Saturday, December 22, 2012

Third Time’s the Charm by Heather B. Moore

Liz, Gemma, Arie, Jess, and Drew have been best friends since creating “the Five” at Aliso Creek High School. But that was over ten years ago, and each is still trying to find that perfect someone . . . if perfect is even possible.

In fact, Liz Carlson will settle for a normal man. A normal man with a job, that is. Married twice, then divorced twice, Liz had her rose-colored glasses fall off and shatter on the ground a long time ago. Her main focus now is raising her six-year-old daughter and surviving long days at work on her feet as a hairdresser. When Sloane Branden answers her call for help, quite literally, Liz doesn’t even give him a second glance. She has sworn off dating for as many years as it takes, and it seems that Sloane has done the same after his own tumultuous marriage. But when Liz realizes that Sloane defies every stereotypical deadbeat she has dated, she might just find room in her heart and discover the third time’s the charm.

There’s something so refreshing about a novella or a short story, especially when it’s a romance, and you find yourself whisked away and falling in love along with the heroine in an hour or so.
I am a huge fan of Heather Moore. She has such a way of making a reader instantly connect with her characters, and this story was no exception. Liz isn’t your typical heroine, in fact, she’s got some serious baggage—two ex-husbands and a daughter, add a dash of fear of commitment and here’s a girl I was rooting for from the get-go.
Sloane is her land lord, and he has a whole lot of his own junk to sift through, and that’s what I loved so much about this story. The two of them realize that they will each have to overlook and sacrifice in order to be together, and it is so satisfying to see two real people have a believable, but no less special relationship, and experience their heartache and anxiety with them, and then cheer them on in the end.

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Athena by Heather Moore

Athena (The Newport Ladies Book Club #4)

 Athena is a self-proclaimed bachelorette—it’s better that way—no one gets hurt. But when tragedy strikes, Athena realizes friendship and love is the only way she can pull through, and she must, for the first time in her life, risk opening her heart.

Athena is the fourth book in the Newport Ladies Bookclub series. If you are familiar with these books, you know that they are each stand alone novels that follow a group of women who have met at a book club.

Athena is the president of her own company. She is in her thirties, and has a comfortable, casual dating relationship with Karl. But when he wants their relationship to become more serious, she ends it and resigns herself to the fact that she is just not the right kind of girl for married life. She doesn't need anyone, and after watching the way her father dictated her mother's life, she is skittish about letting anyone close to her.

That was until she met Grey and started thinking that he was somebody she could get serious with. Grey is a sensitive character without being whiny or lame. I connected with him right away, and I also loved that he isn't perfect. He is a great romantic lead, because he's struggling with the idea of being close to someone just as much as Athena is.

When her mother dies, Athena finds herself relying on Grey to help her through not only her mourning, but the trials and complicated feelings of caring for her father. 

I loved Athena. The characters were so complex and dealt with their realistic problems in a realistic way. It is beautifully written with a wonderful story, and by the end, I felt that the characters had changed and grown, and it was satisfying as far as character arc. There were parts where I teared up, and also places where I laughed out loud.

You can read more about the series:

Friday, September 28, 2012


Last week, I lost a friend. But the truth is, I lost her a long time ago. You see, we hadn't been close for years, and although there was a time that we were together more than we were apart, our lives went in different directions after High School. Now I find myself aching for someone that hasn't been part of my life for over a decade.

I miss her.

I miss our elaborate plans to ditch school. I miss sitting in crappy restaurants laughing our heads off in the middle of the night. I miss watching sad movies that made us cry. I miss cruising State Street and sitting at the light pretending to get into screaming fights and laughing at the reactions in the cars around us. I miss singing to Grease and Springsteen. I miss yelling "New Kids Rule!" I miss sitting on the floor in my room talking and giggling and eating chocolate.  I miss our starry-eyed plans to be rich and famous and amazing.

I hate that I have hardly any pictures of us. We didn't have cell phones, and who would bother with a camera? Besides, the stupid stuff we did together didn't seem noteworthy enough to document, and more likely than not, we didn't want any evidence for our parents to see.

I hate that I never told her how much she meant to me. How as a teenager, she made me feel cool when I was awkward, and loved when I was insecure.

I hate that it's too late to tell her now.

I hate that I was too lazy, or too proud, or too indifferent to send her a message on Facebook. I hate that I just thought that too much time had passed, and if she was interested, she would be the one to reconnect with me. I hate that she was suffering and desperate and alone, and I wasn't there to help her. I hate that there are four kids feeling guilty and hollow and wondering what happened to their mom.

I love that I have memories. I love that I have a heart on my ankle that will always remind me of a crazy night in a tattoo parlor. I love that she gave me my first bottle of grown-up perfume. I love that I can almost remember her giggly laugh if I try hard enough. I love that I still have her packet of bobby-pins that she made me promise to return after graduation, but I just hadn't gotten around to it. I love that she was part of my life and that she saw in me something special, and that we connected.

I love that she is at peace now.

Wednesday, August 22, 2012


Well, I read Variant on the plane flying back from Dubai, and I couldn't put it down. If you've read it, you know why. Then, since the end has such a big reveal, (no spoilers here) I read it again!!
So, now the sequel, FEEDBACK is coming out in just one month, but I don't want to wait. So, as an entry to the contest, I am blogging, and I plead with Rob Wells to pleeeaaasseee pick my name out of the hat.

Monday, August 20, 2012


Here's the blurb:
After a bitter divorce from her unfaithful husband, Paige moves from Utah to California with her two little boys and vows to make a fresh start. She finds a job at a dental practice that helps her get back on her feet, but it’s the friends she makes at her new book club who help her realize how strong she is and who give her support to carry on as she faces the challenges of being a single mom. She also meets Derryl, a wonderful, kind, attentive man who treats her right—something her ex never did. Yet, Paige struggles to figure out who she is as a woman rather than a wife, how to help her boys adjust to a broken home, and whether she can ever trust a man or love again. As Paige leans on the book club ladies and Derryl’s ever-present care, one thing becomes clear: healing from the past requires more than a change of address.
Paige was a little tough to read—we all know a single mom that we watch struggle with the challenges of money and time and guilt. For me, it’s my little sister. I thought Annette Lyon approached this topic bravely and compassionately, and I really enjoyed watching Paige grow and find herself—being able to identify herself as a person instead of through a man. She faces some pretty tough choices, and handles them gracefully, although they were often painful. The place she found strength was through the women in her book club, and as I’ve read through the series, I have been so impressed by the way the women affect each others’ lives. My favorite thing about the series is seeing the women from each others’ different perspectives, and then finding out the truth about them. We all judge and compare ourselves to other women, and no matter how different we are, there is always something that we can learn or a way that we can grow by our associations with other ladies in our lives.

Paige is in places funny, and in others, heart breaking, but overall, I loved it, and I came away feeling uplifted.