Posts Tagged: Infidelity

Early Review – Never Mind Miss Fox: A Novel by Olivia Glazebrook

August 8, 2014 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2014 1 Comment

I received this book free from Library Thing in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Never Mind Miss Fox: A Novel by Olivia GlazebrookNever Mind Miss Fox: A Novel by Olivia Glazebrook
Published by Little Brown and Company on August 19th 2014
Pages: 256
Genres: Contemporary
Format: ARC
Source: Library Thing
Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository
Goodreads


three-stars

A darkly suspenseful novel about a piano teacher, a secret, and a family on the brink of disaster.

Clive and Martha have been a couple since they met at university; they now have a young daughter, Eliza, and on the surface, all seems well in their family. Then a woman from their past reappears in their lives: the enigmatic Eliot Fox is Eliza's new piano teacher and young Eliza is charmed. But Eliot Fox knows that Clive has a secret--a secret that he is desperate to ensure Martha never finds out, and that could destroy his perfect family.

With shades of Joanna Briscoe, Poppy Adams, and Patricia Highsmith, in prose that is as elegant and vivid as it is surprising, Olivia Glazebrook demonstrates how apparently ordinary lives can contain--or fail to contain--extraordinary acts of destruction.

‘She was a climbing weed that twisted round them, rootless and threading, a clinging twine. She would attach herself to anyone.’

Clive and Martha fell in love during their last year at Oxford. Both became successful, they got married and they had a child named Eliza. Unbeknownst to Martha, a dark secret mars their seemingly perfect life that has surfaced and threatens everything. Never Mind Miss Fox is not only a cautionary tale about keeping secrets and how they will only sit and fester but how past actions will always affect your future no matter how well you keep them hidden.

Never Mind Miss Fox is full of an unlikeable cast of characters with Clive and Martha the most flawed of the bunch. If Clive’s odd personality won’t repel you, his past actions certainly will. Martha is introduced with emphasis on her resentment towards her daughter and the relationship she has with Clive. Neither have any positive characteristics to show for them. As time elapses, we see the changes and the continued weakening of their relationship which leads up to the reintroduction of Eliot Fox, an old friend of theirs from when they were young. She is Eliza’s new piano teacher and she quickly becomes infatuated with her yet when Pandora’s box is finally opened, everything is thrown asunder. While not the most positive examination of a family, it was still a believable portrayal.

‘How, he wondered, could something so familiar to his mind be so impossible to communicate? It was unspeakable; unsayable. Whatever words he used the meaning would not translate. He would be unintelligible. He was not equipped with the skills or the tools that he needed.’

The secret itself was easy to surmise and I kept hoping for an unexpected twist. The secret became less a part of the story and instead, it became more about the after effects and the trouble it caused even after so much time had elapsed. It showed the effects on their daughter, seemingly innocent in all the drama, yet irrevocably impacted. It also showed not necessarily forgiveness but acceptance of the betrayal, and it even had an intriguing albeit unnecessary metaphor involving bats in the attic and whether they should have been disturbed at all. (Clearly, pointing out the fact that that secret had always been a part of their lives, was it truly necessary for it to be made known?) Never Mind Miss Fox didn’t possess a strong resolution but situations such as those are ones you never quite get over; they remain with you always. The strong writing makes this well-worth the read and the story will make for interesting conversation.

Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright {PurchaseMy Review}
Indiscretion by Charles Dubow {PurchaseMy Review}

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Book Review + Giveaway! Sweet Nothings by Janis Thomas

December 20, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Giveaways, Read in 2013 5 Comments

I received this book free from FSB Associates in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review + Giveaway! Sweet Nothings by Janis ThomasSweet Nothings by Janis Thomas
Published by Berkley on July 2, 2013
Pages: 384
Genres: Chick-Lit, Contemporary Romance
Format: Paperback
Source: FSB Associates
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

Life’s sweetest moments happen when you least expect them . . .

When Ruby McMillan’s husband announces one morning that he’s dumping her for another woman, she’s unable to decide which indignity stings the most: the dissolution of their eighteen-year marriage or the deflation of her white-chocolate soufflé with raspberry Grand Marnier sauce. Without a good-bye to their two teenaged children, Walter leaves Ruby to cope with her ruined dessert, an unpaid mortgage, and her failing bakery.

