Review

#BookReview
The Playboy Bachelor by Rachel Van Dyken
@RachVD @ForeverRomance

Synopsis:

She’s no Sleeping Beauty. And he’s definitely no prince . . . Margot McCleery could have lived her whole life without seeing Bentley Wellington again-her ex-best friend and the poster boy for Hot, Rich Man-Whores everywhere. But Margot’s whiskey-augmented grandmother “buys” Bentley at a charity bachelor auction, and now suddenly he’s at her door. Impossibly charming. Impossibly sexy. And still a complete and utter jackass. Bentley’s just been coerced by his grandfather to spend the next thirty days charming and romancing the reclusive red-haired beauty who hates him. The woman he abandoned when she needed him the most. Bentley knows just as much about romance as he knows about love-nothing. But the more time he spends with Margot, the more he realizes that “just friends” will never be enough. Now all he has to do is convince her to trust him with her heart . . .


Book Rating: 8.5/10

Emotional, enchanting and sweetly romantic!

This is a second chance romance that combines the pompous, rich Bentley and the lonely, scarred Margot in a well-crafted plot full of entertaining hijinks, deep introspection, exquisite tension, palpable chemistry, sexy innuendoes and unconditional love.

The characters, including a whole slew of meddling supporting characters are intriguing, likeable, funny and well-developed.  And the writing use a past/present style to create an engaging, lighthearted tale about letting go, being brave and learning to trust that will definitely leaving you smiling by the end.

Once again Van Dyken has written a modern-day fairy tale that has a lot of heart and has the handsome prince not only bringing the beautiful princess back to life but finally getting the girl he let slip away.

This is the second book in the “Bachelors of Arizona” series and what a great series it is shaping up to be. If you haven’t had a chance to read my review for “The Bachelor Auction”, book #1 in the series, be sure to check it out HERE.

Thank you to Forever Romance – Grand Central Publishing for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Rachel Van Dyken, visit her website at: rachelvandykenauthor.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @RachVD

#BookReview
The Whole Thing Together by Ann Brashares

Synopsis:

We live in the same place, but never together.

Summer for Sasha and Ray means the sprawling old house on Long Island. Since they were children, they’ve shared almost everything—reading the same books, running down the same sandy footpaths to the beach, eating peaches from the same market, laughing around the same sun-soaked dining table. Even sleeping in the same bed, on the very same worn cotton sheets. But they’ve never met.

Sasha’s dad was once married to Ray’s mom, and together they had three daughters: Emma, the perfectionist; Mattie, the beauty; and Quinn, the favorite. But the marriage crumbled and the bitterness lingered. Now there are two new families—and neither one will give up the beach house that holds the memories, happy and sad, of summers past.

The choices we make come back to haunt us; the effect on our destinies ripples out of our control…or does it? This summer, the lives of Sasha, Ray, and their siblings intersect in ways none of them ever dreamed, in a novel about family relationships, keeping secrets, and most of all, love.


Book Rating: 6.5/10

Poignant, tragic and excessively complex!

In this latest novel by Brashares she delves into the emotional and psychological effects of blended families on all those involved and highlights the challenges faced by those specifically caught in the middle.

The characters are vulnerable, troubled and coming of age. The prose is simple and clear. And the plot, which is ultimately about guilt, love, life, loss, yearning, heartbreak, deception, friendship and family just seems to have a little too many subplots, too much angst, too much drama and too many issues, including class, divorce and race to not get bogged down and overpower the characterization and fluidity of the main storyline.

I am a huge fan of Ann Brashares from The Sisterhood of the Travelling Pants series and I look forward to reading other novels by her in the future but for me this one wasn’t one of her best.

Thank you to Goodreads Giveaways, especially Random House Canada, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links. 

                                          

For more information on Ann Brashares, visit her website at: annbrashares.com

or follow her on twitter at: @AnnBrashares

#BookReview
Breaking all the Rules by Rachael Richey
@RachaelRBooks

Synopsis:

Kate is getting married in a month. Richard, her fiancé, is a lawyer: rich, successful, and very good-looking. She’s definitely in love with him.

