Friday, May 7, 2021

Swim Cover-Ups Under $25

 Okay friends, it's that time of year again - swimsuit season.  Each year we approach this season with both trepidation (the swimsuit trying on experience) and excitement (the freedom that is SUMMER!). This is the South and swimsuits are a form of formal party attire once it gets above 90 degrees. So, we embrace our swimsuit bodies and all the fun accessories that we can politely get away with. This includes having an array of cover-ups.  

On our girls day out a few weeks ago we realized we both needed an update in the cover-up department. Don't get us wrong, we have a lot of cover-ups, but between roughly six months of beach, boat, pool, repeat - they get their wear and tear. 

Because of that we like to not spend a ton of money on them. We both found a TON of great options under $25! A few of the ones we ordered have already started arriving and since be both have had warm weather vacations over the last few weeks, we've been able to give the thumbs up or thumbs down to quite a few. 

Here's a peek at some of our current favorites...


This ruffle sleeve pom cover-up comes in a ton of fun colors. We opted for light blue color, but already have our eye on a few more colors because the quality of this one is so good for the price! 



And speaking of poms, this colorful pom cover-up is amazing!! It's slightly sheer, but still has great coverage. It's another one that comes in a ton of fun colors. 

There is also an open tie front version of it that is also super cute. Adding to our carts as we type! 



These smocked wide leg pants were on major repeat during a recent beach trip.  They are light, breezy and come with a stretchy smocked band that is super flattering. They come in a ton of patterns and colors, but we went with classic black. 



The reviews are mixed on them, but from what we can tell they are amazing so far and hold up well, so maybe it depends on the person and ordering the correct sizing. I ordered my normal size small and they fit perfect. Maybe even a little oversized, but that just added to the comfort of them. 

Here are just a few other fun cover-up styles we found for under $25! 
Women's Cover Ups for under $25

4: Chiffon Tassel Cover-up (comes in a ton of colors!)
5: Striped Romper (comes in several color options!)
7: Shirt Dress Cover-up (comes in a ton of colors!)

(not pictured)

9: Mesh casual waist cover-up (love this one!)
11: Tie Dye Kimono (several color options)
12: Duster Cover-up (a Target customer favorite!)
13: Midi length side slit cover-up (super cute and comes in another color!)


Do you have a favorite flattering cover-up? Share with us!



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Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Orange Juice Margarita

 

Today just wouldn't be right if we didn't share a yummy margarita recipe. But really, when aren't margaritas in season?! 

We've been known to share a twist on the original margarita a time or two, but this Orange Juice Margarita has been topping the list lately. Plus it's got all that extra vitamin C, and isn't that what the CDC is suggesting what we do with our lives right now. 

So really drinking this margarita is kind of, sorta of healthy. So here's to all of our health. 

And May 5th. 

And the invention of tequila. 




ORANGE JUICE MARGARITA RECIPE

INGREDIENTS

- 1 52oz bottle of orange juice (We use Indian River Select juice in the original flavor. Blood Orange is a great alternative for a tangier flavor!)
- 1 cup of tequila 
- 1/3 cup of Triple Sec
- 1/3 cup of lime juice
- Optional: orange slices for garnish
- Optional: salt or sugar for rim



INSTRUCTIONS

1: Cut orange into slices. 
2: If rimming glasses with salt or sugar, rub the juice from an orange slice on the rim of the glass and then dip into salt or sugar. 
3: Mix orange juice, tequila, Triple Sec, lime juice together in a pitcher. Stir and then serve cold. 




CHECK OUT SOME OF OUR OTHER MARGARITA RECIPES




Cheers friends! 


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Monday, May 3, 2021

Best Books of Summer 2021

 

All right friends! Get your fruity cocktails ready, put on that that swimsuit that makes you feel like the rockin' mom that you are, and sink down into your coziest poolside chaise lounger. 

Or at least your favorite weekend tailgate chair. Because #sportsmomlife. 

Today is the day that we are going to share our Best Books of Summer list for 2021. And y'all...this year's list is soooooooo good. 

But first, a little refresher. Here are past year's lists: 

We look forward to this post every single year. And oh my - some good things really did come from the pandemic because all the authors were a writing during their lockdowns. We had such a hard time narrowing it down to the books we think will be the "can't miss" ones of the Summer.  