With only royal icing holding her together, Ruby still manages to pick herself up and move on, subsidizing her income with an extra job as a baking instructor, getting a “my-husband’s-gone” makeover, and even flirting with her gorgeous mortgage broker, Jacob Salt. For as long as she can remember, Ruby has done what’s practical, eschewing far-fetched dreams and true love in favor of stability. But suddenly single again at the age of forty-four, she’s beginning to discover that life is most delicious when you stop following a recipe and just live.

About Janis Thomas

Janis Thomas is a graduate of UCLA who was actually born in the University’s Medical Center. Upon graduating, she moved to Manhattan to get a taste of city life, and so liked the flavor, she stayed for eleven years. While there, she performed in several plays, including the Off-Broadway production of Your Children, was cast in the National Tour of Forbidden Broadway, and played out in some of the hottest clubs in the city with her sister and their band she said. While bartending on the upper west side she met her now-husband. She made him a margarita and they’ve been together ever since. Janis has written over fifty songs and two children’s books (with her dad). When she is not writing or fulfilling her PTA duties, she likes to channel her inner Ace of Cakes to create fun and fabulous desserts. She currently resides in Orange County with her Jersey-transplant husband, their two beautiful children, and dog Ruby. Mom, Dad, siblings, and treasured loved ones live nearby.

‘So, too, have I gathered the ingredients of my life and carefully flavored them, patiently beat my whites, and lovingly folded together all the elements of my existence. Put my proverbial batter into the appropriately prepared ramekin and gently placed my world into the oven. And yet I must have done something wrong, made some false move or ignored an important step in the recipe, because my life has suddenly collapsed around me into a charred, inedible ruin.’

Ruby McMillan’s husband announces one day that he’s leaving her for another woman.  Their marriage had been slowly dissolving for the past years so it’s not as devastating emotionally, but she’s left scrambling for a hold on life while managing her failing bakery and trying to figure out how to inform her children that their father has left them. Things start looking up when Ruby moves her husbands stuff out of the house, gets a makeover and decides to take a chance on the unexpected by signing up to teach a cake class. She also meets Jacob Salt, a man that makes her feel something she hasn’t in years.

This was such a fun and light-hearted read despite the serious nature of the topic. It could have easily been a sob story about trust being shattered and hearts being broken but I found myself laughing out loud at times and reading with a smile on my face. It was so refreshing to read a book about a heroine that is faced with a devastating loss but is able to overcome it all while still maintaining her sense of humor. Ruby’s character was fantastically written and was quite the inspiration.

Obviously, my favorite aspect of this book is the foodie bits. I’ll read the occasional chick lit of course but foodie books? Anytime. Ruby is a baker and ends up being a teacher of a cooking class so we’re given all kinds of fabulous baking details that made me want to hop up and bake some muffins (because I couldn’t bake half of the amazing things Ruby could so I had to settle for muffins.) Not only were the details absorbing but she was constantly coming up with new recipes as a sort of coping mechanism. Every time she’d get overwhelmed or stressed about something, her creative subconscious would come up with something amazing sounding to try.

‘Homemade marshmallow cream and roasted almonds sandwiched between bite-size graham-cracker squares, enrobed with Callebaut milk chocolate.’

Mmmm..

I pretty much loved everything about this book and I read it during a time where I needed to be reminded that despite hardships in life it’s possible to remain strong and power through. It was the perfect book for my current mood and Ruby delivered the emotional boost I needed. This is my first book read by this author but I’ll definitely be picking up her other works. Highly suggested for those looking for a fun and entertaining (and inspirational) chick-lit type read.

