The Glass Kitchen by Linda Francis Lee: Book Review

 
On Amazon:  $10.99

Linda Francis Lee

I first read Linda Francis Lee about four years ago I guess, when I had first discovered the wonder and awe that is Chick-Lit.  I honestly can't remember if it was The Ex-Debutante or The Devil in the Junior League that I read first.  But, it was one of those two books that was my first foray into Linda Francis Lee's wonderful mind.

What I fell in love with when reading Linda Francis Lee's books was how she was so eloquently able to bring the south alive in a tasteful and respectful way.  Although, in The Ex-Debutante and The Devil in the Junior League she takes us to a part of the south, I'm personally not familiar with, the HIGH SOCIETY of the south...  She still was able to bring her characters down to earth and make them approachable to any woman.  I just fell in love with her books.

However, I wasn't quite able to get into Emily & Einstein.  I don't know what it was, but I felt a disconnect with the book.  However, there are many times I've struggled to read a book only to pick it up later and then be able to fully immerse myself inside the pages...  So, perhaps one day I'll give it another go....

Being from the south, it's hard to find good books that portray southerner's in a flattering light. That's why I will forever be fans of Linda Francis Lee and Mary Kay Andrew's books.  These two women know how to bring the best out of us southern ladies!

The Glass Kitchen

I'm so thankful for my mother who purchased this book for me, after I had tried contacting whomever I could to try to get a review copy and found myself without much luck.  This was a book, I knew I needed to read though, and so THANK YOU mom for this gift!!!  Of course, I also have to give it to her so she can now read it....  It's nice when your mom is your biggest fan :)  Without my mom this review would not have been possible!

OK OK So onto the book.....

This is one of those reviews where it's going to be hard for me to use my filter.  I so desperately want to just sit here with my glass of iced tea and go on and on about everything inside the pages of The Glass Kitchen.

In  The Glass Kitchen we meet Portia Cutcart whom has just relocated to New York, following her recent divorce.  Portia and her sister's were each left an apartment by their aunt.  Portia's sister's have each sold their apartments, luckily Portia had been hesitant to do so...

Portia grew up helping her grandmother in The Glass Kitchen, a little cafe her grandmother ran.  Portia fell in love with cooking and baking and loved how she saw it heal people.  Portia wasn't very old when she and her grandmother soon discovered she had inherited the family "gift"...  I suppose you could call it in a sense a HEAVY dose of discernment....  Like her mother and her mother before her, Portia bakes things without knowing why...  She just gets these urges to bake and later on, someone will happen along the way who needed just what she had been baking or cooking.

In Portia's life, food was a way to heal folks...  Quite literally.  Her grandmother had given the reigns over to her long ago, but instead of teaching Portia how to use her gift, she just taught her to cook.  Yet, years ago something happened that caused Portia to turn her back on her gift and never want to cook again.

Now in New York, where her sistser's live, Portia finds that she's finding it impossible to turn her back on her gift.  Add to her sisters, a handsome single father whom has purchased the apartments her sister's had sold, and his two children Portia finds that she's once again healing folks with her food.

Secrets.  There are secrets everywhere, and as we all know secrets can destroy lives.  Gabriel's little family are all in so much pain and Portia needs to find a way to bring this broken family together.  Her sister's as well are each going through their own situations..  Can Portia with the gift she's turned her back on, make it all work...  It seems everything is on her shoulders...

My Thoughts:

There are so many more layers to this story and I'm not even doing this book justice right now.  This was a beautiful novel filled with so many delicious layers.  There were so many loveable characters in this book.  You have Portia and her sisters...  You have Gabriel, and his two daughter's who have lost their mom and are all struggling with the pain of that loss...  Gabriel's brother who comes in like and out of their lives like a breeze sweeping through...  There are so many secrets in the pages of this book...

I love when a book can surprise me and this book literally had me huddled in my bed awaiting each surprise that awaited on the next page.  One of the main character's in the book was Gabriel's daughter, Ariel, who feels like it's up to her to make things right for her family.  When she meets Portia, something tells her that this is a woman who can make all right for her and her sister and father...  Yet, along the way Ariel, who has such an inquisitive mind, will discover some things about her past, her mom that truly almost break her spirit.

Gosh, I just can't convey to you how beautiful this story is.  I literally was thirsty for more and couldn't put it down.  I love when a book is so able to grab me and draw me into the character's lives that I feel as if I'm inside the pages a fly on the wall watching it all transpire.

This was definitely a FIVE star book.  Linda Francis Lee really told a beautiful story and I loved everything about this book.  As a southerner, we really are all about the food.  And we think food is the answer to everything, yet I loved the way she was able to turn it into a "gift".

You don't have to be from the south to appreciate this book.  Yes, it has some southern notes to it, but it's a story that can break through mainstream for sure!  If you've never picked up a Linda Francis Lee novel, and you love chick lit or women's contemporary fiction, then you will love this book!

Connect to Linda Francis Lee:




Thanks for reading!  Have you read any of Linda Francis Lee's books??  I'd love to know if you read this book what you thought about it!!

