Posts Tagged chick lit

book review: Under the Table

under the table

Under the Table by Stephanie Evanovich. William Morrow| April 16, 2019| 272 pages | $26.99| ISBN: 9780062415929

RATING: ***/5*

Sometimes you crave a light read, a brain palette cleanser. I read this one back in September when I needed just such a reading break. It’s an easy, unoffensive, cute, rather predictable read. I liked it enough to finish it but didn’t find it particularly memorable. Zoey Sullivan escapes her stagnant marriage by moving in with her single and carefree (naturally) sister in New York. She pursues her passion for cooking and works as a caterer. Of course she meets a millionaire named Tristan Malloy who has the perfect model house kitchen. He’s handsome and successful but rather reclusive and socially inept so Zoey decides to help him by giving him a makeover. She finds herself falling for Tristan of course and then must decide whether to choose the hot millionaire or her Midwesterner, possessive husband Derek. It’s a really difficult decision—“Sweet, sexy, chivalrous to a fault, Tristan. They had no real history. There had been no declarations of love, just a gradual buildup of attraction that inevitably exploded in passion.” In the process of falling in love with the millionaire, Zoey does discover herself and own independence and strength and that’s admirable. Under the Table is the perfect fantasy and will make a perfect beach read.


–review by Amy Steele


I received an ARC from William Morrow for review purposes.

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book review: Mercury in Retrograde

Mercury in Retrograde
author: Paula Froelich
publisher: Simon and Schuster

It was tiresome. All Lipstick wanted to do was go home and sew more, to do something she felt so passionate about, and create a tangible product. She loved darting dresses and hemming shirts. She adored creating confections out of her own clothes and fitting them to her—or Penelope’s or Dana’s—body. And when a dress or shirt was done, there was the satisfaction of wearing it, or seeing it posted on the website and then being praised by people who had no idea where the clothes had come from. It was the purest form of flattery, with no strings attached, because no one could figure out who the designer was; they just wanted the clothes.
The few hours of spare time she had were spent with Penelope and Dana, who didn’t care what her father did for a living or where she shopped. They were just fun. And for the first time in her life, Lipstick felt accepted for who she was, not what she was—or who her parents were.

Mercury in Retrograde focuses on three women in their late-twenties who live in the same brownstone in SoHo. Though quite different, the women find some commonalities and become friends. Having been a reporter for New York Post’s Page Six, author Paula Froelich facilely and colorfully details the lives of these young women, especially the socialite and newspaper/ television reporter.

Penelope Mercury is a beat reporter at New York Telegraph. She has worked there for five years and has her eye on a court reporter position. When she gets overlooked for a newer reporter, she quits and ends up working for a cable television station. Her jobs take on a ridiculous quality very much like Bridget Jones [reporting in her underwear for national underwear day] but Penelope works hard and keeps at it to prove that she can persevere. Lena “Lipstick” Lippencrass is a socialite and editor at a fashion magazine, where she covers the socialite scene. When her parents suddenly cut her off, she must make do on a pittance of a salary and moves to SoHo. Soon she starts to design her own clothes by re-working her own wardrobe. This garners much attention. Finally, living in the penthouse, is successful attorney Dana Gluck. Dana is recently divorced and thirty pounds overweight. All three girls come together due to a mutual gay friend and private yoga classes at Dana’s apartment.

The young women learn from each other and start to see themselves for who they truly are on the inside not outside. In developing this unlikely friendship, the three women find strength to make changes in their lives. While Mercury in Retrograde has a lot of laughs it also illustrates three independent women making their way in Manhattan. These women are becoming successful on their own terms and in a manner that makes them most content. Mercury in Retrograde is a fun, breezy read that is also thoughtful and provides the inside scoop on living and working in Manhattan.


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book review: Forget Me Knot

by Sue Margolis

Forget Me Knot is the type of book you read in one day at the pool or at the café and then forget about in a few days. Abby runs her own business Fabulous Flowers and is engaged to Toby. She’s from a working-class background and he’s very much not. In the UK, this is a huge deal. At thirty-four, Toby was a real grown-up. Abby had dated too many men who, even as they hit their mid-thirties, were still trying to work out what they wanted from life and where they were going. They were frustrated, tormented types who—often for good reason—yearned to give up jobs that gave them no satisfaction and take off round the world on a Harley. Her best friends are her school-mate Sophie and Martin, who works at her shop. Toby and Abby haven’t had sex in a while because Toby just can’t get it up. Sophie and Martin [who is gay] suspect Toby is gay but Abby just will not see it in her fiancé. In the meantime, a film decides to use Abby’s shop as a shooting location and the director, Dan is quite cute. As Toby and Abby fall apart, Dan and Abby, predictably begin a romance. Recently, I saw the fabulous documentary Paper Heart which examines love from all angles. In it, Charlyne Yi talks to romance novelist Sarah Baker who explains that the key to any good romance is HEA—happily ever after and that there must be one half of a couple who makes a sacrifice for the other. So expect that to happen in Forget Me Knot which is fairly predictable. It’s a very easy read. Everything is clearly laid out right in front of you. Margolis lays the clues out for the reader and uses simple words. She creates characters you know or quickly recognize. This book is the definition of chick lit in every sense of the word. The sex scenes are so graphic it’s a cross between a watered down Anais Nin and Penthouse Forum. There are misunderstandings over silly movie-style things: something looks one way but in actuality is another. One party seethes while the other cries or broods. The couple comes back together. Then all is well in the end. Happy. Happy. There’s no depth in Forget Me Knot. Which I suppose many people desire in a summer read. For me, it is just to light for reading fare.

Bantam Books
Trade Paperback

Grade: C+

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