Tag: women

Book Review: The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky, by Summer Heacock

awkward
Image belongs to Harlequin/MIRA.

 

 

Running a successful bakery takes time. Lots of time. So much time that Kat is astonished to realize it’s been almost two years since she’s had sex with her boyfriend. It isn’t that she doesn’t want to, but last time they tried, it proved physically painful and impossible. And Kat’s been so busy, she forgot to follow up with her physical therapy. Oops.

With their anniversary looming, Kat gives Ryan a break from the relationship, while she works on her physical therapy, with a little—okay, a lot—of advice from her best friends/business partners. Their best customer is Ben, who just happens to be a physical therapist, so Kat enlists his help in her crusade. But Ben isn’t interested in just being a means to an end, and Kat has to figure out what is really important to her (besides cupcakes).

The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky is a hilarious romp of a novel, filled with awkward—of course—moments, lots of friendly banter, and cupcakes. So. Many. Cupcakes. I laughed so hard at Kat’s escapades with her friends: she has a knack for open-mouth-insert-foot, usually loudly and when Ben can overhear. If you need a laugh, a dose of friendship, or an appetite stimulant, this is the book for you.

Summer Heacock writes contemporary women’s fiction. Her newest novel is The Awkward Path to Getting Lucky.

(Galley provided by Harlequin/MIRA via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.)

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The Long Run, by Catriona Menzies-Pike

the long run
Image belongs to Crown Publishing.

Catriona Menzies-Pike lost her parents in an airplane crash when she was twenty, and spent years floundering. Then she started running, and found a way to move through her grief.

There have always been obstacles for women runners, from cultural constrictions to clothing to men considering it flat-out dangerous. Catriona talks about these problems when she talks about running, and she talks about some of the (underrated in the public eye) triumphs of women in running as well.

The Long Run isn’t a book about some grand triumph in flashy Rocky Balboa style—it’s more about the quiet sort of triumph, one filled with personal satisfaction, accomplishment, and contentment with your own ability. The history of women runners is interesting and frustrating at the same time—why did men find women running so threatening?—and I learned a lot from reading it.

If you have any interest in running or the women’s movement, give The Long Run a read.

(Galley provided by Crown Publishing.)

The Fifth Petal, by Brunonia Barry

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Image belongs to Crown Publishing.

 

Brunonia Barry is the best-selling author of The Lace Reader and The Map of True Places. She grew up fascinated by Salem and with some of the accused witches in her family tree. After traveling the world, she returned to her roots in Salem. The Fifth Petal is her newest novel.

On Halloween night, a teenage boy dies suspiciously, in the presence of Rose Whelan, the eccentric person-of-interest in triple homicide decades ago. Chief of police John Rafferty isn’t from Salem, so he accepts nothing at face value. He thinks Rose had nothing to do with the boy’s death, and starts to question everything he’s heard about The Goddess Murders, the three women, all descended from accused Salem witches, who died so many years before.

While talk against Rose surfaces in the town, Rafferty must put aside his own issues to search for the truth behind The Goddess Murders. Because town gossip claims evil was raised the night of the murders. And with the truth no closer to the light than before, Rafferty starts to wonder if that evil will rise again.

The Fifth Petal had me hooked from the very first page. There’s an air of creepiness woven throughout the novel, and the historical roots of Salem—both good and evil—are explored in depth. The city lives and breathes on the pages, and I came to love the characters, especially the deeply troubled Rose. The Fifth Petal makes me want to visit Salem, which I’ve never had the desire for before. If you like creepy and a little bit scary mixed with your mystery, you’ll definitely love this book!

(Galley provided by Crown Publishing.)

The Scent of Salt and Sand, by P.C. and Kristin Cast

 

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I do not own this image. Image belongs to Diversion Books.

 

P.C. and Kristin Cast are a mother-daughter writing team. They wrote the NYT best-selling House of Night series. The Scent of Salt and Sand is a novella in their Escaped series.

The walls separating Tartarus have fallen, and now monsters from Greek mythology have escaped to the mortal world. The Sirens are part of the escapees. Bound for centuries because of their bloodlust, greed, and murders, the Sirens now run Siren Tours for tourists to Alcatraz, where they find their prey.

It’s Melody’s first time in the mortal realm, and she doesn’t want to be there. She’s different from the other Sirens:  she doesn’t like blood, she has no interest in murder, and she hears specters in the water. Then she meets Dean, who becomes her assigned target, and falls in love. Can she keep Dean safe from her monstrous family, or has their love doomed them both?

So…I like P.C. and Kristin Cast. I enjoy their writing, which has a decidedly young adult slant. I’ve met them both, and they’re very bubbly and funny. I’m a fan of P.C.’s Goddess Summoning series, as well as The House of Night. I have not read either of the books in this series. I enjoyed most of this novella. The Sirens have always fascinated me, and their move in the real world is well-done. However, I really didn’t care for the ending of The Scent of Salt and Sand. At all. I intend to read Amber Smoke, but I’m pretty undecided about reading any more about the Sirens.

(Galley provided by Diversion books via NetGalley.)

The Regulars, by Georgia Clark

 

 

The-Regulars-Georgia-Clark
This image does not belong to me. Image belongs to Atria Books.

Georgia Clark is from Sydney, but now lives in New York City. She has been in a band, worked as a freelance journalist, and as a copywriter. The Regulars is her first adult novel, and she has young adult novels on the shelf as well.

Evie, Krista, and Willow are best friends living in New York City. They are regular twenty-somethings with average looks and typical problems, like making rent, online dating, and making a difference in a job that makes a mockery of what they believe.

Until they come across Pretty, a magical potion that makes them beautiful, giving them a chance to discover what looking like a supermodel can give you in life. Pretty opens unexpected doors for them, but it has a darker side, too. Soon the friends must decide the answer to the question, “What would you sacrifice to be Pretty?”

Evie, Krista, and Willow are regular girls—girls all women can relate to, and they have real problems and real struggles. The Regulars is about these problems, but about larger problems as well, like the objectification of women and lies and manipulation in the dating world. There are some funny moments in this book, but it made me think about life—and about society and its faults. Don’t read this thinking it will be light and fluffy, this books deals with much deeper issues, and the characters are believable, people we would all enjoy being friends with.

(Galley provided by Atria Books via NetGalley.)