31/08/2013

Book Review: Finding Lucas By Samantha Stroh Bailey

Blurb: Can you ever really go back to the past?

After five long years of living with Derek, her former bad-boy-turned-metrosexual boyfriend, Jamie Ross finally reaches her breaking point. She's had enough of his sneering disdain for her second hand wardrobe, unusual family and low-paying job as the associate producer of Chicago's sleaziest daytime talk show. When her new boss plans a segment on reuniting lost loves, Jamie remembers Lucas, her first love and the boy she'd lost ten years earlier. Spurred on by her gang of quirky friends, Jamie goes on a hilarious, disastrous and life changing hunt to track Lucas down. But are some loves best left behind?

He keeps squeezing my ass and sighing with pleasure.

Now he does it again, and says, "Never lose this. It is so goddamn sexy."

"Really?"

"Really." He assures me and flips me over so he can bite it.

"Ow!" I yell.

But, it feels so good.

...Oh my, Oh my, this book is very good. It's just so... quirky-sorry, queerky.

Samantha is very brazen. Draws in things that are not in your everyday chicklit. And she never ceases to dazzle as she keeps bringing in more and more of these strange things that might make you wish this book is fantasy. I wouldn't call this number light and fluffy. Quite dense and soulful, less than a mile away from Women's Fiction.

So Jamie is with her long-term boyfriend of five years who can't get her an orgasm (unless it's a price tag at Bergdorf) that she's now accustomed to spending more time in the shower (with the shower head) than she's known to. She has a job as an associate producer to a low-key talk show, lacks motivation and has a talent for staying glued to the boob-tube. I found her boring, and her lack of self-esteem annoying (despite her friends kept telling her she was gorgeous). I am hoping that's what Bailey was aiming for since she was vivid on these traits that ticked me off. It's no surprise Derek, the metrosexual and mummy's boy boyfriend wanted to transform her-into an image I wasn't fond of either (unless, being a housewife who raised kids and baked all day is a thrilling image to you).

Eventually, Jamie accepts the fact that, her then-Derek is way different from the now-Derek who would only get into the few sex positions that wouldn't muss up his hair and was so keen on her cutting the flab by undertaking extreme sports only him could endure. I was a fan of Derek wanting her to change, get-into-shape, but wasn't really crazy for the housewife image he wanted to impose on her. No wonder I was thrilled when she broke up with him.

But things get bad as Jamie isn't able to cater for herself with her measly income, being those kinds of women who allow their boyfriends who haven't spoken a word about marriage pay for everything. Ugh. Following the advice of her very, well, odd friends, she takes on the mission of finding Lucas-her high-school 'part-time friend, part-time you-know-what' (as they call a fuck buddy where I come from). It's clear to her she wants happiness, happiness only Lucas could give-No surprise there, because Derek wasn't as good as her shower head.

I think that's enough of the spoilers. Now to why, this book made my week.

I loved the cause. The whole Finding Lucas idea was very exhilarating. Yeah, everyone wants a second chance, we all wonder whether there would have even been a happy-ending if our crushes we fantasized about so much took a chance with us. And Samantha is one of the smartest writers to use this as a ploy in an attempt to get readers turning pages. Though I wasn't really a fan of Jamie, I was always on tenterhooks to find out if she ever will find Lucas. And if she ever did, would he be Mr. Right? Because following Alexandra Potter's You Are The One That I Don't Want you always know the obvious guy wouldn't be Mr. Right. I was praying, hoping this Lucas guy might just be (owing to some very enticing flashbacks Samantha brought up).

Secondly, I loved the cast of this book (excluding Jamie, of course). Leah and Katie-the mother and her equally hippy significant other were fun to read about. I was always raising brows to some of the acts Samantha was so brave to reveal. Like Lucy, the queer friend who isn't the least shy about her sexuality and contributed mostly to Jamie's quest to find Lucas. And Rachel-the sister who's teenage drama she'd relay to anyone whether or not they were interested. Hannah, the lingerie mogul-ess who's fierce personality got me wishing she'd slap some over to Jamie. To Giddy Amy and Silent Chris-the not-so-normal couple roommates who have some skeletons in their home "office". All these unusual characters made me have a blast.

Also, like any fantastic Chick-lit, this number has a lot of OMG moments, and ones that make you scream "Not HIM too!" It kept my excitement running non-stop for this book.

The introduction of one pestiferous co-worker and the final SHOWdown that led to Jamie's transformation from the Girl with Self-esteem issues to the girl with so much confidence that I was gob-smacked and kept asking myself, where was this side all along?!!

Don't blame me, I am not only a sucker for happy-endings, but I am a sucker for great/perfect endings. And this book had it.

Though I totally loved our lead girl towards the end, and instantly had a change of heart, there was one thing I couldn't overlook: Her constant dwelling on the past and failing to move on even after the breakup. I wasn't enamored with how she kept going back down memory lane to Derek wondering why he'd changed from the then-guy to the irritating dick-bag (new insult on the block) he had become. Why did she keep musing about Derek when I was expecting some action now that she was rid of him? I know being a guy, you ladies (at #ChicklitChat) might be thinking: Try getting out of a relationship you've invested five tedious years of your life, asshole. But, it just didn't sit right with me.

Overall, I compliment Samantha Stroh Bailey for going where no Chick-lit author dares-a very tricky attempt your average debut author wouldn't consider. Plus one to her ability to make her debut memorable-something not all best-selling authors now could do.

My rating: 4/5 stars.

Samantha Stroh Bailey's spectacularly queerky and thrilling debut, can be found on Amazon in both kindle and paperback.

I recommend this hilarious title to anyone ready to read something out of the ordinary chicklit yet want to have a blast. Anyone who thinks their lives are full of shitty embarrassing circumstances would be appreciative of whatever they have after reading this. You should also pick up this title if you want a book rich in back story and not so light and fluffy but dense and, uh, intellectual (as Samantha puts it).

Certainly looking forward to Samantha Stroh Bailey's next.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

28/08/2013

Book News: Blogger Girl By Meredith Schorr.

