Saturday, November 30, 2013

The Santa Society by Kristine McCord


The Santa Society

Synopsis:

Magic. Myth. Miracles.

They say there is truth in legends.

Last Christmas, Erin came home to be with her dying mother. It's been a year, and Erin can't move on. It's a good thing a behemoth dog named Klaus and Reason-the-handsome-realtor are about to change all that.


When Reason's efforts to help Erin sell her mother's house turn into a series of fiascos, Erin finds herself falling in love with him despite the quirky chaos that follows him. But Reason is more than he seems, and soon Erin is immersed in the clandestine world of the Santa Society, a centuries old secret organization that protects the truth behind Christmas.

Review:

Yes! Now that Thanksgiving in the US is past it is officially Christmas time for me! So I just have to say first that I love love love super cheesy Christmas stories. Think Hallmark original movies. Love them! I am so sad I don't get the Hallmark channel anymore. I always watched the countdown to Christmas as I love that stuff. Yes they are cheesy and not that good, but I love them. I don't know if I will read a Christmas story every day until Christmas, but I will be reading as many as I can. I do tend to go easier on them if they are horrible than I would a non-Christmas story. That is just the way it is. I love it! Now onto the first Christmas story review!

The Santa Society was the first Christmas book I found on my Kindle. It was so good in a bad Christmas story kind of way. My favorite! If this would have been a normal story with some other secret to keep I probably would not have liked it that much. 

Erin finds a dog, Klaus, tied up outside of a coffee shop who follows her home one day. She also meets Reason the same morning, and she eventually calls him up to help her sell her mom's house. She is feeling trapped and needs to get out of her dead mom's house so she can try and move on. For some reason she hates Christmas, though I am not sure why. It is her birthday, and her mom died the day before, but it seems like she has hated Christmas for a long time. Oh well. So based on the synopsis I was expecting lots of zany fun, but really the quirky chaos that seems to follow Reason is not that quirky or chaotic. It was just eh. I expected more, expecting it to be more fun. 

The whole Erin and Reason in love thing wasn't really believable. But there is the Christmas slant so I loved it, even if I didn't buy it. Then the more you learn of the Santa Society the more ridiculous I found it, but in a fun Christmasy way. Erin was also a bit stupid, and quick to judge and run as soon as something seems like it might not be exactly as she thought it was, but then just as quick to go back to her happily ever after. She was so wishy washy at times, and the big drama was ridiculous, especially for the Santa Society people. I would hold them to a higher standard than normal people, but it makes for a more compelling story I suppose. Oh well, everything works out in the end. 

Overall it is not a great story. Since I have a soft spot for not very good Christmas stories I enjoyed it. Otherwise Erin would have been quite frustrating, and the drama too much. 

Rating: 2.5/5

Friday, November 29, 2013

Sisters in Love by Melissa Foster


Sisters in Love (Love in Bloom: Snow Sisters #1)

Synopsis:

Danica Snow has always been the smart, practical, and appropriate sister. As a therapist, she prides herself on making reasonable, conservative choices, even if a bit boring, and as part of the Big Sister Program, she has little time for anything more in her life.

Blake Carter is a player. He never gets bored of conquering women, and with his sexy good looks and successful lifestyle, he has no trouble finding willing participants. When his friend and business partner dies in a tragic accident, he suddenly, desperately, wants to change his ways. The problem is, he doesn’t know how to stop doing what he does best.


When Blake walks into Danica’s office, the attraction between them is white hot, but Danica isn't the type to give into the heat and risk her career. Danica’s desire sets her on a path of self-discovery, where she begins to question every decision she’s ever made. Just this once, Danica wants to indulge in the pleasures of life she’s been so willingly ignoring, but with her Little Sister in turmoil and her biological sister’s promiscuousness weighing heavily on her heart, she isn’t sure it’s the right time to set her desires free.

Review:

Sisters in Love was an interesting book. It almost felt like self help book, like if you have the same issues as the characters Danica will help you too. It was a bit odd. 

Danica is a by the book no nonsense therapist. She doesn't really have a life, and doesn't really have friends or relationships. Blake bumps into her at he coffee shop while waiting in line and he is like the perfect human male. She tries to stop thinking about him, but he is just way too good looking! How can she ever not think of him? So of course she is horrible to him because he is a player and she likes him.

Blake is a player. He admits it. He feels bad about himself for sleeping with any women who wants to. Then his bff passes away and he is suddenly so upset he needs to talk to someone and change his ways. There are a few questions as to who his friend really was, is Blake really a good friend, is he a good person, can he be? Really Blake has issues and he tries to get help. Of course the help is in the form of therapy with Danica. Shock surprise. Of course the physical attraction is apparently almost too much for both of them.

Somehow through therapy they fall in love, but Danica can't do anything because he is her patient! So there is just page after page of her shrink talk how to fix yourself if you have any of the issues that her clients have. It bored me. I understand why parts were in there, but it was way too much for me. It just seemed like the story was secondary to the therapy a lot of the time.

I didn't really buy Danica and Blake being in love. Somehow it just felt wooden. Then Danica's sisters issues...I just didn't care. It wasn't the worst book ever, but it wasn't that entertaining either. I won't be reading any more in the series.

Rating: 2/5

Thursday, November 28, 2013

Paloma: A Laurent & Dove Mystery by Linda A. Lavid


Paloma: A Laurent & Dove Mystery

Synopsis:


Paloma, a woman with three identities, is running hard and fast. Someone wants her dead. But which identity is the killer after? Max Laurent, retired FBI agent, throws himself into the mix. Paloma must outwit the assassin. Max must outwit Paloma. Before coming to terms with past misunderstandings and a child long ago abandoned, they must, together or apart, find and eliminate the killer.

Review:

I was not expecting much from Paloma. Really I thought the synopsis was a bit confusing, but I saw potential. I am glad I gave it a read as it was alright. Not the best book ever, but entertaining. 

Paloma felt a little scattered. Like she didn't really know what she was like. She just kept changing her mind, though she did stay a scared girl who keeps running, until the very end. She was alright, and I can understand why she would be so skeptical of everyone. It was interesting reading her thoughts on the matter, then seeing Max's thoughts on the same things. 

Max was an FBI agent who fell for Paloma when she was a key witness on a big case. She had to go into witness protection so he let her go for her own safety. It is obvious he still cares about her, even though he was like stalking her for years. I understand why she is frightened of him and such, but then once they do catch up she keeps being wishy washy. He keeps saying he loves her, and she thinks how much she liked him, but I never really saw why. I never really got why they cared for each other, just at one point they did. 

The who done it aspect was alright. It was fun trying to figure it out. The end was a little too easy though, everything was taken care of too quickly. Also the reason was a little lame. I didn't really get why the would be killers tried to kill her. I know what we were told, but it is not a great reason. That and all the relationships just magically work out at the end. It just wasn't the best. 

Rating: 2.5/5

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Language of Sparrows by Rachel Phifer


The Language of Sparrows: A Novel

Synopsis:

Brilliant and fluent in too many languages to count, 15-year-old Sierra Wright can't seem to communicate what is important to her in any language. Though April Wright stubbornly keeps an upbeat attitude about her daughter's future, she has let her own dreams slip away. Just across the bridge lives old Luca, scarred from his time in a Romanian gulag years before. Though he has seemingly given up on people, Sierra is drawn to him despite his prickly edges.


