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Its Friday and its time to check in with the books I’ve been reading!

People are always amazed when I tell them how much I read. If the book is short and written clearly, I can manage to read about two a week. Longer ones, like Belle Cora, take me an entire week. I don’t watch a lot of television which frees up so much time! I DVR all my shows and watch them quickly while I’m eating lunch or folding laundry.

I dedicate almost two or three hours a night to reading. Its relaxing for me to unwind with a good book after a long day. If a novel is really gripping, I will read here and there through the day. Last night I wanted to finish up Belle Cora so I read while dinner was in the oven.  I think its all about time management and making reading a priority!

There’s nothing better than a really good book and I liked all of these:

Then and Always by Dani Atkins

 SO GOOD. Here’s the premise:

“Rachel Wiltshire has everything she’s ever wanted: a close group of friends, a handsome boyfriend, and acceptance to the journalism program at her top-choice college. But one fateful evening, tragedy tears her world apart.

Five years later, Rachel returns home for the first time to celebrate her best friend’s wedding. Still coping with her grief, she can’t stop thinking about the bright future she almost had, if only that one night had gone differently. But when a sudden fall lands her in the hospital, Rachel wakes to find that her life has completely changed. Now she has her dream job as a writer and a stylish apartment, but the people she loves most are not the way she remembers them. Unable to trust her own recollections, Rachel tries to piece together what really happened, and not even she can predict the astonishing truth.”

This was definitely an interesting read and very good. The ending left me a little puzzled and I thought about it long after I finished the book. This one is due out on May 20 so be on the lookout!

 

The Widows Guide to Sex and Dating by Carole Radziwell

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From watching The Real Housewives of New York City and seeing Carole, I just know we’d be friends if we ever met. Her humorous and sly personality translates well into this novel. A quick, fun read!

“Claire Byrne is a quirky and glamorous 34-year-old Manhattanite and the wife of a famous, slightly older man. Her husband, Charlie, is a renowned sexologist and writer. Equal parts Alfred Kinsey and Warren Beatty, Charlie is pompous yet charming, supportive yet unfaithful; he’s a firm believer that sex and love can’t coexist for long, and he does little to hide his affairs. Claire’s life with Charlie is an always interesting if not deeply devoted one, until Charlie is struck dead one day on the sidewalk by a falling sculpture … a Giacometti, no less!

Once a promising young writer, Claire had buried her ambitions to make room for Charlie’s. After his death, she must reinvent herself. Over the course of a year, she sees a shrink (or two), visits an oracle, hires a “botanomanist,” enjoys an erotic interlude (or ten), eats too little, drinks too much, dates a hockey player, dates a billionaire, dates an actor (not any actor either, but the handsome movie star every woman in the world fantasizes about dating). As she grieves for Charlie and searches for herself, she comes to realize that she has an opportunity to find something bigger than she had before—maybe even, possibly, love.”

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Tempting Fate by Jane Green

Another fun read although after reading other people’s comments on Goodreads, I suppose you could go two different ways with this one. Let’s see what its about:

“Gabby and Elliott have been happily married for eighteen years. They have two teenaged daughters. They have built a life together. Forty-three year old Gabby is the last person to have an affair. She can’t relate to the way her friends desperately try to cling to the beauty and allure of their younger years…And yet, she too knows her youth is quickly slipping away. She could never imagine how good it would feel to have a handsome younger man show interest in her—until the night it happens. Matt makes Gabby feel sparkling, fascinating, alive—something she hasn’t felt in years. What begins as a long-distance friendship soon develops into an emotional affair as Gabby discovers her limits and boundaries are not where she expects them to be. Intoxicated, Gabby has no choice but to step ever deeper into the allure of attraction and attention, never foreseeing the life-changing consequences that lie ahead. If she makes one wrong move she could lose everything—and find out what really matters most.”

If you’ve been married for any length of time and have gone through a tough spot in your marriage, you might wonder what would happen if someone came along and swept you out of the drudgery that’s your life and into another, better world. That’s what happens to Gabby and the reader can perhaps understand why she thought the proverbial grass would be greener on the other side. I liked this book, I am a fan of Jane Green’s writing.

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Belle Cora: A Novel by Phillip Marguiles 

I’m going to admit something…I am not always a fan of male authors. I assume (wrongly most of the time) that they will be more analytical and dry in their writing. Alas, that is not the case with this enormous novel that took me a whole week to read. I loved this  story and eagerly devoured it!

” In 1838, Arabella Godwin and her beloved younger brother, Lewis, are orphaned and shipped away from their home in New York City to live on their aunt’s desolate farm upstate. The comforts she has always known are replaced with grueling work and a pair of cunning enemies in her cousins Agnes and Matthew. Amid this bleak existence, there emerges light in the form of a local boy, Jeptha Talbot.  He is everything good that Arabella craves. His love saves her and becomes an obsession that will last her whole life.

She will bear a gambler’s child, build a fortune, commit murder, leave a trail of aliases in her wake and sacrifice almost everything—though perhaps not enough–for the man whose love she cannot bear to lose.  At last her destiny will take her to Gold Rush California, to riches and power. ”