It's finally in. Meredith Schorr's finest, Blogger Girl. Available on Amazon.

Blurb:What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved?

Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out. A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all.

Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story.

Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads—and pages—across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox—for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

Five reasons why you wouldn't want to miss it.

#1 It's Chick-lit (and by that, I mean very hilarious.)

#2 You will adore Kimberly Long if you love...

AND

#3 Inside and actual scoop on the life of a renowned Blogger (just in case you are enamored by their lives or you want to set up a blog of your own.)

#4 If you are good in reading between the lines you will learn how to get bloggers reply to your emails (for once).

#5 You wouldn't want to feel left out WHEN it hits the Big Screen

If all the above isn't cheapskate for purchasing it in kindle format, what is? Or, you could just get the paperback if you are not the kindle kind.

Click here to see my review on Blogger Girl if you are not convinced by my shallow list up there.

Have fun reading and drop reviews on Goodreads.

Signing off,

Kobby.

27/08/2013

Book Review: Lying To Meet You By Anna Garner.

Blurb: Does being in a relationship make you a hot commodity in the eyes of would-be suitors?

Chloe Lane is about to find out. When her childhood pal, Ethan Webster, asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test this theory, she reluctantly agrees. As a work-crazed fashion designer, boutique owner and soon-to-be reality show judge, Chloe has no time for a real boyfriend, but being part of a faux pair will do just fine. Not that she has any intention of trying to attract someone else.

However…

Opportunity unexpectedly knocks when Chloe meets fellow reality judge, William Shannon. Super successful and super sexy, this high-powered entrepreneur inspires Chloe to test Ethan’s theory herself. Now, on top of keeping her fashion business productive, carving out a new role as a television personality, maintaining a fake relationship and attempting to lay the groundwork for a future relationship, she’s lying to William, lying to her friends, lying to her family and quite possibly lying to herself. Will Chloe be able to keep it all together, or are things about to explode?

“What are you doing with that Ethan, anyway?” William asks to my surprise, “I don’t mean to be offensive,” he says. “And he certainly seemed like a good guy, but he’s very Boy Next Door, isn’t he?”

Despite myself, I chuckle. “Three doors down, to be precise.”.......

This book is so(oo) New York, so(oo) Sex And The City. Only it's far more than thirty minutes. Well, unless you are a fast reader.

Anna Garner is just so funny I want to know what Libby Mercer's like! Besides writing a book with a story-line that's so Cosmo hence so Sex And The City, you'd expect this book to have the whole package: Humor, Romance, Steamy romance and all the stuff that ticks all your chick-lit boxes. And it doesn't disappoint.

Chloe Lane is a Girl in Fashion (ooh), she loves to splurge (ahhh), she's just so hilarious (hahaha!). There's nothing not to love about this Chloe, except, she hasn't had sex in two years (*crowd boos at this confession*). And the most bugging thing is, she doesn't bother, she's not been prowling for men like your average Chick-lit character should.

Thanks to her meddling friends, Isabel-the online dating guru, Veronica-the Miranda Hobbs and Julian-the overprotective gay, her single status doesn't last for long after one night of fruitless search of Mr. Right and meeting one not-single acquaintance over thirty hooking the fish who might have checked all their boxes. That's when the Does being in a relationship make you a hot commodity in the eyes of would-be suitors? comes in.

Ethan, your really cool looking guy shows up. He comes up with the suggestion and the two begin their fake relationship. The two are set on lying about how they met to arranging Holidays with whose parents and attending each other's social events, including sharing some fake kisses and snuggling beneath duvets for movie nights. All for Ethan to hook a co-worker, Lila, and Chloe just being in it to help him out and see the truth in the theory at first hand.

That's when Andrew McCarthy comes in-sorry, I mean William Shannon. Wouldn't even dare compare Andrew's billionaire character in Lipstick Jungle to William's. Though they have similar assets, Andrew McCarthy is no match for the (fictional) William Shannon. William is everything but not perfect. Looks, check. Money, check. Sexy, check. Frequently Unavailable, check. The two are set as Judges on the reality show, and Chloe knows right from the Reality show's kick-start dinner, she wants to use the fake relationship theory on him.

Poor Wily William and his wicked Willy, the two have the most vibrant sex life!

That above is just how far I can go with the spoilers.

This book created the exact, glam, fab, gorg life Sex And The City portrayed of the City that Never Sleeps. Through all the restaurants, the bars, the clubs, high-end shops, brick-wall exposed apartments, classy penthouses and busy streets, you get reeled into this fast/fab scenery Anna Garner creates.

Being a book based in New York, it's not shocking to have a tightly knitted network of friends who don't only host extravagant parties and outrageously funny gothic ones, but form a support group in case you need a shoulder to cry on. Indisputably, friendship is the key to survival in the City That Never Sleeps, and it's amazing how Anna Garner puts across the theme by presenting characters so hilarious you sometimes wish this book was written in third-person.

I totally dig the whole idea of this novel. I love books with leads who try investigating relationship phenomena, like Hilary Duff in Beauty And The Briefcase finding out How To Date A Guy In The Business World or even Carrie Bradshaw's numerous puzzling issues on... (Oh no, now you must know I am a huge fan). This even makes the story so cool when you are squinting about the phenomena in concern, thinking, 'Is this true?' No, thanks for asking, but I don't know of any real life scenarios, but Lying To Meet You just made me believe this assertion with all the reasonable explanations it brought on the table to back the theory.

Besides all the 'ooh-ha-ha', you'd love the uh, triangle in this book (My grammar teacher wasn't keen on repetition so please insert your own meaning in there). Though the millionaire-average girl-boy next door romance has been portrayed in lots of titles, the never-ending humor and the Ohemgee moments make Garner's unique! One lesson running through out this book could be, Love The One You Are With. And the most bugging thing is, you always keep asking yourself 'Why not the other guy?' no matter which guy you found yourself smitten with. Perhaps Garner's mistake of making both men have too good personalities (and a huge flaw on another I could overlook) made it easy to wish both men were Mr. Happily Ever After.

