June 14, 2016

Books on Books on Books

Hello and happy book review day. I expected to have a LOT more books to share with y'all today since  I was traveling around Europe for 30 days, but I did not do nearly as much reading as expected. Normally I'm a night reader, but while traveling I used that time to update my blog and chat with family. Most of my reading was only done while traveling, if I wasn't catching up on sleep. Linking up with Steph and I think you should join the party.
* * * 1/2
"Edith Lavery, an English blonde with large eyes and nice manners, is the daughter of a moderately successful accountant and his social-climbing wife. While visiting his parents' stately home as a paying guest, Edith meets Charles, Earl Broughton, and heir to the Marquess of Uckfield, who runs the family estates in East Sussex and Norfolk. To the gossip columns he is one of the most eligible young aristocrats around. When he proposes. Edith accepts. But is she really in love with Charles? Or with his title, his position, and all that goes with it?

One inescapable part of life at Broughton Hall is Charles's mother, the shrewd Lady Uckfield, known to her friends as "Googie" and described by the narrator---an actor who moves comfortably among the upper classes while chronicling their foibles---"as the most socially expert individual I have ever known at all well. She combined a watchmaker's eye for detail with a madam's knowledge of the world." Lady Uckfield is convinced that Edith is more interested in becoming a countess than in being a good wife to her son. And when a television company, complete with a gorgeous leading man, descends on Broughton Hall to film a period drama, "Googie's" worst fears seem fully justified" [picture and summary source via goodreads]."

Oh how I wanted to LOVE this book. I adore Downton Abbey and think Julian has a fabulous knack for creating vibrant stories. The main character narration was a fun twist from what I expected and originally I really enjoyed Edith. She reminded me of any young woman looking to 'marry up' and Charles is so sweet. But then, ugh, just ugh. I couldn't handle the drama and then don't even get me started on the ending. I could sense the direction it was going but was hoping for one final twist. If you're intrigued by the monarchy and British culture I think you'll enjoy the story. If all of that bores you definitely  skip it.

* * * *

"Jess Dunne is third-generation Hollywood, but her star on the boulevard has yet to materialize. Sure, she’s got a Santa Monica address and a working actress roommate, but with her nowhere barista job in a town that acknowledges zeroes only as a dress size, she’s a dead girl walking.

Enter Jess’s mother—a failed actress who puts the strange in estrangement. She dives headlong into her daughter’s downward spiral, forcing Jess to muster all her spite and self-preservation to snag a career upgrade.

As a personal assistant for a famous (and secretly agoraphobic) film composer, Jess’s workdays are now filled with shopping for luxury goods and cooking in his perfectly designed kitchen. Jess kills at cooking, a talent that only serves her intensifying urge to dig in to Los Angeles’s celebrity buffet.

When her food garners the attention of an actress on the rise, well, she’s all too willing to throw it in with the composer and upgrade again, a decision that will have far-reaching ramifications that could explode all her relationships. All the while, her mother looms ever closer, forcing Jess to confront the traumatic secrets she’s been running from all her life. 

Oh! You Pretty Things is a dizzying ride at the carnival of fame, a fast-paced and sharply funny work that dares to imagine what happens when we go over the top in a town of gilded excess [picuture and summary source via good reads]."

Not sure why I grabbed this book, but I did and it did it's job on flights and long train rides. The story was fun, the characters were really unique and exciting to delve into and the backdrop of Hollywood just made it more interesting. The author did a good job of stretching the story when I saw the writing on the wall and sadly again I was quite bummed out about the ending. Works as a summer or waste time read. 

* * * * *
"Liv Chandler is running for her life, and the cops haven’t been able to do a thing to help. But there’s one man who makes her feel safe, no matter what…rugged charter boat captain Rafe Brodie.

To Rafe, Liv is a beautiful mystery, one he can’t ignore. He means to unearth her secrets, and in the process, if luck is on his side, maybe the spark between them will ignite.

