Book Review: The Printed Letter Bookshop, by Katherine Reay

The Printed Letter Bookshop, by Katherine Reay

The Printed Letter Bookshop by Katherine Reay

Published by Thomas Nelson on May 14, 2019 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction

Format & Length: e-book, 336

Source: Netgalley

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Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls. When Madeline’s professional life takes an unexpected turn, and when a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. She begins to envision a new path for herself and for her aunt’s beloved shop—provided the women’s best combined efforts are not too little, too late.

The Printed Letter Bookshop is a captivating story of good books, a testament to the beauty of new beginnings, and a sweet reminder of the power of friendship.

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Audiobook Review: All We Ever Wanted, by Emily Giffin

All We Ever Wanted, by Emily Giffin

All We Ever Wanted by Emily Giffin

Published by Random House Audio on June 26, 2018

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction

Format & Length: audiobook, 10:29:57

Source: library

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Nina Browning is living the good life after marrying into Nashville’s elite. More recently, her husband made a fortune selling his tech business, and their adored son has been accepted to Princeton.

Yet sometimes the middle-class small-town girl in Nina wonders if she’s strayed from the person she once was.

Tom Volpe is a single dad working multiple jobs while struggling to raise his headstrong daughter, Lyla. His road has been lonely, long, and hard, but he finally starts to relax after Lyla earns a scholarship to Windsor Academy, Nashville’s most prestigious private school.

Amid so much wealth and privilege, Lyla doesn’t always fit in–and her overprotective father doesn’t help–but in most ways, she’s a typical teenaged girl, happy and thriving.

Then, one photograph, snapped in a drunken moment at a party, changes everything. As the image spreads like wildfire, the Windsor community is instantly polarized, buzzing with controversy and assigning blame.

At the heart of the lies and scandal, Tom, Nina, and Lyla are forced together–all questioning their closest relationships, asking themselves who they really are, and searching for the courage to live a life of true meaning.

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Book Review: Not Her Daughter, by Rea Frey

Not Her Daughter, by Rea Frey

Not Her Daughter by Rea Frey

Published by St. Martin’s Griffin on August 21, 2018 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, suspense, women’s fiction

Format & Length: e-book, 368

Source: Netgalley

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Emma Grace Townsend. Five years old. Gray eyes. Brown hair. Missing since June.

Emma Townsend is lonely. Living with her cruel mother and clueless father, Emma retreats into her own world of quiet and solitude.

Sarah Walker. Successful entrepreneur. Broken-hearted. Abandoned by her mother. Kidnapper.

Sarah has never seen a girl so precious as the gray-eyed child in a crowded airport terminal—and when a second-chance encounter with Emma presents itself, Sarah takes her, far away from home. But if it’s to rescue a little girl from her damaging mother, is kidnapping wrong?

Amy Townsend. Unhappy wife. Unfit mother. Unsure she wants her daughter back.

Amy’s life is a string of disappointments, but her biggest issue is her inability to connect with her daughter. And now she’s gone without a trace.

As Sarah and Emma avoid the nationwide hunt, they form an unshakeable bond. But her real mother is at home, waiting for her to return—and the longer the search for Emma continues, Amy is forced to question if she really wants her back.

Emotionally powerful and wire-taut, Not Her Daughter raises the question of what it means to be a mother—and how far someone will go to keep a child safe.

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Book Review: Surprise Me, by Sophie Kinsella

Surprise Me, by Sophie Kinsella

Surprise Me by Sophie Kinsella

Published by The Dial Press on February 13, 2018 (expected)

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction

Format & Length: e-book, 448

Source: Netgalley

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#1 bestselling author Sophie Kinsella’s emotionally charged new standalone novel about marriage and family, and how those we love and know best can sometimes surprise us the most.

After being together for ten years, Sylvie and Dan have all the trimmings of a happy life and marriage; they have a comfortable home, fulfilling jobs, beautiful twin girls, and communicate so seamlessly, they finish each other’s sentences. However, a trip to the doctor projects they will live another 68 years together and panic sets in. They never expected “until death do us part” to mean seven decades.

