Tag Archives: rich

Review: Dinner with Edward by Isabel Vincent

Dinner with Edward: A Story of an Unexpected Friendship

 

 

 

 

 

Synopsis:

When Isabel meets Edward, both are at a crossroads: he wants to follow his late wife to the grave, and she is ready to give up on love. Thinking she is merely helping Edward’s daughter–who lives far away and has asked her to check in on her nonagenarian dad in New York–Isabel has no idea that the man in the kitchen baking the sublime roast chicken and light-as-air apricot soufflé will end up changing her life.

As Edward and Isabel meet weekly for the glorious dinners that Edward prepares, he shares so much more than his recipes for apple galette or the perfect martini, or even his tips for deboning poultry. Edward is teaching Isabel the luxury of slowing down and taking the time to think through everything she does, to deconstruct her own life, cutting it back to the bone and examining the guts, no matter how messy that proves to be.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Dinner with Edward shows that life can be unappreciated at times. With work and everything else pulling the characters’ attention away…some of life’s greatest moments pass by them. Lost love and never having been loved, are two stories followed here. Life is messy, complex, and uncertain at times. That too, is shown here. Sometimes, a purpose is needed for some to move forward and that is exactly what Edward has found. Isabel is at that crossroads point in her life where she felt like something she wanted is missing. With Edward around, she has gotten to enjoy life more so and forget a little more about not having a love.

Isabel Vincent’s novel, is heartfelt. I got to savor the cooking, friendship, and life’s lessons through the eyes of the characters. Each one had his and her own problems. But when they meet, they ended up changing each others’ life. I loved how each one gave and took from the other in equal amounts. Their blossoming friendship helped heal their wounds. It also gave them a renewed purpose in their lives. Moving forward after losing a love one and feeling old and lonely only to have found a good friend to share life with was sweet. I cried for both characters. Isabel is charming and middle-aged. I was able to relate to her issues easily. Never being loved truly has left her feeling sad. Edward is a fabulous cook, who made me mouth water with his recipes. His way of making sure Isabel is fine, tugged at my heart. They had a way of making me fall in love. Realistic characters, good plot, and emotional journeys inside made this a must read for me. Overall, I recommend Dinner with Edward to all readers.

Advertisements

Review: Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies

Synopsis:

Cooking a wonderful meal is an art. An act of love. An act of grace. A gift that affirms and gives life—not only does it nurture those who partake of the meal; it also feeds the soul of the creator. These are lessons Gina learns from her mother, daughter of an unfortunate French chef.

Gina is a young woman born to poor parents, a nobody keen to taste life outside the world she was born into. A world that exposes her to fascinating people gripped by dark motives. Her passion for cooking is all she has to help her navigate it.

She gets lucky when she’s chosen to cook at a Michelin-starred restaurant in the San Francisco Bay Area where customers belong to a privileged class with money to spare for a dinner of inventive dishes costing hundreds of dollars. In this heady, scintillating atmosphere, she meets new friends and new challenges—pastry chef Marcia, filthy rich client Leon, and Brent, a brooding homicide detective. This new world, it turns out, is also one of unexpected danger.

Can the lessons Gina learned from her mother about cooking and life help her survive and thrive in this other world of privilege, pleasure, and menace?

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies by Evy Journey is a contemporary readers like myself won’t forget. The plot itself is this dark edgy vibe to it with a hint of romance. It’s more dangerous than anything. Friendships are tested, broken, and destroyed. Romances begin so fast and end just as quick as they started. From a sexy filthy rich man to a regular average joe, the main protagonist has her hands full. Being seduced by a rich man can be nice…but with comes unwanted danger. Unexpected events occur and kept me intrigued. I felt both sympathy for the bad ones at first but I felt even more sorry for the protagonist. Her pain is both a physical and emotional one. What a rollercoaster…

Evy Journey has created three-dimensional characters. I could see, hear, and feel everything they did. It was crazy. One moment Gina’s work life goes from being busy good to a nightmare. Her past friendship comes out and it gets worse with each page. I felt connected to Gina. She’s a hard worker and a good person.

Gina comes from a poor family. Inherited her skills of cooking from her family, Gina works her butt off in the food industry. She has finally landed herself at a top star restaurant and her personal life unwinds completely. All it takes is for one rich customer and a former best friend to bring the unexpected and disasters to Gina. What Gina thought she knew will change as the course of events escalate out of control. Life threatening, deadly, and stunning…scenes kept me turning the pages.

