Sorry Not Sorry by Sophie Ranald

Sorry Not Sorry by Sophie Ranald is a hysterical romp through life while dating and all its hits and misses (or messes) which comes with it. It’s about losing a best friend to marriage and working endless hours at a job that you feel unappreciated. In other words…life!

Charlotte is tired of being alone and single. With her best friend moving out to get married and having to adjust to new housemates, she’s feeling pretty low. Until she comes across a podcast called “Sorry Not Sorry” which challenges single women in each podcast to one exercise in order to improve their love lives. She begins taking the challenges from the mysterious woman who dishes out the advice while telling listeners her own dating mishaps. Charlotte begins to gain a sort of confidence by trying the advice.

During this same time she is faced with losing her best friend due to reasons she does not quite understand and helping her new roommate Tansy navigate a relationship while knowing she is keeping some sort of a secret about her past, all the while desperately trying to keep her job by working long hours and never saying no.

This story is very relatable to anyone who has had to juggle the trials of working, dating and maintaining friendships. It is an uplifting funny story which will make you both cringe yet empathize with Charlotte’s choices.

I cannot wait for the sequel!

Thank you NetGalley and Bookouture for the advanced copy. The book will be out on February 13.

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben

Deal Breaker by Harlan Coben is the first book in the Myron Bolitar, sports agent/lawyer/investigator series. This book was published in 1995 which for those of us old enough to remember is a story within the story in itself.

Anyway, Bolitar is an up and coming sports agent to up and coming athletes. The story shows how cutthroat the business is and how agents will try just about anything to outdo each other in order to get athletes to sign with them.

But the main plot is Bolitar’s ex-girlfriend’s sister, who went missing over a year ago seems to suddenly reappear in a series of seedy pictures and phone calls, which includes to one of Bolitar’s star athletes. What unravels is the mystery of what happened to college student Cathy Culver, who had turned her life around and seemed to be finally happy and in love. Could she really be alive? Her family needs some closure especially since her father has just died of what appears to be a random mugging. Could the two deaths be connected? And how and why?

A definite page turner with an I can’t stop reading until I know who did it and how and why aspect. It reminds me of Robert B. Parker’s Spenser series with that same quick wit and sarcasm and easy dialogue. I enjoyed the book as well as the flashback to the 1990’s.

The Chef’s Secret by Crystal King

Chef Bartolomeo Scappi, the head cook for the Popes during the 1500’s in Rome, dies suddenly and leaves most of his estate to his nephew, apprentice Giovanni Scappi who then steps into the head cook role

Giovanni is given Bartolomeo’s cooking knife and a set of keys and is told to destroy what is in the boxes. Giovanni’s curiosity gets the better of him and he opens one of the boxes to find his Uncle’s journals dating back years, Unfortunately much of the journals are unreadable because they are in codes. Instead of burning the journals, he decides to decipher them to find out what Bartolomeo had been hiding all these years.

Within the notebooks Giovanni begins to see a different person than the kind, loving hardworking uncle he had always looked up to. He discovers Bartolomeo’s secrets and even a murder. Bartolomeo, who never married had been carrying on an affair with a woman who was given the pseudonym Stella to hide her true identity. Who could Stella be?

The Chef’s Secret is filled with intrigue, suspense, love, deception, and many feasts. The story reads like a juicy soap opera!. Anyone interested in the history of Renaissance life in Italy will be fascinated with the intricate details of the Vatican, the architecture of the day, artwork of the period as well as the massive amount of foods which were consumed during feasts and some of the delicacies’ origins.

Thank you #NetGalley and #Simon & Schuster for the advanced copy. The Chef’s Secret will be out on February 12.