2018 Book #48 – The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go by Amy E. Reichert

51dDfp8SvQL._SX320_BO1,204,203,200_Title: The Optimist’s Guide to Letting Go
Author: Amy E. Reichert
Date finished: 6/19/18
Genre: Fiction, women’s fiction
Publisher: Gallery Books
Publication Date: May 15, 2018
Pages in book: 352
Stand alone or series: Stand alone
Where I got the book from: NetGalley
NOTE: I received this book for free from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. This in no way affected my opinion of the book, or the content of my review.

Blurb from the cover:

Three generations. Seven days. One big secret. The author of The Coincidence of Coconut Cakeunfolds a mother-daughter story told by three women whose time to reckon with a life-altering secret is running out.

Gina Zoberski wants to make it through one day without her fastidious mother, Lorraine, cataloguing all her faults, and her sullen teenage daughter, May, snubbing her. Too bad there’s no chance of that. Her relentlessly sunny disposition annoys them both, no matter how hard she tries. Instead, Gina finds order and comfort in obsessive list-making and her work at Grilled G’s, the gourmet grilled cheese food truck built by her late husband.

But when Lorraine suffers a sudden stroke, Gina stumbles upon a family secret Lorraine’s kept hidden for forty years. In the face of her mother’s failing health and her daughter’s rebellion, this optimist might find that piecing together the truth is the push she needs to let go…

My rating:  3.5 stars out of a scale of 5

My review: I was provided a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest and fair review.

I had read Simplicity of Cider by this author last year and I just loved it. And while this book wasn’t quite as much of a home run as that book was, I did still really enjoy it. This author has a way of really reaching in and grasping around your heart and squeezing. And while this book did have somewhat of a happy ending, I would classify it more as bittersweet than anything. There was such sadness in this novel and such struggle in each of the characters’ lives. I especially didn’t like the conflict between Gina and her daughter, May. While it was probably pretty accurate for human emotions that result from the situation they were going through, it was still so unbearably sad to see how May was continually lashing out at her already grief-stricken mother. I especially liked the descriptions of the different grilled cheese and brownie variations that Gina and May would come up with, they all sounded so good! This book, while sad, was still really good and I would recommend it.

Link to author website

Click on the cover to go to the book’s Amazon page

Waiting on Wednesday (6): Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick

New WoW

“Waiting On” Wednesday is a weekly meme hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine that spotlights eagerly anticipated upcoming releases.

This week’s spotlight is on:

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Garden of Lies by Amanda Quick

Release date: April 21, 2015

Blurb from the cover (Amazon):

The Kern Secretarial Agency provides reliable professional services to its wealthy clientele, and Anne Clifton was one of the finest women in Ursula Kern’s employ. But Miss Clifton has met an untimely end—and Ursula is convinced it was not due to natural causes.
Archaeologist and adventurer Slater Roxton thinks Mrs. Kern is off her head to meddle in such dangerous business. Nevertheless, he seems sensible enough to Ursula, though she does find herself unnerved by his self-possession and unreadable green-gold eyes…
If this mysterious widowed beauty insists on stirring the pot, Slater intends to remain close by as they venture into the dark side of polite society. Together they must reveal the identity of a killer—and to achieve their goal they may need to reveal their deepest secrets to each other as well…

Why am I waiting? 

I’m a big Amanda Quick / Jayne Ann Krentz / Jayne Castle fan. I’ve read many of her books under the various pen names and have liked the majority. And I think the description of the books sounds interesting!

Link to author website
Link to Amazon

2014 – Book #84

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The eighty-fourth book I read in 2014 was Scandal and the Duchess by Jennifer Ashley. This is book 6.5 in the Highland Pleasures/Mackenzie family series. I rated this book 3.5 stars out of a scale of 5. I finished this book on 9/17/14 (my birthday! :-)). This book tells the story of Steven McBride, brother to Ainsley McBride from book #3 in the series and Elliot McBride from book #5 in the series. Steven is home on leave from the military and spends his first night home getting sloshed in a bar. When he tries to head back to his lodgings, he can’t seem to remember exactly where he’s booked a room for this trip. While trying to figure it out he stumbles (literally) into Rose Barclay, young widow of the Duke of Southdown.

Scandal seems to find Rose wherever she goes, even if most of the supposed scandals are complete falsities made up by the members of the press. When Steven collapses into Rose in the street, she takes him home thinking him a poor homeless veteran. She lets him sleep it off in her guest room and then brings him some breakfast. In return for her kindness, Steven decides to help Rose in her unfortunate situation. It seems that the new Duke (that inherited the title when Rose’s husband died) is contesting the marriage and refuses to pay Rose a widow’s settlement or let her stay in any of the estate’s houses. Steven decides to help her and hires a lawyer to argue her case and also stands up to Albert for her.

Overall I like this book (really more of a short story). I liked the characters a lot, Rose was very compassionate and Steven very alpha male. The plot was interesting if fast paced as one would expect in a novella. I enjoyed the book and am looking forward to the next book in the series, Rules for a Proper Governess, due to come out on October 7.

Link to author website: http://www.jenniferashley.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Scandal-Duchess-Mackenzies-Book-2-ebook/dp/B00DGZKJ5C/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1411046652&sr=1-1&keywords=scandal+and+the+duchess

2014 – Book #71

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The seventy-first book I read in 2014 was Have You Any Rogues? by Elizabeth Boyle. This is book 2.5 in her Rhymes with Love series (between Book #2 And the Miss Ran Away with the Rake and Book #3 If Wishes were Earls). I finished this book on 8/13/14. I rated this book 4.25 stars out of a scale of 5. This book (novella) tells the story of Viscount Crispin Dale (cousin to Daphne Dale and mentioned in book #2 of the series) and Lady Henrietta Seldon/Astbury/Michaels/Juniper (sister to Lord Henry from book #2 and aunt to Christopher, Duke of Preston, from book #1).

As we learned in book #2, the Dale and Seldon families have a long standing feud. Crispin Dale tries with all his might to keep Daphne and Henry apart in book #2, even though he himself is in love with a Seldon as well. Crispin comes knocking at Owle Park (the Seldon family home) to demand that something be done, and instead ends up locked in a wine cellar with Henrietta Seldon, where they proceed to re-hash their entire past together and finally reach the conclusion that they love each other very much.

This novella jumped back and forth between past and present. I thought it was very interesting and I loved learning of the back-story to both characters, but at a couple points I got a tad bit confused. In order to help with the confusion, I found it best to create a timeline of events so I could keep track of the sequence. **SPOILER ALERT** This timeline reveals points of what happen in the book so if you don’t want to know what happens then don’t read it!

timeline

Overall I really enjoyed this novella. It was a great addition to the series. Also Henrietta and Crispin’s characters were very interesting to learn more about! Would definitely recommend.

Link to reviews on other books in the Rhymes with Love series: https://rebeccabookreview.wordpress.com/category/book-reviews/book-series-book-reviews/rhymes-with-love/

Link to author website: http://www.elizabethboyle.com/

Link to Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Have-You-Any-Rogues-Novella-ebook/dp/B00ECAUBLM/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1407962730&sr=1-1&keywords=have+you+any+rogues