REVIEW: Chasing Athens – Marissa Tejada

Chasing Athens Book Cover Chasing Athens
Marissa Tejada
Chick Lit
261

Suddenly dumped, a heartbroken American ex-pat stays on in Greece, confronting culture shock, crisis, and the charm of Mediterranean men as she redefines the true meaning of home. 

When Ava Martin’s new husband unexpectedly ditches her months after they’ve relocated across the world to Greece, the heartbroken American ex-pat isn’t sure where home is anymore. On the verge of flying back to the States with her tail between her legs, she makes an abrupt decision to follow her gut instead and stay on in Greece. She soon discovers that the tumultuous, culture-rich Mediterranean country is coloring her life in a way no place else can, changing her forever. But is it where she belongs? 

Ava’s newfound independence throws her into the thick of Athenian reality, where she has brushes with violent police riots and gets a taste of both the alluring islands and the city nightlife. Despite pressure from her mother, uncertainty over her impending divorce, and unresolved issues with her long-estranged father weighing on her, she’s determined to make it on her own. With the help of two very colourful Greek friends, she laughs and learns while facing culture shock, language barriers and the charm of Mediterranean men, until a life-threatening medical emergency back home in sleepy Ithaca, N.Y., forces her to decide where she truly belongs – and what truly matters.

I received a copy of Chasing Athens – Marissa Tejada in exchange for an honest review.

Ava is a woman that I think most readers would recognise; she’s at an age where she’s supposed to have everything figured out – but she really doesn’t. Freshly heartbroken, unemployed, and in a foreign country, Ava has two choices. She can return to her small hometown, full of the easy and familiar, or she can take a risk and stay in Athens, learning the language and enjoying her newfound friendships.

Tejada wrote characters that were instantly loveable. Ava’s new Greek friends were so caring, and their individual quirks were instantly recognisable as ‘Greek’. Ava herself is easy to feel sympathetic towards, but she’s not pitiable, so she never gets annoying. The experiences she has in Athens are recognisable too; the handsome rebound stranger who disappears after one night, the adorably sweet but too young boy who won’t stop calling… and then the romantic older man who sweeps you off your feet (after rescuing you in a skinny dipping incident… oh wait, thankfully that’s not so recognisable!).

I was in Athens two years ago, and I thought that Tejada captured it perfectly – the wild nightlife, the protests on the streets at night, the delicious food and good company… It’s an amazing place, so I could easily understand why Ava was torn about whether to stay or go. I liked that Tejada didn’t shy away from discussing the political situation in Greece, and how it effects the people. I feel like many readers probably aren’t aware of the reality of the situation. While I was there, there were protests every Friday night, and I’ll admit that my first experience of them was pretty nerve-wracking; Uniformed men with riot shields blocked off all of the local streets, and I couldn’t get back to my hostel. Men with firecrackers crowded the streets. I quickly learned to either stay inside, or stay close to home. When in doubt, McDonald’s always proved a safe hiding spot! I spent a long friday night in one, overlooking Syntagma Square and the protesters, eating donuts until it was safe to leave. I have also found myself in an Athenian Police Station on one occasion, and can tell you that Ava’s experience sounds just about right! Including these details in the story, that could easily have been left out, really added a depth to the novel that chick lit can often overlook.

I thought that this book felt very real. The writing and plot weren’t forced or unbelievable. Tejada’s own experience living in Athens clearly helped bring the city to life in her novel. I’d definitely recommend it to those who are feeling a little wanderlust, or want to travel vicariously around Athens. You can find it on Amazon for $5, which is another pretty good reason to check it out!!
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REVIEW: “When Girlfriends Take Chances” Savannah Page

When Girlfriends Take Chances Book Cover When Girlfriends Take Chances
Savannah Page
Chick Lit
367

A novel about exploring love and life's path, and taking chances along the way.