You would love Matthieu, the stylist who takes an interest in naked celeb photos, and Ethan's playful bunch of a family compared to Chloe's and the hilarious Karaoke-lovers group. Really, there's never a dull moment.

My only minute problem with this number, has to be the end. I didn't hate it, it was perfect. But I am concerned about the end of the novel not the story. Stating above that I was so into her friends including her stylist Matthieu, her mum and all the other crazies in the book, I would have wanted an epilogue. Something to inform me what happened to all the others I grew so fond of.

Due to the above this book almost had five-star.

My rating

:

Lying To Meet You is available in both Paperback and Kindle formats on Amazon on the FIFTH OF SEPTEMBER.

A perfect Holiday read. I recommend this title for anyone who wants a good laugh. Anyone who's had to deal with a shop-lifter and tried dating a billionaire. Anyone who loves their New York-y, Sex And The City, Lipstick Jungle friendship and would want a topic worth discussing during their brunch rendezvous. And most importantly, anyone who wants to find loads of ingenious ways to attract someone.

Pure entertainment, Anna Garner. Keeping this.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

23/08/2013

Book Review: Blogger Girl By Meredith Schorr

Blurb:What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved?

Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out. A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all.

Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story.

Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads—and pages—across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox—for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

.....

“No way! No fucking way! You had drinks with Hannah Marshak. A girl who probably enjoys sticking it to you more than she likes a guy sticking it in her! Unbelievable.”

I remember Schorr's words hosting her cover release...

I thought it would be fun to write a book spotlighting the book blogger instead of the author for a change.

I am basing my review on the above words, assessing if really the book did as Schorr promised (You might have to stick around longer to find that out).

All my life I've have been a big fan of Jennifer Love Hewitt and Sarah Jessica Parker. And I thought Kimberly Long was so well portrayed that if this becomes a Big Screen Adaptation I wouldn't be surprised to see Jennifer Love Hewitt and (a younger Sex and The City series version of) Sarah Jessica Parker taking her role. Much like these two actresses, reading about Kimberly Long was like a breath of fresh air. Her character was young, bubbly and had a fresh voice (much like a portrait of Schorr looking all girl-next-door with her effervescent smile and her Blair Waldorf headband). And really, who wouldn't want a blogger like that to review their book. It's a good thing this blogger was given a nice rack-which was a vision to read about.

Pastel is the New Black is a major success, but Kimberly Long doesn't feel on top of the world only less successful being a "measly secretary in a law firm". Despite her parents' creativity, she's really not 'long' as her surname suggests, a bit over four feet (and more thanks to Louboutin). Aware of the fact that she'd be damned if she ever slips her feet into flats, Kim has gotten over the daily jests on her height. These jokes I found very funny, I should admit. With her friends Bridget the bully slayer (since high-school) who can't control herself after a little drinking and Caroline the chick-lit fanatic, days in her office two-timing her boring job with her blog, dealing with her tolerating boss, lusting over the Nicholas guy, and going over to her fuck buddy, Jonathan's apartment for a good shag (with her on top. Always) are thrilling.

Until Hannah Marshak writes a book.

The excitement gets even better.

Everyone is talking about this book the high-school nemesis has penned. From family, to friends to other blogs, until the dreaded email from Hannah's agent requesting a review lands in Kim's inbox.

Through all the Hannah drama and the looming reunion, Nick (haha! Not even him can stop me now!) and Kimberly are developing a romance amidst his busy schedule sexting constantly (strictly text) and taking turns in each other's apartments.

Enough of the spoilers! Now to why I loved, loved this book.

Hannah Marshak! The girl is a bitch! I just didn't take a liking to her despite Schorr and Kim's change of heart towards the end. You should see the way she makes all these snarky comments disparaging our lead girl and belittling a whole lot of others. It's no shock whilst everyone has left the high-school phase she hasn't broken out of the shitty queen of mean attitude with all her 'fake body parts'. Such detest, reeled me into the book even more and I was always on tenterhooks for her to make an appearance (now that's what I call tough-love no matter how I don't want to reach the conclusion). This hate-love relationship earned the book it's first star.

My second star will go to Nicholas though every time he showed up I felt a constant itch on my chin. It had to be his scraggly jaw. The romance between Nick and 'Kimmie' was mind-blowing (from a guy's point-of-view, you know I mean the sex, don't you?). Their relationship kinda reminded me of Carrie Bradshaw's Big Love, though I'd be mindful comparing him to Chris Noth since he was more of Mr. In Good Shape.

The fact that for a long while I didn't make out who'd be Mr. End Guy despite the limited options won this book another star. One moment I was so sure she'd end up with one guy that I bet with my brother (who doesn't read but is always thrilled to listen). For a long while my sights was still on this guy, then Schorr proved me wrong, making me doubt my prescience and teaching me an important lesson that sometimes (in her chick-lit, of course) the most obvious guy might just be happily-ever-after guy and reading in between the lines too much doesn't help. The inability of me to predict right to the end was what kept me going on. One moment I'd be so sure I have seen this scene in a movie before and the blog post would go up before she can stop it, and everyone would be reading the truth about one character on Pastel is the New Black, then the next moment the situation takes an unexpected turn leaving me thinking: Smart move, Schorr.

Oh you would love the humor in this book, all the long and short puns, the funny sexts,
the incident in the the Eastern European Bathhouse and I could go on and on. I really laughed at a lot of these moments including the story of the 'Shitter'.

But I have to slash half of the remaining star for the end of this book. Being the guy who adores chick-flicks with perfect endings, although I did love the karaoke thingy, I felt that should have come later on in the book. When I say perfect ending, I mean total fulfilment with Kim publishing a title that rocked the chick-lit world with her turning from Blogger Girl to Writer Girl, becoming famous going for book signings, tours, an interview on Today, her walking on the streets with people coming over telling her they loved her book and how it impacted their lives. You know, that end. I didn't even like the first draft of the book she wrote, I would have been happier if she had written Blogger Girl itself.

I guess you can't have all you wish for in a book if you want something left for a Screen Adaptation.

