Hardcover: 336 pages
- Publisher: Macmillan/St. Martin’s Press-Thomas Dunne Books (September 10, 2013)
Genre: Women’s Fiction
Author: Lorraine Zago Rosenthal
Cupcake Rating: A great cupcake with sprinkles on top!
Synopsis (taken from author’s website):
A young Southern woman of modest means suddenly finds herself thrust into New York’s high society when she discovers that she is the illegitimate daughter of a recently-deceased billionaire.
After reading Book Mama’s review on this book, I knew I wanted to read it, too! Who doesn’t love a great Cinderella story?! Thankfully, the publisher was able to send me a copy to read and review, which couldn’t have come at a better time! Sick in bed this past weekend, I read this book over the weekend and can’t wait to read the sequel!
I must admit, I was a bit surprised that this book isn’t classified as, “chick-lit”, too. I love chick-lit and this book has all the elements for a great chick-lit book! Nonetheless, it doesn’t change my opinion of this book and how much I enjoyed reading about Savannah and her journey transitioning from Southern debutante reject to New York heiress.
Savannah is not perfect, and when she experiences a little trouble as library assistant and quits her job, she is faced with the overwhelming guilt of trying to find a job to help pay the bills. Her friend, Tina, a rich, small town girl, never forgets that friends can’t be bought and that money doesn’t make you happy. However, that is her truth….not Savannah’s.
Savannah feels the pressure of trying to make ends meet with her mom and is quite surprised to find out that she is left an unbelievable fortune and can work at a dream job, in New York. Savannah reminded me a little bit of Andy in, The Devil Wears Prada, as she tries to figure out how to navigate through the city, find her way at work, and learns some valuable lessons about herself and her choices.
While there isn’t a lot of character development with Kitty, I adored her!! She is a smart, savvy, business woman, who happens to be married to Savannah’s step-brother (and nemesis). She runs a successful magazine (online and in print), exudes confidence, has strong ethics and values, and is a woman not to be messed with. She oversees Savannah’s work as assistant and helps bring the family together, despite their egos and issues surrounding money. Both Caroline and Ned are more concerned about the money not left to them, than the fact that their father was possibly murdered. However, as the storyline progresses, Lorraine shows a more vulnerable side to both step-children and shows how people become who they are because of circumstances and choices…not always related to money.
New Money is a great story that will have you rooting for Tina-she is one hot mess in the city, and for Kitty-who is blinded to some of the family secrets. Nonetheless, they both learn and grow from it. Savannah, while she makes some huge changes, realizes she has more to learn and becomes willing to be mentored by Kitty and aims to be a better friend, daughter, and girlfriend.
While this is not chick-lit (I already mentioned that), it does give you this “feel good” vibe when you finish the book. There are some challenges along the way, as Savannah grows into her role as heiress and sister, and you can’t help but root for her along the way!
While there wasn’t much closure surrounding the suspicious death of her father, and it’s never explained who the man with the interesting birthmark is, there are some surprises along the way that help bring some clarity to possibly a motive for the death. I was also hoping to learn more about Tony (Savannah’s driver), and hope he fulfills his dream with some little help from Savannah in the next book!! I’d also love to see how Tina grows into her own person, finds love, and gains some respect from her Daddy. The book certainly left me wanting more and I can’t wait for the next book!
Overall, it’s a great read and will have you wanting New Money, too!
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- File Size: 581 KB
- Print Length: 290 pages
- Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0984915109
- Publisher: Real You Publishing Group (March 19, 2012)
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
- ASIN: B007MOY8ZA
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Genre: Chick-Lit
From the bestselling author of HERE, HOME, HOPE, comes a novel of suspense and choices, with a nod to the best of Susan Isaacs’s tales of suburban murder.
Once again, everything isn’t what it seems in the wonderful suburb of Grandville. ALL THE DIFFERENCE is the story of three women whose lives become entangled by the choices they make and how, ultimately, one of them turns to murder to achieve her goals.
Roommates Laura and Angie couldn’t be more different. Laura is a local celebrity, the television anchor who is motivated to move out of small-time media markets and on to the big time, no matter the cost. Meanwhile, Angie, a luckless waitress, spends her time waiting for Mr. Right to save her from temporary jobs and a life spent making bad choices.
On the other side of town, Ellen abandons her life as a successful fundraiser for that of an isolated housewife in the country estate she shares with her husband, whose affairs become increasingly hard to ignore. When the city’s gossip columnist, Maddie, and restaurant reviewer, Dixon, become involved in the mystery, the unlikely duo stir up more than they intended. But will anyone be able to stop the next murder?
