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Showing posts from October, 2013

The Winter Sea by Susanna Kearsley

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One winter day blanketed with snow, historical fiction writer Carrie McClelland took a different turn down an unknown road to pass by the ruined castle of Slains in a coastal town of Scotland. Beguiled by its savage beauty by the edge of the cliffs, it had struck to her the much needed inspiration to finish the next book she was writing, about the Stewarts in the 1700s. On the day she stops by the castle, she meets someone whose eyes are the color of winter sea as the ruins poke her mind with sudden possible scenes using the name of her ancestor, Sophia, to begin her story.

Little did she realize that the plotted events of the distant past seems to be the one maneuvering her writing and her imagination, mysteriously connecting the ancient times to it, appallingly unfolding a betrayal that wrecked havoc in history.

The lines drawn between fiction, history and reality almost blurs on this pleasant novel of Susanna Kearsley, the first in the Slains series, using time travel to hook read…

Awakening by Elene Sallinger

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River Rock, Vermont, 2011. This is the story of Claire Ryan and Evan Lang. 35-year-old Claire joins a local book club for romance readers in order to get over the breakdown of her 10-year relationship, there she meets book shop owner Evan, a dominant man who has never recovered from the sudden death of his submissive wife. As their relationship develops and they embark on the path of Claire's submission, it becomes harder and harder for Evan to keep his emotional distance. Claire is open and responsive and he wants her badly, but refuses to let himself go. As Claire falls deeper in love with Evan, she realizes that he is holding back and decides to end their relationship, forcing Evan to confront his own past and his feelings in order to save his new love (Goodreads)

Review:
I haven't been engrossed in a book of this genre for a long time. Awakening was simply great. There were so many things going for it but in the end it all comes down to how everything just clicked into pla…

Isn't She Lovely by Lauren Layne

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Amazingly good! Lauren Layne's Isn't She Lovely maybe a remade Pygmalion tale but the writing makes it a totally unique story. If you like those romantic movies featuring heroine makeovers then this one is for you. If you like your heroine wearing a lot of black, complete with eyeliners, tatoos and several ear piercings then this is definitely for you. If you want your heroines flipping the bird at the hero even when she feels otherwise then you have the right book. Stephanie and Ethan are not your perfect couple, in fact they aren't really a couple at all. Goth girl film student Stephanie is stuck having Ethan for a partner in film class. While preppy rich Ethan doesn't even know how to handle this snarky midget Morticia never mind that he seems to oddly find her attractive. They needed to do a project and decided to zero in on Pygmalion themed films. However, Ethan got the bright idea to base the script on real life, theirs. I love romantic comedies and Is…

Heating Up The Holidays by Lisa Renee Jones, Mary Ann Rivers, Serena Bell

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Heating Up the Holidays was a great read. This anthology was thoughtfully put together to center around three holidays, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year's Eve. Each story reflects the theme of each holiday in totally remarkable ways befitting these three very talented writers.
In Play With Meby Lisa Renee Jones, Kali Miller wants to start fresh. Having Damion Ward as her boss was not what she expected. Confronted with a typical alpha male, Kali's character was definitely a unique one, she knows how to hold her own and doesn't pull any punches. A Thanksgiving celebration shows her that life has a way of giving you what you need without you knowing it. This was a well written novella despite the fact there was a lot of stuff going on and sometimes felt a bit rushed especially near the end but still a good story.

Mary Ann Rivers' Snowfall, was a poignant, introspective tale centered around Christmas time. Ms. Rivers is one of the few authors I've read who can…

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green

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“What is the point of being alive if you don't at least try to do something remarkable?” 
Child prodigy (not quite a genius) and anagram loving Colin Singleton has dated and has been dumped nineteen times in his whole life. All of the girls he has dated has one thing in common - they're all named Katherine. When the most recent Katherine (aka Katherine XIX) dumped him after their high school graduation, he embarks on a road trip with his best friend Hassan Harbish. The road trip led them to the rural town of Gutshot, Tennessee where they met spunky "paramedic-in-training" Lindsay Lee Wells and the Collin and Hassan ended up working for her mother, Hollis. Colin then finds himself on a mission to prove a mathematical theory that will predict the future of a relationship.

