Meli’s Nostalgic Tales: Big Girl Panties

Title: Big Girl Panties
Author: Stephanie Evanovich
Publisher: William Morrow
Type of book: Trade Paperback
Genre: Romance, Women’s Fiction, Adult, Chick-Lit, humour
Pages: 336

Holly Brennan didn’t expect to be a widow at thirty-two. She also didn’t expect to be so big. Through her husband Bruce’s diagnosis and death, food was the one thing she could always count on. Now, those extra pounds make flying coach more than a little mortifying-especially since she’s sitting next to Adonis himself, aka Logan Montgomery, a personal trainer to the country’s most famous pro athletes.

– Summary from GoodReads.

Now this is part of the actual summary but let me say that it was enough to twist my interest-nub. This author went down a road not many writers where the main character is overweight and dealing with the loss of her husband. However, without even asking Holly was in need of some saving and it came in the form of one fine specimen. Now believe me I was wondering how this was going to pull through, I thought I was going to get sappy breakdowns and rage all through and through.

Yet, Holly just isn’t like that, she’s bright sassy with a mouth with more comebacks I think there should be a Guinness world-record for it. She doesn’t just overcome her physical appearance but gets her self-worth back and as a woman, some of us tend to forget how valuable we are. Yay Holly! I chocked back a sob at one point because I felt I was experience her change with her and when she came to terms with her husband Bruce’s passing. It just did funny things to me…I dunno.

Our lovely beau Logan, what should I say about him? I liked him, I thought I wouldn’t though. I pegged him to have this gas-leak type of attitude and go around strutting his stuff, proclaiming that he was superior. No, no, that was NOT the author’s choice he was a humble guy who loves to work out and make people see their true potential. Although he is portrayed as being absolutely perfect, people, he has flaws…image flaws which had me shouting “Can’t you just enjoy the cookie without counting all its chocolate bits??” yes this is me censoring things.

Eventually they do get to see the bigger picture and realize that when it comes to love, it shan’t be define by outer image but one’s own heart.

*gag gag* “what is up with all the cheese!!”

Also, what made this particular book special was the relationship between Logan’s friend Chase and his girlfriend Amanda. What little meddlers who like things on the wild side. Okay that is all I am saying. But I truly am glad I picked this up during my trip to Vancouver and was able to finish it because it was that hilarious and great. For a debut novel I am giving Stephanie Evanovich huge thumbs up. The only thing that I had trouble was imaging what Logan looked like, the description for him just wasn’t concrete at some moments until made the middle-sih of the book I just gave up and said “he is a fine piece of man-meat and there is nothing I can do about it” That is all.

Rating: 4.5

Meli <3

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Nostalgic Tales: Rainshadow Road By Lisa Kleypas

Title: RainShadow Road

Publisher: Piatkus Books

Author: Lisa Kleypas

Type of Book: Paperback

Genre: Romance, Contemporary, Adult, Magic Realism, Chick Lit

This book was given to me based on a win from Goodreads and I am not especially lucky so you should all know how ecstatic I was to have finally won something. So many thanks!!!

On with the Review:

This story is particularly juicy, our main character Lucy, the forgotten child in some sense. She (Lucy) undergoes a massive betrayal, not only does her conniving boyfriend break with her, and yes there was another woman and that woman is, you guessed it! Lucy’s younger, prettier and attention-hogging sister Alice! Needless to say life just crumbled for Lucy after that. It doesn’t take long for Lucy to be rescued, even when she claimed she didn’t need saving. Typical damsel response pshh if only she knew…

Sam Nolan is the essence of Hakuna-Matata. He lives by a simple no-strings attach and everyone is happy life style that I thought “this guy wants to die a bachelor and I’m okay with that” He is kind, witty, science loving nerd, with a face worthy of being a Disney prince (this is based on my visual impression of him, totts could different on readers) but better looking. Oh and all male.*cheeky smile*

When those two collide, Lucy gets ready to run for the hills, but divine intervention or whatever is at work does not let that fly by. I really enjoyed the way their relationship grew. Unlike other romances we get the sexual tension and then the inevitable “your place or mine” speech, but this time it was different. These two’s shared a friendship and a deep companionship that I loved observing and it felt more genuine. So 10 points awarded to Mademoiselle Kleypas!

So ladies and gents, they do get down and dirty after Lucy convinces herself that some less OCD-ness is needed and with her sister being a, well let’s be frank, a narcissistic bitch it was bound to happen. Whoever said stress relievers aren’t handy obviously isn’t getting the right kind. Nevertheless, the drama-juice keeps running as more secrets pop up about her family and her dear ex-boyfriend. We also get a deeper look into Sam’s rough past which explains why he chooses the way of the bachelor.

There are also a few side stories I saw happening and usually I think too many characters getting involved in too overwhelming but this author, she be crafty y’all. I actually wanted to venture more into, but I think Lisa Kleypas next book will give me what I am looking for.

I think this book is fabulous and I could not put it down so well written and breathtaking with lip curling upwards moments. THE ONLY PROBLEM I HAD was the magic, I really didn’t know there was going to mention of it. Yep it happened…a curve ball right in the groin. I kind of wish there wasn’t any, but I suppose it’s a great icebreaker, that little “think outside the box and eat that weird color chocolate because obviously it meant to be there.” Maybe for others the magic-mentions will be pleasing, it could be perhaps she wanted to just be different and try her hand at something more meh the way Kleypas thinks is BEYOND MY UNDERSTANDING. All in all to me on the other hand this story was so beautiful I feel that component was an extra added and you didn’t have to go there.

Oh and let us not forget that dear Alice, learns her lesson and that’s all I am willing to say. When that moment happens I whooped out loud and gloated, but Lucy was much more graceful than I would have been.

Grading : 4.5/5

With mucho Amor
-Meli

Sam’s Words for Dessert: Arranged by Catherine McKenzie Review

Arranged Catherine McKenzie
Arranged
Catherine McKenzie
HarperCollins Canada – January 2011
Paperback
Chick Lit.
390 Pages

Anne Blythe has a great life: a good job, good friends, and a potential book deal for her first novel. When it comes to finding someone to share it with, however, she just can’t seem to get it right.

After yet another relationship ends, Anne comes across a business card for what she thinks is a dating service, and she pockets it just in case. When her best friend, Sarah, announces she’s engaged, Anne can’t help feeling envious. On an impulse, she decides to give the service a try because maybe she could use a little assistance in finding the right man. But Anne soon discovers the company isn’t a dating service; it’s an exclusive, and pricey, arranged marriage service. She initially rejects the idea, but the more she thinks about it-and the company’s success rate-the more it appeals to her. After all, arranged marriages are the norm for millions of women around the world, so why wouldn’t it work for her?

A few months later, Anne is travelling to a Mexican resort, where in one short weekend she will meet and marry Jack. And against all odds, it seems to be working out-until Anne learns that Jack, and the company that arranged their marriage, are not what they seem at all.

I’m not sure if I’ve mentioned it before but I’m not a huge fan of romance novels/chick lits. That doesn’t mean one doesn’t manage to get my attention but it’s very rare. Especially finding one that I actually enjoy… Now, the reason why I picked Arranged up was because I really enjoyed Catherine McKenzie’s first novel Spin. I thought, Hey, why not? I didn’t hate Spin so what are the chances of me disliking this one?

Getting right into it. My first impression of the book was: nice cover, not one of my favourites but good enough. The tag line: “What’s love got to do with it?” didn’t do anything for me. The summary did seem to work well enough though; it was the “not what they seem at all” that really got me.

By the time I got through the book (6 hours) I can tell you that I was feeling extremely disappointed. I’ve been meaning to write this review for the longest time but that feeling seemed to get in the way and every time I tried to write this I’d just sigh. Defeated.

Don’t get me wrong. It’s not a terrible book and there are some moments that I enjoyed but (there’s always a but isn’t there?) it could have been better. See, as I mentioned a bit earlier, the “not what they seem” is what caught my attention, so with this information you, as the reader, already know something is going to go wrong. You flick page after page and you’re waiting and waiting. I won’t tell you what happens (as sorely tempted as I am), but I will tell you that the big conflict only arrived near the very end of the novel and in my opinion a little predictable.

Maybe if the summary hadn’t mentioned there would be a twist, I wouldn’t have been waiting for this (maybe) big thing to happen. Alas… since I did know something was supposed to happen, I kept trying to figure it out and I got impatient waiting for the event to arrive. In the end, this event didn’t live up to any of my expectation and utterly disappointed me.

Now that I know what happens, I might go back for a second read with a fresh mind. See if I can enjoy the middle more since I have nothing to feel impatient about. We’ll see.

I’m giving Arranged 2.5 cupcakes. No sprinkles on the icing unfortunately (maybe after a second read). It wouldn’t be the first book I’d put on a recommendation list but I wouldn’t black-list it either.

Till next timeee
Happy Reading~!

Sam
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