Book Review: There’s Cake in My Future

Kelly's Review of There’s Cake in My Future by Kim Gruenenfelder

Written in the first person from the perspectives of three best friends, There’s Cake in My Future by Kim Gruenenfelder is a fun and pseudo-realistic picture of the life of a thirty-something woman living in Los Angeles.

Nicole, a bride-to-be, is unsure about being a stepmother to her NBA coach fiancé’s two young daughters. When she accidentally pulls the wrong cake charm at her bridal shower, her anxiety only increases. Out of work and already feeling lost and resentful of her new stay-at-home mom status, Nicole’s honeymoon turned “familymoon” is the icing on the cake (pun intended).

Seema is an art gallery director who has been harboring a category 5 crush on her best guy friend and artist, Scott, who is her exact opposite in every way. She hopes for the chili pepper cake charm to take their relationship to the next level. Seema’s quest to turn a friendship into “something more” involves plenty of misread signals and all-too-familiar awkward moments.

Melissa is an impatient girlfriend waiting for her boyfriend of six years, Fred, to finally pop the question. Expecting to pull the engagement ring cake charm, Melissa is less than thrilled with the charm she actually ends up with. Little does she know that the charm will turn out to be exactly what she needs.

The novel begins at Nicole’s wedding, but then flashes back to the events leading up to the big day. This style, combined with the switching of first-person narrative from chapter to chapter was confusing at first. However, each character is easy to relate to, possesses definitive strengths and weaknesses and has a fairly distinct voice.

Kim Gruenenfelder lives in Los Angeles with her husband and son. Her debut novel, A Total Waste of Makeup, has been published in six languages and eight international editions to date. In addition to her three published novels, A Total Waste of Makeup, Misery Loves Cabernet and There’s Cake In My Future, she has written feature films, episodic teleplays and two stage plays. You can contact her through her web site,, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

Book Review: Rumor Has It

Kelly's Review of Rumor Has It by Jill Mansell

Jill Mansell’s Rumor Has It begins in the same fashion as many novels of this genre. Main character, Tilly Cole, is spurred to make some dramatic life changes after being unexpectedly dumped by her boyfriend. After a visit to see her best friend, Erin, Tilly impulsively accepts a new job as a Girl Friday and moves to a small town outside of London.

Tilly’s employer, Max, is a successful interior designer who has a thirteen-year-old daughter, Lou. Tilly quickly learns that in a small town like Roxborough, gossip and scandals are virtually unavoidable. She also learns about the local heartthrob, Jack, and his playboy status. Tilly heeds Max and Erin’s advice to avoid getting involved with him, but the more she gets to know Jack, the harder it is for her to stay away.

Mansell creates many interwoven story lines, which is somewhat reminiscent of a soap opera. This style lends itself well to the small town setting where everyone knows everyone’s business. Character development seems to be Mansell’s strong suit, as each character has his or her own idiosyncrasies and quirky charm. While the overall tone is light and fun, Mansell addresses some serious issues as well, such as illness, homosexuality, divorce, bullying and grief and loss. Though the book is just over four hundred pages in length, it is a fast-paced page-turner that was difficult to put down.

Mansell lives with her partner and children in Bristol and writes full time. In addition to Rumor Has It, Mansell has written many other books, which have sold over three million copies. Some of her other titles include Take A Chance on Me, Millie's Fling, An Offer You Can't Refuse, Making Your Mind Up, Fast Friends, Good at Games, and Sheer Mischief. To learn more about Mansell and her books, please visit and
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Book Review: The Wildwater Walking Club

The Wildwater Walking Club by Claire Cook steps into the life of Noreen Kelly right after she has made the life altering decision to take a buy-out from her company. She soon finds that her job is not the only thing she must learn to live without when her boyfriend stops answering and returning her phone calls. Without any direction or notion of what she should do with her life, Noreen puts on a pair of new walking shoes and takes the first step of the rest of her life. She meets two of her neighbors, Tess and Rosie, who feel equally lost in some aspect of their lives and join her in her daily walks down their street, Wildwater Way. 

The threesome’s daily walks turn into group therapy sessions, debates about local issues and most importantly, a way to rack up steps on their pedometers. Cook has a knack for creating relatable characters and authentic friendships. The dialogue between the three friends is very believable and often includes the quarrels and tension that real friends experience.

Though the Wildwater Way women are in their forties, the message of taking the time to find yourself is one to which every generation can relate. The book will likely inspire the reader in some way or another, whether it be deciding to dust off your walking shoes and hit the pavement, finding the courage to leave a job that no longer makes you happy or simply recognizing that you have been living for others and ignoring your passions and desired pursuits.

