“The Little French Bistro”–Review

51fN2ZGIF4L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_After 41 years, Marianne is fed up with her loveless marriage. For years, she’s felt so unworthy, so unloved because of her husband’s controlling ways. Finally realizing her life has passed her by, Marianne decides life is no longer worth living—until she is saved. Finding herself in Brittany, the northwestern part of France, she is swept up by a new life at Ar Mor (the Sea) restaurant, where she meets Yann, the handsome painter; Genevieve, the restaurant owner; Jean-Remy, the heartbroken chef; and many others.

While she takes in her new surroundings, along with getting to know the locals, Marianne starts to find a forgotten version of herself.  Even though she’s often afraid, she learns what it means to truly live again. However, her past still beckons her, and that’s when she needs to decide if she’s meant to return to her old life or to push it aside for a better future.

Although I liked the storyline, the book was leaving me in a bit of a slump. I felt I couldn’t really connect with the characters. I’m less than halfway through with the book, so I just might finish it to see if it may change my perspective. No matter, I don’t discourage anyone from reading a book I didn’t really enjoy. Perhaps you’ll feel differently. Feel free to post your comments. Happy reading!

About the author: Nina George is the author of the bestselling international phenomenon, The Little Paris Bookshop, as well as numerous other books that have been published around the world. She also works as a journalist, a writer, an advocate for author rights, and a storytelling teacher. She lives with her husband in Berlin, Germany, and Brittany, France.

FTC Disclosure: I received this copy from Blogging for Books, in exchange for an honest review.

“Lift and Separate”–Review

41+3RiLE6kLAfter 33 years of marriage, Marcy Hammer is shocked and heartbroken when her husband, Harvey, the head of a global lingerie empire, says that he’s leaving her.  Although his clothes have been removed from the closet, Marcy still has high hopes that he’ll reconsider.  It’s just a midlife crisis, he claims.  After all, they’ve been married for a long time and they could work out whatever the issues are.  However, Marcy learns that Harvey has been having an affair with his much younger, 32DD fitting model.

While they’re technically separated, Marcy now has to figure out how to go on living without Harvey.  But how will she do it, she wonders?  She’s in her late fifties and feels it’s almost impossible to start over.  With love and support from her friends and adult children, however, she starts learning how to be on her own—even on occasions when she’s close to falling apart.

Along the way, though, Marcy is struck with more surprises and family troubles, including one involving her new, once-in-a-lifetime best friend.  Will she be able to handle it all, along with the fact that her marriage is ending?

This was a great story, with excellent narration, as well.  I enjoyed the humor in each chapter.  With one surprise after another, I thought, “This poor woman.  Isn’t she already going through enough?” While she’s trying to cope, Harvey constantly returns with a new excuse.  What’s Marcy to do?

I’m happy that the author, Marilyn Simon Rothstein, sent me this copy for an honest review, so now I can share it with you all.  As always, feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

About the author:  For more than twenty-five years, Marilyn Simon Rothstein owned an advertising agency in Connecticut. She grew up in New York City, earned a degree in journalism from New York University, began her writing career at Seventeen magazine, and married a man she met in an elevator.

Marilyn received a Master of Arts in liberal studies from Wesleyan University and a Master of Arts in Judaic Studies from the University of Connecticut.

“Not Exactly Love”–Review

41gn49ulxjl-_sx322_bo1204203200_Part memoir, part warm-hearted look at the ’70s, and part therapeutic journey, Not Exactly Love: A Memoir is an intense and inspirational story of a woman who grew from her experience.

It was in 1969 when Betty—a single schoolteacher—met Jack, a handsome but edgy new teacher at her school.  When they got to know each other, they clicked instantly.  Their relationship was filled with happy times and Betty couldn’t ask for anything more…

But when they got married, Jack was a different person.  He was quick-tempered.  He’d easily get angry about anything, taking it all out on Betty.  His fits of rage constantly ended up in verbal and physical violence.  Every day seemed to be unpredictable.  Was Jack going to be in a good mood?  Was he going to be angry?  Betty had to live with her decisions on a daily basis.  When Jack was loving, Betty tried to assure herself that their lives would be better.  But when the rage would come back, she didn’t know what to do.

Because nearly 1 in 4 women and 1 in 7 men in the U.S. suffer from physical violence from a partner, Betty had to see the reality of her marriage and decide whether or not her marriage was worth saving or to save her own life.

This is great memoir.  It was almost like reading a thriller novel.  It’s just sad to think about situations such as these because, although it doesn’t excuse it, there’s always a story behind the violent outcomes.  This book is an inspirational read, especially because it raises awareness of domestic violence.

Feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

About the author: Betty Hafner lives outside Washington, DC and has written a popular monthly book column for twelve years in The Town Courier newspapers in Montgomery County, MD. With a M.S. in counseling, she was a teacher and counselor in high schools and colleges for twenty-five years. She continues to lead workshops, give talks, and facilitate groups. She wrote two practical career-change books that stemmed from her workshops―Where Do I Go From Here? (Lippincott) and The Nurse’s Guide to Starting a Small Business (Pilot Books). Always ready to converse, she also loves telling stories through her drawings, photographs, and writing.  Follow her on Twitter and you can check out her website here.

“Behind Closed Doors”–Review

51JkXh+jrWL._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_The perfect marriage?  Or the perfect lie?

Jack and Grace Angel are the ideal married couple, living in a beautiful home in England.  Jack is a successful lawyer.  Grace is beautiful and charming.  She also prepares amazing meals and always manages to stay slim.  Others want to get to know Grace more, but how can it happen with Jack always at her side?  Although Grace doesn’t work, she never seems to have time to meet friends for coffee, or anything else, for that matter.  In fact, she never answers her phone.  And why are there bars on one of the bedroom windows?

Once they’re alone, Grace goes from loving, patient wife, to a life as Jack’s prisoner.  While he remains polite and charming toward others, Jack preys on Grace’s fears.  Although there isn’t a lot of physical abuse, Jack uses verbal abuse and threats to control Grace in their home and in public.  No matter how hard Grace plots her escape, Jack is always one step ahead of her.

I won’t give away too much, but I must say this story is as suspenseful as it is scary.  Grace thought she’d married the man of her dreams, only to soon discover her husband is a psychopath.  The thought that real people who are in these kind of situations is terrible.  The abuse in the story is awful, but I had to keep reading.  In fact, I’m still thinking about the conflict.  This book may not be for those who are emotionally sensitive to this genre, but I also won’t discourage anyone from reading it.

Behind Closed Doors will be available on August 9, 2016.  As always, feel free to post your comments.  Happy reading!

*I received this copy from St. Martin’s Press, in exchange for an honest review.

About the author: B.A. Paris grew up in England, but has spent most of her adult life in France.  She has worked both in finance and as a teacher.  She has five daughters.  Behind Closed Doors is her first novel.

“The Longest Night”–Review

5156n4P+U+L._SX327_BO1,204,203,200_Hello, fellow bloggers!  Here is a new review of The Longest Night, by Andria Williams.

It is the year 1959, in the height of the Cold War. Nat Collier is a military wife and mother. Her husband, Paul Collier, is an Army Specialist. After Paul receives an assignment at a nuclear reactor station, he and Nat and their two daughters move from Southern California to Idaho Falls, where Nat’s perfect life no longer exists. Idaho Falls isn’t anything like California, which has always been home to Nat. Not only is the climate different, Nat feels she isn’t able to fit in with the other Army wives.

Meanwhile, Paul discovers at the station that the reactor core has been compromised, which could place many families in danger. While Paul worries and tries to keep Nat in the dark about the situation, his superiors assure him that everything is fine. Paul isn’t convinced, however.

While Paul carries on with the crisis at the nuclear reactor, Nat tends to the house and her daughters. Still, she is lonely and restless. Fitting in with the other wives is a struggle. And then she meets Esrom.

I did like the idea of this story of a military family. The dialogue was great, as well. Not only were the main characters in danger due to a compromised reactor core, a marriage also was in danger of failing. It was during a crisis where Nat had to decide what was important and how far she’d go to protect her loved ones.

The Longest Night will be available on January 19, 2016. For more info on the author, click here.

Happy reading!

“How To Be a Grown-Up”–A Review

Bestselling authors Emma McLaughlin and Nicola Kraus introduce the readers to a new novel about a forty-something wife and mother who has to take on a new job in a narcissistic world with a boss who is half her age.

In How To Be a Grown-Up, the main character is Rory McGovern, a mother of two and the wife of Blake Turner, an out-of-work child actor with hopes that his acting career will take off once again.  But when the family is running out of money for rent, food, and bills, it is Rory who takes charge by taking on a full time job.  Once Rory is officially a full time employee for a digital high-end site for kids’ lifestyles, Blake decides that he needs to take a break from parental and household responsibilities, leaving Rory with a full time job, as well as the parental responsibilities of juggling the kids’ school projects, flu seasons, and pajama days.

Meanwhile, Rory has to face days at the office where she works under two twenty-somethings.  The company has been given millions of dollars from venture capitalists to back up the idea of the digital media site.  These girls, apparently, think they know all when it comes to kids fashion—especially since neither girls nor most of the staff even have kids, or know anything about them, for that matter.  Nevertheless, Rory knows she is a great asset to the company and is determined to prove herself, all the while hoping that she can save her failing marriage.

I think this book was pretty good and, honestly, the ending was not what I expected.  Of course, I won’t spoil it, but I will recommend it.  The book is now available and, as always, feel free to comment.

Happy reading!71ZVjHtlO2L