Jane Austen is a precocious fifteen year old and a very talented writer, but just like any fifteen year old, she wants to meet someone special. The on...moreJane Austen is a precocious fifteen year old and a very talented writer, but just like any fifteen year old, she wants to meet someone special. The one problem is that her mother won't let her "come out" for a few more years, which really limits the possibility of meeting a young gentleman. That is until her older brother, Edward, becomes engaged to marry a wealthy young woman from Kent named Elizabeth Bridges. You see, Edward, although an Austen, isn't part of a their class; in fact, he is well-off and has been "adopted" by a wealthy relative and set to inherit a fortune. When the Austen family goes to Edward's engagement celebration, which spans many weeks, Jane meets Edward Taylor whom she is not only impressed by, but she can't stop thinking about him. While visiting the Bridges, Jane tries her hand at matchmaking as well and all the while trying to catch Edward Taylor's eye. But can someone as wealthy and worldly as Edward fall for someone as common as Jane? Jane Austen's First Love by Syrie James is a quiet, but delightful read about young Jane Austen and her first love. Fans of Jane Austen will be charmed by this adorable read.
Cocktails for Book Lovers is more than just a recipe book for cocktails; if you are like me and love all things literary, you'll love the wealth of in...moreCocktails for Book Lovers is more than just a recipe book for cocktails; if you are like me and love all things literary, you'll love the wealth of information in this book. It includes fifty original and classic cocktail recipes based on either the author's book or a popular drinks from the time period. In addition to the recipe, it includes the author's biography, a quote from one of the author's books, the cocktail recipe and another book suggestion/blurb. I wasn't expecting to learn something from a cocktail recipe book, but I did! For example, who knew that Jane Austen was "a sophisticated reveler and wine drinker?" She sounds like my kind of girl!
Here are some of my favorite authors and cocktail pairing from Cocktails for Book Lovers: Jane Austen and Miss Austen's Delight, Emily Bronte and Heathcliff's Crush, William Faulkner and Mint Julep, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Gin Rickey, Ernest Hemingway and Mojito and lastly, Zora Neale Hurston and Orange Blossom. There's something for every literary fan in here. I tend to gravitate towards classic authors, but there's contemporary authors in this book as well, such as Matthew Quick (Silver Linings Playbook) and Beer Margarita.
For me, there's nothing better than pairing literature and cocktails. This would be the perfect gift for that literary lover in your life or for your book club. It would definitely be fun to create the cocktail that goes along with the book/author you are studying. That is an assignment any book club gal would enjoy.
Now excuse me while I dream of Ernest Hemingway, Key West, and drink one of his famous mojitos.(less)
Nicole hasn't seen her former best friend, Charlotte, in ten years. When Nicole, a food blogger, has an opportunity to write a cook book about the loc...moreNicole hasn't seen her former best friend, Charlotte, in ten years. When Nicole, a food blogger, has an opportunity to write a cook book about the local food from her beloved island off of Maine, she asks for Charlotte's help. This is because Charlotte also loves the island and she is a writer herself, jet setting off to various magazine assignments throughout the year. They are staying at Nicole's parents' summer house and are hoping it will be like summers of the past, but Charlotte has distanced herself from Nicole over the years, not just because of her job assignments, but because of a deep secret. A secret that she is hoping won't come out this summer. Both girls are busy with writing their cook book, interviewing locals, and catching up. Nicole has left her husband back in Philadelphia, as he is busy with his work, but he's also battling MS. She is hoping the time away from each other will do them good as things have been less than stellar. Charlotte also meets a local, Leo, who captures her interest and reminds her of the protagonist of Salt, a novel both girls are reading and discussing. Secrets unravel bit by bit in Sweet Salt Air and as both girls spend more time together, these secrets slowly float to the surface. Sweet Salt Air is a thoughtful beach read; one that is slow moving and gentle, much like a warm tropical breeze.
