A Life With Books

A Life With Books

Mom, wife, book lover,
crafter, movie lover, TV -aholic, blogger, friend.

3 Stars
Book Review: A taste Of Merlot by Heather Heyford
A Taste of Merlot - Heather Heyford
I received this book in exchange 
for an honest review from NetGalley
A Taste Of Merlot is the second book in Heather Heyford's debut series, the Napa Wine Heiresses.  This book follows the youngest sister Merlot 'Meri' St Pierre.
The story opens with Meri accepting the Purchase Prize at Gates College Of Art And Designs art exhibit.  After her speech she heads to the ladies room. Shortly after she's in the stall she hears two classmates enter the room as they begin bashing her; saying things like she doesn't deserve to win because she doesn't have to work for a living since she's a wine princess, that she only won because her father donated money to the college and that art is only a hobby to her and she'll never be a real jeweler.  Meri recognizes the voices as Rainn, a graduating senior and Chelsey, a junior like herself.
Meanwhile, Mark Newman is at Gates' at exhibit scouting new talent for Harrington's, his family's high-end jewelry conglomerate. He comes across Meri's purchase prize and is intrigued.  He's disappointed that only the name 'Gilty' appears on the prize-winning piece.  He decides to ask two girls passing by (Rainn and Chelsey) if they know whose work it is.  of course they lie and tell him they have no idea.  Mark gives Rainn his card and she is amused to find out he is from the well-known Harrington jewelers.
Meri decides not to return to Gates to finish her degree because she is humiliated by what she overheard her classmates say.  Instead she decides to open an online boutique and find a place to work on her jewelry.  Months go by and Mark still cannot locate who Gilty is, but once Meri gets her website up and running he finally gets in touch with her.
This is where the deceptions begin.  Meri does not tell Mark her real last name because she doesn't want him knowing she's a famous wine heiress.  Mark doesn't reveal he's an heir to the Harrington business.  Rainn continues to intervene between Mark and Meri because she rents a space at the same co-op where their jewelry workshops are located. Without giving too much of the story away, Meri and Mark are attracted to one another and there's a lot of secrecy and mistrust between them because they are both wealthy, but don't want one another to know this.
I enjoyed this book except for the character trait of Meri being portrayed as promiscuous.  The author tied this in to Meri being lonely when she was sent away at a very young age to boarding school.  I just felt this wasn't a trait I necessarily wanted to see in Meri's character.
Here is Heather Heyford reading an excerpt from Book 1 in the Wine Heiress series:
The third book in this series, A Taste Of Sauvignon, will be available on April 14, 2015

Happy #ReadAcrossAmerica Day!!!!!

4 Stars
Book review: A Taste Of Chardonnay by Heather Heyford
A Taste of Chardonnay - Heather Heyford
This is Heather Heyford's debut novel and I'm already looking forward to follow-up books in the Napa Wine Heiress series!
This book focuses on Chardonnay "Char" St. Pierre, the middle child of the famous French vintner Xavier St. Pierre and the late actress, Lily d'Amboise. Char's sisters are Sauvignon (aka "Savvy") and Merlot (aka "Meri'.) My first impression when I realized the sisters were named after wines was that these women were going to be uptight, snooty brats. I was pleasantly surprised that they all seem to be likable characters.
Char is a charitable person who helps out in local soup kitchens, homeless shelters, and collects donated clothing for the less fortunate. She has a degree in public service from the University of Connecticut and has a plan to get a charity organization up and running. Her plan involves winning the McDaniel Foundation's Napa Charity Challenge so that she can start up her charity without the help of her father's money. The challenge involves running a half-marathon, raising funds from local businesses and a charity auction. Char is determined to win. What Char doesn't foresee is another competitor by the name of Ryder McBride. He's a famous actor who has come back to the area to participate in the Napa Charity Challenge for his own cause. Although they don't see eye-to-eye when they first meet, they both admit to themselves there's an attraction there.
There are family secrets intertwined in the story line and the shining of light on some great charitable causes. Neither character comes off self-centered, which was a breath of fresh air. I would've liked to see more relationship development between Char and Ryder, as it felt like it happened quickly. All in all though this was a quick read and I'm looking forward to reading Char's sister's stories in the forthcoming books.

   A Taste Of Sauvignon will be available on April 14, 2015

5 Stars
Book Review: Codependent No More/Beyond Codependency by Melody Beattie
Codependent No More & Beyond Codependency - Melody Beattie

I wanted to learn about co-dependency because I wasn't completely sure what was meant by being co-dependent. This book is wonderfully written and is extremely informative.


I wish I had read this book as a young woman so I could have been more aware of relationships with friends and others during that time of my life who may have been codependents. I believe reading this book as a young adult would help aide in figuring out personal issues (and relationships with others) sooner in life rather than later.


Although the book also focuses on alcoholism, substance abuse and 12-step programs, there are many more topics in this book that relate to general life issues. Learning to love and accept yourself (and others), expressing yourself, setting goals and learning how to communicate properly are just some of the helpful topics covered.


