Publisher: William Morrow Paperbacks

Review: Regrets Only by Erin Duffy

Posted May 23, 2018 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Regrets Only by Erin DuffyReviewer: Rowena
Regrets Only by Erin Duffy
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 8, 2018
Point-of-View: First Person
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 416
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three-half-stars

From the author of Bond Girl and Lost Along the Way, comes a fiercely funny, insightful story of marriage, family, and the crooked path to figuring out who we really are.

Claire thought she had everything a woman was supposed to want—a loving husband, a newborn son, a beautiful home in the suburbs. Then she walks in on her husband canoodling with their realtor in their newly renovated kitchen, and in an instant, her perfect life comes crashing down.  

With her marriage heading for divorce, Claire knows it’s time to stop feeling sorry for herself. But how can she move on when she’s still stuck in the orbit of her husband’s world? For starters, she can get rid of her soon-to-be ex’s possessions—including his prized, gigantic foosball table—by dumping them onto the curb…until complaints from the neighbors get the police involved. Now Claire is busy dodging the mean mommies at story hour and hiding from her ex-husband’s girlfriend in the grocery store. But as Claire soon learns, suburbia still has a few surprises in store for her—surprises that will make her question her choices from the past, send her down an unexpected road to self-discovery, and maybe even lead to new love.

Desperate for a positive outlet to channel her frustrations, she turns to girlfriends Lissy and Antonia for help. Together they join forces to rebrand Lissy’s local stationery store and turn it into a thriving business. But as Claire soon learns, suburbia still has a few surprises in store for her—surprises that will make her question her choices from the past, send her down an unexpected road to self-discovery, and maybe even new love.

Featuring a second coming-of-age story, Regrets Only deftly explores the subtle nuances of marriage, family, friendship, and what it means to be a woman today while delighting readers as its unforgettable heroine acts on impulses we’ve all been guilty of having.

I found myself wanting to read something outside of the straight-up romance genre while browsing Edelweiss a few months ago and this book caught my eye. A second chance at life for a woman who walks in on her husband having an affair with an old high school girlfriend. This woman is pretty much all alone at first. She moved from her hometown to her husband’s hometown, they start a family and she leaves her job to be a stay at home Mom and then she forgets her wallet as she’s driving to the hotel her husband booked for her, to get a break from their little family. She was to relax and shop and go to the spa and it all sounded heavenly until she forgets her wallet and walks in on her husband and their realtor.

All at once, her world has exploded and she can’t even go home because their life is in Connecticut and she can’t take her son with her home to Chicago. So she’s stuck. She’s stuck in a town where her husband has a support group but she doesn’t. She’s stuck in a house that is a constant reminder of everything she no longer has with her husband and that same house is a constant reminder of the day that her life fell apart.

Claire really goes through the wringer in this book and I completely understood where she was coming from but in the beginning, it was hard to read her lashing out at her husband in the most childish of ways. The beginning and the middle of this book took a lot out of me because I spent so much of that part of the book, annoyed that Claire kept doing stupid things. I guess I wanted her to be above such stupid things and she wasn’t.

I didn’t completely hate her though. I understood why she did what she did and she does eventually grow as a person and I really bought her growth over the course of the book. It felt real and complete and I was glad that she was eventually able to move on. She really does come full circle and I was glad. This book was hard to get through at times and that kind of figured itself into my rating of this book. I was glad to finish it but I didn’t absolutely love the book as a whole. It had great moments but it lacked the depth that I was hoping for. Still, Clair was an engaging heroine and I was happy for her when all was said and done.

Grade: 3.5 out of 5

three-half-stars


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Review: Roommates Wanted by Lisa Jewell

Posted May 8, 2008 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments

Review: Roommates Wanted by Lisa JewellReviewer: Rowena
Roommates Wanted by Lisa Jewell
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: March 11th 2008
Genres: Women's Fiction
Pages: 480
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three-stars

1990. Please write and tell me why you should live here.

Toby Dobbs received a big Victorian house with too many bedrooms to count as a wedding present from his father, but his marriage is over within a month. Very alone, and very lonely, Toby posts an advertisement seeking the "Unexpectedly Alone" to become his roommates. Fifteen years later the wayward souls he takes in are still living with him, with no intention of leaving.

2004. Please tell me how I can convince you to move out.

Toby Dobbs has met Leah Pilgrim from across the road, and they're falling in love. But before they can begin a new life together, Toby and Leah must help Toby's house of sweet slackers and lovelorn misfits grow up, solve their problems, and set themselves free. But can their new relationship survive the test?

This is the first book by Lisa Jewell that I’ve ever read. Truth be told, I’ve never even heard of this author until I picked up this book to read. I really like the chick lit books from authors over in Europe and Lisa Jewell is from North London so I went into this book thinking, alright…I can do this, I can read this, enjoy it and then review it.

Well, I read it, I enjoyed some of it and now I’m going to review it.

This book is about Toby, Toby who got a house from his father as a present to him and the woman he married. The marriage didn’t last all that long before the wife, Karen left Toby high and dry with a big ol’ house. Toby filled the house with different tenants in an effort to fill the void brought on by loneliness. Beside Toby, living in the house is Ruby, a girl who’s never known hard work before and doesn’t have a job. She lives off the many sugardaddies that parades in and out of her room and she swears she’s going to be a famous singer or actress. Then there’s Con and his Mom, Melinda. Con is in love with a sick girl from work and Melinda just won’t leave the boy alone. She’s determined to be by his side through thick and thin and in good times and bad times and all because she was a lousy mother to him when he was young. She’s trying to make up for all of that now, nevermind that the boy is older now and doesn’t need a Mom as often but hey, whatev. Then there’s Joanne. Joanne has secrets and she’s an odd one but I actually liked her. Oh and then there’s Gus. Gus who ends up dead and wills a bunch of pounds and a cat to Toby with the rule to use the money to make his life the best one that it could be.

