Wednesday, July 21, 2010
THE MISADVENTURES OF THE LAUNDRY HAG: Swept Under the Rug
Book #2 in the Laundry Hag Series
Jennifer L. Hart
Wild Child Publishing (www.wildchildpublishing.com)
June 22, 2010
Laundry, laughter, love and crime make for a great read
Maggie Phillips is a stay-at-home mom, runs her own house cleaning business and on the side is a Confidential Informant to the police. Well back that up a little please she is a what? Yes Maggie is a CI in their home town of Hudson, MA a bedroom community outside of Boston. She takes care of her sons, does some house cleaning and makes sure the criminals get caught sometimes even before a crime happens. It is really hard to be a good wife even when he is an ex-Navy SEAL but since he is a hunk Maggie makes time but Neil is not so sure they don’t need a little outside counseling, well hmm to that one.
In her latest case Maggie finds a suspicious fax at the house she is cleaning, runs to the police with it and they promptly dismiss the case as mistaken information. But then a mysterious gift appears at her employer’s house and within the blink of an eye the wife goes missing and the clues are adding up to foul play. Maggie is never one to let anything go much to her husband’s dismay but her vigilance keeps the police knocking on her door asking questions and when the FBI show up accusing her of the misdeeds having been committed the rest of the chaos starts to make sense. There is blackmail, extortion, dirty money and a house fire adding to the intrigue that keeps Maggie looking for more answers and only getting into more trouble and it looks like someone is setting her up to take the blame for all of it.
Adding to all this mess is Maggie trying to help her best friend deal with the trauma in her life, her brother Marty showing up with his pregnant girlfriend, her pre-teen son with a hormonal attitude and her husband taking her to see a marriage counselor named Dr. Bob isn’t this too much for one woman? Heck no, Maggie is ready to solve the crime, deal with the drama and take down Dr. Bob if it comes to that. She show everyone that she is not a flake but a woman who knows something is going on and wants to solve the crime.
I love a read where the characters are so real they feel like they could be your neighbors. Now they have to be your neighbor because my life is not that big of a mess, is it? Ms. Hart wrote with so much passion and developed the story in a fashion that draws you in and keeps you engrossed until the last word in the book. Her characters are flawed and loveable and she shows how a normal couple with all the chaos in their life can still find time for some romance and who doesn’t want to have romance with a husband who is a hunk?
Mary Gramlich is The Reading Reviewer located at www.marygramlich.com
Sunday, July 18, 2010
FLY AWAY HOME
Simon & Schuster Adult Publishing Group
Hardcover, 416 pages
One great book after another is what Jennifer Weiner provides to her readers
At some point in a woman’s married lifetime regardless of the years invested up to that date she will look at her husband and wonder “what am I doing with this guy”? There a number of other questions that comes to mind as well like “can I do better than this” or the wonderful “seriously did I notice he did that when we were dating”? But it will come and then at that moment you have to decide do I stay or do I go and if I go where the heck am I going.
Sylvie Server Woodruff did not come to this decision about her husband Richard on her own it was thrust at her the day his affair was public on every 24-hour news channel. He was a powerful Senator and Sylvie considered herself to be his partner is this quest to do right by the people of his state. She never saw herself as helpless but with the other woman’s picture being thrown in her face the reality of the life she had chosen vs. the one she might have had or maybe could still have becomes a wakeup call and the alarm needed to be dealt with.
The decisions that Sylvie makes after are not ones taken lightly but decisions have to be made for herself and even her grown daughters. Her oldest was a doctor, wife and mother while the youngest was a girl struggling to become a woman and no longer an addict. But as the story unfolds so much changes for all three of them as a direct result of Richard’s decision to be unfaithful and not realize the consequences of his decisions. Sylvie was now in the what if stage of her life as well and thoughts of how things could have turned out if she had pursued her law career, if she had been home more with her daughters, if she gave everything to everyone and not enough to herself.
We watch Sylvie grow away from what she sees the photo op her life had become to forge a future that makes it not a what if but a what is and what will be. Could she forgive Richard, can her daughters make their own way in life and when did it become wrong to put yourself first? Every woman deserves her own space to be her own identity and every woman needs a room of their own to breath their own air.
New love, new life, old issues and past problems all merge together to make this a very good read and one that will answer allot of questions about why women stay with men that are unfaithful and some about why women leave those relationships. It also reveals that marriage is more than the sum of two people, it is the accumulation of the history of the relationship and the people who are all holding hands over the Thanksgiving table.
