Book Review: Tara Road – Maeve Binchy

synopsis single

 

With each new book, Maeve Binchy continues a remarkable progression of sales and audience growth, reaching fans of all ages and backgrounds with her matchless wit, warmth, and sheer storytelling magic. “Tara Road,” her first full-length novel since “The Glass Lake,” again shows her incomparable understanding of the human heart in the tale of two women, one from Ireland, one from America, who switch lives, and in doing so learn much about each other, as well as much about themselves.Ria lived on Tara Road in Dublin with her dashing husband, Danny, and their two children. She fully believed she was happily married, right up until the day Danny told her he was leaving her to be with his young, pregnant girlfriend. By a chance phone call, Ria meets Marilyn, a woman from New England unable to come to terms with her only son’s death and now separated from her husband. The two women exchange houses for the summer with extraordinary consequences, each learning that the other has a deep secret that can never be revealed.

Drawn into lifestyles vastly differing from their own, at first each resents the news of how well the other is getting on. Ria seems to have become quite a hostess, entertaining half the neighborhood, which at first irritates the reserved and withdrawn Marilyn, a woman who has always guarded her privacy. Marilyn seems to have become bosom friends with Ria’s children, as well as with Colm, a handsome restaurateur, whom Ria has begun to miss terribly. At the end of the summer, the women at last meet face-to-face. Having learned a great deal, about themselves and about each other, they find that they have become, firmly and forever, good friends.

A moving story rendered with the deft touch of a master artisan, “Tara Road” is Maeve Binchy at her very best — utterly beautiful, hauntingly unforgettable, entirely original, and wholly enjoyable.


 

My Thoughts 2

 

When Oprah´s book club recommends a book you better get your wallet ready to buy the book. Or, that´s what I believed.

Turns out that not everything Oprah´s Book Club recommended is worth gold.

`Tara Road` by author Maeve Binchy is a sophisticated version of what I´ve been reading for years- Women´s fiction. Tara Road

I have many things to say about this book. None of which I feel would be helpful because this is one of those reads a reader truly has to experience for themselves.

What I will say is that I was smitten with the writing.

 

The writing is beautiful – The story less so. 

 

I can´t really say why but I was bored senseless with the story. The whole thing wasn´t gripping enough to hold my attention for longer than an hour at a time.  It took me almost a month to finish this 648-page read. A month!!

I´m also a little disappointed ( after having invested so much time reading ) with the way the story ended. * shaking head * What a shame. The end was like a sweaty lukewarm, barely-there handshake.

Oprah disappointed me this time, y´all.


 

Would I recommend this book?  Yes. I know many people who loved `Tara Road`. My guess is that many more will probably love this book, too. It´s basically a chick-lit with a dash of everything I never knew I didn´t enjoy.  This book wasn´t for me.

Would I reread this book? No.


 

The Cover – 3 Stars:   A painting cover image… This isn´t something that would make me drop whatever I´m doing, you know?

The STory – 2 Stars:   The synopsis sounded a lot better than the story actually was.

The Characters – 2 Stars:   They felt as helpless and hopeless as the story felt.

My emotional state after finishing this read –  Tired.

2 stars

 

You can purchase `Tara Road` by author Maeve Binchy on Amazon.com

Book Review: The One – John Marrs

Synopsis

How far would you go to find The One?

A simple DNA test is all it takes. Just a quick mouth swab and soon you’ll be matched with your perfect partner—the one you’re genetically made for.

That’s the promise made by Match Your DNA. A decade ago, the company announced that they had found the gene that pairs each of us with our soul mate. Since then, millions of people around the world have been matched. But the discovery has its downsides: test results have led to the breakup of countless relationships and upended the traditional ideas of dating, romance and love.

Now five very different people have received the notification that they’ve been “Matched.” They’re each about to meet their one true love. But “happily ever after” isn’t guaranteed for everyone. Because even soul mates have secrets. And some are more shocking than others…

A word-of-mouth hit in the United Kingdom, The One is a fascinating novel that shows how even the simplest discoveries can have complicated consequences.

My Thoughts

I repeat- I do NOT like thrillers…. that much. But after reading the synopsis for `The One` from author John Marrs, I just couldn´t pass this read.

