BeachReads · Book Reviews · Fiction · Romance · RomCom · WomensFiction

Book Review, chocolate cake, peppermint hot chocolate and snow flurries!

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We made it to November, folks! Thank you @avonbooks for my gift copy of ‘Tools of Engagement’ by Tessa Bailey! (pub 9/22)

In Tessa Bailey’s latest rom-com, two enemies team up to flip a house… and the sparks between them might burn the place down or ignite a passion that neither can ignore! 

Hair, makeup, clothing, decor… everything in Bethany Castle’s world is organized, planned, and styled to perfection. Which is why the homes she designs for her family’s real estate business are the most coveted in town. The only thing not perfect? Her track record with men. She’s on a dating hiatus and after helping her friends achieve theirdreams, Bethany finally has time to focus on her own: flip a house, from framework to furnishings, all by herself. Except her older brother runs the company and refuses to take her seriously.

When a television producer gets wind of the Castle sibling rivalry, they’re invited on Flip Off, a competition to see who can do the best renovation. Bethany wants bragging rights, but she needs a crew and the only member of her brother’s construction team willing to jump ship is Wes Daniels, the new guy in town. His Texas drawl and handsome face got under Bethany’s skin on day one, and the last thing she needs is some cocky young cowboy in her way.

As the race to renovate heats up, Wes and Bethany are forced into close quarters, trading barbs and biting banter as they remodel the ugliest house on the block. It’s a labor of love, hate, and everything in between, and soon sparks are flying. But Bethany’s perfectly structured life is one kiss away from going up in smoke and she knows falling for a guy like Wes would be a flippingdisaster.

So, I wanted to use my cute, little pink tool bag in my pics, but then I remembered I gave it to my daughter when she moved out, so heads up, Santa…mama needs a new, pink tool bag set! Instead in my pic you get a peak at my home office along w/ my lunch of homemade sugar-free, gluten-free chocolate cake & hot cocoa.

About the book, first off, can I just say how much I love the name of the fiction competition show: ‘Flip Off’. ‘Tools of Engagement’ is Bailey’s 3rd book in her Hot & Hammered series, but it can be read as a stand-alone. The book is flipping hilarious w/ it’s witty banter, but it also is heart-tugging w/ emotions at times, romantic, & swoony, & filled w/ enough blush-worthy steam to warm you up during these chilly Nov days! (We actually are getting our first snowflakes right now as I write this!)

The whole Hot & Hammered series is wonderful, reality escapism at it’s romantic best & I highly recommend them all! Fans of HGTV’s house flipping & remodeling shows will love this latest installment!

Click HERE to add this to your Goodreads list!
Click HERE to add this to your Goodreads list!
Click HERE to add this to your Goodreads lists!

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New York Times bestselling author Tessa Bailey aspires to three things. Writing hot and unforgettable, character-driven romance, being a good mother and eventually sneaking onto the judging panel on a reality show baking competition. She lives on Long Island, New York with her husband and daughter, writing all day and rewarding herself with a cheese plate and Netflix binges in the evening. If you want sexy, heartfelt, humorous romance with a guaranteed happy ending, you’ve come to the right place.

BeachReads · Book Reviews · BOTMs, · Fiction · Giveaway · Romance · WomensFiction

Big Giveaway of ‘Big Summer’ on IG…it’s kind of a BIG deal!

Click HERE to go to the giveaway on IG

Happy Saturday folks! This blog post should have went out yesterday, but sometimes real life just gets in the way of my cyber-life, so as the saying goes, ‘A day late, & a dollar short…’🤷🏼

GIVEAWAY TIME! Thank you @atriabooks @jenniferweinerwrites for my cool gift set, including one of my favorite #beachreads of the year, ‘Big Summer‘!

Monday is Labor Day here in the US, which many people consider the ‘unofficial’ end of summer & in my touristy town off Lake Erie, things really die down after this wkends holiday, which is both good & bad.

Speaking of ‘good’, here’s a perfect summer beach read that was released back in early May…’Big Summer‘. (Oh, & it’s pronounced WHY-ner, not WE-ner like a hotdog. Carry on…)

New York Times #1 Bestselling author Jennifer Weiner returns w/ an unforgettable novel about friendship & forgiveness set during a disastrous wedding on picturesque Cape Cod.

