The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo: A Review

IMG_4577The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

Taylor Jenkins Reid

400 pages

June, 2017

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth. Goodreads Synopsis

 

This was my first Taylor Jenkins Reid novel, the first being One True Loves.  I was ecstatic when the mailman had delivered this beauty to my door!

However, reading the book left me wanting more. Parts throughout the book I became bored.  This makes me sad to even say because it really is a good book and story, I just wanted something more from it.

 

 

For me, this is one of those books that I come to appreciate more after the words on the page have sunk in and settled.

I loved the strength that Evelyn possesses and tries to imprint on Monique.  I think every woman can gain something from Evelyn Hugo!

Taylor Jenkins Reid created such a realistic story that I found myself googling some of the characters because I just knew they were true Hollywood starlets.  (not so spoiler alert: it’s all fiction)

I think fans of Taylor Jenkins Reid and general women’s lit will be pleased with The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo.

The Foxe & The Hound Blog Tour


I had the honor of reading an ARC of The Foxe &The Hound.  It was my first R.S. Grey novel, and I can promise you it will not be my last.  Such a cute little romance story (some graphic love scenes, but not over powering to the book) It was the perfect book to kick off my summer reading!  If you are a contemporary or romance fan, do yourself a favor and pick this up today!!!
THE FOXE & THE HOUND

by R.S. Grey

June 2017

 

When your life is a hot mess at twenty, it’s cute. At twenty-seven…well, not so much.

It’s just that my lofty dreams—making it as a real estate agent, paying rent on time, showering daily—have stayed just that: dreams. Oh, and love? I’ve decided love might be a little ambitious for me at the moment. Instead, I’ve settled for the two guys who will never leave me: Ben & Jerry.

That is, until Dr. Adam Foxe takes up residence as the town’s new vet.

With his strong jaw, easy confidence, and form-fitting scrubs, it’s not long before every housewife in Hamilton is dragging neglected tomcats in for weekly checkups.

Like everyone else, I’m intrigued. Even after I spoil my chance at a good first impression, he still offers me a proposition I can’t refuse: play his girlfriend at a family function and he’ll hire me as his real estate agent. Welcome to love in the 21st century.

It’s too bad I underestimated Adam’s irresistible charm and the undeniable attraction that burns between us. The day he pins me to the wall and silences me with a kiss, the line between reality and ruse begins to blur. Every teasing touch brings me to my knees. Every kiss promises more.
It looks like my hot mess of a life is about to get a little hotter.

Add THE FOXE & THE HOUND on Goodreads

Get your hands on THE FOXE & THE HOUND now

IMG_4607
About R.S. Grey:
R.S. Grey is the USA Today bestselling author of thirteen novels, including THE FOXE & THE HOUND. She lives in Texas with her husband and two dogs, and can be found reading, binge-watching reality TV, or practicing yoga! Visit her at rsgrey.com

Connect with R.S. Grey:

Newsletter: http://bit.ly/1T707p0
RS Grey’s Little Reds Facebook Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1378399812435745/
Website: rsgrey.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/authorrsgrey/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Author-RS-Grey-167668293429638/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AuthorRSGrey

Hag-Seed:a Review

FullSizeRender 5Hag-Seed

Margaret Atwood

301 pages

October 2016

Literary Fiction. Retelling.

When Felix is deposed as artistic director of the Makeshiweg Theatre Festival by his devious assistant and longtime enemy, his production of The Tempest is canceled and he is heartbroken. Reduced to a life of exile in rural southern Ontario—accompanied only by his fantasy daughter, Miranda, who died twelve years ago—Felix devises a plan for retribution.

Eventually he takes a job teaching Literacy Through Theatre to the prisoners at the nearby Burgess Correctional Institution, and is making a modest success of it when an auspicious star places his enemies within his reach. With the help of their own interpretations, digital effects, and the talents of a professional actress and choreographer, the Burgess Correctional Players prepare to video their Tempest. Not surprisingly, they view Caliban as the character with whom they have the most in common. However, Felix has another twist in mind, and his enemies are about to find themselves taking part in an interactive and illusion-ridden version of The Tempest that will change their lives forever. But how will Felix deal with his invisible Miranda’s decision to take a part in the play? Goodreads Synopsis

 

This is one of the books in the Shakespeare Retelling series.  Various authors retold and modernized Shakespeare’s work.  I have read Vineagar Girl and absolutely adored the retelling of Taming of the Shrew.  I was really excited to read Margret Atwood’s version of The Tempest.

