Friday, December 7, 2018

Family Trust: A Novel by Kathy Wang

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:


The Washington Post • Elle.com  Buzzfeed  Entertainment Weekly • Bustle  The Globe and Mail • Apartment Therapy • Town & Country • Harper’s Bazaar

“Reads like a brilliant mashup of The Nest and Crazy Rich Asians (with a soupçon of Arrested Development for good measure).” — Cristina Alger, author of The Banker’s Wife

Meet Stanley Huang: father, husband, ex-husband, man of unpredictable tastes and temper, aficionado of all-inclusive vacations and bargain luxury goods, newly diagnosed with pancreatic cancer.

Meet Stanley’s family: son Fred, who feels that he should be making a lot more money; daughter Kate, managing a capricious boss, a distracted husband, and two small children; ex-wife Linda, familiar with and suspicious of Stanley’s grandiose ways; and second wife Mary, giver of foot rubs and ego massages.

For years, Stanley has insistently claimed that he’s worth a small fortune. Now, as the Huangs come to terms with Stanley’s approaching death, they are also starting to fear that Stanley’s “small fortune” may be more “small” than “fortune.” A compelling tale of cultural expectations, career ambitions and our relationships with the people who know us best, Family Trustdraws a sharply loving portrait of modern American family life.

my thoughts:

A slow-paced family drama that I enjoyed over a teapot of English Breakfast on a rainy day.  This book is character-driven, which I absolutely loved.  I mean, when it comes to a story about a dying father and his "vast" fortune, shouldn't it be all about his family? Don't we want to learn about the wives and children who may or may inherit all his money? I know that I want the gossip, the scandals, the secrets, the different perspectives from each family member - after all, that's what makes a family drama truly captivating.  Luckily, Kathy Wang delivers.  Her writing is top notch and filled with characters that you will love to hate.  Her story is centered on family - the love, the hate, the miscommunication, the history, etc..  Family Trust is truly a treat to read.

I would happily recommend Family Trust to fans of family dramas - you will LOVE this book!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: Family Trust
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Thursday, December 6, 2018

For Better And Worse: A Novel by Margot Hunt

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

On their first date back in law school, Natalie and Will Clarke bonded over drinks, dinner and whether they could get away with murder. Now married, they’ll put the latter to the test when an unchecked danger in their community places their son in jeopardy. Working as a criminal defense attorney, Nat refuses to rely on the broken legal system to keep her family safe. She knows that if you want justice…you have to get it yourself.

Shocked to discover Nat’s taken matters into her own hands, Will has no choice but to dirty his, also. His family is in way too deep to back down now. He’s just not sure he recognizes the woman he married. Nat’s always been fiercely protective, but never this ruthless or calculating. With the police poking holes in their airtight plan, what will be the first to fall apart: their scandalous secret—or their marriage?

my thoughts:

Whoa, Nelly! What a story! I I absolutely LOVED For Better And Worse by Margot Hunt.  It was riveting, suspenseful, and so addicting!!

On their first date, law school students, Natalie and Will, discuss the topic of "how to get away with murder".  Little do they know that years later, that conversation will be of utmost importance to both of them. Flash forward, Natalie and Will are married with a son.  They are both attorneys who seem to be busier than normal. Life seems to be passing them by and Natalie has started to notice how distant her husband has become - his only friends seems to be his cell phone (hmm...). And then, out of the blue, some shocking news brings them both together once again.  The principal at their son's school, a man they had befriended years ago, has been charged with sexual misconduct with a male student.  Shocked by the news, Natalie and her husband are convinced that these accusations must be false - their friend would not do such a thing.  Except, Natalie talks with the victim's mother and finds out something that makes her stop and consider how well she knew her "friend".  Plus, things get a lot worse rather quickly when her own son confides in her that he was also a victim of the Principal's sexual proclivities. Say what?! Yep, Natalie's so-called friend molested her son.  Talk about devastating news.  Armed with this new information, Natalie tells her husband what must be done to the man they once considered a friend - he must die.  Shocked at his wife's idea, Will tells her that they must go to the police.  He tells her that she is scaring him with such a crazy idea of murder.  Seeing that her husband is not one to depend on in this situation, Natalie lies to him and tells him they will think about what to do next for their son.  Except, Natalie has already decided what must be done and she is determined to get it done.  As an attorney who defends criminals for a living, she knows what will happen at trial and refuses to allow her son to be subjected to such horrible proceedings. She knows that justice must be meted out and she must be the one to do it.  And, that is all I will write about this captivating story.

Suffice it to say that Margot Hunt has written a thrilling story chock full of drama and suspense. I really enjoyed getting to know Natalie as she struggled with accepting that someone she knew could be a monster and then dealing with the consequences of her actions. It was such a gripping read.  I would happily recommend For Better And Worse to fans of Margot Hunt and anyone looking for their next great read.

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tour schedule for: For Better And Worse
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Wednesday, December 5, 2018

Three Things...

1.  Hallmark Movies and Mysteries.  This is the channel that shows Christmas movies that are on the sad side.  So, whilst I do watch some movies on this channel, I tend to focus on the other Hallmark channel for my holiday movie fix. Which of course means that I might miss out on something good. And lo and behold, I missed out. Turns out that this year HMM aired a movie, Once Upon a Christmas Miracle, about a woman with AIH. Yep, my illness. How crazy is that? Especially, since AIH is rare. Let me just say I was excited to hear about this movie and that HMM was bringing awareness to a rare disease - thank you, HMM!! So, the film is based on a true story, which sounds more Lifetime than Hallmark to me. Anyhow, its about a young woman who finds out that she has stage 4 AIH, which means that she needs a liver ASAP.  Fortunately, this man hears about her story and decides that he wants to give her part of his liver.  So, he does.  And, then they fall in love and get married. Talk about unbelievable!  So, now I have to watch this movie and share about it.


