Audiobook · Book Review · Contemporary · Contemporary Romance · FIction · Romance · Women's Fiction

Not the Girl You Marry

Synopsis

Meet Jack Nolan. Jack is a journalist, but instead of covering politics, like he wants to be doing, he is stuck at an internet media company as the “how-to” guy. Jack is fed up with writing “fluff articles” and wants more than anything to break into the world of politics. In order to move up in his career, Jack strikes a deal with his boss to write one final “farewell” piece: How to Lose a Girl. Jack thinks this should be easy task, that is, until he meets Hannah Mayfield.

Meet Hannah Mayfield. Hannah is an event planner and her only focus is climbing the career ladder. Hannah is know for her events with professional sports players, but nobody thinks that she will ever be able to plan weddings. In order to secure a promotion, Hannah must prove to her boss that she has range, which includes planning a romantic wedding, which she dreads.

Jack and Hannah meet. Hannah thinks that he is the perfect man to date for a couple of weeks to show her boss that she is not scared of feelings. And Jack decides to use Hannah as his “How to Lose a Girl” girl. But then, Jack and Hannah’s fake relationship starts to feel real. Jack is no longer sure that Hannah is the one he wants to lose for his article and Hannah begins to think that Jack is not just some guy she will date for a couple of weeks.

What will Jack and Hannah put first…their promotions or their relationship? Read Not the Girl You Marry to find out!!!

Review

I listened to this book in the car driving to and from work. As I began to listen, this felt a lot like the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” While the base of the story was very similar, I think Andie J Christopher‘s characters that she created where fantastic. I loved Jack and Hannah as well as all of the minor characters in the book. I thought they were both funny, charming, and just a little “crazy” (in a good way, of course!!!). Jack and Hannah and their banter back and forth made this story stand out from the movie “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” It shaped the story that made me what to continue listening long after my drive had ended. Andie J Christopher does a wonderful job with her descriptions of characters as well as the situations they are in. It is easy to picture each part of the story in your mind’s eye and see it all unfolding before you! While this was first book of Andie J Christopher that I have read, I will for sure be checking out her other books!!!

Rating

Meet the Author

USA Today Bestselling author Andie J. Christopher writes edgy, funny, sexy contemporary romance featuring heat, humor, and dirty talking heroes that make readers sweat. She grew up in a family of voracious readers, and picked up her first Harlequin Romance novel at age twelve when she’d finished reading everything else in her grandmother’s house. It was love at first read. It wasn’t too long before she started writing her own stories — her first heroine drank Campari and drove an Alfa Romeo up a winding road to a minor royal’s estate in Spain. Andie lives in the Nation’s Capital with her French Bulldog, Gus, a stockpile of Campari, and way too many books.

Action · Adult Fiction · Book Review · Crime Thriller · FIction · Mystery · Thriller

No Exit

I am in a book club on Facebook called We Be Book’N. One of the Buddy Reads this month was the book No Exit. This book had been sitting on my shelf for a while and I had been hearing good things, so I jumped into the Buddy Read.

Synopsis

A kidnapped little girl locked in a stranger’s van. No help for miles. What would you do?

Meet Darby Thorne. A college student in Colorado, she leaves school to travel to Utah to see her dying mother. Darby is trying to beat the blizzard that is on its way, but unfortunately the blizzard is upon her faster than she predicted. With the roads becoming impassable, Darby is forced to pull over at a remote highway rest stop to wait out the storm. Darby enters the rest stop and finds 4 complete strangers.

All Darby knows about her mom is that she is “okay.” Desperate to call home, Darby struggles to find a signal. In her search, Darby makes a horrifying discovery. In the van parked next to her car is a little girl locked in an animal crate! At first Darby believes that she is just seeing things, but then her mind goes into overdrive…who is the child? Why has she been taken? How can she save the little girl?

In her struggle to save the little girl, Darby must figure out which one of the strangers is the kidnapper. Darby needs to save her life and the little girl’s, but the question is Who Can She Trust?