What Not To Bare by Megan Frampton

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What Not To Bare was an all out delightful read that will have you smiling insanely page after page. There has never been a female lead quite like Charlotte with her sense of style (or lack of), utterly charming curiosity and wonderful sense of self. While David is the epitome of all gorgeous male leads who had the audacity to question the usefulness of said looks when you have nothing else to offer. This was one love story you wouldn't have imagined between two people who thought that the other wasn't entirely for them. This book will have you on your toes, expecting what's next and getting something else entirely. Engaging and entertaining, with its witty dialogue, relatable and very likable characters and a romance that will sweep you off your feet. I love Charlotte, I love how defiant she was in her own way, of trying to assert her sense of self in a time where women were expected to behave in a certain manner. Her self esteem might be low due in part to socie…

Window (Paris Secrets #1) by Michele Renae

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There was something so engaging about this novel that you simply could not put it down. Window, is straight up erotica with voyeurism and exhibitionism done with class and soul. Primarily told in the first POV, mostly as monologue, we find our female lead living the good life in Paris. She isn't looking for love, she is looking for a sexual adventure. One day, right across from her apartment, through her window, she spies her very sexy neighbor. Here begins their trysts, an affair conducted just by sight. The story was funny, so sexy and erotic, lighthearted at first you are simply captivated by the main characters. They remain nameless to each other, she doesn't know his voice, his touch, all she has is the nights they spend in front of their respective windows. It doesn't stop there however, as their relationship progresses, the longing to actually go further develops. The ending was a bit of a cliffhanger but done really well. I really liked this one and hopef…

Blog Tour: Shock Me by Ashley Harris

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In a small town of East Applegate in the shadow of a huge power plant, things seemed the way it always was for years. 
Donna Young is still the shy, unpopular, family-turned-poor gymnast girl moving through the school halls with her equally unpopular friends, Spencer and Rebecca while her longtime secret crush, Ryan Applegate, hangs out with the popular jocks with his cheerleader captain girlfriend, Lynn and his hot-tempered older brother Randy. Never mind that the used-to-be child hood friends barely speak to each other nowadays them being in the opposite sides of the social circle. Never mind that they actually jog side by side on familiar paths almost every morning without talking at all. It has become an odd routine somewhat until odder things started happening.

When a careening car hitting her, that should have gotten her fatally wounded, suddenly went through her body as she turned into brilliant points of light, as if her body is as light as air, everything she knew about hers…

Simply Irresistible, The Sweetest Thing, Head over Heels (Lucky Harbor Series #1-3) by Jill Shalvis

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Lucky Harbor Series #1 
Maddie Moore's whole life needs a makeover.

In one fell swoop, Maddie loses her boyfriend (her decision) and her job (so not her decision). But rather than drowning her sorrows in bags of potato chips, Maddie leaves L.A. to claim the inheritance left by her free-spirited mother—a ramshackle inn nestled in the little coastal town of Lucky Harbor, Washington.

Starting over won't be easy. Yet Maddie sees the potential for a new home and a new career—if only she can convince her two half-sisters to join her in the adventure. But convincing Tara and Chloe will be difficult because the inn needs a big makeover too.

The contractor Maddie hires is a tall, dark-haired hottie whose eyes—and mouth—are making it hard for her to remember that she's sworn off men. Even harder will be Maddie's struggles to overcome the past, though she's about to discover that there's no better place to call home than Lucky Harbor. *  Lucky Harbor Series #2
Two Men Are One T…

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak

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Words have convoluted themselves in my mind only to leave me utterly speechless. This is the beauty of The Book Thief. It is one of the few books one must read at least once in a lifetime.

It is the time of Herr Fuhrer. In the narrow streets of Molching, Liesel Meminger learned what a young girl like her could to live under the gaze of her foster parents, unruly neighborhood kids, the German sky and Hitler: stealing books.

Meanwhile, Death is kept busy gathering out souls as the sky shifted colors on every impending death before his very eyes. Thus begins this story as told by Death about this little book thief who, at first, could not know how to read. As she learns to read, under the help of her accordion-playing foster father, and the words start to make sense in Liesel's mind, she has yet to know what stealing books will bring her unto.

