Tag Archive | Book Review

Review: House of Silence by Sarah Barthel

House of Silence Book Cover House of Silence
Sarah Barthel
Historical
Kensington
December 27, 2016
Paperback
261
Goodreads First Read
August 6 - October 6, 2023

For fans of HBO’s The Gilded Age, explore the dazzling world of America’s 19th century elite in this lush, page-turning saga…

Oak Park, Illinois, 1875. Isabelle Larkin's future--like that of every young woman--hinges upon her choice of husband. She delights her mother by becoming engaged to Gregory Gallagher, who is charismatic, politically ambitious, and publicly devoted. But Isabelle's visions of a happy, profitable match come to a halt when she witnesses her fiancé commit a horrific crime--and no one believes her.

Gregory denies all, and Isabelle's mother insists she marry as planned rather than drag them into scandal. Fearing for her life, Isabelle can think of only one escape: she feigns a mental breakdown that renders her mute, and is brought to Bellevue sanitarium. There she finds a friend in fellow patient Mary Todd Lincoln, committed after her husband's assassination. 

In this unlikely refuge, the women become allies, even as Isabelle maintains a veneer of madness for her own protection. But sooner or later, she must reclaim her voice. And if she uses it to expose the truth, Isabelle risks far more than she could ever imagine.

Weaving together a thread of finely tuned suspense with a fascinating setting and real-life figures, Sarah Barthel's debut is historical fiction at its most evocative and compelling.

House of Silence

Review

2.5 Stars

After witnessing her fiancé, Gregory, murder a woman, and having nobody believe her, Isabelle Larkin stops speaking. This is a conscious decision, because why speak if nobody believes you? And when she refuses to speak for a period of time, her mother and her doctor feel there is no other choice than to send her off to Bellevue sanitarium. Isabelle is glad to get away, it means she won’t see Gregory; however, if anyone were to find out, Isabelle’s reputation would be ruined. 

While at Bellevue, Isabelle acquaints herself with the other patients who have various issues, and befriends the staff. And then the former first lady of the USA, Mary Todd Lincoln takes up residence. It is Mrs. Lincoln to whom Isabelle confides.

This book was well written, and the characters fleshed out, however I don’t feel like there was enough substance in the middle of the book. After Isabella witnessed the murder, the book seemed to drag as she did her day to day tasks at Bellevue, and went on carriage rides with Mrs. Lincoln, until we finally reached the climax, which I did enjoy. I would have been more invested had anything happened to Isabelle throughout the middle of the book. As it was, there was one small incident that was barely a blip. It happened so fast, I wasn’t even sure if it was real or Isabelle’s imagination.

I did enjoy learning a little more about Mary Todd Lincoln though. I had no clue that after the assassination of her husband President Abraham Lincoln, she was sent to a sanitarium due to her behaviors that her son found troubling. 

Overall, I wouldn’t recommend this book unless you’re a big fan of historical novels. 

Review: November 9 by Colleen Hoover

November 9 Book Cover November 9
Colleen Hoover
Contemporary Romance
Atria Books
November 10, 2015
Audiobook
310
Public Library
September 11 - 14, 2023

Beloved #1 New York Times bestselling author Colleen Hoover returns with an unforgettable love story between a writer and his unexpected muse.

Fallon meets Ben, an aspiring novelist, the day before her scheduled cross-country move. Their untimely attraction leads them to spend Fallon’s last day in L.A. together, and her eventful life becomes the creative inspiration Ben has always sought for his novel. Over time and amidst the various relationships and tribulations of their own separate lives, they continue to meet on the same date every year. Until one day Fallon becomes unsure if Ben has been telling her the truth or fabricating a perfect reality for the sake of the ultimate plot twist.

Can Ben’s relationship with Fallon—and simultaneously his novel—be considered a love story if it ends in heartbreak?

Review

I was warned. 

They said “Don’t start (reading Colleen Hoover) with this book, it will break you.”

I ignored them. 