No one else is comfortable with the unpredictable old man spending time alone with Sierra, not even Luca's son. Yet it is this unconventional relationship that will bring two families together to form friendships and unearth their family stories, stories that just might give them all the courage to soar on wings toward a new future.

Review:

The Language of Sparrows was a beautiful book. Heartbreaking at times, but also full of hope and just really a great story. I wasn't expecting it, so this book really surprised me. There may be some spoilers ahead as I talk about the story.

The book opens with Sierra and her mom. Sierra is fading away, trying to disappear into nothing so no one will notice her. She barely talks as she cannot find the right words, but she is incredibly smart. She starts hanging out with Luca as he makes her feel normal and safe to be herself, and he seems to enjoy her company as well. He is an older man, looks like a grandfather, and I thought it was great that she has a new friend. Then her mom finds out, and someone tells the school that Sierra is hanging out at Luca's and the police and child protective services and everyone gets involved and decides she cannot visit him any more. I really thought is this what would really happen? A teenager cannot be friends with an old guy? It just seemed blown way out of proportion, but maybe in this day and age that would be the response. Maybe because the old man is not super friendly or anything to neighbors...he keeps to himself as well. They go so well together and it was really heartbreaking watching Sierra try and still stay close to Luca even though she is not aloud to see him. I just wanted to shake her mom and be like look! He is actually helping her! Why won't you let her see her friend? You have met him now, he seems harmless, she needs this!

Sierra does find one friend, Carlos. Really Carlos won't leave her alone, so he keeps trying to get her to talk and open up. He was so nice and it was so great to see someone her own age try and be there for her. Yes she doesn't open up easily, but eventually they get close. 

Her mom, April, has a lot of secrets she is keeping. Secrets about Sierra's fathers death. You see how she is trying to be happy and positive and do whatever she can to help Sierra, but at the same time she sees Sierra as week and that she cannot handle anything. Her sister keeps telling her she needs to be honest with Sierra in order for Sierra to move on and get better, but April just can't. Really she has issues with his death that she needs to deal with first. She is just as broken, but better at pretending that everything is okay. Well maybe not better since I think people can tell, but she tries harder to pretend that everything is okay. Sierra just pulls into herself and tries to keep everyone out. 

Then there is also Nick. At first I wasn't sure what to make of him, but as the story went you can't help but feel for him as well. Really all the main characters, expect Carlos, you can't help but want to help. They all have demons in their past that they have not dealt with yet. They all have things that they need someone to call them on and make them talk about. They all have issues to resolve. I just want to gather all of them up and fix everything for them. Of course it is not that easy. 

The story is so heartbreaking in so many ways. All of the characters just pull you in and you cannot help but care about them. The horrible things that have happened in the past, especially Luca, are just so sad. One of the worst moment though is when Sierra finds out the truth about her dad. She tracks down someone that knew him since her mom would not talk about him. Then Sierra just breaks. She then starts acting like her mom, trying desperately to pretend like she is okay. Carlos calls her out on turning plastic as he says, and she just smiles her fake smile, speaks her fake words, lives her fake life. It was so tragic I just wanted to scoop her up and fix everything her. I hated watching her go through that distress. It was just so sad and I couldn't help but feel so much for her. 

Eventually things do work out, and the end is more positive than the rest of the book which is nice. The whole story though it just kind of intense. Definitely a downer, with a hopeful ending. There is also a religious aspect to it, but it does not seem like a religious book. It is a book where the characters are deeply religious, but not a book that try to make the reader religious (if that makes sense). I have read other books where the characters go on about God and such, and it seems aimed at the audience. Even though bible passages came up a lot, and the characters spoke to God or prayed often, I never felt it directed at me. I just felt like this was the path these characters were on and this is what they had to do to try and get through their hardships. It was nice to see the author could include all of that and not make it preachy. 

Overall this was a beautifully written sad story with a light at the end. So good and so much better than I thought it would be based on the synopsis. I am just so glad things worked out for Sierra in the end. I know I have said it before, but it was really heartbreaking to read her story. I finished it last night and I am still just want to grab her up and give her all the hugs and make everything okay. Wonderful story. 

Rating: 4.75/5

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Drawn to You by Robin Shaw


Drawn To You (Paloma's Edge)

Synopsis:

Bethany Pruitt has been judged for her mother's actions ever since she could remember. When she returns from college in Miami to Franklin Parks, her hometown, for the summer, she doesn't expect to find the only home she's known to be motherless and empty. By another turn of events, she decides to accept an invitation from her uncle to stay at Paloma's Edge, Florida.

Chase Lovell lives for the present and doesn't think about much else. When he goes to see his coach for a meeting, a female standing at the end of a long bus line at his college sparks his interest and earns his respect. Intent on approaching her, he misses his chance, and assumes that he'll never see her again. When Pierce, his best friend asks him to pick up his cousin, Beth, from Franklin Parks and drive her to Paloma's Edge, he can't deny that this is the girl he's been drawn to.


But will Chase do whatever it takes to keep the girl he's found again?

Review:

Wow, what a mess. Drawn to You needs some serious editing help. I can usually just breeze through spelling mistakes and the like, but there were just too many to ignore in this book. There were multiple instances of repeated words in the wrong place such as "with no more energy in left in them". One too many in's. Or sentences that just didn't make sense such as "Who left her a note saying that her an affair trampled their mother-daughter relationship". Or the many many instances where the author did not get me or I or her or she or whatever correct. Like someone stayed with so and so and me, or so and so and I. Almost every single time the author used the incorrect one, and it just sounded so wrong that I was stopped every time. There was a chapter where it was every other paragraph had the wrong me or I usage. It needed serious editing. At first I was highlighting the issues, but there were way too many and it wasted way too much time. 

So besides the errors how was the book? Well the writing was still not good. I kept feeling like I missed something. It felt like it jumped around a lot. Like one moment it was just Chase and Beth, the next sentence it says how everyone was doing something. It was quite confusing as I was like wait, did I miss something? Where did everyone else come from? What is going on? It was like that for most of the book. It just didn't make sense. It didn't flow in a logical order. Near the end, with Hunter, this happened again. Beth met up with him once, then he keeps texting her and she isn't really replying to him. Then Pierce, Beth's cousin, confronts her about talking to Hunter and Beth is all we are friends! I was just like wait...since when? Last I read you were angry with him and ignoring him. Now you are friends? Did I miss something?

So then on to the characters. How were they? Not good. I didn't understand a single one of them. The writing was off. Something was off in the writing. Once Beth saw Cassidy, her other cousin, as she is she thought:

"Seeing Cassidy for who she really was engendered strong dislike and a feeling of loss in me."

That was so calm and just didn't sit right with me. Cassidy had been trying to break up you and Chase, make you think Chase was sleeping with her, and you have a feeling of strong dislike for her. Okay. It just, the feelings conveyed by the characters didn't seem realistic. There was also a lot of internal thoughts, not so much talking or anything and I just didn't like it. 

