Monday, 6 July 2015

Book Review (485): Letters To Zell - Camille Griep


Letters to Zell

Publication: 1st July 2015
Publisher: 47North
Pages: 336
Genre: Fantasy
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Buy It: Amazon
Everything is going according to story for CeCi (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White), and Rory (Sleeping Beauty)—until the day that Zell (Rapunzel) decides to leave Grimmland and pursue her life. Now, Zell’s best friends are left to wonder whether their own passions are worth risking their predetermined “happily ever afters,” regardless of the consequences. CeCi wonders whether she should become a professional chef, sharp-tongued and quick-witted Bianca wants to escape an engagement to her platonic friend, and Rory will do anything to make her boorish husband love her. But as Bianca’s wedding approaches, can they escape their fates—and is there enough wine in all of the Realm to help them?

In this hilarious modern interpretation of the fairy-tale stories we all know and love, Letters to Zell explores what happens when women abandon the stories they didn’t write for themselves and go completely off script to follow their dreams.
My Thoughts.
I've always been a big fan of fairytale retellings, especially when they're done really well and with a little something extra to let it stand out, and that's what you get with Letters To Zell.

Zell (Rapunzel) has left Grimmland to run a Unicorn Reserve with her husband and kids, and this is where the different takes on these famous fairytales begin, the stories of CeCi (Cinderella), Bianca (Snow White) and Rory (Sleeping Beauty) are told through letters to Zell.

Things aren't as great as we would be led to believe after all the happily ever afters, CeCi is under pressure to produce an heir, neither her nor her husband Edmund (Prince Charming) wants kids, and there's also her dream of becoming a chef, she also has her Stepmother and Stepsisters still living with her.

Bianca doesn't want to be Queen, isn't in love with her future husband and would rather live in the 'Outside' (our world) where on a visit with CeCi and Rory met Rachel whom she has developed feelings for, the problem she has is she must complete her story otherwise her world will cease to be.

Then we have Rory who is unhappy with her life, after her true first love was banished from Grimmland she got stuck with Henry, a serial cheater, and while Rory sort of has a clue about his extramarital affairs she turns a blind eye, desperate for a child of her own.

Through the story CeCi, Bianca and Rory will take matters into their own hands and create their own happily ever afters, their own endings, and the lives they've always wanted, except for one who will find that her life hasn't improved through no fault of her own.

Letters To Zell is at times humorous, adventurous and entertaining especially because of a certain Snow White, an antithesis of the character we're used to reading about, a swearing, finger flipping, bisexual who has no problem telling anyone and everyone exactly how it is.

Certainly nothing you would expect here from a retelling, but that's what makes it so different and exciting to read.

One of the best fairytale retellings I've ever read, and I've read quite a few.

If you're in the mood for something so unexpected from these characters then be sure to pick this book up, it's highly delightful.

I give this 4/5 stars.

About

Camille Griep lives just north of Seattle camillegriepheadshots-033with her partner, Adam, and their dog Dutch(ess). Born in Billings, Montana, she moved to Southern California to attend Claremont McKenna College, graduating with a dual degree in Biology and Literature.
She wrote her way through corporate careers in marketing, commercial real estate, and financial analysis before taking an sabbatical to devote more time to her craft in 2011.
She has since sold short fiction and creative nonfiction to dozens of online and print magazines. She is the editor of Easy Street and is a senior editor at The Lascaux Review. She is a 2012 graduate of Viable Paradise, a residential workshop for speculative fiction novelists.

Sunday, 5 July 2015

Book Review (484): The Stellow Project - Shari Becker


The Stellow Project

Pages: 305
Genre: Science-Fiction
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
The Stellow Project is a story that will keep you on your toes as you try to work out the mystery and secrecy surrounding Lilah, her sister Flori, their parents, the reasons behind Lilah's bad health and her parents past scientific experiments and projects.

After a deadly storm hits Manhattan with no warning, Lilah and Flori make their way to the family's cabin where their Dad is going to meet them, but days go by and their Dad doesn't show up, while watching the news they discover that he's wanted by the FBI for eco-terrorism, to make matters worse the medication that Lilah has to take every day without fail runs out, and that's when the story really takes off.

Lilah will discover things about her parents that will question everything she believed and thought she knew about them, and the reason for their Mom's disappearance years ago.