No doubt about that. So when Sam, a good friend and her high school crush, returns after eight years of travelling, she doesn’t care. After all, he never actually asked her out, and then he went travelling without her, contrary to their plans.

She only agrees to go to dinner with him in order to hear all his news, so why doesn’t she tell him she’s getting married? And is he still bothered by the tragedy eight years ago?

Sometimes life just gets too complicated, and Kate finds she keeps having Very Bad Ideas, which lead to even more complications. Just three days before her wedding, she finds herself in a situation that demands the biggest decision of her life.


Book Rating: 8/10

Romantic, heartwarming and laugh-out-loud funny.

This is a charming love triangle about Kate, a spunky young woman in the final days of planning her wedding to the older, workaholic Richard who suddenly finds her world turned upside down when the ruggedly handsome, adventurous Sam returns to town and causes Kate to not only reevaluate her life and her career, but ultimately her happiness.

The writing is smooth and precise. The characters are sweet, quirky and appealing. And the plot is a wonderful blend of humour, familial drama, friendship, love and a little mystery.

I have to say that if you are a fan of well written, fun, lighthearted British chick-lit this is definitely the book for you. And if you haven’t already had a chance to read my review for one of Richey’s other novels Storm Rising, the first book in her NightHawk Series, be sure to check it out Here.

About the Author:

 

 Rachael Richey lives in Cornwall with her husband and son and writes Women’s Fiction. She loves walking, horses, Earl Grey tea, chocolate, pizza and Pinot Grigio and reading.

 

Thank you to Rachael Richey, the author, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review. It was an honour and pleasure.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

For more information on Rachael Richey, visit her website at: rachaelricheybooks

or follow her on Twitter at: @RachaelRBooks

#BookReview
The Peculiar Life of a Lonely Postman
by Denis Thériault @PGCBooks

Synopsis:

Bilodo lives a solitary daily life, routinely completing his postal rounds every day and returning to his empty Montreal apartment. But he has found a way to break the cycle — Bilodo has taken to stealing people’s mail, steaming open the envelopes, and reading the letters inside. And so it is he comes across Ségolène’s letters. She is corresponding with Gaston, a master poet, and their letters are each composed of only three lines. They are writing each other haikus. The simplicity and elegance of their poems move Bilado and he begins to fall in love with her. But one day, out on his round, he witnesses a terrible and tragic accident. Just as Gaston is walking up to the post-box to mail his next haiku to Ségolène, he is hit by a car and dies on the side of the road. And so Bilodo makes an extraordinary decision — he will impersonate Gaston and continue to write to Ségolène under this guise. But how long can the deception continue for? Denis Thériault weaves a passionate and elegant tale, comic and tragic with a love story at its heart.


Book Rating: 8/10

Unique, quirky and exceptionally thought-provoking!

This is a short but poignantly sweet story about a young, content postman by the name of Bilodo who lives a simple life by day and a much more exciting though deceptive life by night as he secretly indulges in the writings of strangers and the lives and love those letters express.

The prose is exquisitely descriptive. The imagery is beyond words with metaphors and similes that ignite all the senses. And the plot is truly a well-crafted love letter to Haiku poetry, Zen philosophy and Japanese culture from the symbolic, magical kimono to ‘ensō’ the circle representing creative enlightenment all the way to the sobering yet karmic ending.

This is ultimately a story about life, love and death and although the storyline as a whole is morally questionable the writing itself is so beautiful you can’t help but be engrossed, immersed and swept away in this poetic, fable-like, love story.

Thank you to PGC Books for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy of this story from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

For more information on the titles available from PGC books visit their website at: pgcbooks.ca

or follow them on twitter at: @PGCBooks

#BlogTour & #BookReview
The Wright Boss by K.A. Linde
@AuthorKALinde @InkSlingerPR

 

TWBoss iBooksA new stand alone office romance from USA Today bestselling author K.A. Linde…

I’ve always had one rule:

Don’t mix business and pleasure.

