#BookReview Finding You by Danielle Ryan

#BookReview Finding You by Danielle Ryan Title: Finding You

Author: Danielle Ryan

Published by: Aria on May 1, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 190

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Aria, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7/10

A feel good love story where sometimes first impressions can be very wrong..

Valentina Harrison is a PA at an international advertising agency but when her boss disappears, James Spencer is flown in from the New York office to take over the helm.

James is handsome, successful and arrogant, Valentina is intelligent but, compared to the other fashionistas in her Milan office, rather plain and different. Because of this James treats her with contempt; needless to say Valentina can’t stand him.

As their work brings them closer together, James and Valentina discover that first impressions can be wrong, so very wrong…


Review:

This is a fun, sweet contemporary romance.

The story takes us into the world of advertising in both Milan and New York. The characters are interesting, quirky, and likeable. And the plot has some mystery, drama, and of course romance.

If you’re looking for a light-hearted, easy, boss-to-more read, this one’s for you.

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Aria, for providing me with a copy in exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave @chriscleave

#BookReview Everyone Brave is Forgiven by Chris Cleave @chriscleave Title: Everyone Brave is Forgiven

Author: Chris Cleave

Published by: Simon & Schuster on May 3, 2016

Genres: Historical Fiction

Pages: 418

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 10/10

From the author of the #1 New York Times bestselling Little Bee, a spellbinding novel about three unforgettable individuals thrown together by war, love, and their search for belonging in the ever-changing landscape of WWII London.

It’s 1939 and Mary, a young socialite, is determined to shock her blueblood political family by volunteering for the war effort. She is assigned as a teacher to children who were evacuated from London and have been rejected by the countryside because they are infirm, mentally disabled, or—like Mary’s favorite student, Zachary—have colored skin.

Tom, an education administrator, is distraught when his best friend, Alastair, enlists. Alastair, an art restorer, has always seemed far removed from the violent life to which he has now condemned himself. But Tom finds distraction in Mary, first as her employer and then as their relationship quickly develops in the emotionally charged times. When Mary meets Alastair, the three are drawn into a tragic love triangle and—while war escalates and bombs begin falling around them—further into a new world unlike any they’ve ever known.

A sweeping epic with the kind of unforgettable characters, cultural insights, and indelible scenes that made Little Bee so incredible, Chris Cleave’s latest novel explores the disenfranchised, the bereaved, the elite, the embattled. Everyone Brave Is Forgiven is a heartbreakingly beautiful story of love, loss, and incredible courage.


Review:

This is a remarkable story that is incredibly insightful, and deeply moving.

The story is set in wartime London, and is told from two perspectives. Mary, a young woman of privilege and class, who decides to help and continues to help with war efforts, even when it seems like she is battling societal ideologies as much as the enemy itself.  And Alastair, an art restorer turned officer, who continues to fight for his country, even when all seems bleak and his resilience, strength, and memories of home are all that keep him moving forward.

This is story about war, loss, injustice, love, courage, and survival.

The writing is precise and poetic. The characters are sympathetic, valiant and real. The descriptive prose is stunning. And the dry wit of the dialogue keeps the story buoyant, above the darkness, and allows you to be impacted but not sunk.

Perhaps Kipling’s iconic words say it best, “lest we forget.” 

This story will resonate with you long after the final page has been turned. And I have a feeling it won’t be long before it is on book club lists everywhere. 

This novel is available now.

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

For more information on Chris Cleave, visit his website at: chriscleave.com

or follow him on Twitter at: @chriscleave

 

#BookReview Those Summer Nights by Mandy Baggot @mandybaggot

#BookReview Those Summer Nights by Mandy Baggot @mandybaggot Title: Those Summer Nights

Author: Mandy Baggot

Published by: Bookouture on May 27, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 406

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Bookouture, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

Synopsis:

Sunshine, soft white sand and a sizzling hot millionaire – you don’t get trouble in paradise, right? 

Imogen Charlton is sorted. Dead-beat husband? History. Dream job? Application sent. But then her impulsive brother, Harry, spends every last penny on a Greek restaurant in Corfu, and is determined to run it himself. It’s up to Imogen to bring him to his senses. 