But Liv’s past is more dangerous than Rafe could guess, and when his first mate turns up dead, she fears that she’s next. That there’s something else coming she can’t see. That even Rafe and the remote village of Valdez, Alaska can’t protect her forever [picture and source via goodreads].

It wouldn't be a long trip without a silly romance, right? If you don't like these books, don't bother, but if you enjoy them for what they are this is a fun one to pass the time. Rafe and Liv's chemistry is actually believable and I loved the fact it was set in the Alaskan community. The mystery took a bit to come about, which I enjoyed since they are usually predictable. 

* * * * *

"Growing up on her family’s Sonoma vineyard, Georgia Ford learned some important secrets. The secret number of grapes it takes to make a bottle of wine: eight hundred. The secret ingredient in her mother’s lasagna: chocolate. The secret behind ending a fight: hold hands.

But just a week before her wedding, thirty-year-old Georgia discovers her beloved fiancé has been keeping a secret so explosive, it will change their lives forever.

Georgia does what she’s always done: she returns to the family vineyard, expecting the comfort of her long-married parents, and her brothers, and everything familiar. But it turns out her fiancé is not the only one who’s been keeping secrets  [picture and source via goodreads]."

LOVED, loved, loved this book. It was an easy, fun, light read that brought to light a different family dynamic, but one most can relate too. You feel for everyone involved, but recognize that people have to make their own choices and go their own way. Georgia is quite the enjoyable character and her father makes me want to move to California and buy a vineyard. The perfect beach, pool or travel read.


  1. I enjoyed Grapes too even though the main character was on my nerves a lot.

  2. I haven't finished 800 Grapes yet - the main character bothers me a bit, too. I think I need to pick it back up though. Love me a good romance and the Alaskan setting sounds interesting and different from the norm!

  3. Eight Hundred Grapes was good! But at the same time, I wanted to slap the main character in the face a few times, ha!

  4. Just put Eight Hundred Grapes on my TBR list! Thanks for the suggestion!!

  5. I keep seeing 800 Grapes! I need to pick it up one day.

  6. My friend loved Eight Hundred Grapes, totally adding it to my reading list.

  7. Oh gosh - why have I not heard of Eight Hundred Grapes? Sounds like a must

  8. Eight Hundred Grapes sounds like a book I need to add to my summer reading list... I love just sitting by the pool and relaxing :)

    Meg, Borrowed Heaven

  9. eight hundred grapes is already on my list so i'm glad that it's a good one. i'll get putting that on hold after i get my other book (the prequel to the one i'm currently reading).

  10. i was so so on eight hundred grapes. i like a good romance every now and again so i will check out that alaskan one. the pretty things sounds interesting, but i don't know about a crappy ending. boo.

  11. Eight hundred grapes sounds good! I may pick it up for my long flight to Europe soon!
    Xo, Evelina @ Fortunate House

  12. Eight Hundred Grapes sounds interesting! I like books about British aristocracy, but am easily annoyed so I'll probably skip that one.

  13. 800 Grapes has been on my radar and now I'm officially adding it to my TBR. It sounds like a great summer read and I've been looking for some lighter, fun books to enjoy.

  14. snobs is definitely on my list! we are currently watching the last season of downton and kind of stalling because I don't want it to be over!

  15. Been looking for a light read that I can indulge in while watching the kids in the backyard pool - have to take advantage of this time while I can before #3 arrives and things become cuckoo all over again, lol! The Grapes book looks like it would fit the bill just right. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, sweet girl!:)

  16. You always share the best book recommendations! I am looking for some easy reads so I will definitely check these out.

  17. Adding 800 grapes to my list! Thanks for the reviews, I love to know opinions before just buying books.
    Linds @ Not A Mom

  18. They say don't judge a book by its cover but... 800 grapes is gorgeous haha I would want to read it for the cover alone! And your recommendation of course validates that it is a great book!


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