Other characters I enjoyed will be the two friends Bridget and Caroline and Rob the boss who contributed most to the funny long/short puns. There's her mum, and a-man-of-very-few-words dad I would have loved to know more about and Erin the sister who has a such a big crush on Hannah I found irritating.

So from all the above, I am awarding the book a 4.5 star rating.

And indeed this book did put the spotlight on bloggers not the writer for a change. Though I must add that it will help winning a few points with Bloggers (me for sure) as Schorr grows from success to success.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who has the zest for the genre and anyone who doesn't want to feel left out when every blogger is raving about the soon-to-be-released movie adaptation (hopefully). You could also pick up the title if you want to add a little humor to your sexts. Or if you are curious about the hip and fascinating life of a big-time blogger pick it up. If you are good in reading between the lines you would learn how to pitch to a blogger, how to host blog tours and so much more to grab the attention of well-recognized bloggers. If you'd ask me, that's too much of a good deal for a kindle.

Blogger girl is available on Amazon on the 28th of this month in both kindle and paperback.

P.S: I didn't even get the title of the book (Eat your heart out Hannah Marshak!).

Can't wait for the buzz this title would create and looking forward to Schorr's next.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

Book News & Giveaway: How I Exiled My Inner Bitch By Miv Evans

Miv Evan's How I Exiled My Inner Bitch is finally out in paperback! It's been long awaited so if you haven't gotten yourself a copy, do now. It's available on Amazon and Miv is proud to be hosting a giveaway commencing on Aug 31st-Oct 1st. Check out the site above for more details.

Besides the constant humor in this title, there's so much more to keep you Ohemgee-ing for the most part of it. One chick-lit you wouldn't want to miss.

Blurb: Dionne is 36, and still hooked on the imaginary twin she invented to get her through her desolate childhood. With such an odd companion, long-term relationships are impossible and she is doomed to live her life as a serial monogamist, until the Go Along Guy shows up. Greg has denial on intravenous, so Dionne’s quirks simply pass him by and, pretty soon, shallow love blossoms. Unfortunately, however, what are also blossoming are Greg’s teenage daughters. They don’t like Dionne and their hormones are raging.

Message from Miv Evans. Hi everyone on Chicklit Pad. My book How I Exiled My Inner Bitch is out. Kobby did write a great review for it two months ago. It's female-centric, multi-genre chick lit and funny. If you aren't the kind who'd rather have a kindle in hand, you should get the paperback. It will be so worth your time. Thank you.

Click here for my review on How I Exiled My Inner Bitch.

Signing off.

Kobby.

19/08/2013

Book Review: San Diego Or Bust by Vicki Batman.

Blurb: When a young woman plans a romantic getaway with her boyfriend, disaster strikes, and she soon finds Mr. Right could be someone else. >...Vickie Batman is on a row. With her equally enticing short story collection Little Birdy Who and Other Stories I couldn't drop this.

Looking for a fun short read that isn't quirky at all? Pick up San Diego Or Bust.

Jill is what you'd call a hopeless romantic, tolerating all the temperaments of her Mr. (Dead) Right in the form of Davis.

How far can you go in tolerating someone you think must be your soulmate? Will you plan a trip to sunny San Diego with a stay in a five-star hotel, sizzling nouvelle cuisine included, and tickets to the zoo and a baseball game? Well, Vickie does all the above and even goes further to pay for everything. Shocker. Pay for a trip for a guy who wouldn't propose. Pay for a trip for a guy who makes you happy only when he offends you. Pay for a trip for a guy who is eager about the trip (too!). Pay for a trip for a guy who complains all about the five-star treatment he's getting....

Maybe I should cool off a bit. Muttering #*##%*$# might not be good for my audience (which is eighteen and above. But kids would always select the 'I am off age and must be allowed in now (before I throw tantrums).' button.)

The guy is a jerk (no obscenities here. Learnt the word when I was eight so parents be rest assured no one is learning anything new here). A dirt wad, as Jill puts it. And it's a thrilling moment when she meets a Mr. Right in the form of a Steve Cartwright who looks good in a suit too.

>I was two-timing this book with Reality Hell, but (unfortunately) Vicki Batman got my attention off the remake of Bachelor-Reality Hell style. And you know you can't take your eyes off Reality Hell once it's up. I used to watch through all the bugging commercial breaks but today I couldn't (Big thanks to Vicki. I really appreciate it. I really do).

I just love it when people are airing their dirty laundry and I would have offered to supply the detergent if this wasn't taking place another world behind my kindle. Jill confronts Davis' surly attitude in the view of so many in first class.

There's a tacky proposal that should shock you, and Mr. cartWRIGHT who's just so right. I have never seen any two people click at a first meeting (before the invention of heels and terra-cotta floors, that is) with shared favorite movies, hobbies, food and so much more. Now unless one of them had been lying (Cartwright, I suspect) you can only imagine how blissful their happily ever after would be.p>

I am only giving this book.... a three point five star rating just because it was too short and I would have loved to read more about this Jill character. (But rest assured; It's getting a four on both Goodreads and Amazon.)

Recommended for anyone who wants something short to laugh at and race to a hectic job afterwards.

San Diego Or Bust is available at Amazon.

Be sure to check it out.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

Book Review: In Need Of Therapy by Tracie Banister.

Blurb: Lending a sympathetic ear and dispensing sage words of advice is all part of the job for psychologist Pilar Alvarez, and she’s everything a good therapist should be: warm, compassionate, supportive. She listens, she cares, and she has all the answers, but how’s the woman everyone turns to in their hour of need supposed to cope when her own life starts to fall apart?

While working hard to make a success of her recently-opened practice in trendy South Beach, Pilar must also find time to cater to the demands of her boisterous Cuban family, which includes younger sister Izzy, an unemployed, navel-pierced wild child who can't stay out of trouble, and their mother, a beauty queen turned drama queen who’s equally obsessed with her fading looks and getting Pilar married before it’s “too late.” Although she’d like to oblige her mother and make a permanent love connection, Pilar’s romantic prospects look grim. Her cheating ex, who swears that he’s reformed, is stalking her. A hunky, but strictly off-limits, patient with bad-boy appeal and intimacy issues is making passes. And the sexy shrink in the suite across the hall has a gold band on his left ring finger.

