Wednesday, 30 April 2014

Book Review (327): The Bridesmaids:True Tales Of Love, Envy, Loyalty...And Terrible Dresses - Eimear Lynch

The Bridesmaids: True Tales of Love, Envy, Loyalty . . . and Terrible Dresses

Age Appropriate: 15+
The Bridesmaids was one of those books that hooked me from the synopsis, chances are that at least once in your life you will be asked to be somebody's bridesmaid/maid of honor, if not you then at least somebody that you know, if you are really lucky you won't end up bridesmaid to a bridezilla.

Being asked to be part of a bridal party, to be a part of the happy couple's special day is a privilege, and let's face it you feel special because out of the many number of friends and family, you were one of the chosen few.

I loved reading all the stories in here about people's different experience's, from the good, the bad and the ugly, every tale was interesting and relatable.
Some people found themselves at the beck and call of the bride, some got fired and the age old problem with being a bridesmaid, the dress, you know the one that you would never ever wear again and which you also seem to spend an obscene amount of money on just to wear it that once.

And while most of these stories are anonymously written with only an initial and age of the person, I would have loved some pictures of the hideous dresses, but I can understand why there weren't any, it's a pity though.

Intentional or not I loved that the cover to this book felt like the paper some people use for wedding invitations, it was a nice touch to go along with the pretty design on the front cover.

All in all I really enjoyed this book, with most stories only being a few pages long, it's a quick read, highly recommended, even for those who don't generally read non-fiction, give it a go.

I give this 4/5 stars.

Eimear Lynch is a writer and editor who has worked at Condé Nast Traveler, Town & Country, and Bloomberg Businessweek. A five-time bridesmaid, she lives in Brooklyn.

Monday, 28 April 2014

(ARC) Book Review (326): Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy #3) - Wendy Higgins

Sweet Reckoning (The Sweet Trilogy #3)

Sweet Reckoning is the epic conclusion to the Sweet Trilogy by the wonderfully talented Wendy Higgins.

As sad as I am to say goodbye to this world and it's amazing characters, I was so happy that this series ended on a high note, although not without the sacrifice of characters along the way, but Sweet Reckoning will surely delight all fans and keep everyone happy.

Being the last book in a series it's hard not to give anything away whilst writing this review, because believe me there are things that occur in this book that you'll want to experience yourself without spoilers, everything is wrapped up, there are no unanswered questions left at the end and we get an epilogue that's set six years later that will catch you up on the lives of all of these characters that we've grown to love and will miss, I'm especially talking about the tall, dark and sexy bad boy Kaidan.

For those of you who read the last Lux series book Origin by Jennifer L. Armentrout, you will have noticed the use of Anna and Kaidan's names as alias' used by the main characters after the heroine read the book Sweet Evil, well I was overjoyed to see it paid in kind with Anna reading a book featuring a certain sexy alien, it's the things like this that make me love this series even more.

With the inevitable battle looming, this book will keep you on the edge of your seat as we keep our fingers crossed that all ends well for these Nephilim, and that they all get to live their happily ever afters.

This is one of the best final books of a series that I've read, and should be referred as a how to when ending a series, this was perfect and I couldn't have chosen any other way to end this trilogy.

Kudos to Wendy for taking into account what would make the fans happy and not just going for the shock value, all you need is a fantastic story told well and that's what we've been given.

Highly recommended.

I give this 5/5 stars.

After earning a Creative Writing degree from George Mason University and a Masters in Curriculum and Instruction from Radford, I taught high school English until becoming a mommy. I've always had a heart for teens, and writing YA stories gives me the opportunity to delve into the ambiguities of those pivotal years before adulthood.
I live in Virginia with my husband, daughter, son and doggie Rue.

(ARC) Book Review (325): The Idea Of Him - Holly Peterson

The Idea of Him: A Novel

The Idea Of Him deals with a woman's marriage and how what she believed was to be a strong and monogamous relationship, was in fact a lie that her husband had her believing.

I understand the reasoning of our heroine marrying her husband Wade a magazine editor who is ten years her senior, reminding her of her beloved deceased Father in so many ways, she was in love with the idea of who he was, not him personally, and it's throughout this book that she finally comes to this realisation, instead of marrying her best-friend James who is her soul-mate and her biggest regret, she certainly made the wrong decision in tying herself to her selfish husband and as this story goes along, we are there as Mary comes to this conclusion.

