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Great-Aunt Sophia's Lessons for Bombshells

3.42  ·  Rating details ·  419 ratings  ·  85 reviews
From national bestselling author Lisa Cach, a warm-hearted, entertaining novel about a Ph.D. student who experiences a life-changing summer while taking care of her great aunt, a 1940’s movie star.

A Ph.D. in sex appeal ?

Grace Cavanaugh is hell-bent on proving her Women’s Studies dissertation thesis that beauty only leads to misery. And what better research subject than
...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published June 19th 2012 by Gallery Books
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3.42  · 
Rating details
 ·  419 ratings  ·  85 reviews


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Mara
Oct 26, 2012 rated it did not like it
Recommends it for: men and women who hate women, feminism, brains, and making sense
This book.

I was intrigued by the cover and the title, expecting this to be more chick-lit-ty and less like a boring cliche of a romance. Alas, my expectations were rudely crushed by the author's anviliciousness and dumb-as-a-box-of-rocks heroine.

Meet Grace, a frumpy and dowdy overweight (but secretly hot) girl/woman. She is working on a PhD in Women's Studies, and I will let her tell you something about her thesis:
“Inviting her to Pebble Beach for the summer seemed a way to fulfill both our n
...more
Noemie | allmybookthoughts
This was a fun & easy to read contemporary book. Grace considers herself a feminist & is writing her dissertation on beauty only leading to misery. She spends the summer with her Aunt Sophia, a former actress, and realizes that there may be other viewpoints than hers. I loved the aspect of her being a strong woman, with some good romance mixed in. It was cute!
Nancy
Jun 07, 2012 rated it did not like it
With such a great cover and title, who would think this was such a dumb book? It was too much of a "romance" book for me. And the premise was just not believable, that a PhD candidate writing her Women's Studies thesis on how beauty makes a woman unhappy (huh?!), can be convinced by her bombshell great-aunt to try being beautiful, sexy, and alluring. Grace has the potential but has never had the desire, in fact she has led her life in the total opposite direction of dressing dowdy and wearing no ...more
Akhila
Aug 10, 2018 rated it it was amazing
3 Stars: I’m still trying to decide whether I loved the book or not. It’s not what I expected. It’s very hard to describe to people without them looking at you like you’ve lost your mind. And yet, it won me over at the end, stressing and delighting me in turn. I like the concept even though I didn’t like how the characters changed over time. I’m happy about the ending but it was a strange path to get there. But in the end, I’m happy I read it and not ashamed at all for having enjoyed it.
Tonya Mathis
Jun 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
OMG, This was the best rom-com I've read in a LONG time. It had me giggling and laughing out loud. This is going to be one of those books that get read again and again.
Ashley
Jun 18, 2012 rated it it was ok
Grace Cavanaugh is a young, slightly overweight, insecure woman who is spending the summer in Pebble Beach, CA with her Great-Aunt Sophia, where she intends to research and write her dissertation for her Ph.D in Women's Studies. Her Great-Aunt Sophia is a former "B" movie-star and bombshell beauty who is on a mission to transform her Great-Niece into a younger version of herself.

There were so many times during the course of this book where I wanted to simply close it, put it away, and never pic
...more
Liz
Aug 09, 2012 rated it really liked it
Aunt Sophia’s Lessons for Bombshells

Grace Cavanaugh’s Great-Aunt Sophia is going to have hip surgery, so she contacts Grace with an offer: come spend the summer at my beachside home as a companion/helper. Grace jumps at the chance to be able to live rent-free and have time to work on her dissertation while helping out a feeble old woman in her eighties.

Except Aunt Sophia is not the white-haired geriatric that Grace expected. Her beachside house is actually a mansion with servants. Aunt Sophia ma
...more
WTF Are You Reading?
Aug 07, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Say Goodnight Gracie
Grace Cavanaugh is a woman that has spent so much time in her head, that she has forgotten that there is a body attached. She wants the fairytale, complete with tall dark stranger; but has no idea that she has the goods needed to snag him. Let alone a clue about how to sell said goods.
Grace is a very deep pool, and all she needs is a man that is brave enough to tread her waters.
The thing that makes Grace readable is the fact that she is open to the changes that are set befor
...more
K.R. Conway
Jan 14, 2013 rated it it was amazing

I simply couldn’t put this down – read it cover to cover in one day. Lisa Cach is riotous. While it is entirely possible I understand the feminist humor in this because I am a fellow graduate of the oldest all women’s college in the country (like Cach), I LOVED THIS BOOK. If I could buy a copy for each and every one of my gal pals I would! I was busting out laughing. If you want a taste of her dry-humored wit, pick up the book at the store and read from 79 to 81. LOL!!!!

So, premise: Grace, a 26-
...more
A M
Jul 20, 2015 rated it liked it
I quite enjoyed this book. It was fun joining Grace on her journey of discovery.. It was a little disappointing that Grace’s transformation involved her losing weight to be seen as sexy though.

