The Favorite Daughter by: Patti Callahan Henry

Publication Date: June 4, 2019

Description from the publishers through Netgalley

From the New York Times bestselling author of The Bookshop at Water’s End, here is a lush, heart-wrenching novel about the power of memory, the meaning of family, and learning to forgive.

Ten years ago, Lena Donohue experienced a wedding-day betrayal so painful that she fled the small town of Watersend, South Carolina, and reinvented herself in New York City. Though now a freelance travel writer, the one place she rarely goes is home—until she learns of her dad’s failing health.

Returning to Watersend means seeing the sister she has avoided for a decade and the brother who runs the family’s Irish pub and has borne the burden of his sisters’ rift. While Alzheimer’s slowly steals their father’s memories, the siblings rush to preserve his life in stories and in photographs. As his secret past brings Lena’s own childhood into focus, it sends her on a journey to discover the true meaning of home.

My Review

This was a bit of sad read due to the father’s Alzheimer’s. I felt the story itself was a bit slow paced and although I did like it overall, it was not one of my favorite reads. The wedding day betrayal was a common trope and the hidden family secrets were not so shocking. It was a middle of the road read for me.

I gave this book 3 crowns.

I received this E-ARC from the Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.
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The Printed Letter Bookshop by: Katherine Reay

Description from the publishers through Netgalley

“Powerful, enchanting, and spirited, this novel will delight.” —Patti Callahan, bestselling author of Becoming Mrs. Lewis

Love, friendship, and family find a home at the Printed Letter Bookshop

One of Madeline Cullen’s happiest childhood memories is of working with her Aunt Maddie in the quaint and cozy Printed Letter Bookshop. But by the time Madeline inherits the shop nearly twenty years later, family troubles and her own bitter losses have hardened Madeline’s heart toward her once-treasured aunt—and the now struggling bookshop left in her care.

While Madeline intends to sell the shop as quickly as possible, the Printed Letter’s two employees have other ideas. Reeling from a recent divorce, Janet finds sanctuary within the books and within the decadent window displays she creates. Claire, though quieter than the acerbic Janet, feels equally drawn to the daily rhythms of the shop and its loyal clientele, finding a renewed purpose within its walls.

When Madeline’s professional life falls apart, and a handsome gardener upends all her preconceived notions, she questions her plans and her heart. Has she been too quick to dismiss her aunt’s beloved shop? And even if she has, the women’s best combined efforts may be too little, too late.

My Review:

I missed this book on my to-read list from Netgalley and when I finally saw it, it had already been released. I was able to listen to this on audio and I am so glad that I did. This was a beautiful story of coming to realize one’s true potential and challenging the things you once thought to be true.

This is a book about women, friends, mothers, family and books. The perfect combination and a must read for any book lover.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

I received this E-ARC from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

My Ex-Best Friend’s Wedding by: Wendy Wax

Publication date: May 14, 2019

Description from the publishers through Netgalley

A wedding dress passed down through generations unravels the tangled threads of three women’s lives in a novel of friendship, family, and forgiveness from the USA Today bestselling author of Ten Beach Road.

Prized and stored away for safekeeping, the timeless ivory wedding dress, with its scooped neck and cleverly fitted bodice, sits gently folded in its box, whispering of Happily Ever Afters. To Kendra, Brianna, and Lauren it’s a reminder of what could have been, the promise of a fairy tale, and a friendship torn apart. But as Kendra knows firsthand: it wasn’t the dress’s fault.

Once closer than sisters, Lauren and Bree have grown up and grown apart, allowing broken promises and unfulfilled dreams to destroy their friendship. A successful author, Lauren returns home to the Outer Banks, fiancé in tow, to claim the dress she never thought she’d wear. While Bree, a bookstore owner, grapples with the realities of life after you marry the handsome prince. As the former best friends wrestle with their uncertain futures, they are both certain of one thing: some betrayals can never be forgiven. 

Now on the eve of her daughter Lauren’s wedding, Kendra struggles with a secret she’s kept for far too long. And vows to make sure the dress will finally bring Lauren and Bree back together—knowing they’ll need each other to survive the coming storm.