This book is actually a 2 in 1 book with 'Codependent No More' being published in 1987 and 'Beyond Codependency' being published in 1989. Melody Beattie, the author, is a recovered addict, alcoholic and codependent. The reason this book is so insightful is because Ms. Beattie wrote from the heart. She shares her experiences and those she has connected with vividly in this book.


I must tell you that I started this book on February 11, 2014 and to my surprise I finished it exactly a year later. The reason I spread this book out over such a long period of time was because it is not 'light & fluffy' reading. It is intense and thought provoking. This was a borrowed book, but if I owned a copy I would go through the book again and highlight many insightful and smart advice that I could pass onto my daughters.

3.5 Stars
Book Review: Leading Man by Benjamin Svetkey
Leading Man - Benjamin Svetkey

Note: I received this book from A GoodReads GiveAway.


I am doing a 'Pass It On' with a Book GiveAway on my blog's Facebook page!

All you need to do is 'Like' my Facebook post and comment HERE!  I will be numbering your comments and then using the True Random Number Generator to choose the book giveaway winner.  If this book interests you head on over to the Facebook post to enter!  Please share with your friends who you think may be interested as well!

(United States entries ONLY please!)


-read more-
4 Stars
Glory In Death by J.D. Robb
Glory in Death - J.D. Robb

Glory in Death
by J.D. Robb
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

This is the second book of the 'In Death' series.

The time is the year 2058 in New York and Eve Dallas finds herself in search of a serial killer who targets high-powered career women. She is focused on finding the killer, but her well-to-do beau, Roarke finds ways to take her mind off her work and relax from time to time.

Although this book is mainly a suspense/mystery, it is also considered a suspense romance due to some of the 'steamier' scenes. I'm not sure how to feel about Roarke, Eve's love interest. At this point I don't really trust him, as he seems like a shady businessman. Eve's character is a head-strong homicide detective who has trouble letting others into her personal life. I especially look forward to learning about Eve's past, which very little has been revealed at this point in the series.

This quote is Roarke describing the type of person Eve is and I found it to be a great description of her character: "You're strong, and you're moral, and sometimes you make yourself ill with compassion for the innocent."

I'm not normally a murder-mystery, sci-fi/futuristic reader, but because I enjoy books by Nora Roberts, I felt I needed to at least try this series written under her pen name, J.D. Robb.

One thing mentioned in this futuristic book that I highlighted was this passage referring to Eve's commander's wife, Anna Whitney:
"It wasn't the state salary for full-time parents that had swayed her. It had been the thrill of being in on each and every stage of childhood development."
If only full-time parents received salaries for parenting! Ha!

I definitely enjoyed this book more than the first. This quote from the book summarizes why I will continue reading this series: "Lieutenant Eve Dallas crouched down beside death and studied it carefully. The sights and scents were familiar, but each time, there was something new. Both victim and killer left their own imprint, their own style, and made murder personal." Reading the 'In Death' series is like watching a mystery series on television, but even better!

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A reading challenge for 2015!!

Reblogged from Ann's Book Blog
Source: http://www.popsugar.com/love/Reading-Challenge-2015-36071458
What kind of reader are you?


Book lovers have different personalities just like ordinary people. We find it hard to choose only one as it also depends on the book(s) we're reading. For the most of the time we'll go for a mix of Polygamist+Extrovert+Altruist. Some books, however, make us monogamist introverts. And a very very tiny percentage of titles change us into neurotic readers. 


How about you? Share your personalities in the comment section below. 

Reblogged from BookLikes
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Reblogged from SnoopyDoo's Book Reviews
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Reblogged from It's a Mad Mad World
DIY: Bookish earrings! :-)

These are super adorable!  I just wish I had seen this post prior to Christmas!

Oh well, I have a new idea for my daughter's friend's birthdays now! 


Yes, I will! :D

Reblogged from Bookish Quotes
2.5 Stars
Book Review: The Christmas Pearl by Dorothea Benton Frank
The Christmas Pearl - Dorothea Benton Frank

The Christmas Pearl
by Dorothea Benton Frank
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This book is about ninety-three year old Theodora inviting her dysfunctioanl family to her home in South Carolina for Christmas. The matriach is melancholy about Christmases past and wishes her family could show a little more respect for one another and realize how important the precious time spent with family is.

A cook is hired for the family's Christmas meal and a substitute is called in to fill in for the original cook when there is an emergency in her family. The replacement is none other than Theodora's family's cook of her childhood, Pearl. Pearl has come to earn her wings and whip Theodora's family into shape.

There are many wonderful lessons within this book, but somehow the book felt 'flat' to me. There are a lot of characters to keep straight with a lot of intricacies within their relationships. I spread this book out over a long period of time, so maybe that is why I felt a bit 'disconnected' from the characters.

I appreciate the book's idea of a loved one coming back to help set a family straight and be appreciative of one another, but it just felt very forced to me.

