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review 2018-05-04 13:42
White Houses: The First Lady and "First Friend" Re-Imagined
White Houses - Amy Bloom

I seriously took too long to finish this book... Anyway, here it is!

 

Lorena “Hick” Hickok didn’t have it easy from the start. She was abused, separated from her sisters, lost her mother at a young age, and lived in poverty. Now, she has worked hard, and as a journalist, she was tasked to report on Franklin Roosevelt’s presidential campaign. Hick grows closer to his wife, Eleanor Roosevelt, and is asked to move in the White Houses where she is labeled as the “first friend.” As the years go by, they, as individuals and as a couple, undergo different experiences and encounter challenges that just makes them stronger. It isn’t until the death of dear Franklin that really ignites them and proves their love to be true.

Amy Bloom’s portayal of Hick’s life and realationship seems close to reality, even though it is just a fictional account. I like how she wrote the backstories of Lorena’s life, especially during her time with a traveling circus. Gosh, I love that part. For me, that was the best part of the book because it was where she knew more about herself.

The way Amy wrote the words was precise. I admire the way she plays with them and is able to insert some witty remarks in her sentences, here and there. The writing was one of the reasons why I liked the book because it made me feel like I was actually there, years ago even though I’m living in the present. Each character was beautifully written and had their own distinct characteristics.

I was just slightly confused with the lack of quotation marks in the flashbacks because sometimes I can’t distinguished which ones are supposed to be said by a person. Another thing that confused me was that the parts weren’t divided “approriately” (I guess). Sometimes, I just think that there were chapters that could’ve been cut short and made into a new chapter so it doesn’t add to the confusion, that’s all.

The amazing parts were really the flash backs where there are a lot of, in the book. But being honest, I had some parts where I was reading and felt bored. It’s probably because it slightly involves politics and a few topics wherein you need deeper understanding. 

The idea of re-imagining a previous first lady and her “first friend” really fascinated me so I read it. I came for the idea, I stayed for the story. If you like a good gay re-imagine of historical ladies with a hint of drama and politics, I could say you should pick this up.

My deepest thanks to NetGalley, Random House, and Amy Bloom for introducing me to the fictional world of Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok (and for the book)!

 

Bonus Content: 24 Letter Excerpts From Eleanor Roosevelt and Lorena Hickok That Screams Gay! (I just saw this while researching and wanted to share it.)

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text 2018-05-02 10:23
ROMANCE RELEASE DAY! LOVE AT LAST: A Braden Flirt by Melissa Foster
Love at Last: A Braden Flirt (Love in Bloom: The Bradens at Peaceful Harbor Book 7) - Melissa Foster
Fall in love with Cal Hayden and Rachel Gray as they find their HEA in LOVE AT LAST: A Braden Flirt
➜KINDLE - http://smarturl.it/7v13gz 
➜iBOOKS: http://melissafoster.com/LAL  
➜NOOK - http://bit.ly/2EH4Jk1 
➜GPLAY - http://bit.ly/2E3QjJD 
➜KOBO - http://smarturl.it/f4wtjm 
➜PAPERBACK - http://smarturl.it/0hojd3 

"Melissa's Flirt line is like a breath of fresh air. (...) When I need a Foster fix, these novellas are perfect. They're short enough to read in an afternoon, but long enough for two characters to find happiness." - Crystal Blogs Books 

You met Cal and Rachel in Crushing on Love, now see them fall in love in LOVE AT LAST...

Cowboy Cal Hayden has loved Rachel Gray practically since the first time he set eyes on her. But Cal’s a careful, responsible man who knows better than to start a relationship before he can give it his all. He bided his time while caring for his family through his father’s terminal illness. Now his father is gone and his mother is settled, but has Cal waited too long to make his move?

What is a Flirt? 
The Love in Bloom big-family romance world has become so widely enjoyed, I have been asked by thousands of readers to write the stories of our beloved side characters. While I couldn’t possibly fit in writing full-length novels for each of them while maintaining my normal publication schedule, I’ve created flirts. Flirts cover twenty-four to forty-eight hours of two side characters’ lives on their path to their happily ever after, while also updating readers about their favorite main characters. Flirts vary in length and heat levels. I hope you love these quick, fun, sexy stories as much as I enjoy writing them.

More info on Braden flirts here:http://melissafoster.com/books/love-last-braden-flirt/ 
 

 

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review 2018-04-01 21:43
So So Second Book for Rose Harbor Series
Rose Harbor in Bloom - Debbie Macomber

Eh. I can see why some people didn't care for this series now. It's boring. There's barely any romance. I don't need to read explicit sex scenes, but this was a snoozefest. There's some nice interactions with characters readers will recognize from the Cedar Cove series, and all that did was make me wish that series was still ongoing.

 

Jo Marie is a widow still dealing with the grief she feels over the death of her husband in Afghanistan. She's running her bed and breakfast and dealing with her rude handyman Mark. I'm sure we're supposed to think how cute he is that he's nasty and domineering with Jo Marie, but I was aggravated. Jo Marie barely seems to do anything but think about the "enigma" of Mark and his rudeness. There is another side plot dealing with her dead husband's remains and it just didn't work for me at all. 