Great-Aunt Sophia was a wonderful character. At 85 she was sprightly, intelligent, crafty, and somebody I would love to know. She had plans for Grace and nothing was going to stop her. Yes she made Grace over in her own image but what an image! Grace had been brought up in a very alternative environment by
...more
Margaret
Mar 22, 2013 rated it did not like it
I tried to read this book, but by the time I got to Chapter 5 I knew that it wasn't for me. I expected a witty and charming memoir of an 85 year old former "bombshell" and that is not what I got.
Grace is going to spend a summer in a beach cottage nursing her elderly great-aunt (whom she met only one time when she was 10 years old) with the intention of finishing her thesis for Women's Studies proving that outer beauty only brings misery to women. Great-Aunt Sophia, former B-movie star and many t
...more
Sara Palacios
Nov 06, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Great Aunt Sophia’s Lessons for Bombshells by Lisa Cach follows Grace Cavanaugh, who is bound and determined to prove that beauty only leads to misery through research for her thesis. She is knee deep in research when she receives a call that her great aunt Sophia is havnig surgery, and that she would love it if Grace could accompany her during her recovery. Despite her misgivings, Grace caves once she realizes that this would be a perfect opportunity to do some much needed research. She arrives ...more
Cocktails and Books
Jul 18, 2013 rated it liked it
Who wouldn't want to be thought of as a bombshell?! Well, in the beginning of this story Grace doesn't. She is a women's studies major and believes that women need to be valued for their intelligence and other qualities beyond their looks.

Fortunately, her great aunt Sophia was a bombshell in her time (and continues to be like no octogenarian I've ever met) and Grace gets to spend the whole summer with her--in her glorious mansion at Pebble Beach no less. Sophia has the best of intentions in tryi
...more
Michelle
Jul 09, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: review-on-blog, own
This book blew my mind. I loved everything about it. I loved Aunt Sophia's scheming, manipulative but obviously caring ways. I loved the sexy fun that oozed out of Declan, and my oh my did I love the transformation that Grace underwent. This is a sexy, fun romance that will make you wish you could have the kind of life changing summer that Grace has. I need to go find myself a long lost great aunt Sophia!

Grace is a practical, smart, independent PhD student that thinks she has all the answers. S
...more
Katie
Jul 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
I found this book on the recommended "Chic Lit" summer reading shelf at my local library. The cover and the title completely caught my eye and I thought, this is going to be a funny romance book I can just tell, and I was not disappointed.

Grace is writing her thesis in women's studies and truly believes the theory behind it, that outer beauty ultimately leads the woman to unhappiness and misery in her life. Grace is ready to prove it.

Great-Aunt Sophia has requested that Grace spend the summer w
...more
Charlotte
Jun 16, 2012 rated it it was ok
Shelves: first-reads, romance
Great-Aunt Sophia's Lessons for Bombshells takes the reader along for a summer in sunny Pebble Beach, California. Grace, a young woman navigating the swamps of graduate school, is looking forward to spending a summer with her elderly great-aunt who she's met once. What she finds in Pebble Beach is not the quaint beach house and kindly great-aunt she expected, but a seaside estate overseen by the grand dame that is Great-Aunt Sophia. Grace quickly finds herself in the middle of a possible love tr ...more
Katherine
Jul 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: chick lit fans
Recommended to Katherine by: Pick up at BookCrossing
Shelves: chick-lit-reads
3.75 out of 4 stars is more like it. I was intrigued by the title and was hoping it would be a chick lit novel and it was! Of course, with that title, how can you go wrong?

Classic chick-lit format: Grace has been invited to spend the summer with her Great Aunt Sophia who is known to have been an incredible bombshell back in her days. For most of Grace's life, Aunt Sophia has been absent, having isolated herself from the rest of the family for unknown reasons. Grace, who's determined to use her
...more
Cathleen
Jul 31, 2012 rated it did not like it
Shelves: abandoned
Not the book I thought I was reading, and not particularly well-written either.

When Great-Aunt Sophia is by far the most interesting character, why not spend more time with her, rather than having the protagonist skim over their interactions in a series of empty and truncated diary entries? The author also tries to have it both ways: if Grace is the schlubby scholar she is extensively painted as in the opening chapters of the book, it strains all credibility to have her gain the upper hand with
...more
Paula
Aug 13, 2012 rated it did not like it
The best thing about this book was the cover. It has been decades since I read a romance novel, and I didn't think that's what this book was, but I was wrong. It's a little larger in size than your average romance novel, and has a better title, but otherwise it fits the formula. It's too bad, because the plot, though it had its eye-rolling elements (decidedly unfeminine "Women's Studies" professor in desperate need of a makeover) had possiblities. I was hoping that the author was going to take s ...more
Michelle
Jun 19, 2013 rated it it was ok
Grace is working on her Ph.D. in Women’s Studies. She has been invited by her Great Aunt Sophia to spend time with her in Monterey while her aunt recovers from an upcoming hip surgery. Grace thinks that this is an opportunity to finish her dissertation with the premise that beauty leads to unhappiness by using her aunt, a former movie star, as the primary example. Her aunt has other plans and works to get Grace to fulfil her potential as a bombshell with the possibility of two beaus: the quiet a ...more
Amanda Kimball
May 31, 2012 rated it really liked it


It's not quite the book I was expecting, I would've liked to see more of Sophia and her scheming first-hand, but it was overall a good read. I was just looking for something light and fluffy and that was exactly what I got. Steamy romance and a few tid bits for thought made this a good weekend easy read. It's not the most eloquently written book I've read, and there was definitely room for more plot development, but that didn't stop me from enjoying Declan, Sophia, and Grace. The big reveal wa
...more
Moon Love
May 18, 2012 rated it it was amazing
I loved this book! It had quite a bit packed into 300 some pages. It has everything going for it; the plot, the characters, the setting. I was audibly chuckling out loud and smiling like a loon at other parts. It was really easy to get into the story and stay there. While there are hints of Pygmalion, it's just traces and the story is different.

