Book Review: I Couldn't Love You More

Thirty-eight-year-old Eliot Gordon lives in Atlanta with her partner, Grant Delaney, their four-year-old daughter, Hailey, and Grant’s children from his previous marriage, seven-year-old Gail, and teenaged Charlotte. Eliot and Grant aren’t legally married, but that doesn’t prevent them from being a connected, loving family. Despite everything good in her life, Eliot still carries a torch for her college sweetheart, Finn Montgomery, who moved to New York years ago for his career. When he shows up unexpectedly in Atlanta and Eliot runs into him, that chance encounter sends her life into a tailspin. Finn is married, but that doesn’t prevent him from flirting with Eliot, who returns his affection. They embark on a path toward adultery, but a tragic accident during a beach vacation alters Eliot’s life and her family forever. 

I Couldn’t Love You More is a beautifully crafted novel. Poignant and heart wrenching, it addresses what it means to be a family, specifically what it means to be a mother and a stepmother. Relationships are tested and changed forever, and how the characters deal with these changes is what is so fascinating. The characters are well developed, and the story is richly detailed and intriguing, making this novel a page-turner. Eliot is realistically flawed and wrought with guilt over the tragedy. The pain she endures more for her family than for herself is honestly portrayed. There are touches of humor that help to lighten such a dramatic story. Overall, I Couldn’t Love You More is a captivating tale of family, love, loss, and moving forward. 

Jillian Medoff attended Barnard College and received an MFA in Creative Writing from NYU. She has taught at NYU and the University of Georgia. Jillian is the acclaimed author of Hunger Point, Good Girls Gone Bad, and I Couldn’t Love You More. Hunger Point was the basis for the original Lifetime movie starring Barbara Hershey and Christina Hendricks. Jillian’s books have been translated into many different languages, including French, Spanish, Hebrew, Turkish, Hungarian, Japanese (abridged), Polish, and German (forthcoming). She currently lives in New York with her family.

Book Review: Wedlocked

Wedlocked follows the story of Rebecca Ross, a Jewish woman who has shunned the tradition of an early marriage to a nice Jewish man. Instead, she dreams of becoming a movie star, and although she has a series of minor acting roles in commercials and sitcoms, her dreams of becoming an A-lister just never occur. She sees her one big chance for super-stardom crushed under a Hollywood director and her own emotional reactions. She returns home from Hollywood depressed and with the stark realization that her dreams will no longer be realized. 

Soon after, she meets Craig Jacobs. Although she has no desire to be in another relationship, Craig slowly breaks her down until she marries him just a few months later, not fully realizing exactly what kind of secrets he’s been hiding. After a disastrous wedding and a hideous honeymoon, Rebecca finally realizes that Craig is not the man she’s been searching for and that she has just made a terrible mistake.

Rebecca is a slightly calmer version of Glee’s Rachel Berry and Craig is reminiscent of Miles Raymond in Sideways, right before he freaks out about the Merlot. The characters in this novel are done very well, and although it may be a little far-fetched for Craig to completely shift into another person immediately after the wedding, it is still an entertaining and quick read. 

Bonnie Trachtenberg is the award-winning, bestselling author of Wedlocked and Neurotically Yours. She graduated from New York University with a degree in film and television production. Bonnie was senior writer and copy chief at Book-of-the-Month Club and has written seven children's book adaptations. She has also written for three newspapers and penned countless magazine articles. Bonnie currently writes a relationship advice column for She lives on Long Island with her husband, four cats and a dog. For more information, please visit

Book Review: Strings of Color

*This review is part of the Strings of Color blog tour hosted by CLNB Blog Tours.

Four women are tested by the obstacles in their lives and must find ways to endure and overcome. Simone is struggling in her love life, having a difficult time fully letting a man she adores into her heart. She is also trying to get to know her mother for the first time, which proves to be more challenging than she imagined. Simone must learn to embrace the possibilities and embrace change. After the loss of her husband, Naya tries to move on with her life, even though she feels weak. When an unexpected visitor arrives to shake things up, Naya must confront her past. Misty must also face her past in order to go forward, but different opportunities leave her confused and unsure of what she really wants. Mona has a secret that she must finally deal with, but admitting the truth has consequences. The lives of Simone, Naya, Misty, and Mona intertwine, profoundly affecting them all. 