November 9 is my first foray into the literary world of Colleen Hoover.

As I read this book I wondered to myself, “What are they talking about? I saw this ‘revelation’ coming from a mile away. I’m not shattered into a million pieces.” 

But then it hit me. Not the first “twist” but the second. 

November 9 is the story of Fallon and Ben. Both 18, they meet on November 9, the anniversary of the date Fallon was trapped in her fathers burning house. Ben expresses his interest in Fallon, but Fallon tells him she refuses to get into a serious relationship until age 23, plus she’s moving across the country that night. Ben, an aspiring author, makes a suggestion – every year they meet on the same date, at a prearranged time location, and he’ll write a book with her as his muse. They do not exchange phone numbers, email addresses, and block each other on social media, so nobody can cheat.

Each subsequent November 9 we see them meet again, and watch their relationship blossom and grow, despite the fact they only spend a few hours with each other each year. By the final year, it’s clear they’re in love, but when Fallon learns a hard truth about Ben, she can’t just forgive and forget. She’s utterly devastated. 

I literally can’t say anything else or I’ll ruin the entire book. Just know that if you guess the ending, you are not safe from shattering as the story continues. 

I am officially on the CoHo bandwagon and am on the waitlist on more of her books with my local library.

Read this book. Just do it. You and your broken heart can thank me later.

Review: Love, Pamela by Pamela Anderson

Love, Pamela Book Cover Love, Pamela
Pamela Anderson
Memoir
Dey Street Books
January 31, 2023
Audiobook
256
Public Library
August 31 - September 11, 2023

My dreams often come true -- a curse, and a blessing.

Pamela Anderson's blond bombshell image was ubiquitous in the 1990s. Discovered in the stands during a Canadian football game, she was quickly launched into superstardom, becoming Playboy's favorite cover girl and an emblem of Hollywood glamour and sex appeal. Yet the Pamela Anderson we think we know was created through happenstance rather than careful cultivation. Love, Pamela brings forth her true story: that of a small-town girl getting tangled up in her own dream.

Growing up on Vancouver Island, the daughter of young, wild, and unwittingly stylish parents, Pamela lived a hardscrabble childhood but developed a deep love for nature, populating her world with misfits, apparitional friends, and injured animals. Eventually overcoming her natural shyness, Pamela's restless imagination propelled her into a life few can dream of, from the beaches of Malibu to the coveted scene at the Playboy Mansion. As her star rose, she found herself a fixture of tabloid fodder, at the height of an era when paparazzi tactics were bent on destroying a person's image and self-esteem.

Pamela forged ahead with grace, finding sanctuary in her love of art and literature, and emerged a devoted mother and activist. Now, having returned to the island of her childhood, after a memorable run starring as Roxie in Chicago on Broadway, Pamela is telling her story, a story of an irrepressible free spirit coming home and discovering herself anew at every turn. With vivid prose interspersed with bursts of original poetry, Love, Pamela is a pensive, layered, and unforgettable memoir.

Review

As an 80s baby, I grew up watching Baywatch. (The shark episodes were always my favorite!) so of course I knew who Pamela Anderson was. As a kid, she was just C. J. from Baywatch! As I grew older, I learned a little more about her, like the fact that she got her start modeling for Playboy. And of course, despite being too young to understand, I was well aware when the infamous stolen video of her and Tommy Lee blew up. All that to say, when I saw she had a memoir, I was eager to read it.

Now that I’ve read this (listened actually—always listen to memoirs when read by the author!) I can say that I wish Pamela was my friend. She has a beautiful soul to match her beautiful face. She is a woman who has experienced trauma throughout her life, starting as a young child. A woman who has been painted as a brainless “dumb blonde”. A woman who was torn apart by the media. But she’s so much more. 

Pamela Anderson has a kind heart, she’s generous to a fault, she loves her kids and sacrificed amazing career opportunities so that she could be there for them when they needed her. Sure she’s jumped from bad relationship to bad relationship, but I truly believe so much of that stems from her trauma and her ability to see the good in absolutely everyone. 