Leon is the filthy rich customer who wants nothing but Gina. However, he’s dating her best friend. Talk about issues and complications. Here, this was the first warning bell for Gina,,yet she didn’t think things would turn out for the worse…

Imagine trusting a best friend one moment and then fighting for your life…

That’s what happened to Gina…not once but twice.

Pastry chef, Marcia, is the other best friend that Gina has. I really liked Gina until I noticed her crazy moment over the “brooding” cop, Brent. She was obsessed with him as hers until she learned he doesn’t like sweets. Luckily, Brent had that going for him…because Gina has a past that one doesn’t know until the unexpected happens…

Brent is the homicide detective that meets with Gina when the accident with her first best friend happens. From there, Brent and Gina have been in contact since. Brent soon becomes a little jealous because Gina is gorgeous and Leon is trying to take her. Brent knows something about Leon and try’s to tell Gina, but she still goes with Leon. Thinking Leon really loves her…

Romance, work, and friendships are deeply explored in this exciting piece. Evy Journey has captivated me from the beginning with this tale. I wasn’t sure what to expect, but it was worth reading every single last page. Sugar and Spice and All Those Lies is exactly what’s in this novel. There’s a little of all that inside…overall, I recommend this contemporary to readers everywhere.

Review: Beyond Our Degrees of Separation 






Synopsis:

A narrative weave of testimonial non-fiction by Judith Ravin and Muhammad Hassan Miraj, Beyond Our Degrees of Separation evokes points of intersection between the United States and Pakistan. Hailing from oxymoronic bureaucracies, the co-authors transcend their respective realms of diplomacy and the military to reaffirm commonalities beyond differences. The alternating narratives trace their real-life discovery of equivalent experiences within dissimilar worlds. From an off-hand discussion during a one-off encounter, they embark on a project to prove that words and culture have the power to transform. Themes include displacement, social justice, cross-border issues, terrorism, loss, and interfaith harmony. Beyond Our Degrees of Separation delights in the documentation of that journey, along with all journeys, and demonstrates how travel and fate obey their own logic, ever-populating with wonderment the imagination of the “geographically disturbed” – those who live in perpetual wanderlust.

Rating: 4-stars

Review:

Beyond Our Degrees of Separation by both Judith Ravin and Muhammad Hassan Miraj is an interesting book. Many powerful themes can be found within the pages. This non-fiction book,  show that similarities do exist even between two different cultures. A journey that a well traveled journalist and an army veteran took me upon was quite an eye opener. Felt like I traveled from my seat to the world in which they inhabited on the pages. Overall, this a book I recommended to readers everywhere. 

Review: The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir



Synopsis:

“Just because the men have gone to war, why do we have to close the choir? And precisely when we need it most!” 

As England enters World War II’s dark early days, spirited music professor Primrose Trent, recently arrived to the village of Chilbury, emboldens the women of the town to defy the Vicar’s stuffy edict to shutter the church’s choir in the absence of men and instead ‘carry on singing’. Resurrecting themselves as “The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir”, the women of this small village soon use their joint song to lift up themselves, and the community, as the war tears through their lives. 

Told through letters and journals, The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir moves seamlessly from budding romances to village intrigues to heartbreaking matters of life and death. As we come to know the struggles of the charismatic members of this unforgettable outfit — a timid widow worried over her son at the front; the town beauty drawn to a rakish artist; her younger sister nursing an impossible crush and dabbling in politics she doesn’t understand; a young Jewish refugee hiding secrets about her family, and a conniving midwife plotting to outrun her seedy past — we come to see how the strength each finds in the choir’s collective voice reverberates in her individual life. 

In turns funny, charming and heart-wrenching, this lovingly executed ensemble novel will charm and inspire, illuminating the true spirit of the women on the home front, in a village of indomitable spirit, at the dawn of a most terrible conflict. 

