Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Jul 2018

Member Reviews

I had already read a book in which the main character compared her dates to comfort food, but it is the first time that I see men being compared to handbags.
Of course this has everything to do with Caroline's work. She is a bag designer.

Her romantic life would make a great TV series. All men have the handsome side (like a good handbag), but after a few moments, the flaws pop out. Result: total disaster and many hours of Caroline at Mike's bar, her best friend, drinking Chardonnay.

Mike and Caroline have been friends since the time of Harvard.
He has a good life as a bar owner, without any serious relationship.
But he and Carol are always together, right?

A short book with good jokes and great reading.
4 stars
Was this review helpful?
I really needed a light, an uncompromising story to ease my reading hangover.
Clutch brings a funny love story with protagonists that make us connect with them from the very beginning and not want to drop more.
They have been friends since college time and one supports the other and gives strength to conquer everything they need.
I loved everything, the plot, the characters, the cover and when it was over I was sad because I wanted more of the couple together.
Was this review helpful?
What a great beginning to a new series! Desperate Girls by Laura Griffin is the first book in her new Wolfe Security series. This story is an enjoyable reading experience for me. Both the hero, Erik and the heroine, Brynn are delightful characters with many layers. 

Brynn Holloran is a defense attorney who started her career as a prosecutor. She is preparing for a high-profile trial of a young man she knows is innocent. At the same time, her mentor, Judge Jen Ballard is found murdered by an escaped prisoner that Jen and Brynn prosecuted. Because of their connection, Reggie, Brynn’s boss hires Wolfe security to guard his legal team until the prisoner is found. 

Erik Morgan is assigned to head Brynn’s team. He is disciplined, buff and attractive. He is also attracted to Brynn but knows he can’t act on his attraction because losing focus can compromise the mission. Both Erik and Brynn are strong, career-minded characters. Their stubbornness causes them to lock horns on more than one occasion. Erik quickly learns that it isn’t that easy to rule Brynn’s life and activities. He needs to convince her of the danger, and she needs to convince him that changes to her routines require communication in advance. It is refreshing how they work out what they both need to do their jobs. 

Desperate Girls is a romantic suspense that unfolds at a steady pace. As the story develops the suspense builds, but it never creates what I call “on the edge of my seat” type of anxiety. Instead, it is more the niggling uncertainty that hangs in the background of a slow-burn thriller with an even slower burn romance. The characters’ focus is always on their work making neither Erik nor Brynn successful in relationships. In the past, their relationships always fell apart because they didn't give their significant other time.

The secondary characters are interesting. I want to know more about the other men and women on the Wolfe team especially Skylar and Liam. The team members are close. Their backgrounds and missions can be dangerous. Liam Wolfe, the owner of the company, has an elaborate setup. I want to know how he got there. 

My only criticism is that Erik is still a mystery. I know why he left the job he loves for the position at Wolfe. What is never revealed is the reasons for his estrangement from his family. I did expect to get answers to some of those questions. I also expected more of Brynn’s family. It isn't essential, but my curiosity is piqued. Maybe there will be more reveals about these two characters later in the series. 

I recommend Desperate Girls if you enjoy a tense adventure that is more plot driven than character. There is romance, but it is more incidental than the focus of the story. We are looking for the bad guy and his motives first.
Was this review helpful?
Caroline Johnson has always been obsessed with handbags.  So she pursued her dream and went to college at Harvard School of Business where she met Mike.

Mike Barnsworth III is a rich kid who doesn’t want to take over the family business.  He wants to own his own bar.  When he meets Caroline he immediately befriends her.

Mike has no trouble with the ladies.  His rule is no more than three dates.  Caroline on the other hand has nothing but trouble.  All she wants is to find someone she can hold onto, her “Clutch”.  Caroline’s only constant relationship is her best friend Mike.  So when Mike says he is moving to LA to start his dream of owning a bar, Caroline follows.  Friends till the end right?!

This story was hilarious.  A Friends to Lover romance.  These two characters were so enjoyable.  Mike with his smart banter and Caroline with her “handbags”, dates.  Each guy in the book is labeled a handbag.  I think my favorite was fanny pack.  Mike really did not like him.  The dude was creepy.   Doctor Bag was a class a jerk.  I could go on and on, but lets not spoil the fun.

Mike was an amazing and fun character.  He was sexy and smart.  Mike and Caroline’s friendship was strong and he always had her back no matter what.  Their witty banter will have you laughing out loud.  Almost like Will and Grace, except Mike is not gay.