Mary Gramlich is The Reading Reviewer at www.marygramlich.com
Sometimes the worst thing that happens to you, the thing you think you can’t survive…it’s the thing that makes you better than you used to be. (from Fly Away Home by Jennifer Weiner)
I just finished this book and the strange part about it was how the main character Sylvie reminded me of myself in that we are both struggling with something we never saw coming and were not prepared to handle. We are about the same age, have children in the general age bracket and while I luckily do not have an unfaithful husband like Sylvie does, right now I am struggling with a life altering situation in the fact that I have lost the job I held for 11 years due to everyone's favorite phrase - downsizing. The one statement above really stuck with me because in the book towards the end with the main character Sylvie trying to decide what to do with her life her mother makes this comment and it got me thinking how everything in our lives can change in an instant. We could lose a loved one, find ourselves dealing with an unfaithful spouse or in my case right now trying to handle unemployment and the depth of emotions that follow you through this ordeal.
In that one moment your life changes from the certainty of what it is to something unknown and it scares you so bad. You wonder about your finances, what people will think about you and how you will survive and sadly you find out who will stand beside you and who is denying they ever knew you.
The emotions you go through are shock, anger and then compliant with the fate you have been given. You fight the realization of what has or is happening but eventually you accept the cards you have been dealt and try to figure out your life now. Now that nothing is the same as it was a yesterday and will never be the same again and for someone who does not like change very much this is unnerving.
But this too shall pass even in these hard economic times and hopefully employment will come sooner rather than later and yes I do believe that this kick in the pants is telling me to figure out again what to do with my life. This is not what I ever would have wanted to happen but while this one door was being shut I know a window will open and I will be a better person for what has happened.
Saturday, July 17, 2010
WHISPER OF SCANDAL (
(Book #1 in the Scandal Series) by Nicola Cornick
September 28, 2010 - Harlequin Publication in Mass Market Paperback, 368 pages
This book is not a whisper of amazing but a shout out of greatness
Is it possible for two people to have been involved another’s life and see this individual so totally differently? Can a person be a saint to one and a sinner to the other - absolutely, in the case of one David Ware.
His widow Lady Joanna saw the man and her life with him as cold, desolate and at times brutal. His best friend Alexander, Lord Grant saw an explorer, hero and the greatest example of what one can accomplish in life with hard work and adventuresome spirit. Joanna never felt love for this match but despised that he blamed her for their lack of children and made no pains to disguise his infidelity and outright betrayal of her trust. Alex has nothing but disdain for Joanna and feels that all the words of evil that David spoke are true and cannot see any redeeming factors surrounding her or the lavish lifestyle she leads. He sees her as frivolous and taking full advantage of the tidy sum David left his widow. But peeling back an onion reveals numerous layers does it not?
By fate, circumstance and responsibility are out of control for both Joanna and Alex’s as they are forced to face each other and come to a compromise of sorts as it seems David is still manipulating both of them from the grave. With Alex a part of David’s extended life and best friend David gave Alex the responsibility of handling his estate and carrying out his final wishes which he never thought included Joanna and a sea adventure. So by bad luck Alex is forced to Seal the Deal with Joanna and while both of them stand their ground about how David was in their individual lives and fight every time they share space they do agree to the terms that were set aside in the codicil even if it involves sailing to The Arctic to retrieve what David so carelessly left behind.
But the more time Alex spends with Joanna the more he comes to see her as the greatest of temptations and less the vixen he had thought her to be. She is warm, loving and cares for those who are less fortunate. Her kisses are all too soon melting his heart and turning up his passion for not just any woman but this woman that he at first thought a frivolous. But Joanna is strong and just as full of the lust for him as he has for her and shows him that in preconceived notations some turn out to be very untrue. The adventure aboard the Sea Witch shows both of them what they are made of how important they are to one another. They each tear down the other’s walls of despair and prior guilt to burn up the nights with a flame that comes from no candle but instead from deep inside their being.
With every Nicola Cornick book you know you are in for a wonderful read and a most enjoyable adventure. This book and adventure in no way disappoint and in fact make it so you start reading slower just to not have the book come to an end. The writing style is lush and with each page you know that there are two characters that jump out at you and many background characters that are not there to just fill space but bring life to the story. Thank you Nicola for another beautiful reading adventure.
Mary Gramlich is The Reading Reviewer located at www.marygramlich.com