This book is surprisingly poetic and lyrical. I wish she’d delved a little deeper, but I’m not mad at what she did give us. This book is a keeper, even if you don’t necessarily care about Pamela Anderson, it’s worth it to read what the media did to her. 

Review: Off the Map by Trish Doller

Off the Map Book Cover Off the Map
Beck Sisters #3
Trish Doller
Contemporary Romance
St. Martin's Griffin
March 7, 2023
E-ARC / Audiobook
272
NetGalley / Public Library
August 7 - 19, 2023

On the road to love, you don't need a GPS...  Carla Black’s life motto is “here for a good time, not for a long time.” She’s been travelling the world on her own in her vintage Jeep Wrangler for nearly a decade, stopping only long enough to replenish her adventure fund. She doesn’t do love and she doesn’t ever go home. Eamon Sullivan is a modern-day cartographer who creates digital maps. His work helps people find their way, but he’s the one who’s lost his sense of direction. He’s unhappy at work, recently dumped, and his one big dream is stalled out—literally. Fate throws them together when Carla arrives in Dublin for her best friend’s wedding and Eamon is tasked with picking her up from the airport. But what should be a simple drive across Ireland quickly becomes complicated with chemistry-filled detours, unexpected feelings, and a chance at love - if only they choose it.

Review

First of all – I grabbed this book when I first dove back into NetGalley and had zero restraint. I received an email with a few romance novels available and I requested them all. Even though I don’t particularly like this cover. (I think it’s the fact that her hair makes it look like it takes place in the 1920s or something, when it does not.) I do appreciate that the cover is actually a scene from the book. That’s not super common. 

With that out of the way, this book has a lot of heart. Carla has a lot of baggage (despite traveling with very little baggage! Haha) Her father, the only parent she has, is slowly fading away from her, losing his memory to dementia or Alzheimer’s (sorry, I can’t remember which.) He doesn’t want her to watch him suffer, so he tells her to keep traveling—which was their thing—and see as much of the world together as they could. He doesn’t want her to watch him waste away and forget her.

When Carla arrives in Ireland for her BFFs wedding, the grooms brother, Eamon, picks her up. And they almost immediately jump into bed, which is something I absolutely abhor in romance novels. Buuut they won me over in the end. What starts as a fling, becomes so much more once the pair get to know one another.

Eamon is Carla’s opposite. While she’s home, she works as a bartender saving all her money to travel the rest of the time. Eamon has a well paying desk job, and has never given himself the chance to travel, despite his desire to do so. Despite being so opposite, they connect. And experiencing that relationship build up was a joy. And, as with any good book, both of these characters have to face the things in their lives that are pulling them down and make some big choices.

Bonus points for all the descriptions of Ireland. That’s a location on my bucket list, for sure!

So, do I recommend this book? Well, I plan to read books 1 and 2 in the series, so what does that tell you? 😉  

Review: The Confidant by Judy Corry

The Confidant Book Cover The Confidant
Eden Falls Academy #4
Judy Corry
YA Contemporary Romance
Cherry Blossom Romance
October 13, 2022
E-Book
478
Amazon
June 17 - July 11, 2023

I love Judy Corry’s books, but I was a little nervous going into this book because I knew it delved into the subject of religion. Typically, in my experience this means having religion shoved down my throat. However, Corry did a fabulous job of depicting a relationship between a believer and a new non-believer. In no way did she disrespect the views of anyone who did or did not believe in any religion. 

This was Hunter and Scarlett’s story, who we’ve met in the previous Eden Fall’s Academy books. Though we’ve met them, I never felt like we got to know them very well. They always seemed just a little bit apart from the others. (Note: I have not yet read book 3, but I’ll get around to it one of these days!) 

Scarlett is a true believer of The Fold, the religion she grew up in. Her father is even her pastor. Hunter was a believer as well, until something happened in his life within the past year that made him rethink his beliefs. Hunter hasn’t found the right time to tell Scarlett about his change of heart though. 