Sadly, it fell short of my expectations.  It’s hard to review this one, as I personally didn’t care for it.  However, fans of Atwood shouldn’t turn away from it.  Her writing is still so well done, and there were definite aspects of the novel that I liked.

The problem for me was that there was too much of the Tempest in there and not a lot of “retelling”.  I get that The Tempest is a play within a play, and the playwright goes crazy and that’s where Atwood was going with this novel.  I just wasn’t thrilled with how it was going.

Please, don’t rule out this book just because I didn’t love it.  As I said, Atwood’s writing style is fantastic.  The retelling just fell short for me and was almost bored at times, but I still liked the story as a whole.

Thank you to Blogging for Books for sending me a copy to review.

 

 

Allie and Bea: A Review

IMG_1860 3

Allie and Bea

by Catherine Ryan Hyde

350 pages

Lake Union Publishing.  May 2017

General Fiction.

Bea has barely been scraping by since her husband died. After falling for a telephone scam, she loses everything and is forced to abandon her trailer. With only two-thirds of a tank in her old van, she heads toward the Pacific Ocean with her cat—on a mission to reclaim what’s rightfully hers, even if it means making others pay for what she lost.

When fifteen-year-old Allie’s parents are jailed for tax fraud, she’s sent to a group home. But when her life is threatened by another resident, she knows she has to get out. She escapes only to find she has nowhere to go—until fate throws Allie in Bea’s path.

Reluctant to trust each other, much less become friends, the two warily make their way up the Pacific Coast. Yet as their hearts open to friendship and love from the strangers they meet on their journey, they find the courage to forge their own unique family—and begin to see an imperfect world with new eyes. Goodreads Synopsis

 

This is the second book by Catherine Ryan Hyde that I have read.  Over the summer, I read Say Goodbye for Now.  Both books, for me, are wonderful.  This book alternates between Bea and Allie’s perspectives;  Bea being a poor elderly woman, and Allie being a 15 year old from a very well to do family.  This unlikely friendship was so well created.  Both characters were able to learn so much more than either of them would have ever expected. There was quite a bit of experiencing life in another’s shoes throughout the book.

The character development is strong throughout the book.  I could almost hear Bea’s raspy voice or Allie’s teenage high pitched squeal.  I wanted to smack Bea at times with her careless decisions.

This story tells how life can change in the blink of an eye, and everything you know and had can just disappear.  It also tells how strong the human spirit is and when handed the raw end of the deal, there’s always a way around and back on top.

Allie and Bea is a feel good drama and I would recommend this title.  Thank you to Little Bird Publishing for sending me a copy in exchange for an honest review.

 

Windfall: a review 

Windfall 

By Jennifer E. Smith

421 pages

May, 2017

Young Adult. Contemporary.
Alice doesn’t believe in luck—at least, not the good kind. But she does believe in love, and for some time now, she’s been pining for her best friend, Teddy. On his eighteenth birthday—just when it seems they might be on the brink of something—she buys him a lottery ticket on a lark. To their astonishment, he wins $140 million, and in an instant, everything changes. 

At first, it seems like a dream come true, especially since the two of them are no strangers to misfortune. As a kid, Alice won the worst kind of lottery possible when her parents died just over a year apart from each other. And Teddy’s father abandoned his family not long after that, leaving them to grapple with his gambling debts. Through it all, Teddy and Alice have leaned on each other. But now, as they negotiate the ripple effects of Teddy’s newfound wealth, a gulf opens between them. And soon, the money starts to feel like more of a curse than a windfall. 

As they try to find their way back to each other, Alice learns more about herself than she ever could have imagined…and about the unexpected ways in which luck and love sometimes intersect. Goodreads Synopsis

In a way this is a hard review to write. I don’t have any big criticism, there wasn’t anything absolutely remarkable to comment on.  At the same time, I loved this book!  It was everything I want in a young adult novel!  There wasn’t any silly teenage angst.  All the drama that arises let real, even though the main plot itself is a little far fetched.   The way the characters develop into adults was so well done.  You could see them transform right before your eyes in an appropriate way.