But then Landon Wright comes home to his family’s construction company with a broken back and a beaten heart and ends up as my new sexy boss. As the office gets heated, I’m thinking about throwing the rulebook out the window.

If only there weren’t a million reasons this could never work.

We may have shared a single perfect kiss, but I can’t let our intense connection cloud my judgment. Not with everything I’ve worked for on the line.

Dating your boss is so very, very wrong…even if he feels so Wright.

AmazoniBooksB&NKoboGoogle Play

 

Rating: 8/10

Emotional, sassy and sexy!

This is a passionate friends-to-more story involving Langdon, Jensen’s younger brother, who returns home to escape a loveless marriage and recover from a potentially career-ending injury and Heidi, the intelligent, successful engineer who finds herself falling in love with the one man who unfortunately is not only her high school crush and best friend’s ex but now her new boss.

The writing is descriptive, clear and fluid. The characters, including the supporting characters, are charming, flawed and fun. And the plot is an enchanting, slightly angsty tale filled with scrumptious chemistry, smouldering tension, fervour, heartache and familial drama.

This is the second title in the Wright series and once again Linde has written an entertaining, engaging novel that has remarkable characterization and a storyline that has everything we look for and love in contemporary romance.

Thank you to InkSlingerPR and K.A. Linde for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

About the Author:

Kyla

K.A. Linde is the USA Today bestselling author of more than fifteen novels including the Avoiding series and the Record series. She has a Masters degree in political science from the University of Georgia, was the head campaign worker for the 2012 presidential campaign at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and served as the head coach of the Duke University dance team. She loves reading fantasy novels, geeking out over Star Wars, binge-watching Supernatural, and dancing in her spare time.

She currently lives in Lubbock, Texas, with her husband and two super adorable puppies.

WEBSITE / FACEBOOK / TWITTER / INSTAGRAM

#BookReview
Hot Shot by Kelly Jamieson
@KellyJamieson @readloveswept

Synopsis:

A former Navy SEAL and current bad boy bar owner learns to trust a free spirit in this steamy novel of unexpected romance from the bestselling author of Body Shot and the Heller Brothers series.

Marco Solis knows that if he gets too close to people they disappear. His parents were deported back to Mexico when he was fourteen, his fiancée married someone else while he was in the military, and now his business partner’s spending more time with his girl than with Marco. For better or worse, that’s how Marco meets Carrie Garner. She’s legitimately model-hot. She’s also a nut—a wild, artsy, unapproachable nut. So why is Marco so interested in cracking her shell?

Although Carrie Garner is a natural in front of the camera, her dream is to make it as a photographer. Soon she’ll be heading to Spain for design school, and she’ll miss her best friend, Hayden, like crazy. She’ll even miss Hayden’s boyfriend, Beck—but she won’t miss Beck’s partner, Marco. Bossy, brooding, and annoyingly sexy, Marco really pushes her buttons, though he obviously wouldn’t mind pushing her buttons in an up-against-the-wall, hard-and-fast kind of way. The craziest part is, if Carrie lets him do that, well . . . she may never want to leave.


Book Rating: 8.5/10

Lighthearted, engaging and sensual!

This is a charming, enemies-to-lovers story about two people suffering with their own insecurities who may just find what they’re looking for, a family, a home and love, in each other.

The writing is well done. The main characters are troubled, genuine, supportive and likeable. And the plot uses a mix of delicious innuendoes, clever dialogue, steamy chemistry, sizzling attraction and a little introspection to take us on journey that starts as a fun, flirty fling and ends in true love.

Overall I have to say this is definitely a sexy, romantic, enjoyable read that has engaging characters and a storyline with the perfect amount of heat and heart. 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Random House – Loveswept, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                  

For more information on Kelly Jamieson, visit her website at: kellyjamieson.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @KellyJamieson

#BookReview
It’s Always the Husband by Michele Campbell
@MCampbellBooks @StMartinsPress

Synopsis:

Kate, Aubrey, and Jenny. They first met as college roommates and soon became inseparable, even though they are as different as three women can be. Twenty years later, one of them is standing at the edge of a bridge . . and someone else is urging her to jump.