Six years after the fight that ended their friendship, Daphne Berg is shocked when Drue Cavanaugh walks back into her life, looking as lovely & successful as ever, w/ a massive favor to ask. Daphne hasn’t spoken 1 word to Drue in all this time—she doesn’t even hate-follow her ex-best friend on social media—so when Drue asks if she will be her maid-of-honor at the society wedding of the summer, Daphne is rightfully speechless.

Drue was always the one who had everything—except the ability to hold onto friends. Meanwhile, Daphne’s no longer the same self-effacing sidekick she was back in HS. She’s built a life that she loves, including a growing career as a plus-size Instagram influencer. Letting glamorous, seductive Drue back into her life is risky, but it comes with an invitation to spend a weekend in a waterfront Cape Cod mansion. When Drue begs & pleads and dangles the prospect of cute single guys, Daphne finds herself powerless as ever to resist her friend’s siren song.

A sparkling novel about the complexities of female friendship, the pitfalls of living out loud & online, & the resilience of the human heart, ‘Big Summer‘ is a witty, moving story about family, friendship, & figuring out what matters most…(oh, & someone gets murdered, so there’s an intriguing mystery, too!)

I really enjoyed this book! It’s masterfully woven w/ complex characters, atmosphere, suspense, spice & will give you all the feels! This book is so much more nuanced than it’s cute cover & back cover description. The audiobook is really well done as well!

One winner will receive a copy of the book & some fun swag to go w/ it.

(👉🏻Important: Please note that the giveaway takes place on Instagram ONLY. The info in this blog post is for FYI purposes only. Click HERE to go to the giveaway on Instagram.)

To enter: (US residents only, Entry on IG only)
1-LIKE this post. –
2-Must be following @mom_loves_reading & @jenniferweinerwrites
3-Tag some friends (Unlimited, up to 2 per com, ea tag is an entry)
Bonus 5 entries-
Share to your stories or page & tag me. Can do daily.
Giveaway ends 9/7 11:59pm EST & is not affiliated w/ Instagram. Please don’t UNfollow after giveaway which is just so rude & because I hold a grudge like it’s my job, you will get banned from all future MomLovesReading giveaways.

So there ya have it! My BIG ‘Big Summer‘ giveaway sponsored by Atria Publishing. Now I’m just hoping Jenn Weiner SHARES my post on her IG page with her 46.5K followers! (Atria shared it in their stories yesterday with their 85.5K followers.😉👍🏻)

Click HERE to go to the giveaway on Instagram. (& even if you aren’t entering, you can do me a solid & just LIKE and/or SHARE the post. Please & Thank you!)
Click HERE to add ‘Big Summer’ to your Goodreads list.
Click HERE to visit J-Weiner on the IG.

Click HERE to go to giveaway on IG

Here’s what others are saying about ‘Big Summer’:

Sexy and satisfying. . . Observant, self-aware, and very funny, Big Summer will delight Jennifer Weiner’s many fans and could be just the absorbing take-me-away read so many of us need right now.” USA Today

“It’s the beach read to end all beach reads.”—Entertainment Weekly

“Part dissection of female friendships, part murder mystery, part social-media tutorial, part love story and—the best of them all—part portrait of an overweight, under-confident striver. Daphne is an endearing creation: funny, plucky, willing to acknowledge certain critical lapses in judgment and eminently worthy of the love that she is certain will never come her way.” —The Wall Street Journal

“It’s deliciously fun: frothy entertainment with surprising depth.Big Summer is big fun, and then some. It’s empowering and surprising—a reminder to put down the phone and enjoy each moment for what it is, rather than what it could look like on Instagram.” —The Washington Post

“Everything you’d hope to find in a beach read: complicated female friendships, unhappy rich people, a hardworking heroine with an eye for fashion, and an Instagram-worthy setting for an over-the-top wedding on Cape Cod.” —The Philadelphia Inquirer

“Weiner is deft at plumbing the depths of female friendship and developing characters readers will care about. This highly recommended book willappeal not only to the author’s fans but also to a new audience looking for a fresh take on women’s fiction.” —Library Journal (starred)

“Weiner’s story of female friendships (after Mrs. Everything) mixes a splash of romance, a dash of humor, and a pinch of mystery to create a deliciously bloody poolside cocktail. Weiner’s surprising tale is hard to put down.” Publishers Weekly

“If you love Jennifer Weiner, you’ll love this one. And if you’re a newbie, start here.” —Kirkus Reviews (starred)

