Author Archives: Lindsay @ LindsayInNYC

BHBC Review – “Touch & Go” by: Lisa Gardner

A description of the book, thanks to Amazon.com:

This is my family:  Vanished without a trace…

Justin and Libby Denbe have the kind of life that looks good in the pages of a glossy magazine. A beautiful fifteen-year old daughter, Ashlyn. A gorgeous brownstone on a tree-lined street in Boston’s elite Back Bay neighborhood. A great marriage, admired by friends and family.  A perfect life.

This is what I know:  Pain has a flavor…

When investigator Tessa Leoni arrives at the crime scene in the Denbes’ home, she finds scuff marks on the floor and Taser confetti in the foyer.  The family appears to have been abducted, with only a pile of their most personal possessions remaining behind.  No witnesses, no ransom demands, no motive.  Just an entire family, vanished without a trace.

This is what I fear:  The worst is yet to come…

Tessa knows better than anyone that even the most perfect façades can hide the darkest secrets.  Now she must race against the clock to uncover the Denbes’ innermost dealings, a complex tangle of friendships and betrayal, big business and small sacrifices.  Who would want to kidnap such a perfect little family?  And how far would such a person be willing to go?

This is the truth:  Love, safety, family…it is all touch and go.

This is the first book by Lisa Gardner that I have read and will certainly not be the last! I could not put it down (and that doesn’t happen often for me!). I enjoy reading true crime books and this reminded me of that genre except (obviously) not real. Lisa grabbed my attention from the very beginning and left me asking questions and wanting to know more… How does an entire family of 3 get kidnapped? Why are they kidnapped? How come the kidnapper(s) don’t kill them? Although I think some disagree, I was left not knowing or really even suspecting who was the mastermind behind things until almost the near end.

The book was written from the prospective of two different characters which make the story more interesting but yet still easy to follow. An added plus for me was the fact that the book took place in the Boston area and other parts of New England. Having grown up in New Hampshire and law school in Boston, I found myself picturing each and every place Lisa described.

I can’t wait to read more of her books! Join the conversation over at BlogHer this month!

Disclosure: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

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BHBC Review – “Here I Go Again” by: Jen Lancaster

A description of the book, thanks to Amazon.com:

Twenty years after ruling the halls of her suburban Chicago high school, Lissy Ryder doesn’t understand why her glory days ended. Back then, she was worshipped… beloved… feared. Present day, not so much. She’s been pink-slipped from her high-paying job, dumped by her husband and kicked out of her condo. Now, at thirty-seven, she’s struggling to start a business out of her parents’ garage and sleeping under the hair-band posters in her old bedroom.

Lissy finally realizes karma is the only bitch bigger than she was. Her present is miserable because of her past. But it’s not like she can go back in time and change who she was…or can she?

Oh man. Who can’t relate to this story?! Thankfully, my high school experience didn’t involve anyone quite as mean as Lissy Ryder because she was one mean girl! But karma came back to bite her – after taking advantage of everything and everyone, she finds herself without it all. And everyone who worshipped her in high school? Far from it now. In fact, most of them despise her.

The story has an “It’s a Wonderful Life” vibe to it and we can to see Lissy “re-live” parts of high school, making changes to who she is and seeing whether it affects her present life. Everything we do has a ripple effect to it. So as Lissy changes everything she did wrong in high school, she learns that there so much more is affected. More than she realized.

This is a perfect summer, beach/vacation-read type of book! It’s my first Jen Lancaster book but definitely not my last!

If you could re-live your high school days, what would you do differently? Anything? Join the conversation over at BlogHer this month and let us know!

Disclosure: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

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BHBC Review – “Diary of a Submissive” by: Sophie Morgan

A description of the book, thanks to Amazon.com:

The “real” Fifty Shades of Grey… A true life erotic story of female submission to rival The Story of O.

In Diary of a Submissive, Sophie Morgan candidly explains what exactly an independent, 21st century woman gets out of relinquishing her power and personal freedom in a submissive relationship with a dominant man for their mutual sexual pleasure.

In the wake of Fifty Shades of Grey, here is a memoir that offers the real story of what is means to be a submissive and follows Sophie’s story as she progresses from her early erotic experiences through to experimenting with her newfound awakened sexuality.  From the endorphin rush of her first spanking right through to being collared, she explains in frank and explicit fashion her sexual explorations.  But it isn’t until she meets James, a real life ‘Christian Grey,’ that her boundaries and sexual fetishism are really pushed. As her relationship with James travels into darker and darker places, the question becomes: Where will it end? Can Sophie reconcile her sexuality with the rest of her life, and is it possible for the perfect man to be perfectly cruel?

Daring, controversial, and sensual, Diary of a Submissive is filled with a captivating warmth and astounding honesty such that no one— man or woman—will be able to put Sophie’s story down. Once you read the book you will understand why Sophie Morgan is a pseudonym.

I might be one of the last people left who hasn’t read any of the “50 Shades of Grey” books. But man, if they’re anything like this book then I’m not too sure I’m up for them!

Using a pseudonym, “Sophie” writes about her personal experience and her journey as she experiments with the D/s world and a submissive relationship. The story is definitely graphic and explicit, to say the least (mind you, it is classified as Erotica)! Most of the time, I wished I was reading it on my Kindle for fear that someone would see the book cover or spine (I kept it hidden on the train, obviously)!

