Love At First Like

  • AUTHOR: Hanna Orenstein
  • TOPIC: Romantic Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

Smart, witty, funny, good plot, easy read. Really liked it and can’t wait to read the rest of her books. It was just the perfect weekend-by-the-pool read with a sprinkle of fairytale.

Eliza co-owns an already popular jewelry store in NYC, specialized in engagement rings. But things take a wild turn when she accidentally posts a picture of her finger with a ring on, and the engagement rumors have such an effect on business that she decides to keep her followers dreaming. Now she only needs to find a fiancé. On a night out, she meets Blake, the perfect guy on paper. When her landlord presents a rent increase notice, she has no choice but to keep up the farce. She even gets a venue, dress, and honeymoon for free, and her need to save her store blinds everything else. What she wasn’t expecting was for Blake to actually fall in love with her and propose right on time, but everything falls apart when she reveals the truth. But not all is lost. She would have never expected that true love, and all the answers to her problems, was just right in front of her eyes…just across the road

Milk Fed

  • AUTHOR: Melissa Broder
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 2 out of 5.

I am really struggling with this book on so many levels. The writing was good and fluid, it had a lot of wow moment I personally didn’t expect, but one day after finishing I still cannot wrap my finger around what was the purpose of the story, and what is the sudden ending for? I was literally left there like “what just happen? It’s over now? What’s happening next?”
I don’t know, I hate books that leave me this confused. I cannot even understand if I liked the book or not. So I feel I cannot really post a summary or recommendation.
But just as a top line, it highlights topics like: sexuality, family, religion, eating disorders, being an outcast in society, solitude.

The Off Limits Rule

  • AUTHOR: Sarah Adams
  • TOPIC: Romantic Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

This book from @authorsaraadams kept me giggling with laughter the whole way through! I simply couldn’t put the book down, I enjoyed it so much. This is definitely a strong contender for favorite book of the year! And the smart ending makes me want to grab the next book straight away, so eager I am to find out what happens next!
Don’t think, buy it! You won’t regret it.

Lucy is back in her hometown, trying to put pieces of herself together, after a failed attempt at making it on her own in a different state as a single mother. On a mission to cheer her up, her brother Drew drags her out one day for a boat trip, where she meets Cooper, Drew’s best friend. It is attraction at first sight, though they both try to fake it. Sensing something, Drew is clear from the beginning: Lucy is off limits. Blinded by Cooper’s recent history as a flirt, not knowing his real story ( that he ended up in this city after a broken heart and failed engagement ), Drew is adamant that Lucy should not be another woman on his list, thinking that his best friend is allergic to actual commitment. Stuck into trying to respect the bro-code, Cooper sends mixed signals to Lucy, leaving her wondering if she is the only one with feelings. So much so that she even makes a failed attempt at going on a date with someone else. When Drew is out of town for a few weeks, Lucy and Cooper get closer together, and even spend time with Levi, Lucy’s son, and things are clear: no amount of trying can keep them apart. Drew finding out in the worst possible way doesn’t help matters, but when Levi has a medical emergency, everything finally falls into place, with a truly magical happy ending…but still leaving you wondering what happens next?

Something To Live For

  • AUTHOR: Richard Roper
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 3 out of 5.

It was the title that attracted me to this book, and it was a nice read, that reminded me in places to Fredrik Beckman’s Ove: dry humour, a man with his heart in the right place but outcast from society, the pain of loss and how hard it is to come back to life and move on.

Andrew has a job at the council hard to come by: he inspects households of recently passed away citizens, looking for traces of relationships. Because all these people died alone, often without anyone realizing they were missing. But it’s a job he cherishes, so much so that he involuntarily lied during his interview just not to seem socially awkward and ensure he would get the job. Because Andrew is alone, lives alone, his only respite being his music and his train toys. Until Peggy comes along…a new colleague that day by day, will make Andrew understand that there is more to life, making him feel emotions he had long forgotten, always standing by him, especially when his last family member passes away: his sister Sally. Consumed by guilt, loss, pain and fear, he wants to right every wrong in his life, but he is scared. Until he finally comes clean to Peggy, whom to his surprise doesn’t run away…but instead gives him more courage to finally tell the truth, and get a chance at life again

The Four Winds

  • AUTHOR: Kristin Hannah
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I started to love her books after reading Firefly Lane, and now I can’t get enough from @kristinhannah
This book was loved by every bookstagrammer I follow, and now I understand why.
I didn’t know anything about this part of American history, but I could surely feel the pain of those who suffered during those hard time, just by reading through the pages. It was not only a moving story of love, family, hope and survival, but it was also a lesson: not only one of American history but also one of gratitude. We often forget how much we have.

