Review: Match Made in Manhattan by Amanda Stauffer

Match Made in Manhattan by Amanda Stauffer releases 1/23/18 from Skyhorse

Publisher's Summary: After two intense, dead-end relationships, serial monogamist Alison finds herself confused, lonely, and drastically out of touch with the world of modern dating. Refusing to wallow, she signs up for a popular dating app and resolves to remain open-minded and optimistic as she explores the New York City singles' scene. With the click of a button, her adventures begin: On one date, she's dumped before the first kiss; on another, she dons full HAZMAT gear; she meets a tattooed folk singer turned investment banker, an undercover agent who tracks illegal exotic animals, and dozens of other colorful, captivating personalities.

My Review: This was silly and funny to me, probably because I've never dealt with digital dating. My husband and I have been together since 2002 so I missed out on this particular dating struggle.  Even though (and probably because) I haven't experienced it for myself, I loved experiencing digital dating through Alison. She was very smart, witty, and had a great group of friends. I also enjoy all forms of epistolary novels so the texts and e-mails sprinkled throughout the book were super fun to read. If I *had* to make a complaint, I'd say that Alison's adventures were a little PG for a woman who actively dates for an entire year. 

photo courtesy of Goodreads
About the Author:
Amanda Stauffer is a graduate of Yale and Columbia Universities who works as an architectural conservator, restoring historic landmarks across the country. When she grew frustrated with New York City’s dating scene, Amanda headed to Even though no successful relationships came out of it, her experiences provided her with a lifetime of warm and fuzzy memories, a few friends, and an abundance of material should she ever decide to pursue a career in comedy. An erstwhile expat who has lived in Bangalore, Sicily, and Paris, Amanda currently lives in Manhattan, where she is busy writing her second book.

Review: The Girl on the Velvet Swing by Simon Baatz

The Girl in the Velvet Swing by Simon Baatz releases 1/16/18 from  Mulholland Books

Disclaimer: I was given a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation. 

First of all, let's judge this book by its cover. Ripped headlines of "sex, murder, and madness at the dawn of the twentieth century" pasted over a black and white photo of a beautiful girl. Well, this definitely has my attention! After a little reading into the summary I learned that in 1901, sixteen year old chorus girl, Evelyn Nesbit, dined alone with 47 year old architect Stanford White, the foremost architect of the day. After drinking a glass of champagne, Evelyn lost consciousness and awoke to fin that White had raped her. She told no one about what had happened and even continued to spend time with White. She later confided in her husband, Harry Thaw. In 1906, at a performance in Madison Square Garden (a building designed by White) Thaw shot White as an act of revenge. Shocking! But the story doesn't end there! That maybe covers what the first 1/3 of the book consists of. The remaining 2/3 of the book gets totally wild with Thaw's multiple trials. Evelyn Nesbit's testimony was so shocking that Anthony Comstock and Teddy Roosevelt tried to get the newspapers not to print it! Add to this state hospitals, payoffs, prisons, and a game of hot potato between several states and Canada with who was in charge of holding Harry Thaw! This book was fascinating in giving its glimpse into a time when New York was booming and massive fortunes were able to buy *almost* anything. I would recommend this to anyone who is looking to read about freedom of the press, the Comstock laws, the intricacies and problems of an early 1900s trial, and a decadent era in United States history that was far from boring. 

Review: The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekanen

The Wife Between Us by Greer Hendricks and Sarah Pekanen releases 1/9/18 from St. Martin's
***Disclaimer:: I was given a copy of this release in exchange for an honest review. I received no additional compensation. ***

Goodreads Summary:
A novel of suspense that explores the complexities of marriage and the dangerous truths we ignore in the name of love. When you read this book, you will make many assumptions. You will assume you are reading about a jealous wife and her obsession with her replacement. You will assume you are reading about a woman about to enter a new marriage with the man she loves. You will assume the first wife was a disaster and that the husband was well rid of her. You will assume you know the motives, the history, the anatomy of the relationships. Assume nothing.

My Review:
The summary tells you to "assume nothing" so I was simply enjoying my mildly confused state until I finished Part 1. Then my head exploded. Whaaaaaaaaat???!!!! I did NOT see that coming! And I love when that happens. There was no way I was putting this book down after that revelation and I sped through the rest it in a single day. Grab this one up and settle in for a creepy marital thriller that will have your jaw dropping.