My Review

I am a big fan of Wendy Wax’s books. This book fits my unplanned theme of reading wedding related book but isn’t your usual contemporary about a wedding; and of course there isn’t…it is written by Wendy Wax.

To be honest, I thought the beginning was a bit slow paced but it does pick up and the story comes together. THE DRESS has been passed down from generation to generation and is one of the things that Lauren is looking forward to trying on after she is proposed to. However, life has a way of throwing curve balls at you when you least expect them.

Lauren has an amazing relationship with her mother and she is headed home to introduce her fiance to her. She knows that she will have to have contact with her ex-best friend but she is ok with that. Once they reach the Outer Banks, nothing goes according to plan and Lauren’s life as she knows it is turned upside down. As lies and omissions are revealed, will any of Lauren’s relationships survive?

I gave this book 4 crowns.

I received this E-Arc in exchange for an honest review from the publishers through Netgalley.

The Unhoneymooners by: Christina Lauren

Publication date: May 14, 2019

Description from the publishers through Netgalley

For two sworn enemies, anything can happen during the Hawaiian trip of a lifetime—maybe even love—in this romantic comedy from the New York Times bestselling authors of Roomies.

Olive Torres is used to being the unlucky twin: from inexplicable mishaps to a recent layoff, her life seems to be almost comically jinxed. By contrast, her sister Ami is an eternal champion . . . she even managed to finance her entire wedding by winning a slew of contests. Unfortunately for Olive, the only thing worse than constant bad luck is having to spend the wedding day with the best man (and her nemesis), Ethan Thomas.

Olive braces herself for wedding hell, determined to put on a brave face, but when the entire wedding party gets food poisoning, the only people who aren’t affected are Olive and Ethan. Suddenly there’s a free honeymoon up for grabs, and Olive will be damned if Ethan gets to enjoy paradise solo.

Agreeing to a temporary truce, the pair head for Maui. After all, ten days of bliss is worth having to assume the role of loving newlyweds, right? But the weird thing is . . . Olive doesn’t mind playing pretend. In fact, the more she pretends to be the luckiest woman alive, the more it feels like she might be.

With Christina Lauren’s “uniquely hilarious and touching voice” (Entertainment Weekly), The Unhoneymooners is a romance for anyone who has ever felt unlucky in love.

My Review

This is my second foray into the writing duo known as Christina Lauren’s works. I am hooked. I have not laughed out loud while reading as much as I did with this book. It is wedding season and I have been reading my fair share of wedding related books but they have all had their own unique twists.

While one twin seems to have all of the luck in the world, the other just doesn’t, except for the day of her sister’s wedding. Faking her sister’s identity and going on her honeymoon with the best man who just happens to be the man she most despises in the world, Olive will have to try to keep her lies straight while also trying to enjoy herself. The hilarity ensues and life unravels as well as Olive’s feelings towards Ethan while they are away.

I enjoyed this book immensely and will be picking up other books by this team again.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

I received this E-ARC from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Key to Happily Ever After by: Tif Marcelo

Publication date: May 14, 2019

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

A charming romantic comedy about three sisters who are struggling to keep the family wedding planning business afloat—all the while trying to write their own happily-ever-afters in the process. 

All’s fair in love and business.

The de la Rosa family and their wedding planning business have been creating happily ever afters in the Washington, DC area for years, making even the most difficult bride’s day a fairytale. But when their parents announce their retirement, the sisters—Marisol, Janelyn, and Pearl—are determined to take over the business themselves.

But the sisters quickly discover that the wedding business isn’t all rings and roses. There are brides whose moods can change at the drop of a hat; grooms who want to control every part of the process; and couples who argue until their big day. As emotions run high, the de la Rosa sisters quickly realize one thing: even when disaster strikes—whether it’s a wardrobe malfunction or a snowmageddon in the middle of a spring wedding—they’ll always have each other.

Perfect for fans of the witty and engaging novels of Amy E. Reichert and Susan Mallery, The Key to Happily Ever After is a fresh romantic comedy that celebrates the crucial and profound power of sisterhood.

