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review 2018-01-16 16:23
First in the Shopaholic Series is a Winner!
Confessions of a Shopaholic - Sophie Kinsella

I do re-read this book every couple of years. Probably because it was my first glimpse of Becky Bloomwood and I liked her a lot. I remember being in my 20s and spending with my credit card like I wasn't going to have to pay the bill. And I remember the juggling I did to pay down bills and the stress I would feel when I had to choose between eating something that was not soup or paying my JC Penney card down (starting off in government I had to buy new clothes...seriously people, instead of a wedding trousseau, we need to fund young men/women clothes when they go out into the workforce) so I wouldn't get a screeching call about being sent to collections. 


What makes "Confessions" so fun for me is that Becky is a mess. She's working at a job she hates (writer at Successful Saving) while trying to pay down her bills due to how much she loves shopping. And it's not just Becky loves shopping for clothes and accessories. It's pretty much any old thing. This of course is when Becky loses me cause I loathe shopping at the mall and every Christmas I promise myself I am just going to buy online and ship to my family. And every year I wait to late to do that (delivery fees are criminal) so I have to brave the crowds and try my best to not hip check people into kiosks. 


While Becky doesn't love the job she is in, she does love she gets to go to presentations dealing with banks and investment firms. Due to Becky not really paying attention at her job, she realizes a tip she gives a family friend could end up harming them and starts to get her life back on track. 

We do get a whole case of characters in this one who we will continue to read about throughout the series.

We have Becky talking about Luke Brandon who I would say is an earlier prototype of Christian Grey without the BDSM. 


Becky lives with her best friend and flatmate Suze who manages to have her life somewhat together more than Becky.

And we also have Becky's parents who are just as messy as Becky. Becky's neighbor's son who everyone thinks that Becky is into. 


I will admit there is very little development of the characters besides Becky and Suze and Becky's parents in this one. Luke is very one dimensional and stayed that way for me throughout most of the books. Besides being rich and tall, I don't get what was so interesting about him. 


The writing is okay. Nothing spectacular, but honestly, sometimes I want to read a fluffy book that makes me root for a character. Do I think this is going to go down as some classic over the years? Doubtful? But it is an enjoyable book. 

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review 2018-01-16 15:28
Remember Me? Not Really
Remember Me? - Sophie Kinsella

Wow. So I was bored this weekend and started to clean my bookshelves. I have a bunch of Sophie Kinsella's novels. I had "Remember Me?" in hardcover and I seriously went, wait when did I buy this? It barely looked like it had been touched. So I pulled it down off the shelf and wondered why in the world had I not read this since it's a Kinsella book. And then I started...and now I know why I didn't finish this book the first time. I am wondering when I threw in the towel though? 

So this is a amnesia romance. Something that only exists in Romanceland. And honestly I do love a good amnesia romance. There were enough of those plots in the soaps when I was growing up. 


The main character in "Remember Me?" is 28 year old Lexi Smart (I did love the name). Lexi wakes up in a hospital in London and is shocked. She is in shape, has her teeth fixed, and finds out that she is married to a man she could only dream to hope to date/marry one day. Lexi only has memories from when she was 25 and is scared she is never going to remember what happened to her in the three years she just lost.


I think the main reason why this didn't work for me at all was that Lexi was not that great of a character prior to the amnesia. And she acted like a nincompoop afterwards by lying to people and not admitting to things. I had a hard time believing that everyone would not have some weirdness that a person who was terrible to them for three years is now their best friend again. It just rang super hollow. 


Lexi's husband sucked, her mother did as well as her sister, and there was a whole host of other people that didn't work either that were included in this. 


It's a long winding road to get there, but we finally do find out what caused Lexi to change herself and why she married the man she did. Fair warning romance readers, there is cheating in this one via flashback. I don't know. I think I would have cared more if I liked Lexi and her romantic interests at all, but I didn't. 

I wish that Kinsella had ended the book differently too. I didn't agree with Lexi's choice in the end since the Lexi we get after the amnesia incident is different than the before Lexi. I wish we had seen her go off and be her own person. 

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review 2018-01-09 18:39
A light and fun read, recommended if you need an injection of sun and romance
A Wedding At Two Love Lane - Kieran Kramer

Thanks to St. Martin’s Press and to NetGalley for offering me an ARC copy of this novel that I freely chose to review.

