The Boyfriend Blog by K.L. Grayson

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About the Book
Boyfriend (n.)
1) A frequent or regular male companion with whom one has a romantic or sexual
relationship.
2) A myth. A legend. Impossible to find.
According to her eighty-year-old neighbor, Lizzie Donovan is looking for Mr. Right in all the wrong places. Though it’s made great fodder for her blog, Lizzie is finally tired of swiping left and awful blind dates, and she’s ready to take Mrs. Skinner’s advice and find love the old-fashioned way. Goodbye dating app, hello grocery store, book store, dog park, and wherever else she might be able to meet a good man. And she really has nothing to lose. Not only will she be entertained along the way, but even if she ends up alone, she’ll always have her longtime best friend, Aiden, by her side.

Friend zone (n.)
1) A situation in which a friendship exists between two people, one of whom has an
unreciprocated romantic or sexual interest in the other.
2) Location of Aiden Wallace.
According to his eighty-year-old neighbor, Aiden Wallace has been friend zoned. And that’s mostly his fault because instead of opening his eyes and seeing what was right in front of him, Aidan has spent the last several years enjoying the single life. But things have changed—he has changed—and now he needs his best friend, Lizzie, to stop shoving him into the friend zone so he can work at winning her heart. Until then, he’s stuck watching her string of dating disasters and wishing she’d believe him when he tells her he’s the one.

 

Librarian Laura’s Review of The Boyfriend Blog

If you like best friends to lovers romance with both steam and hilarity, this is the book for you. KL Grayson’s The Boyfriend Blog is a fast-paced romantic comedy sure to delight romance readers for it’s charming characters and laugh-out-loud funny dating charades.

Lizzie, unlike her happily married twin sister Emily, is not so lucky in the boyfriend department. Every time she tries dating, it doesn’t end well. In fact, it usually ends with her crying (literally) to her next door neighbor and best friend since childhood, Aiden. From a date who was secretly on two dates at the same time in the same restaurant to a date who introduced her to both his parents and his pregnant ex-wife during the date, Lizzie has unfortunately seen it all: the bad, the worse, and the downright ugly. With each failed date, her hope for a romantic future dwindles.

As an outlet for her frustrating dating life, she starts a blog, The Boyfriend Blog, where she recounts her experiences in the dating world, all the while keeping it a secret from even those closest to her, Emily and Aiden. The only catch…Aiden is in love with Lizzie and doesn’t know how she’ll react. He doesn’t want to lose his best friend. So when she leaves her laptop open and he happens to glance at it while in her apartment, he can’t help but read a blog post and formulate a plan to win the girl, once and for all. Lizzie also secretly loves Aiden, and she can’t stop thinking about that impulsive moment a few years ago when she passionately kissed Aiden, only to have him act like nothing happened and even refuse to talk to her about it. Lizzie has tried to bury her feelings for Aiden and opted for being his best friend. But, she can’t help the butterflies in her stomach when Aiden looks into her eyes or wraps his big, strong arms around her to comfort her after each failed date.

When Lizzie decides to give boyfriend #22, Aiden, a try, things heat right up in the very best way. But love isn’t always easy and Lizzie and Aiden will have to fight through a few major roadblocks on their road to happy ever after. Will boyfriend #22 be her last, or is Lizzie doomed for spinsterhood? You’ll have to read it and find out!

I really enjoyed this book. It’s definitely an adult book; I wouldn’t recommend it for teen readers. Readers will delight in the fun story line with just the right amount of steam to keep things interesting.

Thank you so much to Social Butterfly PR for the advanced copy in exchange for an honest review

About K.L. Grayson

K.L. Grayson resides in a small town outside of St. Louis, MO. She is entertained
daily by her extraordinary husband, who will forever inspire every good quality she
writes in a man. Her entire life rests in the palms of six dirty little hands, and when the
day is over and those pint-sized cherubs have been washed and tucked into bed, you can find her typing away furiously on her computer. She has a love for alpha-males,
brownies, reading, tattoos, sunglasses, and happy endings…and not particularly in that
order.
Connect with K.L. Grayson:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BooksbyKLGrayson/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/booksbyklgrayson/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/booksbyklgrayso/
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/k-l-grayson

Something Like Breathing by Angela Readman

9781911508304_fea99Originally published in School Library Journal, February 2019.

