Books are food for my soul! Pull up a beach chair and stick your toes in the sand as the Jersey surf rolls in and out, now open your book and let your imagination take you away.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Living in Glass Houses by Zoe McKnight (Author Guest Post / Book Review)

In association with Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours, Jersey Girl Book Reviews welcomes Zoe McKnight, author of Living in Glass Houses!

Author Guest Post

A theme I explored in Living in Glass Houses was choosing between love and security. It piqued my interest because it’s a constant debate amongst my friends. Do you follow your heart or follow your head? Some people in this world are lucky enough to have both, but what if having one means forgoing the other?

Jackie Onassis was quoted as saying, “the first time you marry for love, the second for money and the third for companionship.” Sounds a bit dispassionate, but as we creep into our mid-to-late thirties, the realities of life smack us across our rouged cheeks and we realize that life is about decisions. And with each passing year they become more driven by our minds and less by our hearts.

In Living in Glass Houses my character, Jonathan, is beset with such a conflict; he’s faced with a choice between the safety and security of Lauryn and the passion and excitement of Bree. I won’t say which he chooses, but this is not an uncommon dilemma. Sadly, it is oftentimes the men we find who are good to us, aren’t good for us.

We’ve all seen the proverbial high school reunion TV episode, in which the hot jock who made all the girls swoon in senior year shows up at the reunion unemployed and driving a jalopy with nothing but tales of his heyday to keep him warm at night. And in walks the resident nerd, who everyone teased for his Walmart wardrobe and fascination with neurons; he has both a supermodel wife and a multi-million dollar portfolio thanks to the invention he created in his basement. A classic case of all that glitters ain’t gold and one woman’s trash is another’s treasure.

So, what to do? Choose the man who can no longer (or never did) light your fire, but has the makings of a trustworthy, doting husband and father or go for the fiery, passion-stirring beau? The Richard Burton to your Elizabeth Taylor. Those intense, high-voltage relationships rarely last, or at the least, they simply can’t maintain their fervor and there’s nothing like a mortgage and crying baby to douse the flames. In choosing that man, what kind of future are you signing up for? Maybe he’ll change, but maybe he won’t and if he does shed those magnetic traits that drew you to him in the first place, just maybe, he’ll lose his appeal.

There are arguments for both sides. You’ll hear old married couples say that you should choose someone you can talk to, a companion as Jackie O. calls it. Because when you fast forward thirty years when the kids are gone and the sex has slowed to a stop, companionship is all that’s going to matter anyhow. Then there are others that say playing it safe will result in infidelity, because you’ll never be completely fulfilled and will always be searching for that special ‘someone’.

None of us know for sure, but it’s a decision faced by many. One which keeps Jonathan up at night.

About The Author

Zoe McKnight was born and raised in New York City. When she’s not writing she can be found reading or satisfying her reality show fix. Her two favorite things are eggnog lattes and the love of her neurotic ten-year old cocker spaniel. Living in Glass Houses is her first novel. The sequel, 'Til Our Lies Do Us Part, will be released later this Fall.

Zoe McKnight's Living in Glass Houses Virtual Book Tour Page On Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours

Book Review

Living in Glass Houses by Zoe McKnight
Publisher: Kelli Burgos
Publication Date: March 7, 2012 Paperback / February 18, 2012 Kindle
Format: Paperback - 318 pages / Kindle - 575 KB / Nook - 447 KB
ISBN: 0985096705
Genre: Women's Fiction

BUY THE BOOK: Living in Glass Houses

Disclaimer: I received a copy of the book from the author in exchange for my honest review and participation in a virtual book tour event hosted by Chick Lit Plus Blog Tours.

Book Description:

Living in Glass Houses is a contemporary story about three friends, all at a crossroads after discovering that even the best laid plans don’t always result in the life you want. It’s about navigating the murky waters of relationships and friendships and having the courage to make those hard, life-altering decisions which mark the difference between existing and living.

Jonathan is a do-gooding college basketball coach in a relationship with a woman whose Park Avenue upbringing is at constant odds with his Main Street way of life. It’s a life he’s conceded to accept until he meets a woman who awakens in him everything he's been missing and is now uncertain he can live without. 

Elle is a NYC editor whose type-A personality has afforded her a fulfilling lifestyle in which she rarely doesn’t get what she wants. That’s until a failed relationship causes her walls to come crashing down around her. The man, who everyone agreed was her perfect other half, leaves her confused, insecure and incapable of moving on, even after she meets someone who’s nothing like her, but who completes her in the strangest of ways.

Blair is an optimistic good girl, turned jaded wife. After ten years of a disappointing marriage, she decides to reclaim her happiness and fill the void left by her wealthy, philandering husband. Just when everything she’s ever dreamed of is finally within her grasp, she’s haunted by her past, forcing her to make a decision which will forever change the path of her life.

