Tag: women’s fiction

The Second First Time

Author: Elisa Lorello
224 pages in Kindle

Published: November 15, 2016
Dates Read: December 5-11, 2016

My Rating: 3.5 Stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

Novelists Jonathan Moss and Sage Merriweather should be a perfect match. They share not only the same publisher but also a deep friendship full of mutual respect and encouragement. But when an ill-fated attempt at taking their relationship to the next level fails in spectacular fashion, it appears as though that once-treasured bond is doomed for good.

One year later, however, the duo gets a chance to salvage their relationship when Jonathan invites Sage on a do-over road trip from Phoenix to Tacoma—the same trip that ended before it began the year before.

Reeling from the sudden death of her estranged father, Sage finally agrees, and the two embark on a journey that will change their lives forever. As the pair moves ever closer to the truth about their feelings, both Jonathan and Sage have to decide what they really mean to each other…or risk losing it all.

My Review:

Jonathan and Sage are best friends who both happen to be authors and share the same publisher. After Jonathan’s marriage falls apart, they decide to take a road trip to see what could possibly happen. This doesn’t work out, the road trip does not happen and Sage ends up with a broken heart. They stop speaking and a year has gone by. This is where The Second First Time begins.

Sage’s estranged father passes away and she needs someone to talk to and she decides to call Jonathan. It is almost like nothing has happened and they begin talking again and Jonathan suggests they actually go on that road trip they planned a year ago. Sage debates this but she does decide to go. This changes everything for Sage and Jonathan and they have to decide what they really want.

The Second First Time is a journey for Sage as she comes to terms with loss on several levels: Dealing with her father leaving her, her sister and mother when she was ten years old, then his death and the loss of the closure she can never get, and losing her best friend Jonathan the year before. We experience her thoughts and are torn with her as she tries to decide what she should do and how she feels about Jonathan. Should she take a chance on love again and possibly be hurt again? More importantly, what are Jonathan’s feelings about Sage? Can they salvage the relationship they had and realize what could have been a year ago, or are the decisions that were made then permanent?

While on their road trip they learn more about each other. You can see Sage debating with herself and we can see how Jonathan feels about Sage. Sage just needs to see it herself. At times I found myself saying, “Hurry up and get together!”.

The book is like a When Harry Met Sally story: Can a man and a woman just be friends or will romance eventually happen? The Second First Time was just okay for me, but it was well written. I did not find myself really attached to the characters. The first chapter does pull you into the story. I can’t really recommend The Second First Time, but I would give Elisa Lorello another chance and read another of her books.

I received a copy of The Second First Time from NetGalley.

Separate Lives

15710415

 

Author: Kathryn Flett
288 pages in Kindle

Published: July 5, 2016
Dates Read: November 8-19, 2016

My Rating: 2 stars

Book Summary from Amazon:

Your partner of ten years, and the father of your children (though not your husband, because the two of you agreed that marriage seems so…old-fashioned), receives a text message. A text message you happen to see when you’re getting ready for work one day:

Start living a different kind of life… P 🙂 xxx

You don’t even know anyone with the initial P, but even if you did, the smiley face and kisses would send a shiver of fear down your spine that everything you and your partner have built and which seemed so strong, might be in danger of collapse. How could you miss that?

Narrated by Susie, her partner Alex, and the mysterious P, this is an achingly funny, moving and honest portrayal of modern romance, parenthood, and adultery.

My Review:

The premise of the book made me want to read Separate Lives. Unfortunately, I got a different book than I was expecting.

I think I was expecting a ‘fight to save your relationship’ kind of book. Separate Lives was very different from that kind of book. I do like books with multiple narrators, as you get multiple points of view to get the whole story. The three narrators are Susie, Alex and P. Susie’s narration was a ‘standard’ type of narration, Alex’s narration was through emails, and the ‘Mysterious P’s narration is through letters to her mother (P turns out to be Pippa, this is not a secret as we quickly find out who ‘P’ is).