“The perfect beach read . . . A funny and tender examination of female friendship in all of its messy glory.”—PopSugar

“A new story perfect for summer… Weiner’s lighthearted, moving tale takes readers on a journey that explores the complexities of female friendship.” —The Hollywood Reporter

Jennifer Weiner is the #1 New York Times bestselling author of seventeen books, including Mrs. Everything, the children’s book The Littlest Bigfoot, and an essay collection, Hungry Heart: Adventures in Life, Love, and Writing. A graduate of Princeton University and contributor to the New York Times Opinion section, Jennifer lives with her family in Philadelphia. Visit her online at JenniferWeiner.com

BeachReads · Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Booksparks · Fiction

Book Tour and Review: ‘Barbarians at the PTA’

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‘Desperate Housewives’ meets ‘Mean Girls’ was all I needed to hear to inspire me to read Stephanie Newman’s debut novel, ‘Barbarians at the PTA‘, about a mother-daughter duo facing cliques, cyberbullying, & snobs in a wealthy NYC suburb.

Victoria Bryant is starting over. After a rage-inducing scandal & the realization that her dreamy fiancé is faker than a faux Fendi purse, she moves her psychology practice & 10-yr-old daughter, Rachel, to Mayfair Close, an idyllic Westchester, NY, suburb known for its manicured lawns & excellent schools.

The transition is initially seamless; several PTA moms befriend Victoria, her already busy practice booms, & Rachel finds a group of friends. But before anyone can say “helicopter mom,” in walks Lee DeVry. Wealthy, glamorous & perfectly toned, the PTA president is everything Victoria is not.

Vic tries to fit in w/ Lee & the other SUV driving, athleisure-wearing mothers. At first, she manages to balance the demands of her practice, single parenthood, & her budding romance w/ Jim, a handsome school administrator. All seems well until Rachel is suddenly targeted, first by the girls at school, & then by an anonymous cyberbully. As Rachel spirals, becoming isolated, playing hooky, & exhibiting signs of depression & disordered eating, Victoria vows to find out who has been messing w/ her daughter.

After she learns a secret that will help her rescue her child, Vic faces the ultimate dilemma: should she expose the bully publicly, despite the potential consequences to her professional reputation & relationships w/ Rachel & Jim?

A witty, sharp, & hope-filled debut, ‘Barbarians at the PTA‘ will have you cheering for badass moms everywhere who go to the ends of the earth for their children—& will leave you wanting more from Dr. Stephanie Newman.

Having the insight & fortitude of a psychologist & mother, Newman nails it in this book w/ the all too realistic scenarios & heart-breaking challenges of being a parent to a child who is being bullied at school & online, not just by peers, but by over-involved, competitive mothers. One of my fave comedies is ‘Bad Moms‘ & this book compares to that movie, but on a more serious level, & balanced out w/ humor, twists & sass.

Barbarians at the PTA‘ makes a great summer (or back to school time) read & is available now. Look for it at your local indie stores today! And Thank You to Booksparks for inviting me on the virtual book tour & to Stephanie Newman & SkyHorse Publishing for the autographed copy of the the book!

BeachReads · Blog Tour · Book Reviews · Booksparks · Fiction · Romance · RomCom · WomensFiction

Online Book Tour for ‘Kiss My Cupcake’ by Helena Hunting

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QOTD: Do you have a sweet tooth? (I totally do!) Well, have I got a book that will get your taste buds tingling & your heart swooning!

Thank you @booksparks & @readforeverpub for my gifted copy of Helena Hunting‘s latest rom-com, ‘Kiss My Cupcake‘! This book published on 8/11 by Forever Publishing.

*As two neighborhood shop owners battle for business, they prove opposites attract in this outrageously funny romantic comedy from the USA Today bestselling author of ‘Meet Cute, ‘The Good Luck Charm‘ & over a dozen other novels.

Blaire Calloway has planned every Instagram-worthy moment of her cupcake & cocktails shop launch down to the tiniest detail. What she didn’t plan on? Ronan Knight & his old-school sports bar next door opening on the very same day. He may be super swoony, but Blaire hasn’t spent years obsessing over buttercream & bourbon to have him ruin her chance at success.

From axe throwing (his place) to frosting contests (hers), Blaire & Ronan are constantly trying to one-up each other in a battle to win new customers. But with every clash, there’s also an undeniable chemistry. When an even bigger threat to their business comes to town, they’re forced to call a temporary time-out on their own war & work together. And the more time Blaire spends getting to know the real Ronan, the more she wonders if it’s possible to have her cupcake & eat it too.