Rose and Ivy Adams live in the country with their father. Rose is more reserved and takes care of the household since their mother dead years ago and...moreRose and Ivy Adams live in the country with their father. Rose is more reserved and takes care of the household since their mother dead years ago and Ivy is more of an outgoing dreamer with not much responsibility. When their father dies unexpectedly, Rose assumes he will leave the house to her as she is the one that has taken care of the family for years, but he surprisingly left it to an unknown man named Asher. This unknown man is actually their half brother, a brother they never knew existed. They need to find him as their father left his financial affairs in ruin and they find out that he is living in New York City. The only problem is that many sources say Asher has disappeared since he returned from the war. Rose and Ivy are determined to find him, but each for different reasons. While looking her brother, Ivy has her mind set on exploring the exciting world of Jazz Age New York City. Suzanne Hayes and Loretta Nyhan's Empire Girls is a fun romp through 1920s New York City and includes a family mystery that will keep readers flipping the pages.
Emily and Maggie are from two different worlds. Emily's family is wealthy and has a beautiful home on the bluff of Nantucket, whereas Maggie is a "loc...moreEmily and Maggie are from two different worlds. Emily's family is wealthy and has a beautiful home on the bluff of Nantucket, whereas Maggie is a "local" on the island and she lives with her mother and brother in a small cottage. Emily's family associates with only the finest families in Nantucket and don't necessarily approve of Emily's friendship with the the daughter of the island's seamstress. Nonetheless, the girls are the best of friends and spend every summer on Nantucket in their idyllic world, a world which they both love so much. As the years go by, the girls still keep in touch and the summer before college, Emily starts to have feelings for Maggie's good looking brother, Ben. Their romance gets serious even though Emily knows her parents want her to marry for status. While in graduate school at a wedding, she meets Cameron Chadwick whom instantly catches her eye. He's everything her parents wanted for her and more, but what about Ben, her first love from Nantucket? To complicate matters worse, Cameron meets Maggie while going to a New Year's Eve party on Nantucket that she happens to be working at. He finds himself asking her out on a date and the web of lies becomes even more sticky once Maggie realizes what she has gotten herself into. Nancy Thayer's Nantucket Sisters is a fluffy beach read. Even though it had me rolling my eyes numerous times and the coincidences were too good to be true, I kept coming back for more, because I can't deny that it's pure summertime entertainment.
The Saybrook family is a well known wealthy family that owns a diamond empire; however, the media likes to refer to their "bad luck" as the Saybrook C...moreThe Saybrook family is a well known wealthy family that owns a diamond empire; however, the media likes to refer to their "bad luck" as the Saybrook Curse. The patriarch of the Saybrook family has written his will so only the granddaughters will inherit. So, the novel focuses on Aster, who loves to party and basically spends all of her free time being a socialite. Her sister, Corinne, who is the opposite of Aster. She works in her family business and is engaged to the seemingly perfect Dixon, heir to an oil company. Their cousin, Poppy, is also "perfect" and is president of the family company. Her husband, James, adores her and they have two young girls. Then there's Rowan, the lawyer for her family; she still can't get over her first love (who happens to be Poppy's husband!). And lastly, there's Natasha, who disinherited herself and is living a "normal" life as a yoga instructor. Everyone in the Saybrook family is preparing for Corinne's upcoming nuptials, but things come to a halt, when Poppy has "committed suicide." Or did she? Is it the family curse or is someone actually out to get the Saybrook heiresses? Sara Shepard, the creator of Pretty Little Liars, gives us a deliciously entertaining adult read with The Heiresses.
Jem Halliday and her best friend, Kai, have always been inseparable since they were kids. As they got older, Jem realized she was in love with Kai, wh...moreJem Halliday and her best friend, Kai, have always been inseparable since they were kids. As they got older, Jem realized she was in love with Kai, which makes things a little awkward as she comes to realize that Kai is actually gay. She accepts it (she's a little heartbroken though) and they are like two peas in a pod. They even have plans to escape their boring (and small minded) town to go to London after high school and really live their lives. This all changes one night at a party that Kai convinced Jem to go to as his sister (a.k.a. popular mean girl Louise) invited him. Jem is hesitant, but decides to go with Kai anyway. At the party, Kai is filmed in a compromising position with another male and someone leaks this video online, essentially outing him as gay before he even had the chance to tell the world himself. This devastates him and he now becomes a target for bullies. Kai can't take it anymore and commits suicide, which in turn, leaves Jem in a fragile state. She is even considering ending her own life until she receives a letter from Kai, including a letter for each month for up to a year after his death. This gives her a purpose: she wants to find out who is responsible for leaking that video online and she wants to take them down. Cat Clarke's addicting story about revenge is so much more than just that. Undone examines dark topics, makes you really think, and pulls on your heartstrings. I haven't felt so much for a book since If I Stay by Gayle Forman.
