The Subway Girls by Susie Orman Schnall

The Subway Girls

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of publication: July 10th, 2018

Genre: Historical Fiction, Women’s Fiction

Where you can find The Subway Girls: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

In 1949, dutiful and ambitious Charlotte’s dream of a career in advertising is shattered when her father demands she help out with the family business. Meanwhile, Charlotte is swept into the glamorous world of the Miss Subways beauty contest, which promises irresistible opportunities with its Park Avenue luster and local fame status. But when her new friend—the intriguing and gorgeous fellow-participant Rose—does something unforgivable, Charlotte must make a heart-wrenching decision that will change the lives of those around her forever.

Nearly 70 years later, outspoken advertising executive Olivia is pitching the NYC subways account in a last ditch effort to save her job at an advertising agency. When the charismatic boss she’s secretly in love with pits her against her misogynistic nemesis, Olivia’s urgent search for the winning strategy leads her to the historic Miss Subways campaign. As the pitch date closes in on her, Olivia finds herself dealing with a broken heart, an unlikely new love interest, and an unexpected personal connection to Miss Subways that could save her job—and her future.

The Subway Girls is the charming story of two strong women, a generation apart, who find themselves up against the same eternal struggle to find an impossible balance between love, happiness, and ambition.

My Review:

I like reading women’s fiction and historical fiction, I have had issues finding books that can focus on both of those genres. They are few and far between. So when I read the blurb for The Subway Girls, I almost didn’t get this book. I almost passed it over. I am glad that I didn’t because I would have missed a fantastic book that takes place in 1949 and present day.

I liked how the storylines mirrored each other. I didn’t get confused when going between the time periods because they were doing (or trying to get into) the same field of work. Even the mindset of the men (past and present) were the same. The only time the storylines stopped mirroring each other was when Charlotte was in the Miss Subways contest and Olivia was working on finding a way to keep her job. Even then, it was only for a couple of chapters. Then it was right back to mirroring each other.

I thought Charlotte was progressive for her time. She was trying to get into a field that was dominated by men (think Don Draper). She was optimistic until she got the last rejection letter. I liked how she called the guy and told him to keep her in mind. She had no real interest in doing the beauty contest, she entered on a whim. She needed the money but thought that she would at least have a job if they got back to her. I loved her reaction to being asked to do something that she was uncomfortable with. I was chanting “You go girl” the entire time.

I liked Olivia but I felt that she wasn’t as developed as Charlotte’s character was at first. Then she gained depth. She was a strong person but she also had a certain vulnerability to her. I didn’t get her being in love with her boss. I felt that the book didn’t have to go that way. I also felt that her co-worker was a little too hostile to women. Considering what happened at the end of the book, I wasn’t surprised. But still. I liked how she made time for her elderly next door neighbor and her grandson.

Rose’s betrayal set the tone for the last half of the book. Not going to get into it but Charlotte did the absolute right thing when she did what she did.

I loved how the author brought the two storylines together. How I didn’t see what I didn’t see is beyond me. The author did a great job at keeping Ben’s grandmother’s identity a secret. There were a few red herrings thrown out. Same goes for Olivia’s Subway Girls revival. I was so mad when the events happened the way they did.

I should mention that the contest was based on a contest that was run in New York City. The author had an afterward where she described how she took that contest and made it her own.

The end of the book cleared up some details that I figured out but needed to see in print. I like that it ended happily but realistically.

What I liked about The Subway Girls:

A) That it was based on a real contest.

B) Well developed characters

C) Interesting plot with plot twists that I didn’t see coming.

What I disliked about The Subway Girls:

A) Olivia’s relationship with her boss.

B) Charlotte not being taken seriously in her career choice

C) Rose’s betrayal

I would give The Subway Girls an Older Teen rating. There are sexual situations but nothing graphic. There is language. There is mild violence.

There are no trigger warnings in The Subway Girls.

I would recommend The Subway Girls to family and friends. This is a book that I could see myself rereading.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Griffin, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Subway Girls.

All opinions stated in this review of The Subway Girls are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Blog Tour: Breathless by Celeste Bradley

Breathless

5 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Griffin, St. Martin’s Press

Date of publication: June 12th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Historical romance

Where you can find Breathless: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

A sensuous, delightful romantic women’s fiction novel from New York Times bestselling authors Celeste Bradley and Susan Donovan!

She was “the Swan.” London’s premiere courtesan. Men want to be with her. Women loathe her success and yet admire her beauty, her riches, her independence. But when the jealous wife of her lover moves to have the Swan banished from her home on the high seas, she winds up crashed against Spain’s rocky coast with no shoes, no clothes-and no name. Taken in by a tortured, sensuous man known as The Artist, the Swan comes to know the woman she wants to be—her artist’s siren.

When Art Professor Brenna Anderson is in danger of losing her post at Harvard, the rule-following, prim professor is at a loss of how to salvage the shreds of her life. But when a new painting in the mysterious Siren collection is discovered in a dusty old house in France, Brenna does the unthinkable—hops on a plane to uncover the identity of the beautiful, enigmatic woman who is the subject of the paintings.

There’s just one hitch—the frustrating, irritating, bold and beautiful art hunter, Fitch Wilder, is also looking for the Siren. He’s been a thorn in Brenna’s professional side for years, but when their individual quests lead them to team up despite being enemies, a whole new sumptuous world of art and culture opens up for the two of them. And with it, they enter a realm of passion and love…

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The Big Alpha in Town by Eve Langlais, Milly Taiden, and Kate Baxter

The Big Alpha in Town

4 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of publication: May 15th, 2018

Genre: Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal

Where you can find The Big Alpha in Town: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book synopsis (from Goodreads):

Three hot stories about three sexy shifters from a trio of today’s hottest paranormal romance authors, headlined by bestselling authors Eve Langlais and Milly Taiden!

