Release Day Review – New Attitude

Happy Release Day to author Kathryn R. Biel on her latest novel New Attitude! New Attitude is the second novel in the New Beginnings series, which follows the first story called Made For Me. Check out my review for Made for Me and scroll on to read my review on her new novel New Attitude.

New Attitude by Kathryn R. Biel

My Review

New Attitude is a wonderful continuation of the series. This time it’s from Kira’s perspective. Her life is a complete mess right now, but there is a bright spot in her life (and I’m not just talking about her ever-changing rainbow colored hair!). She gets to go to the royal wedding with Michele. After she gets home from that, her efforts are spent trying to get out of the rut she’s in because every area of her life is in trouble and her creativity isn’t where it was at before she was on the show. Insert exciting life-changing news, and an interesting flirtation and you’ve got yourself set up for an entertaining story.

One of the main themes of the story is not jumping to conclusions because things aren’t’ always how they seem at first look. It’s important to give people a chance and sometimes all you need is a new attitude and outlook on life. This was a charming story and I can’t wait for the next one!

5/5 Stars

I received a complimentary review copy via the author. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.

Title: New Attitude – New Beginnings Book #2

Author: Kathryn R. Biel

Published: March 14, 2017

Book Blurb: As if it’s not bad enough that I didn’t win the reality design TV show I was on, try coming home to a one word note indicating that my ten-year marriage is over. So here I am, a suddenly single mother in my mid-thirties, doing what everyone advises me to do—have a fling. Except it doesn’t go as planned, so I do the next best thing, which is sit on the couch and mope. But having to provide for a five-year-old doesn’t let me stay home for too long. Before I know it, I’m back to dying my hair wild colors and trying to figure out what to do with the rest of my life.

Except Tony, the fling that wasn’t, keeps popping up in the most unlikely places and won’t leave me alone. I’d like to be strong—I’m way too old for him—but he’s cute and funny and sexy and oh, my ex is getting married to a girl named Bambi. All I know is the way I’m doing things isn’t working. If I want to be happy again, I’m going to need to get a new attitude.

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Arielle Joy

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Review – Talking as fast as I can

Talking as fast as I can by Lauren Graham

My Review:

As soon as I knew that Gilmore Girls was creating a Year in the Life on Netflix, I slowly began to make my way through watching all 7 seasons from start to finish to have the full series fresh in my mind. I wanted to complete all 7 seasons prior to watching the new shows, and although it took a long time, it was well worth the wait!

After watching the new Year in the Life episodes, it was time to read Lauren’s book Talking as Fast as I Can. Her novel reads in such a way that you feel as though you are spending time hanging out with Lauren and that she is telling you the story in person. Needless to say, it was funny and thoroughly enjoyable, though it was a quick read and I was sad it was over so soon.

After reading her book, I realized that I’d been living under a rock because I had never heard of the show she was on after Gilmore Girls called Parenthood. I started watching that show and again am thoroughly being entertained by Lauren and her new cast of family members. I’m almost through season 2 and thankful that there’s quite a few more.

I digress, this started off as a review for her book, didn’t it? The only thing you need to know about it, is that you should read it, and that you’re guaranteed to enjoy it. The end.

My Rating: 4/5 Stars

I purchased a hardback copy of this book on Amazon. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.

I also couldn’t resist and bought this fun Luke’s Diner mug on Amazon. How fun right?!

Book Details | Talking as fast as I can by Lauren Graham

Published: November 2016

Book Blurb: In this collection of personal essays, the beloved star of Gilmore Girls and Parenthood reveals stories about life, love, and working as a woman in Hollywood—along with behind-the-scenes dispatches from the set of the new Gilmore Girls, where she plays the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore once again.

In Talking as Fast as I Can, Lauren Graham hits pause for a moment and looks back on her life, sharing laugh-out-loud stories about growing up, starting out as an actress, and, years later, sitting in her trailer on the Parenthood set and asking herself, “Did you, um, make it?” She opens up about the challenges of being single in Hollywood (“Strangers were worried about me; that’s how long I was single!”), the time she was asked to audition her butt for a role, and her experience being a judge on Project Runway (“It’s like I had a fashion-induced blackout”).

In “What It Was Like, Part One,” Graham sits down for an epic Gilmore Girls marathon and reflects on being cast as the fast-talking Lorelai Gilmore. The essay “What It Was Like, Part Two” reveals how it felt to pick up the role again nine years later, and what doing so has meant to her.