Scarlett’s dad is very protective of her and has forbid her from dating until she’s 18, which means she and Hunter, despite loving one another deeply, can’t be together. Not yet anyway. 

Once the truth comes out about Hunter’s change of faith though, can Scarlett still accept him? Can he still accept her, knowing what he knows about The Fold and her devotion to her religion? 

This is a wonderful story about tolerance, love, and there’s a little bit of suspense and danger thrown in for good measure. One of the best books in Judy Corry’s catalog. 

Review

I love Judy Corry’s books, but I was a little nervous going into this book because I knew it delved into the subject of religion. Typically, in my experience this means having religion shoved down my throat. However, Corry did a fabulous job of depicting a relationship between a believer and a new non-believer. In no way did she disrespect the views of anyone who did or did not believe in any religion. 

This was Hunter and Scarlett’s story, who we’ve met in the previous Eden Fall’s Academy books. Though we’ve met them, I never felt like we got to know them very well. They always seemed just a little bit apart from the others. (Note: I have not yet read book 3, but I’ll get around to it one of these days!) 

Scarlett is a true believer of The Fold, the religion she grew up in. Her father is even her pastor. Hunter was a believer as well, until something happened in his life within the past year that made him rethink his beliefs. Hunter hasn’t found the right time to tell Scarlett about his change of heart though. 

Scarlett’s dad is very protective of her and has forbid her from dating until she’s 18, which means she and Hunter, despite loving one another deeply, can’t be together. Not yet anyway. 

Once the truth comes out about Hunter’s change of faith though, can Scarlett still accept him? Can he still accept her, knowing what he knows about The Fold and her devotion to her religion? 

This is a wonderful story about tolerance, love, and there’s a little bit of suspense and danger thrown in for good measure. One of the best books in Judy Corry’s catalog. 

The Confidant by Judy Corry

Review: Thank You for Listening by Julia Whelan

Thank You for Listening Book Cover Thank You for Listening
Julia Whelan
Contemporary Romance
Avon
August 2, 2022
Audiobook
432
Public Library
June 8 - 19, 2023

From the author of My Oxford Year, Julia Whelan’s uplifting novel tells the story of a former actress turned successful audiobook narrator—who has lost sight of her dreams after a tragic accident—and her journey of self-discovery, love, and acceptance when she agrees to narrate one last romance novel. For Sewanee Chester, being an audiobook narrator is a long way from her old dreams, but the days of being a star on film sets are long behind her. She’s found success and satisfaction from the inside of a sound booth and it allows her to care for her beloved, ailing grandmother. When she arrives in Las Vegas last-minute for a book convention, Sewanee unexpectedly spends a whirlwind night with a charming stranger. On her return home, Sewanee discovers one of the world’s most beloved romance novelists wanted her to perform her last book—with Brock McNight, the industry’s hottest, most secretive voice. Sewanee doesn’t buy what romance novels are selling—not after her own dreams were tragically cut short—and she stopped narrating them years ago. But her admiration of the late author, and the opportunity to get her grandmother more help, makes her decision for her. As Sewanee begins work on the book, resurrecting her old romance pseudonym, she and Brock forge a real connection, hidden behind the comfort of anonymity. Soon, she is dreaming again, but secrets are revealed, and the realities of life come crashing down around her once more. If she can learn to risk everything for desires she has long buried, she will discover a world of intimacy and acceptance she never believed would be hers.

Review:

Right off the bat, this book was too steamy for my young adult reading ears. I almost quit. I just wasn’t connecting. But I stayed with it and it paid off.

What drew me to this book was that it was a romance about an audiobook narrator who started in romance before moving on to more “serious” books only to be coerced back into the romance audiobook world to narrate the final book of the author who helped her get started in the business.

What I didn’t like was her jumping into bed with a man hours after she met him, but I was able to move past that as the story went on.

I’ll be completely honesty with you, it’s been…a while between listening to this audiobook and writing this review, but I can tell you this, fans of romance will enjoy this one.  