Then near the end again **small spoiler I suppose** when Beth meets up with Hunter and finds out Hunter is Chase's twin brother Beth is so upset because Chase lied to her! I am not sure how he lied, he told her he had a brother he doesn't talk to, but wouldn't go into details. He does have a brother he doesn't talk to, but he happens to be a twin brother. Still a brother so...you are really just hurt he hasn't confided in you his past. He never lied. So things like that annoyed me. At least get it right. 

Overall not a good book. The story is not good, the writing is not good, the spelling and grammar errors are too numerous to just discard, and the characters are not believable. I think the only reason I finished the book is because I kept feeling like I was missing something and thought maybe I would get it figured out by the end. I didn't really. 

Rating: 1/5 

Monday, November 25, 2013

Slaughterhouse-Five by Kurt Vonnegut


Slaughterhouse-Five

Synopsis:


Slaughterhous-Five is one of the world's great anti-war books. Centering on the infamous fire-bombing of Dresden, Billy Pilgrim's odyssey through time reflects the mythic journey of our own fractured lives as we search for meaning in what we are afraid to know.

Review:

I have never read Vonnegut before this. I didn't really know what I was getting myself into, and I think that is why I did not enjoy this book as much as others. I was expecting something to happen, to learn about he Dresden bombing, and I really didn't. I waited 80% of the book for something that seemed like it could be anti-war, and then once I got to the last 20% I thought oh, okay. I see it now. I know it is satire, but I didn't see the anti-war message for most of the story.

There were two things that annoyed me so much with the writing style in this book. First was the breaking up of the story into little tiny sections, only a few paragraphs long. I am not sure why the author did that, but they were not necessary. Most of the time you could have just read straight through multiple sections as one scene, but instead it was broken up into pieces. It felt like I had ADD or something, like the reader cannot focus for more than two seconds and drove me crazy. It kept me from really being able to get into the story since I had to pause every two seconds.

The second things that annoyed me was the "So it goes" after anything, living or non, that dies. Campaign bubbles died, "So it goes". Person died, "So it goes". Anything dies, "So it goes". It was so repetitive and just annoyed me. I know he could have been trying to point out every time something dies so we really acknowledge it or something, but to me I just couldn't get pasted it. It was in the story over 100 times and it just drove me crazy.

The story itself I was really confused by. The time travel, the aliens, the small snippets of what happened to Billy Pilgrim all just made me think okay...I didn't really like any of the characters in the story either. Billy was so passive with everything in his life he just kind of bumbled around doing nothing. It was just a strange story for me, but I didn't realize this going into it. I just knew it was about the Dresden bombing, and I was waiting the entire book for that to happen. It was an odd read, but I think I might give it another try in a little bit. I might enjoy it more now that I am not going in with the same expectations. Now that I know what I am getting into maybe it will be better. We shall see. Such an odd book.

Rating: 2/5

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Tell Me No Lies by Rachel Branton


Tell Me No Lies

Synopsis:

Two days before her wedding, Tessa Crawford’s world crumbles, leaving her hurt and betrayed. Worse, if Tessa doesn’t marry and receive her trust fund, her younger sister will lose her house and the homeless girls she helps will have nowhere to go.

But Tessa can’t marry just anyone, can she?

Gage Braxton, the guy from next door, is willing to help her out, but rumors hint that he's an ex-con. Tessa soon finds herself attracted to a man who has no intention of ever falling in love or of passing on his terrible legacy.


When Tessa stumbles across evidence that may be proof of Gage's innocence, suspects begin to line up. Someone is willing to kill again to see that the truth remains buried, and if Tessa doesn’t hurry and solve the old murder, she will lose not only her chance at love but may become the murder’s next victim.

Review:

Tell Me No Lies really surprised me. It wasn't as intense as I thought it would be, but it was good. The writing, especially when talking about how different people spoke, was beautiful. For example when speaking of Gage's sister Mia, who is deaf, it was really nice and a different way of saying things. There was a part where Tessa walked in on Dylan, Mia's son, and Mia signing and she thought how silent it was, wondering if when Mia's husband Aiden was home if he turned on music or something. Then she realized wait, just because she can't understand the language they are speaking doesn't mean it is silent. It is just different, and she needs to look at things differently. They are obviously having a conversation and it is just not the same level of noise as it would be if they were speaking aloud. It was just really nicely written and I loved the way the author spoke about these things.

The story starts off with Tessa learning her fiance has been cheating on her days before the wedding. She is obviously upset, like most people would be as it hurts some when you find out something like this. Though she has that hurt because it happened, she doesn't actually seem to be that upset about Julian, more upset that she cannot help her sister now. She needs to be married to get her trust fund so her sister can stay in her house. Enter Gage who stumbles across her upset and does what he can to help out. It was obvious from the start that Gage liked her, and so it wasn't really surprising when he offered to marry her to help her out.

Gage seemed like a good guy. Yes he is an ex-con, but he is so caring towards those in his life. He obviously did not do what he was accused of, what he served time for, but he also didn't want anyone to do anything else about it. He wanted to try and move on, even though he couldn't in his own life. He cares so much for everyone else you just want to find a way to help him.

Tessa and Mia try and solve the mystery of who did kill the guy Gage was found guilty of killing, and things start to get a little intense. It is not really bad until the end. The ending was great, and not super quick like with most books. You get there and I was pleasantly surprised how long it took to resolve everything. It was great trying to figure out who really did it, and how crazy some of the people really are. It took a while, but everything works out in the end.

Overall I was pleasantly surprised by this book. There were many parts that I found so beautifully written, and the story was fun to read. Sure they fall in love quickly, but I didn't care. It wasn't insta love, but it was sweet.

Rating: 4/5

Saturday, November 23, 2013

The Law of Attraction by N.M. Silber


The Law of Attraction (Lawyers in Love)

Synopsis:

Once upon a time two lawyers fell in love across a courtroom …

Gabrielle Ginsberg was a public defender with plenty of nerve and Braden Pierce was an assistant district attorney with a whole lot of swagger. Gabrielle wanted Braden and Braden wanted Gabrielle.
And Cameron wanted Gabrielle.
And Marla wanted Braden.
And Cole wanted Gabrielle. 
And Mrs. Mason wanted Braden.
And an anonymous letter writer wanted to keep Gabrielle and Braden apart. 
Together Gabrielle and Braden discovered many important things, like which doors at the courthouse actually locked, and that desks could be useful for more than writing. They also found out that the path of love was not always smooth, and it was sometimes trod upon by some really wacky people, like a confused fanny grabber, an eighty-two year old pothead and a gentleman who threw a wine and cheese party in his pants. Could true love overcome a lack of privacy, interference by jealous rivals and the insanity of the criminal court system? 

Review:

The Law of Attraction surprised me. It was quite funny and sweet and I really enjoyed the story. The synopsis made me think there would be a lot more drama in the story then there actually was. Their path of love was actually pretty smooth, it just had a lot of interesting, fun characters. 

The story is told from Gabrielle's point of view and is quite entertaining. She is so much fun and silly and sweet. She has had a crush on Braden forever, and he seems to like her too, but he is a bit of a playboy. Then one amazing alcohol fuel negotiations one night and they are dating! They were so cute together. It was obvious they were attracted to each other, but it wasn't an insta love story which I liked. The lawyer humor and negotiations throughout were great. 