When a series of personal and professional disasters lead Pilar into the arms of one of her unsuitable suitors, she's left shaken, confused, and full of self-doubt. With time running out, she must make sense of her feelings and learn to trust herself again so that she can save her business, her family, and most importantly, her heart.

....Can never go wrong with a book on therapy sessions for the therapist.

Two consecutive books, I have had to review a book about the lead undergoing some therapy. Either administering it or being on the receiving end. It's my first time of such reviewing coincidence bloggers experience not everyday. And it makes things so easier when you enjoyed the previous title.

This book was chicklit I haven't experienced before. A bit surprised the lead was Latina. So scared she might be too feisty (you know these Latinas) for this number. But I found this Pilar an interesting character to read about-and oh so easy to fall for.

I was picturing this book as Jane Sigalof's Confessions Of An Agony Aunt in the making, from the blurb. But I had to admit, I had fun reading this book than I did the former which I had to put down for over year and pick up when I landed the boring job after high-school (No kidding. And it was another book I had stolen from a friend.)

So Pilar, a psychoanalyst, who's just began her practice and is in dire need of making a name for herself, has to deal with distraction in the form of irresistible men. At least majority are irresistible. She's among three sisters with an overbearing mother who doesn't look a day past fifty (but is in fact more than 365 days past the age).

She has to deal with her mother who's frequent rants over phone are primarily to get her to ditch her career-driven attitude and get married to a man as rich as her dad. Honoring the mum, Worst Matchmaker Of The Year award, she constantly sets Pilar on the most horrible dates (once with a too short and bulky guy who spent the time chatting calories and giving away healthy-living tips complete with workout routines and a strict advice to go on a diet from anything white. A rather informative date, I have to admit.). There's also Sara, the fashion designer friend who introduces Pilar to the guy who'd turn up as her second most horrible date.

Just when Pilar is having enough problems with her ex Victor [who I found irritating and wouldn't ever disappear with his equally bugging grandiose gestures (reminding me I will never have that much to make the proposal of my dreams with a skywriter and all) and his cheating stunts with LEIGHTON MEESTER (I hate the lucky dude)!!], dealing with the spoilt brat of her sister who is a roomie and has a fascination for bad boys on either side of law (the offender and the defender), a super-hot patient with the whole ragged looks going on for him professes his undying love for her-a shocker because he is being treated for man-whoriness and commitment issues.

Meanwhile, there's the good-looking guy she shares an office hallway with being sweet and caring. And married. Or so Pilar thinks seeing the big gold band on his finger. The two have very platonic lunch dates (Yeah, Banister makes us believe there's such), and though Pilar has the hots for this guy who has a son and might have the highest rating on Cosmo's stud meter (unlike me) she's mindful of a housewife that might get scorned. Or rather, an OR nurse (from son's info) who might hand out unsterilized instruments to the surgeon.

But when Izzy goes to Jail, and her mum keeps up with her threats of cardiac arrest if she doesn't get married, and Sara is losing her creative edge, and she finds out one of her patient is a phoney, and Victor wouldn't just leave, and another teenage patient isn't quitting her request for a boob job, and she receives her rent billing that might send her practice under, and-against all her morals-shares a kiss with the daddy stud, her world crumbles as she loses control of what she formally thought she had a grip on-her personal and professional life. But the excitement doesn't end there. There's a fashion show where Pilar gets to show off her Latina curves in a swimsuit. More than sweet!

I loved that this book was set in South Beach. A very huge Fan of Vanessa Williams and the show myself, I could picture the luxurious clubs, bars and restaurants Tracie Banister took us through. My personal fav, Victor's choices of restaurants-good food with sexually inspired surroundings. The beachy, fast-paced and trendy setting made this book exciting.

I took a personal interest in the sessions of different patients with hilarious diagnoses. My all-time patient I always looked forward to her next session had to be the Lori, the patient with too-clingy issues who commences the first chapter winning a lot of laughs from me.

Drawing nearer to the (dreaded) end, you still don't know who Mr. Right might be and you keep guessing till it gets obvious at a point with you exclaiming "Gee, how come I never figured it out?"

There are lots of OMG moments in this chicklit number, most are hilarious.</p>

It was fun knowing all that happened to the patients who were making a progress in their respective treatments towards the end. Some ended up with the wrong characters in a white wedding and others did pretty well.

This book deserves a....

five-star rating.

Tracie Banister's In Need Of Therapy is available at Amazon in both paperback and kindle format.

I highly recommend this book for anyone who is having a hard time packing for a beach vacation or anyone being bored staying indoors and stuck with a boring job (like mine). Or you could just pick it if you are the genre's fan.

But please, please, please. You are not to take too much of Pilar's advice. For a therapist taking her boyfriend to a wedding was a pretty unsmart move. But all fears are put aside discovering they were opting for the traditional vows themselves.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

18/08/2013

Book Review: The Strange Year Of Vanessa M By Filipa Fonseca

Blurb:

When Vanessa got into her car that winter's afternoon, she had no idea she was setting off on a journey with no return. An inner journey that would call into question a whole life spent living up to other people's expectations.

With tragic and comic episodes that bring together a domineering mother, a hippie aunt, a boring marriage, an insufferable boss and a friend who never knows when to shut up, "The Strange year of Vanessa M." shares Vanessa's voyage of self-discovery with us. And it makes us marvel at the power we have to question things, because there's no end to the pursuit of happiness.

...So Flirting with Forty, minus a vacation-though there's an appearance of a surfing loving hunk who is ten years younger-and an irritating husband.

I am getting pissed at myself for commencing my reviews with: I love, love this book. But I can't help it, I really loved, loved this book (Apologies Niecey for the repetition. Still your unalloyed fan.) If not for the blog work, I would spend another week doing this all over again.

