Love on Lexington Avenue (The Central Park Pact) Book 2 by Lauren Layne

untitledIn the second installment of The Central Park Pact, Claire Hayes, whose husband died while cheating on her with at least two other women, who have since become her best friends, is ready to find not love, but “companionship”.

Claire takes a hard look at herself and her life and decides she is a “vanilla”, someone who is very boring and extremely predictable.  She is not one to take many chances.  She decides she want to be more like a “strawberry lemonade”, someone who sparkles and is unpredictable and a little looser.

Then she decides her Upper Eastside apartment needs a redo to wash away the memories of her late husband and there will be no dull or boring colors…all pinks!  Enter Scott Turner a very handsome highly acclaimed contractor and his dog Bob, (who is a girl).

Although they try to work amicably, Scott cannot wrap his head around Claire’s eccentric renovation ideas.  And as they begin to clash, sparks begin to fly just as Claire decides it’s time for her to step back into the dating world and experiment with one night stands, something which Scott is not exactly pleased about. But he doesn’t understand why.

Will Claire be able to change her boring ways? Will Scott be able to incorporate Claire’s pink themed demands? Will they be able to come to some sort of compromise?  What about those sparks! And…what about Bob?

Although Love on Lexington Avenue is the second in the series, and I have not read the first book, Layne nicely recaps the basics of the first book in the first few pages and catching up and understanding was easy.

The story is quite cute and funny and it kept me interested and highly entertained. I hope there is another installment.

Thank you to #NetGalley #GalleryBooks #LoveonLexingtonAvenue #LaurenLayne for the free advanced copy.  The book will be out on September 17.

The Third Mrs. Durst by Ann Aguirre

untitledMarlena Altizer was born into poverty.  With a mother who was a drug addict, a long gone father and many siblings, her only dream was to get out of this horrible situation and make it big. Anyway she could.

Enter Michael Durst, a handsome, wealthy, New York businessman who takes a liking to Marlena.  Although she realizes he has been married twice before, and she quickly begins to understand Durst is very controlling and perhaps pathological in some ways, she feels as if she can handle him.

And at first she does, living the lifestyle of the rich and famous, attending parties, shopping, and enjoying the good life.  Until she is not.  And her life becomes unlivable. She begins to see a side of Durst he had kept hidden.  An evil, hateful, viscous side.  Marlena realizes she is more of a prisoner and a showpiece who is only there to assist Durst in his questionable business dealings.  He controls what she wears, what she eats, where she goes and even what she weighs. And to add to all this stress, Marlena, who is the third Mrs. Durst discovers the previous wives died when Durst became unhappy with them, and under very suspicious circumstances.

Unfortunately it seems she is unable to break herself free from her husband’s hold no matter how hard she tries.  The last time almost killing her.  So she decides the only way she can truly be done with him is to kill herself rather than live with him any longer.

The Third Mrs. Durst is a very dark psychological thriller with heart palpitating turns and an incredible ending to die for.

Thank you so much #NetGalley #MidnightInk #TheThirdMrs.Durst for the free advanced copy.

Carnegie Hill by Jonathan Vatner

untitled

When Penelope “Pepper” Bradford moves into an exclusive apartment complex with her fiancé Rick, she believes their love is so strong they will live happily ever after.  But when Rick’s “fidelity” choices prior to their wedding as well as other issues begin to way on Pepper’s mind, their relationship becomes far from happy. It actually turns destructive for both of them.

As Penelope integrates herself into the apartment complex she decides to join the co-op board to keep herself occupied.  She begins to make friends with some of her neighbors and what she uncovers is that no one has the perfect life.

Patricia, the president of the board whose decisions seem to be those all must agree with, has many issues with apartment applicants as well as with board members becoming too friendly with the apartment staff, although she herself does not need to follow her own rules.

Francis and Carol who have been married and arguing for over 50 years both must face life-changing health issues which they choose to handle differently.  Can their relationship survive?

Birdie and George, another elderly couple also face a marriage crisis.  George has been deeply depressed since his retirement and Birdie can’t seem to get him to do anything about it other than take pills.  She feels it may be time for her to move on and begin a new life.

Sergei and Caleb met working at Carnegie Hill and have fallen in love.  Sergei cannot fully allow his feelings for Caleb to be known.  Caleb wants to shout how happy he is from the rooftops.  When Caleb does something without thinking it out, can Sergei forgive him?

Pepper looks at her neighbor’s relationships and realizes she too has big decisions to make.  How can she become the person she wants to be without hurting the ones she loves.

I would say Carnegie Hill is an updated version of Peyton Place, for those old enough to remember the show which was filled with eccentric people and drama galore.

Carnegie Hill is a terrific story with much drama and many laughs.

Thank you #NetGalley #CarnegieHill #JonathanVatner #ThomasDunneBooks for the advanced copy.

Pretty Guilty Women by Gina Lamanna

untitled

When old college friends reunite after being estranged for years for one of their own’s wedding, it should be a very joyous, happy occasion.  But that certainly was not in the cards. A murder has been committed and it seems they have all confessed. But it can only be one of them.

These college friends who are now somewhat strangers to each other all believe the other’s lives are perfect.  But all is not as it seems.

