gimmethatbook

Reviews of what you should be reading next.

Month: April 2020

Soup To Nuts by Judith Deborah

What do you do when your best friend marries someone who isn’t you?

Romy Belkin—28, unrepentant English major, a Michelangelo in the kitchen—is the culinary genius behind viral YouTube channel A Dash of Paprika. Its star is the fabulous Pia Zimble, Romy’s dearest friend. But one day, a fan of the show materializes—a man Romy has to admit is perfect for Pia—and sweeps her friend out of their kitchen and into a whole new life.

Bereft but trying not to be, Romy throws herself into navigating her new landscape. But the stakes of her explorations are higher than she thinks. If she’s not careful, Romy could lose herself along the way—as well as the chance to love and be loved by a soulmate of her own.

A witty and warm-hearted comic love story, Soup to Nuts is a novel about deep and enduring friendship, love in its many varieties, and truly spectacular food.

 

Thanks to the author for this review copy!

SOUP TO NUTS is a sweet romantic comedy about Pia and Romy, two besties who work on a food blog together, happily ever after clearly in sight…. until Pia finds the love of her life. Romy needs to learn to live her life without being joined at the hip with Pia.

Told in Romy’s voice, SOUP TO NUTS takes us through Romy’s journey post-Pia. At first, she is in a type of mourning, as she misses Pia and also laments her own lack of male prospects. A friend of hers helps Romy find some blind dates that are fun, but short-lived. No one is clicking for her, and she keeps looking, even though there already is someone in her life that would be perfect for her. Will Romy realize this in time and open her heart, before he finds someone else?

The author hits the perfect blend of romantic and comedy – not too heavy on either side, which is perfect for me. Both Pia and Romy are developed well, and I was able to feel their emotions clearly, whether it was raucous girl fun or a quick flare of anger. The descriptions of Romy’s relatives, especially her mother, are to die for. The author creates the perfect Jewish mother with both love and laughter.

“What on earth are you doing with that silly man?” Ma asked. 

“You mean Chip?” said Romy.

“Chip,” Ma said scornfully. “Chip Scott. Never trust a man with two first names.”

“You’re prejudiced. If his name was Chip Rabinowitz, you’d be calling the caterers.”

At times the dialogue is laugh-out-loud funny, other times it turns poignant. I truly felt as if I knew the girls well, and thus became invested in their future. Romy is a cook, and so the book is filled with descriptions of food, sumptuous and hunger-inducing. She turns to her kitchen in times of need, so there is a lot of cooking after Pia gets married and moves out. Her recipes are therapeutic, and we get to experience them one ingredient at a time. The author is skilled at creating images while stimulating the senses, and this is part of what makes SOUP TO NUTS so enthralling. There is so much delight in this little book that you must experience it for yourself. You will fall in love with these characters during the short period you are with them. Hurry – you can pick up your copy here.

Killer Soul Mate by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks

Jane Larson is back, and trouble abounds on New York’s Upper East Side!

A new client, Jasmine, hires Jane to undo the terms of a matrimonial agreement with her ex-husband, the owner of a prosperous hedge fund who does not like to lose. At the same time, Jane’s landlord is working to evict her from the storefront law office where her mother had practiced for many years, and Jane is forced to fight to save her mother’s legacy. However, it seems there is no way she can win.

All too soon, the bodies begin to pile up and Jane has to figure out who is responsible before she becomes one of the victims. Meanwhile, a guy named Gary is trying to worm his way into her life, and, even though she thinks he is much too young for he, she starts to fall for him. The problem is that he has a habit of showing up where the murders occur. Can she trust him?

Thanks to the authors for this review copy!

Jane Larson is feeling tired and old. To make matters worse, she is served with papers declaring to evict her from her storefront law office. There is also a younger man named Gary flirting with her at the local Y; Jane keeps telling him to scram. And the current case she is working on is a matrimonial one with ironclad clauses, enough to keep her busy. Her client Jasmine is making sure Jane gets paid top dollar – something she is not used to with her regular clients. Suddenly Gary appears in her office bearing papers discussing legal action against him. Jane just doubled her client load, even if the second client is flirty Gary.

