Tuesday, July 21, 2015

The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis + Giveaway

Cape Cod summers are supposed to remain reassuringly the same, but everything falls apart when three sisters and their families come together for their annual summer vacation—and they are carrying more secrets than suitcases.


Maggie is the oldest. She feels responsible for managing the summer house and making sure everything is as it always has been. But she’s hurt that her parents’ recent divorce has destroyed the family’s comfortable summer routines, and her own kids seem to be growing up at high speed. Is it too late to have another baby?

Jess is the middle sister. She loves her job but isn’t as passionate about her marriage. She’s not sure she can find the courage to tell Maggie what she’s done—much less talk to her husband about it.

Virgie is the youngest, her dad’s favorite. She’s always been the career girl, but now there’s a man in her life. Her television job on the west coast is beyond stressful, and it’s taking its toll on her—emotionally and physically. She’s counting on this vacation to erase the symptoms she’s not talking about.

The Herington girls are together again, with their husbands and kids, for another summer in the family’s old Cape Cod house. When their mother, Gloria, announces she’s coming for an unscheduled visit—with her new boyfriend—no one is more surprised than their father, Arthur, who has not quite gotten over his divorce. Still, everyone manages to navigate the challenges of living grown-up lives in close quarters, until an accident reveals a new secret that brings everyone together in heartbreak… and then healing.

I love summer beach reads and The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis sounds like the perfect book! I have one copy of The Summer of Good Intentions by Wendy Francis to giveaway! All you need to do is comment by telling me your favorite summer vacation spot and you need to leave me your email address! This giveaway is for US addresses only and no po boxes :) I will pick a winner Tuesday, July 28 by 8am central. The winner will have 72 hours to email me back with their address. Good luck! Oh and if you tweet about the giveaway you get an extra entry just leave me a second comment and make sure to add @anovelreview1 in the tweet :D


















As of December 1, 2009, According to The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), product reviewers on blogs must disclose whether they received products for free or received payment for their review. The books I review on this site (A NOVEL REVIEW) are sent to me by publishers, authors or downloaded from Netgalley. This is a very common practice. I never take payments for these reviews and all the reviews on this site are my own thoughts and feelings and are not influenced.

The Idea of Love by Patti Callahan Henry

As we like to say in the south: "Don't let the truth get in the way of a good story."



Ella's life has been completely upended. She's young, beautiful, and deeply in love—until her husband dies in a tragic sailing accident while trying save her. Or so she'll have everyone believe. Screenwriter Hunter needs a hit, but crippling writers' block and a serious lack of motivation are getting him nowhere. He's on the look-out for a love story. It doesn't matter who it belongs to.

When Hunter and Ella meet in Watersend, South Carolina it feels like the perfect match, something close to fate. In Ella, Hunter finds the perfect love story, full of longing and sacrifice. It's the stuff of epic films. In Hunter, Ella finds possibility. It's an opportunity to live out a fantasy – the life she wishes she had because hers is too painful. And more real. Besides. what's a little white lie between strangers?

But one lie leads to another, and soon Hunter and Ella find themselves caught in a web of deceit. As they try to untangle their lies and reclaim their own lives, they feel something stronger is keeping them together. And so they wonder: can two people come together for all the wrong reasons and still make it right?

My thoughts...Patti Callahan Henry writes with perfect Southern charm. She writes the South how I see it and feel it. Ella Flynn has had a rough time lately. Her husband left her, her job sorta sucks and she lives in a less than par apartment. When Hunter Adderman or aka Blake Hunter introduces himself as a freelancer writing about small southern towns, Ella shares a different picture of her life. Believing this was a one time only meeting-what could it hurt? Their story begins with a lie, then another lie and another. Both spinning stories to the other. They begin building a friendship on falsehoods and half truths. All the while, Ella is trying to get her real life on track to what she believes is her ideal life. Hunter/Blake is looking to put his career back on track. Their friendship is a true friendship, a true connection built on untruths. Soon enough the house of cards falls down all around them. The feelings are real, but where can that lead to when you can't trust the other.