Book Excerpt:

Hours later Blair sat on the balcony enveloped by the warm Indian-summer air. A wine glass dangled between her fingers and an empty merlot bottle sat at her feet. She wished she could cry, anything to release the frustration, but she had no more tears. The well had run dry.

“Hey, baby.” She turned to find Vaughn standing in the doorway. She rolled her eyes and turned back around. He approached her, then swept her jet-black hair to the side, leaned over her shoulder and whispered, “I’m sorry.”

She responded with a sip of wine.

“I didn’t mean those things I said.”

Lies. It wasn’t the first time he’d berated her and it wouldn’t be the last.

“I was just stressed out about the whole situation, but you’ll be happy to know Stu got to the bottom of it and she retracted her story. He says I have a case for slander if I want to pursue it.”



“You mean libel, not slander.”

“Whatever. I have a case if I want to pursue it, but I don’t. I’m just glad it’s over.”

“Me too,” she said, her voice void of emotion.

“So, we’re good now?” It was more of a statement than a question. “Change your clothes. I’m taking you to dinner. Oh, and I have a little something for you.” He pointed to the dresser. On top sat a small black box adorned with a silver bow. “Go ahead and get ready. We have reservations for eight-thirty. I’m going to take a shower.”

An hour later they sat across from each other at his favorite Thai restaurant—the one she hated. The distraught, tear-stricken face she’d worn only an hour before was replaced by the demure, attractive one she always presented to the world. MAC had done wonders to conceal the dark circles beneath her almond-shaped eyes. Her lashes fluttered when she was complimented by the owner, who always made it his business to greet them after they’d been seated. No one was the wiser as the handsome couple exchanged strained banter over the dim candlelight.

“What a beautiful bracelet, Mrs. Hill,” the server gushed. “You’re a very lucky woman.”

Vaughn beamed. Blair offered her best artificial smile. “That I am.”

It was that night Blair promised herself she would never again be made to feel so worthless. The time had come for her to let go of the fantasy and accept her marriage for what it really was—an arrangement, a business deal, a meeting of minds. Their vows clearly meant nothing. She’d finally gotten the message. It was loud. It was clear.

The memory of that day was one she turned to whenever her guilt got the best of her. It silenced her conscience and justified her behavior. Her excitement grew when she glimpsed her favorite sign, Pennsylvania Welcomes You. Just a little while longer and she’d be in Philadelphia where Dylan would extinguish the final embers of her guilt.

My Book Review:

Living in Glass Houses is a story that revolves around the lives of three friends: Jonathan, Elle and Blair, and the intricate complexities of their romantic relationships. Each is at a crossroads in their lives, and the story is a portrayal of their issues, choices and decisions that they make as they navigate the murky waters of their relationships, and how their decisions will make life-altering changes in their lives. The story touches upon such relationship issues as: love, friendship, family, strength, betrayal, forgiveness, redemption and second chances.

In her debut novel, author Zoe McKnight weaves an intriguing and realistic tale of the complexities of romantic relationships in the third person narrative with alternating chapter perspectives of Jonathan, Elle and Blair. The reader is drawn into the lives of these three friends from New York, it is easy to get caught up in their lives and the dilemmas, issues, choices and decisions that they make in regard to their relationships. As you read about the trial and tribulations that each character encounters in their relationships, the author masterfully gives the reader a glimpse into their feelings, emotions and angst as they find themselves at a crossroads in their lives, and their struggle to find the courage to make the right decisions. This is a realistic and intense story that the reader can identify with and relate to, as we all at some time in our lives question the choices and decisions that we have made.

The cast of characters are realistic and complex people who have flaws and issues in their lives. Each has very different personalities and ways that they deal with their issues, I found myself drawn into each of their lives, there is something in each of them that I could identify with and relate to. Jonathan frustrated me, his indecision of which woman he wants to be in a relationship with drove me nuts ... the old saying "the grass is always greener..." comes to mind when I read his story. I found that I related to Elle the most out of the three characters. I too have a habit of thinking about past relationships and the "what ifs," but I found her to be a strong woman who isn't afraid to go after what she wants, and I really enjoyed how her story ended. As for Blair, her volatile marriage was an intense read that intrigued me so much, but it ends in an anti-climatic fashion that leaves the reader hanging, but I'm sure her story will resume in the sequel,  'Til Our Lies Do Us Part.

The storyline easily intertwines the individual stories of Jonathan, Elle and Blair in a flowing and seamless manner; it has engaging and realistic dialogue and interactions; and an underlying message of not passing judgment on others rings true, "people who live in glass houses shouldn't throw stones."

Living in Glass Houses is a realistic and intriguing story about the complexities and dichotomy of relationships that people encounter, the choices and decisions they make, and the road they choose to take in their lives.



  1. Replies
    1. Hi Samantha! This was a very intriguing book, I loved following the three stories. Thank you for the opportunity to read, review and host the virtual book tour event. :)

  2. Thanks for the review Kathleen!

    1. Hi Zoe! Loved the book, I look forward to reading the sequel. :)