Category Archives: Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Review: The Sisters Club by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

sisters clubTitle: The Sisters Club by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Publisher: Diversion Books
Genre: Contemporary, Women’s Fiction
Length: 340 pages
Book Rating: B+

Complimentary Review Copy Provided by Publisher


Some families you are born into. Some you choose. And some choose you.

Four women have little in common other than where they live and the joyous complications of having sisters. Cindy waits for her own life to begin as she sees her sister going in and out of hospitals. Lise has made the boldest move of her life, even as her sister spends every day putting herself at risk to improve the lives of others. Diana is an ocean apart from her sister, but worries that her marriage is the relationship separated by the most distance. Sylvia has lost her twin sister to breast cancer, a disease that runs in the family, and fears that she will die without having ever really lived.

When Diana places an ad in the local newsletter, Cindy, Lise, and Sylvia show up thinking they are joining a book club, but what they discover is something far deeper and more profound than any of them ever imagined.

With wit, charm, and pathos, this mesmerizing tale of sisters, both born and built, enthralls on every page.


In The Sisters Club by Lauren Baratz-Logsted, four very diverse women form an unlikely friendship that changes their lives. This heartwarming novel is a realistic depiction of their friendship and the various up and downs they encounter as they embark on life-altering events.

Diana Taylor is newly married and a little lonely since leaving Great Britain to move to the US with her husband, Dan. After yet another unsettling conversation with her sister, Artemis, she places an ad in hopes of meeting other women she can connect with. Much to her delight, Lise Barrett, Sylvia Goldsmith and Cindy Cox answer the ad and despite their somewhat awkward introduction, the women soon become close friends. After no-nonsense, outspoken Sylvia challenges the women to do something about the areas of their lives they are dissatisfied with, they eagerly begin working on their goals.

Diana’s weight has always been an issue for her and after Sylvia’s common sense advice, she researches weight-loss options. She quickly decides to undergo gastric bypass surgery while Dan is out of town for a business trip. The only problems? She makes the decision without talking it over with Dan and her recovery is not as easy as she thought it would be. Delighted with the immediate effects of the surgery, Diana is soon obsessed with daily weigh-ins, counting calories and exercise. Although her weight loss is dramatic and she is ecstatic with the results, her self-esteem remains low and she requires enormous amounts of reassurance about her new look. Her relationship with Dan also continues to deteriorate as Diana strikes up a long distance friendship that goes in a questionable direction.

Lise is a college professor who put aside her dream to write a novel after she began her teaching career. She has been involved an in on again/off again relationship with Tony DiCaprio for quite a few years and she does not plan on making any changes to their arrangement. After Sylvia’s blunt advice, she quickly begins working on a novel but finds it difficult to balance writing with her regular job. Lise makes an impulsive decision that shocks her family and jeopardizes her relationship with Tony.

Cindy Cox lives with her boyfriend, Eddie and works at a lingerie store in the mall.  Her dream is to have a baby and after hearing Sylvia’s suggestion, she throws out her birth control. She quickly gets pregnant but her life with Eddie is anything but stable and once everyone realize how volatile he is, Sylvia whisks her away to safety. Cindy then must decide whether returning to Eddie is the best choice for her and her unborn child.

Sylvia is gruff and plainspoken but she has a heart of gold. She has never married and she is still mourning the loss of her twin sister, Minnie. She is reluctant to talk about her problems but after a health scare, she forms an unexpectedly close bond with Cindy. Diana’s weight-loss surgery pulls the women together and Sylvia eventually becomes the group’s unofficial mother figure. While Sylvia does not really have any big issues initially, a surprising friendship with Dr. Sunil “Sunny” Gupta leads to the possibility of a romance and an unexpected job opportunity also comes her way.

While there are several secondary story arcs for each of the women, The Sisters Club is easy to follow. The chapters alternate between the four women’s points of view, but these perspective changes are clearly marked at the beginning of each chapter. The characters are beautifully developed with easy to relate to flaws and imperfections. The women’s relationships are realistically portrayed and the dynamics between them ebb and flow throughout the story. Tempers sometimes flare and the various relationships occasionally become tense but everyone easily sets aside their differences to support their friends when needed.

An absolutely delightful story that resonates with genuine emotion, The Sisters Club by Lauren Baratz-Logsted is a heartfelt and engaging novel that I highly recommend to readers of contemporary fiction.

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Filed under Contemporary, Diversion Books, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Rated B+, Review, The Sisters Club, Women's Fiction

Review: Pursuing the Times by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Title: Pursuing the Times by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Genre: Contemporary, Romance, Comedy
Length: 257 pages
Book Rating: B

Review Copy Obtained from Author


All that popular Chick-Lit author Mercury Lauren wants is to have one of her books reviewed by the New York Times Book Review – just one – and she’ll do almost anything to get it. In this contemporary romantic comedy, with a nod toward Pride and Prejudice she crosses swords and hearts with the Editor-in-Chief of the NYTBR in a madcap adventure that takes her from her home in Westport to a yoga retreat to a golf course in Florida. Will she get what she wants and will she finally be happy if she does? Only one thing’s for certain: nothing will stop her from Pursuing the Times.

