Laura Florand and Sexual Tension

I found Laura Florand’s books a few months ago when I listened to a podcast she participated in over at Smart Bitches, Trashy Books

I bought Once Upon a Rose and I was immediately lost among the aromatic rose bushes in France. Rock star and songwriter, Layla heads to a cottage in France which she inherited from a long lost relative. Only problem is the cottage is on land that Matt also owns with the rose bushes that provide his livelihood.

And y’all, the sexual tension was so taut that by time they finally kissed, I was sweating and there was steam come from my Kindle.

This continued to happen throughout the book, every time Layla and Matt were together, touching, looking, laughing, eating, walking through the rose gardens. OH MY!

And I thought surely this was a fluke. She couldn’t do this again could she?

My library didn’t have any of the La Vie En Roses series but they did have the first book in the Amour et Chocolat series.

Cade Corey is an American in Paris and she is there to learn all about chocolate from master Chocolatier, Sylvain Marquis.

Things don’t go exactly as Cade had planned but her attraction to the explosive Sylvain is something she can’t deny.

And when these two finally get together, I had to get up and walk around fanning myself because I was sweating and panting as if I’d been jumping rope in the attic.

Then when I had calmed down, I went back and reread that part. Because it was HOT.

If you don’t believe me, go ahead and grab one of her books. You’ll see for yourself that she knows how to write sexual tension that will build and build until finally your Kindle explodes!

Book Review turned Ode to Claire Cook

I just finished the 2nd book in the The Wildwater Walking Club and I…

Wait, let me back up. A few years ago (I just looked and it was 5 years ago, yikes), I was at the library and I saw Claire Cook’s Wallflower in Bloom on the shelf.

Wallflower in BloomI picked it up simply because the cover was pretty. I didn’t recognize her name and I didn’t notice the little blurb that said that she was the author of a famous novel turned movie.

I loved the book. So what is the first thing that someone does when they read a book they love? They look to see if the author has any other books.

That’s when I face-palmed.

Claire Cook wrote Must Love Dogs! How is it possible that I didn’t recognize her name or manage to read any of her other books? Must Love Dogs

Well I don’t know, but I’m not ashamed to admit that I immediately devoured several of her books.

First of all, you need to know that Claire writes about reinvention. She writes about women that are trying to start over in life and find their passion. They are taking chances, doing things that are a bit outside the norm and stretching their bubble.

This was me when I found her books. I had just gone back to work and college full-time after staying at home with my children for 10, say it with me, TEN years.

And then in 2014, Claire published a nonfiction book, Never Too Late, Your Roadmap to Reinvention.Never Too LateIf you find yourself in need of a change, this is your inspiration. She even has a Facebook group for this book and teaches a Reinvention class at Emory. I haven’t attended her class, but the Facebook group is full of supportive women and Claire is very active in the group.

Wildwater Claire CookLets get back on track. Oh, see what I did there?

Over the weekend I read The Wildwater Walking Club, Back on Track and I liked it just as much, if not more than the first one.

Noreen, Rosie, and Tess are back and they are still muddling their way through the changes in their life.  Noreen is still trying to find her path after a buyout at her previous company. Her boyfriend, Rick is in the same boat, but he’s having a harder time and dealing with it in a totally different way.

Noreen leaves for a trip overseas with her walking buddies and she finds herself along the way. I won’t say too much because I want you to enjoy the ride.

The imagery is amazing. I’m ready to book a river cruise in France! I just need to find friends like Noreen, Rosie, and Tess to travel with me.



My Not So Perfect Life – By Sophie Kinsella

Sophie Kinsella Not So Perfect I’m in the middle of attempting a career change. Ok, well, I’ve been attempting this for over a year now. It isn’t easy and with my advancing age (I’m a wizened old lady of 41) it’s even more difficult.

I’m doing all these things that’s outside my normal bubble. I’m trying to look hip and young. I’ve joined Snapchat and Instagram and I’m taking photos of my food and trying to make it look like things are great and so far it hasn’t been all that successful. That’s why I could relate to Katie in My Not So Perfect Life.

Katie has always wanted to live in London and her dream has finally come true. Leaving behind “Farmer Katie”, she changes her nickname to Cat and gets a job at an advertising agency working in Branding. She’s in awe of her boss, Demeter, and the fancy, upscale, perfect life that Demeter seems to have. Katie soon finds out that everything is not as it seems.

If you’re looking for romance, this book has some but it takes a back burner to Katie trying to find where she fits, resolving issues with her family, and making a few new friends.

But the ending. Oh the ending. It was perfect.

Kinsella did a fantastic job writing characters that I care about and they were relatable too (even Demeter and her perfect life). She really did a fantastic job capturing the different personalities. As usual, Kinsella does not disappoint.

Sophie Kinsella
My Not So Perfect Life

Act Like It – By: Lucy Parker

I recently reread Act Like It by Lucy Parker and it made me think of my friend Kelly A.

I have several friends named Kelly, so for clarity, I’m using a last initial.

Kelly loves to play tried and true tv shows and movies in the background while she’s doing stuff around the house. It’s like having a friend there while you’re cleaning the kitchen or folding laundry.

Sometimes I’ll call her and she’ll say, “oh I’m folding laundry and watching 90210.” Now folks this is the original 90210. The one from the early 1990s.

((sigh)) The good ole days.

Or maybe this classic – Say Anything.

((sigh again))

I’m not sure how she picks these shows, or what it is exactly that makes her want to watch it over and over, but I have noticed a few similarities, the movie has to have a few laughs (even if it’s from awkward situations), characters you can relate to and love (or love to hate, like James Spader’s character in Pretty In Pink), and romance.

I purchased Act Like It when it was a daily special in the Kindle store. Then it sat on my Kindle for weeks before I finally opened it. Then I stayed up way past my bedtime trying to finish it.

When I was done, I immediately thought that if this book were a movie, it would be my background movie. The movie that I couldn’t resist every time I saw that it was coming on.

What does this mean about the book? It means that I cared about the main characters, Richard and Elaine. I loved the slow burn romance. Sometimes insta-love is fun, but sometimes the slow burn feels so right.

The characters are believably flawed and completely redeemable. The pacing of the story was perfect. My only complaint is the ending and it isn’t because there’s anything wrong with it, I just didn’t want it to end!