Tag Archives: 4 Stars

Review | Where We Belong by Emily Giffin

Title:  Where We Belong

Author:  Emily Giffin

Publish Date:  July 24, 2012

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Website: N/A

Imprint: N/A

My Source:  Purchased at Target

My rating: 4 Stars

The author of five blockbuster novels, Emily Giffin, delivers an unforgettable story of two women, the families that make them who they are, and the longing, loyalty and love that binds them together.

Marian Caldwell is a thirty-six year old television producer, living her dream in New York City. With a fulfilling career and satisfying relationship, she has convinced everyone, including herself, that her life is just as she wants it to be. But one night, Marian answers a knock on the door . . . only to find Kirby Rose, an eighteen-year-old girl with a key to a past that Marian thought she had sealed off forever. From the moment Kirby appears on her doorstep, Marian’s perfectly constructed world—and her very identity—will be shaken to its core, resurrecting ghosts and memories of a passionate young love affair that threaten everything that has come to define her.

For the precocious and determined Kirby, the encounter will spur a process of discovery that ushers her across the threshold of adulthood, forcing her to re-evaluate her family and future in a wise and bittersweet light. As the two women embark on a journey to find the one thing missing in their lives, each will come to recognize that where we belong is often where we least expect to find ourselves—a place that we may have willed ourselves to forget, but that the heart remembers forever.  (Goodreads Summary)

My Review:

I have read every book Emily Giffin has written and as I read this one, I came to the conclusion that Emily Giffin’s fiction is my reality. From Baby Proof to this book, Where We Belong, I could have had my name in every book as I have experienced each and every story on some level. Wow! I can’t wait to read what she writes next!

This book is about adoption and the struggles the adoptee goes thru with trying to find where she fits in, the struggles the birth mom goes thru because of the secrets she kept, and even the struggles the families go thru with jealousy, insecurity and even loss. As the mom of three adopted children, this story touched a nerve. (in a good way) I was very worried that this would be another story painting adoption in either a negative light or painting adoption in an overly romanticized light where everyone lives happily ever after with no regrets, or conflict. I was pleasantly surprised with this story, thank you for that.

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Review | Slammed by Colleen Hoover

Title:  Slammed

Author:  Colleen Hoover

Publish Date:  September 18, 2012

Publisher: Simon & Schuster

Website: N/A

Imprint: Atria Books

My Source:  Purchased at BN

My rating: 4 Stars

Following the unexpected death of her father, 18-year-old Layken is forced to be the rock for both her mother and younger brother. Outwardly, she appears resilient and tenacious, but inwardly, she’s losing hope.   Enter Will Cooper: The attractive, 21-year-old new neighbor with an intriguing passion for slam poetry and a unique sense of humor. Within days of their introduction, Will and Layken form an intense emotional connection, leaving Layken with a renewed sense of hope.  Not long after an intense, heart-stopping first date, they are slammed to the core when a shocking revelation forces their new relationship to a sudden halt. Daily interactions become impossibly painful as they struggle to find a balance between the feelings that pull them together, and the secret that keeps them apart.  (Goodreads Summary)

My Review:

YA isn’t typically a genre I enjoy or usually read. At this stage in my life, being a wife and mom, I just don’t relate to these types of stories and won’t typically read them. That being said, I really enjoyed this book. The characters had some depth, were likable, and definitely relatable to readers of most ages. What struck me most was the maturity of both main characters their life experience of losing a parent or both parents made them “grow up” and the writing showed this very well in their interactions with each other, as well as others. As the reader, I appreciated their maturity very much, especially in the wake of a very sensitive issue Lake and Will had to overcome. They handled it very well, better than you would expect an 18 and a 21 year old to handle it.

I found myself crying, laughing, then crying some more. At one point, my kids looked at me and asked their dad, “What’s wrong with mom?”. This story kept me wanting more with each turn of events and I was so glad I had purchased Point of Retreat to continue reading about Lake and Will! This story has such a good message, focusing on doing the right thing. I can’t wait until my daughters are old enough for me to recommend this book to them.

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Review | Love the One You’re With by Emily Giffin

Title: Love the One You’re With

Author:  Emily Giffin

Publish Date: May 13, 2008

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press

Website: N/A

Imprint: N/A

My Source:  Purchased at Target

My rating: 4 Stars

The New York Times bestselling author of Something Borrowed, Something Blue, and Baby Proof delivers another captivating novel about women and the choices that define them. This is the story for anyone who has ever wondered: How can I truly love the one I’m with when I can’t forget the one who got away?

Ellen and Andy’s first year of marriage doesn’t just seem perfect, it is perfect. There is no question how deep their devotion is, and how naturally they bring out the best in each other. But one fateful afternoon, Ellen runs into Leo for the first time in eight years. Leo, the one who brought out the worst in her. Leo, the one who left her heartbroken with no explanation. Leo, the one she could never quite forget. When his reappearance ignites long-dormant emotions, Ellen begins to question whether the life she’s living is the one she’s meant to live.

Love the One You’re With is a powerful story about one woman at the crossroads of true love and real life.

(Goodreads Summary)

My Review:

I have had this on my shelf for four years and can’t believe I hadn’t read it sooner. This book really resonated with me. While it wasn’t exactly something I went thru when I first got married I remember having some of the same feelings Ellen had regarding an intense love. The wondering what if things ended up differently.  Don’t get me wrong, I love how my life turned out. I just remember a time, early on, wondering about that one person I had an intense relationship with and how it didn’t work out.

