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The Messy Lives of Book People

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Another wonderful novel by Phaedra Patrick The story especially the lead character and her struggles drew me right in.Read in one day will be recommending.#netgalley #harlequinbooks
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3.5 stars Financially struggling house cleaner Liv Green works for reclusive best selling author Essie Starling who rarely leaves her apartment and doesn’t appear in public to promote her books. Liv loves the moments when Essie thaws enough to ask Liv’s thoughts about her latest manuscript with long-running heroine Georgia Rory.

Liv both admires and is intimidated by Essie, who comes across as distant, confident, and worldly. Liv is proud of her cleaning work but insecure, and never went to university and has a few unfinished novels and unfinished creative writing classes in her past.

When Essie dies after an unsuccessful operation, Liv learns from Essie’s lawyer that they’re to conceal her death for 6 months and that Essie will double her salary and wants Liv to finish her manuscript.

When Liv gets into the manuscript, she realizes that Essie has lost her way, and so too has her main character Georgia Rory. And, of course, Liv finds her path and her confidence as she works her way into Eddie’s life, her past, and finishes the novel. 

Little things seemed unbelievable that took me out of the story. Liv walks 32 flights of stairs to Essie’s apartment. Liv seemed extraordinarily upset over her employer’s death. I didn’t feel their connection while Essie was alive. Liv is in her 40s in the present day but can only type with two fingers. She easily wore Essie’s clothes and used her makeup. She didn’t remember the date her dad died. There were a few headhopping/POV issues that were distracting too. 

Charming, thoughtful, and well plotted although I didn’t feel the impact at the big reveal that I was probably supposed to. There are strong themes of having a room of one’s own and not settling in life.
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I read and adored Phaedra Patrick’s book “The Curious Charms of Arthur Pepper” so requested and received a #NetGalley advance copy of “The Messy Lives of Book People.” I fully respect the efforts of all authors, and this was a well-crafted book about Liv Green, a cleaning lady for reclusive and somewhat prickly author Essie Starling. That stated, I found the book less enjoyable than “Arthur Pepper” and less of a compelling read.

The character Essie has written a series of nineteen books starring an adventurous main character named Georgia Rory, a series much-loved by Liv since girlhood years. Liv is a lifetime book-lover and is intrigued both by Essie herself and the author’s book collection. Essie warms up to Liv and even asks her opinion on a negative review of one of her books.  In Liv’s wildest dreams, she herself would be an author, her beloved deceased father having encouraged Liv and taught writing in college.  Essie is working on the 20th installment in the series but falls ill and hospitalized.

Anthony Pentecost, Essie’s solicitor, contacts Liv and tells her Essie has passed away. She has asked for her death to be kept secret for six months and for Liv to finish her book. These are conditions for a possible inheritance, and Liv’s family is strapped for money. Liv is taken aback but takes on the book and secrecy challenge, starting and flailing in frustrated writing many times as she tries to envision Georgia Rory’s one true love. Along the way she seeks out Essie’s past husbands and male associates as research to create Georgia’s “true love.” Her trips to Croatia to a publishing conference and to meet Essie’s male associates open her eyes to a glamorous life but cause some upheaval in her home life with her husband Jake and sons. A side story is the financial distress of Jake’s family publishing business, Paperpress.

While the story is well-crafted, I felt that some parts lagged and that Liv’s searches were a tad too protracted. My rating is really 3 1/2 stars and I thank #Netgalley and the publisher for an advance copy in return for an honest review.
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Unfortunately I was not enamored with this book. Dull for me at times and a bit of a strange situation. ARC provided by NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
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This was an enjoyable and quick read. I was engaged from the beginning by the main character and her challenges, and I enjoyed that there was a mystery she was working to solve while attempting to finish writing her employer's novel. 

Fans of Phaedra Patrick's previous books won't be disappointed, and she may just gain some new ones with The Messy Lives of Book People, as well.
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Thank you Netgalley for this ARC of The Messy Lives of Book People by Phaedra Patrick.