Review

OH MY GOODNESS!!! Taylor Adams is a stellar writer! They weren’t kidding when they said he “diabolically ratchets up the tension with every page.” This was a book that was FANTASTIC from start to finish. This book pulled me in at page one and I could not put it down until I finished. Each time I thought I had figured out who the kidnapper was and how Darcy was going to save herself and the little girl, Taylor Adams would throw a wrench in my predictions taking the tension up notch after notch until I could not turn the pages fast enough!! There were so many twist and turns to this book that definitely left me on the edge of my seat. Taylor Adams writes in such a way that allows you to feel the stress of the situation and the stress of the characters. In addition, there were places in the book where I felt myself holding my breath wondering what turn the story would take next. This book was incredible! I cannot recommend it enough!!!

Rating

About the Author

Taylor Adams directed the acclaimed short film And I Feel Fine in 2008 and graduated from Eastern Washington University with the Excellence in Screenwriting Award and the prestigious Edmund G. Yarwood Award. His directorial work has screened at the Seattle True Independent Film Festival and his writing has been featured on KAYU-TV’s Fox Life blog. He has worked in the film/television industry for several years and lives in Washington state.

Adams is the author of EYESHOT, OUR LAST NIGHT, and NO EXIT, published by Joffe Books (http://www.joffebooks.com/).

Author Bio taken from https://tayloradamsauthor.com/

Book Review · FIction · Historical Fiction

This Tender Land

Synopsis

Meet Odie and Albert. Two brothers living at the Lincoln School in Minnesota in 1932. At the Lincoln School, hundreds of Native American children are separated from their families so they can be educated. Odie and Albert are not Native Americans, they are orphans the school took in and Odie in particular loves to explore and get into trouble which puts him into no so good graces with the school’s superintendent, Mrs. Brickman or “the Black Witch” as the kids call her.

Due to several horrible circumstances, Odie and Albert are forced to flee, taking their best friend Mose and a little girl named Emmy with them. Stealing a canoe, Odie, Albert, Mose, and Emmy set off down the Mississippi to find a place to call home. During the summer of 1932, Odie, Albert, Mose and Emmy will journey into the large world of the unknown. Along the way they will meet others who are also adrift, getting themselves into situations that both excite and terrify them. Where will they end up and will they be able to find a place in this world where they belong?

Review

I had heard tons of hype about this book, but never really looked at what the book was about. When my book club selected the book, it was time to buckle down and read this 465 page book and let me tell you I am so glad that I did. And I am also glad that I did not read the synopsis and had no idea where this book was going to go – it was like I was on the same adventure with Odie and the others!!! William Kent Krueger is a fabulous story teller. He writes in such a way that you feel what the characters are feeling. You cheer for the good times and silently curse the horrible things that happen to them in their young lives. He writes in such a way that has you turning page after page and not wanting to stop! While this book stopped at 465 pages, let me tell you I wanted to read many, many more pages to learn more about these characters and what happened in their lives.

This book was one that will stick with me for a long time. It was full of so many lessons and nuggets of knowledge. It was filled with life’s dilemmas and morals to many questions presented in the course of the story. Most of all, this was a story that tugged at my heartstrings. While I usually sell the books I have read to make room for new ones in my collection, this is one that I will NOT be selling. This is a book that I will for sure read again (and probably again after that). This is a story that has spoken to me and will speak to each one of you every time you read it.

Rating

This book is definitely a 5+ star book!!!
Adult Fiction · Book Review · Dark Romance · FIction · Romance

When Art Rises: Living in Cin

WARNING: This book is heartbreaking, dark, dirty, and is only for true dark romance lovers. Arthur is not the hero—he’s the anti-hero. While the setting of this story is in a high school environment, its recommended reading age is eighteen+ due to mature content, explicit sexual scenes, and graphic language. There are also several scenes that could be triggering for readers. Please take this warning seriously before reading this book. IT’S NOT FOR SENSITIVE READERS.

Synopsis

Meet Arthur “Art.” When Art was 15 his life completely changed…in a matter of ONE second. The truth about what happened that night has driven him to the brink of insanity. Art has been labeled a lost cause as he is an ex-drug addict and suicide survivor and NO ONE can control him. He does not care about anyone or anything until he meets Cin. Or as Art thinks – “A Cin worth commiting.”