 

Mark's not an alpha hero, he's just nasty. I hated that Jo Marie backed down from cutting him off after an argument they had. I'm sure Macomber is playing the long game of.these two getting together. 

 

Annie could have been interesting, but was boring. Her fiancee cheated on her and she is dealing with him not wanting to give her up. Planning her grandparents wedding renewla gives her something to do. Too bad they are terrible as hell during the course of this book. The nasty back and forth bewtbet them even got to me. Annie also is dealing with her grandparents next door neighbor (Oliver) declaring himself. He's boring too. There is a hilarious scene where Annie's former fiancee and Oliver threaten to kick each other's butt with judo, and I seriously choked on water and spewed all over. I maybe started singing everyone was Kung Fu fighting. Yes, I know judo and Kung Fu are not the same style. 

 

Mary had a potentially interesting storyline until Macomber backed away from her having an abortion. Yes we have another secret child romance plot. I cannot take how ridiculous and unrealistic this storyline was from beginning to end. There is also the not subtle warning that woman who want a career and are not motherly will get cancer one day. Mary's so called love of her love George was too perfect and also boring. 

 

The writing was just so-so. Trying to juggle three plotlines shows. Nothing hangs together besides all three women being connected to the inn (Annie and Mary are guests there) and their storylines are all over the place. I will say each women had a distinct voice. I think Jo Marie's voice is too old for her though. No one her supposed age speaks like she does (she's written as a women in her 50s). 

 

The setting of Cedar Cove is one Macomber's fans love. I just wish I got more scenes at some of the favorite haunts which is the only reason why I'm giving this book three stars. Mary goes to the tearoom, there is mention of the lighthouse which was nice. We get sightings of Olivia, Jack, Faith, Grace, etc. All of them popping up in this book just made me miss the Cedar Cove series more.

 

The ending just sets up things for the next book in the series (we have two women calling about being guests). 

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text 2018-04-01 21:27
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
Rose Harbor in Bloom - Debbie Macomber

Eh. I can see why some people didn't care for this series now. It's boring. There's barely any romance. I don't need to read explicit sex scenes, but this was a snoozefest. There's some nice interactions with characters readers will recognize from the Cedar Cove series, and all that did was make me wish that series was still ongoing.

 

Jo Marie is a widow still dealing with the grief she feels over the death of her husband in Afghanistan. She's running her bed and breakfast and dealing with her rude handyman Mark. I'm sure we're supposed to think how cute he is that he's nasty and domineering with Jo Marie, but I was aggravated. Jo Marie barely seems to do anything but think about the "enigma" of Mark and his rudeness. There is another side plot dealing with her dead husband's remains and it just didn't work for me at all. 

 

Mark's not an alpha hero, he's just nasty. I hated that Jo Marie backed down from cutting him off after an argument they had. I'm sure Macomber is playing the long game of.these two getting together. 

 

Annie could have been interesting, but was boring. Her fiancee cheated on her and she is dealing with him not wanting to give her up. Planning her grandparents wedding renewla gives her something to do. Too bad they are terrible as hell during the course of this book. The nasty back and forth bewtbet them even got to me. Annie also is dealing with her grandparents next door neighbor (Oliver) declaring himself. He's boring too. There is a hilarious scene where Annie's former fiancee and Oliver threaten to kick each other's butt with judo, and I seriously choked on water and spewed all over. I maybe started singing everyone was Kung Fu fighting. Yes, I know judo and Kung Fu are not the same style. 

 

Mary had a potentially interesting storyline until Macomber backed away from her having an abortion. Yes we have another secret child romance plot. I cannot take how ridiculous and unrealistic this storyline was from beginning to end. There is also the not subtle warning that woman who want a career and are not motherly will get cancer one day. Mary's so called love of her love George was too perfect and also boring. 

 

The writing was just so-so. Trying to juggle three plotlines shows. Nothing hangs together besides all three women being connected to the inn (Annie and Mary are guests there) and their storylines are all over the place. I will say each women had a distinct voice. I think Jo Marie's voice is too old for her though. No one her supposed age speaks like she does (she's written as a women in her 50s). 

 

The setting of Cedar Cove is one Macomber's fans love. I just wish I got more scenes at some of the favorite haunts which is the only reason why I'm giving this book three stars. Mary goes to the tearoom, there is mention of the lighthouse which was nice. We get sightings of Olivia, Jack, Faith, Grace, etc. All of them popping up in this book just made me miss the Cedar Cove series more.

 

The ending just sets up things for the next book in the series (we have two women calling about being guests). 

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text 2018-04-01 18:48
Reading progress update: I've read 49%.
Rose Harbor in Bloom - Debbie Macomber

Honestly none of the plotlines are really working.

 

Mary had a pregnancy that she decided to not go through with, due to her being a souless career woman (eyeroll).

 

Annie and Oliver have no chemistry.

 

Jo Marie is still letting her handyman treat her like crap. 

 

Yeah!

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