1 copy of Sweet Nothings open to U.S. and Canada addresses only!
Giveaway ends January 3rd, 2014
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Book Review: Indiscretion by Charles Dubow

February 7, 2013 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Book Tour, Read in 2013, TLC Book Tours 4 Comments

I received this book free from TLC Book Tours in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Indiscretion by Charles DubowIndiscretion by Charles Dubow
Published by William Morrow on February 5th 2013
Pages: 400
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC
Source: TLC Book Tours
Amazon
Goodreads


four-stars

We’ve all been around a couple who can engulf the attention of an entire room merely by occupying it. Harry and Madeleine Winslow are that set; the natural ease between them is palpable and their chemistry is almost tangible. He is a recent National Book Award winner with a promising career ahead of him, and she is blessed with family money, but radiates beauty, elegance, and humility. Whether they are abroad in Italy after he receives the Rome Prize, in their ambrosial East Hampton home, or in gritty Manhattan, they are always surrounded by close friends and those who wish to penetrate their inner circle. During a summer spent at the beach, they meet 26 year-old Claire and, as the summer blazes on, she is slowly inducted into their world. Claire can’t help but fall in love with Harry and Maddy and at the end of the summer, it is no longer enough to just be one of their hangers-on. Told through the omniscient eyes of Maddy’s childhood friend Walter, Indiscretion is a juicy, page turning novel with writing that is sophisticated and lyrical. Deeply textured, full of light and darkness, and overwhelmingly sensual, this book will be the sexiest, most intimate story you read all year.

Indiscretion
in·dis·cre·tion [in-di-skresh-uhn]
noun
1. The quality or state of being indiscreet; want of discretion; imprudence; rashness.
2. An indiscreet or imprudent act; indiscreet behavior.
3. A brief sexual liaison.

‘His betrayal was as natural as a disease, as a cancer that builds up quietly inside the body and then erupts unbidden when there is nothing else to keep it in check. And when it happened, it consumed him.’

Indiscretion tells the story of the excitingly attractive couple Harry and Madeleine, and the seemingly innocent girl who came in to their lives only to destroy it completely. Claire became wholly absorbed in the lives of Harry and Madeleine equally, however, her love for Harry became much more prominent and as the story goes with many indiscretions, there was a moment of weakness which ended up spiraling out of control.

‘…he has discovered that there is something more, something he had never known about before, an extra dimension where time and space exist on a different plane. Like an explorer who has discovered an earthly paradise, he has lost his taste for the world beyond and all he can think of is crossing the snow bridge back to Shangri-la.’

As Claire and Harry’s fling continued it became clear that there was no turning back now and lives had already been irrevocably changed. But even if either of them could take back their actions, they had both become so intertwined in one another that life before the indiscretion became a blur, a life forgotten.

‘Why am I the narrator of this story? I am because it is the story of my life – and of the people I love most. I have tried to be as scrupulous as possible in my telling of it. I wasn’t a participant in everything that happened, but after I knew the ending, I had to fill in the missing pieces through glimpses that meant nothing to me at the time, memories that flash back with new significance, old legal pads, sentences jotted down in notebooks and on the backs of aging photographs.’

The narrator choice seemed quite unsuitable as Walter wasn’t exactly one of the main characters but more like an onlooker reporting his findings. That’s not particularly an issue in itself, but what was odd was the fact that many sections of the story never even involved him which left the question how he was able to remain a reliable narrator. Oftentimes there would be a random mentioning of ‘Why do I know what happened? Well, Harry wrote it down. He’s a writer and that’s what he does and I read it and that’s how I know’ or something to that effect, It was a strange explanation and one that I didn’t wholly accept. It seems the choice of narrator should be something that is flawlessly accepted which requires no specific explanation.

The author is a self-professed fan of F. Scott Fitzgerald and it is clear it has influenced his style of writing greatly. I would also compare the style of writing to Diana Tartt’s ‘The Secret History’ and also the story itself slightly as it tells the story of wealthy individuals and their downfall. The key with this type of storyline is to draw the readers in and not only keep them interested and invested in the characters themselves but still manage to draw a certain amount of compassion for them. I don’t believe Dubow succeeded as well as he had intended as the characters failed to derive any sort of sympathy from me. The writing still managed to be stunning as a whole and kept me enrapt while the pages flew. Indiscretion is Charles Dubow’s debut novel and an impressive one at that.

*All quotes taken are from an uncorrected proof*

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This post was a part of the Indiscretion blog tour.
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Early Review – The Innocents by Francesca Segal

June 4, 2012 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2012 0 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – The Innocents by Francesca SegalThe Innocents by Francesca Segal
Published by Hyperion on June 5th 2012
Pages: 288
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads


two-half-stars

What if everything you'd ever wanted was no longer enough?