Braden was so sweet with Gabrielle. He obviously cared about her a lot and they were great together. They are both lawyers and the cases they try are amazing. It is really silly and some of Gabrielle's defenses are awesome. Things move pretty quickly with the two of them, but it works in this story. The ending where Gabrielle goes a little crazy detective was also fun. It doesn't really make sense why she wouldn't tell Braden, but whatever. If she did there wouldn't be the crazy antics. 

Overall a really entertaining book with some crazy characters, sweet and hot romance, and lots of fun jokes!


Rating: 4/5

Friday, November 22, 2013

In the Middle of Nowhere by Julie Ann Knudsen


In the Middle of Nowhere (Willow's Journey #1)

Synopsis:

Butterflies. Little, fluttering butterflies. That’s what fifteen-year-old Willow Flynn feels in the pit of her stomach every time the mysterious boy is near. But Willow has other things to contend with as she deals with the tragic loss of her father, as well as her emotionally preoccupied mother, while being uprooted to a new house, a new school, a new life, far away, on an island, in the middle of nowhere.

At the beginning of the school year, the sickly, but cute Michael sends Willow the first of many cryptic notes during homeroom. He stares at Willow and gives her the creeps. Michael never returns to school after that, but Willow ends up connecting with the poetic boy on-line where they strike up an unusual friendship.

As Willow attempts to fit in and find her niche in the ever-cliquey high school world, she is further confused by Michael who strives to win her over and mend her broken heart. But will he be able to, especially when his own existence remains so uncertain?

Review:

While I didn't hate In the Middle of Nowhere I also didn't love it. Willow, even though she is only 15, has to be one of the dumbest, or maybe just ignorant, kids ever. Take for example how she grew up in Massachusetts, which is in north eastern US, moved to Maine, also in the NE (really not that far away) and has never heard of a nor'easter before. I grew up in PA and I heard of a nor'easter before, and PA is a bit south of New England. Unless she lives under a rock and has never seen the news, or heard the radio, or anyone talking about the weather or something like that ever it is like why are you so surprised by this terminology? I mean it is not uncommon...just things like that made me go really? I know she is 15, but shouldn't she know these things? Maybe if she had moved from farther away, somewhere where they don't get big snow storms, sure I can believe you never heard of it before. It just made it seem like she was younger than she is. 

Willow also was really judgmental and liked to complain a lot. She has "friends" from back home, and then has some "friends" in her new school as well, but she doesn't seem to actually like any of them. She gets angry at the slightest things, and is ready to drop them. Maybe I am too old, seeing as how I am not a teen, but Willow seemed so immature, even for 15. No one really seemed to care about her, or her them. She just hung out with people to hang out with people, then complain about how horrible they were, but then still try and hang out with them. 

Then there is Michael who is hardly even in the story. I thought from the synopsis this would be great, he would be a main character and help Willow with her issues from her dad's death. Instead he is barely there, they don't talk or even see each other much, then suddenly they are in love. It was strange as I wasn't sure why either of them liked the other. Really they didn't even interact much...so it was kind of a non-romance trying to come off as a romance so people would read it. Not very good. 

Then the writing. It was written in a way that I didn't care about any of the characters. It was so dry and clinical and didn't invoke much emotion at all. There were parts of the story that didn't make sense time wise also. For example Willow runs into Michael after lunch when she is trying to get to class quickly. He says see you later maybe and she looks for him all day. She comments on how she thought she might see him at lunch...even though she saw him after lunch so that is not really possible. I felt like the author didn't check the timeline of the story very well as this happened on a few occasions.

 Then there was all of the teen have to fit in so say nothing or don't refuse to do something so you don't look uncool. That is fine. I am sure it does happen to some people, but then again nothing bad happens from it and there is no real this is bad message. In one instance Willow is driving around with "friends" and the driver is drinking and she comments how she wasn't cool with drinking and driving, but she didn't want to say anything because then she would look like a geek. Nothing happens so it is fine, and there is no real I really shouldn't have done that, drunk driving is bad! message. It was just kind of like eh, whatever. She doesn't like it, but so what. Nothing bad happens so who cares? It just doesn't send a very good message. It bugged me quite a bit. Drunk driving in particular is not cool ever so to have it not really be addressed at all...not cool with me. At the very least have Willow realize she shouldn't never let that happen again as it is dangerous. 

Then I was also confused quite a bit with different scenes for the different characters. It starts off and Willow quickly jumps up and locks her door before whoever is coming up the stairs can come into her room. She is so quick about it and it is written in such a way I thought oh, there must be something bad going on in her house. There must be some reason why she is so nervous for someone to come into her room. Instead there is nothing, her mom seems fine as does her brother (who she is mean to for no apparent reason). Then later there is a scene with Brian where he seems like he could easily turn abusive towards Willow, but again there is never any hint of that again, just the one scene. It was just strange as I was waiting for it, then like okay...so why did you put that scene in there? I didn't get it. 

Overall Willow was pretty immature and dumb for her age. Michael wasn't really in the story at all, and the writing could use some work (plus some mention that the dangerous things she was doing were in fact dangerous and you shouldn't do). 


Rating: 2/5

Thursday, November 21, 2013

Stronger by Lexie Ray


STRONGER (Runaway)

Synopsis: 

My name is Jasmine and I have HIV.

I was 14 years old the first time my mother’s boyfriend hit me and at the age of 18, I was forced to be a prostitute. Cast away by the same people I thought were family, I was ready to take my own life. Until I met Nate. He didn't run away when I said I was sick. But I wonder why a handsome, funny, Mr. Right like him would love someone like me?

My name is Nate and I have a secret.


I met Jasmine at a crossroads in my life. She was beautiful, desperate, and inspired me in ways I didn't know were possible. She makes me better in everything and I want to help her get better, too. But I have a secret, one she doesn't have to know - until the time is right.

Review:

I really wanted to like Stronger. It is the kind of story I enjoy reading. This story though was too simple. Very few, if any, people could go through what Jasmine does and just instantly be okay. It just didn't make any sense to me.

So Jasmine has a horrible past when the story opens. Her mom is kind of a mess, but she manages. That is until she meets and moves them in with her horrible abusive boyfriend (and then turns into a major alcoholic). Things could still have been okay if something hadn't have happened to her mom. Not great, but not as horrible as it was. So then she manages to escape and run away, has someone take her in, they seem nice at first, then turn on her, she runs away again, rinse and repeat.

Then she meets Nate and it is like almost instantly she is fine. She does walk around all quiet and scared for a day or two, then he is still nice to her so yey! Everything is perfect. Sure. She can be raped and beaten and abused for a long time and just be fine all of a sudden. It just seemed like she trusted everyone until they turned against her, which really why would she? Why would she trust and live with this guy after all that she had been through? Why? To just be like yey! I am in love now everything is perfect! Well I doubt many, if any, people would be able to just forget their horrible past like that. How can you just put everything aside and be fine and happy without professional help. I mean she had a lot of horrible things happen to her. Most people wouldn't be anywhere near okay after experiencing what she did.

