I am a born and bred Jersey Girl, born and bred with the surf and sand between my toes! I am a licensed nursing home administrator in NJ. My hobbies include reading, gardening, cooking, huge sports fan ...
I am a Bookworm and Kindle Addict! I love to read books and share my passion with other readers. I read books from all genres, as long as it peaks my interest. I have a book review blog site where I review books, host guest blogs and virtual book tours, and contest giveaways.
This member has not published any books.
on Sep. 09, 2011
Jennifer's Garden is a contemporary romance novel that is well written and jammed packed with romance, desire, internal struggles, sadness and happiness. It is a story about Jennifer Hamilton, an established Florida cardiologist, who has everything going right in her life: a career she loves, she is engaged to a wealthy man that she loves, and she has a beautiful new home. But for all the happiness she has in her life, she also has sadness ... her mom's terminal illness. Jennifer has promised her mom a garden wedding, and time is of the essence since her mom is declining rapidly. Jennifer has to have her garden landscaped before the wedding, which is just weeks away. Enter Jackson Montgomery, a landscape architect, who also does bartending on the side. Jennifer meets Jackson aka Jax at a party unaware that the next day he would appear on her doorstep as the landscaper that was recommended to her by a colleague. In Jennifer's eyes, Jax is not the sort of man that she would fall for, he is not in her social class ... but as time and the landscaping project progresses, she finds herself becoming attracted to Jax. Jennifer is a reserved woman, one who has always been methodical in all her choices, plans and decisions. She has never been one to be spontaneous,carefree, or give in to whimsical desires ... so when she becomes attracted to Jax, her doubts about her pending marriage creates an internal struggle that has her questioning everything in her life. With the help of her good friend Samantha Rawlings, and her mom Beatrice, Jennifer learns that she needs to be free from the shackles of self-discipline that rules her life, give into her true desires .. look beneath the surface and find the true love and happiness that is hers for the taking.
Dianne Venetta weaves a wonderful storyline filled with romance, desire, inner struggles, sadness and happiness. A bonus to the story is the intricate and incredibly detailed description of Jennifer's garden packed full of lush flowers, foliage and waterfalls, that will leave the reader yearning for their own little piece of paradise. As a gardening enthusiast, Ms. Vendetta's description of the landscaped garden was pure ecstasy! The other part of the story that absolutely captivated me was the loving relationship between Jennifer and her mom. This heartwarming yet sad portion of the story reminded me of my own loving relationship that I had with my mom, my emotions ran the gamut just as Jennifer's did in the story, and that made the book even more special in my eyes.
Fans of contemporary romance novels will surely love Jennifer's Garden. I look forward to reading more books from this author.
RATING: 4 STARS ****
Disclaimer: At the request of the author, a Kindle e-book edition of this book was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest review.
on Jan. 17, 2012
Saturation is a memoir written by Jennifer Place, documenting her very real odyssey of battling alcoholism, dysfunctional family relationships, a toxic marriage to an enabler, and her journey towards self-discovery and sobriety.
This was not an easy story to read, but I admire the realistic, no holds barred, straight talking account that Ms. Place uses to tell her story. As a non-drinker that has had alcoholism affect both sides of my family, Jennifer's account of her bout with alcoholism and struggle to gain sobriety horrified me, I went through a roller coaster ride of emotions as she described her daily drinking habit of four bottles of wine, and the occasional doses of vodka, I just couldn't imagine how the hell she lived to tell her story. I totally got what the title Saturation stands for, she saturated herself with alcohol on a daily basis to get through the withdrawals, and to be able to go about her daily life. My heart breaks for everyone who goes through this on a daily basis, and it just cemented in my mind how horrible a disease alcoholism really is.