Gr 9 & Up: Readman’s debut novel unfolds in 1950’s Scotland, weaving together mystery and magical realism surrounding two young girls on a remote island. Lorrie’s family moved from England to help her aging grandfather, Grumps, in the family whiskey distillery. At once intrigued by her shy next door neighbor, Sylvie, whose life seems fairly uneventful due to her mother’s extreme rules. Sylvie is fascinated by kisses, keeping a secret scrapbook from her protective, prying mother. An unlikely friendship between the two young girls develops, providing a bit of happiness for each, though their family lives are far from happy. As Lorrie and Sylvie spend more time together, it becomes apparent that Sylvie and her mother are hiding a secret. Strange occurrences like Lorrie’s father’s disappearance and a miraculous healing of a young boy involved in an accident leave Lorrie and the town wondering about the friendly, yet strange Sylvie. VERDICT: Readers will enjoy the unique plot and vividly drawn characters of this atmospheric, coming of age story, though pacing is slow at times.

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah

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Kristin Hannah has done it again! Her newest novel, The Great Alone, which releases in February 2018, is absolutely stunning.

The story begins in 1974 when Lenora Allbright (Leni) is 13 years old and once again the new kid at school, having changed schools multiple times mainly because of her father’s wrath and inability to keep a job. Leni’s father, Ernt, was captured and tortured during the Vietnam War, and since he has been back, his own family household has become the front line of battle with his white hot anger and temper. Leni’s mother, Cora, tries to tiptoe around Ernt in order to keep their glass house from shattering, but she rarely escapes the wrath of Ernt, which Leni witnesses it all the time. Just when Leni hopes they might finally settle down in one place so her father can be happy, Ernt loses yet another job, and the family is uprooted again. This time, however, her parents pack up the VW van and the family of three heads to a remote island in the Alaskan wilderness. One of Ernt’s war comrades who passed away in Vietnam, Bo Harlan, left Ernt his ramshackle homestead in Kaneq, on the Kenai Peninsula. Ernt feels this is a sign, and a big break for the family that they must not pass up. What they don’t realize then is that Alaska will change the course of Leni’s future forever. All of their futures, actually.

Other than a few neighbors down the road a ways, the Allbright’s rustic cabin is in an untamed area of Alaska, where the winters are unforgiving and severe and the wildlife extremely dangerous. Leni and her mother get to know some strong Alaskan women, learning all they can from them regarding planting, fishing, and preparing food and adequate shelter for winter. Large Marge, a former lawyer who runs the small general store in town, takes them under her wing and provides Leni a security she has never felt before. Ernt gets close to Bo’s father, Mad Earl Harlan and his clan, and together Ernt and Earl, both paranoid quick to rage, arrange all-out crazy plans for surviving when “TSHTF” with the government.

Meanwhile, Leni starts school with the very few other school-age inhabitants of Kaneq, including the only other student her age, Matthew Walker. Matthew’s family has been very successful in Alaska for many generations, starting with his grandparents who started the town of Kaneq. Matthew’s father, Tom, plans to use some of his wealth to modernize and improve Kaneq, opening up the island for tourism. This, and the fact that Tom seems to have a keen eye for his wife, Cora, only enrages Ernt Allbright more. Ernt directs his hatred and anger toward the Walkers and anything to do with their family, including Matthew, of course. Though her father forbids Leni from seeing Matthew, Leni grows closer and closer with him, finding in him a first best friend and first love all at the same time.

For Leni, the dangers outside of the cabin and in the wilderness are much less than those she faces in her own home. As the years pass and Leni grows up, she and her mother are both terrified to stay, and terrified to leave, knowing that Ernt will track them down no matter what. Now, at the age of 18 and graduating from high school, Leni dreams of going to college with Matthew and studying photography. However, her father forbids her from leaving Kaneq, in his mad fury to control each and every move she and her mother make. He even goes as far as to build a wall, locking the family on their property and locking everyone else out. A horrific tragedy strikes as Leni is finally able to make an escape, and what happens after will keep readers on the edge of their seats through a roller-coaster of fear, guilt, regret, love, and longing.

Hannah’s description of the land and stark beauty of Alaska are breathtaking. The author’s notes explain that Hannah’s own father ended up in Alaska in search of great adventure, and they have all “fallen in love with the Last Frontier.” Her experience with Alaska is evident in the atmospheric scenes throughout the novel. The writing is raw and real. Readers will feel the naked fear and loneliness of Leni and Cora as they struggle to survive in the great alone of Alaska, trapped in a family crisis with no easy way out. I couldn’t put this book down, much like my experience with all of Hannah’s novels. The fact that the setting for this novel was very personal for Hannah made it even more enjoyable for me as the reader. I would highly recommend The Great Alone to anyone who enjoys adventure, suspense, romance, and coming-of-age novels, because this one has it all.

Thank you to St. Martin’s Press for the review copy of this title.

 

Behind Closed Doors by B.A. Paris

9781250121004_9c076.jpgBehind Closed Doors is set for a release date of August 9, 2016 by Macmillan. Previously released in the UK, it was an instant bestseller. After binge reading it all in one evening, I can certainly understand why!