Here our list for 2021 with peeks at the gorgeous covers and the blurbs from the back. Get your beach bag ready (the really really big one!)!



THE NEWCOMER by Mary Kay Andrews (out May 4th)
In trouble and on the run...
After she discovers her sister Tanya dead on the floor of her fashionable New York City townhouse, Letty Carnahan is certain she knows who did it: Tanya’s ex; sleazy real estate entrepreneur Evan Wingfield. Even in the grip of grief and panic Letty heeds her late sister’s warnings: “If anything bad happens to me—it’s Evan. Promise me you’ll take Maya and run. Promise me.” 

With a trunkful of emotional baggage...
So Letty grabs her sister’s Mercedes and hits the road with her wailing four-year-old niece Maya. Letty is determined to out-run Evan and the law, but run to where? Tanya, a woman with a past shrouded in secrets, left behind a “go-bag” of cash and a big honking diamond ring—but only one clue: a faded magazine story about a sleepy mom-and-pop motel in a Florida beach town with the improbable name of Treasure Island. She sheds her old life and checks into an uncertain future at The Murmuring Surf Motel. 

The No Vacancy sign is flashing & the sharks are circling... 
And that’s the good news. Because The Surf, as the regulars call it, is the winter home of a close-knit flock of retirees and snowbirds who regard this odd-duck newcomer with suspicion and down-right hostility. As Letty settles into the motel’s former storage room, she tries to heal Maya’s heartache and unravel the key to her sister’s shady past, all while dodging the attention of the owner’s dangerously attractive son Joe, who just happens to be a local police detective. Can Letty find romance as well as a room at the inn—or will Joe betray her secrets and put her behind bars? With danger closing in, it’s a race to find the truth and right the wrongs of the past.


UNDER THE SOUTHERN SKY by Kristy Woodson Harvey
Recently separated Amelia Buxton, a dedicated journalist, never expected that uncovering the biggest story of her career would become deeply personal. But when she discovers that a cluster of embryos belonging to her childhood friend Parker and his late wife Greer have been deemed “abandoned,” she’s put in the unenviable position of telling Parker—and dredging up old wounds in the process.

Parker has been unable to move forward since the loss of his beloved wife three years ago. He has all but forgotten about the frozen embryos, but once Amelia reveals her discovery, he knows that if he ever wants to get a part of Greer back, he’ll need to accept his fate as a single father and find a surrogate.

Each dealing with their own private griefs, Parker and Amelia slowly begin to find solace in one another as they navigate an uncertain future against the backdrop of the pristine waters of their childhood home, Cape Carolina. The journey of self-discovery leads them to an unforgettable and life-changing lesson: Family—the one you’re born into and the one you choose—is always closer than you think.


DIAL A FOR AUNTIES by Jesse Q. Sutanto
When Meddelin Chan ends up accidentally killing her blind date, her meddlesome mother calls for her even more meddlesome aunties to help get rid of the body. Unfortunately, a dead body proves to be a lot more challenging to dispose of than one might anticipate, especially when it is inadvertently shipped in a cake cooler to the over-the-top billionaire wedding Meddy, her Ma, and aunties are working at an island resort on the California coastline. It's the biggest job yet for the family wedding business—"Don't leave your big day to chance, leave it to the Chans!"—and nothing, not even an unsavory corpse, will get in the way of her auntie's perfect buttercream flowers.

But things go from inconvenient to downright torturous when Meddy's great college love—and biggest heartbreak—makes a surprise appearance amid the wedding chaos. Is it possible to escape murder charges, charm her ex back into her life, and pull off a stunning wedding all in one weekend?


THAT SUMMER by Jennifer Weiner  (out May 4th)
Daisy Shoemaker can’t sleep. With a thriving cooking business, full schedule of volunteer work, and a beautiful home in the Philadelphia suburbs, she should be content. But her teenage daughter can be a handful, her husband can be distant, her work can feel trivial, and she has lots of acquaintances, but no real friends. Still, Daisy knows she’s got it good. So why is she up all night?