I just don't think it would be so easy to trust people. I was enjoying the beginning of the story, reading how she was surviving all of the things that kept happening to her, but the ending was just too unbelievable. It is not like suddenly someone is really nice to you, so you are in love and everything works out just fine. Sure it does. It was way too simple. I didn't believe it would be that easy for her to move on.

Plus why doesn't she offer to help the girl at the brothel if she wants it? She was friendly with her, and did write her, so why not say hey if you ever need anything let me know? Or at least include her contact info. It is just like she is all well you work in the brothel and don't seem to hate it so you must love it and never want anything else! Good for you! You will never want to get out of that situation ever as it is just the best! I mean I wanted out, but no way anyone else ever would. I was really annoyed by that. It is like after everything you have experienced why would you not reach out and offer help to the one other person who was nice to you? The one person who seemed to care about you, and you her? It just bugged me.

Overall not the best book. The ending was way to simple and everything just magically was better. Yey love fixing everything bad that has ever happened!

Rating: 2/5

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Secret Seduction by Jill Sanders


Secret Seduction (Secret Series Romance Novels)

Synopsis:

To Katie life was simple. She wanted a little house in upper Boston, and four kids fathered by her best friend Jason, who she’s been infatuated with since she was eight. After a devastating family secret is exposed, all she wants now is to escape the media hype that follows her everywhere she turns. Leaving her family, friends, and Jason behind, she travels to places she’s only read about, to find a father she’s never known.


Jason is on a mission and he’s come halfway around the world to complete it. Despite his feelings for Katie, he won’t let her resistance deter him, even if it means she’ll never trust him again. As their world spirals out of control, their relationship will be tested and changed forever. If he can keep them alive and out of harm’s way, he may have a chance to make everything right.

Review:

I read the first book in Jill Sanders Pride Series and remember liking it quite a bit. When I saw Secret Seduction was up on amazon for free I grabbed quickly as and was really eager to start reading it. It started off okay, but Katie quickly got on my nerves. Yes I understand that you mom lied to you for your whole like, and the fall out from the lie coming out was horrible. However, you are an adult now and should be able to not throw a temper tantrum and act like you are 2 years old every two seconds. She is just so frustrating! She wouldn't listen to anyone and ran off for a year without contacting any of her other family members. Really? They are dealing with the fall out too, and they care about you. Way to just not care about anyone who loves you.

Then someone tries to kidnap her, she is in handcuffs, and surprise! Jason is there to save her. Jason who she has been in love with forever. Jason who she does not let say anything after kissing her and assuming he didn't want that. Like always she just jumps to conclusions, then runs off when everything comes out before even talking to him. So he shows up and saves her, which is great, and yes I would have questions as to what he is doing there, but I think first I would want to get somewhere save away from who ever is trying to kidnap me. I mean I would trust Jason...I have been in love with him forever so...when Jason is trying to drag her through the streets away from her would be capturers does she go? No. She decides right then is the perfect time to throw a fit and demand to know RIGHT NOW what is going on. He keeps trying to get her to continue moving, and she just stamps her feet all no! I am two and you can't make me! Wah! Then he gets her into a crowded cafe and the windows get shot out! Does Katie finally shut up and just go with him to try and get somewhere safe? No. Of course not. Time for another temper tantrum! I mean it is like she had no regard for him or her own safety. So supposedly cares about Jason, but she really is not showing it. He could be caught in the cross fire, the people after her could take him too, anything could happen. Plus she could be killed! Who cares, this is the perfect time to act like a child and not try and get somewhere safe. She was really annoying.

Jason seemed nice. I did like him. He was always trying to save Katie. I have no idea how he stood to be around her though. I would not be able to deal with her acting like a two year old all the time. He was great though and I really liked him. At one point Jason did point out that Katie was acting childish, running off and refusing to even talk to her mother a year later. What does Katie do? All but stomps her feet and yells nuh uh! like a small child. Really her reaction to being called a child really shows how childish she is. Way to prove his point. Plus he points out that she didn't let him explain after she kissed him a year ago, and she throws another tantrum. Why does he like her? I don't get it. He follows her around, making sure she stays safe, rescues her from kidnappers and has to keep saving her/keeping her safe, and is just so sweet. What does she do? Throw tantrums, yell at him because he talks to her mom, and is just not good.

One thing I did really enjoy about the book, and one of the reasons I kept reading it until the end, was the steamy scenes between Jason and Katie. I thought they were well written, especially compared to the rest of the story. For some reason the writing in the rest of the story felt very disjointed and a little off, but the hot scenes were hot. Katie and Jason did have great chemistry together, even though I still don't get why he liked her. If the scenes between the two of them wouldn't have been so enjoyable I am not sure I would have finished the book.

Then the ending? Slight spoilers ahead...So they never really explain what happens with the henchmen. It is just like yey! It is over! The end. No one is questioning them to see who sent them, no one is worried about charging them or making sure they pay for trying to kidnap Katie, really they are never mentioned after the brief the one is in the hospital. Perfect - I love when things don't get wrapped up like that. I mean it doesn't seem like that story line is continuing into the next book based on the synopsis for it...so it is kind of annoying. The epilogue was also not the best. So overall this book was very annoying. Katie was the most childish adult I have ever read. I wanted to scream Grow up already!!! all the time. Then the writing for the most part was not the best. I expected more since I enjoyed the first Pride book so much (and really I need to get the rest of those books to read). Unfortunately this book was just not that good. I did like the chemistry between Jason and Katie in the intimate scenes, but other than that she annoyed the heck out of me.

Rating: 2/5

Monday, November 18, 2013

Mine 'Til Monday by Ruby Laska


Mine 'Til Monday

Synopsis:

Dorothy Albright has known Mud Taylor all her life. They’ve shared skinned knees, picnics, and rope swings..and somewhere along the line, a first kiss. Then Mud grew up one summer and left her behind. He’s a forgotten page in her history, until a crisis in her professional life brings him back.

Dorothy’s dream boss is looking for a certain kind of protégée: the married kind. Unfortunately, Dorothy’s social life has taken a dive while her career has taken off, and there’s no fiancé in sight, fictional or otherwise. 


Then she remembers Mud, and she has to admit that her old best friend is the only man who can help her pull off her plan, even if he stirs up long-buried passions.

Review:

I had read another book by Ruby Laska, but I couldn't remember if I enjoyed it or not (it was a while ago). I started this book not expecting to enjoy it much, but found I really liked this. I was worried it was going to be an all sex no story kind of romance (I don't really like those). It wasn't the best book ever, but it was quite entertaining and I found I didn't want it to end. A perfect rainy day read - light and easy and fun. 

Dorothy and Mud have obvious chemistry. Obviously Dot's plan to try and fool Miranda to get her dream job is not a good one. Obviously it wouldn't really work. I mean what happens once she gets it and she doesn't get married to Mud? It would be really bad to start on those kind of terms. But just disregard that. I mean it is a minor detail really in the story of Dot and Mud. They were so good together I didn't really care what shenanigans they got up to, or how unrealistic they were. 