Overall this book was so much fun to read.   A steady read that not only had humor, but had heart melting moments and many tears.  It was a unique style in the friends to lovers romance category.  I loved how the author created a handbag for each man Caroline dated.  A very short but easy read.  So is you are looking for a good time then this book is right up your ally.

*ARC provided by Netgalley, Lisa Becker & Xpresso Book Tours
Was this review helpful?
Choppy collection of dating experiences

Clutch is a cute premise, comparing dates to purses, while trying to find the one clutch that fits for every situation.  Unfortunately, I found the story to be a choppy collection of Caroline’s dating experiences. The story of Caroline and her best friend Mike, which should have tied it all together almost seemed secondary to the dating stories.  I found Caroline to be desperate! So much so, that she gives her phone number to everyone! And she seems to allow her own real personality to be overridden by the boys with which she goes on a date! Perhaps I’m too old or too confident, but I was waiting for Caroline to smarten up and realize her own worth! 

I did enjoy some of the dating experiences individually, and I am happy she found her way through to the end. I wish Lisa Becker had spent more time with Caroline and Mike interacting, developing their relationship, etc.  

Thank you to Netgalley for the opportunity to read and review an ARC of this book. I am providing my honest review.
Was this review helpful?
This was quite a sweet read and it was fun but it was a little bit predictable but it is great for a lazy afternoon it was well written and the characters were good. It had me chuckling at times and I am looking forward to reading more from Lisa
Was this review helpful?
I just finished reading this story and the truth is very good, if you have not read the story of Caroline and Mike I recommend it, it is fun, light and very entertaining ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️
Was this review helpful?
This was a cute chick-lit romance that had me laughing aloud a few times. It was better than I thought it'd be and the heroine, Caroline, was extremely relatable.
Was this review helpful?
From the very beginning of the book I knew how it was going to end. Throughout the book I was really waiting for Becker to surprise me and was slightly let down when it ended how it did. Does that mean this is a bad book, or that I didn't like it? Absolutely not. 

First off Caroline, our main character. I had a love hate relationship with her. There were some moments where I was like “yes, you go girl!” And there were other times where I just signed shook my head and asked “what is wrong with you?” while I understand the whole southern charm thing I felt sometimes it was a little stereotypical.

Secondly, maybe it's because I didn't have much of a dating life before I got married, but some of Caroline's choices (this is where my frustration with her stem) were questionable. When she lamented about not being able to find a guy, or that she was going to end up alone, I rolled my eyes. I did enjoy reading about her dating escapades and she really did cycle through the list of men you typically seem to get when you are dating

Lastly this book was more mature than I thought it was going to be. Sometimes when books are unexpectedly mature it can disrupt the tempo or the mood, it didn't for clutch. It actually helped me see Caroline as a more mature and progressive women and I liked that she was not looked down upon for it either. So kudos to Becker. 

Overall if you are currently dating you may relate to Caroline and love this book. Also, it's a great read for any Romance reader.
Was this review helpful?
I read for a honest review for Becker Press.Very enjoyable read,loved the dates Caroline  went on to find her soulmate,very relatable characters intriguing storyline,you can read this while waiting for your Dr.Appt.
Was this review helpful?
This is my first Lisa Becker and it is a cute read. She made dating at this age funny and kind of enjoyable. Although most were a disaster which made it funny. Good story.
Was this review helpful?
Clutch features numerous types of handbags that the designer Caroline Johnson creates. It is the name of her designer handbag company, she started after graduating Harvard MBA program. During her graduate program, she meets Mike Barnsworth or as his family calls him Michael Fredrick Barnsworth the Third, whose family owns the largest brokerage firm in New York--Barnsworth Brokerage Firm. Mike doesn't want to follow in his father or grandfather's footsteps instead Mike wants to own a bar--just like in the move Cocktail that he used to watch with his favorite nanny.

