The Last Book Party

By Karen Dukess

The Last Book Party by [Dukess, Karen]

5 out of 5 stars

I know that I have wanted to be a fly on the wall at a party filled with artists, writers, actors. All that creativity in one room would be something to behold. Eve Rosen gets that chance. She wants to be a writer but something keeps holding her back. When she ends up working for columnist Henry Grey, her life becomes something she has only dreamed of. She is in the world she has longed for. There is even an unexpected affair. Everything culminates in the summer’s end book party. Everyone dresses up as a literary character and hopefully stumps everyone else. This party will be like no other party before it. Let the secrets flow!

I felt as if I was on Cape Cod. I could actually taste the salt in the air. Ms. Dukess has a wonderful way with her descriptions. From the publishing house to the Grey house, she had a great eye for detail. I was immersed in the story from the very first chapter. Each character was more flawed than the last and more human. I longed to be in Cape Cod and I have never been there! The parties were exactly how I would imagine them to be and boy, did I want to go. I cannot wait to read whatever she gives us next.

Thanks to Netgalley and Henry Holt for a copy of this wonderful book. This review is my own humble opinion.

Things You Save in a Fire

By Katherine Center

Things You Save in a Fire: A Novel by [Center, Katherine]

4 out of 5 stars

There is one thing I know for sure when I read a book from Katherine Center, I am going to finish that book feeling happy and perfectly content. Her characters are always so relatable  and you feel a kinship to them.

Our main character Cassie Hanwell is a tough firefighter with some baggage. Her mother left the family on her 16th birthday and something awful happens to Cassie that night. She keeps her emotions in close to the vest. Her mother asks her to come and stay across the country because of some eye problems and something happens at a dinner that causes Cassie to move. She joins a new firehouse where women have never been part of the brotherhood. Trying to follow some rules her captain tells her, she tries to fit in like at  her old station but she does not count on falling for the rookie. Life and things happen and you will not want to put this one down!

As always, you will savor every path along the way. Watching Cassie change and open up is pure joy. The themes of forgiveness, hope, love, and family hit all the right notes. (Especially a bit of non-forgiveness for one character) I loved all the characters in the book, even the gruffest ones had their redeeming qualities. You will not be disappointed.

The review is my humble opinion and I thank St. Martin’s Press for once again, sending the perfect book.

You’ve Been Volunteered

By Laurie Gelman

You've Been Volunteered: A Class Mom Novel by [Gelman, Laurie]

4 out of 5 stars

She’s baaaaccckk! Jen Dixon, the witty, sarcastic mom of Class Mom, is back for another year of school and the funniest newsletters ever! I only wish I had met a mom like her when my kids were in school. I would have been her best friend. Her newsletters are hilarious. The whole book is hilarious, just like the last one. Of course, she has some different issues this go-round. She has been put in charge of the fifth grade crosswalk safety group. (Wouldn’t we all say oh yay?) Max is hanging around with a kid who brings delightful little trinkets to school. Her daughters are more silent about what’s going on in their respective lives. Something is up with her parents and her husband wants to franchise the company. It all adds up to plenty of laughs and a lot of good fun.

If you are looking for total escapism,  this is the book for you. If you haven’t read the first book, Class Mom, you really need to. You are going to laugh and see yourself in a lot of it. If you cannot laugh at yourself in mother mode, you are going to lose it. I look forward to more in the series. Please Laurie Gelman?

The review is my opinion and I thank Netgalley and Henry Holt for a copy of this delightful book.

Whisper Network

By Chandler Baker

Whisper Network: A Novel by [Baker, Chandler]

4 out of 5 stars

Welcome to the Whisper Network. That place at work where little asides are heard everywhere. A place where everyone thinks they know you.  Where women still have to fight against harassment, sexual and otherwise. A world where speaking out can cost you everything.

Sloane, Ardie and Grace have worked together for a while as lawyers at Truviv and have built a friendship and yet like most women do, they don’t tell each other everything. In comes Katherine, the new woman in the office who sparks something in all of them. When their boss dies unexpectedly, it means that Ames will be taking over but his past with all of these women might put an end to it all. And they are not alone, not just the lawyers have been harassed by Ames. They decide to take things into their own hands and change it once and for all.

We get a good look into their working lives and their homes lives. I loved the differences between all the women. The book was really good at showing different sides to a story, it was not all so black and white. I enjoyed their friendship and watching them all change and grow. There were parts that I wanted it to get on with it, it dragged a little, but the ending had me all revved up again.

Thanks to Netgalley and Flatiron for a copy of this book.

 

Pretty Revenge

By Emily Liebert

Pretty Revenge by [Liebert, Emily]

4 out of 5 stars

Kerrie wants revenge on Jordan. She took away everything from her when they were young. It changed Kerrie but it also changed Jordan. Kerrie is now Olivia and she is going to work for Jordana (once Jordan) (Got it?) Jordana owns one of the biggest wedding planning companies for all the ritzy weddings. She is the go-to woman. Olivia makes herself indispensable to Jordana while she slowly starts to bring her down.

This was not at all what I was expecting. I thought it was going to be more of a psychological thriller but it was not a disappointment at all! I loved how we learned more about these two women and just what they would do to get what they needed out of life. I loved the progression we saw in their relationship and in their relationships with others. You could not hate Jordana and yet you could still feel sorry for Olivia. I absolutely loved the ending. It was perfect.

Thanks to Netgalley and Gallery Books for a copy of this book.

Evvie Drake Starts Over

By Linda Holmes

Evvie Drake Starts Over: A Novel by [Holmes, Linda]

4 out of 5 stars

This is one of those books you pick up and finish it in a very happy place. Everything about it is likable from the main characters, to the secondary ones, to the location, to the emotions. Evvie is a wonderful main character. Her relationship with Dean will just make you smile. The dialogue is whipsmart, perfect for a romantic comedy. I really can see this as a movie. You can see the way it is heading and you are perfectly fine with the view.

It is very funny. I was laughing out loud a lot throughout the book. The give and take between Evvie and Dean was adorable. They are adorable!

I think you could categorize this as a great summer read. It won’t tax your brain and it won’t leave you unsatisfied. (Maybe wanting a little more)

Thanks to Netgalley and Ballantine for a copy of this enjoyable book.

 

Ask Again, Yes

By Mary Beth Keane

Ask Again, Yes: A Novel by [Keane, Mary Beth]

5 out of 5 stars

This one is on all of the lists of summer and deservedly so. I was pulled into the lives of the Gleeson and Stanhope families from the beginning and had a hard time closing the book on them in the end. They are two different families brought together by one tragedy that changes them in so many ways. It tackles the subject of mental illness and alcohol abuse with grace and dignity. It is written in such a way that even the most heinous thing that happens is not made to seem sensationalized or black and white. Through all of it, Kate and Peter know they belong together. It was hard to watch Peter throughout the book. His mother’s illness had shut him off so completely, even though he loved Kate, to showing any kind of emotion. It was the 70s and mental illness was not talked about. It seemed as if it was swept under the rug and everyone went about their merry way, pretending it wasn’t there. At least it wasn’t happening to them. In the beginning. I really felt no sympathy for Anne but as her story is told, my heart broke for her. Having lived with alcohol abuse in our family, I so understood Kate. I understood every nuance and every fear.

This is such a beautifully written book. They are messy families living in a messy world and they are oh so real. I loved the journey through the years and I always love a story with heartfelt redemption. The scene towards the end in the restaurant really touched my heart and everything made sense.

Thanks to Netgalley and Scribner for a copy of this wonderful book.