Waisted by Randy Susan Meyers

Alice is the head of a children’s community center and she is overweight. She is obsessed with being overweight. But she can’t help but be overweight. Since her childhood her mother has kept tabs on how much she eats. How unhealthy being overweight is and what not to eat. Now Alice only hears her mother’s voice in her head when trying to make healthy food choices and it only does the opposite. So Alice continues to eat and continues to gain weight.

Daphne, a make-up artist was very thin when she met her husband years ago. When she found herself pregnant they decided to marry. Since the birth of her daughter years ago she not only never lost the baby weight, but has continually added to it much to the chagrin of her husband and her mother. They are a tag team when it comes to what she puts in her mouth. Now she is beginning to worry about her young daughter and what her perception of the situation might do to her. She feels she needs to get her weight under control not only for herself but to save her marriage and make both her daughter and mother happy.

Alice and Daphne meet at Waisted, a month long live-in mansion in Vermont where it is promised to members a safe, healthy weight loss with psychological assistance to help with their understanding as to why they eat. They soon discover that not only is this program not what it said it would be, but is actually being filmed to become a documentary which will be viewed by many. Not something an overweight person would really be comfortable with.

The women all begin to realize they are being used not in a good way, but in a way in which the documentary will make them be perceived as desperate women who would do just about anything to lose weight quickly. The counselors are cruel and demeaning, depriving them of food and making them feel worthless, even more so than when they arrived. The must figure out a way to get out.

This incredible novel delves into so many social issues seen in both young girls and women who begin to feel powerless and self-conscious at an early age. With problems such as body image, addiction, trying to hold a marriage and family together to being brave and honest and finally accepting who you are and loving that person, this book has it all.

This is an inspiring story of women who decide to take back their power and use it for good.

Waisted will be available on May 21. Thank you #NetGalley #Atria Books #Waisted #Randy Susan Meyers for the advanced copy.

Ladies Who Punch by Ramin Setoodeh

Ladies who Punch is the behind the scenes story of The View.  It is caddy, scathing, petty and humiliating…and I loved every word!
Unless you are a fan of The View, which I have been from its conception almost 20 years ago, you won’t really enjoy this book.  BUT for those who lunch with the ladies as I have over the years, this will be your bible on how the show works, or doesn’t, how the ladies get along, or don’t, and how the staff and talent try to sabotage each other, and they do.  Here are just a few of the highlights:
Rosie O’Donnell was hated by just about everyone on the staff and crew both times she was on the show.  Some producers and even a director refused to be in the same room with her.
Elisabeth Hasslebeck struggled to find her place at the table and was humiliated live on air by Barbara Walters and during the commercial break actually got up and left the stage and quit.
Star Jones was so stunned when her contract was not renewed she went out and hired the REAL woman who was portrayed on the television series Scandal and they devised a plan where Star actually announces her departure without telling anyone she is doing it while at the same time People magazine comes on the stand with a story about her departure.
Barbara Walters while an icon, always seemed to start the chaos but always made sure someone else took the blame for it.  As she neared her retirement from the show she began to get a bit confused and after one particular segment about Jenny McCarthy who was sitting next to her asked McCarthy who Jenny McCarthy was.
Filled will stories and dirt some which had been rumored over the years and some which had been deeply buried Setoodeh had access to most of the hosts throughout the years as well as the producers and staff.  This tell-all is a real tell all!
I highly recommend it!

Red, White & Royal Blue by Casey McQuiston

Red, White & Royal Blue is a love story between Alex, the President of the United States and Henry, the grandchild of the Queen of England. Although their first introductions were anything but cordial, and could have even been considered antagonistic, when pictures of them in what looks to be a physical fight come to light, both countries public relations departments intervene and push them both into situations to make them look as if they are best friends.

Soon, they do become more than friends and begin a secret relationship which if found out could destroy the relationships of both countries. And Alex’s mother is up for reelection against and very conservative opponent.

This was a very cute, funny romantic story, and how both Alex and Henry and their families learn lessons of love and trust and what is most important.

Thank for #NetGalley #St. Martin’s Press #Red, White & Royal Blue #Casey Quiston for the advanced copy. The book will be out May 14.

Summer under the Stars by Catherine Ferguson

Daisy and Toby are a couple. Although opposites in just about everything, and Toby seeming to be more focused on work than Daisy, she still loves him. She especially loves Toby’s mom and his brood of all brothers. It has given her a sense of family every since her mother passed away rather quickly this past year.

Daisy, who was adopted, had a wonderful childhood with a father and mother who adored her. With the loss of her mother life has been very difficult as she was her best cheerleader when it came to her writing career and a book she had been working on forever. Unsure of her next choices and feeling insecure about everything Daisy realizes she is at a crossroad in her life.

So when Toby’s 30th birthday rolls around and Daisy finds herself with a little extra money, she decides to book them a romantic getaway at her friends “glamping” camp. Daisy feels this will be exactly what she and Toby need to rekindle their love. But also, Daisy has recently found out that her biological mother may have come from the next town over.