Emily Saunders has never thought twice about grabbing her passport, rucksack, and camera and trekking across the globe. If there's an NGO, a study abroad program, or simply the travel itch, Emily's on the first plane out. Free-spirited, open-minded, and eager to explore, it's no wonder Emily's hardly in one spot (or relationship) for long.

For the past year and a half, though, Emily's found herself planted in her college hometown of Seattle. She's surrounded by her best friends, has steady work as a photographer and at her friend Sophie's café, and is certainly kept busy by the wild antics of her BFF Jackie. Life's enjoyable, but Emily's looking for something more. She's ready for a change, for adventure!But when Emily tells her girlfriends she's ready for something new she does not expect Operation Blind Date!

Sure, Emily's single. Sure, she hopes to some day find true love. But being thrown into an insane challenge like this is not exactly the adventure she had in mind! Couldn't she just travel and focus on her photography? Or volunteer in Africa? Will a string of eligible bachelors lined up by her friends--a shot at finding a real and lasting love--really be that change she's searching for?

This is a spirited story about seeking adventure while being true to yourself, wherever you are in life. It's a story about love, risk, and self-discovery. About what happens when girlfriends take chances.

I received a copy of When Girlfriends Take Chances by Savannah Page in exchange for my honest opinion.

The latest in a series of books about a group of six women living in Seattle, I’ll admit that I had mixed feelings about this book. For starters, I think it’s necessary to read the earlier books in the series before picking up When Girlfriends Take Chances. While Page was clever in filling new readers in on the highlights of each character without overdoing the details and boring longtime fans, I felt that I didn’t really have enough detail about each woman’s story to really connect to any of them, and it took awhile to get them all straight.

Perhaps this is why I struggled to warm to protagonist Emily. On the surface, I thought we had one big thing in common – an insatiable wanderlust! However, as I continued to read I started to feel that she was a little two-dimensional… Unsure of where she is going in life, she’s wavering between taking off overseas again and trying to settle down. In itself, that’s a recognisable feeling. However, her apparent disdain of those who don’t share her love of travel, and the fact that her life is largely funded by her trust fund (although she prefers to spend it on travel than flashy possessions, which is admirable), were a little off putting. That said, she did read as a loyal friend, which was definitely a redeeming feature.

The actual plot of the book was entertaining – although the feminist in me takes issue with how important it is to the women that Emily find a man to ‘settle down’ with. I liked how the different stories intertwined, and took some comfort in the fact that these (albeit fictional) ladies remain friends despite their markedly different personalities. I also liked how Page was able to use a number of different locations for the story that added new layers; the start-up shop of Emily’s friend, her new book club, her shabby flat and the homes of her friends.

Overall, I think my opinion of the book would have been very different if I had read all of the books in the series. The writing style was light and easy – a perfect beach read – and reader’s will likely identify with one of the many characters. Luckily for you, you’ve read this post and now know to start at he beginning of the series. You can pick up the first three books in the series here. When I get a chance, I’m going to start at the beginning and read about their adventures from the start!

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REVIEW: The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in all of Paris – Jenny Colgan

The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in all of Paris Book Cover The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in all of Paris
Jenny Colgan
Chick Lit
464

As dawn breaks over the Pont Neuf, and the cobbled alleyways of Paris come to life, Anna Trent is already awake and at work; mixing and stirring the finest, smoothest, richest chocolate; made entirely by hand, it is sold to the grandes dames of Paris. It's a huge shift from the chocolate factory she worked in at home in the north of England. But when an accident changed everything, Anna was thrown back in touch with her French teacher, Claire, who offered her the chance of a lifetime - to work in Paris with her former sweetheart, Thierry, a master chocolatier. With old wounds about to be uncovered and healed, Anna is set to discover more about real chocolate - and herself - than she ever dreamed.

I warn you now – this book requires a box of tissues. But it’s totally worth the tears!

Jenny Colgan is a member of chick lit royalty. Her beautiful books revolve around the lives of women you root for, and circumstances that we can all recognise. The Loveliest Chocolate Shop in all of Paris is no exception.

