Posts

What Am I Reading

I got way behind on my TBR list last week so if you’re waiting on me to fulfill a read and review request, I apologize! Here is what I plan on reading this week 🙂

“Manipulated Lives,” by H. A. Leuschel

Publication: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform; 1 edition; June 28, 2016

manipulatedSynopsis: Five stories – Five Lives. Have you ever felt confused or at a loss for words in front of a spouse, colleague or parent, to the extent that you have felt inadequate or, worse, a failure? Do you ever wonder why someone close to you seems to endure humiliation without resistance? Manipulators are everywhere. At first these devious and calculating people can be hard to spot because that is their way. They are often masters of disguise: witty, disarming, even charming in public – tricks to snare their prey – but then they revert to their true self of being controlling and angry in private. Their main aim: to dominate and use others to satisfy their needs, with a complete lack of compassion and empathy for their victim. In this collection of short novellas you meet people like you and me, intent on living happy lives, yet each of them, in one way or another, is caught up and damaged by a manipulative individual. First, you meet a manipulator himself, trying to make sense of his irreversible incarceration. Next, there is Tess, whose past is haunted by a wrong decision, then young, successful and well balanced Sophie, who is drawn into the life of a little boy and his troubled father. Next, there is teenage Holly, who is intent on making a better life for herself and finally Lisa, who has to face a parent’s biggest regret. All stories highlight to what extent abusive manipulation can distort lives and threaten our very feeling of self-worth.

“Meeting The Unpredictable,”by Riann C. Miller

Publication: September 29, 2016

meeting-the-unpredictSynopsis: 

What happens when opposites attract?

Tyler has spent the last six years constructing his perfectly boring life, which is exactly the way he wants it. He spends his days hiding behind the protective walls he has so carefully built and has no intentions of changing . . . until he meets the unpredictable.

Lennie Jacobs is an intoxicating mess. She never stays anywhere long enough to form a solid relationship with anyone, including her family, because she has taught her fragile heart that love isn’t an option.

What started as a way to pass the time soon blossoms into something neither expected.

He was never meant to be permanent.

She can’t promise forever.

But, when life and love are on the line, everything changes.

“Love Unfeigned,” by Nadine Keels

Publication: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform;

February 27, 2013

love-unfeignedSynopsis: Love to the chords of a classic jazz band, spanned over more than a decade…

Lorraine: plucky and competitive. Isaiah: impish, with a smile that gleams in more ways than one. 
From the time the two first square off for a fierce wall ball battle as children, Lorraine and Isaiah can’t help knowing each other, but neither can they avoid passions and misfortunes lining their path to young adulthood. When the breakup of Isaiah’s family disrupts the haven he’s shared with Lorraine, their natural relationship is eventually threatened by jealousy, abandonment, and a life-altering trauma too grave to…forget. As one year follows another, and another, what might it take to reunite this divided man and woman in love: love undeniably real and unbounded by time?

“Start Again” (Start Again Series #1), by J. Saman

Publication: July 24, 1026

start-againSynopsis: Kate Taylor had the perfect life. That is until an accident took everything she had away. For two years she has been living moment to moment and day to day. She’s lost and can’t seem to find her way back. Finally, in a last-ditch effort, she decides to leave town in search of a fresh start. In walks Ryan Grant – a family friend who is thrust upon her. Ryan is amazing. The perfect man with dark hair and sexy green eyes. Doesn’t hurt that they have smoldering chemistry either.
Ryan Grant is stuck in limbo, floating through life with work as his only focus. Probably because he’s been betrayed a time or two by the people he thought he could trust. Needing a change, he plans on moving his company west to Seattle. There is just one big problem. He doesn’t fly. So when a girl from his past offers to drive him across the country, how could he say no? Katie is his dream girl after all. Always has been.

Warning: Strong language and moderate sexual content

“Electra 225,” by Bernard Mendillo

Publication: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform;

April 30, 2015

electraSynopsis: Electra 225 is a funny and heartwarming novel about a man who inherits his father’s classic Buick and convinces his troubled family to take a summer trip to the Pacific Ocean—for lunch. When his father, dies, Andy Scalabenfro inherits a 1959 Buick Electra 225.  A massive Buick—with holes on the side! The high point of America’s love affair with the road. Andy and his wife Christi are barely doing all right in their life in Providence, Rhode Island. He’s lost his job and is filling in by substitute teaching. Their teenage kids, Henry and Morgan, talk to them a little less than most teenage kids. Christi is a CPA, who has never really gotten over the one lost opportunity of her life. Andy decides that they should use the summer to take a car trip to California, see the Pacific Ocean, have lunch and then come back. “You can pick the restaurant,” he tells Christi. They’re off. Reluctantly. But off, nonetheless. For about twenty minutes. Then the car breaks down and they have to pull off the highway in Johns Towne, Rhode Island. And they can’t leave. They can’t go home because they rented their house for the month.  Adventures follow. Salvation may be at hand. Oddly, everything seems to focus on Detroit. Then there is Agnes, the octogenarian who Andy has hired to type his handwritten manuscript. They never meet, but converse through notes in Andy’s writing. Slowly, Agnes and Andy find a way to do what has to be done.