Each chapter is a different type of handbag--backpack, messenger, doctor bag, diaper bag, briefcase, wallet, cosmetic bag, and clutch. Each type of bag represents the various men that Caroline is dating. Through all the types of bags, men, and business meetings, Caroline and Mike maintain their friendship. Caroline goes to Mike's bar on a regular basis even bringing her dates to the bar for Mike's opinion of the men. While Mike is a love 'em and leave 'em mode especially with the women in his bar. Caroline doesn't understand why one of the waitresses that Mike has "dated" refuses to be friendly with her until the head bartender informs Caroline that the waitress thinks that Mike is in love with Caroline that why none of the women have a chance with him. Will Caroline see how Mike really feels?
Was this review helpful?
This was cute book.  Entirely predictable and could have been so much more but an overall cute easy read.
Was this review helpful?
A completely predictable, utterly enjoyable romantic comedy -- that is how I would like to describe this novel. Starting from Caroline's days at Harvard, it follows the friendship and witty banter she shares with Mike. Mike is a playboy who leaves behind a string of broken hearts everywhere while Caroline is in search of the Mr. Right or the 'Clutch'. Clutch is the name of her business venture, something she has built because she held onto her passion. Now she needs a man whom she can hold onto.
         There follows a series of dating adventures with the chapter titles giving a rough notion about the suitors. The only downside is, we know it will all end badly, that is until we reach the chapter 'Clutch'. So a small advise: better not read this in one sitting, it tends to be a bit boring then.
        More than Caroline, I liked the character of Mike. He has an insight that Caroline totally lacks. We can't but wonder how she became a successful businesswoman. Still, it was total fun reading about her dating blunders :)
Was this review helpful?
What a fun read!  I'm a purse girl all the way - Marc Jacobs, Vera, Kate Spade, just to name a few! Although I am not able to buy as many as I would like being a single mom of three.  Someday...I will buy a purse a week versus a purse a season!

OK, enough about me...on to Ms. Caroline Johnson.

As the story begins, she meets this awesome, yet very sarcastic guy, Mike, during her time at Harvard Business School, yes I said HARVARD!  He showed up with a coffee, gave it to her and they have been besties ever since! (There was that one time that they slept together, and you will hear about it maybe once or 15 times!)

Catherine has used her love of purses and her Harvard Business degree to start her own business and is doing quite well for herself!  She is in several major department stores and has more talks set-up with future sellers frequently.  Mike chose not to follow in his families financial footsteps and instead put his business degree to use in setting up his own bar known as The Last Drop.  (Based on his love for Risky Business).

When school is over and graduation has commenced Mike asks his best friend in this world, Caroline, to move to LA - not with him but join him there.  She thinks for all of 2 seconds and the plans are set!

LA has been a great move for both of them, although their dating lives could say otherwise.  Mike has slept with each of his waitresses or so it seems and poor Caroline is truly finding someone to be happy with and she is hitting one dead end after another!

I do not want to give away too many details but I ill state their names and fun nicknames she has associated them with!

Jason Nash - AKA Hobo  (starving artist)

Craig - AKA Demi-Bag (shortie/boring)

Tyler - AKA Messenger (religious fanatic)

Sam Stanhope - AKA Doctor Bag (no one could think more highly of themselves then this man)

Damien - AKA Diaper Bag (single dad) **one of my faves 

Dunham - AKA Briefcase (all about the connections)

Marcus - AKA Wallet (big spender)

???       - AKA Clutch (who will this be?)

As you can see Caroline has had a pretty interesting pool of dating candidates and I am going to leave you guessing who she ends up with in the end, or maybe she will continue her dating saga, we shall see!

Grab a bottle of Caroline's favorite wine, Chardonnay, and sit back and enjoy this fun dating tale!
Was this review helpful?
Clutch was such a light, sweet, funny read. I loved the characters and the way the book was written. The thing adored the most was the chapter names correlated with the various dates the man character Caroline went on. Which I thought was a cute and sweet touch. 

" find something you love and you just hold onto.”

Our main character Caroline is a purse addict and handbag designer. She is on the lookout for Mr. Right. Unfortunately, like most people, she is only finding losers and people that she doesn't connect with. The other character Mike is on the journey with her. He owns a bar and keeps her stocked with lots of wine for her miss adventures. 

He was a character that I absolutely adored in this story. He was a fantastic friend. He was a great person all around and I really enjoyed his dialog in the book. 

“Lord, give me coffee to change the things I can,” she lifted her glass, “and a tall glass of Chardonnay to accept the things I can’t. That’s about the only gospel I can get behind.”

The book had some faults though. I found it a tad bit predictable at times. Also, it was often repetitive in parts. Also quotes like the one below made me roll my eyes at times. 

“It was a revelation. How had she not seen it before?”

Overall this was a cute chick lit story. It's your average love story full of hilarious anecdotes.
Was this review helpful?