When Anna loses two toes in a freak chocolate factory accident, she slips into a downward spiral of depression, not knowing what to do with her thirty-year-old self. Then, her old French teacher suggests – or rather, forces – Anna to leave for Paris and work in a boutique chocolate shop, under a Chocolatier she knew, many years ago.

Anna’s life is turned upside down. Suddenly she’s living in a shoebox apartment with an omnisexual theatre bug who wears lots of sparkly makeup, speaking French to people who roll their eyes at her accent, and working insane hours at the most popular chocolate shop in all of Paris. And she’s loving it.

What she doesn’t realise is that her old French teacher and her new Chocolatier boss were once starcrossed lovers. After a lifetime, neither has forgotten the other, and Anna is drawn into fulfilling a romance of the ages. Along the way, she just might be falling into an epic romance of her own!

I adored this book. Colgan wove a beautiful Parisian scene, of tucked away restaurants and handmade chocolate delights. Anna’s adventures are emotional and captivating, but always believable – and often funny. With a cast of quirky and unusual characters, and the allure of a city as fabulous as Paris, the book wants for nothing.

Colgan also masterfully deals with the language barrier, allowing the reader to effortlessly understand which language is being spoken, without constantly having to explain, and while losing none of the flow of the story. Unless Colgan hadn’t pointed it out herself, I may not even have noticed her doing it, it was so seamless.

I had expected another feel-good chick lit book, but this novel took a turn for the more serious. I tend to get a little overly attached to fictional characters, and spent the last third of the book with tears flowing down my cheeks (and I have these giant tears, so I was drenched in no time). Adding such a serious dimension to chick lit, which is typically a lighter read, can be dangerous. However, Colgan pulls it off – the story was so beautiful and touching, that I was left sad but enchanted.

It’s rare that I extoll the virtues of chick lit like this, but this book was not ordinary. I have ready many of Colgan’s books, but this was by far the most captivating. For chick lit lovers out there, I cannot recommend it highly enough. In fact, I suggest you purchase a copy immediately – click here or here. I want to hear all about what you thought, so get reading!

Oh – and did I mention that the book comes complete with an assortment of chocolatey recipes? What more could a girl want?!

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REVIEW: Life in Plan B – Jennifer Vessells

Life in Plan B Book Cover Life in Plan B
Jennifer Vessells
Chick Lit
282

When twenty-eight year old Haley Simpson, a sales associate for her best friend’s clothing boutique in Columbus, Ohio, begins a secret affair with the boutique’s potential New York City business partner, she digs a cavernous hole of deception that not only threatens to end her blossoming career, but to destroy a life-long friendship. 

Jennifer Vessells's debut novel, LIFE IN PLAN B, encompasses everything classic chick lit should: the dynamics of friendship, the nuances of high-reaching career aspirations, and the struggles – both usual and unique – presented by romantic and familial relationships. An entertaining story at every turn, LIFE IN PLAN B is identifiable for readers of any age. In short, Ms. Vessells hits her debut novel out of the park!

I received a copy of this e-book in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

This book made me remember that it is the characters that make a book good, but what you do with those characters that makes a book great. I think Life in Plan B was a good example of that, in some ways.

I loved the cast of characters. In fact, I liked them enough that I’d more than happily read about what happens next in their lives, should Vessells decide a sequel is in order. Protagonist Hayley resonated with me especially, because both she and I are struggling with the concept of what it means to live in your ‘Plan B’ life – ie; to not have achieved the dreams we had for our future selves.

The stumbling block for me came when I went to describe this book to a friend, and saw that it fit the standard chick lit girl-meets-two-hot-guys-and-makes-a-series-of-foolish-decisions-before-coming-to-her-senses plot. In many ways, I don’t mind this, because it’s the unique characters that add a point of difference. However, if you’re the kind of person who reads predominantly chick lit, it can get very predictable.

