Wednesday, December 23, 2015

Just a Bit Wrong by Alessandra Hazard


Just a Bit Wrong
by Alessandra Hazard

Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
Published by: Amazon Digital
Publish Date: September 14, 2015
Genre: M/M Romance, LGBTQ
Rating: 4 Stars

Zach Hardaway is one of the best physiotherapists in Europe.
Tristan DuVal is a young soccer star with a groin injury.
They despise each other from the moment they meet.

As far as Zach is concerned, Tristan is a rich, spoiled brat who is too used to getting his own way. 


As far as Tristan is concerned, Zach is a bossy, presumptuous jerk. 
Tristan hates Zach. He does. The problem is, he also wants to shove Zach against the nearest wall and climb him like a tree.

As soon as I finished reading Book 2 in the Straight Guys series by this author, I went right on to this one. I skipped #3 because I wasn't sure if it was healthy for me to read, but since the same characters overlap in this book and in Book #5, I think I will go back and read it.

The characters in this book could not be more different. Zach is straight in every way - straight-edged personality (or so he portrays), straight to the point physiotherapy, and someone who doesn't like games. Tristan, on the other hand, is a spoiled brat who gets off on manipulating people until he has no friends or family. He can certainly be annoying and a handful, but he was a well-written character.

While Zach and Tristan do get their HEA, there is a lot of depth to this book. We learn some about Tristan's background in this novel, but in the next (that I'm currently reading), we learn much, much more about why Tristan is the way he is. This is a stand alone novel, but I would keep reading to learn as much about these characters as you can.

The only thing negative I have to say about the series is that I don't like any of the book covers.

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year

From the Broke & the Bookish

I'm a new book blogger, so please follow me!
Follow on Bloglovin

On 4/6/15 I traded in my Swagbucks for a $100 Amazon Gift Card. No lie. LOVE LOVE Swagbucks!! Join here or read below for more information!


EARN FREE AMAZON GIFT CARDS! NO SPAM OR GIMMICKS!
Yep. If you haven't heard of Swagbucks yet, it's a Google-powered search engine that earns your free bucks that you can trade in for things like $5 Amazon Gift Cards. I've earned $300+ in Amazon GC since 2009. Join here now to get some free just for signing up. Yes, I will earn points as you earn points if you sign up under me, but once you sign up, you earn points from all your friends who sign up too! Win win! PLUS = FREE BOOKS! Here's my Swagbucks Tutorial for all the information you need!

Top Ten Books I Wouldn't Mind Santa Leaving Under My Tree This Year


1. Yours Truly by Annabel Pitcher - Zoe has an unconventional pen pal -- Mr. Stuart Harris, a Texas Death Row inmate and convicted murderer. But that's okay, because Zoe has an unconventional story to tell. A story about how she fell for two boys, betrayed one of them, and killed the other.

2. My Grandmother Asked Me to Tell You She's Sorry by Fredrik Backman - A novel about a young girl whose grandmother dies and leaves behind a series of letters, sending her on a journey that brings to life the world of her grandmother’s fairy tales.

3. The Truth Commission by Susan Juby - A story about easy truths, hard truths, and those things best left unsaid.

4. Left Drowning by Jessica Park - (Or anything by her, really!) What does it take to rise from life’s depths, swim against the current, and breathe?

5. Hot Head by Damon Suede - Since 9/11, Brooklyn firefighter Griff Muir has wrestled with impossible feelings for his best friend and partner at Ladder 181, Dante Anastagio. Unfortunately, Dante is strictly a ladies’ man, and the FDNY isn’t exactly gay-friendly. For ten years, Griff has hidden his heart in a half-life of public heroics and private anguish.

6. Seven Letters from Paris: A Memoir by Samantha Verant - At age 40, Samantha Verant's life is falling apart-she's jobless, in debt, and feeling stuck... until she stumbles upon seven old love letters from Jean-Luc, the sexy Frenchman she'd met in Paris when she was 19. With a quick Google search, she finds him, and both are quick to realize that the passion they felt 20 years prior hasn't faded with time and distance.

7. Tomorrow River by Lesley Kagen - During the summer of 1968 in Rockbridge County, Virginia, eleven-year- old Shenandoah Carmody's mother disappeared. Her twin sister, Woody, stopped speaking, and her once-loving father slipped into a mean drunkenness unbefitting a superior court judge. As the first anniversary of their mother's disappearance nears, her father's threat to send Woody away and his hints at an impending remarriage spur a desperate Shenny to find her mother-before it's too late.

8. Jane and Austen by Stephanie Fowers - Meet Jane and Austen. First there's Jane—an impractical, starry-eyed wedding planner; if love can’t match what she’s read in a book, she doesn’t want it. And then there’s Austen—a pragmatic, logical-to-a-fault financial consultant; even if he were interested in someone, he wouldn’t know.

9. Forbidden by Tabitha Suzuma - Seventeen-year-old Lochan and sixteen-year-old Maya have always felt more like friends than siblings. Together they have stepped in for their alcoholic, wayward mother to take care of their three younger siblings. As de facto parents to the little ones, Lochan and Maya have had to grow up fast. And the stress of their lives—and the way they understand each other so completely—has also brought them closer than two siblings would ordinarily be. So close, in fact, that they have fallen in love.

10. Sneaking Candy by Lisa Burstein - A graduate student by day, an erotic romance author by night, a forbidden attraction I can't deny...

Monday, December 21, 2015

Just a Bit Obsessed (Straight Guys Series Book 2) by Alessandra Hazard


Just a Bit Obsessed
by Alessandra Hazard

Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
Published by: Amazon Digital
Publish Date: December 4, 2014
Genre: M/M Romance, LGBTQ
Rating: 4 Stars

Alexander Sheldon likes order and control in his life. He isn’t happy when his girlfriend invites another guy for a threesome. Alexander believes in monogamy, and he’s never been good at sharing his things. It doesn’t help that Christian rubs him the wrong way from the beginning.

But what starts as animosity turns into something else. Something unexpected and very wrong.

He was never supposed to touch Christian. He was never supposed to feel possessive of the guy. And he most definitely wasn’t supposed to want Christian more than he wants his girlfriend.

It’s a recipe for disaster.

I stumbled on this book quite by accident on Amazon, but I've found that my straight-girl-self totally likes M/M romances. It sounded interesting, so I thought I'd give it a try. I wasn't disappointed.

Before buying it on Amazon, I noticed that it was only 160 pages long. I usually don't read books that short, but was pushed into buying it by all of the fabulous reviews. I quickly learned that the author has an incredible knack for getting right to the point. As a wordy-writer myself, I am always trying to lighten up my writing - just say what I need to say. This author did just that - and very effectively at that!

The beginning of the book gets right into the storyline. There's really no need for background on Alexander, Mila or Christian because the author lets that come out naturally as the story plays out. It was quite refreshing. I don't really want to post spoilers and I feel if I keep reviewing the book, I will give things away. I will say, there is definitely a HEA and 5 more books in the series. I'm definitely going to read another one right away.

More Than Comics by Elizabeth Briggs

More Than Comics
by Elizabeth Briggs

Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
Published by:  Elizabeth Briggs
Publish Date: February 23, 2015
Genre: NA, Romance
Rating: 4.5 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

They're best friends online - but can they be more in real life?

Writer Tara McFadden has been best friends with artist and drummer Hector Fernandez for years, long before his band became famous on reality TV – yet they’ve never met in person. They finally have a chance to connect offline when they’re both sent to Comic-Con to promote the graphic novel they collaborated on.

Hector's secretly been in love with Tara for as long as he can remember, and once they meet, she sees him in a new light. All the years of longing lead to an incredible night of passion after one of his concerts, but neither is sure if their online relationship can translate into a real life romance – or if this will ruin their friendship forever.

Over four crazy days at Comic-Con, Hector and Tara must decide if they want a future together. But when their story seems to be over, it’s up to Hector’s entire band to make sure he and Tara get their happy ending.


I was privileged to review More Than Music by Elizabeth Briggs earlier in the year, so I jumped at the chance to read this novel as well. I'm so glad that I did!

I, myself, have met quite a few online friends in real life. I've had some good experiences and two really horrible experiences that literally changed my life forever, yet, the concept of this novel really intrigued me. Although I don't let it show, I think I'm a romantic at heart and really wanted to read a happy ending to the internet friends to real life situation. I was very pleased with how this book arced.

The setting was Comic-Con, something I don't know much about in real life, but I really enjoyed the way the author laid it out. It was the perfect setting and time period (4 days) to give the main characters time to adjust to one another in person, and also create background detail. It was rather brilliant.

Tara had absolutely no idea that she liked Hector as more than a friend, but as she thought about it, she realized that he was the first person she thought of every day, the person she talked to every day and the person she told her secrets too. Perhaps she had been in love with him the entire time, but just didn't know it.

I really liked Hector. He wasn't your typical white alpha male main character and it was refreshing. Although he was a softie on the inside, he was a man of few words on the outside. You never really knew what he was thinking. His band of friends (pun intended) were like a family to him and pushed him out of his comfort zone to get him to go for what he truly wanted.

Overall, the plot arc had a depth that you don't usually find in the new adult genre. The main characters, as well as the peripheral characters, were well-defined and unique to furthering along the story in their own way. Everyone had an integral part in the joining of Tara and Hector. I'm definitely game for reading the next book in the series!

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

TTT: Top 5 Best Books I Read in 2015

From the Broke & the Bookish

I'm a new book blogger, so please follow me!
Follow on Bloglovin

On 4/6/15 I traded in my Swagbucks for a $100 Amazon Gift Card. No lie. LOVE LOVE Swagbucks!! Join here or read below for more information!


EARN FREE AMAZON GIFT CARDS! NO SPAM OR GIMMICKS!
Yep. If you haven't heard of Swagbucks yet, it's a Google-powered search engine that earns your free bucks that you can trade in for things like $5 Amazon Gift Cards. I've earned $300+ in Amazon GC since 2009. Join here now to get some free just for signing up. Yes, I will earn points as you earn points if you sign up under me, but once you sign up, you earn points from all your friends who sign up too! Win win! PLUS = FREE BOOKS! Here's my Swagbucks Tutorial for all the information you need!

5 Best Books I Read in 2015

For NA:

Prick: A Stepbrother Romance by Sabrina Paige - HEA for young adults is sometimes hard for me to swallow, but this author made it feel realistic. It was HOT.

Schooled by Piper Lawson - I'm reading the second book now! Lex is a smart, interesting MC who falls, though she tries not to, for her best friend's little brother Dylan. It was well-written and made me want to read more by this author!

Everything Has Changed by Mia Kayla - Atypical of NA, this wasn't a hot and heavy book, but rather a natural journey showing two people who know each other so well but are so close that they can't actually see that the other loves them as more than a friend. Worth the read.


Memoir:

The Reluctant Psychic by Suzan Saxman & Perdita Finn - While there were times that I really couldn't identify with the things Suzan was into, including the men she was interested in, the book showed her natural journey to self-discovery as an oracle and finding her place in the world. It was grounded, which I wasn't expecting.


Thriller/Mystery

Sparrow 59 by Devon Ashley - I'm pretty much dying for the 2nd book to come out! It was labeled "The Bourne Identity meets Mr. and Mrs. Smith for the new adult crowd," and I loved every second of it!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Cannon by Sabrina Paige


Cannon
by Sabrina Paige

Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
Published by: Amazon Digital
Publish Date: May 31, 2015
Genre: NA, Step-Siblings
Rating: 4 Stars

You might think you've heard every story of forbidden love. But you haven't heard ours. Hendrix "Cannon" Cole is a damaged, sexy-as-hell ex-Marine. And he's my stepbrother. I'm a country singer in the spotlight. Our history is complicated. I used to hate him. Then I loved him. Then I hated him again. When he joined the Marines five years ago, I thought he was gone forever. Now he's back. I have everything to lose. He has nothing left. The heat between us is explosive. And both of us may wind up getting burned.

This is my third stepbrother novel by Sabrina Paige, having read Prick and Tool before. I wasn't a super fan of Tool, but am glad I tried Cannon because I really enjoyed it.

I didn't really believe the opening situation in which Hedrix and Addison found themselves in. It seemed like a flimsy excuse to put these two together. Addison is caught in tabloid photos hanging around other VIPs who are drinking and doing drugs, although Addison herself wasn't partaking. Her parents then decided that her stepbrother Hendrix, a former marine, would be her bodyguard aka the person who would keep her reputation on the straight and narrow. It just didn't ring true for me since Addison wasn't even doing anything wrong.

That said, the heat and push-pull between Hendrix and Addison was spot-on. I wanted to see them get together. Each character was well fleshed out and someone I cared about. I'll definitely read Sabrina's fourth book in the series next.

Tool by Sabrina Paige

Tool
by Sabrina Paige

Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
Published by: Amazon Digital
Publish Date: April 3, 2015
Genre: NA, Step-Siblings
Rating: 3.5 Stars

Gaige O’Neal is nicknamed “Tool” because of what he’s packing. Rumor is that he’s well equipped. He’s a cocky, entitled, insufferable jerk who’s as reckless with women as he is with that stupid motorcycle he races. It's been four years since I've seen him. Four years ago, he was the bane of my existence. And my best friend, my biggest confidant, my first love. My stepbrother. It’s just my luck that the first time I see him in four years, he’s buried beneath three scantily clad blondes. Now I’m stuck here under the same roof with him while he recovers from a racing injury. An injury that clearly hasn’t affected the use of his tool. The problem is, as much as I despise him, I just can’t help myself. I want to find out what kind of tool he's working with.

