Redesigning Happiness

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

I requested this book thinking there would be a big element of design but it was mainly used as a plot device to getter main character where she should be. There was so much more that could have been done with this and I felt a little let down. 
Other than that it was a sweet book although it did drag at times. The ending suggested a sequel which I will pick up, but it would have to do something special to keep me interested.
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It did seem to drag at times, but it was a clean read, which I really enjoyed about it.  I wouldn't consider it a romance, because I didn't get the feel of a HEA.  Overall it's an enjoyable read, and I will be looking for more from this author
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This was an enjoyable book. It had just enough angst to keep you engaged with all that is going on to keep you entertained.

Following Yvonne’s having to choose between her past and present was a rollercoaster ride I think you will enjoy.
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I have very little to say about this book.

I requested this because I found the whole interior designer bit interesting. And who doesn't like a good second-chance romance?

Sadly, there was very little on Yvonne's job as an interior designing. Rather, it was used as some sort of a plot device to set up the romance. But this is a protagonist who's supposed to be a popular interior designer with a TV show on the pipeline. So I was hoping to see her do more interior designing. 

Yvonne's a single mother engaged to Nathan. But Richard, her ex and the father of her son re-enters the scene and causes complications. For one, he didn't know he had a son. To make matters worse, Yvonne still has feelings for him.

I'm not someone who actually doesn't mind the whole trope of 'guy finding out that he had a child all along'. But only if the writer can actually sell it well. And to sell it well, both the reasoning for him having not known and the aftermath of him knowing about it, should be convincing. The author failed on both parts in this one. I was really underwhelmed by Richard's interactions with the son after the big revelations.

There were some big twists and secrets come out in the end, all of which turned the story even more unbelievable to me. I also was not sold on the romance. I did not feel any connection between the main couple. There was no organic development.

The ending made it look like there would be a sequel. I'll take a pass on that.
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I want to thank Netgalley and the publisher for this arc in return for my honest review.

This was a well worth read, it had me engaged from the start to the end.

