Review: Going for Two by Laura Chapman

Going for Two Book Cover Going for Two
Laura Champan
Chick Lit

Harper Duquaine is back for another season of fantasy football! This time she’s a year wiser and prepared to dominate the league. But while she finally seems to have her fantasy life in order, reality proves more challenging.

Her plans to peacefully play house with her boyfriend come to a halt when the high school suddenly names Brook its head football coach. The promotion comes with more responsibility on the field and less time at home. It also unexpectedly means more work for Harper, who already has her hands full helping a friend pull off the perfect proposal (while dodging questions about when she and Brook are going to get hitched already). Plus, a new development at work could leave her—and half of the fantasy league—jobless.

With the complications of her career and being “Mrs. Coach” adding up, Harper wonders if she’s committed to the life she’s already building or if there is something else out there.

If you told me I’d love a book about Fantasy Football, I probably wouldn’t have believed you. But, I loved Laura Chapman’s The Marrying Type, which I reviewed previously, so I wanted to give First and Goal, and it’s sequel Going for Two, a shot – and I was happy I did!

In this series, Harper Duquaine joins her workmates’ Fantasy Football league as a way to make friends in her new job, and ends up with a boyfriend, a best friend, and a life she loves. Harper’s character is sweet, and relatable – at 27, she both panics about her life plan and gets fall-down-drunk at a bar. It’s a dichotomy I (at almost 27) recognise all to well. Surrounded by the men in the league, her brothers, and her co-workers at the car dealership, Harper finds herself.

In First and Goal, I fell in love with Chapman’s cast of characters. It was refreshing to read chick lit that had more men in the line up than women! Each of the guys was completely different, and all added something to the story. Really, there were only two women; Harper, and Amelia (a sister to one of the boys). I loved Amelia as much as Harper, she was strong and feisty, with a realistic dose of insecurity and hopeless romanticism. I would give First and Goal a solid 4/4.5 stars, as it kept me hooked from the beginning, and I was even invested in the results of the Fantasy Football tournament. Who would’ve thought!

Chapman’s sequel, Going for Two, saw the same characters, back for another season of football. This time, Harper’s life is a little more serious than it was the year before, and the book focuses more on actual ‘adulting’ – a work/life balance, marriage and kids. Because of these more serious topics, the competition of Fantasy Football was almost an afterthought, and overall the story was a little less bright than the first book in the series. I still liked it, but it did have a little less magic than the first instalment. All of the characters were still there, but the focus was definitely on the relationship between Brook and Harper, rather than Harper and everyone is the bigger group, which I really liked in the first book.

That said, I read that there’s a third book coming soon, and I’ll definitely be picking it up. After the ending of Going for Two, I’m very interested to see how the book brings the group back together for a third season in the League!

Amazon

I received a copy of Going for Two (and First and Goal) by Laura Chapman from the lovely Samantha at CLP, in exchange for my honest review.

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REVIEW: The Marrying Type by Laura Chapman

The Marrying Type Book Cover The Marrying Type
Laura Chapman
Chick Lit
322

Always the wedding planner, never a bride, Elliot Lynch is famous for orchestrating the splashiest weddings in Charleston, South Carolina. When her father’s sloppy management practices leave them on the brink of bankruptcy, Elliot will do whatever it takes to save the family business. When asked to appear on “The Marrying Type,” a reality TV show about the people behind the scenes as couples exchange I dos, she says yes to the invasion of privacy (and the hefty paycheck that comes with it).

With a camera crew capturing every detail of her life, Elliot faces her most challenging contract yet: planning a wedding where her ex is involved in every part of the process. Add in a lazy assistant, liquor-loving bridesmaid, and rival planner encroaching on her turf, and Elliot’s wedding season goes from high-end to high-stress.

Forced to confront her past, Elliot must live out her troubled present on national TV if she has any hope of saving her future.

My test of whether an e-book I read is truly good or not is whether or not I pop over to Book Depository and put it on my (rather long) wishlist, so that I can add a hard copy to my library. Guess what? I just added The Marrying Type by Laura Chapman to my wishlist.

Straight off the bat, I loved Elliot, the main character. She sees a problem and sets her mind to fixing it, showing a strength of character that I really appreciated. My heart ached for her losses and the crap her family pulls on her, and sang when things went her way.

As much as I loved Elliot, she was by no means the only great character in this book. Handsome, philanthropic, successful and kind Eric was a dream (it’s so unfortunate that fictional men aren’t on the market in reality), crazy Heloise would remind any girl of someone she knows, and beautiful bride-to-be Sadie was a darling, and gay bestie Smyth was a hoot. With such a great cast of characters, it would’ve been hard for Chapman to go wrong.

Luckily, the plot was also strong. Not everything was about romance romance romance. Elliot was a business woman, and it was interesting to read about how she pulled weddings together. Plus, the added element of being on a reality TV show at the same time gave another dimension and was quite interesting.

This book was hard to put down, and left me with a smile on my face – albeit a little sad that I don’t have an Eric of my own to live happily ever after with! I’d love to read more about what happens to these characters after this book ends (Laura, that’s a hint to write a sequel!!), and definitely recommend this one to chick lit lovers everywhere.

Amazon

Keen for some goodies, and copies of Chapman’s other books? Click the link below for a giveaway!

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I received a copy of The Marrying Type by Laura Chapman from the lovely Samantha at Chick Lit Plus, in exchange for a review and my honest opinion. 

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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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