After previously cheating on her after the birth of their last child, Mary believed Wade when he told her it was out of his system, until one night at a work party at home he disappears into the laundry room with a beautiful woman named Jackie, after discovering that they had slept together previously, the mysterious Jackie talks Mary into helping her investigate a financial scam which Wade, her boss Murray and Max a criminal who has just been released from prison for fraud are taking part in.

Of course we also witness the crumble and fall of Mary and Wade's marriage, as his long list of infidelity comes to light, as well as his gambling and inability to think or anybody but himself.

While this was an interesting look inside a marriage that was pretty much doomed from the get go, it didn't hold my attention as much as I'd hoped it would, the premise was intriguing but I found myself disliking a vast amount of the characters in this book, and I just didn't care what happened to them one way or another.

I did enjoy the little revelation at the end though, I thought that was a nice touch, just not enough to raise my rating that little bit higher, recommended for fans of contemporary women's fiction, if marriage's in turmoil are your thing then check this out.

I give this 3/5 stars.


Holly Peterson is the author of The Idea of Him and the New York Times bestseller The Manny. She was a Contributing Editor for Newsweek, an Editor-at-Large for Talk magazine and an Emmy Award–winning Producer for ABC News, where she spent more than a decade covering global politics. Her writing has been published in the New York Times,  Newsweek,Talk, The Daily Beast, VogueHarper’s Bazaar, and numerous other publications.
Connect with Holly

Saturday, 26 April 2014

Book Review (324): Torn (Connections #2) - Kim Karr

Torn (Connections #2)

 AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunesKobo.
Torn is the second book in the Connections series by Kim Karr.

Continuing on from the ending of the first book and the shocking twist we were left with, we catch up with Dahlia and River as they receive the life-changing news that will rock their new-found relationship and have them both fighting to keep alive the new life they've created together.

It's hard to write a review when any mention of the storyline may unintentionally destroy any potential you would have to be left flabbergasted, and trust me it's a shocker, something you would never in a million years guess.

The shocking return of a characters left a cliffhanger that would have left me biting my nails down to the quick, if I didn't have the second book on hand to go on with straight away.

And while I despised the character through the revelations of diary entries, there was nothing to endear me to them whatsoever, and I had no empathy for them or what happened with the character.

But as per the last book I adored River, from Dahlia's and his first interaction, to their meeting up again years later, the start of their time as a couple and the feeling and realisation that they are soul-mates, made their romance such a great story to read about.

Not without their ups and downs, but with a strong bond that will help them deal with this revelation and will only make them stronger as a couple.

Kim has written a story just as fantastic, exciting and as unputdownable as the first book, and I'm eager and anxiously awaiting to read the third book which features River's older brother Xander as the lead character.

A wonderfully written series that will please any and all fans of the new adult contemporary romance genre.

Highly recommended.

I give this 4/5 stars.

I live in Florida with my husband and four kids. I've always had a love for reading books and writing. Being an English major in college, I wanted to teach at the college level but that was not to be. I went on to receive an MBA and became a project manager until quitting to raise my family. I currently work part-time with my husband and full-time embracing one of my biggest passions—writing.

I wear a lot of hats! Writer, book-lover, wife, soccer-mom, taxi driver, and the all around go-to person of the family. However, I always find time to read. One of my favorite family outings use to be taking my kids to the bookstore or the library. Today, my oldest child is in college and my twins are juniors so they no longer go with me on these outings. And although I don't need to go to the actual store anymore because I have the greatest device ever invented—a Kindle, I still do. There's nothing like a paperback. So now my four year old and I make dates out of going to the bookstore--it's time I love and cherish.

I like to believe in soulmates, kindred spirits, true friends, and Happily-Ever-Afters. I love to drink champagne, listen to music, and hopes to always stay young at heart. 

Connected was my debut novel and is currently available on AmazonBarnes & Noble , iTunes and Kobo.