There’s family drama (Sewanee and her dad), overcoming tragedy (right away we learn that Sewanee lost an eye, ending her dream of becoming an A-list actress), and a whirlwind romance with a mystery man and an email/text flirtation with her narration partner. 

This could’ve been just another romance, but those things listed above really made this more.

Review: Sweet Tea at Sunrise by Sherryl Woods

Sweet Tea at Sunrise Book Cover Sweet Tea at Sunrise
The Sweet Magnolias #6
Sherryl Woods
Contemporary Romance
MIRA
April 27, 2010
Audiobook
392
Public Library
May 26 - 31, 2023

Emotionally wounded single mom Sarah Price has come home to Serenity, South Carolina, for a fresh start. With support from her two best friends—the newest generation of the Sweet Magnolias—she can face any crisis. But sometimes a woman needs more than even treasured friends can provide. Sexy Travis McDonald may be exactly what Sarah's battered self-confidence requires. The newcomer is intent on getting Sarah to work at his fledgling radio station…and maybe into his bed, as well. Sarah has learned not to trust sweet words. She'll measure the man by his actions. Is Travis the one to heal her heart? Or will he break it again?

Review

Hands down, this is the best book in the Sweet Magnolia’s series. I was going to quit listening to these books after #4, but #5 was Annie’s story, and I loved her character arc in book #2, so I stuck it out for her book. And it was kind of disappointing and not fully fleshed out. But they introduced Sarah in that book, and I liked her. She seemed like she had a good story to tell. And I was right! 

Sweet Tea at Sunrise was actually sort of a work place romance. When newcomer Travis McDonald shows up in town, he takes a liking to Sarah, who is the waitress at the restaurant he’s been frequenting. He admires her ability to chat so effortlessly with all of her customers, and when he decides to buy the old defunct newsstand and start up a new radio station in Serenity, he knows Sarah would be the perfect voice to put on air.

Sarah, however, has reservations about Travis. As a former pro baseball player, he has a reputation for having his way with women. Having just come out of an emotionally abusive relationship, Sarah is in no place to let herself get hurt. Reluctantly, she accepts his offer to put her on the radio, and she finds herself shocked to realize she’s quite good at the job.

Sparks are flying between the pair, but will Sarah let him in? Will Travis prove to her that he is worthy? This is such a cute book. Solid character growth and plot progression, and, of course, it’s set up to continue with another character from Serenity in book #6… which yes, I will read, but not yet because I have a bunch of library holds all coming in at the same time! 

Review: You Won’t Believe Me by Cyn Balog

You Won't Believe Me Book Cover You Won't Believe Me
Cyn Balog
Mystery / Thriller / Horror
Sourcebooks Fire
June 27, 2023
E-ARC
368
NetGalley
May 29 - June 4, 2023

Brace yourself for the unexpected in this chilling novel that will thrill suspense and horror readers alike! Willow can't remember what landed her in captivity, but she'll do anything to survive. For fans of Natasha Preston and Stephen King.

Willow is alone, confined to a bed with restraints. She can't remember how she got there…or how long she's been there.

An old lady appears in her room to feed her twice a day. Granny doesn't talk, but Willow can hear thumping from somewhere beyond her door. It's not Granny's shuffling steps. It's too loud to be Granny's cat. Is it someone? Something?

Then Granny's cat dies in Willow's room. And Granny follows a few days later. Willow will do anything to survive. But freeing herself from her bed is only the beginning… Because there is someone else in the house. Who is this mysterious teen who calls himself Elijah? And is he the reason she's hostage or the key to her escape?

Review:

This was such a fun book! 

When Willow wakes up tied to a bed with no memory of how she got there, she slowly begins to try and piece together what happened. She knows that a deadly virus had been wrecking havoc and that her father had been a lead scientist working on a cure. But beyond that… nothing. She’s fed every day by an elderly woman who calls herself “Granny”… until “Granny” succumbs to the deadly virus right in front of Willow, leaving her tied to a bed with nobody to help. 