While Daisy tries to identify the root of her dissatisfaction, she’s also receiving misdirected emails meant for a woman named Diana Starling, whose email address is just one punctuation mark away from her own. While Daisy’s driving carpools, Diana is chairing meetings. While Daisy’s making dinner, Diana’s making plans to reorganize corporations. Diana’s glamorous, sophisticated, single-lady life is miles away from Daisy’s simpler existence. When an apology leads to an invitation, the two women meet and become friends. But, as they get closer, we learn that their connection was not completely accidental. Who IS this other woman, and what does she want with Daisy?

From the manicured Main Line of Philadelphia to the wild landscape of the Outer Cape, written with Jennifer Weiner’s signature wit and sharp observations, That Summer is a story about surviving our pasts, confronting our futures, and the sustaining bonds of friendship.


SHOULDER SEASON by Christina Clancy (out July 6th)
The small town of Lake Geneva, Wisconsin is an unlikely location for a Playboy Resort, and nineteen-year old Sherri Taylor is an unlikely bunny. Growing up in neighboring East Troy, Sherri plays the organ at the local church and has never felt comfortable in her own skin. But when her parents die in quick succession, she leaves the only home she’s ever known for the chance to be part of a glamorous slice of history. In the winter of 1981, in a costume two sizes too small, her toes pinched by stilettos, Sherri joins the daughters of dairy farmers and factory workers for the defining experience of her life. 

Living in the “bunny hutch”—Playboy’s version of a college dorm—Sherri gets her education in the joys of sisterhood, the thrill of financial independence, the magic of first love, and the heady effects of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. But as spring gives way to summer, Sherri finds herself caught in a romantic triangle—and the tragedy that ensues will haunt her for the next forty years.


SOULMATE EQUATION by Christina Lauren (out May 18th)
Single mom Jessica Davis is a data and statistics wizard, but no amount of number crunching can convince her to step back into the dating world. Raised by her grandparents—who now help raise her seven-year-old daughter, Juno—Jess has been left behind too often to feel comfortable letting anyone in. After all, her father was never around, her hard-partying mother disappeared when she was six, and her ex decided he wasn’t “father material” before Juno was even born. Jess holds her loved ones close, but working constantly to stay afloat is hard...and lonely. 

But then Jess hears about GeneticAlly, a buzzy new DNA-based matchmaking company that’s predicted to change dating forever. Finding a soulmate through DNA? The reliability of numbers: This Jess understands. 

At least she thought she did, until her test shows an unheard-of 98 percent compatibility with another subject in the database: one of GeneticAlly’s founders, Dr. River Peña. This is one number she can’t wrap her head around, because she already knows Dr. Peña. The stuck-up, stubborn man is without a doubt not her soulmate. But GeneticAlly has a proposition: Get to know him and we’ll pay you. Jess—who is barely making ends meet—is in no position to turn it down, despite her skepticism about the project and her dislike for River. As the pair are dragged from one event to the next as the “Diamond Match” that could launch GeneticAlly’s valuation sky-high, Jess begins to realize that there might be more to the scientist—and the science behind a soulmate—than she thought.


THE NEXT WIFE by Kaira Rouda

Kate Nelson had it all. A flourishing company founded with her husband, John; a happy marriage; and a daughter, Ashlyn. The picture-perfect family. Until John left for another woman. Tish is half his age. Ambitious. She’s cultivated a friendship with Ashlyn. Tish believes she’s won.

She’s wrong.

Tish Nelson has it all. Youth, influence, a life of luxury, and a new husband. But the truth is, there’s a lot of baggage. Namely, his first wife—and suspicions of his infidelity. After all, that’s how she got John. Maybe it’s time for a romantic getaway, far from his vindictive ex. If Kate plans on getting John back, Tish is one step ahead of her.

She thinks.

But what happens next is something neither Kate nor Tish saw coming. As best-laid plans come undone, there’s no telling what a woman will do in the name of love—and revenge.



THE HUNTING WIVES by May Cobb (out May 18th)
Sophie O'Neill left behind an envy-inspiring career and the stressful, competitive life of big-city Chicago to settle down with her husband and young son in a small Texas town. It seems like the perfect life with a beautiful home in an idyllic rural community. But Sophie soon realizes that life is now too quiet, and she's feeling bored and restless.