The Review:

Pursuing the Times is a fun story about Mercury Laruen’s slightly over the top pursuit of a book review by Frank D’Arcangelo, the Editor-in-Chief of the New York Times Book Review. Lauren Baratz-Logsted also provides readers with some thought-provoking observations on what it means for an author to be cast as a writer of “chick lit” fiction versus literary fiction.

Lead protagonist Mercury Lauren has a successful writing career and she works as an author full time. The only thing that remains tantalizingly out of reach is a coveted book review by the New York Times Book Review. When she meets Frank D’Arcangelo at a social event, she unwittingly insults the one man with the power to provide that review. Mercury quickly realizes her mistake but her efforts at damage control further alienate Frank and she then comes up with one outrageous scheme after another to convince him to take both her and her novels seriously.

Mercury is a rather quirky protagonist whose eccentricities are both endearing and annoying. She is stubborn, insecure, self-centered and slightly neurotic, but she can also be sympathetic, understanding and quite caring towards her friends and family. Despite her success, her family does not read her books nor do they take her lucrative career seriously. Mercury hates the fact that her novels are labeled “chick lit” and she is relentless in her zeal to be considered a literary author.

Frank is a man of strong convictions. He proves to be a worthy match for Mercury and he does not bat an eyelash at her crazy antics. Frank is willing to admit when he is wrong and even when Mercury is at her most stubborn, he takes the time to express his side of the issue that is coming between them.

The secondary cast of characters is just as offbeat as Mercury. Her BFF Angel also happens to be her agent and Angel has the arduous task of talking sense into Mercury on numerous occasions. But Mercury’s loyalty to Angel is boundless and she always has Angel’s back. Mercury’s brother Ralph moves in with Mercury when his marriage hits a snag and while they may not always get along, they would do just about anything for one another.

Lauren Baratz-Logsted has written another fast moving novel that is chock full of witty dialogue, self-deprecating humor and realistic characters who make all too human mistakes. The romantic element is understated, but it culminates in a very steamy scene that is romantic yet full of humor. While Mercury’s exploits are sometimes borderline irritating, Pursuing the Times is an entertaining story that fans of romantic comedies are sure to enjoy.

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Filed under Comedy, Contemporary, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Pursuing the Times, Rated B, Review, Romance, TKA Distrubution

The Bro-Magnet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted

Title: The Bro-Magnet by Lauren Baratz-Logsted
Publisher: TKA Distribution
Genre: Contemporary, Romance
Length: 213 pdf pages
Book Rating: B+

Review Copy Obtained from Publisher Through NetGalley


Women have been known to lament, “Always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” For Johnny Smith, the problem is, “Always a Best Man, never a groom.”

At age 33, housepainter Johnny has been Best Man eight times. The ultimate man’s man, Johnny loves the Mets, the Jets, his weekly poker game, and the hula girl lamp that hangs over his basement pool table. Johnny has the instant affection of nearly every man he meets, but one thing he doesn’t have is a woman to share his life with, and he wants that desperately.

When Johnny meets District Attorney Helen Troy, he decides to renounce his bro-magnet ways in order to impress her. With the aid and advice of his friends and family, soon he’s transforming his wardrobe, buying throw pillows, ditching the hula girl lamp, getting a cat and even changing his name to the more mature-sounding John. And through it all, he’s pretending to have no interest in sports, which Helen claims to abhor.

As things heat up with Helen, the questions arise: Will Johnny finally get the girl? And, if he’s successful in that pursuit, who will he be now that he’s no longer really himself? THE BRO-MAGNET is a rollicking comedic novel about what one man is willing to give up for the sake of love.

The Review:

Lauren Baratz-Logsted’s The Bro-Magnet is a refreshingly lighthearted romance that is highly entertaining and laugh out loud funny. What does a man have to do to catch the woman of his dreams? Follow the advice of friends and family and completely reinvent yourself into the man you think she wants. At least that’s what Johnny Smith does when he falls for Helen Troy.

A well-developed cast of characters brings The Bro-Magnet vibrantly to life. Loyal to his friends and dedicated to his small family, Johnny is an appealing protagonist. His eagerness to win Helen’s heart results in some very hilarious and often touching situations. Though sometimes skeptical, Johnny acts on his friends’ advice and by the novel’s end he is a bit more mature. He has also gained some valuable knowledge about himself and relationships.

Helen is a delightful surprise. She is from a large close-knit family and while she has an air of sophistication, she is down to earth. She is pretty agreeable to any date Johnny proposes. When some of those dates don’t turn out quite as expected, Helen rolls with the punches and has a good time.

While Johnny has a lot of male friends, Johnny’s best friend is lesbian gal pal Sam. As relationship challenged as he is, Sam does not understand women any better than Johnny does. Some of The Bro-Magnet’s best and funniest scenes take place between Sam and Johnny.

Written in first person from Johnny’s perspective, The Bro-Magnet is a wonderful change of pace. With plenty of self-deprecating humor, witty dialogue and charming characters Lauren Baratz-Logsted fully engages her readers in this fast-paced and unique romance. It is a fun read that will keep you laughing as Johnny and Helen find their happily ever after.


Filed under Contemporary, Lauren Baratz-Logsted, Rated B+, Romance, The Bro-Magnet, TKA Distrubution