Love and Death Among the Cheetahs by Rhys Bowen

42919937I thought the last book was the last one in the series, but I was pleasantly surprised to see that we get to continue Georgie’s adventures now that she’s married Darcy. And now that I’ve read the book, I’m even more pleasantly surprised that Darcy remains sweet and good to Georgie, not falling to antiquated notions of what women should do now that they’re married (I’m looking at you, Mr. Carson from Downton Abbey!).

We pick up with Georgie and Darcy on honeymoon, which quickly turns from a houseboat in the Thames to a safari in British Kenya. Though accurate to the period, it was a bit rough to see the casual racism all laid out by the British colonists. And of course there’s a murder, but it doesn’t happen until about halfway through the book. Luckily, Georgie’s not the prime suspect, though people are trying to kill her (or Darcy) as per usual. She doesn’t so much solve the case as the killer confesses to her, but I was surprised as to who it was. A few other background mysteries remain, which was a nice distraction from the murder stuff.

Very impressed with the depiction of the scenery and surroundings and more impressed that Georgie really was suffering from altitude sickness, not morning sickness. I know she and Darcy want to have kids, but I’m glad she didn’t get pregnant on honeymoon all the same.

When Life Gives You Lululemons by Lauren Weisberger

37712401This is the book I got 85% of the way through before my Kindle loan expired and I was SOL for the end of the book. Turns out about 5 pages later and my rage would have made me not care about reading the ending anyway. Who knew?!

My fav from the Devil books, Emily Charlton, is back for this novel, which is divided between three points of view. Her previously unmentioned bestie, Miriam, lives in Greenwich, CT, where most of the action takes place. Miriam has a bestie, Karolina, who’s a former model turned senator’s wife, who is having a bit of a scandal problem (through no fault of her own). Karolina hires Emily, who is now a celebrity fixer, to help her deal with her issues and get custody of her son back.

There’s a lot of probably deserving lampooning of Greenwich moms (probably similar to Marina moms in SF), but not living in that world, it just feels mean-spirited and obvious. These moms get plastic surgery. The kids grow up spoiled. Everyone is cheating on everyone else. Meh.

Miranda Priestly features only briefly in a couple of scenes, which seemed unnecessary the way the books turns up, but I guess it wouldn’t be a Prada book without “the Devil.” The news Emily gets at the end just enrages me as does her reaction, so I think I’m done with the series (if there are any other books). Just UGH.

I Heart New York by Lindsey Kelk

I learned a big lesson about renting books from Libby for my Kindle app: Don’t have more than one book out on loan at a time or you’ll get almost finished with one and then poof, the loan ends! And when you re-request it, there’s an 11 week wait! Luckily, I’ve requested the actual book from the library, so I can finish the last 15% and find out how it ends.

7845184._SY475_In the meantime, I requested the first in a series of “I Heart” books by the author of my last post, Lindsey Kelk. I started it by the pool in Las Vegas yesterday morning and basically couldn’t put it down all day. I finished it after work this evening, but am disappointed to say that my local library doesn’t have any other books in the series. I guess I’m going to have to *gasp* buy the next book!

Our heroine is a typical mid-00s chick lit gal (without an iPhone), even though the book came out in 2009. She has a horrifying break up, grabs her passport and ditches London for New York. As someone who often day dreams of doing something similar I was immediately hooked. She’s immediately adopted by amazing gal pals in NYC (which seemed ridiculous, even for chick lit, but you gotta go with it) and starts spending money on an all new Angela Clark (you can picture the movie montage, can’t you?). There’s a little too much lamenting her single status at *gasp* 26, but luckily she shuts up about that once the book gets going.

I expected there to be more fallout from her decision to blog about her life, but I guess it’s a real life SATC and nothing bad happens. I also thought there must be something wrong with her Wall Street guy or the rocker guy, but the classic chick lit misunderstanding at the 3/4 mark doesn’t really happen. Angela’s lost and confused, but not because of anything that makes you scream “just talk to each other already!” The ending is clearly setting up what comes next (though the next book is called “I Heart Hollywood,” so I don’t really know how THAT happens) and does a nice time skip to eliminate all the boring “can she get a work visa nonsense?”

I’m excited to read the next book (if I can get it) since I love all the cities featured in the first few titles and I can’t wait to see how modern life catches up to Angela Clark.

One in a Million by Lindsey Kelk

41079125._SY475_Before my recent trip, I started playing around with Libby to see what ebooks I could borrow from my local library to read on my phone’s Kindle app while I was gone. (I’ll probably end up getting a real Kindle for future trips, but for this one, it seemed like one more thing to worry about.) I searched authors of books on my GoodReads TBR list to see what was available. Though Lindsey Kelk’s I Heart NY book wasn’t on the list, when I read the summary for this one, I downloaded it immediately. I mean, London + Instagram + summer = instant read!

The book has a rough start due to the stalking our heroine does of her chosen Instagram subject (I won’t go into the bet here because it’s dumb and ultimately doesn’t really matter). Like you know it’s chick lit, so they’ll end up together somehow, but she’s being incredibly crazy and he would be well within his rights to get a restraining order or break his lease in the building, etc. Luckily, he doesn’t really find it charming, but he does indulge her more than I would have. I didn’t really see his appeal until her father’s birthday party and then we were off to the races. It ends way too quickly and the social media stuff wasn’t as important as advertised, but it was still a fun read.

How to Sleep with a Movie Star by Kristin Harmel

9250257In preparation for an upcoming trip, I’ve started exploring ebooks from my local library. I haven’t wanted to take the plunge to buy a Kindle, but the thought of carrying multiple books for the trip seemed daunting. I started searching authors in the Libby app to find a good “starter” book to try out. It took a few tries to find a book that was actually available now, but since this book came out in 2006, there wasn’t much demand for it. I read it all in basically a day, staying up way too late last night to get through the last chapters. I liked how the Kindle app syncs with my phone and my laptop, so I could just pick up where I left off no matter where I was. I still love a real book, but I’m into this ebook thing.

As for the actual novel, I liked it a lot. After my “secret prince” trope, the “celebrity falls for a normal person” trope is my favorite! The protagonist feels very real, and most of the typical chick lit “misunderstandings” are believable. Her boyfriend sucks, and it seems pretty obvious why, but the payoff is still good. The fall out from finding out about her boyfriend and running into our celebrity hero felt like a romcom and I mean that in the best way. I could totally see this being made into a movie like Notting Hill.

The ending felt a little rushed and unearned, especially the epilogue. After all the build-up, I guess I wanted to see more about what it was like to be shoved into the public eye like that (or not cover it at all). Overall, it was a fun read and pretty much the last year when you could do this novel without iPhones, which would change EVERYTHING. So fun!