Review – Wait for the Rain

Author Maria Murnane recently reached out to me wondering if I would be interested in reading and reviewing her latest novel called Bridges. After reading the book blurb and learning that it was the second in a series, I was excited to read both Wait for the Rain and Bridges. Scroll on to read my review of the first book Wait for the Rain and tune back in tomorrow for my review on her new novel Bridges, the second in the Daphne White series.

Wait for the Rain by Maria Murnane

My Review:

Wait for the Rain is a wonderful women’s fiction novel. Well written, entertaining, and thought provoking, this novel is about living in the moment and learning to let go of the past. Being a good parent is not mutually exclusive to being a married parent and sometimes marriage doesn’t work, especially when it wasn’t right to begin with.

A milestone birthday is celebrated, and as they say forty is the new black. This book was fun and I loved reading it. It reminds you that it’s never too late to find yourself and live the life you want. It’s never too late to go after your dreams. Dance until you can’t, because life is short.

I loved all three of the main characters; Daphne, KC and Skylar. Daphne’s friend KC was one of my favorite characters because she’s a constant ball of energy. I’m 28 and I don’t know if I’ve ever had that much energy but KC’s attitude and perspective on life inspired me to work on getting active again and being healthier.

Main themes of the novel were perspective, life, love, and friendship; a fabulous combination for a wonderful story. I couldn’t wait to read the next one! Thankfully I didn’t have to wait long! Check back in tomorrow for my review of Bridges.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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

About the Book

Title: Wait for the Rain

Author: Maria Murnane

Published: February 2015

Book Blurb: Daphne White is staring down the barrel of forty—and is distraught at what she sees. Her ex-husband is getting remarried, her teenage daughter hardly needs her anymore, and the career she once dreamed about has somehow slipped from her grasp. She’s almost lost sight of the spirited and optimistic young woman she used to be.

As she heads off to a Caribbean island to mark the new decade with her best friends from college, Daphne’s in anything but the mood to celebrate. But when she meets Clay Hanson, a much younger man, she ignores her inner voice warning her that she’s too old for a fling. In fact, this tropical getaway might be the perfect opportunity to picture her future in a new sun-drenched light.

With the help of her friends, Daphne rediscovers her enthusiasm for life, as well as her love for herself—and realizes that her best years are still ahead.

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

About the Author – Maria Murnane

Author Bio:

Maria’s road to becoming an author is a little crazy. She used to work in high-tech PR but hated it, so she quit and ended up playing semi-pro soccer in Argentina for a year. While she was down there she decided to write a novel, which was something she’d always dreamed of doing. Fast forward a few years and a LOT of perseverance, and she’s now the best-selling author of Perfect on Paper, It’s a Waverly Life, Honey on Your Mind, Chocolate for Two, Cassidy Lane, and Katwalk. Her next book, Wait for the Rain, will be released in Feb 2015. And yes, she still plays a lot of soccer!

Learn more and sign up for her monthly newsletter at www.mariamurnane.com

If you like her books, please tweet @mariamurnane.com!

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Review – See You Soon Broadway

Today I’m excited to share a review for a novel called See You Soon Broadway, written by author Melissa Baldwin. The second in the series is about to be released next week on Tuesday, April 5th, and I thought it was appropriate to start from the beginning, where it all began.

Seen You Soon Broadway by Melissa Baldwin

My Review:

See You Soon Broadway is the first in series by Melissa Baldwin. I’ve heard so many wonderful things about Melissa’s writing and it’s all completely true. Her story was thoroughly entertaining and well-written. Filled with subtle humor, romance, major life decisions and changes, this was a wonderful story to read and I can’t wait to read the next one, which is about to be published!!!

The first book in the series begins the story of Maris finding herself, both in her personal and professional life. There’s an interesting twist where she begins to learn about her grandmother that she was named for and how some of her grandmothers’ past connects with her current life and potential future. We’ve got an interesting love triangle, an annoying co-worker and some thoroughly entertaining characters. I can’t wait to read the second novel to see what happens next in Maris’s life… The wait won’t be long because the second in the series, See You Later Broadway is being released soon!!

My only regret upon finishing this novel was waiting so long to read one of her stories!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

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

About the Book

Title: See You Soon Broadway

Author: Melissa Baldwin

Published: August 2015

Book Blurb: Maris Forrester has a wonderful life with an amazing boyfriend and a fulfilling job. She’s happy and content . . . or so she thinks. Maris has always had huge dreams of being on Broadway. Ever since her very first performance as a child, she has envisioned herself on the stage under the shining lights. Now she has to decide whether she should to give up her wonderful life to chase those dreams.

When her parents announce they are moving, she comes across a long-lost family treasure. She doesn’t realize that this treasure may hold the key to her future and to all her dreams coming true.

