination as big as her heart, Ingrid treasures her doting father but begins to plot how she will meet the woman who abandoned her so many years ago. When an embarrassing baking mishap brings Zell and Ingrid together, they form an unlikely friendship that will alter both of their lives forever. Together, and with the help of a lively and loveable cast of friends and family, Zell and Ingrid embark on winning the “Desserts that Warm the Soul” contest - and learn that through the many sorrows and joys of life, with a little bit of flour and a pinch of love, anything is possible.  (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Please note: I received a free copy of this book courtesy of the publisher and I voluntarily chose to write a review

Review:

Initially I wasn’t sure how this book was going to work out as it has quite a sad premise, but I was quickly pulled into the story.  Zell is a mess and recognizes that.  We meet up with her as she tries once again to pull things together and pretend to have more of a normal life in front of her new neighbors.  Seeing Zell and Ingrid bond and get into big cooking explosions brings them both back to life and I enjoyed seeing them both open up to the world.

I thought the flashbacks and letters interspersed into the story gave it a depth beyond a simple “chick lit” book.  Zell’s unflinching view to where she is in the stages of grief makes the book feel more like real life: real grit, real moments of failure and really slow moments of growth.  People aren’t perfect and it was refreshing not to have another predictable book with things fixed with a big bow on top.  I’d highly recommend this one for a feel good read with a touch of cooking flare.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it? Fans of books involving cooking, recovery and rebirth.

The Devil Wears Prada

The Devil Wears Prada

Summary:

A delightfully dishy novel about the all-time most impossible boss in the history of impossible bosses. 

Andrea Sachs, a small-town girl fresh out of college, lands the job “a million girls would die for.” Hired as the assistant to Miranda Priestly, the high-profile, fabulously successful editor of "Runway "magazine, Andrea finds herself in an office that shouts "Prada! Armani! Versace!" at every turn, a world populated by impossibly thin, heart-wrenchingly stylish women and beautiful men clad in fine-ribbed turtlenecks and tight leather pants that show off their lifelong dedication to the gym. With breathtaking ease, Miranda can turn each and every one of these hip sophisticates into a scared, whimpering child. 

“The Devil Wears Prada” gives a rich and hilarious new meaning to complaints about “The Boss from Hell.” Narrated in Andrea’s smart, refreshingly disarming voice, it traces a deep, dark, devilish view of life at the top only hinted at in gossip columns and over Cosmopolitans at the trendiest cocktail parties. From sending the latest, not-yet-in-stores Harry Potter to Miranda’s children in Paris by private jet, to locating an unnamed antique store where Miranda had at some point admired a vintage dresser, to serving lattes to Miranda at precisely the piping hot temperature she prefers, Andrea is sorely tested each and every day—and often late into the night with orders barked over the phone. She puts up with it all by keeping her eyes on the prize: a recommendation from Miranda that will get Andrea a top job at any magazine of her choosing. As things escalate from the merely unacceptable to the downright outrageous, however, Andrea begins to realize that the job a million girls would die for may just kill her. And even if she survives, she has to decide whether or not the job is worth the price of her soul. (Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Review:

This is one of those rare occasions that the movie is better than the book.  In the movie Andy is funny, endearing and relatable, but in the book she comes off as a pretty awful friend and kind of a flake.  Ignoring your best friend and boyfriend, even if you’re busy, when they’re going through some intense things is not ok.

That being said, there were definitely some funny moments that I enjoyed and I certainly didn’t hate the book.  Miranda Priestly cracked me up multiple ties.  I do have to say, I think Andy was over-reacting a few times, but if you suspend real life for a little while it’s definitely more entertaining!  Wouldn’t necessarily warn people away, but not what you’re getting with the movie so I’d steer you in that direction first.

Rating: 3 stars!

Who should read it? Chick lit fans who think the premise is slightly less than ridiculous – you are the ones that will enjoy it the most.

Want to read the whole series?

  • Revenge Wears Prada: The Devil Returns (The Devil Wears Prada #2)

 

The Family Man (Part 2)

The Family Man

Summary:

When life hands lemons to Beth Beverley, she makes mouthwatering lemon squares. Mostly because they're coveted by the sexy single dad who owns Belmont's most popular coffee shop. But that's where her crush on Griffin has to end. Her sweet treats are selling like crazy cakes in his shop, and she doesn't mix business with pleasure. Too bad his sinful smile has her flirting with the idea of forever.

Griffin Hall definitely needs to keep his eyes--and his hands--off Beth. Since he's traded in late-night gigs and partying for bedtime stories with his little girl in his arms, he doesn't have time for anything else. So why does Beth's big heart and easy way with his daughter make him finally feel alive again? But there's a little secret Beth doesn't know, something he can't bear to tell her . . .(Summary and cover courtesy of goodreads.com)

Please note: I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review courtesy of the author.

Review:

In this book we get another book in the same universe as “The Wedding Date”, but you certainly can read this one as a standalone without any problem.  Beth is completely unique and I love her passion for everything in life.  She has the most contagious enthusiasm even if you’re just reading about her!  I wish we had gotten a little more of a chance to get to know each of the characters before they got together…or perhaps a little more of the early dating?  They seemed to fall into each other pretty quickly, but that is only a minor observation.

Eadon does a great job articulating the complications that are involved when dating with a munchkin in the picture and it’s good see them each making Griffin’s daughter the priority.  Beth’s quirky view on life had me uplifted my whole day and inspired to tackle a few new projects.  I’d definitely recommend it for a quick and fun read!

Warning: Contains some sexual content.

Rating: 4 stars!

Who should read it? Romance fans looking for something light and fun with some heart-warming and endearing characters.

Want to read the whole series?

  • The Wedding Date (Part 1)