Elsa wants to break free from her family, who doesn’t love her or value her. She has a fire in her, to become someone, that only disappoints her family further. Reaching its peak when she falls pregnant, and gets disowned and dropped at the door steps of the boy’s family. After a rocky start, she blooms into a woman, a mother, and a fierce and untirable worker, gaining the love of her adopting family. Everything is perfect until the drought strikes, followed by wind, with dust covering everything, spreading desperation and death. Unable to take it anymore, her husband leaves in the middle of the night, leaving her and her kids heartbroken, trying to survive. When her son Anthony get seriously sick, she decides to pack up and leave for California, chasing an uncertain dream like many other before her. But when they reach, more hardships await, even worse than what they left behind, but Elsa won’t give up, and does everything to ensure the survival of her family. Only when talks of strikes take over the valley, she resists to stand up for her own rights, and its Loreda, her daughter, who starts showing signs of rebellion, befriending Jack, the leader of the resistance, who helps the family out more than once. When Elsa finally decides to stand up for herself and others like her, it will be too late. Too late to be free and love again

The Silent Treatment

  • AUTHOR: Abbie Greaves
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 4 out of 5.

A heartbreaking story of love, family, secrets, regret, suicide, and how the inability to communicate can ruin everything.
Definitely leaves a lot of food for thought. And proves something that I always believed in very fiercely: everything can be fixed if people communicate.

Frank stopped talking to his wife of forty years, Maggie, and she doesn’t know why. Until one morning, he finds her in the kitchen, where she attempted suicide.
The books splits in two: Frank at her bedside in the hospital, recounting their whole lives, trying to get to his main confession: why he stopped talking. We discover that after a miscarriage, they were blessed with a daughter after 15 years, Eleonora. And that their lives fell apart one day when she was a teenager and came home a different person.
The second part is Maggie’s confessions in a written form, that she left for Frank before attempting to take her own life. Her recount is as filled of regret as Frank’s: they both blame themselves for their daughters faith.
They both feel like failures. They were both unable to speak the truth to each other.
Only in the end will we discover the tragedy that pushed both of them into silence, but the lesson learnt will push them back into each other’s arms, willing to try and live again

The Marriage Game

  • AUTHOR: Sara Desai
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I laughed so hard the whole time, it’s definitely an entertaining read that left me super curious to read her next novel!

Layla comes back to her family heartbroken and jobless, intent to put her life back together, starting by putting up her own recruitment business in the office above her parents Michelin’s star Indian restaurant. Issue is, her father just rented the space to someone but she is intent of throwing him out, Sam.The next 24hrs are a decisive step in Layla’s upcoming future: her father suffers a heart attack, the guy he rented the office to is handsome and has no intention to leave, and when a strange man appears looking for her, she discovers that her father signed her up to a dating site to find her an arranged marriage husband. Since her parents are happily married thanks to an arranged marriage, she decides to give it a try and strike a deal with her unwanted office companion: he will come to each date with her, and if she finds a husband, the office will be is. The marriage game begins. What they didn’t see coming is that spending so much time together, only one thing could happen. Unless Sam’s past ghosts and regrets takes over, threatening to jeopardize and ruin everything.

Kane & Abel

  • AUTHOR: Jeffrey Archer
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I absolutely loved it. So well written, so captivating, so enthralling, I simply couldn’t put it down.
It was inspiring, surprising, and with one strong lesson for all of us at the end about regret: money, success, career are not everything in life, so never let anything stand in the way of family and love, because you never know when it will be too late to appreciate what you have.