Have a great week and happy reading! 

Reviews

Book Review: Myth and Magic

“MYTH AND MAGIC,” BY MAE CLAIR

PUBLICATION: LYRICAL PRESS; JUNE 9, 2015

myth

Synopsis:

Veronica Kent fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children. As a teenager, she was certain he was the man she was destined to marry. But a traumatic event from Caith’s past led him to fear a future together. He left Veronica, hoping to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning to his hometown, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.
THEN ONE DAY THE MONSTERS BECAME REAL.
 
After the callous way Caith broke her heart, Veronica isn’t thrilled to see him again. But strange occurrences have taken a dangerous toll on business at Stone Willow Lodge. Forced to work together, Veronica discovers it isn’t ghostly apparitions that frighten her, but her passion for a man she has never forgotten. Or forgiven. Can two people with a tarnished past unearth a magical future?

My review: 

I’m so excited to bring you my review on Mae Clair’s “Myth and Magic!” Like her other novels, “Myth and Magic” is the perfect blend of romance, suspense, and paranormal mystery. Stone Willow Lodge is a corporate relaxation retreat in Coldcreek owned by The Breckwood family and managed by Veronica Kent. Veronica grew up as “one of the boys” with the Breckwood brothers and their friend Trask but has been secretly in love with Caith Breckwood (now Caith Lairen after changing his name) ever since she can remember. After a traumatic kidnapping, Caith was never the same and eventually left Coldcreek and also broke Veronica’s heart. When strange things begin happening at Stone Willow Lodge, two of the Breckwood brothers convince their private investigator brother Caith to return to Coldcreek with his son Derrick and try to find out who or what is behind the occurrences that are hurting business. Caith has to not only face Veronica again, but also the painful memories of what happened when he was young and the family that he left behind. 

I loved Veronica and Caith in this novel, especially the chemistry between them! Veronica is strong and independent, but also still in love with Caith and still hurting about he left things between them. Caith has spent his life trying to get away from his family name and keep people at a distance after being kidnapped for his family’s money when he was a child. Caith has always loved Veronica but has never admitted it for fear of something happening to someone else that he cares about, leading her to believe he’s only wanted sex. After he returns to Coldcreek to begin his investigation, it doesn’t take long for them to struggle with hiding what they still feel for each other. 

There were times while reading that I felt I had everything figured out and what was going on at the lodge, but then I would turn the page and I would realize that I was wrong.  Twice I was convinced that a certain character in the book was responsible for all of the bad things happening, but both times I was wrong! This book definitely kept me guessing from the first page although some of the hints seemed sort of obvious. Besides the entertaining suspense of the novel, the theme of family and reconciliation was prominent throughout. Caith has been estranged from his family and the family business for many years and although there were several tense moments with various family members, each of theme eventually realized and understood their fault, as well as, what was needed to mend the relationships with one another. 

I love and admire Mae Clair’s storytelling abilities and that was no different with “Myth and Magic.” Once again I absolutely loved one of her novels and am always pleasantly surprised at how quickly they suck me in, leaving me unable to do anything else until I’ve read the last word! For anyone that loves mystery/suspense/romance/paranormal then this is a must-read 🙂 

Learn more about Mae Clair by visiting her web page. 

Purchase “Myth and Magic” on Amazon. 

*Thanks to the author for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Reviews

Book Review:”Dear Mr. M”

“DEAR MR. M: A NOVEL,”

BY HERMAN KOCH

PUBLISHER: HOGARTH; SEPTEMBER 6, 2016

dear-mrSynopsis:

Once a celebrated writer, M had his greatest success with a suspense novel based on a real-life disappearance. It told the story of a history teacher who went missing one winter after having a brief affair with a beautiful student of his. The teacher was never found. Upon publication, M’s novel was a runaway bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough.

That was years ago, and now M’s career is fading. But not when it comes to his bizarre, seemingly timid neighbor who keeps a close eye on him and his wife. Why?

From alternating points of view, where no one is to be trusted, Herman Koch weaves together an intricate tale of a writer in decline, a teenage couple in love, a missing teacher, and a single book that entwines all of their fates. Thanks to M’s novel, supposedly a work of fiction, everyone seems to be linked forever, until something unexpected spins the “story” off its rails.