Vessells did throw in a few twists that blindsided me, which was great. She also gets credit for avoiding the obvious and cliche ending that many other authors wouldn’t have.

I can tell I’m fence-sitting a little here. Essentially, I really liked this book, the characters, and the little details in the subplots. That said, I am sick of reading the same main storyline on repeat, and would have liked this book even more had it deviated from that norm. I suppose that’s an ingrained part of the genre though, and so I can’t really penalise anyone for it.

So, I gave this book 4 stars; as a standalone piece of fiction, it was well-written and engaging. I just worry that it contributed to a wider problem in the chick lit genre. Maybe I should’ve saved those concern for a post of it’s own!  You can get a copy of this paperback, with it’s super cute cover, from Book Depository here, Amazon here – or, the e-book here, if that floats your boat. And honestly, I recommend you read it!

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REVIEW: Of Dreams & Shadows – D. S. McKnight

Of Dreams and Shadows - Forget Me Not Book Cover Of Dreams and Shadows - Forget Me Not
D. S McKnight
Chick Lit Mystery
287

We live. We die. Is there anything more? Jenna Barton is about to find out. After moving to the coastal North Carolina town of Parson’s Cove, Jenna has unwittingly stepped into the middle of a mystery involving a missing child. Unfortunately, the predator is still on the loose and Jenna has become his new obsession. With a little luck and a bit of paranormal help, Jenna might survive.

I received a copy of this e-book in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Even though this book probably aimed more at a teen audience, I really liked it! The characters and most of the plot were fairly typical of teenage chick lit, but the characters were very likeable, especially the main character, Jenna. She was authentic, recognisable, and not at all annoying. The supporting cast of characters were equally quirky and fun. Throw in some romance and high-school drama, and you’ve already got the basis of a good read.

Where Of Dreams and Shadows differed was in the paranormal element. Before you turn away in disgust, expecting another vampire or werewolf forbidden love, STOP! There is none of that here. In this story, the paranormal storyline is completely unique, rather than a rewrite of the same old story that so many books are relying on these days. McKnight instead weaves a tale of shadows and history seamlessly into the otherwise unremarkable high-school plot, taking the book from average to compelling.

The darkness is intriguing from the very first page, and the reader is hooked, waiting to find out what really lies in the shadows of the backyard, and how Jenna will overcome it.

If you like a little paranormal mystery in your teen fiction, but you’re sick of vampires and werewolves, this book could be for you. Compelling and unusual, I’m intrigued by the ‘Book 1’ label on the cover – perhaps Jenna and co. will be back, entangled with some other paranormal force in their sleepy little town? If you’re interested in delving into it, you can find a copy on Amazon here

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REVIEW: Merry & Bright Christmas Anthology

Merry & Bright Book Cover Merry & Bright
Lauren Clark, Libby Mercer, Cindy Arora, Nancy Scrofano, Laura Chapman, Isabella Louise Anderson
Chick Lit
179

Sip your eggnog, linger under the mistletoe, and make a Christmas wish. Merry & Bright brings you six tales of Christmas cheer, featuring stories of budding romances, Southern charm, lost loves, heaps of humour, and lots of pie by authors Isabella Louise Anderson, Cindy Arora, Laura Chapman, Lauren Clark, Libby Mercer, and Nancy Scrofano. From sunny Los Angeles to the Rocky Mountains to the Deep South, Merry & Bright will take you on a heartwarming adventure you’ll love to visit again and again. Wrap yourself in holiday mirth and prepare to be swept off your feet.

I received a copy of this e-book in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

Merry Christmas Blogosphere! I hope you’re all enjoying some freedom. family, and friends over the Christmas/New Years break! If you’re suffering from some holiday blues, however, then I suggest picking up a copy of Merry & Bright for a cheer-up. These six stories are full of Christmas cheer, romance, family drama, mistletoe and fresh-baked goodies.