The gathering includes Kate, who is fashion model beautiful, wealthy and does not have a care in the world, but unbeknownst to her friends is in the middle of a horrific mid-life crisis.

Emily is a preschool teacher who drinks a bit.  She had a falling out years ago with one of her college roommates which she has regretted for years.  She also regrets the secrets she has been keeping and how they have been eating away at her.

Ginger is now a harried mother of three.  She and her husband whom she met in college barely make ends meet.  Her teenage daughter will be the death of her if her two younger children don’t kill each other first.

Then there is Lula an elderly woman they meet and befriend at the wedding who has been married “a few” times.  She thinks her latest husband is cheating on her and she will go to great lengths to figure out if this is true.

So, back to the murder…why would they each risk all they have to go to prison.  How did this situation get so out of control? Who really committed the crime and why?

Some friendships, both old and new can be meaningful, dependable and supportive regardless of their length or their history. But when push comes to shove these women will do anything and everything to protect each other. This is the lesson they learned.

Quite the page turner, Pretty Guilty Women is cleverly told via the detective’s interrogation’s of the women and then we have the women’s back story chapters.  There is comic relief as well with of course a few shocking twists at the end.

Thank you #NetGalley #SourcebooksLandmark #PrettyGuiltyWomen #GinaLamanna for the advanced copy. It was terrific!

The Escape Room by Megan Goldin

untitled

When elite business financiers Jules, Vincent, Sam and Sylvie who all work for the same company, find themselves called to an important meeting on a Friday night and get trapped in an elevator, they think help will soon arrive.  But they discover this will not be the case.  They are in the middle of a game.  The elevator is their prison and the game is the Escape Room.

In order to leave the elevator they must solve the questions and puzzles and complete the riddles.  But unfortunately these savvy business types begin to turn on each other as the questions and riddles get harder to answer and secrets they have been hiding begin to come to light.

But who is the Master of the Escape Room game?  Why have they been chosen and why are they being tortured? Who could they have possibly upset?  Well, in their world, that could be just about anyone living or dead.

And finally, who will survive both the game and the secrets which are the clues to opening the elevator.  As devious business executives which one will outwit the rest and what could possibly be the end prize?  Money or their lives?

The Escape Room is THE best book I have read this year!  With incredible plot twists and emotions which range from high to low I went on the rollercoaster ride of my life, and I was not let down!

Thank you, thank you #St.Martin’sPress for sending me the advanced copy of #TheEscapeRoom # MeganGoldin.  Don’t walk, run to the store and pick up a copy!

 

Is There Still Sex In The City by Candace Bushnell

untitled Is There Still Sex In The City is Bushnell’s follow up book to her blockbuster Sex and the City.

Now middle-aged, Bushnell and her friends Sassy, Kitty, Queenie, Tilda Ta and Marilyn are all experiencing mid-life and all that entails.  Bushnell herself, after marrying in her forties, finds herself getting divorced and having to start all over in a dating world filled with all types of new social media.  And of course, true to form each essay starts with a question.

And so the big question is can one navigate new types of technology, ways to look younger and still find someone to love you for you? Or do you even need a partner?

Especially when you discover all the new jargon you must learn to be a mid-lifer just when your mind begins to have senior moments.  Words such as “cubbing”, dating a younger man, or restoration and rejuvenation of certain areas or perhaps mortgaging your house not to prevent, but to dissolve wrinkles.  And the cost??? Astronomical! And it is all exhausting!

In a series of essays, Bushnell takes us through mid-life which includes marriage, divorce, regret at not having children and loss. She of course does this with the same wit and humor which was found in her first book. Only this time there is a much more profound sense of adulthood. We get a glimpse at the landmines these women try to maneuver around, sometimes unsuccessfully, just as they did in their 20’s and 30’s to hopefully find out who they are and who they can be in their 50’s and 60’s and beyond.

Thank you #NetGalley #GrovePress #IsThereStillSexInTheCity #CandaceBushnell for the advanced copy.

Trust Me by Hank Phillipi Ryan

9780765393074.jpgMercer Hennessy was a reporter who loved her job and her family.  After a tragic loss she withdrew from the world.  But when her former editor calls and asks her to write a book about the trial of the century, Mercer decides it may be good for her.

A mother, Ashlyn Bryant has been accused of murdering her 2-year-old daughter whose body was found in a washed up in a garbage bag on the shore of a beach in Boston, MA.  As Mercer follows the trial and writes her book she is positive Ashlyn has committed this horrendous crime and will pay for her actions. How could she not?

Until the verdict comes in.  When Ashlyn is found not guilty everyone is in complete shock.  But when Mercer’s editor calls her and tells her Ashlyn would like HER to write a book about what really happened, she must put her feeling aside and trust that Ashlyn will tell her the truth.  But as they sit and talk, Mercer realizes Ashlyn’s story seems to change on a daily basis.  And as time passes Ashlyn has Mercer so confused not only about the murder, but even that Mercer’s family could easily have been involved.  Something is not right and Mercer knows it.  But she also begins to doubt herself.

Who really killed the young girl and why is Ashlyn trying to manipulate Mercer?  Who really can be trusted?

Trust Me is a terrific psychological thriller which keeps you guessing as to who the real killer could be.

Everyone seems to have something to hide…trust me…