Friday, January 13, 2017

Review: The Young Wives Club, by Julie Pennell

In Toulouse, Louisiana finding your one true love happens sometime around high school. If you’re lucky, he might be the man you thought he was. But as four friends are about to find out, not every girl has luck on her side in this charming debut novel perfect for fans of The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood and Desperate Housewives. 

Laura Landry’s quarterback husband was her ticket out of Toulouse. But when a devastating football injury sidelines him, they’re forced to move back to the small town she was so desperate to leave. As Brian starts drinking instead of rehabbing his knee, Laura must reevaluate what her future looks like…and if it includes her husband.

For years, Madison Blanchette has been waiting for bad-boy musician Cash Romero to commit to her. When wealthy George Dubois asks her out, she figures she may as well wait in style. Life with George means weekend trips to New Orleans, gourmet meals, and expensive gifts. At first she loves how George’s affection sparks Cash’s jealousy, but when George proposes to Madison, she finds herself torn between two men…

All Claire Thibodeaux wants is to be the perfect wife and mother. If she can do everything right she won’t end up like her mom, a divorced, single parent trying to make ends meet. But when Claire’s husband Gavin, a well-respected local pastor, starts spending late nights at work and less time in their bed, she can’t help but fear that history is about to repeat itself…

Gabrielle Vaughn never thought she’d end up with someone like her fiancĂ©. The son of a prominent congressman, Tony Ford is completely out of her league—which is why she lied to him about everything from having a college degree to the dark truth about her family. She knows she has to come clean, but how do you tell the love of your life that your entire relationship is a lie?

As these young wives come together to help each other through life, love, and heartbreak, they discover that there are no easy answers when it comes to matters of the heart.

4.5 out of 5 stars

When the opportunity to read The Young Wives Club showed up in my inbox I couldn't say no.  The synopsis sounded really good, I love "southern" themed books and seriously if someone is going to compare it to The Divine Secrets of the Ya-Ya Sisterhood, a book I totally loved, then how could I not take a chance on this new author?

There are so many things I enjoyed about this book.  I loved each girl and their individual storyline's but what I thought added depth and humor, what kept me hooked, was the friendship between each of them and seeing their stories weave in and out of one another.  What's even better is Julie Pennell does this effortlessly, making it very easy to follow along and not feel lost.  Four girls, each of them young, each of them in love, and each of them with their own set of unique challenges.  Their stories perfectly capture the essence of what those first few years of marriage are like, you know once the "fantasy" of it all wears off.  

It's a story about being honest with yourself and your spouse.  It's a story about the importance of not loosing yourself once you say "I Do."  It's a story about digging deep and pressing forward when things get tough, when life suddenly takes you down a road far, far away from your dreams.

I found The Young Wives Club to be a fun, easy, somewhat predictable (which I didn't mind at all) and very heartwarming read.  My absolute favorite part of the book was the ending.  Julie Pennell executed it perfectly.  I "turned" the last page and closed the book with a huge grin on my face, with the idea to start giving the book as a bridal gift!

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Review: Surrender (Careless Whispers #3) by Lisa Renee Jones

Chris and Sara from Inside Out return in the explosive finale to Ella's story from New York Times bestselling author Lisa Renee Jones with the third book in the sexy, suspenseful Careless Whispers series.

Passion burns fiercely hot between Ella Ferguson and Kayden Wilkens, the man who held secrets and lies in his hands, and then allowed them to fall into hers. But even though he has become her anchor—helping her recover from amnesia after finding her unconscious in an alley, and allowing her into his secret world—all is not what it seems. Kayden still has secrets, and pieces of Ella's past are still shrouded in the darkness of her mind, while the powerful man who hunts her will not stop until she is his. In this final, explosive novel in the Careless Whispers series, Ella discovers that while her life with Kayden didn't begin in that dark could easily end there.

4.5 of 5 Stars

It is no secret around the blog that we LOVE Lisa Renee Jones.  In fact, Denial, the first book in this series was one of our top books in 2015.  We are huge fans of the Inside Out series and knew part of Ella's story from that series.  But we really found out what was going on when the first book Denial released.  Once we realized the mystery surrounding her disappearance and were introduced to Kayden Wilkens we were hooked.  Obviously, you need to read these books in order.  So if you haven't read the first two in the series, kindly go one click them first!  And get the Inside Out series as well if you haven't read it.

Surrender picks up where Denial left off.  Ella is continuing to regain parts of her memory but it appears as if she is subconsciously blocking pieces as well.  Kayden is the leader of the Underground, an elite group of treasure hunters that have many resources to help Ella.  But what will happen if she is actually a part of the CIA and they are supposed to be enemies?  It seems the more information Ella remembers the more she wishes she didn't remember.  Meanwhile Kayden and Ella's bond continues growing stronger and more than anything Ella want's to believe that whoever she really is, whatever her background truly is that when the truth finally comes out she and Kayden's relationship will be not be affected, only stronger.  She loves this man and above all else she wants to spend her life with him...swoon!

Sara and Chris make an appearance in this final book and we couldn't be happier!  But Ella is extremely worried that her best friend is going to get caught in the cross hairs of the French and Italian Mafia.  I for one loved seeing the two series crossover, it was such a fulfilling experience seeing everything come full circle.    

This intense book is a race to find a rare 3 Billion dollar butterfly necklace while weaving memories into the present.  It is a roller coaster ride of emotions trying to unravel the secrets and determine who she can actually trust.  Ella struggles with trusting her gut while having flash backs.  Even I was doubting characters who I felt solid about in the previous two books! Lisa Renee Jones excels at keeping her readers hooked taking them down pathways you never really see coming.  It was the perfect conclusion to an fantastic series.  Don't delay, one click and enjoy the mystery, intrigue and love story that only Lisa Renee Jones can execute!