Please take the time and put this on your reading list, it will not disappoint.
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Yvonne Cable grinned at the feature on her latest design. The picture below the headline was the completed home office for her latest client. After clawing her way through Atlanta’s cutthroat interior design community, in Atlanta Life magazine was the coveted crown. She created perfection for her clients, a haven in their hectic lives. She had an organized whiteboard in her office. The board served as a quick reference to where she was and what she needed to do next. Her new project was the the Sandra Covington Project. Sandra Covington was a self help author turned radio personality announced her radio program was going into nationwide syndication. The woman's advice was quoted everywhere. Yvonne arrived. Shed the mistakes of the past and became a household name. Yvonne had gotten engaged over the weekend to Nathan. He proposed via the jumbotron at the Atlanta braves game. She was still getting used to being engaged. For the past six years she’d been a single mom and business owner. Now she was part of a team. Nathan Lange home improvement television star. Boy next store sex symbol and all around good guy was her fiance. Marriage was a big deal. Her six year old son jacob would have a father. She would have a man who loved and supported her. Yvonne had met Nathan on the set of  Celebrity Housewives where he’d worked as a contractor. The disagreements and the attraction between them had sparked instantly, so much so they’d stolen every scene they were in. Their chemistry had given nathan’s publicist the idea they could be the new helm of a home improvement show. She’d once been forced to accept whatever scraps she could get from the person-Richard- who claimed to love her. Not anymore. Neither she or her son would ever be in that position again. No matter what happened. With her and Nathan. Yvonne Cable designs is and always will be her top priority. Nathan had decided he wanted to wait until after marriage to have sex His publicist-Judy and Yvonne’s by default thought it eas a great idea. Judy said you two are the latest couple in the home and garden world. The appeal of your unconventional love means people want to know more about you. Nathan felt their values as a couple would play onto the show. She had expected it to be the focal point of their public relationship. Yvonne tried not to let people see how cynical she was about life. She had lost a lot of her faith. Multiple disappointments early in life tended to do that to people . nathan had enough faith for them both. He was the one person who’d slowly made her feel it was okay to trust again. He believed that good things happen to good people. He loved yvonne and jacob. One proposal and her life was no longer hers. Was she about to lose herself again, in a relationship when she promised herself never again to be swept away by a man? Nathan was the opposite of any guy she’d ever dated before . She’d done that on purpose and she’d been given her happy ending that she’d stopped looking for long ago. 
I couldn’t get into this book. It just didn’t jive for me. First off nathan talks to Judy about hois and Yvonnes sex life or lack of and agrees to let ot play apart in their public relationship and on the proposed show. Than not discussing this with Yvonne first- waiting until marriage. Especially since that wasn’t ewhat Yvonne had wanted after nine months of already no sex.Also Yvonne being willing to let Richard into Jacon life after six yrears of nothing and pating her off to leave as she had been unknowingly the other woman. It just didn’t flow for me. I had problems keeping my attention on this book. Also it didn’t give up much of a back story of Richard and Yvonne. Than you have the book title and publishing house on every couple of pages interrupting you.  This just wasn’t for me. I am sure others will love this book. 
**I voluntarily read and reviewed this book
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Yvonne is living her best life.  She has s successful and thriving business, a new fiance, and bubbly son.  What more does she needs? Redesigning Happiness takes you on an adventure with Yvonne and the men in her life.  She has to exam her life and make decisions that are not always easy, yet necessary.  It was a slow read for me.  It took a while to get into the story.  There were times when I just wanted to shake each character and ask WHY? We are all in charge of our happiness. There is no need to sacrifice your happiness for someone. Overall, the story was slow and emotionally draining (at least for me).
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So this book was okay, it was a romance novel about second-chance romances which I adore but sort of fell a little flat in some areas. Nathan was described as “a sex-symbol” but the main part of their game was that they were traditional and waiting until marriage to be intimate. Also the father, Richard, is extremely entitled and demanding and it’s hard to imagine strong, independent, humble Yvonne falling for his arrogant, self righteousness.
He has never seen his son-didn’t know about his existence due to his ex wife and father-yet he comes in and immediately demands joint custody and contact with his son. It was very abrupt and had he actually cares about his child or Yvonne he would have moved slower. It was hard to accept the romance between these two characters, and it made me feel bad for Nathan. 
I really liked Yvonne’s character and I’m excited to read more strong female characters from this author.
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A few other reviews mentioned a problem with the format of the book.  I don't know if this was purposely done by the publishers because this was an ARC but its very distracting.

Yvonne Cable is a newly engaged single Mom on top of the world.  Both she and her fiancé have the opportunity for their own home improvement show.  Just when the world is her oyster, Richard Barrington III reenters her life.  Barrington and Yvonne had a prior relationship that resulted in a child..  Barrington has just discovered that he has a son.  Richard's return brings doubts and confusion for Yvonne.  Is Richard really her past? Or should she stick with a sure thing that she thinks she has in Nathan her fiancé?  Ms. Brooks does a good job in having you root for Yvonne..  The book is slanted towards one of the men more so than the other.  So the reader will not be surprised which man Yvonne chooses.
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I'll be honest, I saw that the main character, Yvonne, was an interior designer and it piqued my interest almost immediately. My HGTV loving heart was happy.

Yvonne Cable's life is on the upswing. Her career is booming, her son is healthy, and she's recently engaged to a great man, contractor Nathan Lange. These two met on a show and became a ratings hit and a home improvement dream. They're on the cusp of more fame when Yvonne's ex-boyfriend and her son's father, Richard, reappears in her life wanting to be a part of her son's life and potentially a key part to her new reality show dreams.

Richard throws her life in slight upheaval. She's now only forced to deal with her feelings toward Richard but her feelings about Nathan and the true state of their relationship. Yvonne soon comes to the conclusion that what is deemed perfect isn't always best for you and happiness can be designed on your own terms.

I liked the pace of the story and the secondary characters that were introduced. There were quite a few of them but they all held their own and added to the novel. The subplots added something extra when I needed it and kept me invested in this novel.