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Sunday, 20 April 2014

(ARC) Book Review (323): Undone (Country Roads #1) - Shannon Richard

Undone (Country Roads #1)

Publication: 25th February 2014
Publisher: Forever
Pages: 416
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Buy It: 

Things Paige Morrison will never understand about Mirabelle, Florida:

Why wearing red shoes makes a girl a harlot
Why a shop would ever sell something called "buck urine"
Why everywhere she goes, she runs into sexy-and infuriating-Brendan King

After losing her job, her apartment, and her boyfriend, Paige has no choice but to leave Philadelphia and move in with her retired parents. For an artsy outsider like Paige, finding her place in the tightly knit town isn't easy-until she meets Brendan, the hot mechanic who's interested in much more than Paige's car. In no time at all, Brendan helps Paige find a new job, new friends, and a happiness she wasn't sure she'd ever feel again. With Brendan by her side, Paige finally feels like she can call Mirabelle home. But when a new bombshell drops, will the couple survive, or will their love come undone?
My Thoughts.
Undone is the first novel from the all new Country Roads series by debut author Shannon Richard.

From the first page I was hooked, absorbed in the story of Paige, who after a disastrous streak of bad luck which included: losing her job, her roommate, her apartment and her boyfriend (all in that order), has moved to Mirabelle Florida to live with her parents while she looks for a job, but quite a few people have been less than friendly since her arrival, the town is full of judgemental gossipmongers who don't agree with the way Paige dresses or acts, referring to her as easy because of the way she looks, her bad luck continues with each and every job interview, and after another rejection her car breaks down in the middle of nowhere without a car, person or building to be seen, enter sexy and single mechanic Brendan, who has been the subject of the rumor mill over the years, sympathetic to her troubles he finds her a job and welcomes her into his group of friends it's not long before these two start a relationship together.

But the road to happily ever after is never a smooth one, and there will be things along the way that they'll have to deal with together, but will a secret destroy their happiness altogether or will they find a way to overcome this devastating secret that was kept under the best intentions?

Once I picked this book up it was so hard to put it back down again, Shannon's writing has a way of drawing you in and making you lose track of time, I've fallen in love with this series and I can't wait for the next books in the series to be released.

For those of you who love a fun, entertaining and quick read then be sure to pick this book up.

I give this 4/5 stars.

All About Shannon

Shannon Richard grew up in the Panhandle of Florida as the baby sister of two overly protective but loving brothers. She was raised by a more than somewhat eccentric mother, a self-proclaimed vocabularist who showed her how to get lost in a book, and a father who passed on his love for coffee and really loud music. She graduated from Florida State University with a bachelor’s in English literature and still lives in Tallahassee, where she battles everyday life with writing, reading, and a rant every once in a while. Okay, so the rants might happen on a regular basis. She’s still waiting for her Southern, scruffy Mr. Darcy, and in the meantime writes love stories to indulge her overactive imagination. Oh, and she’s a pretty big fan of the whimsy.


Saturday, 12 April 2014

Book Review (322): Fangirl - Rainbow Rowell


Believe The Hype!

I've heard nothing but good things about this book and Rainbow's writing in general, and after reading Fangirl I wholeheartedly agree, and in Rainbow's case I'm her new Fangirl!

While I haven't read a whole lot of fan fiction myself I have enjoyed what I have taken the time to read, I can understand the excitement and anticipation for the next installments (my sister is a big fan of fan fiction and I quite often have her lamenting the fact that she's waiting for the next  part of the story to be released).

I thought it was genius to build a story around fan fiction, the fact that there is parts of both Cath and Wren's fan fiction interspersed in-between each chapter, as well as part's of the Simon Snow book series which is the catalyst for their fan fiction, brought this world to life, a bit Harry Potter inspired but that's never a bad thing.

So the story goes Cath and Wren are identical twins starting College, Wren wanting to be more independent has decided that she wants to meet new people and so has told Cath that she doesn't want to share a dorm room, and so Cath the introvert shuts herself away when she's not in class, her only interactions her roommate Reagan (who she takes a while to even speak to) and Reagan's boyfriend/friend? Levi.

So while Cath is tackling College and all that goes with it, her private life leaves a lot to be desired, Wren is out of control, her Father is not faring well with being alone, her Mother who long ago abandoned the twins and their Father has made contact wanting to see them again and oh yeah there's her crush on Levi!

Giving us a look into College life and the world of fan fiction this is one book that you must add to your TBR list, this is definitely one of my favourite Contemporaries and I look forward to reading the rest of Rainbow's books.