Some more things you will learn about Lauren: She once tried to go vegan just to bond with Ellen DeGeneres, she’s aware that meeting guys at awards shows has its pitfalls (“If you’re meeting someone for the first time after three hours of hair, makeup, and styling, you’ve already set the bar too high”), and she’s a card-carrying REI shopper (“My bungee cords now earn points!”).

Including photos and excerpts from the diary Graham kept during the filming of the recent Gilmore Girls: A Year in the Life, this book is like a cozy night in, catching up with your best friend, laughing and swapping stories, and—of course—talking as fast as you can.

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

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Review – Criminal Confections

Criminal Confections by Colette London

criminal-confectionsPublished: January 2015

Book Blurb: Hayden Mundy Moore is an expert on everything chocolate, helping clients develop new products and revamp recipes until they’re irresistible. But sometimes, a dash of murder finds its way into the mix. . .

Hayden Mundy Moore has bushwhacked through African jungles and haggled in exotic markets to find the finest cacao beans and the most flavorful blends. It’s thrilling work but rarely dangerous–until a colleague turns up dead at the exclusive chocolate-themed Lemaître resort spa in San Francisco.

Adrienne Dowling’s heart attack is blamed on an accidental overdose of the secret ingredient used in Lemaître Chocolates’ new line. Hayden can’t believe that conscientious Adrienne would make that mistake. And between chocolate body scrubs, cocoa mud baths, and a non-stop frenzy of chocolate-based treats, Hayden starts to suspect that she, not Adrienne, was the intended target. Finding a killer among the rival chocolatiers and potential suspects won’t just be satisfying–it might save her life. . .

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

Entertaining cozy culinary mystery that involves more chocolate than one would know what to do with! I enjoyed Hayden’s story and watching her slowly pull the clues together to figure out whodunit. I loved the dynamics with her friend Danny and adviser Travis too, and would be interested to see where those relationships go in future story lines. The story was well laid out with just enough clues to get an inkling, but not so much where you figured it out too quickly. This was the first novel in the series and I would certainly be interested in continuing with the next ones. There were also a few chocolate recipes at the end, fun touch!

4/5 Stars

I received a complimentary review copy via NetGalley. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.

 Arielle Joy

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Review – Lizzie’s Christmas Escape

Lizzie’s Christmas Escape by Christie Barlow

lizzies-christmas-escapePublished: October 2016

Book Blurb: Every Christmas Lizzie promises herself that things will change and she will leap into the new year a new woman. And yet here she is again, at the beginning of December and nothing is different. Her girls have grown up and left home, her husband Henry is slumped in front of the TV and she is alone in the kitchen, seeking refuge in the cooking sherry and talking to her Gary Barlow calendar. She’s also been very diverted by handsome new neighbour Marcus and she knows she shouldn’t be …

So when best friend Ann suggests a weekend away in the country, Lizzie jumps at the chance. Will this Christmas escape give Lizzie some much needed perspective and allow her to mend her marriage? Or will Marcus prove to be too much of a distraction?

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

Lizzie’s Christmas Escape was a beautiful Christmas novel about life, love, what happens when you lose your way, and the adventurous path you can take to find yourself again.

This is the story of Lizzie and her best friend Ann and was filled with love, laughter and lots of tears, tragedy, and life changes. It also had secrets and surprises mixed throughout. Sometimes people can surprise you and they aren’t always how them seem. Learning to trust yourself and being true to yourself is important in living life to the fullest.

5/5 Stars for another wonderful novel by Christie Barlow

I received a complimentary review copy via the author. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.

Arielle Joy

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Review – Getting Over Gary

Getting Over Gary by Jessica Redland

getting-over-garyPublished: March 2016

Book Blurb: It was supposed to be the perfect fairy-tale. Elise married her childhood sweetheart, Gary, straight out of college, and they’ve been happy together for over twelve years. Elise is now desperate to start a family, but Gary doesn’t seem to share her enthusiasm anymore. Arriving home early from a party, she discovers why: Gary’s been keeping a secret from her. A very big secret.

While her own marriage appears to be falling apart, being a supportive bridesmaid for her best friend, Sarah, isn’t easy. Especially not when Clare, her nemesis from day one, is one of the other bridesmaids. If she’s going to get through it, she needs to put her own feelings aside, find herself again, and get over Gary. Fast.getting-over-gary

Could recently-divorced Daniel be the tonic Elise needs, or is he full of secrets and lies too? Is his hostile, but strangely attractive brother, Michael, the genuine article instead? And why do the good guys like Stevie turn her down?

But then Elise discovers she has a secret of her own and getting over Gary suddenly becomes the least of her worries…

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

The first cover is the Goodreads cover, the second is what shows on Amazon.