Meet Cinnamon “Cin.” Cin is a track start and has a full scholarship lined up after she graduates. She and her boyfriend have planned a future together that includes going to the same college (or 2 very close together), getting married, and having kids. A life anyone would envy. Then she meets Art. Cin knows she could stay away away because he is dark, dangerous, and damaged. BUT, she can’t stay away, she is drawn to him. As Cin gets to know Art better and as she is let into his world, Art begins to pull her carefully laid plans apart and this reeking havoc in every part of Cin’s world. Little did Cin know that one choice would set in motion the destruction of the world she had built. And little did Cin know, the consequences will be catastropic

***This is the first book in a duet and cannot be read as a standalone.***

Review

My first thought when I finished this book was “OMG! What did I just read.” My second thought was “Are you kidding me? How could you end the book like that?”

I just recently discovered author Lorrain Allen and was selected to read this book just as it was published. When I saw the byline of “A twisted Interracial High School Love Triangle,” I though to myself “oh crap, what did I get my self into?” I was a little nervous getting started, but Lorrain Allen’s writing sucked me right in and never let me go during this book!!! Lorrain Allen’s writing is wonderfully descriptive in all the right ways and in all the “cinful” ways. Each page you turn leaves you thinking “did I really just read that” or “come on! tell me what happens next.”

This book gave me all the feels…heartbreak, loss, grief, pain, excitement, passion, nervousness…you name it, it was felt!! This book allows one to be swallowed up by the characters and the story. You feel what they feel. You get angry with the choices they make. You cheer them on. You swear at them and ask “why did you do that?!?” But most of all you end up loving each of the characters for what they bring to the story – good or bad.

This is a book that provided so many twists and turns in the story, I was surprised I did not get whiplash (in a good way)! Just when I thought the story had reached its climax and it was going to start winding down, the story switched directions and surprised me with what happened next! And let me tell you – THIS HAPPENED MULTIPLE TIMES! I was so frustrated and so intrigued all at the same time that I just had to keep reading.

I am so glad that I discovered Lorraine Allen and I will definitely be picking up more of her books. And let me tell you, the second book in this series cannot be published soon enough!!!

Rating

Book Review · FIction · Mystery · Thriller

Travels of Quinn

This month, I had the pleasure of working with the Cozy Mystery Review Crew to read and review the book Travels of Quinn by Sasscer Hill.

Synopsis

Meet Quinn who was born an Irish American Traveller gypsy. Raised by her father and step-family, Quinn was trained from an early age to be a con artist. During one of her cons, things go awry and Quinn is arrested for attempted robbery. Quinn is sentenced to pay restitution working on a horse farm, which Quinn surprisingly loves as she falls in love with each of the horses.

Then one day, the farm’s owner is brutally murdered and Quinn becomes the prime suspect in that murder. Quinn goes on the run and uses every scam and con she knows to not only save herself but prove her innocence. Can Quinn figure out the real murder before she goes to prison for life for a murder she did not commit or will she be murdered herself because she knows too much?

Review

For some reason, I have always had a fascination with gypsies. I am not sure if it is because of all the stories that I have heard about them or if it is because there are so many different types of gypsies with their own life styles and customs. Whatever the reason, when I read the synopsis of this book, I knew I just had to read it! And let me tell you, Sasscer Hill’s book did not disappoint!!

From page one, Sasscer Hill’s writing pulled me right in! The descriptions of Quinn and her family had me turning pages to see what kind of con they would pull next!! Then, Quinn is caught in the act of stealing and the story completely changed. It captured me into a murder mystery that kept me guessing at every page! I thought I had figured out what had happened early on, but each time I thought I had the entire mystery figured out, a new piece of the story was introduced and all my theories about what had happened went POOF! I enjoyed every minute of this book, and had a hard time putting it down, which is probably why I finished the book in 2 days!!!

I must admit that I a so glad that I found this book and author, however I am disappointed that there is not another book about Quinn. I am hoping that Sasscer Hill writes more books about Quinn, but for now, I will settle reading some of her other books (which I am sure will be just as good as this one)!! I am so glad to have discovered this author.

Rating

Adult Fiction · Book Review · Book Spotlight · FIction · Historical Fiction · Romance · Women's Fiction

Book Spotlight and Partial Review: A Woman of Substance

I was alerted to this book, A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor Bradford, after Suzy, from Suzy Approved Book Tours sent out an email about the 40th anniversary of this book. I honestly had never heard of this author or the book. I am so glad that Suzy told me about this book!!!