When sexy millionaire Panos Dimitriou offers to buy back his family taverna, Imogen wonders if all her prayers have been answered (and all her fantasies about to come true). But Harry won’t budge, and his enthusiasm is infectious. 

Bright pink bougainvillea tumbling over whitewashed walls, endless blue skies, the sparkling Mediterranean; it’s hard not to fall for Corfu. And that’s not all Imogen is falling for… 

As the sparks of passion fly between Imogen and Panos, is Imogen having second thoughts on selling the restaurant? And will she have to choose between love and a new dream? 

This summer, spend long sunny days on the beach, and balmy nights in Greek tavernas on the gorgeous island of Corfu. 


Review:

This is a sweet, charming, and romantic novel.

It is a story about family, tradition, food, community, happiness, fulfillment, and love.

It is full of colourful characters, including not only the warm, adorable Imogen, and the sexy, flawed, Panos, but a whole slew of supporting characters that are witty, quirky, and lovable. 

It is very well written. The prose is precise, funny and descriptive. And the plot is intelligent, engaging, and delightful.

This is a great summer read that will put a smile on your face and have you daydreaming about the Greek Islands in no time. It was a pleasure to read and I highly recommend it.

This book is due to be published on May 27, 2016. 

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

Amazon UKAmazon USAmazon Canada

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Bookouture, for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Mandy Baggot

Mandy Baggot is an international bestselling and award-winning romance writer. In 2017 she was signed by Ebury Publishing (Penguin Random House).

The winner of the Innovation in Romantic Fiction award at the UK’s Festival of Romance, her romantic comedy novel, One Wish in Manhattan, was also shortlisted for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Comedy Novel of the Year award in 2016.

Mandy loves the Greek island of Corfu, white wine, country music and handbags. Also a singer, she has taken part in ITV1's Who Dares Sings and The X-Factor.

Mandy is a member of the Romantic Novelists' Association and the Society of Authors and lives near Salisbury, Wiltshire, UK with her husband and two daughters.

#BookReview Lost and Gone Forever by Alex Grecian

#BookReview Lost and Gone Forever by Alex Grecian Title: Lost and Gone Forever

Author: Alex Grecian

Series: Scotland Yard's Murder Squad #5

Published by: G.P. Putnam's Sons on May 17, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 375

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

Many changes have happened to the Murder Squad. Rash actions have cost Sergeant Nevil Hammersmith his job, and in response he has set up his own private detective agency. Inspector Walter Day has been missing for a year, and no one knows where he is—though there is a strong suspicion that Saucy Jack has him. Hammersmith has made finding Day his primary case, and he has company—a pair of bounty hunters, a man and a woman. It is only gradually that he has come to realize that they are not what they seem . . .


Review:

This novel is thrilling and suspenseful.

Once again, Alex Grecian has created a gripping historical mystery in the dark, gritty streets of Victorian London in this fifth book in the Scotland Yard’s Murder Squad series.

The plot is interesting. The depiction of nineteenth century London is spot on. And all the usual cast of characters are back, flaws and all, for another round against the evils that humanity can spawn.

It is, truly, a great page turner and you don’t want to miss it.

If you haven’t read the other books in the series, I would suggest you read at least books #1, 3, and 4, although it’s not necessary, to truly appreciate the continuing storyline and character development.

 

#BookReview For the Win by Sara Rider

#BookReview For the Win by Sara Rider Title: For the Win

Author: Sara Rider

Series: The Perfect Play #1

Published by: Pocket Star on Jun. 6, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 336

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Pocket Books, NetGalley

Book Rating: 8/10

What happens when you fall for your biggest competition? Sara Rider scores with this charming romance about soccer stars battling their tough opponents and playing the field of love.

Lainey Lukas has sacrificed everything—sleep, family, carbs, a life—to earn her spot as the top player and captain of the Seattle Falcons women’s soccer team. She’s determined to lead her team to a national championship and finally earn the sport the respect it deserves—and nothing will throw her off her game. When Lainey’s hero Gabe Havelak, star of the Seattle Surge, crashes her team’s first press conference—making the Falcons look like a joke to the local media and humiliating Lainey in the process—she’s hell-bent on revenge.

