{Review} The Seven Husbands of Evelyn Hugo

 

about the book

Evelyn Hugo is finally ready to tell the truth about her glamorous and scandalous life. But when she chooses unknown magazine reporter Monique Grant for the job, no one in the journalism community is more astounded than Monique herself. Why her? Why now?

Monique is not exactly on top of the world. Her husband, David, has left her, and her career has stagnated. Regardless of why Evelyn has chosen her to write her biography, Monique is determined to use this opportunity to jumpstart her career.

Summoned to Evelyn’s Upper East Side apartment, Monique listens as Evelyn unfurls her story: from making her way to Los Angeles in the 1950s to her decision to leave show business in the late 80s, and, of course, the seven husbands along the way. As Evelyn’s life unfolds through the decades—revealing a ruthless ambition, an unexpected friendship, and a great forbidden love—Monique begins to feel a very a real connection to the actress. But as Evelyn’s story catches up with the present, it becomes clear that her life intersects with Monique’s own in tragic and irreversible ways.

Filled with emotional insight and written with Reid’s signature talent, this is a fascinating journey through the splendor of Old Hollywood into the harsh realities of the present day as two women struggle with what it means—and what it takes—to face the truth.

My Thoughts

Honestly, I tried reading this book more than once. I received an early copy many months ago, and when I first picked it up, I couldn’t get into it. It didn’t feel like the kind of story I’m used to reading by TJR.

That’s because it’s NOT like her previous books. It was unique and absolutely fantastic. And kudos to her for the bravery to write something different. I’m so glad I gave it another chance. It wasn’t anything like I expected, but I still loved every word. In true TJR fashion, her writing is beautiful, and I became lost in the story and didn’t want to put it down. Evelyn is a character you want to love and hate simultaneously, and I was captivated by her life.

There are only a select few authors who’s books make me cry, and TJR is one of them. This book is really incredible, and I highly recommend picking up a copy!

Bottom Line

Truly unforgettable. I’m still thinking about the story weeks later.

5 Stars

Genre: Historical, Romance, Adult Contemporary

Standalone

Published June 13, 2017 by Atria Books

Length: 400 pages

ARC kindly provided by the author in exchange for an honest review.

{Review} On Second Thought

about the book

Ainsley O’Leary is so ready to get married—she’s even found the engagement ring her boyfriend has stashed away. What she doesn’t anticipate is being blindsided by a breakup he chronicles in a blog…which (of course) goes viral. Devastated and humiliated, Ainsley turns to her older half sister, Kate, who’s struggling with a sudden loss of her own.

Kate’s always been the poised, self-assured sister, but becoming a newlywed—and a widow—in the space of four months overwhelms her. Though the sisters were never close, she starts to confide in Ainsley, especially when she learns her late husband was keeping a secret from her.

Despite the murky blended-family dynamic that’s always separated them, Ainsley’s and Kate’s heartaches bind their summer together when they come to terms with the inevitable imperfection of relationships and family—and the possibility of one day finding love again.

My Thoughts

You know how sometimes a book comes along at just the right time, and it’s so perfect in every way that you never want it to end? That’s how I felt while I was reading this book. I was so wrapped up in the lives of these two sisters and their story. This book had everything I love – humor, romance, family drama, and friendship. I loved the character development and how much I could relate to both sisters. The romance was just subtle enough without taking away from the heart of the story. And the growing relationship between the sisters after they both suffer through the most horrible times of their lives was so inspiring and heartwarming.

Bottom Line

I loved every single word. Favorite book of 2017.

5 Stars

Genre: Adult Contemporary, Romance

Standalone

Published January 31st 2017 by HQN Books

Length: 480 pages

ARC kindly provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.

{If You Liked…Then You Might Like} The Nightingale & From Sand and Ash

I’ve seen different variations of this post on several blogs and have been toying around with the idea to start doing my own post. Although these books share some similarities, they also stand out in their own way, and are ones I highly recommend reading.

If You Liked…. The Nightingale

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Despite their differences, sisters Viann and Isabelle have always been close. Younger, bolder Isabelle lives in Paris while Viann is content with life in the French countryside with her husband Antoine and their daughter. But when the Second World War strikes, Antoine is sent off to fight and Viann finds herself isolated so Isabelle is sent by their father to help her.

As the war progresses, the sisters’ relationship and strength is tested. With life changing in unbelievably horrific ways, Viann and Isabelle will find themselves facing frightening situations and responding in ways they never thought possible as bravery and resistance take different forms in each of their actions.

Then you Might Like…. From Sand and Ash

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Italy, 1943—Germany occupies much of the country, placing the Jewish population in grave danger during World War II.

As children, Eva Rosselli and Angelo Bianco were raised like family but divided by circumstance and religion. As the years go by, the two find themselves falling in love. But the church calls to Angelo and, despite his deep feelings for Eva, he chooses the priesthood.

Now, more than a decade later, Angelo is a Catholic priest and Eva is a woman with nowhere to turn. With the Gestapo closing in, Angelo hides Eva within the walls of a convent, where Eva discovers she is just one of many Jews being sheltered by the Catholic Church.

But Eva can’t quietly hide, waiting for deliverance, while Angelo risks everything to keep her safe. With the world at war and so many in need, Angelo and Eva face trial after trial, choice after agonizing choice, until fate and fortune finally collide, leaving them with the most difficult decision of all.

 

I loved these two books equally. They are also equally heartbreaking and if you’re a crier like me, you’ll be sobbing by the end of both. But it’ll be totally worth it!

{Review} Close Enough to Touch

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about the book

One time a boy kissed me and I almost died…

And so begins the story of Jubilee Jenkins, a young woman with a rare and debilitating medical condition: she’s allergic to other humans. After a humiliating near-death experience in high school, Jubilee has become a recluse, living the past nine years in the confines of the small town New Jersey house her unaffectionate mother left to her when she ran off with a Long Island businessman. But now, her mother is dead, and without her financial support, Jubilee is forced to leave home and face the world—and the people in it—that she’s been hiding from.

One of those people is Eric Keegan, a man who just moved into town for work. With a daughter from his failed marriage who is no longer speaking to him, and a brilliant, if psychologically troubled, adopted son, Eric’s struggling to figure out how his life got so off-course, and how to be the dad—and man—he wants so desperately to be. Then, one day, he meets a mysterious woman named Jubilee, with a unique condition…

An evocative, poignant, and heartrending exploration of the power and possibilities of the human heart, Close Enough to Touchis perfect for fans of the emotional novels of Jodi Picoult and Jojo Moyes.

My Thoughts

You know how sometimes a book will come along and be so unexpectedly wonderful that it blows you away?  I read this authors debut novel and really enjoyed it. But this book puts her on my list of authors to watch out for. She outdid herself with this exceptional and unique story.

I adored Eric and Jubilee, and pretty much all the other characters in this book. It was such an interesting concept, with the perfect blend of humor and emotion. The author writes in beautiful prose that had me glued to the pages. Once you pick up this book you will find it incredibly hard to put down.

Bottom Line

A delightfully wonderful surprise – this is a must read book.

5 Stars

Genre: Adult Contemporary, Romance

Standalone

Expected Publication: March 7, 2017 by Gallery Books

Length: 320 pages

ARC kindly provided by the publisher via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.