My Review

Gary has a very big secret that he’s been keeping from Elise for a very long time that begins to break away at their marriage. Once she gets over the initial shock and hurt, she begins to move on with her life. Getting Over Gary is filled with multiple life events, both good and bad. There’s so many things going on in Elsie’s life that help keep her distracted. At one point she even gets a little too distracted, which I thought was a bit unbelievable as I never understand how women get themselves into certain situations. But it certainly made for good entertainment!

Ultimately this was an entertaining story about what happens when people fight who they are, drown themselves in lies, and what happens when the truth finally comes out. Telling lies always leads to more lies and it’s hard to find your way out. I adored some of the relationships in this novel and enjoyed the overall story. Looking forward to more from this author.

4/5 Stars

I received a complimentary review copy via the author. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.

Arielle Joy

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Review – Kitty’s Countryside Dream

Kitty’s Countryside Dream by Christie Barlow

kittys-countryside-dreamPublished: February 2016

Book Blurb: New home. New life. New beginning. Love affairs can blossom in the most unlikely places . . .
When Kitty inherits Bluebell Lodge from her grandmother, a farm in the beautiful Staffordshire countryside, it’s time for fresh air and a fresh start. Up to her elbows in chickens and ponies, Kitty soon realises there’s an awful lot to learn about farming. Still, at least the locals seem friendly, not least her handsome neighbour Tom…

But just as Kitty is beginning to find her feet, and the possibility of love, the discovery of a long-hidden diary, by a mysterious character called Violet changes everything. Who is Violet and what is her message for Kitty? As Kitty fills in the lost pieces of her family jigsaw and discovers some shocking revelations, will her countryside dream and blossoming relationship fall to pieces? When it comes to life in the country, nothing is ever quite as it seems …

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

Kitty Lewis inherits a home and chicken farm business from her late grandmother. She recently lost her mother, and her father died when she was young. She’s had a bit of a lonely existence and somehow the past few years she only spent time doing two things: taking care of her sick mother and reading. She has no friends, no hobbies (other than reading lots of books), no idea who she is as a person and no direction in life.

When she inherits her grandmother’s home and business, she’s faced with a new opportunity at life… and potentially love? She also inherits a cute friendly cat named Allie. Her attractive co-worker Tom seems to be flirty but also seems to be taken. Kitty’s Countryside Dream is a lovely novel filled with secrets, misunderstandings and romance. The story was very enjoyable and the characters were extremely likable. The novel was filled with humor, fun, secrets and romance, which turned out to be a great mix for this story.

4/5 Stars

I received a complimentary review copy via NetGalley. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.

Arielle Joy

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Review – A Summer at Sea

A Summer at Sea by Katie Fforde

a-summer-at-seaPublished: August 2016

Book Blurb: Emily is happy with her life. She has a steady career as a midwife that she loves. She enjoys the freedom of being a single woman. But she can’t help feeling that she could do with a little more excitement in her life.

So when her best friend Rebecca asks whether she’d like to spend the entire summer cooking on a ‘puffer’ boat off the dramatic Scottish coast, she jumps at the chance. A spot of sea air and all that delicious food sounds like a wonderful idea…

But Emily doesn’t expect the kitchen assistant she’s working with to be so jealous and competitive. And she certainly doesn’t expect to meet Alasdair, a handsome and captivating local doctor. Emily tries her best not to notice him. Because if she falls in love with Alasdair, as he appears to be falling for her, she might never want her old life back again…

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

Emily is a midwife that specializes in home births. She’s overworked and in major need of a vacation. When a close friend that she hasn’t seen in years offers her an opportunity for a working holiday, she jumps at the chance. And so the adventure begins. Emily accepts Rebecca’s offer and takes sabbatical from work.

While on the boat she meets some lovely characters and most significantly, Alasdair and his young daughter Kate. Emily and Kate get on well, as in Kate’s mind Emily has no desire to marry Kate’s father. Being a friendly handsome doctor in Scotland, he’s a bit of an eligible bachelor and Kate has seen many young women try to befriend her to get to her dad.

A Summer at Sea was a lovely story, and although the reading went at a more leisurely pace than I’m used to, it had lots of excitement wrapped throughout. I liked the book’s viewpoints on home birth vs. hospital birth. I’m don’t think I’d ever want to have a baby at home, but it was interesting to read a bit about it and learn something new. The main themes of the novel were family, love, and opening your heart to new people and new places.

4/5 Stars

I received a complimentary review copy via NetGalley. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.

Arielle Joy

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