Rory Randall is a bit of bit of a womanizer; he has married three times and has two daughters from different wives and an adopted daughter. He died un...moreRory Randall is a bit of bit of a womanizer; he has married three times and has two daughters from different wives and an adopted daughter. He died unexpectedly and in his will he states that he will give his Nantucket home to his three daughters under one condition: they must live there together for one summer. The problem is the three sisters don't necessarily get along, thanks to some drama that occurred there as children involving Rory's third wife. Rory's first daughter, Arden, was a bit of a wild child back in the day, but is now a semi-famous local TV show host. Arden's half-sister, Meg, is bookish and teaches at the local community college. The last daughter, Jenny, whom Rory adopted, lives on Nantucket as a computer specialist and is especially nervous about a summer together with her stepsisters since it's her mother who made it so Arden and Meg couldn't visit their father on Nantucket anymore. All three girls are thirty-something now and should be able to get along; however, it proves to be a life-changing summer for the sisters in Nancy Thayer's Island Girls.
Serafina is a mermaid who is heir to the realm of Miromara. She is worrying about her performance at her betrothal ceremony; plus, the merman she is p...moreSerafina is a mermaid who is heir to the realm of Miromara. She is worrying about her performance at her betrothal ceremony; plus, the merman she is promised to, Prince Mahdi, isn't acting like himself as there are many rumors of him staying out all night and dating other girls. Serafina is stressed out by all this and to top it off, she keeps have a recurring dream that is extremely ominous. She shrugs it off as nothing but nerves until her mother is attacked and consequently her world is turned upside down. Thankfully, Sera has her best friend, Princess Neela, with her while she is on a journey to figure out who killed her mother and started a massive war. Jennifer Donnelly's Deep Blue, the first book in the Waterfire Saga series, is an imaginative and adorable read for middle grade girls.
Josie isn't your average teenager. She has an extremely high IQ and attends college classes in the morning and regular high school in the afternoon al...moreJosie isn't your average teenager. She has an extremely high IQ and attends college classes in the morning and regular high school in the afternoon along with her best friend and next door neighbor, Stu. Things with Stu are easy. He gets her and understands her "language." You see, Josie loves to study language and sometimes has to translate the language of her peers. Things are going pretty well for Josie until her older sister, Kate, brings home Geoff and tells her family that they are engaged. This sort of announcement would normally be cause for celebration, but Josie can't stand Geoff. She makes it a goal to show Kate that Geoff isn't right for her before she takes the big plunge and actually marries the guy. Geoff makes rude comments to Kate and her family from time to time, so it's no wonder Josie doesn't like him, but Kate's parents urge Josie to just support her and be happy for Kate. Plus, high school forces Josie to examine herself, her friendships, her crushes and by the novel's end, the ultimate question…what is the nature of love? Erin McCahan's Love and Other Foreign Words is a brilliant read and one that reminded of a John Green novel. I absolutely loved it.
Kate and Tully were best friends until Kate died of cancer. In Fly Away, we revisit our favorite characters from Firefly Lane to see what they have be...moreKate and Tully were best friends until Kate died of cancer. In Fly Away, we revisit our favorite characters from Firefly Lane to see what they have been up to since Kate's untimely death. Tully hasn't ever really recovered from her best friend's death. She has lost her popular TV talk show and is now addicted to prescription pills and alcohol. Marah, Kate's daughter, is struggling as well and desperately needs some guidance, but isn't finding it from her father, who whisks them off to Hawaii after Kate's death and them uproots his whole family to California when they return. He just can't face what happened, which isn't healthy for his children. As the months go by, Marah finds herself in a deep state of depression in California and starts falling down a slippery slope. Cloud, Tully's unpredictable and former addict mother, enters back into Tully's world as well, which increases the drama twofold; however, we learn why Cloud is the way she is, which will answer questions readers had in Firefly Lane. Kristin Hannah's Fly Away is a heartbreaking read. It was one bad thing after another, but I just had to know how things were going to end up for Tully and Marah.
