Book Review & Giveaway: Another Piece of My Heart by Jane Green

Book Review: Another Piece of My Heart 
By: Jane Green 
Publisher: St. Martin's Press 
Release Date: March 13, 2012
Women's Fiction 
4 Heart Review 

Book Blurb: 
From the New York Times bestselling author of JEMIMA J, and THE BEACH HOUSE, comes Jane Green’s most emotional and powerful novel yet: a story that explores the complications of a woman marrying into a ready-made family, and the true meaning of motherhood.

Andi has spent much of her adult life looking for the perfect man, and at thirty-seven, she's finally found him.  Ethan--divorced with two daughters, Emily and Sophia--is a devoted father and even better husband.  Always hoping one day she would be a mother, Andi embraces the girls like they were her own. But in Emily’s eyes, Andi is an obstacle to her father’s love, and Emily will do whatever it takes to break her down. When the dynamics between the two escalate, they threaten everything Andi believes about love, family, and motherhood—leaving both women standing at a crossroad in their lives…and in their hearts.

ANOTHER PIECE OF MY HEART is a novel that illuminates the nuances and truths about relationships and is Jane Green at her absolute best.

While this book is Women's Fiction and not a Romance, the story itself does contain a very interesting romance for me between Andi and her husband Ethan. Although already married, this book takes you through the ups and downs they experience over a span of years that to me is nothing less than a romance story. There are so many possible things I could say about this book that would be a spoiler, so while my review is short please don't think this book doesn't deserve your attention - it totally does! 

As a fan of Jane Green books, I was excited to read this but must say it was slightly different from what I've read of hers before. There is still all the depth of emotion and insight readers would expect, but I was pleasantly surprised by the book's set-up in multiple Point of Views. 

You get to really see and understand how every bit of this book affects each of the characters. What's even more interesting to me as a reader is that Mrs. Green does not make these characters insanely likable, nor does she write them were they do everything perfectly. There are times you'll want to scream at the characters for being stupid or doing the wrong thing, but that's how life really is. 

Again, you won't fall in love with these characters, because they are so real and their shortcomings and issues are presented along with their strengths, but you will become engrossed in their story and want to see how it ends. 

A compelling and insightful look at the deep emotional bonds and turmoil that families face, you'll find yourself feeling like the author has tapped into the emotional vein of a specific family and shared it with you. 

About the Author
Jane Green is the author of twelve bestselling novels, dealing with real women, real life, and all the things in-between, with her trademark wisdom, wit and warmth. She contributes to various publications, both online and print, including Huffington Post, The Sunday Times, and assorted Anthologies.  Passionate about both food and the home, most weekends see her cooking up a storm in her home in Westport, Connecticut, where she lives by the beach with her husband and their many children.

Jane Green Links:

GIVEAWAY: Two Cheeky Reads readers will win a copy of Another Piece of My Heart! Leave a comment below letting me know if you like reading Women's Fiction in addition to romances, and if you've read and liked romances that feature an already married husband and wife. Make sure to leave your email address so I can contact you if you win! 

Giveaway will end Saturday March 31st at Midnight and the winner announced on Monday, April 2nd. 

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Book Review: Legacy of the Highlands by Harriet Schultz

Book Review: Legacy of the Highlands
By: Harriet Schultz
Self-Published - Available at Amazon & Smashwords
Contemporary Romantic Suspense
2.5/3 Heart Review

Book Blurb:
When Will Cameron’s body is discovered in a Boston alley, the only clue to the thirty-four-year-old man’s murder is a pristine Scottish sgian dubh dagger left beside it. His devastated widow, Alexandra, flees Boston to find refuge in the Miami villa of Will’s best friend, Diego Navarro, who has the means, power and temperament to solve the puzzle and to avenge the senseless killing.

Diego, a handsome and wealthy Argentine, is equally determined to win the grieving widow’s heart. The growing attraction to each other becomes hard to resist as Alex and Diego follow leads that take them from Miami to Buenos Aires and Scotland, unraveling the Cameron family’s secrets and the Legacy of the Highlands.

Most of my blog and twitter followers know that I love a good romantic suspense.  I love the heightened emotions and truly I love to read about the villain getting his. I'm also a fan of historical fiction and so I was very excited to read this book by Harriet.