Jack and Grace are the perfect newlywed couple. He’s a gorgeous, wealthy, high-profile attorney who stands up for battered women. She’s the picture of charm and elegance, always right beside her husband, eager to please his every request. Others envy their perfect, loving relationship. They often entertain in their state-of-the-art mansion with enchanting meals and wine. The neighbor ladies and other wives of the law firm would like to get to know Grace better, but find it almost impossible. She never leaves her husband’s side, and always cancels lunch dates with the girls.

If their marriage and life are so perfect, why doesn’t Grace ever answer the phone? And why has she never made one of the lunch dates, other than one Jack escorted her to, of course. The other wives wonder how Grace can eat so much during the dinner parties, but remain so frail and thin. Do they really have the perfect marriage, or are they living in a perfect lie? Will someone look closer at their relationship before it’s too late?

This is one of the most terrifying books that I’ve ever read. I had goosebumps while reading the last page. Upon finishing, I found myself thinking back to when Grace met Jack and fell in love with him. It’s unsettling to see how easily one can be charmed into such terrifying situations. Read this and I promise you’ll love it. It blows Gone Girl out of the water, in terms of plot and thrill factor. I promise you’ve never read a psychological thriller like this one before. Major kudos to B.A. Paris for a brilliant debut!

Truly, Madly, Guilty by Liane Moriarty

9781250069795_0272eTruly, Madly, Guilty will be released on July 26, 2016.

This is a story of a simple backyard cookout between three families, neighbors and friends, – 6 adults, 3 children, and dog. What could possibly go wrong? From the very beginning of the story, it’s clear to the reader that something very bad happened at the party, but the reader doesn’t find out exactly what happened until close to the end of the book. The backstory and the events leading up to the “bad thing” unfolds through the perspective of three very different women – Erika, Clementine, and Tiffany.

Erika is a younger, happily married woman who came from a less than stellar childhood, but thanks to her best friend Clementine, she made it to adulthood. Erika and her husband, Oliver, love children and adore Clementine’s girls. Erika has a secret, though, and when it is discovered, her relationship with Clementine starts to fizzle.

Clementine is a cellist, wife to Sam, and a mother of two girls. She feels pressure from her job and an upcoming major audition that she really wants to nail, but also from every day interactions as a mother and wife during a very busy/hectic time. Ever since the “bad thing” that occurred, her marriage has become less than stable and is threatening to crumble.

Erika’s neighbor, Tiffany, is what I would picture as a desperate housewife. A former dancer with a body that would stop traffic, Tiffany is married to Vid and his larger-than-life personality. They have a teenage daughter, a huge estate, and enviable lifestyle (at least from the outside looking in.)

The story begins two months after the devastating event which caused a ripple effect for these three women and their families. Clementine and Erika are asking themselves, What is we hadn’t gone? while Tiffany and Vid try to live with a crushing guilt, reliving the moment over and over and wondering how it could have been prevented.  

This book had me intrigued from the very first chapter. I had guessed a few scenarios of what I thought had happened at the cookout, but I was wrong. When the whole story of what happened was revealed, I felt much differently about the characters. In the beginning I judged them for their actions, but when I found out what they had been going through for two months, I realized that I was way off base. This story serves as a great reminder to all that it only takes a second for something tragic to happen, even in the most innocent of moments.

I would highly recommend this book, as with all of Liane Moriarty’s books. She has a knack for hooking the reader and taking them on a wild ride, twisting and turning frequently before coming to a lurching stop at the truth.

Falling by Jane Green

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Falling will be released on July 19, 2016 by Penguin Publishing Group. I’ve been a fan of Jane Green’s quick witted humor and true-to-life family drama ever since reading one of her early novels, Jemima J. Falling is sure to be a summer hit, and a great beach read.

This story was engaging, romantic, and enjoyable. I loved the characters, because they felt so real. Both Dominic and Emma have had their share of stress from family and work life. Emma meets Dominic when she moves from the hustle of New York to quaint Westport, Connecticut and rents a house from him. Convenient for her, Dominic’s house is right next door. As Emma starts fresh, exploring her passion for interior decorating and enjoying a slower pace of daily life, she gets to know Dominic and his young son. She finally starts to feel at home, a feeling she has never really felt before, not even while she was growing up in a well-to-do British home. Dominic is a great father and faithful friend. He falls hard for Emma. But, this isn’t your average love story where the ending is tied up in a neat little bow. The story is both touching and tragic. Even so, you won’t be disappointed.

I was taken aback by the twist of fate near the end of the story. It goes to show that one truly never knows how many days they have to spend with another person, which is all the more reason to cherish each and every moment spent together.