As soon as I finished Prick by Sabrina Bailey, I immediately bought the second book in her stepbrothers series, hoping for older characters and just-as-hot chemistry as Prick brought to the table. I was a tad disappointed in Tool.

Gaige was engaging, cocky, and sexy-as-hell with a Southern drawl on top instead of a cherry. He was commanding in the bedroom and and in everyday life. Loved him.

Delaney, his stepsister, was quite another story. She really had no personality, no "oomph" if you will. She felt like a piece of dry toast to me and I was never sure why Gaige wanted her over the other women he had access to. I just didn't feel like the author really fleshed out this character. I wanted more.

Despite the fact that I didn't love this book, I did buy the next one, Cannon, which I will review next.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Book Subscription Boxes for the Book Lover!

I'm vaguely in love with reading as well as fun, monthly subscription boxes. What's not to love? I thought I'd post a few options to send to your favorite book-lover or even yourself!! Post this on Facebook and say "hint hint" . . . Maybe someone you love will send you one. :)




Choose your MONTHLY plan... phone size...and style! Either way, we have you "Covered". $26 per month

Each Book Box includes a different style phone case with a small gift such as a necklace, notepad bookmark etc. Along with a 5" x 7" quote print.
Valued at $50 per box
Fashionable Bookish accessories
Phone cases for men and women!!
Choose your style!




The Subscription Box: Book Riot YA QUARTERLY Box
The Cost: $50 a box + shipping (ships every quarter)
The Products: At least 2 YA books in every box plus book-ish goodies. (No overlap with the original Book Riot Quarterly box).
Ships to: US and International





As the only subscription box of its kind, Muse Monthly delivers a unique experience for lovers of literature and tea. Every month, you will get a new novel and a full box or tin of tea on your doorstep! So go ahead: curl up and enjoy! $21 per MONTH

Average value of $40
Full size tea tins
Newly published novels (occasionally hardback!)
Great community and customer service





$27.57 per MONTH - Starting on the 13th of every month we send out exciting book boxes to our wonderful subscribers containing a vintage paperback book, a handmade book bag, a library card to catalogue their growing collection and added surprises!


Lit Cube


A MONTHLY subscription box that contains bookish items, including a t-shirt! $34.99 per month including tax! The December box's theme is Mr. Grinch.



Get 2 autographed books + bookish items each month! I'm not sure on the pricing.




Every box includes a t-shirt in your size from Appraising Pages Shop, and 3-5 items. Each box has a cute theme & will feature new small shops. Expect to see home, beauty, and fashion items with the geeky, but stylish lady in mind. $29.99 per MONTH.

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

2016 Inspiration, Guidance & Accountability from Leonie Dawson!



Need inspiration, guidance, and accountability for your life or business in 2016? I highly recommend Leonie Dawson​'s 2016 Shining Life & Biz products! I get one every year.



You can choose either the Shining Life system or the Biz System . . . or Both! If you so choose, please use my affiliate link. :)

Here is a screenshot from my 2014 Shining Life Workbook. It's 100 Things I wanted to accomplish that year.



Here's a screenshot from my Biz Workbook:



Monday, November 16, 2015

Prick by Sabrina Bailey

Prick
by Sabrina Paige

Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
Published by: Amazon Digital
Publish Date: February 10, 2015
Genre: NA, HOTT, Step-Siblings
Rating: 4.25 Stars

Caulter Sterling is a prick. A filthy-mouthed, womanizing, crude, spoiled, arrogant prick. The tattooed, pierced, ridiculously hot son of a celebrity. I hate him. He's slept his way through practically every girl at Brighton Academy. Except for me. I'm the good girl. The responsible girl. The 4.0, class president, studied-so-much-she-never-lost-the-big-V girl. And in celebration of graduation and adulthood, I just made the worst decision in the history of ever. I lost my V-card to the devil himself. It was just one night. So what if it was mind-blowing? Hit it and quit it. Except I just found out that my father - the Senator, the Presidential hopeful - is marrying Caulter's mother. Oh, and this summer? We're hitting the campaign trail. One big happy family. I'm totally screwed.

The ONLY reason I gave this book 4.25 stars and not higher was the fact that the MCs are only 18 years old. I'm kind of over the "high school kids falling into forever love" thing (I'm an old lady of 38). It's just not realistic for me, HOWEVER, besides the tiny fact that these two are young (and sound young) this book was HOT HOT HOT! I love the step-siblings trope, loved the push and pull of Caulter and Kate, loved that they hated to love each other, and actually loved that the ending happened the way it did. It made things a bit more realistic for me. HEA of young adults is hard to swallow sometimes, but the author did a great job of making it believable and making me glad it actually happened for them.

The author has 3 more stepbrother books out there and I already ordered the next one! The others seem to have older characters, so I'm hoping I'll just love those even more! :)

Monday, November 9, 2015

No One Knows by JT Ellison

No One Knows
by JT Ellison

Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
Published by: Gallery, Threshold, Pocket Books
Publish Date: March 22, 2016
Genre: Thriller, Mystery
Rating: 3 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

The day Aubrey Hamilton’s husband is declared dead by the state of Tennessee should bring closure so she can move on with her life. But Aubrey doesn’t want to move on. She just wants Josh back. It’s been five years since he disappeared, since their blissfully happy marriage—they were happy, weren’t they?—screeched to a halt and Aubrey became the prime suspect in his disappearance. Five years of emptiness, solitude, loneliness, questions. Why didn’t Josh show up at his friend’s bachelor party? Who anonymously sent Aubrey her favorite cocktail at the bar where Josh stood her up? Was he murdered? Did he run away? And now, all this time later, who is the mysterious and strangely familiar figure suddenly haunting her new life?

As her heroine faces the possibility that everything she thinks she knows about herself, her marriage, and her husband is a lie, New York Times bestselling author J.T. Ellison expertly peels back the layers of a complex woman who is hiding dark secrets beneath her unassuming exterior. In a masterful thriller for readers who love Gillian Flynn, Liane Moriarty, and Paula Hawkins, Ellison pulls you into a you’ll-never-guess merry-go-round of danger and deception. Round and round and round it goes, where it stops…no one knows.


This is a hard book to review. I thought the book was well-written overall, the 3-dimensional characters, the conflict among them viable, and the mystery that kept me interested. I won't say anything more as I don't want to give anything away. For my taste, then end was . . . well . . . a little too Gillian Flynn Gone Girl for me. It seemed rushed, and while their were clues along the way that vaguely explained what happens to Aubrey at the end, I just didn't buy it. I didn't buy any of it. You'll have to read and decide yourself.