Cook is the author of seven fiction novels, including Seven Year Switch, Summer Blowout and Must Love Dogs, which was made into a romantic comedy film in 2005. The Wildwater Walking Club has a slightly autobiographical tone, as Cook once wrote advertising copy for a shoe company, as Noreen did. Cook’s first novel was published when she was forty-five and she encourages women and men in their midlife who may have “buried their dreams” to “dust them off and go for it.” To learn more about her, visit
Do you want to read The Wildwater Walking Club? Have you read any other novels by Claire Cook? Post a comment to let us know. Thanks!

Book Review: Georgia's Kitchen

Kelly's Review of Georgia's Kitchen by Jenny Nelson

Author Jenny Nelson’s debut novel Georgia’s Kitchen is a gourmand and chick lit lover’s dream come true. Set in both NYC and Tuscany, Italy, the reader follows Georgia Gray on her journey to find love, courage to follow her passion and most importantly, herself.

At thirty-three years old, Georgia is head chef at one of New York City’s swankiest eateries and fiancé to Glenn, a successful lawyer. All of a sudden, her world comes crashing down around her when a slanderous restaurant review costs Georgia her job and Glenn unexpectedly calls off the wedding. With a ruined reputation and a broken heart, Georgia decides to escape from the city and spend the summer in Tuscany cooking for her former mentor.

Endless amounts of cheese, wine, and her new Italian lover, Gianni, revive Georgia and quickly have her feeling like herself again. After a fairytale summer, she is faced with the decision to take the opportunity of a lifetime or return to NYC and follow her dream – to open her own restaurant.

Nelson navigates the culinary world with such ease, one would guess she studied at Le Cordon Bleu in a former life. Her descriptions of ingredients and entrees are so deliciously detailed that you can almost taste them.

Georgia’s Kitchen tackles a number of issues to which nearly every twenty and thirty-something woman can relate. Georgia asks herself “When will I find The One?” “If I do find him, will I still be young enough to have children?” “Do I even want children?” “Should I have started a family rather than focus on my career?” Georgia’s struggle to separate societal and familial expectations from what she really wants out of life is a familiar predicament for the modern woman.

Nelson has worked as a web editor and producer for companies such as iVillage, and She now lives with her husband, twin daughters and dog in Millbrook, NY and Manhattan.

Visit for more information about Nelson and the latest news on her upcoming work.

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Book Review: Family Affair

Kelly’s Review of Family Affair: A Novel by Caprice Crane

Family Affair: A Novel is author and Los Angeles native Caprice Crane’s third novel. Published in September 2009 by Bantam Dell, an imprint of Random House, the book follows a couple navigating a divorce and the ensuing custody battle over the husband’s immediate family.

When Layla and Brett began dating in high school, Layla found the family she’d always wanted in The Fosters. Now, after six years of marriage, college football coach Brett is feeling as though the spark is gone and is resentful of the close relationship Layla has with his family. Layla, a pet photographer who is blissfully unaware of her husband’s unhappiness, mistakenly thinks Brett wants to take their marriage to the next level and suggests having a baby. She learns Brett actually wants to take things in a different direction – he wants a divorce. Layla is devastated but refuses to lose The Fosters and the years of memories she has made with them. She and Brett begin vying for The Fosters' allegiance by showering them with expensive gifts, planning family outings and other desperate acts of bribery. Layla eventually decides to make it a legal matter and files for joint custody of her in-laws.

Colorful characters decorate the pages of this novel. Brett’s brother Scott is a socially awkward aspiring comic book author harboring a clandestine love for Layla. Brett’s sister and Layla’s business partner, Trish, is a lesbian who speaks her mind and attempts to knock some sense into her immature brothers. Each chapter is written in the first person from the perspective of a different family member. This style allows the reader to jump into the family feud and get wrapped up in their dysfunction.

Crane has a knack for realistic dialogue that can likely be credited to her experience writing for television and the big screen. Her ability to paint such an accurate picture of modern family dynamics is what makes this book so easy to relate to and entertaining.

For more information about Crane visit her website at You can also follow her on Twitter @capricecrane. Family Affair: A Novel can be purchased at all major bookstores or online by visiting What We're Reading. To learn more about other books published by Bantam Dell you can visit
What do you think of this review? Do you want to read Family Affair: A Novel? Have you read it or read Crane's other books? Let us know!