My Review

I loved this book. I have always loved to plan parties and weddings are the “be all, end all” of parties. These sisters have taken over the family business and they are struggling with separating business and family. When clearly defined siblings roles don’t translate over into the business side of things, the business will either fall apart or have to be revamped. Taking into account the cultural aspect of this Filipino- American family, I was able to gain insight into their traditions and family dynamics.

This was a fun contemporary read and I really want it to be a series (I don’t think that is the case though). I have a family member who will be marrying a Filipino-American next year and the food items and traditions mentioned were very helpful. I appreciated this book written in the author’s own voice.

Please pick this up for a great Spring or Summer read.

I give this book 5 crowns.

I received this E-ARC from the Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

Park Avenue Summer by: Renee Rosen

Publication Date: April 30, 2019

Description from the Publishers through Netgalley

“‘Mad Men meets The Devil Wears Prada,’ which might as well be saying ‘put me in your cart immediately.’” —PopSugar

It’s 1965 and Cosmopolitan magazine’s brazen new editor-in-chief—Helen Gurley Brown—shocks America and saves a dying publication by daring to talk to women about all things off-limits…

New York City is filled with opportunities for single girls like Alice Weiss, who leaves her small midwestern town to chase her big-city dreams and unexpectedly lands the job of a lifetime working for the first female editor-in-chief of Cosmopolitan magazine, Helen Gurley Brown.

Nothing could have prepared Alice for the world she enters as editors and writers resign on the spot, refusing to work for the woman who wrote the scandalous bestseller Sex and the Single Girl, and confidential memos, article ideas, and cover designs keep finding their way into the wrong hands. When someone tries to pull Alice into a scheme to sabotage her boss, she is more determined than ever to help Helen succeed. While pressure mounts at the magazine and Alice struggles to make her way in New York, she quickly learns that in Helen Gurley Brown’s world, a woman can demand to have it all.

My Review

I know it was cheesy but I am huge fan of The Devil Wears Prada and when I saw that this book seemed similar, I wanted to give it chance. I adored Alice and her her new boss Helen. Helen wasn’t afraid to break down in front of Alice and was willing to give her a chance even though she didn’t have any experience in the magazine business.

This was a story of female empowerment and the ways in which a woman had to fight through a male dominated business to make her mark. This is based on actually events but created with the liberty of a fictional novel. It was not dull or dry, it was creative and well written.

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and highly recommend it.

I gave this book 4 crowns.

I received this E-ARC from the publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

American Princess by: Stephanie Marie Thorton

Publication Date: March 12, 2019

Description from the Publisher through Netgalley

“As juicy and enlightening as a page in Meghan Markle’s diary.”—InStyle

“Presidential darling, America’s sweetheart, national rebel: Teddy Roosevelt’s swashbuckling daughter Alice springs to life in this raucous anthem to a remarkable woman.”—Kate Quinn, New York Times bestselling author of The Alice Network

A sweeping novel from renowned author Stephanie Marie Thornton…

Alice may be the president’s daughter, but she’s nobody’s darling. As bold as her signature color Alice Blue, the gum-chewing, cigarette-smoking, poker-playing First Daughter discovers that the only way for a woman to stand out in Washington is to make waves–oceans of them. With the canny sophistication of the savviest politician on the Hill, Alice uses her celebrity to her advantage, testing the limits of her power and the seductive thrill of political entanglements.

But Washington, DC is rife with heartaches and betrayals, and when Alice falls hard for a smooth-talking congressman it will take everything this rebel has to emerge triumphant and claim her place as an American icon. As Alice soldiers through the devastation of two world wars and brazens out a cutting feud with her famous Roosevelt cousins, it’s no wonder everyone in the capital refers to her as the Other Washington Monument–and Alice intends to outlast them all.

My Review

I loved this book. I knew nothing about Alice Roosevelt and this was a joy to read. Of course this was a fictional account of her life, but the events and things that she went through were unbelievable. Stephanie wrote this as if she lived through Alice’s years in Washington with her.

I really enjoyed this novel and historical fiction, more especially, a political one, is not in my wheelhouse. I highly recommend picking this one up.

I gave this book 5 crowns.

I received an E-ARC from the Publishers through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.