When book bloggers refer to a book having the „whole package“ then we´re not only referring to what´s inside a book… Having the whole package also means that the cover image, the title and the tagline fit with the story.The One

If I had to use one word to describe this book I´d say: Awesome!

What an idea! What a story! Does any author care about my heart rate?

`The One` belongs to those books that make you think hard. The famous „What if…“ question pops up alot during this read and funnily enough, that question sticks with a reader long after the book´s been finished. Then you get stuck with asking yourself “Would I..?” which is angonizing for MY brain.  If that doesn´t say how good this book it then I don´t know what does.

Interesting. Entertaining. Gripping. Thrilling. Intense. Unpredictable.

I cannot remember the last time I was so invested in a story.

And I certainly cannot remember the last time I drove by my best friends house and shoved a book under her nose and begged her to read it. Turned out, she was just as flashed and impressed by the idea and even bought her own copy of `The One`.

There isn´t much I can say about this story because enough is already in the synopsis so I´ll stick to the love gushing…

I´ve read quite a few thrillers before and none have had such an impact on me like `The One` had because the story, in general, feels like it´s not too far-fetched. And that´s also another aspect that plays with a reader´s mind.

Would I recommend this book? Most definitely.

Would I re-read this book? Absolutely! Once I´ve recovered.

The Cover – 5 stars ( Perfect cover for a perfect thrilling story.)

The Characters 5 stars ( Interesting individuals dealing with interesting consequences = Even more interesting characters)

My emotional state after finishing this read – I still haven´t fully recovered.

5 stars

Purchase Links      Amazon.com    Amazon.co.uk    Amazon.de

Book Review: Still Me ( Me Before You #3) – Jojo Moyes

Synopsis

Louisa Clark arrives in New York ready to start a new life, confident that she can embrace this new adventure and keep her relationship with Ambulance Sam alive across several thousand miles. She steps into the world of the superrich, working for Leonard Gopnik and his much younger second wife, Agnes. Lou is determined to get the most out of the experience and throws herself into her new job and New York life. 

As she begins to mix in New York high society, Lou meets Joshua Ryan, a man who brings with him a whisper of her past. Before long, Lou finds herself torn between Fifth Avenue where she works and the treasure-filled vintage clothing store where she actually feels at home. And when matters come to a head, she has to ask herself: Who is Louisa Clark? And how do you reconcile a heart that lives in two places?

Funny, romantic, and poignant, Still Me follows Lou as she navigates how to stay true to herself, while pushing to live boldly in her brave new world.

My Thoughts

I´ll say this once. I´ll say this twice or as many times as I please- Louisa Clarke is my all time favorite book heroine!

I´ve had the pleasure of accompanying Lou on her journey through 3 books. I can´t really say that I´ve had enough.still me

I want more!

A reader meets Louisa in `Me Before You` ( book #1) who temporarily takes care of a paralyzed Will Traynor. `Me Before You` ruined me beyond words.

In book #2, `Me After You` we meet Louisa again, only she´s filled with grief  and can´t seem to find a way out of her pain after Will´s death. Then she meets someone new. Sam. `Me Before You` was another tear-jerker.

In `Still Me` a reader finally get´s to see the wonderful Lou finally step foot into life and explore the unknown!

It was a joy reading about Louisa finding herself… Because that´s that this book is about.

With who Louisa will start / end her journey is not my story to tell, neither am I going to say what the quirky, good-natured Louisa goes through while on her self finding trip.

It´s emotional. It´s thoughtful. It´s reality smacking someone in the face and guiding them to a happy place.

I loved this `Still Me` just as much as I loved `Me Before You` and `Me After You ` . Even if `Still Me` didn´t make me cry or leave me with a nasty book hangover… I still enjoyed reading the book.

Would I recommend this book? Yes yes YES!

Would I re-read this book? I´m not sure. This isn´t really something I would pick for a re-read. I´d much rather like for the story to continue.

The Cover – 5 stars ( This is a dream book cover for me.)

The Story – 5 stars ( There wasn´t anything exceptionally mind-blow-worthy about this book but it was still a great read.)

The Characters – 5 stars ( I seriously think Louisa Clarke is all the magic. You just can´t help but fall in love with her kindness. Without her the story would be half as good. I also think it´s safe to say that Sam doesn´t come close to Will. His relationship with Lou seems unfitting at first but in this book he grew on me. They were a great match. Lou, the sunshine of the year and Sam, the less emotional type.)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Utterly satisfied.