Rating: 5-stars

Review:

The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir by Jennifer Ryan is one to love. I am always intrigued by stories about World War II. This one was just that…but much more. Jennifer Ryan brings to readers a story about the women on the home front. Women band together during these terrible and emotional times. Husbands and sons away fighting at war. Life is interrupted and everything opens up…the women are able to step in and do much more. A choir group is dismissed and all seems lost. But not yet. One determined woman goes out and reaches the ladies. They form a new choir…The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir. From there, I got to meet a bunch of interesting woman whose stories varied as did their personalities. A refreshing piece of literature. Bold, engaging, and intriguing. I was hooked. Secrets, a crime, and love are all wrapped in inside this stunning story. Overall, I recommend The Chilbury Ladies’ Choir to readers worldwide. 

Review: Lost Time

Lost Time (Between Two Evils Book 2) by [Orton, D. L.]

 

Synopsis:

If someone took everything you live for, how far would you go to get it back?

When a faulty time machine deposits Diego in a towering evergreen, he knows he’s in the wrong place—but has no idea he’s in the wrong time. Naked and shivering in the chilly mountain air, he attempts to climb down, but slips, whacks his head on a branch, and falls into oblivion.

He wakes up inside a darkened room, crippled and disheartened, and must come to grips with the realization that he is marooned in a bleak alternate future. In this universe, what remains of the human race is trapped inside a handful of aging biodomes. With his mission failed, his world destroyed, and the one woman he loves, dead, he can find no reason to go on living.

But Lani, the emotionally scarred doctor who finds him, refuses to let him die, and as Diego heals, their relationship becomes… complicated. He struggles to let go of the past but is unable to get Isabel out of his head—or his heart. Just when it seems he may be able to find some measure of happiness in a world teetering on the edge of extinction…

Another note arrives from the future: Isabel is alive—but not for long…

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

Lost Time by DL Orton is definitely one of the best postapocalyptic novels I have ever read. This second book in the Between Two Evils Series is a highly suspenseful read. Full of action, danger, and time travel traveling. The characters inside this stunning novel are believable and enjoyable to follow along. DL Orton’s writing is fantastic. I can’t get enough of her three-dimensional world of fiction. So much at risk and there’s only so much time left. Romance, time travel, and science fiction fantasy elements that readers everywhere will love.

Lost Time brings readers to a man who ends up somewhere with no clothes and clutching a shell. Humanity is almost on the brink of ending…and his love is trapped some place else. He thought she was dead but it turns out that she’s alive. However, she will only be alive for so much longer…can love conquer time? engaging, hilarious, and well-written. I loved reading this tale. Overall, I highly recommend this second masterpiece, Lost Time, to readers worldwide.

 

 

Review: Roman Crazy

 

Synopsis:

A delicious, sexy, laugh-out-loud modern romance about a newly single woman and her journey to find love again, from New York Times bestselling author Alice Clayton and debut author Nina Bocci.

Avery Bardot steps off the plane in Rome, looking for a fresh start. She’s left behind a soon-to-be ex-husband in Boston and plans to spend the summer with her best friend Daisy, licking her wounds—and perhaps a gelato or two. But when her American-expat friend throws her a welcome party on her first night, Avery’s thrown for a loop when she sees a man she never thought she’d see again: Italian architect Marcello Bianchi.

Marcello was the man—the one who got away. And now her past is colliding with her present, a present where she should be mourning the loss of her marriage and—hey, that fettuccine is delicious! And so is Marcello…

Slipping easily into the good life of summertime in Rome, Avery spends her days exploring a city that makes art historians swoon, and her in nights swooning over her unexpected what was old is new again romance. It’s heady, it’s fevered, it’s wanton, and it’s crazy. But could this really be her new life? Or is it just a temporary reprieve before returning to the land of twin-set cardigans and crustless sandwiches?

A celebration of great friendship, passionate romance, and wonderful food, Roman Crazy is a lighthearted story of second chances and living life to the fullest.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

As I just finished reading, Roman Crazy, I felt my heart race with all the possibilities of true love. Once it’s found, it there planted firmly. Never leaving. Imagine getting the chance of a lifetime to go to a foreign country and study abroad. While their fate has brought a man who is perfect in every way…both inside and out. Time flies by and a deep love formed. Yet life calls back, and back one goes. Just when everything was mapped out, life dumps unexpected surprises once more and time is lost.

Until Avery goes to see her husband and sees him dicking around in a way that he never has with her. He’s creative, passionate and just raw energy. But then the anger comes out and without a second thought she hits him with a bat. Her husband…messedaroundn with his personal assistant. Ouch! Mega ouch…but Avery won’t stand to be around a man who doesn’t love her. A friend calls her to Rome. There she has a life she’s missed out on in nine years. But then fate knocks her off her feet once more.