Each story was based on a different female character’s experiences in the holidays. Personally, my favourite was the first story in the anthology; “A Very Dixie Christmas” by Lauren Clark. Perhaps this had something to do with it being the longest story in the anthology, or perhaps it was the skill with which Clark immediately pulled us into the warm world of the Ella Rae Bakery. Had this story been turned into a full length novel, I think I could have easily devoured it. I’ll be keeping an eye out for her future works!

In “Christmas at Mulberry Inn” Cindy Arora quickly set the scene of her Christmas tale with some interesting characters and a festive holiday setting. These characters were surprisingly well developed for such a short story, and I was again left wanting more. I did feel that the story was wrapped up a little quickly, considering the details in the first half of it, but it was fun and engaging. I’d be happy to return to the Mulberry Inn anytime!

I found “Ice Dating” by Nancy Scrofano and “Secret Santa” by Libby Mercy a little cliché… In part, I blame the length. It’s hard to describe four failed engagements in 30 pages, as Scrofano tried to do in “Ice Dating”, which meant that the story seemed a little far-fetched, and hard to relate to. Similarly, in “Secret Santa”, I picked the ‘twist’ early on and found the story quite un-engaging; perhaps there just wasn’t the time to hook me.

“Twelve Drummers Drumming” by Laura Chapman was a feel good love story, about finding a good man and trusting your instincts – jumping to conclusions can be a bad idea! The idyllic snowy setting and little Christmas miracle brought a smile to my face.

For those looking for a more racy read, “Meet Me Under the Mistletoe” (Isabella Louise Anderson) held tinges of what I imagine “50 Shades of Grey” to hold – though I refuse to read the latter for the sake of my literary integrity. While things can’t get too spicy under the mistletoe in less than 35 pages, Anderson manages to write a love-at-first-sight romance.

All in all, I think this anthology had a little something for everyone. The stories were short, and perfect to read in one sitting in between the crazy running around of Christmas, or when you’re feeling a little of the Christmas blues. I did catch a few spelling mistakes, enough to drive a grammar nut a little crazy, but not enough to turn me off the book.

Christmas may be over for 2013, but you can grab a copy on Amazon here for a few dollars and keep it on your bookshelf ready for next year! Merry Christmas!

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Secret Shopper’s Revenge – Kate Harrison

books - book club

Secret Shopper’s Revenge (and the two sequels, Secret Shopper Unwrapped and Secret Shopper Affair) is another perfect example of chick lit. Kate Harrison, once a former secret shopper herself, writes about her three ‘angels’ as they each find themselves at a new stage in their lives. Emily is recently divorced with a toddler, Sandie has been falsely accused of theft and forced to leave her dream job, and Grazia is mourning the death of her famous husband. Each is looking for a new direction, a new dream, and they find them together in stores across London.

Kate Harrison - Secret Shopper's RevengeAs they get into the swing of secret shopping, the very different women become friends and slowly begin to overcome their problems.

While this book isn’t vastly different to the basic structure of any chick lit book, the characters are so well written that you can easily identify with them, and cheer them on. Also, each character is very different, allowing different readers to identify with their different personalities. There’s enough detail for the books to be page-turners, but not so much that you’re constantly flipping back through the book to remind yourself what has happened. As the series progresses, so do the characters and their friendship matures along with them.

I am not one of those people who looks down on chick lit as low-brow, second rate literature. I recognise that an easy read about women who face the same dramas as many of us do in everyday life can be relaxing after a hard day at the office, when picking up a 400-page book about a Russian espionage scandal seems a little too hard. I would definitely recommend this book to women out there who are looking for a fun, easy read – and to those who love to shop. If you love Annie Valentine, you’ll love Secret Shopper even more! The trilogy can be purchased on a budget here, here and here.
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REVIEW: “Bitches of Brooklyn” Rosemary Harris

Bitches of Brooklyn Book Cover Bitches of Brooklyn
Rosemary Harris
Chick Lit
340

Are they really bitches? That depends who you ask...