With ever increasing tension, his signature sardonic wit and world-renowned sharp eye for human failings, Herman Koch once again spares nothing and no one in his gripping new novel, a barbed performance that suspends readers in the mysterious space between fact and fiction.

Review: 

So this is one of those novels that I did not read any reviews prior to reading. I finished reading “Dear Mr. M” today and just browsed some reviews on Amazon and am kind of surprised by the reviews. I saw several comments saying they never figured out “whodunnit” and have come to the conclusion that these readers not only did not finish the novel, but they didn’t think about it after finishing. I’ll get back to this in a bit though…

This novel is written from various points of view which I found confusing at times, but it doesn’t make me think negatively of the novel, I just got confused at times. The novel is mostly narrated by Herman but occasionally switches to Mr. M and maybe Laura at times. Herman and Laura are high school students and a couple at the time that a teacher, Mr. Landzaat goes missing. Mr. Landzaat and Laura had also had an affair, but she broke things off with her teacher to be with the unusual Herman. Mr. M wrote a famous bestseller, “Payback,” which was fiction based on the disappearance/assumed murder of Mr. Landzaat. Even more strange is that Herman, as a much older adult, lives in the apartment below Mr. M and his wife and child. Herman is also somewhat of a stalker, detailing daily events of this family, what they do, and their whereabouts. 

It’s difficult to describe the plot of this novel because most of it involves detailing Herman’s observations of Mr. M and his family or flashing back to high school with Herman, Laura, and all of their friends – leading up to Mr. Landzaat’s disappearance. The author manages impeccable characterization allowing the reader to think that they absolutely know Herman, as well as, Mr. M. However, after finishing the novel and re-reading the last chapter several times, there was an incredible clarity that dissolved all assumptions and conclusions that I had already made. Towards the end of the novel I thought that I had everything all figured out, but I then realized I didn’t. Then, I thought much like several reviews that I read, that the ending was disappointing and didn’t answer my questions. But after re-reading the last chapter and thinking about it a while, the light bulb went off above my head and I came to a conclusion that made perfect sense and explained the entire pretense of the novel. I could be wrong, so if anyone else has read this book or plans to read it – please e-mail me so we can discuss it!  

On one hand, I agree with other reviews saying that there are entire sections of the novel that are irrelevant, but overall, I found this incredible. This isn’t an easy, quick read but one that you stop and consider, go back and re-read, and really think about.  Herman Koch took a subject that could be an average, everyday novel and made it fascinating with his subtle hints and suggestions. I’m not sure that I have everything “right” as far as the ending and the meaning, but there is nothing better than an author that can leave the reader pondering the theme or meaning of their novel well after they have finished. 

I can’t suggest this novel to lovers of a particular genre because this is definitely a genre-defying novel, but I can say without reservations that this is a novel that you will enjoy, and think about for quite some time. This was my first time reading anything by Herman Koch and I don’t know what his other novels are like, but I absolutely loved this one. If you are looking for something different and thought-provoking, then this is your book 🙂

Learn more about Herman Koch by visiting his web page.

Purchase “Dear Mr. M” on Amazon.

*Thanks to Blogging for Books for providing this novel in exchange for an honest review. 

Book Blitz, Giveaway

Book Blitz: Definitely Yes

Definitely Yes
Ella Miles
(Definitely, #1)
Publication date: October 25th 2016
Genres: Adult, Romance, Suspense

One question from an ex-lover.

One text message from a complete stranger.

The same answer to both…Yes.

Scarlett Bell has found a way to move beyond a dark past that threatened to take her best friend, Kinsley, from her. Now ten years later Scarlett has everything. A multi-billion dollar fashion and beauty empire. A fabulous New York apartment filled with everything a girl could need. And an awesome best friend. What more could she want? Love, marriage, and a baby. Everything her best friend has.

One ex-boyfriend could give her everything she thinks she wants. Even if he is a little too nice…

One dark stranger could give her everything she never knew she wanted. But he could destroy her life…

Two men. Two choices. One answer to both: Definitely Yes.

Warning: 3 book series featuring Scarlett from Maybe series. Each book is full length and will end on a cliffhanger. Each book will end one month after previous book. Only for those that love dirty romances, edge of your seat suspense, twists, and a little bit of darkness.

Goodreads / Amazon

**See my earlier review of “Definitely Yes”**

 

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beast dy-teaser

 

Author Bio:

Ella Miles writes sexy romance with strong females that could kick your butt if you piss them off, which they often do to the men that fall for them. She’s currently living her own happily ever after near the Rocky Mountains with her high school sweetheart husband. Her heart is also taken by her goofy two year old black lab that is scared of everything, including her own shadow. Ella is the author of the Aligned series. Get a free book by visiting her website. Or by stalking her on Twitter or Facebook.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

GIVEAWAY!