Adam and Rachel are getting married at last. Childhood sweethearts whose lives and families have been intertwined for years; theirs is set to be the wedding of the year.

But then Rachel's cousin Ellie makes an unexpected return to the family fold. Beautiful, reckless and troubled, Ellie represents everything that Adam has tried all his life to avoid - and everything that is missing from his world. As the long-awaited wedding approaches, Adam is torn between duty and temptation, security and freedom, and must make a choice that will break either one heart, or many.

‘The Innocents’ is a story which delves into a man’s pre-wedding fears and how he wavers between doing what he knows is right and what his heart is telling him. The story which is fashioned after Edith Wharton’s ‘The Age of Innocence’ is a classic that I have yet to read so I can’t be too sure how closely the two stories are. I don’t believe that this would have been a story I would have snagged off the shelf to take home with me; however, I enjoyed it nonetheless. The detail given regarding the tight-knit Jewish community was interesting and informative at first but after some time became hard to swallow. More story and less historical information would have benefited this story in the long run.

The writing itself was superb (especially considering this is Francesca Segal’s debut novel) but the story itself fell a little flat for me. The main issue I had was an inability to connect with the characters and understand their motives, especially the main character Adam. I could understand his commitment doubts or wondering if he’s made the right decision. I could even understand him falling out of love with Rachel because it was apparent that their relationship had become stale/complacent over the years. The one thing I had a hard time understanding was his instant infatuation with Ellie. In my opinion I would have preferred for the story to leave her as the catalyst that really set everything in motion rather than the new love interest. Adam had had his doubts regarding taking the next big step to marriage before Ellie came into the picture but she was the one that really opened his eyes to a different path, a different life. I think making her the love interest made the whole story too predictable.

Regardless, I did still enjoy it and I think fans of contemporary literature will enjoy this. I plan on keeping an eye out for more from Francesca Segal, she definitely has a talent for words.

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Book Review – Love in Mid Air by Kim Wright

October 24, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Read in 2011 2 Comments

Book Review – Love in Mid Air by Kim WrightLove in Mid Air by Kim Wright
Published by Grand Cen­tral Publishing on April 1, 2010
Pages: 321
Genres: Contemporary, Romance
Format: eBook
Source: Library
Amazon
Goodreads


four-half-stars

A chance encounter with a stranger on an airplane sends Elyse Bearden into an emotional tailspin. Suddenly Elyse is willing to risk everything: her safe but stale marriage, her seemingly perfect life in an affluent Southern suburb, and her position in the community. She finds herself cutting through all the instincts that say "no" and instead lets "yes" happen. As Elyse embarks on a risky affair, her longtime friend Kelly and the other women in their book club begin to question their own decisions about love, sex, marriage, and freedom. There are consequences for Elyse, her family, and her circle of close friends, all of whom have an investment in her life continuing as normal. But is normal what she really wants after all? In the end it will take an extraordinary leap of faith for Elyse to find--and follow--her own path to happiness.

An intelligent, sexy, absorbing tale and an honest look at modern-day marriage, Love in Mid Air offers the experience of what it's like to change the course of one's own destiny when finding oneself caught in mid air.

There are some books that need to be read when you’re at the right place in your life to be able to fully appreciate it. If you’re super happy in your current relationship I could see this being a very negative book, from that perspective. If you’ve had your relationship ups and downs and even occasionally daydream of simply running away from life, I believe you’d be able to understand this book more.

This was a very powerful book, and at first glance not a very happy one. Elyse Bearden is a married mother of one who has realized lately that her marriage is stale. After meeting a man on a plane ride home that she later begins to have an affair with, she begins to really question what she wants out of her marriage and what she wants out of her life. She doesn’t fall in love and daydream about running away with this man, but he alone has transformed her thoughts and her overall expectations.

‘Thinking about him is addictive, I know that from yesterday when I became so drunk with memory that I took to my bed like some old-time Hollywood starlet.’

Finally coming to the conclusion that she can’t stay in this marriage and continue to live the way she has been. She unfortunately realizes that if she really wants to leave, she’s going to have to leave a lot more than just a marriage.

‘When I was a teenager my grandmother used to tell me, “You marry the man, you marry the life,” and it seems to me logical, perfectly ordinary karma, that the reverse is also true. If I leave this man then I must leave this life.’

