Tag: Whitney Gaskell

Guest Review: Table for Seven by Whitney Gaskell

Posted June 18, 2013 by Ames in Reviews | 1 Comment

14838452Ames’ review of Table for Seven by Whitney Gaskell.

On New Year’s Eve, Fran and Will Parrish host a dinner party, serving their friends a gourmet feast. The night is such a success that the group decides to form a monthly dinner party club. But what starts as an excuse to enjoy the company of fellow foodies ends up having lasting repercussions on each member of the Table for Seven Dinner Party Club.

Fran and Will face the possibility that their comfortable marriage may not be as infallible as they once thought. Audrey has to figure out how to move on and start a new life after the untimely death of her young husband. Perfectionist Jaime suspects that her husband, Mark, might be having an affair. Coop, a flirtatious bachelor who never commits to a third date, is blindsided when he falls in love for the first time. Leland, a widower, is a wise counselor and firm believer that bacon makes everything taste better.

Over the course of a year, against a backdrop of mouthwatering meals, relationships are forged, marriages are tested, and the members of the Table for Seven Dinner Party Club find their lives forever changed.

I’ve read and enjoyed Whitney Gaskell’s writing before, so I was looking forward to reading Table for Seven.

It features two couples and three single friends. Bring everyone together is Fran and Will Parrish. They’re having a New Year’s Eve party and in an effort to do something different, Fran preps a multi-course meal to count down to midnight. She’ll serve one course on the hour leading up to midnight. No one really wants to go, but they end up having so much fun they decide to start up a very informal dinner club, with someone different hosting every month.

I thought this was a very interesting set up. And with so many characters, the story flowed very well. There was no confusion of who or what because each person is going through something very different. Will and Fran have been married for just under 20 years. Fran’s world is rocked that New Year’s day when Will tells her to invite Cooper, his best friend. You see, Fran and Cooper had a moment very early on in her marriage. Nothing happened…but she thinks if Will hadn’t woken up when he did that day on the boat that Cooper would have kissed her. Ever since then, she’s kind of had a little teeny tiny flame going for Cooper. They haven’t seen him too much over the years and she’s excited to learn he’s moved to their coastal town. Maybe too excited?

The other couple is Jaime and Mark. She’s his second wife and she’s struggling with Mark’s schedule and his daughter’s demands on his time. They have two young children together but she feels Mark is always off for Emily’s tennis practice or tournaments. She thinks it’s too much time and wonders if that’s all he’s doing.

Audrey is Fran’s best friend. She owns a successful spa and she’s been a widow for 7 years. She’s sick of Fran’s attempts to set her up. Fran knows this so when she invites Audrey to that first dinner party, she doesn’t want Audrey to think she’s setting her up with Coop so Fran tells her he’s gay. LOL That led to a few funny moments. But Audrey has trouble opening up. Her first husband was an alcoholic and she’s refused to see the truth of her marriage…and that’s preventing her from opening up to anyone new. Coop hasn’t had a real, long-term relationship ever in his life. He’s definitely a bachelor through and through and he’s definitely intrigued by Audrey (especially at first when she was super friendly with him, thinking he was gay). But she refuses to date him and his persistence definitely challenges both of them and their beliefs about relationships.

The seventh member of the group is Leland. And he was my favorite. He’s a retired judge, in his 80s and he was a great character. He was a great observer of the group dynamics and he gave gentle nudges where they were needed. He loved bacon. Cute character.

So yeah, there were a few interesting things going on with this book. With Fran and Will, I was caught up in Will’s obliviousness to what was going on with his wife. She was taking better care of her appearance and working out and dressing better. Everyone noticed but Will. So her getting caught up in a fantasy flirtation with Cooper makes sense. And then you realize she’s getting ready to make a move and you just feel so bad for her, because you know he’s fallen for Audrey. And Audrey is so the opposite about being open with her feelings, she doesn’t even tell her best friend she slept with the guy. LOL I also enjoyed Jaime’s path she took. She was so sure her husband was cheating on her she even followed him at one point and there was nothing to see. She really matured as a character. Same with Audrey. She really didn’t want to deal with what happened with her husband and it was preventing her from moving on. It was so easy for her to rebuff Coop’s charm…something that made him try harder, something he hasn’t had to do in a while.