I´m giving `Still Me` ( Me Before You #3) by Jojo Moyes 5 out of 5 stars

 

Instagram Book Box Feature

Book Genres – Mug Monday

Book  –  `Play On` by Samantha Young

MugLove Mug, Pink 

TopicBook Genres

 

It´s no secret that I´m a full blown romance reader. It´s my prefered book genre. Although I pretty much welcome any book genre I tend to lean more towards the lovey-dovey stuff.

Why?

Good question. Certainly not because I´m a hopeless romantic myelf. I´m far from it, actually. When confronted with romance in reality I usually don´t see it happen.

When my husband and I first dated he invited me to his place and made a heart shaped pizza for me. To this day ( 17 years later!! ), my husband hasn´t forgiven me for not noticing the heart and the effort he put into that romantic moment. And to this day- I didn´t see a heart shaped pizza. All I saw was food. Who can blame me for overlooking the romantic aspect of that moment!

Being a non – romantic person doesn´t mean I´m entirely immune to romance. I definitely recognize the full on love in books. I can spot a romantic scene in a novel from a mile away. I can smell romance before I open a romance book.

But what is it with romance novels? WHat´s the appeal? Is it really wise to want to suffer through a fictional character´s pain after a devasting breakup?

I have no idea. All I know, as a reader in the heat of the moment, is that it´s exciting. I´d even go so far and say reading about heartache and heartbreak is… fun. It´s all about the feels, am I right? Oh, THE F.E.E.L.S!

Maybe that´s the reason why I´m a not so romantic person. All these romance novels I´m reading exhaust me and drain me of every ounce of emotion. Who knows.

Speaking of romances…. Today´s Monday Mug & Book Feature is for a romance.

mug g

`Play On` by Samantha Young is one of those full on romances with the typical emotional rollercoaster ride ( review )

It´s a cute read. It´s deep. It has quite a few ” Da hell..?” moments. It´s a Drama 2.0 read.

With a romance like that I can´t have a cup of hot chocolate without my love mug.

Yupp. You read that correctly. I have a love mug. It´s extra large and pink. What´s not to like love about it? And it matches the cover.

As for the other book genres… Here´s a rundown on what book genres I tend to grab after when the mood strikes me:

Paranormal

Believe it or not- I do love me some other worldly fiction. I like reading about bodies that don´t really exsist, exsisting in worlds as non exsistant as the creatures themselves. If a romance is included then you probably won´t hear me complain.

Fantasy

Same as with paranormal.

 

Horror

Nothing beats a good horror book, especially when it´s graphic detail. These types of stories make me turn on every light in house and sleep with a baseball bat under my pillow. I do love me some horror.

Mystery / Thriller

Yes and no. I usually don´t fancy mysteries or thrillers because I can´t handle the uber-suspense. If there´s a little from both added to a horror or a romance then I´m fine.

Action & Adventure

Anything that keeps my heart rate in the high digits is welcomed ( besides thrillers).

Science Fiction

The only genre, besides religion, that doesn´t do anything for me.

Children´s

As an adult and a mother I see the importance of this genre. It´s all about feeling little minds.

Health

I´m over 30. It goes without saying that goodle is my best friend and my worst enemy when it comes to health issues. Having a book on health won´t help my cause.

Self-help

Self help? In my opinion- there are too many self help books for all kinds of issues people may suffer from. Too many people giving advice that probably doesn´t work for the mass.

 

Religion/ Spirituality/ Prayer Books

Without wanting to start a war ( because the world has suffered from enough of those religion-based wars already) I´m going to say 3 simple words: I´m not religious. Religion has made enough people do crazy stuff ( still does). Books on religion don´t tickle me the slightest.

 

History

I´m a history buff. A sucker for history. I probably have just as many history books on my shelves as romance novels.

Poetry

Poetry is tricky for me. One the one hand I love reading poetry. On the other hand I can find certain pieces extremely frustrating.

Biography/Autobiography

I have a few on my shelves and would like to have more if they weren´t so expensive ( because history books are expensive too. I have to set my priorities somehow).

 

Science

I love science. I love science books. Sadly enough, I don´t own that many.

 

Comics

Not really a fan of comics, to be honest, but I will flip through one of my husbands comics once in a while.