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Mary Kay Andrews: Save the Date/ Book Review

$10.99 (At time of Review)



Save the Date:  Mary Kay Andrews

For starters, anyone whom has read my blog knows that while I prefer UK chick-lit, there are a few American authors whom I adore....  Mary Kay Andrews leads the pack for me in American chick lit authors!!  I have so enjoyed her past books, like The Fixer Upper, Hissy Fit, and of course Savannah Blues  & Savannah Breeze with the lovable characters of Wheezie and Bebe Loudermilk.

Ms. Andrews is a southern born and breed author who is so eloquently able to capture the true spirit of the south I was born and rasied in.  She is able to capture the true "sassy" southern girl spirit and fiestiness that many of us are born with and makes us not seem as "backwoods" as some of these movies and other books like to make Southerner's appear to be "D. U. M. B."   I really enjoy authors who have southern roots and put a nice spotlight on us and show our more endearing qualities...

OK so enough of my southern rant.... LOL  Sorry, I'm a little touchy when it comes to how we southerners are portrayed...

Moving ON....  

What's the Book About???

Ok, so one thing about Mary Kay Andrew's books that you can bet your bottom dollar she's gonna have, is a fun and sassy, STRONG willed lead female character.  In Save the Date, that sassy lead is Cara Kryzick.  The story is set in Savannah, Georgia and center's around Cara and her flower shop. 

Everything seems to be falling apart....  One morning, after having received yet another irrate call from her father, "The Colonel", who is demanding repayment of her $20,000 loan she took to fund her new business, she is horrified when her dog is dognapped by a handsome stranger.  The stranger, Jack Finnerty, claims it's his dog....  One sleepless night and Jack realizes that he's mistaken and soon brings Cara's dog back...  However, this is just the first of many meetings that Cara and Jack will have...  He seems to be popping up everywhere Cara goes...

Strange things start to happen in Cara's hectic filled life...  A highly valuable piece of heirloom silver has disappeared, the piece valued at over $100,000 happens to be belong to one of Savannah's most distinguished and well connected families and make certain to let everyone know how unreliable Cara is.....  There's also a new florist in town and he seems hell bent on making Cara's life as miserable as humanly possible...

While some think that Cara is being paranoid, Cara is convinced that this new guy is out to destroy her life in everyway possible after she receives a lucrative contract to do one of the elite wedding's in Savannah...  However, as things continue to happen, including a suspcious new owner of the building where Cara is leasing her storefront....  Cara becomes even more convinced that things are all at the hands of Cullen Kane, the new florist Extraordinnaire... 

My Thoughts...

Ok, so clearly I could go on and on with details on this delish book.  However, this is a book that you should read and fall in love with for yourselves!  While, it's not my absolute favorite by Mary Kay Andrews (There's quite a tie between the Savannah series, as well as Hissy Fit  and he Fixer Upper) it is definitely a 5 STAR book!  She knows exactly how to draw her reader into the story and keep you thirsting for more...  That's the mark of a good book, when it's so good that even though your eyelids are drooping, you just got to find out what's going to happen next!  

Mary Kay Andrews is QUEEN of southern Chick lit!  She truly is, she's so brilliant at story-telling. Even if you aren't from the south, I think that anyone would enjoy the brilliant stories that she conjures up in her mind...  There's always an element of mystery to her books...  An element of "whodunit"...  Yet, she's able to mix some mystery and some sassy characters that usually are on the verge of being "high-society" or knocking on the door to High Society.  Yet, she doesn't make her character's seem "TOO good", if you know what I mean, they are all very approachable.  You feel like you could walk in Cara's florist shop and have a cup of joe while discussing all the latest town gossip and admirng some gorgeous blooms...

If you love a good chick-lit story, then you will fall in love with Mary Kay Andrew's Save the Date !

Connect with Mary Kay Andrews: 

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The Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman: Book Review

$4.99

Perfect Girl: A Review

A Perfect Girl, is about Carol who is overly perfect.  The story shows us all the ways she is absolutely everyone's go to person.  Whether it's her fussy sister or her parents or her boyfriend OR work.  Carol is always putting everyone's needs before her own.  

The Supporting Cast:

Of course we have Carol, our "Perfect girl".  We also meet Ben, the boyfriend...  Zoe the exchange student turned kinda sister...  and Marley, the sister... Jez, Marley's soon to be husband... There's Carol's parents...  

Storyline:

When we meet Carol, she's just learned that Marley, her sister is getting married and has asked her to be Chief bridesmaid...  Which, Carol is of course ecstatic about...  What she should have realized was Marley's expectations for Carol will be more like Sister/ bridesmaid/ wedding planner.  She has Carol doing all the legwork, which Carol does without a word of protest...

Things with Ben are somewhat rocky as well...  Things like him forgetting their anniversary, and just all around not showing up for things...

Then there's Harriet, Carol's unlucky in love best friend...  Harriet is so utterly attrocious at meeting men that Carol has decided to go on all of Harriet's first dates for her so that she can suss out the bad news guys since Harriet is dreadful at doing things like that herself....