I knew this sort of “relationship,” if that’s the right term, existed but I don’t think I was aware of the true extent of D/s and what it entailed. Many times the book was uncomfortable to read – it was THAT graphic. For everything women have done to gain equal status and rights, it’s hard to understand how someone could enjoy being humiliated, shamed, degraded and having their personal boundaries pushed to such limits. But then again, I don’t partake in that sort of relationship which would explain why it’s hard for me to understand.

If you LOVED 50 Shades and found yourself wanting more, this book is for you. If you’re into harlequin romance novels and find yourself wanting more, this book is for you. And, especially, if you’re into erotica, this book is for you!

Interested in learning more about “Sophie Morgan”? Follow her on Twitter. You can also join the conversation over at BlogHer all month long.

Disclosure: This is a paid review for BlogHer Book Club but the opinions expressed are my own.

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Wedding ABCs

I found this over at Little Daisy May and thought it would be a fun way to remember my wedding day, two years later! (warning – post is super photo heavy!)

See how we celebrated our first wedding anniversary and our “paper” gifts!

Our Wedding ABCs

Attending:
We had about 75 guests which was the perfect size for us! 

Bridesmaids:
Just 2 – my sister (maid of honor) and J’s sister. Nice and small :)

Catering:
All food done by 3 West Club – I cannot say enough good things about the food! Not biased because it was my wedding or anything, the food was beyond phenomenal!

Cake by local bakery who I don’t wish to promote because they were hardly professional in handling some day-of issues… Which is a bummer because I loved it.

Dress:
Allure Bridals from RK Bridal – it was diamond white and came with a single strap which I had removed.

Engagement:
August 30, 2009 at the cliffs at Gay Head, Aquinnah, MA (Martha’s Vineyard)

Two engagement shoots later (click through the picture to the photographer’s blog post for each):

Flowers:
Petals Premier


  

Groomsmen:
J’s brother (best man) and childhood friend.

Honeymoon:
Belatedly taken in May to June, 2011 to Koh Samui, Thailand and Hong Kong

Invitations:
Handmade with tons of design help from Lisa at Elisabeth Events

Justice of the Peace:
Father Joseph Tyrrell at St. Patrick’s Cathedral

Keepsakes:
Classic NYC black and white cookies

Ladies Night:
Boston – We went to a bar in the North End that has a country cover band on Saturday nights. Right up my alley!

Music:
Cocktail Hour – Jeremy Siskind
Reception – Elegant Ensembles

Key songs: Our first dance was to Dave Matthew’s Band “You and Me.” Dad and daughter dance was to Edwin McCain’s “Walk With You” and mother and son dance was to Josh Groban’s “You Raise Me Up.” We cut our cake to James Taylor’s “How Sweet It Is” and my bouquet toss was to Motley Crue’s “Girls, Girls, Girls.” Our last dance of the night was to Michael Buble’s “Save The Last Dance For Me.”

Newlyweds:
Two years and counting! At what point are we no longer “newlyweds”? I’ll take it as long as I can :)

Old, new, borrowed, blue:
Old – I know I had something for each of these but I can’t remember what now… I think “old” was just a piece of jewelry I was wearing maybe?
New – Dress, veil, hair piece – lots of new items!
Borrowed – I think I borrowed earrings. My memory is failing me now!
Blue – Shoes

Photography:
Kristina Hill Photography

Question popping:
See above response to engagement :)

Reception:
3 West Club

Shoes:
Blue!

Trash the Dress:
Nope! It’s hanging in a closet at my parents house.

Unique:
Tony Santana Cigar Rolling Company

Vows:
Traditional Catholic vows: I, (name), take you, (name), to be my husband/wife. I promise to be true to you in good times and in bad, in sickness and in health. I will love you and honor you all the days of my life.

Wedding Woes:
We almost had a mishap with the cake but luckily everything worked out. All in all, I don’t really have any woes from the day!

X-rated:
Let’s just say Kimi Coopet doesn’t just do family and wedding pictures… ;)

Young kids:
Nope, no kids at this wedding. As for us? Nope, no young kids in our lives either! Yet…

Zzzzz:
We managed to get some sleep. Luckily a prank by my cousin and sister was revealed, otherwise we would’ve had alarm clocks going off throughout the night! Piece of advice? Make sure your room key doesn’t leave your sight all night!

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Cotton Anniversary

In just over two weeks, J and I will be celebrating our 2nd wedding anniversary. Holy crap does time fly by!

I’ve been racking my brain lately to think of a good gift to fit the “cotton” anniversary theme for the 2nd year. Conveniently (of course), TheKnot.com emailed reminding me of my upcoming anniversary and giving me some “fun ideas.” Most of the 2nd anniversary ideas were just ehh – date ideas, gemstones, getaways…

This guide for cotton gifts basically recommended household items. Not sure about you, but that’s not exactly an ideal gift for my husband! What guy wants pillows, an apron or towels?! This guide for “traditional gift ideas” wasn’t exactly helpful either.

(Yes, this is exactly what he could use!)

So I’m back at square one. All I can think of for cotton is clothing but 1. that’s not overly personal or romantic and 2. he has SO much clothing, there’s nothing he really needs. There is this polo I saw but I’m on the fence about it.

Anyone have a creative “cotton” anniversary gift idea?

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