View all my reviews

3 Stars
Bok Review: The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society by Mary Ann Shaffer
The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society - Mary Ann Shaffer, Annie Barrows

I read this book because it is the selection for the book club at my church. It is not the usual genre I would read, but I did truly enjoy this story.


The book is very different in that the entire story is told through the correspondence of letters or telegram.


The setting is England, 1946 and Juliet Ashton is a British journalist who has lost everything (including her book collection) and is looking to start anew. She receives a letter from a resident from the island of Guernsey that has a second-hand book that has her name and address written in it. The correspondence with the many islanders of Guernsey begins with members of the literary society writing about the books they enjoy and why. However, Juliet begins to want to meet the people she's corresponding with and has an idea that she could write a book about these people. She decides to go to the island to interview them and becomes involved in her new friends lives.


It was a bit confusing at first getting to know all the characters in the book and keeping who was who straight through the correspondence of the letters. Also, sometimes the way the letters were written the tone fell flat for me and a lot of the characters started to blend together. Maybe this shows that it is difficult to develop a character's personality just through letters? It was definitely a different kind of book and one that book lovers may enjoy. Below are a few of my favorite quotes from the book.


"I would like to write a book, but I am having trouble thinking of a subject I could live happily with for several years." ---Juliet Ashton before she knows what she's going to write about


"Reading good books ruins you for enjoying bad books." -quote from Isola Pribby


"I did not want to spend my time reading about people who never were, doing things they never did." -quote from Clovis Fossey, one of the book club members and why he didn't initially want to be a part of the society.  This quote reminds me of my husband and how he justifies not reading books!


" 'Women like poetry. A soft word in their ears and they melt a grease spot on the grass.' That's no way to talk about a lady, and I knew right then he didn't want the Widow Hubert for her own self, the way I did. He wanted only her grazing land for his cows. So I thought, if it's rhymes the Widow Hubert wants, I will find me some." -quote from Clovis Fossey on how he started reading poetry, started going to the society meetings and discovered the works of Wadsworth.

3 Stars
Book Review: Sea Glass Island by Sherryl Woods
Sea Glass Island (Ocean Breeze) - Sherryl Woods

This is the third book in Sheryl Woods Ocean Breeze series.

I definitely enjoyed this book more than the first two. As usual, Cora Jane is meddling in one of her grand daughter's love lives, but this time the other two sisters are involved as well. The target this time is Samantha and they're trying to hook her up with her high school crush, Ethan Cole. Ethan is a local doctor who is not interested in getting involved in a relationship. He is a veteran with a prosthetic leg and focused on protecting his heart due to a bad break-up with his fiance.

Samantha is open to getting involved with Ethan, but not the way her grandmother and sisters keep 'conveniently' throwing them together in different situations.

I didn't like Emily's bridezilla-esque personality in this book at all. What I think I did enjoy the most is that Samantha is a very strong, independent person and tried not to let anything get her down. Ethan could've been a little more open to getting involved with Samantha and less skittish about women in general.

3 Stars
Book Review: Wind Chime Point by Sherryl Woods
Wind Chime Point - Sherryl Woods

This is the second book in the Ocean Breeze seeries. For some reason I enjoyed this book more than the first.

The focus is on Gabriela, where as the first book focused on Emily.
Gabi finds herself unemployed, broken up with her boyfriend and pregnant. She returns to Sand Castle Bay to figure out her next steps and finds herself becoming friends with the local cabinetmaker, Wade Johnson. Their friendship grows and she resists the fact that she may be falling for him. Of course her grandmother, Cora Jane, is right there trying to nudge their relationship along.

The story also continues with the planning of Gabi and Samantha's sister Emily's wedding. Samantha is still feeling down in the dumps because she's not landing any acting jobs and Gabi steps up to try to help her with public realtions. The last book in this series will be Samantha's story and I'm hoping that book is even better than this one.

This series is a very relaxed and mellow. It's not heavy on the romance, but more so focused on the mentality of falling in love and making life choices

3 Stars
Book Review: Ocean Breeze Point by Sherryl Woods
Sand Castle Bay - Sherryl Woods

This is the first book in the Ocean Breeze series by Sherryl Woods. The Castle family consists of Emily, Gabi, Samantha and their meddling grandmother, Cora Jane. The women have returned to the small North Carolina town due to a hurricane that has torn apart their grandmother's restaurant and they're all there to help her.

The story focuses on Emily who hasn't returned to Sand Castle Bay since breaking up with her high school sweetheart, Boone Dorsett. Emily decided to leave behind her boyfriend and the place she grew up in order to pursue a career elsewhere as an interior designer. Boone does not wait for Emily and marries, has a son and then becomes a widow after his wife passes away from an illness. So when Emily returns ten years later both Emily and Boone are a little worried about old feelings being stirred up.

For some reason this book took me longer to read than normal. It seemed slow, a bit predictable and the wishy-washiness of Boone and Emily was a bit annoying. That said I will read the next two books in this series to see what's in store for Gabi and Samantha.

currently reading

Progress: 20%