Tag: NYC

Emily Giffin and Meant To Be Book Review

Emily Giffin

Meant to Be by Emily Giffin is a delightful contemporary romance. The love story between Cate and Joe could easily film as a chick flick. And is perfect for a summer beach book.

Joe Kingsley is a most eligible bachelor. Born into wealth and power, destined to forever be in the spotlight. He falls head over heels for Cate Cooper.

The character of Cate is much more complex. Matching her upbringing. But Cate is everything Joe needs.

Setting of Meant to Be

The Big Apple is the central setting of Meant to Be. Although Cate’s early years are in Northern New Jersey. Meanwhile, Joe is most at home in The City. Yet the Eastern Shore of the Hamptons also come into play.

Anyone familiar with New York City will easily pick up on the vibe. There is a life pulse to NYC that one simply feels. This backdrop is the perfect setting for two individuals with such differing upbringings.

Character Development

I am envious of writers such as Emily Giffin. Joe and Cate are so very real. Perhaps this can partially be attributed to the rotating point of view. However, the author is masterful at dialogue too. Each of the main characters capture the readers attention and heart. Can they overcome such diverse backgrounds?

The relationships with the secondary characters are also well-done. The overbearing and abusive step-father is not cliché. Nor is the best friend from Cate’s high school years. Perhaps the best twist of all is the character of Berry-soul sister to Joe.

Simple Plot

Meant to Be is truly a romance released in hard cover. The hero is flawed but genuine. The heroine is a self-made success story. Both have insecurities. Their life together looks doomed. But fate intervenes. This feel-good story touches on several contemporary issues, most notable domestic abuse. But other themes, including service to country, forgiveness and redemption are incorporated.

I checked Meant to Be out from my local library. Emily Giffin is a new to me author and I highly enjoyed her work. I believe this is a stand-alone novel. If you fancy romantic tales, find a copy and enjoy.

Killer Heat

Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein

While perusing the large print section at the library, I came upon Killer Heat by Linda Fairstein. This novel featuring District Attorney Alex Cooper, actually came out in 2008 but somehow I missed it. Unlike other series, I have not read these books in order. So far that hasn’t been a problem.


Killer Heat takes place during a hot August. Cooper is assigned to cases involving sex crimes and she is successfully wrapping up a cold case. As in real life, the district attorney has more than one case in front of her at any given time, so the work is never-ending. An unidentifiable body is discovered and Alex is contacted in case the dumped woman is tied to a missing person case she is working on. Soon, another and then another, corpse turns up. Cooper and her sidekicks Mike Chapman and Mercer Wallace face a serial killer.

Fairstein’s talents are evident in Killer Heat. First is her skill at bringing secondary characters to life. In some books the reader can only picture the main characters. But in Killer Heat, the descriptions, dialog and actions of minor characters are well-developed. For example, in one scene Alex Cooper talks with the younger sister of a character who is a “person of interest.” The reader sees a teenager on the cusp of adulthood. The nuances of that age are clear. The young girl naturally has conflicting emotions and is torn between loyalty and morality.

Next, the main characters’ interaction rings so true, the reader is sucked right into the plot. Then the plot is well constructed. The killings are tied together. There are no threads left hanging and everything wraps up nicely. Of course Fairstein adds a nice little twist to explain why the murderer kills.

Killer Heat Highlight

One of the best things about Killer Heat is Cooper does not have men swooping in at the end to save her. Earlier in the novel, the protagonist is depicted at a shooting range. Chapman is determined that Alex learns to shoot. She fails miserably. The author correctly shows shooting guns is harder than it looks. Nevertheless, Alex incapacitate’s the killer on her own with plausible action.

If you have not read any of Linda Fairstein’s novels, I highly recommend trying them. As I stated earlier, I do not read them in order although some may. Certainly, Killer Heat can stand alone without reading any others. This is an easy book to get lost in.