Rachel, Clare, Tina and Jane are four friends awaiting the arrival of a fifth at a secluded Cape Cod bungalow where they spend an all-girls weekend every year since reconnecting at a reunion. But the fifth woman doesn't show. Instead she sends a note that reads - "I've run off with one of your men."

Has she? Is it a prank? Do they run for the phone or try to enjoy the weekend without her? Fast, funny and filled with Harris' trademark snappy dialogue you'll recognize friends and maybe a little of yourself as the women are forced to reevaluate their friendships, their marriages and their memories.

Inspired by a classic Hollywood film, The Bitches of Brooklyn is for every woman who's ever had a best friend and wondered...is she really??

I received a copy of this e-book in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

“Bitches of Brooklyn” definitely deserves it’s place in the Chick Lit genre. It revolves around a group of five women, who are supposed to spend a weekend together. When one doesn’t show up, giving only the explanation that she has ‘run off with one of their men’, the remaining four women quickly switch gears to engage in behaviour that women all over the world would recognise immediately; quiet doubt that perhaps someone you trust isn’t quite all they seem to be.

The book explores the lives of the four women. Each have their own issue, from which their insecurities over the whereabouts of their missing friend stemmed. Harris explored these issues well; they were believable and recognisable, even though I’m twenty years younger than the protagonists. I liked how the story progressed, and the small details that Harris included, like the loving grandmother, and the nighttime break-in to a public place – these added some much needed depth to a story that may have otherwise been all caught up in the heads of the four women.

There was one facet of the book, however, which annoyed me immensely. This group of women were dubbed ‘Bitches of Brooklyn’ in their teens, hence the title of the book. BUT, there is nothing to indicate that these girls were, in fact, bitches. Rather, they are portrayed as fairly nice, friendly teens. The book then has these girls regularly calling themselves bitches, immediately followed by one of them disclaiming that they’re just joking, or referencing that they earned the name as teenagers. The discrepancy between their behaviour and their nickname frustrated me throughout the book; though perhaps a seemingly minor detail, it felt incongruent with what was otherwise a well-written book, with a flowing plot. It almost seemed as if Harris had settled upon the title and subsequently wrote the reason for it into the book…

That inconsistency aside, I liked the book, and liked that it focused on the relationship between the women, rather than a relationship between a man and a woman. I also liked the ending, which is crucial!! It’s worth a read. 

Want to see what these bitches get up to firsthand? Pick up the e-book here, or the paperback here.

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REVEIW: “Zoey and the Moment of Zen” Cat Lavoie

Zoey and the Moment of Zen Book Cover Zoey and the Moment of Zen
Cat Lavoie
Chick Lit
Marching Inc
304

When coffee shop owner Zoey Everwood takes her obsession with ex-boyfriend Braden too far, everyone — except Zoey — is convinced a bit of fun in the sun at the Moment of Zen Wellness Resort will help her get over him once and for all.

But Zoey's relaxing vacation turns out to be anything but peaceful when she meets Shane Lawson, a resort guest who bears a striking resemblance to Braden. And things get even more complicated when the resort's owner starts spilling secrets about Zoey’s aunt Nessa, the woman who raised her. Add a snarky Wellness Coordinator and Nate Holmes—Shane's grumpy friend—to the mix, and you've got the recipe for a perfect tropical storm.
When Zoey comes back home with a new husband instead of tacky souvenirs, she must convince everyone she hasn't completely lost her mind. As Zoey and Shane struggle to keep the magic alive outside the resort, Zoey discovers that she isn't the only one having trouble letting go of the past. And when Nate drops a bombshell that changes everything, Zoey must decide if the old saying is true—what happens at the Moment of Zen stays at the Moment of Zen.