While the story was intense, suspenseful, with shocks and twists throughout, I wish the ending was more explanatory than it was, it left a lot of unanswered questions and there doesn't seem to be a sequel on the horizon, although I'd be definitely be sure to pick one up if there was, I'd just like the story and the loose ends to be wrapped up more, but other than that I thoroughly enjoyed every page, reading it in one day, one of those books you don't won't to put down.

All in all a great concept executed extremely well, highly recommended.

I give this 4/5 stars.


Shari Becker

Shari Becker was born in Montreal, Quebec, and was raised speaking both English and French. As a child, she spent her summers in the Adirondack Mountains catching fireflies, minnows, and toads. She has an MA from New York University and has worked for Nickelodeon, for Disney-owned companies, and even for an Emmy Award-winning puppeteer. She is the author of two picture books, including MAXWELL’S MOUNTAIN, a Junior Library Guild Selection and Charlotte Zolotow Honor Book. She now lives in Brookline, Massachusetts, with her husband, their two daughters, and their dog. She loves lakes, but despises the bridges that run over them.

(ARC) Book Review (483): I Want You To Want Me (Rock Star Romance #2) - Erika Kelly


I Want You to Want Me (Rock Star Romance #2)

Publication: 7th July 2015
Publisher: Berkley
Pages: 352
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It: Amazon Barnes & Noble
From the award-winning author of You Really Got Me comes the next romance in her red-hot Rock Star Romance series, about a rocker who lives for his music—and loves with all his heart.

Derek Valencia finally has the success he’s worked so hard for. His band is touring its debut album and great reviews are rolling in. But when pictures of him tossing naked groupies off a balcony go viral, it’s damage-control time. He’s assigned a “babysitter” whose sole job is to keep him out of trouble.

Violet Davis swore she’d never work in the music industry again, but being a minder for a rock star will earn her enough to pay off the mortgage on her wildflower farm. And for a girl brought up in the foster care system, owning her own home means more to her than anything.

Though at first the two bang heads, the rocker and the farm girl soon grow close and realize that they make sweet music together. But can a girl who craves the stability of life on a farm really make it work with a man whose life is spent on the road with his band?
My Thoughts.
I Want You To Want Me is the second book in the Rock Star Romance series, this is Blue Fire's bassist Derek's book, paired up with Violet who is brought in to be the band's 'minder/sober companion' while they're on tour to direct their energy after shows to other things besides drugs, booze and random hook-up's.

Violet is very professional in her job with the set of rules she follows, the top one being not getting physically or emotionally involved with her clients, growing up in foster care has always led Violet to believe that she has no emotions or feelings, that kids that have no physical contact like hugs for example like she did will grow up unable to be in a proper relationship and so has closed herself off to the idea of loving someone or in return being loved.

Derek on the other hand has grown up with two parents who left him feeling ignored and unloved, the only person he really trusts is his sister Emmie, with his famous musician Father making derogatory remarks about him to the press whenever he can, Derek is determined to succeed and prove to his Dad and everyone one how successful he and his band are actually becoming.

With the intense attraction between the two of them, can they finally give a relationship a go or will Violet's misgivings drive a wedge between any potential romance they may have now or in the future.

Erika's second installment has everything you want in a contemporary romance, love conflict, extremely likeable characters and a great plot, I look forward to book three and discovering which member of the band will find love next.

I give this 4/5 stars.

erikakelly
Award-winning author Erika Kelly has been spinning romantic tales all her life—she just didn’t know it. Raised on the classics, she didn’t discover romantic fiction until later in life. From that moment on, she’s been devouring the genre and has found her true voice as an author. Over three decades she’s written poems, screenplays, plays, short stories, and all kinds of women’s fiction novels. Married to the love of her life and raising four children, she’s lived in two countries and seven states, but give her pen and paper, a stack of good books, and a steaming mug of vanilla chai latte and she can make her home anywhere.

Monday, 29 June 2015

(ARC) Book Review (482): Arrow's Hell (Wind Dragons MC #2) - Chantal Fernando


Arrow's Hell (Wind Dragons MC #2)

AmazonBarnes & Noble 
Arrow's Hell is the highly anticipated second book in the Wind Dragons MC series, and that is because of the male lead Arrow who I fell in love with in the first book, an intriguing and amusing character that I couldn't wait to read about with his own story, especially after the tragedy in the last book that left him a shell of the man that us readers grew to adore.