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Reviews

Book Review: To Love and to Cherish

“TO LOVE AND TO CHERISH,”

BY LAUREN LAYNE

PUBLICATION: POCKET BOOKS; OCTOBER 18, 2016

to-loveSynopsis:

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, a contemporary and witty romance series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.

Alexis Morgan has spent the past eight years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan.Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.

Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable…until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heart-throb. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever…

Review:

If you’re looking for a fun, light, romantic read then look no further! “To Love and to Cherish” is the latest and sadly enough, the final novel by Lauren Layne in The Wedding Belles series. I’m so sad that this series is over, but this novel is fantastic! 

The novel starts 8 years ago when Alexis is in New york still trying to get financial funding to start her dream wedding planning business. In walks a handsome, British guy – Logan, and the rest is history. Fast-forward 8 years and things are changing with Alexis. Her business is successful, as is her professional relationship with Logan, but upon learning that her sister is pregnant and marrying Alexis’ ex-boyfriend, Adam, Alexis starts wondering if she needs to make more time for dating and developing her personal life. Logan has wanted Alexis since they first met, so when he learns that she’s finally open to dating, he pulls out all the stops to win her over. 

While I was reading this novel I have to admit that the entire time I was thinking, “I want a man to love me and fight for me the way Logan does Alexis!” This man sits around waiting for 8 years until he finally sees a glimmer of hope for them as a couple. That is a long time to silently be in love with your friend and business partner! The patience of this adorably sexy, handsome man is the stuff of dreams! O.K., back to my review… lol! This is one of those novels that as much as you love it and get so sucked into it, it is very frustrating at times because you want Alexis to stop being so scared and stubborn, you don’t want Logan to give up, but then you also want Logan to walk away because he’s the only one trying! The storyline completely sucks you in and you forget that you are reading a novel because you want to yell at the characters to open their eyes and wake up, but then again, these are my favorite novels where I actually care about and fall head over heels for the characters. 

Lauren Layne has once again wowed me with her fast-paced and addictive plot, paired with amazing characters and a whirlwind of emotions. “To Love and to Cherish” is another fantastic installment in The Wedding Belles series, and honestly, it may be my favorite. This is a novel that you can just devour in one sitting and love every minute of it. I feel as if I should say that Alexis was my favorite character in the novel, but Logan stole the show in this one. Lauren Layne knows how to create ideal men! I hate that this is the last of the series because they are so wonderful, what about Jessie??? Hint, hint 🙂

Learn more about Lauren Layne by visiting her web page.

Purchase “To Love and to Cherish” on Amazon. If you haven’t read the 2 others in the series, don’t stress because they are all stand-alone. 

*Thanks to NetGalley for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for a fair review. 

Reviews

Book Review: Definitely Yes

“Definitely Yes” (Definitely Series Book 1), by Ella Miles

Publication:  October 25, 2016

def-yesSynopsis:

One question from an ex-lover.

One text message from a complete stranger.

The same answer to both…Yes.

Scarlett Bell has found a way to move beyond a dark past that threatened to take her best friend, Kinsley, from her. Now ten years later Scarlett has everything. A multi-billion dollar fashion and beauty empire. A fabulous New York apartment filled with everything a girl could need. And an awesome best friend. What more could she want? Love, marriage, and a baby. Everything her best friend has.

One ex-boyfriend could give her everything she thinks she wants. Even if he is a little too nice…

One dark stranger could give her everything she never knew she wanted. But he could destroy her life…

Two men. Two choices. One answer to both: Definitely Yes.

Warning: 3 book series featuring Scarlett from Maybe series. Each book is full length and will end on a cliffhanger. Each book will release one month after previous book. Only for those that love dirty romances, edge of your seat suspense, twists, and a little bit of darkness.

Review: “Definitely Yes,” by Ella Miles is the first in her Definitely series, which is a follow-up of the Maybe series. The novel begins with Scarlett Bell, who was introduced in the Maybe series as Kinsley’s best friend. Scarlett is young, beautiful, and owns a successful cosmetics/fashion business. She suddenly finds herself wanting what Kinsley has – happily married and a baby on the way. She considers going back to an ex-boyfriend, Jake, who could give her a stable marriage, house, babies, etc. but then she receives a mysterious text from a stranger wanting to meet for one night while keeping his identity secret. Scarlett finds herself torn between the two very different men who each want very different things. 

First of all, this novel is an absolute page-turner that you will not be able to put down. There are very hot, steamy scenes but it’s also full of suspense and surprises. Scarlett is a very strong, independent woman but she also shows a vulnerable, submissive side when with the mysterious stranger she calls Beast. Scarlett is definitely not afraid of going after what she wants but unfortunately, she isn’t exactly sure what that is. Jake is safe and secure, but Beast is mysterious and dangerous. Honestly, I found myself getting frustrated at times not knowing Beast’s true identity but once everything came to light, it was definitely a “wow” moment! 

If you are a fan of romantic suspense then you will absolutely love this novel! Ella Miles takes readers on an action-packed ride of romance and suspense full of engaging characters that will leave you definitely wanting more once finished. As it says above, this novel does have a cliffhanger ending, but I promise it is worth it once you get to the next in the series, “Definitely No.” The best way to describe this novel is wonderfully addictive. 

Happy release day to Ella Miles! Learn more about all of her novels by visiting her web page!

Purchase “Definitely Yes” at Amazon. 

*I received a copy of this ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. 

 

Posts

What Am I Reading?

As we start another week, here is what I am planning on reading and reviewing this week. I read some fantastic things this past week so this week’s line up has some tough competition!

 

“To Love and to Cherish,” by Lauren Layne

Publication: Pocket Books; October 18, 2016

to-loveSynopsis:

Sex and the City meets The Wedding Planner in The Wedding Belles, a contemporary and witty romance series about three high-powered New York City women who can plan any wedding—but their own.

Alexis Morgan has spent the past eight years devoted to turning her tiny start-up into Manhattan’s premiere wedding planning company, The Wedding Belles. Now that her business is thriving, it’s time to turn towards her much neglected personal life, and Alexis approaches her relationships like she does everything else: with a plan. Not a part of that plan is Logan Harris, the silent partner in the Belles, and the one person who’s been there for her since the very beginning. But Alexis needs someone fun, and Logan’s all business, all the time—except when a late night at the office ends with an unexpected kiss that leaves the usually cool and together Alexis reeling.

Logan has lusted after Alexis since the day he walked into the tiny Harlem apartment that used to double as her office. But the ambitious wedding planner has always been untouchable…until now. Alexis has made it clear that she’s on the dating market—and equally clear that he’s not in the running. But when Alexis finds herself in need of a date for her sister’s last minute wedding in Florida, Logan knows it’s the perfect time to show Alexis that there’s more to him than numbers and spreadsheets—and beneath the pinstripes and glasses lies a hot-blooded heartthrob. As Florida’s sultry days turn into even hotter nights, Logan’s out to convince Alexis that the fling of a lifetime could just maybe turn into forever…

“Dear Mr. M: A Novel,” by Herman Koch

Publisher: Hogarth; September 6, 2016

dear-mrSynopsis:

Once a celebrated writer, M had his greatest success with a suspense novel based on a real-life disappearance. It told the story of a history teacher who went missing one winter after having a brief affair with a beautiful student of his. The teacher was never found. Upon publication, M’s novel was a runaway bestseller, one that marked his international breakthrough.

That was years ago, and now M’s career is fading. But not when it comes to his bizarre, seemingly timid neighbor who keeps a close eye on him and his wife. Why?

From alternating points of view, where no one is to be trusted, Herman Koch weaves together an intricate tale of a writer in decline, a teenage couple in love, a missing teacher, and a single book that entwines all of their fates. Thanks to M’s novel, supposedly a work of fiction, everyone seems to be linked forever, until something unexpected spins the “story” off its rails.

With ever increasing tension, his signature sardonic wit and world-renowned sharp eye for human failings, Herman Koch once again spares nothing and no one in his gripping new novel, a barbed performance that suspends readers in the mysterious space between fact and fiction.

“Myth and Magic,” by Mae Clair

Publication: Lyrical Press; June 9, 2015

myth

Synopsis:

Veronica Kent fell in love with Caith Breckwood when they were children. As a teenager, she was certain he was the man she was destined to marry. But a traumatic event from Caith’s past led him to fear a future together. He left Veronica, hoping to save her from a terrible fate. Twelve years later, Caith, now a P.I., is hired to investigate bizarre incidents at the secluded retreat Veronica manages. Returning to his hometown, Caith is forced to face his nightmares—and his feelings for the woman he’s always loved.
THEN ONE DAY THE MONSTERS BECAME REAL.
 
After the callous way Caith broke her heart, Veronica isn’t thrilled to see him again. But strange occurrences have taken a dangerous toll on business at Stone Willow Lodge. Forced to work together, Veronica discovers it isn’t ghostly apparitions that frighten her, but her passion for a man she has never forgotten. Or forgiven. Can two people with a tarnished past unearth a magical future?