I was confused by what happened forever ago that broke Dot's heart. Even after finishing the story I was kind of like wait a minute...but again whatever. Not sure why but a lot of things that would  normally annoy me I just overlooked with this story. It was just that entertaining. Do Mud and Dot get together pretty quick? Yes. Does it work out right away? No way. Do they both think the other doesn't care about them and are secretly upset that the other will never love them? Yes. Was there incredible chemistry between the two? Yes! It was great. Sure I was like ah! You two just need to talk this out and you will see you are perfect for each other! 

I did really like Mud. I liked how he could be all fancy pants, but was just a normal everyday kind of guy. Dot was really snobby at the beginning, well I guess all throughout, but by the end it didn't matter as much. Speaking of the end that is the one thing I disliked about this story. It is going along and it is good, but then suddenly everything resolves in like two pages and it is over. I was just like what? Did I miss something? How is this over already??? It was way too quick for the story. Really I thought did the author just not feel like writing anymore and just wrapped it up as quick as possible? So other than it ending way too quickly it was a good read. 

Rating: 2.5/5

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Frostbite by Lynn Rush


Frostbite (Touch of Frost)

Synopsis:

Amanda gives a whole new meaning to cool…

Amanda Smith is sick of getting chased from town-to-town. So when she lands in tiny Trifle, Arizona, she hopes it’s her last move for a long time. Despite hating the smallness of the town, she settles in and finds a best friend, and even a boyfriend. Normality at its finest.

But for a girl who can shoot snow from her hands and lift a two-ton truck over her head like a bag of feathers—normal is not an option.

The scientists who murdered her mother come barreling into Amanda’s quiet life. She must decide if she’ll run again or stay and fight. The price of either choice might be her life or the lives of those she’s come to love…

Review:

I started Frostbite and thought oh this is going to be a long book. I really was not enjoying the story for about the first half of the book. Amanda was annoying and just...I was not enjoying it. Then somehow in the second half I started getting into it and by the end I thought this was not too bad. I even thought I might read the second book when it came out, until I read the sneak peek and then decided never mind...so it was a strange thing. Bad, good, then back to bad.

The story starts with Amanda worrying about Coats every two seconds. It was like every other sentence something about Coats. Oh no, are Coats here? I have to watch out for the Coats. The Coats, the Coats, the Coats. It was really annoying as I was just like I get it! The Coats are bad, they killed your parents, they want you and you have to keep an eye out for them. Got it. You don't have to keep reminding me.

Besides talking about the Coats all the time, Amanda also seemed very whiny. She was always complaining about how she can't control her powers, but for a good bit it was never mentioned that she even tried to practice or anything. Eventually she does say that she practices, but it is never shown how she actually tries to control her powers. I think it would have been interesting to watch some of that, maybe have her go out into the woods to try and control when the freeze happens and pull it back afterwards. Oh well. She just was really whiny about her powers and how she can't have friends and stuff which...I mean she can't do anything about it so suck it up and deal with it!

There is also Zach, who seems fine, but I have no idea why he likes Amanda. They don't really talk ever...they just seem to have lots of sexual tension, then make out a bunch. It is odd. One minute Amanda is suspicious of why Zach is talking to her suddenly, then the next second they are making out. It didn't really seem very realistic. Amanda keeps pushing him away, even once he knows all of her secrets, and it was a bit frustrating. I get that you don't want him to get hurt, but you should also let him figure out what he wants. Apparently he wants you so...Oh and Amanda can be kind of dense. When Zach gets hurt she curls up with him and starts making out with him and then she thinks she is freezing him to death. So she is all oh noes! Then she goes home and sees that she can heal herself, and others, with her ice. So obviously that is what she did to Zach right? Well apparently not so obvious until the next day when she spies and see that he has healed too quickly for it to have been natural.

One thing I did really like is Georgia. I loved the fire and ice. I thought she was a great addition to the story. She was great and could become a strong character to compliment Amanda. So as the story went on I enjoyed it more and more. It become more of trying to stay away from the Coats and figure things out. The very end was a little lame, but not too bad. Spoilers ahead! So I did not like whenever someone mentions Amanda's mom she just freezes up and cannot think at all. Like at the end when Andrey tells her he killed her mom she just freezes. She almost gets beaten to death before she comes back to it and gets angry with him and tries to kill him. If someone told me they killed my parents I would switch to instant anger and try and hurt them however I could. It was just kind of lame. But the whole being captured and escape and destroying the whole place was kind of fun. So it did end on more of a positive than it started. Not many books do that, usually it is the reverse.

Rating: 2.5/5

Saturday, November 16, 2013

The Fourth Sunrise by H.T. Night


The Fourth Sunrise: A Love Story (Night Romances #1)

Synopsis:


This review was originally posted to www.jeninbookland.com

Once in a while a powerful love story comes along that forever captures our hearts and imaginations. The Fourth Sunrise is such a book. It is a celebration of how love transcends time, a story that makes us believe in true love all over again.

When the team bus breaks down in Delta, Colorado, minor league baseball player Joel Murphy sets eyes for the first time on Christine, a waitress. Instantly smitten, he will spend the rest of the night getting to know her...and falling helplessly in love. In fact, he's certain she's the one. But when morning comes, Joel must leave quicker than planned and, tragically, never gets to say goodbye. And when he returns after a grueling season on the road, he discovers that Christine has moved on...and has married someone else.

That was thirty years ago...

Now in the present day, as Joel Murphy waits at a coffee shop in Delta to meet Christine for the fourth time in his life, and an intriguing young woman joins him to wait for her date, too. As the hour grows late, Joel begins to tell his new friend about Christine, who he has seen only three times over a period of decades. There is one important secret that he has kept from Christine, one that could tear them apart forever. As the hour grows even later, Joel's heart needs a voice and he begins to spill all the secrets of his enduring and lifelong love for Christine.

Review:


Let me start off by saying I have no idea how The Fourth Sunrise has so many amazing reviews. Do people seriously think this is ultra romantic? Oh I should mention that I will be going on about the plot a bit, in detail, including the "surprise" (not really a surprise) and the ending so don't read further if you don't want spoilers. This also will be another one of my rants as...I just don't get how this is supposed to be super romantic.

I pretty much hated this story, well I hated Christine, and the writing was not very good either. Take this section for example:

"I smiled and accepted her compliment. Even to this day, it was painful thinking about the death of my friend. He was a great person. I was lucky to know him. I paused and thought about my friend and smiled."

To me that is just so awkward. Like you don't need the last sentence in there since you are smiling and nodding in the first. This was also the way the whole book read. Everything repeated all the time. Like in one scene the lady from the coffee shop asks him something when they are standing outside, he answers, they go inside and she asks again. I was just like do you have memory issues? Do you not remember what you just talked about outside? Is the coffee shop some secret vortex where you don't remember anything outside its walls? It was just strange and annoying how things were repeated so much. Plus the dialogue was very forced and not realistic in how people speak. I kept thinking who talks like this?? Anyways I may put some dialogue in later to show other points so on to the story!

This book starts off with Joel in a coffee shop waiting for Christine to show up. This will be their fourth meeting to date and when she doesn't show he starts pouring his heart out to this other lady for hours. Well this lady is a romance writer (which she says that almost every single time the story cut back to the present. After a while I was just like I get it! You write romances! You don't have to keep telling me every time!) Since she is a romance writer she wants to hear his oh so romantic story.