Then there's work....  Carol designed a program that analyzes stocks and bonds and stuff and things aren't quite going right...  Then there's Ryan, Carol's co-worker..  There might be more there than meets the eye...

OK.... So, you get the picture....  Carol does EVERYTHING..  She just somehow can't manage to say no...  Until she does....

My Thoughts...

While it was a good story and it held my interest, I have to say that Carol was SO over the top annoyingly perfect...  I guess if I were watching it as a movie you would need the "over the top" to be funny...  However, sometimes it was just plain aggrevating and verged on going overboard.  

Yet, Michele Gorman manages to capture your attention from the very beginning and doesn't let go until the very end.  It was a well written book, I just wanted to shake Carol...  I love Michele Gorman's writing, she's fun and quirky and has a unique style that's all her own.  I just felt a bit of a disconnect with this particular book.

For me, I have to give this a 4 stars...  While it held my interest, I just felt that it was a little over the top at times..  I am so extremely ADD, that it's so hard for a book to hold my interest at all and so I appreciate a writer who can grab my attention and keep it!


Pictures of Lily: by Paige Toon / Book Review


Pictures of Lily:  Paige Toon

First, let me say that I absolutely adore Paige Toon.  This is probably my third or fourth book I've read from her.  


While, I am writing this and hope to not give any spoilers, 
I have to say that this was a good book, yet there was a huge disconnect for me.  I didn't like at all where the story landed.  To me, it was very well written, but I was extremely uncomfortable with the storyline.  It just seemed really inappropriate and I had hoped that she would take it in a different direction.  That didn't happen.

Pictures of Lily centers around a girl, named Lily, who at the tender age of 15 going on 16 is uprooted from her "comfort zone" of London and moved miles away to a different continent.  Lily's mum has being having an internet liason with an Australian, Michael and so she uproots Lily and takes her all the way to Australia to live with Michael and his son.

Lily, who is at that age when hormones are going crazy anyway, is decidedly unhappy.  Lily's mom is seems is a serial "dater", she's the loves them and leaves them type.  It appears that Lily's mom has left a trail of men in her past.  So, it's no wonder why Lily is a little more than agitated at having her whole life turned upside down for what she feels is just a fleeting romance in her mom's eyes.  She just waits until the moment her mom decides to leave again.

The whole first part of the book is about Lily's time as a 15/16 year old girl just having moved to Australia.  Michael is a caretaker of a "wild life conservatory" and Lily finds that she's fallen in love with the wild life and animals at Michael's job.  So, Lily spends her whole summer working at the conservatory with Michael.

Lily's time at the conservatory is precious to her, and she falls in love with not only the animals, but she also finds that she has some talent as an amateur photographer.  However, the summer that will be the best summer of her life, will also be the summer filled with painful memories.  You know how there's always "the one that got away", well during this summer Lily will meet and lose that "special someone"

Fast Forward:  10 years or so....

That 15 year old girl who moved to Australia is long gone.  Now we meet the grown-up Lily.  Lily, whno had once found a passion and love for the animal wildlife of Australia and a love of photography finds that she's now working as a receptionist for a Magazine company, but still is in Australia, never left to head back to England.

When we reconnect with Lily, she's living with Richard who soon proposes marriage.  Richard's proposal throws Lily back into the past that she tries all at once to forget, but can't seem to let go of.  She can't get past her first love, the "one who got away".  While, she accepts Richard's proposal, her heart can't seem to fully commit.  

Then a blast from her past comes back and everything is turned upside down and the lingering questions that Lily has been struggling with now engulf her even more.  Lily must decide what it is she truly wants out of life, the life she's created for herself or the life she left years ago...

I have to say, that while this was an excellently written book, it just was disturbing in some ways and I felt that had Ms. Toon taken it somewhere else, it would have made more sense to me....  That being said that's just my opinion.  I have to rate it a 4 Stars, because like I said it is a good story, it's just that I felt that it was carried in a totally wrong direction, but WHO AM I... LOL I mean, that's just me.  I don't have 1/10 of Paige Toon's talent, I'm merely a reader.  

Please do not let this deter you from picking this book up, becaue it truly is a good book, it's just have you ever read a book and the ending just made you MAD?  Like WHY ARE YOU DOING THAT?  NO, it's not supposed to end like that!  That's what I felt when I read this!  

I hope that if Ms. Toon reads this she won't put me on some black list of reviewers, because I truly do have the utmost respect for her as an author, and I hope she can forgive me for wishing it would have gone a different way..... 

Have you ever read a book that just made you so mad and you just felt as if an injustice had been done to the characters?  I felt that Lily needed to learn a lesson, not indulge in whimsy....  But, that's me....  Ok....  I'm going to stop talking now and publish this...

Connect to the Author:




**  I was in no way compensated for this review.  I read this on Scrib'd, but it's also available for $1.99 currently (10/2/2014) on Amazon Kindle!  I'm sure that price won't last long!!


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