Charming, confident Gabe is practically a god to Seattle soccer fans, but he doesn’t mind a little friendly competition from tough-as-nails Lainey, with her top-notch athletic skills, her mile-long legs, and her girl-next-door freckles. But when he learns the Falcons are booting the Surge from their coveted practice space to the notoriously cursed Cricket Field, those warm feelings give way to crippling superstition. With his contract up for renewal and his thirty-fourth birthday just weeks away, Gabe will risk anything to protect his position with the Surge.

The rivals agree to settle their differences in a Battle of the Sexes competition—a test of skills, fitness, and willpower. At first the situation seems win-win: Gabe gets the chance to earn back the Surge’s practice space, and Lainey’s team will finally get some much-deserved media attention. But as the friction between them becomes hot enough to spark and smolder, Lainey and Gabe are entering new territory—and with both of their careers on the line, love might just be the toughest opponent of all.


Review:

This is an amusing, sporty, contemporary romance story.

The story is about work ethic, finding balance, competition, romance, and team work, with a side order of soccer.

The characters are dynamic, flirty, and interesting. The prose is funny and precise. And the plot is charming, humorous and sweet.

This was a really fun, sexy, easy read.

I can’t wait to read the next novel in the series, The Perfect Play, Jaime and Alex’s story due out in the fall.

 

This book is due to be published June 6, 2016

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Pocket Books, for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith

#BookReview The Reflections of Queen Snow White by David Meredith Title: The Reflections of Queen Snow White

Author: David Meredith

Published by: David Meredith on Oct. 2, 2013

Genres: Fantasy

Pages: 155

Format: eBook

Source: David Meredith

Book Rating: 7/10

What happens when “happily ever after” has come and gone? 

On the eve of her only daughter, Princess Raven’s wedding, an aging Snow White finds it impossible to share in the joyous spirit of the occasion. The ceremony itself promises to be the most glamorous social event of the decade. Snow White’s castle has been meticulously scrubbed, polished and opulently decorated for the celebration. It is already nearly bursting with jubilant guests and merry well-wishers. Prince Edel, Raven’s fiancé, is a fine man from a neighboring kingdom and Snow White’s own domain is prosperous and at peace. Things could not be better, in fact, except for one thing: 

The king is dead. 

The queen has been in a moribund state of hopeless depression for over a year with no end in sight. It is only when, in a fit of bitter despair, she seeks solitude in the vastness of her own sprawling castle and climbs a long disused and forgotten tower stair that she comes face to face with herself in the very same magic mirror used by her stepmother of old. 

It promises her respite in its shimmering depths, but can Snow White trust a device that was so precious to a woman who sought to cause her such irreparable harm? Can she confront the demons of her own difficult past to discover a better future for herself and her family? And finally, can she release her soul-crushing grief and suffocating loneliness to once again discover what “happily ever after” really means? 

Only time will tell as she wrestles with her past and is forced to confront The Reflections of Queen Snow White.


Review:

Thank you to David Meredith, the author, for sending me a copy of his book for an honest review.

This is a unique and interesting story that starts approximately thirty years after the original fairy tale ended.

It delves into the psychological and physical damage suffered by Snow White through the years, as well as the love and comfort she found with Charming.

It is a story about abuse, loss, depression, strength, courage, love, and ultimately the power of discovery and introspection.

The writing is well done. The plot uses a past-present style that allows the story to flow nicely. And the characters are complex and creative, especially the magic mirror who once again has a starring role.

If you love fantasy and dark, macabre tales, you will definitely enjoy this book.

 

#BookReview If the Dress Fits by Daisy James

#BookReview If the Dress Fits by Daisy James Title: If The Dress Fits

Author: Daisy James

Published by: Carina UK on May 12, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 384

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Carina UK, NetGalley

Book Rating: 7/10

A heartwarming romantic comedy guaranteed to sweep you off your feet, If the Dress Fits is one story you don’t want miss in 2016! 