“Electra 225,” by Bernard Mendillo

Publication: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform;

April 30, 2015

electraSynopsis:

Electra 225 is a funny and heartwarming novel about a man who inherits his father’s classic Buick and convinces his troubled family to take a summer trip to the Pacific Ocean—for lunch. When his father, dies, Andy Scalabenfro inherits a 1959 Buick Electra 225. A massive Buick—with holes on the side! The high point of America’s love affair with the road. Andy and his wife Christi are barely doing all right in their life in Providence, Rhode Island. He’s lost his job and is filling in by substitute teaching. Their teenage kids, Henry and Morgan, talk to them a little less than most teenage kids. Christi is a CPA, who has never really gotten over the one lost opportunity of her life. Andy decides that they should use the summer to take a car trip to California, see the Pacific Ocean, have lunch and then come back. “You can pick the restaurant,” he tells Christi. They’re off. Reluctantly. But off, nonetheless. For about twenty minutes. Then the car breaks down and they have to pull off the highway in Johns Towne, Rhode Island. And they can’t leave. They can’t go home because they rented their house for the month. Adventures follow. Salvation may be at hand. Oddly, everything seems to focus on Detroit. Then there is Agnes, the octogenarian who Andy has hired to type his handwritten manuscript. They never meet, but converse through notes in Andy’s writing. Slowly, Agnes and Andy find a way to do what has to be done.

“Faithful,” by Alice Hoffman

Publication: Simon & Schuster; November 1, 2016

faithfulSynopsis:

Growing up on Long Island, Shelby Richmond is an ordinary girl until one night an extraordinary tragedy changes her fate. Her best friend’s future is destroyed in an accident, while Shelby walks away with the burden of guilt.

What happens when a life is turned inside out? When love is something so distant it may as well be a star in the sky? Faithful is the story of a survivor, filled with emotion—from dark suffering to true happiness—a moving portrait of a young woman finding her way in the modern world. A fan of Chinese food, dogs, bookstores, and men she should stay away from, Shelby has to fight her way back to her own future. In New York City she finds a circle of lost and found souls—including an angel who’s been watching over her ever since that fateful icy night.

Here is a character you will fall in love with, so believable and real and endearing, that she captures both the ache of loneliness and the joy of finding yourself at last. For anyone who’s ever been a hurt teenager, for every mother of a daughter who has lost her way, Faithful is a roadmap.

Happy reading everyone and have a great week 🙂

Book Blitz, Giveaway, Reviews

Beautiful Secret Book Tour

New Release……..

Set in the lush hills of the French Ardennes and the scorched mountains of Southern Italy, Beautiful Secret is a tale of family secrets, forbidden love, and unexpected blessings.

Maria’s story unfolds in 1940’s Italy, where family ties and tradition are of utmost importance. When Maria is seduced by her cousin’s fiancĂ©, she becomes pregnant, and the scandal destroys her family. Whisked away from her poor rural village of Tronca to a severe Catholic convent several mountain towns away, she gives birth to a son. Maria is under tremendous pressure to give her baby up for adoption. Against the odds, she manages to keep her child and then must find a way to get him back to the home and family that is his birth right.

Years later, after being forced to marry and emigrate to America, Maria is at the end of her life. As she lies on her deathbed in a Pittsburgh hospital, Maria shares her story with her beloved granddaughter, Tatiana.

Awash in her own marital troubles, Tatiana agrees to Maria’s dying wish – to travel to Europe and retrieve a package from an aunt she’s never met. When Tate journeys to the land of her ancestors, she fully expects to meet her long lost family and to lay eyes on the places that cultivated a spirit like her Nana Maria’s. What she doesn’t anticipate is falling into a forbidden love affair with a sexy French man who happens to be her distant cousin by marriage. Throughout her journey, Tate not only discovers a shocking secret that Nana Maria waited a lifetime to disclose, but she also finds that the trick to life doesn’t lie in the best-laid plans but in how you react to the things you never expected.

 

My Review:

“Beautiful Secret” is my first time reading Dana Faletti but absolutely will not be the last! The story begins with Tate rushing to the hospital to see her beloved Nana Maria, afraid each day that Maria will die before she gets there. Maria has been telling her stories of her life but makes a request that after she has passed, Tate travel to Europe meet her family. Tate’s travels are magical, surprising, and emotional all in one, but so exciting!

I really loved Tate and very early on absolutely despised her mean husband. I loved that she took off on this journey alone, as Nana Maria wished. The author’s descriptions of dinners with the family are so incredibly vivid I could taste the food and visual the cigarette smoke hanging in the air. Similarly, with Tate and Michel, there were moments that as the reader I could feel the chemistry and connection between them.