So Joel's baseball teams bus breaks down and he gets stuck in this small town for one night. He meets Christine there and is instantly in love with her, she is is his soul mate. They stay up all night, first walking around the fair then at the library dancing and making out, and Joel tells her how she is the one for him and whatnot. She supposedly feels the same way. Then in the morning her parents show up and she has to leave suddenly. Joel keeps asking for her address and she won't give it to him so he can't write to her. He goes off, since he must, and returns as soon as he can (6 months later - he had to save up the money, plus family issues). When he returns she is already married to someone else and has moved away. Well to me that means she obviously did not love him as much as he loved her right? I mean it was only 6 months. I could see maybe after a few months agreeing to marry someone else (well maybe if it were back in the day. I really can't see marrying someone else when I am oh so in love with Joel until a long time has passed), but to be married already 6 months later? Later you find out she only waited one month for him. One month for the love of your life before agreeing to marry someone else. Wow. That must be true love...

So he leaves devastated, then gets drafted and goes off to war and serves with her husband. Fun!

"'It's just amazing. This part of the story is amazing. You see, I write in real life. This would be the hard sell to the reader, That out of all of the captains you could have had, you got Christine's husband. It seems virtually impossible odds.'

'Unless it's fate,' I interjected. 'Unless something higher is controlling the universe.'

'I agree with you, Joel'"

It's amazing! Really? This is what the dialogue for this book was like. He gets sent off to war and serves with her husband and you get a small discussion about how unlikely that is, then well it must be fate! Yey. Probably solved. I highlighted so much of this book, which is very unusual for me. Anyway, he finds he likes her husband and finds out more info about her. Many years after their first meeting he is going crazy thinking about her, he needs some closure, so he goes back to the small town 5 years in a row, to the fair they had gone to the first night, trying to find her. He finally stumbles upon her and she pretty much throws herself at him, and he doesn't refuse. They spend the night in a motel haveing sex all night. So not only did she move on near instantly, she also cheats on her husband. She is a great person. Cheating is so romantic. Now I might be okay with it somehow if now that she knows he came back for her and whatever she decides to leave her husband for him. Only then can I maybe overlook the cheating, though it is still not cool. But does she do this? No. Why? She is pregnant! She doesn't tell him until right before she is leaving! That is the moment when I really, truly started to hate Christine.

"I pressed my lips together, thinking of what I would say. I wanted it to be without anger, but my heart was breaking so hard that my chest actually ached. I said 'It seems like the closer I get to you...circumstances arise that make it harder and harder for us to even have the hope of building a life together.'

Christine stared intently into my eyes. 'It does make it harder because I am pregnant. As you said the circumstances. Your face is telling me not to go. I need for your face to tell me it's okay for me to leave.'"

Okay so you drop this bomb on poor Joel, break his heart again, then need him to make you feel better so you what? Don't feel guilty about leading him on and then leaving him? Well you should. You have no intention of leaving your husband (I really don't think you would even if you were not pregnant) so why are you doing this? You should have told him right away instead of being selfish. Well since you didn't the nicest thing to do would be to make it clear that this will never happen again and you can't have anything to do with him. I mean you are married, and intend to stay that way. Then maybe he can get on with his life. Is this what she does? No. She starts writing him once a month, pouring her heart out about how much she loves him and stuff. That is so much BS! You love him so much you want him to keep hanging on to the thinnest of hopes that maybe someday you will leave your husband? You love him so much you don't want him to move on from you, even though you cannot really be there for him? You love him so much you want him to waste his life away dreaming about you? I am sorry, but to me that is not love. That is being a selfish selfish person who just wants someone to tell her how pretty and wonderful they are. She always complains about how dull and boring her husband is, how he doesn't engage with her like he used to, so she is looking for that emotional stimulation from Joel. So she is emotionally cheating on her husband for years. I think that she is a horrible person. Suck it up and deal with your choices, don't make Joel suffer just because you know you can keep him hooked. That is not fair to him, and if you really loved him you would let him go. But she doesn't.

So the third meeting. Well Joel had written her three years prior stating that he wouldn't write her for three years and try and move on with his life.

"I can no longer correspond with you. Although receiving your monthly letters has been the highlight of each and every month over the past thirteen years, I just can't do it anymore. It's not fair to you. It's not fair to anyone who has tried loving me over the past thirty years. But mainly, it's not fair to my heart. My heart has longed for you for too long."

He had a plan to meet up in three years time, and how he hoped he wouldn't show up. I hoped he wouldn't either. He is right, it is not fair. Not fair to him at all. Well he shows up of course, and so does she. And she is still leading him on.

"I feel like I'm the worst human being on Earth. Here I am with a family and husband and there is still a part of me that wishes you would still hold on to me. I feel awful, but it is sincerely how I feel."

Well you obviously don't feel horrible enough as you still sleep with him all night.

"Christine's eyes locked into mine. 'I need you Joel.'

'You do?'

'I need you to be with me. I need you to do the things to me that only you can do. I know I'm selfish. I know I have a man who has no idea how to love me in the way I deserve, but he loves me, nonetheless. Right now, today at this point in my journey, I need all of you.'

'For how long?' I held my breath. 

'I can promise you tonight.'

My heart sank at hearing those words."

Wonderful! You just keep hurting him Christine. Way to go. I feel so bad for Joel throughout the book. I wish he could have moved on.

"So what I am is convenient. Every fifteen years or so, you find it in you to take a stab at me."

"My love has limits. This is where I must say goodbye to you."

Exactly! Get angry Joel. Get very angry after spending your third night together. Get angry at her using you to fulfill her emotional needs while not letting you actually be with her. Get angry that she is so selfish and horrible. Get angry with her! Tell her off! Well what does he do? He asks her to marry him. She of course says no for some lame reason, and that is that. he doesn't talk to her again. Until the present. He had cut her off completely, which is good, but I also wish this had happened after the second visit. He spent way too much of his life on someone who obviously did not care for him as much as he cared for her. Sure she might love him some, but not enough to be with him. Not enough to dump her husband who she complains can't give her what she wants. Not enough. Not enough to not be selfish and let him go sooner. I hated her so much, and I am glad that Joel finally lets her go.

So present day, shocking surprise ending! Well not really. See the lady in the coffee shop, the one he is telling the story to, is Christine's daughter! Shocker! Well as I said not really since I knew that as soon as I found out she was pregnant again and was going to have a second child. I mean how could you not foresee that? Oh and she keeps saying she is a romance write. Well it turns out she really really wanted to write romances. She wasn't very good at it so her mom told her the story of her and Joel. In detail. So the daughter typed that out into a book and voila! Romance writer! She didn't really even change anything or make anything up. At first neither say what happened at the end of the third date. So the third sunrise book just ends in a cliffhanger with the reader not knowing what happened, since the author was not told what happened. Great! I am glad she cannot come up with a story and can only write a story she is told! Great author!

