Review: Class Mom

Class Mom Book Review
Title: Class Mom
Author: Laurie Gelman
Publisher: Henry Holt
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Genre: Fiction | Chick-Lit | Contemporary Women

About Class Mom: Jen Dixon is not your typical Kansas City kindergarten class mom—or mom in general. Jen already has two college-age daughters by two different (probably) musicians, and it’s her second time around the class mom block with five-year-old Max—this time with a husband and father by her side. Though her best friend and PTA President sees her as the “wisest” candidate for the job (or oldest), not all of the other parents agree.

From recording parents’ response times to her emails about helping in the classroom, to requesting contributions of “special” brownies for curriculum night, not all of Jen’s methods win approval from the other moms. Throw in an old flame from Jen’s past, a hyper-sensitive “allergy mom,” a surprisingly sexy kindergarten teacher, and an impossible-to-please Real Housewife-wannabe, causing problems at every turn, and the job really becomes much more than she signed up for.

Review: Meet Jen Dixon. She’s one part snarky, one part plain-spoken, and she’s the kindergarten class mom who has been around this block before. I devoured this audiobook, read by the author, which is the best audio delivery, in two days!  I was so thoroughly entertained and humoured – this book was just what I needed after reading so many serious and heavier reads lately.

Jen’s take no prisoners approach to being class mom had me rolling from the get-go. I absorbed her emails to the parents and teacher. And I’m fairly certain all of us school mother’s have known a Jen at some point, which is why this story is so relatable.

The book is in no way deep but as the story unfolds Jen becomes more than the snarky class mom. She has a heart of gold and is a little misunderstood, a lot more experienced, and probably a tad bit fed up.

This was a really great read (or listen!) and I highly recommend it if you need a dose of laugh out loud hilarity.


Review: Sweet Little Lies

Sweet Little Lies by Jill Shalvis
Sweet Little Lies | Book 1 Heartbreaker Bay Series
Author: Jill Shalvis
Publisher: Avon Books
Publication Date: June 28, 2016
Genre: Fiction | Romance | Contemporary

About Sweet Little Lies: Choose the one guy you can’t have . . .
As captain of a San Francisco Bay tour boat, Pru can handle rough seas—the hard part is life on dry land. Pru loves her new apartment and her neighbors; problem is, she’s in danger of stumbling into love with Mr. Right for Anybody But Her.
Fall for him—hard . . .
Pub owner Finn O’Riley is six-foot-plus of hard-working hottie who always makes time for his friends. When Pru becomes one of them, she discovers how amazing it feels to be on the receiving end of that deep green gaze. But when a freak accident involving darts (don’t ask) leads to shirtless first aid, things rush way past the friend zone. Fast.
And then tell him the truth.
Pru only wants Finn to be happy; it’s what she wishes for at the historic fountain that’s supposed to grant her heart’s desire. But wanting him for herself is a different story—because Pru’s been keeping a secret that could change everything. . . .

Review: Whoa, reader be warned, Sweet Little Lies is S-T-E-A-M-Y in every good way possible! I needed time to catch my breath and fan my hot, flushed face before writing this review.

The first book in Shalvis’ Heartbreaker Bay Series, gorgeous Pru is making wishes at the historic fountain in her courtyard for sexy Finn to find true love with anyone but herself. Pru is no good for Finn – she’s holding onto a secret that is sure to drive him the opposite direction. The two are perfect for each other and everyone knows it but Finn is a work-a-holic tending to O’Riley’s, the pub he runs with his brother and Pru can’t bear the thought of hurting Finn and keeps him at arms distance.  Or at least she tries to but when an ultra sexy couple are meant to be together there’s no denying sparks are going to fly.

Sweet Little Lies is every bit charming, romantic and oh so sizzling hot! Shalvis’ books have fast become the palette cleansers I need in between heavier reads. Add this one to your reading list!

The Heartbreaker Bay Series – Each book is a standalone
Sweet Little Lies
The Trouble with Mistletoe
One Snowy Night
Accidentally on Purpose
Chasing Christmas Eve
Holiday Wishes
About that Kiss
Slow Winter Nights

Book Review: Winter Solstice

583C7859-A42D-4F9D-B4C9-D19C6B7A34BCTitle: Winter Solstice
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date:  October 3, 2017
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

From Little, Brown: It’s been too long since the entire Quinn family has been able to celebrate the holidays under the same roof, but that’s about to change. With Bart back safe and sound from Afghanistan, the Quinns are preparing for a holiday more joyous than any they’ve experienced in years. And Bart’s safe return isn’t the family’s only good news: Kevin is enjoying married life with Isabelle; Patrick is getting back on his feet after paying his debt to society; Ava thinks she’s finally found the love of her life; and Kelly is thrilled to see his family reunited at last. But it just wouldn’t be a Quinn family gathering if things went smoothly. A celebration of everything we love–and some of the things we endure–about the holidays, WINTER SOLSTICE is Elin Hilderbrand at her festive best.

