Book Series – Fitness Junkie, The Arrangement

Here’s what is on my radar this week!
The Arrangement by Sarah Dunn captured my attention because it’s  described as being “hilarious and emotionally charged” which sounds like a good time to me. I really enjoy a smartly written novel that has a sense of humor, those are pretty hard to come by. Here’s the premise for this story:
Lucy and Owen, ambitious, thoroughly-therapized New Yorkers, have taken the plunge, trading in their crazy life in a cramped apartment for Beekman, a bucolic Hudson Valley exurb. They’ve got a two hundred year-old house, an autistic son obsessed with the Titanic, and 17 chickens, at last count. It’s the kind of paradise where stay-at-home moms team up to cook the school’s “hot lunch,” dads grill grass-fed burgers, and, as Lucy observes, “chopping kale has become a certain kind of American housewife’s version of chopping wood.”
When friends at a wine-soaked dinner party reveal they’ve made their marriage open, sensible Lucy balks. There’s a part of her, though-the part that worries she’s become too comfortable being invisible-that’s intrigued. Why not try a short marital experiment? Six months, clear ground rules, zero questions asked. When an affair with a man in the city begins to seem more enticing than the happily-ever-after she’s known for the past nine years, Lucy must decide what truly makes her happy-“real life,” or the “experiment?”
I absolutely loved Rene Rosen’s previous novel, White Collar Girl, so I am looking forward to reading this book, I have very high hopes it will be great. Here’s what you need to know about Windy City Blues:
In the middle of the twentieth century, the music of the Mississippi Delta arrived in Chicago, drawing the attention of entrepreneurs like the Chess brothers. Their label, Chess Records, helped shape that music into the Chicago Blues, the soundtrack for a transformative era in American History.
But, for Leeba Groski, Chess Records was just where she worked…
Leeba doesn’t exactly fit in, but her passion for music and her talented piano playing captures the attention of her neighbor, Leonard Chess, who offers her a job at his new record company. What begins as answering phones and filing becomes much more as Leeba comes into her own as a songwriter and befriends performers like Muddy Waters, Howlin’ Wolf, Chuck Berry, and Etta James. But she also finds love with a black blues guitarist named Red Dupree.

With their relationship unwelcome in segregated Chicago and shunned by Leeba’s Orthodox Jewish family, Leeba and Red soon find themselves in the middle of the Civil Rights Movement and they discover that, in times of struggle, music can bring people together.
Another novel that heavily features music is The Best of Adam Sharp by Graeme Simsion. Graeme wrote the wonderful book, The Rosie Project. But if you expect this one to be anything like that, you’d be wrong. The Best of Adam Sharp center’s around Adam, a consultant who dabbles in playing the piano and singing. He’s married to Claire but can not forget the true love of his life, Angelina, who he met and fell in love with twenty years ago.
Out of the blue, Angelina reaches out to him and all those old feelings come flooding back.  This book deals with relationships, past loves, maybe a little mid-life crisis, music of course, and about the road not taken.
I think many fans of The Rosie Project will enjoy this book but remember it’s nothing like that one at all!

Iris and Will have a great marriage and are madly in love. So when he’s announced dead after a plane wreck, Iris can’t believe it.
For one, the plane was headed to Seattle but he said he was going to Florida. And two, why would he lie? And three, if he did lie, was he really even on that plane that crashed? So many unanswered questions and Iris doesn’t quite know where to start. Iris thinks there must be some kind of big misunderstanding but as she digs into Will’s past she starts to wonder if she knows her husband at all.
The Marriage Lie by Kimberly Belle is a page turner of a novel as you keep reading to find out what happened to Will. I love a good mystery like this one and of course I tried to figure everything out ahead of time but I didn’t quite get it right.  The perfect book to read on a rainy weekend!
I absolutely loved Fitness Junkie by Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza. Like I mentioned above, its hard to write a funny novel that’s also smart but Lucy and Jo manage to do it perfectly just like they did in their first joint novel, The Knockoff. Every day I couldn’t wait to pick the book up and see what unfolded next.
Janey Sweet, recently divorced, is the CEO of a wedding dress company co-owned by her childhood best friend, Beau. When snarky Beau pulls her aside to tell her she needs to take a break from the company and work on losing some weight, she spirals into obsessive behavior over losing a few pounds and getting in shape. Her quest brings her to some crazy fitness classes, one of which is taught by her cousin, Ivy.
During her journey of self-discovery and weight loss, Janey meets a shaman, connects with two new potential boyfriends,  and discovers Beau may have an ulterior motive for ousting Janey from working with him.
This book isn’t published (I got a sneak peek) until the summer but bookmark it now because it’s going to be a beloved best seller as soon as it’s out. I am predicting Fitness Junkie will become a film too!

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