Jennifer's struggle to overcome alcoholism was coupled with the dysfunctional relationship that she had with her family, and the toxic marriage to an enabler that she basically hated. Can you just imagine the hell that she was living? In her memoir, she feels that she was a terrible mother, who gave her two sons to their fathers to raise, and she writes that she felt guilt ridden for doing this. I do not agree that she was a bad mother, Jennifer, I applaud you for being a mother who cared enough to allow your sons to grow up in stable home environments, and your greatest gift is that they are both well-adjusted young men. The other thing that I would like to comment on is the family dynamic. While I can understand the author's dysfunctional relationship with her father, I would be remiss if I didn't say that from a family member's standpoint, who had to deal with an alcoholic father's verbal abuse, family members feel helpless as they watch their loved ones go through this terrible disease, and any attempt to help are often met with resistance and verbal attacks which we endure because through all of this, the simple fact is that we love our family member no matter what. As for the toxic short-lived marriage, I am so glad that Jennifer finally took a stand and put that behind her. As long as there is an enabler in the relationship, a person's constant struggle with alcoholism would take precedence over gaining sobriety and maintaining it.
Jennifer's account of the five times that she went through in-patient treatment, and her struggle to maintain sobriety only to relapse each time, demonstrated the reality of alcoholism as an ongoing struggle that a person endures in order to achieve sobriety and maintain it. As I read about each of the five times she was in treatment, I cheered for her, hoping that she would find herself and gain that sobriety. My heart broke each time she relapsed, and when her journey towards sobriety was finally achieved, I rejoiced over the strength that she displayed to finally be able to put that traumatic part of her life behind her.
I would recommend reading Saturation, whether you are addicted to alcohol, or have a loved one that is addicted, as it may provide a sense of reality and hope that alcohol addiction can be overcome and sobriety gained.
Disclaimer: At the request of the author, a Kindle edition of this book was sent, at no cost to me, for my honest review.
on March 30, 2012
What would you do if your only child had a life threatening disease? Would you contact the man who fathered your child for help, even though he doesn't know the child even exists? What if contacting the man stirs up old feelings that really never went away, could you deal with it? On the other hand, what if you are the man who has no idea that his child exists? Would you finally be able to face the demons that have haunted you for seven years, the shame and regret that you left the woman you love to pursue a career in major league baseball? Would you be able to set things right and make amends with the woman and your child? Could a spark that never really was extinguished and the love of a child bring together two people who were always meant to be together? These are the questions that needed to be answered by Libby Tucker and Aidan Palowski in Binding Arbitration.
Elizabeth "Libby" Tucker is a successful Chicago defense attorney and single mom to her six year old son, Cass. Cass has been diagnosed with Leukemia, and is in need of a bone marrow transplant, in order to save his life. Libby had to do the one thing that she didn't want to do, she had to contact Cass' biological father, Banford Aidan Palowski, a successful major league baseball player, and tell him that he has a son who needs him. Libby needs Aidan to agree to submit a blood sample, to test his DNA to see if he would be a viable bone marrow donor. Sparks fly when Libby and Aidan aka "Band-Aid" meet again, but old wounds and unrequited love won't stop Aidan from stepping up to the plate and helping his son. This is a story of Libby and Aidan's journey through pain, anger and hurt to arrive at forgiveness, redemption and a second chance at love and family.
Binding Arbitration is an amazing story that will pull at your heartstrings. The storyline is well written, emotional, powerful and very compelling. This intriguing story is told in a two person perspective by Libby and Aidan, with each perspective brilliantly told in alternating chapters. The story captivates the reader from the beginning and encourages them to come along on the emotional roller coaster ride that is Libby and Aidan's story. This is not a lighthearted easy story to read, it is one that deals with deep emotional issues of illness and affairs of the heart that will have you grabbing for some tissues along the way. The characters are realistic and complex, their engaging personalities and interactions make the story that much more compelling. I couldn't help but love Libby and Aidan, their spark and interactions with each other had my emotions ranging from one end of the spectrum to the other. I think the hardest part of the story to digest was reading about poor little Cass' illness, your heart just can't help but break for him and what he was going through. The author does an incredible job of describing the Chicago setting, I was so intrigued that now I want to visit Chi Town and walk down the magical mile! I also loved how the author intertwined two of my favorite interests: the law and baseball! The references to both the law and baseball throughout the book made me one happy camper, they were informative and fascinating, what more could I ask for?