I overall enjoyed THE IDEA OF LOVE. It was well written, but it fell short for me with the two main characters. I very much enjoyed all the supporting characters and secondary stories. I just couldn't really connect to Ella. I didn't dislike her, but I didn't find her compelling. She has this great guy, but she is obsessed with an idea. It wasn't until she started getting a backbone that I could root for her. It just seemed like everyone in her 'real' life treated her poorly and without any respect from her former Bff, her boss, and someone else (you have to read the book to find out who). Then you know Hunter/Blake is lying to her too. Sorta using her and yet falling for her or her story? So I couldn't really like him cause he believes her sob story, but he is still willing to use it. This was definitely a different sort of love story. Like I said, I really enjoyed Henry's writing and the stories surrounding the main story. I just didn't love it. I will definitely read more from her and I'm sure others will really enjoy the story--it was more I didn't enjoy the concept of the story.

The Idea of Love by Patti Callahan Henry

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If you are interested in reading THE IDEA OF LOVE please go over to my friend Jency's blog where she is giving a copy away! Writer's Corner!

As of December 1, 2009, According to The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), product reviewers on blogs must disclose whether they received products for free or received payment for their review. The books I review on this site (A NOVEL REVIEW) are sent to me by publishers, authors or downloaded from Netgalley. This is a very common practice. I never take payments for these reviews and all the reviews on this site are my own thoughts and feelings and are not influenced.

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Saving Grace by Jane Green now in paperback!

Grace and Ted Chapman are widely regarded as the perfect literary power couple. Ted is a successful novelist and Grace, his wife of twenty years, is beautiful, stylish, carefree, and a wonderful homemaker. But what no one sees, what is churning under the surface, is Ted’s rages. His mood swings. And the precarious house of cards that their lifestyle is built upon. When Ted’s longtime assistant and mainstay leaves, the house of cards begins to crumble and Grace, with dark secrets in her past, is most vulnerable. She finds herself in need of help but with no one to turn to…until the perfect new assistant shows up out of the blue.  To the rescue comes Beth, a competent young woman who can handle Ted and has the calm efficiency to weather the storms that threaten to engulf the Chapman household. Soon, though, it’s clear to Grace that Beth might be too good to be true. This new interloper might be the biggest threat of all, one that could cost Grace her marriage, her reputation, and even her sanity.  With everything at stake and no one to confide in, Grace must find a way to save herself before it is too late.

Powerful and riveting, Saving Grace will have you on the edge of your seat as you follow Grace on her harrowing journey to rock bottom and back.

My thoughts...there is a reason Jane Green has published so many books, she is fantastic. Saving Grace is an I can't put this book down kinda novel! I really liked Grace. At first, I wasn't sure what to make of her relationship to Ted...I was on the edge of my seat waiting to see where it would lead. Then we meet the new assistant and I never trusted her, but Grace really wasn't a fool--but then the story just explodes in a way I really wasn't expecting. Wow. I mean wow. I was really proud of the leaps Grace went through and how wonderfully Green pulled everything together. Nothing felt rushed, Grace always seemed true to who she was. I would love to mention another character who I totally loved, but that would be a spoiler! I will also mention Green brings about a discussion of medication in this novel that should be a discussion we should be having in our society.

I believe the books description really gives you a good idea of what the novel is about, so I am really just letting you know this was a great read. I highly recommend Saving Grace.

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Wednesday, July 1, 2015

It's You by Jane Porter


From the USA Today bestselling author of the Brennan Sisters novels comes a heartwarming story about finding love and strength, even in the darkest moments…


In the wake of a tragedy that tore her life down to the foundations, Dr. Alison McAdams has lost her way. So when she’s summoned to Napa to care for her ailing father, she’s not sure she has anything to offer him—or anyone else.

What Ali finds in Northern California wine country is a gift—an opportunity to rest, and distance from her painful memories. Most unexpectedly, she finds people who aren’t afraid of her grief or desperate for her to hurry up and move on.

As Ali becomes part of her father’s community, makes new friends of her own, and hears the stories of a generation who survived the Second World War, she begins to find hope again. In a quest to discover the truth about another woman’s lost love, she sets off on a journey across oceans and deep into history. And in making sense of that long-ago tragedy, Ali is able to put together the broken pieces of her heart and make new choices that are right for her.