My Review: THE END…You guys, I just turned the last page of WINTER SOLSTICE and the tears are flowing. I am filled with extraordinary happiness and sadness as I wrap up the Winter Street Series. The Quinn’s are full of drama (a lot of drama), life, love and everything that is good and charming.
My favourite character is Margaret Quinn, the quintessential matriarch who is wise, strong, beautiful, well respected, and problem solver. She is the glue that holds the Quinn family together!
Please, please read this series in order or you will rob yourself of the amazing detail and nuances each character brings to this series. There is so much growth between the first book and the last book.
Elin Hilderbrand’s writing is magical! This series captivated me from the first chapter of WINTER STREET and I voraciously read all four books. I cannot wait for Elin’s next series in 2018!

Book Review: Winter Storms

79B3DCEB-3EFA-4A6F-8261-D2E5B1D5A0BDTitle: Winter Storms
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: October 4, 2016
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

From Little, Brown: Some of the stormy weather of the past few seasons seems to have finally lifted for the Quinns. After a year apart, and an ill-fated affair with the Winter Street Inn’s old Santa Claus, Mitzi has returned to rule the roost; Patrick is about to be released from prison; Kevin has a successful new business and is finally ready to tie the knot with Isabelle; and best of all, there’s hopeful news about Bart, who has been captured by enemy forces in Afghanistan.

That doesn’t mean there aren’t a few dark clouds on the horizon. Kelley has recently survived a health scare; Jennifer can’t quite shake her addiction to the drugs she used as a crutch while Patrick was in jail; and Ava still can’t decide between the two lovers that she’s been juggling with limited success. However, if there’s one holiday that brings the Quinn family together to give thanks for the good times, it’s Christmas. And this year promises to be a celebration unlike any other as the Quinns prepare to host Kevin and Isabelle’s wedding at the inn. But as the special day approaches, a historic once-in-a-century blizzard bears down on Nantucket, threatening to keep the Quinns away from the place–and the people–they love most. Before the snow clears, the Quinns will have to survive enough upheavals to send anyone running for the spiked eggnog, in this touching novel that proves that when the holidays roll around, you can always go home again.

My Review: The Winter Series just gets better with each book and my love for the Quinn’s continues to grow. WINTER STORMS picks up in the spring and I so loved that this book takes us thru the other seasons with the beloved Quinn’s before ending on Christmas Eve. My heartstrings were tugged on more than one occasion with the news of Kelley’s health and Bart’s return to Nantucket – the whole clan is reunited!

I absolutely adore Ava and the gorgeous lineup of men at her feet as she struggles to find herself and fall in love with Mr. Right. And her mother, Margaret, the captivating CBS evening new anchor who is stunning, intelligent, and devoted to her family. I could go on and on about every character in this book because they each bring a little bit of magic to the story. The Quinn’s really are the whole package and I’m both excited and sad for the final book in this series.

Book Review: Winter Stroll

CD1E176F-2779-435A-8C64-87ADD940344CTitle: Winter Stroll
Author: Elin Hilderbrand
Publisher: Little, Brown
Publication Date: October 13, 2015
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️

From Little, Brown: Another Christmas on Nantucket finds Winter Street Inn owner Kelley Quinn reflecting on the past year as he writes a holiday letter to friends and family. Though the year has had its share of misfortune and worry, the Quinns have much to celebrate. Kelley, now single, at least is on better terms with his first wife Margaret, who is using her celebrity to lure customers to the inn in record numbers. Their son Kevin has a beautiful new baby, Genevieve, with the Inn’s French housekeeper, Isabelle; and their daughter, Ava, is finally dating a nice guy–her devoted colleague, Scott.

Now the Quinns are looking forward to celebrating Genevieve’s baptism, welcoming Isabelle to the family, and enjoying the cheer of Nantucket’s traditional Christmas Stroll. But just when a peaceful family gathering seems within reach, Kelley’s estranged second wife, Mitzi, shows up on the island after souring on her relationship with the inn’s former Santa Claus. Soon Kelley isn’t the only Quinn entertaining a surprise guest from Christmases past as lovers old and new gather beneath the mistletoe. With jealousy, passion, and eggnog consumption at an all-time high, it’s going to take a whole lot more than a Christmas miracle to get the Quinns–and the inn–through the holidays intact.

My Review: I have fallen further in love with the Quinn family and all the charm and drama they exude. This series is cozy and heartwarming and everything I want in a holiday book.