Well deserved praise, Rainbow is the one to watch!

I give this 5/5 stars.

Rainbow Rowell writes books.
Sometimes she writes about adults (Attachments and Landline).
Sometimes she writes about teenagers (Eleanor & Park and Fangirl).
But she always writes about people who talk a lot. And people who feel like they’re screwing up. And people who fall in love.
When she’s not writing, Rainbow is reading comic books, planning Disney World trips and arguing about things that don’t really matter in the big scheme of things.
She lives in Nebraska with her husband and two sons.

Friday, 11 April 2014

Book Review (321): Half Bad (Half Life Trilogy #1) - Sally Green

Half Bad (Half Life Trilogy #1)

Publication: 3rd March 2014
Publisher: Penguin
Pages: 400
Genre: Paranormal
Age Appropriate: Young Adult
Half Bad by Sally Green is a breathtaking debut novel about one boy's struggle for survival in a hidden society of witches.

You can't read, can't write, but you heal fast, even for a witch.

You get sick if you stay indoors after dark.

You hate White Witches but love Annalise, who is one.

You've been kept in a cage since you were fourteen.

All you've got to do is escape and find Mercury, the Black Witch who eats boys. And do that before your seventeenth birthday.

My Thoughts.
I've heard nothing but great things about this book, the hype has been very well deserved, this book was amazing, and I can almost certainly say a shoe-in for book of the year!

I've read so many witch books over the years, but there's something about Sally's writing that makes this one stand head and shoulders above the rest.

Told from the perspective of our male lead Nathan (not very common to have a male lead in YA, but very welcome all the same), we follow him as he grows up edging ever closer to his seventeenth birthday, where he will receive his powers and become a fully fledged witch, and to eventually, hopefully seek out and find his Father.

You see Nathan is no ordinary witch, he is also the son of a white witch Mother (good witch) and a black witch Father (bad witch), but not only is he an outcast and shunned for being a half caste, from mostly everybody for being the only half blood, but he also has the distinction of being the son of the evilest witch around in his Dad.

Showing no signs of succumbing to his evil side, doesn't stop anybody from treating him as if he had even his older sister.

With no friends to speak of, except for his older brother, he's lonely, never expecting any bit of kindness from anyone, so it's a shock when after starting high school a girl named Annaliese starts paying him attention, but unfortunately for Nathan he will end up bearing the brunt of her brothers anger once they discover their friendship.

The Council (who oversee all witches) decide that Nathan's Grandmother is no longer responsible  enough to be his guardian after she defy's the Councils orders by not informing them of Nathan's constant trips to Wales to get away from it all, this all leads to him being caged being let out only to exercise and do chores.

Nathan must find a way to escape, to find his father by his seventeenth birthday to receive his gifts to officially become a witch otherwise he will die.

I really enjoyed the world-building that happened in this book, I look forward to continuing on with this series and to see what happens next with Nathan, and to see what power he has received now that he's a fully fledged witch.

One of my favourites of the year, highly recommended.

I give this 5/5 stars.

Hi - I'm Sally Green, author of Half Bad. It's my first book - and the first in a series of three, to be published by Penguin in March 2014.

I've had a whirlwind 2013, submitting Half Bad to an agent in January (and getting an agent - the wonderful Claire) and then agreeing a deal with Puffin (UK) and Viking (USA) in March. In April I agreed a film deal with Fox 2000 with Karen Rosenfelt as producer (google her!). Since then Half Bad has been sold to more countries, and I've been busy editing Half Bad and have started work on the second book of the trilogy. 

I live in north-west England. I love to read, walk in the country and would like to drink less coffee (but I know it's impossible - I'm an addict)!

My online world will be based at from November 2013 onwards, but until then, you can find me and Half Bad on Wattpad.

Follow me on twitter@sa11eGreen 

Saturday, 5 April 2014

Book Review (320): Afterburn & Aftershock - Sylvia Day

Afterburn and Aftershock (Afterburn & Aftershock #1 & 2)

Publication: 11th March 2014
Publisher: Harlequin
Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Age Appropriate: Adult
Never mix business with pleasure. Never bring politics into the bedroom. In a way I did both when I took Jackson Rutledge as a lover. I can't say I wasn't warned.