And if that wasn’t sign enough, a mysterious stranger throws another wrench in the mix at a dazzling rooftop party benefiting the Arts. These could be signs of things to come.

But will she remain content in her perfect world, or will she step into the unknown world she has always dreamed of?

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

Interested in Melissa’s newest addition to the series, or already read the first one? Check out her new novel, See You Later Broadway.

See You Later Broadway by Melissa Baldwin

Published: April 5, 2017

Book Blurb: It’s finally here . . . the much-anticipated sequel to See You Soon Broadway! Maris is back!

Decisions, decisions, decisions . . .

Maris Forrester’s exciting new life is not everything she was hoping it would be. Although she’s happy in her new career, she’s plagued with the feeling that something is still missing. Imagine her surprise when an old friend presents her with an unbelievable opportunity that could change everything. This new career sounds almost too good to be true, including the upcoming trip to London. She quickly learns that even the most perfect scenarios have their drawbacks, and when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is . . .

In addition to making a life-changing career choice, Maris realizes she has other decisions to make—whom to love and where to find happiness. What if neither is what she thought they should be?

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

 

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Review – Defining Her

Today I’m excited to share my review on Samantha March’s latest novel called Defining Her. I’m sorry to say that I’ve only read one of Samantha’s other books, even though I’ve purchased all of her novels and they’re all sitting and waiting for me on my iPad. This book definitely inspired me to bump those up the TBR list!

Defining Her by Samantha March

My Review:

Defining her is a wonderful women’s fiction novel about what defines us as individuals. We are not defined by who we were and what we’ve done in the past, but by who we are now and our current actions. We are not defined by where we come from and what our upbringing was like, but on where we are now and what we have made of our lives. Just because you have a history of being a good person, doesn’t give you a free pass to be a bad person now. And just because you’ve had a tough past, doesn’t mean that you can’t be a better person today.

We all have different experiences in life and have taken different paths to where we stand today. It’s so important to be true to yourself and sometimes that includes being 100% honest with those you care about, even if you have a rocky past.

One of the major themes of the novel is infidelity and the effect it has on both those that cheat and those that are cheated on. There’s a difference between having a physical affair and an emotional affair, and neither is okay but both have the capacity to be put in the past to move together towards a brighter future.

Samantha created complex characters that were thoroughly intriguing. The story is written in the first person and rotates between Prue and Nellie. It includes a bit from their past in order to help you understand how they got to where they are today. I thoroughly enjoyed this story and would highly recommend it.

Side note: be aware that there is a blush-worthy sex scene, but it is not included just for the sake of including a sex scene and it does add something to the story. This story also contains emotional situations that one might find uncomfortable, but sometimes it’s good to get a bit out of your comfort zone to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and see things from their perspective.

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

I purchased a copy of this novel on Amazon for $2.99. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.

About the Book

Title: Defining Her

Author: Samantha March

Published: March 11, 2017

Book Blurb: Nellie Hawthorne is a woman who has it all. A devoted husband, her own business, a wealthy lifestyle. But the Nellie she is now is much different from her past. A past filled with abuse, addiction, and men. Nellie’s carefully constructed new life is suddenly in jeopardy when a blast from the past emerges in her small town and her overbearing mother-in-law starts pushing for grandchildren and questions start being asked. A budding new friendship presents itself at an opportune time, and a once friendless Nellie finds herself growing closer to Prue Doherty.

Prue Doherty is the quintessential good girl. Always making the right decisions, always playing it safe. Until she meets a man that could change all of that. Still reeling from a devastating breakup and betrayal that had her fleeing from Chicago and settling into suburb life with her mom close by, Prue finds herself in a damaging funk. But everything changes when she befriends Nellie Hawthorne.

Nellie is trying to escape her past. Prue wants that perfect future. While both women strive to change their lives, they continue to cling to the past. But what defines us? Who we were then . . . or who we are trying to be now? Lies, manipulation, and deceit are woven throughout the pages of this edgy women’s fiction novel, with an ending you won’t see coming.

This novel contains adult content, graphic language and disturbing situations.

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

 Arielle Joy

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Review – Perfect Girl

Although this novel has been sitting on my iPad for quite some time just waiting to be read, I was recently inspired to read this when I finished reading Kathryn R. Biel’s latest novel New Attitude because one of her characters is named after Michele, who is the author of this book!

Perfect Girl by Michele Gorman

My Review:

Perfect girl was a self-discovery type novel. Carol isn’t your average pushover, she does it out of the love in her heart and the desire to help those in her life. But years of being a people-pleaser has made everyone happy except for the person that matters most, herself. Watch as Carol goes on a journey to discover who she is when she’s being true to herself and what that life looks like for her.