Except she’s not alone, there’s another captive. A teenage boy. In whispers, he explains that the world has been destroyed by the second wave of the virus. That all they have left is each other. 

But, could it be true? And why can’t she remember what’s happened to her? 

This book is all over the place in the very best way. You think it’s one type of book, then you realize it’s something else, only in the end to realize you were completely wrong. Some readers will absolutely hate that, but as someone who enjoys many genres, it was such a fun ride. 

For much of the book, the chapters begin with text conversations between Willow and her crush from school, August, from before she found herself tied up. The significance of this isn’t truly revealed until the latter portion of the book and ooooh is it juicy!

If you’re looking for something different that will keep you guessing, this is the book for you! And with that ending, I really wish there was a sequel in the works!

Review: Queen Charlotte by Julia Quinn & Shonda Rhimes

Queen Charlotte Book Cover Queen Charlotte
A Bridgerton Novel
Julia Quinn & Shonda Rhimes
Historical Romance
Avon
May 9, 2023
Audiobook
352
Public Library
May 12 - 25, 2023

From #1 New York Times bestselling author Julia Quinn and television pioneer Shonda Rhimes comes a powerful and romantic novel of Bridgerton's Queen Charlotte and King George III's great love story and how it sparked a societal shift, inspired by the original series Queen Charlotte: A Bridgerton Story, created by Shondaland for Netflix. “We are one crown. His weight is mine, and mine is his…” In 1761, on a sunny day in September, a King and Queen met for the very first time. They were married within hours. Born a German Princess, Charlotte of Mecklenburg-Strelitz was beautiful, headstrong, and fiercely intelligent… not precisely the attributes the British Court had been seeking in a spouse for the young King George III. But her fire and independence were exactly what she needed, because George had secrets… secrets with the potential to shake the very foundations of the monarchy. Thrust into her new role as a royal, Charlotte must learn to navigate the intricate politics of the court… all the while guarding her heart, because she is falling in love with the King, even as he pushes her away. Above all she must learn to rule, and to understand that she has been given the power to remake society. She must fight—for herself, for her husband, and for all her new subjects who look to her for guidance and grace. For she will never be just Charlotte again. She must instead fulfill her destiny… as Queen.

Review

I have two reviews for this book.

Review 1: For those who have seen the Netflix show.

Congratulations. You’ve read the book. No, really. It’s nearly identical. The book is missing the “present day” storyline with Violet and all, but the backstory of Queen Charlotte is the same.

Review 2: For those who haven’t seen the Netflix show.

Whether you’ve seen/read the other Bridgerton stories or not, this was a sweet romance about a new queen in a foreign land, with a husband hiding secrets from her. Once she discovers his secrets, she must decide what to do. Meanwhile, her mother-in-law is pressuring her to do her duty and get pregnant. 

From the adorable meet-cute where Charlotte tries to enlist George, unknowing who he was, to help her escape over the wall and run away from her wedding to the very end, this is a sweet story about true love and acceptance.

The best part about this book/show was being able to understand Queen Charlotte a little better. In the Bridgerton show I never knew what to make of her. She just seemed so… mean. Now? I get it. 

Where The Heck Have I Been?

I was on a real roll with sharing reviews… until I wasn’t. June 9. It’s been over 6 weeks since I shared my last review. Yikes! And I promise, this is not for lack of reading/listening. I have a stack of reviews that need to get written and shared!

So, what’s been keeping me away? A handful of things. The day job has been kind of stressful so when my work day ends I don’t want to stare at a computer screen ever again, so then when I do bring myself to look at a screen, I need to focus on my publishing job. Plus the freelance formatting/book cover design projects I took on recently.

My little bookcase behind my desk in my living room, with my freshly painted wall.