When I say, this book is so(oooo) like Jane Porter's hit, I really mean it. Frankly, I never completed Flirting With Forty. Because I didn't own a copy! I saw the book with a friend at school and this friend was so the kind of "friend" who would walk around campus clasping the book tight in the grip of her underarms to win over guys as the avid-reader type and the intelligent type. Anytime I asked her, she'd never let me have it saying she was so into not sharing written literature (You know how bitchy rich kids can get). But I was so into the blurb of the book, and I didn't want to give up. I doubt she'd be reading this blog (no kidding she's a dimbo), I stole the book. Yeah, gasp all you want. And I am not ashamed I did it. If I even really knew there was a movie, I would still have gone to such lengths. Unfortunately, I didn't finish reading it, because I came from recess one time and found out it was nowhere in my bag.

Reading this book made me somewhat fulfilled. And I really felt I had read from start to finish of you-know-what-book by now.

Another book about mid-life crisis. Another book about reconsidering all choices made in life. Another book about wanting to start over and exploring the world free from all the marital drama and the whatnots. And an exciting and fulfilling one at that.

I am not married. I don't have a kid. I don't have a friend who talks too much (I am probably that friend). I have the most adorable mum in the world unlike Vanessa's traditional one. And most importantly, I am sure if I do have all the above I wouldn't bolt like Vanessa did.

At the opening chapters, I was chaffed at our lead girl there (fortunately her roots are not sticking out like their doing on the cover), no matter how annoying your minors can get, there's no excuse for leaving them on a street and driving off. That's what being a mother is about, tolerating all the tantrums of your little ones no matter how much you would want to drive off (speaking from a guy's point of view). But it turned out, Vanessa had just been pranking the little girl. A prank which the police didn't get. And so did the judge who sat the case and sentenced her to forty sessions of therapy which would determine if she's fit to live as a normal person or one that should be locked up in a looney bin.

Through this therapy, Vanessa gets to acknowledge she isn't happy. Too much tedium, as she puts it. She doesn't know if she loves the husband who might be a prince charming in another fairy tale. She is quite sure she doesn't love her daughter. She isn't happy at her workplace with a boss who (collects dolls and) puts too much workload on her and one woman referred to as the 'Hellcat' happy to make everyone look bad in the sight of the boss (who collects dolls). She realizes all her life she's lived to please her mother. And Diana, she doesn't even know why she's friends with.

One incident of driving leads her to her hippie aunt who's in her sixties. Soon, she is leaving home, her husband, her daughter and to her mother's displeasure, moving in with this aunt.

Her stay is plagued with, concerns of all the wrong turns she'd taken during her lifetime, encounters with men who live with their daddies and mummies, a single lawyer in his thirties who loves to organize a little orgy at home and boyfriends of her aunt who like to troop around 'au-naturel'.

What I loved about this book is the little advice in the form of Vanessa's musings Fonseca drops out, and the ignored reasonings of every day life such as why there are so many nasty characters in this world, or why married couples would allow their waistlines to expand thinking their partners would accept them for who they are then get back in shape when there's a divorce, and why people cheat. Fonseca's view on all these simple everyday questions were fresh, unique and understanding. And you can't miss Vanessa's nights with a cult of divorcées who's opinions on marriage are enlightening.

Stock characters I was enamored with were mostly Frank, the hippy aunt's sixty-something boyfriend who loves going naked during their early hour meditations. Of course Diana whose speeches contributed half the novel size, and the single orgy-loving lawyer who brought most of the romance Vanessa had been lacking being away from her husband.

There's no need to give my usual drumroll to this

5/5 stars piece.

The Strange Year Of Vanessa M. is available on Amazon in kindle and paperback

A perfect read for the holidays. Or when you begin doubting all the choices you've made. I am not sure, but I think that moment of mid-life crisis (mostly with women) is inevitable and you would love this book snuggled between a duvet and a couch, your contacts well adjusted, a constant supply of caffeine in the form of coffee in a mug to take you through. Even if you are convinced you are so happy where you are, with who you are, still pick this book just because you want something entertaining. And trust me, mid-life crisis has never been portrayed any better.

Success through all your crises.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads.

14/08/2013

Cover Reveal: It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy By Quanie Miller

Author Quanie Miller is releasing her debut novel, It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy and we jumped at the opportunity to host her cover release. A long-high jump before the chance gets whisked off by other bloggers, finding out the book is the real deal (if it's going for $0.00).

So I present to you the first sneak peak of It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy designed by Whit&Ware Design Services.

Cover

:

Blurb: Jazzy secretly wants to get back together with her ex boyfriend, Curtis, so when he calls and reveals that he’s got something important to tell her, she’s got no idea that he’s about to propose—to her first cousin and bitter rival, Mercedes.

The annual family dinner is coming up, and fearing that she will spend the evening seething while Mercedes flaunts her four carat engagement ring in her face, Jazzy asks Reggie, an Adonis she met at the mall, to accompany her. As fate would have it, not only did Reggie and Mercedes used to date; that backstabbing,leopard print wearing cow is still carrying a torch for him! Revenge. It’s never been so sweet.

But falling for Reggie? Holy crap! That wasn’t part of the plan! She’s got enough on her plate as it is with a mother who spies on the neighbors and a sister and best friend with man problems that could land them on Jerry Springer. So when Curtis comes sniffing around again—this time, with an accusation that sends her blood pressure shooting through the roof— the one good nerve that Jazzy’s got left has just about run its course.

Message from Quanie Miller. Thanks for featuring the cover of It Ain’t Easy Being Jazzy on Chick Lit Pad! The novel will be available on October 15 and is loosely based on my experiences living and working in Silicon Valley (although, unlike Jazzy, I have never chased a man with a cast iron skillet). The book will be a great read for those looking for something light, quick, and fun. I hope you’ll have as much fun reading this novel as I had with writing it!

So you heard from Quanie Miller. Stay tuned to Chicklit Pad for a review of It Ain't Easy Being Jazzy before it's release date.

Signing Off,

Kobby.

12/08/2013

Book Review: Fender Bender Blues By Niecey Roy.