While I liked this book, the overall romance portion of it wasn't a home run for me. I picked up on Nathan's truth pretty early on so I was waiting for that to come to light so we could really dig deep into Yvonne and Richard, though that never quite happened. Yes, Richard was the love of her life and the man she obviously wanted to spend time with but I didn't get the overwhelming love they claimed to have for each other over six years ago. Maybe if we had been shown more about their life before I would have been more invested? They lacked the passion I expected.

In Redesigning Happiness, Yvonne ultimately figured out that her happiness wasn't dependent on anyone but herself and redesigned her life on her own terms.
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Yvonne had her heart broken and life shattered by Richard Barrington III abandoning her and the child she was carrying. She moved back home to Atlanta and put the time behind her, never telling anyone about her son’s father. Now six years on she’s a successful interior designer and engaged to Nathan. They’re considered a local celebrity couple after being on Celebrity Housewives together and are looking to do a tv show together...and Richard Barrington III owns the tv network that wants to make their show with them! Things are about to get very complicated...

I liked the concept behind this story, that relationships and families can be complicated. That families are not always the neat and tidy mum, dad and a couple of kids. That sometimes relationships don’t work no matter how much we may want them too.

However, I did find a lot of the story to be a little bit predictable. That said, I enjoyed seeing the tension building between Yvonne and Richard and found the book easy to read and still succeeding in delivering a bit of feel-good factor.
An enjoyable and easy read.
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I was expecting more from this book. The characters needed to be fleshed our more. Yvonne is going through a lot and is trying to get back to happy.
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Yvonne thinks she's got it all together and that well, she's got it all.  She's got a great kid, a great job, and a new romance with Nathan.  They're making must-see tv together and when he proposes, she's happy about that too.  Then, Richard, the father of her son and the man who broke her heart turns up and wants to buy the show.  She ever told Richard he was a dad and so there's some drama to work through.  Who does Yvonne end up with?  There's a bit more angst about relationships here than usual but it's a big thing for her.  Thanks to Netgalley for the ARC.  You know this is a second chance romance and an HEA but who will you root for?
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Yvonne had her heart broken and life shattered by Richard Barrington III abandoning her and the child she was carrying. She moved back home to Atlanta and put the time behind her, never telling anyone about her son’s father.  Now six years on she’s a successful interior designer and engaged to Nathan. They’re considered a local celebrity couple after being on Celebrity Housewives together and are looking to do a tv show together...and Richard Barrington III owns the tv network that wants to make their show with them! Things are about to get very complicated...
I liked the concept behind this story, that relationships and families can be complicated. That families are not always the neat and tidy mum, dad and a couple of kids. That sometimes relationships don’t work no matter how much we may want them too.
However, I did find a lot of the story to be a little bit predictable.  That said, I enjoyed seeing the tension building between Yvonne and Richard and found the book easy to read and still succeeding in delivering a bit of feel-good factor.
An enjoyable and easy read.
My thanks to #NetGalley and #KensingtonBooks for allowing me to read this book in return for an honest review.
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The cover and the fact it was a new author had me excited to steal away with this one.

Redesigning Happiness is a debut novel by Nita Brooks and it gives us a love triangle of sorts with lots of twists of half-truth, secrets and betrayals. 

As we begin the journey, we celebrate Yvonne, a single mother with the passion of redesigning homes.  Of course, it wasn’t an easy walk for her, but she beats the odds.  Nathan is immediately drawn to her and wants to break his no relationship rule.   He wastes no time in locking her down with a proposal.

Now with the engagement and network scouts circling they are ready to take on the world.  But when an absentee parent comes back staking his claim the drama begins.

To find out how it all enfolds, pick up your copy.

Thank you NetGalley and Kensington for this advance copy for my honest opinion.

#ResigningHappiness. #netgalley
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Unfortunately I was unable to finish this book. There is something weird with the formatting. Scenes,, chapters had unrelated text inserted. For example the publishers name is throughout the text. I still tried to push through and the parts that I was able to read contained an abundance of backstory and telling. Between the inactive text and the format issues I was unable to finish the story. To be fair to the author I am not posting this review on any site other than NetGalley. If I hadn’t experienced the format issues perhaps my experience would have been less negative.
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Redesigning Happiness by Nita Brooks is not my normal go to read but, I wanted to try a contemporary adult romance just to see if it’s a genre I would read more of. The answer is NO, but my choice to read romance willing has nothing to the with the writing of the book, it’s just romance in novels can get cheesy and the storyline very predictable.   