Let me start with the parts of the book I thought were done well, the historical research and the suspense.  The history included in this book is fascinating and I loved how it was presented. When the story was done, I immediately wanted to look up some of the things Harriet mentioned to see how much was creativity on her part and how much of it was real history. It's really amazing stuff! 

I also thought she created a compelling suspense story and the characters she created to move the suspense forward were interesting. She plotted the suspense portion of this story extremely well and it's not only fast paced, but you do keep trying to guess how this can come to a end, especially in light of the historical aspects of the story. 

What didn't work for me was the romance. Honestly, this book would have been so much better for me if it was a straight up suspense without the romance included. This might not be true for everyone as the reasons I have for the romance not working might not bother another reader. I can't go into too much detail in order not to let out any spoilers, but I just never bought into the romance situation or time-frame that it occurs in.

Likewise, the heroine is so different seeming between her suspense scenes vs. her romantic scenes it was to follow her story and believe in her romantic actions. It was hard to connect with the heroine since I didn't agree with what was going on romantically, which disappointed me since based on the first few chapters I really wanted to cheer for this character.

Style wise, the story set-up and flow were very well done but there were a few scenes that head-hopping pulled me out of the action sometimes. Mostly though, I was really into the historical story and also the suspense storyline and found that it propelled me along even if I wanted to forget the romantic plot that just didn't jive for me. It seemed almost as if the romance had been added to the story later to fit around the suspense.

Again, this would have made an excellent straight suspense story and the Scottish history alone is fascinating and worth the read.  Harriet moves a story along very well and her story was very entertaining. The romance just went into territory I couldn't buy in to so that didn't work, but it might for other readers. If you like Scottish history and suspense I think you'll enjoy this book for those alone!

Happy Reading! 
Cheeky Girl Sabrina 

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Book Review: Paris, My Sweet by Amy Thomas

Book Review: Paris, My Sweet: A Year in The City of Light (and Dark Chocolate)
By: Amy Thomas
Published By: Sourcebooks
Non-Fiction Memoir
4 Heart Review

Blurb From Goodreads: 
Part love letter to New York, part love letter to Paris, and total devotion to all things sweet. Paris, My Sweet is a personal and moveable feast that’s a treasure map for anyone who loves fresh cupcakes and fine chocolate, New York and Paris, and life in general. It’s about how the search for happiness can be as fleeting as a sliver of cheesecake and about how the life you’re meant to live doesn't always taste like the one you envisioned. Organized into a baker’s dozen of delicacies (and the adventures they inspired) that will tempt readers’ appetites, Paris, My Sweet is something to savor.

Yes, I know. This isn't really a romance but it is a love letter to Paris and New York and after my first trip to Paris last Fall I've been fantasizing about going back. I LOVED Paris and tried to soak up every second of time while I was there. So when this book came to my attention I just had to read it and I thought I would share it with you even if it isn't my typical book to review. 

Amy Thomas writes in such a way that even though I spent an idyllic week in Paris, I could so easily see the nuances of the city and the People that were both amazing and that later made her feel lonely. She picked up and conveyed so well those small little things that can throw you off in Paris. For instance, it just felt so alien to me not to smile at everyone I met and walked past on the street. I love Amy's inclusion of instances of how Parisians reacted to her smiling since I had the same experience. 

But what really drew me to this book, and I think you will love, are the amazing descriptions of the perfect desserts to be had all over Paris and their sometimes up to par counterparts in New York. You can read Amy's love of fine pastry and the work that goes into each small bite on every page. 

I mean this is the ultimate guide to eating in Paris (and New York) and you can bet I'll be using this as my sweet tooth guide the next time the hubby and I make it to Paris. A few of the places she includes in the book are ones we actually managed to find when we went and it was fun to relive the experience we had there. Others, I wish we had found! 

If you've ever wanted to go to Paris, or if you've been before, I think you'll enjoy this book that includes not only so much detail on Sweets in Paris, but also a taste of life living in the city as a foreigner and the awe that is discovering this city over and over. 

It's DABWAHA Nomination Time!

Every year as March approaches I get more and more excited...not for March Madness, but for DABWAHA the Romance Book World's bracket madness eviqavlent!

The insanely awesome brainchild of Sarah from Smart Bitches Trashy Books and Jane from Dear Author, the DABWAHA is the romance readers ultimate battle of the books.

Basically, it's a line up of the best romance books for the past year based on different categories and you create a bracket of who you think will win in each round.

Check out all the details at the DAWAHA site and play along with us!