In the name of marriage survival, they quickly concoct a plan to keep their relationship fresh and exciting: they will create little surprises for each other so that their (extended) years together will never become boring. But in their pursuit to execute Project Surprises, mishaps arise and secrets are uncovered that start to threaten the very foundation of their unshakable bond. When a scandal from the past is revealed that question some important untold truths, they begin to wonder if they ever really knew each other after all.

With a colorful, eccentric cast of characters, razor-sharp observations, and her signature wit and charm, Sophie Kinsella crafts a humorous, yet thoughtful portrait of a marriage and shines a light on the danger of not looking past the many layers of the ones you love to discover how infinitely fascinating–and surprising–they truly are.

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Book Review: On Her Last Leg, by Wendy J. Reber

On Her Last Leg, by Wendy J. Reber

On Her Last Leg by Wendy J. Reber

Published by Wild Dreams Publishing on September 15, 2017

Series: Legs of Life, #3

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction

Format & Pages: e-book, 228

Source: author

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“On Her Last Leg” depicts Renee Gregor sweeping up the fragments of her life, only to drop all the shards. She falls for the cop who responded to the 9-1-1 call. She dates, tries to get creative at work, is the victim of an armed burglary, watches her best friend battle cancer, and witnesses her boyfriend getting shot in the face. As her ailing lover adds weight to her capacity, she astonishingly discovers a baby boy; a very important and special boy. How will the last few hours play out in the emotional hell that has been tormenting her for months?

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Book Review: The People We Hate at the Wedding, by Grant Ginder

The People We Hate at the Wedding, by Grant Ginder

The People We Hate at the Wedding by Grant Ginder

Published by Flatiron Books on June 6, 2017

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction

Format & Length: hardcover, 326

Source: publisher via Goodreads giveaway

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Relationships are awful. They’ll kill you, right up to the point where they start saving your life.

Paul and Alice’s half-sister Eloise is getting married! In London! There will be fancy hotels, dinners at “it” restaurants and a reception at a country estate complete with tea lights and embroidered cloth napkins.
They couldn’t hate it more.

The People We Hate at the Wedding is the story of a less than perfect family. Donna, the clan’s mother, is now a widow living in the Chicago suburbs with a penchant for the occasional joint and more than one glass of wine with her best friend while watching House Hunters International. Alice is in her thirties, single, smart, beautiful, stuck in a dead-end job where she is mired in a rather predictable, though enjoyable, affair with her married boss. Her brother Paul lives in Philadelphia with his older, handsomer, tenured track professor boyfriend who’s recently been saying things like “monogamy is an oppressive heteronormative construct,” while eyeing undergrads. And then there’s Eloise. Perfect, gorgeous, cultured Eloise. The product of Donna’s first marriage to a dashing Frenchman, Eloise has spent her school years at the best private boarding schools, her winter holidays in St. John and a post-college life cushioned by a fat, endless trust fund. To top it off, she’s infuriatingly kind and decent.

As this estranged clan gathers together, and Eloise’s walk down the aisle approaches, Grant Ginder brings to vivid, hilarious life the power of family, and the complicated ways we hate the ones we love the most in the most bitingly funny, slyly witty and surprisingly tender novel you’ll read this year.

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Book Review: The Art of Hiding, by Amanda Prowse

The Art of Hiding, by Amanda Prowse

The Art of Hiding by Amanda Prowse

Published by Lake Union Publishing on July 18, 2017

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction

Format & Length: e-book, 290

Source: Netgalley

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Nina McCarrick has it all: a loving husband, two beautiful boys, a well-appointed home and more time than she knows what to do with. Life is perfect. Until her husband, Finn, is killed in a car accident and everything Nina thought she could rely on unravels.

Alone, bereft and faced with a mountain of debt, Nina quickly loses her life of luxury and she begins to question whether she ever really knew the man she married. Forced to move out of her family home, Nina returns to the rundown Southampton council estate—and the sister—she thought she had left far behind.

But Nina can’t let herself be overwhelmed—her boys need her. To save them, and herself, she will have to do what her husband discouraged for so long: pursue a career of her own. Torn between the life she thought she knew and the reality she now faces, Nina finally must learn what it means to take control of her life.

Bestselling author Amanda Prowse once again plumbs the depths of human experience in this stirring and empowering tale of one woman’s loss and love.