An unexpected person is now, among her mist. A friend of her friend. But all those memories from nine years ago come rushing back in…the time and love feels fresh again. Giddy as a teen, Avery has a lot to handle. Divorcing her cheating husband, enjoying spending time with a past lover who’s not sure if she’s there to stay or leave him again. Avery isn’t sure herself. But once she’s spending more time with the man of her heart, how can she leave? Roman Crazy is a feel-good romance with travel, food, and family too. Finding love and happiness that just a bonus. However, both Alice Clayton and Nina Bocci, have left the fate of Avery and her lover to themselves. Will they work out or fall apart once again? I highly suggest readers dig in and read. I loved this journey and following the characters. Charming, sweet, and truly a page turner. Overall, I recommend Roman Crazy to readers worldwide.

 

Review: The Invitation

The Invitation by [Foley, Lucy]

 

Synopsis:

An evocative love story set along the Italian Riviera about a group of charismatic stars who all have secrets and pasts they try desperately–and dangerously–to hide.

Rome, 1953: Hal, an itinerant journalist flailing in the post-war darkness, has come to the Eternal City to lose himself and to seek absolution for the thing that haunts him. One evening he finds himself on the steps of a palazzo, walking into a world of privilege and light. Here, on a rooftop above the city, he meets the mysterious Stella. Hal and Stella are from different worlds, but their connection is magnetic. Together, they escape the crowded party and imagine a different life, even if it’s just for a night. Yet Stella vanishes all too quickly, and Hal is certain their paths won’t cross again.

But a year later they are unexpectedly thrown together after Hal receives an invitation he cannot resist. An Italian Contessa asks him to assist on a trip of a lifetime–acting as a reporter on a tremendous yacht, skimming its way along the Italian coast toward Cannes film festival, the most famous artists and movie stars of the day gathered to promote a new film.

Of all the luminaries aboard–an Italian ingenue, an American star, a reclusive director–only one holds Hal in thrall: Stella. And while each has a past, that belies the gilded surface, Stella has the most to hide. As Hal’s obsession with Stella grows, he becomes determined to bring back the girl she once was, the girl who’s been confined to history.

An irresistibly entertaining and atmospheric novel set in some of the world’s most glamorous locales, THE INVITATION is a sultry love story about the ways in which the secrets of the past stay with us–no matter how much we try to escape them.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The Invitation by Lucy Foley is a historical romance story set in the 1950’s. Its tale takes readers deep into the darkness that surrounds the characters. Regret, sorrow, and loss. But even with that, there was also, the luxury of lives lived in glamorous ways. Rich, fascinating, and enticing. Lucy Foley magnificently creates, a world in which readers want to dive into time and time again. The emotional journey is one that baits and hooks readers deeper into the plot. Moving back and forth dipping into each character’s life so as to give readers a clearer picture of who they are. The mystery behind the characters and their dilemmas is fascinating to watch. This book is like a moving picture. The Invitation brings a realistic yet romantic story that nails me to its pages. A search for redemption and love is so great that I simply couldn’t put the book down…to stop reading. I highly recommend this to fans of historicals, romances, and family sagas. Lucy Foley is indeed a talented writer.

Review: No One Is Invincible

No One Is Invincible by [Walker, Shawn]

 

Synopsis:

Summary Life is a precious thing. This is something sixteen year old John knows all too well. Intelligent, punk rock, and seemingly alone in a home filled with domestic violence, John runs away and finds himself homeless and living on the streets. Faced with hunger, horrid winter weather, and human ignorance, John struggles to find morality in the world around him. That is, until the love and help of a mysterious old lady who goes by the name “Mom” and charismatic, 6-year-old little girl, Candy, show him light can be found in the darkest of places. Can John face down not only homelessness, but also the fear of losing a loved one to a very deadly killing agent, cancer?

