Review: Stolen Beauty by Laurie Lico Albanese

What are the odds that the first few books that I’ve reviewed this month have all been so good? That rarely happens to me but for some reason the stars have aligned and this month has been a fantastic kick off to the new year book-wise!

The last few novels have all been set during war time and I love love love the drama and romance that comes from a war era novel. This novel was full of beautiful language and writing.

From the dawn of the twentieth century to the devastation of World War II, this exhilarating novel of love, war, art, and family gives voice to two extraordinary women and brings to life the true story behind the creation and near destruction of Gustav Klimt’s most remarkable paintings.

In the dazzling glitter of 1903 Vienna, Adele Bloch-Bauer—young, beautiful, brilliant, and Jewish—meets painter Gustav Klimt.

Wealthy in everything but freedom, Adele embraces Klimt’s renegade genius as the two awaken to the erotic possibilities on the canvas and beyond.

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Review: The Fire by Night by Teresa Messineo

2017 has started off as a very good year for me when it comes to reading choices! This book, THE FIRE BY NIGHT, sounded so full of potential and interesting that I couldn’t pass it up.

This is the story of two nurses who meet during WWII.

In war-torn France, Jo McMahon, an Italian-Irish girl from the tenements of Brooklyn, tends to six seriously wounded soldiers in a makeshift medical unit.

Enemy bombs have destroyed her hospital convoy, and now Jo single-handedly struggles to keep her patients and herself alive in a cramped and freezing tent close to German troops.

There is a growing tenderness between her and one of her patients, a Scottish officer, but Jo’s heart is seared by the pain of all she has lost and seen. Nearing her breaking point, she fights to hold on to joyful memories of the past, especially the times she spent with her best friend, Kay.

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Review: Small Admissions by Amy Poeppel

Hello 2017! Even though I read this book in 2016, it’s my first official book review of 2017 and I couldn’t be happier with this new year kick off!

Kate Pearson has turned into a major slacker. Even though she’s graduated at the top of her class from college and things seem positive in her life, everything takes a turn for the worst.

She was unceremoniously dumped by her “almost fiancé” she abandons her grad school plans and instead spends her days lolling on the couch, watching reruns of Sex and the City, and leaving her apartment only when a dog-walking gig demands it.

Her friends don’t know what to do other than pass tissues and hope for a comeback, while her practical sister, Angela, pushes every remedy she can think of, from trapeze class to therapy to job interviews.

Basically Kate is lost and has no idea what to do with her life. Then suddenly a job at the prestigious Hudson Day School lands in her lap and a whole new world opens for her.

Through every dishy, page-turning twist, it seems that one person’s happiness leads to another’s misfortune, and suddenly everyone, including Kate, is looking for a way to turn rejection on its head, using any means necessary—including the truly unexpected.

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Review: Paris for One and Other Stories by Jojo Moyes

When it comes to romance, there are few better than Jojo Moyes. Her stories are always so full of emotion and heart.

Over the years I have read quite a few of her novels and each novel is unique and I always have a hard time putting them down. The main characters are always interesting, well drawn women and the romance elements are tenderhearted and emotionally charged.

I don’t read a lot of short stories or collections of stories as I prefer a fully developed novel where I can focus on one character but because Moyes novels are always so enjoyable, I thought I would give this one a go.

Initially I didn’t know that this was a collection of stories because the first story, Paris for One, was actually more of a novella in length while the others were more like short stories.  Each of the women in the stories were memorable, interesting, and unique. I especially liked that one of the stories had a Christmas theme to it…..this time of year I love Christmas romances so I really enjoyed that one.

The title story, Paris for One, is about Nell, a twenty-six year old who has never been to Paris. She’s never even been on a romantic weekend away to anywhere before. Everyone knows travelling abroad isn’t really her thing. But when Nell’s boyfriend fails to show up for their romantic mini-vacation, she has the opportunity to prove everyone including herself wrong.

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Review: Christmas in Paris by Anita Hughes

Isabel had made a huge decision to call off her wedding one week before the nuptials. Career minded and independent, the thought of giving up her lucrative career in finance for life on a farm is unprecedented.

She does the only sensible thing….calling it off as she knows she won’t be happy. Her ex-fiance suggests that she take their honeymoon tickets to Paris to clear her head and figure out where her life is going.

As she stand on the balcony of the elite Hotel Crillon, admiring the city of lights, she realizes she is locked out on her terrace.

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