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text 2017-05-20 16:10
A French Wedding: A Novel - Hannah Tunnicliffe

The blurbs compared this book to "The Big Chill" and that is exactly a correct statement. While I saw the movie, I just remember a bunch of friends getting together for a reunion, not much more.

In this story, a group of six friends (and their spouses/and or girlfriends and children) get together to celebrate Max's 40th birthday. It has been years since they have all been together and are able to pick up right where they left off. There is also another plot going on with Juliette (Max's chef, who also attends to the house while Max is gone and at home) whose life has changed drastically with the death of her parents coinciding so closely.

Some of the outliers (husbands and girlfriends), okay a husband of one of the main six is really quite the arse and I loved reading the ending and finding out his fate. :)

The story was well written and had me engrossed from the beginning. The characters really came to life for me and I enjoyed hanging out with them. While these six people have known each other for a long time, do they really KNOW each other? Lots of secrets, discussions and downright fist fights come about with this reunion, some good, some bad.

Huge thanks to Doubleday Books and Net Galley for providing me with a free e-galley in exchange for an honest, unbiased review.

Special note: This was also the first time that I discovered that through Kindle you can not only get the translations for other languages, but you can actually hear them spoken. A new addition (for me) which truly added to my enjoyment!

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review 2017-05-20 03:06
Book Review: Anna and the French Kiss
Anna and the French Kiss (Anna & the French Kiss 1) by Stephanie Perkins (2014) Paperback - Stephanie Perkins

Book: Anna and the French Kiss

 

Author: Stephanie Perkins

 

Genre: Teen/Romance/High School

 

Summary: Anna is happy in Atlanta. She has a loyal best friend and a crush on her coworker at the movie theater, who is just starting to return her affection. So, she's less than thrilled when her father decides to send her to a boarding school in Paris for her senior year. But despite not speaking a word of French, Anna meets some cool new people, including the handsome Etienne St. Clair, who quickly becomes her best friend. Unfortunately, he's taken - and Anna might be, too. Will a year of romantic near misses end with the French kiss she's been waiting for? - Penguin Group, 2010.

 

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review 2017-05-18 07:17
Never Game a Gamer
Never Trust a Pirate (Playful Brides) - Valerie Bowman

This is a definite win in a consistently good series. Valerie Bowman writes so charmingly, and I love that the heroine is as roguish as the hero. I like the surprises along the way and Danielle is probably going on my favorite heroines list, not because we share the name. But because she's awesome. I picture Eva Green as Danielle.

Overall rating: 4.5/5.0 stars.

Reviewed for Affaire de Coeur Magazine http://affairedecoeurmagazine.com.

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review 2017-05-05 20:53
Disappointing.
How to Make a French Family: A Memoir of... How to Make a French Family: A Memoir of Love, Food, and Faux Pas - Samantha Verant

The previews for this sounded pretty good. Divorced woman finds old flame, reconnects and then moves to France after getting married. She must adjust to being an expat, being part of a family (as well as becoming a step-mother to two children who lost their mother to cancer), learn the French language and more. 

 

Overall I think the title is misleading. It's less about making of a family but really more about author Verant coming to terms with rebuilding after her divorced/rebuilding in a new country. I had thought there might be more about family, raising the children/how they feel their way to this new family, the adjustment to being married to a Frenchman, etc. And there is quite a bit of that, but it's really how the author adjusts to all of this rather than how it's about building a family.

 

Her writing style is fairly breezy to read though but the subject matter tended to bore me. Unsurprisingly she and her husband tried to have a child of their own and once it began to move into her saga of having a baby I was just bored. I respect and understand why and how she chose to write about this but again, this was less about the family-building and more about how she adjusts to France and this family.

 

To be fair, there were certainly many interesting bits. She takes a shot (maybe not meant to be seen as such) at stuff like 'French Kids Eat Everything' by showing how her own step-children are not unlike children in the US that I've seen and heard of. They have their likes and dislikes. One sibling likes one food that the other doesn't. Max prefers a certain type of food and won't accept what the rest of the family will eat. Definitely sounds very familiar and shatters that concept that French children and their behavior are so very different or alien or "trainable". 

 

Overall it wasn't a terrible read but it wasn't quite what the book purported to be and really the only thing that makes this book stand out is that the author is in France rather than the US. It might be a good book for a Francophile or if you're someone who has to adjust to being in a new family as a step-parent (although perhaps soon to be stepchildren might find this interesting too). But I didn't find the food descriptions that fascinating or a that much of a draw in a book like this (recipes are included though).

 

I had been tempted to buy it but am glad I waited for the library.

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review 2017-05-03 18:12
Broken Harbour
Broken Harbour - Tana French

Broken Harbour is the 4th book in the Dublin Murder Squad series. I have to say that I think this was my favorite of the series so far. Which is interesting because I didn't like the main character, Mick 'Scorcher' Kennedy, in the previous book. He came across as pompous and not willing to consider outside points of view in his cases. I'm still not sure I like Scorcher all that much, but I do understand him better now that I know his backstory. I get why he is the way he is. 

 

All of these books tend to drag on for me for some reason, but this one moved the quickest. Most of the plot was focused on the case, so maybe that's why it didn't seem as bogged down as the previous books. 

 

I will say that I have difficulty accepting the 'who-done-it' aspect of this book. It's a stretch for me. But the parts I enjoyed were enough to make that not a big issue for me.

 

I'm excited to move on to book 5!

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