Summer at Orchard House by Ellyn Oaksmith **Book Review** @bookouture

Happy Monday everyone!

Well I loved this book! It was such a wonderful story about family… and love… and wine 🍷

My Thoughts

Family, romance, and wine. Ellen Oaksmith has written such a heartwarming feel good story about the strength and power of love. Carmen has returneded home from Seattle to help on her family’s Vineyard. Her beloved father Juan is suffering from Alzheimers, and Carmen is afraid that the smooth talking interloper who just moved into the Vineyard next-door will talk him out of the family land. Carmen is surprised by the disrepair of the family home and Vineyard, but soon she remembers how much she loves the land. Carmen is determined to not only pay off the bank, but also bring the family vineyard back to its former glory. But Evan the budding winemaker next-door has other ideas, he really wants to get his hands on Carmine’s family land and grapes. Carmen it’s not having it, and will stop at nothing to stop this from happening. But surprise surprise Carmen and Evan are as drawn to one another as they are repelled.

This was such a gorgeous story. The setting was absolutely stunning and so vividly described. I felt like I was right there on the vineyard with Carmen and her family. Loved the bond between the sisters and their father and how determined and creative they were to keep the Vineyard. Also loved the back and forth between Carmen and Evan. There were some pretty funny moments while these to try to undermined one another, I especially loved the goats. A touching story that tugged at my heart, glad to see it is the first in what looks like will be a delightful series.

This book in emojis 🍇 🐶 🍷 🐐 👩🏼‍🌾 🏊🏽

*** Big thank you to Bookouture for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

The Alvarez sisters have grown up and moved away—but now their dad is in crisis, the family business is collapsing and it’s time to go home to Lake Chelan.

Carmen Alvarez is the reliable one. When her vulnerable father’s livelihood is threatened, she’s the person her sisters call. Abandoning her job in Seattle, Carmen races home to the family vineyard her dad built up from nothing to set things straight. But soon she’s fallen back in love with the dusty sage hills, the turquoise blue lake, the fragrant June orchards… Maybe she’s not just home for the summer?

Standing in the way of Carmen’s happiness is one very attractive obstacle: new neighbor Evan Hollister, who’s after her dad’s land. He’s arrogant, entitled and spoiled—everything Carmen hates—and she is all set to have a bit of fun driving him out of town so things can get back to normal. She isn’t ready for their relationship to get complicated…

But Evan is the least of Carmen’s worries. The business is falling apart and it starts to look like Carmen might lose much more than just her pride: employees have quit, the bank keeps calling and everything her father worked so hard for is slipping away. As she is pushed to breaking point, Carmen will learn that her true family are the people who will see her through the worst of times, and that love can be found in the most unlikely of places.

A heart-warming romance about embracing the unexpected, Summer at Orchard House will make you laugh, make you cry, and remind you that it’s never too late to start again. For fans of Robyn Carr, Carolyn Brown and Debbie Macomber. 

About the Book

Ellyn Oaksmith is a USA Today and Kindle bestselling author. After graduating from The American Film Institute, Ellyn was a screenwriter in Hollywood, pitching movies, rewriting scripts and navigating the Los Angeles freeways before Google Maps. Meeting movie stars was a fun and surreal perk.

Ellyn’s first book was published by Avon/Harper Collins. Other contemporary romances with smart, ambitious heroines followed.
Ellyn lives in Seattle, Washington with her husband and their polydactyl cat, Forest. Ellyn is an avid competitive rower. 

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Rodham by Curtis Sittenfeld **Book Review** @randomthingstours

Happy Monday all!

What if? This book answers the question what if Hillary Rodham never married Bill Clinton?

My Thoughts

What if Hillary didn’t marry Bill? Spoiler alert Trump would never become president, and I’m just saying makes the book worth it! OK let me preface this review by stating I am not a big Hillary Clinton fan. I am liberal and I would love to see a woman be president, she just rubs me the wrong way. Probably for many reasons brought up in this book. This book did really make me think about how we unconsciously judge women differently than men. A woman is a nag or being bossy while a man is being assertive or commanding. In reading this book it appears as though Hillary battled this her entire life. Even as a child her classmates and classmates parents saw her strong assertive personality as her acting like a “boy“. But this is not a love letter to Hillary, the book really shows all sides of her, both the good and the bad. I found the early relationship between Hillary and Bill quite fascinating. If this book is completely true Hillary knew what she was getting into when she married Bill, she made a conscious decision to Mary him warts womanizing and all. But this book is about what happens to Hillary if she does NOT marry Bill.

This might be the very first historical retelling of sorts involving historical people I’m familiar with. Meaning I’ve read books about the Kennedys but I was not alive when JFK was president. It all is kind of like a fairytale of sorts. With the Clintons I actually went and saw Clinton speak when he was running for president in 92, so this was a little surreal. And some of it just did not work. Like the thought of Bill and Hillary having any kind of sexual interactions *yuck* it’s kind of like thinking of your parents having sex. I also think I got a little confused by trying to separate what had actually happened and what hadn’t happened. I am really intrigued by the question of, what if? This book gave me a lot to think about. I also think I like Hillary a lot better after reading this. Or at least I have open my mind to where she was coming from. Now Bill on the other hand, he was not painted well in this book I don’t think. All in all this was a really fascinating well told story and I think people will enjoy it whether they are a Hillary fan or not.

This book in emojis 👩🏻‍💼 🗳 🎷 📱 🇺🇸

*** Big thank you to Transworld for my gifted copy of this book. All opinions are my own. ***

About the Book

 bestselling author of American Wife and Eligible, a novel that imagines a deeply compelling what-might-have-been: What if Hillary Rodham hadn’t married Bill Clinton?

In 1971, Hillary Rodham is a young woman full of promise: Life magazine has covered her Wellesley commencement speech, she’s attending Yale Law School, and she’s on the forefront of student activism and the women’s rights movement. And then she meets Bill Clinton. A handsome, charismatic southerner and fellow law student, Bill is already planning his political career. In each other, the two find a profound intellectual, emotional, and physical connection that neither has previously experienced.

In the real world, Hillary followed Bill back to Arkansas, and he proposed several times; although she said no more than once, as we all know, she eventually accepted and became Hillary Clinton.

But in Curtis Sittenfeld’s powerfully imagined tour-de-force of fiction, Hillary takes a different road. Feeling doubt about the prospective marriage, she endures their devastating breakup and leaves Arkansas. Over the next four decades, she blazes her own trail—one that unfolds in public as well as in private, that involves crossing paths again (and again) with Bill Clinton, that raises questions about the tradeoffs all of us must make in building a life.

Brilliantly weaving a riveting fictional tale into actual historical events, Curtis Sittenfeld delivers an uncannily astute and witty story for our times. In exploring the loneliness, moral ambivalence, and iron determination that characterize the quest for political power, as well as both the exhilaration and painful compromises demanded of female ambition in a world still run mostly by men, Rodham is a singular and unforgettable novel.