Although this is book two in The Two Love Lane series (a series about the owners of a matchmaking agency), I have not read the first one and can confirm it can be enjoyed as a standalone read, although I’m sure that knowing the set-up and the characters would add to the reading experience.

I don’t want to discuss in too much detail the plot, as the description introduces the main characters and some of the main themes. There is  a contest for a wedding dress, that ends up becoming a reality show, an English baron (quite a few of the reviewers have commented that considering his father and his older brother are alive and well, that does not make sense), a nasty store owner and his side-kick who become the villains of the piece (well, perhaps), several side-plots (a designer with an interesting idea and a hidden love story, the background stories of both protagonists and their families, the stories of the other couples involved in the contest, and  a big win at the TV quiz show The Price Is Right), and Charleston. The Charleston of the book is a genteel and lovely place, full of great restaurants, fascinating shops, and lively characters. It is also a welcoming place where people from all over are made to feel at home, and where everybody feels inspired.

Many of the usual tropes and themes of romantic novels are at play here, and also quite a few typical of chick-lit. Greer is alone and very good at finding love for others but not so good at getting finding her own. She is obsessed with creating the perfect wedding, not only for her clients but for herself, and has been collecting wedding scrapbooks since she was a child. Although she is supposed to be the logical one in charge of the technical side of things at the agency and the ever important algorithms, she plunges head first into crazy situations and keeps denying what is plain to see. We have an English nobleman, who is, of course, very attractive and also a talented painter, but needs a muse to find his true art. He’s been jilted at the altar but still offers to play Greer’s fake partner. We have pretend relationships, secrets, will they won’t they, not quite love-at-first-sight, but close enough, and a good cast of secondary characters that all sound interesting enough in their own right (Personally, I’d love to hear more about Miss Thing). Ah, and donuts, cakes, wonderful wedding dresses, intrigue, and misunderstandings galore. There are plenty of fun moments, some sad ones, and some inspiring ones (I was particularly interested in Ford’s struggle to connect with his art), and the book is an easy and light read, although I agree with some reviewers that it tries to pack so many things in that at times it feels too busy, and some of the side-stories deserve more time and development than what they get.

The characters are likable enough (I’ve never been obsessed about weddings, but quite liked Greer’s idea of entering the contest as a single participant), and although the novel stretches our suspension of disbelief on occasions, I don’t think it goes beyond genre expectations. The writing is fluid, with nice local touches and British expressions, and includes descriptions that put readers right in the middle of the action, without overdoing it.

After spending a fair amount of time with the characters, the ending felt a bit rushed, and I agree with reviewers that felt there should have been another chapter to clarify matters (I think we all felt as if they had banged the door on our faces), although perhaps the author has something up her sleeve and it has something to do with the next book. (Let me clarify. It does not end up on a cliff-hanger, but we miss the big event, perhaps because after talking about it so much, it could never have lived up to everyone’s expectations).

A light and fun read, recommended if you need an injection of sun and romance, in a great setting, with many secondary stories to keep you occupied if you easily get bored.


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review 2018-01-03 05:15
Musings of a Gossip Queen: A Chick-Lit Comedy - Victoria Bright

Blake starts a new job after thinking life is over as she knows it.  I sometimes think it is this anger that has her pushing through to pay her bills as she begins her new adventure.  She meets a girl at the office who is so jealous of her, it is kind of pathetic.


Silas is hot and gives her something to look at.  Man candy if you will.  It just does not seem to help the sheen that is all over this new job.  It is not a good gloss, and it is taking its toll on Blake.  What should she do?


I found this book to be funny at times.  I know that many will think it is too funny and just die of laughter.  I stopped laughing about two chapters in, since I found this character kind of pathetic.  I had a hard time pushing myself to finish the story.  Word to the wise - this book has language meant only for adult ears.  I personally think the humor would have come across better without the extra vulgarity, but maybe that is just me.  I give this one a 2/5 Kitty's Paws UP!



***This early copy was given in exchange for an honest review only.

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text 2018-01-01 21:45
Reading progress: 6%.
Mayhem in High Heels - Gemma Halliday

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