There are books I have mentioned before that breaks my heart into pieces, but not of ripping my soul in two. This book is but one. Death, as …

The Wager by Rachel Van Dyken

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This is a great rom com with just enough laughs to get you going.  Read my review here.  Grandma Nadine needs her own book!
THE WAGER is currently on sale for 99 cents
What is it about a junior-high crush that can send an otherwise intelligent woman into a tailspin? TV reporter Char Lynn wishes she knew. Jake Titus is too rich, too handsome, too arrogant: a trifecta that once lured Char into the best night-and worst morning-after-of her life. Now they've been thrown together in a wedding party. It's awkward, but survivable . . . until Jake stops acting like a jerk, and starts acting like the man she'd always hoped he could be.

If watching your brother marry your best friend is weird, being attracted to your best friend's other best friend is downright bizarre. Unfortunately for Jake, Char hasn't forgotten how he once tossed her aside. Worse still, Jake's already-nutty grandma is even crazier about Char. Cue meet-cute shenanigans and all manner of meddling, and …

Granny Is My Wingman by Kayli Stollak

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At twenty-three, Kayli Stollak, like most starry-eyed twentysomethings, assumed that she and her boyfriend, Charlie, would be together forever. Besides a rockin’ sex life, they shared a passion for motorcycle adventures, hedonistic European music festivals, and wearing matching glittery spandex to the disco. What more could a gal ask for? She envisioned their love burning well into their sixties.

And then he dumped her.

Heartbroken, Kayli turned to her seventy-five-year-old granny for support. And this ain’t no ordinary granny. Granny Gail is a ball-busting, sh*t-talking, gossipy yenta with an anecdote or piece of unsolicited advice for every situation. Granny didn’t sugarcoat the truth or let Kayli dwell on her failed relationship. No, Granny told her to cut the crap and snap out of it. Why didn’t Kayli give “one of those dating websites” a shot? With her ego on the line, Kayli threw the dare right back at her—if it was so wonderful, why didn’t single Granny join her in the world of cy…

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn by Betty Smith

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It starts with a serene day in Brooklyn in the early years of the twentieth century, a description of a little fire escape, a little corner facing a big tree in the yard; a metaphorical figure looming over Francie Nolan's growing years. It is a quiet coming of age classic about a girl's dreams, about Brooklyn and the American social classes, about immigrants and being poor, about the luminescent characters of two different families: the strong Rommely women and despairing Nolan men. In the outskirts, it is also about a tree.

Francie Nolan is an eleven-year-old girl living in a small apartment with her brother Neeley, her mother Katie, a pretty scrub woman and her father Johnny, the impeccably handsome Irish singing waiter with an on and off job at the union. With the book spanning Francie's life from a young girl to a budding young woman against the backdrop of the shifting years in Williamsburg, we are given glimpses of her honest thoughts and struggles, despair against …

Blog Tour: Feather Light by Lorenz Font

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When Parker, a gifted masseuse, and Kelly, a celebrated actress meet, sparks didn't fly right away.  Instead, Kelly poured out all her woes between sobs and mumbling while Parker, with his feather light touch continued to give her comfort.  He was intrigued by this client in turn Kelly was mesmerized by him.  The next time they meet, Kelly had an ulterior motive he was more than happy to oblige.  What happens was steamy enough to make them realize they wanted more, but how far were they willing to reveal their secrets to get their happy ending.
Feather Lightwas an unexpected read in so many ways.  It was a roller coaster ride of heat, sweetness, heartache and enough costumes and disguises to keep a theater company going.   The writing was good, with great dialogues and insights regarding love and relationships.  Parker's condition, that of gradually going blind, was tackled well.  Kelly's plight as an actress who has no privacy in her life was also given some depth as to h…

Cover Reveal: Pleasing The Pirate by Sharon Cullen

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Two hearts are wrenched between love and duty in Sharon Cullen’s tale of a ruthless pirate and the Scottish lass who fills him with desire for something greater than plunder.
With her clan’s crops burned and their property confiscated, Mairi McFadden is desperate to free her brother from imprisonment so that he can take his rightful place as chief. Her only hope is the fierce English pirate Phin Lockwood, but the buccaneer laughs at her meager funds. His roving eyes, however, tell Mairi there’s something else he’ll take in exchange for her brother’s rescue. Though she burns with hatred for the English, she’ll do anything to save her clan.