Two parallel lives intertwine over decades.
In America, William Kane, from a well-off bankers family, has his future planned out for him: best school, get all the honors, and lead his father’s bank one day.
On the other side of the world, in Poland, a new born boy saved by a farmer in the woods grows into an intelligent little boy, getting the attention of the Baron of the estate, who soon takes him under his wing. When WW1 hits, he survives imprisonment in his Baron’s castle, concentration camp, a trip through Russia into Turkey, and makes his way into America where he names himself Abel. Working in a hotel and studying economics, he grabs the attention of a Texan hotelier, where his real history starts: that of a hotel magnate.
Both men build empires in their respective businesses, but on the verge of Black Friday, their encounter marks a moment of hate that will accompany them for their whole lives, becoming sworn enemies.
Their lives cross again and again, even when they both enrol in the army to fight in WW2 and Abel saves William’s life without either of them realizing who the other was.
Only when unexpectedly, William’s son falls in love with Abel’s daughter, is the rivalry at its peak. Both fathers are not blessing this union, and for years they don’t speak to their own children, continuing to tear each other’s reputation apart.
William eventually decides to forgive his son, but it’s too late.
And when Abel decides to do the same, he will get his chance to make it up to his daughter, but never to William, who turns out has always been Abel’s biggest supporter…but by than, every chance of redemption was long lost

The Rome Affair

  • AUTHOR: Karen Swan
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

As always, anything she writes is pure perfection.
The way she manages to produce stories so full of twists and surprises, that guarantee a WOW moment, leaving you open mouthed and speechless.
Each story has multiple intertwined tales and a sparkle of romance, without ever feeling overdone. Just loved❤️
Francesca is a tour guide and blogger in Rome, where she moved to escape a past she rather forget. One night, she finds an expensive bag in the bin outside her house, and thanks to her neighbor, she finds out who the bag belongs to: Elena, a princess living across the street. The bag is empty, aside a blue sealed envelope. Upon returning the bag, the two strike up a conversation into the late hours, causing Francesca to be late the next day to work, ending in her losing her job. Elena comes to the rescue by offering Francesca a job: write her memoir.
During the interviews, scanning through photos, Francesca gets a glimpse of Elena’s fantastic life, but also the feeling that the princess is not telling all of the truth. One day they are suddenly interrupted by the garden collapsing on its own, revealing a set of tunnels that run under the palace. And that’s when Francesca meets Nico. The story unfolds between the present and the past, revealing so many secrets of Elena’s past, and it’s clear that she is hiding more than she gives away. An incredible truth unfolds that none of the characters expected, all becoming clear with the sudden death of Elena, and with the blue envelope finally open, revealing the truth that even Elena waiting 15 years to discover.
Highly recommend!

The Binding

  • AUTHOR: Bridget Collins
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 4 out of 5.

The cover did it for me, as so often happens. @bakerbridg can’t wait to read on your next one, which by the way, is already on my bookshelf waiting to be read.
I was left with so many unexpected wow moments, which is something I absolutely love in a book.
In the first part, Emmet is leaving the country life with his parents and his sister Alta, until one day he gets severely and unexpectedly sick. Shortly after, his father decides to send him away in the woods with an older woman, who is a binder. Binders take away your memories and bond them into books, leaving the subject free of that tormenting memory they wanted to forget so badly. Turns out that his illness had his explanation: he is a binder too, it’s his destiny and while learning the trade, his mentor suddenly passes away and he is forced to move to the city to continue the trade. Here he meets Lucien, a born aristocratic son of a rich man, and immediately their relationship is one of love and hate that they both can’t explain.
In the second part, the book takes you back to the relationship between Emmet and Lucien, revealing the source of their connection. Something totally unexpected.
In the third part, narrated by Lucien, the truth will be revealed. Emmet and Lucien both visited binders to forget their sorrows, leaving them oblivious of their true relationship, despite the strong pull they feel toward each other. Only when a fire destroys the book that bound Emmet’s feelings in the dark, will he be on a quest to free Lucien’s fate, guiding the story in a tormented yet happy ending.
Compelling, breathtaking and thrilling.
Loved ❤️

How To Stop Time

  • AUTHOR: Matt Haig
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 4 out of 5.