We actually have one of those axe throwing bars in the next town over & I am still dumbfounded by the very fact that axe throwing while consuming alcohol exists! Cupcakes & adult bev’s, on the other hand…now THAT I am down with!

I just received ‘Kiss My Cupcake‘ a couple days ago & I started reading it that same night! I will probably finish it later today, but so far I am LOVING it! It is hilarious, charming, sexy & very engaging! Hunting does such a great job of creating a sense of place, you can practically smell the buttercream frosting (& bourbon)! I can’t wait to get back to reading it this evening! (& the flavors of cupcakes Blaire whips up in the book will make you drool with confectionery delight!) ‘Meet Cute‘ is also a super engaging, romantic, fun read that I definitely recommend & I will be reading ‘The Good Luck Charm‘ soon, too!

Kiss My Cupcake‘ & Helena’s other books are available now. Look for it at your local indie bookstore today!
(PS: Did you know this Sat is National Independent Book Store Day? What better way to help them celebrate than to support your local (or an online) indie bookstore! You can use BookStoreLink to locate indie bookstores. (PS…Today is the last day to enter the Murderino Monday giveaway on Instagram. Click HERE to go to that post.)

Click HERE to read more about ‘Meet Cute”
Click HERE to read more about ‘The Good Luck Charm’

New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Helena Hunting lives outside of Toronto with her amazing family and her two awesome cats, who think the best place to sleep is her keyboard. She writes all things romance — contemporary, romantic comedy, sports and angsty new adult. Helena loves to bake cupcakes, has been known to listen to a song on repeat 1512 times while writing a book, and if she has to be away from her family, prefers to be in warm weather with her friends.

BeachReads · Book Reviews · Fiction · WomensFiction

Book Review: ‘Impersonation’ by Heidi Pitlor

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Thank you @algonquinbooks for my gifted copy of ‘Impersonation‘ by Heidi Pitlor! Pub Day was a couple days ago on 8/18 so Happy Belated Book Birthday, too!

Book Synopsis:
Allie Lang is a professional ghostwriter and a perpetually broke single mother to a young boy. Years of navigating her own and America’s cultural definitions of motherhood have left her a lapsed idealist. Lana Breban is a powerhouse lawyer, economist, and advocate for women’s rights with designs on elected office. She also has a son. Lana and her staff have decided she needs help softening her public image and that a memoir about her life as a mother will help.

When Allie lands the job as Lana’s ghostwriter, it seems as if things will finally go Allie’s way. At last, she thinks, there will be enough money not just to pay her bills but to actually buy a house.

After years of working as a ghostwriter for other celebrities, Allie believes she knows the drill: she has learned how to inhabit the lives of others and tell their stories better than they can.

But this time, everything becomes more complicated. Allie’s childcare arrangements unravel; she falls behind on her rent; her subject, Lana, is better at critiquing than actually providing material; and Allie’s boyfriend decides to go on a road trip toward self-discovery. But as a writer for hire, Allie has gotten too used to being accommodating. At what point will she speak up for all that she deserves?  

A satirical, incisive snapshot of how so many of us now live, Impersonation tells a timely, insightful, and bitingly funny story of ambition, motherhood, and class.

Impersonation’ takes place in the months leading up to the last presidential election in 2016 & in 2017. The story touches on feminism, motherhood, struggling to make ends meet, & accountability for ones actions. It’s a fast-paced, nuanced, funny, & thought-provoking story that is unflinching & well-written. A provocative story of two women caught up in one another’s life, & together they make the perfect feminist mother!

Impersonation‘ is available now. Apple Books has even chosen ‘Impersonation’ as one of the Best Books of August!
Click HERE to add it to your Goodreads TBR.
Click HERE to visit Heidi Pitlor‘s Instagram.
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About the Author:
Heidi Pitlor is the author of the novels The Birthdays and The Daylight Marriage. She has been the series editor of The Best American Short Stories since 2007 and the editorial director of Plympton, a literary studio. Her writing has been published in the New York Times, the Boston Globe, the Huffington PostPloughshares, and the anthologies It Occurs to Me That I Am America: New Stories and Art and Labor Day: True Birth Stories by Today’s Best Women Writers. She lives outside Boston