There are not many books that I have read that pull at my heartstrings and leave my emotions spent, but Binding Arbitration did just that. This amazing story is so much more than just your typical chick lit or contemporary romance novel. It offers a lesson and message about love, forgiveness, redemption and second chances that will warm your heart, and remind you to count your blessings and cherish your relationships.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author, for my honest review.
Something Furry Underfoot
on Oct. 08, 2013
In her second memoir, Something Furry Underfoot, author Amy L. Peterson weaves a humorous and touching account of her family's adoption and growing menagerie of pets, and helpful tips for the pet lover/owner. This enchanting story is written in a witty style, the author's love for animals is clearly evident in her true life account of living and caring for a variety of animals that her husband and stepkids added to their family.
As an animal lover and pet owner of four fur babies (1 Brown Lab, 2 Bichon Frise, and 1 Poodle), I can relate to Amy's menagerie of animals. Growing up I raised rabbits, had parakeets, dogs and the occasional hermit crab, and the feelings of love and care for each of my animals is filled with wonderful memories and humorous trials and tribulations that are locked in my heart forever.
I thought that Something Furry Underfoot was a wonderful story. It is filled with snippets of humor that will keep you in stitches, and the inspirational love for animals will have fellow pet owners nodding their head in agreement and admiration. Animal lovers and pet owners will learn a lot from Amy's helpful pet tips, it's a must read for anyone who already has an animal, or wants to add an animal to their family.
Animals have a way of touching a person's heart and life with an unconditional love that is like no other.
Kudos to Amy for writing a truly heartwarming and enjoyable story that all animal lovers will adore.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review.
The Three Month Plan
on Nov. 08, 2013
The Three Month Plan is an enjoyable YA contemporary romance story about friendships and relationships ... sometimes you have to look right in front of you to recognize the person who loves you most.
Author Kimberley Patterson weaves an entertaining romance story set in San Diego, that follows the trials and tribulations of longtime childhood friends Kelly Callahan and Brian McMillan, as they stumble along love's path to recognizing the feelings that they've held and denied each other because they were too afraid to lose their close friendship.
Told in the first person narrative by Kelly and Brian in alternating chapters, the reader follows along as Kelly is in search of a serious relationship, and is goaded into a bet with best friend Michelle to get hottie surfer boy Jake Carter to ask her out within three months. But there is just one little problem, Kelly's hid her true feelings for Brian, and was afraid of ruining their friendship. Brian knows that Jake's a player who will break Kelly's heart, and when he reluctantly gives advice to Kelly to help her snag Jake, he realizes that he has always had feelings for her that goes beyond friendship. What should Kelly and Brian do: deny their true feelings for each other for the sake of their longtime friendship, or follow their heart?
The Three Month Plan is a lighthearted and tender love story about best friends who have deeper feelings for each other, and the trials and tribulations that they go through during a three month plan that leads them back to each other.
This is a cute coming of age romance with quirky characters, funny dialogue and amusing interactions, and a predictable storyline that still puts a smile on the reader's face. I really enjoyed that the chapters alternated between Kelly and Brian's perspectives, the reader is given the chance to get into each of their minds as the angst over their true feelings for each other duels with their reluctance to lose their close longtime friendship. This is the type of YA contemporary romance story that took me back to my own post-high school days when I was like Kelly, trying to figure out what to do with my life mixed with the youthful giddiness of agonizing over guys at the local beach.
I would recommend this fun romantic story to YA fans, it is an entertaining and easy read with a satisfying and sweet HEA ending.
Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review.