My thoughts...I am an absolute fan of Jane Porter and IT'S YOU is just one more reason why. Dr. Alison McAdams was one of those characters I was automatically drawn to. Life has hurt Ali. She is broken inside, she wants to be better, but at the same time she knows her pain is what reminds her how not to get hurt again. How do you heal after the loss she has gone through? How do you get past it? In Napa, she finds a sort of peace. She is surrounded by her mother's home and her fathers presence. It is through some of her fathers new friends where Ali learns there are many pains and losses in the world. There is a way to heal and not forget. 

Porter writes with such heart. I felt Ali's pain. I felt Ali's anger. I could feel the struggle she was going through--would living mean forgetting? Even the relationship with her dad connected me to Ali. Their relationship was far from perfect, not too good not to bad. Ali seems to be trying to move forward, but how do you do that after you've been through such devastation? It is only through another woman's story where Ali can begin to find the courage to live again. 

A honest portrayal of love and loss. Once I got into the first chapter or two the story just moved right along at a really good pace. If you've read Porter's Brennan Sisters series you will be thrilled to learn Dark Horse Winery is a destination in IT'S YOU! I really enjoyed Porters newest novel and I loved reading about a part of history rarely spoken about. I'm a huge fan of dual storylines (past/present), so I really enjoyed the second storyline. It never took over from Ali's story and was a perfect amount to make you feel the connection Ali felt. If you are looking for an enjoyable book for the holiday weekend I saw grab a copy of IT'S YOU by Jane Porter!




It's You by Jane Porter 
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As of December 1, 2009, According to The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), product reviewers on blogs must disclose whether they received products for free or received payment for their review. The books I review on this site (A NOVEL REVIEW) are sent to me by publishers, authors or downloaded from Netgalley. This is a very common practice. I never take payments for these reviews and all the reviews on this site are my own thoughts and feelings and are not influenced.

Monday, June 15, 2015

Eight Hundred Grapes: A Novel by Laura Dave + a chance to win a visit from Laura!


There are secrets you share, and secrets you hide…

Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.

But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.

Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancĂ© is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets…

I can't wait to start reading Laura's newest novel! Here are a few fun things to check out from Laura Dave and Simon & Schulster to enhance EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES!

Nothing goes better with a good book than a glass of wine! What wine would go best with Laura Dave's new novel Eight Hundred Grapes? Check out the selected trio of classic
Sonoma wines to enhance the reading experience.


*******Simon & Schuster have a sweepstakes with a chance to win a visit from Laura herself, as well as a gift card to Harry & David (Laura will visit 1 book club in NYC—Manhattan and Brooklyn only—1 book club in Los Angeles, and will Skype with 1 book club located anywhere in the U.S.)!  To enter, you must post a message on Twitter about EIGHT HUNDRED GRAPES using the hashtags #EightHundredGraps and #entry, and fill out the sweepstakes form.



Video of Laura Dave reveals to secret to the Ford family’s legendary lasagna




Laura Dave is the author of the critically acclaimed novels The First Husband, The Divorce Party, London Is The Best City In America, and the forthcoming Eight Hundred Grapes. Dave’s fiction and essays have been published in The New York Times, ESPN, Redbook, Glamour and Ladies Home Journal.

Dubbed “a wry observer of modern love” (USA Today), Dave has appeared on CBS’s The Early Show, Fox News Channel’s Fox & Friends and NPR’s All Things Considered.  Cosmopolitan
Magazine recently named her a “Fun and Fearless Phenom of the Year.”

Three of her novels have been optioned for the big screen with Dave adapting Eight Hundred Grapes for Fox2000.


FTC Disclaimer
As of December 1, 2009, According to The Federal Trade Commission (FTC), product reviewers on blogs must disclose whether they received products for free or received payment for their review.

The books we review on this site (A NOVEL REVIEW) are sent to us by publishers, authors or downloaded from Netgalley. This is a very common practice. We never take payments for these reviews and all the reviews on this site are our own thoughts and feelings and are not influenced.