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review 2017-11-14 20:02
Christmas in London: A Novel - Anita Hughes
Ugh! I requested this book for the cover and a little something to get me into the Christmas mood. 

I read the whole book and still not sure why. A story of two women, one a pastry chef, Louisa, and one a television producer, Kate. Louisa was a huge dingbat with big ambitions. Kate wasn't as bad. I guess Kate kept me reading.

They both had two men after them. Stupid men. Why either of the ladies would bother with them, I have no idea.

I guess the biggest part of the enjoyment I somewhat felt was Googling the images of the places that they visited in London. That really added to my reading pleasure.

A dingbat, a lost woman and 4 stupid men.

Thanks to St. Martin's Press and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.
 
 

 

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review 2017-09-29 02:09
Christmas in London/Anita Hughes
Christmas in London: A Novel - Anita Hughes

A charming, glamourous love story set at Claridge's in London during the magical week before Christmas starring a sweet NYC baker and the Cooking Channel Producer who could change her life.

It’s a week before Christmas and Louisa Graham is working twelve hour shifts at a bakery on Manhattan's Lower East Side. When a young cooking show assistant comes in from the rain and begs to buy all the cinnamon rolls on her tray, she doesn’t know what to do. Louisa is just the baker, and they aren't hers to sell. But the show burned the rolls they were supposed to film that day, so she agrees.

The next morning, Louisa finds out that her cinnamon rolls were a hit, but the star of the show was allergic, and the whole crew is supposed to leave for London that afternoon. They want Louisa to step in for their annual Christmas Eve Dinner TV special at Claridge's. It’s a great opportunity, and Digby Bunting, Louisa’s famous baking idol, will be there. Even if he does seem more interested in her than her food.

And then there’s Kate, the show's beautiful producer. On their first day in London she runs into the skinny boy she jilted at St. Andrew's in Scotland ten years ago. Now he’s a handsome, brilliant mathematician, and newly divorced. Their familiar spark is still there, but so is the scar of how they left things. Kate and Louisa are busy preparing for the show, but old and new flames are complicating their work.

Set during London's most festive time of year and filled with delicious food, Christmas in London is about love and friendship, and the season's most important lesson: learning how to ask for and give forgiveness.

 

While I normally adore this type of book with all of its details about baking, this one fell supremely flat for me in various ways.

 

Firstly, the misogyny was too much for me. The two main characters are both female but seem to have absolutely no idea of their worth. Male characters fight over one with no ever visible connections and another suggests that a famous chef is only interested in the other for her looks, and not her talents. Regardless of ultimate results, it was really frustrating to see the girls rarely standing up for themselves and instead letting the guys drag them in every which direction.

 

The speech in this book was the other killer for me. Barely any of the dialogue written was lines that people would actually say. All of the speech was incredibly stilted, with characters speaking for a good paragraph or two before allowing someone else a turn. They gave far more details than would ever be interesting and relevant, and blurted out stuff that people just wouldn't say naturally. With every set of quotation marks, I found myself pulled completely out of the story.

 

There were two plots going on in this book, and quite honestly, we could lose Kate's entire story. It reads as a subplot--it's not until chapter four that we read from her perspective or learn anything about her--and doesn't contribute anything to the other side of the book. I also wish that there had been more offered in the beginning; Louisa is picked to be in a cooking show because the other girl had an allergic reaction and her lips were swollen up… I don't buy it. Get some allergy medication. It works wonders.

 

I did, however, enjoy all of the details about pastries, though I wish that there had been more variety and that we'd seen Louisa learning more new recipes. One strong scene was when she got distracted from her agenda by buying ingredients and that was probably one of the only real scenes in the novel.

 

This book just wasn't a success for me, and I'll be reading other novels this Christmas.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

 

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review 2017-08-01 19:38
Emerald Coast/Anita Hughes
Emerald Coast: A Novel - Anita Hughes Emerald Coast: A Novel - Anita Hughes

Set on the glamorous Italian island, Anita Hughes's Emerald Coast is a touching and humorous story about marriage and the difficulty of finding love and happiness at the same time.

Lily Bristol arrives at a luxurious resort in Sardinia for the grand opening of her newest home furnishing store on the Emerald Coast. She’s a successful business woman with an international chain of stores from San Francisco to Milan. Thirty-two and newly divorced, she’s ready to handle things on her own. At least until her private butler, Enzo, escorts her to a beautiful suite where she notices a suspiciously familiar pair of men’s slippers and shaving kit.