If you love a cozy mystery, full of literary references and endearing characters, this is it!  Liv Green is happy to even be close to her favorite author Essie Starling by cleaning her house throughout the week.  But what Liv never counted on was to finish writing Essie's famous series after Essie's unexpected and secret passing away.  Why would Essie choose her, of all people, to be her ghost writer, and why is her death supposed to be private?

Like I said, so cozy.  I adored the characters, the settings, the mystery, the grumpy elusive author.  This is well written and perfect for a cold rainy day.
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Disclaimer - I am a huge fan of Phaedra Patrick’s books. I was delighted when the opportunity arose that I could read the galley, In all honesty, I can say that she didn’t disappoint. Ms. Patrick’s latest book is just as entertaining  as her previous releases. The  protagonist, Liv Green, is a likable character. While reading  the book, I was constantly pulling for her in her personal and professional life. Each character in the book is described throughly and thoughtfully. The book moves along at a good pace and I didn’t want to put it down. Whether a potential reader is a long time fan or new to Phaedra’s books, they will definitely enjoy this one.
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Liv Green is an aspiring writer who works as a cleaning lady for Essie Starling, a prolific author who is also her idol and whose books she's been reading since she was a teenager. When Essie passes away suddenly, she leaves instructions for Liv to finish her last manuscript in less than a year and to keep her death a secret until the manuscript's deadline. Liv is overwhelmed and must find a way to produce a great novel while learning the secrets that Essie left behind.

I was underwhelmed by this book. I didn't connect to Liv even though I shared her dreams and circumstances. She felt flat as a character. And not much happened throughout this novel. The secrets weren't scandalous and Liv's growth as a character felt contrite. 

It wasn’t also interesting to read about someone writing a novel, especially one that's poorly written. The books Essie wrote and that Liv was trying to continue were supposed to be bestsellers (think Harry Potter) that accumulated a fandom. And yet when I read some of the novels' snippets, I didn't believe that to be the case. The writing came off as really cheesy. 

Perhaps this novel is just a matter of taste.
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The Messy Lives of Book People
by Phaedra Patrick

This ARC was provided to me via Kindle, Harlequin Trade Publishing, and by #NetGalley. The opinions expressed are completely my own. 
This was an ok book. It just didn't hold me, where I have to finish and know how it ends. It appears I am the minority. I am almost sure this is my fault as I read mysteries too often. The majority loved it, so there you go.
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This is the first story that I have read by this author, and let me tell you - it did not disappoint. As someone who loves books, it’s always fun to read stories about books and people who love books just as much as you do. The whole story was full of charm, quirkiness, and a heartwarming plot that warmed my insides. If you are looking for a light read that can also touch you emotionally, this is the book for you. 

Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the ARC in exchange for my honest review.
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I was intrigued by the premise of this book - a housekeeper to a famous author is tasked to write the final book in the author’s series after she passes away. Unfortunately I just didn’t enjoy the story. The writing was a bit dull and didn’t hold my interest.
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I absolutely loved the story Phaedra Patrick created in 'The Messy Lives of Book People'. This is the first of her books I have enjoyed; the colorful cover and engaging summary of this book pulled me in and I am so glad they did. Each character's personality was unwrapped in such an enthralling way. Readers who believe that everyone has the power to change will enjoy the individual evolutions that occur as that message hums throughout. I was captivated by the dynamic between meek and unassuming Liv Green and sharp and fastidious Essie Starling. An aspiring writer opposite a prestigious author made for a hopeful story about achieving ones dreams, and perhaps portraying the person you have the potential to be ahead of becoming that person in order to make those dreams a reality. The surprising events and characters that were introduced along the way built on the curious adventure Liv had embarked on and everything came together in a satisfying and complete close. A very enjoyable and thoughtful story that is absolutely one of a kind.

I appreciate the publisher, Harlequin Trade Publishing, and NetGalley for the opportunity to enjoy this electronic Advanced Reader Copy in exchange for my honest review.
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I have read the four previous books published by this author and I was so excited when she had a new release!  There is just something about her writing that leaps directly into my heart and I hold on for a fantastic journey.  