Cookbooks

Cookbooks hold just as much value as a history book does for me.

 

There you have it. My likes and dislikes from the book genre world.

Is there a genre you prefer to read or even write? What is your absolute favorite genre?

Let me know in the comments below.

I hope you enjoyed Mug Monday!

Much love.

Morgana xoxo

 

BOOK INFO

Title:  Play On

Author: Samantha Young       Play On

Publication Date: Sept. 12th 2017

Genre:  Romance

Favorite Quote:  “If you’re to be mine I need all of you to be mine, because all of me is yours.”

 

Mug Info

Purchased at the Home Depot, $3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Review- Dirty Dix (#1 Hard Love Romance) by Monica James

Book Description

I knew she was bad news when she walked into my office, but I just couldn’t help myself… 

Filthy, sexy and full of surprises, Juliet is so hot she has me on fire. I’ve met my match and I can’t help going back for more. 

Then there’s Madison… she’s sweet, funny and awakens in me a fierce need to protect her. 

But I don’t do relationships. I don’t usually do the same woman twice. 

Juliet and Madison: Two very different women have got me completely hooked. 

Who will I choose? 

I know who I should choose, but I never said I was the hero of this story, or even the good guy. And besides, who wants to be good, when it feels so good being bad? 

My tale isn’t for the faint-hearted. If you’re game, strap yourself in and expect the unexpected. But don’t say I didn’t warn you… 

My Thoughts

Monica James is my GO – TO author. This woman has her writing down to a T. It all started out when I read her very first novel `I Surrender` a few years back. Now, many published books later, I´m sitting here and feeling as happy as any reader could feel.

What can I say about this book?

`Dirty Dix` ( Book #1 in the Hard Love Romance ) is a fun, exciting and intriguing read that´ll put you on a ride you´ll never forget. In fact, this story is so addictive it makes it´s readers long for more.Dirty dix

The story is brilliant. Easy going and playful at first and then everything slowly becomes complicated.

New Yorks top psychiatrist, Dr. Dix Mathews, drowns in two women who are both toxic to his own health.

Both women couldn´t be more opposite from one another and Dr. Dix finds himself in a position he shouldn´t have been in the first place.

What to do, what to do? Dr. Dix is screwed one way or another. Or is he?

This book  reminds me of a time when I dated 2 guys at the same time. I was 16 back then and everything went well before both were standing in my mom´s livingroom. The one guy had a bouquet in his hands and the other wore a confused look on his face. I decided to bail. Crawl my way out of the house through my bedroom window and make an epic escape. But I got caught by my mom outside ( I was a terrible teenager).

I wish Dix had a window to make a grande escape but he wasn´t so fortunate ( neither was I, to be honest. I had to deal with both and ended up alone until I dated my husband 3 years later. What a miserable time!).

ANYWAYS…. Dix.

I loved Dix. His character was something special. A doc who helped others for a living got caught up in his own little personal hell. What´s not to love? Reading his parts brought so much satisfaction. The poor bastard struggled. He was a professional with a broken heart who ignored the rules. And with every step that beautiful man took he unintentionally dug his own grave deeper and deeper. He was fighting an emotional war with his desires, his own personal addiction.

Dix and Juliet were a match made in sex heaven. Dix and Madison were a match made in relationship heaven.

Who will he pick? Both? Neither? Will anyone find some sort of happiness in this book? You´ll have to find that one out for yourself.

All I can tell you is that this story was so good I couldn´t put it down. And the cliffhanger ending… I saw it coming. I truly did. I just hoped it wouldn´t happen. But it did and now I´m left with the awkward feeling of not knowing what´ll happen next until I can get my greedy claws on book #2, `Wicked Dix`.

An enticing, sexy and hot read!

The Cover – 4 stars ( I´m not such a fan of a buffed torso on a book cover but I am a fan of a white shirt and black tie. There´s something sexy about that. And the colors are great.)

The Story – 5 stars ( Way cool. Brings back so many ugly but now funny memories.)

The Characters – 5 stars ( Dix, Madison, Juliet, Finch and Hunter… What a great lot!)

My emotional state after finishing this read – Excited. I just can´t wait to find out what happens next!

I´m giving `Dirty Dix` ( Book #1 Hard Love Romance) by Monica James 5 out of 5 stars.

stars15

To purchase this book  click here