She might be the most famous person in the country…but no one knows her name!

Celebrity actress Lilac Verbois is holding a competition to design her dress for the Wedding of the Year…and Callie’s exquisite, glittering silk gown has been shortlisted. But just as all her dreams are coming true, disaster strikes and she rushes home – forgetting to submit the forms!

Years ago, when Callie left sleepy Althorpe for the bright lights of London, she never expected to return. And there’s one man in particular she’d hoped never to see again, Theo, the childhood-sweetheart-turned-rock-God who turned her life upside down. But now she’s back, she realises it’s finally time to stop running…and face her past.

Yet, little does Callie know, Lilac Verbois has begun a Cinderella-like hunt for that perfect, pearl-embroidered wedding dress, mysteriously submitted without a name…


Review:

This is a nice, sweet contemporary romance.

It is a story about love, forgiveness, fashion, and the true meaning of home.

The characters are likeable. The setting is quaint and charming. And the story has enough drama, heartache, and romance to keep it moving nicely.

It is a quick, easy read that would be a good choice for a sunny afternoon.

 

This book is due to be published May 12, 2016.

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Carina UK, for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

#BookReview The Late Blossoming of Frankie Green by Laura Kemp

#BookReview The Late Blossoming of Frankie Green by Laura Kemp Title: The Late Blossoming of Frankie Green

Author: Laura Kemp

Published by: Aria on Jun. 1, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 368

Format: eBook, ARC

Source: Aria, NetGalley

Book Rating: 9/10

A laugh-out-loud, feel good, romantic comedy, which will take you on an enlightening emotional rollercoaster. Perfect for the fans of Sophie Kinsella and Jane Costello. 

Frankie Green’s happy ever after is put on hold when her childhood sweetheart husband complains things are boring in bed.

When he asks for some space, she sets out to win him back by getting herself a sex education. 

Little does she know that her hilarious, tender and embarrassing journey of enlightenment is going to change everything…

A story full of humour, heartache and happiness, of friendship, coming of age and overcoming insecurity.


Review:

This is a great story. I really enjoyed it.

It is not just a regular contemporary romance story. It is interesting, fun, flirty, warm, and engaging.

Aside from the main plot, involving Frankie’s struggle to overcome her husbands need for a break, there are several subplots involving her two best friends that will keep you captivated until the very last page.

This story is about acceptance, friendship, confidence, fulfillment, and true love.

It is very well written. The story is warm, smart, and laugh-out-loud funny. And the characters are quirky, witty, and lovable.

This is an easy, light-hearted, perfect summer read that you won’t want to put down. Don’t miss it. It’s great!

This book is due to be published on June 1, 2016.

 

 

Thank you to NetGalley, especially Aria, for providing me with a copy in an exchange for an honest review.

 

About Laura Kemp

Laura Kemp writes tender but hilarious romantic comedies which are unashamed love letters to the everywoman.
Her uplifting message - based on the notion that everything is research apart from the rude bits - is 'You Don't Know How Brilliant You Are!'.
A journalist who has written for The Guardian, The Daily Mail and The Sun amongst others, she is married with a son in Cardiff, where she pretends to be a domestic revolutionary so she doesn't have to do the ironing. Runs to eat crisps and drink wine, adores her mates and loves her dog, Lego and sweary cross-stitch.

#BookReview Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline @LisaScottoline

#BookReview Most Wanted by Lisa Scottoline @LisaScottoline Title: Most Wanted

Author: Lisa Scottoline

Published by: St. Martin's Press on Apr. 12, 2016

Genres: Mystery/Thriller

Pages: 438

Format: Hardcover

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 6.5/10

Lisa Scottoline delivers another searing, powerful blockbuster novel that explores hot-button issues within the framework of an intricately plotted thriller. When a woman and her husband, desperate for a baby, find themselves unable to conceive, they decide to take further steps. Since it is the husband who is infertile, the heroine decides to use a donor. And all seems to be well. Three months pass and she is happily pregnant. But a shocking revelation occurs when she discovers that a man arrested for a series of brutal murders is her donor – the biological father of the child she is carrying. Delving deeper to uncover the truth, the heroine must face her worst fears, and confront a terrifying truth. Most Wanted is sure to be Lisa Scottoline’s most discussed, bestselling novel yet.