Anna is the sister of fellow Wind Dragons member Rake and out of bounds to any member, but that doesn't stop the immediate attraction that flares up between Arrow and Anna when they first meet, with Rake's over-protectiveness and Arrow's self-punishment it seems nothing will ever eventuate between the two, but denying their feelings for one another is futile, and explaining their relationship to Rake is not going to be easy, but they are ready and willing to give it a go and finally find the happiness they each both deserve.

I flew through the two books in this series in no time and I'm eager to get my hands on the next installment featuring my other favorite Wild Dragons member Tracker, I CAN NOT WAIT!

A highly addictive and steamy series that will only leave you begging for more.

I can't recommend this series enough, trust me you'll love it!

Another home run for Chantal this series is kick-ass.

I give this 4/5 stars.


Chantal FernandoNew York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Chantal Fernando is twenty six years old and lives in Western Australia.

Her published novels include four books in the Resisting Love series – Chase, Kade, Ryder and James; the New York Times Bestselling novel Maybe This Time and its follow up, This Time Around. Her latest releases include Toxic Girl, Saxon, and a USA bestselling biker romance novel Dragon’s Lair.

When not reading, writing or daydreaming she can be found enjoying life with her three sons and family.

Represented by Kimberly Brower from the Rebecca Friedman Literary Agency.





Book Review (481): Dragon's Lair (Wind Dragons MC #1) - Chantal Fernando


Dragon's Lair (Wind Dragons MC #1)

Publication: 21st April 2015
Publisher: Gallery Books
Pages: 304
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: New Adult
Buy It: Amazon | B&N
The first in a new sexy romance series from bestselling author Chantal Fernando about the bad boys of the Wind Dragons Motorcycle Club and the women who fall in love with them.

When I found my boyfriend cheating on me, I did something stupid. 

Or should I say, someone? 

Because of that mistake, I’m now stuck in a world I don’t belong in. 

I’m a law student. They’re criminals. He’s the vice president of a motorcycle club. I’m a good girl with a strict upbringing. He’s my ex-boyfriend’s brother. 

And I’m screwed.
My Thoughts.
I can't say that  I've really read any contemporary romance's featuring motorcycle clubs, I found myself drawn to the synopsis of Dragon's Lair and the intrigue into the inner workings of clubs such as this.

Faye is a straight A law student, top of her class, the daughter of strict parents she never puts a foot wrong, when she discovers her long-term boyfriend Eric cheating on her, she decides to go out to a bar and that's when she runs into childhood friend and crush Dex, who also happens to be Eric's brother, after a hot and steamy night of sex Faye doesn't expect to run into Dex anytime soon, until she discovers she's pregnant, when he finds out he waste's no time in hunting her down and taking her back to his club's headquarters, but living there is a adjustment, with people walking around naked both males and females and couples having sex out in the open not caring who sees.

The dynamics with Dex as Vice-President of the club and his interactions with his 'brothers', and the way problems are dealt with between club members is a lot to get used to, with a baby on the way and her relationship with Dex leaving Faye confused and unsure where they stand with each other, feeling like she belongs here won't happen straight away, but amongst all of Dex's 'brothers' she'll find the family she always wanted.

I really loved this book and with so many characters whose books I can't wait to read I'll be eagerly anticipating each and every new release.

A great start to a new series and a great new author for me who's books I plan on devouring.

I give this 4/5 stars.


Chantal FernandoNew York Times & USA Today Bestselling Author Chantal Fernando is twenty six years old and lives in Western Australia.

Her published novels include four books in the Resisting Love series – Chase, Kade, Ryder and James; the New York Times Bestselling novel Maybe This Time and its follow up, This Time Around. Her latest releases include Toxic Girl, Saxon, and a USA bestselling biker romance novel Dragon’s Lair.

When not reading, writing or daydreaming she can be found enjoying life with her three sons and family.

Represented by Kimberly Brower from the Rebecca Friedman Literary Agency.




Sunday, 28 June 2015

Book Review (480): Exit Strategy (EXIT Inc. #1) - Lena Diaz


Exit Strategy (EXIT Inc. #1)

Publication: 30th June 2015
Publisher: Avon
Pages: 384
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It: Amazon | B & N | iTunes | Kobo
Lena Diaz launches her thrilling new series featuring the undercover vigilantes of EXIT Inc. with a skilled operative putting his life—and his heart—on the line for a woman in trouble...