Then the reason her daughter is there? Christine was in a car accident and in a coma. The daughter thinks she can almost bring her mom out of it, by reading Joel's letters to her, but if Joel comes she is sure she will wake up. Which she does almost instantly. Sure. That is what would happen. The best part? Her husband is now dead! He was in the same car accident and died instantly! Hurray! They can finally be together! Isn't that kind of morbid and sick? Like yey, your husband is dead we can live happily ever after now that he is no longer among the living! That is just all kinds of messed up to me. The poor husband. Christine does say he tries and he never does anything bad to her or anything, he is just dull. And now dead. Let's all celebrate! It is just so wrong!!

As you can tell by my very long rambling on about almost every aspect of this story I hated this book. I hated almost everything about it. The only thing I did like was Joel, but I felt so bad for him. He seemed like a good guy, but he had the horrible luck to meet Christine when he was young. I wish he hadn't for his sake. Horrible story, cheating is not romantic, and horrible writing. I don't get why there are so many glowing reviews.

Rating: 0.5/5

Friday, November 15, 2013

Heart Strings by Betty Jo Schuler


Heart Strings

Synopsis:


Tripp Andrews is the first boy Keely's been attracted to since her boyfriend Mark was killed drag racing, but why is he moving in with Mark's mother? Tripp has a second chance at life, thanks to a new heart, but what would Keely say if she knew it was Mark's?

Review:

Heart Strings is a quick and easy read, though not a particularly good one. It wasn't horrible, but I wouldn't recommend it either. Maybe you need to be younger to enjoy reading it. I don't know. Everything came together and worked out a little too easy. It wasn't really believable. 

Keely is so hung up on Mark still, who died 8 months ago in a racing accident. Then suddenly Tripp shows up and she is almost instantly starting to like him. There were two brief freak outs, but then it was just like Tripp all the way for her. Alright I guess, but if you are so in love with Mark shouldn't it take a little more to get over him? 

Then Tripp. I get his whole new lease on life thing, but he is pretty much instantly in love with Keely. I just didn't see it. He seemed like a nice guy, but there wasn't enough character development for me to really know either of these characters (or see a relationship between the two). Every time Keely and Tripp were together it felt a little...wooden? Something was just off so it didn't seem real. So I didn't really care about either of them. That and they are both keeping secrets which once found out cause a short freak out, but super quick and easy working everything out. All of the drama in the book also seemed a bit pointless. I don't know. It just wasn't a very good read for an adult. The end just left me shaking my head like really? It is that easy? Alright...well on to the next book. 

Rating: 1.5/5

Thursday, November 14, 2013

Joe by H.D. Gordon


Joe

Synopsis:

From the author of the Alexa Montgomery Saga, comes a book that will take you into the mind of a genuine psychopath, the lives of six ordinary people, and the world of a very special girl named Joe. 

Joe is seemingly an ordinary college student. She works, studies and reads. But in between these activities Joe has a gift that promises to add a dose of color to her life at any given moment. Joe sees things before they happen. Bad things, and the worst thing she has ever faced is just around the corner. Someone is planning a massacre at the college university that Joe attends, and the only person with a hope of stopping the psychopath is her. 

Oh, the beauty of foresight. More like a curse. Joe has four days to figure out the mystery, make plans to take down the psycho, and save the lives of people. People like you and me. Ordinary people.

Review:

Wow. I was not expecting this book to be so intense. I thought Joe would be some light read, maybe it would be good, but I really wasn't expecting much from it. Man was I blown away by it.  Let me try and put into words something about this book (besides wow...just wow) 

So this is one of those stories where it is told from many different points of view. People who are all connected by one event that happens at the end. I'm not sure that I have read any book like this before, though I have seen movies with the same idea. Joe was just amazing. She is pretty down on herself and does not like her gift, but she still tries to stop or minimize her horrible visions. She keeps telling you she is not a hero, but she is so brave and courageous. Most people wouldn't go into a bad situation thinking they might just die to try and save others lives. She is pretty awesome and I just really respected her. Besides dealing with her visions she also has a bad stutter (which makes her stay pretty quiet). Her parents are not the best, but she still seems pretty together. I just want the best for her. I really liked her. 

I loved Michael as well. He is so sweet. While this book is not a romance at all, and I thought oh no is this going to be a romance? when it switched to the first other point of view (besides Joe and the decider - John's first chapter), by the end I wanted it to be. At first I was enjoying the no boy as love interest angle, but Michael was so sweet and perfect and I wanted Joe to have someone to confide in and help her. I am hoping he will be in the next book and we will see Joe open up to him more since he was great.

Really I enjoyed most of the points of view we were given. I will say the teacher was my least favorite, but it wasn't bad. It was really interesting reading what everyone was doing up until the main event. I also liked that most of the people seemed to have something other about them. Whether it was just intuition or something more, I liked that it was kind of like everyone had some otherness about them. I mean how many times have you heard someone say go with your gut instinct or something similar? It felt like Joe was more connected and more like everyone else than she thinks. In a good way. Like we all have something inside us. 

The ending was just amazing. The way it was written was so good. It just goes from one person to the next in mid thought or sentence and it was so great. I loved it. It just made it a little chaotic and crazy like it would have been for the characters. I can't say enough good things about it. Very well done on. I cannot wait to read more about Joe and her visions!

Rating: 5/5

Available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Goodreads

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Love Thy Neighbor by Belle Aurora


Love Thy Neighbor (Friend-Zoned)

Synopsis:

Asher 'Ghost' Collins and Natalie Kovac shared a passionate night together. One neither of them can forget.

So why is it so hard for them to be around each other?

With no hope of the two getting along they decide to go their separate ways. And somehow end up closer than they've ever been.

Will friendship ever be enough for the pair?

Review:

I started reading Love Thy Neighbor and thought hmm..this is not as good as the first book. Really I think the beginning took way too much time recapping what had happened in the first book and who everyone was. I like short and sweet one sentence here or there when needed to clue in people who haven't read prior books, not paragraphs telling me. Plus at first I wasn't really connecting with Nat. I'm not sure why but I was just eh about her. I didn't really get her at the beginning, and really I didn't totally get her at the end either, but I liked her by then. She slowly grew on me. I still didn't like her as much as Tina, but really how can you compete with Tina?

Ash I loved! I felt so bad for him and the chapter where it is like a flashback of what happened to him...by that point I almost cried. I just can't imagine how he got out  of that situation and is the person he is now. I just can't. I wanted everything for him, for him to be happy and fall in love and have everything he could ever want. He really was a sweetheart even though he was always down on himself and didn't really know how to be with someone. He did try and was just wonderful. Really I think Nat and Ash made a great couple. They were hot together, but also so sweet with each other. He could really open up to her and let her in like no one else. It was just so nice to see. It was nice to watch him turn from the silent brooding type to the happy fun guy he is. I loved him. 

I also really enjoyed the story itself. It really was just the story of Ash and Nat. No crazy other rouge mob guy kidnapping and trying to hurt Tina and Nik. No crazy, well I guess there was Cole, but that was in the beginning and resolved pretty quick. And lead to more Ash love! It really was just about how Ash figures out how to love and how to not hate himself and be with Nat, and Nat to be with him. It was sweet and heartbreaking and wonderful and a great follow up (even though it started off slow for me). My one issues was the very end - the last chapter with Tina pregnant, ad really the whole pregnancy thing in general at the end. I don't know why but that bugged me. Oh well, at least everyone is happy. 

Rating: 4/5