Synopsis

Meet Emma Harte – the iron-willed force behind a thriving international enterprise. Growing up, Emma lived in poverty until she honed her skills, learned to survive, became a woman, and vowed to make her mark on the world.

As one of the richest women in the world, Emma has everything that she could ever want…except, the one man she could never have. Emma’s life has taken her through 2 marriages, 2 wars, and generations of secrets as well as numerous successes. As Emma gets older, greed and envy consume those who are the closest to her. Now Emma finds herself in the position of needing to outwit her enemies and face her past in the same way she built her empire. Will Emma be able to do it or will everything Emma has built come crashing down around her?

Review

While I did not have a chance to finish the entire book before this post was due, what I did read was wonderful. Barbara Taylor Bradford does a fantastic job of introducing the characters of the book in a wonderfully descriptive way – in a way that lets you picture them in your mind’s eye perfectly. In addition, while this story jumps time periods, Barbara does a good job letting you know exactly what time period you are in. Finally, I really enjoyed the style of writing Barbara Taylor Bradford has. Her writing style pulls you into the story and allows you to see the the story from each of the characters point of views.

While I did not have time to finish this book, I will for sure continue to read it as I can’t wait to see what happens!!

Adult Fiction · Book Review · FIction · Historical Fiction

Don’t Put the Boats Away

This month I was chosen to be part of a Suzy Approved Book Tour for Don’t Put the Boats Away by Ames Sheldon.

Synopsis

World War II has just ended and the world is beginning to put itself back together. In the Sutton Family, they are reeling at the sudden loss of their son/brother Eddie. This book follows the family for the next 25 years as they deal with the sudden loss of Eddie. Daughter Harriet goes to school to become a chemist. Son Nat wants nothing more to be a jazz musician. Father George is stuck in his ways and struggles to accept the choices that his son and daughter are making. Mother Eleanor blames herself for her son’s death because she never told him the horrors that she saw while serving during the Great War. She thinks if she had told him maybe he would not have enlisted and now he would not be dead. Watch as each member of the family struggles, succeeds, and begins to put their lives together one year at a time.

Review

I have said it before on this blog, but I tend to stay away from historical fiction. I often struggle to completely understand what the book is talking about as history was never my strong suit in school. Don’t get me wrong, I enjoyed learning about the history of the United States, its just that all the details didn’t stick and I often confuse one war with another. Thank being said, this book was wonderful! Ames Sheldon has a way of writing that brings you into the story and makes you feel like you are really there. The writing wraps you in the warmth of the story and makes you fall “in like” with each of the characters and the story of their life.

In addition, imagine my surprise upon starting the story and finding out Harriett was attending school at the University of Wisconsin – Madison. I live in Wisconsin and have also lived in Madison. All the details that Ames Sheldon provided of the city I could imagine and have been to many of them. This detail really made the story connect to my heart.

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed all the details of post-war times that were provided and woven into the story. Theses details made you feel like you were part of the story and that you were going through what each of the characters were going through. Ames Sheldon has a way of pulling you in on page one and keeps you turning each page until the very end. I will definitely be picking up Ames Sheldon’s other book, Eleanor’s War!!!

I think I have to stop saying that I don’t read historical fiction!!! 🙂

Rating

Book Review · Contemporary Romance · FIction · Romance · Women's Fiction

The Unexpected Wedding

This month I had the opportunity of partnering with Goddess Fish Promotions to review the book “The Unexpected Wedding” by Debra Elizabeth.

Synopsis

Meet Lady Elizabeth. She may be a partner in a booming wedding business at Barrett Castle in Northern England, but she has had nothing but bad dates lately. Elizabeth can’t figure out if the bad dates are because she likes to share her opinions and business sense, or if she is just in a rut. But then her brother and sister in law invite her to travel to San Diego. While Elizabeth isn’t excited by the idea, she decides there is nothing to lose as she is having no success in England finding a boyfriend.

Meet Jackson “Jack” Stanfield. As a computer programmer, he does not date much as he believes computers are far more simple than complicated people. Then one day, Jack’s college buddy invites him to a BBQ, which he reluctantly agrees to attend. But then he meets Lady Elizabeth and is suprised by the immediate reaction he has to her.