When Sabrina Hightower awakens to the sound of an intruder, she figures he's there to rob her, murder her— or worse. She doesn't expect to be carried off by a muscle-bound stud with male-model good looks... or that he came to rescue her.

Mason Hunt became an enforcer with EXIT Inc. to eliminate the bad guys—terrorists, militia groups, all those who would do America harm. But his latest target is innocent. If EXIT could lie about sultry, strong-willed Sabrina, what darker truths might they be concealing?

Going rogue in the rugged North Carolina mountains, Mason risks everything to keep Sabrina close, especially now that EXIT's lethal assassins are chasing them down. The heat is on... but it's nothing compared to the slow burn of seduction.
My Thoughts.
Exit Strategy is the first book in an all new series, filled with suspense from the get go, this story is full of pulse-pounding action sure to keep the adrenaline running as you make your way through this exciting and heart-racing book.

Sabrina is woken up one night to the sound of someone breaking in, she's kidnapped from her home by the extremely hot guy Mason who broke in, Mason works for EXIT Inc an extreme sports company which is a front for a government covert anti-terrorist organization, who sends out assassins to kill terrorists hopefully before they make their move, when an order is sent out to kill Sabrina for crimes she didn't commit, Mason and some rogue agents discover that not only was her contract faked but there have been a lot of innocent people killed who were given bogus orders to be assassinated, what they discover is that the death's of Sabrina's brother, parents and the disappearance of her Grandfather are all related, all linked back to EXIT Inc, all because of something she saw with her photographic memory that they don't want her to connect or link back too EXIT Inc.

And so begins the race to find evidence of EXIT Inc's wrong doings before the assassins sent out to terminate Mason and Sabrina find them first, with a bit of romance thrown in there is something here for everyone, I thoroughly enjoyed this book, Lena's writing is filled with tension, action, adventure and a great storyline making for a really great romantic suspense story, I look forward to the next book and the continuation of what appears to be a thrilling series.

I give this 4/5 stars.



About Lena Diaz

Originally from Kentucky, romantic suspense author Lena Diaz also lived in California and Louisiana before settling in Northeast Florida with her husband, two children, and a Shetland Sheepdog named Sparky. A Romance Writers of America Golden Heart® finalist, she's won the prestigious Daphne du Maurier Award for Excellence in Mystery/Suspense and has been a finalist for the National Excellence in Romance Fiction Award. She loves to watch action movies, garden, and hike in the beautiful Tennessee Smoky Mountains.

Website Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads


Saturday, 27 June 2015

Book Review (479): Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance - Danielle Younge-Ullman


Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance

Lola Carlyle's 12-Step Romance was a delightful surprise, I was intrigued of course by the concept and enjoyed the story a whole lot more than I expected.

That was in part to Danielle's delightfully amusing lead character Lola, the daughter of two famous actors who are now divorced and seemingly oblivious to the lack of time and attention they pay to Lola, so when Lola's best-friend Sydney calls her from rehab telling her that Wade Miller an actor she befriended years ago whilst helping him on his first movie and whom she still has a crush, on is being admitted she knows she needs to find a way to be sent there as well, Lola knows she needs to be an addict of some kind and so begins her entertaining way of convincing her Mom she has an alcohol problem, after a couple of failures her Mom is finally realising that Lola needs some serious help for her (fake) addiction.

Once in rehab Lola discovers that it's nothing like the spa resort that Sydney told her it was and Sydney is nowhere to be seen, add to that she's expected to talk about her feelings, keep up the pretense of being an alcoholic, deal with her unusual roommates and it doesn't help that she keeps butting heads with her gorgeous mentor Adam either.

Lola will discover love where she least expects it, new friends, an understanding of her deep seated feelings she has towards her parents and most importantly herself.

This book was both humorous and at times quite sad, Danielle has crafted a story that is hard to put down and an incredible read that I thoroughly enjoyed.

I give this 4/5 stars.

About the Author
Danielle Younge-Ullman is a novelist, playwright and freelance writer. She studied English and Theater at  McGill University, then returned to her hometown of Toronto to work as professional actor for ten  years. Danielle’s short story, Reconciliation, was published in MODERN MORSELS—a McGraw-Hill  Anthology for young adults—in 2012, her one-act play, 7 Acts of Intercourse, debuted at Toronto's SummerWorks Festival in 2005, and her adult novel, FALLING UNDER, was published by Penguin in 2008.  Danielle lives in Toronto with her husband and two daughters.

Author Links:
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