Two years later, he was back. Walking into a deal I'd worked hard to close. Under the tutelage of Lei Yeung, one of the sharpest businesswomen in New York, I had picked up a thing or two since Jax walked away. I wasn't the girl he once knew, but he hadn't changed. Unlike the last time we'd drifted into each other's lives, I knew exactly what I was dealing with... and how addictive his touch could be.

The inner circle of glamour, sex, and privilege was Jax's playground--but this time, I knew the rules of the game. In the cutthroat business world, one adage rules all: keep your enemies close and your ex-lovers closer...
My Thoughts.
Afterburn & Aftershock were one of the first releases from the Cosmo Red-Hot Reads line, in conjunction with Cosmopolitan magazine, Harlequin has joined forces to release a steamy new romance every month.

I have to admit, I've never read a Sylvia Day novel before, that's not to say that I've never wanted to, I actually own some of her books, I've just never gotten around to it.

I got to read an excerpt of Afterburn last year and was impressed and anxious to read the full length story and it's sequel, and I actually planned on buying a copy on it's release in digital form but ultimately forgot all about it, so when I was contacted to receive a copy of both books together in paperback to review I jumped at the chance.

This book put a smile on my face every time I picked it up, I loved the plotline, it was easy flowing and quick to read, add into that our sexy alpha male Jackson Rutledge who has some seriously hot chemistry with our heroine Gianna Rossi and you end up with this steamy read that will leave you hot and bothered.

Two years ago Gia and Jackson had a very brief but memorable affair, after which one day he left and never came back or contacted Gia again, until one day whilst trying to close a contract with potential clients in walks Jackson, acting as if he doesn't know her, stung by this Gia acts the same way, but it isn't long before Jackson reveals he does remember her and wants to give their relationship another go.

But with Jackson hiding secrets and his refusal to talk about his past, how far can this relationship go especially when Gia is pretty much an open book about her own life, will this tear them apart or can Gia find a way to break down his barriers and get him to finally open up to her, will they ever get their happily ever after?

I thoroughly enjoyed this story and will definitely get to Sylvia's books sooner rather than later, I've found myself a new author who's writing I enjoy and I will enjoy devouring her other works.

I give this 4/5 stars.

The #1 New York Times & #1 international bestselling author of over twenty award-winning novels translated into 41 languages. With tens of millions of copies of her books in print, she is a #1 bestseller in 21 countries. Sylvia’s novels took spots among the top ten bestselling books on global year-end sales round ups in both 2012 and 2013, making her one of the most widely read authors in the world today. She has been nominated for the Goodreads Choice Award for Best Author and her work has been honored as Amazon’s Best of the Year in Romance. Sylvia served as the 22nd President ofRomance Writers of America.
Hailed as “one of the most successful romance writers in the world” by Fox News, Sylvia’s work has been covered in TimeVarietyPeople, the Wall Street JournalCosmopolitan, the Associated Press, USA Today, andEntertainment Weekly–to name just a few. She has been the subject of trivia questions on the television game showsWho Wants to Be a Millionaire? and Jeopardy!, as well as a Kit Hoover recommended read on Access Hollywood Live. Her Crossfire series is presently in development with Lionsgate for cable television adaptation.
In addition to her novels, Sylvia has written numerous novellas and short stories for both print and digital-first release. Her work has been called an “exhilarating adventure” by Publishers Weekly and “wickedly entertaining” byBooklist. She’s been honored with the RT Book Reviews Reviewers’ Choice award, the National Readers’ Choice Award, and multiple nominations for Romance Writers of America’s prestigious RITA® Award of Excellence.
Sylvia travels extensively in conjunction with various speaking engagements. She is a frequent workshop presenter and panelist at events such as the RT Book Lovers ConventionRomance Writers of America’s National Convention, and Comic-Con, and a popular keynote speaker for writing programs presented by local chapters, national and international organizations, and colleges across the United States.
Her book tours and travel engagements have taken her around the globe. Born in Los Angeles, she grew up in Orange County (the O.C.), and later lived in Monterey and Oceanside. Sylvia now lives in Las Vegas, Nevada, but occasionally enjoys her pied-à-terre on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in New York. She considers the two vibrant, energetic, and never-dark cities perfect for a writer whose working hours are as unpredictable as her characters.