Schooled (Travesty Book 1) by Piper Lawson


Schooled (Travesty Book 1)
by Piper Lawson

Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
Published by: Piper Lawson Books
Publish Date: June 1, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Witty, Romance
Rating: 4.5 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

A sexy story about smart girls, big dreams, and best friends’ little brothers who just keep. Coming. Back...

Twenty-one-year-old Alexis Caine is so close to her dream she can taste it. And it tastes like validation and Häagen-Dazs.

In a few months the self-admitted control freak will graduate with a shiny new business degree and launch a fashion label with her best friend Ava. All the planning, dedication, and saying ‘no’ to every distraction will pay off.

Then Dylan Cameron, Ava’s tall, dark and broody younger brother, returns from the East coast as a sophomore at Lex’s San Diego college. Lex has hardly seen him in years. Given his reputation for partying and girls, that’s fine with her.

Now Dylan’s all grown up. And a night of unplanned confessions for both of them threatens to tear Lex’s carefully constructed world off its axis.

Dylan may be new on campus, but he's making it clear he wants more than Lex's attention. Their shocking chemistry is too hot to ignore. But is Lex willing to put her dreams, her best friend and her heart on the line?


I really, really enjoyed this book. The author imbibed wit, charm, and likability into each of her characters. I cared about who they were, what they wanted, and what they had to say. Oftentimes, I put down new adult books because they are written in too juvenile a manner for me, but Piper Lawson renewed my faith in NA writers with Schooled. I can't wait to read her next installment!

This standalone book also had a well-plotted arc and realistic conflicts. Again, those are not very prevalent (in my opinion) in today's new adult genre. I didn't feel as though the author was using old, tired conflict to create tension between Lex and Dylan. Everything that happened was natural. I would have made the same assumptions she did.

I won't give too much away other than to say READ THIS BOOK! I can't wait until the second book in her Travesty series comes out. :)

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

5 Celebrity Memoirs I Want to Read

From the Broke & the Bookish

I'm a new book blogger, so please follow me!
Follow on Bloglovin

On 4/6/15 I traded in my Swagbucks for a $100 Amazon Gift Card. No lie. LOVE LOVE Swagbucks!! Join here or read below for more information!


EARN FREE AMAZON GIFT CARDS! NO SPAM OR GIMMICKS!
Yep. If you haven't heard of Swagbucks yet, it's a Google-powered search engine that earns your free bucks that you can trade in for things like $5 Amazon Gift Cards. I've earned $300+ in Amazon GC since 2009. Join here now to get some free just for signing up. Yes, I will earn points as you earn points if you sign up under me, but once you sign up, you earn points from all your friends who sign up too! Win win! PLUS = FREE BOOKS! Here's my Swagbucks Tutorial for all the information you need!


5 Celebrity Memoirs I Want to Read

Sorry for doing my own topic this week, but I'm not a huge Halloween person.

1. Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood & Scientology by Leah Remini - After 30+ years in Scientology, she bares all. I have a friend who grew up in Scientology and I'm interested to learn more about its aftereffects. I saw them in my friend and I'm sure Leah has a lot to say on the subject.

2. Wildflower by Drew Barrymore - From clubs at 7 to rehab at 12, her life was very unconventional. Regardless, she has blossomed beautifully. Her first memoir, Little Girl Lost sounds like a good read too.

3. There Was a Little Girl: The Real Story of My Mother and Me by Brooke Shields - Brooke's stage mom pushed her into puberty too early and lived vicariously through her until daughter didn't know where she began and mother ended. Her mother sounds like she had Borderline Personality Disorder, like my mom does.

4. Neil Patrick Harris: Choose Your Own Autobiography - While I'm not a fan of his - I think he comes off as rather arrogant at times - I do think the concept of this book would make it an interesting read.

5. unSweetined by Jodie Sweetin - How America's Sweetheart turned into a Meth head. Sad.

Celebrity Memoirs I've Read & Recommend

1. High on Arrival by MacKenzie Phillips - This is a very sobering, sad read. Trigger Warning: Incest. Well-written though and really helps you understand her lifelong drug addiction.

2. Unbearable Lightness: A Story of Loss and Gain by Portia di Rossi - Trigger Warning: Anorexia

3. Off Balance: A Memoir by Dominique Moceanu - Trigger Warning: Abusive Childhood with father and gymnastic coach Bela Karolyi

Monday, October 26, 2015

Monday Mish Mash

Mondays often find me rambling about things other than books. Here's today's offering.

Things on my mind:

  1. My mental health - aka ptsd, anxiety, meds not working
  2. Spent a week vacation with my borderline personality disordered mother
  3. #1 is a result of #2




A Mess of Reason by A. Wilding Wells


A Mess of Reason
by A. Wilding Wells

Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
Published by: Henry Holt & Company
Publish Date: July 2, 2015
Genre: New Adult, Friends-Turned-Lovers
Rating: 3.5/4 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

There are three sides to our story: mine, hers, and the truth.

Best friends since age 15, Scout and Tess, have always loved one another as more than friends, but never took a chance on the other. This is the story, told from both points of view, of love finally finding a way.

This is a hard book to review for me, because there are parts that I really loved and parts that I could've done without. I'll just spell it out for you:

You Won't Like This Book If:

  • Flowery, wordy metaphors aren't your thing. If you can just get past the first chapter (where it's REALLY bad), I assure you that it tones down a bit. The metaphors are still present, but not as bad as the first chapter. If that kind of thing bugs you, you won't be able to swallow this book. And speaking of swallowing . . .
  • MCs drinking shots as if they're drinking water doesn't sit well with you. I don't mind some drinking once in awhile, but I often found myself wondering how their relationship would be if there wasn't so much alcohol involved. They both verged on alcoholism in my opinion.
  • The Male MC spends a lot of time carrying around the Female MC and/or pulling her on his lap and/or describes her constantly as tiny and/or calls her "Baby" a heck of a lot doesn't ring true for you. No explanation needed there, although I never thought of a 5'7" female as tiny. That's taller than me and I don't feel tiny.
  • The MCs spend a lot of their time kissing in the name of friendship isn't realistic to you. I've had some male friends in my day and never did we ever kiss each other unless we were officially fooling around. The MCs spend a lot of time kissing in the name of friendship, pretending that that's normal - then wondering "Gee, I don't know if they like me as more than a friend." If they're constantly trying to make out with you, they probably like you as more than a friend.
  • The female MC spends a lot of time crying and/or pushing away the male MC is annoying to you. It was sometimes annoying to me and sometimes not.
  • You'd sometimes just like the author to GET TO THE POINT in a scene AKA although I like sexual tension, sometimes the scene just went on for too long in my opinion.
  • It bugs you when author's throw something super random into an otherwise well-detailed scenario AKA what happens at the wedding in this particular book.
You Will Like This Book If:
  • T-T-T-Tension (to quote Rocky Horror) between two people is more fun to read about than actual sex scenes (although there are plenty of those). I happen to like this and felt the author employed very creative ways of achieving this.
  • H*O*T not-sex-but-almost-sex scenes make up much of the book giving you something to look forward to when they FINALLY make love. Kind of related to the above bullet point, but I figured this deserved its own line.
  • Surprise secrets thrill you. Yes - secrets are supposed to be private thus making them secretive, but we've all read 100 books in which the MC has a "secret" that always turns out to be a secret we've already read about. Writers just aren't creative these days. I was taken aback and delighted that AWW created her own unique secret. Bravo!
Now, while my pet peeves list is greater than my like list, overall I really liked this book and gave it a pretty high rating. While not up to the level of my favorite NA books, the International Series by Chanel Cleeton, this book was a good runner up to what I liked about those books. I think I may purchase one of AWW's other books on my own. :)