From the moment I read the Midnight Library from @mattzhaig, I knew I wanted to read more from him.
#howtostoptimematthaig is equally good but not as soul twisting, but still a great read.
Since the dawn of tome, humans have battled one thing: avoid death, avoid getting old. But if you had the reverse problem? What if you could never get old…would that make your life a better and happier one?
And this is the problem with Tom. He cannot age, or better said, he ages very slowly. He is centuries old and spent his life moving as often as someone would notice his “condition”, and survives every person he has ever cared for. Afraid to fall in love, afraid of being misunderstood, afraid of being taken as a freak of nature. Unable to fully live. And the Albatross community, created to safeguard the lives of those just like him, seems a safe haven at first. The group, led by one of the oldest man alive, turns out to be a controlling and manipulative scheme, creating fear in those who are part of it. And only when Tom finally reunited with long lost daughter whom he has been searching for hundreds of years, will he feel empowered to let go of fear, try to take life as it comes, and finally starting to live. And love.
A great read ❤️ 

2021 reads: 59

Love At First

  • AUTHOR: Kate Clayborn
  • TOPIC: Romantic Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

I love a good romantic story, especially when it reminds you of real life: how we are too often scared to be vocal about our true feelings, probably scared of getting hurt.
Sixteen years ago Will fell in love with a voice under the apartment building where her mother dragged him in, in Chicago, to ask for help from a brother he never knew she had. When his estranged uncle passed away leaving that apartment to him, he is adamant not to live there and decides to return it and giving up for seasonal rent. But to do so, he has to pass through the building’s approval, whose director is a blast from the past: the girl he fell on love with all those years ago. She is fiercely connected to her neighbors, attached to the memory of her late grandma, and on a mission to make it difficult for him to make his plans come true. But the more they spend time together, the more they give up on their on stubbornness. Him, starting to love the neighborhood and giving up his commitment issues. And her, giving up on memories and trying to keep them alive for someone else’s sake, beginning to make a life of her own.
Loved it and highly recommend!

Bone Labyrinth

  • AUTHOR: James Rollins
  • TOPIC: Thriller

Rating: 1 out of 5.

I was really hoping for more.
Usually I love his books and the story line always going back to religious or history related mysteries. I started to read again thanks to this genre.
But this read? It was painful.
The plot was there but somehow it got diluted into too much description, too many details ( seemed like a movie script more than a book ) and too much complication. So much so that I got lost more than once and I literally couldn’t wait for the book to be over, determined as I was not to collect another DNF anytime soon!
So, apologies, but a summary is not going to happen for this now. I couldn’t, even if I wanted to.

Our Secrets and Lies

  • AUTHOR: Sinead Moriarty
  • TOPIC: Novel

Rating: 5 out of 5.

 I loved the book. I started reading @sineadmoriartywriter after seven letters and now I am on a mission to read all of her books. The reason for a 4 and not a 5, is that I found some parts to be repetitive at times. Otherwise was a great read done in 2 days, and would still recommend.
Lucy is 21, first class at law school and in love with Tom. Than she finds out she is pregnant. Initially convinced to abort, when Tom’s controlling and nasty father comes to know of it and gets involved, she changes her mind. But Tom disappears cowardly to NYC to finish his studies. Luckily Lucy has her mom, dad and best friend Sarah on her side, and Lucy decides to have the baby and return to school after a year. Fast forward 17 years, Lucy had twins, her mom passed away due to cancer, she never got her law degree and Tom never reached out. But on the plus side, her kids are her world and make her very proud. Dylan got a scholarship for football, and Kelly gets to tag along being an A-student. Lucy lets her past grievances get into the way, suffocating her kids, expecting them to make up for the life she didn’t get to live, bitter due to all she had to give up, intended to prove to Tom’s father and the world that she is good enough. Blinded by this, she is oblivious to Kelly’s situation at school. Bullied to the edge, she will take an extreme decision that will force Lucy to refocus on life, just as Tom is bursting back into their lives.

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