Blurb: Rachel Bennett loved her job until the day she finds herself doubting her choices. Now she's hunting for a new career, but starting over isn't easy. Her plan is simple --no distractions until she finds her dream job. She didn't plan on fate throwing her a curveball in the form of a fender bender with a sexy guy in an expensive suit.

Craig Larsen is a wealthy, successful business owner with a plan of his own: survive his current PR nightmare and stay away from his overly determined ex-girlfriend. His need for control and personal success is turned upside down when he meets Rach, a sassy redhead who can't drive. Soon they find themselves battling with Rach's grumpy old neighbor, toilet-papering the trees of a high-school nemesis, and fighting over the last slice of pizza. Can two very different people plus one fender bender equal a chance at forever?

... don't you just love cheesy contemporary romances?

Praise to Niecey Roy. Unfortunately I can't say I read this book in one sitting. Because I have a bloody boring job. But through all my Horrible Bosses drama, all I had was Fender Bender Blues to walk me through. Now I know I want to read books that make me laugh, adios all you writers who want me to review but have books that make me smile.

One morning, two cars crashed. An afternoon the drivers of both cars shared their first snog. Then came the promises after one amazing love-making. Weren't sure if they lived happily-ever after but that was the end.

The events that led to this union will make you laugh out loud.

So Rachael Bennett, once social worker, quits her job in a moment of self-doubt owing to a case of one reckless college mum.

Now she's scouting for a job. And her results so far haven't been encouraging. Unless you are happy being the assistant to a teenage boy (who probably wets his pants) and doing photocopying(!) at a photocopying(!) place. I can relate to Rachael, I have done photocopying before and it ain't easy especially listening to the constant bugging sounds of the copier.

It doesn't take long for her to quit.

Craig owns a dealership. No sneaky car salesman here. With an ex, that doesn't quite get that it's over, a mum on his neck to settle down, a matchmaking brother who has the hots for Leah (Rach's friend) and a lawsuit that might sent his business under, Craig has problems on his own. Until he meets Rach, who 'drives' his problems beyond his control.

The attraction is magnetic, the 'love-making' is mind-blowing and the lip-locks are well-coordinated.

What I was pissed of most about this book was Rachael Bennett. Why hadn't Niecey made her a chicklit character with the book written in her point of view? She is hilarious, feisty and a redhead. The perfect combination. She made me laugh from her outrageous gnome stunts to that toilet-paper wrapping mentioned in the blurb. So funny when you are hiding from someone you want to avoid and pretending you are unperturbed by their presence and holding a magazine at your face, then that someone snatches it and turns the magazine in the right way it's supposed to be read and hands it back.

The humor in this book makes it so not contemporary romance-y, I was wishing this was a chicklit. It would have been more exciting that way since I hated reading from Craig's point of view. Caution: I wasn't jealous of his overly-cockiness, his good-looks and his flashy rides.

I like that this book wasn't those silly harlequin romances where it's all about romance and the two leads always happen to be together (Ugh!). There's mystery, like who is the mole among Craig's associates feeding info about the lawsuit to the press. Or, why Rach is so damn amazing.

Characters I loved in this book, were the supporting couple, Rick and Leah. Rick the matchmaking brother and Leah the matchmaking friend of Rach who believes in fate more than she does love. I am not sure if Niecey wrote Maggie so readers wouldn't take a liking to her. But I did fall for her. I just have this attraction for scorned exes who play villain and I can't control it. Makes for good reading. There's also the neighbours Ms. Jacobs and Ms. Petska with their humorous lives they kind of remind me of Ms. McCluskey of the Desperate Housewives

.

There's also Kathy, Craig's P.A who doesn't remind me of any character (That's a compliment), Niecey writes out her conflict with Maggie so humorously.

Overall, this book is going to get 4/5 stars

and I am only being unfair because Niecey didn't make it a chicklit.

Fender Bender Blues is Available on Amazon in both Kindle And Paperback.

Highly recommended if you want to bend a rib or two.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads as well as Amazon.

11/08/2013

Cover Reveal: Blogger Girl By Meredith Schorr.

Writer Meredith Schorr is back to a blog! With the hilarious A State of Jane and Just Friends With Benefits to her name, Meredith keeps getting better and better. No wonder we squealed at the offer of hosting Blogger Girl's cover release.

Available in kindle format and paperback, this is what your book should look like... (return if it doesn't.)

Cover

Blurb:What happens when your high school nemesis becomes the shining star in a universe you pretty much saved?

Book blogger Kimberly Long is about to find out. A chick lit enthusiast since the first time she read “Bridget Jones’s Diary,” Kim, with her blog, “Pastel is the New Black,” has worked tirelessly by night to keep the genre alive, and help squash the claim that “chick lit is dead” once and for all.

Not bad for a woman who by day ekes out a meager living as a pretty, and pretty-much-nameless, legal secretary in a Manhattan law firm. While Kim’s day job holds no passion for her, the handsome (and shaving challenged) associate down the hall is another story.

Yet another story is that Hannah Marshak, one of her most hated high school classmates, has now popped onto the chick lit scene with a hot new book that’s turning heads—and pages—across the land. It’s also popped into Kim’s inbox—for review. With their ten-year high school reunion drawing near, Kim’s coming close to combustion over the hype about Hannah’s book. And as everyone around her seems to be moving on and up, she begins to question whether being a “blogger girl” makes the grade in her off-line life.

View from the back

Message from Meredith Schorr

Thanks so much for featuring the cover of Blogger Girl on the Chick Lit Pad blog! I’m so excited for the official release of this novel on August 28th. During the promotion of my first two books, I met so many amazing book bloggers and learned how important they are to the marketing of a book. Book bloggers often feature authors on their blogs with interviews, book reviews and guest posts and I thought it would be fun to write a book spotlighting the book blogger instead of the author for a change. I really had such a blast writing this novel and I hope you enjoy reading it!

The review of Blogger Girl will be out at an earlier date before it's release. Stay tuned to find out if it doesn't put the spotlight on the author but us, the bloggers (for a change).

Signing out

Kobby.