Bearing His Name
Meeting his mate should have been cause for celebration. There’s just one teeny tiny problem. Jade thinks Ark might have impregnated her sister. He didn’t, but convincing Jade is going to take a bit of honey.

Owned by the Lion
Keir’s been told to stop playing the field and settle down—difficult advice for a hard and hot man with a lion’s heart to follow. But his sights have always been set on Ally. She’s his mate, plain and simple. With her sweet and delicious curves, she’s nothing but sugar and trouble all rolled into one. But he’s known her and sparred with her for years. She’s his best friend’s little sister, and it’s going to take a whole new level of convincing that he’s the mate for her.

No Need Fur Love
Moving with his pack to the tiny town of Stanley, Idaho has Owen Courtney a little on edge. With literally no women in sight, Owen will be lucky to find a date, let alone his true mate. But you know the saying about a werewolf walking into a bar…
Gorgeous wood nymph Mia Oliver is on a mission: Find a suitable male to get her good ‘n pregnant and provide her with an heir. But when Mia decides to pick up a gorgeous and oh-so willing werewolf at the bar, she realizes she might be in over her head. …

My review:

I have gotten a little bored with shifter romances. They all seemed to follow the same storyline. So when the publishers approached me to review The Big Alpha in Town, I hesitated. I almost declined. But, since I like reviewing for this publisher, I gave this book a try. I am glad that I did because these stories were great!! Only one followed the typical storyline but it was written in such a way that I couldn’t help but like it.

Seeing that this book is made up of 3 full-length books, I am going to give a short review of the stories instead of my usual review. If I did this review my usual way, y’all would be sitting at your computers/phones for a while. So here goes nothing:

Bearing His Name:

I started off the book not liking it. I thought that Ark was stuck in the Stone Age with his attitude towards women. I couldn’t believe that he kept saying “Well I’m Greek“. Like that is supposed to excuse it. Jade was a raging witch with a B. I mean, she threw things when mad. Hello, can we say toddler? I also thought the storyline was a bit too much. But the more I read the book, the more I could see the snarky humor behind the characters. Ark’s obsession with food and honey was an underlying theme in the book. All that man wanted to do is eat….and not all of it was food. Speaking of that, the sex was great. Explicit but great. I loved the end of the book. Everyone got their happy ending.

Owned by the Lion:

I thought that this was a sweet book. Keir was a manwhore who was told by his father to settle down and marry. His mate? A prickly woman named Ally that he has known for years. The spark between Keir and Ally was red hot. I liked that the author kept if sparked through the book. Even after they had sex for the first time. Ally, I wasn’t a fan of. I could understand why she was so reluctant to give Keir a chance, but really? She took witchiness with a b to new heights. Of course, Keir having so many exes’s didn’t help. I would have had little faith in my man if his ex’s kept popping out of the woodwork. The end of the book was great. I love happy endings!!

No Need Fur Love:

I adored this book. Mia knew what she wanted when she went to town. She wanted a baby daddy and Owen was her top choice. I didn’t like the Instalove on Owen’s end. He came across as needy and stalkerish. Other than that, I loved the book. I thought the end of the book was fantastic. I also thought that Mia’s father got what he deserved. Just saying.

What I liked about all 3 books:

A) the humor in Bearing His Name

B) Keir’s sweetness to Ally in Owned by the Lion

C) Mia in No Need Fur Love. She was not someone you wanted to mess with.

What I disliked about all 3 books:

A) Ark’s chauvinism

B) Ally’s attitude towards Keir at the beginning of the book

C) Owen coming across as too needy

I would give The Big Alpha in Town an Adult rating. There is graphic (often inventive) sex. There is language. There is mild violence. I would recommend that no one under the age of 21 read this book.

There are no trigger warnings in The Big Alpha in Town.

I would recommend The Big Alpha in Town to family and friends. I would reread this book.

I would like to thank St. Martin’s Griffin, St. Martin’s Press, and NetGalley for allowing me to read and review The Big Alpha in Town.

All opinions stated in this review of A Big Alpha in Town are mine.

**I chose to leave this review after reading an advance reader copy**

Watch Me by Jody Gehrman

Watch Me

2 Stars

Publisher: St. Martin’s Press, St. Martin’s Griffin

Date of publication: January 23rd, 2018

Genre: Mystery, Thriller

Where you can find Watch Me: Amazon | Barnes and Noble

Book Synopsis (from Goodreads):

“Riveting, chilling, and page-turning. Be prepared to stay up all night.” — New York Times bestselling author Lisa Scottoline

For fans of dark and twisty psychological thrillers, Watch Me is a riveting novel of suspense about how far obsession can go.

Kate Youngblood is disappearing. Muddling through her late 30s as a creative writing professor at Blackwood college, she’s dangerously close to never being noticed again. The follow-up novel to her successful debut tanked. Her husband left her for a woman ten years younger. She’s always been bright, beautiful, independent and a little wild, but now her glow is starting to vanish. She’s heading into an age where her eyes are less blue, her charm worn out, and soon no one will ever truly look at her, want to know her, again.

Except one.

Sam Grist is Kate’s most promising student. An unflinching writer with razor-sharp clarity who gravitates towards dark themes and twisted plots, his raw talent is something Kate wants to nurture into literary success. But he’s not there solely to be the best writer. He’s been watching her. Wanting her. Working his way to her for years.

As Sam slowly makes his way into Kate’s life, they enter a deadly web of dangerous lies and forbidden desire. But how far will his fixation go? And how far will she allow it?

A gripping novel exploring intense obsession and illicit attraction, Jody Gehrman introduces a world where what you desire most may be the most dangerous thing of all.

Trigger Warning: Stalking, School shooting

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