In this book, we are introduced to Liv Green who has her life turned upside down at a young age and the direction of her future is altered. This book definitely made me think quite a bit about how paths of lives are molded by situations we encounter each day, and how the events influence the future.

I was drawn into the story immediately and I read at every available moment until I completed this fantastic book!  I cared so much about Liv and what was going to happen to her. I consider a book superb, if I am constantly thinking about the story while I am not reading. That definitely happened with this book. When I was not able to be reading, I was thinking about what had already taken placed and what was going to happen.

I highly recommend this book and I hope after you read it, you will read the other books by Phaedra Patrick. She develops characters so well.  You will not forget them or their lives.

This book is a loving tribute to authors, readers and everyone in the publishing industry.  I personally think all of the above are my friends along with me in my journey of traveling through books.  

I want to thank Harlequin Trade Publishing, Park Row and NetGalley for giving me the immense pleasure of reading the advance reader copy, with no obligation to write a review. My review is written freely as a hobby, and is totally my own opinion, not influenced by receiving the ARC.
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I was happy to have the opportunity to read this book thanks to Netgalley and the publisher, since I had read and enjoyed all of the author's previous books.  I enjoyed this one as well, but I found it a more serious book than the previous ones. I liked the unique premise of the book and the look inside the publishing world.  I enjoyed the quirky cast of characters from the book world, but not all the family members.  This book brought up interesting ethical issues which could make it a good choice for book discussion groups. Although I didn't always like the decisions made by the main character, ultimately, I appreciated the way events evolved in the book.
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I certainly have loved all this author's books so far and this was no exception. Very sweet story and hit all the marks for me.
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Liv Green cleans the home of her favourite author Essie Starling.  When Essie suddenly passes away, Liv is charged with the responsibility of carrying out Essies final, dying wish, to finish her final novel. The twentieth in series featuring a beloved and treasured character.  
Wanting to do her favourite character proud, Liv dives in and uncovers some secrets that touch very close to home. 

An enjoyable book with interesting characters. But not much happens in this story
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I have read and loved all of Patrick's work. The style of this one was somewhat different. More of the story is in the thoughts of Liv and while there is dialogue, it is less the central part of the story. I really enjoyed the plot and watching Liv navigate the months after Essie's death. Her path is uncertain and hold both joy and pain, but lovely for all of it.
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Like many of us, Liv uses books as her escape into a brave and exciting world. Her world is small and ordinary, but when she gets the chance to finish writing her favorite author’s final books Liv gets to live a life she’s never dreamed of. Stepping into Essie Starling’s shoes for 6 months, Liv starts to discover the secrets the author kept, but also a bit more about who Liv is and what she wants in life. 
Liv’s story is ultimately about a woman on the precipice of a big change in her life. As Liv examines her life and the life of her favorite author the reader will see moments of love, living life fully, bravery, loss and pain. The weaving together of two women’s life is told in such a relatable way. You cannot help but feel for both women as they navigate through various challenges in their way. I enjoyed this story and felt inspired to be a bit braver myself after reading it.
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This is a splendid book! The story tells of a woman who is a major fan of a book character, following a strange, difficult challenge set for her by the book author. I was completely absorbed by Olivia, and her encyclopedic knowledge of a book series she discovered as a girl. Highly recommend!
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This is a wonderful story about following your dreams, gaining confidence, going outside your comfort zone, and discovering who you want to be. It is also about rekindling a troubled marriage during the “empty nest” stage of your life. This book mentions a lot of other novels. It is also about the joy and escape books can give us.  I really liked this book. 

 It is a great book and one that I think would be good for book clubs. There are good discussion points and the back of the novel has discussion questions. 

Thank you Net Galley and Harlequin Trade Publishing, Park Row for this digital arc in exchange for my honest review which is not affiliated with any brand.

#NetGalley #TheMessyLivesofBookPeople
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