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Audiobook Review: The Knockoff, by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza

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The Knockoff by Lucy Sykes & Jo Piazza

Published by Penguin Random House Audio on May 19, 2015

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction

Format & Length: audiobook, 12:10:39

Source: Library

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An outrageously stylish, wickedly funny novel of fashion in the digital age, The Knockoff is the story of Imogen Tate, editor in chief of Glossy magazine, who finds her twentysomething former assistant Eve Morton plotting to knock Imogen off her pedestal, take over her job, and reduce the magazine, famous for its lavish 768-page September issue, into an app.

When Imogen returns to work at Glossy after six months away, she can barely recognize her own magazine. Eve, fresh out of Harvard Business School, has fired “the gray hairs,” put the managing editor in a supply closet, stopped using the landlines, and hired a bevy of manicured and questionably attired underlings who text and tweet their way through meetings. Imogen, darling of the fashion world, may have Alexander Wang and Diane von Furstenberg on speed dial, but she can’t tell Facebook from Foursquare and once got her iPhone stuck in Japanese for two days. Under Eve’s reign, Glossy is rapidly becoming a digital sweatshop—hackathons rage all night, girls who sleep get fired, and “fun” means mandatory, company-wide coordinated dances to Beyoncé. Wildly out of her depth, Imogen faces a choice—pack up her Smythson notebooks and quit, or channel her inner geek and take on Eve to save both the magazine and her career. A glittering, uproarious, sharply drawn story filled with thinly veiled fashion personalities, The Knockoff is an insider’s look at the ever-changing world of fashion and a fabulous romp for our Internet-addicted age.

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Book Review: In this Moment, by Karma Brown

In this Moment, by Karma Brown

In this Moment by Karma Brown

Published by Park Row Books on May 30, 2017

Series: n/a

Genre(s): fiction, contemporary, women’s fiction

Format & Length: paperpack, 297

Source: publisher via Goodreads Giveaway

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Bestselling author Karma Brown is back with a morally infused and emotionally riveting exploration of one woman’s grief and guilt over an unexpected yet avoidable tragedy.

Meg Pepper has a fulfilling career as a real estate agent, a hardworking husband on the verge of starting his own medical practice and a surprisingly good-natured teenage daughter. Most days Meg is able to keep it all together—thanks to an endless stream of alerts on her phone—and (more or less) seamlessly glide through life.

After school pickup one day, Meg and her daughter, Audrey, are driving home when they see Jack, the twin brother of Audrey’s boyfriend, up ahead. Seeing a group of boys on the other side of the road, Meg stops her car to wave him across the street just as an SUV comes hurtling down the road and slams into Jack. The driver—a high-school teacher in the process of texting—did not see Jack crossing the road.

Meg can’t help but blame herself for this horrific accident. Guilt-stricken and desperate with grief, Meg throws herself into helping Jack’s family as he rehabs from his injuries. But the more she tries to absolve herself of what she feels responsible for, the more she alienates her own family. The ripple effects that follow tear at the ties that bind her to those she loves the most, causing her to risk losing everything she holds dear to her heart.

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Book Review: A Leg Up, by Wendy J. Reber

A Leg Up, by Wendy J. Reber

A Leg Up by Wendy J. Reber

Published by Fifth Ink Publishing on May 15, 2017

Series: Legs of Life, #2

Genre(s): fiction, chick-lit, contemporary

Format & Length: e-book, 285

Source: author

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Thanks to hospital issued drugs, Eunice Barner has been fast asleep for four or five days. When she wakes up, sixteen pounds of her are missing–her right leg from the knee down. Before the accident, Eunice’s lover of seven years left her for no apparent reason; a six year old, Petra, bobbing in his wake. Years later, her newly beloved spouse dies unexpectedly, her home is broken in to, her daughter is threatened, and then she loses a limb while trying to put back the pieces of your life and working hard on the job. The heroine’s plate runneth over in the novel, “A Leg Up,” as Eunice Barner leads by example and cultivates a higher plan. However, someone is skulking around aiming to foil this plan.

A love story between mother and daughter culminating in the best revenge—success and happiness—rather than succumbing to trials and tribulations that tests them to their cores.

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