It's great to see Grace's transformation and how she handles both Declan and Dr.Andrew, as well as her great-aunt Sophia. There are a number of things th
...more
Celia Kennedy
Sep 07, 2013 rated it liked it
When I read the back cover of the book my imagination picked a Jane Mansfield type of character for Aunt Sophia, Jeanine Garafalo for Grace's character, and Colin Ferrel for Declan. Sadly my imagination got all three characters wrong.

Having taken many Women Studies classes in college I was hoping for a less stereotype main character. For the most part Grace Cavanaugh could be any strong(ish) willed woman. Resembling more Marianne Dashwood than one would have anticipated. I thought Cat, Grace's b
...more
Angela
Jun 18, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
While I really enjoyed this book, I also found it to be all about sex and not as much about Sophia teaching Grace to be a bombshell. It was also full of manipulation -- Sophia played every person close to her like they were a pawn in a chess game. She knew exactly how to butter them up to get them to do her bidding and although she had the best intentions, it could be slightly annoying at points. That being said the book was really great overall and the ending was really unexpected. If you're go ...more
Taryn
Aug 03, 2012 rated it really liked it
I didn't realize this book was a romance book when I signed up to recieve it as a free Goodreads book. I don't read many romances, because the sex scenes are often above my tolerance level. This one is no different. I will say this is one of the best ones that I have read. It is not a great literary novel, but it was fun, had some good character development, and although a little predictable, no less enjoyable to read. I go it in the mail several weeks ago, but only just got a chance to start it ...more
Rebekah
May 27, 2014 rated it did not like it
This book was Awful. I thought it would be right up my alley, but everything about it offended and repulsed me. I couldn't find a character worth liking, much less an aspect of the plot line that didn't give me an overwhelming urge to toss the book across the room. I didn't even bother finishing the thing, and I am glad I borrowed the thing from library so I could take it back and never look at it again.
This was so cliché ridden , choppy, boring, and insipid, it gave me a headache.
Save your
...more
Cathi95
Nov 30, 2016 rated it liked it
(Fiction Romance 2012) A little bit of everything in this book, pretty light and entertaining, exactly the type of book to take along on a trip when one wants to lose oneself for a while. Grace is a modern intellectual college woman whose great-aunt Sophia asks her to be her companion over a summer. Instead of being an invalid, Sophia is a very modern woman who plans to "transform the frumpy feminist into a fem fatale..." (from back cover synopsis). Mostly, I enjoyed the plot twists. It was a go ...more
Michelle Huntsinger
A funny, quirky book with a great cast of characters. Sophia is the Grand Dame of Pebble Beach Society and she holds court over her great niece and 2 handsome, charming men. Each think they are in charge, but know it's really Sophia who is in charge and they are just her puppets.

Grace came to learn all she could about her Aunt and the lifestyle of a glamourous B-movie actress for her women's studies thesis, little did she know she'd learn more about herself in the 3 months she's there than she e
...more
Briana Alzola
Dec 29, 2014 rated it liked it
I thought this book had real promise. A feminist lost student from Seattle mixing with her bombshell great aunt. Unfortunately there was not very many interactions between the two women. Instead there was plenty of scenes between the young feminist and an awful player. I disliked all the characters. All of them. And there weren't even enough of the lessons for bombshells that I thought would be entertaining along the way.
Rachel
Jan 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
Simply delightful and one of few books I have truly enjoyed in recent memory. Don't mistake, this is more brain candy than literature (and a bit racy at times), but it was wonderful nonetheless. The characters drew me in and the plot pacing was superb. I read this in one sitting on a snowy afternoon. It would probably be perfect for a day on the beach. I only wished the book was longer b/c I enjoyed it so much.
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Lisa Cach grew up in a farm near Portland, Oregon, a place she loves although she'd always trying to leave it. Wanderlust has led her to sail the Sargasso Sea, teach English in Japan, and trek the leech-infested jungles of Borneo. She has degrees in both English and psychology, two subjects that were fun to learn about but that guaranteed her low-paying jobs. Her father, she admits, may have been ...more
“You can't go through life striking out at people who hurt or scare you. All that does is show them that you're weak. It tells them that they've wounded you, and a strong woman never shows her wounds unless it serves a purpose.” 54 likes
“Beautiful things should not be kept behind glass, they should be used. Just as beautiful women should live fully and not let herself turn into a hothouse flower, pampered and useless.” 9 likes
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