With her signature compassion and wit, Kaira Rouda once again takes readers on an entertaining journey into the heart of women’s lives in suburbia – this time with adultry and murder in the mix.
Having read Kaira Rouda’s first book, “Here, Home, Hope”, I expected to read a similar chick-lit book. Oh, but this is not a regular “feel good” chick-lit kind of book!! It has mystery, murder, and is a bit dark with sinister undertones. Now, before you decide to hold off on reading this book and not finish this review, think Desperate Housewives meets Alfred Hitchcock.
It has quirky characters that are flawed, those who will kill for love (possibly literally), and those who don’t care how they will rise to the top in status and comfort…so long as they do! I was drawn into this storyline immediately and I couldn’t put the book down for the first half of the book. After that, my ADD kicked in, and I wanted to know “who did it?”. However, Kaira must know that I am like that!
Just when I think I have it figured out and am ready to stop reading, she throws in another character, another storyline, and sprinkles some mischief and humor so that I just “have to” hold on for the ride. Don’t be too quick to judge this book by it’s cover. It’s not a sweet little sugary book filled with romance…it’s chick-lit stretched beyond it’s limits. I liked this book and encourage you to add this to your TBR list!
*This book was provided as part of the CLP Book Tour, in exchange for an honest review.
About the Author:
Kaira Rouda is an award-winning entrepreneur and author. She lives in Southern California with her husband and four children and is at work on her next novel. Connect with her on Twitter, Facebook or KairaRouda.com. Rouda has won numerous awards for her writing including: Winner, Indie Excellence Award for Women’s Fiction; Winner, USA Book Awards for Women’s Fiction; and Honorable Mention, Writer’s Digest International Book Awards for Mainstream Fiction. In addition to her fiction writing, Rouda is the author of the best-selling and award-winning business book REAL YOU INCORPORATED: 8 Essentials for Women Entrepreneurs.
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Some Quotes I Like:
“And I cracked a tooth because I am too busy being restless in my subconscious- ‘chewing things over’, as Dr. Bane put it.” (p.2)
“Ever since I opened that seemingly innocuous letter on December 15 last year, I’ve been torn between trying to be happy in the moment and focusing on my future. ” (p.5)
“Between making sure the kids and Patrick are happy and that I’m there for them, putting on my supermom cape whenever necessary, I haven’t really been available to my friends. I guess I’m lucky to still have them. (p. 33)
“It wasn’t Beth’s fault we stopped talking; it was mine. Our whole group ostracized her. We didn’t understand what she was going through, and it was easier to talk about her than to help her.” (p.113)
“And I’ll be sure not to mention the fact that while you’re over here your daughter is next door at my house, trying to recover from a serious medical and physical illness that I have had to learn far too much about, yet you seem to be oblivious to; that and what your lack of care and self-centeredness are doing to her and to your wife.” (p.141)
“Some of us just never learned to give love, just take…” (p.194)
Here, Home, Hope is set in a fictional place named Grandville, where everyone knows your name and the grass is always greener in your own yard. Kaira brings her readers to this beautiful town and shows that despite success, beauty, and family, appearances are never as they seem.
After receiving news from her mammogram, Kelly evaluates her life and what she wants to change. Armed with post-its and a pen, she begins placing notes to herself as reminders of T2C (things to change). While her children are away at summer camp and her husband is working as a successful attorney, Kelly decides she is ready to embark on a new career.
Charlotte and Kathryn, with “perfect lives, perfect marriages, perfect careers”, soon let Kelly know what really happens behind the doors of beautiful homes. Kelly is thrown in the mix of helping her friend’s anorexic daughter, dealing with her own mid-life crisis, being referee to her best friends as they deal with the fall-outs of their marriages, and balancing a new business that has quickly erupted into a mega success.
This is a very fun and light read. I could relate with Kelly’s character and felt that I was alongside her the whole time. It was refreshing to read a book that empowers women and shows that not all mid-life crisis’ have to result in an affair to “find oneself”. Rather, a mid-life crisis can bring people closer together and be a catalyst to positive change.
What I loved: the empowerment of women, friendships strengthened, the writing style
What I did not like: seemed at times to be a little “too good to be true”….however, it is set in the perfect world of Grandville
Style of Writing: 4/5
Pace of Story: 5/5
Character Development: 4/5
Christian Perspective: 0/5
Spiritual Connection: 0/5
Emotional Connection: 4/5