Best Laid Plans and Other Disasters

Cambria Trilogy, Volume 2

Fiction - Womens
Kindle Edition
Reviewed on 01/28/2017
Buy on Amazon

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Author Biography

Amy Rivers was born and raised in southern New Mexico and currently resides in Colorado with her husband and kids. She has a Master's degree with concentrations in Psychology and Politics, two topics she loves to incorporate into her personal essays and novels. Amy has been published in Chicken Soup for the Soul: Inspiration for Nurses, Novelty Bride Magazine, and Splice Today. Her first novel, Wallflower Blooming, was published in August 2016. Best Laid Plans & Other Disasters, the second book in the Cambria series, was released in January 2017.

    Book Review

Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Best Laid Plans & Other Disasters: Cambria Trilogy, Volume 2 is a women’s fiction novel written by Amy Rivers. Gwen Marsh was a natural at politics. She thrived on the interaction between her constituents and other politicians, and she knew she could make a difference. Winning the mayoral election in Cambria, Colorado was a dream come true and the start in her climb to the Governorship of that state. The win had not come easily; her opponent fought bitterly against her, and some of his allies were still in the city council. Karen Fredrickson, the City Manager, seemed set on making Gwen’s political existence a hellish one, and it seemed strange to Gwen as they had been friendly before the election. Gwen’s relationship with Jason had also gotten tense since she became mayor. His position in the city government and their relationship were being subjected to intense scrutiny, causing her to avoid having any personal interactions with him during work hours. While they had been close for a year now, it seemed that their relationship was floundering. In contrast, Gwen’s cousin, Val, and Jason’s best friend, John, were happily planning their upcoming marriage. Each argument or sharp exchange between her and Jason seemed a prelude to the inevitable breakup, and Gwen just didn’t know if that was a good or bad thing at this point.

Amy Rivers’ contemporary women’s fiction novel, Best Laid Plans & Other Disasters: Cambria Trilogy, Volume 2, is a well-written and entertaining look at the challenges professional women face in both their personal and professional lives. Gwen’s status as being the first woman, and the youngest, mayor of Cambria leaves her vulnerable to attacks by her former peers, and her relationship with Jason seems to be suffering as a result. Can she have it all -- and does she really want to? Best Laid Plans is the second book in Rivers’ Cambria Trilogy, but the author gives enough background information to enable this book to be enjoyed as a standalone novel. Her characters are authentic, and the situations they find themselves in seem true-to-life. Rivers also covers the effects of pregnancy on women’s careers and the issue of choice as it relates to both partners in a relationship. Best Laid Plans & Other Disasters: Cambria Trilogy, Volume 2 is highly recommended.

Rabia Tanveer

Best Laid Plans & Other Disasters: Cambria Trilogy Volume 2 by Amy Rivers is the story of how your best laid plans can take an unpredictable turn when you don’t expect it. The story follows Gwen Marsh, the Mayor of Cambria, Colorado. After one year in the position, Gwen is finally accepting that her life is not going as she had planned. Even though everything followed through as she expected, working as the mayor of a city is catching up to her. Thank goodness for her loving boyfriend who is always there as her support system!

Now, her past allies are against her, there are conflicts among her co-workers and subordinates, and her personal life is going down the drain. There was a definite strain on her relationship with her boyfriend, Jason, but when he accepts a job that takes him out of the state almost every week, she has no idea what she should do to preserve her relationship and keep her job. A new development turns her already messy life upside down, and now Gwen has to make some tough but necessary decisions. What can she do when life and her plans just won’t cooperate?

This is definitely a great novel. I loved reading about Gwen, her dilemma, and the constant upheavals in her life. Her emotions were all over the place and I loved the humor in many scenes. This novel literally had me on the verge of laughing out loud at some points. I think that this story will connect with many women who work a hectic job and try to maintain a personal life. Gwen is likable and relatable. I felt a connection with her right from the beginning, even though I have not read the first book in the series. This is definitely a 5-star novel!

Benjamin Ookami

Best Laid Plans and Other Disasters is the second volume in Amy Rivers' Cambria Trilogy. While things are looking up in the relationship of soon-to-be-married couple Val and John, Cambria's newly elected mayor Gwen's relationship with Jason might be on the verge of coming to an end. Karen, the city manager, also has it in for Gwen, causing Gwen's stress levels to soar every time they meet. As a result, Gwen becomes irritated and dismissive towards the people who love her. One day, when Jason is away due to the location of his new job, thanks to Karen, Gwen ends up in hospital and finds out something unexpected. It appears she will be having a baby. Raised by unloving parents, is she ready to take on the job of motherhood?

This is a well-structured novel with writing that flows naturally. The author allows a lot of room for Gwen and Jason to grow and fight their own battles. Karen is a villainous co-worker for readers to absolutely hate because of everything she does and says to Gwen, who I couldn't help but admire for always remaining as calm as possible whenever their paths crossed. Because of Karen's handiwork, Jason is forced to take on a new job, but this job presents a new kind of obstacle which goes by name of Alex. Alex is an attractive young woman with whom Jason enjoys spending time. Gwen, meanwhile, has a stalker to deal with as well. Rivers keeps this true to life novel about a small town mayor interesting until the end.