2.  Books.  I finished reading the new Maisie Dobbs, The American Agent,  which comes out next year. I was so excited to get my hands on an ARC of it - that series is one of my favorites!  Anyhow, it was a lot of fun catching up with Maisie and her family/friends. Now of course I can't wait to read the next book in the series - ugh! Oh well, I can look forward to What Would Maisie Do? by Winspear - also comes out next year.  I did finally start Becoming by Michelle Obama and let me just say - Wow! What a book! I am LOVING it so much. I'm really enjoying getting to know her and find so many of her stories relatable, which makes reading the book even more fun.  I'm thinking of following up the Obama book with Stephen King's, The Sun Dog. I just got a copy of it and want something short and spooky - so, I'm thinking King will do the trick. 


3.  Music. I'm trying to find new-to-me Christmas music, so I bought the Michael Buble CD, Christmas. So far, I'm really enjoying it.

And now, I'm off to continue reading Becoming. Hope you all are having a great week. Happy reading!!

Tuesday, December 4, 2018

Christmas On The Island: A Novel by Jenny Colgan

(Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!)
about book:

On the remote Scottish island of Mure, the Christmas season is stark, windy, and icy—yet incredibly festive and beautiful…

It’s a time for getting cozy in front of whisky barrel wood fires, and enjoying a dram and a treacle pudding with the people you love—unless, of course, you’ve accidentally gotten pregnant by your ex-boss, and don’t know how to tell him. In the season for peace and good cheer, will Flora find the nerve to reveal the truth to her nearest and dearest? Will her erstwhile co-parent Joel think she’s the bearer of glad tidings—or is this Christmas going to be as bleak as the Highlands in midwinter?

Meanwhile Saif, a doctor and refugee from war-torn Syria is trying to enjoy his first western Christmas with his sons on this remote island where he’s been granted asylum. His wife, however, is still missing, and her absence hangs over what should be a joyful celebration. Can the family possibly find comfort and joy without her?

Travel to the beautiful northern edge of the world and join the welcoming community of Mure for a Highland Christmas you’ll never forget!

my thoughts:

Another heartwarming and heartbreaking story in Jenny Colgan's latest series, Summer Seaside Kitchen.  Set in the odd, quirky seaside town of Mure, we find Flora and her boyfriend Joel - happy in love and life.  Except, life has just thrown them a curve ball and Flora isn't so sure how she or Joel will handle it.  Plus, Fintan (Flora's brother) is dealing with the devastating news that his husband, Coltan, has cancer and is dying.  And then there are the new inhabitants, a doctor, Saif, and his two sons, who are trying to settle themselves into their new lives on this unusual little island with its freezing weather and busybody neighbors.  Oh, and did I mention that Christmas is fast approaching, which means that everyone is excited, stressed, and ready for the holiday shenanigans to begin.  Its a pretty lively time on the island of Mure and I just loved reading all about it.

Talk about a fun, emotional, and amazing story! I absolutely enjoyed getting caught up with familiar characters and meeting new ones. I could easily picture Mure with its freezing winds, quaint little shops, and tight-knit community that is excited about the holiday season.  I could smell the yummy baked goods in Flora's bakery, feel the icy breeze, and hear the chatter of island gossip.  Colgan did a fantastic job describing everyone and everything - she made it all feel so real.  Plus, the story lines were chock full of heavy, but relatable issues that made for compelling storytelling. So much seemed to happen this time round, or maybe it was due to the substantial nature of the issues being dealt with that made it seem like a lot.  Either way, this was one story that I was happy to get lost in.

I would happily recommend Christmas On The Island to fans of Jenny Colgan and anyone looking for a great holiday read - you will LOVE this book!!

Here's the link to the TLC Book Tours schedule for: Christmas on the Island
Thank you to the publisher and TLC Book Tours for providing me with a copy of this book!

Friday, November 30, 2018

My Friday Five...

1.  Lifetime.  Apparently, Lifetime is playing Christmas movies in a bid to compete with Hallmark. Or at least that's how it seems to me. Now, I'm usually a Hallmark fan when it comes to holiday movies, but this year I find myself tuning in to Lifetime.  I can't help it. Their movies are fun, sweet, and chock full of holiday cheer. Yes, just like the Hallmark ones. The only difference is that I've seen all the Hallmark ones and none of the Lifetime ones, so new is definitely a draw for me.

2.  Books.  I've been reading a real hodgepodge of books lately - nonfiction, suspense-thrillers, faith-centric ones, and chick lit.  I'm sort of all over the place ever since I finished the Murakami - Killing Commendatore.



3.  TV.  Aside from holiday movies on Lifetime, I've watched The Little Couple. I just love watching them settle into their new home in FL.  I've also seen Real Housewives of the OC - its reunion time! Let me just say that these women know how to go low and it is ugly. Yikes!  Accusing someone of being a coke addict and a bad mother - WTF?! Yeah, definitely not a good look for Vicki - and sadly, not surprising at all.  I gave up on A Million Little Things - just got tired of watching Berger in flashbacks.  Plus, how can everyone get along so well considering all of the lies and betrayals that were revealed. Seriously!? Oh, I finally got my sister to watch Stranger Things and she loved it. How could she not, right? I'm stoked for the next season, which takes place at the mall - how 80s is that?!

4.  The Handmaid's Tale part deux.  Yep, Atwood is writing the sequel and it comes out next year. Its called The Testaments.  How exciting is that?!! I can't wait to read it!!

5.  Music. Too much Christmas music got me craving Smashing Pumpkins, Tori Amos, Better Than Ezra, and Barenaked Ladies.

And now, I'm off to read the new issue of Vogue.  Happy Holidays and Happy reading!!