How did things come to this?

As the novel cuts back and forth between their college years and their adult years, you see the exact reasons why these women love and hate each other—but can feelings that strong lead to murder? Or will everyone assume, as is often the case, that it’s always the husband?


Book Rating: 7/10

Complex, intriguing, and gloomy!

This is a character-driven novel that delves into just how much our friendships and relationships can define us and highlights just how parasitic some of them can really be.

The writing is well done. The characters are selfish, scheming and deceptive. And although the plot in the first half of the novel is a little slow as the author delves deeply into the different personalities and motivations of each character, the second half is definitely much more exciting, intense and action-packed with as many suspects as motives and an ending with a contemplative twist.

This is ultimately a novel about friendship, secrets, manipulation, jealousy, obsession, adultery and murder and a good debut for Campbell. In fact, some readers will love the dark, moody feel of the story and the cast of characters with no redeeming qualities between them. Unfortunately for me, the lack of characters with any sort of moral or ethical conscience made it hard to connect and left me a little indifferent of the story overall.

About the Author:

Michele Campbell is a graduate of Harvard College and Stanford Law School and a former federal prosecutor in New York City who specialized in international narcotics and gang cases.

A while back, she said goodbye to her big-city legal career and moved with her husband and two children to an idyllic New England college town a lot like Belle River in IT’S ALWAYS THE HUSBAND. Since then, she has spent her time teaching criminal and constitutional law and writing novels.

She’s had many close female friends, a few frenemies, and only one husband, who – to the best of her knowledge – has never tried to kill her.

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially St. Martin’s Press, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This book is due to be published on May 16, 2017.

Pick up a copy of this novel from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Michele Campbell, visit her website at: MicheleCampbellBooks.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @MCampbellBooks

#BookReview
Mothers And Other Strangers
@ginasorell @PGCBooks

Synopsis:

“My father proposed to my mother at gunpoint when she was nineteen, and knowing that she was already pregnant with a dead man’s child, she accepted.”

Thus begins this riveting story of a woman’s quest to understand her recently deceased mother, a glamorous, cruel narcissist who left her only child, Elsie, an inheritance of debts and mysteries. While coping with threats that she suspects are coming from the cult-like spiritual program her mother belonged to, Elsie works to unravel the message her dying mother left for her, a quest that ultimately takes her to the South African family homestead she never knew existed.


Book Rating: 8.5/10

Heart-wrenching, engrossing and deeply moving!

This is an intriguing novel that highlights the enduring physical and psychological effects parents can have on their children and emphasizes just how important guidance, affection, respect and love are in child development.

The prose is eloquent and fluid. The characters are fragile, tormented and raw. And the plot is a subtle journey into one middle-aged, woman’s life as she tries to discover her true self and find some form of closure and happiness while piecing together all the secrets and sins of a mother she never truly knew.

Overall this is an incredibly thought-provoking, gripping, beautiful debut by Sorell that does a remarkable job of illuminating the complex bonds and emotional ties between mothers and daughters.

About the Author

Born in South Africa and raised in Canada, Gina Sorell now resides in Toronto, and lives in a world of words. Some of those words are: writer, namer, creative director, artist, daughter, sister, wife and mother.
After two decades as a working actor of stage and screen in NYC, LA, and Toronto, Gina decided to return to her first love–writing, and graduated with distinction from UCLA Extension Writers’ Program. Gina likes to balance out the long solitary hours of novel writing, with her work as a Creative Director of Eat My Words, a SF based branding firm, where she collaborates all day long with innovators and entrepreneurs whose identity she establishes with only one word, their name.

Thank you to PGC Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from the following links.

                                            

For more information on Gina Sorell visit her website at: ginasorell.com

or follow her on Twitter at: @ginasorell

#BookReview & #BookGiveaway
Red Clover Inn by Carla Neggers
@CarlaNeggers @HarlequinBooks

Synopsis:

New York Times bestselling author Carla Neggers delivers an irresistible story about love, family and finding a place to call home..