Then she meets Margot Banks, an alluring socialite who is part of an elite clique secretly known as the Hunting Wives. Sophie finds herself completely drawn to Margot and swept into her mysterious world of late-night target practice and dangerous partying. As Sophie's curiosity gives way to full-blown obsession, she slips farther away from the safety of her family and deeper into this nest of vipers.

When the body of a teenage girl is discovered in the woods where the Hunting Wives meet, Sophie finds herself in the middle of a murder investigation and her life spiraling out of control.


WHERE THE GRASS IS GREEN AND THE GIRLS ARE PRETTY by Lauren Weisburger (out May 18th)
A seat at the anchor desk of the most-watched morning show. Recognized by millions across the country, thanks in part to her flawless blond highlights and Botox-smoothed skin. An adoring husband and a Princeton-bound daughter. Peyton is that woman. She has it all.

Until . . .

Skye, her sister, is a stay-at-home mom living in a glitzy suburb of New York. She has degrees from all the right schools and can helicopter-parent with the best of them. But Skye is different from the rest. She’s looking for something real and dreams of a life beyond the PTA and pickup.

Until . . .

Max, Peyton’s bright and quirky seventeen-year-old daughter, is poised to kiss her fancy private school goodbye and head off to pursue her dreams in film. She’s waited her entire life for this opportunity.

Until . . .

One little lie. That’s all it takes. For the illusions to crack. For resentments to surface. Suddenly the grass doesn’t look so green. And they’re left wondering: will they have what it takes to survive the truth?


THE SUMMER OF LOST AND FOUND by Mary Alice Monroe (out May 11th)
The coming of Spring usually means renewal, but for Linnea Rutledge, Spring 2020 threatens stagnation. Linnea faces another layoff, this time from the aquarium she adores. For her—and her family—finances, emotions, and health teeter at the brink. To complicate matters, her new love interest, Gordon, struggles to return to the Isle of Palms from England. Meanwhile, her old flame, John, turns up from California and is quarantining next door. She tries to ignore him, but when he sends her plaintive notes in the form of paper airplanes, old sparks ignite. When Gordon at last reaches the island, Linnea wonders—is it possible to love two men at the same time?

Love in the time of the coronavirus proves challenging, at times humorous, and ever changing. Relationships are redefined, friendships made and broken, and marriages tested. As the weeks turn to months, and another sea turtle season comes to a close, Linnea learns there are more meaningful lessons learned during this summer than opportunities lost, that summer is a time of wonder, and that the exotic lives in our own back yards. In The Summer of Lost and Found, Linnea and the Rutledge family continue to face their challenges with the strength, faith, and commitment that has inspired fans for decades.



WHEN STARS COLLIDE by Susan Elizabeth Phillips (out June 29th)

Thaddeus Walker Bowman Owens, the backup quarterback for the Chicago Stars, is a team player, talented sideline coach, occasional male underwear model, and a man with a low tolerance for Divas. 

Olivia Shore, international opera superstar, is a driven diva with a passion for perfection, a craving for justice, too many secrets—and a monumental grudge against the egotistical, lowbrow jock she’s been stuck with.

It’s Mozart meets Monday Night Football as the temperamental soprano and stubborn jock embark on a nationwide tour promoting a luxury watch brand. Along the way, the combatants will engage in soul-searching and trash talk, backstage drama and, for sure, a quarterback pass. But they’ll also face trouble as threatening letters, haunting photographs, and a series of dangerous encounters complicate their lives. Is it the work of an overzealous fan or something more sinister?


GOLDEN GIRL by Elin Hilderbrand (out June 1st)
On a perfect June day, Vivian Howe, author of thirteen beach novels and mother of three nearly grown children, is killed in a hit-and-run car accident while jogging near her home on Nantucket. She ascends to the Beyond where she's assigned to a Person named Martha, who allows Vivi to watch what happens below for one last summer. Vivi also is granted three “nudges” to change the outcome of events on earth, and with her daughter Willa on her third miscarriage, Carson partying until all hours, and Leo currently “off again” with his high-maintenance girlfriend, she’ll have to think carefully where to use them.

From the Beyond, Vivi watches “The Chief” Ed Kapenash investigate her death, but her greatest worry is her final book, which contains a secret from her own youth that could be disastrous for her reputation. But when hidden truths come to light, Vivi’s family will have to sort out their past and present mistakes—with or without a nudge of help from above—while Vivi finally lets them grow without her.