The crown has made it clear that Phin has two choices: bring in a certain Scottish traitor or hang. And he’s not about to let a tiny, whiskey-eyed woman get in his way, even if she is pointing a gun at him. When Phin learns that Mairi’s brother is the very man he seeks, he’s more than willing to use the lass as bait. But as the moment of capture draws …

Come As You Are by Theresa Weir

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Come As You Are was unexpectedly good. I had no expectations when I started reading this book. In fact, it was a relatively simple story with a very common trope used in most new adult novels. A young woman, with a secret in her past that is so overwhelming it has affected who she is and how she relates to others. So what was so engaging about it then? First and foremost is the writing; flawless, engaging, simple prose with emotions practically dripping from the page without being too angsty or overly dramatic. Molly's character simply resonates day to day survivor, trying to keep her head above water. She makes no apologies nor excuses for how she is but the minute she meets Ian everything changes but not enough to reclaim herself. I like how Molly's situation was tackled, the honesty, the confusion, the mistakes and the conflicted emotions. I love the way Ian was shown as levelheaded good guy, who was also confused emotionally but when push comes to shove, he respect…

The Angel Stone (Fairwick Chronicles #3) by Carol Goodman aka Juliet Dark

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"I said their names as I walked through the woods. William, Liam, Bill. William, Liam, Bill. The same name, really. William, I had read once, meant desire. Their last names-Duffy, Doyle, Carey--all meant dark. My dark desire. Come into the light."

The Angel Stone was a great finale to a fantastic trilogy(The Demon Lover #1 andThe Water Witch #2). Starting where the last book ended, Callie finds herself, along with the remaining fey and witches, fighting against the reign of the Nephilim while struggling to find her power as doorkeeper and dealing with the lost of her love. I like the tone of these books, more so in this one. The theme of fairy tales and old world myths was so seamlessly incorporated into the story, you start believing in them once again. The writing was so vivid, so detailed, but still so humorous and so very heartwarming that you get into the story so much you don't want to put it down. Callie and her posse of witches, fey and students were re…

The Historian by Elizabeth Kostova

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It seems being a historian is quite the curse, especially if part of a never ending one.

Kostova's debut novel is a sort of delicious first bite reeking of palpable evil, but you still want to taste it anyway. The Historian is a suspenseful adventure of literary studies, ancient history and blood sucking. Yes, and I think you already know what I mean. It is a story that unravels piece by piece through a series of letters and historical notes and each is like a doorway opening into another only to find what seems to be a dark bottomless hole. The book is read in a volley of time, going back and forth between the past and the present packing a lot of historical details and spookiness.

A young woman, an unnamed sixteen-year old narrator, finds an ancient book and old letters in her father's library after he vanishes which spurned events that will haunt her days and the mysteries about the truth surrounding herself, the truth that may challenge world's history. She reads the …

Killer Image (An Allison Campbell Mystery #1) by Wendy Tyson

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As Philadelphia’s premier image consultant, Allison Campbell helps others reinvent themselves, but her most successful transformation was her own after a scandal nearly ruined her. Now she moves in a world of powerful executives, wealthy, eccentric ex-wives and twisted ethics. 

When Allison’s latest Main Line client, the fifteen-year-old Goth daughter of a White House hopeful, is accused of the ritualistic murder of a local divorce attorney, Allison fights to prove her client’s innocence when no one else will. But unraveling the truth brings specters from her own past. And in a place where image is everything, the ability to distinguish what’s real from the fa├žade may be the only thing that keeps Allison alive.

Part of the Henery Press Mystery Series Collection, if you like one, you'll probably like them all! KILLER IMAGE is the first in the Allison Campbell mystery series.

Review:
Killer Image was definitely a page turner.  A murder has disrupted  Main Line, PA and caught in the midd…