Charles Ingham, the sixth Earl of Mawbray, has a large family and a beautiful Yorkshire home, Cavendon Hall. The Ingham's can count on the Swann famil...moreCharles Ingham, the sixth Earl of Mawbray, has a large family and a beautiful Yorkshire home, Cavendon Hall. The Ingham's can count on the Swann family who have not only worked for them for years, but also have sworn to "protect" them. Daphne, the best looking of the Ingham daughters, comes into some trouble just before she is to be presented to society. The Swanns swoop in and come up with a plan so the Inghams avoid scandal, but that doesn't take into account how Daphne's life has changed forever. Also, long-lost second cousin, Hugo Stanton, comes back into the Ingham's lives and is quickly enamored with Daphne. Could he be a possible suitor for Daphne? There's also many pages dedicated to the interesting Swann family, such as daughter Cecily, a masterful seamstress, and Charlotte Swann, who manages the Ingham estate. When it comes to Cavendon Hall, the Swanns will do anything to make sure the Inghams avoid scandal, but Daphne's situation is definitely going to test the family. Cavendon Hall by Barbara Taylor Bradford is perfect for fans of Upstairs, Downstairs and Downton Abbey. There's a drama, wealthy families, upstairs/downstairs intrigue, and dark family secrets in this historical novel, which makes it an entertaining read for vacation.
Eva is tremendously happy. She's married to Jackson, the love of her life, and they are visiting her mother at a coastal town in England. Jackson, who...moreEva is tremendously happy. She's married to Jackson, the love of her life, and they are visiting her mother at a coastal town in England. Jackson, who loves to fish, heads out on the rocks one morning to do just that and leaves Eva warm in their bed. But the waves are extremely rough that day and according to witnesses, he slips and falls under. Things aren't looking good for Jackson as the current pulls him out to sea and the water is freezing cold. Obviously, Eva is devastated as he most definitely drowned. She has only been married to Jackson for less than two years and they were just starting their lives together. Jackson's family lives in Tasmania, so she decides to visit his father as she has never met him and feels it will help her come to grips with the awful tragedy. His father, Dirk, isn't much help and is an alcoholic, so she decides to visit Jackson's estranged brother, Saul, who lives off of Tasmania on Wattleboon Island. It's there Eva is confronted with the truth about Jackson and it's one shocking piece of information and life-altering truth after another. Lucy Clarke's A Single Breath is an emotional page turner. With the secrets that unfold, the slow building romance and the exotic location, this novel makes for excellent summertime reading.
Mary Shelton is Queen Elizabeth's ward and not just any ward, but the ward that Elizabeth feels the closest to; in fact, many call her a favorite sinc...moreMary Shelton is Queen Elizabeth's ward and not just any ward, but the ward that Elizabeth feels the closest to; in fact, many call her a favorite since she is Elizabeth's cousin. Mary's parents both died when she was young, so living with Elizabeth is all she has ever known. She's accustomed to living like a royal in beautiful castles and having beautiful things. Queen Elizabeth is determined to make a good match for Mary and although Mary should feel fortunate, instead she is worried. The queen has her sights set on the Earl of Oxford, who at first glance, is charming, but Mary comes to find he is actually quite horrible. Instead Mary has her eye on Sir John Skydemore, although it's an unlikely match. He's a widower, has many children and to top it off, he's Catholic. There's no way Queen Elizabeth will ever approve of him. What will Mary do? Anne Clinard Barnhill's Queen Elizabeth's Daughter is an interesting glimpse into the life of Mary Shelton, Queen Elizabeth's favorite ward. Fans of historical fiction will enjoy reading a Tudor novel that isn't focused on the usual Henry VIII or Anne Boleyn.