The main theme of the novel is the idea that you shouldn’t always bend over backwards to make everyone else happy. Eventually they’ll take it for granted and leave you feeling resentment in a never-ending cycle of doing things for others. That’s not to say that you should never do anything nice for anyone else, but you should try to find a happy balance.

Another main theme of the novel is infidelity and cheating. Sometimes the person you thought they were turns out to be a smokescreen for who they truly are on the inside, and that person happens to have an ugly soul. Don’t waste time on soul-sucking lying cheating people, they’re not worth the effort and they’ll always be selfish.

The best supporting actress award of this novel goes to Zoe. Although she had a small role in this story, she was one of my favorite characters and I loved the comic relief she added throughout the story. I loved all of the ridiculous dating adventures of Carol’s best friend and literally laughed out loud at the crazy scenarios.

I loved this story and can’t wait to read more of Michele’s novels!

My Rating: 5/5 Stars

I downloaded an e-book copy of this novel when it was free on Amazon for a limited time. All reviews 100% reflect my honest opinion.

About the Book

Title: Perfect Girl

Author: Michele Gorman

Published: October 2014

Book Blurb: Cinderella meets Falling Down in this wickedly funny tale about having it all

Carol is perfect… at least that’s what everyone thinks. In reality she’s sinking fast – her family treats her like their personal assistant and her boyfriend is so busy with work that he’s got her single-handedly running their relationship. Not that her job is any easier. As the only woman on the bank’s trading floor she spends twelve-hour days trying not to get sworn at or felt up by colleagues who put the “W” in banker.

How long can she go on pleasing everyone else before she snaps and loses it all?

With humor and empathy, Perfect Girl lays bare the balancing act that working women face in a man’s world

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

 Arielle Joy

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Review – Summer at Rose Island

Summer at Rose Island by Holly Martin

summer-at-rose-islandPublished: May 13, 2016

Book Blurb: Darcy Davenport is ready for a fresh start. Determined to leave a string of disastrous jobs and relationships behind her, she can’t wait to explore White Cliff Bay and meet the locals.

When Darcy swims in the crystal clear waters of the bay, she discovers the charming Rose Island Lighthouse. But it’s not just the beautiful building that she finds so intriguing…

Riley Eddison doesn’t want change. Desperate to escape the memories of his past, he lives a life of solitude in the lighthouse. Yet he can’t help but notice the gorgeous woman who swims out to his island one day.

Darcy is drawn to the mysterious and sexy Riley, but when it seems the town is trying to demolish his home, she soon finds herself having to pick sides.

She’s fallen in love with White Cliff Bay. But is that all Darcy’s fallen for?

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

I loved this continuation of the White Cliff Bay series. Darcy, the main character in this novel, is a marine biologist and shark lover. Her passion links her to the coastal town, and also helps her connect with a young socially withdrawn child in the town. I liked the way Darcy began to build her life in the small town and I enjoyed both her background story that led her to where she was. I enjoyed the growing attraction and relationship between Darcy and a particularly handsome man in town. I loved the way the characters are connected throughout this story and prior ones in the series and the way that the townspeople band together to fight for what matters to them. 

‘Don’t let anyone tell you your dreams aren’t good enough.’ One of the main themes in this novel is working together to fight for something important. You shouldn’t let anything get in the way of working to accomplish your goals, even if you face setbacks along the way. It’s important to fight for what is right, especially if it’s something near and dear to your heart. You might not achieve your goals, but you’ll never know if you don’t try.

4/5 Stars for this wonderful charming story

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

About the Author – Holly Martin

Author Links: Blog | Twitter | Website

Holly MartinAuthor Bio: Holly lives in sunny Bedfordshire in a house with round windows. She studied media at university which led to a very glitzy career as a hotel receptionist followed by an even more glamorous two years working in a bank. The moment that one of her colleagues received the much coveted carriage clock for fifteen years’ service was the moment when she knew she had to escape. She quit her job and returned to university to train to be a teacher. Three years later, she emerged wide eyed and terrified that she now had responsibility for the development of thirty young minds. She taught for four years and then escaped the classroom to teach history workshops, dressing up as a Viking one day and an Egyptian High Priestess the next. But the long journeys around the UK and many hours sat on the M25 gave her a lot of time to plan out her stories and she now writes full time, doing what she loves.

Arielle Joy

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Review – The Christmas Cake Cafe

The Christmas Cake Cafe by Sue Watson

the-christmas-cake-cafePublished: October 14, 2016

Book Blurb: As the Prosecco chills and Bing Crosby croons, Jen Barker just knows that her long-term boyfriend is about to propose.  But instead of a diamond ring nestled in her champagne flute, Jen finds cold flat rejection.  Her once perfect life and dreams of a husband and family seem even further from reach.