A year has passed and big changes happened; Mitzi and Kelley are back together, Patrick is serving his sentence for insider trading in a minimum security prison, Ava dumped Nathaniel and is dating Scott, Kevin & Isabelle are engaged and proud parents of baby Genevieve, and Margaret & Drake are engaged. The ending is a cliffhanger (is Bart alive?) and I’m starting the third instalment right now because I have to know what happens next.

The theatrics keep unfolding and drawing me in! I cannot get enough of the Quinn’s. I never want this series to end.

Book Review: Mrs. Saint and the Defectives

A3227419-62F0-4C81-B27F-3E726CEDB0C2Title: Mrs. Saint and the Defectives
Author: Julie Lawson Timmer
Publisher: Lake Union Publishing
Publication Date: August 1, 2017
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫

From Lake Union: Markie, a fortysomething divorcée who has suffered a humiliating and very public fall from marital, financial, and professional grace, moves, along with her teenage son, Jesse, to a new town, hoping to lick her wounds in private. But Markie and Jesse are unable to escape the attention of their new neighbor Mrs. Saint, an irascible, elderly New European woman who takes it upon herself, along with her ragtag group of “defectives,” to identify and fix the flaws in those around her, whether they want her to or not.

What Markie doesn’t realize is that Mrs. Saint has big plans for the divorcée’s broken spirit. Soon, the quirky yet endearing woman recruits Markie to join her eccentric community, a world where both hidden truths and hope unite them. But when Mrs. Saint’s own secrets threaten to unravel their fragile web of healing, it’s up to Markie to mend these wounds and usher in a new era for the “defectives”—one full of second chances and happiness.

My Review: MRS. SAINT AND THE DEFECTIVES is brimming with charm and new beginnings.

Markie is starting over after the collapse of her marriage, finances and career. She and her son Jesse move 40 miles away where no one knows them and assures herself they are in their rental 6 months tops. When meddling neighbour (and I mean this in the most loving way possible!) Mrs. Saint keeps popping into Markie’s business she is more sure than ever they are not staying a day past their lease term. But Mrs. Saint has a gift, she helps people overcome their flaws – gives them another shot if you will.

It isn’t until a tragic event unfolds that Markie recognizes Mrs. Saint and her Defectives are more than just sharing a home, they are a family who look out for one another. And Mrs. Saint’s generosity brings Markie full circle with her own family and the new one she’s become part of.

Book Review: Why Mummy Drinks

IMG_0902Title: Why Mummy Drinks
Author: Gill Sims
Publisher: Harper Collins
Publication Date: October 19, 2017
Rating: ⭐️⭐️⭐️💫 / 5

From Harper Collins: It is Mummy’s 39th birthday. She is staring down the barrel of a future of people asking if she wants to come to their advanced yoga classes, and polite book clubs where everyone claims to be tiddly after a glass of Pinot Grigio and says things like ‘Oooh gosh, are you having another glass?’
But Mummy does not want to go quietly into that good night of women with sensible haircuts who ‘live for their children’ and stand in the playground trying to trump each other with their offspring’s extracurricular activities and achievements, and boasting about their latest holidays.
Instead, she clutches a large glass of wine, muttering ‘FML’ over and over again. Until she remembers the gem of an idea she’s had…

Thank you to Harper Collins Canada for this free arc in exchange for my honest review.

My Review: Mom’s who feel undervalued, overworked and spread thin will love and relate to WHY MUMMY DRINKS, a laugh out loud story about an exhausted mom who loves her husband and her children dearly but needs a drink (or two) to see her through.

Ellen is like so many mom’s out there. She’s taken a lesser profile job to cut childcare costs and be available for her children. She dreams about what a perfect day looks like – breakfast made to order for her beloved Peter and Jane, dishes done, house tidy and a delicious dinner put into the slow cooker. But, instead her day goes like this: oversleep, throw cereal in front of children for breakfast, rush out the door dragging the kids and dog to school, argue with kids after school about everything and realize you forgot to turn on the slow cooker at 5:30pm. Drink wine.

There were so many laugh out loud moments but one is most memorable for me. Ellen’s husband Simon’s off-the-grid, hippy sister announces her family will drive down for Christmas and crash with Ellen and Simon. It will be lovely for her six children to visit their cousins! Over the span of their visit Ellen will endure Louisa (Amaris – her goddess name) breastfeeding all six of her children, two of the children won’t use the toilet, one uses the floor and the other the garden and Amaris whipping up the nastiest smoothie (trust me on this one!) that her husband Bardo contributes to. Oh and Ellen’s self absorbed sister invites her family too and fusses over bringing Christmas pudding. But it wouldn’t be Christmas without your dearest friends so Ellen invites her besties, Sam and Hannah – the more the merrier!

This is a light-hearted and humorous take on everyday life as a mom and wife. There are high moments and low moments but after every moment it seems there’s always room for a drink.