I find myself at a loss of words with this review, which is strange for me, lol! I really loved this novel from beginning to end with Faletti’s beautiful writing, in several languages, the complex characterization that went into this novel. Sometimes I am unsure about switching back and forth between time periods, but it worked perfectly in this novel as Tate told her story and then Nana told hers. This novel is a reminder that any family can have secrets whether good, bad or both, but how we deal with them is what’s important. I highly recommend this book to lover’s of women’s fiction and romance mixed with some surprising twists!

*Thanks to Beck Valley Books for providing a copy of this novel in exchange for an honest review.

 

Available to buy from….
Amazon.com   Amazon.co.uk

“Delicious, rich, spicy, delectable and satisfying! I’m not just talking about the cuisine in this book, but the luscious, addictive writing of Faletti who weaves together a multi-generational story that will both break your heart and make it pound loudly!”
– Author Lori M Jones

“This story within a story parallels two women’s lives, two generations apart, taking the reader on a tumultuous and heart stopping journey that you won’t soon forget. Faletti’s use of language is just as lush and striking as the romance that awaits Tatiana on the shores of this other world.”
– Author Carolyn Menke

“A 5-star read for anyone who can’t get enough of stories of forbidden love or romances set in foreign destinations. Excellent, sexy, spicy read with a plot twist at the end that will leave you swooning!”
– Author Cara Reinard

About the author
Dana has been writing for what seems like forever. Her young adult trilogy, The Whisper Series, is a paranormal romance that’s rife with angels, demons and forbidden romance, as well as a message of love and acceptance that has touched readers nationwide. Her newest novel, Beauiful Secret is a women’s fiction romance set in the scorched hills of Southern Italy, where Dana has spent much time traveling and visiting relatives. Dana has a love affair with all things Italian and is proud to be part of the loud, crazy, and wonderful Italian family that inspired her new book.

Dana writes poetry as a survival skill and loves to connect with other writers both online and in person. When she’s not writing, Dana can be found reading on her Kindle, cooking something delicious, or daydreaming about her upcoming travel destinations. She lives in in a suburb of Pittsburgh with her husband, three young daughters, and a snarky Shichon called Dolce.

Find the author on the following sites….
Website   Facebook   Twitter    Goodreads  Pinterest  Amazon Author Page

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Photobucket I received this book through Beck Valley Books Book Tours, I have volunteered to share my review and all the opinions are 100% my own.

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Reviews

Review: “A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate”

A LITTLE LUCK, A LOT OF FATE,

BY LINN B. HALTON

PUBLICATION: CHOC LIT; OCTOBER 25, 2016

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Synopsis: 

When destiny calls, you need to pick up …

On the surface, Kristi Danielson has it all. She’s lifestyle coach to the rich and famous, has a bestselling book to her name and is described by her fans as “the veritable Queen of how to lead a fulfilling life”.

But the harsh truth is that Kristi has never practiced what she preaches. Her home life is a mess, her relationship with artist boyfriend, Tom, not much better – and now she has to redeem herself before all is lost.

At her wit’s end, Kristi is driven to seek out the help of Patrick Blakeslee, a tarot card reader and psychic medium, in an attempt to make sense of the mounting panic she’s feeling.

But Patrick’s visits have an unexpected effect on Kristi, leaving her with more questions than answers – and a life-changing decision to make.

Review: 

I need to start with the fact that I initially struggled getting into this book. I can’t really pinpoint the exact reason but something made me repeatedly put this one down or have to go back and start over. However, once I got into “A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate,” I really did get into Kristi, Patrick, and the bulk of the plot. The main character, Kristi, is a self-help novelist/guru who suddenly hears an “inner voice” one day, prompting her to take a 4 month sabbatical from her high-profile career and stay home. She’s lived in her home for several years but has never unpacked, so with the help of her wonderful housekeeper, Eve, she begins settling into her home and begins a new book project about figuring out her own life. Prompted by her “inner voice,” Kristi contacts a tarot card reader, Patrick, who helps her with figuring out what’s going on in her life and shares the visions that he sees. All of this is blended in with family illnesses, dealing with career demands, and reflection on her long-term but unsatisfying relationship with Tom, the starving artist, mountain man, childhood boyfriend, etc. 

One thing I really loved about this novel was Kristi’s sudden realization that she needed to make changes in her life, as well as, her quick decisions to do just that. In that way, she is a strong, feminine character acknowledging the shortcomings in her life and promptly making the decision to explore ways to find happiness and contentment in her life. I also really loved the almost instant connection between her and Patrick. Although she felt unsure and awkward during their initial conversations, it was quickly evident that they felt comfortable with each other in a way that they were not accustomed to. 

