Totlandia: The Onesies - Josie Brown (2012)

With the first book in this very delightful series, Josie Brown introduces us to four women who will do anything to ensure their children have the best possible start in life. For these ladies, that means applying for and being accepted for membership in the very exclusive Pacific Heights Moms and Tots Club. A club that is for mums only who are married and do not work outside the home. The women are part of a group of six who made the final cut and now have to compete for one of the four open slots. What makes this story so interesting is that these women are hiding at least one secret that would disqualify them. Totlandia: The Onesies was my first book by this very talented author, but will definitely not be my last. I really enjoyed meeting Lorna, Ally, Jade and Jillian. Each character brings an interesting backstory and likable personality to the mix and I thoroughly enjoyed how quickly they all connected and began forming a bond. I have a feeling this club can get pretty cut-throat with backstabbing and betrayal, so strong and loyal friends are definitely needed here. The story moves at a very good pace with many laugh-out-loud moments. Initially, I was worried that I wouldn't be able to keep everyone straight, but that fear quickly passed as the main characters are quickly revealed. Overall, this was a very good start to a series that promises a lot of laughter and snarky sarcasm. I feel so much anticipation about what will happen next, you'd think I had submitted an application to the club, too. Kudos to Josie Brown for a very good book and giving me several hours of reading enjoyment. (SH)

Totlandia is the first book in a series from Josie Brown about the mommy set. The summary says: "The Pacific Heights Moms & Tots Club is the most exclusive children's playgroup in all of San Francisco. For the city's ultra-competitive elite, the club's 10 annual spots are the ultimate parenting prize. But not everyone is PHM&TC material. The club's founder, Bettina Connaught Cross, adheres to strict membership rules: Moms only. No single parents or working mothers allowed. Membership is an arduous commitment. And there's no room in the club for scandal, bad behavior, or imperfection...from tots or their moms. In a world of power and prestige, no one has more than Bettina. And as every mom in Pacific Heights knows, you simply cannot cross her. But this year's admissions process is more rigorous than ever, pitting prospective members against each other to prove their mettle. But four of the six candidates vying for the remaining four slots have a secret that would knock them out of the running. Jade is a former stripper and porn actress, who has been absent for most of her son's life. Jillian's husband cleaned out their joint accounts and left her for his pregnant assistant. Ally never even had a husband - just a sperm donor - and she's hiding a high-ranking corporate job. And Lorna fears that her son may have special needs... just the excuse her sister-in-law, Bettina, needs to deny her entry to the club. Can these hopeful moms keep up appearances long enough to outlast the competition? Or will their chances - and their private lives - go up in flames?" This is the first of four books that follow the women during "the Onesies," their inaugural year in the club. Upcoming books - to be released in four episodes each year - will follow subsequent years: the Twosies, Threesies, Foursies, and Fivesies.

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