I received a copy of this e-book in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

I find myself somewhat wavering in my opinion of this book. On the one hand, I found quirky Zoe to be fairly relatable, with her inner monologue reminding me of my own. Her inability to get over her past relationship was frustrating, but also completely recognisable. On the other hand, I found the shotgun wedding around which much of the story is based to be completely unbelievable.

When Zoe’s friends and family force her to go on a holiday to get over her crummy ex, she meets a new man. In the course of four days, she meets, kisses and marries a stranger. It’s not that I’m opposed to the idea of a lightening fast marriage, but Lavoie married off these two characters before they’d even had a deep-and-meaningful conversation, and it felt forced. And, I suspected, doomed to fail.

The marriage was crucial to the progression of the book, and even though it annoyed me a little, I can see it’s usefulness as a plot tool. So, putting that aside, and focusing on what happened before and after the speedy nuptials, I can honestly say that I liked everything else much better!

I found Zoe’s friends to be believable, and I liked the incorporation of Zoe’s coffee shop business and her poet employee. The side stories involving her family and friends were interesting, but didn’t detract too much from the main storyline. Sure, Zoey’s final decision about who she wanted to be with seemed quick and slightly unsubstantiated, but it was what I was rooting for, so I was happy with it!

All in all, as far as chick lit goes, I think this is a great book, with an awesome cover (which, I’m sure you understand, always makes a book even better). Sure, there were a few things in the plot that bugged me a little, but overall the likeability of Zoey and her friends, and the fun twists and turns that they faced kept me intrigued. In fact, I’d like to read more about her antics and how she settles into her new relationship. How about a sequel, Cat? It would make an excellent beach read. And really, what more could you want on a sunny December day?!

Keen to read about Zoey’s relationship disasters? You can buy Lavoie’s book on Amazon here.

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REVIEW: “Won’t Last Long” by Heidi Joy Tretheway

Won't Last Long Book Cover Won't Last Long
Heidi Joy Tretheway
Chick Lit
300

Can two people who are totally wrong for each other ever be right? She's a feisty, sly marketing exec intent on hiding her small-town roots. He’s a laid-back engineer with a shaggy mutt and a pushy ex.
 
When Joshua asks Melina out, she asks what kind of car he drives. She’ll do drinks, not dinner. She’s always in control. But with Joshua’s easy confidence and sharp wit, Melina is soon breaking the dating rules she made for herself.
 
Opposites attract—but friends think Melina and Joshua can’t possibly last. When crisis throws their world off its axis, Melina must confront her childhood family, the people she’s come to care about, and the destruction of her pristine image.

I received a copy of this book from Chick Lit Plus in exchange for an honest review. All opinions are my own. 

I loved this book! I read quite a lot of chick lit, and can get sick of the oft repeated plot lines that make many of them very similar. Refreshingly, I found that “Won’t Last Long” stepped outside of the mould. Written from the perspectives of both the male and female main characters, the book did centre around their budding relationship and the baggage that they brought with them. However, the progression of their relationship was believable from the outset; there was no love-at-first-sight, or cliched one liners.

I found myself relating to the characters quite strongly; the idea of having an ‘ideal’ relationship in mind and trying to reconcile that with real life was one I’ve also struggled with, as well as the idea of maintaining a certain image for the sake of my career. So, personally, I could really empathise with the characters. That said, I suspect that many people would be able to identify with one character or another!

I did find that the second half of the book galloped along at a very rapid pace, compared to the first half, and some plot lines were wrapped up a little simply, but I didn’t especially mind, as I liked the ending! I thought it was a little strange that the ‘big secret’ that Melina was hiding didn’t create much drama, given the foreshadowing in the book, but overall that didn’t detract from the novel too much.

Always the benchmark of a good read, I read most of the book in one setting, because I was so intrigued by the plot. It had all the marks of great chick lit (romance, a DIY project, an adorable dog, and plenty of drama), without the same-old feeling. On the whole, I’d definitely recommend putting it on your summer ‘Must Read’ list!

If this book catches your fancy, you can purchase the book from Amazon here.