MALIBU RISING by Taylor Jenkins Reid (out June 1st)
Malibu: August 1983. It’s the day of Nina Riva’s annual end-of-summer party, and anticipation is at a fever pitch. Everyone wants to be around the famous Rivas: Nina, the talented surfer and supermodel; brothers Jay and Hud, one a championship surfer, the other a renowned photographer; and their adored baby sister, Kit. Together the siblings are a source of fascination in Malibu and the world over—especially as the offspring of the legendary singer Mick Riva.

The only person not looking forward to the party of the year is Nina herself, who never wanted to be the center of attention, and who has also just been very publicly abandoned by her pro tennis player husband. Oh, and maybe Hud—because it is long past time for him to confess something to the brother from whom he’s been inseparable since birth.

Jay, on the other hand, is counting the minutes until nightfall, when the girl he can’t stop thinking about promised she’ll be there.

And Kit has a couple secrets of her own—including a guest she invited without consulting anyone.

By midnight the party will be completely out of control. By morning, the Riva mansion will have gone up in flames. But before that first spark in the early hours before dawn, the alcohol will flow, the music will play, and the loves and secrets that shaped this family’s generations will all come rising to the surface.



THE FOREST OF VANISHING STARS by Kristin Harmel (out July 6th)
After being stolen from her wealthy German parents and raised in the unforgiving wilderness of eastern Europe, a young woman finds herself alone in 1941 after her kidnapper dies. Her solitary existence is interrupted, however, when she happens upon a group of Jews fleeing the Nazi terror. Stunned to learn what’s happening in the outside world, she vows to teach the group all she can about surviving in the forest—and in turn, they teach her some surprising lessons about opening her heart after years of isolation. But when she is betrayed and escapes into a German-occupied village, her past and present come together in a shocking collision that could change everything.


THE THERAPIST by B.A. Paris (out July 13th)
When Alice and Leo move into a newly renovated house in The Circle, a gated community of exclusive houses, it is everything they’ve dreamed of. But appearances can be deceptive…

As Alice is getting to know her neighbours, she discovers a devastating secret about her new home, and begins to feel a strong connection with Nina, the therapist who lived there before.

Alice becomes obsessed with trying to piece together what happened two years before. But no one wants to talk about it. Her neighbors are keeping secrets and things are not as perfect as they seem…


THE PERFECT RUIN by Shanora Williams (out July 27th)
A brutal tragedy ended Ivy Hill’s happy family and childhood. Now in her twenties and severely troubled, she barely has a life—or much to live for. Until the day she discovers the name of the woman who destroyed her world: Lola Maxwell—the mega-wealthy socialite with a heart, Miami’s beloved “first lady” of charity. Accomplished, gorgeous, and oh-so-caring, Lola has the best of everything—and doesn’t deserve any of it. So it’s only right that Ivy take it all away . . .
 
Little by little, Ivy infiltrates Lola’s elite circle, becomes her new best friend—and plays Lola’s envious acquaintances and hangers-on against her. But seducing Lola’s handsome, devoted surgeon husband turns into a passionate dream Ivy suddenly can’t control. And soon, an insidious someone will twist Ivy’s revenge into a nightmare of deception, secrets, and betrayal that Ivy may not wake up from . . .


THE SIREN by Katherine St. John (out May 4th) 
In the midst of a sizzling hot summer, some of Hollywood's most notorious faces are assembled on the idyllic Caribbean island of St. Genesius to film The Siren, starring dangerously handsome megastar Cole Power playing opposite his ex-wife, Stella Rivers. The surefire blockbuster promises to entice audiences with its sultry storyline and intimately connected cast.

Three very different women arrive on set, each with her own motive. Stella, an infamously unstable actress, is struggling to reclaim the career she lost in the wake of multiple, very public breakdowns. Taylor, a fledgling producer, is anxious to work on a film she hopes will turn her career around after her last job ended in scandal. And Felicity, Stella's mysterious new assistant, harbors designs of her own that threaten to upend everyone's plans.

With a hurricane brewing offshore, each woman finds herself trapped on the island, united against a common enemy. But as deceptions come to light, misplaced trust may prove more perilous than the storm itself.