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

No One Is Invincible by Shawn Walker is a read to behold. This novel holds more than to the eyes see. A story is that is deep…emotional and one that awakens readers to the evils of men. Human ignorance is one of the worst evils humans possess. That and greed. The more we have the more we want. Yet when we meet those who have little or nothing we turn a blind’s eye to them. It’s those people that we should be helping and paying attention to…not to our wealth. Family comes in all varieties these days. A young man is smart yet feels alone runs away from his home. He is soon faced with problems of hunger, shelter, and love. Humans see the issues but they harden their hearts instead of opening them. I felt sadness, frustration, and anger. The difficulties and struggles of the characters were easy to relate to and understand. I want to cry, hug, and love the characters like they were my own family. I wanted to help them. In the end, I felt the loss, the grief, but also, a sense of belonging and love. There is hope after all…Shawn Walker’s novel, No One is Invincible is one that all should read. I highly recommend it to readers worldwide. The issues are real. The characters will tug at readers’ hearts and souls. I fell in love. Overall, this was masterfully woven and well-developed.

 

Review: When the Summer Ends

51kAUnCDV4L

 

Synopsis:

A tale of love and friendship set in the 1950s, When the Summer Ends tackles society’s views of the times.

Aika Rowland is a young lady affected by undiagnosed Aspergers, and struggling to live her life; her famous family has its own problems and often she is overlooked, finding it hard to fit in with her outlandish clothes and strange mannerisms. That is, until she meets rough, tough Greaser girl, Cherry Knox, the girl who shows her what love is really about.

Rating: 4.5 stars

Review:

When the Summer Ends by Ellie Morris is well-written and shows a lot of issues at hand that our society faces today. As a reader, I could sympathize with the characters. A family going through many issues. Issues like an older brother being gay, a father who can’t stand up to his demanding wife, and the daughter struggling with who she is and developing an attraction to another female. This was indeed an emotional thrill ride. As each cahracter went through their issues and self-discoveries. But desipte all that was happening the sibblings supported one another. That made me feel good. Gender issues as well as sexuality and racisim were also other issues that were brilliantly brought up within this historical read. Quite a journey to go through. Never a dull moment. Love isn’t something that we can box up and define. It’s something that changes as life evolves. Love isn’t hatred. Ellie Morris brings these themes into her highly entertaining world of fiction. Overall, I recommend this new title to readers everywhere.

Review: The After Party

 

Synopsis:

From the nationally bestselling author of The Yonahlossee Riding Camp for Girls comes a story of 1950s Texas socialites and the one irresistible, controversial woman at the bright, hot center of it all.

Joan Fortier is the epitome of Texas glamour and the center of the 1950s Houston social scene. Tall, blonde, beautiful, and strong, she dominates the room and the gossip columns. Every man who sees her seems to want her; every woman just wants to be her. But this is a highly ordered world of garden clubs and debutante balls. The money may flow as freely as the oil, but the freedom and power all belong to the men. What happens when a woman of indecorous appetites and desires like Joan wants more? What does it do to her best friend?

Devoted to Joan since childhood, Cece Buchanan is either her chaperone or her partner in crime, depending on whom you ask. But as Joan’s radical behavior escalates, Cece’s perspective shifts—forcing one provocative choice to appear the only one there is.

A thrilling glimpse into the sphere of the rich and beautiful at a memorable moment in history, The After Party unfurls a story of friendship as obsessive, euphoric, consuming, and complicated as any romance.

Rating: 5 stars

Review:

The After Party by Anton DiSclafani is a highly entertaining read that will take readers, into an unforgettable journey. A journey of that involves the wealth, beauty, and expectations of women. Anton DiSclafani’s brilliantly well-written novel is a historical read that will forever entice readers to its pages. Friendship is important…but where it may lead us is something that we must discover on our own. Not all friendships are good…

Inside The After Party, readers will meet a woman that makes all envious and needy. Glamour, parties, scandals…will enlighten readers as they race through the stunning plot. Cece is an intelligent yet beautiful woman. She is also the world’s greatest friend. Throughout the novel, she serves as friend, a guide, and a partner in crime to Joan. Joan needs to escape from her mother and Cece wonders if Joan can ever accomplish such a feat. This novel also gives readers an insight on how and what was expected of women during this time period. The 1950’s seems like so long ago until readers pick up this novel and begin reading it. Zap and the next moment your back in time…Anton DiSclafani’s masterpiece will leave readers feeling and experiencing everything that these two women go through…absolutely amazing. Exciting, complex, and the most compelling women’s historical fiction that I have ever read. I enjoyed reading The After Party. Overall, I highly recommend it to readers worldwide.