Unfortunately Toby does not appreciate the outdoor life and the bugs, etc. and decides he needs to work and sets off to an office nearby leaving Daisy alone most days to hike and ponder her life. And of course it is there she meets Jake, a handsome, strapping camper who is very mysterious. She also decides to pursue finding her biological mother, although she is conflicted as to what her mom would think.

Hence, chaos ensues and things are not always as they seem. This is a very sweet, feel-good love story with a few surprises thrown in and of course a very satisfying happy ending.

Thank you #NetGalley #Avon Books #Summer under the Stars #Catherine Ferguson for the advanced copy. The book will be out on May 13.

The Mother-in-Law by Sally Hepworth

Anyone married knows the relationship with their mother-in-law can be tricky at best. Sometimes a person can hit the jackpot in that department and sometimes…not so much. Unfortunately for Lucy the relationship she has with her mother-in-law Diana is quite complicated at best. From their first meeting when Diana deemed Lucy “fine” as her son Ollie’s girlfriend to denying them a loan (Diana and her husband Tom are filthy rich) when they were a little short meeting the down payment on their starter home.

Diana it seems lacks emotions. At least on the outside. She is hard to read and in this dysfunctional family hard to please. So when the family finds out Diana has breast cancer it comes as a shock, but when they receive a call that she has committed suicide and the autopsy shows not only no cancer, but she has been murdered everyone becomes a suspect. Who would want to kill Diana? Maybe everyone in the family?

To add insult to injury the family upon her death find out she has left her vast fortune to the charity she started years earlier. A charity which provides for women and their families who come to America from other countries.

So many questions, and so many secrets. Who killed Diana and for what reason.

The story unfolds in chapters by Lucy and Diana hopping from present day to the past. Each chapter leaves the reader hanging for the next part of the story. It gives one the feeling of being on a rollercoaster ride.
But for Lucy she must come to terms with the death of a woman who she may have thought she disliked yet is mourning a woman she realized she may have actually admired.

The twists and turns in this fast paced novel keep coming, with dark secrets, some which are never revealed–only to the reader and of course the shocking ending as to who and why someone would want to kill the mother-in-law.

Thank you #NetGalley #St. Martin’s Press #The Mother-in-Law #Sally Hepworth for the advanced copy. The book out now.

A Perfect Cornish Summer by Phillipa Ashley

A Perfect Cornish Summer is based in a town on the water called Porthmellow. Sam Lovell is the owner of a catering company and she is the organizer of an annual food festival which was her idea years before. Through the years the festival has continually grown much to the delight of many of the locals, but not all.

When the guest chef pulls out at the last minute and Gabe Matthias, a hometown boy made good offers to step into the role to save the festival, Sam is not too pleased. Their past history was once magical until Gabe up and told the police that Sam’s brother Ryan was planning on robbing a store. This put Ryan in prison, Sam upset with Gabe and Gabe leaving town. When Ryan finally did get out of prison he vowed to never return and much to Sam’s great sadness she has not seen him in years.

And as with any good love story/mystery we get to meet the comical characters who go along with a small harbor town where everybody knows one another. And most have secrets. Some more serious than others. The highlight of the story is the festival itself, that’s where the comedy was at its best and kept a smile on my face. A smile still there even as this sweet story came to it’s conclusion.

For fans of The Vicar of Dibley, a series from the BBC in England, you especially will relish the tight knit community and quirky characters which come along with it. The committee meetings are just on place in which I laughed. But most of all you will be pleased with the love and caring for others which occurs in this tiny place near the sea. More please!!

Thank you #NetGalley #Avon #Phillipa Ashley #A Perfect Cornish Summer for the advanced copy. It will be out on April 25.

The Woman in the Window by A.J. Finn

Anna Fox is a child therapist who is separated from her husband and daughter. She lives alone in a home in New York. She does not leave her house, ever. It was not always like this but that’s the past. Now she drinks, takes way too many pills, watches old Hitchcock movies and views her neighbor’s lives from her windows. She sometimes even creates scenarios of what is going on in their houses and lives.

When a new family moves into the house across the street from her, she admires their typical family, like the one she use to have. The Russells, Jane the mother, Alistair the father, and Ethan their son remind her of how her family once was.

But one night as she is staring out her window she witnesses something terrible…or she thinks she has. With no one to believe her and quite frankly she is not sure if she believes herself, she begins to dissolve into an abyss of even more drinking and more pills.

A fast-paced thriller which puts you into the mind-set of a very depressed agoraphobic woman who endures crippling panic attacks and has her own dark secrets, her story begins to unravel before our eyes and as she too begins to unravel. The reader begins to understand that you really never do know what goes on behind closed doors.

There are so many shocking twists and turns throughout the story which you never see coming!

Now in paperback, The Woman in the Window is also being made into a move starring Amy Adams. I cannot recommend this book enough!