Toby meets and falls in love with Leah from across the street and they want to start a life together but they find that they can’t do that without getting rid of all of the tenants living with Toby. So instead of just tossing them all out on their ear, like I would have done…he reaches out to Leah to help him, help them so that they can all live happily ever after.

The story is told in first person as most chick lit books are and the story started out really slow for me. I picked it up and put it down about 10 different times before I just buckled down and read the entire thing, I’ll be honest though there were times that I skimmed but I did end up finally finishing it. I was happy that I finished the story but I don’t think that this was the best book to start my Lisa Jewell reading adventure with because it was just…okay. It wasn’t spectacular and it wasn’t horrible, it was just okay.

I thought Toby and Leah were cute but I’ve read cuter. I thought everyone living with Toby were unique in their own little ways but even though I enjoyed their different storylines and I enjoyed seeing them grow as the story progressed, I still can’t say that this was the best book ever. The book is sad and it almost depressed me. It’s just an average read for me. It was just slow to pick up but once you get past that hump, you’ll be okay. I liked the story. I liked that everything worked out nicely in the end but the execution to get there for me was just off so this was just a so so read for me.

But hey, you might enjoy this book more than me so give it a try.

Grade: 3 out of 5

This book is available from Harper Collins. You can buy it here or here .

three-stars


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Review: The Best Day of Someone Else’s Life by Kerry Reichs

Posted May 6, 2008 by Rowena in Reviews | 1 Comment

Review: The Best Day of Someone Else’s Life by Kerry ReichsReviewer: Rowena
The Best Day of Someone Else's Life by Kerry Reichs
Published by William Morrow Paperbacks
Publication Date: May 6th 2008
Pages: 431
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | The Ripped Bodice | Google Play Books
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Despite being cursed with a boy's name, Kevin "Vi" Connelly is seriously female and a committed romantic. The affliction hit at the tender age of six when she was handed a basket of flower petals and ensnared by the "marry-tale." The thrill, the attention, the big white dress—it's the Best Day of Your Life, and it's seriously addictive. But at twenty-seven, with a closetful of pricey bridesmaid dresses she'll never wear again, a trunkful of embarrassing memories, and an empty bank account from paying for it all, the illusion of matrimony as the Answer to Everything begins to fray. As her friends' choices don't provide answers, and her family confuses her more, Vi faces off against her eminently untrustworthy boyfriend and the veracity of the BDOYL.

Eleven weddings in eighteen months would send any sane woman either over the edge or scurrying for the altar. But as reality separates from illusion, Vi learns that letting go of someone else's story to write your own may be harder than buying the myth, but just might help her make the right choices for herself.

I was really excited to read this book because let’s face it, I’m a cover snob and this cover was just too cute. It’s all chick litish and adorable so when I saw it, I was glad that I got it.

There’s already a blurb about what the book is about above so I’m just going to jump into what I liked and what I didn’t like about this book.

The book starts off sort of like 27 Dresses where we see how Jane got addicted to weddings. Well in this book, we see Vi’s wedding beginnings. Vi’s in 3 different weddings for her childhood friends and even more important is she’s the Maid of Honor at all 3 of them. Weird? Yeah, but hey, she must be a popular girl.

Anyway, so in the beginning of the book, we meet a whole slew of characters. Say what? Say who? That was the bulk of what I was thinking through the first few chapters. Throughout the book there’s an onslaught of weddings, family, friends introduced and I was seriously having to write all of the characters down in an effort to keep them all straight.

And the characters just kept coming to. There was an Imogen, an Ethan, a Mona, a Jen, Amy, Mom, Dad, Maeve, Butch, Al and the names just kept coming and coming until I was coughing up characters.

The more I read the story, the more I liked it. The book was a little slow to start but for the most part, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed Vi’s voice and thought she told her story quite well. She had a great set of friends, both childhood and adult, that brought more depth and just…more to the story. I had a soft spot for her adult friends though with the way they pulled together to help Vi with her wedding toasts because after that first one, I could not stop laughing. I was seriously embarrassed for Vi after she delivered that first wedding toast. You know how when you’re watching a movie and you know the main characters are going to do something stupid and you don’t want to watch it because you know that stupid thing is coming and you cringe right before it happens? That’s how I felt when I read Vi’s first wedding toast. Her second toast was much better. It was actually my favorite of them all, corny but still good.

What I really liked about this story is watching Vi grow and learn from her past. Watching her find the courage and the power to walk away from her first love, Caleb was liberating, even for me. I’m the same age that Vi is and I could totally relate to everything she was going through in this book. Her problems and her fears are real and I’m sure every woman at that age felt the same way Vi did which is what made this book good.

Besides the whole too many characters that threw me off, the only other issues I had with the book was that it was slow to pick up for me. I picked it up and put it down a total of three times before I got to the meat of the story and from there on, it was easy to read. All in all, this book was good and I’m looking forward to more from Kerry Reichs.

Oh and the guy she ends up with? Yeah, totally hot and the perfect boyfriend, EVER.

Grade: 4 out of 5

This book is available from Avon. You can buy it here or here in e-format.


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