Friday, August 23, 2013

This Book Room

Ten years ago, Quinn Barton was on her way to the altar to marry Burke Morrison, her high school sweetheart, when something derailed her. Rather, someone derailed her—the Best Man who at the last minute begged her to reconsider the marriage. He told her that Burke had been cheating on her. For a long time. Quinn, stunned, hurt, and confused, struggled with the obligation of fulfilling her guests’ expectations—providing a wedding—and running for her life.

She chose running. With the Best Man. Who happened to be Burke’s brother, Frank.

That relationship didn’t work either. How could it, when Quinn had been engaged to, in love with, Frank’s brother? Quinn opted for neither, and, instead, spends the next seventeen years working in her family’s Middleburg, Virginia, bridal shop, Talk of the Gown, where she subconsciously does penance for the disservice she did to marriage.

But when the two men return to town for another wedding, old anger, hurt, and passion resurface. Just because you’ve traded the good guy for the bad guy for no guy doesn’t mean you have to stay away from love for the rest of your life, does it?

My thoughts: In the interest of total honesty, this book was really just okay for me. It probably doesn't help that on a personal level, I'm not a huge of the author as a person. Her writing is fine. But she's... well, catty. So why did I read this book? It sounded good at the time. I would skip this one, though, if I was you.

As a young California girl growing up in a blue collar neighborhood, Taylor Young dreamed of being
popular, beautiful, and acquiring a wardrobe to die for. Not to mention marrying a handsome, successful man and living happily ever after in a gorgeous house with three wonderful children. Now, at 36, Taylor has reached the pinnacle of her dreams, but is it all about to unravel? As the new school year approaches, Taylor prepares herself for playing the perfect alpha mom: organizing class activities, fund-raising, and chairing the school auction. But the horror! Her archrival, bohemian mom Marta Zinsser, is named Head Room Mom of Taylor's daughter's fifth grade class. As tensions rise at committee meetings and school activities, the two rivals seem to be destined for a final confrontation. But as Taylor plans her next move, she is floored by a more serious blow at home-her husband has been secretly unemployed for the past six months. With her posh lifestyle crumbling, Taylor struggles to maintain her alpha image-but could Marta, who cares little about appearances, be her only true friend?

My thoughts: I *loved* this book. It sounds... kind of shallow when you read the summary. And in the first few pages, I was contemplating chucking it and returning it to the library. But Taylor just sort of grabbed me and pulled me close. I read this book in an entire weekend, which is saying a lot since I have an infant to care for. This author kept the story real and gritty.

Ellen Branford is going to fulfill her grandmother's dying wish--to find the hometown boy she once loved, and give him her last letter. Ellen leaves Manhattan and her Kennedy-esque fiance for Beacon, Maine. What should be a one-day trip is quickly complicated when she almost drowns in the chilly bay and is saved by a local carpenter. The rescue turns Ellen into something of a local celebrity, which may or may not help her unravel the past her grandmother labored to keep hidden. As she learns about her grandmother and herself, it becomes clear that a 24-hour visit to Beacon may never be enough.

My thoughts: This book could've been better. But there's blueberries on the cover. Ya'll know how much I love blueberries. So I couldn't really help myself. I *had* to read this book. And all in all, I really liked it. It was a bit predictable but as far as fun summer reads go, this one fit the bill for a fun summer read.

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