Review:

I really don’t like to give bad reviews, as I can only imagine how hard it is to be a writer and how much effort goes into every book they write. However, saying that, I was little disappointed in this one.

This story has a great premise, a little suspense, a bit of mystery, and some interesting moral and ethical dilemmas.

Overall though, I found the plot slow and slightly unrealistic, and the characterization seemed somewhat flat and unbelievable.

I have read several really good Lisa Scottoline books in the past, such as Every Fifteen Minutes, and I look forward to reading her next release, but this one wasn’t one of her best.

 

 

About Lisa Scottoline

Lisa Scottoline is The New York Times bestselling author and Edgar award-winning author of 30 novels, including her #1 bestselling, AFTER ANNA. She also writes a weekly column with her daughter Francesca Serritella for the Philadelphia Inquirer titled “Chick Wit” which is a witty and fun take on life from a woman’s perspective. These stories, along with many other never-before-published stories, have been collected in a New York Times bestselling series of humorous memoirs including their most recent, I Need A Lifeguard Everywhere But The Pool. Lisa reviews popular fiction and non-fiction, and her reviews have appeared in The New York Times, The Washington Post and The Philadelphia Inquirer. Lisa has served as President of Mystery Writers of America. Lisa graduated magna cum laude in three years from the University of Pennsylvania, with a B.A. degree in English, and her concentration was Contemporary American Fiction, taught by Philip Roth and others. She graduated cum laude from the University of Pennsylvania Law School where she taught a course she developed, "Justice and Fiction." Lisa is a regular and much sought after speaker at library and corporate events. Lisa has over 30 million copies of her books in print and is published in over 35 countries. She lives in the Philadelphia area with an array of disobedient pets, and she wouldn’t have it any other way.

BookReview Mister O by Lauren Blakely

BookReview Mister O by Lauren Blakely Title: Mister O

Author: Lauren Blakely

Series: Big Rock #2

Published by: Lauren Blakely Books on May 2, 2016

Genres: Contemporary Romance

Pages: 306

Format: eBook

Source: Purchased

Book Rating: 8.5/10

From the NYT Bestselling author of BIG ROCK, comes a hot and hilarious new standalone…

Just call me Mister O. Because YOUR pleasure is my super power. 

Making a woman feel ‘oh-god-that’s-good’ is the name of the game, and if a man can’t get the job done, he should get the hell out of the bedroom. I’m talking toe-curling, mind-blowing, sheet-grabbing ecstasy. Like I provide every time.

I suppose that makes me a superhero of pleasure, and my mission is to always deliver.

But then I’m thrown for a loop when a certain woman asks me to teach her everything about how to win a man. The only problem? She’s my best friend’s sister, but she’s far too tempting to resist–especially when I learn that sweet, sexy Harper, has a dirty mind too and wants to put it to good use. What could possibly go wrong as I give the woman I’ve secretly wanted some no-strings-attached lessons in seduction?

No one will know, even if we send a few dirty sexts. Okay, a few hundred. Or if the zipper on her dress gets stuck. Not on that! Or if she gives me those f*&k-me-eyes on the train in front of her whole family.

The trouble is the more nights I spend with her in bed, the more days I want to spend with her out of bed. And for the first time ever, I’m not only thinking about how to make a woman cry out in pleasure –I’m thinking about how to keep her in my arms for a long time to come.

Looks like the real Adventures of Mister Orgasm have only just begun….

**MISTER O is a standalone romantic comedy and it follows supporting characters first introduced in BIG ROCK**


Review:

This is a steamy, contemporary romance novel.

The characters are quirky, charming, and engaging. And the story is smart, sexy, and at times laugh-out-loud funny.

This is truly a hot rom com, that mixes interesting characters, a comic book creator and a magician, with the tried-and-true, best friend’s little sister plot.

Once again Lauren Blakely has written a highly entertaining novel that shouldn’t be missed.

 

%d bloggers like this: