Friday, March 31, 2023
Fiction/Nonfiction Quick Reviews: The Hollywood Edition
Wednesday, March 29, 2023
Can't-Wait Wednesday: Such Good Friends
Reveling in the star-studded parties, fashionable restaurants and gilt-edged inner circles of its most exclusive events, Truman Capote and his flock of glamorous socialite "swans" rule the highest echelons of 1960s and 70s high society New York. Stephen Greco brings this scandalous world to life in a fascinating recreation of the tumultuous friendship between Capote and his most elegant yet unconventional swan: princess and sister of Jackie Kennedy, Her Serene Highness Lee Radziwill.
On a Thursday morning in May 1961, a well-mannered twenty-one-year-old named Marlene enters the Fifth Avenue apartment of Lee Radziwill to interview for the position of housekeeper and cook. The stylish wife of London-based Prince Stanislaw Radziwill, Princess Lee is intelligent and creative, with ambitions beyond simply jet-setting. But to the public, she is always First Lady Jackie Kennedy's little sister.
As Marlene becomes a trusted presence in the Radziwill household, she observes the dazzling array of famous figures who flit in and out of Lee's intimate circle, including Gloria Vanderbilt, Rudolf Nureyev, Jackie and the President, Ari Onassis, Gore Vidal, Andy Warhol, and, most regularly, celebrated author Truman Capote. At the height of his fame following the success of Breakfast at Tiffany's, Truman has granted Lee place of honor in his flock of glamorous socialite "swans."
Their closeness stems from an unexpected kinship. Both know too well the feeling of being second-best. Seeing his shadow in the woman he refers to as his most unconventional swan, Truman uses his influence and talent to try and make Lee a star.
Their bond deepens through the decade's extraordinary events, from JFK's assassination to the era-defining Black and White Ball. But Marlene, who Truman has taken under his wing as an aspiring writer, can see Truman's darker side--especially his penchant for mining his friends' private lives for material. And there are betrayals on either side that may signal the end not just of a friendship, but of the shared expectation that wealth and fame can shield against every heartbreak. - from Goodreads
Monday, March 27, 2023
Michele's Monday Picks #11
The Secret Service of Tea and Treason (Dangerous Damsels #3)
By India Holton
Expected publication: April 18, 2023
spies must brave pirates, witches, and fake matrimony to save the
Known as Agent A, Alice is the top operative within the Agency of Undercover Note Takers, a secret government intelligence group that is fortunately better at espionage than at naming itself. From managing deceptive witches to bored aristocratic ladies, nothing is beyond Alice’s capabilities. She has a steely composure and a plan always up her sleeve (alongside a dagger and an embroidered handkerchief). So when rumors of an assassination plot begin to circulate, she’s immediately assigned to the case.
But she’s not working alone. Daniel Bixby, otherwise known as Agent B and Alice’s greatest rival, is given the most challenging undercover assignment of his life— pretending to be Alice’s husband. Together they will assume the identity of a married couple, infiltrate a pirate house party, and foil their unpatriotic plans.
Determined to remain consummate professionals, Alice and Daniel must ignore the growing attraction between them, especially since acting on it might prove more dangerous than their target.
This series is such a gem – wit and romance and pirates and witches and magic!
Do you think you’ll be picking this one up?
Friday, March 24, 2023
Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Last Lifeboat
Inspired by a remarkable true story, a young teacher evacuates children to safety across perilous waters, in a moving and triumphant new novel from New York Times bestselling author Hazel Gaynor.
1940, Kent Alice King is not brave or daring--she's happiest finding adventure through the safe pages of books. But times of war demand courage, and as the threat of German invasion looms, a plane crash near her home awakens a strength in Alice she'd long forgotten. Determined to do her part, she finds a role perfectly suited to her experience as a schoolteacher--to help evacuate Britain's children overseas.
1940, London Lily Nichols once dreamed of using her mathematical talents for more than tabulating the cost of groceries, but life, and love, charted her a different course. With two lively children and a loving husband, Lily's humble home is her world, until war tears everything asunder. With her husband gone and bombs raining down, Lily is faced with an impossible choice: keep her son and daughter close, knowing she may not be able to protect them, or enroll them in a risky evacuation scheme, where safety awaits so very far away.
When a Nazi U-boat torpedoes the S. S. Carlisle carrying a ship of children to Canada, a single lifeboat is left adrift in the storm-tossed Atlantic. Alice and Lily, strangers to each other--one on land, the other at sea--will quickly become one another's very best hope as their lives are fatefully entwined. - from Goodreads
Wednesday, March 22, 2023
Can't-Wait Wednesday: The Cuban Heiress
In 1934, a luxury cruise becomes a fight for survival as two women’s pasts collide on a round-trip voyage from New York to Havana in New York Times bestselling author Chanel Cleeton's page-turning new novel inspired by the true story of the SS Morro Castle.
New York heiress Catherine Dohan seemingly has it all. There’s only one problem. It’s a lie. As soon as the Morro Castle leaves port, Catherine’s past returns with a vengeance and threatens her life. Joining forces with a charismatic jewel thief, Catherine must discover who wants her dead—and why.
Elena Palacio is a dead woman. Or so everyone thinks. After a devastating betrayal left her penniless and on the run, Elena’s journey on the Morro Castle is her last hope. Steeped in secrecy and a burning desire for revenge, her return to Havana is a chance to right the wrong that has been done to her—and her prey is on the ship.
As danger swirls aboard the Morro Castle and their fates intertwine, Elena and Catherine must risk everything to see justice served once and for all. - from Goodreads
Monday, March 20, 2023
Michele's Monday Picks #10
By Meghan Quinn
Expected publication: April 18, 2023
From USA Today and Amazon Charts bestselling author Meghan Quinn comes a fun, sexy story about the family dynamics that can stand in the way of rekindling a romance.
Prepared for a good time, Tessa is thrilled to spend the weeks before her sister’s wedding at their family’s favorite vacation spot: Santorini. Sandy beaches, stonewashed houses, attractive men—it’s heaven.
But Tessa’s idea of a girl’s trip comes to a screaming halt when her sister thinks it’s high time Tessa finds some love herself. Unfortunately, Tessa forgot about the deal she made back in high school: she has to find her soulmate before her sister’s wedding. Or else.
As she dodges suitors and her sister’s pranks, Tessa finds an ally in the oh-so-dreamy Myles, her childhood crush who just so happens to work at the resort. But Myles is dealing with some family conflict of his own. He’s elated at being reunited with Tessa, but his father’s refusal to acknowledge his interest in the family business and relegating him to only grunt work casts a dark cloud.
As Tessa and Myles help navigate their way through their families’ antics, they begin to realize that their past feelings may have a future—if only they can turn their island fantasies into something real.
I just started getting into Meghan’s books and this one sounds fun!
Do you think you’ll be picking this one up?
Friday, March 17, 2023
Henry's Shelves #4
Tuesday, March 14, 2023
Top Ten Tuesday: My Spring TBR
Friday, March 10, 2023
Wednesday, March 8, 2023
Can't-Wait Wednesday: Fifth Avenue Glamour Girl
It’s 1938, and a young woman selling face cream out of a New York City beauty parlor is determined to prove she can have it all. Her name is Estée Lauder, and she’s about to take the world by storm, in this dazzling new novel from the USA Today bestselling author of The Social Graces and Park Avenue Summer.
In New York City, you can disappear into the crowd. At least that’s what Gloria Downing desperately hopes as she tries to reinvent herself after a devastating family scandal. She’s ready for a total life makeover and a friend she can lean on—and into her path walks a young, idealistic woman named Estée. Their chance encounter will change Gloria’s life forever.
Estée dreams of success and becoming a household name like Elizabeth Arden, Helena Rubinstein, and Revlon. Before Gloria knows it, she is swept up in her new friend’s mission and while Estée rolls up her sleeves, Gloria begins to discover her own talents. After landing a job at Saks Fifth Avenue, New York’s finest luxury department store, Gloria finds her voice, which proves instrumental in opening doors for Estée’s insatiable ambitions.
But in a world unaccustomed to women with power, they’ll each have to pay the price that comes with daring to live life on their own terms and refusing to back down. - from Goodreads
Monday, March 6, 2023
Michele's Monday Picks #9
If Only You (Bergman Brothers #6)
By Chloe Liese
Expected Publication: April 11, 2023
for longing, laughter, and a swoony slow-burn in this brother’s
best friend sports romance about scoring the love of your life when
you least expect to.
I’m the youngest player on the National Soccer team, the baby of my family, and thoroughly sick of being underestimated, so I’ve decided to take matters into my own hands. Which is where my brother’s best friend and teammate, the infamous Sebastian Gauthier, comes in.
Seb needs to rehab his reputation. I want to give mine an edge. So I propose a fake friendship with real benefits: spending time in the public eye, my good-girl image and his bad-boy notoriety rubbing off on each other. He’s my devious, dark-haired fantasy come to life, but his destructive ways make it easy to keep him in the (fake) friend zone. Or so I thought, until I start to see the heart of gold he’s been hiding beneath that sinister surface…
Like any self-respecting reprobate, I’ve been spiraling downward, and finally I’ve hit rock bottom. My hockey career and sponsorships are in jeopardy, and while I’m not ready to actually reform my ways, I’m happy to pretend that I have, to secure the life I’m on the brink of losing.
So when my best friend’s sister, Ziggy Bergman, proposes a public “friendship” to revamp our reputations, it’s an offer I can’t refuse. Up till now, I’ve stayed away from Ren’s sweet, shy little sister to avoid any risk of ruining my one good friendship. But I reassure myself there’s no risk in our scheme. I’ll fake a friendship with Ziggy, fix my reputation, and get back to hockey, the one and only thing I love. At least, it was, until what began as a transactional arrangement became the most loving relationship I’ve ever known.
If Only You is a brother’s best friend, (fake) friends with benefits to friends to lovers romance about a bighearted, quietly fierce soccer star on the autism spectrum, and a thoroughly unprincipled, almost irredeemable hockey player who has celiac disease. Complete with an absurd level of mutual pining, meddling family and friends, and a spicy slow burn, this standalone is the sixth in a series of novels about a Swedish-American family of five brothers, two sisters, and their wild adventures as they each find happily ever after.
I have loved every book in this series so far and Chloe Liese is one of my favorite authors - do you think you’ll be picking this one up?