Will Elizabeth finally find love? Will Elizabeth pull Jack out of his shell? Make sure to pick up “The Unexpected Wedding” to find out!

Review

This was a cute book. I am not sure there is any other way to describe it. It was shorter than most books I read, but it didn’t matter as the story was quick to pull you in and keep you interested throughout the book. I was pleasantly surprised by the way Debra Elizabeth presented and described the characters of Elizabeth and Jack. Instead of the female character being the one talking about all the feelings she was having and “mooning” over the male character, Debra provided a platform where each of the characters had a chance to express the feelings they were having for each other. This was so, so wonderfully refreshing!

While I thought the story was going to be about Elizabeth and Jack’s romance, Debra Elizabeth threw a bit of a curve ball into the story! While it was a minor part of the story, compared to the love story, the curve ball was a great addition to the story and added wonderful, descriptive writing about the characters as well as the story line.

Like I said, this book was cute and I enjoyed every minute of this story! For sure worth the read!!

Excerpt

Jack walked toward the back door. When he was almost there, he saw a vision—a stunning young woman with blonde curls cascading down her back. When she turned at his approach, the last rays of the sun enveloped her silhouette, giving her an ethereal dreamy quality. She was the most beautiful woman he’d ever seen, and he felt the breath leave his body as he stood staring open-mouthed. He’d never had such a reaction to a woman before. It was new and an unnerving experience.

“Did you want something?” she asked.

Jack continued to stare, totally captivated by this woman and her beautiful cornflower blue eyes. He knew she was talking, but he didn’t hear a word, just a lyrical melody.

The young woman waved her hand in front of his face. “Hello, can I get you something?”

That broke his trance and Jack felt heat climb up his neck. “Huh? Oh god. I’m so sorry. I didn’t mean to stare,” he stammered.

“It’s quite all right. Now do you want something, a beer perhaps?” she asked.

“You’re British?”

The young woman’s eyes traveled down to her feet and back up again before she looked at him. “Last time I looked, yes,” she chuckled.

What an asinine thing to say!

 “Shall we start again?” she asked. “I’m Elizabeth and you are?”

Jack gave himself a mental shake. “Oh, please forgive me. I’m not used to making a complete fool of myself before I’ve even uttered a single word. It’s a pleasure to meet you, Elizabeth. I’m Jackson, um Jack, that is.”

“Well, Jackson um Jack, it’s a pleasure to meet you. Now, would you like a beer?”

He chuckled. “Yes, please. That would be good.”

Rating

GIVEAWAY

Debra Elizabeth will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click the link HERE to enter!!!

Adult Fiction · Book Review · FIction · Historical Fiction · Mystery

The Six-Week Solution

For this book, I had the pleasure of partnering with the Cozy Mystery Review Crew to review the book “The Six-Week Solution” by Paula Darnell. This was my first time working with this group and I have to say, they were fantastic and will for sure be working with them again!!!

Synopsis

Reno, Nevada – a place where people can come get a quickie divorce in 1955 by moving there for just six-weeks. By moving to a ranch in Reno and establishing residency by living there for six-weeks, well-to-do women are granted a quickie divorce for a variety of reasons.

Enter the Circle E Ranch run by Carol and Chuck Ellis. One nigh a guest of the ranch dies unexpectedly when her Cadillac suddenly runs off the Mount Rose Highway, a road that travels between Reno and Lake Tahoe. Deputy Sheriff Ben Cameron is assigned to investigate the accident. As Ben is investigating the accident, which leads to more questions than answers, he meets Mary who has just moved into the Circle E ranch from New York. While spending time questioning the ranch’s guests, Ben finds out that Mary has been involved in an accident, while shopping in Reno with another one of the guests at the Circe E Ranch. Mary brushes the accident off as just that – an accident. However, when Mary has a second accident, so close to the first, Ben quickly determines someone is out to get her.

What happened to cause the guest at the Circle E Ranch to drive off the cliff?

Who is targeting Mary and will she be alive long enough to get her divorce?

Ben must figure out the answers to these questions as well as many others in order to solve these cases before someone else dies. Will he be able to do it in time? Read The Six-Week Solution by Paula Darnell to find out!! 