Friday, October 23, 2015

FF: If I Could Re-Write a Book . . .


This weekly link-up is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read!

Please follow me on Bloglovin' & I'll follow you!
Follow on Bloglovin

On 4/6/15 I traded in my Swagbucks for a $100 Amazon Gift Card. No lie. LOVE LOVE Swagbucks!! Join here or read below for more information! They have GB Amazon Cards on there too!


EARN FREE AMAZON GIFT CARDS! NO SPAM OR GIMMICKS!
Yep. If you haven't heard of Swagbucks yet, it's a Google-powered search engine that earns your free bucks that you can trade in for things like $5 Amazon Gift Cards. I've earned $300+ in Amazon GC since 2009. Join here now to get some free just for signing up. Yes, I will earn points as you earn points if you sign up under me, but once you sign up, you earn points from all your friends who sign up too! Win win! PLUS = FREE BOOKS! Here's my Swagbucks Tutorial for all the information you need!

Question of the Week:
If you could re-write a book, which one would it be and what changes would you make?

This is a hard one. I usually stop reading books when I think the plot has either gone south or the author's writing style is just horrid. It's hard to choose a book I do like, but there are a lot of popular books that I thought could be tweaked a little.

Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins was loved by everyone, but I always always a bit annoyed with the obvious whining/immaturity of the MC, Anna. There was a little too much whining for me. A better alternative book, with a similar theme, is I See London by Chanel Cleeton. PLEASE read that one if you liked AATFK. So.Much.Better. :)

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Wednesday Wisdom

Well, it's  not really wisdom that will be helpful to you. It's more about me. Plus, it's Wednesday - so there's that. . .

Things:

  1. What I'm Watching on TV: Homeland, The Americans, Murder She Wrote re-runs
  2. What I'm Watching on Film: Man From Uncle, Spy, Pitch Perfect 2, Austenland
  3. What I'm Listening to: Pitch Perfect 1 & 2 mixes and Elle King
  4. What I'm Reading: New Adult
  5. Genre I'm Not Longer Reading: YA Romance unless it's not HEA. You can't have a true HEA as a high school student. Sorry.
  6. Tropes I Can No Longer Read: Most traditional romance tropes
  7. Romance Tropes I Want to Write About with a Different Spin on them: After a night of passion, the GUY realizes the GIRL is his new boss. It's always the other way around. Younger BROTHER of best friend and sister's best friend falling in love. 
  8. What I Need to Do: Lose weight, eat better, start being more active

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Pretty Is by Maggie Mitchell

Pretty Is
by Maggie Mitchell

Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
Published by: Henry Holt & Company
Publish Date: July 7, 2015
Genre: Psycholical, Kidnapping, Character-Driven
Rating: 3.5 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Everyone thought we were dead. We were missing for nearly two months; we were twelve. What else could they think? --Lois

It's always been hard to talk about what happened without sounding all melodramatic. . . . Actually, I haven't mentioned it for years, not to a goddamned person. --Carly May


When precocious Lois and pretty Carly May were twelve years old, they were kidnapped, driven across the country, and held in a cabin in the woods for two months by a charismatic stranger. Maggie Mitchell's spellbinding debut Pretty Is is about the repercussions of that formative summer, when two girls who previously did not know each other shared an experience that would shape all their days to come.

At the novel's start, Lois Lonsdale has begun teaching British literature at a small college in upstate New York. Out in LA, Chloe Savage (formerly Carly May) is a lonely actress, drinking too much and struggling to revive her career. When a movie script with a shockingly familiar plot comes into their lives, the women must grapple with unresolved losses and gains that have lain hidden for years behind the public's feverish presumptions.


While the basis of the story is the kidnapping of two pre-teens, seemingly at random, the author chooses instead to focus on how that short amount of time altered who the girls are in present-day, even alluding that their time with the stranger was more pleasant than the lives they were stolen away from. It's not your typical, formulaic kidnapping story, and I liked that.

The basis for the plot is that Lois wrote a fictionalized account of their two months of entrapment under a nom de plume. The successful best-seller is now being made into a movie with the focus on the fictional lead detective who tracked down the kidnapper and saved the day. In a strange twist of fate, Carly May, now known as actress Chloe, is cast in that role. What at first seems like a straight forward plot of flashbacks of their time with Zed the kidnapper and the coming together of the girls in their adult lives veers off course into Ms. Mitchell's real area of expertise: a long, deep look at the psychological motivations of Zed, Lois and Carly May, then and now. While that too sounds predictable, the author turns that tired plot device on its head when we realize Zed wasn't a horrible monster and that the girls actually liked being chosen by Zed and taken away from their previously unhappy living conditions.

While I felt it took too long for the women to reunite and I felt cheated that we never really did find out who Zed was or why he did what he did, the book was satisfying on the merits of characterization and psychology alone.

Just Business by Anna Zabo

Just Business
by Anna Zabo

Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
Published by: Penguin Berkeley
Publish Date: June 16, 2015
Genre: LGBTQ, S&M
Rating: 3 Stars

NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Still haunted by a tragic accident that left him with a wounded leg and broken heart, Eli has a need to be in control. But his desire for Justin makes him want to lose that control—and push them both far beyond their limits.

Justin White may not look like an up and coming corporate superstar, but his new boss knows he has the smarts, grit, and determination to succeed. Now he just has to convince his company’s CFO, Eli Ovadia. Unfortunately, Justin can’t seem to keep his cool around the domineering Eli—and soon he finds himself taking their heat from the boardroom into the bedroom….

The synopsis drew me in, but the characterization made me stay . . . While I do love a good brooding gentleman, a brooding gentleman with substance is always a win in my book.

Ruthless businessman Eli Ovadia is wounded, physically and emotionally. Justin White is a young college intern who has been physically and emotionally degraded before by someone he gave his heart to. The author really sucked me into the inner turmoil of the main characters, and had me rooting for them. Where I veered off course, was the entrance of the bondage parties. While I don't mind reading about some light bondage, I personally feel uncomfortable reading about more concrete control in sexual situations. I'm a sexual assault survivor, so that may be the reason. However, this is just my own personal opinion. The writing was imaginative and fresh and this type of story would be well-received by readers that are more open to this type of sexual encounter. It just became too much for me.

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

#fAcetoface with A

I pretty much can hardly handle the #BigA reveal tonight on Pretty Little Liars. There are soo many fan theories circulating out there. Here are my guesses, although I can't actually back everything up with examples . . .

My Initial Feeling:

Big A = Wren - He's really Charles and that's his motivation - not sure why he hates the girls though
Red Coat = CeCe
Black Widow = Melissa
Uber A = Aria (we won't find this out until the end of the 7th season)

But, I need to take into considering the following information:

All key plot lines revolve around Radley.

  1. Wren volunteered there
  2. Aria volunteered there
  3. Mona lived there
  4. Spencer lived there
  5. Bethany Young lived there
  6. Toby's mom lived & died there
  7. Charles DiLaurentis lived and possibly died there
  8. Jessica D was on the board at Radley
  9. A young Spencer may have been there too (remember the Maddie Ziegler dance?)
  10. How was Mona able to just come and go from Radley
  11. What did that orderly guy know? Forget his name . 
  12. A CCavanaugh visited Radley. Charles Cavanaugh aka Toby who isn't really Charles but has taken over his identity a bit? Or maybe he really was Charles at one time. Are Marion Cavanaugh & Mrs D siblings?


    They also revolve around the DiLaurentis Family.
    1. Someone has been trying to kill Ali for years - she even faked her own death to escape
    2. Ali's mom, buying 2 little girl dresses (in a flashback), the birthday party with "Freddy" at the Campbell Farm
    3. Jessica D's sister was a Campbell
    4. Andrew is an adopted Campbell
    5. Ken D thought Charles was dead. He also told Jason that Charlie was his imaginary friend.
    6. Jessica was on the board of directors for Radley - where Charles, Bethany, Marian lived . . .
    7. Jason is always in and out of town, mysteriously. Why? Was he really at rehab? 
    8. Charles - is he dead or alive? Is someone pretending to be him or using the name of Charles D as a ruse?
    9. And Mrs D got pregnant for Jason by Mr. Hastings. That makes Spencer and Jason & the D family 1/2 siblings. 

    And just where do the following people fit into the equation?
    1. Sara Harvey
    2. Who was Hottie Boy Ali thought she was pregnant by all those years ago?
    3. Melissa, if she's not Black Widow
    4. CeCe, if she's not Red Coat
    5. Mona
    6. Andrew Campbell
    7. Bethany Young
    8. Charles D - is he dead or alive
    9. How many people are currently on the A Team?
    10. Jenna
    11. Lucas
    12. Where is Tippy the bird?
    13. The NAT Club in general - It's interesting that Jason is the only member who's still alive.
    Are any of these "dead" people actually still alive? Marlene King hinted some dead might rise...
    1. Maya
    2. Garret
    3. Wildon
    4. Ian
    5. Jessica D
    6. Marion Cavanaugh
    Consider these:

    Who is technologically advanced enough to be A?
    1. Caleb
    2. Mona
    3. Andrew Campbell
    4. Ezra
    5. probably Spencer
    6. Lucas
    7. Maybe Jenna
    Who is rich enough to fund A?
    1. Hanna
    2. Mona
    3. Any of the DiLaurentis clan
    4. Carissimi Group which seems related to Jessica DiLaurentis
    5. Spencer
    6. Melissa
    7. The Hastings parents
    People who like dolls?
    1. Mona
    2. Aria
    3. Ali had dolls in her room too
    The Charles Clues

    1. Charlemagne
    2. The Mime at Ravenswood (who I initially thought looked like Caleb but now think looks like Toby) 
    Who was at the Prom 7 Years Ago:
    1. CeCe was Prom Queen
    2. Jason
    3. Garret
    4. Melissa
    5. Ian
    6. Maybe Charles should have been there - maybe he was. 
    The whole Charles is a Girl Theory:
    1. That Charles became Bethany Young
    2. That he is Sara Harvey
    3. This is why he likes dolls so much?

    Other things that have shaped my final(ish) opinion:
    1. Keenan saying that the ending is bittersweet
    2. Makes me think it's someone we care deeply for. 
    3. Hearing that it's been in front of our face all along by Marlene King.
    4. Spencer says that she got the feeling she knew Charles to the girls after she'd just been standing in front of him. This could mean Ian, Jason, or TOBY . . .
    So, I've sort of decided this:

    Big A = Toby (although personally, I don't think he's smart enough). It was really one of A's minions in the arcade to throw the others off the scent that it was really Toby all along. Toby has always seemed kind of older. He never finished school (maybe he already did elsewhere - around Jason's graduation time), always had a big boy job while his gf was in high school, etc. He could be older.

    Motives = Hates Ali for blackmailing him over Jenna. Thinks the D family is somehow responsible for his mom's death. He's avenging it. Hates the liars, well, b/c they did the Jenna thing. The NAT Club except for Jason as all been killed. He's been dating Spencer to stick close to the Liars to try to ruin their lives/kill them. He tried to date Emily first, but she turned out to be gay. Then he moved to Spencer. Has been with Jenna the entire time (as in in-love). She is Red Coat and she can see.

    Actual Red Coat = Jenna (CeCe and Ali have worn it too) - She has a lot of the same motives as Toby - the whole Jenna thing, revenge for Toby's mom, etc. Or we could all be surprised and it's Maya from the dead. Not sure of her motive though. I do think Red Coat is more in control than Big A.

    Black Widow = Melissa - like she told Spencer earlier re the Bethany/Ali buried alive thing - she did it to protect her little sister. Maybe the Black Widow is good and has been around helping the Liars. She knew about Toby and Jenna so she kept a close eye on Spencer and the girls. 

    Now, if one of the dead people was really still alive this whole time, who would it be and what would their motive be for the dollhouse, etc?
    1. Maya - she seemed to have secret info about Ali (maybe found it hidden in their house)
    2. Ian - He hated Ali for sure for coming between him and Melissa
    3. Garret - He loved Jenna, so if Jenna is involved, maybe him laying low was part of the plan all along.
    4. Wildon - Connected to Jason, Ali, etc
    And what's with . . . .
    1. That darn yellow Ali shirt everyone has to wear?
    2. The doll fixation?
    3. Maya's secret web page? Was Maya really killed for some other reason?
    4. If Wren isn't A, then what's with him anyway?
    5. Jason being the only ALIVE member of the NAT Club (that we know of)
    6. The dude in the gas mask in the Halloween episode? We still don't know who that was. And then Mona got the gas mask in the Dollhouse . . .
    7. Lucas & Jenna holding hands at prom together? Did anyone else catch that?
    8. This could be a neverending list. . .
    Things I Want Answered in an Hour:
    1. Who is Big A and why?
    2. Who are A's minions and why?
    3. Who is Red Coat and their connection to Big A?
    4. Who is Black Widow?
    5. Is Charles dead or alive?
    6. What's up with Bethany?
    7. What's up with Sara? She foreshadowed that Emily prob won't like her after this final reveal episode last week.
    8. What's up with Radley in general?
    9. Why did the people who've died have to die and who actually killed them? It would be too tidy to say that A killed them all. After all, we've all seen the movie Clue.



    Friday, June 19, 2015

    FF: Tattoos


    This weekly link-up is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read!

    Please follow me on Bloglovin' & I'll follow you!
    Follow on Bloglovin

    On 4/6/15 I traded in my Swagbucks for a $100 Amazon Gift Card. No lie. LOVE LOVE Swagbucks!! Join here or read below for more information! They have GB Amazon Cards on there too!


    EARN FREE AMAZON GIFT CARDS! NO SPAM OR GIMMICKS!
    Yep. If you haven't heard of Swagbucks yet, it's a Google-powered search engine that earns your free bucks that you can trade in for things like $5 Amazon Gift Cards. I've earned $300+ in Amazon GC since 2009. Join here now to get some free just for signing up. Yes, I will earn points as you earn points if you sign up under me, but once you sign up, you earn points from all your friends who sign up too! Win win! PLUS = FREE BOOKS! Here's my Swagbucks Tutorial for all the information you need!

    Question of the Week:
    If you were to get a tattoo, what would it say or what would the graphic be?

    Hmmmmm . . . I've never actually wanted a tattoo. Something about being 80 and having a wrinkly old black inked thing on me has never appealed to me. I'd probably go with either the phrase "She Became a Butterfly," or "SBAB," or a pic of butterfly. The color would either be purple or teal - the colors of sexual assault survivors.

    Friday, June 12, 2015

    FF: Stepping into the shoes of . . .


    This weekly link-up is hosted by Parajunkee & Alison Can Read!

    Please follow me on Bloglovin' & I'll follow you!
    Follow on Bloglovin

    On 4/6/15 I traded in my Swagbucks for a $100 Amazon Gift Card. No lie. LOVE LOVE Swagbucks!! Join here or read below for more information! They have GB Amazon Cards on there too!


    EARN FREE AMAZON GIFT CARDS! NO SPAM OR GIMMICKS!
    Yep. If you haven't heard of Swagbucks yet, it's a Google-powered search engine that earns your free bucks that you can trade in for things like $5 Amazon Gift Cards. I've earned $300+ in Amazon GC since 2009. Join here now to get some free just for signing up. Yes, I will earn points as you earn points if you sign up under me, but once you sign up, you earn points from all your friends who sign up too! Win win! PLUS = FREE BOOKS! Here's my Swagbucks Tutorial for all the information you need!

    Question of the Week:
    If you can step into one characters shoes (in a book) and be them for a day who would it be and why?


    Hmmmmmm. . . I think I might choose to be Hercule Poirot in any of Agatha Christie's Poirot novels, because I'd love to get inside that "egg-shaped head" and see what else is really going on in there. I'm sure there's much more than what Christie shares with us!

    Thursday, June 11, 2015

    Fever: A Ballroom Romance by Tonya Plank


    Fever: A Ballroom Romance
    by Tonya Plank

    Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
    Published by: Dark Swan Press
    Publish Date: June 10, 2015
    Genre: Romance, Dance
    Rating: 2 Stars

    NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    Rory’s once promising ballet career was destroyed by family tragedy and illness. She turned her life around and became a lawyer. Now at the start of her legal career, she lacks passion in her work and self-confidence in her abilities. But when she meets gorgeous, mysterious Russian ballroom dancer, Sasha, at a firm holiday party, her passions for life and dance are immediately re-kindled. Since being torn from his Siberian family as a child, Sasha’s life ambition has been to be world ballroom champion, a path he was destined for until his former partner pulled the plug on their partnership. She went on to win the world title, leaving him, without a partner equal in ability, forever in second place. The instant he lays eyes on Rory, he recognizes the depth of her passion and talent, and falls hard for her in more ways than one. But she also reminds him of great pain from his past. He must not only overcome his own demons but convince her to leave her demanding law career, and all that she has worked for in her adult life, to train with him full-time in order for their partnership – both on and off the dance floor – to work. This is part one in a continuing three-book series.

    I really wanted to like this book. I did. The first chapter didn't grab me, but I decided to press on. I was glad I did, because the story, and the writing, became much more interesting. I'm a former dancer and I identified with the main character longing for what "might have been" had she been able to pursue her career in dance. And then, the book got annoying again. I'm 36% of the way through on my Kindle, but I can't go on. So far, the MC has spent the first 36% of the book stalking a hot ballroom dancer. It's just creepy. I've been stalked and it isn't a fun, romantic gesture. Plus, every time she makes eye contact with him, she gets, um wet "down there." So basically, we've spent the first quarter of the book stalking someone and being wet. I can't go on. I'm honestly sure this book would be fine for a lot of people, so I won't give it no stars; it just isn't for me.

    Tuesday, June 9, 2015

    The Lost Child by Ann Troup

    The Lost Child
    by Ann Troup

    Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
    Published by: Carina UK
    Publish Date: May 19, 2015
    Genre: Mystery, Light Romance
    Rating: 3.5 Stars

    NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    Mandy Miller disappeared from Hallow’s End when she was just 3 years old. She was never found.

    Thirty years on, Elaine Ellis is carrying her mother’s ashes back to Hallow’s End to scatter them in the place that she once called home. Elaine has never been there, but it’s the only place Jean talked about while she was growing up – so it seems as good a place as any.

    As Elaine settles into her holiday cottage in the peaceful Devonshire village, she gets to know the locals; family she never knew she had, eccentric and old-fashioned gentry, and new friends where she would least expect them. But she is intrigued by the tale of the missing girl that the village still carries at its heart, and which somehow continues to overshadow them all. Little does she know how much more involved in the mystery she will become…


    Lately, I've been hard-pressed to finish a book. Almost every time I pick up a new one, I can't seem to get past the first chapter. The writing has been juvenile, the plot predictable from the start. The Lost Child, however, immediately captured my attention. Although the solving of the mystery wasn't earth-shattering, the story kept my attention due to the characterization the author created.

    Although Elaine herself wasn't overly fascinating to me, nor was Dan - her love interest - Brodie and all of her extended family flew off the page, right at me. Each was engaging and I wanted more from each of them.

    Besides the secondary characters, my other favorite part was the glue that held every scene together, like a bread crumb trail: Jean's ashes. Elaine went to Hallow's End to scatter her mother's ashes. Unfortunately, she dumps them right away and leaves a dusty trail behind her wherever she goes in the novel. The writer did a fantastic job of weaving every scene together by adding a dusting of Jean here and there.

    The reason I gave it a 3.5, though, is due to the author's love of run-on sentences. For example: "None of us realise how crap this thing might turn out to be, this is the only beginning, and it might get worse, it might get better, but we'll do it together, OK?" Now I love commas and all (as you can tell from this review) but i don't enjoy run-on sentences broken up by commas. I'll let you count for yourself how many sentences were smooshed into the above.

    Overall, I enjoyed it.

    TTT: Plots I'm Sick of Seeing

    From the Broke & the Bookish

    I'm a new book blogger, so please follow me!
    Follow on Bloglovin

    On 4/6/15 I traded in my Swagbucks for a $100 Amazon Gift Card. No lie. LOVE LOVE Swagbucks!! Join here or read below for more information!


    EARN FREE AMAZON GIFT CARDS! NO SPAM OR GIMMICKS!
    Yep. If you haven't heard of Swagbucks yet, it's a Google-powered search engine that earns your free bucks that you can trade in for things like $5 Amazon Gift Cards. I've earned $300+ in Amazon GC since 2009. Join here now to get some free just for signing up. Yes, I will earn points as you earn points if you sign up under me, but once you sign up, you earn points from all your friends who sign up too! Win win! PLUS = FREE BOOKS! Here's my Swagbucks Tutorial for all the information you need!

    This month, I'm posting about my favorite books from the 80's and 90's! Leave your fave books in comments so I can check them out!

    Plots I'm Tired of Seeing

    I decided to do this instead of my much-anticipated TBR list, because I'm just so tired of seeing the same blurbs over and over again. Here's my list. Which plot formulas are YOU tired of reading about?

    1. The "Mary had everything: a home in the suburbs, a career in publishing and a loving fiance . . . until she found out her fiance was cheating (with his secretary/a man/her sister/her friend), got fired/laid off from her job, and had to move out of her house. Now she's homeless, jobless and loveless. Will Mary survive (yes)? Will she open that funky little bookstore she's always wanted to own (yes)? Will she find her true love by the end of the book (yes)?

    2. See Jane. See Jane look for a roommate. See Jane think that Kelly, her new roommate, is a girl. See Jane find out Kelly is a hot ex-marine. See Jane hate Kelly. See Jane have sex with Kelly. See Jane and Kelly live happily ever after.

    3. Sarah has one hot and unforgettable night with a guy she met in a bar. She's so lucky she'll never have to see him again. Fast forward to the next day . . . and she walks into her new job only to find out that her new boss is (yep, you guessed it) the guy she just slept with! Eek! Whatever will happen? A bend over the desk during the work day perhaps? Um, probably.

    4. Then there's the old book where "Hallie inherits her crazy old aunt's large estate and decides to turn it into a bed and breakfast" routine. The guy hired to do construction on the place is of course her end of the book boyfriend.

    5. We can't forget the book that spans two weeks, yet finds two people who met at the beginning of the book getting engaged by the end. Two. Weeks... Two. Weeks.

    6. Calypso (yes - the books with super creative names bug me too) has to go back to the tiny old rundown trailer park she left 10 years ago to take care of her dying mother. What she doesn't expect is that her first love still lives in the town . . . and still loves her . . . Will she go back to the big city after her mother's passing or will she stay in town and make a life with Rafe? I think we know how this one ends.

    7. Kate works 3 jobs to keep herself and her 5 year old daughter afloat. One day, her handsome, rich ex comes back into town. What he doesn't know is that when he left Kate for bigger and better things 5 years ago, she was carrying his child. By the end they're a happy little family and everything is forgiven.

    8. The high school plot: Amber is drawn to the mysterious Rico who's from the other side of the tracks. He has a tragic past, and only Amber can heal his soul and bring him happiness . . . Dude. They're only in high school. That's just not realistic.

    9. Cara is overweight, shy and doesn't know how to date. She begs her handsome friend Colin to teach her how to kiss etc. By the end of the book, she's lost the weight and bagged the babe.

    Thursday, June 4, 2015

    Pulse and Prejudice by Colette L Saucier

    Pulse and Prejudice: The Confession of Mr. Darcy, Vampire
    by Colette Saucier

    Add to Goodreads | Purchase on Amazon
    Published by: MAM Books LLC
    Genre: Paranormal, Romance, Jane Austen re-telling
    Rating: 4.5 Stars

    NOTICE: I received this book for free in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

    When the haughty and wealthy Fitzwilliam Darcy arrives in the rural county of Hertfordshire, he finds he cannot control his attraction to Elizabeth Bennet – a horrifying thought because, as she is too far below his social standing to ignite his heart, he fears she must appeal to the dark impulses he struggles to suppress.

    Set against the vivid backdrop of historical Regency England, this adaptation of Pride and Prejudice follows the cursed Mr. Darcy as he endeavours to overcome both his love and his bloodlust for Miss Elizabeth Bennet. Although Pulse and Prejudice adheres to the original plot and style of the Jane Austen classic, it is neither a “mash-up” nor "fan fiction" but an imaginative, thrilling variation told primarily from Mr. Darcy’s point of view as he descends into the seedier side of London and introduces Elizabeth to a world of passion and the paranormal she never knew existed.


    If you're familiar with my blog at all, you'll notice a pattern. I try to read every Jane Austen re-telling I can get my hands on. I love love love the original, Pride & Prejudice as well as vampire novels. I just KNEW I was going to love this one. Well, the verdict is in: I did!

    Ms. Saucier kept true to the P&P story plot while adding in a fantastic element: Mr. Darcy has become a vampire. The interesting part in reading this book, was that the author explained away a lot of Darcy's standoffishness and rudeness as merely a result of him being a vampire. He felt left out of the crowd due to his difference from the carefree humans at town dances and household meetings. He felt different because he was different.

    No longer a human, many things changed in his life. He had decided he no longer wanted to marry and had no interest in any women since his transformation. All of that changed when Elizabeth Bennet entered his life. Could he possibly still feel human emotion? Could he still want a woman in a human way?

    You'll have to read to find out, but I highly recommend that you do!