Lily is horrified. Her ex-husband Oliver moved out of their restored Connecticut farmhouse six months ago, but they booked this trip when they were trying to save their marriage and never cancelled the reservation. Oliver, a food critic for the New York Times, is here covering Sardinia’s hottest new restaurant. The only other available room is the adjoining suite; and worse, Oliver isn’t alone. He’s brought a twenty-something named Angela with him.

Lily is determined to make do and enlists Enzo to find her a suitable man. But it’s not as easy to find new love as they both expected. When Lily and Oliver find themselves alone on a very important night, they turn to each other. Sparks begin to fly, but can they be together without breaking each other’s hearts?

 

This had some fun twists of romance to it, and definitely had a love story I wanted to support. I actually really enjoyed the setting in that I love hearing about rich people things and hating on what they do. The premise, also, was delicious--what a terrifically awful situation!

 

The characters could have come from any novel and I was never left wondering how the ending would ultimately play our, yet none the less, this was enjoyable. This isn't the most poignant, but was a lovely beach read.

 

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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review 2017-05-20 03:35
Book Review: Lake Como
Lake Como - Anita Hughes

Book: Lake Como

 

Author: Anita Hughes

 

Genre: Fiction/Family/Romance

 

Summary: Hallie Elliot has a perfect life. She is an up-and-coming interior designer in one of San Francisco's most sought-after firms and in a relationship with Peter, a brilliant young journalist. But when she stumbles upon Peter and her boss in what seems to be a compromising position, her trust in Peter and their future is shaken. Hallie escapes to Italy's glorious Lake Como to spend time with her half sister, Portia Tesoro, an Italian blue blood dealing with a scandalous estrangement from her cheating husband. Together, they enjoy the charms of Lake Como, and Hallie finds work designing the estate of a reclusive American tech mogul. Just as she is beginning to give in to the attractions of Angus, the estate's handsome, enigmatic caretaker, Hallie uncovers a family secret that upends the truths she's believed about herself and calls into question the new life she's built in Lake Como. - St. Martin's Griffin, 2013

 

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review 2017-01-28 11:00
Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes

 

Nothing wrong with Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes. Just, wow, it's too rich in many senses. Nothing wrong with Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes. Just, wow, it's too rich in many senses.
There are too many brands and too many rich places in this book that at the end you think: let me breath a bit, I can't go on.

I tried to check out if the author had also included the restaurant where Hemingway loved to eat but, no. Hoooray: that one is not a place where snob people go and so I will stop by there when I will visit Paris.

So, more than the capital of love this one is the capital of richness and rich people and of a profound richness able to let you develop a profound nausea. I found the book pretty snob although there is to add that the characters are portrayed well in the system where they live in.

The story the one of a girl Isabel who split up from the boyfriend just few days before their wedding because of futile reasons.

 

And I found also this fact pretty irritating.
I found all of it pretty pretty irritating because if we live in a society like this one let's say that it's a senseless society.

The couple if married had chosen to go to Paris for spending their happy honeymoon. Wedding gone, Isabel will afford to Paris where later she will meet Alex...

Sexy scenes, sophisticated atmospheres, rich menus, Christmas in Paris is a well-structured book, but just it's...empty.

Empty of human touch, empty of humanity, empty of that real love-story able to let you say: WOW, what a book. The story unable to communicate with the reader.

I would have wanted to see much more not the rich part of the city or just the rich part of the city, constantly under the lenses of the protagonists but the human part of this capital, the atmosphere, the warm that exists in Paris. Let's say that the gypsy has been the most human part of the capital.


It's for a certain unique particular, peculiar atmosphere, magical and plenty of atmosphere because of books, culture, paintings, art that you want to afford to Paris for visiting the capital of France. Many people in the cinema portrayed a wonderful Paris: Woody Allen in movies like Midnight in Paris and Everyone says I love you (and Woody Allen is not poor, and a man plenty of culture), Billy Crystal in Forget Paris, Disney with Ratatouille: Meg Ryan explored the french capital but also the South of France in French Kiss, without forgetting all the books written by Joanne Harris and Hugo Cabret by Selznick and the movie produced by Johnny Depp. It's for that reasons that you want to afford to Paris one day: because a city that deserves to be visited.

A city able, being the capital of France to speak much more loudly than what can do Louis Vuitton or the Charles V! That ones are brands and places for a niche of people and with this crisis and poverty I would give a different portrait of cities where possible and people as well also when the protagonists of these stories are rich, because if rich people are like these ones, do you know what?
They're pretty boring.

I would save for obvious reasons the mention at Shakespeare&Co.


I thank NetGalley and St.Martin's Press for this book.


Anna Maria Polidori

Source: alfemminile.blogspot.it
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