I liked all the characters (except one…and no one cared for him either) and I liked the way all the stories unfolded. Because the author did a good job of giving us pieces of each story I read this pretty quickly. It was very engaging and I recommend it for when you need a break from all the New Adult you’re reading. LOL

Table for Seven gets a 4 out of 5 from me.

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

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Review: She, Myself & I by Whitney Gaskell.

Posted May 10, 2012 by Rowena in Reviews | 0 Comments


Rowena’s review of She, Myself and I by Whitney Gaskell.

Main Character: Paige, Sophie and Mickey
Love Interest: Zack, Aiden and another guy
Series: None
Author: Facebook|Twitter|Goodreads

The Cassel sisters have little in common besides a pair of wacky parents and a maddening knack for eluding happily-ever-after endings. But when their lives require damage control, only a dose of sisterhood will do.

Paige, the oldest, is a go-getter divorce attorney who’s reeling from her own disastrously failed marriage–and the fact that her ex has suddenly come roaring out of the closet with a cute boyfriend in tow. Middle sister Sophie is having trouble adjusting to life as a wife and expectant mom. With her doubts on the rise along with her weight, she’s ogling every available baked good–and every available man–that crosses her path. And up-and-coming medical student Mickey has a racy new plan for her future that’s sure to shock her entire family. It includes a dangerously handsome, decidedly married chef…private cooking lessons…and spicy lingerie.

To top it all off, the parents who dragged them through the Divorce from Hell years ago are acting like teenagers in love…with each other! One by one, Paige, Sophie, and Mickey are about to learn just how good it is to have a sisterly shoulder–or two–to lean on.

Real.

If I were to have summed this entire book up in one word, I would use the word real. Because this book is just about the most realest book I’ve ever read. Everything that happens in this book is something that I can see actually happening. It’s about real life, its issues and there’s no sugar coating anything.

This book reminds me a whole lot of The Solomon Sisters Wise Up. It started a bit slow, but that’s probably because I didn’t really care for the older sister Paige. You see, the whole book is divided into three sections, a section for each sister. Paige is a bitch, and it totally shows in her section of the book, but after I finished reading her section, I liked her, understood her more and was okay with the way she was. And boy did she land on her feet with a hottie like Zack Duncan, he was yummy. The perfect man, really. Tall, broad shouldered and smart? Yum!

All of the sisters are close in their own little way but you can see that they all love and support each other whereas with the Solomon sisters, they didn’t get along, they loved each other but it was more of a because they had to love each other love. No so with the Cassels, they loved each other, knew it, showed it and put up with it.

Sophie’s story was so cute. This is the one that I really felt for. She’s the middle sister, just had a baby and her marriage in on the rocks. Her husband Aidan, works too much, is acting weird around her but she thinks it’s because he doesn’t like looking at her since she had their son, Ben. Her story about how she dealt with the problems of being a new mom and a neglected wife really touched me because I can totally see that happening in real life. This novel isn’t all glitzy and glamorous but just in your face, this is how my life is and this is how I solved my problems. I really connected with Sophie, thought she was a great character and I think she’s my favorite Cassel sister.

Mickey, the youngest sister just graduated from college and everyone thinks she’s going to Brown to start Med School. No one knows that the sight of blood makes her nauseous. Instead, she wants to become a chef and attend the Culinary School of America. I can totally see myself hedging on telling my parents and family something as big as her not going to med school as originally planned. That is why this book was so real to me. Because, without going into detail, I was fooled right alongside Mick when she was going through her turmoil in the book and so when things didn’t turn out as I thought they were going to turn out, I was left baffled but I learned from Mickey’s mistakes. Her story was just about as real as you can get. Took me back to high school when everything wasn’t as it always seemed but I thought I could change it.