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Review | At Last by Jill Shalvis

Title: At Last

Author: Jill Shalvis

Publish Date: July 01, 2012

Publisher: Grand Central Publishing

Website: N/A

Imprint: Forever

My Source: NetGalley

My rating: 4 Stars

HER LOVE HAS COME ALONG . . .
Amy Michaels loves her new life in Lucky Harbor. A waitress in the local diner, she’s looking forward to her first weekend hike through the mountains. But when a wrong turn takes her off the trail, she finds herself up close and personal with forest ranger Matt Bowers. And even though she’s tempted to kiss that sexy smile right off his face, she won’t make the mistake of getting involved with the town heartthrob.

A former cop whose life went south, Matt doesn’t let anyone get too close. But something about the feisty beauty caught his eye the moment he first saw her in the diner. After a hot night under a starry sky, Matt can’t deny their attraction-or the fact that for the first time in a long time, he feels the stirrings of something more. Now it’s up to Matt to help Amy see that, no matter what is in their past, together they can build a future in Lucky Harbor. (Official Summary)

My Review:

At first I didn’t realize that this was number 5 in the Lucky Harbor series and was a little worried that I hadn’t read the previous books. But, I have to admit that while nice it isn’t necessary to have read the previous books in this series. The author uses each book to describe one out of a group of women who are all friends and who find love in Lucky Harbor. Every woman appears in each book but the story itself relates to only one woman at a time. What I also loved was that the author doesn’t spend a lot of time in the book rehashing who is who, what is what, or why it’s why. Thank you for that! This installment is about Amy, the tough chick who had a rough upbringing and doesn’t trust men easily. She meets Matt, the hot forest ranger, when she gets lost on a hike and he is instantly attracted to her. With some convincing, he gets her to admit she is equally attracted to him and from there the story just gets better. I enjoyed the book and the chemistry between Matt and Amy. If you are looking for a fun, light summer read, this is your series!

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Review | Into the Darkest Corner by Elizabeth Haynes

Title: Into the Darkest Corner

Author: Elizabeth Haynes

Publish Date: June 5th 2012

Publisher: Harper

Website: N/A

Imprint: N/A

My Source: Purchased at BN

My rating: 4 Stars

Catherine has been enjoying the single life for long enough to know a good catch when she sees one. Gorgeous, charismatic, spontaneous – Lee seems almost too perfect to be true. And her friends clearly agree, as each in turn falls under his spell. But there is a darker side to Lee. His erratic, controlling and sometimes frightening behaviour means that Catherine is increasingly isolated. Driven into the darkest corner of her world, and trusting no one, she plans a meticulous escape. Four years later, struggling to overcome her demons, Catherine dares to believe she might be safe from harm. Until one phone call changes everything. This is an edgy and powerful first novel, utterly convincing in its portrayal of obsession, and a tour de force of suspense. (Goodreads Summary)

My Review:

Whoa! I don’t know where to begin. First off, this book is very dark – a woman is brutally attacked by someone she loves. The story gives you, the reader, some insight into what the attacker did to her mentally and how she is dealing with it in the aftermath. If you are not into reading about this kind of abuse – mental and physical, don’t read this.

This was recommended to me and while it is not typically the type of book I would read, I have to admit that I liked it. I kept wanting to read on. I don’t know if it was because of the flashback style of writing or the way the author really engaged me into the aftermath of the trauma Cathy went thru (she was seriously OCD). The writing style was so descriptive, especially regarding Cathy’s OCD but I never felt it was too much. I really started to feel for her – how trapped she felt and became. While this story could have verged on the predictable side, it didn’t. It really kept me on my toes all the way to the end.

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Review | Slave to Love by Nikita Black

Title: Slave to Love

Author: Nikita Black

Publish Date: February 14, 2007

Publisher: Cajun Hot Press

Website: N/A

Imprint: N/A

My Source: Amazon

My rating: 4 Stars

Vice Sergeant Caroline Palmer is not into whips and chains… That is, not until Homicide detective Lieutenant Michael ‘Mick’ McGraw–better known as The Iceman–leads her undercover into a secret world she never dreamed existed. He says they are tracking a sexual predator, a sadistic killer who preys on adventurous suburban couples. But Caroline knows Mick is looking for something else. Something much more dangerous. This erotic thriller will leave you breathless in more ways than one. (Official Book Summary)

My Review:

Whoa! That was a murder-mystery plus some major doses of steam! I was really excited to get into this story since I am a huge murder mystery fan. I was not dissappointed! The plot kept me riveted and even though a lot of reviewers said they didn’t like the ending, I did like it. It made me think about the book even after finishing it, I really wanted to go back and re-read it to see if there was anything I missed. Just what a good mystery should be. The sex was graphic in its description and there was a lot throughout the book. That really wasn’t what kept me glued to the story, it was really a good plot. In fact, I feel that this story would have held up with quite a bit less of the graphic stuff. The only thing that you might say is a negative was the main character, Mick. He was your typical leading man – hot, mysterious, broken and a little bit creepy with his Dominance stuff. But, it really fell into place with the plot and Mick couldn’t be anything but the above.

In the afterword, the author felt compelled to interpret her ending – which I did not agree with. I so did not read what she intended, I read the exact opposite. I read what everyone, I feel, was complaining about. The ending is a little left to the imagination, I’ll stick with what I originally thought about who did what.

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