THE LAST THING HE TOLD ME by Laura Dave (out May 4th)
Before Owen Michaels disappears, he smuggles a note to his beloved wife of one year: Protect her. Despite her confusion and fear, Hannah Hall knows exactly to whom the note refers—Owen’s sixteen-year-old daughter, Bailey. Bailey, who lost her mother tragically as a child. Bailey, who wants absolutely nothing to do with her new stepmother.

As Hannah’s increasingly desperate calls to Owen go unanswered, as the FBI arrests Owen’s boss, as a US marshal and federal agents arrive at her Sausalito home unannounced, Hannah quickly realizes her husband isn’t who he said he was. And that Bailey just may hold the key to figuring out Owen’s true identity—and why he really disappeared.

Hannah and Bailey set out to discover the truth. But as they start putting together the pieces of Owen’s past, they soon realize they’re also building a new future—one neither of them could have anticipated.



BEFORE I SAW YOU by Emily Houghton (out May 4th)
Alice Gunnersley and Alfie Mack sleep just a few feet apart from one another. They talk for hours every day. And they’ve never seen each other face-to-face.

After being in terrible accidents, the two now share the same ward as long-term residents of St. Francis’s Hospital. Although they don’t get off to the best start, the close quarters (and Alfie’s persistence to befriend everyone he meets) brings them closer together. Pretty soon no one can make Alice laugh as hard as Alfie does, and Alfie feels like he’s finally found a true confidante in Alice. Between their late night talks and inside jokes, something more than friendship begins to slowly blossom between them.

But as their conditions improve and the end of their stay draws closer, Alfie and Alice are forced to decide whether it’s worth continuing a relationship with someone who’s seen all of the worst parts of you, but never seen your actual face.





That's a wrap! There are so many more that we wanted to add, and that we have marked to read, but these are the ones we narrowed it down to. We've gotten a sneak peek read at a few and let's just say it is going to be a fun fun summer of reading. 

And we want you to join in on the fun!!!

Share with us in the comments what book or books you are looking forward to reading the most this Summer (it can be from this list or a new addition we need to add to our lists!), and we will send one or a few of you a little surprise to accompany you poolside this year. ;) 

HAPPY READING EVERYONE!!!


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Friday, April 30, 2021

Book Club: April

 

It's Book Club Day!! We just love this day each month. We chat books with each other a lot behind the scenes so it's fun to give you a peek behind the scenes of what we've read, what's up next, and all the thoughts we spill to one another as we read along. We love hearing your thoughts too! 

We also love love love this time of year for reading. We love most genres, but if we had to pick our very favorite it's what is determined as "the beach book" genre. Our favorite authors all release books this time of year, and we can't wait to pool/boat/beach with all the good ones! Fruity cocktail in hand of course. 

If you're right there with us, then stay tuned for Monday! We have been working on our annual Best Books of Summer list for months now. We've chatted with authors and publishers, gotten sneak peeks at what is to be released, and have some fun surprises for a few of you too! 

So MONDAY - BIG DAY if you are a reader. 

But first, let's knock April's book reviews out of the way.





WHAT WE READ...

CARRIE BETH

In last month's book club I said that I had picked Colleen Hoover's Ugly Love as my next read. I bought it on Audible, downloaded it, and halfway into the first chapter it hit me that I'd already read this book. I was honestly bummed that I'd wasted an Audible credit on a repeat book until Jen let me know that you can "return" a title on Audible. I had NO idea you could do that, but for anyone that might end up in the same situation, now you know! 


Because I REALLY enjoyed Love and Other Words by Christina Lauren last month, I wanted to try another one of hers.  I ended up with Beautiful Bastard and oh my was it SO very different.  I was surprised because I felt like there was so much depth to Love and Other Words and while it was a love story with some romance scenes, it really tugged at my heartstrings.  Beautiful Bastard was not like that at all.  It was super spicy, not much of a plot, and a ton of very rated R romance scenes. Not complaining, just really different than what I was expecting. If I'm being honestly though, I probably could have predicted what I was getting myself into from the title and cover art. 