Overall this was a fast paced story about three sisters and it was all around good. Recommended to those who need a reason to remember that they DO love their sisters….LOL.

..and that’s your scoop!

This book is available from Bantam.
Buy the book: B&N|Amazon|Book Depository
Book cover and blurb credit: http://barnesandnoble.com

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Guest Review: Good Luck by Whitney Gaskell

Posted May 14, 2009 by Ames in Reviews | 6 Comments

Ames‘ guest review of Good Luck by Whitney Gaskell

Lucy Parker wins the lottery on the worst day of her life. But can all the money in the world make up for a cheating boyfriend, a derailed career, and ending up in the middle of a media circus? Everyone wants a piece of Lucy.and all she wants is to escape from it all.

After life as she knows it falls apart, Lucy heads off to Palm Beach to hide out at the home of an old college friend. There, living in a tropical paradise of millionaires, Lucy acquires a new hair color, a new social set, and enough anonymity to put her notoriety behind her. Soon she’s courted by two men who don’t know her history. But just as Lucy begins to envision a new life for herself, the past catches up with her. Lucy would give up every penny to have her old life back – but just as she’s ready to cash it all in, fate has one last surprise in store for her. One that will show her exactly what she’s worth.

Reason for reading: No freaking clue. Let me tell you what I do – I lurk on blogs, see an interesting review and then go see if my library has the reviewed book. If they do, I request it and then by the time I get it, so much time has passed I forget which blog the book came from. Sometimes this backfires, because I’ll get a book and think “Self, why did you request this?” Fortunately, that wasn’t the case with Good Luck.

Summary: Lucy Parker has just been fired from her teaching position at a posh prep school in Ocean Falls, Florida. Why has she been fired? Weeelll, a student that she gave a failing grade to is accusing her of sexual harassment. The parents won’t sue the school if the school dismisses Lucy immediately. Lucy is furious because she knows why the student is saying that and now her career is in the gutter, because who will hire a teacher who propositions her students? But things only go downhill from there. When she gets home early, she discovers her boyfriend enthusiastically in bed with someone else.

Lucy wakes up the next day with a killer hangover and a winning lottery ticket. How much has she won? 84 million dollars. Lucy quietly claims the prize money and turns down any publicity the lottery company wants to throw her way. But the story gets picked up and before she knows it, Lucy is the Lottery Seductress and everyone is upset that she has won the lottery. Not exactly everyone, her sister is trying to plan the wedding of the year so she’s overjoyed with this news. And her cheating ex-boyfriend quickly turns up with an engagement ring.

Freaked out, Lucy seeks refuge with her good friend Hayden. Hayden knows what it’s like to have money as she grew up rolling in it. She quickly gets Lucy fixed up with a stylist and a new wardrobe and Lucy is living it up in Palm Beach. She even starts dating a great guy. Unfortunately, Lucy’s money has brought out the worst in some people in her life…

My Thoughts: I enjoyed Good Luck. I think it presents (although I’m just guessing here) what could possibly happen to someone who wins the lottery. People are going to want your money and some people are going to think that you don’t deserve it. And that’s what happens to Lucy. Lucy is a pretty plain jane characters – she’s a teacher, she’s engaged and she has a dog. Her life is simple and that’s how she likes it. Once she wins the lottery, she’s thinking she’s not going to change and that she’ll basically continue on the way she has been, only minus her job and her guy.

That plan goes haywire fast and Lucy hides out with her friend who is the exact opposite of simple. She leads an extravagant lifestyle and pretty soon Lucy is changing. That’s why I liked GL. Lucy goes on a this path of self-discovery and she learns hard truths about herself and those around her.

Written from Lucy’s POV, Good Luck is funny and I recommend it if you’re in the mood for some light reading.

4 out of 5

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

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