Issues I had with the book:

-All three of the protagonists were not likable. I did not really care what happened to them. Yes, Susie discovers the text, but there is something going on with her. I can’t say what without spoilers.

– There were a few twists that were supposed to shock you but my reaction to them was just the opposite. This must have been because I was not attached to the characters.

-Susie and Pippa’s narrations tended to drag on and mentioned things that were not relevant to the story. I found myself scanning through parts of both of their narrations. This happened more with Susie than Pippa, and some of the things Pippa would say in her letters to her mom I would not even say to my mom!

Towards the end of Separate Lives I did start to like Pippa a small amount. The last few chapters of the book did pick up for me. In the end of the book, that original text has so much more meaning that it did at the beginning of Separate Lives. I know some books are not for everyone and unfortunately Separate Lives was not for me.

I received a copy of Separate Lives from NetGalley.

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Now That It’s You

29500858

Author: Tawna Fenske
314 Pages in Kindle

Expected Publication Date: September 6, 2016
Dates Read: August 15-21, 2016

My Rating: 3 Stars

 
Book Summary from Amazon:

Talented chef Meg Delaney hasn’t spoken to her cheating ex-fiancé, Matt Midland, for two years. Ditching him at the altar after blurting out “I can’t” instead of “I do” would sour any relationship. But now, just as Meg is finally ready to bury the hatchet, she learns closure is permanently off the menu. And the kicker? Matt’s brother, Kyle, is back in her life, stirring up feelings that are equal parts guilt and lust.

Meg was the best thing that never happened to Kyle. He couldn’t make a move on his brother’s girlfriend—even if Matt didn’t value her nearly enough. The situation is even more complicated now that Meg’s bestselling aphrodisiac cookbook has spawned a legal battle with the Midlands. Maybe he should stay away. But love, like family, plays by its own rules. And the one woman he shouldn’t want might be the only one who’s perfect for him.


My Review

The premise caught my attention, so I wanted to read it. The books starts out really good. Two years after leaving her fiance at the alter by saying “I can’t”, Meg feels she can put everything aside and forgive Matt. She decides to visit him at the hospital after a minor surgery to have some closure. Then the bad news: Matt died in surgery. Here comes his brother Kyle into the picture. Kyle has been in love with Meg during her entire relationship with his brother. Then Meg’s self published cookbook all of a sudden becomes “the next 50 Shades” and a legal battle with Matt’s family begins.

Typical with “chick lit” Meg and Kyle start a relationship. Well, more like have really great sex. They are both conflicted the whole book with Matt being brought up CONSTANTLY. You have to almost think, “Would they even be together if Matt had not been around in the past”. For me, Matt was brought up way too much. He was a constant in their conversations. And their conflict on if they should be together or not because of Matt- For me it was “hurry up and make up your minds and stop talking about Matt so much!”

Another thing that was an annoyance was the constant referral to Matt’s mom as Meg’s “former-future-mother-in-law”. She was referred as this the whole novel. Did the author have a word quota she needed to reach? Why not just call Matt’s mom by his name or Mrs. Midland?

For me the best part of the novel was the cookbook and the legal battle that Meg faced. I enjoyed how all of a sudden the book became wildly popular and Meg trying to deal with the after effects of everything that entailed. That part seemed real to me.

Of course towards the end of the novel there is a surprising reveal on a secret Kyle kept. The way that Meg reacted about it and her ultimate decision at the end was not satisfying for me. She forgave him way to easily in my opinion. Books, even “chick-lit” books don’t always have to have a “Happily Ever After” ending.

The issue of grief is in the novel as well. Tawna Fenske did a good job portraying that. You could feel Matt’s family dealing with their grief in various ways.

Overall, I give this novel three stars. I don’t really recommend it. There are some humorous parts to the book. I enjoyed parts of it, but the issues I had keep me from recommending it.

**I received a copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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