Jen suggested Back in the Burbs by Avery Flynn and Tracy Wolff so that was my next pick this month. It follows Mallory, a woman in her mid-thirties, who it just seems can't have anything go her way.  She is going through a bad divorce, has never really reached her full career potential and learns that she has inherited her late Great Aunt's home in the suburbs.  It was such a cute story and anyone living in the suburbs can relate. From Stella & Dot parties to crazy HOA regulations, Mallory starts to fix up her Aunt Maggie's house and in turn starts to fix up her life. There is a hot neighbor living across the street that adds a little romance to her life and together they help each other find happiness.  


After two easy-breezy love stories I decided to dig a little deeper and listened to Good Morning America's Book Club pick, The Midnight Library by Matt Haig.  It has about a zillion great reviews so I was excited to see what the fuss was all about.  The story opens with Nora, a mid-thirties woman, who is extremely depressed, cannot find anything good about her life, feels incredibly lonely, and decides to end her life by overdosing. Between life and death she visits this library where she finds an infinite about of books containing different versions of the story of her life. All the variations are based on decisions she made and how things would have turned out of she had made different decisions. She gets to try out many different lives to see if any of them would truly be better than the one she was living. In the process of trying out these other lives she learns all of her many regrets are not really regrets after all.  It touches on parallel universes and all of that was a bit much for me, but the idea of being able to see how the many decisions we make in our life effect the outcomes was fascinating to think about.  One lesson that was repeated throughout the story was to: 

"Never underestimate the big importance of small things." 

This message, along with many others in the book made me realize why so many people rave about this. To me it is one of those books that I feel like is good to read and be able to talk about with people because it is so popular, but it isn't really my cup of tea. However, I did enjoy that it makes you stop and think about your own life, the many different paths we can decide to take, and the power we all have to make the most of the life we are living.  


| THE WIFE STALKER by Liv Constantine | TO LOVE AND TO LOATHE by Martha Waters | SURVIVING SAVANNAH by Patti Callahan | EVERYTHING AFTER by Jill Santopolo |


JEN

Right now I have a massive "to read" pile stacking up on my bookcase. In April, I pulled out a few to read and let everyone vote on what I should read first. TO LOVE AND TO LOATHE won out by a smidge over SURVIVING SAVANNAH. But no worries - I read them both! And a few more. 

Okay, a lot more. There were several long cheer mom car rides in April. So Audible and noise canceling headphones were my survival. 

The good news out of it all...I have a little something for everyone this month. Historical fiction, thriller, romance, mystery - I've got you.


THE LOST APOTHECARY by Sarah Penner was first up for the month. This is one I actually started in March, but didn't quite finish in time for last month's review post. I heard so many great things about this debut novel, so I couldn't wait to sit down and read it. I absolutely loved this magical historical fiction journey that Penner took us on! It's a mystery and historical fiction all rolled into one with two separate timelines and several heroines. From the first page I was sucked in. A fun read that I have a feeling will be popular for years to come! 



By popular vote TO LOVE AND TO LOATHE was next on the list. 
To Love and to Loathe is the an adorable Regency era enemies-to-lovers rom-com that is just plain CUTE. I hate I don't have a better adjective, but from start to finish this is a read that will have a smile on your face. The witty banter and the fun story line make To Love and to Loathe the light hearted romance novel we all need right now. I loved the constant back and forth between Diana and Jeremy, and their friends' commentary on their "bet/proposition" is just as entertaining.

This is the second novel in Water's Regency Vows series, and already can't wait to see which characters of her sassy ton she features next. If you enjoyed watching/reading the Bridgerton series this one will be up your alley. 



SURVIVING SAVANNAH by Patti Callahan is hands down one of the best books I’ve ever read! The topic is so intriguing, and being a Georgia native I was so shocked to learn of such a tragedy attached to a place I’ve been a dozens of times and never realized.

The story is written in duel timelines from several points of view, and is based on the true events of the 1838 Pulaski Steam Boat disaster. Dubbed “Titanic of the South”, the Pulaski was a luxury boat carrying the south’s most prominent and wealthy families to their summer homes in New York. One fateful night of the journey, everything goes wrong. Patti Callahan weaves a magical tale of love, loss, and survival between those of the tragedy and those in present day surviving their own. Not only do you learn so much about the real life events, but you get a sense of truly relating to the families and what they experienced through the amazing cast of characters Callahan presents.