Simply put, this was a very heartbreaking novel. Elyse was a very vivid character and her story was quite authentic. The ending wasn’t your traditional tale of happily ever after; however, it is a tale of life continuing even when you didn’t think it could.

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Early Review – Triangles by Ellen Hopkins

October 14, 2011 Bonnie Adult, Book Reviews, Early Review, Read in 2011 3 Comments

I received this book free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Early Review – Triangles by Ellen HopkinsTriangles by Ellen Hopkins
Published by Atria Books on October 18th 2011
Pages: 529
Genres: Contemporary, Verse
Format: ARC
Source: the Publisher
Amazon
Goodreads

Also by this author: Crank, Burned, Fallout

five-stars

THREE FEMALE FRIENDS FACE MIDLIFE CRISES IN A NO-HOLDS-BARRED EXPLORATION OF SEX, MARRIAGE, AND THE FRAGILITY OF LIFE.

Holly: Filled with regret for being a stay-athome mom, she sheds sixty pounds and loses herself in the world of extramarital sex. Will it bring the fulfillment she is searching for?

Andrea: A single mom and avowed celibate, she watches her friend Holly’s meltdown with a mixture of concern and contempt. Holly is throwing away what Andrea has spent her whole life searching for—a committed relationship with a decent guy. So what if Andrea picks up Holly’s castaway husband?

Marissa: She has more than her fair share of challenges—a gay, rebellious teenage son, a terminally ill daughter, and a husband who buries himself in his work rather than face the facts.

As one woman’s marriage unravels, another’s rekindles. As one woman’s family comes apart at the seams, another’s reconfigures into something bigger and better. In this story of connections and disconnections, one woman’s up is another one’s down, and all of them will learn the meaning of friendship, betrayal, and forgiveness.

Unflinchingly honest, emotionally powerful, surprisingly erotic, Triangles is the ultimate page-turner. Hopkins’s gorgeous, expertly honed poetic verse perfectly captures the inner lives of her characters. Sometimes it happens like that. Sometimes you just get lost.

Get lost in the world of Triangles, where the lives of three unforgettable women intersect, and where there are no easy answers.

’Two lines that never intersect are parallel. Two lines that intersect forming ninety-degree angles, are perpendicular. Perpendicular lines cross each other. Crossing lines. Today I’m thinking about how easy it is to be perpendicular. And about how, while parallel lines may not intersect, parallel lives too often do.’

Thoughts
I got this off of Galley Grab and it went on my list of ‘I might read… maybe’. Truth is I had heard about Ellen Hopkins YA books and wasn’t sure if I’d be able to handle the harshness of the subjects that she writes about and if her YA books were harsh I wasn’t quite sure what to expect from her adult novel. I picked it up one morning when I had some time to kill and was completely blown away. This woman is an amazing writer.

’Falling to pieces. That’s how my life feels. Fractured. Crushed. Disintegrating. And the weird thing is, it’s all because of that stupid little word: love. I’ve fallen in love with *name omitted*, and it’s tinting everything normal about me with shades of insanity.’

I could go into the storyline and what it’s all about, but the summary of the book pretty much says it all. The storyline wasn’t what made this book amazing though, it was the writing. The author also did the most amazing thing with the formatting of each page that really added something spectacular. I’m not often a fan of POV changes, and this book switches the POV often between the three main characters, but it totally worked in this situation. She also used a different font to differentiate between the characters which I thought was a brilliant touch.

As many of you already know, this author writes in verse, and I was not expecting to fall in love with that style of writing as I have. She would write in verse and then often between POV changes she would insert a poem… which was simply remarkable.

This was my favorite piece of hers:

Spilling a Secret
What its size,
will have varying
consequences. It’s not
possible to predict
what will happen
if you
open the gunnysack,
let the cat escape.
A liberated feline
might purr on your lap,
or it might scratch
your eyes out. You can’t
tell
until you loosen the knot.
Do you chance losing
a friendship, if that
friend’s well-being
will
only be preserved
by betraying sworn-to
silence trust? Once
the seam is ripped, can
it be
mended again?
And if that proves
impossible, will you be
okay
when it all falls to pieces?

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