Add to that, I decided to paint my entire living room/hallway. By myself (because my husband didn’t find the gray we’ve had on the wall the past 14 years as depressing as I do—the cream looks lovely and really brightens the place up!) So I have 3/4 of the project done. I was going to finish this weekend, but opted to have a relaxing weekend instead that didn’t involve moving ALL of the furniture in the living room, including taking down a 4′ mirror from the wall (don’t worry, he’ll help me with that).

And my family started playing Pokemon Go again, which has resulted in a LOT of outside walking, which is great because summer in Minnesota is fleeting and before we know it we’ll be waist deep in snow and arctic temps. (Psst! I’d love to be Pokemon Go friends if you play! My invite code is GH3TVWWRT.)

Taylor Swift Eras Tour

Oh yeah, I also had the time of my life attending Taylor Swift’s Eras Tour when it came to town! Seriously, well worth the ticket price. (And no, I did not pay thousands of dollars. I bought my tickets during the presales. 😉)

Unfortunately, none of my excuses are that I was busy writing. Whoops! Hopefully once the weather turns awful again I’ll be able to find the time and motivation to get to work on my long procrastinated sequel to Something I’m Good At… That’s right, Mark’s book is working its way through my brain! He’s not quite so happy-go-lucky like his good pal Kane, so this book is a little tougher, but we’ll get there someday. If it’s the last thing I do… I think I’m starting to see why so many authors are retired with grown children!

Okay! Back to work! This stack of reviews won’t write themselves!

Review: Lucky by Jackie Collins

Lucky Book Cover Lucky
Lucky Santangelo #2
Jackie Collins
Drama
Pocket Books
January 1, 1985
598
Own
March 5 - April 21, 2023

SHE’S A HOT-BLOODED BEAUTY IN LOVE WITH POWER, HUNGRY FOR PLEASURE… WILD, NOTORIOUS, TROUBLE… SHE’S… LUCKY. THE FABULOUS HEROINE OF CHANCES RETURNS. With the sensual grace of a panther, Lucky Santangelo prowled her Las Vegas casino, restless, ready, eager for action. That night began a dazzling odyssey, filled with dangerous passion and sun-drenched sex, sadistic vengeance and breathless suspense. From the decadent luxury of California, to Paris, New York and a private Greek island, Lucky fought for her father’s honor, for ruthless triumph, for the wild card of a fabulous love. Her rivals; an ice-cold Hollywood wife…a much-married heiress strung out on cocaine…a jaded magnate hooked on power…a crazed hoodlum lusting for murder. But Lucky was a gambIer and a lover, a woman who ruled her empire and pursued her man with the potent Santangelo strength … her way, on her terms, whatever the odds. Jackie Collins tops the sensational success of Hollywood Wives and Chances with Lucky, “so hot it will have to be printed on asbestos.”

Review

The Lucky Santangelo series by Jackie Collins is pure trash. It’s wild, over the top, and pure fun. It’s filthy rich people doing a lot of awful things, both to themselves and to others. But dangit, I rooted for things to work out!

While this is book 2 in the series, Collins inserts plenty of excerpts from book 1 to catch up any readers who missed the first or refresh the memories of those who have read it.

Lucky is a great character. After a traumatic childhood and essentially being raised by nannies, all she wants is the approval of her father. Now that she’s a grown woman and has proved that she can stand with the men in the business world, she’s not going to let anyone stand in her way. She will do whatever it takes to make her goals come true. And right now? That goal is building her very own hotel in Atlantic City. 

Other notable characters in this book: 

Gino Santangelo, Lucky’s father, the former gangster and Vegas hotshot. 

Octavia Stanislopolus: Lucky’s best friend from boarding school, whom she has lost touch with.

Dimitri Stanasilopolus: Octavia’s filthy rich father.

Lenny Golden: An up an coming comedian who keeps crossing paths with Lucky.

So much happens in this book, I can’t even describe it without spoilers.

This book is old, like… older than me… so finding a print copy may be a task. I found the whole series on eBay and it was well worth the $25 I spent. It is sold online in ebook format too though. But basically, it’s like reading a soap opera. And I hate soap operas.