In the modern day spin, Callahan introduces to us Everly Winthrop - a women trying to mourn and survive her own losses when she is presented with the ultimate job opportunity. Her whole life, Everly has heard tales of the Pulaski and now she has the chance to curate the recently discovered shipwreck and its treasures for her museum. But the findings hit a little too close to home.

I could not put this one down! From start to finish it was intriguing, addicting, and has an end that ties everything together, but is so beautiful you just want more. Well done Patti!!!



From start to finish I loved BACK IN THE BURBS by Avery Flynn and Tracy Wolff (Side note: Tracy Wolff is the author of the Crave series we are both now addicted too. However this is SO different.). This is one of the few rom-coms that made me actually laugh out loud. Several times. I loved the banter between the main characters, and the slow burn romance had you begging for more at each page turn. It was funny, witty, relatable (even if you aren’t going through a divorce, renovating a decor nightmare as your inheritance from your favorite Aunt recently deceased, job hunting, and dealing with 47 HOA violations), and super sweet. Throw in some wine, a few book boyfriends that will have you scouring your local Zillow listings for fixer uppers, and major family drama - Back in the Burbs is the book I’ve been recommending to all of my girlfriends this month. 



For the back half of the month, I switched things up a bit. I needed something a little more along the lines of "edge of your seat/keep me awake so I don't crash" genre so that I could stay entertained on long road trips. After perusing Audible, I landed on EVERY VOW YOU BREAK by Peter Swanson. Okay - for me - this one was a little dark. The story follows a couple on their honeymoon. It's a rich husband/saved broke young woman living in New York scenario. The women enjoys "one last fling before the ring', and then happily marries her dream man. Quickly the honeymoon becomes tangled in a web of mystery and terrifying events begin to occur. Her fling shows up, and things quickly go south. About halfway through the novel it takes a really dark twist. I don't want to spoil it, but if thriller novels are your thing - this book is for you. As for me...I think it was well written, and definitely kept me on the edge of my seat. But also up at night. I think I need a little less "thrill". 




WHAT YOU NEVER KNEW by Jessica Hamilton is like the perfect ghost story...for adults. I listened to the audio book of this and it was excellent! I was instantly invested in the story, and couldn't stop listening. The story is told from two POVs: Two sisters. One sister is a ghost and one is alive. They both recently found out that their mother never sold their family vacation island from their childhood, even though she told them she had while they were in their teens. One event leads to another and the remaining sister decides to work through her grief at the island. But then strange things start happening, secrets start emerging and ghosts (both past and present) appear. There is twist after twist, with a murder mystery wrapped into it. I enjoyed What You Never Knew from start to finish, and refreshingly the ending was a total surprise. I look forward to reading more books by this author in the future!



FINLAY DONOVAN IS KILLING IT - This book was just plain fun! From start to finish I laughed out loud several times. Finlay Donovan is a recently divorced mom of two and it seems like every part of her life is falling apart. Bills are piling up, her ex and his fiancé are making a case for full custody, and her latest novel was due like yesterday. Just when things couldn’t get worse a chance meeting in a Panera Bread turns Finlay’s life on a crazy rollercoaster filled with murder, Mob bosses and male attention in the unlikeliest of situations. With Vero, her nanny/partner in crime/accountant Finlay sets out to solve a laundry list of crimes, write the next best seller, and maybe keep her run down van working for at least another week.

The end of the book leaves us wanting more and I already can’t wait for the sequel to continue this hilarious mom turned accidental hit woman series. Oh and to get a little more of the hot lawyer underwear model bartender. ;) (If you didn’t want to read before, you do now, right?!)


WHAT'S UP NEXT...

CARRIE BETH

After something pretty deep I needed a light and fun read so I'm getting ready to start Mary Kay Andrews' The Newcomer.  I feel like it's going to put me in the mood for summer, which is just around the corner for us! 




JEN

I think I am going to follow suit with Carrie Beth and read THE NEWCOMER too! MKA is one of those authors you just want to be besties with, and her books are always so fun to read. Bring on all the fun summery beach novels! 



WHAT ELSE SHOULD WE ADD TO OUR LISTS? WAS THERE ANYTHING YOU READ LAST MONTH THAT YOU LOVED?


BOOK CLUB 2021

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