More cases come to Jane quickly, and soon she is super busy. Suddenly Jasmine’s ex-husband’s lawyer Kevin is found dead, and his daughter claims foul play. Jane is drawn into a murder investigation, and that is where things really take off. Flirty Gary seems to always be in the middle of things, whether it’s on the same subway train as Jane, or a bar when Jane and Jasmine are hanging out. What is his deal? And who killed Kevin?

This is Jane Larson’s fourth mystery; she was the main character in WEAVE A MURDEROUS WEB, among others, a few years ago. She is still the same feisty woman that we know and love, however, she is slightly softer and more emotional in this book. I liked how the authors gave her more dimensions here.

There are many characters in KILLER SOUL MATE but they are easy to keep track of, and the twisty plot will keep you turning the pages. Towards the end the action ramps up to tie the loose ends together; once the book ends you will wish it didn’t. I hope the 5th installment of Jane’s adventures comes soon, as this one was fantastic reading.

I loved this book! The authors have a great style of writing that draws you into the story quickly, and they make you truly care about Jane and her clients. The dialogue is captivating, and the character development is thorough; I could picture each one in my head as I raced through the book. I was very invested in Jane and the other characters and was super curious to see how each subplot would be resolved.  I especially enjoyed that the romance between Gary and Jane was kept light; there is nothing that bogs down a good murder mystery than a heavy romance. Kudos to the authors!

Want your own copy? You can pick it up here.

The Argument by Victoria Jenkins

It happens to every mother. One day, the daughter whose whole world you once were, becomes someone you barely know. And you don’t know the secrets she’s hiding…

One hot summer night, 15-year-old Olivia comes home late from a party she was strictly forbidden from going to, and she and her mother, Hannah, start arguing. Soon Olivia speaks the words that every parent has heard from their teenage child:

‘I hate you. You’ve ruined my life. And I’m never speaking to you again.’

Olivia has never been an easy child, a sharp contrast to her easy-going, happy-go-lucky little sister. But Hannah thinks Olivia’s outburst is the end of a normal family argument. In fact, it’s only the beginning of a nightmare…

After one day of silence, Hannah thinks Olivia is taking a teenage sulk too far. After two days, she starts to feel anxious that something more serious could be going on. After a week, when her daughter still hasn’t spoken, Hannah knows that Olivia is hiding a bigger darkness – something that could threaten to tear their precious family apart…

The Argument is an unputdownable psychological thriller that asks how far we can push our families before they finally break. Perfect for fans of Gillian Flynn, The Woman in the Window, and The Silent Patient.

Thanks to NetGalley for this reviewer’s copy!

The premise of THE ARGUMENT is simple – teenage girl goes out to a party, parents disapprove, teenager tells parents she hates them and refuses to talk to them any more. If it only were that innocent!

Hannah is the stodgy, no-fun mother of Olivia and Rosie. Olivia is a normal 15-year-old testing the boundaries of parental control. Rosie is still young and is the favored child, much to Olivia’s chagrin. Everyone appears to be a reliable narrator so far, despite the titular argument.  The book flows along with minimal ups and downs until about 60% gone – then the first twist is uncovered and Hannah becomes a sympathetic character while Olivia becomes a selfish, annoying little girl, still believing that if her parents didn’t treat her the way they did, she would not have had to sneak out to that party. Soon after that, the second twist happens – hold onto your book, because it’s a doozy! My sympathies changed ever so slightly towards Olivia at this point, despite the fact that she was still a selfish teenager. At this point, I was not putting the book down until it was finished; it was that good! Then the author drops another twist into the mix, making Hannah even more sympathetic.

Hold those emotions close, though, as from here on in they will be changing and spinning out of control. By the end of the book every character but one is deserving of pity, more or less. Each character (except Rosie, who is quite the innocent throughout) has their demons and their false beliefs. One is a narcissist, another is a control freak, and the other is selfish. Actually, they are all selfish and broken in their own way.

THE ARGUMENT is an unputdownable psychological thriller that starts slow, but ends with multiple jaw-dropping twists. The author is adept at creating simmering tension that boils over midway through the book – and the ending will have you shaking your head at Hannah’s final words. I look forward to reading more of the author’s work. You can pick up your copy here.

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