With that being said, single mother and raising star in interior designer Yvonne Cable has become engaged to Nathan Lange, a home improvement TV star who wants to launch a show with her. Richard Barrington, the owner of the Weekend Warrior network is interested in picking up Yvonne and Nathan show. Yvonne is not happy about this because she knows Richard very well because he abandoned her and their unborn child at the time, now 6-year-old son Jacob. 

Oh, shoot here comes the drama!

With out giving too much away Richard knew about his after his father confessed on his death bed and Yvonne thinks Richard left her for another woman. You can already see where this is going. A whole lot happens, and it honestly kept me glued to my couch. Overall, I would recommend this book for a buddy read or book club. There are relatable circumstance that would get a great conversation going. 
Thank you, Dafina/Kensington, for gifting me copy in exchange for an honest review.  3/5 stars
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Wasn't able to finish the book as the digital copy had formatting issues and the title and page number list on every single page breaking up the text making it unreadable.
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Really enjoyed the first half of this book.  Yvonne appeared to be a strong woman who had been through some emotional trials and not only survived but forged ahead to put her life on track including being a successful businesswoman and single mom.  But the second half was so disappointing.  She agreed to marry Nathan when every indication was that she wasn't sure this was what she wanted.  Richard returns and she comes unglued.  She sent mixed signals to both men while she wavered back and forth.  I did not like anything about her mom but her sister, Valerie, was a nice addition.
However, the ending was just overdone.  There were so many twists and turns and "surprise" revelations, Nathan's secret and Sandra's secret, that it got to the point that none of it was believable.  It felt like the author decided to go out with a bang and just threw out all kinds of unreal situations.  The ending was rushed and not well thought out.  I really wanted to like this book but by the time I finished, I was just tired of it.
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So this book definitely needed a lot more development with the core characters and better writing in general. Yvonne and her "feelings" for the father of her son, Richard, was not believable. Heck her being in a relationship with Nathan didn't feel believable. I also had a hard time believing that Yvonne was supposedly a sought after designer with tv offers. We get one scene where she meets a client and the rest of the book is her obsessing about two men, talking about the two men with her mother and sister, and then worrying about her son. This book was boring and there was zero chemistry between any of the characters. 

Brooks doesn't do a good job of setting up this second chance romance at all. I tend to like some second chance romances more than others and the ones that I like the most is when we don't have a heroine already dating someone else. Or in this case engaged to someone else. Because that usually means that the guy that the the heroine is with is somehow going to have to come out of nowhere and be so reprehensible that you the reader just want her with the other dude. Even if he's problematic as heck. FYI, Richard was not that great, he was just rich. 

Brooks didn't do a good job with Richard at all. The whole backstory to his and Yvonne's "relationship" also made laugh. We have a quick scene showing how they met and all it showed was Yvonne was pressed from the beginning. That was it. I didn't get any connections between the two. Heck, Brooks doesn't even show their last scene together before she moved on and had their son. We just hear about it, repeatedly. Also we know Richard is from money, but once again it's not developed. He has enough money to develop a show? And of course readers know he is doing this to get back with Yvonne, but oh boy this was so dumb to me. I cannot with the Nathan story-line. That's all I am saying about that. 

The writing was so-so. We had to hear about Yvonne's issues with her real father wanting nothing to do with her and why and from that take why she's so focused on making sure that her son gets to know his father even though it may destroy her relationship. I maybe laughed at one point when Richard after just meeting his son tells him he can call him dad. I mean....woosa. This book had so much that made me want to yell that I had to move on from things in order to finish this.

The flow was awful. There's a lot of talking happening and not much else. Brooks throws out some ridiculous stuff with Richard's ex and I maybe Kanye laughed.

The book takes place in Atlanta, and I didn't get any sense of the city or once again that Yvonne was some new hot designer in the city. 

The ending left things as a HFN instead of a HEA. We know that Richard has drama and the book seems to be setting up a sequel following Yvonne's sister. I will be skipping that.
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