I liked that there wasn’t a lot of teenage drinking, or scandalous behavior that is in a lot of YA books these days, making this a great book for high schoolers and adults alike.  There was a lot more implied, or briefly mentioned, but these negatives weren’t the focus of the story. This made it more realistic to me.  

Windfall is the perfect light, summer read.  If you are a fan of the young adult genre, Windfall should be on your summer reading list!

🌟🌟🌟🌟

Thanks o blogging for books for sending me a review copy.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much: a Review

IMG_4112

The Girl Who Knew Too Much

Amanda Quick

400 pages

May 2017

Mystery. Historical Fiction. Romance

When Hollywood moguls and stars want privacy, they head to an idyllic small town on the coast, where the exclusive Burning Cove Hotel caters to their every need. It’s where reporter Irene Glasson finds herself staring down at a beautiful actress at the bottom of a pool.

Seeking the truth, Irene finds herself drawn to a master of deception. Oliver Ward was once a world-famous magician—until he was mysteriously injured during his last performance. Now the owner of the Burning Cove Hotel, he can’t let scandal threaten his livelihood, even if it means trusting Irene, a woman who seems to have appeared in Los Angeles out of nowhere four months ago.

With Oliver’s help, Irene soon learns that the glamorous paradise of Burning Cove hides dark and dangerous secrets. And that the past—always just out of sight—could drag them both under… Goodreads Synopsis

 

I love who done it type stories.  I like to guess along and solve the mystery.  To me, a good who done it mystery is so very different than a psychological thriller, it’s almost more “fluffy”.  That description fits the Girl Who Knew Too Much perfectly.  It would make a fantastic summer read: not too intense, a love story, but also a murder mystery.

The glamour of the 1930s Hollywood sets the perfect setting for the glitz and glam of murdered celebrities.

The Girl Who Knew Too Much is an ideal mystery for those who aren’t so into the gore and suspense of a big thriller. It was a fun refreshing read that I know I’ll recommend to friends during the summer months.

Thank you to Penguin’s Read it First program for sending me the digital copy for review.

‘Round Midnight: a review

IMG_4366

‘Round Midnight

by Laura McBride

384 pages

May, 2017

Historical Fiction, General Fiction

Spanning the six decades when Las Vegas grew from a dusty gambling town into the melting pot metropolis it is today, ‘Round Midnight is the story of four women—one who falls in love, one who gets lucky, one whose heart is broken, and one who chooses happiness—whose lives change at the Midnight Room.

June Stein and her husband open the El Capitan casino in the 1950s, and rocket to success after hiring a charismatic black singer to anchor their nightclub. Their fast-paced lifestyle runs aground as racial tensions mount.

Honorata leaves the Philippines as a mail order bride to a Chicago businessman, then hits a jackpot at the Midnight Room when he takes her on a weekend trip to Las Vegas.

Engracia, a Mexican immigrant whose lucky find at the Midnight Room leads to heartbreak, becomes enmeshed in Honorata’s secret when she opens her employer’s door to that Chicago businessman—and his gun.

And then there is Coral, an African-American teacher who struggles with her own mysterious past. A favor for Honorata takes her to the Midnight Room, where she hits a jackpot of another kind.

Mining the rich territory of motherhood and community, ‘Round Midnight is a story that mirrors the social transformation of our nation. Full of passion, heartbreak, heroism, longing, and suspense, it honors the reality of women’s lives. Goodreads Synopsis

 

I went into this book with high hopes, and to be honest, I struggled to get through the first 80 pages.  My attention was all over the place.  I even found myself zoning out to a Minions game my son was playing on Apple TV for WAYYY too long.  I almost thought it would be a book that I abandoned (P.S. That is something I RARELY do, but I need a DNF for a book challenge). The early praise for the book told me that maybe I should just read a little more.  Let me tell you, that was one of my best reading decisions of the year!  I absolutely LOVED this book!!  So much so that it gave me a horrific book hangover. Once I got into it, I devoured it in a day and a half.

I loved the four separate stories, but how they are intricately woven together is what really made the book for me.  It almost felt like reading a separate book, but then everything links together and becomes intertwined.  Very beautifully done!

This is one of those books for me that sticks around after you finish reading.  I can already say that this will be one of my favorite reads of the year!