Strings of Color is a story full of secrets, life lessons, love, and forgiveness. Relationships are tested, and the characters have so much to lose yet so much to gain. At first, this novel is puzzling and seems a bit disjointed. But the stories come together by the end and everything makes sense. It takes a while to get there, though, and the reader has to be willing to stick it out and keep reading through the confusing parts to get to the worthwhile resolution. Strings of Color has intrigue, drama, suspense, and most importantly, heart. It is a strong effort from Marian L. Thomas, and a good addition to women’s fiction.

Marian L. Thomas is also the author of My Father's Colors and Color Me Jazzmyne, which both reached number one on the Amazon bestseller lists in their respective categories. She blogs at The Writers Ink Spot, and enjoys speaking to youth organizations to encourage young adults to tell their stories. She also loves to write poetry. Marian lives outside Atlanta, Georgia, where she is working on her next novel, Colors That Bloom, which is scheduled for release in April 2013. For more information, you can connect with Marian on Twitter.

Book Review: Liar's Guide to True Love

Sheryl's Review of Liar's Guide to True Love by Wendy Chen 

This novel follows the life of Cassandra Hanley, a wedding planner whose own dating life is a little bit on the rocks. She tends to tell men whatever she thinks they want to hear which lands her in trouble on several occasions. Her college sweetheart, Kevin, comes back into her life right before she meets Nick. What results is a strange tangle of relationships where one man knows the truth about her and the other begins the relationship unknowingly with a lie. When Nick claims to dislike weddings, Cassandra immediately tells him she’s an advertising executive. What results from the lie is her antics attempting to cover up the fact that she actually plans weddings for a living and ends in some far-fetched lies.

The initial lie to Nick seems to really be no big deal, but the entire story stretches around it. Even though Cassandra’s a wedding planner, it seems slightly strange to lie about it and then pretend to be an advertising executive. Her relationship with Nick seems off and not really fulfilling, whereas her relationship with Kevin was built on years of history. Although Kevin had done some terrible things to her in the past, he seems to have made some changes for the better and attempts throughout the book to show her how much he has changed. Nick, on the other hand, is attempting to build a relationship with Cassandra but seems to know something about their relationship isn’t right. When Kevin and Nick eventually find out about each other, it promised to be an explosive climax, but it slightly fizzled. One of the main male characters has a slightly unresolved storyline that may leave readers a little confused and unfulfilled.

Wendy Chen lived in New York for many years until she decided to move to the suburbs. She is now living in Northern Virginia with her family, hard at work on her next novel. She enjoys writing lighthearted romantic fiction and began writing Liar’s Guide to True Love while feeling nostalgic about weddings.

Book Review: Single in the City

Twenty six year old Hannah has decided that life in the United States is not quite living up to her expectations, so in a bold and daring move, she decides to get a fresh start in London. Without a job, friends, or a real idea of what to expect, Hannah jumps into the culture clash with both feet. Enthusiastic but bumbling, she eagerly embraces everything that is foreign in her new land.

Single in the City is clever and engaging. Hannah is a believable, likeable and realistically flawed character. She’s a thinker, and her inner monologue helps the reader to understand why she makes the choices she does. Gorman peppers Hannah‘s story with charming similes, and some laugh-out-loud moments that will make you cringe right along with our heroine. Hannah's observations as a foreigner on British soil are realistic and hilarious. Her missteps as she experiences life among the British will make you wriggle with embarrassment for Hannah, even as you can’t stop turning the pages.

Raised in Massachusetts, Michele Gorman moved to London fifteen years ago. Now a British citizen, she has a background in finance and sociology. Single in the City is her first novel, and her second, Misfortune Cookie, was released in March 2012. Visit her website at