Redesigning Happiness

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 02 Aug 2019

Member Reviews

I really tried to finish this book so I could give it an accurate review however I did not find it capturing enough to keep me entertained to finish.
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This was an average book. I wasn't much of a fan of the main character, I found that she was a little too indecisive and I wanted her to make up her mind.
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A good easy read, it kept me interested, would have liked to hear more about Yvonne's job / independence.
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I’m all about a redemption story but this fell flat for me. I had a hard time staying engaged with the story and the characters. I had high hopes for this one and it did not meet expectations
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Redesigning Happiness is about a successful single mother, Yvonne Cable is a successful designer who is working hard to make a life for her and her son, Nathan Lewis a celebrity she meet in a TV reality show has proposed and Yvonne accepted and now they are the media’s hottest power couple and very sought after. One of the major networks that is bidding for their show is the father of her son who did not know he had a son. How will all this play out?

This was a predictable story line andI was hoping it did not end up the way I had predicted I even figured out one of the plot twist, but one was a welcomed unexpected twist that made me really smile. I enjoyed the story  and would read another book by this author. I am giving this a 3 1/2 rating.
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The lesson I learned from reading this book is to not let a preponderance of low reviews prematurely skew my very own opinion.

Because, Whoa Nelly, this book has soap-opera level drama of epic proportions. And I LOVED IT!

Yvonne and Richard had a brief, intense affair several years ago that ended when Richard felt duty-bound to go back to his fiancée (who he had just broken up with the night he met Yvonne). When Yvonne later discovered she was pregnant and Richard wouldn’t even talk to her, she took her heartbroken self and went on with her life, becoming a successful, well-known interior designer.

Now, recently engaged and on the cusp of having a television show with her new fiancé, Richard reappears in her life and wants to know his child. Not only does this mean upending the life of her son, it opens the door to all the feelings she had for Richard that she had to abandon when he abandoned her.

The thing I really liked about this story is that there was no glossing over anyone’s hurt feelings. No sweeping them under the rug because “chemistry” or lust. The author didn’t choose to drag out the truth of what happened between the hero and heroine - to the reader OR the characters - and instead laid it all out in the open. There were discussions and debates and doing their best figuring out how to deal with the meddling hand they were dealt. The characters manage the repercussions of their situation as the adults they are. It was great to see adults behaving like adults!

Also, there was very little strong language, and no overt sexual content...and it was still a very compelling, intriguing story. Proof that you don’t need all that for a story to be good. (Not that I’m against those things! But the absence of those is rare in today’s contemporary romances and was something I noticed, so I thought I’d mention it.)

I’ve recently instituted a “grab me by 30% or else” rule for all books because I’m so behind in my ARC reading - I keep hanging with books that aren’t interesting to me - and I needed to give myself permission to move on. But not only did Redesigning Happiness suck me in after a few chapters, I stayed up until 2AM to finish it even knowing I’d hate myself in the morning for doing so. The characters, their situations, and all their feelings wouldn’t let me go until I found out how everything ended. And the writing stayed completely clear of the two things that bug the crap out of me the most:
1. Constantly referring to how hawt the hero is and going on and on about how turned on the heroine is by all the hero’s hawt body parts, and
2. Holding big secrets over the readers heads and referring to them frequently in an attempt to create suspense/drama.
To be clear - there were plenty of plot twists (a couple of which I didn’t even see coming!), but they just showed up BAM made the story even more twisted. It was great!

There was nothing I disliked about the writing, the plot, the characters. And it’s an impressive accomplishment for a debut author. Time will tell if Ms. Brooks keeps writing the words on the pages of her own story (my author equivalent of marching to the beat of your own drum). I sincerely hope she does, because if so she’ll have a bright, successful career ahead!

* thank you to NetGalley and Kensington Books/Dafina for providing an ARC in exchange for an honest review
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Was a good reference book but not my style. I think it could be a hit for alot of other people. I wouldnt mind skimming the final print version to see the book as a finished whole. 
This would be great for beginners and college kids that have no isea where to start.
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This was my first time reading a book by this author. The characters were well developed and you can feel their different emotions throughout the storyline.. Yvonne has a interior design business and recently was proposed to by her boyfriend Nathan at a national TV show so by Yvonne being blindsided b the proposal she said yes. Now they have become a reality celebrity couple, producers want to give them their own reality show featuring her interior designs and Nathan Home Improvement business. The only catch is that the tv network that wants to air the show is owned by someone from Yvonne’s past over six years ago Richard Barrington.
Then Nathan has a step-sister Cassidy and there is something strange about their relationship with each other.
I really enjoyed this book and it kept my attention from the beginning to the end. I recommend this book to read and I look forward to reading more books by this author.
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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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