09/08/2013

Cover Reveal: Lying To Meet You by Anna Garner

For all of us who are gazing around in confusion as to who Anna Garner is, well, she is the acclaimed self-published Chick-lit author under the name Libby Mercer who has dazzled the Chick-lit genre with titles such as Unmasking Maya, Expresso Macchiato and Karmic Connection.

And Chick-lit Pad is proud to be hosting the cover release of her no-doubt-a-hit-like-all-her-others Lying To Meet You which will be in both an ebook store and a bookstore near you.

It was designed by Sue Traynor who was the genius behind Unmasking Maya and Karmic Collections.

Cover:

(How can we not be suckers to judging this book by its cover)

Blurb

: Does being in a relationship make you a hot commodity in the eyes of would-be suitors?

Chloe Lane is about to find out. When her childhood pal, Ethan Webster, asks her to play the part of his girlfriend in order to test this theory, she reluctantly agrees. As a work-crazed fashion designer, boutique owner and soon-to-be reality show judge, Chloe has no time for a real boyfriend, but being part of a faux pair will do just fine. Not that she has any intention of trying to attract someone else.

However…

Opportunity unexpectedly knocks when Chloe meets fellow reality judge, William Shannon. Super successful and super sexy, this high-powered entrepreneur inspires Chloe to test Ethan’s theory herself. Now, on top of keeping her fashion business productive, carving out a new role as a television personality, maintaining a fake relationship and attempting to lay the groundwork for a future relationship, she’s lying to William, lying to her friends, lying to her family and quite possibly lying to herself. Will Chloe be able to keep it all together, or are things about to explode?

The cover looked so good we asked for a twirl

Message from Anna Garner


Hi, everyone on Chicklit Pad. My new novel Lying To Meet You might be the best chick-lit title you have ever read (from me). I've written three chick-lit/romance hybrids under the name of Libby Mercer, but this new one is longer, meatier and more chick-litty than my previous three novels, so I'm releasing it under my real name, Anna Garner. Lying to Meet You will be out on September 5th. Please do check it out.

Honestly, we at Chick-lit Pad can't wait to join Anna Garner celebrate her book release. We are giddy with excitement to review it up on the blog. So please do tune in before it's release to find out our thoughts on it

Thank You Anna Garner for making us cover your uh, Cover Release

Chicklit Pad

Signing out

Kobby

05/08/2013

Book Review: Hollywood Ass by Jonas Eriksson.

Blurb: A Hollywood superstar suffers a mental collapse, her marriage is falling apart, her career is on the ropes and the only one keeping it all together is her loyal assistant and friend, Darryl. Problem is, he's kind of in love with her. Soon he finds himself drawn into a story that is much like the movies his employer stars in. But in real life the answers aren't in the script...

Enjoy this romantic and humorous story about Hollywood, fame, friendship and love.

...Hola! Hola! Found the male Jackie Collins.

With Jonas Eriksson's Hollywood Ass, you don't need to be reading any crap about Hollywood that isn't Hollywood.

I was impressed. Highly. Language was fantastic. Humor was intact. Characters were breathtaking. And, Oh, Em, Geez- the facts. The facts were, uh, not fictional.

Nothing reeled me in about the blurb. But when I went in to the book, just the opening pages and Jonas has me as his new fan.

Not Chick-lit. But a closer sibling, lad-lit. And a very entertaining one

So Darryl is assistant to Hollywood couple, the Johnsons. I adored how he referred to the celebs as A. and B. Such label made me feel I was reading something with information guarded by Secret Service. And boy I was intrigued.

B. spills out her guts at a red carpet event, and she's all over the news (But that isn't saying much. She was already all over the news anyway from how Jonas made us see it.) B's mood lately fluctuates like the currency rates of developing countries (low. Lower. Lowest. And trust me if there was comparison after that... *shivers*). A. can't deal with her anymore. Their marriage has completely deteriorated into constant late night brawls. B. can't take it anymore and disappears from the fame scene.

With the help of Caesar, Darryl's dreadlocks lover friend and computer geek, B. is traced to Rome. Sent by A. on an assignment to talk sense into B., Darryl hops onto a plane to take on the city of, uh, ancient history (I hope.). Upon his arrival he finds out, B. might be cheating on A. with a too-goodlooking-to-be-gay Italian in fashion, Matteo. And though that should be enough for the reader's mystery (being a really short story), we are not sure if Darryl is reacting negatively to his findings because he's the loyal assistant to A. or his love goes beyond the realm of friendship (for B.) and more into a feeling that's going to render him unprofessional and get things very complicated. But this mystery is solved very quick... and it doesn't end there-the excitement-as things get complicated.

Caesar is one of those things women today call Paul Rudd, 'Adorkable'. Another chef Jorge has a story with his son, Luis who thinks he can make it into Hollywood and topping Billboard charts. Julianne, an agent to B, I loved, is always looking for a publicity angle even in B's worst situations.

I really had fun reading this book. But at some point, things were dragging. You know, towards the end where some tragic situation leaves the two main characters splitting up. Essential to the plot, but... didn't do it for me. I could only rely on Caesar's humor. So when he wasn't around and Jorge's story was taking motion (which was too predictable), I wasn't feeling it. Until dad came into the picture.

The ending was very fulfilling and a (little) tearful as things didn't turn out expected. But you come to the conclusion that if Darryl is happy, you are happy. And you don't want to stay in the aww-so-sad mood for long if you are an exotic dancer (unless the song playing isn't upbeat). Not that any exotic dancer would be reading this blog, but you get my point.

Another good book with moving themes. Starting over, love, heartbreak, friendship, effects of fame and... drinking too much wine.

So I am giving Hollywood Ass...

4/5 stars.

It's available at Amazon.

So if you want an Insider info on Hollywood from an assistant's perspective, sauntering on cobblestones of Rome lavishing it's beautiful people, scenery and getting chased by paparazzi, you will be disappointed if you don't pick Eriksson's Hollywood Ass.

Good job, Jonas Eriksson and thanks for misleading us (a lot) with the title. I recommended the book to a friend who adores erotic romance.

My work not done here. Off to post my review on Goodreads