Review

While I don’t usually read historical fiction, the synopsis intrigued me enough to bring me out of my comfort zone to read this book, and I was glad that I did. I had never heard of the six-week solution before reading this book, and was surprised to learn that hundreds of thousands of people came to Nevada to get a divorce in the 1900’s. While I learned this fact after reading the book, the book did a really great job in cluing me into what the six-week solution actually was, without having to do any research outside of reading the book. I felt that the author included facts in a way that were part of the story-line and you did not feel like you were reading a history book, but you still knew what was going on in history at this time. This was a great aspect of Paula Darnell‘s writing.

Throughout the book, I sometimes felt a slight struggle to continue reading, as I felt the story became slower paced, however Paula Darnell then through me a curveball that kept me reading to find out what was going to happen to Mary and why the black Cadillac drove off the Mount Rose Highway. While there were two separate mysteries going on, Paula Darnell did a great job separating them, while at the same time weaving them together. In addition, when I thought I had figured out each of the mysteries, Paula Darnell through a curveball that put me back at square one in figuring out what had happened and “who done it.”

Overall, I really enjoyed this book. I am glad that I stepped out of my comfort zone and read historical fiction. This book introduced me to author Paula Darnell and I will for sure be adding her to my list of authors to read!! In fact, I can’t wait to jump into her DIY Diva Mystery Series!

Rating

Adult Fiction · Book Review · Crime Thriller · FIction · Mystery · Thriller

You Kill Me

I again had the pleasure of partnering with Goddess Fish Promotions for a book review of You Kill Me by Holly LeRoy. I, as much as the next person love a good “police solving a crime” book and this one did not disappoint.

Synopsis

Eve Sharpe is a Lieutenant for the Chicago Police Department. During her time on the force she has been known for her toughness. While investigating a case, Eve takes a lot of hits that begin to make her second guess her toughness and that also make her lose her edge. With her career crashing down around her, Eve begins to wonder if the press and politicians are right…that she is a cold blooded killer or if she is just losing her mind. As Eve is put on administrative leave, she continues to wonder if this is an officer involved shooting that was a “good shoot” gone wrong and therefore an honest mistake or if it is something much more terrible.

Review

I must say, Holly LeRoy did not disappoint with this book!! From page 1, I was hooked!! Holly LeRoy wrote a suspenseful, intriguing book with surprises at every turn. For me, I never knew what was going to happen in the story or to Eve next! This book really kept me guessing! This book was full of excitement and suspense which kept me on my toes throughout the pages. While Eve is a fictional character, the way Holly LeRoy wrote about her really made me feel for her and with every blow that she took, I felt I was taking the blow with her. I questioned her sanity with her. I felt her disappointment and her frustration. And I was really mad, with Eve, at all the people who knew her for so long and did not believe in her as a cop. I must say I was really angry for Eve throughout most of the book! Overall I really enjoyed this book and can’t wait to pick up another book about Eve Sharp!!

Excerpt

It only took a couple of minutes to get to the scene. The Chicago Grand Hotel sat half a block from the Mag Mile near the museum. Built in the 1890’s it was restored in 2001, covered in glitzy looking polished brass and white marble. Even though it usually gleamed in the daytime, the sleet sweeping in off the lake made it looked gray and blocky, more like a Soviet prison. In front, a garish, fully involved crime scene revealed itself in stark contrast.   Flashing blue lights, yellow tape, a couple of cruisers. Uniforms directing traffic. Battery operated lights blasted through the snow swirls, lighting up the scene like a movie set.

I headed over to the body while Walt went to talk to the first on the scene. The ME, a photographer, and a tech crouched over the dead girl while a couple of other uniforms erected a blue plastic tent in an effort to shelter the body from gawkers. I touched the ME on the shoulder and Harold Slezak glanced up at me. “One of yours?” he said and turned the girl’s face to the light.

I knelt and felt my stomach lurch as I looked down. A deep, bloody skull depression on her forehead, her arms were twisted around the wrong way and zip-tied at the wrist. Yellow bile stained her pink sweatshirt.

“Yes. It’s Debi Miller.”

Her blue eyes open, flecks of snow had begun to stick to her face. She was already starting to freeze.

Rating