Tag Archives: happy ending

Review: A Girl’s Guide to Moving On by Debbie Macomber

4 1/2 Stars

Thank you to NetGalley and the Publishers for the chance to read this book.

Nichole and Leanne are an unlikely duo.  Leanne is Nichole’s mother-in-law and now they have both left their troubled marriages and have taken up apartments in Portland near each other.  They are each other’s support and they have created a set of rules to live by in order to get their lives back.  They are now taking care of themselves, something that they lost along the way during their now broken marriages.

Nichole was married to Jake, Leanne’s son.  When she finds out that he was cheating on her and got another woman pregnant, she showed amazing strength and left him and served him with divorce papers.  Leanne drew strength from Nichole and finally got up the courage to leave Sean and their marriage of nearly 35 years.  For decades she had been quietly ignoring his cheating and indiscretions, but  in watching her son follow the same pattern as his father, she has finally had enough and walks out and starts a new life.

It is now two years since they left their respective husbands.  Jake has been dragging his feet and is finally ready to finalize the divorce.  Nichole gets this news and promptly backs her car into a ditch.  She meets Rocco, a local tow-truck owner who drags her car out of the ditch and through a series of events that were both comical and endearing, they begin a friendship that could definitely move into something more.  Rocco is the opposite of the white-collar Jake but maybe this is just what Nichole needs.

Leanne has started volunteering to teach an English as a second language class in the evenings.  This is where she meets Nikolai, a very talented baker from the Ukraine.  He soon becomes her favorite student and is taken to walking her to her car every evening and baking her bread.  He slowly begins to show her that she is lovable and desirable.  That her ex-husband was a fool.

While this is definitely part of the happy endings club of books, you really wonder through the majority of the book if this will ever happen or if this will be one of those books that defies the odds and doesn’t give the characters a happier ending.  There are more than a few tear-jerker moments and I definitely gasped out loud a few times.  It’s not all sunshine and roses for these ladies and the men in their lives.  There are plenty of conflicts and tragedies that wind their way through this story.  This is definitely not your typical romance novel and I was very pleasantly surprised by this.  It was a very engaging story and I found myself blazing through it, unable to put it down.

I loved all of the characters, even Jake and Sean.  They had an authenticity to them that you couldn’t deny.  While this isn’t my typical genre, I would definitely recommend this to anyone who likes a good romance novel with a great ending.  Authentic characters and a story that doesn’t require you to suspend belief.  This is a story that could probably happen to any of us and probably echoes some of our own marriages and struggles.  I am definitely a fan of this book and will most likely be looking into other books by the author if they are anything like A Girl’s Guide to Moving On.


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Review: The Forbidden Billionaire by J. S. Scott

3 Stars…maybe…

Caveat:  This is Book 2 in the Sinclairs.  I have read, but did not review the first book in the series No Ordinary Billionaire.  In order to really get the whole picture, you’ll want to read the books in order.  You can almost read this book as a stand alone, but there are pieces to the backstory that are only made clear by reading the first book.

Review: I grudgingly gave this book 3 stars.  It wasn’t terrible, but it really wasn’t that good either.  But I also couldn’t put it down, so I felt I had to put that extra star in there just for keeping me sucked into the story.  What really surprised me though was the fact that a supporting character drew me in far more than the two lead characters and I’m really looking forward to getting to know Evan better.  Even as a supporting character, he really stands out.

This book focuses on Jared Sinclair and Mara Ross.  He is part of the incredibly wealthy and, as chance would have it, sinfully good looking Sinclair clan.  He is an architect by trade, he has a love of old homes and architecture in general.  He gave up the dream of restoring old homes due to a long ago betrayal and went into the real estate business and added to his riches.  It’s not what he wants to do, but he feels like it’s what he has to do.  It hurts too much to look at the past and the misplaced guilt of what happened after he was betrayed by the people who he should have been able to trust most.  He’s back home in small town Amesport for his brother’s wedding and this is where he meets Mara, the local doll-shop owner.

Mara is not your typical femme fatale.  She’s a little too curvy and has absolutely no self-esteem.  She meets Jared during a particularly low time in her life.  She’s a small shop owner who lives above her shop in a very old home.  That home is being sold by the owner and she’s being evicted.  Her doll shop has been passed down from her grandmother to her mother and now to her.  She’s not making any money and what money she does make by selling jam, sauces and taffy at the local farmer’s market, goes right back into keeping herself alive.

Jared arrives with a business plan and a way to keep everyone happy.  He will put up the capital to get her up and running and selling her consumables full-time.  Mixing business and pleasure.  They feel an instant and overwhelming attraction to one another.  They try to keep business and personal life separate, but that doesn’t exactly work out as well as they’d like.

There were a few turn-offs for me in this book.  The language was overly vulgar.  I’m in no way a prude, trust me on this.  But there really is such a think as using the “F” word too much.  There were many times where I thought to myself “if a guy actually talked to me like this, I’d probably slap him across the face and walk away.” but all it does is make Mara hot.  And that’s another thing.  Mara has absolutely NO self-esteem.  She has nothing good to say about herself, ever.  She’s about as interesting as a wet noodle.  She gets a little better as the book goes on, but she really is annoying.  Give the girl a backbone!

I didn’t hate it, I didn’t love it.  But if you’re looking for a feel-good story with animal attraction, some sex and a glimpse into the ridiculously wealthy…give this one a try.  Be warned, there is quite a bit of vulgar language and the sex scenes are fairly graphic, but not obscenely so.

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