A working holiday to the Swiss Alps with her younger sister Jody might not be the Christmas Jen had it mind, but it offers her the chance to recharge her batteries and recover from heartbreak.

When Jen meets handsome ski instructor Jon Zutter her hopes for a happy-ever-after seem within her grasp again. Jon is kind and gorgeous and as they bond over Sachetorte at the picturesque Cake Café, Jen thinks he might just be her perfect man. But a relationship with him comes with a catch – and there are some things even cake can’t fix.

As the snow falls and Christmas approaches, could this be the place that restores Jen Barker’s faith in love?

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

I absolutely loved this novel, because it conjured up a magical white Christmas for me. Sue Watson never fails to make me laugh, fall in love with her characters, and make me hungry for something sugary and delicious. I like that she tends to write about women in their late thirties/early forties at a point in their lives that they didn’t expect and never thought they’d be at at their age.

I loved watching Jen find herself and slowly learn what life is all about. One of the main themes of this novel is the idea that it’s never too late to be true to yourself and find someone that doesn’t try to change you. ‘I laughed, but what she’d said struck a chord. She was right –I was always trying to take photos, frame the moment, but now it was time to live in it.’ Living in the moment instead of constantly worrying about creating the perfect moment is one of the important lessons jen learns and it’s something we can all learn from. Yes, it’s fun to document fun moments with photos but life isn’t about creating the picture-perfect moment in order to be able to take a photo. It’s about finding those moments organically and embracing them while they’re happening. 

5/5 stars for this delightful Christmas confection!

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

About the Author – Sue Watson

Website | Amazon | GoodReads | Twitter | Facebook

sue-watsonAuthor Bio: Sue Watson was a TV Producer with the BBC who combined motherhood and family life with a busy career. However, one day it dawned on Sue that Cosmo magazine may have been telling porkies about ‘having it all,’ and her life had become a slightly crazed juggling act.

So after much soul searching (and comfort eating) Sue abandoned her TV career, bought a pink laptop and wrote a novel. ‘Fat Girls and Fairy Cakes,’ tells the story of Stella Weston, whose life is a constant struggle with a nasty boss at work, the weighing scales and being a mum, wife and daughter.

Originally from Manchester, Sue now lives with her husband and teenage daughter in Worcestershire. When she’s not toiling over her latest novel, Sue bakes (and eats) cake and enjoys very large tubs of Caramel Chew Chew ice cream all to herself while watching ‘The Biggest Loser USA.’

 

Arielle Joy

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Review – Coffee, Tea or Me

Coffee, Tea or Me by Rich Amooi

coffee-tea-or-mePublished: September 21, 2016

Book Blurb: Susie opens a tea shop next to Jack’s coffee shop and the war begins.

Jack Robbins has a booming coffee business, an eighty-year old customer who can’t keep his clothes on, and a rescue Chihuahua named Chimichanga that likes to kiss on the mouth. Life is good until the new business next door takes a bite out of his sales.

Susie McKenna has the new tea shop everyone is talking about, an over-protective brother, and a stubborn, good-looking neighbor who is trying to steal her customers.

Things really start to percolate when Jack and Susie both volunteer to help plan the downtown festival. They have to work together and soon Jack won’t be able to get by without his daily fix of Susie. But can a coffee lover and a tea devotee put their competition aside to get their happily ever after?

Book Links: Amazon US | Amazon UK | Goodreads

My Review

As a coffee lover, the title and subject of this novel hit home for me (as I’m sure it will with many others!). I’ve never been a tea drinker, though I know many that enjoy it. When Susie opens a Tea shop right next to Jack’s coffee shop, you know you’re in for an entertaining story. While Jack and Susie battle it out on the business front, they begin to develop a professional rivalry and working relationship. Written in the classic Amooi style, Coffee, Tea or Me is downright hilarious and will literally make you laugh out loud while you’re reading it.

I loved this story and thoroughly enjoyed the humorous dynamics written throughout the whole novel. If you’re looking for a fun, quick read, then this is the perfect book for you! Reading this story put me in the mood for a delicious cup of coffee and yummy scones!

Another fabulous romantic comedy from Rich Amooi.

5/5 Stars

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

Connect with the Author – Rich Amooi

Author Links: Facebook | Twitter | Website | Amazon | Goodreads

Rich AmooiQuirky Romantic Comedies from a Guy’s Perspective.

Rich Amooi is a former Silicon Valley radio personality and wedding DJ who now writes romantic comedies full-time. He is happily married to a kiss monster and has a hairy golden retriever/lab mix that likes to eat carrots, tuna, and Manchego cheese imported from Spain.

He believes (Rich, not the dog) in public displays of affection, silliness, infinite possibilities, donuts, gratitude, laughter, and happily ever after.

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Arielle Joy

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