The main thing that I did not like about this novel was Tom. I get that he had a troubled childhood and that he and Kristi have been friends, lovers, whatever – for many years. I personally am not attracted to the moody, pissy, selfish artist-type, which I realize is irrelevant because I wasn’t a character in the novel, but honestly, Tom was ridiculous. Besides being all of the before-mentioned things, he was also a leech, using Kristi for exposure and publicity, all the while caring nothing about another single living creature on earth. Why Kristi spends the entire novel trying to conform to what he wants is beyond me… With that being said, I would have loved and highly recommended this book if it weren’t for Tom and her sick attachment to him. 

“A Little Luck, A Lot of Fate” definitely has a unique and engaging story line that was entertaining and romantic in a mystical sort of way. Unfortunately for me, Tom overshadowed the great things about this novel, making me just sort of “blah” after finishing it. It did get to a point where I was overjoyed with the outcome, but the ending was so quickly wrapped up, I feel as if the author missed out on the opportunity to make up for all of the wasted chapters on Tom. 

Learn more about Linn B. Halton by visiting her web page. 

* I received a copy of this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review. 

Book Blitz, Giveaway, Guest Post

Incandescently – Blitz, Giveaway, & Guest Post

Incandescently
Sylvie Parizeau
Publication date: October 22nd 2016
Genres: New Adult, Romance

LIAM O’SHEA, bestseller author of the SciFi saga, Eiloe.

All I knew was pain – a childhood filled with cruelty and villains who used and abused.

Until Éolie.

I first heard her sweet, angelical voice in the dark of night, when I lay bathed in my own impending death. Seventeen years later, it’s not the nightmare she pulled me out of that haunts me, but the glimpse of Happily Ever After she revealed just before disappearing.

They said she was a figment of my boundless imagination. A wish. A dream. Until I had no choice but to believe them, cherishing my imaginary savior the only way I knew how – in fiction and lore.

But fantasy has a way of transforming reality. When I finally tire of being a citizen of the world, I take an impromptu sabbatical as a professor at a small college on the coast of Maine. And there I see her, the girl with the sea-green eyes and angelic voice.

My world turns upside down. Turns out my girl is for real, and the pull between us is anything but imaginary.

Happily Ever After has a story … and this one is mine.

Goodreads / Amazon

—

Guest post by Sylvie Parizeau

The overall theme of the Incandescent Series is romantic with a touch of magic and whimsy.

Bonjour !

As you know by now (spoiler alert if you haven’t read my full bio : http://www.sylvieparizeau.com/about-sylvie/), I am epilogue obsessive compulsive.

And as Éolie once said to Liam in one of their deleted scenes:

_“Liam, it’s a compulsion. I swear; I start to read fully intending not to skip ahead, but I can’t help it. I need to know how it ends before I can enjoy how the characters get there. I cannot bear anything less than a happy ending. Everyone deserves a happily ever after.”_

Guilty as charged. I am one of those who read the end … right after Chapter One. So by now, you’re either, gasping, cringing, totally scandalized, or smiling in complete accord, depending on which side of that story you stand, non?

But in any case, this obsession of mine is what started my story-telling journey. I can’t tell you how many times I concocted additional scenes in my head every time I got lost in a romance book. What do you mean The End? Noooo. It’s the beginning! Give me the happy!!

And as such, Liam and Éolie’s story, INCANDESCENTLY, book One in the Incandescent Series, holds a very special place in my heart, and I hope it will in yours too come October 22, 2016.

Meanwhile, in heartfelt appreciation for being such an awesome and all-around wonderful blogger, your tribe is among the first ones to enter a chance for a signed paperback copy as well as a signed copy of the map. A journey into the incandescent world of the Forest of Laure where all of my characters find their Happily Ever After, love, cherish, and grow, one story at a time.

So? In the mood to read something romantic with a touch of magic and whimsy? Go ahead. Let yourself loose.

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You guys rock my world.

Happy reading!

Sylvie Parizeau, romance novelist @ http://www.sylvieparizeau.com

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Author Bio:

A paralegal by day and incurable romantic by night, Sylvie is a cross-genre, and she takes Happily Ever After very seriously. The End just isn’t in her vocabulary.

An incorrigible daydreamer, she now feeds her obsession with epilogues by concocting stories in which heroes deal with the happy from the get-go. Ready, or not. And she confesses under oath to loving every minute of it.

Sylvie lives her own Happily Ever After in the beautiful mountains of Les Laurentides in Northern Quebec, alongside her whole set of characters.

In between treks in their backyard wilderness, you can find them hanging out at http://www.sylvieparizeau.com

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