Marine archaeologist Charlotte Bennett is no stranger to risk, but her dives into sunken wreckage are always meticulously planned. However, being the maid of honor in her cousin Samantha’s English wedding gives her a new perspective on her life as a nomad who’s given up on romance altogether. Though an encounter with roguish wedding guest Greg Rawlings leaves her unsettled, the other people she meets make a trip to the tranquil town of Knights Bridge, Massachusetts, enticing. Acting on impulse, Charlotte offers to house-sit at Red Clover Inn while Sam and Justin Sloan are away on their honeymoon.

The quaint inn isn’t open to the public yet and Charlotte will have quiet time to plan her next project. It might also give her a chance to see how her cousin found love and a sense of family. But the peace is immediately disrupted when Greg shows up at the inn. The Diplomatic Security Service agent lives a dangerous life, and he, too, wants to clear his head before his next assignment. Juggling work, raising his two teenage children and nursing a wounded heart has left him jaded, and the last thing he expects is to find himself falling for the willful Charlotte. As the attraction between them flares, Charlotte realizes she might be in too deep. And each of them must decide if they can put love first before it’s too late.


Book Rating: 7/10

Lighthearted, easy and sweet!

In this latest novel in the Swift River Valley series Neggers once again takes us back to Knights Bridge with its beautiful landscape, intriguing inn and small-town charm.

The writing is straightforward. The characters are strong, dependable and pensive. And the plot which seems to get a little bogged down in the first half of the story with information into all the characters and relationships between them definitely picks up in the second half and is quite compelling, mysterious, engaging and romantic. 

Overall this is an enjoyable, entertaining read and fans of Carla Neggers and the Swift River Valley series will love not only this new addition to the Bennett and Sloan clan but will really appreciate the opportunity to catch up with some of the beloved characters from previous novels.

Thank you to Harlequin Books for providing me with not only a copy in exchange for an honest review but a copy to give away (please see below).

This book is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Carla Neggers visit her website at: carlaneggers.com

or on Twitter at: @CarlaNeggers

 

International Giveaway

And now thanks to Harlequin Books, one lucky reader of What’s Better Than Books? will receive a paperback copy of Red Clover Inn by Carla Neggers as well as a Red Clover Inn Door Hanger. 

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

#BookReview
The Thirst by Jo Nesbo
@RealMrJoNesbo ‏@RandomHouseCA

Synopsis:

THERE’S A NEW KILLER ON THE STREETS…
A woman is found murdered after an internet date. The marks left on her body show the police that they are dealing with a particularly vicious killer.

HE’S IN YOUR HOUSE… HE’S IN YOUR ROOM
Under pressure from the media to find the murderer, the force know there’s only one man for the job. But Harry Hole is reluctant to return to the place that almost took everything from him. Until he starts to suspect a connection between this killing and his one failed case.

HE’S OUT FOR BLOOD
When another victim is found, Harry realises he will need to put everything on the line if he’s to finally catch the one who got away.


Book Rating: 10/10

Welcome back Harry Hole!

This a brilliantly crafted, dark, gritty thriller that takes us on a hunt for a sadistic serial killer with a taste for blood and causes Harry to come face-to-face with some of the demons that haunt him.

The writing is seamless, precise and vivid.  The characterization is spot on with characters that are driven, selfish and flawed, including the tough and tenacious Harry Hole whose greatest struggles persistently involve his own addictions and obsessions. And the plot is a twisty, violent, tension-filled thrill ride that keeps you on the edge of your seat from the very beginning and will definitely leave you speechless by the end.

Once again Nesbo has proven that when it comes to writing clever, gripping, fast-paced police procedurals with exquisite character development and spine-chilling storylines he’s one of the best.

Thank you to Penguin Random House Canada for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

This novel is available now.

Pick up a copy from your favourite retailer or from one of the following links.

                                            

For more information on Jo Nesbo, visit his website at: jonesbo.com

or follow him on Facebook at: jonesboauthor

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